The core meaning of venefica can be pulled back to ancient Latin in which the root, vene, suggests veneration and honor. Further, the root is traced to the planet Venus which was regarded as a major influence in the lives of humans.
Around the first century BC in ancient Rome, certain women (venefica’s) were considered natural intuitives who served the people in a advisory capacity. These women helped the community to clarify issues, and assist in solving problems all humans encounter in daily life. Further, they would interpret celestial energies emitting from not only Venus (considered their kindred planet – the planet of Divine Femininity) but from other planets, the stars, the Earth, animals, and other humans. These women were purported to be “mixers of vital energies” and offered their interpretations for the betterment of the community. Their interpretations of cosmic energy were considered invaluable and these women were considered honorable oracles to the masses.
It was not until after the crucifixion of The Christ and the subsequent dissemination/revisions of the sacred texts decades later (now known as the gospels of the Bible) that that the term venefica took on a dour tone.
Why? In the mindset of the time, if there was to be only one message, one God, and only one Light (The Christ) and these entities are depicted in a male aspect – then a divining female with uncommon interpretive skills (i.e. having perceived power) did not fit the equation.
So, (well-meaning, I’m sure) leaders such as Constantine took measures to reduce those who might be seen as usurping the a divine status quo – particularly females – in this case, venefica’s. Hence, venefica, takes a negative meaning in the diluted and politically influenced translation of Biblical texts, (within which we are told to admonish the company of venefica’s).
On a personal note, the name was a gift to me, and with it came this history. The name for me, is a reminder to maintain honor (veneration) as my dominant intent in all matters.