Witchcraft and Witches Home
This subject has been placed for educational purposes only.
Witchcraft and Witches
Witchcraft, sorcery, the practice of the "Black Art ( Magic)." A witch may be a person of either sex, but particularly a
woman,who has made a bargain with the devil. The male counterpart of a witch usually is called a "wizard."
From the remotest age the notion has been prevalent that certain persons sell their souls to the devil, receiving in return
a diabolical power to commit acts beyond the ability of human beings.
Persecution of Witches
Joan of Arc was condemned and burned as a witch in 1431. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull against sorcery.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, 300,000 to 9 million witches were executed by hanging or burning, with both Catholics
and Protestants participating on it, lead by the Inquisition. The last victims in England were put to death in 1716. The last
European death sentence was excecuted at Glarus, Switzerland in 1782.
Prosecution for witchcraft was abolished in both England and Scotland in 1736 by George III.
In America the English laws against witchcraft were adopted in New England as early as 1678 and some 40 persons were
executed, half of them during the "Salem madness" The Salem Witch Trials, began in 1692 (also known as the Salem
witch hunt and the Salem Witchcraft Episode), resulted in a number of convictions and executions for witchcraft in both
Salem Village and Salem Town, Massachusetts.
Some have argued that it was the result of a period of factional infighting and Puritan witch hysteria which led to the
executions of 20 people (14 women, 6 men) and the imprisonment of between 175 and 200 people. In addition to those
executed at least five people died in prison with one being pressed to death by rocks.
Images 1: Salem Witchcraft Trial. Image 2: Persecution of witches
In Wicca, Samhain or Halloween is held to be the time when the veil between the living world and the Other World
is at its thinnest, and this is a common time to attempt contact with those who have passed on.
Image: Saul and the witch of Endor
Witchcraft is forbidden by God and the Bible
The term "witchcraft" can have positive or negative connotations depending on cultural context; for instance, in post-
Christian European cultures it has historically been associated with evil and the Devil, while most modern witches see it
as beneficent and morally positive.
Szidonia Curtis, in her article "What is Witchcraft, Really", says:
It is with great amazement that even in this day age Witchcraft is deemed as something evil. People who practice this faith
are often believed to be worshipping the devil or the underworld.
There could be nothing further form the truth. Like in all aspects of life, you get a few bad apples, but this does not mean
that an entire faith should be pigeonholed into the evil category.
Witchcraft, as a whole is a very gentle and fun faith. You will never find people practicing this faith standing on street corners
or shouting from rooftops, trying to convert you. They are quite happy to get on with their faith in their own way. Should
people wish to join, they are welcomed with open arms and they are not judged. You are not forced to leave all your beliefs
behind. You are given the opportunity to make up your own mind in your own time. You are not expected to join a coven,
you can practise the faith in your own home in your own time.
Witchcraft is based on nature and is a faith that works with nature as opposed to against it. It does not involve black magic.
Yes, it does involve magic, but it is magic that is freely available in the universe. It is a faith that is against doing harm to
others or any other living thing, be it animal or plant.
Contrary to what you see in the movies, Witches do not fly around on brooms and neither do they change their form. They
do not bring the dead back to life. Further more, an upside down pentagram is not a sign or symbol of Witchcraft. It makes
me really sad when people actually believe all the things they see in the movies. The pentagram used by Witches is the
right way up. Each point represents part of nature namely, earth, wind, fire, water and yourself.
I find it very ignorant when people assume a faith to be rubbish or evil when they know nothing about it. I find this frustrating
and an insult.
Scrying is an old word for the practice of crystal-gazing or using some similar means to obtain clairvoyance used in
Witchcraft. It is akin to the word "descry" which originally meant to reveal, as well as to discover by seeing. Scrying is
a more general term than crystal-gazing, because it embraces all forms of developing clairvoyance by gazing at or into
some object. Witches use this in conjunction with their spells and rituals.The object used in scrying is called a "speculum."
A great many different objects have been used for this purpose such as a transparent crystal ball. Most so-called "crystals"
are actually simply glass.Some witches use a blue glass bottle as a speculum, filling the bottle with water.
Others considered that the best speculum was a ball of pale greenish-colored beryl crystal.
Rose Ariadne, in her article "The Problem With Black Magic", says:
The term black magic is usually used to mean magic that draws on evil forces, usually with the intent of doing harm to
others through those powers. Sometimes, however, the term black magic is employed to paint any magic the user of the
term doesn't like in a negative light; therefore not everything described as black magic is necessarily malevolent. Also,
some pagans may deal with patrons who aren't big on white light. For example, the Morrigan deals in death and shadow,
but is certainly not evil.
Some believe that all magic is black, or evil. Usually people who believe this associate all magic with Satanism, and/or
hold this belief because of Biblical teachings. Yet others believe that black and white magic are different, yet equally viable
magical choices. For our purposes, though, we will use black magic to mean that magic which impedes the will of another,
causes harm to another, or draws on malevolent forces.
Black magic is often very effective. The devils you deal with usually make sure that what you want is carried out to maximum
efficiency. Yet don't think there isn't a price, for everything you do returns to you three fold. There is always a
balance of cause and effect. You may break up two lovers today only to find that your best friend no longer wants to speak
to you tomorrow. Even if you believe that black magic is an appropriate use of your skills, (as in the example above that
mentions the Morrigan) even black magic that is not malevolent should not be undertaken by the apprentice practioner.
It is easy to call on the wrong thing, or to cause harm to yourself or others. If you feel called to practice shadow magics, it
is best to find someone more experienced than you to guide you. Make sure this person is trustworthy and has your best
interests at heart before you begin working with them.
To help you identify various forms of black magic, the following paragraphs will tell you about some of the more common
rituals and spells. Within Satanism, often called the Left Hand Path by its devotees, the ritual of bringing a new witch or
wizard into the fold is common. Often the new member wears a scarlet robe or dress and is welcomed into the fold by the
more senior members through ritual practices like chanting or the taking on of a new name that represents the person's
magical identity. Nudity, sex, drinking, and other forms of sensuality and indulgence may or may not be present.