The history of "Witchhunt" Important things to know about witches The ethics of "Love Spells" What is Witchcraft? Is Witchcraft the same as Wicca? The Sabbats of Wicca The Pentagram

1. The history of "Witchhunt"

The word "witch" comes from the Old English verb wiccian meaning : to practise sorcery. By this definition there have been sorcerers in all times. Graeco - Roman law prescribed severe penalties for witches, and at the height of Roman Empire witchcraft was as feared on the frontiers as the marching legions themselves.
The coming of Christianity failed to erase the fear altogether, and it was probably during the 7th and 8th centuries that the belief in the witch's ability to fly was established, though the Romans had thought that certain women had the power to turn themselves into owls and fly through the air to do mischief. In the 9th century the Church passed an edict declaring these beliefs to be an illusion and condemning those who mistakenly believed in the power of sorcerers. This rational confidence of the Church authorities lasted until the 13th century.
But at the popular level the belief seems to have grown rather than faded. In 1307 the Knights Templar, one of the most famous crusading orders of chivalry, were accused of heresy and the practice of magic and devil worship by Philip IV of France. Many of them were tortured and executed and their great wealth was confiscated. Thereafter in the belief that witches worshipped Satan at their Sabbaths, Pope Innocent VIII published his Bull: it claimed that no country was free from witchcraft, and charged that all responsible for ist practice should be put to death.
From the 14th century until the middle of the 17th century with - trials and their attendant torture, hangings, and burnings accounted for the deaths of over nine million people. In England and Scotland between 1643 and 1661 it is estimated that 4,000 alleged witches were executed, although in England hanging rather than burning was the prefered method, and figures show that continental Europe was more deeply disturbed by witches. The panic began seriously in the 14th century and was at ist height in Germany and France in the 15th an 16th centuries.
In 1664, during a later wave of persecution in Britian, the notorious Matthew Hopkins set himself up as "Witchfinder General" in England. He is said to have hanged 60 witches in one year.
After the Commonwealth period the witchhunting mania in England gradually died out, although as late as 1705, two women were hanged and burned for witchcraft at Northampton. In 1735, the persecutory Acts that came into force during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I were replaced by a law stating that witchcraft did not exist and only those pretending to practice it should be punished, usually by a fine or short period of imprisonment. But it was not until 1951 that this last Witchcraft Act was itself finally repealed.
The murdering hysteria and panic that infected Europe in the 13th to 17th centuries spread as a matter of course to North America. A group of young girls accused a slave, half - Negro and half - Indian, of having bewitched them. The accused incriminated others and by midsummer some 150 persons were awaiting trail as being witches. The governor of Massachusetts himself, arrived to set up a special court. By early autumn 14 women and 5 men had been hanged, while another man had been pressed to death for refusing to plead. It was only the fearless work of Increase Mather and Thomas Brattle that led to the dissolution of the special court and the release of the prisoners. Subsequently a resolution deprecated the action of the judges, the jurymen signed a statment of regret, and some restitution was made to the bereaved families. This virtually ended witchcraft trials in North America.

2. Important things to know about witches

Witches wear clothing of every colour and every style
Most of the witches choose to wear black clothing or ritual robes. Because the colour black is the culmination of all vibrational rates of light on the material plane. And black helps witches to be more receptive to psychic impressions and energies.
Witches come from every socio - economic and ethnic background
Many witches are professional people holding positions of responsibility such as doctors, nurses, teachers ect. Witchcraft doesn't discriminate against colour and ethnic origin.
Witches also worship Gods:
For witches their Gods and Goddess are the male and female aspects of Nature. This Gods do not reign over the Universe, because they are the universe itself. The God is usually represented a protector or hunter, and the Goddess is often related to fertility or the land. Their Gods have egos like human beings.
Witches do use spells:
A spell is a thought, a projection, or a prayer. Other relogions use prayer, meditation, projection and ritual to produce an result. You can't say that the use of spells is evil, harm or good it depends on the situation. Witches use many spells, but the most used spells are "Love Spells".
For example: The Ozark love spell: "To gain the love of someone: On a night full of moon, walk to a spot beneath your beloved's bedroom window, and whisper his/her name three times to the nightwind".

3.The Ethics of Love Spells

Love is a good thing. There can never be too much of it. Therefore, any spell that brings love must be a good spell. Never mind that the spell puts a straightjacket on another's free will, and then drops it in cement for good measure. And that is why most of the people think that love magic is a negative magic.
There is a kind of "golden rule" in traditional witchcraft, wich is called the Witch's Rede. It states: "An it harm none, do what thou will". If the spell will bring harm to someone - - then don't do it !!! This rede is used as a kind of ethical litmus test for a spell.
Another rule is: "If a spell harms anyone, or limits their freedom of thought or action in a way, then consider it negative, and don't do it !!!"
But there is also a law in witchcraft called "the Law of Threefold Return". This says that whatever power you send out, eventually comes back to you, but then three times more powerful. So why are they so common? The plain truth is that most of us need love. Because without love, our lives are empty and miserable. Love is the most important thing in our lives to live a happy life. And if it will not come of ist own accord, some of us may be tempted to force it to come. And nothing can be as painful as loving someone who doesn't love you back. Consequently, the most common, garden - variety spell in the world is the love spell !!!

4. What is Witchcraft?

Witchcraft is the continuation of the practice of the native religions and cultural beliefs of Europe after the advent of Christianity. Witchcraft is the name that was given to these practices by the Christian Church. Before that, the people who followed a religion were just believers. There were special roles that equated to what we would now call priesthood. These positions often involved law inforcement, omen consultation, administration of medication, ect.
People continued, even under persecution, to worship their Gods. These religions often dominated in the more remote areas, and tended to localize themselves to specific regional areas, or were kept within the members of a family. In these families, the traditions of the religion were passed down from generation to generation. Many were forced to masquerade under the cover of Catholism, even though they were not truly Catholic.
Some people who follow these native religions of Europe do not refer to themselves as witches. The term "witch" is something that was placed upon these beliefs. However, using the term "Witchcraft" is an easy way to identify these religious beliefs and those who follow them.

5. Is Witchcraft the same thing as Wicca?

No. Wicca and witchcraft are two seperate religions. Wicca was founded by Gerald Gardner in the late 1930's. It is comprised of Western European folk traditions and Eastern philosophy. Wicca was based more in macical pursuits, it has hence forth developed into a more spiritual religion. Today Wicca can be seen as an ecclectic system of beliefs with an underlying static ritual and ethics base. And Witchcraft is heavily based in traditions.

6. The Sabbats of Wicca

Because witches honor nature, they have eight festivals, or sabbats, that mark the year as it turns through ist seasons. Here are short explanations of their eight sabbats:
Samhain happens near Halloween and is when the Wiccan year begins. The altar cloth is black, because now is the time of year that is dark. This is the time of death, of honoring and communing with spirits that have passed to the other side. Now the veil between the worlds is thin. Because of this it is a good time to invite the beloved dead to visit.
Yule or winter solstice happens near December 21, which is the longest darkest night of the year. Our earliest ancestors did not understand the yearly path of the earth around the sun and panicked when the daylight hours were shortned and there was absence of or very little sunlight for days on end. They probably thought some monsters was going to devour them during this time of year. Because of this fear they worship a higher source for a savior. When the days became longer, they attributed this to the birth of light, their Savior! That is the beginning of the time of year ruled by light.
Brigid or Candlemas, on February 2, is the festival of the Goddess Brigid, patron of poetry. Brigids poetry inspires to shake off winter's sleep now, strech and start to get ready for spring.
Spring Equinox happens about March 21, the sun's light and warmth are a signal for the fowl to lay eggs again. Other animals as well have begun their families. This is the time of year to celebrate the egg, new growth, and rebirth after a long hard winter.
Beltane or May - Day, is a celebration of love. Love - - moon rhymes with June, so the univers gets created.
Summer Solstice happens about June 21, it is the longest day of light with the darkness of night as the shortest time of year. It is a time to be thankful for the abundance of the present and the harvest yet to come. And all things move in spirals.
Lammas is in August 1. Now the Corn King dies as his body is harvest from the fields. The Dark King, Shepherd of souls, becomes stronger now. He embrace with his love in the coming trials and celebrations of the wintertime.
Autumn Equinox happens near or on September 21. Today, the length of night time is equal to the length of daytime. Nature is not really ballanced, but ordered. Autumn Equinox is a balance of light and dark, night and day and therefore is truly an outlandish moment in time: a equality, a equal balancing, an actual moment of balance.

7. The Pentagram

The pentagram, or the five - pionted star, may be the most misunderstood religious symbol around these days. It is the most common symbol of Neo - Pagan Witchcraft.
In ist usual upright position (one piont uppermost), the pentagram is an ancient symbol of protection from evil. Also called "the endless knot", the pentagram was often displayed on doors, windows, and hearths of houses throughout pre - Christian Europe. It can be traced back to Egyptian and Sumerian cultures, and has even been found on native american medicine tools. Sometimes mistakenly confused with the Star of David, or hexagram ( a six - pionted star emblematic of Judaism), the pentagram is sometimes called the Star of Solomon, especially by ceremonial magicians.
To many, the lower four points represented the classical elements of earth, air, fire, and water, while the fifth point represents the spirit, the fifth element or quintessence. The pentagram symbolizes the four elements of the material world connected with, but ruled by, the spirit. When the pentagram is placed within a circle (symbol of unity and wholeness), it stresses our connection with the univers as a whole.
Another interpretation of the upright pentagram is that it symbolizes the most common view of deity in Witchcraft. The upper three points represent the Goddess in her threefold aspect of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The lower two points represent her consort God, in his twin aspects of God of Light and God of Darkness.

Booklist for my Specialtopic
The Whispering Knights, by Penelope LIVELY
(Oxford Bookworms)
It is about three children and a witch. William and Susi think they are just playing a game when they cook a witch's brew in an old barn and say a spell over it, but Martha is no so sure. And indeed, the three friends soon learn that they have called up something dark and evil out of distant past. But in the ent the friends win the fight against the evil witch.

Celtic Magic, by Liam Mac UISTIN
(The O'Brien Press)
The book is about four Celtic Myths:
The first tale: Quest for Aideen is about a married couple. They love each other, but then Aideen has changed into a butterfly, by another woman. Then Mir (her husband) tries to find his wife. And in the end Mir and Aideen find each other again and they are very happy.
The second tale: The fabulous deeds of the sons of Tuireann is about the adventure of the sons of Tuireann who must perform many incredible tasks as penance for murder.
The third tale: Chuchulann and the feast of Bricriu is about the mischievous Bricriu who sets the warriors of Ulster against each other in their efforts to be named the bravest fighter in Ireland.
The fourth tale: Deirdre and the sons of Usnach is a tragic love epic. It is about Deirdre, a beautiful girl, and the three brave sons of Usnach, who, for her sake, fall foul of King Conor.

Nights of Fear: I haven't read this book yet!

The Witches
Director: Nicolas ROEG
The film is about an experience with witches of a young boy and his grandmother. In a hotel they meet many witches, who plan to kill all children in England. But then the boy and the old woman find out how they can kill the witches and so they do and win.

The Witches of Eastwick
Director: George MILLER
The film is about three girl - friends, who meet a very evil man. But first they don't notice that this man is evil. But in the end they know that this man is not good for them and so they noticed that they can use magic to get rid of this evil man.

The Witchcraft: I haven't seen this film yet!


The history of witchcraft:
The New Encyclopedia, Band 8, 1973

Important things to know about witches: Internet
http://www.microlink.net/ shanem/doos.htm

The ethics of Love Spells: Internet

What is witchcraft and is witchcraft the same as wicca: Internet

The sabbats of wicca: Internet
http://www.earth - dancing.com/thefourseasons.htm and

The pentagram: Internet

10 Questions about my specialtopic:

    What about wichhunt in Europe? What colour of clothing wear most of the witches and why? What spells are the most used spells? Why think so many people that love magic is a negative magic? What says the law of threefold return about the use of magic? What is witchcraft? Is witchcraft the same thing as wicca? What are the four sabbats on the four seasons, and what are they like? What about the pentagram and what does it look like? What interpretation does it give about the pentagram?

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