Exploring History of Witchcraft

Traditional witchcraft is a system of religious beliefs that has come to present times through conventions and traditions. In ancient times, though the art of witchcraft was mainly practiced by old, experienced women, some men also got involved in it. Witchcraft is an earth based religion and has been practiced for many centuries in the cultures and societies all over the world as per local traditions and beliefs. Belief in spells, magic and witchcraft is found in many different cultures worldwide.

The early believers of witchcraft did not believe in singular deity or god, and nor did they follow any guide book. The main belief was in powerful nature, and witches believed that the only time the veil of separation between the existence of spirits and living beings becomes thin is on the Samhain night. Wiccan view and belief of God and Goddess as the supreme creative force predates several thousand years before Christianity. In the ancient times, wise people were those who were in tune with the natural forces, and followed the path of nature, and witchcraft was known as the craft of the wise.

These wise people had the knowledge of medicines and herbs, could counsel people and were considered Shamanic healers and leaders in the community. It has been believed that the roots of magic came from Celts, descendents of Into-Europeans, living between 700 BC and 100 AD. Celts were highly spiritual people, worshipped god and goddess, and also believed in reincarnation. The religious practices and beliefs of Celts were later termed as Paganism, which included the practices such as concocting ointments and potions, performing magic and casting spells.

The word witch, which means to bend or twist has been derived from ancient Anglo-Saxon word wicca, which means wise. After the discovery of North America, Europeans started migrating to this new land, and earlier colonial settlers started practicing witchcraft. Prior to this migration, witchcraft was forbidden in North American colonies and was branded as demon-worship. Some of the colonists secretly practiced witchcraft as they knew if they were caught, they would be burned or hanged.

After discovery of North America, Europeans started migrating to this new land, and started practicing witchcraft. After 1200 AD, the Church ordered to discover the witches who were believed to be evil, and full fledged killing of witches was recorded in 1500s and 1600s. Unfortunately, in the recent years, the image of witch has been associated with heathenism, evil, and unrighteousness, but people need to understand that it is a true religion of Nature and God, and witches and witchcraft must be understood in its true perspective. Groups holding rituals and beliefs that did not match with spells, supernatural, reincarnation and predicting future termed this practice as demon-worship.