Is Witchcraft Real?

Witchcraft has been practiced all over the World, in one form or another, for thousands of years, but is witchcraft real? Deciding if something is real or not requires evidence and facts, but as Witchcraft is a religion nowadays, it could also be argued that belief itself is enough to make it real. I will outline the more common points of view and present some facts on this page. I will also cover a little bit about Magic and Spells and whether there is actual magic being practised within Traditional Witchcraft and the more modern Neopagan varieties. There are a wide variety of spells we would love to be able to cast ourselves, from making someone love us to making obscene amounts of money, and anything in between. More on this subject after a brief history lesson. Is Witchcraft Real? History is a Good Place to Start Traditional Witchcraft reveres Nature and I shall use that as it’s core belief to uncover some history. Archeologists have discovered many paintings in ancient caves which clearly depict early man worshiping nature, more specifically the Sun, Moon or Earth. Some of these paintings date back as far as the Paleolithic area, 40,000 years ago. Does this mean that our ancestors were practicing witches? To us possibly, but to our ancestors they were merely following their own way of life and quite probably had no actual term for it. Jumping forwards in time to the Roman period there is plenty of evidence that a large part of northern Europe worshiped nature. The followers of this time were Pagans, as were the early Romans, and they followed a whole host of differing practices. This is one thing that sets paganism and Witchcraft apart from most other religious belief systems. Even if two adjacent villages or clans worshiped the same thing that did not mean that their practices were the same, or even close, but there would be some fundamental common ground. The Middle Ages is where the term Witchcraft became much more widely used and known. Naturally the practitioners of Witchcraft were not the ones that decided to draw so much attention to themselves, as they were more than happy to carry on using their various arts out of the main public eye. The average healer would have quite happily remained anonymous and continued to practice herbalism to help his or her village. Sadly outside forces would forever change the practice of Witchcraft. The Catholic Church had grown into the major faith of the time and a variety of Popes had begun to target heresy from as early as the 12th century. The Inquisition was the primary way to dispense the will of the Catholic Church and it was initially not barbaric. By the time Pope John XXII formalized the persecution of witches in 1320 things were beginning to change. Witches became routinely burnt at the stake with a minimum of proof but this practice altered towards hanging after a few years. Estimates of the death toll range from 40,000 to 100,000 with 12,000 executions confirmed from witch trials in Europe alone. Needless to say the majority of people killed were not witches. Witchcraft by necessity became an underground practice during these years and would remain so for centuries. In the late 1940’s to early 1950’s a new and more modern variation of Witchcraft came to the fore which was called Wicca Witchcraft. This combined many aspects of pagan Witchcraft that came before it and was a more open form of practice. Wicca was popularized by Gerald Gardner in 1954 in the British Isles. Since then Witchcraft has seen a renaissance with a growing number of both Traditional Pagan Witches and more modern Neopagan Witches spreading throughout the World. Most countries repealed any laws outlawing Witchcraft which has allowed the practice to flourish.

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