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History Of Wicca Essay

1021 words - 5 pages

Wicca became known to the world at large, primarily through the work of Gerald Gardner,

immediately following the legalization of Witchcraft in England in 1951. Though the true history of

the craft goes back much further in time, the main usage of the term 'Wicca' or 'Wiccan' comes from the

popularization made by Gardner in his book “Witchcraft Today,” where he referred to 'Wica' but still

called the religion 'Witchcraft'. Gardner tells his audience and fellow coven-mates that he brought

'Witchcraft' into the light of general publication because he feared for its survival otherwise. Gerald

Gardner tells us that he was initiated into a true ancient coven called the “New Forest ...view middle of the document...

By the 1400's many people suspected of sorcery were tried as Heretics and burnt at the stake. The

saying goes, that it was easier to execute their hated rival with the Heretic accusation than to prove

them guilty of Sorcery or Witchcraft. By the time the Witch's Hammer was published in 1486 the need

for claiming heresy had disappeared and full-on persecution and execution of Witches had taken its

place. This terror campaign lasted into the 1700's and destroyed many young, innocent lives, mostly

those of women and children. This kind of action in Europe spread to the Americas and led to what is

most popularly known in this country as the 'Salem Witch Trials'. These so called witches were

members of a Christian community that had allegedly taken up with a West Indian Slave who

reportedly taught them some forms of magick. These girls were often found guilty and to avoid the

pyre claimed they were bewitched by other girls in the area, leading to more trials. It's these kind of

actions and this history that makes me think that most of the people through time that were tried and

executed were probably in similar situations in their communities. For example, the authorities of an

area would want all of the citizens to go a certain way about their spirituality and when someone

rebelled they were deemed a witch, tried, sentenced, and executed in order to keep other citizens

“scared straight.”

Dr. Margaret Murray was known to have found reason to believe that Witchcraft held origins as far

back as 30,000 years ago, though many current critics have argued strongly against the actuality of

these findings. Ancient tribes, cults, and Witches were known to have showed their reverence to Deity

by carving statues of the Goddess and God as well as painting images on cave walls particularly images

of the animals whom they hunted, and revered for their bounteous...

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