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The History Of Witches And Witchcraft

1774 words - 8 pages

What do you think when someone calls someone a witch? What comes to mind? Do you think of the movie, ‘Hocus Pocus’ or do you think of the black pointed hats and the long black, slit ended dresses? What about witchcraft? Does the term “Devil worshiper” ever cross your mind? Do you think of potions and spells? For many, many generations, we have underestimated what the true meaning of a witch and what witchcraft really is. What is the history that hides behind it? Witches and witchcraft have been in our history since the ancient times. There is a little bit more than the ghost stories told on Halloween, the movies shown on TV and dressing up on Halloween.
For many centuries to the present day, Christians have lived in fear of witches. They were known as to be the devils child who only practiced black magic and thought of as the Christians “persecution”. Witches have been known to mankind since the 1200’s. Throughout the 1400’s, the examination of witches was more focus and moved from the Jews. In the church’s law, it was stated that the belief of existence and practices of witchcraft was “heresy”. Because of what the Christians believed, churches would then torture and hunt down anyone who they thought were witches and killed the many women and only a few of the men. They even made them make the confession of flying through the midnight sky, being in love with the devil himself, practicing black magic and even turning into animals.
WITCHCRAFT: The word witchcraft comes from the word “Wicca.” Wicca means the wise one. Witchcraft is to be believed as a pagan worship and or religion, a stereotype as a “magical phenomenon. In 1000 A.D., the practice of witchcraft became a threat to the Christians and their beliefs. They believe that witchcraft was a way for Pagans to make a deal and connect with the devil. Christians also believed that witches could turn themselves into animals, tame wolves and cats to spy on people, believed that the witches could fly in twilight and that they were killing the innocent.
Even though Pope Gregory IX started the whole idea of killing the accused witches in 1200, Pope Innocent VIII had stated that there was an existence of witches in 1498 even though there were witch-hunts many years before.
You may have heard about the famous witch trials in your school. Have you read ‘The Devils Arithmetic” while you were a junior in high school? In Salam Village, Massachusetts of 1692, the Salam witch trials began. 150 people were accused of practicing witchcraft and were hung. But this was not the first prosecution. The churches would burn witches to death at the stake, the ones who pleaded innocent were stoned to death and or were forced to get into the water to see if they could float to prove their innocence.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WITCH AND A PAGAN? Pagan is the actual belief of Mother Nature, meaning that these who are not Christians or Muslims or Jewish worship the outside world and its surroundings. Pagans believed...

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