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Withccraft In British History Essay

1789 words - 7 pages

"European
witchcraft was a unique phenomenon which differed from
European high magic from the low magic or simple sorcery"
(Russel 658). "High magic and simple sorcery differ
however in methods and motivation" (658). High magic
was astrology and alchemy (658). Sorcerers are usually
people that are motivated by strong feelings of jealously,
revenge, malice which are experienced by everyone
(Marwich 3042). "More supernatural are witches who are
slaves of aberration and addiction that are consideration
weird" ( 3041). "The word witch derives from the Old
English noun wicca 'sorcerer', and the verb wiccian 'to cast
the spell'." The term does not really have a sinister meaning
to it. It comes from the adjective 'white' which means to
help others. Throughout British history superstitions
regarding witches have affected the lifestyle of the people
and literature of the world. One question that everyone
wants to know, is if European witchcraft really exists. If it
exists merely as a concept, a body of beliefs or whether it
exists objectively is the question that baffles people. But
whether witchcraft exist or not the concept of witchcraft
dominated the period of the late Middle Ages through the
Renaissance and the Reformation and down to the
Eighteenth century. "Estimated over 100,000 to 200,000
people were executed and millions were tortured and
terrified by the government" (Russel 658). Therefore,
witchcraft brought the darkest periods in the European
history. The first witches knew about nature, they really
helped perform remedies, in a time of need. Magic is what
people started to beleive the witches were performing at
first in their lives (Stallman 11). "They started to beleive
they could start making people afraid, and so thats what
they did ( 13). People also believed to became a witch, a
seed in the mothers milf while breast fedding was placed in
a little child during infantsy (Marwich 3042). First the
witches practiced sorcery (Eliade 417). Sorcery fills
societal functions that merges from religion (416). Since the
1800's a new kind of diabolic witchcraft evolved in
medieval and early modern Europe (417). Sorcery
demands no attributes and can be practiced by anyone
who can receive necessary magical substances (Marwich
3042). "Sorcery may have a variety of social functions: to
relieve social tension, to define and sustain social values; to
explain or control terrified phenomena; to give a sense of
power over death; to enhance the solidarity of a community
against outsiders" (Eliade 416). An other element in the
development in witchcraft in Europe was Christian heresy.
It had been established by the fifteenth century. Its chief
elements were pact with the devil, formal repudiation of
Christ, the secret nocturnal meeting, the ride by night, the
desecration of the Eucharist and the crucifix, orgy,
sacrificial infanticide and cannibalism (417). At the first
formal trial in 1022 is were...

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