Witchcraft is said to be the use of magic through gardless of sex.
Practices which are classed as witchcraft
Throughout time, any practice which is thought to harm others by intent is said to be a form of witchcraft, some of the more common types of witchcraft are
This is perhaps the most well known of all witchcraft and usually involves the use of a curse or hex performed with the sole purpose of bringing harm to the intended victim or that persons property. Spells can also be used to change a persons will and make them do something they otherwise wouldn’t, an example of this would be to make someone fall in love with you and this type of witchcraft is said to be white magic.
Awakening the dead
Awakening or conjuring the spirits of the dead is a practice of witchcraft known as necromancy, the “witch of endor” is said to have routinely practiced this form of witchcraft for divination and prophecy, and it is also a form that the witch doctors of Jamaica performed in their voodoo ceremonies.
Witchcraft in the past
The Hebrew bible constantly makes reference to witchcraft and condemns the practices as does also the New Testament in the bible, other popular forms of witchcraft which have been documented is African witchcraft and neopagan witchcraft.
The African form of witchcraft we all know is the witch doctor, the witch doctor traditionally practiced medicine as ways of healing people and also putting a curse or hex on unfortunate victims.
During the 20th century a lot of interest was taken into neopagan witchcraft with the most famous documentation being that of Margaret Murray in 1921 when she documented the theory of a pan European witch cult. Magical terms & traditions
* Alchemy – alchemy combines elements of chemistry, physics, medicine and spiritualism and was practiced in ancient Egypt, China, Persia and India. Today alchemy is mainly of interest to historians of science and philosophy for its mystic and artistic aspects.* Astrology – there are many systems, traditions and beliefs that make up astrology and it is thought that knowledge of the positions of the stars can help us to get a better understanding and bring more knowledge of human affairs and events.
* Athame – the Athame is a ceremonial knife that witches use in ritual magic, the witch will take great care when purchasing or choosing the Athame and very often will use a family heirloom as their ceremonial knife.
* Banishing – this is the banishing of evil forces or spirits and is often performed before and after the main ritual.
* Ceremonial magic – this is a very elaborate and complex ritual and practitioners will use a variety of aids and accessories when performing the ceremonial ritual.
* Curse – a curse is the effect of a supernatural power aimed at someone to bring them bad luck and trouble, the gypsy curse was the more well known among curses.
* Demonology – demonology refers to a group of people that attempt to name demons and spirits which are said to be malevolent, it is the opposite of angelology which attempts to compile information from the angels for good intentions.
* Divination – this is an attempt to gain information by interpreting omens or a supernatural agency, it is a universal cultural belief which is seen in many cultures and religions up to the present day.
* Geomancy – this is a form of divination which relies on interpreting markings on the ground, or how a handful of dirt will land when thrown back to the ground, it is a form of divination which was chiefly practiced in Africa.
* Hoodoo – hoodoo is an African traditional branch of folk magic which has been around for thousands of years, it is often used to describe a potion or spell and those who practice it are called hoodoo man. Some people also refer to this type of magic as hoodooism.
* Invocation – this is a spell or chant that is used to call upon the god or goddess for a favour or for protection.
* Magic circle – wicca and pagan traditions use what is known as circle casting, this is generally done with salt, crystals, candles or some other purifying substance, the circle is said to offer protection.
* Mojo – the mojo is a tiny bag which is normally worm under the clothes and holds a charm, it is used for protection and can also be used when practicing black magic with the intent to bring harm to others.
* Necromancy – this type of black magic involves conjuring the spirits of the dead in order to gain knowledge of future events.
* Obeah – those who practice magic in the west Indies call it obeah and it is similar to voodoo and hoodoo.
* Paganism – this refers to a broad range of spiritual and religious beliefs and is generally associated with someone who worships someone other than god.
* Shamanism – this is a type of magic which users are said to be able to cure suffering and illness, shamans are thought to have some control over many aspects such as the weather, interpretation of dreams and astral projection.
* Tarot – a deck of tarot cards consists of 78 cards which are used for divination, the tarot cards are thought to date back to 12th century Italy when they were used as a game.
* Wicca – wicca is a form of neopagan religion which is found in many countries, the wiccan only practice magic for good and follow the rule of do no harm to others.
* Witchcraft – there are many forms of witchcraft and the term witchcraft is used when someone practices magic or sorcery of any kind both white and black magic. Types of witchcraft
There is a lot more to witchcraft and witches than the haggard, wart nosed old woman with the black cape, broomstick and black cat. Witchcraft comes in many shapes and forms and has been practised the world over in many different cultures.
The renaissance and gothic Satanism
During the renaissance in the middle ages, the Roman Catholic Church proclaimed that evil people, mostly women had sold their sole to the devil and worshipped him in exchange for certain supernatural powers the devil bestowed upon them.
They were said to be witches who worshiped Diana and other goddesses of this time, they were classed as pure evil and are said to have took part in the kidnapping of babies and killing and eating their victims.
They were said to posses the ability to fly through the air in the middle of the night and hold meetings where spell casting took place and evil wrong doings. These were all beliefs that the people during this period held and thousands of people were convicted of being a witch and worshiping the devil and were executed in what has come to be known as the “burning times”.
Wicca is a more recent form of witchcraft and is a religion-based form of witchcraft; it is based on deities, seasonal times and symbols and is a form of celebration for the Celtic people. Some followers of Wicca call themselves witches, pagans or neo-pagans and both men and women who follow this religion are called witches.
There are basically two laws that must be followed and these are the Wiccan rede and the three-fold law. The Wiccan rede says that those following the religion are free to do as they please as long as they harm no other; the three-fold law says that any evil that is done to others will return three times over.
These laws obviously encourage the Wiccan to do only good and any magic they practise is white magic and usually involves healing spells and incantations.
Modern day Satanists worship Satan and there are three main traditions to the followers of this religion, the church of Satan, the temple of set and church of satanic liberation. The church of Satan is thought to be the biggest of these and currently holds thousands of members in the United States.
* Can I follow the path of Wicca and witchcraft and still be a Christian?
There are many common factors of Wicca and being a Christian so the two are not worlds apart, so some say that yes the two can go hand in hand while others (Myself included) claim that there are no connections at all to Wicca and Christianity.
People have different views regarding this; however, there are some main differences to the two which are worth noting, in general, Wicca’s are free to review different systems of belief and take what they want from the different beliefs and blend them together.
Witches believe that there is a single force and this force is defined as “the one”, with the force being the universe. This divine energy is usually personified and witches will call it the goddess or god; however, this title is only put there to make it easier for the human mind to comprehend. When some witches invoke the god or goddess, they might give those names such as Odin, pan, Dianna or Astarte, but this is only a matter of personal preference.
* Are witches anti-Christian?
Witchcraft and followers of Wicca are very tolerant towards other religions and views, Wiccan's hold the law of “harm no other” and as such allow others to speak their beliefs freely. Wicca’s believe that there are many paths to the same destination and it doesn’t matter which one you choose to get there as long as no harm is done along the way.
* Wicca’s profess to follow the Wicca rede and this says, “harm no others and do as you will”, does this mean that the witch can do anything they want as long as they can justify it?
The whole philosophy behind Wicca is based on living in complete harmony with all other things; this includes every living thing in the world around them. Following this rule, the witch has to make sure that no harm comes to any living thing in the world so the answer would be no, they could not please themselves if they thought that harm was going to come from something no matter how much it could be justified. The tools of witchcraft
There are many sacred tools that witches have used for thousand of years and there are numerous systems and traditions that they use, with some witches choosing to work in very elaborate settings while others use only the bare essentials and prefer a more natural approach. Listed below are some of items and tools that witches commonly use and items which we associate with witches.Athame
The Athame is more commonly know as a knife and most witches will own several ritual knives, the Athame is a very personal and magical tool which the witch will take great care over when obtaining. The Athame should fit comfortably in the hand and feel right with many witches going to great lengths to make their own blades and hone them to perfection.
They also personalize them with great care with runes, carvings and other symbols with special meanings to them, with some witches preferring to use family heirlooms such as letter openers as their Athame.
Who doesn’t think of witches without thinking of the broom, this has been a symbol of the witch for thousands of years and indeed they do use it for the cleansing ritual. Many witches will also place a broom outside of their door with the brushy side up to ward off evil spirits and to stop unwanted outside energies from entering the home.
Perhaps not one of the most widely known tools of the witch, the bell is said to have magical properties and for centuries, it was thought to posses magical or spiritual powers. Bells are also associated with the divine and are commonly used in the opening and closing of ceremonies and the start and closing of spell casting.
The cauldron is another symbol that we all associate with the witch; the traditional cauldron has three legs and is thought to represent bounty and blessings. The cauldron has also come to be known as representing the reincarnation and the cycles of birth, death and rebirth. Witches will burn incense in them or create spells in them and the witch will have cauldrons in different sizes for the different tasks they want to perform.
The chalice is a cup which is used on the altar and normally represents the female principle of water, chalices can be made of any material but most witches prefer silver or pewter. The chalice is used with the Athame in the enactment of the great rite, which is the union of male and female from which life springs forth. The chalice can also be used to form a bond and will be passed around from person to person so they can all drink from it.
The Paton or altar pentacle
Unlike most religions and beliefs witchcraft does not have a long list of rules which have to be adhered to, there are only two basic laws which must be followed and adhered to at all times. These two rules are known as the Wiccan rede and the three-fold law; these two principles hold what the witches define as ethic and moral behaviour within the practice of witchcraft.
The three-fold law
Many people will have heard the three-fold law put a different way, some people call it cause and effect, it literally means “what we reap, we will sow” and get back three times.
The Wiccan rede
The law of the Wiccan rede states that witches are free to do whatever they wish as long as no harm befalls themselves and others. Harm is defined as physical, mental and physic damage to themselves and others around them. For the majority of today’s witches harming others is simply something that is unthinkable and as such only good or white magic spells are performed.
The universe plays a big part in modern witchcraft and all things are thought to be connected to all others. All spells which are cast by the witch of today are directed towards a specific task and are only cast after a great deal of thought has been given to them and the outcome.
One question that is often asked of the modern witch is while upholding this law are they then to take mistreatment from others without retaliating, the answer of course is no, witches will place a protection spell around themselves and their loved ones. The protection spell will then neutralize harmful energies back into the universe without doing harm, the witch then waits for justice to even out as what comes around goes around and therefore justice will take place.
Code of ethics for healers
Certain witches are pagan healers and as such, they are bound by a code of ethics which they must follow, the ethics are:
* The primary obligation of the healer is to those they are healing.
* Any knowledge gained during a consultation should be kept confidential.
* Always be self critical and acknowledge your limitations.
* Work in co-operation with other healers.
* Always take into account the customs, values and beliefs of your client.
* They must not act in any way that would bring the wicca community into disrepute.
* If you feel ethically or morally compromised you have the right to refuse treatment.
* The healer should seek help when treating with herbal treatments. © Copyright 2006 Occultresearch.org - occult, cults, witchcraft & black magic - All rights reserved