What do you think of when you hear the term "witch"?
I am wanting to bring light to others by sharing my path and want to answer questions you may have.
Someone who follows a pagan path. a lot of people assume witches are Wiccan but that isn't true in many cases. Witches can also be male or female - but most people associate the term with females or with the typical Halloween images etc.
A witch in the pagan times was associated with a wise woman who was acquainted in the arts, being one with Nature or the Universe. She was a woman to be respected; in fact, others went to her for advice, healing, and guidance. In pagan, many witches were magicians and equivalent to priests. In some culture, there were witches who were the equivalent of priests.
However, with the rise of patriarchical religions, particularly Christianity, witches, because they were strong women, were viewed as a threat to the patriarchical religious order. Particularly in the Middle Ages, witches were demonized and viewed as equivalent to the Devil by these religious authorities. There was beginning to be a persecution of witches. In fact, there was going to be a holocaust as far as witches were concerned. In many medieval communities, women who were nonconformists and general outsiders were looked upon with suspicion and considered to be witches even when some were not, were treated heinously or worse. In some communities and village, every third woman was executed for witchcraft.
This witchcraft hysteria carried over to America. The apex of this hysteria was in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Women,, who were considered different or outsiders, were castigated, put on trial, and executed. Fortunately, this hysteria died down since people became more enlightened. However, even in the 20th century, being a witch still had negative undercurrents. Witches were considered to be in league with Satan or other malevolent entities.
But as people become more educated, witches became more acceptable. Witches are no longer looked upon negatively. Witches and warlocks are mainly practictioners of Wicca, a religion which studies and interacts with the natural elements. In fact, witches and warlocks do not believe in practicing evil for they contend that such is a double edged sword. Witch means wise one, that is all, no more no less.
Thank you for your comment. I do however, have to disagree about witches not being looked upon negatively. I have dealt with it a lot and it is something that still bothers me. I am not Wiccan, although I did study it for about a year. Love & Lig
Witchcraft can cover a wide range of practices. It cannot be classified as just good or just evil. It depends on the person's practice. It would be false to say that all witches are good. Some do practice dark magic. It depends on their decision.
It is all about intent. Magick is neither good or bad it is all in how it is used much like an tool. )0(
There's a lot of misunderstandings about Witches.
Not just from non-Witches who have seen too much fiction, but from practicing Witches who have read too many Llewellyn books and bought into a lot of "fakelore" and myths and "Old Religion" theories.
I think before we can worry about correcting other people, we've got to get our own stories straight in our own community. If our community can't accept facts and is deluded about our history, how can we educate anyone else?
Well initially I think of the negative connotations that word has held in cultures all over the world and spanning back hundreds of years in time. Even most pagan cultures did not use the word "witch" in a positive light.
Today, I feel the word witch is being claimed by modern practitioners and many New Agers.
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