Witchcraft is something that continues to dazzle and confuse most people in the present day, even though it has been around from the beginning of time. And it is probably its elusiveness and mystery that draws so much curiosity. So here we discuss a little about it.
If one was asked to define witchcraft in simple terms, it could be called the alleged use of magical powers, or a link to the supernatural. But even a definition as such would leave many questions unanswered. Which is why, to understand it more, one must have some knowledge of its history.
It is impossible to provide a timeline to the act of witchcraft. Some claim that there is considerable evidence of it being a practice from the pre-historic times. Others believe that witchcraft developed in the Celtic times. However, the most significant period in its history would have to be the late Middle Ages, and Early Modern ages, when the act came into limelight in a rather negative manner.
In that time, many misconceptions prevailed in the minds of the people. Witches were considered to be a hand of the Devil, sent to earth to create mayhem and harm to people and their possessions. In places like Egypt and Babylonia, the powers of magic were believed to influence the mind and body of an individual. Practitioners of the craft were accused of using their powers to cause disease, bad luck and death.
Early modern Europe and America saw the extent of the paranoia of society. With the negativity surrounding the art, and the mass hysteria it caused; people went in search of witches and people practicing witchcraft. Such individuals were hunted down, wrongly accused and legally executed. This was also the origin of the term 'witch-hunt', which in today's definition means the wrongful persecution of a person based on perceived enmity.
In more recent times, with people being more open to accept the diversity in the world, many misconceptions have been rectified. People have come to understand that witchcraft is not always associated with evil, and the relation with the devil. Most of those who delve in the craft adopt a code to never use the power against the unwilling.
Witchcraft can be considered a very broad term. It includes different practices, performed for various purposes. It uses the elements of the earth, as well as man-made ones. It is used to study hidden wisdom of the world, or Occult. It is used to perform traditional beliefs or practices to communicate with the spiritual world, termed as Shamanism. Some have used it in the worship of the devil. Others have delved in the art to find a process to add usefulness to unrefined materials. Many have used its powers to study herbs of healing. Apart from such, witchcraft is also used in astrology and theosophy.
As can be seen with the plethora of information associated with witchcraft, it is certainly interesting. Even if one doesn't want to practice it, they will certainly enjoy understanding it as one of the many mystical topics of the world.
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