November 30, 13
“I’ll Put A Spell On You”…. Or Maybe Not
Today, tolerance of different groups or cultures is increasingly significant. Accepting and/or understanding these differences will allow people to see them as part of society instead of only a fictional portrayal in entertainment. The idea of being a witch or anything involving demons and sorcery is meant to be destructive or forbidden even. Which can, in fact, be accurate in modern day perceptions due to ancient theories. However, people display only what they want you to know so there is always more to a story. Within witchcraft, flying on brooms, casting spells by waving a magical wand, and making poisons isn’t all there is to know. Religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Most would say that witches are the devil basically meaning they have no guidelines to abide by or no consequences but despite their different values or beliefs, they are practicing a religion.
The Christian churches discouraged the old religion, an ancient religion where its followers worshipped both a goddess and a god as the personification of the female and male life force and believed that they controlled the seasons, the crops, and the cycles of life and death. Christianity believed Witches to be “evil” and worshipped Satan, which was actually only their point of view. The most famous event in Witchcraft history was the “Salem Trials”. In Massachusetts, the town of Salem is where hundreds of its’ villagers were accused of practicing witchcraft and 20 ended up executed between 1692 and 1693, while the others died in prison waiting on their trial. The easiest way to get rid of an enemy, at the time, was to claim that they were Witches. This was a leading reason for the disapproval of witchcraft for Christians. The Devil, an important element in witchcraft, was referred to by the biblical name “Satan”, which means “the adversary”, and since Satan is the one tempting people and leading them from Christ, people were taught to fear pagan deities. This revealed a competition of which would be the “primary” faith. Because it was enforced that God is the only being that could make miracles happen, any inferences that gave reason to believe the Devil had power or control of creation or free will was a delusion. Through bribery and tricks Satan could be able to influence someone’s actions and choices, which makes a valid point referring to the moral responsibility of those accused witches (Ohmer). As far as what faith witches or those that practice witchcraft fall into could differ depending on their religious preferences. It is said that Wicca, meaning “wise one”, is the religion of Witches. Wicca is a religion based on pre-Christian nature religions now classified as pagan. Paganism was the worship of multiple deities as part of a pre-Christianity religion and was first used by early Christians. Scholars have not found the practices of pagans, however, it’s known that they recognized the importance of both male and female life forces. As Christianity spread, Christians plotted tactics in attempts to eliminate the old beliefs and initially suggest that pagans were inferior and evil, which was the plan all along. After Christianity became the dominant religion, those who continued to practice paganism were prosecuted for their beliefs, thus partially explaining how witch trials came about. According to Patti Wigington, a Pagan herself, Wicca and Witchcraft, however, are not equivalent. Those who follow guidelines of Wicca, Wiccans, don’t honor the Christian God at all. Christianity follows inescapable rules on who to worship, meaning none other than theirs; “thou shall not have no other gods besides me”. Persons interested in becoming a witch, but still would like to continue their Christian faith as well, would have some controversy. The witch community generally won’t mind and have a