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Gothic Witches and the Burning Times

Few hopeful sadists, however, had been suggesting to the Popes for quite some time that sorcery and witchcraft should be declared heretical. This was done slowly over a period of two centuries. In 1324 Bernard Gui wrote a manual for heretic hunters that strongly influenced later ones. In 1376, Nicholas Eymeric published a popular handbook for inquisitors, which was in use through the end of the 15th century. In 1428, the Church created a six-point definition of a particular heresy in Calais and Arras France that was to eventually be used in a new definition of witchcraft. Wiccan author Gavin Frost has pointed out that limiting the term witch trials to only those cases involving these six particular characteristics is one way in which the numbers of those killed for witchcraft can be limited to the lower estimates. Soon after, two Catholic priests, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, wrote and published with the Pope's approval or Imprimatur one of the more infamous books in history,...

Primary Sources

Thomas Knowlton Witchcraft 1687 The Deposition of Thomas Knowlton against Rachel Clinton . . . 119 Carl L. Weschke The Principles of Wiccan Belief. . . 149

Heinrich Kramer and Jakob Sprenger

The Malleus Maleficarum was a three-part work that described witchcraft in elaborate detail. The first part acknowledged the existence of witches and condemned them as demons and heretics those who break the laws of the church . Much power was given to an accuser, regardless of his or her status in the community, and anyone accused of witchcraft was immediately discredited. The Malleus Maleficarum specified that even criminals, the insane, or children could testify against an accused witch once the person was brought to trial. The second part of the book preyed upon the imaginations and fears of the people by giving evidence of bizarre, disgusting, terrifying, and satanic activities of witches. The Malleus Maleficarum placed special emphasis on the relationship between female witches and the devil. Witches were accused of eating children, having sex with the devil, going to sabbaths mass meetings where witchcraft was performed with other witches and demons, and having evil connections...

Malleus becomes basis for laws

Witch-craft and there is no doubt that god would never permit such a thing to happen. The book became the guide for civil and church law for over two centuries, going through twenty-eight editions between 1486 and 1600. It was accepted by Catholics and Protestants alike as the authority on ridding Europe of satanism and witchcraft, which were now considered inseparable. The Malleus was both the catalyst and fuel for the intense panic and hatred that swept through Europe, resulting in what some have called genocide, the planned and systematic extermination of an entire group of people.

Mesopagan Witchcraft the Manure

Thinking With Demons The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe, by Stuart The Night Battles Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, by Carlo Ginzburg. Yes, there really were people who thought they could fly through the air at night only these folks did it to fight what they thought were witches. Then the Inquisition came along Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700 A Documentary History, by Alan Charles Kors and Edward Peters Editors . When you actually read the documents of the times, you get a very different picture from both what we were taught in school and the current tales some Neopagans tell. with introduction, bibliography, and notes by Montague Summers . This is an officially approved the Papal imprimatur has never been rescinded 1486 theological tome used by many inquisitors as justification for the atrocities committed against women, children, and men for the thought-crime of Gothic Witchcraft. There are Christians today who still accept their...

The Goddess And The Horned God In Wicca

Neither evocation nor invocation is part of modern witchcraft, however, and white witches do not recognise any demonic figures in their religion. When we refer to the Goddess and her son-consort, the Horned God of Wicca, we are referring to the archetype or source energies of the feminine and masculine aspects of ultimate power. They are the creative female and male principles, acting not in opposition to each other but as complementary and necessary parts of a whole. All the named goddesses and gods in witchcraft represent the different qualities of these supreme forms, for example the goddesses of the hunt, or specific forms in different cultures. There are, of course, variations within Wicca some traditions emphasise the importance of the Goddess, while others regard the Horned God as her equal, with each assuming different aspects according to the season and ritual. For example, the Goddess may appear as the Earth or Moon deity, and her male counterpart as the Corn God or the Sun.

Folk Magic

Chappel, Helen The Waxing Moon A Gentle Guide To Magic New York Links, 1974. A delightful look at herbs, stones, and other tools of folk magic. One chapter describes Wicca. Ignore the Satanic references. Device, M.V. Brujeria A Study Of Mexican-American Folk Magic St. Paul Llewellyn Publications, 1982. Contemporary Mexican-American folk and religious magic. This book describes an eclectic form of Wicca, well-mixed with Catholicism and ancient Mexican magic. Weinstein, Marion Positive Magic Occult Self-Help New York Pocket Books, 1978. A classic, thoughtful, enlightened guide to folk magic. Contains an insightful chapter on Wicca.

See cone of power Drawing Down the Moon elements WITCHES TooLS

Buckland, Raymond. Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft. St. Paul Llewellyn Publications, 1986. Crowley, Vivianne. Wicca The Old Religion in the New Millennium. Revised ed. London Thorsons Harper Collins, 1996. SanFrancisco, 1989. Valiente, Doreen. An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present. 1973. Reprint, Custer, Wash. Phoenix Publishing, 1986. impact upon a person loss of love, storms, insanity, disease, bad luck, financial problems, lice infestations, even death. Witch-hunters encouraged the blame of accidents and natural disasters upon witchcraft because it enabled them to round up suspects and get convictions. Witches were believed to effect maleficia through a variety of ways incantations powders, potions, oiNTMENTS and herbs effigies stuck with thorns and nails or a HAND of glory. Maleficia could be combatted with preventive witchcraft CHARMS, powders and potions made from certain herbs such as sage or christianwort, and incantations. Belief in, and the practice of, malefic magic...

Appendix On and Offline Wiccan Resources

gt . It has the world's largest existing database of Wiccan and other Neopa-gan contacts, as well as a huge library of articles and essays about Neopagan Witchcraft and other Pagan paths, plus a section designed for the needs of professional journalists. America Online lt www.aol.com gt has a very lively and active Neopagan community many of whom are Wiccans , with chat rooms, libraries of text and graphics files, and message boards. Use the Keyword Pagan to access these. There are over 2,500 Wiccan and other Pagan e-lists groups, running from half a dozen members to 1,000 , of wildly varying knowledge at Yahoo Groups lt www.yahoogroups.com gt . There are over twenty Wiccan and other Pagan communities that can be found on MSN Communities lt http communities.msn.com gt . These are like the older BBSs of the '80s amp '90s. The Aquarian Tabernacle Church has it's website at lt www.AquaTabCh.org gt . This is one of the largest Wiccan churches in the world, with legal recognition in the...

The Persecution Of Witches

At a time of appropriation of common land and the enclosure of smallholdings, especially in Europe, such accusations were a popular way of removing peasants, particularly elderly widows or spinsters, reluctant to give up their land rights, since being found guilty of witchcraft carried the penalty of the seizure of land. Some researchers have suggested that as late as 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts, the desire to appropriate land was behind at least some of the mass accusations of witchcraft made at the time. One landowner, Giles Corey, was apparently an innocent witness at the trials at first. However, he himself was accused of witchcraft and was pressed to death - a torture in which heavy stones were placed on the victim's chest and which took three days to kill them - rather than confess, for if he had, his property would have been taken from his descendants. In December 1484, the Bull of Pope Innocent VII was published, appointing Heinrich Kramer and Jakob Sprenger as inquisitors...

Death ceremony

Wiccans as a group don't ritualize mourning. Death is a doorway through which souls pass to re-enter the realm of the Goddess. Bodies are simply suits that we wear and use until they wear out, or until we have no need for further lessons and opportunities in this lifetime. Bodies should be taken care of, but their deaths the soul never dies aren't, traditionally speaking, times for ritualized sorrow. How can it be in a religion that embraces reincarnation that sees bodily death as but one of many such transitions that the human soul will experience Naturally, Wiccans grieve, and many have small rites to mark the transition of a loved one. Few of these rites have been printed. You may write your own if you feel the need. Finally, you may wish to record your own self-initiation ceremony. You may even write or adapt an initiation ceremony, if you have any plans to ever teach others your Wiccan tradition. It's never too early to start planning. Most of the below include both creating and...

Attacking Martha Corey

Of practicing witchcraft. Prior to their visit Corey's primary accuser, Ann Putnam, Jr, claimed that she had been temporarily blinded and could not describe the clothing Corey was wearing when the old woman had supposedly bewitched her. Edward Putnam and Cheever confronted Corey with evidence that she had afflicted Ann and other girls. Although Corey denied accusations of witchcraft, she tried to outsmart the men by saying, But does she tell you what I have on implying that Ann might be accusing the wrong person. Corey's accusers took this statement as a sign that she not only knew they could not answer the question but she was also playing a trick on them that she was, in fact, a witch. Edward Putnam and Cheever immediately arrested Corey on charges of committing injuries against Ann and other girls Mercy Lewis, Elizabeth Hubbard, and Abigail Williams. Another injured person on the list was Ann Putnam, Sr., who had also testified against Corey and another elderly church member,...

In The Big Time

The change, though, which has come about in the last five or ten years, has moved witchcraft out of folklore into the sophisticated big time. The new practitioners of the magical arts are respectable housewives, professional people, intellectuals, and businessmen. Some meet in covens - chapters of 12 with one leader - to celebrate secret rites of witchcraft as the Old Religion. Witchcraft practiced as the Old Religion, explains the kindly, highly respectable, middle-aged Mrs. Leek, has its own rites and forms of ceremony that existed long before Christianity came along and drove it underground. It used to be called Wicca, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'cult of the wise' and it is a positive religious force. Satanism is negative, anti-religious, anti-everything and very destructive. Mrs. Leek is a white witch, that is, one who seeks and uses occult knowledge for good. She feels black witches and warlocks, who use occult power for personal gain or for destruction, give witchcraft a bad

The Eight Sabbats

Though the world changes, the changes of the seasons are predictable, just like the twenty eight day cycle of the moon. Seeds slumber beneath the ground giving life to buds of spring. Vegetation matures, animals give birth. The world ripens. Harvest comes, the leaves wither and fall from the trees, t he days grow steadily shorter. Darkness prevails, cold descends, plants die, animals hibernate. The ground thaws, the buds bloom and the cycle begins again. The cycling of the seasons is sacred many of our myths are deeply rooted in these changing seasons. The eight Sabbats of Wicca are turning points days which mark the coming together of two periods of time, two different paradigms. The day itself is not as important as the concepts it conveys union, coming together, fusion, and the resulting creation of something different. Another way to look at the Sabbats is as a time of transition, when we look back on our journey thus far, notice the seeds that have been sown, and begin to plan...

Lady Olwen See Wilson Monique

Lady Sheba d. 2002 Self-described Witch Queen who rose to prominence in American Witchcraft in the late 1960s and 1970s. She set a precedent in 1971 by publishing her BOOK OF SHADOWS. Lady Sheba was born Jessie Bell in the mountains of Kentucky. She said her family had practiced witchcraft for seven generations, and she had inherited her psychic gifts. When she was about six years old, her grandmother introduced her to witchcraft, beginning with stories of Irish leprechauns and little people see FAIRIES . Every evening, Lady Sheba went with her grandmother to put out a saucer of milk for the little folk. As she grew older, Lady Sheba said she was initiated as a Witch in the 1930s see initiation . She divided her time between witchcraft and rearing a family. She and her husband raised four sons and four daughters. The family moved to Michigan around 1950. In 1971, Lady Sheba founded her own tradition, the American Order of the Brotherhood of Wicca, of which she was high priestess. The...

Appendix Classifying Witchcrafts

Witchcraft, Anthropologic Anything an anthropologist calls witchcraft, usually referring to This is pretty close to what the word wicce probably originally referred to, annoying as that may be to modern Wiccans. Witchcraft, Classic Witchcraft, Dianic Witchcraft, Ethnic Witchcraft, Familial or Fam-Trad 99.9 of all the people you will ever meet who claim to be Fam-Trad Witches are simply lying, or have been lied to by their teachers. Familial Tradition Witchcraft is also sometimes called Hereditary Witchcraft or even Genetic Witchcraft. These latter terms are used by those who think that they must claim a witch as an ancestor, in order to be a witch today, or who think that it proves them to be better than those without such ancestry. Witchcraft, Fairy Faery Fa rie 1 Any of several different and sometimes conflicting Traditions of Meso- and or Neo-pagan Witchcraft started by the blind poet and scoundrel guru Victor Anderson during the 1970s-1990s. He mixed British and Celtic folklore...

Witchcraft In The News

Anthropologist Dr. Michael Kenny said Witchcraft opens up a sense of power denied to the students by the establishment. A male student witch at the Langley High School was shown explaining the meaning of magic talismans commenting Devil worship is a perversion of the Christian Mass. He demonstrated a Conjurer's Circle and the method used to summon various demons in the Satanism and Witchcraft course taught at the school. One female student demonstrated a written hex she put on the person who shot at her cats, setting the paper and its HEX-agrams on fire. She reported that the shooting at the cats stopped. At a supernatural slumber party in Virginia a young witch-medium asked those participating to state and concentrate on the candle flame in an attempt to summon the Spirit of Madame Curie. She went into a trance possession, cried, screamed, spoke in various tones of voice. At Virginia's James Madison High School a young student-witch gave a demonstration of witchcraft using a frozen...

The first witch trials in the New World

Modern historians have noted a repeated pattern throughout New England in the early 1600s community conflict or stress had a direct relationship to accusations of witchcraft. In the first half of the century, Puritans worked hard to establish settlements under extremely adverse conditions in the wilderness of New England. The challenges of daily existence forced them to cooperate with one another. Yet at the same time they were exposed to constant tension and fear, which caused them to lash out at their neighbors. Internal squabbling, particularly about matters of faith and worship, split many Puritans into ever smaller and more remote com Generally, one or two decades passed before people felt comfortable enough to confront tensions within their communities. They remained united against such outside threats as the hostile climate, attacks from Native Americans, and epidemic diseases. But as time went on, these events created great fear and suspicion within the remote settlements....

Further reading

Adler, Margot 1946- American Pagan, author and journalist, Adler is the first writer to chronicle in detail the emergence and evolution of Paganism in the United States. The results of her research, Drawing Down the Moon 1979 1986 1995 , make up a meticulous landmark study of a highly complex and diversified religious movement. Adler's interest in Paganism began with an early fascination with ancient Greek deities. Born April 16, 1946, in Little Rock, Arkansas, she grew up in New York City as the only child in a nonreligious household her father was an atheist and her mother a Jewish agnostic. Psychiatry was a significant influence her father and an aunt are psychiatrists her grandfather was renowned psychiatrist Alfred Adler. Her mother was a radical educator. In Washington, politics and religion came together for Adler. She devoted extensive coverage to environmental issues, which stimulated her interest in nature writers such as Thoreau. She saw a connection between environmental...

Effective Prayer

Prayer is little-discussed in Wiccan books, probably because it is, by its very nature, a highly personal experience. Additionally, most Wiccan books seem to be more concerned with describing ritual motivations and mechanics than with delving into the truly spiritual aspects of our religion. But behind the circles, the altars and the regalia, Wicca is designed to facilitate contact with the divine. We can certainly contact Them during our rites with memorized invocations, but what of non-ritual occasions Will They hear us Will they speak to us Of course. In Wicca, ritual is a framework in which prayer and magic take place. But prayer isn't solely a ritualistic act. We can pray at any time, and, utilizing our connections with the Goddess and God, contact Them for assistance and comfort. Following are discussions of some aspects of Wiccan prayer. Most Wiccans, however, accept that the Goddess and God are within ourselves as well as outside us. If everything in nature is connected...

The Four Quarters

Perhaps because of the pagan reverence for the north, it became associated with the DEVIL in Christianity. Cemeteries were seldom placed on the north side of a church, which, if used for burial at all, was reserved for unbap-tized children, criminals, reprobates and suicides. Many old churches throughout Europe and the British Isles have north doors called the Devil's door, which were opened after baptisms in order to allow the exorcised demon to escape. Most of these doors have long since been bricked over. The reasons are obscure. Perhaps witches and pagans who were forced to or dared not attend church deliberately entered through the Devil's door. The clergy then blocked the doors in an effort to stamp out lingering paganism. South. Solar energy, the Sun, the element Fire, the colors blue or white, and the magic wand are associated with the south. This is the quarter of the will, the direction and channeling of the energy forces of nature and the psychic. South-running water has...

The Full Moon

You may wish during this ritual to focus on a specific lunar goddess form in her full moon aspect. The most famous one still central to modern Wicca is Diana, Roman goddess of the Moon, the hunt and fertility. Though, like her Greek counterpart, Artemis, she was worshipped originally as the maiden aspect of the Moon, in time she came to represent the full moon also. Sometimes the Triple Lunar Goddess of modern Wicca is represented by the classical deities, Diana the Greek Artemis , Selene and Hecate, being maiden, mother and wise woman or crone.

The Rules Of Magick

There are provisos, however. You must always remember that the form, the words and even ultimately the associations of particular oils, incenses and planetary hours are not what really matters. The truly important thing is that you should keep to the basic rules of witchcraft that are quite as strict and twice as hard as any conventional religion. These are rooted in wisdom, compassion, honesty, honour and common sense and are summed up in one short phrase 'An ye harm none, do what ye will'. Put in modern-day language, this means, quite simply Simple, did I say It is in practice incredibly hard to harm none, especially if you are seeking promotion, fighting against an injustice or struggling to survive. But it may help you if you remember the other equally vital law of witchcraft, the Threefold Law. This states that everything you do to others, both good and bad, will be sent back to act on you with three times its intensity and strength. So, if you act always and only with positive...

A Lesser Circle of Protection Rosahringur minni

Rosahringur must be carved on the flesh side of the skin of a brown bitch. Then colour the carving with the blood of a black tomcat which has been killed under a full moon. This is a powerful protection against ghosts and witchcraft. It helps to recite I crave help from the earth, victory from the sun, happiness from the moon, assistance from the stars, and strength from the angels of God.

Cotton Mather

Puritan minister Cotton Mather was instrumental in escalating the witch-hunts in New England during the late 1600s. Along with his father, Increase Mather 1639-1723 see primary source entry , who was also a prominent minister, he published works providing evidence that witchcraft was being practiced in Massachusetts communities. In 1693, after the start of the Salem trials, Cotton Mather wrote The Wonders of the Invisible World, in which he claimed that the devil was testing Puritans by bringing witches into their midst see The Wonders of the Invisible World in the Primary Sources section . He advocated supported waging a holy war against the forces of evil by tracking down and eliminating witches. Yet Mather's involvement in the trials continues to intrigue modern historians although he was one of the great colonial American theologians reliogious scholar and readily accepted such superstitions as the belief in witchcraft, he was also a leading scientist. Mather and inventor Benjamin...

Prefatory Notes

THE PRESENT MANUSCRIPT was delivered into the hands of the Editor by a priest who had managed to get ordained through uncanonical methods which have been entertainingly described in the several books and articles on the ecclesiastic phenomenon, the wandering bishops. Just such an unorthodox prelate was Fr. Montague Summers, who wrote numerous books on demonology, witchcraft, and the like. Suffice it to say, we were rather doubtful as to the authenticity of the work before us. In the first place, it was in Greek and for quite awhile it was difficult to ascertain what it might actually be, save for the title NECRONOMICON and the many weird drawings. In the second place, after translation, we found several internal inconsistencies and some evidence that would suggest we did not possess the entire Work. There may still be some missing or the irregular monastic might have withheld certain of the chapters. As the chapters are not numbered, it is too difficult to day.

Fighting Witchcraft With Witchcraft

In my book How To Prevent Psychic Blackmail The Philosophy Of Psychoselfism I write the following Voodoo, witchcraft, black magic, hexing, crossing powders and all the rest feed on two things guilt and fear. This is a perfect example of how people are psychically blackmailed by negating their own minds by attributing 'special powers' to black art practitioners as an escape from self-responsibility. This is done as a defense against their own guilts. Psychoselfism has fought these, frauds many times. You're punishing yourself because you feel guilty about your relations with this married man. You're using his wife as the spokesman for your own conscience. Of course her witchcraft is working Your guilty conscience is the fertile soil in which she can successfully plant her witchcraft. If she has such power why does she have to let you know about it Why couldn't she have used it silently even before Your Catholic upbringing is working against you as long as you go on this way. Now here's...

Scott Cunningham

Living Wicca. Copyright 1993 Scott Cunningham. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from Llewellyn Publications except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


Along with reincarnation go thoughts of Karma. Karma is usually thought of as a reward-and-punish-ment system stretching throughout all lifetimes if you do evil in one life you will have to pay for it in the next. However, it seems that there is always talk of karmic debts and karmic punishments but seldom of karmic rewards. The Witchcraft view seems to make more sense. First of all there is a Wiccan belief in retribution within each life. In other words, rather than being rewarded and punished after death, for what you have done in life the traditional Christian view , Witches believe that you get your rewards and punishments during this lifetime, according to how you live it. Do good and you will get back good. But do evil and evil will return. More than that, though, it is a three-fold retribution. Do good and you will get back three times the good do evil and you will receive three times the evil. Obviously there is here no inducement for you to ever harm anyone. Of course it is...


The blood-sacrifice took place first at the admission of the neophyte. Originally a sacrifice, it was afterwards joined to the other ceremony of signing the contract, the blood serving as the writing fluid it also seems to be confused in the seventeenth century with the pricking for the Mark, but the earlier evidence is clear. A writer who generalizes on the witchcraft religion and who recognizes the sacrificial nature of the act is Cooper as he wrote in 1617 his evidence belongs practically to the sixteenth century. He says The earliest account of the ceremony is at Chelmsford in 1556. Elizabeth Francis 'learned this arte of witchcraft from her grandmother. When shee taughte it her, she counseiled her to geue of her bloudde to Sathan as she termed it whyche she delyuered to her in the likenesse of a whyte spotted Catte. Euery time that he the cat did any thynge for her, she sayde that he required a drop of bloude, which she gaue him by prycking herselfe.' Some time after, Elizabeth...

Lecture TwentyTwo The Witches of Loudon

Scope Lecture Twenty-Two describes a famous witchcraft trial in the city of Loudon in France. This case involved a clergyman, Urbain Grandier, brought to trial and executed on charges of witchcraft. The case focused on an Ursuline monastery where the nuns confessed to being possessed by the devil through Grandier's malefic intercession. The lecture explores the political and social context of the case, using the events as a lens through which to examine the mentality and sexual mores of early modern Europeans. The lecture concludes with a summation of the history of the witch craze, its demise in the mid-seventeenth century, and its last outbursts in Salem in the late seventeenth century.

Readers Guide

Witchcraft in America is not a history of the practice of witchcraft. In fact, scholars have found no documented evidence of magic being performed by witches in America. Rather, this is a story about fear. European settlers who immigrated to the colonies in the early seventeenth century brought with them superstitions and beliefs, including the irrational fear of witches, that had accumulated over the course of many centuries in their home countries. As they set out across the Atlantic Ocean, witch-hunt hysteria was raging in Europe. After the colonists reached the shores of North America, they encountered an untamed wilderness where they struggled daily to survive the hardships of clearing the land and building communities. At this time science was a new and emerging field, and even well-educated people did not understand their world. Relying solely upon religion to show them the way in life, they were deeply afraid of forces that could not be explained as the will of God. drought,...

Witchcraft In Other World Cultures

In Europe, witchcraft developed along a particular historical trajectory, deeply influenced by Christian concepts of evil, the devil, and de-monology, but shaped also by unique European social and legal developments. For these reasons, the great witch-hunts that occurred in Europe from the 15th to the 18th centuries have never been matched elsewhere in the world. Nevertheless, witchcraft in a more general sense, understood to mean simply the practice of harmful forms of sorcery by malevolent individuals, can be said to have existed in virtually every human culture throughout history. As these figures have almost universally inspired fear and anxiety, so attempts at suppression of witchcraft and the eradication of witches have also occurred throughout human history, although never on the scale of the witch-hunts of Europe. Witchcraft has been a concern, it seems, from the very dawn of humankind. In ancient Mesopotamia, people believed that the world was full of hostile supernatural...


Significant problem, and witch-hunts were extremely rare, throughout almost all of the European colonies in the New World. The major exception occurred in the British colonies in New England, where significant witch-hunting did occur in the 17th century. In all, more than 200 people were put on trial for witchcraft in New England, over half in the single famous outbreak at Salem, Massachusetts, and 36 were executed, with 20 of these occurring at Salem alone. This number is significant given that the population of the New England colonies at this time was only around 100,000 people. Thus courts in New England executed something like 50 percent more witches per capita than were sentenced to death in the British Isles, even if statistics from Scotland, where witch-hunting was more severe, are included along with figures from England itself. In many ways, in fact, witchcraft in New England followed more of a continental pattern than the pattern most common in the British Isles. In...

Casting Your Spells

Whenever you wish to work a piece of witchcraft, it is always best if you tie all your supercharged will, faith, and imagination into a single, sizzling bolt with the help of a pattern of spoken words the charm, or incantation.

Historical Study And Modern Witchcraft

In the course of the 19th century, European scholars first began to address the question of historical witchcraft and the witch-hunts of the late-medieval and early-modern periods in a serious way although many of their conclusions were based more on their own ideological convictions than on the historical evidence . As early as 1828, the German scholar Karl-Ernst Jarcke advanced the theory that those persecuted for witchcraft had in fact been practicing an ancient, pagan religion. His purpose was in some way to justify, or at least to rationalize, the witch-hunts as a serious effort on the part of ecclesiastical and secular authorities to enforce a real Christianization on the populace. In 1862, the French historian Jules Michelet published his study, La sorci re, making a similar argument, but to opposite effect. Michelet presented the supposed religion of witchcraft as a means of positive popular resistance against the oppressive authority of the church in the Middle Ages. The...

Necromancy of Intelligence

The Hecate invoked here is the classical Greek goddess of witchcraft. She is three-formed, having Persephone and Selene, goddesses of the dead and the moon respectively, as her other aspects.

For Further Study

Buckland, Ray. Witchcraft From the Inside. St. Paul, Minnesota Llewelynn Publications, 1995. Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, 2nd ed. New York Checkmark Books, 1999. Witches must follow the Wiccan Rede, An' ye harm none, do what ye will.

Rebecca Nurse

Rebecca Nurse was an ailing seventy-one-year-old great-grandmother and faithful Salem village church member when she was arrested as a witch in March 1692 see Chapter 4 . Although little is known about her early life, records show that she was born Rebecca Towne in Yarmouth, England, and baptized on February 21, 1621. During her childhood her family moved to Massachusetts and settled in the village of Topsfield. She married Francis Nurse, a farmer, and they rented a large house on 300 acres of land near Salem Village they had fours sons and four daughters. The restored Nurse homestead still stands it has been designated as an historical site. In 1678 the Nurses obtained the title to the house and land, and over the next fourteen years they became highly respected members of the community. Then in February 1692 Abigail Williams, Elizabeth Parris, Ann Putnam, Jr. see biography and primary source entries , and other young girls claimed they were being attacked by the specters spirits of...

Englightenment replaces superstition

Direct impact on New England. During the early eighteenth century people were struggling to redefine traditional superstitions as the Enlightenment, an intellectual and scientific movement that began in Europe in the seventeenth century, introduced a more rational, reasoned, and ordered concept of the universe. The stronghold of Puritan faith was being replaced by the so-called Age of Reason, which provided no opportunity for hysteria over supernatural powers or the battle between God and the devil. Journals and other accounts show that episodes of suspicion and violence against supposed witches became less frequent throughout the region. Nevertheless, accusations of witchcraft persisted in some places, even into the nineteenth century. Indeed, in 1800 a Protestant minister in Fayette, Maine, wrote in his diary, as recounted in historian John Putnam Demos's book Entertaining Satan, that there was Witchcraft in plenty. A man had been troubled six months and it was thought he must die....

The first three Salem witches

Once the witchcraft hysteria started no one was safe from being accused. ined for marks by the magistrates. On this fateful day, Tituba readily confessed to the crime of witchcraft and proclaimed the guilt of Good and Osborne as well. Perhaps she thought she stood a better chance of being released if she admitted to a relationship with Satan and accused the other women of evil acts. Sarah Good was pregnant, widowed, and poor, with a four-year-old child at the time charges of witchcraft were brought against her. She had had an extremely difficult life. In 1672, when she was a teenager, her father, John Solart, committed suicide and brought scorn and suspicion on his family. The Solarts were living in nearby Wendham village, and they were one of many families involved in disputes over land rights that had caused divisions between Salem Town and Salem Village. Solart's widow remarried, but she refused to share most of his estate with their seven children, leaving them to fend for...

Confirms girls accusations

Tituba's confession may have saved her own life but it did not prevent the tide of future accusations. After the first interrogation, more and more people throughout the region were being accused of witchcraft. Tituba's words had confirmed Salem's deepest fears about the existence of evil in their midst. It had also sealed the fate of Osborne and Good, who were eventually executed. Tituba's suggestion that she had seen other names in the devil's book only heightened the hysteria. She was never again questioned in court or brought to trial, but sat languishing in a jail cell until May 1693, when Massachusetts governor William Phipps 1651-1695 ordered all accused witches remaining in jail to be set free. Prisoners were responsible for their own jailing fees, and since Tituba was Parris's property, her fees were his to pay. Parris sold her to another slave owner to recover his expenses, but records do not give any details about her life after that. When Sarah Osborne complained of having...

The monster of Salem

Witches from their midst. At this point fear and politics merged to become the monster of Salem. Under the influence of their politically motivated relatives, the girls began pointing fingers at more people, some of whom were highly regarded members of the community. The first such victim was Elizabeth Proctor, wife of tavern owner John Proctor see biography entry . She publicly questioned the validity of the girls' fits, suggesting that there was more to the hearings than simple accusations of witchcraft. Elizabeth was more outspoken than her husband, but he supported her right to express her doubts, thus bringing himself under suspicion. Although the Proctors were not involved in local land disputes, they posed a threat to the Put-nams, a family who wielded considerable power in Salem Village see Chapter 3 . The main accusers of witches were Ann Putnam, Sr. and Ann Putnam, Jr. see biography and primary source entries , wife and daughter, respectively, of Salem Village leader Thomas...

Sealing fates

The first trial in Salem Town marked a significant change in the course of the witchcraft proceedings. The presence of Boston dignitaries, who served as judges and imposed harsh sentences, gave validity to both spectral evidence and the girls' fits as primary proofs of guilt. In addition, Chief Magistrate John Hathorne made a formal statement in court implying that the devil could not take the shape of an innocent person, ruling out any argument that the devil was simply tricking the community by inhabiting otherwise respectable citizens. Consequently, people had the power to accuse anyone they did not like or trust of being a witch simply by claiming that person's specter was tormenting them. Similarly, the girls could cast a shadow of guilt upon accused witches by going into fierce fits when in their presence. Acceptance of these two factors by the

Anderson Victor

Although numerous attempts have been made to translate the Sator square into something that makes sense, it remains nonsensical. It was inscribed on walls and vessels as early as ancient Rome and was considered an amulet against SORCERY, poisonous air, colic and pestilence, and for protecting cow's milk from witchcraft. In Wicca, the most powerful amulet is the silver pen-tacle, the religious symbol of the Craft see pentacle and pentagram . silver has amuletic properties and is used in jewelry along with various crystals and gems. The sign of the pentacle, called a pentagram, is traced in the air in rituals done to protect sacred sites, homes and other places. Other amulets are made from herbs and various ingredients, which are placed in a charm bag also called a GRis-GRis .

Increase Mather

In 1684 the prominent Boston minister Increase Mather 1639-1723 wrote An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences, the first work published in the American colonies on the subject of witchcraft. Most commonly referred to as Remarkable Providences, it was also the document that helped spark the witch-hunts in New England. Mather was the son of Richard Mather, an English Puritan minister who settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635. Increase was born in 1639, his unusual name a product of an era of religious fervor, when Puritans gave their children religiously significant names. Increase refers to the belief that God increased his favor for the world by sending his son, Jesus of Nazareth, to save sinners. In 1663, Increase had a son whom he named Cotton after his father-in-law, John Cotton. Cotton Mather see biography and primary source entries also became a prominent minister in Boston. Increase Mather served as president of Harvard College from 1685 to 1701.

Grand Druid Council

Natural disasters, 31-32 Neo-Paganism, 81-89 black magic, 84 and Environmentalism, 88-89 focus on nature, 85 May Pole dance, 152 ill. and Murray, Margaret, 84 principles of Wiccan belief,


34. Cornell University Library 2004 Witchcraft Collection May 2005 35. Goodare J Martin L, Miller J and Yeoman L January 2003 The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft, www.arts.ed.ac.uk witches May 2005 . 37. Jennings, P May 2005 Witchcraft Persecution in East Anglia 0Anglia.htm May 2005 39. University of Essex, 2005 Witchcraft and Masculinities in the Early Modern World July 2005

Salem Witch Trials Victims

51 ill. , 116 ill. Salem Witch Museum, 196 ill. Salem Witchcraft Trials, aftermath of, 69 Age of Reason, 75 Andros, Sir Edmund, 33,

Thomas Aquinas Witchcraft

ABSALON, ANNA PEDERSDOTTER -1590 . The victim of perhaps the single most famous witchcraft accusation made in Scandinavia, Anna was the wife of the Lutheran minister and famous scholar Absalon Pedersen Beyer. The charges against her arose mainly out of popular opposition to the attempts by Absalon and other Protestant clergy to remove holy images from the churches of Bergen, Sweden, in accordance with Lutheran teachings. Because the clergymen themselves were too highly placed for their efforts to be resisted directly, opposition focused on Anna. She was first acquitted of charges in 1575, but more accusations arose years later. She was tried again and executed in 1590. Her trial later became the basis for a play and then the film by Carl Theodore Dreyer, Day of Wrath. ACCUSATORIAL PROCEDURE. This refers to the basic system of criminal procedure that was used in most courts of law, mainly secular but also to some degree ecclesiastical, in medieval Europe prior to the 13 th century. It...

Recommended Reading and Web Resources

Http www.geraldgardner.com http www.starhawk.org http gofree.indigo.ie wicca Janet Farrar's site A Timeline of Wiccan History Witchcraft and Vagrancy Act of 1736 repealed England Gerald Gardner, Witchcraft Today Robert Cochrane publishes articles on his version of Wicca Raymond Buckland introduces Wicca to America Church of All Worlds incorporates first Wiccan church in America Buckland forms the Seax-Wicca tradition Doreen Valiente, An ABC of Witchcraft Raymond Buckland, The Tree The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft Blessedways Textbook, Version 1.0 A History of Wicca 13 Blessedways Textbook, Version 1.0 A History of Wicca 13 1988 - Scott Cunningham, Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

Magical Defence

You can rest assured that night will be the time most favoured for the attack, and if you have observed the rhythm of the occurrences, you will probably be able to gauge sufficiently when the next attempt is likely to be made. Now we arrive at another most important rule of witchcraft. In matters of occult warfare, passive defence is the most effective type of retaliation.

Provides documentation of trials

Calef enjoyed the notoriety he had gained from his book. It is likely that he exaggerated some facts to catch the attention of his readers and to cast doubt on the motivations of Puritan leaders in handling the witchcraft problem. Many modern historians insist that Mather actually played only a small role in the trials, and his crime was the same as that committed by most people at the time he had surrendered to a genuine fear of evil. Yet he did not help his own situation because he showed no remorse for the deaths of the twenty innocent people executed for witchcraft. In spite of possibly distorting the facts, Calef made a contribution to the historical documentation of the trials by collecting a wide array of letters and testimonials into one complete volume. The real target of his critique was not the Mathers but the very basis of the trials the notion that the devil could possess people who would then torment others by appearing to them as specters. Calef was one of the few...

Some Remarks On Witchcraft In Ireland

IT is said, though we cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statement, that in a certain book on the natural history of Ireland there occurs a remarkable and oft-quoted chapter on Snakes--the said chapter consisting of the words, There are no snakes in Ireland. In the opinion of most people at the present day a book on Witchcraft in Ireland would be of equal length and similarly worded, except for the inclusion of the Kyteler case in the town of Kilkenny in the first half of the fourteenth century. For, with the exception of that classic incident, modern writers never found a home in Ireland as it did elsewhere. For example, the article on Witchcraft in the latest edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica mentions England and Scotland, then passes on to the Continent, and altogether ignores this country and this is, in general, the attitude adopted by writers on the subject. In view of this it seems very strange that no one has attempted to show why the Green Isle was so especially...

Comments on the Foregoing Texts

So long ago as the year 1886 I learned that there was in existence a manuscript setting forth the doctrines of Italian witchcraft, and I was promised that, if possible, it should be obtained for me. In this I was for a time disappointed. But having urged it on Maddalena, my collector of folk-lore, while she was leading a wandering life in Tuscany, to make an effort to obtain or recover something of the kind, I at last received from her, on January 1, 1897, entitled Aradia, or the Gospel ofthe Witches. The perception of this drove vast numbers of the discontented into rebellion, and as they could not prevail by open warfare, they took their hatred out in a form of secret anarchy, which was, however, intimately blended with superstition and fragments of old tradition. Prominent in this, and naturally enough, was the worship of Diana the protectress-for the alleged adoration of Satan was a far later invention of the Church, and it has never really found a leading place in Italian witch...

To Cite A Witch

Sold only as a curio Now only 3.98. If you have the interest or the patience to pursue the study of witchcraft in its more esoteric forms there are two large beautifully illustrated books recently republished by University Books, New Hyde Park, N.Y. They are A Pictorial Anthology of Witchcraft, Magic amp Alchemy by Emile Grillot De Grivy and The Book Of Ceremonial Magic A complete Grimoire by Arthur Edward Waite. One of the classics in the field is Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Levi, first published in 1896. Among some of the many chapters in the latter work are The Triangle of Solomon, The Tetragram, The Pentagram, Initiation, The Kabalah, Necromancy, Transmutations, Black Magic Bewitchments, Astrology Charms and Philtres, The Stone of Philosophers Elagabalus, Universal Medicine, Divination, The Sabbath of the Sorceres, Witchcraft and Spells etc. In the old book Discovery of Witchcraft by Reginald Scot, he gives the following incantation .by which you may rid yourself of nightmares

Essential Reading Primary Sources

Kors, Alan C., and Edward Peters. Witchcraft in Europe, 1000-1700 A Documentary History. Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972. A superb collection of primary sources showing the changing attitudes toward witchcraft from the central Middle Ages to the early modern period. The excerpts are long enough to provide important insights into the perceptions of witchcraft.

Guazzo FrancescoMaria

Simmons, Marc. Witchcraft in the Southwest Spanish and Indian Supernaturalism on the Rio Grande. Lincoln. University of Nebraska Press, 1974. Guazzo served as a judge and assessor in witchcraft trials. In 1605, he was sent to Cleves to advise in a case involving the Serene Duke John William of Julich-Cleves. The duke accused a 90-year-old warlock, John, of overlooking and ensorcelling him see EVIL EYE and sorcery . John confessed that he used CHARMs and runes to afflict the duke with a wasting sickness and frenzy. He was found guilty and sentenced to be burned at the stake. Before the sentence could be carried out, John committed suicide by slicing his throat with a knife. According to Guazzo, the Devil himself stood at John's side as he died. The duke asked Guazzo to assist in other witchcraft cases in Germany, which he did. Gypsies Nomadic, dark-skinned people who probably emerged out of northern India around the 10th century and spread throughout Europe, the British Isles and...

In the Beginning A Sense of Wonder

It may well be asked Why yet another book on Witchcraft Are there not already books on this subject in abundance and over-abundance What excuse have you for giving us yet another Well, I have several excuses for adding to the admittedly large number of books on the subject of witchcraft, but I shall content myself with giving the three principal reasons which persuaded me to write this book. In the first place, I am not satisfied that any book on Witchcraft - not even excepting the admirable works of the late Dr Margaret Murray, who died urging me to write this book - have clearly defined Witchcraft or have made sufficiently clear the essential distinction between Witchcraft and Diabolism -two completely different disciplines, for all that it suited the Rome-directed branch of Christianity to blur the distinction and finally to persecute witches as diabolists. In the second place, my interest in Witchcraft is rather historical than exegetical I am concerned with the origins of the...

The Forgeries Of The Canon Episcopi And The Malleus Maleficarum

I have previously referred the reader to H. C. Lea's Materials Towards a History of Witchcraft for the full details of this matter however, as that book is not one which is within easy reach of the general reader, and as the matter is of some importance in the story of the persecution of the witch cult, I will give a brief abstract of it here. Lea quotes a large number of relevant documents to show that the earliest teaching of the Church about the witches' Sabbat differed radically from the parade of horrors for which credence was, and is, demanded by orthodox writers. The foundation for this early teaching is a document called the Canon Episcopi, which was accepted as authoritative until the time of the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum in 1486, which finally threw it overboard, after it had been interpreted and re-interpreted until the final sense in which it was taken was almost the opposite of its original sense. Regino circa A.D. 906 seems to have been the first publisher...

Questions to Consider

Witch craze A period in Western European history, running roughly from the late fifteenth century to the late seventeenth century, when most Europeans believed that a vast conspiracy of witches existed whose aim was to overthrow the Christian order. As a consequence, between 80,000 and 100,000 people were executed on charges of witchcraft.

Chapter Ii The Worshippers

Descriptions of fairies given by eye-witnesses can be found in many accounts in the Middle Ages and slightly later. The sixteenth century was very prolific in such accounts. John Walsh 4 the witch of Netherberry in Dorset, consulted the fairies between the hours of twelve and one at noon and at midnight, and always went among hills for the purpose. Bessie Dunlop 5 in Ayrshire saw eight women and four men, the men were clad in gentlemen's clothing, and the women had all plaids round them and were very seemly-like to see she was informed that these were from the Court of Elfame she had previously received a visit from the Queen of Elfhame though without knowing at the time who her visitor was she described the Queen as a stout woman who came in to her and sat down on the form beside her and asked a drink at her and she gave it. Alesoun Peirsoun 6 in Fifeshire, was convict for haunting and repairing with the good neighbours and Queen of Elphane, and she had many good friends at that...

What is the truth about Witchcraft today

For centuries, organized religions have perpetuated lies about the ancient practice of Witchcraft. To this day, many misinformed people think that Witches worship Satan, perform human sacrifices, participate in sex orgies, and use drugs. In The Truth About Witchcraft Today, Scott Cunningham puts these common misconceptions to rest by showing that Witches are women and men from all walks of life, cultural backgrounds and religious upbringings. They have found Wicca Witchcraft to be the only religion that encourages love for the earth and reveres the Feminine aspect of the Divine the Goddess an element missing in most other religions. Here, then, is an excellent overview of a perennially fascinating subject one that really does tell the truth about Witchcraft and folk magic today.

Other witchy sites

Http crystalsands.wiccan.net http witchcraft.20m.com www.witchcraftmagazine.com.au www.wicca.org These are just some of the many sites devoted to wicca witchcraft. If you type wicca witchcraft in a yahoo search engine, in one hit you will find over 1000 related sites www.yahoo.com

Evil eye

The term esbat is a modern one. It may have been coined by MARGARET A. Murray, a British anthropologist who wrote about medieval witchcraft as an organized pagan religion. Most Wiccans use the term circle rather than esbat for their regular meeting esbat is used formally.

Creating A New Path

Uch of conventional Wicca is organized into traditions. Since tradi tions, by definition, are beliefs and practices that are passed from one generation or group to another, a Wiccan tradition is a specific form of Wic-can practice that is passed to other persons, usually following initiation. Wiccan traditions are one of our religion's strongest survival mechanisms. Structure is necessary for every religion's survival. Without it, it will crumble in confusion and chaos. If every Wiccan constantly reinvented every aspect of Wicca tools, ritual forms, deity concepts , our religion as we know it would soon disappear. Lacking traditional forms and beliefs, it could hardly be passed on to others. As Solitary Wiccans, we generally don't practice a specific Wiccan tradition unless we've been so trained and have left a coven . This presents us with great freedom. Some Solitary Wiccans create new rituals for each Sabbat and Esbat and practice a rather loose form of Wicca. However, many...

Secret Societies

Medieval stonemasonry involved a good deal of mathematics and geometry, so the ceremonies the Masons created reflected their use of numbers and geometric figures. The Masons also developed their own mythology, linking their craft back to the Biblical King Solomon. It was the Masons who developed the three-degree system and the use of so mote it be during ceremonies, which Wiccans and ceremonial magicians still use today. A History of Wicca 9 One of the founders of the Golden Dawn, Samuel Mathers, was more interested in the practical applications of Kabballistic and hermetic magic, and produced definitive translations of old magical texts such as the Book of Abramelin and the Key of Solomon. He created the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, which is still in use today, and assigned the four Elements to specific compass directions based on the Tetragrammaton in order to call angelic guardians for Golden Dawn ceremonies. Mathers also began to incorporate imagery of Pan and the...

Bishops fate is sealed

Finally, Bishop's own husband testified against her in court, claiming he had witnessed her acts of witchcraft for many years as well as noting her absence from church each Sunday. To miss attending church services on Sunday, the Christian day of worship, was punishable in some communities. During her trial no evidence in her favor was allowed into the court. While she was being held in jail Bishop apparently spoke with Mary Warren, another accused witch, who believed that the teenage girls were making things up about her. Bishop tried to use this in her own defense in court, implying that the girls were simply being malicious, but the authorities would not allow these remarks to be put into court records. Bishop's son would have testified on her behalf but he was arrested during her trial for trying to beat the truth about the false accusations out of John Indian husband of Tituba, another woman accused of being a witch, and who accused others of being witches see biography entry and...

The Proctors are accused

Ren for accusing innocent people of being witches. Elizabeth Proctor had been even more critical of the trials than her husband, but he had consistently supported her. On April 4, 1693, villagers Jonathan Walcott and Nathaniel Ingersoll entered official complaints against Elizabeth and Sarah Cloyce, Rebecca Nurse's sisters. The women were officially arrested on April 8 and interrogated questioned three days later. During a pre-trial examination the young accusers were unable or unwilling to answer questions about Elizabeth's involvement in witchcraft. Finally John Indian, a slave in the Parris household and husband of confessed witch Tituba see biography and primary source entries , claimed that Elizabeth's specter spirit had tried to choke him. The girls sat silently until they were forced to speak. This time they put on a memorable show by going into such severe fits that trial judge Samuel Sewall see biography entry noted the event in his diary entry for April 11. As the girls...

Tituba confesses

Answer, Hathorne asked her why she had bewitched the girls, as if she had just confessed to a crime. She responded by saying again, I have done nothing I can't tell when the Devil works. Hathorne then pressed further by asking Tituba what connection she had to the devil and again demanding to be told who was hurting the children. To this Tituba replied vaguely, The Devil for ought I know, which Hathorne chose to take as a confession. When he asked for a description of the devil or whoever was responsible for the bewitching, suddenly Tituba began to cooperate. Her demeanor behavior changed and she seemed to be trying to save her own life, which she knew was in danger. It was also commonly known that the only chance of escaping death during witchcraft charges was to confess. According to A Delusion of Satan, Tituba started by admitting she had seen something like a man, and the audience sat quietly as she described the devil himself. Spurred on by the reaction of the court, she admitted...

Salem Witch Trials and Executions

The pre-trial hearings in the cases of Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba set the stage for the social strife that would soon rip Salem apart. See Chapter 3 for information on the circumstances that led to the arrests of these three women on witchcraft charges also see Tituba's biography entry. At first no one suspected that Tituba, Elizabeth Betty Parris, Abigail Williams, and the other young girls could be lying. After all there was damning evidence Tituba had confessed to practicing witchcraft, and the girls had clearly been bewitched by Good, Osborne, and Tituba. During the hearing on March 1, 1692, both Good and Osborne denied the charges against them, pleading for justice and fairness. Yet, according to court records, chief magistrate judge John Hathorne deliberately invited several girls to identify Osborne as a witch, telling all the children to stand up and look upon her Osborne and see if they did know her which they all did and every one of them said that this was one of...

Forced out of Salem

His believing the Devil's accusations and readily departing from all charity to . . . persons, though of blameless and godly lives, upon such suggestions his . . . promoting such accusations as also his impartiality therein in stifling the accusations of some and at the same time vigilantly promoting others . . . are just causes for our refusal. . . . Mr. Parris by these practices and principles has been the beginner and the procurer of the sorest afflictions, not to this village only but to this whole country that did ever befall them. From Chadwick Hansen, Witchcraft at Salem.

Ceremonial Magic

Contrary to popular opinion, ceremonial magicians aren't concerned with conjuring up demons and stealing magical rings from monstrous, fly-headed spirits. They don't own flying carpets or take up residence in caves, and they certainly don't merrily plunge swords into unwilling victims or have imps as companions. Most importantly, they don't have any connections with Witchcraft, save in the minds of outsiders.

Digitalis Raven

British anthropologist MARGARET A. MuRRAY erroneously believed that an organized Dianic cult of witches had existed throughout the Middle Ages and the witch hunt centuries, though no evidence survives to prove it. Murray relied heavily upon the Canon Episcopi in developing these ideas. They were adopted by GERALD B. GARDNER, a key figure in the revival of witchcraft in the 1950s in Britain. Diana in Wicca. Though most Wiccans no longer believe in Murray's medieval Dianic cult, they do revere Diana as a Pagan deity and an archetype. As part of the Triple Goddess aspect of the moon, Diana holds sway over the new and waxing moon, a two-week period that is auspicious for magic related to new beginnings, growth and achievement. Diana is invoked as nurturer and protector. At the full moon, she turns her power over to Selene. As an archetype, Diana serves as a role model for feminist Witchcraft, called the Dianic tradition. She is a free spirit, an achiever, who knows what she wants and...


1st Lammas also known as Lughnasadh , one of the four major sabbats celebrated each year by Witches and other Pagans, is observed on this day. The traditional herbs associated with this sabbat include acacia flowers, aloes, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak, sunflower, and wheat. As a thanksgiving offering to the Goddess, many Wiccans bake a loaf of corn bread and lay it upon their altar. Dunwich, Gerina. The Wicca Garden. Secaucus, New Jersey Citadel Press, 1996. Dunwich, Gerina. The Wicca Book of Days. Secaucus, New Jersey Citadel Press, 1995.

Contemporary Wicca

Adler, Margot Drawing Down the Moon Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshipers and Other Pagans in America Today New York Viking, 1979. An inside, informed look at Wicca and Paganism. An updated version has recently been published. Photographs. Buckland, Raymond Witchcraft From the Inside St. Paul Llewellyn Publications, 1971. One of the earliest American books on Wicca, this is an explication of so-called Gardnerian Wicca. Photographs. Buckland, Raymond Witchcraft. . . The Religion Bay Shore, New York The Auckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick, 1966. An early pamphlet describing Gardnerian Wicca. Deutch, Richard The Ecstatic Mother Portrait of Maxine Sanders-Witch Queen London Bachman amp Turner, 1977. A written portrait of Maxine Sanders see Sanders, Maxine below by a Wiccan author. Photographs. Gardner, Gerald The Meaning of Witchcraft London Aquarian Press, 1959, 1971. Gerald Gardner's look at the origins of Wicca. Photographs. Gardner, Gerald Witchcraft Today London Rider, 1954. New...

Contents at a Glance

Part 1 Wicca Wisdom 1 1 All About Wicca and Witchcraft 3 Wicca and witchcraft are more than magick, and they don't 2 The History of Wicca and Witchcraft 17 Surviving the torture, hangings, and burnings at the stake 3 Practicing Wicca and Witchcraft Today 29 A primer on the different kinds of witches and how you can Part 2 The Wiccan Way 41 4 Wiccan Deities Homage to the Lord and Lady 43 The many, many forms of the God and Goddess 7 Observing Ritual the Wiccan Way 83 The religious and magickal rites of Wicca 19 To Know, to Dare, to Will, to Keep Silent 233 Is this the time in your life for witchcraft Books and videos about Wicca and witchcraft

A Very Special Spirituality

Witchcraft and Wicca one of the major forms of witchcraft both derive their names from the AngloSaxon words for wisdom 'witch' is from the old English word wita, meaning 'wise' and the Wicca were the wise ones. Witchcraft is said to be the oldest religion in the world. It is the indigenous shamanistic religion of Europe that has, in spite of ferocious persecution from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, survived in the folk tradition of many lands and through families who kept alive the old beliefs and worship of the Earth and the Moon Mother.

Children And Wicca

Many people are suspicious of witches and all the more so if the practitioner has young children. They seem to fear that witches will exert some kind of evil influence on innocent minds. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Children of Wiccans are almost invariably kind to animals and aware of environmental issues. Some groups have family celebrations and no responsible parent would introduce their children to any experiences before they were ready, least of all Wiccans to whom life is sacred and children the blessing of the Goddess. Lisa, a Wiccan from Berkshire, describes how her daughter has grown up 'I don't know if Skye will ultimately choose Wicca as her spiritual path, but I feel that growing up in a pagan home will give her the best tools for making choices in her life. She will learn to be aware of her environment and will feel a part of it, not above or outside it. Hopefully, this will inspire her to care for it and for others around her, and to...

Neopagan Witchcraft the Rite Stuff

Real Magic An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic, by Isaac Bonewits. Though somewhat dated, this is the book that thousands of Wiccan teachers have used to train their students for thirty years. The Healing Craft Healing Practices for Witches and Pagans, by Janet and Stuart Farrar and Gavin Bone. The first Wiccan book I've seen specifically focused on the techniques and theories of healing body, mind and spirit. An excellent resource. The Witch's Magical Handbook and Tan-tric Yoga The Royal Path to Raising Kundalini Power, by Gavin and Yvonne Frost. The first is a compendium of their unusual and fascinating approach to practical magic. For those who want to try actually doing Witchcraft as Gardner originally intended it to be done, the second book is another of the Frosts' clearheaded guides to an overly mystified topic. Advanced Wicca Exploring Deeper Levels of Spiritual Skills and Masterful Magick and The Wiccan Book of Ceremonies and Rituals, both by...

Solitary Witchcraft

There are many reasons for performing witchcraft alone your personal circumstances or the location of your home may mean that you cannot travel to a group, or you may live in an area where there are few others who share your interests. Many witches like myself choose to practise alone, drawing in my family and close friends to celebrate with me on the festival days. Most solitary witches initiate themselves, though some traditions, such as the Saxon Seat Wicca founded by Raymond Buckland in the USA, do admit solitary witches.

Chapter Varieties of Wiccan Ritual

Cholars in the field of religious studies often call Wicca and other varieties of Neopaganism magical religions. By this they mean to indicate faiths in which the participants are encouraged and expected to actively perform their own magical or miraculous deeds, rather than passively waiting for some spiritual force to do it for them. Down through the ages the core meaning of witch has been someone who could do magic. Yet what exactly do we mean by that With all that out of the way, let's look at the various sorts of magical and religious rituals that exist, all of which are done by some Wiccans on different occasions. Most Wiccans tend to describe their rituals as being initiations, sabbats holy day celebrations that are primarily theurgical , or esbats monthly working rituals that are mostly thaumaturgical . Gerald Gardner took the second and third terms from the writings of the Renaissance witch-hunters. There are, however, more useful terms. Rites of passage are ones in which the...

Wiccan Rituals And Ethics

Wiccans believe in polarity rather than a single godhead, both in magick and in life. Evil is therefore not a separate demonic force to be eradicated, and the darker aspects of life emanate as a result of alienation from the natural order of things. However, even those things that are bad can act as catalysts for change death and endings are as much part of the cycle of life as are birth and beginnings. Dark and light, night and day, positive and negative, destruction and creation are two sides of the same coin, a principle that finds expression in Eastern Taoism and underpins the ancient Chinese Ching The Book of Changes , often used for divination. Negativity can be transformed into healing energies through positive ritual. The Goddess is the source of all creation, from whom, in the original virgin birth, her son-consort, the Horned God, came. The Horned God and the Goddess are the creative male and female principles that act and react, not in opposition to each other, but as...

Spell Casting

Spell casting is part of some, but by no means all, Wiccan activities. Most spells are carried out with the purpose of changing someone's life for the better or sending healing energies to others. For example, love magick could, if you wish to bring love into your life, be focused on increasing the love in the world, thereby attracting love in its many forms, and not just romance. More specifically, you may wish to attract one special person, to deepen an existing relationship or bring back a straying partner. For this, however, you would need to build into the ritual a proviso that this happening should be right for that person as well as for yourself. Modern witchcraft is all too aware of the need not to infringe on the free will of others. As I have

Joining A Coven

You should be sure, when you choose a coven, that its members are kind and gentle and do not indulge in spirit summoning or spirit possession, even for trance purposes, unless under the supervision of an expert leader who has benefited from a very long training. If these warnings sound a little dire, it is because witchcraft involves very personal and spiritual experiences it is also, by nature, a very hidden practice, and this means that it may be hard to tell the genuine from the charlatans. Beware also of strangers or acquaintances who regale you with supposed Wiccan practices or offer to do spells for you, usually for money. True Wiccans are among the most tolerant of people and would never seek to impose their beliefs on others and are usually incredibly reticent with people they do not know.

Magick And Knowledge

White witchcraft is essentially the process of drawing on ancient wisdom and powers via the collective mind that we as individuals can spontaneously but unconsciously access in our dreams and visions. In magick, we can use rituals and altered states of consciousness to access this cosmic memory bank at will and in doing so, some believe, draw on the accumulated powers of many generations, especially in healing magick. The practice of witchcraft demands great responsibility, for you are handling very potent material when you deal with magick. The benefit is that by focusing and directing your own inner powers and natural energies you can give form to your thoughts and needs and desires and bring them into actuality. The more positive and altruistic these focuses are, the more abundance, joy and harmony will be reflected in your own world.

The Goddess as Focus

But in witchcraft, though the Sky Fathers and their wives are used for the focus of specific rites, the Goddess retains the earlier form as the creative principle. As the Triple Goddess - maiden, mother and wise woman or crone - she is frequently central to coven work.

Wicca And The Christian Heritage

What is Wicca Is it witchcraft or Paganism Occultism or esotericism Are Wiccans witches Since it was first publicised in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, Wicca has been associated with magic, spirituality, mysticism, nature religions, secrecy, gnosis, the exotic and the Other. Over the past thirty years, anthropologists, sociologists and historians have defined and explored Wicca within all these contexts, but there has been a tendency to sublimate and negate the role of Christianity in Wicca's historical and contemporary incarnations. Joanne Pearson 'prowls the borderlands of Christianity' to uncover the untold history of Wicca. She argues that Christian traditions are inherent in the development of contemporary Wicca, and makes a groundbreaking analysis of Wicca's relationship with Christianity. Focusing on the accusations which have been levelled against Catholicism, heterodoxy and witchcraft throughout history, Pearson explores the importance of ritual, deviant sexuality and magic in...

Mesopagan Witchcraft the Buds

A Goddess Arrives, and High Magic's Aid, by Gerald Gardner. The first one is a bad novel, in which Gardner first explored ideas of reincarnation and goddess worship. The second is another novel in which he reveals much of his thinking during the years he was first creating Wicca. Both are now available in reprint editions from the Church amp School of Wicca at lt www.wicca.org gt or from other online dealers. Witchcraft Today and The Meaning of Witchcraft, by Gerald Gardner. The officially non-fiction books in which he revealed to the world that a secret underground religion of Pagan Witchcraft had survived into the What Witches Do the Modern Coven Revealed, by Stewart Farrar. One of the first books published about the Alexandrian Tradition of Wicca, which at the time was 95 identical to Gardnerianism. Good Witch's Bible, by Gavin and Yvonne Frost. Originally published as The Witch's Bible, it caused an uproar among American Wiccans because, among other crimes, it presented a form of...

Starhawk and Margot Adler

Some of the most important events of Wiccan history happened in 1979. Miriam Simos, who was trained by Gardnerians and later initiated into Victor Anderson's home-grown Faery tradition, took up her pen and wrote a guide to the practice of modern witchcraft, under the name Starhawk. The Spiral Dance almost immediately outsold any of Gardner's books. Her style was moving and passionate, and showed Wicca as a new hope for society in which women could be liberated and men reeducated with all stereotypes destroyed. The Spiral Dance sparked the creation of hundreds of groups and the practices of thousands of solitaries all over the United States and Europe. That same year, James Lovelock formulated the Gaia Hypothesis, which stated the Earth was a single gigantic organism, alive, with humans and other life forms as part of Her. The hypothesis was embraced by environmentalists and feminists alike, and Wicca took on more ecological overtones than ever before. Across the country Margot Adler...

Neopagan Witchcraft the Twigs

The Tree the Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft, by Raymond Buckland. The book in which the author invented Seax-Wicca, the first tradition of Wicca in which self-initiation was explicitly approved. The Truth about Witchcraft and Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham. The first book is an excellent brief introduction to general Wicca, suitable for giving to worried friends and family. The second was the first widely distributed text on Wicca aimed at readers who had no coven The Witches' Goddess The Feminine Principle of Divinity, The Witches' God Lord of the Dance, and A Witches' Bible, by Janet and Stuart Farrar. The first two books contain useful details about multiple deities and how their worship can be incorporated into Wic-can circles. The third is a rebinding of both Eight Sabbats for Witches and The Witches' Way, so it's a good introduction to the early orthodox Traditions of Wicca, with lots of fine ritual ideas. An ABC of Witchcraft Past and...

The Sabbat

For covens these are times to gather and work their rites, a time to be reminded of the passing of the seasons and the changes at work within the Earth, which is especially important for city-dwellers. Again, Wiccans don't worship the Sun, but see it as a symbol of the God. All religions have specific reasons for scheduling rituals. For Wiccans, the seasonal cycle determines the positioning of rituals. In essence, the Sabbats tell a story of the God and the Goddess. In festival form they reveal a seasonal and agricultural Wiccan legend. Wiccan traditions vary a great deal in their myths. Much of this variance is due to the specific cultural context of the tradition, such as Celtic, Feminist, and so on. However, a generalization of the meanings of the eight Sabbats can be formed. Many Wiccans begin their year with Samhain October 31st . On this night they revere their friends and loved ones who have passed on to the other life. Because Wiccans accept the doctrine of reincarnation, this...

Chapter What Wiccans Beliebe

M jlgV Ti full-scale discussion of Wiccan Jjgris amp l duotheology, this chapter will give you the highlights and r r i make the subsequent chapters more meaningful. Because Wiccans are Neopagans, whether all of them are willing to admit it or not, much of this is taken from my essay What Neopagans Believe, which I have rewritten many times over the years. A significantly expanded version of that material will be found in Neopaganism A Concise Guide. As I say in that book, Wiccans represent the vast majority of the Neopagan movement, and as such have affected the majority of the beliefs and practices of that movement. In the following, I have listed the beliefs as they are held by most Neopagans and added comments that are specific to Wiccan beliefs and practices. Be warned, however, that these are spiritual movements still very much in their early growth stages, and not all members of these movements may agree completely with any particular one of the beliefs I list. To quote the...

Neopagan Witchcraft Reference Books and Anthologies

The Modern Craft Movement Witchcraft Today, Book 1 , Modern Rites of Passage Book 2 , Shamanism and Witchcraft Book 3 , and Living Between Two Worlds Challenges of the Modern Witch Book 4 All edited by Chas Clifton. This series of anthologies is excellent, containing essays by both Pagans and non-Pagans of widely varied scholarship. Witchcraft, Satanism amp Occult Crime Who's Who amp What's What, a Manual of Reference Materials for the Professional Investigator, by the Church of All Worlds' Staff. An inexpensive yet invaluable tool for those concerned about occult crime and whether the neighborhood Pagans might be involved in something terrible. Can be bought from the Church of All Worlds lt www.caw.org gt . Give one to your local law enforcement agency. The Circle Guide to Pagan Groups, by Circle Sanctuary see Appendix 6 . Lists Wiccan The Law Enforcement Guide To Wicca, by Kerr Cuchulain. A manual written by a Canadian Neopagan police officer for his colleagues. This is the other...


In the year 1999, after a decade of research and writing, I released a 1,000-page history book devoted to uncovering the life and times of medieval counter-culture. Using the great witch burnings as a datum point, I regressed into a much earlier phase, when Europe enjoyed a wide range of cultural interaction with Asia. The odyssey stepped up quite a few notches in 1994, as I encountered new Russian theories about pre-Christian Europe. These sources claimed Europeans had inherited religious traditions akin to those of the Buddhists, Hindus and Magians. Such were the origins of European witchcraft. At first I laughed uncontrollably, that is until I took a much closer look at the situation, and found their stance vindicated by the evidence. Western readers were lagging behind in some very important developments. What I was not however prepared for was the ideological free-fire zone I'd inadvertently wandered into. In its day it was an emotional rollercoaster that plunges into an abyss of...

E c o sp irituality and Green Ethics

People talk a lot about Wicca as an Earth-centered religion, and Wicca's obvious bias towards the vision of Deity as immanent rather than transcendent supports the concept of ecocentricism within Wicca. However, what we don't seem to talk about much are the direct implications of an ecocentric spirituality, and what that means for us as servants of the gods. From a theological philosophical standpoint, Wicca maintains that all of nature is infused with the sacred that we have but to experience the world around us in order to have an experience of God. The otherwise confusing idea of inherent value with regard to humans, animals and viruses . . . is replaced somewhat by the concept of inherent sacredness as an emanation of expression of a Divine beginning, each and every object in the world whether living or inanimate, man-made or otherwise is inherently sacred in its own right, without the need for human projections or interpretations. As such, everything has the right to exist as it...

A Note To Traditional Wiccans

This book, a further guide for Solitary practitioners of Wicca, isn't an attack on conventional Wicca, Wiccan traditions, covens or usual training procedures. It was written as was its predecessor for those without access to conventional Wicca, Wiccan traditions, covens or usual training procedures. Some will see this book as an insult to their form of Wicca, so I repeat this is a guide for Solitary practitioners who have no access to your form of Wicca. This in no way lessens it or any other Wiccan tradition.


Remember that few Wiccans agree with one another regarding ritual practices. The same is true of Wiccan authors. Few Wiccan traditions are in complete agreement with the methods of others. Because authors write what they know best, each book may seem to represent true Wicca, even though the authors' descriptions of the religion are totally different. Though they're all members of the same religion, they are still individuals. Wicca is a personal religion. However, to be sure that the Witchcraft about which you're reading is real, keep in mind the information contained within this book. If an author writes of Satan worship, human sacrifice, forced initiations, orgies, meals of human infants and other unpleasant things, he or she is not a Wiccan, and the book is the product of a twisted mind. Think of such books as works of fiction or propaganda, because that's exactly what they are. You may decide that you wish to learn more. If so, try to find a Wiccan in your area. Few Wiccans...

Chapter The Religion Of Wicca

Folk magic is but half of what is termed Witchcraft. The other half is the religion known as Wicca. There are at least five major ways in which Wicca differs from other religions. These are Wiccans revere the Goddess and God. Current Western religion, Wiccas feel, is out of balance. Deity is usually referred to as God as opposed to Goddess . God the Father is a The Wiccans are different. They see nature as a manifestation of the divine. Because of this they argue that a male divinity revered without a female deity is, at best, only half effective. Both sexes exist in nature. If nature is a manifestation of divinity, then divinity also manifests in male and female forms. Hence modern Wicca is usually but not always centered around reverence of the Goddess and God. Both-not one, not the other. So Wicca is a religion built around worship of these two deities, the Goddess and the God. They are often thought to be twin energies, or nonphysical manifestations of the power that was discussed...

Chapter II Witchcraft in the postModern World

We even have some folks attempting to create forms of Neoshamanic Witchcraft, whether inspired by Zell's theory mentioned in Chapter 3 or else just using the currently vague New Age concepts of shamanism combined with Wicca. It's ironic that, while authentic shamanism is about as nitty-gritty and practical as a magical system can get, the modern Neo- Shamanic Witches tend to be the fluffiest of fluffy Defining who is or isn't a real member of these communities for statistical purposes is a complex task that changes the final tallies dramatically see my Neopagan-ism A Concise Guide for details on the difficulties . Nonetheless, our numbers will only grow in the coming decades, as our population seems to us long-time observers to have doubled in size every four or five years. Considering the many popular books about Wicca and Goddess Worship still filling the bookstore shelves long after the fad was supposed to be over, I see no sign of this growth slowing down. The recent arrival of...