Hansen, Chadwick. Witchcraft at Salem. New York: New
American Library, 1969. Starkey, Marion L. The Devil in Massachusetts. New York:
Alfred Knopf, 1950.
hazel The hazel tree is one of powerful MAGIC, according to ancient beliefs. Hermes' caduceus, a gift from Apollo, was made of hazel. The early Roman naturalist, Pliny, wrote of how to use hazel wands for divining underground springs. The rod of Moses was cut from a hazel tree by Adam in the Garden of Eden. Moses and Aaron used hazel rods to bring plagues into Egypt. In the fourth century, St. Patrick is said to have rid Ireland of snakes by drawing them together with a magic hazel rod and then casting them into the sea.
Hazel wood and hazelnuts are believed to offer protection against witchcraft, demons and fairy bewitchment (see FAIRIES). Hazel breastbands on harnesses have been used to protect horses. In Ireland, the hazel is a symbol of great mystical wisdom. Cattle are singed with hazel rods at Beltane and Midsummer fires in order to keep fairies away. In Scotland, double hazel nuts are thrown at witches.
Hazel nuts also have been used in the casting of spells. In some areas, picking hazel nuts on a Sunday is believed to summon the DEVIL to appear. Hazelnuts are gathered in traditional fall fertility rites in some parts of England.
healing Contemporary witches and Wiccans view healing as one of their most important functions. They use a wide range of healing techniques, including MAGIC; herbal and folk remedies; body work and energy work; Native American Indian and shamanic techniques (see SHAMANISM); and Western approaches to medicine and psychology. Some Witches are professional healers, trained in Eastern and/or Western medicine and psychology. Witches prefer holistic and natural healing methods that involve healing power of sound, breath, color, touch and movement.
Prior to the scientific age, healing commonly was the province of the village wise woman, cunning MAN, witch or wizard. Such individuals often were born with the mysterious gift of healing by touch, and many were steeped in herbal lore that had been passed down though generations of their families. Still others said they received their healing ability from FAIRIES. Folk healers diagnosed both human and animal ailments. Some were renowned for determining whether or not haunting fairies or ghosts (see ghosts, hauntings AND witchcraft) were responsible for illness, and then driving them away.
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