Contemporary Witchcraft (also known as Wicca) is a Pagan mystery religion rooted in European shamanic practices and traditional healing arts. It is a nature-centered religion which honors a Goddess and usually a God, and uses magic as a tool of personal and global transformation. It is characterized by a deep respect for all living things, acceptance of personal and social responsibility, attunement to natural rhythms, healing, achieving balance between all aspects of the self and society, a sense of play and wonder, and the celebration of sensuality. It is a positive, life afirming spirituality.Modern Wicca emerged in the 1950s, after the lastBritish laws against Witchcraft were repealed, when Gerald Gardner published several books describing the Craft traditions into which he’d been initiated.
with the help of Doreen Valiente, developed the tradition which bears
his name, combining elements from his own coven’s work with
Rosicrucianism, mythology, Masonry, folklore, and many other sources.
Variations on Gardnerian Wicca developed almost immediately, especially
in the U.S., as practitioners created systems which met their
There are now roughly ten “major” traditions in the
U.S., with thousands of variations.
It is believed that the
word “witch” comes from the Germanic root “wic,” meaning “to turn” or
“to bend.” The use of the terms “Witch” and “Witchcraft”are
controversial among Wiccans, as some practitioners feel these words
carry so many negative historical connotations that they cause more
trouble than they’re worth. These Wiccans prefer the term “priest” or
“priestess.” Other practitioners feel tehse words should be reclaimed
as terms for people (particularly women) with spiritual power. Many
Witches consider the healers, midwives, and village wisewomen or
cunning men of the past to be their predecessors. These people’s
practices and beliefs were labeled “Satanic” by Inquisitors eager to
end the practice of nature religions. This false stereotype persists to
Practices and Beliefs
Most Witches perform
rituals to mark natural transitions, such the lunar phases, equinoxes,
solstices, and traditional agrarianfestivals. Witch......
Anthony North: The French court of the Sun King, Louis XIV, was a flamboyant, extravagant place. But underneath the facade was a cauldron of hatred, deceit and social climbing. And underpinning the more unsavoury factors of the court was a conspiracy of murder and supposed witchcraft. After the suspicious deaths of several of the French nobility, Louis ordered the Commissioner of Police, Nicholas de la Reynie, to investigate. Opening the Chambre Ardente, or Burning Court (a black draped room wit...US town escapes 666 phone prefix
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