We have all heard about witches. Let’s simply say that more or less of what we know about witches is hokum. They do not wear pointy head gears, concoct potions in a huge cauldron, have a cackling laugh or warts all over their faces. These are solely a few of the many absurd things that popular mediums disseminated about witches and witchcraft.
In fact, some would even like to believe that witch-burning were propaganda-driven. That is, however, a discussion for some other time. Here are a number of facts about witchcraft to clear a couple of misconceptions.
10 Amazing Facts About Witchcraft :-
Witchcraft was always viewed with a bit of an terror mixed with fear in all cultures.
The Bible is very harsh about witchcraft. According to Leviticus 20:27, “a man also or girl that hath a familiar spirit, or that’s a wizard, shall surely be put to death: They shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them”. In Africa, the inyanga’s (the witch doctor) job was to heal the sick and the injured and provide customers with magical things for everyday use. Even in Japan, people lores about witches existed for ages, and according to these folklore, there have been 2 types of witches. Those who use snakes as familiars and those who employ foxes. In Saudi Arabia, the death penalty for witchcraft is still in practice.
The Malleus Malefic arum was a medieval witch-hunting manual that was used by both Catholics and Protestants.
The name of the book itself meant “hammer of the witches”. This book was written by 2 German monks, Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Spengler in 1486. In fact, within the medieval era, the complete Europe was obsessed with witchcraft.
Witch-hunting was an ‘in thing’ in most superstition ridden countries like Germany, England, Scotland, France etc. And many individuals, mostly ladies, got dead after being accused of being a witch.
Potions and incantations
Often the ‘potions’ and ‘incantations’ that the said witches used were used either for meditative functions or purely for cooking purposes. Common ingredients that witches used, like toe of frog, wool of bat, tongue of dog, lizard’s leg etc. Which were largely names given to common herbs and ingredients used for potion making or cooking, thus as to keep the formula from being stolen and utilized by another. Though, needless to say, such names only added fuel to the fear of witches. Also, a number of these ingredients, like belladonna, for example, had hallucinogenic effects, causing people to imagine seeing witches fly.
The Wicca movement
Wicca is modern-day movement and religion based on witchcraft practiced with ethical principles. It developed within the 1st half of 20th century in England. Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant was one amongst the pioneers of this movement who introduced this to the general public. This movement is based upon both ancient pagan rituals and traditions and 20th C ‘hermetic’ motifs of the Golden Dawn organization. Even the term ‘Wicca’ comes from the same origin as the word ‘witch’.
The Assamese village of Mayong is considered as the land of black magic
According to local history, ‘human sacrifice’ was an important a part of the Tantric traditions of this place, that went on till early modern period. Even now many people follow ‘tantra’ that is simply the Indian version of witchcraft. These practitioners mostly act as healers, who treat something from snake bite to body pain with their powers. You’ll check out this video to see some mind-boggling practices of this place.
Saint Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, suspect of being a witch
Joan d’Arc was a common peasant woman, who, inspired by visions from Christian saints, literally led France to victory against England within the ‘hundred years of war’. The terribly tales of visions that inspired Joan were used against her after the war, and he or she was burnt after being shamed as a witch.
The Salem witch trials are the most famous witch trials in history
It was a series of futile hearings and prosecutions of people who were allegedly witches and wizards in Puritan America’s Massachusetts, between Feb 1692 and may 1693. As a result of the brutal torture to create them admit their links with black magic, about 50 ‘confessed’ to be witches, and over 150 were place within prisons, and 200 additional were accused.
Not all of witchcraft is said to dark magic or considered dangerous
White witches, also called good witches exist within the culture of witchcraft, who use ‘white magic’ for benevolent functions. They’re conjointly called ‘witch doctors’ or ‘cunning folk’, referring to the fact that they use their cleverness and wisdom rather than dark powers. Many of the practitioners of people magic saw themselves as healers or seers, not witches. Best known example of this may be Glinda the great witch, from The wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The common Indian term for ‘witch’ is ‘Daayan’ or ‘Daayani’, that derives from the sanskrit word ‘Dakini’, meaning lady with supernatural powers
Belief and fear about the existence and power of the witches have existed in India for a long time, particularly in the regions of West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand. A secret cult of Daayans emerged within the Maharashtrian village of Harangul, where beliefs are still strong. It’s generally believed that ladies who were ill-treated by family members or died unnaturally, come as witches and hunt down and kill their relations, starting from the younger ones.
Alone in the states of Assam and West Bengal about 750 people were killed as witches between 2003 and 2008, most of whom were girls. Hence for obvious reasons, sometimes old or unmarried girls become the victims of these witch hunts.
Witches and witchcraft are a favourite topic of literature since early days
We find the mention of merlin the wizard within the arthurian legends. He was each a part of king Arthur’s round table and his mentor. Shakespeare’s play Macbeth sheds the foremost outstanding spotlight on the way witches were viewed within the medieval era. And the fame of the Harry Potter franchise speaks volumes about the interest people still have on this subject.
“There are a lot of things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – william shakespeare
Decrepit old hags flying on nasty looking brooms or people in shining red robes enjoying quidditch, which image pops up in your head when you hear the word ‘witchcraft’? As a result of one thing is clear, there’s no escaping this particular phenomenon. Though black art has been feared or condemned in almost all the cultures of the world. It will have a dominant presence in every one of them. And in some African tribes, being a witch could be a sign of great power. African “witch doctors” are especially famous and powerful among the tribals, considering they’re thought to possess healing powers.
The concept witchcraft has been existing since ancient civilizations walked on earth and this is however they viewed it…