Witchcraft

An' it harm none, do what ye will

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Merry meet and welcome!

 

Before I begin, I need to throw this out there -- witchcraft is NOT a cult. It's often used as a meaning to make a cult and gather mindless followers, thus giving witches a bad name, but witchcraft in general is NOT a cult.

Witchcraft is one of the most misunderstood religions in the world, the most democratic religion, and also one of the most ancient religions. Cave painting of a goddess of fertility and a god of the hunt have been found dating back at least 30,000 years, and it's said that witchcraft dates all the way back to the Paleolithic period.

It's more than just a religion, though. It's a way of life to those who want a sense of balance and wholeness in their otherwise hectic lives. When you turn to witchcraft, you feel as though you've "come home," and you have, in a sense. Since witchcraft is one of the most ancient religions in the world, and since it's so easy to follow the ideals of witches, you can easily feel at home. You can practice any other religion -- Wicca, Paganism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, whatever -- you can still believe in and practice witchcraft. There are no rules as regarding who can and can't practice witchcraft.

Witchcraft means "craft of the wise," because it was mainly experienced and wise old women who practiced it. These wise women and men followed the path of Nature and were in tune with its forces. They knew the way of herbs and how to make medicines (witchcraft is often used for healing). Communities counted on them to give wise counsel, and witches were held in high esteem as healers and leaders. They understood that Nature is superior to human beings and that human beings are but a small, insignificant part of Nature. They believed in the equivalent exchange, which is that we cannot gain anything without giving something of equal value in return to maintain balance and equilibrium.

 

Bide the Wiccan laws ye must
In perfect love and perfect trust
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill
An' it harm none, do what ye will

What ye sends forth comes back to thee
So ever mind the law of three times three
Follow this with mind and heart
Merry ye meet and merry ye part

Source

Traditional witchcraft is a religious belief system handed down from generation to generation through traditions. Witchcraft predates nearly all religions in the world, and it's usually focused around agriculture and the seasons. A major celebration in witch society is Samhain (say: "Samhuinn" or "Sa-win"), which is the end of the agricultural year, the end of the 'light half" of the year and the beginning of the "dark half". Samhain roughly translates to "summer's end". It is generally held between October 31 and November 1, when farmers gathered their livestock and harvesting was done. During Samhain, the veil between this world and the next is particularly thin, and so Samhain is often celebrated as a day of the dead.

The Christian Church adapted Samhain into All Saint's Day, or Hallowmas, which eventually became known as Halloween. The tradition of dressing up in masks and costumes comes from people attempting to copy evil spirits or placate them. Bonfires were lit, and people danced around them, and those who wished to (including those wearing costumes to imitate evil spirits) walked between the bonfires, because such an act was cleansing for the soul. Large turnips were peeled and carved into grotesque faces and placed in windowsills to ward off evil spirits, thus creating the tradition we have today of carving jack-o-lanterns. Even to this day do people celebrate Samhain.

It is said that a child born during Samhain had the "second sight," or clairvoyance.

 
   
There are many other days that hold meaning to witches. Click here for what the days of the week mean to witches, and also other major witch holidays.
Blessed be and merry part!

Send comments to the webmaster. Last modified June 10, 2010 12:48 PM . Copyright 2010 Brittany Butler.