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  • Writer's pictureJN Moon

Brief History of Witchcraft

Cave paintings are the earliest places found to represent witchcraft, paintings of shamans, human bodies with animal heads show man’s earliest depictions of spiritual awareness.

Offerings to spirits and nature are found on cave paintings throughout the world.

From the Iron Age to the Celt's witchcraft developed further, along with magic and was passed down through storytelling around the fires of the tribes, under the star-filled skies where nature seemed formidable and survival was tested daily. Especially during winter.

Art and music accompanied storytelling and later the Druid priests learned science, astrology, magic, astronomy and healing, these all being passed from generation to generation through the priesthood.

Oak trees were seen in great reverence with references to Jack in the Green and Herne the Hunter.

The Greeks and Romans, as you know held polytheistic beliefs, that is they believed in more than one God.

Early witches were people like the local medicine woman or man, who used magic, usually incorporating items from nature to create spells and or herbal tinctures to heal others and bring about change.

They were the early nurses of the tribes and were not demonised until Christianity which taught that illness was God’s will.

Throughout the dark ages to the middle ages’ witches were condemned, especially after the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum, Latin for The Hammer of the Witches, published in Germany in 1487.

This labelled witches as heretics and went viral throughout Europe as witch fever gripped the people.

Another rise of witch fever began in the 17th Century in Spain, you could accuse anyone of being a witch and the suspect would never know who accused them!

Given the hatred on witches, often the accusers family would be too scared to testify for them, as they would likely be deemed a witch themselves…

And if you were found guilty, the church was entitled to all your lands and possessions.

Witch hysteria started to decline in Europe after, but rose in the new world, as you no doubt know!

Today witchcraft seems to be a growing religion with a variety of different sects and practices.

Hedge Witches, for example, are those practicing nature-based magic on their own, the solitary witch.

Wicca, referred to as the Old Religion actually dates to the mid- twentieth century with various divisions but was started by Gerald Gardner.

This practice focuses mainly on the Goddess and God, who are equal in all ways…

Obviously Nordic Magic, the use of runes by a Seer or Wise Man from the days of the Vikings, and these are still in use today.

Tarot/ Dark Mirrors are all objects that show the seeker a guide to the future, but really, I think they just tell you what you already know.

The Book of Shadows…so you can buy these. But what is a Book of Shadows?

It’s an empty book where you write your spells in and record the results…pretty cool.

I used to practice Nordic Magick back in the day, but not anymore.

I believe we have all the power within us and we can either focus on what we want, or we can focus on what we don’t want.

Either way, we’re right and it’ll happen…You can’t control your mind- it’s way too fast but you can control your state, your mood, which in turn results in what you think.

Magic with a K, just the correct way to spell magic in the occult sense as opposed to a magician on stage.

Magick…I don’t write it like this in my books, readers would forget. Perhaps…

Any witches here? I’m not one, I used to live in Glastonbury, England and have always been fascinated in the occult, hence why I write Urban Fantasy and research my subjects…

One thing is for sure, our wonder about magic, unseen forces and fantastical creatures is as alive today as it ever was.

I think it’s important, we need an escape from the stress of modern living, commuting, mortgages, work, politics…

So, use your imagination wisely and wonderfully…

JO x

JN Moon

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