has been with
us since the dawn of time. There
is no way to construct a complete
history of Witchcraft, simply because we do not understand how ancient
saw their world. When
people looked at
their world with wonder about how things happen, the first Gods were
As language developed, it allowed people
to share abstract
concepts, such as Deity. It
well be that after words for danger, or food, some form of God or
have been next. We
really have no way to
ever know for sure, but it makes sense that important concepts were the
to be labeled in some way.
Who were those first
Gods, and how did they come to be...
know from Neolithic cave paintings, that animals were
extremely important to those first primitive people.
Animals, both those that were hunted for food,
as well as those that were a danger, are the most prolific renderings
humans have always had a need to understand the world
around us. We are
inventive. We want
to know why things
are the way they are. The
Shamans of ancient cultures were the first scientists.
They gave explanations as to why the streams
flowed, seemingly never ending in some places, or why they dried up in
explained how light from the sky caught
the forest on fire. They
lights in the night sky. They
the work of Gods.
time, people understood that certain things were
certain ways. There
were patterns to the
seasons, and the stars in the sky.
was order in the universe, and it was all by Divine Plan. Gods ran everything. A God caused the sun to
rise and set, a
Goddess made the animals fertile. The Gods of the Sun and the Moon
upon their people.
culture had created Gods that suited them.
The Greeks had gods that were philosophical
and contemplative. The
Romans put their
Gods in an orderly pantheon. The
had rough, coarse Gods. Each
made their Gods in their own image, even the Christians. By the Middle Ages, these
Gods and Goddesses
were well established.
clergy decided very early that the only way Christianity could survive,
was to Convert as many people as possible to their beliefs.
they had achieved a dominant position, they turned their eyes toward
perceived threats all around them.
The Pope gave license for select groups to hunt
eradicate any and all demonic threats. This was done by
investigating suspicious people, taking them to trial and killing them,
all after extracting confessions from them, usually by torture.
This era has come to be called The Burning Times.
the renaissance dawned a new age of enlightenment and
thinking, Europe was held tight in the unwavering grip of the Catholic
all but Elizabethan
tolerance prevailed toward those who were accused of Witchery.
the Pilgrims left England and the intolerance it held
for them, to come to a New World, and start their own intolerant ways. With them they brought
everything they would
need to survive in such an isolated place, and some things they really
need. The Salem
Witch Trials showed how
hard it can be to leave the past behind.
the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, Witchcraft was dead. Old
wives tales to scare children. Yet
Spiritualism, and the occult were thriving.
People still needed to know what comes after
this life, and others still
searched for the Philosopher’s Stone of the Alchemists.
in the 1950’s, a civil servant in England brought
Witchcraft back out of the shadows.
Gerald Gardner showed us all that Witchcraft
wasn’t dead, it had just
been hiding. By the
1970’s the “New Age”
movement was teaching us “new” ways of looking at our lives that had
around since the dawn of time. There
really was nothing new about the New Age, the knowledge had been there
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