Witchcraft is that area of history that most individuals feel familiar with. From the witches of Macbeth to Salem With Trials, figures of witches have been embedded in our culture. The problem is, not everything we consider a fact is right. In this article, we debunk 8 common witchcraft myths.
#1. Witches were herbalist midwives who loved worshiping God
No one was Goddess-worshiping especially during the period of witch-hunts.
And if they were, they’ve not left any trace in the historical records.
Even though some famous politicians, lawyers and historians believed it (such as Heinrich Himmler, Margaret Murray, Jules Michelet, Franz-Josef Mone and Karl Ernst Jarcke to name a few), there was not a single ‘real’ pagan witchcraft. However, some residual paganism was found in a few trials.
The idea that people accused of witchcraft were herbalists or midwives possessed of feminine expertise that threatened masculine authority is a myth.
Midwives were generally never accused. They closely worked with the accuser to help them identify witch marks i.e. the marks on the body believed to prove that that person was a witch.
#2. Witch-hunting = women hunting as most witches were women
You’ll be surprised to know that only the majority of the accused were women.
In other parts of the world such as Scandinavian countries, men were in majority.
Even in England, male witches were found and across Europe, approximately 6,000 men (that made 10-15% of the total) were executed for practising witchcraft.
#3. King James I was scared of witches and was the one responsible for hunting and execution
Most accused witches were executed in the last decade of Elizabeth I’s reign i.e from 1558 to 1603 than under her successor King James I from 1603 to 1625.
The first-ever Witchcraft Act was passed in 1542 under Henry CIII and made summoning spirits and all pact witchcraft a crime.
This act, when revised under King James I can be described as a reversion and not an innovation.
#4. The Catholic Church and Spanish Inquisition instigated witch trials
All the four major Christian denominations (the Anglican, Calvinist, Lutheran and Roman Catholic) persecuted witches to a certain degree.
Orthodox or Eastern churches were rarely involved in any witch-hunting.
In Scandinavia, Scotland, Geneva and England, trials were carried out by the Protestant States.
The Spanish Inquisition was only responsible for executing only 2 witches in total.
#5. You need A LOT of stuff
Look at grimoires and old magical spell books and you’ll notice that witchcraft was generally practised with what they had.
It’s only now that stores have started selling sage and crystals. While it’s okay to support local businesses, you don’t need any incense, crystals or wands to get started.
Print out the God you wish to work with from the internet and use the herbs you need from the garden or your pantry.
#6. Witchcraft is easy and involves no sacrifice
I’m not talking about the sacrifice of chickens and goats here.
Witchcraft may seem easy and an easier option to solve your problems (or escape them) but there’s a lot more to it than saying the right words or burning a candle.
You need practice and you need to get out of your comfort zone, I mean, even Harry Potter had to face difficulties!
#7. You have to follow the same things as everyone else
The most common myth is that you need to do what everyone else is doing.
If you scroll Instagram long enough, you’ll notice that they all seem to be practising witchcraft using the following four things:
- A black cat
- A herb garden
- An incense burner
- 3 types of crystals
Once again, go through grimoires and old magical spell books to understand that you don’t need to purchase fancy stuff to practice witchcraft.
#8. Witchcraft involves zero risk
Na-da, totes zero risk, right?
The dangers of witchcraft are played up and down depending on who you’re talking to.
Think of it like sex, you need to use protection, be smart and respectful and take things slow, especially if you’ve just started.
You won’t catch an STD every time you have sex. Similarly you won’t get possed every time you use an Ouija board but you need to be careful.
It seems like every other person is getting into witchcraft these days. Stores are selling incense and crystals like hotcakes, thanks to astrology memes and shows such as American Horror Story. Since the world is so chaotic right now, people are looking for newer ways to add happiness to their lives.
These were some common witchcraft myths that we debunked for you in case you want to start with witchcraft too.
Which myth surprised you the most and have you started practising or will you start now? Tell us in the comments section below!
About the Author:
Shristi Patni is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes. She enjoys writing about Intuitive Counseling and Spiritual Mind Treatment. Formerly the Chief Content Officer at Raletta, she is currently working on her second cookbook.
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