History of Witches

This just one of many views concerning the history of witches and witchcraft. As much of the BCE knowledge was lost because it was past down as oral history only. Also, much of the CE knowledge that was written.down is lost to us because of the beginning of Christianity and even more during the Burning Times. A lot of what passes for the history of Witches comes from Christian invaders as they sought to convert every man, woman, and child to their “one true” religion, so as you read this or any other article on the history of witches and/or the history of The Old Ways and/or the history of The Craft keep in mind a lot of it is conjecture of the author from whatever sources the had access too.

Images of witches have appeared in various forms throughout history—from evil, wart-nosed women huddling over a cauldron of boiling liquid to hag-faced, cackling beings riding through the sky on brooms wearing pointy hats. In pop culture, witches have been a benevolent, nose-twitching, suburban housewife, an awkward teenager learning to control her powers and a trio of charmed sisters battling the forces of evil. The real history of witches, however, is dark and, often for the witches, deadly.

The Origin of Witches

Early witches were people who practiced witchcraft—they used magic spells and called upon spirits for help or to bring about change. Most witches were thought to be pagans doing the Devil’s work. Many, however, were simply natural healers or so-called “wise women” whose choice of profession was misunderstood.

It’s unclear exactly when witches came on the historical scene, but one of the earliest records of a witch is in the Bible in the book of 1 Samuel, thought be written between 931 B.C. and 721 B.C. It tells the story of when King Saul sought the Witch of Endor to summon the dead prophet Samuel’s spirit to help him defeat the Philistine army.

The witch roused Samuel, who then prophesied the death of Saul and his sons. The next day, according to the Bible, Saul’s sons died in battle, and Saul committed suicide.

Other Old Testament verses condemn witches, such as the oft-cited Exodus 22:18, which says, “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Additional Biblical passages caution against divination, chanting or using witches to contact the dead.

To finish reading this article on History.com please click on this link: One View of Witch’s History

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