Just think about it, if you went back in time today and took a bath, petted your cat and imagined it went to kitty heaven when it died. and found some willow bark for a pain killer, you were a heretic, poisoner and a witch. The things we do today as a matter of course are all witchcraft. Your neighbor, she washed her hands after she went to the bathroom with antiseptic soap and cooed at her dog? Witch! Satan worshiper! The activities we associate with witchcraft today, telling fortunes, contacting the dead, and so on were illegal until the 1950s when the Spiritualist church pushed for the repeal of the last old laws against doing so. You understand that, it wasn’t even witches who repealed the anti-witchcraft acts, it was the Spiritualists who made it happen. Witch is a new use of an term, really, for a huge number of old formerly illegal practices. But that term is how we find each other and we would be throwing the baby out with the bath water to discard it entirely. What most of us do today is more in the realm of sorcery, but really, the law wasn’t called the anti-sorcerer law, it was called the anti-witchcraft laws. Really its repeal is what created our modern identity. And because it was created out of the repeal of an that law, what practices were illegal is what defines our cults: “and for punishing such persons as pretend to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, inchantment, or conjuration. As of the repeal of that law, one could claim to have magical abilities without fear of jailing.
What is Traditional Witchcraft
July 14, 2014 by Sara Star
A very confusing arena! Basically the terms witch and witchcraft took off after Gardner published his books the Meaning of Witchcraft and Witchcraft Today. And traditional witchcraft emerged as a counterpoint and uncomfortable bedmate to that from a variety of folk magical and ritual magical heritages with a very thin strand of connection. Traditional Witchcraft refers to cunning folk, pellars, midwives, horseman, fairy doctors, wisewomen/men, mystics, witch doctors, root doctors and druid traditions. Witch is a slur for most of these—In the Middle Ages the church made a number of things illegal or immoral, things we take for granted today: bathing and cleanliness, loving animals, dreaming of our dearly departed, medicine (herbal or otherwise), working with herbs that can both poison and heal (most any herb really), being naked, and so on. These things were a big problem! A person who did these things was a heretic and maybe even branded as a witch.