The truth About Witches

Ugly pointed nose, evil scary eyes, twisted brown teeth with a cackling sinister laugh, bubbling couldren full of a disgusting potion most likely made with eye of newt and cages hung up high in the corner containing helpless children, whom are destined to become ‘supper’.
When someone mentions the word witch, is this not the image that springs to mind, but why do we think of the witch this way, whats the truth behind these wicked loathsome old women, could they really perform magic, could they make potions able to transform a person into another creature, did they go around harming people by placing a hex upon their souls and eating their children.

Firstly I must point out to you that Witches were just as often men as well as women, and they were not always old, although the older a witch became, then the more knowledge they would hold.
The witch can be dated right back as far as the neolithic period (that’s ‘Stone Age’ to us normal folk), and would play the roll of village doctor and therapist to all the locals, using the art of herbs to make medicines and healing chants to cure ailments.
The word ‘Witchcraft’ actually means ‘craft of the wise ones’ and also became known as the ‘old religion’.
Witches did not in any way practice evil, they strongly believed in nature, healing, the power of mother earth and the well being of those around them.
When the Christian church decided that there should only be one religion throughout the world, they put all of their efforts in to eliminating the competition, to believe in anything other than god was considered as an act of heresy against the church, and therefore as an evil heretic you would be tortured until you agreed to submit and conform to christianity, in most cases, people were simply put to death without having any kind of say or fair trial.
Witchcraft became a top priority on the church’s list of eradication, with elaborate stories being invented about evil spells, satanic worship and powerful magic used purely with the intent to harm, and so if you were caught practicing the craft, or someone simply said you were, then your death warrant was signed and sealed up tight.  Life ended either through drowning or being burnt at the steak, it was believed that this was the only real way to be sure a witch was truly dead. Somehow at this point in time, cats also began to get a bad reputation, they had gone from being helpful friendly animals, catching unwanted rodents around the villages, to being branded evil demonic creatures called familiars that could aid a witch with her magic and fuel her satanic powers, the reasoning behind this was said to be, because they slept all day and came to life at night with glowing eyes.
It is estimated that during the years beginning roughly 1480 and ending 1700, a staggering 40,000 to 100,000 people and their cats were put to death, because they may have known how to heal with the aid of medicinal plants, such as Mint for indigestion, Camomile and feverfew for headaches etc.

The christian church believed they had rid the world of their main competition by using fear to keep people on the rightious path, because this was a time when knowledge was still very limited and it was easy to warp the minds of thoughs who knew no different. Although witches seem to have died out, this was not the case, those who had the courage to carry on their craft, kept hidden in the shadows, helping villagers that could be trusted to keep their secret. Witches can still be found practicing today, thankfully without the threat of death hanging over their heads.

Centuries later, even though we are very well informed and have the power of knowledge right at our finger tips, we still like to believe in the lies told by the church, and the idea of a witch being someone cruel with the ability to use magic has well and truly embellished its self into folklore and fairy tales and will no doubt continue on as bed time stories for many, many years to come, keeping the false belief in witches well and truly alive.

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