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Brad and Sherry Steiger


Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan





 

 

WITCHCRAFT

THE WITCHES BAPTISM

Witchcraft, in various historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is the use of certain kinds of alleged supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft, and may be male or female. While mythological witches are often supernatural creatures, historically many people were also accused of witchcraft, or claimed to be witches. Witchcraft still exists in a number of belief systems, with many modern practitioners.

The term "witchcraft" can have positive or negative connotations depending on cultural context; for instance, in post-Christian European cultures it has historically been associated with evil and the Devil, while most contemporary people who self-identify as witches see it as beneficent and morally positive.

In both historical and mythological contexts, witches are most often female, the male equivalent being a wizard, sorcerer, warlock or magician.

Practices and beliefs that have been termed "witchcraft" do not constitute a single identifiable religion, since they are found in a wide variety of cultures, both present and historical; however these beliefs do generally involve religious elements dealing with spirits or deities, the afterlife, magic and ritual. Witchcraft is generally characterised by its use of magic.

Sometimes witchcraft is used to refer, broadly, to the practice of indigenous magic, and has a connotation similar to shamanism. Depending on the values of the community, witchcraft in this sense may be regarded with varying degrees of respect or suspicion, or with ambivalence, being neither intrinsically good nor evil. Members of some religions have applied the term witchcraft in a pejorative sense to refer to all magical or ritual practices other than those sanctioned by their own doctrines - although this has become less common, at least in the Western world. According to some religious doctrines, all forms of magic are labelled witchcraft, and are either proscribed or treated as superstitious. Such religions consider their own ritual practices to be not at all magical, but rather simply variations of prayer.

"Witchcraft" is also used to refer, narrowly, to the practice of magic in an exclusively inimical sense. If the community accepts magical practice in general, then there is typically a clear separation between witches (in this sense) and the terms used to describe legitimate practitioners. This use of the term is most often found in accusations against individuals who are suspected of causing harm in the community by way of supernatural means. Belief in witches of this sort has been common among most of the indigenous populations of the world, including Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. On occasion such accusations have led to witch hunts.

Under the monotheistic religions of the Levant (primarily Christianity, and Islam), witchcraft came to be associated with heresy, rising to a fever pitch among the Catholics, Protestants, and secular leadership of the European Late Medieval/Early Modern period. Throughout this time, the concept of witchcraft came increasingly to be interpreted as a form of Devil worship. Accusations of witchcraft were frequently combined with other charges of heresy against such groups as the Cathars and Waldensians.

In the modern Western world, witchcraft accusations have often accompanied the Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria. Such accusations are a counterpart to blood libel of various kinds, which may be found throughout history across the globe.

THE HAGS OF NIGHT

Hans Baldung Grien explored the darker sides of human nature in this woodcut, with its terrifying vision of the diabolic power of six witches. Their sabbath occurs at night amid a desolate forest. The dead, moss-covered tree-trunk on the right is emblematic of their destructive perversity. Interestingly, witches were only rarely depicted in art before the end of the fifteenth century. The pictures of witches concocted by Baldung and his German peers fixed the public's conception for the next several hundred years.

Witches Sabbath
Hans Baldung Grien 1510
Woodcut with tone block, 379 x 260 mm
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nurember

Witches, too, it was long believed, were out in force upon this Night of Nights to welcome the Witch’s New Year in perfect fashion. When the last golden glow of the setting Autumn sun had faded, witches would take to the air riding upon broomsticks, spades, or butter churns, on the backs of airborne goats or huge black cats, some even upon the backs of flying pigs, all en route to the celebration of the Great Sabbat of Samhain or All Hallow’s Eve. This supernatural traffic was known as the Halloween Rade and all good folk who did not want to fall under an evil spell, or worse, get swept up in the raid themselves, transformed into some animal for a witch’s transport, were secure inside their hushed and darkened homes.

MORE ABOUT THE HAGS OF NIGHT PLEASE VISIT HERE: http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/occult/HAG/

SEASON OF THE WITCH:

CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN

 

Each year on October 31st the world changes: Time, as we know it, ceases to exist and the veil that shrouds our world draws back for a brief span to open a doorway into the realm of shadows, mystery and ancient magick, of the dead and the dark Divine.

< READ MORE VISIT HERE>

IN A WITCH'S GARDEN

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."

< READ MORE VISIT HERE>

 

IN THE WITCH’S GARDEN

<READ MOREVISIT HERE>

THE WITCH'S BESTIARY

Members of a dark sisterhood in servitude to Satan, witches relied upon their own servants to accomplish their nefarious tasks. These companion beasts, birds and reptiles were known as the witch’s “familiars,” animal servants that had been possessed by a demon or that had come as rewards from the devil Himself.

<READ MORE VISIT HERE>

During early 18th century, the practice subsided. The last execution for witchcraft in England took place in 1716, when Mary Hicks and her daughter Elizabeth were hanged. Jane Wenham was among the last subjects of a typical witch trial in England in 1712, but was pardoned after her conviction and set free. However as late as 1944, Helen Duncan was the last person to be convicted under the British Witchcraft Act, authorities fearing that by her alleged clairvoyant powers she could betray details of the D-Day preparations. She spent nine months in prison. The Act was repealed in 1951.

Helena Curtens and Agnes Olmanns were the last women to be executed as witches in Germany, in 1738. In Austria, Maria Theresa outlawed witch-burning and torture in the late 18th century; the last capital trial took place in Salzburg in 1750. The last execution in Switzerland was that of Anna Göldi in 1782, at the time it was widely denounced as state-sponsored murder throughout Switzerland and Germany, and not technically a witch trial since explicit allegations of witchcraft were avoided in the official trial.

Punishments for witchcraft in 16th century Germany. Woodcut from Tengler's Laienspiegel, Mainz, 1508

A witch-hunt is a search for witches or evidence of witchcraft, often involving moral panic, mass hysteria and mob lynching, but in historical instances also legally sanctioned and involving official witchcraft trials.

The classical period of witch-hunts in Europe fall into the Early Modern period or about 1450 to 1700, spanning the upheavals of the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War, resulting in tens of thousand of executions.

Many cultures throughout the world, both ancient and modern, have reacted to allegations of witchcraft either by superstitious fear and awe, and killed any alleged practitioners of witchcraft outright; or, shunned it as quackery, extortion or fraud. Witchhunts still occur in the modern era, in many and various communities where religious values condemn the practice of witchcraft and the occult.

1913 Catholic Encyclopedia entry on "Witchcraft" http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15674a.htm

National Geographic: Salem Witch-Hunt--Interactive
Experience the 1692 Salem witch-hunt in a terrifying online trial: 'Are you a witch? How long have you been in the snare of the devil? Confess!' www.nationalgeographic.com/salem/

 

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HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS Official Web Site is a ghost tour information site; our information is only as reliable as readers' contributed ghost and haunted reports. We assume no credit for your adventures, and accept no liability for your misadventures. Use common sense. Read our ghost hunting recommendations. Before visiting any "haunted" site, verify the location, accessibility, safety, and other important information. Never trespass on private and/or posted property without permission from the proper authorities.

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