Welcome back for the second installment of all things witchy for this weekend! Hope everyone enjoyed the list of "good" witches from earlier, because now we move on to something a bit more serious.
History has shown countless times that society as a whole is completely petrified of what we don't understand, and persecute those that are free-thinkers or who walk a different path. With witches-and with those suspected of witchcraft-the story is the same. In ye olden days, if a woman (or man) was suspected of practicing witchcraft, that woman (or man) would be tried and either hanged or burned at the stake, depending on the time and location. It's a gruesome history, and it drove those honest witches into hiding, practicing in secret or not at all for fear of death. So many women were put to death for being witches, the vast majority of which were completely innocent, they were simply more intelligent. And of course, in a time when men were the superior gender and during a time when they had so many irrational fears, an intelligent woman was a horrifying threat to the men's way of life. And the best way to react when something new threatens your way of life? Kill them off, one by one or in the hoards. Whatever gets the job done and makes you feel like Alphas again.
I'm not here to preach at anyone for the misguided deeds of a few during a time of ignorance. The world is a different place, and we have all kinds of new intolerances to worry ourselves with, so today's witch has much less to fear. But in those times of the Salem Witch Trials and other forms of persecution, you could be an innocent woman put to death just for pissing off your neighbor. There were some seriously screwed up reasons why a woman was accused of being a witch. Being too attractive. Being too unattractive. Poisoning crops. Murdering children. Having knowledge of herbs and their uses. A bunch of teenage girls accused of being bewitched started pointing fingers at people for no rational reasons. People from foreign lands or who spoke other languages were considered evil or possessed.
Now, granted, in today's society, these signs and symptoms of being a witch seem silly and a bit over the top. Partly because nobody in today's society would let a teenager point fingers at people who were soon to be put to death, partly because here in the US, there are only a handful of people that don't have some foreign blood running through their veins.But could you imagine being tried and convicted as a witch because you were too beautiful, or because you had too many freckles? Or how about your cat got out and scared the neighbor, so she accused you of witchcraft?
It's a shameful past, and nearly all of us are connected to it in one way or another. What's important now is that witches are finally starting to come out of the broom closet. Death is not something that witches have to fear just because they practice witchcraft. Nowadays, the biggest threat to witches are people trying to witness to or harass them. The religious radicals who will throw the bible at you on Sunday for the same sins they committed on Saturday. But thankfully, they're few and far between, and have enough other intolerances to keep them busy, so the witches of this world can feel just a teeny bit safer. The only obstacle left? Telling your friends and family.
What's that? Oh, you didn't realize witches were real? Oh, yes. Yes they are. Witchcraft is a religion, as I mentioned before, and is practiced by many people. You may be friends with a witch who hasn't come out yet. You may live next door to one. May even work with a few. But they exist, and they simply want to practice their religion just the same as you and me. If you're interested in learning more about witchcraft, you can always check out www.wicca.com. It's not all inclusive, but it has a lot of information, especially good for someone just starting out learning about witchcraft or someone who's just curious.
Modern witches don't worship the devil. They don't get together and have massive weird orgies. Well, wait, yeah, some do, but they're the exception rather than the rule. (Don't wanna lie to you, but they do tend to give witches a bad name.) They don't require blood sacrifices, they don't steal little children to be used as food or in their rituals, and they don't set out with the sole intention of harming people. At least, the ones who practice real witchcraft don't. There are rules, such as if it harms none, so mote it be. Meaning, as long as it doesn't cause harm to anyone, do what you will, let it be, make it happen. They also believe in the rule of three, which if anyone watched Charmed, this has nothing to do with needing three people in order to do magic. This means whatever you send out into the universe will return to you threefold. So if you cast a spell to make someone come down with a cold, chances are you'll end up in the hospital soon with swine flu (or whatever horrific virus is popular at the moment). If you send out positive energy to a friend in need, you'll receive positivity in return. It's not rocket science, it's common sense, but it's taken incredibly seriously.
Thanks for tuning in again, and look forward to later today (possibly tonight) when I post about pop cultures "bad" witches. Well, I guess they are pretty bad, no quotes needed. :)