Witchcraft by Encyclopedia.com

Witchcraft

The word “witchcraft” derives from the Saxon wicca, some-times translated as “wise person” but more accurately derived from an Indo-European root, “weik,” that produced words in various Western languages related to magic, religion, and divination. Currently, the word is used to designate a variety of very different but vaguely related phenomena including, but not limited to, (1) the magical/religious practitioners in a variety of third world pre-industrial societies; (2) the Satanism described in the anti-witchcraft books beginning in the late fifteenth century in Europe; (3) the Neopagan followers of Wicca,the religion started by Gerald B. Gardner in the 1940s; and (4) individuals (primarily female) who are reputed to have psychic abilities.

Interpretations of Historic Witchcraft…

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