School Report On Witchcraft?
Article ID: 2891
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,373
Times Read: 136,481
Posted: July 16th. 2000
Times Viewed: 136,481
The Witches' Voice has dealt with a brutal volume of email since its inception and we find ourselves consistently answering many of the same questions over and over again. So many of us are "drawn" this path and in our school years feel compelled to do reports on Witchcraft and Paganism. This page offers some answers and powerful links in order to help you in your research.
Witches and Witchcraft seem to be popular subjects for school reports these days. The Witches' Voice has received many requests for information resources pertaining to the subject, so we decided to put up a page dedicated to helping you get that information. This is only a small sampling of the information available and should be seen as merely a starting point and not the final words on the subject.
This listing can also be used by anyone who simply wants more information or is curious about Witchcraft-The Craft of the Wise. The search engines listed at the end of this page can help you to expand your search for individual topics of interest.
Good Luck on your report!
What is Witchcraft?
Well, that depends on whose definition you want to use. The terms "Witch" and "Witchcraft" have been used to describe those accused of Christian heresies, not-so-neighborly behavior or practicing medicine without a license.
In some cultures, Witches are tribal shamans or healers to be sought out and honored. In others, they are sorcerers and magicians to be avoided or shunned.
"Witch" and "Witchcraft" are also terms which many Neo-Pagans use today to describe themselves and their spiritual Path. Some also use the same terms in reference to folk magic without a religious connotation.
The term "Witch" can mean many different things. But most people doing a report on Witchcraft are usually interested in the historical background of European witchcraft and the modern-day beliefs of those who call themselves "Witches." So those are the areas that we will concentrate on here.
Historical European/American Witchcraft Links and References:
Were the "Witches" of the Salem Witch Trials Really Witches?
Answer: I seriously doubt that these people were "Witches' as defined by the Pagan religions of today. In colonial times, it was not unusually for people to harvest and use herbs or have some sort of "lucky charm" in their household. Old folk customs were probably not thought of as "magic" anymore, but some folks probably did still "knock on wood" from time to time. A lot of superstitions that still exists today come from old folk magic and many people still will not walk under a ladder or stay in room 13.
People aren't necessarily Witches, of course, because they do these things, but it is easy to see that if one could still be accused of being a magickal practitioner simply because one performed some of these little held over "rituals", just about everyone today could be hauled into a court if a neighbor with a grudge saw them do it.
The reasons and motivations behind Witch hunts are very complex. Here are some sites that go into detail about New England during this craze.
The Salem Witch Trials of 1692:
What About Witches and Witchcraft Today?
Witchcraft today is considered a Neo-Pagan religion or path. Neo-Paganism is defined as "a collection of diverse contemporary religions rooted in indigenous traditions or deriving inspiration therefrom, characterized by a belief in the interconnection of all life, personal autonomy, and immanent divinities. Often nature-centered and supportive of gender equity." Other Neo-Pagan paths include Wicca, Druidism, Astaru and many other forms of earth-based belief systems. The links below offer information on the varied beliefs of Neo-Pagan adherents.
Modern Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism:
- Books on Witchcraft and Magick - The Witches' Voice list of basic books on pagan beliefs.
- Cath's Link Page - Links to Celtic, Druid and Native Spirituality sites.
- Celtic Connection - Information on various paths of Wicca, divination, gem and herbal magick, pagan holidays and some humor and poetry.
- Covenant of The Goddess - Information on how to contact pagan organizations, pagan magazines and local pagan groups.
- Index To Traditional English Witchcraft - Highlighted links lead to brief discussions (suitable for pre-initiate seekers) of the theology, practice and history of the various Traditions, along with contact information where such is available.
- Isaac Bonewitt's Page - Information on Druids and extensive writings on other pagan paths.
- Pagan Military Network - Organization geared toward pagans in the military with statutes and regulations protecting pagan rights.
- Atho's Pagan Files - HUGE collection of information. Topics include: Astral Travel, Divination, Neo-Paganism, Magic, Mythology, Wicca, Shamanism, Rituals, an Alexandrian Book of Shadows and more.
- So You Wanna Be A Witch? - The Witches' Voice Witchcraft 101 series.
- The Tools of the Witch - The Witches' Voice section that explains the use of the athame, sword, broom and other tools of Witchcraft.
- What is Paganism? - General pagan beliefs and practices, introduction to Wicca, how pagan beliefs contrast with those of Satanism and Christianity.
- The Witches of Cape May - Lots of interesting articles on Witchcraft beliefs and practices, mythology and spellwork. Teachings available.
- The Witches' Sabbats by Mike Nichols - The classic Sabbat information site! Historical background on all the Witch/Pagan holidays. Many interesting articles about modern Neo-Pagan beliefs and a very nice collection of chants and invocations for liturgical use.
- Witchcraft Dawning - Take a small peek into our IRC classrooms and the Lessons that are conducted nightly within. Thanks to folks from a wide variety of paths we are able to provide knowledge and techniques for a LARGE range of craft applications. Also included are Articles and Discussions, logged from our IRC channels or provided by others for display on the site.
- Witches of the World - The Witches' Voice networking section with lists of pagan contacts, open circles, shops and other happening in your state. (Bet you didn't know how many of your neighbors were Witches!)
- Pagan Sites On The Web - The Witches' Voice annotated list of pagan sites from all over the world. Listings for teens, gays, shops, state resources and more.
Is Witchcraft Really A Religion?
As previously stated, some Witches DO practice Witchcraft as a religion. Often they run into resistance to this idea from those who still believe the old propaganda about Witches being "in league with the devil." (They aren't. See FAQ's of Witchcraft). The following sites offer information and legal references on the practice of Witchcraft as a religion.
Modern Witchcraft as a Religion:
- Legal Basis For Wicca - Legal cases confirming Witchcraft is a religion.
- The Witch Religion - Overview of the Witch religion, list of people who contributed to the modern Witchcraft movement and other basic information.
- U.S. Army on Wicca - The U.S. Military Chaplain's Excerpt on the beliefs of Wicca/Witchcraft. Details basic beliefs, structure and practices.
- White Pages - The Witches Voice section outlining pagan rights, Witchcraft in the public schools, child custody issues and other legal information on religious freedom. But some people still refuse to get it! Discrimination against Witches and other pagan groups still continues to this day.
Discrimination Against Modern Witches:
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