Witches of the World
Today people have the freedom to practice their religions, and this has been extended to modern witches, who are free to practice Wicca, which they ... Show synopsis Today people have the freedom to practice their religions, and this has been extended to modern witches, who are free to practice Wicca, which they regard as their religion, without persecution, while television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, have become to be accepted as entertainment, almost without comment. For those who practiced witchcraft in the past, however, it would have meant immediate arrest, torture and trial, followed by a gruesome and agonizing death. Every misfortune visited on humankind was laid at the door of so called witches, and could be a stillborn child, a deformed calf or a failed crop. Many were executed because they fitted the accepted stereotype, or merely because of the presence of a common blemish on their skin. For Christians, witchcraft came to be equated with heresy. It was believed that witches used evil spirits to help them in their service of the Devil, and bizarre tests were devised to ensure that they were identified. Yet witchcraft could be seen merely as vestiges of old pagan religions, by which man once sought to understand and control nature, and which were largely swept aside by the more formal and developed monotheistic religions. But today, elements of paganism have survived by a belief in good and evil magic, fertility rituals, and the efficacy of curses and charms.