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On the origin of Witchcraft

Are we weaving a flawed magical strand?

By Erebos

Do contemporary Witches exist? Does modern Witchcraft exist? Are some forms of contemporary Witchcraft a religion (a mystical nature-based religion or otherwise)? The answer to these three questions is “yes”. But none of these questions lead to an answer which may shed some light to the origin of modern Witchcraft(s). The correct question should be whether contemporary practices establish that a “pre-Christian religion based on witchcraft” existed, and if it did whether its traditions as currently propagated within much of Paganism actually were the foundation for the modern practices and religion of contemporary Witches (and many other Pagans). I believe that the foundations of contemporary Witchcraft – as understood within the Pagan community, and as it is utilised to explain it to outsiders – could be seriously flawed, and that the origin of practices in contemporary Witchcraft(s) may in fact lie somewhere else.

Looking at but a few possible origins, for example, of the terms “Witch” and “Wicca” (as understood by most Pagans) clearly highlights this confusion – just imagine how mystified people outside Paganism must feel, especially when their culture, religion and custom dictate otherwise.

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