Features
BEWITCHED

Witch "And it harm none, do as thy will"

In today's world, the line between good and evil, right and wrong, is decidedly blurry. White is no longer white. Black is no longer black. Everything is open to interpretation.

Throughout history, witches and their craft have been deemed purveyors of evil. Negative propaganda and little understanding has aided in construing the image of the "wicked witch" casting her spell upon innocent victims. However, the reverse is true.

The Craft Of The Wise Ones
Witchcraft, otherwise known as "The Old Religion" or "Craft of the Wise Ones", can be traced back to the Stone Age. In ancient times the witch was the local doctor, the psychiatrist and the village lawyer. Based on natural therapies, Witchcraft, to some degree, aided the development of modern medicine. Through intuition, positive affirmations and attention to their subjects, witches would make suggestions to bring about positive change.

It wasn't until 1951 that the last Witchcraft Laws in England were finally repealed. Witchcraft or 'Wicca', began to emerge once again, as a worldwide alternative to traditional religions. A new breed of witches surfaced. Firstly in the U.S. and later throughout Europe. An increasing number of men began to show interest in the craft and covens formed.

The Church And Propaganda
Throughout history, information and imagery has suggested that Witchcraft is synonymous with evil. We have been led to believe that witches cast evil spells, worship the devil and indulge in crimes against animals and humans alike. Our minds conjure up images of old women riding around on broomsticks or huddling around a cauldron filled with eyes of newt and frogs' tails.

The witching community believes that these stereotypes have been systematically implanted in our minds by the Christian Church.

The Church's propaganda has obviously worked, with many of us believing and fearing the craft.

A Change In Opinion
Witchcraft doesn't conform to tradition or fit the glove of stereotypical religions. These factors have been instrumental in spawning a new generation of witches. Traditional religions are often criticised for contributing to human suffering through blame mongering, wars and setting unrealistic moral standards. The advent of the new millennium has created apprehension, with many questioning tradition and society's rigidness. In order to deal with the trials and tribulations of life, people the world over are finding solace in Witchcraft. The cobwebs of deceit that have veiled the craft for so long, are beginning to clear.

Face to face with a witch
I had been told of a coven operating in one of the larger cities in this country and proceeded to contact them. The girl who answered the phone was hesitant and said that she would rather not continue the conversation. It took a lot of convincing but she finally agreed to meet. She named a neutral location and with an agreement to keep her identity confidential, I made my way to her. In a quiet corner of a coffee shop we met and immediately I was taken in by her calm disposition. She stood up to greet me with a radiant smile and there was something so earthy about this person that I felt I had known her for years.

Pick up a copy of Substance for the complete interview.

text - Craig Dickson (craig_dickson@pall.com)
images - Tom Evangelidis