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Traditional witchcraft is a religious belief system that has been handed down to us through our traditions and conventions. Traditional witchcraft predates most of the main religions of the world. Some people claim that this knowledge originated several millennia ago, as far back as Paleolithic period.
Though the witchcrafts across the world may have some regional and social dissimilarity, one common feature that runs through the witchcrafts of all the societies is that it is an earth based religion.
Traditional witchcraft is close to what is generally called paganism which is basically the worship of nature. Witchcraft and paganism, as we all know are opposed by Christianity.
Witchcraft in Ancient Times
The mainstay of the people in ancient times was agriculture which depended upon the seasons. The seasons, in turn, were associated with the movement of Earth, Sun and Moon. The people believed in spirits and gods and goddesses and they associated them with Earth, Sun and Moon.
The agriculture year ended with the completion of harvest and sowing of new seeds for the crop in the New Year. This is the reason why Pagans and traditional witches consider Samhain as the agricultural year.
Believers in traditional witchcraft do not follow any guide book, nor do they believe in a singular god or deity. They believe in an all powerful nature. The practitioners of traditional witchcraft have their covens. They select the coven leaders on the basis of their knowledge and experience.
They believe in the existence of spirits and in the equality of all the living beings in the universe. They also, at the same time, recognize their different status. Though they believe in the existence of the deities, yet they call up only the spirits for assistance.
Witches consider that although the spirit world and the physical world are linked, yet they are separate. The only time this veil of separation between the two worlds becomes thin is on the night of Samhain.
Traditional witches use witchcraft in a very practical way. For example, they use herbs to cure the diseases. They may also use hexes and curses in certain cases.
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