Ill Wishing
Long ago people often blamed bad luck on ill wishing. If two people argued and later one got sick, had an accident, or some other stroke of bad luck the other person was suspected of ill wishing.

More so, if one said, “You’ll be sorry”. Those three words were taken seriously and anyone who uttered them was immediately suspected of witchcraft.

Sometimes arguments weren’t the cause of suspected ill wishing. If someone had a good deal of good fortune but it suddenly went away, they believed their neighbors had secretly ill wished them.

Ill wishing could be cured by finding a witch or cunning folk. Often the cunning man or women or witch would break or neutralize the ill wishing with a charm. If the ill-wisher wasn’t known divination could be used to reveal their identity.


Today will talk about unibrows.
No, I’m not giving a beauty class.

Many cultures believe the person with the eyebrows that met in the middle were associated with deceit, bad-tempers, witchcraft, vampires.
Wow that’s a list!

The Greeks believed people with unibrows were vampires. Those in Germany, Iceland, and Denmark believed they were werewolves. A general consensus is unibrows brought bad luck, immortality, premature death, and violent tempers to those who have them.

The Witches’ Circle

The witches’ place of worship isn’t like that of other religions, that have permanent consecrated places.

Witches can consecrate any area they deem suitable at any moment. That area is enclosed in a circle.



The circle, depending on the tradition and how many people will be inside it, is made in different ways. Usually it has a 9 foot diameter.

In ceremonial Magic there are three exact circles drawn, one at 9 feet, 10 feet, and the third at 11 feet.

The circle is used to keep energy built up by the witch or witches in and evil or negative forces out.

Circles can be marked by drawing a line into the earth with a sword or staff. A ribbon may be laid down, or powdered substances – usually salt can mark the circle.


There are rules that must be followed after the circle has been marked. Sometimes Wiccans refer to meeting as the “circle” because all of their rituals are done within the drawn circle.



The Male Witch

It’s commonly believed that male witches aren’t called Witch. For some reason society, thinks the male witch must be classified separately.
The most common names for a male witch are Wizard and Warlock, but within the witch community male witches are witches just like the woman folk.

The root word “Wiz” comes from Middle English and means wise. It’s believed “Wizards” appeared in 1440 meaning “Wise man”. In the 16th century alchemists, blessers, cunning men, sorcerers, withes and other

William West wrote in 1594 Wizards foretold the future, raised evil spirits by superstitions and conceived words to force those spirits to form words and answer or show images within glasses, crystals to questions.
England’s witchcraft acts of 1542, 1563, and 1604 made the practices of fortune telling, divinations and making love charms a felony. Wizards were able to continue practicing because their clients were very “closed mouth” about it.

Witches never call a male witch a warlock. It comes from Waerloga a Scottish and Old English word-meaning traitor or oath-breaker.
During “The Burning Times” if witches feared an arrested witch would give the others, away during torture they’d call him or her a warlock. At times, an outsider would kill an in jailed witch to prevent being ratted out. A garter would be left around the warlocks’ throat. Two murders happened this way. John Stewart in 1618 and John Reid in 1696

Book of Shadows

Originally, witchcraft was an oral tradition. A witches’ believes weren’t written until the Middle Ages when witches were persecuted. At times, they would meet in the shadows in hopes of staying hidden. They books they began writing in were called Book of Shadows. Anyone found with a book was sentenced to death. There was one book per family or coven.

When a witch died, the Book of Shadows was burned. Once it was deadly to be a witch, individual witches began keeping their own books. Usually they’d copy the coven or family’s book and then add their own interests. The High Priest or High Priestess kept another Book for the coven.


Things the Book of Shadows had were The Rede and laws, Holidays, Esbats and Sabbats, Handfasting and handparting, divination, spells, chants and songs, and dances. Coven history and any by-laws were also recorded.


Depending on the tradition the witch or coven practices individuals might be allowed their own Book of Shadows, Some would be allowed to copy the Coven’s book but only certain parts depending on the level of knowledge the copier was at.


It’s believed that the Book of Shadows should be handwritten because the book is powerful some of its power is transferred to the writer. The title page should always be handwritten.


Origins of Witchcraft

Let us gather for another Witching Hour.

There’s no way of finding the true origins of witchcraft. Dr. Marget Murry, traced it back from the persecutions of the Middle Ages to the Paleolithic Age. It was the beginning as religo-magic not the beginning of witchcraft.

During those times, nature was looked on as a source of power; maybe even having a mind of its own. This causing the idea of Gods –as a way of offering respect to that which caused awe. A god of wind, god of trees, god of rivers, all that caused awe and deserved respect.

This was Animism the most forceful factor in the evolution of religion it still lingers in parts of the world today.

A very important concern of the early people was hunting and the success of each hunt. Without hunting, they wouldn’t have meat, skins for clothing, or antlers and bones for weapons and tools. Omens were looked for while hunting to provide confidence in the hunter’s success. These omens could get complicated quickly leading the hunters to believe that everything during the hunt was controlled by an unseen power enter the God of Hunting.

Believing if they gained the god’s favor their hunts would be bountiful, they would pray, and possibly perform rituals to the God. With one man acting as a priest, playing the part of the God he led the others through the pantomime of the hunt. Because most of the animals hunted had horns, and antlers the God was also thought of as having antlers or horns.

Paintings at Caverne des Trois Freres in Ariege, France and Fonneav du Diable in Dordonge, France show a man leading a ritual dressed in the skin of an animal, wearing a mask and horns of the beast. Artifacts have also been found at Le Tnc d’Audoubert in Ariege, France proof of Sympathetic magic (remember sympathetic magic) Clay models of bear and bison which are pot marked where they have been ritually stabbed in the mimes.

A fertility Goddess was also recognized by the early humans. Without fertility there wouldn’t be animals or even children for the tribe to continue. Later when the hunters became farmers crops fell into the need of fertility too. The early depictions of this Goddess accentuate the feminine and reproductive aspects of a woman. There are many early “Venus” figurines, they have exaggerated breasts, rear ends, pregnant stomachs, and enlarge genitalia –to show the fertility aspect.
The fertility Goddess later became the most import of these two deities as agriculture become more depended upon.

Animism and magic formed a very crude form of religion, with a priest who served as the go between man from Gods and the humans.

IN 22,000 BC to 18,000 BCE the Graverttian began the practice of burying the dead, showing a likely belief in Afterlife. As the bodies were sprinkled with red ochre to resemble life. Food and implements that might be needed in the Afterworld were also buried with the bodies. The Hunting God then became the God of Death and Afterlife. Keeping his place opposite the Goddess.

As humankind moved around the Earth, the ideas of deities, rituals and magic moved with them. With time the deities took on various characteristics but basically stayed the same. The Great Mother (fertility Goddess) stayed the same along with the Horned God (hunting God). The Celts called him Cernunnos which is Latin for “the horned one.”

In western Europe this pattern was followed, but instead of small groups or a single person, larger groups began to worship these deities. The priests still existed, but now not only did they lead rituals they also began to heal using herbs. They became known as Wicca or the wise one. Witch comes from the word Wicca.

Types of Witchcraft

Witching Hour 1

I decided to share some of my notes with you about types of witchcraft. I wrote these as I researched a few characters.

African witchcraft: The Azande tribe of Central Africa believes that they’re gifted with a craft call “Mangu”. It’s passed from parent to child. Those with mangu aren’t aware of it. They perform magic unconsciously while they sleep.

Appalachian folk magic: The Appalachian believe good and evil are two distinct forces that are led by the Christian god and Devil. They believe there conditions that their magic can’t cure. They are blessed with paranormal powers.

Green Witchcraft: These witches practice their craft in fields and forests to be closer to The Divine Spirit. They make their tools from accessible materials outdoors. They are similar too Kitchen/Cottage witches.

Hedge Witchcraft: This witch is a solitary (works alone) with green arts, herbal cures, and spells. They were local wise women and men who cured illness, gave advice. These witches can be any religion and are consider traditional.

Hereditary Witchcraft: They believe that the “gifts” of the craft are with someone from birth and are passed from generations before.

Kitchen/Cottage Witches: This path believes that the home is sacred. They use herbs for many reasons including: healing and protection; they practice around the hearth and home.

Pennsylvania Dutch Hexcraft: This craft started when the Germans arrived in America. Native American were already settled they picked up the term “Pow-wowing” which includes charms, incantations that date back to the middle ages with a little of Kabbalah and the Bible mixed in. Pow-wowers consider themselves Christians endowed with supernatural powers.

Traditional Witchcraft: This is considered the oldest form of witchcraft. They don’t worship Gods, they contact spirits that are part of an unseen spirits world during rituals. This craft believes in using Hexes, or curses in self-defense or other types of protection.

Wicca: Wicca religion is 60 years old, it was created by Gerald Gardner in 1940’s or 50’s. It worships the Earth and nature. The Wiccan Rede requires Wiccans to do no harm.

Love this cartoon

Love this cartoon

I’ll have some more for you next time.

The Witching Hour: Modern and Evil

I’ve seen a few witch movie trailers, many of the witches are portrayed as evil. Where there is evil in witchcraft, it is evil that that person wants and that is why they are evil, not that all witches are evil. Much the same as some people rape or kill and others don’t.

Today for The Witching Hour, I want to look at modern witches, and the idea of evil witches.

Does she look like a witch to you?

Does she look like a witch to you?

One movie portrays witches in the past; they wear dark dresses and clothes. This is a common stereotypical idea of witches. It’s believed that they wear only black or dark colored clothes, and a lot of silver and crystal jewelry. Another idea is that they wear long colorful dresses or skirts have long hair, usually with a lot of colorful streaks, exaggerated make-up, and again the jewelry. Halloween has brought the idea of a black pointy hat, a long hooked nose, and a greenish color of the skin.
What about her, Does she look like a witch?

What about her, Does she look like a witch?

None of this is true. What if I told you the woman at the library or who checked you out at Wal-Mart this morning, or maybe the woman at the doctor’s office last week, you know the one in the suit, were all witches. What about the man filling his gas tank behind you at the gas station, could he be a witch? Would you believe me? Why not? They very well could be witches, no one can tell what someone believes in by the way they dress, and yes men can be witches.

Do these women look like witches? Why not?

Do these women look like witches? Why not?

Believes in? Yes, witchcraft is very similar to a religion. It actually is a religion of nature. Most witches believe in not hurting others. There are some that do hurt others, but we have that outside of witchcraft too.
Another movie I’ve seen trailers for, has a young girl who comes from a magical family. She’s told she’ll have to choose between good and evil on her birthday, but we’re given the idea that the choice has already been made for her. In real life, this is not possible. No one can make a choice for you; you are the only one who can choose your path. In addition, if you choose wrong, you can repent and work hard to stop and get back on the right path.

I understand the idea of an evil witch, is much more fun to write about or make movies about. I want you to think for just a moment though…

Cinderella’s fairy Godmother, was she a witch? Don’t tell me, “No, she was a fairy Godmother.” She was a witch; she used Magic to make Cindy’s dreams come true. The tree fairy Godmothers of Sleeping Beauty? Same thing, all three were witches too. They used magic. These four women were witches; they used their magic for good, so we could say they were white witches. They didn’t look like the evil witches who were causing harm.

My Witching Hour point for today is no matter what movie you watch, or novel/story you read. Please know there are good witches out there, just like there are bad people in the world. Being a witch doesn’t automatically make you evil, just as being a wine drinker doesn’t make you a habitual drunk.

Aswang Vampires

Yes, there are still more Aswang Vampires.

What? I didn’t hear you? Are you begging me to what…
“Please just make it stop! These vampires are just scary.”

Yes, my dear beloved reader these vampires are scary. But alas, I’m still not done teaching you about them.
Are you ready?

Aswang Festival
Yes a festival with seafood, parades, dances, and dress up balls.
Why?” You might be asking. “Why a festival for a vampire?
The myth says Roxas City in Capiz province was full of Aswangs and witches both male and female. In an attempt to prove this myth as just that they have a two-day long party right before Halloween. The local Catholic churches aren’t happy with this festival.

Aswang Mandurugo
This demonic vampire lives in the province of Capiz in the Philippines. Witches also hide in this area.  By day, she is a beautiful woman, by night her true form is revealed that of a winged monster. Okay, what’s scary about this is she’ll get married. YES Married! So, she has a live in supply of blood.  She “kisses” the blood from of her husband prey.
What? How?” You ask.
Oh, I really don’t want to tell you but I must, I must.
Under the pretext of “Kisses”, she pushes her barbed tongue into his mouth and drains the blood from him.  So gradually husband starts losing weight, it’s not that noticeable. Men, unfortunately there isn’t a test to check if your beautiful bride to be is a Mandurugo, but you can place a knife under your pillow. If you’re quick enough you can kill her before she attacks.

Aswang Tik-Tik


This Aswang gets its name from the small owl that follows it. The owl seems to protect her prey, making a “Tik Tik” sounding cry in hopes of waking the sleeping victim. This shape-shifting vampire only hunts at night.
Yeah, she changes into a bird to hunt.  This one rivals in freakiness with the other Aswangs. She perches on the roof of the victim’s house. Above her sleeping victim (usually a child), her long tube like tongue reaches to where her prey lays. Her barbed tongue pricks the flesh and she sips her meal.  After she’s fed she flies home where she breastfeeds her children.

In other myths: the Aswang Tik-Tik remains in human form while hunting and feeding. She looks like a pregnant woman instead of a large bird with engorged breasts.
Here is a scary tip, if she happens to lick your shadow…sorry but you’re going to die.

Aswang Tiyanak


This demonic vampire is the offspring of a demon father and a human mother, or a baby who dies before being baptized. It has red skin, no hair, glowing red eyes. This shape-shifting vampire changes it form into an abandoned adorable little baby, hoping a woman will rescue it. When she takes it home it waits until the night hours and attacks the sleeping woman.
A newer myth believes that aborted fetuses can become this type of vampire; in this case, the aborted fetus will come into existence and torment the woman who would have been its mother.

Aswang Witch
This vampire is a human female who has been born a witch, or has learned the craft. She learns to make a magical ointment to prevent the signs of age, when she applies it, she looks young and beautiful.
(She should sell the ointment! Can we say Ka-Ching!)

When she looks beautiful, she’ll seduce her prey and lead him to a secluded place where she rips him apart. She drinks his blood and eats his heart and liver.
(It’s probably a good thing this one doesn’t get married, can you imagine her husband after a fight!)
Her ability to seduce works well for her but given the choice, she’d much rather take her meal in the form of a child than a man.

There is a tip I can give you regarding the Aswang Witch because she was born a mortal, she can be killed as such.

I love this photo, I had to get it in here somewhere.

Okay, this is the last of vampires with Aswang in their name. Next week, we’ll look at vampires that are variations of these Aswangs.

Photo Credits.