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.

The Belated Witching Hour.

So it’s been called to my attention there wasn’t a Witching Hour post this month.

I’m so sorry for the ooops. I’ll make it up…

Here is an interesting witch myth I just heard for you today…

The Black Walnut Tree

If you suspect a witch is hexing you. You must find a black walnut tree. Draw her picture on it.

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Mark her heart with an X. Hammer a nail into the X, just a little every day.

The witch or someone she sends in her place will try to borrow something from you.
Don’t lend it!
Continue to hammer the nail farther into the tree something will happen either the witch will stop hexing you; or she will try to borrow something from you.

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You must not lend her anything, the protection will stop if you do or she will die.

All right, now my questions. What if you can’t draw worth squat? Does it work as long as you know who it is? I hope so. What if you can’t find a black walnut tree? Could any tree do or would any nut tree do?

What do you think about this myth? I’m starting to believe that what we’re told in myths to protect ourselves are just silly stories to make us feel safe.

Types of Witchcraft

The Witching Hour

When I say witchcraft what do you think? Do you see an image of an old woman standing in front of a large pot stirring in frog legs and eyes of newt?

Don’t worry that’s what most people see.

What if I told you that was only a small part of a witches’ craft. Most don’t use eyes of newt or frog legs either. I could make a joke here and say they are too hard to find now, but I won’t.

So what do witches do? You ask me…

Well, Witchcraft is so much more that one blog post could ever do justice to. It’s so much more than I could ever do justice to. I’ll try to give you a small peak into witchcraft though.

We already touched on Black and White magic, there is also a line in the middle, Gray magic. It can be seen as bad, good and in between. Of course you all have heard about Voodoo and Hoodoo magic.

There are many forms of crafting.

A lot of modern witches use candles. Some use herbs, some use images, cords or threads.


Burning candles of various types and kinds for various purposes is used for Candle magic.
Cords and threads are knotted while saying spells.
Herbs are used for spells and potions.
Images are used while chanting spells.

There is something called Ceremonial magic, it’s much like a religious mass. A lot of people gather together to perform Ceremonial magic.

4th verse

Magicians are said to use magic, but their magic is a very different from a witches magic. ~ This will have to be a post for a different day.~

That’s all the sneak peak I’m allowed to give for today.

The Witches’ History

It’s time for us to join for the Witching Hour.

Have you all gathered around?
Yes, Good, this time I will offer a question….

Ponder my offering.


My question…

We have already gone over the Witch Hunt histories. Witches are portrayed as evil and in the best interest of the community to be removed.

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However, all of the histories are written by historians who were for the hunts, trials and deaths. We have no history written by the hand of the witches. We have no history written from the side of the witches.
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Is it possible….. that what we know as a true history is bias? What we know as history was a prejudice look from one side?
We have no prospective from the other side. We have a false history of witches, Witch hunts, trials and deaths. Why because those who wanted them dead are the only side we know of.

We know stories of witches causing harm, pain and death. We know of witches killing infants and children and having orgies with the Devil.
Are these stories true? We have no history from witches to confirm it.

I believe our history is wrong. I believe we have fallen into a trap the historians want. We can only believe in a history we know both sides of.


Leave me your thoughts.

First The Witching Hour

Its time for our first The Witching Hour!

I’ll go over a the history of the witch today.

When you hear the word witch what comes to mind? Do you see an old ugly woman with greenish skin, and warts? Does she have a long pointy nose or a hooknose? Is her hair graying and stringy? Is it in total disarray? Does she wear a long flowing black or other dark color dress? Most importantly, does she carry a broom with her everywhere she goes?


Hmmmm, I was afraid of that. You dear reader, (if you thought that way) have watched too many movies. Media has made that the image of the witch an image of an ugly woman to show us how witchcraft (which is thought of as evil) is ugly. In reality, it isn’t so. Or not always so.

The word witch comes from a Wiccan term meaning “Wise One”

Many centuries ago, witches were looked upon very differently than they are now.
In those days, medicine was very different than we know it to be. Doctors were far and few. Villagers were more likely to go to the local witch (she might be called an herb witch or a healer) for their illnesses. They were skilled in what we now call natural medicine.
They were usually the only midwife available. They would use their knowledge of plants to help a woman in labor, to ease the pain, to help move the labor along, and in some cases to begin labor. These women practiced what is commonly called white or good magic. Where they didn’t hold a diploma, they were better than not having treatment. I would go out on a limb and say they were much better than the medically trained, considering the medical use of leeching and bloodletting.

We can now look back and see where their downfall was just a matter of time. The church (I use the word for all religions) –needing a scapegoat- became upset that “Women” were healing and not only healing but doing so well. They were skilled and knowledgeable; something not highly looked upon by the church. Witches were also called on for many other reasons: to cause the rains to come, to make crops to grow, to have bountiful crops and a bountiful harvest.

People began to see how well a witch’s spells worked so well that when things went bad they doubted the motives behind the witch. Soon the idea of a witch working under the guidance of the Devil was easy to believe. The idea of witches doing the Devil’s biding was commonplace. Witches went from a helpful healer to something to be feared.

Slowly they began to go into hiding. Before long, they would no longer admit to knowing the skills that once helped so many. By the 1400s, any woman accused of witchcraft was tried and executed publically as an example to others. By the time the mass hysteria started, the true witches were watching their backs. Anything out of the ordinary was reason enough to make an appropriate allegation. If one neighbor was annoyed with another it was easy to get rid of them. Accuse them of being a witch. If the accused refused complying with the Devil; they were found guilty and sentenced to death. Witch-hunts and trials spread like wild fire through the world.

By the time, the United States began its hysteria Europe was in the process of ending their hunts and trials. In England, witchcraft wasn’t punishable by law anymore when the Witchcraft Act of 1735 in England was signed. Witchcraft remained punishable in Germany until the late 1800s. There are still some places in Africa where witchcraft is a punishable act.

Photo Credits:
Green witch
Natural medicine
Devil and witches
Witch trial


It’s time for Vampire Wednesday.

The ancients believed hawthorn offered protection from witchcraft, sorcery, vampires and other evils.
It was often placed in cradles – to protect the sleeping infant. (No wonder child death rates were so high! Nails, scissors and thorny bushes were all placed in children’s beds.)

Barriers of hawthorn were built around houses. The Greeks had pieces of it placed inside of walls of their houses.

Downy Hawthorn Tree photographed at The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois,

Downy Hawthorn – Crataegus mollis

It was believed that Jesus’ crown of thorns was made from hawthorn. (See how sharp it is! Poor sleeping children. )

Crown of thorns

It was put on top of coffins or even on the body before the coffin was closed.
Southern Slavs would also make their stakes from it.

Hawthorn can be found in Europe, Asia, and North America. Hawthorn berries can be eaten or boiled into drinks, be made into jams and jellies

The Chinese have used it for ages as a digestive aid. Recently it is being studied for use in health purposes and heart disease.







Photo Credits:

Hawthorn tree
Crown of throns
Hawthorn berries

The Witching Hour

I had mentioned changing Vampire Wednesday to something like Werewolf Wednesday or Witch Wednesday. Vampires would be changed to another day of the week. My friend,Julie, from Deadly Ever After mentioned Wee Hour Wednesday and it posting in the Wee Hours. I liked it, and was thinking about it when something came to me.

The Witching Hour.

The Witching Hour is believed to be in the middle of the night. The exact time varies depending on who you talk to. Some believe it is at midnight, others believe it is at 2 A.M or 3 A.M. (3 A.M. is also called the Devil’s hour. )

So what is the Witching Hour? It is the time that witches are at their most powerful and their magic is most effective, and when supernatural beings are said to roam, they are also at their most powerful.

I love

’Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on.
Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, 1603


THESEUS: The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
Lovers, to bed; ’tis almost fairy time.
PUCK: Now it is the time of night
That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare, 1600

Or this

Now Midnight spreads her sable vest
With starry rays light tissu’d o’er;
Now from the Desart’s thistled breast
The chilling dews begin to soar;
The owl shrieks from the tott’ring tow’r,
Dread watch-bird of the witching hour!
A Fragment, by Mary Robinson 1793

So What does this all mean, now that I’ve had a chance to vent my little pieces of literature. I will be posting Witch related info on the second Tuesday of the month, maybe also on the fourth Tuesday. I’m not sure if I could gather enough information to post twice a month.

“Why Tuesday?” you may ask.

It’s simple really. Old myths say witches would meet with their covens at a crossroad on Tuesdays and Fridays. Since I’m already doing something on Fridays..Friday Fictioneers, I will do it on Tuesdays at the Witching Hour. (My witching hour, It maybe daytime to the rest of the world, but I should be fast asleep.)

I just had to get this in here

ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
3 WITCH. Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Macbeth, by William Shakespeare 1603

Please join me on Tuesdays for The Witching Hour.

If you happen to know Witchy business and would care to join in on the Witchy fun, feel free to join in. Leave me a comment, tell me what you think.


Time for another Vampire Wednesday!

So I decided to talk a little about Garlic.
Garlic has long been believed to ward off vampires. It was also believed to ward of all sorts of evil beings and spirits.

Like witches!
I find that somewhat hard to believe. Garlic has been used for centuries as a medicine. It still has a reputations as a powerful healing agent. It’s widely used for heart and blood conditions. Some witches were healers, I find it hard to believe that he/she wouldn’t use garlic to heal.

Garlic was rumored to protect from the plague! Kind of strange if you ask me, Italy loves garlic and yet they have suffered the plague a couple of times throughout history.

So back to the vampires…
Vampires who were hiding in their villages and were not detected for who knows how long, would be spotted when they refused to eat dishes made with garlic. –Busted!–
I guess ancient vampires could eat human food. According to this idea of finding hidden vampires they could.

It wasn’t until Bram Stoker that the smell garlic was able to deter vampires. (Filling Lucy’s room with garlic flowers to keep Count Dracula away.)

A special note! Modern vampires aren’t effected by garlic. (Well, some aren’t.)

What do you think about Garlic and vampires?
I know some writers are keeping the myth, others are leaving it behind.
If you write vampire stories, do you keep the garlic myth?


I wrote a short story for a magazine Witches and Pagans  ( I haven’t heard back yet, I hate waiting. I also don’t have much patience.)

It’s about a young girl -Tessa- who wants to learn witchcraft. She found a mentor (that’s the name “Mentor”) and how she’s learning with her.

I thought that was the end of that story. “Good. Done.” I said nodding to myself. Well, Tessa had different plans. I wrote another segment of her story. Again I thought “DONE” well she still isn’t done with me. I’m in the process of writing the third segment. Here is a paragraph from the first segment. (The one I submitted. )

I sat back down at the table with her. Yet she still didn’t speak so I also kept silent. We sat there for a long time. I tried not to fidget; I wasn’t use to the silence. I had two younger sisters; my house was never quiet. I thought I would welcome the quiet. Yet it scared me in some unknown way. Wanda watched me; I knew she was preparing me. I knew this was another lesson. Maybe it was even a test. I tried to endure the silence, what I should have thought was peacefulness.

So I thought I would share a little bit about witch folklore.

Witches were believed to meet with their coven (strange how witches and Vampires both call their group/family covens, and a lot of folklore believed witches turned into vampires*) from midnight to 2:00 AM on Tuesdays and Fridays at a crossroad.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I knew when evil witches were meeting, I’d be for trying to stop them. I’d try to set up a trap or something with the other villagers.  (Well, maybe not. I might be too afraid of them.)

There are good witches. (I’ll save that for another post.)

Evil witches could ruin crops, cause life stock illness or death and kill or cause illnesses against humans. They became “hunted” during the time of the Inquisition. Before the Inquisition most areas and their populations believed that witches were good. They were seen as healers, it was the Inquisition that changed the mind of the people.

*Spain believed their witches or Brujas engaged in Vampirism of children. Portugal’s Bruxa and Italy’s Strega were all believed to be living vampires or become vampires after death. Romania believed witchcraft was one of the evils that would cause you to be a vampire in the afterlife.