This can include the very diverse and even opposing forces of the religious doctrines of Wicca, Druidism, many sects of Hinduism, Sufism(a branch of Islam), Asatru, Satanism; Also included could be certain rites and practices of the Golden Dawn, Ordo Templi Orientis, Temple of Set, Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Church (see Transmutation of the Holy Eucharist).
When the Roman Catholic Church was in control of Europe, simply being accused of Witchcraft was enough to have you summarily executed on the charge of Heresy. This Witch-Craze spilled over into Protestant territories in Europe and even into the United States for a brief period. In Europe, it was quite common for Roman Catholics to accuse Protestants of Witchcraft and for Protestants to do the same of Roman Catholics. Caught in the middle of all this what would seem today as "in-fighting" within Christianity were the Nature-Based or "Pagan" religions of Europe of which Wicca is a revivalist product.
Wicca has the best claim to the title "Witch" due to the etymology of the words, but it is not incorrect for practitioners of other Craft religions to identify themselves in the same.
Witchcraft can be both beneficial or detrimental, depending on the Magical Intent of the practitioner and because of this, Witchcraft in itself is seen today as "evil" by many religious groups; however, it should be noted that Witchcraft is merely a tool and has no more goodness or evilness as a car or a hammer -- it depends entirely upon what it is used for and the person weilding it.
2. A term used when one looses an object, searches for that object for an extended period of time, and then, after giving up on it, finds it in the most obvious of places.
Despite the STEREOTYPICAL out dated MISINFORMATION concerning Witches and Witchcraft -Witchcraft has NOTHING to do with the christian concept of satan.
2-Witchcraft "craft of the wise ones"-delving into unknown realms-seeing the UNseen hearing the Unheard,not living in fear of said Unknown.
because the elderly woman knew how to heal using herbs and by chanting an unheard language she was called a Witch.
I live Witchcraft
Although, true Witchcraft is not a form of Wicca, because it is the oldest relgion known to mankind. We are the believers in the power of the elements and the healers of herbs. Witchcraft should be recognized as a formal religion, not just as a cult.
Many persons who practice the craft, also have developed a deity in which they place their faith, Some call on the Fates for support, or even names that have become associated with Satan. Witchcraft has nothing to do with Satan,as this is a concept brought about by the Jews and the Christians.
I usually just consider myself to be Pagan and leave it as that, because of my many beliefs in the power of the elements.
Because of this belief, we also believe in the power that knowledge is also part of the power of the fates. And the new technologies that are appearing on the earth should not be dismissed. Because Witches have the tendencies to heal with herbs and many times will use Spells in their healing, they also believe that sometimes new medical technologies may be required in order to heal a person.
Simple Witchcraft is used to heal the spirit, just as Christianity is designed to heal a person's soul using the power of the belief in Jesus Christ.
Witchcraft/Pagan beliefs are also used to heal the power of the spirit, because all things on this earth have a spirit, whether it is a cat, a dog, a man, a woman, or even the simple computer or the chair in which you sit upon. Everything has a spirit, this is a basic Native Amercan belief.
We are NOT practioners of Satan, this is a Christian concept and since we do not believe in this deity known as Jesus Christ, common sense can only say that we do NOT believe in this being known as Satan.
But they are a religion within themselves.
Unlike our comic book heroes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutly. If this aphorism is so, none can be trusted to use his macickal powers for good only.
Jesus is quoted in the gospels as saying, (in response to someone calling him "Good master") "Why do you call me good? There is none good but God.
The idea that the practioner of white magick can resist temptations to meddle in human lives is not safe. Yet the learned usage of herbs and roots and other folk remedies for healing is not magick but more of the art of the Shauman. But all Magick is self-applied power to make things happen, and to say that "I will only use my powers for good" is to speak from the heart of delusion.
Look at the life and death of Jim Jones. He was a pwoerful preacher of the gospel, operated a very large church in San Francisco, was lauded by the mayor for all the good things done for the community by his church members. He gained power over his flock, immense power, to assign wives and husbands, to beat children and adults for perceived infractions of his rule, to the turning over to him of entire financial estates of families, and more.
When the dust finally settled in his dusty Jonesville in the jungle of a small country in Central America, the deaths of some five hundred members (and young children as well) of his Jim Jones religion occured. Adults had taken or had forcefully given to their children lethal dosages of cyanide dissolved in koolade. All in one afternoon.
That is a good example of the terror of final power, absolute power... Jim died from a gunshot wound to his head.
Jim Jones had been seduced by his own self-assumed power over his flock into thinking he controled life and death of his followers, few of them disagreed, and his followers died by cyanide poisonming.
The practice of Witchcraft also seduces because soon the thought occurs that the spells work because of the practioner's own power.