a witch requests us to publish his viewpoint. He asks us not to print his name and address,
"I have a wife and a small son to consider," he says, "and people still have a tendency to throw bricks at the unusual."
His serious comments are in marked contrast to the nonsense printed last week on the occasion of Hallowe'en.
I AM a witch descended from a family of witches. Genuine witchcraft is not paganism, though it retains the memory of ancient faiths.
It is a religion mystical in approach and puritanical in attitudes. It is the last real mystery cult to survive, with a very complex and evolved philosophy that has strong affinities with many Christian beliefs. The concept of a sacrificial god was not new to the ancient world; it is not new to a witch.
Mystic at heart
Mysticism knows no boundaries. The genuine witch is a mystic at heart. Much of the teaching of witchcraft is subtle and bound within poetical concept rather than hard logic.
I come from an old witch family. My mother told me of things that had been told to her grandmother, by her grandmother. I have two ancestors who died by hanging for the practice of witchcraft. The desire for power may have been the motive behind the persecution of witches.
In the 13th or 14th century there was an influx of Islamic mysticism into Europe. This was due to the Crusaders and the wanderings of various mystical societies from the Middle East. There is also strong evidence that this influx of Islamic ideas infiltrated into witch covens of that time.
The king's fear
Since the persecution really began during this period, it is my considered opinion that the extermination of witches was bound up in the conflict of two major faiths, Christianity and Islam. During the Reformation and the decrease of the Musalmen Empire the motives were probably forgotten, but the propaganda remained.
James I obviously had good reason to fear witches. The witch theology of that period demanded he should die since he descended from a line of "divine kings". The "divine kings", in theory anyway, died for the sins of their subjects and to mediate between man and the evil chance.
It must also be remembered that witches existed probably among the upper classes as well as the lower. These witches possibly desired power like any other lordling.
One basic tenet of witch psychological grey magic is that your opponent should never be allowed to confirm an opinion about you but should always remain undecided. This gives you a greater power over him, because the undecided is always the weaker. From this attitude much confusion has probably sprung in the long path of history.
Nothing about witchcraft is ever stated definitely. It is always left to inference and your judgement. Consequently nothing written about witchcraft can ever solve it or confirm or deny its existence.
As for witches belonging to a premature Spiritualist movement, this is a pleasant daydream. Of course there are psychics in every period of history. Sometimes they became priests of the local religion. At other times they died at the hands of priests of the local religion who did not like having their particular theology confounded by spirits, even if the message came directly from the otherworld.
No simple belief
Witchcraft is not primarily concerned with messages or morality gained from the dead. It is concerned with the action of God and gods upon man and man's position spiritually. It is not a simple belief, though many might think so from a superficial examination. Much Spiritualist phenomena would not satisfy the witch, who either attempts the heights or plunges the depths.
There is also a basic conflict between two attitudes. The Spiritualist
asks for "miracles" vide the spirit of another world. The witch, or anyone
interested in magic, tries to work those "miracles" herself by an act of
will with the ordinary "spirit", but it is very doubtful if she would ever
allow herself to be controlled by it. It is of course the old controversy
between the occultist and the Spiritualist.
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