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History of Neopaganism, Wicca and Witchcraft , 1631 , 1885

Aleister CrowleyIn 1631, you start to see some people speaking out against the “witch craze,” such as Jesuit Friedrich von Spee, who publishes Cautio criminalis at this time. In this article, you will also learn which countries and other locations would see an increase in witch hunts. You will also learn why the name Temperance Lloyd is important to the history of witchcraft.

1647: In New England, the typical approach in punishing a witch shifts from burning at the stake to hanging. The first one takes place in 1647.  

1668-76: Sweden undergoes widespread witch hunts.

1682: England executes its last witch , Temperance Lloyd , a senile woman hailing from Bideford. An investigation of the trial was conducted by Lord Chief Justice Sir Francis North, who had always criticized the witchcraft trials. He stated that the prosecution had many unjustly errors. It was North’s opinion that helped put an end to witch hunting in this neck of the woods. However, the practice simply transferred from this side of the Atlantic to the opposing with witch paranoia slamming Salem in 1692.

1692: During this year, between the months of May and October, 19 people are tried and hanged as witches. Instead of it taking place a European country, it is Salem, Massachusetts.

1749: Germany sees its last trial involving witchcraft. It takes place at Würzburg.

1754: Prussia does away with torture. Bavaria will later abolish the act of torture in 1807. Hanover follows suit in 1822.

1782: The Protestant district of Glarus becomes the last known (or recorded) execution for witchcraft takes place in Switzerland.

1875: Aleister Crowley is born , the occultist who would later greatly influence Gerald Gardner, the man who would later build the foundation of Wicca. The man was known to have dabbled in many different arenas, including yoga, mountaineering, writing, poetry, astrology, painting, and chess. Over the years, he gained quite a reputation for his writings regarding the occult. He certainly racked up his fair share of controversies, which spanned subjects like racism, drugs, and sexism. Over his lifetime, he would become a highly prolific writer. Beyond the topics of magick, he also tackled politics, philosophy, and culture. He also published plays and poems , many of which were completed throughout his twenties.

1885: Gerald Gardner (known to many as the ‘Father of Wicca’) is born. As an occultist, he is responsible for publishing a great deal of text that described the ins and outs of Wicca. On the side, he sometimes moonlighted as an amateur anthropologist and also held jobs as a tea planter; rubber planter and customs officer over his lifetime. Interestingly, Gardner would marry a woman who become the love of his life for 33 years , all without never taking part in any of his activities or occult interests.