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What is Considered Witchcraft? Part 2

In the first article regarding witchcraft practices, you learned about some of the things that witches were known for that carried both a historical and present significance. This particular article will explore with additional historically essential pieces of the past with a few newer trends that practicing witches are known to participate in today.

 

Ancient witchcraft practices (depending on the culture) also dealt with the dead, where some witches were called upon to conjure deceased individuals from beyond. Some individuals were known for their skills in “necromancy,” which involved the act of conjuring spirits of the dead, which supposedly told the future or could give answers to important questions that only the unknown could produce a response to. Sometimes witches (during their respective time periods) were called upon to raise the dead for other reasons.

 

While some of these practices were condemned and frowned upon, other cultures embraced the notion and incorporated the acts into their systems of belief. Today, the celebration of Halloween (also known as Samhain) is viewed as the perfect time in Wicca belief to make an attempt at communicating with the dead.

When exploring witchcraft and the practices that are most associated with this following, you may encounter the following actions:

 

Meditation: Through this practice, a witch will enter a state of concentration, where they focus his or her attention on an object that involves a heightened sense of awareness or thought.

 

Conduct a Séance:
  Séances deal with an attempt to make contact with a deceased individual, which is often conducted in the presence of a small group of people. While sitting in a circle, a person regarded as the “medium,” will enter a trance-like state that allows them to enter the realm where communication with the dead is made possible. It is through this act that the dead are supposed to speak to love ones through the actions and words of the medium. (Kinda like the Patrick Swayze movie, Ghost). Sometimes, tools such as ouija boards are used to make contact with spirits.

 

Scrying: Some witches will scry or crystal gaze, which is a well-known occult practice that deals with a medium, who will peer into a reflective surface in order to conjure up answers to questions through a perceived psychic ability. One may use water, mirrors, polished gemstones, or crystal balls to aid their clairvoyance.

 

Use Poppets: Not to be confused with voodoo dolls, folk magicians and witches are known to use poppets (the old way of saying ‘puppet’) to represent an individual that is in need of healing. Some of these puppets are used to make a spell stick, while others are used to enhance one’s fertility. A variety of materials are used to construct these dolls, including branches, wax, fruit, paper, and clay. Many believe that whatever is done to the doll will also occur in the life of the intended host.

 

Divination: Tarot cards or runes may be used to help an individual tell the future or answer the life-changing questions that someone may need a response to.

 

A witch may also manipulate energy, invoke spirits, chant mantras, use astrology to read horoscopes, catch sight of auras, or perform an act of healing.