What do you think when you hear the word witch? Do you think a woman with green skin and boils, brooms and wands? How about the Harry Potter franchise? However, witches are more than just some hocus pocus. They, along with many other religions are not only real, but thriving in today’s society.
The religion of witchcraft is a part of an umbrella term called Paganism. Defined by the Pagan Federation as “a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion,” Paganism includes any religion that studies the worship of nature, and usually more than one god is worshiped. Many different religions are considered Pagan, including religions based in Greece, Egypt, Rome and even Native American religions.
Another name for this set of beliefs is called the old religion. This is because it has been practiced long before Christianity existed. However, Roman Catholics believed that being pagan was inherently Satanic and therefore tried to rid the world of pagan religion. The main thing that happened, was they started to correlate pagan religion with Christian religion. Typical things we see as “Christian” now are derived from pagan culture. For instance, Easter was originally a holiday for the goddess Ishtar, a goddess of fertility, whose symbols included eggs and rabbits. The resurrection was said to be on that day to conform Pagans into the religion.
To clear up another stigma, Paganism is not satanic. Pagans do not believe in the Christian religion, and therefore do not believe in Satan. There is also the conflict between the satanic pentagram versus the pagan pentagram. Much like the cross when you flip it upside down, the upside down star means Satanism. A star with the point facing up is pagan and represents water, fire, earth, air and spirit. This is in no way satanic. Another thing to remember: most of the religions do not believe in hurting others. For example, there is a rule in the wiccan religion called Rule of Three. This rule states that whatever you put out into the rule, you get back tripled.
As Halloween comes around, remember there are real witches roaming around. They are more likely to buy a cup of coffee than curse you, though.