|History Of Witchcraft|
| Many thousands of years ago when villages died if they had no food, the earliest rituals were begun. Before a hunt, the village men would enact a hunt, some dressed in animal skins as prey. The village chieftain would direct the hunt, often dressed in skins, with antlers upon his head. By enacting the hunt, they felt the hunt would be a success. The village chieftain took on the role as a "god," who evolved into the Horned God. The names of the God were different in each village.
But, villages could not survive on meat alone. The earth giving forth crops was equated to a woman giving birth, giving rise to the Goddess. Upon planting seeds, villagers would show the Goddess what they wanted from her. Since the growing of crops was reproduction, they performed sexual acts as example. Often, the men would spill their seed upon the ground, symbolizing fertilization. If a woman's mentrual blood was available, it was mixed with the soil as a symbol of fertility.
Since the God and Goddess were a complimentary pair, each took on other meanings in relation to the other. The God became the sun, which enabled the seeds to grow. The Goddess was the earth, which gave birth to the crops. Using these analogies, the villagers developed the wheel of the year, marking the seasons of planting, growth, harvest, and death. The holidays, sabbats, marked the beginnings of each season.
Villages grew into cities, which grew into nations. Britain, Rome and Egypt all worshipped pagan dieties. The uprise of Christianity began changing the cities' societal norms. As Christians rose to power, Paganism was forced from the cities. People who lived in the countryside, pagans, continued practicing the "old ways," giving rise to the term "pagan" as we know it today.
Rome made Christianity the religion of the empire, outlawing paganism in all Roman territories, including Egypt and Mesopotamia. The kingdoms of Britain also established Christianity as law. Persecution began. Pagans, now referred to as witches, we killed. Many Christians were also killed, only because they were accused. Millions of innocent people were slaughtered.
Catholicism arose. Persecution of everyone who was not Catholic began. Thousands left Europe to escape. They found the "land of the free." But, they brought their hatred with them. Having learned nothing from history, the killing started again, this time in Massachusetts. (Please refer to the page on the Burning Times for a link to an in-depth look at those bleak times.)
Thanks to the hard work of many, witchcraft / paganism has enjoyed a reemergence. We are now recognized as Neo-pagans and enjoy the rights given to other religions. But, there is still persecution out there. We must unite to show people the lessons of history and abolish the hatred.