Witch Craft in the Middle Ages

The word “Occult” means “hidden” or “secret”. This secret of magick was kept safe and revered over many millenniums. However, the rise of Christianity and its fellow religions such as Islam and Judaism probably didn’t help the cause of Magick. As these new religions gained in popularity, mostly due to the fear that was spread over the word “occult”, natural traditions began to decline. Many of the witches who were experts at magick had to hide in fear of the wrath of religious zealots.
Magick, to its practitioner, is a natural way of life. Using our own mental powers and visualization techniques, we can bend or coerce the energy lines of the Universe according to our will. It was the simplest and yet the most brilliant and useful way of life. This path gave the power to the people themselves. No one was more powerful than another. The many facets of magick included not only spells and rituals, but other powerful tools such as Reiki, Feng Shui, Acupuncture, Yoga, aura reading, psychic visions, meditation, visualization, astronomy, astrology, etc. Most of these sciences, at one time or another were (and some to this day) targets of ridicule by ignorant rulers and their followers.

The middle ages in history are believed to be from the 5th century to the 15th century. The early years of the middle ages were marked with increase lawlessness and invasions. From the mid 7th century, the religion of Islam (which is actually a sister religion of Christianity) began to take hold and spread all over Europe. Arab armies slowly established their presence in the areas such as Southern France, Egypt, Spain, etc.

In the 11th century through 13th century, Christian forms of worship were forcefully spread among the people. Crusades – a form of religiously authorized military campaigns were waged by Roman Catholic forces against anyone who stood in their way. No one was allowed to follow their religions. Pagans were targeted for not following the Christian religion and they were not only ex-communicated by the church, but they were “hunted” legally by the sanction of the church authorities.

The crusade terrorized many parts of the world. The first crusade started in 1095 and the ninth crusade ended in 1272. Some Christians were attacked during their pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The Pope called on all Europeans to liberate Jerusalem from its Muslim rulers. As a result, armies of soldiers and peasants calling themselves the “Crusaders” murdered, raped and plundered their way through their journeys to placate their Christian God.

The hatred of Christians toward the Jews reached a critical point when the Christians decided to take control of Jerusalem. The message given to the Jewish people was “Embrace the Cross or Die”. As a result, when these cannibals reached Jerusalem, they broke through the city walls and slaughtered all the inhabitants including children and newborns.

The crusade-crazy barbarians, mad with hatred and power, found about 6000 Jewish people hiding in fear in a synagogue and set the building on fire which resulted in all these innocent people being burned alive. About 30,000 Muslims were hiding in their mosque and they too were slaughtered without mercy by the criminal Crusaders.

The Roman Catholic church taught their followers that going to war against the “enemies” of Christianity was a holy act or penance which would bypass purgatory and take them straight to “heaven”. With their imaginary fantasies of Heaven, Hell and the newly created “purgatory”, they could easily brain-wash the ignorant masses in the name of a powerless God who could not help them.

It was in the late middle-ages that resulted in the executions of 100,000 or more innocent victims for the “grave and evil” practice of Witchcraft. In the rush to divide and control the masses, the Catholic Church was a little more than eager to get more numbers into their registers. In the late middle ages, they came upon an idea how to get more numbers into their religion – get rid of the peasants’ way of life and forcefully convert them into the Christian religion. The pope “decreed” that anyone following the natural and ancient way of life called Paganism or Witchcraft would be killed if they don’t comply with the his orders.

Again, people were divided and terrorized so that they would “admit” if they practiced Witchcraft. Ancient ways of getting people to talk included the practice of lynching, burned at a stake, being crushed by rocks, stoning, defamation, incarceration without a trial, etc.

Witch hunts were conducted in Europe and North America in the Early Modern Period of the middle ages spanning 1480 through 1700 resulting in almost 100,000 executions all over the world. In most parts of the world, except for Saudi Arabia, Cameroon and a few other countries, Witchcraft is accepted as a way of life.

Rose Ariadne: Providing “Magickal” answers to your Pagan, Wiccan, Witchcraft spell casting questions since 2006.

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