Witchcraft (also called witchery or spellcraft) is the use of alleged supernatural, magical faculties. This may take many forms, depending on cultural context.

Beliefs in witchcraft have historically existed in most regions of the world. This was notably so in Early Modern Europe where witchcraft came to be seen as part of a vast diabolical conspiracy of individuals in league with the Devil undermining Christianity, eventually leading to large-scale witch-hunts, especially in Protestant Europe. Similar beliefs have persisted in some cultures up to the present, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. the Bantu witch smellers), and have occasionally resulted in modern witch-hunts. The concept of witchcraft as harmful is normally treated as a cultural ideology providing a scapegoat for human misfortune.

Since the mid-20th century Witchcraft has become the designation of a branch of contemporary Paganism, most notably including Wiccaan traditions, who claim to practice a revival of pre-Abramic spirituality.

Read more about WitchcraftEtymology, Definitions, Alleged Practices, By Region, Contemporary Witchcraft

Other articles related to "witchcraft":

Leo Ruickbie
... Leo Ruickbie is an historian and sociologist of magic, witchcraft and Wicca ... He is the author of several books, beginning with Witchcraft Out of the Shadows, a 2004 publication outlining the history of witchcraft from ancient Greece until the modern day ... Theorising Re-Enchantment and Testing for its Presence in Modern Witchcraft ...
Scotland In The Early Modern Era - Society - Witchtrials
... occasional prosecutions of individuals for causing harm through witchcraft, but these may have been declining in the first half of the sixteenth century ... the aftermath of the initial Reformation settlement, Parliament passed the Witchcraft Act 1563, similar to that passed in England one year earlier, which made witchcraft a capital crime ... population of England, it would have three times the number of witchcraft prosecutions, at about 6,000 for the entire period ...
Charles Cardell - Biography - Witchcraft - Cardell's Coven
... In March 1961, an article entitled "Witchcraft in the Woods" by William Hall was published in the London Evening News ...
Luis G. Abbadie - Paganism
... refer to the different manifestations of modern witchcraft, including more indigenous types, he became uncomfortable with the eclectic, hybrid nature of what he calls 'Neo-Wicca.' He distanced ... Upon discovering other forms of traditions European witchcraft, he began his formal apprenticeship of Scottish witchcraft, called Hedgewitch o Circle Magic which he has dubbed Crossways ...
Contemporary Witchcraft - Feri Tradition
... The Feri Tradition is a modern witchcraft practice founded by Victor Anderson and his wife Cora ...

Famous quotes containing the word witchcraft:

    No exorciser harm thee.
    Nor no witchcraft charm thee.
    Ghost unlaid forbear thee.
    Nothing ill come near thee.
    Quiet consummation have,
    And renowned be thy grave.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate. There is more
    eloquence in a sugar touch of them than in the tongues of
    the French council.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)