Historically there are 3 types of witches. The sorcerer who practices the simple magic found worldwide, the heretic who practiced diabolism and was prosecuted during the witch craze, and the modern neopagan. Great differences separate them.
That of the witch craze has had the greatest effect historically. Whether this kind of witchcraft ever actually existed is open to question. A few individuals and groups may have practiced something like diabolical rites, but these were probably rare. The chief importance of heretical witchcraft is the concept. What the witches really did is eclipsed by what they believed to do. People act on the basis of what they believe to be true, and so the concept brought about the deaths of many men and women, terrorized millions, defiled the minds of the best thinkers for centuries, which left a hideous mark on the record of Christian society.
Fundamentally the witch craze was one particular form of a flaw in human nature, the desire of people to project evil on others, label them as outsiders, and punish them horribly.
Neopagan witchcraft, contrary to what many people suppose, modern witches do not worship the devil, say black masses, or practice orgies. A very few people calling themselves witches do some of these things, but they stand quite outside the realms of this defined tradition.
Whatever the future of witchcraft, sorcery persists, diabolical witchcraft is dying, and modern witches create a new religion. But for good or evil, magic continues to appeal, and witchcraft will not soon vanish from our world.
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