Salem Witch Trials : Witchcraft

1107 Words Dec 9th, 2016 5 Pages
Salem Witch Trials
Witchcraft has been around since the B.C. era, but erupted in the late 1600s. It began in Europe and eventually made its way to the New World. Witchcraft is believing in and the use of practical magic, such as casting spells, calling on spirits, or predicting the future. Witchcraft is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word, “wicce,” meaning wise. Therefore, it translates into “craft of the wise.” Wise people were those who were familiar with natures’ forces and were educated when it came to the herbs and plants. Witches relied greatly on the four elements: air, fire, water, and earth. They were known to have supernatural powers and used them for the good of society, unlike the negative stereotype the modern day witches hold, mainly because of the Christian churches. (
Practicing magic came in three degrees: white magic, black magic, and pact. White magic was used for good, like good luck. For example, carrying around a rabbit’s foot or nailing an upright horseshoe to a door. As witchcraft evolved, obviously there were those who used their magic in harmful ways. Black magic was the practice of supernatural powers for evil, such as sticking pins in a voodoo doll to create bad karma for an enemy. As for the third degree of magic, often people hear the phrase, “selling your soul to the Devil.” Pact is basically that. Someone had made a “pact” with the Devil to serve him. (Hansen 3-5).
Witchcraft broke out around 1690 in Salem, Massachusetts and…
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