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Essay on The Modern Witch and the Use of Witchcraft

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The Modern Witch and the Use of Witchcraft

"I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!" The Wicked Witch of the West...

One of the most notorious and stereotypical witches in all literature.

She had green skin, a big wart- covered nose, and a wide-brimmed black hat. She summoned a legion of monsters, stirred evil brews in her black cauldron, and generally made life difficult for the fun-loving citizens of Oz. She, and her fellow "hags" tend to be seen in a rather comic light, despite their appearance, and are usually seen around Halloween. They are one of the two ideas that most people hold of who witches are and what they do. The other is that of the "devil's whore" of Medieval Europe and Colonial Salem who were
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Wiccans believe that these are all, in reality, simply individual aspects of one God and one Goddess, rather than individual Deities. Just as there are numerous names for the Divine, so do Wiccans worship them in just as many ways.

There are many different branches, called "traditions", of The Craft, most of which are based on the religious practices of one or more ancient cultures. There are Celtic Wiccans, Egyptian Wiccans, and Greek Wiccans. One of the newest traditions is a hybrid of Celtic Shamanism and the tribal religions of Ancient America. There is, however, a basic outline for conducting worship services that is followed by all covens and solitaries. A standard Wiccan worship service, or ritual, which takes place on one of the eight yearly sabbats (the solstices, equinoxes, and four Ancient Celtic agricultural festivals) or at an esbat (full moon), consists of the creation of sacred space(called "casting the circle;" this is done through visualization), prayers, and offerings (these are usually material possessions, plants, or handmade items; Wiccans never sacrifice animals or people), and a sharing of a simple meal with fellow witches (if a member of a coven) and the Deities. Worship services have many important purposes, but the main reason Wiccans perform rituals is to gain understanding of the energies of the divine and, ultimately, the energies contained in the witch himself/herself. The harnessing
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