Potted history of witchcraft

The other day I had a long rambling conversation with some people over Zoom where I ended up giving them a highly condensed version of a potted history of witchcraft.

This made me realize that I could make a short accessible series of videos on the subject. So I am doing exactly that, on my YouTube channel, The Witch’s Mirror.

Witchcraft in Antiquity video:
the witches of Thessaly, Pagan attitudes to witchcraft, mystery cults
Witchcraft in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period video:
witchcraft in the early Middle Ages, the Reformation, the early modern period, the witchcraft persecutions, Hebamme und Hexen, the Witchcraft Act 1735
The Rebirth of Witchcraft video:
the Enlightenment, Romanticism, folklore collectors,
the Hermetic Society of the Golden Dawn, Theosophy, and more

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more

Quality witchy content approximately once a week

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5 thoughts on “Potted history of witchcraft

  1. Let’s not forget about witchcraft in pre-history. I suspect witchcraft is as old as humanity. Maybe even older? But perhaps it would be more correct to describe that as animism, or a subset of animism? I do so tend to distrust categories and pigeon holes..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point, there was undoubtedly something resembling witchcraft back in prehistory but it’s hard to know what to call it without written records. I’d like to do a video on the archaeology of witchcraft but although I have studied a fair amount of archaeology, it didn’t cover much about the magical practices of prehistory.


      • I think of the Witch as an archetype, and archetypes themselves are pretty much timeless, even if the finer details of them vary. But I suppose that gets into the question of whether being a witch is something that you are, or is it something that you do? Rather like the old theological question of faith vs works. My own practice seems to me to be as much a process of remembering, as anything else.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think a witch is both something you are and something you do.

        There are archetypes for many roles that people fulfil, but the way people perform the role is unique to them. And often the archetypes are wrong or out-of-date. For example, according to the archetype of a minister or vicar, they don’t have sex. That requirement ceased to be relevant in Protestant denominations at the Reformation.

        My answer to the question of faith or works is also “both/and”, unsurprisingly. 🙂


  2. Pingback: More potted history | Dowsing for Divinity

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