The word “witch” has its origins in Old English, from Wicca or Wicce. A witch is a male or a female that practices witchcraft or possesses some kind of supernatural power. Some interesting and random facts about witches and witchcraft, both old and modern.
1. They were mentioned in The Bible
I know, interesting, you wouldn’t expect to read about witches in The Bible, but we have one of the first records about witches in The book of 1 Samuel, which is believed to be written between 931 B.C. and 721 B.C.
There, it is mentioned The witch of Endor, who was asked by King Saul to summon the dead prophet, Samuel.
Witches were also mentioned in 800 B.C. in Homer’s Odyssey, about Circe, who is portrayed as a witch.
2. They often have familiars
Familiars are pets that help the witches perform their magic, they are believed to be supernatural entities. Familiars are also believed to be “devils” that help their householders, in return for little offerings.
The most common familiars are cats —especially black —, toads and crows.
3. They use herbs for their magic.
Witches love nature, they have a special connection with what’s around them, the plants, the soil, and of course the moon. They use herbs to make different potions, for protection, healing, and many others.
4. They can have marks
It is believed that witches are marked by The Devil, with claw scratches, red or blue brand made by using a hot iron, or more natural things like moles, or a raised bump somewhere on the witch’s body.
5. Witches are not Satanists
This is a belief many have about witches, but witches do not worship Satan. If we would take “Wicca” a pagan religion that worships two gods, one female and one male, which are not specific figures, they might be gods from other religions. The female god is also called “Triple Goddess” and she has three forms, and the male god is called “Horned God”.
6. A witch’s spellbook is called a Book of Shadows
“The Book of Shadows” is a book that contains information and instructions for magic rituals, and also many Wiccans choose to write about their magical journey in their BOS.
7. Modern witches celebrate eight holidays per year
The Wheel Year contains 8 holidays that are based on solar events – the Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, and Fall Equinox –
Samhain (31 October)
Yule (20–25 December)
Imbolc (1–2 February)
Ostara (20–23 March)
Beltane (80 April-1 May)
Litha (20–22 June)
Lughnasadh (1 August)
Mabon (20–23 September).
8. In 1944 is the last known case of someone being convicted of witchcraft
Helen Duncan was a medium, and she was convicted of “fraudulent spiritual activity” under Section 4 of Witchcraft Act 1735, she was imprisoned for 9 months.
The last person that was executed legally for witchcraft was Janet Horne in 1727. Horne and her daughter were imprisoned because of the neighbor’s accusations. Her daughter escaped, but Horne was burned at the stake.