For some of us, the idea of witch hunts is a thing of the past. Especially those living in the U.K. and America. Under law we are "free" to practise any religion, including Witchcraft. But what most are not aware of is that thousands of people continue to die per year in the name of witch hunts.
Even children are being abused and dying for it
As a mother, articles like these make me cry.
But even in places where we are "protected" by the law, not even free means "safe" and by no means does everyone obey these laws. "Hate crimes" and "religious discrimination" are terms these acts against witches and other magick practioners of various cultures is labeled. But they are still ever present and you, as someone either interested in being a witch or consider yourself, should know about it.
Many people do not hide being a witch because they are not proud, but because they are being cautious. Witches, and pagans in general, are discriminated against at work, school, by family, and friends in many ways. But sometimes, its taken a step further and violence can be directed toward them, many times even resulting in the person's death.
And sadly, just as the recent Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin, people are wrongfully attacked on the assumption they are something they are not. In the case of the Sikh temple, those poor people were attacked by an ex-military man who fought in the Middle East. Many times, "witches" persecuted are not even "witches", just as those who have lived their entire lives in America have been attacked and even killed, with the vigilante associating them with those in the Middle East. So not only are there "hate crimes" but many times they are done to those entirely unrelated but mistaken to fit the description.
Even here, I see so often "a witch put a curse on me!" Or "a witch stole my boyfriend". Yes, it still is happening, and people will continue to blame their misfortunes on "black magic". And those people who have an inclination to be aggressive and violent, driven by emotion--especially hate--, and fueled with prejudice thinking are out there and aren't going to consider that their actions are against the law. You shouldn't hide in fear, but you should be aware of this fact and be careful.
I have to say, although I don't like the Wiccan religion it has done one amazing thing for us. It has made it very well known that a large and growing group of witches believe in "harm none" and this is very contrary to what so many believe about witches in general. So now there is a tolerance growing and even a rising interest in magick, as people are realizing witches aren't devils riding broomsticks and victimizing people for giggles.
But what DOESN'T help is the media, the "fluffs" who feed into works of fiction, and others (fluffs to legitamately experienced) who want to practice magick just to get their way in life. "I want my girlfriend back", "I want to curse", "I want money" are common repeated themes, not only here but EVERYWHERE. And you as a witch, must understand that others who see this WILL assume we are ALL like this. You're condemned by many before you even get the chance to open your mouth to speak.
We cannot just point fingers at other religions but take a really good look around, and maybe (for some of you) in the mirror at how we are represented. There is good and bad people in every religion, but it is within our power to make sure we (as an individual) reflect our ways in a positive light in public eyes. One person can claim to be a "witch" and "curse" a person to their face, and the next "witch" that person encounters may very well suffer for the other's actions. People fear what they do not understand. And fear can make people do terrible things.
Many believe that attacks on witches throughout the ages to present day are not genocide but gendercide--that is, a fight against women not witches. A fight for dominacy, and fear of women being seen as stronger than men.
But I personally believe that it is not about gender but religion. Perhaps some have done it due to gender, but now it is primarily religious discrimination and the repetitive association with magic and evil. People too often feed into ignorance and express hatred toward other religions and ways. Religious intolerance is a very scary thing to me. Some of the kindest people can become violent in the name of their religion against another person they consider "evil". And the lies they continue to come up with and are teaching their own children are equally frightening.
Please feel free to add to this with your own newspaper articles of recent examples the acts of hatred magick practioners (and mistaken witches) continue to suffer from. I wrote this in order to spread a little awareness.
A lot of beginners here think it's "cool" to practise magick and get into it only because they want to be different or want to use it for selfish reasons. And in addition, many flaunt it around, believing it will give them more respect or cause them to be feared. Some use it as a weapon, "don't make me mad, I'll curse you". People need to realize it's not a joke. It is not a game. It is not a good way to make friends!
If you are doing it for the right reasons, this article won't make you think twice about continuing your practise because its in your heart, where it should be. But if this article does make you reconsider, then I'm pleased, because I just made you see outside of your own box. Hopefully, you'll begin seeing outside of it more often, and if you do continue practising magick or calling yourself a witch, you do so with respect and more caution.