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The word ‘Witchcraft’ has been derived from the word ‘Wicca’ which means ‘the wise one’. Witchcraft has been seen as a magical phenomenon, a pagan worship or religion, sorcery, and others, at different periods in history.
See the fact file below for more information on Witches or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- A witch is a person who practices witchcraft. Traditionally, the word was used to accuse someone of bewitching someone, or casting a spell on them to gain control over them by magic.
- The term is now also used by some to refer to those who practice various contemporary religions such as Wicca.
- Witchcraft was seen as a magical phenomenon that was invoked for magical rites which ensured good luck, protection against diseases and other beneficial reasons.
- However, it was not until 1000 AD that the practice of Witchcraft and witches invoked the wrath of priests, Christianity, and members of the religious society.
- Witchcraft was seen as the religion of the ancient pagan people who worshipped the feminine, earthly, and masculine aspects of God. This was however considered as anti-Christian and a heresy.
- Held to be against the declarations and beliefs of the Church, witches were considered as evil as they were believed to have been making pacts and connections with the Devil.
- It was even believed that witches engaged in practices such as flying, invisibility, killing, and taming black wolves and cats to spy on people.
- The belief in the existence of witches was strengthened particularly after Pope Innocent VIII issued a declaration in 1498 confirming their existence in society.
- In 1200, the killing of witches had already become authorised by Pope Gregory IX.
- The first crusade against witches was held in 1022 AD when a witch was burned to death.
- Witchcraft history echoes the terrible campaign against witchcraft in Salem in 1692 when 150 people were tried as suspects of practicing witchcraft.
- People suspected as witches were usually burned at stakes, and those pleading their innocence were either stoned to death or sometimes even thrown in water to prove their innocence. Witches usually faced severe and painful deaths or punishments.
Below are some of the people accused of witchcraft:
- The Witches of Salem, Massachusetts: The trials of 1692 contributed to the title of “the Witch-city”, which Salem has today.
- Elizabeth of Doberschütz who was beheaded and burnt outside the gates of Stettin on 17 December 1591.
- Anna Roleffes, better known as Tempel Anneke, was one of the last witches to be executed in Braunschweig. She was executed on 30 December 1663.
- The Samlesbury witches, tried in one of the most famous witch trials in English history, were found not guilty, but ten other people were found guilty and were hanged.
- Hester Jonas, known as The Witch of Neuss, was beheaded and burnt on Christmas Eve 1635. She was about 64 years old. The complete proceedings of the trial is still available in Neuss.
- Catherine Monvoisin, close to Marquise de Montespan, was a lover of Louis XIV and was accused of being a witch. She delivered poisons and held black masses for payment. She was burnt with some others on the Place de la Grève in Paris, in 1680.
- Maria Holl, also known as The Witch of Nördlingen, was one of the first women to withstand being tortured during her witch trial of 1593/1594. Her act led to doubts quelling up about the righteousness of witch trials. She was cleared of the accusations and died in 1634 probably from the plague.
- Anna Schnidenwind, one of the last women to be publicly executed for witchcraft in Germany, was burnt after being strangled in Endingen am Kaiserstuhl on 24 April 1751.
- Anna Göldi (or Göldin) was the last witch to be executed in Europe. This happened in Glarus, Switzerland, in the summer of 1782.
- Joan of Arc was accused of witchcraft and was burned at the stake.
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Witches worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Witchcraft which has been seen as a magical phenomenon, a pagan worship or religion, sorcery, and others, at different periods in history.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Witches Facts
- Movie Experience
- Fact or Bluff
- Opinion Section
- Fill in the Blanks
- What Happened?
- Known Witches
- The Witch Trials
- Word Search
- Who Am I?
- Church and Witches
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Link will appear as Witches / Witchcraft Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 12, 2017
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