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This paper will provide a general survey of witchcraft past and present The paper will also discuss contemporary witches and how they practice their craft It will also include the history and myths of werewolves Most experts agree that witchcraft represents the old pre-Christian tribal religion of Europe Starhawk Truth or Dare 7 Although witchcraft is commonly associated with the use of magical spells and other anti-social behaviors experts also agree that true witchcraft is actually nothing more than a form of nature worship that has long been popular in alternative circles Catala 2 However it is also acknowledged that there are two basic types of witches According to the occult writer Marion Weinstein witches may choose to follow either a negative or positive path in the practice of their craft The negative path relates to the traditional stereotype of witches who use demons and magical spells in order to harm others and thereby manipulate reality for their own selfish gain On the other hand the positive path relates to the original practice of witchcraft which dates back to prehistoric times in European history In this original form of witchcraft the practitioners spend their time worshipping nature and goddesses as opposed to casting spells against others According to Starhawk a modern authority on witchcraft magic powers can be raised for the purpose of changing consciousness and improving ones spiritual life Thus in her own words Witchcraft is a mystery religion based on ritual on consciously structured collective experiences that allow us to encounter the immeasurable Truth or Dare 7 The positive form of witchcraft is based on ancient practices of nature worship in which rituals are used to align oneself with the cycles of nature Thus as noted by Starhawk witchcraft takes its teachings from nature and reads inspiration in the movements of the sun moon and stars the flight of birds the slow growth of trees and the cycles of the seasons Spiral Dance
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