Witches & Tantriks

"Fair is foul and foul is fair

Hover through the fog and filthy air." Macbeth Act I, Scene I

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Porter has given a new lease of life to the world of witchcraft and wizardry. Not surprisingly, internet surveys record an ever-increasing number of teenagers across the globe, signing up to join Witchvox, Pagan Space, Pagan Net and other occult sites for Witches and Wiccans, hoping to learn to fly on a broom, cast love spells and money spells or change a teacher into a toad.

Online Medical Dictionary defines witchcraft as “an act of employing sorcery (the use of power gained from the assistance or control of spirits), especially with malevolent intent, and the exercise of supernatural powers and alleged intercourse with the devil or a familiar.” Practitioners of witchcraft differentiate between the word magic that refers to a trick of a magician or an illusionist and magick that happens, “When the energies around you and within are maneuvered and shaped in order to produce a specific outcome.” Paganism as a spiritual belief worships Nature and sees the Divine as embodied within everything. Neo-paganism is grouped along with witchcraft, Wicca and other practices where the practitioners claim to conjure ‘spirits’ resembling the ancient practice of “Ceremonial Magick.”  The word Magic itself has been respelled as Magick and was popularized in the first half of 20th century.   As it was understood ‘Magick’ itself could not produce "miracles" or violate the laws of nature (e.g., it cannot cause a sudden thunderstorm or solar eclipse), although "it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature".

 Folklore and fairytales have good witches and bad witches who conjure spirits from an ethereal ream to bless or curse human beings. Extensive studies among several groups in Central Africa, Central and South America and many parts of Asia found that belief in “spirits” or a supernatural cause still prevails in these cultures.  Patients derive psychological benefit from these tantrik healers (sometimes called witches), for traditional remedies like herbal medicines and casting spells to ward off the evil that supposedly cause the illnesses. Recently, there was news of a woman in Chandigarh, who killed her nephew in a human sacrifice at the behest of a local tantrik in order to have a son of her own.

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