What is a Witch?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary would have you believe a Witch is someone (usually female) that has malignant super powers. That they practice a magic that would be considered evil. Of course this is according to movies and cartoons, and continues on through Halloween as someone who casts evil spells, wears black hats and dons' an ugly large mole on their nose. Green skin and an annoying heckling voice that chases small children through the woods to capture and eat them.
My thoughts on being a Witch are more evolved considering the word is ultimately derived from the Witchcraft also known as "Wicca," a modern-day nature based pagan religion. History.com explains "though rituals and practices vary among people who identify as Wiccan, most observations include the festival celebrations of solstices and equinoxes, the honoring of a male god and female goddess, and the incorporation of herbalism and other natural objects into rituals." It goes on to say, "Wiccans practice their religion according to an ethical code."
The famous Salem Witch Trials, where people accused of performing magic spells, going against the Christian religion and were therefore murdered by hanging. Taking place in Salem, Massachusetts between 1692-1693, more than 200 people were accused of practicing Witchcraft, the "Devil's Magic" and 20 were executed. Eventually the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted.
Anyone today, claiming to be Wiccan, are actually people who believe in a more natural, earth-based belief system that is all about nature and using the earth cycles to celebrate life with intention. They use the natural elements of earth, air, fire and water to perform rituals or meditations and set intentions. If you believe words have power, so do modern-day Wiccans. They also believe what comes around, goes around. So if any Wiccan is casting negative intentions to anyone, really they are bringing that same negativity onto their own selves.
Oracles are also used in the craft to deliver messages. Such as Tarot Cards and Runes, as well as Pendulums. These are just tools that are used in conjunction with spiritual guides to deliver messages. Another misconception with using any sort of Oracle is that the devices are evil.
The take away from this message is that true Witches or Wiccans do not believe in harming anyone, nor do they believe in a devil. The Devil is a concept made up by Christians. The "devil" keeps you from being a bad person, and is ultimately an idea that is taught at a young age to keep people from doing bad things.
Any child can be taught to believe whatever you want them too, whether it is true or not.
Happy Halloween My Witches!