At The Altar of Truth: Tackling the Problem of ‘Witch’-hunting in India

Every once in a while we hear about the terrible ‘witch’-hunts happening in rural areas of India, especially the north-eastern parts.

The media also regularly reports of ‘witch’-hunting in Africa with countless women and kids being regularly killed or tortured because they were believed to be possessed by evil and to cause harm to the community. The lives of numerous little innocent kids has been threatened due to these terrible misconceptions. The real reason for many of these ‘witch’-hunts is primarily the wrong notions spread through Christian pastors in these countries regarding the word ‘witch’.

It is necessary to note the the word Witch stems from the word WIT or wisdom. It refers to a person who can advise or help others with day to day problems using practical wisdom, whether by prescribing herbs, stones or spells to bring peace, health and prosperity.It has nothing to do with evil in the literal sense.

Innocent women wrongly called ‘witches’ have been accused of causing plagues, catastrophes and all manners of evil in the western world too with history as witness. It is a well known fact that the Christian Bible has been laced with ideas regarding killing witches, strongly confusing the word ‘witch’ with harmful sorcery or negative magic. Witch – the once respected icon of feminine wisdom was reduced to an image of ridicule and condemnation burnt at stake for just being.

Yes, that’s what it really boils down to – confusion, misunderstanding and wrong usage of a word, fueled by the wrong notion that something outside needs to be blamed for everything wrong in our life. ‘The Devil’ must have been a very convenient image used to project all the evil in the world onto. In the western world the word ‘Witch’ has been wrongly connected with evil and this fictitious ‘Devil’ for far too long.

In India the practice of branding women as ‘witches’ is more of a problem of erroneous translation by English media. There is no word such as ‘witch’ in India. What the media is trying to report is the practice of women being branded as ‘daayans’ (women possessed by so called evil spirits or ‘chudaails’). These ‘chudails’ and ‘dayans’ are not really anything compared to modern witches in any case. One such shocking superstitious idea regarding ‘witch’ being an evil spirit called ‘chetkin’ has been wrongly propagated by a so-called ‘spiritual science foundation’ in India. They could not be further from the truth about what the word ‘Witch’ actually means. Erroneous notions spread through centuries have thankfully been shunned and exposed in many parts of the developed world today where Witchcraft is making a comeback in a big way in a much more positive light.

In the west modern witches light incense, candles, pray for prosperity, love or health, smudge their house with aromas and sage, believe in the Goddess just like they believe in God, keep idols of gods and goddesses on their home altars, wear crystals and gemstones for healing, make a wish in their mind as they look at the moon and stars, add healing herbs to food for curing common ailments…. That’s what they call witchcraft today. By those parameters ALL Hindus will be witches automatically. In India there is hardly a household where people do not do all of these things daily. So much for ‘witch’-hunting in India!

Those poor women and kids in India and Africa being accused of ‘witchcraft’ probably don’t even know what the word ‘witch’ actually means in its true and literal sense.

While it is important to stop ‘witch’-hunts across the world through legal means and social activism, it is most important to end the misconception and wrong usage of the word ‘witch’ to mean anything evil. The focus should be on creating awareness about the real meaning of the word ‘witch’ and witchcraft as merely a spiritual practice similar to any meditative or religious rite or ritual. No matter what your spiritual beliefs or practices, everyone indulges in making a prayer or a wish, a blessing or a intention from time to time. Everyone does magic everyday. There is nothing evil or sinister about it.

The most important thing that people (including those who practice modern witchcraft) need to understand is that EVERYONE in this universe has their own magical power. We ALL have the power to craft our life. There is not a single person in this world who is not really a witch deep within. Being a witch is neither something special or super-natural. Magic is our own natural power present in every being of nature.

The second thing that everyone (including those who practice modern witchcraft) need to understand is that NO-ONE can truly harm or hurt anyone using any evil power or curse or a negative magic spell. Each person in the world creates their own life, their own destiny. We attract and manifest whatever we think of, resonate with or believe in at a deep level. Those who believe that evil has caused them harm are simply those who have strongly and subconsciously programmed themselves to believe that evil causes them harm. That’s the real reason they ever get harmed. The only person who has any power over your life is YOU – that is the truth, no matter how much you believe in the power of evil magic (erroneously called black magic sometimes). Believe in yourself, in the power of your own inner self – that is the real God or Goddess within you!

Let us Awaken NOW! Let us end all these superstitions and inspire the world to be more positive and spiritually enlightened. So Mote it Be!

Swati Prakash

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