Let's take a minute to think about the men and women murdered for being witches during the witch craze of 1692. I have heard a few make the comment that "if we still burned them like we did in Salem..." and I want to set the record straight from my view point on it. First off there were no actual witches put to death in Salem, second what happened never actually ended!
The men and women who were murdered were not witches, but people in the town who either rubbed someone the wrong way or had something someone wanted. They were falsely accused because either some one wanted them out of the way to take what they had or someone else didn't like their personality or behaviors. This still happens today! People can be liars and cheats, and will bare false witness if it serves in their favor. Witches' beliefs prevent them from doing this action, or it should anyways!
The evidence found against these people was absolutely ridiculous and ignorant! To say that a mole on someone was proof of marks given by the devil makes no sense to me. Who doesn't have some mole or other blemish? Or finding sewing materials in a woman's home? Really who bought clothes back then instead of making them, and even if they were bought most wives repaired them at home. Just looking at some of the trial transcrips makes you laugh at how one sided it was, almost like the judges were reading a script and stuck to it no matter what the accused said! One only needs to read the "examination of evidence records" to see this. Many of the individuals found guilty were innocent and the ones who plead guilty only did so under duress and fear for their own lives.
The fact that I have heard this said proves that in times of great advance in technology today there are still those few stuck in the dark ages of ignorance. Witchcraft is a very loving religion that is strong in love of all things! All one has to do is say that someone did something and it will spread like wild fire whether it's true or not. This is exactly what happened during that time. Some of them were caught doing questionable activities and instead of explaining themselves they placed blame on bewitchment and blamed others. Witches neither do this nor did it back then. Many of those accused were accused out of fear from others. People were so afraid of being accused of being a witch that they said someone else was bewitching them to keep the judgement on their side. In situations where others are afraid and fear is running high, especially fear for ones own life, hysteria also runs wild. Afraid they could also be implicated as being a witch any witness to odd behavior was reported as witchcraft. If someone felt like another saw them doing something questionable they would accuse that person of bewitching them to keep them from accusing them.
Confusing isn't it all? The sad thing is things are still like this! Not really as simple as saying someone is a witch, but there are things now that are just as bad. People have lied and accused others of being child molesters to get them arrested, accused co workers of things at work just to get them fired. People have told another's spouse or lover lies to break up the relationship just because they desire them. It's horrible to think that as much as technology has advanced human nature is still the same. Many countries still follow a theocracy and individuals found guilty of witchcraft are put to death.
The fact that these comments were made tells me that others wish my death, my violent murder no doubt, for no reason other than I believe something different than they do. ME! Someone who would do anything for anyone! Someone who follows a belief that all life is sacred and everyone has their own path to follow, is considered a danger because I believe in a God and a Goddess! I have been told I am evil, I have been called a devil worshiper, and I have had my children attacked because of my beliefs. I ask who exactly is the danger then? Not the witches!
At Samhain, I have my children light a candle in remembrance of those who lost their lives to the witch trials. We don't do this because some may have been witches but to remind my children that when intolerance is allowed people suffer and things de-evolve to a dark time. I hope that in doing so my children will continue with this lesson to their children and it will change things slowly around them.