The Controversy Surrounding Witches’ Familiars and Religious Judgement

The Controversy Surrounding Witches’ Familiars and Religious Judgement

How come religions glorified certain Biblical characters’ - such as Jesus and Mary - communication with spirits or angelic entities, yet it condemned witches’ conferring with familiars, to the point of torture and burning them? The Judeo-Christian religions have historically harshly judged and condemned witches who have familiar spirits, practice idolatry, and prophesy. These condemnations have spilled the blood of far too many pagans to count. Though these religions have sometimes espoused and practiced tolerance, witches who kept familiars were not given grace and forgiven and were mostly put to death.  Due to some passages in the Bible, it is believed by many that a witch actually loses her soul and is damned if she practices divination or consults the spirits of the dead. As Leviticus 20:27 states: “A man or a woman who has a ghost or a familiar spirit shall be put to death; they shall be pelted with stones - their bloodguilt shall be upon them.”

Witch with Familiar (Image © Maja D’Aoust)

Witch with Familiar (Image © Maja D’Aoust)

Controversy exists regarding the double standards applied by religious dogmas. Although the Catholic Church staunchly reprimands necromancy practiced by witches, Roman Catholic altars contain the remains of saints, called relics and the entire cathedral of St. Peter in Rome is built upon, and calls upon, the dead buried underneath it, as it is constructed on top of a grave mound.


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