Salem is the historic setting of the infamous witch trials of 1692, during which twenty innocent people were executed, accused by the local authorities of worshiping the devil. This was a charge those in power called Witchcraft. No one knew who the next person to be accused would be. Salem Village, now the town of Danvers, was paralyzed with fear. Neighbor turned against neighbor in a hysteria that has forever left its imprint upon the American consciousness. We look back in the hopes that such an event never takes place again.
The Witch hunters were mistaken in their interpretation of Witchcraft as a form of devil worship. Witchcraft is not and has never been a form of Satanism. The people of 1692 Salem Village were probably innocent Christians who may have differed from the established social order, causing suspicion amongst the neighboring villagers. However, real Witches probably did live in colonial Salem, and secretly passed on their psychic skills down through their family line. The helpful arts of healing, divination, psychic awareness, midwifery, and the medicinal and magical use of herbs were all skills possessed by the Witch. Afraid of a world that did not understand them, the Witches of Europe and New England hid their talents from their neighbors, hoping that, one day, they would once again be able to share their knowledge of magic and psychic ability with a more tolerant society. Witches remembered the sacred role that they played in ancient European culture, and knew that someday the world would be different.
Today, many hundreds of Witches live in Salem, and millions more live around the world. We are not the satanists of the Witch hunters’ fantasies, but rather members of a religion which descends from the tribal healers and psychics of early Western Europe. Witchcraft is the “Craft of the Wise,” and is one of the oldest religions known to man. Witches believe in a Goddess who is the energy of creation. We believe that this energy springs from within us to allow us to manifest change in the world. We create our lives from our visions and dreams and share this magical energy with others, whether through magic, healing, or the art of foreseeing the future.