Originally posted by TrollGirl28
Anyone believe in witches?
There is proof of them.
Well, there is the same "proof" for Witches as there are for Christians or Muslims or Buddhists. That is, they simply exist.
As for "magic", there are two basic forms -- "stage magic", and ceremonial magic.
Stage magic is essentially the art of illusion, mostly of the optical sort. David Copperfield, etc.
Ceremonial magic (sometimes spelled "magick" to differentiate it from stage magic) is very old, likely having its roots in ancient Egypt and Sumeria.
The basis of ceremonial magick in its higher forms -- sometimes called "High Magick" -- is the invocation of archetypal deities (gods and goddesses). A given deity is invoked for the purposes of aligning oneself with the qualities of that deity, or put another way, for evoking one's latent qualities that correspond to the qualities of the deity being called upon. These "deities" are always benevolent, at least in High Magick. Examples are the Archangles Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael, or the Egyptian Thoth, Isis, or Ma'at.
High Magick is about personal spiritual growth. White magick is about healing. Low magick is the practice of manipulating the elements (causing rainstorms, etc). Black magick is the practice of attempting to harm others by invoking negative forces.
Needless to say, black magick is foolish because its effects inevitably boomerang on the practitioner (sooner or later). So from the point of view of spiritual evolution, black magick is a waste of time.
I have known a number of Wiccans (Witches) and always found them to be rather mild folk. Their religion has some connection with ceremonial magick but is also related to the Nature-based traditions like Druidry and shamanism. Witchcraft as practiced today is largely a harmless, benevolent tradition, at least in covens that are run by mature adults.