Places: A witch’s Travel Guide

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Places: A witch’s Travel Guide

Witchcraft ultimately has but one requirement: human needs and desire. Witchcraft occurs wherever there are people, and so witchcraft is at home all over Earth.

That said, for one reason or another, certain places have powerful associations with witchcraft. Although some locales may be physically remote or difficult for the average person to access, that doesn’t mean these are rare locations. Quite the contrary. Many places are associated with witchcraft. These places fall into two categories:

Image Generic places identified with witchcraft practices. Thus bathhouses, forests, and crossroads, in general, are by their very nature, “witchcraft places” and may be considered witchcraft’s “power places”

Image Specific locations that for various historic reasons are identified with witchcraft

During Europe’s witch-hunt era, witch-hunters identified and named specific locations as the haunts of witches. Sometimes they posted scouts and spies to see who was traveling to and lingering in these areas. In many cases these were places that had ancient associations with Pagan religions or were by their nature (caves, mountain peaks) places that would be conducive to witchcraft practices.

In addition to places specifically associated with witchcraft, there are also many places around the world favored by contemporary witches, Wiccans, and Neo-Pagans including many ancient Pagan shrines—especially those associated with ancient Egypt, standing stones and stone circles, and places identified with the Arthurian saga. Many modern witches would consider Carnac, Glastonbury, and Stonehenge sacred sites for instance.

What is described below is but the tip of the iceberg: there were allegedly no less than 800 known locations specifically identified as witches’ rendezvous places in Lorraine alone during the height of its witchcraze (approximately 1580—1630). There are two ways of looking at this statistic: witchcraft, rooted in ancient Pagan traditions, was banned but never disappeared. The sheer number of places associated with witchcraft serves as proof of survival. Conversely (and not only in Europe!) the sheer number of places associated with witchcraft may reveal more about witchcraft-hysteria than about witchcraft itself.

Take your pick. Let’s take a tour!