Mountains - 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

Witches revel. But where do they revel? According to widespread European folklore, witches hold their parties and perform sacred rituals atop hills and mountains.

This actually makes sense if one considers witchcraft’s ancient origins: in days of yore, before maps, sat-nav and road signs (and sometimes even roads), the easiest places to rendezvous were those characterized by obvious geographic features—crossroads for instance. Once upon a time, roads often only intersected in only one place and so a crossroads couldn’t be missed. All you had to do was keep walking until you arrived. Other popular meeting points including standing stones, large barrow mounds or similar unique monuments and, of course, the highest point in the area.

The highest point in the area is a vantage point: it has an obvious advantage.

Those already in attendance can see exactly who’s approaching, crucial during the witchhunt era when festivities, rites, and revelry were forbidden and threatened by legal persecution. Many of the mountains associated with witchcraft combine features: they are also forested and dotted with caves. If the wrong people crashed the party, devotees might have the opportunity to find safety within these caves and forests.

Mountains and hills are more than that, however: they are also sacred places, the places on Earth closest to the Heavens. The Bible continually complains of people traveling to “high places” to worship “foreign gods.” The practice has never ended.

There are a tremendous number of these places. Some (Bald Mountain, The Brocken) are very famous: allegedly witches flew from all over the world to attend the massive festivities held there. Others are only of local repute. The ones listed here are but the tip of the iceberg.