There are any number of articles, books, and magazines that have asked whether witchcraft is real or just a myth, but a large number of such publications have a tendency to direct their thoughts towards magic and spells rather than looking into what witchcraft really is. In order to understand witchcraft it is necessary to examine the beliefs and history behind it.
Witchcraft is a Pagan religion meaning that it does not follow the three main religious paths of Judaism, Islam, or Christianity. The fundamental belief of witchcraft is the worship of nature often seen through ceremonies involving the seasons, moon, and sun. This does not mean that ancient civilizations which worshiped the sun, for instance, followed witchcraft. We are all aware that the Egyptians revered the sun as a God called Ra but this did not make them witches, merely a Pagan society as we would explain it today.
Ancient civilizations that worshiped nature would not see themselves as Pagan as it was just the way of life for them at the time. Paganism is a relatively modern concept. We tend to look back through history with eyes clouded by our modern religions which are not really that old. Our ancestors worshiped many different things long before organized religion surfaced and some of their practices have been linked to witchcraft because of their focus on nature.
Witchcraft is classified today as a Pagan religion which means that it is has a belief system which is followed by its practitioners much like any other religion in the world. The more traditional forms of witchcraft do not adhere to any type of strict code but more modern variations, such as Wicca, have evolved into what we would call a more regimented form of religious practice. The fact that witchcraft is now seen as a form of religion makes it as real as any other belief system. Christians believe in Christianity and witches believe in witchcraft, both are equally viable as a religion as their practitioners believe them to be true.
Magic and spells are a topic unto themselves and our perception of them has been altered by the likes of Hollywood to such an extent that it is harder to explain. This article covers the basic concepts of witchcraft by asking Is Witchcraft Real, the more complex nature of magic, and its existence will need to be discussed in other articles.