Posted by Stephenie Crowe on 10/25/2015 to Occult Weekly
As history is often defined by the political actions of nations, we are able to trace the impact of legislation on witchcraft in various locations throughout time. These decrees were sometimes oppressive, though others were constructive for the progress of the Craft. As we will discuss today, the implication of even others has yet to be known. For example, the Inquisition, or the Roman Catholic Church’s official policy on heretics, commenced an epoch of persecution for witches and other non-Christians alike, while the United States’ Bill of Rights permitted religious freedom for all citizens. In Great Britain, the Witchcraft Acts of the 16th century made the pursuit of this spiritual path penalized by death, while the Repeal of the Witchcraft Act of 1735 made way for underground neopagan groups to surface. There are many more historical regulations of this nature, though today we pay tribute to the decision of the New York case Stambovsky vs. Ackley.