Issues of witchcraft, witches and wizards are rarely written about, not only because the subject besides being bizarre and complex, writers have a fear of being labelled or associated with the things which they would have written about.
This article is not intended on discussing the intricacies of witches but seek to highlight what research has espoused and how families and societies fails to holistically deal with issues of witchcraft and black magic.
Solving witchcraft in families is a mirage due to several reasons but for this script, legislation and religion will be discussed.
Many countries have outlawed the willy nilly indication of witches and wizards.
In Zimbabwe it is unlawful to state that one is a witch.
Issues of witches and wizards have created more problems than that could be solved.
After a person has been labelled a witch, several times the person end up justifying ‘innocence’ by either hitting or killing the accusers or the witch hunter.
Many times, those labelled witches have been on the receiving end of thorough beatings so that they could confess their sins and produce the equipment they use for witching which might include snakes, cats, hyneas or goblins.
Sometimes the violence is necessitated by emotions caused by victims of witchcraft thinking about their suffering or loss of loved ones because of the acts of witches.
Laws have been also used to protect those that might be wrongly indicated witches.
Unfortunately, real witches have escaped and got away with their witchcraft since they know they are protected by the law so they continue doing their dark business.
Witchcraft is believed as to be the useage of supernatural power for evil and selfish purposes and to perform malicious practices to destroy someone physically, mentally or financially.
So as to solve issues of witchcraft, the general beliefs are that spiritual means are to be employed.
Families and societies most of the time fails to agree on the form of spiritual welfare to employ so as to break the jinx caused by witchcraft.
There are several belief systems and in the African context, some are Christians, Moslem, Hindu and some follow African Tradition Religion among other beliefs.
Besides being a family, agreeing on the way to cleanse the family is problematic.
As Karl Marx aptly put it, “Religion is the opium of the people”, people are not prepared to compromise on their belief system even for the bigger good of dealing with witchcraft.
As an example, those from Apostolic Faith Mission will not agree with those from Marange Church on how to tackle witchcraft and use of black magic.
Resultantly, the failure to agree on a certain belief to arrest witchcraft will leave families more disunited than before.
Many societies and families live with witchcraft and do not take firm and sustainable actions to face it until the consequences erupt in violent and dramatic forms.
Witchcraft reander human victims to baseless fears and confusion.
The victims of witchcraft are vulnerable.
Vulnerability becomes a silent social disease to those who might be victims of witchcraft.
How Witches Operate
Witchcraft in Africa and the World over has been explained in the dichotomy of sorcery and black magic which exists in the beliefs of many people throughout the world.
Witches are perceived as particularly active after dusk, when law-abiding mortals are asleep.
According to some beliefs, a witch travels at night, wearing the skin of a dead animal in order to effect a transformation into that animal.
These “skinwalkers” are believed to hold nighttime meetings at which they wear nothing except a mask, sit among baskets of corpses, and have intercourse with dead women.
In some African cultures witches are believed to assemble in cannibal covens, often at graveyards or around a fire, to feast on the blood that they, like vampires, extract from their victims.
It is said, they take the soul from a victim’s body and keep it in their possession, as a result, the victim will die.
African witches in the popular imagination are believed to practice incest and other perversions.
Victims do not find it early but there are some basic symptoms like disturbance in sleeping and bad dreams among others.
In many African cultures witches are believed to act unconsciously; unaware of the ill they cause, they are driven by irrepressible urges to act malevolently.
It is worth noting that, if witches believe they are unconscious agents, this is generally not the view of those who feel victimized by them.
Witches and sorcerers are regularly credited with causing all manner of disease, misfortune and disaster.
In many parts of Africa and Asia, epidemics and natural disasters have been interpreted as acts of witchcraft.
Members of certain Afro-Brazilian cults, for example, believe that job loss is due not to economic conditions or poor performance but to witchcraft, and they participate in a ritual, the “consultation,” to counter the evil.
If one’s home collapses because it was poorly constructed, no witch is needed to explain this.
If a boat sinks because it has a hole in its bottom or a car breaks down because its battery is dead, witchcraft is not responsible.
Witchcraft enters the picture when rational knowledge fails.
It explains the diseases whose causes are unknown, the mystery of death, and, more generally, strange and inexplicable misfortunes.
Witchcraft explains the problem posed when one seeks to understand why misfortune befalls oneself rather than someone else.
It makes sense of the inequalities of life: the fact that one person’s crops or herds fail while others’ prosper.
Equally, witchcraft can be invoked to explain the success of others.
In this “limited good” scenario where there is implicitly a fixed stock of resources and where life is generally precarious, with little surplus to distribute in time of need those who succeed too flagrantly are assumed to do so at the expense of others less fortunate.
The “witch,” therefore, is typically someone who selfishly wants more than he or she ostensibly deserves, whose aspirations and desires are judged excessive and illegitimate.
Since 1970 careful research has elucidated law codes and theological treatises from the era of the witch hunts and uncovered much information about how fear, accusations, and prosecutions actually occurred in villages, local law courts, and courts of appeal in Roman Catholic and Protestant cultures in western Europe.
In African, most people are wallowing in abject poverty and this has lead people to conclude that anyone who is rich might have used juju to accumulate wealth.
The World over is warming upto the acceptance of witchcraft and black magic’s existence to the detriment of others
The unaddressed challenge is the failure to agree upon a way on which the catastrophe can be handled.
With the emergence of satanism and the occultic kingdoms, the World have a long way to fight darkness before light is taken over.