Again, this is not my work. the orginal passage can be found at the provided web adress below:
Last weekend, a photograph of a witch appeared next to a newspaper story about the 2011 census. This census is reportedly in jeopardy because of "prank responses to questions": 400,000 people listed their religion as "Jedi" in 2001, "in addition to 7,000 people who said they were witches". I paused. Why are witches bunged together with Jedi in the mock-me-I'm-a-twit corner? Why are they being fingered for the disappearance of the census, an institution so boring that, if it were a sport, no one would watch it?
I know it's easy to laugh at witches. You could say they invite it, although all people who malign minorities would say the minorities invite it. I once met a witch wand-maker who took wood only with the tree's permission and offered gifts – usually tobacco – in return, even though trees are not known to smoke cigarettes. "Trees breathe twice a day," he said. Kevin Carlyon, who calls himself the High Priest of British White Witches, believes the human race originated on Mars and that he personally protects the Loch Ness monster.
Another witch has told me that when the Nazis were planning to invade Britain in 1940, the witches sent a "don't invade" spell across the Channel to destroy the Nazis' evil plans. Yet another suggested that, should I develop a wart, I was to bury a Plasticine wart at a crossroads and then the genuine wart would melt away. In all this, I suppose, witches can be lumped together with the Jedi and their insane veneration of the late Alec Guinness as a deity.
But there is more to witchcraft than zapping warts and hexing tyrants. The Pagan Federation, the umbrella organisation for British pagans, does have a PR department, and it sends off emails when they feel particularly aggrieved, such as when someone called Jade Goody a witch on GMTV in 2006. But mostly they are prepared to take the flak from their old enemies, the Sunday papers and Christianity, because it's better now than it used to be. Today, there are pagan oaths in court and pagan chaplains in hospitals and prisons. No witch has been imprisoned for sorcery in Britain since 1944; no witch has been executed since 1727.
But still I feel an urge to defend the witches. Of all the silly religions – and I think that all religions are silly – I believe that witchcraft is the least dangerous and the most benign. It is also the least understood.
This is partly because witches have to be secretive to avoid being mocked, fired or burned. Coming out as a witch today is called "coming out of the broom-closet". It is also because no one is sure whether witchcraft is a modern construct that appeared after the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in 1951, or merely the continuation of Britain's pre-Christian paganism. Furthermore, witches disagree on many issues, and different sects – "traditions" – like to fight among themselves. This is called "bitchcraft". One witch told me, on the record, that he thought Carlyon was "an idiot".
But the things that witches do agree on are benevolent. Witchcraft is the ultimate eco-religion. Witches love our planet. They are pagans who worship the stones and the trees through the prism of their god and goddess, by practising "the art magical". I don't know what this is exactly, because no witch would tell me. It sounds odd, and very time-consuming, but not dangerous. There are no witch Jihadis, and few witch proselytisers.
But I have seen Kate West, author of The Real Witches Handbook, harangue an audience at the Witchfest convention in Croydon to bully politicians into action on global warming, long before it was fashionable. "Go away and turn into a group of nagging witches," she shouted, dressed, incredibly self-referentially, as Grotbags from Emu's World. "We sing to the Mother Goddess and follow her through the cycles of the seasons. But do we stick up for her when she is in trouble?" She then laid into the curse of spray-can incense and battery-powered "flickering" candles – witches, on the whole, do not care about money.
Witchcraft is also a religion that venerates the female. During the witch trials, odd, different or freethinking women – outsiders – were tortured and murdered; it's all in the Vincent Price classic Witchfinder General (1968). Many female witches told me they were drawn in for this reason: there are no shaven heads in witchcraft, no shrouding of the female, no submission to the male. I suspect even Jedis think men are superior to women – the worship of the lightsaber is a telling clue.
But don't witches believe in the devil? I spent an evening with a witch in Hastings once. We watched Inspector Morse while he told me that "witches do not believe in Satan and they do not believe in the devil" every five minutes, like a malfunctioning witch-themed robot. But don't they practise dark magic? Well, they claim they can but most don't, because they believe any evil spell will rebound three times on them. "I could turn someone into a frog," I was told, "but what would be the point?"
It is true that witches often like to practise naked – they call it being "sky-clad". Isn't this a bit dodgy; more fuel for the salivating Sunday papers? When I asked another witch about this, he freaked out. "People always say this," he spluttered. "They think that because there is nudity, there has to be sex. It is absolutely untrue. You exude power from the body. And when you are sky-clad, there is no rank." It is only a form of saggy democracy and, he added, 50% of witches like to keep a robe on anyway.