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Walpurgis Night, 1668

Walpurgis Night, 1668


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Title illustration by unknown artist of Johannes Praetorius' Blocksbergs Verrichtung, 1668. According to a myth propagated during the era of witch persecution, witches and wizards gathered at certain places on Walpurgis Night, April 30. The most famous of these alleged meeting places was the Blocksberg (or Brocken), the highest peak in the Harz Mountains. The Witches' Sabbath or Sabbat is a meeting of those who practice witchcraft and other rites. European records indicate cases of persons being accused or tried for taking part in Sabbat gatherings, from the Middle Ages to the 17th century or later. Witchcraft is the use of magical faculties, most commonly for religious, divinatory or medicinal purposes. This may take many forms depending on cultural context. The belief in and the practice of magic has been present since the earliest human cultures and continues to have an important religious and medicinal role in many cultures today.

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