Use the Firefox browser with the CoolPreview add on. CoolPreview will give a magnifying glass icon at every link when you put your cursor on the link. Click on the icon and it will open a separate, smaller window with the definition of the term in it. You can either lock the window by clicking the padlock icon in the top bar of the little window, or move your cursor off the window and it will automatically close. This is almost as good as mouseovers.
THE SUBJECT OF WITCHCRAFT/SORCERY AND THE USES OF THE WORDS IN GLOSSARY ENTRIES
As an editor and researcher, I am caught between accurate, objective scholarship and my conscience. Witches and witchcraft have become entangled in the ancient prejudices of Christianity. The practitioners of witchcraft (Wiccans) are good, peaceful and life affirming folk. I am loathe to pass this too-common calumny along where it contains a negative or black magic connotation. However, the integrity of the glossary demands an accurate reflection of the culture surrounding the practice of shamanism in contemporary and historical Incan South America. The curanderos, particularly, have this prejudice ingrained in their culture.
The Spanish were quick to paint indigenous healing and worship with the evil brush. Willfully disregarding the intent of the practitioner, if it didn’t agree with dogma, the Spanish automatically deemed it evil. (Even quipus were “evil.”) Please keep this in mind when you run across mentions of witches and witchcraft, sorcery and sorcerers. We can all pray for an end to this unjustifiable bigotry.
The following is a Rabbi’s view on what the Bible (which was written by Jews, after all) has to say on the subject:
Shamanism and sorcery are NOT antithetical to the Hebrew scriptures. In fact, torturing a witch to death is a far more heinous sin in Judaism than practicing the occult arts.
The proscriptions in the Bible against divination and sorcery refer specifically to the kinds of sorcery practiced by specified cultures whose ways the Jewish people were forbidden to emulate. [Emphasis mine]
The Hebrew scriptural verse (Exodus 22: 17) M'KHSHEYFAH LO T'CHIYEH, for example, has for centuries been haphazardly translated as 'You shall not suffer a witch to live,' when literally it translates: 'You should not SUSTAIN a witch,' meaning don't get into the habit of supporting the livelihood of the village magician; don't let some guy with a lot of supernatural power drain you of your savings through fear and intimidation. Let him get a job like everybody else, and perform his magic out of the goodness of his heart and in recognition of the sacred gift he possesses.
Another translation of the exact same Hebrew wording would be: 'From sorcery you should not live,' as in don't base your entire life and all of your affairs on the powers of sorcery, or, don't make a living from it.
(From MAGIC OF THE ORDINARY, by Rabbi Gershon Winkler © 2001.)
And, no, I am not Jewish. But I like Jews: they’re smart, and I like smart people.
Here are a couple of links explaining the true nature of witchcraft and the history of the persecution of its practitioners in a Christian context: