• It was only "frowned upon" in cultures in which witchcraft was perceived to be evil. That is to say: primarily in Christian-dominated and Muslim-dominated cultures.
  • Fear of something they couldn't understand.
  • In the 17th century it was related to demonology. According to Enoch, witchcraft was first taught by fallen angels to mortal wives. This presumably explains the relationship between witchcraft and women. In medieval text the first woman, Lilith, transforms herself into a demon/witch by the power of using the Tetragrammaton. Even though both men and women can take part in witchcraft, Exodus 22:17 prohibits mahashefah (the feminine form of the noun) which is taken as a prooftext that witchcraft is a particularly feminine activity, this is despite the existence of magical manuals such as The Sword of Moses (a medieval Hebrew manual of theurgy), which is clearly written with the assumption that the adept using it will be a man. Therefore, a distinction between learned sorcery (practiced mostly by men), and folk magic (practiced mostly by women) started to emerge. In general, witches in biblical and rabbinic literature are thought to be engaged mostly in malevolent activities, from interfering with fertility and healthy births to cursing rivals and killing the unsuspecting. This stands in contrast with beneficent sorcery, such as healing rituals and amulet making, which Jewish tradition tolerates. Witches seem to be a source of the evil eye, indicating they are motivated by envy and jealousy. Others use their powers for personal profit. In medieval literature of northern Europe, by contrast, the image of the witch as a purely malevolent entity comes to the forefront, perhaps reflecting the greater hostility toward witches found in Christian culture at that time. In Sefer Hasidim, witches share attributes with werewolves and vampires: they shape-shift, fly, have bloodlust, and can become the undead So I should imagine these viewpoints carried on.

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