Stories of witches and the power of magic have enthralled us since humanity first walked the earth. The words 'witchcraft' and 'witch', or their equivalents, are rooted in perceptions of the magical arts, primordial spiritual traditions, or women's primal power. But what is the true definition of a witch, and what do we really know about the world of magic? 'The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraftis' a comprehensive celebration of all facets of witchcraft. From fairy tales to familiars, hags to healers, from Ancient Egypt to modern Wicca and Neo-Paganism, this definitive reference book reveals the many faces and traditions of thousands of years of witchcraft. Here is a feast of facts and curiosities, including recipes from the witch's cauldron, auspicious dates from the witch's sacred calendar, and different methods of witches' flight. Discover how witches have inspired fine art and mass entertainment, from Shakespeare to Harry Potter, and how witchcraft has been depicted in various ways, from veneration to defamation. Learn about witches and worship, with those special deities most identified with witchcraft; and take a journey to the Burning Times, those terrible centuries when witches suffered persecution and death. Packed full of legends, lore, magic spells, potions, recipes, and rituals, 'The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft' is a delightful mixture of instruction, entertainment, and the downright bizarre; it is the ultimate reference work for both the dedicated follower and casual consumer of all things magical.