Witchcraft (also called witchery or spell craft) 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.
"Magic is central not only in 'primitive' societies but in 'high cultural' societies as well..."
The concept of witchcraft as harmful is often treated as a cultural ideology providing a scapegoat for human misfortune.
Witch hunts continue to this day with tragic consequences. Since the mid-20th century Witchcraft has become the designation of a branch of contemporary Paganism.