Witchcraft - Past and Present

Ref: C2341801

This day course explores the extraordinary history of witchcraft. From ancient times until the present day, students will encounter some of the main ways in which magic both black and white has haunted the human imagination, in the form of healing charms, spells, ritual markings, rumours of shape-shifting and Satanism, and more. With plenty of images, stories, and discussion, the style will be evocative, imaginative but also even handed. Is witchcraft dangerous, therapeutic, or a misguided superstition? At the conclusion of this day school, it will be up to you to decide.

Course aim

This course explores the fascinating, diverse, and controversial history of witchcraft, from ancient times to the present day.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Investigate the history of witchcraft and magic, and understand some of the ways that witchcraft and magic have human culture in the past.
  • Discuss some of the moral, intellectual and welfare issues associated with the belief in and practise of witchcraft and magic.
  • Explore the richness and diversity of cultural history.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Sceptic, believer or not sure - all are welcome on this course and no pre reading is required. However, students interested in the modern history of witchcraft may enjoy my own book - Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Witchcraft - Past and Present


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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