“It may be considered quite absurd to recall so often the facts of witchcraft, in the full light of the nineteenth century. But the century itself is getting old; and as it gradually approaches the fatal end, it seems as if it were falling into dotage; not only does it refuse to recollect how abundantly the facts of witchcraft were proven, but it refuses to realize what has been going on for the last thirty years, all over the wide world.
After a lapse of several thousand years we may doubt the magic powers of the Thessalonian priests and their “sorceries”, as mentioned by Pliny; we may throw discredit upon the information given us by Suidas, who narrates Medea’s journey through the air, and thus forget that magic was the highest knowledge of natural philosophy; but how are we to dispose of the frequent occurrences of precisely such journeys “through the air” when they happen before our own eyes, and are corroborated by the testimony of hundreds of apparently sane persons?
If the universality of a belief be a proof of its truth, few facts have been better established than that of sorcery. “Every people, from the rudest to the most refined, we may also add in every age, have believed in the kind of supernatural agency, which we understand by this term”, says Thomas Wright, the author of Sorcery and Magic, and a skeptical member of the National Institute of France.
“It was founded on the equally extensive creed, that, besides our own visible existence, we live in an invisible world of spiritual beings, by which our actions and even our thoughts are often guided, and which have a certain degree of power over the elements and over the ordinary course of organic life.”
Further, marveling how this mysterious science flourished everywhere, and noticing several famous schools of magic in different parts of Europe, he explains the time-honored belief, and shows the difference between sorcery and magic as follows:
“The magician differed from the witch in this, that, while the latter was an ignorant instrument in the hands of the demons, the former had become their master by the powerful intermediation of Science, which was only within reach of the few, and which these beings were unable to disobey.”
The delineation, established and known since the days of Moses, the author gives as derived from “the most authentic sources.””
H. P. Blavatsky