It is now considered common knowledge that “witches do not worship the devil.” By this it is meant that
(1) “Witches” refers to Wiccans.
(2) Wiccans do not worship the Devil.
(3) Therefore, witches do not worship the Devil.
But why are Wiccans witches?
Every Halloween we hear Wiccans complain about the stereotypes and “misconceptions” of witches, as if these stereotypes referred to them. Well, who is saying they do? As far as I know, Wiccans are referred to as witches solely because they refer to themselves as witches. But if the stereotypes do not apply, then in what sense are they witches?
For centuries, the English word witch referred to evil-doing creatures of Macbeth, James’ Demonologie, and the Maleus Malleficarum. When someone said “witch,” everyone knew what was meant.
Then along come the Wiccans who tell us “real” witches are not like that. Rubbish, I say! Such witches may or may not really exist, but saying “real” witches aren’t like the popular “misconception” is like saying it is a popular misconception that unicorns only have one horn.
There comes a point where you have to say, no, you are just misusing the word.