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(1,595 words)

Author(s): Heinemann, Evelyn | Haustein, Jörg
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The German word Hexe (witch) derives from the West Germanic hag (fence, gate). In Old High German hagazuzza is the “fence rider” (fem.). During the phase of Christian expansion until the early Middle Ages, missionaries met among Celtic, Germanic and Slavic peoples who knew, in addition to high gods, a number of lower and local divinities. Common to all Germanic peoples was belief in the power of magic, including harmful magic, which was everywhere punished. Gifts of food to good …