Activities and Tolerance Links


Last updated 29.10.06

This site belongs to
Barbara Dieu

EFL teacher
and coordinator of the
Foreign Language Department
Lycée Pasteur,
Curso Experimental Bilingue
São Paulo, Brazil

homebase for
This is Our Time Project
(French and Portuguese
Speaking Countries)


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Act 1, Scene 1

Thunder and lightning.
Enter three Witches

First Witch: When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain? (1.1.2)
Second Witch:When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won. (1.1.4)
Third Witch: That will be ere the set of sun.

First Witch: Where the place?
Second Witch: Upon the heath.
Third Witch: There to meet with Macbeth.

First Witch: I come, Graymalkin!
Second Witch: Paddock calls.
Third Witch: Anon.

Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air (1.1.12)





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Peace Quest

Accepting Diversity

Educate for Tolerance

Stereotypes and Prejudices

tolerance flags

The School of Peace




Fight Hate and Promote Tolerance


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The Skeptic's dictionnary

Recommended Readings:

Language Exercises online

"Eye of newt,
and toe of frog,
Wool of bat,
and tongue of dog"

"Adder's fork,
and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg,
and owlet's wing"

"For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and babble"

"Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and caldron bubble"

William Shakespeare

Interactive Multimedia Games

The Bone Garden Estate - a virtual haunted house

The Compass Rosie - a tour on a ghost ship

Looney Tunes Halloween Games
(sound effects)




     Witchcraft is defined in dictionnaries as the human exercise of alleged supernatural powers (sorcery). A woman believed to have such powers may be called a witch or sorceress. Although the man should be called a male witch, some people use the names : wizard, sorcerer or warlock.

     Belief in witchcraft is almost universal in contemporary primitive societies and can also be found in modern technologically developed cultures. When the early settlers came to America, they brought along their belief in witches. In America, the legends of witches spread and mixed with the beliefs of the Native Americans - who also believed in witches, and then later with the black magic beliefs of the African slaves.

     Witches have had a long history with Halloween as they are associated with the dark, the supernatural and the dead. Legends tell of witches gathering twice a year when the seasons changed, on April 30 - the Eve of May Day and the other was on the eve of October 31 - All Hallow's Eve.

     Superstitions told of witches casting spells on unsuspecting people, transforming themselves into different forms and causing other magical mischief. They were believed to make brews or broths of poisonous herbs together with the parts of human and animal corpses. It was said that to meet a witch you had to put your clothes on wrong side out and you had to walk backwards on Halloween night. Then at midnight you would see a witch flying on a broomstick. (see Witches Tools )

  Many superstitions have evolved about cats as some people believed that cats were the spirits of the dead. It was believed that witches could change into cats so the black cat has long been associated with witches. If a black cat was to cross your path you would have to turn around and go back because many people believe if you continued bad luck would strike you.


     However, most of this is based on misunderstandings or a misconception of a religion and way of living. Read The Basics of Witchcraft and find out what witches really are and how they want to be treated and called.

     Witchcraft dates from times immemorial as it was connected to pagan religions related to the earth and natural cycles. With the advent of monotheist religions many religious leaders opposed it to their beliefs and rituals. During the Inquisition, for instance, the clergy accused the people involved in witchcraft of being in league with the devil and practising it for antisocial, evil purposes so as to frighten the population and make them renounce this "primitive" faith. In the Papal Bull of 1484, pope Innocent VIII provided his blessing and encouragement to witchhunting.

      Inquisitors used The Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) as a guidebook to help them to identify, prosecute, and dispatch witches. Writers of the fifteenth century and later tell us much about what they thought and also about their attitudes towards women. For many centuries in Europe, many women and men suspected of witchcraft were persecuted, tortured and burnt at the stake as a result of intolerance. The madness of witch hunting in Europe seems to be a continuation of the action against the Jews in Spain. In both cases the Christian religious establishment exercised its power against minority groups, gypsies, Jews and women.

     In the USA, many witch-hunts took place in Salem, Massachussets and nowadays the term witch-hunt is a synonym for an investigation or campaign against dissenters conducted on the pretext of protecting the public welfare and resulting in public persecution and defamation of character. The play The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, draws a parallel between the time of the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism in the fifties.

     It shows that irrational prejudice and state action based on such, is hardly a medieval, or even a religious, phenomenon. This is why I have put up this page and have started building a witchquest for tolerance. Ideas and suggestions are welcome.



Copyright © 1999-2005 Barbara Dieu.
All Rights Reserved.
No material appearing on any of these pages may be reproduced without prior written permission.