Term originating in the 14th century. From Middle English
sorcerie, and Old French sorcier, derived from the Vulgar Latin
sortiarius, traced back to the original Latin, sors, meaning lot, or
chance, and sortis, the genitive case meaning of, or by, lots. Indicating
the practice of divination by lots. Its practices date back
to prehistoric and pre-Columbian religions, as well as those of
the Middle East and ancient Egypt; by the Middle Ages it referred
to the practice of malevolent magic, or black magic,
most commonly the use of supposed supernatural power by the
agency of evil spirits called forth by spells by any person with
a desire for malice, often motivated out of envy or revenge.
Contrasted from witchcraft, referring to the destructive methods
that can be used by anyone, rather than by one with the
special innate powers attributed to witches. Also connotes the
use of special charms, potions, or rituals to cast a particular
spell. Practices abounded in certain regions of Africa and Oceania
among the tribal peoples into the 21st century.
Encyclopedia Brittanica. April 11,

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