Wisecraft or Witchcraft in Philly

In the early 1970s Dr. Edward Turner, a Philadelphia-based psychiatrist and practicing Druid, made some headlines in interviews regarding his beliefs. He claimed, at the time, that there were about 20,000 practicing witches in the United States, spanning many professions including doctors and lawyers.

Instead of “witchcraft,” Turner felt that “wisecraft” was a more suitable term for those practicing Druidism, which has gained a dark reputation and affiliation with satanism over the years. Turner, and modern practicing Druids maintain that their belief is nature-based, for good, and the improvement of the creative and spiritual self, as well as charity to others.

There are varying beliefs among Druids, some keeping to a more realistic view with a strong foundation in nature, and others with a belief in a higher, spiritual world, reincarnation, and some form of magic.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’d want a psychiatrist who believes in magic diagnosing me, just as I wouldn’t want to be under the advice of a medical doctor who believed casting magic spells, or homeopathy for that matter.

Here is a link to an original newspaper articles featuring Dr. Turner:

Philly Psychiatrist Tells of Druid Religion