Beginning with the Scientific Revolution, the general worldview began to progress towards a mechanistic view. That is to say that humans began to believe that all phenomena had a logical explanation. The mechanistic worldview is in essence the theory of cause and effect. However, prior to this period myth, magic, and superstition reigned supreme.
It was during this period that the belief in the mystical dominated all aspects of culture. Religion is an example of this, a series of beliefs based around the mystical. The ancient Greeks and Romans both flourished and conquered vast areas of Europe spreading their beliefs. Native Americans and Nordic societies had their nature based Gods.
With the acceptance of the supernatural comes, the manipulation of these beliefs. It is here that we find witches. They manipulated the beliefs of people to their benefit. The speaker outline how certain “witches” could predict certain weather or astrological events, and used that knowledge to “prove” their powers. They capitalized on the fears people held to their benefit.
In addition people fear what they don’t know. That is the very essence of human nature. As such people needed an explanation for the negative forces affecting them in life. Thus when you cannot explain why the storm destroyed your crop you can take solace in the thought, that you have been cursed.