Of witches and wise women

At this time of witches, wizards, goblins and ghosties, I was reflecting on what I would dress up as. I always dress up as a witch. You know the rigmarole: black dress, pointy hat, big nose, ugly facial warts and a broomstick.

And this year I thought, actually, NO! No, I am not going to perpetuate this misogynistic myth.


I am not a witch, though it occurs to me every so often, that in a different time or place, I would probably be condemned as one. Let’s consider the evidence:
I do not go to church nor follow any religious dogma
I dance in the moon light
When I moved into the Pink House the first thing I did was plant a herb patch
I use said herbs for healing
I perform many rituals and ceremonies
And have a healthy respect and curiousity for the unknown realms of life
I wear what I want, say what I want and have little respect for authority
I counsel women in natural ways of managing their fertility and birthing
I dedicate my life’s work to empowering other women
I run a women’s circle which a (male) friend refers to as the coven

The myth of the witch actually bothers me. It is a demonisation of an empowered, empowering woman, of woman’s power to commune with the unseen, to use her healing powers, her visioning skills, her connection to the natural world and her ability to co-create with the universe.

For the record may I state that I am not a witch, and there is much of it which doesn’t chime with me. But I know many witches, Wiccans and pagans in the online sphere, and at drama school shared a house with one and classes with two others..

When I told my children that I used to live with a witch, their eyes went round with excitement. Did she wear black? They wanted to know. Well, no. Did she have a broomstick? No, but she was a dab hand with a mop. So she didn’t fly? Nope she went by bike. Did she have a cauldron, a black cat? No and no. Well then she’s not a witch, they said.

But she was. Both by name and by nature. With a woman it’s not what she wears or carries that makes her a wise woman or a witch, it is the power she carries inside, the power to transform herself and her world. This, this is what I own. And so for our halloween party I dressed as a rainbow gipsy – alluring, mystical, empowered and colourful… all woman!

  1. Motherfunker
    Motherfunker10-31-2011

    Ah you look just gorgeous!

    We had fun yesterday at REAL HALLOWEEN, in Holt, a fab fab event designed to be an antidote to the plastic fantastic horror fest, instead it was very beautiful and colourful and bright and happy! We have been feeling really soulful today and I put the best of my energy into showing the children the real meaning of Halloween. We watched a programme about the Salem witch trials, and talked about fear and energy created when people think happy or angry thoughts and what happens to that energy. We watched an animation about Joan of Arc, and talked about Anne Boleyn. We talked about the power of love and fear, belief, hatred and misunderstanding.

    We also gave thanks for all the people who have lived before our time. One whose shoulders we now stand. We made a thank you card for all souls who lived before us. Indie made a picture of himself and Doctor Who going back in time in the Tardis, to say thank you to people.

    Remebrance is a good theme for this time. And were coming up to 11/11/11 so This will be in our thought too!

    Happy Halloween Lucy, blessings upon your beloved gypsy corner of this earth this beautiful night xxx

  2. Dreamingaloudnet
    Dreamingaloudnet10-31-2011

    Oh wow, how inspiring MF. LOVE it!!! Lots of ideas to borrow! We had an impromptu party with close friends on Saturday evening – bean stew and sausages and baked potatoes – and gingerbread dinosaurs! Yesterday we played proper old fashioned games – apple bobbing and flour pie!

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