You can keep your zombies, Walking Dead. And you can most definitely keep your vampire and werewolf boyfriend, Bella Swan. I’ll keep my brains and heart so that I can trade it for some eye of newt.
That’s because every Halloween, I relish the time that I spend watching witch movies and shows. From Practical Magic to Charmed, witches are a key component of our October festivities, and for good reason. Hollywood has recently portrayed witches as the full feminine package: beautiful and powerful. Who wouldn’t want the ability to turn an ex-boyfriend into a ferret? And then be able to wear a lot of black leather wherever they want? Turns out that women can have it all, as long as they practice the craft. Seems a lot easier than selling your soul to the devil, which witches don’t do, by the way.
So, to pay homage to one of my favorite aspects of Halloween, here are five characteristics that should make you proud to call yourself a little witchy:
1. You’re Probably Different/Beautiful/Cool: You may have heard this version of history: Witches were burnt at the stake when they practiced “magic” in the community. The definition of “magic” might vary from acts of seduction toward other women’s husbands or even to the loss of crops to blight or inclement weather, imaginary or real. In fact, if you read (or most likely spark-noted) The Crucible in high school, you may be nodding in recognition at this description of the witch.
However, in many cases this was not so. More often, cruel women in the community who had influential hubbies got jealous of other women and forced their spouses to make trouble for their target by deeming them a witch. Usually, the subject of this torment was unusual in some way. Typically, they were beautiful or particularly nice, or had some other beguiling trait that left other husbands in the community wanting to stir her cauldron, if you catch my witchy drift. This did not sit well with their wives, for obvious reasons, and the woman in question was promptly barbecued. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time in history that we feared and killed something that we actually admired. (I’m looking at you, Native Americans.) So, in short, there are two lessons in this: don’t hate on fellow women just because they are prettier/nicer/smarter than you. We must be a united front against the patriarchy. And secondly, if you’re called a witch, you are probably awesome. And better yet, someone has noticed your awesomeness, and wants very much to dethrone you. Don’t let them.
2. Witches Don’t Need a Better Half: Everybody has a friend who dates their significant other simply because they are afraid to be alone. That’s an entirely different blog post subject in itself, but luckily, witches don’t need such creature comforts. In fact, in most Hollywood adaptations, the witch in question has had historically bad relations with men, and have generally rejected the male race in general.
Simultaneously, men typically fear the witch because she is an emblem of pure feminine power: she can take care of herself, and he could fall unwillingly under her spell. If you don’t interact with men, or haven’t tried to take the remote control from them, you should know that they really like to be in control, so you can understand why this role reversal might freak them.
For me, as an extreme feminist, scaring and swearing off men sounds great. To you, a potentially sane person, this might sound a bit lonely in the relationship department. Fear not. Go on to #3.
3. Your Sisters Have Your Back: When you’re in a coven, you can be sure that your witch sisters will always be there for you if you cry or die. All witches have an extensive line of sisters and aunts to raise their daughters and avenge their deaths, or so Hollywood tells us. So, when you grow up witch, you can be sure that you will have plenty of back-up for your highs and lows. Consult the grimoire, and then cry into Aunt Zelda’s shoulder, Sabrina. You will always have the support that you need, and it’ll probably come in 3’s.
4. You’re Not a Cat Lady-You Just Have a Lot of Familiars: Are you worried that the local news will come to your house in about 30 years because you have been eaten by a horde of your “precious kitties” after you ran out of Friskies? You might not need a crystal ball to know if this will be your fate, but that doesn’t mean that you have to turn away animals altogether. Witches often seek the counsel of their furry friends, so why shouldn’t you? Just keep plenty of kitty litter around. Also, remember the party rule: if you can’t see all of your guests at once in one room, there’s too many people. This rule also applies to the number of cats you own at one time.
5. You Can Be Yourself: Aside from pretending that you are normal and not a witch so that people will not suspect you of being what you are, you can be exactly who you are. And even then, people will probably figure it out, so why hide it? You should always express yourself, witch or not. So, dance naked under the moonlight, and do you.
Want to read more about witchcraft? Check out this Huffington Post article!