I didn't sleep much last night, because of a low-grade panic attack which is still ongoing, so I'm going to take it out on my journal. Some pissy content ahead.
I plan to go dancing at Orpheus Friday night, after helping hand out candy to trick-or-treaters at pinkleader</lj> 's home. I'm planning on taking pinkleader</lj> and lisettelaroux</lj> . If you want to meet up with us at Orpheus, we'll be there between 9:30-10pm. I'm going dancing, dammit.
So, it's the week of Halloween. Good time to talk about things that go bump in the night, eh? I plan to talk about "monster" archetypes this week, and give them my own personal spin. If you think I'm full of it, write something snitty in your own journal and link me. I'm feeling contraversial. :)
So, let's talk about witches. The archetype, not the modern wicca-type people (though, for the love of God/ess, if you're following the celtic model of paganism, can we stop talking about the burning times? Witches in Britain and Ireland were drowned or hanged; burning was reserved for religious martyrs, who would have been horrified to be considered pagans, seeing as they were willing to die for their religion. In the US, the poor benighted souls who ended up on the receiving end of witchcraft accusations were also drowned, hung, or, in one case, crushed to death with a large rock. No burning. Suck it, Salem).
The archetype of the "witch" is definitely a metaphor for a strong feminine force that does not conform with the mores of society; a loner who never gets married, has an advanced education, and controls large numbers of people? Please - what else could it be? Even in the Grimm's fairy tales, the "witch" is a powerful female force. I, personally, really dig the feminine force, and given the choice, I'd rather be an educated loner with massive powers than a meek submissive wife. I imagine many women did - hence the need for societal misapprobation of women who spoke too much, stood up for themselves, and tried to wrestle some of the work (such as midwifery, a common occupation for women accused of witchcraft) from men.
We're competition, and we must be stopped. What better way of doing that than painting women with power as ugly green wrinkled creatures who are always evil?
(Yoda is actually a crone witch in disguise. I'm just sayin'.)
Mind you, the all-black wardrobe rocks. I'm ditching the pointy hat in preference for something more modern, but otherwise, I'm in. At 38, I'm getting the wrinkles, and I'm so pale I often look slightly greenish, especially after a migraine.
Witches get lumped in with the other Halloween monsters all the time, and each of our monsters is really a metaphor for various phases of the human condition traditionally considered negative by society. I'll cover the others this week. Thankfully, society is becoming more accepting of difference, and so we now actually embrace the witch idea - yes, she's bad, but think of the things you could do with an army of flying monkeys.
I dig the witch, is all I'm saying, and mostly because I'm an educated loner with massive powers for evil, and I could have been on the bad end of a ducking stool without too much trouble. Fortunately, I live in an age when women are allowed some power. Not all of it - we're not considered equals yet, and there's some fierce resistance - "feminazi" has replaced "witch" as the accusation du jour, but it all boils down to the same thing.
Fear the power. It's there, and we don't have to hit you with a broom to prove it these days.
...This rant brought to you by way too much medication.