Since it’s Halloween, I was watching Halloween-type shows. Well, of course I was! At some point in The Haunted History of Halloween, someone said that the word witch came from the word wicca which meant “wise woman”.
Wait a minute… how did wise women turn into ugly, spell wielding crones? I’m guessing because we (I’m gonna claim the title of wise woman here) used herbs and oils to help cure people. I’m also going to guess that some people who were counting on us to cure someone got really upset if we couldn’t. “She didn’t cure my dying wife! She’s a witch!”
The Modern Witch
Today I have umpteen friends who sell essential oils (and who aren’t allowed to claim they have any medicinal purpose whatsoever). Are they all witches? Well, I think they’re wise, so… probably! You can now buy essential oils and herbs at Walmart for goodness sake. They’re everywhere, man. Are we in for a resurgence of witch trials? Or are modern restrictions on claims of benefits the equivalent? I could go on an entire tangent here about big pharma vs. wise women, but I won’t. Hopefully the resurgence of using things from the earth to help us heal naturally is a growing trend with no negative effects and an increasingly substantial following.
Ye Old Witch
Last week I printed out this scavenger hunt of Halloween facts for my kids. One of them said that if you wear your clothes inside-out and walk backward at midnight, you’ll see a witch. What?! Exactly who determined that? I’m envisioning some guy in 1692 hastily dressing in the dark and in the middle of the night, watching his lady love in the doorway as he sneaked back to his own home. Probably his wife didn’t like that much and declared her husband’s lover a witch. Maybe. I’m having a hard time thinking of any other logical reason for that weird bit of folklore. Is this why men who’ve fallen in love call themselves “bewitched”?
So, what have we got here? Some wise women who help people heal and possibly bewitch other women’s husbands got a bad rap, and we’ve been paying for it ever since. Darnit!
Have you ever used natural remedies? Anyone ever told you that you were “bewitching” or that you must have “cast a spell” on them? Uh huh. I knew it! You’re a witch too!