by Madeline Iva
A FEW GOOD WITCHES: At this time of year, it’s important to reflect upon why witches are so important, and how you, an ordinary citizen, might want to think about how to become an awesome Witch.
In my life I have truly found witch stuff to be scary. There are three times in particular that I remember. First was watching this freaky old re-run of Kolchak The Night Stalker. The episode was about these gorgeous models who were being murdered. It turned out one of the models was a witch, and the idea was that witches couldn’t stand water. So Kolchak put her face in the water, which bubbled like it was boiling. Her face came out all blue, bubbly, and hideous looking. Scared the be-jesus out of me.
Intrigued by all this witch stuff, and half-freaked out, I snuck out of bed one night to watch some random movie on TV. In it this wealthy, gorgeous woman has died and her will demanded that she be put into a glass coffin in the middle of her big garden–but then her body disappeared. Because she was a witch! At least that’s what people were speculating. Then people started turning up dead. I didn’t even watch the rest of the made-for-TV-movie–and it didn’t matter. I had nightmares for weeks after that.
Finally, there was the one, the only BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, 1999. That movie utterly freaked me out. I loved it.
***spoiler alert*** —but come on people, the movie has been out, like forever—
It didn’t matter that you never actually saw a witch. The signs and symbols were there. Their raw and understated realism terrified me. The absence of the witch just left her to loom large in my imagination and brought her back home with me to my dorm room. The student I went with actually thought the movie was a documentary–that it was all real. I didn’t, but just the same I had bad dreams all night where the red light winking on the fire alarm in my dorm room ceiling was really the eye of the devil, and he was coming for me.
So aside from the joy of scaring the bejesus out of kids, let’s look at the rest of the positives when it comes to being a witch—
1) If you’re gonna go bad—go beautiful.
I like my witches with mega-glamor.
Note, for instance, the Evil Queen in Snow White – she’s not scary so much as sullenly beautiful, goaded by the inner wounds of her vanity. She’s very magic-y, and very active, and very much a lone wolf in doing her own thing. I don’t know about you, but I related to her about a THOUSAND times more than I related to Snow White. I thought she was fascinating with all her powers.
Personally, I’d much rather be green and tall and fabulous, working my magic to a fever pitch, than be all rosy-cheeked and–y’know–into sweeping and cleaning house. I mean–seriously.
Meanwhile, who wants to spend all her time with a bunch of crotchety old men?
3) DON’T GIVE A DAMN.
Admit it, you liked evil Willow didn’t you? With her “bored now” as a bad witch she was almost as good as bad Willow, her alter-ego on Buffy.
Meanwhile, who ever watched the original Bewitched and didn’t side with Endora over Darren? Agnes B. Moorhead, who played Endora, taught a whole generation of little girls in the 70’s to subvert their husband’s authority and speak back to male patriarchy. And she was a fun grandmother.
4) CLAIM YOUR POWER – IN YOUR OWN WAY.
Being a witch is all about realizing that there is power all around you–and then claiming it. In some ways I couldn’t get enough of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN.
There was so much to love here.
First of all — you’ve got your small, private witch academy. (!!!!)
And they were a stylin’ set of girls, you’ve got to admit. There is power in learning how to wear black anytime, anywhere–even in the South.
Second of all, you have your romantic couple figuring out how to make it work despite being cursed. There’s a lot of power in learning how to love your own way, despite the ‘rules’ of society.
Third, you’ve got your Misty Day with all her spiritual inspiration drawn from that white witch with the shredded vocal chords–Stevie Nicks.
And FINALLY — when I grow up I want to be Myrtle Snow.
The woman has style. She’s her own witch, and most importantly, she’s not a pretty young thing any more but when she’s in a room you notice her. She’s got flair and power, and yet she’s got a light energy, a good energy, as well as a sense of humor about herself and how f**ked up the world is. She should have her own TV show. A Coven prequel, if you will.
6) A WITCH ACCEPTS THE CONSEQUENCES OF HER ACTIONS.
This relates to magic in general, where it seems there is always a price to pay for having the sparkly zappies at your finger tips, dammit! Ignorance is really your watch word here. Witches make alliances with women, they enchant the men, and if you stand your ground away from the rest of the pack– sometimes you get a big old bucket of humiliation thrown at you on occasion. But it’s okay–if you’re going to pay with fire, you’re going to get burned.
Being a witch is all about pulling up your big girl undies and realizing some scorched fingers are gonna happen. Of course you don’t want to be covered in flames head to foot until your face melts off. That’s not so good. But witches are both fantasists and realists. They see the power of what could be (think McBeth’s three damsels hovering over their cauldron) and they see the power of what is. This is what I like so much about witches. They look beyond the mundane. They see the possibilities of what can happen when you step out of line. And even though some bad consequences might occur, they beckon us to go for it.
Meanwhile, can I tempt you with a suitably witchy give away to celebrate the season? If you sign up for MADELINE’S NEWS you could win a free copy of my book along with these wonderful witchy spa products from Lux Aromatica–made by Kerensa, who’s rocking her own Samhain vibe right now.
And follow us at Lady Smut, while we fly across the harvest moon.
Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance. Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available for pre-order and releases November 1st. Sign up Madeline Iva news & give aways. Follow her on facebook.