The articles I’m about to write are nothing new. I’ve read some things, but am so far behind, there’s no way I could claim this work to be scholarly. I’ll leave that to the experts. Why I write about witches is what this is about. But I have been heavily influenced by The Malleus Maleficarum, The World of Witches, by Julio Caro Baroja, The Golden Bough, by Sir James George Frazer, The Popul Vuh, The Devil in Massachusetts, by Marion Starkey, and the many enlightening lectures and books of Joseph Campbell – to name a few.
Snakes, Bulls, and Moons
One reason I’m writing about witches is to try to show that witches’ are completely misunderstood. They are vital, complex, and, in different ways than we may think, very real. The power of the witch is essentially the energy at the origins of our reality, we’ve been handed a system that has cruelly, detestably, and murderously denied that.
I started writing The Witch at Sparrow Creek in 2005 and it was published in 2015. Sometime in those early years of writing, I learned about cave drawings showing the moon’s connection to the counting of the months and days – a mathematical system was created to track menses. Math – and a bull’s skull and horns in the shape of a uterus. The horns were later attached to Satan’s head, the moon became the strange power that caused lunacy, and over time, feminine energy became associated with the night, darkness, and magic.
In the Abrahamic religions, the woman’s power was originally associated with life and creation, but the creation myth flipped the game. In other cultures, you can look up snakes and always see them around or at the base of trees, representative of the energy of life, luck, and resurrection. In Eden, the major drama does not occur between a man and an evil snake he must slay (knight and dragon), but a woman and her own symbol. Following the snake encounter, Eve gets her powers inverted. The patriarchy is born from the original matriarchy. However, Eden is the ideal state from which humankind falls. The ideal state originally consisted of a woman interpreting and interacting with the wisest of creatures in the garden, the snake, and a man following her orders.
The lens that most view a witch through is carved from the flipped matriarchy and the association with the moon, night time, and everything that goes bump. I guess I want to change that because we’ve come to believe that magic doesn’t really exist; so that these stories, tales of power, or secret wisdom, must only be fiction. I’ll tell you in the next essay why they’re not.