A Witching (Alternative) October Visiting Teaching Message
Sticking my head up from a very intense work load, I couldn’t help but offer an alternative message to the October Visiting Teaching Message. As I do not have children, I found this a particularly unfortunate message as it was absent of direction for women as a whole; the message was entirely aimed at mothers- inevitably women, but not all women are comfortable being assigned to mother. (trigger ‘Mothers Who Know’ flashback) So, because this is October, and because women are wonderful- even those of us who aren’t mothers- I offer this based on a previously written post from a few years ago. For different ideas on teaching the October 2011 formal Visiting Teaching message, please check out the excellent guest posts from Quimby and Heather, both of which are inclusive of non-mothers.
Where do witches come from? The short answer is Christian men.
A couple of hundred years into the Common Era (or AD, if you prefer), the Romans introduced Christianity to the Gauls and Celts and everyone else they conquered in their quest of dominion. The new religion (Christianity) weakened the position of women; the Roman contingents were mostly male, so this new Christianity was assumed to be male dominant (though one might sucessfully argue that real Christianity had divine feminine roles that have since been erased).
In this period, both men and women who had relied on natural remedies for centuries were suddenly taught that militant (masculine) religious authority should be the only remedy for anything. Men and women, but especially the herb-gathering women who retained the practice of natural remedies, could be branded as witches. After all, it was assumed that if you had worms, only a priest would be able to banish them! The woman who prescribed a vinegar drink (which cured the worms) was obviously in bed with the devil.
Ah, yes. You see, in order to be completely converted to witchery, one had to have sex with the devil (never mind that the devil was thought to only have a body of spirit- he could still do it– and he liked it very kinky!).
Interesting historical analysis associated with the persecution of witches is that by and large, most witches were poor women. I guess that being poor, they might resort to the “world’s oldest profession,” which would entice men to do evil and had to be removed from society (perhaps this why so many women’s Halloween costumes are so sexually explicit? Sexuality has long been associated with witches, after all.) Other witching characteristics that were declared by groups of witch-hunting men included women who were past the age of fertility and unmarried, widows (therefore not under the financial or moral guardianship of a male), as well as or disobedient or infertile wives. Midwives and midwifery traditions were also very suspect. (Sex is a common theme in witchery)
In consideration of this, is any woman NOT a witch? Witches are those who:
- are most often female
- use home remedies or superstitions for midwifery and/or general health
- make less income than most, or are among the unemployed
- are widows
- are single
- are infertile
- are wives who sometimes disagree with their husbands
- are those who go, or appear to go against popular opinion
I tick off more than one of those list items, so obviously, I am a witch.
But in respect to being branded a witch because one goes against popular opinion… in some circles, I am a witch for being Mormon. In other circles, I am a witch because I am not Mormon enough. The same could be said for feminism: I am a feminist, but perhaps to some, not feminist enough. And cooking: I do the majority of cooking at home, but I am not a Masterchef. But my brownies really are freakishly excellent. So- not enough or too much…Which choice is more “out-of-style”, therefore, more witching? Is a witch a woman who gets a job rather than being a SAHM? Or is a witch a woman who chooses to be a SAHM, regardless of social influence? Is a witch a woman who supports her husband in a calling, or is a witch a woman who says she will not support her husband in a calling? Dear me! So many reason to witch, so little time!
So… are you a witch?
‘Cause if you are NOT, I am scared of you.
What is your favourite Halloween recipe? Please share!