Friday, October 31, 2008

The Halloween Witch

The Halloween Witch

Each year they parade her about ... the traditional Halloween witch. Misshapen green face, stringy scraps of hair and a toothless mouth beneath her disfigured nose. Gnarled, knobby fingers twisted into a claw, protracting from a bent and twisted torso that lurches about on wobbly legs.

Most think this abject image to be the creation of a prejudiced mind or merely a Halloween caricature. I disagree. I believe this to be how witches were really seen.

Consider that most witches: were women, were abducted in the night and smuggled into dungeons or prisons under the secrecy of darkness, to be presented by the light of day as a confessed witch.

Few, if any, saw a frightened, normal looking woman being dragged into a secret room filled with instruments of torture. To be questioned until she confessed to anything that was suggested to her and to give names or whatever would stop the questions. Crowds saw the aberration denounced to the world as a self-proclaimed witch.

As the witch was paraded through the town, en route to be burned, hanged, drowned, stoned, or disposed of in various other forms of Christian love ... all created to free and save her soul from her depraved body. The jeering crowds viewed the results of hours of torture. The face, bruised and broken by countless blows, bore a hue of sickly green. The once warm and loving smile gone. Replaced by a grimace of broken teeth and torn gums that leers beneath a battered, disfigured nose. The disheveled hair conceals bleeding gaps of torn scalp from whence cruel hands had torn away the lovely tresses. Broken, twisted hands clutched the wagon for support. Fractured fingers locked like groping claws to steady her broken body. All semblance of humanity gone. This was truly a demon, a bride of Satan, a witch.

I revere this Halloween crone and hold her sacred above all. I honor her courage and listen to her warnings of the dark side of humanity. Each year I shed tears of respect and remember her involuntary sacrifice in the name of religion.

Written by Angel, 6/99

This poem that reminds us of those who were persecuted as witches, though many were healers and midwives, women who owned land, and those who spoke out against the rules of the time. I don't know the name of the author, other than the name Angel. Other places may credit it to anonymous. If anyone who reads this happens to know who the author is I would love to know.

This poem is not in any way intended to "bash" Christianity, it is simply a reference to the history that is fact based.

With these things in mind I hope you will remember the Halloween Witch, along with all of the others who have gone before you.

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Blogger LarryG said...

very cool and well done!
Happy Halloween!

9:44 PM  
Blogger ~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Thanks for sharing the story. I believe that in today's world Halloween is for the kids! Happy Halloween.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Thorne said...

What a great and heartfelt piece of prose. Blessed Samhain, Happy Hallows and bright welcome to your dead as you honor them this noght and always. Thanks for stopping by my blog and well met, indeed!

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have reduced me to tears with this piece - it is so powerful. And true.

3:04 AM  
Blogger Reader Wil said...

This is a really good post. Women have been persecuted until today. Recently a woman, who had committed adultry was stoned to death by a group of men. Where was the man with whom she had committed adultry?
In The Netherlands we don't celebrate Halloween or Samhain, but I'd like to know more about Samhain.I can Google it of course.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Old Wom Tigley said...

I visited to see your Sky Watch post but this caught my eye.... a great picture and words... I enjoyed this post and just wanted you to know that.


7:45 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

We certainly need to be reminded of our darkside. It needs to be confronted regularly.

Thanks for the reminder of Samhain.
Found a nice source of information on it

8:28 AM  
Blogger fishing guy said...

Gretchen: Very interesting post and enjoyed your thoughts.

8:50 AM  
Blogger lisaschaos said...

Very sad and interesting poem. Love your witch icon. :)

10:16 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. I found it very interesting. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Halloween. Thanks for stopping by my place.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

Hi Gretchen, I was visiting your post to say thanks for stopping by mine and was blown away with your story of the witch! I don't know who the writer was but definitely a realistic explanation of the origin! Thanks for sharing and glad you made it to Ohio in all that snow safely!!

11:12 AM  
Blogger Rambling Woods said...

Two of my distant female ancestors were killed as they were thought to be witches..I have to find out more about that..

11:21 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

Hope your Halloween was a happy one! Thanks for stopping in to visit :-)

12:14 PM  
Blogger Dar's Foto Faze said...

Wonderful poem and so sadly true. We have come a long way, with a long way to go.
I love the picture.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

You know, with the election right around the corner, although the words in your piece are geared towards a different aspect of women's treatment over the centuries, it would do all of us well to think of this in connection with what so many women before us suffered so that we would eventually hold the right to vote! Don't let their sacrifices and suffering go unforgotten, unnoticed. Remember them and go out on Tuesday and use your power -VOTE!

1:00 PM  
Blogger Webradio said...

So pretty this picture...
Good story too !
Thank You...

1:20 PM  
Blogger Z'riz said...

Yes..the witch hunt was indeed a dark time in history, with many innocent women tortured and killed.
I visited Salem a few years ago and their museums showed atrocities done to these women and some of the witnesses who testified against these "witches" where just making things up.

1:51 PM  

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