“Wax to WITCHES?! What does THAT mean?” “I won’t do business with anything that has ‘witch’ in the name”
These are just a few of the comments I have received in person or otherwise about my business name. All I can do is smile and nod that yes, this is my business name and yes, I am proud of it.
Let’s dive into why being a witch has become so negative.
Witchcraft itself is one’s own expression of their spirituality. Whatever path is chosen by the individual can vary greatly but often focus on the earth, the seasons, the phases of the moon, herbs, crystals, energy etc. All of the very real occurrences that exist in nature all around us regardless of our belief systems. Worshiping nature around us predates worship practiced by some other religions!
Now, if we look at the Salem Witch Trials (which is where most of the fear-based reaction of witchcraft comes from) what would qualify someone to be deemed a witch?
- Being female- The Salem Witch Trials executed 20 people (and 2 dogs!) 14 of those people were women. During that time, it was believed that women are more susceptible to sin than men.
- Breaking rules in the Bible- In this case, I'm not sure how anyone survived the trials.
- Arguments, disagreements, or simply someone who was outspoken- All it took to be put on trial was for one person to accuse you of witchcraft. Best to keep your head low and be very agreeable.
- Having too little money/having too much money- A person was poor and begging for food? Must be a witch. Another person had too much money? Definitely witchcraft at work.
- You are having trouble conceiving or your neighbor is having trouble conceiving- As if infertility isn’t hard enough! If your neighbor couldn’t have children, it must be because the neighbor put a hex on them. If you couldn't bear children, you must have made a deal with the devil that left your womb unholy.
- Delusions or “possession”- This one makes sense..right? Except that in 1976 Linnda Caporael was the first to offer evidence of many cases of fungus growing in rye or wheat. That fungus (Ergot) can actually lead to delusions, vomiting and muscle spasms. Ergot thrives in a cold winter followed by a cold spring, which just so happens to coincide with the Salem Witch Trials.
- Birthmarks and moles- If you don’t have perfectly clear (or white) skin, you’re definitely going to be accused of being a witch. Blemishes were viewed as a portal for Satan to enter the body. Add to the fact that one of the deaths was a female slave from the Caribbean named Tituba. She was accused by girls in the town of putting a spell on them and was later executed.
- Lifting something heavy- If you've ever seen someone deadlift 1,000 pounds it can seem like witchcraft at work but it most definitely is not.
Now, I'm not sure there’s any one adult alive today that wouldn't fit one or more of the above criteria to be accused of witchcraft. I’m also not sure that the ones so afraid of the word ‘witch’ realize just how insane the Witch Trials were. For those, I am not sure what could change their mind. As for me, I am proud to be an outspoken female that stares at the moon, and gazes at the beauty of the world around me. So yes, I put the word witch in my business name. I’m proud to be a witch. So to all the other witches, be proud, and keep on being witchy.