My mom always loved to dress up as a witch for Halloween. I can’t remember when it started but we were one of the first “haunted” houses in Philly. My mom started the witchy haunted house thing back in the mid ’70’s. She would decorate the house and give out the big bars of candy (in the beginning, then she gave out bags stuffed with a variety of candy). Mom would have the “scary” sides of Fantasia playing (Toccata & Fugue, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, etc plus a scary noisy effects LP. Thanks to my mom and Disney, Schubert’s “Ave Maria” will always have a Halloween feel for me.)
Woody, our cat, named after the Charles Schulz bird, “Woodstock,” would make an appearance and then disappeared to somewhere quiet. Mom would have the fireplace going, candles all lit, the couch converted to a coffin, cobwebs and the “I’ll get you my pretty” witch cackle.
She did EVERYTHING last minute. She would be in the bathroom applying her makeup when the first trick or treater’s would arrive. She would still be hanging decorations during the day of Halloween.
She always asked for Halloween off from work.
People came from all over the city to see our house at Halloween. Our house was a novelty before Halloween blew up to be a hip adult holiday….
Now that you have the backstory, (watered down) we come back now to this little witch character. Harry Potter aside, witches have a long history ranging from many cultures including the celtic/druid ancestry. Witches aka druids, were originally like shamans, they were healers and were educated in the healing arts using plants and herbs. They were legal counsellors, arbitrators and sages. Many were women. Women were respected and treated equally in that society. The Romans (and Catholic Church) slowly exterminated them, especially the role of the women because theirs was a male dominated society; they incorporated some of these pagan traditions into the Church’s traditions and women that remained to practice the healing arts were branded as witches so that the people would turn against them. These women were healers yet they were exterminated because of rumors, superstitions and fear. Pisses me off, actually.
Because of the witch/Halloween background of my mom, I segued into the cat/witch relationship and this little witch series to (hopefully) finish out Halloween.
More about her and her kitty tomorrow. Here is today’s kitty and witch.