|Alexandra Holzer is a member of the SCBWI Organization, Poetry.com, Firstwriters.com and IMDBpro.com. Her father is the original ghost hunter, published Author Professor Hans Holzer, Ph.D of 163 plus titles in the genres of parapsychology, the supernatural, religion and healing. Most famous for "Amityville Horror: The Possession", "Ghosts", "America's Haunted Houses" and most recently "The Journey of the Magi" and "Murder in Amityville: Fact or Fiction". While raising four incredible children, she wrote children's short stories, poetry, sci-fi/fantasy novels, screenplays and supernatural horror thrillers. Alexandra's complete bio is available here. Alexandra's new book 'Lady Ambrosia' has Field Nominated for the Printz Award for Young Adult Literature by the American Library Association.
by Alexandra Holzer
Witches Need Not Apply
Posted: 00:10 October 1, 2007
Need not apply because you have me! No, but seriously folks, this is the month where you can have a little fun and let loose under the paranormal umbrella. What to pick...what to pick I wondered. I finally decided after many delicious topics to choose from this fabulous and favored month of mine, to grab my broomstick and fly. Many think of 'The Wizard of Oz' and those green and black stripped stockings, a cackle attached to those legs with the meanest looking nose ever seen on a witch! And, it only took water to melt her away and banish her forever! Old English refers this witch in the field of "sorcery or necromancy." Also referred to as historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, leading to the supernatural and or magical powers.
A witch, (from Old English masculine wicca, feminine wicce) is a practitioner of witchcraft, or, the last boss you had or in-law! I waved my magic wand and after the dust settled, came upon another magical and mystifying term. Under the word Etymology, it states that a witch may have "possible connections to Gothic weihs "holy" and Ger. weihan "consecrate". Priests of a suppressed religion naturally become magicians to its successors or opponents." Personally, I just think they figured out how to conjure up things and so went with it. Wouldn't you if you could? There's a little bit of Oz in some of us, I believe.
While mythological witches are often supernatural creatures, historically many people have been accused of witchcraft, or have claimed to be witches. And I quote on the topic of Magic versus Religion from author H. S. Versnel, "Anthropologists in particular have argued that no meaningful contrast between religion and magic can be gained from this approach and that our notion 'magic' is a modern-western biased construct which does not fit representations of other cultures. Witchcraft still exists in a number of belief systems, and indeed there are many today who self-identify with the term "witch" (see also the term Neopaganism.")
Some of us perhaps wished we could just for one day, banish that rotten kid in class who picked on us, maybe untie his or her shoe laces with a twitch of our 'Bewitched' noses. Some of us perhaps anticipated Halloween so much so, if only to dress up as a witch because it was the only night you could be accepted, to go out and fly on your broomstick ride. Personally, I wanted to open up my window and give it a go, but when your living in a building, that's not such a bright idea. So, I'd read my 'Bed knobs and Broomsticks' book and closed my eyes, dreamt myself away into the brisk night sky on my broomstick ride.
"Witchcraft" can have positive or negative connotations depending on cultural context (for instance, in post-Christian European cultures it has historically been associated with evil and the Devil), most contemporary people who self-identify as witches see it as beneficent and morally positive. I find that rather interesting as I have a saying that goes- good witch, bad witch, which one are you?
Witches are traditionally stereotyped as being female, however their male equivalents were also often referred to as witches. My father called himself a Warlock. He wore a funky medallion around his neck and was a certified witch man. For us, there was European Witchcraft being that was our background. During the Christianisation of Norway, King Olaf Trygvasson had male völvas (shamans) tied up and left on a skerry at ebb. This was the persecution of witches. The familiar witch of folklore and superstition is a combination of many influences. Early converts to Christianity looked to Christian clergy to work magic more effectively than the old methods under Roman paganism, and Christianity provided a methodology involving saints and relics, similar to the gods and amulets of the Pagan world. As Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe its concern with magic lessened, thank goodness.