A Pagan on the outskirts would be a good way to describe myself. Solitary. Not particularly ritualistic. Belonging to no particular sect or group. It might be considered natural that there are things in the Pagan community that I heavily disagree with. And their anger at the media’s portrayal of witches is one of them.
The last movie to stir the cauldron, so to speak, on this issue was Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Pagans, not all of whom identify as witches, did not appreciate how Hollywood was once again portraying their kind. The obvious suspects being pushed to the forefront. Witches are ugly. They fly on brooms. They do magic to harm others. They’re evil. It is a bad image, I’ll admit, but as previous blogs will indicate, I’m a firm believer in not letting the media control our views of the world. And in this instance, I didn’t see a threat to how I explain my faith to my grandmother. I saw a kick ass movie that I was dying to view for myself. I missed it in theaters, but I finally got my chance this past weekend. All of my expectations were blown out of the water.
Hansel and Gretel wasn’t just a tale of evil witches and the mortals who destroy them to save the world. It took it a step further, it became more than even I expected. White witches. Witches who use their magic to heal and protect. Witches who hide in the shadows to keep themselves safe from those who would condemn them. Witches that, when confronted for their magic, do not run or bow. They stand strong and prideful, taking whatever “punishment” someone else decides that they deserve. I could see some historical parallels there. It was surprising as much as validating. The bottom line is that Hansel and Gretel wasn’t just about evil witches, as the previews might lead one to believe, but it showed that there are good witches in the world too. You may not know they are there, just like Hansel and Gretel didn’t, but it doesn’t change their existence.
So Pagan community? All you naysayers who cussed this movie up one side and down the other? Bite my broom stick.
Now that I’ve said my peace about that, I have a vow to make. This movie was incredible, but I did wish that the white witches showed a little more muscle, so to speak. I wanted badass witches fighting for good, I suppose like I saw when I watched Charmed, but on a more realistic, less cheesy scale. So here is my vow. I’m going to make witches cool. Maybe not the kind of cool that Twilight had, because that’s just bad, but the kind of cool that makes people examine their take on it.
Charmed started my fascination with witches and gave me strong women as role models. That’s what I want to write about, even now. Strong women with active powers to protect, destroy, or even heal. Whichever they do is a choice that has to be made by the witch by herself. Like anything else in this life, the powers aren’t evil themselves, it’s how they use them.