Why I Celebrate the Green Witch by Lilian Anderson

Many modern witches hate the cartoonish stereotypes of the green-faced witch.

Look at her as she stoops, cackling and green-faced, with blackened broken teeth, a hooked nose and gnarled fingers, her hair hanging in knots. The picture of terror and evil, that is so removed from my own path of love, nature, healing and beauty. 

This comic book image of the witch serves as a reminder to the modern witch. 

In past times during witch hunts the accused were tortured until confessions. They were taken from their homes, often in the middle of the night, the village wise woman accused of witchcraft. She would have her fingers and toes broken, and beaten black and blue, and her hair pulled from her head. For days and weeks torture of the most inhumane degree were inflicted upon her, all to get her to admit being in league with the Devil.

She would be stripped, every inch of her body examined for signs of the Devil mark – this was during times when even marital relations were discreet and covered, and so shaving these women and examining them was additionally intimate and degrading.

As she was led to her fate, the green colour of her old bruises, the gnarled broken fingers and bloody torn fingernails, even the cackling voice hoarse from screaming, the remains of her hair, hanging in clumps, dirty and cacked in her blood, around her face. 

She is then paraded in front of the townsfolk, gone is the sweet woman who delivered your child or mixed a poultice when you cut your hand. Here before you stands her true form, look upon that ugly horrific inhuman creature…of course she is truly evil.

A lot of modern day witches object to this image, I however choose to embrace it, and remember the wise women (and men) who perished. The same way I wear my poppy, to never forget the sacrifices of war, I will proudly display the green face of a witch, because to me it is a remembrance, to never forget. These people were beloved healers, midwives and village elders, until panic, hate and fear caused widespread persecution and as a result millions were killed worldwide. And that is something that we must never forget.

First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/


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