What is a Witch – A poetic and visual conjuring of the witch archetype


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Hear Pam talk about this book with Erik Davis on a recent Expanding Minds podcast episode.


Angela Lansbury witch is best witch…


It might be a bit reductionist, but to me the classical European label of “witch” simply refers to practitioners of the indigenous religions and folk traditions. But also served as a way to discredit pretty much anybody, in Catholic circles.

References to non-European traditions as “witchcraft” were just an appropriated approximation, not unlike referring to non-Siberian practices as “shamanism”. To many Abrahamics, various indigenous traditions were all scary, and made “the same” by framing them as blasphemous inversions of their own traditions.


Looks like being a witch might require some sort of orthopedic footwear.


This sounds kind of neat. For a more scholarly history of the western witch stereotype I’ll recommend Norman Cohn’s “Europe’s Inner Demons”. Every society has its sorcery, but witches with their covens and pacts with the evils are a distinctly European creation. Cohn starts with the Cataline conspiracy, the persecution of the ancient Christians and the stereotype of the strix and moves to the suppression of the Knight’s Templar and onward. It’s a pretty amazing story.


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