As Halloween approaches, we are reminded of the myth that witches are evil, ugly, old women who cast spells on people for personal gain. Warted masks and wigs of scraggly hair to wisp out from underneath a witch’s hat line the aisles of Halloween shops. Children’s fairy tales keep this myth alive by portraying witches to be the evil antagonist.
With the rise of the feminine, as more women are being called to step into their power and the glorious accessibility of being able to start your own business from home with ease… the healers, the oracle card readers, those who use Earth as a source of love, wisdom and medicine, those who honour their natural rhythms of womanhood by taking time to rest and go inwards during their periods, those who set up their business to align with the cycles of the moon, more women are associating themselves as witches. Something that centuries ago, we were raped, tortured, and slaughtered for.
Before patriarchal times, women were healers, medicine women, and wisdom keepers. We all had our part that we played in society, whether it be as an artist, a teacher, to be the judicial system, or even to be a physician. We were celebrated for our creativity, our knowledge, our ability to birth anything that we were inspired to. Women had deep wisdom of when it was best to hunt, to plant the fields, when to harvest, what herbs to use to heal, how to live in complete harmony with Mother Earth. Women would gather and menstruate together in community. Their tribes would celebrate and turn to the menstruating woman for guidance, as that is when she was most in tune with her wisdom.
In medieval times, the Christianization of Europe was taking place and thousands of lives were lost as a result. Their goal was to create a collective belief that paganism and folklore was of the devil. In the 14th century, the Church began to implement fear tactics to alienate and prosecute anyone who’s beliefs didn’t align with that of the Church. Those who were not of the Church were charged with heresy and executed as criminals. Whenever there were plagues, storms that destroyed the fields, harsh winters and droughts, in order to keep the faith in God and the loyalty to the Church, towns needed someone to blame. To keep the order, the blame fell on the men and women who worked with herbs, had a strong connection with the Earth, their intuition and deep wisdom, pointing fingers and proclaiming that they used witchcraft to create such a travesty. From the 1500’s to the 1800’s, the witch trials took place. 85% of the people killed were women. Between 9-10 million people were killed, most of them were innocent women, including handicapped and mentally ill people and old ” strange widows.” This was the women’s holocaust.
Sons and husbands watched as their mothers and wives were ripped away to be taken to trial, tortured, and burned. She had to pay for the cost of the person that came and collected her, the cost of her place in the cell that held her, the cost of the hand that fed her if she was lucky enough to be fed, the cost of the judicial team that trialed her, the cost of the person who tortured her, and as a result, her land and livestock were taken from her family to pay for her debts accumulated during her trial that lead to death. There was a whole economic industry that was created around the witch hunts because of how many jobs it created, keeping the hunts alive for centuries.
Witches became known as the devil’s agent, the hag, the poison to mankind, which continued to grow the fear in society to continue to point fingers towards the wise women, healers, the intuits, and the mystics. Even the midwife was to hide her skills, because her helping ease the pain of a woman in labour, the pain which is seen to be a punishment from God, was seen as witchcraft. All women had to hide their gifts and intuitive abilities in order to try to survive.
Women’s natural powers continued to be stripped away as the domestication of women happened over the course of several centuries, beginning in the time of the witch hunts. If women were to gather in groups, it was seen as if they were plotting against men. Men were advised by the Pope to beat their wives not as a way to punish, but out of love, to protect their souls from being possessed by the devil. The best way to control someone and take their power away, is to keep them in the state of fear. Sexuality became the root of all evil, labeling women as temptresses and that women stood in the way between man and his relationship with God.
Fast forward centuries, we have our right to vote, to education, to the workplace, to abortion and contraception, and though we still have this deep seated wound in us that we have to prove ourselves to men that we are capable and equal, women are stepping into the feminine power that we had to deny in ourselves for hundreds of years. This is what the rise of feminine is about that you keep hearing and reading about.
The Mayan Calendar ended in 2012, which created the fear that the world was going to come to an end, but instead, we transitioned into a new era. Our planet increased her frequency that she had been operating in, which then increased the vibration that humans had been operating in, resulting in our awareness expanding, our intuitive gifts coming to surface, and the increasing of speed of the healing of centuries of pain around the feminine wound. The collective has been rapidly ascending since.
As more women are being called to step up into their gifts, we also are faced with the fears of what we hold in our energy field from our past lives and our ancestors of what being in our power means. More of us are associating ourselves with the science of energy rather than religion, as well as relating more to the mystics, the witches and Paganism, and there’s great fear that comes around stepping out of the spiritual or the broom closet if you speak.
As a mystic entrepreneur, you can see how the fear of being raped of our bodies, our land and our families in order to pay for the debts of the trials, can be something that on a subconscious level, blocking us from receiving money for the work that we do, creating an upper limit in our success and wealth that we just can’t seem to break through.
Or, perhaps the fear of abandonment, that our ancestors experienced when their towns turned on them for their gifts, is holding us back from taking up space in this world and social media with our work because we fear that our families and long term relationships and friendships will judge and turn their backs on us.
When I use the term witch to label myself and the work that I do with women to help them step into their divine feminine power by helping them heal their relationship with the masculine and the feminine, I feel the judgement from some people because the myth around being a mystic, a witch, a priestess if you will, is still one of evil, which we see when we wander down the aisles of the Halloween shop and watch a Disney movie with our nieces. That judgement stems from misinformation and fear tactics that were created by the Church 700 years ago as well as lack of education around the matter. When simply, my rituals and ceremonies come from a place of connecting with the healing, guiding energy of the Earth and my intuition in order to heal myself and others. This work that I’m doing along with many other leaders in this Rise of the Feminine & union consciousness, is to help women and men step forward in confidence to embrace their gifts and abilities to play their role in society and live their most fulfilling lives, while healing our planet.
We are in a time that if we don’t change soon, the planet is going to kick us off. Earth has made many species before us extinct, and it would be naive of us to think that she won’t do that to us as well if we continue on this path. I believe that with the Rise of the Feminine we can crumble the patriarchal systems that are clearly not working, heal our relationships between man and woman, and begin to come back to a place of community living in harmony with our planet and oneness with each other.
We are healing people, and our planet, that both, more than ever, needs.
As we move into the week of ghosts, goblins, and of course, witches, I encourage you to not forget about the history that lead up to the warted masks and scraggly wigs and perhaps find it in your heart to light a candle to honour the men and women that came before you that were impacted by the witch hunts.
In fact, there are women in North America that gather together on Halloween to honour the lives that have been lost in the witch trials, specifically, the Salem trials where 19 innocent women lost their lives in Massachusetts. Halloween actually stems from Samhain, a Gaelic pagan festival celebrating the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter. Bonfires and feasts were had, and places were set at the tables of homes for lost loved ones. It is believed that the veil was thinner for spirits, faeries, and the souls of the dead to make appearances in this world on the night of October 31st.
Do not dismiss, that it may have been your soul in a past life, who perhaps only used herbs as medicine, and was tortured and slaughtered as a result. A lot of blood had been shed, and trauma in our womb space, to get to where we are now of being able to freely wear our crystal necklaces, to freely speak about a gut feeling, and to freely turn to plant medicine to heal.
We must not forget, and it is our duty to honour our ancestors by following that intuitive pull that is asking us to step into our magic, for the future of our children and grand children.
We are the change makers.