The depiction of witches in U.S. mainstream media has varied greatly over the years. Some witches are presented as haggard and conventionally unattractive women draped in black, stirring concoctions in ominous pots. Others fit into the classic childhood fantasy image of a witch with green skin, pointy hats, and flying broomsticks. And then there are the attractive, mysterious witches who blend perfectly into society while secretly wielding their dark powers against enemies. Though these images are all vastly different, there is one thread that tends to bind many of them together: a prominent focus on the White experience.
Txema Yeste delivers a spectacular vision of womanhood in ‘Witches’ starring Nimue Smit for Numéro China. Fashion editor Tim Lim chooses Miu Miu, Yohji Yamamoto, Roberto Cavalli and Haider Ackermann to express woman as saintly whore, the sexy sorceress responsible for death and evil in the world. Fabulous! /Beauty by Victor Alvarez; hair by Marion Anée; Styling assistant – Niklas Bildstein, Biel Escàmez & Cristina Ramos at Povera Studio.
Christmas lore usually comes in the shape of a jolly red-suited man winding a sleigh through the starry night sky with his trusty band of reindeer. There are, however, some holiday figures who are much more ominous—chief among them the belly-slitting, child-abducting, half-woman, half-demon Alpine monster known as Perchta.
According to old Austro-German legend, Perchta is a malevolent pagan goddess who stalks the snowy landscape by night during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Like Italy’s Christmas witch, La Befana, she is also associated with the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January. Perchta’s aim is simple and chilling: to ensure local customs are upheld under the pain of death. In bygone times, this meant no weaving during the holidays, unless you dared to incur Perchta’s wrath—and what a wrath she had.
In The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is torn between the witch and the mortal world, as certain expectations have been placed on her teen shoulders. Dating a human is not the done thing, but this is 2018 and Sabrina wants to have a choice in the way she lives her life. First love is intoxicating, particularly if there is also a forbidden factor. This is far from the first complicated romance between a person in possession of magical abilities and someone that has none.
Witch stories are often tied to teenage girls like Sabrina as a metaphor for puberty — but the movies and television show discussed below center on women in adulthood experiencing another kind of transition. Instead of learning how to use their powers, marriage and settling down threaten the abilities they possess. A commitment to a mortal comes with some major sacrifices in mid-20th-century rom-coms I Married a Witch and Bell, Book and Candle, which mirror the expectations placed on married women at this time.
Wanda Maximoff has always been a controversial character. Her first appearances in the X-Men were as a villain alongside her brother, reluctantly in cahoots with the villainous Silver Age Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Later, she appeared in the Avengers. In an unprecedented move, creator Stan Lee made the decision to replace most of the former lineup of the team with characters that had initially appeared as villains, including Wanda, her brother Pietro, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. This threw fans into an uproar, although now it is considered simply to be canon backstory for the team. Although many of them teetered on the line between good and evil on various occasions, the story of the Avengers would be quite a different thing without their presence.
Still, one of the most controversial aspects of Wanda Maximoff’s character is one of the easiest to dispel: her claim to the title of “witch.” Over time, questions about her right to refer to herself via such a term have arisen semi-regularly in letters columns. In the MCU, this might be a valid complaint, but in the comics, Wanda has been a witch for many years now, and rates among the most powerful mystic characters. Vacillating between her life as an Avenger and her dedication to witchcraft, she is easily one of comics’ most prominent witches.
Read More – How Wanda Maximoff became a witch – Syfy
My first encounter with the figure of a witch in popular culture—apart from those in kids’ movies like Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and M-G-M’s “The Wizard of Oz,” or in books like Tomie dePaola’s “Strega Nona” and Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”—was in a campy scene from Oliver Stone’s 1991 bio-pic, “The Doors,” depicting Jim Morrison (played by Val Kilmer) and one of his lovers, a Wiccan witch (a character played by Kathleen Quinlan, and based on the rock journalist Patricia Kennealy, who reportedly married the singer in a Celtic handfasting ceremony, in 1970). In the flickering light of dozens of candles barely illuminating a high-ceilinged chamber, the two peruse an esoteric sorcery tract in the nude, snort cocaine, slit their wrists with a dagger, drink each other’s blood, and have wild sex to the shrieking strains of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”
More than a quarter century later, the often paradoxical grab bag of clichés tied to the contemporary figure of the witch is not that far off, I think, from those shown in Stone’s movie. The witch is often understood as a mishmash of sometimes contradictory clichés: sexually forthright but psychologically mysterious; threatening and haggish but irresistibly seductive; a kooky believer in cultish mumbo-jumbo and a canny she-devil; a sophisticated holder of arcane spiritual knowledge and a corporeal being who is no thought and all instinct. Even more recently, the witch has entered the Zeitgeist as a figure akin to the so-called nasty woman, who—in the face of a Presidential Administration that is quick to cast any criticism as a “witch hunt”—has reclaimed the term for the feminist resistance. (This latter-day witchiness has often been corralled to commercial ends: an Urban Outfitters shirt bearing the words “Boss Ass Witch,” say, or the women-only co-working space the Wing referring to itself as a “coven.”) The muddled stereotypes that surround witches nowadays are, in the end, not so very different from those used to define that perennial problem: woman.
Read more via – The Many Faces of Women Who Identify as Witches – The New Yorker