First off lets get the business out of the way- GO SIGN UP FOR MY TERRY PRATCHETT SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!!!!! you only have a couple more days but there is more than enough time to get in on that little bit of sweetness (and I may very well cry sending this off to it's new keeper..).
And now for my actual post:
Magaly over at Pagan Culture is doing her wonderful Witches in Fiction Blog Party, and ever since I heard about it I've been working on an idea that has been revolving around in my head.
Lately the Pagan community at large (henceforth for purposes of this post knows as the royal 'we') have been kinda hopping from one brewhaha to another. We seem to be on a bit of a bitching fest. As it appears from as pseudo outsiders view( mine, lol, Other than your lovely blogs I don't hit up the message boards or forums so I seem to miss all the storms when they are happening and get the gist from you lovelies later when the crazy storms have cleared) it seems that we are constantly bitching about something, and it's usually something trivial. We're either bitching at someone for an inappropriate ad (I am sure WE ALL remember that debacle) or bitching at each other for not being exactly what we think we should be. Kallan has an excellent post on this here that I would love to refer people to.
But what all this really made me think about was how far we've come. As much as we worry about our PR, and not being considered the lunatic fringe I think a lot of us have missed the really big cultural signs that we aren't the Wicked Witches anymore. To me, one of the biggest cultural thermometers for how something is accepted or viewed is it's fiction. Now a days that means movies, books, TV, internet fan fiction, comic books, etc.
Fiction is like an over view of a societies collective brain. It's constantly changing and evolving to reflect not only the people who create it, but the people who consume it as well.
So look at how often witches are cropping up in fiction these days. How many movies have women of power in them? How many books and comic books have witches as characters? And not just how many references we get in modern fiction , but look at the tone and tenor of those characters.
They are human (well some of them are super human, but their psyche and emotional lives are usually VERY human). They are people dealing with problems and happen to have an extra facet to their lives that can help, or in a lot of cases complicate, said life. Even when we are depicted as villains these days it's still not as vilifying as it once was.
And to me that is the biggest victory. That a witchy villain is not a villain because she is a witch, but because she is a person who made bad choices who happens to be a witch.
Ladies and Gentlemen we, the Witches, are now cool. We're right up there with the sparkly vampires on the list of trends. And after about 3 decades of this I would have to say I think we are here to stay.
And personally, while I adore Granny, the witch that I can point to and say did a large part of the work to make us people instead of monsters to scare kids is Samantha Stevens. She was a twitchy witch who rode her broom into peoples living rooms and LIVED. She wasn't in a fairytale, she was in a regular house that even had shag carpeting (shudder). She was every housewife, she just happened to have powers too. She was the change in the wind that started things blowing in our direction. And then real life witches took up where she left off and won us our acknowledgments and rights.
Now we're everywhere and, as far as the fiction goes, we're fabulous. We wash dishes and talk to fairies. We kick butt and take names and still have to go clean the cat box. We are more than one dimensional characters scaring children and stealing dogs.
So embrace fiction my lovelies! Love it ! Revel in it! For truthfully it has helped to make us real.