Seduction, Witches & Long Hair.

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Searching by K.Silva

It happened to me once, in a little Indian village bordering Bangladesh and tucked into the foothills of the Himalayas. Sneaking past armed guards into wilderness forbidden to tourists, I left modernity behind and entered into a remote part of our planet where backward superstitions ruled.

How dare I subject myself to such danger? The locals scolded. But they didn’t alert me to the danger of neighboring tribes descending from the hills to hack us with machetes, as the ministry of tourism had. Instead, the village women were trying to protect me from being falsely accused of witchcraft!

You see, I had behaved in ways that were questionable: Neglecting to avoid eye contact with men when they spoke to me. Not covering my head with a veil. Even worse, wearing my long hair down during twilight! That dangerous, most bewitching hour in which the pisachis appeared, the witches. “You wouldn’t want the men to think you are one of them, do you, with your long, loose hair?” The superstitious villagers asked, in all sincerity, their eyebrows twisted with concern.

A witch? me? because of my long hair? But why would being a witch be a dangerous accusation? What would they do to me, if they did decide I was a witch?

Every year, thousands of women around the world (if not more) are accused, harassed, humiliated, paraded around naked, and killed for being “witches”. From the African Congo to parts of India, New Guinea, and Saudi Arabia (where witchcraft is still legally punishable by death), innocent herbal healers and doctors, midwives and mothers, are being violently murdered for their “witchcraft”.

These women belong to all socio-economic status and levels of education, yet, they are senselessly killed because they turned down the advances of men. Or their crops mysteriously yielded a greater harvest than those of their neighbors. Or because they cured someone who was believed to be on the verge of death. Or they accurately anticipated a storm, or the sex of an unborn child, or had become the target of envy in their village.

And sometimes, just sometimes, a murdered woman’s only “crime” was that she was just too beautiful. The kind of beauty that imbibes luscious powers of seduction so tempting and irresistible they must be the result of sorcery, spell-casting or witchy potions. What else could it be, right? Feminine lure is the product of evil. So let’s destroy it.

Veiled by K. Silva

They say a witch’s power is in her long, wild hair.

They say when a witch lets her hair loose, she unleashes tornadoes and hurricanes, and causes comets to fly through the sky and volcanos to erupt. The middle ages were full of such beliefs, residue from the ancient world, when women followed the apostle Paul. He warns us in his epistle to the Corinthians that a female’s head should be covered, lest the mischief of lusty demons be fueled by her beautiful, long hair.

I’ve worn my hair long most of my life. Traveling around rural India, dutifully covering my long (now braided) hair to satisfy my indigenous travel companions, I couldn’t help but think that the misogynistic views of early Christianity had made their ugly way into this richly sensual land that birthed the kama-sutra, (of all things) and had once thrived on goddess worship! How ironic then, that the women in some of these villages were apparently being trained to feel almost ashamed of their femininity, of their beauty, and of the sensuality that naturally beams from their womanhood and their lovely, long hair.

The Egyptian goddess Isis gently aroused her dead lover, Osiris, back to life by caressing his body with with her silky, long hair.

Long hair is wildly erotic and luxurious. It can play an extravagant part in lovemaking. It suggests a sexual freedom that the church considered diabolical.

A woman’s loose, long hair, after all, had the power of seduction built into it, and “purity” required sexual deprivation. So, from the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries, long-haired “witches” were executed as conspirators with the devil against Christianity.

This is when the witch and the seductress became one. Or was it when Eve offered Adam the forbidden fruit? Or Pandora opened her box? Either way, it is man’s sexual arousal, and a woman’s power to sexually arouse that is being labeled as evil here. After all, erotic lure is connected to a pleasure so grand, it must be forbidden! And so our species sadly belongs to a long history of premature and unhealthy sexual deprivation in the name of spiritual liberation. Which, unfortunately, continues to this day, from international ashrams in Bengal, to monasteries in Tibet, and even trickling into the little yoga shala down the street from your favorite wheat grass bar.

Witchcraft by K.Silva

Witches symbolize the opposite of deprivation.

Witches are exciting emblems of sexual might and magic.

They honor and respect erotic energy in themselves, those around them, and the universe. Witches stand in opposition to puritanical fears that encourage the repression of our natural sexuality, representing rebellion, and freedom. Witches wear their natural beauty without shame or inhibitions. Witches let their hair fly wild and free.

Some of the fifth grade boys surrounded me before the teacher entered the classroom shouting: “Bruja! Bruja! Bruja!”. My girlfriend had insisted I wear my long hair down, for a change, instead of keeping it up in its usual ponytail. My ten-year-old heart thumped in my chest from embarrassment and I felt my face becoming flushed. The boys’ taunts made me feel so ugly, I quickly pulled my hair back, and wore it up for the next five years. That same school year, four boys asked me out. They were all the same boys who called me a witch that day for wearing my hair down. I suppose teasing me was their way of dealing with their own new and uncomfortable feelings of attraction for me.

I suspect this unpleasant phenomenon in the male species, of unconsciously punishing the object of their romantic desire, characterized the entire Roman Catholic Inquisition. A time when all feelings of attraction toward females were not merely sources of discomfort, but of evil itself.

No thanks to two sexually neurotic Dominican priests, a legitimized manual for prosecuting witches (the Malleus Maleficarum)was thus established, perversely encouraging celibate men to obsess over female sexuality. And although it called for all accused “witches” to be stripped naked, shaved in their pubic area, and thoroughly “examined”, if the inquisitor (usually a monk), was to become sexually aroused during the inquisition of a particular “witch”, the greater were said to be her powers of seduction, and, consequently, the greater torture she received. Because, of course, the monks were pure, and their sexual attraction was entirely the witch’s fault!

Projection of this type was, and unfortunately continues to be, a popular way to avoid facing oneself and one’s own challenges.

When it’s too scary to face ourselves in the mirror, we blame the witch. We toss our fears onto the witch in a kind of scapegoat phenomenon. This witch then becomes our own inner demons.  

For those who are uncomfortable with their own sexuality, a sexually liberated woman can be simultaneously enchanting and terrifying. For she deliciously wakes one up to one’s own erotic side, while at the same time revealing whatever yucky inhibitors one may harbor in relation to their own sexuality and its expression. And who is not in need of sexual healing these days, when more than one third of us have been sexually abused before we turn eighteen, and the child pornography industry is the highest grossing business on the internet?

Witches symbolize sexuality that is healthy, natural, healing and empowering.

If we feel ourselves being irresistibly drawn into a seductress, perhaps it’s because we intuitively feel the need to explore our own sexuality, become more comfortable with it, or perhaps, even heal it. 

Healing is about expression not repression. Because sexual expression is more than just a physical release, the sexually emancipated witch was also married to love mysticism.  Some say a witch’s riding broom is really a phallic symbol, and the ecstatic flight it sends her on, represents a long orgasm. Ecstasy from the Greek word ekstasis, metaphorically understood as “to stand forth naked”.

Like ancient love-mystics, witches celebrate the nude body as divine, as pure, as a symbol of one’s naked soul, and a passage to eternal pleasure.

The witch is a woman who is empowered in the harmonic convergence of her own erotic and spiritual energies. Who wouldn’t be drawn to her?

We are simultaneously scared and drawn toward witches because we are simultaneously scared and drawn toward our own personal power, sexual and spiritual. It is natural for us to be drawn to beauty. But to blame the beautiful for causing us to objectify it, degrade it, molest it and torture it, is another story entirely.

Blaming the potently beautiful for causing our own perversions echos with denial from darker times. Yet this modern day witch hunt still continues to this very day. 

A beautiful female is therefore still regarded as the source of tremendous destructive power because she is seen as being sexually arousing: The power to steal another woman’s beloved, the power to make a priest break his vows, the power to ruin the moral fabric of society. Oh! And if I let my long hair down, we might just have a tsunami hit us, or a volcano erupt!

Witch by Katarina Silva

~I dedicate this post to Janet Sellers who inspired me to present us witches in a more favorable light.

And to all the women around the world who have ever been killed, or abused, unfairly judged, or harassed, (and continue to be) for their “witchcraft and sorcery”.~

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Andy Sweet Feb 25, 2019 10:47am

You’re amazing. Thanks for writing this. I am a red-head, so i hear we were burned at the stake too. True?

anonymous Dec 30, 2015 11:28am

Oh the irony and projection. Thank you for expressing the pure sweet truth of what it really means to be a witch and bringing light to standing in the face of injustice and judgement. I don’t believe being a witch belongs to any specific religion or gender. Really I think being a witch means being a woman who knows herself, has a good heart and is entirely in touch with nature. The label itself has such a bad stigma, but I believe it’s just a generalized description for a woman who stands apart from others, and who is unapologetically themselves. I think the religions who have rejected witchcraft, do so because they may see it as purely egotistical to think one should create their own destiny within their power, when they teach that one must die to self. A witch knows that she ultimately has manifesting power but it comes from the Great Spirit who lives in many forms. What’s funny, and I’m stati g the obvious, but Christianity assumed Pagan practices to make the new way easier to swallow. Fundamentally, many religions teach the same. Christianity mentions eternal life. Who’s to say that is not reincarnation. Sexuality is creative energy. It was a bad idea for the state of the human race to be completely celibate, hence marriage was created. There are many ways to express sexual energy, entirely in a non sexual way. I believe that is also where a witch’s power comes from. It’s just focused intensity. A prayer, a chant, meditating, exercising in nature… It’s all ways we connect with our higher selves and with God. I know there are many Wiccans who will vehemently disagree with me, but I feel being a which is a natural process that comes from within and above and around; and not because of textbook spells or years of occult practice. I’m just rambling. Great article. Thank you for sharing.

anonymous May 11, 2015 8:08am

Love this so much! Thank you!!

anonymous May 9, 2015 6:21am

Men have been killed for witchcraft, too.

anonymous Jan 25, 2015 12:23pm

Katarina, your post is beautifully written! I love it! It explored my mind to some concepts. But please, are the long hair and the seductive attitudes the only traits of witches??

anonymous Jan 4, 2015 1:13am

I LOVED your article! What a fascinating read and your pictures illustrated the article perfectly. It is a tragedy that people feel threatened by or fear and seek to condemn what is beautiful and sensuous and natural in a woman, rather than to celebrate it – and worse even to use religion as an excuse for their actions. Your explanation of magic also put into words what I have been trying to put into words myself. I believe there IS magic all around us but we need to look at the world with wonder to see all of its splendour. Children see magic everywhere simply because they naturally look at the world in wonder. Thank you again for a thoroughly enjoyable article. I will definitely be reading it again and posting a link to your article on my Facebook page. Blessed be xx )O(

anonymous Apr 20, 2014 11:27am

Excellent, thank you.

anonymous Apr 20, 2014 3:37am

I enjoyed this, and agree that 'wild and free' is what scares the mainstream about both women and witches, regardless of culture.

However, misogyny and witch-fear are by no means the sole preserve of Christianity. Witchcraft accusations were and are a common means of social control around the world, both before and after colonialism.

anonymous Apr 19, 2014 8:31pm

beautifully written!!!

anonymous Apr 17, 2014 4:21pm

Fabulous article and I agree with everything you have said, you speak to the 'witch' in every woman!

anonymous Apr 16, 2014 7:17pm

Love this article. I am of indian heritage, and I find it frustrating that there are such strong fears around people being true to themselves, all in the name of 'purity'. Slowly things are changing, and some are going backwards, but to break down our thinking and elucidate the meaning behind things, in the manner of this article and what it represents, brings empowerment. Thank you. 🙂

anonymous Apr 16, 2014 10:01am

The fourth picture down is one of my all time favourites but I can never remember the artists name! Does anyone know who the artist is f

anonymous Mar 14, 2014 10:37pm

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You are incredible! Thanks!

anonymous Jan 11, 2014 8:06am

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anonymous Jun 26, 2013 8:25am

You've got ME under your spell….Good article, Jung and (Joseph) Campbell would be proud..(as would Stevie Nicks)..The "bad" witch is a projection of the "bad"/harmful anima…Angels, fairy god-mothers,etc., are projections of the good/helpful amima….In our "modern" stories, we have the femme fatale vs. the ingenue characters…
Sexuality IS scary..It brings forth emotions that are hard to control…Religion doesn't like this…

anonymous Jun 26, 2013 2:56am

Thanks so much. In ancient India long hair was considered great because it was symbol of vigor and strength, not to mention beauty. I can't imagine cutting my long hair.

anonymous May 1, 2013 2:10pm

This is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
Short but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this one.
A must read article!

anonymous Dec 26, 2012 8:58am

I have yet to meet a self-proclaimed western witch who could handle the etymology of 'Pagan'.

anonymous Oct 29, 2012 1:33pm

Powerful article. Thanks so much. In ancient India long hair was considered great because it was symbol of vigor and strength, not to mention beauty. I can't imagine cutting my long hair.

anonymous Sep 22, 2012 12:32pm

what a beautiful article1 Oddly, I just hung up frommaking an appointment for getting my hair cut! For me, with a longish face and solemn eyes, long straight hair makes me look horsey.. And I am sick of using curlers!

anonymous Sep 22, 2012 12:11pm

I really enjoyed this article and how you interwound your personal experience with mysticism and history. I have also always had long hair and never go to a salon to have it trimmed. I let it grow naturally where it kind of comes to a point at the longest part in the middle of my back, where it meets my butt. I've been accused of being a witch simply because of my hair and not having it cropped and chopped off in straight lines. Now closing in at 50, I was told recently by a man my age that I needed to cut my hair because women my age should not have long hair. I found it strange he'd suggest such a thing. Maybe from his point of view he sees women with long hair as sexual beings like you've suggested in your article and he can't fathom that women in their late 40's and 50's having that same kind of sensual energy exuding from them as younger women do. Well, his thinking and projecting is his problem not mine. I'll never cut my hair it will be long till it goes grey and follows me into the casket.

    anonymous Sep 20, 2014 1:29am

    Me too! just turned 50 and still long hair (tho not as impressive a length as yours….) I had been thinking of cutting it just because i'm going through menopause and the hormones seem to be affecting its lustre and thickness, but i have always wanted long grey and then white hair so i will persevere and find some good herbal treatments to help it through, any tips appreciated! Thanx for the great article Katarina – witches rule! 🙂

anonymous Sep 21, 2012 4:57am

"More than one third of us have been sexually abused before we turn eighteen, and the child pornography industry is the highest grossing business on the internet?"

– Really?

The rest of the article was very good but I dont believe 1 in 3 suffer sexual abuse. A little exaggerared I think.

    anonymous Dec 26, 2012 9:01am

    1) It depends on the definition of 'sexually abused'.
    2) That does not include advertising on the internet, which is classed as a collection of businesses. Once you take away adverts, and every business which leads to a physical product, that doesn't leave much left, so CP is the biggest fish in a small pond.

    anonymous Apr 15, 2014 4:39pm

    I think it would surprise you to learn the truth about sexual abuse. 1 in 3 is pretty correct, as many cases of abuse go unreported every day – especially when it's men being abused by women.

    If you are unsure, you should do your research.

    anonymous Apr 19, 2014 4:49pm

    Every single woman I know was raped or was sexually abused it other way at least once in her life. If you don't believe in something, it doesn't mean this "something" doesn't exist.

anonymous Apr 22, 2012 11:42am

[…] friends even told me this: “You could have done this to any one of our husbands!” As if I had cast a spell on the poor, helpless guy and was fully responsible for his […]

anonymous Mar 18, 2012 1:15pm

I can see why you love witches Katarina. You were and are one! ; )

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and perspective of the ancient and modern witch. It struck me deeply as I used to call my mom a "witch" (but a 'good witch) when I was younger. And it takes one to know one! ; )

anonymous Jan 20, 2012 3:45pm

love this, I guess I'm [good] witch too 🙂

    anonymous Jan 21, 2012 7:18am

    Thank you, my sister witch! Indeed you ARE! 😉

anonymous Jan 18, 2012 6:46pm

"I’ve worn my hair long most of my life. Traveling around rural India, dutifully covering my long (now braided) hair to satisfy my indigenous travel companions"

Strange. Were your traveling companion orthodox Muslims by any chance? If not, which particular region in India is that unmarried, non-Muslim women are expected to keep their hair covered?

"I couldn’t help but think that the misogynistic views of early Christianity had made their ugly way into this richly sensual land that birthed the kama-sutra"

Sounds more like an Islamic influence if anything. None of the Indian Christians I know cover their hair.

    anonymous Jan 18, 2012 9:05pm

    No, my traveling companions were not Muslim. They were not Christian either. They were just village folk who were concerned for my well fair, so they insisted that I hide my long hair at night. I was in a remote village bordering Assam, and tribal territory. I did not imply that Indian Christians cover their hair. I was referring to the Victorian influences that came with the British invasion, which imported witch-hunt superstitions (like those surrounding the power in a female's hair), into India. Of course, modern India is not plagued by such ideas, but there are remote parts of it where such views still exist. I have experienced this myself during my travels.

    anonymous Dec 26, 2012 10:03am

    None of the Indian Christians I know could cook anywhere near as well as either the Hindu or the Muslim ones.

anonymous Jan 17, 2012 3:13am

Woman was a Queen, she is and she will ever be. Her beauty ruled the human history, without her everything is dull, deaf, dumb and colorless

    anonymous Jan 17, 2012 6:29am

    Very beautiful. Thank you Irfan.

anonymous Jan 15, 2012 9:35pm

wow, witches rule! this one conjured up some interesting discussions 😉

    anonymous Jan 16, 2012 6:43am

    I know, RIGHT? 🙂 Wow! Who would have guessed! I think maybe my next piece will be on vampires. lol …..but I am serious. 😉 Any ideas?

      anonymous Jan 16, 2012 8:08pm

      hmmm Katarina, Vampires! you made me think, thanks! may be a bit tricky to bring out their good side. but maybe they are like the personification of our lower nature, the desire to achieve our own satisfaction at any cost to others. at least that is how they're portrayed. for their own satisfaction they completely dominate others, mentally, physically, sexually, even down to drinking their victims blood and enslaving them ;-( i've heard that nature is there within us all. along with our higher nature, the propensity for fully loving, caring for others. why opening our hearts to love is so important and worth more than dominating the whole world. thats the ideas that came to me. thanks for asking 😉

        anonymous Jan 17, 2012 9:26pm

        No, I know what to write about vampires. In fact, I already have. 😉 I just meant if you had any OTHER ideas for articles subjects you think would get rouse this type of stimulating conversation.

          anonymous Jan 18, 2012 6:36am

          or another idea "Conditioning", the role social norms play in molding us into who we are, for better or worse. positives and negatives? is it always there in every culture by definition? could we successfully grow through childhood without it? is there value in trying to unwind our conditioning? i think John Lennon may have been pondering the topic when he wrote his classic song, "Imagine "

anonymous Jan 15, 2012 2:51pm

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anonymous Jan 15, 2012 2:20pm

Excellent! I had to let my hair down while reading it ( I had put it up to keep it out of the food I'm taking a break from preparing). Btw, not all of us followers of Jesus judge and persecute. Blessings to you, my friend : )

    anonymous Jan 15, 2012 4:22pm

    I'm so glad you liked it. And don't worry: In my book, if someone is judging and persecuting, they are not really following Jesus. Right? 😉 And I LOVE that you let your hair down while reading it. Made me smile. Thank you for sharing, Stormy. 🙂

anonymous Jan 15, 2012 10:20am

This is one of the most unique and interesting articles I have read in awhile 🙂 I superbly enjoyed it!! The writer did a wonderful job 🙂 Usually I will go through an article, copying different bits and pieces to use as an intro for people to read it, and with this one I couldn't decide what to use!! So many good and interesting tidbits!! bravo!! and <3 much love to all us women dealing with a repeat of the Dark Ages – we shall prevail. Speaks volumes as to the importance of education – herbalists today are doctors not witches!!
I love the pictures throughout the article as well – I have long red hair and would love to do some enchanting witchy photoshoots!! 😉 Wonderful article, thank you for sharing

    anonymous Jan 15, 2012 10:47am

    Your encouragement just gave me a big smile and fueled my desire to write more articles, Nicole! And yes, my heart and love also goes out to all victims of such prejudices. But, as you say, we shall indeed prevail! Our voices will change perspectives. Let us continue to raise them. And thank you also for appreciating my self-portaits. I keep getting requests from women with long hair to feature them in a witch photo-shoot. We'll all have to gather around a bon fire one day and do that! 😉 Thank you for sharing!

anonymous Jan 15, 2012 9:57am

Terence Mckenna has some excellent lectures where he talks about the relationship of mental illness and shamanistic tendencies, basically saying that in older cultures a person who could see/hear/be beyond the immediate reality was highly treasured and respected, most of the times seen as a shaman. Nowadays though the opposite is the case. He has some really interesting points, I just recently "discovered him".
Also I cant remember where, or much about it but somewhere I read about, I think within Christian religion that women used to be if not worship at least highly valued. And also, there was some sort of ritual where a woman would lie on the altar when she was looking for some sex and any man passing by could take her and even if they were married it was ok because it was a way to worship God or earth or divinity or something. Can't recall very well, sorry :/ maybe the author knows what Im talking about? I care very little about western religions so I didnt pay too much attention however I found that interesting because is different from what I thought, that women are always seen as worthless or demonic , or at least some of the main features of women's nature is seen that way. But apparently it didnt used to be that way, it became that way, somewhere along the lines it got lost… but maybe it was even before the Jesus guy and all. Im not sure… Anybody knows what Im talking about?

    anonymous Jan 15, 2012 11:02am

    Thank you for sharing those interesting rituals. I am not familiar with them, but they sounds intriguing! Perhaps something out of the ancient pagan practices. The ancient cultures are mostly all characterized by goddess-worship, so I am sure, once upon a time, women were indeed highly valued, as you say. I wish for a return to that appreciation for the feminine! And yes, the way shamans and mystics can be mistreated today (instead of revered), is quite sad. Thank you for stirring up more interesting subjects here, yogini. I wish I had more information to add to the discussion.

anonymous Jan 15, 2012 7:34am

Katrina, I'm going to have to disagree with your belief in magic. I am an evidence based person and I have seen no evidence that magic exists. I personally think a belief in magic is just another form of superstition.

That said, I still would like you to know that I really enjoyed your post. I enjoyed how you explained the history of witchcraft through you own personal lens. A lens which is much different than the lens found in today's major religions. For my part I have always been fascinated by "witchy" women, they always seemed very "natural" to me.

    anonymous Jan 15, 2012 8:42am

    Thank you Mike! 🙂 And yeah, I also think what some people call magic is another form of superstition. I was talking about it more in a broader sense, (not of casting spells per say), but just of the general wonderment with nature and the universe, and how we move within it. That's what I meant when I said the world was "full of magic". Our own personal power is a kind of "magic". That's the sense I was using it in. Sorry to confuse readers with my lack of clarity! And thank you for your fascination with witchy women! 🙂

      anonymous Jan 15, 2012 1:45pm

      I can easily get behind your magic=wonderment.

      I checked out your site. Loved your art, btw.

        anonymous Jan 15, 2012 4:55pm

        Thank you Mike…so my art has cast a *spell* on you, huh? 😉

    anonymous Feb 8, 2014 10:25pm

    ha, as you sit and project your thoughts into a box of light particles that float around the globe at light speed. no, there is no magick.

      anonymous Sep 19, 2014 8:25am

      Magic is all based off of energy. Understanding the energies surrounding us. And teaching ourselves to be aware and harness that energy to better reach a goal. But it all starts with your own awareness. Haven't you ever had a gut feeling? Strong sense of intuition about a person? Or walked into a room and got an eerie feeling? It's all energy. If you don't believe in magic, you will never find it.

anonymous Jan 15, 2012 5:27am

Ah, so interesting, also beautiful pics. Thanks for a great article, I must rad it again…. :).

    anonymous Jan 15, 2012 6:34am

    Thank you Anne-Li. I feel so happy you wish to read it again! 🙂 Take care!

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 11:00pm

Increasingly , we don't call people jerks or crazy, we assign pathological and seek to find cures. I wonder what the author thinks of what we now call mental illness and how it relates to "accusations" of witchcraft, which was not addressed in the article.

    anonymous Jan 14, 2012 11:21pm

    An excellent point, Susan! Thank you for weaving this very important subject of mental illnesses into the discussion here. Yes, the subject of mental illness is a broad one indeed: a frontier that modern culture is just now beginning to explore and attempt to grasp. Most of it remains a mystery. There are of course accounts of women who were executed for behaving in ways contrary to the social norm. They were called "witches" in the past, and even today in other parts of the world, like Saudi Arabia. Were they "witches" in that context? Were they "crazy"? What is the definition of "insanity"? Is it a neurological imbalance? A chemical deficiency in the brain? Or a mystical experience, similar to those had by shamans, or enlightened beings? What we now call "mental illness" is perhaps a wide range of behaviors that do not adopt to the "norm", but do not necessarily characterize a defective human being, as people sometimes think. In some cases, "defects" of this kind are taken care of by hangings, burnings, or executions. It is tragic indeed! What a society does not understand it labels as "insane". "wicthy", "crazy", etc….It is a shame. Labels can be so dangerous! Thank you for raising our awareness to this! A valuable contribution that merits an article of it;s own. 🙂

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 10:12pm

"Indeed, Jason, there are many ritualistic practices, ideologies, philosophies, etc around the world and across cultures that feel threatening to orthodox Christians, as well as to other forms of orthodox, fanatic religion, be it within Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, or other paradigms. "

What particular "ritualistic practices, ideologies, philosophies," feel threatening to "forms of orthodox, fanatic Hindus?"

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 9:38pm

Thank you Katarina. I hear what you are saying about how this can play out in our personal relationships. When we feel that the other party is receptive, we feel encouraged to express ourselves. When we are able to express ourselves freely, without fear, we can truly know one another. To me, this is where the “healing, support, nourishment, and everything else that leads to sweet and meaningful exchanges” between persons takes place. It is perhaps a very vulnerable space, but I think that might be the price for real relationships. On the other side, as you say, is the “fear based attitude” which separates us and keeps us from interacting in healthy ways. Fearing judgment, we bury our “selves” trying to be who we think others expect us to be and we expect others to be who we want them to be rather than who they are. Yes, it is sad indeed! We can wind up having lots of acquaintances and no close friends. I am grateful to you for sharing your thoughts. I find your articles and these discussions very helpful. Thanks too for your answer about magic. I like the idea that this world is FULL of magic! 🙂

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 5:00pm

Much of Christianity's fear of the Occult and Witchraft hinges on the historical downfall of King Solomon (Suleiman), who built an altar to Ashtoroth and Moloch, which, Christians believe, pits Solomon's Witchcraft practices against God. What we know of this particular type of witchcraft survives today in the preservation of his Grimoire, The Key of Solomon (Clavicula Salomonis). There are many other forms of practices, and rituals, not just of Solomon, but Druidic Wicca, and African voodoo and Native American spiritual healing, etc. Christianity is afraid of all these, because they fear GOD. If God even exists, it can only exist in the minds of those who want to expunge the existence of all other Gods.

    anonymous Jan 14, 2012 5:51pm

    Indeed, Jason, there are many ritualistic practices, ideologies, philosophies, etc around the world and across cultures that feel threatening to orthodox Christians, as well as to other forms of orthodox, fanatic religion, be it within Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, or other paradigms. Theoretical prosecutions and lynchings have been occurring for ages, and it is a real shame that humankind resorts to closed-mided prejudices, and brutality (such as witch-hunting), in the name of spirituality. My article attempt to bring to light the fact that many women around the world are discriminated against, and continue to be killed (to this day), because of their lifestyles: ones that conflict with the powers at hand, who then label them "witches" or "sorcerers". Just last month, a sixty year old woman was beheaded in Saudi Arabia for her "witchcraft" as they called it. This kind of execution is indeed due to FEAR, as you say. It is committed by ignorant people who mistakenly think they are acting on "God's" behalf. It is tragic! I will not disagree with you there. And if I lived in a part of the planet where these "witch-hunts" are STILL going on, surely I would have been executed by now, as I have adopted a lifestyle that includes many of the practices you mention, such as one of pagan, wiccan, native american Indian, and even yogic practices (inclusive of Ayurveda, astrology, etc). Thank you for your intent need to clarify what a "witch" is, as I am sure many readers will find your historical insights fascinating. And may I ask you, do you consider yourself a warlock? 😉

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 3:54pm

[…] Long hair is associated with witchcraft in India. […]

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 12:55pm

p.s. i love the pictures, long hair and all!

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 12:37pm

You are one of my favourite, beloved witches. 🙂 xoxo

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    anonymous Jan 14, 2012 12:40pm

    awww, thank you Tanya. 🙂 And you are one of mine. xoxoxo

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 7:22pm

Yes, the Magdalene Laundries is a very good example of the way women were discriminated against and abused as a result of their expressed sensuality. I am familiar with that story. I have yet to watch "The burning Times", thank you for that recommendation. I am delighted to hear that you have survived Cancer and are just now growing your hair out after so many years of having a shaved head! Wow! All the more power to you, you sensual, witchy woman! I can hear in your enthusiasm what a liberating phase of life this is for you. I know you will ride that tidal wave of feminine glory with all your being, and enjoy your long hair!! I am thrilled my article reaffirmed this for you. And yes, I agree with you about magic. One's heart always leads one to the most magical places! Thank you so much for sharing.

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 9:41pm

Thanks for your encouraging affirmation about magic, I appreciate it!

anonymous Jan 16, 2012 9:37am

Thank you Braja! So nice to *meet* you! 🙂 And living in India for TEN years? Wow! Watch out for those witch-hunetrs. 😉

anonymous Jan 18, 2012 8:53pm

What is your interest here? Are you trying to say that Hinduism does not have any fanatics interpreting it? You sound confrontational. I was not saying that the Hindu Muslim wars were because of Hindus feeling threatened. You misunderstood me.

You ask me: ""What particular "ritualistic practices, ideologies, philosophies," feel threatening to "forms of orthodox, fanatic Hindus?" Before i answer this, please understand that there is a difference between an "orthodox HIndu", who is a traditionalist, and a "fanatic hindu" who carries things to dangerous extremes. I do not consider the "fanatics" of ANY religion., authorized representatives of that religion, because they are not practicing it according to the essence. Are we in agreement about this?

Now that we've established that foundation, I will reply to your question by giving an example of how "fanatic" HIndus, can feel threatened by a Muslim. When I was visiting India, I visited an ancient HIndu temple that did not allow any foreigners in, including Muslims. You had to be a HIndu to enter. One Muslim-born man who was interested in seeing the deities in the temple tried to sneak inside, and afterword, I saw the priests of the temple beat him up in the public square in front of everyone, for having entered. That is the kind of elitist attitude I was talking about in my article. Where one religion senselessly thinks they have the right to attack people who don't belong to their religion, like in the case of the witches.

But, like I said before, the HIndu tradition is known to be very embracing of all other traditions, and not to feel threatened by anyone. HOWEVER, the fanatics always act differently, and become needlessly violent. That happens in every religion, unfortunately.

Are you upset by my statements? Are you HIndu? My article was not about HIndus, it was about witches, so I feel we may be getting a bit off the subject here. What is your point in making such inquiries? I am curious.

anonymous Jan 18, 2012 9:30pm

Great, I’m so happy our ideas resonate. Nice to know you kindred spirit! Maybe as I’ve been reading your articles over the last weeks we’ve built up some physic rapport. Perhaps I’m reflecting a little of your wisdom on these topics which you have contemplated for so many years.
I think you tackle “controversial” topics really well. Your honest presentation is disarming and makes people feel welcome to participate.
It’s so interesting what you said about the “troublemakers, rebels, mold breakers, revolutionaries”. It seems so ironic for example that Jesus and St. Francis were both regarded that way by the then establishments. Jesus came with a message filled with love and was put to death by the “religious” authorities. St. Francis similarly preached and practiced love for all with great tolerance, so they burned down his church. Had the “second coming” of Christ occurred during the time when His “followers” were busy saving the faithful from witches, they probably would have deemed Him a warlock and sentenced him to death as well!
Yeah, “wrong” is such a relative term, isn’t it? They say history is written by the winners. I do agree that in many ways these are better times. At least there seems more diversity is allowed. “Different” is not necessarily “wrong”.
But in the area of “Love”, it still seems that much pressure is exerted to make people feel that it can only be exchanged within certain very defined and narrow parameters. Even here in EJ, which seems such a bastion of liberal thinking, most of what I have read regarding love between adults basically states that intimate feelings can only be experienced in monogamous relationships. Anything beyond that is labeled as deviant behavior or lust for which one should feel very guilty and which will have grave and negative consequences. After reading these things, the doubt that rises up for me is this; I believe there is a clear difference between love and lust. Relating with someone we love is heartfelt. There is a natural flow of mutual affection and appreciation and those relationships are nourishing, nurturing and beneficial in every way. It is hard for me to see exactly why people should be made to feel guilty about sharing their mutually felt love. I can understand why one feels guilty about relating with another person out of lust because something besides love is the object. More like a robbery or at best a business exchange. To me there is a BIG difference. But back to love, if it is so beneficial, shouldn’t its natural flow be honored as it touches our lives? It seems like loves obstruction causes people to suffer.
I think one argument for monogamy is based on the importance of the family unit for raising children. I can understand the importance of the family unit. But what I don’t understand is why the family unit can only be construed the way it currently is or why love should be seen as a threat to the family unit? I have always heard that in older cultures the extended families which existed were very helpful in raising children nicely.
I really appreciate your statement “Love is love, and it serves a purpose that can never be "wrong" or "bad". Always. “ Maybe that can be the title or subtitle!
I am so happy that you are willing to write on this.
Thanks too for challenging me and pointing out my conditioning. I appreciate it. And thanks for appointing me a writer! I did want to mention that since reading your article last month, I really have been trying to “Take risks with my voice”. Just in the last month I had two firsts, an article written and a solo performance on stage.
At the same time, I feel so new at writing that I feel unsure how to make an article on these topics that would be concise and interesting enough to hold the readers interest. I would therefore like to ask you if you would consider a collaboration of sorts. I could continue sharing with you whatever I can come up with on the topic and if you saw anything useful you could weave it in. I wouldn’t need any credit for collaborating. Would you consider that in place of my writing a whole finished article?

anonymous Jan 19, 2012 2:23pm

Thank you for all your reflections! They were very interesting to read. 🙂 Let me consider your offer. In the meantime I need to deal with a person in Germany who is trying to pass my art as hers! She even marked the bottom right-hand corner of my self-portaits with her photography label! So, I may write about that first. My brother happens to be an intellectual property lawyer at a Manhattan firm, so she picked the wrong person to steal art from! 😉 But I would like to raise awareness on internet theft, and bring in the question of ethics, especially in relation to art-theft online, and copyrights, from a psychological perspective. Human beings fascinate me. Especially when they engage in deliberately unethical behavior. I think a lot of it has to do with lack of confidence in oneself. So they stoop to desperate means to gain attention, even if it's for work that they did not do. Sad. But I ramble! 🙂

Grant Devon Sep 12, 2017 1:02pm

Sexy is a preconceived European concept...there are many stages of womanhood,and you must do the appropriate thing at the appropriate time.You are a spirit being in a human body having an earthly experience.And that takes you to different places at different times in your life.

Rolly Sinha May 26, 2017 6:06am


Laura Timm Nov 13, 2016 10:07am

wonderful post... it brought back memories long suppressed.

Melina Powers Oct 29, 2016 11:42pm

"I suspect this unpleasant phenomenon in the male species, of unconsciously punishing the object of their romantic desire, characterized the entire Roman Catholic Inquisition. A time when all feelings of attraction toward females were not merely sources of discomfort, but of evil itself." <3

Kathryn O'Connor May 16, 2016 12:34pm

and when you're persecuted by other witches becuase you're not a gay man (back in the 90s, all the Michigan groups were gay male groups only) or by the woman who founded Convocation because you were raped and 'raped women go crazy in circles" the persecution gets harder

Joanne Scullion May 15, 2016 11:25pm

Gee I have long red hair to my hips that is frequently out of control am I a witch

Manjari Singh May 15, 2016 4:39pm

Attraction is just a way of experiencing universal love, and universal love works more than erotic love alone

Natalia Bermea May 15, 2016 1:20am

Wow... This is sad, all of those innocent women's suffering just for guys who didn't just admit their attraction for them. Not fair at all.

Rachelle DeMunck May 14, 2016 8:32pm

i wonder if this is behind the often-stated belief that "old" women should not have long hair. Because we all know that "old women" should not be sexual, and are not seen as being sexy beings.

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Katarina Silva

Katarina Silva is an artistic self-expressionist who thrives on the spontaneous thrill of creating photographic images in ten seconds, and inevitably employs witchcraft to do so. Her autobiographical art reflects her emotions and dreams, and is characterized by the mysterious absence of her complete face. She lives unafraid of darkness, wrapped in nature, in an obscure corner of the planet with her magical kitty. You may view her work at The Art of Katarina Silva. Or connect with her on Facebook or