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Witches…doctors

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Male physicians were furious that witches were doing a great job taking care of those who came to them for help.  Witches were experts when it came to pregnancy and childbirth, since they had been doing it from the beginning of time, and THEY WERE WOMEN who knew and understood the female body (since they each HAD ONE OF THEIR VERY OWN).

Male doctors came up with forceps and pushed the witches to the sidelines by spreading  ugly rumors about the way they healed, saying that they were unprofessional and didn’t have metal tongs to pull babies out of women’s bodies.  Unfortunately, that’s not all the men spread.   As soon as women began going to male doctor they started dying.  Their babies died as well.  Bodies piled up but the rumors kept going about how witches were not as good as male doctors.  The healing that witches did suddenly became obsolete.  Men, their forceps and their lies, killed women and babies. but as long as they had power, doctors were okay with that.

Turns out that the male doctors never washed their hands.  They spread disease from one woman to another, and to their babies, as well.  No one knew what germs were, at the time, but women always washed their hands.  Men didn’t ask the witches what they did, to keep women from dying, of course.  They didn’t care enough, besides they had their PRIDE, and no males were dying,  so it wasn’t that big of a big problem.  After all, women were always having babies, they would get paid one way or another.

Men burned witches to get their property, they took over their healing practices by lying and they tried to take over their belief system and pretty much everything else.  Men robbed, killed and lied to get what they wanted.  Same old, same old.

 

Olivia Anderson

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Olivia Anderson wanted to start a new tradition.  She lived in a small village called Witchyberg.  Not everyone who lived there was a witch, of course.  The baker, the banker, the smithy, well they were.  There was no butcher, since the town was vegan.  Actually, the only person who wasn’t a witch was Thelma Burgess but she was married to a witch, and her three children were witches, so everyone accepted her into the fold.

Now, about the new tradition.  The witches knew that everyone loved Samhain, or Halloween, as some called it.  But no one made a fuss over this most beloved of holidays.  Olivia Anderson wanted to change that.  So, meetings were held at the Village Hall and  some of the discussions went on into the wee hours of the morning.  Notes were taken and decisions were made.  Halloween would become a fabulous holiday and THIS is how it would be done:

1. Children would dress in costumes, signifying those they admired, loved, or feared.  Masks would be optional.

2.  Children would go from house-to-house and yell, TRICK OR TREAT.  Doors would open and candy, or treats, would be given to the children.

3.   Pumpkins would be carved, in the town square, and lit with candles.

4.   Dunking for apples would become part of the Halloween Fair.

5.   Candles would be dyed orange.  The official colors of the holiday would be black and orange.

6.   Songs would be sung and there would be dancing in the street.

7.  Broom rides, Black Cat petting and Raven song would be part of the the entertainment.  Tarot cards, and palm reading would be offered to those who desired to know the future.

8.  Ghost stories, told by real ghosts, would be held in the meadow.

9.   Baked goods would be for sale, the money going to the new library wing.  Cookies, cauldron cakes and others goodies would be on the menu.

10.   Signs, celebrating Samhain would be posted throughout the village and banners would be hung from houses and trees.

These were the ten ideas put into action on that very first Samhain/Halloween Holiday Night.  Throughout the years the holiday has grown, until it rivals Christmas as the most important day of the year.  Homes are decorated and special food is made, just for the occasion.  Parties continue to be held, costumes continue to be worn, by tots and adults alike.  There is dancing and singing and, most importantly, children continue to go door-to-door in search of treats.

I don’t think Miss Olivia Anderson realized just how much the witch, and non-witch, communities would take to, and build upon, the decisions made in that small room, in Witchyburg.  But, pointy hats off to the woman and who gave us something wonderful to celebrate every October 31st.   There is a plaque on the front of her house, honoring her foresight and dedication.  Tours of her home are given every Wednesday and Friday during the month of October.  It’s best to make a reservation, if you plan on going, because the crowds are large and people are often turned away.  The original scrap of paper, on which the ten ideas are written, is framed and hanging over Miss Anderson’s desk.  It’s a remarkable thing to see, since the writing often moves around and forms a perfect picture of her face.  She was a woman of vision, one who always did know how to have fun.

 

 

*I made this up.  It is not about a real person

 

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