Lesson 2 – Why Are There So Many Bad Stories About Witches?

[This was a difficult lesson to write.  The subject wasn’t difficult; it was everything that kept getting in the way – the dreaded Qliphothic spirits/emanations.  There were sick children, terrible chronic pain flare-ups caused by weather fluctuations, sick husband, and power outages.  I found myself the night before class (which had already been delayed a week) with still no written lesson.  So, I told the Qliphothic emanations that I was going to hold class, no matter what other hurdles they threw in the way, then cleansed and blessed the house.  Since they had done so much to get my attention, it made sense to start the lesson with the Qliphoth.]

Gather round, Witchlets.  Time for Moon School.

Have you ever heard of the Qliphothic spirits?  Crazy name, right?  What do you think that word means, besides being the only “q” word with no “u”?  They are the spirits who feed on misery.

Sometimes, when you have something important to do, they get in your way just to upset you.  The more important the situation, the more they put obstacles in your path.  The more upset you get, the more they get to eat. Let me tell you about the feast they just had. [Think of examples you can share.  I shared about preparing the lesson.  Ask the kids to share times that they felt might have been the Qliphoths making a meal out of their misery.]

If the Qliphoth feed on sadness and anger, how do you think you get rid of them or starve them?  You could try not getting upset.  I have a hard time with that, what about you?  You could try laughing at your problems.  Laughter is powerful magic that not only makes you happier, and healthier but, starves the Qliphothic spirits.

Last time we met, we talked what magick is and isn’t [good time to review the last session with the kids].  One of the things we talked about was how Witches are portrayed in shows, books, and stories. Most of the time, they don’t come across as nice, do they?  What are some of the shows in which Magic and Witches are seen as evil? [let them answer] How about stories like Hansel and Gretel?  Remember the gingerbread house, covered in candy that the kids couldn’t refuse? Was that Witch nice? No, she wanted to eat the children. Are we like that? Are we mean and do we eat the children? No, of course not. That’s silly, right?  But, some people really believe this. They think Witches have green with huge noses covered with warts.  Is it true?  Of course not! Then why are there stories that say such terrible things about us, and why do people believe them?  [let the kids answer]

Some people are afraid of what they don’t understand.  Some people look for others to blame for all the bad things that happen.  Some people are just greedy and just want to take another’s land and money.  In order to explore these ideas, we need to go back in time. We’ll borrow Sherman and Mr. Peabody’s “Wayback Machine.”

[We added waves arm motions to dramatize going back in time and have fun.  Sometimes adding motion or silliness keeps the kids’ attention and helps them to refocus.]

There have always been people who practice magic.  The ones who were more skilled than others became the local Shaman or Witch.  “Witch” is a title you earn. You are not Witches yet but, you will be when you’re older and know more.

“Thousands of years ago, there were no medical schools, so medicine and science were part of the practice of magic.  Things went this way for hundreds of thousands of years, and in many places, it is still this way today.  What we do in part of the traditional ways of being human.  As people began to build cities and live in them, these Magicians/Witches became priestesses, priests, doctors, and other people who would specialize in a particular kind of magic.  They, and other wise people, often became teachers.” ~ Valerie Voigt, HPS Waxing Moon Coven.

In fact, “Witch” means “wise person.” They both come from the same word – “wita” or “wicca,” meaning “wise man” or “sorcerer”  and “wicce,” meaning “wise woman” or “sorceress.”

But, just as there have always been “good” Witches, there have always been “wicked” Witches, too. Some people are born spiteful, and others fall into it accidentally.  It seems easier when you’re angry to curse someone, to let your anger fly and have it hurt the person with whom you’re angry.  A fellow Witch once told me that she thinks the reasons the cursing potions have you search high and low for crazy, bizarre ingredients is so that you have time to chill out before the ingredients you had to order to arrive, lol.

Some people start out being vengeful (or become so later on) because of hurt feelings and pain inside of them makes them feel empty. They might practice hurtful magick, which ends up bringing nasty experiences.  Those nasty experiences make them angrier and feel emptier, which in turn makes them. The nasty just grows and grows, spiraling out of control. The helpers, like the some of the fairies, angels, and Sephirot, don’t like spitefulness.  They’ll leave if the person keeps doing hurtful things.  That’s why people who are often angry and do hurtful things end up looking really old before their time. [Ask the kids why they this is true]

While some Witches practice hurtful magic, the vast majority of Witches, especially those who truly understand how magick works, practice helpful magick.  So what’s up with all of those bad stories?

Some people are afraid of what they don’t understand.  They don’t know how magick works.  They feel threatened and think that Witches want to hurt them just for fun.  That because Witches can do magic and have power, we get our kicks by hurting others.  They don’t know that whatever you send out comes back to you; some say three times as we discussed in the last Moons School lesson. They don’t believe that many Witches, and other regular people, do nice things just because they’re nice people.

Sadly, all Societies have scapegoats.  Those are the people who are blamed for most of the bad stuff that happens, even though they had nothing to do with the problems.  Sometimes they look like others who have done bad things and sometimes not.  In some places, people think all Witches are evil and are born with evil inside of them.  In Africa, children, even tiny, little babies, are accused of being Witches.  They might have had the misfortune, bad luck, to have been born at the same time maybe their grandmother died.  The baby might be accused of killing the grandmother.  Or maybe a child is born with a mark on their face.  They might be accused of causing the milk to go sour or stop the fields from allowing things to grow.  Often, children will be accused of killing and even eating their relatives because that’s what evil Witches do (remember the Witch in Hansel and Gretel).  Absolutely crazy, right?? But these people believe these things, beat the children, and through them out on the street to take care of themselves.

Click here for more info:

Witchcraft allegations against children in Africa

Safe Child Africa 

Another reason people make up stories about all Witches being wicked is because those people are greedy and they want what the other person has.  Women used to have even less power in society than they do now.  A woman who outlives her husband is called a “widow.”  These widows would often be left the house and land by their husbands.  It used to be illegal to practice Witchcraft, in some places it still is.  If the house were on the edge of town and especially if the widows were old and sick, or their bodies were hurt and slow, it was easy for greedy people to say the widows were Witches. Then, they could legally take their house and land.

I’m sorry to shock you and tell you about terrible stuff that happens but, you need to know what you’re up against.  You need to realize and be grateful that you’re living in an area where you are safe. But, even though you are safe, it’s not the best idea to run around, telling everyone that you’re Witches.  As I already said, you’re not Witches, yet.  You’ll get there.  Witches know how to defend themselves.  A Witch knows when to know, to will, to dare, and when to be silent.

Now, go play!

Suggested Song/Chant:

Who Were the Witches, by Anne Hill

lyrics changed with permission by Anne Hill

chorus:

Who were the witches?
Where did they come from?
Maybe your great, great grandparents were some.
Witches were wise, wise people they say.
And there’s a little witch in every person today!

Witches knew all about flowers and weeds.
How to use all their roots and their leaves and
their seeds.
When people grew weary from hard-workin’ days,
They made ’em feel better in so many ways.
(chorus)

When women had babies the witches were there
To hold them and help them and give them care.
Witches knew stories of how life began.
Don’t you wish you could be one? Well, maybe
you can!
(chorus)

Some people thought that the witches were bad.
Some people were scared of the power they had.
But power to help and to heal and to care
Isn’t something to fear, it’s a pleasure to share.
(chorus)

 

Suggested Activity sheets or pages:

Pagan Kids’ Activity Book by Amber K pp 13, 14, 17, 26

Craft ideas:

Make your own Witch’s hat by Martha Stewart


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