The Many Faces of Women Who Identify As Witches | The New Yorker

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).

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.

Source: The Many Faces of Women Who Identify As Witches | The New Yorker

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