Why I write about witches

I have already written about how I summoned Layla, the witch living in my kitchen during the pandemic, with chocolate and wine, and sometimes with ice cream, and how we had the dark kind of fun, and were missing our boys, always good for a tale about surviving Dystopia.

But I think, this might be the right time to say a bit more about why I started this blog and what it turned into over the past few months, that definitely belong to the most difficult times for me, so far.

Before my following explanations will be too long and boring for some: Let me tell you that writing my witching tales is part of a bigger project which has nothing to do with any kind of paganism, but simply is researching and writing an authentic piece of historical fiction, a novel.

Ever since I started to write about a witch, and to include myths as well es historical facts into my work, very interesting people have responded. I have been suggested special kinds of dream catchers and scented candles (I love scented candles, especially vanilla scented when I‘m sad!), or in general engage in any kind of esoteric things. Maybe, that was no big surprise, I have to admit that.

But I am not interested in that kind of believes. Really, not at all.

I am interested in the historical circumstances that had made something like a believe in witches and witch hunts possible. I wanted to understand how the believe in witching and the fear of them came to be, and what kind of personal stories collided with this.

Why was I interested in this?

There are two reasons.

The first one is the novel which I had read during the first weeks of the first lockdown, in March 2020. The novel „The asylum for wayward victorian girls“ by Emilie Autumn was mentioned by me before, because it gave me a lot during those weeks. It authentically deals with surviving a nothingness, and the way it plays with telling the biography of a historical figure to point out certain aspects indirectly and elegantly was really impressive to me.

So, while being really lonely and really stressed out by everything happening around me – oh! – and while staring at the wall for too long, I searched my own head for a period of time from the past that would allow me to deal with all these new thoughts and feelings in such a creative way, as the novel had done. So, the second reason why I write about witches is that witches have always fascinated me. As a child, I had loved to read Harry Potter (as a more known example), or novels like „The worst witch“ by Jill Murphey, or „Die kleine Hexe“ (The little witch) by Ottfried Preußler. These weird figures (mostly more female) living in the forest, being a bit weird and knowing all the forbidden but fascinating stuff your parents would never tell you about – I had always been interested in them.

I also realized that I did not really know where this myth of witches came from, and what kind of circumstances and stories that had been lived really belonged to it.

So, I began researching this. It was fascinating to read about anything historical, tragic, or really terrifying that people had lived through, while I was avoiding to go outside, was not able to talk to or see anyone that had ever meant anything to me, or go any places that my life had been depending on. Does this connection make sense? Well, in my head it does!

Very soon, I realized that I wanted to write a novel about these mythical figures. I wanted to authentically tell the biography of just a normal women being born into a time where she eventually would be burned as a witch. And also very soon, I realized that these women were no early scientists or even geniuses fighting the church for a better world, or even knowing useful things like miracle cures etc. I realized that most of them were just blamed through bad luck for natural disasters occurring all around them. Ordinary people that had been born as a child to someone, were married, had all the normal human thoughts, and dreams, and needs, but suddenly seemed suspicious when the world had gone mad and no one was able to explain why.

My new project was to understand those biographies. These themes that the people of the early modern days had to deal with (the expected end of the world, resources and hunger, the plague etc.) became a thing I wanted to understand emotionally to authentically tell a story about a woman that happened to be alive at just the right time to end as a witch.

Sounds like a fun project, right?

I think so, too.

This is why I started this blog. To creatively explore these things, and of course also to project some things that I still deal with personally into them. I really do that, of course, but in a very indirect way. So, if anyone else feels like explaining to me why being heartbroken is not necessary and that I might have a drinking problem, just remember that the private person sitting behind a computer and typing this still is not authentically the same as any character in this writing. Please remember that. It is getting annoying.

So, when I write about Layla and me having a bottle of wine again, keep in mind that this will turn into a piece of historical fiction at some point in the future … Once we‘re done drinking and the chocolate is gone.

3 thoughts on “Why I write about witches

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