The Witch At The Edge Of The Village

This was inevitable. Even a decade ago, my Albino Ex used to gripe about how unsociable I was, not inclined to play with the other children, not a traveler, happy in my little Baba Yaga house full of cats and crystals and dusty tomes.

“I really don’t like most people very much,” I would remind him. “They come to me when they need something fixed, and the rest of the time I am fairly happy to be left alone. I’m just the witch at the edge of the village.”

It keeps piling up. I have my snake totem in the garden; I have my bats. Today, a botanically inclined client informed me, after a bit of research, that the funky smelling vines which have periodically erupted through my azalea bushes are Bittersweet Nightshade, a plant which is “toxic in all parts” or a herbal remedy for skin allergies and herpetic infections, depending on whose references you use.

Nightshade. Uh-huh.

I don’t plan on rubbing it on a cold sore anytime soon, and I figure digging out the rhizomes under the azaleas would be a mitzvah, but I can’t bring myself to dislike it completely. If only it didn’t smell quite so much like rancid Vaseline.

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8 thoughts on “The Witch At The Edge Of The Village

  1. You really should read some Pratchett, specifically the witch series:

    Wyrd Sisters
    Witches Abroad
    Equal Rites

    I’d say you are more of a Granny Weatherwax than a Nanny Ogg …

    • Wiccans, as a faith group, strike me as a little contrived, but I am fairly simpatico with their worldview. I used to occasionally tell people I was Albigensian, which really makes seminarians flip out, but I would have made a good one of those too.

      I am really more just the kind of “sorceress” that Paracelsus said he learned from, even if I’m pretty junior-league compared to them. Healingmagichands is yea ahead of me in the botany department; she is Flora, I am Fauna. (Does anyone else remember Disney’s godmothers in the Sleeping Beauty movie?)

  2. Thank you so much for reminding me of my love for the godmothers in Sleeping Beauty – it’s almost like I knew them personally!

    I have several friends for whom this post is spot on and will be pointing them in this direction. I enjoy your blog and your input in other neighborhoods.

  3. I’m not Merryweather?? No, Flora is fine with me.

    I sometimes refer to myself as a Wiccan, because it is a word that people are familiar with. But mostly I’m just an old fashioned pagan. One time, about a hundred years ago, my mother and I were riffing on what to call our version of “religion,” and she mentioned that someone she admired, I think it was James Michener, described himself as a “Home Lutheran.”

    I started looking up different sects that are out there, and it is amazing just how many different names there are for sects. I eventually came up with my “own” religion, and when people ask me what my religion is and I don’t particulalry care to tell them, I tell them that I am a member of the “Reformed Home Church.” They always nod wisely when you tell them this, as most people are unwilling to admit that they have never heard of a particular church.

  4. I’d be extraordinarily tempted to get an old-fashioned type of broom and leave it leaning somewhere conspicuous against your house, just to freak out the neighbourhood (further).

    Also, do you have a chimney? If so, that’s an opportunity crying out for the introduction of something to create coloured smoke rising from your roof if you ask me… 😉

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