Saturday, September 14, 2013

Somewhere wicked there I go...

Friday night. This week, the temperatures have dropped here in upstate New York (after soaring briefly, unpleasantly.) I have taken my fall jackets, plaid shirts, pants out of the closet and am now wearing them. In the pumpkin patch I planted never expecting a harvest, my two pumpkins have grown to be big and orange and bright; and, soon, ready to be harvested. The night is coming.

 Fall is here. I'm starting out by going somewhere I have always wanted to, a place that has come to be linked to the season of the witch. This weekend I will be in Salem, Massachusetts. Where, in 1692 through 1693, women and men were accused and tried for the crime of witchcraft, infamously leading to the executions of 19 women and men for these alleged crimes. 

I have always thought of these events with a great sadness, that these unfortunate souls became victims of religious, political and social hysteria, and this lead to their unjust deaths.

 I have also always been fascinated by the trope of the witch. The mysterious other, the often female or feminine, who can control, use nature to empower herself. Often frightening, often powerful, on occasion misunderstood. With due respect to the religion of Wicca, it is the way figures thought of as witches, the other, have been defined and explored that I have always been in love with, always wanted to explore, more, that draws me to people, places and pasts like Salem.

 Tonight I am traveling across New York, headed for Massachusetts, where the idea of "the witch" created such horror so many years ago. I plan on taking as many photos, and writing as many words, as I can of what I will see.