The Word Witch

What kind of witch are you? I am a word witch. My language is magic. After all, it is called spelling. Be impeccable with your words. Be connected when you speak. Believe what you say, because even the most verbose among us often go unheard. We get glossed over like lip balm. They listen to reply, not to understand. They see our beautiful mouths move but regret that we are speaking. We used to be the voice of the earth. We were the healers, the fixers the doers, the strategists. We were the wise women. At some point in history that became gauche and we were silenced. We were put in our place, they salted our gardens and forbade our naked dances in the moonlight. Our power frightened them. Impotent to rise up to meet us, brute strength forced us down… our less powerful contemporaries helped them, embracing their control like a terrified child to clings to mama’s skirt. I spell for her too.

Our dark complected sisters bore the brunt of it, they were the first to burn. Their exotic magic and powerful bodies struck fear in the hearts of men… and lesser women. The bruja, the shaman, the goddess with the python in her belly, the Voodoo priestess, all subdued by a boot on their neck. Pressed and drowned, their lives were extinguished but the fire of their souls live on. In secret they practiced divine defiance! They were the underground railroaders, the illegal readers and writers, they taught the power of the book and pen by lamplight at the risk of death. They could not be silenced. Colonizer, slave master, and Puritan be damned!

We move with the cycle of the moon, we cleanse our crystals, we pray the way WE want to pray! Upright and naked our faces turned upward toward the moon! The power of a woman who is not afraid is an unfathomable force that frightens so many to this day.

We do not allow you to trample on our rights, to use our vaginas as political talking points. You are unwelcome to decide when we give or do not give life. You are unwelcome to decide to whom or if we marry. You are unwelcome to decide when no means no. When burning us and drowning us did not stop us, they chose to subdue us with words. Their laws and their scriptures have held us down for centuries. We reject them. For ourselves and for our sisters who remain in chains, we reject them and we rebuke them!

So, I will use the power of my words and my pen to set fire to the inequality that remains. I will raise my voice louder when I am not being heard. I WILL be heard. I will teach my sons to value the voice of women and they will teach theirs. I will stand with the enlightened men and women who know. The ones who believe. This is how I cast spells. I’m a word witch. What kind of witch are you?


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