I don’t know about you, but when I was little (and by little I mean currently today as a fully grown adult) all I ever wanted was to awake one morning to find that I had become a teenage witch à la Sabrina.
Just think about how much more convenient life would be if, at the point of your finger, the world around you could change? You’d never have to wake up early to get ready and commute to work, you could just point and boom, you’d be ready! You could freeze time, erase all of your embarrassing moments from the ether, and never have to worry about a thing! You would have complete and total control over your life.
I think we can all just admit that Sabrina is goals. *sigh* Maybe someday…
In the meantime, soak up these thirteen quotes (and all the nostalgia that may ensue) from our favorite teenage witch, quirky aunts, and sassy ex-dictator kitty!
Mrs. Quick: Men rule the world, and they do it by oppressing women, forcing us into stereotypical roles and shoes that create permanent foot problems… remember, a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
It wouldn’t be Halloween without acknowledging the iconic film that is Hocus Pocus! While Hocus Pocus isn’t exactly book-related, it is a cultural classic that needs to be addressed.
If you haven’t heard already, there are rumors that Disney is in the early stages of developing a Hocus Pocus remake. Though it is unclear whether or not any of the original cast members will be involved, or if the remake will play on the original plot, one major original cast member will definitely be absent.
Image Via Jonathan Pushnik
It appears that none of the original witches may be involved, and Better Middler isn’t pleased. Middler allegedly criticized the upcoming film, calling it “cheap.”
“I know it’s cheap. It’s going to be cheap!” Middler told People Magazine.
“I’m not sure what they’re going to do with my character,” Middler said. “My character is very, very broad and I don’t know who they’re going to find to play that.”
While Middler’s comments may sound a little…well…pessimistic, she is kind of right. Middler’s iconic performance as the domineering witch-in-charge, Winifred Sanderson, is undoubtedly one of the best witches ever created.
While many fans (myself included) are excited to see a return of our favorite Halloween classic, no one can out-do this iconic character.
We all love ’em, we all know ’em, we all want to be ’em. Witches. Just the word itself has me throwing on pendants and bobbles and vying to make earthy concoctions and spells. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
Why is it that we love witches so much? Their knowledge, power, strength, and otherworldly aura create something so mystifying that we can only daydream of being one. Especially the ones everybody loves. Below are six literary witches that we wish we could be. I’d like to believe I’ll become one in another life, but anyway. Enjoy, mere humans.
In the musical adaptation, Elphaba is the witch that we all relate to. When I first saw the show on Broadway I fell in love with the play and her character as soon as the curtains drew open. I was the fool who cried at ‘Defying Gravity.’ Her musical character is a bit different from the book in that she’s not as skeptical and distrustful and she never truly gives in to those trying to bring her down. I think that’s why I like her a tad more. She stays true to who she is yet she gives Glinda a chance to show her a different side of life. Her powers are incredible, she fights for what she loves, and she’s stronger than I could ever be. Yes, Elphaba is the green queen.
You know this witch, right? Because if you don’t, you’re missing out. Hermione is a soul and spirit all her own. Her wit, intelligence, strength, and loyalty are something we all want in a friend and damn it if we don’t want Hermione Granger as our bff. Despite being born to muggle parents her magic skills are out of this world and we often find ourselves reading the books or watching the movies just to watch her find the answers we need. Although she does come across as an overconfident know-it-all by many of her classmates, she simply has a fear of failing. We’ve seen time and time again that vulnerability is usually masked by her self-assurance. Often seen as a feminist icon, Hermione has the courage to stick to her convictions no matter what. For this, we want to be in her house.
This beautifully illustrated children’s book is the stuff of cozy reading and innocent imagination. Strega Nona, meaning Grandma Witch in Italian, is the old tale of the local witch woman who is known for her cures, remedies, and even helping the single women of the small Italian village find husbands. What a nice little lady. When she calls upon her young assistant to help her make pasta for the village he makes a mistake and cooks too much. It overflows into the streets and, as a result, he has to eat it all. Strega Nona is known for her compassionate, loving, and nurturing nature for those around her. She is the motherly figure we all need and she just wants to teach us the consequences of our actions and the life lessons we can learn from them. Thankfully, I sort of have my own Strega Nona and her pasta is the best I know.
This witch, goddess, and sorceress of Greek mythology is often given a bad rap, but I tend to see the good in people and I think it’s necessary here. Circe in The Odyssey is quite controversial, especially because she often casts spells on other characters, including Odysseus’ men. After turning them into pigs she explained that their exterior then matched their interior. Ouch. However, she was nice enough to turn them back in time and she treated them kindly while in animal form. She even helps Odysseus find his way back home and remains true to her promise to absolve from casting spells on him. Honestly, I think Circe is as human as she is a witch and a goddess. She has a temper, she wants company, she wants to use her powers while being understood. I think we should all be vulnerable and make mistakes like Circe has; it shows we can remain true and bounce back from a poor choice. Plus, I really just love Greek mythology. That is all.
Ah, yes, the beautiful and mystical Rhiannon that has inspired generations through spoken tales, myths, and songs. This Welsh Horse Goddess is a healing witch with powers beyond measure. She has several parts in the collection of tales within Mabinogi, but I can recall one of her being chased by the Prince’s men on her pure white horse. Her gold cloak glitters behind her as her horse leisurely glides along the ground, yet the men on horseback trailing her never catch up. She’s unreachable, but nearly in grasp. The three birds she has at her shoulder symbolize the sweetest of songs that can heal anyone. Her patience, courage, and beauty that shine from the inside out are qualities we should all strive for. The wonder that comes with being kind to all you come in contact with creates a marvel that is timeless. That’s Rhiannon. Plus, if for some strange reason you haven’t heard Fleetwood Mac’s song ‘Rhiannon’, then please just go do that. It is very loosely tied to the witch, but you will surely feel connected to the sky.
This story is a bonus because it gives us three witches in one story and each of them is as strong as the next! This is the feminist tale that could be plugged into many contemporary situations so for that, I must include it. These three witches cast magic together in peace until Darryl Van Horne deceives them. After seducing each of the women and pushing their powers to the edge of evil, they take revenge. I don’t want to give much away, but these witches are pure powerhouses. Despite their magical status, they’re still vulnerable and I appreciate that. But their revenge is fierce (maybe even a bit much). However, at the time when this novel was created it was seen as breaking the chains of male oppression and patriarchal expectation. The end is left to interpretation, but I still consider these women to be totally badasses. Also, if you’re looking for an adaptation, check out the lighter film of the same name, which stars Cher. Glorious.
To me, these witches embody something we can all use. Gone are the days of green skin and horrid cackles. Patience, courage, power, beauty, kindness, and pure magic are qualities we could apply to everyday life from these timeless women. Sometimes I feel like we’ve lost many of those traits, like they’ve been left somewhere between the pages of a dusty book. That’s why these women inspire me in ways beyond spells and potions. Take their fictional lessons and make them real. Will you ever win? Yes.
Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble… Sound familiar? And no I don’t mean Shakespeare or Macbeth, I mean the witchy spell!
We’re smack in the middle of October and it’s time we do some bewitching. When the leaves send whispers down the street, the wind is howling at your window, and the hanging moon casts shadows in your room, then it is the perfect night to cast a spell.
I wouldn’t say I’m a witch fanatic, even though I do love me some Rhiannon and the Sanderson sisters are my favorite, but there’s something so earthy and mystifying about spells and the other worldly things they promise. In reality, it’s almost Halloween and anything spooky and magical is just damn cool. So, are you curious about your spell casting abilities? Try these six basic spell books and get your magic on.
Dawson is on to something here with her simple casting guide and how to prepare what you need for your incantations. You will even decipher the symbolism of your own strength as well as the details of folk magic.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Halloween! Now it is the witching hour every hour and in honor of this, here are some of the best witch books and movies for you to feast upon (in between feasting on mortals, of course.)
Based on the book The Rules of Magicby Alice Hoffman, this spooky romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman will have you casting your own love spells in no time!
Based on the book of the same name by John Updike, this comedy starring Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, and Jack Nicholson follows three dissatisfied women who unknowingly form a coven with hilarious consequences.
The Grand High Witch taunting a child she imprisoned in a painting oh my God the whole thing is so unnerving /
Roald Dahl’s by turns brilliantly funny and absolutely terrifying book The Witches was made into one of the most frightening movies of all time (this is true) in 1990. The story follows the adventures of a little boy and his grandmother as they stay in the hotel unknowingly hosting an annual gathering of witches, led by Angelica Huston as the Grand High Witch. It’s honestly so scary.
Roman Polanski turned Ira Levin’s notoriously unsettling novel into a notoriously unsettling movie in 1968, starring Mia Farrow as Rosemary, who moves with her husband into a new building while pregnant, but the buildings inhabitants are not what they seem…
Okay, so not technically a witch book/movie but this story contains one of the freakiest witches in fiction. Portrayed by Tilda Swinton in the 2005 movie, the White Witch plunges Narnia into eternal winter, and her spies litter the land. She turns creatures to stone and lures children with promises of Turkish delight. Although in the movie she for some reason has blonde dreadlocks and looks a bit like one of those problematic America’s Next Top Model shoots, she is still pretty scary, and is even worse in the books.
If you happen to run through these before the end of October, here are some bonus witch movies that aren’t based on books, but which are absolutely necessary and cannot be left out of a witchy list such as this.
An incredible movie by the master of horror, Dario Argento. He originally wanted to cast children in the film which takes place in a ballet academy but advised against it and so instead he made the sets very large so that the adult actors look smaller. With one of the greatest horror soundtracks of all time by Goblin, this is a Halloween must-watch.