After my new website redesign I realized that I’ve never really talked about some of the projects I show-cased, and, it being October and Halloweeny and all, I thought this was a perfect time to talk about my witches project.
Now bear with me ’cause I’m not going to check my sources here when I tell you what I know of these women.
First and foremost is Lilith. Ya’ll know the story. She was Adam’s first wife, made out of earth just like him and because of this, completely equal. Well, not being beholden meant she had no reason to stick around when he pissed her off. She left the garden and went out into the surrounding darkness to give birth to all the monsters in the world. She is associated with many things: owls, roses, lions. She is said to have bird feet.
She is also the first child-stealer. You see, when infant mortality was high and unexplained, sudden baby death was blamed on evil witches. I always found it funny that these same witches were often called on to inspire fertility as well.
Anyway, there’s an old saying to ward her off: “she that flies in rooms of darkness, pass quickly quickly Lilith.”
Another powerful child-stealer is Lamashtu with the head of a lion and the feet of a bird of prey. She especially is known for fertility even though she is also blamed for infant mortality. She is thought to be filthy, and as an illustration of both this filth and her fertility, she is sometimes shown nursing both a dog and a pig.
Another powerful and well known witch is Baba Yaga. Her house stands on chicken legs in the middle of a Russian forest. It is surrounded by a fence of skulls and bones. Because of it’s high and mobile position, her house is nearly impossible to get into–not that you’d want to–and whenever Baba Yaga herself wants to enter she must say: “Izbushka, Izbushka, stand with your back to the forest and your front to me.” Izbushka is the house’s name; yup, house has a name.
Her house isn’t the only thing that extraordinary about Baba Yaga. She has nails and tusks of steel and flies about the sky in a mortar and pestle instead of a broom.
More witches can be found on the Projects page. Happy October time.