Book Review of “Waking the Witch”

I was so excited to read this book! As a witchy woman, I thought it would be a welcoming and intriguing read. I enjoyed the various name-dropping of surrealists, about half of whom I already loved. I’m glad to see Tori Amos, Mazzy Star, and other 1990’s music goddesses appreciated. Pam Grossman did a decent job with the factual and the romantic histories.

However, she’s quick to condemn other witches for their sensibilities and convictions. And it gets worse….

Here’s where Pam Grossman goes wrong in her book, Waking the Witch: she gives the literal witch-hunting of Delaware Republican Christine O’Donnell a pass because it came from her camp, and she excuses and promotes the racist, anti-multiculturalism “cultural appropriation.” Liberal Hollywood made fun of a Republican candidate and branded her a witch. That’s the same thing done to me all because I spoke up for the marginalized, disenfranchised, abused, and poor. Southern conservatives branded me a witch in childhood, but liberals did so in my adulthood.

Last month I gave a Deposition for the SLAPP suit in which I’m named with multiple major media outlets. I am the only lone individual named in the SLAPP suit; I’m not a journalist. I just happen to live in the state they filed this bogus and illegally sealed suit because Alabama lacks anti-SLAPP laws. I simply used my First Amendment right to protest a human rights violation committed by wealthy people of the local oligarchy. In the Depo, these creeps called me a witch multiple times and asked weird questions about witchcraft. Despite the fact I publicly identify as an atheist, they cared more about witchery.

The human rights issue is adoption trafficking in its entirety – be it single women demonized for sex out of “wedlock,” the forced adoptions of refugee children at the border, or the recent adoption ring broken by the FBI regarding the Marshall Islands – I spoke out on a human rights violation both my husband and I witnessed as children via Catholicism.

I am a Witch. I’m a born witch. Witchcraft is not a religion; Wicca is a religion. Witches can be born into any circumstances. A Witch is a biological female born with natural abilities that seem preternatural because neuroscience, or any human science, doesn’t have the capabilities to measure or understand heightened senses or numinous qualities. Witchery travels in bloodlines, and it knows no cultural or religious boundaries. And I use the word “witch” simply because that’s what we’ve been historically called, whether intended as insult or compliment.

I don’t know the author, Pam Grossman. I don’t know if she’s a born Witch, or if she’s attracted to the label witch simply because it’s liminal and mystical, rebellious and all “nasty woman.” I do know this: I didn’t have to be part of a subculture, listen to a particular kind of music, wear a certain kind of fashion, or act subversively to be labelled a Witch. That label has followed me since a child. And it was not said in kindness.

My family moved from the Great Smoky Mountains to a insular town in Alabama. I was a preteen; my sister was just starting grade school. She inherited her looks from the Cherokee, my ancestors who have apparently offended the likes of Pam’s entitled liberal friends by having grandchildren in a mostly “white-trash” gene pool of share-cropper stock. “Cultural appropriation” is the most racist and ugliest fallacious cry-bullying claim made by white limousine liberals who play “great white savior” while speaking for indigenous peoples. My sister was bullied, called various racial slurs, and we ended up in Catholic school. But we still lived in a small town that served as headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan.

The racism, misogyny, and hatred I saw in childhood has moved from the Right to the Left. Life has taught me not to follow political parties or group-minds because when people blindly and amorally follow a group it’s a very dangerous recipe for fascism of all brands. And when you hypocritically give your leftists buddies a pass because you find someone else’s convictions – not actions, convictions – objectionable and “problematic” then you’ve demonized. You’ve not only demonized, you’ve set them up to be witch-hunted, or you’ve given a witch-hunt a pass because your buddies were the hunters.

The likes of Pam Grossman is why I’m an eclectic solitary witch. And my Lakota friend isn’t at all offended by my animal spirits guides.