One of the enduring symbols of Halloween is the evil, broom-flying witch. The witch has been transformed into a harmless, cartoon-like image that nobody takes seriously. As part of the iconography of Halloween the witch shares her place with vampires, Frankenstein’s monster and other fictional creations.
However, unlike Halloween’s other monsters there is a hidden element of truth to the witch. The devil-worshipping witch of the inquisition never really existed and was a creation of the church back in the burning days. Superstition combined with ignorance to place blame for natural misfortunes on suspicious individuals. It is incredible to believe anyone actually believed witches flew brooms to their Sabbath.
Yet…the hidden truth behind the facade of the evil witch is the concept of the curse. Modernity has left behind belief in such things, and a good thing it has. If people realized that curses were actually possible…imagine the chaos in society. We’d be wondering if bad luck was simple chance or the hand of some malicious influence, perhaps that strange neighbor we never liked to begin with. What if those who knew the secret could actually curse us?
I feel it is possible to curse someone but it requires continued effort over an extended period of time. Call a curse projecting focused hate towards someone. Over time it could have an effect. Projecting hate can also backfire and curse the curser. A curse (and hate) is destructive all around. It is bad karma.
Instead we transform the power of the curse into a cartoon character and subconsciously take away its power. Consider the fictional Halloween witch, and much of the symbolism of Halloween as unconscious talismans of protection against the powers of the spirits. By demeaning them we diminish them.