It took me awhile but after doing a lot of research into menopause, I started to see Witches a little differently. In fact, I was starting to realize the resemblance between what I was reading and what I was seeing.
Witches have been a staple in folklore and mythology for centuries, their features and characteristics often rooted in societal perceptions of women. And not just any woman – women ‘of a certain age’.
One intriguing theory suggests that some of the attributes commonly associated with witches may be linked to women going through menopause. Now why would that be? Let’s look at the intriguing connection between witches and menopausal women.
- Age and Wisdom: One common feature of witches is their ‘advanced age’. In many cultures, older women were often portrayed as witches, and this might be connected to the idea that menopausal women have reached an age where they are considered wise. Menopause marks a transition into a new phase of life, and this wisdom may have been seen as both powerful and threatening. But who? By men.
- Physical Changes: Menopause often brings about significant physical changes in women's bodies. Hot flashes, night sweats, and changes in body shape were often misunderstood in the past. These physiological changes might have contributed to the image of witches with broomsticks and cauldrons, as if they were attempting to control their altered bodies through mystical means. Or, they were just on dinner duty – as always.
- Emotional Instability: Menopause can sometimes be accompanied by mood swings and emotional upheaval due to hormonal shifts. In historical contexts, these changes might have been seen as evidence of a woman being possessed or influenced by dark forces, leading to the witch stereotype of an emotionally unstable and unpredictable character. It could have absolutely nothing to do with being oppressed by men of that era and having to assuage their egos daily.
- Independence: As women reached menopause, they often experienced more independence as their children grew up. This newfound freedom may have been perceived as a threat to the established patriarchal order, leading to the image of witches as strong, independent women who refused to conform to societal norms. Say it isn’t so! Worst sin known to mankind.
- Herbal Remedies: Many menopausal women throughout history turned to herbal remedies to alleviate their symptoms. These natural cures could have been seen as magical or witchcraft in a time when medical knowledge was limited, further connecting the two. But let’s not call it fem-tech or innovation. Let’s just call it witchcraft and denounce it.
So, tonight, when you see cute little witches approach your door for candy, just imagine they are a gaggle of menopausal friends – and give them some extra for their stash.