Why are we Bewitched ?

Besides continuing to make doubtful puns, is Le Futiloscope finally losing it? Is our crystal ball on the fritz? Do we think it’s already Halloween? Not at all, the witches we’re talking about have nothing to do with pointed hats or crooked noses or poisoned apples. The modern witch, the one we see on Instagram (#withchesofinstagram) who fills her altars with crystals, who buys her pentagrams on Etsy or Occult Pocus and posts pictures of her black cats on Tumblr, is no longer an evil figure. Nor is she persecuted. She even has a cute emoji that looks just like her…all of which is to say, that now she’s the star of trendy events in Paris , like last September’s gala given by the podcast of La Poudre. With the idea that witches have little by little become symbols of the feminist resistance in face of the patriarchy, influencers rushed to the conference, at the lithography stands (runes spelled out in twigs) and at fortune telling booths. A few days after, at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Hunting and Nature Museum) an evening of Words of the Witches proposed “an immersion into the country of sound and music where the voice of women, which embody today’s multiple ways to be a witch, and resonate the animal and vegetable presences”…so chic! As to the programs on France Culture, we can’t even count them anymore…

Without a doubt this buzz in France is because of the publication of the book by Mona Chollet Witches, the invincible power of women whose cover is posted all over Instagram by young women, kind of like last year’s T-shirt “We should all be feminists”. Having read it, (or at least bought it) it’s the proof that the witch is THE emblem today for anyone who has even a minimal feeling for the empowerment of women. Some people even post pictures of antique Grimoires or ancient history books, that’s real class! This eco-feminist drive – the witch, she’s someone who understands the power of plants and respects the forces of nature – jibes with the present animist climate: shamans, forest bathing, celebrations of the full moon by yoga nuts…the resurgence of herbalists, even magic mushrooms about which Le Futiloscope expounded last year, they’re all part of the same trip. The modern witch is frequently Wicca, this neo-pagan movement, born in the first half of the twentieth century and glamourized by the Halliwell sisters in the series Charmed that espoused the benevolence of “white magic”. Remember this term, it will come in very handy at dinner parties…

The witch is also the new metaphor of the activist, which is a pleasant change from Femen. Since autumn 2017, we’ve seen American witches mass regularly at the foot of Trump Tower to cast hexes on Donald Trump. In September of the same year in France, dressed in black hats, the Witch Bloc de Paname, made the news with demonstrations against the new work laws. Since then, they’ve spread throughout France to sweep away cis-heteropatriachy capitalism…there’s even a recent book Magic for the Resistance, which lists all the rituals that might make our world a better place. Even so, we’re still far from Madame Mim in Merlin the Magician or Bewitched! Having said that…a remake of Bewitched is being shot by ABC with a racially correct Samantha…and as for Charmed, we’re still waiting for the reboot with a trio of Hispanic actresses! Anti-racist to boot, she is really good this little devil of a witch!