Don't let anyone take the witch out of you

A parable: for centuries women brewed beer.  While traditonally it was men who went hunting, women fitted brewing in with their other home-related tasks.  Women got to understand the secrets of brewing, the recipes and the tricks that made beer - which was a necessity more than an indulgence at a time when water might well have tasted foul.  It was also women who sold the beer and in a busy marketplace they adopted tall, pointed hats which would stand out in a crowd and make them easier to spot by their customers.  Clever marketing and perhaps an early brand identifier?  


These brewers also saw the need to keep cats in their homes to catch the mice that ate the grain that made the beer. And somewhere along the line they also adopted the broomstick hung above the entrance to their homes as a signifier that a brewery was in place inside.  Broomstick branding.  And of course these women brewers would have had large iron cooking utensils in which they cooked up their beer brews - cauldrons by any other name.  You see where the mythology of the witch imagery comes from.  


Brewing and selling beer also made these women relatively powerful in society.  They had a position, they held secrets to the brews that they produced and of course, they made money from selling the beer.  They were prominent women in every sense.  Which gave reason enough in the social system in which they lived to make them bothersome.  Particularly bothersome to the church which liked to hold the purse strings and the heart strings of the populace and didn't like powerful women overstepping the mark.  So what better way to re-distribute that power and money to those whom the church considered to be more suitable people (men) than to discredit, humiliate and ostracize these women.  Then to go even further and spread rumours and stories about them being evil, possessed and dangerous.   And then to hang them, drown them and burn them alive.  A horrifying response to female empowerment and entrepreneurialism.  


Nobody gets hanged, drowned or burnt alive anymore in the UK but we can have our sense of empowerment and entrepreneurialism crushed out of us by a system or by other people sometimes.  Regardless of gender or proclivity to witchiness it sometimes takes a significant amount of self-belief and tenacity to keep on going with our ideas.     


So keep your inner witch feeling strong and resist the route of least resistance which sometimes tells you that its all too difficult, and too much hard work to get your "thing" done (whatever that "thing" may be - a new career, branching out alone in work, pursuing your brilliant idea).  Witches are good!


Madelaine is a Career Coach with a particular interest in supporting workers over the age of 50 – but happy to work with people of all ages - as they make transitions in their life and career.  I have many years experience of working in talent attraction and retention and I have a Masters degree in Adult Life Development from the University of London.  I've long suspected that I have witchy powers!