Once upon a time, Lana and Alison were walking in the woods. It was a sweet autumn day, somewhere between warm and cool, and the earth felt luscious beneath their feet. They had arrived at Hoffmann studios early, opening up space for a cursory ramble into the forest where the studio lives. Surrounded by pines, modest redwoods and so much unseen life hidden in the trees, dirt and shrubs, they began to talk about witches.
When all of the spiral muses were little girls, witches were hideous creatures in fairy tales who did harm to others. They were scary, ugly, and always, always, female. When the little spiral muses became slightly bigger spiral muses, they learned that in real life, witches in Europe and America had been burned at the stake. It was almost like a gory fairy tale, the story of the inquisitors sent by the church into the rural villages to weed out the witches, the ones still brewing potions, mixing together herbs, living apart from men and the church and, apparently, fucking the devil on a regular basis. The criteria for being deemed a witch seemed quite preposterous to 20th century minds. A birth mark alone could condemn you to gruesome tortures and an enormously painful death. Of course, their history teachers told them, there really is no such thing as a witch. And we don't do things like that today. . .
With these memories quickening in their cells as the forest around them grew thicker, Alison and Lana
pondered the existence of witches and their misrepresentation and persecution throughout history. They felt angry, and sad, that witches were so mistreated and continue to be misunderstood today.
“But they aren't evil at all!” Lana exclaimed.
“Yes!” Alison agreed, “How do we explain this to people?”
“Well,” Lana, the elder, began, “We simply let them know what being a witch really means. That it's about connection,” she said, touching her hands to her heart, “Connection to the trees, connection to animals, connection to other human beings. That's the essence.”
Alison nodded her head, adding “And there's a commitment to working with the power of intention and energy for the highest good of all beings... it is so hard to understand why they would be harmed.”
“Well, these women were the healers, spiritual leaders and midwives, oftentimes the ones leading the community forward and that was threatening to the male-dominated Church and to other men who wanted to be in control of medicine, religion, property, even birth. So they had to get rid of these women leaders.”
Alison and Lana were silent for a long time. With patience, the wind moving through the trees cleared out
some of the heaviness in their hearts. They wandered a little deeper into the woods and as they turned a corner, a huge redwood appeared before them. Lana rushed over to place her hand upon it and thank it for greeting us, thank it simply for being. Alison sat on the ground in front of the redwood as Lana began to speak with the tree. Both their minds and hearts meandered toward the song they would be recording shortly, a song about the love of Mother Nature, of our connection to the trees, the animals and the light from which we all emanate. As Lana's hands moved from the tree to her own heart, up to the sky and back again, she called upon the redwoods, their spirits and their being, to “sing through us.”
As it often does, the wind picked up, blowing through them in that way that brings goosebumps but not chills. They thanked the redwood grove for blessing them and decided it was time to head back out and get to work.
As they turned to leave, something from the forest floor caught Alison's eye. It was a piece of redwood, sliced away and resting not far from the Great One with whom Lana had just spoken. Alison felt drawn to pick up this broken piece of redwood and as she did she noticed a symbol seared into the tree's flesh. It was unmistakably, undeniably, a womb.
She ran to show this treasure to Lana and both of them stared at it for a long time, unable to believe what they were seeing. Deep in their bellies and rushing through their hearts they felt the presence of Spirit, of Mother, of the Sacred Presence in the Earth showing them her gratitude for their presence and reverence on this day. They had called out to her and she had answered. She was letting them know she was with them. And that today, and every day, she sings through us all.
AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.