I’ve introduced the children to a song over the past couple weeks about witches. It is not a scary song, and no one has green skin or warts, traveling about on a broom. The song is called, “The Witch Song” by Bonnie Lockheart, and it is a song about historical witches. Here is a clip of the children singing the chorus:
The verses go on to explain that, historically, witches were wise people who knew about using plants to heal, about giving birth, and were people that shared their wisdom to help others. We have had a lot of discussion around witches because of this song and today talked more in depth about differentiating between a historical witch and a commercialized idea of a witch. We have explained that witches were actually quite like doctors. We also discussed examples of different plants we know that help our bodies- lavender being a present example in our classroom.
Today some friends sat together and we read “Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons” by Tomie dePaola. These books portray a witch (or in Italian, a strega) in a way that is closer to a historical image. While we read, we drew pictures of what a real witch might look like versus a witch that we might see in Halloween decorations.
The song also says in brevity that people were scared of their powers. We won’t be getting into any stories at school of exactly how this frightful image came to be, or the persecution of a group of people. We have simply repeated the song lyrics that “some people were scared of the power they had, but power to help and to heal and to care isn’t something to fear, it’s a treasure to share.”
Outside we made magic potions to help our friends and the children have continued to sing the song the whole week long. The children also shared about herbs and remedies they use at home when they have a problem with their body. Many children shared that they have band-aids to help them, SH said that she drinks tincture in her apple juice when she is sick, and CCJ said that her special stuffed animal is a witch because it always helps her feel better.
Do you use plants and special wise remedies at home to help your family? Your children may be interested right now in having this wisdom passed down to them!