We know we’re probably preaching to the choir when we say that witches are not just for Halloween. Over the centuries, witches have always been a source of intrigue, their depictions in pop culture have always attracted cult followers and we’ve decided to take a look at their appeal.
From the big screen to the small, no witch is the same, however if you ask a child to draw a witch they will do doubt grab the black and green crayons and start planning wart placement. In this article we want to push aside the stereotype and take a look at 3 of the most popular modern witches to appear on our screens. These contemporary depictions have ensured witchcraft stays in the public eye, taking centre stage in big budget TV and film and kicking outdated notions out of the door.
In 1996, one film dominated VHS players across the globe, teen sleepover classic – The Craft. If you were a teen in the 90’s, chances are you worshipped at the altar of Sarah, Bonnie, Rochelle and of course, Nancy.
Played by Farizura Balk, Nancy proved that she was not one to mess with, using witchcraft for her own gains in the pursuit of power. As far as high school witches are concerned, Nancy is one of the baddest. Her merciless approach to taking what she wants (plus bad ass dress sense) left us all wishing we were part of her coven, or more accurately – her.
Another 90’s wiccan favourite who transformed the typical view of witches in media is the adorable WIllow Rosenberg. Becoming a stand out character that rivals the lead is tricky, especially when you consider the show is called ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. Willow managed to become one of the most important characters in the entire run of the show, graduating from sidekick to fully blown wiccan goddess by the time Sunnydale took it’s final bow.
The impact of witchcraft on Willow’s character is undeniable, however unlike Nancy, her focus was using and cultivating powers to help the greater good. Her foray into the dark arts was depicted similar to how a drug addict is shown spiralling and losing control, eventually destroying themselves through the dependance. Willow’s eventual emergence a bonafide goddess in the last episode was the pay off that the fans wanted, and that Miss Willow Rosenberg deserved.
Finally, we venture out of the 90’s and take a look at one of the most iconic witch characters to ever grace the screen. American Horror Story has transformed the TV landscape, taking a new theme each season and using the same cast to depict different characters each time. Jessica Lange is already an icon for many, however the strong female characters that she takes on each season has taken her to the next level. The ‘Coven’ season of AHS was one of the show’s most controversial, shining the spotlight on modern witchcraft, slavery and female bonds. Lange took on the role of Fiona Goode, the Supreme of the coven. Her sneering put downs, unparalleled power and impeccable wiccan inspired dress sense ensured all eyes were on her throughout the series. Like Nancy, FIona used witchcraft for her own personal gain, to stay young and retain power over the other women in the coven.
Her downfall was her own vanity however she proved that regardless of age, she would never become the stereotype, whether it is through fashion, dalliances with certain axe wielding murderers or deals with the devil.
Modern witches have put down the broomsticks and done away with the pointed hats. As the depictions in pop culture have developed, hopefully so have the views of those watching them on their screens. We’ve covered our 3 favourite witches in this article, but there are thousands of female characters that have changed the magical landscape. Whether your favourite is found in a book, a TV show or a film, we want to know about them, get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter page and share your favourite wiccan women.