T W O W I T C H E S: A Modern Craft Fairy-Tale

Once upon a time, there were two
Witches.  One was a Feminist Witch and
the other was a Traditionalist Witch.
And, although both of them were deeply
religious, they had rather different
ideas about what their religion meant.

    The Feminist Witch tended to
believe that Witchcraft was a religion
especially suited to women because the
image of the Goddess was empowering
and a strong weapon against
patriarchal tyranny.  And there was
distrust in the heart of the Feminist
Witch for the Traditionalist Witch
because, from the Feminist
perspective, the Traditionalist Witch
seemed subversive and a threat to 'the

    The Traditionalist Witch tended to
believe that Witchcraft was a religion
for both men and women because
anything less would be divisive.  And
although the Goddess was worshipped,
care was taken to give equal stress to
the God-force in nature, the Horned
One.  And there was distrust in the
heart of the Traditionalist Witch for
the Feminist Witch because, from the
Traditionalist viewpoint, the Feminist
Witch seemed like a late-comer and a
threat to 'Tradition'.

    These two Witches lived in the
same community but each belonged to a
different Coven, so they did not often
run into one another.  Strange to say,
the few times they did meet, they felt
an odd sort of mutual attraction, at
least on the physical level.  But both
recognized the folly of this
attraction, for their ideologies were
worlds apart, and nothing, it seemed,
could ever bridge them.

    Then one year the community
decided to hold a Grand Coven, and all
the Covens in the area were invited to
attend.  After the rituals, the
singing, the magicks, the feasting,
the poetry, and dancing were
concluded, all retired to their tents
and sleeping bags.  All but these two.
 For they were troubled by their
differences and couldn't sleep.  They
alone remained sitting by the campfire
while all others around them dreamed.
And before long, they began to talk
about their differing views of the
Goddess.  And, since they were both
relatively inexperienced Witches, they
soon began to argue about what was the
'true' image of the Goddess.

    'Describe your image of the
Goddess to me,' challenged the
Feminist Witch.

    The Traditionalist Witch smiled,
sighed, and said in a rapt voice, 'She
is the embodiment of all loveliness.
The quintessence of feminine beauty.
I picture her with silver-blond hair
like moonlight, rich and thick,
falling down around her soft
shoulders.  She has the voluptuous
young body of a maiden in her prime,
and her clothes are the most
seductive, gossamer thin and clinging
to her willowy frame.  I see her
dancing like a young elfin nymph in a
moonlit glade, the dance of a temple
priestess.  And she calls to her
lover, the Horned One, in a voice that
is gentle and soft and sweet, and as
musical as a silver bell frosted with
ice.  She is Aphrodite, goddess of
sensual love.  And her lover comes in
answer to her call, for she is
destined to become the Great Mother.
That is how I see the Goddess.'

    The Feminist Witch hooted with
laughter and said, 'Your Goddess is a
Cosmic Barbie Doll!  The Jungian
archetype of a cheer-leader!  She is
all glitter and no substance.  Where
is her strength?  Her power?  I see
the Goddess very differently.  To me,
she is the embodiment of strength and
courage and wisdom.  A living symbol
of the collective power of women
everywhere.  I picture her with hair
as black as a moonless night, cropped
short for ease of care on the field of
battle.  She has the muscular body of
a woman at the peak of health and
fitness.  And her clothes are the most
practical and sensible, not slinky
cocktail dresses.  She does not paint
her face or perfume her hair or shave
her legs to please men's vanities.
Nor does she do pornographic dances to
attract a man to her.  For when she
calls to a male, in a voice that is
strong and defiant, it will be to do
battle with the repressive masculine
ego.  She is Artemis the huntress, and
it is fatal for any man to cast a
leering glance in her direction.  For,
although she may be the many-breasted
Mother, she is also the dark Crone of
wisdom, who destroys the old order.
That is how I see the Goddess.'

    Now the Traditionalist Witch
hooted with laughter and said, 'Your
Goddess is the antithesis of all that
is feminine!  She is Yahweh hiding
behind a feminine mask!  Don't forget
that it was his followers who burned
Witches at the stake for the 'sin' of
having 'painted faces'.  After all,
Witches with their knowledge of herbs
were the ones who developed the art of
cosmetics.  So what of beauty?  What
of love and desire?'

    And so the argument raged, until
the sound of their voices awakened a
Coven Elder who was sleeping nearby.
The Elder looked from the Feminist
Witch to the Traditionalist Witch and
back again, saying nothing for a long
moment.  Then the Elder suggested that
both Witches go into the woods apart
from one another and there, by magick
and meditation, that each seek a
'true' vision of the Goddess.  This
they both agreed to do.

    After a time of invocations, there
was a moment of perfect stillness.
Then a glimmer of light could be seen
in the forest, a light shaded deepest
green by the dense foliage.  Both
Witches ran toward the source of the
radiance.  To their wonder and
amazement, they discovered the Goddess
had appeared in a clearing directly
between them, so that neither Witch
could see the other.  And the
Traditionalist Witch yelled 'What did
I tell you!' at the same instant the
Feminist Witch yelled 'You see, I was
right!' and so neither Witch heard the

    To the Feminist Witch, the Goddess
seemed to be a shining matrix of power
and strength, with courage and energy
flowing outward.  The Goddess seemed
to be holding out her arms to embrace
the Feminist Witch, as a comrade in
arms.  To the Traditionalist Witch,
the Goddess seemed to be the zenith of
feminine beauty, lightly playing a
harp and singing a siren song of
seduction.  Energy seemed to flow
towards her.  And she seemed to hold
out her arms to the Traditionalist
Witch, invitingly.

    From opposite sides of the
clearing, the Witches ran toward the
figure of the Goddess they both loved
so well, desiring to be held in the
ecstasy of that divine embrace.  But
just before they reached her, the
apparition vanished.

    And the two Witches were startled
to find themselves embracing each

    And then they both heard the voice
of the Goddess.  And, oddly enough, it
sounded exactly the same to both of

    It sounded like laughter.