Willow, over at A College Witch's Experiences asked us all to share witches, either fictional or real, who have inspired us as part of her Inspiring Witches Blog Party.
I've wracked my brain, because throughout the years so many witches have inspired me. Fictional characters like Mildred from the Worst Witch, The Wyrd Sisters of Discworld Fame, Sabriel in the Abhorsen Trilogy and real life witches such as Ellen Dugan, Ann Moura and all of you have inspired me and taught me things. However, only one witch stuck her pointy finger in my heart and stuck with me throughout my life. If only I had the ruby slippers to get her attention... I certainly wouldn't have melted her, poor dear.
When I was a kid I always hated when Dorothy melted the witch. I held out that she wasn't as bad as she seemed, she was angry about her sister being killed by a house and some kid stealing the ruby slippers. I also secretly wished I could visit her tower with its amazing crystal ball and horde of flying monkeys.
When Gregory McGuire's book Wicked came out, I snatched it off the bookshelf and read the entire novel in about two hours, I couldn't put it down. I related heavily to Elphaba's being an outcast in school, her craving of affection, and her decision to stand against the Wizard and his awful schemes. The novel showed her as a strong, intelligent woman with dreams, goals, ambitions, unrequited crushes and a sense of right and wrong. She was a witch by nature not by choice and had little control over her talents, often having her powers flare up when she was angry, until later in life when she found the Grimmerie and learned to harness her abilities. Throughout her life Elphaba held many roles as daughter, pupil, sister, caretaker, friend, revolutionary, lover and eventually Wicked Witch as she was driven mad by the deaths of loved ones. The book made me love the Wicked Witch of the West even more and unsurprisingly when the end came for her I was inconsolable.
My love for this green gal being what it is, you can only imagine my elation when Wicked the Musical hit Broadway! When I lived in NJ, I was a mere 45 minutes from New York City and my friend and I bought tickets to see the show while the original cast was still in place. It cost us quite the chunk of change, but to see the character I've felt so much affection for and have been so inspired by come to life was worth it. To witness the events of her days, see her interactions with the people she cared for and hear the music was unbelievable. Being the big sap I am, I cried the whole way out of the theatre, happy tears this time, but I won't spoil anything for those who haven't been fortunate enough to see the show.
So, today when we toast the witches who have inspired us, I tip my hat to the fictitious Elphaba Thropp, Wicked Witch of the West. I could pick no other witch to want to model myself after than her courageous, loving, intelligent, inspiring self.
So if you care to find me, Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo, At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me take a message back from me!
Tell them how I am Defying gravity!
I'm flying high, Defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown.
And nobody in all of Oz, no Wizard that there is or was is ever gonna bring me down!
Lyrics from the song Defying Gravity from the musical, Wicked.
You can visit the other participants of the blog party and see who their inspiring witches are by clicking the image below.