Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One Inspiring Witch

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.

Wicked

Of course, I speak of the Wicked Witch of the West, whom L. Frank Baum gave such a bad rap (but a fashionable eye patch!) who was recently redeemed and shown for the misunderstood woman she truly is by Gregory McGuire. Elphaba, the green skinned pointy hat wearing, fictitious witch.

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.

16 comments:

  1. That's awesome Danni! I own Wicked but I hate to admit that I've yet to read it to the end. I also own Son of a Witch which is a book about Elphaba's son, but I've not read it either lol... Apparently I have this little problem where I collect books and mean to read them but never do lol.

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  2. I also read Wicked & found it a great book. I loved that it shows Elphaba in a different light.

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  3. Hubby took me to see Wicked for my birthday and I've read the book. I love both! And I too love Elphaba!!

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  4. How wonderful, I love it when people can see past the supposed 'evilness' of flat characters, and see the whole being. I have not had a chance to read Wichked, but now I will! Congrats for being a person who is brave enough to like what you like and love what you love no matter what anyone else thinks! To be honest this makes you a far more interesting person than all those sheep outthere who think what society wants them to think! Awsome post.
    PS Love Willowing & will be at art heart and healing too!

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  5. I've never read Wicked or seen the Musical, but it is awesome to see certain characters you though were "bad" brought to a new light. I will definitely have to read this now, as she does sound inspiring! thanks for this post! blessed be!

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  6. Bravo for your wonderful post! I never liked Glinda-goodie-two-shoes, I always thought there was something suspect about her. I haven't read or seen "Wicked" yet, but I think I'm going to purchase it for a Samhain treat. Did you read "Son of a Witch" and if so, was it good? I really enjoyed this and always liked the Wicked one's ;)

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  7. You know, my husband bought me the hardcover special edition of Wicked and Son of a Witch that they printed in one book for Yule last year, but I haven't gotten the chance to sit down and read it yet. I'll be putting that on my to do list!

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  8. I love wicked the book and really want to see the musical and I also have to read Son of a Witch and a lion among men the last in the trilogy!x

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  9. I commend you on your choice for your inspiration. I have to agree that the poor girl got a bum rap... who wouln't be upset to the point of setting your flying monkeys on the culprits that allowed such a tragedy to befall ones sister....

    here here

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  10. Wonderful post Danni! Your love for all things Elphaba really radiates from it. I'm ashamed to say I've neither read or seen Wicked myself yet. No need to scold me though, I've already been told off enough by many a disgusted friend :) Particularly the one who was performing in the a production of the show not so long ago which I never got round to attending. I'm a bad friend :(
    Anyway, I really must read the book. It sounds like Gregory McGuire did for the WWOTW what Marion Zimmer Bradley did for Morgan le Fay.

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  11. I love Elphaba too!! And your picture is gorgeous!!

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  12. Brilliant post, you have certainly shown a different side to a character who is tradionally seen as some bad. It just goes to show that everyone has different sides to their character and sometimes we need to look through what we first see on the surface.

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  13. I love it! She si defintely someone I loved throughout my childhood as well. I haven't read Wicked... shhhh, tell no one! But It's on my list. I love your drawing, it's so Elphaba. :D

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  14. I abosolutely love The Worst Witch! I would wait all year for it to come on at Halloween when I was younger. Someday I will find it on dvd, and then I will torture my children with it every year! Oh and I honestly adore Pratchett's portrayal of the witches in his series. I truly like the way he treats it in the Tiffany Aching series =)
    I saw Wicked when it came out to LA. I can say I actually liked the musical better than the book, but maybe that's because of the ending =).

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  15. OHH!! I fell in love with Elphaba when I got to go see Wicked at the Fox Theater in StLouis! I have the book but have not read it just yet. I was so inspired by Elphaba that I put a bumper sticker on my car that says, "Don't Make me get out my flying monkeys!"

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  16. You read Terry Pratchett too? I love his Discworld books! I haven't read Wicked yet, but it sounds like I'm in the minority there.

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