PopWitch: The Season of MidWinter
It’s that time. The time where ritual, rites, and corn dollies play an integral role on the MidWinter Equinox. Now, some say the best way to celebrate the incoming Spring is by going for a walk through nature, cleaning, making a change, making a Brigid’s Cross, or if you’re like my ancestors, sacrificing a few, or nine, goats and…men.
But here’s a question. Now that we live and love in the time of Covid, what do we do? Not to mention that some of us abhor getting outside ‘in the bleak midwinter’ because of sickness, disabilities, or hey, we just don’t like being cold.
There is a bit of light on the situation though, as a society we’ve turned to these things again and again for solace and consolation in times of trial: Entertainment.
If you’re in the house with your own altar and do not want to get outside, try some sweet, sweet pop culture.
Movies for MidWinter
- The Winter of the Witch (1969) It’s a fun tale of a bad witch turning into a good witch after a family moves in next door. Campy? Sure, but it’s great to watch with your kids.
- Brave (2012) Another great one to watch with your littles, and almost worth watching just to listen to Billy Connelly be a hilarious Scottish Laird. Brave is a beautiful film about moms and daughters, fairies, crones, and carving your own destiny. If that’s not perfect for Imbolc, I don’t know what to tell you. (Also, keep an ear out for the Crones ‘answering machine’ where she talks about going up to the Wickerman Festival!)
- Princess Mononoke (1997) Old gods, wolf girls, and The Great Spirit of the Forest make this movie deeply moving and full of Pagan themes that anyone, even a Muggle, can get ahold of. Honestly, it’s one of Miyazaki’s best, even though Spirited Away comes close. Not to mention the stellar voice cast playing the gods is just amazing. I wouldn’t watch this one with your little kids, but your teens will love it.
For your viewing pleasure...
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) Hobbits going on an adventure, or having big changes in their lives, was frowned upon in Hobbiton. Which is why the stick-in-the-mud-turned-hero Bilbo Baggins and his journey can be such an uplifting one. Watch it alone or with the fam, you’re going to have a good time regardless!
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) ‘Every new beginning is some other beginnings end’ -Semisonic. Thus the tale of Frodo Baggins begins and Bilbos slowly comes to a close. It’s a great lesson that adventures and change can make us into better people, and holding onto something that doesn’t serve you anymore can sometimes be lethal. (See Bilbos face when Frodo doesn’t let him see the Ring)
- Sleepy Hollow (1999) While this movie does take place during the winter it ends with the New Year, introducing the adorable Johnny Depp and, my personal goth mommy, Christina Ricci, to a whole new world in New York City. It’s a bit spooky for little kids but every teen I know loves it. And what a perfect way to celebrate ‘Children of Nature’ than watching baby Johnny Depp witness his mother communing with the spirits and performing the Craft. It is a raw take on the persecution of witches, albeit bloody, but it serves the movie, and the point well that: magic isn’t a plaything, and depending on how you use the Craft is what makes you a good or a bad witch. Bonus: Christopher Walken.
Books to Enjoy
Now, if you’re a book nerd like yours truly, you separate your love of books by genre. No one can ask you your favorite author because the immediate answer is, “of what genre?” So here is a list of both Non-Fiction and Fiction on Imbolc.
- Imbolc: A Llewelyn Sabbat Essential – This book is great for beginners
- Candlemas by Amber K
- Imbolc by The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids
- Tending Brigid’s Flame by Lunea Weatherstone
- Brigid by Courtney Weber
Fiction (for little kids)
- Rupert’s Tales: Wheel of the Year Yule, Imbolc, Beltane and Ostara by Kyrja
- St. Brigid by Caitriona Clarke
- From the Bellybutton of the Moon/Del ombligo de la luna: And Other Summer Poems/Y otros poemas de verano by Francisco X. Alarcón, Maya Christina González (Illustrator), and Maya Gonzalez
TV Shows to Stream
- The Witcher (Netflix) You know, other than watching it for the eternal ladyboner that is Henry Cavill, this show is actually really good. Full of Pagan themes, mythology and folklore, awesome fight scenes, and a whole lotta magic, ‘toss a coin to your Witcher’ will get into your soul in a happy way.
- The Magicians (Netflix) Oh, the Drama! Watching teens come alive and change everything in their world to attend a wizard school is just cool. The reverence for magic, nature, etc. is just fun watch. 10/10 will still recommend.
- The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix) Taken from the graphic novels, and not a reboot of the campy sitcom, Sabrina Spellman is a girl you want to hug and hit all at the same time. The Aunts are probably my favorite people in the whole show, and soon enough you’ll want to be smoking cigarettes like Aunt Zelda and saying ‘Hail Satan’ with Aunt Hilda. (That might change later though)
Music for MidWinter
- Noropo by Heilung – The video is intense, Norse driven, and amazeballs. The whole album Futha is quite fantastic, and when sung in English is completely intoxicating. There is something almost primal in their lyrics, as if the band has tapped into our Collective Ancestors heads and then put pen to paper, throat singing to drums.
- Morning Song by Eivor – Listen to it in English because she usually sings this one in Icelandic or her own native tongue of Farose. This song is stunning, and perfect for the Imbolc; Casting away the pain and hurts from the previous night and embracing the dawn. ‘A new beginning, now I’m sure, Morning clears the sky once more…’ it’s off her 2015 album Bridges which is just haunting, lovely, and wonderful.
- Black Snake by Wendy Rule – Even though the album Black Snake came out in 2013, I find it to be completely evocative and almost a necessity in these strange times we find ourselves. The song is a journey of transformation, getting rid of that which doesn’t serve, ‘I shed it like a skin’ sends a chill up my arm in a most delicious way. Give it a listen for a cool experience.
So, the long and short of it is, if you’ve got the leg power and can stand the cold then by all means, go out into the forest, bring an offering to the forest spirits, commune. When you get home, however, and you feel like diving under covers like some of us, pop some popcorn, and watch a show with a Witchy theme: Welcome. You’re among friends!
Happy Imbolc. Happy St. Brigid’s Day. Happy Candlemas. Happy MidWinter. Spring is looking good.
About The Author
About the Author
Mellissa Clancy is the owner of Familiar Books & Metaphysical Shop in Springfield, Ohio with her sweet hubby, David. She’s a pop culture geek, pagan, mom, and witch. You can find her and the shop on Facebook @FamiliarBooks or on Instagram @familiarbooksohio