Screengrab: “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”/Netflix
My friend Peg Kay Aloi, a modern practicing witch, has two articles out on the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina." In the first one, on Arts Fuse, she reviews the third season of the show and discusses the importance of the season's plot arc (spoilers aplenty).
Also at the end of Season Two, Sabrina’s Aunt Zelda (the excellent Miranda Otto) renounced her marriage to Faustus, who turned out to be a misogynist patriarch. The coven of Satanic witches who preside over the shadow side of Greendale are a sort of elite society with their own boarding school. The daytime Greendale is all Scooby-Doo high school hijinks (with some intersectional activism and coming-of-age drama thrown in). Because of her duel nature, witch and mortal, Sabrina straddles these worlds. In Season One, her Sweet Sixteen Party was also her Dark Baptism, the ritual when witches must proclaim their allegiance to the Dark Lord. The Satanic antics are all rather arch and fantastical (Aunt Zelda’s smiling “Praise Satan” is now a popular meme), making this all rather fun and entertaining.
In her second piece, for Refinery 29, Peg compares the show's TV hocus-pocus to modern, real-world witchcraft.
RIGHT: Sex can be part of witches’ magical workings
The show’s emphasis on sexuality keeps it firmly in the “adult” genre while also portraying a fascinating yet sometimes controversial aspect of modern witchcraft. Many of the seasonal holidays of Wicca have their origins in ancient rites performed by Europeans — including the rather erotic ritual of Lupercalia seen previously in Season 2, episode 3.
Lupercalia is a Roman fertility festival that falls between Imbolc (February 2) and February 14, hence the show’s dichotomy between the Lupercalia rites and the Valentine’s Dance at the high school.
On the whole, CAOS is often impressively accurate in the way it handles the folklore and background of Wicca and its rituals. But, of course, the supernatural occurrences are not realistic.
Thinking it was a really old bottle of alcohol, Antiques Roadshow expert Andy McConnell took a tiny drink of some brown mystery liquid in a 2016 episode. Repulsed by the taste, the glass expert said, “I think it’s port – port or red wine… or it’s full of rusty old nails and that’s rust.” In […]
Last month, I posted about “witch bottles” — containers of curious items like human teeth, fish hooks, glass shards, and undetermined liquid — sometimes found in chimneys or inside walls of old buildings where they were placed to ward off evil spells, spirits, and curses. Turns out that there’s a new book — “Magical House […]
In Watford, England, construction workers doing demolition at a former pub and inn found a weird bottle inside the chimney. Containing human teeth, fish hooks, glass shards, and liquid, the container was apparently a 19th century “witch bottle” meant to protect against evil spells. Above, examples of such bottles. From Smithsonian: The newly discovered bottle […]
As the summer surges forward, grilling and evenings in the backyard may be the only serious outdoor excursions many of us take this season. Yet even with all of our current problems, there’s one group who doesn’t care a bit about COVID-19 and will still look to make any trip you make outside into an […]
With all due respect to our vegetarian friends, there might be nothing more intrinsically linked to the 4th of July holiday than a big ole cookout. Sure, fireworks and celebrating the birth of a constitutional republic are great too, but showing off your cooking prowess with a brilliantly seared, mouth-watering slab of grade-A American beef […]
We’re at the midway point of 2020. So…how’s the year going for you so far? Yeah…we can guess. But while there’s a lot about 2020 we can’t directly control, maybe a little retail therapy can help make you feel better. Sure, the 39 items we gathered together can absolutely bring a smile to your face. […]