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March 27, 2013 by weekiwitch
Yes, yes, more Patricia Crowther. I’m never going to run out of things to say.
If you read “The Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft with the Witches Tarot,” which is a very fun read, there’s a little chapter on hair magic…with a large large portion devoted to underarm hair. This is not something I ever thought about, perhaps I’m just not well read enough.
Some interesting parts:
“Hair in the armpits, or ‘shade’ as it used to be called, was considered one of the more erotic parts of the female body. In fact, it was considered much more attractive than women’s breasts….The short-sleeve dresses of older periods obscured the view of underarm hair, but girls who were out to attract fellows would cunningly raise their arms and expose the hair, knowing the sexual effect if would have on their admirers.”
“In ancient manuscripts, to take the power from a witch one was advised to catch her and shave the hair from her armpits. This was believed to stop her from having power over evil spirits, and because as long as she retained the hair, she had no fear of them.”
In parts of Germany, it was said a witch could be recognized by the excess of hair under the arms, and that by raising them and show it, she could exorcise evil spirits, frighten away ghosts or bewitch people.”
It goes on and on…The cumulative effect of this chapter is to make one go, “hmm.” I’ve never really considered the idea of not shaving, because you know, it just isn’t done. This book makes the best case for it I’ve heard, but it’s hard to entirely deny one’s cultural programming. I wonder if Patricia ever followed her own lore?
The world may never know.