ATLANTA — Almost four decades after the Wicked Witch of the West plagued Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, the green-skinned, bushy-browed one lost her broom on, of all places, Sesame Street. Actress Margaret Hamilton reprised her famous role in an episode of the children’s TV series that aired on Feb. 10, 1976, writes Heather Greene in her new book Bell, Book and Camera: a Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television (McFarland, April 2018, 234 p). “With the exception of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, the inhabitants of Sesame Street are visibly frightened of Hamilton’s character,” Greene writes. The Wicked Witch also scared the hades out of young viewers, just as she had done for decades since the release of Oz in 1939.
ENGLAND — Game of Thrones, that epic, sword-and-sorcery TV series, has its Mother of Dragons. Liz Dean, a British writer, intuitive and tarot reader, is the Mother of Game of Thrones Tarot. One might say that it was in the cards that Dean would co-create the Game of Thrones Tarot with San Francisco-area illustrator Craig Coss. Fate nearly derailed her path decades ago as she climbed out of a London cab and promptly forgot the first tarot deck she had ever bought. Such an unfortunate event might have been seen by others as a dire warning to shun the “wicked pack of cards” (as some have referred to tarot).
There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, the Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.
A self-proclaimed “Mexican card reader” has been charged in the murder of local Galveston man Francisco Esparza. According to reports, he was allegedly performing “sexually-charged religious rituals with the murder victim’s teenage relative,” to rid him of demons. The attack on Esparza was reportedly in response to complaints about the practice. Esparza had tried to end the abuse on behalf of the 19-year-old.
Just a few quick news notes for on this Thursday. Aphrodite’s Middle Finger: Der Spiegel reports that nine employees of the German magazine Focus are being ordered to appear in an Athens court for “accusations of defamation, libel and the denigration of Greek national symbols.” Six Greek citizens are bringing the complaint, partially for the article, which discusses tax fraud and failed construction projects, and partially for the satirical cover image. “The Focus cover featured a photograph of the famously armless statue Venus de Milo, which depicts the Greek goddess Aphrodite, that had been doctored so that the deity was showing her middle finger to the viewer. The story, titled “Swindlers in the Euro Family,” included a detailed description of what the authors claimed was “2000 years of decline” in Greece, including reports of tax fraud and failed construction projects.