The Witch Bridle

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Chapter 39

A while later, and with some trepidation, an exhausted Oona returned to the master bedroom and recounted what she knew of the Great Witch Lucia. Oona educated KC to the dangers of this particular spirit and, secondly, proclaimed that the spirit would return to the grave, with a not undignified exit to Oblivion. It would be a tribute of sorts and, as Oona explained, part of the cleansing process.

“Lucia, a young Carib slave girl and witch, became a legend in her day and is still memorialized in the Witch Community. My Mamie told me stories of ’the great and powerful one who walked this Earth more than three hundred years ago. Lucia was born on the island of St. Lucia, named for the island paradise and its Patron Saint Lucia, on whose Feast Day, December thirteenth, was celebrated. And when ‘our’ Lucia was born.

“At first young Lucia was the very image of the goodness, purity and light of Saint Lucia. Then over the period of her cruel enslavement, she became the very epitome of darkness and evil. And beware of her birthdate: December thirteenth, only a week away. Lucia may do something very spectacular on that day.” Oona tiredly but purposely scanned KC. The intensity of her coal-black eyes was magnified by her long, thick, black lashes and her brilliant blue eye shadow.

KC was riveted. Thankful stirred but still slept.

“For many years Lucia’s island was traded back and forth between England and France. Over time it was the French influence which proved the greater, and the French established a permanent settlement there in the 1640s. The French Governor at the time even took a Carib wife. Years later, in 1664, St. Lucia and its volcanic spires (the two great Pitons) were claimed for England and for two years, a thousand men defended the Pitons from the French. In 1666, the year of Lucia’s birth, and of the Great Fire of London which some say presaged Lucia’s coming, the French returned and resumed control of the island.

“At the time, slaves from the West Indies were commonly brought here to Massachusetts. Young Lucia was torn from her mother’s arms and when she arrived in Boston, she was bought as a house servant for a prominent surveyor in Salem Town. In this regard, Lucia suffered a similar fate as her dear friend, and now famous house slave, Tituba. You would think Lucia was spawned by Satan, guilty as sin, but the truth is Lucia was born good, as most of us are. Lucia became evil because of the evil deeds that were done to her. It was the evil of bondage which made Lucia evil. Sad but true. And Lucia was a natural student of the Black Arts. Her young life taught her to hate and loath the ways of the white settlers of the north.

“The couple thought the young Caribbean beauty, with the full lips and the dark, opaque eyes, would make for them the perfect house servant. “Their cruelty was never enough, and Lucia endured unending physical, sexual, and mental brutality until her escape in 1680. Barely a teenager, Lucia brutally murdered her captors and took off one night into the woods near Salem Village. And she never looked back on the ‘Christian values’ and noblesse oblige of her tormentors, of which there were so many. But that was not enough. In fact it was just the beginning for Lucia. She would make them all pay for their crimes. They were the slavers, the sellers, and the masters and torturers, and those “ordinary” people who tolerated human bondage.

“Lucia became an Indian convert. As she more than dabbled in the Black Arts, her meteoric rise to high priestess among the Indians was swift. She was the foundress and chief prophetess of the pagan Indians’ largest coven. Their forest ceremonies stirred deep fears among the settlers. She unleashed hideous retiles and insects against Indian haters and hapless settlers alike. She and her cohorts threw timber rattlesnakes and northern copperheads into settlers’ cabins while they slept.

“Lucia led raids in the Colony, with lonely remnants of the King Philip Massacres of 1680. She refused to let the deep wounds of that Philip’s war, heal. Lucia skinned captives alive for her dark rituals and sacrifices. The screams of her tortured victims were heard at night by Indian powwows along the wooded edges of the ponds and lakes, and also along the riverbanks of the North Shore. They harbored their own fears of Lucia who wreaked havoc among those Indian settlements that had been quieted. Lucia kept natives hostile and they terrorized the lonely white settlements of the North Shore for ten years.

“Lucia found even love among the company of aggrieved Indians. Together with the trees and vines and underbrush, Lucia and her followers took their sounds far into the woods and back and forth, in the night, as a play thing or a ball to kick or bounce around. Though most Puritans were confident of the greater power of their Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, they shuttered at the shrieks and howls which came from the forest. The strange incantations of the powerful savage priests acknowledged the young, powerful enchantress who performed seemingly miraculous cures. The pagan Indians worshipped her and respected her and, most of all they feared the outsider who had joined their tribe with eyes wide open. Once a pitiful victim of slavery, unable to express the ways and culture of the Old Land in Salem, Lucia emerged as the teacher of Tituba, who she met in 1690. There were secret covens with those afflicted Salem girls, deep in the womb of the primeval forest which abutted their settlement. In time, Lucia was regarded by many as the Grand Witch of the Coven, the one who shared the mysteries of her distant kinfolk.

“Neither Cotton Mather’s History of New England Witchcraft, nor the History of Witchcraft in New England dared to speak Lucia’s name! ‘Mistress of the Black Arts, murderess and firebrand,’ Lucia was so evil that even history tried to forget her. I fear now Lucia has returned to the world of the living and may bring great harm to others. Thankful and this family are at risk. Lucia’s evils may threaten to carry out brutal and unkind attacks of witchcraft. I shall make sense of her unwanted return; knowledge is strength and the circumstances of her spirit-ness must be understood. Have no doubt: Lucia is a powerful and dangerous, and seductive spirit.”

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