Wiccan Reads: She’s as tousled as a witch

My roommate sent me an article about long hair (since I have long hair).  The piece is about Native American recruits for the military and how they lost their insane tracking skills when they cut off their hair.  It certainly piqued my interest but I feel too much of the military training was included.  They just kind of jumped to the conclusion of why long hair is good for survival without bridging the gap of WHY that is the case.  They gave an explanation, but it was a bit dry.  Here is the article as follows:

Native hair


This information about hair has been hidden from the public since the Vietnam War. Our culture leads people to believe that hair style is a matter of personal preference that hair style is a matter of fashion and/or convenience, and that how people wear their hair is simply a cosmetic issue. Back in the Vietnam War, however, an entirely different picture emerged, one that has been carefully covered up and hidden from public view.

In the early nineties, Sally [name changed to protect privacy] was married to a licensed psychologist who worked at a VA medical hospital. He worked with combat veterans with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. Most of them had served in Vietnam.

Sally said, “I remember clearly an evening when my husband came back to our apartment on Doctor’s Circle carrying a thick official looking folder in his hands. Inside were hundreds of pages of certain studies commissioned by the government. He was in shock from the contents. What he read in those documents completely changed his life. From that moment on my conservative, middle-of-the-road husband grew his hair and beard and never cut them again. What is more, the VA Medical Center let him do it, and other very conservative men in the staff followed his example.

As I read the documents, I learned why. It seems that during the Vietnam War, Special Forces in the war department had sent undercover experts to comb American Indian Reservations looking for talented scouts, for tough young men trained to move stealthily through rough terrain. They were especially looking for men with outstanding, almost supernatural tracking abilities. Before being approached, these carefully selected men were extensively documented as experts in tracking and survival.

With the usual enticements, the well-proven smooth phrases used to enroll new recruits, some of these Indian trackers were then enlisted. Once enlisted, an amazing thing happened. Whatever talents and skills they had possessed on the reservation seemed to mysteriously disappear, as recruit after recruit failed to perform as expected in the field.

Serious causalities and failures of performance led the government to contract expensive testing of these recruits, and this is what was found.

When questioned about their failure to perform as expected, the older recruits replied consistently that when they received their required military haircuts, they could no longer ‘sense’ the enemy, they could no longer access a ‘sixth sense,’ their ‘intuition’ no longer was reliable, they couldn’t ‘read’ subtle signs as well or access subtle extrasensory information.

So the testing institute recruited more Indian trackers, let them keep their long hair, and tested them in multiple areas. Then they would pair two men together who had received the same scores on all the tests. They would let one man in the pair keep his hair long, and gave the other man a military haircut. Then the two men retook the tests.  Time after time the man with long hair kept making high scores. Time after time, the man with the short hair failed the tests in which he had previously scored high scores.

Here is a Typical Test:

The recruit is sleeping out in the woods. An armed ‘enemy’ approaches the sleeping man. The long haired man is awakened out of his sleep by a strong sense of danger and gets away long before the enemy is close, long before any sounds from the approaching enemy are audible.

In another version of this test, the long haired man senses an approach and somehow intuits that the enemy will perform a physical attack. He follows his ‘sixth sense’ and stays still, pretending to be sleeping, but quickly grabs the attacker and ‘kills’ him as the attacker reaches down to strangle him.

This same man, after having passed these and other tests, then received a military haircut and consistently failed these tests, and many other tests that he had previously passed.

So the document recommended that all Indian trackers be exempt from military haircuts. In fact, it required that trackers keep their hair long.

The mammalian body has evolved over millions of years. Survival skills of human and animal at times seem almost supernatural. Science is constantly coming up with more discoveries about the amazing abilities of man and animal to survive. Each part of the body has highly sensitive work to perform for the survival and well-being of the body as a whole. The body has a reason for every part of itself.

Hair is an extension of the nervous system, it can be correctly seen as exteriorized nerves, a type of highly evolved ‘feelers’ or ‘antennae’ that transmit vast amounts of important information to the brain stem, the limbic system, and the neo-cortex.

Not only does hair in people, including facial hair in men, provide an information highway reaching the brain, hair also emits energy, the electromagnetic energy emitted by the brain into the outer environment. This has been seen in Kirlian photography when a person is photographed with long hair and then re-photographed after the hair is cut.

When hair is cut, receiving and sending transmissions to and from the environment are greatly hampered. This results in numbing out.

Cutting of hair is a contributing factor to unawareness of environmental distress in local ecosystems. It is also a contributing factor to insensitivity in relationships of all kinds. It contributes to sexual frustration.


In searching for solutions for the distress in our world, it may be time for us to consider that many of our most basic assumptions about reality are in error. It may be that a major part of the solution is looking at us in the face each morning when we see ourselves in the mirror.

The story of Samson and Delilah in the Bible has a lot of encoded truth to tell us. When Delilah cut Samson’s hair, the once undefeatable Samson was defeated.

Reported by C. Young

(Via United Truth Seekers)


Well, based on this logic, I now know why I’m so paranoid and I can always feel people’s eyes on me, or when they’re coming closer, even if I can’t see/hear them.  Primarily, I keep my hair long out of vanity.  I come from a family with very good hair genes (therefore, we don’t need to manipulate it very much to look good) and I think most women look better with longer hair.  But, I recently learned a more subconscious reason why I have long hair.  Upon my first interaction with SPIRALS, I got a light Reiki-reading and was asked if I could remove my leather jacket, if I was comfortable.  It wasn’t a problem for me, and the Reiki-healer asked if it was my “cloak”.  He continued to explain that some people (read as:  Pagans) wear a cloak to shield themselves from unwanted energy.  Without thinking, I immediately grabbed a fistful of my hair and shook it to imply that was my “cloak”.  I did not realize that about myself until just that moment.

My hair is my cloak
My hair is my cloak

What does this have to do with Paganism?  Hanging in pagan crowds and other spiritually-minded people, I notice there is a tendency for us to have very long hair, men and women…More so than in other demographics, at least.  I always wondered why that is, and the article’s exploration of the Native trackers seems to make sense.   Obviously hair is meant to keep us warm, as well, but it’s interesting to ponder why it doesn’t grow like fur, if that’s the case.

My hair at it's longest
My hair at it’s longest

I can relate to Samson and I feel my hair gives me my strength.  It’s a power-source for me that I can tap into whenever I want.  I can hide from people with it or I can use it to draw them to me.  It’s like a web of energy.  Even when it’s in a ponytail, I can make it swing just by thinking about it while I’m walking.  This may sound superficial, but without my hair, I don’t know who I would be…Even in myths and folktales, the nymphs, witches, mad scientists and other anti-societal members would have long/wild/untamed hair.  “Let down your hair” is the phrase people use when they mean let go and be uninhibited.  The strict religious teach the women, young and old to cover their hair for fear of enticing men.  It was/is seen as a responsibility for the creatures with such great power (i.e. women with long hair) of attracting men to keep it under control.  As a creature more of the earth and less of society I know the power of my hair and I choose not to let society tell me I can’t use it.  After all, isn’t that what witches do?

Long live the witches' hair
Long live the witches’ hair

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