Lately, I’ve been reading a book that will be on WiccanReads hopefully soon. There is a section of it, however, that I found more relevant to “She’s as Tousled as a Witch”. The excerpt started explaining a ritual done around Beltane in old pre-modern Bulgaria. Girls would pick herbs they believed to have potent magic before sunrise and mix it with water to wash their hair with it. They hoped the herbs would make their hair grow thicker and longer. For millennia, Europeans believed a woman’s fertility comes from her hair. When a girl reaches adolescence, she grows pubic hair and is able to bear children. This sign of fertility extended to hair on their head, as the dancing sprites, who are embodied fertility, have long, thick hair. These willies, vila, rusalki, mermaids, etc. are often depicted combing water out of their long hair onto the ground which makes the crops grow.
Grass skirts were worn by these young women to represent both pubic hair and scalpal (is that a word?) hair. Also fringes along shoulders, ankles and wrists represented women’s hair as a sign of sexual maturity. Even in modern times, fringes are a (typically feminine), earthy fashion statement.
Also touching on the hair-covering aspect of the earlier post; Married women covered their hair because their fertility now belonged to their husband, alone…Of course this should go without saying, but, a woman’s fertility belongs solely to her, because realistically, how do you own fertility without being physically attached to it? This is just another form of patriarchal ownership and keeping one’s own power under someone else’s control. Before I go off on a huge rant, I think this paragraph is better expressed in the original post towards the very bottom.