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Willow and the Winter Soltice

Moggin

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We know that Willow is Jewish, but being that she adopted the Wiccan way of life one would assume events like the Winter Solstice would have some newfound magical meaning for her. I'm not sure if this has ever been addressed in the comics or in someone's fanfic, but since the Winter Solstice is almost upon us, do you suppose Willow would be celebrating, and how might she do so?
 
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I don't think she really adopts Wiccan theology or embraces a new religion. The show uses 'Wicca' as a synonym for 'witch' - someone who has actual magical powers and practices witchcraft. She in fact mocks the religious aspect of it in 'Hush' - it's never about a belief system, it's about power for her. She talks about goddesses - prays to them as part of spells - but she doesn't honour them in other ways, she just uses their power to get what she wants, if that is what the incantation calls for.
So I don't think she would celebrate the winter solstice (or the summer one) though if it was deemed a particularly good day to do magic, she might do some spells to fix things the way she wants them to be - but she isn't going to stonehenge and prancing around in a robe unless it materially benefits her somehow.
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

Occasionally, I am callous and strange 🐶
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To be fair Willow was only half Jewish (her mom was clearly not Jewish). Pretty sure she's supposed to be half Irish & half Jewish like Alyson.
 

Robinette

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Sineya
How can you tell Sheila is not Jewish? 😮

This winter's solstice has the Great Conjunction as well (which carries a curse in american folklore)
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I'm pretty certain she mentioned meeting up with the other members of Clan Destro on the night of the 21st to wear masks and reaffirm their oath to subvert civilization until Law burns on the Altar of History. She didn't? Must be the wrong show.

No, I don't recall it, and as Willow never gives any indication she's interested in the cultic or devotional practices of neo-paganism any more than Buffy is interested in Catholicism because of her occasional trip to a church to get Evian consecrated, (it's canon).

IMHO, I think she calls herself a Wicca because Jenny's connections in "Technopaganism," which is apparently a real thing, pointed her towards Wicca, at a time when Giles was trying to keep her away from real magic, Wicca being a diluted version of magic, practiced by people with some knowledge but lacking Willow's experience level, Intelligence, adeptness or Mana. Or she thought "The Craft" was cool, it was the nineties.
 

Moggin

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Everyone brings up a good point about Willow being very technical and less religiously inclined. However, she does still claim to be a practicing Jew, and I always thought the show used Wicca more as being synonymous with witchcraft, rather than paying much attention to the actual pagan worship aspects of it. I do remember Willow being dismissive of the Wiccan group at the University, but I always thought that was because they preferred to focus on bake sales and female empowerment, rather than actual spells.

When I say she adopted the Wiccan way of life, I guess I'm taking a clue from her change in dress and how she adorns her living space. She does go from fluffy sweaters to the weedier look adopted by Tara, complete with neopagan jewelry. Plus she becomes somewhat protective of the term "witch" around other people, much like how she reminded people she's Jewish in the earlier seasons. Also, she gets annoyed with and tries to change people's perspectives of witches on Halloween, and later on casts Xander the side eye in "Once More With Feeling". I take all this to mean she's not just using the magic and passing on. At some point she is feeling a sense of belonging to a group and is taking up for it.

Willow may not be dancing at Stonehenge, or constantly praying to the Goddess, but does no one see her giving a cheeky "Happy Solstice" on the day, or taking the time to utilize a particular spell? Maybe even distribute a nice concoction brewed just for that day? Willow always seems to champion causes and ideas that go against the grain of mainstream society, and she revels in sharing her alternate perspective with her friends. Does no one think she'd do the same on the Solstice?
 
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. At some point she is feeling a sense of belonging to a group and is taking up for it.
And yet she never joins a group. When she returns to the wicca group in season 7 it's clear she hasn't seen them since season 4 (whereas I am convinced that the girl Willow sees Tara kiss on the cheek in s6 is the leader of the wicca group from Hush - they are identical, which suggests Tara is sticking around that scene - Willow doesn't even recognise her). She is taught to use her powers safely by the coven between s6 and 7 but never proactively gets in touch with them herself despite professing on the phone to 'miss you guys'.
She takes the word witch, she adapts the trappings but it's all about her and power - there is no group belonging there. It's made pretty clear that Tara knows more about the codes and history and practices of witchcraft, but that is something Willow never shows an interest in - she has no idea that witches have sworn off resurrecting the dead when Dawn asks to bring Joyce back. She doesn't want to learn background stuff, she just wants to do spells and use magic to control the world to her liking,
Maybe she learns some of the background with the coven, but we never see it put into practice - it's all just about her using her power safely and controlling her fear.

For Willow, being a witch is a very solitary journey in her quest for power. If she doesn't like people's misconceptions about witches it's because they are misconceptions about her. She never really shows any respect for practising wiccas - especially the ones that are below her level and know nothing that can further her own practice.

But if there is a particular spell that will work better on the solstice and that will benefit her is some way, then yes - she would use the day and pray to the goddess and invoke all the trappings that it took. But it would all be about her. Would she wish someone a Happy Solstice? only in a tongue in cheek way. It means nothing to her beyond how she can use it and nothing to her friends full stop.
 

Moggin

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@Myheadsgonenumb
I can see your point with Willow's collective journey, and I certainly agree. She is quite solitary in how she develops, even acting a little superior sometimes, and compared to Tara, she is certainly more analytical and opportunistic with regards to magic.

I would like to point out, though, that at no point did I wish to suggest Willow would make a big production out of the Winter Solstice. This was just some mind wanderings on how she might mark the day as a witch. I think I might have given the impression that I thought she would trade her menorah in for a holly branch.

Perhaps I am focusing more on her specific time with Tara, though, as she did seem to adopt more Wiccan trappings to her life then. Again, this is probably because of her affection for Tara, who did seem to get more into the culture. While they were together, I certainly can see Willow doing "fun" Wiccan things, like doing something a little special on the Solstice. However, I absolutely stand by a cheeky Happy Solstice being used on the Scoobies. Whether or not she was with Tara, that does seem very Willow-esque to me.
 
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