I'm continuing this absolutely fascinating encyclopedia entry by Barbara G. Walker in her "The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends" under Hair, picking up from the blog entry a few posts ago:
The same idea prevailed among prophetic priestesses or witches, who operated with unbound hair on the theory that their tresses could control the spirit world. Mother Goddesses like Isis, Cybele, and many emanations of Kali were said to command the weather by braiding or releasing their hair. Their corresponding mortal representatives could cause to be bound or loosed in heaven what they bound or loosed on earth -- hence the unflagging superstition belief in Christian Europe that witches' hair controlled the weather. Churchmen said witches raised storms, summoned demons, and produced all sorts of destruction by unbinding their hair. As late as the 17th century the Compendium Maleficarum said witches could control rain, hail, wind, and lightning in such a way.(7) In the Tyrol, it was believed that every thunderstorm was caused by a woman combing her hair. Scottish girls were forbidden to comb their hair at night while their brothers were at sea, lest they raise a storm and sink the boats.(8) A Syrian exorcism for werewolves invoked "that Angel" who judged the woman that combed the hair of her head on the Eve of Holy Sunday," suggesting a connection between hair-combing women and the "werewolves" mythologized as dogs of doomsday.(9) [Note the supernatural connection between females and dogs -- a connection well expressed in ancient mythologies around the world -- I've posted about it elsewhere, check under "dogs" and "goddesses and dogs"].
St. Paul greatly feared The "angels" (spirits) that women could command by letting their hair flow loose. He insisted that women's heads must be covered "because of the angels" (1 Corinthians 11:10.) Thus it became a Christian rule that women's heads must be covered in church, lest they draw demons into the building. Modern women wearing hats or head shawls to church unconsciously defer to the ancient superstition about their hair. [Nothing unconscious about it, darlings! I was born in 1951 and in the "mixed" marriage of my Luthern mother and Roman Catholic father, was pledged to be raised as a Roman Catholic in order for the two of them to receive permission to wed. I was thus raised in the Roman Catholic Church until I finally rebelled at age 14 or so and refused to continue what was clear to me even at that age was sheer nonsense and very demeaning to females! We were taught - not unconsciously - that we must wear a head covering when we entered a church. Period. No exceptions. We weren't given any explanations or scriptural authority for such a law, and it seemed like baloney sausage even then. So, in the early 1960's, before I quit, it was quite the thing to see just how far we (teens, some single women and even some married owmen) could go with wearng as little a head covering as possible. We ended up wearing on our heads what were basically lace doilies -- the machine-made kind, not the hand-crocheted kind like my Grandma Jablonski used to make with thicker thread that may have provided a bit of more "substantial" coverage for our "shame." We plopped the little lace circles on top of our head, added a few hair pins, and off we went. We were not called out by the priest for being Jezebels or agents of Satan, as far as I can recall!] Due to identification of bats with demons, the erroneous notion that bats tend to tangle themselves in women's hair arose from the same superstition.(10)
I will continue to post the rest of Barbara Walker's excellent encyclopedia entry on this fascinating subject of hair, but not tonight! But before I say goodnight, I want to share with you the biblical text surrounding Paul's infamous injunction againt women appearing in "church" with their hair uncovered. Pay close attention, please. You will be tested on this later on :) I believe it gives great insight into what Paul wanted the true role of woman in "his" vision of The True Church to be (sounds very Islamic, actually).
From the King James Version of the Bible, 1 Corinthians Chapter 11, verses as follows:
11. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. [Notice how Paul emphasizes HIS importance - BE followers of ME - and puts Christ second!]
2. Now I praise you, brethern, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of the Christ is God. [This, of course, totally ignores that women are eligible to become the "elect" 144,000 as spoken of in Revelation; but of course, Revelation was written by John, and everyone knows that John was a "wussy." One must examine the historic record further, to reveal that there was a great deal of turmoil in the early church congregations at this time, because as many female as males were being blessed with the Holy Spirit and able to prophesy and "teach" and perform miracles as men -- but in the Jewish tradition, this was a NO GO! And, where was the early church established -- in the heart of the Judaic system! So you can imagine that as the "Word" of christianity spread across the Roman empire, different peoples who did NOT have the tradition of treating their women as gutter vermin created some, er, problems... And so "St." Paul took it upon himself to treat the infidels a little bit about how the Jews of his day actually treated women.]
4. Every man praying or propheysying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head for that it even all one as if she were shaven.
6. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn; but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. [Why then, did practicing Jews shave the heads of women who married -- a shaved head was a mark of shame -- that is what I was raised to believe! And why did nuns have their hair cut off short or even sometimes, their heads shaved, upon entering the convent (coven????)
7. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. [WHAT BULLSHIT!]
8. For the man is not out of the woman, but the woman is out of the man [the old myth about Eve being created out of one of Adam's ribs.]
9. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. [Totally ignores biology, of course, that shows all fetuses begin as females, har! One would have thought that a man inspired with the TRUE word of God Almighty would have least have got that little fact right. Geez!]
10. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. [Yes, this is what the King James Version says: That the woman has power on her - uncovered? - head because of the angels.]
11. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. [Oh, a reprieve from the men killing off ALL the females because of those pesky angels giving them "power" IN OR ON THEIR HEADS. Can you imagine? Can't have uppity women running around teaching us about the real meaning of Christ's words. Oh no! But hey, if we kill them all off, all we've got left is each other -- and sheep... Not a way to continue the species, ahem...]
12. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman, but all things of God.
Food for thought, indeed. And one doesn't need any hair, bound or othewise, on one's head in order to appreciate it!