Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Burning Witches, Bonding Families

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Spirituality, Paganism, the heks, spring cleaning,

The Heks Witch BurningThe tradition of burning witches has developed a bad reputation. In Alberta, burning witches sounds like a rather pleasant experience. In an article for Maisonneuve (not available online), Tadzio Richards writes about his family’s Danish tradition called the Heks, where trash from spring cleaning is fashioned into a witch effigy and set on fire. His grandmother calls it “an awful heathen thing we do here,” but the view of the burning waste could be quite beautiful. I just hope his family takes the environment into consideration before burning their trash.

Image of the Heks by EPO, licensed under Creative Commons.