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The nights in the northern hemisphere are drawing in, which means whispering stories of witches and spirits are top of mind for many of us. Lale chats with Mexico City-based author Brenda Lozano, whose new novel Witches looks at the lives of Mexican women who inherit gifts, and draws inspiration from the true story of a Mazatec Indigenous healer, or curandera, in Oaxaca who worked with psilocybin mushrooms in the 1950s and 60s. Plus, we revisit a recent conversation with author Dorthe Nors to learn more about the burnings of witch effigies along the rugged Danish coast.
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Lale Arikoglu: Hello. I'm Lale Arikoglu and welcome to Women Who Travel, a podcast for anyone who is curious about the world and excited to explore places both near and far from home.
This week as the nights in the northern hemisphere draw in and we think of firesides and candles and lights and bonfires, it's a time when you can't help but indulge in whispering stories about ghosts and witches.
A few weeks ago, I chatted with author Dorthe Nors about her decision to up sticks and move to the isolated and rugged Danish coast. We chatted about her respect for the ocean, solitude, cold weather surfing, and witches.
Dorthe Nors: It's—it's a crazy tradition. It's a- w- I mean, we have this bonfire, uh, and, uh, on the 23rd of June, uh, because of the, uh, the solstice, the shortest, uh, night of the year. And that's beautiful. We've had that since forever. Since, I mean, maybe for thousands of years we've done that. But then I think in the 1920s somebody came up with this ridiculous, stupid idea that we should put a witch on it because- and then burn the witch because that would be like burning all evil and darkness and stuff like that. And for some stupid reason, that caught on like, like, you know, lighting a Christmas tree, you know? [laughs] But that's it... At least that's positive.