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October 2020 - The Witches of Halloween

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This item is password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in club newsletter email.

Design By: Chris Mackey 

Dimensions 45 mm Wide

Thickness4.0  3.5 mm

Finish Shiny Silver
Enameling Soft Enamel

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

October 2020 - Witches of Halloween

Design notes from the artist:  

After spending some time a little over a year ago discussing the possibilities of Halloween coin design with a fellow designer, we set out to see it through.  Things got sidetracked for us both as they tend to do for busy designers and the project sat on the back burner for a bit.  In the meanwhile, I continued to spend some time learning about the mysterious origins of the classic Witches children (and grown up children) love to dress up as for the holiday.  We nod and smile and "good witches" and "evil witches" and never give much thought to the origins of the ideas.  We see it all played out in books, over the television, on film or in theaters.  Wicked witches with horrible skin in their dark, dirty and drab clothing on one side and Good or White Witches looking like delicate faeries spun from pixie dust on the other.... but where did it all come from?  Where did the idea of the supernatural beings originate?

In the oldest days of the earliest migrations into the northern European lands, the stories tell of the Perchta, a goddess who resided in the mountains and valleys of the Alps.  This "Bright One", sometimes known as Frau Faste, Pehta, Kvaternica, or Fronfastenweiber depending on the region appeared in stories as either a beautiful young woman as pale as snow or else as a haggard, elderly crone.  In both forms she was described as having a "swan foot" or splayfoot, a common deformity from working a yarn-spinning treadle.  In both forms she was said to be able to actually transform into a swan from maiden or into a goose from crone to travel far and wide throughout the land.  In both forms she would often appear secretively to either bestows blessings on the generous, kind and hardworking folk or to pass terrible punishment on the greedy, cruel and lazy .  

If you are a generous cacher, who hides quality caches and worthwhile swag, you might be noted by the lovely Schönperchten (Beautiful Perchta) and gifted with a coin that she seems to pluck from the night sky to be dropped in milk pails, shoes or even a cache.  If you are a naughty cacher who avoids hard work, leaves poorly placed caches or swipes all the good swag without trading up, you might be visited by the haggard Schiachperchten (Ugly Perchta).  She might slip up to you in the dark and leave you with a terrible bellyache as if you'd been stuffed with old straw and stones.  The rewards and punishments of the Perchten inspire legends and festivals that are celebrated to this day many thousands of years after their stories began.  So have a care out there in the mountains and forests where the Perchten roam waiting to reward and punish the generous and the cruel.  She's casting her spells, flying great distances to reach you, and watching to see if you've been a good cacher this Halloween!

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