Something is going down in Romania, and it's not good. People who claim the profession of witch, astrologer and fortune teller will have to pay taxes for the first time, ever. Many are not happy.
According to the AP, about a dozen witches are planning on getting together and tossing the poisonous mandrake plant into the Danube river to put a hex on government officials "so evil will befall them."
Pictured above is Bratara Buzea, 63, who was imprisoned for witchcraft under communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's regime. She's furious. And the AP certainly takes delight in painting her as a Halloween-variety witch.
Sitting cross-legged in her villa in the lake resort of Mogosoaia, just north of Bucharest, she said Wednesday she planned to cast a spell using a particularly effective concoction of cat excrement and a dead dog, along with a chorus of witches.
"We do harm to those who harm us," she said. "They want to take the country out of this crisis using us? They should get us out of the crisis because they brought us into it."
"My curses always work!" she cackled in a smoky voice. She sat next to her wood-burning stove, surrounded by potions, charms, holy water and ceramic pots.
Cackled? Okay. Sure. But it's interesting that an ancient occupation — healer, finder of lost things, spell-caster and hex-hurler, is now a legitimate profession, subject to income tax like anyone else. Maybe it's only fair, in a way, but doesn't it take some of the magic, some of the mystery and, heck, fun out of it? "Occult" means hidden, after all.
Not all witches are upset about the tax, however. "This law is very good," says Mihaela Minca, pictured above with her daughter. "It means that our magic gifts are recognized and I can open my own practice."
Romanian Witches Use Spells to Protest New Taxes [AP via CBS News]