"Sleepy Hollow": Three Women who Define Katrina's Characterization

I’ve long supported my theory that Katrina is evil. Well, not just evil, but a more complicated version of evil. I wrote this long theory a while ago when I still had my old website, Moniqueblog.net. I’d reposted it on my new Tumblr page, but after the ending of “Heartless,” it would appear my theory is turning out to be truer and truer by the episode. That theory is that Katrina falls somewhere in between the characterizations of Ishtar, the Whore of Babylon, and the Woman of the Apocalypse.

Here’s what I originally wrote:

Katrina = Ishtar?

The only reason I fell down this rabbit hole was to figure out how golems were made. That led to looking up more about Moloch, which led to me learning that Ishtar was the consort to Moloch, a god that does involve child sacrifices (click here to learn more). If Katrina was related in that respect to Moloch, that’d be more than enough reason for Moloch to want the kid. However, I still didn’t really like that theory, so I looked for more proof. Then I found it and I’m almost sad I went and looked. One reason I’m sad is that if I’m wrong, then this will be highly embarrassing. But the real reason I’m sad is that Ichabod’s sanity is already hanging on by a thread, which is fraying with each episode. If Ichabod finds out that his wife has been tricking him this whole time because she’s involved with Moloch, then I don’t know how he will be able to recover. So I won’t seem like a weirdo, here’s my proof as to Katrina possibly being Ishtar:

  • Katrina is often surrounded by trees and even in the opening title sequence, she’s shown as raising trees with her powers. Well, according to Got Questions, Ishtar is often represented as “a limbless tree trunk planted in the ground.” To quote the site:

    The trunk was usually carved into a symbolic representation of the goddess. Because of the association with carved trees, the places of Asherah worship were commonly called “groves,” and the Hebrew word “asherah” (plural, “asherim”) could refer either to the goddess or to a grove of trees.

    Also, Abbie and Jenny were in the forest when they were ambushed by Moloch. Also remember that before they blacked out, they saw four strange, white trees. I want to say that they didn’t really have many (or any) limbs.

  • Ishtar was called upon by her believers to heal them. Katrina is also a healer; she’s a nurse.
  • Katrina is often signified by crows. While Ishtar isn’t signified by crows, both Katrina and Ishtar are
  • signified by another type of bird, a dove. There are plenty of other animals Ishtar is associated with like the lion.
  • Katrina seems to be seen at night more times than not. Of course, when it’s night, the moon’s out. Ishtar’s also associated with the moon.
  • Katrina is currently in between life and death. Ishtar also has some experience with life and death situations. Ishtar was killed and sent to the underworld for three days and nights by the Queen of the Underworld, Ereskigal (or Persephone, Kali, or Hel in other cultures). According to paganpages:

    After Dumuzi/Tammuz dies from his wounds and finds himself in the Underworld, the queen Ereshkigal not only held him prisoner but tortured him as well.  Even when Inanna/Ishtar asked her sister to release Dumuzi/Tammuz, Ereshkigal showed no mercy and would not release him.  Instead, she called upon Namtar, the Sumerian fate goddess known as the Plague Bringer to imprison Inanna/Ishtar and torture her with three plagues.  These three plagues correlate to the three days and three nights that Inanna/Ishtar was dead before being revived.    In another version of the story, it was Gallas, the Host of Demons who held Inanna/Ishtar captive.

    In some variations of this story, Inanna/Ishtar must stand naked before the seven Underworld Judges called the Anunnaki.  The Anunnaki had evolved from being benevolent to malevolent by the time of this story.  They were better tempered than Ereshkigal, and sentenced Inanna/Ishtar to death and she was left for dead for three days and three nights.

    I’m not sure if this is the same story, but here’s another underworld story featuring Ereskigal and Ishtar from the University of Pennsylvania’s Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses:

    In her mythological descent to the netherworld, she sits on her sister Ereškigal‘s throne, rouses the anger of the Anunnaki and is turned to a corpse. Only through the agency of her minister Ninšubur, who secures the help of Enki/Ea, is Inana/Ištar able to come alive again and return to the world above (Dalley 2000). Notably, in another myth, among the MEs TT  she takes from Enki/Ea are those associated with “going down into the netherworld” and “coming up from the netherworld”. It has been argued by Barret 2007: 19-20 that Mesopotamian grave goods reflect the iconography of Inana/Ištar more than that of any other deity because of this inherent association with transition between the world of the living and the dead.

Other things associated with Ishtar–she’s either portrayed as benevolent or ruthless and she’s often shown as a woman who kills or ruins the men she’s associated with. Tammuz (or Dumuzi), one of her lovers, is someone she eventually puts to death. Ishtar was also involved in an arranged marriage. And I’ve also thought of a meta-theory. My sister had a theory that Katrina probably knew Abraham was impotent and wouldn’t provide her with a child, thus her reasoning for dumping him and getting with Ichabod. The exact theory is, as outlined in my “Sanctuary” review:

“My sister also had a thought that might make some people mad–what if Katrina annulled her engagement to Abraham because he was impotent? Both Abraham and Ichabod were/are madly in love with her and would believe anything she said. But for some reason, Abraham wasn’t a suitable match. Of course, the technical reason is that Katrina didn’t love Abraham, but to be honest, it doesn’t seem like she really love-loves Ichabod either. She probably loves him, but she’s not in love with him. Ichabod’s more in love with her than she is with him, at least, that’s my reading of it. And everything the writers have been writing for her hasn’t changed my views about her at all. In any case, if Katrina is in league with Moloch and she was trying to find a suitable, virile match so she could have a baby, then an impotent fiance wouldn’t get the job done. Of course, how she would know Ichabod wasn’t impotent is anyone’s guess.”

Well, if she’s a goddess of fertility, then her fertility powers could be how she could detect Abraham’s impotency, if he’s even impotent.

Deep stuff, right? Now, I could be wrong–so far the Lake of Fire hasn’t come into play (although it has to–it’s too good of a set piece to not include in the series finale or something). But, to me, there are way too many similarities between Katrina and Ishtar for there to not be some type of connection.

I also backed up my claim with a lot of visual evidence and some other Biblical stories as well.

Screengrab Proof

I re-watched Abbie’s dream sequence from “Sin Eater” in which she’s sucked into Katrina’s purgatory. I felt there were more clues in the sequence that would give more about who Katrina actually is. What I found actually scared me, because if Katrina actually is Ishtar, then I feel really disturbed for everyone involved (and gleeful if I’m actually right).

#1–The Statue on the Mantle

Sin-Eater-Isis-1

As you can see in the screengrab above, there’s a statue of a woman’s face on the mantle. The woman is wearing something on her head. From this angle, it’s tough to make out–it looks like she’s just wearing an ornamental stick on her head. But I enlarged the image as much as I could and made out what I believe to be the direction of the ornamental headpiece:

Sin-Eater-Isis-2

There seems to be a little bit more of the headpiece that juts out, but for the most part, this is the basic shape the shadow reveals. Doesn’t this look a little bit like a horn?

From what I’ve looked up about Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Isis, and her other interpretations, she’s generally shown wearing a horn or associated with a horn (horns were associated with virility back in the day, and Ishtar was a goddess of sex and fertility):

2000px-Hathor.svg

By Jeff Dahl (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

#2–The Wings Above the Witches

sin-eater-ishtar-wings

In this screengrab, you’ll see that there is a plaque in the shape of raised wings above the witches. Ishtar (and most of her other interpretations, particularly Isis) were associated with wings. In fact, Isis is routinely associated with wings, as you can see here:

Isis-wings-hieroglyph

Screengrab from this YouTube video

I suppose someone could say that the wings could mean “angels” or something good, but over witches robed in black chanting something that seems horrifying? I sincerely doubt that. In fact, I don’t believe it, so there was really no point in me even writing that “angels” sentence.

#3–The Witch with Red Lipstick

sin-eater-red-lip

They played a close-up of this particular witch for a reason, but I didn’t know why. The only thing I knew was that her lipstick stuck out to me, particularly because it’s anachronistic for a 18th century woman to want to wear Revlon Red lipstick unless they’re a prostitute (and even still, some prostitutes still wanted to have a respectable clientele). So why the focus on the red lipstick? Perhaps because Ishtar (Isis, whoever) is associated with the color red.

According to Answers.com, Isis is associated with resurrection, blood, rebirth, eternal life, reincarnation and the Sun-Boat or solar barque. The color red represents all of these attributes. Also, Isis is shown either with what I think is the sun part of her headdress colored red or wearing a red dress on her person. Or both, as shown above.

Also, the theme of red plays into something I’ve been wondering about Katrina herself. She seems subtly associated with the color red. I think a ton of people have complained about Katrina’s weird red colored hair. It doesn’t seem natural. Also unusual is her choice of dress during “Sanctuary”–it’s a deep red color that makes her stand out.

From my research of the 18th century and the color red, there are a few things that have stuck out:

  • According to Demode Couture, red hair was extremely unpopular in the 18th century and people with red hair would dye their hair a different color.
  • According to Wikipedia, red dyes from India became a big thing in 17th century France. I’m guessing this continued through the 18th century throughout all of Europe (remember–Paris has been the capital of fashion for a long time). Also, I read on another site that yellow dyes from China became en vogue during the 18th century. Therefore both of these colors were exotic to the European bourgeois. When something’s considered “exotic” in another country, that also mean it’s “unique” and “unusual.” Therefore, Katrina wearing red makes her even more unusual, especially in 18th century America, where fashions were much, much simpler than the explosion of fashion in Europe. With the red hair, she’s sure to stand out like a sore thumb.

Could her infatuation with red mean that she’s revealing some of her Ishtar-ishness? Perhaps. Maybe.

Other Katrina Theories

There was another theory that was bandied about on Twitter, saying Katrina could be the Woman of the Apocalypse. It’s a very valid theory, considering the story behind the character. To quote Wikipedia:

From the Book of Revelation, 11:19—12:1-18.[3]

11:19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. 12:1 A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 It was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. 4 Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. 6 The lady herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days.

7 Then war broke out in heaven; Michael* and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, 8but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,* who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.e 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night.

11 They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death.

12 Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them. But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time.

13 When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year. 15 The serpent, however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current. 16 But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon spewed out of its mouth. 17 Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus. 13:1 It took its position on the sand of the sea.”

Sounds like the ordeal Katrina went through. But then, it doesn’t particularly line up with all of the other secret-keeping Katrina’s been doing. If she’s this good, why hide it from Ichabod? Also, this story seems to clearly be about the Virgin Mary (despite the other theories listed on Wikipedia), and I don’t think Katrina lines up anywhere near the Virgin Mary. First of all, she wouldn’t be a witch. Second of all, she wouldn’t be in Purgatory. Third of all, Mary didn’t keep any secrets. Mary told Joseph about her Immaculate Conception. Why would Katrina feel she should hide her pregnancy (if she did know) if it was something good? Fourth of all, this idea would make Katrina waaaaayyy too important in the character hierarchy. Abbie and Ichabod are the most important people in this show, and goodness knows how some Abbie fans are worried about her seemingly taking a backseat in the proceedings. If the show reveals that Katrina’s child (which seems to already be dead) is the second coming of Christ or something, the show can just call itself done. Don’t worry, because this won’t happen. In any case, things just don’t add up.

I then took a look at the bookend character to the Woman of the Apocalypse, the Whore of Babylon. I thought that perhaps Ishtar was the basis for this character, since Babylon is mentioned, but from quite a few accounts, the character represents Jerusalem (read why here). Some have also said that the Whore of Babylon be the Catholic Church, but the Catholic Church didn’t exist back then. Anyways, enough about analyzing what the Whore of Babylon could be. There were some things about the description of the Whore that stood out to me.

Read this description of her:

…I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.  The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication;  and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations.”  And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

[Part of Revelation 17:1-18]

Once again, there’s a character associated with red, and while the purple is a new touch, it’s not really that new–we’ve seen it before. Remember when Abraham is picking out a necklace for Katrina? That gaudy necklace is purple and lavender. Also, the gaudiness of it could harken back to the “bedecked” look of the Whore of Babylon.

I’d like to think that Katrina could have attributes of both the Woman of the Apocalypse and the Whore of Babylon, since her association with the color green [i.e. the necklace Ichabod picks for her] seems to suggest that she’s in the middle of both. According to Christian Artist Resource, Green is often the color of life in the Bible, meaning that Katrina can’t be all bad, or, at the very least, the good half of her is parallel to her shady side. However, green is also the color of trees and stuff, and Ishtar is associated with trees and stuff, so here we are again, back at the beginning.

By the by, the falcon in the dream sequence is important, too. According to What’s Your Sign, falcons indicate wisdom, prophesy, etc. it’s an appropriate bird since Katrina was about to tell us something important. Also, apparently in Paradise Lost (which has been referenced in Sleepy Hollow before), Satan gathers together his 12 disciples–Baal, Tammuz, Moloch, Osiris, Dagon, Horus, Belial, Titan, Saturn, Jupiter and guess who? Ashtoreth and Isis.

Here are some updated thoughts.

Ishtar is sometimes described as the consort to Moloch. We haven’t actually seen Moloch interact with Katrina (which is mysterious, now that I think about it), but one has to wonder how she managed to survive Purgatory without going insane. Abbie was only there a couple of hours and she immediately related her PTSD symptoms to Ichabod.

Also, when I first saw Katrina look at Baby Moloch (something you’ll read about in my upcoming recap), I thought that it was, at first, the look a mother has for her newborn baby. But what if she’s looking joyous because the plan to bring Moloch to the world and keep Ichabod at bay actually worked? There’s been a hint of a vacuum of power coming up and someone unforseen taking up the reigns. Could it very well be Katrina with a now-fully demonic Moloch at her side as her king?

Also, Ishtar is described as being a manipulator of men. Katrina falls into this perfectly. She has manipulated Ichabod and is now manipulating Abraham. The only people she can’t manipulate are her son and other women, i.e. Abbie.

Katrina as the mother of Henry also falls in line with both the Woman of the Apocalypse story. The Woman of the Apocalypse is the woman that ushers that event in, but she’s generally thought of as the Virgin Mary, since it’s the return of her son Jesus that really puts the events of Revelation into motion. But it would appear that Sleepy Hollow is subverting the Bible even more by making the Woman of the Apocalypse evil. The Whore of Babylon.

What do you think about all of this? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

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