Coven-tional Wisdom: The “American Horror Story” Educational Recap

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When you’re a persecuted minority like the witches of New Orleans, it’s important to learn how to survive. In this column, we’ll explore the four best lessons conveyed to us in each week’s episode of American Horror Story Coven.

You never know when you’ll have to practice a little bitchcraft.


LESSON ONE: Honesty is the Best Policy
Let’s say your family has a history of supernatural murder. You could suppress that knowledge and hope for the best, but as we saw when poor Zoe finally sealed the deal with her ill-fated boyfriend, the only unavoidable accidents are the ones you don’t expect.

So, the next time you know that your friend’s shirt is tucked into her underwear, or that her love canal has a deadly curse on it, maybe fill her in. That slightly uncomfortable interaction will save her a lot of grief in the long run. (Tangential question: do condoms protect against tantric violence?)

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LESSON TWO: Stay Informed
When Fiona wants to be injected with an anti-aging drug that hasn’t been approved for human consumption, she doesn’t use her magical powers or her vast wealth to get her way. It’s her knowledge of the doctor’s inappropriate boozing and loose lips that gets her the goods. Keep an ear open: You never know when the ability to quote an enemy’s months-old Facebook update will give you the upper hand.

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LESSON THREE: Find Solutions, Not Problems
A bitch tears other people down for their faults, but the Queen Bee makes it all better. Sure, Madison gives Zoe a heaping helping of shade for her all-Gap wardrobe, but she lends her own clothes out to New Orleans’ newest fashion victim. Better to make a small concession than to go to the frat party alone, after all.

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LESSON FOUR: Set Clear Boundaries
Fiona only gets sassed back once, and that interaction ends with Madison testing the wall’s sturdiness. (Turns out it has shockingly little give for a house that old.) People learn how to treat you based on your behavior. So if you go by Catherine but someone calls you “Cathy,” correct them immediately and directly, lest you permanently gain a new nickname.

Maybe don’t resort to physical violence right away, though—a suddenly airborne guest will really kill the mood at a dinner party.

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