Tuesday, February 4, 2014

5 Fun Facts About Witches

One of the things I love about writing fantasy fiction is the research aspect involved. Today I have been conducting research for a new short story that entered into my brain particles last night. I wanted to share some of the interesting facts that I found out today.

1. The difference between a witch and a wizard is not the person's gender. It is much more specific than that. 
  • A witch is a part of everyday life. He or she may provide healing and good to the people, or they may be responsible for causing harm.

(Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/07/Baldung_Hexen_1508_kol.JPG/417px-Baldung_Hexen_1508_kol.JPG, accessed 04.02.14)

  • A wizard is more aloof. They tend to live apart from the rest of the world and, although they amass great knowledge and have terrible powers, they don't really apply this to the everyday world.
2. Clairvoyance is the art of spying on people from far away, using a crystal ball or looking into a brewed potion. It is not, as I thought, a way of peering into the future. 
3. A wise woman was traditionally a young woman who knew about medicinal herbs and womanly problems. A witch, on the other hand, was considered to be old and unpleasant.

(Source: Dedopulos, T. (2005). The Book of Witches: A Spellbinding Guide. Funtastic Limited, Australia.)

4. An amphithere is a cross between a snake and a bird and is considered to be the South American equivalent of a dragon.(Source: http://dragons.wikia.com/wiki/Amphithere_%28Dragonology%29, accessed 04.02.14)
 (Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Amphiptere.jpg, accessed 04.02.14)

5. When King James I became king he was horrified by Queen Elizabeth I's leniency on witchcraft. He hanged more suspected witches than any other monarch. Back when he was James IV of Scotland he was responsible for (and witness to) the horrific torture of suspected witches, and he naturally felt justified by his actions when, surprise surprise, the 'witches' confessed to all their crimes and more. I think I would confess to just about anything, too, if my legs were shattered into thousands of splinters...

 (Source: Dedopulos, T. (2005). The Book of Witches: A Spellbinding Guide. Funtastic Limited, Australia.)

 (Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/King_James_I_of_England_and_VI_of_Scotland_by_John_De_Critz_the_Elder.jpg/434px-King_James_I_of_England_and_VI_of_Scotland_by_John_De_Critz_the_Elder.jpg, accessed 04.02.14)

I must admit, it really has been the most enjoyable day. I also managed to spend the morning discussing my recently-completed novel with a beta reader and implementing their advice. There's nothing like the perspective of an outsider to help you figure out just what was bothering you.