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Shadow_Ferret
10-25-2007, 04:56 AM
Wasn't sure where to post this, so I thought I'd start here in pagan.

Does anyone know of any witches from say Greek mythology, or any other mythology? I was thinking the Norns, but they're more like the Norse Fates.

I was thinking like witchy witchcrafty witches. You know, the stereotype? Caldrons, black cats, etc. Almost like Shakespeares witche's, but from real legend, not from fictional writings.

ETA: Norns Norse, Fates Greek. Doh!

mscelina
10-25-2007, 04:58 AM
Hecate was the Greco-Roman goddess of witches. Medea (jason's wife--killed their children) and Circe (The Odyssey-turned men into swine) were two famous witches. If you're looking for 'real life' from the classical era, you might want to look into the Sibyll and the Oracle of Delphi. I actually lifted an entirely magical system from what went on at Delphi.

Shadow_Ferret
10-25-2007, 06:43 AM
Already have a Sibyll, thanks. ;)

Thanks. I'll do some research on those.

mscelina
10-25-2007, 07:31 AM
From my bible--The Book of Goddeses and Heroines --Patricia Monaghan

Fabulous book. I meant to pull this earlier and got sidetracked. She categorizes female mythological characters and here's the list she has for boogey-women and witches plus their culture of origin:

Agrat Bat Mahalat ( jewish), Baba Yoga (eastern Slavs) Bila (Australian aborignal) Black Annis (British--like the gaelic cailleach) Broxa (Jewish--another name of Lilith) Cailleach (scotland/ireland) Carman (Irish) Celuci (South American) Cer (greek) Churalan (Hindu), Cihuateteo (mexican) Dakini(Hindu) Gollveig (Scandanavian) Heith(Scandanavian) Jezensky(Czech) Kalwadi (Australian) Khon-Ma(Tibet) Kishimogin(Japan) Kunapipi (Australian) Kveldrida(Scandanavian) Lamashtu (Chaldean) Lamia (Greeks) Lilith (Judeo-Christian) Mabb(welsh) Mahalat (Jewish)Mara (German) Medea (Greek) Meroe (Greek) Mormo(Greek) Munanna (Irish) Myrkrida (Scandanavian) Namaah (Canaanite) Nasa (Persian) Navky (Slavic--Russia mostly)Orthis (Greek) Ovda (Finland) Pahto (American Indian) Parooa(Indian as in India) Poldunica {Poland} Ptrotka (Jewish) Rakshasi (Indian) Rusalky(Russian) Siren (Greek) Sneneik(American Indian) Spear-finger (Cherokee) Srinmo (Tibet)Surasa(Indian) Tlazolteotl (Aztec) Veshtitze (Slavic) Vila (Slavic) Vitsa-Kuva (Russian) Wahini-Hai (Polynesian) and Whaitiri. (Polynesian)

It really depends on what you want this character to do. The Greco-Roman witches like Cer and Meroe have fascinating stories. Cer was the goddess of violent death and her name was used to describe malevolent ghosts. Meroe was a famous Grecian witch. In time she took on the aspects of a vampire and was powerful enough to send the gods to hell. I've used Lamashtu as a character before--quite a nice creepy little witch. I hope that this makes it easier for you to find what you need. :)

Shadow_Ferret
10-25-2007, 08:24 PM
Wow. Now I really have my work cut out for me. :D

It's for my current WIP. I've created this witch character. Not Wicca. It's not a religion with her. I was thinking along the lines that she's an actual descendent of one of these mythical witches, with real occult powers. But she's nice. Unless you cross her. Then she hexes you.

The image in my head of a witch standing on a cliff, her hair snarling around her head as if it's alive, while casting a spell upon some unfortunate sailors. I don't know where that image comes from, but its there and I'm modeling her after that. But I'd like some real legend or myth to back it up.

My WIP is a tongue-in-cheek urban fantasy, by the way.

Shadow_Ferret
10-26-2007, 04:19 AM
Sometimes I scare myself. The witch I was creating, with snarling red hair, descended from a mythical witch?

I found this description of Circe.

The witch Circe, whose hair resembled flames,

Writing from the subconscious...

mscelina
10-26-2007, 05:32 AM
Circe is a great witch. The sections of The Odyssey that deal with her are among my favorites. I know that Odysseus ended up being her lover for a time (if he'd stopped cheating on his wife the trip might not have taken ten years!) and she eventually helped him to return home.

The fact that Circe is identified as having hair of flames is rather unusual in descriptions of Greek characters too. You couldn't go too wrong modeling a contemporary witch after Circe. She had three kids by Odysseus so there's definitely a way to create the family tree you need.

Good luck!

Melisande
10-26-2007, 07:55 PM
The image in my head of a witch standing on a cliff, her hair snarling around her head as if it's alive, while casting a spell upon some unfortunate sailors. I don't know where that image comes from, but its there and I'm modeling her after that. But I'd like some real legend or myth to back it up.



Sounds like Lorelei to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorelei

Shadow_Ferret
10-26-2007, 07:58 PM
Hmm. I'm having shared cultural memories.



Kewl.

HeronW
01-26-2008, 02:24 AM
Baba Yaga is a biggie, riding around in her chicken-legged hut with a skull for a torch.

Arianrhod would be considered a witch and very pissed at her brother Gwydion--see the Mabinogion quartet--so being descended from her would be quite a coup.

Medievalist
01-26-2008, 09:35 AM
I'm not really comfortable calling a female supernatural magic wielder from a culture other than Anglo-Saxon, or English speaking, a witch.

Circe is an enchantress, or sorceror.

Hecate is closer to a witch, but I'd still call her a sorceror.

johnnysannie
01-29-2008, 05:58 PM
Wasn't sure where to post this, so I thought I'd start here in pagan.

Does anyone know of any witches from say Greek mythology, or any other mythology? I was thinking the Norns, but they're more like the Norse Fates.

I was thinking like witchy witchcrafty witches. You know, the stereotype? Caldrons, black cats, etc. Almost like Shakespeares witche's, but from real legend, not from fictional writings.

ETA: Norns Norse, Fates Greek. Doh!


Mother Shipton.

Tamsin or Tamson Blight.

Dame Aliset

Shadow_Ferret
01-29-2008, 07:18 PM
I saw this thread in the "Last Post" section of Religious, and I said, "that sounds like a cool thread!" Then I realized it was mine from a while back. :o

I'm not really comfortable calling a female supernatural magic wielder from a culture other than Anglo-Saxon, or English speaking, a witch.

Circe is an enchantress, or sorceror.

Hecate is closer to a witch, but I'd still call her a sorceror.
I apologize if I insulted anyone. I used witch generically. But any sort of enchantress, sorceress, or any other type female magic user would work as well.

HeronW
01-29-2008, 07:22 PM
Hecate is actually a Goddess, part of Artemis/Diana trio. her daughter is Aradia who is known as Queen of the Witches.