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Article - 'Wizards & Witches' by Angroth

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

Does exactly what it says on the tin!

Body

A little background
The power to alter the course of nature and history, to summon spirits, control the weather, become invisible. The power to use charms, songs and riddles to cast spells that cannot be resisted... These are the powers that set the wizard apart from mere mortals. - Brendan Lehane (and Time-Life Books)

Great, we all now know (if you didn't before, which you should!!) a little about wizards. They seem quite fancinating and interesting these days but many years ago wizards and witches were considered treacherous creatures and were often burned, drowned or stoned to death. Why did this happen? Likely due to lack of acceptance and fear of that which the people did not know enough of. I shan't say modern day is any better because people are always going past in cars shouting 'Get yer hair cut!!!' or 'Goffik!!' to me and others, I've been chased before too, fortunately not stoned, burned or drowned. This shows a lack of acceptance in modern day but now we know wizards and witches don't exist (or do they?) people take out their fears and doubts on different groups of people, maybe 'gothics', 'black people' or whatever. Anyways, you can see that (especially if you have been discriminatory) just how easy people might have been killed for accusations of being a witch or wizard.

Why were people accused of being a witch or wizard? Someone wouldn't have to do much to be labelled a magician. People such as the mighty Faustus and his friends were mere scientists. Back in a time when science still seemed a little magical it wouldn't take much before someone had seen enough for his / her own eyes and would tell everyone of some great monstrosity - hence, Faustus making a 'pact with the devil'. Personally I can only imagine he was a man of science in a very un-scientifical area (if thats even a word!). So this would lead to say that any tales of wizardry are likely to be exaggerations through generations of weak minded people.

Now for the more fantastical approach, we can see wizardry affecting almost everything. Even Jesus (with his abnormal powers) could be considered a wizard of a sort. Most tales through history will contain some creature or abnormality which is either directly or slightly linked to a wizard or magic. Wizards power changed depending on many factors. Some were thought to control nature, others the elements, some necromancy, many the powers of summoning, others psionics and mind tricks. This could well be where different names of wizards came about, here is a list of a few:
Wizards, warlocks, conjurers, enchanters, necromancers, pyromancers, geomancers, zephyrmancers, druids etc. There are extensive lists (which can now be seen in games) of different kinds of wizard, whether this developed more recently from looking back at the past or building up at the time, all we know is wizards can seem to be easily categorised these days.

A few possible wizardry categorisations
Necromancer (warlock) - Summons the dead, uses dark magic and manipulates evil forces.
Pyromancer (warlock) - Manipulates flames.
Aquamancer - Manipulates water and ice.
Geomancer (druid) - Manipulates earth and nature.
Zephyrmancer - Manipulates the winds and storms.
Psionicist (sorcerer, magician) - Manipulates forces of the mind and or other general magical powers.
Cleric (conjurer, monk, magician) - Uses healing powers and manipulates holy forces.
Elementalist (mage, enchanter, magician) - Manipulates the combined efforts of all the mancers.
Metaphysical - Has the ability to manipulate form and body structure.

Modern Magicians
Modern magic is not very well praised. But when people see it they are very pleased. Magic is now a days just not seen as very spectacular I don't think. Partly this could be due to the fact that thanks to people such as the Masked Magician we know how much of the 'magic works'. We know it is (whether we know how or not) a clever peice of trickery. Which indeed it is. Even some of the most amazing and astonishing magical acts are big eye candy tricks. Even mystical psychic readers have lost their mystical magical side. I've seen how all mystical or conventional magic tricks work and some of it is very clever but it sadly reminds us the truth about magical realms and fantastical beasts. Things we see in Lord of the Rings and Final Fantasy's are probably so popular because it is a glimpse into something completely unfeasable in the world we live in.