Witchy Woman Picture

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This is a quick picture of a witch done using MsPaint and Photoshop from a scanned sketch. This picture was done for seasonal merchandise for my store at www.cafepress.com/darkrubymoon and will be sold on t-shirts and other merchandise there soon.

I love witches as a subject matter and I am friends with some who practice Wicca, a form of modern witch craft. I plan to do more artwork soon with witches as the topic of the artwork. This picture, even though it is meant to be cute and whimsical portraying the typical cartoon figure of a witch does have some symbolic elements. The witches cauldron, a typical icon of witchcraft actually has its origins in grail mythology. There are legends of wounded soldiers being placed in 'witches cauldrons' to restore life to them such that they magically returned to battle. The holy grail of Arthurian legend is sometimes referred to as a "cauldron". One can see how, someone with severe wounds, placed in a bath of water might be revived enough to seemingly magically recover. Thus, the fearful images of witches boiling bodies was actually a healing practice of bathing the wounded or injured. Likewise, the potions and spells were herbal medications and prayers. It is also mixed with the mythology of the holy grail.

The witches broom symbol likely comes from young children using brooms to pretend to ride horses. Girls were forbidden from riding horses in medieval times, a masculine practice seen unfit for girls. Girls or women therefore who engaged in "masculine" acts in this male dominated world were seen as demonically possessed. As a result, many of those burned at the stake for witchcraft were actually young girls or independent thinking women.

The rabbit is a more likely familiar for a witch than a cat. Rabbits, particularly white rabbits have long been associated with feminine sexuality and the Goddess of the moon, the counterpart for the masculine Sun God. There is iconography into antiquity of worship of the Hare or cults of the Hare. Ever wonder the meaning of the story the Tortoise and the Hare or why we have Easter bunnies?

In the black furror of a field
I saw an old witch-hare this night;
And she cocked a lissome ear,
And she eyed the moon so bright,
And she nibbled of the green;
And I whispered "Whsst! witch-hare,"
Away like a ghostie o’er the field
She fled, and left the moonlight there. -Walter de la Mare

No one knows how many died during the witch trials, but conservative estimates are around 300,000. Some estimates are as large as 3 million, a number I personally suspect is far more accurate as entire towns were wiped out in witch panics.

Be sure to check out my artwork on all sorts of fantastic items from T-shirts and prints to clocks and camcorders at my DarkRubyMoon stores following web locations.

* DarkRubyMoon Store CafePress: [link]
* DarkRubyMoon Store Zazzle: [link]
* DarkRubyMoon Store Printfection: [link]
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