For all my fellow artist witches out there, I’ve come up with a fun and powerful way to bless, or theoretically curse, someone. Depending on your connection to your craft you can get a pretty accurate divination reading from these too!
🖌 Draw your target on watercolor, or water absorbent, paper. It doesn’t have to be perfectly realistic as long as you are focusing on the person your depicting and filling it with intent.
🖌 Choose one, or several, colors that align with the type of magick you want to cast. I have a color correspondence post you can reference for this step or just search for colors associated with your intent. Color also has a very personal significance so keep this in mind when you’re making your selections.
🖌 Cover your drawing with water, lay it on very thick. Then apply your color/colors to the water. You can do this with a paintbrush, your finger, an eye dropper etc. You can let the color spread and dry naturally or move it around and/or use a hair dryer to make interesting forms.
🖌 If you are allowing yourself to be open to messages about your subject the movement of the paint, the forms it starts to create, the colors you feel inclined to use and many more variables can be a great divination reading.
✨ If you work with the elements:
Earth - Paper
Water - Used in the painting process
Air - Either naturally dried or use of a hairdryer.
Fire - You can burn the final image
Spirit - Your intent/The paint
✨ Customize this to suit your craft!
Sea Witches - Use storm water
Lunar/Space Witches - Use full moon water
Pastel Witches - Only use pastel colors
Digital/City Witches- Use an app to edit a photo of your target and draw on the image with colors.
Deities: Do you work with specific dieties? Devote a casting to them or use colors associated with your chosen god/goddess.
✨I hope this inspires you to try it out. Let me know how your castings go! Tag it with #colorcasting and stay tuned for more art witch techniques!
It says a lot about the fandom’s priorities where the biggest f/f ship is judged harshly and treated like the shipping version of Hester Prynne, but the two largest ships supported by fujoshis doesn’t get the same amount of scrutiny and treatment.
Hello! I was wondering, what are the differences between modern HEMA and how it was used in actual combat? Mainly in how it is/was taught, the way that techniques are/were used, small battles/skirmishes and fully fledged battles. I'm currently drawing from my own experiences with HEMA (longsword) and I know it's different but I'm not sure what all of those differences are, much less how to write them. Thank you!
Honestly, the best advice I have for that is slogging through the treatises from the masters on Wikitenaur or other sites/books that let you get it direct from the horse’s mouth (as it were). If you’re not a trained scholar or used to going through language from a century ago, much less several, I can see how parsing that might be a little difficult.
The second thing to do is study the historical period in which you want to write your fiction or, if writing fantasy, whatever is adjacent. When you want to write any kind of combat scenario, studying the culture is necessary. Whether that’s one you created yourself or history itself.
You’ve got better access to the HEMA community than Starke or I do and that springboard will make it easier to find what you’re looking for. It’s important to remember that what you’re practicing right now is what we conventionally term a “dead martial art”. Like aikido and several other martial arts now enjoying a popular resurgence, the current version did not really exist in the last century. Combat in Europe moved very quickly, rapid advancement lead to many old weapons being discarded that were no longer usable. German fencing was the only form of longsword fencing to survive, and it too is weighed down by rules unnecessary to the time when the longsword was a battlefield choice. Luckily for you, because HEMA itself is so new in its reconstruction, you’re actually far closer to the source material used to revive it than you might suspect.
If you haven’t broached this subject with your instructor, you should. They might know, or know somebody who knows something that can point you in a better direction. They work with the people who work with the people who are theorizing on the past and how to bring this piece of history back to life.
The other thing you need to do is study history. One of the things we do have a lot of surviving records of are historical battles. Lots, and lots, and lots of records.
Pick your medieval historical figure. Pick a period in history. And get to work.
Also, read Sun Tzu. If there is one great historical text for understanding warfare, it’s Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
Battles are really broken down by three groups:
I’d throw in strategy and tactics but those are under the culture header. To write battles, you need both an understanding of historical warfare and the ability to contextualize those decisions so you can have your characters make new ones. This means figuring out not just the thought processes of the people of history (theorized by gaining a better grasp of their circumstances), but also how your own characters think in relation to the world’s they live in.
Unless you’re writing historical fiction, you can’t just copy the battles from history wholesale. You have to learn how the decisions were made. This is why I recommend looking at the above groups.
Who they are as a people, their history, who they are descended from, how they see themselves, their commander’s experience with warfare, what kind of armies do they possess (if any at all), how does that work, how do they form supply lines, how do they pay for it, all that annoying bureaucratic minutia which will kill your brain but must be figured out. War is about troop movements. You’ve got to get them from Point A to Point B somehow, you’ve got ensure their fed, and if they’ve got mounts or armor all that has to come from somewhere. War is an expensive endeavor. Someone is paying for it. Where does the money come from, where does it go, and who is getting paid?
This is why strategy and tactics land under the cultural header, the more you dig into history the more you’ll find different cultures through different eras approached these problems differently. They also had different tools at their disposal which brings us to…
Technology encompasses your weapons, your armor, and, well, everything else that came to mind. Much as you need to know where your soldiers come from, you also need to know what tools they have at their disposal. If they haven’t mastered metalwork and smithing then they can’t have armor and the type of metal they work with defines what kind of armor they create. If they haven’t developed saddles then they don’t have mounted cavalry, if they haven’t figured out how to use horses to pull things then chances are they don’t have cavalry in the form of chariots either.
The same is true of the bow and every other kind of weapon available. Your tools define crucial parts of your tactics and strategy. They define what is available to use and what is available instructs us on how we fight. As the options narrow and you find your historical period, the tools will be easier to come by. Then, you’ll be able to envisage the battles better.
Warfare is complicated, but at its base is the element of rock, paper, scissors. You develop B, so I come up with X, to counter B, and then you develop Y to counter X. It is all about trying to develop new ways to counter the available options.
You brought foot soldiers to the battle, I guess this is what you’ll choose so I array my soldiers at your front and position cavalry behind to break your lines from the side or rear. You use pikes, position your soldiers in columns in order to break my cavalry’s charge or bring a cavalry of your own (or both). I position archers to bombard your lines with a barrage, and so on.
If you really have trouble with the concept then I recommend trying some good war games like Mount and Blade or the Total War series that help you see the battlefield visually and get some practice in arranging your troops.
However, in order to sell your tactics, you need…
What kind of environment are you fighting in? What is your target? What natural impediments are in the way? You can study Hannibal’s battle tactics against the Romans all you like, but if you ignore the fact that most of his elephants died on the march through the mountains then you’ll miss a crucial element to why he lost.
The conditions you fight in can make or break. Terrain defines how the troops are arranged. If you’re fighting on foreign soil then it can be the difference as to whether your tools will be of any use to you.
Some of it is flat out just luck.
The best way to learn to write battles is learning to think like a commander, and then follow that up with every other member of the army.
When it comes to historical fiction, I always recommend Sharon Kay Penman’s novels. They’re well regarded and well researched, providing some human context to what will inevitably be the dry reading of historical texts.
[Image: GIF of Crusch Karsten from Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. She has donned her armor and brandishes her sword while delivering a speech. Felix Argyle and Wilhelm Van Astrea stand at her side in a large castle chamber.]
In the anime Re:Zero, the supporting character Crusch Karsten is gifted with the ability of Wind Indication. This allows her to read even the most subtle of winds to detect otherwise invisible things, including others’ dishonesty and other veiled emotions. Such a gift makes her a force to be reckoned with at the negotiations table.
This spell seeks to mimic her power, as well as channel Karsten’s commanding yet enthralling personality. It aids its caster in decrypting others’ speech and body language, especially when vague; discerning between truth and lies; and being assertive and persuasive in one’s own words and actions.
sachet or materials for similar pouch; spell container
Queen of Swords card from a Tarot deck / OR queen chess piece; archetypal representation
fake feathers; symbol of air element
sodalite; for speech, perception, & aid in conflict
carnelian; for confidence, social situations, & willpower
hematite; for focus, logic, & trust
head of a dandelion with seeds; symbol of air element
(optional) paper & writing utensil
(optional) your voice
1. On a day with a light breeze, go outdoors and establish a workspace, laying out your materials. Take care with the dandelion; it’s important that it has most of its seeds still attached.
2. Arrange the fake feathers and stones around the Tarot card or chess piece as you see fit. I suggest placing the hematite on the top of the card to resemble a raised sword.
3. Take some time to observe the wind around you. Listen to the whispers it lures out of tree leaves. Be the audience to the dance it leads with the flowers. Pay keen attention to the scents it whisks under your nose. Feel the tickle that comes as it tugs at your skin. See if you can’t predict where the gale will pick up next.
4. As you increase your sensitivity to the wind, think on any circumstances that may have led you to needing this spell. You can lay your hands on the Tarot card or chess piece if this helps you to focus. Some questions to ask yourself include:
Whose words slip out of your grasp and leave you confused?
Who blurs truth and lie with a tone drenched in sarcasm?
Who needs convincing?
Why do you need to amplify your voice like this?
5. When you feel ready, recite the following chant. You may do this mentally, verbally, or in writing.
Let me correct you on one thing. I can tell if you throw a feint. The wind breaks your facade, It tells if you’re a fraud, And aids me in reading between each line.
Let me correct you on one thing. There’s truth in my speech and doings. The wind shows my resolve, It clears away all qualms, And leaves no room for misunderstanding.
Let me correct you on one thing. I am the victor of this Game.
6. Once you’re done with the chant, focus on your goal(s) and send the dandelion seeds off on the breeze. You can dislodge them however you see fit.
7. Gather the feathers and stones – and any stray dandelion seeds that may’ve stuck around – and put them in the sachet. If you used the chess piece, you can add that as well.
8. Carry the sachet on your person for it to take effect. If you must recharge it, tie it up securely somewhere on a windy day for the breeze to empower it.
This kanzashi uniquely corresponds with dance performances of Pontocho maiko and geiko that are organized every year in May (Kamogawa Odori). Hisamomo decorated her hair with lanterns with Pontocho’s crest (plover birds) and a paper element that represents a wooden pier, commonly built at Japanese-style ponds. The pier, in a different form, is also seen at traditional Japanese theaters (kabukiza) and actors, maiko, and geiko use it for scenes that need to be seen closer by spectators. The iris, on the other hand, is a symbol of May and Kamogawa Odori, so her kanzashi just screams Pontocho! ^.^