history section

To be a Local Witch

Throughout history and our legends, Witches and Wizards were the crazy men and women that lived on the outskirts of the village. Their craft was wild and strange to those that lived in the village, but, nonetheless, people would seek after their wisdom of the land, the plants, the local spirits, and for wisdom or guidance in their path. These men and women, often bachelors, would know the ins and outs of the region and often went walking alone. 

Today, our villages are less rustic and more like local towns, and suburbs. But one can still be a Local Witch, and develop special connections with the land you call home. 

Become a Local Witch: 

  1. Learn Local Lore
    Folktales, legends, and even tall tales develop the culture of a town or area. Learn these. Retell them over summer campfires, and over drinks with friends. People will start to LOVE your stories. 
  2. Start Frequenting locally owned shops and stores
    Develop connections and relationships with the owners and those that work there every day. Learn their names, and introduce yourself after visiting more often. Supporting locally owned shops helps small business owners and provides nourishment to your community. This is putting down roots, and develops your connection with the people that shape your town.
  3. Find a Local Bookstore
    This is an extension of 1 and 2. Locally owned bookstores always have a Local Writers, Local Plants, and Local History sections. Ask inside where these sections are, and start devouring these books. Not only will you be supporting a local shop, but you have a direct source of helpful information. Oftentimes, employees and owners also know a lot of Lore. Talk to them about what you’re interested in learning. They probably have some hidden gems of information. 
  4. Learn about your Indigenous Plants
    Start researching and learning about the flora that grows locally, learn their lore, their uses, and magical or folklore associations. If Natives from your area used these plants, find out how. Learn where these plants grow and research local foraging. If you’ve never foraged, see if you can find a local group that can serve as helpful guides to stay safe. Never ingest anything unless you are SURE. 
  5. Start a local Plant Grimoire
    Keep dried presses of flowers and plants in it, draw and diagram to help you remember what they look like. 
  6. Learn about the indigenous animals
    Research their folklore and mythology. Start finding out what they eat, and what their habitats are. (Safely) Do your part to help foster their growth and health. This could be making insect houses to help local endangered pollinators, or leaving out special birdseed for endangered bird species in the area. (Safely) Start interacting with the non-aggressive species and leave them treats. This is great for birds, deer, rabbits, moles, chipmunks, hedgehogs, etc 
  7. Join local Conservation Projects 
    Getting directly involved in wildlife conservation strengthens our spiritual and natural ties to the land we call our home. Taking personal responsibility and interest in it’s stewardship is honoring the spirits of the land, and the Gods. 
  8. Use Google Maps while exploring parks, or protected open spaces to drop pins and places where you find animal habitats or useful plants for foraging. 

That’s all for now. More will come later I’m sure. Now go be the best local Witch or Druid you can be! 

Facial reconstruction made of 'brutally-killed' Pictish man - BBC News
The face of a Pictish man who was "brutally killed" 1,400 years ago is reconstructed by Dundee University researchers.

Here it is! The big archaeology secret I’ve been not allowed to talk about for nearly 6 months…

I’m part of a voluntary organisation called the Rosemarkie Caves Project, and we’ve been doing small excavations on some of the caves that line the south coast of the Black Isle to investigate their potential for archaeology. Last September, on our last day of digging (typical!) we uncovered something truly incredible… The excellently preserved remains of a pretty violently killed Pictish man, tucked into a small nook of the cave. He was on his back with his ankles crossed and arms down by his sides, boulders on his hands and between his legs - a very odd position that screams “ritual”.

Prof Sue Black and her team - forensic anthropologists who usually don’t deal with archaeological remains but those of the more recent past such as identifying victims of war crimes - took on the task of examining the skeleton and detailing his violent demise (the article has the full account). They also created an incredible facial reconstruction of the man - handsome guy.

Archaeologically speaking, human remains in Scotland are generally poorly preserved due to the soil’s acidity. These remains were from a sandy context, protected from the elements by the cave itself, and are perhaps unique in their excellent preservation for their Pictish date.

There’s still a lot more work to be done - we’re waiting for isotope analysis to be carried out to determine a little more about the individual’s origins, and eventually he’ll be written into the broader context of Pictish archaeology, a section of history we still don’t know very much about. What he was doing there and why he was killed we may never know (Sacrifice? Murder? Did the people carrying out the metal working nearby know about the remains, were they the ones who killed him? So many questions!) - but we do know there are plenty more caves to be investigated… Who knows what else we’ll find in them!

If anyone has an questions, give me a shout. 

I like to think about the files the Order must have on the exorcists sometimes, so here-

- They’re super thorough. They contain everything from height and weight to average calorie intake and from personal/work history and personality profiles to relationships and habits. They have everything.

- Among ‘everything’ is a detailed drawing of the exorcist, complete with Innocence, both active and inactive if they’re a parasite user. This gets redone once a year, and they never get thrown away; by flipping through her file, you can watch Lenalee grow from a little girl into the teenager she is now.

- Nothing is redacted, but access to these files is highly restricted. (Komui tries to respect their privacy.)

- The finders have the job of collecting a lot of the data (such as calorie count and personal habits.) It’s not a fun job.

- Allen’s personal history section is very short and has the endnote ‘You can tell he was raised by Cross Marian because he never tells anyone anything.’

- Cross’ personal history section is completely blank before he joined the Order as a scientist, until finally the note ‘Associated with the Fourteenth’ is added.

- Aside from mission reports, the only paperwork the exorcists are given is the original questionnaire to start the folder off. This is a large portion of the paperwork Link made Allen fill out when he first started shadowing him; Allen was avoiding it.

- Lenalee and Kanda’s folders are the most detailed out of anybody’s; they are the only ones where no details are missing.

- Miranda’s lists every single job she was ever fired from.

- Reading the medical histories would make anyone sick.

- Lavi has read every single file front to back. And he remembers.

Costa Rican Pottery Bird Adorno

by Deb Harding

The people of ancient Costa Rica put a lot of bird and animal imagery in their pottery, both painted and in the form of three-dimensional figures. This little bird dates from about 300-800 AD and sat on the shoulder of a large jar from the Guanacaste Peninsula in northwestern Costa Rica.

Deb Harding is a collection manager in Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Section of Anthropology. She frequently blogs and shares pieces of the museum’s hidden anthropology collection, which is home to over 100,000 ethnological and historical specimens and 1.5 million archaeological artifacts.


some drawings for this week’s night watch book club reading. still kinda mentally dissecting the history monk section, so i might post some talk about that later.
things of note for me this week: i cried whenever vimes reached for his cigar case, i love rosie palm with all my heart, how BADASS is sixteen year old sybil for grabbing a sword when a rugged invader just burst into her gahdamn house?? and the temptation to make dr lawn look like deforest kelley was almost too great to resist.
also: I. LOVE. DR. LAWN.


totally wasn’t procrastinating by hanging out in the southeast asian history section of the library in order to get some inspirational hermione vibes …

Costa Rican Archaeological Bowl

by Deb Harding

In the process of photographing all the archaeological pottery in Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s collection, this bowl caught my eye. It was purchased as part of a huge collection from an estate owner in the Central Valley of Costa Rica around 1903 while Carnegie Museum curator Carl V. Hartman was doing the first scientific archaeological excavations in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, we do not have any information about the particular site or time period. This is the best example from a whole series of bowls that look like the pigs from Angry Birds™.  

Deb Harding is a collection manager in Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Section of Anthropology. She frequently blogs and shares pieces of the museum’s hidden anthropology collection, which is home to over 100,000 ethnological and historical specimens and 1.5 million archaeological artifacts.