Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A to Z of Witches. Z

Z is for Zodiac

I was going to do Zatanna today, and really I should since my normal Zatannurday posts have been taking a hit for the A to Z.  But instead I want to talk about something else.

Growing up in the 70s I was exposed to what I like to call a lot of "left over hippy shit". One of those was Astrology.  Now I knew astrology was bullshit at a very early age, but I also grew up up when people would ask "what's your sign?".  As typical with anything from the 70s occult era, it somehow made it's way into my writings on the witch.  So witches, by my reasoning, are all very much into horoscopes and everything.

This manifests itself in my book The Witch as the Aquarian Witch.
The Aquarian Witch looks to the stars, planets and beyond to divine the secrets of the universe. The meaning each witch divines can vary from witch to witch and they will often disagree on what the signs and portents mean, but they all share a common belief; that a new astrological age is coming and the change will be profound. Whether this change will be good or ill is at present unknown.

The Aquarian Witch often serves as an astrologer, soothsayer and diviner of fortunes. They are learned in the ways of the motions of the stars, planets, sun and moon so there is a practical, even mundane, application of their skills.
So this looking to the stars is less Call of Cthulhu "when the stars are right" and more "Age of Aquarius".
I have always imagined my "iconic" Aquarian witch as a blonde, waify, looking hippy chick. Stereotypical? Yeah. I never claimed to be 100% original. For a while I had a couple different characters that fit this iconic image, top of that list was Megan Maclay nee O'Kelly from my Season of the Witch game.  But the best example might be Misty Day from American Horror Story: Coven.

What I really want to do with the Aquarian Witch is expand their beliefs and add more spells based on Zodiac signs.

I would stick with Classical Zodiac 12 signs like Gemini, Ares, and of course Aquarius. Though I might go with there common names like The Twins, the Ram and the Water Carrier instead.  I am also still debating on whether or not to use Ophiuchus, the Snake Handler, as the 13th.  I like 12 because there 12 hours on a clock and 12 months of the year.  Also I have 12-sided dice.  I like the idea of using "our" Zodiac as opposed to making one up. It gives me a lot different sources of materials to use and players can relate.  Sure I can use Chinese, Celtic, Hindu or other Zodiacs as well.

In truth there is a lot about Astrology I don't know.  Though for witch characters I will go online and input an approximate "birth date" and see what I come up with in terms of character traits.  Not be a slave to those traits, but play them up more often. I really have no clue what I am reading, but I pick and choose as I like or what I feel works for the character.

Let's pick my favorite witch, Tara Maclay, who I say was born on November 7, 1980.
Here is her natal chart.
While I can certainly see "brave" not so much the "popular".  But like I said, I'll pick and choose.

For my iconic witch Larina, I had to move to modern times, but that is easy.  Her natal chart I can make more use out of.

Has anyone out there tried this with their characters? Does it work? Are you happy with what you get?

Supernatural AtoZ


Anything and Everything Paranormal Blog said...

Some great post this month.

Mina Burrows said...

I love your Zatanna posts too.

A witch who has powers based on the Zodiac signs is fascinating.

Sophie Duncan said...

I've never tried looking up astrological charts on my characters, witch, or otherwise, but it sounds like something interesting to try out :)

Your posts have been great this month, I'm glad I stopped by to read all about witches. And thanks for kicking off the Supernatural A to Z.
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

faoladh said...

Please don't perpetuate the "Celtic" zodiac, which isn't. It's a bit of nonsense made up by Robert Graves in the mid-20th century as part of his poetic inspiration, and has exactly nothing to do with anything "Celtic" (whatever one might mean by that term). If you're really interested in what "Celtic" astrology looked like, try this article (short version: it probably looked a lot, but not exactly, like Vedic astrology), or find a copy of The Lost Zodiac of the Druids (while extremely speculative, it suggests that the native Celtic astrology may have been based around Lunar signs rather than Solar ones; I'm not sure that I buy his arguments, which require quite a chain of speculative assumptions, but they are intriguing).

I once began designing a game of Elizabethan occult intrigue that used horoscopes as the basis of character creation. Not just influencing it or modifying a characteristic here or there as has been done in Fantasy Wargaming or Hârnmaster among others, but the signs and planets of the birth chart would determine the character's basic traits. I should return to that some time.

You might consider looking at The Arcanum, which had a type of magician called an Astrologer, who used (of course) Astrology Magic. Names of spells were like "Lesser Incantation of Jupiter" (used to control spirits and such) or "Truth of Sagittarius" (forces the subject to save or tell the truth).

Timothy S. Brannan said...

It's all made up at some level! ;)

For a game I think it is fine, but I'd rather stick with the Greek ones.

The Arcanum is one of my favorite books. So naturally I try to avoid it when writing something new!

faoladh said...

"It's all made up at some level! ;)"

I realize that you are kidding, but there are people who make that argument seriously. There is a significant difference between something made up by someone as a lark and something made up over a period of time, by hundreds or thousands of people, in the context of a cultural development. It's different both in the sense of being the product of many minds as opposed to one, and also in the sense of being a matter of cultural damage as opposed to poetic fancy.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Which is also why I didn't want to make up my own constellations. I wanted something with a little more cultural gravitas.

Sara C. Snider said...

I never thought about doing astrology for character traits. I have played around with Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to help me understand my characters a little better.

Spells based on Zodiac signs sounds interesting. I'd be curious to see what you do with Libra, as that sign generally seems to be the "I dunno" sign in terms of creativity. ;)

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

A hippy chick witch sounds cool :).
Congrats on making it all the way through the month, it's been so much fun and I've loved your posts. Thanks for helping to set up the mini-hop too.
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

I have never been really into astrology, but I think the cultural history behind it is fascinating (it also provides a neat framework for organizing stories). The witch sounds interesting :)
I have really enjoyed visiting your blog during A to Z! :) I learned a lot too. Thank you!

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
Multicolored Diary - Tales of colors
MopDog - The crazy thing about Hungarians...

Chrys Fey said...

I agree that spells based on the Zodiac sounds neat. I love learning about witches, too, so this post was a treat. I'm going to have to look back at some of the ones I missed. :)

Congratulations on completing the Challenge!