What is the *real* aspect of a witch?
Strikingly beautiful / sexy young woman or crone / hag?
The Church and Walt Disney of course proclaim witches are by nature ugly; BUT imho the very least a competent witch can do on herself is to keep her body young and appealing for centuries -*really*, not by casting an illusory 'glamour'. If unable to do this, how could she turn a prince into a frog / wolf or a damsel into a doe / hawk?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow712WkL6HA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVfL2bGa4UoThus the illusion would be the 'crone / hag' appearance.
In a society where religious and secular authorities want you burned at the stake, if you are not the Queen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55Dq2psogSw
better to live in some backwater wilderness. And not to tempt brigands and marauding soldiers, better to look old, ugly and desperately poor. Hence the miserable, squalid hut; but in a secret basement a concealed door opens on an underground palace -or is a 'portal' to a lovely, cozy schloss
, inaccessible on some mountain top or island in a lake… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65EKy5FcGu0
Some supporting evidence can be found in very old Swedish songs: in Konungen och Trollkvinnan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsLz6ZFsFN4
the 'troll' witch is so beautiful that she catches the king's heart [and… lust
]: not by bewitchment, since she spurns his advance. But 'troll' in this case is simply a pejorative for 'pagan': in Herr Mannelig
the squire declines to marry the 'troll woman' *only* because she is not Christian.
'De-humanizing' the enemy is a propaganda trick as old as humankind.
It helped that 'pagans' were reputed to use magic, and in old French Fée
means 'magical' (there were fay swords -no, NOT Stormbringer!- and fay horses such as Bayard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayard_%28legend%29
) but 'fay people' can refer to a purely human magician (Morgan le Fay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_le_Fay
) or an inhabitant of Faerie (heirs of the Gallo-Roman nymphs and other spirits of nature + Elves everywhere a Germanic cultural influence set in after the Invasions: Melusine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melusine
). 'Magic users' (Pagans) were mixed up with their minor deities.
Btw, this suggests an unexpected meaning to 'troll hunter': stalking not that:
Indeed that, like <i>Fée</i> in French 'troll' can refer both to a magical being' and a witch finds a confirmation from the Faroe Islands: 'betrolled' = 'bewitched' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r8svQkdpLY
(a more 'shamanic' interpretation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpiFmZLICgM
*: almost 'baroque' (at the beginning) interpretation, fittingly of an Italian translation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2Gftfmw3i8
Then, why so many witches, and why Fées
with time referred only to women? (male 'Elves' were mostly remembered in very old texts -'The Elvish Knight', and the 'King of Elves' re-written by Goethe)
. Probably because for the Church they were *evil*, and the Woman, Eve or Lilith, is a 'vase of impiousness', a lethal temptress, a potential agent of Satan.
Also because some forms of 'magics' were specially associated with women: they were more seeresses (re the Pythia, the Sibyls…) than seers. This was specially marked in Germanic cultures, where the shamanic seidhr
magic (probably of Finno-Ugric origin) was restricted to 'voelvur' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%B6lva
(males trying to practice it -Odin first- were blamed of 'feminization'; indeed Siberian male shamans often wear women's dresses).
And shamanic magic was deeply associated with shape-changing to animal form
(re Loki, 'Thor's little sidekick' on Lapp drums, who got pregnant in female animal form, and the frequent shapeshifting in the Kalevala
). This may for a part explain the 'hybrid' nature of German / Scandinavian Holda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holda
/ Huldra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huldra
, (from the old Huld
human seeress http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huld
); a 'background' of shapeshifter making even easier to mix up a magician with a magical being http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7zmNhJEqXU
Note that, just like Morgan le Fay, all these female characters were 'good' in the oldest texts, and turned 'officially evil' later
, in the same way as Merlin is 'off the loop' in the most Christianized part of the Arthurian Cycle, the quest for the Grail.
Yet the misogyny of the Church certainly explains why, once deemed *evil*, most magical creatures -mermaids, the Marie-Morganes
of Brittany, the Lorelei
…- were female: the Temptation, the death of the Man or of his soul, is female.
And, btw, Witches go by three… female characters *have* to go by three
: the Moirai
, the Furies, the Gorgons, the Graces, the Goddesses of the Judgment of Paris, the Nornes, the Somi Saaraahka, Juoksahka and Oksaahka, the 3 Morrigan, Ériu and her 2 sisters, Morgan and her 2 sisters, the pre-Coranic '3 cranes'… down to Shakespeare's (and Pratchett's) 3 witches and Disney's 3 good fairies
Thus any miniature of a 'lovely' 18th C. woman could be used for a witch. Then, for those wanting her... unconventional nature to be displayed by the figurine, some subdued 'vampire countess' could fit the bill:
probably OOP, but the current 'Isabella' is also fitting for a 18th C. setting:
Additonally the mere addition of a tricorne
immediately 'labels' a figurine '18th C.' (the Wargame Factory box of 'plastic generic WSS infantry' http://wargamesfactory.com/webstore/horse-and-musket/war-of-spanish-succession-infantry
is an abundant, and relatively inexpensive, source of tricornes and other accessories):
GW Lahmia turned into a 18th C. Fée
/ witch of sorts:http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Dilwnimo0MI/SpE5pc4dSEI/AAAAAAAABlc/jczchmbzOy4/s1600-h/Pers_Katarin-LahmiaTwo.jpg
While the 5 Foundry 'female Revenant Elves' are already in 'quasi-18th C.' dress:http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Dilwnimo0MI/RtLO0yB9EUI/AAAAAAAAAEc/qJ1yRXYG3gI/s1600-h/wives2.jpg
The witch in 'Sleepy Hollow'
does not look as a witch at all. Indeed it would be too easy for the witchfinders / witch hunters (and so beneficial to 'non-witch' people!) if the witches were compulsorily ugly crones in Disney regulations official witch uniform! Then I understand that gaming minis have to display their 'nature', hence that the most distinguishing, essential, features have to be emphasized (re Tin Man Princess Delia:
Yet no need to overdo it: why witch hunters figurines have to be dressed as Solomon Kane even in a medieval (D&D) or Early Renaissance (Mordheim) setting? For 'rococo' witches 'medium terms' are available, such as Reaper so called 'Steampunk' witch http://www.reapermini.com/figurefinder#detail/50236
(though I'd prefer her with a tricorne).
(Soda Pop Fiametta is comely but probably 'too much' for 'serious' players -even given a tricorne:
Just for the fun: http://www.rapierminiatures.co.uk/page/Range/28mm_Fantasy.html
Relevant (?) movies: 'Mark of the Devil
and its sequel:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHZhNTwt-dY
Nobody expects the Austrian Inquisition (add a Traleton 'caterpillar' to C.H's 'Bleriot crosses the Channel, 1909' helmet to make him 18th C.-compatible 'militant clergy')
And -at least for Barbara Steele:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk3GhToRc44http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTC2vRfyVJY