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Painting = Magic!

I was just reading this interesting blog about possible origins of the place name Teversham, and came across this quote from Eilert Ekwall:

Old English tīefran ['to paint'] corresponds to German zauburn, Dutch tooveren 'to practice sorcery', and Old English tēafor 'red pigment' to Old High German zoubar, Old Frisian tāver, Old Norse taufr, 'sorcery'.

I had come across the idea that pagan Saxon magic involved singing before, but this was the first time I'd come across the idea of sorcerous Saxon painting.  

I was reminded of the magical painting in Over Sea, Under Stone: "He has painted his spells!"    Now I want to use this idea in a story.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
marycatelli
17th Apr, 2016 16:59 (UTC)
Well, we know they did runes. Probably painting them on was easier than carving.
wellinghall
17th Apr, 2016 17:24 (UTC)
That is interesting - thank you.
anna_wing
18th Apr, 2016 02:20 (UTC)
Like Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs! Or in eastern Myanmar and Thailand, where magic squares and amuletic drawings are drawn on cloth or paper to be hung up or carried around with you.

Painting does make sense. If you have to whitewash your house every year you might as well add the appropriate apotropaic symbols at the same time.
king_pellinor
18th Apr, 2016 18:24 (UTC)
I really like the weaving magic in The Spellcoats, which is part weaving, part pictures, part storytelling. You say you want to happen, you do something to implement it, and you have a depiction of it having happened. Three sorts of magic in one :-)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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