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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Supernatural Sunday

     all's fair in vanities war FINALhighres.jpeg



Elizabeth Marxx

When you imagine druid, you imagine someone resembling the man above. Locke Cavanagh is descended from this old gentleman, even though Locke looks nothing like the old wise man depicted here. The one thing they do share in common besides their ancient DNA is their workrooms. Locke’s inner sanctum is not very different from his predecessors, even though a millennium separates them.

Locke Cavanagh’s is located in the barn behind his house in Salem. His Sanctum Sanctorum contains his library of arcane knowledge, his temple, a magical museum, and a worktable.

Locke’s barn is original to the property and dates back to the late 1780’s. The barn has a waist-high stone foundation with raised timbered walls above, and it’s crowned with a slate roof. It has several entrances, a regular door nestled under the eaves, a double barn-door that slides on a track and a loft door for the second story hay loft, which Locke converted into a bedroom. The interior has limestone floors; the center of the stone floor has a laminated wood, checkerboard-floor, where life-size chess pieces stand like statues waiting to be moved by feats of magic.

All druids worth an ounce of salt have a library of the arcane that houses books on magic, science and nature, history, myths and legends, art books, reference materials and maps. Even though the druids don’t record their own histories in bound volumes, they do collect the knowledge of other ancient wise people. These volumes range in a myriad of magical subjects from the Persian Magi, to the arcane wisdom of African shamans, to the mysticism of the ancient Egyptians.

Locke’s temple or altar, houses his serpent’s egg which is used for divination, his athame (knife) and chalice used for rituals and depictions of the male and female gods: Abundia the goddess of abundance and a bronze statue of Cernunnos the god of fertility. Candles, a censure for burning incense, bowls of salt, a crystal bowl for water, and gong are all items used to represent the earth and elements. Any magical amulets and talismans would also be kept here for protection. If one possessed, let’s say, a magical mirror, it too would find protection when placed on the altar.

A druid learns many lessons from his environment and his desire for learning and improvement never ceases, making a magical museum essential. A cabinet of curiosities holds precious items like seeds, flowers, fossils, rocks and crystals, models or dioramas for further study. Globes, sundials, and contraptions like timepieces, water clocks, and sundials are used for plotting the motion of the heavenly bodies and estimating the best times to take action or create spells. A menagerie containing both a terrarium with local plant life, insects and small animals, and an aquarium planted with natural water plants and filled with local pond water and fish help keep the druid grounded in his local surroundings.

A druids’ worktable houses items for creating compounds that work in conjunction with spells and incantations. It’s not much different than a modern chemistry lab set-up. An athenos is a small furnace used for melting and combining metals and other substances similar to a Bunsen burner. An alembic is used for distilling the essence of liquids used for the same thing as an evaporating dish and lab burner. Pieces of quartz, a mortar and pestle, a whetstone and knife, bottles and cloth sacks for herbs and spices are scattered around the surface. Locke doesn’t keep any freshly ground unicorn horn around but he does have eye of newt. These folklore items rest alongside beakers, Erlenmeyer flasks and safety glasses at the table. Some of the more traditional items on a druids’ worktable are crystal balls for divination, which should only be used sparingly, hour candles, and a polished skull which serves to startle visitors and makes an excellent paper weight. A large black cauldron rests in the middle of the table and is handy for stirring all sorts of spells or for storing paint thinner. Don’t tell Locke this is what Keleigh used it for while he was away or he might blow a gasket, nah, he’ll just make sure Humphrey scours it. What druid doesn’t have a little minion to do all the dirty work?

If you think because you have ExtraOrdinary skills you don’t have to work at them, your wrong. Just like any other talent inherited from your parents, the more effort you invest in enhancing the ability, the better master of it you will become. Most ExtraOrdinaries believe their magical aptitudes are a gift and choose to use them wisely and for good purposes, but beware those who use them for the sole purpose of expanding their personal power, for they pay a steep price. Remember what happened to Ciara, a fiery death isn’t fun. Just ask the Seer.

For those interested in how Locke differs from the old looking druid above, here’s a glimpse of what a modern druid looks like. Be still your beating hearts. . . All this and magic too!



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