Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The True Sorcerer by Victoria Craven

When we think of sorcery we always think of Merlin, the conjurer of magic and wise sage to King Arthur. Not really a Halloween character but definitely noteworthy. But legends of sorcery are attributed to many things witchcraft is known for. They’re believed to raise the dead, place ghastly curses on people who offended them, and called the devil from hell.
Throughout history, men have claimed to wield the supernatural. The world will always have its wizards. Here are 5 suspicious characters:

The Sorcerer of Trois-Freres
The Sorcerer of Trois-Freres, France is one of the earliest depictions of sorcery in human history. He was a mix of man and animal, with human limbs, a pronounced penis, and an animal body with antlers. Obviously, a man drew that picture. Though scholarly debate surrounds his identity, the Sorcerer is believed to be either a shaman or a god who held sway over the people inhabiting his area.
Perhaps even more interesting than the Sorcerer himself are those who painted him. The cave is theorized to be a place of gathering, where rituals were performed to ensure a large bounty during hunts. The Sorcerer, if he was indeed a god, would have been a god of sorcery presiding over a coven of prehistoric wizards. If the Sorcerer represented an actual man, however, he could be likened to a prehistoric Merlin.
The Black Constable
Charleston, South Carolina has a long history of voodoo, and its deadliest voodoo sorcerer was named John Domingo. He wore a silver ring in the shape of a serpent that he claimed could raise the dead. This supposed necromancer used his undead to enforce his own brand of law, earning him the nickname “Black Constable.” It was said that sailors would buy wind from him to ensure a safe journey. He could also create storms their way if he felt offended. Despite his unrivaled clout, legend says that he met a sudden and mysterious end.
He had just apprehended two suspected robbers. Dragging them through the street, one in each hand, he compared himself to Jesus with a thief on either side. Except, thought Domingo, he himself was more powerful. According to the story, he then felt invisible fingers draw him up on his toes, choking the life out of him. Legends say his ghost can still be seen walking the streets.

St. Cyprian

Legend says that St. Cyprian was a magician of Antioch in league with the devil. At the request of an amorous young man, he conjured a demon to arouse the maiden Justina so that the youth could seduce her. Justina recognized the attack on her sanctity and defeated the demon by making the sign of the cross.
His magic thwarted, Cyprian summoned the devil himself to tempt the maiden, but he was defeated in same manner. Disgusted that Satan could be beaten by a mere maiden Cyprian cast off his sorcery and converted to Christianity. In time, he became the bishop of Antioch and was martyred for his faith.
The Magician of Marblehead
The Magician of Marblehead was resident of Little Harbor, Marblehead in Massachusetts; Edward “John” Dimond was feared as an alternately benevolent and malevolent sorcerer.
Darker legends say that he was a necromancer who dug up graves for his diabolical arts. According to stories, Dimond would go to the local cemetery during storms and cry into the wind, hailing distant ships at sea. When in a benevolent mood, his voice could be heard by captains thundering above storms, telling them the right course. Other times, when a captain offended him, Dimond, would curse them and send storms to capsize their ships.

Michael Scot
Michael Scot was one of the most influential European intellectuals of the 13th century. Unfortunately for him, history remembers him as not a scholar but a sorcerer.
Scot had a fascination with the occult and treated it with just as much enthusiasm as more orthodox subjects. In Scot’s time, any European with Middle Eastern learning would have been respected and even feared. But Scot also took to dressing in an Arab gown, fueling the belief that he was indeed a sorcerer. Sound like anyone you know? I’ll give you a hint. Think King Arthur.

After his death, other feats were attributed to him, such as changing the course of the river Tweed, drawing rope from sand, and even cleaving the Eildon Hills of Scotland into three separate cones. His reputation earned him a spot in Dante’s Inferno, where he was punished eternally in the level of hell reserved for wizards.

Of course these are not creatures so to speak but they certainly dealt with demons, the undead and the Devil himself.

Who knew Merlin would have such malevolent counter parts?


Diane Burton said...

Very interesting post, Victoria. So many sorcerers. I had no idea.

CJ Burright said...

Love your post, Victoria! Especially the irony of St. Cyprian. :)

Maureen said...

Love the post, especially "Obviously a man drew that picture." LOL!

Elizabeth Fortin said...

Great post, Vicki! I love magic casters. LOL! Maureen, I was laughing at that same line!