Psychics, Witches, and Cadavers

Rice_LessonsinEnchantment_600x900My Malcolm and Ives characters tend to be creatures of their time, even though the Ives are aristocracy and the Malcolms are often eccentric psychics. I can finally use that term in the Victorian Age!! The term first came along in 1871 from the Greek psykhikos “Of the soul, spirit, or mind.” And because we’re on this subject instead of the history I started out to tell—King James I is responsible for psychics being called witches. For your edification—in Samuel 28 in Hebrew, Saul goes to a “woman with a divining spirit”—the derivation would be the same Greek above. This psychic contacts the spirit of Samuel. But the King James translation we all know and sometimes love translated the word from the original Hebrew as “Witch” from idolater, medium, sorcerer, and ghost whisperer. Similar words, different meanings. So in Hebrew, the woman is a psychic, and in English, she became a witch. (I love that Hebrew has a word for ghost whisperer!!!!) I know I’ll find a way to insert this in my books, but you heard it here first. (Lessons in Enchantment pre-order link)

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18th_century_dowserPat here:

Really, just following Wikipedia links could consume a whole day, even when I’m researching something that doesn’t exist! In my Work-in-Process, a walking stick suddenly became a dowsing rod. Don’t ask—my Muse is unpredictable, and I don’t question what she flings on the page. But I do need a hint of credibility, so I looked up dowsing rods, as one does.

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