|John William Waterhouse - Magic Circle|
I saw this on the course announcments page. I didn't know what it was, so I followed the link and read about it. This feast commemorates the canonization of Saint Walpurga and the movement of her relics to Eichstätt, both of which occurred on 1 May 870
The festival above celebrates an end of witchcraft. Saint Walpurga was hailed by the Christians of Germany for battling "pest, rabies and whooping cough, as well as against witchcraft." I was curious what constitutes as witchcraft so I followed the link and read it up. This lead me to the etymology of the word "witch"
The word witch derives from the Old English nouns wicca [ˈwittʃɑ] ('sorcerer, male witch, warlock') and wicce [ˈwittʃe] ('sorceress, female witch'). The word's further origins in Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-European are unclear.
This painting is lovely. It was on every page regarding witches and witchcraft, so I became curious. Waterhouse made like five different versions of this painting. I would love to have a print of it