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A group of Anglican witches stationed on the Coven Compass.

A Witch (魔女 Majou?) is a term used to describe certain magic users, usually female, who have been active and often persecuted throughout history.

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Marie Spearhead, an Anglican witch with the associated pointed, wide-brimmed hat and a broomstick (and a black cat decoration).

Existing since ancient times, witches are often described as priestesses of the night, said to dwell in woods and forests.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

There are a number of traits which are commonly associated with witches, including the brewing of potions, flying on broomsticks,[7][8][9][10][11][3][5] and possessing familiars such as black cats.[12][13][14] One distinct item of clothing often associated with witches, besides a cloak, is a tall, pointed hat with a wide brim (although hats of a similar nature have been worn by other non-witch magicians, including Othinus or Odin, whose association with it predates those of the witches).[15][16][13][17] They are often associated with the night and the moon.[12][15][16][1][2][18][6]

A group of witches might be described as a coven (カヴン Kavun?).[7][19] Purported gatherings of witches in the night have been referred to as a sabbath (or sabbat (サバト Sabato?), particularly in modern Wicca).[18]

It has been noted that contrary to fictional depictions (such as Magical Powered Kanamin), witches tend not to use wands, apparently because like staffs or clubs, they are symbols of patriarchal power.[10] Although witches are generally female, they are apparently some male witches.[20]

There are certain traditions and beliefs that have been carried by witches or held concerning them in the past. An example would be the belief of the devil residing in women's hair.[9] Some of this is the result of misinformation spread by the church to slander them and justify its actions,[21][7][22] such as the falsehood of them cooking unbaptized babies in unnatural rituals for their magic or something along those lines.[7] Contrary to stories of wicked witches, witches typically don't use live ingredients for their potions.[7][23] There is also the alleged weakness of wicked women to holy water.[5]

Witches are part of the cause why the anti-magical culture of England has developed unnaturally and thus the reason why Necessarius was created.[21] From their persecution, it could be inferred that some of their magic practices defy the teachings of the church, although they differ from misconceptions,[7] as well as slander spread by the church in the past.[21][7][22] They have been the subject of investigations and purges by both the church and common people, referred to as witch hunts (魔女狩り Majogari?) (the term later coming to be metaphorically used for cases of mass hysteria and investigations into alleged subversion).[24][25][4][14][26] Although the large-scale witch hunts declined due to criticism,[23][26] there are still cases of persecution in the present day and for some, the witch hunts have never truly ended.[14][26]

Wicked witches are also often featured as the villains of fairy tales.[23][4] Although witches in general are not as ubiquitously villainous as those stories or the church might have people believe, they are fully capable of maliciousness, selfishness or mischievousness.[27][28]

There are goddesses within past mythologies who have been associated with witches, their attributes and magic, including Hecate, Isis, the Morrígan and Freyja, some of which fall into the three-faceted archetype of the triple goddess.[6]

Magic

Much of witchcraft is based on the use of natural chemicals, with potions and ointments created from plant and mineral extracts. The ingredients of a witch's potion (魔女の薬 Majou no Kusuri?) are not necessarily obscure and at times fairly mundane.[3][5] The use of medicinal herbs and other plants in their craft has given witches considerable expertise in the field, with it also being noted that they were able to figure out fermentation and decomposition on their own.[29]

Witchcraft based on natural potions has been noted to be capable of various feats including healing, divination, cursing, flight etc.[3][5] A common job for witches has been noted to be controlling nature to help crop growth, with repelling insects being part of it.[11][3] An ointment derived from bear grease has been noted to be used for insulating skin from cold.[11]

Aside from ointments, there are spells for divination involving fire and water, and wind spells using rope knots. Witches also have their own variant of the curse involving piercing a wax doll with some blood, a fingernail or another part of their target mixed in.[11]

Another common trait associated with witches alongside the brewing of potions is the use of broomsticks to fly. The former is actually responsible for the latter, as a magic potion is applied to the broom in order to grant it the power of flight, and the same ointment can also be applied to other tools or the body to endow the same effect.[7][10] As with most forms of magical flight in the present day, they are susceptible to common anti-flight spells,[7][5] so witches in the present have often been shown to fly low when using them to mitigate the danger from a fall should they be brought down.[7][27]

Besides broomsticks and magic potions for flight typical of witches,[7][8][9][7][8] the unit of Anglican witches stationed on the Mobile Fortress Coven Compass possessed spiritual items that allow them to communicate via thought at high speed, spells that have a fire-like light at the tip of their broomsticks shoot a ray of light, and an ocean control spell.[7] How much of this, as well as the Coven Compass itself (which possessed countermeasures against anti-flight spells, a large-scale flash spell, and long-range bombardment),[7][30][31] is based on witchcraft is not known.

Wicca

Wicca (実践魔女ウィッカ Jissen Majo (Uikka)?) is a system of witchcraft which emerged in the 20th century. It was officially announced in 1954, its texts created by Gerald Gardner, a magical researcher who was said to have dug up pieces of an ancient mythology or religion predating Christianity which ancient witches were said to be priestesses of, from before it was twisted by Christianity, and carefully reproduced the texts from before witches were considered villains, releasing his own collection of self-taught knowledge, doubling as a report on the 'truth' of witches.[4] However, skeptics and others have pointed out that Gardner had a few biases when creating a supposedly 'perfect reproduction' of ancient witches, such as the inclusion of inauthentic sexual ceremonies.[4] It has also been claimed that though witchcraft, its spells, not based on a specific mythology or religion like Greek or Celtic, are something newer, more like superstition, created new by mixing bits of thoroughly Christianized culture instead of digging up ancient techniques.[3]

Transcendent Aradia, goddess of witches

Central to Wicca is Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches (アラディア、あるいは魔女の福音 Aradia, Aruiwa Majo no Fukuin?).[3][4] According to this famous witchcraft grimoire, all witches' sabbaths are used to worship the goddess Aradia, the supposed daughter of Diana and Lucifer, the goddess of all witches, who supposedly took a physical body and descended to the human world to save the poor from the rich, with rituals meant to teach people how to resist oppression from the wealthy and the church.[1] The book is presented as a report on the legend, supposedly conveyed to the author by an Italian witch, however as no mythology has a goddess of that name and given the supposed lineage given in the story,[4] many considered likely that the witch made it up on the spot to match what the author wanted to hear (though a Transcendent bearing the name and role does exist),[3][4] though Gardner believed it and incorporated the legend of Aradia into Wicca's spells at such a deep level that they could not be removed.[4] In that sense, Aradia is the goddess of all witches - those who practice Wicca can be said to be receiving the blessing of Aradia-born theories and using her techniques.[18][19][4]

Wicca has a number of taboos and rules which its modern witches (reproductions of a later era rather than the originals) are bound by,[32][4] the most prominent being the Rule of Three (三倍の法則 Sanbai no Hōsoku?) which states that the effects of any magic used by a witch, for a good deed or a bad one, would be returned to them threefold (e.g. if one uses magic to steal money, they would lose thrice as much, and if they use magic to kill, they would receive a wound thrice as lethal).[32][18][4] These witches are given a stack of blank paper when they start down their path and write down the knowledge they obtain in it until their death, creating their personal grimoire (though it would be highly unusual for one to reach the level of an original-class grimoire), called the Book of Shadows (影の書 Kage no Sho?). By following the instructions in the Book of Shadows written by each witch, one can use their magic, that of Aradia.[18][4]

Another deity figure within Wicca is the Triple Goddess.[6]

Background

This section requires expansion
Historical persecution, misinformation, witch hunts

Witches have existed since ancient times, with some tracing the roots to religions and mythologies of the time (including the Celtic, Greek, Roman and Norse) which eventually declined.[33]

After the rise of Christianity, witches came to be persecuted by the church, who also spread misinformation to slander them and justify its actions.[21][7][22] Particularly during the early modern period, they were targeted in large-scale investigations and purges, known as the witch hunts, with thousands of witches and innocents alike being killed, many subjected to torture to draw out confessions before being executed. One victim but notable exception was the immortal Fräulein Kreutune.[24][25] The witch hunts eventually declined due to criticism,[23] though instances of persecution have occured in the present day.[14][26]

At the time of the Golden Dawn, there were old witch lodges around who felt their place in the world had been taken by the cabal.[34] There were also other magicians at the time, whom people like Mathers looked down on, considering them self-styled intellectuals that used witch's rituals as an excuse for sex and drugs.[35]

In 1940,[11] during World War II,[36][11] a group of British witches conducted a ceremony aimed at cursing Germany in an attempt to delay the Third Reich's invasion and protect their homeland,[36][11][4] apparently involving dancing nude throughout the night in a freezing forest,[36][11] using an ointment made from bear grease in an attempt to protect their bodies from the cold,[11] though some witches froze to death along with an old woman who had volunteered to be the sacrifice.[36][11]

In 1954, magical researcher Gerald Gardner released information based on his studies of ancient witches and reproductions of their practices which would form the basis of a modern system of witchcraft known as Wicca.[4] A central part of this system was the legend of the witch goddess Aradia, as recorded in a grimoire near the end of the 19th century.[1][3] Although the legend, supposedly conveyed to the author by an Italian witch, was considered somewhat dubious,[3][4] a Transcendent witch known as Aradia exists, who would work to protect all witches even in modern times.[1][3][14][26]

In the present day, there are numerous witches working with the Anglican Church and Necessarius.[7][37][27]

Chronology

Toaru Majutsu no Index

Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Miracle of Endymion

Main article: Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Miracle of Endymion

Marie Spearhead, with Mallybath Blackball and Jane Elves, monitor Arisa.

Witches Marie Spearhead, Mallybath Blackball, and Jane Elves, under the command of Stiyl Magnus, go on a mission to retrieve Meigo Arisa and does battle against Shutaura Sequenzia and her Black Crow Unit. By the climax of the movie, they align themselves with Kamijou Touma's intentions and help prevent the Endymion space elevator from crashing down to earth by releasing its explosive bolts. They later hear the Miracle of Endymion caused by the singing of Arisa and Shutaura as they merge back together. Stiyl carries all three witches as the elevator begins moving.[37][38]

They later visit and scold Stiyl for the danger he puts himself in as he recovers back in England.[37]

British Royal Family Arc

Main article: British Royal Family Arc

The witches preparing to fire on the knights.

A unit of Anglican witches stationed on the Mobile Fortress Coven Compass were one of the groups in the United Kingdom that remained loyal to the government during Carissa's coup d'état attempt. In the ensuing Battle of Islay, they quickly dispatched 100 witches to repel the Knights of England sent to attack the fortress.[7]

After fighting off the knights, Kanzaki Kaori mentioned on how Necessarius contacted the Coven Compass, requesting the witches' assistance in weakening the Curtana Original.[39] The witches complied and after the joint operation, Carissa lost half of the power that the Curtana gave her and the Knights of England pretty much lost their Telesma boost.[30]

Not long after damaging the Curtana's power, the witches used the Coven Compass to launch a remote attack on the Buckingham Palace, authorized and made with the consent of third princess Villian, from just outside the UK's national boundaries.[31] The target was at 500 kilometers and the actual estimated "effective" range of the Coven Compass was of approximately 330 km; yet regardless of that difference the attack was successful. The attack was meant to provide enough distraction, as to hamper Carissa's possibilities of doing an open counterattack on the rebel forces that would try to sneak into the palace.[40]

Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index

Coronzon Arc

Main article: Coronzon Arc

During the invasion of the United Kingdom by the Crowley's Hazards, witches were among the groups stationed on the frontline, attempting to stop the enemies crossing the Strait of Dover from landing.[27] There were also witch-like figures among the Crowley's Hazards themselves,[41][42] including Aleister Crowley's primary vessel (with Aleister having previously considered Hecate and Aradia when first inspecting it before guessing the images was based on Babalon).[41]

Two other figures of note in these events were the reproductions of the deceased Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Mina Mathers, magicians of the Golden Dawn, both of whom noted to possess something commonly ascribed to witches though not in the strictest sense - the former having the pointed, wide-brimmed hat, and the latter's association with black cats and the epithet of the Black Cat Witch.[12][15][16][13][43]

Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index

Christmas Day Arc

Main article: Christmas Day Arc

During the battle on Christmas Day, St. Germain referred to witches among the groups who had set Anna Sprengel as their goal in the past, along with the Golden Dawn and the Theosophists.[44]

Los Angeles Arc

Main article: Los Angeles Arc

Following the events in Los Angeles on December 26th, Anna Sprengel spoke with Aradia, whose name was noted as that of the goddess from a famous witchcraft grimoire and described as a witch of the moon and light.[1]

Post-Handcuffs Arc

Main article: Post-Handcuffs Arc

During Anna Sprengel's introduction to the Bridge Builders Cabal and a tour of their base, mention of the Bible and the cross prompted dismissive remarks from Aradia in relation to the ancient priestesses of the night, some of which Anna put down to her acting as what was required of her role as an advocate of witches.[2]

New Year's Eve Arc

Main article: New Year's Eve Arc

On December 31st, Aradia made extensive use of the Rule of Three, Wiccan magic and other witchcraft during her attempt to kill Kamijou Touma in Shibuya, in the name of resolving the situation surrounding Alice Anotherbible and achieving her goal of saving witches. In the latter part of the day, Aradia's manipulation and proselytizing had converted many people in Shibuya into a new coven of witches, who as well as going after her target were pitted against others induced into a witch hunt by the Bologna Succubus.[45]

Known Witches

Trivia

  • It should be noted that there are some individuals who are referred to as witches due to possessing a number of the associated qualities (such as the stereotypical witch's hat, flying broomsticks, an association with black cats, alleged maliciousness etc), but who don't necessarily meet all of the criteria for the term to apply in the technical sense.[12][15][16][13][43]
  • The term is used in the title Sakibasu Yuri's card game, Witch & Psychic,[46] which parallels the Toaru series use of magic and science, magicians and espers, with witch representing the former.

External Links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 04 Epilogue
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 05 Prologue
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 3 Part 2
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 3 Part 5
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 4 Part 3
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 4 Part 5
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 17 Chapter 4 Part 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 3 Part 9
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Epilogue
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 2 Part 1
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 2 Part 3
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 21
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Between the Lines 2
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 19
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 20
  17. Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Epilogue
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 3 Part 3
  19. 19.0 19.1 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 3 Part 4
  20. Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Agnese's Magic Side Work Experience Chapter 2 Part 6
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 01 Chapter 2 Part 2
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Agnese's Magic Side Work Experience Chapter 2 Part 9
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Between the Lines 1
  24. 24.0 24.1 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 05 Chapter 2 Part 3
  25. 25.0 25.1 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Between the Lines 5
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 4 Part 4
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 20 Chapter 1 Part 1
  28. Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 2 Part 6
  29. Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 2 Part 5
  30. 30.0 30.1 Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 6 Part 9
  31. 31.0 31.1 Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 7 Part 2
  32. 32.0 32.1 Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06 Chapter 2 Part 4
  33. Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Agnese's Magic Side Work Experience Chapter 5 Part 4
  34. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 3 Part 13
  35. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 3 Part 4
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 Toaru Majutsu no Index SS: Agnese's Magic Side Work Experience Chapter 2 Part 8
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Miracle of Endymion
  38. Dengeki PlayStation Interview with Kamachi Kazuma
  39. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 6 Part 3
  40. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 18 Chapter 7 Part 3
  41. 41.0 41.1 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 19 Prologue
  42. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 20 Prologue
  43. 43.0 43.1 Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 22
  44. Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 02 Chapter 4 Part 3
  45. Souyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 06
  46. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS3 Chapter 6 Part 9

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