Sunday, September 24, 2006

Any Witch Way - Part 1

This week we begin a multi-week look at a painting from the Sinister 11, The Witch of Walpurgus.

This painting features a woman in a cave holding a cat with many magical items around her. Many people have speculated about some of these items, the one that comes to mind most is the large yellow disk in the corner with words written on it. What is it? What could it be?

Dan Olson from the Message board was very helpful with some of the symbolism in this painting. He pointed me to a book entitled Illustrated Anthology of Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy by Emile Grillot De Givry. He wrote a book decades ago about various aspects of the magical. Many of the pages in this book show various items that were placed into the Witch Painting (which will be future blog posts).

This disk in the corner is known as the Pentacle for Conjuring Infernal Spirits.

Yes, it would appear that perhaps this book was in the WDI Library or perhaps in the private collection of Marc Davis at the time he was researching for this painting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Clavicule de Salomon" ("Key of Solomon") was the most famous medieval grimoire, or magical manual. Some of its material goes back to the first few centuries AD, but every copy is different. Really, it's almost like a scrapbook more than a fixed text, with recipes coming and going as it was copied and transmitted through the centuries.

The words in this magical circle are various names of God in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, most of which are barbarous, badly inaccurate transliterations, since the magicians were pretty ignorant and obviously did not know Greek or Hebrew. Even their Latin was poor.

There are zillions of magic circles like this in magical literature. Davis picked a pretty humdrum example, but he had a good eye and good sense since it would have to be pretty plain and simple in order to be "read" at all in the corner of a painting passed by quickly in the dark!

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! Lurker for a few weeks here. LOOVE the mansion; not as well versed as I could be. Help me out here if you may and tell me about this Sinister 11 and where they are in the mansion. Gracias!

12:11 PM  
Blogger Ghost Relations Dept. said...

The Sinister 11 is a gallery of 11 portraits whose eyes follow you as you pass. The Sinister 11 is only see at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland Haunted Mansions.

12:21 PM  

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