Friday, September 11, 2020

The Cunning Woman & Agnes Waterhouse.

Looking into the world from Beyond the Veil and the folklore that surrounds it.
Part 2. 

To my dearest friends and followers,

If you missed last week's post, I highly recommend you check it out here. For the next 8 weeks, I will be analyzing certain aspects of my book, The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1), and talking about some of the folklore that surrounds it.

I'd like to begin where I left off last week. I mentioned having talked with people who were a great help to me when writing the 4th chapter of the book, in which I write about the first interactions between Hollyhocks and Edith, fairy and human. I would like to point out that I was told a human had to be "good" in order for a fairy to visit them. In the 5th chapter, I interpreted that three different ways, showing kindness towards others, caring for the earth, and having a "pure heart", which is shown by how easily she is trusted by animals.

The 7th chapter is where the reader is first introduced to Anlon, the mysterious Unicorn who resides in the Forest. Little is known about him or his Wild Herd, but he appears throughout the story as a protecter/guardian. He is extremely old, and noted for having eyes that did not seem to be the eyes of a mere animal, but "more like that of a man or some ancient creature, for his eyes were filled with age and wisdom and understanding".
Also, there is a cold wind that follows Hollyhocks around. It is ominous and the source is unknown, as the wind does not seem to have an affect on the leaves as it blows through them. This again is something that was very intentional on my part. It might go unnoticed by most readers, but it does serve the purpose of symbolizing the darkness that always loomed in the world, and even more recent, in the Forest. More of the history of the Forest is talked about later on in the book.

In chapter 8, we see a woman named Agnes who is a witch of sorts (though she prefers to be called a "cunning woman"). I named this character after Agnes Waterhouse (1503-1566). Historically, she was the first woman in England accused of and executed for witchcraft. Most of the women who were in such positions were not actually witches, so it is unknown if the real Agnes was one of these women or not. Either way, my book is set in 1483, so the character I wrote about would have likely been deceased by the time the real Agnes was sentenced to death.
The reader gets to see the dwelling place of the character Agnes, and it is noted that there is a single black crow on the roof of her house. Often, crows were thought to be magical "spirit animals". However, a single crow was often seen as a bad omen. It meant death was sure to come. The symbolism behind the crow in the story is meant to foreshadow events later on.

Later in the chapter, we see an Angel Coin, depicting the Archangel, Michael, and the Serpent, or "dragon", as the devil is often depicted as a serpent in the Bible. The coin which I wrote about is a real coin. They were made by Edward IV and were, for some reason unbeknownst to me, believed to have magical properties. As Agnes states in the story, it represents the good and evil in the world, and also foreshadows the journey Hollyhocks is about to take.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,

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