The Role of the Wizard

The label Wizard came into being with the rise of Christianity. Long before, the Druids were the educated class of the Celts that provided the doctors, lawyers, scientists, advisors, diviners, story tellers, and poets of this civilization. The King might be brave and charismatic warrior, but to find the brains to rule, he would include the Druids.

With the take over of Christianity, the Druids blended into the new culture as monks, scholars and story tellers. Those who continued as diviners, scientists or advisors became known as Wizards, to bury the Druid name.
Examples of Wizards in our popular culture are Yoda and the Jeddi Knights in Star Wars, Albus Dumbleldore and the other faculty at Hogwartz School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Harry Potter and Merlin in the legends of King Arthur. Examples of medieval wizards are Frances Bacon, Paraclesus and Cornelius Agrippa. Examples of modern day wizards are Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. Wizard is also a label for a water location service, a software tool, or a computer specialist.

Women were in prominent positions among the Druids. This was a striking contrast to the Romans, Greeks and worlds of the desert people.

However, in the Middle Ages, wizards are here seen to be male and thus received better press than witches who are assumed to be female and ignorant country folk. Both perceptions are false, but they go along way in feeding the stereotypes of both groups.

In older times, a Wizard wore a conical hat with no brim and decorated it with moons and stars. This is the classical fashion, and the "Dunce Cap" is a mocking evolution of this. In contrast, Witches wear pointed hats with brims. In modern fashion, since Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, Wizards, too, wear pointed hats with brims, especially when they are outside traveling and desire protection from the weather.

A Wizard uses powers of observation and deals with forces mysterious and/or unsavory to others in order to produce results. The key word here is "observation." A wizard is highly educated and might specialize in alchemy, mathematics, astrology, obscure knowledge, dark spirits, or in foreseeing the future.

They apply themselves over hot crucibles, pouring over scrolls, tomes, tablets, and tracts. They bend things to their will.

Wizards are not fond of working with their hands, but will fabricate magical objects if no apprentice is available. Wizards are not into healing. That is a province of the Witches. Witches are gifted with herbs, animals, and divining with tools. Wizards can foretell without apparatus, either by closing their eyes or by looking at the horizon.

Wizards tend to be solitary by choice. In contrast, Witches are said to prefer to gather in groups for instruction, social life, and magickal workings. Wizards may belong to Councils, but they are not gregarious or sociable. A Wizard may take on a few apprentices to do menial tasks in exchange for training. Wizards do not suffer well incompetence or stupidity in others.

Wizards appear when least expected, are always in a hurry, and don't stay long. When traveling, they are often disguised in a cloak. A Wizard will use a staff with some sort of forked tip but never ride a broom.

Wizards may be fond of holding appointments such as "Royal Wizard in the Court of the King," but if they remain in residence, they will require a small private tower near the postern gate. They will mingle infrequently with the court. A Wizard's employer will benefit from such divinations, prognostications, and fireworks as will leave the Wizard free to wander far distances on his own pursuits much of the time.

Wizards prefer standing to sitting and pacing to standing. Wizards can, with perfect etiquette, demand a service from you in return for the one you ask of them, and you must perform yours first. Wizards fear few things and are equal to most of them. A Wizard can be corrupted by the forces she or he wields. Such a Wizard begins to believe that she is better equipped to run the world than anyone else. The very elements that she once controlled will then turn against her. Her stature will diminish until she becomes a lesser being.

Our model for Wizard may have evolved from the Celtic Druids, but the role performed is timeless. We can recognize them in any culture. Take a second look at Condoleeza Rice or Hilary Clinton. And by the way, can a Wizard also be a Witch? Of course! It's just a matter of definition, or shall we say, shape shifting?

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