The difference between a Sorcerer and a Mage

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Rick Cook

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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Jokester wrote:
> what are the actual
>difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and >Witches?

Well, sourcerers are the ones who have access to the Source Code, so
they're very powerful. :-)


Seriously, the definitions are whatever you want them to be, basically. The
terms were not well differentiated historically.

--RC

John Moreno

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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Jokester <joke...@mail.geocities.com> wrote:

] Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
] anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual


] difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?

] Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you
] rang them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then
] becomes a Mage and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the
] corect way to deal with theese?

Well, you definitely left out warlock. As for the rest...there is no
standard ranking. Sometimes sourcerers are at the top and sometime
mages are. Magi (which is what I guess you meant by Magis) is a plural
(like viri or octopi) meaning magic users as a sub-species of humanity.
IOW a magi is a magi by birth, and the term doesn't depend on or refer
to actual power or sex.

--
John Moreno

Solomon

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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On Mon, 28 Apr 1997 20:55:44 -0700, Jokester
<joke...@mail.geocities.com> wrote:

>Rebecca wrote:


>>
>> Jokester wrote:
>> >
>> > Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
>> > anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
>> > difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?

>> > [snip]
>>
>> Seems to me as a reader that at least 4/5 of it is just not having to
>> use the same d*mn noun over and over and over.... In the "real" occult
>> world there are huge differences between all of the above in philosophy,
>> historical background, and practice. In the world of written fiction,
>> the differences are whatever the writer wants. It may be polite to
>> include, as some pagan-savvy authors do, a note to readers at the
>> beginning of your work explaining which words you are using in which
>> way, that this is fiction, and that in the real world you _do_ know the
>> difference and don't intend to defame anyone's religious beliefs and/or
>> hobbies. (Is this a form of political correctness?)
>
>Fact remains, I do NOT know the difference between the different nouns
>and I could not state that I do so if I don't, that could cause, well,
>problems. I there is anyone else out there who at least knows vaugely
>the difference, or could point me to were I could find out the main
>differences between them, please answer this thread...

Well, the difference are quite broad, really. It depends on your
perception, whether it be occult or writing, etc...
OK, occultist and historical differences...
Witches are followers of Wicca. A nature religion.
Magi are often not even "magical," but simply wise.
Sorcerors are more violent/powerful/warlike magic-users.
Mage is an all-purpose magic-user.
Magician is a general term for most magic-users.

You forgot Warlocks, which are maile witches, and wizards, which are
like mages.

In writing, it would be wise to eliminate magi altogether. Use wizard
or magician as a general term for any user of magic. Use Mages and
Sorcerors as the two main types of magic-users, sorcerors being more
into conjuring and invokation, while mages are more general, using
healing arts and divination. Witches and warlocks have a negative
connotation in today's world, so it may be useful to portray them that
way in your writing as well. They can be outcast magic-users or dark
magicians. Perhaps simply unguilded magicians.

Hope this helps.


Schrodinger's Cat is not in this novel all of the time.
---Robert Anton Wilson

sol

sol...@tiac.net

Kirby Krueger

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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In article <33660799.10443003@news>, Solomon <postm...@127.0.0.1> wrote:
>On Mon, 28 Apr 1997 20:55:44 -0700, Jokester
><joke...@mail.geocities.com> wrote:
>
>>Rebecca wrote:
>>>
>>> Jokester wrote:
>>> >
>>> > Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
>>> > anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
>>> > difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
>>> > [snip]
>
(General agreement with the sentiment that fiction writers mix and match
the terms at whim, and you should feel free to do so. However, if you
want some historical references, more power to you.)

>Well, the difference are quite broad, really. It depends on your
>perception, whether it be occult or writing, etc...
>OK, occultist and historical differences...
>Witches are followers of Wicca. A nature religion.
>Magi are often not even "magical," but simply wise.
>Sorcerors are more violent/powerful/warlike magic-users.
>Mage is an all-purpose magic-user.
>Magician is a general term for most magic-users.
>
>You forgot Warlocks, which are maile witches, and wizards, which are
>like mages.
>

Warlock is actually Scottish for 'oath-breaker'. Modern day male witches
are called 'witches', or 'wiccans', just like their female counterparts -
many take offense at the term Warlock.

>In writing, it would be wise to eliminate magi altogether. Use wizard
>or magician as a general term for any user of magic. Use Mages and
>Sorcerors as the two main types of magic-users, sorcerors being more
>into conjuring and invokation, while mages are more general, using
>healing arts and divination. Witches and warlocks have a negative
>connotation in today's world, so it may be useful to portray them that
>way in your writing as well. They can be outcast magic-users or dark
>magicians. Perhaps simply unguilded magicians.
>

I'd say the only real wisdom lies in consistency. If the words in your
world are all interchangable, fine - gives you a broader vocabulary. If
a Sorcerer does different things than a Shaman or a Wizard, that's fine
too. If you want to get insight into some real-life magical traditions,
there are some excellent resources available at any occult bookstore - a
web search will also turn up a lot of basic info, often with the purpose
of changing the public's image of pagans and witches and such.
Incorporating some of the ideas from these sources adds a lot of flavor
and depth (not to mention realism) to your world. (An excellent example
of this, incorporating realistic paganism into the background of a novel,
is Emma Bull's Bone Dance, which I give my highest recommendation.)

Personally, I'd steer clear of connotating witches with evil, as witches
are a real, thriving religion today that suffers from a severe image
problem. Perpetuating a prejudice that's not entirely irrelevant is a
rather nasty thing, and modern witches are no more evil than any other
religion, and quite possibly much less so on average. There is no animal
sacrifice, or devil worshipping, or any of that stuff that most people
believe. However, the witch of fantasy novels and childrens' stories is
a powerful icon, and if you feel that this is more important to utilize
for story purposes, go right ahead.

--
Kirby Krueger O- kir...@netcom.com
<*> "Most .sigs this small can't open their own jump gate."

Ross TenEyck

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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kir...@netcom.com (Kirby Krueger) writes:

> [snip]


>Personally, I'd steer clear of connotating witches with evil, as witches
>are a real, thriving religion today that suffers from a severe image
>problem.

> [snip]

The problem is, the term "witch" really has more than one meaning --
one is a follower of the Wiccan religion; and the other is a person,
typically female, who has bartered their soul to the Devil in exchange
for the power to work evil.

Wiccans, so far as I can judge, are mostly nice people, and certainly
no more likely to want to do evil than any other group of people; maybe
less so than some. And they do call themselves "witches," and they
have every right to do so. However, that does not mean that they can
arbitrarily decide that the other meaning of "witch" doesn't exist.

Confusing the issue is the fact that many people get "pagan" and
"devil worshipper" confused; and the fact that the Church, during its
less illustrious moments, was wont to accuse any "wise woman" of being
in league with the Devil. Nevertheless, there have been -- and probably
are -- people who genuinely believe that they had gained evil powers
from Satan; and the word "witch" applies to them with as much veracity
as it does to the Wiccans. A quick browse through the library will
probably turn up, in addition to books espousing Wiccan nature-style
magic, a few books replete with black candles and such, professing to
give spells to curse people, bend them to your will, or make them fall
hopelessly in love with you. The intent of these books is clearly, well,
not nice.

I believe C. S. Lewis once pointed out, in connection with the Biblical
passage about "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," that if you take
the word as the writers intended -- a person deliberately using their
powers to wreak harm on their neighbors -- then the passage kind of
makes sense; you *wouldn't* want to suffer such a person to live.

--
================== http://weber.u.washington.edu/~teneyck/ =================
Ross TenEyck Seattle WA | I saw a dragon in the shape of a kite, riding
ten...@u.washington.edu | the wind ribbon-wise to amuse the children;
Tsuki ni kawatte oshioki yo! | he winked at me from one golden eye.

Jokester

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
theese?


greatful for thy opinions

Joke/EwB

Jokester

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
to

Rebecca wrote:

>
> Jokester wrote:
> >
> > Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
> > anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
> > difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
> > [snip]
>
> Seems to me as a reader that at least 4/5 of it is just not having to
> use the same d*mn noun over and over and over.... In the "real" occult
> world there are huge differences between all of the above in philosophy,
> historical background, and practice. In the world of written fiction,
> the differences are whatever the writer wants. It may be polite to
> include, as some pagan-savvy authors do, a note to readers at the
> beginning of your work explaining which words you are using in which
> way, that this is fiction, and that in the real world you _do_ know the
> difference and don't intend to defame anyone's religious beliefs and/or
> hobbies. (Is this a form of political correctness?)

Fact remains, I do NOT know the difference between the different nouns
and I could not state that I do so if I don't, that could cause, well,
problems. I there is anyone else out there who at least knows vaugely
the difference, or could point me to were I could find out the main
differences between them, please answer this thread...

Jokester of Dst (EwB)

Daniel Pongratz

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
to

Phase wrote:

> Just for that I'll put the mark of the beast on you with hex n devils. :)

> God, that was just octal wasn't it?

It be nary a time you'd try that again.

--
Dan Pongratz <dp...@nis.lanl.gov> http://www.lanl.gov/Public/
NIS - 2 {505-665-0019} {MS D436}

Hold the mayo... but pass the cosmic awareness, please!

Rebecca

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
to

Jokester wrote:
>
> Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
> anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
> difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
> Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
> them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
> and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
> theese?
>
> greatful for thy opinions
>
> Joke/EwB

Seems to me as a reader that at least 4/5 of it is just not having to


use the same d*mn noun over and over and over.... In the "real" occult
world there are huge differences between all of the above in philosophy,
historical background, and practice. In the world of written fiction,
the differences are whatever the writer wants. It may be polite to
include, as some pagan-savvy authors do, a note to readers at the
beginning of your work explaining which words you are using in which
way, that this is fiction, and that in the real world you _do_ know the
difference and don't intend to defame anyone's religious beliefs and/or
hobbies. (Is this a form of political correctness?)

Rebecca (who tends to use mage and wizard interchangeably in her own
[yet] unpublished work, and blames B. Hambly for making this seem
legitimate to her)

--
Harvard Book Store
http://www.harvard.com

Staffan Johansson

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
to

Rick Cook wrote:

>
> Jokester wrote:
> > what are the actual
> >difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and >Witches?
>
> Well, sourcerers are the ones who have access to the Source Code, so
> they're very powerful. :-)

No no no. A Sourcerer is the eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth
son, a Wizard squared.
--
Staffan Johansson (d9...@efd.lth.se)
Do infants have as much fun in infancy as adults do in adultery?

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
to

> Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but

> anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual


> difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?

> Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
> them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
> and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
> theese?

One possible usage, but ONLY ONE POSSIBLE ONE:

Mage/Magician: Anybody who uses magic at all.
Magus: A master, a great one, a wise one.
Sorcerer: A worker of "evil" magic.
Witch: A worker of illicit or illegal magic, whether it is evil or not.

The above is based upon a somewhat "anthropological" interpretation.

The thing to remember is that these terms do not have ANY universally
accepted definitions, other than "has to do with magic".

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
to

> Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
> anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
> difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
> Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
> them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
> and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
> theese?

Something a little more thought out:


Mage/Magician/Magus: All three of these descend from the Persian "Magi",
which was a class of priest. By the time the word made it west, it had
been altered in meaning to be "Wonder-worker" or similar. "Magus" in much
modern occultism usage is restricted to the traditions of Ritual Magic,
especially those that claim to be "Hermetic", and of them, it is
restricted to only those of greatest ability. "Magic", thus, originall
meant "whatever it is those mysterious Magi guys do".

Magician: Originally, it appears to have been used to mean "anybody who
does magic". It generally is now associated greatly with "stage magic".

Mage: Popular among modern fantasy writers.

Sorcerer: As I said before, it is currently used sometimes to denote
somebody who does "evil" magic. However, it is not always the case. Some
anthropologists refer to anybody who claims to do magic as a sorcerer (if
the claimant actually believes that he or she is doing magic) or a
charlatan (if otherwise).

Witch: Descended from the Old English "Wic-". A woman would be a wicce,
and a man would be a wiccan. Pronunciation would be "wi-cheh" or
"wi-chan". The original word basically meant "magician". It is related
to the root for "wicker", which means "bent". In anthropological use, it
usually refers to somebody, anybody, who is blamed for the misfortune of a
group by means of supernatural abilities, regardless of whether or not the
scapegoat has actually "done" any magic.

Wizard (since it cropped up): From the Old English "wysard", which means
"wise one". Regardless of what some folks might claim, it is THIS root
that means "wise one", not the root for "witch". It is notable that this
word's original OE gender was neutral--thus, either a man or a woman could
be a "wysard". In OE usage, ANYBODY who was exceptionally skilled or
learned was a "wysard", not just in magical areas.

Phase

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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Jokester <joke...@mail.geocities.com> writes:
>Fact remains, I do NOT know the difference between the different nouns
>and I could not state that I do so if I don't, that could cause, well,
>problems. I there is anyone else out there who at least knows vaugely
>the difference, or could point me to were I could find out the main
>differences between them, please answer this thread...

Well, forgetting all the different possible sources for a moment,
you can look at the various connotations to the words. A Sorceror
is going to be near synonymous with a Wizard to most people, but
the word is going to make people think of dark magic, the invocation
of spirits and demons, etc. People not familiar with the fantasy
genre probably won't even know what a Mage is, though they'll quickly
associate it with Magi (wise men) or Magicians. People definately
won't know what clerical magic is, or an AD&D Cleric for that matter.

Other names that they will recognize include Enchantresses,
Illusionists, Witches, Warlocks, Conjurers, Witch-Doctors,
Medicine Men, Shamans, Prophets, Saints, Wise Men, Magi, and
Psychics. Each will invoke a different picture in the mind
of the reader. You can build off of these expectations,
rather than follow historical sources.

Some examples:

Some people will think of Enchantresses as Witches,
as they both beguile or bewitch people. The former
will more commonly be seen as possibly benign, alien,
beautiful, and mysterious, while the latter will be
associated with demonic forces, pacts with the devil,
etc. They will usually be thought of as being ugly
old hags.

Enchantresses will be associated with what AD&D players
think of as Illusionists, and not with the AD&D Enchanter.

Sorcerors will be likened to warlocks, and warlocks will
be thought of as male witches. Some people will lump
Witch Doctors, Shamans, and Medicine Men with witches
and warlocks, while others will associate them more with
benign or nature oriented spirits.

Needless to say, those associated with spirits and demons
are usually seen to get their powers from those spirits and
demons. Enchantresses are often seen as being supernatural
themselves however.

There is definately a lot of crossover here, and no real
answers to give you, unless you pick a specific historical
source (eg. celtic tradition) and stick with it.

If you create your own magic schemes and systems, apply
whatever names you would like. Terms like Wizards and
Mages are becomming generic and synonymous with magic-user.

--
PHASEFX @ VM.SC.EDU - http://www.cs.sc.edu/~jason-e

Phase

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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Staffan Johansson <d9...@efd.lth.se> writes:
>> Well, sourcerers are the ones who have access to the Source Code, so
>> they're very powerful. :-)
>
>No no no. A Sourcerer is the eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth
>son, a Wizard squared.

Just for that I'll put the mark of the beast on you with hex n devils. :)

God, that was just octal wasn't it?

666. Hexadecimals. Awful. Okay, you can boo and hiss me too. :)

Nicole M Bourgoin

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Apr 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/28/97
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In <5k2vki$d...@lotho.delphi.com> Rick Cook <rc...@BIX.com> writes:

>Jokester wrote:
>> what are the actual
>>difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and >Witches?

>Seriously, the definitions are whatever you want them to be, basically. The


>terms were not well differentiated historically.

I tried to post a followup to this before, but I think it was lost.
Anyway, I did a list about this thing as a prewrite for one of my
stories. I will post it soon (probably tomorrow, Tuesday) at
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/3309/index.html. A lot of the
actual difference is not in historical meaning, but in connotation.
--
Nicole M Bourgoin
nbou...@iastate.edu
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~nbourgoi/homepage.html
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/8472/index.html

gra...@infinity.ccsi.com

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
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In article <5k2vki$d...@lotho.delphi.com>,

Rick Cook <rc...@BIX.com> wrote:
>
> Jokester wrote:
> > what are the actual
> >difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and >Witches?
>
> Well, sourcerers are the ones who have access to the Source Code, so
> they're very powerful. :-)
>
> Seriously, the definitions are whatever you want them to be, basically. The
> terms were not well differentiated historically.

With the exception that technically Magi are Zoroastrian priests.

Dave

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Post to Usenet

Carl Perkins

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

In article <33654E...@mail.geocities.com>, joke...@hotmail.com writes...

}Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
}anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual

}difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
}Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
}them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
}and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
}theese?
} Joke/EwB

There are a lot more. Here's a few: gyromancer, ichthyomancer, knissomancer,
lampadomancer, lecanomancer, mazomancer, necyomancer (which could be considered
the most excessively dangerous way of doing it out of the lot), omphalomancer,
xenomancer, ydromancer, zygomancer. Those are all, in some form or another,
fortunetellers. Then there's fun things like cledonism. Or you could be a
famulus (although this is aparently not just related to magicians, so you
could be one in a game withoug magic, if you really wanted to).

There are bazillions of words for types of magic and those who practice them.
Check any thesaurus.

In essence, it doesn't work like that - unless you want it to in your game.

--- Carl

Warren Grant

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
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On Mon, 28 Apr 1997 16:45:50 -0500, bj...@cornell.edu (Bryan J.
Maloney) wrote:

>Witch: Descended from the Old English "Wic-". A woman would be a wicce,
>and a man would be a wiccan. Pronunciation would be "wi-cheh" or
>"wi-chan". The original word basically meant "magician". It is related
>to the root for "wicker", which means "bent". In anthropological use, it
>usually refers to somebody, anybody, who is blamed for the misfortune of a
>group by means of supernatural abilities, regardless of whether or not the
>scapegoat has actually "done" any magic.

I agree completely, with the exception that the male form of Witch in
OE, was Wicca (pronounced /wi-cha/) and not Wiccan as you have said.
Wiccan is a modern form used to describe the neo-pagan religion of
Witchcraft. As a witch I am well aware of the definition given here
and would not claim the word comes from something meaning "wise one"
as you note below, nor I hope would most of my compatriots. We have
always assumed the "bent" root meant something like "those who bend
the world to their will" or something to that effect. What an actual
etymologist would conclude is something else (I will have to check the
Oxford for that sometime soon - its not something I spend a lot of
time on).

>
>Wizard (since it cropped up): From the Old English "wysard", which means
>"wise one". Regardless of what some folks might claim, it is THIS root
>that means "wise one", not the root for "witch". It is notable that this
>word's original OE gender was neutral--thus, either a man or a woman could
>be a "wysard". In OE usage, ANYBODY who was exceptionally skilled or
>learned was a "wysard", not just in magical areas.

Agreed. Often this would mean someone who was a village
healer/herbalist as well I would assume. This the association with
magic and powerful forces.

Warren Grant
wgr...@imag.net
Warren Grant
wgr...@imag.net

Phase

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
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Daniel Pongratz <dp...@nis.lanl.gov> writes:
>> Just for that I'll put the mark of the beast on you with hex n devils. :)
>> God, that was just octal wasn't it?
>
>It be nary a time you'd try that again.

Just give me a bit. :) I have to consult with some of the
sprites and pixey(l)s in these trees. And if they can't
help me, I can always summon a Daemon. (:

Dumuzzi

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
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In article <17B5F1DAAS...@VM.SC.EDU>, lo...@my.sig (Phase) writes:

>Just give me a bit. :) I have to consult with some of the
>sprites and pixey(l)s in these trees. And if they can't
>help me, I can always summon a Daemon. (:

Beware! I've just invoked a Wizard!


Doug Wickstrom
E-mail replies to nimshubur(at)aol(dot)com

Peter Meilinger

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
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Jokester (joke...@mail.geocities.com) wrote:
: Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but

: anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
: difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
: Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
: them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
: and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
: theese?

Well, you might want to check out Lawrence Watt-Evans' Ethshar books.
He has several different types of magic users, all with different
abilities and limitations.

Mages - Sort of like the classic AD&D mage. They can cast powerful spells
with no cost to themselves, but they do need to use a specially enchanted
dagger for almost all of them, and they don't forget a spell after it's
been cast.

Sorcerors - LWE doesn't explain them all that well, but it seems that
they use magic items more than mages. There was one who had a wand that
shot fireballs, and another that had a magic box that acted like a genetic
scanner.

Witches - They have fairly low-key magic, and all of it is powered by
their own bodies. They can heal, start fires, levitate themselves, locate
objects and do lots of other things but it takes a lot out of them. If
they want to fly for example, it exerts them just as much as picking up
their own weight and carrying it would. Witches have been known to die
from overexertion.

Warlocks - These guys are probably the most powerful. Their powers seem
to be based on telekinetics - they can lift things, heal wounds and broken
bones, lower or raise temperature, control the weather, etc... Granted,
if it's TK it's at a remarkable level but that's how I quantify it. The
only problem with them is that they all seem to draw their powers from
a rock (possibly a meteor) called the Warlock's Stone. And if they ever
use too much power they are drawn irresistably to the Stone, never to be
seen again. And using the power is addictive.

Theurgists - what AD&D would call clerics. These guys actually talk to
the gods and ask for information or favors. The gods can give information
of any sort if it pleases them, but they are heavily curtailed in the type
of direct action they can take - it's almost always limited to healing
or other "good" actions. Theurgists are probably best used as NPCs, especially
since there are literally hundreds of gods to keep track of.

Demonologists - these guys call on demons to do all of their work for
them. They might call up a minor imp to do housework, or a major demon
to smite an invading armada. All of the demons seem to be unique and named,
but many are extremely similar, like individuals of the same race. Needless
to say, though, many demonologists disappear under mysterious circumstances.

There are also other forms of magic in Ethshar, but these are the biggies
and give you some idea of what I'm talking about. Great books.

Pete


Rick Cook

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

Staffan Johansson wrote:

>> Jokester wrote:
>> > what are the actual
>> >difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and >Witches?
>>
>> Well, sourcerers are the ones who have access to the Source Code, so
>> they're very powerful. :-)
>
>No no no. A Sourcerer is the eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth
>son, a Wizard squared.

We can fix that with a quick recompile.

--RC

Rick Cook

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

Nicole M Bourgoin wrote:
>>Seriously, the definitions are whatever you want them to be, basically. The
>>terms were not well differentiated historically.
>
>I tried to post a followup to this before, but I think it was lost.
>Anyway, I did a list about this thing as a prewrite for one of my
>stories. I will post it soon (probably tomorrow, Tuesday) at
>http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/3309/index.html. A lot of the
>actual difference is not in historical meaning, but in connotation.

Connotation of these words tended to vary quite a bit from place to place
and time to time.

"Witch" for example, has meant variously, a member of a pagan nature cult,
a person or either sex skilled in herbalism and magic, a person of either
sex skilled in magic, a woman skilled in herbalism and magic, the local
abortionist/herbalist/practical toxocologist (usually female), a
practicioner of magic with evil intent, someone who has made a pact with
the devil, the devil, a person who can find water, and so on.

Most of the others are similarly tangled.

--RC

Bridget Farace

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

Rick Cook wrote:
>
> Jokester wrote:
> > what are the actual
> >difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and >Witches?
>
> Well, sourcerers are the ones who have access to the Source Code, so
> they're very powerful. :-)
>

> Seriously, the definitions are whatever you want them to be, basically. The
> terms were not well differentiated historically.
>

> --RC
I always thought that wizards got magic by doing Hermetic things
involving
spellbooks and sulfur and guano and candles and external things like
that,
and the magic of Sorcerers came from the inside.
Wizards would need preparation to do magic, ie. drawing circles on the
ground, lighting candles, saying the magic words, etc.
Sorcerers would be limited by the amount of stamina they have.
The differences are more a matter of How they do the magic, than the
sort
of magic they do. One of them paradigm things they talk about in
alt.games.whitewolf I'd imagine.
:)

Bridget


Rob Hobbs

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

Jokester <joke...@mail.geocities.com> wrote in article
<33654E...@mail.geocities.com>...

> Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
> anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual

> difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
> Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
> them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
> and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
> theese?

As far as I know, in the real world these are all synonyms(sp?) for the
same thing ie., one who uses magic. In your game you can make them what
ever suits you. In any event here are some more names:

Wizard
Enchanter
Warlock
Thaumaturgist
Cabalist
Alchemist (kind of)

There is a book called "Master of the Five Magicks" that I suggest you
read. The book has a pretty good magic system worked out and it might
give you some ideas.

Have a good one...
Rob

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

In article <5k50lb$d...@lotho.delphi.com>, Rick Cook <rc...@BIX.com> wrote:

> "Witch" for example, has meant variously, a member of a pagan nature cult,
> a person or either sex skilled in herbalism and magic, a person of either
> sex skilled in magic, a woman skilled in herbalism and magic, the local
> abortionist/herbalist/practical toxocologist (usually female), a
> practicioner of magic with evil intent, someone who has made a pact with
> the devil, the devil, a person who can find water, and so on.
>
> Most of the others are similarly tangled.


And let us not forget the later confusion with "wyche"--OE for "shrub" or
"tree". Talk about convergent evolution!

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

In article <3365736f...@news.imag.net>, wgr...@imag.net (Warren
Grant) wrote:

> as you note below, nor I hope would most of my compatriots. We have
> always assumed the "bent" root meant something like "those who bend
> the world to their will" or something to that effect. What an actual

It is interesting to note that some modern English "backwoods" dialects
refer to sorcerers (of whatever stripe) as a "bendy-man" or "bendy-woman".

> Agreed. Often this would mean someone who was a village
> healer/herbalist as well I would assume. This the association with
> magic and powerful forces.

And let us not forget "UNIX Wizard"...

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

In article <29APR199...@gerg.tamu.edu>, ca...@gerg.tamu.edu (Carl
Perkins) wrote:

> There are a lot more. Here's a few: gyromancer, ichthyomancer, knissomancer,

And now, the Silly Fish Dance.

Rebecca

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

Ross TenEyck wrote:
>

>
> I believe C. S. Lewis once pointed out, in connection with the Biblical
> passage about "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," that if you take
> the word as the writers intended -- a person deliberately using their
> powers to wreak harm on their neighbors -- then the passage kind of
> makes sense; you *wouldn't* want to suffer such a person to live.
>

"Thou shalt not kill"


Couldn't resist.

Rebecca

Michael Maxwell

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

Bridget Farace (janetf*nospam*@popalex1.linknet.net) wrote:
: I always thought that wizards got magic by doing Hermetic things


: involving
: spellbooks and sulfur and guano and candles and external things like
: that,
: and the magic of Sorcerers came from the inside.
: Wizards would need preparation to do magic, ie. drawing circles on the
: ground, lighting candles, saying the magic words, etc.
: Sorcerers would be limited by the amount of stamina they have.
: The differences are more a matter of How they do the magic, than the
: sort
: of magic they do. One of them paradigm things they talk about in
: alt.games.whitewolf I'd imagine.
: :)

Interesting distinction. There's a good book on magic and witchcraft among
a Central African tribe in the early part of this century. It's called
something like "Magic, Oracles and Witchcraft among the Azande." The Azande
made a clear distinction between "sorcery" (changes in the world brought
about by external means such as formulae, herbs, manipulating animal parts,
etc.) and "witchcraft" (changes brought about because someone wills it --
similar to psionics in RPGs). I forget the native terms for these two
threads of magic.

Mike Maxwell
--
*========================================================================*
Mike Maxwell
mmax...@whsun1.wh.whoi.edu

"Sanity is such a one-trick pony. I mean, you only get one thing -
rational thinking. But when you're good and crazy, the sky's the limit!"
-- paraphrased from The Tick
*========================================================================*


Brad Glenn

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
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"Rob Hobbs" <roh...@lexmark.com> wrote:
>Warlock

Dear Rob,

Just thought I would clear up this word a bit. In history, both males
and females accused of witchcraft were considered witches. The
stereotype of witches being female is because nearly 90% of all the
people burned for witchcraft were witches (or around about that figure,
I could be a bit off, I don't have my books in front of me.) so that
makes only 10% male. But they were witches.

Warlocks were not magical at all. They were traitors to the country, and
often burnt at the stake for their crimes. They were normally males, and
since they were dealt with similarly (although they probably never were
tortured into claiming they had kissed the devil's anus or anything
like that!) they were linked to witches by historians. Historically,
though, witches and warlocks had very little in common except
persecution.

Brad

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

If the original querent is creating his own fantasy fiction, ostensibly
for publication, the LAST place he wants to look for inspiration is other
works of fiction. Intellectual property law can be a real quagmire.

barbara haddad

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Apr 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/29/97
to

> Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
> anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
> difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?
> Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
> them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
> and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
> theese?

IMHO (based upon books I've read on a variety of subjects) --
'sourcerers' are to be found in Terry Pratchett's discworld ;)
Sorcerers (on the other hand) tend to be solitare practitioners of
magic, primarily summoning, who are rather unconcerned with
standard morality in the quest of personal power
Wizards tend to be more communal magic-users (& thus have a better
'rep' & are thought of as being more thoughtful & contemplative)
Magicians may or may not use actual magic - but are supposed to be
highly skilled at sleight-of-hand & illusions
Magi are 'the wise', scholars and sages that usually have little to
do with actual magic, but who may have some knowledge of
magic & have the rep of being highly moral folk
'mage' tends to be used indiscriminantly to refer to anyone involved
with magic
'witch' is a corruption of 'wicca' (it also means 'the wise' in
its dialect) and is a gender neutral phrase referring to
herbalists who may/may not practice nature magic

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just a thought from barbara haddad -> (bha...@LunaCity.com)
LunaCity BBS - Mountain View, CA - 415 968 8140

ed

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

The noble ten...@u.washington.edu (Ross TenEyck) spake on the day of 28
Apr 1997 22:41:38 GMT:

The way C&S handles it is to apply the terms to different ways to
approach the practise of magic. Three or four magicians may cast the
same spell, but achieve it in different ways, other magicians may be
unable to achieve that effect.

(Terms as used below are not taken from C&S, but from my own deranged
brain)

eg a sleep spell

An alchemist may create a powder based on herbs that can be thrown in
the intended victim's faces.

A shaman may summon and send a sleep spirit to attack and subdue the
victim

A wizard might chant a wee cantrip and make some gestures to cast the
spell.

An astrologer would not be able to cast that spell as his magic does not
work in that way.

Lawrence watt-Evan's Esthshar books have different classes of magician
in this sense, particularly "The Mis-Enchanted Sword", and "Blood of a
Dragon" (I may have mis -remembered the second title)

This more technical approach to RPG mages appeals to me, as it helps to
divorce the breed away from the SWAT teams of yore.

>>Personally, I'd steer clear of connotating witches with evil, as witches
>>are a real, thriving religion today that suffers from a severe image
>>problem.
>> [snip]
Yeah, but not all witches are good, for example I'm a wiccan meself and
somedays I can be quite grouchy and irritable <grin

>I believe C. S. Lewis once pointed out, in connection with the Biblical
>passage about "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,"

Dave Berg once said that it was a misquote, it should be "Thou shall not
suffer a witch to make a living, take your problems to your aunt Sadie
instead, who'll listen to your problems and offer you the same remediees
for free"

ed
--
Innkeeper for the Loyal Order of Chivalry and Sorcery
----------------------------------------------------------------------
edh...@equus.demon.co.uk __/ / / / /
http://www.equus.demon.co.uk/locsite/cnspage.html @____/ o / / / /
Visit the Inn of the salient Hurcheon at \ __/ / / / / /
http://www.equus.demon.co.uk/locsite/locreg.html \ / / / / /
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Nyrath the nearly wise

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

Rebecca (hbs-...@harvard.com) wrote:
: >
: > Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but

: > anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
: > difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?

In practice, the above words have so many contradictory meanings
that they don't mean anything anymore.
But if you insist, P.E.I Bonewits is your man. He has the
first bachelor's degree in Magick and Thaumaturgy (University
of Berkeley, self-designed major, lots of comparative religion)


A few terms

Magic: A stage magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
Magick: Merlin the magician transforming Uthar Pendragon
into the semblance of another man.
THAUMATURGY: The use of magick to change the physical world
for the benefit of the magician or his loved ones.
(from the Greek for "wonder working")
THEURGY: The use of magick to attain spiritual and
intellectual growth. (from the Greek for
"divine work")
ACTIVE RITE: A magickal "spell" or ritual in which magickal
energy is sent out from the magician to a target.
(Example: affecting the roll of dice)
PASSIVE RITE: a magickal spell or ritual in which magickal
energy comes into the magician from the outside
world. (Example: mind reading, precognition)

Now:

MAGICIAN: A magick user who uses mostly active rites for
mostly thaumaturgical purposes.
MYSTIC: A magick user who uses mostly passive rites for
mostly theurgical purposes.
PSYCHIC: A magick user who uses mostly passive rites for
mostly thaumaturgical purposes.
????: A magick user who uses mostly active rites for
mostly theurgical purposes.
CLERIC: A magick user who uses both active and passive
rites for both thaumaturgical and theurgical
purposes, and who is a representative of
a particular diety.
GOETIC A Magician and Psychic who summons up
MAGICIAN: various non-human spirits in order to gain
both mundane and occult knowledge, for both
thaumaturgical and theurgical purposes.
MEDIUM: A Psychic who is regularly possessed by various
spirits, especially those of dead humans.
NECROMANCER: A Magician and Psychic who specializes in
summoning the spirits of dead humans
(without possession) for both mundane and
occult knowledge. Similar to Goetic Magicians.
MEDICINE A tribal official who combines the modes of
PERSON: Magician, Psychic, and Cleric, using their
powers for personal and tribal benefit.
SHAMAN: A Medicine Person and Medium who frequently
uses astral projection in order to fly to
the spirit world in order to represent the
tribe to the tribal dieties. They are often
possessed by said dieties.
There are hundreds of kinds of "witches"
CLASSIC A Magician and Psychic who is knowledgeable about
WITCH: herbs, weather prediction, healing, and midwifery,
used mostly for personal benefit but also for
paying clients.
WIZARD: A Classic Witch with great wisdom and high
magickal rank, especially if considered
quote "good" unquote. (from anglo-saxon
Wys Ard or "wise one")
GOTHIC A combination of "Evil Cleric" and Classic Witch.
WITCH: They are always worshippers of evil demons and
work mostly evil magick.
(Keep in mind that the definition of "good"
and "evil" is subjective at best)
Also called "satanism" this was invented
out of whole cloth by the medieval Church,
who also invented the demon "Satan" to
begin with. Because Gothic Witchcraft is
a religion (unlike Classic Witchcraft),
they often belong to religious groups
called "covens".
NEOPAGAN Also called "Wicca". A "recent" neopagan
WITCH: duotheistic religion. Their clergy are Clerics,
and the members are encouraged to become
Magicians and/or Psychics. A religion
that is all clergy and no congregation.
WITCHDOCTOR: A Medicine Person or Shaman who hunts down
and fights "evil" Classic Witches.
WITCHFINDER: A Cleric or civilian who seeks out and tortures
alleged Gothic Witches. A perfect example
of a "Lawful Evil" character.

+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| WINCHELL CHUNG http://www.clark.net/pub/nyrath/home.html |
| Nyrath the nearly wise nyr...@clark.net |
+---_---+---------------------[ SURREAL SAGE SEZ: ]--------------------------+
| /_\ | Morality and practicality should be congruent. If they're not, |
| <(*)> | there is something wrong with one or the other. |
|/_/|\_\| |
| //|\\ | |
+///|\\\+--------------------------------------------------------------------+

Brad Glenn

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

bj...@cornell.edu (Bryan J. Maloney) wrote:
>And let us not forget the later confusion with "wyche"--OE for "shrub" or
>"tree". Talk about convergent evolution!

Oddly enough, the root word (no pun intended) for witchcraft is willow.
Then it goes on to Wicca, which is also linked to Wicker, as in the
weaving of willow (and other) branches. It's all linked together nicely.

Brad


Harvey White

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

On Mon, 28 Apr 1997 13:57:48 +0000, Rebecca <hbs-...@harvard.com>
wrote:

<snip>
>
>Rebecca (who tends to use mage and wizard interchangeably in her own
>[yet] unpublished work, and blames B. Hambly for making this seem
>legitimate to her)
>
Just offhand, a Mage seems to imply more skill, and a wizard less. In
addition, a Mage might be more of a book learning type, and a wizard
may be more of a practitioner.

Harvey

(but I wouldn't use them interchangeably, that's bad for the book.
Pick one, define it, and then use the other for something later, if
you want. It could be an important difference. It could also be
important that some people don't think there _is_ a difference.

H.

>--
>Harvard Book Store
>http://www.harvard.com

***
I just read minds,
I don't explain them
***

Aaron Bergman

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

In article
<01bc54b6$84da2080$a60c...@baldursgate.pfv.prtdev.lexmark.com>, "Rob
Hobbs" <roh...@lexmark.com> wrote:

:There is a book called "Master of the Five Magicks" that I suggest you


:read. The book has a pretty good magic system worked out and it might
:give you some ideas.

It's by Lyndon Hardy, IIRC, and I don't think the 'k' is there.

Aaron
--
Aaron Bergman -- aber...@minerva.cis.yale.edu
<http://pantheon.yale.edu/~abergman/>
Smoke a cigarette. Slit your throat. Same concept.

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

In article <5k67iv$k...@clarknet.clark.net>, nyr...@clark.net (Nyrath the
nearly wise) wrote:

> Magick: Merlin the magician transforming Uthar Pendragon
> into the semblance of another man.

A spelling insisted upon by Uncle Al, 666, because he claimed that it was
closer to the ancient Egyptian spelling. Of course, Uncle Al was often
full of shit...

> ????: A magick user who uses mostly active rites for
> mostly theurgical purposes.

Liturgican

Mike Swaim

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

Bryan J. Maloney (bj...@cornell.edu) wrote:
: Wizard (since it cropped up): From the Old English "wysard", which means

: "wise one". Regardless of what some folks might claim, it is THIS root
: that means "wise one", not the root for "witch". It is notable that this
: word's original OE gender was neutral--thus, either a man or a woman could
: be a "wysard". In OE usage, ANYBODY who was exceptionally skilled or
: learned was a "wysard", not just in magical areas.

Now it just means that he's good at pinball.

--
Mike Swaim, Avatar of Chaos: Disclaimer:I sometimes lie.
Home: sw...@phoenix.net Work: mps...@gdseng.com
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="1; URL=http://www.chron.com">

gra...@infinity.ccsi.com

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

In article <3366c...@news.bc1.com>,

You mean it doesn't come from 'hwic' -- one of the myriad Welsh words for
pig? That derivation always came to mind when browsing through our local
wiccan bookstore.

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

In article <3366c...@news.bc1.com>, Brad Glenn <bgl...@bc1.com> wrote:

> Oddly enough, the root word (no pun intended) for witchcraft is willow.
> Then it goes on to Wicca, which is also linked to Wicker, as in the
> weaving of willow (and other) branches. It's all linked together nicely.

Could I see a citation for this? I've never seen this path traced for the
word before.

Larry Caldwell

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

Good post, Bryan. In general you nailed it right on. I'll just add
a few comments.

In article <bjm10-28049...@potato.cit.cornell.edu>,


bj...@cornell.edu (Bryan J. Maloney) wrote:

> Something a little more thought out:

> Mage/Magician/Magus: All three of these descend from the Persian "Magi",
> which was a class of priest. By the time the word made it west, it had
> been altered in meaning to be "Wonder-worker" or similar. "Magus" in much
> modern occultism usage is restricted to the traditions of Ritual Magic,
> especially those that claim to be "Hermetic", and of them, it is
> restricted to only those of greatest ability. "Magic", thus, originall
> meant "whatever it is those mysterious Magi guys do".

Magi is plural. Magus is singular. Mage is fantasy speak. Magi were
good magicians, in the service of Ahura Mazda, the god of light. They
were also known as astrologers and for broad knowledge.

From a gamer standpoint, they would need strong intelligence and spritual
characteristics. Their magick operates by invoking their god (thaumaturgy)
or by manipulating the forces of nature (theurgy). In general, they would
be average to good fighters until they managed to invoke their god,
whereupon they would become unbeatable. They would be pretty good healers.

> Magician: Originally, it appears to have been used to mean "anybody who
> does magic". It generally is now associated greatly with "stage magic".

Somebody who acts like a magus.

> Mage: Popular among modern fantasy writers.

> Sorcerer: As I said before, it is currently used sometimes to denote
> somebody who does "evil" magic. However, it is not always the case. Some
> anthropologists refer to anybody who claims to do magic as a sorcerer (if
> the claimant actually believes that he or she is doing magic) or a
> charlatan (if otherwise).

The original source of 'sorcerer' was from the Latin 'sors', or chance.
They were diviners and fortune tellers. Knowing the future can be a
really handy thing. As you point out, the word generally is used to
denote a generic magic worker, speaker to spirits and potion pusher.

A sorcerer is kind of a Jack of all Spells, not really great at anything,
but pretty good at everything.


> Witch: Descended from the Old English "Wic-". A woman would be a wicce,
> and a man would be a wiccan. Pronunciation would be "wi-cheh" or
> "wi-chan". The original word basically meant "magician". It is related
> to the root for "wicker", which means "bent". In anthropological use, it
> usually refers to somebody, anybody, who is blamed for the misfortune of a
> group by means of supernatural abilities, regardless of whether or not the
> scapegoat has actually "done" any magic.

I'd advise our gamer to leave Wiccans completely out of it unless he
wants to become embroiled in endless pedantic religious discussions.
However, as game characters, witches have built up a rich folk
presence. From a gamer standpoint they need all sorts of spells and
doodads to do their thing. A witch in full fling is kind of a
fashion accessory junkyard, packing a wand, an athame, a candle, a bell,
a salt cellar, various animal parts, herbs, a grimoir, crystals, incense,
and a familiar, all stylishly accoutered on a "layered look" outfit of
robes, leggings, a vest, tunic, hose, shoes, and accessory jewelry. Oh
yes, don't forget the hat. Strangely enough, they do some of their best
work naked.

You see witches every once in a while in the hallway at cons. :)

With all that stuff to carry, witches find it hard to move around much.

> Wizard (since it cropped up): From the Old English "wysard", which means
> "wise one". Regardless of what some folks might claim, it is THIS root
> that means "wise one", not the root for "witch". It is notable that this
> word's original OE gender was neutral--thus, either a man or a woman could
> be a "wysard". In OE usage, ANYBODY who was exceptionally skilled or
> learned was a "wysard", not just in magical areas.

I've often wondered how much 'wizard' owes to the Arabic 'wazir'. I think
most of these derivations are pretty chancy. Old English for 'counselor'
is 'wita', which would make a good root word for witch too. Saxon for
'council' is 'witan', and I expect they employed diviners at their councils.
Not relevant to the question, is it?

From a gamer standpoint, wizards get their powers from what they know. They
need very high intelligence to be very good. Ursula LeGuin pegged the
archetypal wizard in _A Wizard of Earthsea_. Her wizards got most of their
power from knowing "the language of shaping." They know the True Name of
things, and things obey them.

Someone mentioned enchanters, who just chant. A hypnotist is an enchanter.
Rap singers are enchanters. A good enchanter can really get your feet
tappin', but isn't much good in a fight. Given a little lead time, they
might enchant a fellow player into ferocious fighting trim, or enchant
a jailer into unlocking the door. They might also enchant a merchant into
thinking a horse puck is solid gold, or that leaves are paper money.
Enchantments only work on people, or maybe an animal. An enchanted bird
might do recon for you, or an enchanted snake might bite your enemy.

Most gamer magic (and fantasy magic, for that matter) is pretty dreary
stuff. The field is wide open for somebody with a little imagination
and a sense of humor. I've never seen a spell of protection that works
by making you smell so bad nobody can stand to be within 100 yards of
you. Get swallowed by a monster? Invoke your spell of protection, and
KaBlooey, projectile monster vomit.

-- Larry


Mark D Smith

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Apr 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/30/97
to

Rebecca (hbs-...@harvard.com) wrote:
: Ross TenEyck wrote:
: >
: > I believe C. S. Lewis once pointed out, in connection with the Biblical
: > passage about "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," that if you take

: > the word as the writers intended -- a person deliberately using their
: > powers to wreak harm on their neighbors -- then the passage kind of
: > makes sense; you *wouldn't* want to suffer such a person to live.
: >
: "Thou shalt not kill"

: Couldn't resist.

Way back when, I got stuck taking Hebrew. One of the beefs the prof had
was the mistranslation of that. She translated it as "Do not murder."
There's a HUGE difference between the two.

Mark

Laughing Wolf

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to joke...@hotmail.com

On Mon, 28 Apr 1997, Jokester wrote:

> Im currently designing a fantasy-like game (nothing advanced, but
> anyhow) and have been thinking about a thing: what are the actual
> difference between Sourcerers, Mages, Magicians, Magis and Witches?

> Is there any more actors of the magic arts that I forgot? Could you rang
> them, saying you for example start of as a Magician, then becomes a Mage
> and finaly a Sorcerer? What do you think is the corect way to deal with
> theese?

Shamans. Witchdoctors. Alchemists. Channelers (of spirits, not of
Saidin/Saidar/SoWhat).

That should just about do it.
Laughing Wolf.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* "Down with the sheep, *
* and up with the larks, *
* Run to bed children. . . *
* before it gets dark" *
* From the Crow graphic novel. *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* "When you reach an impasse, adapt and you will go through" *
* Taoist principle *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Go into the cold wind laughing.

Rick Cook

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

Jokester wrote:
>I there is anyone else out there who at least knows vaugely
>the difference, or could point me to were I could find out the main
>differences between them, please answer this thread...
>
The problem is that the differences depend very, very much on when and
where you are and aren't consistent. Even the ones that are most consistent
don't match with the meanings we are more-or-less familar with. For example
'mage' literally refers to the member of a dualistic Middle Eastern
religion and, by extension, to an astrologer. But that's not what moderns
think of when someone says 'mage.'

--RC

Rick Cook

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

graball wrote:
>With the exception that technically Magi are Zoroastrian priests.
>
Yep, that's one definition. But even that depends. For example 'magi' can
also be astrologers, whether Zoroastrians or not.

--RC

Rick Cook

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to
Not to mention you're getting ideas that have already had the juice sucked
out of them.

See Tolkien "On Fairy Stories" and think about what's happened to the idea
of an elf.

--RC

Rick Cook

unread,
May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

Rebecca wrote:
>
>"Thou shalt not kill"
>
>
>Couldn't resist.

Same problem. A more accurate translation is "Thou shalt not commit murder"
-- that is, unlawful killing.

Similarly, the word translated as 'witch' in the Bible means something
closer to 'evil magician.' In other words the crime was in using magic to
harm others, not in practicing magic.

--RC

woodelf

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

In article <bjm10-28049...@potato.cit.cornell.edu>,
bj...@cornell.edu (Bryan J. Maloney) wrote:

> Witch: Descended from the Old English "Wic-". A woman would be a wicce,
> and a man would be a wiccan. Pronunciation would be "wi-cheh" or
> "wi-chan". The original word basically meant "magician". It is related
> to the root for "wicker", which means "bent". In anthropological use, it
> usually refers to somebody, anybody, who is blamed for the misfortune of a
> group by means of supernatural abilities, regardless of whether or not the
> scapegoat has actually "done" any magic.
>

> Wizard (since it cropped up): From the Old English "wysard", which means
> "wise one". Regardless of what some folks might claim, it is THIS root
> that means "wise one", not the root for "witch". It is notable that this
> word's original OE gender was neutral--thus, either a man or a woman could
> be a "wysard". In OE usage, ANYBODY who was exceptionally skilled or
> learned was a "wysard", not just in magical areas.

damn, i wish i had an etymological dictionary here right now. my 1927
Webster's gives various etymologies of witch, only one of which goes back
further than "witch" or "to bewitch" or "wizard" in meaning: low german
"wikken"--to predict. so not much help there. oh, and it gives the
masculine of "wicce" as "wicca."

interestingly, it gives "wice" as a then-obsolete, but *English*, word
meaning "wise." i find it a bit surprising that the word wice got into
modern English as meaning wise if it never had such a meaning in Old/Middle
English/German. whether it is a proper ancestor (or descendent) of "wicce"
or "witch" is another story, altogether, of course.

oh, and while i'll entertain the possibility that Webster's might be full
of it, it'll take more than your sayso to convince me of that.

woodelf <*>
nbar...@students.wisc.edu
woo...@cs.wisc.edu
http://www.upl.cs.wisc.edu/~woodelf

I was told by the people running that way that I could find the
Technomages here. --Vir Koto

Rick Cook

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

Bryan J. Maloney wrote:
>A spelling insisted upon by Uncle Al, 666, because he claimed that it was
>closer to the ancient Egyptian spelling. Of course, Uncle Al was often
>full of shit...

Ah yeah, good old Uncle Al, better known to his friends by his nickname
"Creepy".

--RC

Bryan J. Maloney

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

That really Smurfs!

Bryan J. Maloney

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

In article <vf5Zz0O5...@teleport.com>, lar...@teleport.com (Larry
Caldwell) wrote:

> Good post, Bryan. In general you nailed it right on. I'll just add
> a few comments.
>
> In article <bjm10-28049...@potato.cit.cornell.edu>,
> bj...@cornell.edu (Bryan J. Maloney) wrote:
>
> > Something a little more thought out:
>
> > Mage/Magician/Magus: All three of these descend from the Persian "Magi",
> > which was a class of priest. By the time the word made it west, it had
> > been altered in meaning to be "Wonder-worker" or similar. "Magus" in much
> > modern occultism usage is restricted to the traditions of Ritual Magic,
> > especially those that claim to be "Hermetic", and of them, it is
> > restricted to only those of greatest ability. "Magic", thus, originall
> > meant "whatever it is those mysterious Magi guys do".
>
> Magi is plural. Magus is singular. Mage is fantasy speak. Magi were
> good magicians, in the service of Ahura Mazda, the god of light. They
> were also known as astrologers and for broad knowledge.

But that is not how modern occultists tend to use "Magus". Like I ALREADY
SAID, the original Magi were a class of priest. Only people unable to
escape the AD&D mindset automatically separate "magician" from "priest".


And as I said before, if the original querent wants to publish something,
the WORST place to look for inspiration would be to works of fiction or
games. Intellectual property law is a morass.

Lawrence Watt-Evans

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

On 29 Apr 1997 13:43:46 GMT, mell...@bu.edu (Peter Meilinger) wrote:

>Well, you might want to check out Lawrence Watt-Evans' Ethshar books.
>He has several different types of magic users, all with different
>abilities and limitations.
>
>Mages - Sort of like the classic AD&D mage. They can cast powerful spells
>with no cost to themselves, but they do need to use a specially enchanted
>dagger for almost all of them, and they don't forget a spell after it's
>been cast.

No, them's wizards. "Mage" is a title of respect used among wizards,
it's not the general term for this school of magic. And besides the
dagger they often (almost always, really) need other ingredients,
ranging from simple stuff like dust (found almost anywhere) to blood
of an unborn hermaphrodite (found almost nowhere).

>Sorcerors - LWE doesn't explain them all that well, but it seems that
>they use magic items more than mages. There was one who had a wand that
>shot fireballs, and another that had a magic box that acted like a genetic
>scanner.

Sorcerers use magically-charged talismans. Without their gadgets
they're powerless.

>Witches - They have fairly low-key magic, and all of it is powered by
>their own bodies. They can heal, start fires, levitate themselves, locate
>objects and do lots of other things but it takes a lot out of them. If
>they want to fly for example, it exerts them just as much as picking up
>their own weight and carrying it would. Witches have been known to die
>from overexertion.
>
>Warlocks - These guys are probably the most powerful. Their powers seem
>to be based on telekinetics - they can lift things, heal wounds and broken
>bones, lower or raise temperature, control the weather, etc... Granted,
>if it's TK it's at a remarkable level but that's how I quantify it. The
>only problem with them is that they all seem to draw their powers from
>a rock (possibly a meteor) called the Warlock's Stone. And if they ever
>use too much power they are drawn irresistably to the Stone, never to be
>seen again. And using the power is addictive.
>
>Theurgists - what AD&D would call clerics. These guys actually talk to
>the gods and ask for information or favors. The gods can give information
>of any sort if it pleases them, but they are heavily curtailed in the type
>of direct action they can take - it's almost always limited to healing
>or other "good" actions. Theurgists are probably best used as NPCs, especially
>since there are literally hundreds of gods to keep track of.

Well, there are only about thirty gods who are much use.

>Demonologists - these guys call on demons to do all of their work for
>them. They might call up a minor imp to do housework, or a major demon
>to smite an invading armada. All of the demons seem to be unique and named,
>but many are extremely similar, like individuals of the same race. Needless
>to say, though, many demonologists disappear under mysterious circumstances.
>
>There are also other forms of magic in Ethshar, but these are the biggies
>and give you some idea of what I'm talking about. Great books.

Thanks. And except for calling wizards mages, you did a pretty good
job summing it all up.

TOUCHED BY THE GODS: Hardcover, Tor Books, November 1997
The Misenchanted Page: http://www.sff.net/people/LWE/ Updated 4/16/97
Beyond Comics at Lakeforest Mall, Gaithersburg MD is now open!

Daniel Pongratz

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

Larry Caldwell wrote:

> Magi is plural. Magus is singular. Mage is fantasy speak. Magi were
> good magicians, in the service of Ahura Mazda, the god of light. They
> were also known as astrologers and for broad knowledge.

> From a gamer standpoint, they would need strong intelligence and spritual
> characteristics. Their magick operates by invoking their god (thaumaturgy)
> or by manipulating the forces of nature (theurgy).

Just to pick nits, but you got your powers backwards. Theurgy refers to
powers from god while thaumaturgy refers to other powers.

> -- Larry

--
Dan Pongratz <dp...@nis.lanl.gov> http://www.lanl.gov/Public/
NIS - 2 {505-665-0019} {MS D436}

Hold the mayo... but pass the cosmic awareness, please!

Stephen B. Mann

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

> Sorcerers use magically-charged talismans. Without their gadgets
> they're powerless.

Aha, the source himself! I've got a question that bothered me about
Sorcerers; how do they make their talismans?

--

Stephen B. Mann sm6...@cnsvax.albany.edu
Webmaster
Center on English Learning & Achievement http://www.albany.edu/cela

Marian Crane

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May 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/1/97
to

Rick Cook wrote:

> Not to mention you're getting ideas that have already had the juice sucked out of them.
> See Tolkien "On Fairy Stories" and think about what's happened to the idea of an elf.

> --RC

Hear, hear. Truly good genre writing doesn't use the stereotypes off
the shelf -- it guts them, twists them inside-out, or ignores them
altogether. I love books that don't bow to the common denominator:
Stephen Brust's AGYAR, which doesn't mention the word 'vampire' once,
comes to mind as a good example. Reading fiction to learn how to
write fiction can be a useful practice, as long as one reads the
right fiction. Garbage in, garbage out <g>

Marian Crane

Lawrence Watt-Evans

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May 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/2/97
to

On Thu, 01 May 1997 17:25:59 -0400, "Stephen B. Mann"
<sm6...@cnsvax.albany.edu> wrote:

>> Sorcerers use magically-charged talismans. Without their gadgets
>> they're powerless.
>
> Aha, the source himself! I've got a question that bothered me about
>Sorcerers; how do they make their talismans?

Ah! That's a mystery I've yet to explain, and I'm saving it.

Brad Glenn

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May 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/2/97
to

Dear All,

Well, it seems a lot of people are ignoring the historical concepts of
what a magus/witch/worlock/whatever is, so basically we are arguing our
own interpretations, or fantasy books we have read. I think there is a
split between people who are quoting the historical meanings, and others
who are posting what they believe through there gaming/reading of
fantasy books, so this conversation is getting a bit ridiculous.

I think maybe we should all mention if we are talking historically
or fantasy before saying things like "warlocks are telekinetic" because
I think you would have a hard time giving any actual mythologically
historical basis for that.

Brad

Bo Lindbergh

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May 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/2/97
to

(rec.games.frp.misc removed from the list of newsgroups)

In article <3369de5b...@news.clark.net> lawr...@clark.net (Lawrence Watt-Evans) writes:
> On Thu, 01 May 1997 17:25:59 -0400, "Stephen B. Mann"
> <sm6...@cnsvax.albany.edu> wrote:
>
> >> Sorcerers use magically-charged talismans. Without their gadgets
> >> they're powerless.
> >
> > Aha, the source himself! I've got a question that bothered me about
> >Sorcerers; how do they make their talismans?
>
> Ah! That's a mystery I've yet to explain, and I'm saving it.

I think you should save it forever. It's much more fun to think up our own
explanations. :-)

Here are a few silly ones:
1. The talismans are the only remaining traces of the superscience of a
long-forgotten civilization.
2. The talismans are the discarded tools of the gods. (Or the demons.)
3. Both of the above.

On a related note, I like the way that _The Blood of a Dragon_ establishes
that the source of the warlocks' power is impossible to investigate even
for non-warlocks.


/Bo Lindbergh (see X-From header)

Larry Caldwell

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May 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/3/97
to

In article <29APR199...@gerg.tamu.edu>,
ca...@gerg.tamu.edu (Carl Perkins) wrote:

> the most excessively dangerous way of doing it out of the lot), omphalomancer,

I LIKE it, I LIKE it. Next con, I'm going as an omplalomancer. "Let me
examine your belly button, my sweet. I vill tell your future."

Lingus the Ompahlomancer. Has a certain disgusting flair, doesn't it?

-- Larry

Larry Caldwell

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May 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/3/97
to

In article <bjm10-30049...@potato.cit.cornell.edu>,

bj...@cornell.edu (Bryan J. Maloney) wrote:

My American Heritage Dictionary gives different derivation. Wicce is Old
English for Witch (Wicca is masculine). From other sources I've seen a
derivation from the Saxon Wita, or Wise One. Witan is plural, and the
Witangemot was "The meeting of the wise."

Wicker is from the Old Norse Wiker. How that is related to Old English
is beyond my reference books.

Old English for Willow was Welig.

-- Larry

Peter Meilinger

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May 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/3/97