While the elemental talents discussed in an earlier article are the backbone of modern witchery, the crafter talents are those that allow for witchery to expand and grow. The talents known as Shaman, Druid, and Bard are the ones given to creating new workings that are used by other witches. This is not to say that elemental witches cannot create their own workings – they certainly can and do! – but the crafter Talents are those especially geared toward that kind of endeavor.
Probably the best known of the crafter Talents, Bards are also one of the least numerous of any witch Talents. Indeed, the Bardic Talent appears to be dying out, with only a few families still producing Bards. All Bards work their witchery through music and song, usually the two together. In many ways, Bards have the easiest time forming their workings, as said workings are often nothing more than the Bard simply singing into being the results he wishes to bring about.
Something about the Bardic Talent causes the witch to become an incorrigible showman, turning even the simplest witchery into a near spectacle. Over the past several centuries, this has proven extremely useful to other witches. The showmanship of a Bard produces workings that can be duplicated, in whole but more often in part, by other witches of other Talents. If a Bard creates a working replete with dance moves – as many of them do – a witch with the water Talent can easily incorporate those moves into his or her own workings, creating for himself the working originally done by the Bard.
The background of this Talent is one of the most confused matters in history. In some areas of the world, the word “druid” was used to indicate any number of witch Talents, with little or no differentiation between the capabilities of the witches to whom the title was given.
The witch Talent known as “Druid” builds its workings from the witch’s connection to everything around him. Because of this need for connection, a Druid keeps ways to connect to the natural world close to hand. Most witches with the Druid talent will maintain “tool kits” that can contain pieces of wood, stones, piece of bone or fur, vials of water, incense, a small container of soil, and a way to rapidly start a fire. All these things can be used to connect them to the realms of animal, vegetable, mineral, sea, sky, land, and fire. Most Druidic workings are done by manipulating these tools to symbolically demonstrate the results for which the working is being done.
If a witch with the Druidic talent is able to acquire something that is part of a person, animal, or object – even a place – he or she can perform even greater workings than when using a more “generic” connection. There is a story of a Druid talent witch who was able to have actual communication with animals simply by weaving bracelets of their fur and using them as the foci for his workings. As a veterinarian, this proved to be the single piece of witchery that pushed his career from successful to phenomenal. Similar workings have been done by the Druid talented who worked in medical fields, as well.
These workings are easily duplicated by witches of other Talents, once the Druid has created them. The symbols used in the tools of the working are easily understood by other witches even if the Talents involved are different.
Most witches who use workings originally created by Druids are those who are drawn to the more elaborate, ritualistic workings of their own Talents. Very few Druid-created workings are quick and short, being more aligned to detail-oriented workings where small details arise to great importance.
A shaman is all about rhythm. Almost all shamanic witcheries are done with drums or some other percussion instruments. Dance and chanting are often involved, as well. Shamanic workings tend to focus on creating results by binding people, animals, events, etc. into a group rhythm. This brings everyone involved in the working into a state where they function almost as one person: working, moving, speaking, acting in complete accord with one another.
Shamanic witchery is ideally suited to putting matters back as they originally were. The affinity Shamans have for rhythm attunes them to all sorts of patterns, not simply those of sound or movement. With this affinity, Shamans are easily among the most adept of witches when it comes to the healing arts, using their workings to return a patient to how he or she originally was, almost reversing the injury and restoring the natural rhythm of the patient’s life. This ability applies not only to healing people and animals, but also to healing situations. A Shaman’s workings can be turned to fixing and setting right things that have happened. This is a very advanced sort of working, and few Shamans take the time or effort to develop such refined skill.
The ability of Shamans to bind people together in their witchery makes their workings ideal for being used by other witches. In fact, more commonplace workings have been created by Shamans than by either of the other crafter Talents, though Bards are a very close second. The rhythmic nature of Shamanic workings makes them appealing to almost everyone.
Other than Bards, Shamans are the witches most adept at leading group workings. In fact, any coven which contains both a Bard and a Shaman will find its joint workings increasing in power and efficiency far beyond what could normally be expected for any group of witches.
Sid says: Knowing how our witches work their magic is the foundation of our world building, and of our coven. We’ve spent days and weeks discussing, dissecting, and refining this knowledge, because if we don’t know it, our witches can’t accomplish their workings. The magic has to have rules, checks, balances, and consequences, even if our witches don’t know it at the time. If the magic doesn’t have these elements, there’s nothing for our coven (or for you, our readers) to discover.
Mickie says: James has put together a nice article, which will help all of us with our story lines. It will be especially handy to refer to this in later books. We really have put a lot of effort into creating our shared world, creating laws, rules for the different magics, and a history to make it all come together. I hope that it all comes together and that our readers will enjoy all of our hard work!