Saturday, 3 October 2020

The People Chose Wizards


This SAL is all about what you want to see on the blog.  Each month I ask for suggestions for themes and then put them up to the members of the IHSW Group on FB to vote for their choice.  This is what they have chosen:

October - Wizards
November - Magic
December - Stitching Disasters

What is a wizard?  According to Terry Pratchett:

The Wizards are major characters in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Their title is said to be derived from the archaic word "Wys-ars", meaning one who, at bottom, is very wise. In addition, Rincewind once said in Sourcery that the plural of wizard was once war.

Wizard magic is known to be taught at the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork, Bugarup University in XXXX and Krull University in the secretive nation of Krull, as well as the recently-established Braseneck College in Pseudopolis. It is very much a scholarly study, largely (many believe) to prevent anyone outside the universities realising how easy it really is.

In fact, the older wizards tend not to understand how magic actually works at all, instead relying on centuries of lore to achieve their effects. Younger wizards enthusiastically experiment, pushing back the boundaries of knowledge and making new discoveries about the nature of the universe. They don't understand how magic works either, but have much more exciting words to explain why not. These often invoke images of particle physics (the events of TSOD are brought about by an experimental apparatus to split the "thaum", for example).

Really, wizard magic is telling the universe what you want it to be like, in terms it can't ignore. This is very draining, due to the Law of Conservation of Reality (which states it takes the same effort to do something with magic as it would to do it mundanely). This is why most wizards store magic in a staff (with a knob on the end). The most complicated parts of most spells aren't the effects, but the baffles to ensure the wizard survives. Magic is treated by its practitioners on the Discworld in a similar fashion to how nuclear weaponry is treated in the real world: it does no harm for people to know you've got it, but everyone will be in trouble if it gets used.

An eighth son of an eighth son is automatically a wizard. When a wizard nears death,(on the discworld, all practitioners of magic can foresee their own deaths, as well as seeing the character, Death) he formally passes on his staff to a wizard just born. Any children a wizard has will also be wizards. If wizard himself happens to have an eighth son, this child will be a "wizard squared" or "Sourcerer"; so called because he is a source of magic - a Sourcerer generates his own magic, and can therefore do just about anything with no effort. This is very dangerous, both because absolute power corrupts absolutely, and because it increases background magic levels considerably, which is why a rigid celibacy law for wizards means there are no sourcerers any more (although Sourcery records an exception).

Seems like a good opportunity to insert a photo of my Discworld Mappe again!

Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs

Lyndisfarne Designs also do a great Rincewind design, although technically he is a Wizzard because his hat says so!

I have stitched a wizard myself, Joan Elliott included one in her Year of Magical Stitching:

I also have a Teresa Wentzler design in my stash of a rather younger wizard - The Enchanter:

At the time of release she said "This piece was designed in response to numerous requests for a "wizard". Since I am an avid reader of fantasy, inspiration for this project was certainly not lacking! The challenge, of course, was to come up with something original: ideally something that was a synthesis of my favorite impressions from all that I'd read and/or seen. I chose to show a young wizard (mage), perhaps an apprentice, studying and practicing his art. Exactly why I decided to show this aspect instead of a grander portrait of a wizard in full regalia doing something appropriately fantastical I'm not sure. Perhaps it's because I feel the process of "becoming" (growing in knowledge) is a journey that never truly ends....
Sadly, her interest in all things magical and mystical has been curtailed and this design is no longer available.

Male figures are not as widely designed as female figures which is a shame when it comes to wizards, there are so many wonderful colours, metallics and embellishments a designer could use.  Of course we have the Wizard of Oz and J.K Rowling's creation of an entire Wizarding School so I expect we will see some Harry Potter themed designs in the link-up this time around.  If you are a fan of the HP world, I suggest you visit Ann's blog - Colourful Cross Stitches

Now it's over to you.  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Wizards, mention The People's Choice SAL (you can copy the picture I used at the top of this post and in my side bar) and my blog. Please link up using the URL of the actual blog post, not the home page of your blog. I look forward to seeing what you all post.

This link is brought to you courtesy of another Wizard!  The Mr. Linky Wizard



I'd like to do a special shout out to Rachel and Jocondine who have linked up for every single post since we started this SAL.  Last month's post marked our second choice-aversary and we are now starting our third year of letting the People Chose.  Honourable mention to Leonore who has managed 11 posts again in the last year!

Finally, I need your suggestions for the next poll. Any thing, no matter how obscure, weird or random will go into the poll. Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Cats, or Blue, or Holidays, or Warmth etc. Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.

Looking forward to reading them all!


jocondine said...

Love your Joan Elliott wizard and the sleeve effect of those old dresses. No doubt Harry Potter will find his place in this month theme not only on my blog!

Rachel said...

Cracking post with all the background information. With the exception of the tempting Joan Elliott wizard, I like that the designs you chose to show were different to the traditional interpretation of a wizard; one often forgets they weren't always elderly men with long white beards!
Angie Sage's Septimus Heap book series was about a seventh son of a seventh son who naturally inherited magical powers. Unfortunately the wizarding world was saturated with another young wizard at the time for them to be noticed!

Clare-Aimetu said...

Great wizard post and absolutely share Discworld again. Your other pieces are super, I haven't any wizard stitching so couldn't join in this month but it's great to see everyone else's.

A Patchwork of Crafts said...

Any post about anything is still a place to share that map.

Christine said...

The Mappe seems wholly appropriate. Are you planning to stitch Rincewind?
How about sloths as a theme?

diamondc said...

Jo: Your Discworld Mappe is amazing.
I do like Wizards, they have that look of intrigue.
How about Wind, just a suggestion.

Have a great day


Susan said...

Thank you for the information on wizards. All your wizard pieces are wonderful. I actually could have joined in this month as I have one pattern featuring a wizard; however it would have meant another start and I'm still shocked at my startathon from a few months back.

Sheryl said...

Gorgeous Joan Elliott piece and love Rincewind.

Pamela said...

Wizards and magic make an interesting topic. I like Rincewind.

Bethan said...

Is that a finished Discworld Mappe? I do enjoy the wizards of Discworld. Thank you for such an interesting post x

Katie said...

Fantastic post. Love this fun blog SAL just haven't had time to post lately. I hope it continues though. Congrats to the normal contributors though. They always seem to be fun posts to read. I love seeing how each person interprets the word given.

RONI said...

I love the Mappe too, but I actually think my favourite of these is the Joan Elliot piece, I like the combination of spellbook and wizard, as if he's magically shrunk himself! Loving the opportunity to hop around again with you all.

Leonore Winterer said...

Great post - mine features TW's enchanter as well!
I totally forgot I missed one month there in December. The end of last year was a bit of a blur for me really. Hopefully this next year I can do the full 12 again :)