Catherine of Winchester

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Catherine of Winchester (1209-67) [LoGA] was one of the Aureate magicians [11]. Little is known about her for certain, though it is reported she learned her magic from the Raven King himself. She was clearly a dedicated student, once banishing to Granada a young man who distracted her by repeatedly proposing marriage [63]. She is reported to have spoken with madmen, pursuant to the Aureate belief that madmen understood certain things useful to magicians that sane persons did not [33]. The Aureate magician Martin Pale claimed to have learned his magic from her, although over two centuries passed between their lives [35].

She did write one book, The Book of the Lady Catherine of Winchester. One passage from it (translated from the original Latin by Jane Tobias) indicates a very typical medieval view of magic - that it is closely associated with nature, and that it is not something which humans can ever entirely control, but can comply with [LoGA].

Above all remember this: that magic belongs as much to the heart as to the head and everything which is done, should be done from love or joy or righteous anger. . . .

This understanding is a gift to us from the Raven King, the dear king of all magicians, who stands between England and the Other Lands, between all wild creatures and the world of men [LoGA].

Since she wrote her book in Latin it seems Lady Catherine was educated to a degree unusual for a woman in an age less enlightened than our own. And even in modern times the fame of this lady is not forgotten; a ship of his Majesty's navy, The Catherine of Winchester, is named after her[12].

Catherine of Winchester.jpg

Catherine of Winchester, woodcut, 13th century | Seated in the middle, she is performing an undefined spell.