Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sortilege – Wordplay Wednesday™ 10/16/2019

There is No Magic when you Cease to Believe 

There is more magic in the air—white and black—on Halloween than any other day of the year. And it has been that way since before we carved cute pumpkins and bobbed for apples …

SORTILEGE (sôrtʹɘ lij) n. – 1) divination or prophecy by casting lots; 2) sorcery, black magic. [WW #238]

What the dictionary doesn’t mention is how ancient sortilege is, and how once, the casting of lots* served as a way to make many political and religious decisions, from the selection of land plots, to choosing a pope.

Leaning toward the sorcery side of things, ancient Romans foretold fortunes through the *casting of lots—items which have varied over the centuries. The East Asian divination of I Ching often involves the use of carved coins or sticks of the yarrow plant. Primal traditions in many civilizations granted tribes fortunes of land, decided by sortilege.

Moving on to more modern times, in 1606 Shakespeare gave his Macbeth plot a witchy element foretelling the ambitious Macbeth’s tragic future by a trio of witches, “Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble!” Sorcery at its playhouse best.

What do we still do that is a form of sortilege? Flipping a coin at every NFL game to see who first receives control of the ball. And you thought it was an outdated form of determining “the Gods’ will”!

But for Wordplay Wednesday, we’re declaring sortilege for Halloween, with a twist. Since we prefer white magic to black, we think sortilege should forecast a wickedly fun time for all.

Add a little Irish to it and cast your Ogham staves for family and friends entertainment.

Word Challenge: SORTILEGE. Whatever you’re writing, book, blog, or autobiography, give it some magic as you slip sortilege into your week of divine writings.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

Wicked Witch of the West       

[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

Note: Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary.
Endnote: FYI – All links in the PFP site are personally visited, verified, and vetted. Most are linked to commonly accessed sites of reputable note. However, as with everything cyber-security, use at your own discretion.


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