Night Ride print
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Night Ride is an illustration alluding to concepts of European Witchcraft developed in the Early Modern period that pertain to poisonous plants, flying ointments, and the witches' ride to the Sabbat. During this time, the Sabbat was defined as a ceremonial gathering allegedly led by the Devil himself and attended by witches, demons, ill spirits and all manner of otherworldly beings. The witches’ ride to the Sabbat is a noteworthy event on its own and finds many of its non-devilish roots in the Italian cult of Diana and her lunar mythology.
The besom, better know as a broom, is one of the most common objects associated with the witch today. It is one of the few tools symbolic of divine balance as seen in the phallic handle and the feminine bristles. Brooms hold cleansing properties both literally and symbolically, having long been implemented in folk magic practices for purification, wholeness, fertility, and protection. In addition to cleaning one’s house, the broom was used to cast circles and create sacred spaces, move stagnant energy, and acted as a convincing disguise when witches had to hide their wand for fear of persecution. This simple tool was further embedded in the witch archetype when the concept of the infamous flying ointment was popularized in the 15th century. It is said that witches would smother their broomsticks with the hallucinogenic flying ointment and absorb it’s properties when sat upon nude, although this theory is still very much debated. Traditionally, brooms were made of three sacred woods: Ash for the handle, Birch for the bristles, and Willow for the binding cord. Ash trees exude masculine energy and are known to hold sway over the elements, whereas Birch trees are feminine, bringing purification and drawing spirits into one’s service. Lastly, Willow binds the masculine Ash to the feminine Birch as it represents fertility, as well as intuition, visions, and divination. Here, in Night Ride, three witches ride besoms through the moonlit sky. The leaves drawn amongst each broom represent the three sacred woods of traditional besoms, Ash, Birch, and Willow, bringing an added layer of history and tradition to this hand drawn illustration.
Night Ride is original artwork, hand drawn and screenprinted by Adrienne Rozzi.
Printed with black ink on kraft-toned Stonehenge archival paper. Measures approximately 13.5" x 13.5" (inches) with a rough deckle along the bottom edge. Signed by the artist.
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