Pirates and Witches
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Article ID: 16018
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 8
Times Read: 1,692
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Author: Capt Tonz
Posted: February 17th. 2018
Times Viewed: 1,692
It has always been the case that Peiran, Pirates and Sea Wanderers have close connections to Witches. This mainly because prior to medieval times Witches were effectively the Doctors. In those days and earlier if you needed a cure you went to the Witch who was also the Pharmacy and Midwife.
Of course the activities of the Witches and indeed Wizards in their relief of pain, saving lives, presence at childbirth and Pagan knowledge of time took away many of the powers of religion and the craft of the Witch was therefore banned and Witches were banished.
Each and every time a ship dropped anchor anywhere the local Witch would be called for immediately because one or more crewmembers would be sick or wounded. In many cases the Witch or Witches would be on the beach as soon as the ship dropped it's anchor. Of course the Witches were paid for their valuable service. If a crewmember needed a long time to cure he would be left under the charge of the Witch until the ship returned.
Witches often went onboard Pirate ships to fumigate and disinfect them. Most forms of payment were made in seeds of herbs and collecting local herbs. This means the Pirates knew what was the best payment for the best service in advance and their shipboard 'Medical store' was more complete than any city.
Such an inter dependency was the result of hundreds of years of real contact and dual knowledge. With the onslaught of the Vatican and the birth of present day Doctors, Witches and Witchcraft and Paganism was wiped out or went underground.
The above was written so that the reader can see the closeness of Pirates/Witches and the capacity of their understanding each other on a different level of consciousness.
So here are some of my personal experiences with the World of Witchcraft.
My first encounter with a Witch was on a train. I found myself sitting opposite a young woman and her child. Within the first 10 minutes of the journey she was the first to speak with a strange smile she said, You know what I am don't you. I said yes without saying Witch. Not many people can see what you see. The conversation made the journey seem minutes and she told me so much and always with that knowing smile.
I established our base on a Samar island in the Philippines. The base was disguised and run as an Eco Island Resort, it was called the Flying Dog beach resort. One night I woke up with a strange bad cough and it went on for many nights and always at the same time, between 1am and 2am. Finally I went to the Doc who gave me a course of antibiotics but they did no good. So I then went to the local hospital on the mainland that gave me bigger and stronger antibiotics and again they did no good.
By now I was losing a lot of weight so I flew to Manila and the chest clinic who said they could find nothing wrong with me but never the less gave me an even bigger course of antibiotics. I returned to the Island but the problem quickly got worse. My people said we should call in the Wack Wack, which is the local term for Witch Doctor, in desperation I agreed.
The following dark moonless evening the Witch Doctor came to see me. He was a simple man with no signs of being a Wak Wak but the locals treated him with reverence. He had no bag or magic sticks; he only had a small candle and a ring with a tiny needle in it. He asked me to lie down and relax. Then he did a short kind of prayer to himself, although I spoke the local language I didn't understand a word as he mumbled on. His hands hovered all over me for only a minute and then he smiled and took hold of my arm with both hands, I though he was doing a kind of massage on my arm until he started to prick the arm with the ring on his finger, it hurt a bit but was very bearable, I looked at him, he smiled, I have it by the head he said as he kept pummeling my arm now full of tiny pricks.
He seemed quite pleased with what he was doing so I thought I should remind him that the problem was a cough and my arm was Ok. I had faith in the guy but thought maybe something got lost in the translation of what was wrong with me. He smiled a really strange smile and said, the cough you have is the tail of the snake but the head of the snake is in your arm and it is the head that I have to take out.
I said no more, what was there to say, nothing. So I laid there motionless for some 20 minutes when had suddenly changed what he had been doing and was pulling violently without hurting at my fingers, his usual smile up to the gone as he had a really serious look on his face, then suddenly he fell backwards. I sat up a bit worried; his assistant ran in the room and picked him up, as he was quite a frail man.
As he got to his feet his smile came back bigger than before, it's out, he said, you are cured. After giving him some refreshment and a room to stay the night I wet to bed to try and get a few hours sleep until I woke up at 2am as I usually did. When I did wake up it was 9am, the cough had gone, and I was incredibly hungry. The cough has never ever returned.
Because at that time I was an important person on the Island very many people were witness to this story including the local Mayor.
Another event taught me that different Witchdoctors specialize in different things.
One day I woke up with a dead arm. The arm was stuck in a kind of half salute with my hand in front of my face. I could not move it or my fingers, everything else was fine and no pain or sensations, and the arm was blocked.
I suggested we call in the Witchdoctor but was told he doesn't do arms so they called another Lady Witchdoctor, a Witch who does arms and legs and who came down from the mountains. She was old, tiny and frail but had the same kind of smile as the other one.
We met on the beach, our eyes met and once more that knowing smile and a few moments later she said, I will touch your arm and it will fall to your side then it will be yours again. Thank you, I replied, in a way that she knew I believed her every word. She gently flicked my arm and in a split second my arm fell to my side and all was back to normal.
I've met with many other Witches/Wizards, mostly in S.E. Asia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Papua NG and the Philippines, each of whom had a specialty yet all had one thing in common, an empathy with snakes, I also employed on contract a snake whisperer who would deal with our unwanted snakes simply by voice.
This leads me to something quite deeper which for some readers may need a little understanding and it concerns the Philippine Communist New Peoples Army, known simply as the NPA.
These guys have been fighting against almost all Governments since the early 70's and are to this day still operating in several areas including the Island of Samar. They operate in hard to get to areas, jungle and mountainous and because the always ongoing Philippine army attacks, they are constantly on the move from camp to camp hidden in the mountains.
The NPA being so outcast, perhaps 3 days march to a hospital, when things go wrong and they often do, a sickness, a bite or a wound from a bullet, they depend on a Witchdoctor a Wak Wak who travels with them. When one of the NPA needs medical help, the Wak Wak will first inspect the problem like any doctor would and then decide the best medication.
In the jungle there is no Pharmacy or medications. So the Wak Wak once decided on which kind of medication is required to cure his patient opens two of the 5 or 6 small wicker baskets he carries around his waist and takes out two different snakes. The snakes are thrown to the ground and kept together by the Wak Wak's long stick, he makes sounds and makes the snakes fight each other, which they do until one snake is the winner and the bitten losing snake is dying.
What happens next is within the realm of the snakes. Any snake when confronted by a dying snake is obliged to cure that snake. So even though the winning snake has won it is now bound to cure the loser.
So we are in the jungle and vision is restricted to a few meters but the winning snake knows exactly what it needs to cure it's companion and off it goes to find the ingredients for a cure potion, which could be a leaf or a root or a combination of plant life. As the winning snake does this, following right behind it is the Wak Wak who is led to the very same ingredients that he needs to cure his patient and together the snake and the Wak Wak collect the medication and both the losing snake and the NPA patient are cured.
I also witnessed and took part first hand when a guy had a deep knife cut on his arm.
Giant ants were collected from a particular tree and one by one handed to the Witch Doctor who positioned the ants head across the cut and the ant was made to bite which sealed the cut like a stitch, the body of the ant was twisted off leaving the head in bite position, one by one the long cut was stitched together by ants heads. Leaves with antiseptic properties were then applied. I saw the guy a week or so later and he was fine and working.
The symbol of all Doctors is a stick and two fighting snakes curled around it. If you ask most doctors where this symbol comes from and they don't really know.
The only people allowed to act as 'Go betweens' are Priests who also deliver their money and Pirates, so I have been lucky to enter their world and be witness to so many strange things.
I met with incredible visitors to our Island base, which included a Shaman from Indonesia who had wondrous powers of reading hands from a distance of many meters. The Great Master Tao was also a visitor.
Travelling in northern Laos I met a sect of Sky helpers disguised as poor Buddhists although very poor they were but they had that same smile and a magic that was more of the soul than physical and they taught me more than I expected.
On the Island of Koh Sichang in the Gulf of Thailand I met the Great Buddhist Magician and entered his cave, he gave me that same smile and when he smiled it was a conversation.
The director of our base in Samar was herself the daughter of a Witch who is still practicing.
So my experiences in the world of Witches and Wizards is quite broad and any advice I can give to present Witches is to connect to each other more and be less secretive in your actions and thoughts. Or perhaps Pirates should be a little more like Witches and Witches should be a little more like Pirates.
Copyright: I give to public domain.
Location: castelbelforte, Italy
Bio: Retired marine captain and Peiran Privateer.
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