Sunday, May 03, 2009

Shield Magic! Is That Why Darth Maul's Face Was Red?

It was Beltane two days ago. I've done enough research to carry off an intelligent interview with a Wiccan, but not enough to write about Beltane with any degree of originality.

Here are two fabulous links for anyone interested:

Beltane -- Holiday Details and History

Author: Christina Aubin [a WitchVox Sponsor]

Pagan Celebrations of Beltane and May Day

There's another very cool link I followed from one of these sites: "In Praise Of Pagan Men" with a discussion of The Green Man.

In Praise Of Pagan Men

However, The Red-Faced Man interests me a great deal more!

(Pun, by the way, very much intended.)

I watch television, often alone in the kitchen, while I am cooking, and some meal or other was just about at critical mass when I glimpsed The History Channel, which was discussing a great native American warrior named Roman Nose, also his warpaint, also his vision quest, and the fatal mishap that befell him because a squaw (not knowing of one component of his shield magic) used a metal kitchen implement in preparing his final meal before battle.

I'd seen warpaint in Westerns, and I've seen it used by modern warriors... did Donald Sutherland use it, or just frighteningly loud music, from his hippie tank in Kelly's Heroes?

However, I'd never thought much about the designs. Roman Nose's vision quest (I think it was Roman Nose, but I was multi-tasking) was inspired by red jagged lightning, and white blobs of large hail.

War paint seems to have something in common with the Viking Berserkers bearskin shirts: frighteningly recognizable to the enemy, fearsome brand character, part of getting a warrior "into the zone" and motivated.

Having --reluctantly-- missed the rest of the show, I came back later to my computer and looked up a word that the narrator had used to describe the warriors' beliefs in the power of his rituals and in the application of his war paint.

Shield Magic.

"Shield Magic. Shield makes you turn red and halves the damage you take (I think) until you leave the room. I always use it whenever I see a hard enemy..."

The top Shield Magic searches lead me to a popular game or six. Dragonquest. Warhammer. Nero.... Also, I found a few literary references, and mentions of the Uruk-hai who wore the white hand of Saruman as warpaint.

Giving the impression of being blood-soaked, maybe with bits of white bone showing through cut skin, and still fighting ferociously... well, that would be daunting to the enemy.

Hence, Darth Maul would have two powerful reasons for his red complexion, although I assume it was natural, along with his horns, and was --presumably-- deliberately supplemented by his rune-like tattoos.

My own Viz-Igerd from "Knight's Fork" turned red on occasion, and his enemy, The Saurian Dragon, mockingly compared the effect to the Red Uakari (unfortunately, my copy editor made it "red uakari").

Did you perceive Darth Maul as a potential love interest? How about a sex interest? If so, why?

What about a Native American warrior in his war bonnet and war paint?

What about a Knight of old, mounted on his huge destrier (the computer tells me I've misspelled that), with a jupon over his chainmail, and his face completely hidden by his helmet?

What about Darth Vader?

On Tuesday May 5th 2009, my CRAZY TUESDAY radio show will be about "MAGICAL BEINGS" and I will be taking a two-hour long whirlwind tour of the Magical World, discussing World-building and magical characterization with Kellyann Zuzulo, and Joy Nash, with a flyby appearance from L.S. Cauldwell.


  1. Oh my! Just the thought of rubbing up against all that slippery red and black... Oh, and running my fingers over those cute little hornys... Words just escape me. What can I say?

  2. Frances,
    I should think that you'd make the Sith Lord red all over.

    Thank you for giving me a laugh!

  3. The Pagan Blog mentioned that Samhain and Beltane are the two days when the veil between worlds is most thin. Charles De Lint uses this belief in his recent novel THE MYSTERY OF GRACE. On those two nights, only, the dead can cross into the world of the living as fully physical persons.