A Tribute To The Magic Of Queens

The Lewis Chessmen are the most important chess pieces in history. Ever since the ivory pieces were discovered sometime before 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, these kings, queens, knights, rooks, bishops, and pawns carved from walrus tusk and whale tooth have long fascinated us due to their exquisite craftsmanship and unusually evocative faces.

The Isle of Lewis lies off the northwest coast of Scotland. It’s remote and beautiful; it’s wind- swept and sea-beaten. The winter days are short and grey. It’s the sort of land whose secrets are dark and closely guarded.
At the time, the queen was the weakest piece on the board, moving only one space per turn; it wouldn’t be until the late 15th century that the queen began to emerge as the most powerful piece in the game. The emotion behind this distinctive pose has been variously read as grief, despair, patience, calculation, disapproval, or surprise, among others. Despite these wildly different interpretations the Lewis queens do not look pleased. Though not warrior women, they are women at war.
Chess is a war game.

“Despite the documented evidence of chess historian H.J.R. Murray, I have always thought that chess was invented by a goddess.” George Koltanowski, from Women in Chess, Players of the Modern Game

And what is the object held in the left hand?  Could it be a Viking drinking horn?  Filled with mead or something stronger?

And that horn – in ancient societies a horn was a sign of power, a sign of authority. 

One source suggests that their attitude evokes the piety of the Virgin Mary, surveying the carnage on both the battlefield and the chessboard.

The Archaeology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland‘ (D Wilson, 1851) claims that a high tide uncovered a small stone chamber that contained the relics, which were found by a local inhabitant who was so spooked by their faces that he turned and fled, thinking that he had uncovered some ‘pigmy sprites of Celtic folk-lore’.   It was his wife who persuaded him to return and collect them.

If you bend down and look at their faces, they seem to come alive.

The Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle Of Lewis are an extraordinary cross-shaped setting of stones erected 5,000 years ago. They predate England’s famous Stonehenge monument, and were an important place for ritual activity for at least 2,000 years.
According to one tradition, the Callanish Stones were petrified giants who would not convert to Christianity. In the 17th century the people of Lewis were calling the stones fir bhrèige (“false men”). Another legend is that early on midsummer an entity known as the “Shining One” walks the length of the avenue, his coming heralded by the call of the cuckoo.
Magic Of Queens
Queen is someone who doesn’t conform to what others think of her but takes advisement from others because she knows that she does not know all. A Queen is someone who’s always looking out for the greater good of others. A Queen is also a warrior fighting for justice.
Laurie Cabot is known for her use of the gaming board as a majickal tool, a tradition unique to the Cabot witchcraft. While today we think of the gaming board in terms of the game of chess, our ancestors related it to the game of life… the Cabots use it as the centerpiece for their altars and place symbolic objects on it. The game board can be used for both spell craft and divination.
Some practitioner’s keep separate boards for each intention and place chess pieces, symbols, roots, talismans, and stones on the board as part of casting spells.
More detail on this can be found in Laurie’s wonderful books. She calls this ‘The Gameboard of Life’.
You can use a child’s checker- or chessboard or you can make your own.Envision yourself on the Game Board of Life. See the squares as different phases in your own life. The white squares stand for things you would like to send away. These can be wishes you hope to come true or obstacles you would like to move out of your way. The black squares represent things you would like to draw in, characteristics in your personality or nature you want to encourage, or things you hope to bring inside you or near you. 

You can use chess pieces to represent different aspects of your life (for example, the castle can represent home or stability; the knight or horseman, strength and agility; the pawn, protection).The center four squares in the middle of the board are where your spirit resides. Around this four-square area, using the white and black squares as your guide to either draw in energy or send it away, place the objects on the chessboard anywhere you like. Each square might represent a month or a year. The entire exercise is in your hands. 

We make the Magick.

2 thoughts on “A Tribute To The Magic Of Queens

  1. MERRY MEET! This is an excellent one – thank you! Please refer me to which Laurie’s book has more in-depth reference to the “gameboard of life”. Blessed be, CERRIDWEN Ps dont you think the Queen with her hand gesture is really saying “let me think…” Sent from my iPad



    1. Thank you so much. Laurie is a true Witch Mother and I love her and my Cabot degrees achieved.
      The book – Laurie Cabot’s Book Of Shadows- takes you through all our degrees and philosophy and practice, and includes a lot more on the chess altar ‘game of life’.
      The book – Laurie Cabot’s Bk. Of Spells & Enchantments- is a wealth of all the talismans and objects would include in your ‘game of life’.
      Book – The Witch In Every Woman’ lays all the info. and groundwork of The Gameboard Of Life that the other books build on !
      And finally, we do Classes on the Gaming as well and creating boards, I highly recommend. BB and thank you again. Any trip to Salem is Magick as well 💚🧡❤️💚❣️


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