the-writers-ramblings asked: CAN WE TALK ABOUT MIDDLE EASTERN WITCHES AND WIZARDS THOUGH. AND HOW THEY'RE SPELLS WOULD OBVIOUSLY NOT BE LATIN, GREEK OR ANGLO SAXON, BUT INSTEAD LIKE ANCIENT PHOENICIAN, OR SOMETHING. AND THAT THEIR TIES BETWEEN SPELLS AND MAGIC WOULD BE STRONGER SINCE THEIR WORDS ARE MORE ANCIENT AND FAR OLDER SO THEY'D BE WAY MORE POWERFUL???? SORRY FOR THE CAPS?????
NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR CAPS. PHOENICIAN SPELLS. ARAMAIC SPELLS. LANGUAGES MUGGLES DON’T KNOW ANYMORE THAT HAVE BEEN PRESERVED THROUGH WIZARDING SPELLS IN LITTLE POCKETS OF THE WORLD. SOURCE LANGUAGES NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO ADAPT OR CHANGE ANYMORE BECAUSE THE LANGUAGES HAVE DIED AND PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO CAUSE LIKE, A NUCLEAR FALLOUT. IM SO EXCITED THANKS FOR THIS.
#WOOOOOO#literally all i wanna do is write a wizarding series set there#and to explore the prejudices of not only class difference and blood difference#but also religious differences and how that affects their magic#and instead of a ministry theres the monarchy#and djinn instead of ghosts#and just ARABIC FOLKLORE /throws rainbow sparkles/#im gonna die#harry potter#language#linguistics#ARAMIC SPELLSSSS#headcanon that bc they use the older/oldest languages middle eastern witches and wizards have no need for wands to channel their magic#bc it’s so pure and strong#ANOTHER HEaDCANON#pets allowed to be brought to school include and are not limited to: sphinxes. fennec foxes. golems.#desert wolves too#basically go big or go home with school pets (@the-writers-ramblings)
Witches in secret pockets of Morocco who’ve been casting spells with ancient spices long before wands came about. Warlocks in Egypt who knew the double, magical, meaning behind hieroglyphics. A dead language? Latin and Ancient Greek have NOTHING on hieroglyphs. The veritable cacophany of ideas and spells and magic that the trading routes brought in. The Phoenecians with their many-striped sailboats proudly displayed Persian potion ingredients alongside spelled fishing nets woven by Palestinian wizards. Syrian magical folk meet Greek ones, and realize they can best communicate in the Ancient Greek all serious magical students learn. Curly heads bent over ancient spellbooks, and people stare as they converse in a language not spoken for hundreds of years.
OK GUYS CAN WE STOP SAYING “MIDDLE EASTERN” WHEN TALKING ABOUT NORTH AFRICA BECAUSE LMAO. STOP.
ANYWAY Y’ALL DON’T KNOW WHAT I CAN DO WITH HEADCANONS ABOUT NORTH AFRICAN WITCHES AND WIZARDS but I’ll only cover a little language-y stuff here
Let’s get this straight, the indigenous ancient language of Tamazgha (across North Africa) was Tamazight! And while Proto-Tamazight split from the Afroasiatic ~10000 BP (very very long time ago), the divergence of modern Tamazight languages occurred at about 3000 BP. That means that most spells for North African wizards would still be Proto-Tamazight and the words would be much older than Latin ones.
Where English/Scottish/presumably Irish spells are a combination of Greek and Latin (which is odd, I always thought that Rowling should have made the spells more based on languages like Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Manx, Gaelic, etc.), Moroccan spells would probably be a combination of Tamazight and Phoenician. Actually this raises a lot of interesting questions about spells and their languages—if some spells use a combination of Greek and Latin roots, and Moroccan spells use a combination of Tamazight and Phoenician, is there some kind of power in using languages from the same language family or geographic area? (Namely Greek/Latin are Indo-European while Tamazight and Phoenician are Afroasiatic) It would certainly explain why wizards in Britain/Scotland continue to create spells in those same languages.
OK BUT ALSO some of these comments are kinda gross and Orientalist. Noooooo on the “sphinxes, fennec foxes, and desert wolves.” At Hogwarts, the animals that the school allows are owls, cats, and toads. (Presumably rats as well.) While these are all normal enough animals, they all have mythological AND in-universe importance. (Owls=generally considered bringers of wisdom [used more literally in Rowling’s role of assigning them as mail-carriers] and heavily associated with witchcraft by the Middle Ages. They were considered to be witches’ familiars. Cats=often considered to be in league with the Devil and associated with witches [usually one of the defaults for familiars] and also important for their similarity and relation to Kneazles. Toads (or at least frogs)=a symbol of the Devil as well and associated with witchcraft, also considered an animal that witches use as a familiar). What do all these have in common? Considered to be the animals of witchcraft!!
SOOOO what kind of animals would be allowed in North African schools?? Almost definitely cats in at least Egypt (obviously!), so how could we leave that out? In Amazigh countries/regions, cows were considered too sacred to eat—so some witches and wizards might actually allow cows to accompany them to school! These were probably the Imazighen in close contact with ancient Egyptians; they also considered pig too sacred to eat, so they might have accompanied to school as well and be set aside to live somewhere else while the witches/wizards did their studies. The Egyptian god Osiris, considered to originally be an indigenous Libyan god by some, was associated with the ram (and a live ram was kept and worshipped as a god); rams could have also been kept as animals. Who said that your animal had to fit snugly in with you at a dorm? (More evidence for ram was worship of Amon/the setting sun, represented by ram’s horns. Rams could very well have been popular pets among North African Amazigh wizards.)
Egyptian wizards would have kept then cats, rams, cheetahs, jackals, scarabs (AGAIN WHO SAYS), snakes, kites, cranes, owls, pigeons, and cows. Common Ancient Egyptian pets included ducks, geese, monkeys, pigeons, cats, ferrets, dogs, and falcons, so these might have been allowed in schools as well.
Amazigh wizards would have kept pigs, cows, oxen, rams, snakes (one of the animals of Neith, considered to be Libyan), lions (same as snakes), and horses.
RIGHT AND MYTHOLOGY. NOT EVERYONE IN THE MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA IS MUSLIM (OR PRE-MUSLIM ARAB) SO DJINN AREN’T THE ONLY THINGS OUT THERE, U KNOW? In fact, in many places Islam isn’t even indigenous. It was brought there. So for example, the ancient Egyptians actually DID believe in ghosts—visible in the concepts of Khu/Ba (personality aspect of the soul), which lived on even after a person died. One mode of existence for the Ba was depicted as the Ba returning to a person’s mummy and interacting with the world (tomb) in non-corporeal ways, more or less fitting the idea of a ‘ghost.’ The Akh, another aspect of the soul, was thought to match closer to the idea of a ghost, and its influence reached even further past the tomb, and could cause people bad dreams or sickness even in death. The concept of ‘ghosts’ probably wouldn’t translate neatly to ‘djinn’ for all wizards of MENA for that reason and more.
Ok onto ~practices~: I think that North African Amazigh wizards would have used ochre, both red and yellow, a LOT in visual spells—which are much more unknown in Britain/surrounding areas than in North Africa. They would paint pictures/hieroglyphs/etc. (using Tifinagh and ancient Egyptian scripts alike!) with dyes and the spells would happen!! SUPER EXCITING. Also they would perform magic with rocks and other types of nature as well, rather than just wood (wands) like English wizards do. The strongest spells are tied to the setting sun, which the Imazighen worshipped. Desert- and storm-related magic are still popular and prevalent due to ancient worship of Set, and Isis is still seen as at least the metaphorical patroness of magic. Magical midwives are extremely popular among all Amazigh wizards due to old beliefs that issues with pregnancy and childbirth were magical obstacles; these are most often grandmothers or old witches. Weaving is another form of magic, and carpets woven by Amazigh wizards are considered to be extremely potent protection charms; they also produce the highest quality magic carpets, unlike mass-produced ones more prevalent in a lot of North Africa/the Middle East.
ALSO HISTORICAL HEADCANONS for reasons: the Amazigh queen Dihya/Daya ult yenfaq tjrawt was a witch who saw Arab expansion in Tamazgha as a threat not only to Imazighen but to magic as a whole. Her opponents recorded her as ‘al-Kahina’ because of her prowess at divination and seeing the future. The Awras contained and still contained a very densely magical population, with several all-magical villages scattered throughout the terrain.
*disappears into the shadows again*