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Wind Knots: Background information when reading The Witches of Bellinas

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The Witches of Bellinas

A Novel

by J. Nicole Jones

The Witches of Bellinas by J. Nicole Jones X
The Witches of Bellinas by J. Nicole Jones
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  • Published:
    May 2024, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jillian Bell
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About this Book

Wind Knots

This article relates to The Witches of Bellinas

Close-up of a knotted rope on a beach The coastal California setting of The Witches of Bellinas is often beset by fierce and powerful winds. As the strong gusts rage, Mia, Bellinas's unofficial matriarch, explains to main character Tansy that wind has often been associated with magic. She gives the example of a peculiar, and largely forgotten, bit of history.

Hundreds of years ago, in Scandinavia, Ireland and Scotland, it was thought that witchcraft could control the wind, and savvy sailors tried to wield these powers to their advantage. They would buy strings of knots from self-proclaimed witches, believing that there was wind encased in each knot. If the wind at sea failed them, they would untie a knot to release some.

There are records of this practice dating back as far as the 14th century. One literary depiction of it appears in Shakespeare's Macbeth in reference to the abilities of the play's famous witches: "Though you untie the winds and let them fight / Against the churches; though the yesty ...

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