Witan


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Witan

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Witan, or Witenagemot, was the national council of "wise ones" who advised the Anglo-Saxon kings in early Britain. For example, King Alfred asked the advice of the Witan regarding the testamentary disposition of his private inheritance. He also consulted his Witan before making peace with Guthrum. The Witan started as a small group of advisors but with the king of Wessex becoming the king of all England, the Witan also grew in size.

The group was composed chiefly of eorls, or nobles of hereditary rank, together with gesiths, or professional warriors. As a lawmaker, the king seldom acted without his Witan. There are many instances to show that this Witan was also able to elect a king. By late Old English times the Witan had many ceremonial functions, joining the king when he received ambassadors and, by the eleventh century, joining him in public feasting.

The word "Witan" comes from the same root as the Old English wiccian, "to work sorcery." Henry Sweet's The Student's Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon cites the Anglo-Saxon wita/io/ge (m) meaning "a sage or wise man," and witeg/a or witga, "a wise man or prophet."

Speaking of a modern tradition of Witchcraft, Edain McCoy says, "Witta, the Irish Gaelic term for the Anglo-Saxon word Wicca, is one of the Irish names of the craft."

References in periodicals archive ?
16) Nylle ic aefre hionan ut witan, ac ic symle her softe wille mid faeder willan faeste stondan.
On Wednesday, Titan made the 35-mile journey from the Thames Valley Police stables at Witan Gate, Milton Keynes, to the sanctuary.
Under the Saxons, the essential court structure consisted of the county courts, the hundred courts, and the Witan which was the final court to which there could be no resort until the other courts had been exhausted and unless the matter was of some importance.
He warns his audience that unless there is drastic moral improvement, a similar fate may befall them, because "wysrsan daeda we witan mid Englum ponne we mid Bryttan ahwar gehyrdan" [we know worse deeds amongst the English than we ever heard amongst the Britons] (Beth.
GUIDE Though this word seems to speak for itself, I find it important to point out that its Proto-Germanic source, wit, meant "to know"; this turned into witan, "show the way," in the West Germanic Frankish language.
The witan at first served as both a legislative body and as a jury to try civil and criminal cases, but eventually the legislative and jury functions of the witan were separated.
Savvy investors watch values drop and pick up shares when they believe in the market, and if you look at the market lately, it seems that they do," said Dennis Garritan, managing director of WITAN Group.
Subraya la relacion entre mirada y comprension el parentesco que existe, en las lenguas de la familia indo-europea, entre la terminologia para ver y para idear (latin video, griego eidon, sanscrito veda, gotico witan, y que forma parte de dru-wid-s, el druida celta, o el vate o adivino, Delamarre 2003: 318319; Onians 1988: 16-7; Snell 2007: 49, etc.
Bishops here can be found administering justice, shaping law codes, promulgating more robust notions of sacral kingship, going on diplomatic missions, and fully participating in the life of the witan or council of royal advisers who helped prepare for war (ch.
9 TOPCIMA success award 2007, sponsored by Witan Jardine.
Rival fund managers F&C, Witan and Henderson also run funds on behalf of children focusing on investment trusts.