The witches of Macbetth were based on earlier references such as The Fates, and Holinsheds Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland* (1587) which described the women as “three women in strange and wild apparell, resembling creatures of elder world,” who gave their prophecies and vanished immediately our of sight. Holinshed observes that “the common opinion was that these women were either the Weird Sisters, that is… the goddesses of destiny, or else some nymphs or fairies embued with knowledge of prophecy by their necromantical science. **
In other words, magical creatures, maybe even fariy kind. It was only in Shakespeare’s time that the three women were described as ugly, dirty, old hag witches. At the time he wrote his masterpiece, there was great superstition and fear around witches and the gift of prophecy.
Those who can see the future are often blamed for making happen what it is that they’ve seen. The people that they predict the future for, often don’t want or can’t see that their own actions are leading to outcome in their future. A seer simply follows the lines into the future and tells what they’ve seen.Is the future indelible? Is it written in stone? Why have someone tell you your future if you can’t do anything about it? The truth is that, at each and every moment in our lives we shape the future with our thoughts. feelings and actions. If you don’t like what you’ve been told then change your thoughts, and more importantly, your feelings, so that your actions lead to the outcome you that you do want. And please don’t blame the messenger!
In my painting, the woman on the left looks inward to see what thoughts and feelings of the past that have inspired actions. The one in the middle looks at those past actions that have led to this nexus, and finally the one looking into the crystal ball follows the lines to the probable outcome in the future.
* Holinsheds Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, is a collaborative work published in several volumes and two editions, the first in 1577, and the second in 1587.
** ^ Nicoll, Allardyce; Muir, Kenneth. “Shakespeare survey”. Camb