Updated: Apr 6
Boudicca, a key character in The Hidden King, is (fortunately for our hero) skilled in the healing arts and well known in the White City.
A healer begins on the path by
apprenticing to an experienced healer, during which time one studies apothecary arts and the necessities of the trade. Most young healers begin their apprenticeship when they have between ten and twelve years. By the age of eighteen, an apprentice often becomes the master's professional partner, and by the early twenties, healers frequently choose to open their own practices.
Healing is a profession that few find themselves inclined to pursue; while healers are regarded as necessary, and their patients usually think of them with gratitude, there is a degree of unease regarding this trade. After all, healers deal in afflictions that very few understand, and since healers often draw on magic to perform their cures, many people find them unsettling. Still, given their integral role in the preservation of life, they are generally viewed with respect.
Tools of the trade
Bandages, sutures, cloths, sharp blades, tea supplies, mortar and pestle, restraints and tourniquets.
A well-trained healer will use a variety of herbal extracts, powdered roots and medicinal plants. For example, these may include willow bark for pain; lavender for cleansing; hawthorn for heart conditions and blood flow; and chamomile for soothing a stomach, decreasing inflammation, or reducing infection.
Treating wounds, curing illness, midwifery, easing the passing of the dying, soothing mental afflictions, offering comfort.
It is the job of a healer to treat any injury, but a great number of apothecaries provide poisons alongside medicines. Deadly and healing properties are often found in the same plant, and the method of use makes all the difference--is one herb an asphyxiate or an anesthetic, an emetic or a killer? Some are always poisonous, and a healer's knowledge is essential to proper use.
Dangers & Hazards
As part of a healer's job involves magic, it is necessary for practitioners to proceed with caution. After all, magic is simply fae power, captured and channeled through human hands, and the fae are not known to be generous. Therefore, a talented healer will use magic carefully, so as not to draw attention. Healers usually use magic only when it is necessary, and only to treat grievous injuries or illnesses.
E.G. RADCLIFF IS AN INCURABLE WRITER and lifelong imaginer of worlds. An insatiable reader and researcher with a penchant for all things Celtic and a love of the mysterious and magical, she brings a knowing touch to her Young Adult fiction. She enjoys adventure, reading on the train, and dreams about flying. She is a Chicago native and is based in Illinois.
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photo credit Octavian Dan, Unsplash