Senior Project: Circe
Most of you probably remember Circe from reading The Odyssey in high school (or even earlier): enchantress or goddess living on an island, turns the crew into animals through the use of potions and her wand, falls in love with Odysseus, and sends them on their merry way with lots of thorough directions to get home. (The crew, of course, is returned to human form, but more handsome and younger.)
That’s not really much of a life, is it? Just sitting around in a forest populated by docile lions and wolves, turning the occasional passerby into a specimen for the island menagerie. It must be pretty dull; after all, she falls in love with Odysseus only after he is able to withstand her magic (with help from the gods, but that’s neither here nor there). She’s most likely lonely as well, at least in terms of human company.
So you’ve got another independent woman, one living in the midst of the wilderness, but not only is she in tune with nature (animals in particular), but she’s so familiar with the terrain that she can give you detailed navigational instructions for many leagues beyond her domicile. That’s pretty close to omnipotence in an age without satellite imaging or even detailed, accurate maps.
I found the text for The Odyssey here.