Category Archives: fiction

Witches in Fiction 2013

My dear friend, fictional and spiritual soul-sister, Ashtoreth Eldritch announced her participation in Magaly Guerrero’s blog, Pagan Culture, for the Blogiversary, the Witches in Fiction 2013 – To The Bone..

The link is pretty self-explanatory on how to sign off if you so deire. Magaly is such a powerhouse in her own right and she has so much energy that it is hard to resist her invitation to the dance. For myself, I have been needing to get back to writing for Frances Moira McKay, aka Mme. le Comtesse de Rochefort as her very persistent husband keeps nudging her (and yours truly, her scribe) in that direction. It will be good to be putting out at least a little fiction again, in amidst other writing and film projects and school. As with everything else, there seems to be no rest for the wicked – whether a witch or no.

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Words and Symbolism

In the beginning there was the Word. Communications, writing especially, is the ultimate priesthood. Within it we can heal, we can harm, we can convey the very contents of our souls, our dreams and aspirations. We can create, we can destroy – and they can live beyond us. The Word creates the world.

That is why the sacredness of words is so central to the Ancient Egyptian or Kemetic belief system. The ancient Egyptians held that the word was sacred. They believed that uttering the true name or ren of something or someone could either create or destroy them. You could, make or unmake if something was uttered absolutely correctly. If not, and something is misspoken? Well, we Kemtics have a saying that “the Mysteries protect themselves.” In my experience, that has been very true. The chances of disaster striking is less likely because unordered words were not and are not effective.

Behind this notion is the power of the Word. This concept, which is also a Goddess in her own right, is Ma’at. Ma’at is the right order of things, the balance of the sum total of everything. Ma’at is the moral ideal, and that which judges us in the end. There is Universal Ma’at, but there is also personal ma’at and only we can determine what that is or is not for us. Through our words and our deeds, ma’at is that which we are responsible for, each of us every moment of our lives. Every contract we sign, every promise or vow we make holds us into account for what we have done, and ultimately feeds into who we are as a person. Either we are trustworthy or untrustworthy, balanced or out of balance. It is something that is with us for every moment of our lives. As Sir Lawrence Olivier once said about life and livelihood: “Everything we do is autobiographical.”

The Goddess Maa't

This Ma’at through our words is all stored within the heart. And it is that which is, at the time of our death and in the Halls of Double Ma’ati in Amenta or the Underworld, weighed against the feather of Ma’at. This is the purpose that the Negative Confession, often mistranslated as being the 42 “Laws” of Ma’at, provides. The “confession” served a purpose. In the litany of denials of all the things we have not done to disturb not only universal ma’at but our ow. The Negative Confession was used so that your own heart would not rat you out or betray you. In antiquity, this meant the difference between joining Wasir (Osiris) and the rest of the gods in the Field of Reeds or ending up as a snack for the Ammit, and dying the second death, from which there was no return. If anything, this negative confession gives us pause to think before we act or before we speak.

It also underscores the idea that whenever we know something in our heart, we can feel it. This feeling is right in that undeniable spot. When we are stricken to our core, it is in that place where we feel it most profoundly. From there it spreads out to the rest of the body and in some extreme cases, can even strike us down where we stand. It can keep us up many a sleepless night and dog our every step during the day. We may try to drown it in drink, alcohol, drugs or any other external pleasure or inner escapism, but still it waits for the moment where it can niggle at our innards and we essentially eat ourselves via that reminding voice.

Immortality lies within our words. That is why writing is so vital for those of us who call ourselves writers. Some, like me, cling to this notion. We tear into it ravenously upon waking or even before sleeping because we know that ultimately it is what is at the very core of us. Getting those words out, whether it is by telling stories that are inside of us via fiction, non fiction, film or by some other means, it is as important to us as breathing. We do not feel right with the world or ourselves if we sit on the words that are inside of us.

In the beginning was the Word…

My own mouth came to me, and Magic was my name.

The Ancient Egyptians understood something that we moderns quite often forget. Within the pictographs of the language was also housed a deeper, unseen meaning. There are literal and symbolic meanings. Most indigenous cultures still tap into this symbolist’s viewpoint. Symbolism often can bridge the gap between literacy and illiteracy. Though literacy, as we know it today, was not as widespread in antiquity as it is now, there is always something that resonates through the world of the symbolic ‘word’ to the world of form. It is not just a primitive and simplistic superstition. It is a reality. Look at the symbol for the word life – the ankh. Ankh This has been incorporated into so much of what we know today. You don’t even have to know how to spell the word, ankh, the symbol by itself conveys several thousand years of the idea behind it. Ancient mirrors were shaped like an ankh because they reflected life. The same is true of so many other symbols. Another symbol, the eye – the window of the soul, what you serve, what sees, what bears witness, what punishes us for the wrongdoing, what protects us in the end from enemies that might wish to do us harm.

This is why, to my mind, the works of R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, his wife, Isha, and his stepdaughter, Lucie Lamy had it right. Recent offerings from Jeremy Naydler and Richard Reidy also tap into this idea using ancient symbolism along with what we know archaeologically and egyptologically. Somewhere between the ridiculous offerings of new age hucksters and the staunch, unwavering scientific certainty of liturgy that has been “proven” is something else. Between those two extremes is a middle ground where our words are felt by instinct. Of course, modern language is not nearly as complex as that of the ancients. Their words, comprised of hundreds of symbols could have as many as seventeen tenses and double and triple entandres in addition to the symbolic meaning. No wonder so few were scribes or even literate!

But all of this aside. Study and absorption are all a constant for each of us. Writing is part of that process and if we are alive and conscious, especially within this social media driven world, some of us have become determined to prattle less, write more. Within that resolution, came the newest nighttime behaviour: less awakened by nightmares, I have been awakened by insights rather than nightmares of ruin and destruction. These insights are the very things that I have hoped for. It’s the feverent wish to be given a small clue, realization or insight that are needed. As I write this, there is a small gold statue of Djehuty (Thoth), the god of Wisdom and writing watching over me. I think sometimes he must somehow just blink ant my unordered thoughts!

To my mind, I have been sitting on my words for too long. I have endless reams of what I have written either on Livejournal, PanHistoria, Dreamwidth and my various blogs. The hardest part for me is organizing it and perhaps that is where my use of Scrivener comes in. It allows me to do what needs to be done and pass it between PCs in smaller files that are more easily arranged. It’s long since time to actually do something with it.

We are surrounded by words on a nearly constant basis. We are rarely able to escape from them for any length of time and we are immersed in them to such a degree that we barely have time for our own thoughts. But perhaps thinking about the words that we write or that we utter, we can come to an understanding about how and why words were considered sacred. This is especially needed in a world where our words will undoubtedly outlive us.

BD Hunefer cropped 1

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The ‘Dude’ (Aka Jesus)

Dreams are strange things. I have a long history of having very strange and very profound dreams. If anyone, particularly a psychologist, were to ask whether or not I dream in colour, I would have to say, yes, indeed I do. If that makes me crazy, then so be it.

Recently I had one of those dreams that ranked pretty high on the strangeness scale, even for me. It started out as so may of my dreams do, where there is a tornado. A dream interpreter would say that this particular symbol means that there is an incredible amount of chaos in the life of the dreamer. I think I would agree with this. My life is filled with a bit of chaos at the moment.

As a result of this tornado dream, I ended up dead. That was the first time I had ever dreamed of anything like that. I do remember that I was more pissed-off that I could not tell my son how to distribute my stuff than I was in being recently deceased. There were some specifics that were not in my will, after all.

In the dream, I found myself in Heaven in a waiting room. It was kind of like the one you see in the movie, “Beetlejuice”. I remember that the waiting room was pretty full. My case worker, a lovely, mid-fiftyish African American Woman was going over this and that, and asked me what my religious preference was.

“Kemetic Orthodox,” I said, “But don’t you guys have that on file?; I asked, eyebrows raised. This was Heaven after all. They should have known these types of things.

“Oh, yes,” she wrote down my reply in her notes, “but so many people decide to change their minds when they realise that they’re dead.”

“Really? Why do they do that?” I asked.

“I think some of them have the idea that they may end up getting a better deal if they switch,” she said rather matter-of-factly.

“Well…..do they?” I was quite curious now.

“No,” she said with a shrug, “everyone pretty much gets the same thing.” She then pointed a slender finger at the waiting room that had not become any less crowded in the course of our conversation. “Why don’t you have a seat and we will call you when we’re ready.”

I nodded and sat down. My initial indignance at being unable to speak to my son seemed to have been forgotten for the moment. I picked up a copy of KMT magazine of Egyptology. It had a fabulous full-colour article on the reconstruction of Thebes going on somewhere in Heaven. I made a mental note to check it out. It was one of those places that I had always wanted to see. If I could see it in all of its past glories, so much the better.

I was completely caught up in my reading when there was a commotion. It was as if the Rolling Stones had decided to open up an impromptu set on the spot. I craned my neck around the throngs of people to see who might be causing all of the commotion. In the front of the mass of people who were quite literally tripping over themselves to get to this person, I saw none other than Jesus – who bore a frightening resemblence to Jeff Bridges as Jeff Lebowski (aka ‘The Dude’) in ‘The Big Lebowski”. With that kind of laid back attitude, it seemed perfectly appropriate to me that Jesus would get a rock star’s reception. After several minutes, the agitation of the crowd died down. Everyone would get their chance to talk to Jesus. From what I could see as I went back to my magazine, Jesus was a pretty cool guy. He was standing around chatting calmly and kindly and it seemed that he was quite approachable.

Eventually Jesus made his way over to me and took the now empty seat next to me. I shook his hand and we began chatting. Jesus was warm and polite, wore well worn flip flops and he had an easy laugh. It would be very difficult not to like a man who looked like a rock star and had the temperament of the Dalai Lama. In his warmth, I began to feel very self-conscious about something that I felt I needed to tell him. I did not want to lead him on, especially since he had been so very kind during our conversation.

“You know,” I began uncomfortably, “I have to be honest with you, Dude….I mean Jesus. I think you are really very nice and a really cool guy. But I have to say I couldn’t be a Christian anymore. I left and I have no intentions of returning – ever” I said. “But I want you to know, Jesus, it isn’t you,” I added hurriedly. “It really isn’t you. “ I searched his face and it showed absolutely no sign of surprise or disappointment. “It’s some of your followers, Dude. Too many of them, quite frankly, well…they suck.”

Jesus nodded and heaved a very long and heavy sigh. “Yeah. I know,” he said, “I get that a lot. I really am going to have to set a few of them straight. I mean all I said was, ‘love one another’. How hard is that? “

Jesus and I finished our very amicable conversation and he went on to mingle elsewhere. In the meantime, I finished my magazine and got up and began checking out the various Egyptian statues. I was totally engrossed in the detail of one of them when my case worker called my name.

“Well, we’ve scheduled your driving test for you!”the receptionist said. She did sound rather chuffed at having managed such a feat. Apparently, even in the afterlife, such things can be a difficult proposition.

“Driving test?! I said incredulously, “in Heaven?!” It was almost an overwhelming surprise. “I didn’t think they needed cars, let alone licenses here,” I said.

“Oh, yes,” she said in that same matter-of-fact tone. “It was quite necessary for us to institute that. To be honest, we’ve been having a real road rage problem up here as of late and we’re trying to avoid that.”

“What happens if someone gets road rage up here,” I asked.

“Oh, then it’s a requirement that the offender go…”she looked about nervously, “downstairs” to attend traffic school with you know….HIM.”

“Him?” I was puzzled. “You mean…Satan?”

“Shhh!! We don’t talk about him up here. Seriously. You don’t want to be flagged for further testing, do you?”

Thankfully, it was then that I woke up. A few minutes after I had dragged myself out of bed, I called my son to wish him a good weekend and to remind him that no matter what, I loved him. I didn’t remember when the last time was that I did that, and after the dream I felt it was important to do so.

I sometimes think that because of my religious belief, where life and the afterlife are almost exactly the same, that idea can be in some ways rather disheartening. All of the frustrations and responsibilities that we encounter in this present, waking life, tend to remind us that we need to be in the now. We need to be responsible and honest with both ourselves and those around us about what we believe and how we feel. Loving and caring about each other should not be along lines of who is of our belief system and who isn’t. We are all human beings, and compassion knows no creed. We need to live our lives as if we mean it.

It also might help if we were to check with our priests and pastors to make sure that our drivers licenses are good from one reality into the next.

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OOC: Returning

It’s been a very long time that I have been away from LJ. In a conversation with my beloved friend, the scribe of all_forme, we have decided to pick up Faelyn and Rochefort’s story once more. This journal will be used mainly for RP and writing. I miss everyone and am looking forward to posting once again.

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The Fallen Star (Fiction)

And many will tremble thereby.
All habitations and desert spaces are indeed of My own creation, set forth,
All fully within My strength, not that of the false gods;
Wherefore I am He that men come with their rightful worship,
Not the false gods of their books, wrongly written;
But they come to know Me, a Peacock of bronze and of gold,
Wings spread over Kaaba and Temple and Church, not to be overshadowed.
And in the secret cave of My wisdom it is known that there is no God but Myself,
Archangel over all the Host, Melek Ta’us.
Knowing this, who dares deny?
Knowing this, who dares fail to worship?
– “Mes’haf i Resh” (The Yezidi Black Book)

He was the Brightest Star in the Heavens. Some say he was himself a god. Others say he was merely the servant of the Divine. In either case, the glorious perfection and splendour that he was had and has no equal either in the Heavens nor upon the Earth. Before humanity’s feet ever touched the sacred soil of Middle Earth, Melek Taus otherwise known as Azazel, the Father of the Tuaduha d’ Anu, the Duanine Sidhe, the People of the Stars and of the Powers, along with his company were called into the presence of Yahweh. This self-appointed Lord of the Heavens wished all to see his latest creation,; Man, of whom the demiurge was most proud. “See before you, Melek Taus, Adam, of who is my greatest creation; even greater than yourself.” He said. Yahweh then ordered Melek Taus and the company of Heaven to kneel before Adam and to bow down and worship him. Many of the Heavenly Host did as they were commanded by Yawed and bowed down before Adam. But Melek Taus refused, and 200 of those of his company refused along with him.

“Why do you press me?” Malkek Taus asked. The Peacock Angel then looked upon this Adam. With a scoff of indignance he looked back at Yahweh, ” I will worship God alone and I will not worship one who is younger than I am, and inferior to me. I am older than he is. If anything, this, your creation, ought to instead worship me!”*

Yahweh grew very angry at Melek Taus and his company’s refusal to worship Adam and reproached them. “Begone from my sight, Melek Taus! For your disobedience, you and your company are cursed and cast down! You and all of your followers shall wander the Earth in the deserts until the seas boil and the sky falls.”

And so, Melek Taus, otherwise known to the Shepherd Peoples as Azazel and the company of 200 angels were cast down from the Heavens to the wastelands of Earth. The Demiurge sought to bind him and his company into the deepest recesses of the wastelands, using even the Archangel Raphael to attempt to accomplish the deed.

However…..

Once an Angel, even from the ashes, always an Angel. Melek Taus is yet far more than mere legends ascribe to him. Melek Taus arose as the Bennu Bird, the Phoenix, the Peacock, all of which are seen by the Sidhe as a brother. He is seen by the human Yezidi peoples as Supreme Being, with ultimate authority over the world and all worldly matters. He gave to us, the Sidhe, and to humans, all knowledge of metals and of armor, of jewelry and cosmetics that make Sidhe and human form beautiful. From Melek Taus, all luxury was given. To these he also taught all wisdom, knowlege of herbs and the healer’s art, magic and sensuality and the art of alchemy so that his followers should want for nothing.

So now, after these centuries, at last it comes to light that he is the One who came to me as a child. Melek, my brother who set me upon the Path of Power, restored to me and to the Sidhe, My Throne upon the Fortunate Island. The truth, no matter the written blasphemies of others, shall be told , for we the Sidhe cannot and do not lie. It is an anathema to us. In spite of the best efforts of tinker-monarchs and lesser mortals and immortals alike, the Fallen Star shall rise once more.


Muse: Faelyn Gan Caenach
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore /Mythology
Word Count: 501 (excluding quotation)

Special thanks to Iona Miller for her kind help in my research.

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Standard Disclaimer for All Fiction

Because I write fiction over at Pan Historia, Dreamwidth and sometimes even over at Livejournal from time to time, I have to post a standard disclaimer. This is because of the sad fact that people are often unable to discern fiction from non-fiction and need you to preface it. This particular one has my own personal spin on it:

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work / journal are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Caveat: However, if the writer should decide that some cheap therapy is needed and there is does happen to be some hapless victim or two that dies a horrible, particularly grisly and senseless death; it very well might be that it does in fact represent someone after all.

Thank you.

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Book Review: “Plants of Love: The History of Aphrodisiacs, and A Guide to Their Identification and Uses

NON-FICTION :Plants of Love: The History of Aphrodisiacs, and A Guide to Their Identification and Use“, by Christian Ratsch, 1997 10 Speed Press, ISBN 089815-928-8 $19.95 (US)

CONTENT: Christian Ratsch has done it again with his wonderfully illustrated guide to yet another aspect of all things herbal. He pulls together the appropriate amounts of history, monographs including pictures that would help someone identify the plant in the wild. There are over a thousand plants that through history have been or are still being used as aphrodisiacs, and Ratsch rarely shies away from the frank discussion of any of them. He presents the information both interesting and shares enough knowledge to be of interest to the layperson, the Witch, as well as the scholar or the practising herbalist.

As far as books on the topic of Aphrodisiacs and their uses, Ratsch does the best job of any that I have seen. Far too many either get into debunking as to why these plants have been or are still useful, or they throw alot of urban legend into the mix without qualifying the information. Such practices cause plants (and even some animals) to be used in the process of trying to induce an erotic state or increase virility or fertility; some to the point of endangerment. Thankfully Ratsch is very conscious of this problem.

There are recipes for infusions, ointments, incenses and brews that are sure to entice. I was disappointed that Nymphaea caerulea or Blue “Lotus” (which is actually a blue water lily) was not included. I have tinctured and worked with this plant extensively and was very surprised, especially with its symbology and history that there was no discussion of it. There is a small bit of information about Nelumbo nucifera or ‘true’ Lotus, which is native to India and Asia that was very inclusive – as were most of all of the other entries.

RATING: B+ My only disappointment is that there is not even more in this book. There is a frank and extended discussion of even more plants in his latest book, including the ones that I was disappointed not seeing in this one, “Psychoactive Plants” which I am currently reading and will most probably be reviewing next. I definitely recommend “Plants of Love” as a great addition to any herbal library, however.

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Miles to Go

“And miles to go before I sleep.” — Robert Frost

either of them had done anything that I could condemn them for.

And yet the glances exchanged over dinner, and chess and now on the dance floor of the ballroom left very little to the imagination. From the moment the two had met, the SS Colonel and my youngest daughter, Jocelyn…Joie-Lynn had established a bond. Long glances, deep conversations and shared laughter punctuated their association from the start.

I bid the last guests goodnight. Jean-Pierre Moreau, the Chateau foreman, had left after he had received word his young daughter was running a fever. Begging my forgiveness, he left the gathering, but I suspected it was more than that. I agreed he should be with his daughter and promised that I would send Amarante to see to her or look to the child myself to make sure that it was nothing too serious. Like all good fathers, and certainly since the death of his wife, he was so very much more attentive to the little dark haired cherub with bright blue eyes. In spite of his obvious affection also for Jocelyn, the love of a father was stronger. In those eyes I saw how Sebastien had been with both of our daughters. Nothing could keep him away from either of them if they were sick or hurt. Continue reading

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Munday – Drabbles

1. Do you go over 100 words, or find your drabbles coming up short more often?

I always tend to write more. The challenge is in the edit so that it fits to that 100 word mark.

2. What do you do to edit when you’re over/under where you should be?

I will be more sketchy with my details, delete unnecesssary dialogue and do a lot of implied metaphor. In other words, I do a hatchet job on it or just provide a snippet or snapshot of something larger.

3. Have you learned anything about word choice and economy of words by writing drabbles?

No. That isn’t something that writing drabbles has taught me. When you write for the media, you have to write tight, concise pieces in the inverse pyramid fashion. That has to come with practice and with the editorial demands of the delivery system you are using. Writing for print isn’t like writing a PR piece or a piece for broadcast media and neither of them is like writing for a documentary or a screenplay. There are standards in each of these arenas and so you have to adapt accordingly to what those are. Writing fiction for this comm and on LJ is what I do to unwind. Some people have a cigarette. I write a few paragraphs.

One thing I have learned is that nothing here on LJ is worth stressing over. Save that kind of anxiety for something that writes you a paycheck.

4. About how long does it take you to write a drabble?

That really depends on a number of factors. If the Muse is in the mood and inspired, it can take me ten minutes. If the Musse is reluctant, or if I have a huge number of things on my plate, it may take me several hours or a half a day to get it to where I want it to be.

5. Do you have any secret drabbling tips / hints to share with your fellow drabblers?

Carry a notebook with you at all times, or barriing that, drop keywords into your smartphone to remind you later. Sometimes inspiration can come from something heard on the radio, in an overheard conversation or at any number of places.

Also, think and write cinematically. The drabble is very similar to a Mise-en-scène. You have a single frame and it is that single frame, that snapshot that is visible. The Mise-en-scène is what we see. Editing is what we do not see. So you do not need to include everything. That is a tough lesson to learn for someone like me who likes to either analyse things to death and /or give lots of details in my writing. You still want to convey what is important, but you have to do it with an “economy of style” so as to hit that magic 100 words.

Bonus question:
If you are participating in 100 Drabbles of Summer, how many have you completed so far?

I have just a couple done so far and will post them later today. Lots of deadlines to meet, and fortunately has a fairly long one on this assignment. 😉

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Obedience Under Duress

Tonight, make a decision and make it fast. No hesitation or indecision allowed!
What’s the situation requiring Instant Action(tm)? What decision do you make? Who else is affected?

“You will provide a written testament of the current status of your project,” he said, waving a writing pad before her.

“And you will take an oath to make regular reports to me on the work done by Herr Chaubert and others of your order working on similar goals. And if you do, you shall be released. I will put you back in your cell to think on this. And I will leave you pencil and paper. Just in case.”

Francoise McKay regarded the masked man looming in front of her. She caught the eyes behind the masque and wondered why he deemed it appropriate to wear one. She could perceive no obvious deformity from this vantage point. Perhaps it was not, she thought, because of vanity. She only stared at him numbly. Captain Mors was obviously running out of patience. What was so pressing, she wondered?

“You have only a short time, Frau McKay,” Captain Mors offered as he placed the pad and pencil before her. “I would not take too much time to decide or to write out what I have asked you for.” Elegantly he then turned toward the door and did not utter another word, nor did he look back at her. Continue reading

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