Yesterday, I spent the morning researching religion and belief systems to create the kingdom of Dagda Mead from the Kings point of view. My writing has so far been from the point of view of the Wytch – based on the old religion and paganism. I have had a problem with the Kings (and therefore the kingdoms) new religion, as I didn’t want it to be regarded as anti Christian (or other). So I set about creating my new world religion for my fantasy kingdom. This in itself is a rather large task!
Whilst researching, I received a text from a friend of mine with a link to her new website. About two years ago, they received a different kind message; one from God, to plant a church. Through prayer and hard work they are beginning to realise their work. I was excited for her, for her family, to be doing something that they believed was not just a calling, but also something that they were passionate about on the spiritual and physical levels. I checked out their website, I read everything. I texted back telling her how happy I was for them to be doing such a worthwhile thing, that they were amazing, and I wished them all well on their journey. I even tweeted a link, because I am genuinely happy for them.
My research continued. I came across a site with the title of this particular post : “What is Wrong with Witchcraft?” on Christianvoice.org.uk dated July 2013. Okay, it’s a while ago now, but the comments were still coming through as recently as this year.
In the article, the writer suggests that a Christian lady who was interviewed on a programme – BBC’s Big Questions, answered a question regarding witches, wrongly.
“In Exodus, it says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” What do you say to that?”
Her answer was that the particular passage was from the old testament and that the new testament encourages us to love our neighbours.
The author of this piece, suggested her answer was lame, and proceeded to explain why. The whole post however, there are websites and shops, being advertised dedicated to witches, wicca, neo-pagans, and generally the pagan faith. I continued reading, and bookmarked the site so that I could return and follow the links to said witchy sites. I was after all in research mode, not shopping mode!
“Firstly let me say that no Christian could support ‘trial by ordeal’ by which unfortunate women were wrongly convicted of witchcraft in our land during a period of more than two hundred years with the seventeenth century at its heart. There must be solid evidence to be convicted of any crime. Turning to the self-styled witch on ‘Big Questions’, where is the evidence to convict him? Sticking a star around your neck, growing your hair and dressing in your mum’s old curtains does not come close.
However, it does seem today that we have passed from the hysteria against witchcraft of the seventeenth century to a feeling today that witches and witchcraft are benign and either a bit jolly or silly. Certainly, no-one today could take witchcraft seriously, or say that it is any more than a bit of fun, could they? Well, I believe we ought to examine witchcraft in our day rather more closely.”
He then goes on to state:
“I once heard Colin Dye of Kensington Temple tell a story of Christians in an outreach somewhere in Africa who were opposed by the local witch. The opposition was on purely economic grounds, like the shrine-makers in Ephesus. Christianity would decrease or eliminate her income. So she cursed the missionaries with death before the morning light. Needless to say, they stayed up all night in prayer, praying that God would be their shield and defense and that the arrows of witchcraft would be returned to sender. We can be shocked in Britain by such an approach, common as it is Africa; many of us would pray for the witch instead. Some might go so far as to pray that God would ‘bless her’. Show grace, they would say. Well, these Christians prayed for protection and for the arrows to be returned to sender. (insertion of a quote from Acts 13:8) You are probably way ahead of me already. As dawn broke, the Christians found themselves all alive and in good health. But news soon came. The witch was dead. Then the news spread. What power was here! The village followed the Biblical Deputy and turned to Christ en masse.”
Ding Dong, the Witch is dead! How glorious for them to have such proof and now more dedicated followers. (Sorry, it irked me!)
My perception of this article was that this guy was, actually is, suggesting that witches are in fact a danger. That we have the ability to harm our enemies, that without the light of his God in our lives, we are in fact his enemy. What enemy does a witch have? Do we not live by a code, that although is a recent writing, is still very much based upon ancient lore:
“‘An it harm none, do what thou will.” Harming none is the absolute in the earth based religion.
As I read it, he even suggested that the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, bought upon the floods in 2004. The museum had been there for a long time – 50 years. It brings tourist and trade from around the world, and has a huge traffic to its website. Would their God have flooded the entire area because of a museum?
I was intrigued by what I was reading. Are we bad people? Because we believe in something else, are we the enemy? It made me think about my book, about my King and the Wytches in Dagda Mead. I am happy that I came across this article, as it has helped me form opinions in the point of view of the King. Yet maddened because he states that through prayer, Christians make a spiritual connection to their God, whereas Witches make a false spiritual connection through spells and potions. While the answer to a prayer is in Gods hands, the spell unleashes a power at the hands of the practitioner.
He also states that witchcraft is jolly and silly.
Erm, what? Which is it – do we have the power of your God or are we silly? These two statements don’t match up to me…
More importantly though, from the passages that I have copied above, you can also see that it raises serious questions in the real world. Firstly, that no Christian would support trial by ordeal (yeah, let’s not go through the witch hunter general and the burnings again), but that it is okay to pray for the death of an enemy. As is Gods will? Isn’t this how wars start?
It also raised a question in my own personal world. With my new witchcraft classes due to begin soon, if I were to message my friend of the Christian faith with my own happy news of establishing my business would she tweet a link? Would she be happy for me?
NB: The word witch in the true translation means something else entirely than our modern day meaning of the word – apparently! As my research continued I came across this article: An Enquiry into Biblical Mistranslation over at Proteus Coven
Still. With all this, I got some research done, I reached the heights of spiritual outrage with opposing views and can now happily write the Kings p.o.v. 🙂
The winds of change are blustering at the moment here in Michelle-Land.
I got in a little time with my writing buddy last week, and the project that we are working on has come to the glorious point of the beginning! It’s taken us a long time to get here, with world building, creating our characters, and plotting the three books, but I’m pleased to say that the time has arrived!
It sometimes feels strange to write with someone else. I am so used to sitting and contemplating, then scribbling notes and sometimes just allowing myself to type as a stream of consciousness, that when we get together, I forget that another person is involved in all the ideas, the creation, and the work. Also, as we can’t get together very often, it feels as though we spend most of the time recapping, sharing new ideas and (ahem) finding pretty pictures on Pinterest. Still, it’s coming along nicely, and I can now begin writing the sub-plot which includes one of the villains. Yay.
As far as Wytch goes, I haven’t written a single word since NaNo. Bad, bad, bad. As I have said, I lost my way a little.
Yesterday, as I sat in the garden chatting with my hubby, a gust of wind sent a bluster of leaves down the side of the house and up into the air, to land in a whirl on our patio. It was beautiful to see, this merry little dance. Instantly, I smelled the rain that followed the gust, and a few of the local crows flew across the sky to the rooftops behind our house. This small event, that took place in a matter of seconds, seemed to reawaken the wytch in me, and I suddenly had answers. I was shown the direction I needed to go. Good old Crow. Simple things can grab our attention, small gestures can spark a fire within us, and sometimes if you listen, the winds of change bring inspiration your way.
I’m off to write now, because I finally know what comes next.
Happy writing. x
I’ve spent the last couple of nights writing until around 4:00 am. I love it when this happens.
I’ve always been a night owl, and enjoy the silence that comes when everyone in my family sleeps and all I can hear is the wind outside and our neighbourhood (real) owl.
I have had a complete re-jig of Wytch.
When I first began this blog back in March it was with the intention of writing a book that I had a little idea of what was going to happen. I had some great characters forming in my head, a world that was beginning to show itself to me in which to set the story in, and yet no real plot. Vague ideas floated around.
I knew I wanted it to be about magic. I had the central structure of my magical rules balanced out. I knew that three characters’ lives in particular had to collide in one way or another.
So, I played around with a few scenes and had fun creating situations and gathering information for my world. I even drew out a map and dreamed up the way in which my characters would measure time, how they perceived the after life , and other small things that contribute hugely to world building.
The A-Z Challenge in April was extremely useful to me with much of the planning, however it also allowed me to get carried away. I was a balloon, floating ever higher into the sky, and when I looked down I realised, I had forgotten about the story, the adventure, I could no longer see the world as it was supposed to be, only a blur of colours.
As I said previously, when I decided to join NaNoWriMo, I had to completely re-work my book idea. I removed scenes and characters, I changed some of the story line, and now I hope, the book will flow. I’ve come down from the balloon and discovered my borders and boundaries, I have a clear view of the journey.
The past will now stay in the past, but the history will be hinted at and folk stories told through the present day characters. Magic will be explained throughout, instead of me trying so desperately to explain the workings of it in text book style. The biggest decision I made was to change the format of my heroes. It drove me mad, with two characters constantly fighting over who was to be the star of the show! I hope I’ve done the right thing.
I’ve been at it now for two days, and managed 10,000 words or so. I am pleased so far with what I’ve written, I have plans to continue to write as much as possible.
I’m not editing as I go either, which always seems to be my downfall, it’s so far about the word count, and getting the story told. Editing will come later, as it does with my short stories. It just means that there won’t be any excerpts posted here for a while!
It’s nearly here! NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month.
Beginning on the 1st of November, your mission should you choose to accept it, is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. That equates to 1,666 words per day. Not too shabby. Of course, this is about 200 pages long, so quite a short book really. But, as is my case, you don’t have to stick at exactly 50,000 words, keep going to 150,000 words if you like, or you can use the time to write the first draft and pad it all out later if you want.
It’s been running for years, but this is the first year I’m taking part. last year I tumbled around with the idea, but never really committed to it. Here’s the link NaNoWriMo
There are forums, regional meet-ups, plenty of pep talks and tips to help you as you go. Even pretty badges and widgets…
I signed up at the last minute, I initially thought I would write one of my other projects, while I wrote my profile and uploaded a profile picture, it seemed that way. However, they asked me for a title, a synopsis, and an excerpt. I suddenly realised that Wytch would be perfect for it. I would have deadlines, I would be forced to reconcile my heroes fighting and figure out the plot holes that was keeping me back from moving forward with my book.
It was just the kick up the arse I needed!
Here I am: Saxton-Corner if you’re also taking part, look me up and we can be buddies – their terminology not mine!
With the start time on the horizon, the jolt worked. I sat myself down and moved the plot around, cancelled out some characters, who although I love them dearly, really had no place within the story. I got my notebooks out, rewrote the plot, redrew a map, and made a plan. I’m happy to say that I’m back to work and have fallen in love with my story all over again. Don’t get me wrong – blood shed was needed. But I’m back to locking myself in my room, demanding tea and quiet from my boys. They may be out a lot over the next month!
I’ll be keeping you all updated on my progress and will post excerpts along the way, so the blog will be back to normal now 🙂
Right, I need to stock up on sweeties and teabags. Good luck to any of you taking part, and I’ll see you all on the other side.
I thought I would share a little excerpt from Wytch, which introduces my anti hero, Brom, to a certain extent. It’s more about the messenger, than the man himself.
It’s been a tough few weeks where my writing has been concerned.
Wytch had to take a rest, or rather, I had to take a rest from Wytch. There are several reasons for this – Story line and plot, my two heroes battling it out for stardom, and the time line (again!) It seems that when ever I solve a problem, I create a new one, sometimes even two.
So I put it away.
I worked on some short stories instead.
I worked on my joint project with my writing partner.
I caught up with boring jobs, like ironing.
I caught up with old friends for a ceremony to say goodbye to our friend.
Today, I am trying to get serious again.
I took Wytch out. I looked at my notes and have decidede that there are a few things that just aren’t quite right. I still don’t know whether this is due to my trying to combine two different stoies, or three different time lines. I’m pondering.
However, I promised Fridays Flash, and so far have only provided one. so here’s the second.
Have a fabulous weekend 🙂
“The child stepped gently through the red and golden leaves that now lay on the forest floor, highlighted by the light-show of crepuscular rays breaking the monotony of the trees.
She adored this time of day, walking through the woodland, listening to the world around her as it woke from a perfect night of sleep.
The job of bringing in the netting and thread from the stream down below her though, she did not like.
It was her duty as the youngest girl. To rise before her sisters and brother was almost like a punishment to her; she tried so hard to not do things wrong, to go through life quietly and carefully.
She tiptoed along the carpet of moss and stones. Seeds and dust particles circled her as she disturbed the stillness of air; tiny winged creatures hovered around as she knelt at the waters edge.
Pulling on the thread, that her sisters had weaved the previous day, she noticed there was a tension, a tension that she had never felt before, and as she pulled it tighter, winding it around the stick, three fish broke the surface of the water, attached to the hooks on the thread.
She allowed herself a giggle, anxiety released its grip from within her stomach allowing relaxation to return, usually there was only one fish, today there were three, this was why the tension was different.
Silly little girl, allowing superstitions to play games with her mind, she tried to focus on her task, and rid her mind of such foolish thoughts.
However, as she pulled at the fish, she saw that the talisman seal was broke. How could this be? She shivered, as her heartbeat quickened, what would it mean for family.
The forest lights went out, and she felt the cool air change to a hot flash.
On the floor beside her, were two hooves, almost cloaked in green fabric, she followed the skirt upwards to a brown leather corset and the woman who wore it. Her hair looked like horns and she had dark coal eyes, she was holding a finger to her lips and slowly smiled at Sala.
“I need you to go to your brother and tell him it is beginning. “
She spoke quietly but with a warm intensity, not quite a demand.
“Do you understand me, Sala?”
Sala nodded, she didn’t know exactly what this meant, but she had heard the tales about broken seals and hooven creatures. She thought her grandmother and brother were just entertaining her, she never believed it could all be true.
The woman stood, and began to make strange markings on the tree.
She glanced around at Sala and raised her voice this time.
“Go. You must go. Do it now Sala.”
Sala turned and ran, she left the fish and the thread, she left the forest, and she didn’t look back.”