Category Archives: Fae Friday

Fae Friday the 13th

13

What do you think of Friday the 13th? Is it a good omen or a bad one? Would you buy a house, schedule surgery, go about your normal business, or are you more likely to call in sick and hide under your bed?

Friday the 13th has only been an ultra bad luck day for a century or so. However, Friday has long been considered ill-fated, due in part to Christ dying on a Friday. As well, the number 13 has a long dismal history of foreboding and evil fortune. For example, there were 13 people at the Last Supper. The number 13 shakes things up, as opposed to 12, whose essence is considered perfect and complete. 

The number 12 strikes a chord of dignity and balance. There are 12 Disciples, 12 Olympians, 12 lines in a cube, 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 hours of day and of night, 12 eggs in a dozen, 12 ribs in a human, and so on. Adding one more to make 13 creates an element of mystery, of the unknown, and throws things out of balance. We can’t control the tone of chaos created by 13.

Still, in ancient cultures 13 was often a holy number and much revered.
How about it? Let’s give 13 a little respect.

Our modern solar calendar year has 12 months, but at a time long past a year was measured by moon cycles and had 13 months of 28 days each. Within the modern solar year there are 13 full moons, and 13 dark of the moon. Thus, we have blue moons (two full moons in a month) to account for the natural moon cycle.Moonovergraveyard7-1-2015

A woman generally has 13 moon cycles per year.

Some important United States’ symbols honor the number 13. There are 13 horizontal stripes on the flag, and the Great Seal is depicted with items in clusters of 13, including 13 stars. The dollar bill has a ton of symbolic references to 13, including 13 steps on the pyramid and 13 letters in each Latin phrase.dollar

There were 13 colonies and of course 13 stars on the first U.S. flag.

13 was sacred to the ancient Egyptians. After death, a soul had to climb the ladder of eternity with its 13 rungs.

In Norse mythology Loki was the unlucky 13th guest, bringing turmoil and destruction. Do you like the modern Loki portrayed by Tom Hiddleston?

Esoteric studies often contain increments of 13, such as the 13 attributes of mercy, and the 13 circles in the archangel Metatron’s cube. In this, 13 represents the bonding of the many into oneness.

In numerology, 13 is a powerful karmic number. It forces upheaval so that outdated, ill-serving structures can crumble and be rebuilt.

The 13th Tarot card is Death, meaning drastic change, renewal, and rebirth.

The silent highwayman

By Punch Magazine [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ehwaz2

In mathematics 13 is a fascinating Fibonacci number, a sequence wherein certain numbers are the sum of the two preceding numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…) 

The 13th Runic letter is Eihwaz, associated with horses, movement, and the journey in the spheres of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.

M is the 13th letter of the alphabet and begins such marvelous words as mellifluous, marshmallow, and medieval. What “m” words do you like?

PearSchnapps2Prohibition was over after 13 years. So if Friday the 13th inspires you to have a cocktail or a nip, go for it!

I hope you got a kick out of the reasons to respect 13. (Oh, there were 13 reasons, by the way!)

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Secrets of Harvest Goddess Modron

Courtesy free Pixabay

Name: Modron

Name meaning: Divine Mother

Home: Wales, Cotswolds, Cirencester, region of Hadrian’s Wall

Power: Harvest goddess, mother goddess, fertility deity, abundance, healing

Meaning: fruition of the harvest, the autumn equinox, equality of day and night / light and dark

Symbols: grain, nuts, leaves, acorns, wreaths, apples, grapes, wine, gourds, cornucopia, marigolds

Folk customs: harvest celebrations, forest rituals, making burial offerings of apples, wine making, baking pumpkin pies, bundling stalks and rushes into brooms and figures

Color correspondences: yellow, orange

Elements: water, earth

Crystals: citrine, yellow jasper, orange calcite, yellow jade, yellow topaz

Incense: myrrh, jasmine, patchouli, cinnamon

Astrological sign: Libra

Tarot: The Empress

Sources: Arthurian tales such as Culhwch & Olwen

Family: son Madon who was stolen from her, son and daughter Owain and Morfudd by Urien Rheged, father Afallach god of the underworld or otherworld 

Three Goddesses, Roman high relief sculpture

By Tony Grist (Photographer’s own files) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Affinity goddesses: Rhiannon, Epona, Matrona, Morgan le Fay, Modron was also part of a trinity of goddesses called the Deae Matres

I hope you enjoyed our nod to the harvest goddess Modron. I think we’re getting into her mood at this time. Autumn Equinox blessings to you and yours!

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Fae Friday: Amazing Penthesileia

Penthesilea as one of the Nine Female Worthie

Penthesilea By Medieval unknow author (Bibliothèque nationale de France – Banque d’images) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

All hail the Amazon Queen, Penthesileia, brave participant in the Trojan War.

 

All these to battle fared with warrior-souled

     Penthesileia: even as when descends

     Dawn from Olympus’ crest of adamant,

     Dawn, heart-exultant in her radiant steeds

     Amidst the bright-haired Hours; and o’er them all,

     How flawless-fair soever these may be,

     Her splendour of beauty glows pre-eminent;

     So peerless amid all the Amazons Unto

     Troy-town Penthesileia came.

from The Fall of Troy

 

Penthesileia has always been fascinating to me. Who are your favorites from the Trojan War?

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Secrets of a Rebel Pharaoh

 Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of heaven,

O living Aten, beginning of life.

 

Transformation came to ancient Egypt when Pharaoh Akhenaten banished the old gods and established monotheism around 1350 BCE.

  • The priestly caste lost its power and prestige.
  • Thebes and other royal destinations no longer served as the Paris and Riviera of their time.
  • Pharaoh moved the entire court to an obscure northern desert location that he named Akhetaten after his god.
  • There he built a marvelous white and gold city to honor his deity, a sublime entity depicted by the disk of the sun with cascading rays.
  • For a time during his 17 year reign he lived in pleasant circumstances with his beautiful wife Nefertiti and their daughters.
  • The art of the period relaxed into informality and naturalism.
  • Pharaoh wrote exquisite poems to his beloved god, Aten.
  • He offered a new way to his people, and all seemed well.

 

That was only on the surface, of course, and only among Pharaoh’s most loyal family and supporters.

  • Beneath, in the beating heart of long-remembered Egypt, the old gods stirred.
  • The old priestly caste of Amen-Ra connived to reassert its power.
  • The common people of Egypt longed to demonstrate their unfailing devotion to the deities that had served them well for millennia.
  • Never mind this unrelatable, usurper god who appeared distant and unfeeling.
  • Never mind this heretical Pharaoh who had disrupted eons of stability and tradition.
  • Also, with disproportionate emphasis placed on radical change in religion and little on national security, the wolves were at the gate.

 

Egypt was headed for reversal, with the end result a return to the old gods and old beliefs.

  • Pharaoh, his gleaming white and gold city, and his god Aten were scratched off the stones and monuments, covered by the desert sands, and forgotten by history.
  • He remained unknown until the discovery of his long lost city, now called Amarna, in the 1800s.

 

Upon discovery, the modern world became captivated by the Amarna period.

  • Pharaoh and his revolution were admired.
  • Nefertiti became a subject of fascination and awe.
  • The subsequent discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb shook the world.
  • My favorites Smenkhkare and Meritaten emerged as mysterious figures that scholars fervently seek to pin down.
  • Some scholars, including Freud, theorize that Pharaoh’s beliefs were instilled by the visiting Hebrew Moses.

 

Again, revel in the beauty of Akhenaten’s words:

Thy dawning is  beautiful in the horizon of heaven,

O living Aten, beginning of life.

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Fae Friday: Surprising Secrets of Lamassu

Illustrerad Verldshistoria band I Ill 034

By Ernst Wallis et al (own scan) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Entrance to temple

By Frederick Charles Cooper (1817- ?) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Lamassu is a fascinating Assyrian deity that protects a kingdom, city, building, or home. Often it has the head of a human, the body of a lion, bull, or ox, 4 legs, and the wings of a bird. When viewed from the front in raised stone reliefs, the front may appear to be complete, but go around to the side and you see the full 3D effect. When they were placed at the entrance to a palace or city, they appeared as a pair of colossal protectors. A Lamassu is strong, supernatural, and amazing. I get the shivers from a Lamassu and here’s why.

The most famous is the Sphinx in Egypt.
Lammasu are also known as Shedu.
They are thought of as winged bulls and winged lions.
They first began to appear around 5,000 years ago.
The Epic of Gilgamesh features various Lamassu.

The Lamassu exemplifies:

  • The 4 cardinal directions east, south, west, and north
  • The 4 seasons spring, summer, fall, and winter
  • The 4 cardinal zodiac signs which currently are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn (long ago ages saw different starting points for the ecliptic or apparent path of the sun as it traveled the celestial sphere)
  • Each individual zodiacal / historical age (such as the Age of Aquarius), lasting 2,160 years (a result of the earth’s precessional rotation)
  • The totality of the zodiacal ages (all 12 from Capricorn to Sagittarius), meaning 2,160 X 12 = approximately 26,000 years, a period of time also called a Great Year. Anthropologist Robert Sepehr is one who has studied this.

In other words the Lamassu emerges from the depths of time and depicts the long tail of the earth. It tells the story of earth, including humans, all living creatures, survival, art, mathematics, spirituality, immanence, transcendence, and power. Not bad for a winged bull.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Summer Vibes

Ipogeo di via livenza, diana cacciatrice

Goddess Diana hunting, Roman fresco [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy Alexander Pope’s exquisite imagery in an excerpt from his poem, Summer.

Diana the Huntress by Orazio Gentileschi (17th-century)

Diana the Huntress, Orazio Gentileschi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

See what delights in sylvan scenes appear! 
Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray’d,
And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade.
Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow’rs;
When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
And crown’d with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
But in my breast the serpent Love abides.

Solstice Blessings,
Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

2 Quick Ways to Supercharge Your Aura

Iaso

By The Cadmus Painter (Attic red figure urn) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Life keeps us busy. There are days when we don’t have the means or time for meditation, self-reiki, or a leisurely walk in the woods. Here are quick ways to reduce stress and raise your energy level, when you are under deadline or pressed for time. Iaso is a Greek goddess of healing, one of the daughters of Asclepius.

Iaso’s Aura Cleansing

Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Take a deep breath in. Center your attention on the heart area. Exhale, and relax. The placement of your hands during this exercise should be horizontal, with palms facing you. You will not touch your body but will sweep your hands through the air close to your body, in an upward movement from feet to well above the head.

Think of your body in strips, like vertical blinds. Sweep upward, refreshing one strip after another. The sweeping motions will follow the contours of your body as you sit. The movement should be quick from feet to head, as if polishing and refreshing.

There is an additional movement for the front of your body where your organs are, your face and head area, and any spots of pain or discomfort. For these, add a faster, ruffling type movement with short swipes.

To finish, hold your hands well away from your body and brush the palms together, as if brushing away sand.

Feel gratitude. Give thanks.

Iaso’s Energy Aligning

This one can even be done at work during your restroom break. Stand tall and erect, with your right hand on your abdomen and your left hand on your heart. Feel the energy of your abdomen, and then move your attention upward to feel the energy of your heart area.

You will inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Take a deep breath, exhale, and relax. Do this three times. With each inhale, visualize loving, calm energy entering through the breath and filling your heart. With each exhale, visualize stagnant and damp energy leaving your body.

In a flowing but swift movement, bend over with your hands scooped at your feet. Sweep upward over the front of your body, ending with your arms straight up and fingers pointing skyward. Feel your body stretched, straight, and vibrant. You are strong, with earth energy at your feet and sky energy above.

To finish, resume a normal posture.

Feel gratitude. Give thanks.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Creative Ways to Shrink Yourself

© Tatjana Pilate | Dreamstime Stock Photos – free

What’s your favorite fairy tale? Do you remember from your childhood days? Put on your thinking cap because it can reveal the mysteries of your deeper self. Are you Cinderella, champion of the downtrodden? A maidenly Snow White unhappy with her alter ego, the evil bitch queen? An intrepid wit getting the upper hand on a sinister Rumpelstiltskin? Sleeping Beauty waiting for a wake up kiss? A thrill seeking Little Red Riding Hood? Or are you the big bad wolf?

From a young age my favorite fairy tales were East of the Sun and West of the Moon, Snow White and Rose Red, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and The Snow Queen. Magic runs through all, as in most fairy tales, but a major theme of these four stories is that things are not what they seem. The world is ultimately infused with mystery. This theme speaks to my need to see beyond the superficial, beyond what is in front of my eyes, into the shining dark deep magic of life.

In East of the Sun and West of the Moon, the heroine’s curiosity compels her to sneak upon her lover in the darkness to discover why he forbids her to look at him at night. After she is amazed to see a handsome, sleeping form, he is catapulted away as a beast due to her lack of trust. She must undergo an arduous journey to the home of the blustery North Wind to find her beloved. St. Elmo, a 1896 novel by Augusta Jane Evans, reminds me of this fairy tale. Have you read that fine old melodrama? It is filled with old fashioned literary allusions.

The sisters in Snow White and Rose Red defeat a malicious dwarf when they trick him into letting his beard be cut. Afterward, they are both rewarded with a prince,and their lives are successful mirror images. Snow White rises to pomp and circumstance, while Rose Red lives close to the magic of the earth. She  tends the hearth and knows the murmurings of trees. Rose Red was always my favorite. Which do you prefer?

© Serghei Starus | Dreamstime Stock Photos – free

An invisible cloak is used by the hero in The Twelve Dancing Princesses to discover why the girls’ shoes are worn out every morning. For years they’ve trekked down to a secret world below ours and jitterbugged all night. Would you be bold enough to travel into an alternate dimension? What if the dimension is your own inner self?

My favorite part of The Snow Queen is where the old wise woman in the hut writes a secret note to her faraway sister– on a fish. The heroine goes through a lengthy journey to find the whereabouts of her beloved and for a while gets to experience a rollicking gypsy life.

In different ways we all search for mystery and magic. Your favorite fairy tale can tell you something about yourself and your world view. If you believe in fairy dust, beasts are sometimes handsome princes, there are parallel worlds where you can dance all night, and both nature and fish speak volumes. So now and then let’s close our eyes–and listen.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mysterious Cave People 40,000 BCE

Spread and Evolution of Denisovans

By John D. Croft [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite books is Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel. Did you read that one? The author’s creation of the Stone Age world mesmerized me. I loved seeing how the Cro-Magnon heroine contrasted with her Neanderthal family.

Recently I came across some information about a little known extinct species of historic humans not of the genetic line of Neanderthals nor our own species of Homo Sapiens. Their remains are found in the Denisova Cave in Siberia, along with the bones of Neanderthals and numerous creatures such as wooly mammoth and a type of zebra-horse. These particular remains are from 40,000 years ago.

Whereas the DNA of many modern humans is around 4% percent Neanderthal due to ancient interbreeding, Denisovan DNA is only found in inhabitants of Oceania—especially Melanesians in Papua New Guinea, Native Americans, and Asians. Denisovan DNA makes up 5% of the first and only 0.2% of the latter two.

The Denisovan discovery occurred in 2008 when a piece of finger bone was found in a lower layer of the cave. A DNA expert familiar with Neanderthals and other ancient species identified it as that of a little girl, but of a heretofore unknown species. Not Neanderthal. Not Homo Sapiens. Can you imagine the excitement of this discovery? It gives me chills. Later, teeth fragments materialized and turned out to be from a different Denisovan than the little girl.

A beautiful green chlorite stone bracelet was also found. Due to its remarkable craftsmanship, it was first thought to be made by more modern humans. In the most exciting portion of this story, that conclusion has now been ruled out. The bracelet was made and worn by a Denisovan. The technology involved in the making of the bracelet included boring stone, drilling with an implement, and grinding. The Denisovans are now considered to have developed to a higher technological level than the Neanderthals or Homo Sapiens of that time. I have to interject here my long held belief, first attained in fourth grade, that humans have populated earth, reached a high level of technology and culture, and then become extinct many times. Are the Denisovans an example of this?

There is also apparently a mysterious Denisovan ring, but details of it have not yet been released. I long to know more about these ancient peoples, don’t you?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Amp Up Your Fantasy Novel with Nature Spirits

Max Frey - Poseidon auf Fabelwesen

Poseidon By Max Frey (1874-1944) (Photo from original) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Mythology is a fertile cauldron for fantasy stories. In my books I love to give a unique twist to age old names, ideas, and images. For example, in several of my books the Norse frost giantess Skadi becomes the powerful sorceress Skada. Here are some little known nature deities that can be incorporated into your novel as is or, better yet, serve as a jumping off point for your limitless inspiration to soar.

Idunn was the Norse goddess of spring who guarded the sacred apples that rejuvenated the gods and kept them young. All were barred from eating the fruit but the gods. Idunn’s name means “always young.” When the trickster god Loki attacked her, he caused Idunn and her apples to fall into the hands of the enemy giants. With this sacrilege the Norse deities began to wither and age.

Korrigans were the spirits of healing springs that run underground in Brittany. They naturally appeared as tiny luminous fairy sprites. At night a Korrigan sometimes took the form of a young maiden, causing men to adore her, but in the harshness of day the young beauty would morph into a withered crone. In this latter appearance, any man who insulted her or interfered with her rituals or sacred ceremonies took his life in his hands.

Max Frey - Poseidon, um 1933

Poseidon By Max Frey (1874-1944) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Jurate was a mermaid sea goddess of the Baltic region. From her undersea castle made of amber, she protectively watched over hardworking fishermen.

Medeina was a Lithuanian goddess of the forest whose sacred animal was the hare. As a huntress guarding the forest, her form was that of a she-wolf. Jurate loved running with the wolves.

Xochilpilli was an Aztec earth god of maize and, similar to Orpheus, ecstatic song. His name means “Flower Prince” and relates to the joyful experience of the soul. The Mayans worshipped him as “Tonsured Maize God” and adorned him with a mother-of-pearl pendant in the shape of a teardrop. Isn’t it true that high emotion such as ecstasy and sorrow often go hand in hand?

Regardless of your fantasy sub-genre, mythology has immense potential in the way of inspiration. Any one of these little known nature spirits could help you amp it up. In my book Guardian of the Deep, the hero’s patron god is Poseidon, ancient god of the sea and the one who brought horses to Greece. Not only does this connection help anchor the hero Samael as an undersea guardian, but it also provides a basis for his transformation into a horseman or cowboy. You can grab a copy here. 

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance