Tag Archives: Mythic Monday

Mythic Monday: Rune of the Day – Mannaz

mannaz

MANNAZ

Divination is a way to focus on what matters. It allows us to gain insight into the ripe possibilities of the moment and is best used as a type of meditative effort. With their symbolism and kinship with long ago Scandinavian and Germanic cultures, runes are a fascinating method.

From the bag of runes, we close our eyes and draw a single stone as we ask a question: What do I need to know about [such and such situation]? If drawing on behalf of another, visualize that person. Listen with open mind and heart.

Today we examine Mannaz, a rune resembling a capital M but with the inner lines forming two small triangles. Part of the traditional Germanic Futhark or runic alphabet, it is one of the eight runes under the auspices of the warrior god Tyr.

When studied in sequence, the runes can be viewed as illustrating the life journey of a person’s development. Of course very few humans, other than perhaps avatars and saints, follow an ever rising line of self-knowledge or spiritual growth. I know, at least in my case, it is always a matter of two steps forward and one or more steps back. Life in all its glory both inspires us and, in some ways, constrains us, much as gravity maintains the orbits of planets. Many consider our development to resemble a spiral rather than a line, and observation backs that up. In a profound and real way, we are always at the beginning. It is a blessing and grace that we never run out of chances to start over or improve. Things can always be seen in a new way.

In the runic sequence Mannaz is the first rune. It stands for the self, because only by working on the self can we change and grow. We can’t manipulate others and achieve happiness, zen, bliss, perfection, or nirvana. We can’t manipulate external reality and achieve them. People and things interact with us, but our primary playground is the self. Casting Mannaz in a reading indicates a need to be in the flow of life but not deceived by the images before our eyes. My old metaphysical teacher Ruth used to put it this way: Be in the world but not of it. Stay in the moment. Be moderate in thought and action, rather than delving into excess. This is a time to seek freedom from the chains of unreliable past thought forms and habits. Look inside for your enemies. Look inside also for the miraculous shimmering colors of your true nature.

I hope you enjoyed our look at Mannaz, the Rune of the Day. What’s in your mind?

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

Mythic Monday: Thank God It Wasn’t Daryl

StillLifeWithASkull

Philippe de Champaigne [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The new season of the horror fantasy, The Walking Dead, premiered last night. We knew Neegan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and his temperamental baseball bat, Lucille, had bashed to death at least one of our beloved friends in Rick Grimes’ zombie fighting group. Last season’s finale had shown us that, but had not revealed who got the bat. For eight months we worried and speculated over who had died. We knew it couldn’t be the leader, Rick, played by Andrew Lincoln. But who was it? Despite knowing it was coming, the reveal still shocked to the core and hurt. Oh boy, did it hurt.

Following the premiere, on The Talking Dead aftermath show I watched the writer of the original graphic novel as he discussed the situation. Robert Kirkman comes across as filled to the brim with twisted creativity and a bit cold and distant regarding character kill offs. I found myself admiring and even envying him.

One of the hardest things for many writers is to kill off a character, particularly a beloved one we have lived with for a while and with whom we are emotionally connected. You are zooming along writing your book, or perhaps limping, depending on such mysteries as the moon’s current astrological sign, whether Mars is retrograde, and if you have an ample supply of coffee near at hand. Perhaps an ominous feeling swirls just out of reach, and then strengthens, coming closer, invading your space, piercing your skin, and finally settling in the pit of your stomach like a stone. And not an emerald or ruby either, but a plain, hard luck, ragged, jagged rock. You have reached the point in your working manuscript where death makes sense. You have to kill someone for the sake of the story. Not the villain. If that were the case, you would probably be mulling over ways and means with a gleeful grin. No, it’s not time for justice yet. What’s going on now is injustice and heartbreak in the name of story logic. A beloved character must die.

Most often this happens in tragedies, mysteries, literary fiction, and series, where you and the reader have come to know a large cast of characters over time. It doesn’t often happen in the type of books I write, paranormal romances. I haven’t had to kill off a beloved character–yet. It can happen, though. In Loretta Rogers’ western paranormal romance, Cloud Woman’s Spirit, the wife of the hero dies tragically early in the story. Death of a beloved character is even more likely to occur if the paranormal romance is part of a series. In a blog post called Life, Death, and Fiction, Laurell K. Hamilton spoke about how saddened and affected she was upon realizing that a beloved character may have to die. She wrote the post while working on one of the books in her Anita Blake urban fantasy series.

The deaths of the heart character, Glenn Rhee, played by Steven Yeun, and the strength character, Abraham Ford, played by Michael Cudlitz, will long weigh heavy on fans of The Walking Dead. At the same time we are glad for those remaining, especially ones we thought might very well be in danger—sexy fan favorite Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, and the pregnant and oh so sick Maggie Greene, played by Lauren Cohan. Killing off a beloved character is hard on everyone involved, including the reader, the viewer, the actor, the crew, and the author. If you are a writer, have you ever had to kill off a beloved character? Was it difficult for you?

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

Mythic Monday: Rune of the Day – Inguz

inguz1Divination is a way to focus on what matters. It allows us to gain insight into the ripe possibilities of the moment and is best used as a type of meditative effort. With their symbolism and kinship with long ago Scandinavian and Germanic cultures, runes are a fascinating method.

From the bag of runes, we close our eyes and draw a single stone as we ask a question: What do I need to know about [such and such situation]? If drawing on behalf of another, visualize that person. We must listen with open mind and heart.

Today we examine Inguz, a rune resembling an X standing atop another X. Part of the traditional Germanic Futhark or runic alphabet, it is one of the eight runes under the auspices of the warrior god Tyr.

Inguz concerns fertility and new beginnings. Its energy is that of the hero god Ing, whose name forms the basis of my hero Ingvar’s name in Wytchfae Runes. Ing and Ingvar remind me of the noble knight Sir Gawain, who strived to always do the right thing in the perilous situations he encountered. The splendid changeable moon is related to this rune, as it involves movement and emotional health. Inguz represents intuition, a desire for harmony, and the adaptability required for successful relationships. Humans have a deep need to share and be desired by another. Inguz signals an emergence from a tense, closed state into a more fertile, creative state. It is a powerful rune signifying a new path and a transition into joy. What may have been stagnant now has the energy to blossom. It is important to actively strive to shake off old habits and outdated thoughts patterns that no longer serve our best interests. Change is at hand.

I hope you enjoyed our look at Inguz, the Rune of the Day. How do you welcome opening up and positive change?

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

Mythic Monday: Realm of the Sea King

 

Sea tsar by Sergey Malyutin

By MALIUTIN, SERGEI [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sergei Maliutin (1859-1937) painted this fabulous figure as part of the stage design and costume of the Morskoy Tsar, a character from the Rimsky-Korsakov opera Sadko. The first production of Sadko took place in 1897, and in 1906 it went to the Bolshoy Theatre in Moscow.

Do you enjoy the music of Rimsky-Korsakov? I love his Night on Bald Mountain.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Myths About Anne Boleyn

Flossie Anne Bolelyn 1

Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s 3rd wife Jane Seymour, and Henry at Potter’s Wax Museum

The Snickerdoodle family’s recent visit to Potter’s Wax Museum in St. Augustine made me think about Anne Boleyn, a fascinating woman and tragic queen with a ton of myths swirling around her. Her daughter Elizabeth went on to become England’s greatest queen. Inside the ruby ring Queen Elizabeth wore was a very special and secret picture– one of her mother Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth always remembered her mother’s bright life and untimely death.

Daughter of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, and Lady Elizabeth Howard, Anne Boleyn lived 1501 – May 1536. She became the second wife of Henry VIII after a tumultuous period of political machinations resulting in the separation of the Church of England from Rome. Crowned Queen of England on June 1, 1533, Anne gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I later that same year. With no son as issue, Henry’s attentions flitted to the woman who would become his third wife, Jane Seymour. On May 2, 1536 Henry had Anne arrested and incarcerated in the Tower of London. A jury found her guilty of witchcraft, incest, and adultery. She was beheaded on May 19th.

Anne Boleyn’s first cousin was famous Renaissance poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, a forerunner of English poets writing in sonnet form along with Sir Thomas Wyatt. He also originated the use of blank verse. Henry Howard proved to be yet another of Henry VIII’s victims and was executed for treason in January 1547. My favorite poem of his has always been The Soote Season, which begins: “The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale.” Soote means sweet.

Myths and misconceptions sprang up surrounding Anne Boleyn for numerous reasons. She had replaced the popular Queen Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife, and for that suffered ostracism from public sentiment.

Her nature displayed a self-confidence and style that many interpreted as arrogance and coldness. Do you know any modern women like that?

She was educated in France and the Netherlands and had a working knowledge of the world.

Her actions illustrated ambition and a willingness to “put herself out there.”

She disdained others’ opinions of her.

Henry’s propaganda machine made sure she was reviled.

MYTH- She had a sixth finger on one hand.

Anne boleyn

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

FACT- Based on unbiased accounts, on the side of one fingernail was an innocuous bit of nail, almost unnoticeable and easily concealed. 

MYTH- She had a third nipple.

FACT- This was likely a mere mole.

MYTH- She had warts and hideous moles all over her body.

FACT- She had a few small moles, nothing extraordinary. 

MYTH- Her hair was dark and ugly.

FACT- She probably had dark auburn hair and an olive complexion. Her coloring appeared unattractive by the standards of that time, which favored blonde women with pale, translucent skin. 

MYTH- She was a witch.

FACT- Red headed women were considered susceptible to manipulation by the devil. Although her hair was not red, its dark auburn color would do the trick. In addition, any exception to the standards of the time—including behavioral—made her a target. Anne was known for the bewitching gazes of her dark eyes. She did bewitch Henry—for a lamentably short time.

I hope you enjoyed the peek at the myths surrounding Anne Boleyn.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Conjuring the Magic with Romance

Mythic Monday: Apollo God of Light

Apollopublicdomain

Apollo by Charles Meynier – public domain via Wikimedia

God of the golden bow

and of the golden lyre,

and of the golden hair,

and of the golden fire.

John Keats

Love, love, love these words. I cannot count how many times I recited this to my son during his childhood. What do you feel when you gaze up Meynier’s painting?

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Mythic Monday: What Do You Know About Trilogies?

MaskThink trilogies originated with the romance industry or J.R.R. Tolkien? Oh contraire! Aeschylus, the dramatist with the oldest extant plays, created trilogies 2,500 years ago. His Oresteia is the only surviving trilogy, with its three plays —Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides. The Oresteia tells the story of a Greek hero of the Trojan War and his tumultuous family.

Agamemnon: Victorious after ten years of war, Agamemnon returns home to be murdered by his wife Clytemnestra (Helen of Troy’s sister), who has taken a lover. Clytemnestra was hurt and angry over Agamemnon’s sacrifice of their virgin daughter Iphigenia to the storm god Poseidon, as well as his bringing home a Trojan paramour, the prophetess Cassandra.

The Libation Bearers: Following his murder, the children of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, Electra and Orestes, feel duty bound to avenge their father. Encouraged by Apollo, who supported the Trojans during the war, Orestes kills his mother and her lover. Matricide, however, is a horrendous betrayal of the most basic laws governing kinship. An ancient race of ferocious beings known as the Furies come after Orestes.

The Eumenides: The Furies drive Orestes mad with guilt over killing his mother. He appeals to Apollo for help, and the sun god sends him to see Athena, known for her wisdom and reasonable attitude. She insists upon a trial, and Apollo serves as Orestes’ “lawyer” during the proceedings. After a tie vote Athena acquits Orestes and changes the name of the Furies to the Eumenides, suggesting a new reasonable tone to their ancient bloodthirsty ways.

Called the Father of Tragedy, Aeschylus not only wrote trilogies but also heightened conflict by adding dialogue between characters. Previously, dramatists had written characters speaking to a chorus. Sadly, only seven of Aeschylus’ seventy plays survive. Over the years fragments of additional works have been found on papyri. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if another complete play was discovered?

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

Mythic Monday: Felicia and the Pot of Pinks

Dolls in chairFAIRY TALES

I’m excited to add a new, regular feature to Mythic Monday, the sharing of fairy tales from the set of ten books I had as a little girl: Young Folks Library by Charles E. Knapp. My grandmother read these stories to me, and I later read them to my dolls. These fairy tales engendered the passion that made me want to become a writer. Later on, mythology would amplify the passion. The tale highlighted today is from the volume, The Story Teller.

FELICIA AND THE POT OF PINKS

Alternate Title – Fortunee’ (The Fortunate One)
Author – Madame d’Aulnoy (1651-1705), included  by Andrew Lang in The Blue Fairy Book, 1889, and by Charles E. Knapp in The Story Teller, part of the Young Folks Library, 1st copyright 1938.Story Teller
First Published – 1697.
Genre – French literary fairy tale.
Setting – a humble cottage near a woodland.
Heroine – Felicia, raised as a poor farmer’s daughter, later revealed to be a princess in her own right.Felici
Hero – a prince who wears a cloak of green velvet with a clasp of emeralds.
Antagonist – Felicia’s selfish brother Bruno.
Star of the Book – The pot of pinks because—well, so as not to spoil the story for you, let’s just say these flowers are more than they seem.
Favorite Secondary Character – the Queen of the Wood, who helps Felicia after her brother takes all from her.
Fun Tidbit – Madame d’Aulnoy is credited with inventing the term fairy tale for her genre.
Favorite Line – And with a wave of her hand she turned the poor little cottage into a splendid palace, full of treasures.

Have you read this fairy tale? If not, enjoy the version Andrew Lang included in his The Blue Fairy Book.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Mythic Monday: 11 Reasons to Love Your Library

Story TellerLibraries—why do we love them? Let’s start way back with once upon a time. The goddess Seshat exerted a powerful civilizing influence on ancient Egypt. Her name means “female scribe,” and she was known as the mistress of libraries and secretary of heaven.

Over 3,000 years ago Ramses II inscribed his library in Thebes, Egypt with the iconic words Healing – Place of the Soul. This was one of the first things I learned in Dr. McCrossan’s class, as I sought my Master’s Degree in library science years ago. Does it give you a shiver to think of that ancient library and all the sacred texts it must have contained? It certainly does me.

Another name I always remember from library school is Ashurbanipal of those Sumerian descendants, the Assyrians, who amassed a vast library in Nineveh with thousands of tablets in 600 BCE.

Of course the most famous library was in Alexandria, Egypt, and that spectacular institution housed texts from over the known world. What a travesty for all that wisdom to be lost through fire and war. Historically, at high points in culture when learning is valued, libraries are an integral part of the scenario. Today’s public libraries serve as a cornerstone for literacy and education, and thousands of reasons exist to value and use your free library card. Let’s take a cue from Seshat and look at 11.

You want to read the latest offerings by Stephen King and J.K. Rowling , but your budget is tight right now.  Best sellers and popular reading are plentiful in the library– print, audio, and eBooks.

Your college reading list includes John Keats’ poems, Aeschylus’ plays, and Notes from the Underground by Dostoyevsky. Classic literature is a key component of the public library.

You want to learn Spanish during your commute to work.  Language audios are among the library’s most popular items.

You want to read a book recommended by an out-of-state friend but your library doesn’t have it.  There’s a good chance your library can borrow it for you through the interlibrary loan service.

Your daughter gave you a computer, but you are clueless about how to use it. Computer classes are available in the library.

Your child just told you he has a report due tomorrow.  Librarians will be glad to help you and your son find what he needs to write the report.

Your cousin needs to get his GED.  Library literacy programs can help him prepare.

Your neighbor has always been an avid reader, but now her eyesight is poor. Large print books are an option.

You live alone and are feeling out of touch with people. Numerous groups use the library’s meeting room, including Friends of the Library, artists, and crafters. Library movie nights are good, too.

Your doctor said you need to exercise more.  Tai chi is offered in the library.

Your preschooler needs to maintain her reading level over the summer. Summer reading programs may be the answer.

me, loretta, dylan12-21-13ACROPPEDAfter working in the library for over two decades and as library director for half that, it’s clear the library serves as a community hub. It’s also thanks to the public library that our local writing group, Sunshine State Romance Authors, has a great location to meet each month. This week we are helping celebrate National Library Week. I’ll be at Homosassa Public Library almost all day on Tuesday, April 12, with fellow author Loretta C. Rogers. I have a reading scheduled at 11:30, and Loretta’s is at 1:00. I’ll also be there from 12:30 – 2:30 on Thursday, April 14. Authors will appear all week. Come out and see us if you can! Keeping Seshat in mind, I hope you’ll visit your local library during National Library Week.

More: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314099/

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

 

 

Mythic Monday: Rune of the Day – Algiz

AlgizAlgiz

Divination is a way to focus on what matters. It allows us to gain insight into the ripe possibilities of the moment and is best used as a type of meditative effort. With their symbolism and kinship with long ago Germanic cultures, runes are a fascinating method.

From the bag of runes, we close our eyes and draw a single stone as we ask a question: What do I need to know about [such and such situation]? If drawing on behalf of another, visualize that person. We must listen with open mind and heart.

Today we examine Algiz, a rune resembling the letter Y with an extra vertical line in the middle. Part of the traditional Germanic Futhark or runic alphabet, it is one of the eight runes under the auspices of the tempestuous god Hagal.

Algiz depicts a protective thicket of sedge or rushes, as well as the horns of an elk. The image represents the strong warrior self that protects you from being tossed and turned and thrown off kilter by forces of ill will or erratic influences. This is a time to control your emotions and act in a way that is mindful of your situational reality. Keep watch on the space around you so that others do not erode your hard won progress. Friends are implicated in this casting. Do not add to their burden, but do not allow them to use you either. As well, do not hide from your reality. Take responsibility for yourself. Face the pain. You are protected and will survive.

I hope you enjoyed our Rune of the Day. Have you ever experienced the need to re-evaluate your direction or people in your life in order to be strong or true to yourself?

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