Tag Archives: mythology

Fae Friday the 13th


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 It forces upheaval so that outdated, ill-serving structures can crumble and be rebuilt.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


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: 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

Fae Friday: Amp up Your Fantasy Novel with Spirit Horses

The Fomorians, Duncan 1912

By John Duncan [Public domain],The Fomorians via Wikimedia Commons

Fantasy creatures come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Regardless of the fantasy genre you write, whether paranormal as my books are, or high, low, historical, dark, urban, etc., there may come a time when you are in need of a little extra something. Done right, spirit horses can be an espresso shot to a story. Here’s a peek at a few. Keep in mind that the fae horses often share attributes and can exist in various locales under different names. Using one of these enables you to create exotic settings, but there is also the opportunity to have the creature show up closer to home in a more normal setting. Many readers appreciate blended mythologies where the author adds a new or surprising aspect to age old stories. I love to do this in my books.

The Phooka, Pooka, Puca, Pwca (and various other spellings) is a Celtic fairy horse of capricious character, sometimes beneficial to humans, but usually dangerous and deadly. One small, benign herd paid nightly visits to help a farmer’s son bring in the crops after being perceived in their willowy incandescent form. Years later at the boy’s wedding, the Phooka presented him with a magical drink to ensure his matrimonial happiness.

More often, the Phooka are portrayed as ravaging, wild, and fearsome creatures with long, jagged teeth and chains around their necks. They have a particular grudge against travelers and make it their business to lure them to their deaths. At times their nature is dark, flesh eating, and vampiric.

Not only does the Phooka appear as a horse, but it can also shapeshift into a bull, hare, and human form. The name of Shakepeare’s Puck is related to the root word of Phooka. In the movie, Harvey, the name of Jimmy Stewart’s 6 foot tall imaginary rabbit friend is referred to as a Pooka.

The Geetoe (or Gitto, Gryphon, Griffin, and Griffith) is a Welsh fairy creature with an equine head and body of a goat. Their particular brand of malice is to blight crops in the field. These creatures possess the power of human speech and laughter. However, they dislike humans and go out of their way to cause harm. They loathe children most of all and do their best to entice them into misdeeds and danger. A Geetoe’s power arises at night and extends only between Samhain (Halloween) and Beltane (May Day). The remainder of the year the creatures reside in Fairyland.

Thekelpie large

Herbert James Draper [Public domain], The Kelpie via Wikimedia Commons

Water horses can be especially interesting. One type is the Scottish Kelpie, which lives in or near rivers and streams. Kelpies are generally more whimsical and unpredictable than evil. They do not tend to stalk their prey. However, they are not to be taken lightly. Humans who venture too close are fair game. Kelpies will often maim and drown their victims, and sometimes devour them. Kelpies often take the form of a beautiful woman.

A Nuggle is a variety of water horse from the Orkney Islands. It is chock full of mischief but not evil in the sense of dangerous or demonic. It can be recognized by its odd tail that resembles a wheel.

Another type of water horse is the ominous Each-Uisge. This malevolent creature favors fresh water lakes, and many sightings have occurred in Scotland. The most famous example is Nessie or the Loch Ness Monster. The Each-Uisge can not only take the shape of a horse but also of a man or predatory bird. When in man shape, the Each-Uisge is handsome, compelling, and deadly to those who come near. In the olden days country folk knew to beware of a solitary person loitering near a body of water. A human can ride the Each-Usige when it’s in horse shape, but if horse and rider approach water, it is bad news for the human. The skin of the creature develops a bonding power that grips the human, not allowing dismount. The Each-Uisage will then plunge down into the depths, taking the rider to his death.

Fire Horses are unusual and perhaps the most fascinating type of spirit horse. In Greek mythology the god Helios drove four fire horses to guide the sun across the sky. The god of war, Ares, tamed a number of fire breathing horses. The Fire Horse is one of the sign designations in the Chinese zodiac. In my book Lord of Fire, the hero Gabriel rides a fire horse during one particularly harrowing part of the story. If you’re interested in reading how and why, grab your copy of my anthology, Dark Warriors. This paperback book also contains another of my paranormal fantasies, Time Singer.

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

Vintage Friday: World Book Day

Stories help create a child. THE book that lit the fire on my passion for reading, writing, fairy tales, and mythology is actually a SET of books my parents bought me at age 3—the Young Folks Library. At that time my mother and father worked long hours at their restaurant business, but my paternal grandparents happened to live with us. From these delicious stories of a princess living atop a glass mountain, a girl spitting out diamonds, and a wise woman bestowing a magical invisibility cloak, my Grandmother Flossie read to me every day with dramatic flair.

By my 5th birthday we had lost her. I will always honor her memory and our spirited story times. Thanks to her and this set of books, my imagination, my inner life, and my magic mirror to the mystical were created.

With World Book Day coming soon, do you want to share what book started your passion for reading and writing?

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance


Interview at Jennifer Taylor Writes

I’m over at Jennifer Taylor’s blog answering her dang hard questions such as what was the exact moment when the concept of my Wytchfae world came about. Say what? Pop over and say hello at Jennifer Taylor Writes. 

basket-sleepingAlso, tiptoe around Marigold, would you please? I sneaked out while she was napping.

Thanks, Cheers, & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: 9 Great War Heroes from Mythology

Perseus Arming for his Quest

Perseus – By Walter Crane (1845-1915) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

With our wonderful veterans being honored this week, and hopefully every week for all they do to keep us safe, I thought it would be a good twist to look at some of the great war heroes from mythology. Here are nine that particularly struck my interest.

Perseus – Founder of lion-gated Mycenae and the first great Greek hero. Perseus slayed the notorious Medusa, a female monster whose mere glance turned men to stone. He also fought and defeated a gargantuan sea monster to save the life of Andromeda, who had been presented as a sacrifice.

Beowulf – Scandinavian warrior from the land of the Geats, or ancient southern Sweden. Not only was he exceedingly strong, killing dragons, monsters, and sea serpents, but he was also a superb tactician. Beowulf studied his enemies to discover their weaknesses and then used those flaws against them. His honor lives on in the great Anglo-Saxon narrative poem named after him.

AP1980 07L

Achilles‘ Anger – Jacques-Louis David [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Achilles – The famous warrior who fought for the Greeks against the Trojans in the Trojan War. He was the beloved son of the sea nymph Thetis and King Peleus of the Myrmidons. As a child his mother held him by the heel and dipped him in the River Styx to bestow immortality. However, his heel remained a vulnerable spot. Soldiers shuddered at the mention of Achilles’ name, while women swooned at his masculine power. Fame of his battle rage and conquests spread over the Mediterranean, and he was considered the greatest warrior of ancient Greece.


Cuchulain – By Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874 – 1951) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Cuchulain – Legendary Irish warrior from the area of Ulster, born of the god Lugh and the mortal woman Deichtine. At age seventeen, he successfully defended Ulster against an invasion force led by the great Queen Maeve (Medb). The incident is immortalized in the exquisite narrative poem, The Tain. Known for his battle frenzy, Cuchulain was deemed the Hound of Ulster.

Hercules – Son of Zeus who was known as the strongest hero of ancient times. After being tricked by the goddess Hera into murdering his wife and children, he set out in penance to perform the purportedly impossible tasks that came to be called the Twelve Labors of Hercules.
Through strength and unprecedented courage, he succeeded in working through all his labors.

Ravi Varma-Ravana Sita Jathayu

Ravana – Raja Ravi Varma [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ravana – Hindu king who conquered the three worlds—the netherworld, human world, and celestial world of the devas and divine serpent races. In doing so he earned the title Emperor of Three Worlds.






Jason – Famed leader of the band of warrior adventurers known as the Argonauts. To regain his throne, Jason set forth with his men across a dark and dangerous sea to obtain the legendary Golden Fleece. Along the way the fierce seamen fought numerous monsters and supernatural creatures.

Red Horn – Great Sioux mythical hero sent by his father, Creator, to rescue mankind. Red Horn led war parties to fight the giants, monsters, and evil spirits existing on earth. His very interesting epithet is Wears Faces on His Ears. The nickname came about due to the living faces that appeared on his earlobes. Another description was that when he placed certain ear ornaments, bobs, or devices on his ears, they came to life with men’s faces. This aspect has an extraterrestrial feel to me. I picture an astronaut with audio / visual earphones on his head.

Jean Baptiste Regnault - Ariadne and Theseus

Theseus and Ariadne – Jean-Baptiste Regnault [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Theseus – Famed Athenian heir to the throne sent as part of the tribute payment to King Minos of Crete. On Crete Theseus performed acrobatic feats atop ferocious bulls and became the lover of the Minoan priestess / princess Ariadne. Through skill and cunning, Achilles worked his way out of the king’s deadly maze, as well as defeating the horrendous man-eating monster known as the minotaur. Theseus later became king of Athens.

Let’s all send out good thoughts for our veterans and their families. I hope you enjoyed our nine mythological warriors and will share the names of other mythic war heroes that strike your fancy or sing in your heart. Which are you most drawn to?

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

Mythic Monday: Libra Goddess Astraea

Libra Hevelius

By Johannes Hevelius [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As the Wheel of the Year swirled into full autumn, the energy of Libra rose to the forefront.The thematic energy morphed into awe in the face of dramatic change and the increased serenity that comes from a cooling earth and slowing activity. One day the leaves are green and barely tinged with color, and the next they splash out their wild abandon with vibrant scarlet, orange, and gold. The time is ripe for turning your thoughts inward to examination of values, goals, and any mental adjustments that may be needed. It is a chance to take stock during this passage toward stillness. The beauty of maturing nature mirrors the fullness of your inner self as it readies for a calmer season. For many people autumn is an opening of bejeweled inspiration and artistic expression. We feel uplifted and renewed. Allow the universal creativity to flow through you in expressions of love, caring, and beauty. Libra thrives on symmetry, balance, and divine justice. Seek internal equilibrium and a quiet grace. Libra is mellow while experiencing ascendency. Allow yourself to be calmed and soothed by Libra’s nurturing spirit. I honor the goddess Astraea as the 2015 patron goddess of Libra.

The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker traces the birth of Astraea to Libya. I suspect the origins come from the Phoenician era of the Libyan region, during the cultural apex of the great city of Carthage. Astraea, the goddess we recognize as holding the scales of justice in balance, went on to influence the Greek and Roman eras. The latter deemed her “the Starry One.” As divine virgin she is affiliated with both Virgo and Libra. The most wonderful story pertaining to Astraea illustrates her compassionate capacity. The ancient Greeks spoke of five ages of man, starting with the Golden Age, and with each subsequent age further deteriorating. Disgusted by the growing degeneration and evil of humans, one by one the gods left the earth. Astraea was the last of the immortals to leave, doing so during the Iron Age. She stayed here longer than the other gods because of her compassion and belief in the ultimate goodness of mankind. Finally, even she could no longer withstand the deception, brutality, and mighty self-interest. With sadness, Astraea reclaimed her birthplace among the stars.

May we all be blessed by the beauty, grace and genuine solicitude bestowed by Astraea.

GuardianoftheDeep_SM (1)Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

Mythic Monday: Pisces Goddess Amphitrite

Photo by Alicia, copyright 2014

Photo by Alicia, copyright 2014

As the Wheel of the Year continues to wind, and days lengthen toward spring in late February and in March, we entered the realm of sun in Pisces. The essence of this station involves imagination, dreams, illusion, and connection with the great maternal spirit and source of the soul. I honor the Greek goddess Amphitrite as 2015 patron goddess of Pisces.

Amphitrite was a sea goddess or nymph considered by Homer to be the female manifestation of the vast and mysterious ocean. Her dwelling could be found in a beehive of caves at the bottom of the sea, where she kept her precious jewels. She adored wearing them as well. From time to time she would emerge from the caves to tend her herds of cattle. Always, always Amphitrite’s top priority was to keep a protective eye on the fish and other creatures of the deep. She was honored by sailors and all those who depended on the sea for sustenance and bounty.

As one of the fifty sisters / nymphs called the Nereids, daughters of the great sea goddess Doris, Amphitrite had a rougher side as well. She could call the waters to her command, and if she was upset the result might be shipwrecks and other chaos. She also had the power of prophecy and could warn seafarers of impending doom or help avert such catastrophes. The Greeks visualized the Nereids as maidens riding demons of the deep, and they fashioned a great dance after their antics and motions.

It’s interesting that the name of this goddess was not Greek at all, but rather pre-Hellenic. Amphitrite was one of the goddesses taken into the fold to act as the consort of Poseidon, after the Hellenic Greeks invaded and conquered the indigenous peoples of the Aegean region. Originally a powerful triple goddess, her stature was downgraded and relegated to that of a nymph.

Today we honor her in all her goddess glory.

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

Mythic Monday: Rune of the Day Berkana by Flossie Benton Rogers

BerkanaToday on Mythic Monday we start a new feature called Rune of the Day. Divination has always fascinated me, not so much to see what the future brings, but to get insight into the possibilities and fertility of the moment. Runes are one of my favorite methods. Runes constitute an ancient Germanic alphabet in use starting in the 1st century AD. They were valuable to the Scandinavians, Anglo-Saxons, and other Germanic peoples, for writing as well as for magical purposes.

Rune layouts range from simple to complex, with the simplest being a single rune drawn in reply to a question. The question should be in a generalized form such as the following: “What do I need to know about my love relationship at this moment?” Once the rune is selected, the reading works best if the recipient does the following: Sit quietly and still your mind. Open your heart. Consider the following descriptions in connection with love, lovers, significant others, and romantic relationships. In stillness and openness comes the true meaning of the runes.

Today we look at Berkana, a rune that has kept its shape as our modern letter B. Berkana – overall message and energy:
Meaning- Growth, maturation, the natural flow of energy within yourself, beauty, the essence of springtime, new life, healing, a fresh start, new beginnings, ADVICE is to meet the challenges before you, transition from the old to the new, know yourself, stand by your loved ones and your own true self, you are sowing seeds—don’t expect overnight results, the harvest is yet to come, be patient and go with the flow while staying true to yourself.

I hope you have enjoyed our rune feature. Are you drawn to any particular form of divination?

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

Mythic Monday: Spriggans by Flossie Benton Rogers

fotorireland6Playing with notions about fairies and other supernatural beings is one of the pleasures of writing paranormal fantasy romance. Like people, fairies come in a wide variety of types, shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Some are beneficial, others malevolent. Some seek human contact, while others prefer their own company. Some fairies would be delightful to have around, helping your flowers bloom, guarding your home and hearth. The subject of today’s post is definitely not one of those. Spriggans are a family of fairies from Cornwall, an area ripe with its own unique brand of Celtic folklore.

Spriggans bobble on the dark side of the good / evil continuum. Treacherous and spiteful, their favorite pastime is playing malicious tricks. They thrive on causing misery and bringing disruption into everyday life. Their powers result in such misfortune as blighted crops, destructive storms, stolen cattle, and illness. The wind is theirs to command. They enjoy leading travelers astray into bogs or over the edges of cliffs. If you’ve ever been lost in the woods, the culprit was likely a Spriggan. One of the worst behaviors of a Spriggan is their penchant for stealing a baby and leaving a fae changeling in its place. “Come away, O, human child, to the waters and the wild, with a fairy hand in hand, for the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.” William Butler Yeats

These small but dangerous creatures haunt desolate places such as windswept crags, castle ruins, clusters of dead trees, and even certain standing stones. A Spriggan is sometimes mistaken for a sharp rock, but certainly not the kind of harmless boulder you’d want to sit down and rest on. Can you imagine waking one of these things up? When viewed at close range, their appearance is hideously frightening, as befitting their wicked character. They have thin, crooked bodies and wizened features. An odd trait, however, is their ability to puff up and expand at will to giant size. Some folks believe they are really the ghosts of giants that roamed the cliffs and lonely places of Cornwall in times long past. No wonder Spriggans sometimes serve as bodyguards for fellow fairies.

A sculpture of a Spriggan by artist Marilyn Collins is thought to have inspired the Stephen King story, Crouch End.

A Spriggan can be repelled by holy water, iron, and wearing your clothes inside out. So, if you see my tag showing, it’s not that I’m absent minded or can’t see straight, I’m just outwitting a Spriggan.

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