We are Blind to the Enchanted World

Have you ever sat in the evening to watch the sunset? Looked into its white rays during the last twenty minutes of its descent? What did you see?

Every land is different, and I can’t speak for city streets where no trees or wildflowers grow. I’ve never sat to watch the sun set there. But I can speak for the country.

Many times I’ve taken a break from gardening or working around the yard to admire the last moments of daylight. The best place to sit to watch Earth’s magic show is in shade. From this viewpoint, I look towards the sun. This won’t work if it’s cloudy. When the sun is in clear sky, it illuminates what I normally don’t see. In fact, looking to the right or left as the sun sets exposes nothing special. I must look directly towards the sun.

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The Dragon Stone

My daughter surprised me on Mother’s Day with two stones. The largest, a Dragon Stone, was about the size of my baby finger. With it was a write-up that told me what it was and its properties. Here’s what the note said:

Dragon Stone: “Level Up”: With a magickal title like “dragon stone”, the properties of this gem does its name justice. Like a vial of health in a video game, dragon stone (also known as Septarian) has a nurturing vibration that encourages healing and a sense of well being to those who carry it. While it doesn’t add lives as you play, this stone does recharge your sense of spiritual, physical, and mental vitality when you are feeling drained. It is also known to aid in communication within a group.

Digging further, I found this:

1. Legend has it these stones contain fossilized pieces of ancient dragon bones.

That could be a good or bad thing, depending on how one feels about carrying around bones of the dead. If the dragon died of natural causes, whether old age or in adventure or battle, I’d love to carry its bones. If it was slain for its bones, then that is negative energy I don’t want.

2. This stone is associated with the root and sacral chakras.

Since I want to explore this ancient healing practice, this is a plus.

3. This stone is said to soothe the nerves and aid in internal organ function.

We all need our nerves soothed at times, and we need our internal organs to function all the time.

This is the stone whispering to me at the moment, so I carry it with me and include it in rituals I do. The name alone – Dragon Stone – is great inspiration. While not all dragons are good, many are, just like humans. If you’re looking for such a stone, this one was purchased at Calling Corners, Truro, Nova Scotia.

The History of Druids

Little has been written about ancient druids, or at least what has survived about them is scant. From this, people have tried to piece together who the druids were and what they did. In general, they studied the stars, the moon, the plants and moral philosophy. But that’s not where their wisdom stopped. They meditated, worked with herbs, were healers and sometimes aided kings in decision making.

The name druid derives from the proto Celtic language and the words deru (oak) and wid (sight, to see). Perhaps at one time, it was spelt deruwid.

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A Glimpse into the Magical World of G. Michael Vasey

Do you want a peek into the world of magic? Do you want to hear what those who make a little magic think of their craft? Do you want to hear about the experiences they’ve had?

This year, I came upon the podcasts of author G. Michael Vasey. During the 30 minutes or so conversations, Vasey talks with someone connected with magic or the supernatural in some fashion.

Last week, he had an interesting conversation with author Alan Richardson about his latest book, Visions of Paviland. Richardson refers to the book as a magical diary.

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Describing an Abandoned Town

I’ve stumbled upon several abandoned buildings tucked away on rarely-travelled dirt roads. Exploring them is exciting and creepy. Some where sketchy when it came to structural integrity and others were mysterious because of possible wildlife they may have harboured.

I can describe collapsed roofs, sun-baked decomposing wood, weather-soiled floors that felt spongy when I walked on them, and the stillness of the air when glassless-windows made it feel like the building was part of the overgrowth.

However, I’ve never been in a town or city that has been abandoned for so long that the buildings are hollow, signs are missing letters and the streets are a patchwork of broken pavement grown in with weeds and shrubs and hardly recognisable.

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The Magic of Stones: Chrysocolla

I came into possession of my chrysocolla stone about four years ago when I met a man selling stones. Before I had met this man, I had not heard of it. I was first attracted to its brilliant glistening green. I also loved the shape. It is not smooth to the touch and feels more like light-weight sandpaper.

At times I carry it in my pocket. Other times, it is tucked away with other stones. Since the beginning of this year, it’s been resting on my laptop between the couplings of the oak leaf and rose hip and the chestnut and sprig of rosemary.

The tag that came with the stone reads:

Chrysocolla is first and foremost a Stone of Communication. Its very essence is devoted to expression, empowerment and teaching. The serenity of its turquoise-blue colour discharges negative energies, calms and allows truth and inner wisdom to surface and be heard. A peaceful stone, it emphasizes the power our words and actions have on those around us, and encourages compassion and strengthening of character.

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What is a Druid?

In the second book of the Mystical epic fantasy series, Within the Myst, Ryder Somerled takes Hickory Asuwish to see her das’ aunt, Cordelia Beinn (nee Welig) in Muighland. Just before they arrive, he breaks the news to her: her grandaunt is a druid of Awen.

Hickory is shocked and regrets coming because she has been taught druids, like foretellers, are bad people. She has been forbidden to see them.

I’m currently writing this scene that appears in chapter 9.

But what is a druid?

If I google that question, this is one answer I find:

A druid was a member of the high-ranking class in ancient Celtic cultures. Perhaps best remembered as religious leaders, they were also legal authorities, adjudicators, lorekeepers, medical professionals and political advisors.

Wikipedia
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The Magic of Stones: Personal History

Isla of Maura, one of the main characters in the Castle Keepers series, has an attraction to stones. When the energy in a stone calls to her, she picks it up and carries it until she finds the person who needs it.

This character trait came from my own curiosity and habit of gathering stones. My interest in stones has walked with me all my life; it is so strong that when I was 14 years old, I stole a stone that had caught my eye. I know: who steals rocks?

The odd circumstances around this theft has stayed on my mind for almost four decades. You see, that day, my father and I were driving in his truck, perhaps going to the general store in Spanish Ship Bay, when he pulled into the driveway of the long white building along the harbour that used to be a restaurant at times. I believe it was called the Lighthouse Restaurant in the early 80s.

Anyways, at this time, the restaurant had closed, and an older man I did not know occupied it. Perhaps my father knew him since this was the area where he had been born and raised. It was summer. We walked in and my eyes drank in the boxes filled with various types of rocks. While my father and the man chatted, I walked around ogling the rocks. Some were undisturbed, as if recently plucked from the ground and put into the box. Others were polished smooth. Some where cut into shapes.

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Magic in 2021

Over the past week, I’ve been re-reading the first several chapters I’d written for Within the Myst, book 2 in the Mystical epic fantasy series. Since I have been writing non-fantasy for the past eight months, it took my brain a few days to switch into the fantasy mode.

To help make the transfer from contemporary stories to fantasy easier, I dove into subjects that align with fantasy. One of those topics was the energy around stones. If you’ve ready the books in the Castle Keepers series, you know I strongly suggest the stones gifted by Isla of Maura have magical qualities.

This journey led me to a few blogs I’d never visited and to topics I’d either not researched extensively or ones I hadn’t uncovered before. One of those blogs was The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey. Gary is the author of more than 40 books and writes about metaphysics, paranormal and magic, amongst other things.

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Character Introduction: Beathas of Ailsa

This is part of a series of posts I’m writing to introduce characters from the Castle Keepers epic fantasy series. This week, it’s Beathas of Ailsa.

Beathas of Ailsa

In short: Hauflin, female, in her mid-90s, magic-maiden, living at Moon Meadow

Family and Teen Years

Little is known about this magic-maiden and so far, nothing has been revealed about her family or younger years. She arrived at Moon Meadow when Bronwyn was just a boy. She made a home there in a small cottage on the top of a hill surrounded by lush gardens and several waterfalls feeding into a large pool. Before the series ends, much more will be revealed.

Where I Found Her Name

Magic-maiden BeathasBeathas was one of those Scottish names that appealed to me. When I read the meaning, having great wisdom, I knew this was the perfect name for this mysterious magic-maiden.

Ailsa was another Scottish/Viking/Gaelic name that appealed to me. It “originates from the language of the Vikings who named a Scottish island in the Firth of Clyde, Alfsigesey (meaning Alfsigr, or Elf Victory). As a result, it’s meaning has evolved to “supernatural victory”.

Hauflins have a tradition of naming daughter’s first with an original name and then their mother’s (meeme’s) name. With this in mind, Beathas’ mother’s name was Ailsa. Isla’s mother’s name is Maura (Isla of Maura).

Boys are given an original first name and their father’s (das’) surname. Liam Jenkin’s father’s last name was Jenkin, and Liam would give all his sons the same surname. Isla of Maura’s daughters would be given an original name and ‘of Isla’ would be added to the end as a ‘surname’ (for example: Dianna of Isla).

History in Real Life

Beathas was not part of the original story, though there were a few magic-maidens who provided information and magic items to the original group. These people were brought together in one character named Beathas.

Role in Novels

Shadows in the Stone: Although Beathas is mentioned many times, characters visit her cottage at Moon Meadow and we feel her presence, she doesn’t actually show up in this book. By the end, we have a good sense of who she is because of those who know her – Bronwyn, Alaura and Isla – and their impressions of their shared experiences.

Scattered Stones: Beathas has two small but vital scenes in this novel.

Waterfall magical mystic

Beyond the Myst: And there lay the mystery. Beathas does not appear in this novel.

Revelation Stones: She appears in one scene, gives Isla an item that helps her and she is thought about several times.

Healing Stones: This novel will be written in January, and I believe Beathas has at least one scene. Until it’s written, I don’t know anything else.

Others: I feel Beathas will be around for several more novels, providing guidance, magic items and the stubborn in-your-face facts some characters need to hear. And let’s not forget the ear-pulling to get someone’s attention. Honestly, I have no idea where her and Bronwyn’s relationship came from. It’s a mystery, but gosh I love their interactions.

A snippet of a scene with them together in Revelation Stones.

“Remove your clothing save your shirt and trousers.”

Bronwyn eyed Beathas. It sounded like an order. When he opened his mouth to protest, she stopped him.

“Do it now. We don’t have time for petty debates. You must obey immediately without question if we’re to save Alaura.”

He stood and removed his cloak and vest, tossing them on a nearby chair.

“Everything,” Beathas said firmly. “Boots, socks, sword, daggers, belts. Remove it all.”

Was this necessary? Or did she want to disarm him? When he was done, she inspected him.

“You wear a singlet. Remove your outer shirt.” When he made a face, she frowned at him. “I’d have you strip to your shorts if you weren’t ridiculously bashful.”

He gulped. She knew too well the old Bronwyn, the young man who had never loved a woman. He didn’t wear shorts, so he’d keep on his trousers. “Is this—?”

It is. You’ll thank me later.”

He unbuttoned his shirt and added it to the pile. “What am I to do?”

“As you are told without hesitation.” She motioned him towards the bed. “Lay beside her. It will save us from picking you up off the floor.”

He prepared to comment, but her expression left no room for doubt. He climbed onto the bed and settled beside Alaura. When he moved to grasp her hand, Beathas swatted him away.

“You’re not prepared.” She continued to stir the contents of the bowl. “Reserve your strength. You’ll need it.”

He nursed his baby finger, the one that had taken the brunt of the attack. He had never known Beathas to be so forceful. She had always been a sweet woman who had offered him gumdrops when he came to visit with his dad many years ago.