Beyond Samhain’s Doorway: Visionary Fiction

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Summer has exhaled and faded. The nights are beginning to lengthen. Leaves burnish in shades of red, gold, and orange, and drop from the trees. The last of the harvest is gathered, and the remains of the crops are tilled back into the fields to nourish the soil for next year’s planting. Our lived life is analogous to this turning of the seasons if we can view it from that perspective. As such, you may ponder what seeds you have planted earlier in the year, what you have created by mid-year, what has now come into fruition to be harvested in your life, and what needs to be nourished for the upcoming year.

Because I am an author of Visionary Fiction (VF), the writer in me also resonates with this season of autumn. And, more so with… yes…Halloween. Not so much the commercial Halloween of clever costumes and adorable children who ‘trick or treat’ for candy, as much as acknowledging this season ‘where the veils are thin between the worlds of the seen and unseen,’ or so the ancient Celtic people asserted.

October 31st, mid-autumn, marks one of earth’s seasonal turning points with a festival called Samhain (pronounced sa-wen, which comes from two words meaning summer’s end), a festival later to be renamed Halloween. Samhain originally celebrated this mystical time when the usual barriers between our world and the otherworld opened to allow contact between humans and their ancestors, the spirits of the dead, as well the fairy folk. Legend says that these two realities now have the opportunity to come together and communicate.

9 (a) fogThese otherworldly realities do not refer to unnerving horror stories often associated with Halloween. Rather, the reference to thin veils between the worlds addresses the unseen aspect of life that often goes unnoticed, and is patently undervalued in our society. In this regard, Visionary Fiction is a sort of ‘X Files’ of the literary world, or even an empirical starship ‘Enterprise,’ in that VF often goes places other fictional genres do not. More importantly, VF takes the reader to these otherworld realms in a manner that other genres do not. The other realms often include intuition, spiritual contemplation, paranormal events and beings, psychic abilities, dreams, visions, the power of synchronicity, the magic of everyday miracles, the metaphysical, or supernatural occurrences.

To be true Visionary Fiction, such realms and experiences are not used as mere plot devices by the VF author. Instead, they are the venues through which characters redeem themselves, as well as the conflicts in their lives and their relationships. Like any character in a well-crafted novel, VF characters struggle to transform their fears – the adversary that lies either within themselves or in their external circumstances. The uncharted and unseen realms that are outside mundane awareness are the arena Visionary Fiction draws upon in its effort to provide stories that give the reader their own internal experience of expanding their minds and their consciousness.

The VF author, or authors of any genre for that matter, can use the energies of Samhain/Halloween to stoke their creative fires. The Samhain passageway opens to winter, that dark half of the year where the earth slumbers and the seed gestates in fertile richness. As authors, we often get a preliminary jolt of inspiration for our novels. As part of our writing process, we plant that seed of inspiration in the rich earth of our imagination in the hopes it will grow. At this time of year, beyond Samhain’s doorway, lies the deep cavern of the Earth Mother’s womb from which all that is intuitive, creative, and natural on this earth is gestating, readying itself to one day be birthed. The stages of writing a novel are similar, whether it is the bare, newly forming concept of a story, or the kernels of ideas for a new scene or chapter.

This time of year can also add its energy to help us to strip away what no longer serves in readiness for rebirth into something better. In my writing world, that is called editing and re-writes!

I like to tap into the Samhain/Halloween energies by partaking in a writing exercise to re-energize my writing life. I invite you to do the same with the following exercise.

Samhain is a time to reflect on the past year’s writing and finish any old loose ends in your chapter, scenes, or manuscript from the previous year.

Have a piece of paper, a pen, matches, and a fireplace or fireproof bowl nearby. Take a few moments to go within. Acknowledge the energies of gestation and transformation that preside over this autumn–into—winter half of the year. Reflect on any old scenes, chapters, character development, plots, etc. that you would like to finish at this time. Your reflections could even include outmoded habits of writing, (or not writing) – whatever old business you’d like to complete or transform with regards to your writing and authorship.

Take your piece of paper and write down your reflections. Light a fire in your fireplace, woodstove, or fireproof bowl, as a symbolic remnant of the Samhain great bonfires of yesteryear. Place the paper in the flames and allow it to burn, to represent the finishing of your old business. As the flames consume the paper, speak your intention for the releasing, transformation, and completion of the old — and the gestation, inspiration, and germination in your rich fertile imagination and soul, of the new.   Give thanks.

I would love to hear what is creatively gestating in your imagination from this exercise!

 

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About Jodine Turner

Jodine Turner is an award-winning, best-selling Visionary Fiction and magical realism author, Adorata Practitioner, therapist, and consecrated priestess. She writes about how the most potent transformative power – Embodied Love – is the next step in the evolution of humankind. Through story, Jodine takes you on an initiatory journey into the Goddess, as well as the Sacred Union of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within. Jodine authored “The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis” and “The Keys to Remember”, followed by "Carry on the Flame: Destiny's Call", and "Carry on the Flame: Ultimate Magic."
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8 Responses to Beyond Samhain’s Doorway: Visionary Fiction

  1. Vic Smith says:

    Thanks, Jodine. Wonderful reflection on the Samhain (new word for me)/Halloween holiday's relationship to writing, especially Visionary Fiction. Am wondering if the Delete key on the computer counts as burning?

    Also interesting that Christianity chose the same "summer's end" point in the seasons for their All Saints (Nov. 1) and All Souls (Nov. 2)–don't ask me the theological reason for the separation; and, no, there is no date reserved for those in the "hot place," perhaps why the demons took to monopolizing Oct. 31.

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  2. >>Am wondering if the Delete key on the computer counts as burning?
    works for me, Vic!

    Yes, Halloween is yet another amalgamation of Pagan to Christian holy days. In the seventh century, Samhain was Christianized. November 1st became known as All Saints’ Day, to commemorate the souls of the dead, the canonized saints. November 2nd was established as All Soul’s Day, where the loved ones, the ancestors, who had passed on were remembered, prayed for, and honored. So, we 'hallow' and venerate the dead.

    Where I grew up the evening before Halloween was called 'Devil's Night'. Youngsters took to the streets and did all sorts of 'devilish' things like toilet papering trees, and soaping windows. Glad they don't do that where I live now!

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  3. Jodine, your post reminds me of a post I wrote a while back on my blog, so I figured I'd share part of it as a supplement to yours.

    I read an article recently called "Earth School is Open, Are Our Minds?" by Dennis Merrit Jones. In it he says, "The rut is a grave. Grow or die." Which brings me to end of summer, a good time for writers to ask themselves some of the same questions farmers do when facing the bounty of their summer labors.

    Did I till the ground properly? Did I break through the hard-pan of resistance and open my mind to new possibilities?

    Did I apply enough fertilizer? Did I read books on craft, take writing courses, attend seminars?

    Did I select the right seeds for the climate and soil? Did I try different forms of creative writing, such as poetry, memoir, essays, short stories, essays, and novels, to expand my repertoire of possibilities?

    Did I provide enough water? Did I read other writers' work, join a critique group, attend a open-mike reading, or go to a writer's conference?

    Did I control the weeds? Did I review, edit, cut, and forestall negative thinking?

    Something to remember. Farmers never give up. Their harvest can be meager, due to factors beyond their control (such as wimpy California weather), but they gather in what they've got and then start all over again, sow, reap, sow, reap, always hoping for that bounty harvest.

    So I join you, Jodine, in speaking my intention for the "gestation, inspiration, and germination in (my) rich fertile imagination and soul of the new."

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  4. Margaret,
    I love this wonderful example of how the earth and the cycle of her seasons have so much to teach us. Such good medicine. And being a farmer certainly focuses the attention on collaborating and harmonizing with the seasons. There is so much wisdom in all of this…for our lives as well as our writing process.

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  5. vicsmith0123 says:

    Struck me, reading the "farm" and seasons comments above, that there are fewer and fewer human beings, as the majority are now urbanized, with the "earth" experience in their background. More people are now lacking the organic vocabulary and metaphor required to relate to the natural world and the various seasonal rhythms that are necessarily incorporated into someone who grew up in a rural environment. Because of my temperament, there was much about growing up on a farm (dirt, manure, sweat, hard work) that I didn't like as a child; but this conversation brought me to appreciate that stratum deeply implanted into my being during those early and multiple years on the breast of the friendly earth. (I sense this appreciation will quicken any new rural scenes I write, so thanks all for bringing it to my attention ). Happy Samhain!

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  6. Vic,
    what a blessing you had this instilled naturally when you were younger. Many of us had to relearn something that is usually instinctual. As a child, the extent of my awareness of relating to the earth was limited to my suburban backyard (when I got glasses my first comment was -"Oh, the trees have leaves!"), cement sidewalks – no mud to play in, air-conditioned homes, gas fireplaces, and my fear of bugs! Luckily, you can't hammer our connection with the earth out of us, it comes back when nurtured and attended to.

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  7. Admin - Eleni says:

    First, I have to tell you how much I love this quote:

    "In this regard, Visionary Fiction is a sort of ‘X Files’ of the literary world, or even an empirical starship ‘Enterprise,’ in that VF often goes places other fictional genres do not."

    With that, I think your post is timely as I view this particular fall as yet a season of rebirth for me. I intend to live my dreams that I gave up on in my twenties because of insecurities and fears. I missed singing and lived it vicariously through my second novel. But I don't want to only write about it. I want to live it. I want to be it again! So where I planted the seeds in my writing, I hope to blossom into what I so worked hard for in college and gave up on because I didn’t have the strength. Better a late bloomer than an unwatered seed!

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  8. Eleni,
    "Better a late bloomer than an unwatered seed!" I love this. Here's to you courageously stepping into your passion for singing! Maybe an MP3 accompaniment to your novel "Jessie's Song" will be offered one day?

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