Two New Arthurian Visionary Fiction Novels – Guest Post by Theresa Crater

“Well now, there’s legends and then there’s

secrets that the legends hide.”

~The Singing Stones

Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki and T.L. Ashcroft-Nowicki, mother and daughter, have both written new takes on the Arthurian legends in the last few years. Dolores wrote The Singing Stones for her grandson and she plans to write more. T.L.’s first novel of a planned trilogy is entitled Merlin’s Daughter. In each novel, we get a glimpse into the spiritual traditions and teachings behind the Arthurian legends from one of England’s foremost magical families. Dolores studied with W. Earnest Butler, and is the head of the Servants of the Light, the organization founded (now renamed) by Western Mystery Tradition Occultist, Dion Fortune. T.L. grew up in her mother’s magical household, and I’ll just bet learned a couple of things here and there.

Theresa pic1In The Singing Stones, the main character, Thomas Greystone, learns about his life’s destiny to sing awake the standing stones in his ancestral homeland and allow the Once and Future King to return. His mentor, Bald Bessie, an apparently homeless woman who lives in a cave with a Jack Russel terrier, turns out to be no less a personage than—but wait. Should I tell you? Let’s just say she’s a major player in this myth’s cast of characters.

We follow Thomas as he discovers his true heritage, regains his lost manor, evades the Others in the nearby village who are trying to stop him from coming to full consciousness of himself and his role, finds the circle of singing stones that move about from hilltop to hilltop (a portal to other worlds and realms), and … Continue reading

Laying the Foundations of a new Visionary Fiction Sub-genre – Guest Post by Gordon Keirle-Smith

Authors writing in the realm of Visionary Fiction are tremendously privileged in that they are only limited by the scope of their own creativity – or by their ability to connect with a source of inspiration beyond themselves. They also have a tremendous responsibility, for our shifting world desperately needs their unfettered vision and the catalytic catharsis they can bring about by communicating that vision to a wider audience.

The goal

Simply stated, we can say that Visionary Fiction has the power to open up readers’ awareness of broader dimensions, stimulate their imaginations, and create a much-needed relief from the pressures and challenges of our frenetic, “connected” epoch.

One step beyond

Let us imagine for a moment how we could take this further and devise a technique capable of blurring the line between fact and fable sufficiently to suspend disbelief more completely. We would then be free to draw readers into an ethos of meta-reality (transcending normal awareness) so that fiction can morph into perceived truth long enough to cross the threshold of rationality and sow the seeds of visualization. At which point doors can open to even more fascinating possibilities.

Getting there

Noble principles. But how can we reach such a goal? Is it really achievable? The only way of being sure we are making our mark is to closely monitor readers’ feedback and reviews, hoping we can excite comments like these:

Once you have turned the last page, you can return to your linear world, to the safety of those physical or metaphysical explanations for our existence you have always taken for granted. But if you have just read this book, they will never be the same.”

“The book created many questions, which is great. It stretched my mind beyond what I knew. Who can say it is … Continue reading

The Visionary Fiction Revolution – And How Words Can Change the World Part 2 Guest post by Rory Mackay

(Read Part 1 of Rory Mackey’s The Visionary Fiction Revolution here)

We tell stories for a reason 

Mythology, which is storytelling at its most essential level, was not purposeless. It played an important role in shaping and sustaining society and, according to Campbell, had four primary functions. The first was to open the eyes of the individual and awaken a sense of awe, humility and wonder about the very nature of existence; to become aware of an interplay of tangible physical and elusive metaphysical realms.

The second function was cosmological; using stories and metaphor to help people understand the universe around them, making sense of time, space and biology. On a sociological level, mythology was also used as a means of forming and maintaining social connections. Having a shared narrative enabled tribes to stick together, supporting the social order and maintaining customs, beliefs and social norms.

On a more personal level, the tribe’s stories provided signposts for navigating life, sometimes reflected in ritual and rites of passage. The individual was not left to muddle through life without guidance. The epic tales of mythology were used as metaphors for dealing with the challenges and conflicts we face along life’s journey. These stories, properly understood, contained great wisdom and guidance.

Mythological tales were reflections of the human psyche and the conflicts and desires that drive it. The catastrophic battles between heroes and demons, the sacrifices, betrayals, jealously and love were reflections of the forces powering the human mind and heart. Furthermore, as stated before, Campbell believed that they could all be reduced to the same basic pattern, the same essential story: a story of trial, transcendence, rebirth and redemption. It was always a story of overcoming great adversity and conflict and finding that most cherished of all things, the true goal … Continue reading

The Scabbard and the Sword Part II – guest post by Marian A. Lee  

Part II: The Purer Archetype and the Warrior King

The second part of this blog explores the warrior king as the Jungian purer archetype with regard to the Qabalistic understanding of the scabbard and sword and its political application.

King_arthur__KarrMost of us know King Arthur as the courageous “once and future king” destined to unite Great Britain and establish the peaceful kingdom of Camelot by creating the Knights of the Round Table. However by examining his shallow understanding of the scabbard and sword, it is clear that he personifies the Jungian archetype of the Purer, and that this more than anything else shapes his destiny. The Purer is the quintessential “innocent” eternal male-child who acts in the world without thoughtful consideration often possessed of an early realization of deeper spiritual truths which are treated in a casual manner without mature judgment and value. Since Arthur chooses the importance of the sword over the scabbard, he acts like the quintessential Purer, unable to relate to the world with mature self-regulation. The Purer has an overly-developed fantasy life; layers of illusion cover the reality of his situation which is perhaps why he is unable to at first realize Morgan’s trickery in switching Excalibur and its scabbard for those of unequal value. According to Kime, the sword serves the psychological function as the “…main means of communication with the material world”. The end result is the misappropriation of the use of the sword.

The sacred task which Arthur must accomplish is to learn how to use the sword and more importantly when to use it. Discrimination comes with maturity, which the Purer never obtains. … Continue reading

The Scabbard and the Sword Part I – guest post by Marian A. Lee

Part I: The Sacred Warrior King

The first part of this blog discusses Arthur, the sacred warrior king, as the archetypal hero of British legend and his relationship within the Celtic mythological narrative.

More than any other works of fiction, except for fairy tales and mythological narratives, Visionary Fiction makes use of spiritual and psychological archetypes, as well as material symbolism to work on the subconscious in an attempt to bring realization of spiritual truths to the level of consciousness. For my generation (60+) of spiritual travelers it is tempting to think, “Ah, I have it now,” and then tell younger generations what they need to know of this special wisdom in order to “get it”. I would rather approach the wisdom of the scabbard and sword with an attitude of, “I’ve got a piece of the puzzle that I want to share”. Then it’s up to future generations to expand and develop it further to fit their needs and times.

Very little of this world has the staying power of mythology. This is due to its archetypal nature, which is found, as Jung points out, in the collective unconscious of humanity, and is therefore salient to all cultures. Archetypes are primal, such as the great mother/father, warrior, hero, fool, and purer (the eternal male child). Primal archetypes are reinvented and cast in different cultural stories throughout the ages. In western mythology, none is arguably more powerful and pervasive than … Continue reading

Jodine Turner’s The Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series – guest post by Theresa Crater

The Awakening Rebirth of Atlantis jpg

 

Jodine Turner’s Visionary Fiction series traces the reincarnations of a priestess specially called to do the work of the Goddess of the Stars and the Sea, an Ancient One who reawakens when humanity is ready for a dramatic shift in consciousness. The first novel in the series shows us the fall of Atlantis and the rise of Avalon. In The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis, Geodran is promised to this special Goddess even before her birth. Her mother, High Priestess Jaquine, has lost babies to miscarriages and does not want a repeat performance. The Goddess of the Stars and the Sea claims Geodran as her own in return for bringing her to term.

Many of us have written about Atlantis and grab up books that reimagine or remember those times as soon as we find them. Turner spends a good deal of time in this civilization, showing us the capitol city with its looming pyramid, and taking us into the countryside where we see the fishing and farming villages, as well as the spreading forests. We get to watch Geodran grow up, be accepted into the temple, and go through some training. The High Priestess, rigid with tradition, has trouble allowing Geodran to meet her Goddess each full moon on the beach. Geodran succeeds. She learns sacred sexual ritual with none other than the son of the Goddess.

But paradise is already falling. The priesthood is corrupt, trying to gain the immortal body of light through force and dark magic, dulling the pyramid’s beacon light and endangering the island. Geodran is directed … Continue reading

What is the Difference between Visionary Fiction and Speculative Fiction and Why Should I Care? – guest post by Lee Jordan

Lee Jordan imageWell, to answer the last part of the question, writers need to care where their books fit on bookstore shelves, and in our case the virtual bookshelf. Gary and I, writing together as Phoenix, are genre rebels, writing what we want to write, but when it comes to having people find our stuff, well then we are forced into labeling our work (we hate that).

The key to speculative fiction lies in the root word: speculate. Think of this in terms of “what if” and you’ll see it. So now you might ask, but doesn’t that make all fiction speculative? What if the Wicked Witch really has monkeys that can fly? What if aliens really exist on Earth? What if we could be like Superman and leap tall buildings? And what if there was a separate world for regular folk and witches, where the witches attended an academy to learn their craft?

Does this not mean that fantasy, science fiction, and horror, are Visionary as well as Speculative? Does it exclude romance, science fiction and horror?

Fiction, by definition, is untrue, so all of it involves some degree of speculation. The difference is in what’s being speculated upon. My opinion is that Visionary Fiction is a genre that was created to specify a goal, not a genre. Romance, alternative history, weird tales, dystopian, apocalyptic, time travel, (think of time traveling World War II nurses, moving through time to Medieval Scotland), past lives, superheroes, all sorts of supernatural elements – but with a difference.

The difference is that the goal of the story would be to uplift, illustrate, and … Continue reading

Golden Mean in Story/Visionary Approach to Story Structure

I’ve been fascinated with the archetypal patterns behind stories for a long time, but it was only after I delved deeper into the mysticism of Numerology and Sacred Geometry that I began to notice some fascinating correlations between those mystical teachings and the classical tools of story telling.

This brought about the idea of a visionary approach to story structure based on these sacred teachings. I’ve been doing elaborate research since; however, its essence could be summed up in the mystery of the Golden Mean.

Mystery of the Golden Mean

Golden Mean in StoryThe Golden Mean, also known as the Golden Ratio, has been well known to the ancient cultures in Egypt and Greece due to its frequent appearance in nature and its wide use in art, philosophy and science. The principle was later encapsulated in the famous 15th century text The Divine Proportion written by Luka Pacioli and illustrated by Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Golden Mean embodies the process of division and expansion of oneness or the initial center. The best way to introduce this enigma would be by sharing Plato’s legendary riddle. The Greek philosopher once asked his students to divide a line segment into two unequal parts and ponder about its meaning.

Had he asked them to divide the line into two identical parts, the ratios would be the same and would hold no possibility of further separation. By dividing the line into unequal parts where the larger one encompasses the two smaller ones, they found a basis for further division. This made them realize that if a ratio of two quantities is the same as the ratio of their sum, the quantities … Continue reading

The Lesser Known Novels of Dion Fortune, Part 3 – by Theresa Crater

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Theresa Crater’s review of Dion Fortune’s Visionary Fiction novels.

Qabalah

The Mystical Qabalah gives the theory, but the novels give the practice . . .

[T]hose who study The Mystical Qabalah with the help of the novels

get the keys of the Temple put into their hands.”

~ from Moon Magic, by Dion Fortune

I was browsing in the Theosophical bookstore tucked in a small street off Broadway in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood, just a block away from an apartment I inhabited in my twenties. Feeling nostalgic, I remembered the times I’d dropped into this very same bookstore years ago, on my way back and forth to work or to taste the free samples on the counter at Dilettante Chocolates, dashing in dressed in blue jeans and t-shirt amongst the more elegant diners. On this visit, over in the corner, I found the Dion Fortune section. I held up the two novels and her short story collection I knew already and showed them to my companion, recommending them to him. Reshelving them, I discovered, much to my delight, more novels! I never knew Fortune had written more fiction, but there they were: The Demon Lover, The Winged Bull, and The Goat Foot God. With delicious anticipation, I pulled them from the shelf, took them to the counter, and handed over my credit card. What a wonderful find.

demon loverI’m … Continue reading

Sex and Spirituality Find a Home in Visionary Fiction – by Peggy Payne

Where sex and spirituality meet is in the experience of dropping boundaries, of feeling expansion, dissolution, limitlessness. In both, we can have the experience of dissolving into a larger existence, joining a great ocean of being.

Where sex-and-spirituality fits well is in the world of Visionary Fiction, which allows the reader to feel the experience vicariously and recognize a connection between these two areas of life so often kept severely separate.

That’s important, because where these two subjects are brought together there is often squirming discomfort, controversy and hot anger. People are so often offended—incensed, even —that the two could even be mentioned together. Many take the stance that something so animalistic and messy as bodily functions should not be allowed to sully the beautiful purity of religious/spiritual experience.

This dichotomy should not be. The two are inevitably intertwined; bodies and souls are, at least for the moment, joined. Sex is central to human life. And we can use stories —Visionary Fiction — to allow a reader to sense this or feel it more strongly.

 A Calling I Didn’t Request

 I seem to be making a career of focusing on this intersection, though I never meant to. I never intended to write about spiritual experience or about sex. In fact, I didn’t even plan to write fiction. I was for years a happy travel writer and freelance writer on other nonfiction subjects.

But then one day I returned to my office to write a news story about a government committee that, in my view, had done all the wrong things. I said to myself, “If I were going to write a novel, what would it be about?” Making up a story felt like taking charge, which I couldn’t do with North Carolina government (though I still wish I could.) Then … Continue reading