Year of the Numen: The Quest

“It looks like one of those black magic symbols,” Ruby chimed in.
“I suppose it does,” Olivia answered, “but it’s not. It’s just a tool.”
“For what?” asked Miguel. “Ruby’s right. It looks like witchy Voodoo stuff. You shouldn’t mess with it.”

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[Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from the Year of the Numen]

Synopsis: On the threshold of old age, Avery and Olivia renewed their friendship after thirty years. Due to scheduling conflicts, they find themselves calling each other during Olivia’s morning excursion by shuttle to her new job. Over time, the regulars on the shuttle become involved in their daily conversation.

 

The Quest

 

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Avery’s Note Book: Triad Wheel

“What is that,” Steve asked, looking down at Olivia’s phone.

“It’s a visual representation of a memory palace – what we’ve been talking about all this time.”

“How do you use it?” he asked.

“We’re still working out the details. I’ll show you when we’re done.”

“It looks like one of those black magic symbols,” Ruby chimed in.

“I suppose it does,” Olivia answered, “but it’s not. It’s just a  tool.”

“For what?” asked Miguel. “Ruby’s right. It looks like witchy Voodoo stuff. You shouldn’t mess with it.”

“Uh huh,” Jalessica nodded. “Voodoo is nasty.”

“Is it a philosopher’s stone?” Steve asked.

Continue reading “Year of the Numen: The Quest”

How the Fates Fell Out – Part II: Clotho’s Song

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 “…what she wanted was something money couldn’t buy.”
“Happiness?” Ruby asked.
Olivia shook her head. “No, she wanted satisfaction.”
“Aren’t they the same thing?” Ruby asked.
“Not necessarily,” Olivia answered.

 

[Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from the Year of the Numen]

Synopsis: On the threshold of old age, Avery and Olivia renewed their friendship after thirty years. Due to scheduling conflicts, they find themselves calling each other during Olivia’s morning excursion by shuttle to her new job. Over time, the regulars on the shuttle become involved in their daily conversation.

Avery, a writer, now working as a TV news editor in New York, admits he is bored with his work. Olivia, his cousin, encourages him to return to writing. He says he’s out of ideas. She reminds him how they used to create stories together when they were children. Avery asks her to begin a new story. Olivia obliges him with the tale of The Year of the Numen.

 

The Memory Palace and Clotho’s Song

 

Monday morning on the shuttle –

“Should we make it a garden or a cave?” Avery asked soon after Olivia answered her phone.

“I think it should be a temple,” she said.

“Why?”

“Because they’re goddesses, Avery.”

“Oh, yeah, right. But how should we mark it out? We can’t go back to the field…” Avery’s voice trailed off.

“No, we can’t do that,” Olivia agreed. “We need to make something else. I don’t know. It’s been so long since I used a memory palace that I’m out of practice. I’m sorry to tell you that I became convinced for a time that it was an evil thing.”

“What? How did that happen?” Avery asked.

“Well, you have to admit it’s a common practice in the occult,” she replied, lowering her voice so that Ruby did not hear her.

Continue reading “How the Fates Fell Out – Part II: Clotho’s Song”

How The Fates Fell Out – Illustration

I finished the main illustration for Olivia’s story on how the Fates fell out.

Here you can see Clotho laying into her sisters, Lachesis and Atropos.

 

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“So, as I said to Avery, the sisters got tired of all that spinning, weaving and cutting… and quite frankly they were sick of each other. Imagine spending all your time in your living room – all day, every day – never going anywhere?”

You can read about how they came to blows here.

More stories to come. 🙂

 

How The Fates Fell Out

“So, as I said to Avery, the sisters got tired of all that spinning, weaving and cutting… and quite frankly they were sick of each other. Imagine spending all your time in your living room – all day, every day – never going anywhere?”

[Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from The Year of the Numen.]

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The Three Moirai – by By Johann Gottfried Schadow

“Hey, if it’s story time, tell Avery to call the shuttle, then we can all hear about it together.” Steve [the shuttle’s driver] said as he turned on the shuttle’s phone system. A minute later, they could all see Avery on the screen above the front window looking down on them.

He held up his coffee mug to them and said, “Live from New York…”

Hello, Avery!” everyone shouted at the screen.

“Quiet down, everyone,” Steve called out. “Olivia is going to tell us a story about the Fates splitting up.”
Continue reading “How The Fates Fell Out”

The Cosmic Flower of Faith

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Is there a transcendent reality to our existence? Is belief in such a reality an illusion?

We live in an age where people find it difficult to discuss the supernatural at all. One of the reasons for this is that our words are changing. Definitions are being shorn of their supernatural meanings.

Take, for example, the word “cosmic“. The Merriam-Webster dictionary (online) gives us the following:

Definition of cosmic
1 a :  of or relating to the cosmos, the extraterrestrial vastness, or the universe in contrast to the earth alone  – cosmic radiation
b :  of, relating to, or concerned with abstract spiritual or metaphysical ideas – cosmic wisdom
2 :  characterized by greatness especially in extent, intensity, or comprehensiveness – a cosmic thinker – a book of cosmic significance

However, the Bing (search engine) gives us this:

cos·mic
[ˈkäzmik]
ADJECTIVE
of or relating to the universe or cosmos, especially as distinct from the earth:
“cosmic matter”

synonyms: extraterrestrial · in space · from space

inconceivably vast:
“the song is a masterpiece of cosmic proportions”

Notice the supernatural meaning is stripped from the definition. And it’s happening in other words, too. Some people think “soul” is now a person’s personality or character. The word “mind” is preferred over “psyche” as people accept that there is nothing more inside us than a mechanical brain that responds to external stimuli due to evolutionary conditioning.

For many people there is no God, no heaven or hell, no angels, no spirits at all – just the mud of the earth we are made of. When we die we decay into lifeless molecules and are absorbed back into that same Earth. It’s no wonder that the atomizing of society follows this philosophy of the atomizing of the individual. What point is there to family, religion, community if it all ends in dust? Why should we adhere to bonds between souls when the soul is a figment of the human imagination?

There is no proof we can offer that we will exist beyond death or that there is more to us than our physical bodies. However, there are arguments that point to something beyond this material universe. And this is what we call “faith.”  But, it is difficult to hold onto that faith. We may study the best arguments of humanity’s finest philosophers, but the dominate culture of this age rejects these arguments summarily.  And yet, isn’t the possibility of life after death appealing? Should it be rejected simply because it can’t be put to scientific analysis?

Faith is fragile – even for those who feel certain that God exists. First, it is hard to maintain faith in a vacuum.  Secondly, it may be that whether one believes or not in the supernatural depends on one’s personality and circumstances.

But my point is that whether one is a believer or not, the transcendent is worth spending some time studying and discussing. All references to  this (potential) aspect of our existence should not be wiped out of our vocabulary.  The difficult truth is that we will not know the truth of our existence until the moment of death. Like Schrödinger’s Cat, we will not know whether the fragile flower of faith is based on reality or not until that moment. It will be the most critical moment of our existence.

So, isn’t it worth spending a little time, while we’re alive, contemplating what our flower looks like?