I was emptying a bucket of Sea Foam Flint when the sludge in the bottom bounced. Repeatedly. Peering into the mud, a tiny frog was revealed. Presuming that it wouldn’t be able to get out without assistance, I took the bucket into a flower bed and tipped it at an angle, propped by a rock. I wanted to leave some water available as there’s no garden pond nearby and the river would be quite a hop for such a tiny creature. It had clearly arrived from somewhere wet. Or, maybe not,
The ability to go from water to earth is characteristic of the frog. Those who have the frog as a spirit animal or totem might be inclined to walk between planes, whether they are physical, spiritual or emotional, and enjoy playing with the magic of life and nature.
Was it a jumper between planes? A spirit omen? This was a pertinent question because I had been intending to scour out a piece of Seam Foam Flint while pondering where to go next with the novel I’m currently revising. Removing all the extraneous material to reveal the beauty of its structure – as you do with Sea Foam. It’s a timeslip tale that ‘happens’ to feature a roamer-between-worlds. It slides into ancient Egypt, as did my first novel Torn Clouds. Heket is the Egyptian frog goddess of birth, rebirth and metamorphosis, and the novel has been through many a metamorphosis on its journey towards publication. Viewpoints, tenses, characters, scenes and treasured phrases came – and went. So many revisions, plus one or two rejections. But, ultimately, acceptance and anticipation. The last revision had left it feeling dull and dead, so it is being revived again. Entering its final incarnation.
One of my writer-friends, who read the first draft of Alchemy of Night, complained about how pedestrian the name Phillippa was. She wanted something more much dramatic than ‘lover of horses’. But Phillippa, as with the other characters, had given me her name in a dream. The novel had begun with a series of dreams in which Phillippa revealed her story, ancient and modern. I simply had to get up in the middle of the night to record them. Eventually they pieced together into a long narrative that wove through several time frames. So, I stuck with the name.
I was most amused to find that an outside-the-box on-line dictionary, gave the meaning of Phillippa as: ‘Most amazing girl that walks the face of the earth, crazy, funny and everyone wants to be her friend. If people aren’t busy trying to be her friend, they are busy trying to get into her pants because she’s so damn fine!’ Appropriate, as it turned out as she gifted her story to me. Whilst writing, the strapline in my head became, ‘gothic horror meets fifty shades of grey and slides into ancient Egypt.’ You’ll see why when you read the novel, which is sexually graphic – and imbued with heka [magic].
It was a useful lesson in sticking with what is. One that I would have been wise to follow throughout the many edits. Shocked by its foray into gothic darkness, various well-meaning editors tried to turn it into a ‘cosy’ novel. It is far from that. Deeply disturbing, it is based on experience, my own and that of others, and life is seldom cosy. Not in my world and certainly not in the pages of the book. But Phillippa finds her way through. That’s the whole point of the story. Thankfully, the members of Village Writers are assisting in breathing life back into the story as they dissect, correct and encourage. That’s the joy of belonging to a writers’ group, constructive criticism – that and the gales of laughter that invariably accompany our meetings. The best reality t.v. show not-yet-made.
Prayer to Heket
Holy Heket, make me whole and hale for my lifetime.
Free me with Your Beauty from the fetters of pain.
In Your presence I wish to remain for my lifetime,
Benevolent, Merciful Lady.
Let Your mighty heka [magic] flow over me,
Let me drink it deep,
That I might sing Your praises for my lifetime
With clean words, clean body, and clean soul.
Let Your mighty heka flow over me,
Let me drink it deep,
That I might live again.
May You be at peace with me, Heket!
I love serendipitous synchronicities and encouraging signs from the ancient gods. So, as always, I checked out frog symbolism:
When Frog appears it’s time to sing your soul song! Need help belting out your truth? Powerful Frog energy can help you jump right in there and be heard! https://whatismyspiritanimal.com
Cleansing might also mean that the frog spirit animal inspires you to renew your perspective or vision. If the frog shows up in your life as a spirit guide, it may encourage you to clear old opinions and beliefs to adopt a new stance or perspective. http://www.spiritanimal.info/frog-spirit-animal/
When the frog jumps into your life it may indicate now is a time to find opportunities in transition. We see animal symbolism of transition with the frog in its unique growth cycle. The frog undergoes incredible transformations to reach the destination of full adulthood, and so do we as humans. http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-symbolism-frog.html
All so appropriate for this stage of the book’s life- and for the story itself. Bringing a novel to life is a lot like gestating and birthing a child, there’s a huge amount of pain, and it needs all the help and encouragement an author can find. Plus the confidence to say, ‘This is the story.’
My frog-friend had disappeared by the time I went back with my camera to capture the moment (as is so often the case!). While I was searching for suitable images online, I found this story,
A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored them and tried to jump out of the pit with all their might.
The other frogs kept telling them to stop, and that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump up as high as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die.
He jumped even harder and higher until finally he made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Didn’t you hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought that they were encouraging him the entire time. (Author Unknown).
The column also pointed out the lessons to be learnt from it:
Isn’t that brilliant? The power of words is what ultimately frees Phillippa in my novel. But, editors’ and early readers’ words impacted on me, offering either encouragement or discouragement. A writer has to grow a thick skin. I had to remind myself that these criticisms were opinions, not ultimate truth. Those who ‘spoke life’, as with my current readers, were by far the most helpful. So, as you can imagine, this frog saga resonated strongly with me. Every writer has to be aware of the power of words, especially those imprinted on paper without the possibility of further elucidation. Misunderstandings and misrepresentations can so easily occur in a reader’s mind as they view it through the lens of their own perception. I’ve learned to weigh my words as carefully as the heart was weighed against Ma’at, the feather of truth, in ancient Egypt. Something that also features strongly in the novel.
It doesn’t prevent me speaking my truth though – can anyone stop a Sag? This new novel will be an interesting test of that. You’ll love it, or loathe it and be shocked. Opinion is sharply divided so far. One of my reader’s said, ‘Take out the magical element and you’ll have a best-selling bonkbuster.’ But, we both agreed, that would diminish the heart of the story. Watch out for it in 2018. In the meantime, you can check out Torn Clouds. My lovely publisher has faithfully kept it in print all these long years. It too may undergo a metamorphosis. Repackaged with a new cover? We shall see.
Is that ‘from’ a typo or another indication? One of the characters in my novel is definitely a ‘from’. But as to whether he’s a totem spirit guide or something totally other, you’ll need to read the novel to find out!
Torn Clouds features time-traveller Megan McKennar, whose past life memories thrust themselves into the present day as she traces a love affair that transcends time. Haunted by her dreams, she is driven by forces she cannot understand to take a trip to Egypt in a quest to understand the cause of her unhappy current life circumstances. Once there, swooning into a previous existence in Pharaonic Egypt, she lives again as Meck’an’ar, priestess of the Goddess Sekhmet, the fearful lion headed deity who was simultaneously the Goddess of Terror, Magic and Healing. Caught up in the dark historical secrets of Egypt, Megan is forced to fight for her soul. She succeeds in breaking the curse that had been cast upon her in two incarnations.
Collected from a sacred liminal space that once sat at the junction of land and sea, Sea Foam Flint is somewhat different in action to the normal grounding qualities of Flint. Perfect for earth-alchemy and grounding light, once its cavities are cleared out, it opens the Gaia Gateway chakra and attunes it to Mother Earth, taking you deep into the soul of the planet and the divine feminine. Sea Foam Flint may incorporate tiny Quartz geodes into its structure, letting you into the secret heart of Gaia. This Flint is formed from fossilized sponge so it is perfect for absorbing and transmuting the last remnants of toxic energies of all kinds, especially those released during personal or earth healing.
You can buy Sea Foam Flint from the astrologywise crystal store. Email Terrie if you don’t see what you want http://astrologywise.co.uk/store—crystals-jewelry-downloads.html. You can buy it ready-cleansed – or have the excitement of discovering what is revealed when you scour it for yourself. Exceedingly therapeutic!
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