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 A peep into an author’s life

writers backroomI heard Alan Bennett on the radio talking about how writers always have something in a back room that they’d prefer other people not to know about. Stuff they don’t reveal as it’s too intimate. I have to say, in the past I’ve tended to recycle stuff like that into ‘case histories’ – although I started owning those awhile ago – and put them into my fiction. . Having had what turned out to be a significant dream that I reframed to reveal its gifts, I’d like to share this modern fairytale with you, my ‘dear reader’. Between the dream and the recycling came Terrie Celest’s Scorpio new moon blog – an intermission which you’ll find at the end of the story. This modern fairy tale occurred over the course of ten days and, as it’s rather long, you might like to read it that way. The dream, the reframing and then one gem a day. Look on it as an initiation into your own deepest self. Then, invoke your personal dream to discover the pearls in your heart. (My ‘Book of Psychic Development’ contains all you need to invoke insightful dreams.)

 

 

Be the witch you are: a modern fairytale

the witch you aregood bad witch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part I: The Dream

I am at a lunch party in the grounds of a stately home. I know I’d been invited on sufferance and there is a reason, a hidden agenda. I can feel the undercurrents. I am talking to the languid owner when a snooty butler comes up to say disapprovingly: ‘Your friends have arrived to see the six ‘special lost artefacts’ you’ve told them that no one else knows about. Undiscovered gems. Allegedly.’ His hands sketch haughty quote marks in the air.

I vehemently deny having invited anyone.

I am led towards six women in 1950s party clothes – one wearing a diamond tiara, evening dress, long gloves and a look on her face as though butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Innocence personified. The rest are similarly unsuitably attired. Apparently they are doing a Fine Arts course and I’ve told them there are hidden gems, lost artefacts, to be uncovered.

Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner but you’ll get the picture.

perfect outfits

Billed as ‘perfect outfits for not talking to each other’.

Again, I deny knowing them. Walk up to them and tell them off for coming. How dare they intrude! Off they stalk. Protesting. Escorted by the snooty butler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How dare they intrude snooty butler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reframing

Sleeping Beauty

‘Sleeping Beauty: The twelve good fairies/witches travelling to the princess’s christening, unaware that the evil one is following.’ Amy Elize.

When I wake, I read Terrie Celest’s Scorpio new moon blog, which came in while I was away in Ireland for Halloween.  The new moon is almost conjunct my own Hades birth moon. I realise that I’m shutting off a part of myself that holds the key to gems in the darkest depths of my being. A trip into my Self is indicated. I’ve just returned from facilitating a workshop on exactly that, watching with awe as women released so much crap in order to find their gifts and their hidden strengths. Now it’s my turn.

So I back into the dream I go. Reframe it. Welcome the visitors. Invite them to join the party. Out they come, in fairy-witch garb. Tiara dances a stately waltz with the butler. They are having a fine auld time as Gillian would say if I were still in Belfast.

A dark figure

I realise one is missing. A dark figure. Hiding in the corner. So I invite her to show herself. Her message is unequivocal.

wicked witch of everything

She throws off her cloak and steps out in long, slinky evening dress and ruched black gloves – but keeps her witch’s hat on. She dances with wild abandon. I’d watched Hocus Pocus on Halloween eve with Gillian. This is hot-stepping Bette Midler at her most fabulous.

Lovely Deviant Art People

Those lovely Deviant Art people again.
Only the hat is missing!

The ecstatic dance finishes. I ask for the lost artefacts, the hidden gems, to be revealed. The screen goes blank.

Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus

In case you’ve never seen Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus, here’s ‘I put a spell on you’. It’s the Emperor’s new clothes story in another guise. I’ve been that boy crying ‘you don’t understand, all is not as it seems,’ so many times in my life.

And so…?
And so

Now, you have to remember that the 1950s was my era. I was a teenager then. Discovering rock music and boys. And experiencing great disapproval.

I actually knew the inside of a stately home quite well. My friend’s aunt worked at Downton Abbey (well, what doubles for it in the t.v. show), and we visited from time to time. It was holding part of the ‘lost’ Carter Egyptian collection, kept in a cupboard between rooms, that solidified my lifelong interest in Egypt. I have since enjoyed the patronage of an Earl (not that one) and spent time in his stately pile, which was gently crumbling. I lived in the grounds and discovered all kinds of treasures in the outbuildings, but that’s another story. I have taught in a stately pile too. Not all it’s cracked up to be.

I could have discovered university in my late teens but my mother thought it a waste as I was bound to get married at the same age as she did (20). So my brother would go instead. I well remember the head mistress begging me to stay on for sixth form. Tears in her eyes as she told me I’d be wasting my brain going to a secretarial school. Actually, given that I still type at 90 words a minute and that’s how I write so many books, it wasn’t a total waste. Nothing ever is. But you’ll get the idea. When I eventually did go to uni it was more than a decade later, and when I finally did the M.A. I’d been encouraged to do back then, I was 60. I still have 78 folders of research for the PhD I could have gone on to do. But I don’t have the memory capacity now to support it. The key to the mental filing cabinet is lost. And I certainly don’t need the letters after my name to know who I am. But I am aware there is this whole other life I could have lived.

Butler

Nothing to do with the family, I borrowed him from the internet.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you my maiden name was Butler. There’s something called deterministic nomenclature. Not that my mother knew it by that name, which was coined much later, originally as noministic nomenclature, but she knew how to put it into practice to keep one in one’s place. In her eyes, the working class was where I belonged, not in a stately home. Nowadays I occupy a perfect liminal space accessing many worlds but belonging to none.

“Nominative determinism, literally “name-driven outcome”, is defined as the hypothesis that people tend to gravitate towards areas of work which reflect their names. The name fits because people, possibly subconsciously, made themselves fit. Nominative determinism differs from the concept of aptronyms in that it focuses on causality.” (definition from the Wikedpedia).

Rather like “I can’t help it, it’s my karma.” Oh yes you can!!bad witch

I use deterministic nomenclature to open out a desired outcome rather than to circumscribe my opportunities in life. For instance, when the lovely Julie who is my Facebook manager, needed a name for her publishing house and was considering something nautical as the book was on smugglers, ‘High Sails’ was a given. (It only has to sound the same.)

So the idea of these undiscovered gems of the witch-fairies is intriguing to say the least. Little do I realise they will be presented as riddles and symbols. A trail to follow with hints to untangle before I interpret the gems they offer me. Gifts that I have garnered over the course of a long life. The answer to a question all Sagittarians ask: ‘What has it all been about?’ A trail that I invite you to explore with me in Part II.