MCM! Meet Niklas

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Niklas is my main character Cardinal Carrow’s primary love interest in my current WIP, The Cauldron Born . I also have to confess he is one of my favourite characters to write, the words just seem to spill out much more easily when he is “on-screen”, particularly when it comes to the witty repartee between him and Cardinal. I just love their chemistry and the way they spark off each other.

So, a little more about Niklas. First up, he’s a 1000+ year old former Viking vampire whom Cardinal meets when she moves into the apartment beneath his. They quickly strike up a mutual attraction but things are a little tricky since neither of them is in much of a good place to get involved with anyone.

Niklas is very tall, around 6’4, with wavy ash blonde air and silvery grey eyes and his skin is classically vampire pale. His ears have a very slight but noticeable point to them, suggesting he has fey blood somewhere in his ancestry. He has a dry, sarcastic sense of humour, which he often uses to deflect from revealing too much about himself. He has a good reason for secrecy but I’m not telling 😉

He has several tattoos, including three ravens entwined around a triple goddess symbol, representing his fealty to the goddess Morrigan, an Aegishjalmur (the Norse rune for protection) on his wrist, a flock of ravens in flight across his upper chest and shoulder and a tree of life, his family crest, on his hip.

Niklas is occasionally prone to bouts of hedonism, particularly when the weight and monotony of immortally become too much. Whilst he has a reputation as something of a wild child, he is reliable and stable when he has to be.  He is loyal and loving and will always step up when his loved ones are in need. Like Cardinal, he is fiercely brave, sometimes to the point of recklessness. After such a long life, he doesn’t cling to it too tightly and, like many Vikings, believes the date of his death was set long a go.

He has been many things throughout his life, a warrior, a prince, a slave, a concubine, a rock star, even a short and confusing pirate stage sometime in the mid 17th century, but his current incarnation is that of an art teacher at a night school. Painting and drawing were one of his first loves and the few things that have remained consistent throughout his life.

I could go on but let’s save some details for when The Cauldron Born comes out.

Hope you’re having a wonderful Monday and Blessed be! x

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Mythology Monday! Meet the Morrigan

Welcome to Mythology Monday, a new regular feature I’ll be posting on the mythology that inspires my writing and the world of The Cauldron Born.

Today’s feature is all about The Morrigan, the Celtic goddess of war, fate and death. Morrigan is a figure I’ve been fascinated with for quite a while, ever since I first encountered her in the graphic novel The Wicked and The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (if you don’t know of it it I strongly suggest checking it out, it is SO GOOD).

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The Morrigan, as featured in The Wicked and The Divine

Since then I’ve done a fair bit of research on the mythology of the Morrigan and felt very drawn to her as a symbol of the Goddess in her dark aspect. So it was no surprise really when Morrigan popped up in my head and insisted she had to appear in The Cauldron Born. In book 1, Morrigan only appears “off screen” through Niklas telling Cardinal all about his past encounters with her when he was just a young Viking warrior.

For those who aren’t familiar, here’s a little break down of who the Morrigan is.

The name Morrigan (or Morrigu, as it is sometimes written) is believed to mean “phantom queen” or “nightmare queen” from the Indo-European root word Mor (terror or monstrous), the Old English word maere (as in, nightmare) and the Scandinavian mara (also nightmare), and righan which translates as queen. There is also some argument that it was intended to translate as “Great Queen”, from the Old Irish mor, meaning great.

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The Morrigan, Image Credit Sharon Aur

In Celtic mythology, the Morrigan foretells the deaths of warriors in battle, often hovering above the battlefield in the form of a crow, ready to carry off the soul of the unfortunate fallen. This suggests that she was perhaps one of the inspirations behind the Irish legend of the banshee, a wailing hag that foretells death. As well as being a symbol of death, Morrigan was rumoured to be able to sway the outcome of battle, appearing in her crow form to either instil courage or fear in the gathered warriors. There are also some examples of the Morrigan actually fighting in the battles herself, such as the Battle of Mag Tuired, where she helps the Tuatha De defeat the Formorians.

As well as being a goddess of war and death, Morrigan has strong links to the land and, particularly, it’s animals. In addition to the crow, Morrigan was believed to be able to shapeshift into the form of a cow, a wolf and an eel, and has a strong affinity with horses. Morrigan is a protector of the land, it’s livestock and inhabitants.

 

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The Morrigan is often described as a “triple goddess”, representing Maiden, Mother and Crone, the divine feminine and the cycle of life. Sometimes she is pictured as one of three sisters, variably, Morrigan, Babd and Macha.

So that’s a brief outline of the Morrigan as I know her. If you would like to learn more about her I recommend “The Morrigan, Meeting the Great Queens” by Morgan Daimler for a more comprehensive introduction.

Also, the song “Morrigan” by Omnia gives a great feel of what the Morrigan is all about.

Blessed be! x

New Moon in Gemini

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It’s been quite a gap since my last post again, mostly because I’ve been deep in my writing cave editing “The Cauldron Born” and making a start on writing book two (!). So my head has been buried in my book world to the point that my poor partner has been saying a “I miss you” even when I’ve been in the room the whole time. It’s a tough life being the romantic partner of a creative person sometimes but  we’re worth it ;). I’m sure it’s something all writers have to contend with sometimes, when the muse grips you tight and all you want to do is write but there are still jobs to go to, meals to cook, houses to clean, plants to water, friends to see etc. I suppose ultimately it’s all about balance and sometimes having to accept that other aspects of your life may have to suffer in order to get where you want to be, creatively. Nothing worth having ever came without sacrifice.

That said, the last week and a half of intensive writing/editing all day then going to work in the evening has taken it out of me and I’ve decided to step back for at least today and take a break. Instead I’ve been turning my attention to planning for the next month and trying to get my scattered, chaotic thoughts in order ready for the New Moon in Gemini. I have a very busy brain sometimes and it really helps just to sit for a while and write things down and organise my thoughts on paper. So that’s what I’ve been doing today.

 

There is quite a lot going on but I do feel a little better for being able to see everything in black and white. I wanted to clear up some of my mental clutter in order to have a better idea of what I’m manifesting in this upcoming lunar cycle since of course today is the New Moon in Gemini!

June’s New Moon is a great opportunity to organise your thoughts, plan for the summer and reassess your goals in advance of next weeks Summer Solstice. Gemini is an air sign so it’s all about harnessing your mental powers in order to make your dreams a reality. New Moon in Gemini augurs the beginning of some great creative energies so it’s a good time to start a project. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be wanting to pull out those planners and journals and set out what comes next.  But remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Gemini is a bubbly, sociable and fun sign so make sure you leave time for making plans with friends and enjoying yourself in amongst all those goals. Summer is finally upon us and it’s time get out of the house and enjoy the good weather.

For some of us, this New Moon may leave us feeling like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things we want to and there is just too much floating around in our heads. The onslaught of mental activity can leave us feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed. We may struggle to sort through all the threads our busy brains are weaving. In these moments, take a few deep breaths and centre yourself. Remember we don’t have to do everything all at once. There is time, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Go back to those journals, get your thoughts in order and prioritise what’s most important to you right now. If you focus on your true hearts calling, everything else will find a way to fall into place. Be kind to yourself, steer your thoughts to positive and remember the universe has your back!

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here trying to take my own and advice and remember to breathe! As you can probably tell, I’m feeling those New Moon mental energies hard! It’s all good and positive stuff but sometimes there just isn’t room for it all. Right, back to those to-do lists, where’s my highlighter?! 😉

Happy New Moon ! xo

The Flower Moon

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Happy full moon Witches! May’s full moon is known as the Flower Moon. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac this is because May “marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom.” Exciting times, huh? Of course, the Flower Moon is about more than just a pretty name. It’s a time of blossoming, both inward and outward. Unless you walk around with your eyes closed (very ill advised) you’ve probably noticed nature is putting on a whole beautiful display for us at the moment. The flowers are in bloom, the trees are verdant and everything just looks that little bit more vibrant with the sunlight shining on it. Since we too are a part of nature you should notice a little inner blossoming going on too. We are in tune with nature and our minds, bodies and souls should reflect at least a little of what is going on outside. Whether it’s just the warmth and the longer days, that extra boost of vitamin D, or the joy of seeing so many beautiful flowers around, many of us feel generally happier, healthier and more energised around this time of year. We are fast approaching the mid-point of the year (I know, it’s scaring me too!) which means the literal and figurative seeds we have planted earlier in the year are beginning to bear fruits. Now is a great time to reassess your progress so far, celebrate how far you’ve come and sharpen your focus on what happens next. For some of us, we might realise we have wandered off the path a bit, or that a goal or project hasn’t turned out the way we imagined it would. That’s OK too! There’s still plenty of time to get back where we want to be or even start fresh if we have to. Use the blooming energy of the Flower Moon to manifest your dreams, however great or small. ‘Tis the season for hope and excitement. We have the whole summer ahead of us for fun, holidays and adventures. And speaking of adventures, this years Flower Moon is in Sagittarius so there’s even more excuse to take a leap, try something new and reach for your goals. Sagittarius is all about adventure, travel and the great outdoors so combined with the vibrant creative energy of the flower moon it should be a fun and exciting time for projects and playtime alike. For me personally I will be channelling this full moon energy into getting back to writing “The Cauldron Born” and hopefully bringing that to completion. I only have one small section to finish before I have a completed first draft so that’s super exciting. Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Flower Moon!

Beltane Love Spell

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As mentioned in my previous post Beltane is the perfect time for love magic. It should go without saying that you can’t make someone love you, using magic or otherwise. Free will is not a force to be tampered with. So I use the words “love spell” only loosely here. What I do mean is a spell that celebrates love and sets out the intention to bring lovers closer together. Whether that intention is to strengthen or rekindle romance in an existing relationship or perhaps to create opportunities for feelings to develop with someone new is entirely down to the caster.

The spell incorporates yet another lovely Beltane tradition: weaving. Weaving is symbolic of the union of two things to create a third so the symbolism is perfect for love and fertility magic. This is a super simple spell and is only intended as a bit of fun. As always it is down to the individual witch to decide what intention and energy to bring to it. To perform this spell, you will need:

  •  Two ribbons or strands of cord. String will do or you can even use your hair if you have nothing else to hand. However, it’s an added bonus if the colours of the cord correspond to the magic e.g pink or red for love and romance, silver and gold or green and purple to represent the God and Goddess, whichever works best for you.
  • Rose water, rose oil, Patchouli oil or lavender oil. Again, it’s dealers choice here. I like to you use rose water because I love the smell and it is so reminiscent of love and romance but lavender is also great for love and Patchouli for sex, fertility and potency.
  • Optional extras: coloured candles, rose petals, rose quartz, incense, anything that helps set the mood for the spell you are about to perform.

To begin the spell anoint the ends of both cords in rose water or your chosen essential oil. Then, focusing your mind on your lover and your intentions for the spell, begin to weave the two strands together. You may find it helps to knot them together first. It doesn’t have to be a fancy knot, just a simple over and through will work fine. Visualize yourself becoming closer to your lover, being open with one another and finding that true connection between you. As you do this continue to weave the cords and chant, either out loud or in your head;

Let love grow, let hearts soar,

Bring me closer to the one I adore

Continue until the strands are completely woven together.

The finished weave is the perfect addition to your Beltane altar and is an ideal offering/ wedding gift to the Goddess and God.  And remember love is a gift, use it wisely!

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