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Bringing Color into The Sixth Labyrinth

“I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me.” ~~~~Robert Louis Stevenson

image via Shutterstock

In The Child of the Erinyes, a series dealing with reincarnation, only one of the main characters retains memories from previous lives. Because the others come back with a clean slate, so to speak, I’ve had to work out how they find each other in every new experience.

One of several methods I use is the aura. It’s part of what draws the triad and keeps them together.

Auras are interesting phenomena. Described variously as “a breath,” “an emanation,” “a vibration,” and an “electromagnetic field,” these are colors that circle around people, invisible to most of us, but seen or sensed by some. Individual colors mean rather specific things, though there isn’t always agreement on what.

Brilliant, clean colors envelop people who are farther along on the spiritual trail, “higher beings,” while muddy, dark colors point to trouble—a person mired in distress, hate, or sickness.

Thoughts and feelings can alter the color and density of the aura. When colors flash and change swiftly, it’s an alert that thoughts and emotions are in flux.

Generally, auras are made up of a mix of colors, though one will be dominant.

Since our auras come in a wide panorama from subtle pastel to blazing primary, I needed to understand these characters and their desires/motivations on a deep level in order to choose the most appropriate aura. Here are the ones I used and why.

Stranraer, Scotland, 1872: the first time Morrigan Lawton sees the stranger Curran Ramsay, he is standing inside a train getting ready to step off, and is in shadow. She’s looking up at him from the outside.

A mist of color surrounded the being on the step, like a rainbow glimmering through watery clouds, but this rainbow offered only the blue spectrum, with hints of violet.”

Blue signals a person who is visionary, intuitive, and sensitive. But an aura isn’t simply “blue.” There are different shades of blue, and Curran (Menoetius from the Bronze Age) has them all in abundance. His aura communicates his ability to accept others and love deeply. Vivid blue tells us he is generous and spiritual. Indigo deepens that. Violet reveals that he is idealistic, even somewhat magical.

Curran Ramsay also sees Morrigan’s aura. He describes it as pure gold, glittering like a sea of mica, with entwining whispers of lavender.

Gold is a rarely seen aura, so of course I reserved it for the high point of the triangle, Goddess Athene’s child and brightest hope, Aridela—Morrigan Lawton in this incarnation. A person washed in gold is protected by divine beings. He or she walks a special, guided path. Lavender affirms that Morrigan is as much a visionary as Curran, but also a daydreamer—someone with a very active imagination.

Later, in Glenelg, Morrigan is introduced to the local midwife and healer, Eleanor Graeme, whose aura is a restful green. Green is not only a healer’s color but a teacher’s, a person who wants to help others. As Eleanor is the reincarnated Themiste from the Bronze Age, it makes sense. Themiste’s most ardent desire was to follow Aridela, to help her and make amends for the things she felt she had done wrong.

Chrysaleon of Mycenae is the problem child of the series, and in The Sixth Labyrinth, his aura displays this. Here he is Aodhàn Mackinnon, a guy with plenty of secrets—and the only character burdened by previous life memories. Perhaps that’s why his aura is red, with accents of orange, and sometimes mud! A red aura suggests a person who is not so advanced spiritually. He or she is stuck in earthly interests like jealousy, anger, sexual obsessions, and amassing power. It’s not always a bad color: it can mean dedication, and as noted in The Sixth Labyrinth, can be the prevailing color in rebels, ascetics, and artists—anyone who is passionate about something. Orange combined with red announces Aodhàn’s deeply rooted need to control things. It has, after all, kept his defiance alive and fired up for over three thousand years at this point.

Lastly, we have Diorbhail Sinclair—the reincarnated Selene. Selene is arguably the most resplendent champion of my saga so far: I actually refer to her in my own mind as the “Samwise Gamgee” of The Child of the Erinyes, and not surprisingly, she has the most complex aura. Hers is overwhelmingly white, and this is the color I had the most trouble researching. On the one hand, white can be interpreted as undiluted potential, a personality in transcendence. Some say angels themselves are cloaked in white. It represents not only spiritual qualities but also concentrated truth. On the other hand, there are those who believe white alludes to disease, near death, or a disordered noise, a failing of balance and harmony. After reading these opposing definitions, I knew white was the perfect choice for Diorbhail. She ardently wants to help her friend, Morrigan, but her allegiances are conflicted by her love for Curran, who is Morrigan’s husband. Loyalty fighting desire fighting resentment—as it was in the Bronze Age. She is on the verge of ascendance, but is held back by these earthly factors.

Curran’s aura also turns white during times of high emotion, for instance when the submerged Menoetius responds to the submerged Selene. They are, and always will be, connected.

The contrary qualities of Diorbhail’s white aura are set off by traces of pink—a promise that this woman is close to achieving the highest balance of all. Diorbhail’s is the most dazzling of all the auras in The Sixth Labyrinth. It nearly blinds Aodhàn.

image via Shutterstock

It was quite fun learning about auras. After researching them, I pondered their influence outside of novels. Perhaps they play a part when we meet someone for the first time and are inexplicably repelled or attracted. It could be we are subliminally seeing and responding to that person’s aura.

So… the next time someone seems to be avoiding you, or you feel strangely turned off by a new acquaintance, maybe it’s not because of the onions at lunch. The reason could be a far more subtle influence—the influence of color!

Pre-order at the following places:

Amazon Kindle

iTunes

Kobo

Tolino

Will be live on Friday, April 8, at Barnes & Noble, HERE

The Child of the Erinyes is an eight-book journey spanning 4000 years. Beginning in the Bronze Age, it follows the lives of two men and a woman as they are reborn seven times through history. The Sixth Labyrinth, Book 4 of the series, is being released 8 April, 2016.

 

The Sixth Labyrinth: Live in Two Weeks

The Sixth Labyrinth

Arriving in 2 weeks!

Athene’s Handmaid, by Melissa Conway

 

Finis… or in other words, The End. A sublime combination of words I was beginning to doubt I would ever be able to type, but all edits have at last come to “The End.” It took so much longer than I expected, but I do believe I made the right choice to go through The Sixth Labyrinth one last time. I feel certain this will result in a smoother, more pleasant read.

Thank you to my beta readers… my editor… my copy editors… the cover image artist… and my Gaelic speakers. This was a Team Effort that was years upon years (upon years) in the making.

 

Cover talk: As soon as I saw this image by Eve Ventrue, I knew it was perfect. It was Chrysaleon, in every way. Angry, somber, and defiant, after three millennia of being reincarnated, forced to suffer the loss of the woman he loves, over and over again. He is deeply scarred, and I think that shows in every inch of this face.

The image is unfinished: Chrysaleon, too, is unfinished.

But this story is not just Chrysaleon’s. It is Aridela’s. It is Menoetius’s. And it is Selene’s and Themiste’s. All have reunited in 1870s Scotland.

The Sixth Labyrinth is Book Four in The Child of the Erinyes series.

Winter, 1853. Every home in the village of Glenelg is burned, the residents deported or left to starve.

Douglas Lawton refuses to put his family on the refugee ship, though his wife is in labor. She dies giving birth to a daughter whose paternity will always be questioned.

These mountains in the remote West Highlands of Scotland offer a backdrop to the continuing story of three lives linked through time. A silenced but enduring goddess has seen her place in the souls of humans systematically destroyed, but she bides her time. For Athene, thousands of years mean nothing.

Framed within the Clearances that ravaged the Highlands, one woman struggles with the restrictions placed upon her, and all women. Her buried psyche is that of a queen who possessed unlimited power, yet here, she is little more than a scullery maid.

 

For thousands of years two men have fought for the heart of Athene’s daughter. Will either triumph? What are the consequences of winning? Ancient prophecy is unfolding, leading our triad into the shadowed corridors of The Sixth Labyrinth.

To pre-order:

Amazon

Kobo

iTunes

Tolino

 

 

 

Image via shutterstock

map: The Sixth Labyrinth

You can click on this image to enlarge it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mountain elements on this map were created by StarRaven, aka Daphne Arcadius, at DeviantArt. The other design elements are from Shutterstock.

Biblio: The Sixth Labyrinth & The Moon Casts a Spell

  • Research for story of Tristan and Isolde taken from:
  • Newman, Ernest. The Wagner Operas, 1949
  • The world premiere of Tristan und Isolde was in Munich on June 10, 1865.

 

Partial Bibliography:

  • Arnold, Matthew. Tristram and Iseult, 1852
  • Auchincloss, Louis. Persons of Consequence: Queen Victoria & Her Circle, 1978
  • Auerbach, Nina. Ellen Terry, Player in Her Time, 1987
  • Bell, Ian. Dreams of Exile: Robert Louis Stevenson, a biography, 1992
  • Bennett, Margaret. Scottish Customs from the Cradle to the Grave, 1992
  • Bingham, Caroline. Beyond the Highland Line, 1991
  • Brown, Jonathan & Ward, S.B. Village Life in England 1860-1940: A Photographic Record, 1985
  • Buchman, Dian Dincin. Herbal Medicine, 1979
  • Calder, Angus (Edited by). Robert Louis Stevenson, Selected Poems, 1998
  • Cantlie, Hugh. Ancestral Castles of Scotland, 1992
  • Carmichael, Alexander. Carmina Gadelica Hymns and Incantations (Collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the last century), 1992
  • Cooper, Derek. Skye, 1970
  • Davis, James & Hawke, S.D. London, 1990
  • Ewing, Elizabeth. Everyday Dress 1650-1900, 1984
  • Fenwick, Hubert. Scottish Baronial Houses, 1986
  • Fostor, Vanda. A Visual History of Costume: the 19th Century, 1984
  • Fraprie, Frank Roy. Castles and Keeps of Scotland, 1907
  • Goldthorpe, Caroline. From Queen to Empress: Victorian Dress 1837-1877, 1988
  • Gorsline, Douglas. What People Wore: A Visual History of Dress, 1974, c1952
  • Gutman, Robert. Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, & His Music, 1972
  • Hart, James D (Edited by). Robert Louis Stevenson: From Scotland to Silverado, 1966
  • Hawkes, Jacquetta. Dawn of the Gods, 1968
  • Hellman, George. The True Stevenson, 1925
  • Hendry, J.F. The Penguin Book of Scottish Short Stories, 1970
  • Hibbert, Christopher. The Horizon Book of Daily Life in Victorian England, 1975
  • Hopman, Ellen Evert. A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year, 1995
  • Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costume for Stage & Screen 1800-1909, 1988
  • Jackson, Douglas. A Celtic Miscellany, 1951
  • Jacobs, Joseph. Celtic Fairy Tales, 1923
  • King, Neil. The Victorian Scene, 1985
  • Knight, Alanna. Robert Louis Stevenson Treasury, 1985
  • Laver, James. Modesty in Dress: An Inquiry into the Fundamentals of Fashion, 1969
  • Lister, Margot. Costumes of Everyday Life: An Illustrated History of Working Clothes, from 900-1910, 1972
  • Lochhead, Marion. Scottish Tales of Magic and Mystery, 1978
  • MacGregor, Geddes. Scotland: an Intimate Portrait, 1980
  • Mackie, J.D. A History of Scotland, 1964
  • Mackinnon, Roderick. Gaelic, 1971
  • Maclean, Charles. The Clan Almanac, 1990
  • Mair, Craig. A Star for Seamen, 1978
  • Maloney, Elbert S. Chapman Piloting: Seamanship & Small Boat Handling, 1991
  • Markale, Jean. Women of the Celts, 1986
  • Matthews, Caitlín and John. Ladies of the Lake, 1992
  • Maurois, Andre. Disraeli, 1955
  • Maxwell, Stuart & Hutchison, Robin. Scottish Costume 1550-1850, 1959 c1958
  • McCutchan, Philip. Tall Ships: The Golden Age of Sail, 1976
  • McKenna, Terence. Food of the Gods: The search for the Original Tree of Knowledge, 1992
  • Moncreiffe and Hicks. The Highland Clans, 1967
  • Murphy, Gardner & Kovach, Joseph K. Historical Introduction to Modern Psychology, 1972
  • Nicholson, B.E. & Ary, S. & Gregory, M. The Oxford Book of Wildflowers, 1980, c1960
  • Norwich, John Julius. Britain’s Heritage, 1983
  • O’Brien Educational. Heroic Tales from the Ulster Clyde. 1976
  • Pepper, Choral. Walks in Oscar Wilde’s London, 1992
  • Plotz, Helen. Poems of Robert Louis Stevenson, 1973
  • Prebble, John. Culloden, 1961
  • Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances, 1963
  • Prebble, John. The Lion in the North, 1971
  • Rose, Phyllis. Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages, 1983
  • Ross, Anne. The Folklore of the Scottish Highlands, 1976
  • Scott, Sir Walter. Manners, Customs, and History of the Highlanders of Scotland, 1893
  • Sichel, Marion. History of Children’s Costume, 1983
  • Smout, T.C. A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830
  • Souden, David. The Victorian Village, 1991
  • Swinglehurst, Edmund & Anderson, Janice. Scottish Walks and Legends, 1982
  • Thompson, Dorothy. Queen Victoria: The Woman, The Monarchy, The People, 1990
  • Tranter, Nigel. Tales & Traditions of Scottish Castles, 1982
  • Warrack, Alexander, MA. (Compiled by) Chambers Scots Dictionary, 1911
  • Warwick, Christopher. Two Centuries of Royal Weddings, 1980
  • Waugh, Nora. Corsets and Crinolines, 1954
  • Weintraub, Stanley. Whistler: A Biography, 1974
  • Whipple, Addison Beecher Colvin. The Clipper Ships, 1980
  • Wilson, A.N. Eminent Victorians, 1989

Indie BRAG interview

THE-YEAR-GOD'S-DAUGHTERThe Year-god’s Daughter was recently awarded the IndieB.R.A.G. Medallion. If you aren’t familiar with Indie BRAG, check it out HERE. It’s not easy to win the coveted Medallion, so I was thrilled beyond description when it happened.

Today I’m being interviewed by Stephanie Hopkins, blogger extraordinaire for Indie BRAG. Please pop over and join us for questions, answers, thoughts, conjecture, and maybe some cake. Who knows?

Stephanie: “Hello, Rebecca! Thank you for chatting with me today and congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Please tell me a little about your book, The Year-God’s Daughter.”

Lochlann: “Gladly, Stephanie, and let me thank you for this opportunity. I was over the moon to be awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. What an honor! The Year-god’s Daughter kicks off my Child of the Erinyes series, a story that begins in the Bronze Age, on Crete and the Greek mainland, and ends in the near future. It follows the lives of the three main protagonists, along with their supporting characters, through time, as they experience history—not70 as queens, kings, and other VIPs, but common people like most of us, doing their best to survive and thrive with history happening around them.

In book one, the reader is introduced to Aridela, a younger princess on Crete, living a life of luxury in the great Knossos palace. We also meet two men from Mycenae who are seeking a way to overthrow this wealthy culture. All three think they know how their lives will unfold. They think they can manipulate the future to their own ends. They are very wrong.”

Click HERE for the entire interview. Thank you Indie BRAG! Thank you Stephanie! And thank you to generous readers!

Lion hunting Mycenae: see below for attribution

Lion hunting Mycenae: see below for attribution

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: “Hunting Mycenaean Dagger” by Unknown – Athens, Historical Museum. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hunting_Mycenaean_Dagger.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Hunting_Mycenaean_Dagger.jpg

Psilocybin in The Sixth Labyrinth

The people living on Crete in the first three books of The Child of the Erinyes were great believers in omens, prophecies, signs, and portents from the gods. My imagining of Bronze Age Crete had hundreds of priestesses as well as priests, all of whom devoted themselves to pleasing the Immortals and drawing down good fortune. Animals were routinely sacrificed, for it was believed that the scent of blood and burned fat delighted the gods. Crete’s High Priestess, Themiste, who also held the impressive titles of Most Holy Minos, Moon-Being, Keeper of the Prophecies, and oracle, enjoyed a closer relationship to these deities than anyone else, and hence, more power. She used many methods of communing with them—serpent venom, poppy juice, poisonous laurel leaves, smoke emanating from fissures in the earth, and, perhaps most commonly, the sacred mushroom, known in the story as cara.

Phrygian cap: see below for attribution

Which brings us to the next segment of the series, The Sixth Labyrinth, set in the Highlands of Victorian Scotland—another place where folklore and belief in “things unseen” remained strong until recent times. I’ve merged several key elements from the earlier story into this tale—one of the most important is the use of the sacred mushroom to achieve vision and expand clarity. It wasn’t at all hard to do, as the genus called Psilocybe semilanceata grows in abundance throughout the United Kingdom (and has been used for its hallucinatory effects since prehistoric times.) Psilocybe semilanceata, for those who don’t know, is a wild mushroom with psychedelic qualities. Happily for my purpose, this particular fungus, sometimes called Witch’s Cap or Liberty Cap, is one of the most potent of all the psilocybin mushrooms, and I’ve read that the title Liberty Cap comes from the Greek Phrygian cap, which I thought a nice, unexpected coincidence, as one of my ensemble originally hails from Phrygia.

Most of The Sixth Labyrinth protagonists retain no memories of their past lives other than brief images, echoes of voices, and snippets of dreams. These tantalizing, often disturbing impressions at times make them feel as though they’re going insane—a terrifying prospect in the era of Bedlam and other notorious asylums. Once they find each other, their piecemeal recollections grow more insistent, compelling several of them to set forth on a journey of enlightenment. Using the magical mushroom from ancient times, they release their fears, open their minds, and let in that which reality deems impossible. Each insight dredged from the subconscious changes the trajectory of their lives, and Earth’s history, just as it did in the Bronze Age.

Psilocybe.semilanceat

Psilocybe semilanceat: see below for attribution

In The Sixth Labyrinth, the oracle Themiste returns as a midwife and healer, Eleanor Graeme. She knows much of plant lore and the healing arts; she even has knowledge of then-modern science, thanks to a brother who studied medicine and psychiatry. She’s familiar with the properties of Psilocybe semilanceata, and collects as much as she can find every autumn, when it ripens in the fields. She dries it, stores it in jars, and has been known to use it from time to time. Eleanor is instrumental in helping to heal the damaged, fragmented memories of this small band of reincarnated souls.

Another pivotal character readers of the series might recognize from the Bronze Age is the Phrygian warrior, Selene. Life in The Sixth Labyrinth does not treat her kindly, yet she still manages to find, protect, and aid those she has always loved. The daughter of a wise woman near Cape Wrath, she comes to the group already cognizant of what can be achieved through the mushroom’s use. In fact she walks a very long way to find her comrades from the past, having used the mushroom to help her in her search.

One character has no need of a hallucinatory mushroom, or any other device. Because of a curse placed on him in the Bronze Age, he is doomed to retain memories of each and every one of his past lives. While it might be tempting to assume having knowledge gives him an advantage, that isn’t necessarily the case.

Different people had (and have) various reactions to psilocybin. Getting clear memories of our past lives might be asking a lot. But as stated by HowStuffWorks, “There can be a changed perception of one’s place in the universe and a feeling of communing with a higher power.” The supernatural link between my protagonists and Goddess Athene strengthens this ability.

I’m working quite hard on The Sixth Labyrinth, preparing it for a 2014 release. It is a sequel to In the Moon of Asterion, and the fourth book in The Child of the Erinyes series. The first three books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. (Update: 2014 hasn’t happened. Hopefully The Sixth Labyrinth will find its way to bookshelves in early 2015.)

Photo: “Bust Attis CdM” by Jastrow (2006). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bust_Attis_CdM.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Bust_Attis_CdM.jpg

Photo: “Psilocybe.semilanceata.Alan” by Alan Rockefeller – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Psilocybe.semilanceata.Alan.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Psilocybe.semilanceata.Alan.jpg

The Year-god’s Daughter Free on Kindle!

Click on cover

FREE FOR THREE DAYS: MAY 23, 24, AND 25, 2012!

Be sure to check the price before clicking on “purchase.” I’ve done my best to make sure these promotional days are activated, but I have been notified by other authors of problems getting their promo days to actually appear.

 

FREE FOR THREE DAYS: MAY 23, 24, AND 25, 2012!

Be sure to check the price before clicking on “purchase.” I’ve done my best to make sure these promotional days are activated, but I have been notified by other authors of problems getting their promo days to actually appear.

Iphiboë, Aridela’s sister

See below for attribution

Iphiboë is the queen of Crete’s oldest daughter, and heir to that magnificent throne.

Too bad she’s so timid. A shame she’s so afraid of men, of sex.

The vast majority of Crete’s populace believes poor Iphiboë will fail as queen. They believe she’ll be the downfall of their rich, prosperous civilization. If only Aridela were the oldest, is a thought that runs through a thousand minds a day.

Her name means Strength of Oxen. Her father was Valos, who accepted his three golden apples and walked accepting to his own death.

No one knows Iphiboë like Aridela. But not even Aridela knows the full truth of her sister. The nightmares that have plagued her. The premonitions she’s seen. The future she’s endured, night after night in her dreams.

 

 

 

 

“Salonina Matidia Musei Capitolini MC889 n2” by Marie-Lan Nguyen – Marie-Lan Nguyen (2009). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Salonina_Matidia_Musei_Capitolini_MC889_n2.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Salonina_Matidia_Musei_Capitolini_MC889_n2.jpg

The Year-god’s Daughter

brag2x3x144nov-2016Book One, The Child of the Erinyes Series. Here begins the tale….

of Aridela, Goddess beloved, who will become a cornerstone to the future and a quest to the past….

of Chrysaleon, king and slayer of lions, who shifts from heretic to trickster….

of Menoetius, wounded renegade, who ascends from scapegoat to champion….

Winner: B.R.A.G. Medallion Award Honoree, utilized as a university class study guide, finalist in the Chanticleer Historical Fiction awards (Ancient History category.)

Second Edition released June, 2015

The Year-god’s Daughter is available nearly everywhere: You can purchase the ebook and/or paperback at Amazon US, Amazon UK, and all the other Amazon venues. The eBook and/or paperback versions are also available at Barnes and Noble, and the digital version can be purchased at iTunes & Scribd: see the Links to Purchase tab.

Click HERE to read a sample at Amazon.

“Smart young princess. Macho hunky warriors. Exotic island paradise. Politics, natural disasters, and forbidden love. A big, satisfying epic story. What more is there?”

Crete

A place of magic, of mystery, where violence and sacrifice meet courage and hope.

Aridela

Wrapped in legend, beloved of the people. An extraordinary woman who dances with bulls.

The north wind brings a swift ship and two brothers who plot Crete’s overthrow. Desire for this woman will propel their long rivalry into hatred so murderous it hurtles all three into an unimaginable future and sparks the immortal rage of the Erinyes.

A woman of keen instinct and unshakeable loyalty. A proud warrior prince and his wounded half-brother. Glory, passion, treachery and conspiracy on the grandest scale.

“What seems the end is only the beginning.”

I’d like to invite you to sign up for my email newsletter, which I use ONLY to announce new releases and to offer subscribers special offers. I will never spam, or clutter up your inbox with chatter, nor will I ever share your email address. It’s easy: just enter your email address, approve it, and, to be safe, add it to your approved addresses so it doesn’t disappear into a junk folder. Here’s the link.

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