Spell Casting and Ghosts: Researching The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts by K.C. Tansley

This week, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for author K.C. Tansley’s new book The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts.  The book hooked me from the first page and took me on a whirlwind ride filled with ghosts, a gruesome murder and a terrible curse.  When K.C. told me that she’d learned how to cast spells in preparation for writing the book, I wanted to know more.  So, over to Kourtney:

When I decided to write a book about the supernatural, I didn’t want to wing it. I’d had some premonitions and some ghostly encounters, but I’d never cast a spell. Never tried to break a curse.

The-Girl-Who-Ignored-Ghosts11My writing process requires that I experience what my character is doing or come as close to it as I can before I write it. That’s just how I do it. So I did what any good writer would do. I started researching it. I read dozens of books on spell casting and witchcraft. They all started at the same point, meditation as a gateway to spell casting, but none of their explanations of meditation made sense to me.

I put them down and wondered how I was ever going to tell this story. If I couldn’t get meditating down, I couldn’t learn any of the way cooler stuff. And if I couldn’t experience it, how was I going to write it? I kept pushing onward, picking up one more book and hoping that this method would click. And it did.

Laurie Cabot’s Power of the Witch made sense to me. I finally learned how to meditate. Hurdle one was down. I powered through her book. It explained how belief fuels reality. If you believe something strongly enough you can bring it into being. So wishes come true because your mind is focused and clear in its request.

I learned how to cast a circle because for spell casting it’s important to be in a protected space. The ingredients for a spell are almost like a recipe for a meal. Combine the right elements and it all goes great. Don’t and you’ve got a dud. I learned about the energies of rocks, herbs, and oils just like Kat does in the book. Spells use different ingredients to help focus your mind and draw more energy to go into your spell.

p1240672Once I’d learned all I could from books I went to Salem, MA, and took workshops with Laurie Cabot. It was an incredible experience. We learned about the power of intent. Thoughts and words are very powerful. You have to be careful what you ask for and what you put out into the world because it can manifest. Send out hatred and it manifests. Send out love and it manifests.

We did a crystal gazing exercise where you asked a question and the other person had to look into the crystal and see something. They would let their mind relax and suddenly see something in the crystal. It could anything like a skull, a bird, or a star. Some image would take shape before their eyes. This was the response to your question.

We learned about how there are signs all around us if we just pay attention. And nudges. You know when you feel a nudge to do or not do something? Listen to it.

We did a meditation exercise where we were randomly partnered with someone we didn’t know in the group. I had privately written down the name and physical description of a friend with an ailment. I then counted my partner into a meditation and only gave him the person’s name and age and location. He had to visualize the person. My partner was remarkably accurate in his description of the person. My partner even picked up on ailments that we later discovered my friend had.

I can’t explain how my partner did it, but to say that there is some magic in this world.

Personally, I love thinking that the world we live in isn’t as ordinary as we think. That there is magic all around us, if we just pay attention. And that where my tagline came from: believing in the unbelievables.

Because I do. Do you?

About The Book

The-Girl-Who-Ignored-Ghosts11In The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, prep school junior Kat Preston accidentally time travels to 1886 Connecticut, where she must share a body with a rebellious Victorian lady, prevent a gruesome wedding night murder, disprove a deadly family curse, and find a way back to her own time.

Bio

p1240672K.C. Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is the first book in her YA time-travel murder mystery series.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

Social Media

Website: http://kctansley.comhttp://kctansley.com

Blog: http://kourtneyheintz.wordpress.com

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kourtneyheintzwriter

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KourHei

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13530245.K_C_Tansley

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Ignored-Ghosts-Unbelievables-Book-ebook/dp/B00WZOJ028/ref=la_B00X369K3G_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434139756&sr=1-1

Finding the spark

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The crisp nights of November are ushered in with chaos.  On Bonfire Night, the sky is choked with smoke and teems with bangs and whistles.  Since they were first invented in ancient China, we’ve used fireworks for our celebrations.  The allure, I think, is something about the shared spectacle of awe.  Something about the suspense of wondering what that bang or whistle will bloom into.  And something about the hint of danger.  Our ancestors must have felt something similar when they discovered fire hundreds of thousands of years ago: this creative force that could protect and nurture but also maim or kill.

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Fire has long been associated with creativity and for good reason.  Creating the spark of an idea from nothing, or from basic raw materials.  Putting in the effort to kindle the spark into something that burns.  Then, controlling that flame until it forges something that is a source of sustenance or beauty.  And, as with the element itself, there is always that potential for danger or unpredictability – it may fizzle to nothing or burn out of control.

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In magic, fire is associated with creativity, purification, passion and transformation.  It is the reminder in the darkness that the sun – and life – will return.  Fire isn’t my element.  I was born under a water sign and I’m much more comfortable in that environment.  But I do love the meditative quality of staring into a fire.  I appreciate the sensuality of it: the bright, mercurial flicker of the flames, the hiss and crackle as it burns, the scent of burning wood or coal.  I love too the comfort of the hearth on a cold night and the formidable crack of lightning across a dark sky.

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So, as the nights become colder and longer, it’s a good time to use fire as a starting point for inspiration.  Quite literally, you might kindle the spark of an idea.  Think not only of the properties of fire itself, but of its broader associations: the sun, the south, the heat of noon, the desert, volcanoes, the heat of passion, the fire in the belly.  Use these associations as the basis for a story or artwork.

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If your creativity in general needs a boost, you could use the aspects of fire to prompt actions that will help you think of your work in new ways.  Consider what you can do to put the passion back into your work.  Think about what needs to be consigned to the flames to purify your practice and start again.  Consider what you can transform in your creative process to make it more productive.

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If you wish, you could perform some very simple fire magic.   Choose a candle of an appropriate colour.  This might be orange for creativity, red for passion, purple for inspiration or black for the destruction of things you want to get rid of.  You can carve the candle with words or symbols to represent your intent, always being very specific about what you want to achieve.  When the candle has burned, perhaps you can use what’s left of it to make an object to remind you of its purpose: use the wax as part of an artwork perhaps, or inscribe a phrase or poem on it.  Once complete, you then need to take some practical steps in the world for the magic to do its work.

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Fire is considered a volatile element, but without it, we wouldn’t have endured.  Creativity too can be chaotic and unpredictable, but our world would be poorer without it.  So the next time you stare into a fire, or see the sky filled with fireworks, remember that you’re celebrating not only the power of fire itself, but of our ability to imagine, to invent and to convert the spark of an idea into something extraordinary.

Bringing in the May

Summer sweeps in accompanied by the night of mischief that is Beltane.  Beltane, or May Eve, is the second hinge of the year (after Halloween), representing an important turning point in the seasons.  Whereas Halloween marks the beginning of winter and the start of a new year, Beltane is the transition from spring to summer.  The veil between worlds is thin on both festivals, but whereas Halloween is a time to remember your ancestors, at Beltane the spirits around us are more mischievous and it was said to be a time when the door to the fairy realm stood open. Traditionally, Beltane is celebrated when the Hawthorn, or May tree, blossoms, but there are no May blossoms making an appearance yet.  Spring has barely sprung so it’s difficult to recognise that summer is about to begin.

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Beltane heralds an abundance of life and fertility.  The sun warms the earth and nature is in full force, flowers are blooming, trees full of blossom, lush greenery abounds.  At this time, we celebrate unfettered vitality, passion and self expression.  Finally, after the dark of winter and the fragile beginnings of spring, we can revel in the joy and power of life and love.  It’s a celebration of union, community and sensuality, but also commitment, as this is a time when handfastings would take place.

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At Beltane, the Goddess transforms from maiden to mother, often symbolised by the crowning of a May Queen.  She is at the beginning of the pregnancy that will result in her giving birth to herself at Yule.  Maypoles were, and in some places still are, used to celebrate the exuberant life and fertility of the season, with the weaving of red and white ribbons by dancers, beneath a sinking crown of flowers.

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Beltane is a fire festival, when beacons would be lit on hill tops to welcome the return of the sun.  People would jump over the fires to attract fertility and other wishes and cattle would be driven through the smoke before being taken to their summer pastures.  Old hearth fires were put out and re-lit from the Bel-fire.  Symbolically, you can absorb the light and life of summer by lighting a candle, just before sunset on May Eve and leaping the flame.

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In earlier times, people would go a-Maying in the woods, spending the night there taking advantage of the freedom and mischief of Beltane.  At dawn, they would bring back greenery they had collected to decorate doors and lintels for protection and good luck.   If you aren’t a witch, this is the only time of year when Hawthorn blossoms can be brought safely across the threshold.  I have already made my trip to the woods and brought back spring treasures to bring blessings to the house for the summer to come.

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Don’t be introspective on this festival – celebrate.  Enjoy the sensual pleasures of creating: get caught up in spreading paint on a canvas, try writing in longhand with an elegant pen and paper, do some sculpting or collage, make something physical with your photographs instead of just uploading them digitally, create a crown of flowers.  Work outdoors if you can, absorbing the energy of the returning sun.  Draw on the power of your own fertility of imagination as a creative spring.

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Or celebrate the abundance of your creativity.  It doesn’t matter if you haven’t had any objective success, celebrate the fact that you have inspiration, imagination and a creative talent.  If you can, get together with other people and use the dawn of summer to begin a project together, or to simply celebrate the power of collaboration.  Have your celebration outdoors, in a wood, an orchard, or a garden filled with flowers.

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Summer has had a slothful start this year, teasing us with the promise of warmth to come.  Beltane will be accompanied, not by the land in full provocative bloom, but by a more languid waking of the earth.  Still, the suggestion of summer is there in the lengthening days and a lightening of mood.  Our ancestors had faith that summer would return and lit fires on the highest hills to affirm this.  With all our science, we still doubt that the season will be all we want it to be.  But the magic of Beltane is to remind us that, whatever the weather now, summer always begins, life and creativity always persevere.  All that’s needed from us is to believe it.

Between the worlds

Often, I imagine all the writers and artists of the world, toiling away in our separate creative spaces, scattered, but connected by our need to create.  I love to look at photographs of writers, but it’s not the portraits displayed on book jackets that I want to see, it’s those of the writer captured at work.  I want to scrutinise their tools, their notes, their keepsakes – to watch the creative process at work.  I think of them engaged in their work at old battered desks, piled with papers and books; at scoured kitchen tables, littered with coffee mugs; curled up in bed against a pile of cushions; or scribbling in a notebook among the bustle of a busy cafe.  I love, too, to see artists in their surroundings: in huge industrial spaces filled with mysterious objects; airy attics crammed with canvases and adorned with clods of paint; or perched with easel or sketchbook on the brow of a mountain or in the hollow of a sand dune.

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What we all have in common, when we’re immersed in our work, is that we’ve found our place between the worlds, where the magic of creativity can occur.  The phrase ‘between the worlds’ is sometimes used by witches to describe the space generated when we cast a circle.  It’s a space apart from, but within, normal life.  Most of us don’t have our own dedicated ritual space, just as many of us don’t have a separate study or studio, so the circle acts as a marker, conjured from energy, in which to enact the ritual.  And I believe this is also what happens when we create.  I don’t cast a circle when I write or paint, but almost unconsciously, I build an intangible space around myself, forged from the energy I’m using to create.  The real world becomes blurred as I get lost in words or images.

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The places in which I work are varied and dependent on what it is I want to create.  There’s a tiny room, packed with books, keepsakes, art and writing materials.  It’s a peaceful space, with a comfortable chair and a blanket for warmth that I use for contemplation.  There is the spot next to the window in our sitting room where my easel is placed, because it gets light and I can still interact with the life of the house.  My creative space is also portable: it’s in my notebook, my sketchbook, my laptop.  We all need a place where we feel we can create, but what space do you actually need?  Is your creative space a physical one, or is it a space inside your head?  None of the places I use are dedicated ones.  But when I’m creating, they become sacred space of a kind, so that it’s possible to tune out the mundane things and forge something out of nothing.  Magic is creativity and creativity is magic, in the sense that we’re using something we can’t see (energy), to make a physical change in the world.

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If the world is nothing but energy, vibrating on different frequencies, as modern theories of physics seem to suggest, there’s nothing to stop us making creative space anywhere.  And just as in magic, where the energy raised might be used to heal, to bind, to celebrate, so creative space can be used for many different purposes.  Whenever we work, at that moment, in different parts of the world, there will be countless others writing, painting, sketching or sculpting, all using creative energy.  If you try hard, you can feel the force of it, all that energy, like a furnace forging change.  If you’re finding it difficult to focus, or to find a suitable space to dedicate to your craft, perhaps you can channel it.  Consider the type of energy that you need and gather the circle around you to create your own world between the worlds.

Hatching

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The weeks around the spring equinox can be unsettled and chaotic, as the energies of nature battle to come into balance.   The signs of spring are obvious now, but the weather is still unpredictable.  Here, there are spring flowers bursting through the soil wherever I look, yet within the space of days the weather brings us snow, sunshine, fog and drizzle.  The wild March winds have made their debut, heralding this season of exuberant energy and movement.  It’s a season of growth, symbolised particularly by the dazzling yellow banks of daffodils known as the harbingers of spring.  Hares, the totem of the Goddess, are also a symbol of this festival, tearing through the fields with their own mad spring energy.  The equinox itself (also known as Ostara or Eostre, after the Germanic Goddess) is a moment of perfect balance, when the hours of daylight and darkness are equal, but following the equinox battle, the sun will have won, and the mornings and evenings will grow lighter as daylight expands.

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I can feel the difference in energy – there’s an optimism and a need to clean out and start anew.  In the weeks leading up to the equinox, I’ve been de-cluttering – putting aside old clothes for charity and taking the junk that’s accumulated over the winter to the dump.  Ostara is an ideal time for spring cleaning, and I find I want to do it at this time of year – to open up the doors and windows and let the spring energy blow in.  The brighter light illuminates the things we haven’t noticed during the winter – both physically and spiritually.  On a mundane level, I’m noticing all the hidden areas that need to be cleaned and considering which bits of home maintenance need to be done this year.  On the equinox itself, I’ll sweep the house with a besom broom – not to get rid of the dust, but to create movement in the energy of the home, to brush out some of winter’s lethargy and make space for the vitality of spring.

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I’ll also be considering how I can spring clean my creative process, to rid myself of bad habits and make way for new practices that will help me to work more effectively.  Because the real purpose of spring cleaning is to create a space where balance can exist.  Creatively, how can you spring clean the way you work so that you have less of what you don’t need and more of what you do, so that you create from a more balanced place?

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It’s not enough to clear out the old, useless habits, without bringing in some helpful new ones.  Ostara is a time of action.  In nature, things are moving.  It’s a season of breaking soil, bursting buds and hatching life – shoots pushing through the ground, trees bursting into first leaf, flowers blooming.  Nature is in full, intense motion.  As in nature, so in your creativity: the ideas that you incubated at Imbolc are now almost at the point of hatching.  Then, they were tiny seeds, waiting in the darkness.  Now, after the long respite of winter, it’s time to begin to act on them and do something concrete to put them in motion.   This year, I’ll be following the ancient tradition of decorating eggs, each one representing a creative project I’m bringing into action.  Eggs represent potential – the potential of renewal and birth, whether of a physical or a creative entity.

So, why not try decorating some eggs yourself, with symbols that represent the projects you want to harvest later in the year.  Magic is about intention and will as well as the craft of the spell or ritual itself, so as you work, focus your intention on how you will bring your projects to fruition.  Then act.

Ages of creativity

I recently celebrated a birthday and it prompted me to consider how creativity changes as we age.  Many witches use the idea of the triple goddess to represent the phases of the moon and the different stages in women’s lives.   The ‘maiden’ aspect is youth, independence, freedom, adventure, wildness and new beginnings.  The ‘crone’ is old age, wisdom, knowledge, experience and compassion.  Currently, I’m in the middle, or ‘mother’ phase of my life.  I’m not a mother in the traditional sense, but the meaning of the ‘mother’ goddess is about much more than having children.  It’s a time of full maturity, fertility and creativity, of shaping ideas into action and nourishing them to fruition.  The ‘mother’ goddess is emotionally, spiritually and physically powerful and fulfilled.

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When I was in the ‘maiden’ phase of my life, I had an abundance of ideas, endless inspiration and spent large periods of time creating things.  My ideas were undoubtedly quite narrow and lacking in depth, but what I did have was time and space in my head to create.  I had limited responsibilities, lots of time outside school and university and fewer worries to occupy my thoughts.  There was time for exploration and experimentation, but I didn’t have the life experience or breadth of vision to really take advantage of that.

Although we explore as young people, our exploration is often limited.  In trying to find out who we are, we can become fixated on being part of this or that group, only listening to ‘cool’ music or subscribing to inflexible ideas.  We can also become trapped by the labels we’re given, by what our parents and our peers think we should be.  It’s a brave young person who can truly explore without limits.  Youth often lacks confidence and this was certainly true of me.  Though I recognised I was good at art and I suspected I might be good at writing, I had little sense of confidence in myself, let alone in what I created.

SAMSUNG CSCI’m amazed by the sheer brash confidence many of the teenagers I watch on talent shows these days have: they ‘know’ they have talent and they ‘know’ that they deserve to get a break.  I wonder how much time I wasted not having that confidence and how my life would be different if I’d had it.  Would I now be the successful writer / artist I want to be?  But then, without the life experiences that I can now draw on in my work, my creativity would be something different, and perhaps something shallower, than it is.

Knowing what I know now, if I could give advice to my ‘maiden’ self, I would say take full advantage of the time and freedom you have to explore in your creative life.  Try not to be limited by labels or by what you think you should create.  It doesn’t matter if you fail in what you’re trying to produce, because you have time to begin again and again.

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In the ‘mother’ phase of my life, I have many responsibilities and much less time.  It can sometimes feel as though the time for exploration is over, that I will never have the same freedom for adventure that I once had.  But I have so many life experiences to harvest.  I’ve been exposed to the inspiration of so many other people’s creativity.  The number and range of ideas I have (or can have) is just as abundant – the difference is that, I don’t always have the time and head space to incubate them.  But my ideas now have more depth.  I can consider other points of view without worrying about fitting in.  I don’t think ageing always increases confidence – experience can just as easily grind it down.  But I now have much more confidence in myself as a person than I did when I was young and I definitely have more confidence in my creativity.

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I’ve found that the ‘mother’ phase can be a difficult one, filled with hard work and not always a clear reward.  It’s the point in our lives when, if we’re fortunate, we’re building a career, a family, a home.  We’re preparing the groundwork for the security we hope to enjoy in later life, but we can become so wrapped up in building, that we forget to carry on creating.  It’s the time when we often forget to do all of the things that make us feel most fulfilled.  So, while in theory we should be at our most creative and most alive, in my experience it can often be one of the least productive phases of our creative lives.

For me, these have been the difficult lessons of the ‘mother’ phase. But I know now what the important things in my life should be.  I may forget them sometimes, and I may still get bogged down in day to day responsibilities, but I’ve realised that it’s not too late to explore.  While I’d still like the freedom and the time to experiment more, I’ve never been more creative than I am now.  I hope to spend the remaining years of my ‘motherhood’ on a new creative adventure, forging a strong verbal and visual voice to carry with me well into the wisdom of crone-hood.

Which creative phase of your life are you in?  How has your creativity changed as you’ve got older?

All the worlds in my head

I live with a small universe of imaginary worlds in my head.  All of the places I’ve written about and all of the characters that inhabit them, continue to exist when I’m finished with them.  I wonder what happens to these worlds when I’m not thinking about them.  I suspect that they wait suspended, at particular moments, because when I think of a story, or a character, I always think of them at the same point in time.

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There is an old woman, sitting on a stone bench in a winter garden; an old man, cobbling shoes in a small cottage in a place that might be heaven; a young woman, standing on the edge of a causeway, waiting to cross to an island beyond.  These are all stories that I’ve written and the points in time at which I think about them.  I can visualise them in detail, without any effort.  I think of them and they’re there, in my head.  Yet none of those points in time are at the story’s beginning, or at its end.  They’re not necessarily even the most significant scenes, but are the moments in time where the characters seem to live.

And then there are all the stories I’m yet to write, even those that are only the barest idea of a narrative.  They are there too, waiting for their turn.  I can see a woman weaving in an abandoned house.  I know something of her history and something of the future I have planned for her, but until I finish her story, she waits, stuck in a single moment.

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My characters don’t seem to want anything from me: they don’t cajole or plead to have their stories continued or told.  They’re simply there, waiting for me.  But maybe when I’m not paying attention, they do carry on their lives, independently.  Perhaps they do strange and unexpected things when my attention is elsewhere, rebelling furiously against their creator.  And then, when I think about them once more, they trick me, by being exactly where I expect them to be, as though playing grandmothers footsteps.  I imagine the characters from all my different stories banding together and creating new narratives of their own.  But just as easily, I can imagine them trapped in separate worlds, trying to move on but never succeeding.

There’s a theory that says that time doesn’t exist as we know it – that the past, present and future are all happening simultaneously.  And there’s a school of thought that says there are many worlds happening all at once, where our lives are slightly different depending on the time frame we’re in.  I wonder if these characters and these worlds are just that: different parts of me, living some of the lives I might have lived in a different time or place.

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But what of the characters whose stories will never be finished?  Jesse, the new-age traveller that I wrote about when I was a teenager still sits forlornly on a moonlit riverbank somewhere.  He will sit there forever, never knowing how his story ends.  The nameless blonde girl, watching strange lights in a cornfield from her window will always watch, never knowing what they mean.  Sometimes I feel a little sad that I’ve created characters that will never have an ending to their story.  Perhaps there should be a place where writers can send their unfinished characters – a kind of character orphanage – where they’ll be adopted by the perfect author to give them a story of their own.

Of course I’m talking about my characters as though they’re real beings, who can think, feel and rebel, when we all know they’re only collections of words.  But are they?  If that is all they are, how can they ever be real to a reader?  We spend hours agonising over them, naming them, discovering their likes, dislikes and motivations.  We put a lot of energy into making them real, so maybe in some sense, they are.  There’s some debate among witches about whether goddesses and gods really exist as separate entities in themselves.  One view says that all gods are one god and that these deities are just convenient personifications of different traits.  Another theory says that humans have worshipped them for so long that, in effect, our thoughts and our energy has created them.  If this is true, could this ever happen with the characters we create?  Thousands of years from now, will Harry Potter be a god?

I know my characters too well to ever worship them, or expect anyone else to.  All the same, I find it comforting to think that while I gave them life, somewhere, they can carry on living without me.

Do your characters live on when you’ve finished with them?  What are they doing while you’re not there?

Quickening

If you’re seeking inspiration at one of the darkest times of the year, the festival of Imbolc is a good place to begin. Traditionally celebrated from sunset on 1st February until sunset on 2nd February, it is considered the ‘quickening’ of the year, when the first signs of spring begin to stir. It’s a time when the first hint of warmth and light returns to the land. But Imbolc is also a time of creative transformation, when we start to remember that the fire of inspiration is still inside us, after the introversion and stillness of winter.

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Imbolc is associated with the Goddess Bride (pronounced ‘Breed’), a goddess of creativity and inspiration. She was said to be a goddess of poetry, crafts and metalworking and so has a particular relevance for writers and artists. One way to pay tribute to Bride at Imbolc is to create something in her honour.

Although it is traditionally a time when the first spring flowers appear, Imbolc falls at a time when there may still be snow on the ground and the signs of spring can be difficult to see. Where I live, rain and gales are ushering in Imbolc, after weeks of heavy snow. There are few obvious signs of new life. Here, the only spring flowers are in pots. When I walk through the park in the morning, the grass is full of bare muddy patches.

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Autumn and winter are my favourite seasons and I feel a sense of anticipation as September comes. But February has none of the excitement of early winter. As I get older, the more I find that February is a long, hard month. I look forward, not so much to warmer weather, but to longer days. But that is the purpose of Imbolc, as with many of the fire festivals: to remind us that within the darkness, there’s always the promise that the light and the longer days will return. And if I pay close attention, I can feel the first changes in the season. The trees aren’t bare, but are jewelled with their first buds. The birds seem to sing a little more loudly before dawn. There is a new, lighter energy after the heaviness of winter.

This is a time for hope and optimism, for beginning to plan the projects you want to bring to fruition during the year. It is also a time for initiation and is therefore a good point in the year to re-dedicate yourself to whichever creative path you wish to follow. You don’t have to be a witch to take a little inspiration from Bride and from the energy of Imbolc.

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You can use this time as an opportunity to think about your creative goals and any new creative projects you might like to begin this year. In what ways can you nurture those projects so that as the year turns, they will grow into something worth harvesting? You can review your store cupboard of creative tools and consider what you may need to collect to create the things you wish to create. Why not light a candle to remind yourself that even in the darkness and cold of February, you still have inspiration inside you? But don’t forget to also go outside and gather inspiration from the changing energy that’s out there too.