Fierce Blessings Extras
Writing from Darkness: Author’s Note for Fierce Blessings
“Often the most powerful and successful translucent art
deals with the darkest and most difficult aspects of our humanity,
but in a way that reveals inherent sacredness.”
Arjuna Ardagh, The Translucent Revolution
“Writing about trauma is more than simply documenting experience—
it’s about illuminating life on earth. It’s about transforming tragedy into art,
and hoping that somehow that piece of art may help someone else
who’s gone through something unbearable and doesn’t see yet
that there truly is a light at the end of the dark tunnel.”
Tracy Strauss, “A Topic Too Risky,” Poets & Writers Magazine (Sept./Oct., 2013)
“Art is high alchemy. As writers, as artists, we take the most devastating of our human experiences and we turn them into something of healing and service to the world. We drag the ugliness out of the shadows while it’s kicking and screaming and we bear witness to the nature of the unspeakable and formless fears of our collective psyche. We reveal it to the world for what it is. We transform it, like magicians, and invite the world to gaze upon itself,
to watch itself shape shift and contort before finally giving up and letting go,
dissolving the barriers of shadow and light….”
Alison Nappi, Author, Lies You Were Told About Grief
These powerful quotes reflect my experience of writing the trilogy, The Star-Seer’s Prophecy. When I first began receiving and writing this visionary story of wounding and healing, evil and redemption, suffering and forgiveness, I had no plan or purpose to write any such thing. But the story came through me in a dark, wild, creative rush, and I did not resist. It was a process of writing from darkness… from the unknown… from the fertile void.
Even after Dark Innocence (Book One of the trilogy) was published in 2012, I had no idea why this story had come through me. And so, in a deep meditation, I asked about its purpose. I received that the mission of this story is “to end the inner and outer culture of hatred, revenge, and punishment, and to evoke an inner and outer culture of compassion, forgiveness, and healing.”
To do this, the story takes the reader on a transformational journey on the hard path through the underworld of the soul and psyche, and into the dark heart of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for the faint-of-heart. It requires the spiritual courage to confront our own trauma and shame, anger and vengefulness, and to reach for the light of greater kindness, compassion and forgiveness—both for ourselves and for those who have oppressed or harmed us.
The process of writing this trilogy has been, as Alison Nappi says, one of bearing “witness to the nature of the unspeakable and formless fears of our collective psyche.” Although I personally have not suffered the kind of abuse I write about, still it exists in me, as it clearly is part of the collective human psyche—whether horribly acted out in life (as in the childhood experiences of some of my psychotherapy clients), or portrayed in many forms of art, including film and television.
Through my own inner work, I learned to allow inner darkness and ugliness to be safely expressed through art and writing. Finding myself compelled to write and edit this dark yet redemptive story was (and is) an intense and challenging, yet soul-satisfying, task. I have wrestled to see beyond my judgments of good and evil; to see with the Goddess Zhovanya’s eyes, as the hero, Kyr, does in Fierce Blessings.
The Star-Seer’s Prophecy confronts the evil and cruelty that we humans suffer and inflict in our dark innocence, and holds forth a vision of the healing, compassion, and forgiveness so needed in our world. Awed by the mission of the trilogy, I feel a great responsibility to do my best by this story, and to send it into the world to fulfill its purpose.
I hope that this book may help a reader see “a light at the end of the dark tunnel,” in a way that “reveals inherent sacredness” even in the darkest of experiences.
A warning: If you seek a fun escape story, this book is not for you.
However, if you seek a deep, rich story that explores the fierce gift that is life as a human being… takes you on a transformational journey… and portrays the kind of courage needed to endure and transcend the worst of experiences, read on.
Many Blessings for your journey on the hard path. May this book help to light the way.
Cast of Characters
At the Sanctuary and Beyond
KYR: The Liberator of Khailaz; formerly a Slave of Dauthaz, the Soul-Drinker; tall, slim and muscular with red-gold hair and amber eyes.
JOLANYA, the Kailithana (a priestess-healer). Kyr’s beloved, forbidden to him by her vows as Kailithana
RAJANI: The Warrior Mage, raven-haired, blue eyed; leader of the Circle that opposed the Soul-Drinker.
LUCIYA: The Circle’s primary spy on the Soul-Drinker; dark brown eyes, dark auburn hair
At Gauday’s Hideout: Fort Kedos
GAUDAY: a former Slave and Kyr’s main rival before Kyr ended the Soul-Drinker’s horrible reign; brown hair, pale blue eyes, tall but a bit heavy. His Bed Name (nickname) is ‘Day.
MEDARI: A village healer kidnapped by Gauday to keep Kyr alive; small but solid and compact, gray-haired.
CRAITH: Gauday’s lieutenant; formerly a soldier-slave under the Soul-Drinker; a tall, lanky redhead with green eyes.
FRIEND: a dog who becomes Kyr’s only friend at the fort. When cleaned up, her coat is a silky auburn.
Former Slaves, followers of Gauday, known by their motley finery and arrogant bearing.
Larag: Tall, lean, long dark hair, scarred face
Viro: A short, blonde man with eyes pale as old ice
Wareg: balding, burly man with the muscled arms of a woodcutter
Soldier-slaves, under the command of Craith. They wear short hair and shabby uniforms of brown leather.
The Companions of the Liberator, fighters who volunteer to help free Kyr. Led by Rajani.
Jakar, Rajani’s second in command, a brawny man with olive skin and black hair. brown eyes.
Lorya, their best scout and spy. A lean young woman with a bland face, mouse-nest hair, who looks dull and commonplace but has sharp blue eyes.
Kuron, Kyr’s riding instructor
The Penitents: Inspired by Kyr, they choose to follow the hard path.
Craith (see above)
Jorem: a former Slave, a tall, swarthy man from the western desert.
Kinar and Zurano: stocky brothers from the far North, light-skinned, with eyes the pale aqua of glacial ice, and hair the color of snow.
Dekani, Kyr’s secret inner teacher: “blond and tall, with an aura of contained power. His face was strong and determined. His sky-blue eyes were kind but a deep furrow between his brows gave him a somber look.”
Zhovanya, the Banished Goddess: “a golden Goddess dancing in a vast starry void, glorious and majestic. Her face is both fierce and serene. Her gaze lustrous and golden” A Goddess of Sun and Stars.
Jeyal, the Unknown God: A Moon God, Consort of Zhovanya: “a man of lunar fire, with a crescent moon upon His brow.”
Aithané (AI-thahn-ay) – Listener, Confessor.
Final Grace – Death, granted by healers to those in intolerable pain who cannot be cured or helped in any way.
Ganara li ya zhanto abaharo. – Guide me to this lost spirit.
Jeyal, volara donorula. – Jeyal, we offer You our hearts.
Jeyal sumarala. – Jeyal, we call You.
Ji Tal! – Stop!
Kaa’a-tay! – Open!
Kaa’a ta lak! – Break!
Kailitha (Kai-LI-tha) – Divine healing energy
Kailithana (Kai-li-THAHN-a) – The high priestess who channels the kailitha to heal those who have been most damaged; for example, by torture and rape.
Kailithara (Kai-li-THAR-a) – The healing journey led by the Kailithana.
Kailithos (Kai-LI-thos) – One who is going through the Kailithara.
Kailithama (Kai-li-THAM-a) – The sacred chamber in which the Kailithara takes place.
Kiiiyaaa, KA! – (Command to direct an arrow to its target)
Lo – Us all, me, you, us, them (exact meaning depends on intention of speaker).
Li – I, me.
Lai – We.
Oil of Tramantha – A very rare, sorcerous oil that unites and enhances the pleasures of sexual partners until it is impossible to distinguish oneself from one’s partner.
Phanaíthos (Fa-NAI-thos) – Speaker, Divulger.
Phanaithara (Fa-nai-THAR-a) – Divulgence, confession, journey to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
Shai! – (Let there be) Light!
Shai la vi. – (Let there be) dim light.
Shai’ya! – Burn!
Shanawa Elixir – A magical restorative elixir
Soul-kin – the part of Nature with which our souls are most akin, usually an animal or bird
Ta’a Kor! – Sword!
Vaa’a lan ti! – Be whole!
Vaa’a lan! – Unite!
Waa-Rah! – (Command to raise the wind)
Waa-Rah Tavor! – (Command to raise a whirlwind)
Zhan – the life-force that Zhovanya gives people at birth and that She receives at death, to return to our soul-kin and strengthen the web of life
Zhovanaya (Zho-va-NAY-a) is the adjectival form of Zhovanya (Zho-VAN-ya)
Zhovanya nara lo – The Goddess forgives us all. OR: Goddess, forgive us.
Zhovanya nara li – The Goddess forgives me. OR: Goddess, forgive me.
Zhovanya daganta lo – Goddess protect us.
Zhovanya ganara lo – Goddess guide us.
Zhovanya, ganara li vida – Goddess, guide me home
Suggested Contemplation or Discussion Questions for Readers of Fierce Blessings
Kyr’s story is intense and moving. Reading it may have opened up some feelings and areas inviting exploration. To help in deepening your experience of Fierce Blessings, and how it may have affected you, here are some questions for contemplation and/or discussion, as well as resources if further support is needed.
The Spiral Journey of Healing and Growth
The healing journey often is a spiral, with ups and downs, progress and backsliding. When we persist, we may find ourselves facing the same challenges or difficulties over again. But with each turn of the spiral, we can bring with us the new awareness and understanding we gained through facing the challenge previously. Over time, we may see that the spiral has been moving us toward our deeper, higher selves all along.
- Have you found yourself facing the same difficulty or challenge over again? In relationships? In therapy? In work situations?
- When you look back, do you see whether or not your journey through life follows this spiral pattern?
- Have you faced returning challenges with greater awareness, and deeper understanding? Have you been able to handle the challenge in a more mature way?
Forgiving Our Trespassers
In Dark Innocence, Kyr recovered from severe abuse and grew to become a kind, creative and loving man. In Fierce Blessings, he again faces torment and abuse, a turn on the spiral. His challenge is to hold on to what he learned and the person he became at the Sanctuary. Ultimately, with the help of Dekani and Zhovanya, he manages to retain his compassion, and forgive his tormentor. As he sets Gauday’s soul free of the Soul-Drinker’s sorcery and madness, he is even able to see Gauday as his fierce teacher.
With each difficulty we can blame or forgive. We can hold each difficulty in our lives as unfair and cruel, and see ourselves as victims. Or we can see each challenge, no matter how painful, as a stepping stone toward our deeper selves, and each person in our lives, no matter how hurtful, as our fierce teacher. We learn that forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, to free our own souls from hatred, vengeance and bitterness.
- Does Kyr’s story inspire you to be more forgiving and compassionate, even toward those who may have harmed you? Or do some transgressions seem unforgivable to you?
- How have you viewed the difficulties you have faced? As stepping stones or obstacles?
- Can you see those who have harmed you as your fierce teachers?
If this story has stirred up strong feelings or difficult memories for you, please seek the support of a counselor or group. For referrals, contact the local chapter of professional organizations such as:
- AAMFT – American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists: www.aamft.org
- AHP – Association for Humanistic Psychology: www.ahpweb.org
- APA – American Psychological Association: Referral Service: http://locator.apa.org/
Many Blessings for your own healing journey!