Tales of the Esbat:

Thirteen Stories of Witches and Witchcraft



Witches, magic and the full moon… words that inspire thoughts of dark and spooky scenarios, evil spell casting and mysterious covens. And yet, not all the realm of witches and witchcraft involves only the dark side of human nature. While some will attempt to associate spell casting and magic with only an evil bent, in reality, witchcraft entails both, good and bad, the light and the dark. This book of short stories strives to tell the tale of both sides.

   Witches and covens use the lunar cycle, for all of their magical workings. An esbat is a term used for a full moon ritual, thus the name of this book. Some of the stories revolve around the full moon, which usually, in the realm of witches and magic, connotes a more positive or at least benign aspect of witchcraft. Some of the stories are written with the ‘dark of the moon’ as the impetus for the plot line. It is true, the dark of the moon is the time, when a witch or a coven, will practice magic and cast spells of a more deleterious nature. But even so, this is not always the case. For instance, a new moon or dark moon ritual, may consist of a spell casting to diminish sickness in a loved one, or perhaps, to ‘bind’ or stop the negative affects of a previous spell. For, just like anything else in life, there are many subtle shades of spell casting and magical intent. You see... a witch is inherently, neither good nor evil. A witch is only the sum of his or her, whole being. Basically, it is the intention and spell work involved, that determines the good or bad. This is part of the reality of human nature.

   But, what exactly is magic? Many people smirk or laugh at the topic. Others embrace or refute magic, from within the context of their religious upbringing, allowing external religious dogma to shape their beliefs of what magic is, or what it can be. In between, there is a whole spectrum of how a person relates to the subject.

   Although, I follow my own personal spiritual path, I am also a wholehearted believer in science. In fact, the many facets of science are a favorite past time of mine. Any subject from biology to physics to astronomy, are topics that to me, explain the physical world that we perceive through our human senses. So, one may ask, how I reconcile the embracing of magic and also the acceptance of science, within my personal life. This is a valid and reasonable question to ask.

   For me, there is no conundrum between the two subjects. For myself, I believe that magic per se, is not really magic at all. The supernatural, in reality, is only the natural world, beyond our current scientific understanding. In my own life, magic and science are one and the same. For, if one were to delve into the strange and bizarre physical laws that govern the inner realm, within the sub-atomic level, one would encounter unexplainable phenomena that science, as it now stands, can not explain. This is widely known as quantum physics, in which, even the great Albert Einstein could not fully grasp. In his own words, Einstein described some of the attributes of quantum physics as, "spooky action at a distance". This sub-atomic realm, I believe, is where 'magic', as it is commonly known, resides.

   A perfect example of how magic is perceived, within the structure of the laws of physics and science, is how our ancestors embraced the subject. For, the concept of electricity, and the simple flipping of a light switch, allowing one to see in the dark, would surely have been perceived as 'magic' to earlier humans. Once explained, in physical and scientific terms, it ceases to be magic, and becomes a 'fact of science'. Perhaps, in the future, science will understand the inner machinations of the quantum realm. Until then, I believe the quantum world is a resource to be tapped... a plane of existence that may hold multiple dimensions, scenarios of cause and effect, that to us, in our macro world, seems just like magic.

   So, with that hopefully explained, being a practicing first degree witch myself, I take the concept of the magical workings in a full lunar cycle and weave it into the writing of these short stories. Although I am a self taught writer, having taken no courses in journalism or creative writing, I believe I do have quite the imagination. This one intangible asset... can help make the leap from just words on a page, to a meaningful and exciting story. I can and I have, written on subjects other than witch craft. Having written two full length novels and a myriad of poems prior to this endeavor, this is my first experience with short stories. Some of these short stories entail parts of my own spiritual path that I have experienced. Some of the stories are infused with the basics of witch craft, and include descriptions of ritual proceedings, although, all of these short stories are fiction and have no real bearing to actual people or events.

   These short stories are intended to show a more realistic approach to magic and spell casting. The magic in these stories is of a more subtle nature, unlike the Harry Potter stories, which portrays magic as the result of a flick of a wand or the uttering of a phrase. In fact, some of the stories in this book contain no magic at all. At least, not in the sense of what most people think of, as conventional magic. Rather, the use of mind play, or ‘power over’ is invoked, to induce the outcome of the short story. 

   But, what exactly is a short story? I found that question thrown at me in my attempts to gain a literary agent in the publishing field. On more than one occasion, I was ultimately told my stories did not fit the genre of short stories. This, due to the length of more than one of my stories. Even though technically, three or four of the stories in this book are longer than a traditional short story, I tend to apply the common description of a short story, as a story in which a person can read in one sitting. For, the longest of my stories can be read within a thirty minute time period. When writing my short stories, I start with no boundaries or dimensions in mind. The story flows as I write, and reaches it's ending on it's own volition. The story lines are written to tell a tale, from beginning to end, and in most of the stories, one can find subtle hints that indicate the final outcome. Sometimes this means, going beyond the classic terms of what a short story, technically is. But, as I tend to be an unconventional person, and an unconventional writer, I enjoy pushing the boundaries of what the ‘norm’ is.

   I find today’s corporate publishing world to be too constrictive, too confining and too cautious to discover new writing talent and literature. So, I am harnessing the power of the e-publishing realm to make my case for my literary works. I will let you, the reader, with the freedom to peruse these stories and make your own decisions, to determine how my writing holds up. You can read a synopsis of each short story, by clicking on the 'Short Story Synopsis' link.

   In closing, all of the stories in this book, end with a twist, at times inspiring a sense of uplifting hope, and at times, inducing a sense of forlorn dread. As to how the reader perceives these endings, most likely, depends on how one sees the world around them. Overall, the intent of these stories is to hopefully, allow the reader to delve into them, and after reading each one of them, instill a sense of wonder and insight into a subject many know little about.

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