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. Yet, not all realms of witchcraft comprise 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 almost 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 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 coven, will practice magic and cast spells of a more deleterious nature. Even so, this is not always the case. For instance, a 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. A witch is inherently, neither good nor evil. A witch is only the sum of his or her, whole being. 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 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. Any subject from biology to physics to astronomy, are topics that for me, explains the physical world 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, 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 instance, if one were to delve into the strange and bizarre physical laws governing the inner realm, within the sub-atomic level, one would encounter inexplainable phenomena that science, as it now stands, can not account for. Quantum physics is a field, in which even the great Albert Einstein could not fully grasp. In his own words, Einstein described 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. Take the concept of electricity, and the simple flipping of a light switch, allowing one to see in the dark. This 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'. There are many strange theories and hypotheses within quantum physics, macro physics and cosmology falling into this line of thought. Perhaps, in the future, science will understand the inner machinations of the quantum realm and bizarre concepts such as string theory, multi-universes and the illusion of time. Until then, I believe the quantum world and cosmology are resources to be tapped, such as vacuum energy, long known by witches and occult practitioners as the 'ether'. Astral planes that may equate to scientific theory of multiple dimensions, scenarios of cause and effect, time dilation, etc. that to us, in our macro world, seems just like magic.
Now, I certainly do not claim to be able to, with willful intent, tap into these esoteric and ethereal laws of physics... at least not external to myself. I am simply not accomplished enough to do so, nor do I ever suspect I will have this ability. However, I do believe there exists, a miniscule, tiny fraction of witches, shamans and occult practitioners who are able to appropriate the energies and resources of these almost, well, shall we say, 'magical' laws of physics for their benefit and the benefit and,or detriment of others, I also believe, not in a spiritual afterlife, but in a 'universal consciousness'. I have personally, experienced other levels of consciousness, whole worlds as real as what we perceive in our daily lives. These experiences afford me a foundation as true to me as the laws of physics and science. Understand, these are my truths and my personal beliefs. I do not profess my truths onto any other person. Everyone must find their own way.
So, with that hopefully explained, being a practicing first degree witch, 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. Some of these short stories entail parts of my own spiritual path I have experienced, and some of the stories 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 written in the genre of 'magical realism'. The magic in these stories is of a more subtle nature, unlike Harry Potter or other similar stories, which portray magic as the result of a flick of a wand or the simple uttering of a phrase. Magic and spell casting is hard work and takes much practice, physical and mental focus and energy, and in most cases, a good dose of time. 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 as conventional magic. Rather, the use of mind play, or ‘power over’ is invoked, to induce the outcome of the story.
But, what precisely is a short story? I pondered that question 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, in which a person can read in one sitting. For, the longest of my stories can be read within roughly an hour. 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 indicating 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 the ‘norm’.
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. Hopefully, the overall intent of these stories is to allow the reader to delve into them, and after reading each one, instill a sense of wonder and insight into a subject, many, truly know little about.
Thanks for visiting! If you're daring enough, claim your free short story from my book! All you need to do is sign up on my WitchWriter Haven email list below. You will also receive emails when I update my 'Featured Story' and on future writing projects. You can also read my 'Featured Story', which is changed on a bi-weekly to monthly basis. If you enjoy them, please consider purchasing my e-book. Just select the Store link at the top of the page and the online retailer of your choice. Also, please check out my Facebook page using the link at the bottom of this site. Don't forget to claim your free short story below. Thanks again for visiting. Enjoy your reading.
Available Now! Purchase using the vendor link of your choice. Just go to the Store page. It's all there!