Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wiccan Novel: Celtic Goddesses Reawaken in a Magical Tale of Love and Betrayal

Celtic Goddesses Reawaken in a Magical Tale of Love and Betrayal
Theresa Chaze

Magic, romance and karmic justice combine in a new Celtic fantasy novel from Theresa Chaze. Released as an ebook, which is available on her site, as well as part of the Amazon Kindle program, Nict For Ure Selfe (Not For Ourselves) honors the Celtic Goddesses and the Wiccan tradition. Unlike most authors, who write magical fantasy, Theresa Chaze is a Wiccan Priestess who uses authentic magic in her novels. In many ways, her fiction can be considered a Book of Shadows.

After attending a local Pagan festival, Alyssa finds herself to be a target of Sheriff Deputy Nevel’s violent obsession. Her complaints only bring on more abuse. Her friends and coworkers are harassed. No one in in her life is safe from persecution. Alyssa doesn't understand why he and his comrades singled her out. In desperation, she performs a karmic ritual so that she may understand his hatred of her. Instead of a message, her soul takes her spirit back to the time when the Goddesses and Gods of old had not yet given way to the Christos and clan traditions could mean life or death. “Nict For Ure Selfe” (Not For Ourselves) a suspenseful tale of betrayal as traditions and love are tested by the changing times and greedy men whose lust for power continued into their next incarnations

Nict For Ure Self (Not for Ourselves) is available in a PDF ebook through the author’s site at or through the Amazon Kindle program after March 21, 2008.

An excerpt:

Alyssa struck the match. Instantly, the end burst into flame. She held it to the wick of the white candle until it ignited. Pinching off the match head, she placed on the table. Taking a deep breath, she flipped her long chestnut color braid back over her shoulder; it bounced and swung around her waist. Focusing on her intent, she started the ritual. “Goddesses--Maiden, Mother, Crone I call to thee and ask that you appear to me.” Picking up the candle, she held it above the surface of the water. Its glow illuminated just beyond the rim of the black bowl and reflected off the clear surface. “On this darkest of night, grant me the portal to make things right. Let me see clearly the moments of the past, so that I may understand what is happening at last.” Tapping the edge with the candlestick, the glass on glass echoed throughout the dark room. The vibration rippled through the water. “As I created a wave in the glass, so I ask you help me with my task.” She set the candlestick next to the bowl and placed her hands on either side palms down. “Let me see where his hatred of me had begun, so that his vengeance can be undone. Why he stalks me I know not why, yet I know the answer lies in times gone by. Take me back to the time and place, so that I may end the conflict with haste and grace.” Picking up the four raven feathers, she held them above the candle. "Goddesses of the raven and night, who left these feathers as a symbol of your might. I call you now to come me, to create a justice that even the blind may see. I call your forth to this land to guide the karmic hand. For those who have done harm to me, let their reckoning begin now--so mote it be.” Placing the feathers equal distance around the bowl, Alyssa paused for a moment to let their energy settle around her.

Stretching her neck side to side, she took a deep breath and allowed her Priestess training to relax her body into a meditative state. The outer world fell away as she sank deeper within her self and started climbing the stairs to her own soul. Into the darkness, the staircase spiraled upward, until she reached the iridescent platform where her Akashic record was held. Suspended in the darkness of endless time, Alyssa looked for a guide to help her. But she was alone. In the past, there had always been someone there to act as a guide to help her face the challenge. Uncertain, she stepped up to the pedestal. If she was to atone for a past error, she would be give direction. However, if she was merely a player as another strutted and fretted through a karmic lesson, than she could do little more than watch. The book lay open before her. On it, fate continued to write. “Book of all my lives, show me karmic tie that echoes into this life.” The pages flipped, stopping twice before it came to rest on the life named Shannon Marie Cullen.

The image of a red haired young woman lifted up off the page and hovered above. Her heart shaped face still had the softness of youth. Yet the hazel eyes sparkled with old wisdom. She wore her dark auburn hair pulled back into a long, single braid. Although she seemed familiar, Alyssa felt no emotional connection to her. There was no bond or sense of being between them. Only a faint familiarity like a tune whose melody echoes in the back of your mind, yet you cannot remember the words or the context in which you heard it. She reached out to touch the image; it reached back. Yet before their fingertips touched, Shannon Marie vanished only to be replaced by a three dimensional screening of wooded forest. Rich and lush it sported multiple shades of green, tans and browns as the forest became fields and forest once again. As her perspective changed, Alyssa felt herself zooming to focus on the scene that was most important. Yet it was more than just pictures and sounds. The smell of the fields and rushing of the river below sparked memories and long sleeping emotions. No matter where her life led her, she could never find the safe sense of home. Fear always kept her from letting her roots grow too deep. She had never understood. Her childhood was no better or worse than anyone else's. Yet as her spirit drew closer, the familiarity once again made her crave the comfort of home.

Through breaks in the leaves, she saw two girls running quickly. She knew who they were, yet she didn't feel connected. Instead, like a moderated film, she watched them from above. Instead recalling her own memories, the information flowed to her in unspoken words and images as if someone was narrating their story to catch her up with the story.

Shannon Marie ran breathlessly up the glen, quickly followed by her younger sister, Rachael. Although a year and two months younger, Rachael looked more like Shannon Marie's twin. Both girls favored their Scottish heritage with their flaming hair and outspoken temperaments. Their two older sisters, Elizabeth Marie and Katherine Anne favored their mother's French heritage both physically and in temperament. Fair-haired beauties they openly used their feminine assets to manipulate others to get what they wanted. The plain spoken of mannerism of the patriarch of the family along with his two youngest daughters frequently came into conflict with the matriarch and the eldest sisters' elitism as they boasted of their unclaimable link to the French throne. They refused to see that no matter which man laid down with the mother, the child could lay no claim to parentage unless they were acknowledged by both the father and family. Jacqueline Marie Katherine de Medici may have lay with the King of France, but the daughter they created was conceived above the sheets--not beneath them. Jacqueline refused to be silenced at court about the parentage of her growing child within her. It was the reason Marie marked her for death. But instead of a curse, the midnight escaped to Scotland became a blessing as the people’s revolution sought out the privileged nobles.

In the highlands, Abigail Marie Katherine de Medici was born without a father; the fortune and power of the de Medici family hid the stain, but was never washed away. Having valuable connections in the English and Italian courts, Jacqueline was received as her family station required. Eventually she attained a small estate and fitted herself into the region. Unlike the women born in Scotland, Jacqueline, followed her de Medici heritage, keeping control over her assets and her life. But it was her wit and cleverness, which turned the small estate into one of the most prosperous in the Parish. It was the second reason Abigail was never considered a suitable match for any of the legitimate Clan heir. The heads of clans refused to allow a match unless the son would take total control of the estate and fortunes. Jacqueline refused to relinquish her power. Abigail resent her mother for it. Richard Connell had approach her with an offer of marriage; he was the second largest estate holder in the Parish and under consideration to become the next Parish Chief. Jacqueline refused and arranged a match with Shawn Jacob Michael Cullen. Only he was willing to break with tradition. Instead of insisting on control, he offered himself as steward to Jacqueline, claiming nothing for himself and agreeing to allow her to chose who inherited the de Medici affluence. The eldest son of Michael James Cullen he saw Abigail as an opportunity to restore his clan's fortunes. Reluctantly Abigail agreed; his family estate was not as large as the Connell, but his clan connection opened the path to gain legitimacy and a title. The match was made for the benefit of both families.

Shannon never thought of Seanhair as a woman of wealth and power, only as her Grandmother. None of that interested her, no matter how Seanhair attempted to entice her. She loved hearing stories about France before the revolution, but for some reason, both she and Papa were more concerned about her to becoming more aware of estate business. The month before she officially starting attending to estate business independently. Her decisions carried nearly as much weight as her father's.

Alyssa felt the connection Shannon Marie had with her father. It drew her closer to the young woman for it was something she had always wanted and never had for reasons that were beyond her control. The richness of their love bond awakened her own sadness and sense of loss. He had died before she was born. The only things she knew of him was what her older sister told her. Their mother had stubbornly refused to talk about him. Without warning, Alyssa reached out to more fully connect with the young red head. Suddenly she felt the grass beneath her feet and the breeze on her face. She was no longer an observer, but part of the drama and seeing through Shannon's eyes.

The strange feeling again crept up on Shannon Marie and she stopped half way up the hill. The strange awareness seemed to be happening more often. At first, it was only in her dreams that she could sense spirits around her. The feelings kept getting more intense and harder to ignore. But this time it was different. In a way familiar. Papa had told her that her Aunt Margaret had the same gift. She could see the Earth Folk and the spirits who had not yet crossed over. She asked Bridget to bless her with the same gift; the night of the next full moon, she had her first dream. Since then, the encounters with the dead had become nightly. Sighing, Shannon shook her head, trying to clear the thoughts. But instead of vanishing the image of an older woman with reddish hair reached for her. Her greenish eyes were so familiar, yet she had never seen them before. She was not afraid, yet she was reluctant to take her hand. The spirit of the raven flew between them and the woman backed away, but did not leave.

Suddenly Alyssa felt herself being pulled away. She remained connected, yet she was no longer in direct contact with Shannon Marie. The emotional bond that had started to form had been thinned, but not broken.

The raven circle and flew back towards them. Shannon followed its flight and it brought her attention back to the hillside. She did not know why her mind filled itself with such things. It was almost as if someone was trying to give her wisdom she was not ready to understand. Each time the feeling passed, she felt that something important had happened, yet she was unable to see how it in fit in her life. She slowly started climb the hill again. It was like the lessons Seanhair was teaching her about the lands and court. It did not interest her, but her grandmother’s behavior told her that the lessons were important. None of the information was new. It was all old. Yet, it seemed so essential the closer she got to her seventeen birthday. Suddenly there were no more stories or gossip about the other clans’ secrets or stories about the French court, but a constant testing of what she had learned about the estate.

Reaching the crest, she caught up with Rachael. Shannon Marie pointed to the gathering at the bottom. “I told you Papa would make them wait for us!” She readjusted her crossbow, freeing it from the fold of her breeches. Her attire was another point of contention between their parents. Breeches, boots and wool shirts were not proper dress for ladies. Father always snapped back that if she had provided him with a son, he would have left the girls to her raising. But she had not, so she needed to be content with the two older girls. The two younger were his to raise as he saw fit. Shannon Marie was grateful he had always won. The thought of being turned into court pony turned her stomach. She disappear into the marshes first.

“Hot damn!” Diverting from the path, Rachael leaped a fallen log for no other reason that it was there and ran down towards the gathering at the bottom.

Shannon Marie stopped for a moment. The sun was warm on her face. The lush greenery of early summer was old enough to be fully developed, yet young enough to still have a multitude of shades of green. For a moment, she felt homesick as if she had been away for a long time. She blinked and the feeling vanished as quickly as it had come.

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