If you’ve been visiting my blog, you know I’ve been covering symbols and sharing the best of the resources I’ve found. If you’re a writer, I hope you’ve found useful things. If you’re a reader, I hope you’ve been entertained! There’s a lot more to come.
I just love things that represent things and I tuck them into my stories for fun. I’ll play with names and occupations. Sometimes I’ll tuck things here and there in the decor of a room or symbolically color the weather in a scene. Elements of philosophy sit in the background like patterns on wallpaper, and of course, as is the way of all fiction and fiction authors, my books are peppered with elements of my life and personality. I’ll even play with the food on my character’s plates! It’s a game I’ve created for my readers, but I also do it to amuse myself because I read too and I know I’d love to find things in the stories I read.
Every once in a while, a reader will write to tell they’ve found something and ask did I mean it that way. That brings me such joy. I like being reminded I’m not the only square peg in this world of round holes. :)
As far as things representing things go, observing natural phenomena for clues goes back to our earliest hunter-gatherer-scavenger days. A certain sky could mean poor or favorable weather. A certain animal or food could poison you. Certain animal behaviors could signal great change like earthquakes. These are just a few. Over time, a mantic method arose that was meant to find prophetic significance in this routine observation of the environment. We’ve all heard the terms omens, portents, signs of the times. All this falls under the heading of Augury.
In Ancient Rome, officials known as augurs were charged with observing and interpreting omens for guidance in public affairs. Interpreting the will of the gods was necessary, for whether or not the gods approved upon a course of action determined whether or not you’d do it.
Augurs often looked to the sky and consulted their charts, for it was important to note where an unusual occurrence took place in the dome of the sky, because location held significance. A heavy storm with a lot of lightning was naturally a sign from Zeus or Odin. But a heavy storm with lightning in the west might mean something completely different from a lightning storm in the southern part of the sky.
Aside from weather attributes, the gods and goddesses across cultures all had their animal attributes – Zeus and Odin’s animal was the eagle. Apollo and the Norse god Tyr shared the wolf, Artemis the bear, and so on. It was believed unusual animal behaviors could also foretell the future or hint at which god or goddess might bless or take offense in your governing. Eagles making particular patterns of flight in a certain quadrant of the sky obviously said something. Wolves or bears too near to the village must hold meaning too. This type of observation might also involve a ritual. Animals might be sacrificed or simply scrutinized. The examination of scat, entrails, blood spatters etc just might hint at a deity’s mind.
Crazy stuff, but when “Your guess is as good as mine” doesn’t tell you much, you have to think of something. Everyone knew if you displeased the gods they might hit you with wild weather, or worse, with cataclysmic events like, volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. After all, look what they did to Prometheus.
I have a very busy day today, so I’ll leave augury here with a pertinent quote and continue tomorrow. In the meantime, keep an eye on your pets. ;)
“Again, during a sacrifice, the augur Spurinna warned Caesar that the danger threatening him would not come later than the Ides of March.”
Tomorrow ~ more!
With my old dog being as ill as she was, my concentration just flew out the window. I just can’t seem to regain my focus on my works in progress. Cabin fever, arctic temperatures, and endless snow don’t help. In an attempt to keep writing beyond the blogging, I’ve been dabbling in something new — flash fiction with word limits. I’ve never done it before and it’s hard for me (as wordy as I am). I have plans for a book of short stories one day, so this is very good practice.
I stumbled across a great group of writers on Facebook and they have weekly memes to write for. I’ve joined in for several and yesterday after posting a taster from Loving Leonardo, I learned of another happening today.
Here are my offerings so far:
Here’s one for today:
Nidifice (noun 1656)
Today we have an interview of guest Mageela Troche..
The February contest has started on Romance Books ‘4’ Us and it’s all about Cupid. Find the little cherub hidden all across the site to win. This month’s contest will have 2 winners who’ll each receive a $50 gift card for Amazon/B&N, then split the remaining prizes (randomly chosen by RB4U). Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/
Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.
Wash Line Monday ~ share your descriptions of clothing in your novel.
Tickle Us Tuesday ~ Share fun and funny snippets from your novel.
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel.
Author Interviews ~ We’re booking late spring now.
Today’s author: J. Rose Allister
A new place for your old stars to shine :D
Love Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
Sample my love stories for free!