Sign, sign, everywhere a sign


augurIf 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 augurescharged 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.”
~Suetonius

Tomorrow ~ more!

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91cb7-bee1With 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:
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/2014/01/tantalizing-tuesday.html
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/2014/02/tantalizing-tuesday.html
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/2014/02/thursday-tasters.html
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/2014/02/flasher-fiction-friday.html

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Another 100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Words on the Verge of Extinction. There are 61 entries to come.

Here’s one for today:

Nidifice (noun 1656)

a nest

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4 Us iconToday we have an interview of guest Mageela Troche..
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

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/
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Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group

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.

EQ-RR.banner Today’s author: J. Rose Allister
http://eq-recycled-reviews.blogspot.com/
A new place for your old stars to shine :D

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all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
loveWaits.cover.swhttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

Sample my love stories for free!

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Coming soon~

anniv2014

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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose is multi-published award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest.
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7 Responses to Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

  1. I think I was an augur in a past life because it came naturally from my earliest memories. I could write a book about how many portents I’ve observed and how they played out over the years. It really works if you become aware of it!

  2. melissakeir says:

    It’s interesting that the pets and animals can tell us so much before it happens.

  3. rosgemmell says:

    That’s interesting – it must be where the expression ‘it augurs well’ (for such and such) comes from!

  4. Ray G says:

    On T.J. MacGregor’s Synchronicity blog we were discussing the Haiti earthquake. A couple of the people mentioned either dreaming about the event or feeling I’ll just prior.

    I mentioned that I was in a tent in 29 Palms, CA reading a novel about a young couple in Iceland and at the very time a volcano in the book erupted the radio announced that Mount St. Helens had blown it’s top. That really scared me. My family lived in the path of the ash cloud.

    With that experience T.J. MacGregor’s novel Category Five, written before Hurricane Katrina, sat on my bookshelf for nine months, before it could read it. That is unusual because I quit reading whatever I am in the middle of as soon as I have her book in my hands or on my Kindle.

    • Interesting. I read an article about the random number generators set up all around the world. They essentially do a coin toss of numbers and it’s all pretty cut and dried. In the days before the September 11th attack here in the states, those numbers were shaken from their randomness. The article posited that the thoughts of perpetrators and the people sensing something caused the numbers to act strange. All thought is electric impulse. Makes sense to me.

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