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Sime~Gen Inc. Presents
"Dangers of Honor"
| Send books for review in this column to:
Jacqueline Lichtenberg, POB 290, Monsey, N.Y. 10952
Once a Wolf by Susan Krinard Bantam pb Historical Romance, July 2000 (sequel to Touch of the Wolf, Bantam pb, Oct. 1999)
Deeper than the Night by Amanda Ashley, Love Spell August 1996
Fire Dance by Delle Jacobs Awe-Struck E-Books 2000 -- www.awe-struck.net
It is karmicly dangerous to live honorably -- and also dangerous not to.
To live Honorably, one must stand ready at all times to do some truly stupid things -- such as put oneself at risk to defend the helpless or less-powerful, such as trust the patently untrustworthy in order to bring out the best in them (every parent must do this to raise a child with self-esteem), such as pay off debts when one can least afford it. (Sounds like the behavior of someone "in love"?)
To live wisely is to avoid or "manage" risk, to ignore the plights of others -- especially those who can't repay you because they have no Power -- and raise children who've never faced the consequences of their own actions because they've never been trusted with their parents Power (e.g. the keys to the car or ATM password).
A "wise" life isn't very dramatic, so it's not surprising that novels tend to be about the Honorable, or those who aspire to Honor, or those who hate Honor because it holds some fascinating power (Venus) over them (e.g. The Villains).
Every procedure in Ceremonial Magick has an analog in mundane Reality; every principle, an analog in ordinary life. This month, let's look at Romance, Trust, Love and Honor.
Astrologically, "Honor" is represented by Saturn, Capricorn and the 10th House.
"Romance" is the condition your perceptions fall into under a transit of Neptune, which rules Pisces and the 12th House, the House of Self-Undoing. In other words, Romance is the condition in which you make mistakes with dire consequences -- the condition in which your good judgement (Mercury ruling Virgo & 6th House of work and the physical body) is distorted.
Love, however, is more associated with Venus which rules Taurus (Values) and Libra (social graces). Taurus is the Second House of Material and Spiritual Resources, and Libra the 7th of Marriage, Partnerships and the Public.
Trustworthiness is usually associated with Saturn qualities, a steadfastness of purpose, a predictability of behavior. But it can also be associated with Jupiter, (ruling Sagittarius and the 9th House) -- honesty and justice.
In any given individual, these elements will form unique patterns in the natal chart, and be triggered by Transits at distinctive ages. That is, a Neptune Transit affects a mature person differently than it affects a teenager. Take 40% off the accuracy in judgement of a 16 year old, and you get one kind of behavior. Take 40% off the judgement of a 40 year old, and you get totally different results. But the similarity is clear!
In each of us, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and their respective Houses and Signs form a complex pattern underlying our personalities. The rest of the planets, with the Sun and Moon form patterns relating to that complex and trigger it off by transit. As Neptune transits through those patterns, as solar arc Venus ticks off once in a lifetime aspects, windows open within the soul letting us glimpse Others as they exist on the Inner Planes.
Seeing another person with the eyes of your own Inner Planes Self can convince you that you have seen an objective truth with an absolute accuracy, simply because you're not accustomed to seeing with those Inner Eyes. Thus Love At First Sight can be more a function of how accustomed one is to seeing with that Inner Eye than it is a function of the qualities of the other person.
We respond to those Inner Planes glimpses with affinity or repulsion according to our basic natures. See my previous columns on the Lunar Nodes -- you can find most of them at http://www.lightworks.com by searching on "Noel Tyl."
Armed with an understanding of how Neptune transits affect different people and why, the reader who has spurned reading the Romance genre may find in this new world of electronic publishing a whole new source of instructive entertainment.
Currently, a bold blending of sf, fantasy and romance is producing a variety of "Romantic Adventure" novels that shows every sign of becoming the most vital and exciting part of the field of fiction today. This is especially true in the E-Books, available on disk or by download.
The following 4 books explore how dangerous it is to trust enough to love, especially under the pall of Neptune's distortions. Neptune is also Idealism, and only by living up to your highest ideals can you negotiate the treacherous moonlit path to real Love. These 4 books all say, "Dare to Love and Become Your Honorable Self."
Touch of the Wolf and its sequel Once a Wolf by Susan Krinard are two examples of what can be done with an sf/f premise, using meticulous worldbuilding, bringing the society, problems, and customs of a werewolf community into conflict with the ordinary world.
Touch of the Wolf is set in England in the 1800's, and Once a Wolf a direct sequel is set in the comparable New York community, extending into the Wild West. Both books earn highest recommendations. The characters, relationships and settings are masterfully interwoven with the werewolf premise into a seamless story that works well in a number of genres. Krinard is a consummate craftsman who can take you anywhere, anytime and give you a ride inside the personae whose Power puts them in great danger as they wrestle with questions of Identity, morality, and Trust.
You can find interviews with Krinard posted on www.simegen.com by searching "Susan Krinard" in the site search engine.
Deeper than the Night by Amanda Ashley is likewise a highly recommended title, for the precision craftsmanship exhibited by Ashley. Here we have a vampire propositioned by a 9 year old girl on behalf of her sister -- and this starts a Relationship that grows naturally into trust and love, revealing a deep, complex story behind the facade of the 'vampire.' The book is a superlatively plotted adventure, like most of Ashley's work.
Fire Dance by Delle Jacobs is a long, densely plotted novel set in Cumbria in 1091 AD, with alchemy, poisoning and magic afoot. It is a well constructed, easily read, solidly authentic feeling novel, and it addresses the problems of concealed identity, Honor, responsibility, all complicated by sudden, unexpected attraction, affinity, respect, and then love for a highly improbable man.
The main character, Mellisande, witnesses her father's death as the Normans are riding in to take over his lands. He has left her in charge of the castle, with no protection. To avoid the rape and worse that would be her lot, she impersonates a servant, the Housekeeper.
The man in charge of the Norman force that moves into her castle is charged with finding and marrying the daughter of the former Lord, thus securing the land for the King. She leads him a merry chase while simultaneously discovering that her father poisoned her mother -- using a poisonous dye in a fabulously wonderful cloak.
The cloak now belongs to, and is worn by the insufferable Norman conqueror. As she finds out the truth about the cloak, and about the conqueror, she has to change her mind about what constitutes Honorable behavior, and about how much personal risk she must take to retain her Honor.
All 4 of these novels show how "doing the right thing," the Honorable thing, can put you in danger of sympathizing with your enemy -- and worse than sympathy, you might come to trust and respect the most despicable villain. Given the right conditions, you might fall in love.
If you have love in your heart, you may find it hard to behave disHonorably. But if you behave Honorably, you might find it impossible to avoid having Love in your heart.
In either case, the fear of the inherent dangers can cause us to draw back from the brink of commitment to the very values that keep the wielders of Power safe. The transits of Neptune activating the Venus-Saturn-Jupiter patterns in our natal charts, touching the natal Sun, Moon or Angles in our natal charts, can alleviate that fear by veiling the unpleasant elements from sight.
Romance thus can trick us into doing the right thing, by hiding the dangers behind a rainbow veil.
Of course, it might not be the right thing. Then what?
Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg,
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Reviewed by Jacqueline Lichtenberg