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Sime~Gen Inc. Presents

Recommended Books

September, 1999

"The Essence of Creativity"


Jacqueline Lichtenberg

  Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg, POB 290, Monsey, N.Y. 10952

Kissed by Starlight by Lynn Bailey, Jove Magical Love Historical Romance, May 1999

More Than Magic by Kathleen Nance, Love Spell Romance, March 1999

GhostWriter by Terry Sheils, Awe-Struck E-Books - an electronic publisher at http://www.awe-struck.net/   download or disk.

The Complete ArtScroll Siddur, Mesorah Publications, ltd., Brooklyn, N.Y. 1986 http://www.mesorah.com/

In April we looked at whether Individuality can be Honorable. In May we examined an astrological dimension to Honor -- Saturn, the 10th House -- and in June focused on the Threat Response and Honor.

The July column tackled karmic aspects of power and Honor focusing on "Don't thank me; I'm just doing my job" and status and power (also Saturn attributes). And in August, we looked at the mechanism governing story-creation.

The imagination needed for storytelling is (astrologically) a function of Neptune.

Much of what has been written here in previous columns is based on the notion that the most powerful aspect of the human mind is Imagination. This is a widespread premise found in most sf/f.

Astrologically, Pluto is seen as governing "Power" -- but the word "Power" is as multiplex in meaning as the word "Love." Note, that for the Magician, Neptune (fantasy or Imagination) is the gateway to accessing and directing the "Power" of Pluto -- but one can survive that accessing operation only with "Discipline" (Saturn). Discipline, Honor, structural patterns and "purpose of life" are all attributes of Saturn, Capricorn, and 10th House.

Neptune also requires a lack of a personal agenda -- you can't be "in it for yourself." If you "make love" your primary focus has to be on the pleasure you are giving your partner. Otherwise, it's "just sex" and it becomes "about power" not about love.

We recognize creativity when we see someone do something that doesn't fit the patterns we already know about. Astrologically, Neptune (Imagination) erodes structures (patterns) built by Saturn (Honor) and frees up creative energy to solve problems in unique, new (Uranus)ways. In other words, altering karma sometimes requires rethinking what Honor means, especially where Relationships (7th House) are involved.

"Karma" is a word we use to designate a pattern we recognize -- a pattern of life.

We rely on the existence of patterns, and an unspoken "Law of the Universe" right up there with Parity, Conservation, and Symmetry that says, "Patterns tend toward completion." That's where we get the sense that karma is inevitable -- a destiny or fate that can't be avoided.

In SF/F, we indulge in reading about Heroes who take matters into their own hands, who will not accept the inevitability of failure. Inevitability, destiny, fate -- all heroes stand four-square against these attitudes. And reading their stories gives us hope that we, too, can unload karma without paying too much more than the interest on our karmic debt.

But seriously, how can we do such a thing? And if we can, is it Honorable?

Kabbalistically, there is a mechanism for achieving this heroic objective honorably. If you look around at real people, and note how and when their lives change drastically, you may be able to recognize the pattern. But seeing it from the outside, you won't know what causes that pattern to manifest. From the inside of the person, though, it can be very clear what triggers that mechanism of "debt restructuring."

Invocation. Prayer.

But what is prayer? How do you do it so that it "works"? For a definition, I went to one of my favorite reference books, The Complete Artscroll Siddur.

The Hebrew word for prayer is Tefillah, and its meaning lies within the "root" of the word (peh, lamed, lamed) which means "to judge, to differentiate, to clarify, to decide." So prayer is really the soul's yearning to define what truly matters, to separate the signal from the noise, to find the pattern within the pea soup of trivial details.

The Hebrew verb for praying is mitpalel, a reflexive verb made from the same root word, (peh, lamed, lamed). To pray is to act upon yourself. (The White Magician may only operate upon him/herself.) So prayer is a process of self-evaluation, self-judgement, prioritizing one's value system, and thus creating (the essence of creativity is pattern recognition) Identity. Prayer develops the pattern of bonds that binds one to the purpose of life.

These three novels, Kissed by Starlight, More Than Magic, and Ghostwriter, ostensibly Romances, are actually exercises in Teffilah -- self-judgement -- which, with the aid of Divine Perspective, produces a change of karma -- a debt-restructuring in the Relationships area of life.

Kissed by Starlight does not have a fully developed magical background, but it's a page-turner about a woman whose inarticulate grief (a form of prayer) for her father (Saturn) brings her a husband (a magical prince enchanted into a statue brought to life by her tears) and ends with a memorable one-liner: "If I can keep an enchanted prince happy, surely an enchanted baby should be simple!" (self-judgement)

More Than Magic starts with the hero, a woman who has used magic to no avail, performing an "Act of Faith" which starts a chain of events that leads her to her goal, but she incidentally acquires a husband who is a djinni. The story ends with a memorable one-liner: "After all, some things -- like love -- were worth more than magic." (self-evaluation)

GhostWriter starts with a man (a professional ghost writer) seeing a cottage on a lake and recognizing his "dream home" - where he can go to write under his own name full time - and he buys it with his inheritance. The house is haunted. The ghost woman becomes his collaborator but she lies a lot. It ends with a memorable one-liner: "Sometimes I tell the truth." (self-clarification)

One path to the Divine is through "Other" (7th House) -- Robert A. Heinlein called it "Thou Art God" -- the recognition of the Divine within the core of humanness -- to open oneself to "Other" can lead into a form of prayer that can be the most effective form of magic.

"Romance" is a state of mind and heart that occurs under Neptune (creativity) transits. The essence of creativity (e.g. Romance) is the ability to differentiate or clarify a Pattern within the Self, and then step outside that pattern to evaluate and judge it.

From that position outside the pattern, (a position attained through prayer that connects to the Divine), it is possible to re-create yourself, to change yourself and thus your karma, especially the karma of relationships.

Reading Romance Novels that contain elements of science fiction or fantasy can be, for some people, an effective form of re-establishing the bonds that tie one to the purpose of life.

This year, especially during May 2000, changing karmic patterns through serious prayer may be especially fruitful for those whose natal charts include emphasis in the middle degrees of fixed signs -- because we have the recurrence of the Fixed Grand Cross transit involving Saturn (Honor) & Jupiter (Justice) conjunct in Taurus squaring Uranus (Sudden Change). Old patterns are under stress and thus can be changed.


Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg, POB 290, Monsey, N.Y. 10952

Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg,



Until I get the direct links installed here, you can find these titles by using copy/paste (in MSIE use right mouse button to get the copy/paste menue to work inside text boxes) to insert them in the search slot below -- then click Book Search and you will find the page where you can discover more about that book, or even order it if you want to.   To find books by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, such as the new Biblical Tarot series, search "Jacqueline Lichtenberg" below. 

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Reviewed by Jacqueline Lichtenberg


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