Tag Archives: Immortal Fire

Even Gods Die

I think it began with the Bram Stoker’s Dracula film and the tagline of ‘Love Never Dies’. There’s an obsession amongst romance writers to have vampires, and other immortals as characters. Paranormal creatures used to be monsters and villains. They used to tell us about our own humanity by being beyond it. Now they are eternally young and beautiful, and they will love you forever. In theory, that’s the romantic ideal.

Everything dies, in nature. Even suns and worlds. The gods can die – just think of Ragnarok. Some gods die and are reborn – think of Odin hanging on the world tree, or Osiris torn to shreds.  Gods such as Hercules die in their mortal life and are reborn as gods.

Part of the point, with paganism, is embracing the cycles of life and death. Everything dies, but the energy within us is reused. One way or another. We go into the soil or the flame, we become something else. Our ashes are sprinkled on the land, and something that was us lives on in the plants. Change is essential in the natural world. It brings growth, renewal, possibility. Shed the old skin, take on a new one as spirit flows form one form to another.

To be denied change, to be forever one thing, one body, one face is not nature’s way. To be always youthful and lovely, never able to grow old and die is to miss out on so much of what it means to be alive and human. To me, immortals are the most tragic and cursed of creatures. Doomed to be themselves for all time. It’s such a lonely notion, and the prospect of never changing, of being exiled from nature by your own permanence, is a horrible one. Do I believe that love never dies? I’m not sure. I do know, that stasis and stagnation will kill love. Love needs to live and breathe, to change, to grow, or it withers away. Could you do that with just one person for all eternity? When neither of you is able to change much?

So when I was asked if I fancied contributing to an anthology about Immortal lovers, I said yes, and then I cheated. I thought of the longest living entity on the planet (so far as I know)  – yew trees – and wrote about a dryad. The thing with yew trees is that they can live for several thousand years. Compared to the human scale, that is close enough to forever for me. In theory, if a Yew tree puts down branches, roots them and makes clones of itself, something of the tree might regenerate and live for a very long time. Death is always possible, with all the necessary uncertainty, and the regeneration that brings change and freshness. In modern interpretations of ogham, the yew is very much associated with death, which added a pleasing layer of significance for me. They grow in graveyards a lot. Their wood was once used for making longbows, and these days a cancer drug is derived from them.

Do the classic immortal monsters reflect our fear of dying? I’m not afraid of my own death. I pity those who fear it so much that they could choose to abandon the cycles of life in favour of stasis, and living death. Would I want eternal youth and beauty? No. But it’s interesting to contemplate.

My Dryad story, Death and the Immortal is available from www.loveyoudivine.com and the anthology is on amazon in paperback – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600543723/ref=cm_cd_asin_lnk

Introducing M King

It was only when author M King brought out her Halloween freebie ‘Samhain Enchanted Evening’ that it occured to me to ask about her personal beliefs. We’d been working together for quite a while, and I’d registered the folklore influences and magical reality of her writing. It’s still a slightly delicate question to ask, but it turns out that she is indeed a fellow pagan.

I first met M King when she got involved with the Immortal Fire project we’re doing through the His and His Kisses line at www.loveyoudivine.com – she turned in a lovely gay fantasy story – Almost Human and I was isntantly taken with her writing style and imaginative story telling. She went on to develop a series of Travellers tales – gypsy folklore, m/m romance ad strange magic combine in these stories to beautiful effect. The Green Man, The Golden Horse, The Gypsy and The Witch are already out, with more to come. She’s also written f/f – Whistle Bait.

If you’re inclined to find out more, please do stop by her blog and have a browse – http://lavengra.wordpress.com

Midsummer

It’s Midsummer’s day, and St John’s day – when according to folklore the St Johnswort is supposed to bloom. It’s been in flower for a while.

This morning, Druids gathered at Stonehenge to greet the dawn. I’ve been to Cor Gawr gatherings before, watched the sun come up over Salisbury plain, the light penetrating the circle. I’ve sung to the standing stones, shared bread and mead, seen visions of wild horses and elementals in the mist. It’s a beautiful place. Today the sun shines, and it is a good time to honour life, love and community.

Below is a little something I’m not going to explain just yet. For now, enjoy the scenery, and remember where you saw it!