Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Guff on Supermoons

Her Only Friend the Moon by Alexander Jansson

Hi Everyone, The 'supermoon' has been getting a lot of attention this week, and since the influence of the Full Moon in Taurus is still HOT, I thought I would share a post from my site - Thoughts on Supermoons.

'Suppermoons" ... here's the guff.

Hang on. I should say, here's my guff. I don't expect everyone to agree.

There are people who swear by 'supermoons', saying the moon is larger at these times, and yeah, it looks larger, by about 14%. But heads up. It hasn't really changed size.

The appearance changes because the moon has cycles of perigee -- when it's closer to earth. (if you can call 357,000 km close).  The perigee happens 2-3 times every 14 months.

Loui Jover

Social Media gets all excited about it, claiming there is stronger astro effect raining moonbeams down on our heads. Like, get out the garlic and the holy water or something.

Me? I don’t give ‘supermoons’ a thought, basically because it's the New or Full Moon that matters astrologically (the lunations as we call them), not the proximity of the moon to earth via the ecliptic. 

I guess you could argue that because it looks bigger, it does more, but then there’s Pluto, you know? 4.28 billion km from New LA.  Not super close … but super powerful. A Pluto transit trumps a lunar one, super or otherwise, by about a million.

What a 'Supermoon' does is generate hype that doesn’t amount to any actual astrology IMHO - but that could be my North Node in Capricorn talking.

Still, it’s not grounded in ancient astrology, or astronomy, the wisdom passed down for thousands of years. It's a 'pre-new age term that popped up in the late 1970s, an easier handle for the scientific 'perigee-syzygy' (try saying that three times in a row).

It's more meaningful to look at what degree the new or full moon is in, and the sign. ie where's this mojo landing in your chart? 

The most recent SM was on the 14th of November, at 22 Taurus and will have it's 'sway' until the New Moon in Sagittarius at the end of the month. 

Thoughts? I'd love to hear your take. 

Kim Falconer's latest release is out now - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel. Find this novel in a store near you.

You can also learn more about Kim at, the 11th House Blog, and on FaceBook and Twitter.  

She posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month and runs Save the Day Writer's Community on Facebook. Check out her daily Astro-LOA Flash horoscopes on Facebook

Thursday, November 3, 2016

This is the show that never ends, yes it goes on and on

Year of the Like: Supernatural Season 12

I had the honor of hearing Billie Piper (of Doctor Who and Penny Dreadful fame) speak about the end of Penny Dreadful, which ended rather abruptly after its third season. She said that she would rather have a show end and the character's live on in fans' heads than to have their stories drag out until they were unrecognizable from the characters they started out as.

The notion really stuck with me, as both a writer and a lover of TV. We all know book series and TV shows that should have ended ages ago, but publishers and producers just kept coming back for more. The drama gets more and more ridiculous because they are just at a loss as to what to do with these characters who they forced to change over the course of the show/series.

Even I have been asked when there are more Diaries books coming out and I have to answer, I'm not sure there will ever be. Are there more Wanderer books? YES (more to come on that). But I'm not sure I have much more to explore with Violet.

The one show that has literally stood the test of time is SUPERNATURAL. Going into its 12th season, the two main characters, Dean and Sam Winchester, are still fundamentally the same characters that they were in the first season. Dean hides behind sarcasm and really loves of his car. Sam is smart and really, really tall. They still make the right choice and they will always save their brother's life over their own.

Did it have some rough patches in the writing and story lines: Yes.

Have the characters both sacrifice themselves for each other multiple times: Yes

Have they learned that they really shouldn't lie to the other: Finally.

Has the show taken over most social media due to its catchy phrases and completely insane range of topics covered: OMG Yes.

Does it hurt that the two main characters are portrayed by the hottest boys from Texas ever: Not at all.

And yet, I still watch. I am still engaged with their fighting the forces of darkness that has escalated from a demon to the Devil, and their allies have included an angel and God himself. They have faced down banshees and leprechauns and Norse gods. They've seemingly done it all, and yet I still watch because their world is my world and there is still so much out there.

Perhaps it is their never-changing natures. The heroes are completely steadfast in their ways. Even through multiple apocalypses, deaths, resurrection, and possessions, the stories have just carved out a more defined version of the characters that we saw in episode one. They grew up, but they didn't become different people. Maybe I grew up with them. Maybe this show is part of me because I want to know that the world throws demons as you every day and with a partner and some rock salt, you can pretty much take on anything.

Perhaps it is the familiarity that keeps me coming back. Perhaps it is a formula. Perhaps it digs in deep to my monomythic brain and strokes that story structure week after week in a wonderfully predictable and yet satisfying ways.

 Or its just that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki just keep getting better with age.  Seriously. Its supernatural.

Some season I imagine the show will end. But this is not that season. Some episode will be their last and it better have them riding out in a blaze of glory.

But until then, Thank You SUPERNATURAL for always being my go-to, familiar scare of the week so I can go out and fight the real bad guys that are out there.

Thank you for providing me with twelve years of monster stories that let me know I'm not the only person out there who likes things that go bump in the night.

Thank you for giving Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki steady face time on TV because they really are pretty and can actually act the hell out of a bro-ment.

Amanda Arista

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Portent and Fate: The Mythic Aspect of Dream in Fantasy

Dream magic plays a relatively significant part in both Thornspell and The Wall Of Night series and one of its more important aspects is that of portent, with fulfillment locked into whether—or how—the foretold doom or destiny will play out.

This aspect of dream and fulfillment is an essential element of both the Greek and Norse myths, as well as folklore. We all recognize, after all, that if our hero or heroine is told something three times, especially by an oracle of some kind, then the foretelling is likely to prove true …

(This is not just in Fantasy, by the way. In the now-classic SFF television series, Babylon 5, I believe careful perusal will show that the captain, John Sheridan, is warned three times that, “If you go to Z’ha’dum, you will die.” Just sayin’)

Yet any exploration of dreams and their “fated” fulfillment in Fantasy also gives rise to the alternative consideration: the extent to which characters have free will. Can they, like Will Thatcher (the mourned Heath Ledger) in the film, A Knight’s Tale, change their stars?

The Greek and Norse myths would answer that question with a resounding “no”—in fact it is usually the protagonist’s endeavours to avoid his or her prophesied fate that brings about the doom.

In The Wall of Night series I keep the fate vs free will aspect open by having the prophetic dreams occur very much in the “jumbled workings” of the subconscious. There is truth in them, but they may only imperfectly reflect events that occur in the daylight world. Nothing is certain … and every action a protagonist takes acts on the dream, creating alternative possibilities of fulfillment.
Thornspell cover illustration
In exploring the prophetic dream tradition, both through reading other writers and in my own work, I suspect that we are also talking about aspiration—the innate human desire to affect our fate and exert control over destiny. The myths, of course, would say that any such aspiration is doomed, its fulfillment stillborn before it has taken the first breath of life.

But what do you think? Do you have a view on the use of dreams and portents in contemporary Fantasy, or a favorite book or series you feel uses them well?


Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet, interviewer and blogger whose first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. Her second, The Heir of Night (The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012. The sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013. Daughter Of Blood, (The Wall Of Night, Book Three) was published this year.

Helen posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog and is also on Twitter: @helenl0we