Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

January/February 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Realizing the Power of Fiction

This article was written by Natalie Harter
posted under Pagan

Witches and Pagans are, on the whole, voracious readers, both of religious and non-religious books. Have you often found that some of the most spiritually-affecting works are fiction? I certainly have. Sometimes when I've read enough of technique, ritual and theology I turn to the fiction of Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, and Francesca Lia Block to make me feel magic again, rather than just tell me about it. Each of these authors seamlessly weaves magic and the otherworldly into the everyday realities of modern life.

Here at Llewellyn we have several brilliant authors who have tried their hand (quite successfully, I might add) at this kind of fiction in addition to their works on magical instruction. Kala Trobe has done this with The Magick Bookshop and Magick in the West End, and Ly de Angeles has done the same with The Quickening and The Shining Isle.

The Quickening is the story of a seemingly ordinary girl, Kathryn, who feels extraordinarily uncomfortable in her day-to-day reality. She is the daughter and wife of important, busy people for whom she feels merely an accessory. This is true until she meets Merrin, that is, and decides to begin living for herself rather than others.

As Kathryn awakens to her true nature, she makes contact with the Travelers, a magical race of beings—some gods, some fey, and many of the Lost. The Lost are those, like Kathryn, who have forgotten where they come from, who have forgotten their magic.

Things are not peaceful for the Travelers, however, as their presence becomes known by some unsavory types, particularly Michael James Blacker and the Brotherhood of the Eclipse. Michael is a brilliant and dangerous man who turns his fascination and simultaneous aversion toward all things occult and magical into a radical fundamentalist hate group with the aim to eliminate all faiths (and peoples) considered outside his vision of "acceptable" and "normal."


Michael and the Brotherhood
Michael James Black had discovered and become fixated by one particularly elusive group known only as the Travelers. There were purportedly several hundred of them. They had a reputation for being otherworldly, and it was rumored that they were from an unknown and ancient race.

This information conjured images of werewolves and vampires and other creatures out of fable. So far the intelligence that the Brotherhood had collected had pointed to an inexplicable yearly congregation of these people in a town on the far northeast coast.

It was discovered that one family, the O’Neills, hosted these gatherings year after year outside of Worthington, the nearby resort township.

They had recruited one of the Twelve to infiltrate the family by courting the love of their only daughter and her two children, whose father (or fathers) was rumored to have been a member of the Travelers. This recruit was Philip Adler, but he took the name Owen Riordan to endear himself to the family’s Irish roots.

The deception was never discovered. The O’Neill daughter was "handfasted" to Philip, who became known as her husband. Through her he learned of the true abomination that the Travelers represented, and the part the O’Neills played in continuing the protection and mentorship of these demons, generation after generation.

Philip was ordered to extinguish the O’Neill line at the time of the summer gathering—not so much a warning as a statement. Philip/Owen set fire to the house in which his wife and her children slept. It was an old weatherboard, two-story ramble that literally exploded as the petrol-soaked veranda was set ablaze.

The Quickening tells a tale that is both terrifying and beautiful, yet also completely unbelievable and strangely familiar. What Ly de Angeles is talking about is not so far removed from the world we know—fundamentalist cults trying to stamp out all differing opinions and all magic. But magic prevails because it is stronger than hate.

In The Magic Bookshop, Kala Trobe offers a series of stories with Malynowsky’s antiquarian bookshop in Oxford, England as their fulcrum. Similar to The Quickening, Trobe paints a world where magic is constantly present, if only your eyes are open enough to notice. Kala, in her guise as bookseller, acts as our guide through this both familiar and unfamiliar bookshop:

One thing that’s really become obvious to me since working in Malynowsky’s is the way in which the Myths re-enact themselves daily, both for our enlightenment, and simply because they are well-established patterns. Many would argue for the latter alone, and many that the former was the whole point, but for me, both seem pertinent. I’ve seen the Old Ones walk into this very shop and buy a book. I’ve asked them if they’d like a carrier bag for that, and directed them to the nearest coffee shop or restroom. They are living archetypal energies, but functioning on the Earth plane, Malkuth, just like the rest of us—sometimes barely aware of their own divinity, sometimes with a foot so firmly planted in both worlds that they can be functional humans during the day, and psychopomps by night. As my boss likes to point out, it’s a fascinating level we inhabit.

One of the first principles Mr. Malynowsky taught me was that Kether, the ultimate Divine, may be found in the heart of Malkuth, the material Kingdom in which we commonly abide. He knows how to draw the magick out of life as a snake-tamer can take the venom from the serpent and use it to heal. Magickal awareness can be a venom, he taught me, if ignored or wrongly used. I certainly suffered from the former in my teens. I was scared by my differences, and tried to stash them away in my subconscious, the Yesodic Plane of the Qabalah. There they augmented, and manifested as neuroses. Mr. Malynowsky is a great psychotherapist, and showed me how to retrieve my positive powers and put them to good use. Now, every day is a metaphor for Inner Reality, and not just in a heavy sense; we can laugh at it, at ourselves, and so can our favourite customers. Not all of them, however, view it that way, as you will witness.
Magic is all around us; as Witches and Pagans we know this, but sometimes it’s difficult to remember as we live our daily lives disconnected from nature and the gods. We believe in spirits and the like, but it’s hard to think of them as part of our everyday life. These books help us to remember. They open us up. When you’ve finished one you might find yourself catching a glimpse of something magical or unexplainable out of the corner of your eye, and that’s a beautiful thing to experience. The winter is a great time to curl up with any of these enchanting books.

Happy Travels!


Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

Traditionally, when performing magic, a practitioner has an altar of some sort on which to work. The altar, of course, can be anything from an elaborately carved table to a dresser top or even just a cleared section of kitchen counter; any available space can be utilized as long as it is large enough to hold the necessary tools and spell items. An... read this article
Fall in Love with Yourself This Valentine’s Day: Uncovering Your Amazing Gifts through the Five Elements
Surviving Venus and Mars Retrogrades
How to Use Affirmations That Work
The Moon as Calendar and Timepiece
Nature Spirituality From the Ground Up: Exploring the Totemic Ecosystem

Most recent posts:
Tarot Journaling and the Star
At the beginning of a new year, people often make a resolution to keep a journal. Keeping a journal has many benefits and can be done any number of...

5 Secrets of Self-Healing
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Amy B. Scher, author of the new How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. Do you know self-healing...

The Importance of Giving Back to the Totems (And Other Spirits, Too!)
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Lupa, author of New Paths to Animal Totems, Plant and Fungus Totems, and the new Nature Spirituality...





The Abyss Surrounds Us The Abyss Surrounds Us
By: Emily Skrutskie
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book
By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
Price: $21.95 US,  $25.50 CAN
How to Survive Mercury Retrograde How to Survive Mercury Retrograde
And Venus & Mars, Too

By: Bernie Ashman
Price: $16.99 US,  $19.50 CAN
Llewellyn's Shadowscapes Coloring Book Llewellyn's Shadowscapes Coloring Book
By: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN