The blog has been quiet lately, and that is largely due to two main energy shifts.
(1) We've been hiking every weekend, however instead of taking massive amounts of photos and videos to share the adventures, I started to observe quietly, internalizing the visual and physical data I witness.
Watching the sunlight pour through the canopy, dancing on bark and moss. Deep green ferns unraveling slowly. Birdsong and waterfalls.
(2) All of this has been fueling my creative inventory for several ongoing projects.
As many of you know I've been working on a fantasy/sci-fi story about a galactic cartographer, exploring the vast universe as well as what it means to be immortal. I can honestly say that the vastness and complicated nature of the story was beginning to overwhelm me. I am still new to writing, and I'm not sure why I chose to start with such a complicated narrative. Dozens of characters, story arcs, spanning over millions of years, countless events and themes...
Anyways, long story short, I had to step away from that story for a while. I was happy working on the illustrations for a few months, but then something magical happened.
My weekly forest hikes started to seep into every aspect of my life. The powerful connection I feel to nature has always been a player in my artwork, but now it's beginning to take on a life of its own, in the form of written word.
I started having extremely vivid dreams of a druid witch. From those visions I was able to start writing a story.
For a little over a year, I've been heavily invested in druidry, subscribing to several groups around the world, and researching everything I can on my own about this fascinating lifestyle. If you don't know, druids celebrate nature as their religion (basically). Some worship actual deities while others don't. It's free of the typical dogma and sectarianism of most religions. It is a personal path. Spirituality in the form of worshiping the natural elements and striving to live harmoniously with nature is hugely important to druids. Throughout history, druids were sometimes confused with witches because of their "odd practices." However druids, unlike witches, don't believe they can conjure magic. Instead, they believe in and trust that magic exists within nature and if harnessed properly, can be used for good.
Whether you believe it or not, there are countless druids walking the earth with powerful intuition, healing abilities, and other natural talents.
My story draws on themes of modern day druidry, witchcraft, and a splash of fantasy.
Below is a synopsis for my -very much a work in progress- story.
I've spent the past couple weeks writing for 4 hours each morning (sometimes as many as 8) and I'm happy to say that the story is flowing incredibly smoothly. I'm currently around 30,000 words (68 A4 pages).
Whether or not this project amounts to anything more than a word document on my hard drive is a moot point. This process has shown me that I do have the ability to express myself through the written word (something I had started to doubt), and that only through hard work and practice will my ideas come to fruition.
I'm not sure how I will be sharing this project yet. I do have several illustrations in mind. I have several ideas for the final form, but for now I'm focused on writing it all down!
Witchcraft, as we call it, is a gift from Gaia. The power of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire are available to humans. However, people are not born as witches. Only those who are pure of heart and have good intentions will be offered the gifts of these natural elements from Mother Earth. But it's not as simple as asking Gaia.
One must travel beyond the veil of life to be offered each gift. Elemental power can only be offered through death.
To die by an element is to gamble your life. If you are deemed to be truly good, Gaia will offer you the gift and revive you to life. If she finds that your true intentions are harmful, you will fail the test and pass to the afterlife, leaving behind your mortal bones.
Such a high risk means very few who learn of magic actually attain it. Even fewer are brave and true enough to attain all four elemental powers.
Rumors are stirring in Europe that a Necromancer with all four gifts has gained access to a mysterious fifth elemental power and is building an army of his own.
Kalina, an average 33 year old from Denver, going through the motions of a lonely, bored existence, decides to break the routine and travel to Scotland. She will soon find out whether she has what it takes to face her fears, but perhaps not by choice.