I wanted to share with you some great inspiration from books and online.

More research can be found HERE.

Many of the books I've listed at the bottom of page have lived in my bookshelves for years and never had the time to collect dust.  

Most are factual & mythical. Join me and delve into a world that stirs the inner muse.

It would be lovely to meet you over at Goodreads - See you there! 

Book Customs 

Respect for written material

In India, it is customary that, out of respect, when a person's foot accidentally touches a book or any written material (which are considered a manifestation of Saraswati) or another person's leg, it will be followed by an apology in the form of a single hand gesture (Pranāma) with the right hand, where the offending person first touches the object with the fingertips and then the eyes, forehead and/or chest. 

  Sant Jordi, or Saint George's Day  23 April 

La Diada de Sant Jordi, also known as El dia de la Rosa 

(The Day of the Rose) or El dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book) is a Catalan holiday

It is the Catalan equivalent to Valentines Day. The main event is the exchange of gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and colleagues. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion—"a rose for love and a book forever." In modern times, the mutual exchange of books is also customary. Each year, the streets are filled with people strolling around grasping books and roses wrapped in ribbons in the colours of the Catalan flag. The streets and squares of Barcelona are filled with stalls selling books and roses. It is a picturesque sight in the Spring sunshine. Couples walk hand in hand clutching roses. 

Research for books and background for the elemental beings -

The Sindria 

(Their creation story-source of inspiration)

Below are the study areas that I researched prior to and during, writing the books.
Note: It isn't necessary to acknowledge any of the background research below to enjoy the story.

  • Black Holes - Scientists have found proof that every large galaxy contains a super-massive black hole at its centre. The super-massive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy is called Sagittarius A.
  • Anti-Matter - For every particle there exists, a corresponding antiparticle, exactly matching the particle but with opposite charge. (Yin/Yang). For the electron there should be an "anti-electron", for example, identical in every way but with a positive electric charge. The insight opened the possibility of entire galaxies and universes made of antimatter. But when matter and antimatter come into contact, they annihilate – disappearing in a flash of energy. Did the big bang create equal amounts of matter and antimatter, originally perfectly symmetrical? If so, why is there far more matter than antimatter in the universe? (Baryogenesis).
  • The Big Bang theory states that all of space was contained in a single point from which the Universe has been expanding ever since. Modern measurements place this moment at approximately 13.8 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the universe. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow the formation of subatomic particles, and later simple atoms. Giant clouds of these primordial elements later coalesced through gravity to form stars and galaxies.
  • Primordial Soup - The Primordial Soup Theory (primal means - earliest; existing before other things) suggest that life began in a pond or ocean as a result of the combination of chemicals from the atmosphere and some form of energy to make amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, which would then evolve into all the species. Sometimes, the created order simply emerges from a primal chaos—a state of disorder. In Norse * mythology, the scene of creation is an emptiness of wind and mist until clouds form and then harden via coldness (As in The Big Bang Theory).
  • 'Birth cry' of the cosmos - Astronomers have recaptured the sounds of the early Universe showing it was born not with a bang but a quiet whisper that became a dull roar. Ripples in the radiation are like sound waves bouncing through the cosmos.
    Over the first million years the music of the cosmos changed from a bright major chord to a sombre minor one.  HERE & HERE .  The om (Aum) is said to be the primordial sound that was present at the creation of the universe.  The original sound that contains all other sounds, all words, all languages and all mantras. 
  • The Cosmic Sea is a mythological motif found in the Creation myth of many cultures and civilisations. The cosmic ocean is often the entire universe in a dim and nonspecific past, and the first source of gods or the world. HERE
  • The Cosmic Egg - The world egg, cosmic egg or mundane egg is a mythological motif found in the creation myths of many cultures and civilisations. Typically, the world egg is a beginning of some sort, and the universe or some primordial being comes into existence by "hatching" from the egg, sometimes lain on the primordial waters of the Earth.

An African myth from the Dogon peoples of West Africa, say the creator deity first creates an egg. Within the egg are two pairs of twins, each pair consisting of one male and one female. These twins are supposed to mature within the egg, becoming at maturation androgynous (both male and female) beings, the perfect creatures to inhabit the earth. HERE.

The earliest ideas of "Egg-shaped Cosmos" comes from some of the Sanskrit scriptures. The Sanskrit term for it is Brahmanda (Brahm means 'Cosmos' or 'expanding', Anda means 'Egg').

  • The Orphic Egg in the Ancient Greek Orphic tradition is the cosmic egg from which hatched the primordial hermaphroditic deity, who in turn created the other gods. The egg is often depicted with a serpent wound around it. 
  • Omphalos - An omphalos is a religious stone artefact, or baetylus. In Greek, the word omphalos means "navel". The navel of the world (the spiritual and cosmological centre of the world - a foundation stone ). In Greek lore, Zeus sent two eagles across the world to meet at its centre, the "navel" of the world. Omphalos stones marking the centre were erected in several places about the Mediterranean Sea; the most famous of those was at Delphi. Omphalos is also the name of the stone given to Cronus. In the ancient world of the Mediterranean, it was a powerful religious symbol. Omphalos Syndrome refers to the misguided belief that a place of geopolitical power and currency is the most important place in the world.

The omphalos was not only an object of Hellenic religious symbolism and world centrality; it was also considered an object of power. Its symbolic references included the uterus, the phallus, and a cup of red wine representing royal blood lines. It may also have connections to the Holy Grail and the Arthurian Sword in the Stone.

Most accounts locate the Delphi omphalos in the adyton (sacred part of the temple) near the Pythia (oracle). The stone sculpture itself (which may be a copy), has a carving of a knotted net covering its surface, and a hollow centre, widening towards the base.

Omphalos stones were believed to allow direct communication with the gods. Holland (1933) suggested that the stone was hollow to allow intoxicating vapours breathed by the Oracle to channel through it. Erwin Rohde wrote that the Python at Delphi was an earth spirit, who was conquered by Apollo and buried under the Omphalos. However, understanding of the use of the omphalos is uncertain due to destruction of the site by Theodosius I and Arcadius in the 4th century CE.

  • The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, center of the world, world tree), in religion or mythology, is the world center or the connection between Heaven and Earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones and be disseminated to all. The spot functions as the omphalos (navel), the world's point of beginning. The image is mostly viewed as feminine, as it relates to the centre of the earth (perhaps like an umbilical providing nourishment). It may have the form of a natural object (a mountain, a tree, a vine, a stalk, a column of smoke or fire) or a product of human manufacture (a staff, a tower, a ladder, a staircase, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire). The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilising shamanic practices or animist belief systems.  In Mircea Eliade's opinion, "Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all." The axis mundi is often associated with mandalas.
    Because the axis mundi is an idea that unites a number of concrete images, no contradiction exists in regarding multiple spots as "the centre of the world". The symbol can operate in a number of locales at once. The ancient Greeks regarded several sites as places of earth's omphalos (navel) stone, notably the oracle at Delphi, while still maintaining a belief in a cosmic world tree and in Mount Olympus as the abode of the gods.

Sacred places constitute world centres (omphalos) with the altar or place of prayer as the axis. Altars, incense sticks, candles and torches form the axis by sending a column of smoke, and prayer, toward heaven. The architecture of sacred places often reflects this role. "Every temple or palace--and by extension, every sacred city or royal residence--is a Sacred Mountain, thus becoming a Centre." Plants often serve as images of the axis mundi. The image of the Cosmic Tree provides an axis symbol that unites three planes: sky (branches), earth (trunk) and underworld (roots).  (Bee hive shape)

  • Ouroboros or Uroboros - An ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.The first known appearance of the ouroboros motif is in the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld, an ancient Egyptian funerary text in KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamen, in the 14th century BC. In an illustration from this text, two serpents, holding their tails in their mouths, coil around the head and feet of an enormous god (symbolic of creator source).
  • Mythical Birds in Creation Myths - Rising above the earth and soaring through the skies, birds have been symbols of power and freedom throughout the ages. Birds are often associated with the journey of the human soul after death, linking the human world to the divine or supernatural realms that lie beyond ordinary experience.
  • The Hamsa, a mythical bird, represents perfect union, balance and life. An aquatic bird, often considered to be a goose or sometimes a swan. It is used in Indian and Southeast Asian culture as a symbol and a decorative element. A constant repetition of the word "hamso" changes it to "Soaham", which means "That I am". Hence the hamsa is often identified with the Supreme Spirit. A symbol of purity, detachment, divine knowledge, cosmic breath (prana) and highest spiritual accomplishment. A school of philosophy has endeavoured to penetrate its name. Ham-sa when inverted reads as sa-ham, which in Sanskrit means the oneness of human and the divine. During pranayama, which is a yogic exercise of breath control, the inhalation is believed sound like ham, while the exhalation is believed to sound like sa. Thus, a hamsa came to epitomize the prana, the breath of life.
  • The Pleiades are named for the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology: Sterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygeta, Celaeno, and Alcyone, along with their parents Atlas and Pleione. The English name of the cluster itself is of Greek origin, though of uncertain etymology. Suggested derivations include: from plein, "to sail," making the Pleiades the "sailing ones".
  • Star Sailor - In English-speaking nations, a professional space traveller is called an astronaut. The term derives from the Greek words ástron, meaning "star", and nautes, meaning "sailor". (Sailing the cosmic ocean/sea - travels in space).
  • Cycles - According to Hindu Philosophy, the universe (or multiverse) never came to be at some particular point, but always has been, always will be, but is perpetually in flux. Space and time are of cyclical nature. This universe is simply the current one, which is in flux and constantly changing, when it finally ceases to manifest, a new one will arise. This concept is also accepted by Buddhist Dharma. The birth of the universe (Brahma) is followed by the life of the universe (Vishnu) and the destruction of the universe (Shiva). Hindu scriptures state that the protector and caretaker of all creation, sleeps in the middle of a vast ocean on the giant snake. When the cycle begins, the universe is born out of the 'lotus', an allusion to the kamal [lotus] which is the origin of all life. The lotus is known as brahma kamal. The first sound of the universe is Om, the origin of all creation.
  • Karmic Cycles - All souls (eternal energy) have a past, present and future life. It will continue to be born again until it has learned the spiritual lessons needed to grow.  This is a karmic cycle, until we finally master the true meaning of impartiality, awareness and love, for life. In the book, I incorporate the parental soul having an impact on their children's, via essence. Their fate becomes entwined, jumbled in karmic cycles.
  • Circles/Rings  - A magic circle is circle or sphere of space marked out by practitioners of many branches of ritual magic, which they generally believe will contain energy and form a sacred space, or will provide them a form of magical protection, or both. It may be marked physically, drawn in salt or chalk, for example, or merely visualised. Its spiritual significance is similar to that of mandala and yantra.
    Fairy rings are the subject of much folklore and myth worldwide—particularly in Western Europe. While they are often seen as hazardous or dangerous places, they can sometimes be linked with good fortune. Their names in European languages often allude to supernatural origins; they are known as ronds de sorciers ("sorcerers' rings") in France, and Hexenringe ("witches' rings") in German. European superstitions routinely warned against entering a fairy ring, but entering a ring on May Eve or Halloween night was especially dangerous.Western European, including English, Scandinavian and Celtic, traditions claimed that fairy rings are the result of elves or fairies dancing. Such ideas dated to at least the medieval period; The Middle English term elferingewort ("elf-ring"), meaning "a ring of daisies caused by elves' dancing" dates to the 12th century. In Scotland and Wales until the late 20th century, stories about fairy rings were still common. The circle is a symbol of unity and spirituality, of wholeness and interconnection of everything. In alchemy, there is the principle of “All is One and One is All”.
  • Rosebay Willowherb (E. angustifolium). The plant became locally known as bomb-weed (or fire-weed) due to its rapid colonization of bomb craters in the second world war. The seeds remain viable in the soil seed bank for many years; when a new fire or other disturbance occurs that opens up the ground to light again, the seeds germinate. Some areas with heavy seed counts in the soil can, after burning, be covered with pure dense stands of this species and when in flower the landscape is turned into fields of colour. Native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including large parts of the boreal forests. In Britain the plant was considered a rare species in the 18th century.
  • Fingerprints - Fingerprint identification, known as dactyloscopy, is also referred to as individualisation. Human fingerprints are detailed, unique(even twins), difficult to alter, and durable over the life of an individual making them suitable as long-term markers of human identity. The flexibility of friction ridge skin means that no two finger or palm prints are ever exactly alike in every detail; even two impressions recorded immediately after each other from the same hand may be slightly different. A very rare medical condition, adermatoglyphia, is characterised by the absence of fingerprints.
    "One of the last things to disappear when you die are your fingerprints," says Bayle. Dead people are removed from the database when their data is submitted to the FBI by a coroner's office.

Fingerprints were used as signatures in ancient Babylon in the second millennium BCE. By 246 BCE, Chinese officials were impressing their fingerprints into the clay seals used to seal documents.
Palmistry, or chiromancy, is the claim of characterisation and foretelling the future through the study of the palm, also known as palm reading or chirology. The practice is found all over the world, with numerous cultural variations. Those who practice chiromancy are generally called palmists, palm readers, hand readers, hand analysts, or chirologists.
According to some, it had its roots in Hindu Astrology (known in Sanskrit as Jyotish), Chinese Yijing (I Ching), and Roma (Gypsy) fortune tellers. Several thousand years ago, the Hindu sage Valmiki is thought to have written a book comprising 567 stanzas, the title of which translates in English as "The Teachings of Valmiki Maharshi on Male Palmistry".

Aristotle stated that "Lines are not written into the human hand without reason. They emanate from heavenly influences and man's own individuality."
  • Transmigration of a soul - Metempsychosis is a philosophical term in the Greek language referring to transmigration of the soul, especially its reincarnation after death. Generally, the term is only used within the context of Ancient Greek philosophy, but has also been used by modern philosophers. Another term sometimes used synonymously is palingenesia. It is unclear how the doctrine of metempsychosis arose in Greece. The Orphic religion, which held it, first appeared in Thrace.  Orpheus, its legendary founder, is said to have taught that soul and body are united by a compact unequally binding on either; the soul is divine, immortal and aspires to freedom, while the body holds it a prisoner (not released until death). Plato tells the myth how Er, the son of Armenius, miraculously returned to life on the twelfth day after death and recounted the secrets of the other world. After a souls return to the source, the soul would drink of Lethe and then shoot away like stars to their birth. In Greek mythology, Lethe was one of the five rivers of Hades. Also known as the Ameles potamos (river of unmindfulness), the Lethe flowed around the cave of Hypnos and through the Underworld, where all those who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness. Some ancient Greeks believed that souls were made to drink from the river before being reincarnated, so they would not remember their past lives. According to Statius, it bordered Elysium, the final resting place of the virtuous.
  • Elysium or the Elysian Fields is a conception of the afterlife that developed over time and was maintained by certain Greek religious and philosophical sects and cults. Initially separate from the realm of Hades/underworld, admission was reserved for mortals related to the gods and other heroes. Later, it expanded to include those chosen by the gods, the righteous, and the heroic, where they would remain after death, to live a blessed and happy life, and indulging in whatever employment they had enjoyed in life. The Elysian Fields were, according to Homer, located on the western edge of the Earth by the stream of Okeanos. In the time of the Greek oral poet Hesiod, Elysium would also be known as the Fortunate Isles or the Isles (or Islands) of the Blessed, located in the western ocean at the end of the earth. In Homer’s Odyssey, Elysium is described as a paradise (as Avalon). According to Eustathius of Thessalonica the word "Elysium" derives from, to be deeply stirred from joy or from incorruptible, referring to souls' life in this place. Another suggestion is from (to come).
  • Transmutation Alchemy - Transmutation is the action of changing or the state of being changed into another form. Unlike Magic, Alchemy is bound to the laws of physics, and cannot create or destroy matter and energy, only bend it to will. A perfect circle is required for any Array, as it represents circulation. Whether it be of energy or of material, circulation is at the heart of every reaction. The Triangle or Trigon, is the most basic of shapes used to direct a transmutation. It represents the Mind’s understanding of deconstruction of Matter into Energy, and then reconstruction into another form of Matter.The Square, Quadrilateral or Tetragon, is the next step up from the Triangle. With the addition of an extra line and vertex, we symbolise our understanding of Planes, or as Dimensions. The Septagon or Heptagon, brings us understanding of both Creation and Decomposition.   HERE &
  • Attuned Vibrations uses sound to align the body with the rhythms and tones that form the basis of the Universe. By exposing yourself to healing frequencies, helps achieve a greater sense of balance and higher consciousness. Sound meditations are perfectly tuned to the ancient Solfeggio frequencies, the Love Frequency and the 432 Hertz frequency. Each meditation is embedded with brainwave entrainment technology,  a scientifically proven brain stimulation process that gives you deeper and faster relaxation. Everything (including you) is about vibration and balance. Your body and all matter exist at different rates of vibration and have their own resonant frequencies. Therefore, sound and vibration play a fundamental role in your life by affecting physical, mental and spiritual levels of being. Action of vibration on matter is known as Cymatics. Hans Jenny (1904-1972), the father of Cymatics, claimed that physical healing could be aided by vibrational tones. Researchers and sound therapists use specific healing frequencies to bring harmony and balance in the physical body. HERE
  • Colour Healing - known as Chromotherapy, has been known for eons of time that colour plays a major role in setting up a particular mood or state of mind, it affects one's feelings, moods, and emotions. It is a complementary therapy for which there is evidence dating back thousands of years to the ancient cultures of Egypt, China and India. Colour is simply light of varying wavelengths, thus each colour has its own particular wavelength and energy. The energy relating to each of the seven spectrum colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, resonates with the energy of each of the seven main chakras/energy centres of the body.   HERE

Examples of where I have used colour inspiration:

Deisi - usually, wear orange, a blend of red and yellow, combining physical energy with mental wisdom, inducing a transformation between lower physical reaction and higher mental response. Thus, it is often referred to as "The Wisdom Ray."

Purple (colour of Voror flower) - Violet is said to be the colour of the divine Spirit and works only on the levels of the Spirit. It is generally not used for physical conditions; however, some colour experts believe that it does provide nourishment to the cells in the upper brain and has a link with the crown chakra. Purple is especially potent for banishing what lies in the past. An all-healer.

White (Sindria) is the colour of the awakened Spirit; the light of perfection ans consciousness. It is also known as the Divine Light. White promotes the healing of body, mind and the spirit at all levels. White light is a natural pain reliever, increasing and maintaining energy levels. It dispels negativity from the body’s energy field.

  • Australian Aboriginal mythology - The Dreaming or Altjeringa (also called the Dream-time) is a sacred era in which ancestral Spirit Beings formed Creation. They believe that every person essentially exists eternally in the Dreaming. This eternal part existed before the life of the individual begins, and continues to exist when the life of the individual ends. Both before and after life, it is believed that this spirit-child exists in the Dreaming and is only initiated into life by being born through a mother. The spirit of the child is culturally understood to enter the developing fetus during pregnancy. With a breath and the atmosphere changed; the air gently vibrated as a small breeze. Snakes moved through and along the earth they formed rivers, and they themselves became creators blew.

    Many Aboriginal groups appeared to share variations of a single (common) myth telling of an unusually powerful, often creative, often dangerous snake or serpent of sometimes enormous size closely associated with the rainbows, rain, rivers, and deep waterholes. Radcliffe-Brown coined the term 'Rainbow Serpent' to describe what he identified to be a common, recurring myth of a snake descended from that larger being visible as a dark streak in the Milky Way, it reveals itself to people in this world as a rainbow as it moves through water and rain.

    The Pleiades also figures in the Dreamings of several language groups. For example, in the central desert region, they are said to be seven sisters fleeing from the unwelcome attentions of a man represented by some of the stars in Orion. The close resemblance of this to Greek mythology is believed to be coincidental - there is no evidence of any cultural connection.

The Yolngu people believe that when they die, they are taken by a mystical canoe, Larrpan, to the spirit-island Baralku in the sky, where their camp-fires can be seen burning along the edge of the great river of the Milky Way. The canoe is sent back to earth as a shooting star, letting their family on Earth know that they have arrived safely in the spirit-land. HERE

  • The Great Forgeting - We consign that vastness of forgetting to our creation stories, our mythology, our religious beliefs and our legends; being metaphors for all that we have forgotten. Those stories represent the vast forgetting that until the discoveries of science, we didn’t even know we’d forgotten.
  • Science - 13.8 billion years ago the universe birthed itself.
    Science is not specific, but somewhere between 150,000 and 70,000 years ago saw the advent of the Cognitive Revolution and the emergence of language, story-telling, music, art, mythologies, religions, legends, worldviews and cultures.
  • Symbolism - The practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character.  The term "symbolism" is derived from the word "symbol" which derives from the Latin symbolum, a symbol of faith, and symbolus, a sign of recognition, in turn from classical Greek symbolon. In ancient Greece, the symbolon, was a shard of pottery which was inscribed and then broken into two pieces which were given to the ambassadors from two allied city states as a record of the alliance. I play with various symbolism in the books, such as: the Septagram/number seven, colour, circles/rings, dance, mundra, flowers, etc.  A sample of flower symbolism is HERE
There is a language, little known,
Lovers claim it as their own.
Its symbols smile upon the land,
Wrought by nature's wondrous hand;
And in their silent beauty speak,
Of life and joy, to those who seek
For Love Divine and sunny hours
In the language of the flowers.

–The Language of Flowers, London, 1875

  • Heather - Wild Scottish Heather usually ranges from lilac to purple, with white heather being much more rare.The colour of wild Scottish heather. Myths and magic are so tightly woven into Scotland's history that it's sometimes impossible to separate reality from legend. The Druids (understood to be an ancient order of Celtic priests) considered it a sacred plant.

    On the tiny Isle of Rum, off the west coast of Scotland, 3000 year old shards of pottery have been found which contain traces of a fermented drink made from Heather. It's believed that the Picts developed a recipe for Ale that relied entirely on the Heather plant for its' sweetness and fermentation. It was valued so highly that the recipe was kept a secret, with only the King and his first-born son knowing what went into it.
    This 'secret potion' was then be passed on down through the generations. This brew was immortalised in the poem entitled 'HEATHER ALE : A Galloway Legend' by Robert Louis Stevenson.It tells, in verse, the legend of the Pictish King who sacrificed both his life, and that of his son, to protect the secret recipe.   HERE Heather Mead - HERE
  • Mead (archaic and dialectal "medd"; from Old English "meodu") is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and in adulterated form with various fruits, spices, grains or hops. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey. It may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling; and it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. Mead is known from many sources of ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. "It can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks."  Mead has played an important role in the beliefs and mythology of some peoples. One such example is the Mead of Poetry, a mead of Norse mythology crafted from the blood of the wise being Kvasir which turns the drinker into a poet or scholar. The terms "mead" and "honey-wine" are often used synonymously.

The earliest archaeological evidence for the European production of mead dates to before 2000 BC. The earliest surviving description of mead is in the hymns of the Rigveda, one of the sacred books of the historical Vedic religion and (later) Hinduism dated around 1700–1100 BC. During the Golden Age of Ancient Greece, mead was said to be the preferred drink. Aristotle (384–322 BC) discussed mead in his Meteorologica and elsewhere, while Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79) called mead militites in his Naturalis Historia and differentiated wine sweetened with honey or "honey-wine" from mead.

The Spanish-Roman naturalist Columella gave a recipe for mead in De re rustica, about AD 60.

    Take rainwater kept for several years, and mix a sextarius of this water with a [Roman] pound of honey. For a weaker mead, mix a sextarius of water with nine ounces of honey. The whole is exposed to the sun for 40 days, and then left on a shelf near the fire. If you have no rain water, then boil spring water.

The legendary drinking, feasting and boasting of warriors in the mead hall is echoed in the mead hall Dyn Eidyn (modern day Edinburgh), and in the epic poem Y Gododdin, both dated around AD 700. In the Old English epic poem Beowulf, the Danish warriors drank mead. In ancient Scandinavia and Germanic Europe a mead hall or feasting hall was initially simply a large building with a single room, generally classed as the great hall of the king.  More HERE

  • In ancient Greek mythology, ambrosia ("of the immortals") is sometimes the food or drink of the Greek gods, often depicted as conferring longevity or immortality upon whoever consumed it. Ambrosia is very closely related to the gods' other form of sustenance, nectar. The two terms may not have originally been distinguished; though in Homer's poems nectar is usually the drink and ambrosia the food of the gods. The consumption of ambrosia was typically reserved for divine beings. Both nectar and ambrosia are fragrant, and may be used as perfume. Among later writers, ambrosia has been so often used with generic meanings of "delightful liquid". W. H. Roscher thinks that both nectar and ambrosia were kinds of honey, in which case their power of conferring immortality would be due to the supposed healing and cleansing powers of honey, which is in fact anti-septic, and because fermented honey (mead) preceded wine as an entheogen in the Aegean world; on some Minoan seals, goddesses were represented with bee faces (compare Merope and Melissa). Beekeeping was a Minoan craft, and the fermented honey-drink, mead, was an old Cretan intoxicant, older than wine. The bee, found in Ancient Near East and Aegean cultures, was believed to be the sacred insect that bridged the natural world to the underworld.
  • Flower Essences - Flower essences are water-based solutions which contain the essential energies of flowers. They are made by floating flowers in water and allowing the light of the sun (or in some cases the moon or stars) to help the water absorb the energy signature of the flowers. The structure of the water molecule is such that it can store these energies. When a person places a few drops of a flower essence under the tongue, the energy of the flower floods one's aura, vibrating at its own special frequency, and can nudge the vibrations in a person's aura toward their own frequency. This creates an immediate effect on the emotional and spiritual levels of the aura. 
    Dr. Edward Bach discovered the Original Bach Flower Remedies which is a system of 38 Flower Remedies that corrects emotional imbalances where negative emotions are replaced with positive. The Bach Flower Remedies is a simple system of healing that is easy for anyone to use.
  • Gem elixirs are special waters that are attuned with a gemstone's specific vibrations. In this way, the properties of a stone can then be taken internally and applied to the body. Use of gem elixirs has been recorded in several ancient civilisations as a way of healing the mind, body, and soul.
  • Shaolin Monks - Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple (Chinese: shao lin si) is a Buddhist temple in Dengfeng county, Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. The temple is situated in the forests of Shaoshi Mountain (shao shi shan), one of the seven mountains of Song mountains.

Shaolin is the first temple that institutionalised kung fu. Because of its long association with Shaolin Kung Fu and development of many other Chinese martial arts, it is considered the cradle of kung fu. So that the Chinese saying goes: "All martial arts under heaven arose out of Shaolin."
The first Shaolin Monastery abbot was Batuo (also called Fotuo or Buddhabhadra) a dhyana master who came to China from India in 464 AD or from Greco-Buddhist Central Asia to spread Buddhist teachings.

The temple's inside area is 160x300 meters, that is, 57,600 square meters. It has 7 main halls on the axis and 7 other halls around, with several yards around the halls.

Adapted verse:

If a person who compassionately nourishes all living beings employs this [otherworldly] charm, it will increase his body's strength. It fulfills all vows, being most efficacious... Therefore those who study hand-symbolism (mudra), those who seek his spell (mantra), and those who search for his image are numerous.

  • Calageata (Elemental Home)Meaning of Cala: "castle, fortess" Arabic. Sound-alike Calla is a Greek (and botanical) name that means: Most beautiful. In Hebrew: Who is like god?  In Indian(Sanskrit) the name Cala Means: Skill, Emotional Spectrum. The personal search for truth is the hallmark of Cala. 
Gaelic Cala - Harbour (haven), landing place, port/shore of dry land. A body of water where ships can seek shelter.
Irish Noun - geata m (genitive geata, nominative plural geataí) gate. 

  • The Language of Light - The Language of Light is the language of your Soul. A vast and powerfully trans-formative divine language linked directly to Creation. At unconscious levels, and in the heart and cells, everyone is fluent in this frequency language as it is the primary form of communication throughout the universe. You need not understand or feel this language for it to be  effective. It goes by many descriptions, but is said to be a divine multidimensional communication sharing love, light, healing and information from the higher realms of Creation,  it is very familiar at deep levels. The Sindria elementals in the books, teach that all beings have all of creation within them. Nothing is imposed or given that they do not already have. The Heaven Stone warriors use 'The Language of Light' which acts as a catalyst, activating, restoring, reconnecting and accessing that which has been lost, forgotten or limited and ready to be remembered, activated, integrated and made functional again. They use these teachings, via the Sindria, to maintain universal balance. In its quantum forms 'The language of Light' can be spoken, toned, sung, written, signed with the hands, given from the heart  or emitted as light in codes and/or colours. Due to its nature, different people will experience the language uniquely. The Language of Light is said to speak directly to the soul, DNA and body consciousness at vibrational levels, usually well beyond humans ability to understand.
  • Sindri (mythology) - In Norse mythology, Sindri (from the Old Norse sindr: "spark") is  a hall that will serve as a dwelling place for the souls of the virtuous after Ragnarök. Völuspá mentions "a hall of gold, of the lineage of Sindri" located northward, in Niðavellir.
  • Rumi - Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī more popularly simply as Rūmī (1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the "most popular poet" and the "best selling poet" in the United States. Rumi's works are written mostly in Persian, but occasionally he also used Greek, Arabic, and Turkish in his verse.
The general theme of Rumi's thought, like that of other mystic and Sufi poets of Persian literature, is essentially that of the concept of tawhid — union with his beloved (the primal root) from which/whom he has been cut off and become aloof — and his longing and desire to restore it.
Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. Rumi encouraged Sama, listening to music and turning or doing the sacred dance. In the Mevlevi tradition, samāʿ represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes and nations. Rumi's favourite musical instrument was the ney (reed flute).

According to Professor Majid M. Naini, "Rumi's life and transformation provide true testimony and proof that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony. Rumi’s visions, words, and life teach us how to reach inner peace and happiness so we can finally stop the continual stream of hostility and hatred and achieve true global peace and harmony.”

“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”
― Rumi

“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.”
― Rumi, The Illuminated Rumi

“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
― Rumi, The Essential Rumi

“I want to see you.

Know your voice.

Recognize you when you
first come 'round the corner.

Sense your scent when I come
into a room you've just left.

Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.

Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.

I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
― Rumi

  • The Red Book of Menteith - (Relates to the third book in trilogy - The Purple Book of Menteith). Memoirs of the Earls of Menteith. THE district of Menteith, situated partly in Perthshire, partly in the county of Stirling. The earldom of Menteith, which takes its name from the district, is one of the most ancient of the Scottish titles of nobility, and dates from the beginning of the twelfth century. This famous earldom has been borne successively by three of the most distinguished families of Scotland—the Red Comyns, the royal Stewarts, and the gallant Grahams—and is associated with a great part of the most important and interesting events in the history of the country.
Of the original line of the Earls of Menteith only three are known—Gilchrist, Murdoch, and Maurice. On the death of Earl Maurice, about the year 1226, his title and estates descended to his daughter, Isabella, the wife of Walter Comyn, second son of the first Earl of Buchan. Comyn, who became Earl of Menteith in right of his wife, was one of the most powerful nobles in the kingdom, the leader of the national party, and one of the regents of the kingdom during the minority of Alexander III. 
He founded the Priory of Inchmahome, on the island of that name in the Lake of Menteith, in 1238, which for upwards of three centuries flourished as a religious house, on ‘Loch of Inchmahome’ older name for the ‘Lake of Menteith’.
    He died suddenly, without male issue, in 1258, and it was believed that he had been poisoned by his wife, in order that she might be free to marry an English knight, named John Russell. There was no satisfactory evidence adduced to prove her guilt, but her marriage to Russell, which took place shortly after, gave colour to the charge. She was in consequence deprived of her earldom, and imprisoned, along with her new husband, and was ultimately expelled the kingdom in disgrace. More HERE

    Walter Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, jure uxoris Earl of Menteith was the son of William Comyn, Justiciar of Scotia and Mormaer or Earl of Buchan by right of his second wife.

    Isabella, Countess of Menteith was the eldest daughter of Muireadhach II, Mormaer of Menteith.

    Please note: 

    It isn't necessary to acknowledge any of the background research above to enjoy the story.

    I will list more soon. 
    Meanwhile, please  visit at Goodreads

    Thank you - Trace.

     “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!” 

    ― J.R.R. Tolkien

     More books for research - 

    ADAIR, JOHN, The Pilgrim's Way: Shrines and Saints in Britain and Ireland (London: Thames & Hudson, 1978

    ANDREWS, WILLIAM, Old Church Lore (Hull: Wm. Andrews, 1891).

    ANDREWS, WILLIAM, The Church Treasury of History, Folk-Lore, Custom, etc. (London: Wm. Andrews, 1898).

    ANDREWS, WILLIAM, Old Church Life (London: Wm. Andrews, 1909).

    BAER, FLORENCE E., Folklore and Literature of the British Isles: An Annotated Bibliography (New York: Garland, 1986).

    BENWELL, GWEN, and WAUGH, ARTHUR, Sea Enchantress (London: Hutchinson, 1961).

    BEVAN-JONES, ROBERT, The Ancient Yew (Macclesfield: Windgather Press, 2002).

    BIDDLE, MARTIN, King Arthur's Round Table: An Archaeological Investigation (Woodbridge: Boydell Press).

    BLACK, WILLIAM GEORGE, Folk- Medicine: A Chapter in the History of Culture (London: Folklore Society, 1883).

    Blackie Lorna  Clans & Tartans

    BLOOM, J. Folk Lore, Old Customs and Superstitions in Shakespeare Land (London: Mitchell Hughes & Clarke, [1929]).

    BORD, JANET, and BORD, COLIN, Sacred Waters: Holy Wells and Water Lore in Britain and Ireland (London and New York: Granada, 1985).

    BRAY, Mrs A. E., Traditions, Legends, Superstitions, and Sketches of Devonshire (London: Murray, 1838).

    BRENTNALL, MARGARET, Old Customs and Ceremonies of London (London: Batsford, 1975).

    BRIGGS, KATHARINEM., A Dictionary of Fairies (London: Allen Lane, 1976).

    BRIGGS, KATHARINEM., The Vanishing People (London: Batsford, 1978).

    BRIGGS, KATHARINEM., and TONGUE, RUTH L., Folktales of England (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965).

    CAMP, JOHN, In Praise of Bells: The Folklore and Traditions of British Bells (London: Robert Hale, 1988).

    CHILD, FRANCIS JAMES, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Boston: Little Brown, 1882-98; reprint, New York: Dover, 1965).

    CLARKE, DAVID, Rumours of Angels: A Legend of the First World War, Folklore 113 (2002), 151-73.

    Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia

    COOPER, JOE, The Case of the Cottingley Fairies (London: Robert Hale, 1990).

    COURTNEY, M. A., Cornish Feasts and Folk-Lore (Penzance: Beare, 1890).

    Cunliffe Barry  "The Celts" 

    DAVIES, OWEN, Healing Charms in Use in England and Wales 1700-1950, Folklore 107 (1996), 19-32.

    DAVIES, OWEN, Cunning Folk in England and Wales during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Rural History 8 (1997), 91-107.

    DAVIES, OWEN, Charmers and Charming in England and Wales from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century, Folklore 109 (1998), 41-52.

    DAVIES, OWEN, A People Bewitched (Bruton, Somerset: The Author, 1999[b]).

    DAVIES, OWEN, Cunning-Folk: Popular Magic in English History (London and New York: Hambledon and London, 2003).

    DEACON, RICHARD, Matthew Hopkins: Witch Finder General (London: Frederick Muller, 1976).

    DEANE, TONY, and SHAW, TONY, The Folklore of Cornwall (London: Batsford, 1975).

    Denham Tracts: A Collection of Folklore by Michael Aislabie Denham, ed. James Hardy, 2 vols. (London: Folklore Society, 1892-5).

    DORSON, RICHARD M., The British Folklorists: A History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968).

    DORSON, RICHARD M., Peasant Myths and Savage Customs: Selections from the British Folklorists, 2 vols. (London: RoutledgHATFIELD, GABRIELLE, Country Remedies (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1994).e & Kegan Paul, 1968).

    DRAKE-CARNELL, F. J., Old English Customs and Ceremonies (London: Batsford, 1938).

    DUFFY, EAMON, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992).

    DYER, T. F. THISELTON, The Folk-Lore of Plants (London: Chatto & Windus, 1889).

    DYER, T. F. THISELTON, Folk-Lore of Women (London: Elliot Stock, 1905).

    EDWARDS, H., A Collection of Old English Customs and Curious Bequests and Charities (London: Nichols, 1842).

    EVANS, GEORGE EWART, Horse Power and Magic (London: Faber, 1979).

    EVANS, JOAN, Magical Jewels of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1922).

    Green Miranda  "Dying for the Gods" 

    HATFIELD, GABRIELLE, Country Remedies (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1994).

    HAZLITT, W. C., A Dictionary of Faiths and Folk-Lore (London: Reeves & Turner, 1905).

    HOLT, ALAN, Folklore of Somerset (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1992).

    HOPE, R. C. The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England (London: elliot Stock, 1893; reprint, Detroit: Singing Tree Press, 1968).

    Hutton Ronald "Blood and Mistletoe" 

    HUTTON, RONALD, The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991).

    HUTTON, RONALD, The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).

    HUTTON, RONALD, The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

    HUTTON, RONALD, Witches, Druids and King Arthur (London and New York: Hambledon and London, 2003)

    JEFFREY, SHAW, Whitby Lore and Legend (2nd edn., Whitby: Horne, 1923).

    JENKIN, A. K. HAMILTON, Cornish Homes and Customs (London: Dent, 1934).

    JONES, MALCOLM, The Secret Middle Ages (Stroud: Sutton, 2002).

    KEIGHTLEY, THOMAS, The Fairy Mythology (London: Ainsworth, 1828; revised and enlarged edn., London: Bohn Library, 1889).

    KIGHTLY, CHARLES, The Customs and Ceremonies of Britain: An Encyclopaedia of Living Traditions (London: Thames & Hudson, 1986).

    KNIGHT, STEPHEN, Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994).

    LOVETT, EDWARD, Folk-Lore and Legend of the Surrey Hills and the Sussex Downs and Forest (Caterham: The Author, 1928).

    MacKinnon Charles, Scottish Highlanders 

    MATTHEWS, W. H., Mazes and Labyrinths: Their History and Development (London: Longman, 1922).

    MERRIFIELD, RALPH, The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic (London: Batsford, 1987).

    MORRIS, DESMOND, Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution (London: Cape, 1979).

    NARVEZ, PETER (ed.), The Good People: New Fairylore Essays (New York: Garland, 1991).

    PALMER, KINGSLEY, The Folklore of Somerset (London: Batsford, 1976).

    Paul, James Balfour, The Scots Peerage, Vol. VI, (Edinburgh, 1909)

    PETRY, MICHAEL JOHN, Herne the Hunter: A Berkshire Legend (Reading: William Smith, 1972).

    PORTER, JAMES, The Traditional Music of Britain and Ireland: A Research and Information Guide (New York: Garland, 1989).

    PUCKLE, BERTRAM, Funeral Customs: Their Origin and Development (London: Werner Laurie, 1926).

    Roberts, John L., Lost Kingdoms: Celtic Scotland in the Middle Ages, (Edinburgh, 1997)

    Ross Anne  "Pagan Celtic Britain"

    Scotland & Her Tartans (out of print)

    SHARP, CECIL, Folk Songs from Somerset (London: Simpkin, Marshall, 1904-9).

    SHEPARD, ODELL, The Lore of the Unicorn (London: Allen and Unwin, 1930; Random House, 1996).

    STORMS, G., Anglo-Saxon Magic (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1948).

    THOMAS, KEITH, Religion and the Decline of Magic (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971).

    TONGUE, RUTH L., Somerset Folklore (London: The Folklore Society, 1965).

    TONGUE, RUTH L., Forgotten Folktales of the English Counties (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970).

    Tranter Nigel The Story of Scotland 

    VICKERY, ROY, Unlucky Plants (London: Folklore Society, 1985).

    VICKERY, ROY, A Dictionary of Plant Lore (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).

    WEIR, ANTHONY, and JERMAN, JAMES, Images of Lust: Sexual Carvings on Medieval Churches (London: Batsford, 1986).

    WESTWOOD, JENNIFER, Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain (London: Granada Publishing, 1985).

    WHERRY, B. A., Wizardry on the Welsh Border, Folk-Lore 15 (1904), 75-86.

    WHITLOCK, RALPH, The Folklore of Devon (London: Batsford, 1977).

    WOOTTON, ANTHONY, Animal Folklore, Myth and Legend (Poole: Blandford, 1986).

    Book Research

     The Stars

    Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1899, 1963, Dover reprint (Note: Allen's text on individual Pleiades stars can be found at Alcyone Systems.)

    Star Lore of All Ages, William Tyler Olcott, 1911, 1931, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York

    Star Tales, Ian Ridpath, 1988, Universe Books

    The Age of Fable, Thomas Bullfinch, 1942, Heritage Press

    The Greek Myths, Robert Graves, 1960, Pelican Books

    The Reader's Encyclopedia 2/e, William Rose Benet, 1965, Thomas Y. Crowell Company

    American Heritage Dictionary, 1965

    Okay, so before I plan to write the third book of the trilogy, 'The Purple Book of Menteith' 

    I have to research the use of Scottish dialect. I was quite surprised to read that a little goes a long way.

    Below, are some helpful guidelines. 

    'I did actually soften the dialect a great deal in later editions of the book & if I had the chance I’d rewrite all the books to take the dialect out, or at least soften it a great deal more.’ Witches of Eileanan series, Kate Forsyth.

     ’In my first draft of the book (The Puzzle Ring), I had a few of the Scots characters speaking in dialect and my editor at Scholastic asked me to take it all out. She’s Scottish herself and she said she and most other Scottish people absolutely hate it when they see it. So I have absolutely none in The Puzzle Ring (although I do have one character who uses a lot of great old Scottish sayings.)’Kate Forsyth.

    Read more - HERE Juliet Marillier

    English - Scottish Translator

    Scottish History - Video

    English - Scottish Dictionary

    Clan brief history

    13th & 14th Century Scottish Names, Symon Freser of Lovat

    Names from 13th Century Scottish Parliamentary Records

    Scottish Weapons

     Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round -

    William Butler Yeats.

    (Fergus and the Druid)

     Above: Alchemy and the Tarot: the Companion Book for the Deck by Robert M. Place .

    The book includes a history of alchemy, a history of the Tarot’s major and minor suits, an examination of the Tarot’s symbolism, a discussion of each card in The Alchemical Tarot with detailed explanations of the alchemical symbols, and a discussion of divinatory techniques.

     I'm not especially into the tarot, but this deck resonated with my love of the number seven. I adore the simplistic artwork - and decided to include it on this page. 

    By Robert M. Place 

    Pop over to the site by clicking on the picture above or link HERE.

    FAE – Faeries and Enchantment ® The UK’s faerie lifestyle magazine, sold worldwide. Printed quarterly on FSC paper. 

     Plato (428/7-348/7 BC) described - a radiant light that is the true food of the soul. He said that this light is made of the true essence of Virtue, a higher quality of Virtue, beyond mere codes of behavior.