Sunday, May 11, 2014

Unseen influences: good luck and good timing

There are people for whom nothing ever seems to go right. It seems as though someone has cursed or put an evil spell on them. They make bad decisions and miss opportunities; their timing is always off; everything they want seems out of reach, and if they do get something they want it turns sour; they get bad service and never seem to find good bargains; they find unpleasant people everywhere they go. They may feel paranoid – for good reason.

I have had experience of this, and attribute it to being under the influence of energy vampires.

It is possible to break the spell, lift the curse, turn bad luck into good and completely turn our lives around.  This gives us feelings of positive paranoia: we feel that the universe is arranging things just for our benefit.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Diana Wynne Jones’s witch Aunt Maria: part II

I have performed several data mining exercises on Black Maria aka Aunt Maria by Diana Wynne Jones and found a lot of useful material each time I made another pass through the story. There are always more points of interest to be extracted and connections to be made.

The first part of Aunt Maria.

Diana Wynne Jones said that Aunt Maria was based on a real person. This might well have been her mother, who by her account was a horrible woman. I have never met anyone quite like Aunt Maria, but some of the actions of her and her circle and the effects that they have on people are very familiar indeed. More and more similarities come to mind each time I go through the book.

Aunt Maria lures the family into a trap
With people such as Aunt Maria it is important to identify them immediately, if possible avoid them completely and if not begin as we mean to go on and let them know where we stand. Unfortunately, we often realise this too late.

The children’s mother says that everyone should be nice to Aunt Maria because she is old and has had a shock: everyone is far too nice to her, and suddenly they have gone too far to start being nasty. The children’s mother knows what she is like, but still agrees to go and stay with her. The children are furious and say there is no obligation as she is only a distant relation by marriage: they have a better grasp of the situation than their mother does. Unfortunately, she is a sucker and a pushover: she would feel guilty and selfish if she didn’t accept the poor lonely old lady’s invitation.

In any case, we are damned if we do obey or confront such people and damned if we don’t. Failure to assert ourselves has serious consequences, but even worse things may follow when we do try to state our positions, protect our interests and defend ourselves against attack.

The boy, Chris, realises soon after arrival that they have been got there under false pretences: Elaine, the second in command in the circle, informs them that they will be responsible not only for cooking and other household tasks but also for bathing, dressing and undressing the apparently helpless old lady. Chris does stand up to Aunt Maria – he makes some very funny remarks - but when he tells her a few home truths and accuses her of murder, she loses her temper and turns him into a wolf.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sheri S. Tepper’s witch: Madame Delubovoska

Positive paranoia: this is we believe that people are conspiring to help us and events are being arranged in our favour. This happened to me in the case of The Marianne Trilogy by Sheri S. Tepper, which I wanted to re-read but could not find anywhere. I visited many second-hand bookshops before giving up the hunt.

I had done everything I could without success, so the universe took a hand. I experienced a strong inner prompting to visit a small town with historic associations. I wandered around the back streets, and found a charity shop with a big pile of Sheri S. Tepper’s books in the window: an omnibus volume of The Marianne Trilogy was among them! I bought the lot for a very reasonable price. Not only did I have some good reading material, I also gained some more inspiration for articles.

Marianne, the Magus, and the Manticore introduces a very unpleasant character called Madame Delubovoska, who also appears in Marianne, the Madame, and the Momentary Gods, the second book in the trilogy. Before she even comes on the scene we are learn that she is a sociopath, a psychopath, someone who uses people and doesn’t care about anyone.