Chapter 17: In the Place Between the Worlds
It’s Hallows, also called Halloween and Samhain, and the circle is throwing
a party. Most of the characters in the book are present and in appropriate
costumes. They gather for true scrying by Cairo, and several plot lines
are tied off at the magic mirror. A new plot line (Brooke and Matthew)
Brooke’s faculty office at California State University-Long Beach is typically
cluttered. This scene foreshadows Matthew’s visit in chapter 19.
Velikovsky (yes, Brooke’s whiny student is spelling his name wrong)
(1895–1979), a Russian psychiatrist, was one of the earliest alternative
historians. Among other things, he wrote that the received standard histories
of Israel, Greece, and Egypt are erroneous. Velikovsky’s theories were
promptly condemned by the academic community. But they sure are interesting!
Gwennie reports that Rev. Debbee is now staying home most of the time
because people have stopped listening to her. This happens. We know that
overweening pride leads to a fall (Greek:
hubris leads to
The Green Man is possibly not in costume. The story that begins here continues
in chapter 19. The quatrain is from “The Bait” by John Donne.
Bertha, who has always worn outrageous costumes, comes Seriously Dressed.
When she has what may be an early episode of Alzheimer’s disease, we learn
that sixty years ago she danced in the
Ziegfeld Follies and
George White’s Scandals on Broadway, perhaps appeared in some
movies, and was a burlesque stripper.
The women discuss the importance of drama in successful magic and how
powerful magicians often appear to be perfectly ordinary people.
Cairo’s scrying with the black mirror is in contrast to the amateurish
scrying in the previous chapter.
What is the connection between ritual and drama? What elements of a ritual
contribute to its drama? How can priests and priestesses make a ritual
more dramatic? What can you do to make your rituals more dramatic?
Have you ever used a scrying mirror or another magical tool for scrying?
What happened? What did you see or hear?
Do you read books of alternative history or conspiracy theories? What
is your opinion of such works? What ideas do you like? Which ones are nonsense?
Copyright © 2011 by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Permission
granted to print this page of the
Secret Lives Reader’s Guide for personal use only.