Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Maybe fifteen, twenty years ago I was reading Sir Thomas Malory's MORTE D'ARTHUR, the first real King Arthur romance. There was a sentence about Morgan le Fay that read something like, "and the third sister, Morgan, was sent to a nonnerie, where she became a grete clerke of necromancie."

I thought that was interesting. Normally necromancy (literally, black magic) isn't part of the lesson plan in nunneries.

And then I got to thinking about the story of Morgan le Fay. She's the daughter of Ygraine, the wife of the Duke of Cornwall, who Uter Penndragon falls in love with. Uter kills the Duke of Cornwall to sleep with his wife, and Morgan is sent off ... somewhere ...

And then she comes back the second most powerful sorceress of her age. So powerful she is able to jiu-jitsu Merlin into using his own magics to seal himself in a stone from which he can't escape.

Wow. How did that happen? How does a girl whose father has been killed, whose mother has been taken by the King of Britain, who is surely being hunted for... how does she become a powerful witch?

I thought that was a story that needed to be told. Which meant I had to figure it out.

Hence the book, THE CIRCLE CAST: THE LOST YEARS OF MORGAN LE FAY. It's about how a hunted girl without a father or a place to live becomes the badass sorceress we know and love.

This blog is about the book, and my thoughts about my version of Morgan, and other people's versions of Morgan. And it's about Wicca, which is where much of the magic in the book comes from, and the ancient Celtic war goddess raven cult, which is where the rest of the magic comes from.

And it's about Dark Ages Britain, which is when a guy called Riothamus lived. He reorganized Britain to fight the Saxons, rebuilt Cadbury Castle (which may be Camelot), and may have been the original Arthur. I'll probably write about places like Butser Ancient Farm, where they're doing really cool research on how the Celts lived during the Dark Ages.

And if you have questions, you can write me, and I'll answer them if I can.



Historically, many texts of magic and astrology, instead of being destroyed, were kept stored in the libraries of monasteries, the principal centers of learning in the Middle Ages. Therefore it's entirely plausible from a historical fantasy standpoint that Morgan could have learned at least some of her magic by gaining access to these texts or grimoires if they had been kept at her convent.

By Blogger Thomas McKinley, at December 10, 2016 at 6:30 PM  

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