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Posts Tagged ‘magical creatures’

Ravens are a rich source of magic and mythology. That’s not why I chose them for the BECOME series. They’re also very interesting birds in the real world, too. Which may be why so much mythology has built up around them.

The Greeks associated them with Apollo, who used them as his messengers. Interestingly, in this story, the ravens were originally white until Apollo, enraged by news of his lover’s infidelity, scorched the bird black. Interesting, because the principle raven in the BEDOME series is also white.

Similarly, in Norse mythology, Odin had a pair of ravens Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory) as his . . . hmm, scouts might be more true than messengers for these two. They flew out every day and brought back news to him.

Celtic mythology associates ravens with the goddesses of the battlefield. In Native American stories, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, it’s Raven who creates the world. Although, Raven can also be a trickster.

Rich material to draw from. Especially when you add the reality of ravens to the mix. They’re among the smartest birds, even showing problem-solving ability. They play, especially picking up sticks or pebbles and dropping them so they can swoop down and catch them before they fall. They can mimic sounds, including human speech. Poe’s raven really could have “quoth ‘Nevermore’.” White ravens, while not common, do occur–and not always as albinos. They live generally ten to fifteen years in the wild, but in captivity can live up to forty years.

What better companion for a sky-god-in-potential than a white raven? Snow makes an appearance in BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING,

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but he really becomes part of the story in BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

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I’m trying to resist the temptation of the bright, shiny new idea that finally came together last night, so let’s not talk about that. Not yet anyway.

Let’s talk about magical creatures, instead. Specifically those in the BECOME series.

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There’s a nod to the Greek legend of Hercules that inspired this story in the BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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There’s the dragon, though it’s neither nine-headed nor a water dragon like Hercules’s hydra. And a very large lion-like creature that’s meant to be a reference to the Nemean lion.

But throughout the series there’s another kind of magical creature. Cats. Now, a lot of people who’ve had cats as pets will tell you that the ordinary house cat is a magical creature. Some will claim that they must be able to disappear into other dimensions. And sometimes it certainly seems like it. And trying to get a cat into a carrier to go to the vet is likely to leave you swearing that they’re able to double their size at will.

But the cats in the BECOME series have a different kind of magic. In this series, every descendant of the Goddess has a guardian cat–a small grey cat, to be specific. Well, actually a succession of cats, since even magical cats don’t live as long as humans. These cats have healing powers, so their charges (the Goddess’s descendants) are healed of almost every scrape, scratch, and fever immediately. (Even the cats can’t cure death, though, so anything that happens too suddenly can still be fatal.) The cats are also opinionated and prone to letting their charges know when they’ve done–or are thinking about doing–something wrong or merely stupid.

Later, in BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM, these cats are still grey, but, for some descendants, not necessarily small.

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And then there are the ravens. More on the ravens in the next post.

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