Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Hierophant Read-Along: Recap! Chapters 21-24, plus Insta-love!?

Day 5

read along

Welcome to day 5 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Did you do the reading?! :D

RECAP: Chapters 21-24

Chapter 21: Ana goes home and debates texting Trebor, but she has no idea where to begin.

Chapter 22: Later that night, Andy texts Ana to set up a coffee date to ask her more questions about her mother’s people, the Ouros. Trebor texts, too, and makes it clear that he knows she can see what others can’t–and he knows about the Sura, too.

Chapter 23: Ana meets up with Andy; she tells him about the Ouros; Andy tells her what he’s read about the 3 worlds–Shemayiim, Iritz, and Sheol; he says he read a myth about a key that could open the gates between the worlds. Trebor shows up…but no one can see him except for Ana.

Chapter 24: Trebor and Ana go for a walk; he reveals himself to be an Irin, one of the fabled Watchers sent by the angels (the Malakiim) to protect humans from Sura. He’s looking for the Key that Andy spoke of, but he also feels he has an obligation to help Ana deal with her vulnerability to Sura. Trebor takes them to a pocket world called a loka!

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Some fun facts!

-I was an anthropology major for most of my time in college, until I switched to media studies and only minored in cultural anthropology (I sometimes regret that choice, tbh). Most of what Andy talks about in chapter 23 (and later) is inspired by things I learned in my Anthropology of Religion or Anthropology of Witchcraft and Sorcery classes (best classes EVER). The inspiration for this ENTIRE BOOK can actually be attributed to those classes. <3

-Like many fantasy authors, I stole a lot of words from ancient languages for this entire series. Most of it is Hebrew (ancient, but still in use outside of religious practice!) Malakiim/malachim (pronounced the same); Iritz/Erets; Sheol is Sheol, and Shemayiim/Shamayim; even havati bashrat is a well hidden fictional etymological evolution (i.e., bastardization) of the words for “love” and “destiny.” My missed-connection kind of relationship with Judaism (I’m half Jewish, raised nothing, though my parents met in a cult they didn’t leave/get kicked out of until I was 6 or 7) definitely influenced a great deal of this book, especially as I was trying to unbox the complicated feelings around something that is both an ethnicity and a religion, as well as the strongest link I have to my ancestors.

-Some of the words, like Irin, are Aramaic; Sura is from the ancient Sanskrit Asura which is “a member of a class of divine beings in the Vedic period, which in Indian mythology tend to be evil and in Zoroastrianism are benevolent.” (Important definition is important!) It’s not very spoilery to tell you that the idea behind this is to ask the chicken or the egg question: which came first, humans or the Arcana? Did the Arcana influence our world, or did we influence them? HMMMM?

(Can you tell that I would have been a linguistic anthropologist if I’d continued in that major?)

And Now, A Reading! Plus: INSTA-LOVE?

(Pardon the weather happening outside…it gets mighty windy towards the end.)

That’s all for today! Questions or comments about insta-love? FEELS about Ana and Trebor? Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

JFYI: There will be recap posts over the weekend, and videos will start up again Monday!




Tomorrow: Chapters 25-28!

The Hierophant Read-Along: Chapters 15 – 20! Plus, some darker “fun facts”

Day 4

read along

Welcome to Day 4 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Here we go!

RECAP: Chapters 15 – 20

Chapter 15: Kyla tries to convince Ana to go to the spring formal with Andy, but Ana is so not down with that. She wanders off from the party, feeling out-of-place and a little more drunk than she wants to be, especially since that damn thrumming feeling has come back, and she doesn’t know what to do with it. She sees a Sura when she goes down to the creek out back, but she’s not even sure if what she’s seeing is real, or if she’s just crazy. But a water demon rises up out of the creek and throws Ana in–so, she’s pretty sure it’s real now.

Chapter 16: Ana drowns…?

Chapter 17: Trebor saves Ana by dragging her unconscious body from the creek and performing CPR, then stripping her down to her underwear and giving her the actual shirt off his back. You know, to prevent hypothermia! He carries her back to Kyla’s house, but she confronts him–she knows he’s not human. (Also, what’s with all the tattoos?)

Chapter 18: They reach Kyla’s house, and she kicks everyone out.

Chapter 19: Ana has a mini-internal freak-out when she comes-to, but doesn’t tell Kyla anything. She’s too shocked, too confused, and too exhausted to sort through any of it.

Chapter 20: Ana lies to Kyla the next morning, telling her she just fell in the water because she had too much to drink. Trebor left his phone number for Ana, and now Kyla is hell-bent on getting them together. Match-maker, calm down! Trebor ain’t even human!

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Some…facts. It starts to get a bit dark, here.

I wanted to bring up some themes in the novel that a few people have asked me about, that really start to come out in chapter 15. [TW for depression, anxiety]

-The reason Ana doesn’t tell Kyla what’s going on, and the reason she feels totally out-of-place at her best friend’s party, isn’t necessarily because she’s freakishly tall and is socially awkward, or because she is afraid her best friend won’t believe her. It’s because Ana is depressed. To be honest, she’s probably been depressed for a very long time. She just doesn’t know it, consciously, because of course she’s sad–her mother died. But…there’s so much else going on that makes her feel powerless, and that is at the root of her depression (maybe at the root of depression for a lot of people).

-You probably noticed that the internalized thrumming feeling Ana experiences comes in response to certain stressors, either direct or generalized. She’s been living with a huge secret for a long time, and sees no way to either understand it or exploit it. She’s just stuck–powerless. And now, the thrumming is getting worse and worse.

This is obviously how she physically experiences magic, as you come to find out–but it’s also a manifestation of acute anxiety. If Ana doesn’t realize she’s depressed because she’s too busy trying to keep her head above water (figuratively, this time), she certainly doesn’t realize that she’s experiencing what most trained counselors would call a generalized anxiety disorder. Just like with her ability to see demons, she doesn’t have anyone to explain that kind of stuff to her. (Mental health education is as neglected as occult wisdom. :P) However, it’s important to note that the anxiety doesn’t actually give her magical powers–it’s part of her reaction to the magic, and everything else that she feels she can’t control.

And on a lighter note:

-When Kyla gets people to clear out of her house by saying her neighbor called the cops: this is a tactic I witnessed at a friend’s house party when I was in high school. Genius! The kids were all too drunk to wonder how the host knew the cops had been called when there was nary a police car in sight…

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That’s all for today! No video, but you can still chat with me on Twitter. Questions or comments about today’s (slightly darker) “fun facts”? Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

Be on the lookout for a new video posted tomorrow!




Tomorrow: Chapters 21-24!