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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get Your Power Up: Part Two of Magical Rituals with Rayne Hall

The previous thread is still open for review and comments, but today Rayne moves on to discuss how magicians concentrate and raise the power needed to fuel their rituals.

To recap: I am thrilled to welcome Rayne Hall to my blog this week for a two part magic lesson on Magical Rituals. She has has more than twenty books published under several pen names, in several genres. She holds  a degree in publishing management, and a masters in creative writing.

Currently, she lives on the south coast of England where she writes horror and fantasy fiction, as well as puts three decades of editorial experience to the test by publishing themed anthologies. 

Rayne's teaches online classes on a variety of subjects, which include copious feedback and support. Her simple, easy to understand primers on the nuances of magic are a fascinating look at various aspects of the art across a variety of magical systems. Whether you a writer, a reader, or a dabbler you'll this two part series on Magical Rituals fascinating.

All magicians raise power to fuel their spells.  If the term  'power-raising' sounds too much 'New Age' for your historical novel, you can invent a different phrase.

The magician (who can be male or female, although I use the female pronoun throughout) can raise power in many different ways, and she may use more than one source.

* She may draw the energy from within herself, by taking actions which create energy (dancing, drumming and sex are especially effective).

* Her own intense emotions (jealousy, fury, desire) can add extra fuel.

* She may tap into the existing magical energies of the environment, for example stone circles, leylines, ancient monuments, sacred sites, running water, sunlight or fire.

* She may use the magical energy contained in objects, for example crystals (especially in Wiccan witchcraft) or  relics (especially in religious magic).

* She can ask gods or spirits to lend power to her magic, especially if she practices religious magic.

* She may draw on energy from other people.  For example, if the whole village gathers to help a magician call rain, then those people's enthusiasm can be harnessed.  An evil magician may draw her energy from her victims' pain and fear.

A magician may use more than one source of power. For example, a Wiccan  may pray to the Lady and the Lord, invoke the spirits of the winds, perform the ritual on the intersection of two leylines, use a charged amethyst crystal, and dance herself into a trance.

The magician feels the power inside her body as well as around her. Some magicians perceive it as a surge of energy pulsing through the blood, others as a heat storm around them. Some say it feels like the whole body being stung with nettles inside and out, while others  liken it to waltzing while tipsy on champagne. Wiccan Witches describe the power as rising out of their head and spiralling upwards in a cone shape. You can use your imagination, as long as your magician feels something.


* What if a magician is not able to create enough energy for an important spell?

* What if a magician accidentally summons too much energy, and the spell is far more powerful than she intended (instead of one day sunshine, she creates ten years of drought).

* What if a magician needs other people to help her with the power raising, and they refuse for religious or moral reasons?

* What if some sources of magical powers are considered taboo or forbidden? What if a desperate magician taps into one of those forbidden sources?

* What if the magician considers certain sources to be sinful or evil, but drastic circumstances force her to use them anyway?

* What if the only way to raise enough power for a much-needed spell is through sexual arousal  with a partner of the opposite sex - and the only available partner is someone she hates?

In 'Storm Dancer', the magician Merida specialises in weather magic. She can call wind and rain through dancing. Additional power comes from earth energies, astronomical constellations, and the presence of fire and water. In her training, she learnt that it's forbidden to other people as a source of magicial energy - but when the other sources fail, she must ignore convention.


Have you read any works of fiction which show how a magician raises power?

How does the magician in your story raise power? What does it feel like for her?

If you have questions about magic rituals and power-raising, or about any aspect of writing about magic, ask. I will be around for a week, and enjoy answering questions. 

Rayne's recent release, Storm Dancer, features Merida, a magician who dances for rain in the parched desert world in which she finds herself imprisoned. The novel is epic in scope and explores the concept of a djinn that possesses Dahoud,  a former warrior, compelling him to commit terrible crimes against women. 

He and Merida find themselves thrown together by circumstances beyond their control. Will he  able to defeat his djinn, and will she be able to forgive his transgressions to accomplish the impossible and save the town entrusted to their care? 

Mysterious, dark, full of political intrigue and meticulously researched, Rayne brings this Bronze Age world to life right before the reader's eyes with unique, fascinating characters, vivid detail, and a complex, compelling plot. She puts her expertise on writing fantasy, magical systems, and fight scenes to the test, leaving readers unable to resist turning the page.

If you'd like another chance to win a free electronic copy of Storm Dancer, ask a question, make a comment, or simply ask to be entered in the random drawing, and give Rayne a way to contact you.

Rayne Hall teaches an online workshop 'Writing about Magic and Magicians'. Create believable magicians (good and evil), fictional spells which work, and plot complications when the magic goes wrong. Learn about high and low magic, witches and wizards, circle-casting and power-raising, initiation and training, tools and costumes, conflicts and secrecy, love spells and sex magic, and apply them to your novel. This is a 4-week class with 12 lessons and practical assignments. If you wish, you may submit a scene for critique at the end of the workshop.

The next dates for this workshop:

Rayne's other workshops include 'Writing Fight Scenes', 'Writing Scary Scenes' and 'The Low Word Diet'. Click here for an updated listed of upcoming workshops.

Artwork by Kuoke and LadyArmageddon. Copyright Rayne Hall