Guest Post – Pagan Spirituality

This is part of a series where guest authors will share their views on how their belief systems affect the fictional worlds they create. Not all of these people will be religious. If you’re interested in participating, email me at scott@scottroche.com.

Shen Hart is a pas­sion­ate and dri­ven mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant orig­i­nally from South­ern Eng­land who took the leap and moved to Prague. She does dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing con­sul­ta­tions with indie authors, her focus being social media marketing.

Shen works hard, pushes, takes risks and demands that life plays by her rules. Dur­ing her free time she writes darker strains of fic­tion, and will self-publish her books once she finds time between mar­ket­ing projects. Until then, she is work­ing on a non-fiction mar­ket­ing book aimed at help­ing indie authors under­stand how to mar­ket their books.

Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112678886363980943840/posts
Fiction blog: http://tiaden.wordpress.com/

I’m here today to talk to you about my beliefs and how they slip into my writing. I’m a pagan, a Chaote to be exact. I expect that the image a pagan brings to mind is that of someone in a robe with a wand dancing around a tree or muttering to a black candle. I’m sure there are pagans out there who do that, but I am not one of them. Far from it. A Chaote is someone who embraces chaos and walks a path which is entirely unique to them. There are debates and arguments over it, and the exact definition but the important part is that it gives me an unusual mix of beliefs.

The core of what a Chaote is and does is they look into everything, other belief systems, anthropology, sociology, media, everything. They search for the truth, perhaps not the absolute truth but their truth. This means that my belief systems are complicated and have segments, aspects, from a whole host of other systems.

One of those aspects is a mutation of the native American view on spirit animals, guides. This isn’t the place to go into the full essay, but you will find my connection back to the animals within my writing. It is actually a core component of every long piece I have written. This usually comes out in two forms, the idea of shifters. The animal and man coming together, uniting, in balance to form the complete being. The other being a non-shifter which exhibits, sometimes even suffers from the darker sides of themselves and the struggle that the fight for balance presents. The latter is the heart of my current work in progress. A young woman has no idea what she really is and the fight against her internal predator, the dark, aggressive and purely instinctual self leads to an addiction. She is in a constant fight to control her internal self, to deny it. My beliefs are of the opposite, embracing the internal shadow and animal, to find balance and acceptance.

Another core component of my beliefs is my relationship with the gods, in particular my primary god Loki. I refer to him as my primary because he is the one I’m closest to, the one who’s stood by me through thick and thin. He is present within all of my longer works. I haven’t yet written him as a primary character, he has always been a secondary character who works in the manner I associate with him. That’s to say, he works with and within the shadows, he appears when he judges it to be right, only to vanish again afterwards. He is usually present in some manner and his methods aren’t always entirely obvious in the beginning. An example of this is in the re-write of my first novel, Tiaden Dawn. The character appeared at a key moment to aid the protagonist and remained just long enough to cause a thought process to start, which would then affect the relationship between the two main characters. He didn’t say anything, but it was enough to achieve what he set out to do.

There are many, many ways in which my beliefs step into my writing. I could most likely write a novella on that alone, but these give some examples My beliefs are a core part of who I am, just as my past is. They are ingrained within my persona, my world view, so it’s natural that they then appear in my writing. My works are all contemporary fantasy of some shade or another, this gives me the freedom to express myself and explore those aspects I truly enjoy. The darkness of the psyche, the internal struggle and the clash of broken gods and shattered men.

Thank you for having me.

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