The Randolph Family Saga
current edition of all 4 novels will be unavailable as of First of May 2018. All will be re-released as The Elfin Scots series, with a new "prequel" first volume, now being written.
Alternative Spirituality: The Truth Inside The Fiction
The Randolph novels are my first novel series (still ongoing!) and I have to confess, I have a very soft spot for them. It felt, and still feels, as though there were decades of creative fiction just sort of backing up behind an emotional logjam, and then, quite unexpectedly, something shifted, releasing a flood of story, characters, and reflections on the human condition. All my deepest spiritual convictions came flooding out into public view, too.
Yes, I am a pantheist. My world-view is based in a personal certainty that what lives, has an undying essence or identity, which is most conveniently called soul. And beyond that, I also believe that life itself, collectively, has an eternal, identifiable nature: a desire to continue existing ... and desire to express its own existence through this planet's many forms of life. For convenience, I often refer to this living consciousness, this desire to endure and to flourish, as The Goddess.
My view is that the "thousand faces" of female deity, believed in and honoured by human societies around the world and as far back as we can find records of how our ancestors viewed the world, are, each one, a single facet on an infinite-faceted crystal. No single goddess is the complete embodiment of that self-aware force for life; but eachone reveals one of her manifold aspects. Danu, Brighid, Epona, Hera, Venus, Aprhodite, Ceres, Isis, Inanna, Ishtar, Mary, Kuan Yin, Pele, Sophia, Erzulie, Kali, Shakti, Eve: The list might prove to be uncountably vast, if we could but explore the spiritual ideas of every people, every tribe, that has ever inhabited this beautiful orb, all the way back to the dawn of human awareness, and the first glimmerings of awe in the face of the ineffable.
Of course, these days it is more fashionable to be either monotheist, or atheist. But to my mind, true psychic freedom (and psyche is Greek for The Soul) rests in the ability to look as deeply within oneself as possible, and determine what, seen there, feels most true, most rational, most consistent with the evidence one's own life has presented. For me, the "Elfin Queen", the Lady Daniu, who has such an unique relationship with the Randolph family, is the most complete expression of what a Universal Soul, a deity, a goddess, must be, ought to be ... with any luck, actually is.
Indeed, I have tried to portray her as I see her in my heart. I look around at the world, and I know that she has a sense of humour - at times, a wicked one. I know that she takes great joy in beauty, and in love among her creatures, and in the passionate urge the living world embodies, to live, to be abundant, to persist. I think sure she must be capable, herself, of not only tender maternal care for her creation, but also, of being in love, of knowing what it is to find Another who mirrors back the best of one's own nature. Most of all, I see her as being flawed, in the eyes of her creation, because she is omniscient, but not ominipotent. She can create, engender, bring to birth, nurture ... she cannot destroy, punish, wreak vengeance, take sides, intercede in matters of mortality.
But that, I think, is her greatest crime, in human eyes: an inability (not an unwillingness) to answer an army's prayers for help in killing The Others ... an incapacity, even, to step in and strike dead a child-molester, a rapist, a psychopathic murderer, a sociopathic dictator ... not even, to divert the path of a killer hurricane or volcano. Humans cannot see the point of a deity who is not there for their own views, their own outcomes, but simply to do one chief, utterly important job: to bring joy into being, in all its infinite forms.
And so, in the Randolph novels, I have tried (in part - there is a lot of other stuff going on in these stories, of course) - to offer my goddess to readers, to contemplate and consider. What if there were a real, immortal deity, and this (powerful, but imperfect) were what she is honestly like? What if she could cause you to reproduce, but could do nothing to save your child's life? What if she could predict the rise of some destructive demagogue emperor, but be helpless to strike him down before he set the world aflame with war? What if she occasionally gave in to her liking for a good joke? Would some feel betrayed, and turn atheist out of spite?