The Many Secrets that Lie Hidden In The Phantammeron Novels, Part 1

I have said this many times, but the Phantammeron is essentially a large fairy tale. But in writing this grand epic I also have sought to make the series something more.

The first book was intentionally designed to encompass a Creation Myth about the making of my fantasy world and the birth of the first forested heaven of the Gods. But what came from the final book was very much something beyond a fantasy tale. It became a religious text. For I had tried to construct a mythology that transcended my own personal life and encompass the larger views of my Creator and of the fate of history, of the views of my Indo-European ancestors, and of this fallen Earth which Modern Humanity now struggles to refashion.

That fact will not be understood until later books, I realize. But for those interested in the cosmology behind my books, I wanted to share my ideas behind the first Phantammeron novel and why I chose to reflect on so many spiritual ideas in the book.

ON CREATION

You will notice Phantammeron Book One starts out very cryptic and abstract, building on the idea of a Creation Story that explains how the world was born. That was intentional. The idea was to build on what J. R. R. Tolkien had accomplished in his apocryphal novel, The Silmarillion, by describing the birth of a fairy universe but using the poetic language used by a fantasy people (the Fay) who had written the story of their tragic world, but which as of Book One had not yet been born.

In a sort of “Biblical” fashion I wrote the first chapters of the Phantammeron in a way that laid down the abstract elements of that world and it’s strange beginnings, combining the hidden power of allegorical language with Old Testament imagery to trigger in the reader the concept of the Creation, its spiritual meaning, and the purpose behind it. I wanted to describe why the Primordial Ones came to be in the early chapters and why they fought for dominion over it. Their characters, as sons of the Essence Eternal, their father and Creator, was designed to reflect upon my views of the early Universe as formed from the powers of the Void, the Night, and the Mist….as elemental powers beyond the anthropomorphic who waged war over it for dominion and control.

But it was the primal meaning of this conflict between them that was my focus. Rather than Creation as being a harmonious or joyous revelation it came to me that genesis was but a cycle or something prior, a failure of past sins to make whole a truly glorious future. And so from chaos and savage conflict would come beauty later. Yet something hidden that was grand and purposeful lay in that act in Book One.

For in the end the reader would see, through the savage conflict of the Primordial Ones early in the making of the world, that it would be doomed by them and yet destined to be that way for some purpose only their fallen father had seen. And yet in the magical waters I introduce in my story would something yet unseen by Him take that mystery further.

His children, the Primordial Ones, carried in them the human frailties of hate, jealousy, vanity, and power which we too posses – their nature planted in them by the Creative Flame that burned within. By it good and evil nature would the Creators first born children destroy what their father had made, being unable to tame it in their hearts.

And so was all this a commentary on Creation as a violent act yet born or violent people, yet with something grand and glorious yet to come from its darkness. And so this was also a commentary on the evolution of people, and the nature of ourselves at birth through life that we too must evolve towards goodness. And it was a commentary on our Modern World the past 50 years and the violent assault on Nature, the drugs, the partying and wasted lives, and the struggles we current possess politically with the election of tyrants md dictators.

It was a reflection on America’s darkness, which as a child I had seen in the adults around me and grown up in. Yet had I seen in my earliest youth the last of a good generation pass away. Tied up in my work thus was this feeling of sadness for them.

A New Hope

But the Creation Myth of this first book would move from conflict at the beginning toward hope, which all life travels through.

For through the humble sacrifice of Ana and her unicorn partner Ama in the second half of the novel, would the true purpose of the Creator – the Essence Eternal – be shown. For he had made a plan born of conflict and resolution, yet one that would be resolved through Love and Humility in the end.

Through the acts of the meek, at the end of Book One would, would the Phantaian world be refashioned and reborn, much like the Christian view of our world. And so through both doom and hope, these dual messages, was Phantaia born. That message was planted in the two halves of the book.

And yet I had intended the reader to see in this story, that through the tragic conflict in his children and yet sacrifice, they would ironically forge the world of Phantaia, witness the glory of the One Tree’s shining bark, and the blossoming of the Gardens of Abrea at its heart. And so in the making of this perfect Faerie Paradise would His omnipotence be finally seen and the plans for his children be fully known and felt.

For this deterministic view I have long held for our Earth and for my America – the belief that we have freewill in this world yet we are still controlled by a higher power. And it became a conflicted yet harmonious idea that there must be a fate hidden from us by God that must be our pre-planned End; something I felt we could not completely see yet must surely underlay our perceived freedom.

That would be the grander plan that leads to Humanity’s eventual end and the story of Humankind that we cannot ever know. And yet I felt our Creator had placed us here for something bigger we should try and grasp. Trust in that is all we have. And that ideal would form the framework of what drove the plots throughout my Phantammeron books. And so would the characters in my first novel see that partial Truth at the end of Phantammeron Book One through insights only they would share with the reader.

Even if you don’t believe in an Almighty there is a force in the world and in history that is meaningful if we but will it, but we do not. We are but a part of the larger play. And we can see visions of this if we but stop and ponder all that has come before. The Phantammeron is but a reflection of a fantasy history like our own, trapped in that blindness to deterministic powers, yet one slowly revealed to itself by clues in its beginnings that pre-promise its very ending.

To dismiss meaning in history as worthless or see that our lives are meant to not live with purpose but return to some dumb animal bent only on survival is senseless when history and mythology itself leaves clues to its final truth.

We are civilized men and women today. And our ancestors created all we see around us so we should rise not decline and travel towards that shining understanding of ourselves. But we have forgotten this fact and now return to living like animals with fear, racism, drugs, and violence.

We must not return to survival as animals competing for resources. Our grandparents certainly didn’t believe or see that end for Mankind. Only the uneducated and ignorant today have returned to that view. So I had elected to convey that thought in the early dark chapters of the Phantammeron.

And so in the first novel I have given the idea of Creation (like Tolkien) a noble place; the concept that Creation itself is Godlike, prescient, miraculous, revealing, and the source of all that makes us wondrous and eternal as Humans and close to our Creator. It is the creators and artists among us that are God-like. But our society diminishes them more with each passing age. (William Blake also saw that in his enlightened views of what Christianity had lost early in the 19th century.)

The novel for me thus has become a religious and cultural reflection on why worlds are born, why we are born, and what “hidden depths” lie within that concept we can choose to face or fear. For we are something from nothing. And that itself is a fascinating if not an eternal Truth we cannot deny.

The Concept of the Sacred Spirit

In Chapter One I say that the Creator’s children would know each other “through their various forms and works” but only the Creator would know them by “their spirits alone”.

That is found in Chapter One and my proudest bit of writing in the book. For it encompasses something truly deep in my cosmological views of the novels. It is a new view I developed long ago; that we too see but each other as form, flesh, and persona. But that behind this mask we wear we must surely be spirit, that which is part of a larger whole and which we cannot see….only the Creator must see.

And so I created the concept of life in the novels as bearing a “Creative Flame” given us by our Creator that make us creators like him. We each have a a piece of God, so bear this power if we but choose it. For it bears his gifts, our talents. But so too are we “breathed through” by God with the Sacred Spirit which bears the flame and is of his spirit. And it is that Sacred Spirit only he sees, a mirror of himself, whereas the body and our great works born by the Creative Flame we can only see in ourselves and each other. And so are we “burned by the passion of our flame”.

That is my private mysticism I have added to my own Christian belief, going a bit beyond the concept of Christ and his teachings. For I see that God has placed a piece of his powers of Creation unique to him in each of us. Creativity in Christianity itself has diminished the last 50 years and was once its highest power. But through my writing I’ve implied that in my fantasy world our creative talents via the Creative Flame remains important.

And yet the Sacred Spirit that is God-like remains over it and equalizes all of our gifts. And that to me has implied a new wisdom in me that we cannot see in ourselves or each other what he must truly see. That spiritual blindness yet visionary idea I have thus placed in Chapter One for my readers to consider. For as new men and women are born into my later novels, their fates and their choices are wrapped up in their gifts, that which is handed down to them from the Primordial Ones. And yet their spiritual fates – determinist and helpless before God’s will – drives the stories overall plot.

The Phantammeron is both fantasy but also a religious text….something I used as a medium to express my spiritual views beyond Modern Religion. So I hope future readers will consider these things when they consume my words. For they were carefully chosen to build on that concept, as well as lay out the Creation Myth that would form the foundation for later books.

Ana and the White Horse called Ama

In the second half of Phantammeron Book One I introduce Ana, the female protagonist, and her horse or unicorn changling, the Ebrandeer called Ama. Ana was rescued by this white horse in the middle of the book setting the state for a more Human love story between man born of the Woods and a woman born of the Sea.

Their love story, like Adam and Eve, would form the basis for my need to fill this heavy first book with a true Modern protagonist with needs and desires and struggle a Modern reader could attach to. But it was also a comment on Human relationships free of ego and ritual, formed through innocent bonds of love for one another despite the closing in of the darker world around them.

But Ana and Ama also formed the basis for the larger “fairy tale design” for all my future novels, echoing back to our Western ancestors in Europe and their Mythological belief systems via the irrational fairy tale concept. For I had chosen Ana and Ama and the forest of Phantaia to represent Celtic ideas of Nature. That Mythology I will leave for a future discussion.

But I will simply say that Ana would also be my ode to an ancient Earth Mother view found in so many fairy tales across Europe. She would be tied to Indo-European views of the female archetype as a symbol of both the earth and its waters; an eternal fertility myth tied to Nature and its birth, death, and rebirth (the true source of Christ’s powerful resurrection tale).

In that way, I chose to use the second half of the Phantammeron to characterize my Mythological world as a place both tragic and yet rejuvenating….the Celtic belief sustained by all the fairy tales handed down to us over the ages that life cycles and us fatalistic , reborn but then must die again like the Winter Solstice worshipped at Stonehenge.

When I end the first novel I show how Ana has died by choice, seeing her body as the wellspring of the New World to come. Yet sacrificing herself she becomes the Eternal Spring, the Faerie Spirit of the Spring of Eternity and thus from innocent child to Phantaia’s New Mother; the female archetype always giving birth to new life, and the well and tree and garden at the top of her mound the center of all of us spiritually. For inside us all is a female Anima as Carl Jung has said; a female presence, a Goddess, and a rebirth of ourselves, For it is that which we find in our religions, in our hearts, in hope, in our families, and in our children.

And that was the hidden concept of the death and rebirth of the gardens scenes in Phantaia at the end of the first novel. I had sought to reflect on this part of our spiritual view that life like the Natural world is inside us waiting to be reborn.

For this part of our mind is like Ana, but an archetype tied to Nature and our survival as Humanz. And that symbol of a spiritual paradise, used over and over in all World Religions, is a symbol of what lies in the heart of all living things, the unconscious mind that still lies deeply rooted in the Natural World. It is what gives us Hope in our darkness, drives us with youth and joy; that fount which inside us bubbles up with truth and wisdom which cannot ever die. For when we lose the will to live or protect life or give life, the well dies and the Garden of Eden inside us die.

The archetype of this Eternal Spring that forms the main story in the Phantammeron is thus in us, not outside in a mystical heaven or a fantasy novel, or some pretty place only the rich deserve to keep on this Earth. It is in us. And so I tried to use those symbols in my novel as mythologies to convey some hidden truth about each of us.

This is all part of the underlying symbology I used in writing Phantammeron Book One. More will be revealed here on my web log as time permits and in Book Two which is currently underway. For I have not yet touched on the “why” and “what” if the Sacred Pool that is the basis for all my books and what it means.

I will leave that mystery with you for now until a later posting.

– The Author, December, 2018



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