Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Witches, Werewolves, Elves, and Lent

Did you hear that one about the Catholic who writes romance? No? That's probably because there isn't a joke about it.

Anyway. So here I sit, proof reading a manuscript filled with very steamy sex scenes and I have a smear of burnt plant matter on my forehead. Like most random thoughts, it eventually dawned on me that most non-Catholics would consider this a contradiction. "She writes steamy stories about dreams, elves, witches and shape shifters?" you might think.


No, not really. Faith is what you make of it, after all. I choose to base my beliefs on something other than self-righteous anger, which means I am not only content with my way of life, but I also don't much care what other people do with theirs. It's not about the trappings of church for me. It's about hope, faith, and... medieval traditions.

Yep. I'm still a practicing Catholic because I love history. Tell me, what other Western faith still burns crap and smears it on your head once a year? That's a throw-back to times when people only gave lip service to Christ while still following the old ways if ever I saw one. Find me one western story about demons that doesn't revolve around a priest trying to exorcize it. Go ahead; I dare you!

See, the Catholic faith, in an attempt to convert the masses, didn't eradicate to old ways. It usurped them. Today is not only Ash Wednesday, it's also Woden's Day. We eat hot cross buns for Easter, the same as the Anglo-Saxons did, using recipes that are pretty much exactly the same as they made them fifteen hundred years ago, when the buns were made in honor of Esther every spring.

Be honest, that's kind of cool.

Now, people are running around trying to recreate the lost traditions of our ancestors. They try to guess what Druids were like, and they often get it wrong. They say, "We are doing the best we can! The Church wiped out all traces of the Druids!"

Not so. Why else do we decorate our homes with the Druidic holy symbol of peace and fellowship (holly) every Yule Tide if not because of the Druids? You want a peek at how our ancestors worshiped and lived? Take a long look at Catholicism. It's still pretty much the same now as it was back when the Romans were conquering and assimilating everyone. Heck, they didn't even start killing witches until that butt-head, King James, started on a rampage in the late 1500s out of self-righteous boredom.

And I love it. All the medieval pageantry, the incense, the knowledge that the mass I went to this afternoon was the same one St. Patric conducted. Knowing that the guy who saved Ireland once smeared burnt crap on the foreheads of my forefathers. It feeds my soul. What else is faith, after all, but a renewal of the soul?

All of this comes full circle in my writing. Witches, werewolves, elves, lent; it all gets blended in that messy thing I call my mind. It stews and bubbles until stories start forming and then I write them down, mostly to get the stories out of my head so I can sleep at night.

And that is why it's not heresy when if sit down to a good paranormal romance after going to church. The end.

~ Rebecca

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