Women in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy Pt 2

Chasing Women Warriors

Being Human

There was a huge tug of war going on as I was writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. Something was stirring inside of me and characters were showing up demanding attention. I also knew that what I was writing had a deep contact with what we call reality but there was a fantasy element as well. After all isn’t that true fundamentally about our lives? If nothing else we have dreams and hope they will transit into reality.

And so the first book opened and over time the fantasy element was to grow. But in some ways I was having a struggle with the women in the books. And so I found myself chasing women warriors. I have to admit there was more than a little naiveté. I had heard of the Amazon women but it was only later that I ran across Adrienne Mayor’s book The Amazons. Then I learned they weren’t fantasies at all, but real courageous women at war and with family all at the same time. The revelations expanded my dedication to supporting the empowerment of women by example with the women in the books.

Came a Problem

At once there was an essential problem. I do like fantasy, but don’t like it if it is too fantastic. In this instance I felt we needed to be close enough to reality to make an important beginning and identification. And so I did something some early readers of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power didn’t like. I made them not just strong and resourceful but also their early engagement was as consorts to greedy, power hungry Overlords. But in that place they reflected the reality of some brave and steadfast women who, in our world, take dangerous and seemingly compromising positions in behalf of missions that are essential and to serve their country. And that is what these Andromeda women were doing. And I must add, in this day and age, I did not see them as having been defiled because of what they had committed to do. And I have to admit I had to have darling Luisa enjoying some of it even as she understood her risk. This shows the world as it is. Fantasy sometimes is less fulfilling than reality.

A Matter of Power

And then there is the matter of progression. In fiction there must be progression just as there is in life. As the story grew it became clear that these women were demonstrating what was happening in what we call our real world. Their roles broadened and they took on power and the new risk that came with it. This is the world I feel that is opening before us.

In the cities in the sea we could see women of immense power scanning human history and seeking out both revelation and inspiration. Some of it was what they divined and some of it was inspired by another powerful woman, Gaia. And so fantasy and reality was woven over and over. At base the intention is to inspire by demonstrating alternatives as our world and the power of women changes.

Challenge

And so in the core themes are seen major elements of what is before us, not pure fantasy. Certainly there are those who will take offense whether they dislike the roles the women may take or whether they resent the idea that women can hold such power. (Get a grip guys!) I’m enjoying writing these books partly because the challenge is considerable but also because I look forward to controversy and the potential for us to examine where we are going and what the possibilities may be. We have entered a new challenging time in human history and it poses opportunities as well as danger. Perhaps this time we can find a new form of challenge and future.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Creation of Gaia’s Majesty – I

Fiction and Empowerment

Do you find purpose in your reading or writing?

Finding Answers

At some point I began to wonder why I was writing the story of Gaia’s Majesty. The answers did not present themselves, at least in a unitary or ordered fashion. Of course, it really isn’t necessary to question why we write fiction or, for that matter, why we read fiction. It’s fiction and we enjoy it.

But in time the reasons began to become clear. My fascination with the work of Carl Jung led me in a variety of directions. The first of which was to consider the meaning and effect of myth. I love mythology. There are magnificent stories, and with simple reflection, we can see that they are fundamental stories of us. Not just a given person but about the nature and meaning of all of us.

A Central Viewpoint

In turn I had to look at my chosen direction within the project, and I could clearly see that the “what if” was central. And from Jung’s personality typology I knew that intuitive personality types are most prone to ask “what if”. We always search for meaning and what might be because possibilities are the fruit of our lives. I recall my mother returning from a conference with my third grade teacher and telling me that the teacher had said, “Roger has contributions to make when he’s here.”

What the teacher meant was that I was often dreaming out the window. I was clear. When the teacher said something of interest, I took it and stormed out the window to explore it. And so I have gone out to explore our world through Gaia’s Majesty.

Possibilities for Outcome

But why this story. Because women are being empowered and we cannot look away from the significance of it. And so women become the movers and shakers in the story. Another facet is that I am thoroughly convinced that this is an interregnum or denouement for all humankind. And things are moving swiftly. So this story is built on current conflict and seeks to build possibilities for the outcome, at least in symbolic form.

And there is so so much to explore. Our societies are in upheaval, we are seeing a sifting of the possibilities for each group, each nation and, of course, for humankind altogether. It would be easy to be dismissive and simply see it as a time of disorder. There are certainly times of substantial disorder in human history. Of course, it is impossible for me to thoroughly support my belief. The outcome will be revealed in time. But it would seem that in many ways humankind is maturing and old ways are giving way to new ways. That is not to say that prejudice, hatred, fascism, ignorance, greed and the seeking of power have disappeared. But alternatives can be fostered more widely and richly with our communications system. Information technology is changing everything.

Clarifying What’s on the Horizon

I think, in the end, I see Gaia’s Majesty as fundamentally a philosophy and a hope and that those things are supported by elements in the world as it is evolving. It seems probable that the interregnum will be fraught with peril but, as it has so often been in the past, there will be a consolidation, or is transformation not out of the range of possibility? And this may be a time of testing of a new order. What fun!

Which new order would you prefer?

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Opening Our View of The Future

Being Humble and Hopeful

What do you think your future holds?

Most animals forage for food and the human animal seems to forage for dreams. It is probably more than a little pompous for us to say we have our dreams because of our higher intelligence.

For the longest time we declared that we were the only animals to use tools. Then we found out differently. And there are night dreams and there are dreams we harbor. Have you ever watched your dog dreaming as he sleeps. We have to wonder what forms the dreams of other animals take.

Broadening Our View

What’s the point? It seems we humans get so caught up in how special we are that we tend to define ourselves in ways which separate us from other animals. And then there is the matter of life. For the longest time we believed we were the only intelligent animals and life existed only on this planet. Now we find that there is water in asteroids and within the water is salt and amino acids. It now seems life exists throughout the universe and that raises the possibility that the universe itself may be a living thing.

These thoughts may seem to have no point in themselves but such thoughts are the bedrock of our opening the possibility for what may be to come for humankind. Our darkest visions say nothing good but out of each dark age has come an enlightenment.

Clues to Our Future or Futures

Certainly we have our dark side and too commonly we kill others and inflict pain. But there is art, there is love, there are waves of hope. I created the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy to have a story of exploration of future possibilities. Just as we have made foolish mistakes such as assuming we alone possess tools and this planet alone has life, we also may be overlooking the clues which exist and point to future possibilities.

We find those clues in our myths, in our struggle, turning to stewardship, in the meaning of the empowerment of women and in every unexplored parts of our existence. Is there a spirit world? Our senses have specific purposes. We can’t know for sure. What comes after capitalism? There are some intriguing speculations with some hard data behind them.

Making the Choice

As difficult as the world is now, we have the option of exploring alternatives and dreams and giving ourselves the option of transformation or at least a beneficial and unexpected future. We have come a long way and the potential in front of us is truly exciting. Among us are people who would have us turn inwards and back on ourselves. The future points in another direction. The choice is ours.

How would you describe what you have chosen for yourself?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Core Elements of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

Reflecting Growing Crises

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called:Women in Power, the first book of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy, was published in March. I am well along on the second book and I’m enjoying the reception of the first book. Now I’ll take the opportunity to continue the discussion of some of the elements of the trilogy.

First let me underscore essential themes. In our real world, as it is, we clearly are entering a period of growing crisis. Given the waves of conflict and change that engulf humanity from time to time, it could have been expected. The arrival of the period of crisis offers an opportunity for us to examine ourselves and our future. One of the ways we can do that is through a fictional exploration.

Let me now touch on three elements in the trilogy.

The Importance of Women

It is my belief that we have underestimated the role women will play in the future and the growing movement to empower women needs attention. Accordingly, the power of women in this series is significant. The Andromeda women are clear purveyors of their importance.

Through the ages women have played a wide variety of roles but often not as the central holders of power. They often engage men in a variety of ways and one of them has been as consorts. The role is a dangerous one and may involve in depth intelligence gathering. Such a role was chosen at the opening of the series as an important role. In the past women were often seen as despoiled when they were in such a position. That perception is fading.

In this series the Andromeda women will take on many different roles and their dedication and importance will be clear. We can see richness and appreciation of the varied roles of the women bears examination and thought. And, as it turns out, women warriors have a rich history including the Amazons in ancient times.

Exploration Through the Paranormal

Another element is paranormal. Certainly the series could have stayed close to what we might call a reality context. But I find mythology so enriching that I felt it was essential to use mythology to enhance the story. And mermaids were an obvious choice because we can note how pervasive the myth is. We must wonder what the myth says about women and our view of them. We have the chance to explore and note the power it indicates.

Power and Greed

Lastly let me briefly touch on the Overlords. I brought them into the story to convey a real world theme of greed and power which is forever troubling. But, in this instance their role had to be limited. We can only hope that people who concentrate on greed and power will fade in importance over time. And in this series there are a lot of characters and the story is complex. There was no need to further complicate the story by making the Overlords more complex or with considerable story detail.

Pondering Our Future

In all, I’m convinced we are entering a period of unparalleled change and opportunity. The times ahead will surely be difficult and our attention is required. And attention means sifting import especially, I believe, in regard to women.

In the next books the story will grow and change as humankind approaches what will surely be greater change but also possibly transformation. More on these themes in future posts.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Seeking Clarity in the Fog

 

When you see “neo” attached to a word, what does that suggest to you?

Entwining the Political and the Economic

For a very long time we thought we knew what each political party stood for and families often passed down dedication to a particular party from generation to generation. Below is information on neoliberalism and neoconservatism. I think I got it wrong. Neo seems to simply mean that it is a new form of something and in this instance I have a hard time seeing them as either liberal or conservative. What it does indicate is something which supports the idea of an interregnum but the question is, if we are entering a very new era, where will it lead us? And in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I suggest a direction with a mythological context. We are all explorers whether individually or collectively. It is fascinating to think about where our explorations might lead us. Implicit in this mythological exploration is that it may well have a totally unexpected outcome.

Speculation can be a wonderful thing. It is not only engaging and interesting but can lead us down unsuspected paths with all kinds of wonderful things at the end.

Elements of Our National Interregnum

Neoliberalism (From Wikipedia)

Neoliberalism[1] is a term which has been used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences[2] and critics[3] primarily in reference to the resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism beginning in the 1970s and 1980s.[4] Its advocates support extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Neoliberalism is famously associated with the economic policies introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States.[6] The transition of consensus towards neoliberal policies and the acceptance of neoliberal economic theories in the 1970s are seen by some academics as the root of financialization, with the financial crisis of 2007–08 one of the ultimate results.

Neoconservatism (From Wikipedia)
Neoconservatism (commonly shortened to neocon) is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among Democrats who became disenchanted with the party’s domestic and especially foreign policy. Many of its adherents became politically famous during the Republican presidential administrations of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administrations of George W. Bush and George H W Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[1] Prominent neoconservatives in the Bush administration included Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, Robert Kagan and Paul Bremer. Senior officials Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, while not identifying themselves as neoconservatives, listened closely to neoconservative advisers regarding foreign policy, especially the defense of Israel, the promotion of democracy in the Middle East, and the buildup of American military forces to achieve these goals. The neocons have influence in the Obama White House, and neoconservatism remains a staple in both parties’ arsenal.

Emergence is Another Useful Word at This Time

As you can see from the above descriptions “the times they are achanging”. The philosophical alignments are very different from what they used to be. Struggle is very much a part of human existence and the positions outlined above speak to struggle. We used to be clear about our realities but these differences and the changes over a relatively short period of time do support the idea of us being in an interregnum. Stay tuned!

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

 

The Psychologist Looks at Characters

 

An Emerging Character

Internal Conflict

Something emerged as I was writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. It was a tug of war between a writer and a psychologist. One might think immediately that this conflict could be a real asset. The truth is much more complicated than that.

It seems likely that similar conflicts exist in other creative enterprises. My dissertation dealt with painters and how their personality might influence their work. In fact, using the personality typology of Carl Jung, it was clear it does influence their work. Is that information useful to the artist?

Might he or she step back and do a different kind of analysis of the painting taking shape? They might, but their art is not a cognitive enterprise. It seemed best for them to let their creative processes flow. I doubt the person considering their painting would really be interested in those kinds of contributions for something to hang on their wall.

A Different Kind of Challenge

The written word brings a different kind of challenge. Of course it is reflected in the particular form of that written word but a similar tug of war can take place. The very matter of plot and character interactions lends itself to construction and it is easy to slip into analysis which may affect content, direction and style. With characters we hope the reader will be attracted or repelled by them depending upon their role in the story.

As a psychologist there came a point where I had to deal with my own inclinations. In life I have to contain my analytical tendencies. In seeing friends or in social occasions doing dispassionate analyses of the people with whom you are interacting is not typically a good idea. In fact it gets in the way of life.

I have, from time to time, been told a person was disturbed by the feeling that I was analyzing them. Most of the time I was doing no such thing. That is, unless there were warning signals which indicated I needed to be on my guard for one reason or other. Sometimes you meet someone who seems intent on manipulating you and the situation. My inner psychologist kicks in at once.

Around the Edges

In developing characters there is an essential conflict. Spending too much time on the analysis can be stultifying for the story. Often there simply needs to be a flow. The character has to live within and emerge. At least that is what I’ve concluded. There may be other approaches.

A good example for me relates to my lead character in book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. Avery is a bright, dedicated young woman but in the background is the fact that she had lost her parents in an early part of her adulthood. She wanted them back and had felt abandoned.

When she finds that she has another kind of family I wrote her as doing a lot of whining. Such a reaction under the specific circumstances of this story is completely understandable at least to me. But most people would contain it inside which is what I was relating to. When it became clear it wasn’t working I had to reconstruct her. It worked a lot better. Sometimes reality in storytelling simply does not work.

The Bottom Line

This example is what I, as a psychologist, had to view. I’m sure many writers have things they have to face in their writing—things that are coming from inside of them. It was not a matter of my personality but reflected my training. Each form of art has its own pitfalls and I suspect that many writers of fiction have to wrestle with components coming from within themselves. In some instances it may enhance the work or it may yield flaws which must be dealt with.

In what ways does the “inner you” affect your vocation or art?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Origins and Sources for The Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy- Part 1

Inspiration and the Author

Whatever That Means

As soon as I input the word inspiration, something inside of me asks, “what?” At once I understand. Inspiration is defined by Google as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative”. Does that help? Not for me. Like so many things, it raises more questions than answers and the stimulation is not just mental.

A familiar image is of the author sitting before a typewriter (now a computer) waiting for something to stir him or her or give them direction. First off we have to wonder why the author came to sit there if there was no clear inclination of direction or clarity of substance.

Inspiration does seem to have an independent life of its own. Partly because books of fiction have roots inside ourselves. Nonfiction may be simply our need to give clarity to a real world subject. But fiction is another matter.

A Process Without Clear Delineation

At the same time it just may be that we are wasting our time trying to define inspiration because we are led into a cave with a myriad turning points and possibilities. Sometimes it just may be that we have to accept that we are being stirred by something we cannot immediately define. It may be that where we begin may be nowhere near where we end up.

As such it may be best to see what we can do to focus an idea no matter how vague and see if an outline of some sort may emerge. As a psychologist I often come back to the idea that things are often not what they seem. What we call reality has anything but a hard edge and certainly inspiration may be fuzzy. We may have to simply take inspiration off its leash or find a way to do that.

A Road or An Adventure

In fiction we are certainly looking for a way down a road, an adventure of some sort. The beginning is to simply start down the road. And the road we choose may be very different depending upon the stage of our lives. We may be searching a purpose for ourselves, looking to reveal something to others or even doing an assessment of where we have been and its meaning.

Finding a Beginning Point

Looking back I have to wonder where the beginning of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy really was. There were just two general thoughts. One was that in my life I search for possibilities and that I’m entranced by mythology. The simple explanation was that I found myself focused on the meaning of mermaids. In their own way they are so prominent. As a story began to develop it became clear that women were central and that another root was the matter of the empowerment of women.

From there I found an outline was becoming insistent and steadily clarified as it grew and grew and grew. Since I am hardly at the beginning of my life I had to realize I was doing an assessment and was turning pages to think further about what may lie in our collective future. Together we can see where it leads and search out the substance of meanings.

What is inspiration for you?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt