Friday, November 13, 2009

13: WHAT'S IN A NUMBER?



So what's the scurry flurry behind the popularity of paranormal romance? Maybe today might explain things. It's Friday the 13th. And since my paranormal-romance series is founded upon numerology, I can talk about writing with numbers. ;)

The number 13 has intrigued humans for millenia and continues to grip our imaginations when the sneak between the covers of paranormal romances. Just what's the fascination all about? The symbolism of a number, x-hmm, the most basic form of symbol in a worldview that controlled some of the greatest Western minds for thousands of years. How? The symbolism is passed on from generation to generation of course. But what is behind all that shared meaning? Ah ha! The missing pieces to self-analysis, predicting the future, and empowerment. After all, mathematics was considered sorcery just a few centuries ago, especially when Protestants arm-wrestled Catholics and nobility had to mop up the mess. (Not that I generally root for nobles.) Numerology was old-school-our-lives-are-predestined-road maps, taboo in that we could read the futures of others if schooled in the subject, affect the futures of others, potentially control their destinies... But what value can we find in a number with our scientific perspective today?

I write about two cultures from the future who intermarry as soul mates to safeguard history as they travel along the timeline, TIME GUARDIANS. They use numerology to traverse time and space. Okay, maybe they need some fairy magic in the mix too. So, formally educated in hard and soft science, I had to study numerology--a completely foreign concept to moi. But within the incredibly complex fabric of numerology lays an equally interlaced science. One of my favorite books has the answer. In Richard Craze's NUMEROLOGY DECODER, number 13 stands for magic and mystery. It is one of the strongest and most powerful secondary numbers--numbers outside of the basic primary numbers 1-9. Remember, these numbers are believed to be the blueprint to your personality, a symbol, shared meaning with value passed on from generation to generation. And these numbers can help writers with characterization.

So you've calculated your known name, birth, and given name numbers. Secondary numbers add another aspect of meaning to your 3 primary numbers. Of course, I think 7 is just as significant to those into paranormal romances. Seven is the number of individuals whose favorite subjects are mysticism and the occult. And isn't 7 supposed to be lucky? Perhaps the luck is in a individual's awareness and affinity for peering outside the box. Essentially, you can play a lot with numbers once you understand their basic meaning. Think Tarot cards with nothing but a number--the most basic symbol--on the cover. This concept goes back to Babylonia. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around myself being a 5. I can handle pear. *ugh* But there's more to the symbolism one can play on in writing a paranormal or straight historical tale. Yes, with a historical, an author must know what the people in a culture thought.

If you're dealing with Western history, just pick up Ben Jonson's VOLPONE, Dante's INFERNO, or Spencer's THE FAIRIE QUEEN. I promise you that every line, every quatrain, every canto, etc has a number associated with it. And if you look up that number in numerology, you will find the theme of that line, quatrain, canto, etc. I took Medieval Lit and Renaissance/Reformation English Lit AFTER I wrote on my Time Guardians' series for a few years. The professor was too busy insisting everything in Western history was bad if it wasn't Christian because she wanted us to adopt her Anglican bias... Back to the "etc."... Even when 4 or 7 people ran onto the scene to save the day, there is value embedded in the number of characters arriving. Four represents a problem. Seven represents luck. Albeit, mystics probably looked at things differently than the peasant Catholic who relied on a priest to converse with God for him/her. (Lord, I'm rambling!!!) And there is a bit more to consider...

Carl Jung studied the symbolism in a Tarot deck while working his way up to be one of the biggest names in psychology. Betcha didn't know that. It's amazing how strong and long-lived symbols are. You tell me if you think it's unlucky to sit among 12 others at a dinner table. And historically, the hangman's fee was 13 1/2 pence, (1/2) pence being the cost of the rope. The Scot's mark, "Hangman's money," was 13 1/2 pence. Not to mention, all the Christian symbolism in the Haxey Hood Game wouldn't mean beans without the number 13. Where's the rub, eh? Symbolism. And humans are fools for it. Culture hinges upon shared meaning, i.e. symbolism. Don't literature professors swear all those shifters and vampires are related to the inner beast breaking through to the surface where they take control turning the weak into animals, and, God forbid, convert others whether willing or not? Or maybe days like Friday the 13th are supposed to remind us how much we fear the dark little secrets hidden deep within us all? What about that it doesn't matter what science proves to us, we really are at the whims of some force if even just basic atomic attraction? Everything is about power. Use symbols to empower your writing by deeply embedding symbolism in your wip.

And don't forget to enculturate your reader when whipping up a new world. Internalization should reveal the meaning of all symbols by revealing your character's goals, motivation, and conflict. I mostly rely upon Deep POV. I do pull out of it to add stimulus. For more information on what I'm talking about, visit THE SOUL OF FICTION and BARE YOUR CHARACTER'S SOUL. ~Skhye

Read more about numerology, historical reference sources, the paranormal, the Celts, and writing at Skhye's Ramblings.

Buy Time Guardian tales

A war wages among the Gods. Two Celtic time-travel orders from the future intermarry as soul mates to safeguard history. Paradox is but a stolen heart away. Open the door to a new reality where legend becomes history and destined love defeats timeless evil...

"Arthur is a masterpiece..." He of the Fiery Sword's King Arthur ~Diane Mason; The Romance Studio

“The Spell of the Killing Moon offers the best of spine-tingling suspense. The setting is perfect... Moncrief’s ability to wield magic and emotion are without compare. Her words twist together emotions and visuals until you experience this tale as if the trap were set for you. Some lines blend a kind of poetic magic: “Moonlight wove a special kind of magic, a spell so vacillating that a person never knew if reality were anything other than a dream.” Darkness and premonitions and deadly intent fill these pages... a unique blend of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance…and a true blood-curdling thriller. 5 books" ~Snapdragon, LASR

"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page in SACRIFICIAL HEARTS. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way..." ~Snapdragon; LASR

"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Ghandi

Skhye Moncrief's website

6 comments:

  1. Numerology is fascinating. Thanks for the great post, Skhye!

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  2. I know very little about numerology, but I would like to learn, just curious.

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  3. Mary, it's easy. ;) Thanks for stopping by Helen, Mary, and Emma.

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  4. I've always been curious about numerology. Thanks for the info!

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  5. Karen, numerology described me to a "t". And the best calculations that were so unnervingly dead on were on different things. Crazy. But this scientist has a theory as to why the system works so well. ;)

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