The Myth and Magic of Jamie Poole
In Time by Einstein, Eliyana declares to Jamie: “Indeed. Clydus wishes to erase our cultures and stick with one: Egyptian. He doesn’t realize our people’s strength is in our diversity. What does it matter if we hold to different traditions, or if some of us write our memories while others of memorize our traditions? Doesn’t that make things more interesting? The differences?”
Take from that one line: Strength is in our diversity.
In the story arc of Jamie Poole we have seen much magic and mythology. This is the first blog to address the myth and magic. In the quote above, Jamie and Eliyana seek to preserve Eliyana’s people while Clydus the High Druid seeks to erase certain traditions.
Jamie Poole herself is nothing if not diverse. I cannot speak fully to her background yet (spoilers!) but she is of mixed race. She mentioned an ancestor as Chief William Anderson, also known as Kik-tha-we-nund, chief of the Lenape nation, which is part of the larger Delaware nation. Eliyana is also an ancestor and of Egyptian descent. (Resurrection of the Druidess)
Many of her friends are equally diverse. I will not take the time to discuss this, as that is not the purpose of this blog. This blog is to address the diversity in the myth and magic.
J.R.R. Tolkien studied Norse mythology closely. From his studies he created his own written script. He pulled names from the mythology to name several characters. This study and his own experiences, including in World War I, strongly influenced what he wrote. The study of mythology has strongly influenced my writing.
Jamie Poole’s ancestry also influences her story arc. Here is a brief list which encompasses only the books published. Because of her diversity, the mythology is intentionally blended. When one researches the mythology of one country one will realize it has been influenced by legends of another region. By seeing the legend in a larger context, it becomes richer. The myth and magic of Jamie Poole encompasses the Delaware and Blackfoot First Nations, Biblical stories, transcending into other legends created before and after Biblical events. Egyptian myths are a no-brainer when the debut book is titled The Isle of Osiris. I pull a lot from Egyptian, Norse, and Celt lore. However, I’ve spiced the series with legends of other countries including from the Middle East region. The intent of this blog is to show the interconnectedness of some of these stories and how they can influence each other.
· The town of Anderson, Indiana: It is named for Chief William Anderson as cited. Jamie references local legends attributed to Kik-tha-we-nund, including that he returned to the city to die and that his body was found in a recent construction site. There are variations on this “legend” as these evolved before and during the time I was living in Anderson. (Resurrection of the Druidess, Beasts, Bones, and Bylines)
· Shapeshifting: Many cultures in Europe as well as North America have their own variation on shapeshifting. Eliyana shapeshifts into the body of a wolf. (Resurrection of the Druidess)
· Dryads: Tree spirits. This is a Celtic myth but can be seen in other cultures. (Resurrection of the Druidess)
· Hearing the Dead/Communicating with the Dead: I would be bold but not off-target to say that every culture has a story and a name for a person who can hear and/or communicate with the Dead. It is an ancient practice. It is a modern practice. There are holidays dedicated to this. Spiritualism grew in Victorian England. Many famous authors, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne, were involved in this practice. This practice quickly spread to other parts of the world, including the United States with two young women, Kate and Maggie Fox, who became the face of the movement. A strong belief in “spiritualism” walked in tandem with the suffrage movement in the United States into the 1900s. The history has existed almost as long as man has walked this planet. I would say the belief is nowhere near extinct, with beliefs strongly entrenched in current culture. It is why so many books and movies are still written on the topic. (Including Jamie Poole) As humans, we crave to understand what exists beyond our world or after this life. It is in part why places like Stonehenge exist. It is why the pyramids exist. It is why other temples and sites around the world exist. These sites are approaches to respecting the Dead, preparing for the afterlife, or how we interact with the afterlife in this life. (That is broadly unfair as a general statement, but there are literally thousands of books written to explore the nuances of the subject.)
· The Otherworld: While I attribute this world, which is hidden from ours by a “veil,” to the Celts, many cultures have a similar myth. This is a topic all its own and will not go into its evolution just yet. This separate world may go by other names such as the Underworld, Hel, and many others, I have stuck to one. (For now)
· Tubal-Cain: The first blacksmith. He appears first in the Biblical book of Genesis. An extra-biblical reference by Josephus expands on his history and provides a more extensive history, including the town where he lived. This is how I named his town in Tome of Tubal-Cain. He is considered today as a key figure for the Masons. Not all myths are lost in distant history.
· Credné Cred: A goldsmith and a member of the Tuatha Dé Dannan: pre-Christian deity of Irish, Scottish, and Manx lore. Due to his relationship with smithing, he is situated in the Otherworld and meets Tubal-Cain, another smith.
· Smithing magical objects: Norse myth and Celtic myths.
· Manannán mac Lir: Another member of the Tuatha Dé Dannan. The Isle of Man, in the Scottish Hebrides is named for him. He is associated with water.
· The Watermonsters: Based off the Loch Ness Monster, even this creature sits somewhere between truth and fiction. It depends on who you ask. Much of the Jamie Poole timeline is based on St. Columba’s activities, including being the first recorded eye-witness of the Loch Ness monster. The Watermonsters are joined with Manannán mac Lir to expand an existing lore.
· The Nether Realms and Anubis: A blending of two myths. Anubis is the Egyptian god of the afterlife. The Nether Realms are a portion of the Otherworld. The joining of these will create a new myth based on older myths. The Otherworld, according to several myths, including Celtic and Norse, are divided into “good” and “bad.” The inhabitants of the realms are different.
· The Banshee: This myth is strongly associated with Ireland and Scotland, but there are other “women” like this in other myths. She will have different names according to the myth and language.
· The Ouroboros: A serpent chasing its tail. This symbol is another that has been borrowed and shared between cultures. It is initially attributed to the Egyptians, but it has joined other mythologies, including as Jormungander of Norse mythology. Don’t lose sight of this symbol. It will follow Jamie to the end.
· The Nephilim: Some believe these creatures are fallen angels. They are again first mentioned in the Biblical book of Genesis. They have taken on a life of their own and continue to appear in other “mythologies” including most recently the television show Supernatural. Although I deviate from the Biblical accounting in future books, I keep to the original description of these beings as much as possible.
· Jamie’s boots: In Tome of Tubal-Cain, Jamie is given magical boots. In many Celtic and Germanic myths, magic boots appear. They have the ability to allow one to cross water amongst other attributes. These boots appear in several books.
· The Wild Hunt: The Wild Hunt is as diverse as Nick describes it in Tome of Tubal-Cain. The myth also appears in myths of the Irish, Scots, Norse, and other cultures. This legend is repeated in variation in several books, including one titled The Wild Hunt.
· The Blackfoot legend of the Wild Hunt is entirely mine as told in Tome of Tubal-Cain.
· Lumen: (Obviously!) While Lumen itself is a myth of my own creation, it does not fall far from more traditional myths. Consider Loki and the “gifts” he has created for the gods, including Thor’s hammer. Loki convinces dwarves to create magical gifts for many of the gods. Other cultures have similar stories, but thanks to Marvel, this one is best known.
· Sir Thomas: He a shapeshifting fae. The fae go by many names today. Fairies (which Sir Thomas hates) or elves or others. The mythology of these creatures is diverse and spans across Europe with different names and stories. Honestly, Sir Thomas pales in contrast with some of the original stories. Norse mythology gives them two worlds, one for for Dark Elves and Light Elves. Elves were knights and tricksters and so many other things. Their stories are exceptionally diverse with much lost to Time. (Tome of Tubal-Cain)
· Jamie slipping out of Time: I list it here with Sir Thomas, not only because he cautions her, but also because according to some myths, the fae can lure people away. They may disappear, never to reappear in their own world. While Sir Thomas is trying to prevent that from happening to Jamie, he above all beings would be familiar with this. There are many myths of many countries with stories on “disappearances” and what happens to the person who disappears. Those stories follow us to the present with books, including Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle as one modern example.
Hearing the Dead/Communicating with the Dead: I would be bold but not off-target to say that every culture has a story and a name for a person who can hear and/or communicate with the Dead. It is an ancient practice. It is a modern practice. There are holidays dedicated to this. A strong belief in “spiritualism” eeven walked in tandem with the suffrage movement in the United States into the 1900s with many famous authors, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne, heavily involved in this practice. The history has existed almost as long as man has walked this planet. I would say the belief is nowhere near extinct, with myths and beliefs strongly entrenched in our current culture. It is why so many books and movies are still being written on the topic. (Including Jamie Poole) We crave to know what exists beyond our world. It is in part why places like Stonehenge exist. It is why the pyramids exist. Both sites are different approaches to the afterlife, or how we interact with the afterlife in this life.
· Isis, Osiris, and Nephthys: Egyptian gods who will follow Jamie through the series. The Osirian Cycle which encapsulates the entire story arc pulls myths of many countries and many languages into one giant Ouroboros. The end is the beginning. The beginning is the end. The Osirian cycle is an Egyptian myth which (simplified) describes the death and rebirth of the god Osiris. And you thought I named the island that because it sounded cute! There is more to that island which will reveal itself as the series proceeds.
I hope you enjoy the myth and magic of Jamie Poole. There will be further blogs that will pick one of these topics and expand. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.