Thursday, April 5, 2018

A Taste for Mythology

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
I've always loved mythology, so I guess it's no surprise that love culminated into my latest series, Their Vampire Queen. All the vampire queens are descended from a goddess--Isis, Morrigan, Gaia and Ceres (to name a few), to Coatlicue and the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan.

Yes, my love for Aztec and Maya mythologies is showing itself again!

Remember The Bloodgate Guardian and The Bloodgate Warrior? The idea of passing through a cenote to the "otherworld" always fascinated me, and Queen Takes Rook has a similar scene. There are so many incredible elements to pull from, and of course, the significance of blood sacrifice fits perfectly with a vampire theme.

In many ways, pulling on these elements is like going back to my roots. The Bloodgate series died a long time ago, but my love for the mythology and world I created certainly did not. This is a new way for me to use the same elements, only this time around, the women have allllll the power, and the villain is the god of light, or the sun god, who shows up in every ancient mythology is some form. Ra, Huitzilopochtli, Kinich Ahau, Apollo... Whatever name you want to call him, he represents the patriarchy.

News flash:  these vampire queens are going to bring him down.  Do you have a favorite goddess or mythology? Let me know - I might use it!

Here's a snippet from Queen Takes King where Shara learns about Ra's continued influence in the world.

~ * ~

“He has many names,” Guillaume finally said. “Out of all the old gods, he’s found a way to still be meaningful in the world today. He’s not worshiped, exactly, but he’s conflated with other religions, feeding off them, confusing people, turning good intentions wrong. All the ancient mythologies featured a father god, usually a god of the sun, or god of light. That’s who we’re dealing with.”
“The Egyptians knew him as Ra, or Amun-Ra, or even Aten,” Xin said. “The Greeks usually called him Apollo. He influenced both, though not as directly as the Egyptian mythologies. Perhaps that’s why he was so quick to strike at you, my queen. He’s closer to Isis than the other queens’ goddesses.”
Shara frowned. “Nobody worships Ra today, do they? Light is supposed to be good. That’s why I wasn’t afraid at first. The monsters don’t like light, and the golden light shining through the window was so beautiful. How could something that beautiful send skeletons that tried to kill us all? What the hell were those things, anyway?”
“Soldiers of Light, the best warriors from all the ages who died in service to him. Samurai, Pharaoh’s personal guards, even a few Templar knights I’m sure.” Xin paused when Guillaume grunted with disgust, but he nodded. “The sun is good, yes? We must have the sun to survive. But the sun can also cause cancer. It can burn your skin, cause sun poisoning, heat exhaustion, and extreme dehydration. You can die from sun exposure, even though we need the sun to survive. Light is wonderful, until it’s focused into a laser that sears your eyes or cuts through a foot of metal like butter.”
Guillaume laid his hand on her left thigh, his touch gentle. “In the world today, any time you see something good twisted to hurt another, it’s his influence. Supposedly good men who excuse killing people who are different from him. Gunmen killing people in church or at a concert at random. Men spewing obscenities to women on the street. Tyrannical purity, racial injustices, fanatical extremists. He revels in patriarchy, misogyny, racism, and hatred.”
She shivered and we all drew closer, pressing against her, shielding her. “Why would he come after me?”

I pressed my lips to her forehead. “Can you think of anything a patriarchal god would despise more than a woman reveling in blood and sex and her own growing magic?”

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