Sorchia's Universe

Specializing in Bewitchment and Single Malt Scotch

Ghosthunting 101 and Charmed

Friday Fictioneers offering on May 1–May Day–Beltane to some. The challenge, of course, is to write a story in 100 words or less based on the photo prompt. This addictive pursuit is open to thrill-seeking writers at

Inspiration struck unexpectedly and I wrote two for this week.  In my spare time, I make soy candles. This picture must have triggered something. 

Copyright – Renee Heath

Copyright – Renee Heath

Ghosthunting 101

“Do you hear that?” Cold mist clutched my ankles. I paused uncertainly on the slippery stone steps.

“Something’s dripping,” Norbert hissed in my ear.

We continued downward. Black satin darkness enshrouded us, held at bay by the candle’s dim aura. Ghost hunting sounded like fun in bright sunshine. Here in the bowels of a Scottish castle—not so much.

I raised the candle, illuminating the dungeon below.

“What’s that?” Norbert moved past. I couldn’t stop him.

The drips became splashes. Something warm and sticky splattered my face.

“Norbert?” My whisper died in miasmal vapor. And then the candle went out.



“I forgot about the candle.” He surveyed the strands of melted red wax dripping from the nightstand to the carpet.

“We’re lucky the house didn’t burn.” I stretched my legs under the sheets.

Early morning sunlight played across the carpet and onto the blankets tangled on the floor. He bent to pick up a rose petal—one of many scattered in the room’s corners—and a poem on pink parchment.

“You’ve been casting spells again,” he said, cocking an eyebrow at me.

I smiled, pulling back the sheet on his side of the bed. “And I have another red candle.”


Z is for Zodiac

Before I launch into the big finish for this A-Z Blog Challenge, I want to sincerely thank all of you who suffered through it with me—either by reading my blogs or by writing your own. I greatly appreciate your comments and likes and will repay in kind now that I’m finished with the constant state of panic I’ve been in every day this month as another daily deadline approached.

My goals for this little project were to A) do it—actually write 30 blogs on a theme and get them posted daily. B) Get used to blogging regularly instead of sitting around wishing I was blogging regularly. C) Promote Just Like Gravity. The book is still bogged down at the original publishers—three months now with very little word making it quite possible that it will be published with a completely different group. Keep an eye on this blog and on my website at for updates. Fireworks will explode when it finally hits the shelves. D) Grow my followers. Most of these things worked to some extent, so I’m calling April a success!!

A lot of Z words work with the magic theme—zippers, zombies (the drink, not the movie-induced creatures), zygote, zen, — but zodiac tickled my fancy. The zodiac is the imaginary circle around the earth above the equator. It extends 8 or 9 degrees north and south of the ecliptic. It’s divided into twelve divisions of thirty degrees each. Each division is associated with a constellation. The constellations are just identifiers for each thirty-degree division so the precession of the equinoxes doesn’t affect the sign of a particular part of the year. The Moon, Sun, and planets all cross the sky along this band and are said to be in one or the other constellations.

Zodiac means ring of animals and astrologers have been using the constellations in the Zodiac for divination since at least the 2nd millennium BCE . Cultures such as the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Aztecs, and the Chinese developed systems of forecasting an individual’s destiny based on the position of stars, planets, the sun, and the moon at the time of birth and throughout the person’s life. Though many consider astrology a pseudoscience today, it was once a respected practice. Astrologers were highly regarded and knowledgeable in the motions of visible astronomical bodies.

It always annoys me when people marvel at how ancient civilizations could predict eclipses and build structures that served as giant calendars based on the stars. There was no cable!! This is what they did for fun. Anybody with a few fingers can figure out that the motions of the heavens are regular. Add a stick and a string and you can make a sundial and measure the shadows cast by the sun and moon. Astrologers spent more time than most outside at night.

The question, of course, is do the motions of the stars, planets, and so on have anything to do with us? Is it a function of gravity or some more subtle force only our cells discern? The title of Just Like Gravity is about this invisible, mysterious force that influences us, steering us and all those with whom we come in contact.

The universe is an orderly place. Each whirling orb spins in predictable figures—silent, synchronous, scintillating—ensorcelled by gravity, the movement of one determined by another. For eons they dance—keeping step with partners light years away. The clockwork universe—mathematical, predictable

Are our souls influenced by the same kinds of predictable patterns? And in the psychic universe as in the physical one, does a rogue asteroid or a capricious comet—nudged by a passing red giant or wrenched by a black hole—sometimes blunder through space and time, forever altering the trajectories of all in its path? That’s what Just Like Gravity is about.

Cover by Oghma Creative

Cover by Oghma Creative

Y is for YinYang

The Yin-Yang symbol dates back at least to the 3rd century BCE and is a symbol meaning (among other things) balance in all things. It represents everything that exists and is the perfect balance of dark and light. Tracing the pattern of the sun throughout the year will produce a yinyang symbol on a grid. It is similar to the Golden Spiral, a mathematical construct present in nature and corresponding to the Fibonacci sequence. The ratio is present in everything from DNA molecules to spiral galaxies. (Yeah, it’s about numbers—another hint that science and spirituality are really the same thing.)

Yin represents female or dark energy. All things hidden, mysterious, negatively charged—not submissive but indulgent, reserving power for protection, defense, and the safe nurturing of life in dark recesses.

Yang is masculine manifesting energy. Warm and dynamic, Yang runs where Yin would stay, shouts where Yin would be silent, and burns while Yin freezes. The two kinds of energy complement each other even as they contradict each other. You can’t have one side of a coin or an up without a down. One is not complete alone.

Tiny specks of alternate energy inside each larger form, remind that in light there is always a little darkness and in the darkest time, there is always light. In creation, there is destruction and in even total annihilation, something new is formed. When Yin and Yang energy is balanced, creation is possible. The symbol is a reminder to seek balance in all things and to embrace the contraries.

Other symbols such as the Celtic spiral and the Egyptian ankh are worth looking at, too, if you like this sort of thing.
The Celtic single spiral represents the universe and the triple spiral can mean a number of things—past-present-future, mind-body-spirit, life-death-rebirth. The ankh is about life, death, immortality. Sometimes referred to as the Key to the Nile, it reminds me a bit of a Celtic Cross, as well.

X is for . . . .

Just to show off, I have three magical X words for this post.

Xenoglossey is the term for the phenomena of spontaneously speaking or writing a language other than one’s own without training in that language—speaking in tongues. It’s not one of those things that happen every day and many of the cited cases I’ve seen have been later debunked or in some way negated. Still, reports of hypnosis patients who burst into an ancient language or one they have been hitherto unfamiliar with do occur. I tend to think that it might be a residual of a past life but thought has no language. We all have a kind of babblefish in our ears (See Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) as we move from life to life and whatever or whoever we were in a previous life is expressed in whatever language we are currently working with. I suspect that if you discover you have an affinity for a particular language, it may be a kind of Xenoglossey. Some languages just sound nice to me—they make sense even though I don’t know the words and when I take a little time to study them, it comes easily. Others I could study until pigs learn to fly and never learn any of it.

Xenomancy is a kind of divination based on chance meetings with strangers. It’s a very old practice from a less congested, more isolated time. If you meet a member of the clergy, that’s bad—especially if he is riding a donkey ( I will refrain from ass jokes considering the weighty subject matter at hand.) If you meet a crazy person, that’s good. Meeting a woman with a child is good luck. Mostly, though, the event is dependent on the circumstances and open to interpretation by the individual. For instance, if you are wondering if you should move to a different city and you are thinking of Chicago, meeting someone from Chicago would be a strong sign.

Xylomancy is another kind of divination. For this one, you use twigs and sticks in your path to predict future events. In its purest form, the sticks and twigs should have fallen naturally, but casting sticks is another form of Xylomancy. It’s probably a residual of the days when we all worshipped trees, believing they were not only invested with spirits but were also connected to the cosmos in a way humans were not. Watch closely and you’ll see a Xylomancy textbook on the shelves at Hogwarts. The arrangement of logs in the fireplace and how they fall as they burn is another form of Xylomancy.