Sorchia's Universe

Specializing in Bewitchment and Single Malt Scotch

O is for Omen

The word omen has changed little over the centuries. The Latin word omen meant foreboding and though omens can be good or bad we still think of an omen as a presage for a bad event. In the end, an omen is probably only as strong as you want it to be.

When Haley’s comet appeared in 1066, it was a bad omen for King Harold II but a good one for William the Conqueror. Mark Twain was born as Haley’s comet streaked across the sky and 75 years later when it reappeared, he died.

Breaking a mirror brings seven years bad luck according to ancient Romans who believed the reflection was the soul. Since it took seven years to renew the soul, if you broke a mirror you would be incomplete and unlucky for seven years if you injured your soul by breaking the mirror.

The fear of the number 13 triskaidekaphobia stems from Norse mythology. Loki the trickster was the 13th guest at a particularly unfortunate dinner in Valhalla during which Baldr, the god of joy was killed. Thirteen people gathered together was considered unwise and unlucky since then. Thirteen were in attendance at Jesus’ Last Supper, as well. The thirteenth card in the Tarot deck is Death. Strangely, the dollar bill seems cursed:

• 13 Arrows being held by the Eagle
• 13 Stars above the Eagle
• 13 Leaves on the olive branch
• 13 Berries on the olive branch
• 13 Steps on the Pyramid
• 13 Letters in E PLURIBUS UNUM
• 13 Letters in ANNUIT COEPTIS
• 13 Vertical bars on the shield
• 13 Horizontal stripes at the top of the shield

Three on a match is a bad idea, too, and not just because smoking will kill you. During the Boer war, British soldiers shared matches on the battlefield. Snipers could see the flare as the match was lit. As the second soldier lit up, the sniper took aim and was ready to fire when the third soldier leaned over the match.

The Scottish play is full of bad omens. The horses go wild, a falcon is killed by an owl, darkness when it should be daylight. All signal the chaos caused by Macbeth’s unnatural act of killing Duncan, a guest in his house.

And of course in Just Like Gravity, the magpie rhyme is an omen in one plot line.
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told.

Just Like Gravity is on the verge of being published–just waiting for the publisher to solve some technical glitches.  Follow this blog or go to for news.

Cover by Oghma Creative

Cover by Oghma Creative

N is for Numerology

Do you have lucky numbers? Is 7 inherently lucky and 13

inherently unlucky? According to St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354–430), “Numbers are the Universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth.” The Aztecs believed numbers were living aspects of the divine. Pythagoras gave them spiritual qualities as well.

Numerology is another way we look for meaning. Some would say it’s a waste of time, but I’ve found it entertaining if nothing else. Numbers are definitely weird. My mind understands words very well. I can diagram sentences at the drop of a hat or revise a paragraph without batting an eye. I love that sh. . .stuff. Numbers, not so much. I like them, respect them, but understand them? Nope. I am, however, struck with the wonderful precision, odd truths, and eternal nature of numbers.

One common way to determine what number is important to you is to add the numbers of your birthday. If you were born on May 8, 1942, you would add 5+8+1+9+4+2. This gives you 29. Now add 2+9 to get 11. Eleven is a master number in some methods and has it’s own meaning. Otherwise you would add 1+1 to get 2 and 2 would be your number. Now you would consult numerology charts to see what that means. The number indicates your personality traits similar to the way your zodiac sign does the same thing. You can also give the letters in your name numbers based on the alphabet and add them up the same way. Interesting, but not earth shaking.

What appeals to me more is the way numbers seem to crop up in unexpected places and ways. If you study the meanings or personalities of numbers and if you can accept the idea that numbers show up for a reason, things can get weird. Notice the numbers you come across in a day. Any repetitions? When you reduce them by adding the integers until you get one number, what do you see? When you look at the clock, do you regularly see three of the same number—2:22 for example?

Number tricks—easily explainable by somebody who gets it—seem to justify belief in the divine nature of numbers. Try this Best Year Of Your Life trick.

Write down the year in which you were born.
Write down an important year during your lifetime.
Next, write down the number of years that have elapsed since that important year.
Put down your age this year on your birthday.
Add up the numbers on your list.
Divide by 2.
Your answer should be the current year.

Some numbers carry special meaning. Three signifies divine perfection in several religions—the Holy Trinity and the Triple Goddess to name just a couple of examples. Biblical number theories abound with 666 being a memorable number.
For a very complete description of number meanings and history, this site is quite useful:
Happy counting.

M is for Magic


Magic is a very old word. If you lived in England during the Middle Ages, you probably would have called somebody who did magic a witch and magic itself was called wiccecræft—witchcraft or galdorcræft or even dwimorcraeft. Before that, Druid was the term you used for someone who did magic. Somewhere around the 14th century, people began saying magic which came from an Middle French word magique which came from a Late Latin word magice which came from a Greek work magikos which came from an Old Persian word magush.

That Greek word is kind of interesting since it is the feminine of the Greek magos which means one of the learned priestly class. Magi is the plural of magus, so the three wise men were wandering magicians—more important than that, probably priests but still skilled in what people thought of as magic at the time. Magic didn’t have anything to do with Satan or mischief. Instead, it was more about priests, priestesses, and what served as religion. Magic, spirituality and natural science were mixed in a delightful and entertaining manner back in the day.

Today, some like to spell it magik or magick or majik and any other way you can think of to distinguish stage magic—tricks, legerdemain—from the real thing. To me a rose is a rose is a rose. But what is the real thing?The definition according to Aleister Crowley, an English occultist, is “The science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the Will.” That leaves a lot of room. Boiling an egg would fit this definition of magic.

The spiritual element of magic is what is missing. You could say Spiritual Power instead of magic and be closer to what I think the word means though that would still fall short. Magic and praying have a lot in common. When you pray, you ask for help to manifest something. When you do magic, you use the power God has already given you to manifest that change. God helps those who help themselves. This is God saying, “Is your arm broke? Fix it yourself” so you do magic.

Magic is often divided into lots of different kinds of magic depending on the principle or items you make use of as you attempt to influence time and space. Sympathetic magic involves using items, words, rituals that have some connection with the outcome you desire—it’s all part of the like-attracts-like idea. You got yer ritual magic and yer folk magic, yer candle magic and yer crystal magic, yer kitchen magic and yer Earth magic. The key ingredient is visualization. Practitioners visualize the change they want to manifest, put faith in their power to change it, let that image and faith build, and then release it. Sometimes they say words to help it along, sometimes they do rituals, and sometimes they use objects or actions to magnify the energy. But the things they all have in common are the clear intention, the visualization, and the expectation or faith.

Strangely, quantum physics now tells us that quantum particles exist in multiple states—until they are observed. They’re sort of like the ghosts in the old Pac Man video game. Once you look at them (or visualize them), they are in whatever state you perceive them to be. So by changing your perception, you change their state. Sounds like magic to me.

What do you think? Are there limits to what we can do? Do you believe in magic? What’s magic to you?


Just Like Gravity continues to exist in stasis. I’m visualizing a real book, so it should be publishedf any day now!

L is for Lunar

The word lunar comes to us by way of Middle English where it meant “crescent shaped.” Before that, of course, it started as the Latin word luna meaning “moon.” From this, we now have Looney, lunatic, and lunacy. Anybody who works with large numbers of people or animals knows the full moon definitely affects behavior. As a teacher, I can tell you that during the three days of the full moon, anything goes in the classroom. Those little brains soak up lunar rays like bums soak up Ripple. (If you are a bum and like something besides Ripple, my sincerest apologies—and congratulations.)

In Tarot, the Moon card is about mysteries, illusions, and sometimes deceptions. Imagine the subtle play of blue shadows in a moonlit wood, wisps of mist along the river at dawn, half-heard strains of violin music, and the fleeting scent of roses and sage. The Moon rules that intuitive, hidden part we keep secret from even our closest friends and lovers. The power of the Moon is the yin power, dark, mysterious, receptive, intuitive, encompassing.

Distinctly feminine, the moon’s phases are divided into the Maiden, Mother, and Crone—the triple goddess. The two weeks of the waxing moon are for building, creating, manifesting while the two weeks of the waning moon are for protection, banish, discard, clean. The full moon is time of highest power with the new moon the second most powerful time. The dark of the moon is especially good for starting new things

Wiccans celebrate esbats on full moon and new moon nights. The Farmer’s Almanac shows the best signs of the moon for planting, harvesting, cutting your hair, among many, many other things.

Strangely, when I was a kid, my invisible friend used to hitch a ride to the moon on a 4th of July bottle rocket where she would stay until Halloween. I was never sure why, but I suspected she just got bored and found the excitement of a barren, airless chunk of rock preferable to Missouri in the summer. Any psychologists in the crowd, feel free to chip in.


Oh and by the way, If you live in North America, you can see a lunar eclipse this very night. I’ve posted the time for my zone. To see more time zones, go to

This eclipse is one of 4 this year—a tetrad—and obviously another sign of the end of days. Seriously, eclipses were considered bad omens by the ancients—and considering all the bad things that they had to deal with who can blame them? Change sucks, was their motto because it usually did. In our more enlightened world, however, it would be nice to think that we can watch the eclipse and enjoy it as a sign of the constancy of the universe. What would worry me is if this or any of the tetrad of lunar eclipses failed to materialize. That would signal something was seriously amiss with the regular movement of our planet and those heavenly bodies we are dependent upon for life. So when the eclipse is at its fullest, bang the gongs and shoot off the fireworks because it means that even though we are hurtling through a vast, dynamic universe at unimaginable speeds, we are right where we are supposed to be and all is well.

Eclipse times for North American Central time zone

Central Daylight Time (April 15, 2014)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 12:58 a.m. CDT on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 2:07 a.m. CDT
Greatest eclipse: 2:46 a.m. CDT
Total eclipse ends: 3:25 a.m. CDT
Partial eclipse ends: 4:33 a.m. CDT