August 30, 2023

A Story from Behind the Scenes

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If you’ve read the acknowledgements at the end of The Gathering (and you may not have – I don’t usually!) you might have noticed one sentence:

The Wilde Grove series is written as part of an oath to the Lady Elen of the Ways.

There’s a story to that, which perhaps I will get to telling you one day, but right now I want to say that alongside the tale of the books, there is a tale of their writing. In the last post I told you about my method of beginning each novel by checking in with those who guide me, and letting them show me in a travelling what they wish the story to be about.

Because these are not just my stories, they are ours. If these stories, written to the best of my ability, touch you, resonate with you, set off a singing somewhere deep inside you, then you and I together, all of us, we are the Grove, the beacons.

Part of this tale of writing are the travellings and dreamings and visioning that happens as I write. They’re touchstones, I suppose, and signposts along the way that let me know I am doing okay at translating the task into story, at least as best I can.

(In the beginning, I had thought I wouldn’t talk too much about the story behind the books, the impulse and guidance that drives them, and just put them out there as books like any other, but the fact is that they are written as part of an oath to a goddess, and I mean them to be more than stories, so acting otherwise is disingenuous, at the very least.)

I thought I’d share one of these touchstones with you, for interest’s sake, and for your amusement. You see, the Gods and spirits and ancestors and Fae with whom I work are not all lightness and delight. Their view is that much broader than ours that sometimes their actions can seem a little…offhand.

You’ll notice in the account of this particular travelling I want to share with you, many correspondences with scenes and characters and events in the books. That’s because I put many of my own experiences in the stories. I hoped when I began that doing so would give the books a sense of verisimilitude – a sense of being true, because much of it is. I hope you’ll forgive me, but it also makes it that much easier to write.

And so, during prayers one morning during the writing of The Gathering, when the commitment had been made to the book and the task, I found myself peering at myself. Me here in the room in the house where I lived, me there, in the Otherworld.

Then I became the me there, and dressed again in full regalia. Striding off through the forest I went, beads clattering, antlers upon my head, eyes dark with kohl, skirts long.

To the World Pool, and down the steps in the cliff beside it, then down further, behind the waterfall and into the tunnels under the pool. I walked as if knowing where I was going, determined, brisk; I did know where I was going.

I greeted Ganesh, bowing as is proper. Ganesh gestured for me to go beyond him, into the tunnels there. He opened the door and I stepped into a chamber littered with treasure. Gold coins and jewels. And hanging as a star, the egg. I took the egg and a golden heart and went through the door at the rear of the treasure chamber. Through a narrow passageway, with cells either side, and wispy spirits watching me pass, then flowing from their rooms to follow me. What a procession we made! Through the tunnels and out onto the grassy flanks of the Queen’s realm. The wisps floated away.

Still striding out confidently, I gathered armfuls of autumn flowers and walked up the hill to the stone temple where the Queen had cut my hand off. There, I set the flowers, and with more collections, I lit a fragrant bonfire. The light spreads the word. The temple is used again.

The Queen came walking up the hill to see me, standing there with Ruru on one shoulder, Hawk on the other, Snake draped across the lintel of the temple, and Wolf, as ever, pressed against my leg.

‘Good,’ she said, taking it all in, then looking at me. ‘Progress at last.’

With that, she turned and walked back down the hill.

 

Katherine Genet is the author of the Wilde Grove fiction series. She has been walking a pagan path for 30 years and is a shamanic Druid, spirit worker, and priestess of  Elen of the Ways.

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20 Comments

  1. Shirley

    I have the warmest feeling spreading through me reading this. Thank you so much for sharing. x

    Reply
    • Katherine Genet

      I’m very happy that you’re enjoying the behind the scenes looks.

      Reply
  2. Sue Gooding

    Thank you for sharing your journeying. Your books have been so valuable in my own spiritual path. So looking forward to the next one. .

    Reply
    • Katherine Genet

      I’m so glad. I’m very interested in where the next four books will take us and looking forward to finding out.

      Reply
  3. Lois Fisher

    All your books have a certain pull of the heart!!❤️

    Reply
    • Katherine Genet

      I love that! And I’m glad it isn’t just mine getting tugged around.

      Reply
  4. Lorraine

    I have always felt a part of the grove , from the very first page and Began the journey beside you
    feeling the welcoming warmth and embrace of goddess and spirit gently guiding through the pages ….where I feel I am home
    your beautiful thoughts, experiences and processes only add to the amazing connection and my joyful heart
    Thank you so very much ❤️

    Reply
  5. Amy Evans

    Your books strike a chord, so deeply within me I don’t even know how to express it. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Katherine Genet

      Somewhere deep down, I think, we all belong in the way that the characters in the books do. I think we recognize this and it’s powerful.

      Reply
  6. Val

    The Queen is pleased!

    Reply
  7. Linda

    From the first word I read in your books it resonated deep within my soul. It’s because reading your books I’m home, I’m on holiday at the moment in a lodge within ancient woodland, I feel like I’m resetting myself here. Thank you for guiding me home ????

    Reply
    • Katherine Genet

      It makes my heart sing when I hear that these books have helped people find their way home. Isn’t that what we all need in this age – to find our way back home. Thank you for walking the path with me.

      Reply
  8. Anastasia Bimpa

    Oh from the first words of your books up until now that I am savoring “becoming Morgan” slowly just to absorb the words, I am grateful that I found them and through them you and your vision. I feel not only drawn to them but finally after many years of feeling that I am only partially belonging somewhere, now I am slowly and steadily reaching home. Thank you for all you do!

    Reply
    • Katherine Genet

      Belonging is so important! We are.not alone and the world is our home – the deep wondrous spirit-filled world. We are all coming home together.

      Reply
  9. Lesley Cocker

    I have just listened to the first four books and they have awakened something deep inside me, an integral part of my being. (Only once before has a book resonated like this, and that is Cow and Cow Parsley by Judy Cornwall back in 1985.) My great grandmother walked the druids path although that is all I know about her. Will you be making any of the new series audio?

    Reply
    • Katherine Genet

      Yes, all the books will eventually be in audio. Katy has now finished The Threading and Follow The Wind, so they will be available soon, and she is working on Becoming Morghan before going back to the Selena books. Very glad the books have found a home in your heart!

      Reply
  10. Jody

    Thank you for a behind the scenes look into the books. I love to read any extra info! I would also love to hear the story of the books as an oath to Elen of the Ways some day. The books are so magical and hearing that makes them EVEN more magical and special. Thank you! ????

    Reply
    • Katherine Genet

      I would likely have to write my memoir to tell that particular story – it’s years long and pretty involved and you wouldn’t believe half of it! But I will definitely continue with some behind the scenes info. And maybe I’ll do a couple ask me anything videos…

      Reply
  11. Jackie Coleman

    Love this insight in to your writing of the Wilde Grove series. I felt so drawn to The Gathering, a pull from within and from somewhere out there. The tribe gathers as your writing sounds the call to action. It has filled a gap, an ache, for deeper connection and meaning.

    Reply

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