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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Short Stories (single author)
  • Language:English
  • Pages:198
  • eBook ISBN:9781620958155

Tales Of The Esbat

Thirteen Stories of Witches and Witch Craft

by Jon K. Hager

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By the light of the full moon, witches gather to cast spells to heal, attain personal growth or to offer up positive energy to a loved one, or friend. Conversely, by the dark of the new moon, witches gather to cast binding and diminishing spells and send negative energies into the universe, to do harm to others. This book comprises short stories encompassing both aspects of the lunar cycle and full moon, or esbat. Some of the stories are spiritually uplifting, and some of them are of a more dark nature. Seven of the stories are contemporary tales of covens, witches and witchcraft. Six of the stories are set in Europe in days of a long bygone era. Thirteen stories were included in the book, because the number thirteen, unlike most modern day perceptions, is good luck to a witch. For, there are thirteen moon cycles in a calendar year, and almost all of a witches magic and spell casting, is dictated by the lunar cycles. Being a First Degree witch, I have infused some factual details regarding witchcraft into some of the story lines. This book is written, somewhat with the intention of offsetting the Harry Potter stories. For, the magic described in these short stories is of the more subtle variety, hoping to induce a sense of wonder in the reader, yet still maintaining somewhat of a basis in reality. These stories are presented in a manner that would appeal mainly to adults and teens. Yet even pre-teens will find them entertaining.
Witches, magic and the full moon. Words that inspire thoughts of dark and spooky scenarios, evil spell casting and mysterious covens. And yet, not all the realm of witches and witchcraft, involves only the dark side of human nature. While some will attempt to associate spell casting and magic with only an evil bent, in reality, witchcraft entails both, good and bad, the light and the dark. This book of short stories strives to tell the tale of both sides. Witches and covens use the lunar cycle, for all of their magical workings. An esbat is a full moon ritual, thus the name of this book. Some of the stories revolve around the full moon, which usually, in the realm of witches and magic, connotes a more positive or at least benign aspect of witchcraft. Some of the stories are written with the dark of the moon as the impetus for the plot line. It is true, the dark of the moon is the time, when a witch or a coven, will practice magic and cast spells of a more deleterious nature. But even so, this is not always the case. For instance, a new moon or dark moon ritual, may consist of a spell casting to diminish sickness in a loved one, or perhaps, to ‘bind’ or stop the negative affects of a previous spell. For, just like anything else in life, there are many subtle shades of spell casting and magical intent. You see... a witch is inherently, neither good nor evil. A witch is only the sum of his or her, whole being. If a witch or a coven, toils in its magic to induce harm, or send negative energy to the universe, then one would be correct in stating they are involved in a more sinister type of magic. However, if a witch or coven strives to produce magic of a healing or supportive nature, then one could easily say, they are practicing a beneficial form of magic. There is also, everything in between these two ends of the spectrum. Basically, it is the intention and spell work involved, that determines the good or bad. This is part of the reality of human nature. Of the seven contemporary stories enclosed in this book, one titled, “A Mother’s Sacrifice” relates the tale of Jeremy and Jamie, twin brother and sister. They are two innocent teenagers who are invited on a canoe trip, only to find the price of the trip is not free. Another story, “Love the Witch and the Warlock” tells of an unsuspecting womanizer, who is lured under the spell of a witch, who tricks him into becoming a warlock. Ultimately, he suffers the consequences of being a betrayer and an oath breaker. Then, there is the story, “Evengel”. A heartwarming account of Danielle, a lonely, sixteen year old girl that befriends a poor old lady, only to later find, the old woman was a powerful witch that protected Danielle in her most dire time of need. Six of the stories are set in medieval Europe. One story, “Witches Garden”, unfolds in fifteenth century Italy, and tells of a local nobleman, who, because of a longstanding drought accuses an old woman living in the forest, of witchcraft. When the nobleman, along with his sheriffs, confronts this haggard old woman, they break the spell of the drought. But unbeknownst to the nobleman, he must pay the ultimate cost. Another of the stories, “The Curse of Tuath Ui Failge”, recounts the tale of Father Bairéad, a young and affable Catholic priest, who is sent into the wilds of seventh century Ireland. He seeks the conversion of Pagan souls to Christ, but instead, invokes an ancient curse cast by a Celtic tribal witch. The story, “Shadow Witch”, entails a brash, uncouth German mercenary in eleventh century Britain. His attempt to reclaim a Christian monastery that had fallen under the spell of the Shadow Witch does not turn out the way he planned. One story, “Come Play with Me” tells of the daughter of a Teutonic Knight, who befriends another young girl, unknowingly, entangling their fate together. All of these stories and the others in this book, end with a twist, at times inspiring a sense of uplifting hope, and at times, inducing a sense of forlorn dread. As to how the reader perceives these endings, most likely, depends on how one sees the world around them. Overall, the intent of these stories is to hopefully, allow the reader to delve into them, and after reading each one of them, instill a sense of wonder and insight into a subject many know little about.
About the author
Jon Hager is a native from California. Born in the Los Angeles area in 1960, his career in the computer field moved him to several locations in the Western U.S. Today, Jon lives in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, in Utah. Raised in a very conservative and strict religious home environment, he has sought his own path in his spiritual and personal life. After his divorce and the raising of his two sons, Jon strives to experience many of the esoteric and adventurous aspects of what life has to offer. Jon, always a seeker of truth and attaining knowledge, has been intrigued with his own inner spiritual growth since he was a small child. Seeking an understanding of something greater than our physical human lives has been a factor in Jon's endeavor, into several religious and spiritual paths. His current practice in witchcraft was formed from his interest in the local Pagan community in the Salt Lake Valley. Known as the Mormon Vatican, Salt Lake City is also home to a wide and surprisingly varied spiritual community. Having learned from two spiritual teachers, and through his own accomplishments along his spiritual journey, Jon attained his First Degree cord as a witch, in 2003. Having help to found a local coven in the Salt Lake Valley, Jon was also a member in an eclectic and diverse spiritual group known as a Henge. Through several years of his membership in the Henge, Jon evolved through many aspects of Pagan beliefs and gained a well rounded grasp of Druidism, Nordic Traditions and Germanic witchcraft. Nowadays, Jon prefers to practice in a more private manner. No longer an active participant in the local Pagan community, Jon is now a solitaire practitioner of witchcraft and Pagan spiritual beliefs. A lifelong hiker, backpacker and minimalist camper, Jon has explored many remote and out of the way places in the Western United States. A lover of nature, he has experienced many extended solo backpack trips into some of the roughest and wildest areas of the U.S. Although not degreed in either literature or journalism, Jon was always an excellent student in his high school literature classes, receiving many acclaims for his written stories, from his teachers and peers. Jon’s years of Pagan spiritual practices and wilderness experiences, along with his excellent grasp of the written English language, has moved him to write this book of witchcraft short stories. Along with many poems, Jon has written two full length novels, aside from his current book of short stories about witchcraft. He is currently working on a follow up book of short stories, regarding the subject of witch craft.
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