I’ve just been reading some of the detective novels by Bernard J. Taylor and found a few friendly references to Paganism. I think he might have belonged to one of the Yahoo groups I belong to, as I seem to remember him posting some messages and asking for some background information on Paganism and Wicca for a book he was planning to write. The books are very friendly towards alternative lifestyles in general, but there seems to be a gentle Pagan spirit running through all of his writing. I’ve noticed that some other people seem to think the same. The following is a message that was posted by Alison Teacher to another group I belong to which picks up on some other aspects of the books which connect with Paganism and Wicca:
QUOTE: I never thought I’d find Divine Feminine Spirit celebrated in a series of detective novels written by a guy. Being a Patricia Cornwell addict, I was waiting for my next “fix” of Kay Scarpetta when I came across a posting in another newsgroup recommending the novels of Bernard J. Taylor. I have now read the first five books in the Terrell Newman detective series, and I can honestly say I have rarely come across writing that celebrates and defines the essence of Divine Femininity as clearly and beautifully as in these books. (They are also very sympathetic to New Age alternative lifestyles.)
In “The Deliverer” and “Tainted Legacy” in particular, there are some great women characters who are tough and assertive without compromising their femininity by making concessions to the demands and expectations of men and society in general.
“Tainted Legacy” has very some interesting things to say about the suppression of the Goddesses over the past 2000 years. I think this is my favorite right now. But the books are all good reads and are very effective in showing up the mindless macho values that still dominate society. Between all the murder and mystery in these books, there is a gentleness of spirit than runs through everything and every book shows up the need for a more matriarchal society.
In “Tainted Legacy”, I found myself cheering when one of the women tells her followers: "For the past two thousand years the earth spirits - which are essentially feminine, in that they regenerate and give birth to all new life - have been suppressed. This suppression has manifested itself in many ways. It has basically shown itself in the general disenfranchisement of women during this period, but has taken many forms. I am not speaking simply of political issues such as the right to vote. I am talking about a much more fundamental phenomenon. I am talking about the general life forces that have governed human activity and organization over the past two thousand years. These forces have been essentially masculine in nature, concerned with power and conquest and the accumulation of wealth and property. This has led not only to the disempowerment of women in a social and political context, but - and I regard this as much more important than anything else - in the spiritual domain as well…From a Tantric perspective we could observe that there has been a lot of Yang and very little Yin. The masculine spirits have prevailed completely over the feminine. The deities we are offered for worship are all male. And because it has been that way for so long now, many people might conclude that it is the natural order of things. But it wasn't always that way. In fact, until the early centuries of the first millennium of the modern calendar, societies were generally much more evenly balanced in many parts of the world. This was particularly true among the ancient Celtic races, from which many Americans can trace their roots….The Celts were very close to the earth. Their belief system was very close to the one that is beginning to emerge today among the so-called earth movements. They saw the earth as a living entity and saw themselves very much rooted in the dynamics of the earth system. There was a much more equal balance between the masculine and the feminine forces in society, and this was reflected in the fact that they had their earth deities, who were all feminine, and their sky gods, who were regarded as masculine, and they worshipped them equally. There was a balance there that we have not seen now for centuries in any western society, though it can still be found in some Asian countries that have not been overtaken by Islam…Beauty and gentleness are being thrown out the window in all of the arts, where everything is becoming harder and less friendly. It is also increasingly reflected in art and in the alienating architecture of our cities. We are beginning to reach a point in our society where aggression is an end in itself. We see it in our mindless obsession with sports, where - as in the movies and the arts - aggression and ugliness are becoming increasingly celebrated. Even women are drawn into that aggression and allow themselves to become absurd caricatures of men. We see the women bodybuilders strutting around and flexing their muscles. We see women becoming hard-edged and losing touch with their femininity. Unfortunately, many of the most glaring examples of this loss of femininity are to be found among those calling themselves feminists."
On the future role of men in our society, this woman says: “There is definitely a place for men in the kind of society I would like to see in the future, and it is not just a passive role either. Men will retain their roles as protectors and warriors and most of the traditional masculine characteristics, but these will be used with greater deference towards the feminine spirits around them. There are ways in which the masculine qualities of strength and aggression can be put to positive use in creating a more equitable society. . It’s all a question of balance. The problem is that for the past two thousand years the balance has swung completely towards the masculine animus and it is time to redress that balance and pay more respect to the divine feminine spirit."
Amen to that!
I would urge everyone to read these books. They could help start a bloodless revolution in attitudes.
I myself have found a lot of other insights and perspectives on society in his books which seem very much in keeping with Pagan philosophy.