Much of the symbolism in SONG OF LYRAN is inspired by or borrowed from Judaism and Jewish mysticism. Since the Hebrews (known to the ancient Egyptians as the Ivrim tribes, which included the Essenes) were the OGs of monotheism, it seemed a fitting tribute to include them in a book celebrating the concept. Also, because the other two major religions, Christianity and Islam, are based on Jewish texts and ideas, doing so also opened the door to a space where the Brotherhood of this book might be able to manipulate meaning, exploit intent, and otherwise mislead good people attracted to the concepts but unfamiliar with the source context or culture.
One of the fascinating elements of Judaism is the value of each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which gives each word a deeper meaning than what is understood when it is spoken aloud or translated. For example, the letters het and yud in the word chai (חי), which means life, have a value of 18 when added to together. Because of this, it’s customary for those of the Jewish faith to give gifts in increments of 18 to symbolically bless the recipient with the gift of a good, long life.
In the faux-religious book within this book, it is mentioned that the Aspects will be called back when the last turn of the wheel is completed. The value of that epoch is given 25,776 years. People familiar with astronomy might wonder why I set it there rather than at 25,772 or 36,000 years. Those numbers are generally thought of as being the Great Year or Platonic Year, which is the time it takes the Earth’s equinoxes to complete one turn around the ecliptic, or for the sun, moon, and planets to travel to the same place you see them in now, respectively. It’s because I wanted the number to be divisible by 18.
The choice of women in Sekhmet’s line was a combination of art and science. When I was 19 years old, I had a vision, much like the one described in the first Honey chapter, during which I saw the faces of all the people I’d ever been, including one who had the head of a lion. They were all so different, but the one thing that bound us all was that we all possessed the same eyes.
A conversation with my friend Randall Harr, decades later, inspired me to take that vision and turn it into a longer narrative. If you enjoyed this story, you should thank Randall for putting the idea into my head that this was a story worth telling.
When I sat down to write this book, I made a grid of all the women I remembered seeing along with potential birthplaces, cultures, and other half-remembered clues from that vision. I then chose a handful that I felt the strongest connection to, anchored them to real or mythic women who had similar enough facts to tie them to the story I wanted to tell, and began to weave this narrative together.
If you are curious to learn more about the women featured in this story, search for Sekhmet and Nefertiti, Philomela and Ovid, Foreach and the exile of the Déisi people in Ireland, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and her friendship with Carlos de Siguenza, and talk to any unhappily married woman in present-day America. You might discover interesting similarities and more than a few creative departures to the characters who appear on these pages. After all, this is a fictional work of my imagination.
What I did not invent or elaborate on should be easily found via Google or Wikipedia search (Author’s plea: Please donate to Wikipedia!). If you’re curious to see more notes and source material I used for this book, visit kristicasey.com.
Although this is a creative work, I do think it is worth reexamining what’s been passed down to us as fact. After all, we know that history was written by the victors, and even religious texts have socio-political reasons for being. What, then, is the truth? We may never know. All we can do is hope to find the Answer we’re looking for in this life. And be content with that.