Author and poet

Marcia Downes


“He scanned his surroundings. Why should anyone be watching him? A short woman wearing a navy-blue suit, white shirt, flat shoes and a silk headscarf that mostly concealed her grey curls, was absorbed in Psychologies magazine…” – Dan’s thoughts while waiting for his flight to Tel Aviv, Sigil I: The Book of Raziel.

Marcia is a significant character in the story arc of The Angel of Secrets. Although her appearance in Sigil I: The Book of Raziel is minimal, her role in the overall plot is key.

At the beginning of The Book of Raziel, Marcia has been living in Australia for a few years. In her younger days, during the 1960s, she studied Art History at the Sorbonne and was one of the students who attended a historic lecture at the Society for Hermetic and Esoteric Wisdom, given by Professor Kosikowski. It was this lecture that led to the founding of the Gallizur Group.

When Marcia first appears (no spoilers here), she seems to be a rather straight, elderly English woman. But there is more magic in her than a passer-by would imagine and her biography is not conventional.

Marcia was an only child. Her parents adopted her when they were in their forties and raised her in their strict Christian Science household. They were naturally shocked when she brought home her art portfolio that included sketches from a life-class. Marcia always honoured the people who had raised her, but there was no closeness and, by the time she was twenty-five, her parents had both died. After gaining her post-graduate qualification at the Sorbonne, she moved to London and took up a well-paid position at the Courtauld Institute, supervising restoration projects.

The Gallizur Group members all stayed in touch and, during the seventies and eighties, most of them would meet in London for an annual reunion. Marcia developed her astrological expertise and would bring her predictions to the group. By watching the cycles of the outer planets, she expected to identify the exact timing for the reappearance of the legendary Book of Raziel. She was especially close to Charlotte and Naomi. The three of them would be in frequent contact between the annual meetings.

Marcia’s love-life was disastrous. She had two affairs with married men. “I looked at their natal charts,” she confided to Naomi, “So I should have seen what I was getting in to. But there was something else going on, something unconscious that I didn’t pick up on.” When she was forty-two, after the second affair had left her severely depressed, Marcia decided to leave her secure post and migrate to Australia. There she established a successful consultancy as an astrologer and tarot reader. She stayed single and had no children. She continued to keep in regular contact with Charlotte and Naomi.

The search for The Book of Raziel was Marcia’s obsession. Although she did not return to England for several decades, she did travel to the near-East, hoping to meet wise scholars and mystics who would shed light on the ancient mystery. Those advisors appear in later sigils of The Angel of Secrets.

Marcia Downes
He scanned his surroundings. Why should anyone be watching him? A short woman wearing a navy-blue suit, white shirt, flat shoes and a silk headscarf that mostly concealed her grey curls, was absorbed in Psychologies magazine…