Watch and listen…from the future come winds with a stealthy flapping of wings and good tidings go out to delicate ears… – Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
I call the four novels that comprise The Angel of Secrets ‘sigils’, rather than ‘volumes’, because a sigil is a magical sign used to represent the practitioner’s desire for a particular outcome. The whole sequence of stories could be called a ‘hyper-sigil’, described by comic book author Grant Morrison as ‘an extended work of art with magical meaning’, fuelled by willpower.
All creatives need to summon willpower in order to complete a work of art. All works of art, at some level, are imbued with magical meaning, because artists are conjuring images, stories and ideas from a deep well of imaginal resources. My magical desire, as a creative, is to bring a story into the world that will not only take you on a fantastical adventure and entertain you for the duration, while the book is in your hands and you are consuming the words, but will encourage you to research the possibility we are all on a creative journey of discovery. A key theme in The Angel of Secrets is the issue concerning how much agency we have, individually and collectively. Do we have free-will, able to create and co-create a positive future? Or are we pre-destined? If the light at the end of the imagined tunnel is a runaway pantechnicon coming towards us, do we have the humility to realise our errors and attend to what kabbalists call tikkun olam – the repair of our world?
Collectively, we have an innate desire to extend our heroic potential and integrate our shadow. At this time in history we seem to be entangled in the dark woods. We are almost overwhelmed by turbulence, but our mythologies point towards that ‘light’ at the end of the night. As a storyteller I am relying on ancient tales that include beings of light, as well as the malevolent potential of the thought-forms that congregate and feed on weakness and ignorance. My modern characters are wrestling with angels but, until they face their shadows and take up their sovereign power, they cannot hope to become worthy of the heroic badge of honour – the ‘crown’.