In every epoch and age there are a handful of souls who hear the Earth’s voice, hearken to the Muses’s song and drink from the font of the Goddess of Wisdom. These are the poets, artists and visionairies of our world: the creative geniuses like Dante, Milton and Blake, whose inspiration and insights have shaped our cultural memory.
Unhappily, with the advent of the modern age the Muses’s song has become silent and the font of the Earth’s Wisdom has begun to dry up.
To redress this precarious situation, six of the nine Muses have descended from Olympus to take birth upon the Earth. Their purpose is to re-awaken humanity to the inspiration of the great arts and restore the broken links between gods and men. But, the six Muses are not just daughters of Zeus, they are also the daughters of Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory, and the granddaughters of Gaia, Mother Earth herself. And when the Muses discover that their mother and Gaia have a totally different agenda for them than their father Zeus, well it is at this point that their loyalties become divided and everything becomes very bloody and messy.
Find out how in this dramatic and spellbinding new novel by Miranda Moondawn “Mooniana and the Secret of the Lost Chronicles of Sophia.”
Submit your review
This monumental work, really breaks down literary categories in the quest for truth. The Lost Chronicles of Sophia are the 'Gospel' of Mary Magdalene, expressing Goddess values, apparently destroyed when fanatical Christians wrecked the library of Alexandra, terrified of the claim that Christ's true teaching was communicated to Mary Magdalene, rather than to his Disciples, and that Mary Magdalene was his lover. The novel is concerned with the rediscovery of this book, its resuscitation and application of its fundamental lessons - to replace Patriarchal tyranny with Matriarchal truth.
Involved in the physical, and metaphysical quest for the Gnostic truth of this book is a 'star-studded' mass of world mythological entities . . . Greek, Nordic . . .
There is tension between the feminists' pacifist ideals and the possible need for force to eliminate the patriarchy. Many of the women were mistreated, and longed to 'get one back' on their abusers. Their number includes Hecate, who embraces darkness and evil, but has right on her side because of her past suffering, just as, in Dualism, a Snake can be a Saviour, and the Devil God's alter ego. All the 'godly' characters have 'flawed mortal' characteristics which make them convincing.
Dualism/contrariety is prominent in the main characters: "I am everywhere loved and adored, and everywhere condemned and despised . . . formless yet with infinite variegated forms".
The author reflects on 'cyclic time'; there is an angel 'walking backwards into the future'. "Thousands of years of history had already happened, were yet to happen and were happening." Mooniana oscillates mythological antiquity and contemporary life - world politics - and today's popular culture - including pop stars and Bollywood cinema, linking the occult to the everyday. The characters also drift out of, and into, their own bodies. As a 'bridge, it focuses on fashionable 'New Age' cults, including a 'free school' - the Albatross Boarding School, as well as a hippie commune and an experimental theatre in Verona - featuring a wide video screen plus music, dance and drama events which melt into spiritual/mythical areas.
There are two parallel love stories: Joanne Voegrin, a dancer, becomes obsessed with her teacher, Paul Valliain, while Christiane Wulff develops a fascination for Oriental Studies professor Franz Abel. Each woman holds her beloved in of awe, whilst feeling a degree of irritation with their seeming pedantry and pomposity. Both couples oscillate between their mundane personalities and their mythical entities - Joanne became the mystical Sophia.
The narrative weaves in and out of these themes, and the concrete context of a theatre, into mythological depths - and back. The sacred book is physically rediscovered, destroyed, then reappears by magic. Such is the breadth of the concept that it can accommodate valid mundane cynicism: "Pseudo-gurus and frauds like that are just manipulating you. You are stupid; you cannot see it . . . all this Gnostic jargon was starting to sound more exotic and bizarre . . . I hate all this Dualism . . . a big part of Pia really hated all that pseudo-spiritual escapist crap." Truth could be distorted by being presented in an abstract, theological manner.
There is an in-depth exploration of transcendental eroticism, including the practice of coitus reservatus. The six offspring of Zeus are challenged to share 'the Philanderer's son without any jealousy or rivalry between you . . . if you can do this, I will grant each of you your deepest and most ardent desire - including usurping the Throne of Olympus. Another ritual includes a suitably androgynous Hermes figure who is, however, an object of some suspicion, perhaps a 'two-faced' intermediary between the Goddesses and the male Ruler. There is a beautiful Sapphic consummation. On another occasion, Ashok, a male 'initiate' is supposed to abnegate his maleness in order to bond with a group of six sisters - become a seventh sister. But he must somehow regain it in order to overturn the patriarchy: "Without his arrogant, ambitious ally (his Daimon), how could he write the Sisters' narrative?" Also, the Goddesses had initially held a stance of neutrality, which they were forced to abandon through being outraged. They had to take on some of the terminology of their adversaries: "In your name we shall avenge you, and destroy the destroyers, wiping every last vestige of the tyranny and greed of the cult of the one God from the face of the planet." But it still remained necessary to 'create a neutral zone on earth'.
There is some questioning of the relationship between earthly and spiritual love: "Joanne seemed oddly unemotional. Either she was glad to rid of a romantic rival, or else she was very advanced in Yogic detachment."
Some quite perceptive searchings of the relationship between art and 'real life': "For Lorely's characters, life could only be a play. These chaotic characters would find themselves again in real-life situations which were, in reality, only external mirrors of well-rehearsed internalised rituals and narratives." There had previously been a reference to Kierkegaard: "A man writes a novel in which one of the characters goes mad. At some point in the story, the one writing the novel goes insane too, and he finishes the work in the first person." Similarly, fictionalising can be a two-way process, as Paul tells the sisters: "Just as I am writing your story, you are writing mine . . ."; "They were both poets and would meet in each other's poems and stories which were just as real." No omniscient narrator here!
Part of the conclusion is presented in dramatic form, which adds a further, living dimension to the focus of the theatre venue. Characters described in narrative become characters speaking for themselves; third persons become first persons. This further accentuates the hypnotic effect of the many dance rituals portrayed in this work.
The author treated the 9/11 attacks as a sort of Armageddon, a symbolic destruction of the old patriarchal order. This interpretation, I feel, was totally appropriate to the time when those incidents took place - but perhaps less so, in terms of what has passed under the bridge since then. She makes a minimal reference to the rise of the Islamic state; perhaps some updating would be in order.
A really exciting and magical adventure about how six of the Muses came to Earth and used their genius and arts to change the world. Or at least try to. Also really funny and lots of romance and enchanted fairies and sirens in the story.