When we think of Christmas decorating, we often think of angels. Today author Patricia Bohnert shares with us some interesting facts about angels. Writing as PA Bees, Patricia is a published short story author and an aspiring novelist. Her published works include Marjorie's Art Find and Intersection of Intent. Learn more about her at her website. -- AP
December seems a good month to talk about angels. Whether you have an angel tree topper with white lights under her robes and she holds her own lit candles in her hands (yes, I have this angel) or like to join in to sing “Angels We Have Heard On High” on the radio because of the melismatic rise and fall of the ‘O’ in the refrain Gloria, (melismatic, that’s a cool word) angels are all around us in December.
Have you ever heard of the book The Watkins Dictionary of Angels by Julia Cresswell? I do not know how many of these books were sold, but I picked one up at a used book sale and it looked like it had never been opened. What a shame! It is fascinating reading.
There are over 2,000 entries, in alphabetical order, relating to angels and angelic beings. That is a ton of research. Something the author, Ms. Cresswell, must be very good at as she has a number of books in print having to do with names including three books dedicated to Scottish, Irish, and British first names. Two of her other books are The Penguin Dictionary of Cliches and A Dictionary of Allusions. I need to find both of these books; my curiosity is aroused!
Back to angels for a minute, many angels seem to be in charge of a specific month, day of the week, or location. Nonanrin presides over Friday. Really? Was the word Friday established when this angel was named? Perhaps I am taking this too literally. Days of the week must have been designated in some way and somewhere there is a translation. But, if we are to use the name Nonanrin, then I want to know the REAL name of Friday back when it was decided Nonanrin was in charge. (Writers can be such a pain, can’t we?)
And take Rasliel, for example. What a self-promoter he was. Rasliel was one of the angels of the eighth lunar month. If you say the name of Rasliel, and presumably the others of the eighth lunar month, ‘in each thing that thou wilt do … thou shalt profit.’ Who wouldn’t go around mentioning Rasliel’s name? That is, if you can pronounce it correctly. I am sure the charm does not work if you mispronounce his name. I hate that, don’t you?
This is not a book I read every day. But, when I want to use a symbolic name in a story I often turn to it. In my short story “Daniel” (God is my judge) there are only two characters, Daniel and Sahaman. It is a story about coincidences, geocaching, and finding love.
Sahaman (an angel of the ninth lunar month) is a name I can see being used today. Putting her in the story gave me a chance to play up the significance of the number nine. Without The Watkins Dictionary of Angels and Julia Cresswell this story would never have been written.
Thank you Ms. Cresswell for an interesting read and a fun short story idea! And know that at least one non-academic has thoroughly thumbed your book. And keep up the good work, after all, ‘Hey, you’ as an email address would never work for millions of users; we need names.
Have a very Merry Christmas.
Intersection of Intent
One woman’s desperate act starts an apocalypse of events for the residents of New Minden, Ohio. Twenty years later deceit, hidden motives, stale leads, and fresh clues intersect with murder and mayhem when Jacob, Keith, and Bobby, three of the town’s sons, look for the truth. All have their eyes on the young librarian, Colleen – not all for good intent. Intersection of Intent.