*My Book Reviews

HERSTORIA, my first novel, has now been published and been followed by my second, GREEN STONES, and my third, PERSIAN CARPET.

You can order a copy by sending me an email first, to wendy@wendysalter.com

The price is £7.99 plus £1.50 p&p.

last-lot-jan-30-0471

HERSTORIA – a life out of time’is a four-part story about Brieze, who loses first her mother at the age of three, then her father when she was fourteen. At twenty-eight she is heading for a crisis but then remembers that her grandmother had taught her how to travel outside of Earth time. By re-visiting the proverbial history books of time Brieze comes to realise that the connection she has with her loved ones, and ultimately with her soul, goes far beyond this one life-time. Not only does Brieze meet her spirit guardians in different characters, but she discovers where she has known the souls of her parents and her children before. She even meets her grandchildren before they are born in her present time. Other relationships reveal their deeper meanings, too. It shows her, in an unmistakable way, that she is part of a timeless relationship-family and her own earthly personalities are transient. It heals her loneliness and sense of loss by helping her understand that she is not really separated from her loved ones by death. Most importantly for Brieze at that time, she also comes to understand that she can be the vehicle for others to arrive into the Earth realm. It also helps her see that the relationships she engages in are more important than she realised and everyone around her is there to love her, and for her to love.

There are times in one’s life where an understanding of our Higher Condition can make all the difference, when making choices to follow our Soul’s purpose. Without that understanding we may get lost in negative aspects of our lower ego and lose our direction.This is not a new concept in the esoteric teachings of the world, which is to understand the karmic cycle of re-incarnation and its purpose in transcending the base animal life towards a higher conscious state.The pages of history hold unexpected clues to these mortal and spiritual relationships, for it is all in our evolution, where we have come from. What is yet to be written, the future, is no less difficult. All we have to do is let our experience, imagination and conscious choices take us there. Each of the stories present different ways in which Brieze discovers a past, or future, incarnation, which helps her to understand herself more. The experiences come at significant times of change in her life – motherhood, grand-motherhood, embarking on a career later in life and finally, at the time of contemplation of her mortality, at the end of her life.

Dolphin mosaic

last-lot-jan-30-0471 ‘HERSTORIA’ as reviewed by John Lehman, writer, poet and book reviewer from Wisconsin, USA.

In the final pages of her book, author Wendy Salter states, “To believe in the eternal spirit, therefore, we have then to embark on the eternal search for that place from whence we have come and to where we are going.” That’s exactly what Brieze the narrator/protagonist of this four-story novel does. Through each of these episodes in different places and different times she (and we) comes to realize a wonderful connectedness with loved ones past, present and future. I appreciated the overview of each part before “Story One” it helps the reader grasp the scope of the book and anticipate each of its different parts. My favorite was the contemporary encounter of the third section, but I also liked the first; my wife found the second most inspiring — Brieze travels back to spend time with Native American’s in the early 1600s.

But each of the four stories has an important underlying meaning: (the first) things have greater meaning than they initially appear to have; (the second story) nature is part of us and we regain ourselves by losing ourselves in it; (third) a partner in life helps us remember; (and fourth) the future —  who we will become —  shapes the present just as the past has. But the whole of this book is more than the sum of its parts.

There is a wonderful metaphor that runs throughout ‘Herstoria’. The first episode when Brieze slips into the Otherworld is a bit like reading an old fashioned fairy tale of a child lost in the woods (“The oak trees here were grand old things, with bulging midriffs and knotted biceps and obscure faces in the bark that grimaced and leered.”) except this is a Jungian world of archetypes and the surprise interpretation, sprung on her husband at the end, is that she wants to have children. The metaphor is that life is like stories, like a book, in which we discover meaning. Here Brieze describes the architecture professor John Tate: “He would shed the dust of time that moved this old tome and make its presence known to her. And she could resist its invitation to take it off the shelf and sit down with it, in intimate union, no more than she could resist the turning of the Earth. She would lift its cover, slowly and carefully and watch it reveal its contents, as God may reveal His mysteries to the world.”

This book is well written. The transitions to different time periods are flawless and Salter’s grasp of historic detail gives each account real credibility. There is a temporary change of point of view in the first part developing the French revolutionary’s family more quickly, that is a little distracting and I found the second story more reflective with fewer scenes of character interaction that would have made it more dramatic. This is quickly rectified with the dynamics of the encounters between Brieze and the deaf man in the third story. The last section is a brief, (somewhat expository-heavy) glimpse into the crystal ball of the distant future. But what I enjoyed most about this book is that we, as readers, are acknowledged to be searchers. When the book is over and Brieze’s journey is complete, we are well on a trail of discovery about our own lives.

Ϫ Ϫ Ϫ Ϫ (4 angels out of four) – John Lehman

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'Green Stones'

‘GREEN STONES’ – my second book, is a story of past-life karma.

Sometimes, what we know from our present life doesn’t answer a strange and difficult experience we may have. It may be time to visit the past. Following on from Wendy Salter’s first book, ‘Herstoria’, this book takes the subject of past-lives deeper into the karma brought forward from a past-life into the present.

‘GREEN STONES’ is set in the beautiful sun-drenched turquoise Aegean Sea around Turkey and delves into the surfacing past-life of Louise, an English woman who finds her connection to a famous pirate, Captain Oruc. How can her present life, set in 2004, reconnect to Captain Oruc back in 1503, and a city renown for one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – Halicarnassus, now known as Bodrum? There, St Peter’s Castle, the last stronghold of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, holds an unexpected secret.

This is a heart-rending story of hatred, betrayal and intrigue, survival, passion and pain, but it is love that endures. It is based on a true story.

Alongside the fiction and the fact, the author makes a study of an ancient, mysterious esoteric wisdom, which is resurfacing at this time in a spiritual understanding of re-incarnation and karma. When our lives unfold, not in a pre-ordered and simplistic fashion, but in a surprising and challenging way, we can find purpose and fulfillment through an understanding of re-incarnation and the opportunities it offers. Unbelievers of the transmigration of the soul see the human existence as just a procreation of the species, but a simple question must expand the mind into other possibilities – For what purpose? Thousands upon thousands of testimonies lend evidence to the idea that we return to incarnation many times. Is it too preposterous to imagine that we can accumulate knowledge from life-time to life-time, and through experience gain a wisdom that enlarges our existence into a fully conscious, evolved being?

 

St. Peter's Castle, Bodrum, Turkey

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'Persian Carpet'

‘PERSIAN CARPET’ – my third book, is a story beyond Death’s Door.

Have you ever wondered what lies beyond Death’s Door?  In Wendy Salter’s third book, she takes a diversion from past-lives into the mysterious World of Spirit, between incarnations.

‘PERSIAN CARPET’ – The protagonist, Beatrice, thinks she knows where she is going, but she didn’t know the outcome of her surprising journey into Old Persia and beyond. She meets not just one companion, Ishaq, but a second, a guide called Pir, and together they explore this different dimension of the living universe. Just as the old Persian Carpets earned a reputation for ‘flying’ in Old Persia, Beatrice finds a Persian Carpet that can take her beyond her wildest dreams. The outcome of this journey leaves Beatrice with a dilemma.

In this story, Beatrice is not just the story-teller but the explorer in a world not too dissimilar to our own, while presenting some significant differences as her free-consciousness is less restricted by space-time. In her transition from Earth-Time to Spirit-Time, the journey seems common-place at first, with familiar modes of transport, but she crosses the Rainbow Bridge and from thereon she knows she has arrived in a very different place. Conversations reveal some enigmas of the spirit-world, especially when they involve the numerous characters she meets, who each have their own story to tell. Beatrice goes through ‘death’s door’ consciously and with purpose, as she has undertaken a mission to investigate the possibilities and locations of numerous kinds of ‘portals’. The blending of history, mythology, philosophy and speculation contrive to expose the creative abilities of the conscious mind, set free in an environment of imagination we may call an alter-reality. Having gained important insights, Beatrice then has a choice, armed with a new understanding of herself – what to do next.

 

'Persian Carpet'

Coming soon – Book four will follow Beatrice’s decision to continue and in so-doing she will endeavour to discover long-lost ancient history that could explain the early Path of Humanity, where the Path divided, and the potential it now has to dream-up its own future. As an increasing number of people open their minds and retrieve their lost memories of who they truly are, commonly known as ‘waking-up’, the barrier of disbelief we have constructed around us will dissolve to reveal – what?

 

 

 

 

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*Cata to Catalan


CATA TO CATALAN

Browsing the dictionary, one may come by some interesting connotations of this root word: CATA…

According to the O.U.D. the [Gr./L.] root CATA-, KATA- [Arab.], CAT- and CATH- can be used to mean:-

Down [as in a place down there], down [as in away, entirely], implying disparagement [dishonour, inferiority or disgrace from association or marriage with inferior person], inferior, down upon, [as in below others], hence, [as in away from here], against and reflecting back, answering to, and lastly, intense, downright, completely.

In Catalonia, N.E. Spain, there is an autonomous community once known as Aragon, ruled as a kingdom under the auspices of the Caliphate of Cordoba. The area was once occupied by the Greeks, some from Rhodes, reflected in the coastal resort of ‘Roses’ [Rodes] and a monastery [now a ruin] and church, perched high above Vilajuiga [town of Jews], dedicated to St. Pere de Rodes. The saracen from N. Africa also occupied this area. It may not have been an invasion, rather an integration of migrating families. The people of Catalonia, the Cathars, filtered north into Pyrenees Orientales and Langudoc, on the French side of the mountains. Langedoc, literally translates as ‘Language of ‘Oc’ [hidden place], suggests the language spoken in this region was different – neither French, nor Spanish, or both? Were there settlers from the East, maybe even from the Orient originally, and was the Catalan language, [basically Latin], the primary language from which both French and Spanish grew, or was it that it just didn’t change into modern French or Spanish, maintaining it’s unique quality still known as Catalan?

Of course it is Catholic country but it was also known as Cathar country, and the Cathars are remembered as a people whom the central Catholic administration in Rome called heretics. The Spanish [Catholic] Inquisition is well known – it was not just one occurrence but a continual process over many years, whereby the central administration from Rome questioned vigorously any individual or group that may be opposing or resisting its doctrines and authority.

Catalonia is ‘Cathalunya’. Here we have two root words: ‘cath’ and ‘lun’. Quite literally this could be presumed to be the land down below the mountains [Pyrenees], but the symbolic use of, and hidden knowledge in language suggests far more: the ‘inferior’ people’s place under the ‘Moon’, perhaps? [The word for land in French and Spanish is ‘Pays’, not ‘Lun’] The Moon, in esoteric terms, is the feminine, reflective, illusive and mysterious, or occult light, as opposed to the masculine, direct, inclusive light of the seen and known, of the Sun. The patriarchal, omnipotent Catholic Church in Rome would have opposed any feminine, mysterious and esoteric, or pagan influences. They would have sought out and eliminated any splinter group, or ‘underground’ movement, and may have seen it as inferior knowledge, perhaps. Was it simply that Catalonia, the home of the Cathars, was a place hidden under the setting sun, i.e. in the West, a dimly enlightened place, like the moon, far from the Solar Centre of the Roman Empire? [which would originally have been Byzantium – Constantinople, Istanbul, and then Rome.]

History, and written language, is passed down by those who record it, and at that time that would have been in Latin, the base language of Italian, Spanish, French and most of our English. Further back and Greek would have underpinned modern written language, and further back still, Hebrew and Arabic. The languages are still hidden in English, in commonly used words.

Our own personal biological history is recorded in our blood, in the DNA. For those who develop their intuition, or inner knowledge, there is an instinct, or inner reaction, to verbal rather than written history: knowing what feels right. The history of All Men is recorded, in some form, as a Universal Truth, which some call the ‘Akashic Records’. I am not here to tell that truth, only to present some clues hidden in the ‘Word’: the sounds, letters and words that are passed down for us to hear a truth.

If we string together the words above, highlighted in bold, we may have a sentence that describes the Catalonians, the Cathars – “The lowly people who live together in a place down there, entirely away from here [the centre of knowledge, the Central Command of the Catholic Church, the Solar Plexus of the Roman Empire, Greek Empire or Jerusalem]. A people who are disparaged by marrying inferiors, ignorant pagan peasants, heathen barbarians, or foreigners, mixed-bloods, not ‘of the faith’ and are now inferior, dishonoured and in disgrace, and are thus hence, [gone], living against [the Central Command of the Church] and are only a pale reflection and not answering to [Central Command] and downrightly intense in themselves, completely on their own.

This may have described them physically, as settlers who moved west, and mixed with settlers from other places, but by doing so they may have become a people in their own right, of their own mind, with their own way of life, their own spiritual practices, rituals, philosophy and belief. They may have had oriental, Greek or Arab blood, mixed with their European, French and Spanish blood.

Look at some other associations with the root word CATA, KATA, CAT and CATH…

Catholic – all-encompassing or universal. Catholic with a capital C – Unified Religion.

Catalogue – an all inclusive list, or register. Within the Cathar population there was an ‘Order’, which taught only to the local people in their homes. They had no church but they had members, initiates.

Katabatic – the descent of cold air down a slope, [the ‘tramuntana’ North wind from the Pyrenees Mountains]

Cataplexy – complete entrancement; suspended animation, feined death, – out of body experience?

Cathartic – purging, downwards. Purging with certain plant medicines causes healing and self-awareness. Cathartin is a bitter substance extracted from Senna.

It is possible that the Cathars, a rural, pagan folk, with knowledge of herbs and medicines from distant places, could have used herbs in a cleansing, purging, spiritual ritual, which would have been forbidden by the Roman Church because it would have induced spiritual enlightenment, individual religious experience and self-empowerment. Also herbs could be used to induce cataplectic reactions, pain relief, out-of-body experiences, lack of fear of death and belief in reincarnation. [All of the above would have been outlawed by the Roman Hierarchy to prevent individualism and to protect their power, enhanced by their installation of fear of death.] It is known that the Cathars had a ritual, performed only by the trained initiates, called the ‘Consummatiolatem’, commonly believed to give them the power to overcome the fear of death; [L. consummationem: supremely qualified, complete, accomplish, fulfil, perfect]. Many cultures around the world, people who have retained their knowledge of sacred plant medicine, have the antidote to any narrow religious dogma that incites fear. [Opiates, hallucinogens, psychotropes and purgeants].

It is recorded that all Cathar heretics were persecuted and silenced by execution [burning].

That is history, the lesson of which has been learnt, hopefully. Within the legacy of both the Cathars and others like them and the Church itself, in fact of all religions, there lies all the symbolic, esoteric knowledge that we need, and is still available for all to seek, witness, understand and be enlightened by. We know that it is not knowledge itself that is dangerous or wrong, only the mis-use of it.

Other words:

Cathay – old term for China; a Cathai’an, or Catai’an, man from China, scoundrel.

Catacomb – underground burial chambers

Catastrophe – the final event

Catharan – a purist

Catalysis – dissolution, ruin; a substance that causes a reaction

Catamenia – the moon cycle, menstruation.

chthonic \THONE-ik\, adjective:

Dwelling in or under the earth; also, pertaining to the underworld

“Driven by dæmonic, chthonic Powers.”
— T.S. Eliot

“The chthonic divinity was essentially a god of the regions under the earth; at first of the dark home of the seed, later on of the still darker home of the dead.”
— C. F. Keary

I recommend browsing for more insights….

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The origins of all religions appear to be unanimous in the recognition, honouring and respect for the Mother/Father Creators, unified as One, to give birth to Life. The downfall of all religions arrives in the separation of the wisdom into either ‘this or that’, ‘male or female’, ‘right or wrong’, ‘mine or theirs’.

May the Right of all to think, speak, and act according to their own belief persist in Freedom – to Unite all, and to create Peace and Enlightenment for all. A’men. Namaste. Sh’al’om. A’dio’siao. May your God be with you. Pax e Lux. Mitakuye Oyasin. [please add more]

Wendy Salter

[original writing]

Published in: on January 1, 2009 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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