Awakening the inexplicable knowing of childhood

A child adopted soon after birth cries bitterly for a sister and later it is discovered that a biological sister was born to her birth family.

A four-year-old turns to his grandmother and says, "I'll never forget you, Grandma. Never ever."

An timid little girl found her strength in the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" at Sunday School, though she didn't really believe he was the one and only god. She then grew up to be a therapist for traumatized children.

Children know things that don't make logical sense. There are so many things they don't know--like if you chew on that electrical cord it will eventually fray and zap you with electricity and if you throw your plastic toys across the room in a tantrum some of them will break and the others will be confiscated. 

But then they do know some incredible things.

James Hillman, a prominent psychologist and author of The Soul's Code, wrote that children possess a form of intuition which seems almost miraculous and as we age we lose it, some faster than others but almost all inevitably.

I am always the student in class with my hand up and an annoying question bursting out. If I were at a lecture by Hillman, my question would be, "Do we have to lose it? Isn't there some way to keep on knowing?"

I have been fascinated by that question for years because I had predictive dreams as a child. I can't prove it to others, but I know that it wasn't my imagination. I knew. 

When I was nine I dreamed of the moon, big and full in the velvet dark. Then the moon rippled and shattered, breaking into two--one still round and whole and the other squashed and blurred. That was all but I jerked awake and sat up in bed, bathed in cold sweat. 

I immediately knew what the dream meant. I had lost one of the new contact lenses that my mother had bought with a huge portion of our family's meager subsistence income. I wasn't told exactly how much but I knew it was a lot. My vision impairment is such that I could see twice as much with contact lenses as I could with glasses, so I needed them badly.

That was why the dream left me shaken and gasping for a few mements. I was relieved that I was in bed and the contacts were safe on the shelf beside me. Just a nightmare, I thought, and I went back to sleep. 

The next day I put in my contacts and went to school. I came home and immediately got out my sled and followed my brother to the sledding hill. We barely stopped for dinner. Then the moon rose and we went back out into the silver fairyland of a full-moon winter night. 

I straddled my sled at the top of the hill, tasting the cracking cold on my tongue and the ultra dry air in my nostrils. My brother let loose and slipped off down the hill into the dark. I dug my heels in and pushed. The sled scraped against the hard crust of snow and then I was flying. 

The cold air rushed past my face, ice crystals stinging so that I had to squint my eyes. The night was alive around me, the sound of sled runners, the shaddows of well-known trees, the star-studded sky and the moon hanging straight out in front of me. Coyotes called on the far ridge and I looked up at the moon, whooping with sheer joy.

And then I saw it. The moon rippled... and then shattered, just as in the dream.

A spark of fear jolted inside me. I had forgotten the dream until that instant and with the wind and spraying snow in my face and the speed of the sled, I could do nothing.

Except cover my face with my mittens and slide to the bottom completely blind.

My brother came when I called for help and I gingerly took lowered my hands from my face. My right eye felt wrong and the moon and everything else was completely blurred. He crouched down to look at my face and then at my mittened hands. And there, amid the snow and wool he found the tiny contact lens--worth more than all of our Christmas presents put together.

On the eve of Imbolc, Ten-year-old Shanna and her seven-year-old brother Rye find protection and connection through the use of intuition and through a myterious raven, who turns out to be a friend. This is the story of a modern earth-centered family who follows the old gods and celebrates the wheel of the year. The Shanna stories give children in Pagan and goddess traditions a community and inspiration within lively adventures that kids can't get enough of. Check out Shanna and the Raven: An Imbolc Story on Amazon.

That was the first prophetic dream I had but not the last. Several times during my childhood, I had other such dreams. I can't explain it but I am telling the simple truth. I dreamed it the night before each time I came close to losing a contact lens. My doctor always said it was incredible that I never lost a contact and never had an eye infection. It's unheard of among similar patients. 

When I first got contact lenses, I lived in a cabin without hot water or an indoor toilet. To say that money was tight would be a vast understatement, so it is good that my dreams helped out. I could wish my dreams had warned me about a few other things in life than just this, but mostly they didn't.

Some children seem to be protected. Is it a guardian or is it intuition? And if it is intuition, what is intuition exactly? I have found some answers to these questions, answers which led me to a earth-centered, polytheistic Pagan path. But each person answers these questions in different ways and I doubt there is one absolute truth.

There can be sign posts and maps however, help along the way.

The book Shanna and the Raven is a piece of a map for both children an adults. It is a children's story of today's world, an example of how children use intuition in the real world--for protection and well-being. It is also a story of one family's celebration of Imbolc, a tale for earth-centered families that portrays seasonal celebrations as an integral part of life.

Answer to the Wizards of FantasyCon - Author interview

I was recently interviewed by the wizards of FantasyCon, the virtual fantasy convention taking place between Nov. 1 and Nov 8. This is a huge event of authors, artists, bloggers and fantasy readers who want to get together, have fun, be awesome geeks, play games, win prizes and yak about great books. The can join eight different sub-genre events here

The interview posts can easily get buried on Facebook, so here is a transcript of what I had to answer. As it turned out it wasn't really as intimidating as it sounds. If you're on Facebook, please share this interview by clicking here.

A FantasyCon Mini-Interview with Arie Farnam, Author and Blogger.

Q - What are you favorite fantasy stories?

AF - I was teethed on Tolkien. I don’t remember the first reading of The Lord of the Rings. It was just one of those things that was always there. I read everything, including The Silmarillion as a teenager. (I wrote bad epic poetry in imitation when I was thirteen.) I also loved David Eddings’ Belgariad.

As an adult I like The Wheel of Time series, Harry Potter, and The Magicians. I also like stories that bring bits of fantasy into other genres like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and probably anything that crosses fantasy with a contemporary thriller without resorting to vampires.

Q - What inspire you most about fantasy as a genre?

AF - I love “what if” logic games. (And I’m the kind of reader who will throw a book at the wall if the author doesn’t play fair.) I also love the interplay of magic, spirit and reality in more contemporary fantasy. Fantasy is truly inspiring to me when it makes you look at reality differently. I’m also a sucker for Elves and Dragons. I have seen them written poorly, but I will do most anything for a top-notch story involving Elves and/or Dragons. I like literary and historical fiction too, but fantasy adds fun and tension that really inspire me.

Q - Have you written any stories? If so, please share them with us.

A - I am finishing up the sixth book in The Kyrennei Series. It’s closest to urban fantasy or sci fi/fantasy. Take a contemporary thriller and cross it with epic fantasy. Add a telepathic power cult who secretly rule today’s world and their ancient enemies—a non-human race that’s supposed to be extinct. Mix in a group of underground Pagan freedom fighters, ancient myths, secret languages and a distinctly international cast. That’s it in a nutshell.

It starts out with The Soul and the Seed. A student named Aranka Miko is kidnapped, then rescued and pulled into the clandestine struggle because of a fluke in her genes. She has to choose between being a victim in hiding or fighting back in a way that will surely get her killed. At the core it’s a story about finding authentic hope and inner freedom when you’re massively outgunned.

Beyond that series, I’m currently working on some adventure books for kids from Pagan and earth-centered families. And I’ve just started a near-future dystopian novel.

I love to connect with friends, readers, authors and artists on Facebook. Please share this interview with your friends who like to read.


Arie Farnam

Arie Farnam is a war correspondent turned peace organizer, a tree-hugging herbalist, a legally blind bike rider, the off-road mama of two awesome kids, an idealist with a practical streak and author of the Kyrennei Series. She grew up outside La Grande, Oregon and now lives in a small town near Prague in the Czech Republic.