Well, what fun it has been working on the Arbatel….. a text that drove me and Michael the editor totally nuts with its antics. So much so that it deserves a blog post, plus missing star information…. You will figure out why soon enough.
It all started when I realised just how powerful the magic in the Arbatel was, magic that was hidden below a surface layer of planetary spirits and evocations. The more I dug, the more I found, and the more I tore it apart for analysis and brought hidden magic to the surface, the heavier the energy became, until I triggered the guardian that is magically patterned into the text.
That was the first ‘ouch’. I got sideswiped by the guardian, a magical construct designed to stop magicians going too far with the book. So I stripped a load of things out of the lessons, but still left enough for adepts to learn how to analyze such texts, and also for them to be able to follow the many hidden trails in the book that lead to various learning situations. So far so good.
But then it came to editing. By this time it had already taken about three months months for the manuscript to go back and forth between Michael and I, as we both took hits and subsequently stripped portions of the lessons out…. sometimes even a single word had opened the door a bit too far. But now, after much thought and divination, it was safe to go forward and properly edit and format it into the lessons, the paperback book and the Ebook. Or so we thought.
Now I am used to magical books, real structured and patterned magical books, playing up and being naughty. But the Arbatel takes the gold medal for being awkward and for misbehaving. Edits appeared and then vanished. Files would not open. Files would vanish and then re appear somewhere else. Short of gluing them into files, keeping them from running around a laptop became quite a chore. But finally, Michael wrestled it into PDF lessons for uploading to the website. Phew. It left him with a sore throat and a fever. Always a bit of a dodgy sign.
But then introducing files that contained the Arbatel to Squarespace proved to be a second session of ‘magical bucking broncos’. First the site just folded up and said ‘goodbye’, and kept logging me off in the middle of something. The pdf’s would load but the cover title art for each lesson would not. Then it would load but vanish. Once I had gotten all the images up on the website, then the PDF files started to vanish. But I hung on in there, and kept re doing it until it all finally stuck – by that time I had a fever.
Then it came to doing the paper backs. It would not load up to the publishing site. It was just not having it. No. Won’t. Can’t make me. So Michael tried to do it from his end. Again, it was just not having it. Finally, hours and hours later, it gave in and got in the box. Once it was uploaded, Michael discovered that in the formatting, a small section of text from one of the lessons had vanished. It shouldn’t do that, text does not simply vanish. But gone it was.
He offered to re do it all again, but in light of the fun we were having, and the cost/hassle/struggle of getting the bloody thing back into upload mode, while fighting the fever that came to us both every time we worked on it, I decided, fuck it, it can stay like that. It is not vital text; it is just the expansion of star names and meanings…. I have stuck them at the bottom of this blog – they are in the Ebook and the on line lessons, so if you buy the paperback…. Well… the missing star names are here at the bottom, and are in the website lessons. By this time, I had just about had enough of the Arbatel. So we thought that was the end of it. Hahahahahaha not.
When I came to upload the ebook, ready for amazon… well… bucking bronco part III started. The last lesson of the Arbatel module would not be listed in the Ebook contents. It was just not having it. Now Michael is a bit of a computer and software wiz… he is not a tech moron like me. He knows his way around his software in ways I cannot even begin to grasp. But this had him totally stumped. He called me. “It can’t do that” he said…. But it was doing that. No lesson eight in the contents listing. It was just not going to happen. Lesson eight is a series of images of all the pages from the original Arbatel book 1575. It did not want to be listed - it was not a lesson, it was the Arbatel!! I think it was a bit insulted to be honest.
So we decided to go ahead anyway, with the listing missing in the contents… people would have been primed in the previous lesson anyway to know it was there. Ok…. So… I stuck the finished Ebook into an Ebook reading program. No Arbatel images. Then one appeared, finally, like a teenager staggering out of bed first thing in the morning. So back the file went to Michael for fixing. This has never ever happened before. Michael always gets it spot on, first time around.
He was flummoxed… ‘wtf is going on’ was the gist of the conversation we hurriedly had, as we both fought with this bloody Ebook. One again he was fevered and so was I. Sweat was dripping off the end of my nose as I moved the files about. Anyhow, he figured a way to fix it, and also left a note at the end of the previous lesson, just to warn people it might behave oddly. Ok…. so now there is nothing else let to go wrong.
Wrong ISBN listed. Again, Michael thinks like a machine… every duck is in a row, always. But this time, wrong ISBN on the ebook. He had stared at it, checked it, checked it again….. but the books power had somehow glamoured him…… but at least it was spotted, and was eventually fixed. And the file was sent back to me, again, ready for upload. That was an hour ago…. It uploaded, finally….. and unless it totally crashes Lightening Source, or Amazon… all should be ok. We were both left dripping in sweat again, just from working on a simple book. Crazy.
That book has some very fancy protections around it, and some pretty fierce guardians. Nothing seems to trigger if you stick with the surface presentations of it… the planetary spirits and sigils…but once you find the gems hidden in its belly…oh boy…. So when you get to your adept training, and you come to study the book, or if you are going to dive in straight away and read it….. have some aspirin to hand, do it in short sessions, and try not to blow anything up as you read it!!
Here are the missing star names for the constellation of Auriga, from lesson three of adept module four that would not go into the paperback. They are in the lesson PDF, and also in the Ebook, but not the paperback. And why are these important? Well, you will have to read the lessons to find out!
Josephine McCarthy - Aug 2016
The seven main stars of Auriga