When Catharine and Ben go to their French home in Carcassonne, they meet a woman who looks just like Catharine, with whom she shares an instant affinity. Catharine’s spirit guide, Michael, connects her to ancient Carcassonne and the spirit of Elionor, whose thirteenth-century life entwines with Catharine’s modern one. Ben is concerned, but a journey of his own leads him to realise that not only Elionor’s and Catharine’s lives are interlinked, but his own and those of a whole group of people they know in the present world. A terrifying encounter with two false friends from the past – centuries past – and meetings with their age-old selves pull Ben and Catharine into the ancient crusades against the Cathar faith, to unearth a long-hidden secret. Can they defeat the evil twins, Les Deux, rewrite history and save their present, or will history repeat itself, 800 years in the future?
Available direct from the publisher, Austin Macauley, Amazon and bookshops, this exciting new novel moving seamlessly between the 13th and 21st centuries is an absorbing read. The second novel from author, Steve Costello who is currently nearing completion of his third, set in very ancient times and the present, exploring our timeless position in the universe.
Beyond The Pyre is set in the south of France and within the human mind. Two young lovers reach out to their future selves. Their task; to help protect an ancient secret that should on no account be seen by humankind. Two quintessentially evil characters stand out but there are hundreds of others sharing one very different motivation. Some seek to destroy everything; Les Deux just want the power of the secret.
The flame of the human spirit leads characters living across the centuries down numerous paths. Find out if their spirits truly connect or was it just wishful thinking brought about by hope and fear that motivated creative ways to survive.
From the darkness beyond the pyre,
two young lovers reach out to the future.
A malevolent force lurks in the shadows,
seeking to destroy them
and expose their closely guarded secret.
In 13th century France during the time of the crusades against the Cathars, two young lovers call out to the 21st century from Beyond The Pyre. Catharine, an adept spiritual traveler hears the call and realizes the importance of her connection with Elionor, a 13th century noblewoman. There is a treasure that must survive the centuries and be kept out of the human domain. The women are central to the survival of the treasure and they must keep it out of the hands of Les Deux, servants of a dark master.
Historical fact merges with fiction which merges with Spirit and mysticism. This story is as much about the authors spiritual journey as it is a gripping story about survival, new relationships, loss of loved ones and the tenacity of the human race to make sense from chaos.
Somebody asked me who the strong characters in Beyond The Pyre are. Thoughts of the blacksmith Maréchal zipped through my mind but didn’t stay long because six women are undoubtably the strongest characters in the story.
Simply put, each of them knows how to manage and never runs for cover when the going gets tough and very difficult for some of them it does become.
Early in the story, Catharine’s Wicca interests and some of her knowledge is declared. Others too would be happy to be called wiccan but unfortunately in their own day, they had to be content keeping their interests quiet. There was more than enough ‘witch-hunting’ going on in their worlds without risking being called a witch on top of everything else.
Some Mystics are Christian, Muslim, Jewish . . .
1a : having a spiritual meaning or reality that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence the mystical food of the sacrament. b : involving or having the nature of an individual’s direct subjective communion with God or ultimate reality the mystical experience of the Inner Light.
“There is nothing so inspiring, so filled with peace, happiness, perfect health, joy, and contentment as the development of the spiritual nature.” Rosicrucian Manuscript.
The development of my own Spiritual Nature drives much of what I do each day, it is a challenging joy. Some people might describe me as a mystic…
“The mystic uses their intuition a great deal, and endeavors to see into the future and to look beyond appearances. She or he reads others’ souls and hearts. A mystic does everything they can to rise up above suffering and despair; they go past the clouds and so glimpse the Sun; being both on their own and connected to the great All, they never forget that to accomplish great things we must be able to do small ones perfectly. The mystic knows that duty well carried out is an act of love and of service; and that for the service to have its full meaning, it must be selfless. It must be a gift of oneself to others, joyously agreed to, and not undergone as a great sacrifice. Love and giving should not be likened to suffering and renunciation, quite the reverse: were this the case, it would no longer be a question of love, but of masochistic behavior. True service only gives rise to good feelings, and expects nothing in return.” Christian Bernard
Christian Bernard’s words are quite a challenge but by following his general outline, I tread my own path and try to shine some light on others. Sometimes I stray, sometimes I hear the words of the Master Within, often not. I have much to learn and by focussing on the messages I do hear, I am able to share the gifts I receive through writing.
Ben and Louis
Catharine’s husband, freelance writer, practising Wiccan and all-round nice guy is not the character emerging from the early chapters of Beyond The Pyre. However, events move along rapidly and push him into a limelight he accepts with ease considering the blows he is dealt.
His spiritual gifts help him to free the mind of a lost soul who thanks him by leading him to Louis a 13th Century nobleman who is strongly opposed to the Cathar crusades. Louis prefers sword to pen and together but by no means the same, he and Ben have essential parts to play in Beyond The Pyre. If you are interested, mid-twenties, both are considered good looking, Ben has blond hair, blue eyes, Louis almost black hair, dark brown eyes, average height, strong build.
As you might imagine, there is a rather serious amount of writing out on the WWW about reincarnation, life after death and everything in and around so my research was considerable. See what you think of the following couple of paragraphs and I would love to hear your thoughts.
In modern times there has been plenty of research into the claims of people who say they have remembered their previous lives. One of the best known cases concerns Shanti Devi, born in Delhi in 1926. At the age of seven she told her mother that she had been alive before, in a town called Muttra. Over the next two years her recall of events increased until she was telling her parents about her previous husband, their house, and her three children. At the age of nine a complete stranger came to the door to discuss business with her father and Shanti claimed she recognised him as her husband’s cousin from her previous life.
To the astonishment of everyone the man did live in Muttra and agreed that his cousin’s wife, Ludgi, had died ten years earlier. When the husband came to visit her, Shanti recognised him immediately and flung herself into his arms. When she was taken to Muttra, she was able to direct the carriage to Ludgi’s house and identified her father-in-law sitting in front of it. She also recognised her two eldest children, but not the youngest, whose birth had cost Ludgi her life.
There is a growing wealth of cases like Shanti’s that suggest reincarnation and many people are exploring ways to unlock their own lost memories. Some people have spontaneous recall but there are also professional people who will help people unlock their hidden memories. Often, ‘Past Life Therapists’ use deep relaxation sessions or hypnotic techniques to guide their client back into time. Firstly they encourage them to recall events in this life and then back into early childhood. A point comes when they can ask the subject to look to the time before their birth and recall what they see and feel. Some describe a period between lives where they live in a heavenly afterlife but many go straight to memories of past lives.
Yes, it’s true! I have told you very little about Ben and Louis. By sharing a small piece of research from one of my sources, I have given a few clues about what connected them. Is that me getting off the hook?
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If you were part of the story, you might call Les Deux the archetypal bad guys of Beyond The Pyre. Sadly, by the time you had reached that conclusion you would be too late, possibly dead.
Les Deux wouldn’t stand out in a crowd, at least not until your path crossed theirs and I really hope that they won’t have the pleasure of your company because seriously, that pleasure would be all theirs and you will probably be reduced to a physical and psychological wreck.
If you think that sounds extreme and without too many spoilers getting in the way, here is a partial résumé.
- Present during key crusader events (1st to 4th crusades) such as the storming of Jerusalem and the gates of Constantinople.
- Respected by Simon de Montfort the 13th Century leader of the crusades against the Cathars and other minority groups who upset the pope by choosing not to follow Catholicism.
- Feared by people on all sides of the Cathar crusades.
- Les Deux were probably responsible for the famous phrase; ‘Kill them all, God will know his own.’ Unfortunately a number of people have laid claim to this and verification is difficult because it was originally claimed over eight hundred years ago by a number of kind people.
- Les Deux are amazing leaders who get ‘everybody’ to do their bidding. Terrible team workers.
- Enemies of Elionor and Louis in the 13th century
- Friends to Catharine and Ben in the 21st century; at least Catharine and Ben thought they were.
Would you give them a job? Sorry to be so rude and answer for you, despite your reservations, yes you probably would. They are amazing at getting into peoples’ minds.
Change is inevitable
Go with it
Grow with it
Dance with it
Thought for the day…
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou
The true star of Beyond The Pyre is Catharine and no, there is no spelling error. Thanks to flexible family values the beautiful young woman with incredible eyes was allowed to explore her world-view until she eventually settled as a practising Wiccan and Spiritualist. She had a natural ability to connect her mind to Spirit where she met her thirteenth century self in the cell of the abbey of Saint Marie in Lagrasse, France.
Spoiler alert . . . An unsettling time with a doppelganger and brutal interrogation by Les Deux, the duo nasties, tested her moral and physical strength almost to break point until their arrogance enabled her to take pity on the doppelganger and run. Sadly, Catharine didn’t see the barrier across a farm track. Her doppelganger perished when Catharine’s car crashed and her body, comatose in a local hospital. Her spirit stayed strong and her links to the thirteenth century noblewoman lived on. Not even an open door to the next world could keep Catharine from playing a crucial role in Beyond The Pyre.
Continued in Beyond The Pyre