Published at Friday, February 01st, 2019 - 12:40:32 PM. House. By .
Writing Haunted House Stories - Building Atmosphere Through Setting : Atmosphere strikes your character with unease. Consider the houses that might be in your neighborhood. You know the one: Its the house that pedestrians cross the street to avoid. Its the house that high school students dare to spend a night, beyond the creaking doors to warily explore the strange whimpers within its indefinable shadows. Even though nothing tangible has actually occurred, your characters are afraid. This fear comes from the atmosphere: The setting that surrounds your house and your characters. Atmosphere is the mood, and that mood should haunt your readers long after the story is over. So where do you begin? Creating a haunted house story is a frightening and daunting task. To make things easier on yourself, establish the date and time from the beginning of your story. If you write a prologue, begin the story with your date and time or, at the very least, give hints to the decade. Perhaps your character is listening to Disco Inferno just before a psychopath sets the house on fire. Perhaps your character is trembling in the shadows, her bonnet is drenched with perspiration and shes praying for her lantern to stay lit long enough to be rescued. This not only establishes your setting, but also gives you a chance to add a bit of dimension and foreshadowing to your story. Haunt Your Readers Using the Correct Word Using the right word can also establish the setting in your haunted house story. Consider this sentence: Beverly Harris walked into the house. Not very creative at all. Theres barely a setting and the action is not very descriptive at all. Lets try another set of words: Beverly, overwhelmed with incipient danger, crept through the doorway. Better. Crept is a stronger description than the word walked. This is an acceptable description that readers would more likely enjoy. But couldnt we write this sentence in fewer and more ominous words? I think we can: The house consumed her. Ominous, descriptive and simple. This causes the reader to feel discomforted; therefore, empathetic which should be your goal as a writer. To make your readers feel what your characters are feeling. Location, Location, Location Your haunted house is a character just like the rest of your cast. It should have a personality. It should draw your characters into it, much like a protagonist is hunting for a villain. It should have a personality and a history. Your protagonist wants something and your house wants something too. So what kind of personality does your house have? Consider the location. It could be a bayou mansion decorated in a French-Creole, or maybe its a simple two-story cabin in Washington State like in Stephen Kings Alan Wake. Perhaps its even more classical such as a fortified castle located on top of a sheer cliff above a sleepy village. Each of these houses should reflect its geographical location, and its personality should be revealed through the protagonists perspective. If your house could speak, would it have an accent? How would you show that? The décor? The architecture? The location of your haunted house defines its personality. Let it speak. Let it lure your protagonist back into its swampy tendrils. Other ways to give your house a personality through the setting is by re-establishing the environment according to how people speak in their geographical region. People in the Deep South speak differently to each other in Miami and people in Miami speak differently than people in Montana. People gossip about each other and every person has a different perspective on life. Apply that to your haunted house. No matter the geographical location, your house has a back-story and people will gossip about it. What they say and how they say it can reveal more of your houses personality. Each time your character hears a story, his or her perspective will change. For example, The Infinite written by Douglas Clegg, some of the characters that stay in the Nightmare House see it as just an ordinary house at first. Once they begin to hear the strange stories, the paranoia begins to take over and pretty soon the house takes on a more sinister appearance. No, it doesnt physically change. What changes is the characters perception of the house. Your house is another character that deserves to be gossiped about. Everyone has secrets; your haunted house does too. Originality is Vital There are already a number of haunted house movies and books that take place in all kinds of environments all over the world. There are literally hundreds if not thousands that take place in a haunted cabin in the middle of the woods. In order for your horror story to survive the cutthroat competition, it must be unique. It must bring something new to a concept that has been done over and over again. Being unique is vital for your story to survive. Creative writers must be flexible. Instead of a haunted cabin in the woodsy Canadian mountains, perhaps your story is about a haunted floating home in the Puget Sound. Or maybe consider moving your cliché southern plantation to the sunny beachfront tropics of Africa surrounded with palm trees, monkeys and deadly spiders as big as a coconut. Originality doesnt have to be that extreme either. Perhaps your setting is in the Colonial American suburbs of Massachusetts but the architecture is ultra-modern. One last thing to consider when choosing an original setting for your haunted house story is the lighting and ambience. Remember that the farther your house is to the equator, the more drastic your hours of day and night become. A haunted house located in lowest parts of South America, for example, will spend at least a full month in total darkness in the winter and a full month of total daylight in the summer. Enter If You Dare H.P. Lovecraft was a master at building atmosphere through setting. He used the description of the landscapes and neighborhoods to give the reader an ominous feeling long before his character even approaches the house. Take this example from The Picture in the House: ... They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles and falter down black-cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities... The haunted wood and the desolate mountains [are] shrines, and they linger around the sinister monoliths of uninhabited islands... But the true epicure in the terrible and unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England... Their strength, solitude, grotesqueness and ignorance combine to form the perfect portion of the hideous. This paints a very sophisticated picture using carefully chosen adjectives and a forward approach. Although H.P. Lovecraft has surpassed the expectation of horror in its finest excellence, award winning author Joe Schreiber writes a more literal description of the Round House in one of his most bone-chilling haunted house stories: No Doors, No Windows: ... It was sparse and plain and narrow, with a curved concrete floor and smooth, almost circular black walls that didnt look as though theyd been painted black but were somehow sculpted out of naturally black material-some substance that literally absorbed light. There were no doors and no windows. Although the passageway appeared to be straight, there was definitely some bend to it, some winding quality just outside the lighters glow. Both of these excellent examples describe the haunted house using atmosphere and setting in different ways. They work well because of the strong word choice and vivid, unnatural descriptions that go beyond the details of how someone would usually describe a house. Joe Schreiber didnt just blatantly say: The room was round. Instead, he painted a picture so vivid that the reader simply got a sense that this room was unnatural and no sane person would enter it -especially if he only possessed a lighter. When is a haunted house not a haunted house? A haunted house isnt always necessarily a house. It can be an apartment or a condo on the beach. Sometimes its a cemetery where spirits of the dead live, work and haunt like in Neil Gaimans novel, The Graveyard Book. Haunted factories, sanitariums, junkyards, prisons, schools, caves and even sewers could all potentially be haunted house stories. All the same rules apply.
The Family - The People of the Astrological Houses : The most important thing that we do in our experience is to relate with one another. To not be able to relate successfully makes life very difficult for many. I have done thousands and thousands of sky maps for thousands of people over my long years of being a professional astrologer. Probably the single thing that was most important to the person being read was relationships of all varieties. At the end of life, relationships or the lack of them were what was valued most, regretted most and controlled the end of life circumstance the most. At the core of relationship issues are the initial and primary relationships we form with our early family. Here is where our values are established and developed to become the basis for the relationships we build for ourselves in our future. As we mature, we form our own individual family circles plus a myriad of other relationships into which we enter. Family is where we begin our journey to understand and develop all relationships. In previous articles I have written about the parental axis, the 4th/10th houses of any sky map, as well as the individual maternal and paternal roles. However, the family is not just our parents or lack of them. Each of us has a long, rich history within our family, good guys and bad guys. There is a genetic heritage. Yes we can see the physical characteristics that are handed down through the gene pool. But there is far more than what we inherit from our families on other levels. I am exploring this family astrological heritage step by step through a series of articles. Any sky map is constructed with the earth (on which we all exist) in the center and the cosmic energy pattern existing around that central core. If we were on the Moon, sky maps would be constructed with the Moon in the center. On Mars, Mars would be in the center, etc. The wheel shape is called the chart and the divisions are called houses. There are 12 divisions of the houses just as there are 12 sign divisions for the zodiac. The signs show mannerisms, expressions and are descriptive in nature. The houses illustrate 12 compartments or arenas of physical experience. Each of those twelve houses therefore must contain numerous issues and also the people in your life. The whole of the wheel maps the whole of your life, every single thing. The trick is to learn to read that sky map successfully, which can be more involved than it seems. Our focus for this article will be on the people represented by the houses, particularly the members of your family. Houses General house information will help us reach the point where we can see the validity of the people representations. Remember that the 12 houses begin with the ascendant and are listed counter-clockwise from that point around the wheel. Psychologist Carl Jung divided human expression into four categories: intuition, emotion, sensation, and thought. In brief: · The left half of the wheel (rising planets) represents the development or the interests of self. · The right half of the wheel (setting planets) represents involvement with others or the interests of others. · The bottom half of the wheel represents the time from dusk to dawn, the introspective, internalized, reflective self. · The top half of the wheel represents the time from dawn to dusk, the externalized, participatory, extroverted self. · The four angles of the house wheel represent the point of beginning for each of the four quadrants of the chart. · The general activity of all four chart quadrants are in this order from the Yung perspective: intuition, emotion, sensation, thought. · The ascendant is the angle that begins the personal, subjective first three houses of intuition (1, 2, 3). · The IC or 4th cusp is the angle that begins the subjective, other involved next three houses of emotion (4, 5, 6). · The descendant is the angle that begins the external, other involved three houses of sensation (7, 8,9). · The midheaven is the angle that begins the external, self-interest three houses of thought (10, 11, 12). These few sentences describe the hemisphere and quadrature influence of houses. In addition, · The angular house for each quadrant is dynamic active, visible, directly related to the individual. · The succeedent house follows the angular house in each quadrant (succeeds the angle) and represents establishing, building, formalization of that quadrants issues. · The cadent house follows the succeedent house and represents adaptation and promotion. · In brief, the angular house activates, the succeedent house formalizes, the cadent house promotes the issues of a quadrant. · The round of the three types of houses begins again at the next angle. There is one more explanation of the cadent house that will help you understand its role better. Adaptation is the key word here because the dynamic influence of the angle is followed by the establishment influence of the succeedent house, which is a logical sequence for experience. However, it would be difficult to move from building brick by brick (establishment) to the dynamic activity of an angle because form would tend to resist the initiation of something new. The cadent houses bridge this gap between the establishing principal of one grouping of three houses (quadrature). and the dynamic principal at the beginning of the next grouping of three houses (quadrature). Using this rationale: · The 3rd house bridges (adapts) the subjective self-aware first quadrant as it encounters the subjective awareness of others or emotional quadrant initiated by the 4th house. Intuition gives way to emotion. · The 6th house bridges (adapts) the subjective awareness of others quadrant as it encounters the objective awareness of others or sensation quadrant initiated by the 7th house. Emotion gives way to sensation. · The 9th house bridges (adapts) the objective awareness of others quadrant as it encounters the objective awareness of self or thought quadrant initiated by the 10th house. Sensation gives way to thought. · The 12th house bridges (adapts) the objective awareness of self quadrant as it encounters the subjective awareness of self or intuition quadrant initiated by the 1st house. Thought gives way to intuition. · The cadent houses are therefore key to understanding the point of flux, adaptation, bridging within the chart and are definitely more important than surface reading would indicate. If you will add this information on the houses with what you already know about the houses, this material should add a layer to your understanding. Read slowly and re-read as necessary. People of the Houses Who are the people represented by the houses? Everyone in your life is in that wheel somewhere. We will begin with the four angles and the technique we will use is the derivative house system or what I call wheeling the houses. Self Many are aware that the cusp of the first house is called the ascendant and represents the physical presence of the person or entity represented by that sky map. Much of the descriptive reading about a person comes from that cusp and that house as well as that persons personal projection, response to its environment and coping skills. This is how the world sees us, through the filter of the sign on the ascendant and the planets in the first house. In brief, the first house and its cusp represents the most personal point of the physical self, the me point of the wheel. Partner Diametrically opposed to the ascendant is the descendant or 7th house. This is the point of the chart that is farthest from the point of self and may be described as the not self or the shadow self. This point represents the qualities we do not want to embrace and that we project onto another (partner). It is interesting that this represents the point of committed or contractual partnerships whether those relationships are personal (such as marriage) or business (such as partnership). Our committed partner is supposed to represent all the things we do not choose to express. What action do we do at this cusp? We commit to a person, walk into a house, lock the door behind us and attempt collectively to turn the house into a home. The way to a successful conclusion is to learn from that partner and embrace our own lesson. That way we can be with a person because we choose to, not because we must go to school with them as teacher. Parents The 4th/10th axis (cusps) represents our parents (or lack of them), the parental roles themselves. I want to back up for a moment and mention that this pair of houses is called the security axis and represents our internal and our external security needs. Our parents are supposed to fulfill that role or to at least prepare us for that role. There is a great deal of controversy as to which parent belongs in which of the two houses. I did cover that concept in three previous articles so I will not repeat that information here. Briefly, the 4th house parents job is to offer internal, subjective security, also known as the family. The 10th house parents job is to offer or prepare us for external, objective security, also known as making our way in the world successfully. Some people get lucky and the parents fulfill their roles well. Some people are not so lucky because dysfunction exists which can cause the individual lifelong problems. Not every parent is equipped for the role they have chosen. Some people take the lemons they received from their particular spin of the parental wheel and they make lemonade. I encourage that. So far we have ourselves (ascendant), our partner (descendant), our parents (both, either, or). What about all the other people that comprise our families? Where can they be found in the wheel? Grandparents The parents have been shown to be the 4th (and its axis partner 10th) from the 1st house of self. Where are the parents of your parents? They must be located in the 4th house from your parent cusp. You always count starting with the house you are questioning, such as the 4th house parent. Put your finger on that house counting one then count forward (counter-clockwise) one house at a time until you reach the 4th house of that 4th parent. That would be the 7th house. The same action would be taken for the 10th house parent but it is unnecessary to repeat the exercise, just look to the axis partner of the 7th or the 1st (you). So your grandparents (you have four) are found on the ascendant/ descendant axis. There are only two houses in this count, so two grandparents belong in one house and two belong in the other. It will take a little work on your part to sort this out, but this is where you go to find the answers. You will probably have genetic hand-me-downs from your grandparents. Two will have great similarities to you, those who are represented by the 1st house and ascendant. Two will seem less related as they occupy your 7th house of not-self. That probably is part of the generation gap. Physical and non-physical characteristics from those grandparents will evidence in you just as you will pass on certain characteristics to your grandchildren. My deceased fathers contribution to my kids and my grandkids is a specific sense of humor. My mothers love for dancing and music has shown up as well in my kids and my grandkids as has my paternal grandmothers beautiful singing voice. My parents and their parents are alive and well in the genetic contribution they gave us all within our family. Thank you for the gifts. Partners parents and grandparents What if you marry? The 7th house will describe your partner and your marriage. It should tell you what and who you are looking for, what you want someone else to do in place of you, and what you are not comfortable with within yourself. At times you are grateful. At other times you will fight the process (and the person). That partner has parents and so those parents will be the 4th from the 7th (and its partner) and we are again back to the 4th/10th axis in the chart. Hmmm. So far we are getting a large number of people in very few houses. Perhaps that will help explain why astrologers concentrate on the angular houses. Hang in there, we will move outside the 4th/10th axis shortly. Your spouse has grandparents (4) as well and they will be shown by the 4th of the parent or the ascendant/descendent axis. Getting crowded isnt it? Again, this can take some effort but this is where you begin. Multiple Partnerships All committed relationships are a 7th house issue. It illustrates what you are seeking in a partner because you are avoiding it as yourself. What if you have more than one marriage or partnership? To differentiate, skip the 8th house and go to the 9th house. 7th/9th illustrate your second committed relationship. Skip the 10th and go to the 11th. The 7th/11th is your third committed relationship. More? Busy little beaver arent you? Do the same routine: skip/choose. Just skip a house, go to the next one and join it to 7th. This combination should describe each individual person it represents. Children of all varieties Children are thought to be a 5th house issue. These would be natural children of the body (kids) or the mind (creativity). The oldest child is also described by the 5th. The second child would be the 7th along with the 5th. This 7th house child would be most like your spouse. The third child would be the 9th along with the 5th, and so forth around the chart. If you were to have 5 children, the 5th child would be most like you because that child would be represented by the 5th and the 1st houses. Children of your spouse, adopted children, fostering of children are each represented by your 11th house. Same procedure, maintain the base house but do the skip/choose procedure for each individual. Spouses of your children would be shown by the 7th (partner) of the 5th and additional house influence (child). One last child that may be found in the 5th house could be small pets. Large animals such as horses or elephants are read from the 12th house. We all know people who treat their pets as a child with wraps or costumes, who may eat from your plate, considered a member of the family, be the recipient of lots of baby talk, etc. I am not talking about the ordinary affectionate position of a pet within a family. There should be plenty of emotion and caring for any pet. As you know, some pet owners go beyond even that. With some you may find the 5th house is active or gives a better description of their pet, particularly if there are no natural children or are there are children but they are not available to the person. The pet becomes their child. Grandchildren A child of your child, your grandchild, is the 5th house from the 5th house or the 9th house for all grandchildren and particularly the first one. Again the skip/choose procedure applies for each additional grandchild The child of your spouse belongs with the 5th from the 7th or the 11th house as its base and skip/choose applies here as well. Siblings and Partners Do you have siblings? They are a 3rd house issue, all of them. However, we must differentiate for individuality. All siblings and particularly the oldest one are 3rd house. The next in age is the 3rd and the 5th in combination. The next in age is the 3rd and the 7th in combination. Each succeeding sibling would maintain the 3rd and add the next 2nd house skip/choose jump (skip the 8th and go to the 9th). This is how you would look at siblings in general and specific siblings in particular. The partners of your siblings are shown by the house opposite the one chosen for that sibling. Siblings of Spouse and Their Partners If you were seeking information on the siblings of your spouse, look to the 3rd of the 7th, which is the 9th. This is often referred to as the general in-law house as well. Again the 9th would be all siblings of your spouse particularly the oldest one. Do the same skip count as your own direct siblings, the second oldest sibling of your spouse would be the 9th/11th, and so forth. The partners of your partners siblings are showy by the house opposite the one chosen for the siblings of the spouse. Cousins, Aunts and Uncles of all varieties Cousins fall into the same house arrangement as your siblings (3rd). A spouses cousins fall into the same house arrangement as their siblings (9th). Your own aunts and uncles have their basis in the 6th house, same counting arrangement. Your spouses aunts and uncles have their basis in the 12th house, same counting arrangement. In Brief We have looked at the generalities of the houses to establish a reasonable base for understanding our relationships with others, specifically those we consider our family. We then moved on to the relationships we form and how to find them in the wheel. You must start with yourself because you will always be one end of any relationship possibility in your own life. The other end will be one of a number of relatives. In brief: · siblings and cousins = 3rd house · parents = 4th/10th houses · grandparents = 1st/7th houses. · natural children = 5th house · foster or adopted children = 11th house · spouses of your natural children = 11th house · aunts and uncles = 6th house · spouse or partner = 7th house · spouses children = 11th house · grandchildren and in-laws in general = 9th house · multiples of births or marriage are delineated by the skip/choose house count . Obviously you will have more and different kinds of relationships as we have explored only the family in this article. Please re-read this article as many times as necessary to clarify. This technique is not the easiest task to do and it will take you a little time to learn. For additional assistance look to articles or information on derivative house systems. Recommended reading: the three previous articles in this series • Where do You Find Mom and Dad in a Chart? The Parental Axis • Parents - Who and Where is Mom in a Chart? - The Maternal Issues • Parents - Who and Where is Dad in a Chart? Marilyn Muir, author, Presidents of Hope and Change: Bringing Hope to our Future by Reaching into our Astrological Past. How astrology predicts our nations future by reaching into our past. Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy, Obama... The Lineage of Hope Using the influential and interwoven cycles of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto to predict issues and trends up to 2012 and even beyond to 2025, Ms Muir leaves us with the clear message of hope as she depicts the future of President Obama at the helm of the USA ship of state. Read the first 36 pages (PDF) including the charts of all four Presidents - youll get hooked!
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