It’s been too long since I did a review, so time to rectify that!
How do you combine the archetypes of ancient myth with modern human concerns, such as the reactor meltdown in Fukushima or global warming? Well, in Pandora’s Fire Sylvia Warham has found a way of doing just that, by employing the myth of Pandora and grafting it onto the rugged bleak beauty of the Dartmoor Moors in 21st cerntury England to create a unique new drama.
Pandora is known in history as the chick with the box, remember, the one who couldn’t help having a peep inside, with disastrous consequences for the world. Pandora’s box contained all the evils that when once unleashed could not be controlled or got back into their box, a timely tale for today’s world. It is said that all that remained in the box was hope.
Maybe that’s all we need.
What may be not so well known about Pandora, however, is that in Greek mythology she was the first woman created, the Greek equivalent of the Biblical Eve, and the box kind of her forbidden fruit. There’s a clear parallel here with the Judaeo-Christian tradition, which you know about if you’ve been following the Nondual Series.
Pandora is also linked to one of the most pivotal and interesting characters of Greek myth, Prometheus (she was married to Epimetheus, his brother), possibly the only one of the immortals with any real depth. He stole the fire of the gods and gave it to humans (this can be seen as consciousness awakening, although best not to extrapolate too much allegory from Greek mythology!)
Angered by this – and fearful of the power humans now possess – Zeus decides to throw a spanner in the works. He does so by ensuring humans have their fill of plagues and distractions so that they will never use their fire. Remember the ego-mind?
You see, once a gift is given it can never be taken back.
To this end he used Pandora by giving her her famous box (originally a jar, Greek πίθος), with the clear injunction not to open it, knowing full well her curiosity would prevail and he’d get his way without having to take responsibility! Personal responsibility wasn’t a big thing with the Greek gods.
Consequently she was blamed for all the sins of the world. Where would we be if we hadn’t women to blame!
Pandora’s Fire explores the consequences of a rash action by fusing echoes of the myth with the adventures of a modern lass, Dora, who wanders the moors. Dora could be seen as an avatar of Pandora, and through her own gifts faces the perilous circumstances that confront her in a very modern challenge, that if she succeeds could transform the earth in its present turbulent time. But which looks like it will consume her.
In doing so a marvellous tale of crystals and a new energy source unfolds which has redemption at its centre. Shades of Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis here with its wonder crystal, as well as ley lines, the fairie folk, Glastonbury (the heart chakra of the world), even the pyramids.
All round Pandora’s Fire is a really good read.
At first I found the overlap between mythical Pandora and human Dora a little confusing, but this becomes plain as the book progresses and in no way does it deter from the enjoyment of it.
The supporting characters, such as Eric, Jake and Brigid, which sometimes can be wooden in this kind of tale, really come to life here. Sylvia told me there may be a sequel with the chance, perhaps, to meet some of these characters again. I for one am looking forward to that.
Despite being tricked into opening the box, Pandora here never shirks her responsibility (would that many modern equivalents did the same!), and sets out on a quest across the centuries to undo the mess she made. In doing so she meets Phobos the god of fear in a cave on the moors, who is appropriately enough a large arachnid (that’s a spider to you and me), the seat of multiple fears.
One of the secondary themes of Pandora’s Fire is ‘reality’. What exactly is it, and the strange way that it can be a completely different thing to different people. A theme common with the USS.
In short, while it certainly is a great sci-fi fantasy, Pandora’s Fire is in truth a tale of awakening,
I thoroughly recommend it. It would make a good Christmas present.
Sylvia describes the book as:
"Set in the wilds of Dartmoor and steeped in Dartmoor legends, this is the story of Pandora. She very much regretted opening her famous box and releasing all of the ills into the world and now attempts to put matters right. Her quest takes her on a wild adventure with maverick scientists Eric and Mike, who find themselves firing up an ancient pyramid in order to avert a natural disaster. "
Pandora’s Fire is available on Amazon Kindle.
Also in POETRY CORNER
1. Selection of poems from Resurrection and Other Works, by George Fennell.
A celebration of the man and his works.
2. Crack Your Cocoon: a review of This Love Filled Sound, by Venus CuMara.
3. Prayer by Eoin Meegan
There is a voice that doesn’t use words - listen!
Reality is merely an illusion - albeit a persistent one.