"Calm before the Storm Evan's Sins" is by far the creepiest book I've written. It is the prequel to "Eye of the Storm Eilida's Tragedy" and Volume 2 in the Ruthless Storm Trilogy. But what really makes this book creepy and spine tingling is the astrology behind it. Meet the astrologer/ author who helped make this book a masterpiece.
Whobeda two part interview. The real Whobeda and Whobeda in Calm before the Storm.
Elle: For starters, who is Whobeda?
Whobeda: Whobeda is my "mystic name" which I thought I should have when I became a professional astrologer. It came about in a rather serendipitous manner. I'd been having a hard time coming up with one but figured inspiration would come sooner or later. As it turned out, the person who inspired it probably never knew. LOL. The story's a bit long so bear with me. At the time I was dating someone and we used to have lunch together most days. We worked in different locations so I would usually pick him up since parking where he worked was at a premium and he didn't want to lose his parking space. For a long time I drove an old 1995 blue Pontiac. It eventually bit the dust so I bought another car. A Mercedes Benz. It was pretty hilarious the attention it got. Anyway, shortly after I got the Benz I dropped him off to go back to work one day and this black guy he worked with saw him get out of my car. He asked him, "Who be da Benz bitch?" We had a good laugh about it and Whobeda was born.
Elle: What is astrology?
Whobeda: I have a room full of books that can answer that question but I'll try to keep it short and to the point. Astrology has been around for millennia and is in the realm of metaphysics which doesn't have a scientific explanation. Yet. It's premise is basically "as above, so below" which implies what is seen in the heavens reflects what occurs on Earth. The ancients who didn't have Netflicks or internet spent a lot of time watching the night skies and discovered correlations between the seasons, stars, planets and events on earth. They noticed the planets moved against the background of stars which were considered "fixed." They made up stories based on what they saw in the sky including the constellations that follow the path of the Sun that is known as the zodiac.
The saying "nomen est omen" suggests that what something is named influences its characteristics. Every zodiacal sign and planet has a meaning and interpretation based on its name or myth. There are also corresponding houses which include different parts of life. A trained astrologer looks at these placements of the planets in the signs and houses, then interprets them.
I started out a skeptic myself but when I checked it out I discovered it worked. There's undoubtedly an explanation which I suspect lies in the realm between quantum physics and the mysteries of consciousness. The main point is that it works. It goes far beyond what you see in horoscopes online which are so general they have little meaning. Astrology is incredibly detailed and the more you get into it the more profound it becomes.
Astrologers were the original counselors and psychologists. A person's natal chart, which shows the position of the Sun, Moon and planets for the moment the person was born and their relationship to each other is the key to who they are. They will reflect the prevailing cosmic energies of that moment. I see it as a form of quantum entanglement.
Elle: Besides being an astrologer what are other career hats have you worn or wear?
Whobeda: The most recent was as at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where I worked for over 20 years as everything from a technical writer and engineer to manager.
Before that I was a stay-at-home-mom to six kids for several years. I've taught spinning and weaving when I had a small retail store that sold such things along with the needed supplies. I was a full-charge bookkeeper for a credit union, too. And of course at this time I'm also an independent science fiction author. I guess you can tell that I'm ADHD and get bored easily. LOL.
Elle: How can authors use astrology in their writing?
Whobeda: Astrology works well for developing a character, especially when you're first starting out. Give him or her a birthdate and you can derive a detailed personality. Fictitious events can also show up via astrology. This gets into such a weird area that I'm even more mystified by this than when it works for actual people. All I can figure out is a person, even a fictitious one, has a certain energy based on when they're "born." If the person were real they would experience certain events at certain times which also play out fictitiously.
Elle: In what ways did you help me (Elle Klass) in Calm before the Storm?
Whobeda: We ran natal charts for your main characters, which lined up nicely with what you'd essentially channeled. The reports captured the essence of their personalities, which you had already established in the story, and added even greater depth to their motivations. Then we looked at events and the astrological influence in effect at the time which also fit. Since astrology can be very detailed, it provided even more information that you hadn't even thought of but could nonetheless use.
Elle: You have read Eye of the Storm but not the prequel Calm before the Storm. What went through your mind when the natal charts (Eilida and Evan) and Evan’s lunar return charts were dead on?
Whobeda: Astrology amazes me continually and that was just another instance where I marveled at its power. It boggles my mind on a regular basis with my clients but seeing how it fit with fictitious characters was even more astounding. There are so many metaphysical angles to this. For those who believe in multiple universes and/or dimensions, it's like it's occurring in some other realm and you're picking it up from there. I know as an author myself there are times when it's as if I'm an observer and simply recording what I "see" for my characters. More often than not I don't know what will happen next. Some would even go so far as to say you're creating that reality somewhere based on the "thoughts become things" philosophy. Perhaps writing fiction expresses another probability out there in the cosmic soup and the Universe doesn't differentiate between reality and fantasy. If it exists in your mind, then its energy develops a life of its own in some other realm.
Elle: In Calm before the Storm Eilida buys one of your books and gets it autographed. Tell us a little about your various astrology books.
Whobeda: "Whobeda's Guide to Basic Astrology" has been available as an ebook for a few years now. I have a website which has a lot of information on it which other astrologers use to teach classes so I thought compiling the information into an ebook would simplify things versus what I call "hyperlink bingo." I'm currently formatting it for a print copy. It includes all of the basics as well as various astrological applications such as compatibility and choosing a career. Another ebook, "Definitive Guide to Astrological Reports", describes several of the computerized reports available at astrology websites like my own. It includes full-length samples for a fictitious person so they can see what kind of information they contain. There are several different reports so it helps to know where to look depending on what kind of information you're looking for. I have a couple short ebooks out as well, "Asteroid Archetypes: A Primer" and "Lilith: Dark Maid of the Sith." These two titles are directed at those who know a little about astrology. "Asteroid Archetypes" addresses the influence of the larger asteroids, some of which have been redefined as minor planets, such as Ceres. Others include Juno, Vesta, Pallas Athene and Chiron. All are mythological figures whose archetypes are reflected in the astrological interpretation. "Lilith" is quite popular since she's associated with so many myths which relate to women's rights. There are several Lilith astrological entities, some real, some energy points, and each has its own influence. They can be quite toxic when they come together in a negative manner. Women that "go psycho" and do something horrific are often under the influence of Lilith. I have some examples in the book such as Andrea Yates and Casey Anthony.
Elle: What is your website and how can people get in contact with you for astrology jobs?
Whobeda: My website is valkyriastrology.com. It has a virtual store where all sorts of things are available such as computerized reports, report packages, and personalized readings. I can be reached via email at email@example.com.
In Calm before the Storm Evan goes to Whobeda for a natal chart reading. Here is the excerpt:
Evan slipped out of the girls’ room to make his appointment with Whobeda. He never trusted the computer reading he’d done years ago and wanted a true reading from an actual astrologer. He entered the private room and her amber eyes greeted him with warmth. He took a seat across the plastic table from her and fed her the, location, time and date of his birth. Within a few minutes she had his chart. Her eyes narrowed as she glimpsed the information and laid it on the table and explained the meanings of each connecting line.
“You are a passionate, intense person. You’re also idealistic and take a mystical approach to life. That explains your interest in Astrology.” She smiled. “You have strong attachments to your family and are driven by your feelings.” She slipped a shawl over her arms as a sudden chill entered the room. “You have strong attachments to your past, your heritage, family traditions and may be unable to step out of the habits and roles you learned as a child. Your tie to your mother is very strong.” Blackness devoured Evan’s eyes. She shuddered and wrapped the shawl tighter around her shoulders.
He sat quiet the anger inside him spilling into his eyes. The mention of his mother and his inability to stop killing her and his family. The role he learned as a youth. The damage his fake father and mother placed upon his soul thieving his childhood. Hearing Whobeda’s eerily accurate words made him realize the stars and planets guided the path of his life since birth. Born when Mars conjuncted with Moon in his 4th - predispositioned for his mother’s violence towards him. Pluto in the tenth house affirmed the secrets related to his father. The one who raised him a bogus replacement for his true father. Does my own father have more secrets? She continued to speak, the words filtering through his mind. He blamed his mother for giving birth to him at such an unpleasant time, cursing his life. His mother flashed in static not fully taking form, she never reappeared. He sensed the astrologer’s uneasiness upsetting him further. A sympathetic moment. The woman’s easy style and soft tone in her voice relaxed and consoled him. She was merely the interpreter of the bad news.
The chill in the room followed Evan outside the door and Whobeda took a deep breath. Never had she received such a frightening vibe from a client.
Elle: When Evan made the appointment and entered the room you had no idea he was the Hurricane Killer. Did you think of him as any other client or did you sense something about him was off?
Whobeda: It's appropriate that he's the Hurricane Killer because that was the kind of energy he emanated when he walked into the room. The hair on my arms stood up as soon as I looked up and saw him. I can often see people's auras but it was like he had none, that it was more like a blackhole around him. He totally gave me the creeps. When I looked at his chart I could see it was what astrologers call "afflicted." He had a lot of negative energy and difficult aspects.
Elle: According to Evan’s chart what type of person is he?
Whobeda: He's emotionally drive with a propensity for violence. He thrives on intense experiences, especially the threshold between life and death. He's likely to live in a fantasy world and be delusional as well as drawn to anything weird or unusual.
Elle: Are there any “red flags” in his chart that point towards violence?
Whobeda: Absolutely. He has the Moon and Mars conjunct in Aries. Mars, the god of war, is the ruler of Aries and thus very strong in that sign. The Moon rules a person's emotions so this would give him a temper. He obtains emotional satisfaction from violence. This pair is in his 4th house which includes a person's home environment, cultural roots and memories and thus implies he grew up in an abusive household, specifically from his mother, since the Moon relates to a person's mother. Pluto, god of the Underworld, is about power and control. He rules death and transformation and is also the modern ruler of Scorpio. Evan has a Scorpio ascendant, the sign on the eastern horizon when he was born, so that makes Pluto his chart ruler and therefore very influential. Pluto is in his 10th house, which represents what a person will be remembered for, which is pretty creepy in itself. And all of these, i.e. Mars, Moon and Pluto, all "afflict" his Sun, which represents our core being. His Sun is in the 8th house of death which brings that energy to him at the personal level. His 8th house is ruled by the Moon, bringing that influence to bear as well.
Elle: When mentioning his mother and ties to his past. How did he react and how did that make you feel?
Whobeda: As noted above, it was clear that there were mother issues. I almost didn't say anything but it was so obvious I felt I would be remiss not to mention it. When I did it was as if a tsunami of hatred rolled off him. I think I actually gasped and hoped he didn't notice. His eyes darkened and for a moment I thought he might hit me or worse. Quite frankly, it scared the crap out of me! LOL!
Elle: When you later found out who he was did it freak you out that you sat in the same room alone with him?
Whobeda: Absolutely! It totally creeped me out but it also confirmed that my instincts were on target. Sometimes I get impressions that seem to be pretty far out there, yet they have always been confirmed as accurate at some point in time. Thus, I have learned to pay attention to them.
Elle: Anything else you would like to add?
Whobeda: A client and friend has stated that astrology is like a road map for you life so why would you want to travel without it? I think that expresses what astrology can do for a person very succinctly.
I suppose that some might wonder if Evan could have expressed the energy in his chart in a less violent manner. The energy of a person's natal chart represents how they are programmed. That said, however, everyone also has free will to use it as they choose. These influences are powerful and if a person really has psychological issues, often instituted by an abusive environment growing up, they can seldom control them. If Evan had been born to a more loving home, he probably would have still had some issues. He had a tremendous imagination which could have been exercised in a less violent manner. For example, he could have expressed all that dark energy in writing horror stories as opposed to doing so in the real world. Another way he could have expressed it in a positive manner would have been as an agent of change in countries torn apart by war. He could have gotten his thrills helping people as opposed to killing them. The energy is there but it's basically neutral so the person can decide how to use it.
Where the planets are at any given time is referred to as transits. These connect with a person's natal chart and dump that energy into it, which is what can drive them to action and toward involvement in certain events. If the transits are harsh, the person will be more inclined to react in a negative manner from the sudden influx of energy. If the potential for violence is there natally and Mars, Pluto or Saturn come along in a bad transit then the person will be inclined to express it in some way.
This is one of the things that I address in my ebook, "Lilith: Dark Maid of the Sith" since that kind of reaction was so evident with some women in the news who had done horrible things, such as Andrea Yates and Casey Anthony. if someone has that potential in their chart, it's a good thing to be aware of it so that you can make a concerted effort to avoid doing something you'll regret when that influence hits you like a train. Someone who's driven by emotion will find it even more difficult to resist than someone who is more logical. For example, Andres Yates' natal Sun is in Cancer, the same sign as Evan's. Ironically, Cancer can also be one of the most nurturing and caring signs but it's emotionally driven. Nothing is simple in life or astrology, which reflects it so accurately.
Chapter from "Calm before the Storm Evan's Sins" written by Elle Klass and Whobeda. This is the only chapter we wrote together. Look for the paperback version on "Whobeda's Guide to Basic Astrology" coming soon. And the release of "Calm before the Storm" Nov. 13, 2015.
Eilida yelped at the chance to make the OPA conference and her chance to meet nationally renowned Patrice Renard. The 9th annual professional astrology retreat in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She flew down the stairs and flopped her body on the couch next to Sage. Leaning her head against her friend’s shoulder she blurted her news. “I did it. We’re in!” She lifted her head to gauge Sage’s response.
“OMG!” The two women leapt off the couch and jumped up and down like two school girls going to see their favorite band. Both women believed there was more to life, something brewing beneath the surface, or in this case above the surface - dictated by the stars and planets of the vast universe.
Sage and Eilida arrived at the convention center and took the nearest escalator to where the conference was being held. They stepped inside the vendor room, eyes soaking in the activity around them. The huge room was divided into several aisles with more vendors lining both sides as well as the perimeter. Astrology related materials, from jewelry to crystals, were everywhere. As they strolled the aisles, Eilida tried not to be too obvious ogling the name badges of those around them, looking for someone whose name she’d recognize. Some astrologers looked appropriately weird in long, flowing skirts matched only by their hair, with more rings than fingers while others were in jeans and others still in business dress. The men were mostly in casual dress, though one in particular was wearing a kilt. Her eyes took in his strong, muscular legs and sent a quiver bounding through her as she imagined the kilt tossed on the arm of a chair and… She shook the image from her mind.
The pair perused the plethora of goodies, Eilida dragging her friend by the hand when she saw a crystal table, spending a good bit of time examining the many offerings. She felt drawn to certain ones, slips of cardstock the size of a business card accompanying each one describing the stone’s influence.
She stood there a while, admiring one in particular for its odd shape. The card said it was a desert rose, good for transmuting hatred into love and healing past conflicts. She took it in her hand to see how it felt. It felt good but she could see the vendor guy was occupied with other customers so set it back carefully, deciding to come back later.
Another table caught her eye, this one apparently occupied by an astrologer. The lady behind it had shoulder length salt and pepper hair, maybe a bit more salt than pepper. Her genuine smile and attentiveness to those talking to her attracted Eilida. While other patrons talked to the astrologer Eilida browsed her books, one of which was entitled Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology. She picked it up and flipped through the pages, reading sporadically.
As much of an astrology buff as she was, most of it really confused her. Written in terms that made sense, Eilida decided to buy one and waited in line to get it autographed.
At last it was her turn and she handed over the book, grateful no one was behind her so she could chat a bit.
“Hi,” the woman said with a smile. “Would you like me to inscribe it to you personally or leave it plain so you can sell it on eBay when you’re done?”
Eilida laughed. “I wouldn't do that!” she responded.
“Yes, you would,” Sage muttered, giving her a friendly nudge.
“Not this one,” Eilida insisted. “So make it out to me. Eilida.” She spelled it out, knowing most people gave her a blank look if she didn't.
“So are you Whobeda?” Sage asked. “That’s a pretty unusual name, too.”
The woman chuckled, laugh lines crinkling the corners of her amber-colored eyes. “Yes and no,’ she responded. “It’s my mystic name. Some of us prefer to operate behind some degree of anonymity. Some of the people I work for in my day job wouldn’t be amused if they knew I was an astrologer.”
“Really?”Eilida responded. “What’s your day job?”
“I work in the aerospace industry,” she answered, but before Eilida could prod her for more, Sage pointed at her watch.
“We better get going over to the auditorium if we want a good seat,” she prodded.
“Oh! You’re right! Nice talking to you, Whobeda,” she said with a smile. “Thanks for the autograph! And I promise I won’t sell it on eBay!”
The pair left the vendor area and strode down the broad, carpeted corridor to the auditorium where they slipped through the chunky double doors held open by metal door stops and found two open side by side seats. Both women beamed with excitement as they waited for Patrice Renard, slated as the next speaker, to take the stage.
A few seats behind them a shaven headed Evan took his seat. In the thickness of the crowd, neither was aware of the other. Throughout Patrice’s speech the women soaked in her every word. Anticipation building as Eilida determined she would meet her face to face.
Her speech and Q and A session over, everyone filed out of the auditorium. Evan, a few rows behind, conveniently left the room before the two women. Light reflected off the baldness of his head catching Eilida’s attention. A cold breeze swept over her and tremors of fear coursed through her body.
“What’s wrong?” urged Sage as Eilida stood frozen and ghostly white. She took her hands and guided her to the closest seat.
“I… I… I’m not sure. A feeling, like doom is waiting for me outside those doors.”
“Take a deep breath and we’ll wait for the crowd to leave. We haven’t eaten yet, let’s grab a bite.” The pair headed for the door behind the diminishing crowd and turned down the concourse toward the escalator and restaurant below.
Eilida knew food wasn’t the problem. The fear that swept over her was the same as her fright filled dreams where the bald man with eyes black as a moonless, starless night chased her. In his hand a knife, drops of blood trickling from its blade. “This feeling is like in my night terrors.”
“You’re awake and we’re safe.”
Eilida remembered the flash of light reflecting from the man’s scalp - the same flash that identified him in her dreams as the moonlight danced across his barren head. Feeling dizzy again, she dropped down in a chair across from the vendor room and concentrated on where she was, looking intently at the different booths beyond to ground herself back in the present. Her gaze fell upon the crystal table and it was as if a bolt of lightning struck. She got up and headed for it with purpose, Sage right behind her.
“Where are you going?” her friend asked.
“The crystal table. I have a feeling he might have something to help me.”
They waited for what seemed forever before the man behind the table made his way over to her.
He greeted them with a kind smile. “Good afternoon, ladies. I’m Mike. Can I help you find something specific today?” He was older, probably fiftyish, medium build with a full head of hair that was probably blond at one time but now mostly grey.
“Oh, yes, I hope you can!” Eilida spilled out. “Which ones are good for protection?”
His expression went from friendly to concern, as if perceiving her desperation. “Are you in some sort of danger?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I feel as if I am. I keep having these awful nightmares and feel as if they’re some sort of message.”
The man frowned, his gaze drawn to the zircon ring she’d bought at the last conference. “Do you realize that your ring may be drawing whatever you fear to you?”
“What? How could that be?” she asked, taken aback.
“A tetragonal structure is considered an Attractor. If you want to keep something or someone away, you need something that has an entirely different crystalline structure. One that’s monoclinic and serves as a Guardian or a Barrier that’s triclinic. That zircon is tetragonal, entirely different.”
Horrified, she slipped it off her finger and handed it to Sage. “Here, you always liked it. You can have it!”
Sage stepped back, shaking her head. “Not if it’s bad luck!”
“Not necessarily,” Mike explained. “It’s great for bringing something you want into your life such as a new relationship but not so good if you’re looking for protection.”
Sage smiled. “Cool! Then I’ll take it!”
“So what do I need?” Eilida prodded.
“It depends on what you want protection from. Guardian talismans help protect something of value while Barrier talismans keep away undesirable situations. Perhaps you could use a Guardian to keep you safe and a Barrier to keep you away from danger, or perhaps it away from you.”
“Yes! That sounds like exactly what I need. What do you have?”
“I should have just the thing,” he said and turned toward a cabinet at the back of the booth where he searched through a couple drawers before returning with a pendant set in silver which featured a round, dark green, iridescent stone about an inch in diameter, accented by four smaller stones of a similar color but lacking the rainbow effects.
“The center stone is moonstone, an excellent Guardian, and the smaller stones are kyanite, a traditional Barrier,” he explained, handing it to her.
She intuitively closed her fingers around it and held it to her heart, eyes closed, sensing its energy. Her heart rate slowed as a sense of peace settled around her. She expelled her breath in a sigh and opened her eyes.
“Oh, yes, this is wonderful. I must have it. How much?”
The price was a bit outside her budget but she pulled out her credit card, knowing she would have paid a lot more.
Behind her, a man cleared his throat indicating her turn was up. She twisted sideways to give him the evil eye. He glared back under eyebrows resembling squirrels’ tails.
The following day, Eilida and Sage waited in line nearly forty-five minutes so Eilida could get her natal chart and reading from Patrice Renard. A mass of dragonflies flew through her stomach as her turn approached.
A short lady with a bob strolled out of Ms. Renard’s room. Eilida looked at Sage, smiles plastered across their faces. “Our turn!” voiced a giddy Sage.
Eilida took Sage’s hand and they marched into the room like two schoolgirls. No crystal balls or tarot cards, instead a full figured Patrice, her fiery hair curled just above her shoulders. But they weren’t there to see a gypsy and have their palms read.
“Ms. Renard. It’s so wonderful to meet you. I follow your stuff.” As the words dropped from her mouth she felt stupid. Follow, she’s going to think I’m a stalker.
Eilida and Sage talked with Patrice a few minutes. Her round figure reminded Eilida of her mother, warm red hair and confidence further eased Eilida’s nervous stomach. Once she had their dates, times and places of birth, she typed everything in and the computer generated their charts. Eilida’s flew off the printer first. Ms. Renard looked from it to Eilida then slid it to the side as she studied Sage’s. She laid it in front of them and explained the position of the planets and their meanings. Sage’s horoscope was filled with happiness, longevity, and success.
When it came time for Eilida’s, she laid the natal chart on the table facing Eilida and sucked in her breath. Eilida’s eyes went directly to the blue triangle in the center.
“We call this blue triangle a yod or the finger of god.”
“What does it mean?”
“A fated life, but let’s get through all of it before you decide what that means. This blue line ties Pluto in the 3rd house to the Sun in the eighth house. This implies that you crave powerful experiences and are attracted to the unfathomable. You commonly hide your interests, except from your closest friends and family. Uranus and Neptune in the fourth house indicate your home life, growing up may have been unstable in some way. You may be searching for an ideal home. The darkness in your eyes reveals the truth in these words.”
“I love my family but I’ve always felt like an outsider except with my grandmother, umm… until she passed. Sage feels more like family than my parents sometimes.”
Patrice’s bubbling personality spilled over. “At your age, most of us feel that way.”
Eilida’s anxiety eased again as Patrice continued.
“Mercury in Taurus and in the 8th house show you tend to be very methodical and have an interest in investigating the supernatural.”
Eilida’s lips curled into a smile. Her interest in Astrology centered on her interest in the “otherworldly.”
“Pluto in Scorpio, the twelve year group you’re both part of, loves mystery and the macabre."
Both girls chuckled, they lived off zombie and suspense flicks.
Patrice smiled, then her face grew stoic. “There is something in your past, maybe a natural disaster that changed the course of your life. It might be related in some way to the death of your grandmother.”
Zombie-like, Eilida lifted her chart from the table and stood to leave. The dragonflies morphed into dragons breathing fire into her innards, aching to get free. As Eilida exited the door the chatter and noise in the convention center quieted as her mind focused on something in your past. What could possibly be in her past? Her parents were the most “normal” people she’d ever met and she had a picture perfect childhood, no siblings, everything she needed and most of what she wanted. Her parents and grandmother spoiled her. Yet a feeling she didn’t quite belong always lingered in the back of her mind, followed by a sinking feeling of dread in her belly.
She turned and took a step back into the room, asking another question. “Is all the bad stuff in my past? Does my future look better?”
“Here’s my card, feel free to call.” Eilida noted her solemn expression.
Eilida lay in bed tossing and turning all night. Her mind a flutter of curiosity and fear, replaying Patrice’s words over and over, ‘a fated life… there is something in your past’. Her fascination of mystery drove her imagination. The man in her nightmares flashed in static against her fleshy brain. Light glittered from her pile of clothes on the floor. Her pendant! She reached down and clutched the pendant, cradling it in her hand. Peace bathed her body and she fell into a restful sleep.
Every so often a really fantastic book comes along that I absolutely can't put down. Sweet Sleep is one of those books. My Review:...
Kat Green's Blog Tour for Strings is brought to you by Double Decker Books. Vote for Kat Greens cover on the monthly Masquerade Cr...