April 5th, 2015
There was a blood moon last night, and I meant to stay up late and take photos, but was way too involved in my crime novel and forgot. So instead I took a photo of it early this morning, when I went for a walk.
Unfortunately, it was no longer the slightest bit bloody.
But as I was walking along the canal, thinking about it, it struck me how ominous it must have seemed to pre-science civilisations. I mean, if you didn’t know anything about lunar eclipses, and the moon suddenly turned blood red, you would HAVE to see it as a sign of something. Probably something pretty awful. And if you believed in witchcraft and stuff like that, you’d probably start looking for someone to blame.
Judging from history, there’s an excellent chance that you’d fix on a woman living by herself with her cat.
This is one of the things I really like about living in the age of science. It has its problems, of course. And I love writing about non-scientific societies, and magic, and all the things that no longer have a place in our belief systems. But then I think about the terrible things that happened (and that still happen in some countries) when our ancestors DID believe in witches, and I breathe a sigh of relief.
So – stories about witchcraft = good. A genuine belief in witchcraft = bad.
There’s no blood moon in Fetcher’s Song. But I think I might have to have one in the next book.