By Paul DeBlassie III
Publisher: Sunstone Press
Paperback: 202 pages
Genre: Psychological thriller
A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.
In The Unholy it is religious groups that are the focus of the dark side of human nature and society. You get the feeling that, as in many groups, no one really thinks for themselves. There is no self. There is only the group. Archbishop William Anarch, the incarnation of evil, is in reality the spokesperson of the religious group complex. Due to his own psychological damage he has given himself over to the Great God Religion and in this found his pulpit, his twisted and destructive sense of self that takes as its nourishment not only acclaim by the religious organization but domination over women. Groups lose the feminine quality of sensitivity and caring in favor of power and control and manipulation. Claire is the divine feminine battling against the out-of-control group maniac Archbishop William Anarch, a misogynist, one who typifies masculine energy gone amuck as is true in power mongering groups that no longer serve the needs of the individual, have left the service of humanity, and exist only to serve their own power ridden ends. In general, groups are quite prone to be power ridden and antithetical to the growth of the individual. Claire Sanchez, symbol of the divine feminine within every man and woman, stands on her own. She will not abide by or tolerate immersion in the group. She stands apart and for this reason is a character to be reckoned with. Claire Sanchez, heroine within all men and women waiting to be discovered, is a veritable force of nature!
“Hush now, child,” said a voice she recognized as that of her mother’s closest friend. “The man cannot harm you, mijita, as long as you are with us. We will make him think you are dead. But you must be very quiet. Ya no llores,” the woman warned, raising a finger to her lips.The woman then carried her into a dark cave illuminated by the lightof a single candle. The cave was frightening, with shadows of what appeared to be goblins and demons dancing on the red sandstone walls. “I will return for you soon. You will be safe here,” the woman said. The girl watched the woman walk away, shivering as a breeze blew through the cave’s narrow passages.
Closing her eyes, she rocked back and forth—imagining herself safe in her mother’s arms—then opened her eyes to the light of the full moon shining through the mouth of the cave. The shadows on the walls were just shadows now, no longer goblins and demons. As she slipped into a trance, images flickered in her mind. She saw the woman who had brought her to this place scattering pieces of raw meat around the open mesa where her mother had struggled, helped by two other women the girl could not identify. Suddenly, the scene shifted to a stone ledge jutting over the mesa, and she heard the pounding footsteps of a man running toward the women. The girl felt her heart race and her breathing quicken, afraid that the bad man would spot them and kill them. Then the image shifted again, and she now saw on the mesa three gray wolves circling the raw meat and the man walking away from the granite ledge. As he left, she heard his thought: The child is dead.
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psy- choanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.
SoulCare, his professional consultation practice is devoted to the tending of the soul. One of the few therapists writing fiction with a healing emphasis, Dr. DeBlassie has been deeply influenced by the surreal beauty and natural magic of the mestizo myth of Aztlan.
The Unholy is his first novel.