Temple of the Twelve, Vol. 1: Novice of Colors by Esmerelda Little Flame

Temple of the Twelve, Vol. 1: Novice of Colors
Esmerelda Little Flame
New Gaia Press, 2008
278 pages

A young woman finds herself at the threshold of service to great deities who embody archetypal powers. Rather than a relationship of fear, though, can she create connections of love and devotion with them?

I had heard about the Temple of the Twelve books from a few friends who were working through the pathworking system woven into the novels, and I’ll admit I was quite intrigued. I do like fiction that also serves as a teaching tool, but unfortunately a lot of it turns into awkward monologues about what Wicca is shoehorned into a badly written teaching scene or somesuch.

While there is some teaching dialogue scattered throughout this book, much of what each of the archetypal Twelve deities in this story–one for each of several colors and their correspondences–have to teach is demonstrated in their interactions with the main character, Caroline. For example, Caroline creates paintings of several of the deities, and one deity, Lord Blue, felt them strongly: “He felt the colors radiating from them. The hot red. The cool white. Need. Love. Lust. Pain. Joy” (p. 96). The author does an excellent job of “show, don’t tell”.

The story is nicely paced, and allows Caroline to develop not only in her relationships with the gods and others, but as an individual. At the same time, a usable spiritual path is drawn out as the story progresses; shortly after the experience with the paintings, Lord Blue tells Caroline she will bond in particular with one god and one goddess, which reflects the tendency of many pagans to have strong bonds with a few deities in particular (often along perceived lines of balance, such as between male and female energies).

In this, the book creates a mythology upon which nonfiction workbook materials have been based, and there are other novels that expand on this mythos (and I will be reviewing other books in this series). I can see this particular text being everything from a good read in and of itself, to the foundation of a pagan practitioner’s magical path based on colors and correspondences. The author’s personifications of the archetypes shows a strong connection, and I look forward to seeing more implementation of this in a practical sense.

Five pawprints out of five.

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3 Comments

  1. Sidhe said,

    June 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    You’ve hit on what it is I like about Temple of the Twelve. The story, for me, serves as an example for the lessons of the Twelve. Instead of just saying “Black is about depth,” it shows you that though Caroline’s experiences with her. That’s what makes it work and why the Twelve have touched so many.

  2. Sal said,

    June 23, 2011 at 12:23 am

    So glad to see a review of this from you. I’ve seen others talking about working with the Twelve as well, and have this book on my wishlist now. Looking forward to reading it. 🙂

  3. kiwitayro said,

    June 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I liked it pretty well, myself. I got it for my stepdaughter when she was 12 or 13 and read it first. I don’t think I would ever use it myself as a pathworking tool, but I could see how others might. And it was a pretty cute story.


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