28 Comments

  1. Great blog!

    Asgina ageli (more commonly ayeli) would suggest “half ghost”, more “half demon”. The cedar tree is called “demon tree” in Cherokee because it was (and still is) used to defeat their malevolent power. The same expression can mean, more mundanely, “in the midst of cedars”.

    Sgi!

    • Piolina

      The interpretation of the “half demon” could also be applied to Claire since the ways she is perceived by others is variable. Some characters are just simply afraid of her and Jamie. Thanks for this detail. In regards to the cedar tree, I have to check whether there is a strong reference to them in the books. In book 5 of the series, The Fiery Cross, it is mentioned that the rowan tree is planted to repel evil and charms in Scotland, and that it is related to the American ash tree (ch. 29).

  2. SARAH

    In regards to times she nearly died, I would also consider the first time through the stones without a gemstone. Also, the car accident that she was in when she is describing what time travel felt like. And whatever killed her parents?

    • Piolina

      Absolutely! They are many cases and situations detailed throughout the series. I have written a published essay about half-ghosts. It is in an anthology called Adoring Outlander.

    • Piolina

      The most popular topic in my blog is about the symbolism of the blue colour. This colour is associated with healers. The sapphire is an indicator that Claire might be able to heal people by simply touching them (similar to the way in which Master Raymond healed her when she miscarried Faith). She might be able to cure Roger’s injured vocal cords. I also speculate in that post that she might be buried in Lallybroch when she dies (the blue butterfly in book 7 seems to symbolize that).

      • Autumn

        I believe Ms. Gabaldon intends for Claire to have Raymond’s gift. I have been reading her Facebook daily lines posts, and some of them have touched on it a little. I know that what she writes there is not guaranteed to be in the final print on her next novel, but I hope so.

        • Piolina

          I agree with this. The most popular post in my blog is about the blue colour symbolism and I do believe Claire is heading that way. She might heal Roger’s injured vocal cords. When I wrote this post, it was like a year ago. I just finished reading the whole series recently. Based on what I have read, it seems that it is the gift of healing by touching that Claire will evolve.

          • Shaun Terrell

            I have been re reading the series backwards from book 6 and just finished Drums in Autumn. It’s interesting reading backwards; you get a different perspective

  3. Constance

    I don’t think any of these*gifts* would have manifested if she hadn’t gone through the stones. I think they are the trigger

  4. I’m curious about Jamie being something like this too, though – not just Claire. In subsequent books, there’s passages about Jamie being told by a fortune teller that he had 9 lives, like a cat, and he speculates how many he’s used. He also communicates with those who have passed – his father, his mother (I think), Dougal, Ian Sr.,…. He also has the varied reactions that Claire gets (think ‘Red Jamie’) though perhaps not to the same extent (though his gender may protect him more than Claire’s does). And then we can’t forget his ghost in Outlander…..

    • Piolina

      I wrote an essay about half-ghosts that is currently published in an anthology. I have extended the concept to include Roger MacKenzie. There is a post also in this blog about Jamie being a half-ghost. My essay deals with a lot of Jamie’s visions of Black Jack and his OBEs.

    • Shaun Terrell

      I think that too! Don’t forget about his dreams: 1. watching Claire in her time Sitting at a desk possibly writing while he was watching her outside. He recalled that he knew it was her time because of the quality of the lighting he thought it was what electricity must be like. 2. When he tells Claire about a dream he had referencing then manse’s dome lights in the hallway. 3. That he dreamt about Bree and he had kissed her behind the ear where she has a birthmark, in which Claire had never mentioned.
      I’ve been trying to tie those ends together. This blog will definitely help!

  5. IrishMom

    I believe Claire was present in the car and survived the car crash that killed her parents. The clue in Outlander is the reference to the car that took a turn too fast and sent her reeling, weightless. She uses it as an analogy to explain what traveling thru the stones felt like. She was destined to be a half-ghost, even as a child.

    • Piolina

      This is possible. Even Roger MacKenzie (who is also a half-ghost) has a hard time remembering how he survived that event in which both her mother and grandmother died. Similarly Claire might feel the same way. She was present but does not remember much due to her young age or trauma.

  6. Shaun Terrell

    I think the whole family has some kind of power; Jamie Claire Bree Rodger Jemmy and Mandy! Remember Jemmy can telepathically talk to his sister and both kids hear gems sing or emit sound!

  7. You have definitely gotten me thinking and I’m sure Jamie is asgina ageli as well. Would explain his ghost. I also just read the part where he knows about Bree’s birthmark, even though he’s never been told about it.

    • Piolina

      I have written an essay about half-ghosts that is currently published in an anthology. I discuss not only Claire but Jamie and Roger MacKenzie in essay. Adoring Outlander: Essays on Fandom, Genre and the Female Audience I also have a blog post about Jamie being a half-ghost. It is an introductory post. The essay deals with his condition as half-ghost in more detail. I think that Jamie’s ghosts are mostly in his mind. I also tend to think that the ghost that Frank sees in book 1 is an astral body projection of Jamie from the past. He has a lot of OBEs. The only thing that I am not sure about this theory is that I am not sure whether it is possible for a somebody in the future (Frank) to see an astral body projection of somebody who is dreaming in the past (Jamie). Jamie is able to see both Brianna and Claire in the future when he is dreaming. Is it possible that somebody from the future can see his astral body projection? Brianna was able to do it. I recommend you to read this post that I wrote which is also popular when you have some time. http://www.porcelainthunderbird.com/?p=2007. Here are other posts that you might like. http://www.porcelainthunderbird.com/?p=635 and http://www.porcelainthunderbird.com/?p=638.

    • Piolina

      I am not sure much about the fetch. However, since the concept of the fetch has been introduced, it seems that we might see one of the characters seeing his or her own fetch. The fetch foreshadows that the character might die soon. The fetch could also be an astral body projections (and Jamie is pretty good at creating his own body double).

  8. Jayne Coleman

    Fascinating and intriguing ideas that you have posited here Piolina. I’m from South Africa and amongst the Xhosa people post-menopausal women’s status changes and they are able to participate in male discussions and decision-making similar to what you described above. I think it is a very widespread custom amongst native peoples around the world. The idea of women becoming more spiritually powerful as they age and acquire wisdom is founded upon a reality. Also, they are no longer tied down in the same way by the demands of children, husband and the home and this frees them to explore parts of themselves they previously had no time for. It will be interesting to see how these ideas are explored by Diana in books 9 and 10.

    • Piolina

      Absolutely! This concept of women acquiring more “power” in society as they age is typical of many tribal communities regardless of where they are originally from.

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