I have been planning to write a post about the possible presence of an entity at Abandawe since three years ago (after reading Voyager for the first time). Since Season 3 of the TV adaptation is coming to an end in a few weeks, I think it is the proper time to write about it. I wonder how the entity in the cave would be handled. I recommend reading the following post since it deals with the communication between Jamie and Brianna via the oracle, Margaret Campbell: Second Sight in Brianna and Jamie. As most readers have realized, Jamie and Brianna can see each other most of the time by dreaming regardless in which century they are. I have also speculated that Jamie can project himself out of his body while dreaming, and probably what Frank sees in Outlander is Jamie’s astral body.
This post concentrates on one of the entities that infiltrated Margaret Campbell’s body and “his” possible association with Abandawe.
In many traditional cultures, there is a consumption of a drug that would allow a subject to establish contact with the spirit world, in this case, a “loa.” Of course, the experience is mainly hallucinatory. Of note is the ceremony that Ishmael and Margaret perform together. Everybody present, including Claire, drinks a mixture of rum and herbs.This beverage is probably the same drink that Ishmael gives to Lord John just before entering a cave with a spring in “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies”:
. . . It smelled hot, though the tin of the heavy canteen was cool in his hands. Raw rum, he thought, from the sweetly searing smell of it – and doubtless a few other things (233).
After consuming this drink, Lord John starts to have hallucinations of Geillis and weight on his shoulders (a snake?). Of course, the weight is not only hallucinatory but symbolic in the novella. In Voyager, the only character who witnesses the oracle’s predictions without being drugged is Jamie since he appears long after the drink was shared with the attendees.
Many entities infiltrate Margaret, who starts to acquire their voices and mannerisms. Of note is how Claire perceives Margaret when she hears Brianna’s voice (ch. 61):
I hesitated, turned to look at her, and saw that her face had come alive once again. It was lifted, eager, lips parted and shining eyes narrowed so that they seemed slightly slanted, as she stared across the fire.
. . . It was Brianna’s voice, Brianna’s face, blue eyes dark and slanting with eagerness.
Based on the description, it seems that the oracle has even acquired some physical characteristics of the spirit, in this case, the Fraser eyes. However, one cannot forget that Claire is under the effect of a drug. However, another spirit or loa is what called my attention when reading book 3 for the first time, the one that Ishmael invokes by the name of Bouassa. First, he is not looking forward to contacting this spirit. He is nervous. He is pressured by others because they want to make the proper move. The slaves want to know whether it is safe to revolt and escape to Hispaniola. Claire narrates (ch. 61):
It was a voice as deep as Ishmael’s, and should have been pleasant. It wasn’t. One of the men took an involuntary step backward.
Ishmael stood alone; the other men seemed to shrink away from him, as though he suffered some contamination.
Whoever Bouassa is, he is not friendly. However, he mentions that Geillis will die and that the slaves are safe to leave. Ishmael later warns Claire not to go to Abandawe since he suspects she might die there, and that Young Ian might perish there since Geillis has been murdering Scottish boys for a while. However, he has a tendency to use the word “gone” when it comes to the fate of both Geillis and Young Ian. Of course, the word has a double meaning – it implies not only death but also the notion of a time passage. One wonders whether Ishmael has witnessed people going through the stones at certain point.
In regards to the cave of Abandawe, one wonders whether Bouassa is a loa at that location. Voyager does not provide much evidence for this speculation. When Claire, Jamie and Young Ian are leaving Abandawe, they experience a draft inside the cave. At certain point, Young Ian even thinks that Geillis is coming for him, even though she is dead at this stage. The notion is that there is an entity or many present at the cave. Claire even gets scared when Jamie tries to calm Young Ian (ch. 62).
” . . . Come here to me, Ian. Dinna be afraid; it’s only the cave breathing.”
It was the wrong thing to say. When he said it, I could feel the cold breath of the rock touch my neck, and the hairs there rose up prickling. The image of the cave as a living thing, breathing all around us, blind and malevolent, struck me cold with horror.
Is there an entity in the cave? Claire is probably in a state of shock. She is a medical doctor who is not supposed to kill anybody, especially someone she considered a former friend. Young Ian is traumatized by the experiences he had with Geillis. Overall, they are sensitive to every detail inside the sinister cave. Jamie, even though he is injured, describes the wind inside the cave as being caused by a storm. He is using some reason since he used to live in a cave for many years. However, once outside the cave, Lawrence Stern, who is a voice of reason, feels uneasy about being in the vicinity of Abandawe and offers to leave. Therefore, it seems that there is something or someone in the cave. Most evidence about the cave’s entity comes from Drums of Autumn, and it is detailed in the post I suggested above to read (it is referred as “something horrible“).
There are also standing stones and a time passage associated with Abandawe. Time travelers despise going through portals. Claire even describes what she hears when traveling to the past: “the roar of death and dissolution and the voices of chaos that urged me to join them” (ch. 61). Overall, it seems that the many beliefs of entities living in springs, caves or time passages may have an element of truth in the Outlander Series.
Thanks for reading my blog!
Gabaldon, Diana. “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies.” A Trail of Fire. London: Orion Books. 2012. Print.
– – – . Voyager. 1994. New York: Bantam Dell. 2002. Print