Another section down (that's 7 out of 10 for those keeping count), so time for another Behind the Scenes look at the process that went into Radiance.
For those who may be a little behind in the chapters, you are warned that extremely major SPOILERS abound from here on out. You should definitely read Chessed before looking at this behind the scenes edition, so I'll put the content after the break.
Once I had the concept of the Seven lower sefirot manifested as different heroes with special powers, I knew that I wanted one of them to have turned to the Other Side and become the leader of the Sitra Achra. The obvious choice, traditionally speaking, was for it to be Li, and the power of Gevurah. The Zohar tells us that sin leads the force of strict judgement, gevurah/strength or din/justice, to get out of control and just lay waste to good and bad alike.
But I was fascinated by the idea of Chessed/Compassion running out of control instead. Partly this was for the sake of being different, but more importantly I sometimes wonder if the modern western world is more dominated by Chessed than by Din, by a permissive society that shirks restrictions and responsibilities in favour of freedom of choice. I too am very much marked by this society but I wanted to explore this aspect taken to its extreme. Thus Rahko became the villain of my story.
Once I set up Ashmedai's power as a shapeshifter, it was clear to me that at some point he would have to use this power to impersonate a major character. Originally I had in mind that he would copy Asher, but I then realised that it made more sense to entrap Asher by impersonating Virgo instead. Hope you didn't see that one coming but I'd be interested to hear if you did.
That's all for now. On Monday we begin the 8th section - Binah/Understanding - hope you'll join me then.