With the Sea Star, we move up the Tree to the sphere of Yesod, whose element is water, whose colors are purple and all the shades of the sea, and whose planet is the Moon. Water and the moon are generally considered feminine, and so this book is as much Rana’s story as it is Julian’s. The physical action takes place on, beside, or in the water. Much of the psychological action occurs in trance or in the world of dreams. When I visited Dave Hartwell in New York to talk about this one, he commented “There are a lot of rituals in this book, but they work…” They ought to–I had done most of them with Darkmoon Circle at some time.
I was already pretty familiar with the geography of California, but I had never had much to do with the sea. For this book I had to study currents and tide tables, bone up on fish species, and become an armchair sailor. At last I had an excuse to take a whale-watching cruise out to the Farallon islands, an amazing alien world only twenty-five miles off-shore that look as if it had been translated from the moon. The sea life in those waters is incredible, from the great lumps of the sea lions basking on the stony shore to the dolphins and whales whose coming is heralded by a flash of lucent emerald as they rise from below.