A 'Williams' Christmas

A "spiritual thriller" about supernatural powers breaking in on everyday life when they are summoned for selfish purposes.

In the 1920s or '30s, in England, a young woman, Nancy Coningsby, the daughter of a minor civil servant, is engaged to a young man from the Roma (Gypsy) people. Nancy's father, owns a very rare, old set of Tarot cards bequeathed to him by a deceased friend, and it is his intention to turn the cards over to a museum upon his own death. Nancy's fiancée, Henry, realises that this particular Tarot pack is the only ‘true’ pack in existence. A pack that is so accurately rendered that it can truly summon and command occult powers, as opposed to other sets that lack any real power.

Henry's grandfather, Aaron, occupies a 17th century house where there is a table in a secret room, and on the table, there is a collection of miniature figures in a perpetual dance that represents the ‘Great Dance,’ which is said to be the foundation of the universe. If the pack of cards can come into the possession of the owner of the table and the miniature figures, then the owner will achieve absolute power and be able to command the four elements of earth, wind, water, and fire.

Henry contrives to lure Nancy, her father, Mr. Coningsby, and Nancy's Aunt Sybil, who lives with them, to Aaron's house for Christmas, in the hope of getting the cards away from Coningsby. Since Henry cannot use direct violence, he uses the occult power of the cards to create a blinding snowstorm when Coningsby goes out for a walk on Christmas afternoon, with the desire that he will die in the storm.

Sybil is so aware of the love of God in her life, that she lives in a continuous atmosphere of deep, loving calm, given over entirely to the will of her creator.

Here is Sybil stepping out into the teeth of the supernatural snowstorm, a storm specifically conjured to kill:

“... she surrendered herself to the only certain thing that her life had discovered: she adored in this movement also the extreme benevolence of Love... she enjoyed; literally enjoyed, for both knowledge and thankfulness grew one, and joy was their union, but that union darted out towards a new subject and centre.”

Something goes awry with the snow storm, which spirals out of control, and we are informed by Henry and Aaron that the elements will now destroy the world...

Charles Williams – The Greater Trumps

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