The Birthplace of Halloween

The site of Tlachtga (aka Tlachta) on the Hill of Ward, in County Meath, Ireland is believed to have been the first site of the celebration of Samhain, the precursor to our modern Halloween. The ringfort dates from around 200 AD but festivals and rituals at the site may have taken place as far back as 1000 BC. Priests, augurs and druids used to assemble there to light the winter fires of the Great Fire Festival on Samhain eve. Under penalty of law, all fires that were lit within the kingdom that night were to be kindled from the fire at Tlachtga. Samhain was a festival celebrating the dead and it also marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year. It was during this time that the Irish believed that the graves would open and their gods and spirits, who dwelt inside, would walk the earth again. The emerging of creatures from a cave, Oweynagat, (Ireland’s so-called ‘gate to hell’) is part of this belief.

The site takes its name from Tlachtga the daughter of the Druid Mug Ruith who died there giving birth to triplets. It was known in medieval Ireland as a place where Mug Ruith’s flying machine Roth Rámach had been seen, and where the Ard Rí (High King of Ireland) Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair had held a massive assemblage in 1168. He was the last High King of Ireland before the Norman invasion. It’s one of only three similar sites in Ireland; the others being the Hill of Tara and Rathcroghan in nearby County Roscommon.

4

Hey, we’re in the middle of Asexual Awareness Week, and it’s time to roll out some new items, including a new iteration on this shirt: Gray-A and Demi Pride!

Grab These today at Look Human! (1|2|3|4)

Now you and your friends can go out in sweet matching shirts as you go forth and fight crime! Or at least hetero-normative societal expectations. Hot damn!

Rock on, queer warriors.

Here’s your first look at the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty Bennet (Suki Waterhouse).

The movie adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s book will also star Douglas Booth, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Matt Smith, Charles Dance and Lena Headey.

Don’t tell us that “bi means two,” and then tell us which “two” you think that calls to mind (which is not at all how we define it), while fully accepting what gay people tell you homosexuality means without telling THEM that “homo” is a Greek root that means “same” so it’s transphobic and they shouldn’t use that word because of how you think it could be wrongly perceived.

You don’t do that to them; why do you do it to us?
—  excerpt from GLAAD Video What makes a good ally to the bi community? GLAAD interviewed bisexual people about what makes a good ally at the iconic Stonewall Inn during NYC’s 2014 Bi Pride Celebration.
4

SYMBOLICALLY EXPLODING SIGILS LET’S GO

First I want to say how much I love that this is in the first twenty seconds. TWENTY SECONDS into the Moon Pride video, and they’re completely killing all the Senshi (well almost).

Violently.

I really appreciate how they did this. By rendering it all in symbolism, it hurts in ways that you don’t expect, because it leaves so much to your mind. Your mind is a terrible places, things should never be left up to it.

But that was the decision Moon Pride made, and now we all must suffer. So let’s begin.


image

I don’t know if the order we see these is important. Because Senshi stuff so often goes in join order by default, the only time we can be completely positive order is significant is when they break it. So with Mercury being first, does that mean Mercury died first? Maybe. I don’t know it really matters all that much though.

I really need to take a second to appreciate the detail in which they created the explosion though. I kept in all the frames because look at that care. Every droplet has been lovingly rendered. THEY NEEDED YOU TO FEEL EVERY LAST MOLECULE OF MERCURY’S DESTRUCTION, ARE YOU FEELING IT.

Something that stands out to me in Mercury’s death — because make no mistake, what we’re seeing here is the very moment the Senshi died — is that it’s surprisingly violent. Mars will have it beat, as we’ll see in a moment, but it’s far more destructive than Jupiter’s and that wouldn’t have been something I’d have expected. I’ll come back to this later in the video when we actually see the Senshi.

I like the perspective on this as well. Looking at it straight on, the Mercury symbol explodes in a burst, kind of like popping a water balloon. But you can also envision it like you’re standing above a cool, clear body of water and dropping the symbol into it. This is the geyser rushing up to you, which turns the moment into displacement of the water when it hits, rather than an explosion. Conceptually, I enjoy both. That Mercury has a core of surprising fury that you’d never expect to blow up in your face, as well as the idea that her death causes violent ripples that stretch well beyond the death itself. (In this, standard order and all, I really do believe Mercury died first.)


image

Mars. Mars is a supernova. Mars doesn’t just die, Mars fucking incinerates the galaxy. More than any of the others, Mars’ is especially violent. Her moment of death is particularly striking. Where Mercury looked like a pop, Mars is like a lance shooting across the image in a study of cause and effect. Mars was struck down that day, but the image leaves no question whatsoever that it was the very last thing they and every one of their friends in a five mile radius would ever do.

Something interesting that I noticed while making these gifs is that Mars is notably shorter than everyone else. Mercury and Jupiter are both 18 frames. Venus was 19, which beyond just Venus’ part could be a timing issue as it’s where we’re moving out of the sequence. But Mars is only 14. That may not sound like much difference, but as anyone who’s ever worked on music videos can tell you, even one frame can mean everything. Plus it’s FIRE, and if there’s one thing they love to play with in all this, it’s fire effects. They just give us thirteen lovingly rendered frames of Mercury’s water explosion. So why cut Mars’ fire short? It’s especially interesting because the “filler” frames aren’t an extension of the following scene of Serenity, but this:

image

I didn’t include them with the Mars’ destruction in the gif because the flash to several frames of mostly white doesn’t flow especially well, but I do think they’re intended to be part of her sequence. And holy crap. The impression it leaves is one of Mars’s death doing as much damage as she did in her life. That in perfect Mars fashion, when she was finally dealt a blow she couldn’t push through, she embraced the inevitable with everything she had. Mars died with every bit the passion and dedication with which Mars lived.


image

I cannot get over how fragile Jupiter’s looks. Unlike Mercury, Jupiter doesn’t pop. Unlike Mars, Jupiter doesn’t explode. Jupiter SHATTERS. Jupiter shatters, and her pieces float away. The center simply cannot hold. I’m drawn to how we see two blasts of Jupiter’s power, something completely unique to her. That, and how even as her sigil is in pieces, they continue to move as though they haven’t realized what’s happened yet.

The impression this gives me is that Jupiter’s death comes as a huge shock to her. (Uh, no pun intended.) I see her rampaging through the battlefield, taking wounds but they mean nothing. Killing everything that would threaten to harm those she loves. She’s a colossus, relentless, impossible to slow. And she doesn’t slow, she just … stops. Her body gives out, and nobody is more surprised than Jupiter when it happens. Everything that says about Jupiter’s determination and optimism makes me want to cry.


image

And finally Venus.

Oh Venus.

Venus, who doesn’t shatter at all. Venus, whose sigil remains intact. Venus, who appears untouched and whole.

Venus, the only one not against a giant empty void. Venus, who must continue to turn, surrounded by the drops and the ashes and the shards of everyone she loved. Venus, who remembers.

I think this is so key to what drives Minako. They all failed, but Venus is the one who remembers what that felt like. Minako can relive it, if she tries (and sometimes when she doesn’t), because Venus can’t let it go. This image, and one that we’ll see later, are so Venus that it HURTS. She doesn’t die. She doesn’t get even that. She has to feel her Princess die, feel the others die, but she has to live. Every particle there represents Venus’ failure, and all she can do is stand in the center of it all.

Venus is the only one not alone in her image, and that makes it the most isolating of them all.