And whether or not the world adheres to them in their time

27 Dress Code Violations

@jilychallenge 04/2017 | @bantasticbeasts vs @anxiouspotter

Muggle AUs | “i get dress coded so you give me your jacket and we protest unfair regulations for girls together/you sass the teacher about how distracted you are by my shoulders”

Word Count: 2500

special shoutout to @jiilys. solidarity, sister



She walks into English fifteen minutes late, wearing both a deeply unflattering smock and a scowl. Neither are an especially new look on her.

“Vector,” she says under her breath, as an answer to Mary McDonald’s unspoken question. It’s the answer to every question in the room. Ms Vector is notorious among them all for her very strict adherence to the school’s dress code.

“Yes, Miss Evans’ entrance was very exciting, but I’ll have your attention back to the lesson now, please,” says Ms McGonagall. James snaps back to attention. It’s for the best.


“Here,” James says, shrugging off his jacket and thrusting it toward Lily. She gives him this look like, fuck off, and James has to bite his tongue to stop from aggravating her. “They’re doing uniform checks up the hall. Just put it on.”

Evans gives him a very strange look, and it takes him a second to realise that it’s neutral.

She looks good in his jacket.


Every third dress code violation results in a lunch time detention. It’s only October, and Lily’s already had six. She doesn’t look at James as she takes the seat three ahead and one to the left of him.


There’s a thump from somewhere in the back of the classroom, and McGonagall isn’t planning on looking up - it sounds like it came from the general vicinity of Potter and Black, and that’s certainly not a situation she wants to engage with - but the entire class is already turned around to see what the fuss is.

She strides down the aisle between the desks, and is about three years past surprised to find James Potter lying on the floor, gazing at the ceiling, glasses knocked aside.

“Am I boring you so much that you decided to take a nap?” she asks, and James gives this wicked smile, and here we go–

“Sorry, Miss, I can’t get up. It’s Evans’ shoulders - they’re overwhelming me. I simply can’t do anything until she covers them up. Sirius, tell me when it’s safe.”

He’s a funny boy, she’ll give him that. “Potter, get up. This is hardly the time for foolishness.”

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#DateMeBuckyBarnes (Part 10)

Summary: When Hollywood’s heartthrob Bucky Barnes breaks up with his girlfriend, you jokingly tag him in a selfie on Instagram to express your desire to date him. What you don’t expect is a response from the man himself [Modern AU].

Word Count: 1,261

‘#DateMeBuckyBarnes’ Masterlist

A/N: Hope you guys like the update! 

Originally posted by winter-barnes

You stared at Bucky in fascination as he said those words to you, wondering how he could possibly ‘step up his game’ after this. He certainly pulled out all the stops for this so-called friend date, reserving the entire restaurant just so the both of you could admire the breathtaking rooftop view of the city over dinner alone. What more could he do to excel this grand gesture?

“You know,” you started, breaking your silence as Bucky’s gaze fixated on you, “I’m not sure how you’re gonna top this. I mean…any more grand gestures, this outing is gonna qualify as an actual date.”

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anonymous asked:

I just hope that the first episode of Season 13 will have 1) Sam facing the Nephilim - and therefore his own powers and his own destiny and making peace with it and 2) Dean facing Cas' death - and therefore his feelings and making peace with it (or not.. try true love's kiss please, it'll work). It just seemed very deliberate to set them up like that apart from each other, each facing their own challenge.

Yeah. Because that’s yet another way that Sam and Dean broke the pattern…

Every season finale since s2 has alternated whether the brothers were together or apart.:

  • s2 together standing over the Impala’s trunk
  • s3 dean in hell so apart
  • s4 clinging to each other watching Lucifer rise
  • s5 sam in hell so apart (even though we see Sam looking through the window at the end, they are effectively narratively ‘apart’ for the next year)
  • s6 together kneeling before godstiel
  • s7 dean in purgatory so apart
  • s8 clinging to each other as the angels fall so together
  • s9 demon dean on the run so apart
  • s10 together in the impala as the darkness rolls across the land
  • s11 dean went off to blow up amara with the soul bomb so apart
  • s12 Sam left Dean by Cas’s body and ran alone to face the nephilim… breaking the pattern… because they are apart…

So much of this episode (as well as 12.22) was about BREAKING PATTERNS.

Dean FINALLY confronted Mary with the truth in 12.22, about how her deal with Azazel had affected his life. About how he’d been forced to become both mother and father to Sam, because John was too broken to be either of those things to both boys. This is the culmination of Dean’s not wanting to “overwhelm” her early on, of his discomfort at telling her the story about her life with John in 12.01, knowing all along that it was a pretty lie– but it was what Mary believed at the time. This was the final part of Dean angrily telling Mary that he’d never been a child in 12.14. That time his words had been intended to wound her, but this time he spelled the whole thing out in detail– not to wound, but to heal.

Like in 12.12, the lance that inflicted the wound was the only thing that could heal it.

So much of 12.22 was also Dean surrendering that obligation he’s always felt as Sam’s “parent” with Sam directly– trusting him to lead that mission to the BMoL headquarters. He let Sam take the entire lead over the group of hunters they recruited for the raid, and he expressed his trust in Sam in actual words.

(fyi I have 9.23 playing in the background as I type this up, and trust me when I say it’s like night and day, the dynamic between Sam and Dean…)

And that mutual trust continued and grew stronger in 12.23, and opened to include Mary as an equal partner in understanding.

When all three Winchesters showed up at the house, Cas didn’t even make a pretense of greeting the rest of the family. Just Dean.

And Dean’s first words to Cas are about how they’ll work things out between them as soon as they get Cas and Kelly to safety, reassuring him that things between them aren’t broken.

and then we had a visual confirmation of Cas’s motivations, his seemingly unconvinced “belief” in the future the nephilim had shown him. When Kelly asked him to tell her again, to reassure her that her sacrifice was worth it, Cas hesitated, and flashed back to the scene in 12.19 where the nephilim sent its power into him. It was like he had to shake something off and focus in order to remember that vision.

We even had Mary and Kelly talking about how they would die to protect their children. Right after Mary came to accept the fact that she DID die to protect her children.

The entire last ten minutes of the episode was like a dark reversal of the rescue mission to save Sam in 12.02, and the fight scene in that basement, but in an entirely jumbled up fashion.

But in an even LARGER scale, these “cosmic consequences” spiral back through every level of the story– from Mary herself and her understanding of the interconnected fate/choice of her deal with Azazel; through Amara’s influence of the story in s9 as the Winchester/Campbell family’s fate as descendants of Cain and Abel in taking on the original Mark of Cain, through her influence over s10 as the force that both kept Dean alive and was slowly killing him all the the same time, through s11 as she got to experience humanity first-hand and demand recognition from Chuck and her growth from wanting to destroy the universe just because and acceptance of the beauty it actually contained (and that Chuck’s love of the universe didn’t diminish his love for her), and then in s12 the Cosmic Consequences of her freeing Lucifer and resurrecting Mary (because her touch is chaos itself, and bringing back Mary and Lucifer HAD to be influenced by her essential chaos…). That kind of instability introduced into an orderly system that has always adhered to certain cosmic “rules” HAD to bring about this sort of fundamental chaos, you know? And hooboy do we ever have it.

The moment we learned that the entire Winchester Family History had been essentially engineered by Heaven to someday act as the key that opened the lock on the Darkness and force that confrontation and resolution of the Original Rift that created the universe, and the moment Dean orchestrated that resolution, it brought that cosmic-scale rift back down to Winchester Family levels. I know I’m not explaining it well, but it’s something Gabriel said way back in 5.08 when he was pushing Sam and Dean to accept their roles in the apocalypse– As above, so below. But now, post-resolution, that mirror’s been flipped.

Dean completed his task of balancing the universe again, but Amara’s “gifts” in the form of Lucifer removed from Castiel and the resurrection of Mary have both turned very bad. The wishes go very bad.

And they’re ALL interconnected– Castiel, Lucifer, Mary, and Amara.

And now the nephilim, as well.

The things Cas was saying about the nephilim’s vision of the future sounded appallingly similar to the things Amara had wanted in her perfect vision of the future, you know? The whole notion of remaking the world in their own vision, where there was never any conflict or hatred or pain or suffering. Amara’s ideal sounded very much the same, with her bliss pitted against the nephilim’s paradise.

It took Dean a long damn time to see that offer for what it was, to see how it wasn’t real, what Amara was offering. That it was the annihilation of self and the surrender of his identity that Amara was really offering.

Which is fundamentally identical to what the nephilim seems to be offering Cas…

Dean had to die and be reborn as a demon, then struggle through the trials of bearing the mark and eventually come to an understanding of the truth of all of it. I think that’s exactly the point in the narrative we are with Cas.

I know I am not explaining it well, because it’s taken me three hours to even put this much of it in this disorderly state, and I still don’t feel like I’m getting to the true heart of the matter here…

But once again, just like in 12.22, Sam’s struggle will be an external one, facing the nephilim as a sort of incarnation of his own life-long feelings and beliefs about HIMSELF, that he wasn’t pure, that he was a freak because of the demon blood and his powers, that he wasn’t truly human somehow because of that. And Dean’s struggle will be internal, like it was reclaiming Mary from the walls she’d been forced to construct inside her own mind in the name of self-preservation.

Sam’s walls have finally manifested into something physical for him to confront.

We’ve finally scraped the thousand layers of paint off the walls that Dean’s been putting up for the world his entire life, and he’s not trying to camouflage what’s underneath. He’s finally let something OTHER than Sam literally bring him to his knees. He’s finally shown Sam the thing that actually had the power to do that to him, too. And Sam had his little moment of acknowledgement before running off to face the nephilim alone.

And that’s the tip of the iceberg on how damn meta that finale was.

anonymous asked:

Could you maybe explain the difference between what a special interest and a hyperfixation is to me? I recently figured out that I probably have minor ADHD, and these two terms seem really similar sometimes, but special interest seems like it's used more in the autistic community, and I don't want to intrude by using a term meant for a specific group by generalizing.

Hello! I’ll try to explain as best as I can! I will be covering the terms: Special Interest, Hyperfixation, and Hyperfocus in this! #longpost

Additionally, I will be discussing their mutual use in Autistic and ADHD circles, and talk about whether or not any of the terms are exclusive to one or the other.

Special Interest (SI): 


  • To have a deep, intense, passionate and incredibly focused/narrowed interest in a certain area of study, subject, topic or thing - to the exclusion of other interests. This interest is something that exists for the long-term, most often lasting for multiple months, years, or even you’re entire life! Less commonly they’ll last a couple weeks, but that’s just as valid as others! 

More Info.: 

  • “Special interest” defines the interest, and the degree of our involvement/commitment to it! 
  • SI’s are usually very studious-oriented, and I don’t mean this as in they’re academic, but as in we want to learn everything there is to know about them! We’ll research and gather information for hours upon hours just for the enjoyment doing so brings! 
  • SI’s are also typically sensual experiences as well - positive ones! They overwhelm our senses with joy and happiness, fill us with such enthusiastic and heart-wrenching emotion! We Autistic folk often have SI-related stims!
  • Allistics might look down upon our passion for our SI because it is something inconsequential to them, like ladybugs, but we love it anyway!



  • Debatable*. But to be safe, it would be wise to assume that it/the term is Autistic-exclusive! If you are neither Autistic or ADHD you definitely should not use the term!

*Some people think it should be exclusive due to the historical-presence of the term predominantly in Autistic communities, and others believe it to be experienced by both Autistic and ADHD people - Autism and ADHD are “sister” developmental disabilities/disorders, and there is a lot of overlap. Overall, though, ‘special interest’ is most commonly used in Autistic-circles!



More Info.:

  • With some believing that special interests are Autistic-exclusive, @deathbecoming wanted to prevent the appropriation of the term and instead created one that could be used by allistic neurodivergent people to describe their experiences similar to special interests, etc..


  • N/A


  • Created only for use by those who are developmentally, intellectually, and/or mentally disabled.


  • Though it wasn’t the original intent, the term “hyperfixation” has kind of evolved specifically into a verb for the act/subject of ‘hyperfocus,” which has then led many to believe that it is ADHD-exclusive – this is not the case!

Speaking of!



  • To focus intensely on something for a short-term period of time without break to the exclusion of all other things — This is to the point that you won’t process what’s going on around you, adhere to your bodily functions/needs (sleep, hunger, using the restroom), homework/tasks, your hobbies/interests, etc..

More Info.:

  • One of the reasons why Hyperfocus is often attributed as ADHD-exclusive is due to its unpredictability — You may not always have control or awareness over what you’re hyperfocusing on, or even that you are, it can just happen.



  • Neurodivergent people only! Both ADHD and Autistic people can definitely use this term, and it is most predominantly used in those circles! While Neurotypical people can experience a similar thing to hyperfocus, it is most often called “Being in The Zone” or “Getting Into the Flow” and isn’t the same thing.


Special Interest: 

  • Used most in Autistic circles, in reference to Autistic people 
  • Describes the type of interest (very intense, passionate, and narrow) 
  • Describes our commitment to it (long-term commitment, ranging from months to lifelong, to the exclusion of other interests)



  • Used by anyone who is Neurodivergent, most often seen in Autistic/ADHD circles
  • To focus intensely to the exclusion of all other things (includes bodily functions/needs, processing of the world around you, etc.)
  • A short-term commitment, typically lasting under 10 hours and not always by choice


As you’re ADHD you can definitely use the terms Hyperfixation and Hyperfocus! If, after reading this, you think the term Special Interest applies to you, you can use it as well! Just be aware that some people may disagree with your use of it!

Note: Additionally, I think it is good to tell you that ADHD cannot be “minor” or “severe” — You’re either ADHD or you’re not! It may be more difficult or easier for someone to manage how their ADHD symptoms positively or negatively impact their life,  but that is a different thing!

This “Scale of Functionally” (in comparison to Neurotypicals) doesn’t truly exist, and believing that it does is actually quite problematic and harmful. It is often weaponized — Used to invalidate and discredit the experiences of other ADHD people, make one seem “better” or “lesser” (more/less Neurotypical) then the other, decide who isn’t or is “truly worthy” or resources, etc..

I do not say this to insult or hurt you, though! As you are just now discovering that you’re ADHD it is only logical that you would not be aware of all the little intricacies like this. I do not blame you!

Overall, thank you for being both so self-aware and considerate to send this message! It goes to show how kind you are that you wish to educate yourself to make sure you’re respectful of others and the terminology for their disabilities/etc.. Good job!

Anders is sometimes accused of being a terrorist, which is interesting, since the game provides multiple examples of actual terrorists as a counterpoint. I don’t think the idea is entirely the fault of the audience, as Bioware is clearly aware of the current cultural association between exploding buildings and terrorism, and I know some of the writers made comments in that direction. But if that’s what they were going for, it’s one of those places where authorial intent failed utterly.

They seem to have forgotten that the defining feature of terrorism isn’t violence (although of course by its very nature it is often violent) but fear. It’s right there in the word, but even so.

When Anders blows up the Chantry in Act 3, it is not meant to inspire fear. It’s not a threat: ‘Let us go, or this is what we will do to you’. If it were, it would be a pretty bloody useless one. Though, of course, magic is used to light the fuse the primary weapon is gaatlok – gunpowder. He is incredibly secretive about the formula – even Hawke, helping him, doesn’t know he also needs charcoal – and has no expectation of surviving the act. Repeating it would be a pain in the arse. Anybody who wanted to would have to start from scratch.

Rather, it is a public demonstration of the helplessness of the mages. He commits a very public crime. And it immediately becomes clear that no authority figure is even slightly interested in dealing out justice. Hawke can kill him, if they are so inclined. But if they don’t, no one is going to force them to. You can be a completely pro-Templar Hawke and waltz into the Gallows with Anders in your party to participate in the Rite of Annulment, and the Templars do not call the whole thing to a halt – because, hang on, here is the actual perpetrator.

It is an excuse to do what they were planning to do anyway. They’d find an reason, one way or another, regardless of Anders’s actions. But this one is handy. Meredith claims that her hand is forced because the city would demand vengeance. Would it? Maybe. We never find out. It does, however, tell us how Meredith plans to spin the attack. The mages were always going to be victims of her fear and her power grab. This just makes it visible.

The people who really do deliberately inspire terror in Kirkwall are the Chantry. Meredith has been ruling the city through threats of violence for decades:

Meredith’s message was clear: remember who holds the power in Kirkwall. Remember what happened to Threnhold when he overreached. To drive home her point, she presented Marlowe with a small carven ivory box at his coronation. The box contained the Threnhold signet ring, misshapen, and crusted with blood. On the inside of the lid were written the words ‘His fate need not be yours’.

World of Thedas II

She’s also practising on the mages in the Gallows – three Starkhaven mages are made Tranquil at random, just to demonstrate to the prisoners in the Circle that it is within her power to do this. By Act 3, of course, she’ll have expanded her reach further, using her Templars to harass and assault Kirkwall’s citizens.

But, until Act 3, Meredith is something of a background figure. The ultimate villain lurking behind the scenes. The clearest foil for Anders is Petrice.

Here, then, is our actual terrorist. Petrice’s end goal is violence: she wants the people of Kirkwall to take on the Qunari. Of course it wouldn’t end there. There would be a war, and an Exalted March and (in her head – almost certainly not in reality) the crushing of the Qunari by the might of the righteous Chantry.

And her method is inspiring fear. Her assaults are relatively small, but calculated to make each side think of the other as violent, dangerous and evil. She’s arranged for the murder and mutilation of Qunari before: the bodies left for Arvaarad to find, so he would think Hawke and the Saarebas were responsible. She’s used poison gas on her own people (it would have been blackpowder, had she been able to get her hands on any) in an attempt to frame the Qunari. Here, she has arranged for the torture and murder of a Qunari delegation, to demonstrate to the Arishok how far the ‘faithful’ will go to be rid of the Qunari. Eventually, she will have a high-status Qunari convert murdered so she can use his death as propaganda.

Everything Petrice does is designed to frighten people. There’s a threat behind every strike: If we don’t fight the Qunari, look what they'll do. Each act of violence is aimed at inducing a panic response – in the full knowledge that, eventually, people will be frightened enough to make war.

The contrasts are numerous: Anders is a commoner, a Fereldan (in addition to the whole mage thing), and at present living in the sewers. Petrice is apparently of noble Orlesian stock (so says The World of Thedas), and belongs to the most powerful institution in Kirkwall. The first quest actually makes a point of this: while the people of Darktown rally around their healer and Anders is quite at home there, Petrice, a Chantry sister supposedly responsible for the wellbeing of Kirkwall, is painfully out of place even in Lowtown. Moreover, whereas the underground falls apart around Anders, Petrice is a rising star – a Sister when Hawke first meets her, a Mother by Act 2. Where Anders’s plan requires that he take the blame for his actions, Petrice does everything she can to shield herself – she always works through agents, and here she sells out her own accomplice.

The common ground is a fervent belief in a cause, and at some stage (right off the bat for Petrice; in the endgame for Anders) a belief that violence is the only way to move forward.

And in the cause lies the important contrast.

Anders’s plan is only of value if he’s right. He’s not trying to inspire fear. It’s knowing that the fear is already there that prompts him to act as he does. If he’s wrong and the Circle and Templars are not oppressive institutions designed to control and brutalise mages – then he gets hauled off to prison (and no doubt subsequent execution), and nothing happens to the other mages. Once the Chantry blows up, he can’t lose. It doesn’t matter whether he lives or dies. It doesn’t matter whether Hawke saves the Circle or helps destroy it. The Templars do hold innocent mages accountable for something they had nothing to do with. The word goes out that the Annulment of the Kirkwall Circle was unjust. The Templars impose harsh restrictions on mages of other nations, who had even less to do with all this than the Kirkwall mages – and Fiona seizes her chance.

Point pretty well made.

Petrice, though, is trying to control people’s actions through fear. She is trying to make the people of Kirkwall think the Qunari are a terrifying threat, while still making them think they can take them in a fight. She is using fear to manipulate people, without any regard for the truth. By the time the Qunari uprising begins, Petrice is either dead or disgraced, making her a personal failure. But the uprising itself demonstrates how painfully wrong she was. A small, depleted Qunari force takes control of the city in a matter of hours. No fight, no war, with the Qunari is ever going to be easy – and one that started in Kirkwall would almost certainly result in the loss of the city. It turns out that the Qunari were easy prey for her before this because they didn't want to fight.

And that shreds her other argument. She has been depicting them as unthinking savages. Terrifying in their brutality, yes, but so inherently less than Chantry folk (specifically humans), that they cannot help but lose. But the truth is that they have thought about this. The Arishok has been trying to avoid bloodshed. The Qunari troops have resisted provocation to a heroic degree. The Qun is what it is, and certainly no better than the Chantry. But the Qunari – the horned people who make up the majority of its adherents – are not monsters, just people like any other. Big, strong people who could have wreaked havoc a hell of a lot earlier, had they not been trying to keep the peace.

It’s easy to make people afraid, particularly if you’re willing to lie and kill to do it. But if that’s all you’ve got to work with, you’re pretty well screwed. And, well, there you go. Terrorism. Inspiring fear in order to achieve political ends. That’s Act 2′s story.

Lesson 14: Intro to Tarot

Teacher: Prism

Live class date and time: 1/27/2017 @ 5:00PM

What is Tarot?

As per google, “playing cards, traditionally a pack of 78 with five suits, used for fortune-telling and (especially in Europe) in certain games. The suits are typically swords, cups, coins (or pentacles), batons (or wands), and a permanent suit of trumps.”

It’s thought that Tarot originated after the year 1000, during a liminal period in theological history where religions were able to coexist alongside one another. Given that card games were outlawed in the abbeys of France in 1337 (YES I KNOW OK BUT IT’S TRUE) historians suspect their emergence to be within this period of 300 years or so. It was more than possible at this time to see churches, synagogues and mosques co-existing alongside one another.

It contains esoteric symbols from all three of the aforementioned religious practices; visual symbols that hearken to christianity can be seen in Arcana II, V, XI, XIII, XV and XX. The nameless arcana, now called Death, was originally pictured with the hebrew words “Yad-Hay-Vav-Ha” within its skeletal head. The ten sephirot was illustrated on the Hermit’s (IX) chest.

It is possible that sages from all of the aforementioned religions came together to create what is the foundation of the modern tarot, but whether or not this is the true is purely speculative.

What we do know is that in essence, the Tarot is not divination in the sense that it is able to reveal literal future. It is not predictive but psychoanalytical. All prospective futures that may be revealed within a reading are a projection of the subject given their state of mind, not accounting for the circumstances of their life nor the specifics, but dealing with them in the abstract, as they advance through the stages of their life.

Second, Tarot is often interpreted in the modern age in disparate parts. Symbolism and correspondences are attributed with no explanation and relationships between the cards are not elaborated on. But it is meant to be viewed holistically. In this instance, we will look at it within the context of the mandala, a device as Carl Jung would say, that is a representation of the psyche,  whose essence is essentially unknown. Thus through the tarot we reveal ourselves, the stages of our lives and the deep energies that govern all of us.

The Art of the Holistic Tarot


  • Definition: (in Jungian theory) a primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious.
  • Examples; 
      • The Emperor (V) as the key figure of rationalism. Material. Paternal. The Ruler archetype. The abrahamic god. The energy of the five as active but static in the material plane.
      • The Knight of Wands as the master of hidden passions. Sublimation of warlike qualities. Freedom from desire; transcendence. Between the numbers 8 and 9, between total perfection and the step forward into crisis. The Creator archetype. Salvador Dali. The God Amun.
      • The Lovers as the exchange of intimacy. Selfless giving. Companionship. Desire to shape the world in the image of unconditional love. The power of the 6; of beauty, as it mirrors itself. The archetype of the Caregiver. Aphrodite. Princess Diana.

Visual Symbolism

  • There are 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. They can be distinguished on the basis of their composition; in any given deck, the major arcana are usually presented with an individual image that is distinct from all the others and if not outright labeled, given the number of its respective arcana at the bottom or top. The minor arcana on the other hand, tend to feature repeating patterns and symbols within the purview of their respective suits, which may take many shapes and forms depending on the deck.
  • While I am loosely familiar with in-depth analyses of the classic Tarot of the Marseilles and Rider Waite decks, given the sheer volume and variety of the decks we all read with, I do not believe imparting the specifics would be useful here, save for providing example on how to potentially read different symbolism.
  • If you have a desire however to go to this level of depth with your deck, take time to reflect on the colors and composition of each card. Take each card of the major arcana and put it side by side in two rows, with the Fool and the World at either end. Look at how the cards align with one another. Is the High Priestess looking at the Empress, or looking away? What does the Hanged Man have behind their back? What colors do you see and do they run together? For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to leave it here, but I’m also going to include a brief table of color correspondences below. I’ll also note that these can be found exactly as I’m presenting them in Jorodowsky’s Way of the Tarot. As can most of the information that I’ll be teaching in this lesson, only in far greater detail.
  • Violet
    • + impersonal, wisdom
    • - sacrifice, death
  • White
    • + purity, ecstasy, immortality
    • - mortal chill, egoism
  • Light blue
    • + receptivity to celestial power
    • - dependence, immobility
  • Deep blue
    • + receptivity to earthly powers
    • - despotism, tyranny
  • Light yellow
    • + clairvoyance, active intelligence, awareness
    • - aridity, cruelty, dryness of mind
  • Deep yellow
    • + receptive intelligence
    • - madness, destruction
  • Flesh
    • + humanity, carnal pleasure
    • - materialism , repression
  • Red
    • + animal realm, activity
    • - criminal violence
  • Light green
    • + nature and the celestial
    • - dependence, envy
  • Deep green
    • + nature and the terrestrial
    • - engulfment, absorption
  • Black
    • + creative magma, shadow work
    • - chaos, repression, death impulse/fatalism


The Minor Arcana are typically divided into four suits, though the content of these suits may vary depending on the deck. For the purposes of this lesson, we will adhere to the basics; pentacles, cups, wands and swords.

There are many ways of dealing with these correspondences, but today we’ll break into down into two categories; correspondences by suit and correspondences by element/energy.

The elements as defined by alchemy are usually the way most define the properties of the four different suits. The results of my method will be similar, but with some nuance. These are intended to be more consistent with the arcana themselves, rather than derived arbitrarily from other, albeit related systems.

The sword is a rational symbol, forged and tempered with care and experience. Thus it harkens back to intelligence, the learning of language and transcendent thought. Swords have the power to test the mettle of a thing, much in the same way our rational intellect may scrutinize the integrity and consistency of an abstract ideal. The element of swords would be air, in this case.

The cup, similar to the christian symbol of a Grail, or the pagan symbol of a chalice, is a tool of receptivity and retention. In antiquity, cups have been used as a symbol for love. Cups represent emotional energy, in that the cup is deeply internalizing. What is poured into the cup may stay, adherent to the shape it’s given.  It is emotion used a divine messenger, in this sense, and its reference element would be water.

The wand is not artificially. It grows naturally in the wild, from crystal, gnarled bark or bone. But one can prune and polish it if they choose. Thus it represents growth of sexual or creative power as it occurs naturally in the human being. Sexual magnetism is an independent process, but what we choose to do with this natural state of mind is up to us; do we channel or sublimate it? Or perhaps, we allow it to take the lead. Much in the same way is the element of fire. It occurs as a force its own, but we choose how it is utilized and where it will burn.

The pentacle is solid, material, substantial. Usually represented by a coin, currency or artifact of significant cultural value, it is forged into what it is by human hands. It begins as raw material and is given identity by the choices. Aren’t our human bodies much the same? We are given our base material through biology, but what we do with it is up to us. Thus the pentacles are very much governed by earth energy, physical energy and they often represent the material plane that we inhabit as human beings.

The Diagram of Numerology

Still here with me? Good!

So, we’re about to get started with the numerological aspects of how to read and in particular, decimal numerology.

Why you may ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask. I plan to answer anyway, to further the plot.

Well, from a historical point of view among the most original decks known by man is the Tarot of Marseilles. There is some evidence to suggest that Tarot itself originated in France, though the truth will remain unknown. Regardless, French society itself has a tendency numbers in terms of degrees, particularly the number ten. The major arcana runs in two groupings of ten, excluding the beginnings and endings of the cycles, E.G. arcana zero and arcana twenty one. The number ten is viewed as a number of totality, divided into into ten separate degrees that evolve from one to the next. This creates the basis for relationships that otherwise, the tarot doesn’t have.

So hang on to your hats ladies, gentlemen and non-binary individuals. Now it’s time to pull out a piece of paper.

We’re going to break this down with a diagram. You’ll want the orientation of the paper to be in portrait rather than landscape. Now fold it in half, so that it is split vertically, not horizontally.

You’ve got two halves right? The left side is going to be our receptive side and the right side, our active side. You can label that if you wish, but you don’t have to.

Now fold it again along the horizontal axis. That way it is split into a cross, with four boxes. The top represents heaven (spiritual) and the bottom, earth (material).

Bam. Easy, right?

So we’re about to fold this sucker again. Configure it back into the long rectangle, where it is both horizontally and vertically folded. Now, fold it again, horizontally.

Tadah! If you have four equivalent rectangles on either side of the paper, congratulations. You are an origami champion.

Anyway, now imagine that numbers one and ten are below and above the paper respectively, but not necessarily present. After all, we only have eight squares right? These eight squares are going to represent the eight degrees on our journey through life. All ten degrees will be applicable to the reading of both the major and minor arcana as well as the significance of the hidden degrees, E.G. the energies of the Fool and the World (0 and 21.)

If you have something to write with, go ahead and label the boxes in ascending order from top to bottom, starting on the left side. So it’d be bottom left 2, bottom right 3, then just above 2 goes 4 and ect. You’ll note that all even numbers are on the left and all odd numbers are on the right. Coincidence? I think not!

This represents the organic growth as we grow upwards in the vertical dimension. Humans and plants grow up toward the sky, much in the same way.

The Degrees and their Meaning

If you’re still with me, then good. The mind control ought to be working by now.

Now let’s break down the different degrees and their meaning.

  1. Degree one is represented in the first decimal series by the Magician. A beginner, full of potential. Between choices. Uncertainty. Needing to take the first step into reality. Move to square 2! A newborn child, brought into the world.
  2. The High Priestess. Receptive energy, childhood development. Accumulating knowledge & experience. Gestation. Matter is inert, still growing and changing. Moving toward the realization of identity.
  3. The Empress. Explosive adolescent action. First love, first fight, first real passion. Action with little purpose or direction. Adolescent rebellion. A need to move toward the four, toward adulthood and stability.
  4. The establishment of real material stability. The Emperor. Mastering the material plane. Buying the house, getting the car, establishing a career, a family, a home or the achievement of a material goal. Motionless and capable of great stagnation unless progress is made to the five.
  5. The Pope or the Hierophant. Moving toward the threshold of the heaven square. A passage or a transition into the spiritual or transcendent plane through the temptation of an ideal. A new point of view is achieved. Concern for the Other starts to manifest.
  6. Pleasure, beauty, receptive but transcendent of material considerations. The ultimate artistic positioning in life. Receptive with the danger of becoming narcissistic and self indulgent. In order to continue on, one must move to the action of the seven, rather than hoard the delights of the six. The Lovers.
  7. All forms of global action are engendered here by the Chariot. Humanitarian, artistic or imperial. It can lead to mindless violence, corruption by a static value system and have disastrous consequences. In order for the hero to avoid living long enough to become the villain, they must move to the eight.
  8. Total spiritual and material perfection. Judgement. Perfection in the heaven square. The eighth month of gestation. The judge who is both exacting and wise. There is nothing to be taken away, nothing to be added. But still, the individual must move to the nine in order to complete the cycle, into crisis.
  9. The step off the in this case, literal page. There are no more squares to be had. This is the position of the Hermit. The blind leap of faith. Like a mandala drawn in the sand, the individual must move beyond the perfect balance achieved by the eight into the nine, leaving the sum of all their achievements behind them and prepare for transcendence. To fall back to the eight in this position signifies a fear of death, which has the power to consume them.
  10. The Wheel of Fortune. It is the liminal space between cycles. It is renewal, eternal change, as the wheel continues to turn. The literal card of rebirth. Beginning and end. It is pure karmic energy, the womb from whence we came and where we all inevitably will return. Well…. Figuratively speaking, anyway.

Where do the court cards fit? A question for another day perhaps, but briefly, they are the literal decimals or half steps between the ten degrees. The Page is between two and three, the Queen between four and five, the King between six and seven and the Knight between nine and ten.

These values apply across the board, not just dogmatically to the major arcana. If the six found in the Lovers dictates beauty than this also applies to the six of pentacles, of wands, of swords and of cups. It also applies to the cards in the second decimal series, which carries on into another cycle, the cycle of the old soul, culminating in the card which embodies each phase of evolution; the World.

It begins to give the reader a basis with which to think of the cards beyond arbitrary memorization. For example if in a reading I have a card whose challenged by another card of a lower numeric value, I can safely assume their being held back by energies which are at a lower state of development. However those energies manifest depend on the individual and the context of the reading. As you can see, it begins to build upon relationships within the cards themselves. How would a pentacle feel to be held back the energy of an undeveloped wand? What could it mean to have two cards of different suits of the name numerology at odds with one another? These are the sort of considerations to make during each reading.

In summation to this introduction, which has been a lot of theory I know, one can have a basis from which to start truly deciphering their relationship to the major and minor arcana. Next lesson we’ll be going in depth with the first and second series of the major arcana. I hope to see you all there!


Horoscopes by Gil Hizon - Week of April 23 - 29, 2017

Error Code: Your Face

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20)

This week, it’ll seem like no matter what you do, there just ain’t no pleasing nobitches, amirite? You could be carrying the fountain of gay youth and you still won’t be allowed in the gayborhood, let alone the fucking courtyard. Do yourself a favor, dahling. Start pleasing yourself instead of other hos and when they start noticing that their shadiness ain’t affecting yo ass, they’ll start to come around.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

I know that you’re Miss On-The-Go this week, but not everyone will be hip to your insane schedule. The more you expect that bitches will just adhere to your itinerary, the more disappointed you’ll become. Listen, gurr. I know that there’s lots to be done but calming the fuck down will enable you to see the entire layout of your week, and it’ll enable you to efficiently strategize how to get all your shit done.

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

I’m just getting the sense that you’re not fully there. That you’re not completely applying yourself to the current tasks you’ve been assigned with. You are exhibiting a certain disenchantment with what’s happened in your life, and gurl, shit happens, okay? I’m fine with the moping but don’t let it go on for too long. At some point, you gotta get on with your fucking life.

LEO (July 23 – August 22)

Gurl, you didn’t think it was gonna happen this fast, amirite? You’ve been getting used to a certain mode of being emotionally alone and all of a sudden, some sickening bitch appears in your life and everything is alright again. I understand that the obvious reaction from you is to resist it for fear of being hurt. But trust that in this case, history might not repeat itself.

VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)

Another great opportunity is once again turning out to be a dud and frankly, you’re sick and tired of learning about how the real world works. You’re done with the lessons on life’s shit and it’s like, you get it, the universe can be fucking cruel, can we move on already? But think about how you would’ve reacted years ago. You would’ve felt crushed. But this new you is shitshow-proof more than ever. And for that, yo ass should be fucking proud.

LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)

When it comes to addiction, the biggest issues here are weakness and consideration for others. The fact that a person is able to control something but won’t do anything about it is not just a head scratcher; it’s just downright disappointing. In addition, if someone knows that their actions are hurting other people, and they’re still doing it? That’s just idiotic and nasty.

SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)

Your choice of words regarding a matter this week can be downright polarizing; it can make you realize who your fucking allies really are. This could change the game, dearie, like in a big way. Whether or not that’s good or bad, it’s up to you. One thing’s for sure. You cannot NOT say anything. Because that would be the beginning of your demise, queen.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)

You’re just a homebody these days and with good reason. Being around people can only energize you for so long. Spending time with yourself for once can make you realize that there are some things you can still surprise yourself with. Don’t underestimate the power of solitude. Because of your adventurous, social nature, it can make you cray-cray, but introspection can also make you a fucking badass.

CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)

When you’re doing your shit out of order, it may throw a lot of bitches off. Letting them know beforehand that that’s what you’ve planned on doing all along can make you seem egotistical, like you expect all other bitches to be paying attention to whatchu been doing (or who you be doing). Gurl, you know what’s up. Only let other hos know if they ask.

AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)

There’s just too much orgasmic inspiration happening in your big brain that it’s enough to doubt yourself and your ties to reality. Although it seems like a lot of real world issues are fighting for your attention, this is just your brain safeguarding your fucking sanity. It’s okay to let go and be immersed in daydream, dearie. You can save every other ho another day. Right now, they don’t need you. You just think they do.

PISCES (February 19 – March 20)

Being a badass is not something one can learn. That shit is innate, my dear. So when you’re rushing through your week in your general badassery, don’t even think about stopping to doubt whether what you’re doing is enough. You fucking know that it is and more. Just keep kicking ass and let the rest of us worry about whether we’re good enough to hang with yo ass.

ARIES (March 21 – April 19)

So certain bitches have had it with you and your “friend.” There is some weird dynamic shit going on between the two of you and frankly, queens have enough confusion in their lives without trying to figure out if you two are fucking or not. Don’t flatter yourself either. Their only level of interest in your true dynamic with this ho has to do with how it affects their lives and how they’re supposed to behave around your asses. Stop being so vague because they just don’t have time for that shit.

(DISCLAIMER for all entries: This is all a shitshow!)

For more Horoscopes By Gil Hizon, click here, gurl!

Lesson 7: Demons

By: Admin Vorst

Live class date and time: To Be Determined

Demonologist, demonolator and Satanists.

Demonologist study demons.

Demonolators study demons and worship them as divine beings.

Satanists adhere to Satan and or may not include demons in their religion or practice.

These terms can overlap,but don’t need to.

With this I’d like to quickly introduce myself. Hi, I’m Vorst and I’m both a Satanist and a demonolator, though Satan is my God, above everyone else. I’m also oath-bound to Him, which means I’ve promised to worship Him my entire life.

With this a warning: don’t make oaths for the fun of it. Changing your mind can happen, and in experience: neither gods nor demons will take kindly to oath-breakers.

Where does the word ‘demon’ come from?

The word comes from the Ancient Greek word 'δαιμον’, which the Romans also wrote as 'daemon’ later on in their own literature.

The meaning of the word 'daemon’ is: a spirit between gods and Man. You can see that the Greeks nor the Romans ever saw daemons as malicious spirits.

That changed with the rise of Christianity and Abrahamic religions in general. In contrary to Roman tactics, some of the now newly conquered Christian countries slowly began to forbid and shun any worship of gods and spirits outside of their own pantheon.

To the eyes of the Christian in these places, foreign beliefs were seen to be evil, corrupt and disfigured. Their gods being viewed as evil beings, out there to ruin people’s lives. They were to be portrayed as such that no one would ever want to associate themselves with these deities, and so previously normal words to describe certain entities had now gotten a sinister meaning.

That is the reason why people in modern times have taken it upon themselves to use 'daemon’ again instead of 'demon’, to distinguish themselves from the people who see them as solely malicious.

What are demons?

In modern shows and TV-series most hold on to their favourite stereotypes: terrifying evil creatures constantly possessing humans. In the more obscure films and media forms, they’re starting to slowly get to the truth of demons, usually portraying their wit and intelligence. This is most likely due to Christianity becoming less influential - and the fact that controversy is a great hit in everything.

Darker parts of the human self. Our darker emotions, such as fear, anger and sadness are seen as our personal demons. But also addiction, violent behaviour and sexual acts, as demons themselves are often associated with exactly these. These inner demons, as they are called, are obviously not the demons I will be discussing.

In reality, the entities known as demons are spirits and/or gods from ancient times. Most of the time, however, there is a line between when an entity is considered a demon, and when a god. Satan, per example, is referred to being both “the God of this world” and the king of demons. Some say he is not a demon, and some say he’s a demon but not the leader.

Another example of this is Astarte. Both seen as the female counterpart of the demon Astaroth, but she is also known as the Middle Eastern goddess Ishtar, worshipped from the Bronze Age in the ancient Levant among the Canaanites and Phoenicians.

Another example being Beelzebub, the Lord of Flies, as Biblical scholar Thomas Kelly Cheyne suggested that it might be a corruption of the name Ba‘al Zəbûl, “Lord of the High Place” (i.e., Heaven) or “High Lord” - a god previously worshipped.

The line between whether demons are gods or spirits is fairly vague. It is also worth noting that some have mentioned that some, like Astarte, might take offence to being referred to as a demon, so do be aware when contacting them and ask them what they want to be referred to as.  


When people do feel like they’re possessed it’s usually either that they’re not well in touch with their inner selves, or that they’re influenced by negative energy of maybe a spirit. Though it is far more often the first scenario that’s causing the sensation. Of course, this excludes people with mental issues, who I advice to seek professional help in these cases. Also, therapists can help too.

Are demons evil?

Demons are as equally evil as gods are, as demonolators see them as divine beings. We all know gods of war, and yet they were worshipped. We know of gods who have murdered, assaulted and committed various human crimes and were and/or are still worshipped. There are various reasons for this, one being that gods can never be wrong, as they are not bound by human rules and transcend human morality. This, however, is more of a philosophical idea so I will not elaborate on that now.

Because demons are often portrayed as having characteristics similar to humans, one could never fully call a demon solely evil, nor could they ever be solely good.

This will probably make you wonder:

Is it reasonable to fear demons?

Absolutely. Whereas not per se evil, all are capable of acting hostile - this being their one trait everyone agrees on.

Demons are ancient and powerful entities that often care not for human problems. They often view humans as either acceptable or downright worthless to them.

And why would they in any other way?

In most religious practices, a god grants a human their prayer to come true when the human has presented themselves favourable to said god.

In the case of demons? They require no worship. Some gods don’t need worship either, but in the case of demons they appear completely separate from humanity. Despite that, as demons are closer to the raw core of human emotions than the general god would be, demons feed on the strongest of feelings: sadness, anger, fear, love and happiness. Demons are seen as spiritual predators in this regard.

As they require nor seem to desire an active response from humans, they are not inclined to mix themselves with mortals.

This does not mean a demon will never be genuinely kind. They will be. But do note that demons are skilled tricksters in getting what they want through fake promises and sweet lies.

When assured a demon expresses interest, kindness and acceptance a mutual agreement can be agreed on.

Banishing a demon?

So before I go into working with them, I’ll discuss how to get rid of them. First of all: ask them to leave. Be polite. Maybe they’re just simply approaching you.

If that does not work, try salt or spells to make others distance yourself from you.

You could also try and evoke another authority figure, like your god, to protect you.

Don’t engage them in a fight. Antagonized demons are the last you would want.

Working with demons?

Demons are wise teachers and are willing to share their secrets when either politely asked or forced to do so.

Either way seems to work fine, and have different names as well.

Evoking a demon is the act of forcefully conjuring a demon in your space, as in shown and described in the book of the Lesser Key of Solomon.

Invoking a demon is the act of inviting a demon in your space. You leave it up to the demon whether or not they show up.

The latter is obviously far more polite; modern demonolators prefer that one and I will be discussing that one the most.

Invocation differs from person to person. But, I will now state the general idea of doing this safely.

Always go for an invocation and never an evocation. This is personal advice. Demons will not be pleased if you force them. When casting a circle, during invocation the demon will be inside the circle together with you, with positive energy.

During evocation, the demon will be trapped inside the circle, the person outside looking in. Honestly, it’s terrible to start an acquaintanceship like that.

In order to prevent antagonizing the demon, be polite and go for an invocation. An invocation can be as difficult as you want it to be, in its simplest form it can even be as small as a prayer.

In my case, I cleanse my room, surround myself with a mental barrier (or through a smell I associate with Satan) where I invite the demon in. Then I draw a general summoning circle in the air. This can be done with a ritual knife, athame, wand or you hands. When using a sharp object do remember not to stab it in the air as if it’s an attack.

We don’t tend to attempt to knife our guests.

Afterward, or during, I say the Enn for the specific demon I wish to invoke.

Enns are short sentences in an unknown language, claimed to be demonic, of invitation, admiration or requests of protections. There are various theories on how they were found. The first demonolator who wrote them down was Alexander Willit in the 16th century. Later, other demonolators used them in their practice too. We know it is a language, with grammar, but we do not know the grammar itself yet. We do know the meaning of some sentences. Because we know little, we also do not know how to correctly pronounce these enns. Say it how you want.

Some examples of this language and their translation: “Ganic Tasa Fubin Flereous” could be translated as Fire protect the flame, Lord Flereous, per example. Another example is the enn for Barbatos, which is: “Eveta fubin Barabatos”.

After that, I go and meditate until I feel a presence. When I do, I politely try to communicate with the demon, mentally or verbally. There are various ways a demon can show itself depending on your spiritual state. Experienced demonolators reported manifestations so strong they initially thought someone had broken into their house.

When done, I thank the demon and end the invocation. This can be as simple as saying goodbye and as complex as an entire ritual. Do what you feel works best.

Originally posted on another blog, it was moved here.

anonymous asked:

Sorry if it's a bother, but I'm kinda in the questioning phase (cis girl who used to think herself very straight, but is now having feelings for girls too) and I'm wondering if you have any advice or know of any resources? I'm still pretty freaked out and scared that I'll get it wrong and will never get this figured out...

I do have some advice! Sorry this response is delayed but I wanted to say it right.

There is no way to get it wrong. Having feelings for people and loving who you love isnt wrong. It is easy to internalize this idea of mistakes and abnormalities, because the whole world tells you that you can get it wrong and that anything outside of a very particular set of circumstances is abnormal or incorrect. However the closer you look at any lines the blurrier it gets, and the more you realize that such clear cut distinctions rarely work. And to call queer feelings and relationships the ‘exception’ also isnt fair, because if there are that many exceptions then there isnt really a rule is there? 

So here is some things

- It’s scary, it is. Depending on your environment and support system it can be hard to admit to yourself let alone anyone else that you might not fit into the pre-made box you were given. But heres the thing about it. It only feels wrong because it feels like you can be punished. People are rebuked or punished for incorrect things, thats how our society functions and interacts with itself. So if you fear punishment (meaning negative reactions, lack of acceptance, isolation) and punishment could indeed fall on you, then it must be wrong. It is difficult to challenge such a large idea, but thats what you have to do. Because you have to rewrite the script you’ve been given, and tell yourself that it isn’t wrong. It’s not. Having feelings for both genders or neither or the same gender or all genders or the opposite gender isnt wrong, its all the same. 

- You don’t have to define anything if you don’t want to. Sometimes labels and clear definitions bring comfort to people. It’s a very common mindset to be comforted by as much information and clarity as possible, which is why people fight so hard to define labels. And that’s great and fine, and if that’s something you want then keep looking to find what fits you, but know too that you don’t have to. People always focus on the most complicated aspects of love and affection, and it is indeed complicated sometimes, but sometimes its not. Not every matter of the heart is hard to understand. And if you find that you like someone of the same gender and grow fond of them romantically and find yourself attracted to them, this is not a complicated thing. This is affection in its most basic form, and it is only the uncertainties and anxieties that come after that make it so jarring. Inherently it’s not complex in the slightest.

You like her.

And that’s okay. 

Thinking then of how you felt in the past, how you feel now, what you might feel in the future, how your family would react, how the girl would react, how this plays into your understanding of yourself, whether or not that was wrong- these things come second. What comes first is natural, unedited affection, and if it happens with someone of the same gender, any gender, genderfluid, no gender- that’s what it is. Affection, attraction, feelings. And that is okay. You are okay. This is not complicated, this is not wrong. 

-You are coming to understand things that confuse you, because you had an understanding of yourself that has been called into question. Remember too that humans are one of the grandest and most fascinating things in the world because of their ability to change.

You change every day of your life as you learn new things, experience new events and define for yourself what is right and what is wrong. 

I feel that there were times in my life where i ‘knew’ who i was, but as time goes on I change and I have to rewrite the lines. If I led my life to the same script I wrote when I was a teenager I wouldn’t be who I am now, and should I always adamantly adhere to the script I have today then I would never be anyone else. 

- The only way you are going to know anything is if you are honest with yourself and keep an open conversation with how you feel. If you edit things or refuse to let some thoughts or emotions play out then you can’t hear what they are trying to say. Let yourself feel things, if you don’t you won’t learn anything new. 

- No matter what you learn about yourself or what fears you conquer I am proud of you for having the conversation with yourself, and no matter what that’s a hell of a thing. 

You don’t have to define anything you aren’t ready to. Be honest with yourself and understand that getting to know yourself again and again is essential to being alive. Whether you are straight or gay or bi or anything else, you are okay. It isn’t wrong to love someone. 

I love you, I hope I managed to say something that could provide some comfort. 

Best Laid Plans of Men and Monsters...

In a lot of ways, Season 5 is about plans. The making of them, the execution of them, the deviation from them. But it’s not just about plans in Season 5. It’s about plans from long ago, some short-term and some long-term.

And about how those plans – good and bad, successes and failures – become legacies.

Before I delve super deep into this, I’m going to warn you. I have a lot of thoughts. Like SO MANY. And they’ve been percolating since before 5x17. So, while I’m going to try to keep this as organized as possible, I’m not making any promises…

Keep reading

The other thing that came up at the talk was whether or not Marvel was reaching market saturation point, which I think betrayed a fundamental lack of understanding about what more diverse lines are meant to do.

Like, if you look at the comics-reading audience as “15- to 29-year-old straight white guys,” then it makes sense to talk about market saturation because there’s only so many comics you can reasonably sell to a limited audience with finite disposable income.  If you look at the comics-reading audience as “anyone who can read,” then the conversation becomes about how to pitch to people who aren’t currently giving you money and produce for them in a viable way, and the limiting factor is how effectively you can market and deliver to a new niche.

This is especially true if you give new properties the Deadpool/Squirrelgirl treatment.  Don’t ask the creative team to take the property super-seriously all the time.  Let it be fun.  Let the stakes be low sometimes, let the climax of an issue be a character having a personal epiphany instead of winning a fight, let the protagonist have a life outside punching people.  Imply a division between the property and canon-canon that lets you reduce editorial adherence to whatever cross-title bullshit you’re currently promoting, which both reduces support-staff timesuck and keeps the property accessible to ride-or-die fans of that particular property and casual/baby fans in general.  Hire writers and artists who are excited to work on the property on its own merits.

The question genuinely isn’t “how do we get 15- to 29-year-old straight white guys to read comics about non-15- to -29-year-old straight white guys,” though that is, yes, a question.  The much more profitable question is “how do we get people who aren’t currently reading comics to read our comics,” and a big part of the answer is to just stop turning them off.  

Give them a hero they don’t have to do mental backflips to really identify with, don’t make them read with three comicsvine tabs open to figure out why the world is mysteriously ending in this issue, hire writers and artists who don’t add to the hostile background static of existing while ________.  And it’s not a zero-sum game.  There’s not like a set number of titles that Marvel or Image or DC can put out, especially with digital distribution.  Adding Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur to the line-up didn’t mean Actual Responsible Human Being Spider-Man! had to be cancelled to make room for it.  If you brand appropriately to let new fans know which titles are easier to get into without knowing the universe and resist the urge to get stupid the second new properties seem to be showing bankability, it’s picking money back up off the table that’s been left there for a generation.

An attempt at establishing a good habit

We all may have heard of the following hadith, 

“ Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:  Whoever prays Fajr in congregation then sits remembering Allaah until the sun rises, then prays two rak’ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah, complete, complete, complete. - Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (586).”

Even though there is a difference of opinion in regards to the soundness of the hadith, a number of scholars have classes is as hasan li ghayrihi. 

  Another hadith that is more vividly known and acted upon by the majority of us is the following,  

“ It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah, a light will shine for him from beneath his feet to the clouds of the sky, which will shine for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven (his sins) between the two Fridays.”

Pondering upon these two, i realized that a great habit could be formed in order to follow these two religiously. I will start to the following from now on In Sha Allah. 

  • Wake up early and pray Tahajjud (the night prayer), every Friday (And other days too In Sha Allah).

  • Wait for Fajr and make dua during that time (Allah descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, why miss the opportunity for dua?)

  • Pray the sunnah of Fajr at home and then head out to the masjed. [Note: Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The two rak'ahs of Fajr are better than this world and everything in it.” (Narrated by Muslim, 725. ) AND the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Perform some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them graves.”(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 422; Muslim, 777)]

  • After having prayed Fajr, sit in my place and finish the morning adhkar and then recite Surah Kahf  (And read translation in order to understand) - Quran or phone app. ( Note: There is a difference of opinion in regards to whether the hadith implies to stay in the same place or be able to move about in  the masjed. I personally would like to stay on the safe side and try to be near a pillar or a wall so i can lean against it and not be tired. And keep a Quran close by before hand or have my phone “on silent” with me.)

 Surah Kahf doesn’t take too long, i take roughly 45 minutes to recite and read translation, that is approximately enough time until you can pray the shurooq (sunrise) prayer. So by the you finish reciting Al Kahf and praying 2 rakahs (units) of sunrise prayer, you would have acted upon two hadiths and that too on a Friday. I fully intend to comply by this In Sha Allah, a great way to attain a reward. (Note: Allah loves the acts that we are consistent in and  that is why making a habit out of our acts of worship is very important). 

May Allah make us of those who earn HIS pleasure and mercy through adhering to good deeds and refraining from the bad deeds and may HE enable us to perform more and more good deeds in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah, Ameen.

Light Side!Jaesa Willsaam Character Thoughts

[Note: I posted this meta for the first time on my first blog, which has been deactivated. I am reposting and revising this meta because Light Side!Jaesa could never get enough love, and in my honest opinion, LS!Jaesa is a criminally underrated character]

I want to talk about Jaesa - specifically, Light Side!Jaesa - a lot. I want to talk about the things that make LS!Jaesa such a wonderful character, thus I’m deeply grateful of her existence.

(Warning: Spoilers for the Sith Warrior storyline and LS!Jaesa’s conversation arc)

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anonymous asked:

How do you think Ymir's idea/founding of Freedom in 89 connects or contributes thematically throughout the series and how it may come up in future chapters? Or what Isayama has left to address in these final arcs/chapters. Honestly I'd just love to read your thoughts/writings on the characters, the details you've noticed that are tying it all together and where it may end up. (not concrete predictions, your chapter 90 thoughts highlighted the joy in the spontaneity and odd choices the writing)

This question is my new favorite.

The intensely interesting thing about Ymir is that in her story, it is spelled out as explicitly as you ever could ask for that Paradis is her freedom.

Chronologically, at this point in the story, everyone is running around screaming over their home being destroyed. They’re buckling down and racing further inside the walls as fast as they can, filling their cage to max capacity and throwing people out to die so the rest of them can survive.

Ymir opens her eyes in this place, and she sees freedom. She’s alive, and she has her mind back, and there’s no one nearby who wants her dead. She can do whatever she wants, and it’s the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen.

That’s the vision we’re presented with as Paradis comes to grips with the fact that they’re hated by the entire world. Ymir doesn’t see the walls closing in; she looks up at the sky and finds life.

And she opens that statement with how little individual humans matter. They’re sort of meaningless, right? There’s no real value in any of her flailing, or anyone else’s.

Except when she reaches Paradis, she can choose.

She doesn’t matter. There’s no significance to her struggles.

She still has the power to do whatever the heck she wants.

That’s so cool.

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anonymous asked:

Hi! I don't mean to bother you if you're busy or not taking asks. I'm pretty new to all of this, so I don't know if this is possible or not, but I recently lost my two cats to a house fire and I was wondering if it is possible to communicate with them? Thank you!


It is possible to do so. However it is not necessarily the easiest thing in the world.

My number one caution for you is that MANY unwanted spirits masquerade as the dead in order to sneak in to our lives. Your beloved pets, grandma, or people who loved you in life shouldn’t be asking, insinuating, or even hinting that they would like a spirit house and offerings. They are in the afterlife! Contacting the dead for a talk is not the same as ancestor work and payment should not be necessary. Please note that I am referring specifically to the dead you knew and loved in life, not random deceased that you researched and chose to talk to for whatever reason.

Regardless of what happens after death, the entity you connect with should basically just 100% totally remind you of the being you knew in life. You will notice their behavior is identical, they say expected things, and they are excited and happy to see you (or react to your presence in any normal, positive way).

Use smart spirit-working tricks to help ensure you meet the spirit you want to meet. This includes getting in to the correct mindset for spirit communication (whether that means hitting the pipe or doing ritual or whatever), casting the correct protective measures, and using specific language to invite specific spirits with as few loopholes as possible.

I have connected to the spirit of my deceased pupper Ceaser before and it is a wonderful and beautiful experience ^-^ 

I’ll just give you some basic steps… something I personally would do. You should reformat this to reflect your spiritual beliefs and add more protection or change protections as you see fit. Please remember I have been a spirit worker for some time so occasionally I forget to share basic safety elements because they are so automatic for me. 

1. Collect some nice gifts :D I said your beloved dead should not ask for offerings. But it’s still okay to share gifts! The feeling of joy and peace I get when I share something to a deceased being that they loved in physical life is simply wonderful. For your kitties, collect small toys, foods, and treats they enjoyed in life.

2. Gather what you need for spirit communication. I can communicate psychically so I don’t need to take anything. You may want to bring a spirit board, tarot, or a pendulum. If you have never talked to a spirit before try speaking with a plant spirit for practice before you go and attempt to reach your kitties. Just spend two to four days communing with plant spirits to get a basic idea of how it works for you. If you are already prepared, go boldly forth to step 3!

3. Gather what you need to cast a basic protective circle, as well as whatever you need to feel comfortable in a spirit situation (for me this means my grimoire, banishing and protective incense, and a jar of flying devil oil).

4. Go to where you believe the spirits are most likely to be. For your cats this is as near to the location they died as possible. If they have been buried or if there is a memorial to them with strong ties, those locations may also work well. Their spirits will be drawn to areas and locations that are comfortable to them, or they may be lost where their spirits “woke up”.

5. Cast a protective circle around yourself to keep out all negative/unhealthy energies and spirits which mean you harm and have ill intent. Arrange all your tools as necessary so you feel comfortable and ready.

6. Meditate on the form and feeling of the spirit you wish to connect to. This means visualizing their physical form if you like to visualize, as well as focusing on the feelings they give you, the memories you have of them, their essence. When you feel you are nearly in the presence of this spirit for how strongly you feel them, reach out and call to the spirit world: “Kitty named [Kitty 1], who I knew during your life, please come to see me. I came here to meet you. I would love to see you again.” Or something similar :)

Note the italicized portion of the spirit call. This is a little statement of fact included to help ensure the correct spirit is met. I suppose there may be a thousand spirits willing to answer to the name Kitty 1, but if you insist only spirits you knew during their physical life appear, that number goes way down. Other statements could be included, such as, “my pet who died in a fire”. Basically just insert fact and insist the spirit who appears adheres to the reality you present.

7. Speak to the spirit!! If you have experience communicating then just enjoy yourself :) spend time with the kitties :3 If you have limited experience, here are my tips: You should in general just feel a presence near you when the spirit appears. You should feel very positive feelings because this is a good bond that is being reignited. If you have a thought equivalent to “I don’t think this is my cat,” and that thought reappears spontaneously three times, it’s not your cat. Your intuition is warning you!  

8. If you brought gifts, offer them when naturally appropriate during conversation. There is no need to leave physical gifts if that would be awkward. Ask the spirit to enjoy for as long as you are there and take them with you when you leave. In my experience, the “true” spirit I am seeking will eventually ask me to stop bringing gifts if I bring too many or they are too generous. To me this is another “green flag” that I am in a relationship with the spirit I intended to meet. 

9. If you intend to meet this spirit on a regular basis or you want to schedule a time for a ceremony of release, speak to them and organize a time when you will return, to ensure they will show up as well. Use nature-based time keeping, such as “three sunrises from now”, “during the next full moon,” or “during high tide.” Spirits do not typically keep our Gregorian calendar and this will make more sense to them. 

10. Enjoy the company of the kitties for as long as you like! When you are ready to go and if they are not coming with you, say goodbye. Gather your things, erase your circle, and leave. If you have made a new arrangement and the kitties are moving with you, simply take them with you :) 

 There are certain theories about what happens to plants, animals, and humans when we die. One theory I generally adhere to is that the dead have their own business after they pass. We should not disrupt them too often, and if they are here for a purpose we should help them with it. 

Day Thirty-Four

-A fourteen-year old boy went through the lanes dressed as Jared Leto’s Joker. It is far too far from Halloween for this to be acceptable. He had acid-green hair, off-putting makeup, a t-shirt designed to look like the Joker’s bare body, and a very disappointed father.

-I once again utilized my power to stop a shrieking child and make her laugh instead. Her mother did not know why the screaming ceased, but she was visibly relieved as it did. As she walked away and blocked me from the child’s sight, the little one began to wail again. I feel obligated to accompany them and become a live-in nanny, whether they ask for it or not.

-An old man, supposedly by accident, referred to me as “honey.” He looked at me, mortified, then grabbed his bag and ran out of the store. I can understand this man and his actions all too well.

-A grown man had to say the word “panties,” and the amount that the word made him squirm makes me question what business he has purchasing any.

-A pair of elderly women came through together on a shopping date. They were thrilled to find a magazine about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie, and twice as thrilled to find my free stickers. I hope my priorities are as in order as theirs at that point in my life.

-I found out that I have inspired at least one other cashier to become more liberal with their stickers. If nothing else, I am glad to leave this legacy behind.

-A young girl walked through the store in a Pikachu costume. The joy in her face makes me hope she never has to take it off for as long as she lives.

-I looked to the end of my lane to find a man administering a sobriety test for his eleven year-old son. 

-A young girl in her cart spent her time proudly proclaiming to anyone who walked by that she could spell the word “sad.” I am glad to hear this, as depending on the success of a certain xenophobic jackolantern on November 8th, this skill may come in more and more handy.

-A young woman commented on how busy the store was and how stressed I seemed as a result of our dearth of cashiers at the time. She then told me she appreciated what I did. I get direct deposits every other Friday, yet this is still the most gratifying compensation this job has given me.

-I handed a boy a strip of stickers. He began to look down at them and giggle maniacally. He has plans. I do not know what they are, but I am both terrified and excited to find out.

-A man in his twenties took a sticker, then forced his friend to take one as well, as he could not choose which sticker he wanted but wished to adhere to the “Take One” rule.

-As her parents prompted her to thank me for her stickers, a small girl looked me in the eye, raised the stickers to my face, declared, “I’m taking these now,” and walked away with neither her parents nor a single care in the world.

-A mother told her son that if he touched anything, he would go to jail. I am not sure how she was able to back this threat up in the past, but clearly there was precedent enough that he stopped in his tracks.

-My final guest and I discussed strange things my guests have mentioned. She then asked me if I had seen a viral post about a Target employee’s first week on the job. As she described it, I reluctantly told her that I did in fact see it, as I had also written it. I am not fully sure if she left my register believing me or not, but either way, her reaction was phenomenal and I clocked out high on the buzz of pseudocelebrity status.

-My shift was bookended by visits from my lovely girlfriend. My night opened up with her bringing me Starbucks and closed out with her driving me home. She is the one to thank for Target Retales. She keeps me sane and keeps me going, and I don’t even have to give her that many stickers.

Bad Girls (BTVS 3.14)

This is part of my ongoing Buffy Project, where I write notes/meta for every episode in an attempt to better understand the characters and themes of the show. You can find the full list here. Gifs are not mine.

If there’s one thing I love talking about, it’s Faith and Buffy. Bad Girls highlights the differences between the two slayers. Faith is impulsive, risky, and confident. Buffy is cautious, a planner, and adheres to the status quo. I think both have things to teach the other, but Faith is dancing so close to darkness that she ends up scaring Buffy away from any loss of control. 

The episode starts with what’s become a classic Buffy/Faith interaction: Faith is trying to get Buffy to open up and Buffy is made uncomfortable with the direct line of questioning. This time it’s about whether she’s done it with Xander. Faith is kind of young to be so comfortable with sex and already be having one night stands. It implies she started early. 

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is introduced. He’s full of himself and extremely book smart but untested in the field. He knows the cult Buffy faced immediately, but fails to realize their leader is alive. There was some overcompensating in making Giles seem like the good Watcher this episode, with him fighting a lot more actively than he normally does. Faith is totally uninterested in the new Watcher and feels no need to take orders from him, but Buffy does. Faith does eventually show up to the mission and then forces Buffy to tackle nearly impossible odds and almost get killed. Faith lives on the edge, and Buffy’s starting to realize…she kind of likes it.

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Not-sanders sides, person-lukas-ties

There’s this thing people are doing where you make your own sides like Thomas’s so I thought I’d join in to. The rules to this thing are available here > @pansexualroman so I encourage you guys to do this too if you haven’t already. Anyways here it goes ○□○□○□○□○□○□○□○□○□○□○□○

Anthony - Anxiety (He/Him)
Controls: Fears, worries,  procrastination

•Knows every negative outcome to everything
•Constant Questions
•Panic/Anxiety attacks
•Let’s no one in
•Cries a lot
•Always overwhelmed (lots of sensory overload)
•What are fingernails?…you mean the food attacked to my hand???
•second eldest
•evolved from fear
▪Hair’s colour changes with mood, usually black
▪Hair is long, Rockstar long
▪Sunglasses…Always (Hides the crying bloodshot eyes.)
▪Leather Jackets, Neon pants, Converse, Band Merch
-Slight with Zeke.
Oli -Musicality (They/Them)
Controls: singing, writing,  playing of music

•Can respond to anything in song lyrics
•Band puns
•Playing either drumsticks or humming a lot
•headphones are a lifestyle not an accessory
•Rock and alternative music is their oxygen
•Can’t live a day Without listening to Wild Wild World by Set It off
•Tumblr lover
▪Neon pink fringe, white for the rest of the hair
▪eyeliner on point
▪skirts on top of skinny jeans,  lots of galaxies
▪flaunts their acne to prove it’s not a flaw
-Sensual benefit with Anthony (cuddling and comfort)
Derek -Flirt/Confidence (he/him)
Controls: confidence, Flirtatious favours, public speaking.

•Flirts a lot
•Defensive about height
•Weakest of them all
▪Harsh Jawline
▪Striking blue eyes
▪just look up Austin Carlile and pretend he has blue eyes
▪5", causes some self esteem issues
▪Leather Jackets, ripped tank tops,  ripped jeans
Trying to rid of his crush on Danni
Daniell “Danni” -Dialectic (He/him)
Controls: reasoning, logical thought, argumentation

•There has to be a reason for everything
•Loves ASMR
•loves riddles and puzzles
•keeps host on track
•little voice that reminds you what you were doing
▪Fake glasses
▪Needs reading glasses though
▪Green eyes
▪wears dresses in secret
▪Dress shirts, Dress pants, Bow ties
▪Blushes a lot
-Crush on Derek that goes nowhere
Cynsige -Creativity (He/Him)
Controls: writing, art, all creative motives

•Writes a lot
•Voice recorder for plots
•Draws anything they want
•Will stop and sit with a sketchbook anywhere, anytime
•Uses music for influence and creative spark
•Daydreams a lot
•Randomly speaks, sometimes cute off their own sentences wuth their new sentences and sometimes interrupts the others
•Bouncy Personality
•Hates school
▪Paint in hair and on face all the time
▪Galaxy hair, in an unglued mohawk
▪Steady hands
▪loves white clothes, calls them Canvas Clothes
▪Favourite sweater they stole from Zeke
-in love with Oli, it’s a secret
Zeke -zealot, fanatic, adherent (he/him)
Controls: obsessions, main fandom,  fictional based opinions, and the keep of abandonment issues

•Stands up for their obsessions, not themselves
•Fander to the max
•A tad annoying
•Grammar police
•Only attends school to relate things to fandoms
•Never says goodbye
•loves some Swedish words, cause they’re fun to say
▪Shy kid, hair in face with slight curls, light brown
▪Pale from lack of outdoors
▪Sweaters bug enough for all their fandoms
▪Lanyards and buttons
▪Eyeshadow to hide 0-sleep eyebags
None yet, small interest in Anthony but refuses to go at it.

Other important things:
Each have a security item. Anthony has a small grey teddy bear, Oli has a friendship bracelet from a lost bestfriend it ripped as they grew up (true story), Derek has a blanket from when they were young, Daniell has a Necklace with a square root symbol as the charm, Cynsige has a caligraphy pen they got 10 years ago, Zeke has a necklace with a jade pendant.

They are all in control of emotions just matters who has the most control.

They all love silly putty, it’s just their favourite toy.

Now I need to tag:

@softlogic reminds me of Anthony cause they are always so worried
@the-prince-and-the-emo reminds me of Oli because both have a love for set it off
@analogically-prinxiety reminds me of Derek because they have confidence in themselves even though sometimes they tear themselves down
@notjustaterran reminds me of Daniell because they’re both really smart

@the-sanders-sides reminds me of Cynsige because they are both really creative whether they know it or not

@princeyandanxiety reminds me of Zeke because they both have a love for certain Swedish words

Send I’m asks for scenarios are just general questions for them (add ‘for sides’) if you like. I have no life so I’m bored
MFA Thesis Bloopers: The Hunger Games Edition

I had a big chunk of my thesis talking about why Katniss’ narrative voice is an ineffective authorial choice and, as a result, actually objectifies Katniss in and of itself by removing her agency, but it ended up not really fitting in with the rest of my paper. Howeversies, I still kinda like it, so I’m posting it here. Panem Companion Parte Deux, all.

And yes: it is written very informally, not in Academia Language, because the crux of my paper is Voice, so @anneursu had me write the whole thesis as myself, not as an Academia Robot. Although I am kind of an academia robot anyway.

Also, this is minus the italics and stuff for titles and whatever because I’m lazy and MLA suuuuuuucks.


In bestselling YA fiction, there is no shortage of teenage girls who speak out around and against the system.

In Ally Condie’s The Matched Trilogy, protagonist Cassia Reyes teaches herself to write longhand—an obsolete skill in her world—and uses it to her advantage to be able to communicate with fellow rebels and to trade for priceless banned books and works of art. Language matters to Cassia Reyes.

June Iparis, a female soldier and top recruit for her own shadowy government in Marie Lu’s Legend series, becomes intimately acquainted with the duplicitous nature of double-speak as she finds love with her society’s number one criminal and sees her brother murdered by the ruling class he served: while the coding of her military superiors’ speeches allows them to conceal insidious truths, Day, her rebel boyfriend, relies on being able to hide his messages in plain sight so they can survive.

And yet.

For all of the stories about teenage girls overthrowing corrupt governments, communicating rebel information, and infiltrating unseen behind enemy lines, there are few novels written in voices that take advantage of their protagonists’ proclivity towards playing with language.

Cassia Reyes teaches herself to write but models her language, from the outset of the trilogy, on bare-bones grammatical prescriptivism and the poetry of dead white guys; she learns to write longhand, but the words that she shares in this writing, and in her narration, do not speak of a girl learning that her entire world is a lie and her place in it, more variable than she could have dared to dream. Cassia Reyes is the same narrator, even if not the same girl, by the end of Reached as she was at the beginning of Matched, despite one of the major themes of her series being the way that censorship and control quell individual thought. After all that Cassia sees and learns and feels and grows—and leads—her voice remains the voice of Ally Condie: a traditionally educated adult from our contemporary United States. Even before she discovers the lost poetry of Dylan Thomas, Cassia’s voice suggests a Brigham Young English major.

Marie Lu offers alternating perspectives through June and Day, each speaking in first-person chapters, throughout the Legend series, but both of her dynamic personalities speak in the same voice. As a soldier, an orphan, a party to the system itself, June’s voice is measured and hesitant to become emotional, and this makes sense. It makes less sense for Day to be the same: Day, who lives on the streets to protect his beloved, and deathly ill, family from recriminations for his rebellion; Day, who makes his money in fistfights and betting matches; Day, for whom remaining alive is an act of sedition. Lu’s otherwise-impressive worldbuilding is belied by the similarity in June- and Day’s thoughts and voices, and the way this similarity undermines as superficial their supposed gaps in gender, economic status, and right to live in the world.

The opportunities for linguistic play available through science fiction and fantasy are abundant in general, but young adult books gain an additional layer of permission to screw convention when their protagonists are teenage girls. Unfortunately, too many of the series that gain mainstream attention do so because they adhere most strictly to prescriptivist language: the language of adult, white men, in particular. In doing so, they break a covenant with their readers that is as deep a betrayal as the covenants broken by the dystopian governments of their pages – these books, too, cast their teenage protagonists out and refuse them a full “life” on the page.

In The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins writes Katniss, her teenage female protagonist, as often the last to know and integrate coded language, or to be excluded from its creation entirely. While it is arguable that Madge Undersee, also seventeen and a tertiary character, set the image of the Mockingjay into play as a revolutionary symbol, Collins gives no female teen characters real agency in their diction or syntax: Peeta, a boy, gets to lie and charm; Gale, a boy, chooses to eschew language for action; Annie, a very young woman, can barely speak; Katniss’ own most stunning verbal moment, her singing to Rue in her grave, is given over to words that Katniss credits with her father and his mining culture.

It is in this mining culture, though, where we do see some semblance of personal voice from Katniss. Before she ever volunteers for The Hunger Games, Collins allows for the reader to meet Katniss by engaging in a day of normalcy before all the bloodlust and conspiracy. We are gifted with Katniss’ small, private moments with her beloved sister Prim, and the nickname that she’s bestowed her (“little duck” [15]). Collins crafts, beautifully, Katniss’ tense and restrained reaction to the animosity between her only two friends, Gale and Madge, in a minute-long exchange that will come to define so much of the remainder of Katniss’ life: “I don’t like that Gale took a dig at Madge, but he’s right, of course. The reaping system is unfair… here’s the catch” (13).

On her hunting trip with Gale—the only time we see her feel at home—her language is straightforward: “[I] retrieved the small bow and arrows he’d made me from a hollow tree. I probably didn’t go more than twenty yards into the woods… After several hours, I had the good luck to kill a rabbit” (50). Her language early in the book reflects her necessary self-interest: she did the thing she needed to do to survive. No frills. While in its own way prescriptivist, this is a narrative stance that makes sense with Katniss’ upbringing and character.

All too soon, though, the story moves out of Katniss’ home in the Seam of District 12… and the realism, the grounded personality, in her voice slips away, too. As soon as Katniss boards the Tribute train, her narration relies on language that Suzanne Collins would know and use—not an uneducated teenage hunter-gatherer from a marginalized race in a marginalized nation-state under a tyrannical dictatorship. Katniss enters the Capitol knowing the names of foods she’s never eaten and clothes she’s never worn. Her metaphors and similes come from places and things she’s never seen.

The creature standing before me in the full-length mirror has come from another world. Where skin shimmers and eyes flash and apparently they make their clothes from jewels. Because my dress, oh, my dress is entirely covered in reflective precious gems, red and yellow and white with bits of blue that accent the tips of the flame design. The slightest movement gives the impression I am engulfed in tongues of fire. (120)

The language of this passage, when Katniss is first transformed into The Girl on Fire by Cinna, is one of the more lyrical scenes in Collins’ writing. Unfortunately, that’s where it goes most awry in its narrative voice. Katniss is self-admittedly not a lyrical person. Earlier in the same book, the most beautiful article of clothing Katniss knows is “a soft blue thing” (15), hardly the lush and waxing detailed knowledge of Cinna’s creation. Katniss’ costume is meant to transform her into a symbol for external viewers to recognize as she parades around the arena, but in betraying her voice, this passage also transforms Katniss from a fully-fleshed character into a mere symbol, an archetypical object, for her author to move around the plot. Much like Cinna arguably does when he uses Katniss’ body as the host for his own political ideals, Collins removes Katniss’ agency in favor of her own linguistic comfort.

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Dark Side Pilgrims?

Now this is interesting. Apparently some Force-worshipping pilgrims to Jedha wear red, burka-like shrouds that bear a strong resemblance to the red-robed “Imperial Royal Guards” seen in Return of the Jedi. The resemblance is almost certainly intentional, even if Lucasfilm hasn’t decided what it all means.

Let’s start with what we can reasonably infer. If they’re pilgrims, they’ve traveled to Jedha from another world for religious reasons. The only other Force-worshiper we know of in this time period—Chirrut—doesn’t wear such garb. (Chirrut and his pal Baze are apparently from Jedha, itself, and are not on a pilgrimage.) Unless the shrouds are everyday clothing on their planet (which seems impractical, given that the shrouds even cover the hands and fingers), we can assume the garments have some sacred purpose. They’re the space opera version of the irham worn during a hajj to Mecca. In fact, a quick search revealed similar clothing worn by Christian pilgrims in medieval Europe, as well as a striking outfit still worn by Japanese pilgrims (pictured above) while hiking to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano, a Shinto tradition. Note that each tradition settled on loose-fitting robes and/or a walking stick as part of their ensemble.

Since we’re assuming the similarity between the Jedha pilgrims and the Emperor’s guards is intentional, it’s only natural to ask whether they’re adherents of the Dark Side. If they were, there’s no reason they couldn’t share the same holy sites as people like Chirrut, Lor San Teka, and Maz. Although a Jedi Knight must eschew the darkness, an unpowered person might be able to safely ponder its mysteries while still leading a normal life. If the Force is like the Dao, or like the Hindu Brahman, then the Dark Side would be essential to the entire belief system. For example, in Hinduism one of the principal aspects of God is the beautiful and fearsome warrior Kāli, who represents the most powerful, dreadful, and essential of forces—time. Not just time in general, but time that brings death and total collapse. As best I can tell, Kāli represents cleansing destruction. She wears a necklace of human heads and a skirt of human limbs and shrieks with mindless fury. Yet She is nonetheless the “mother of all,” and protector of the righteous. The Mahanirvana-tantra describes the paradox beautifully:

Because Thou devourest time itself, Thou art Kāli, the original form of all things … Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One, ineffable and inconceivable… Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.

To the western mindset, Kāli seems almost satanic. (That’s how Her worshippers were cartoonishly portrayed in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.) But She is worshipped and revered by all Hindus — even adored in some places. There are entire sects of Hinduism devoted to Kāli. She’s like the lightning that sparks a forest fire, burning up dead growth and fertilizing the earth so new plants can sprout.

Any believer in the Force would have to acknowledge that the mystical energy field lends its power to good and evil alike. On a certain level, the Force transcends morality. If there are Dark Side pilgrims on Jedha, true believers would have to welcome them.