a guide to muse

A quick and easy plotting guide

Send me ✔ and I will bold my preferences for your muse!

My muse(s):

Do I know your muse(s):  yes | no | a little | tell me about your muse

Setting: our verse | my verse | your verse | modern | alternate universe | other

Pre-established relationships? yes | no | depends on the relationship

Possible relationships: friends | classmate | co-worker | roommate | family, real or adopted | dating or blind date | married | friends with benefits | unrequited love | lending a hand | teacher - student | rivals | allies | partner-in-crime | enemies | protecter - guarded | business partners | spy - infiltrated | manipulator - manipulated | star-crossed | first meeting | other 

I’m in the mood for: fluff | angst | horror | romance | humor | crime | hurt / comfort | action | supernatural | slice of life | crack | dark threads | light threads | any genre | multi-para | shorter para | one-line | any length | plotted threads | unplotted threads | other

Feel free to: message me ooc | message me ic | tell me your ideas | write a starter | answer one of my opens | send a meme | reblog this with your preferences - let’s find common interests!

So you lost your muse for a specific character? Don’t worry we all do every once in a while. I’ve noticed a couple mistakes I often make when trying to find my muse again though and have pointed them out in hopes to help some people like me out! If anyone else has other bad habits they do feel free to send them into me and I can add it to the list.

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Dark Fairy Tale Prompts

Requested by anonymous! Here are some popular tropes from fairy tales that can have a dark or malicious spin. As always, the Muse A/Muse B placement is up to the muns!

😇- Muse A meets Muse B, an otherworldly being, who is trying to win their trust.
💀- Muse A finds a tome full of spells and uses one to bring back a deceased loved one, Muse B, from the dead.
🌲- Muse A is lost in an eerie forest, but stumbles upon the enigmatic Muse B, who promises to show them the way out.
🏠- Muse A sneaks into a seemingly abandoned house/castle/etc seeking shelter for the night, not realizing it is already occupied. 
🦌- Muse A is following after a beautiful animal which leads them far from their path, but soon realizes the animal is Muse B in disguise. 
🍎- Muse A accepts food/drink from Muse B, a fae. (Note: fairy folklore states that consuming food from the fairy realm will trap you there forever)
🍷 - Muse A offers a glass of wine to Muse B without telling them it has been laced with a powerful spell/curse.
🔮- Muse A searches for Muse B, a rumored witch, to hear their fortune or receive a warning. 
👤- Muse A meets a doppelganger of themselves, Muse B, who may or may not be up to mischief. 
☠ - Muse A has been cursed and asks Muse B for help breaking it. 
💍- Muse A finds a piece of magic jewelry, which gives them an ability of the mun’s choosing and is widely coveted by all.
👥- Muse A meets a mysterious stranger, Muse B, at a masquerade ball, and feels unnaturally drawn to them.
🎩- Muse A is approached by a traveling magician, Muse B, who offers to teach them magic in exchange for something precious.
🎎 - Muse A crafts a beautiful doll, Muse B, which comes to life with a personality of its own.
🍄 - Muse A steps into the center of a ring of mushrooms and is spirited away to a strange world with Muse B as their guide.
🌊 - Muse A is on a ship at sea and hears the call of a siren. The siren, Muse B, attempts to lure them off their path.
😾 - Muse A has accidentally disturbed the home of Muse B, a woodland spirit, who does not take kindly to trespassers. 
👶 - One Muse A’s 18th birthday, a trickster (Muse B) appears and claims their parents offered to give them their newborn child as part of a deal …18 years ago.
🐲 - Muse A bravely vows to save Muse B from the dragon guarding the outside of their tower, not realizing Muse B is what the dragon is trying to protect everyone from. 
💄 - Muse A makes a deal with a fae, Muse B, for eternal youth and beauty. However, the price is steep.




More First Meeting Starters

Send one for a scenario in which our Muses meet for the first time.

🛌 - Our Muses share a hospital room together, recovering from separate incidents.
🚎 - There’s only one seat available on this long commute, and it’s beside your/my Muse.
📺 - Our Muses are contestants on the same reality show and watch as the drama unfolds.
🚀 - Our Muses both stowaway on the same ship/spaceship and meet each other while hiding in the hangar.
💌 - Our Muses bump into each other trying to sneak an anonymous note/love letter into the same person’s locker!
🐶 - One Muse saves the other’s pet from being injured and returns it to them!
🎉 - Oops! One Muse spills food/drink on another at a party.
📙 - One Muse offers to be a tour guide to the other, who is a foreigner and struggling
📝 - One Muse has to draw the other for a class assignment.
💀 - One Muse is dead and the other is a reaper of some sort come to take their soul.
💒 - Our Muses are at a wedding without dates while everyone else at their table is paired up.
⚽ - Our Muses are at an intense sports game, seated close to one another…cheering for opposite teams.

I'm not going back, except technically I'm going back outside.

Context: My character Muse, who is immortal, ended up in the underworld by accident, and Y’s character, a death god, decided to guide him out. The door Muse entered through just slammed shut behind him.

Y: …I just realized he passed the point of no return but like - as in going beyond it. Death, the end of everything, is leading him out. Sometimes you can only go forward

Me: that was very motivational

anonymous asked:

yuuri is a witch in training and viktor is a prince!

guys. which one of you failed to inform me that yesterday was @beanpots‘s bday? this is dedicated to them now


The bell above the door tinkles merrily as it opens. Viktor steps in nervously, pulling his hood about him and closing the door quickly, before peering out the little window in the door to make sure he hadn’t been tailed.

After ascertaining that no one had, he steps out into the main part of this shop, looking around him at the dried herbs tied to the ceiling and gathered in baskets all around. A book lies open on the counter, next to a mortar and pestle and a small linen bag. 

A bengal cat comes leaping down from the rafters, landing onto the counter before flicking its tail and turning to survey Viktor with piercing green eyes. Viktor stands rooted to the floor, hardly daring to breathe. He only moves when the cat does; it leaps off the counter and pads away silently through a set of black curtains behind the counter.

Viktor returns to his examination of the room. Minako is taking such a long time to get out here, and he didn’t remember seeing a bengal cat familiar the last time he was here to be checked up by her. He sighs, finger skimming across a deer antler and a rabbit’s foot before coming to rest on a fox pelt. It feels unbelievably soft.

“Hey! I’m sorry it took me so long to get out here!” A voice startles Viktor from his reverie and he turns to see a young dark-haired man at the counter, wiping his hands on his apron. Viktor’s chest does an unpleasant-feeling lurch, and he heaves, caught off-guard by the sudden motion. The young man’s eyes widen, and he scrambles around the counter to catch Viktor just as he stumbles.

The young man smells like petrichor, Viktor muses, before he’s being guided to a stool and instructed to sit. The young man vanishes behind the curtains again, and reappears momentarily with a cup of some sort of hot beverage.

“It’s tea,” he explains, when Viktor clutches the cup and stares at it. 

“…Thank you,” mumbles Viktor, before he sips. It is scalding, but it is tea, indeed.

“You gave me a bit of a fright,” admits the young man. “What can I do for you?”

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Writer’s Block is not a Demon

Writer’s block. That dreaded time where it seems you have angered the muses and they have left you high and dry with that little blinking cursor staring at you. It happens to everyone. Nobody can be totally on their game every time. It sucks, but you know what…you have to deal with it. Like I said, nobody can be on their game all the time but that doesn’t mean you should just sit back and let the block consume you. As much as I would like to believe that the muses are actually out there guiding the arts, they aren’t and as such it’s up to us to keep the words flowing. I know it sounds harsh and I’ll admit that I have definitely shut my laptop in frustration when I couldn’t quite figure out where I wanted the scene to go, but the truth is that the only way to get past a creative block is to keep working. How else can you expect to solve your problem if you don’t work at it? It’s like working through a difficult math equation: you won’t solve it by dreamily gazing out the window, you have to work it through. That said, there are a few tips that you can use to help you work out your block and get back on the road with your characters.

  • Actively search out inspiration. If you’re at the stage where you are facing a completely blank screen and have literally no idea what you want to write about, this is probably where you need to start. Yes, sometimes the idea for a wonderful story that you just absolutely have to write appears to you in a dream or while sitting on the bus. But sometimes you have that creative writing assignment for school or you’ve just finished your previous project and are looking for something new and the well is dry. This is when you can actively go looking for inspiration. Search the internet for writing prompt ideas (*ahem* such as at certain blogs), look for intriguing photographs that can spark your interest, read through song lyrics, poems or look at your book collection. As a history student, I find that there is lots inspiration in the misguided adventures of those before us. It doesn’t have to be a fully-fledged idea right off the bat but if you can find a spark of something it will make the next parts much easier. That is, possible. Be warned because this step can easily go wrong. One minute you’re looking at writing prompts the next you’re watching a dog learning to swim. Stay. On. Task.  
  • Don’t be afraid to be stupid. Okay, so you have a tiny inkling of an idea. You have no idea who is going to be in it, what the plot points are or where it’s going to go, but it’s a start. Now sit down, write down the idea you have and then go crazy writing down anything that comes to mind. Literally anything. It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to be good, and you certainly don’t have to use it all later. All you’re looking for is one good idea that you get another idea from and then another…until you actually have something resembling a plot.
  • You don’t have to go chronologically. I know this might sound odd to some people or maybe, like me, it’s not something you would have considered until someone points out that it’s an option. Just because you’re writing a chronologically linear story (or maybe you’re not, whatever) doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. I once had this idea for one point of one scene basically at the end of the story. I can’t remember exactly how it all unravelled but basically that idea expanded somewhat until I had the idea for two characters and then I worked those two out and quite some time later I actually had a story out of it. It’s a way to help you think in a more fluid way. If you can’t think of what happens next, maybe think about what happens before. This isn’t for everyone, I know some people really like to stick to the story scene by scene but it’s an option worth exploring if you’re stuck.
  • Take a step back (but not for too long). Breaks are good. When you work yourself for too long whether you’re studying, writing, practicing a musical instrument or sport, it’s important to take occasional breaks to keep yourself from getting drained. However, a mistake some people make with writer’s block is to shrug, close the document/notebook and say “eh, I’m sure I’ll have an idea tomorrow.” Maybe you will, probably you won’t (see actively search out inspiration above). If you’ve been on a roll and suddenly find you’ve hit a snag, maybe you’ve been at it for too long and need a few minutes to refresh. But just like that test you need to study for or essay that’s due tomorrow, this doesn’t mean you should completely walk away. But how long should you work for?
  • Set goals. Some writers like to set daily word count goals to meet. Events like NaNoWriMo, which encourages writers to write 50,000 words in the month of November (or 1,666 words a day. Isn’t that a lovely amount?), can help train you to set goals for yourself and to work on your writing every day. You can also set a goal to finish a chapter by a certain day, or reach a point in your outline. Personally, even though I did participate in NaNo one year, I don’t like this set up even though others swear by it. There are days where I can pump out pages and pages and there are others where I need to stop and rethink a few points, feel like I need to develop a character a little more or something else of that sort which means the actual word count doesn’t go up much despite the fact that I’m still working on the project. I’m also a full-time student with a part-time job so I feel like this doesn’t quite suit me. This is why I personally prefer to set a certain time to work instead. Sometimes I go over and others, such as around finals, I can’t make all of it. And that’s okay. We all have lives and stuff happens, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make the goal every day. But this is why it’s important to set realistic goals that fit you. If the goal is there and you really make the effort to stick to it as much as you can it will go a long way to keep you focused on the project when you need to be. Writing even a little bit is way better than nothing at all.
A Newbie’s Guide to Muse

So, you want to start listening to Muse, but you don’t know where to start? They have a discography of seven albums and three live CDs, and cover most genres in Western music, but fear not! Here’s a guide by genre of different Muse songs:

Funk

Supermassive Black Hole

Panic Station

Undisclosed Desires

Prog Rock

Knights of Cydonia

Citizen Erased

New Born

Unnatural Selection

Space Rock

Map of the Problematique

Bliss

Sing for Absolution

Space Dementia

MK Ultra

Eternally Missed

Hard Rock / Punk Rock

The Small Print

Muscle Museum

Hyper Music

Hysteria

Metal (or just plain Riffgasms)

Stockholm Syndrome

Dead Star

Reapers

Yes Please

Supremacy

The Handler

Acoustic

Soldier’s Poem (live)

Unintended

Hyperchondriac Music

Shine Acoustic

Electronic

Follow Me

Madness

The 2nd Law: Unsustainable

Classical

Exogenesis Symphony parts 1, 2 and 3

Piano Thing

Butterflies and Hurricanes (not really classical, but it has an AWESOME piano solo)

Slow/Quiet Songs

Blackout

Endlessly

Hoodoo

Screenager

Chris’ songs

This isn’t a genre just listen to them

Save Me

Liquid State

Pop / You’ve Probably Heard These Before

Neutron Star Collision

Starlight

I Belong To You (+ Matt singing in French)

Mercy

Plug In Baby

Time Is Running Out

Stuff That Doesn’t Fall Under These Really But You Should Listen Anyway

The Groove

Invincible

Survival

Wirt's Inferno/Dante's Unknown: Allusions to the Divine Comedy in Over the Garden Wall

Introduction

I must stress that the parallels I draw between Over the Garden Wall and Dante’s Inferno are rather broad as they study the overall themes of the latter in comparison to the occurrences in the former. In my defense, the work that chartered what many consider to be the definitive version of Hell, while undoubtedly a monumental and well-constructed masterpiece of literature, contains several understandable prejudices of the author that are not reflected in the cartoon proper. The primordial spirit of the circles however, the fundamental vices that make the Divine Comedy resonate even centuries later, are incorporated into the narrative as are the broad strokes of Dante’s strange journey through the afterlife.

The Travelers

Wirt

Wirt, like Dante, is a poet and shares several traits with the Italian soldier and occasional politician. One of the most obvious of these besides his enjoyment of prose is his infatuation with a girl he finds to be truly exceptional, Sara. Like Dante, he seems content to appreciate her from afar and like Dante’s Beatrice, Sara inspires Wirt to create art in his poetry and clarinet mixtape. However, this distance he places between him and her is shown to be a source of great unhappiness, and while he does go on a fantastic adventure in the vein of “courtly love” (a concept Dante lionized) that inexplicably gives him an opportunity to tell her his feelings, it’s made clear that just talking with her would’ve saved him a lot of trouble.

Pride is another quality that Wirt and Dante share. Despite his lack of self-esteem, Wirt tries to, with mixed success, lord over the one person he is confident and cruel enough to impose upon: Greg, who he believes to be an immature imbecile. I must call to your attention that a surefire way to be sent to the Inferno is to be in denial of your own wrongdoings. Wirt is the principle reason that he and Greg wound up in the Unknown, but his insistence that he is guiltless and that Greg is at fault is strongly implied to be the major obstacle preventing them from leaving it.

Then there are the realms themselves. Though one of the most popular visions of the Judeo-Christian underworld, Dante’s Inferno was a very personal invention and reflected a multitude of the author’s own interests and beliefs. Similarly, it’s heavily implied in the ninth chapter that the Unknown was constructed out of Wirt’s (and some of Greg’s) experiences and hobbies. Both poets likewise find themselves frequently bemused in their quests, despite the strange lands they are stranded in containing a multitude of things they are familiar with.

On a bittersweet note, Wirt has one immense difference that sets him apart from Dante: Wirt actually succeeded in returning home while Dante spent his later years exiled from his beloved Florence, lamenting his separation from his birthplace.

Beatrice

While the creative talents behind the program have confirmed that Beatrice was named after Dante’s muse and guide in Paradiso, the Beatrice of Over the Garden Wall spends most of the story being the antithesis of her namesake; discouraging what she considers to be frivolous flights of fancy and spending half of the miniseries leading the brothers to ruination rather than salvation. After undergoing a personal journey of her own, her behavior becomes more in line with Dante’s lost love, saving Wirt and even accompanying him during the last part of his eerie pilgrimage.

Greg

Wirt’s Virgil. While more spontaneous and prone to distraction, Greg is something of a poet himself, composing several uplifting songs over the course of the chapters in contrast to his brother’s defeatist lamentations. These improvised tunes being beloved by others and Wirt’s eloquent moanings being ignored (by Greg) or mocked (by Wirt himself) allude to how Virgil and Dante’s poems were regarded during the Divine Comedy respectively. Greg may not have a working knowledge of the Unknown, but his courage and curiosity place him in a better position to engage and resolve the trials the pair face, making him an unorthodox guide to his older and craven sibling. As it was with Virgil, Greg is incapacitated during the final leg of the journey, and Wirt must solve the mystery of the Unknown without him.

The Entrance: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here 

Dante’s quest begins in a forest. In Wirt and Greg’s case, that’s true in more ways than one. As our Narrator kindly reminds us, the Unknown can be entered by those “who travel through the wood”.  This applies to the part of the Unknown they find themselves in initially and the near death experience they shared after almost drowning in a wooded area.

Echoing Dante’s opening plight, Wirt and Greg are pursued by a savage monster. Though Greg’s quick thinking saves their lives, mirroring Virgil’s rescue of Dante from the three beasts chasing him, the altercation destroys the safe haven of the mill, forcing the two of them to travel deeper into the Unknown. Before they go, the Woodsman warns them that the surrounding woods are the home of the Beast, “the death of hope”. However, defying the famous epithet that marks the entrance to the Inferno, he later clarifies that losing hope is about the last thing you want to do in the Unknown as it puts you squarely in the Beast’s clutches.

The First Level: Limbo

Pottsfield is not Limbo itself as the Unknown fits that description better, but it embodies the dilemma that is usually presented to characters that realize they are in Limbo: stay here and be at peace or struggle further in the hopes that you will return home. The passive Wirt is momentarily seduced to choose the first option by how simple and quiet “life” there is and him changing his mind is done more out of being disturbed by the town’s macabre disposition than any real strength of will on his part. Fittingly, as is the fate of those that move past this relatively idyllic portion of hades for deeper zones, this arguably puts him in even greater danger.

Note: The town gets its namesake from a “Potter’s Field”, a type of gravesite for unknown corpses. Conversely, the denizens of Pottsfield all seem to have names, perhaps having regained the identities “lost” during their burial.

The Second Level: Lust

Miss Langtree’s fixation over Jimmy Brown’s supposed infidelity renders her unable to teach. This subsequently renders the sacrifices of her father to keep the school open moot, who in turn accuses Jimmy Brown of “gallivanting”. The two of them are not necessarily bad people, but much like Wirt, they’re too busy moaning about their troubles to fix them. This is made more evident by how Jimmy wasn’t up to any sort of debauchery and was merely working hard to consummate his love for Miss Langtree in the proper fashion. Therefore lust in practice is not the debilitating force here, but the obsession over it.

The Third Level: Gluttony

The patrons and staff of the tavern are people of purpose. Each has their role, their profession, and thus an identity to call their own. All are welcome, even thieves and killers. There is however, one major exception: The Beast. Despite having a “job” of his own and a great singing voice, he is feared and reviled all the same. The innkeeper implies that this is due in part to how the beast lies to get what he wants, in contrast to an “honest” scoundrel like the Highwayman.  

There is also the fact that, unbeknownst to those who fear him, the Beast doesn’t actually “work with his hands” and instead tricks people into acting as his proxies. The metamorphosis into an Edelwood tree, might not even be his own doing. It could just be something that happens to those that fall to despair in the Unknown, a quirk of the land that he exploits so he can keep his lantern fed and even that might be a cruel indulgence. He is not a tradesman, foul or not, he is a parasite. To summarize, the Beast and his lantern are entities of excess as they do not truly earn what they so gratuitously consume.

Note: Something else worth mentioning is how Greg keeps bringing food to his and Wirt’s table to satiate his hunger, but no one, not even his Frog, is ever shown eating any of it.

The Fourth Level: Greed

Quincy Endicott is dead. The tombstone in the Eternal Garden cemetery all but proves that. Thus his and Marguerrite Grey’s fear of one another is simultaneously justified and absurd. Fair enough, but the core theme of this episode doesn’t lie in a Sixth Sense-esque twist, but in the insatiable sinkhole of greed. Quincy is rather frank (while stepping on franks) that his entire life was/has been dedicated to the accumulation of money. He is also quick to tell us that these riches have gone into making his home bigger and in turn, more hollow. Consequently, the tea tycoon is made to feel small and alone in his own house, unable to derive joy from making money as he confesses to despising the beverage he peddles: Indeed, he all but states that he’s done reprehensible things to amass his fortune. He has no one to talk to apart from his peacocks as his estate is devoid of any staff; only opulent furniture keeps him company indoors. The mansion itself is apparently turning on him as well, coming into the possession of new rooms and wings that he can’t recall commissioning that make him feel more lost and confused than ever. There is a glimmer of beauty and hope in this increasingly alien environment when he chances upon a portrait of a beautiful woman, and then things get even worse for him until his “nephews” bail him out. 

The punishment of this circle for those who lived their lives with avarice in their hearts is an eternal jousting match where they are put on one of two sides and “joust” with one another using massive weights. This is expressed in how despite living in the same building, Quincy and Marguerrite have spent an undefined amount of time barely missing one another; locked in a frustrated and chaste dance with no end in sight. For as far as the two of them are concerned, to confront one another directly only has two awful outcomes: the ghost is real, making their love unfeasible or there is no ghost, which would mean that the two of them have gone mad. A line shared by the star-crossed aristocrats when they recognize one another’s names proves that this is all an immense allusion to their situation before they died. They had never met, nor knew what the other looked like. What they did know was that the opposite party was their “business competitor”, a reprehensible entity that dared to get in the way of them gaining a monopoly on tea, a scoundrel that hampered the accumulation of personal wealth. How could they have known that the cure for their loneliness lay in the arms of their respective rivals? And so it was that these two nobles would spend their hereafters haunted by the specter of the love and happiness they deprived themselves of during their mortal existences; architects of a gilded mausoleum. Thankfully, Wirt and Greg help overturn this bedlam and a happy conclusion is reached for Endicott and Grey, who manage to put aside the past animosity that kept them apart while they still had pulses.

Fred is also a creature of greed, a literal horse thief who despite his lack of hands has apparently stolen a great many things before meeting our protagonists. Once he is confronted by the possibility that his kleptomania might get him killed, he swears that he will cease his wrongful purloining and get an honest job. True to his word, he elects to stay behind with Quincy and Grey as “an official tea horse.” In a moment that is up for debate and interpretation, the epilogue has a scene where Marguerrite is staring at a portrait of Quincy and Fred. If this was painted before she and Quincy properly met, mirroring how Quincy fell in love with her image in the painting, then Fred might very well have been Endicott’s steed when they were both alive, adding a sense of irony to the horse unwittingly trying to steal from his former master.

The Fifth Level: Anger and Sorrow

While this circle is primarily associated with Anger, the sullen are punished here as well. They are cursed to eternally drown in the waters of the River Styx, where there is no hope of salvation or joy with the frogs sinking into the mud acting as a visual representation of this. Though the brothers begin the episode with much optimism and mirth, the discovery that their entire quest was a farce causes Wirt’s spirits to sink, dragged down by the betrayal of someone he considered to be his friend. Wirt, as we are soon to find out, doesn’t have many friends. Worse, he is without a guide, and he and Greg are rendered more lost than ever before with no clear goal to work towards.

Anger is expressed in the simple, but understated act of Wirt stealing Adelaide’s scissors, despite having no real use for them himself past cutting the strings, in order to punish Beatrice for deceiving him and Greg.

Note: I would be remiss not to mention the various references to the afterlife in the voyage itself that others have noted in the past. The ferry is Charon’s boat of course, and the two cents acting as the two coins that the morbid boatman usually accepts as his fare. The frogs hibernating in the mud could also be called them taking a “dirt nap”, a colloquialism for being dead and buried.

The Sixth Level: Heresy

Witches and evil spirits are the obvious embodiments of the circle’s theme of heresy, but this episode also has the power of doctrine as a central theme. After all, what is a heretical action without a coda to rebel against? The bell’s hold over Lorna and the Evil Spirit represents the power of instruction. Rules and laws have the capacity to oppress and protect, to enslave or liberate. Auntie Whispers feared Lorna leaving her once she was cured and used the bell to forcefully keep her niece at her side by restraining the spirit, but not exorcising it. Greg had the gumption to use the bell against Lorna, but was too callow to understand how to use it properly. Ultimately it is Wirt, the one usually wracked with indecision and uncertainty that realizes what must be done and does what Whispers was too selfish (and Greg too ignorant) to do.

The Beast is shown to use a doctrine of his own to manipulate the Woodsman. Simple rules: keep the lantern lit and your daughter “lives”. When the Woodsman wonders if there is “a better way”, the Beast is adamant that his word is law and his methods absolute. He is lying of course, but by himself, how can the Woodsman hope to see past the only options presented to him?

The Seventh Level: Violence

A small scale war is waged between the People of Cloud City and the frightfully destructive North Wind. The elemental eventually comes into direct conflict with Greg and the climax of the episode is a battle on two fronts as the blustering bruiser attempts to trounce Greg in his sleep and freeze him outside of it. The boy triumphs with his usual mixture of audaciousness and creativity; of course you can beat a raging storm by stuffing it into a bottle!

Prominent features of this level of the Inferno include a treacherous river located in the outer ring (as represented by the one Wirt and Greg travel on during the chapter’s start, and the one Wirt falls into at its end) and a terrible storm in the inner ring (The North Wind). The middle is what’s most  interesting to people that are familiar with both the Divine Comedy and Over the Garden Wall as it is filled with grotesque trees made from the bodies of those that committed suicide, individuals that gave up on living and surrendered to self-destruction. Wirt is rescued from this terrible (and self-inflicted) transformation by Greg’s sacrifice, but the connection remains rather poignant as it helps build on the idea that the Unknown is a place between life and death.

The Eighth Level: Fraud

Halloween is a day of the dead and a day of disguise. It is a night of imposters and make-believe. What better time to play out the themes of fraud than this? Paradoxically, it is also where a great many truths are revealed alongside a showcase of the many lies that Wirt has invented to exonerate himself from his own cowardice. Among the things we learn is that Wirt and Greg are two American children from the late 20th century, the Garden Wall that the show’s title alludes to was that of a cemetery (named “Eternal Garden”), and that Jason Funderberker isn’t the stud Wirt whines about him being.

Perhaps the greatest display of this episode’s themes lies in Greg and Wirt’s apparel. Greg explains that he wears a tea kettle on his head because he’s pretending to be an elephant. It’s a simple and abstract costume, but one with purpose. Then there’s Wirt’s more elaborate ensemble. When asked what he’s dressed as, Wirt can’t answer the question. He has no idea. The montage of him assembling its components might’ve given him a burst of confidence, but it is ousted as having been utterly nonsensical. That is not to say that Wirt is not masquerading as something. It’s just that he’s disguised as someone who’s wearing a costume: a charlatan’s charlatan.

Counterfeiters and hypocrites rate high (or low, depending on how you look at it) on this plane, and Wirt’s a little bit of both. He wants someone to lead the way and be brave for him, but resents Greg’s aid. His carelessness is what loses him the tape in the first place, which he blames Greg for. Wirt also mistakes his brother’s initiative for recklessness and kneecaps whatever progress Greg’s actions might’ve netted him. Finally, he creates an obtuse narrative that frames Greg and his stepfather as saboteurs due to their insistence that he join marching band. Had he listened, the act might’ve brought him closer to Sara, who he considers lost to him now due to the imagined sabotage. Through reflection, Wirt realizes this and against his usual cowardice, heads out into a brutal blizzard in hopes of saving the brother he disowned and practically drowned. 

The Ninth Level: Treachery

As with any circle, this one closes where it began. It is a chapter of resolution, but also of return. The final act of the production is set in the woods surrounding the Old Grist Mill, the primary location of the first chapter’s happenings now repaired. It is winter, and even those who only have a broad knowledge of Dante’s Inferno know that while the upper levels of that dismal pit may be rife with fire and brimstone, the very bottom is deathly cold.

The Beast is decked out in satanic narrative and visual trappings from across the centuries: the horns, the name, the association with darkness and witchcraft, the predilection for making deals with the desperate and the gullible, and a monstrous reputation that’s justified by the evil he masterminds and commits. He fools his victims into committing worthless and futile acts that serve no higher purpose outside of his personal benefit. Above all else, he is treacherous, a trait that is made distinct from fraud by how it is a betrayal of a more intimate sort. In insincere defiance of his fearsome reputation, he tries to pass himself off as helpful and altruistic; telling the Woodsman, Greg, and Wirt that he’ll help them out if they perform some simple, but essentially idiotic tasks for an indefinite (read: forever) amount of time. Fittingly, it’s Wirt, whose character arc has him learning to stop being a pushover and take responsibility for himself, who sees through the passive-aggressive charade and puts the villain into a corner.

We are given a brief flash of the Beast’s actual appearance, a horrific mass of flesh made up of dozens of anguished faces. His many mouths were a conscious design choice by the creative team to incite feelings of trypophobia (a fear of holes) in viewers with that brief glance, but they’re also symbolic of the circular nature of the Beast. A shadow cannot exist without light; his existence depends on keeping the lantern lit, but he can’t carry it around himself because doing so would reveal to all those he approached that the infamous Beast is nothing more than an abomination built from weakness, a wretch. The Devil of Dante’s Inferno was a fiend with multiple mouths that was comparatively imprisoned by his own wickedness. Over the Garden Wall is rife with characters that are trapped or feel they are trapped (Wirt, Greg, Jimmy Brown, the Langtrees, Quincy, Lorna, etc.), so it’s only fitting that the show’s antagonist is in an inescapable predicament of his own.

The ending of the first part of the Divine Comedy has Dante and Virgil escape Hell by climbing deeper into the earth using Satan’s body. In time, they pass right through the center of the planet and come out the other end. By going down, they eventually came right back up elsewhere. Such is the case with our protagonists as the Beast’s vanquishing facilitates a great many escapes and returns. Wirt returns to consciousness in the water and saves both himself and Greg from drowning; Beatrice, after unintentionally proving her nobility to Wirt, returns to her family with the scissors that will cure them all; the Woodsman reluctantly returns home and to his joy, discovers he was grossly deceived; we get an epilogue of sorts that shows us the secondary characters in states mirroring the ones they were in during the prologue, but mostly altered for the better; and the program ends as it began with the piano playing frog, who reveals (as hinted in the sixth chapter) that he was the narrator all along and might’ve made the whole thing up.

HOW TO PLAY A TERRIBLE CHARACTER AND SURVIVE

As someone who specializes in jackass characters (i.e. evil, bad, morally corrupt, etc.) I’ve been meaning to make this guide for all my fellow roleplayers trying their hand at harvesting their evil seedlings. I hope you enjoy my guide and it helps you. If it doesn’t, though, at least you laughed due to my hilarious commentary.

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I love the way that people who work with plants talk about herbs. They speak about them as if they are their ex lovers and favorite musicians that like pulled them out of a 5 year coma when their music was playing. They will say things like Valerian is a mysterious soul and Raspberry Leaf seems intimidating but you need to get to know it first and Mugwort is underrated but has saved me and is an inspiration. They will say things like “Plants are our allies” but after speaking to them for five minutes you know plants to them are more than just allies, they are sentient people, their muses, their spiritual guides, their arboreal overlords, their direct connection to the divine and ascending to the next realm. You might see a jar of dried twigs but ask them about the jar of dried twigs and you gon find out about its 3428042 medicinal purposes, the 8 different ways you can injest the plant, the 3 different ways you don’t want to injest the plant or else you will die and that time they were scaling a mountain and almost tumbled to their death if not for the vine of that very plant extending a leafy limb to save them from their peril.
—  Me from my FB status, inspired by instructor from my herbal smokes workshop and another instructor from a tincturing class
sappho (80) notes ✨

asteroid sappho signifies personal aesthetic; the desire to bond deeply with others; education of females in the fine arts; emotional extremes in love; friendship needs; poetic ability; romantic and artistic sensitivity, same-sex bonding that exceeds ordinary friendship etc

inharmonious aspects to sappho indicate difficulties in forming close friendships; loneliness; problems in expressing or understanding love and sexuality; and trouble in balancing of intimacy needs with other areas of the personality.

sappho’s natal sign placement shows what the individual does for or with close friends; while its natal house placement shows what he or she most needs to share.

in synastry, sappho highlights sensual and sexual attractions.  the sappho person will respond to the planet person with creative and passionate sensuality. the planet person becomes sappho’s muse. sappho wants to guide her muse through the inventive use of art, poetry, music, sexuality or any other form of creative expression.

 transits involving sappho highlight common ground between people and accentuate interaction with close friends.