awesome tests

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I love playing with my overdramatic friend.
Having a pocket lucio is not the same as a mercy or an ana…

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Got my Fight Songs in the mail today! The different colored records were an amazing surprise! And the photo collage inside was too cool!

Miss F. Pauling anyone?

(It also came with a poster, but it was too huge for me to get a proper pic. Sorry for the crappy photo quality ^^;)

It’s obviously wonderful if you’re a brilliant, smart person. Graduate with highest honors. Get that Ph. D. Go and achieve your highest, and don’t be reluctant to be proud of your achievements!

But don’t think that it makes you better than everyone else. It does not give you the right to look down upon people. Your achievements are not all that define who you are. Do not think that getting that high GPA, perfect score, job, etc gives you an excuse to disrespect others.

meep morp.

anonymous asked:

How do you folks feel about the DNA tests you can do online to find out about your ancestry and such? I don't have a lot of information and was hoping to find ancestors and that kind of stuff to connect with my path. thank you!

I have a lot of feelings, actually, so bear with me.  :)

There’s a lot of value to be found in these DNA tests, including the possibility of discovering certain inherited diseases and conditions that can lead to better informed healthcare for yourself and potential children.  Socially, these DNA services can normalize phenotypal differences (”Oh hey, 43% of people have this same weird thing that I do!”) and give an individual a sense of lineage, which can be emotionally and spiritually so profound.  Yay!

There are a few risks, however: namely, confusing genetics with culture.  Having ancestry doesn’t give you a “right” to the current living culture of a group, e.g. having Cherokee ancestry doesn’t automatically “make you a Cherokee,” and this kind of confusion can result in well-meaning people stumbling into closed/initiatory religions and mucking things up if they don’t take the time to stop, talk, and listen about it.  (It’s more common than you think, unfortunately.)  At the same time, discovering that you don’t have the ancestry you thought you did doesn’t mean that you aren’t part of the culture in which you were raised and/or initiated, but it can still feel like an invalidation.  It can also unintentionally make someone who’s just starting out on a polytheistic path feel obligated to stick with just a few possible culturally-specific paths when there are so many more available. To give an actual example I encountered once: “I’m drawn to Heathenry, but because I’m Scottish and everyone wants to be of ‘Celtic blood’ I feel like I can’t be anything but a Gaelic polytheist even though I don’t feel any particular interest in it.”

Consider how different potential results might impact your practices, especially if - surprise! - they’re not what you expected.  As far as I know I’m just a mutt that’s overwhelmingly Irish and German, like most white-identified Americans, and I’m an Irish polytheist who’s lived in Ireland, visited several times, and feels a strong ancestral connection to that land.  But I also happen to have some physical features that have inspired people to ask if I’m of other ethnic descent (including US Customs officials, and in sometimes frankly racist ways).  When I thought I’d be getting one of these ancestry tests I had to seriously sit and consider how different possible outcomes would impact me spiritually.  What if it turns out that I’m Irish only in surname and not blood - would that invalidate the personal identity that was inculcated in me by an Irish American family and seriously reshaped by actually living in that land?  (Objectively, no, but it’s hard to break away from the social importance put on blood, not to mention potential revelations about the kinds of things your parents were doing around the time you were conceived.)  How much would I end up questioning my practice, and if it would really change so much, how much of my practice is based on what I expect rather than what it is?

(Side note: just to be clear, this isn’t to say that you have to be white to be Irish or Irish American, because you certainly don’t.  My particular family situation makes it possible that I can inherit an Irish surname but have no Irish genetic ancestry, so that’s the only reason I’m using it as an example.)

So much emphasis is put on blood relationship, and has been for so long, that it can be hard to separate the burdens of it from the blessings.  You are allowed to walk any open tradition regardless of your blood ancestry.  But I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t acknowledge that saying that is all well and good without addressing the fact that we still feel certain responsibilities and emotional connections when blood does get involved.

Long story short, I think ancestry tests are awesome for lots of reasons, but I think that as polytheists and pagans we should sit down with ourselves and our spirits beforehand and really consider how such knowledge might impact us.  It forces us to reflect on the nature of our relationship with our ancestors of blood and spirit as well as our cultural identity, even a diasporic one.

- mountain hound

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October 2015 Inktober day 16. (+coloured pencil this time) 

Yumiru-sama. Ymir, how badass can you be… I totally love her. Always. 

This whole inktober thing is very useful to me not just in a manner of general training, but it’s also an awesome opportunity to test out various ways to get good effects without much effort and with little time… you know, things useful when, well, I’ll be quiet now. Dun dun duuun…