balanced exchange

Rune Magick

Hey, all! So today I’m going to teach you about runes and how to use them in everyday magick. There are, of course, many different types of runes but for this, we are talking about Germanic runes. 

So, first off I’ll tell you a little about what runes are. Runes are a form of script, dating all the way back to 150 AD. They were eventually replaced by the Latin alphabet somewhere around 700 AD. Because they are so ancient, some witches use them not only as a secret script but also in their magickal workings. 

You might be asking, “Well how do I do that? Wouldn’t that be like using the letter A?” Well, yes and no. I have no doubt someone could find a way to use the Latin alphabet for magick, but in this case, runes are more… symbolic I guess? Take the rune peorth for example (see “p” above). It resembles a cup lying on its side. When the opening points to the right, it represents birth and beginnings. When the opening points to the left, it represents death or endings.

Each rune symbolizes a specific thing or idea. Say, for example, you wanted a quick charm for safe travels. You could draw Raidho ® somewhere on your person as it is the rune of travel. To use rune magick simply draw, paint, or inscribe it where you want to use it. You can also “draw” it in the air or on an object/person with your energy. 

 Below is a list of all the runes, their names, and their uses/meanings (order is from left to right).

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anonymous asked:

you know you're infantilizing a grown woman right? that's incredibly misogynistic. you're the one saying "power imbalance" when she defeated an entire army with her bare hands, and he treats her like an equal. sounds a lot like you're just projecting your own fears in order to justify your hatred of a fictional romance.

Her martial competence is not the question here, and never has been.  She is very skilled in combat and has absolutely earned respect as a fighter and friend to Jack.  However, she is still young, still innocent, and still ignorant of many things.  Yes, even after having killed an entire army with her bare hands she is innocent, because I am talking about her mentality and her knowledge and her experiences in all other aspects of life.

Remember, when the Daughters of Aku saw a buck and a doe they expected the buck to kill the doe because it is smaller and weaker.  When the deer nuzzled instead of fighting, the Daughters grew confused and angry and scared because of how it didn’t fit their perceptions of the world.  That is the life that Ashi has had, and she needs to learn about real life before she can have a healthy and stable relationship.  Especially with Jack, who saved her from her old life, and who has been a fixated point of her entire existence (As a supposed enemy as a child, and now as a rescuer).  She has functionally been forced to be obsessed with him since the day she was born, and that will color every interaction they have.

“Power imbalance” doesn’t mean physical power, it refers to moral authority, to respect and deference people are given from one to the other due to their relationship.  Just like teachers and students in the real world, or parents and children.  Even though by the time they are in high school and college many students are physically larger than their teachers – or their parents – the teachers and parents still have influence and control even beyond the classroom.  Even when kids are all grown up and have children of their own, their parents still wield influence over them.  And having that kind of influence is not necessarily a bad thing – I still go to my mother and father for advice on any number of topics, and I treasure their guidance – but it becomes a problem when it is abused.  Whether consciously or unconsciously.

Just like a young musician meeting a rock star they idolized as a child, they are not going to have a balanced exchange as equals. It’s not something that they have to do deliberately, it’s just a facet of who each person is.

The video “Born Sexy Yesterday”, which I saw just a few days ago, has an excellent examination of all the ways that the “Very skilled yet still naive” trope for women is very common in our society, and is still as sexist and sexualizing as many other tropes.

Rules and Laws of the Demon AU

I don’t know if I can get any writing out today, so this’ll have to do. For reference for anyone dabbling into the AU. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, in case I haven’t covered it. <3

Hell

+ There are 7 Lords of Hell, and each of them rule a different precinct. These seven precincts are distinct realms, but there is a central realm where all the precincts meet and where demons can travel between realms.

+ Currently known lords: Melarue (5th Precinct) Sariandi (1st Precinct) Vitality (Precinct Unknown)

+ certain Lords rule their Precincts more harshly, others with a looser hand. Sariandi’s demons are known to trick mortals into giving larger payment for the cost of their boons, and often being summoned for darker purposes…and mocking and sometimes even cursing the mortals that summon them. Selene’s Lord, we known, tends to turn their demons against one another, forcing them to compete and try and force each other into debt.

+ each Lord has one Debt Collector, such as Melarue’s Treachery, a high ranking demon that has the authority to exact any debt from an unbalanced ledger of the demons in their Precinct. No one wants a visit from the Debt Collector, who answers only to the Lord of their Precinct. They can, technically, punish any demon in any precinct if they find an unbalanced ledger, but the Debt Collectors tend to remain within their own Precinct, since getting in the way of another Lord is never a good idea.

+ Every demon possesses a summoning sigil. The sigils of the 7 Lords of Hell are unknown to anyone, and cannot be summoned. The only exception to this is an accidental summon (such as what has recently happened with Melarue) in which the Lord takes the knowledge of the sigil from the summoner afterwards to protect themselves.

+ the power of the demon coincides with the range of boons they can perform. A lower ranking demon can perform menial tasks mostly, while higher leveled demons can change fates and bring back the dead or kill…for a very steep price.

+ a demon can release copies of their own sigil into the mortal realm, often to balance out their ledger. Lower ranking demons tend to have more copies of their sigil in the mortal realm.

+ boons and debts can be exchanged with other demons for goods as well.  One can also give out their sigil (or a sigil they have access to, such as when Elrogathe sold Selene’s) to help balance their ledger.

+ Every demon possesses a ledger in which the balance of their contracts is recorded. The law of balance, which will be discussed later, is the most important aspect of both Heaven and Hell.

+ an Angel can become a demon, if they find out how to change the method of balance exchange. Fallen Angels are rare, but powerful demons.

+ demons can eat, and will because they enjoy it, but they do not need to in order to survive. Neither do angels. 

 —

Heaven

+ The angels in the world also have to obey this rule of balance, but they do not give out contracts, and cannot be forcibly summoned. Angels can choose whether or not they answer the prayers of a mortal, unlike demons who must go when summoned. 

+ Their strength relies on belief. Angels tend to work in the background, moving things behind the scenes, forcing faith and zealots to appear, etc, because that is where their power lies. A half-hearted plea from someone who doesn’t necessarily believe angels exist isn’t going to do much, because the angel gains that power from the faith of the caller. Because of this, unless the payoff of faith is high, most angels tend not to answer calls for fear that they will not achieve the balance they need.

+ Most angels aren’t complicit in the larger machinations and somewhat corrupt system, they are simply guardian angels, patron angels of certain causes, cherubs, etc. Their gifts are not as physical or instantaneous as a demonic contract, which is why they are rarely called upon by the general populous.

+ They gain the most of their strength from extremists and the like, which is why the higher ups in the Angel realm like to cause wars, because faith in a higher power is never stronger than when there’s a high body count, or some religious cause spurring them on.

+ lower-level angels are not privy to the extent that the higher ups will go to to get their own power. 

— 

Laws of Balance

In both Heaven and Hell, the law of balance reigns supreme. There must be a payoff for any aid given to mortals, whether it is through the bargaining of the demon realm or faith in Heaven. The balance always has to be made, which is why demons must attain a payment of equal worth to the task they are completing. In extreme cases, if no payment is taken, or a payment is grossly under what is needed, it can take a physical toll on a demon and the same will happen to an Angel in the case of a lack of faith or too little for the boon. Some demons cheat their contract holders into paying more for a deed than what it is worth, to supplement themselves in extreme cases.

therapeutic baking for insomnia

yoongi is the kind of heavy sleeper that wouldn’t so much as budge a single muscle even if the zombie apocalypse were to break out and chaos befell the world around him.

he’s actually been known to sleep through a consecutive string of wake up calls consisting of seven pre-set alarm clocks, one shouting manager hyung, and a really annoying air horn that taehyung had picked up from somewhere in america during one of their pacific tours (seokjin has tried to get rid of it on many occasions, but taehyung must have some kind of hidden powers because the thing manages to reappear no matter what the circumstances).

however, returning to the point, min yoongi can pretty much sleep through anything.

but when there’s a five foot seven, hundred and thirty pound boy sitting on top of your stomach, effectively cutting off the flow of your air circulation, even a sleeper like yoongi is bound to be jolted into waking up.

and yoongi is definitely not pleased, no matter how much jimin might be his favorite.

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First time (Michael) *

MASTERLIST

A/N: ok so you’re best friends with mikey but you kinda end up having sex

enjoy x

words: 3000 +

His POV

“Y/N, I think it’s time for us to go home.” I say, gently tugging on my best friends arm. We’re at a party at Luke’s place and she is absolutely wasted. Her boyfriend broke up with her a couple of days ago and she’s been very calm about it, but I know that she is hurt, and I think that’s one of the reasons why she decided to drink her ass off tonight, to forget. I have stayed sober for her, thinking that I’ll probably have to take care of her and give her a ride home at least. She is currently making out with some guy, his hands are all over her, making me want to vomit, not that I am jealous or anything, okay I am. We’ve been friends for so long, and I’ve always thought that she’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen, but she unfortunately doesn’t feel the same way, considering the huge amount of boyfriends she’s had the last couple of years.

“Y/N, come on. It’s late.” I say again.

“Mikey! I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” She climbs off the guy’s lap and throws herself into my arms, stumbling a bit.

“No, you haven’t.” I laugh and grab her waist to help her regain some balance. “You’ve been busy exchanging saliva with at least a dussin guys. Your lips must be really tired.” I joke, I can basically say whatever I wamt right now, there’s no chance she’ll remember this in the morning.

“Oh but Mikey, my lips never get tired.” She whispers in my ear before she lets out a giggle, making shivers run down my back. Kepp it together Michael, she’s drunk and have no idea what she’s saying.

“Okay, come on. Let’s get you home.” I say and put her arm over my shoulders to help her out.

“No! I can’t go home! I told my parents I was staying over at your place tonight.” She says, looking at me with blurry but pleading eyes.

“They don’t know you went to a party, do they?” I sigh, already knowing the answer.

“No.” She giggles and bites her lip. “I’m a bad girl.” My breath hitches and I can feel a blush rising on my cheeks as we keep walking toward the exit.

“Okay, I’ll let you crash at my place then.” I say, I can’t say no to her and luckily I have my own flat, which means that we won’t have to run into my parents.

I get her into the passenger seat of my car and put her seat belt on before walk to the other side and sit down in the drivers seat.

“You’re not going to throw up, are you?” I ask, I’ve just gotten a new car and I don’t feel like getting it dirty after only a week of having it.

“No silly, I feel fine!” She says and taps me on my leg playfully.

“Good, let’s go then.” I say and pull out of the driveway and head to my flat.

“Miiiiichael. Michaaaael. Mi-Mi. What a weird name.” She giggles. Did she just call me Mi-Mi? I shake my head but can’t help but smile. Y/N isn’t always in a good mood when she’s drunk, she’s kind of a wave of emotions, sometimes she’s bawling her eyes out, sometimes she’s trashing everything that comes in her way and hates everyone and sometimes she’s super cuddly and cute, you never quite know with her, but I quite enjoy this side of her.

“No, I think I like Mikey the best.” She says eventually as we pull up to the parking lot by the flat.

Getting her first out of the car, then into the building, then up four stairs and last but not least into the flat was a challange I’ll tell you. Not that she’s heavy, she’s practically light as a feather, but the fact that she is incredible drunk and touchy made it a little difficult. Her little hands keep making their way to the button of my jeans or even to my butt that she keeps pinching. I try to tell her to stop but she just keeps gigging, and I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not turned on, because I certainly am, and her minimal, tight black dress is definitely not helping the growing situation in my pants.

“Come on, let’s get you to bed.” I say and lead her into my bedroom. I am going to sleep on the couch tonight, since I don’t think it’s such a great idea to sleep in the same bed as her. “Here you have some clothes you can sleep in, get dressed while I go and get you some water.” I say and throw her a t shirt and a pair of sweat pants.

“Wait!” She says and grabs my hand. I turn around to ask her what she wants but she quickly crashes her lips against mine before I can say a word. The kiss is kinda sloppy and tastes like liquor but wow, how I’ve been waiting for this. It feels amazing, she feels amazing. I move my lips against her hungry ones and place my hands on her waist. 

Wait. Stop. What are you doing Michael? This is wrong. She’s your best friend.

I stop immediately when realization hits me, the voice in my head is right, this is wrong. 

“Y/N, you’re drunk.” I state, grabbing her upper arms to keep her away.

“I know you want me Mikey.” She says and bites her lip, looking at me seductively. Before I have the chance to answer she reaches down between us and grabs me through my pants, making me suck in a harsch breath.

“See! I knew you liked it!” She says triumphantly when she feels my growing bulge and starts palming me, making me let out a strangled moan. 

“Y/N, don’t.” I say and take a shaky breath, I have to learn some self control, this is ridiculous, after just one grab she practically has me wrapped around her finger. I take her hands off of me and take a few steps back.

“I’m not going to have sex with you.” I say, trying to sound convincing but to the look on her face it doesn’t seem like I’ve convinced her at all. 

“Don’t deny it Mikey. I want you so badly, always have.” She purrs. Purrs. My head is spinning of lust, either I completely ignore whatever my conscience is telling me and throw her down on the bed and fuck her into fucking oblivion until I have her begging for me and possibly ruin our ten years of friendship, or I listen to it and walk out of here and have a quick wank in the bathroom and we’ll never have to bring this night up ever again, and we’ll go back to being best friends.

Breathe Michael, she is drunk and may not even know it’s you she’s talking to. Just walk out of here.

Just when I make my decision to walk out and close the door behind me, she roughly grabs my hand and sists me down on the edge of the bed before she straddles me.

“I know you want me as bad as I want you.” She whispers into my neck and starts grinding down on me. 

Shit.” I mumble, feeling myself getting harder and harder by the second. Soon, I won’t be able to stop myself. Her dress has risen so it is situated above her hips and the only thing that are keeping our heated cores from each other are my pants and her panties. She tangles her fingers into my hand and kisses me on the lips, soon slipping her tongue into my mouth, making me groan out of pleasure.

“You feel so good Mikey.” She moans before she moves her hand down to pop the button of my jeans. 

“Y/N…” I say, but it comes out more as a plead than a warning. She of course takes it the wrong way and hurries with my button before she pulls them down my legs along with my boxers. My dick is so incredibly hard and I don’t even have time to think before she wraps her delicate fingers around it, making me let out a satisfied moan. 

I know that she has gone pretty far with a guy before, but I’m almost one hundred percent sure that she’s a virgin, and so am I.

Maybe I can let her finish me off with her hands, and then I can leave.

There’s no other person in the world that I’d rather lose my virginity to than her, but I have no idea how she would feel about this. I know that it is completely and utterly wrong to use her like this, but technically she is the one using me. I am definitely not forcing anything on her, but it still doesn’t feel right.

Just when I’ve gathered enough self control to push her off of me, she drops to her knees and takes me into her mouth. My whole body freezes as waves of pleasure hits me, and every bit of self control that I had is completely vanished.

Fuck it.

I grab her hair out of her beautiful face and she looks up at me with big eyes. I throw my head back and shut my eyes in concentration to keep me from coming down her throat, I swear she could make me come by just looking at me.

She’s still drunk and it is kinda sloppy, but oh my god, it is to good. Her makeup are kinda smudged and one of the straps of her dress has fallen off her shoulder and she has never looked sexier than she is in this moment. Her tiny hand is wrapped arounf the base and is pumping whatever her mouth can’t reach. I keep it together for a few more minutes before I tug at her hair. “You need to stop.” I breathe. She circles the head with her tongue before she lets go of me with a ‘plop’.

“What, why? Did I do something wrong?” She pouts as she wipes her mouth with the back of her hand.

“No, no, no! You did amazing, it’s just that I’m going to come if you keep doing that. If you want me to fuck you then you better stop.” I say and pull her up to her feet. She grins at me and immediately starts undressing herself. She turns around and I zip her down, making the dress fall to the floor. She turns around again to face me while she quickly unclasps her bra, letting it joing the dress in a pile. 

“Take your shirt off.” She instructs. It takes a few seconds before I manage to tear my eyes off of her chest. I have literally been dreaming about this moment so many times that I’ve lost count. This moment will last as wanking material for months. 

I pull my shirt over my head and throw it to the floor before I kick off my jeans and my boxers that were lying in pools around my ankles. I grab a condom out of my wallet that is  lying next to me on t he bedside table before crawl backwards till my back hits the headboard. I wrap my hand around my rock hard length and pump it slowly, watching as Y/N steps out of her panties before she joins me. She runs a hand through her hair and flicks it off her shoulder, a few strands hanging down her face as she smirks at me. I am so in love with this girl, and something in the back of my head is hoping that she is in love with me too. 

She straddles me and I grip her hips in anticipation. I know that no matter how drunk she may be, this will still hurt a bit since she’s a virgin after all. 

“Are you sure about this Y/N?” I ask, just in case she suddenly had realized that she in fact didn’t want to have sex with me. 

“You are so silly Mikey, of course I am sure.” She giggles. “Now give me that.” She takes the condom and tears it open before she rolls it onto my length, pumping it a couple of times first. I watch her intently for any signs of regret or discomfort, but all I see is lust and a small smile. I reach down to her core and feel that she is already dripping, making my dick even harder at the thought of being inside of her. I start rubbing her and she lets out a moan in pleasure. She stop my hand after a few moments and lines me up by her entrance. I wonder if this really is the ideal position, what if she loses her balance or something, wouldn’t it be better if I’d top? 

She once again shuts me up before I even have the time to open my mouth, this time by slowly sinking down on me, letting out a moan.

Shit, shit, shit.” She hisses, shutting her eyes. She is all the way down and it fells fucking amazing. I groan and clench my jaw, trying to keep myself from bucking up into her.

“Are you okay baby?” I ask, slowly starting to rub her clit again, just to ease the pain.

Fuck, yes.” She says and starts moving again, this time a tad bit faster. She lifts herself up, her hands on my chest, and then lets gravity pull her down. It is going way too slow for my liking, but I know that I’ll have to let her choose the pace, at least for now. I reach for one of her breasts and start massaging it, loving the way it feels beneath my hand, and concidering her repeated moans, she is enjoying it too.

“You think you can go a little faster?” I choke out, it takes everything in me not to turn her over and ram into her with all my force. She nods and bites her lip as she starts bouncing both faster and harder.

Sot tight.” I breathe, feeling her warm and wett walls clench around me. She is so beautiful, and I am so in love with her, everything is absolutely perfect in this moment, waves of pleasure is attacking me constantly. 

It doesn’t seem like she’s hurting at all anymore, so I decide to take it to the next level. I grab her hips and quickly flips us over without pulling out. She is stunned at the sudden change but she soon wraps her legs around my waist, pushing me toward her. I place my elbows on either side of her head and start pulling in and out of her at a much higher speed. 

“Mikey, I think I’m going to come.” She says, clawing at my shoulder blades.

“Come on, come for me.” I say and seconds later her eyes screw shut, her body gets stiff and her walls tighten around me. Her mouth is slightly open and she is so perfect, I almost come by the sight.

“Shit Michael, I love you so much.” She breathes and those words are what maked me hit my high.

“I love you.” I choke out before I come inside the condom, spilling out every last drop while playing those last words inside my head. My face is in her neck, breathing in the scent of her perfume and shampoo, she always smells nice and tonight wasn’t an exception, even after sex.

Shit. I just had sex with my best friend. 

She had said she loved me, and I had said it back, probably with a whole different meaning, but it had felt so good to say it. 

I slowly pull out of her and throw away the used condom, before I scoop her up in my arms, holding her naked and tired body tightly against my. I kiss the top of her head and wrap my arms around her small waist. We are both still panting, trying to catch out breaths and before I know it I am fast asleep, with the girl I am so utterly and foolishly in love with.

Y/N POV

You wake up feeling kinda sore and with a light headache. It takes a while before you realize where you are, but you soon recognize the familiar scent that lingers on everything in your surroundings. You look up and see your best friend sitting on the other side of the bed, fully clothed with his back turned to you.

“Good morning.” You croak out, your voice thick and harsch of sleep. You sit up, holding the cover against your naked torso, while pulling a hand through your messy hair, trying to look it a little less like a birds nest.

Michael turns around when he realizes you’re awake. His eyes are filles with cautionness and guilt, like he has done something bad and you are going to yell at him or something.

“Mornin’.” He mumbles, studying you with his eyes.

“What?” You ask eventually, confused by the weird behaviour.

“You don’t remember, do you?” He asks, biting his lip nervously.

“Remember what?" 

"Shit, I knew we shouldn’t have done it. I’m so sorry Y/N, and I totally understand if you never want to see me every again.” He says with sadness in his eyes.

You scoot closer to him and grabs his face to make him look at you.

“Michael Gordon Clifford, what are you talking about?”

“We had sex.” He blurts out, looking scared. You can’t help but start laughing a little.

“I’m not joking Y/N.” He says sternly, looking at you.

“Me neither Mikey!” You smile at him. 

“What?”

“Is that why you are so nervous?”

“Well, yeah, aren’t you mad at me? For using you like that?”

“If anyone, I was the one using you Michael. Now get back in bed with me.” You say.

“So, you remember everything?” He says and watches you carefully.

“Yes, and if you ask me, it was hella amazing.” You smile and he lies down beside you, still not quite believing you. You sigh and grab his face once again, making him look at you.

“Michael, I know we are, or were, best friends, but I love you, okay? And I don’t regret a single thing last night, except for being extremely clumpsy, unless you do?” You say honestly.

In fact, you had been aware of everything that happened last night, not everything maybe, but you had been in love with your best friend for at least a year now, and the alcohol only gave you the amount of missing courage you needed to make a move. Until yesterday, you weren’t absolutely sure that Michael liked you back, but you could clearly see it in his eyes last night and hear in the way he say 'I love you’ back.

Michael looks at you, shocked.

“Are you kidding me Y/N? 'Cause I swear I’ll-” You cut him off by placing a kiss on his lips.

“No, I’m not kidding.” You laugh. 

“Then I must be dreaming.” He laughs with you.

“No you’re not silly, just shut up and kiss me.”

“Fuck, I love you so much, you have no idea.” He mumbles against your lips.

You basically spend the rest of the day in bed, cuddling and talking, just like before but the only difference is that kisses and sex are involved.

A/N: ok this took me forever to write so I’d be really happy to get some sort of response? also, send in some requests! x

2

Lagunitas “NightTime”

92 A-


NightTime is a seasonal Black IPA released April through June. Aromas release bright hop notes of tropical fruit, citrus, and evergreen. Malts smell like dark chocolate and coffee. One part stout, one part IPA.


The palate makes a creamy start with flavors of bittersweet chocolate chips and malted milk balls. Hops gradually ascend into sweet suggestions of apricot and pineapple, then twist into a citric side of grapefruit and orange zest. Malts continue to uphold the lower register as they progress toward deeper flavors of dark chocolate and cocoa powder, held over a collection of caramel sweetness. Hops return with herbal bitterness on the back-end, then reach a dull, sour crescendo. The aftertaste develops a touch of spice as the presumed alcohol settles. Mouthfeel delivers a well-rounded, creamy texture over a medium-full body that closes a little hop dry. Drinkability is deceptively easy, so you might remind yourself to slow down.


Overall, I find hops dictate the overall direction of the brew. There’s a balanced exchange happening as the weight shifts from sweet, then bitter, and finishes sour. Bitterness is Goldilocks, which means its low enough for proper control, but high enough to stand up to the sweetness. Alcohol is well-integrated, so drinkability is relatively unaffected. Keeping the ABV under 9% makes the alcohol practically imperceptible (8.5% is the sweet spot). Overall, it’s been rather enjoyable, so you can count on me revisiting this again next year. Following the Lagunitas tradition, this is sold at a fair price, which adds more motivation to purchase their fine brews. If you’re a fan of the brewery, you’ll probably dig this. I recommend it.


8.2%

65 IBU

Petaluma, California

Fragmented (Michael) Part 1

So I decided to start another series as my other one seems to be getting a good reaction. If you like it I’ve got a few more parts written and I can post them if you ask. Thanks for reading my crappy imagine x-D

Other Parts | Masterlist

You dab at your eyes at stare at your appearance in the cracked bathroom mirror. Taking a deep breath you pull yourself together and set your mouth in a hard line. 

 You’re currently at a wedding. Not just any wedding, the wedding of your best friend and the man you’ve been in love with for the majority of your life. Hence why you’re cleaning yourself up from a last minute breakdown. 

 You take your bag and after being satisfied by your appearance, you push the swinging door open and walk out, your head held high as you try to disguise the fact that five minutes ago you were sobbing your heart out and choking on the salty tears. Your best friend knows how you feel about Ashton and what hurts the most is the fact that she’s gone through with it, even though she knows how much you like him. 

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bismuth-83-deactivated20141130  asked:

Do you believe in chakras? And if so, what's your logic behind it?

In a balanced chakra system:

  • Energy flows freely vertically, reaching all the chakras: none of the chakras are blocked.
  • Energy flows freely horizontally: each chakra exchanges energy freely with the cosmos.
  • None of the chakras is substantially more open or spinning faster/slower than the others: none is significantly overactive or underactive in comparison to the rest.
  • Each of the chakras is opened to the degree needed to support your health and spiritual development: none of the seven chakras is open too wide, or closed down too tight.
  • Neither the upper chakras nor the lower chakras is over-emphasized.


Many energy healers will be able to perceive your chakras and whether they are balanced, open, and healthy. But it’s not really necessary to be able to perceive them in order to evaluate them and their state of balance, because when there is an imbalance in your chakra system, it will eventually manifest in your body, emotions, thoughts, or your life. In other words, it will show up clearly in the physical world at some point.

How would a person with a healthy, balanced chakra system most likely look?

  • body is healthy enough to support individual spiritual journey/fulfillment of life purpose
  • well grounded, secure, confident, in touch with own body
  • in touch with their emotions, but not overwhelmed by them
  • comfortable with their own sexuality
  • self-confident, able to manifest their desires without dominating others
  • compassionate, loving, healthy relationships; in touch with nature
  • able to express own truth, to listen as well as speak, to create
  • intellect balanced with wisdom, in touch with intuition
  • sense of connection with the divine
  • Methods for Chakra Balancing

    It’s very common for one or more chakras to become blocked or imbalanced.

    To be healthy and happy and continuing to develop spiritually, it’s important to keep all the chakras fairly balanced, smoothly exchanging energy with the cosmic energy and with each other.

    Chakra balancing, in concert with other techniques, often provides a great deal of emotional healing and spiritual healing for the person, and helps prevent physical disease, too. (Of course, if you have a serious physical or mental health concern you should seek the care of a physician or mental health professional.)

Namaste,

Forrest Curran

PART TWO: EARTH ELEMENT // PENTACLES & DISKS

For those of you who are just popping in, this is the second part in a series on Elemental Meditations in the Tarot. Please stick around, read, reflect, respond, recycle, whatever it is you feel like doing. You can check out Part One here.

When we think about the Pentacles, what’s the first thing that usually comes to mind? Money. We look at those little coins and think, Oh, great… (or maybe Oh Great!!!!), but what we don’t realize is that that automatic, trained assumption has just limited us (again) in reading the cards to their fullest potential.

Earth is the element of stability, growth, and our material beings. It represents our bodies and homes, our resources and physical survival, and the planet around us. It kinda makes sense then that we see money pop up in our minds again and again, right? Money defines our material lives. Money dictates our survival. But we have to realize that it’s not the root of the meaning of Earth, just the method by which we are often forced, in modern society, to access that root.

So let’s look a little deeper into this element and ignore money for a few minutes. Earth is about learning how to survive. How to build, grow, maintain, and thrive with others. It teaches us to develop our material reality, whether that’s a skill or craft you are learning, or rejuvenating your physical health, or building a nurturing, loving home for you and your community. There’s a lot about this suit that is deeply about physical wellness and enjoyment, so we have to ask ourselves - what makes us well? Resources like food, home, medicine, and tools. Specialty passions that develop these resources like cooking, baking, gardening, herbalism, woodworking, weaving, clothes-making, carpentry, or food gathering. Or self care tasks like eating well, sleeping right, and enjoying simple pleasures at home or outdoors. These are the kinds of things we are learning to do, to build, and to offer in this suit.

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their story vs. 19 days

tbh i feel like the latest their story chapter harmonises everything that 19 days doesn’t (specifically referring to some of old xian’s scenes rather than making a generalisation because that would be too long and bloody hell this is long enough anyway). some of the aesthetics and the visual presentation of the chapter really resonated with some things from 19 days, so i just wanted to have a bit of a ramble about what those parallels/differences might suggest, since i think old xian and tan jiu really do ‘draw ideas off each other’ (pardon the pun).

first

exhibit 1A. we’ve seen xixi and jian yi making promises before to one another, and the whimsical romance of them overlooking the city/town on the hill could emphasise their closeness, their care for one another, their desire to protect each other, but i think this scene in particular shows that while, yes, it’s whimsical and their mutual concern for one another is touching – they’re still keeping so much from one another. they’re keeping their wishes secret not because of bad luck (though this could be something they believe in), but also probably because it’s not a part of their dynamic to share intimate things like that. and when they do, it (somewhat inevitably it seems) fails.

exhibit 1B. in contrast, you’ve got sun jing and qui tong, who haven’t really been friends that long, and who may still have a fairly unbalanced interest in each other (not wholly dissimilar from xixi x jian yi’s relationship), but they’re already making promises to one another that are mutual. they’re not hiding parts of themselves, making the other guess. qui tong delightfully wears her heart fully on her sleeve, and even now we get to see sun jin indulging in that revelation - in that intimate declaration of friendship/romance. they’re making agreements where things are equal between them. perhaps this is simply eisegesis, but their hands are the same size; the light falls equally onto both of them; neither is imbalanced here. i would have thought, given qui tong’s height, her hands would have been much bigger, but even in this sort of clandestine exchange they’re balanced and fair. 

there’s a great egality to the whole thing where i think jian yi and xixi fail - i think that’s why their relationship is so tough sometimes, because they’re making assumptions when they don’t really know much about each other other than than perhaps those things that you get asked on those online quizzes of ‘how well do you know your best friend.’ zhengxi didn’t know jian yi lived on his own. jian yi didn’t know xixi had a sister. their knowledge of one another’s truly personal lives seems very limited to existing within the school walls. and yeah they’re breaking out of that now, definitely divulging into things that they feel (and maybe don’t want to), but there’s a great sense of hiddenness/secretiveness about their relationship that doesn’t appear in the innocence of their story. (i should note that perhaps this is just a testament to the genre/tone each artist is aiming for, but we’re all familiar with the lightness of which 19 days began - there’s no saying that their story might not gain a little more brevity, which i think it is starting to.)

second

this one doesn’t really even need much analysis/comparison. there’s so much easiness between qui tong and sun jing. there’s no self-doubt, no panicky ‘oh my gosh indirect kiss/germs’ moment. given sun jing’s previous reservations about personal space/closeness with qui tong, i think her almost flippancy about the whole thing is remarkable. she doesn’t even hesitate. maybe this says more about sun jing’s growing comfort with qui tong than anything. 

maybe it says more about the tension between he tian and guan shan. 

there could be a number of reasons for this:

  • guan shan is somewhat of a germaphobe - possible, but the image of him fighting easily and his generally disheveled appearance doesn’t really suggest much concern for that kind of thing.
  • he doesn’t want to share water with he tian because it’s he tian. okay, also possible, but in general wouldn’t you think that guys think less about the significance of this kind of thing? perhaps there’s a cultural shift here between myself as a western reader, but i would have assumed that guys in general weren’t really bothered about things like sharing food/water/seeing each other naked, because there’s such a self-confidence/naturalness about the whole thing that generally doesn’t owe itself to women very well in today’s world (again, which makes qui tong/sun jing’s sharing really interesting)
  • guan shan is a romantic! possible. he’s young and learning about ‘these things’ and maybe he watches cute historic romance dramas when he gets home from school and is actually considering the idea of the ‘indirect kiss’ (which would only be significant to him if he actually considered he tian in such a way as to be someone he would think about kissing). i think this is the strongest contender? i think this makes more sense than being conscious of germs at his age because he’s still young so i don’t know if he’d have that kind of social/cultural hesitance embedded in him yet.
  • it’s a male mindset of ‘that’s mine, not yours.’ possible, but that’s not really what it’s about. guan shan is pretty explicit about the idea of he tian’s saliva being on the bottle. if he was using this as a cover-up for something else, then okay, but he seems pretty concerned about the cleanliness of the exchange. (which triggers some uncomfortable notions with me about the preconceptions of gay relationships/sex and the tensions of people about touching things belonging to gay people/being around them because of the spread of HIV/AIDS that people in the 80s thought was somehow airborne. Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, anyone? but again. 15 years old. i’m not so sure, even if it did seem to be the age where people threw around ‘gay’ as an automatic insult, i doubt this idea of gay-associated hygiene and disease would be something old xian would want to explore/look into. awareness of HIV/AIDS as an issue in China by Chinese people is actually startlingly/disconcertingly low anyway.) 

anyway! as a sort of vague conclusion to my already flimsy arguments: is this latest their story chapter not indicative of sun jing x qui tong’s closeness as much as it is about the boundaries that are in place of the boy’s in 19 days? i think it shows as much character development and warmth from the girls as it does the dysfunctional nature of the boy’s relationships - and relationships, at that, that don’t really seem to be repairing. i think there’s a lot of self-discovery/realisation/growing up at the moment in 19 days, which has been pretty painful to observe, if i’m honest, but i think tan jiu shows just how easy things could have been. like, if they didn’t want romance to be a part of their pairings - if they didn’t really feel that way - then i think that could have been an option as much as the possibility of them being an item (perhaps this is an attack on he tian/jian yi for not making their ‘other-halves’ just be and forcing them into sexually-charged scenarios that they neither want nor or ready for). (yes i also note that the plot of the story is now the tension between the boys which makes my point semi-redundant, but i thought it was just about them growing up, so i don’t know if that can’t-breathe tension was always the aim) so much kudos to old xian for achieving all of this, but i literally just feel like this when i look at them because they make things so difficult for themselves and each other:

2

Firestone “Walker’s Reserve Porter”

92 A-


Walker’s Reserve Porter was recently retired from the Firestone lineup, so I’m glad to have been able to review it before it’s gone for good. The aromas come across relatively grainy with a dash of oats, roasted notes like bittersweet chocolate chips, hints of coffee, burnt bread, and a caramel-like sweetness.


The palate begins like a thin layer of sweet toffee wafers and a touch of burnt molasses. A flood of milk chocolate quickly follows with malts flavored like dark bread. A modest roast character emerges from the back-end, leading toward a submissive approach of Cascade hops, which carry gentle undertones of grass and citrus. Faint traces of vanilla and oak (and I do mean faint!) make their final remarks. An agreeable mouthfeel is initially creamy over a soft, well-rounded body that finishes a little dry, moderately carbonated with slight acidity.


I appreciate the finely tuned exchange of balance as sweetness slowly tilts toward bitterness. I must admit, this was never my favorite go-to porter, so I’m not particularly disappointed to see it go. However, now it appears their lineup needs a porter or stout in the year-round selection, where the only similar style I’m seeing is the seasonal Velvet Merlin. I think this was a solid porter that really captured the true essence of the style. There really wasn’t anything about it to dislike, but it’s not very memorable either. I recommend you say your final goodbye if you can still find an old bottle.


5.8%

? IBU

Paso Robles, California