would consider cleansing to be the first magical education someone
should receive. Yes, there are other basics like grounding that are
important to learn early on. But as far as first magical actions,
cleansing should be among them. Understanding cleansing can also go a
long way towards understanding some basic magical theory.
is a part of life. Cleaning the house, cleaning the car, cleaning
yourself – it’s part of being a human being. So is magical
flows outwards endlessly like a fractal. There is no beginning and
there is no end. Humans are made out of energy. We’re just kind of
crystallized. So it’s not like there is us, humans, and then later on
at another point there is flowing energy and that energy touches us.
There is no gap. There is no separation. We are energy, the world is
energy, the universe is energy. The only thing is, we are a
particular kind of energy. We are human energy! And human energy
likes to feel a certain way. The energies we clean off of ourselves
are the same kinds of energies that other spirits love and feed off
of. So right away it is important to abandon a notion of “good”
and “bad” energies. We are just lil human beans, loving certain
kinds of energy. That doesn’t make our energies better. It just is
what it is.
energy is flowing endlessly, it endlessly interacts with our human
spiritual body. This spiritual body is closely tied with our physical
body. When you wear certain shields or protections, only certain
energies can reach your body. Isn’t that rad?! We literally have the
power to separate ourselves from the universe. That blows my mind.
you live in a bright, airy home, if you have wonderful relationships,
if you have a good job and hobbies you love, then you may accumulate
way less negative energies (again, negative from our human
perspective) than someone who has a rough life. So we do not all
accumulate negative energies at the same pace. In addition, it is
possible to sweat out negative energies and generate them yourself.
these negative and unwanted energies interact with our spiritual
bodies, it can clog things up. You can develop blockages in your body
that represent as physical pain. Most people with knots in their back
can experience a miraculous recovery with a little energy work and
sweeping the bad energy away. In fact I recently did this for a
friend! I released the knots in his upper back and swept the energy
to his lower back. He immediately, within seconds, complained of pain
in his lower back where five minutes previous he said that was never
a problem spot. So just make sure you scoot energies all the way off
of people – but more about that when we get to healing in another
part of the master post.
They can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Ever been
just totally unable to come up with concepts for art or writing? That
could be an actual energetic blockage. Ever had a weird pain in your
back or body for no reason? Headaches, stomach pain? A feeling of
disconnection from the universe? Each of these things has one thing
in common: they can
be caused by energetic blockages (although this does not mean they
this point a question naturally arises: how often do we need to
cleanse? Is it daily like a shower, or weekly like changing the
sheets? I believe like most things, an intuitive and varied approach
is best. The good thing is that cleansing is incredibly easy and can
easily be done daily in your morning shower. I will include cleansing
rituals at the end of this post.
recommend a simple daily cleansing with your shower, or however often
you shower. It is simple, requires no tools, and is an excellent way
to practice energy work.
also recommend a deeper cleansing once a week. There are a lot of
magical practices I believe are best done once a week, so if possible
it’s always nice to have one day a week to focus a few hours on
magical upkeep if this is possible. A deeper cleanse can easily be
done with a sea salt scrub. What is the difference between a basic
cleanse and a deep cleanse? A deep cleanse uses allies such as
plants, spirits, and crystals to aid in your work.
time to change directions for a moment and talk about the importance
of physical cleanliness when it comes to magical cleanliness.
is a reason humans prefer clean spaces. It lets the energy breathe.
It lets us relax. Clutter is bad for happy and healthy energy flow.
Grime is bad for keeping your magical spaces free of parasites and
icky things. If you want something to be magically cleansed, first
you need to physically clean it. This includes yourself, your items,
and your spaces. Taking out the literal trash can go a long way
towards taking out the metaphysical trash. If you have a
metaphysically dirty amulet, you will notice that gently and lovingly
cleaning it will actually really go a long way towards metaphysically
working with items and areas, they do seem to need cleansing less
often with a few exceptions. If a tool of yours has heavy everyday
use, such as my conjure crystal Arro, then it likely needs a
cleansing every time you use it. You may find this to be true of your
tarot cards, wand, pendulums, or other items that receive heavy use
and get tangled up in lots of energies. Other tools that are used
less often can receive a basic weekly or even monthly cleansing.
Tools rarely used can receive a quick cleansing every time you use
them but do not need to be cleansed on a schedule.
can also just tell if an object needs cleansing. It will appear less
aesthetically pleasing. Crystals will look dull and not as colorful.
If you feel like avoiding an object, like, “ehh… I wear this
necklace every day but today, ick,” it needs a cleansing. I have a
ring my father gave me that absorbs ALL negative energies and it
needs heavy regular cleansings because – it gets lost! If you lose
a magical item, it has likely absorbed a lot of negative energies and
can’t function any more. Once you find it, give it a big cleansing.
And sometimes, objects just plain feel icky. Ever been thrift
shopping, picked up a cool looking item, and immediately put it down
because you suddenly got a big “nope” feeling?
where you are most active will require the most cleansing (including
your car). My bedroom requires cleansing 3-4 times a week due to the
heavy amount of magical, spirit, and life energies that accumulate in
there. My kitchen on the other hand never needs a cleansing because
the cleaning energies put in to it daily clear it out wonderfully.
and clean a room when you feel uncomfortable being in it. When I
start to avoid my bedroom I know it is time for a clean n’ cleanse.
Especially cleanse after a big argument, if things are feeling stale,
if the room doesn’t seem pretty, or you just feel it needs to be
done. In general, do a full home cleansing once a month if you are
able – this means your room and public/common spaces. You do not
need to cleanse the bedrooms of others. While it is easy to do self
cleansing and item cleansing with energy work, clearing out entire
houses takes a little extra work. If you are a master energy worker
like one of my friends you can just whisk all that negative energy
out. If you are terrible at energy work like me, you need to enlist
allies – again, that is plants, spirits, and crystals or minerals
to help you.
we get to the actual cleansing rituals, there is one more thing to
talk about. There is a difference between banishing and cleansing.
They are not the same things and a cleansing is not the same as
performing a banishment. If you cleanse a room and half an hour later
it’s funky again, there is something in there that needs to be
removed. Banishing will come in its own post later on. Banishing is
asking a guest to leave – cleansing is picking up all their beer
bottles and cigarette butts afterwords. You can pick up all the beer
cans you want but as long as that guest is there, trash will keep
cleansing in the shower is easy. Imagine the water is active and
living. Imagine spiritual gunk is sitting on your skin just like
physical grime. The water washes away all the spiritual gunk and
takes it down the drain. Wash yourself from head to foot (this
dispels, as opposed to foot to head, which attracts) using normal
shampoos and soaps. Be sure to scrub the soles of your feet and the
palms of your hands.
for any reason you can’t imagine that spiritual gunk leaving, or you
feel it hasn’t left, you need a deeper cleanse. This is also the
cleanse to use once weekly.
some table salt and olive oil. Mix them together in a thick scrub –
you don’t need a lot, a quarter cup of salt will do. If you don’t
have olive oil choose any skin safe oil you have at home. Hold the
little container of salt scrub and bless it with this blessing, or
earth, the body of the gods
water, their rushing blood
air, the breath of the gods
fire, their burning soul
this scrub be made blessed and made pure
to Jason Miller for this charm – read his books, you won’t regret
imagine the soul of nature itself doing this blessing, not any
individual god. If you prefer, dedicate this blessing to your patron
deity. Speak to the mixture and ask the blessed salt and oil to
totally cleanse you of any negative or unwanted energies attached to
you. If you like, throw in one of the herbs listed below.
the shower, scrub your whole body – including your scalp – from
head to toe with this mix. Imagine the salt just chomps away at that
negative energy, like white blood cell soldiers swarming in and
destroying the negative energies on you. If you include a plant,
watch their powerful energies do the same thing. Once your entire
body is scrubbed up, take a normal shower and again visualize the
water taking everything away and down the drain.
can also cleanse with crystals, incense, and energies.
sitting in the sun for 5 minutes and imagining the powerful divine
fire burning away all negative energies on you. The moon can perform
the same service, especially in her waning phase.
a powerful cleansing crystal and hold it to each of your chakra
points. Ask the crystal to take away all negative and unwanted
energies. Then, cleanse the crystal.
a plant that cleanses (a list is below). Engulf yourself in the
smoke. And I mean really get in there. If possible, hotbox yourself
in the bathroom or in your car and get covered in smoke. A stick of
sage is helpful because it’s easily mobile and does a good job
every personal cleansing is well rounded off by drinking a cleansing
tea made out of an appetizing herb listed below, stirred clockwise
three times, with a blessing to bring back beautiful and positive
energies to your spiritual body.
items in the same way that you cleanse yourself. Gently wash them
with water and if the material allows, apply salt scrubs, bury in
salt, bury in the earth, leave in the sunlight or moonlight (with
instructions given to the item about what is going to happen),
fumigate it, or pull the negative energies in to yourself or a
crystal to be cleansed at a later time.
a room first by cleaning it as best you can. Add some salt to your
rinse water and wipe down most major surfaces with this gentle
cleanser. Pay special attention to all corners and thresholds
(doorways and windows, even an interior doorway like to a closet) and
sweep them out very well, then apply the rinse water to that area. If
you want to get fancy, research your own favorite general purpose
home cleaning sprays. Keep main ingredients like vinegar and vodka,
and substitute cleansing plants and add a little salt. Test spray on
fabrics to make sure there is no stain. After a cleansing, spritz
this around surfaces you can’t wipe down with salt water. I also find
plain air fresheners like Febreze do an excellent job to really
“complete” any room cleansing. Incense should work great, too.
Lastly there are some passive cleansers that do a great job. Cut an
onion in to quarters and place one quarter in each corner of a room.
Or place a dish of water, an egg, a dish of vinegar, or a salt lamp
in to a room to passively cleanse it. Also charge a candle with
cleansing energies and burn it; include another candle with
negativity banishing energies for an extra powerful punch.
you want some rad energy work practice, pull fresh and powerful
energies from deep in the earth and release them in to a room with
instructions to clear out negative energies.
do not work heavily with crystals so I’m not going to make a list of
them – this is a plant ally list! I will list only what I have
worked with so I can give personal feedback.
This is a strong banishment/exorcising herb. Use it when you suspect
you have very bad attachments. Combined with hyssop, no enemy can
stay attached to you.
I have worked with this plant before. It is a solid cleanser, if a
Is more of a protector than a cleanser, but it works in a pinch. Add
to a more cleansing plant or ally such as salt or bay leaf for a good
protecting, cleansing spell. Use in conjunction with rosemary for a
The most RADICAL cleansing plant ever. Where bay lives, no evil can
exist. Put bay everywhere. Hang it up in your room. Make a human stew
by throwing bay leaf in to your bath. Liberally add it to cleansing
scrubs and sprays. Keep bay with your tarot decks and other tools to
keep them highly protected and cleansed. Bay leaf is the salt of
This is a solar plant and as such brings the power of divine fire to
a cleansing. It is bright, cheerful, and happy. And it makes a
tea. Buy bulk chamomile from the ethnic spice section of your local
grocery store. Burn it as an incense and drink it as a tea for a
wonderful warmth and a solid cleansing and protective qualities.
This bark is a very strong cleanser and raises vibrations. Use it
when you feel down in the dumps and need a good cleansing with a
protective edge to it. Add liberally to tea.
A protective plant with a bit of cleanse to it. Use when you can’t
get angelica or another powerful banisher. Make in to a strong tea
and add that tea to your bath water or wash yourself down with it. Do
not use clove as its own for a purifier.
This can be bought in the ethnic section of your grocery store. A
very powerful healer. In case of emergency, use liberal eucalyptus
oil or leaf combined with rosemary for a full cleansing, healing, and
Frankincense Again you are unlikely to find this item in the grocery store! Like angelica, hyssop, and mullein, collect when you are ready. It powerfully raises vibrations and is a wonderful cleanser. Especially burn as an incense.
I have experience with hyssop as a cleanser, but not a protector.
However it is a powerful
cleanser and can break the strongest chains.
Very strong, yet gentle, cleanser. Use when you, a room, or an item
is “tired” and can’t handle a radical cleansing such as what bay
leaf provides. It also smells wonderful for room cleansings and makes
an excellent tea.
An acidic spiritual cleaner that will eat through any grime. Use with
care – it can also eat through you! Don’t add great quantities to a
bath unless you know your skin can handle it.
Any mints, especially peppermint, make good cleansers and leave you
with that minty-fresh feeling. Brew in a strong tea with a touch of
sugar for freshness and sweetness within.
A strong cleanser that improves third eye powers. No complaints.
I LOVE mullein. It is a kickass cleanser and it’s fun to smoke. I
have massive (like, a shoe box full) supply of mullein in my home
because it is such a good ally. You are unlikely to find it in the
grocery store; save this one for when you are ready to collect
Black pepper isn’t quite what I mean and it doesn’t have the same
properties. I mean spicy red hot peppers! Obviously DO NOT scrub
yourself down with this or drink it as a tea. Hot peppers are
powerful banishers. Make an oil with a carrier oil and hot peppers.
Dress candles with this oil to banish all negativity from a place.
A pine tree has strong cleansing properties. Add needles or branches
to a bath. Soak in vodka for a cleansing tonic you can use on
objects. Hang around a pine tree and ask it to take negative energies
away from you. Burn pine incense.
My oldest plant ally, rosemary functions dually as a strong cleanser
and a strong protector. Use rosemary when your shields have been
cracked or when something needs extra protection.
Rue This is a very powerful hex breaker. Take a bath in rue and ask it to break any negativity upon you. This herb is not for use for any pregnant or nursing people.
Sage works. It’s not over-rated.
It smells terrible, but it is a guard dog of cleansers. DON’T burn it
or drink it, but if you need a hardy cleansing and it’s all you have,
add it to a nice scrub or bath and it will work wonders.
A gentle but strong cleanser. Use it when there are a lot of tangled
up energies that need to be cleaned out.
Can you just tell us what coding is? Google isnt being much help ;;
ugh god FINE but this is the last thing im talking about re: race in su and i mean it (maybe)
coding is hard to explain so this will be a very poor explanation (as well as possibly inaccurate) so if anyone who understands coding wants to jump in and explain it not poorly then please do
first of all, coding has to be definite and indisputable. it has to be ingrained into the character and be 100% INTENTIONAL from the writers. it’s not merely a fan interpretation, its something the writers are purposefully and EXPLICITLY portraying in the character that really CANT BE ARGUED
for example, you cant argue that garnet isnt coded as black. people who say “oh but shes an alien she doesnt have a race” just don’t know what coding is. like, you wouldn’t say jenny pizza is “coded” as black, you would say she IS black. garnet ISNT black, shes CODED as black. representational coding (there’s a lot of types of coding) is reserved for nonhuman characters, as it basically means youre ingraining real-world groups of people into the character
and it’s pretty clear why garnet is coded as black
afro, dark skin, physical features, voiced by a black woman, etcetc. if anyone looked at her who isnt familiar with steven universe, they would say she was a black woman, no doubt. she’s probably the most explicitly coded character in media that im familiar with
the point is, it has to be inarguable and extremely explicit and intentional by the creators. some people think pearl is coded as East Asian because of her fighting skills but that’s simply not definite enough. its an interpretation, and its arguable. you could argue that pearl is supposed to be a suburban white mom stereotype as well. pearl being east asian is just a headcanon. same with rose being latina. there’s not a lot of canon basis for that and it could be argued that she’s just white. even amethyst being latina can be argued, as she could also easily be interpreted as black by some people. the su fandom gets “coding” and “headcanons” really really confused.
if you want more examples of representational coding, i have some from other media…i cant believe im about to talk about knuckles the motherfucking echidna on my su blog but here we go
so im just gonna be straight up: knuckles is coded as black. his color scheme is intentionally supposed to be rastafarian, he has dreadlocks for that reason, and his main music genre from the earlier sonic games was rap/jazz/soul. he was originally supposed to have a jamaican accent but sega scrapped that idea. they basically wanted him to be an “island guy” as he was born on Angel Island. (he also has Mayan coding from his ancestry but thats just gonna make this complicated) HOW much he’s coded in different sonic games varies. the sonic adventure 2 game stressed this and even gave him a significantly darker snout color to emphasize it. it’s pretty much inarguable that in this game, knuckles is coded as black. it’s just extremely clear that this was the creator’s intentions…i remember everyone used to call him the “unofficial black sonic character”
there’s other characters who have clear racial coding from other media too…there’s a great post that ive seen floating around that talks about Eduardo and Wilt from foster’s home being coded as mexican and black, respectively. they also compared that coding to garnet’s coding in su. it was more geared towards those of you who think that “garnet is an ALIEN and there’s no instances of black in her” whereas this post im writing here is geared towards people who get “coding” and “interpretation” confused. id love to see that post again if anyone happens to find it
but yeah, coding has to be clearly intentional from the writers. if not, its just a headcanon/interpretation. garnet and knux are explicitly coded as black. pearl can be interpreted as east asian.
and whether representing poc through nonhuman characters is offensive or not is another story.
(anyone who actually truly knows about this stuff, feel free to correct me cuz maybe im just completely wrong. who the hell knows anymore)
Wasn't expecting to get any promo pics this early so that was a nice surprise! The pics themselves not really groundbreaking considering they're basically a "Previously on Game of Thrones" sort of thing. Though it looks like Jaime gets WW early, so maybe he found Tommen's crown too?
Yes, nice surprise indeed!
Yup, basically it’s really a “Previously on Game of Thrones in case you forgot where people were heading to by the end of season 6″, mingled with costume updates (or the lack thereof).
Yeah, Jaime getting Widow’s Wail that early came as a surprise to me as well. Earlier on, before we got any spoilers whatsoever, I thought he may take it for himself towards the end of the season once we get the equivalent of break-up with Cersei and letter-burning, as a sort of last resistance, if you will.
So that raises a lot of questions.
Does he take it himself or is it given to him?
If he takes it, I guess it would be more for sentimental reasons at first. After he tried to be there for Tommen and act more fatherly towards him, I bet it will be shattering for him to see that the last kid he’s had with Cersei is now dead as well, and that, yet again, any effort to protect the children was rendered futile.
It may also be that Cersei gives it to him. This in turn would perhaps be her sort of strategical *reassurance* to further back up her claim that she had nothing to do with the Sept - in then sense of: Cersei gives him that sword and says in a teary voice “that was all that remained of him, our poor baby boy *insert fake sobbing*” - cue for Jaime to find the crown, if Cersei on the show finally shows more of book!Cersei’s inability to follow through with any plan whatsoever, and thus leave that piece of evidence somewhere within Jaime’s reach to find once plot demands it.
I don’t think he will find both (crown and sword) at once in episode 1 onward, since I assume that those promo shots are part of episode ½. My best guess at this point is that they will have an unravel-narrative for Jaime to conclude his breaking away from Cersei towards the end of the season (so basically covering those parts of his AFfC arc that we didn’t yet see) wiht him having learned about Cersei’s true colors and her actual involvement in the HS affair more generally (see Margaery’s, Loras’, and her own imprisonment), and of course the Sept Kaboom she will most likely blame on the Sand Snatches + Ellaria. But yeah, we will have to see if the thing with the crown will be played up or if they aren’t just going to have someone break it to him (someone like Olenna perhaps).
Similarly, it would be epically ironic if Cersei gave the *twin blade* to Oathkeeper to Jaime, whereas Brienne strolls through the North with that other sword of Valyrian steel *belonging to* Widow’s Wail. This would perhaps be a nice first allusion to book!Cersei’s straight-up denial that Jaime may have ridden off with Brienne towards the end of ADwD and that he would *never* abandon her for someone the likes of Brienne.
It’d be ever the more hilarious once we bear in mind how she’s been calling out Brienne on her feelings for Jaime back during the Purple Wedding.
I mean, just imagine her being so cocksure of Jaime’s alliance and giving him that sword, thinking nothing of it (because she has no clue that Brienne has Oathkeeper after he gave it to her back during that teary scene - the good old times).
Because NEVER would Jaime return those feelings because he has *her*, hmmmm.
Only to then eventually conclude that part of the arc with Jaime taking his leave. And she gave him the fuckin’ sword on tops to now carry to the North.
I would find that all kinds of epic irony that I ain’t even mad.
My, my, my, my, my, my, Give me love. My, my, my, my, my, my, Give me love.
Give me love like never before.
I sit on my bed, staring straight at the creme-colored wall of my bedroom opposite of my bed. My eyes have lost the redness and puffiness from crying, the tears now long dried onto the flushed skin of my cheeks.
Every time I see his face flash across my mind, I take a swing of the odd yet effective combination of Vodka, beer, Whiskey, and Rum mixed together into the glass beer bottle. In the other hand, I hold what I think to be my eighth cigarette, and I’m gripping onto both objects as if they were the only things that were keeping me alive.
Come to think of it, they probably are. Every time I think of him, the heavy cloud of emotions that is suspended over me crashes down onto me, threatening to suffocate me under the ruthless, painful memory. The substance of alcohol I hold and a long drag from the nicotine seems to be the only thing that can fix it.
With that note on your newest chapter, you've basically summed up how i feel too. I don't hate Westallen and i find them somewhat cute but i too just adored Eddie and his and Iris's dynamic!
Exactly, anon, I just…they gave me this perfect ship that I adored and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give it up, on top of one of the BEST female characters in so long for me, like WOW, I was in LOVE with season 1 Iris. Somehow, even with Eddie and the love triangle, I felt like she got more for herself than she has been given in later seasons.
When I was young, I loved the Red Crowned Crane, aka the Japanese Crane. They were often depicted in picture books my grandparents gave me (Japanese Folklore- they are from Tokyo, so this isn’t just a random thing. I grew up with this), and there was an elegant simplicity to their appearance that struck a weird aesthetic chord with me.
I wanted to draw a character based on the Japanese Crane, and I was struck with the idea today. First image is the sketch I threw down (plus notes to myself), and the second image is the digital sketch/tentative color scheme. A WIP, basically.
As always, any constructive criticism and thoughts in general are appreciated! Thank you.
plot twist: it’s emma! (this could just be me, but the look she gave while brooke was talking about him being different, that didn’t look like a ‘wow’ or ‘i can’t believe it’ that was a ‘oh shit, did i fuck up?’)
This takes place around a week or 2 after Patton’s decommissioning. A bit after Patton was outside his house, walking around checking the Christmas lights (a weekly chore), when he was ambushed. Turns out, he was one of the watched new recruits for the Teen Ninjas.
He was big. He was tall (decommissioning gave him a HUGE growth spurt). He was strong. He was fast.
Because all that physical training doesn’t go away overnight. I’m sorry, but, it just doesn’t.
Basically, he was a perfect ripe candidate.
When Sonya and Lee found out, they were devastated. But sadly, there was nothing they could do. It was against the KND to fraternize with decommissioned operatives or spy on them once they were taken home. They really wanted to do something, but they just couldn’t.
Luckily the KND rules don’t apply to kid justice-fighting cape-wearing alone-working vigilantes.
The Tommy found out from Sonya and Lee about Patton being taken, and he wasn’t about to let that go down. His older brother had already gone against them, he wasn’t about to let his old commander go to.
So he made an ambush on them by himself, and caused an enormous fight with his jetpack, and a couple of borrowed M.A.R.B.L.E.S. He didn’t tell Patton everything, but he did tell him that the Teen Ninjas wasn’t somewhere where he wanted to be. That, and there was a young blonde girl and a yo-yo experted boy that knew him very well that he should get in touch with them again.
On the flip side, this ambush caused a lot of destruction and forced the new recruits to fight. This wouldn’t be so bad, if it wasn’t for that fight catching The Steve’s attention on the fighting of a certain short redhead that was perfect for becoming his protege…
So yeah. The whole reason teen Patton is the way he is, is ALL because of The Tommy.
Also, I need to work on this story I had for Hoagie betraying the KND sometime, I’ve been ignoring that sadly.
Here’s the thing: Every time a cop gets caught on tape doing something evil, racist and shitty and there’s a media firestorm, I never once feel these authority police figures are mad about the cop’s actual actions. No. They’re just mad the cop got caught on tape and inconvenienced the status quo and gave the PD more paperwork.
Let’s be truthful: Sheriff Leon Lott will always be more angry that Ben Fields never checked closely enough around the room to see any discreetly-hidden camera phones than about the fact he beat up a little girl.
There's something that it's quite bothering me about Shinya lately (not in a bad sense, it just upsets me).. He had a terrible childhood and everytime I see a light novel chapter, I always read that he's smiling or happy (I know that he begun to smile to mask his feelings and that helped too to bother his opponents when he had to fight to be Mahiru's fiancée and blah, blah), but to what extent do you think that his smiles are true? I find this so upsetting and I feel that he needs so much love..
Ah, yes. Shinya. The always-smiling one.
I’m 100% sure that pretty much all of his smiles before he befriends everyone in the novels are fake. After meeting Guren and getting closer with everyone, I believe that his smiles around them started becoming genuine.
Shinya has a long and terrible history of self-worth issues that are completely the fault of his parents and the Hiiragi family. Like Mika, his original personality was probably distorted by his traumatic childhood. In order to keep himself alive, he’s had to be an actor his whole life. First he had to shut off his emotions as he was forced to kill all of the other children in Mahiru’s fiance selection tournament, and then as he had to bear more Hiiragi abuse within the family and keep up the facade of Mahiru’s perfect partner in public. I’m sure that by the time he entered First Shibuya High, he was already an expert at masking his own emotions and showing everyone else what they wanted to see.
As I’ve discussed in previous headcanon answers, after Mahiru rejected him, Shinya’s life began to focus on Guren, in a way. He was the easy scapegoat for Shinya, for obvious reasons, and Shinya probably thought about Guren all the time and built up expectations and biases about his yet-unseen rival.
At school, Shinya approached Guren first out of a dull curiosity. He might have been motivated in part by rebellion as well, as Guren was definitely not someone he was supposed to associate with. When Guren turned out to completely subvert his expectations, first by being impossibly weak and then by turning out to be stronger than he was and, more importantly, to possess a fundamentally kind and selfless heart, Shinya began to really like Guren as a person.
During this process, Shinya started being able to relax his guard around Guren and Goshi and Mito and I believe he was truly enjoying himself in their company. Like Mito, he was undoubtedly prohibited from doing normal teenager things like going over to a friend’s and just playing around. Judging by his initial behavior in the fiance selection process, Shinya has probably always yearned for friends but has unfortunately never had the opportunity to find and keep them. Had he not befriended Guren first, he would have probably continued to keep up his mask at school and in public and never opened up to anyone, just like Mahiru.
I think that Shinya was somewhat depressed for a lot of his life before high school. Certainly by his descriptions of his memories, he was not allowed to be happy at all before then and he wasn’t really excited or moved by anything. Finding his sun was the first thing that gave him joy again and let color seep back into his smiles. After that, Shinya’s life basically continued to revolve around Guren, but having him there also let him find happiness in other things as well.