The Exacting Art of Wand Making

“The magical rod is the verendum of the magus; it must not even be mentioned in any clear and precise manner; no one should boast of its possession, nor should its consecration ever be transmitted except under the conditions of absolute discretion and confidence.” - Eliphas Levi, “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie” (1856)

It is a matter of fact that properly making a wand is a pain in the ass. It is a rather long process, with lots of detailed steps, none of which can be skipped. It takes more than a month of near daily work, invariably leads to both accidental and purposeful blood spill, not to mention all the mess.

Having lived in London for over a decade I can assure you that there is no Ollivanders in which to purchase a finished wand. And while many many sticks that have been nicely polished, often having had some baubles attached to them, are for sale from a variety of vendors they are not in any practical way a wand.

A wand must be cut by the practitioner themselves directly from the tree, must be worked to shape by the practitioner’s hands, tooled by the practitioner’s blade. It is a very necessary tool in the arsenal of witch and wizard alike, found throughout history in the practice of magic.

On the whole its a bothersome process; messy, meticulous, exacting and often tiresome. But at each point where you would shirk the necessary steps it is only in reminding yourself that the tool you make may save your life that you push on, doing every little bit that is needed to make it as strong as possible. Because like a parachute your life may hang in the balance of your wand having been made in an exacting process that I would personally never trust to something I bought online or in a shop.

The length of the wand varies from culture to culture and use to use. I myself prefer a length that is the distance from one’s nose when looking straight ahead to the tip of one’s fingers. Approximately three feet long (four spans) though tailored exactly to the body of its owner. The perfect length for tracing a circle on the ground without bending over.

It so happens that I had long held off on making myself a second hazel wand, my first being in storage in the US and something I had used for decades - though not seen in years. In its stead I have been using a very nice rowan wand I constructed about a year after I arrived in London, which works for most situations and is particularly adept at landscape magics. But then there are some things for which only a hazel wand will do the job properly.

Unfortunately my original hazel, cut from a deep and old wood in the states when I was a young man, has gone missing. Its whereabouts are a mystery, though where it should have been among my library storage materials it was not. Thus I have been slowly getting around to replacing it, and some near future work that needs doing has required my starting in order to finish before the vernal equinox.

So while the blackbird sang me a song of predawn delight I cut the hazel and have begun the process. As it dries I will gather the bits I need, offerings and ointments for its preparation, and by the first day of spring it should be ready for a bit of that old black magic.

camping out for twenty one pilots: a guide

hi! i’ve camped out for six of the seven twenty one pilots shows i’ve been to (ironically the one I didn’t camp out for was the last one), totaling 160 hours spent camping. for my first time camping i was twentieth in line, and for my most recent one, in new york, i was first. being first in line, it fell to me to organize the entire line for that show, so it was a good opportunity to master the practice of lining up. i’ve camped for shows in wisconsin, ohio, new york, and even for their saturday night live performance. i don’t mean to state this in a boastful way- i’ve gotten a few asks about camping out and figured i would put this experience to good use in making a guide for it. if you want to prepare for an upcoming show, or understand the line at your past show better, give it a read. i incorporated all of my experiences, my friends’ experiences, and things i’ve seen online (through an objective scope) into this guide, because no two shows have been the same, in terms of lining up. for the most part, camping comes down to luck: luck with the venue. it’s explained in detail under the readmore.

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Anon asked: Can I request a bts reaction to their s/o never talking about their feelings and insecurities and whenever it’s brought up always makes jokes about it?

a/n: first ask here! i already feel accomplished. this is probably gonna be shit tho when i look back on it.

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anonymous asked:

How do I be a better Christian the Bible keeps telling me things and I'm trying but it's so hard and it doesn't need to be easy but nothing I ever do is good enough and there are people out there overseas and speaking out and actually being a good Christian and then you have me who's stumbling through the Bible and not getting any better and I don't even know what to do at this point

Hi friend,

But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. - Galatians 6:4

It’s much easier said than done, but please try not to compare yourself to others. All of our journeys are different. If I were to compare myself to someone like, say, Beth Moore, I would feel horrible about myself, because I would feel like I need to do more, be more, etc. I would feel like I’m not good enough, not Godly enough. And none of those thoughts are going to help me. If anything, they’re just going to deter me and make me feel awful. If I compared my present self to my past self, however, I can see how far I’ve come. I can see that I’m closer to God than I ever have been. I’m praying every day, reading His Word every day, and am doing my best to help others in their walks with Him. 

So instead of comparing yourself to people overseas, think about who you are now versus who you used to be. You are good enough, friend, and God loves you so much, just as you are. 

As for how to grow closer to Him, talk to Him about this. Tell Him what you’ve written to me here. Cry if you have to. Get upset if you have to. Whatever it takes. Just be honest with Him, and ask Him for help. He is your strength. 

You said you’re “stumbling through the Bible.” When you’re studying it, are you trying to get through as much of it as you can, or are you truly meditating on it? It’s better for us to meditate on just one verse a day or week and to truly write it on our hearts than to inhale chapters at a time and not get anything from it. 

Keep going, friend. You’re doing great, I promise you. God knows your heart. He sees how much you care. He sees that you’re ready to change. You’ve just got to voice it to Him and keep working at it, and you’ll get there. It takes time and patience and grace. Give yourself lots and lots of grace, okay?

Sending so many prayers your way. Please keep me updated on how you’re doing. <3

All my love,



Penmon Priory, Anglesey, North Wales. 19.2.17. This ancient site has been here since as early as the sixth century BCE, although its current buildings were constructed in the eleventh century. The Vikings raided Penmon in 971BCE and destroyed the original church. Sited next to the church is St. Seirol’s Well, which is considered another venerated and ancient place. Later Maccus mac Arailt (died 984 - 987?) or Maccus Haraldsson was a Scandinavian or Norse-Gael king who was believed to carry out an attack on Penmon, raiding from the across the Irish Sea. The priory interior boasts two ancient crosses, decorated with Scandinavian influenced designs. I will try and visit here again to photograph them at a later date. Also photographed here is the Penmon Dovecote which is a seventeenth century addition to the site. The stone pillar in the centre of the room is to help give access to the nests.

why are people suddenly boasting about supporting pledis male trainees that we didn’t know even existed five minutes ago, when u can instead stop sleeping on universes best boy band nu’est also by pledis??

Miya’s Monday Shoutouts

Weekly promos for to 3-5 blogs that I adore

@qmisato: If you’re looking for insightful, well written, well reasoned Eva essays this is the blog for you. The blog also boasts numerous high-quality gifsets with insightful commentary as well. It’s a clean, well organized blog full of approachable Eva nerd porn. If you’re even a little bit curious about the themes in the Evangelion franchise beyond the kaiju/jaeger fights, this blog is the perfect destination for newbies and veterans alike.

@aranyhidx: I rarely frequent rp blogs unless they’re generally focused on crack content for non-roleplayers in the style of @motherfuckingkingofheroes. I stumbled upon this blog while trawling the #sinbad tag for reblog worthy content for @sindria-no-bouken. It’s an indie roleplay blog for Sinbad’s late mother Esra. I was stunned to find a treasure trove of well written headcanons and fanfiction for one of the most beloved but underrated characters in Sinbad no Bouken. Sinbad’s parents only appear in the first few chapters of the manga (because, DUH, shounen main protagonists.) Nevertheless, the role they play in the story has an enormous impact well into the final arc of the of the primary manga, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic. I don’t have the words to express how moving and elegant the drabbles and headcanons are. If you’ve read the first 5 chapters of Sinbad no Bouken, I’m confident you’ll love the material on this blog this blog and need a box of tissues close at hand as you cry your eyes out.

@araragichan: While this Monogatari series blog hasn’t been updated since 2015, I highly recommend it to any Monogatari fan looking for high quality gifsets that span the entirety of the Monogatari series (through 2015 in any case.) It’s a reliable gallery full of gorgeous art created by the OP. It’s definitely worth following or bookmarking in your browser just to keep a supply of Monogatari eye candy at your disposal.

Iwaoi Fic Rec Compilation

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a somewhat-comprehensive list of 57 IwaOi fics that I’ve really enjoyed! This isn’t every fic I’ve loved of this pairing (since I’m disorganized and can’t find all of them), but hopefully these will kindle your love of the ship as much as they’ve fueled mine. (These are listed in alphabetical order within each rating.)

Note #1: Please check fic tags before reading as I cannot list them here.

Note #2: In general, other fics by the same authors not listed here are also recommended!

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When Lin-Manuel Miranda was a 10-year-old kid with wild daydreams of Academy Awards success, he used to boast to his mother that he was going to bring her as his Oscar date.

On Tuesday he was nominated for his first Oscar as composer of the best original song How Far I’ll Go from Disney’s Moana.

Good to his word, Miranda is already focusing on making sure his mother looks great on the red carpet.

“We gotta get my mom a dress. I’ve promised her she was coming with me to the Oscars since I was 10,” Miranda says. “Obviously the first priority, is getting my mom looking nice. I can wear any old penguin suit.” (x)


do you ever think about Jim making the Sir Boast-a-lot video

Like writing the script and noting down in brackets “angry face” “psycho smile” “mocking tone” “more sarcasm here” and putting himself in front of the camera actually making all of those facial expressions omg

Then editing it with movie maker and choosing with great care every single special effect and cursing because the programme keeps freezing or the sound of the fake thunder doesn’t come in time with the fake rain holy shit can you imagine it

You can bet your ass he locked the fucking cab’s doors after Sherlock climbed in because there was no way that fucker could escape the result of four days of hard work and a hundred coffee cups

Galatians 6:1-16 (NKJV)
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.