c for cycle


“Look, Sargent,” Ronan retorted, “I was gonna dream you some eye cream last night since clearly modern medicine’s doing jack shit for you, but I nearly had my ass handed to me by a death snake from the fourth circle of dream hell, so you’re welcome.”


“If one squinted into  C a b e s w a t e r  long enough, in the right way, one could see secrets dart between the trees. The shadows of horned animals that never appeared. The winking lights of another summer’s fireflies. The rushing sound of many wings, the sound of a massive flock always out of sight. M a g i c.”  

A few facts about sex, pregnancy, and childbirth for writers who use historical settings

Note: These facts focus primarily on Christianized American and European culture. Before applying a fact to a culture outside of that sphere, it’d be a good idea to check.

  • Reliable birth control didn’t exist until the late 1800s, but it didn’t become accessible outside of the very wealthy and well-connected until the 1910s in Europe and 1920s in the US (and even later in other parts of the world). These “reliable methods” were all variants of the cervical cup, the ancestor to the diaphragm.
  • Despite the fact the rhythm method/natural family planning requires no technology other than a calendar, it was developed after the cervical cap. The reason is that it took doctors a very long time to figure out that a) women were least fertile during menstruation, b) women ovulated exactly once per menstrual cycle, c) ovulation tends to happen at approximately the same time relative to menstrual periods. The rhythm method was first promoted in 1930 by a Dutch doctor.
  • Along with there not being reliable birth control until recently, safe abortion was nonexistent (unless you count that particular plant in ancient Rome that died out, but I’ll pass that one by). A desperate woman wouldn’t have to look hard to find someone who could perform an abortion, but her chances of surviving weren’t great, and her chances of having another baby afterwards were slim.
  • Because women didn’t have an explanation for how exactly pregnancy started until the 1920s (when two doctors discovered independently that ovulation tends to happen at the same time relative to the menstrual cycle), women generally didn’t know when they’d gotten pregnant or when they were likely to give birth. All the historical medical manuals are extremely vague on pregnancy milestones for this reason. Additionally, many women didn’t consider themselves truly pregnant until the “quickening” around five months. This was due to several factors, inconsistent timing among them, but also because miscarriages were pretty common and other medical conditions (including stress) could cause symptoms that could make a woman think she was pregnant.
  • The vast majority of women over the course of history had no risk of being treated “like an invalid” during pregnancy. Pregnancy was considered a normal, healthy part of a woman’s life, something that would happen many times during her youth and middling years. It wasn’t a time to take it easy; in fact, early medical manuals stress that being active during pregnancy is a good thing that produces healthy, strong babies.
  • Until the 1960s/1970s, labor and delivery was a woman-only zone (with the possible exception of a male doctor). The father would either be outside, at the neighbors’, at the pub…but he would definitely be nowhere near the delivery room during the birth, because he’d just be in the way…probably literally, in most cases, because most women gave birth in their houses, and your average woman–a farmer’s wife, or a craftsman’s wife–wouldn’t have a large room to give birth in. Instead, a woman would expect her friends to come support her, women who’d already survived childbirth, and perhaps her mother if she lived nearby. Having the father attend the birth of his child didn’t become a thing until women started giving birth in hospitals where there’s space for the father to stand (and, arguably, the fact that women were less likely to live near enough for their mothers to be there).
  • Unless a woman was having a doctor attending her birth, she most likely would have given birth in a standing or squatting position, possibly using a birthing stool (a special chair without a seat for the baby to descend through). Lying on one’s back didn’t pop up as a birthing position until doctors became regular attendees to labor, because it mean the doctor wouldn’t have to get on the floor to examine the progress of labor.
  • It wasn’t labor that was the biggest danger to expectant women; it was postpartum infection, better known as “childbed fever” historically. These infections were usually caused by birth attendants having bacteria-ridden hands and tended to kill within two weeks of birth. Doctors knew it was transferred via midwife and doctor even as early as the 1790s, but it wasn’t understood why until germ theory became accepted. It couldn’t be treated until antibiotics were introduced in the 1930s.
The Raven Cycle Series: Richard “Dick” Gansey III [INFJ]


Introverted Intuition (Ni): Gansey has a singled minded vision: to find Glendower. This goal overlays his perceptions of everything. It can make him blind to alternatives or other problems. He turns every idea, every occurrence, toward the future, usually with a positive outlook. Everything relates to his goal, which to Gansey is an abstract, mystical vision. “[Glendower] was everything Gansey wished he could be: wise and brave, sure of his path, touched by the supernatural, respected by all, survived by his legacy.”

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Several characters have noted that there are different versions of Gansey. His behavior easily adapts to the situation and who he’s with. It is natural for him to play the part, to be polite, charming, in-control. He can even be manipulative, like when he convinces the guidance counselor to keep Ronan enrolled, although he doesn’t like to be.  He is used to solving problems with charm. Although he’s amiable and could be quite popular, he chooses to focus on a small group of friends (like many auxiliary Fe users). He is a loyal, peacemaking, compassionate friend, and he often puts other’s needs before his own. “[Gansey] gave himself over to feeling sorry for himself, that he should have so many friends and yet feel so very alone. He felt it fell to him to comfort them, but never the other way around.” Gansey himself notes he can’t be as independent as Adam or Ronan (both Fi-users), says “he never seemed able to walk away from them” and “Adam was so very real and true in a way that Gansey couldn’t ever seem to be.”

Introverted Thinking (Ti): Gansey Ti makes him curious. It drives him to understand everything of interest to him, regardless of practical use. He enjoys research and analyzing ideas. His logic balances his emotions. On several occasions he is willing to pause the search for Glendower if he perceives it as unsafe or knows logically there is a more pressing issue. He “could trot out logic on a nice little leash, wearing a smart plaid jacket, when [he] wanted to.”

Extroverted Sensing (Se): Gansey likes nice things, and takes special pride in some of his possessions: his car, the warehouse, his journal. But in each case the idea, the personal symbolism of the things, outweighs their practical value. He is often so lost in his own mind, he is detached from the physical world. He can sometimes be senselessly reckless. “There were many different versions of Gensey, but this… was the Gansey who bought the camaro, the Gansey who asked Ronan to teach him to fight, the Gansey who contained every wild spark so that it wouldn’t show up in the other versions.”


The story of the Lynch family was this: 

Once upon a time, a man named Niall Lynch had three sons, one of whom loved his father more than the others. Niall Lynch was handsome and charismatic and rich and mysterious, and one day, he was dragged from his charcoal-gray BMW and beaten to death with a tire iron. It was a Wednesday. On Thursday, his son Ronan found his body in the driveway. On Friday, their mother stopped speaking and never spoke again.

On Saturday, the Lynch brothers found that their father’s death left them rich and homeless. The will forbade them to touch anything in the house - their clothing, the furniture. Their silent mother. The will demanded they immediately move into Aglionby housing. Declan, the eldest was meant to control the funds and their lives until his brothers reached eighteen.

On Sunday, Ronan stole his deceased father’s car.

On Monday, the Lynch brothers stopped being friends.

The Raven Boys, Chapter Seven

The Raven Cycle Series: Ronan Lynch [ISFP]


Introverted Feeling (Fi): Ronan is always emotional. Anger, hatred, despair, joy, fear: whatever the situation, he first and foremost has a personalized, emotional reaction.  Though he understands his own feelings, “he wouldn’t - or couldn’t - express himself with words. So every emotion had to be spelled out in some other way. A fist, a fire, a bottle.” He doesn’t like to talk about his emotions, but they constantly show through his actions.  Though he acts tough, Ronan is full of quiet compassion, like nursing a baby bird, covering Adam’s tuition, and his determination to save Matthew. He is fearlessly authentic, unwilling to bend to society’s rules, uninterested in anything that doesn’t personally appeal to him. He doesn’t seek group consensus before he acts, but he sticks firmly to his own moral codes.

Extroverted Sensing (Se): Ronan lives in the moment. Engages with the present environment. Acts first; thinks about the consequences later. “When Ronan couldn’t- or wouldn’t - sleep, he listened to  music or drank or went out into the streets looking for vehicular trouble. Or all three.” He can be reckless, sensory indulgent, impulsive, but he’s also opportunist. He acts and makes the most of the situation when the others would still be thinking about it.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): Ronan sometimes gets gut feelings or insights about people or their quest. He intuitively learns how to operate in the dream world. He also thinks about the future enough to know that his does not involve anything Aglionby can give him. To worry about the long term future for Matthew. He wants to understand his place in the world.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): “He’d chosen his weapon well: only the truth, untempered by kindness.” Ronan is blunt, direct, to the point, which can often be rude. He doesn’t often act rationally, nor does he show any desire to take control like higher-Te users, but he does operate with facts. What is or isn’t true.