contract bargaining


Robert Johnson and His Deal with the Devil

Robert Johnson, or at least the mythical version of him, is pervasive in American pop culture. He is considered a “Faustian” character, which essentially means the story surrounding him involves making a deal with Mephistopheles (a demon) or Satan himself. Deals like these typically were said to take place at crossroads, often seen as a metaphorical or actual liminal space, a place where change happens.

The legend goes that Johnson fell distraught after his first wife died in childbirth and he turned to his love of music to cope but he was horrible at the guitar with an unpleasant voice. Johnson was said to have disappeared for a length of time and then returned with great musical skill and a wonderful, mournful singing voice. At a crossroads, marked with the three guitar statue (above), Johnson supposedly met a man who gave him these abilities–in return for his soul. People point to some of his songs like “Cross Road Blues” and “Hell Hound on My Trail” as evidence that he had made the deal with the devil and the hellhounds were there to collect.

Johnson only recorded three records and died at the age of 27 in 1938 due to “mysterious” stomach pains. Of course, the legend would have us believe that the Devil had come to collect his dues. Most people, however, believe that he was poisoned (one way or another) due to flirting with or having an affair with a married woman. Either way, he died very young after putting out only a little bit of music and had only a couple of photos ever taken of him. He’s a figure shrouded in mystery due to how little is known about him but he lives on in our collective imagination, still recognized as the King of the Delta Blues.


  • Me: I had a dream of crazily operating elevator. I wonder what it means?
  • Dream dictionary: "If the elevator drops suddenly or is not doing what you expected it to do and is unpredictable then this dream indicates that in your work life you are keeping your side of the bargain or contract, but the other person or company is not, and this is creating intense frustration and conflict in your life."
  • Me: Ha. Haha.

anonymous asked:

How you or any of your followers found anything on Filipino witchcraft?

Here’s the thing about Filipino/Pilipinx “witchcraft”– it’s complicated.

1) Pilipinx people are not a monolithic culture– we are hundreds of different nations joined together because of Spanish colonialism and Catholicism, either because we were conquered by the Spaniards or areas were considered part of the Philippines even if they put up resistance (such as areas in Mindanao that have resisted Catholicism and have stayed Muslim). Each region’s spiritual and magical practices are unique based on that regions’ deities, ancestors, land spirits, and interaction/colonization by Islam or Catholicism. Some of the terms I will use are known to be specific to regions (like Cebu, Siquijor, etc) but have become common terms among Luzon peoples because of their notoriety.

2) What I do know of local witchcraft is either done through sympathetic magic and/or spiritwork. Harmful forms of witchcraft are usually called kulam or barang, the latter creating spells that can affect the target if you know their name, have a piece of their hair, can stare at them, etc, while the former is based on allyship with a certain spirits that are or take the shape of insects. Healing witchcraft usually isn’t called that because of negative connotations, and instead is seen as “herbalism”, i.e. the local arbulario, or faith healing. Arbularios will use herbs, but they may also have powerful spirit allies that cast out any unsavory spirits and demonic entities, as well as undo any curses/hexes. Faith healers will have Christian and/or ancestral spirits to guide them in healing the sick and undoing curses/hexes. There is the prevalent belief that people are “born” witches, that either you are born to curse or born to heal and undo curses, and that this is a hereditary gift/affliction that is passed down. Those who are born to curse can learn to channel their gifts away from harming to battle magic for the good of the people, but to not use your powers usually means you will sicken from all the excess energy inside you that burns you up inside. Others have gained the power through making bargains and contracts with spirits, whether ancestral or Christian. You can find some websites on this, but mostly they are in Tagalog.

3) There is also Filipino Wicca and modern Filipino witchcraft. Filipino Wicca is very similar to European-based Wiccan practices except that the deities that are used as Filipino and the Sabbats are slightly different because the seasons in the Philippines are different from Europe. Tony Perez, a professor, artist, and magician who has studied Western forms of magic, also popularized a mix of local Pilipinx witchcraft with his Western influenced magic, and started a group of Spirit Questors, which then logged their adventures of psychic training and spiritwork in a popular book series that you can get in the (Philippines’) National Bookstore. He has also released “grimoires” in Tagalog on Kulam, Tawas, etc.

To learn about local Filipino witchcraft would require being taught in the Philippines, really. Most of it is spiritwork, with emphasis on local herbs that don’t even grow in my region because I’m part of the Pilipinx diaspora. I’ve collected several Tony Perez books and I do like the structure of how his group practically handles hauntings and mediates human-spirit relationships. I’ve collected some important items from Quiapo Market in Manila that can be used in my craft, such as kamangyan (incense from Filipino storax) and coconut husk shavings for cleansing bodies, spaces, energies; stingray tail (to ward off harmful demonic entities as a last resort); tektite (to concentrate energy for healing and spells); anting-anting (amulets of protection and repelling harmful entities), and various colourful candles for spells.

I’m hoping I get more free time in the future to write a monthly article on what I’ve gathered over the years from Pilipinx witchcraft, and to talk about it’s 3 main components: 1) using, building, and maintaining your own energy and powers for “the work”, 2) harmonious human-spirit relations, and 3) herbalism.

- anitoanum

Changelings (Chronicles of Darkness)

In folklore, changelings are children that have been taken by fairies and have had a  cheap imitation left in their place. Both Pathfinder and Eberron play homage to this classic storytelling device with their versions of changelings, albeit in different ways.  It is the Chronicles of Darkness that cleave the closest to the original changeling stories.

The changelings of Chronicles are one and all abductees,  humans that have been plucked out of their lives and taken to Arcadia, the land of the True Fae. Sometimes a replacement, called a fetch,  is left in their place so that no one realizes they were ever taken. Other times, they just vanish and become another police record where the trail goes cold.  

Being taken to Arcadia warps the changeling in both body and soul. Changelings can be used to represent almost any creature from legend or myth,  including modern urban legends of aliens (and by the by, H.R. Giger is listed as one of the inspirations in the new edition).  I think this is one of the reasons why Changeling became so popular, along with Beast: the Primordial,  Changeling is probably the most flexible game line in the types of stories that it can tell. I know that personally,  while I use changeling for stories in Europe that relate to Arthurian legend,  I’ve also used them to represent jinn in the Middle East, Oni in Japan, and the Dreamtime in Australia.  That is a lot of ground for a game to cover and none of it feels forced.

The magic of changelings is drawn from dreams and emotions. Symbolism also plays a heavy role in the life of the changeling,  and they wield it both as a shield and as a sword.  Of course,  you couldn’t have stories about fairies without also having contracts and bargains involved. Changelings can wheel and deal with the best of them, and when you’re able to barter with something like muddy water, angry bears, or electrical power, you can always trust to have an ace up your sleeve.

Resonant themes also drive Changeling.  In the first edition,  the primary theme was madness and the difficulty that people can have distinguishing reality from fantasy.  This is changing in the second edition,  both out of respect for those that struggle with mental health issues and to open up new storytelling options.  Now the theme is broader,  focusing on all forms of trauma and recovery.  I can say with confidence that this is going to be one heck of a good game,  because while it isn’t out yet, its developers have been very generous with providing previews. Having struggled with posttraumatic stress myself for over a decade off and on,  I know they have hit the sweet spot between making a great game, being respectful of the lives of people that have to deal with trauma every day, and accurately depicting what it feels like to kick its ass in the end.  So pull up a chair, roll up your changeling and ask yourself, what would you be willing to do to rebuild your life when it has been taken from you?

  • One of the greatest advantages of the Changelings is their ability to use fairy magic to make bargains and contracts with the forces of the world around them. Most of the Lost barter with things like wind, water, or stars, but inventive Changelings can make pacts in a different way. What powers could a scientifically minded Changeling gain by making a Goblin  Vow with cancer, HIV, gamma radiation, or DNA?
  • The Lost of Washington DC have a dilemma. New Changelings are walking out of the Hedge every day, and their mein all have the same theme; American Presidents.  A good number of these changelings know that they were abducted for some quality that the Gentry believes they shared with the president whose face they now wear. Some of them claim to be the genuine article, though. What would it mean for JFK or Lincoln to of returned from the dead? What if Clinton or Nixon was a Fetch when their presidencies ended? The Freehold isn’t sure they want to find out.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons scare of the 1980s  was mostly just hot air blown by people who were afraid of anyone who was different from them. Mostly. In the Lake Geneva, one of the Others stalked the Hedge in the 80s, claiming the poor souls whose tales of adventure is found enthralling. The True Fae  He eventually moved on to other locales, and in a world that has become increasingly accepting of all types of games as part of popular culture, its hunting ground has become vast indeed.

“Here’s the deal. You can keep your soul but you have to be my romantic partner.” The protagonist swallowed hard, looking down at the offered hand.


The half smile hardened. “Or I take your soul and fulfill the contract you had already bargained for. What’s wrong? Suddenly afraid of dealing with the big bad demon?”

The protagonist struggled for an answer.

okay before someone makes the reach if any of y’all think gillian has any influence over which writers they hire you’re like completely incorrect like first off chris carter flat-out wouldn’t listen, she can’t use that as a contract-based bargaining chip because that’s already been signed, she’s got to show up regardlessly…like showing public disdain is probably her biggest power with this whole situation and if anyone’s like “wow! but she SHOULD HAVE DONE SO MUCH BETTER” then maybe like go outside for once

Consent and Slavery in Akielos and Vere

A somewhat scattered discussion of the fact that both are heroes come from cultures where consent is barely even a thing.

Please note that I am approaching this subject as a big fan of the books. I’m happy to engage with other fans, but if you strongly dislike the books, we really have nothing to say to each other. Also note, I’ve only read the trilogy once, and none of the short stories as yet! So I’m open to correction regarding plot points I’ve forgotten, quotes I’ve misremembered, etc.


For all that we mostly see the horrors of slavery through Damen’s eyes in Vere, it seems to only be Akielos and the culturally similar Patras – the “good guys,” from Damen’s standpoint – that practice slavery as such. The Veretian court enforces the servitude of those given to them as slaves, but are obviously unaccustomed to them. This is even a plot point; Damen struggles to ensure good treatment for his countrymen, whose deeply-entrained obedience to all commands is wildly abused by the Veretians, who clearly find it a novelty.

The “pets” of Vere are technically not slaves at all, but contracted sex workers. The difference is academic in some cases—particularly that of Nicaise, who is far below any decent age of consent and has already been a pet for some time—but pets’ possession of their contracts does give them some control over their own fates. This is seen in action in the character of Ancel, a pet who seeks to ingratiate himself with men more powerful than his current master, in hopes of persuading one of them to take his contract, and thus move himself up in the world.

Keep reading

Why a lot of NBA players are about to start making salaries previously unheard of in sports

During the 2016-17 season, LeBron James was the only player in the NBA with a salary of $30 million or more. Not only is the number of players making $30 million about to grow, but a bunch of players are soon going to sign contracts that will include salaries nearing $50 million.

Take Stephen Curry. This past season he made $12.1 million, a salary smaller than 81 other players. But Curry’s bargain contract is now up and under the new collective bargaining agreement, he is eligible for a contract worth approximately $203 million over five years. While his salary would be close to $35 million in the first season, it would gradually increase and reach approximately $47 million in Year 5.

This new world order of NBA contracts is due to the skyrocketing NBA salary cap. Thanks to big bumps in television revenue, the cap has more than doubled in 12 years and jumped nearly 30% just in the last two seasons, to a projected $99 million next season. 

(Diana Yukari/Business Insider)

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