A Long List of Ways to Spiritually Protect Yourself

(Updated from this old list here.)

Shielding is a practice entirely built on your intention–if you want an eternal shield, you can have it. If you believe in your shield, it will be there. There are many ways that are incredibly powerful with just the slightest trust and a little bit of practice. As soon as possible, start to practice shielding and methods of spiritual protection, since practice, along with your intention, will create the most powerful shields. 

Also, you can never shield to much. It’s amazing and very empowering to have layer upon layer of shielding, and the energy and time you put into shielding will really save you a lot of energy and time in the future. Even just walking around, through crowds, cities, etc, drains your energy–negative energy is everywhere, and consciously seeking only the energy for your best and highest good will really, truly, and completely empower you. 

You can shield from anything and everything, just make sure to allow in things for your “best and highest interest/good.” ShCast every shield with this affirmation. This allows what people would consider “negative” emotions to still come through, so you can live a balanced life, since not all emotions that are considered negative actually are. This affirmation effectively only allows things that raise or balance your vibration, and help you to spiritually evolve. It won’t cut you off from anything necessary. Shields themselves will never overwhelm or smother you, since they are meant solely for your needs and will always let in positive energy. Here are some simple methods to begin shielding, but you can always adopt them with your own needs and intentions! Do what works for you, just make sure to shield when practicing spirit or energy work of any sort. 

Robe of White Light:

  • Focus for a moment on calming yourself, and once you have a clear mind, imagine a nice fluffy robe around you (I always imagine one like in the game Journey) made of white and protective light. This is the universe’s energy, and nothing ill can penetrate it once it is surrounding you.
  • It is recommended to repeat once or twice a day to maintain the shielding.
  • You can also use the affirmation of “I call upon a robe of loving and protective white light, knowing that it will protect me from all energy not in my highest interest. This robe protects me with the power of the Universe/Source/God.”

Guardian Protection:

  • Ask your guardian spirits (either aloud or through your mind) to protect you.
  • Always command that the guardians who help that they “come in light.” And if not, say they must leave. You don’t even have to know their name, but if they aren’t here to help, then they shouldn’t be around you. So just command this and all with ill intentions will be forced to leave.
  • Call on them for a need by need basis.

Auric Hardening:

  • Imagine your aura (trust whatever color you see in your mind’s eye), and then imagine it hardening, like it’s calcifying around you. It can get as hard as a rock, or like armor.
  • This can sometimes push away any energy exchanges, so you could feel more distant from positive interactions too. So, it’s best used when a threat is around
  • Usually lasts between 4 hours-2 days, depending on the strength of your intention.

Sigil warding:

  • Draw with a pen, marker, or with the tip of your finger (if you don’t need visible lines) a sigil with the intention of protecting yourself. A sigil is most basically an energetic line (or series of them) with an intention. The lines hold the energy and magnify the intention.
  • Here are examples
  • A post on sigil crafting

Shielding with Intention and the Universe:

  • Calm yourself with a short breathing meditation, then focus on what you intend to shield-yourself, another, or a place.
  • Imagine casting a ball of light towards the designated target, with the intention of allowing the Universe/Source to channel through you and shield whatever you intend to.
  • Just watch and observe as the shield is built, knowing that it is fully fueled by the energy of the Universe and will stay there, and stay strong, until the shield is released consciously by you.
  • You can specify this shield for certain purposes, like to only keep a spirit out, or to keep all negative spirits out.

Reiki Shielding and Protection:

  • In Usui Reiki, there is a technique your Reiki Masters should have taught you about warding and cleansing the room in white light. Channel Reiki energy to do this.
  • If you are attuned to Reiki II, you should know the 1st symbol and that it can be used to stop all energy that is not in your highest good from coming towards you, working as an effective shield when the symbol is called on.
  • You need to be properly attuned to Reiki for this.

Bubble shielding:

  • Similar to the white light or shielding with intention, but focusing on making and empowering a bubble around you.
  • Replenish this as often as possible, since this is dependent on your own care.
  • Can be in an oval or a sphere shape. If this is hard to get a hang of, then try just fitting it a couple inches away from your body, similar to auric hardening.

Waterfall shielding:

  • A bubble shield with the intention of existing on top of an underneath bubble shield. 
  • Focus on this shield and set the intention of having it move around like a waterfall. This way, someone sending negative energy has a very small chance of hitting the same place twice.

Elemental shielding:

All of these are built with a specific intention and visualization of the shield. Time around such element used will strengthen the shield, or a conscious meditation to draw the energy towards you and the shield.

  • Fire shield: Envision burning fire, that will destroy all negative energy/energy not for your highest good, when it tries to enter your energetic space.
  • Water shield: Similar to the waterfall shield, but with the visual of actual water flowing that can wash away all negative debris or toxicity clinging to any form of bubble shield underneath it. 
  • Earth shielding: This one can block off positive energy too, since it works more like a layer of earth around the person. Though, it can also be envisioned to only grow/manifest around you in times of need or when you’re being attacked or faced with negative energy. It can also block your third eye from seeing outside. Earth shielding can also work as a means of grounding you, which doesn’t have negative effects (as long as you don’t neglect your upper chakras). If you ground yourself to the earth, and your are harmed or shaken by negative energy, you can replenish your energy from the earth.
  • Air shielding: Envision a fast current of air around you that sweeps away all negative energy or malevolent beings.
  • Light shielding: A bright white light that totally purifies all energy that contacts it, similar to the robe of white light. Different colored lights can work too, but they all have specific purposes that you should research first.
  • Ether shielding: Sometimes this works like a portal, transporting all malevolent energy to another place in the universe. Just make sure to set the intention that things in your best and highest interest aren’t affected, and that the travel won’t severely harm anyone who is transported by the portal (since sometimes negative energy can come from just someone in a bad mood). 
  • Chaos shielding: Not always considered an element, but with the idea of scattering any negative energy–the sudden increase in entropy raises the vibration to something more positive.
  • Shadow and smoke shielding: Imagining either element around you, mostly for cloaking and making your energy less obvious. This is great for astral projection and spiritual travel when you don’t want to be noticed. You can infuse the energy with an intention of how you want to be perceived, like if a threat comes, then you can suddenly raise this shield and make the smoke cause you to seem dangerous, scaring off the opponent. 

Halo shielding:

  • Imagine a series of halos that spin quickly around you, moving to knock away negative energy if it approaches your space. This can be inside or outside of a bubble or light based shield.

Protection charms and enchanted objects:

  • Work made by you, when you have a lot of experience, in creating a sigil charm or enchanted object meant for protection. This can also be from someone who has passed down a family protection amulet (just research it and bathe it in light to clear any possible negative energy on it), or from an experienced energy worker making protection amulets, charms, or objects. 
  • Some are religiously charged, like crosses, pentagrams, etc. If this matches your belief, your belief will empower it. 

As Minnesota measles outbreak rages, anti-vaxxers continue to target Somali community

  • As health department officials work to contain Minnesota’s largest measles outbreak in decades, the most heavily affected population is contending with continued targeting from anti-vaccination advocates.
  • As of Monday, 51 people have been sickened in the current outbreak, 46 of whom are members of the Somali community.
  • As Mic reported in April, the Somali population in Minneapolis and St. Paul has been preyed upon by so-called “anti-vaxxers” spreading misinformation about vaccines and autism — and its an ongoing issue.
  • On April 30, some “vaccine-concerned groups” held an in-person “Community Resource Meeting” that seemed designed to specifically target the Somali-American and Somali immigrant population.
  • But as the measles outbreak rages, the latest updates suggest a developing community pushback against misinformation. Read more (5/11/17)

follow @the-future-now

Marauders Headcanons #9

Some Sirius Black things:

-he was an absolute asshole. He laughed at kids who were different, he applauded James when he hexed random people for no reason, he designed pranks specifically to target people he didn’t like, often time for no good reason.

-After he was sorted into Gryffindor, his cousins wouldn’t talk to him. Every family event, every holiday, every time they passed in the halls, he would have to deal with their jeering stairs and snide comments as they talked like he wasn’t even in the room.

-The summer after first year, he went to the Potter’s about a month into vacation. He accidentally broke a window playing quidditch with James, and when Euphemia came to see what had happened, Sirius shook so badly and apologized so rapidly that, in that moment, Euphemia knew, and she vowed to herself that he would never have to spend another holiday with the Blacks.

-In second year, he had to watch as his little brother sat, shaking, with the sorting hat on his head for three agonizing minutes. He had to watch as the hat cried “Slytherin!” He had to watch as his brother walked to the Slytherin table, watch as the cousin complimented and applauded him, all while shooting dirty looks Sirius’ way.

-In third year, he found Remus crying in a broom cupboard on the fourth floor. He didn’t ask any questions, just climbed in with him and listened to him sob.

-In third year, he heard Regulus telling a slytherin girl that Sirius was not his brother. Sirius didn’t speak to anyone for a week.

-In third year, they received a lecture at the start of term about Animagi from the DADA professor and Professor McGonagall. Sirius was the one who suggested, quietly so that Remus could not hear, that they become Animagus to help Remus during the full moon.

-The summer after third year, his mother wouldn’t let him go to the Potter’s. When he returned to Hogwarts, he venomously told James that he would die before going back to that house. He wasn’t joking.

-In fourth year, he attempted to execute The Prank in October, and spent the rest of the year trying to make up for it. Remus didn’t speak to him at all until after Easter holiday, when the other three remained silent for a month while holding the leaf of a mandrake in their mouth as part of the animagi process, something Remus didn’t know about. When asked why he wasn’t taking a vow of silence, too, Remus looked directly at Sirius and said, “Because I’m not a complete idiot” with so much quiet anger Sirius thought his heart might burst.

-At the end of fourth year, Sirius finally broke down crying in the dormitory. Remus kicked James and Peter out. No one really knows what happened that night aside from Remus and Sirius, but the next morning it was as if the tension of the rest of the year had never happened.

-At Christmas of fifth year, all four Marauders stayed at Hogwarts. Late one night, Sirius came out to the group as gay. That same night they talked about crushes. James, of course, was infatuated with Lily, Peter admitted that he had been crushing on Mary Macdonald since the end of fourth year when he had kissed her in the girl’s bathroom. Remus was oddly silent on the topic, and Sirius found himself hiding a blush.

-Summer after fifth year, Sirius’ parents picked him up at the Hogwarts station. The next time Sirius saw the marauders, he appeared on the front step with all of his hair cursed off, bloody and beaten half to death. He collapsed almost as soon as James opened the door, and when he regained consciousness Fleamount and Euphemia called him their son and told him, in no uncertain terms, that he would never, ever go back to the Black house.

-The next day Remus and his parents came to the Potter’s. As soon as Remus saw Sirius he threw himself at the boy and kissed him, and that was how the marauders found out that they had been secretly dating for a little less than a year.

-In sixth year James stopped laughing when Sirius hexed people in the hallways or made a second year wet himself in fear. One night after Sirius had cursed a fourth year hufflepuff and laughed about it, James angrily told him that he may be a potter now, but he was sure acting like a Black. That was the last time Sirius ever cursed or hexed anyone for the fun of it.

-Towards the end of seventh year, James and Sirius got a call from St. Mungos. Euphemia was ill, and the two boys barely arrived before Euphemia died. James took it hard, and Sirius took it harder. When Fleamount died shortly after James and Lily’s wedding, Sirius felt as though he had lost the only family he had.

A Ranger’s Arsenal: Arrowheads

The pointy end of an Arrow is the most functional part!

The Arrowhead plays the largest role in determining an Arrow’s purpose…

Some arrows may simply use a sharpened tip of the solid shaft, but it is far more common for separate arrowheads to be made, usually from metal, horn, or some other materials…

Arrowheads are usually separated by function:

Keep reading

Molecule of the Day - Serotonin

Serotonin (C10H12N2O), also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), is a white solid that is slightly soluble in water under standard conditions. Like dopamine (Day 44), it is an important neurotransmitter that regulates vital processes in the body.

In the brain, serotonin is largely produced in the neurons of raphe nuclei, which are found in the brain stem. It regulates perceptions of resource availability, which can affect bodily functions and sensations such as mood, appetite, digestion, and sleep.

Serotonin is released from the presynaptic neuron into the synaptic cleft via the fusing of serotonin-containing vesicles with the presynaptic membrane. It then binds to 5-HT receptors on the postsynaptic membrane. 

There are many different subtypes of 5-HT receptors, and each produces a different cellular response upon binding of serotonin. For example, the binding of serotonin to 5-HT2A receptors results in psychedelia, whereas the binding of serotonin to 5-HT3 receptors results in vomiting.

Due to the diverse functions of serotonin in different cells, many classes of drugs, such as anxiolytics, antidepressants, antiemetics, and antimigraine drugs, are designed to target the serotonin system. 

For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft) inhibit the reuptake of serotonin into the presynaptic membrane from the synaptic cleft. This increases the concentration of serotonin in the synaptic cleft, and the increased binding of serotonin to the 5-HT receptors. This results in an anxiolytic, antidepressive effect.

On the other hand, drugs such as ondansetron act on the receptors themselves; they act as antagonists to 5-HT3 receptors, preventing serotonin from binding to it. As a result, there is a reduction in nausea and vomiting, which are common side-effects in chemotherapy. Hence, such antiemetics are useful and are often co-administered together with chemotherapeutic agents.

In the human body, tryptophan is first hydroxylated via the action of tryptophan hydroxylase to produce 5-hydroxytryptophan, which is then decarboxylated by aromatic amino acid decarboxylase to produce serotonin.

pleasespellchimerical  asked:

Hey friends! I just wanted to say that your posts on spies have been so useful to me. Anyway, I have a character who is an ex-soldier (infantry). For various plot reasons, he needs to infiltrate a very secretive group and gain info on them. He has a mentor, who is an intel agent. Question is: what would a crash course on infiltration look like? They don't have much time, and my solider is a very straightforward person and has some problems with deception. What does he need to know?

Well, one thing he really should not know, under any circumstances, is that his handler is setting him up as a sacrificial lamb for the other guys to capture and interrogate. A “spy,” who is bad at deception, and very straightforward? He has “doomed spy,” written all over him.

The Doomed Spy is a concept from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. This is a spy you send in, explicitly, to be captured. They don’t know it, but their real job is to feed misinformation to the enemy, either through shoddy tradecraft or under direct interrogation. This could range from something as simple as a false flag operation, where the spy is told and believes they’re working for one nation or faction, when in fact, that entity has no knowledge of their actions, and their handler’s loyalties actually belong elsewhere. Or, it could be as complex as an entire operation, designed to provide the targets with false intelligence.

So, your ex-soldier, who’s bad at lying, and thinks he’s working for one group is, in fact, working for a completely different group that wants to provoke action against the people he’s (probably) loyal to. This may go a step further, where his handler recruits him, specifically because of his prior ties to the faction the handler claims to represent.

Something else that’s kind of important to understand about intelligence work, or at least direct human intelligence work. As a spy, your job isn’t to sneak into an office, or even talk your way in. Sometimes you need to be there personally, but most of the time, you can get someone else to do it for you. Why sneak into an office building, when you can pay a member of the cleaning staff to pass paperwork to the trash, where you can get someone to pick it up later?

At that point, there isn’t a lot of reason to train assets (the people a spy uses as intermediaries to get their information). In theory, they already know how to act in their native environment.

Getting someone into some kind of secret society is going to be a lot trickier, but at that point, your spy’s best cover may be going in as themselves. Okay, up front, this one’s a kind of weird situation, so let’s parse apart how this works.

Normally, a spy’s best option is to get other people to work for them. It creates a layer of insulation, so if something goes wrong, they can get out, and take any intelligence they’ve obtained, before the authorities manage to close in on them. This doesn’t always work, but, the separation between an actual spy and their assets is vital to effective tradecraft. It also means that the spy’s identity isn’t immediately known. There’s a huge jump between walking into a place, and having your face on security cameras, and getting some poor schmuck no one knows to do it for you. This also leads to a paradoxical situation with intelligence work. Spies tend to deal with their most immediately critical cases early in their careers, when no one knows who they are, and then spend the rest of their career working on much less important cases, when getting exposed would be less harmful.

What we have here sounds like a slightly different situation that doesn’t really pop up in the real world, where a spy’s anonymity wouldn’t work.

If we’re talking about some supervillain’s secret society, where they already have intelligence gathering on par with some nations, and have moles in your spy’s intelligence agency, then, as I said a minute ago, the answer may be to go in, “as themselves.”

With one exception, you wouldn’t likely see this in the real world, but a veteran spy, looking to infiltrate some kind of Illuminati/Majestic 12 style, “secret rulers of the world,” type conspiracy, may be better off poking them with a stick and asking for a job. They’d already know who the spy is, there’s no real point in pretending to be someone else. Their own skill set wouldn’t raise any questions when that’s who they’re supposed to be anyway. Once they’re in, they’d probably act as a sleeper (an agent who does not engage in any intelligence activities) to build up their cover, increase their access, and only act when they have the opportunity to fully achieve their goals, (which could take years).

Just to be clear, you could shove an entire series in here, about a spy who infiltrated some conspiracy, and is building their cover and working their way up through the ranks while wrestling with their ethics and what they’re having to do.

In that context, it’s possible they may pick an ex-soldier off the street to send in, in order to get the organization’s people knocking on their door.

In general, you’re not going to see this with national intelligence services, because no one trusts defectors. But, if you’re talking about an extra-national service, they don’t really have the option of producing their own talent (at least, not at first). They’d also be more likely to poach members of their host nations’ intelligence communities.

The one real world example where you might see a spy walking in the front door without a cover would be in dealing with businesses. Companies who are concerned about corporate espionage have a real incentive to hire former intelligence officers as security consultants and advisors. At the same time, this isn’t an extremely likely outcome for a couple reasons. First, private sector jobs like this are a very lucrative gig for ex-civil servants, meaning going after one would be biting the hand that (would have) fed them. Second, they’d still be in competition with other ex-intelligence officers for the position, people with the same kinds of training they received, which would make getting in tricky. Finally, when it comes to the business world, you rarely need a spy; it’s overkill. Most of the things a business gets into would be better suited for investigation by normal law enforcement channels.

Come up with a situation where a spy would need to tear into a company’s actions, and they’d benefit more from directing police action against it, rather than going in directly.

In all of this, I don’t think I’ve answered the direct question. The kind of videogame, sneaking in through the vents, infiltration approach doesn’t (usually) work. Infiltration, in the real world, is more about walking in and looking like you belong there, not hiding behind crates and climbing the drainpipes. (Somewhat obviously, this isn’t going to work out for your straightforward ex-soldier who has hang-ups about lying to people.) The biggest lessons are in social engineering. Learning how people function (psychologically), and exploiting inherent vulnerabilities in “normal” social structures.

Social Engineering often gets broken down into individual tricks, that play with expectations, for example: using a business card as false identification when making an introduction. This would never get you through a security checkpoint, but it might get you in the building to talk with someone, and give you access to information they normally wouldn’t.

As a gestalt, social engineering is fairly complex, but the basics are looking for ways to get people to give you information they really shouldn’t, by making them think you’re someone who is supposed to have access.

But, that’s what a spy’s job is, getting people to tell you things they shouldn’t, usually by misdirection and deception.

- Starke

Two films that come to mind in this specific genre which may be worth watching are The Recruit, and Spy Game.

The Recruit (2003) focuses on a programmer (Colin Farrell) who is tapped by the CIA to become an agent, and the film spends a lot of time working through the training of prospective CIA Officers.

Spy Game (2001) focuses on a retiring CIA Officer (Robert Redford) discussing the training and career of his protégée (Brad Pitt). To a degree, this is probably the most on point to what you’re after, so if you’ve never seen it, it should be part of your lit review.

As always, Burn Notice’s, “when you’re a spy” routines may also be useful. The show spends a lot of time on social engineering (though it rarely uses the term). The discussions on how people normally behave, and how to work around, or exploit, their expectations are what you’re looking for.

You may also want to pick up and watch Ronin (1998). This is more about veteran spies interacting, but it has a very slick approach to tradecraft that may be useful.

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watching an increasing number of teen girls become vegetarians/vegans while living at the school i work at, i’ve become concerned about how the vegetarian/vegan activism seems specifically designed to target women. it is firstly a rhetoric of guilt, and women are socialized our whole lives to feel guilt and to take on burdens, to bear responsibility and become martyrs for others. vegan/vegetarian activism plays right into this: women are perfectly primed to feel guilt about consuming animals, and to feel like they are properly prostrating themselves by resisting meat

secondly, that women are socialized to view eating as an indulgence and their bodies as something that must be denied, made smaller, minimized. disordered eating is so common in women as to be almost universal, and girls who already try to go as long as possible without eating, to eat as little as possible when they do, are going to be especially susceptible to the vegan/vegetarian rhetoric that says eating meat is an indulgence, that eating meat is selfish and not something the body really needs–exactly what women already think about food–that it isn’t something they really need, that their body wants these things and if they are strong, they will deny it.

the school does not have good vegetarian options (and of course, precious few things for vegans) and they still choose to become vegetarian/vegan in the middle of term, knowing this. they choose because they already wish to eat less, they say it’s about “getting healthy” or because “the food’s so bad anyway’s so what difference does it make.” they choose because it feels good to be validated in what you’ve always suspected–that your body doesn’t deserve to feel full, that you’d be happier if you had more willpower, that your body is wrong and if only you could finally make this change, you’d be worthy.

these girls’ health is at stake. i see lots of radfem proselytizing about veganism/vegetarianism, and very little discourse about how veganism can harm girls’ health, exactly during a time in life when their body needs adequate nutrition the most. yes, yes, you’ll say veganism can be healthy if you do it properly. but the majority of people don’t have the time/money/resources to do it properly. these girls eating nothing but white rice for dinner are not doing it properly. but the vegan activist still congratulates them on their moral superiority, and says well, at least no animals had to die. 

women are more important than animals. women’s health is more important than animals. how many teen girls using veganism as an excuse to punish their bodies does it take before we’re allowed to admit that. 

The bandit/irregular/soldier loop

[This should have been a rigourous text full of notes and citations and names and dates, and possibly maps. Instead, it’s a stream of consciousness. I apologise for the mess.]

It occurred to me that the history of outlaws and assorted glorified bandits, and the history of knights and assorted glorified warriors, have A LOT more in common than either I or @we-are-knight would like to admit.

Like, there’s a very common pattern all over the world, where brigands who were used to a) targetting whomever they pleased, and b) having a price on their head, would get sanctioned by a state authority of some sort to focus on specific targets from now on, according to said state’s interests. At which point the brigands can be called irregulars or mercenaries or allies (diplomacy permitting, because it’s entirely possible to arrange the whole thing in secrecy instead), although they’re doing the exact same thing they did before, only to different people. And the state stops bothering them, because they’re useful.

But now they have bargaining power, and they might ask for more than just amnesty for their previous crimes and immunity for their present ones - which the state probably doesn’t consider crimes at all. They could ask and get funding, rewards, lands, offices, or titles if available. And the more powerful and respectable they become, the more they become competitive to the state’s authority, and eventually the state will have to either integrate them completely (do you want knights? because that’s how we get knights), or go “I’ve made a huge mistake” and turn them back to outlaws and start chasing them all over again.

But it’s not necessarily a straight trajectory, it’s a tangled mess. For one, “the state” is a VERY relative term. Even when the brigands operate within a single sovereign entity, an empire or a kingdom or a republic, there are local lords, landowners and officials who can offer or withdraw patronage independently from central authority, and there are court and/or parliament politicians with their own agendas and personal interests to promote, and religious institutions with land and money and their own interests. Any and all of these could change the brigand’s status back and forth, depending on the power balance between them.

Add borders into the mix, especially fluid borders that move due to war and politics, and it’s a complete toss-up whether the brigand will be perceived as a bandit, a mercenary, a rebel, an outlaw, an irregular, a soldier, an elite warrior, or a revolutionary. (From South America all the way to China, bandits have been instrumental in overthrowing regimes.) In periods of instability, it could change from day to day, or depending on who you ask. Place the action at sea, and you have a very similar mess, except now the terminology also fluctuates between pirate/privateer/corsair and the like.

The opposite trajectory is also a common pattern, which would explode every time a prolonged conflict ended. Basically, when you hire a bunch of irregulars to do your dirty work for you, for wages and/or loot, and the conflict goes on and on until your side wins (or retreats but with survivors), and then you tell them “alright, you fought for me, you bled for me, I don’t need you any more, go fuck yourselves”, chances are, they won’t go fuck themselves. They are still armed, and most of them have no property and know no trade. THIS is their trade. If you don’t offer them a nice retirement, they’ll just keep on raiding, and this time they have zero incentive to stick to designated targets. Aaaand you call them brigands again.

It doesn’t have to be irregulars to begin with. Levies can easily end up like that after a vicious war (that’s what the incredible Broken Men speech is all about in A Feast For Crows), and even standing armies. But regardless of where they came from originally (a peaceful farm, an outlaw hideout, or the barracks), by that point their profession is raiding. If conditions permit it, they can organise and seek employment “officially”, and do somebody else’s dirty work. And then you call them mercenaries, free companies, condottieri.

…And it’s still the same people, doing the same thing they did yesterday. At some point you have to wonder why the hell we need all those terms at all. Brigand, irregular, mercenary, soldier, it’s one and the same if you ask the victims. But nobody ever asks the victims. Nobody gives a flying fuck about the victims, unless they can be framed as “our” victims and there’s a propaganda potential to be exploited. It is known.

Quick and Dirty Deconstruction of the Outlaw Bandit

Myth: Outlaws are INDEPENDENT. They stand against state authority, and they fight the authorities, and they’re a beacon of freedom despite their shady practices. So common folk support them, especially when the government is unpopular.

Reality: Almost always outlaws have a patron of some sort. Could be local, could be central, either way what they do is fight AN authority, on behalf of or in (mutually opportunistic) cooperation with ANOTHER authority. Common folk do support them when they fight unpopular rulers, but also because they have no other choice. When outlaws are especially successful, then for all intents and purposes they BECOME authority. That’s not freedom. That’s textbook “here comes the new boss, same as the old boss”.

Myth: Outlaws steal from the rich and give to the poor.

Reality: That’s usually true, but it’s not for a noble cause. It’s because the rich have money and the poor don’t, and because the poor can provide excellent shelter from the authorities, so it’s useful to be on their good side. Plus, they’re very easy to please, since small amounts of money are a big deal for them. Even so, it’s not always true. Sometimes outlaws pillage indiscriminately. And sometimes, to get over with the ugliest side of this, they do the exact opposite: the systematic persecution of minorities is often conducted by bands of outlaws sanctioned or tolerated by the state for that reason. (Of course, other times it’s just armies…)

Quick and Dirty Deconstruction of the Noble Knight

The word chivalry is derived from the French cheval, for horse. By a staggering coincidence, so is the word chevauchée.

Magical Metals: The Basics

I’ve gotten a few requests for a pared-down version of some of the magical properties of common metals. 

Aluminum: Invisibility, protection (though not very useful against metal-based magic), good for magic requires a high strength-to-weight ratio

Brass and Bronze: Auditory magic, music, communication, protection from wear-and-tear, resilience, opening doors

Copper: Health and healing, energy, warmth, utility, protection, change, protection, safeguarding and transmission of essentials

Gold: Beauty, glamour, appearances, wealth, love, overcoming addiction

Iron and Mild Steel: Protection, permanence, opposition to nature, urban magic, influence, destruction, curses, strength, blood magic, health

*Lead: (Caution, Lead is quite toxic. Do not touch it. in case of contact or possibility of contamination, wash the affected area rigorously): Curses, hexes and maledictions, and (maybe) their reversal 

Magnesium: Impermanence, fire magic, energy 

Pewter and Tin: Protection from wear-and-tear, home and family, every-day magic, utilitarian magic, illumination, knowledge and divination, softening

Silver: Boosting energy, warding illness (but not necessarily healing), good price-to-beauty ratio, domesticity, offensive magic (like the silver bullet)

Stainless Steel, Chrome, and Nickel: Permanence, glamour, greed, urban magic, brittleness, the home, opening doors

Zinc: Protection (Specifically from light-based magic or being seen in divination), warding, invisibility

Of course, in my practice, these properties change drastically according to how the metals are used. I’m a strong believer in ‘active’ casting- that is to say that i don’t just put things in a circle and speak a few words. My magic is typically cast by altering the objects or materials in some way. A hand-forged iron nail makes a better taglock when designated as a target during its making than a store-bought nail with a metaphysical nametag. Just my two cents. 

If I missed anything, hmu

glouphoeup  asked:

Hi! Can you recommend a concealer if I don't wear foundation? Just to cover dark circles and small blemishes:)

Although I’m a fan of gorgeous, beautiful natural makeup and stunning healthy skin you may be surprised to learn that I’m not a huge fan of skipping foundation when it comes to base makeup. Brows, eyes and lips done, but nothing on the face whatsoever? Love it. Blush, bronzer, contour and no foundation? I don’t love it. Although I will do my best to give you recommendations without my bias for no foundation style makeup it may not be easy.

Skip “foundation”, but don’t skip a “base”

When I say this what I mean is you can skip your regular full coverage foundation, but still put *something* on the skin. I find that concealer doesn’t sit well on bare skin (plus, you should be wearing sunscreen still!)  so I prefer to apply a very light layer of a tinted primer, tinted moisturiser or BB Cream. Products I like for this include: BareMinerals Complexion Rescue (bonus it has a sun protection factor (spf) of 30) TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturiser (has SPF of 18)

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hey Sam, I'm trying to delete my LJ, but when I log in it asks me to accept the new terms of service. When I hit "not now" it automatically logs me out. I'm not really sure what to do here. :( Is there a way to delete without agreeing? Or do I have to bite the bullet and hope deleting afterwards will do the trick?

It depends on what you mean by “do the trick”, I guess. 

You have to accept the TOS in order to delete. There’s no way around it. Possibly if you use a posting client like Semagic, which was already logged in, you could go through Semagic’s archive and delete each post by hand. I don’t use Semagic anymore so I don’t know. But basically, yes, you have to accept the TOS in order to delete. You also have to accept it in order to give Dreamwidth access to it to back it up. 

But the TOS is only legitimate on Livejournal, so it’s not like you’re making some kind of deal with the government or something. I’m not a lawyer so I can’t speak to whether Russian law is even applicable to non-Russian users in this case, and I also can’t speak to whether the TOS is voided by the deletion of your journal. (I’m assuming you’re not Russian.) I know that when I accepted the TOS in order to be able to log Dreamwidth in for backing up my journal, nothing happened other than I got access to my blog back. 

I guess the question is: what are you concerned accepting the TOS will cause to happen? Are you concerned you’ll be put on some kind of registry? The TOS has just been put in place, but a Russian-based company has owned LJ for years – if they were going to put people on a registry for posting stuff against Russia’s censorship rules, it’s already happened. Also, they’re not looking for small fry; this kind of stuff is meant to justify the arrest of people who are agitating against the state or promoting activities the state disagrees with. LJ was formerly (may be still, I don’t keep up) a huge platform for Russian political activists. This is aimed at them, not at fandom. Fandom needs to GTFO of LJ for sure, but fans just being fans, that’s not the target (yet). The idea is to get out before we become one. 

Also remember that there are strictures on the TOS itself – most of what is threatened in the legalese only applies if you have more than 3000 hits per day, so the average person probably doesn’t need to worry in the immediate sense (I might, and ohnotheydidnt definitely does, but most people don’t get 3000 hits on their livejournal in a single day). 

Should we still be concerned that LJ is doing this? Absolutely. In political terms, in terms of supporting the Russian people who deal with this bullshit all the time, it’s super worrying and upsetting. In personal terms, in terms of our safety as non-Russian users of the site, I don’t think just accepting the TOS is dangerous, as long as you’re getting off the site shortly thereafter. 

I guess the TLDR is that you have to accept the TOS in order to delete, but there are thousands of people accepting the TOS right now, and we are small fry compared to the people the TOS is actually designed to target. Once you delete, the TOS realistically doesn’t matter anymore as far as I am aware. (Readers feel free to comment or reblog with more nuanced understanding of this situation; remember not to send asks, since I don’t respond to asks sent in response to other asks.) 

So without being an international internet lawyer, my advice is to accept it, go in, back up your journal if you need to, delete it, and then take a deep breath and have a snack. And the next time you read about Russian politics, remember how scared you feel right now and have empathy for people who are struggling to create change there.

Next time you all want to talk shit to me about aces getting their own spaces, I’m just going to point out the fact that I personally pay for an ace-spectrum chat room, and it’s constantly bombarded by non-ace people who post the link to it in sexting chat rooms and post transphobic, acephobic, and racist stuff in there.  That I organized an ace-spectrum skype group that was infiltrated and trolled for nearly an hour today by people who’s profiles indicated they were non-ace LGBT. And no matter how many times we kick them or ban them, they keep finding ways to come back.

These actions are designed specifically to target ace people in their safe space. Many of the aces who are affected are minors. 

I have to have nearly 10 mods appointed in a chat room that typically has less than 25 people in it at any given time because non-ace assholes won’t stay the fuck out of the safe space we’ve created for ourselves. 

So, I don’t want to hear shit about “uwu the aces need their own spaces” because we’ve done that and you aphobic assholes invade them to bully us.

You don’t want us in your spaces, fine, I get it. Just stay the fuck out of ours as well and don’t pretend that the ace community is the only one with shitty people in it. If you want us to clean our house and keep to ourselves, you’ve got to do the same thing.
U.S. military drops 22,000-pound bomb on Islamic State forces in Afghanistan
The bomb has similar effects to a nuclear explosion.

The U.S. military has targeted similar complexes and dropped tens of thousands of bombs in Afghanistan, raising the question of why a bomb of this size was needed Thursday. It was unclear what the GBU-43 strike accomplished, as the bomb is not designed to penetrate hardened targets such a bunkers or cave complexes. A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan did not respond to a query regarding the bomb’s effects on its intended target, an Islamic State tunnel complex in Nangahar province.

Why was the biggest non nuclear bomb ever dropped just dropped

I’ve been nerding out on my own for too long and I reaaally needed to nerd out with someone…. so sorry you’re my designated target  ಠ_ರೃ

So here goes my last late night nerding session!!

Not even my fav’ boy but this cinnamon roll needs so much more love ( ˘ ³˘)♥

part 1 2

Aaa, these are so cute!! ♥♥ I agree, Kentin and his doggo need more love c: thank you so much for sharing these amazing drawings!

I would like to credit you if you have a tumblr (the submission box only showed me an email address) so message me if you have one so I’ll add it here! ^^