empirical mysticism

Attention Tidewater Pagans!

It’s meet-and-greet time! Working once again with the incomparable Deb Foley, I’m putting together a special book-signing event at Mystic Moon in Norfolk, VA.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 18th, likely from 12n - 4pm or thereabouts. Copies of Grovedaughter Witchery, Pestlework, and The Sisters Grimmoire will be available for purchase in the shop, and I will be available for autographs, photos, and to talk shop with my fellow witches.

Please feel free to stop by! Further updates to follow!

For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.
—  Yoda
huffingtonpost.com
Becoming Christian Mystics Again | The Huffington Post

“Albert Einstein was asked toward the end of his life if he had any regrets. He answered: “I wish I had read more of the mystics earlier in my life.” This is a significant confession, coming as it does from one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century, a man who moved beyond the modern science of Newton and ushered in a postmodern science and consciousness.

In the West, the modern age (meaning the 16th to mid-20th centuries) was not only ignorant of, but actually hostile to, mysticism. As Theodore Roszak has put it, “The Enlightenment held mysticism up for ridicule as the worst offense against science and reason.” Still today, both education and religion are often hostile to mysticism. Fundamentalism by definition is antimystical or distorts mysticism, and much of liberal theology and religion is so academic and left-brained that it numbs and ignores the right brain, which is our mystical brain. Seminaries teach few practices to access our mysticism. This is why many find religion so boring — it lacks the adventure and inner exploration that our souls yearn for. As St. John of the Cross said, “Launch out into the deep.”

This launching into the depths — into the deep ocean of the unconscious and of the Great Self, which is connected to all things and to the Creator — often gets stymied by Western religious dogma, guilt trips and institutional churchiness. The mystic gets starved. Patriarchal culture by itself is unable to tap into the deep feminine aspects of Divine Wisdom and Compassion and the heart. But the mystics, male and female, do not present a one-sided reality, as Patriarchy does. The yin/yang, female/male dialectic is alive and well in the mystical tradition. God as Mother is honored along with God as Father. Through this, mystics seek wisdom, not mere knowledge.

The West remains so out of touch with its own mystical tradition that many Westerners seeking mysticism still feel they have to go East to find it. While this can work for many brave and generous individuals, it cannot work for the entire culture. Carl Jung warned us that “we westerners cannot be pirates thieving wisdom from foreign shores that it has taken them centuries to develop as if our own culture was an error outlived.”

Is Western culture an “error outlived”? Or is there wisdom deep within our roots that can be accessed anew and that can give us strength and understanding at this critical time when so much is falling apart the world over, when climate change and destruction of the earth accelerates and so many species are disappearing, while our banking systems and economic belief systems, our forms of education and forms of worship, are failing?

I believe that there is great wisdom in our species and in Western spiritual traditions, but that this needs a new birth and a fresh beginning. As a Westerner I must begin where I stand within my own culture and its traditions. This is where the Christian Mystics come in. We in the West must take these insights into our hearts on a regular basis, allow them to play in the heart, and then take them into our work and citizenship and family and community. This is how all healthy and deep awakenings happen; they begin with the heart and flow out from there.

The crises we find ourselves in as a species require that as a species we shake up all our institutions — including our religious ones — and reinvent them. Change is necessary for our survival, and we often turn to the mystics at critical times like this. Jung said: “Only the mystics bring what is creative to religion itself.” Jesus was a mystic shaking up his religion and the Roman empire; Buddha was a mystic who shook up the prevailing Hinduism of his day; Gandhi was a mystic shaking up Hinduism and challenging the British empire; and Martin Luther King Jr. shook up his tradition and America’s segregationist society. The mystics walk their talk and talk (often in memorable poetic phraseology) their walk.

For instance, this being the season of Earth Day, we might listen to the 12th century Abbess Hildegard of Bingen who was an amazing musician, painter, healer, writer (she wrote 10 books), scientist and poet. She posits an erotic relationship between the Divine and nature when she says: “As the Creator loves his creation, so creation loves the creator. Creation, of course, was fashioned to be adorned, to be showered, to be gifted with the love of the creator. The entire world has been embraced by this kiss.”

Fr. Bede Griffiths was an English Benedictine monk who spent 50 years in India living and building up an ashram that was Christian and, in many respects, Hindu. He wrote a number of books on the coming together of Eastern and Western mysticism. He writes:

“Perhaps this is the deepest impression left by life in India, the sense of the sacred as something pervading the whole order of nature. Every hill and tree and river is holy, and the simplest human acts of eating and drinking, still more of birth and marriage, have all retained their sacred character. … It is there that the West need to learn form the East the sense of the ‘holy,’ of a transcendent mystery which is immanent in everything and which gives an ultimate meaning to life…”

Thomas Berry was an American priest in the Passionist Order who called himself a “geologian.” A student of world religions and of contemporary science, he was a great ecological prophet as is clear in his books, The Dream of the Earth and The Great Work, where he warns of the work we must do to reinvent our educational, economic, political and religious systems if we are to be a sustainable species on this endangered planet. He writes:

“The human venture depends absolutely on this quality of awe and reverence and joy in the Earth and all that lives and grows upon the Earth. … In the end the universe can only be explained in terms of celebration. It is all an exuberant expression of existence itself … A way is opening for each person to receive the total spiritual heritage of the human community as well as the total spiritual heritage of the universe. Within this context the religious antagonisms of the past can be overcome, the particular traditions can be vitalized, and the feeling of presence to a sacred universe can appear once more to dynamize and sustain human affairs.”

Deep down, each one of us is a mystic. When we tap into that energy we become alive again and we give birth. From the creativity that we release is born the prophetic vision and work that we all aspire to realize as our gift to the world. We want to serve in whatever capacity we can. Getting in touch with the mystic inside is the beginning of our deep service.”

Matthew Fox is the author of 28 books including ‘Original Blessing,’ ‘The Reinvention of Work,’ ‘The Hidden Spirituality of Men‘, and most recently ‘Christian Mystics,’ of which this post is an excerpt. Visit Matthew Fox online. 

I mean I don’t know about you guys but my favorite tv show is the one where

Benjamin Linus

Val Savage

Loretha “Cookie” Lyon

Fred Burkle

Carmen De La Pica Morales

Happy Computer

and Jesus

fight to take down baddies such as

Keith Mars

Ed Tucker IAB

Lester Freamon

Douglas Fredericks

an angry calculator

AND AARON BURR!

SIR!

anonymous asked:

Prompts 10, 80 and 182, Kenna and Diavolos? Pretty please 😊😊

Here you go. This one ended up pretty long. 

More than Convenience
By Misha

Disclaimer- I don’t own any of the characters of “The Crown and the Flame”, I’m just borrowing them for a little while and will return them unharmed when I am done, so please don’t sue me.

Author’s Notes- This is the combination of multiple requests. I was asked if I ever intended to do an AU and this was the idea that was floating around in my head, I also two sets of dialogue requests that fit said idea, as well as a request for a Diavolos/Kenna pieces that started out angsty but ended up happy. The request dialogue prompts were “We can’t keep this up forever”, “I’ve wanted this for so long”, “let’s run away together”, and “give me a chance”. This is set in an alternate universe where Queen Livia (Diavolos’s mother) was never killed by Azura’s assassins, but Luther was killed fending off the Iron Empire along with Kenna’s father. Adriana and Livia made an alliance and arranged a betrothal for their children to one day unite the kingdoms. Kenna’s upbringing is the same though, raised at Stormholt, more interested in sword play than queen lessons and Dom is her childhood best friend and confidante and their friendship has blossomed into something more, though they know that they can never be together.

Pairing- Diavolos/Kenna, minor Dom/Kenna

Rating-  More mature than true NSFW. It gets steamy, but not explicit.

Summary- Princess Kenna is initially unhappy about her impending marriage to Prince Diavolos, arranged since she was a child, but as she gets to know her future husband, she begins to think it might not be so bad, after all.

Words- 2831

Kenna took in Dom’s familiar features, his teasing grin and caring eyes and the words she had to say felt like a lump in her throat. She knew that grin would disappear once she told him her news.

“Ok, you’re making this downright easy on me,” he said after a moment stepping back, “what’s wrong?”

Kenna took a deep breath, knowing that she couldn’t put it off any longer. “You know that the delegation from Abanthus arrives today.”

“Yes, the castle has been hustling to get ready,” he commented, “I’m actually surprised you were able to sneak away.”

“I think Mother is being a little more lenient than usual because… Because it’ll be the last time.” Kenna admitted. “The reason for this visit is to formalize my betrothal to Prince Diavolos.”

“Oh.” She could see the pain on Dom’s face as the words sunk in. Dominic, her closest friend in the world. Her childhood playmate, who had become something more as the years had passed. Or would have been more if fate allowed it. The feelings were there, but they had both known they could never act on them.

After all, the betrothal wasn’t a surprise. Kenna had known since childhood that she was going to marry the son of her mother’s closest friend, but it had been easy to push out of her mind. She hadn’t seen Diavolos in years, he had been off leading the army while Kenna grew up, the betrothal more of an understanding than a day-to-day part of either of their lives.

“Kenna…” Dom began and she knew he was going to say something he shouldn’t, something like “let’s run away together” and she cut him off.

“This is what’s best for the kingdom,” she reminded him, “Stormholt needs this alliance.”

As much as she cared for Dom, as she much would have loved the freedom to choose who she wanted, she couldn’t do it. She was a princess, her duty was to her people and that meant marrying a stranger.

Dom nodded. “Of course.” He picked up his sword. “I should go see if I’m needed.” He said quietly, hurrying away. Kenna watched him go, knowing that things would never be the same between them again. How could they be?


“Kenna, you remember Queen Livia,” her mother introduced with a smile a little while later.

“Of course, it’s nice to see you again, your majesty,” Kenna said, holding out her hand.

Queen Livia took it, smiling warmly. “It is a pleasure to see you again, Princess Kenna. Do you remember my son, Prince Diavolos, I believe it has been some time since you last met.”

“Several years,” Kenna agreed. She had been a mere child the last time she had met the Abanthean prince and he hadn’t made much of an impression. She turned to him now, mildly curious about this man she was expected to marry and ended up taking a little step back.

He was tall and muscular, darkly handsome with strong features and a charming grin. More than his good looks, there was something incredibly compelling about him and some of the dread she had been feeling disappeared.

“It’s nice to see you again, Prince Diavolos,” she said, in what she hoped was a calm and steady voice, “welcome to Stormholt.”

“The pleasure is mine,” he told her, his dark eyes watching her intently, “especially since I get to make your acquaintance again.”

Something in his tone made Kenna blush and she could see her mother watching them with obvious satisfaction, apparently taking Kenna’s reaction to mean that the marriage wouldn’t be unbearable.

And maybe it wouldn’t be. At least Diavolos was nice to look at and he was charming. She knew it could be a lot worse, but her heart still ached and wished for the impossible, even as she took the arm Diavolos offered her and fell into step behind their mothers.


Keep reading

fanfiction.net
Empire Knights and the Council of Six Chapter 9: Revival, a Last Story + Bravely Default Crossover fanfic | FanFiction
After a break-in at Eternia's Central Command, Sir Therius and General Asthar are sent to Eisenburg to assist the Black Blades and Swordbearers with a civil war, promised assistance in returning home afterwards. Those in Luxendarc are not the only forces at play, however...and things are certainly not what they seem.

Chapter 9 of “Empire Knights and the Council of Six” is finally posted!

I’m so glad I could get this posted before Halloween. I hope all of you enjoy reading it! 

Read the first chapter here! 

Interpreting Sandal's Prophecy

“One day the magic will come back–all of it. Everyone will be just like they were. The shadows will part and the skies will open wide. When he rises, everyone will see.”

- Sandal from Dragon Age II

Here are my thoughts on how to interpret Sandal’s very creepy prophecy from Dragon Age II, which makes a bit more sense now that Dragon Age: Inquisition is out.

First off, David Gaider, head writer of the Dragon Age series over at Bioware, has specifically mentioned his motivation behind writing this into the game. During an interview through Skype back in 2012, he said he programmed Sandal to have a 1% chance of delivering a prophecy in Act 3 of something he (Gaider) knew was going to be happening in the future of the series. This was meant in good fun, a way to creep out the player for LOLs, while still having meaning.

I’m going to work on interpreting the prophecy backwards, from the last clause to the first. As it turns out, we now know that the Elven god Fen'Harel happened to be one of our required companions in Inquisition. Going back to DAII, there is a codex entry found only in Act 3 that requires a bit of decoding. It mentions that Fen'Harel will rise with an eclipse, implying that he has been in a long sleep. By the time we get to the year Inquisition takes place, he’s already awake and has taken on the alias, “Solas.”

“When he rises, everyone will see.” This ‘he’ can be interpreted as Fen'Harel, the sleeping Elven god who rose with a solar eclipse that likely occurred during Act 3 of DAII. But, what of the “everyone will see” part? What will everyone see happen?

That hearkens back to understanding Solas’ mission during Inquisition. We don’t get the answer to that explicitly during the game, but it is always implied throughout. For one, he never meant for his Elven Foci to explode and tear the Veil so badly. He has a special affection for the spirits of the Fade and this tear harmed an innumerable amount of them.

But, while Solas may want to repair the Breach and the little rifts throughout Thedas, does he really want the Veil itself to exist? The answer is no. When speaking to him in Haven, he will reveal how he desires the world to be merged with the Fade where spirits can dwell with people. The Veil is what keeps the realms of The Fade and Thedas separated from one another. But, it wasn’t always there. Back when the Elves were the only people and maybe even when dwarves were around–before humans ever emigrated to Thedas–the Veil did not exist. Elves had a mystical empire called Elvhenan that was imbued with magic and they were immortal.

It seems to me, that ever since the Veil was constructed, the elves lost their empire and their immortality. Abelas, the Sentinel of Mythal’s Temple, will tell you that the humans did not destroy the capitol city of Arlathan as the Dalish have always believed. Their gods were sealed away in the Fade by Fen'Harel and that was supposedly what caused the empire’s downfall. Or, was it?

Suppose Fen'Harel constructed the Veil because sealing away the gods couldn’t be done in the Fade due to Thedas and the Fade being one. The Veil may have been created in order to keep the gods away from the People. Fen'Harel, believing this would free the enslaved elves, perhaps didn’t realize he was dooming them in the process. And, why? Because the elves need to be connected to the Fade, or they lose their elfy-ness.

In the game novel, Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, the peculiar elf Felassan helps Briala, Celene and Michel de Chevin move through the old network of the Eluvians. While traveling through the spaces in-between the mirrors, Felassan mentions how thin the Veil is and these areas also happen to make elves feel better than they normally do, but humans get very sick. Celene and Michel can’t handle the weird light and move extremely slow. But, Briala and Felassan move around better than normal and feel more alive. It could be that elves can handle a weak Veil and are healthier for it, but NOT humans.

And, if this is true, then why not humans? Because they are not native to Thedas. It is like being from Earth and trying to survive on an alien planet without the atmosphere we require to sustain our lives. It seems the Veil made Thedas habitable for humans and Qunari, and when the Veil is weak, these two non-native races cannot handle it. Their mages, those who are particularly sensitive to the Fade, go crazy and require either prisons (The Circles) or leashes (refer to the treatment of Saarabas) to contain them. But, what of Dalish elven mages? They seem to be fine handling themselves, even if the Chantry doesn’t realize this and won’t let them keep more than three mages per clan.

What about dwarves? Well, they don’t have any connection to the Fade and cannot dream. They are also native to Thedas, so the thin Veil probably has no effect on them. There are no mages amongst them, either.

“The shadows will part and the skies will open wide.” What Fen'Harel is almost definitely trying to do is get rid of the Veil, whether he made it, or not. It is bad for elves and it most likely caused their empire to crumble. Solas will tell an Inquisitor he disapproves of that he would reshape Thedas with the Fade if he could, but he can’t at that time in order to fix the problems they face. This indicates that the magic the ancient elves had was from the Fade and that it made it possible for them to shape their reality. Without it, they are weak and easily tread underfoot as they are in current Thedas. It could even be the true source of their immortality, as elves who did Uthenara, 'the long sleep,’ were able to sustain their life-forces by connecting deeply enough with the Fade so as to not need food, water, etc., any longer.

“Everyone will be just like they were.” Who is 'everyone?’ The People–or the elves. They were the custodians of the spiritual aspect of Thedas, using the Fade to create their magical world of wonder. The dwarves were the custodians of the physical aspect of Thedas, shaping (The Shaperate, anyone?) the physical world around them and losing the Fade had no effect on them. But, it weakened the elves to lose the Fade, since it was how they made their society. If the Fade were to merge with Thedas again, being restored to its nature, then all the elves will regain their magic and be able to recreate the lost empire of Elvhenan. I hypothesize that this is what Fen'Harel/Solas is truly after.

“One day the magic will come back–all of it.” Fen'Harel’s destruction of the Veil will reinstate the Fade, ushering in a new era of magic, immortality and dominance of Thedas for elves once again. But, is he doing this now? If he is, then how? Perhaps when he tells you he’s “sensing another Elven artifact nearby,” he’s really getting you to help him dissolve the Veil very slowly, molecule by molecule. He wouldn’t want to tear it down in one blow. That’s how the spirits get pulled through the Veil and become demons against their will. No, he would want it to weaken so slowly that the adjustment for the spirits on the other side would not harm them. Those Elven artifacts seem to do the opposite of what he claims they’re doing.

Case in point, when you do the ritual at the Lost Temple of Dirthamen, you have to activate the same type of Elven artifact in order to summon the high priest of Dirthamen into his reassembled body. Well, it’s not really him, it’s a despair demon and it becomes your boss fight. Isn’t it strange that an artifact meant to strengthen the Veil actually causes a demon to come through it? This is pretty good evidence that the artifacts have nothing to do with keeping spirits out, but rather, inviting them in.

The real question here is how is the destruction of the Veil going to affect humans and qunari? If Fen'Harel succeeds, and these non-native races to Thedas are sickened by a weak Veil and cannot handle the Fade in physical form, won’t they really, really hate this goal of his? Yep, I’m pretty sure they would because humans can’t live in a Thedas in its natural state. It is hostile to their well-being. By how things ended in Inquisition, I’d say we will be seeing more of Fen'Harel/Solas, as he will likely become our next antagonist for Dragon Age 4. He has said that the People need him, whether they be modern elves, or perhaps hidden ancient Elvhen who still exist in far western Thedas outside of everyone’s awareness.

One thing is for sure–the human Chantry is NOT going to love this neat little plan of his.

fanfiction.net
Empire Knights and the Council of Six Chapter 10: Usefulness, a Last Story + Bravely Default Crossover fanfic | FanFiction
After a break-in at Eternia's Central Command, Sir Therius and General Asthar are sent to Eisenburg to assist the Black Blades and Swordbearers with a civil war, promised assistance in returning home afterwards. Those in Luxendarc are not the only forces at play, however...and things are certainly not what they seem.

Chapter 10 of “Empire Knights and the Council of Six” is posted! 

I hope all of you enjoy reading this! Feel free to like this, reblog this so others can see, or leave a review or two!

Read the first chapter here!

youtube

CBC’s latest show is Strange Empire, a women-driven Western. Here’s the details:

STRANGE EMPIRE is a Western whose heroes are women. With most of their men gone, and those who remain battling for control, the women struggle to survive, to find their independence, and to build a life in which to thrive and raise families. As the stories of Janestown’s citizens unfold we see the clash between a power-hungry father and son and the deep prejudices among races, but also the start of something akin to community in this Wild West. Western stories take civilization as a goal; they begin in blood, and end in the morality of Main Street. Starring Cara Gee as Kat Loving, Melissa Farman as Dr. Rebecca Blithely and Tattiawna Jones as Isabelle Slotter.

I can’t remember the last time I was interested in a CBC show, but this one’s caught my attention. I was let down by the last few attempts at a Western TV show (Hell on Wheels, that means you) but I’ll give this one a chance. Also, female-centric Westerns are super trendy right now - The Keeping Room with Brit Marling premiered at TIFF this year, and Hilary Swank’s got The Homesmen coming out soon.

Anyway, check out the trailer above for Strange Empires. It’s got violence, mysticism and ladies kicking ass, and that’s enough for me to check out the pilot.

4

I’m sure everything is okay… I’ll just ignore this gnawing ache I feel in my gut…

[Thank you to @cookiecrumbs05 for this update’s question and thank you to everyone following Mystic’s story! Heart if you liked it, reblog if you want to, and keep on tossing questions into the ask box! I will see y’all later! Take care, lovelies <3 ]

PokemonGo Teams Explained with Kingdom Hearts Gifs

Team Valor:  Believe that Pokemon are powerful, and the key to true power is a the powerful Bond between pokemon and trainer 

Known for being the most competitive and valueing power, Team Valor is actually full of extroverts who are really nice and can be overly friendly

When a Team Valor person asks what’s your strongest pokemon and talks about their pokemon, they’re not bragging, they just really love pokemon and want to make friends with all of them, and make friends with you and your pokemon. That said, Team Valor is ready to declare that Valor is the best, because they believe in the power of their pokemon friends and nothing will shake their belief 

Team Instinct: Believe in themselves, their pokemon, and doing what comes naturally or whatever feels right in the moment

Known for their idealistic, follow your gut and it will all be right philosphy, they can actually be very confident to the point of arrogance. Team Instinct are not afraid of anything! They have faith in gut feelings all right, but their gut usually tells them they can come out on top

That said, Team Instinct can be pretty laid back compared to the other teams, they know they’re the best and don’t need to prove anything

Team Mystic: Believe that the Wisdom of Pokemon is “immeasurably deep” and see Pokemon as worthy specimens for analysis, their approach to training a logical and almost academic

Known for their rivalry with Team Valor and thinking themselves the greatest, this is not a belief for team Mystic, it’s a conclusive fact that can be proven with empirical evidence, Team Mystic actually tends to be made up of introverts who can a bit shy and overwhelmed by more outgoing types like Team Valor.

That said, for shy introverts they can be very aggressive when it comes to proving they’re the best 

“Empire Knights and the Council of Six, Chapter 9″ Preview #2

“There is far more to this war than you let on. Why conceal so much?”

“I supplied the necessary information. You didn’t need to know the more personal aspects of it.”

“And yet, that’s what’s been driving every single one of your actions lately, hasn’t it?”

3

“Occasionally I do catch snatches of the things I don’t remember. The smell of rust and damp, a flash of darkness, a sudden feeling of panic and fear… though the things I do remember are bad enough: maybe its best these things remain buried.”

[[ Small transitioning update this week! Sorry for posting it two days late! Also major thanks to the anon and silent-kosmos for the questions this week! Keep tossing my questions my way, guys :> ]]

“I don’t even like when Captain Sterling does it… well, I only like it a little.”

[[Thanks to phi-unbound for the ask. This update was meant to be WAY bigger but between preparing for inspection until the middle of the week and the invites out from my friends due to my up and coming birthday, a single panel was all I was able to squeeze out >.< 

Keep on sending in those asks folks <33 ]]