ep:-in-the-beginning

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fire & kindle

Levi didn’t think the new law student Jean was cute. Eren wearing one sock pillowed underneath their comforter on Sunday morning was cute. 

Eren smiling and laughing against his lips as they did their grocery shopping at the downtown market was cute. Jean was…something else.

He’d caught Levi’s eye the moment he’d spotted him at the law office—he’d caught a lot of eyes, for many reasons. Jean didn’t look like a law student, if the viper bites nestled in the corner of his mouth and the black lines scrawling up his wrist were any indication. Still, the dude could pull off a suit with his lithe body and designer Hudson boots that looked like they were stolen right out of Levi’s closet.

Something about Jean set him on edge—didn’t make his skin crawl per se, but made his body hum, like magnets under his skin had been awakened by the gentle crook of Jean’s fingers. 

He didn’t seem to notice, at first. Jean, if nothing else, was completely professional with the kind of single-minded sense of purpose that Levi usually associated with Eren (when he wasn’t being cute, of course).

Maybe once-and-awhile something a bit extra clouded up his golden eyes like a spilled glass of whiskey, dark and a little bitter, but he gave no indication of his feelings either way. 

At the holiday Christmas party, Levi thought adding Eren to the mix might be the spark they needed to set the whole world on fire.

He didn’t introduce them, didn’t give much hint of his intentions to either party, just set them loose on each other like flame and kindle, and watched nature take its course. 

It was far from smooth—Eren and Jean had argued, loudly, over some small thing or another. But Levi could tell by Eren’s flushed face and Jean’s narrowed eyes that there was something more than anger stirring in their chests.

After a few drinks, it clearly wasn’t anger. Eren took to rubbing his face against Jean’s shoulder and the taller man looked puzzled and intrigued, like Eren was the next body he needed to pull through trial, requiring a thorough examination of skin and teeth and lips.

Nothing happened that night, obviously. 

But Levi took a certain amount of exquisite satisfaction in pulling Eren into his arms for a quick, dirty kiss in front of Jean, lifting his eyes beneath dark lashes to meet Jean’s heated, sharp gaze. Not long after, they’d agree to go on a date, test the waters and see how the three of them got on.

Perfectly, as it turned out.

Before there were foodies...

Once upon a time, a very long time ago but just down the street…

Hunter gatherers, in a new strange land, roam in search of food.

“Ooh hey look! Berries! And so shiny bright red too! Oh, they must be delicious! Let me just…OWW!”

“You can’t eat those!”

“Not if you keep slapping them outta my hand. OWW! Stop it!”

“You can’t EAT those!”

“They’re berries.”

“They’re BAD berries.”

“How d'ya know that?”

“They’re red.”

“Red?”

“Yes.”

“And red is bad? How bad?”

“Poison.”

“Poison? How bad a poison? I’m really hungry.“

“Kill you dead poison.”

“Oh. Yeah that’s bad. Red berries bad. Noted.”


Over a ridge beneath a pale blue sky, and down amongst the trees…

“At least there’s shade and…GAHH! What are you doing?”

“What? What?”

“In your hand! That big red berry thing you pulled off the..the tree thing, the uh, poison tree! Of death! Look at all these red berries! Bad!”

“This? It’s a cherry.”

“Oh. Thank you. DON’T EAT THE CHERRY!”

“Why not? They’re delicious.”

“It’s red!”

“Yes it is.”

“You said red was bad!”

“Oh yeah. Well most red, yeah it’s pretty bad. This red is okay though. See? I ate it. Not dead.”

“Wait. Most red? Most?! How did you know..how could you?”

“You watch the birds.”

“Yes I do watch the birds. And they’re pretty boring. Its like hanging out with He Who Speaks Much But Never Makes Sense. Very noisy and shit everywhere.”

“No. We watched the birds eat them. And the birds were okay.”

“Birds were eating those red poison kill you run away berries we saw back down the hill. And THEY weren’t dying.”

“Those were different birds.”

“If you say so. Because birds all look like birds to me.”

“They were magic birds.”

“Magic?”

“Yes. And besides He Who Has Not Yet Shit Himself To Death and Died Screaming tried them. He said they’re good. He’s right.”

“This is confusing. Why did we move here again?”

“Because Hrufnragazturgallush the All Terrible said our people’s destiny was waiting in a golden land far to the east. And slightly south. Just a smidgen.”

“Oh. It had nothing to do with the Ammagindzda, our mortal enemies, burning our villages, stealing our women, raping our sheep and chasing us for six days?”

“None whatsoever. It was Hrufnragazturgallush’s will. Our destiny as the chosen and favorite.”

“If we’re the chosen favorite, why are a bunch of women stealing village burning sheep rapists living in our lovely valley with it’s abundant crops and pure waters?”

“Hrufngazturgallush’s will.”

“If this is how the favorite get treated, why exactly are we worshipping a, what, a gigantic dog with a snails head? It doesn’t exactly make for an attractive idol, you know.”

“We worship a giant snail headed dog so that we won’t be devoured by a giant snail headed dog.”

“Oh yeah. Forgot. I guess that IS a pretty good reason.”

Through the dappled shade of the trees they pass, out across a small meadow into a broad open field…

“These plants are strange. Ow! What the…eww! Look at these big green…green things! There’s a bunch of them! They look like…eggs! Gigantic eggs! Hrufnsumbllgumfranumm whoever, save us!”

“Oh, these are great! I can’t believe we found these. Here, I’ll take my sharp jabbing stick and just…”

“GAAAHHHHHH! RED! Hidden red! Creepy nasty evil tricky red!”

“Calm down. It’s a watermelon.”

“That’s not water! It’s bleeding! Ewww! Uck!”

“Stop it! These are really good to eat. Juicy..”

“Bloody! And look! Tiny black babies! That egg was pregnant!”

“Those are seeds you moron. These are delicious. Here. Eat this. Eat it. Open your damn mouth and eat this!”

“I don’t wanna glumphmumumble…hey. That’s…that’s actually yummy. Wow.”

“Yeah, well…uhm…red outside is mostly bad. But not red outside but red inside? That’s always good to eat.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Ahhhh. So its okay to eat people. Nice.”

“People? Did you say people?”

“Simplifies hunting. No need to track some dumb deer thing for days through a swamp. Just hang out outside the village, wait for the kids to go out for water…thump on the head and dinner time.”

“Uh, no….”

“Makes getting your kill home much quicker and easier. Safer too. Why am I just now being told of this?”

“We don’t eat people!”

“Why?”

“Because that would be disgusting!”

“More disgusting than grubs, beetles and those horribly ugly lobster things?”

“Yes!”

“Says who?”

“Says Hrufnragazturgallush the All Terrible!”

“When?”

“When? What?”

“Yeah. When’s he say that? I’ve never heard him talk. At least I don’t think I have. I’m pretty sure I haven’t. If something called the ‘All Terrible’ spoke, I’m pretty sure I’d know.”

“He speaks through his chosen servants.”

“Who always get the most food, prettiest women and nicest hut.”

“They are His chosen.”

“WE are his chosen. And a bunch of sheep rapers chased us clear to everything is trying to kill us land.”

“You wanna eat people.”

“I wanna eat people. Yeah. Yes I do.”

“Hrufnragazturgallush the All Terrible eats people.”

“So I hear.”

“And?”

“And what?”

“If Hrufnragazturgallush sends village burning women stealing sheep rapists after us for forgetting to turn around five times before genuflecting in his honor for allowing us to live 30 more minutes, what do ya think He’ll do to you if you take food away from him?”

“What? Uh, but…”

“We don’t call him Hrufnragazturgallush the All Terrible because he farts at the dinner blanket.”

“Uh. Yeah. Ya know, people..eh, they probably just taste like chicken anyways. I hate chicken. Can we just go find some other disgusting and disturbing but barely edible thing to eat?”

“Yeah. THAT we can do.”

youtube

Motley Crue - In The Beginning/Shout At The Devil ( 1983 )

anonymous asked:

How often does/should a lay person pray and give offerings to the lwa they're meant to serve? And what does that look like, generally?

Hello!

Overall, there’s a really unsatisfying answer to your question-’it depends’. There really is no script to follow for how a lay person serves the spirits in their esko/spiritual escort. What one does and how one does it can be really dependent on need or prescription by the spirits, or based on desire to develop relationships a certain way. Some lay folks are at their altars/tables every day, some serve only on Saturdays, which is our catch-all day to speak with/serve all our spirits regardless of nasyon/nation, and some only wake up their table in times of need or when the spirit, as it were, moves them. 

There really isn’t a better or worse in there for what someone does, but there is the caveat that the lwa work when we do. So, if someone is seeking the lwa and their influence, the more they go to them, the more they will develop their relationships with them. 

Prior to kanzo, my service/devotional stuff varied all over the place. I spent time when I could or, as my life got more hectic and troublesome, every day. I used to say the rosary at least once a day for my spirits as a sacrifice of time when I could not afford much in the way of physical offerings, and I kept that up pretty frequently. If I had interactions with spirits in dream or during ceremony where they had messages for me, I would usually go to the table and address that spirit specifically. Sometimes I would do a more formal service utilizing the ritual salutes to ‘open the door’ to speak to them, more often I just lit a candle, sat down, and started talking/praying (and that’s what I usually do now, too).

In terms of offerings, I tend to preach care and moderation there since spirits rapidly get used to what you do and then demand that across the board. IE, if you always go to them with a platter of fruit, they are going to require a platter of fruit at all times and that becomes your ‘ground floor’. However someone chooses to offer things to their spirits, they should think about it being maintainable long term–is it maintainable even with life changes?

If folks want to offer consumable offerings (that of course fit the regleman/ritual order and ritual taboos), I usually suggest doing that on Saturdays because it is offered for all spirits then, which doesn’t create issues of jealousy or unhappiness. Simple offerings like fruit or flowers are great and straightforward, as are things like 7 day glass candles or even a simple white emergency-style candle lit and left to burn.

As you note, there are specifics for each spirit so it’s good that you acknowledge that one should be serving the spirits in their esko. It’s good to remember that not all spirits are with each person, nor will all spirits like each person, and knocking on the door of a spirit who doesn’t really desire anything to do with you can irritate them and can irritate the spirits who are with you (nothing like ignoring your bestie who is sitting on your couch while you chase down a dude from three streets over who happens to be passing by while walking his dog). For folks who don’t know what spirits are in their esko in vodou, that’s something that a priest can help determine through a card reading and can give specifics on how to serve each one of them and what they enjoy as offerings.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

Willing to Believe ~ Ingvar & Carradoc

Carradoc didn’t know how long he’d been traveling.  The only thing that filled his thoughts was ‘protect the clutch’.  The pain that throbbed through his back with every step meant nothing.  The weariness that clung to every part of his being went ignored.  After the initial attack he’d tried to fly…but the severe injuries to his wings didn’t keep him in the air for long.  Crashing to the ground, he’d hidden, masking his scent and his magic as best he could by shifting into his human form…keeping the eggs buried and close.  He didn’t know how long he’d stayed like that, cowering in some dark forest corner, injured and starving, but eventually he’d forced himself to leave his hiding spot, shift back into his dragon form, and keep moving.  He knew only that he had to get as far away as possible.  He couldn’t stop…not yet.  

When the air began to grow colder the dragon didn’t notice…his own injury having put him in a feverish state.  He also didn’t notice when the first flakes began to fall.  It wasn’t until one large reptilian foot slipped on a patch of ice and he stumbled, that Carr realized the mistake he’d made.  He was going to fail his Queen!  Frantically, he began to search for shelter.  Fire!  He needed to make a fire!  The eggs…currently nestled in the brood pouch on his chest…needed to stay warm.  They were far too young for the temperatures he’d recklessly carried them into.  But the dragon’s search was useless…he was too tired…and the snow just kept coming - harder and faster until he could barely see a foot in front of him.  Even if he’d been in perfect health, the snow would’ve been too much…and now…now…

Carradoc’s vision started to tunnel.  Steaming tears formed in his reptilian eyes.  He’d given his word to his Queen - sworn he’d save the last of their clan’s clutch…!  As he stumbled and fell into the thickening snow, the dragon began to cry softly…begging forgiveness from a ghost.  He tried to rise…but his legs were too weak - they trembled and then collapsed beneath him.  So Carradoc did the only thing he could…he curled himself into as tight of a ball as he could, shielding the eggs, and ensuring they would stay warm for as long as possible.  The position reopened the wounds on his back…boiling blood running into the snow…melting it some…but the dragon knew, as he slipped into unconsciousness, that it wasn’t nearly enough to save him.

@gentlegiantingvar

poetpunks  asked:

Your blog is very interesting and helpful! Do you know of any other blogs or resources about Haitian Voudou, New Orleans Voodoo, or any other forms of the practice? I'm interested in learning more but I'm struggling to find reliable sources. Thanks!

Hello!

There’s not a ton of published info on Haitian vodou because it is a largely orally passed religion, from teacher/parent to student/child. My standard triumvirate of books on Haitian vodou are:

Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn, by Karen McCarthy Brown. This is an excellent ethnography and autoethnography centering around a priest in Brooklyn, written by an anthropologist who started out documenting the religion for scholarly study and ended up initiating (which is SUPER COMMON for academics studying–there is no free lunch in vodou, essentially). I love this book–parts of it feel like being at my spiritual mother’s house.

Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, by Maya Deren. This is the first books written in English that was a non-salacious account of vodou in context by an outsider. Deren went to Haiti with the intention of studying Haitian folkloric dance, which is tied very closely to vodou, and ended up initiating as a priest as well.

Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou, edited by Don Cosentino. Created as a companion book to a large museum exhibit on vodou, there’s a lot of great stuff in it. It can be pretty pricey, so check if your local library or university can get it for you.

I have a more extensive reading list attached to my main Tumblr site, too. 

None of these books will teach you how to do vodou, but will give you a bigger-picture look at the cultural practice of the religion and the practices in it.

As for blogs, there also aren’t that many. In reality, the diaspora of Haitian vodou is quite small. @hounganmatt has written a blog linked here for quite awhile, too, but that’s kinda it. Internet access is scarce in Haiti, so blogs are largely by Diaspora practitioners.

New Orleans practices have morphed from a vibrant, native-to-New Orleans religion to mass market stuff created for tourists. There really isn’t a New Orleans ‘voodoo’ that bears any resemblance to what used to exist there or to Haitian vodou–it’s for show, sadly.

In The Beginning

@aylenlavellan

“Papa~!” whined Martha. “Are we there yet~!”

“Not quite yet, baby.” said Eric.

“But my legs are tired~! Can’t we stop for like ten minutes?”

“Sure, if you want to spend the night in the forest.”

Martha looked around the tall trees all around them, the setting sun already making scary looking shadows. She grimaced and walked a little quickly. Eric smiled and walked along side her, stroking her hair.

“Tell you what, when we get to the next village we’ll get you a nice hot chocolate, sound good?” said Eric.

“Okay…” said Martha.

“Good girl.”

Eric sighed. He too was tired and they had been walking all day. But they had to keep moving before night fell. Surely the next village couldn’t be that far away. At least he hoped not.

That’s when something caught his ears. It was a ringing sound. The sound of metal making a ting noise as it hit another piece. Not only that but it was quick and there was more then one. Where those swords?

“Papa?” asked Martha, suddenly scared.

Eric slipped his bag off his shoulders and kneeled down to the eight year old girl. He gave her the bag and stroked her long weave brown hair, looking into the amber eyes they shared.

“Listen to me, honey,” said Eric. “I need you to hide. Really, really well. Like hide and seek. And you have to stay there until I come get you.”

“Papa, I don’t want to play…”

“I know, sweetie. But you have to. Just for a little bit. I’ll come find you, I promise.”

Eric kissed her fore head hard and threw his bag over her shoulder. She ran off into the forest as Eric drew his mage staff from his back, charging towards the noise.

A Guide to Writing: A.K.A. Things I Learned Quickly When I First Started Writing

When I first began writing, I was just winging it. Given that I was ten years-old and had limited access to a computer, there wasn’t really much else I could do. With three other siblings vying for the computer, my work time was cut down to a few short hours late at night.

As I got older, and my older sibling went on to high school and got their own laptops, I spent almost all of my free time at the computer. Not that I was necessarily writing all of the time, but when I wasn’t writing, I was reading. I devoured worlds like Galactus and absorbed grammar and writing techniques that I would soon tweak to make my own. And now, several years later, I have my own laptop with which to waste copious amounts of time on.

Naturally, it wasn’t all a walk in the park. No, if that was the case, I’d probably be published by now. Shoot, a darned good population of writers on most writing sites (Wattpad, Inkitt, Figment, FictionPress, AO3 if certain elements were changed) would be published. However, between the wailing and weird looks from my family members, I did learn a few things.

1.) Keep a Notebook On Hand

If you were a newbie like me with fifteen million different stories in your head at once, chances are you didn’t get to all of them. Better chances are that you’ve forgotten most of them. Best chances are that you never wrote them down and decided to just remember them. Take it from my experience: you won’t remembered that amazing idea, take the time to write down whatever is in your head and save it for later.

That killer idea that you thought of on the way to school? Write it down. That weird, probably won’t go anywhere, brainstorm? Write it down. It’s 3 a.m. and you’re sleep deprived because of massive amounts of homework/long work hours/no sleep schedule, but gosh darn it—this idea is the best you’ve ever had? Write. It. Down.

Regardless of whether it seems like a good idea or a horrible idea, maybe you’ll be able to incorporate it into something you like later. Heck, the idea itself could appeal to you later. If keeping a notebook on hand is too much effort/you’re prone to lose things easily, get an app*.

There are hundreds are writing apps specifically for times like these. If there’s no room on your phone, most smart phones come with a memo app for note writing.

2.) Writer’s Block is Karma

No, seriously. Writer’s block is karma. If you’ve ever been on a roll, cranking out page after page, chapter after chapter, you’re feeling pretty good. Getting into the mindset to actually work is hard for any situation, be it cleaning or even going out with friends. Then boom—all of the sudden the words just won’t come. It’s Blank Page Hell. Nothing you write looks good. You’ve rewritten that one sentence three hundred times and it still looks wrong. The red squiggle will not go away and the blue squiggle haunts you.

That’s karma coming to bite you for actually getting things done. That’s the universe’s way of saying, “There are too many darned good writers and we can’t have them all flooding the market at once.”

Honest, the universe speaks to me in those times I’m curled up in a ball because that’s always easier than actually writing.

3.) Plot. Plot. PLOT.

Now, this may seem obvious, but I can’t count the times I’ve gone into something without actually plotting anything. The same for my sister and quite a few of my writer friends. It is a mistake that way too many make, and not enough people stick to.

Not plotting is like going into war against the goddess Athena without a battle strategy and even hoping in the slightest you’ll win. Not only will she pulverize you, she won’t break a sweat doing it. In fact, it won’t be much different than a cat managing to worm its way through the smallest opening and into a room it knows it’s not supposed to be in.

Now, I completely understand that plotting is hard. It’s especially hard when you have an idea that you really want to just get down. And that’s cool. Get whatever you have in mind written down. Get it all out and then start.

Start with the basics: what is it about? What do you want to happen? Who is it happening to? Who does it affect? When in time/in their life is the plot happening? Why is it happening?

You don’t have to answer all of these questions at once; that hardly even happens in the beginning. However, if you’re like me and have to work around a particular scene you absolutely know/want to happen, then it’s come with time.

My philosophy is, though, if you know how it ends, you’re already halfway done. Plotting can be tedious and hard, but in the end, you’ll be thanking yourself for doing it. After all, even Athena will look at the weakest of armies with respect if they have a good plan.

4.) Delete Nothing

Real talk, I’m always seconds away from deleting everything I’ve ever written and starting over. BUT, you shouldn’t do that because what if?

What if you decide that you could use the idea later?

What if the current story you’re writing needs that scene you’d written because that would be perfect and the way you wrote it was perfect?

What if you decide the characters are better off in a different story?

The thing about writing that nobody likes to mention is that you will abandon works. It’s the simple fact of it and there’s no getting around it. The idea that may have once consumed you with its need to get out into the world will fall flat on its face. Shoot, it could trip at the finish line and be 90% done, but you just can’t manage that 10%. And you know what, that’s okay. It’s okay because everyone does it. Honest.

It’s completely fine if you never come back to it. But don’t delete anything, because not only is it your hard work down the drain, it’s proof that you tried. Sure, you failed, but you tried and did something. That’s more that can be said for a lot of the population.

5.) Write for You

Nothing gets my goat more than seeing people write for others. Not to say that doing a favor a friend/sibling/S.O. is a bad thing. Heck, I’ve written several stories for my sisters over the past few years. The thing I’m getting at, is writing solely for the pleasure of others.

This is something a lot of fic writers may have come across in their time writing. It starts off as some head cannons or AU ideas that eventually spawn a fic. But the more popular it became, the more the readers demanded more. Which, naturally, was fine. You love writing for the fandom and it gives you more of a reason to write your favorite ships/characters. Then it starts to get to be too much. You’re losing steam and you just want to be a reader. Just part of the fandom. Except you can’t because they want more and more and more and you can’t just stop because they’re expecting so much from you.

That’s when it’s really time to stop. I’ve seen loads of fic writer that go on hiatus because they can’t deal with the pressure that it takes to keep writing.

That is what I mean by writing for other people. Do it for you and no one else. It’s great when other people like what you have to offer, but what you have to offer shouldn’t depend on other people. Your writing will be truer to you if you’re only goal is to please yourself.

I’ve learned a lot more on writing than just this and there will be more to come, but for now, that’s all.

See ya, kiddos


*Android: JotterPad, Notegraphy, and Writer Plus
 Apple: Awesome Note, Simplenote, and Evernote.