excel table

I’m honestly humbled and grateful to be a part of this community and to be writing and having people enjoy it! I didn’t really realize how much I was missing an imaginative outlet in my life, and how much I missed writing and a creative community.  So thank you <3  

Nonsense & Shenanigans (likes/dislikes/thoughts on writing) below the cut

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[Revised 2/17] Books for Witches, Diviners and Spellcasters

Hi, everyone. A while back (a long time ago, actually), I started an annotated bibliography on books about witchcraft and magick, and I’ve updated it once (last November). 

Since then, I’d been keeping a list of things I need to add to it, but didn’t get around to actually reworking and updating the list a second time until today. Largely because I can’t really go outside much today because of the smog. But anyways, here it is. I’ve also included divination-related books in this version, whereas previously they were separate.

I hope you find something on here that suits your fancy! Happy reading! Also, yes, I do want to do more book reviews on this blog, so if you’d like a longer review of one of the books listed below, let me know and I can write one.

For Absolute Beginners

Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, by Judika Illes. Even better than the Weiser Field Guide to Witches - this book is huge and chock-full of information. It’ll explain in easy-to-understand language how the concept has developed throughout time, why witches do what they do, and different types of witches.

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, by Judika Illes. This gives an excellent look at the historical lore concerning witches, from the perspective of a witch herself. It’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, but it does have some information that won’t be found elsewhere.

The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, by Skye Alexander. Great book for those who’re really absolute beginners and are wondering what witchcraft is all about. Skye takes a very postmodern, utilitarian, and unfailingly honest approach, and it’s geared towards those of almost any belief system.

Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Attractively packaged and readible for almost all ages, this is a great (mostly) non-denominational look at the foundations of magical practice. It’s extremely detailed. Some of it only applies to Zell’s own tradition, but it’s quite useful, anyways.

Basic Techniques

Protection and Reversal Magick, by Jason Miller. This gets a little woo-woo at times, but he gives good advice on how to avoid serious problems that can come up as you begin to practice. Take with a grain of salt, though - some of this has the potential to make you feel paranoid.

City Magick, by Christopher Penczak. If you’re at all interested in tech witchery, or just want to practice magick within an urban setting, do check this out. It is by far the best look at the subject I’ve seen, and his discussion of urban tutelary spirits is worth the price alone.

Power Spellcraft for Life, by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. Nicely done, quite secular book providing basic beginner information regarding writing original spells and workings. It does fall prey to the trap of just listing correspondences with little information at times, but also contains a great deal of detail about ritual timing, raising power, and other topics essential for the beginner.

Sorcerer’s Secrets, by Jason Miller. This is a decent volume that describes a lot of techniques you don’t usually see in books, such as gesture and gaze-based magick. Be warned that Miller writes extensively about manipulative techniques, but it’s useful theory regardless of how you put it into practice.

Witch’s Bag of Tricks, by Melanie Marquis. This is not recommended for beginners, because the whole point of this book is to help existing practitioners refine and improve their already-established techniques. It’s got some novel ideas in it, and I like the author’s approach to symbolism in spellcasting.

Direct Magick (Energy Work)

The Un-Spell Book, by Mya Om. This non-denominational guide to working with magical forces is filled with useful exercises that go beyond the author’s previous work. I recommend reading this after reading Energy Essentials.

Instant Magick, by Christopher Penczak. Excellent beginner’s guide for those who don’t have access to a lot of fancy tools or prefer to work without them. This book won’t instantly teach you magick, but it will help even a seasoned practitioner find quicker, less-complicated ways of achieving results.

Energy Essentials for Witches and Spellcasters, by Mya Om. Though I balk at the use of the term “energy” to describe magical forces, this book is worth a look. It’s a bit like a workbook, with various exercises. Expect a lot of pseudoscience, though, and there are many religious references, but the techniques are solid.

Hedgewitchery and Astral Travel

Ecstatic Witchcraft, by Gede Parma. This is actually probably my favorite book on this subject, even though hedgeriding is only a part of what the book discusses. The only bad thing I can really say about this book is that it’s really not recommended for beginners, and it’s helpful to have the basics of visualization already mastered (for example) before doing the exercises Parma recommends.

By Land, Sky and Sea, by Gede Parma. This book goes into even greater details regarding different ways of conceptualizing the cosmology of hedgeriding, and I find it a very refreshing book that appreciatively draws from a number of different perspectives while grounding itself, so to speak, with the overarching metaphor of land, sky, and sea as the three worlds.

The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, by Christopher Penczak. Penczak is usually a pretty mixed bag, and this book is no exception. It gives a lot of good practical information and a very in-depth exploration of the three worlds (a useful concept), but it’s primarily framed by Wicca, so it might not resonate with those of other faiths and particularly those who aren’t pagan at all.

Ascension Magick, by Christopher Penczak. There’s a chapter or two in this that address alternate ways of conceptualizing the architecture of reality, and it’s pretty helpful for a hedgerider. Beyond that, this book is mostly about ceremonial magick, but it’s a (mostly) good book. Certain parts (such as the bit about UFOs) are a little off, in my opinion.

The Shamanic Witch, by Gail Wood. This book is really best suited for someone who practices Wicca and, besides the background info and cosmological descriptions, is really only useful in the context of that tradition. If you’re Wiccan or willing to pick around a lot of Wiccan-talk, though, this is a good foundation.

Witches, Werewolves and Fairies, by Claude Lecouteux. It can be hard to find scholarly works on these phenomena that are affordable, but here’s one I personally enjoyed. It details many accounts of journeying experienced by both pagans and Christians in earlier times, and gives a good description of the concept of the astral double, the architecture of the soul, and other topics throughout history.

Betwixt and Between, by Storm Faerywolf. This book is mostly a guide to the Feri tradition of witchcraft, but while I myself don’t practice that, those who do seem to know a lot about hedgeriding! The book has several chapters on the subject and is highly recommended for this reason.

The Psychic Energy Codex, by Michelle Belanger. A lot of people have strong opinions about this author, but this is book actually provides a lot of good information about so-called “energy work” which can be a step in the right direction for those wanting to ride the hedge.

Psychic Dreamwalking, by Michelle Belanger. In this book, Belanger discusses, essentially, how to use your non-waking life as a vehicle to for journeying, and while I myself don’t usually dreamwalk, much of what she says applies to hedgeriding in other states, too.

Hedge Riding and Hedge Witchcraft, by Harmonia Saille. I only mention these two in order to say that they’re best avoided. Saille tries to give a comprehensive look at the phenomenon, but it’s poorly-written and overly New Age. The negative reviews of them on Amazon really cover the problems with these book in more detail than I ever could.

Magical Writing, Words, and Symbols

Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells, by Claude Lecouteux. Mostly a historical text, this book isn’t exactly practical or terribly useful. It is, nevertheless, incredibly interesting. It’s a bit difficult to navigate, but worth a glance.

Composing Magick, by Elizabeth Barrette. A very general, but well-done, look at writing in a magical context. Some of the ritual templates are slightly specific to religious witchcraft traditions, but most information is widely applicable.

Crafting Magick with Pen and Ink, by Susan Pesnecker. Focuses both on the physical act of writing as a magical act, and the mental state associated with it. Highly recommended

The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire, by Skye Alexander. This book is for those who want to create their own grimoire. It gives fairly good advice for doing so, as well as providing hints and tricks for spellcasting and useful correspondences.

General Concepts

Planetary Magick, by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. If you want to work with the planets at all, particularly in a highly ritualized context, I recommend this book. It’s large, comprehensive and gives a good foundation beyond what you find in general astrology books.

Practical Planetary Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Shorter than I would have liked, but a useful reference to have on your shelf, with excellent tables and appendices in the back. The meditations are also quite useful.

Practical Elemental Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Should be read alongside the other book by this pair. Comprehensive guide to working with the elements in a ritualized fashion. Not as accessible to newbies as Lipp’s book, but good for seasoned practitioners.

The Way of Four, by Deborah Lipp. Though mostly geared towards Wiccans, I found this author’s in-depth treatment of the four elements highly fascinating. I will note that it’s probably best to get the print version of this book, as it contains exercises and quizzes.

Ingredients and Correspondences

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison. I cannot praise this book enough for its concise and well-formulated approach to astrology, herbs, and magick as a whole.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, by Judith Hawkins-Tillirson. This is excellent for anyone who’s interested in any kind of magick. Yes, the focus is generally herbs, but there’s a lot to be learned here about Kabbalah and other correspondence systems, as well.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic, by Sandra Kynes. Fills a very difficult gap in published knowledge regarding the use of essential oils by discussing, in great detail, how scents interact with each other and how to create a formula that’s not only palatable, but evocative.

Dunwich’s Guide to Gemstone Sorcery, by Gerina Dunwich. Given the New Age fascination with all things shiny, it was quite a chore to sort through the myriad crystal books to find something with good information. While far from perfect and not exactly devoid of fluff, this book does give a level of detail about the lore surrounding gemstones not seen in many other texts.

Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett. Excellent book, lots of history and detail. There’s a strong focus on tradition within the text, yet the author is quite accommodating of his audience and describes alternate methods that work better in a modern context.

Spagyrics, by Manfred M. Junius. With a highly-developed academic tone and attention to detail, this book is a meaty look at traditional alchemy. I recommend this more for intermediate practitioners due to the sheer density of information.

Spellbooks

The Goodly Spellbook, by Dixie Deerman and Steve Rasmussen. The title sounds horribly fluffy, but this is a hidden gem. It explains obscure concepts like alternative alphabets and potential uses of musical notes, as well as plant lore and other bits and pieces. Definitely worth checking out. It’s way more than just “a book of spells.”

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells, by Judika Illes. The title sounds trite to some, but it delivers. This book has spells from almost every culture and spiritual philosophy, as well as a very detailed formulary. I read it when I’m bored sometimes, too, just because I always learn some tidbit from it.

Book of Spells, by Nicola Pulford. In most editions, this book is absolutely gorgeous and describes spellcasting traditions from a variety of perspectives and traditions. Recommended for those who already understand the basics, as this book jumps straight into spellcasting and gives only a small amount of information about how things work.

Ceremonial Magick

Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig. I received this as a gift several years ago. It is essentially a workbook meant to be completed slowly, step by step, and while the format will not appeal to everyone, it’s a good easy-to-read introduction to ceremonial magick.

Familiar Spirits, by Donald Tyson. Though geared towards ceremonialists, any practitioner can likely learn a thing or two from Tyson’s interesting stroll through the whys and wherefores of spirit work and thoughtform creation. This is by far the best book I’ve seen on the topic of familiar spirits.

Secrets of High Magick, by Francis Melville. The most recent edition of this (the one I own) is lavishly-illustrated and full of rudimentary, yet useful information. He stresses the basics of ceremonial practice, and his writing style is very accessible. Highly recommended for absolute beginners.

My Life With The Spirits, by Lon Milo DuQuette. This is a memoir of a ceremonial magician, but it gives a good look at the magickal mindset in a highly developed form from someone who’s experienced quite a lot. I have major issues with DuQuette’s approach to Qabalah, but his memoirs are worth a read.

Chaos Magick

Liber Null and Psychonaut, by Peter Carroll. Classic book of chaos magick. I consider it required reading for almost anyone interested in the occult. Even if you have no love for chaos magick, do give it a read, just to understand how influential Carroll is, and why.

Hands-On Chaos Magic, by Andrieh Vitimus. Knowing some of the people involved in the creation of this book, I’m a bit biased towards it. That said, even if I didn’t know them, I would still recommend it. It’s especially interesting to read alongside Liber Null and Psychonautin order to see how the chaos “current” has developed over the years.

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 by Taylor Ellwood. There aren’t a lot of books on using pop culture symbolism in magick, but this one is nearly perfect. The author writes in a highly erudite, literate fashion, while still being accessible to newbies. Many useful resources cited, as well, so prepare to branch off a bit while reading it.

History-Related

Triumph of the Moon, by Ronald Hutton. An inside no-holds-barred look at the history of Wicca and Modern paganism. Highly recommended. This is sort of the book that fluffbunnies don’t want you to read.

Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, by Richard Metzger. Lots of facts and history of magick in the context of Postmodernity. This is different from the Crowley text of the same name, which I wouldn’t recommend unless you want to focus on his tradition.

The Place of Enchantment, by Alex Owen. This is a purely historical text that documents the occult revival within the context of Modernity. I remember it being very good, but please realize I haven’t really picked it up much since graduating, and it might just have served my mindset at the time.

Tarot

The Book of Thoth, by Aleister Crowley. Make sure you actually own (or have access to pictures of) the Thoth deck before you dive into this. By far one of the best books on Tarot ever published. The prose is often dense and purple, but in this one book, Crowley teaches so much about Tarot and it’s connection to the Western Mystery Tradition. I can’t really say much more - it must be experienced.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by Arthur Edward Waite. I recommend this book because it is a classic and was introductory for many older readers. It will teach you to read and gives insight into the methodology behind the Waite-Smith deck specifically, particularly his use of what are essentially parables and why he does this. Do not expect too much esoteric information, but read it anyways.

Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack. This is the epitome of a good modern Tarot book and is really one of the first ones I’d recommend for someone looking for an accessible book on Tarot in a modern context. Very dense in information and history, yet altogether worth it. You’ll want highlighters nearby for this one!

Tarot for a New Generation, by Janina Renée. This is essentially a book for children and teenagers, but I do recommend it for them, specifically, because it is well-written, easy to understand, and helpful to absolute beginners.

Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot, by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin. This book focuses just on the history, symbolism, and creative process of the Waite-Smith deck. It gives you an inside line on just what Pixie Smith was thinking when painting specific scenes, and is a great look at her life’s work, as well.

The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, by Robert M. Place. This book will not teach you to read Tarot, but does give an actual, accurate portrait of the history of the phenomena, which is incredibly important and useful. Know your history.

Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, by Lon Milo DuQuette. I hesitate to recommend DuQuette due to issues I have with his approach to Qabalah, but many people ask me for a beginner book for the Thoth Tarot specifically, and this is the closest I’ve come to finding one. I recommend reading this alongside, and not instead of, Crowley’s Book of Thoth.

The Back in Time Tarot, by Janet Boyer. This is more for the intermediate reader, and the entire book details a single, extremely useful technique for familiarizing yourself with the cards, namely by framing past events in terms of how they might appear in a spread.

Lenormand

The Essential Lenormand, by Rana George. This was not the first Lenormand book I picked up, but it was the most influential and intense. Ms. George writes in a personable, touching fashion and brings the concepts of the system home by relating them to life experiences in a way rarely seen. She is one of those authors I literally go all “fangirl” over.

Learning Lenormand, by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin. This is one of the better beginner books on Lenormand. I’m not going to lie - it isn’t as good as Rana George’s, but it definitely is worth reading if you’re completely new to the system. It’s very accessible, where some of the books I’ll be listing later in this can seem intimidating, or so I’ve been told.

Lenormand: Thirty-Six Cards, by Andy Boroveshengra. This book is intense, but in a different way than Ms. George’s. Expect to be inundated with information and techniques. Another one of those where you really need to take notes or highlight while reading, and read it multiple times.

Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, by Sylvie Steinbach. This book is organized in a novel and useful fashion by topic, and gives specific techniques for readings on love, money, spirituality, and other topics. Highly recommended, and I tend to use it as a reference book nowadays, looking things up as needed.

The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook, by Caitlyn Matthews. Not for the beginner, nor the faint at heart, this one details a lot of what, to me, seem to be more advanced approaches and techniques. I use this book a lot, and I think anyone else will enjoy it, too. Good information on the connection between Lenormand and traditional playing cards, too.

Cartomancy with Lenormand and the Tarot, by Patrick Dunn. This is more of a special topic book, and best read after you’ve got some familiarity with both Tarot and Lenormand. It’s all about using them in tandem and the synergy between them.

Astrology

The Luminaries, by Liz Greene. I could really recommend anything by this author, but she’s written so much, and this book is a particularly important one. It focuses entirely on the Sun and Moon in astrology, and gives a good look at why the luminaries need to have a special place in your understanding.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Practical Astrology, by Priscilla Costello. This is focused, as you might expect, on actual interpretation of charts and less on theory, but it gives a good background on that, too. Was quite helpful in my attempts to interpret @xepsurah‘s unusual natal chart.

The Complete Book of Astrology, by Kris Brandt Riske. Very beginner, and very light on intellect, heavy on intuition. A great introduction, but I would not suggest it as the only book you read if you’re really interested in the subject.

Tasseography

Tea Leaf Reading for Beginners, by Caroline Dow. There are only a few books within Llewellyn’s immensely popular “For Beginners” series that I would recommend, and this is one of them. The symbol glossary (which makes up the bulk of the book) is the most useful part.

Tea Cup Reading, by Sasha Fenton. This book goes into some detail (quite a bit, actually) about the history of tea and coffee, and, better yet, how to prepare them in the traditional fashion! A lot of traditional lore is described, as well.

Scrying, etc.

Scrying for Beginners, by Donald Tyson. This is really a surprise find, as I don’t usually expect much from this series, by Tyson knows his history and goes far beyond simple exercises for scrying. He is a bit biased towards mirror and crystal-gazing techniques, but does discuss other methods.

Psychic Development for Beginners, by William Hewitt. Readable, and offers some very practical developmental exercises for those wishing to hone extrasensory abilities. Be prepared to sort through a lot of woo, though.

10

Bearded Chicken Breeds-Dutch Owlbeard

The Owlbeard is a very old, if not the oldest, Dutch poultry breed dating back to the early seventeenth century. It appeared in many paintings from Old Dutch masters. They have no wattles and instead we find a beard and muffs, which cover the “chin and cheeks.” They also have a very striking horned V-shaped comb.  The eye color is brown-red and the earlobes are white. The color of the beak depends on the color variety. This also is the case with the leg color, which is white pinkish for the Cuckoo variety, light blue-grey for the White and slate blue for the Golden Spangled variety. The Owlbeard is known in Black, White, Black-laced Blue, Cuckoo, Golden and Silver Spangled, Yellow-white Spangled, Golden Pencilled, and Silver Pencilled varieties as well as the so-called Moorhead. The latter is known in White, Blue, Golden and Buff varieties with a totally black head. 

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How to Schedule Your Study Time

I’ve been asked multiple times to make a post about how to schedule your study time, so here it is! This is a little bit different of a schedule because it’s over mid-semester break (Easter break for most), but it still works.

Step 1: Write down everything you need to do.

Get out a piece of notebook paper or open a new document on your computer and unleash your brain’s to-do list. Write everything down from classes, work, events, and extracurriculars to your work outs, meals, showers, and sleep. Nothing is too small to be written on the list, so if you need to remember to shave your legs, write that down!!

Step 2: Assign each task an estimated amount of time it’ll take to complete.

This part is really crucial for me because it takes my organization a step further to help me achieve my studying and planning goals. It also gives me a reality check – sometimes I’m so ambitious I try to bite off more than I can chew. If I know from the beginning that I most likely won’t achieve everything I need to do, I won’t be as disappointed come the end of my planning and studying. It also tells me I probably need to pick it up during the week and stop procrastinating…

Step 3: Open up Excel, create a table on another computer program, or grab a piece of paper.

Next we’ll make the calendar with a readout of our obligations. I generally use Excel or a piece of paper, but I find that excel works best because I can edit future events easier if I didn’t quite complete a task I planned for.

Have the first column for times, then a column following for each day you want to plan. It helps to have the time column skinnier with the days’ columns wider so text can fit in easily. I leave two rows per hour (therefore one line is equal to one half hour) so I can plan for events or tasks that won’t be taking up whole hours.

Step 4: Designate a color for each of your scheduled categories.

These colors are the same as in my planner:

  • Purple: Anatomy & Physiology
  • Pink: Genetics
  • Blue: Beverage Management
  • Orange: Economics
  • Red: Work
  • Green: Extracurriculars
  • Black: Personal (showers, meals, sleep, relaxation, etc.)
  • Yellow: Travel

I enter in all of my class, work, event, and extracurricular times first – things I can’t miss. These are important to put into your schedule first because you can easily schedule studying around them. 

Step 5: Once all of your obligations are plugged into your schedule, it’s time to fill in your studying.

This is where the required times for your tasks help a great deal! It’s easy to spot an hour block here or there and plug in a 45 minute or hour task… something that may be a little hard for some when they’re just going through their day and have a block. I know whenever I get an hour block I try to nap or rest as much as possible, but this frequently puts me behind. :(

Also, it may help you to pull out your planner and see what exams, quizzes, or assignments are coming up soon. You should rank these at a higher priority and complete these sooner rather than later to ensure you complete them.

I also group lesser tasks; for example, on Thursday night at 11:00 PM I grouped two homework assignments because they really shouldn’t take that long and they’re on the computer at the same time, etc. It’s just easier for me to get them done at the same time. Just like if you need to go to a few different stores, try to go to them all in one trip. It’ll save you time, money, and gas!

Step 6: As you’re adding tasks to your schedule, make sure you’re crossing them off your list you made. You don’t want to miss anything or add something twice!

This is pretty self-explanatory but also important! Make sure you’re adding everything and not missing anything. 

Step 7: Make sure to schedule enough sleep during your night as well as time to eat/relax.

This is the most important step of them all! Without recharging your smart little brain and body, how are you going to have the fuel to move on? Also, try snacking on fruits and veggies and drinking water when you’re studying. I’m one to love candy when I’m studying and it’s hard to say “no” to my precious chocolate and skittles, but I know they’ll just bring my metabolism and energy down. Drinking a lot of water helps too because that means more bathroom breaks – which means more study breaks! ;)

I hope you found this post helpful. If you’d like to see other posts about my studying tips and tricks, please share this post and leave me a message about what I can improve or what you’d like some advice on. Happy studying! – grxeek

[Revised 11/16] Book Recommendations for Witches

Greetings, all. Quite some time ago, I created an annotated bibliography of some of my favorite texts on magical subjects. I was browsing it a few days ago and quickly realized, though, that it had become woefully out-of-date. There were quite a few books I’d only recently finished reading that belonged on the list! 

So, I’ve made an updated version here! Below, you can find my book recommendations, organized into loose categories. I’ve had to add a few new categories since last time, and expand several others. I do plan on doing long-form book reviews on some of these titles, and if there’s a particular one listed that you’d like to see a long review for, please let me know and I’ll work on that.

I hope you find something on here that suits your fancy! Happy reading!

For Absolute Beginners

Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, by Judika Illes. Even better than the Weiser Field Guide to Witches - this book is huge and chock-full of information. It’ll explain in easy-to-understand language how the concept has developed throughout time, why witches do what they do, and different types of witches.

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, by Judika Illes. This gives an excellent look at the historical lore concerning witches, from the perspective of a witch herself. It’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, but it does have some information that won’t be found elsewhere.

The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, by Skye Alexander. Great book for those who’re really absolute beginners and are wondering what witchcraft is all about. Skye takes a very postmodern, utilitarian, and unfailingly honest approach, and it’s geared towards those of almost any belief system.

Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Attractively packaged and readible for almost all ages, this is a great (mostly) non-denominational look at the foundations of magical practice. It’s extremely detailed. Some of it only applies to Zell’s own tradition, but it’s quite useful, anyways.

Basic Techniques

Protection and Reversal Magick, by Jason Miller. This gets a little woo-woo at times, but he gives good advice on how to avoid serious problems that can come up as you begin to practice. Take with a grain of salt, though - some of this has the potential to make you feel paranoid.

City Magick, by Christopher Penczak. If you’re at all interested in tech witchery, or just want to practice magick within an urban setting, do check this out. It is by far the best look at the subject I’ve seen, and his discussion of urban tutelary spirits is worth the price alone.

Power Spellcraft for Life, by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. Nicely done, quite secular book providing basic beginner information regarding writing original spells and workings. It does fall prey to the trap of just listing correspondences with little information at times, but also contains a great deal of detail about ritual timing, raising power, and other topics essential for the beginner.

Sorcerer’s Secrets, by Jason Miller. This is a decent volume that describes a lot of techniques you don’t usually see in books, such as gesture and gaze-based magick. Be warned that Miller writes extensively about manipulative techniques, but it’s useful theory regardless of how you put it into practice.

Witch’s Bag of Tricks, by Melanie Marquis. This is not recommended for beginners, because the whole point of this book is to help existing practitioners refine and improve their already-established techniques. It’s got some novel ideas in it, and I like the author’s approach to symbolism in spellcasting.

Direct Magick (Energy Work)

The Un-Spell Book, by Mya Om. This non-denominational guide to working with magical forces is filled with useful exercises that go beyond the author’s previous work. I recommend reading this after reading Energy Essentials.

Instant Magick, by Christopher Penczak. Excellent beginner’s guide for those who don’t have access to a lot of fancy tools or prefer to work without them. This book won’t instantly teach you magick, but it will help even a seasoned practitioner find quicker, less-complicated ways of achieving results.

Energy Essentials for Witches and Spellcasters, by Mya Om. Though I balk at the use of the term “energy” to describe magical forces, this book is worth a look. It’s a bit like a workbook, with various exercises. Expect a lot of pseudoscience, though, and there are many religious references, but the techniques are solid.

Magical Writing, Words, and Symbols

Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells, by Claude Lecouteux. Mostly a historical text, this book isn’t exactly practical or terribly useful. It is, nevertheless, incredibly interesting. It’s a bit difficult to navigate, but worth a glance.

Composing Magick, by Elizabeth Barrette. A very general, but well-done, look at writing in a magical context. Some of the ritual templates are slightly specific to religious witchcraft traditions, but most information is widely applicable.

Crafting Magick with Pen and Ink, by Susan Pesnecker. Focuses both on the physical act of writing as a magical act, and the mental state associated with it. Highly recommended

The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire, by Skye Alexander. This book is for those who want to create their own grimoire. It gives fairly good advice for doing so, as well as providing hints and tricks for spellcasting and useful correspondences.

General Concepts

Planetary Magick, by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. If you want to work with the planets at all, particularly in a highly ritualized context, I recommend this book. It’s large, comprehensive and gives a good foundation beyond what you find in general astrology books.

Practical Planetary Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Shorter than I would have liked, but a useful reference to have on your shelf, with excellent tables and appendices in the back. The meditations are also quite useful.

Practical Elemental Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Should be read alongside the other book by this pair. Comprehensive guide to working with the elements in a ritualized fashion. Not as accessible to newbies as Lipp’s book, but good for seasoned practitioners.

The Way of Four, by Deborah Lipp. Though mostly geared towards Wiccans, I found this author’s in-depth treatment of the four elements highly fascinating. I will note that it’s probably best to get the print version of this book, as it contains exercises and quizzes.

Ingredients and Correspondences

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison. I cannot praise this book enough for its concise and well-formulated approach to astrology, herbs, and magick as a whole.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, by Judith Hawkins-Tillirson. This is excellent for anyone who’s interested in any kind of magick. Yes, the focus is generally herbs, but there’s a lot to be learned here about Kabbalah and other correspondence systems, as well.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic, by Sandra Kynes. Fills a very difficult gap in published knowledge regarding the use of essential oils by discussing, in great detail, how scents interact with each other and how to create a formula that’s not only palatable, but evocative.

Dunwich’s Guide to Gemstone Sorcery, by Gerina Dunwich. Given the New Age fascination with all things shiny, it was quite a chore to sort through the myriad crystal books to find something with good information. While far from perfect and not exactly devoid of fluff, this book does give a level of detail about the lore surrounding gemstones not seen in many other texts.

Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett. Excellent book, lots of history and detail. There’s a strong focus on tradition within the text, yet the author is quite accommodating of his audience and describes alternate methods that work better in a modern context.

Spagyrics, by Manfred M. Junius. With a highly-developed academic tone and attention to detail, this book is a meaty look at traditional alchemy. I recommend this more for intermediate practitioners due to the sheer density of information.

Spellbooks

The Goodly Spellbook, by Dixie Deerman and Steve Rasmussen. The title sounds horribly fluffy, but this is a hidden gem. It explains obscure concepts like alternative alphabets and potential uses of musical notes, as well as plant lore and other bits and pieces. Definitely worth checking out. It’s way more than just “a book of spells.”

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells, by Judika Illes. The title sounds trite to some, but it delivers. This book has spells from almost every culture and spiritual philosophy, as well as a very detailed formulary. I read it when I’m bored sometimes, too, just because I always learn some tidbit from it.

Book of Spells, by Nicola Pulford. In most editions, this book is absolutely gorgeous and describes spellcasting traditions from a variety of perspectives and traditions. Recommended for those who already understand the basics, as this book jumps straight into spellcasting and gives only a small amount of information about how things work.

Ceremonial Magick

Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig. I received this as a gift several years ago. It is essentially a workbook meant to be completed slowly, step by step, and while the format will not appeal to everyone, it’s a good easy-to-read introduction to ceremonial magick.

Familiar Spirits, by Donald Tyson. Though geared towards ceremonialists, any practitioner can likely learn a thing or two from Tyson’s interesting stroll through the whys and wherefores of spirit work and thoughtform creation. This is by far the best book I’ve seen on the topic of familiar spirits.

Secrets of High Magick, by Francis Melville. The most recent edition of this (the one I own) is lavishly-illustrated and full of rudimentary, yet useful information. He stresses the basics of ceremonial practice, and his writing style is very accessible. Highly recommended for absolute beginners.

My Life With The Spirits, by Lon Milo DuQuette. This is a memoir of a ceremonial magician, but it gives a good look at the magickal mindset in a highly developed form from someone who’s experienced quite a lot. I have major issues with DuQuette’s approach to Qabalah, but his memoirs are worth a read.

Chaos Magick

Liber Null and Psychonaut, by Peter Carroll. Classic book of chaos magick. I consider it required reading for almost anyone interested in the occult. Even if you have no love for chaos magick, do give it a read, just to understand how influential Carroll is, and why.

Hands-On Chaos Magic, by Andrieh Vitimus. Knowing some of the people involved in the creation of this book, I’m a bit biased towards it. That said, even if I didn’t know them, I would still recommend it. It’s especially interesting to read alongside Liber Null and Psychonautin order to see how the chaos “current” has developed over the years.

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 by Taylor Ellwood. There aren’t a lot of books on using pop culture symbolism in magick, but this one is nearly perfect. The author writes in a highly erudite, literate fashion, while still being accessible to newbies. Many useful resources cited, as well, so prepare to branch off a bit while reading it.

History-Related

Triumph of the Moon, by Ronald Hutton. An inside no-holds-barred look at the history of Wicca and Modern paganism. Highly recommended. This is sort of the book that fluffbunnies don’t want you to read.

Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, by Richard Metzger. Lots of facts and history of magick in the context of Postmodernity. This is different from the Crowley text of the same name, which I wouldn’t recommend unless you want to focus on his tradition.

The Place of Enchantment, by Alex Owen. This is a purely historical text that documents the occult revival within the context of Modernity. I remember it being very good, but please realize I haven’t really picked it up much since graduating, and it might just have served my mindset at the time.

Black Box

YouTuber!Au Series

Word Count: 2611

Genre: Fluff

(A/N): For this series, the scenarios will not be posted in age order of the members like we usually do, though we will still start with Coups here.


Los Angeles really was a beautiful city. Never before had you seen a city that could so seamlessly mix so many different cultures. And amongst it all, at the heart of all the diversity, was the same post-modern lifestyle that brought everyone together. You couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to go for your first proper vacation with your boyfriend of three years, Seungcheol.

You’d met him shortly before he started his ever-growing YouTube channel, meaning you got to be there for his growth, his lows, his highs; everything. And throughout everything, he stayed by your side too, never even laying eyes on any of those beauty vloggers that could easily have any man on YouTube they wanted. The both of you were so undoubtedly in love, his fans could even see it from the few videos of his you agreed to be in.

Seungcheol’s videos were mostly reviews of strange products he found online, random comedy rap songs, and the occasional gaming video (which are actually more like just him screaming then laughing when his characters die). They didn’t really give his audience any clues about his personal life, so whenever Seungcheol happened to do a more personal video, he’d usually invite you to be in it. You could tell he loved interacting with his fans and answering questions about himself. But, the Q&As got boring for him after a while. So, this time, he promised his fans something different.

Not only was Seungcheol visiting LA to collab with his friends Joshua and Vernon, he was also planning a relaxing getaway for the both of you, part of which he promised to vlog and upload to his channel.

“How could someone be so loving and considerate,” You thought as you lounged around in Seungcheol and your shared hotel suite, “And just… Perfect?”

It was still early afternoon and the sun hung highly in the crisp spring sky. The big windows in the living room of the suite allowed for the rays to illuminate the pristine hotel furniture. It was only your first full day there, so as you walked around to check out the room, you admired how beautiful the furniture and the wall art was. You could feel a pair of eyes on you, and you quickly turned around to discover that someone had been admiring you.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Your boyfriend asked you.

“The view is amazing, Cheol. I can’t believe you booked this room for the entire week.” You replied, still astounded by the scenery outside.

“Oh, I wasn’t talking about the view. Though, my view right now is pretty great.”

You walked over and playfully slapped his shoulder before scurrying away slightly and pulling your shirt down to below your butt, so he couldn’t see your underwear. With your back facing him, you could only hear his voice, but somehow you felt the smirk on his face.

“Hey,” Seungcheol laughed, “Need I remind you, that’s my shirt. If you stretch it too much I’m not going to want it back. Which, in all honesty, probably isn’t even a bad thing because it looks so cute on you.”

As you blushed at his comment, a pair of arms latched onto your waist and pulled you closer to their owner.

“When are you leaving for Joshua’s house?” You asked, tilting your head a bit to the side in order to hide your blush. But this only gave Seungcheol more access to the side of your neck, which he didn’t hesitate to pepper with little pecks.

“We’re meeting tomorrow,” He said, in between kisses, “Today is all about you.”

“Really?” You asked, turning to face him.

He placed a chaste kiss on your lips before answering, “Well, you and the vlog. I planned some sightseeing things for today so I figured I might as well just vlog that. I mean, who wants to see a twenty minute long video of us just sitting at the beach?”

“Hmm, good point,” You responded, “So then, what kind of sightseeing things are we and your camera doing today?”

“Well,” He began, laying his chin on your shoulder, “Joshua told me about this really great shopping neighborhood. We could walk around for a while in there, then I made a reservation at this really fancy restaurant.”

“Oh? How fancy are we talking?”

“Like, I wouldn’t even be able to afford a table if YouTube didn’t give me a bunch of money to blow on this trip.”

Eyes widening, you replied, “Wow, so what should I wear then?”

“I don’t know, maybe like a short, fancy dress?”

You nodded at his suggestion, trying to assess your options.

“I’ll have to check my black box to see what dresses I brought.” You said.

Seungcheol’s grip around your waste loosened and his eyebrows furrowed, “Black box?”

“Oh, sorry. I meant to say ‘my black suitcase’.” You explained.

He nodded, seeming quite weary, and withdrew his hands from you altogether. As you watched his hunched figure shuffle into the bathroom and close the door, you pondered why Seungcheol could have been so taken aback by your little mistake. Though, you quickly shrugged it off, as he came out again soon afterwards, looking perfectly fine. The both of you quickly forgot the whole incident and began getting ready to go.

-

“So if you guys want, when we get back to Korea we could do a little haul video.” Seungcheol remarked at his camera.

The two of you were leisurely roaming down the sunny streets of LA, as Seungcheol filmed himself and some of the sights he thought looked nice. He’d been blabbing on to his camera for quite a while. You tried to remain interested, but he was just talking about random potential video ideas, so your mind started drifting off. Out of the corner of your eye, you noticed a quaint yet expensive-looking chocolate shop.

“Wow,” You exclaimed, tugging on the sleeve of Seungcheol’s dress shirt, “That chocolate shop looks really cool!”

“Do you wanna check it out?” He asked with a cackle, admiring the way you were so excited by chocolate like a little kid.

“Yes! One more thing to put in the haul.” You joked.

With another giggle, he turned his attention back to the camera and stated, “Alright guys, we’re going to check out that little chocolate shop. I’ll find out whether or not we can film in there and if we can, I’ll see you guys inside the shop.”

He placed a hand over the lens and stopped recording, then used his free hand to hold yours as you led him into the store.

With the jingle of some bells, the both of you ventured into the little shop and as you began revering the chocolate, Seungcheol asked one of the employees if he was allowed to film inside. You couldn’t hear their conversation from where you were, but the skinny, snooty-looking cashier did not seem to be falling for Seungcheol’s puppy dog eyes. You could infer what happened as soon as Seungcheol returned to your side, shoulders hunched as he put his camera into his backpack.

“That guy was not having it.” He chuckled.

You snickered and returned to your admiring of the fancy chocolates, feeling an arm place itself on your shoulder.

Pointing at the chocolate covered cherries, Seungcheol said in awe, “Wow, those look delicious.”

“Would you want to get those?” You asked.

He nodded eagerly in response, earning slight giggle from you. Seungcheol called the snobby-looking employee back over to pack up the cherries.

“Ok sir, would you like those in a white or a black box?” Asked the employee.

“A… B-black box?” Seungcheol stuttered.

You couldn’t figure out why Seungcheol was so stunned by the words “black box”, but you could tell the employee was having the same thoughts.

“We’ll take them in the white box.” You interjected.

The employee nodded and began placing the chocolate covered cherries in the box. When he was done, he handed the box to your boyfriend, whose eyes were still wide with shock. Though, he managed to snap out of it long enough to take out his company credit card and pay for the chocolates.

As the both of you exited the shop, you couldn’t help but dwell upon the situation for a bit longer, thinking about earlier in the day too. Why was Seungcheol so awestruck whenever someone mentioned a black box?

Your thought process was interrupted by Seungcheol taking his camera back out and continuing to talk about the chocolate shop. This time, you were left unable to zone out as he opened the box and fed you a cherry. He then proceeded to tell his viewers about the fancy dinner reservations he made for later on, and explained that that was the reason why you were both dressed so nicely.

After another two hours of walking around and shopping in the random stores you’d come across, Seungcheol called the both of you a taxi to take you to the restaurant.

-

“Choi, party of two.” Said Seungcheol to the maitre’d, subtly trying to out-fancy him by using an abnormally deep voice and fixing his tie.

After checking his book, the maitre’d stepped out from behind his host stand and gestured, “Follow me. I’ve an excellent table for the both of you.”

As the bony old man led you to the table, you could see that he was right. The table Seungcheol reserved was on the balcony of the restaurant, right next to the fence. From your seats, you both could see the majestic skyline of the city, in the glorious sunset lighting.

“Oh my gosh, Cheol.” You gasped as you admired the breathtaking scenery.

Pulling out your chair for you, Seungcheol replied, “It’s amazing, isn’t it? Kind of like you.”

As he shuffled to his own seat, you playfully smacked his shoulder for being cheesy.

“You’re so corny. It’s a good thing you’re cute to balance it out.” You admitted.

“Hey, you don’t mind if I vlog some of this, do you? I talked to the manager on the phone a few days ago and he said I could film here.”

“No, go ahead. This place is so beautiful, your fans should see it too.”

“Thanks, (Y/N). I must be the luckiest guy alive to be able to spend my time with someone as understanding and stunning as you. But, don’t worry, I’ll only vlog the food and a little bit of us talking.”

You blushed at his compliment as the waitress arrived and gave you both menus.

“Hello, I’ll be your server for tonight. May I start you two out with some drinks?” Asked the petite brunette.

“Do you have any recommendations?” Seungcheol asked in response.

“Well, if you’re looking for something virgin, we make fresh fruit smoothies in-house. In terms of alcohol, most everything on the menu goes very well with champagne or certain wines. My personal favorite would be the Black Box pinot grigio.”

You only nodded at the waitress’s suggestion, not really thinking much about the wine, since you didn’t plan on drinking.

You looked up from your menu momentarily to ask your boyfriend what he thought about the recommendation, only to find him looking very uncomfortable, his eyes opened almost comically wide.

“Uh, you can order whatever you want, (Y/N). I have to find a restroom.”

With that, Seungcheol scurried off, leaving you alone with the waitress.

“We’ll both just have water, I guess, and a strawberry banana smoothie for me.” You told the waitress, sending her your best smile through the worry you felt for Seungcheol.

The waitress hurried off and quite a while passed before Seungcheol returned to the table. You would have asked him what was wrong, but he looked like he was not in the mood to talk. He simply trudged over to his seat and opened his backpack, which he’d placed right next to the chair. He looked through its contents for a moment then grabbed his camera and placed it on the table, not uttering a single word the whole time.

He set up the camera so that it could capture the both of you and the view of the city.

Before he pressed record, he turned to you apologetically, “Sorry about that. The toilet was calling and my bladder could not help but answer.”

After winning a laugh from you, he chuckled to himself and began recording.

“Alright guys, so we bought a lot of cool stuff earlier but we stashed it all in the hotel room and now we’re at the restaurant!” He filled in his viewers.

“This place is absolutely amazing,” You chimed in, “It’s like I can see the entire city from up here.”

“And the decor is so fancy. I’m going to feel like a millionaire until our waitress is inevitably rude to us then we have to leave!” He joked.

The two of you burst into laughter, earning strange looks from the other fancy diners. Once you both managed to settle down, the waitress arrived with your drinks. You imagined that Seungcheol would probably ask you what you were drinking and have you explain it for the sake of the vlog, but instead, he covered the lens with a napkin.

“Hey, (Y/N), I wanted to talk to you about earlier.” He said.

You hastily put the straw in your smoothie then turned your attention to him, “What about it?”

“Well, um, it was kind of obvious that I had something on my mind. And I bet you thought it was weird how I always seemed to freak out whenever anyone said ‘black box’.”

“I did notice that, but I didn’t really think much of it.”

“Good, good. That’s really good.”

The conversation died down a bit, leaving the two of you in an awkward silence.

Seungcheol cleared his throat, “It was just because… For the whole day… I was carrying a black box.”

“What?” You asked, your eyebrows furrowing.

Seungcheol took the napkin off the camera lens and allowed it time to focus before talking again.

“I had a surprise planned for you, to show you here, so I was worried that someone had found out about it. But, I was just being ridiculous.” He said.

He paused again, leaving you to grow more and more nervous. But after a moment, his eyes darted down, at his own pants. He reached into his pocket and pulled out none other than a small, black box.

“(Y/N), you mean so much to me, and I love you more than I’ve ever loved anything or anyone else. You make me so happy, so, if you’ll accept, I’d like a chance to make you happy… Forever. Will you marry me?”

Seungcheol opened the box to reveal a ring. The band was white gold and the diamond was bigger than you expected. You looked from the ring to your boyfriend, his eyes beaming with anticipation. As you reached your hand across the table, it allowed for him to take the ring from the box and slide it onto your ring finger.

You couldn’t find any words to express how you felt about the situation. Instead of talking, you simply admired the ring on your finger and how it caught the gleam of the orange sunset.

You opted for a simple, “Yes.”

Seungcheol reached over to take your hand again and placed a delicate kiss on its backside. With the crisp California air and your fiancé’s loving grin, everything just felt perfect as the sun set on what was undoubtedly the best day of your life.

-Written by Admin Cali

So I’m the fine dining lady and I feel like I need to defend myself and my fellow fine dining servers. Yes, we average $300-400 tickets a night. That ranges from a 2-top to a 5-top. We do a LOT of work for our 3-4 table section. When I’m in cocktail (where I usually am), we do the same work but with 5-6 tables. We constantly top off waters, we have scripts and models of our food we bring out to show guests, we have insane knowledge on our food and wine. We have about 70 wines by the glass and total almost 150 wines and we have to know all of them. That’s on top of having to know everything else behind our bar. Not just if it’s good or not but EVERYTHING about it. We have to know where our food is from, if it’s wild or farm, we have to constantly be at our tables providing excellent service. I worked at a pub and in shit bars before and I can tell you it’s an experience to eat at my restaurant. You aren’t just paying for the food, you’re paying for my time and knowledge. A dinner table lasts about 2 hours at my restaurant. That may be my only turn or if I get another that table may only have a $100 bill since my restaurant’s formal dining room is only open for 5 hours of the day. We make really good money but we work our assess off and we know a hell of a lot more than I ever had to know at any restaurant I’ve had to work at prior. So yes, if you spend $400 on one meal and I serve you for 2 hours with a level of service you don’t get at other restaurants, I deserve that $80 tip. 

The Fisher King

Title: The Fisher King 6/?
Rating: T
Timeline: Part 6 of the coffee shop au universe
Category: MSR
Summary: Dana’s face tightens and Mulder gets the sense that she’d like to ask his ex-wife some questions at the business end of a scalpel. He’s not wholly opposed to the idea. 
Author’s Note: Thanks to everyone who keeps encouraging me to write something else in this universe. It is very kind.

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from the beginning; donghan

it felt right to be friends, but what would it felt like to be more than that?

pairing: kim donghan | reader.

genre: fluff

warnings: use of alcohol.

words: 6.5K

author’s note: i have recently started watching produce 101 season 2, and as you can see, it has pretty much consumed me, lmao. so, because i have taken an interest in the show and already have faves, i decided why not start to write scenarios for them ?? i want to thank the donghan group chat i’m including in on twitter for reading this scenario and giving it such good feedback, it really boosted my confidence in writing and made me both smile and cry. i hope you all enjoy this scenario !! happy reading~

Originally posted by broduce101boyz

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Let’s get some data analysis up in here

Just to start us off, because I want to get some writing done tonight too. Using the data provided by our lovely and brilliant @otome–gokoro , I had some fun with Excel and Pivot tables.

(For each separate analysis, each group was assigned a percentage: if 20 people liked X best, and of those 20 people, 2 liked Y least, 10% of people who liked X best liked Y least. This ensures that the comparisons between data sets are actually comparable.)

The following legend is the same for every graph:

Favourite lord by age group:

Masamune only narrowly beats out Saizo among the 20-somethings, with Ieyasu following behind. Saizo is the clear winner among 30-somethings, with Shingen being about 2/3 as popular and Masamune approximately half as popular. 40-somethings are an even split between Mitsuhide, Kojuro, Saizo, and Shingen. The teens split their votes between Saizo, Ieyasu, Masamune, and Yukimura pretty evenly. Those who preferred not to say love Ieyasu.

Least favourite lord by age group:

20-somethings really don’t like Mitsuhide (c’MON, he’s so sweet!), and Ieyasu and Hideyoshi come next. 30-somethings don’t like Ieyasu or Mitsuhide, and Nobunaga is less liked than Kenshin. 40-somethings dislike Ieyasu a LOT. And also dislike Mitsunari and Nobunaga. The teens dislike Mitsuhude and Ieyasu most, but they also don’t like Hideyoshi, Shingen, Kenshin, or Mitsunari. Those who preferred not to say dislike Ieyasu and Mitsuhide, as well as Kenshin, Shingen, Nobunaga, and is also the group that likes Inuchiyo the least. The one person who didn’t answer their age hates Mitsunari.

This last one is which lords were liked least by which lord was their favourite. The name on the bottom represents the favourite lord, and the bar represents the proportion of those whose favourite lord is X whose least favourite lord is Y. I don’t know how to explain that better. Anyway here is the chart.

I’m not going to go too into this one because I’d have to do each lord, but for example: those who like Yukimura the most like Saizo and Shingen the least, and no one whose favourite is Yukimura chose Masamune as their least favourite (clearly, innocence over smutlords for this group!). People who liked Kojuro most liked Mitsunari and Yukimura least. Etc, etc.

Now, the sample size is relatively small (especially among the 40-somethings), so this is only really representative of a small proportion of players and I can’t tell you how statistically representative it is likely to be because I don’t know the total population of players, just the sample size. So this is not gospel, it’s just for fun!

I’ll probably do some more things tomorrow on favourite animals, favourite female NPCs, favourite parental figure, etc., but I owe a lovely anon some smut so I’m going to work on that.

If anyone has anything they want to see, let me know! Excel is life. Excel is love.

I was rewatching the Transformers Prime S2 episode “Armada” yesterday evening and remembered why I like it so much:  it’s a great villain-focused episode.  The Autobots are present, of course, and I wouldn’t miss Bulkhead attempting to sneak off the Nemesis while chanting, “Stealthy … stealthy …” but from Starscream channeling his inner Doctor Frankenstein (”BWAHAHAHA! GIVE ME LIFE!”) as he creates his clones to Airachnid asking Arcee for the “courtesy” of an excruciating death to Megatron’s no-selling of every attempt to take him down (”A busy day for assassins”), this one lets the antagonists shine.  Particular kudos to the writers for using Megatron’s ambush by Starscream’s clones to make it clear how Megatron has maintained his position as Lord of the Decepticons despite only intermittent command of his underlings’ loyalty.  He’s not just stronger than they are; he’s also smarter, and quick to seize the advantage.  (Favorite exchange: “What was that?” “The sound of the tables turning.”)

Excellent stuff; must watch again!

anonymous asked:

so i'm a huge fan of the doors music but idk much about them.. what are some things not many people know about jim and the band in general? 🤔

oh boy oh boy uhhh how deep do u want me to go??? i never get to talk abt what I really want abt Jim so I’m gonna do it now fuck it

well starters for Jim he was mentally ill. bipolar??? prob. also a leetle gay. and a kinky son f a bitch. As for other relatively unknown things abt him… He was a southern gentleman! Although he worked 2 rid himself of whatever accent he may have had. excellent table manners. the secret to his hair was washing but not brushing it, he told John dens more that.

As for the rest of the band: Robby is a pro surfer n a great skateboarder. John LOVES bongos. And Obama. As for Ray hmmm Ray initially brought Jim to join his and his older brothers band Rick and the Ravens and his brothers found Jim to be way too weird. Also when the doors sorta lived all together in Ray and Dorothy’s beach house in Venice John Robby and Jim would listen to Ray and Dorothy bang all the time and imitate the noises. The first time John did acid he went into a room and jacked off. Robby is Jewish. Rays record collection got destroyed by Jim. Also ! Jim saw Ray v much as a father figure. He also saw his lawyer max fink as a father figure. Jim and Michael McClure went to gay bars together to hang out with poets. Jim went to gay bars and leather bars on his own to be Edgy and Cool. Also when Jim first got famous everyone tried to get Jim to like ‘nicer’ women and more 'proper’ or 'sophisticated’ women because Jim loved trans girls and prostitutes and weird girls and homeless girls a LOT. That’s all I got for now.

TF2 Headcanon - Not Again

Based on something @camiluna27 said in chat last night

- - - 

The team are sitting down to eat, stragglers incoming all the time.

It was one of those rare holidays that they had a chance to enjoy. The Administrator only referred to it as ‘temporarily instated leave’, and it could strike at any time. No one knew why, really.

It tended to make everyone far more relaxed, magnanimous. Engie would take the time to cook (with help, he ain’t nobody’s maid); Heavy and Medic would be couply but also try to teach the others random words in their languages (Scout could swear in German, Russian AND French now)…

And sometimes Spy would be… approachable. He tended to offer wine at their dinner table, always excellent… even if he did admonish a few people for complaining about the 'fancy grape juice’.

But, another tradition that was far less pleasant tended to arise, every single time. Normally ending with someone yelling or something exploding…

Tonight was no different. Last to arrive at the table, was Demo.

Demo’s eyes fell upon the night’s wine selection…
A few mercs looked at each other.
“Oh god, here we go…” mumbled someone, and another rolled their eyes.

“What in the bloody hell is that fancy grape juice nonsense?” Demo demands.

(Here we go again…) groans someone, as Spy automatically turns to glare at the Scot.

“You may be too inebriated or simply uncultured to tell zhis Demoman, but zhat is fine Italian wine of excellent vintage…”

“Pffft, that ain’t a real man’s drink… what’s it doing on the table?”

Spy sighs. “I will never understand zhe constant need to gender drinks… but, as I 'ave stated before, wine is a sophisticated drink that can compliment any meal if zhe right selection is made…”

Demo slams a bottle of Scrumpy down.
“Ye’re full of it, laddie. Only thing you’ll ever need is Scrumpy… it goes with everything!”

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anonymous asked:

Boys, who is the beer pong champion of the group?

Pine: Evans.

Richard: Evans.

Tom: Hemsworth.

Evans: Me.

Henry: I think we need to have a tournament. Tom’s excellent at table tennis, but I think I can outdrink him. And Hemsworth can probably outdrink me –

Hemsworth: I can definitely outdrink you, mate.

Tom: Only if it’s Fosters.

Hemsworth: I don’t drink Fosters. Real Australians don’t drink Fosters.

Henry: As I was saying, I think Tom, Hemsworth, Evans, and I should play a tournament to decide this.

Michael: Hey, I want to play. You can’t just leave me out of this.

Henry: I didn’t know you played beer pong.

Michael: I’m Irish. I’ll play whatever if it means I get to drink.

Evans: Now we have an odd number of players.

Ben: So have everyone play. There are eight of us. I think that’s the right number for a single elimination tournament.

Tom: It definitely is. Who has some paper and a pen? We’ll do a random draw and fill out a bracket and then get to it.

three hours later

[SCENE]

Chris Hemsworth’s basement. A ping pong table is in the center of the room. One wall of French doors looks out over the ocean. The surf breaks in gentle waves against the pristine shore. Red SOLO cups litter the floor. Richard, Ben, and Chris Pine are mostly sober, having been eliminated early. The others show signs of obvious inebriation. Henry and Fassy are slouched in chairs. Henry’s shirt is almost completely unbuttoned. Fassy is smoking a cigarette and recounting the story of the time he got so drunk that he confused a stray cow for his dog. Hemsworth is sprawled on the floor. Chris Evans is standing on top of the table, arms held up in wobbly victory, belting loudly and off-key, “We Are the Champions.” He knows less than a third of the words, but that doesn’t stop him.