for being the only lord with whom i can actually identify

trashcanbees  asked:

Can you explain transubstantiation to me in a way that I can understand? Every time I ask I'm given "the church says so" or told to read John 6:26-end but nothing in the scripture that I've read gives me any reason to think it was meant to be literal. Perhaps it's just because of the translation I have, I use NLT, but nothing I've read leads me to believe that was Jesus's intention in saying that. "Jesus said so" is a good enough reason for me to believe it but I struggle to see that he said it.

You’re right of course that not everything Jesus said can be taken literally. We do not believe that Jesus is literally a vine, or that we are literally called to become branches! There are two major clues, however, that in the case of Jesus’ assertion in John 6, “I am the bread of life”, a literal interpretation is the correct one.

The first is a shift in wording in the Greek text that is not reflected in English translations (though good study Bibles will mention it in footnotes). In verses 51 and 53, when Jesus says “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” and “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you”, the Greek verb translated as “eat” is phago. But in verse 54, when Jesus reiterates “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day”, the verb being translated as “eat” is now trogo, which is the word used to describe animal eating rather than human consumption. This deliberate choice of words implies a literal meaning.

Secondly, we have to look at the context. Elsewhere in scripture, when Jesus uses a metaphor and it is taken literally, scripture offers straightforward clarification of his true meaning. See John 2:19-22:

Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

Here, John’s clarification is explicit and incontrovertible. There is no plausible way to argue that Jesus was actually speaking about Herod’s temple in verse 19. The Evangelist has specifically told us that this saying is a metaphor. 

In John 6, the Jews to whom Jesus is speaking again take his words literally: “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” (v. 42), “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (v. 52). But this time, no such clarification is offered. After his initial statement in verse 34, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst”, Jesus reiterates seven times that it is necessary to eat his flesh in order to be saved (v. 48-50, 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, and 57-58), but neither he nor John ever offers an alternate interpretation of these sayings. Even when “many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him” because of this teaching (v. 66), no correction of their literal understanding is given.

The most commonly cited objection to this is John 6:63: “It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” But unlike the clarification about the temple in John 2, other interpretations of this verse are possible, and if Jesus is truly speaking of his own flesh here, and it is truly “of no avail”, then the entire Incarnation is meaningless - a conclusion clearly contradicted by scripture. Furthermore, the second part of this verse, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life”, reinforces everything Jesus has just said identifying himself with the bread of life by reminding us that his words are the revelation of the Spirit. Catholics therefore interpret verse 63 as an admonition that the doctrine of the Eucharist must be understood as something supernatural rather than natural; indeed, it is only by supernatural means that this man can give us his actual flesh to eat.

While John 6 is the most comprehensive scriptural basis for the doctrine of the Real Presence, the notion of Jesus giving us his flesh to eat is reinforced elsewhere in scripture. The Last Supper accounts in the other gospels (Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20) are the source of the actual words of consecration said by the priest. St. Paul reiterates this account in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, then goes on to say in verse 27: “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.“ This is a rather strong condemnation if the Eucharist is merely a symbol, but a logical one if it is truly the body and blood of Christ.

Additionally, while not substantial proofs, many other biblical images fall into place and make more sense if the doctrine of the Real Presence is true. Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1:29), the paschal lamb which has been sacrificed (1 Cor 5:7); we eat his flesh just as the Israelites ate the flesh of the paschal lamb in Egypt (Exodus 12:8). Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1-5, 14), and we are told that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4). The Church is the Bride of Christ (see Ephesians 5:21-32, Revelation 21:2,9-10), and the bride and groom are not merely united in spirit but “become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7-8, Ephesians 5:31). The full meaning of all these teachings is only revealed by the bodily presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

Marriage-Making in ASOIAF Meta

A while ago, @warsofasoiaf told me I should write a guide on how to think about what I write about often here on the Tumblr: marriage speculation in the world of ASOIAF. So I’m finally sitting down to do that. I’m not pretending this is the only way you can write about this stuff, or everyone does it this way, just how I think about these sorts of questions. Think of it more suggestion than anything else.

The first thing I do when I get this kind of question is think about the particular time and place in question. It’s critical for me that I identify when and where this character is whose marital fate is being discussed. To take one example: Sansa at the beginning of AGOT is a far different marital pawn than Sansa during ACOK, and these two girls are very different indeed from Sansa, say, right now in the story. Likewise, it’s an entirely different ballgame if Sansa is sent back to her mother and brother in ACOK or early ASOS, or if she were kept at court as in OTL, or if she were sent somewhere completely separate. For another example, and something I actually wrote about: a marriage between a Mormont and a Hightower would almost certainly ordinarily be out of the cards, but for Jorah and Lynesse, the circumstances were the perfect storm of acceptability. As much as possible, I try to work within the time and place context of the question - what led up to that point such as would influence a marital decision for any character.

That leads to my second point when making marital arrangements in ASOIAF meta: identifying the parties involved. What sort of status the parties bring to the table - for good or ill - is going to influence what sort of marital alliance can be made. So, for example, if I were talking about Brynden Rivers’ sisters, Mya and Gwenys, I would have to keep in mind that they were the daughters of the king and his most popular mistress (who was herself of noble birth), that they were born bastards, and that they were legitimated: bastard prejudice is strong in Westeros, which might cut them off from marrying lords or heirs, but being noble on both sides of their lineage and legitimated, they might have well been able to marry younger sons of fairy notable lords. Similarly, when one (or both) of the parties is heir to his or her seat, special consideration needs to be taken: the crown is never going to sit for two paramount regions combining into a single unit with the marriage of their heirs (so that mooted marriage between Edmure and Arianne would have involved one of them, probably Arianne, giving up their claims to his or her seat). 

Of course, the main parties involved would be the man and woman who will actually be tying the knot, but in very few cases will these two be the only actors to consider. To give an example: in my opinion, there’s no way one can talk about the marriage of Rhaegar - either as it happened IOTL or an alternative to his betrothal to Elia - without discussing King Aerys II. It was Aerys who so despised and feared his son and heir, and the rival court he created; Aerys who sent cousin Steffon to the Free Cities to find Rhaegar a Valyrian-blooded bride; Aerys, ultimately, who had final say over whom the crown prince wed. For another example, any discussion of Robert marrying after the Rebellion has to include the interests of the newly victorious rebel coalition; they had helped bring Robert to power, and would expect the new king to reflect that in his marriage. For another example, when talking about the marriages of Ned and Catelyn’s children, I try to bring up the expectation of Ned’s northern bannermen: they had been denied the hands of lordly Stark maidens for several generations (the last Stark daughters to wed northmen being Arranna and Aregelle, granddaughters of Cregan the One-Day Hand via his son Edric and his half-niece Serena), and might have expected that, with two Stark daughters from Ned and Catelyn, at least one would be given to a prominent bannerman. 

That leads to the last, and probably the most important consideration when writing marriage metas: what do the involved parties want out of the marriage. Identifying what drives those arranging the marriage is crucial to making a realistic match for any character. So, for example, when I talked about Jaime’s proposed marriage to Elia, I thought about both the personal and political reasons Tywin would have seen Lysa as a much better match for Jaime than Princess Elia. Similarly, in talking about Daenerys and Drogo, I discussed what might have made Drogo accept a penniless exiled royal like Daenerys for his khaleesi. If I talk about Rhaegar and his search for a bride, I always highlight what I think the king wanted most: a bride of Valyrian blood but uttery without wealth or great allies that could threaten him.

Again, these are just guidelines, but they are what I use to think about AU marriages in ASOIAF or to discuss why certain betrothals or marriages did, in fact, happen.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

About that new patch....

First off: congrats to all these people who will be able to romance Jaal with their broRdyers and made it possible by participating in #MakeJaalBi.
You are proof that achievements like these can be reached through civilized and polite discussion.

Now about the other, not so civilized side:
Honestly I don’t care if Jaal is entirely straight or bi. Either way my sisRyder and him can get married and live happily ever after. I wish this was the case from the beginning, so this whole discussion about homophobia didn’t need to take place in the first place.

But Bioware didn’t make Jaal bi from the beginning and that discussion did take place. And I was startled and shocked at the amount of shit that was thrown around - and with the patch anouncement continues to be thrown around and by whom.

Do you want to know what kind of posts I saw?

LGBTQ members insulting and attacking straight people for Jaal originally not being bi, for not agreeing with this course of action and explaining legitmately why they don’t agree and for simply being straight.
I didn’t actually think that this was possible but many displayed a behaviour that actually can only be identified as heterophobia.

Really? Do you think this is okay?
I knew homosexual and bi people who spent half of their lives working in organizations to erase prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation. A problem queer people suffer from and continue to suffer from.
And you just go ahead and turn the phenomenon around. Instead of queer people being attacked for beeing queer, it’s straight people attacked for being straight and speaking their opinions while raising valid points worthy of discussion.
And then the arguments being used: ‘Jaal takes care of his appearance so he must be gay.’ ‘He is so emotional and open, he can’t be straight.’ 'He gets naked with male crewmates, all hail to the gay lord.’ - only to name a few.

Do you know what those are? No? I’ll tell you. Stereotypes, prejudices, made up in order to discriminate.
Queer people working their asses off to eleminate these lines of thought and then queer people who call for equality go ahead and use these same stereotypes, queer people themselves making all the work against these very stereotypes lableling them without a second thought, undone by using them as arguments!

Double standards much? Do you even realize what you are saying and doing?

Changing someones sexuality because you don’t like it is never okay. It’s not okay to change a straight person, it’s not okay to change a gay/lesbian person and it’s not okay to change a bi/ pan person. There is no difference, because in all cases it’s who they are.

And if the fact that queer people have been subjugated to this kind of thinking for years, makes you think it is okay to do that to straight people, then I have to dissapoint you mate, it’s still not okay - just like the fact that black people have suffered from racism directed at them by white people, doesn’t legitimate racism from black people towards white people. It is wrong and will always stay wrong.
And I have yet to see a convincing argument on why it is so different to change Sera’s/Dorian’s/Suvi’s/Gil’s orientations from changing Jaal’s/Kaidan’s.

You can agree with me or not. This is my opinion on the matter. We can discuss it if you remain polite and respectful. Otherwise ignore this or if you really can’t tolerate it go ahead and attack me verbally. It doesn’t really affect me. Quite the contrary, you make it easier for me to block biased people and help me prove my point.

Please and thank you.

3

For those who don’t know. I have a deep and profound affection for Zutara. When I say they are my OTP, I mean they are my OTP. 

I wanted to design what I thought their children would be like, I especially want to do this now after watching LOK. While I adore the cloud babies, I do think the show is lacking in the way it handles interracial families, in the sense that it doesn’t seem like there is much cultural overlap. As someone who comes from such a family I wanted to imagine Zutara’s interracial family. Obviously these are the very, very first rough sketches. I don’t even have names for half the kids. (Were gonna call the eldest son Honor for now and then the Eldest sister Honora, the twins i’ve decided should be named Kya and Ursa.) 

Anyhoots, I was trying to imagine their bending styles to get a sense of their characters. I liked to imagine that Zuko was very influenced by his uncle talk about the four nations and how he learned to redirect fire that both Katara and Zuko taught their children their respective bending styles, regardless of whether they were a fire bender or a water bender. 

The top drawing is of Honor, the eldest and only son. I wanted him to be a water bender, who grows up to be the worlds greatest healer(because it be cool to see a male fulfill that role). I also see him being the most connected to his water tribe roots, and eventually decides to pass on being fire lord to move to the south pole. 

I imagined Honor’s special move is ice breath, which I imagined more as a defensive move. He chills the air, effectively weakening fire attacks due to the chilly air (Is this possible *shrugs*) Since the basics of fire bending is about breathing I imagined he got this from his training with Zuko. 

Second is Honora, whom is a fire bender but visually takes a lot after her mother. I figure she’s more graceful with her fire bending movements is less about the traditional power attack. Also I imagined she mastered lightening bending. She is similar to her father in the sense where she is not a prodigy, but works hard and is very determined. She’s kinda redirecting the fire ball in the pic. 

Third pic is Kya and Ursa. Kya’s a water bender, but highly identifies with her fire bending roots and Ursa is a fire bender. Both I imagined are similar to Azula were they are natural fighters, but they also have Sokka’s gift for strategy. So I imagine both of them joining the military in some way. Since both of them are dedicated the martial arts, I figured they took their training a step further and studied other forms of martial arts to create their own unique style of fighting, making them super fierce opponents. 

I figured since Firebenders can use their breath to warm up, why can’t a water bender use their breath to chill things down. So far i’ve imagined Kya using a lot of of ice, her specialty ice fist. She’s very brutal in her attacks. 

Ursa I imagined actually uses very little fire bending, and similar to her father can actually last pretty long in a fight without relying on it. Maybe she has a weapon of her own, but I thought it would be interesting to see a bender that doesn’t rely so much on their bending. She has a way of going with the flow and being adaptable, something she learned from her mother. 

I’ll post later on a rough color sketch of the four of them, and hopefully in soonish of times i’ll do a full colored drawing of the whole family together. Also I post more about my version of the Zutara kids personalities. 

On the Gender of Dark Sun Gwyndolin...

Oh, dear. Am I really going to disturb this hornets’ nest…?

Of course I am!

It seems to be a point of some controversy among Souls fans — those operating on Tumblr, at least — and controversy that wasn’t self-generated usually has a good reason for “rusting the jimmies,” as you kids say. Or this could just be a series of silly tantrums over a video game.

So let’s address the issue at hand: Gwyndolin’s gender, in all its serpentine mystery. Before discussing Gwyndolin himself/herself, let me begin by discussing the sides of this debate…

[EDIT. This was much longer than I’d intended it to be, and for that I’m very sorry. I tried to make it thoughtful and interesting, though, so… ]

On one hand, we have what could be a case of legitimate transgender representation in semi-mainstream media.

Following this line of thought, Gwyndolin is — finally — a trans character who isn’t “the trans character.” She plays a multifaceted role that can be interpreted in many different ways. She holds a significant place in the lore and universe of Dark Souls. She is treated seriously by the game. And she is transgender. This fact is neither sexualized nor swept under the rug; it’s simply part of her character, plain as day..

To be represented in a way that can be taken seriously, with the same degree of thoughtfulness with which you yourself would like to be represented…

In a dark fantasy video game that you enjoy playing…

That’s pretty significant, and pretty empowering — especially when you consider that for ages, Final Fight’s Poison has been the most prominent trans character in video games. Poison? Eugh. Gwyndnolin? Okay. I’m not transgender/transsexual, nor do I closely know anyone who is; that said, I appreciate the value of what is being proposed here.


On the other hand, we have the point that … it’s just a game. Dark Souls is just a video game. Attempting to read into the thoughts and desires of a video game character who has hardly five lines of actual speech is, well, a little ridiculous.

This is in light of the fact that (1) the in-game flavor text, (2) the Darkmoon Knightess, and (3) the developers themselves all use male nouns/pronouns when discussing Gwyndolin. It’s not like a religious text or obscure allegory; everybody and their mother refers to Gwyndolin as “he,” and in the most matter-of-fact way.

—————————————————————————————


So, in a over-simplified view of the matter, we have two conflicting viewpoints.

One is hoping — reaching, towards a tangible hope — that Gwyndolin is indeed a “trans” character, portrayed in a respectful and interesting way.

The other is grounded firmly in the apparent reality of the game world, as expressed by its creators and its in-universe inhabitants.

What is to be made of this?

Normally, I’d brush it all off as somewhat silly. I believe firmly in the “Mary Shelley” attitude toward fiction: Once an artistic creation is put into the world, it takes on a life of its own — and any subsequent interpretations of that work, so long as they justly consider every part of it, are on some level valid.

In light of that, you can all just shut your mouths and be content to disagree in a civilized way.

However, the issue of Gwyndolin’s gender brushes against the situations of some very real people — all of whom have fought, on some level, to be identified as they wish to be. Moreover, transgender representation in media is notoriously scant, if not downright awful. I wouldn’t want to have the hope of respectful representation dangled in front of my face, only to be snatched away — not without good reason.

Let me share with you, then, what I think of Dark Sun Gwyndolin’s gender — what I have always thought.

I believe that Gwyndolin is a “he” in the most formal sense. He is referred to as “master” by the Lady of the Darkling — not “mistress” or “lady” — and every scrap of in-game text uses male nouns. He is, officially, male.

Yet he was raised as a woman…
…dresses like a woman…
…leads a covenant to which feminine imagery is central…
…has an affinity for the Moon, traditionally a feminine body,..
…and, apart from the snakes, has a female physique.

The reality conflicts with the official report. Why?

It’s because of Lord Gwyn and his firstborn son. Gwyn’s dynasty seems to have been a traditional patrilineal monarchy; and his Firstborn was the “golden boy,” taking after his father and being groomed for potential succession. Can we doubt that Gwyn would have wanted a fellow “Sun Warrior” god to follow him, in the event of his demise?

But the Sun’s Firstborn, as we all know, was renounced by his father after the destruction of the annals. He was a proud warrior who valued only strength and weapons — not the forethought with which Gwyn built his kingdom.

Gwyn disowned him for his folly, and was left without an heir.
So Gwyndolin, previously regarded as a daughter, assumed her brother’s place as the inheriting son.

Consider how “Gwynevere” is treated in-game. (True, it’s an illusion of Gwynevere, but it was an illusion meant to be convincing. It’s meant to be the image of normality.) She sits on a comfortable sedan, guarded by a coterie of knights, and bestows blessings upon pilgrims. That’s all. The pretend “goddess,” despite being Gwyn’s next eldest offspring, is treated like a fixture, not a leader.

“She’s the princess — a woman! — so of course she wouldn’t rule!” This is the normal way of things in Anor Londo. It’s a patrilineal monarchy. Do you see what I’m saying?

The way I see it, Gwyndolin must have accepted his birth gender in order to legitimize his authority. S/He needed to be “male” in order to inherit Gwyn’s domain.

Does Gwyndolin rule Anor Londo through the Gwynevere illusion? No. Gwyndolin is the guardian of Anor Londo; Gwyndolin is the leader of the Darkmoon Blades; Gwyndolin is in charge.

The only way for her to be recognized as such…

…was to be, officially, male. Given the fact that, according to Miyazaki, Gwyndolin’s garments are meant to symbolize female menstruation, we can assume that he still identifies with the female gender on some level. But he accepts the position of male heir, out of loyalty to Lord Gwyn. And, you know, the desire for power.

So after I mock the notion of reading into a fictional character’s intentions, I do exactly that. Haha! Make of it what you will — and remember the “Mary Shelley point of view.”

And above all, be respectful to one another!

Get to Know Your Fellow Witches

Questions by @horned-deity​ tagged by @safran28

1. Are you a religious witch?

Not precisely. I have my patrons, but my worship and my craft are two separate things, and I consider myself spiritual more than religious.

2. What is your preferred herb?

Depends on what I’m doing, really. Basil and Rosemary are my go-to herbs for many, many things, with Green Sage following close behind. I like my White Sage, but only because I grow it myself. (I don’t recommend buying White Sage from occult shops, as it’s usually wildcrafted, and wild populations of White Sage are badly overharvested. Alternative herbs are easy enough to find.)

3. What is your preferred gem?

Moonstone. I’m always wearing at least one, preferably more. It used to be three every day, but…well, one’s been replaced by a very pretty little emerald. :)

4. Do you do divination? What kind?

I have a personal set of runes that work very well, but I’m fairly shite with everything else. Cards, ogham staves, pendulums, scrying, tasseomancy… forget it.

5. Favorite tarot card?

Strength. In The Golden Tarot, Strength is a red-haired maiden restraining a lion, and the card has a lot of symbolism for me.

6. To curse or not to curse?

For me, to curse. For anyone else, that’s their decision and no one else’s. I am known for being very curse-positive, meaning I firmly believe in and advocate for each individual practitioner’s right to decide when and whether and how to use baneful magic.

7. Do you have a familiar?

I do! He’s an old black cat named Sebastian, and he’s effectively retired due to his advanced age. My gingerboy Havoc is in training and shows the potential to be a very good witchcat. But out of respect, I won’t take on another familiar while Sebastian still lives. I’ve worked without a familiar for years, so it’s no burden to me to let the dear old grump live out his days in peace.

8. Favorite candle color?

Black, or red-orange. This is largely because my two favorite Yankee Candle scents are Witches’ Brew and Apple Pumpkin, which come in those colors.

9. Favorite rune?

I don’t really have a favorite rune, but my favorite ogham letter is Saille.

10. Do you celebrate full moons, the solstices, etc?

Some of the time. I’m not nearly as dedicated as some witches I know. I don’t celebrate the esbats, and I even give some of the sabbats a miss if I’m super-busy or just don’t have the funds or the energy to do anything special. However, I always make sure to celebrate Imbolc, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain, and Yule. Part of this is to honor my patrons, and part is because I have my favorites among the holidays. And also, it’s hard to get away from doing SOMETHING for the winter holiday season, so we combine Christmas and Yule.

11. Do you wear a pentacle?

Yes indeed! I’ve had the same small silver pentacle for many years now, and it hangs on a necklace with my favorite moonstone pendant. I have a moonstone ring with crescent moons and pentacles on it, which I bought for myself when I first became a witch. I don’t wear it anymore (see above comment about the emerald) but it holds a place of honor by my altar. I also have other pentacle rings and earrings that I wear occasionally, and I’m always on the lookout for something new and interesting.

And if you count body modifications, I also have a pentacle tattooed on my back.

12. Have a broom?

Yup! I have several, actually. There’s a twig besom hanging beside my altar, and a simple decorative one over my office window. I’d still like to get one for over the dining room window or the front door.

13. Have a pendulum?

I own a few, but I don’t use them for divination. They’re more for altar decoration and occasionally for finding things.

14. Have an athame?

Indeed! It’s a rather plain dagger with a golden-plated handle. My father bought it for me many years ago; it was my first knife. I also have a bowie knife of Damascus steel that was a gift from Ragnar, and she’s the anchor for our household wards. Neither of the knives gets used very often, except for the annual recasting. I also have a couple of bolines, one that’s purely decorative and one that’s for gardening.

15. How often do you meditate?

Not often, really. I don’t have the focus for it, and it’s not really required for anything that I do.

16. Do yoga?

Nope. Could probably stand to, for flexibility and weight loss purposes.

17. Favorite tea?

Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger :)

18. Do you support manipulation magic?

To a point, yes. I support persuasion and command spells for certain things. I draw the line at love spells, though. Love spells should ALWAYS be consensual and should not circumvent free will. It’s one thing to impose your will on another to try and sway a situation to your benefit or banish them from your life; it’s quite another to force someone to love you.

19. How many altars?

Just the one. It’s the household altar and it’s also where the holiday offerings are placed. One day, when we have a house, I’ll build another one that’s just for the patrons, with statues and dedicated offering bowls, instead of just shot glasses that get bring out for special occasions and then put away again. (It’s not a requirement, but it is something I’d like to do someday.)

20. Do you do magic outside often?

Not so much. We live in an apartment complex without any private outdoor space. The little lawn space that we do have near us reeks because it’s where people walk their dogs. I used to do magic outside fairly regularly when I lived in PA, and I certainly will again when I have a house and a yard.

21. Read palms or tea leaves?

Nope. Completely hopeless with both, although I’d love to learn to read tea leaves.

22. Open own metaphysical shop?

Oh man, LIFE GOALS. If I ever win the lottery and don’t have to work anymore, I’m going to pay off a shit-ton of bills and loans for several people, and then I’m going to open my own little pagan shop, with good reliable info sources, quality herbs, spell kits, and homegrown advice. -wistful sigh-

23. Is your third eye open?

Yes it is, and I wish to all the gods that it wasn’t.

24. Do you like astrology? Whats your sign?

Taurus in the Year of the Boar. I don’t put a ton of stock in Western interpretations of astrological symbols, but I’m told that I’m very typical of both. (Pretty much boils down to “Earthy, Loyal, and Stubborn As Fuck.”)

25. Favorite flower or tree?

Favorite flowers are lilacs. Favorite trees are oaks and willows.

26. Do you have an animal guide?

Not as such, but I have animals with whom I identify on a spiritual level.

27. Favorite type of magic?

Herb- and plant-based, that one’s easy. I’m better at writing spells than I am at performing them, but warding spells do come sort of naturally.

28. Out of the broom closet?

Yup. Way out. There are very few people among my friends, family, or acquaintances that don’t know that I’m a witch. It’s at the point now where I’m kind of like, “You can like it or lump it, but it’s who I am and it’s not changing.”

30. Hereditary or self-discovered?

Self-trained and self-decided. I don’t believe that being a witch is something that’s inherited unbeknownst or suddenly “discovered” like in Charmed or Harry Potter. The only way that I believe witchcraft is hereditary is if your family teaches it to you and it’s an inherited practice. The only preternatural thing you can inherit in regards to being a witch is an affinity for magic that makes it easier for you to learn than it might be for others. (And mediumship doesn’t count. That’s a separate matter.)

31. Coven or solitary?

I tried sitting circle with other witches for a while. It didn’t work out. I’ve been a solitary witch for most of my witchy career, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.

32. Want to be in a coven? How big?

I don’t really feel the need to be part of a formal coven, or to lead one (since people have asked). I don’t need to tell other witches what to do, and I don’t need someone else telling ME what to do.

33. When did you become a witch?

In my early twenties, after much soul-searching and discontent, and after discovering the link between herbal medicine and herbal magic. Took a few years to really find my niche, but I’m quite comfy now.

34. Do you make your own spells?

Oh lord yes. I’ve probably written over a hundred at this point in my witchy career. Hell, there’s a whole BOOK’S worth that you can buy on Amazon (shameless plug), and there’s a sequel coming out next year.

35. Make your own sigils?

I’ve made a few in my time. I used to make them a lot more often, but the ones I have work pretty well.

36. Why are you a witch?

Because on this one crazy day, I discovered that it was possible to harness my own power to make things happen, and I liked that a lot better than going through life just hoping everything would work out to my benefit. So…empowerment. Empowerment and tiny jars.

37. Favorite element?

Earth. Very solidly Earth. Ask anyone who knows me what my home element is, and that’s what they’ll tell you.

38. Do any misc. Magic (dragon, sex, etc)?

Not really, no. My strengths are in the cottage-variety magics, so that’s where I stay.

39. Magic/anything you wont do?

Love magic. I’ve done precisely one love spell in my life, it worked out exactly the way I’d hoped, and I don’t foresee a need to ever perform such a spell again.  Also, with very few exceptions, I won’t cast spells on behalf of other people. Spells never work out as well when the caster doesn’t have a personal stake in the outcome.

40. Strangest way a spell is backfired?

Generally, my spells either work or they don’t. There’s not really any backfiring.

…Well, there was this one thing. I put anti-theft wards on my car, and I wasn’t specific enough with the wording. So when I accidentally locked my keys in my car one day, it took the combined efforts of four or five different people to get the door open. And when I took it to the garage because the driver’s side door had stopped working, they discovered that instead of the slimjim popping up the lock, the mechanism had actually COME APART rather than unlocking the door.

I had a good laugh about it afterwards, even though at the time it wasn’t very funny.

Tagging: If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged! MWAHAHAHA! (If you feel like giving this a try, go for it! Just remember to repost, not reblog.)

anonymous asked:

Hi I just saw you answer the question about your opinions on the 7th Doctor (it's the 3rd of september today, I'm sure you get many messages) and I noticed you used mostly gender neutral pronouns. I was curious if that's how you view the Doctor because I've seen posts about how gender wouldn't really be a set thing for Timelords. Thank you :)

[deep breath]

Okay. I don’t really like engaging in these kinds of discussions on here but I’m gonna take a shot at explaining my own thoughts on this subject…

First off, yes I do perceive the Doctor to be agender. It’s not headcanon or personal preference — it has been established in “canon” many times in the past (though if we’re being honest here, I would still support it if it had not been “officially” substantiated). If we’re talking about Time Lords as a whole, I personally don’t agree that gender fluidity is the default in their society. I’m more inclined to see it as being extremely varied. Some fluctuate between genders, some are genderless, some a specific gender, etc. I don’t necessarily reject the concept of a genderfluid Time Lord society in itself. However, there is a very big problem which lies in the popular line of reasoning in support of that idea.

It seems to be commonly asserted that Time Lords can be subjected to drastic changes in their outer appearance, therefore they wouldn’t be set on any specific gender identity/identities. But here’s the thing: the notion that gender coincides with how you look on the outside is WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. Gender ≠ physical appearance. So why would the ability to regenerate into different forms make any difference? Especially when we know that the outcome of regeneration, while manipulatable to a certain extent by some of the more capable Time Lords (e.g. Romana), is generally unpredictable?

Only the individual person knows what gender they are and the only way we know is by their explicit acknowledgement. It’s usually harder to determine with fictional characters because the writer(s) often don’t address the subject and it gets even more confusing when you have a fictional universe with as an extensive history as Doctor Who, which has numerous contributors, all of whom often have different (occasionally contradictory) ideas about the persons within the DW universe. However, “canonically” speaking, the Doctor themself — and the interactions/experiences they’ve had with others — have clearly indicated on multiple occasions over the course of their history that they are neither male nor female.

TV

Panna: Impossible. Was he present when you opened the box?
Doctor: Yes. Most enlightening.
Panna: What’s he babbling about? No male can open the Box of Jhana without being driven out of his mind. It is well known.
– Fifth Doctor, Kinda

Amy: Oh, typical bloke, straight to fixin’ his motor.
Eleventh Doctor: That’s the thing, Amy. I am not a “typical bloke.”
Amy: [Makes accusations that she’s been led on]
Eleventh Doctor: No. No. No, no, no, no, no. It’s… not like that. That’s not what I’m like.
Amy: Then what are you like?
Eleventh Doctor: I don’t know. Gandalf. Like a space Gandalf. The little green one in Star Wars. [lightsaber noise] Whoom.
Amy: You really are not. You are a bloke.
Eleventh Doctor: I’m the Doctor.
Meanwhile in the TARDIS, Scene 2

Audios

Dr. Petherbridge: You know, it’s not usual to have men stay…
Sixth Doctor: Oh, don’t think of me as a man. Just the Doctor.
– Sixth Doctor, An Eye for Murder

Group Captain Gilmore: He’s reliably unreliable, if you get my drift.
Seventh Doctor: A man after my own heart.
Gilmore: Except you’re not a man.
Seventh Doctor: And I have two hearts!
1963: The Assassination Games

“It’s hard enough trying to use your language to describe nonlinear temporal events, I could do without one of the participants being of indeterminate gender.”
– Kelsa on the Seventh Doctor, The Raincloud Man

Novels

“That’s crap!’ Sam shouted. “The Doctor isn’t your average man, at all. I don’t think he even has a gender. How can you - whoever you are - pontificate on what he’s like? He’s private. He’s untouchable.‘‘There’s something about him that makes you think he’s beyond sex.’
Scarlet Empress

‘I can’t explain. You wouldn’t understand.’
’'Oh?’
‘Yes.’ Why did she suddenly feel on the defensive?
‘Because I’m a man and you’re a woman?’
‘Yes, actually.’
The Doctor raised his eyebrows. ‘But I’m not a man.’
Sam opened her mouth to speak, then shut it again.
He continued,‘I’m not even human. Not even close.’
Beltempest

‘Can I ask you something personal?’ he [the Doctor] said.
I.M. Foreman nodded. ‘I warn you, though. If it’s anything to do with how I got this body, the details are going to be messy. You’ve never been a woman, have you?’
‘I’m not sure I’ve ever even been a man. That’s not what I was going to ask.’
Interference, Book One.

Once, there was a man called the Doctor, although he was not precisely a man and that was not his real name.
– Jamon de la Rocas, The Slow Empire

(more can be found here, where I borrowed the above examples from)

As for other Time Lords, that’s generally less clear and really based on individual interpretations/headcanons.

The Doctor does not appear bothered about being referred to with masculine pronouns but I favour using them/they/their when I talk about this character because
a) some people refuse to use those terms as singular pronouns for other n.b. individuals who specifically ask to be identified as such, despite the long history of its usage in real life;
b) I want to openly acknowledge the existence of non-binary individuals, fictional or not, because representation is important and representation by well-known/popular characters like the Doctor even more so;
c) again, it has already been openly, unambiguously stated that they are NOT binary-gendered on numerous occasions over the course of their personal history and lifetimes

On Time Lords in general: I don’t have any issues with people headcanoning them as genderfluid — some of them probably are and people are free to explore their own interpretations of different characters — HOWEVER it does bother me a lot when the basis of that idea is their capacity to regenerate into different physical bodies.

Gender and identity do not work that way.