geographical regions

Rulership; Countries/Continents/Places

I finally got my hands on a book that has info on the rulership of certain countries, places, and ethnicities so I thought I’d share since where you were born and your background plays a big part in how you are in tune with the world astrologically! This info is also good to take into consideration when using astrology to depict physical appearance as I have mentioned before in pervious posts that your ethnicity’s rulership will obviously play a part in your physical appearance. Aside from physical appearance, there is also obviously a psychological influence involved as well (it is no coincidence that China is ruled by Libra and that the people of China tend to have very Libra-like philosophies). Anyway, here you go, for reference;

Afghanistan - Capricorn

Albania - Capricorn

Algeria - Scorpio, Cancer

Argentina - Libra, Sagittarius

Armenia - Gemini

Australia - Sagittarius, Taurus

Austria - Libra, Taurus

Azerbaijan - Taurus

Belgium - Gemini, Sagittarius

Bolivia - Sagittarius

Brazil - Virgo, Scorpio

Bulgaria - Capricorn

Burma - Libra, Sagittarius

Canada - Cancer (Eastern Canada - Gemini, Western Canada Leo)

Chad - Cancer

Chile - Sagittarius

China - Libra, Cancer

Colombia - Gemini, Sagittarius

Congo - Virgo

Croatia - Virgo

Denmark - Aries

Ecuador - Gemini, Sagittarius

Egypt - Libra, Pisces, Virgo (Lower - Gemini, Upper - Libra)

Ethiopia - Leo

France - Leo, Sagittarius, Aries

Georgia - Taurus, Capricorn

Germany - Aries

Great Britain - Aries

Greece - Capricorn, Virgo

Greenland - Taurus

Hungary - Sagittarius

Iceland - Aries

India - Capricorn, Libra

Iran - Aries, Aquarius

Iraq - Virgo, Cancer, Libra

Ireland - Taurus 

Israel - Aries, Aquarius, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Taurus (Primarily Aries)

Italy - Leo, Sagittarius, Taurus, Cancer

Jamaica - Leo

Japan - Libra, Aries, Scorpio, Saturn, Pluto

Korea - Scorpio

Lebanon - Aries

Lithuania - Capricorn, Aquarius, Aries

Macedonia - Capricorn

Madagascar - Sagittarius, Leo

Mauritius - Cancer

Mexico - Capricorn, Cancer

Mongolia - Sagittarius

Morocco - Scorpio

New Zealand - Cancer, Aries, Capricorn

Norway - Scorpio

Pakistan - Sagittarius

Palestine - Aries, Aquarius, Gemini, Leo (Primarily Aries)

Peru - Aries, Sagittarius

Phillipines - Scorpio

Poland - Aries, Taurus, Aquarius 

Rhodesia - Virgo

Romania - Leo

Russia - Uranus, Aquarius, Scorpio

Samoa - Pisces

Saudi Arabia - Gemini

Scotland - Cancer

Singapore - Sagittarius

Spain - Sagittarius, Aries

Sudan - Aries

Sweden - Aquarius

Switzerland - Virgo

Syria - Aries, Scorpio, Aquarius

Tunisia - Cancer, Pisces

Turkey - Virgo, Scorpio

United States - (West - Leo, Between the West and Mississippi River - Cancer, East - Gemini)

Uruguay - Virgo

Venezuela - Gemini

Vietnam - (North - Virgo, South - Gemini)

Additional for reference;

Africa - Cancer ( East - Leo, North - Pisces, West - Cancer)
Anatolia - Taurus
Antarctica - Capricorn, Pisces
Arabia - Sagittarius, Aquarius
Asia (South) - Pisces
Central America - Gemini
Europe - Pisces
North America - Gemini
Persia - Taurus, Capricorn, Aquarius
Polynesia - Pisces, Aquarius 
Sahara Desert - Pisces
Sardinia - Gemini
Scandinavia - Pisces
Siberia - Libra
Sicily - Leo
Silesia - Virgo
Slavonia - Sagittarius
South America - Taurus
South Pacific Islands - Libra
Tasmania - Taurus

(Disclaimer; I realize not every country is listed, this is just what I could find)

Mayan History (Part 50): Calakmul

Calakmul was a major Classic Period city, deep in the jungle in Mexico’s Campeche state.  It is 35km from the Guatemalan border, and was one of the largest & most powerful Mayan lowland cities.

Its original name was Ox Te’ Tuun (”Three Stones”).

The Petén Basin is a geographical region of Central America, mostly in northern Guatemala, but also including part of south-east Mexico.  Calakmul was a major power in the northern Petén Basin.

There is a large seasonal swamp to the west, and Calakmul is on a rise about 35m above it.  The swamp, which is about 34x8km, was an important water source during the rainy season.  The soil around the edges of the swamp was fertile, so this was another benefit.

During the Preclassic & Classic Periods, settlement was concentrated around the edge of the swamp.  During the Classic Period, buildings were also built on high ground, and also on small islands in the swamp, where flint nodules were worked.

Calakmul was the seat of the Snake Kingdom, which reigned during most of the Classic Period.  Their emblem glyph was the snake-head sign, and it has been found distributed extensively in the area.  It can be read as “Kaan”. At times, it ruled over places 150km away.

Calakmul’s emblem glyph.

During the Classic Period, it had a major rivalry with Tikal, and the two superpowers struggled against each other politically and in war.

At its height in the Late Classic Period, it covered over 70 square km, and had a population of about 50,000.  Calakmul was the capital of a large regional state, which covered about 13,000 square km.

During the Terminal Classic, its population declined sharply, and its rural population ended up only 10% of what it had been.

There are 6,750 ancient structures at Calakmul.  The largest is Structure 2, which is one of the largest Mayan pyramids, at over 45m tall.  There are four tombs in it.  Calakmul has 117 stelae, the most of any centre in that region.

Structure 2.

The central monumental architecture covers an area of about 2 square km; the whole site is about 20 square km (mostly covered with dense residential structures).

Calakmul has many murals depicting market scenes, with glyphs describing the actions occurring in them.  The most prominent figure in these murals is Lady Nine Stone, who appears in many of them.

Calakmul was an actual urban city, not just an elite centre surrounded by commoner residences.

Ball-court.

anonymous asked:

Hey! I'm an anarchist and anti-fascist in the rural south, and I am trying to form an anti-fascist group in my town. Do you know of any way to officially get 'partnered' (for lack of a better term) with the antifa organization? Or is it more de-centralized? Thanks in advance!

This is a really important question.  First off, there is no official “antifa” - antifascism is a movement, not an organization.  So there’s no central body to get official with.

That said, there are antifascist networks, which consist of antifascist groups, usually in the same geographic region, that collaborate and support each other’s efforts.  Antifa networks are a great idea because they allow crews to share experience, ideas, intel, resources, and support each other, making their work way more effective.  Some of the more well-known current antifa networks include The Torch (U.S.), The Anti-Fascist Network (UK), La Horde (France), Alerta Network (Europe), Antifascistisk Aktion (Sweden), and Syndikalistiska Ungdomsförbundet (also Sweden).

So how do you connect with an antifa network or other antifa crews, perhaps to eventually form a network?  Do some research to figure out what well-established antifa crews are nearest to you & doing the kind of work that your own crew is interested in.  Once you have some ideas of who you should reach out to, reach out to them.  Our guidelines for making contact with an antifa group have a lot of good advice about doing this safely.  

Most legit antifa crew or networks will want to get to know you and your group first before inviting you into the fold, and that normally means establishing your own group’s track record of anti-fascist work and/or meeting up in person (again, see our tips about the latter!). 

anonymous asked:

hi, just wanted to correct something, palestine is in western asia. that's where it's actually located geographically. politically the whole region is called the middle east. the middle east contains countries from africa like egypt, morocco, tunisia and algeria and countries from asia like the gulf countries, palestine, syria and lebanon. and sorry for my english :) xx

You’re correct. Thanks. I was - and still am - so angry that I spoke too soon. Gigi has ZERO excuses for being a racist. But this is a good lesson to show POC can have self hatred.

On Wind Power

So, this thing sometimes happens where a prominent person makes a public claim that wind is a finite resource, and therefore that we shouldn’t make wind turbines because they will stop all of the airflow.  Then everybody points at them at laughs, and the clip gets passed around as a Weak Man argument against renewable energy, etcetera etcetera.  But climate systems are pretty complicated, and people might be making fun of the “we’ll run out of wind” claim without necessarily understanding why it’s wrong.  And it turns out to be wrong in a fairly interesting way.  After all, there’s a certain amount of logic to it- you can’t get energy from nothing!  We’ve got to be depleting something, right?

Asyouknowbob, wind is a rebalancing of atmospheric pressure differences on large scales, from high pressure to low.  To the first order, these are caused mainly by thermal gradients (north-south) and coriolis forces (east-west)- basically, sunlight hits the equator head-on, and the poles at an oblique angle, so the energy density of any given patch of land will be higher at the equator.  The thermal expansion increases pressure at the equator relative to the poles, and convection takes care of the rest, with the direction of Earth’s rotation setting the counter/clockwise direction of the convection cells (if the Earth spun the other way, England would be frozen and Quebec would be temperate).  The presence of liquid water bodies, dark forests, and reflective snow or sand can influence this a bit, as can the atmospheric composition, but honestly the order of magnitude is mostly just set by the spherical geometry of the Earth and its distance from the sun.

A windmill can leach energy from a given gust of wind, sure. But that doesn’t mean the pressure difference across two different geographic regions has suddenly been equalized. Instead, it just makes wind a less efficient conveyor of heat and mass, as if air had a higher viscosity wherever windmills are common. In fact, with pressure imbalances being corrected more slowly, that creates an opportunity for atmospheric imbalances to grow *more* severe.  So the immediate lee side of a wind farm might be dead air, but elsewhere, where people live and work, average wind speeds might well increase!  Think about what happens to the flow rate of water coming out of a garden hose, if you cover half the opening with your thumb. 

So you can see that broadly, wind power is actually a kind of once-removed solar power, with some of the same advantages and disadvantages.  They do, of course, have other consequences.  Higher atmospheric “viscosity” means that our wind turbines are causing a warmer equator, and cooler poles.  Inland areas are more arid, coastal areas are more prone to monsoons, and with extreme windmill proliferation California might even start having seasons.  In general, oceans and large lakes store heat very well, which is why coastal areas are less seasonal, and our windmills insulate those oceans further and prevent them from moderating nearby land areas. 

However, it’s not only solar power.  See, if we increase the “viscosity” of the atmosphere by sticking a bunch of windmills into it, then it’s more tightly tied to the motion of the rocky planet underneath it.  From the perspective of our angular momentum as a rotating planet, it makes the Earth “heavier” in a sense, harder to move.  Thus, we see that unlike pure solar panels, wind turbines draw from a second, non-renewable source of power.  The real problem with windmills isn’t that they use up all the wind somehow- if anything, they increase the speed of the wind you can expect to feel. The real problem with them is that they deplete the Earth’s finite store of angular momentum, slowing down the rotation of the Earth. If unrestrained windmill propagation is allowed to continue, the day and night will get longer and longer, until eventually the spinning stops completely and the Earth becomes tidelocked.  One hemisphere will be trapped in eternal daylight, baked to a desert, while the frozen night on the other side makes life all but impossible.  In the narrow band of twilight at the boundary of these two hemispheres, where the last remnants of humanity scratch out a desperate living, the thermal gradient between the dark and light sides of our world will produce some very strong winds.   They’ll be steady and unidirectional from the day side to the night side, making wind an ideal power source for our dystopian cities.

Why is the Mojave important?

I figured I’d go in a little different direction here on this and talk about why the Mojave and deserts in general are important. If you follow me you know I talk at length about the Mojave. It’s one of my great passions in life and I love every sun scorched and irradiated section of it. The reality of it far exceeds anything found in Fallout or other Post Apocalyptic stories and the Mojave is a very important desert. 

I live at the extreme north east section of it. The very furthest north east border of the Mojave ends where Zion canyon ends. Beyond Zion and even in truth part of Zion extends up beyond the Mojave range but south west of me is the entire rest of the desert. However this entire region is desert and while the border is clearly defined here on the map in reality there are places that are still considered the Mojave like Kanab Utah, Freedonia Arizona, Pipe Springs Arizona, Colorado City Arizona and Hilldale Utah that are well beyond the borders. 

The Mojave itself only occupies less than 50,000 sq mi making it the smallest of the North American deserts but roughly the size of Greece in terms of square miles. There is very little water here in comparison to other environments but the Mojave and other deserts  are a major sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide, so as CO2 levels go up, they’ll increase their uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. They’ll help take up some of that excess CO2 going into the atmosphere. They also serve as natural barriers that isolate geographic regions and prevent unwanted invasive species of plants and animals from spreading like wildfire to many areas. 

The Mojave is an oasis of plant and animal life highly adapted to the harsh conditions and many of them found no where else. It is also a place where minerals are abundant and there are many mines that have been made to extract everything from Iron and Silver to Uranium and Gold. It is the perfect place to test everything from new aircraft and vehicle designs to nuclear detonations. As well as the Mojave gets heavy winds from time to time and enjoys mostly sunny days through the year so it is a great place to create wind farms and solar farms to harvest energy from the environment. 

When most people think of deserts they think of a wasteland where there is nothing and that’s pretty far from the truth. While conditions out here are harsh and you have to be pretty crazy to live out here in the summer with no AC it is doable and all you have to do is spend some time with boots on the ground and looking around to see that the entire place moves with a purpose. 

Wet springs often bring beautiful flowers from a variety of plants that attract bees and other insects that pollinate them and in turn allow them to produce fruit that sustains a huge population of animals which in turn also sustain a population of predators and the cycle repeats. 

It’s a unique place that I love. The other deserts of North America are good but the Mojave has a special place in my heart. It’s important to the west, it’s important to the nation and deserts like this are important to the world. 

What does your ZIP Code Mean?

ZIP codes, an acronym for Zoning Improvement Plan, is a numbered system of five digits that lets the US Postal Service operate efficiently.  But what exactly do the five digits each mean in your code?

The first two digits designate your geographic region.  For example, the New England area’s zip codes range from 01 to 09.

The third digit represents your municipal area, or an otherwise notable regional landmark.  For example, all of Milwaukee has the same third digit.

The fourth digit is representative of how many miles it is to the nearest post office.

The fifth digit signifies how many mayors in the past 50 years of your city’s history have been charged in a criminal court of law with a crime within their tenure of office.

The Four Elements

Air

Tool: Wand

Direction: East

Astrological Signs: Aquarius, Gemini

Archangel: Raphael

Elemental: Sylphs (their ruler is Niksa)

Tarot suit: sword

Energy: projective (“masculine”)

Air is the Element of the intellect, mental processes, and communication. It is considered an activating Element. The direction that corresponds to Air is the East, where the day begins. Air is the springtime, new beginnings, and, in the foundations of Magickal thought, Faith. Faith (confidence) in Magickal energies comes from knowledge (intellect) and from understanding the processes of ritual and focused thought, then applying them with sure result.  The tool of Air is the Wand, which is used to direct and channel energy in Magick. When it is used in healing to absorb the energy of the Universe and channel it into the patient, the Wand corresponds to the caduceus of Mercury/Hermes, a God of Air—you will notice that this same symbol is used by physicians today.  The Astrological Signs associated with Air are Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. Aquarius is the innovator, the Sign of original thought and ideals. Gemini is the communicator, the comedian, the experimenter. Libra is the balancer and harmonizer, interested in partnerships and relationships.

The Archangel of Air is Raphael, the Archangel of healing, teaching, and travel. He is visualized on a mountaintop, in robes of yellow and lavender (the colors associated with the Element Air), which blow gently in the wind.

Sylphs are the Elementals attributed to Air and are similar in form to humans, although they are transparent and have lovely, delicate wings. They travel on the wind, and you can hear them talking and laughing as they drift in and out of the trees. Paralda is the name of their ruler. Sylphs are very articulate and logical and prefer the mountaintops where the air is the thinnest. They are related to the nervous system in the human body. Their favorite scents are the mints and light flowery essences such as tulip, and they love the sound of bells and wind chimes.


Fire

Tool: Athame

Direction: South

Astrological sign: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius

Archangel:  Michael (pronounced Mee-kee-al)

Elemental: salamander (their ruler is a Djinn [pronounced Jeen])

Energy: projective (“masculine”)

Fire is the Element of Will and Passion and is considered an activate Element in relation to energy. The direction that corresponds to Fire is the South, which we associate with heat. The season is, of course, summer the time of growth and culmination of that growth.

Fire is the drive and motivation used by an individual as he strives toward his goals. In the foundations of Magick, Fire is the Magickal Will.  The force of the Magickal Will enables the Magickian to carry through with goals, plans, and dreams. The focused Magickal Will serves as the force or stimulus for the Magickal energy that is sent forth to act on the physical plane to manifest the goal of any ritual.  The tool of Fire is the Athame, the ritual dagger, which is used to inscribe the Magickal sigils in the ether during ritual, describe the circumference of the Magickal Circle, banish phantasms and defend against them, and heal via the act of removing holes in the aura through cauterization on the astral plane.

The Astrological Signs that correspond to Fire are the Fire Signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, all Signs of action and vitality. Aries initiates new projects, Leo is the Fire Sign of flamboyance and flair, and Sagittarius is the Sign of freedom and physical activity.

The Archangel of Fire is Michael, the Archangel of authority, victory, initiative, and splendor. Michael is visualized in robes of scarlet and green, bearing before him a flaming sword.

Fire is the activating force giving vitality and energy to the ideas of Air, bringing them into physical reality as we perceive it.  Salamanders are attributed to the Element of Fire. They are not considered a part of the physical flame as such but the essence that enables the flame to burn. Naturally, they are most active in the summer months and geographically prefer the hotter regions. When they live in cold places, Salamanders reside in the hearth. They are full of passion and enthusiasm and for this reason are sometimes considered dangerous, as their unpredictability can be disconcerting. However, they are actually very generous and warmhearted, if treated with the respect due them. Salamanders relate to the heart in the human body as well as to the circulatory system. Their King is called Djinn.  Salamanders love the smell of burning wood and spicy odors such as cinnamon and nutmeg.  Candles, lanterns, and mirrors are attractive to them.  


Water

Tool: Chalice and cauldron

Direction: West

Astrological sign: Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio

Archangel: Gabriel

Elemental: Undines (their ruler is Necksa)

Energy: receptive (“feminine”)

Water is the Element of love, intuition, emotion, fertility, understanding, and imagination. It is considered a receptive Element. Water receives the ideas of Air, the force of Fire, and begins the alchemical process of transmuting them into a form that can be made tangible. The direction that corresponds to Water is the West. Human emotions and feelings belong to the Element Water. The season is autumn, and in the foundations of Magick, Water is imagination. Imagination begins in our dreams and in the language of our subconscious minds. Without it, our rituals would be dry and emotionless. Imagination allows us to see what might be and is therefore creativity, fertility, and inner vision.

The tool of Water is the Chalice, which is used to contain the water of purification when we cleanse a space or an object for ritual. The Chalice holds the ritual wine and the liquid for the practice of scrying. The Chalice represents wisdom, transformation, and receptivity. In the legends of ancient times, the Grail of Immortality was sought by the valiant for its life-giving and regenerative powers as well as for the knowledge it brings. The Ritual Cauldron is also of the Element of Water, and the stories that surround it—the regenerative Cauldron of Dagda, the Cauldron of wisdom belonging to Ceridwen, and the Cauldron of Baba Yaga—reaffirm the theme of wisdom, life, transformation, and regeneration.

The Astrological Water Signs of Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio correspond to the Magickal Element of Water. Pisces is the Sign of emotional connection and inner vision; Cancer is associated with family connection and nurturing; and Scorpio is known for occult ability, psychic power, death, and regeneration.

The Archangel of Water is Gabriel, known as the Prince of Change and Alteration. He can be seen on the Judgment card of the Tarot, blowing his horn, which represents fertility and authority.  Gabriel is visualized in robes of clear blue and orange, holding a Chalice from which torrents of water spill.

Undines are the Elementals of Water. They are extremely graceful and seductive. Undines are similar to humans in form and the majority of them are female. They will impart psychic knowledge and ability. If you work with them in this area, be sure to give them extravagant and appealing gifts in return, for they have feelings that can be easily bruised. They correspond to the human digestive system, and Necksa is their King. Undines live in oceans, rivers, springs, creeks, and raindrops.  Their most beloved scents are cool ones—camphor, cucumber, and citrus fruits such as lime. They delight in beautiful shells, silver jewelry, boxes for their treasures, and flutes.  


Earth

Tool: Disk/shield/pentacle

Direction: North

Astrological sign: Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo

Archangel:Uriel (pronounced Ah-ree-el or Yuh-ree-el)

Elemental: dwarfs (Their King is Gheb)

Energy: Receptive (“feminine”)

Earth is the Element of secrecy, deep wisdom, possessions, creation, perseverance, birth, and death.  It is considered to be a receptive Element. Earth receives the idea of Air, the force of Fire, and the transmuted substance of Water and manifests the form into the physical world. The direction that is associated with Earth is the North, the place of endings. Earth corresponds to the bone structure of the human body. The season is winter, and in the foundation of Magick, Earth is Secrecy. Hidden beneath the Earth are many treasures—jewels, minerals, oil—which must be sought out. They cannot be obtained without perseverance and labor. So it is with the Magickal secrets that the Element Earth hides; only through dedication and patience can these secrets be brought to light, yet they must always be protected and guarded.  The tool of the Earth is the Pentacle, which is used both for drawing in and projecting energy.  The Pentacle can also used as a shield for psychic self-defense. The Magickal Cords are also of Earth and are used to bind energy.

Capricorn is the Sign of pragmatism and wealth; Taurus is the Sign associated with sensuality, acquisition, resources, and practicality; and Virgo is the Sign of the healer and the organizer.

The Archangel of Earth is Uriel (pronounced Ah-ree-el or Yuh-ree-el), also called the Lord of Awe, who presides over protection and strength. He is visualized in robes of olive and russet, bearing a Pentacle.  Gnomes and elves are attributed to Earth and are seen in very small human form. Their King is Gheb (also known as Geb or Gob, as in goblin). Earth Elementals are the most mischievous of the Elementals and love a good practical joke. They prefer to live in the forest, crags, heaths, and caverns, although with the human population cutting down on gnomes’ habitats, the more sociable ones actually enjoy being around sensitive and sympathetic human beings and will share living quarters. Gnomes and elves love jewels, gold, interesting rocks, moss, and living plants of all kinds.  Their favorite scents are resins and woodland smells such as patchouli and vetivert.  

The gnomes are ruled over by a king, whom they greatly love and revere. His name is Gob; hence his subjects are often called goblins


As Always

-Robin

I understand why cultural appropriation is a point of discussion etc so don’t try to “drag” me or talk to me like I’m an idiot, but just FYI flower crowns and necklaces have been a part of literally every culture that exists somewhere that flowers can grow. They are not unique in any way to any one specific culture. If flowers grow within a given geographic region, people have been making crowns out of them for millennia.

Romeyn de Hooghe - Nova totius terrarium orbis

between circa 1675 and circa 1710

engraving

Amsterdams Historisch Museum

anonymous asked:

Hey, I... Could really use some advice for making believable fantasy worlds and making sure things are practical without overdoing it or making things impractical, and... Yeah I'm not good at world building yet How even

Oh my god I tend to go so overboard with worldbuilding so I could probably ramble on incoherently for about 500 pages on this.  I’ll try to keep this clear and concise, though.  Also, I don’t know how far into the worldbuilding process you are, so I’ll just take it from the top.

BASICS

It’s nearly impossible to say what the most important or primary thing is when you’re building a new world for a story, so it’s hard to say where to start.  Honestly, it probably varies a lot depending on what your intent for this new world is.  That being said, though, there are a few things just about every fantasy world needs.  Let’s make a brief and not-nearly-comprehensive starter list and call it the “Three P’s”:

  1. Physical makeup.  Is there just one continent, or many?  What is their scale, overall and in comparison to each other (if there’s more than one)?  What are the general climates of the various regions?  What are some of the major geographic regions (mountains, deserts, forests, etc.)?  Sketching out a rough map here can be really helpful. (This post might be of use if you want to make a map but don’t know where to start)
  2. Population.  Your new world is presumably going to be occupied, but by whom?  Is there just one “intelligent species” (e.g. humans on Earth in real life, Time Lords on Gallifrey in Doctor Who, Vulcans on Vulcan in Star Trek, etc.), or are there multiple comparable species (Middle-earth, pretty much every fantasy RPG world, etc.)?  If there are multiple, do they get along well or are there tensions?  Are certain areas more densely populated than others?
  3. Politics and culture.  Are there distinct countries with set borders?  What kind of government does each one have (don’t sweat the details early on; just think about the basics, like monarchy vs. democracy, theocracy vs. secular rule, imperialist vs. isolationist, etc.)?  Are there certain countries that are close allies or sworn enemies?  Are there any wars going on?  How do the countries/cultures compare in terms of technological advancement, overall wealth, quality of life, etc.?  Is religion a factor in the various cultures, and if so, is it a point of contention between any of them?  

You don’t need to go through and answer every single question here, and there are probably about a million and a half more things that you can bring into consideration, but if you figure out these three things in their most basic form, your new world will start taking shape and it will get easier and more natural to start filling in the gaps and adding more layers of detail and realism.  Get the shell in place, and everything else will start falling in naturally.

MAGIC

Since you mentioned that this was a fantasy world, there’s a good chance that there’s going to be magic in it.  Creating magic systems could be a whole huge post by itself, but I’ll try to cover the basics here.

A magic system can often either make or break a fantasy story if magic is a big part of the world.  It’s easy to feel the temptation to make a super-epic-awesome magic system that can do just about anything, but these often end up being the most boring when actually put into a story, no matter how fun they are to think about.  Basically, if you make a magic system that can do anything without putting a ton of restrictions on it, no one will ever fear that your characters will actually fail or be at risk or any of that stuff that creates tension and suspense and interest.

Here’s another list, this time of various random things to think about when you’re creating a magic system:

  1. Is there just one overall magic, or are there multiple different kinds of it?  One of my current favorite examples of the former is the magic system in Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer Series, which is based entirely on light and the visible color spectrum.  It’s one overall system with a single set of rules in terms of where the power comes from, the limits of it, etc., but there are still subdivisions of it— in this case, different colors.  An example of the latter is the magic in the Elder Scrolls video game.  You’ve got conjuration magic that summons monsters and weapons from planes of Oblivion for set periods of time, destruction magic that blows stuff up with fire or ice or electricity, scrolls that do magic of any type without using up the mana that’s usually required for spells, enchantments that go on weapons and armor and are the only kind of magic related to soul gems, and many more that are all unique to themselves.
  2. What are the limits of magic?  What happens when a magic user gets too close or overshoots this limit?  This “limit” can be just about anything that keeps magic from being too overpowered.  It could be a “mana”-type idea like many video games use, where a magic user can only do so much magic in a given time before they’re exhausted and have to stop and recharge.  It could be that doing magic exacts a toll on the user in some major way, like shortening their lifespan by increments, slowly driving them mad, etc.  It could be that every spell takes a long time and/or lots of ingredients to prepare and therefore can only be done sparingly.  It could be a thousand other things I don’t have the time or space to list here— be creative with it!
  3. How wide-spread is the use of magic?  Is it so common that people use it to wash the dishes and cut vegetables like in Harry Potter, or is it a carefully guarded secret that only select individuals can learn after years and years of extensive study?  Or somewhere in between?
  4. Is magic something only some people are born with or something anyone can learn?  If it’s a born talent, are some people more naturally skilled than others, or is skill solely based on practice and effort?
  5. How is magic physically done?  It is cast from hands, a staff, a wand, etc.?  From magic words spoken over special concoctions like a lot of witchcraft lore?  From runes drawn on paper, surfaces, etc.?  From something else entirely?
  6. Is magic controlled at all by the government(s) of the world?  Do the various countries have different policies on magic?  Is the restriction on certain kinds of magic, on certain people learning magic, etc.?  What happens to people who violate these restrictions?

Again, this isn’t nearly a comprehensive list but it should get you started going in the right direction.

ADDING DETAIL

Once you have your basic world and your magic system (if applicable) in place, you’ll have plenty of basis to begin expanding on those ideas and making them more detailed and realistic.

Now’s the time to start figuring out the details of the things in the “Three P’s” list above.  For example, now that you’ve decided that Country A is a theocratic oligarchy and Country Z is a secular constitutional monarchy and they’re at war, you can start getting into who the leaders of each country are, whether they’ve had this kind of government for centuries or if it was a recent development (and if so, how did it come about?), how the war between them began and how long it’s been going on, whether one country has more supplies/troops/etc. than the other and how the less supplied side has held on thus far, and any other details that will help round out the countries.  The same general process goes for each aspect of each country– history, religion, daily life of citizens, cultural attitudes, etc.  

The amount of detail you put into all of this is completely up to you and your discretion based on what you have in mind for your story.  Some people prefer creating a fully developed world and then creating stories to go in them, and others prefer building up the world in response to what a story idea dictates.

Personally, I like building up enough of the world that I can pull random things in off the top of my head, but not make them up on the spot so that they’re consistent throughout all the stories set in that world.

GETTING INTO THE NITTY-GRITTY

Now that you’ve got a more detailed picture of your world, everything will probably start fitting together. You can start adding more subtle details and fleshing it out into a fuller, more realistic-feeling world.

This part of the world-building process isn’t as necessary as the previous ones, but getting into these things can help make your world really come to life and feel as if it’s more like a real world.

In case you can’t tell, I like lists for this kind of stuff, so here are some random, disorganized ideas for details that can help make a world seem more vibrant and lifelike:

  • Historical/legendary figures, whether real or fictional (or a little bit of both)
  • Mythologies that are no longer practiced religions but still impact modern life
  • Arts and humanities in each country/culture
  • How many languages are spoken overall and within each country
  • Related to the above, language barriers and whether or not leaders of countries, diplomats, etc. need to know multiple languages when dealing with other countries
  • The underlying reasons for why a certain aspect of a culture is the way it is
  • The relationship between magic and technology
  • Magical creatures and their relationships with people
  • Gender roles (or a lack thereof) in each country
  • Physical changes that magic has had on the geography of the world
  • How fundamental cultural differences affect the relationships between various countries
  • Festivals/holidays celebrated by different countries or cultures
  • The primary imports and exports of each country (if any)
  • Whether or not there are strict social classes and whether or not there is the possibility of upward mobility among them
  • The presence or absence of gender equality in each country
  • Whether or not non-heterosexual relationships are accepted
  • How highly educated the average citizens of each country are
  • Customs related to marriage and family

I could go on and on and on, but you probably get the point.  Basically anything that you can think of can help contribute to your world.  The ones I tend to find most helpful are the ones that really show how each country relates to the others— their similarities and differences and the reasons why they interact they way they do.

KEEPING THINGS CONSISTENT

When building a new world, it’s easy to want to go in and develop each country separately, especially if there’s one “main” country where you’re planning on setting the story (or most of the stories) for this world.  And when it comes to the small details about daily life and culture, this method can work fine because many countries have distinct cultural aspects that are different from each other.  But cultures and countries don’t develop in vacuums unless they’re completely isolated from all contact and interaction with outside cultures.

Try to think of the world as a singular organism made up of separate parts that are all connected and all necessary for the organism to function properly.  If you have one super well-developed country but all the rest fall flat, the world is going to feel awkward and forced.  Of course, not every single country has to be developed down to a whole family tree of every dynasty of leaders it has ever had (not even a single one does unless that’s actually relevant to the story), but having more info than you need on each country will help make the whole world seem more cohesive and natural.

Whew, that ended up being a lot longer than intended… so much for keeping it “concise.”  Hopefully there’s some useful stuff in all this rambling!  Good luck!

anonymous asked:

So just how much Native ate you? You identify as Metis, so that makes you about 1/2 Caucasian. Do you even qualify for status? I am also assuming you do not consider our father in this equation of "aboriginality" I often find it amazing how people will go through all these mental gymnastics to try and rid themselves of all whiteness as if being of European (Caucasian) decent is automatically a bad thing!

It takes a lot to make my bypass my default mode of polite-and-assuming-the-best-of-people, anon, so that makes you special. Congratulations. Now sit down while I learn you some things. I’ll keep it point form for you.

  • In Canada, the Métis people are recognized as a distinct aboriginal people group in Canada.
  • Métis does not mean “part native”. Some people do use lowercase-m “metis” or “métis” to indicate being part settler/white/European and part Indigenous. This is particularly common in Ontario and Quebec. See the link at the end of this post to read more about pan-Métisism
  • But note the capital M when I talk about myself? See the bright red sash in my latest video? That’s ‘cause I’m Métis, with a capital M, as in—
  • The Métis people are a distinct people group.

  • We have our own language (Michif) with regional/geographic distinctions. Both historically and today we have our own distinct spiritual beliefs and religious practices. We have distinct traditional music, food, hunting practices, social events, ceremonies, holy days, and community beliefs and values.
  • We are a unique, distinct people group with a strong cultural identity and pride in our historical, traditional, and daily culture, lifestyle, and beliefs.
  • So now don’t you look silly? This is why we should not assume.

  • “You identify as Metis, so that makes you about ½ Caucasian.” Ha, no. That’s not how it works. See the other link at the end of this post to read more about that. In the meantime, let me learn you some more things.
  • Canada wanted to know how to define Métis people too, and to everyone’s surprise they didn’t just assume out of ignorance like yourself. They did the right thing and actually asked the Métis community.
  • What the Canadian government/Métis community came up with a three facet method of identification in 2003 (see R v. Powley)
  • In Canada, to be recognized as the government as Métis and to receive a Métis status card (which is a little different but very similar to the more well-known “indian status” card) you need to fit three criteria:
  • You need to personally identify as Métis (check)
  • You need to be accepted by a Métis community (check)
  • You need to have verifiable ancestral connection to a historic Métis community (check)

  • Oh look, I’m Métis!
  • That last point is the tenacious “blood quantum” thing you mentioned. And isn’t blood quantum a tricky thing? The great Métis leader, revolutionary, and poet Louis Riel said,
  • “It is true that our Native roots are humble, but it is right for us to honour our mothers as well as our fathers. Why should we concern ourselves with the extent of our European blood or our Indian blood? If we have any sense of appreciation or filial devotion to our parents, are we not obliged to say, “We are Métis.”? (translated)
  • Louis Riel argued that identity isn’t boiled down to race, or blood quantum. I agree. It’s about culture and identity, and it’s the same for métis people too.
  • A Métis person who is half native and a Métis person who can’t even be sure of blood quantum because of generations of intermarrying between Métis people are equally as Métis, so long as that is how they identify and live.
Shame on you for trying to invalidate my identity. 

Shame on you for pulling the reverse racism, “it’s okay to be white!!~”, “it’s not bad to be of european descent uwu” nonsense. As if I didn’t know that.

As if being Métis isn’t having as much pride in the parts of our culture that was handed down to us by our first European fathers as the parts of our culture that came from our Indigenous mothers.

And shame on you for thinking you can correct or educate a Métis person about themselves when you don’t even know who the Métis people are.

If you would have asked politely, coming from a place of at least a little humility, I would have been happy to link you some things to read and left it at that. But no. You had to be absolutely ridiculous and now here we are.

I hope you’ve learned something, anon. For me, this kind of ignorance is nothing I haven’t heard before.

For your further consideration:

You’re Métis? So which one of your parents is an Indian?http://apihtawikosisan.com/2011/12/youre-metis-so-which-of-your-parents-is-an-indian/

Pan-Indianism, Pan-Métisism
http://apihtawikosisan.com/2011/05/pan-indianism-pan-metisism/

And, why you shouldn’t say “caucasian” when you mean white:
https://raaw.wordpress.com/2007/10/15/caucasian/

library programming

I’ve been planning a multicultural program named “Around the World in 8 Days” where each day is assigned a geographical region (ex: Central America & the Caribbean) and has themed activities and book displays.

Anyway it feels like it’s finally coming together after weeks of seeming like it’d wouldn’t even make it past the conceptual phase. Like I actually have performers booked and people willing to help/volunteer!

 I’m really starting to get excited about it.

SOCIETY. Fiercely independent believers in freedom and democracy, the Pantorans still have small cultural holdovers from a more feudal era. Pantorans wear yellow marks on their forehead, under their eyes, and on their cheeks to denote their family names and lineages. Most Pantorans have a general interest in genealogy and history, and enjoy spending time searching for long-lost relatives and connections to ancient heroes and historical figures. A few Pantorans still hold noble titles. Some also wear headgear and jewelry proudly denoting birthplaces and associated famous geographic regions where ancient Pantoran battles, treaties, artistic works, and the like occurred. However, in this current age, Pantorans have turned global politics and debate into an art form in the spirit of democracy.

Bitter and heated arguments rage across Pantoran society regarding the fate of their homeworld. When the Republic fell and the Galactic Empire ascended, Pantorans became deeply uncertain about their relationship with the galaxy. In both their democratic Assembly and public squares, three different camps have formed regarding Pantora’s political future.

One camp — the appeasers — considers integration with the Empire a pragmatic goal. With the Empire’s recognition, Pantora would gain security both militarily and economically.

Another camp insists on maintaining the ideals of the Republic. These traditionalists, or republicans, consider the Empire a betrayer of those ideals, although many also believe that the Rebels cannot truly restore the Republic.

A growing few believe that Pantora needs to strike out on its own, in found new colonies and exploit new resources. These expansionists believe that they need to forge treaties with the nearby slavers and spice traders, but enough Pantorans see that direction as abhorrent that any such bill dies on the Assembly floor.

HOMEWORLD. The far Outer Rim world of Pantora, a moon of the world Orto Plutonia, is located halfway between Suarbi and Alzoc in the Sujimis sector. Surrounded by slavers and spice traders, Pantorans consider themselves the last holdover of the Republic, complete with a democratic Assembly. The Assembly’s highest executive position is that of the Chairman. Second in leadership and head of the legislative branch is the Speaker of the Assembly, who keeps the Chairman’s power in check.

Somewhat isolated from the rest of the Galaxy, Pantoran doesn’t suffer direct oppression from the Empire, but the loss of the Republic has meant the loss of resources and money from the Senate. Pantora has been alone for the past two decades, struggling against the lawlessness of its neighboring systems. As a result, it has slowly built up a small navy of patriots and volunteers. The Assembly fears that making the navy any larger, though, might attract the attention of the Empire.

Individual members of the Assembly have made their own undocumented deals with other planets for resources, technology, information, and even mercenaries. The Assembly turns a blind eye as long as the deals don’t threaten the security of Pantora or its citizens. As time goes on, however, the likelihood of an incident forcing Pantora to exercise its sovereignty increases. Most Pantorans hope for this to occur later rather than sooner, especially as the Galactic Civil War rages on without a clear winner.

Force and Destiny, “Endless Vigil”.

anonymous asked:

wait US geography is messing me up.. so u live in conneticut? which is a state. but it's also in new england which is just a geographical region?? wait so do u live in a city or is conneticut also a city im so confused help me out

New England is what we call the northeastern states (Connecticut and Rhode Island being the bottom New England states, Maine being the uppermost), Connecticut is a state within New England, and within Connecticut there are several cities. I live in new london which is a small city near the coast, the larger cities of connecticut are Hartford and New Haven, but we don’t have any cities named Connecticut

anonymous asked:

hi! first of all i absolutely love what youre doing! second, about that rohan post of a white horse in altai... altai is, geographically, a mountain region (altai itself means golden mountain) which doesn't really seem to feel like the grasslands of rohan... perhaps the mongolian plains would fit better?

Thank you very much! I assume you’re referring to this post?

Rohan, while most famous for its grasslands, actually borders two mountain ranges, the Misty Mountains and the White Mountains. Most of its large settlements, and both of its capitals were quite close to the White Mountains.

Here’s a great map that shows those mountains:

For a good real-life analogue for Rohan, I might pick the plains of South America, with the Andes Mountains to the East, or the plains of Eastern Europe/Western Asia. The Mongolian plains are actually at a higher altitude and drier than I think Rohan is, edging into true desert.