having to learn the very basics

One of the things that I think is probably a Trauma Thing™ that I have a hard time explaining to other people is that, from the outside, my judgement of others can seem very black and white. And sometimes it appears as if I’m not viewing individuals or groups with enough nuance. 

But it’s not the same sort of childlike contrast of Good and Bad. It’s a protective sorting strategy for the basics of survival– Safe and Not Safe. 

And it took a very long time to learn that I’m not obligated to spend time, emotional labor, energy, and sacrifice myself for people who are not safe. When I decide that someone is not worth engaging with, that’s not a universal condemnation of their humanity in the way I think some people assume. It’s just basic self care in deciding that my safety is important. 

aikafuwaa  asked:

what materials did you use for learning codes? if you dont mind sharing! im really interested to learn but i dont know how

To start off from scratch:

  • The most basic thing you need to know about making Tumblr themes is from the Tumblr theme documentation page; it has guidelines and framework on how to make the simplest theme.
  • Some people have also made base codes that you can start off from (shared via theme-hunter). 
  • LMThemes has also made a theme tutorial series that you can follow (I’ve never used it myself but you can check it out!)

After you’ve gotten hang of the basics, you design your layout. Here’s where I look for inspiration:

  • Codrops - web design ideas and tutorials
  • Dribbble - a site where designers share all sort of creations; not all of them are layout ideas, but they might spark your interest!

Now for actually coding the specifics of your layout:

  • CSS-Tricks - exactly what it sounds like! They have tutorials, too
  • w3schools - tutorials and references on web development languages

Where to go when you’re stuck (if you’re like me, that’s most of the time):

  • stackoverflow - search for questions that have been answered by users themselves with answers in forms of code snippets (so you can see how it works), or ask some yourself!
  • Google - yes, I had to put this in. Seriously, you’ll find an answer one way or another; and if you don’t, you’ll still learn something new!

anonymous asked:

I've been thinking about starting studying Norwegian lately. Do you have any sources for learning the pronunciation? Because I think I can handle learning vocabulary and grammar, but I don't know any sources for learning pronunciation (either free or paid, if you have any favorites, let me know!)

Hey there!! I was given this awesome resource from my best friend - A Norwegian native - and it helped me alot. This helps you with individual words, and sounds. It works letter by letter, but when you highlight a phrase or a word, it pronounces it as a whole!

I generally love watching Netflix in Norwegian - it helps alot. 

I also used this for the very basics!

Lykke til, vennen min! ♡

my pals on the lancecord asked me for some tips on cuban spanish so i thought i’d share them here too for all you lance writers. i’m a cuban voltron fan who doesnt want to live in fear of bad spanish in nearly every damn fic and im trying to be the change i want to see in the world. so feel free to message me if you have any questions about lance’s culture bc this is nowhere near being comprehensive at all.

lets get into the stuff google translate can’t teach u!

i don’t know anyone under the age of 60 who says “dios mio.” lance definitely would not, unless he is doing an impression of his abuela.

things that sound more natural than dios mio: ave maria, ay dios, por dios, AY POR DIOS

more commonly we exclaim “coño!” for anything. shock/anger/awe/etc. if the reaction is negative, it’s just coño. if the reaction is positive, we drop the first syllable and draw it out like “‘ñoooooo”

we exclaim “pinga!” or “cojone!” or “pinga cojone!” as a negative reaction more commonly than any translations of omg too

“de madre” is something we usually exclaim as a negative reaction. it can be yelled or sighed or grumbled. usually has a frustrated or incredulous connotation

“wepa!” is a sound we make as a positive exclamation.

we say “‘ueno” like the verbal embodiment of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (it’s bueno with the b dropped)


other things that sound really stiff for cubans to say is like, “hola, como estas?” i mean, you say it to people you’re not on a casual level with. to friends/family these sound more natural:

“que bola asere” is how we greet our close friends

“que bola” or “que vuelta” is how we say hey

“oye” is hey! but not as a greeting, as an exclamation. something you would say before a greeting or on its own when surprised/offended/trying to get someone’s attention/etc

common insults: cabron/cabrona, mojon, comepinga, comemierda

common pet names for anyone: flaco, nena, mojon, mi socio, corazon

“asere” is our word for “bro” that no other country uses (1000% what lance calls hunk)

we also have a tendency to call our family members by their relation+their name, such as “my Tio Jimmy called” or “Abuela Carmen is making food.” i think this is when we have big ol families and just saying tio or abuela isnt specific enough


also this isnt spanish but i s2g so many bilingual cubans i know use the word “fire” almost constantly to describe something awesome. so i think thats a small cultural thing that communicates lance is cuban without having him speak spanish. (ex. “omg that’s fire” “hunk makes fire tacos” “pidge is fire at fixing stuff” “can you play that fire song?”)


now here’s a bunch of stuff that’s just my opinion

  • I think it’s most in character for Lance to drop Spanish words only one or two at a time into English phrases, since that’s how he uses it in canon (“Hasta la later, Keith!”). A couple of quick examples off the top of my head -
    • tremendo/tremenda - an adjective for huge. “You’re being tremendo sore loser, but okay.”
    • todito/todo - means everything. you can use them one after the other for extra drama. “I forgot todito, todo, about calculus immediately after passing it.”
    • These sound like really natural ways to drop Spanish into conversation without being forced if you keep it to a minimum. I aint here to tell u how to write your lance but i beg you - Please show restraint and don’t try to use all of these tips at the same time!!
  • I recommend following latin internet personalities (like jaxxgarcia or mr. red) to pick up their Spanglish phrasing if you’re really into that. please don’t try to make up your own. it’s never as cute as you thought.
  • if you’re writing full on spanish for more than a word or two, please do not ever make Lance speak it “accidentally” (or even worse, on purpose) to someone he knows doesn’t understand the language. that’s really rude and alienating and it’s so against lance’s character to isolate himself from others like that when he speaks fluent english. 
  • other times Lance can toss a spanish word in without sounding forced is if he’s namedropping cuban things! Try looking up some of our 
    • food (ropa vieja, pan con lechon, arroz con leche)
    • drinks (materva, iron beer, malta), 
    • films (juan of the dead, azucar amarga)
    • or music (celia cruz, marc anthony, juanes*) and have lance mention them by their spanish name if the topic comes up. 
      • *not all of these musicians are cuban, but they’re some of the most popular amongst us. i’m simply naming artists i think lance is most likely to enjoy considering his age and personality.
  • speaking of music, we have very specific dance styles that are pretty cool and almost mandatory to learn at a young age. cubans in general love to party, and to host large family gatherings which easily morph into parties, and basically any social event seems awkward if there’s no one dancing at any point. 
  • what I’m trying to say is Lance definitely knows salsa or merengue moves.
  • I don’t love to party and I’m not a good dancer and I don’t like dancing, but I know salsa anyway because I had to be in the environment my whole life. always exceptions, but the majority of cubans grow up knowing how to dance and it looks more or less like this:

and one last opinion for the road:

Voltron takes place in the future, so I like to dream of Lance being born in a world where Cuba’s free from communism. If you’re doing a Voltron AU that takes place nowadays, please don’t write about Lance’s experience in Cuba if you aren’t familiar with what it’s like to live under a regime like that. It’s very bleak and textbooks don’t cover half of the fucked up things that those who live there actually have to go through.

Lance could have been born in Cuba, but raised somewhere else. Miami would be my recommendation because it’s our second homeland and it means he would have been raised surrounded by Cuban culture without the governmental oppression. But Cubans are absolutely everywhere, so it’s equally believable that Lance’s family could have immigrated to Pawnee, Indiana. Even in Voltron canon, I think it’s likely Lance moved to America at a young age because he clearly has a native fluency in English.

Humans are ridiculous

I just want to throw my hat into the ring about the Humans Are Space Orcs trope that has been going around and I’ve been enjoying immensely.

You know how a large percentage of us have a fear of spiders? Even cripplingly so, like “kill it now I’m crying and breathing into a bag” kind of fear. So what if the aliens are monitoring our transmissions before making first contact, and see, for example, a bunch of Tumblr users discussing how scary spiders are?
Put that with how badass humans generally are (seriously, we invented surgery before we invented anesthetic and consume literal poison because we like the taste), how freaked out would the aliens be to learn that there’s something we truly fear? I can see it going down like this:
Human Steve: Tell us about FTL travel and your culture, we have much to learn from each other
Alien: Yeah yeah in a minute tell me about the spider threat are we safe right now or

Even better would be if Human Steve is not one of those people who is afraid of spiders at all. Like, he has a pet tarantula and puts wild spiders outside safely when they come into his bathroom, if he bothers with them at all. And the aliens are VERY CONCERNED about the little guys and he’s like ???? They aren’t??? A threat????
But then they consult with Human Bill, and Human Bill is basically Professional Spider Hater and goes on for a weirdly long time about how spiders are the actual devil and how black widows are really dangerous and let’s not even MENTION Australia. He gets the heebee jeebies and starts twitching and itching as he begins to feel phantom bugs on his skin.
Both Human Steve and Human Bill insist that the other is the weird one.
The aliens are more concerned than ever.

Sheriff Knows Best

Stiles/Derek, G, 2K words, Sheriff POV, Coffeeshop AU, matchmaker!Sheriff

(Credit for the title to @cobrilee!)

This is an expansion of the following idea, written by the lovely @artemis69:

the coffee!AU, where John goes to the same coffee shop every day, and there is this very grumpy, quiet barista that always makes him amazing coffee and keep the best pastries for him. And one day the Sheriff learns that Derek is the one to bake them all, so he decides: this will be my son in law, I need a reason to have this man in my family for at least forty to fifty years. Then he matchmakes with no subtility whatsoever, basically offering his only son on a silver plate, Stiles spluttering all the way (but he takes Derek’s number anyway because the guy is just amazingly cute)

John’s on his regular morning stroll when he stops in his tracks and takes in the brand-new coffee shop, complete with a banner advertising their opening day. The little corner space has been boarded up for over a year, and John had no idea it was opening today.

Any new businesses are a boon for Beacon Hills, especially family-run ones like this one is rumored to be, so John ducks inside. It’s warm and homey, and there’s a pair of young dark-haired people behind the counter, close enough in features that they’re probably siblings. The quiet bickering points that direction, too.

They stop, though, when they see the Sheriff—the uniform tends to have that effect—and he pastes on his public servant smile. “Hi there. I saw this place was open and wanted to come on in and introduce myself. Sheriff John Stilinski.”

“Oh, it’s so nice to meet you,” the woman says, holding out her hand for a shake. A nice strong grip—John likes this girl already. “I’m Laura Hale, and I own this place with my brother Derek, our resident grumpy barista-slash-baker.”

Derek rolls his eyes at Laura, but his smile to John is genuine, if small. “Hi, Sheriff. Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise, son,” he says, perusing the case full of tempting sugary treats. “You made these?”

He nods. “Can I get you anything?”

John hums. “A medium coffee, and…any one of these delicious-looking goodies. You pick. Just don’t tell my son,” he adds, and Derek looks up at him.

“Your son?”

“I have slightly elevated cholesterol,” he says, stressing the word. “Nothing to worry about, honestly. But he polices my diet. I don’t think he knows about this place yet, though, so this is great.”

Derek hums. His tongs hover over a muffin—lemon poppyseed, it looks like—before moving to another one. Raspberry-almond, according to the sign, and well, John isn’t picky. Derek drops it into a little bag and hands it over.

“Happy to help,” he says.

John thanks him and opens the bag. Laura’s still pouring his coffee, but it smells so damn good that he can’t resist.

“Wow,” he says, his mouth full. “This is delicious.”

Derek looks quietly proud, and Laura claps him on the shoulder as she reaches over to hand John his coffee. “On the house, today, Sheriff,” she says. “Thanks for stopping by.”

“I’ll be back tomorrow,” he promises.


“Thanks, Nina,” John says dryly, leaning back so she can put his plate in front of him.

“You’re welcome, Sheriff,” she says with a friendly smile, ignoring his stink eye.

Stiles just grins at both of them and digs into his French toast. He insists on having their weekly father-son breakfast at Paulie’s Diner because no matter what John orders, Nina will only bring him an egg-white omelet with a dry English muffin. Stiles must have some serious blackmail or be paying her off somehow, and John is, he has to admit, grudgingly impressed.

“Don’t look so bummed out, Pops,” Stiles says, around a mouthful of what’s surely syrup-drenched deliciousness. “At least I let you have turkey bacon.”

“It’s not the same,” he says grumpily, poking at it. “But at least I’m getting a steady stream of baked goods now.”

Stiles glares at him. “Are you serious? From where? I thought I had paid everyone off.”

He knew it. “I’m not telling you,” he says, a little displeased with how childish he sounds.

“Fine,” Stiles says, sniffing. “I’ll figure it out, you know I will.”

He will, John knows. Goddamn, he loves his kid, even if his life goal seems to be depriving John from any and all delicious food. “And speaking of, I met someone the other day,” he starts, and Stiles gasps theatrically, his hand coming up to cover his mouth.

“Is this you crapping all over my dream of having Melissa as my stepmom?”

John sighs at the reminder. Melissa is…well, she seems happy with that Argent guy. Whatever. He’s not bitter.

“Not for me, Jesus,” he says, shaking his head. “For you.”

“Oh my god,” Stiles says, slumping back in the booth. “Eye roll” is too mild, John thinks. It’s more of a whole head roll. “Seriously, Dad, I’m only 25. You don’t have to marry me off quite yet. You’ll get your grandchildren someday, I promise. Stop trying to set me up with people.”

“I’m just trying to be helpful!” John protests. “He seems nice.”

And makes really good treats, he adds in his head. That’ll be a good trait for a son-in-law.

“And who exactly is he?”

John pauses. “I met him at the aforementioned undisclosed location.” 

Stiles snorts. “Find out if he actually likes dudes, then get back to me.”

“Okay,” he says seriously, and Stiles grimaces.

“No, Dad, don’t actually—”

Keep reading

Why they never talk about no magic home ec class in Hogwarts.

Clearly they have spells for it.

Molly Weasley has knitting needles going, and while house elves do the cooking at Hogwarts presumably they use some magic there to keep up with the giant work load, and iirc, Molly uses magic to cook. 

So, where the home ec class at.
Where the muggleborns with dread in their eyes thinking it’ll be a normal like, cooking class, [Harry all excited thinking he’s gonna ace this class or at least do alright, since he cooked for the Dursley’s], and then the first half the first class is a lesson about how you’ve got to earn the respect of your measuring spoons. Otherwise they’ll argue with you on how much has to go into a recipe.
Harry has a kind of tentative conversation with his and they work with him after he realized they were an older set used to students forcing them to work for them. Talks to them gently and asks if they think a little more or little less should go into a recipe, or if they think he should add an ingredient now and then because they’ve made the same thing over, and over.
Harry trying to make Molly a sweater in return for the one he got because he doesn’t know what to do with having gotten gifts, and only really managing a rather lengthy and oddly tensioned scarf made from the best yarn he could find out of a catalog he found on the shelf in the classroom. The professor was just delighted he’d decided to keep at knitting and crocheting [he may have… mixed the two] after they’d finished the unit, to make a gift.  

Where’s Hermione having a long drawn out conversation with the home ec professor about how it’s ridiculous to devote magic to knitting when you can do it by hand, and the professor countering about the time saved by simply using enchanted needles or a charm. The conversation takes up the entire period but a teacher actually takes Hermione seriously for once because effective division of effort/time is a very important skill to learn and it’s what they’re there to teach.
Wheres Ron answering all the questions like a fucking CHAMP because managing in his family has basically made his ass a pro at everything– budgeting a vault? On it. Spelling how many cauldrons to feed how many people with how much food? On lock like it’s fucking Azkaban. Best herbs and plants to grow for general– he has already finished the worksheet/in-class essay that was on the board and is fucking around with his quill. He gets called on, his string bean ass gonna have the answer while kinda being shocked at himself that he actually does, because– like many poor ass people– we manage resources really damn well when we know what we have. And we very rarely let it get away from us.

Where’s the rich-ass purebloods that know finances and shit because they’re taking over family blood-line affairs when their older and their parents drilled that into their heads, but can’t cook/sew/anything else to save their life till they learn.
Where was Oliver Wood trying to make Healthy Food Things for the quidditch team for Extra Energy and just making a mess.
The Twins making a totally harmless banana pudding and selling it in their store and NO ONE KNOWING WHAT IT DOES, everyone panicking because they’re SURE they did something.

We were robbed of so much is all i’m saying.

Typical Traits of Mercury in the Signs

What style of communication do we use? How do we make decisions? How do we pick up, process, absorb, and exchange information? These questions are answered, in part, by Mercury’s placement by sign of the zodiac. Mercury refines the Sun sign, and it helps to define how we take in and give out information from the world around us.

ARIES:

  • fast decisions, often driven by the need for instant gratification 
  • childishly assume that others will accept their opinion smoothly, criticism or negative feedback can be taken personally
  • excellent at promoting their new ideas


TAURUS:

  • rely on their senses when it comes to processing information (smells, noises, and mood)
  • brutally honest. That “say it like it is” style gets mistaken for rudeness and disrespect sometimes
  • when it comes to learning, they prefer demonstrations, concrete answers, and basic concepts


GEMINI:

  • they know a little about everything, though their learning is a little superficial — they generally have too many interests to delve too deeply into any one
  • a nervous energy here is unmistakable
  • able to quickly spot human weaknesses and then play around with them it’s done, usually, with a sense of humour


CANCER:

  • very subjective and personal (if Sun in Gemini or Leo they may come across as more sensitive than they actually are)
  • fast at forming opinions and making decisions on first impressions
  • best listeners of all the signs


LEO:

  • they speak with authority, some come across as know-it-alls
  • very attached to their opinions, taking pride in their beliefs, which are often rather idealistic, desire for self-expression
  • with intellect and ego so closely tied, the ability to separate fact from fiction can be complicated


VIRGO:

  • adept at organising, planning on a short-term scale, and doing errands 
  • capable of learning a lot
  • rarely flashy in their communication style, but they do appreciate it when others acknowledge their brainpower


LIBRA:

  • very diplomatic,  long for equality in the intellectual world
  • trying too hard to score intellectual points instead of truly listening to people, which often comes across as self-centered
  • extraordinarily uncomfortable with extremes of opinions


SCORPIO:

  • tendency to focus on the false in order to get to the truth 
  • very distrusting towards strangers’ opinions, therefore observant and wary
  • absolutely driven to win every argument, which they usually reach with the help of destructive criticism, sarcasm and manipulation 


SAGITTARIUS:

  • communicate in an optimistic, forward-looking manner, their ideas are generally very big, not focused on details
  • restless intellect, they learn best when they are given the freedom to think for themselves
  • they’ll be the first to spot bias or prejudice in everyone else’s communication, but they can be a little blind to their own


CAPRICORN:

  • easily get frustrated when too much information is thrown at them at once, tend to close themselves off
  • don’t appreciate being taken off guard, and they quickly become impatient with people who don’t honour their word
  • ability to listen carefully and to choose their words wisely


AQUARIUS:

  • enjoy breaking the rules, even though they aren’t necessarily loud or flamboyant people 
  • their perspective on issues can be delightfully unusual, quirky, and surprisingly insightful
  • always express their opinions, speak up for themselves, sometimes in a quite detached and even impolite way


PISCES:

  • an unpredictable way to communicate, you never know when they’ll be in a quiet mood or a yakking state 
  • dreamy and indirect, it’s easy to adapt them to anyone’s belief or decision, they are an easy target
  • they instinctively express what others want to hear to make them feel comfortable, which often comes across as lies
Good Things to Research When You Don't Know What to Research

They don’t exactly teach this stuff in schools. This list is designed for the beginner witch, who keeps hearing the advice “Research!” but wants some better specifics on what exactly that means.

Now, you don’t have to be a complete expert on all of these or even most of these! You don’t even have to incorporate all of them into your practice. They’re just some stuff it’s good to have a basic working knowledge of in the Craft.

🌻Planetary Correspondences- Even if cosmic witchcraft isn’t your thing, a lot (and I mean a LOTTTT) of correspondences in any other category are going to eventually lead back to the planets. Having a basic understanding of what each planet governs is extremely helpful when learning the correspondences of basically anything else.

🌻Herb Correspondences- Herbs and spices are incredibly useful! They’re probably one of the most versatile of the “big categories” since they can be used in herbalism and kitchen witchery, as well as a great add-on to any other variation of witchcraft. It’s good to have a working knowledge of what herbs you can use in a pinch, especially the stuff you already have in your kitchen. When an emergency calls, it’s good to know how that chili powder can help you.

🌻Crystal Correspondences- This is another great add on! Crystals can often be used to enhance and focus the energy of a spell, as well as cleanse any ritual tools you have. Besides, who doesn’t like pretty rocks? Crystals can be particularly great for the witch who has a tactile mind, and likes to have things they can feel and roll around in their hand.

🌻Days of the Week- Knowing the right time to cast a spell can be very important! Casting a love spell on a Friday gives it an added boost, or at the very least creates a path of least resistance. Besides, there’s only seven of them, so it’s easy to learn quickly. You get a lot of bang for your buck!

🌻Phases of the Moon- We have a really big collective crush on the moon, it seems. And for good reason! The moon is a great source of power and mystery even in a completely mundane setting! Understanding the phases of the moon and how it can affect your craft is extremely important. (Hint: you can cast spells even when it isn’t the Full Moon.)

🌻Basic Mythology and Lore- This is an absolute must if you plan on going into any type of spirit work. Even if that isn’t your thing, it’s good to know a little bit. Firstly, because you may draw unwanted attention from spirits, and it’s good to know how to deal with them if it happens. Secondly, because if you draw from a path with any history behind it, it’s good to know how the rules go down on their turf.

🌻Basic Divination- Not everyone has the money or the time to pick up and learn how to read a 78-card Tarot deck, but things like scrying and pendulums are pretty easy to figure out quickly. What’s more, they can be done on little to no budget. Divination’s a useful tool to have on your utility belt, and who wants to pay someone to use a pendulum for them when you can learn it yourself?

🌻Anthropology of different cultures/religions- You don’t have to be a religious witch at all, but witchcraft still has its roots as a religious practice! Lot’s of practices have a cultural context as well, which can be important to know in order to fully understand the action you’re performing. A lot of correspondences, traditions, and rites come from cultural or religious roots. It’s good to know not only what people did, but why they did it! Does X tool have some symbolic meaning or was it just what was available at the time? What was simply a product of the culture around them?

🌻Science- It’s a HUGE category, and I left it that way on purpose. If something interests you, look at the mundane side of it as well! Do you like kitchen witchery? Read up on food chemistry and how different nutrients affect the brain. Into crystals? Learn about how they’re formed! Read about gardening or psychology, anything that can help enhance your path.

Happy researching!

Originally posted by longshankstumblarian

On Shinso and Aizawa

No, this is not a shipping post.

So I have many feels about episode 20 of Boku no Hero, but one of the things I would like to talk about here, is the relationship between Shinso and Aizawa.

We see that Shinso has made it to the duel phase of the Special Olympics. And while his easily excitable friend is shouting about how weird it is that Shinso made it this far, Aizawa is basically sitting there going “I TOLD you guys.”
To Aizawa, the entrance exam was bullshit, because it gave a huge advantage to people with physical quirks. And Aizawa, of all people, should know this.
I mean. A young Aizawa wouldn’t have made it through that entrance exam.

Aizawa is a hero through and through. He has the heart of one. This man pitted himself against an overwhelming amount of villains, knowing he probably wasn’t going to make it. He literally put his own body between a coordinated surprise attack and his students in the hopes of giving them time to flee.
And he would not have been able to enter UA if he was their age.
His quirk is to shut off other quirks.
It wouldn’t have worked against the robots of that year’s exam.

Part of what makes the hero business harder for Aizawa than for, say, Endeavour or All Might is that Aizawa’s quirk is very specialised, and there’s nothing physical about it. He basically had to make up a new martial art using the power of scarves in order to also have a physical component.
There’s a reason that Aizawa is always telling his students not to be a one trick pony and that’s because he had to learn not to be one in order to even qualify as a decent hero. And he knows not everyone has to struggle that hard.
When you have a powerful physical quirk, it’s easy to believe that it will be enough.

So it’s not difficult to imagine that Aizawa recognizes a younger version of himself in Shinso. This is a kid with a Super Powerful quirk, who has some serious trouble finding the right little slot to fit in at UA. 
Because that school is not adapted to accommodate his strengths and overcome his specific weaknesses.

There’s a panel in the later chapters where Aizawa is talking to Shinsho and you kinda feel like they could bond. These two have a lot in common, after all. They both have some sleep schedule issues, judging by the bags under their eyes, they both like cats and they share a common perspective on the world of quirks.
We don’t really know Aizawa’s background (yet), but it wouldn’t surprise me if he really, truly gets what drives Shinso.
And honestly, I hope he starts mentoring him. Because Shinso deservers better.

2

New to witchcraft or want to expand your library? Here are two wonderful books.

The first book, The Book of Kitchen Witchery, is a very good book for anyone starting out and wanting to learn the basics. It gives you a step by step how to set up an altar, how to purify your sacred space, seasons/holidays of the year, how to make different potions, and brews with herbs you grow and cultivated.
You can buy this book here: https://www.amazon.com/Book-Kitchen-Witchery-recipes-enchanted/dp/1782493727


The second book, The Hearth Witch’s Compendium, is my personal favorite. You really can’t go wrong with adding this to the collection of books you have at home. Not only does it give the basics on witchcraft, but gives a complete guide on what herbs treat and heal certain illnesses. Many recipes on brews, tinctures, potions, and so much more! You won’t regret this book, I promise!
You can buy this book here: https://www.amazon.com/Hearth-Witchs-Compendium-Magical-Natural/dp/0738750468

HOW TO STUDY/LEARN ANY LANGUAGE

Being a polyglot, I decided to make a post about how to study any language, Without further ado, here it is:

1) TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM ENGLISH

This is the most crucial step to studying/learning a new language. In order for your brain to pick up the new words and ideas, it needs to be more immersed in the language you’re learning. Now for most of us who are learning languages in school, that’s kind of hard, especially since most language classes do most of the work in English until you build a level of fluency. This is the primary reason why immersion programs or immersion schools are so much more successful in teaching a language: you’re forced to talk, write, speak, and think in the language you’re learning. Your brain makes connections faster and thus learns faster to understand and process the language. I would suggest that when you’re learning the language, whether it’s in class time or homework, try to work only in that language. Don’t automatically translate things into English because that’s only going to inhibit your process. Even if your knowledge of the language is limited, practicing thinking in the language, reading the language without translating, and speaking will greatly improve your progress. You’ll find yourself become more fluent and the language will flow rather than be halting because your brain is trying to translate things instead of thinking fluently.

2) LEARN AS MUCH VOCABULARY AS YOU CAN

Vocab is one of, if not the, most important aspect of learning a language. I would even go as far as saying it’s about 70-80% of effectively knowing a language. Think about it this way, if you’re at a restaurant and you’re asked to read the menu or if you’re out and you’re reading signs and advertisements, will knowing hundreds of verbs and their conjugations help you get by? Most likely not. Vocab on the other hand will make the difference between understanding and being totally clueless. If that example didn’t do it for you here’s another one: when you’re speaking to someone how can you express yourself if you don’t know the words? Chances are even if you know no grammar but know key words in the language someone will understand you. Most people don’t pay that much attention to grammar anyway when you’re speaking. As long as you have a basic understanding of it, you’ll be understood. I’m not saying that grammar isn’t important, far from it, but so many people underestimate vocab and focus on grammar and that hinders your learning. Try to learn as much vocab as you can because it will bring you one more step to being fluent. The key to knowing a language is to understand it to a high degree. You can’t understand if you don’t know the words. Find a list with the most common words in the language you’re learning and try to learn them all. Have a goal to learn 10-20 new words per day and you’ll go a long way. If you’re trying to learn vocab I would recommend to have a sheet with all the words you’re trying to learn and their definitions. Hide the words and try to write the vocab by seeing only the definitions. Writing down helps you remember and this method is foolproof. I’ve used it for 6+ years in French and it’s never failed me.

3) LEARN BASIC GRAMMAR

When I say basic grammar, I mean the typical verb tenses and some basic structures. This doesn’t mean learning every single verb conjugated in every single tense, but rather learning the patterns of grammar and how to apply them. Work smarter not harder. Learning the patterns makes it easier to recognize them when you’re reading and remember them when you’re writing. In my opinion, one fault with the way languages are taught in school is the way they teach grammar and how much time they spend on it. Most native speakers don’t worry as much about grammar as non-native speakers do. Again, I’m not saying grammar isn’t important because it is and  you have to know it, but the way it’s taught ruins it. Try to make a chart with all the verb tenses and the patterns that go with the different types of verbs and then a list with the irregular verbs/exceptions. This should be enough to help you gain a basic mastery of grammar. If you know the basic rules, it will become second nature as you speak, write, and read more.

4) READ, LISTEN, AND SPEAK

The language you learn at school is very very different from the language actually spoken in its native country. Most of the language you learn is very formal while in real life, formality is disregarded to a degree and slang is prevalent. In order to build a fluency, you need to read and listen to the language in its natural form to pick up the slang and words that are actually used and not the archaic words that nobody ever says. Listen to music from that language, watch the news in that language, read a book or magazine in that language etc. This will again help your brain learn and process the language better. It will also help with vocabulary and general understanding. Children’s books are the best when you’re starting out. The language is simple and the grammar isn’t to complicated. Start with children’s books and then work your way up to novels and other forms of literature. Listening to the language is also crucial. Try to find mediums where the language is spoken and just listen. Don’t translate or stress yourself out trying to understand it all because you won’t the first couple of times. Just let it sink in. Gradually, you’ll find yourself understanding more and more and you’ll improve. With the speaking aspect, speak as much as you can. Don’t be embarrassed if you stumble, can’t express yourself as much as you would like, or have an accent. I also find that watching/reading/listening to translated works is helpful. Find your favorite book and read it in the language you’re learning, it will help you understand and learn more because you already know what’s going on and can focus on the vocab and grammar. Find your favorite movie and watch it in the language you’re learning. Again, it will help you learn more vocab. The more you practice the better it will get. If you distance yourself from speaking you’ll never improve. Balancing reading, listening, and speaking is the key to being successful.

5) DON’T BE AFRAID TO MESS UP

Nobody becomes fluent over night. Cliche but true. Don’t expect to instantly know everything. It’s normal to struggle and have trouble. Failing is part of the learning process and if you stop practicing because you’re afraid, you’re never going to learn anything. Let go of your fears and insecurities and go for it. If you fall down, pick yourself up and start again. Don’t be embarrassed if you mess up but rather learn from your mistakes and grow. The things we remember most are usually the things where we’ve messed up or had a negative experience with. So use the hiccups as a learning experience and your language skills will improve. 

If you follow these steps, I’m confided that you’ll be better in no time :) The key is to enjoy what you do and have fun! Good luck!

anonymous asked:

do you have any suggestions on the best workbooks that can help in learning, writing, and talking in Japanese? more the one book is fine, thank you :)

Books & Links to guide your journey in learning Japanese language!

Note: Each set of books is for specific purpose.As a tip, it’s better to focus on one skill at a time. It’s recommended to work on grammar before focusing on learning kanji. With that in mind, here we go!:

…………………………………………

Basic stuff!
Easily learn Hiragana
Easily learn Katakana
Introduction about kanji before you start to learn them

…………………………………………

Book set to master basic Japanese (recommended)
TRY! N5 grammar with CD
TRY! N4 grammar with CD
500 Questions for N5-N4 Practice + grammar review
Dictionary for Basic Japanese Grammar

If you’re unsure of which book to buy, this set is all you need. The amount of time require to finish this set would be around 4 - 8 months. The dictionary is complimentary but so worth to have!

One step further:
TRY! N3 grammar with CD
500 Questions for N3 Practice + grammar review
>> Check out the details of this book set

…………………………………………

Hone Kanji reading skills
Books to learn & practice kanji
>> How to use the book

Indepth Kanji study
Book to guide you to remember kanji easily with mnemonics (for beginners)
Kanji dictionary learners (to guide you on each kanji usage)

…………………………………………

Japanese Conversation/Speaking skill
• Basic survival conversation & situation
–> this book teach basic survival grammar!

Learn Japanese with conversation (shadowing technique)
>> Learn more about both books here

…………………………………………

Reading practice material
Ghibli’s Story book - [Full post]
Easy to read Japanese Manga  - [Full post]
Bilingual Doraemon manga  - [Full post]
>> More books & review here

…………………………………………

Another set to master basic Japanese grammar:

Note: It’s not effective to have a different set of similar book, just pick the set you like the most. If you like Genki better, get a genki set and so on~

If you ask our opinion, Genki is easier with a more detailed English explanation but explained from English point of view.

While minna no nihongo is a very immersive study book but will confuse and discourage some people.

Our recommendation Try set above is somewhere in the middle. It’s immersive but not to confusing and each grammar is explained from Japanese point of view~

Minna no nihongo

Minna no Nihongo Beginners Part 1 book (N5-N4)
Minna no Nihongo Beginners Part 2 book (N5-N4)
Minna no Nihongo set review & links

Genki
Genki 1
Genki workbook 1
Genki 2
Genki workbook 2
Answer key for workbook 1&2

…………………………………………

Hope this helps! Happy learning 。゚✶ฺ.ヽ(*´∀`*)ノ.✶゚ฺ。

Successful People Start Before They Feel Ready

“If you’re working on something important, you’ll never feel ready. A side effect of doing challenging work is that you’re pulled by excitement and pushed by confusion at the same time.” – James Clear

The Start-Up Guy is well underway. I have been working with several businesses, including a very exciting Johannesburg-based business which is launching in the next two months. I am so honoured that they used and continue to use my services.  

I’ve noticed a common trait amongst all the guys and girls I’ve been working with recently, and I thought it might be useful to share because I think many other people are experiencing the same thing.

Almost all entrepreneurs don’t know what they’re doing and it’s perfectly okay. In fact, I don’t know of a single one who, at the outset, knew exactly what they needed to do and when to do it. Before your mind does that thing where it jumps to conclusions, let me explain.

A start-up is an experiment, a matter of trial and error. No one can be fully certain about the route it will take. At best, one can have a firm idea of the intended outcome, but whether that transpires is all dependent on the market’s response to your idea (and who really knows what that’ll be? Right?).

Sir Richard Branson has one of the most interesting entrepreneurial stories, for me, because he started many of his companies largely by mistake. He dropped out of school to continue a magazine business he had no idea was going to sustain him. As a way to grow his magazine sales, he started distributing music records made by unknown artists to his readers, and so began the journey of Virgin Records. He started Virgin Airlines after he was delayed by his flight facing maintenance issues before take-off. This guy is the epitome of just getting on with it. This guy is also worth $5 Billion today!

As an entrepreneur and business owner you have to embrace the learning process and continuously learn (by doing). Learn your market, learn your business, and continuously adapt your learnings to suit your market as you go. The entrepreneurs who embrace the learning process and respond to unexpected events in real time are often the ones who do very well.

Without babbling on for too long, the moral of the story is that not knowing what to do is not a good enough reason to not start your business. Passion and a basic idea is enough. Even if you are physically incapable of carrying out certain tasks, outsourcing skills is a thing (like helluurrr, this is why people like me are here). It is no mistake that one of the single most important traits that investors look for in entrepreneurs is passion, especially in the very early stages of a start-up. Not “intelligence.” Not qualifications. Passion (synonymous with commitment/dedication in this regard). A founder who is not passionate about what they are doing will give up when they face the inevitable hurdles of starting a business. Passion is the fuel by which a project goes from start-up to a fully-fledged business.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you can go and start the next big business with the technical skills of a toddler. I am merely saying that, within reason, you can start a business without the technical know-how, as long as you have the dedication to follow through with the necessary steps. In doing so, be realistic, tread carefully and always consult a professional when you’re thinking about making an expensive decision.

If whilst reading this article you had a certain project or idea in mind, maybe it’s time to pursue it with everything you have. Why aren’t you? That was not a rhetorical question. Like Richard Branson famously said, “screw it. Just get on and do it.” If you are really struggling with how to conceptualise or begin your business, consult me and we can find a solution together. 

Once again, thank you for reading.

Tweet me @sazi08

anonymous asked:

RFA + V and Saeran react to overhearing MC's family scold her because they despise who she's dating? Maybe they think they aren't successful and responsible enough or not loyal or trustworthy or feel like MC deserves far better than what she's getting our of them? Specifically I'd like to see Saeyoung's reaction given his insecurities.

And we’re back! Did you guys miss some scenarios?

Hope you like this! ^^

RFA + Saeran and V finding MC’s family disapproval

Zen

  • “Sweetie, I just think he’s playing with you.”
  • He heard that coming from your father when you two were washing the dishes in the kitchen, Zen noticed you two forgot a plate and was bringing it to the kitchen.
  •  “And what makes you think that, dad?” “Well, he’s handsome, I bet he has tons of women running after him. Maybe famous women? What makes you think he won’t dump you for some famous actress? He’s a public figure, honey, his image is everything. Plus… he sounds shallow like that.”
  • Shallow? Zen could deal with being called narcissist, workaholic, but… shallow? He was sounding shallow to your father?
  • He wanted to walk into the kitchen, maybe subtly, maybe not. He wish he had some really witty and smart statement to give so your father would realize he wasn’t just image
  • And he was about to step into the kitchen when he finally heard your voice: “If he sounds shallow, maybe you didn’t pay attention enough to what he was saying, dad. Have you listened to his story? His problems with his family? The way he struggled when he started his career as an actor? Have you heard when he told you how much he loves me and how guilty he feels that we’re still not married? Come on, dad. Either you weren’t listening, or you don’t know what shallow means.”
  •  “But, honey…” “His family is broken enough, dad. Let’s not break ours too just because you’re seeing Zen as just another actor, not as the man I chose to share my life with.”
  • Zen could almost cry right there. How did he manage to find someone who can see so deep inside him? Yeah, he definitely likes being known for his looks, but the fact you see beyond them is really overwhelming.
  • When you two are saying goodbye to your father, he gives a firm handshake to the man.  “I hope we can spend more time together, sir.”
  • “I would like that a lot. I see you have a bike, what brand is it?” that goodbye turned into a long conversation about bikes, which was super boring to you, but seeing them bonding was worth it.

Yoosung

  • “I honestly thought it was a joke when you introduced him as your boyfriend, sis.”
  • He heard when you and your sister were in your bedroom trying to find something for you to wear, Yoosung accidentally spilled wine on you.
  • “Shut up.” “No, I’m serious! What are you thinking, MC? He seems like a teenage mama’s boy. Look at what he did to your shirt, he’s so clumsy and… nerve-wracking! You’ll have to play his mommy all the time!”
  • Well, it’s not like he haven’t thought about himself like that before, but listening when it comes from another person, that person being someone who grew up with you hurts a lot more.
  • His first instinct was head out of there without anybody noticing he’s gone. But… then your sister would be completely right.
  • “He just spilled wine on me because his spatial notion is still a little compromised due to his eye. Have I told you he hurt his eye trying to protect me, sis? And yeah, he’s still a little nervous because he doesn’t know my family too well, but your hostility definitely won’t help him calming down. If you’ weren’t such a bitch, maybe you would have noticed by now he’s an amazing smart man that makes me really happy.”
  • “You just called me a bitch because of that guy?” “I did, just so you know how serious I am about him, to the point I’m fighting with my favorite person in the world.”
  • Well, he’s glad he didn’t run and stayed to listen to this. You made him sound like a really cool reliable guy, the type of man he’s trying to be for you.
  • After you and your sister go back to the living room, she makes sure to sit next to you two. “So wait… you asked her to be your pre-girlfriend before you got together? Oh my God, that’s so adorable…”
  • Then you two kept squealing over that photo of his with the roses, and though he’s super embarrassed, he couldn’t help feeling a little smug when your sister said ”Huh, I wish my boyfriend were like this.”

Jaehee

  • “She seems a little cold, MC. Are you sure she really likes you?”
  • She heard when you and your brother were setting the table while she was talking to your parents in the living room, she decided she needed to help as well.
  • “Ugh, don’t even start, bro.” “I’m not saying this to be an ass! Come on, MC, she’s so formal! She’s almost like a granny, you’ll get bored if you stay with her! This if she doesn’t dump you first, she seems cold like that.”
  •  You warned her about your brother’s brutal honesty, but this still felt unexpectedly hurtful.
  • She was really trying to loosen up, and she honestly felt she was doing a good job, at least next to you and to your friends, maybe she wasn’t and people close to you were feeling she wasn’t real about your relationship?
  • “She’s been working her ass off on a very strict company basically since she graduated, she’s still learning to loosen up. You would have noticed this if you weren’t so desperate about finding something to complain about my girlfriend, as you typically do.”
  • “Jeez, MC, calm down! I’m just worried for you.” “I appreciate it, but you’re the one boring me right now, let’s end this before I stop feeling bored and end up getting angry.”
  • She can’t help feeling this warmth growing inside her. Knowing that you are willing to fight for her like this is amazing! Not only because she never had that before, but also because it’s you.
  • Your brother decides to talk a little more to her. “Whooooa, so you’re a judo blackbelt? That’s awesome! You gotta teach me some moves!”
  • Well, giving this guy an ippon after he pissed you off would satisfy her more than she cared to admit.


Jumin

  • “Are you sure this is a healthy relationship, honey?”
  •  Your mother asked you when you two were making dinner while he was setting the table, as you asked him, but he didn’t know where to find the forks.
  •  “What do you mean, ma?” “I mean, he seems so intimidating and, everything is happening so fast, you barely know each other and are already engaged, he seems very intense, for that matter.”
  • Well, he was indeed very intense, but… intimidating? He never wanted to come across as intimidating, not to you, not to the woman who raised you.
  • Was he intimidating you to the point you were feeling pressured to get married?
  •  “Mom, I know what you’re trying to say. He’s not like dad, okay? Yes, he is very intense, just because he never had the chance to express his feelings like all of us do.“
  • “Well, your father wasn’t good at expressing feelings either, then he expressed with actions…” “Ma, Jumin would never hurt me, emotionally or physically. I know you might be thinking I’m on a cycle, that I have daddy issues, but… just give him a chance, okay? Let him prove he is nothing like my father.”
  • He was really sad for you and your mother. Two amazing women were suffering due to a man’s behavior, this was awful in so many levels…
  • He walks into the kitchen, pretending he didn’t hear a thing. “Why don’t you just rest while MC and I cook, maam?”
  • “Oh wow, what a gentleman… nothing like her father.” He smiled genuinely, neither of the women were feeling intimidated by that smile.

Saeyoung

  • “Your mother and I think you deserve better.”
  • Your father says when you were helping him changing a light bulb, Saeyoung decided to help when he heard this.
  • “Why would you think that, dad?” “Sweetie, he’s a train wreck! He’s immature, irresponsible, you told me how rude he acted with you. How can you be sure he won’t start pushing you away again?”
  • Of course he knew how immature and irresponsible he was, but he never really thought about what if he started getting snappy to you again. He promised he wouldn’t, but… was he good at keeping promises? Ask his brother.
  •  If he had any good sense, he would walk away and pretend he didn’t listen to any of this. He was already immature and irresponsible, he didn’t need o be nosy as well.
  • “He just pushed me away because he was worried and pretty sure he would die at any moment back then, dad. He was scared, he’s been scared his whole life! Have I told you what kind of hell he and his brother grew up at?”
  • “Sweetie, it still doesn’t justify…” “It does to me. He is scared and willing to change for me, I know that because I trust him. Can’t you trust the man your daughter loves? Not even a little?”
  • Well, if you asked him anything with that tone, he would oblige without thinking… ugh, you’re so sweet, so lovely, so caring… he can never push you away again! Not right now his life is so great with you and his brother, but it isn’t perfect, since your parents don’t like him…
  • “I’ll be honest with you, son. I still don’t trust you, but my daughter does and she never failed her judgments, that, and only because of that, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.” You looked at him and smiled.
  • “Thank you, sir. I’ll prove it will be worth it.” Not so immature and irresponsible right now, is he?

Saeran

  • “MC, listen to me, this guy is trouble!”
  • He heard this through the baby monitor when you and your sister went to check on her son.
  • “Why are you saying this?” “MC, he is… creepy! Are you dating him to punish dad? Look at him, he looks like he’s on the edge of a mental breakdown! Are you sure you want to play his nurse forever?”
  • He wasn’t on the edge of a mental breakdown! At least not now… at least not since you came along, but there were a few says, though…
  • Your sister is so right! He’s so weird and creepy, he doesn’t deserve you at all! Why did he even think he could handle trying to be normal and do normal things with you?
  • “I’m not playing his nurse! I like to help him because I love him, and he had mental break downs in the past, you would have too if you were locked up and forced to drugs after growing up with an abusive mother. All he needs is support and a loving family, not this… judgment from you!”
  • “MC, calm down, I was just…” “I know you’re concerned, but focus your concern on helping me give him what he needs. If you have nothing else nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
  • Saeran didn’t hear any of this, he hid in the bathroom when you two left the bay’s bedroom and kept talking as you walked into the living room.
  • Then you two heard the baby crying through the baby monitor, but he quickly stopped, you two found it odd and went to check on him.
  • He was fine, Saeran was holding him. “Am… Am I doing this right?” Making yours and your sister’s heart explode from sweetness? Yep, he was doing this right.

V

  • “What are you even thinking dating this guy, MC?”
  • Your brother asked you when V went to the toilet, he got lost and tried to get back to ask your brother where was it, exactly.
  • “What do you mean?” “I mean, he’s an old blind man, MC! You’re wasting your youth with a guy like this, he won’t be able to keep it up with you!”
  • V already thought about it, yes, you were so young, did you really need to take such a responsibility by dating him?
  • And that coming from your brother, who sounded so worried… he hated being a burden and provoking this arguing between two family members…
  • “He’s just one year older than you, so chill. And what century are we in? Do you think just because he’s blind, he’s not able to have a normal life? Dude, we’re planning a trip to Italy for my birthday, I think that’s pretty normal, don’t you?”
  •  “MC, take I easy, I’m just…” “You’re concerned, but you don’t have to.  He’s pretty good by himself, and he’s independent, he doesn’t need me, yet he wants me, and I want him, so there’s nothing for you to worry about.”
  • He needed you, maybe not to do things for him, yes. But he needed you because he loved you, and he was so happy that you were so sure about him not being a burden.
  • You were saying goodbye, when your brother said: “I’m sorry, dude.”
  • “If you want to apologize, apologize for stressing her out. As for me, don’t worry, I’ll make sure to bring you a gift from Italy as a peace offer.”
A List of Witchy Android Apps:

There will probably be overlap with other app posts. I’m not trying to say I’m the first to discover these apps or anything of that nature. I’ve included some brief descriptions of why/how regularly I personally use them/how they could be useful and how the app functions.

Amazon Kindle: I have some digital witchcrafty books.  If you have your own amazon account, it may be an especially good idea for the discreet witch. Digital versions of encyclopedias are also much easier to carry in-pocket this way.

Angel Cards: The free version only has 2 options, “Message of the Day” and a “Past, Present, Future” spread.  The app’s cards are splayed out (face down) for you to scroll through and choose from when you do a spread, and that’s why I use the app despite its lack of free features.

Angel Tarot: The free version of this app is much more substantial than the previous app mentioned.  It has a card of the day function as well as 5 spreads built into the app. This app’s divination function also has a user input into the randomization through tapping the touchscreen to shuffle the deck and then choosing the top card with a slide whenever you’re ready.  It also allowed you to save your spreads/results to review at a later through a “Journal” function.  It does not allow you to take notes on the spread, just archives the result itself.

Cards of Courage: This is a free app that doesn’t offer the entire deck until purchased.  There is a Daily Card function, and 1 card, 2 card, and 3 card spread functions. With this app, it chooses a card without any user input (no shuffling/scrolling through cards), but it has not negatively affected its accuracy in my personal experience.  This app also has four guided meditations I have not tried to use for it does not interest me.

Crystal Oracle: This is a free app that sort of functions as a magic 8 ball. It takes user input to begin ‘pulling’ an answer.  The answers vary from the typical yes/no/ask later.  I’ve had varied success with this app.

Galaxy Tarot: A free app with an upgrade option that adds a journal and additional card associations among several other things.  This app does not utilize user input for the daily card, but it allows the option for the 6 spreads available.

GardenAnswers: A free app I feel would be very useful for identifying local flora.  If a photo of a flower is input into the app, it attempts to match it from a database.  It also has a function to ask a horitculturist for advice identifying a plant or treating a plant issue.  I have not used this app much, so I can’t vouch for or against it.

Golden Thread Tarot: Cards are generated without user input.  The app has a physical deck that can be used in companion.  The app offers a journal function that allows the user to input how they feel about the result of the reading when they save it.  The app has a daily card function, and offers three spreads for various categories (ex. Love, career, general).

Horoscopes: A horoscope app I use mostly for entertainment.  The app has a sign compatibility function that only has m/f options.  It also has decent graphics of the constellations which could function as a nice reference.

Inkboard: A simple drawing app I use to create sigils.

Labyrinthos Academy: A fun app that teaches Tarot.  The user is allowed to pick between a girl, boy, and nonbinary option for their “player character.”  I’ve heard it is very useful for learning the Tarot card meanings, but I have yet to try it much.

MagicBall: An app that requires users to shake their phone to get an answer.  It seems about as accurate as the Crystal Oracle app.

Memo: Any note-taking app will do.  I’m pretty sure all phones come with one pre-installed. I’ve heard Evernote works well, too.  Basically anything that you can use to save your notes even when you’re on the bus or otherwise on the go.

myNoise:  This app is made by the same person who has the myNoise website! I 100% recommend this app (and the website which is fairly mobile-friendly) for anyone who needs background noise during spellwork, meditation, divination, or even sleep. Truly amazing stuff.

Phases of the Moon:  An app that tracks the moon phase and what sign it’s in.  It also has a (relatively unstable) function to set the moon phase as your lock screen/background that is useful for keeping a constant eye on the moon phase.

Planetary Times:  An app that tracks the astrological time.  It explains what planet’s time it is at the moment and also supplies some horoscope capabilities.  It also explains the correspondences and associations of the planets.

Spellcaster:  Offers a few basic tarot reading options that do not take user input for card choice (bar selecting a reading).  It also has a few spells from the creator’s grimoire, and a daily horoscope.  There are more features, but the ones I’ve listed are the free ones.  I honestly don’t find myself opening this app much.

Uni Tarot:  This app has several decks from which to choose, and the user “stirs” the cards with their touch screen before selecting a card or cards for the spread.  It has a large amount of information on the cards, and has a journal function.

Viridi:  A calming, meditative digital succulent gardening app (there is also a viridi for the computer) where you weed and water a potted arrangement of succulents.

White Noise Generator:  The one I have is an actual stream of white noise.  Could be useful for drowning out loud surroundings for meditation or ease in hearing spirits.

Substituting with “anything” (a quartz and rosemary-inspired rant)

Apparently this is the month of me sticking my foot in places I’ll likely regret. But I feel like this really damages the learning process for a lot of witches and needs addressing. So today I’d like to talk about this thing being told to new witches way too often: that they can use “anything” as a substitution if they don’t have X ingredient for, say, a spell jar or whatever.

Can I just say, as someone whose practice focuses heavily on herbal work, how crazy that makes me?

I am not saying spells are set in stone and substitutions can’t be made. They totally can be.

I am not saying that this here fancy spell with all these fancy, expensive ingredients can’t have a more accessible re-working done with more common ingredients. It probably can.

I am all about making spells work for less money, less time, and less privileged people. You tell me what you’ve got in your kitchen and yard, and I will help you find a way to make that into any-damn-thing you please.

I am not all about the elite-extra-special “old way” or some dead guy’s mandates on how to witch.

But when I see, “just use quartz/rosemary instead” as the generic advice for EVERYTHING, no matter what the missing component in question is, it makes me crazy.

What’s the purpose of using ingredient-based spells? No, not just for the aesthetic™. It’s to reduce the energy load on you by replacing it with stuff that ALREADY HAS a given energy, or focus.

So if you remove it and just stick a generic energy booster in there, what’s going to happen?

One of two things:

1. The spell doesn’t work as intended, because you took off a wheel and put a rocket where it used to be.

2. The spell does work as intended, but I’m willing to bet you feel the exact same drain you would have felt if you’d just done energy work… because that’s probably what you did (and a lot of people don’t realize that isn’t supposed to happen).

So while I’m not saying that you’re wrong and your spell didn’t work regardless of whatever generic substitutions you made, I am going to say that if that’s true, I wonder if you’re wasting a lot of materials in your practice.

The purpose of spell ingredients is to use the properties of the ingredient in order to add a specific energy to the spell, which reduces the burden on you to supply that specific energy, and to have highly consistent focus while doing so. If your spell calls for valerian, then there is something about valerian itself that is aiding the spell. You can’t simply swap it with cayenne and expect to get the same results. There are definitely things you COULD swap it with because they have similar properties, but not absolutely anything.

If you can swap the valerian with literally anything and get the same results, that likely means you are not actually using the valerian to help you cast the spell. You’re simply using your own energy and the herbs are set dressing.

And there’s most certainly nothing wrong with being adept at pure energy work. That’s a great skill to have as a witch. But it sure is a waste of herbs if you’re not actually using them, eh? I mean, a lot of these herbs we use aren’t cheap or readily available.

Why not just get rid of the set dressing and save yourself time and money and just do energy work? Or if you like your set dressing, use tools meant to amplify energy work, like a wand or a staff or something?

Also, I think there’s a certain level of damage being done when we tell witches who are trying to learn herbal work that anything is just the same as anything else and none of it matters.

The magical uses of herbs are often tied to their mundane uses. Let’s remember: cunning craft was the mother of medicine. To this very day, the magical uses of many herbs are tied to their physical affects. Even when they aren’t, they’re often a sort of hypersigil, and they’ve gained those associations through dozens or even hundreds of years of thousands or millions of people all imbuing them with the same purpose and energy. Most correspondences have a biological reasoning behind them, or have been basically sigilized by being used the same way thousands of times.

Exceptions and personal correspondences are a thing; I have a few myself. But these tend to be herbs that have been highly significant in my own life over a long period of time, and have consequently become a sort of personal sigil, as opposed to the cultural sigil of most broader correspondences. My personal correspondences tend to be things I have history with (even if it’s mundane), not just literally anything. Basically, I’ve overridden the cultural sigilization, by writing over it with my own over time. But that’s an exception.

It makes it impossible to learn herbal work – which is a totally different skill from energy work – if you’re proposing that none of it actually matters and it all works the same anyway. And furthermore, it’s pretty discouraging if a witch tries that, and then their spell fails, which I see with some regularity.

Witches read that they can replace “anything” with quartz or rosemary, and then they come back and say their spell is doing all kinds of weird stuff it shouldn’t be doing.

Well, I’m not surprised. The original ingredient was there to give the spell a specific property, and then someone told them to replace it with a neutral energy booster and not do anything to replace the loss of that specific property, or control all the unprogrammed energy.

So, the result is going to be a high-powered bouncy ball of a spell that just pings around doing random shit and putting holes in the wall. Because they didn’t give it anything except energy with no focus. Because you can’t just replace “anything” with quartz or rosemary.

That tripped me up for a while, as someone who relies a lot on tools. I’m an empath, and like a lot of drain-prone people, I find using ingredients helps reduce how drained I get by casting spells. Becoming adept at herbal work was really important for me to be able to cast at all with any consistency. I can DO energy work, but I don’t always wanna wind up spending the next day in bed, and that’s where tools help me.

It’s not very helpful to just say “replace it with anything.” That’s not how herb magic works.

Substitution can be done in most cases. But if you’re gonna remove a wheel, you need to add a different one that’s compatible with the car, not just strap a rocket to the axle.

So, long story short: I really wish people would stop saying you can substitute with “anything.” While I get that the intention is to try to make the craft more accessible, it just impedes people from learning how to do it with stuff that’s ACTUALLY accessible. I mean, what’s inaccessible about the stuff most people have in their kitchen? You can substitute for a lot with that!

While it is completely true that you don’t need ingredients to do a spell, it is also true that if you’re going to use ingredients, they matter. If they didn’t matter there’d be no point to using them.

If you find that you can substitute with “anything” and get the same results no matter what, then I think I can save you some time and money: just get an energy working tool instead!

mercury aspects and learning

The planets that aspect mercury in your natal chart influence how you process and absorb information

The type of aspect determines whether a learning style makes life easier or harder for you. 

For example, a mercury-lilith trine means lilith’s influence helps you learn faster. A square between the two bodies indicates that, although intuition is how you learn best, it is hard to access, leaving you struggling until you clear the block.

Another example- mercury-pluto trine: your obsession yields epiphanies/results; mercury-pluto square: your obsessions are your detriment and often lead no where.

With time and development, any mercury aspect can pave the way to accessing and channeling your inner genius.

mercury conjunct sun: the conjunction is the only possible aspect between mercury and the sun. This might mean your ego plays a role in how you learn. You may easily retain information that specifically applies to you, and take pride in your intelligence. This position can indicate intellectual arrogance.

mercury aspect moon: You are an emotional/intuitive learner. You remember things that elicit an emotional response, or have sentimental value. You may be inconsistent in how you absorb information, communicating everything with ease one day and unable to form a coherent thought the next. Your mental energy comes and goes in cycles.

mercury aspect venus: You may be an auditory learner with some musical talent. You might retain information better if it’s in the form of a song. You learn better by taking notes in different colors, in a calm, beautiful environment. Venus brings ease, beauty, and effortless talent to everything it touches. making this an indicator of a sharp, blessed mind.

mercury aspect mars: You learn by doing. You learn through intense, obsessive, single-minded focus. If a subject excites you or rouses your passion, you will lose yourself in it until it bores you, or until you feel you’ve mastered it. You think, speak, and act impulsively- and might get in trouble for your words.

mercury aspect jupiter: You learn the big picture. You prefer lofty theories and ideals to details and hard facts. You like making generalizations and obscure connections between topics. Jupiter “expands” everything it touches, so this is another indicator of intelligence. Check out the very first post on this blog for the possible implications of mercury aspect (esp. conjunct) jupiter (link). Basically, you might be able to channel information from the universe, if developed.

mercury aspect saturn: You learn slowly. You process information thoroughly, and take time to respond or form conclusions. You might have insecurities about your intelligence, or feel like there’s something “blocking” your mind. You may become a faster learner in later years, and retain mental acuity well into old age.

mercury aspect uranus: You are an independent learner. You don’t like school or learning from teachers. You hate traditional methods. You learn what you feel like learning and come to your own conclusions. You may be prone to sudden epiphanies and flashes of genius. This is another indicator of intelligence. 

mercury aspect neptune: You are an intuitive learner. You like to “feel” the right answer, but can’t explain how you came up with it. You might have gotten in trouble for not showing your work. Like jupiter, neptune helps create a channel for spiritual/universal information. However, neptune either “dissolves” or “elevates” what it touches- making this position a possible blessing or curse.

mercury aspect pluto: You are an obsessive learner. You gain deeper insights into a small number of subjects by thinking about them over and over, for prolonged periods of time. You learn by asking hard questions and not stopping until you get answers. You are excellent at things that interest you, and completely apathetic to things you consider boring. Mercury-pluto people can see things with frightening clarity or be blinded by their emotions and paranoia. Like neptune, this can be extremely good or extremely bad.

mercury aspect lilith: You are wildly creative, unconventional, stubborn, and intuitive. You learn best by allowing your subconscious to guide you. Your mind has a mind of its own, presenting you with unusual, brilliant ideas, but preventing you from grasping numbers and hard concepts. Your difficulty with learning some things (along with supernatural mastery of others) could make you feel alienated from the world. You may have a gift for understanding the mystical/occult, at the expense of being unable to grasp solid, practical subjects.

Aspects To Mercury: The Art of Communication

An interest in Mercury has sparked me tonight, so I would like to make a post about the aspects to it; how planets can modify and add to its power whether it be psychically modified by Neptune or artistically modified by Venus, Mercury gives us something very special. Our minds are gifts, each and every mind has its ways. With planetary aspects to Mercury, we get insight on how we put our element to work.
Note: I’m excluding the Sun from this post as I already put it here and the only major aspect it can make is the conjunction.

Mercury and Moon; the Expressive Mind

Mercury Conjunct Moon
The mind and emotions work together, although, one may dominate the other depending on the sign they are in (obviously if the moon is in a more complementary sign for it, it will dominate Mercury and vice versa). Speaking their emotions may be easy for them. Makes them witty and talkative, very expressive in the way they communicate, it is very easy to read their emotions based on the way they speak to you.

Mercury Trine/Sextile Moon
The mind and emotion are in complete harmony. The power of emotions can be put into thoughts, words, and writing very easily for this individual. This is an excellent placement for writers or any area that may require emotion into expressing ideas so things aren’t all robotic. Very perceptive and expressive. 

Mercury Square Moon
The complete opposite of the harmonious aspects. The mind and emotions are at conflict with each other. Emotions need to be controlled wherever Mercury is sitting in (check the house). Decisions may be based on emotions, needs to be more reasonable. Needs to stop switching between rational and irrational feelings. Easy attitude adjustment can fix this. On the positive side, carries unconditional love. 

Mercury Opposite Moon
Opposition usually represent outer forces. Opt to be the victim of gossip and criticism. Should also not be the cause of gossip and criticism themselves as it will create more karmic debt. Like the square, could have issues with being reasonable. Needs some attitude adjustments. Likely to be very nervous and restless too often. May likely possess some of the positive traits from the harmonious aspects making them good writers.

Mercury and Venus; the Artistic Mind

Note: Venus can only ever be 78 degrees apart from Mercury. We are always aware of the power of love in our mind, thus they cannot be separated too much. The only major aspects it can make are the conjunction and the sextile. It can make minor aspects semi-sextile (harmonious), quintile (harmonious), and semi-square (inharmonious), but the orbs on them would have to be extremely tight to be noticeable and I have not researched enough on those aspects to feel comfortable spreading too much information on them. You can get a basic idea that the semi-sextile is similar to sextile, but just a minor form of it and a semi-square is similar to the square, but a minor form of it. Quintiles symbolize awareness or lack there of; things we do without realizing. Aaaand I’ve rambled on, but maybe you guys learned something new.

Mercury Conjunct Venus
The mind is very refined and artistic. Soft and charming. Ideas and voice can be almost hypnotizing. Very friendly when unafflicted. Speaks beauty so effortlessly.

Mercury Sextile Venus
Great placement for musicians; it combines the mind with artistic abilities. Very artistic. Friendly, charming, and social, may come off a little fake though.

Mercury and Mars; the Passionate Mind

Mercury Conjunct Mars
Mental process is passionate, aggressive, and fiery (especially if the planets are in fiery signs). Can make the individual sharp tongued, sarcastic, and blunt. When discussing passion for something, the energy is likely to be extremely bold unless other placements can tone down this fiery force.

Mercury Trine/Sextile Mars
Put mind into action. Extremely passionate about their ideas and arguments. They love to argue. The mind seems to always be working. A new day is a new opportunity for these people. Maybe blunt and sarcastic. 

Mercury Square Mars
Hot-tempered, too blunt, and too sarcastic. Must stabilize their animal-like ways to fix aggression. Control the rudeness.

Mercury Opposite Mars

Unlike the square, these people are likely to encounter people like the square especially if the planets are tied to the seventh house; be sure to check all houses though, because, personal houses affect the individual internally whereas a very public house such as the tenth house has to do with aggressive outer forces trying to balance karma again. Great potential and ambition. Passion is still there like the harmonious aspects.

Mercury and Jupiter; the Good Spirited Mind

Mercury Conjunct Jupiter
Jupiter gives the mind some philosophical links. Very generous and jovial. Humorous, optimistic, and intelligent minded. Mind is kind of lazy, may need Mars to give it a push for bigger goals. The mind find interest in literature, art, and religion. Its good nature leads simpleness to the individual’s life, you could even say their life is easy, but it may just be because they hardly wish to act upon big opportunities. They are always quite content.

Mercury Trine/Sextile Jupiter
Very intelligent and wise despite the age the individual may be. Makes for a great teacher. Like the conjunction, strong interests in the areas of literature, art, and religion. May hold strong faith. Contagious optimism.

Mercury Square Jupiter
Good spirited and easy to speak to. The mind tends to procrastinate and be forgetful. Difficulty with rejecting and tend to be “yes-men.” Money smart. Superstition, but skeptical towards religion. If Jupiter lacks good aspects with other personal planets, judgement may be poor. Has a hard time keeping secrets if this aspect is prominent. Difficulty with pulling together mental resources quickly when being questioned or argued with.

Mercury Opposite Jupiter
How this aspect acts will really depend on what signs Mercury and Jupiter are in. It is mental activity versus all areas Jupiter manifests. May be seen as a difficult aspect in fixed signs as it creates stubbornness in the matters of truthfulness. Other than that, it can possess many of the traits the harmonious trine or sextile carries.

Mercury and Saturn; the Serious Mind

Mercury Conjunct Saturn
Very serious, unless Venus or Jupiter loosens the individual. If Saturn is something that is very prominent and persistent in the individual’s chart, they may be gloomy or pessimistic. Deep thinker. Tendency to loneliness if self-centred thoughts are expressed. Make good teachers as they are very orderly and strict. Through hard work, they will see great success. 

Mercury Trine/Sextile Saturn
Practical, intelligent, responsible, ambitious. Likely to have grown up well disciplined. Their minds are very good at absorbing knowledge. Great self control. A favourable aspect to have for good physical health as Saturn gives strength to bones. 

Mercury Square Saturn
A polar opposite to the trine/sextile. May not be so great where education is concerned. The mind is just not very good at absorbing knowledge like the harmonious aspect is. Squares are to teach us to be persistent. Where gaining knowledge is difficult, the individual needs to be patient and overcome this difficulty. Learn how to improve memory skills and studying habits. Avoid depressive thoughts of “I can’t do this” and stay away from bad habits.

Mercury Opposite Saturn
Brings lack of communication and issues from outer forces, especially family and relatives when aspected to the 3rd, 4th, or 7th house. Brings on feelings of being uncared for. Early life is generally unhappy and disrupted where education is concerned, but as they get older, intelligence and success should come their way. Feeling limited is only temporary. If Saturn is prominent in the individual’s chart, they are likely to be very serious and distrusting. 

Mercury and Uranus; the Genius Mind

Mercury Conjunct Uranus
Mercury and Uranus work together like PB & J. You could easily call an individual with this aspect a genius as they can easily come up with new concepts and ideas. Their minds think on a whole other level. Will and mind is strong.

Mercury Trine/Sextile Uranus
Originality and extraordinary intelligence. Inventive, keen, quick minded, especially in air signs. Excellent communicators. Independent and even a bit eccentric. 

Mercury Square Uranus
Although a square, does not lack intelligence. Probably just as original and intelligent as the conjunction, but attitude is somewhere else. Very independent, kind of snappy, sarcastic, and blunt. If lacks harmonious aspects to Venus, they may need to learn how to speech more gently. The independent mastermind, maybe too independent. 

Mercury Opposite Uranus
Needs to control their erratic tendencies as although they can gain some things for this individual, they can also bring sudden loss. By checking what houses are associated with this aspect, you can see where the spontaneous behaviour is being expressed. Nervous and impatient, still opt to be intelligent. 

Mercury and Neptune; the Dreamy Mind

Mercury conjunct Neptune
Of course with such a strong aspect to Neptune, the individual is going to have some difficulty with the reality of things. Fact and myth sometimes just blurs into a singular meaning. If lacks aspects to Saturn, likely to live more in the mythical land versus reality. Romantic and a wishful thinker. Sensitive and psychic. Needs to work on focus. Great aspect for musicians and poets.

Mercury Trine/Sextile Neptune
This quote best describes this placement better than I ever could, “Inspirational, poetic, and creative mind, Aptitude for psychic and mystical fields. Can benefit from dreams and visions. Practical idealist. Is able to use his inspirational powers constructively. Exquisite sensitivity toward the subtler aspects of life. Strong love of the sea and should live near it. Has the ability to contact higher planes of consciousness in sleep and in meditation and bring instruction through to the conscious mind.” - Astrology, A Cosmic Science

Mercury Square Neptune
Again, we are to learn from squares, they build strength. An individual with this aspect needs to learn to focus and take off the rose-filtered glasses. Needs to be more honest and direct. Thoughts need to be more clear. Psychic ability may be there, but also may cause difficulties. Deception brings on more deception; its the way karma works. May be as sneaky as a snake, but karma will get them eventually and it won’t be good. No more lies and unnecessary secretiveness. Truth brings truth.

Mercury Opposite Neptune
Great imagination, but may need to be reminded of what is real. Quite emotional, a lot of mental activity based on emotions. Should be careful of deceptive people; don’t put your guard down. Check what houses are associated with this aspect so you know where the deception could come from. 

Mercury and Pluto; the Perceptive Mind

Mercury Conjunct Pluto
The aspects brings that ability to bring the unconscious mind into thoughts and words. a great aspect for investigators or anything that requires careful research. You could say their mind is very penetrating, it can pierce through the unknown. The individual has to some degree, the power to manipulate. They are very perceptive and know exactly what to say to a person to trigger specific thoughts and emotions. Some individuals may use their ‘powers’ for negative purposes.

Mercury Trine/Sextile Pluto
Similar to the conjunction, but not likely to use their ability to obtain power like the conjunction might. This individual is logical and original. 

Mercury Square Pluto
Skeptical and impatient. May not be as perceptive as the harmonious aspects, so they need to slow down, especially when reading people’s gestures. The obsession for knowing the unknown for power-related reasons is common with this aspect.

Mercury Opposite Pluto
This individual can sometimes be oversensitive. Feels lonely ever when clearly not; lack of contentment in groups of friends. Constantly feeling of needing to self-improve to seek inner contentment. Needs to think carefully before making judgement or decisions. On the positive side, these people have great motivation to their desires. They will work for them.

Android Companion AU

Lucis is an advanced civilization, the crown city of Insomnia is self sustaining and generally safe, but the limited land with which to build on can barely fit the growing population. You are an independent adult who had landed a dream job in the heart of the city, your parents bid you farewell from their farmhouse just east of Lestallum, and now you are living alone in a very crowded, claustrophobic, and constantly noisy business district.

One day, you find an offer of comfort in your solitary life:

Model: NOCT-1.5 (limited number of units produced):

  • This model is the cutting-edge technology of all companions available in the market, the be-all end-all royalty of the trade. it is never advertised because very few people can afford it, but you’re a tech nerd and you’ve heard of the legends
  • It’s usually ridiculously expensive and waaaay out of your range, for some reason, this one is on sharp discount in your local computer shop
  • the clerk tells you it’s on a discount because it has been taken out of the box by a previous owner and returned, but is in top shape otherwise
  • it’s a small investment even after the price cut and you’re seriously trying to talk yourself out of it, but the more you look at the android behind the sheer plastic, the more you are entranced by the sharp features and slim design.
  • a part of you hungers to see what the eyes look like once turned on, and what kinds of apps and functions you can install on such a rare product
  • you take it home, and the moment you plug it- him in, bright piercing eyes glow red for three seconds, and then mellow out to a soft crystal blue

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