head chain

THE NALU NAP
my otp makes me w e ak and i think we all need a nice thing right now
dedication: @okmeamithinknow thanks for becoming a patron!!!!

The wind gently rustled the tree tops. All around them, birdsong drifted through the air and brought magic to the forest. Lucy had rarely felt more peaceful than in this moment.

Her feet were bare, her boots discarded after the long walk. She wiggled her toes and relished the fresh breeze that tickled them. Natsu had felled a few trees and disturbed a few birds and hunted a boar and, finally, had burned through all of his energies. Now he sat beside her with a perfectly content smile on his face, on the verge of falling asleep. Only Happy was still munching away at the leftovers. 

She could have lived in this moment forever. 

And who was there to stop her? Lucy smiled. It was a lazy day and they had all the time in the world. Life could excuse them for a little while longer. 

“It’s so nice here,” she sighed, and Natsu affirmed this with a grunted sound of approval. She glanced over and saw him blinking away the sleep in his eyes. This was the one battle he would lose. He caught her looking and grinned lazily. 

“I’m so full,” he said and yawned, stretching his arms above him.

It was the most contagious thing and Lucy could not and did not want to resist. When he brought his arms back down he had somehow moved closer, brushing against her shoulder. Lucy was oddly aware of the contact, but it was very welcome. 

Natsu seemed to feel it too, and hesitated for a moment. Then he relaxed and leaned further into her, melting against her side as he exhaled. An involuntary smile spread widely across Lucy’s face, and she reached up to take a hold of his arm and rest her head just under his. 

They didn’t speak, and she wasn’t sure if it was because sleep was taking them or because there wasn’t anything that needed to be said, not really. There was a wonderful, silent agreement between them: that this was good and right and didn’t need to be questioned. 

His head drooped, chin resting on her hair, and slowly but steadily he reached for her hand and pushed it down until it met his. He mumbled something she couldn’t even make out anymore, but it didn’t matter. She laced her fingers with his and opened her eyes one last time. 

She saw their little fireplace, tree trunks and ferns and leaves and green, so much green. She thought she could even smell it. She caught Happy, too, who was snickering to himself at the sight in front of him, but she couldn’t even bring herself to bicker. He could snicker all he wanted. 

She felt warm and comfortable and loved and she was not ashamed of that. 

Smiling with her eyes closed, she reached out her free hand. Happy promptly accepted the invitation and, with a yawn to rival Natsu’s, snuggled up against her thigh. Soft little snores began to fill the air, and Lucy knew she had to fall asleep quickly before Natsu kicked into full gear. It wasn’t hard at all.

They didn’t move for a long while. 

(Until Natsu drooled on Happy’s head and sparked a chain reaction of rather unfortunate events.)

This is the beginning of a strained partnership.

Quick info on the scenario we had; it was a very small game(D&D 3.5) of three people. A Human Fighter, a Satyr Wizard(joined later and will not appear in the scene), and an Avoral Rouge. The Fighter had started the campaign capturing the Rouge for their impressive bounty and the Rouge convinced them to split the bounty to make it easier. The Rouge would later escape and get their cut, payment to avoid a promised butt-whooping should he cheat. They arrive in a small town with a very heplful guard.

Fighter: “I’m here to collect her bounty!” Points to Rouge, in cuffs on wrists and ankles*

Guard:*Recognizes Rouge from posters* “Oh I’m sorry our treasury doesn’t have enough money to pay you! Would you accept a third of the price?”

Fighter: *looks to Rouge, who gives him dirty look and quietly mutters ‘no way’* “I’m sorry no. Is there a larger town within traveling distance?

Guard: *nods and proceeds to give him directions*

Fighter: “Thank you” *Turns to leave*

Guard: “Wait! I noticed that she’s a flier and a notorious escape artist, don’t you want to make sure she can’t get away?”

Fighter: *Rolls to convince the Guard and fails* “I can handle her.”

Guard: “I doubt it. Look I’m very good at pinioning, it’ll be quick…” *pulls out large scissors from somewhere*

Rouge: *gets pissed* “You are NOT touching me with those scissors! *is ignored by the guard*

Fighter: *rolls to convince the Guard again, and succeeds minorly* "Look, maybe we can do something less drastic?”

The rouge ends up covered from head to shoulders in chains and tossed in the back of the wagon, unable to move. Much farther down the road…

Rouge: “……you can let me out now, he’s not following us…”

Fighter: “What if he sent a messenger ahead and they expect you in chains?”

rouge: “I hate you so much right now.”

6

“And who, I wonder, is Quill when she’s free?” - “I am war itself.”

THINGS TO DO ON BELTANE

WhichDesigns is celebrating Beltane on the 1st of May

Here is what we do on Beltane:

Before Beltane:

  • Hang paper hearts from the ceiling
  • Decorate the home with reds, whites, and pinks
  • Make a romantic atmosphere
  • Make Beltane Baskets for the ones you love

Beltane Morning:

  • Give your Beltane Baskets to your loved ones (leave them on their doorstep for them to find)
  • Wash your face with the morning dew to bring you beauty for the coming year (make sure to keep balance in mind)
  • Gather the morning dew in a jar for later (is a powerful tool for healing)
  • Tell magical stories, or watch your favorite magical cartoons.
  • Create a maypole

Beltane Day:

  • Dance the Maypole
  • Collect Flowers
  • Braid bracelets our of white ribbon or yarn, give them to those you love for protection
  • Make daisy chains for head dresses to be worn
  • Braid flowers into your hair
  • Do face paintings for children
  • Make Beltane charms and Greenman masks to be worn during the ritual
  • Decorate a tree with ribbons (each ribbon represents a person you love)
  • Have a Picnic
  • Leave an offering (milk and honey are good offerings) at a hawthorn tree for the fairies

Beltane Night:

  • Beltane Ritual

  • Dance around the Bel-Fire
  • Jump the Bel-Fire
  • Make a love pledge (pledge you will be with another for the entire year, this pledge can be renewed or not the next year)
  • Make Love with a special someone (make sure to STAY SAFE)

To purchase our Circle Casting click on this link:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/182374847/casting-a-circle-how-to-for-beginner?ref=shop_home_active_3

silver-gilt two-headed ostrich cup
Rudolf Linke, Vienna 1900

On a circular base, the body painted with Jupiter’s wrath and Elysian nuptials, detachable cover with silver-gilt wings and putto finial, the ostrich heads surmounted by jewelled crowns and with enamelled and jewelled silver-gilt chains, maker’s mark and Austrian control mark

Some Alternatives to Lavender

Lavender is a plant that’s very commonly recommended for usage in spellcraft and witchcraft, for spells related to everything from sleep to anxiety to depression to protection. However, it’s also a plant many people are allergic to! So, here’s a list of a few plants that people with allergies to lavender might be able to use instead.


Sleep and relaxation: 

  • Wild lettuce - Also known as a hallucinogenic plant that is often used in spiritwalking potions, wild lettuce is a mild hypnotic and will induce sleeping in low dosages. It can be used in any spell where sleep, trance, or visions are the intended goal. Burning this herb is sometimes acceptable, as it is occasionally smoked, but in general this should be avoided. 
  • California poppy - Whilst it’s not as famous as its more highly known cousin the opium poppy, California poppy has sedative and hypnotic effects in its own right. However, unlike the opium poppy, California poppy will not give you narcotic or euphoric side effects, so don’t bother trying to smoke it or anything. It can be used for any spell in which dreamless sleep is desirable. 
  • Lemon balm - This is a herb with very similar relaxing and sleep-inducing properties to lavender, so it’s a great first plant to try if you have an allergy to lavender and want something very similar. It’s a kind of mint though, so it’s relatively closely related to lavender, and so if you’re allergic to lavender you should make sure you’re not allergic to mints as well before you try it. 
  • Motherwort - This herb is well-known in many kinds of old world herbal medicine, and has a history of usage for assisting with labour in birthing mothers. However, scientific evidence is currently disputed about its safety at any point of breastfeeding or pregnancy, especially because it seems to cause abortions in high dosages. When taken by someone who ISN’T pregnant, it has calming and soothing properties, especially for emotional distress. Do not burn this herb. 


Anxiety and calming: 

  • Skullcap - This is one of the most well-known nervine treatments, and is often recommended for people suffering with anxiety disorders that may be milder than should be medicated by a psychiatrist. It’s longterm usage can assist in helping those with anxiety remain clear-headed and balanced. However, it’s a plant that’s quite easy to be allergic to it seems, so do please get a skin-prick test if you’re allergic to lavender just in case. Do not burn this herb.
  • Vervain - As a gentle anxiolytic, this plant is suitable for those who don’t have an anxiety disorder but do have issues with mild, recurrent anxiety. It’s also safer than skullcap and can be burnt safely, so it’s suitable for incenses and spells that involve fire. It is also associated magickally with purging of illnesses and sicknesses, and is a good element of any spell that seeks to purge a body clean of sickness and malignancy.
  • Roman chamomile - Also known as English chamomile, this herb has been used for centuries by those who seek to rest and sleep, especially if they are plagued by painful dreams or distressing thoughts. This herb is safe for burning and fire-based spells, and is commonly used in many supermarket herbal teas. It is strongly magickally associated with calm, and is a potent calming herb as an element of spells as a result. 
  • Clover - A common calming remedy in herbal magick, the flowering tops of simple clovers taken from a field can be an excellent element of any spell that seeks to bring calm and clearheadedness to any problem. Worn around the neck or head in a flower-chain, clover flowers will ensure your mind is unclouded by anxious or worried thoughts, and will help smooth over thoughts that are unwanted. This plant is safe to burn, but please try to avoid consuming or burning clover that you collected from beside a road. Plants growing in the verges and banks of major roadways have lots of exhaust chemicals in them, which isn’t great for your health. Try to get them from gardens, parks, fields, little-used back-roads, or meadows if possible. 


Protection and psychic power:

  • Sage - Lavender is one of the less-well-known protective plants, and both its leaves and its flowers are usually burnt in order to bring protection to a house or sacred space. Sage is an excellent alternative, as it is highly purifying. White sage is good, but as it’s endangered it would cause more harm than good to use it for purification - always remember that we should balance our magick with how much harm it may cause others to perform it in a certain way. White sage being endangered means it’s unsuitable, so common sage or purples sage is a good alternative. Safe for burning. 
  • Agrimony - One of the herbs commonly used as a ward against malicious energies, people, and in Abrahamic traditions as a ward against demons. Agrimony is a great protective herb if you’re searching for a flower to protect against harm, and as a common meadow flower it’s not too hard to find. Safe for burning. 
  • Rosemary - This common culinary herb that grows almost everywhere is a staple in any witch’s garden, for it’s usage in healing magick and protective spells as well as its delicious taste. Burning rosemary in a crucible will help keep foul influences and sicknesses at bay, and is a better protector against psychic penetrations and psychic vampires than lavender or sage. Safe to burn.


Purple plants

  • Violet - The classic purple plant, since a type of purple is named for it!
  • Fuschia - More of a pinky hue, but still good.
  • Purple sage - A light purple, similar to lavender
  • Purple basil - A deep purple, like purple ink.
  • Purple carrots - The original colour for carrots, their pigment is very staining.
  • Beetroot - A reddish-purple that stains deeply
  • Tricolore Pansy - Also known as love-in-idleness, heartsease and love-lies-bleeding. Strongly associate with love magick, arguably more so than roses.

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I hope this helps some poor witch with allergies! 

– Juniper

ORIGIN OF KALI

There are myriad traditions of how Kali came into existence. One version relates when the warrior goddess Durga, having ten arms, each equipped with a weapon and who rode a lion or a tiger in battle, fought with Mahishasura (or Mahisa), the buffalo demon. Durga became so enraged that her anger burst from her forehead in the form of Kali.

Once born, the black goddess went wild and consumed all the demons she came across, stringing their heads on a chain which she wore around her neck. It seemed impossible to calm Kali’s bloody thrashings, which now extended to any wrongdoers, and both people and gods were at a loss what to do. Fortunately, supreme Shiva stopped Kali’s destructive rampage by lying down in her path, and when the goddess realized just who she was standing on, she finally calmed down. From this story is explained Kali’s association with battlegrounds and areas where cremations are performed.

In another version of the goddess’ birth, Kali appeared when Parvati shed her dark skin which then became Kali, hence one of her names is Kaushika (the Sheath), whilst Parvati is left as Gauri (the Fair One). This story emphasizes Kali’s black aura which is symbolic of eternal darkness and which has the potential to both destroy and to create.

In a third rendition, men and gods were being terrorized by Daruka who could only be killed by a woman, and Parvati was asked by the gods to deal with the troublesome demon. She responded by jumping down Shiva’s throat. This was because many years previously Shiva had swallowed halahala, the poison which had risen from the churning of the ocean during the creation and which had threatened to pollute the world. By combining with the poison still held in Shiva’s throat, Parvati was transformed into Kali. Leaping from Shiva’s throat in her new guise, Kali swiftly defeated Daruka and all was well with the world once more.

By K.Nagori