I did this drawing for my youtube channel.
I really loved Holly Blue Agate, her design is adorable . I wasn’t a big fan of how she treated the other earth gems. I sorta have a theory that our buff Jasper may have been living there at one point, which could explain why she flinched at Amethyst’s whip. What do you guys think?
The myth of the Holly King/Oak King probably originated from the Druids to whom these two trees were highly sacred. The Oak King (God of the Waxing Year) kills the Holly King (God of the Waning Year) at Yule (the Winter Solstice). The Oak King then reigns supreme until Litha (the Summer Solstice) when the two battle again, this time with the Holly King victorious. Examples of the Holly King’s image can be seen in our modern Santa Claus. - Yule and Its Lore
What creative teams could do the various possible dc All-Star books and what format they would be. My idea is Noelle Stevens doing a fun Aquaman graphic novel with the same tone as Nimona, Tom King and Mitch Gerards doing a 12 issue Green Lantern story (picture something like a combination of Sheriff of Babylon and Omega Men where two green lantern partners find the body of Hal Jordan on their beat in the first issue) and Tula Lotay doing the art for Wonder Woman. Do you have any possible ideas?
I’d definitely be up for some more All-Star, so long as it was treated as the prestige product it deserves to be. That’s my biggest issue with the current All-Star Batman, the name itself: it’s a great book, but as an in-continuity ongoing with a changing roster of artists, it’s hard to read the name as much other than a cash-in (though at least it means DC’s pulling from Superman to try and make Batman look cooler for a change, rather than the other way around). I actually thought The Legend of Wonder Woman was continuing admirably in the tradition of the All-Star titles, but that project’s been scrapped - a damn shame, especially given the creators talked about pitches for follow-ups with other characters; I’d of course have particularly loved to see their The Legend of Superman.
In any case, I thought about whether or not to ‘recast’ Superman and Batman for this as well - the original plan after all was that both would be ongoings, starting with a completely fresh slate with each new creative teams, until Superman became an untouchable classic, and Batman became radioactive for awhile (though I still wanna see Dark Knight, Boy Wonder), ruining the idea. In the end, I’m leaving Superman alone; any impetus to do more All-Star books in the first place would surely be to follow in the footsteps of that book, so there’s no reason to mess with it.* Batman on the other hand, I could see DC deciding to revise a bit.
I suggested before I’d be interested in seeing Tom King’s version of All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, probably with either Jim Lee or Mikel Janin again. But here’s an alternative proposal: Al Ewing and Chris Samnee. Samnee is I think an obvious choice; Ewing has mentioned his love for The Brave and the Bold and Morrison’s Batman, and while I don’t know that he’d have a full run in him for the character the way I expect he would for a lot of DC’s other heavy-hitters, I bet he could put out a really spectacular 12-issue story of the origin of the greatest crime-fighting team of all time.
For All-Star Wonder Woman I’d go with Fiona Staples as the artist, on the basis that she rocks and would be perfect for Diana’s world. I thought about Marguerite Bennett writing it, but while I think she’d fit excellently for the main book, I ultimately decided on Holly Black. I’ve only read the first trade of her work on Lucifer (I want to catch up on the original series before going further), but she did some really strong, atmospheric high-concept stories in there, an approach I think would translate very well.
With All-Star Flash, I’d be really curious to see what Warren Ellis would do. It’d be a big hit or a big miss - when he gives a shit with his corporate work he does some all-time-best material (no joke, he’s easily in the top ten Batman writers on the strength of a short story with Jim Lee and the crossover issue in Planetary), but when he doesn’t you can tell. I’d be willing to bank on him doing something really special with this one though: personally, I’d frame it as Barry and Wally’s first excursion into the Multiverse and meeting with Jay Garrick, building into a bigger adventure that would be their first encounter with the Speed Force. I don’t know that he’d be onboard for the fanboy joy aspect of the story that’s so part and parcel of the Flash, but I think his wit, his weird ideas and his storytelling sensibilities could knock it out of the park here under the right circumstances. I’d have Ron Salas on art; his Flash art is exceptional, and I think his style would mesh well with Ellis.
All-Star Green Lantern is a Jonathan Hickman joint, both written and drawn by him. Let him do whatever weird cosmic stuff he wants.
I decided on Tom King and Tula Lotay for All-Star Aquaman. King I think could really nail the more wistful, quiet tone I imagine would work for Arthur, mixed with the politics that inevitably spring up in stories about royalty, while still bringing the action when necessary and keeping it all fun to read. Tula Lotay is I think a plain-as-day fit for an auteur underwater sci-fi magical superhero book that’d also probably have a lot of talking.
There’d almost certainly be an All-Star Justice League book to pull all these together, and my first instinct was to go back to Morrison. But he’s already written All-Star Superman, a massive JLA run and a JLA OGN, so while I’d hardly complain if we really got this by him, for the purposes of this proposal I think it’d be perfectly fair to hand this to someone else. I’d have that someone else be Steve Orlando, who I’d trust as much as anyone alive to do the ultimate iconic high-action Justice League epic, and I think he’d follow up on the ideas presented by the other books without missing a beat. Doc Shaner draws it: his work comes closest to the collective eyes-tilted-towards-the-stars tone I imagine these books striking. And also he’s real good at drawing, especially DC characters.
* Not that I could never imagine any kind of Superman follow-up at all; I still think it’s likely DC will get Morrison to do something related to it next year. I even came up with a little list of how I’d do some spin-offs one time. But a straight-up new story titled All-Star Superman isn’t happening anymore than DC would put out a Sandman book completely unrelated to Neil Gaiman’s stuff.
One topic that often confuses Wicca newbies is what aspects of the deities actually are, and what the term means.
An Aspect is, in simple terms, a specific part of a deity that reflects certain elements of that deity within itself. Traditionally, Wicca has two deities (the Triple Goddess and the Horned God), who have three and two aspects respectively.
The Triple Goddess
The Goddess (also known as the Lady), is often known as the triple goddess as a reflection of her aspects, and what they represent. The Goddess is a deity of moon and night, and her aspects are representative of that nature because the represent the phases of the moon.
As the moon waxes from new to gibbous, the Goddess is in her Maiden aspect. This is also the aspect of late winter and spring. The Maiden represents childhood, innocence, young love, rebirth (especially after death), new fertility, the prospect of growth, and hope for the future. The things of springtime are the things of the Maiden, such as early-blooming flowers like daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses; eggs and milk; new leaves and buds; yearling meat from lambs and calves.
From gibbous to gibbous, across the full moon, the Goddess is in her Mother aspect. This is also the aspect of summer and early autumn. The Mother represents maternal love, adulthood and growth, childbirth and childcaring, investments realised, care for others, and life flourishing. The things of summertime are the things of the Mother, such as harvested crops; fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers in bloom, fish and meat, leafy green branches, and other things of growth and summer.
As the moon wanes from gibbous to new, the Goddess is in her Crone Aspect until the cycle repeats. This is also the aspect of late autumn and winter. The Crone represents aging and the closing of one’s life, but also represents the past and contemplation, wisdom and knowledge, loss and death, and the chance of rebirth once more come the spring. The things of autumn are the things of the Crone, such as berries and nuts, late-ripening vegetables such as squash and pumpkins, fat and preserved foods, bulbs of flowers, garlic and the like.
Of course, the solar year cycle isn’t exact, and is dependent on what the life is doing at that time too. The Goddess is a deity of life and growth, and so if the summer hangs on late then so will the Mother, for example.
The Horned God
The God is traditionally depicted with two aspects that revolve around the solar cycle. They fight for dominance every 6 months, and create their respective seasons as they rule over the land. These are the Holly and Oaks Kings, who represent winter and summer respectively.
At the autumnal equinox, the Oak king has been banished underground to rejuvenate for his fight next year. The Holly king takes his throne, and rules over a land of cold and dying back for 3 whole months unchallenged. At Yule, the winter solstice, the Oak king’s power begins to wax as the Holly king’s power begins to wane, and by the vernal equinox the Oak king has risen from the ground, fought the Holly king, and banished him to lick his wounds for another 3 months underground. The Oak king rules for 3 months unchallenged, over a land of heat and growth, and at Litha his own power starts to fade. The two fight once more at Mabon, and the cycle starts over again.
The symbols of the Oak king are, of course, oaken branches laden with green leaves, often woven into a crown, but also all the trappings of summertime. The Oak king is sometimes equated with the Green Man of the Forest, with Lugh, and with Herne the Hunter (often thought to be a pagan deity who was “Christianised” into a ghost of Windsor Forest).
The symbols of the Holly king are branches of fresh holly, often bearing red berries on green leaves, sometimes woven into a crown of their own. He is also represented by evergreen bows, commonly woven into a Yuletide wreath such as the ones we now associate with Christmas. He is sometimes equated to winter figures such as Jack Frost, Morozko, Old Man Winter, and the old Norse god Odin. He is also associated due to similar times with Father Christmas (Santa Claus).
To be read either as a story or as a meditation, I took a little bit of creative license.
The time has come once again. The Wheel of the Year has revolved 180 degrees, and it is the longest night of the year.
Deep in the most ancient of woods, where the trees are as old as time and as tall as the sky. Snow falls gently, but the world is alight with the sun filtering through the clouds and the treetops. The creatures of the wood are silent, nestled deep in their homes and holes. They sense the tension in the air.
You find yourself tucked between the roots of an old sycamore. There is a gentle swish, and you look up. Walking down the path that weaves between the trees is a mountain of a man. He wears a robe of burgundy trimmed with holly leaves and white fur, and it is it that makes the swishing noise. He carries a staff of dark heartwood. When you’re eyes finally find his face, his expression is grim. White locks fall from his head down past his shoulders, and he has a full beard of white, some braided and some left loose. Upon his brow is a crown of silver and holly, and from his majestic head grow a pair of astonishing moose antlers.
This is the Holly King, lord of Winter’s Nights and god above animal and man.
His path crosses near you, and although part of you wishes to retreat into the safety of your niche, you cannot move. He draws nearer and nearer, and his sparkling blue eyes alight upon you. He beckons, and you are drawn to him. Even at your height, you reach only his hip.
“Stay calm, my child,” his voice resounds, deep with bass, like a blanket of snow. “A battle approaches, to which you may bear witness.”
He walks on, and you find yourself following.
You come to a clearing, and he motions you away behind a tree. “Watch child, but do not interfere. I have come to do what must be done.”
In the clearing stands another mountainous man, almost the Holly King’s twin. His hair and beard are golden brown, his robe of green, his staff of rosewood, his crown of gold and oak, and his antlers are those of an elk. Around his feet is a ring of grass and flowers, and the ring grows larger slowly, the greenery spreading. He holds his head high, and you can see his glittering green eyes against his majestic face.
This is the Oak King, lord of Summer’s Days and god above animal and man.
The two kings meet in the center of the clearing and with a clap, they grasp each others left forearms in greeting. The wood grows still and quiet, though you can hear them whispering, their words in the language of the trees, foreign to your mind but familiar to your soul.
After a few moments, they part, take a few steps back, and bow. Taking up their staves, the kings make battle, swinging their massive wooden staves and creating resounding claps of thunder every time the staves meet. Their feet follow a combative dance that they’ve danced for eons, and they circle each other, never losing their footing or giving each other reprieve.
You watch from behind your tree, your body trembling, but you cannot take your eyes away from the sacred ceremony.
You’ve lost track of time, but the battle has gone on for a long time. You begin to notice that the moves of the Holly King have become defensive, and that they are faltering quickly. Again and again the Oak King attacks, battering against the Lord of Winter’s Nights until he stumbles and falls to the ground. The forest grows deathly quiet.
As is tradition, the Oak King walks away. He has become the Lord of the Now, just as he does ever Midwinter. He will rule the earth and her seasons until the two are to make battle again come Midsummer.
When the Oak King has departed, melting away into the shadows of the forest, you rush from your hiding spot to the side of the Holly King. You help him to sit up, and plant yourself in his lap. Animals emerge from the forest, deer and birds and rabbits and badgers and bears and eagles, all to pay homage to the fallen Holly King.
He is not hurt, and holds you close as he catches his breath. The creatures come to rest, laying down and paying attention. He speaks to all present in the language of the forest, foreign to your mind but familiar to your soul. He reassures all that all is well, and that he will be back when the sun is at its peak to take his place as the Lord of the Now.
And with that, you stand, giving the mountainous man a final hug and looking into his eyes a final time. With a smile on his face and his blue eyes sparkling, he sends you and the animals on your way. You turn, and without looking back, follow in the footsteps of the Oak King.