Last year, I wrote about the overwhelming optimism that drove the characters of the Eleventh Doctor’s era to overcome dark situations that could have destroyed them, and this year I want to return to that theme having now seen the last two episodes of series 9 and how that optimism had transformed but ultimately still triumphed.
Where the Eleventh Doctor’s era could be described much like a children’s fairy tale with characters who are put into truly horrifying situations that they overcome through the power of love, the Twelfth Doctor’s era brought the darker side of those stories into focus. Love remained one of the most powerful forces in the universe, but this era explored the reality that love doesn’t always last a lifetime, even for the main characters.
Rory and Amy left the show when their story was finished, and they lived long, happy lives, dying of old age off screen. We all know Cinderella will one day die and so will Amy Pond, but the picture book ends long before that day. When Amy Pond stopped being the Girl Who Waited, it was the beginning of the end of her time on the show, but River Song and Clara Oswald remained on the show long after the stories of ‘The Woman who Killed the Doctor” and “The Impossible Girl” had been resolved.
And they lived until their lives were cut short in tragic, yet heroic deaths. With the direction the show had been taking in series 8 and 9, their stories could have been bleak reminders of the reality that many people die before they ever reach old age, and what we think of as happily ever after is rare (if not impossible), but instead, their endings came with an acceptance of the inevitability of death, while at the same time allowing these women to control their fate in a way we can only dream of in the real world.
The show did not lose all of its optimism as it grew out of it’s fairy tale era, and instead of telling us that River and Clara won’t get their happily ever afters, it asked us to examine how we define happily ever after. Clara Oswald will face the raven and River Song will go to the Library, but those endings do not prevent them from having their own happily ever afters. These two characters are given the opportunity to seize the time they do have and live it the best they can so that when they die, they will have lived full lives on their own terms.
Happily ever after does not mean forever.
It’s a message we can all take to heart knowing that we too will not live forever.
Clara flies off to see the universe with her new companion, and River Song spends 24 years with the man she loves (and with a vortex manipulator and a time machine, it could easily be more than 24 years). They will both die, just as we will all die, but their stories are neither tragedies nor fairy tales. Their stories are examples of what fantasy does best - addressing the harsh realities of life while allowing the characters to do the things we wish we could do, taking both time and death into their own hands.
Saying goodbye to my 20s and my birthday wish to all my young hopefuls.
Today I will be saying goodbye to my 20′s. It has never been so clear to me that time is indeed real, and what you do with your time is crucial.
I remember when I turned 20.. actually, I don’t. My memories are blurry when I was young, solely because I choose not to care, because I was 20 and I thought I had all the time in the world. All I knew was that I was young, I was healthy, I cared only about spending time with my boyfriend (I was determined to get married to him at the age of 21), and that I have to submit my assignment to my legal professor by Monday. Mediocre, and lazy- that was me. At 20, I had no idea that at 9.9 years later I would be in the kitchen of my apartment in the heart of Los Angeles, and writing this, with you in mind. Also at 20, I went to my first indie band rock show, and that changed EVERYTHING. And so, my life lessons began..
At 21, I decided I didn’t want to settle down so soon, I wasn’t ready. I went to an entirely different direction, went into music and discovered that my whole childhood of loving music and singing wasn’t a scam, and I started writing songs of my own.
Me at 20
22 (2008) was when I learned about dignity. I walked into my first record label meeting, sitting across a man, leaning back in his corporate chair telling me I will not go far in the music industry if I 1) kept my headscarves on 2) sang my English songs. I said no thank you, and proceeded to (with my little knowledge of Company law that I learned in school) start my own company called Yuna Room Records, with my 22 year old cousin, Wawa. We still run this company today. Also this year, I got interviewed for the very first time by my favorite music magazine at the time, Junk, by my all time fav person today, Didi Ramlan.
Young Yuna with bandmates Efry, Paan, Adil.
22 was also when I learned that quality is key. I wrote a song called Dan Sebenarnya, and was willing to let the rough recording of it live forever. Turns out I was wrong, radio wouldn’t play my music because of the crappy quality. I went to get a RM1000(about USD$200) loan from my dad, went to a professional recording studio, to record an EP so the radios will stop saying no to my song.
My bedroom in university. You can see my passion for photography and a photo of me performing my first show with a guitar on the wall, and my law notes sprawled across the table as I stay up studying.
23 (2009) I learned how to manage my financials. I received my first royalty paycheck in the mail, and when I opened it I had to sit down and made sure if it was meant for me, and remember thinking if I deserved all of it. Dan Sebenarnya EP was being downloaded almost 100,000 times a month, my first paycheck was almost RM30k. Too much. I paid off my dad’s loan, split it with my bandmates who helped recording it in the studio with me, and started my savings account and learned how to pay tax. I also graduated from legal studies this year.
With friends from law school. Already you can tell I’m out of place.
24 (2010) I learned that even if I thought I worked really hard for something, second place is a good place to be. I competed in my first national tv music award show performing my song, and lost to a very talented young man who I am now close friends with Aizat Amdan. Sometimes you have to know that some things are just not meant for you. That night, I didn’t get an award, but I got a wonderful friend that I can depend on forever. 2 years later, I got an award that was taken away from me, but because of this incident, I had already learned how to not care so much about awards. Awards do not define you. I also graduated this year, earning my degree in legal studies. Finally!
25. (2011) I learned to take a leap of faith. I went to America with a small bag and a big dream. I was a shy foreigner, I was alone and I was a little bit scared. But, I knew that if I don’t start talking, I will not go anywhere. Being awkward and shy is a waste of time, I learned. The more you want to talk to people, the more respectful you are, the more you will learn.
I learned that you are the only person who can sabotage yourself. When people say you can’t, the only person who can prove them wrong is yourself.
Pharell and I, 2011.
My very first apartment in Los Angeles. I remember every dollar i made from work was to pay for this rent.. I ate a lot of instant noodles and shopped at dollar stores. My furnitures (and one piano that I still have) were all hand-me-downs from my friend, Niles (now a big time DJ, KSHMR!)
26. (2012) I learned how to travel and perform at the same time. I was in different cities everyday, performing every night. Something I didn’t know I could do. I saw people from all races showing up at my show, a diversity and I learned to loved them all, something I didn’t know existed. All my ignorance and stereotypes melted away just from traveling across America. I also learned about loyalty, and the meaning of friendship. Didi, Faiz, Lincoln formed this experience together with me and I will never forget it.
Faiz, Didi and Lincoln, us on the road, across the country for a month in 2012.
27.(2013) I learned about the REAL treasures in life. That your parents are the true treasure that you will never find anywhere else, at any point of your life. That breaking their hearts is never an option for as long as you live.
My last moments with my late grandfather. I miss him so much.
28.(2014) I learned that money is not everything. You can make millions, but you can’t buy happiness. Money will not save lives. I tried my best to save my uncle or my grandfather from their sickness with whatever money I had, and I lost this battle. God saves lives, and he takes them at His will. You can plan, but He is the best planner.
I learned that fame is not everything. You can have millions of followers, a few friends who thinks you’re awesome, but you can still feel very alone. Being liked, or dislike, does not give you infinite happiness. I also learned the horrible truth that for some, fame and money is everything.Time is the best gift you can give to your loved ones.
I learned that physical beauty of a person means nothing. We are all flawed. I am flawed. I learned how to see people’s hearts and hoping that my heart is worth seeing. I learned that being in love is not everything. I learned how to piece myself back together slowly after someone has broken every fragile part of me. I learned that the person you spend your time with can either bring the best out of you, or unleash a monster inside of you. People come into your life to teach you valuable lessons, and you have to learn from it. I learned that if you lose someone, it doesn’t mean its because you’re not worth it. It just means you’re growing. How you rise above this, will be your life’s best victory.
29,(2015-today) this is my favorite year. I learned to let go, and learned to realize that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else. I learned that I was not entirely healthy, and decided to take care of myself better before it’s too late.
I learned that you can find love in the calmness of being in someone’s presence. Never disrupt that calmness. ‘Don’t be an idiot’, I tell myself, ‘Don’t screw this up!’
I learned to stop caring what people have to say about me, because of the simple reason being- they have no clue what’s going on. They don’t deserve a space in my thought process. I learned about having the courage to be me. I learned the hard way, that there are givers, and takers. There are people who are here to take advantage of me and use me, and I have to walk away from them. I learned to shut doors to people who sees life in a negative way without any second guesses. I learned how to say no when people try to take away the best qualities that I’ve taken all these years to shape. I learned how to sever ties with people who drain my energy. I learned how to fight for my identity. I learned how to fight for my life and the lives of people that I care about. Most importantly, after all these years of thinking I should be this and that, I want this, I want that, .. blablabla. I learned one important thing - its not about me. It’s about how can I contribute to make the world a better place.
Al-fatihah for Aina.
On my 30th birthday, I don’t need gifts. I just wish for my young fans to not waste their time. Know that your time is yours, but it’s not yours. If you are in your 20′s, spend your time wisely. Go have fun, you’re young, but don’t forget to contribute your energy, you’re young. Time flies, but take your time learning. Make mistakes, but learn from them. Don’t try to grow up too fast, stay in your zone and be present as much as you can. Remember, you are so much more than what people say about you. People rush you into doing things.. but ask yourself what do YOU want? Go and live life fully, learn as much as you can. Achieve greatness and bring out greatness in others as well. Be aware of whats happening in the world, not just yours. Learn to see whats on the other side, and try not to settle in what your setup has been set up for you.
Be woke. Be intelligent. Be there for the people who need you. Keep your head up and be confident, but know when to keep your head down and be humble. Never underestimate what your heart tells you. It’s okay to be wrong, its okay to fail and know that you are flawed, and life will prove this to you again and again. Know that you will rise, again and again. Being flawless comes after you learned that you can accept your flaws and not giving up doing something beautiful for the world.
Happy birthday to me and to you, here’s to us, who will see today as Day 1.
- credence can do magic right away. he’s just utterly useless at controlling it to begin with
e.g.: the first wand he tries to use straight up explodes in his hand (thank god it wasn’t newt’s)
e.g.: newt sets a cup in front of him & tells him to try leviosa. the cup flies into the air and smashes against the ceiling
e.g.: newt tells him to try alohamora. the door bursts off its hinges
- credence is pretty discouraged about this. he doesn’t want to use magic if all he can do with it is destroy things. it feels like that’s all he is, all he ever will be and he’s so frustrated and that just makes it worse
- newt gets a very stupid idea. newt is actually full of stupid ideas, and 9 times out of 10 they involve putting himself in corporeal danger. this is one of those times.
- he says to credence, “try to levitate me.” credence looks at him like he has two heads. newt smiles as brightly as ever, and explains his logic thus: credence has no emotional attachment to a cup, or a door. credence has no real motivation or desire to preserve the safety of a cup or a door. perhaps if he sees newt, and the trust newt is putting into him, it will help with his focus.
(this logic is not necessarily sound, but it’s coming from a man who has flung himself in front of a stampeding herd to protect an egg. newt also has trouble gauging the difficulty level of various spells, and how to start off easy, but it’s not his fault, he was expelled)
- credence doesn’t want to do it, because he doesn’t want to hurt newt – but he also has a deeply ingrained need to do good and please people, so –
- he tries, with a lot (a lot) of coaxing, encouragement, and reassurances from newt. the ascent actually isn’t all that bad – newt looks absolutely delighted as he drifts haltingly towards the ceiling – but credence loses his nerve and to his horror newt crashes into the ground
- newt sits up a moment later, probably bleeding from the face, grinning like a maniac and says “that was brilliant credence!!!”
- credence is unconvinced, but newt is insistent.
- this is how newt starts to teach him that mistakes are alright – mistakes are good, actually, and sometimes it’s worth getting a little hurt. after all, newt is no stranger to episkey and ferula, and emergency application of dittany.
- newt realises it would probably be a good idea to teach credence how to use these things before they go much further; credence is somewhat relieved
- still, he feels awful when newt insists credence try disarming him, and credence’s hesitant expelliarmus knocks him out cold for ten minutes
- they leave off the practising for that day, because credence is visibly shaken, and keeps asking if newt’s okay and keeps saying he’s sorry – so newt makes tea and sits him down and, to credence’s surprise, strips off his shirt. then spends the rest of the afternoon pointing out all his stupidest scars, and how he got them, and how he doesn’t mind a single one because he learned something from each of them. (well. from most of them. some of them really were just stupid)
So today we’re going to be exploring the Witches’ magic books. Or in other words, their grimoire or book of shadows. So a quick rundown of what this lesson is going to look like: we’ll talk about what exactly a grimoire is and how it’s different from a book of shadows, well talk about the history of them, different forms, what does and doesn’t go in it, ideas for broomcloset grimoires, and some other kinds of journals you could keep as well. Then we’ll get to questions and homework!
So what exactly is a grimoire or a book of shadows?
This definitely depends on who you ask, so I’ll start with historical information and go from there. By definition, a grimoire is a book of magic spells and invocations. Historically, a grimoire has been used as a textbook of magick pretty much. It’s used to keep instructions on spells, how to create magic objects, summoning or invoking gods and spirit and so on. A grimoire was seen as less of a journal, and more as a instruction book. A book of shadows is a term coined by Gerald Gardner, the father of Wicca, in the 1950’s. Gardner used it as a sort of cook book of spells that have worked for the owner. According to Gardner, there was one book of shadows per coven and the initiation members could use it and add to is as they saw fit. He also believed that the book should be burned when the owner died. (this obviously isn’t very common anymore and a lot of witches like to pass down their books to family or friends, so I wouldn’t suggest burning it.)
Now a days, the difference between a grimoire and a bos is very small.
For a lot of people, a grimoire is a spell book, and a book of shadows is a witch’s journal where she keeps track of how spells go and such. So basically, the bos is a follow up of a grimoire. But still, most witches don’t go by these general uses at all. To most witches, their book contains any and all information they may want to remember with journal entries and they call it whatever they want. I personally call my book a Grimoire, but it has a lot of different things in it. If you want to use your book as a spell book and have a separate book for journaling, that’s great! A witch’s book is completely a personal preference.
As for format, again, a grimoire can be anything you want it to be. A lot of witches like to use big, leather bound books with homemade paper and fancy ink. But a lot of us can’t afford fancy books. Some good things to think about when you’re thinking about what to use as a grimoire is how you want it to look inside. If you want a very organized book with sections for each topic like herbs, journal, correspondences, and so on, then something adjustable would be a really good idea for you. Binders are really cheap and you can add, take away, and move around the information inside your book whenever you want. Binders are also a great way to personalize the cover of your book. It’s super easy to glue some fancy fabric or leather around that cheap cardboard cover and make it look old and witchy. To those who don’t really care much about organization, a simple journal will do. You can go all out and get pretty handmade ones off etsy or you can go as simple as a spiral notebook, it’s completely up to you and your preferences. If you do use a notebook instead of something adjustable, it may be a good idea to add in an index or tabs on the pages so you don’t have to flip through every page to find the spell or herb uses you are looking for. The same goes for if you do organize it. I use pretty scrapbook paper in between my sections so that I can easily spot it between my regular pages.
A question I see a lot online, is what does my grimoire need to look like. Again, as most of the answers to these kinds of questions are, it’s all up to you! This is your personal book and it should resonate with you. A lot of people will say your book needs to be handwritten and you need to draw your own pictures and such. To me, that’s silly. If you want to handwrite and hand draw your book, great! Do it! It’ll add that extra energy you give into the work. However if you’re anything like me, and you are not an artistic person, there are other methods. I have terrible handwriting for example, and I have no drawing ability really whatsoever. So what I do is I get on a website called Canva and put together the page I want to work on. I add in images from tumblr or pinterest, and a title. However to add on a personal touch to it, I usually leave the information section blank and then handwrite it in. I’ll post an example. (post example of page) Other people type out their entire grimoire and that’s totally okay too! Having an online grimoire can also be a great format to use. As most of us are tumblr users, we know that tumblr or any sort of blog format can be great for gathering and sharing information for your practice. Using a website like Evernote, where you can create different notebooks and pages in the site can also be great because you can access it from any smart device and edit on the go. This means you can just carry around your phone instead of a big book and if you need to know what a certain crystal does, just whip out your phone and the information is right there. Online grimoires can be a really great tool for witches in the broomcloset as well as they are much easier to hide.
Some tips for making it pretty or unique.
If you’re up for the task of making your own paper, I’ll post the recipe I have for that if you want, you can always add in little pieces of flowers or herbs into the paper while it’s drying. This can be really great if you have planned out what you want to put on that page and can make the herbs correspond with that topic. I like to decorate my pages with stamps. Stamps can get pretty expensive, but if you go to hobby lobby, they usually have some cool ones in the clearance section and Michaels has halloween stamps on sale during the season. Adding in pretty ribbons to your spine can both add some color and help organize at the same time. A lot of people add on little charms at the bottom of bookmark ribbons as well, though depending on how long your ribbons are, those may get tangled as your using it. If your crafty, you can use scrapbook paper and supplies to jazz up your pages. If you have pretty bad handwriting like me, I get calligraphy pens that are made to make your handwriting look fancy when you don’t know how to write calligraphy. They’re pretty cheap at craft stores and they can come in a lot of different colors. You could also go all out and use a quill, even make your own magical ink if you like.
Jumping back a little bit, let’s talk about what goes in a grimoire and what doesn’t.
The short answer is: anything and nothing. Really you can put whatever you want in a grimoire and there’s really nothing that shouldn’t go in there, but from experience, I will say there are something that may be better in their own books. This is mostly for people using bound books, because once you’re out of room, you have to start a new book, so usually I would keep important information like my gods and their associations, uses and meanings for herbs and crystals, spells and rituals, quick cheat sheets for tarot and rune meanings, and stuff like that. I know a lot of witches who like to do daily or weekly tarot readings and record them in their grimoires. For me, this wouldn’t work because it would fill up so quickly, so I’d suggest leaving readings and dream journaling to their own books as to not fill up your grimoire so fast. However this is dependent on how you want to use your book. If it’s meant to be a hand down, I want my kids to have this and their kids and their kids, then you don’t want to fill it up with random readings, maybe only important ones. But if you’re using it for keeping track of your practice through journaling and such, it may work for you to have one grimoire and once it’s filled you start a new one. Personally I keep all my important “textbook” information in my grimoire, with a section toward the back for prompt journaling, and then I have a separate journal for tarot readings.
Storing your grimoire will depend on how sacred you consider it and how you treat your other tools.
Historically, witches would keep their grimoires and sacred books wrapped in silk and hidden away in a dark place. The silk was meant to keep negative energies and prying eyes from getting into your book, and keeping it in a dark place was both for secrecy and to keep the book in a good condition as they usually used leather and skins. Where you keep it can also depend on how often you use your book or work in it. I work in my book pretty often, so I keep it on my desk in my office when I’m not using it during a spell or ritual. This way it’s close so I can work in it. But for those who don’t work in it that often, it could be a good idea to keep it on your altar, or maybe under it or wherever you keep your tools. Your grimoire or book of shadows is in essence a tool for you craft. You want to treat it as you would your tools, but it’s also your craft between covers. If you are a messy witch who likes tea, maybe it’s not a big deal that you accidentally left a tea ring on one of the pages. Maybe it’s okay that it’s just sitting out in the open with other books and papers stacked on top of it. If you are very organized and your book is incredibly sacred and special to you, keeping it in a safe and protected area would be best. For broomcloset witches, I would suggest keeping your book either in a bag somewhere or stacked with other books where it doesn’t look too out of place.
Does a grimoire need to be a secret or can I show it to others?
Most covens have a group grimoire that all of the members can add to or use, so I would say that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a secret. If you are using it as a spell book or a “textbook” then Letting others see it could be helpful to them, but you don’t have to. A lot of people who use their books for journaling their path will keep their books to themselves as it is a very personal tool for them. Keeping your book a secret or not is very dependent on your practice and how you plan on using the book. I don’t really care who looks at my book for the most part as long as they aren’t being negative or hateful towards it or me. I do however try and cleanse my book whenever someone else uses or looks at it just in case they leave left over energy behind that I don’t want. So that’s about all I have on grimoires. Some other cool ideas for books to keep for your practice are tarot journals, dream journals, a reference book for herbs or crystals. I also have a grimoire to go. It’s a smaller grimoire with basic information and cheat sheets that i keep with me so if I’m out and about and need to know what a specific herb does, I can just look it up.
For your homework, I have a few things:
For those of you who don’t yet have a book of shadows or grimoire, I encourage you to make one! Go out and buy a really cheap notebook to start with and draw out a cover page for it! Look on tumblr or pinterest or youtube for inspiration!
For those of you with one already who use it as a journal, I want you to write out a journal entry about how you use your book and how it’s special to you and shows who you are and what your craft is.
And for those of you who have a book and use it more as a textbook style, go research something completely new that you have been putting off or just haven’t gotten to yet and make a page for it. Find some cool pictures to put on the page or draw some.
Soo, that’s about it. :) I’m going to open it up to questions now for those who have any!