in case of adversity

I’ve been really into the ‘humans are weird’ and ‘space australia’ thing lately and you know what no one has talked about?

The placebo effect.

If you hand someone a sugar pill and tell them it’ll help them with their cold or something else, their belief that the pill will work actually has an impact on their health improving. You obviously don’t see that with any other creature on Earth.

Imagine humans telling aliens that they don’t always need medicine to heal people. Their raw belief is sometimes enough to make them better.

We always talk about physical adversity - continuing to fight even when we are injured - but I find this to be a case of adversity as well. We push through the disease because we believe we will.

TEAMWORK!

aka why the tagline “you can’t save the world alone” is so fucking awesome for justice league.

i’m just. wow. i’m so fucking happy to be getting a team-up movie that not only addresses the stark differences between its members but also emphasizes the importance of teamwork, family and togetherness. it’s not simply “HEY LOOK HOW DIFFERENT ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE WOW HOW WILL THEY EVER MANAGE TO GET ALONG??!?!” it’s literally a story framed around a group of people being inspired by loss and coming together in the face of adversity despite their differences. especially in bruce’s case – it’s been a long time since he’s been put in the position of working together with anyone aside from alfred and now he’s actively seeking out people to help him. because he knows he cannot change things by himself. he cannot do this alone and for the first time in so long he isn’t going to try to do it alone. 

diana’s line, “do not approach alone. we do this together.” is fabulous (i highly suspect she’s saying this to barry after he admits – in a moment that both made me giggle and broke my heart a bit – that he doesn’t know how to fight.) these people are different, have different backgrounds and viewpoints and strengths and weaknesses but they are still here to work together above all and i’m just so taken aback at how present the themes of hope are in this movie already.

“all of us are held back in some way.” just fuck me up. victor’s struggle with his humanity, barry’s loneliness and inexperience, arthur’s hesitance, diana and bruce’s slowly reemerging faith fueled by superman’s death. 

anyway my point is this movie seems to be approaching the team situation in a way that is very unique to the genre of comic book movies and i couldn’t be more excited. 

clever-cliche-deactivated201412  asked:

What does flying balm do?

heres a whole chunk of info on it.  

(source)

A Background and History

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For those who may not know, a flying ointment is a salve or oil infused with psychoactive herbs purportedly used by witches to fly to their Sabbath rites in the early modern period during the height of the witch hunts in Europe. Early witch hunters perpetuated the myth that witches craft their ointments from the rendered fat of babies, but it was only fear-mongering propaganda.

Animal fats were used as the base to extract the potent oils and alkaloids from these poisonous plants because animal fats were convenient and accessible even to the poor. Today with the help of modern science we know that our skin will absorb a salve made with hog’s lard more quickly and easily than any other substance because our genetics are so similar to a pig’s. Adding plant-based oils to an animal fat remedies the problem of absorbing a substance foreign to our bodies. Our ancestors were pretty clever weren’t they?

Some may think flying ointments only go back as far as the Middle Ages as the majority of written accounts and recipes are from that period. But if we look in mythology, ancient literature, and folktales, we find a rich source of lore that leads back to pre-Christian times. Flying ointments are mentioned in Apollonius Rhodius’ The Argonautica from 200 BCE, Lucius Apuleius’ The Golden Ass from around 160 CE, and the oldest possible reference is in Homer’s The Iliad from around 800 BCE where the goddess Hera uses an oil of ambrosia to fly to Olympus, never touching the earth. To hear excerpts on flying ointments from these and other works listen to HedgeFolk Tales episode VIII: Flying Ointments.

So now we know flying ointments go at least as far back as ancient Greece and Rome, but what about even further back into history? Remains found of henbane, belladonna, and marijuana in Scotland and Northern Europe date as far back as the Neolithic period – that’s at least 10,000 years ago! (1) These plants were mostly found in the form of seeds and remnants of ritual alcoholic beverages so it is not known if they were used in salves by the magical practitioners of the time, but the pits upon pits of animal bone refuse show that Neolithic peoples had easy access to animal fats. It’s not too far off, I think, to put the two together – but it’s just this witch’s hopeful estimation.

What are the Herbs Used?

Most flying ointment recipes include plants from the Solanaceae family; you may recognize some or all of them: belladonna, datura, henbane, and mandrake. Other traditional flying ointment herbs include the opium poppy, water hemlock, monkshood, and foxglove. Wherever these plants are to be found, so are witches. Our symbiotic relationship with these poisonous plants goes back into the far reaches of time

Solanaceae contain the alkaloids atropinehyoscyamine, and scopolamine. The tropane compound within the Solanaceae family can cause heart problems or even heart failure among other issues when ingested, but if you use them externally they are much less dangerous, however careful dosage is still needed to avoid things like permanent blindness and death. The other well-known ingredients of foxglove, hemlock, aconite (also known as monkshood) should never be used in modern ointments now that we know better – they only poison and paralyze.

Traditional less poisonous plants used include balm of gilead, calamus root, cannabis, clary sage, dittany of Crete, mugwort, tansy, wormwood, and yarrow. There is a bit of controversy whether fly agaric or other psychoactive mushrooms were used and if their constituents are even fat-soluble, but there is currently no documentation on the subject to prove or disprove it. Balm of gilead (the buds of any poplar tree species) can be found in almost every flying ointment recipe from the Middle Ages as poplar salves were used for healing much more than they were used by witches for flying. Do not use balm of gilead if you are allergic to aspirin. The flying effects of calamus root are best felt from ingestion rather than topical application so I would only recommend adding it for its metaphysical properties and sweet smell. If you use calamus make sure it is the carcinogen-free speciesAcorus calamus americanus native to N. America.

Mugwort, oreganos (including dittany of Crete), sages (including clary sage), tansy, and wormwood contain thujone which is a stimulant and believed to be the cause of their psychoactive properties. Yarrow, while not having psychoactive properties, has been traditionally used by shamans for centuries to protect the body while the soul is journeying and to aid in bringing the soul and the person back to consciousness (3). Yarrow was more commonly burned as a smudge for these purposes, but can be smoked or added to a salve as well.

Modern Flying Ointments

“…despite the fact that none of the ‘modern witches’ themselves have any experience with the plants, they warn about the poisonous additives… [I]t is considered trendy to brew ‘modern flying ointments, guaranteed to not be poisonous.” The recipes are nothing more than ineffective rubbish.”

Christian Rätsch, Witchcraft Medicine

Like Rätsch I’ve seen numerous “crafty” witch books in the neoPagan market carelessly list the poisonous ingredients of Medieval flying ointment recipes with no dosages and then, in bold font with many an asterisk, tell the reader to never to attempt to make or use the recipes. Then the authors proceed to list two or more non-toxic flying ointment recipes that usually contain herbs and essential oils completely unrelated to soul-flight and otherworld travel. Many online Pagan shops are selling such recipes right now. An ointment that smells pretty but does nothing is only going to result in very pissed off witches.

My advice to you is to avoid modern flying ointments lauding their non-toxic properties as all that will happen is you’ll have $10-40 less than you did before (unless it’s one of Harry’s ambrosial flying oils, of course). You should also be very careful of people selling supposed “genuine” flying ointments with the traditional herbs, but who don’t list their ingredients or give health warnings. This is very dangerous as many people are allergic to these herbs or have heart conditions and could be seriously harmed, ending up in the hospital.

How a Flying Ointment Works

The alkaloids present in the traditional herbs used in flying ointments and other preparations have been shown by scientific experiments to activate your pineal gland by increasing the flow of melatonin inducing a dream-like state while you are awake. Normally, this only happens naturally at night while you are enshrouded in darkness. This results in dream-like experiences and visions that may seem completely real even if you are sitting awake in your kitchen and not flying as a hawk in the sky. I personally differentiate this state from hallucination as it is more of an altered mental state akin to lucid dreaming and is much more relaxed.  To enhance this natural effect while using a flying ointment, use it in darkness or at night, and alongside ecstatic trance inducing methods.

Psychoactive plants are believed to remove the barriers between our world and the world of the spirits and gods; they essentially are keys to the otherworld door and, some would say, to the entire universe.  Consciousness is like seeing the world through a keyhole as there’s only so much you are able to see – we are too busy looking at the limited amount of what we can see, naming, cataloguing, and trying to explain everything in our field of vision, that we do not see what is beyond the keyhole or what is behind us in the dark. Now what if someone gave you a key? Would you put it in the lock and turn it to open the door and see all the wonders and horrors on the other side? Flying ointments are one such key.

Flying ointments are used to aid in trance, astral travel, and spirit work, to receive divine inspiration (awen, imbas, the cunning fire), to help release the spirit from the body, for hedgecrossing, for shapeshifting, or to enhance or access powers for magic, rituals, and spellwork.

How to Use a Flying Ointment

Before you use an ointment in a ritual setting I recommend first doing a tiny test patch on a piece of bare skin to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Then I would recommend testing out its strength and your tolerance. When you do this, you should have a friend with you or someone you’ve told your plans to who you can call in case of emergency. Use only a small amount to start testing your level of tolerance – a pea-sized amount is good.  Wait to see how you feel. Always wait a minimum of 30 min to feel the effects before using more salve. If you are comfortable with the level of effects you are feeling, stop there, and then apply that same amount for ritual use. If it’s not enough, apply another pea-sized amount to your bare skin and increase as needed. The  Effects may take 30 minutes to 2 hours to appear depending on sex, weight, and tolerance and may last 1-6 hours. Depending on your height and weight, 1-2 tsps of ointment is a standard dose for a smaller person and 2-3 tsps for a larger person. Flying Ointments can be mixed with cannabis and alcohol, but before doing so make sure you have tested the ointment alone first in case of any adverse reactions.

To use for magic and ritual, whisper to your jar of salve and reveal your intent; do you want to achieve soul-flight, shapeshift into an owl, borrow the plant’s powers for a spell? Then say so out loud to the plants and any spirits and deities you have called. You could say something along the lines of “as I anoint my body with this salve my spirit will loosen from its flesh and fly from here to [desired location].” If you are using a flying ointment for a group ritual, it is best for everyone to share a common purpose for its use.

The myth that witches apply flying ointment to their genitals or their brooms and “ride” them is exactly that, a myth. I found one reference to it in a witch trial under torture and the other references come from it and are sensationalist prose written by poets inspired by the trial. There are other accounts of witches rubbing ointments on chairs and tables and sitting on them, but there is no penetration. As a witch who makes and uses flying ointments I’ve found it is not necessary to anoint one’s mucous membranes for quick absorption (please don’t rape your broom or staff). Many of the plants used are very toxic and very potent and you do not want them near your sensitive bits as they can cause skin abrasions, rashes, and worse discomforts and you wont’ be able to wash it off. Please keep anything with henbane or belladonna away from your genitals and mucous membranes!

The only ointment I’ve found safe for one’s naughty bits is a pure mandrake ointment which can be used for sex magic by anointing each partner’s sex organs before doing the deed. Magically, the best places to apply a flying ointment are the base of the neck for the spine’s connection to the World Tree, the third eye, over the heart, the armpits (for wings), and the soles of the feet. Where your neck meets your spine and the third eye are especially effective because they are doorways in and out of your body.

To get the most out of your experience use a flying ointment in an atmospheric setting; in your decked-out temple room, in a pitch black space, under the moon and starlight, a beautiful spot in nature, or a place of threshold power (a place with water, land, and sky all present, a place between civilization and the wilds, a hedge, etc). Results are better when ointment use is combined with trance-inducing activities such as chanting, dancing, swaying, drumming, or breath work.

What to Expect

I need to say this as clearly as possible: the purpose of a flying ointment is NOT to “trip out” or “trip balls”. If you are hoping to pass out and hallucinate for days, losing all sense of reality, you will be sorely disappointed and should look elsewhere. Flying ointments are an aid, a tool for those with the gift — not a cannon that will shoot you to the otherworld. Flying ointments and their traditional plants are meant to be an aid for visionary experiences, not a wreaking ball to your sanity. If you hallucinate erratically a) your body and brain are freaking out and don’t know how to handle the alkaloids in the poisonous plants because it’s your first time ever using them, or, b) you’ve overdosed and need to cut way back on the dosage (you might also need to make a trip to the ER if they’re severe enough). Uncontrollable hallucinations are the body’s way of dealing with foreign chemicals that have effects our systems aren’t used to. Those who have never tried shrooms, cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, acid, and, heck, even wormwood and damiana before are more likely to experience hallucinations than someone who has tried them and knows what to expect. The more relaxed you are, the less likely you are to have a bad reaction.

What does a healthy reaction to a flying ointment feel like? It should feel like you are intoxicated; lightheadedness, silliness, and euphoria at first. Your pupils will dilate and your cheeks flush. You may experience dry mouth and blurry vision depending on what herbs are in the ointment (these effects are temporary). After, the experience should deepen, and colour, sound, smell, sight, and taste will all be enhanced. You will experience the mundane world differently and you may feel awe, amazement, and wonder at what you see and feel. You may have profound thoughts and realizations you normally would not. You may hear whispers or see glimpses of things you would not in ordinary consciousness. Suspension of disbelief will become easy in this dream-like state. And, when used ritually by those with the gift, you will be able to achieve things you’d never imagined when your spirit is separated from flesh; visionary experiences, shapeshifting into animals and elemental forces, long distance travel, dreamwalking, interacting with wights and shades…

I’ve also noted that using ointments with mandrake (mandragora officinarum) as the main ingredient lends one almost supernatural energy and stamina making it perfect for sex magic or all-night ecstatic rituals such as the witches’ sabbat I participated in at the Gathering Festival.

Everyone’s experiences will differ and individual reactions to the plants or a combination thereof cannot be predicted. While one person’s experience may be over powering, another may experience nothing. Only use will help discover which plant or combination of plants works best for you.

Contraindications (Warnings – Please Read Carefully)

Do not use flying ointments if you have a heart problem or serious kidney and liver problems. Do not use ointments containing belladonna if you are allergic to morphine and related opiates or you will have a very serious reaction and need to go to the emergency room. Do not mix with serious medications. Do not use when pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after using the ointment. Keep away from children and pets.  Do not drive or operate machinery while under the effects of a flying ointment. Side effects may include temporary dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision (the latter especially if the ointment contains belladonna). Give yourself 2-5 hours to recover from the experience and get back to normal. In some cases, it may take 1-2 days to get your normal energy levels back.

If you feel hot, sweaty, nauseated, and you vomit, with no other factors contributing to it (food allergies, food poisoning, flu etc), you may be having an adverse reaction to one of the herbs (likely belladonna or datura) and should seek medical attention immediately. To reduce effects, wash the application areas with warm soapy water (or have a warm, not hot, shower), drink plenty of water, and avoid fatty foods.

10

On February 3, 1959, rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with the pilot, Roger Peterson. The event later became known as “The Day the Music Died”, after singer-songwriter Don McLean so referred to it in his song “American Pie”.

At the time, Holly and his band, consisting of Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup, and Carl Bunch, were playing on the “Winter Dance Party” tour across the Midwest. Rising artists Valens and Richardson had joined the tour as well.

The long journeys between venues on board the cold, uncomfortable tour buses adversely affected the performers, with cases of flu and even frostbite. After stopping at Clear Lake to perform, and frustrated by such conditions, Holly fatefully decided to charter a plane to reach their next venue in Moorhead, Minnesota. Richardson, who had flu, swapped places with Jennings, taking the latter’s seat on the plane, while Allsup lost his seat to Valens on a coin toss.

Soon after take-off, late at night and in poor, wintry weather conditions, the pilot lost control of the light aircraft, a Beechcraft Bonanza, which subsequently crashed into a cornfield, leaving no survivors.
(Wiki)

Inner Thoughts - Drarry

read on ao3 

from this prompt list

Prompt #179: “You haven’t even touched your food. What’s going on?”

When Harry and Draco were randomly paired to share a room for their eighth year of their Hogwarts education, neither of them was thrilled about the arrangement. But, the war was over, and Harry wanted to be able to put the past behind him. After a few months, the two become civil towards one another - friends, even. One quiet evening, tucked away in their room with the intention of studying for their impending NEWTs, the two boys open the door to a conversation that concerns the feelings they’ve both been harboring for years and what’s really bothering Draco Malfoy.
WC: 1,431
Rating: T

Harry Potter was commonly believed to be a hero. Everyone he met wanted his autograph, a picture together, or the opportunity to express their undying gratitude to the savior of the wizarding world. Harry fucking hated it. But regardless of his adverse feelings, this reaction seemed to be the case with nearly everyone he came in contact with, aside from his fellow returning eighth year students. This happened to include Draco Malfoy.

Draco fucking Malfoy.

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Writers Creed Interview: @something-like-scripture

……a lot of people going through a lot of personal struggles, you don’t have to look very far on Tumblr to see that; I just want people to know they aren’t alone. That they can survive it….
For our second and last interview of the month we got the chance to interview the amazing Alicia G. Case (@something-like-scripture ), her inspiring story of how she fought certain adversities in her life and how writing became her bulwark, left us speechless and in complete awe, so here it is the interview with the strong and sassy A.G. Case.



WC: Something-like-scripture, how did you come up with that url, scriptures are sacred writings right,any connection?

A: Yes actually! I titled the first poem I ever posted here Something Like Scripture; and it had less to to with that actual piece then it did with starting this blog. To me, poetry is very personal; as writers we put so much of ourselves into our work, sometimes without intention or realizing it. I believe that those words come from places deep within us; our hearts and our minds, our experience and memories. They are bits of ourselves we put onto paper and offer to the world. I can’t think of anything more sacred then that.

WC: Very well, nice approach
I totally agree with you, we do forget a part of ourselves when we hold that pen or place our fingers on the keyboard to fill the notepad with our imagination and musings
Well sacred is the indeed the correct word for defining it.



WC: So any other name people call you by or love to be called by, nicknames?

A: Nicknames.. hmm. My family and friends call me Leash; a short version of my name, Alicia.  My sister calls me Leashie, but that’s about it!

WC: Well that’s a unique and lovely name. Andromeada( @andromeada ), name of your primary blog,is it your epithet and what is that blog about ?

A: The name of that blog is based on the Greek mythology and story of Andromeda. I think there are times in my life I relate in a way to her plight; bound by limitations at times, or personal struggles. That blog was created 3 years ago.. wow it’s been while! I’m a visual artist as well as a life model, so that’s where I started on tumblr; sharing those things. At the time I was taking a hiatus from writing, but when I felt the need to write again I thought I would use tumblr to share that faction of my creativity. I do share some writing on Andromeda, but I wanted those blogs to be separate entities, visual arts versus the written art.

WC: Mythology I see. Woah!!! a visual artist and a life model that’s amazing. You’re awesomely talented and Inspiring.



WC: What got you into writing, simply to share your musings and poetry as you stated in the description or there is more to it that people are unaware of?

A: I was always an avid reader, especially poetry. I have an obscene amount of books! But I think reading is where it started for me. I just found things I connected with and it was wonderful! So I wrote my first poem when I was 12, about a boy after we broke up. I was devastated.  It was a few lines and it was cathartic for me, as much of my writing is now. A lot has changed since then.



WC: So heartbreak is where is started huh, is it a required paraphernalia for writing about  romance, what do you think and did writing rescue you from the sorrow of your past mistakes?

A: I don’t think heartbreak is required, but I think it’s a process every person will come to know at some point in their lives. I write a lot about Love, about loving and being loved, it’s not all heartbreak as some people imagine poets are inclined to. Some of my pieces certainly are, but they are not always about the kind of heartbreak that comes from a romantic Love; they are about Loss of people in my life, loss of things in my life or parts of my life I feel a loss of. I struggle with a number of health conditions that I have had since I was a child; So sometimes the feeling of loss comes from a sense of loss of self, or loss of a life that could have been different for me. But it’s cathartic and I always find some measure of peace when that work is written. I write for me, but if something I have written reaches another person and they connect with it or recognize it as their own, then I am incredibly humbled by that. If anything I have ever written has ever helped or connected to anyone, then it has had a purpose much greater than myself.



WC: So do you agree if I say that true writers write for themselves as an aid or as a medium of accumulating their memories in the form of words or as something they can use to overcome their nightmares?

A: I think there are different kinds of writer. I believe there are writers who write because they want to, and writers that write because they have to. And what I mean by that is; some people write because it seems a thing they enjoy, it’s a part of them they use as a creative outlet or to share with others. Some people though, I believe, write because they must. Because it helps them get through difficult times in their lives, it is a way of processing pain and loss and the darker sides of self discovery. It’s the only way they can hash through that pain; it stretched from their hearts to their hands and in writing it out, they can confront it. It does not always bring peace, but I believe it is a step towards healing. I think writers find themselves in both those categories at some point in their lives. I personally write for catharsis, or to express my love, but also sometimes strong feelings on political things.


WC: Well that was another lovely answer from you, your write ups are incredibly soothing and sensational, love the way you’re describing and elaborating, we’re certainly having an awesome time interviewing, it’s always a pleasure talking to such humble writers like you. Moving on to our next question, so any outlandish stories, associated with your journey as a writer, anything unwanted that happened?

A: I can’t say there are any real unusual stories behind my writing, I’m sorry to be boring


WC: So as a substitute of the last question we’d like to ask about unrequited love.

A: Love sometimes is something a little beyond ourselves. But in loving someone who doesn’t love you back, you may miss the person who’s waiting for someone to find and love them.



WC: That’s spot on, it certainly blinds us of opportunities ahead, moving on to our next question.
What genre you commonly choose for your writups, our research tells us you’re into romance but also a bit of motivational quotes is that true?

A: I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it before now! I do write a lot about Love in all it’s forms. I think that’s where poetry started for me; so it’s familiar and natural in my writing. The motivation quotes and pieces, those are much more new. Those really have only started here, on tumblr. I think I write them for other people, for everyone. Also for myself; affirmations I think, I’ve been through a lot, and I try very hard to be a positive person. If I allowed the circumstances of my life to pull me down, some days I’m not sure I would get out of bed. But I know whatever is going on in my life will pass; even what seems to be the most difficult trials in our lives will end. I just want others to know that. There’s a lot of people going through a lot of personal struggles, you don’t have to look very far on Tumblr to see that; I just want people to know they aren’t alone. That they can survive it. Sometimes we cannot change our circumstance, but we can change the perspective we look at it. I’m a firm believer in that.  I want people to believe that about their lives too.



WC: Well pain, certainly is the ink of an avid writer’s pen, poetry is turning out to be more than words or rhymes it’s like the monument of sanity and peace. Well you’re strong and sassy which is like the best combination ever we really appreciate you being so open and sharing your personal struggles, as we said before you’re indeed very inspiring.

A: Well I hope to continue to inspire people  I try to be honest in my writing and I’m my life, and I hope people know my inbox is always open



I Touch Myself (Katlaska) - Arcadia

A/N: So this idea was really just an excuse for me to write smut. Title and fic inspired by a song Katya used to perform to. If anyone is wondering what happened to the trixya fic I was writting, I haven’t abandoned it, I’m just a little wary about the pairing after the drama at drag con, so just giving it a little break. Let me know what you think of this one though!!

**Quick little warning for light dom/sub undertones, light voyeurism, and light orgasm denial. Light because idk how to write the hardcore stuff just yet. But listing them just in case anyone is adverse to those, thanks!!

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Witch Tip - Reversing candle spells

Most witchy books tell you to burn candles until they are “no more”. It’s far easier to reverse a candle spell when you burn it down to just a stub. Keep the leftover candle wax to use for a reversal in case the spell backfires or creates adverse effects.

Go With the Flow

Author: @everhutcher

Rating: M

Peeta knows how to make the worst time of the month better for Katniss.

A/N: Many tender moments in a real relationship happen under less-than-romantic circumstances. In the realm of “real or not real,” I think this drabble is about as real as a couple can get. Thank you @papofglencoe, @joshs-left-earlobe and @hutchhitched for being my sounding boards!


“Get away from me, Peeta.” Katniss squirmed and pulled herself deeper into a fetal position on the end of the sofa. “I am disgusting right now.”

“Come here,” Peeta replied as he easily slid Katniss across the cushions and up against him. After years of wrestling, Peeta was stronger than Katniss any day of the week, and especially this week. Katniss had to admit, his well-worn t-shirt and sweatpants felt like heaven against her tender body, and she instinctively snuggled deeper into his side. As Peeta wrapped one arm around her Katniss grabbed his free hand and pressed it to her stomach, where he began to massage away her dull cramps.

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The story is quite old, it seems, but no one can say quite how old, or where it originated. 

It was a time of strife. Society was ravaged. By what, there is some disagreement - some say it was the days of the Black Death, others that it was the communist regime in the Soviet era. Nobody can be sure, but one thing remains - the idea of adversity.

And, there were four thieves who triumphed over this adversity. There are arguments regarding whether they were virtuous people - Robin Hoods, for example, or simple cutthroat ne’er-do-wells, but regardless, they managed to ride the flow of societal unrest and survive against all odds. No matter what version one accepts, though, they were in fact, criminals, and alluded not only the societal unrest of their existence, but also the long arm of the law itself.

They were eventually caught, but even then, they alluded punishment and survived to continue their “work,” such that it was. How? Well, the agents of the law asked to know their secret, promising that if it was revealed, they could go free. And, it turns out, the secret that had allowed them to survive was an herbal potion that became known as Four Thieves Vinegar.

It traditionally contains a large quantity of garlic infused in red wine vinegar of high quality, and, in addition to this, four other materials. These four, each representing one thief, vary depending on who one asks, and have been said to have consisted of many things, ranging from deadly wormwood to the above innocuous (though powerful) ingredients.

Nowadays, few if any of us are willing to believe this narrative to have taken place outside of mythic time, but the potion, and the sentiment associated with it, persists. Science has even shown that the garlic and certain other ingredients may actually be antibacterial or boost the immune system. This may explain their association with warding off disease and hardship in general. Either way, the potion is said to be quite powerful magickally.

You’ll find versions of it sold in bookstores at exorbitant prices, making all kinds of claims, and yet, a simple version can be made at home rather cheaply. In reality, it isn’t a panacea, but is still very powerful, and should only really be used in worst case scenarios, such as when you find yourself faced with great adversity or an extreme attack on your person. To use it frivolously would, I believe, diminish its efficacy for you in the future.

In terms of using it practically, I’ve heard of it being used as a salad dressing (provided no poisonous ingredients have been used) or mixed into hot tea and drank, or just swallowing a spoonful. Take it internally at your own risk, though, naturally, and there are other ways to use it - again, floorwashes, anointing. For me, it was extremely effective to trace symbols using it (very lightly) on certain surfaces to ward off danger, but as usual, your results may vary. Ganbatte, and I hope this little post interested you!

It’s time to reveal the winners of the Everyday Hero contest we ran in North America earlier this year! The contest asked you to submit a picture and accompanying background information of your very own Everyday Hero, with the first place finalist securing a $10,000 scholarship fund provided by our Everyday Hero Scholarship Fund.

We were absolutely blown away by the amount of amazing entries we received, and were incredibly touched by the many different everyday heroes that were nominated. Many heroes were highlighted for their efforts in their respective workplaces, often for going above and beyond the call of duty or perhaps simply for fulfilling vital but often overlooked roles in today’s society. We saw family members be nominated for their inspiring life stories in the face of, in some cases life threatening, adversities. It was also fantastic to see so many people be nominated for both the great and little things they do in everyday life, their contributions to making the world a better place each and every day. This contest truly demonstrated that there is no one single definition of an everyday hero and that such amazing individuals can come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life.

Given the staggering amount of high quality entries, we decided to take a little more time than initially expected to thoroughly work through each and every entry and we really do appreciate your patience over the past few weeks. It was a difficult task picking out the finalists, but we ultimately settled on three submissions… so, without further ado, here are finalists of the Everyday Heroes Scholarship Fund 2016 contest!

First Place and winner of the Everyday Heroes Scholarship Fund 2016 contest:

Everyday Heroes! - Alex L. (Winner)

It was pouring rain! The Austrian volunteers have saved the night by helping a soaked mother and child from freezing and gave them new dry clothes on, so they could again feel comfortable. You are safe now.

“This picture combines perfectly both the core of the “Everyday Heroes” theme and artistic and technical qualities. The play on the looks and gestures of the people captures really tells the story of both the mother and child and the volunteers. We can see that they truly care for those people and commit themselves completely to this job. On the technical side the composition, exposure, sharpness, focus and vibrant colors are really great.”

Second Place:

Be Your Own Ice Cream Flavor - Chloe S.(Finalist)

There is a common weight that all must share to qualify as human. I was not aware of this until recently. I thought the weight assigned to my character was a flaw. I thought I was not sufficient to be a human. This weight can also be known as definition. Some may find his or her own definition through adversity, others may have had a definition made out for him or her from the womb. How one deals with adversity is how he or she builds up a definition. A norm has been cast to ensure many people cope with difficulties in the same way. This creates a problem, boxes. Boxes are a level of definition that can be harmful. Fear is what builds the box and maintains its presence. Some individuals are too scared to tread away from norms, and become anxious or scared. Others have found a way around the obstacle and have truly become individual. The former keeps people very much alike. Those individuals create their own prisons, and some are unable to escape it and find his or her own definitions. Andrew Fine is an Advanced Placement English Language teacher and someone I believe everyone should meet. He is one of the most genuine and kind human beings the world has to offer. Never have I ever been able to trust an adult so wholeheartedly. He was the first person I was able to come out to. He gained the reputation of trust through this disposition; he emulates the type of feeling one would share with an old friend. It is through his class that I was able to realize that I was human. On the first day of my Junior year, I recall him talking about what is wrong with boxes. Men are shoved into the BE A MAN BOX, and women are placed with the GIRL POWER FLOWERS. Typically, there are people to contend with how fundamental boxes are. As a homosexual male he has pushed towards both sides of that spectrum. His gender forced him to comply to the be a man box the first years of his life. It never fit him to do everything traditionally. Mirroring that, there was a threat presented, the parts of the box that did qualify may be stripped from him by individuals who pride themselves on being traditional. From the experiences placed before him Mr. Fine has learned not to hate. This is the second lesson he places upon the class’s shoulders. It is easier to hate than love, but hate festers into more hate for the things one loves. As a man of many talents, Mr. Fine is outstanding. He can make anyone’s day better from simply being a part of it. Whether this is product of his musical talent, writing genius or ability to persevere is beyond me. He might as well be the most sung unsung hero. Somehow, even with having 120 students a year Mr.Fine has found a way to gain a personal connection with each one. It is hard to leave his class without regarding him fondly; beyond that not many people can say he or she knows who he is. I believe that he has helped changed the atmosphere at my school. The students that have participated in his classes have implantations of his ideals on love and equality. We carry these gems with us post-graduation and try to enlighten anyone facing a negative standpoint. This start of inspiration is not something just anyone can do without knowing his or her own definition. I stayed in the Girl Power Flower box for the better years of my life, I deeply hated myself and saw no potential in my being. The energy each individual is granted upon participating in his class is healing; it was enough to fuel my escape. With Mr.Fine’s wisdom I was able to come out with who I am. I know now that I do not have to feel inhuman for not being able to function as a heterosexual female comfortably; I am a human who may define as they wish to. I have Mr.Fine to thank for my life now. My full gratitude goes out to him, he was someone I needed to meet.
 

“There is a true sense of “slice of life” in this picture, a genuine feeling of looking at a human being that is passionate about his job and his students. The moment is captured perfectly and the smile and expression on the teacher shows all his dedication. The composition is great, framing the teacher between his white board and the raised hands and books of those students captivated by his lesson illustrates in a great way the importance of his vocation.”

Third Place:

A Fighting Chance - Michael S. (Finalist)


My everyday hero comes in the form of two brothers, Edwin and Carlos C., who constantly thrive to support their community through the art of boxing. Their non-profit gym nestled deep within the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts first opened its’ door back in 2008 as a means to keep the youth off the streets. Not just the youth though train here, people from all walks of life come to the gym and are welcomed. The C. brothers work tirelessly to take care of others before themselves ensuring that all those who train at the gym have a healthy and bright future ahead. Through boxing they want people to install themselves with life lessons, to bravely march forward with the knowledge that they can do anything. They both constantly sacrifice their free time to help others, but to them there is no greater satisfaction than giving back. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, for me Edwin and Carlos C. define what it means to be an everday hero. To inspire and give back without asking for nothing in return. #everydayheroes

“The photographer managed to capture a picture that resonates with his words and captured what he saw in those two people. With the close-up framing we feel ourselves close to the two brothers through this picture. We can feel how important to them are the gym and the people who come here.”

Honorable Mentions:

The Game of Compassion - Anthony C. (Honorable Mention)

In my travels, I met the homeless gentleman playing chess on the right, who’s named Francis. I was intrigued and asked to play a game with him and he happily accepted. I learned that he sets up his chess board there every single day. He teaches others how to play, and during the games he just listens to what they have to say. Everyday he plays countless games and listens to others’ problems. To just listen and spread the love of chess seems to simple, but it’s actually a very powerful thing. He may be homeless, but that’s not stopping him from lending his ears to others. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to us. To just be able to listen and give others his time when he has nothing else, that makes him my everyday hero. He gives all that he can even with nothing.

This entry is very moving and the story behind it really reached us. The picture is well thought and puts the viewer close to the two protagonists, creating a great “photojournalism” style photo. The only drawback that refrained us to put this entry in the top 3 is that the composition doesn’t isolate well enough the main protagonist, the viewer’s eye is drawn to the tarp to the right or to the noisy wire fencing.

A Small Hand - Jillian D. (Honorable Mention)

My mom is an amazing woman. She has the courage to leave an abusive relationship and become a single parent to four children. Since then, she has been unemployed, gone through a house fire, and struggled with the daily ridicule of her peers. Yet, despite all of this, she still remains the same strong, caring woman who raised me and continues to pass on her loving nature to others.

There is a lot of subtle storytelling in this picture, the movement of the mother while the kid is still hesitating to move shows perfectly the role of the parents, to guide and bring their kids forward in life. It’s a minor issue but we think that the picture would have worked even better without the car in the background, which reduces a bit the readability and importance of the mother.

Best and Worst Case Places for the Paladins to start Season 2

(Or VLD season 2 headcanons?)

Shiro

Best Case: Wherever he goes that he’s free to speed from planet to planet basically manually searching for paladins. Avoiding Galra unless he has absolutely no choice or to save people from their hands. Occasionally parks and panics but is handling himself well in general.

Worst Case: Earth. Creepy interrogating scientists from episode 1 pick up where they left off and don’t believe a word he says about the intergalactic threat of the Galra. Studied like an alien in Area 51 and hidden from the public eye. Freaking out 24/7.

Hunk

Best Case: Any alien occupied planet (galra occupied or not) with a friendly population. Bonus points for good cuisine. Will save and befriend entire local population. Builds a Galra resistance group thats kind of an army?

Worst Case: Galra Species home-planet. Anxiety ramps up 1000%. Captured immediately. Makes friends/finds safety as a chef in Galra Prison.

Keith

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anonymous asked:

I feel that I'm changing slowly. I can't remember the last time I felt okay. I feel that I'm growing sadistic slowly. I have violent thoughts and I just hate the way I'm turning out to be. I know that being cruel is never okay and I'm scared of myself at times. I am very young, barely a teenager. I haven't known what childhood is, and I feel that after all these years of being mentally abused, the effects are showing. I don't know why I'm telling you this, and I'm sorry if I'm irritating you.

You are not irritating me at all, please don’t think that. I’m glad you feel like you can talk to me about this, long term abuse affects people differently and in your case it is having an adverse effect on your mental state because you are a strong person who is feeling helpless. So your brain is fighting back by deadening the parts of you that feel and as all your feelings are bottled up, they are turning into darker things. I can see how this is extremely traumatic and painful to you and honestly, would like to do everything I can to help you. So please message me privately so we can talk. You don’t deserve it and you don’t need to go through this by yourself. So much love and strength to you. ❤️.

Confession: I feel like a lot of the black women on tumblr seriously hate black men. It’s even become acceptable to say things like, “black men ain’t shit,” while simultaneously attracting a plethora of black women to go out of their way to agree. It may be because of their fathers or past relationships or whatever the case may be. But it’s just really frustrating, that with all the adversity we face from this racist society, the we have such turmoil among each other. It’s like, how can we win with such division among ourselves? We blame black men for everything that’s wrong with our relationships without ever stopping to think of where we may be falling short.