it is impossible for me to do that kind of witchcraft

7

🌟THE GOLDEN THREAD TAROT🌟

I’ve only just been able to tear myself away from these beautiful cards in order to make this post. They arrived this morning and ever since, I’ve just been handling them and taking endless photos. I swear, it’s impossible to take a bad picture of this deck! 

Some thoughts and first impressions bellow the cut! 

Keep reading

Knights of the Round Table Official Tier List

God Tier:

  • Sir Ywain the Bastard: BFFs with a lion who may or may not have been able to talk. Very strong and ambitious without giving in to greed. Lost his sanity for a bit but sheer willpower brought it back, and mopped 0 seconds about it, went straight back to decimating ass in the name of justice and to save many numerous dames (honestly, if there was a dame in danger, this guy and his lion pal popped up immediately). Batman if his motif was the lion and also if Albert was a lion. Notable Feat: One of his adventures had him disenchant a cursed maiden who had been turned into a dragon by kissing her three times. That’s right, folks, Sir Ywain smooched dragon girls for reals and you’ll never achieve the heights of his glory.
  • Sir Percival the Grail Knight: Exceedingly powerful yet never once lorded his immense strength over anyone, and in fact, his impossibly humble nature actually had him act in ways to make others around him seem cooler, even though he was extremely capable. Clad in only a silk dress, Percival once threw a fully armored and armed knight over a castle wall, and this other time, clad in only shitty tin “armor” he made from pots, dddddestroyed an Evil Knight Of Certain Renown and stole his armor. The armor of pots happened because a merchant pulled a fast one over him (he traded his extremely expensive silk and gold-weave dress for a cart of junk), and then defended the man that fucked him over when the town was about to lynch him. Notable Feat: Defeated Sir Lancelot of the Lake (yes, that Lancelot) in fair and single combat, and kept disarming him instead of injuring him. Even then, he kept claiming “oh no, he won, I was just lucky, I am pretty sure he had the advantage” so as to not sully the hero’s name. Oh, yeah, and, you know, he fucking achieved the Holy Grail.
  • Sir Gawain: Dayman, Fighter of the Nightman, Champion of the Sun, You Are A Master of Karate, And Friendship For Everyone. Good man, very strong, was kind of a dumbass, but that adds to the charm. He’s the kind muscleman that spots for your scrawny ass in the gym your first time and tells you how to do the exercises properly. Most likely to become a good friend in the long term. Notable Feat: His whole fucking life, man. The code of chivalry didn’t actually apply to peasantry, as in, knights were not required to protect peasants at all, yet Gawain was known as the Defender of the Poor. What a fucking stud. 

Galahad Tier:

  • Sir Galahad of Twilight: Galahad gets his own tier because he’s like some sort of Mary Sue that came outta nowhere in late transcriptions of Arthurian Mythos and sort of just was the best at everything ever in any context, which is funny because his father, Sir Lancelot, was more or less the same but actually likable (as in, Lancelot was not part of the original Old Welsh scriptures, and was basically really cool but also had a lot of flaws to his badassery, whereas Galahad is kinda just perfect). However, his divine protection does not allow me to put him at the bottom, for forces that dwarf my comprehension keep moving him up here. Notable Feat: Being a self-insert OC that got accepted in the canon.

Chivalrous Tier:

  • Sir Lancelot of the Lake: Goku, but lecherous. Notable Feat: Goku, but lecherous.
  • Sir Bedivere of the Perfect Sinews: The world’s first slot machine. Went on a ridiculous numbers of adventures in the early game, some of them even with Arthur’s dog, Cavall, and despite having only one arm, m dude was basically a Dynasty Warriors character. Openly practiced witchcraft, which almost got him hanged a couple of times, if it hadn’t been for Arthur’s interference and testimonies to his legitimately good character. Notable Feat: With Cavall the Dog, went on an adventure to kill an Evil Magical Boar and steal its comb, before hitting the boar so hard it fell right into the ocean and drowned, because Bedivere Don’t Fuck Around.
  • Sir Bors the Younger: Never on schedule, but always on time. Sir Bors wasn’t a superhuman like some of his peers, but his strong point was his virtue and how hard he adhered to the Code of Chivalry, which is more that can be said for a lot of knights, even in higher tiers. A hot young maiden once told him “FUCK WITH ME OR I WILL KILL MYSELF” but he refuse because he wouldn’t break his Vow of Celibacy. The girl, of course, turned out to be a DEMON that tried to trick him. Then, another time, his brother, Sir Lionel, was getting whipped by a notched whip by an assailant while a young girl was being kidnapped by a rogue knight. Notable Feat: He chose to save the young girl over his brother. His brother was Kinda Pissed, so he came back to murder Bors for abandoning him, and Bors didn’t defend himself, saying “yeah I understand why you are angry, honestly”. God himself saves Bors by striking down Lionel with a pillar of fire. Bors then went to be one of the three knights to achieve the Holy Grail (the other two being Percival and Galahad)
  • Sir Tristan (Or “Tristram” for you historians): Not only was Mister Sadman a capable fighter, Tristan also played instruments and sang, and he was said have a very beautiful voice. The beauty behind Tristan is that he went through multiple trials and tribulations that tested his worth as a person and as a Knight truly (as in, someone who pursues the path of chivalry) rather than his martial might. Notable Feat: Accidentally consumes a love potion with Iseult, who was on her way to marry someone, and he still held onto his reigns as a knight without betraying either chivalry or her love too much.

Manure Tier:

  • King Arthur: cuck. Notable Feat: His knights all went on way more exciting adventures than him and his peak is when he gets shanked by his illegitimate son and shanks him back and then spends like fourteen hours bitching at Bedivere for him to go drop his sword in a lake.
THE NEWBIE WITCH - WHAT OTHERS OFTEN DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT BEGINNING THE PRACTICE

You will find lots of articles on tumblr for newbie witches but I realized when I started practicing that a lot of things were missing and I was kind of ashamed to ask because I felt stupid.

This post is for people who have just started practicing or are planning to. If you have already been into witchcraft for years this could be a little reminder for you.

  • You don’t need to be wiccan. You don’t need deities in your craft. When I started I was a little puzzled: everyone was talking about prayers, faith and other religious things essential in the craft. It seemed everyone was wiccan! Or Pagan. But they were talking about things I didn’t believe in. They were questioning my religious beliefs and my will to practice witchcraft. Then I found out about the existence of secular witches i.e. witches who do not include religion in their craft. Religion is not essential in witchcraft. You can use your own power, you can ask mother earth to land you some. It’s perfectly fine.
  • Get info BEFORE you seriously practice. This is a point lots of people skip and underrate. When I discovered magic was real I was enthusiastic. I wanted to start as soon as possible and I was upset my exams didn’t allow me to. Now I’m glad I waited. While I was studying for my exams I read various articles, I followed witchy blogs on tumblr (windvexer and witchtips are great blogs for beginners. Look for their masterposts!) and I collected enough info to start practicing one month later but understanding what I was doing. I’m not saying you should wait months to start but just be sure to be aware of the basis and the possible dangers.
  • Trust your guts! There are witches who will tell you super rare and expensive items are required in your craft. They will often tell you to use things you can’t have. I’m not saying they’re wrong, they are probably suggesting what it’s right in their practice. But they are sometimes not newbiesfriendly blogs. My suggestions is: do what it feels right for you. (But if you want to use herbs and eat them do some serious research first!!!) For example, if someone tells you you should use rose quartz for tranquillity but you don’t have it/don’t want to use crystals in your craft/you don’t associate tranquility with quartz, etc. don’t do it. Use a substitute! Plus, don’t underestimate the power of visualization. It takes practice, I know, but if you can’t have an item, just imagine you have it! And remember: magic doesn’t come from candles, crystals or whatever. It is within you. They just enhance it but they’re not essential.
  • Magic is real but do not confuse it with real life. Before you get pissed and think what I said it’s crap let me explain it. Magic is part of your life and your life is real, duh, but do not get overwhelmed by magic. In few words: don’t forget living. Don’t think every single thing that happens in your life is magical! If you see a bunny in a pet shop it probably isn’t a sign meant to you. It’s just a bunny. There are indeed signs hidden in your normal life but don’t think that everything is. 
  • Magic just gives a little push. You can’t perform magic with a purpose and without acting in the real world in order to make it happen. You can’t create a sigil to have new friends if you have 0 social interactions. Don’t ask for the impossible: a spell won’t allow you to meet Obama, I’m sorry, unless you live in the White House.
  • Don’t be afraid to live magic and muggle lives at the same time. I swear the first time I performed magic and I created a shield I felt bad going to the bathroom. It seems dumb, I know, but beginning the practice can be scary the first time. Don’t be ashamed of what’s natural and don’t be scared to use subtle magic when in company. Magic is part of you!
  • You don’t need labels. I repeat: YOU DON’T NEED LABELS! When I started practicing I felt the need to say out loud what my interests were. The truth? I couldn’t say it yet. Everything fascinated me so I just told people I was eclectic. But I actually am not. Don’t feel in a rush when you get into the magical realm. Just do what you like and you will later understand what you prefer.
  • It is okay if you’re not into everything magical! You will see lots of witches who use herbs in their practice. Others use crystals. And every spell you find online requires either herbs or crystals. You will spontaneously think they are essential for every witch but they are actually not. Don’t feel ashamed. Say it out loud: “I don’t like herbs!/I don’t like crystals!/I don’t like sigils!”. You can only love tarots and you can still be a witch. You can dislike jars and you will still be a witch.
  • It is okay if you don’t want to be called “witch”. I understand that this word is often used to describe someone nasty, ugly or unpleasant. Or you could just simply not like the word for your own personal reasons. You can use other terms, more specific about your craft: diviner, spirit worker, fortune teller, etc. Or if you just want a synonym of the word witch: magic practitioner, sorcerer, wizard. There are many others. Find the word you feel comfortable with.
  • Males can be witches as well. Witch is not just a word for women. If you’re male and you want to practice magic and be called a witch, go for it!
  • You don’t need to be in a coven. If you don’t want to be part of a group you can learn on your own. And that’s fine.
  • Be careful of the words you use. You’re new in the craft and you start using words like gipsy, spirit guides, strega, etc. Be very mindful of the words you choose! They can be disrespectful, cultural appropriation or misuse of terms about a closed practice. Do your own research and remember to be always respectful. If you misuse a word and people let you know it’s wrong apologize, be polite and change your attitude. It’s easy. For more info I’d suggest to look here [cultural appropriation 1 2; gipsy as a slur wordwitch culture; stregheria 1 2 3; - I will add more links in the future about this topic]
  • Don’t let others define what’s right and what’s wrong. Some people say cursing is bad, blood magic is for evil witches, satanism is bad, etc. There is no “white magic” or “black magic”. Magic is neutral and it depends on you. You can curse and be the nicest person in the world. If you’re afraid of the three fold law I’d suggest to read this post and don’t let others influence you. It’s your choice. Not theirs.
  • Everyone can be a witch. When you discover magic is real and it’s not just in books you ask yourself “Can I be a witch?”. You may think you need someone in your family to “pass you the magical genes” or something like that. But what most of witches believe is that magic lies within each one of us. You can be more naturally talented but if you are not don’t be afraid. Speaking of books, remember that Hermione was born in a muggle family yet she was the greatest! If you don’t have natural talents you can still be a witch. Work hard and you will see great results!
  • Gender, sexual orientation, age, race, culture do not prevent you from being a witch. You can be transgender, asexual, African American, Chinese or whatever. You can still be a witch.


Did I forget something? Let me know in comments or reblogs and I will add it in the list!

Neveira

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of two things:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sadinasaphrite  asked:

I understand you have a long list of these questions, but figured I'd get in line. I want to adopt a retired greyhound racer. What health problems do you see with them? I've also heard they are especially sensitive to anesthesia due to their low body fat. Do you have a protocol you find is particularly safe for them? The rescues have too many conflicting answers. One even claims they never should be put under anesthesia ever, even for dentals, because they "just die!" Which is ridiculous.

Anonymous said: Is it ok to request another breed? If so, greyhounds? Possibly rescue racing hounds if that specification has any problems that pet raised greyhounds dont

and

Anonymous said: Hello! I was wondering if you could (or have already done) a post about greyhounds? Specifically racing-quality ones? I read something earlier that claimed they were a lot healthier than most dogs and I’m wondering if that’s true. Thanks!

and

Anonymous said: Hey there! I noticed you said recently you’d like to see more ex-racing greyhounds as pets - I’m seriously considering adopting one in the future and I was wondering what health issues you see in them? I’ve heard that they can get painful corns on their feet and that you need to be careful about their temperature, but is there anything else you see that a future adopter should be watching for? Question tax: came for the the vet stories, stayed for the refreshingly sensible advice :)

Oh vetlings, I have a lot to say about Greyhounds.

I adore these dogs, and am glad to work with them, but don’t specifically condone organised greyhound racing. Most of these dogs like to run, I would have no problem with them running around a track casually for fun, but once prize-money is involved it becomes too tempting to push limits, to cheat, to cut corners, to overbreed, and this leads to poor welfare outcomes for too many dogs.

Please note the disclaimer that these posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what your dog is going to encounter in their life.

Also please note that this will be a Long Post.

Originally posted by thegypsycob

General conditions of Greyhounds

Whatever their history all greyhounds have a few things in common. Most of them struggle to sit, they tend to either stand or lie down. Their pain tolerance is interesting, walking in with a broken bone but screaming at a tiny needle prick. They like to feel someone touching their head. There are also a few conditions common to them, regardless of their lifestyle or upbringing. They are one of the very few breeds that I think it’s not an exaggeration to say you benefit from seeing a vet with experience in this breed. We have a lot to get through, so I’ll try to keep the basics fairly short.

Bloat, (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) is more common in the big males, but can occur in any greyhound due to their deep chest. Delicate, picky eaters seem less at risk.

Greyhounds are generally very athletic, but they can and do develop Dilated Cardiomyopathy. While they have generally reached a reasonable age before developing this condition,

Pannus can affect any greyhound, and this chronic eye condition is generally made worse by UV light exposure. Once diagnosed it’s not too hard to control with medication but it is a long term condition. This is the most likely reason you would see a greyhound wearing doggy sunglasses or ‘Doggles’.

Greyhounds can also get Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which may manifest as ‘night blindness’ first, though this seems to be less common lately.

Greyhounds, perhaps surprisingly for all the raw food they seem to get when racing, have generally poor Dental Health. Despite being big dogs that are generally pretty tolerant, most of them don’t like to chew. They’re delicate chewers and won’t necessarily gnaw a bone.

Speaking of bones, these dogs get Osteosarcoma (Bone cancer) fairly readily. This cancer has a biphasic age pattern. Basically it usually occurs in dogs around 2 years of age, and dogs around 8-10 years of age. It’s all kinds of bad, every time and there’s not much else to say about it, other than the life expectancy is short. I’ve talked about it previously.

Of purely cosmetic concern, greyhounds also commonly develop pattern baldness. Typically the affected areas are the thighs and ventral neck, and there are a few possible reasons for this. It might be genetic, it might be nutritional or stress related, or it might be due to blood vessel compression under due to large muscle groups underneath the skin. This generally bothers the owners more than the dog.

Greyhounds often have thin skin, and while this doesn’t necessarily bother the dogs most of the time it certainly bothers me as the surgeon! Some of these poor dogs will seem to tear themselves open with any little scrape, so be careful of the suture materials you choose. They are prone to pressure sores with poor bandage care too.

And associated with their thin skin, some of these dogs develop “Happy Tail,” which is basically a chronic injury on the tail tip which wont heal because the blessed dog insists on wagging it against solid objects all the time, despite the pain and injury. They can’t help it. They’re too happy, hence the name of the wound. This takes creative bandaging or the occasional partial amputation to fix.

Originally posted by emiliotheexplorer

Conditions associated with Racing

Most greyhounds are reared for the race track and it’s not until later that they’re identified as being 'unsuitable’ for the track. Some greyhounds will be 'retired’ early, before they ever get to run, but many will be retired either with injuries or because they just don’t win. Greyhounds that have been retired due to injury are not necessarily lame, they may have healed well enough to do normal dog activities, just not enough to win races.

Track leg is probably the most common 'racetrack injury’ we see. It’s basically a swelling on the inside of the tibia below the knee, caused by the greyhound continually hitting its hind leg with a front leg as it runs around the track in the same direction all the time. They’re usually not painful, and generally go away when the greyhound is not restricted to always running in a very large circle.

Corns are hard thickenings in the bottom on a footpad, either secondary to trauma, foreign objects (grit) or papilomas. They start out small but grow with time, and are painful. It’s like having a stone in your shoe all the time and many greyhounds will become footsore because of it. Affected greyhounds are often reluctant to walk on harder surfaces, and anti-inflammatories doesn’t seem to make much difference. We treat them by paring them out and waiting patiently.

Grit in foot pads can cause corns, and can cause similar lameness to corns, but will show up on Xrays if you use high enough detail. These are fragments of sand or other foreign objects that have become embedded in the foot pads while running. Greyhounds are particularly lame with this injury and often don’t respond fully to anti-inflammatories. They need surgery to remove these pieces of grit, and the surgery can result in corns.

A Fractured hock, carpus or metacarpal/metatarsal might be a racing career ending injury, but not necessarily a life ending one. Depending on the extent of the fracture the greyhound may have no lameness with a walk or light run, or may end up with a completely fused joint. Generally these dogs are only retired to pet homes if they can still get themselves around pain free.

A Split Webbing is an injury to the web of skin between toes. When this skin tears it’s nearly impossible to get it to heal if both layers are torn, so the recommended technique is to split it all the way to the base of the toes and remove the webbing. This doesn’t seem to bother the dogs at all, and prevents it from re-tearing over and over again as it heals.

Maxillary Fractures are a rare injury of long-nosed dogs who are also klutzes and trip over, slamming their nose into a fence or the ground. This upwards force can fracture the upper jaw, just in front of the canine teeth. These fractures may be non displaced, causing little more than a blood nose and needing pain relief and soft food for a few weeks, or they may be loose and need wiring. They are fairly uncommon overall, but it seems to be greyhounds that get them most.

Associated with racing greyhound husbandry, Neospora infection from raw, infected beef consumption (and similar Toxoplasma from kangaroo or sheep) is more common in greyhounds due to their high prevalence of raw meat being fed. It may present as anything from back pain to blindness, and you can lose whole litters to these parasites.

There are a number of odd Assorted Sports therapy things that greyhounds might be subjected to, from particular lineaments being used, ultrasound therapy, chiropractic treatment or 'seeing the muscle men’, some of the 'treatments’ racing greyhounds are exposed to seem more like hope and witchcraft than medicine. These dogs may also have been supplemented with all sorts of things during their racing days, including iron and B12 as the most common supplements. You don’t necessarily know what a dog has or hasn’t been given in its racing days, but most will be little consequence, if any, after a few months.

Racing greyhounds are also known for a few particular metabolic weirdnesses. Exercise associated heart conditions, exercise associated epilepsy, water diabetes (like a temporary diabetes insipidus), rhabdomyolysis and acidosis are the most well known.

Anaesthesia

Now, this is an interesting difference. Greyhounds are a bit different when it comes to anaesthetics. Most vet students will easily recall that barbituate anaesthetics aren’t recommended in sighthounds due to their proportionally low body fat (and very young or very fat dogs for the same reasons), but greyhounds also seem to have a different liver metabolism that makes handling this class of drugs more difficult. Fortunately there are many other options these days.

The whole 'they die under anaesthesia’ thing is…sort of true. If you put them under anaesthetic when they’re under 24 hours off the race track then they tend to…well… die. But when these dog’s have been at rest for at least 24 hours there doesn’t seem to be a particular increase risk of death specifically.

These dogs are prone to both hypothermia and hyperthermia under anaesthetic, and in life in general.

They are prone to rapid wake ups from anaesthesia, which is not fun when you have a 30kg dog thrashing about and freaking out. For this reason higher premed doses seem to help if you’re using an alfaxalone protocol, medetomedine/butorphanol works well for sedation and we usually use xylazine/ketamine/atropine for orthopaedics. I will not be posting dose rates on this blog, but rest assured greyhounds are perfectly able to have an anaesthetic. They’ve got to get their dental disease treated somehow!

Compared to other breeds

Generally greyhounds are considered pretty healthy. They’re not free of problems, but their common problems are different to common problems in other breeds. Greyhounds have one of the lowest incidences of hip dysplasia in purebred dogs,  and rarely develop the same common structural issues we see in other breeds.

Their blood results are often a little different. A greyhound in racing condition will have a higher PCV, and a pet greyhound may keep this in their retired life. They often have a lower platelet count,  by around 20-25% or so, and may have a relatively low T4. A low T4 can be normal for a greyhound, and hypothyroidism shouldn’t be diagnosed without a TSH level.

They are, in general a little more prone to being clingy or developing separation anxiety. This is generally because most of these dogs are raised in big groups in a kennel situation, and may not get to be truly 'alone’ until they’re in a pet home. Some dogs just need a few weeks of being spoiled with TLC to adjust, some dogs need some pharmaceutical assistance for a while. Some dogs only really relax if they have a companion, but it depends on the individual.

So that is the greyhound breed from a veterinary viewpoint in a nutshell. Some of these points are brief because I only want to give you an overview, but I do recommend vet students spend some time in a greyhound practice, even if you don’t want to work with them or the racing industry, because the musculoskeletal exam of a greyhound is so much more thorough and I understood hocks and carpi much better in greyhounds than I ever did in horses.

Phew, that took a while to write. If you would like to support Dr Ferox’s writing time you can via Patreon for as little as $1 a month!

Must Be Love On The Brain

Summary: Based on 12x11 where Dean gets hexed with a memory spell. The reader is his wife who leaves everything she’s doing in the bunker help Sam get her husband back. 

Autor: @sleepywinchester | prev. deanwinchester-af

Pairings: Dean x Reader

Words: 2.5k+

Beta: @latinenglishfandomblog

Warnings: Humor. Feelings. Fluff. Bit of Angst. Spoilers. 

A/N: This piece is kind of a episode, re-write honestly. Also this is my entry for @winchester-writes Drinking Writing Challenge! My prompt is:  Black Label Scotch - “Wow, well don’t you look hot as hell.” Also, another Valentine’s themed fic <3 Yep, I’m on a roll. | gifs are not mine | 

Feedback is always appreciated it <3

“Call me if you need anything. Dean broke his phone.”

The hunch of worry Sam’s text message gave you drifted away quickly. Dean damaging his phone wasn’t something new. The man changed cell phone continually, and usually after hunts. Dean always ended up dropping over his device. It wouldn’t surprise you if he started to carry spares again.

For this hunt you decided to stay back and for once act like a full housewife. The laundry, cleaning or grocery shopping wasn’t going to do itself. You also have been planning yours and Dean’s Valentine’s evening. Tonight was going to be eventful.  You were a big fan of multitasking. Everything was running perfectly, you had laundry and cleaning checked off your ‘To Do List’ when Sam called saying Dean had amnesia.

In less than twenty minutes you were packed up and already on your way to them.

Knock knock knock.

You could heard steps reaching the door and Sam babbling some words. A part of you already knew it was your husband walking towards the door. In that moment the door got wide open, Dean standing in front of you. But the man standing in front of you didn’t looked back at you like your husband Dean would’ve have. This man glanced at your body up and down, his eyes not recognizing you but liking what they see.  

“Wow!” Dean exclaimed, his grin flirtatious. “Well don’t you look hot as hell.”

That was something your husband would tell you but not with those eyes. Dean looked at you like he saw a hot stranger. In other circumstances you would gave him a chuckle and blow him a kiss. Tonight your heart felt like it was being slowly crushed.  

Your frowned, “Dean?”

He nodded once with wide eyebrows, “Do I know you?”’

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Dangers of Draconic Witchcraft

I’ve been asked a couple of times about this, so I think it’s time I write a central post about it. What are the actual risks of seeking out dragon spirits?

The path of the draconic witch is not for the faint of heart, and not to be taken lightly. In fact, my experience of my students is that it takes a little bit of crazy to walk up to a fire breathing predator and start asking questions. You will get a little singed from time to time. But the returns are well worth the risks.

Obviously, there is an enormous difference between the (impossible in this world) idea of seeking out an actual physical dragon, and that of casting a circle and calling spirits.

The former was the routine of another life for me, but not really relevant here and now, so obviously this post is about the latter.

The dragons with whom the draconic witch works are not physical, but they are powerful, and yes they are dangerous when they want to be. We are prideful and often capricious creatures.

My article Addressing A Dragon should be all you need to stay on their good side. The short version is, behave with honor and the respect appropriate to talking to someone who can breathe fire, and you’ll be fine.

But what about what a dragon can actually DO and how it will effect you?

Well, being as they are not physical entities, the injuries they inflict will not be physical. You will be interacting with them on an etheric and astral level.

It’s very difficult for a spirit to do anything that could kill you. It’s possible, particularly for something as powerful as a dragon, but it’s unlikely. That doesn’t mean it’s okay not to take things seriously. They can inflict pretty serious injury.

First it goes without saying that any dragon capable of teaching you magic can use it themselves. This means curses and bindings are possible.

Etheric injury is more likely. Everything is connected. As above, so below. So injuries to the etheric/astral body can have an effect on the physical body. This depends on numerous factors including sensitivity. 

Ultimately, someone with absolutely no psychic sensitivity may not even notice such an injury. Or, they may simply suffer a physical ailment and have no explanation for its occurrence.

In the most severe cases, such injuries manifest physically. I have known astral projectors to wake up with bruises. On one occasion one of my students demanded to experiment and developed physical welts from my claws. More common forms of this involve more conventional illnesses, an injury to the etheric hand causing arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, for instance, or certain kinds of injuries to the energetic systems of the body causing more complex ailments of nearly any kind.

Unexplainable pain or discomfort is more common, or even simply a sense of “wrongness”. Purely psychic and etheric manifestations.

These injuries may last hours or days, or they may persist for years, depending on severity. There are anecdotes of people losing a limb in the astral and having permanent chronic pain or loss of feeling.

Generally speaking, etheric injuries are nowhere as severe as their physical equivalents. Etheric bodies don’t bleed to death. Etheric injuries are also much easier to heal. None of which should be taken as license to be reckless, as you may find some injuries more lasting than others.

Dragons breathe fire. At some point they will probably breathe fire at you, whether out of anger or simply to test your ability to defend yourself. The effects won’t manifest physically, but may well feel very much like a physical burn.

And yes, a dragon can eat you. Which of course won’t actually kill you. 

My preferred method of dealing with malevolent spirits (after attempting to reason with them) is simply to eat them. In the grand scheme of things, all that happens to them is they find themselves in the Underworld and no longer able to trouble anyone on this plane.

A physical body, however, anchors the soul here. Even if the etheric body is destroyed, the body and therefore the soul remains.  As with any other etheric injury the effects range in nature and severity. Again, someone with absolutely no psychic awareness may notice nothing at all, or simply experience a vague sense of something missing. Others may experience chronic pain, sudden systemic illness, or emotional instability.

The loss of one’s etheric body may also impair or prevent astral travel, psychic awareness, and the practice of magic. A terrible fate for a witch.

All wounds heal with time, and the destroyed energetic body will “grow back” over time. How long this takes can vary widely. 

Dragons are among the most dangerous spirits you are likely to encounter. They are also among the most powerful allies, and the most gifted teachers a witch could ask for. Proceed with caution and respect, but do proceed, if you are brave or reckless enough.

Lucid Dreaming Techniques

For those of you who would like to learn to lucid dream, or who have achieved lucidity but would like to be capable of doing it more often, the following techniques are those that I have used and have had good results with:

First of all, before you begin your practice, you’ll need to discover your own personal dreamsigns. These are recurring themes/objects/people in your dreams that you can use as signposts to help you recognise that you’re dreaming.

For instance, in my dreams there are a few themes that pop up at least weekly, and they are: strange appearances of the Sun & Moon (either more Suns in the sky than is normal, holes or markings on the Moon, luminaries that grow or shrink as I walk towards them, etc.), pine trees moving or growing in strange formations, my late father, and certain celebrities that frequent my dreams on a weekly basis.
It’s important to choose themes that recur frequently, as these are likely to pop up in your dreams in the future. Having a dream journal can greatly aid you in this practice, so if you do keep a journal, sit down with it, read through your dreams from the past few months, and make notes of the items/people/themes that appear more than once in your dreaming reality. Themes that are absurd or impossible in real life work best, as they are less likely to slip past your watchful eye.

Once you have made a list of your personal dreamsigns, copy them into your notes on your phone and read them often, if not once a day (before bed works best) but anytime that you remember. Before you sleep, say out loud “I will recognise any dreamsigns in my dreams tonight, and thus recognise that I am dreaming.” That is really the key here, to recognise in your dreams that you are dreaming and that you have control over your dream. Planting that intention in your mind before you sleep will help you to achieve this.

Once you achieve lucidity, you are free to use it in innumerable ways: to seek answers about your life, to understand the cause of your nightmares and thus ascend them, even to commune with your Gods or meditate/scry. I’ve had some intense scrying sessions in my dreams, where I’ve predicted all kinds of things that came to pass in my waking life. Because here’s the thing: in your lucid dreams, you are the omnipresent, omnipotent God of your own reality; you have unlimited power and potential, and can exact powerful changes in your waking reality and in your consciousness.

The technique is as follows: throughout the day, whenever you encounter your dreamsigns, or the mundane versions of same (for me those would be pine trees, the sun and moon [in the sky or elsewhere, such as art or on tv], photos of my dad, etc. – see how they are mundane versions of the above list I gave? That’s what you should be looking out for), do a reality check. And by this I mean, stop what your doing, look around you and ask yourself “am I dreaming?” Look for a clock or for writing in the space around you (paperwork, notes, posters, etc.), read them, look away, and then read them again. Did the text change? Is it still the same time or have the digits become garbled? Even though you know you’re awake, this is a fantastic habit to get into, because as I’m sure you all know, if you do/encounter something enough in your waking life, it will eventually show up in your dreams. So if you conduct reality checks enough (at least 5-10 times a day – I know this seems daunting but it just became a habit for me after only two days of doing it, and now I do it every few hours just out of habit) eventually you’ll do it in your dreams, and since the nature of dream reality is that it is fluid, and constantly changing, you’ll see a dreamsign, look for any discrepancies in the realism of the world around you, see that it is unstable and dreamlike, and realise that you’re dreaming. After this the (dream)world is your oyster!

So, to recap:

- Make a list of your personal dreamsigns.
- Look for their themes in your waking reality.
- Once you’ve spotted a dreamsign, or anytime you remember, conduct a reality check.

Hope this is helpful. Happy dreaming!

- Brigitte

anonymous asked:

Wat are the most important plants for a witch to at least start wit

This is a fantastic question!!!!

Okay, so I dunno about anyone else, but since I’m a kitchen witch, most of the herbs I think are the most important can be found at any store anywhere for pretty effing cheap. That being said, Here’s my very personal list!

  1. Basil!
    1. Super Easy to find, I use basil for a zillion things, including but not limited to; protection, money, good luck, curses, happiness, spirit work, and banishing! I also would recommend any kitchen witch ever to grow your own plant in your windowsill. It draws in good luck, kicks out any nasties, and tastes delicious in literally everything!
  2. Mint!!
    1. First off, I love all things minty. It makes me feel fresh and clean and brilliant and powerful. Second of all, it’s a surprisingly good addition to Italian recipes, like my spaghetti(little does my girlfriend know)! Besides for that, it’s also really good medicinally for treating upset stomaches, headaches, and congestions/colds. I use mint in money spells, as well as for good luck, happiness, and protection!
  3. Lavender!!!!!!!!
    1. I don’t know if I can even put into words my undeniable love and obsession for this little purple flower. First off, I thin kit smells like the most dazzling thing in the world. I love it. Second, it’s so good for you and your body. It’s an astringent, it helps with headaches, its good for flesh wounds, it helps you sleep, it helps me when I’m nauseous, and it puts me in a better mood. I use lavender in every single working I do just about. I consider it and coffee grounds like my signature, so to speak. But anywho, you can use it for sleep magick, happiness, relaxation, emotional works, protection, love, de-stressing, dream magick, I even use it for spirit work.
  4. Black Pepper
    1. This is so basic and so simple! I use black pepper the most in my powder mixtures, including but not limited to curse powders, confusion powders, banishing mixtures, and protection mixes. Black pepper is a powerful herb in my practice, and one I couldn’t possibly go without! Not to mention it’s a necessity in cooking!
  5. Rosemary!
    1. Rosemary is another super common kitchen herb, and one that I think goes incredibly well with omelets :) Besides that, rosemary always struck me as an herb that focuses around the heart. Because of this I’ve always used it in things like love spells, or relationships, family, friendships etc. You can add it to sweetening jars, use it for protection, and also for good luck. 
  6. Chili Powder or Cayenne
    1. I don’t really separate the uses of these, except when using one of the other I may decide to include the opposite to add exra fire or heat to a spell. I use spicy, hot herbs in spells for romance, passion, sex, protection, and curses as well! I also like to use hot sauce sometimes!

Other Not Necessarily Herbs I Recommend

  • Coffee Grounds
    • I use this as a signature of sorts on all of my spells.It makes them uniquely mine! But asides for that, I also use them to give extra boosts of power to my workings. Coffee is a stimulant, so I use it when I need…well..stimulation! Examples would include money spells, attraction spells of all kinds, curses, protection, banishings, and anything else I want to give a little nudge to. 
  • Salt! 
    • I don’t even think I need to go into this one that much?? Salt is a witches best friend! Good for everything and anything from purification to banishing to charging to cursing. 
  • Dandelion
    • It’s very easy to find, and useful for spells requiring stability and longevity. Often times I decide what properties an herb has by thinking about its natural tendencies. Dandelion is a voracious weed, spreading quickly, and very hard to eliminate. It’s roots are deep and strong and sometimes impossible to remove. IT’s a solid, structured plant and so I use it in spells where I need strength and foundation. 
  • Sugar!
    • Good for lots of stuff, including love spells, friendships, sweetening jars, emotional works, romance, protection and attraction spells of all kinds(like drawing in money, or attention or a job etc.) Can also be used as a body scrub that is heavenly for your skin!

Okay, That’s my most basic and simple recommendations! I hope this is useful enough to get you started Nonny!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Fic: Head Boy

1.5k words, G rated

Scorpius’s seventh year letter from Hogwarts contains an unexpected piece of good news, and Draco has never been prouder. 

Beta’d by @abradystrix

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Sarek’s Ladies

Sarek and Amanda are the bees’ knees. I’ll confess – they might be my favorite pairing ever. Part of what I find so appealing about them is how different they are and how difficult their marriage must have been, but they managed to find a way to love each other and endure. The other part of what’s so great is that there’s so little in canon, and it gives way to a lot of imagination. They’ve been central to a number of novels and fan fictions over the years, but almost everything we do know about their relationship comes from the TOS episode “Journey to Babel” and the films Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. People dispute the canonicity of the animated series, but there were snippets of their lives revealed in the episode “Yesteryear,” and we were given glimpses in the 2009 rebooted Star Trek. But that’s it.

They really are cute, aren’t they?

We know a lot more about Sarek than we do about Amanda, and there are a couple of things in canon that many fans of this pairing really seem to despise. First, Sarek obviously had a female companion before he met Amanda because Spock wasn’t his first son: Sybok was. Secondly, after Amanda’s death, he eventually remarried a human woman named Perrin, whose most egregious crime was that she married our beloved Vulcan widower.

Why are people so married to the idea that Sarek and Amanda are soul mates like ole’ Dan and Ann from Where the Red Fern Grows? Or hopelessly devoted to each other like Romeo and Juliet, such that Sarek should want to kill himself following Amanda’s death? Most people who have experienced a romantic relationship have done so with more than one person, so why do we hold Sarek to this impossible standard?

I’ll start with Sybok’s mother. She’s never formally named in canon; she’s only identified as a Vulcan princess who died. The end. There’s no explanation of whether or not she was actually married to Sarek, how old she and Sarek were when they hatched Sybok, how old Sybok was when she died, or virtually anything. There’s a lot of weird fanon speculation about her, and almost all of it vilifies her in some way, because you know, she dared to have a relationship with Sarek well before he even met Amanda (and possibly before Amanda was ever even born).

Artist’s rendering of Sybok’s mom.

The TOS novel Sarek identifies her as T’Rea, a woman who married Sarek, had sex with him exactly one time, gave birth to Sybok, kept him hidden from Sarek, had their marriage annulled, and went on to teach Sybok that emotions were actually good things. Other variations on this theme include 1.) she left Sarek for another man, 2.) Sybok isn’t actually his biological son, 3.) they were never really married, or 4.) pretty much anything you can contrive that would put romantic distance between them. If there’s a theory that includes Sybok’s conception via turkey baster, I wouldn’t be shocked. 

There really is the possibility they were never married. In the TNG episode “Sarek,” Sarek strongly implies Amanda was his first wife, and if that really is the case, then perhaps he never was married to Sybok’s mother. I’m not sure if some people are aware, but it is possible to swap gametes outside of marriage. Or perhaps other fanon theories hold true and their marriage was annulled or Sybok is actually Sarek’s adopted son, reminiscent of Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar. 

But whatever the case, Sybok’s existence strongly points to the fact that Sarek probably spent some time between the sheets with a woman other than Amanda, and given what we know about Vulcans, why is this thought so repugnant? The TOS episode “Amok Time” establishes that many Vulcan children are bonded at age seven, so it’s very likely Sarek was also. Furthermore, according to canon, Sarek was in his 60s when he met Amanda, so unless he didn’t experience his first pon farr until middle adulthood – which I imagine would be roughly analogous to getting one’s first period at age 32 – he probably had to find some way to cope with this drawback of Vulcan biology.

Now, barring any kind of Big Love scenario, Sarek was once again a bachelor by the time he met Amanda. I could write about this pairing for days, but because their relationship has been so heavily analyzed, I’ll keep it short.

Sarek clearly cared for Amanda and Amanda definitely loved him back, but I imagine they had more than a few bumps throughout their marriage. I should probably save my feelings about the bizarre way Sarek is romanticized for another post, so I’ll just point out something about their relationship that I feel is painfully obvious – Vulcans live much longer than humans, so Sarek, being the logical dude he is, must have understood Amanda was going to kick the bucket long before he did. Yet he married her anyway. And then she died. It sucks, but hey, biology can be cruel.

And then Perrin comes into play. We first meet Perrin in the TNG episode “Sarek” and she reappears in the TNG episodes “Unification I/II.” The amount of hate she gets among Sarek/Amanda shippers is truly epic. One would think she seduced Sarek in the grand style of a succubus, had Amanda murdered, and then forced Sarek to dance on her grave.

So she’s probably not guilty of home wrecking, but she’s definitely guilty of having a questionable choice in headbands. 

And that is so weird. I don’t know why Sarek took another human wife, but he did. My instincts tell me she probably reminded him of Amanda in some way, and I’m sure after an appropriate period of mourning, he decided to get on with his life. Some people move on after the death of a spouse, some people don’t. We’re allowed to handle loss in any way we find appropriate, but remember, Sarek had pon farr to deal with. Perhaps his reason for taking another wife had a basis in practicality too.  

The hate for Perrin is even more bizarre when one realizes that – again, excepting some kind of witchcraft seduction – Sarek agreed to marry her. To hate Perrin for marrying Sarek, one must also hate Sarek for marrying Perrin. I don’t think finding love after Amanda’s death meant he loved Amanda any less, but that he had room in his heart to love even more, and given the nature of the Vulcan heart, I think that’s really intriguing.

And here’s the kicker: Perrin clearly loved Sarek. He died in the TNG episode “Unification I,” and Perrin was with him until the bitter end. At that point, he was suffering from Bendii Syndrome and hadn’t managed to reconcile with his son prior to his death. It’s really very sad, but it would have been sadder still for him to have died alone.

Love can be sad and painful. How does that amulet not cause back problems?

Maybe Sarek wasn’t looking to replace Amanda as the one true love of his life; maybe he was looking for a companion. Whatever Perrin was to him, she was there for him through the Bendii Syndrome, so there’s that. 

Bottom line is, we love in all different kinds of ways. Love can last as long as lust and fade into nothing or it can metamorphose into passion or companionship. Lovers can become friends and friends can become lovers – there is no universal or right way to love. 

Maybe I say this because I don’t subscribe to the concept of soul mates. The idea of soul mates implies that we’re static beings, who exist largely to make up one half of a greater whole. But people change – at 31, I love much differently than I loved at 14 – and our purpose extends far beyond the people we love romantically. To suggest otherwise implies that a person who dies before experiencing romantic love never realized their full potential and completely cheated someone else out of the chance at true, unadulterated bliss.

No. I don’t think so. The human heart has the capacity to be a hell of a lot more resilient than that, so why shouldn’t the same be true of the Vulcan heart?

Hedgecraft According to My Tradition

Let’s talk about hedgecraft! It’s a difficult topic to discuss, because if you ask fifteen self-identified hedgewitches what hedgecraft is, you’ll probably get seventeen different answers, and when you do get those answers, sometimes the language is cumbersome, difficult and sometimes bordering on appropriative that can make people feel awkward and strange about it. So, I’m here to try and put this difficult subject into somewhat easier words, or at least, as best reflects my practise and traditions. Others may disagree, or want to expound on something, and I hope they do! I’d love to get a dialogue going. I’ve only been actively hedging (ie: on purpose) for about sixteen years, so I know there are people out there with more (and different) experiences than me!

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Mansplaining, gaining edition: it’s what’s for breakfast

So I bought a body composition analyzing scale the other day.

I’m super ridiculously out of shape, but not overweight. I’m actually a bit on the thin side, and I am trying to gain muscle weight.

The guy at the checkout asked me why I was buying a scale. I should have told him it was none of his business, but some part of me thought he might be a Good Samaritan wondering if I had some sort of body image issue. After all, why would a skinny person want to watch their weight? Ignorant, but understandable, given how little most people know about what “healthy” actually is. Maybe I can educate someone that skinny =/= healthy! Still none of his business, but I told him I was working out and trying to gain weight, because skinny =/= healthy.

The fucker then proceeded to tell me not to work out “too much” or I might get bulky, and of course, that would be super, super not ok.

Um. Excuse me?

I mean, first of all, just because I find it impossible to ignore things that are factually incorrect, it’s basically impossible for a woman to look “bulky” by accident. I know women who are competitive weightlifters and they still aren’t bulky.

Even women who are stronger than a given man often still look smaller. For an example of this, watch Jeremy Clarkson try to lift up a banana basket that a slender Namibian woman carries around for 12 hours a day. Spoiler: he fails.

Getting bulky as a woman takes dedication and conscious aesthetic effort. But beyond that, who the fuck is this dude?

Why is he assuming I give any kind of a fuck whether he thinks I shouldn’t get “bulky”?

Why do so many dudes think women literally exist solely for the purpose of being aesthetically pleasing to them?

WHAT IF I WANTED TO BE A FUCKING BODY BUILDER?

I MEAN, I’M WAY TOO LAZY FOR THAT, BUT WHAT IF I DID?

Men, get this into your head: I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK I SHOULD LOOK LIKE.

I did not get that scale so I could monitor whether I am in the correct weight range for men to find me fuckable.

I got it to monitor my MUSCLE GAINS, FUCKFACE.

And I will gain as much or as little as I want. If you find that threatening, you can kiss my increasingly muscular ass.

Your insecurity is not my fucking problem. I am not mandated to be physically weak in order to make you feel more secure. If you can’t feel secure knowing some women are strong, or making an effort to become stronger, get a fucking therapist rather than taking it out on random women who come up to your till.

IF I DO NOT ASK FOR YOUR OPINION ON HOW I SHOULD LOOK, THAT MEANS I DO NOT FUCKING CARE WHAT YOUR OPINION IS.

chapter 5: shielding and grounding

Practicing Psychic Hygiene in Witchcraft

Psychic hygiene is one of the most important aspects in witchcraft as it assures any kind of energy not being able to stifle your magick as well as you. Psychic hygiene prevents energy from becoming blocked in your body, which can make it difficult to use energy properly. This is why it’s important to clear the energy before your magick and most importantly after your magick. When you perform magick, you raise a lot of energy within yourself. Contrary to what many may believe, having so much pent up energy within you isn’t necessarily a good thing as it can cause you to feel disoriented or make you hyperactive, unable to sit still because of all the energy that’s been clogged up after many magickal workings with no psychic hygiene. You must work on shielding and clearing. Another word for clearing and releasing excess energy is called grounding.

Before any magickal affairs,  I even recommend on a daily basis, perhaps even twice a day if you’re willing to be dedicated to it, one should always shield themselves (this is most important before your day begins) and ground themselves (clearing/releasing excess energy; most important at the end of your day).

☽ Shielding ☾

Shielding helps protect oneself from “lower” energies that imprint themselves in items and spaces, sometimes as well as people. These lower energies usually come in the form of emotional energy that can be stagnant in the space, which should then be cleared if so. You’ll learn more about clearing spaces further in this chapter. But more often than anything, it can be emotional energy that people carry. Magickal workers may find themselves picking up another person’s emotions, mood, or tension level without even knowing it. This can leave the magickal worker feeling angry, sad, depressed, tired, sometimes even exhausted, without knowing where these emotions came from. Sometimes people deliberately send negative energy to us consciously and sometimes unconsciously. This can be in the form of another person becoming jealous of us, sending spiteful, jealous energy our way without them realizing it. Then you have people who focus so intently on sending us negative energy to where we can practically see them mumbling how much they dislike said magickal worker and would love it if something awful happened to them. This is why shielding is so important, so all the lower energies we receive, we’re able to put up a boundary to keep unwanted energies out; which also strengthens our spiritual energy field or ‘aura’.

☽ Grounding ☾

Clearing and releasing or “grounding” work is also as important as shielding. Grounding helps energy flow more freely, so it’s important to practice grounding before any magickal working as well as after so that any energetical residue isn’t left over within you, which can cause you problems as the ones I’ve mentioned above. Signs of excess energy, which I’m sure most of you’ve felt at some point in life after raising energy without realizing, are: hyperactivity, inability to sit still, dizziness, light-headedness, lack of balance, feeling giddy or disoriented.

☽ Shielding Yourself ☾

There are dozens of ways to shield yourself that it would be nearly impossible for me to list them all here. There’s no “right way” of doing so, as long as you use intention. Intention is very important in all aspects of magick. It acts as a kind of ‘seal of approval’ when you use it with your spells, rituals, meditation, affirmations, divination etc. It’s our way of spiritually telling the Universe: “and so it is.” because it is. Remember…believe.

A few ways to shield yourself can be something as simple as sitting comfortably, breathing consciously and deeply until you’re centered and imagining a ball of white light coming down from the heavens and into the crown of your head, all the way down to your feet and expanding that white light a few feet around you to act as a shield, using intention to make it known that this is your shield of white, magickal light from Spirit. That’s it, it’s as simple as that and it takes five minutes. Know and trust that nothing can penetrate this beautiful white, protective light, no matter how low the energies may be. This is the key.

You can shield using sigils, or any of the four elements along with Spirit. You can shield with help of your spiritual teams, deity or archangels. There are many ways to do so, and if you feel intuitively inclined to do it a certain way (such as using a pink or purple light instead, for an example) then do so. Always trust your inner guidance.

☽ Shielding Your Space ☾

It’s just as important to shield your home and most importantly your space to protect from a variety of things, whether it’s natural disasters (as long as physical precautions are taken as well). Altar and magickal tools shielding and is just as important as it ensures no lower energies cling themselves onto them either, which is another reason why it’s so important that they’re cleansed on a regular basis, and even consecrated. Cleansing your altar space works in the same way as we cleanse ourselves, which can be as simple as using shimmering white light again to infuse these items with your intention of course, and smudging them (and yourself while you’re at it!), before consecrating them to be used for a specific task. I suggest cleansing and consecrating your tools and altar first, then shielding them and then yourself before doing any magickal work.

☽ Grounding Yourself ☾

Again, there are many ways to ground yourself as there are shielding. Eating and drinking are the easiest as long as the foods are as close to the earth as possible. Don’t reach for the Doritos. Instead make yourself an organic potato stew with carrots and as many other root vegetables as you please. Drink organic coffee or tea, as the beans and leaves come directly from the ground and are hardly ever processed in every which way. Even dabbing a bit of salt on your tongue works as a natural, physical way to ground.

Another way to ground is to sit comfortably, breathe deeply and consciously again until you are centered, and then imagining yourself “rooting” into the earth; your body sinking against the dirt (all in your mind’s eye, unless you can actually sit upon the earth if you live in a place with good weather!), and your feet becoming likes roots of a tree, going down further and further towards the core of the earth until you can plug yourself into it, breathing in and out, earth’s grounding energy.

Another visualization to ground is again, sitting comfortably, breathing consciously and deeply until you’re centered and imagining yourself lying in a flowing river, the golden-white water pouring through your energetic field and flowing away any energetical residue, which can be seen as twigs, leaves, or debris of any kind. See the water carrying these things away from you until they are gone and you are clear.

Of course there are many other ways to shield and ground, these are just a few. It’s all a matter of doing a bit of research and discovering different methods that may grow to be your favorite. There are also plenty of guided YouTube meditations to help with shielding and grounding. Please inbox me for links on either.

{ Reblog/index purposes: click here for beginning of course }

M’s Magick On the Dance Floor

I know there will be people who disagree with me but it is possible in the middle of a loud and crowded dance floor of a concert or a rave to be able to perform magick. Some of my recent experiences in getting back into the electronic music scene have brought this back to life for me. I am going to try and talk about different elements but I may have missed a subject so feel free to ask me questions.

For me, when I perform magick on the dance floor it is all about getting lost in the music and the dance. There are different parts to it that make it easier and or harder to get into that meditative trance state. I enjoy raves because they are events that are often hours long that allows for the raising of energy and the spell work.

So how do I first get into the trance state?

The first part of it is music. I am generally all about electronic music and raves so I have experienced great DJs and terrible DJs. One of the lessons I learned very early on is if the changes between the songs do not blend seamlessly or are very jarring it will easily disrupt the experience or the meditation. It can be incredibly jarring to be jolted from it. I recently also dealt with a DJ who did Psy music which in itself is not bad but it has a very repetitive beat and it did not change up at all. It made the experience drone on which may be alright for some but not for me. Excellent DJs or Artists know how to make a mix that blends seamlessly but also mixes high energy songs with low energy songs for breaks.

The other aspect of this whole process is movement. I have been able to do it with both a lot of room and very little room. I prefer having room to wiggle about or at least throwing my arms around without a care. It makes it much easier for me when I have the room because I am not worried about smacking someone else about. I can also close my eyes a bit and just simply, feel, be. I’ve also done it with not a lot of room but I am generally at the very front to where there are bars set up and security guards to make sure no one climbs over. I prefer being flush up to that fence due to being able to kind of “bow” but also throw your fist up or wave your arms about. This still allows a bit of freedom but there is a bit more conscious of this experience. Also, crowd surfing can be very incredible but be mindful of the rules and the kind of crowd it is. Some people will just drop you without a care. The amount of room can depend upon what you want and the same with the music too.

I prefer crowds because of the general ambient feel. I have done it at home as well where I could blast music. I am not a big fan of headphones because I have yet to find headphones that stay in my ears while I am being active. I am not saying it is impossible in any element but when getting into the trance state and doing the spellwork I don’t like to be distracted by any element. This includes my dogs.

All these elements make up the next equation, what are you doing for the magick?

There are two parts of this for me. The first is always visualization and the second is the dance movements themselves. The correspondences are important to the person performing the magick. As the visualization part can be beating around the bush as there are many people have talked about this, I am going to talk about movements.

I often go with the flow of the music and dancing to the beat is important. I still like to think of movements that I want to use before. If I have a downloaded mix I can easily prepare before hand. If I am at a concert or a rave it is obviously not easy to guess what songs will be played. You have to be very fluid with the planning of movements. Anyways, sometimes part of raising the energy is stomping or spinning about or even raising my hands (with the visualization). One could perform certain planned out movements for casting the circle and raising the energy. Certainly, each movement does not have to be ascribed to a certain meaning but it is your dance language. It is the language that you speak with your body, your heart, and your energy or spirit.

So things to consider are you looking up? Are you looking down? Tossing your head side to side? Are you moving your hair about? In glamor spells for me or healing spells the focus is touching the body, caressing it either all of it or a specific part of it. You can punch the air like a fist or you can raise your hand like a fist. I have done this as part of a spell for courage. Even moments where you pause in a certain position for a long time have meaning. If you are in a tradition that uses certain movements to mean something then by all means use it as well. Please be respectful of other cultures.

There are other things you can consider as well but I ask that you please consider safety. I am not here to encourage problematic behavior.

You can slip herbs into your shoes or other parts of your clothes. You can use essential oils for a smell or for its properties of the spell you are doing. You can also use fire and or incense. You could also wear jewelry with the elements that correspondences with your spell. I have also at times used color theory in my clothes. There is also the element if you use items like in the sample of fire poi or dancing with a tambourine or drum.

What helps but is also not necessarily advisable is dehydration, alcohol, and possibly hallucinogens. Please make sure that you if you mess with substances and you do it responsibly.

The most important thing is being comfortable. Be comfortable with yourself and with your surroundings and it leads to the most success.

Interview with the Linestrider Tarot

The Review

I picked this deck up for my birthday, and I’ve gotta say, I am so drawn to the art! The beautiful ink, charcoal, and watercolor imagery stays true to the RWS tarot and the guidebook is amazing. I particularly love the birthday, zodiac, and herb associations with all of the cards! The humans in the deck are almost statuesque, standing still and almost etched in marble. Animals make up the other half of the deck and are vibrant with movement, representing the duality of the mundane and magickal. 

There are a couple of cons I have with this deck. The finish on them seems cheap- it does not take away from the beauty or the light gloss effect, but it just feels strange in my hands. I think this is because I prefer matte decks, but I digress. Shuffling seems clunky with them, but maybe I’ll get better at working with their material in time. Another gripe I have lies with just two cards, the Sun and Moon. Their imagery does not connect to me like the rest of the deck. Obviously these are just personal concerns and I really love the vibrant, airy energy this deck gives off.

The Interview

I used a very common interview spread to get to know these cards! Here are my results:

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?:
Page of Pentacles

This deck tells me that it will be a messenger that gives very down to earth answers. I connect The Wild Unknown tarot with astral and dreamlike energies, and this deck seems to be a good counter for that. Earthen energies surround this deck and it almost gives me a Fae-feel, connecting to our realm and the closest realms at reach. 

2. What are your strengths as a deck?
Queen of Pentacles

My gut feeling is that the Linestrider is going to have a very motherly attitude! Pentacles relates to the overall feeling of earthen and grounding energies, and the Queen is the quintessential mother of the tarot. My other decks tend to slap me in the face with information and are very blunt. I get the picture that this deck will be gentle and kind with me, which is good on our rougher days!

3. What are your limits as a deck?
Two of Cups

I’m getting the idea that this deck may romanticize situations a little too much. Seeing things through a rose-colored lens is great for our attitudes, but realism is important. I do not think realistic answers are impossible with this deck, but its reluctance to hurt my feelings will have to be worked around and maybe paired with a more blunt deck.

4. What are you here to teach me?
Judgement

This deck is calling for an awakening and enlightenment. It wants me to realize my true potential and calling in both spiritual and mundane matters. This excites me, because I’m always looking to grow! Pulling Judgement for this position also coincides with other reviews I have read about this deck. It really wants to see you grow and change.

5. How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
Ace of Cups

The Linestrider Tarot would like for me to drop analytical skepticism and accept what it wants to teach me. I have to open myself up spiritually to accept its message.

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Queen of Cups

This card really speaks to me. I usually connect the High Priestess with my higher self and the Queen of Cups with my “me” self, my current consciousness. The potential outcome of our relationship will be spiritual enlightenment and enhancement, success, empathy, and a rise in my intuition. 

This deck was a great pick for me!

Witchy Real Talk: Technopaganism - What Is It and Why?

From day to day, a lot of us work with tools and supplies that are very specifically traditional. Candles, altars, stones, cards, herbs. Much of paganism and witchcraft is nature oriented, after all. And in many forms of paganism, animism - the belief that even inanimate objects have spirits - is a prominent feature of the belief system. But… what if we started looking at today’s technology… What if, instead of focusing entirely on traditional supplies and tools, we started incorporating, say, computers, cell phones, or even our gaming avatars into our practice?

Pfft! Don’t be silly, Josh! Most of paganism is nature worship. You can’t do that with software!

As it turns out, this is a growing practice. Given the rather futuristic name of “technopagan” in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, some hold the belief that modern technology has just as equal a place in witchcraft and modern paganism as the athame or chalice.

How could that even work?

In large part, technopaganism focuses on combining current technology with pagan practice in order to find a balance between technology and nature. And, honestly, I would argue that most, if not all, modern pagans have begun doing so in small ways. Just hear me out. What are you doing right now in order to learn about the craft? Reading books? Great! How are you reading them? Are you reading the hard copy, or are you reading it in digital format on your Nook, Kindle, or smartphone? What about your other research? If you’re reading this, I can make the assumption that some of your research and exploration of paganism and witchcraft has been online.

Those are just the two most obvious aspects of technopaganism. Am I saying that every modern witch or pagan is technopagan? No. What I’m saying is that many of us have incorporated certain aspects of it into our own practices in order to move forward with the times. And doing so is frankly quite honorable - the gods wouldn’t want us to stagnate.

To further reflect on certain aspects of technopaganism, I’ll break it down based on tools, spells, and even special practices that separate it yet also marries it to paganism as we usually picture it.

Research and Interaction

Before the advent of the Internet, books and meetings with other pagans were the only way that you could really dig into your research or learn about other traditions. This made it somewhat difficult for many to really pursue paganism, as for years, it was a pain to find the appropriate books, and for many, interacting with other pagans was nigh impossible depending upon where they lived. Furthermore, learning about modern traditions from the other side of the pond was far less practical.

The Internet was a huge change made to paganism and the access that could be made to it. From chat rooms to blogs to YouTube and Facebook, witches from all over the world now interact on a daily basis. As a great example, I maintain a blog all about different aspects of witchcraft and paganism, and interact with those who might message me in order to learn from them and to teach what I know. And I grew up in a Christian family. Most of my exploration into witchcraft when I was first getting started was done online.

Some witches have taken a similar approach to what I do, but in a more visual format. The LadyGravedancer, WitchyBear, Wednesday Adams, Creole Witch, Sunshine Morningrae, and Joey Morris are all examples of witches who have turned to YouTube to help teach new witches and experienced witches alike about their paths and traditions, allowing access to Hoodoo, Morriganic path, and Wicca to be easily accessible to many more witches.

Even further is the growth of witchy social media. On Facebook, I’m part of a group of witches that numbers more than 800 worldwide, and we’re always talking to one another, bouncing ideas back and forth, and exploring paths in a friendly environment that I might not have had access to a decade ago.

One of the greatest difficulties I’d had when I first got started in witchcraft was the lack of books on the subject in the area I was in. When I came across bookstores, I had to scour every shelf in the hopes that I might find even one book that pertained to my research. Later on, ebooks began to grow in popularity. When I was finally able to get my hands on a Nook ereader, I’d found that the access I had to books on paganism and witchcraft had increased many-fold. This access increased even further when I began to use my smartphone for reading ebooks. Between apps for Kindle and Nook, and even Google’s all-access books, I was able to build up a significant library digitally that would have taken me decades otherwise.

The Car and the Witch

Modern technology isn’t limited to cell phones and computers. Cars have become such a prevalent part of life that witchcraft and paganism have adapted to incorporate spells of protection for these two-ton chunks of moving metal. In Scott Cunningham’s The Magical Household, he has an entire section dedicated solely to providing protection, luck, comfort, and positive energy into one’s vehicle.

Even the practice of hanging objects on the rear-view mirror stems from pagan roots. Lucky dice, bags of herbs or potpourri, crystals, et cetera. Some witches have even begun incorporating small altars into their cars, either on the dash or kept in the glove compartment as a shadowbox altar. Cleansing a car by smudging or asperging has become common practice, as well. In a way, cars have begun to be seen as an extension of the home, and magic has adapted to reflect this view. 

Lasers, Crystals, and Hard Drives

One of the neat little features of technopagan practice is incorporating technology into your tool set. Some are more subtle and used by many witches, while others took me by surprise!

Wands or athames are part of the bread and butter of witchcraft, and it’s difficult to picture an altar without at least one of them, but some pagans with the technological lean have begun replacing the tool with a substitute such as a laser pointer or stylus!

Similarly, the use of electric lighters have begun replacing the role of matches in the practice. While that might not seem like much, there are many traditions that encourage the use of wooden matches because of the more natural aspects these matches hold over an object made of metal or plastic. (I personally use wooden matches over lighters for the natural aspect, the aesthetic, the feeling of striking the match, and the fragrance - matches rarely impart any kind of odor to candles and incense, but lighters sometimes do, especially kerosene lighters such as the Zippo brand which will turn sandalwood incense into a rather sickening and bitter scent).

Witches the world over will expound upon the benefits of keeping a book of shadows (and some witches will even say that you can’t be a witch without them - something I wholeheartedly disagree with, but to each their own). For many of us, notebooks and journals that have been handwritten and lovingly crafted to match up with our own personal aesthetics serve as our grimoires and books of spells. Techno-witches often will keep their books of shadows on their hard drives, writing and saving in a word processor. (This is something I might recommend to those who need to practice discreetly - when I first got started, my book of shadows was kept on my computer in a little folder convincingly labeled as “Fan Fiction.”)

Similarly, graphical representations of altars may be kept on a computer! I’ve seen some of these altars take the form of live wallpapers or screen savers - a creative use of these applications!

When we begin to look at the computer itself, it gets really interesting! I’ll start with the simple part. Quartz is believed to be particularly beneficial to technology, absorbing and cleansing any negative energies that may cause the computer to malfunction or pick up a virus. As such, many witches will keep quartz on or near their devices. Technopagans may take it a step further, creating charms and spells specifically for protecting their computers, their online accounts - both financial and otherwise - and for gaming avatars if they have any.

This is a common sight on Tumblr, and is part of the bread and butter of technological witchcraft: emoji spells and charms! For some, there is power to stringing certain emoji’s together along with a written spell or charm. They will then like or reblog in order to charge and send out the spell. While I don’t identify with that, there are witches out there who will swear by such spells. Other, similar spells I’ve seen include sharing gifs of sage smudging in order to cleanse one’s blog or Facebook (this is one I do identify with, as it provides a lovely visualization that I’ve seen do wonders for my pages), and uploading sigils for various purposes. Part of the draw to these spells is not only the prevalence of online witching, but also because likes, shares, and reblogs are believed to lend energy to such spells. With so many witches proliferating the spell, it allows the spell to constantly feed itself in the working. (Once again, I don’t necessarily share this optimistic belief, because if you send a “baneful spell” and regret doing so, you can’t easily reverse it because it has developed a life of its own - something very dangerous when you consider the power thought-forms can have.)

With the change in culture over the centuries, as I have often said, the gods must have changed as well, because they’ve never been ones for stagnation. Sports have done the same thing, moving into the realm of video gaming. Competitive games such as League of Legends, SMITE, and DOTA, have become recognized by large names in sports such as ESPN, and feature many teams of gamers now competing in world competitions - televised and otherwise - for a living. Some of these more witchy gamers have spells meant to protect their avatars and give them the skill and teamwork needed for victory. And some gamers will even dedicate their avatars to a particular god or goddess in order to bring honor to their deity! (And I will admit, this is something I love the idea of!)

((A side note for my fellow pagan gamers, SMITE is a MOBA which allows you to play as a god or goddess from real world pantheons in the ultimate war of the gods. It is a blast to play, and now that they’ve begun releasing the Celtic pantheon, it’s gotten even more interesting (and I can attest to the awesomeness that the Morrigan brings to the game), so definitely give it a try!))

Some technopagans have also incorporated other traditions into their paths. An example of this which I use is the practice of having a wallpaper with a dragon on it. So long as the dragon is not looking directly at the viewer (as if it is looking out of the computer), it will protect your computer from viruses! As a lover of dragons, and as a witch who has incorporated this little aspect into his path, it perhaps comes to no surprise that I’ve got a little collection of such dragon wallpapers!

The Magic of the Mobile Device

The examples don’t stop there! Especially among younger witches, smart phones have become an extension of the online world. Computers with the capabilities of laptops, but small enough to fit into a pocket. Much of what I’ve talked about above applies to phones, from storing a book of shadows to having little charms and spells of protection. However, there are certain nifty aspects phones often have for the technological witch.

First is the ease of access to music. For witches who don’t feel particularly musically inclined, smart phones and iPods have become a useful way of bringing music to their rites or spells. (I’ll even admit that despite being a musician, I do play music from Enya or Clannad or even Stevie Nicks during my rites!)

Second is the growth of using mobile devices for divination. There are hundreds of thousands of apps out there, and there are just as many dedicated to tarot, rune reading, astrology, and other witchy topics. Some apps will include a reading each day, or will allow you to perform readings for others on programmable spreads using digital cards.

The Balance of Nature

With all of this emphasis on technology and Internet, it might sound as if technopaganism is losing its pagan. On the contrary! Many such witches actually encourage maintaining a healthy balance. I’ve read blogs and forums where technopagans will talk about how they’ll do both online rites and offline rites, how they maintain two sets of books, and how they’ll take a hiatus from technology in order to ground and restore balance by spending time in nature.

In my exploration of the technopagan path, I’ve discovered that like any other path or tradition, these witches are all about taking life by the horns and making their lives and the lives of those around them easier. However, they’ve found technology to be a useful tool for doing so and saw the magical potential of these tools. This doesn’t make them any less witchy than the green witch, Wiccan, or Celtic pagan. Their magic is just as powerful as ours, and is just as deserving of respect as any other witch’s!

So give it a try and see what sticks. You may be surprised as to what you find works for you!

Blessed Be! )O(

Intro to RPG Magic

Or how to be a bitchin’ hero

Being the uber RPG nut that I am, I wanted to share with you RPG magic.  RPG magic is incredibly versatile system that allows for an amazing amount of customization to the things that you may need in your life or practice.  This method can be applied to ANY RPG to extract components for use. **While this is the way I do it, it is by no means the only way**

I separate the spells into a couple of different categories:   Magic, Equipment, Inventory, Stats, Augments and Character.  Each category can be stacked or you can focus on just one area.  It is whatever you want or intend to accomplish.  The more you practice, the more advanced and specialized you can make it, even creating your own “buffs” or create a sort of magical stacking bonus oomph.  But let’s start with the basic concepts before moving forward.

Keep reading