lord-of-all-things

Friendly reminder that I’ve worked my ass off everyday for the past 3 months and I’ve reached this point

It’s what I have of animation so far, including like 3 minutes of sketches that I’m currently working on.

Even after that I still got a couple scenes to do but i’m reaching the final…. uhhh…. 7 minutes? (probably more, but for my brain’s sake, hopefully less)

I did say I wanted to finish this in september but good lord with all the things I have to do it looks hard to achieve. I STILL want to go for september as a dealine so wish me luck!

I am taking my sweet ass break after this episode, which I think will be ok considering the length of this episode and considering that this IS an episode you’ll want to watch more than once, considering the “action” scenes and the easter egg hunting/theories you’ll want to do after it.

Anyways, I’ll go back to animating.

SLAVIC PAGANISM UNDER THE KIEVAN RUS

This is an excerpt from my post: KIEVAN RUS: PART 2 – DYING LIGHT IN A DARK AGE.

At the time of Vladimir the Great many religions filled Kievan Rus; Norse Paganism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity and many others but most importantly Slavic Paganism. Vladimir sought to strengthen the Rusians by unifying their religion under an official pantheon which may have been a blend of Slavic, Norse, Turkish, Baltic and Greek deities. Vladimir had six statues erected in Kiev dedicated to the Slavic deities: Perun, Dazhbog, Stribog, Khors, Simargl and Mokosh; several others were also raised throughout the realm. 

As you will soon read, much of the knowledge that we have of Slavic paganism comes from sources dated to a late period of Slavic history so by the time that we attained detailed writings describing their religious beliefs, Kievan Rus had already experienced deep inspiration from other faiths, Norse and Greek mythology especially. Much like the Norse, the Slavs believed in a cosmological universe in which a Great Tree connected the many realms of man, gods and spirits. Its roots sunk to the underworld and its branches reach the heavens. At the tree’s center lay the realm of man and the gods which is encircled by a vast sea that lead to the land of the dead.

^ Idols by Nicholas Roerich.

Svarog was a solar deity of fire, the forge and blacksmithing whom is often compared to the blacksmith deities like Greek Hephaestus and Roman Vulcan and solar deities like the Greek Helios and Roman Sol. According to the Hypatian Codex man fought solely with clubs and stone until Svarog’s smithing prongs came down from the heavens and granted man with the knowledge of metallurgy and blacksmithing. Part of the creation story speaks of a magical rock at the bottom of the ocean, it is believed that the goddess Živa in the form of a great duck brought it up to the surface and when Svarog had obtained or taken it from her, he struck it with his hammer. 

^ Ships on the Dnieper by Nicholas Roerich. Idols in the background.

From the sparks Semargl (god of fire) was born; from the winds created by the swinging of the hammer was birthed Stribog (god of the wind); from the loud clattering and pounding echoes created by his hammering Perun (god of lightning, thunder and storms) came forth; from his sweat sprung Veles (trickster god of the underworld). There are actually two realms mentioned as an afterlife, that of the heavens which was ruled by Svarog and was named Svarga (inspired by the Norse Asgard) and the one ruled by Chernobog or Veles named Nav (inspired by the Greek Elysian Fields). The stone was then hidden behind twelve pillars that separated the world of the living and that of the dead, within the circle of pillars the Great World Tree rose. Živa (the duck that brought the stone up) was angered at Svarog’s theft of the stone so she summoned great serpentine dragons which long warred with Svarog, Perun and other heavenly deities.

^ Svarog’s Square or Star of Rus’.

Each tribe and people favored some gods over others and each deity’s significance waned through time so there was no set head of the Slavic pantheon. Under the rule of Vladimir, Perun (“thunder” or “lightning bolt”) was made the most important deity in the Slavic pantheon. Perun was the son of Svarog and his birth is said to have been heralded by a great earthquake. Perun was chiefly the god of thunder, lightning and storms but he was also a god of war.

Perun wielded an axe or hammer that could be thrown and returned back to him like the Norse god Thor’s Mjölnir, Perun was also armed with thunderbolts (made from stone) like the Greek god Zeus and the Roman god Jupiter. Perun rode on a chariot pulled by a goat, similar to Thor’s chariot which was pulled by two goats named Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. Oak trees are the most frequently to be struck by lighting and because of this many gods of lighting and thunder have been associated with it like Slavic Perun, Celtic Taranis, Greek Zeus and Norse Thor.

Vladimir began his reign in Kiev alone and erected idols on the hill outside his palace with porch: Perun of wood with a head of silver and mustache of gold.” – Russian Primary Chronicle.

^ The scheme of the pagan shrine discovered at the Peryn island.

Perun is also a deity of purity, order, justice, the mountains and fire. Perun is seen in in many cultures with similar names as far south as Illyria (Adriatic Coast) and Thrace (Balkans), as far north as Finland and west to the Baltics.

^ Drawings of Slavic axe amulets based on archaeological findings dating between the 11th and 12th century.

For they (the Sclaveni and the Antae) believe that one god (Perun), the maker of lightning, is alone lord of all things, and they sacrifice to him cattle and all other victims; but as for fate, they neither know it nor do they in any wise admit that it has any power among men, but whenever death stands close before them, either stricken with sickness or beginning a war, they make a promise that, if they escape, they will straightway make a sacrifice to the god in return for their life; and if they escape, they sacrifice just what they have promised, and consider that their safety has been bought with this same sacrifice.” – Excursus (“digression”) Book VII by Procopius of Caesarea.

Novgorod was a major center for Slavic paganism and within its domain was the Island of Peryn, on said island there was a great religious center known as the “Heathen Shrine” which was built in 980 CE by Vladimir’s uncle Dobrynya who ruled over Novgorod and was dedicated to Perun.

^ The shrine of Peroun on Peryn Island, a conceptual self-made reconstruction.

In the year [980] Vladimir appointed his uncle Dobrynya to rule in Novgorod. And Dobrynya came over in Novgorod. [And he] set up an idol of Perun above the Volkhov River [i.e. on a high bank], and Novgorodians offer him [Perun] sacrifices as to a deity.” – Russian Primary Chronicle.

Novgorodians, when they were pagans, had an idol called Perun, i.e. the god of fire, as Russians call fire “Perun”. A monastery is erected now in the place where the idol stood, and the monastery holds the name of the idol and is called the Perunic monastery. The deity looks like a man with a lightning- or ray-shaped flint in his hand. Day and night they kept an eternal flame burning with oak firewood as a sign of worship to the deity. And if the priest of the cult allowed the fire to go out accidentally, he was put to death.“ – Travels of the Ambassadors sent by Frederic, Duke of Holstein, to the Great Duke of Muscovy and the King of Persia, 1656.

After traversing this place, they reach the island called St. Gregory, on which island they perform their sacrifices because a gigantic oak tree stands there; and they sacrifice live cocks. Arrows, too, they peg in round about, and others bread and meat, or something of whatever each may have, as is their custom. They also throw lots regarding the cocks, whether to slaughter them, or to eat them as well, or leave them alive.” – Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus explaining the voyage taken by the Rus from Kiev to Constantinople.

The antagonistic rival of Perun was a dragon- or serpent-like being named Veles (who also took the form of a wolf, a bear and various other animals) that lived under the Great World Tree, showing parallels with the Norse belief in a large world tree called Yggdrasill and a giant serpent that dwelled under it named Nidhogg. Veles was the lord of wild animals, domesticated ones (especially cattle), and shepherds – the last of which would pray for their lost or stray beasts to find their way back home. Another reason for their conflict was the fact that Veles was a god of shepherds, herds and cattle while Perun was that of rain and farmers. 

As a tempter and trickster deity he was known for climbing up the world tree every year and taking Perun’s cattle, wife and children; the second of which (Perun’s wife Mokosh) is spoken of in some versions of the tales as willingly going with Veles whom had been tempting her since before her and Perun were married. Mokosh was the fertility and mother goddess of the eastern Slavs, especially that of women as she was seen as their protector in everyday life and in childbirth, supporter of their works, and decider of their destiny. Mokosh was the only female deity included in Vladimir’s pantheon and his sanctuary of statues in Kiev, she was seen as a solar deity so when she was seen in the skies she was with Perun and when the sun sets she is with Veles.

^ The modern statue of Veles on Velíz mountain, Czech Republic.

Perun would pursue Veles in response for him taking Mokosh from him, all the while attempting to strike Veles with thunderbolts. As Veles would hide in order to escape Perun’s thunderbolts, places or things struck by lightning were believed to have been where Veles was concealing himself. Storms in the heavens were believed to have signified that the two were in conflict with one another and spring was thought to convey that Perun had defeated Veles and chased him back to the underworld.

Veles was the reaper of souls and lord of the underworld; the underworld he ruled over was a paradise, a vast expanse of lush green pasture, plains and meadows where the deceased were tasked with watching over his herds – this paradise is believed to have been inspired by the Greek paradise referred to as Elysium or the Elysian Fields. Veles punished and caused diseases to those whom break oaths (similar to Norse Nidhogg) and, although Veles is often seen as a malevolent being, Veles and Perun worked more in a yin and yang-like capacity but with the influx of Christianity Veles was later demonized and compared to the Devil.

Veles was also a patron of musicians, wealth and commerce; the last of which is evidenced by the fact that statues of him were often stationed in marketplaces and that treaties, agreements, and legal documents were authorized by invoking his name and declaring an oath to him: 

Thus the Emperors Leo and Alexander made peace with Oleg, and after agreeing upon the tribute and mutually binding themselves by oath, they kissed the cross, and invited Oleg and his men to swear an oath likewise. According to the religion of the Russes, the latter swore by their weapons and by their god Perun (god of thunder and lightning), as well as by Volos, the god of cattle, and thus confirmed the treaty.” – Russian Primary Chronicle, Oleg’s Rus–Byzantine War (907).

Similar to many other cultures, the Slavs too believed that during winter the spirit world and that of the living were closest to one another. The Slavs celebrated this moment through an event called ‘Velja Noc (Great Night)’ which was the last day of the year and the first of the new one. The spirits of the deceased were allowed to leave the underworld and visit their living relatives; they would be welcomed into the households of said relatives and given gifts. Like Halloween, people would dress up in costumes consisting of masks and coats of wool (a physical characteristic of Veles). These participants would then go from village to village singing songs and, mimicking the actions of the spirits, they would be welcomed by the inhabitants of the households they visited and were given gifts in exchange for good fortunate in the new year.

On the ‘Velja Noc (Great Night)’ Perun’s twin offspring named Jarovit (god of spring, vegetation and fertility) and Morana (goddess of winter, the moon and death) were born, Veles took Jarilo to the underworld where he raised him. When he first set foot back on the realm of the living he met his twin sister Morana, this return is celebrated by a springtime festival. Jarovit’s spring festival was celebrated by parades of caroling young people carrying lush leafy branches, flowers and straw dolls; these young celebrators would visit households where they would bless the inhabitants. The youthful participants and the thriving vegetation all symbolized life and fertility while the symbolism of winter (i.e. Morana) dying was enacted by their carrying of straw dolls which they would tear apart, burn and then throw into a body of water (since the afterlife was beyond the sea).

The marriage between Jarovit (god of spring, vegetation and fertility) and Morana (goddess of winter, the moon and death) would mark summer and would be celebrated through a festival which included feasts, drinking, dancing, bonfires (and the act of jumping over them), girls making wreaths of fern and flowers (which they would let flow down the river and foretell their marrying), ritual bathing as symbols of purification and maybe even nude bathing and orgies (though the latter are argued to be propaganda) – this is when harvest was at its peak.

The union of the two (Jarovit and Morana) was seen as a peaceful end to the conflicts between Perun and Veles since their two “children” were romantically involved. In the end Jarovit is killed for being unfaithful to Morana and in death he returns to the underworld, his death however is just a symbol for the end of the warmer seasons and harvest time when the crops are cut down and stored. Upon Jarovit’s death the world falls into a cold, infertile and dying state (autumn and winter) but he would return to the world of the living (bringing back spring) and eventually reconcile with her (summer) – this is how they explained the changing of the seasons.

^ Effigy of Morana, Czech Republic.

Chernobog, meaning the “Black God”, was the god of darkness, curses, decay, and woeas well as a lord of the underworld. Chernobog was mostly worshiped by the Western Slavs whom believed that he brought on the demise of the sun by bringing forth darkness and shortening the days. Chernobog was also believed to have been responsible for the frost and frigid chill, his servants were wolves which heralded snowstorms and bears which foreshadowed blizzards. Because of his many attributes, Chernobog was associated with the shortest day and longest night of the year (Winter Solstice). This night was referred to as Korocun and was celebrated by having feasts which the deceased could take part in and by lighting fires in burial sites so the deceased could be kept warm.

The Slavs, too, have a peculiar custom. At their feasts and carousals they pass about a bowl over which they utter words, I should not say of consecration but of execration (curses), in the name of the gods — of the good one, as well as of the bad one — professing that all propitious fortune is arranged by the good god, adverse, by the bad god. Hence, also, in their language they call this god of woe Diabol, or Zcerneboch, that is, the black god.” – The Chronicle of the Slavs by Helmold, Priest of Bosau.

The concept of a good and evil deity was foreign to the Slavs who believed in duality so it is believed that those concepts were brought to them by the nomads of the steppe and the Islamic nations which were both influenced by Iranian cultures (Persian and Scytho-Sarmatian) and religion (Zoroastrianism). Some of the Slavic deities are believed to have come to them this way. One of these deities, which was also incorporated into Vladimir’s pantheon, was Simargl. Simargl was a Slavic deity that is believed to have been inspired by the Iranian Simurgh, both were griffon-like mythological creatures with the body of a dog. 

The Iranian Simurgh was a very popular artistic symbol found throughout the Middle East; a giant and powerful creature with feathers which had miraculous healing properties (like a phoenix) and, if a feather is burned, Simargl could be summoned. The Simargl was the guardian of the Tree of Life and when Simurgh flew or shook its wings the tree’s seeds would disperse and pollinate the earth; these seeds give rise to all of the world’s plants. The Simurgh lived for 1700 years and attained vast knowledge of the world which he would bestow upon the worthy. The Simurgh was similar to the more commonly known phoenix which would perish into a magnificent fire and be reborn from the ashes.


^ The Sassanid Persian Empire’s Royal Symbol.was the Simurgh.

According to ‘The Conference of the Birds’ (a Sufi epic poem), written by the great Sufi poet Farīd ud-Dīn Attar of Nishapur, the birds of world sought to find a great bird to lead them spiritually (sheik) but are told that they already had one, the Simurgh.

The world’s birds gathered for their conference And said: “Our constitution makes no sense. All nations in the world require a king; How is it we alone have no such thing? Only a kingdom can be justly run; We need a king and must inquire for one.”” – The Conference of the Birds.

We have a king; beyond Kaf’s mountain peak. The Simorgh lives, the sovereign whom you seek, And He is always near to us, though we Live far from His transcendent majesty. A hundred thousand veils of dark and light Withdraw His presence from our mortal sight, And in both worlds no being shares the throne That marks the Simorgh’s power and His alone – He reigns in undisturbed omnipotence, Bathed in the light of His magnificence – No mind, no intellect can penetrate The mystery of his unending state: How many countless hundred thousands pray  For patience and true knowledge of the Way That leads to Him whom reason cannot claim,  Nor mortal purity describe or name; There soul and mind bewildered miss the mark And, faced by Him, like dazzled eyes, are dark – No sage could understand His perfect grace,  Nor seer discern the beauty of His face. His creatures strive to find a path to Him, Deluded by each new, deceitful whim,” – The Conference of the Birds.

Each of the birds symbolized a human fault or flaw which keeps man from reaching enlightenment. 

How many search for Him whose heads are sent  Like polo-balls in some great tournament From side to giddy side – how many cries,  How many countless groans assail the skies! Do not imagine that the Way is short; Vast seas and deserts lie before His court. Consider carefully before you start; The journey asks of you a lion’s heart. The road is long, the sea is deep – one flies, First buffeted by joy and then by sighs; If you desire this quest, give up your soul And make our sovereign’s court your only goal.” – The Conference of the Birds.

But when they pondered on the journey’s length, They hesitated; their ambitious strength Dissolved: each bird, according to his kind, Felt flattered but reluctantly declined.” – The Conference of the Birds.



^ Excerpt of the Imperial Coat of Arms of Iran under the Pahlavi Dynasty, used from 1925 to 1979.

The nightingale stays for love, the parrot has no interest in anything but its own beauty immortality, the peacock sought only paradise, the duck chose to remain in the land where waters flowed, the partridge chose his home in the hills and material wealth (jewels and gems), the great Homa bird (also phoenix-like) chooses vanity (if his shadow falls upon someone, it foreshadows their future as a king), the hawk for the pride in the high position he holds in the king’s court, the heron longs for the oceans which he can never delve deep into, the owl sought the shelter of ruins and their buried treasures, and the finch is fearful. To reach the Simurgh the birds had to traverse over seven valleys which were hurdles man must come to grips with like the overall detachment from desires and the relinquishing of pride, vanity, pride, greed, lust, love, etc.

The other birds in turn received their chance To show off their loquacious ignorance. All made excuses – floods of foolish words Flowed from these babbling, rumor-loving birds. Forgive me, reader, if I do not say All these excuses to avoid the Way; But in an incoherent rush they came, And all were inappropriate and lame. How could they gain the Simorgh? Such a goal Belongs to those who discipline the soul. The hoopoe counselled them: “The world holds few As worthy of the Simorgh’s throne as you, But you must empty this first glass; the wine That follows it is love’s devoted sign. If petty problems keep you back – or none – How will you seek the treasures of the sun? In drops you lose yourselves, yet you must dive Through untold fathoms and remain alive. This is no journey for the indolent – Our quest is Truth itself, not just its scent!” – The Conference of the Birds.

In the end only thirty birds made it to the Simurgh’s domain but the legendary creature was nowhere to be found, just a lake. As they waited they eventually peered into the lake’s reflection and saw that the answer they sought was within them; that they are each individually and collectively the Simurgh. Coming to this conclusion the thirty birds had reached enlightenment then merged and became a Simurgh. As a sly act of word-play the word Simurgh was replaced by the author with the word ‘Simorgh’, meaning “thirty birds”.

^ A Sassanid silver plate dated to the 7th or 8th century CE which depicts Simurgh.

The Simurgh is said to have devoured all that were before it, leading to the extinction of many species to the extent that it is believed to have caused its own extinction. Simargl was chained to the star Polaris (part of the constellation known as Ursa Minor, “Little Bear”). There were three goddesses referred to as the Zorya; the Zorya of the Morning Star (Zorya Utrennyaya) was prayed to in the morning and so she was a symbol of light, renewal, cleansing, exorcism, positivity, hope, etc.  She opens the gates of Dazbog’s palace so that he could ride the chariot of the sun across the sky, the Zorya of the Evening Star (Zorya Vechernyaya) closes the gates of Dazbog’s palace at night so the sun could set. Another sometimes states stage was that every night the sun would die and be resurrected by the Midnight Star (Zorya Polunochnaya). 

The chief task of the Zoryas was to keep watch over Simargl and prevent him from breaking his chains, it was believed that if Simargl was ever able to escape he would devour the constellation of Ursa Minor and the world would end. In many of these Slavic tales the Zorya either do not include the Midnight Star or the separate entities are actually one sole deity with contrasting attributes.

The Leshy (or Leshii) is a forest spirit and a trickster, his appearance is that of a man with a pointy-head and lacking eyebrows, eyelashes and a right ear. Though he is rarely seen, he can be heard laughing, singing and whistling in the forests. His height varies – while amidst the trees he is just as tall and when out in the open he shrinks to the height of grass. The Leshy is usually compared to the many other spirit beings like the elves of Germanic paganism, fairies of Celtic paganism and the Jogah of the Native American Iroquois.

The Leshy was known as both a protector of wildlife and also as the one that grants hunters game, later as lifestyles changed he became associated more so with livestock and offerings were given to him for the return pf those that wandered off. They had other counterparts like the polevoy (polevoi. female, poludnitsa) fertility field spirits that appeared at noon and was black as dirt with hair made of grass; the vodyanoy (vodianoi) were malicious water spirits that lived along rivers and swamps, they were known for luring and then drowning their victims. 

They reverence, however, both rivers and nymphs and some other spirits, and they sacrifice to all these also, and they make their divinations in connection with these sacrifices.” – Excursus (“digression”) Book VII by Procopius of Caesarea

In 1848 an ancient limestone monolith found in (then) Liczkowce, Poland (now Lychkivtsi, Ukraine) during a drought that dried up the Zbruch River. The monolith was dated to the 9th century CE, making it one of the very few artifacts found which related to pre-Christian Slavic religion. The so called ‘Zbruch Idol’ or the ‘Światowid ze Zbrucza’ (“Sviatovid/World-seer – of Zbruch”) curiously dates to around the time where Vladimir the Great was converting (at times by force) Kievan Rus into Orthodox Christianity, a period in which many altars were destroyed and idols were disposed of in rivers (like that of Perun). The Zbruch Idol stood 8.8 feet (2.67 meters) tall (although some believe that it may have had an additional lower portion which is missing).

^ Zbruch Idol, Kraków Archaeological Museum.

The three horizontal segments are believed to be symbolic of the three worlds: the underworld at the bottom, our world in the middle and the world of the gods on top. The four idols on the top of the pillar may have been symbolic of the four seasons: the male holding nothing being winter, the female with a ring or bracelet being spring, the male with a drinking horn being summer and the female with the sword and horse being autumn. Boris Rybakov (author of ‘Paganism of Ancient Rus’) identifies the bottom figure which is holding up the others is an Atlas-like fashion with Veles, god of the underworld which also sports a mustache. 

Boris Rybakov also asserts that above Veles the four faces of the pillar represent four great Slavic deities: the goddess Mokosh (women and fertility) with the drinking horn and a child, the goddess Lada (youth, love and beauty) holding a ring or bracelet, the chief god Perun (weaponry, warfare) with the sword and horse and Dazbog (Solar deity) holding nothing but featuring a sun wheel. Many believe that the Zbruch Idol does not represent four separate deities but instead depicts the four headed god of war, fertility and abundance known as Svetovid as he was identified with swords, drinking horns, horses and the sun– all of which are shown on the Zbruch Idol. Another theory offered by Henryk Łowmiański (Polish historian) is that the Zbruch Idol is not Slavic at all being that Slavic religious artifacts weren’t made of stone but made mainly of wood.

^ Presentation of the reliefs adorning each side of the bałwan of Zbrucz carving.

If there are any errors please privately inbox me so I can update it. As always, if you’d like to read or learn about any specific historical subjects just let me know what they are and I will take note of them.

See Also:

  • KIEVAN RUS: PART 1 – NORTHERN ENIGMA OF THE MIDDLE AGES:  In this post I will be covering the early portion of the medieval realm known as Kievan Rus (pronounced ‘Roos’); a multiethnic and cultural realm incorporating the Norse, Slavs, Turks, Balts and Finno-Ugrians. A realm centered around the many rivers that were riddled throughout its domains and led them to the riches of the Byzantine Empire, Silverland (Islamic Middle East) and the Baltic Sea. The culture, battle tactics and armaments of the ancient Slavs are addressed as well as the Druzhina (personal bodyguards and standing army). Also mentioned are some of the conflicts the Rus had with one another, the Greeks (Byzantine Empire), Bulgarians and Turkish steppe nomads. 
  • KIEVAN RUS: PART 2 – DYING LIGHT IN A DARK AGE: In this post I will cover some of the civil wars, wars of succession and familicides that plagued Kievan Rus; their peak under leaders like Vladimir the Great (who unified the Rus and made Orthodox Christianity their official religion) and Yaroslav the Wise (while Europe was in a dark age, he made Kievan Rus a beacon of knowledge, literacy, trade and faith); Kievan Rus’ shattering into various feuding states and their clash against the Mongols. The Chernye Klobuki (Turkish mercenaries) and the Varangian Guard (Norse, Slavic, Germanic, etc.) are also noted; the latter were warriors employed by the Byzantine Empire to act as the Emperor’s trusted personal guard and on occasion they acted as pirate hunters, policemen, jailers, prison guards, torturers and interrogators.

عن سُهيل قال: كان أبو صالح يأمرُنا ، إذا أراد أحدُنا أن ينام ، أن يضطجعَ على شِقِّه الأيمنِ . ثم يقول اللهمَّ ! ربَّ السماوات ِوربَّ الأرضِ وربَّ العرشِ العظيمِ . ربَّنا وربَّ كلّ شئٍ . فالقَ الحبِّ والنوى . ومنزلَ التوراةِ والإنجيلِ والفرقانِ . أعوذ بك من شرِّ كلِّ شيءٍ أنت آخذٌ بناصيته . اللهمَّ ! أنت الأولُ فليس قبلك شئٌ . وأنت الآخرُ فليس بعدك شئٌ . وأنت الظاهرُ فليس فوقَك شئٌ . وأنت الباطنُ فليس دونك شئٌ . اقضِ عنا الدَّينَ وأغنِنا من الفقرِ ” . وكان يروى ذلك عن أبي هريرة ، عن النبيِّ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّمَ . صحيح مسلم حديث ٢٧١٣

Suhail reported that Abu Salih used to command us (in these words): When any one of you intends to go to sleep, he should lie on the bed on his right side and then say:“ "Allahumma Rabbas-samawati wa Rabbal-ardi, wa Rabba kulli shay'in, faliqal-habbi wan-nawa, munzilat-Tawrati wal-Injili wal-Qur'anil-‘Azim. A'udhu bika min sharri kulli dabbatin Anta akhidhun binasiyatiha, Antal-Awwalu fa laysa qablaka shayun, wa Antal-Akhiru, fa laysa ba'daka shayun’, Antaz-zahiru, fa laysa fawqaka shayun’, wa antal-batinu fa laysa dunaka shay’, aqdi 'annid-dayna waghnini minal-faqr (O Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth and Lord of all things, Cleaver of the seed and the kernel, Revealer of the Tawrah, the Injil and the Magnificent Qur'an, I seek refuge with You from the evil of every creature You seize by the forelock. You are the First and there is nothing before You; You are the Last and there is nothing after You; You are the Most High (Az-Zahir) and there is nothing above You, and You are the Most Near (Al-Batin) and there is nothing nearer than You. Settle my debt for me and spare me from poverty).”“ Abu Salih used to narrate it from Abu Huraira who narrated it from Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ). Sahih Muslim 2713 a
In-book reference : Book 48, Hadith 82
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 35, Hadith 6551

سلسلة الأذكار والأدعية // Athkar & Invocations Series | 18

baby daddy! taehyung

Originally posted by lacuna-matata

  •  okay so like i was gonna work on my prince!taehyung oneshot but i kept thinking about tae being a dad and i just got so emo and here are my ramblings
  • let me just start off saying that tae would be like the best husband in the entire world like he’d love and care for you with his entire being 
  • he’d spoon hug you at night time and hold your hand  and whisper how much he loves you in that deep voice by your ear until u fall into a deep sleep while being caressed in his arms 
  • hes like that kind of guy who would just love to wake you up in the moring tho 
  • and your like 
  • tae
  • no 
  • its like 7:30 wyd 
  • and he’s just like the sunshine himself like he shines so bright in the morning and literally he wants to get up early bc he wants to cherish every moment of you being beside him 
  • jfdklsfjlksdfjls and like!!!!! you’d complain bc like…..ur not the moring type yah know sleep is gr8 and he’d ultimately win bc he has this puppy face and would take ur hands and play with them and swing them to wake you up 
  • he’s basically a grown child 
  • okAY and so like why do i not see him being the type to romanticize the whole doing the ‘boom-boom’ 
  • i feel like he’d be the type to just like rush into it like ‘bAbE I WANT kIDS liKE ASAP’ 
  • but then again he wouldn’t rush you or pressure you or anything he’d wait for you 
  • and like one night you did it ok you did the boom-boom alright and like it was great obvs 
  • ill let u be dirty by yourselves im not going to go into that rn this is a fluff post 
  • quench ur thirst elsewhere 
  • anywhoo a few weeks pass and like you are getting that morning sickness yeah? I mean i never been preggers but im going off basic knowledge?? 
  • so okay like you wake up in the middle of the night like 3 in the morning and like tae wakes up of course and you are like in the bathroom spilling your guts out and at first ur like super confused and tae is worried as hell
  • but then his eyes just light up out of no where and ur like ??? 
  • “ARE YOU PREGNANT”??? like the question just busts out of him like a popped balloon ok he’s like half excited and half anxious and worried for you and he starts pacing the bathroom 
  • and ur like babe??? calm down idk if im pregnant ok i might just be sick?? 
  • and he looks at you and gets on his knees alright and looks you in the eyes and he just like “im going to walmart” and ur like 
  • wAIT 
  • that boy is already out the door with his pajamas still on ok like he gives zero fucks like he needs to know noW 
  • he slams that pregnancy test on the conveyor belt and he’s legit jumping up and down bc he wants to get back to his wiFE 
  • and the cashier lady is tired asf and like “whats dis mofo doing here kjdsklgjls” and then she smiles and says “good luck~” 
  • sO tae gets back home ok and he hands u the thing and ur like alright alrigHT 
  • and that boy will not leave ur side ok u better know it and ur like tae??? ummmmm can i please pee on this thing in peace thx 
  • and hes like oh shit sorry 
  • so u pee on the stick and guess whattttt 
  • ur preggers 
  • u kinda just exit the bathroom with a sly smile on your face
  • and tae has bulging eyes waiting for a response 
  • “im pregnant” 
  • you better bet your sweet little ass he’s gonna be all over you he’s gonna be swinging u around and kissing your face and crying 
  • and seeing him crying makes u cry and next thing you know the next morning your letting the fam know
  • everyone is just like congrats!!!!!
  • and now comes the nine months where tae is legit your body gaurd like he is so protective 
  • he was protective to begin with but now its like he took some super dad power pills and he is always attached to u like everywhere you look tae is there like a leech attached to your back 
  • like “thATS mY BABY in YOU I GOTTA BE ABLE TO PROTECT TWO AT ONCE NOW” 
  • hed be feeding you breakfast every morning and go throughout your day eating healthy meals 
  • gotta make sure that baby is nourished!!!!!!
  • im crying ok omg breAK 
  • back ok liSTEN 
  • you would get that baby bump and he’d rub your belly all the time and he’d jump out of his skin when the baby moves or kicks and he’s just “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” 
  • and your lauging and he wants to cry again bc he is so in awe like ?? thats his baby moving around in there 
  • and he’d want to sing to the baby all the time like 
  • youd be lying in bed and hed start singing little nursery rhymes and your heart just swells and the baby can detect that sort of thing??? and it starts to move around around and you tell tae that the baby likes his singing and that makes him do it even more often
  • also not to mention being pregnant is effing painful so he’d always be there to rub your aching back and give you butterfly kisses all the time to ease your pain
  • okay and then you go and u find out the sex of your baby and like you think its gonna be a boy but tae thinks its gonna be a girl idk why i just feel like tae would want a girl 
  • so u go and you find out that it’s a girl!!!!!!!!! and tae won’t leave u alone abt how he was right 
  • and u decide on a name and no doubt its cute ofc 
  • okay so your whole pregnancy goes like this and so then 
  • ur water breaks 
  • oh shit amiright 
  • tae freaks the fuck out but like not as much as you were 
  • like your in pain and hoLY FuCK they baby iS coMING nOW 
  • and yout screaming and tae is trying to be calm but he’s runnning around and trying to get you into the car and he’s freaking out while driving like 
  • moVE biTCHES mY bABY and WiFE ARE IN THIS CAR 
  • he’s like speeding down the highway to get to the hospital ok 
  • this boy has got zero chill 
  • he half carries you into the hospital and everything happens to fast
  • hes sitting beside you holding your hand tight as your screaming your lungs out giving birth 
  • and tae is half-way feeling guilty that you’re going through this pain 
  • but fAST foRWARD and your healthy baby girl is born!!!! 
  • and like at first tae was about to bounce on the doctors like he wants his kid now but they had to go clean her up 
  • and when they finish tae holds her little body in his arms and he’s crying 
  • “look at her” 
  • “she’s so beautiful” 
  • “it’s my baby” 
  • he looks at you then with tears gleaming in his eyes 
  • and he brings her over to you and your holding her and you can’t believe you did it 
  • as ur baby girl grows up like tae is such a protective father 
  • he’d proababy want to cry if she ever got hurt 
  • and you notice that as she grew that she had tae’s sparking eyes and gleaming box smile that you always adored you 
  • she had your cute nose 
  • and face shape 
  • Tae would try so hard to make her look so cute like braid her hair and pick out cute clothes and you’d just smile and let him be 
  • him being happy with your child was enough to make your insides melt 
  • he’d be that dad who’d volunteer to change the diapers and get up in the morning and your just like babe!!! i got it its fine!!!! im ok i can do it!!!! 
  • and after seeing you go through that pain for 9 months he wants to repay you back and in turn he also gets to spend time with his kid and he is happy doing it 
  • youd both play with that baby all the time and be all over the floor with that baby ok and the squeal of joy that erupts from that childs mouth is what fuels tae and you to keep living in this beautiful world
  • when it comes time for her to go to school hed be so scared like hes letting his baby girl go off alone??? nO 
  • and ur like tae its alright babe its ok its good for her and he gets that but still??? 
  • also your daughter would have that same laugh that tae does and every time she does it your stomach gets butterflies 
  • and whenever she cried tae would be like the first one at the scene 
  • and whenever she had her temper tantrums he’d be the one to baby her 
  • and your like tae we cant do that we gotta have disipline 
  • and hes not having it
  • that baby is gonna be so spoiled rotten omg 
  • lord help us all 
  • but the thing is that baby will have the best parents in the entire universe like nothing can change that fact at all 
  • that baby is gonna grow up living a happiness filled life ok 
  • i really hope ya’ll enjoyed it!!!!

The night of June 7, 1525 Albrecht Durer had an apocalyptic dream of a great flood destroying the world. Shaken by the experience, he painted this scene the following morning. Durer’s distress over this vision was not unusual considering the time. The early years of the Reformation brought violence, rebellion, and intense religious anxiety. In 1525 Germany was in the midst of a violent peasant revolt, and there was mounting fear among some that a flood would soon end the world.  Below is a translation of the text.

In 1525, during the night between Wednesday and Thursday after Whitsuntide, I had this vision in my sleep, and saw how many great waters fell from heaven. The first struck the ground about four miles away from me with such a terrible force, enormous noise and splashing that it drowned the entire countryside. I was so greatly shocked at this that I awoke before the cloudburst. And the ensuing downpour was huge. Some of the waters fell some distance away and some close by. And they came from such a height that they seemed to fall at an equally slow pace. But the very first water that hit the ground so suddenly had fallen at such velocity, and was accompanied by wind and roaring so frightening, that when I awoke my whole body trembled and I could not recover for a long time. When I arose in the morning, I painted the above as I had seen it. May the Lord turn all things to the best.

Matthew 19:26
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
- Are you facing any situations that seem impossible?
- Remember, you serve the God of the impossible.
- He is the sovereign, all-powerful Lord.
- So don’t just listen to what people may say, believe God.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, with You ALL things are possible. You are great and You are a miracle-working God. Amen.

I pray for those who are missing, Lord I know you keep an arm around them. Guide them home to their loved ones.

I pray for those who are missing, Lord defeat human trafficking once and for all. I know evil is the biggest battle in the world, I stand beside you in the fight.

I pray for those who have lost contact with you, those who have lost their ways and fell off the path. One day, they will come home to you Lord.

I pray for those who are hurting, I know you hurt when we hurt. I pray for peace of mind for those who can’t grasp what is going on in their life.

Lord, I pray for the person reading this, may they gain strength to fight their next fight. Whether it be for themselves or someone else, Lord give them the courage and strength to defeat their personal darkness.

Lord, I ask all of these things in your holy and heavenly name. Amen.

أذكار النوم

قراءة آية الكرسي
Recite ayat Al-Kursi.

قراءة سورة الإخلاص والفلق والناس
Recite Surat (Al-Ikhlas, Al-Falaq, Al-Nas).

قراءة الآيتين الأخيرتين من سورة البقرة
Recite the last two verses from Surat Al-Baqarah.

بِاسْمِكَ رَبِّي وَضَعْتُ جَنْبِي، وَبِكَ أَرْفَعُهُ، فَإِنْ أَمْسَكْتَ نَفْسِي فَارْحَمْهَا، وَإِنْ أَرْسَلْتَهَا فَاحْفَظْهَا، بِمَا تَحْفَظُ بِهِ عِبَادَكَ الصَّالِحِينَ
In Your name my Lord, I lie down and in Your name I rise, so if You should take my soul then have mercy upon it, and if You should return my soul then protect it in the manner You do so with Your righteous servants.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ خَلَقْتَ نَفْسِي وَأَنْتَ تَوَفَّاهَا، لَكَ مَمَاتُهَا وَمَحْيَاهَا، إِنْ أَحْيَيْتَهَا فَاحْفَظْهَا، وَإِنْ أَمَتَّهَا فََاغْفِرْ لَهَا، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَافِيَةَ
O Allah, You have created my soul and You take it back. Unto You is its death and its life. If You give it life then protect it, and if You cause it to die then forgive it. O Allah, I ask You for strength.

اللَّهمَّ قِنِي عَذَابَكَ يَوْمَ تَبْعَثُ عِبَادَكَ - ثلاثاً
O Allah, save me from Your punishment on the Day that You resurrect Your slaves. (Recite three times in Arabic).

بِاسْمِكَ اللَّهُمَّ أَمُوتُ وَأَحْيَا
In Your name O Allah, I live and die.

سُبْحَانَ اللهِ - ثلاثاً وثلاثين مرة، والْحَمْدُ للهِ - ثلاثاً وثلاثين مرة، وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ - أربعاً وثلاثين مرة
Glory is to Allah (thirty-three times in Arabic), praise is to Allah (thirty-three times), Allah is the Most Great (thirty-four times).

اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ السَّبْعِ وَرَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ، رَبَّنَا وَرَبَّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ، فَالِقَ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى، وَمُنْزِلَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنجِيلِ، وَالْفُرْقَانِ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ أّنْتَ آخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتهِ. اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الأَوَّلُ فَلَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الْآخِرُ فَلَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ فَلَيْسَ فَوْقَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الْبَاطِنُ فَلَيْسَ دُونَكَ شَيْءٌ، اقْضِ عَنَّا الدَّيْنَ وَأَغْنِنَا مِنَ الْفَقْرِ
O Allah, Lord of the seven heavens and the exalted throne, our Lord and Lord of all things, Splitter of the seed and the date stone, Revealer of the Tawrah, the Injeel and the Furqan, I take refuge in You from the evil of all things You shall seize by the forelock. O Allah, You are The First so there is nothing before You and You are The Last so there is nothing after You. You are the Most High, nothing is above You and You are the Most Near and nothing is nearer than You. Settle our debt for us and spare us from poverty.

اللَّهُمَّ عَالِمَ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاواتِ والْأَرْضَ، رَبَّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَمَلِكُهُ، أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ نَفْسِي، وَمِنْ شَرِّ الشَّيْطَانِ وَشِرْكِهِ، وَأَنْ أَقْتَرِفَ عَلَى نَفْسِي سُوءً، أَوْ أَجُرَّهُ إِلَى مُسْلِمٍ
O Allah, Knower of the seen and the unseen, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Lord and Sovereign of all things I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I take refuge in You from the evil of my soul and from the evil and shirk of the devil, and from committing wrong against my soul or bringing such upon another Muslim.

قراءة سورة الملك
Recite Surat Al-Mulk

اللَّهُمَّ أَسْلَمْتُ نَفْسِي إِلَيْكَ، وَفَوَّضْتُ أَمْرِي إِلَيْكَ، وَوَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِي إِلَيْكَ، وَأَلْجَأْتُ ظَهْرِي إِلَيْكَ، رَغْبَةً وَرَهْبَةً إِلَيْكَ، لَا مَلْجَأَ وَلّا مَنْجَا مِنْكَ إِلَّا إِلَيْكَ، آمَنْتُ بِكِتَابِكَ وَبِنَبِيِّكَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلْتَ
O Allah, I submit myself to You, entrust my affairs to You, turn my face to You, and lay myself down depending upon You, hoping in You and fearing You. There is no refuge, and no escape, except to You. I believe in Your Book (the Qur'an) that You revealed, and the Prophet whom You sent.

Tattoo - Fred Weasley Imagine

A/N: hello dearies! sorry I haven’t posted a bunch of requests! this was a pretty crazy week but I have all weekend off!!! :D so I swear I’ll make it up to all of you by posting your requests! they’re coming! :) in the mean time… here’s the next one in line! :D

Request:
transparentnerdfire submitted: Hey :) I was wondering if you could do an imagine with Fred weasley where the reader got a tatoo of 3 birds on her right hips ( sorry if it’s too accurate that’s only because that’s mine ^^) and he get confused because he doesn’t know what? Sorry for my awful english it’s not my first language :) But feel free to refuse my request if it doesn’t inspire you :) I love your works btw ❤️❤️ lot of love xx

I loved this request! xD although I didn’t know what your tattoo meant exactly so I gave it a meaning… hope you don’t mind :P

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter

Your name: submit What is this?


Tattoo

“(Y/N)” Fred complained for about the tenth time making the girl giggle.

“Yes, Fred?”

“Are you almost done?”

“No” she simply said as she continued working on her essay.

“But I’m boooooored” Fred said dramatically tossing himself on the couch.

“Then find something to do” (Y/N) told him.

“But George is in detention! And Lee is out with Alicia” he complained.

“Don’t you have any more friends?” she asked laughing.

“Well, yes, but… I’d rather be with you” he told her.

“That’s sweet, but I have to finish this, love. Shouldn’t you be working on your essay too?”

“Would you believe me if I tell you that I’ve already done it?”

“No” she simply said.

“Then why do I even bother?” he said plopping himself on the floor and sitting next to his girlfriend. “Are you done now?”

“No” (Y/N) said trying not to laugh about how adorable he was being.

“Now?”

“No” she repeated with a small laugh escaping her mouth when she felt Fred’s lips press against her shoulder and making their way to her neck. “Fred” she warned biting her bottom lip.

“Yes?” Fred said pretending to be confused as he kept on placing kisses along her neck.

“I have to finish this essay” (Y/N) said trying to push him away.

“So? What’s stopping you, love?”

“You’re distracting me” she said as Fred stopped and pouted at her.

Keep reading

Convincing

Another chapter in a one-shot, whaaa?? As always, thanks to the fantastically brilliant @elanev91 for putting up with my ceaseless questions and long-ass comments. 
It’s Harry+Ginny, of fucking course. Ao3 and FF.net

Ginny is watching Harry sleep. It isn’t creepy; she had just been asleep a few minutes ago, but now she isn’t, so she is watching him sleep. The dormitory is quiet, though bright sunlight is shining in through the windows. The room is deserted, and even as Ginny’s stomach growls, she wants only to lie here in Harry’s bed and watch him sleep.

The expression “sleeps like the dead” comes to mind, but since Ginny had, just yesterday, seen Harry actually dead, or apparently dead, she pushes the phrase from her mind. That had been perhaps the worst moment yesterday, seeing Harry in Hagrid’s arms. Well, the worst moment besides going into the Great Hall and finding her family gathered around Fred’s body. Seeing her brother dead, seeing his twin retch in agony… that was the worst part of yesterday. At least Harry had come back to life, back to her.

Keep reading

The best opportunity for you to say “I love You” to Jesus is when you are hurt.

Because we thought Christianity is all about comfort and convenience.
Christianity is not just about comfort, blessings and good things. There are sufferings.

But during time that you are hurt. Thats the sweetest words that you can say to Jesus.
“Lord you know all things. You know that I love you.

—  Ptr. Jonathan Ramirez
Azriel Meta - Shadows

I started replying to this post by @abookandacoffee but, well, I’ve been meaning to talk about this theory/idea for ages and it got…long…and it kind of started going beyond the scope of the original post SO NOW IT GETS ITS OWN (alo *apologises in advance because I’m going to disagree with a few points of yours SORRY*) 

I’ve seen the shadows disappearing/leaving him completely theory a few times and it’s always confused me a little bit? For a start I think it’s something that’s inherent in Az, like Mor’s magic or Rhys’s daemati powers but for another I could never figure out why people wanted them to go. Then I realised people figured that they were somehow sinister, that they might even whisper bad things to him, make him worse, that they were connected to his trauma and I never read them that way? (Which apparently makes me in the minority here but what else is new?) 

I never actually saw the shadows as a symbol of Azriel’s childhood trauma? (I think that the scars on his hands do that more than anything else and there’s soooo much symbolism in there especially given what he does now for his court but that is a meta for another day) 

As for the shadows I always thought of them as…Well the opposite actually?

In the centuries I’d known him, he’d said little about his life, those years in his father’s keep, locked in darkness. Perhaps the shadowsinger gift had come to him then, perhaps he’d taught himself the language of shadow and wind and stone.

I think the shadows are a positive thing for Azriel actually? I don’t want him to lose them, I don’t think he wants to lose them either. They’re a part of him. A good part. I think they represent something like freedom to him. When he was chained up in a dark cell the shadows connected him to the outside world. They told him what was happening, warned him about what was coming, probably made it far easier for him to protect himself and for him not to fear the darkness that surrounded him when it confided all its secrets to him.

I also think those shadows lead to his release. The incident with his burned hands happened when he was eight but he wasn’t released and allowed to go to the war camps to be trained until he was eleven. When he arrived he knew nothing - nothing of fighting, nothing even of flying. But he was a shadowsinger. Rare and coveted I think if anyone sought to use Azriel and his gift it was his father and that that was the only reason they let him out, let him go to the war camps to be trained. (That’s all very guessworky I admit that but it’s not too huge a leap.)

I don’t think the shadows are a result of of his trauma, not exactly, or that they were somehow caused by what he suffered. Maybe that caused them to wake sooner than they might otherwise have done (I don’t think the high fae for example come fully into their power before they mature (for Mor it was reaching 17 and her first period) But I don’t think it’s a manifestation of it - I think they’re a shield.

I think they protect him. I think they tell him things to keep him and the people that he loves safe. I think they’re a defence mechanism, they’re a kind of armour:

It was almost enough to distract me from noticing Azriel as those shadows lightened, and his gaze slid over Mor’s body: a red, flowing gown of chiffon accented with gold cuffs, and combs fashioned like gilded leaves swept back the waves of her unbound hair.

A wisp of shadow curled around Azriel’s ear, and his eyes snapped to mine. I schooled my face into bland innocence.

(Az’s shadows warning him Feyre is being an interfering little so and so is one of my favourite parts of this and I’ve been meaning to parallel it with Mor for ages but it’s coming out here so WHAT CAN YOU DO?)

This is obviously a fairly bland example since Feyre isn’t actually causing him or Mor any kind of harm - but it’s something Az clearly wants to know about and so the shadows tell him. I’ve never been able to see them as negative or bad in any way. I think they’re positive. And I think the only reason that they lighten around Mor is that he trusts her and that he allows himself to be vulnerable with her. Rhys has told us that Mor is the only one who can get Az’s guard to drop and get any real truth from him about how he feels. I think the response of his shadows is symbolic of that more than anything - it’s his guard dropping around her. He doesn’t need his shadows to protect him as much around her, it’s instinct.

So like on a personal level I think the shadows are good for him? And I don’t want him to lose them. But I also don’t think that it’s something Rhys uses and I don’t think what they offer Azriel is…Inherently negative. (This is…complicated…because in a lot of ways those shadows are tied to Azriel’s self-worth and the value he feels he has to his court because they’re a huge part of him being able to do his job. But I think that’s more…a personal thing than a thing that’s exploited)

I think Rhys definitely worries about Az and if Az were to say he was done with this/he couldn’t do it any more that’d be that no questions asked from Rhys. Whether or not he would is another story but I think…I don’t think it’s a result of power imbalance. I don’t think it’s because Rhys has made him feel like he can’t tell him. Rhys isn’t putting any pressure on Azriel here - Azriel is putting pressure on Azriel.

As with what we’ve discussed about Moriel this is something that comes from Azriel’s personal insecurities and it is not up to anyone else to ‘fix’ that for him. That’s just downright disrespectful of Azriel’s independence and agency as a person tbh. Rhys can’t take Az’s job away from him/lessen his demands on him for the same reasons Mor won’t go to him and try and force his hand about their relationship. It’s Azriel’s choice. Even if they think his insecurities and what he does to himself is unhealthy, I think it’d be more unhealthy if either of them (in this case more specifically Rhys as he has more direct ‘power’ over Az if you like as his High Lord) tried to stop. It’s not Rhys’ place to decide what Az can or can’t handle, that’s up to Azriel.

I also think that….There’s something of Mor and the Court of Nightmares in what Azriel does. I don’t think it’s exactly good for him (torture probably doesn’t do wonders for one’s mental health after all) but I also don’t think it fully prevents him from healing and moving on from his trauma. I think in a lot of ways it’s like Mor and the CoN and giving some control over something that was directly used to hurt them. (Azriel’s is just…a much darker, more twisted and uncomfortable and difficult thing to talk/think about version of that but there’s similar logic)

People often made the mistake of assuming Cassian was the wilder one; the one who couldn’t be tamed. But Cassian was all hot temper—temper that could be used to forge and weld. There was an icy rage in Azriel I had never been able to thaw.

I think this is a part of Azriel that is entirely his own and it’s not something that Rhys (try as he might) has any great influence over. There’s a darkness in Azriel that’s hinted at a fair few times and while I don’t think he relishes what he does I think he’s capable of it. In a way that say Cassian would not be, I think Az has the ability to…compartmentalise in a way.

I also think that it’s important to note, when talking about Rhys and Az which I’ll get to more in a minute, that Rhys is aware that Az has a support system in place? He knows that he won’t talk to Cassian about it and he won’t talk to him (which implies that they’re both concerned and have both tried, probably more than once) but Rhys knows that Mor will talk to him and that Azriel will (eventually) talk back. He knows that Az isn’t fully dealing with this all on his own and that he does have an outlet and someone he can discuss these things with and who will help him work through things if he’s struggling which is important. Rhys isn’t indifferent to what Az is doing or oblivious to it either he’s aware of it and he’s aware of the support Az has as well. (Also I think it’s important to note that the only thing we see Az torture in ACOMAF is the Attor. Which was….vile. Az isn’t out there torturing innocent servants for information and tbh I don’t think he had any great issue chopping the Attor into tiny little pieces)

Okay last point (I PROMISE) is the power imbalance thing you mentioned between Rhys and Az and Azriel maybe feeling beholden to Rhys and therefore somehow obliged to keep doing this. This idea makes me…Uncomfortable. It’s too Tamlin-ish for me to entirely happy with it but I also don’t think it’s happening? Not in that way. Okay this is also Complicated (goddammit Az) but I think it comes back to the same thing of self enforced pressures vs external pressures. And there’s basically none of the latter coming from Rhys in this equation.

Theoretically there’s a definite power imbalance between Rhys and Az (and Rhys and…..Everyone in the entire Night Court since he is their HIgh Lord after all) but….The thing with that sort of dynamic is like anything in these books. The thing itself is not inherently unhealthy or toxic or abusive. (This is also seen with Tamlin’s protectiveness: the desire to protect someone is not inherently negative. It’s only negative when it’s taken to the extreme where it starts to wear on their mental health and the protective person doesn’t take that into account because they’re too busy making themselves feel better to care. Protectiveness= not unhealthy Using that protectiveness as a way to control someone while dressing it up as caring about them = deeply unhealthy)

So yes Rhys has power over Azriel which creates an imbalance between them in a theoretical sense. Practically though…Rhys doesn’t enforce those ideals. He doesn’t pull rank. He doesn’t order any of his court to do things that they haven’t consented to. (Which is something that opposes what Tamlin does with say Lucien - he uses his power to force Lucien to do things he isn’t comfortable with) There’s a dialogue with them. When they’re deciding what to do it’s a group decision, they talk things over, they debate plans, they’re encouraged to offer their own input. Rhys isn’t running a dictatorship. He has the final say and his court will obey him I’m sure if he does give them a direct order but that’s rare.

I also don’t think Az is in a position where he feels he can’t say no to Rhys/challenge him. (This is…Something that we do see with Lucien/Tamlin which I keep coming back to because it’s a good parallel. The few times that Lucien actually pushes back or attempts to stand up to Tamlin and make his own view heard he’s belittled, intimidated and outright violently punished for it. That’s a power imbalance. That’s a situation where a person cannot speak up or say they are uncomfortable or unhappy with what they’re doing.) This is not what Rhys is doing with his court. Az can and has voiced opinions that Rhys flat out does not like:

Azriel pushed, “It’s a solid plan. The king doesn’t know our scents. We wreck the Cauldron and vanish before he notices … It’ll be a graver insult than the bloodier, direct route we’d been considering, Rhys. We beat them yesterday, so when we go into that castle … ” Vengeance indeed danced in that normally placid face. “We’ll leave a few reminders that we won the last damn war for a reason.”

Cassian nodded grimly. Even Mor smiled a bit.

“Are you asking me,” Rhys finally said, far too calmly, “to stay outside while my mate goes into his stronghold?”

“Yes,” Azriel said with equal calm.

Az is perfectly comfortable with, and capable of, disagreeing with Rhys even when it comes to Feyre. And this is a plan that Rhys ultimately accepts and agrees to (with Feyre’s consent) Azriel’s opinions are validated and properly considered and I have no doubt that if he ever personally feels like he wants to walk away from his job telling Rhys about it wouldn’t be the thing that stops him.

Which is important because it’s not that Rhys has set up an environment in which Azriel feels forced to keep doing something he doesn’t want to. It’s more like Azriel himself is an environment that forces him to keep doing this.  But that’s on Az to sort out and come to terms with. It’s for Az to set his own boundaries and decide what he can and will do. Mor tells us the lengths Az pushes himself are bordering on sadistic but I don’t think anyone in the Inner Circle ever even comes close to agreeing with this or encouraging it. In fact they do the exact opposite.

But there’s a limit to what they can do without imposing their own wills and agencies on Azriel which would then be a power imbalance because that would involve Rhys using his authority over Azriel to compel him to do something that he doesn’t want to that would likely damage him. (Atm I think what Az does (and does well) is important to him. It makes him valuable. It makes him important. It gives him worth. And obviously he doesn’t need to do that for his court/family to love and protect him and value and respect him but he needs it personally for himself.)

(I know you said you didn’t think that Rhys was expressly doing this but I think it’s more like he’s…actively avoiding doing so and I don’t think he ever would. Azriel has never and will never be put in a position where he feels he’s being forced to do something that he personally - for his own reasons not because he feels indebted to any member of the circle - does not want to do)

So…yeah. I think the shadows thing is…An entirely positive thing for Az. And…just because it means someone covets him doesn’t mean he’ll be used? Those shadows give him power - and power over people - since he can read their feelings, intentions and possibly thoughts (we’re not sure, we just know they tell him things he shouldn’t otherwise know) But that puts him in a position of power. And I suppose he could be exploited and used for it but…tbh I think the shadows would protect him from that? (We’ve already seen that they rush to tell him about Feyre being nosy which is an incredibly innocent thing to ‘protect’ him from. If someone was using him…He’d know it.

ANYWAY THIS WAS REALLY LONG AND I’M REALLY SORRY YOU ONLY MADE A TINY POINT AND I TURNED INTO A WHOLE THING BUT I’VE BEEN MEANING TO TALK ABOUT THIS FOR LIKE SIXTEEN YEARS SO HERE WE ARE.

TL;DR: Azriel’s shadows are a positive force that do nothing but actively benefit him and protect him and why do people want to take them away from my shadow son/think he will lose them and this would be a good thing, I am confused? 

[Ash-Shaheed/The Witness]
“And He is the witness of all things.” ‎﴾‬‎3‬‎4‬‎‬‎.‬‎4‬‎7‬‎﴿‬
There is nothing that we do but Allah is a witness to it. His knowledge not only comprehends all things, but is also neither subject to nor obliterated by time “And, [O Muhammad], you are not [engaged] in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an and you [people] do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom’s weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register.” ‎﴾‬‎‎1‬‎0‬‎.‬‎6‬‎1‬﴿‬
Allah is a witness to every activity in the universe: be it the words of the Messenger or the falling raindrops, so we are certain that no truth is ever lost. “Does it not suffice that your Lord is the Witness of all things?"‎﴾‬‎4‬‎1‬‎‎.‬‎5‬‎3‬‎﴿‬
Allah also suffices as a witness to the great fact that His messengers spoke the truth: "But Allah bears witness to that which He has revealed to you. He has sent it down with His knowledge, and the angels bear witness [as well]. And sufficient is Allah as Witness.” ‎﴾‬‎4‬‎.‬‎1‬‎6‬‎6‬‎﴿‬ To be a witness implies being present at an event. Allah is never absent from any place, or any time, but His presence is independent of such relative conceptions, which spring from of our limited human nature. “Then We will surely relate [their deeds] to them with knowledge, and We were not [at all] absent.” ‎﴾‬‎7‬‎.‬‎7‬‎﴿‬
Our day to day life should all reflect our concern for the truth. For example, whilst yourself being a witness at an event, our loyalty should only be to truth and we should not get swayed by any other consideration. The Prophet Muhammad ‎ﷺ‎‬ made it clear that false testimony is a major sin: “I heard Anas b. Malik saying: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) talked about the major sins, or he was asked about the major sins. Upon this he observed: Associating anyone with Allah, killing of a person, disobedience to parents. He (the Prophet further) said: Should I not inform you about the gravest of the major sins, and (in this connection) observed: False utterance or false testimony.”- Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 167

2017 is turning out to be a beautiful year of entertainment watching; wonder woman ended us, spiderman homecoming is filled with diverse characters and actors, evak was beautiful, sana bakkoush became the lord and saviour of all things good, malec are continuing the representation of healthy relationships, shadowhunters is adding more and more characters of colour and exploring sexuality (ace!raphael yes!), sense8 was cancelled (boo you netflix) and is now giving fans a 2 hour special (yay, and now sterek is gracing our screens once again (takes me back to 2012/2013). And so much more!!!!