lunar dance

Lunar Dance (Pokemon Inspired Spell)

A spell to banish negative energy from yourself after a bad day.

You will Need:

  • Open space (indoors or outdoors, whichever you’re more comfortable with)
  • Music that make you feel happy
  • If indoors: open window
  • (Optional) crystals for banishing negative energy 

Time of Day: After dark

Preparation:

Make sure you have an open space to work with that you feel comfortable in. If you prefer to be alone then that is alright. Make sure there is nothing that you may accidentally kick or trip over. Cleanse the space if you choose with some incense. If you wish to have crystals around place them out of your way so you do not step on or hurt yourself on them. If needed take a bath or shower and drink some tea or water before performing this spell.

Steps:

  1. Turn on your music from your music via whatever device you wish to use. I recommend using a short playlist since this may take longer than a song or two but it is your choice. You may play it out in the open or may play it through headphones, whichever you prefer.
  2. Take in some deep breaths and visualize your energy about you, and how it is ‘masked’ by the dark haze of the day or whatever negativity that you wish to banish away. 
  3. Once you have visualized this to your like begin dancing, doesn’t matter how you do it. Whether you’re a good dancer or a bad dancer, just let it go and dance. While dancing imagine your energy flowing with you, how it trails you like ribbons tied to a ribbon dancer. How every turn and motion releases that black mist from your energy, clearing it to the color of how it usually appears to you. This mist imagine it raising into the air and up into the sky out of your life. If you are indoors, imagine it going out the open window and into the sky that way.
  4. Dance, hum, sing, spin; do whatever you feel is right even after all the blackness is gone from you. Now imagine the energy of the moon (either above you or through the window) sending down more energy to you, how your energy is growing, glowing and glitters. Listen to your music and let it empower you and feel the energy of your crystals.
  5. Dance until you feel tired or satisfied. With your music still playing drink some water and sit down and rest. Once you have caught your breath end the spell however you see fit. (I myself take a shower) 

Note: please if you live with close neighbors don’t play your music too loud especially if it is late. If you are in an apartment building and there are people below do your best not to do this spell too late as to not disturb anyone trying to sleep or settle down. Be respectful of others.

“Mamae, mamae!”

“Careful, Neris! I just finished that one, we don’t want to smudge it right away,” Vallera said, pushing the freshly painted mask to the side as she shifted to accommodate her daughter on her lap.

Mamae, hahren said that I could be at the dance!”

“Did he, now? Then you need a mask, da’len.” She planted a quick kiss on the top of Neris’s head. “Do you remember hahren’s lessons about the gods?”

“Why?” Neris asked tentatively.

“Well, because for the wolf dance in the new year, the children wear masks of vallaslin. Which of the gods do you favor, hmm?” Vallera waited as Neris pouted and looked away from her eyes for a moment. “I’ll give you a hint. Do you favor like me, the flames of S…?”

“Sylaise!”

“Yes! Good girl,” she said with a smile, “Or maybe the wings of D…?”

“Daa…”

“Dirth—”

“—amen!”

“Dirthamen, yes, like your…” Vallera looked over to the edge of the camp, where Neris’s father conversed with one of the lead hunters. “Your papae?”

“No.” Neris shook her head to the sides and Vallera laughed.

“So… what do we do?”

“I want to be a hunter!”

“A hunter?”

“Yes, I want to track down the Dread Wolf and defeat him like Sulanin!”

“Oh, to find Fen’Harel you’ll need the guidance of Ghilan’nain, but to defeat him you’ll need the blessing of Andruil,” Vallera paused, “So whose will it be, da’len?”

“Both.”

“Both?”

“Yes.” Neris smiled.

Vallera laughed at her child. “Alright, my love. Do you want to paint yourself?”

Neris nodded, amber eyes fixed on her own.

“Very well, let’s see what you come up with,” Vallera said, kissing her daughter’s cheek three times in quick succession, and handed Neris her painting brush.

My piece for @thedosianlny, featuring toddler Neris and her mamae, Vallera, Lavellan’s clan artisan, painting masks for the Dance of Fen’Harel, where the children don vallaslin masks and help the dream warrior Sulanin defeat the Dread Wolf.

Nami’s List of Pop Culture Spells

A long organized list of all of my pop culture spells organized.

Disney:

🌟 “Almost There” Career Success Spell (Disney Inspired) A spell to bring success and advancement in your job
🌟 “Honor to Us All” Honor Spell (Disney Inspired) a spell to have your peers show you respect 
🌟 “Kiss the Girl” Glamour Spell (Disney Inspired) to encourage a consenting person to kiss you
🌟 Voice Theft Curse (Disney Inspired) a spell to stop hateful words and send the negativity back to the person

Ni No Kuni:

🌟 Give Heart (Ni No Kuni Inspired) to bring a friend joy and uplift them

Pathfinder:

🌟 Blood Money (Pathfinder Inspired) spell to bring financial gain
🌟 Blur (Pathfinder Inspired) to go unnoticed by others
🌟 Enshroud Thoughts (Pathfinder Inspired) protects oneself from divination and scrying easedropping of others
🌟 Invisibility (Pathfinder Inspired) spell to go unnoticed and travel unseen
🌟 Itching Curse (Pathfinder Inspired) cause a person to feel the discomfort they have caused you
🌟 Nightmare Curse (Pathfinder Inspired) cause a person to suffer nightmares
🌟 Shield of Wings (Pathfinder Inspired) to guard against negative words and comments
🌟 Tears to Wine (Pathfinder Inspired) turn one’s sadness into happiness

Pokemon:

🌟 Aroma Veil (Pokemon Inspired) A spell to protect user from negative people and attract the attention of positive people
🌟 Aqua Ring (Pokemon Inspried) A bath spell to bring emotional healing and emotional serenity
🌟 Bubble (Pokemon Inspired) A spell to send your wishes out into the universe to seek for them to be answered and granted
🌟 Charm (Pokemon Inspired) A spell to improve your charms and flirting
🌟 Cosmic Power (Pokemon Inspired) Cosmic spell to prepare you for divination and/or astral projection
🌟 Fairy Aura (Pokemon Inspired) to bring your inner beauty out to the surface
🌟 Future Sight (Pokemon Inspired) improve psychic clarity while doing divination work   
🌟 Heart Stamp (Pokemon Inspired) a spell to strengthen passion between you and a consenting lover
🌟 Heatproof (Pokemon Inspired) to help you remain strong under pressure and stress
🌟 Gravity (Pokemon Inspired) a curse to weigh someone down emotionally  
🌟 Honey Gatherer (Pokemon Inspired) to encourage others to compliment you
🌟 Lunar Dance (Pokemon Inspired) banish negativity from yourself after a bad day
🌟 Metal Claws (Pokemon Inspired) to protect against baneful magic
🌟 Milk Drink (Pokemon Inspired) promote beauty
🌟 Morning Sun (Pokemon Inspired) a spell to lift your spirits
🌟 Moxie (Pokemon Inspired) to bring the caster self-confidence
🌟 Rest (Pokemon Inspired) bring deep, restful sleep
🌟 Sunny Day (Pokemon Inspired) a spell to bring a sunny day
🌟 Sweet Scent (Pokemon Inspired) To attract a new friend

Sailor Moon:

🌟 Deep Submerge (Sailor Neptune Inspired) to submerge another in thier own negativity
🌟 Passion of the Rose Spell (Tuxedo Mask Inspired) a spell to increase passion between consenting lovers
🌟 Pink Sugar Heart Spell (Mini Moon Inspired) a spell to promote cuteness and radiance
🌟 World Shaking Curse (Sailor Uranus Inspired) cosmic curse to emotionally shake and shatter someone

Shadowhunters:

🌟 Parabatai Spell (Shadowhunters Inspired) a spell to forge a bond with another consenting person to always be connected

Star Wars:

🌟 “The Force” Energy Work Preparation Spell (Star Wars Inspired) a spell to help prepare for intense energy work

Steven Universe:

🌟 Like a Comet (Steven Universe) to motivate self in achieving and reaching for goals
🌟 Open Your Mind Peridot Spell (Steven Universe Inspired) a spell to open your mind and relieve stubbornness 
🌟 “Strong in the Real Way” (Steven Universe Inspired) spell to bring you emotional strength and courage

Totally Spies:

🌟 Anti-Gravity Propulsion Ring (Totally Spies Inspired) enchant a ring to aid you overcome obstacles and challenges
🌟 Chameleon Eye Shadow (Totally Spies Inspired) a spell to evade unwanted attention from others
🌟 Cherry Lip Bomb (Totally Spies Inspired) to bring confidence in your voice and to overcome vocal obstacles
🌟 Ice Queen Breath Spray a spell to halt someone’s romantic feelings for you
🌟 Red Hot Lozenge (Totally Spies Inspired) makes your words more feiry and intimidating
🌟 Retractable Razor Nail Spell (Totally Spies Inspired) a spell to unbind yourself
🌟 Spiderclaw (Totally Spies Inspired) grab the desire and attention of others

Winx:

🌟 Golden Pollen (Winx Inspired) binding to prevent another from doing things to emotionally harm you
🌟 Illuminate (Winx Inspired) A spell to bring light to a situation (done before divination)
🌟 Shield (Winx Inspired) a spell to guard against offensive magic
🌟 Sound Cage Binding Spell (Winx Inspired) A spell to keep someone from being heard 
🌟 Web of Confusion (Winx Inspired) cause confusion to anyone trying to pry into your life after you asked them to stop

W.I.T.C.H.:

🌟 Hay Lin’s Carefree Flyer Dream Spell (W.I.T.C.H. Inspired) a spell to bring on dreams of flying and weightlessness
🌟 Irma’s Fog Calling Spell (W.I.T.C.H. Inspired) a spell to conjure up some fog
🌟 Power of the Heart Self Love Spell (W.I.T.C.H Inspired) a spell to open your heart up for self love
🌟 Taranee’s Fire Divination Spell (W.I.T.C.H. Inspired) A spell to improve and empower fire divination/pyromancy

Yugi-Oh:

🌟 Graceful Charity Spell (Yugi-Oh) to bring good fortune in desperate/hard times

*All are from my digital and physical grimoires, all spells written by me

2

 “Dragon Dance for a prosperous new year” __ Hanzo in Azuki costume 
_________________________________________________
   Tag in @ssaravinter !! Thank you so much for the suggestion of Hanzo for me, but since you got curious about how’s Lunar New Year, here’s Hanzo for the occasion, the spray that got everyone go crazy of, I do a little adjustment to get him more for the spirit.  
     Happy Lunar New Year for all who celebrate it and believing in oriental culture , I wish you guys prosper, wealth, health and luck for the whole year :D !! Happy the year of the Rooster ! 
    @mccree-senpai @disxwned @diazeparadise @thetemplewitch @edgybilgewaterqueen @owlosaurusrex @juonart @jacks-mom @yasuo-the-unforgiven
    

JACIN AND WINTER WOULD BE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ICE DANCING PARTNERS EVER. Just hear me out.

- Their parents signed them up as children because why not but THEY WERE IN LOVE THE MOMENT THEY REALIZED HOW IT FELT BECAUSE OH MY STARS AM I FLYING
-
They start going often. And then daily. It’s just a hobby—just a hobby—but pretty soon they’re going backward and looping and one day, one day, they’re jumping.
-
The chemistry between them unbelievable. The way Jacin looks at her? The way she looks back? No one else sees it, but when they’re on the ice…they find a part of them that shines.
-
And now they’re older. Undefeated. Their signature dance is called The Princess and her Guard, and at the pinnacle, when he holds her in his arms, when they are sent backward and around and around again, when everyone holds their breath—that is the moment they fall in love. Every time.
- At the end, they first smile at the crowd, but the second smile is for each other, and it burns brighter than sun on glittering ice.

We are pretty busy today because today is the Eve of the Chinese New Year. 😊😊😊

Here is a clip from the Lion Dance held at our garage area. It is quite a popular Chinese belief that luck and wealth will come at your household when you have a Lion Dance in your house. I’d like to share the whole video from the garage to the inside of our house but Tumblr can’t handle a huge file.

Gong Xi Fa Cai everyone!! Let’s welcome the Year of the Rooster!! 🦁💃🐓

I’m really digging this new approach on Rihanna’s KissItBetter by Vancouver’s Yellow Lunar Human. There’s been a deluge of Rihanna remixes lately, but this one stands unique. We’re regaled with a funky fresh RiRi that I can’t get enough of. She’s more steamy and luscious than ever on this hot summer nights ready re-imagination. For another sensational sumptuous jam from Yellow Lunar Human, check out NoSleeep below, a sexy re-vamp of the Janet Jackson and J. Cole tune.

Made with SoundCloud

Moon in the 5th House - The Lunar Newborn 

The moon danced with the stars the night you were born

The childbearing moon feels at home in the 5th house playground. The artistic expression is rich and drips from the cosmos like melting citrus sundaes. A ravenous, compulsive, and adorable longing for gratification generates quite the performance in life. Sweet childlike qualities emanate from the individual, but they demand attention and affection. There may be a strong urge to reconnect with the mother figure and be shielded from the world. Creative spells are inflamed by the emotional experience and create a canvas of delight the individual can escape into. Like a portal into Disneyland, the 5th house Moon person is a fairytale of their own, radiating with a Leo and Lunar crown, reuniting the sun and the moon. They descend from a palace made of playdough in the cosmos. They transport us to everything that was once pure and innocent, like waterslides and puppies, and cuddle bunnies, and the newborn smell.

The spotlight with Moon in the 5th shines from a lunar lamp. The individual may be more comfortable on the stage in front of loved ones, standing under the living room light and producing a show of their own. The individual may be especially skilled at children’s entertainment and writing children’s books. There is a natural affinity with young people, children, and babies which can draw the individual to childcare, midwifery, and teaching. Because the individual radiates the endearing glow of youth, children are attracted to their presence and relish in their aura. They know how to bring people on a carousel ride back to the world of miracles and castles and fairies. Emotions are expressed with artistic ease and sublimated into creativity and decorative self expression. Their feelings have paintbrushes that colour the world in joy, art, and baby giggles. The moon waxes, wanes, and exhibits the hysterical feminine qualities. Emotional displays can be dramatic and exaggerated, contoured with theatrics, primitive reaction, and the howl to be held and protected. The individual conveys tremendous qualities of nurture and counsel. The mother cradles the child with Moon in the 5th, and the inner need to support others makes the individual feel important. Intuition is tuned into the inner child whose needs express themselves vigorously. The role of parenting is undertaken with tremendous responsibility, and much of the individual’s creative resources are injected into their upbringing and cultivating a magical life for them.

The moon is always shifting, and she can blow the winds of change through romance. Interest in love may fluctuate and life may be characterised by multiple romances and flings. The individual’s naturally seductive quality is highly responsive and displays like a flickering glow, irresistible and comforting, a siren evoking a syrupy lullaby. Those searching for a mother or parental figure may be drawn to the individual in search of peace. Difficulties may be confronted when adult life and responsibility is thrust upon them.  The individual can become consumed by their dependency and the feeling they are unequipped or not ready for the world. Only when the individual feels completely safe and secure from rejection can the light of the moon shine through their eyes and spirit. Their creative self expression is brightened with the rays of the sun that seems to flow naturally, like sunlight and moonlight, sunset and moonrise. It is also to easy to become swept away by the wine and wax lyrical delusion of life with Moon in the 5th. The creative spirit plays with the universe and brings love to life, they drink the moon and turn stars into astonishing art.

-Cherry

(art: Xue Wang)

youtube

(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDqQzxJZ4Zc)

I did the illustrations and animation! Happy Chinese New Year!

The Royal Wedding

Hey guys! So for the past two weeks, I have been participating as a tlc secret santa. I have written so many fics during those two weeks and now, I have a final Christmas gift for @drew-tanaka-is-my-wife and for @tlcsecretsanta who have been amazing!

Hope you all like it (and sorry if it’s quite long lol) 😀


Cinder was nervous- heck, had she ever been this nervous? Even though it had lessened yesterday when Kai snuck into her room at night, her anxiety had started up again in the morning.


She was worried about her vows. She already knew Kai’s vows would be perfect and despite getting used to speeches being written for her (with some participation on her part), she wanted to do this herself. She felt so much for Kai and didn’t know how to put it into words. She would think about them when the time comes, she thought.


As the maids curled her fringe and brushed on make up, Cinder rubbed her sweaty hand against her thigh. She took several deep breaths, calming her erratic heart rate. She blinked away the warning on her interface.


She thought about what Kai must be doing at this moment. She smiled as she thought of his carefree smile, his gorgeous, mesmerising brown eyes, his-


‘Now that’s the kind of smile I want to see from my dear empress to be!’


Cinder glanced in the mirror, smiling as she caught sight of Iko. 


Cinder gasped. 


Iko wore a beautiful, blue fitted dress that reached her ankles. Her braided hair was opened out and voluminsed, almost looking like a blue cloud around her head. Cinder attempted to turn her head around but remembering the maids around her, she stayed in place. 


‘Wow, Iko. You look amazing!‘ 


Iko grinned from ear to ear. She twirled, showing Cinder every part of her dress.  ‘Thank you!‘ 


Iko whistled as she stopped behind Cinder. 


‘You are looking fab-u-lous! I’ve always said you would look amazing if you dressed up!’ Iko complimented. 


Cinder grinned, her cheeks heating up. 


‘Well, it’s hard to think about dressing up when everyone takes one glance at this,’ Cinder raised her cyborg hand, ‘and runs away, disgusted.‘ 


Iko gawked at her. 


‘Seriously? Times have changed now, Cinder. Do you know how many fans you have?’


Instantly, Cinder’s interface was bombarded by millions of feeds- fanart of Kai and Cinder, articles on what dress they thought Cinder might look good in, praise on the funding she had done for cyborg children, polls on whether Cinder would be anything like Levana (she highly doubted that) and even comments on her work of encouraging lunar and earthen marriages which some people were still skeptical about. 


Cinder blinked away the results.


‘Too much to count, it seems.’


Iko dismissed the maids, saying she would take it from here. She tightened Cinder’s bun at the back, a huge smile on her face. She reached over Cinder’s shoulder for the flower embedded comb that was attached to her veil. She ran the comb into the front of her bun and smoothed down her veil from behind. 


Iko leaned her face against Cinder’s. 


'Who would have thought that a cyborg and an android would be so welcomed by the people of New Beijing?’ Iko said, her voice dripping with awe. 


Cinder sighed.


'Do you think Peony would hate me?’ Cinder asked. 


Iko side glanced at her. 


'Why would you think that?’


'Well, you remember how much Peony loved Kai. She had posters of him everywhere in her room. And here I am, marrying the man of her dreams.’


Iko laughed, shaking her head. She crouched beside Cinder, holding her hands in hers. 


'Do you know what I think? I think Peony is watching up there, swooning at the both of you. Peony loved you dearly, you know. If she was here now, she’d probably scold at you for being so depressing on your wedding day.' 


They both laughed. 


Cinder stared at Iko with a warm smile. 


'I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have you, Iko.' 


Iko sniffed. 


'Are you trying to make me cry, Cinder? Because even though I can’t cry, it sure leaves an awful feeling in my stomach. Luckily you can’t cry or else you would have ruined your make up.’


Iko straightened up. 


Come on, up you get. Let me see how you look.' 


Iko stepped back. Cinder rose from her chair and paused behind it, giving Iko a full view of her dress. 


White lace covered her from her neck to her breasts before camouflaging into her silk dress. Intertwined in the lace, was a silhouette shape of two planets, joining together at the middle- representing Earth and Luna.


The elegant, white dress clung perfectly to her slim waist, flowing outwards from her hips in a dome shape.


Cinder twirled, revealing her lace- covered shoulders and partially bare back. Cinder spun back around, liking the way her dress swished at her ankles. 


Iko clasped her hands together, excitement rolling off her in huge waves.


On cue, the door creaked open to reveal Winter, Scarlet and Cress. Cinder stared with awe at their dresses. 


Their red Chinese styled dresses were carved perfectly to their figures. Beautiful pink blossoms were pinned into the side of their hair.


Cress’s eyes widened.


'You look beautiful, Cinder!’ She exclaimed.


Cinder smiled, her blush deepening. 


'Kai is a lucky man,’ Scarlet teased, caressing her baby bump. 


Winter approached Cinder. She held her face in her hands and kissed her forehead tenderly. 


'My dear cousin, you are quite a sight. Fit for an Empress,’ Winter complimented, winking. 


Cinder thanked them and complimented them back.


Cinder stared at each of them, overwhelmed at the attention. She glanced down at her hands. She had once felt ugly, unworthy of attention. And here she was now, being spoiled of it. 


'Ok, girls, how about a group pic before we go!’ Iko cheered.


As the group gathered together and Iko held out her portscreen, Cinder smiled widely. 


Thank God she couldn’t cry. If she could, she would probably fill the whole room with them.  ——


The night sky brightened and sparkled with booming, multicoloured fireworks. The streets filled with the cheers of people as they watched the parade go by- dragons dancing along, music guiding their every move. Even some lunar acrobats danced by, using their glamour to change into different animals for the children.

Some children created lanterns with their parents, drawing moons intertwined with earths to symbolise four years of peace between the two planets since Levana’s reign. 


Kai laughed along as he watched the parade from the broadcast screens displayed inside and outside the ballroom. This was not only a day of his happiness but a day of happiness for his people. Finally, after two years of preparation, Kai and Cinder were getting married. 


Those two years had been busy - with Cinder moving into the palace and getting adjusted to it, Kai and Cinder being broadcast at different places where they tried to unite lunars and earthens (including attending wedding of lunars and earthens) and stopping the degradation of cyborgs.


Kai smiled as he saw little children with cyborg limbs, hopping up and down on the spot with delight, mixed in between other excited children.


They had done good so far, Kai thought. He was proud of how much of an inspirational figure Cinder had become. 


He stood at the altar, watching as guests filed into the ball. He was surprised to see some of the commonwealth minsters here too- some of them still couldn’t get past the idea of Cinder being a lunar. 


He glanced around at the beautiful decorations. Red, paper lanterns hung in rows across the ceiling, their light giving the ballroom a romantic feel. Sweet, honey- like aromas diffused in the air, mixing with the delicious aromas of food. They filled his nose with delight. 


Waiters rushed around the ball, giving the guest refreshments whilst the wedding preparations were still in progression.


He noticed Wolf, Thorne, Jacin at the table with the refreshments, dressed in black suits. A red blossom sat in their suit pockets. They were also joined by kinney- the guard he had met on Luna. Wolf ate away at his food whilst Thorne talked and laughed. Kinney laughed along whilst Jacin cracked a small smile at what Thorne had said- a first. 


Kai stared up at the top of the stairs, his mind reverting back to when Cinder had stumbled into the ball, her dress wet and dirty, but her eyes bright. He smiled. Cinder had quite a knack for entrances. 


He shifted on his feet, awaiting her presence.


'Eager to get married, are we?' 


Kai turned to his side to find Torin strolling to him, also wearing a black suit. A grin pulled on the corner of his mouth.


Kai rubbed the nape of his neck. 


'Yeah, I guess I am. I have been waiting two years for this. Can you blame me for wanting to make her my empress already?’ Kai replied. 


Torin approached Kai and held him by his shoulders. 


'You have grown to become a great man, Kaito. Just like your father,’ Torin said.


Kai felt a lump in his throat. 


He wished his father was here, to witness who he had become. His father’s absence dampened his excitement. 


As if reading his mind, Torin said,  'It was not easy for you to pick up where your father had left off. The letumosis disease had taken him from us far too quickly. But you kept faith even when everyone else doubted you. If it wasn’t for you and your friends, we would all have been ruled over by Levana. Take pride in what you have done. Your father would have been very proud of you. As am I to you.' 


Torin pulled him into a tight hug. Kai held back his tears and patted Torin’s back. 


'Thank you, Torin.' 


They pulled apart. 


Torin smiled. 


'Now I’d best get preparing. I do have a wedding to officiate after all.’ Torin walked towards the altar. 


Kai had asked Torin if he would be willing to officiate their wedding. He had known him ever since he was a child and couldn’t think of any other way to thank him and honor him by giving him this privilege. Torin was touched and agreed. 


At that moment, Wolf, Scarlet and Jacin joined him. Wolf patted him on the back. Kai noticed Thorne’s absence. The two guys had reassured him that he would be back in time.


Kai rubbed his hands with glee as he glanced around. He stared back at the top of the stairs and waited for Cinder to appear. 


——


Getting through the street was hectic but exhilarating. As they all hurried along, Iko handing Cinder her bouquet and commanding the servants to hold the helm of Cinder’s dress, all Cinder could think of was Kai, waiting at the altar. And how she was going to get down those stairs without falling. 


Iko had bought these matching white high heels for her wedding dress- she got the cyborg shoe made for her especially. It took a bit of time for Cinder to get used to them but she could handle them now. She hoped they would be secure enough.


Cinder ran through the plan in her head. 


As the parade would finish, she would walk down the street, greeting the people before she ascended into the ball room. It was Iko’s idea- she was her wedding planner after all. Iko wanted it to feel almost like a journey, how Cinder once used to be a mechanic in a poor street and was now about to be an Empress. 


Empress. The word still felt foreign to her. Cinder had grown used to 'Queen’ but 'Empress’ was taking it a step further. More responsibilities to uphold. The thought of her being empress scared her, but she knew that with Kai by her side, she would get through it. 


'Hello ladies,’ a familar, smug voice sounded before them.


Cinder shook out of her reverie.

Thorne leaned against a market stall, a playful grin on his face. 


His eyes lingered at them all and rested on Cress. He grinned widely, making Cress blush. 


'You all look very stunning, even you Cinder, if i have to admit.' 


Cinder laughed, resisting the urge to nudge his arm. 


'Thank you. Shouldn’t you be with Kai?’ Cinder asked, her heart beat peaking slightly.


Thorne waved his hand dismissively. 


'Yes, I know. But I wanted to ask you something first.' 


Cinder raised an eyebrow.


Thorne straightened up, his face growing serious. 


'I know you felt awkward about going down the aisle on your own. So I was wondering… if you would like me to walk down the aisle with you?’ Thorne asked. 


Cinder’s heart warmed. She cleared the emotion from her throat.


'Thorne… That is…’


'Sweet, I know.’ Thorne smirked. He held her hands.


'Although I may not show it, your friendship does mean a lot to me. If it wasn’t for you, I would have escaped that prison cell later than I would have wanted. And I wouldn’t have met Cress.’ He glanced at her and winked. 


'So I want to make it up to you. What do ya say?' 


Cinder pulled a one sided grin. 


'As long as you don’t step on my dress or flirt with the guests, then why not?’


Thorne smiled widely. 


'I promise I will be on my best behaviour. Unless I’m near Cress, then I don’t know about that,’ Thorne teased.


'Thorne!’ Cress lightly punched his shoulder before planting a quick kiss on his cheek.


Cress, Iko and winter positioned themselves in front of Cinder.  


Thorne stood beside Cinder, curling her arm around his. He pushed his chest out with pride. 


'Shall we?’


With a nod, they all strolled through the crowded street. Extravagant music sounded, announcing Cinder’s arrival. The people separated, leaving a pathway decorated with crimson petals. 


Cinder held back her gasp, keeping her eyes focused on the several faces that greeted her. 


The people bowed and cheered as she walked past. She smiled as the children held up their lanterns with radiant smiles. Their parents lit them up and let them float into the sky. A whole array of purple, yellow and blue lanterns swayed in the air, illuminating the night sky. 


Cinder spared a glance at the lanterns, a wide smile spreading across her face. Cress, Iko and Winter giggled with delight. Cinder thanked the children for the display. 


Gripping onto the side of her dress, Thorne escorted her up the stairs. With every step, Cinder remembered when she had first rushed up these very same stairs to warn Kai about Levana. How long ago that was now.  


Cinder felt a sense of tranquility flood through her as she reached the top of the stairs. 


This was it. 


——


This was it, Kai thought. From inside the ball, the muffled music in the distance informed him that Cinder was here. 


Kai noticed Thorne was still not here. Jacin and Wolf had then told him about Thorne’s plan to walk Cinder down the aisle. 


Kai was touched at Thorne’s offer. He noted to himself to thank Thorne when he saw him. 


Kai could hear the cheers and hoots of the people and saw several lanterns floating into the air. 


A sudden pang of nervousness hit him in his stomach. He ran a tentative hand through his hair and adjusted his red and yellow militia uniform. 


Cress, Iko and Winter glided down the steps, grinning widely. 


The crowd inside the ball gasped.


Kai followed their gazes and saw why. 


At the top of the stairs, stood Cinder, her arm interlocked with Thorne’s. 


His heart oozed with warmth. He let his jaw drop. 


Behind her veil, Cinder glanced at him, a beautiful smile across her face. 


Kai grinned widely, unable to cover his dumbstruck trance. 


Cinder watched the steps as she descended them gracefully. Thorne stared at Kai, giving him a 'isn’t she beautiful?’ look.


Kai nodded. 


Reaching the last step, Cinder strode to him, her eyes staring into his and only his. 


Kai felt his heart would explode at any moment. 


He glanced back at Torin who gave him an approved nod. 


Thorne left Cinder beside Kai and took up his place with Wolf and Jacin. Cress, Iko, Scarlet and Winter stood beside Cinder. 


'Hi,’ Kai greeted Cinder. 


'Hey,’ Cinder whispered. 


With her cyborg hand, she held onto his hand. 


'You look beautiful.' 


'You don’t look so bad yourself,’ Cinder replied, winking at him. 


Kai let out a small laugh. 


He nodded at Torin to begin.


—–


Torin ran them through the customs- tying ribbons onto each other’s wrists and slipping rings onto each other’s fingers as they repeated words after Torin. 


Then came the vows. 


Cinder focused on Kai’s handsome smile, blinking away the warning of her blood pressure increasing. 


Kai cleared his throat and then recited:


'Cinder. Ever since we met, you always intrigued me. That day when I met you in your workshop, it was your eyes that surprised me. You had such sadness in them. I didn’t understand it at the time as all I saw was a independent, beautiful and talented woman working away in her workshop. 


'It was then that I realised I wanted to know more about you and why you were sad. And then eventually, all I wanted was to remove that sadness from you. When I found out about you being a cyborg and a lunar, I realised what you must have gone through. But despite that, it never changed how I felt about you. You were still that carefree mechanic who saw me as myself and not as a prince.' 


Kai rubbed her knuckles with his thumbs. His voice grew more soft.


'Fighting against Levana with you was the best time I’ve ever had. Yes, there was the stress of defeating Levana and all, but I couldn’t have asked for a better partner than you. I love you to the moon and back and no matter what people say about cyborgs and lunars, I will never judge you nor think you any less of a person than me. 


'I love you for who you are. And it would give me nothing but joy if you became my empress. I will love you, Cinder, till the day I die.' 


Kai kissed her knuckles. 


Goosebumps rushed through Cinder’s whole body. 


Cinder smiled, her eyes starting to ache with the urge to cry. She was right. His vows were perfect. 


Sighs of swoon echoed in the ballroom. 


Now it was Cinder’s turn. She took a deep breath before speaking:


'Kai, my beloved emperor. If I hadn’t met you, I wouldn’t have believed that dreams could come true. When you entered my workshop, all I could think about was telling my sister that you were there. And that you were as handsome as she had said.


'But when we kept bumping into each other, all I could think about was meeting you again and talking to you. You made me relax and forget that I was someone no one cared for.’


Cinder glanced up briefly at her surroundings.


'When you discovered I was a cyborg and lunar, in this very same place, I knew for sure that you wouldn’t want anything to do with me. I was a person of two species that people despised. But here you are, before me, loving me all the same. 


'You made me feel special when I thought I was nothing. You were willing to fight other people’s judgments to be with me. And there are no words that can describe how much love and respect I have for you.


'If i had to go through everything I did again, knowing that you would be my happily ever after, then I would. I love you with all my heart and I will stand by your side, no matter what. I promise I will never let that handsome smile of yours fade,’ Cinder finished, bringing his hands to her lips.  


Cinder could hear Iko sniff behind her. That was a good sigh. She smiled with relief. She relished the warmth that emitted from Kai’s smile. 


A moment of silence fell over them, the words absorbing into the crowd. 


And then Torin continued on. 


Two people approached them, holding cushions where two crowns rested.  


Kai folded her veil behind her head. 


As Torin announced them Emperor and Empress, Kai and Cinder leaned in to kiss. 


Cinder felt her insides melt as she felt his soft lips on hers. 


Applause and cheers echoed in the ball, reverberating through their bodies. They both pulled apart, the warmth dissipating between them.


They both faced the guests, their hands joined firmly. 


The crowns were planted onto their heads. 


Cinder’s heart pumped loudly. Full of life. 


It took her only a moment to register it- she was now an Empress of the Eastern commonwealth.


—–


The ball was lively with music, dancing and laughter. It was funny to see how some of the guests really acted when they weren’t being broadcast to the people of New Beijing. Some of the guests ate away at the food served, like beasts. So much for etiquette. 


Cinder stifled a giggle. She glanced to her side where Thorne danced with Cress, who swayed on his toes and Jacin twirled Winter in circles. 


Scarlet and Wolf sat at a table, feeding each other some cake whilst Iko stood at another table where she gave a scolding look at Kinney. Kinney stopped munching his cake, a questioning look on his face. 


Cinder swayed on the dancefloor with Kai, her arms around his neck. She turned back to him. He pressed his forehead to hers, brushing his lips against hers. 


'So, Empress, what did you think of my vows?’ Kai asked, raising a curious eyebrow. 


Cinder smirked. 


'Very cheesy, but every bit sweet.’ Cinder gave him a kiss. 


Kai pulled a one sided grin. 


'I could say the same for you. I told you, you would be good at writing your own speeches. You need to believe in yourself.’


'Well, at least I got you to believe in me.' 


Out of nowhere, Thorne interrupted their dance. 


'May I have a dance with the 'empress’?’ Thorne asked with a smug smile. 


'I think you should stick to calling me Cinder. You make 'Empress’ sound creepy when you say it,’ Cinder teased. 


Thorne stuck his tongue out. 


Kai patted him on the shoulder.


'Thank you for walking Cinder down the aisle. I appreciate it,’ Kai said. 


Thorne nodded. 


'No problem. I always wondered how it must feel to have all that attention on you. It’s pretty exhilarating,’ Thorne said mischievously. 


Cinder nudged his arm. 


'Can’t even compliment you without you adding to it,’ Cinder remarked. 


Kai glanced up at the top of the stairs, a wide smile on his face.


He interlocked his hand with hers.


'Looks like that dance will have to wait, Thorne,’ Kai said.


As Thorne protested, Kai guided Cinder up the steps. Cinder asked Kai where he was taking her but he just told her to follow him.


They reached the top and walked along the platform. Kai guided her to two chairs in the corner, bathed in the moonlight. 


Cinder followed the light back up to its source, gawking at the sight of the bright moon in the distance.


'It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I thought it’d be a nice view to watch from here,’ Kai said, seating himself in his chair. Cinder straightened her dress from behind and sat back in the chair.


She couldn’t stop the sigh of relief escaping her lips. She realised then she had been in these shoes the whole day.


They both gazed up at the moon. 


'Do you miss being up there?’ Kai asked after a moment of silence.


Cinder shook her head. 


'It was never really my home, even though I was born up there. I guess it felt good in a way, being Queen of Luna. I could at least make some changes to Artemisia after how Levana ruled it. But not everything could be changed. Not everyone either. That’s why I decided to have a prime minister up there. Besides.’


Cinder glanced at Kai,


'This has always been my home. With you.' 


Kai reached for her hand and held it firmly. 


He caressed their hands with his free hand. He stroked them with thought.


'I know it will be difficult now that you are Empress. The responsibities and the demand of people and so on. And I know we still need to get rid of the stigma of lun-' 


Cinder leaned towards him. She stared into his eyes. 


'I know. And I am prepared for it. Nothing can be perfect. Although some things may be set in stone, it doesn’t mean we can’t etch new things on it. We will change things as best as we can. For the better,’ Cinder reassured, a confident smile on her face.


Kai nodded, matching her smile. 


'Spoken like a true empress.' 


As they exchanged a kiss and Kai changed the subject to their honeymoon, the moon shone brighter, bathing the whole palace in its glorious light.

6

Passing on the Tradition of Lion Dancing with @3keung

To see more photos and videos of lion dances performed by Jerry and his team, follow @3keung and @liondancesports on Instagram.

The Lunar New Year ushers in the Year of the Sheep this week, and lion dances are one of the many symbolic traditions observed during the holiday. The centuries old colorful and acrobatic performance has its origins in China, and is carried on today by dancers like Jerry Keung (@3keung), who has devoted most of his life to mastering the art.

Starting his training at age three and becoming a lion dancer at 16, Jerry now coaches a lion dance team in Hong Kong. “The Chinese lion dance has close relations to kung fu,” he explains. “To become a dancer, you will have to enhance kung fu skills like breath control, fluidity of movements, agility and solidness, mental clarity and relaxation. It takes a very long time.” In addition to coaching, Jerry also hosts public workshops to keep the tradition alive. “Lion dance represents China and Chinese culture — it’s also a piece of art.”