market lists

little things that i should do more often:
  • laughing my heart out ‘til my tummy hurts
  • picking fresh fruits and vegetables from our farm with my gramps
  • expressing my true feelings and showing genuine colors to my parents
  • saying “thank you” instead of “sorry”
  • teaching my dogs some cool tricks from youtube
  • having a nice movie break after studying for eternity
  • getting enough & appropriate amount of sleep
  • giving sweets to little stranger children
  • buying books and after reading, giving it to a person who deserves to read it
  • giving sad people the warmest hugs
  • waking up early and watching the sunrise
  • taking random snaps of my friends doing absolutely anything
  • trying out different accents
  • recording myself talking about the things i love
  • reminiscing the past under the moonlight with an old friend
  • conversing with a friendly stranger on a coffee shop
  • buying myself some flowers on the market
  • listing down the things i love about myself
  • exploring the city alone
  • saying spontaneous compliments to my beautiful friends
  • expressing how much i love the people that matter to me
  • buying a tub of ice cream for personal consumption
  • adding sparkles under my eyes
  • going on a date with myself
  • sketching random buildings on public
  • riding the public transit
  • exploring my own self
  • baking a cake for the ppl i love
  • counting the visible stars
  • volunteering to help
  • writing a pointless but heart-felt song
  • going on a road trip with my favorite people
  • writing letters to strangers and leaving then in the front pocket of my airplane seat
  • getting my crap together
  • painting on the bodies of my friends
  • saying hello to random animals

Imatge: Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona, Catalunya.
Image: La Boqueria Market, Barcelona, Catalonia.

[Based on @german-hobbit‘s Arabic market vocabulary]

El mercat: market
La botiga: shop, store
El client (m) / la clienta (f): client, buyer
El venedor (m) / la venedora (f): seller
Comprar: to buy
Vendre: to sell
Barat (m) / barata (f): cheap
Car (m) / cara (f): expensive
De segona mà: second hand, used
Nou (m) / nova (f): new
Vell (m) / vella (f): old
Antic (m) / antiga (f): ancient
L’antiguitat (f): antiquity
El nou model: the new model
Els bens: goods
El plat: dish (food)
La beguda: drink
Fresc (m) / fresca (f): fresh, cool
La fruita: fruit
La verdura: vegetable
Les espècies: spices
L’embotit (m): cold meat (typical Iberian)
El perfum: perfume
La joia: jewel
El bracelet: bracelet
El collaret: necklace
Les arracades: earrings
La plata: silver
L’or (m): gold
La tela: fabric
La roba: clothes
El mercat medieval: Medieval market

Quant val?: how much does it cost?
   Quant val aquest llibre?: how much is this book?
   Quant valen aquestes taronges?: how much are these oranges?
Val… euros: it’s ….€

Cheap Vegan Grocery List 

Since the Cheap Vegan Pantry article has been so popular, I am (by request) following up with a Cheap Vegan Grocery List. Here I’ll explain the different strategies I use and items I buy to stay healthy on a budget.

When you go to the grocery store, have in mind what percentage of what types of food you plan to buy. This should mirror your ideal plate of food. My goal is to eat mostly whole foods (foods that have not been processed), as many organic foods as I can afford to splurge on, and as little sugar and processed foods as possible. Besides obvious sugar like corn syrup, sugars also include white bread/pasta, anything made with white flour.

Once you have mentally prepared yourself for grocery shopping, you start from the bottom up. I shop at a few different sources to get what I need for the best bargain. Luckily, all of these places are walking distance to my house. But do what works best for you! If you’d rather only go to only one place, that might be more valuable than the $10-20 bucks you save a week going to multiple stores.

Start Literally Dirt-cheap
To start, check your garden. Whether you’re just planting some herbs or you have a whole veggie garden, there’s nothing better than home-grown food. As Ron Finley says, “Planting your own food is like printing your own money …plus you get strawberries.”

If you happen to get to a farmers market, check out their $1 rack. Often times they’ll have good deals of food they have too much of.

Figuratively Dirt Cheap
Next I go to the 99cent and up store—and I know what you’re thinking, we just went from the garden to the dollar store, but I’m broke people! …plus they’re really not all that bad. Especially here in Los Angeles! People tend to get sketched out by the dollar store but you just have to use common sense. If something looks a little suspect, don’t buy it. A lot of the food is even the same brand as what you’d get at a grocery store, just overstock.

At the 99c store I buy:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Any pre-cut, easy to prepare veggies that look good (ex. Shredded purple cabbage, carrots, etc.)
  • Salsa
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Canned beans (at my location they have a variety of organic beans for a buck!)
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Canned Tomato Sauce/Diced tomatoes
  • Random canned goods I might need
  • Soy Milk
  • Brown Rice
  • Oatmeal

If I needed anything else I couldn’t find at the dollar store my next stop is usually my local…

The Mexican Super Market!
In LA I go to JON’s in Chicago I went to Devon Market, but most cities have their own Mexican supermarkets where you can get produce for a little cheaper.

Here I buy:
Bananas

  • Apples
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell Peppers
  • Any other produce I have a recipe in mind for
  • Frozen Veggies
  • Almond Milk
  • Cereal
  • Nuts
  • Baking Items
  • Whole grain pastas

 Lastly, if I’m feeling a little fancy, having a craving, or just can’t find it at those two places, I go to…

The Bougie spots: Trader Joes and Whole Foods

Where I get…

  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Low sugarGranola (a lot of times granola has just as much sugar as cereal like frosted flakes or cocoa pebbles)
    Dr. Praegers veggie burgers (where their motto is making the ingredients recognizable)
  • Trader Joe’s Tomatillo and Roasted Yellow Chilli Salsa (because it’s BOMB)
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Natural Almond Butter
  • Ezikiel Bread

…any little things that I can afford to splurge on

Extra tips…

Always look for bargains. If there is a discount rack, start there, then move to the sections you would usually go to and keep looking for deals. If you’re afraid you can’t eat the 2 for 1 case of fruit, remember freezing. You can always save it for a smoothie or banana whip later! Same goes for canned goods and non-perishable foods. Sometimes buying in bulk can save you some cash in the long run. 

I thought vegan food was expensive…
A big misconception about being vegan, and why many think it’s so expensive to eat a plant-based diet, is because of the processed foods that are catered to vegan consumers. Foods like Tofurky, Boca Burgers, Amy’s frozen dinners, daiya, and other pre-made vegan “meats” and “cheeses” are simply more expensive than produce AND worse than that, they’re not as healthy! It’s easy to be a healthy cheap vegan, but start throwing in processed foods and sugars and you start to dive into expensive territory. So make the healthier and less expensive choice and eat your whole fruits and veggies!

WHY TRAILS IS MY FAVORITE RPG SERIES

What comes to mind when you think of a good RPG series? Often times people will say Final Fantasy, Dark Souls, Skyrim, and Witcher 3. Others will say Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Xenoblade, or Tales. But very few will mention the Trails series, otherwise known as the Kiseki series in Japan.

The Trails series is actually a larger part of The Legend of Heroes franchise, which has been around for a long time. There are 5 other Legend of Heroes series just like Trails, but we will be focusing on just the Trails series, which is the 6th installment.

It is by far the best RPG series pound for pound in existence; very few games can rival the quality of this series such as Witcher 3 and the Xenoblade series. So why doesn’t anyone know about it outside of Japan? The biggest problem that stands in the way of the Trails series is localization.

Trails games have the largest script size of any video game series, which means they come over that much later when localized. For frame of reference, Trails in the Sky came out on PC in 2004 and PSP in 2006, but it was localized in 2011. Its sequel was localized 3 years later. The script size isn’t the sole reason for the discreprancy between Japanese and Western release dates, but it makes quality testing, debugging, and programming much more time consuming.

Long localization times mean that the game will feel dated to Western players by the time it reaches them. Couple that being in the unpopular JRPG genre, and it’s no wonder why Trails is under the radar in the West. Even in Japan, Falcom’s decisions to make most of their games on PC backfired. At the time, console gaming was more popular than PC gaming, the reverse of today’s trend.

As a result, console RPGs received more attention which was further amplified by the heated console wars between Nintendo, Sony, and Sega. What’s more unfortunate for Falcom was the decline of the JRPG genre, which earned a stigma in the West, therefore striking the global market off their list of considerations. So even by the time Trails in the Sky came out, it was already too late for them to capture a widespread audience.

If you go back in time and change a few things like platform choice, localization, and maybe going 3D, then Trails would have the popularity it deserves today. If Trails was as well known as Final Fantasy or Witcher 3, it would have dramatically changed the landscape of the JRPG genre.

But enough about that… So what makes the Trails series so worthy of praise? When you pick up an RPG, you’re probably doing it for its story and characters. The battle system is secondary to you but of course you still want that to be fun. The Trails series does all of the above and more, to the greatest extent.

The best way I can describe the Trails series is that it’s an RPG made for RPG fans. You have some of the best worldbuilding of any fictional work, profound story and characters, massive amounts of content, and an ingenius battle system. It does everything you want an RPG to do, and more.

WORLD BUILDING

It’s easy to create a fictional world but difficult to create one that has a coherent geography, ecology, history, and politics. It is essential to telling a story because it’s the setting, the driving force of the plot, and the groundwork for character motives. But worldbuilding can also destroy the storyline if it’s bad.

Let’s take a look at Final Fantasy XIII and its world of Cocoon, a floating planetoid-shaped continent floating above Gran Pulse, a wilderness of monsters. While on Cocoon, your fugitive characters are constantly on the run from the entire human race. You never have time to take in the sights and in fact, you barely get to explore any of the wondrous cities in the game. Outside of deities and the military, you know nothing about its citizens, cities, politics, economy, or what life is like for the average person. You have no reason to care about its world.

Which I guess is the point because your characters are fugitives who plan on destroying it. Except that halfway through, your characters don’t want to do that anymore but Cocoon almost gets destroyed anyway. In the end, Cocoon is saved but to what end? The players have no way to care about Cocoon even if they wanted to, so why does it matter? Its safety has no emotional impact on the player.

By the way, you can read much about XIII’s lore and background in the game’s database. But that’s not the same as storytelling or worldbuilding. Reading about something is not the same as experiencing it. The game can have amazing characters and look as pretty as it wants, but with such awful worldbuilding its story becomes the least memorable thing about it.

Now let’s talk about Trails, which takes place on the continent of Zemuria. The Trails in the Sky trilogy takes place in the Kingdom of Liberl. Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki take place in Crossbell State, and are thus known as the Crossbell duology. Trails of Cold Steel 1 & 2 takes place in the Erebonian Empire. All of these regions are within the Zemurian continent, each with their own culture, people, ideas, economy, and politics.  And there are many more countries on this continent that play a role in the Trails series, we just don’t travel there- yet.

They sign treaties, trade with each other, and go to war just like real world nations. The relationship between these regions affects the overarching events of what happens within their borders, and thus become the driving forces of their respective games.

In Sky, you have an extremist who doesn’t believe the current seat of authority has what it takes to protect Liberl. In Erebonia, you have a country built on the annexation of many other states in an expansion for power so that it can compete against its long-standing rival, the Calvard Republic. With the way Trails does its worldbuilding, you can see that everyone has a motivation behind their actions. You can see why the story unfolds the way it does. And you can also see how they intersect and affect each other.

But Trails is not simply a bunch of countries vying for resources or superiority. There are so many forces and organizations in play that make the story even more interesting. You have the Bracer Guild, a politically neutral organization whose purpose is to maintain peace and protect people. They don’t alway get along with the military, but they are loved by the people for solving their everyday problems.

On the other hand, you have the Jaeger Corps, mercenaries for hire. They are often employed by corrupt officials and evil organizations to carry out their dirty work. They operate outside the boundaries of laws and do whatever it takes to get the job done. There are different Jaeger Corps in the Trails Series, such as the Zephyr and Red Constellation, who have a bad history together. The Jaeger Corps and Bracer Guild are not necessarily rivals, but their line of work and ideals are often in opposition.

You also have Septian Churches established all over the continent in dedication of the Sky Goddess Aidios, otherwise known as “She who dwells above.” Ordinarily, these churches are insignificant to the main storyline. But in Arteria, the High Seat of the Septian Church, there is an operation of Holy Knights known as the Gralsritter. They operate with the utmost secrecy and are therefore unknown to the public. Their goal is to recover artifacts and ensure they are kept away from human hands. They have other important missions but they are a central focus of the Trails series, so there is not much we know about their Holy Knight operations. 

Also operating in secrecy is an evil society known as Ouroboros. They are the ultimate masterminds in each of the Trails games. Their intentions, members, and powers are all shrouded in mystery. Often times, their plans revolve around obtaining artifacts and manipulating influential figures to carry out their grand schemes.

The amount of detail that goes into their worldbuilding goes down to even the microscopic levels. Each city and town has its own economy, culture, and people. The main reason for Trails’ large text is because almost every NPC in the game is a named character with their own story. You have a couple traveling the world together, a hopeless romantic and his best friend, and family members living in different cities wondering about each other.

These aren’t your average generic NPCs that exist to fill up a town and make it feel alive. These are actual characters with their own stories with different dialogue lines throughout the entire game. What you get in the end is a living, breathing, organic world. It’s something you can appreciate while traveling, something you can fall in love with, and ultimately something you want to protect.

STORY/CHARACTERS

Even with amazing world building, the writers can still drop the ball on the story and characters. In Sword Art Online, the worldwide hit MMORPG anime, you have a wonderful fantasy land and an intriguing UI for players to use. Couple that with top notch animation and attractive character designs and you have a great-looking anime. Unfortunately, that’s all it is.

The show is basically being run by a Gary and Mary Stu, two leading protagonists who are perfect in every way and get what they want in the end. It’s painful and annoying to watch. The show does a great job of catching your interest but an equally good job on ruining it. SAO’s worldbuilding has great potential but it’s ultimately wasted on poor writing and terrible characters.

On the other hand, Trails does an exceptional job with their story and characters. Their storylines have actually good plot twists and their games know how to wrap up and ending better than a Chipotle burrito. Their characters have deep histories and well-written development.

Writing a good plot twist can be difficult, because it needs to have the element of surprise, impact the storyline, and make sense all at the same time. The story has to lead up to that point without giving it away. In other words, the foreshadowing needs to be just enough so that players guess something will happen but not too much so that they don’t know exactly what WILL happen. This is something Trails has done every single time.

Secondly, plot twists will change the tone or pace of the game, for better or for worse. Often times, writers just have this amazing twist in their mind but they don’t know what to do afterwards. So what you get is a sloppy ending that makes no sense.

This is a problem Trails does not suffer because you can tell that they meticulously plan out their writing from beginning to end. Their plot twists properly accomodate for everything affected so there are no plot holes or inconsistencies. And because their storylines occur over several games, their endings wrap up the current arc but end with a cliffhanger to start the next arc.

Trails does an equally amazing job with their characters. Good characters are always memorable and it just so happens that nearly all of the Trails characters are memorable. They go beyond your typical archetype because of good writing, original histories, and meaningful development.

When delving into a character’s past, Trails goes deep. You see their upbringing, what happened to each of the characters, and how those events shaped the person you see today. These flashbacks are brief and happen at the crux of a character’s development. What you get in the end is a development that flows nicely, ties in with the story, and helps you appreciate the character more.

Speaking of development, Trails has some of the most meaningful character development in the genre. Each of these characters feel very human because they have relateable flaws, flaws that they know they have difficulty coping with. And by adventuring with companions, they are able to own up to their mistakes and make amends, which pushes their characters towards completion.

For example, there are a pair of characters who dislike each other because of their personalities and social standing. They are unable to work in a team and as a result, a mutual friend of theirs gets hurt. They are forced to realize that they are the problem and begin working together. They still get on each other’s nerves, but now they are more like squabbling rivals rather than two people who hate each other’s guts.

Moreover, each of them have their own realizations as individuals. The noble realizes that he shouldn’t try to do everything alone. There are times when it is okay to rely on other’s strengths. The commoner realizes he’s too hotheaded and that he needs to be more open-minded. It’s endearing, it’s charming, and it’s entertaining. This is the kind of character writing you will come across in the Trails series.

BATTLE SYSTEM

At the end of the day, video games are video games. It can have a great story but if the gameplay doesn’t attract the player, then they might drop the game before finishing the story. So sometimes, players are forced to play a bad game to finish a story or go through a bad story that has good gameplay. With Trails, the quality of their story and characters can also be seen in the gameplay so you get the best of both worlds.

The Trails series is one of the most satisfying strategic turn-based RPGs in the genre. It’s simple enough for newcomers to understand without referring to a guide but complex enough for hardcore players to have fun with. Basically, your characters battle on a field and perform regular attacks, special attacks, or cast spells. And naturally, there are other commands such as defending, using items, or running away. But there is much more to this.

First of all, positioning. Each character has a movement stat which determines how far they can travel on the field. This is important for weapon users who need to be close to the enemy to attack. During battles, you and your enemies will be all over the battlefield attacking each other, and this is where position comes to play. In this game, spells and special attacks have an area of effect that allows them to hit more than one target. For example, a linear AoE or a circular AoE. This also applies to buffs so if your characters aren’t close enough together, some of them may miss out on beneficial effects.

Secondly, Trails’ turn-based combat has an additional factor called Delay. In most turn-based RPGs, turns are determined solely by the speed stat. In Trails, it’s based on both speed and delay. Delay is the amount of “lag” of each action, and this “lag” determines when the character’s next turn will be. For example, when unleashing a powerful spell or attack, the delay may allow the enemy to take an extra turn before your character can act again. This kind of balancing allows different levels of attacks and spells to become relevant throughout the entire game.

Third, we have spells which are known as Arts in the Trails series. These spells can be offensive or supportive. Supportive spells can buff your characters or debuff the enemy, depending on their immunities. Offensive spells are separated into different tiers of spells. Stronger spells have higher costs and more delay, but they deal more damage and often have an area of effect. Certain offensive spells also have a chance to inflict a status ailment such as freeze or burn.

Fourth, we have Crafts which are the special attacks of the Trails series. These are character-specific skills that can have any number of effects. They can deal extra damage, have an area of effect, provide a buff, inflict debuffs on enemies, heal HP, and more. They consume a resource called CP, which can only be accumulated during battles (with some exceptions).

Fifth, we have Status Ailments. Yes they exist in every RPG but Trails’ status ailments play a larger role in the outcome of battles than any other RPGs. Defensive buffs are significant enough to prevent character deaths and save you from wasting a turn on healing HP. And ailments such as Petrify or Freeze can completely turn the tide.

On top of that, Trails has a plethora of unique ailments unseen in other RPGs. AT Delay pushes back a character’s turn. Faint prevents a character from taking a turn, and any attacks that land on them will result in a Critical. Vanish temporarily removes a character from the field. The complexity of ailments adds more layers of strategy that must be considered when battling in a Trails game.

And finally, we have Orbments, yet another defining part of the Trails system. Every character has an Orbment with several slots. Players choose what elemental Quartz goes in each slot. Quartz will affect both the character’s stats and what spells they can use. For example, an Attack Quartz (Red) will increase a character’s physical damage and give them access to Fire Bolt.

Orbments work differently depending on which Trails game you play, but universally you get to choose what Quartz goes into each slot. Because of this freedom, there is a high degree of customization in outfitting your party members. You can shape characters into different roles to suit your needs.

These are the defining components that make up the Trails system. Each of these adds a layer of depth and strategy to the battle system. In most turn-based games, you’re essentially managing damage and healing. But in Trails, you’re doing so much more than that. Its sophistication allows the satisfying experience of finding multiple solutions to the same problem and playing however you want.

A battle system can have the most interesting concepts and mechanics but it’s useless without an array of enemies that take full advantage of it. In Trails, you have many different kinds of enemies that require different strategies to take down. You have enemies with high evasion or high defense, so you need to use spells to take them down. Then there are enemies who are immune or even reflect spells, so they need to be handled physically. There are enemies who explode upon KO, so you have to take them out from a distance. These are just few of the many types of enemies that you will run into in the Trails series.

You can get by on brute force, but you’ll be using more healing items and spells along the way. If you play with strategy, your battles will be more efficient and satisfying. That’s the beauty of the Trails’ battle systems. There is no single way to win a battle. There are no useless characters that get outshined by the rest of the cast (okay… I can think of one poor girl). The battle system is your playground. 

MUSIC

When people talk about amazing video game music they often refer to Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, and Mega Man. But the Trails series is a real contender and personally, I enjoy their music more than any other video game series (except Zelda). You have really catchy battle tunes, perfect ambient music for dungeons, and the music for cutscenes are spot-on. Most soundtracks are 50% recognizable, but Trails music is so good, I remember 80-90% of their tracks.

CONTENT

Like I said before, Trails is an RPG for RPG fans. RPG fans love a game they can sit down and play for endless amounts of hours. They love having a ton of sidequests to do as long as they are fun and interesting. They enjoy exploring every nook and cranny of fields and dungeons for hidden treasure chests. Trails caters to all of this and more.

This holds especially true for their storylines. As mentioned before, the Trails series span several games to tell the complete story. Their story isn’t dragged on or inflated for the sake of having multiple games. The scale of the stories are so grand and epic, that each arc needs to be told on its own. When playing the sequel, I want to find out badly how the story ends and what happens to the characters I’ve grown attached to. I don’t feel like the series is being milked or that they are just reusing assets to cut costs of making a new game.

CONCLUSION 

I’ve always found it difficult to explain to someone else why Trails is so good. It’s easy to say “This RPG has good stories and characters and it’s fun to play” but that’s not enough to convince someone to pick it up and play it. This is a series that cannot be summed up with a few tag lines in a 30 second commercial. I wish I could hold a lecture at a campus to describe the Trails series to RPG fans.

Also, the Trails series comes in so many different flavors but they’re universally amazing. So it’s not just one game or a duology I am trying to sell to people, it’s the entire series. I find myself saying to people “Just give it a try, you won’t regret it” and then typing in all caps to emphasize my desperate excitement. But I think in writing this essay, I’ve done a good job making it stand out from other RPGs. 

I hope you guys give Trails a try. 

Moa River Region - Sierra Leone

The Moa River originates in the highlands of Guinea, and flows south-west. It forms part of the borders between Guinea and Sierra Leone, and Sierra Leone and Liberia. The drainage areas of the river, are known for producing high quality diamonds. 

clever-cliche-deactivated201412  asked:

What does flying balm do?

heres a whole chunk of info on it.  

(source)

A Background and History

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

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

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

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

What are the Herbs Used?

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

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

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

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

Modern Flying Ointments

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

Christian Rätsch, Witchcraft Medicine

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

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

How a Flying Ointment Works

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

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

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

How to Use a Flying Ointment

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

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

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

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

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

What to Expect

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

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

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

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

Contraindications (Warnings – Please Read Carefully)

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

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

The Naked Truth

Written by: @peetaspikelets

Dialogue Prompt: this has got to be the strangest day of my life…(submitted by @xerxia31)

Rating: M (for nudity and language)

A/N: I need to thank Mr Pikelet for helping me bring this story to life. He brought ‘an event’ to my attention and after my initial shock and a bit of a giggle I thought I have to everlark this some how. 

A BIG thank you to my beta @sponsormusings for her amazing guidance, support and advice. I would be lost without you!

Enjoy!

Keep reading

ID #65919

Name: Nina
Age: 20
Country: USA

Hi! I’m currently a college student studying business marketing! I am also in a sorority at my school and a very active member in my school’s Greek Life! Don’t be afraid to ask me any questions about it! Although I love school I somehow always catch myself daydreaming of the world around me. I have a huge passion for photography, especially portraiture, and I love to capture the lives of those around me no matter how different they are. I only have 4 things on my bucket list, visit Paris, France, visit Hawaii, payoff all of my debts, and have at least 2 children :) pretty simple, but I always say that if the list is long I’ll never get it done (distractions) and the smaller the list the more I’m willing to work to get it done! I also love all things Disney, constantly have the typical college student urge to drop out and travel the world, and am always down to grab a blanket and stargaze :)

Preferences: I only truly would like to talk to people around my age (19-22). Language and location does not matter to me! In fact, the further away the better :)

anonymous asked:

Recently, Jim Sterling (who I'm sure you're tired of hearing about by now) said that he looks forward to a future where video game publishers don't exist. That got me thinking, besides the incredibly large amounts of money it takes to create a AAA game, what benefits do developers get by being under a publisher? (Sorry if you've answered this before.)

Aside from providing funding, publishers do a lot of other things for dev studios. Here’s a non-exhaustive list. They…

  • Market the game so that players out there can learn about them
  • Handle first pass certification testing to lower certification costs
  • Mobilize QA teams for the game when needed
  • Handle distribution via retail and digital
  • Provide additional developers if the dev team falls behind
  • Handle the logistics of getting a dev team equipped and set up with PCs, dev kits, etc.
  • Handle market research for information about the target audience and game
  • Handle game localization for other regions, including legal compliance (e.g. China)
  • Handle legal contracts with other entities like license holders, platform,  and distributors
  • Handle live operations for things like customer service, patch deployment, financial transactions, etc.

Basically, publishers exist to handle all of the logistical and business stuff so that game developers don’t need to worry about it and can focus on developing games. These sorts of tasks aren’t trivial, and they can be very expensive to set up for a dev studio on its own. 

There’s actually been an increase in the number of publishers in the past ten years or so, rather than a decrease. Ever since indie game development got big in the social and mobile space, more and more of the indie devs have turned to publishers to help them handle some or all of these logistical issues, because they have realized that self-publishing is an extremely expensive and difficult process. It costs a lot of time, effort, and money to establish departments to handle these tasks in a development studio, and that takes valuable time away from development to hire, train, and build out these departments. Specialist companies that handle all of the logistics just make sense as business partners, because a single dev studio probably won’t need a full QA team, cert team, marketing push, customer service team, etc. every work day of the year, but you can task out a QA team to work on game A from January to March, game B from April to June, game C from July to September, and so on. The QA team gets to remain employed year round instead of being brought on for three months and then let go, the dev teams get experienced and professional QA testers without needing to train them, and the overall cost for this (and marketing, licensing, distribution, etc.) is spread out over multiple studios. 

Publishers provide a lot of valuable and useful services to a development studio beyond simply funding them. There’s a lot of logistical and non-development tasks that must be done in order to bring a game from development to the public, and that’s what the publisher takes care of. The lack of logistical support is one of the most common reasons why crowdfunded games tend to fall behind schedule so easily - they don’t have a publisher to grease the gears and keep things running smoothly. A lot of people only see publishers as the source of funding, but they do a lot more than just dole out the checks. Somebody needs to handle the logistics, and that’s the publisher.


Got a burning question you want answered?

Eastern Market, Detroit

Considering last weekend I didn’t leave my apartment, and spent my entire Saturday hungover in bed (from going drinking with colleagues Friday night), and then Sunday recovering mentally from such a brutal Saturday (so classy, I know), this weekend was incredibly productive. 

It’s challenging sometimes to motivate myself to get our and go, see, and do.  I know nobody, and am not too familiar with Detroit yet, and sometimes I am so tired of being alone that being out n’ about alone just seems to perpetuate the loneliness. 

Eastern Market

Yesterday I knocked off Eastern Market from my Detroit To-Do list.  Eastern Market is the U.S.’s largest public market! I had no idea what it would be like, but I decided to make the twenty minute walk there Saturday morning to buy some veggies and explore.. 

The walk there was, well, empty… 

There was just nobody around

Except for one gentleman who asked me if I was 23, I replied he had made my day! Because I WISH. 

The market is made up of many massive sheds. I had no idea where was what, so I spent about an hour wondering around and exploring. 

There was lots of graffiti all around the market (which reminded me so much of the street art in Melbourne!)

ps I totally just went down a rabbit hole looking up that post

I loved this dude with his tiny burger. 

The market wasn’t too busy, but I have a feeling this could be because it’s winter, as someone told me a lot of people head there on weekends usually. 

One of the things I LOVE LOVE LOVE about living in the States is how cheap flowers are.  In Toronto it was hard to find a bunch under $20, but some of these were $5!

This couple was wonderful! They played together and then she would sing. I watched them for quite a while, and opted for giving them some money as apposed to dancing (like he was encouraging me!). 

I took the long way home to walk by more beautiful Detroit mansions. 

I can’t wait to see these beautiful homes in the summer when the ivy is in full bloom. 

Some of the mansions have been pulled down, while others they’re restoring to their original splendor. I hope they restore most of them, as they’re all so beautiful! Imagine this area back in the day; must have been something. 

It’s neat to see the construction too. The photos above are particular buildings in ruins, but there is LOTS of construction in Detroit (see below), and lots of new homes going up. 

Times are changing for Detroit, and it’s great to see it. 

I ended by buying a lot of produce and cooked myself this delicious omelet with all the ingredients from the market this morning for breakfast. It was SO yummy!

I spent the rest of Saturday doing a whole lot of nothing, and it was wonderfully glorious. :)

feels like home

bughead fanfiction - pointless domesticity- oneshot - future fic

▱◯♕

“Feels like home
I should have known
From my first breath”
—Depeche Mode, Home

 ◯

It’s been a long day of book signings and Jughead is more than relieved to make it back to his hotel room, plopping face first into the decorative floral pillows with a groan as his agent follows behind him, lingering by the door with his eyes glued to the phone in his grip. 

“We had a great turn out today. We increased our revenue by nearly—”

“Barry, your talking is interfering with my attempts to ignore you." 

There’s a sigh before the clicks of Barry’s phone continue to echo through the room. "Just be packed and ready for tomorrow morning. Our flight for Indianapolis takes off at five, so we need to be at the airport by three, which means—”

“Which means I’ll sleep on the plane.” Jughead interrupts again, rolling onto his back and lacing his hands behind his head. “You worry too much, Bar.”

“Mr. Jones—“

"Jughead.”

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Are there many pagans in the uk? I'm from NE England but I've never met another pagan in my life :/

I am near the North East! Where abouts are you from? :)

There is actually a huge amount of pagans in the UK. Most of the Wiccans that kickstarted the big witchcraft revival were actually from England. The UK has a  very rich and thriving community, it’s just down to knowing where to look. 

Luckily for you, I know where to look! There is an organization called the Pagan Federation. In every county in the UK they have representatives to help spread the news about pagan events and to connect other pagans with each other. If you check out their website here and go to the District tab, you should be able to find a representitive near you. And some events!

PF has little leaflets and magazines sent to your house if you become a member which have a list of local pub moots, events and covens in the back pages. I would highly recommend becoming a member because it’s an awesome way to keep up with what is going on in the community.

UK Pagan Council also used to be a good way to keep in contact with UK Pagans.Haven’t been on it in a while but I suggest trying it out. 

If Druidry is your thing there are loads of Groves in the UK, most associated with OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids).You can take a look at that website here.

Another good bet is searching google for big events like Witchfest in London, the big Beltane events around Stonehenge and Glastonbury, Pagan Pride in Nottingham… the list goes on. Pagan Pride is awesome and everyone is lovely, that is one I would highly recommend. It’s very casual and very beginner friendly. 

 England also has a lot of innately ‘Witchy’ towns. Places with a large amount of witchy stores or a very pagan history. Nottingham, Whitby….. Glastonbury even has a Witches Market! There’s a short list of historically witchy places in England here.

So yep. We are actually one very witchy group of countries. I am actually super happy that I live in such a witchy place. I hope this helped you out a bit!