Everyone returns to Hogwarts after the war, but nothing is quite the same. Harry’s groupies are creepier than ever, Ron and Hermione are snogging all over the place, and the once-proud Draco is shuffling around like a kicked puppy. But that’s okay: Harry’s got a plan.
Spiders, rats, wrongly-boiled Veritaserum, a couple of dangerous bets and drunk parties – all with all, it was bound to be a hectic eight year at Hogwarts for the golden trio. Trying to ignore the ex-Death Eater Draco Malfoy, however, turned out to be more difficult than ever before. Especially when he seemed to be as obsessed with Harry as Harry was with him. DRARRY. SLASH. Rating may go up in future chapters.
Harry returns to Hogwarts for his 8th year, determined not to let Malfoy get to him. But when the snarky teasing starts up again, Harry finds that returning the jibes with compliments has a far more interesting outcome.
Harry returns to Hogwarts for his “8th year” in order to pass his N.E.W.T.s and make it into the Auror program. One of his classes is Muggle Studies and the new teacher has a brilliant idea to help them appreciate certain forms of Muggle entertainment.
Draco should have taken his NEWTs over the summer with Pansy and Greg. Repeating 7th year with Potter fresh off his saved-the-world tour struck Malfoy as the height of stupidity more than once. McGonagall’s diabolical plan only made things worse. Or did it?
Draco is pining after Harry, but is so sure that his feelings aren’t reciprocated that he wastes a golden opportunity. Pansy comes to the rescue and takes matters into her own hands to ensure a happy ending.
It’s a age-old story. You fancy a boy and you think he fancies you. Sure there are problems – attacks on former Death Eaters, crazed tabloid journalists and your girlfriend – but you have a cunning plan. Now if he’d only explain the L. Ron Hubbard-like references …
From the prompt: “What if one day everyone was brewing Amortentia and Harry walks in. Of course, he doesn’t know what they’re brewing, so the first thing he says is ‘Why does the room smell like it’s drenched in Malfoy’s cologne’ and then everyone, including Draco, just looks at him.
Harry felt Malfoy’s breath on his lips as they came together over the bottle, hands firmly planted on the floor as though they each needed their familiar soil, refusing to cross into enemy territory. Except that Malfoy no longer felt like his enemy.
Harry has no idea why Hermione decided that an inter-house Games Night would be a good idea, but he’s here now, and he intends to beat Malfoy, no matter what game he chooses. But, who would have thought muggle games could be full of so much… tension?
Dear Diary by AWickedMemory (ReadyPlayerZero) Words:20427
After the war, Harry picks up a journal to write in… and it writes back. Luckily, it’s not a Horcrux on the other end this time.
On returning to Hogwarts for their Eighth Year, Headmistress McGonagall decided to room Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter together. She may have hoped for a leading example of house unity; the other students fully expected insults and fights. But nothing happened.
That was, until Harry sleepwalked into Draco’s bed.
It’s a jinx that renders the victim mute, unless he/she serves the purpose of the jinx and kisses the person that they desire. It’s just Harry’s luck that he’s in love with Draco. HPDM, oneshot, eighth year.
The room of requirement’s gone mad — at least, that’s what Harry thinks. There’s no way that Draco Malfoy ‘requires’ him, of all people, but why does it keep dragging Harry there like he’s some kind of furniture, every time Malfoy enters it? Throw in Pansy the pervert and a clipboard-wielding Hermione, and things can only go from bad to worse. And that’s not even mentioning the pirates …
*this is just my opinion & I have nothing but my reading of things I see on screen*
Bellamy: “what am I supposed to tell them?”
Kane: “the truth” -episode 407 : Gimmie Shelter
So Bellamy is high key aware that he is running out of time, fights day & night like he’s running out of time (dang you catchy Hamilton
And he is responding to this realization by telling the truth. The good. The bad. The ugly truth.
He did this with Jaha a bit in 403 but he’s getting more & more confrontational about it
In ep 406 after he thought he lost Clarke he was about to confess some truth to Clarke when he said “incase I don’t see you again” was it gonna be an “I love you?” Probably not exactly but imo it was gonna be that without saying “love” directly but she cut him off because she’s not ready for the end. She can’t think about “goodbye”
but back to Bellamy so next ep 407
The black rain comes, he thinks he may have lost his sister again. He does lose two of his people, when he realizes he can’t save them he asks Kane “what do I tell them?” & Kane answers “the truth” Bellamy does, & crumbles as he speaks the truth. after all this he finally hits Kane with a hard truth of his own,why he’s never quite been able to accept his love & approval by telling him
“you floated my mother” it was a painful truth to speak & hear, but it needed to be said.
in 408 it looks like Bellamy is gonna be on a day trip with local nihilist/ hard truth speaker Jasper Jordan himself. So I think Bellamy is gonna hit Jasper with some hard truth & vice versa I think it’s gonna cut deep, but also drain some bad blood. Jasper was the first of the 100 besides Clarke to love Bellamy, fight for him, hug him. And Bellamy wants to make things right.
I think the next hard truth Bellamy will face & speak is gonna be to Octavia herself he’s gonna let her go in a healthy way & hit her with some hard truths that she is unwilling to face (I HOPE this happens)
And finally the last truth Bellamy will need to to speak/face : CLARKE he NEEDS to tell her what she means to him, He needs her to know how he feels. And the next time they have a moment where he can tell her he won’t let her cut him off. He is gonna finally tell her the truth & I am so here for it
I think Bellamys most important arc this season will just be telling the truth, And it may help save humanity
Character: Jefferson X Reader
Prompt: Running away from your problems is a bad idea. Especially if you are running away in the rain. Extra especial if you get sick in said rain. :D
Word Count: 2,043
W/T: Some cursing
A/N: To the Anon wanting a Madison appearance, there will be a MUCH bigger role for him in Part 5, he just didn’t fit in all that well in this one. Hope y'all enjoy!
The sight of your warm and inviting home dawns in your eyes, the dim windows enticing you to run to them. A small smile works its way onto your lips, but only a moment before you begin to sneeze. You were happy to be away from Alexander and Thomas’ fighting for the time being, but you weren’t so happy about the quick cold you’ve caught from being out in this downpour for so long. The rain has even changed temperature against your skin, indicating that you almost certainly have a fever.
It’s always been like this, for you and Alexander both. You were both prone to catching some sort of cold or fever, but neither of you were ever stricken down by it. It would only last for a day or so before you’d be back on your feet, ready to go. You hope this is the same situation.
Gathering up the last ounce of strength you have, you trudge on to your house, ready to be out of the cold. A single bolt of lightning flashes across the sky, and a deafening clap of thunder follows after it, only adding to your desire to be inside. You sneeze again, a fleck of dry blood flying onto your forearm from your cheek, the cut from earlier stinging a bit. Shivering, you step onto the muddy pathway to the front porch of the house, praying that there was already firewood in the house. Sneezing again, you hike your dress up in your hands and ascend the small set of stairs up the front porch and to the front door, wringing out your hair.
Seeing as the front door was unlocked, you press your hands against the cool wood, the hinges obeying your push. You quickly step inside, allowing the door to slam behind you, the sound echoing through the empty house. The house itself was dark except for a single, flickering flame from a nearby candle that Alexander must have forgotten to blow out. Cautiously, you grab ahold of the silver holder, the light from the candle dully reflecting off of the metal, and tiptoe over to the other candles around the room, the interior becoming brighter and brighter. The added flames jump atop their wicks, their heated tops licking upwards, casting odd and scattered shadows around the room.
Silently, you stand in awe of the commonplace lighting, the sound of the relentless storm outside mercilessly pounding against the roof of the house. The utter absence of any other voices sends another shiver down your spine, an all too eerie sensation filling the room. Your quick onslaught of sneezes interrupts it, but the silence swallows the noise as quickly as it comes.
But a strong series of knocks rings out across the room, startling you backwards a couple of feet. Sneezing once more, you compose yourself slightly, wishing to be out of your sopping wet dress. The knocks sound again, this time an urgency to them. Taking a deep breath, you wrap your fingers around the handle once more and crack it open, peeking out around door to see who was there. Eyes wide with worry and hair drooping with rain stood Thomas, his magenta coat a deeper shade of purple than usual. “Thomas?” You manage to ask before another sneeze, your vision blurring for a split second. “May I come in?” He laughs nervously, glancing up at incoming rain. Opening the door further, you motion for him to come in, something dropping in your chest at the sight of him drenched.
“Wha… I don't…” You trail, fumbling to find the right words for the current situation. “Are you alright?” He spouts off, holding your chin in his hand as he examines your cut from earlier in the meeting room. “W-what are you doing here?” You finally muster out, his face inches from yours. His dark eyes lower to meet yours, swimming with emotion. He pauses for a moment, almost as if he were surprised by your question. “What do you mean, Y/N? You were injured and then you ran off without warning and… why wouldn’t I have followed you? I had to make sure you weren’t in pain, at least.” He answers softly, his hand moving from your chin to gently running itself across your cut. You wince at the touch, taking in a sharp breath. “Are you okay, Y/N?”
You open your mouth to tell him yes, but instead you quickly snap your head to the side, breaking into a small coughing fit. You lean away from him, trying to keep your hacking under control. “Obviously you aren’t.” He breathes, blinking slowly. You smile weakly at him, unsure how to respond. “Come on, you need to get out of that dress.” Thomas deadpans, his eyes still worried sick over you. “Bet you’d like that.” You murmur, earning a mischievous smile from him. “You’re not wrong, kitten, but that’s not what I meant. You’re going to keep coughing as long as you’re in that thing.” Giving him a small nod, you briskly brush past him, heading towards your bedroom. You try to snake your hands around to untie the back of the dress, but that’s when you remember that you’re wearing your “help dress” as you call it, being that you always have to get help untying it.
“Uh, Thomas?” You call out, already knowing that your cheeks are burning pink. “Yeah, what do you need, are you okay?” He asks, rushing over to you. You cough again, your vision blurring for another moment before turning to him, a sheepish smile etched onto your lips. “No no, I’m fine, I just… I need help untying this.” You admit, not wanting to meet his gaze. A surprised noise escapes Thomas’ mouth before he can stop himself, forcing an embarrassed blush across his own cheeks. “Uuhhhhhh, yeah. This here?” He asks hesitantly, the warmth from his hands burning through the damp dress backing. You place a hand under the breast of the dress, making sure it doesn’t slip. “Yeah.” You breathe, trying to suppress the heat rising in your cheeks and chest. You could feel him right behind you, his body not even inches from yours. Thomas’ sickly hot breath creeps down your neck, making the hairs on the back of it stand up as he continues.
“Y/N!” Alexander shouts, scaring you just as badly as it does Thomas. He shoots backward, and you spin around on your heels just as quickly, scanning the now wide open front door, where your brother stood, about to boil over with rage. “You fucking Francophile! How dare you enter my own home and then proceed to-” “Alex it’s not what it looks like.” You plead, stepping in front of him as quickly as you can to stop him from charging st Thomas. He himself was also soaking wet, but it was a minimal detail compared to his outrage. “Not what it looks like?! He had his hands all over you, Y/N! Like hell it wasn’t what it looked like!” He fumes, attempting to push past you. “Like hell I would mistreat Y/N like that.” Thomas growls, stepping towards Alexander. “Both of you stop it.” You demand, glaring at Thomas while pushing Alex back with your free hand. “Alexander, you are jumping to conclusions again.” You hiss. “How am I jumping to conclusions when I saw everything I needed to?” He exclaims, crossing his arms.
“Please explain this to him, for most definitely will not listen to me.” Thomas groans, rubbing his temples. “Alex, you remember this dress, don’t you?” You ask as politely and aggressively as you can sound. “Yeah that’s your… Oh. It’s the ‘Help Dress’, isn’t it?” He trails, quickly putting two and two together. “Yes. And because you weren’t here at the time, I let Thomas help me, before you so rudely yelled at him.” You spit, pinching the bridge of your noise to try and refocus your vision that seems to keep going fuzzy, especially when you sneeze or cough. “Exactly why he should-” “Thomas, don’t start this.” You warn, still trying to clear your sight of all fuzziness.
“So what if he as just helping you out of your dress, Y/N? He shouldn’t even be here in the first place! This is the Hamilton residence, last I checked.” Alexander points out, narrowing his eyes at him. “Well maybe it’s because I wanted to make sure that your sister hadn’t been hurt too badly by your ill actions to her from earlier. Forgive me for attempting to care.” Thomas sneers, rewarding him in another glare from you. “Get out of my house, Jefferson.” “No. In fact, I’m going to stay here to make Y/N isn’t feeling awful.” He refuses, trying to push Alexander over the edge. “That isn’t your decision to make, so I suggest you leave before things turn ugly again.” Alex huffs in an attempt to control his anger. “Oh? And what are you going to do about it, you short fucker?” “Guys please.” You beg, trying to push them away from each other again.
“Jefferson, stop.” A new voice demands in a rather polite tone, adding only confusion to the mess. Glancing around Alexander, you catch sight of Madison standing in your doorway, shaking off an umbrella onto the porch. “James? What are you doing here?” Thomas questions, the surprise and confusion very evident in his voice. “I came because I knew you were going to get yourself into trouble.” He answers softly, a look of annoyance on his face. “From what I can glean from what I am seeing, I would go as far to say that my hunch was correct.” Madison carefully leans the umbrella against the inside of the wall and shuts the door behind him, the small click filling the room instead of a slam.
Another onslaught of coughs rattles through you, making your vision fuzzy once again, this time much darker than the first few times. You feel as though you hear Madison mutter “same” under his breath, but your dizziness is a much more pressing matter at the moment. “Look,” You start, trying to steady yourself. “Washington told me that I need to get you two to work this out. So if you could figure this out before I pass out, that would be fantastic.” You grimace, a wave of exhaustion flooding over you as another round of coughs overtakes you. “What? Y/N, are you okay?” Alex quickly asks, stepping forward to feel your forehead. “Not really.” You murmur, still trying to blink away the fuzziness. “You’re burning up.” He whispers, taking your hands in his. “Which is exactly why I was helping her out of that sopping wet dress, Hamilton.” Thomas scoffs, gently pulling you back towards him. “You have no need to, Jefferson. You don’t know how bad our immune systems are. You may take your leave now.” You blink at Alexander, trying to get his face to focus, but everything seems like it’s wrapping into an impressionist painting, where the colors blend together and nothing is in focus.
“Both of you, please stop arguing over her health.” Madison interjects, stepping forward. “At least I don’t lash out and physically hurt people.” Thomas fires back, tugging on your shoulder a little harder. “At least I know that I’m not going to let you touch her.” Alexander presses, almost yanking you back to him. “Guys.” You whisper, black dots now appearing across your eyes. Neither one of them look to you, they just continue to argue, your arms being pulled on mercilessly. You try to shake their grip, but their hold on you seemed to be the only thing keeping you upright. “Hamilton. Jefferson.” Madison finally raises his voice, allowing for it to boom around the room. Both men turn to him, surprised. They both unlatch themselves from your arms, only giving you full mobility to drop to the ground.
The hardwood floor rushed to meet you, and your head bashes against it, pain surging through you. The black dots grow to swallow almost everything in sight, and the shouts become faded whispers as your weak immune system takes ahold of you, pulling you to unconsciousness.
Okay some of my fav ones to share for anyone who needs them since Krishna is my fav and a pretty good way to shift perspective, he is the embodiment of divine love and joy and that destroys all pain and sin. Some of these are English translations for easier usage for those who cannot remember full prayers or devotionals. I do them all daily.
Mantra: Om Krishnaya Namaha
May all in this world be happy,
may they be healthy,
may they be comfortable
and never miserable.
May the rain come down in the proper time,
may the earth yield plenty of corn,
may the country be free from war,
may the Brahmans be secure.
Devotional prayer (lots of good versions to sing along to on YouTube!):
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama,
Rama Rama, Hare Hare
May Lord Krishna along with His beloved Radha bring about prosperity and auspiciousness at all times.
In the same way may the devotee of Krishna, who is able to destroy all obstacles, always bring about auspiciousness.
O my dear Krishna, You are the friend of the distressed, the ocean of mercy, and the Lord of creation. You are the master of the cowherdsmen and the lover of the gopis, especially Radharani. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
Ce ne sono veramente tante tante tantee, ne ascolto un'infinità, te ne elenco alcune :3
Vietato morire- ermal meta
Gente che spera- articolo31
A pugni col mondo- articolo31
Say you won’t let go- james arthur
Rape me- nirvana
Sing me to sleep- alan walker
Happier- ed sheeran
Perfect ed- sheeran
Galway girl- ed sheeran
Quasi liberi- lo stato sociale
Niente di speciale- lo stato sociale
Buona sfortuna- lo stato sociale
Amarsi male- lo stato sociale
I got you (non mi ricordo chi la canta, sorry)
Supermarket flower- ed sheeran
cloud- elias (questa è straziante ma la amo da morire)
i grandi non piangono mai- mr rain
Vittorio come va?- cranio randagio
Petrolio- cranio randagio
I was here- beyonce
Angel by the wings- sia
L'elenco sarebbe infinito, fammi sapere se ne vuoi altre :3
So this is the prologue chapter to a long complicated vaguely Crimson Peak-inspired fantasy Haikyuu AU I’ve been bouncing around (generally known on twitter as the Sad Ghosty Demony Witchy AU)- thought I’d throw it out there for everyone to enjoy! If you’d be interested in the rest of the story, please do let me know.
The old witch stood in the pouring rain, and stared down at the dying demon lying in the roots of the willow tree.
“I didn’t think you’d come,” the demon said. Fragments of a shattered sword littered the ground around him, tiny constellations sinking into the black mud.
“You called,” the old woman replied, impassively. In the tall trees all around them, shadows watched. Standing behind his mistress, holding their boat as rising river water sucked at his feet and soaked his fine blue cloak, the witch’s apprentice watched back.
“You offered me a pact once,” the dying demon said. “A pact to leave the gemstone mines to my people, when you’re gone.”
“You turned it down,” the old woman said, her stony face unmoved.
“I did.” The demon closed his eyes, head falling back against the tree holding him up. “I’d like to reconsider.”
“You’re dying,” the old woman stated.
“So are you.” The demon sighed through a tired smile. “So really, what’ve either of us got to lose?”
What’s this? An unannounced, non-DA!verse Frozen AU fic? :P I’m taking a break from “Lock and Key” for a while since, except for this weekend, I lack the time and energy to write a lengthy chapter (school stuff, and all that). And then last night, thinking about Kristanna Week, I had a sudden burst of inspiration for one of the fics on my to-write list.
I’m not 100% sure about the specifics of this modern AU: Anna and Elsa are orphans who inherit their parents’ fortune and manor house. Anna is as free-spirited as in the canon!verse, while Elsa is more reclusive, focusing on her studies or something. Kristoff is just an ordinary guy who suddenly wanders into Anna’s life on a rainy day.
The premise and title of the fic were mostly inspired by the song “Bus Stop”, by The Hollies (1966). Some inspiration for the fic may have come from last October’s KA Week prompt “Rain”, which is when I added it to my list. It doesn’t really fit with any of this year’s prompts, though “I don’t take people places” may come close.
Due to the aforementioned reasons, this is pretty short. However, if I get at least as many nice comments as I did on my last KA fic, I may be persuaded to try continuing it—time permitting, of course.
Setting: Modern AU
Characters: Anna, Kristoff
Words: 675 [Also on FFnet.]
Anna hated waiting for the bus.
Well, maybe not hate, exactly, but it wasn’t fun. Often it was because there was no one else at her stop to talk to.
That was why she liked riding the bus instead of driving—there were so many people to talk to, and even if some of them ignored her, there was always one or two who would listen politely while she rambled about whatever was on her mind.
But the main reason today that waiting for the bus was not fun was that it was raining. And Anna, in her haste to catch her usual bus, had left her umbrella at home.
So here she stood, getting more soaked by the minute in her rather useless hoodie. She wondered how long it would be until the bus arrived; because it was raining, she didn’t want to risk getting her phone wet to check the time.
Then, just as she was considering returning home to fetch her umbrella, the rain suddenly stopped. Or, at least, it stopped for about a foot around her, and continued coming down everywhere else.
Looking up, she saw an umbrella over her head. Her eyes followed the umbrella down the pole to the handle, and all the way up the muscular arm to to face of her rescuer, a blond man maybe a little older than she.
“Hi,” he said, wiping rainwater from his face. “You looked like you could use an umbrella.”
“Uh . . . hi!" Anna struggled for words; he wasn’t particularly handsome, but he was at least a head taller than her, with broad shoulders. "Yeah, I kind of left mine at home. Thank you!”
“No problem, Miss . . .?”
“Aren . . . Anna Aren.”
“Kristoff Bjorgman,” the man said, offerend his hand, which she shook politely. Then he frowned. “Wait . . . not the Arendelle Arens?”
“Uh . . . yeah?" The Arens were well-known locally as somewhat well off, if not filthy rich. Most of this publicity came from the tragic accident that claimed her parents a few years back, and she and her sister Elsa inheriting their house and fortune.
Kristoff raised an eyebrow. "Why in the world are you riding the bus?" She frowned, and he quickly added, "I mean, surely you have a car or chauffeur?”
“I ride the bus to meet people,” she said simply. “But there’s usually no one to talk to until I’m actually on the bus.”
“Well, Miss Aren, I’d be glad to keep you company. And, uh, keep you dry.”
“That’s very kind of you,” she said, smiling. “But please, call me Anna.”
“Anna,” he echoed. “So, if you don’t mind my asking, where are you headed?”
“Oh, just shopping. I was going to go look at some dresses, since I heard there was a sale, and I need one or two more because I was kind of rough on one of mine. But I don’t know if I can keep them dry all the way home . . .”
“Let me help you out,” Kristoff offered. “It’s the least I can do for a pretty girl like you." He suddenly clapped his hand to his mouth, face turning red, as if he’d just realized what he had said.
Anna felt herself blushing; she was starting to like this fellow more and more. "I’d like that . . . Kristoff.”
When the bus arrived, they boarded and sat on a seat together. And for once, Anna wasn’t disappointed about not talking to the other people on the bus.
Anna shopped around almost all day, Kristoff with his umbrella in tow, and she did find a couple of dresses that she liked. She even went so far as to ask Kristoff how he thought they looked on her, and was amused when he couldn’t come up with anything more than a breathless “great!”
When she boarded the bus once again to take her home, Kristoff was holding her hand. And Anna thought, as he held her hand all the way home, that the two of them would be seeing a lot more of each other in the future.
apologize to everyone for this taking so long but STUFF kept happening,
like my shoulder suddenly seizing up in huge piles of knots and trigger
points. But they’re all done now, and they’ll be shipped by next week.
*Clarkson, a desert tan otter comes in from the rain* Hey... uh... may I have a room? I want to wait out the rain and maybe stay longer
She looked up from the checkout desk. It had been a very boring day with little to no customers as she looked up at the otter that entered her inn. “Sure, I can give you a room if you like?” She asked him.
wet asphalt reflecting shining cars. It’s May how come it’s raining? I emptied my room and threw everything you gave me away. (you did the same with me) rain all over my lashes and all over everything. I am scared of lightnings so I walk fast. I wanna be as unpredictable as a thunderstorm in May. the rain is ruining all the flowers. (can I be gone with this thunderstorm?) a kiss to all the stray cats and dogs. A kiss to all the animals without an home
In pretty sure Peridot only assumes everything is a weapon because she's on an alien planet. An alien planet that she and her comrades have attacked beforehand. And now that she's lost her weapons, she's very out of her element and scared of what the enemy might be able to do to her. It's kind of like Guy1 pushing around Guy2, but later on Guy2 gets bigger than Guy1. Guy1 would be pretty scared, right?
A couple of people have raised that point, and you’re right in that Peridot is in what would normally be a very stressful situation. Especially if you consider her calling Garnet a “war machine”- this illuminates more of Homeworld’s perspective on fusion beyond Jasper’s personal prejudice against it. Basically, Peridot doesn’t see Garnet as a person as much as she sees Garnet as a living weapon.
Here’s where I’d disagree: Peridot was jittery and anxious in this manner long before she felt cornered by the Crystal Gems.
This post illuminates something I think is interesting: this isn’t Garnet, Amethyst, or Pearl she’s shrinking away from. It’s Jasper and Steven. What’s a significant thing they have in common?
I know I sketched this a week ago, but I heard you were on a trip Z, so I thought I’d wait til you came back so I can share this with you.
Reading your graphic novel from the very beginning to the very end was such a special treat. It had a unique spirit behind the story, no rushing of the pace or the development of the characters. When it ended, it ended just right…and it really left me in awe.
I’m still appreciative of the story you provided, for sticking to your themes and not wavering..but most importantly, telling a well crafted story. I hope you like the sketch Z! :)
This is a piece I wrote several years ago about the fall equinox and the Hebrew month of Marheshvan, reposting since we are in Marheshvan and because of Hallowe’en / DDLM coming up this weekend. Your thoughts welcome.
Right now we are in the middle of the month of Marheshvan. Incorrectly called Heshvan by many, the ’Mar’ is interpreted as the word מר mar, which means bitter. Heshvan is bitter, people then say, because it has no holidays. This is not entirely correct, on two counts. One, the correct name of the month is Marheshvan (or, as Temanim rightly say, Marahshewan): there was a metathesis (switching of letters) of the m and w, which are similar sounds, from the original Akkadian name warah-shaman (warah like ירח yareah, moon or month, and shaman like שמונה shemone, eight; that is, the eighth month). Two, there are actually several important dates in Marheshvan. Leaving aside the Ethiopian holiday of Sigd which falls on the 29th of Marheshvan (there will be another post about that later), there are two additional dates to focus on: the 7th of Marheshvan and the 11th.
The 7th of Marheshvan is the date to begin praying for rain. Yes, technically we should start immediately after Sukkot; however, in Israel the prayers are delayed until the 7th (according to the rabbis, the reason is to allow the pilgrims who came to Jerusalem for Sukkot to return to Babylonia before the rain falls) and in the Diaspora they are delayed even longer. In any case, in Israel we begin formally asking for rain on the 7th of Marheshvan, which was this past week. As it turns out, that’s perfect, because the fall equinox (Sep. 21) is roughly the beginning of the rainy season in Israel. This is one of the main differences between a Jewish pagan calendar and a Celtic or Norse pagan calendar: in Europe, the fall equinox, the beginning of winter, is the beginning of death. The earth grows cold and dark, snow covers the ground, and life lies dormant, or dead, waiting for spring to come back to life. The fall season, therefore, marks the beginning of winter by acknowledging death, remembering ancestors, and praying for enough life to last through the winter. Celebrations such as Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), All Saint’s Day, and Hallowe'en could all be considered manifestations of this concept. However, in Israel, the fall season is the beginning of the rainy season - it is the beginning of life! All summer, the earth has been dry and shrivelled. With the beginning of rain suddenly the plants begin to turn green again and gardens come back to life. A Jewish celebration of the equinox must therefore relate to this aspect of rain and rebirth.
The second important date in Marheshvan is the 11th, which is traditionally celebrated as the death-day, the yarzheit, of the Biblical Rachel, wife of Jacob. Rachel is the mother of Joseph; but in rabbinic imagination she becomes the mother of the entire Jewish people. For example, in Eikha Rabba, a commentary on Lamentations, the rabbis imagine G!d deciding the fate of the Jewish people in exile. One by one, biblical figures like Abraham and Moses attempt to plead with G!d and beg for an end to the exile. G!d is not swayed; finally Rachel gets up and asks G!d for mercy for her sake, arguing that if she could overcome her jealousy of her sister Leah and help her marry Rachel’s lover Jacob, then G!d must have pity on the people of Israel. And it is for her sake that G!d agrees to bring an end to the exile and return the people of Israel to their land. As Rabbi Jill Hammer writes, “Rachel represents the truth that the Divine within us is loving, compassionate and unselfish. She transforms severity into compassion and despair into hope”. The midrash ends with a quotation from Jeremiah 31:
כה אמר ה’ קול ברמה נשמע נהי בכי תמרורים רחל מבכה על בניה מאנה להנחם על בניה כי איננו. כה אמר ה’ מנעי קולך מבכי ועיניך מדמעה כי יש שכר לפעולתך נאם ה' ושבו מארץ אויב. ויש תקוה לאחריתך נאם ה’ ושבו בנים לגבולם. “Thus says the L!RD: A voice is heard in Rama - sighing, and bitter weeping. It is Rachel, weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, for they are gone. Thus says the L!RD: Stop your voice from weeping, and your eyes from crying; for there is a reward for your labours, declares the L!RD, and they will return from the enemy’s land. There is hope for your future, declares the L!RD, and children will return to their borders.” (Jeremiah 31:14-16)
In the Zohar, Rachel becomes a symbol of the Shekhina, the Divine Feminine, the Earth-Dwelling Presence of G!d, which goes into exile with the people of Israel. The death of Rachel is a metaphor for the exile of the people of Israel and the descent of the Shekhina. But, as Jeremiah promises, there is hope for the future: Rachel also symbolizes the hope for the end of exile and the return of the Shekhina. As mentioned earlier, the fall equinox is the beginning of the rainy season, and so it is also the beginning of the planting. The last of the harvest is just ending now, and the farmers are beginning to plant the seeds of new growth, to be nourished by the rain. The tears of Rachel, weeping for her exiled children, remind us of the Psalmist’s description of the farmers planting:
הזרעים בדמעה ברינה יקצרו הלוך ילך ובכה נשא משך הזרע בא יבא ברינה נשא אלמתיו. "The ones who sow in tears will reap in joy; the one who goes out weeping as he carries his bag of seeds will return in joy as he carries his sheaves of harvest.” (Psalms 126:5-6)
Why is the farmer weeping? On one level, this Psalm is about the return to Zion, and so the turning of weeping to joy is, as we’ve seen, another manifestation of the sadness of exile and our hope for return. However, it also conveys truth on an agricultural level (an insight that I learnt at Neot Qedumim, a biblical garden outside Jerusalem). Why is the farmer weeping as she plants her seeds? Because those seeds are her food. At the fall equinox the farmer must make a choice: to save his seeds to eat through the winter and thus be assured of immediate food, or plant the seeds and wait the long and risky wait until the harvest. The farmer weeps as she plants, entrusting her future to the elements and the Divine; but the Psalm promises that her tears, like Rachel’s, will be rewarded: we will return in joy, bearing the fruits of our harvests.
In this way, our prayers for rain at the fall equinox echo the tears of Rachel, praying for the return of her children, and the tears of the farmer as he sows his crops and hopes for the best. For me, the fall equinox is a day of hope and a day of rebirth; a day when the falling rain reminds us of the return of the Shekina and the hope we have in ourselves and our future. An additional level, for those of you so inclined to such things: Rachel can be seen as a parallel to other Near Eastern mythologies of goddesses who die and are reborn, such as the Sumerian goddess Inanna (the Greek Persephone is another example). Inanna and her consort Tammuz/Dumuzi are both connected to cycles of descent and rebirth, much like Rachel and her son Yosef (who has been linked to Dumuzi by many thinkers — see, e.g., Thomas Mann’s lyrical Joseph and His Brothers); furthermore, both Rachel and Inanna are connected to that ancient symbol of death/rebirth, the moon, being both daughters of the moon (Rachel, the daughter of Lavan, which means moon, and Inanna daughter of Nin, the moon god). Food for thought…
May we all use this winter to plant the seeds of the things we want to see grow this year, and that the rains of rebirth come to renew us all. May blessings pour down like rain; may joy spring up like new growth.
Tequfa tova: may we have a good change of seasons. Blessed be!