opposite forces

‘harsh’ aspects and ‘easy’ outlets both have their positives and negatives. conjuncts, sextiles, and trines are considered harmonic aspects (blue) and squares and oppositions are considered hard aspects (red). an ‘easy’ trine can supply a natural flow of talent, but the person can be too lazy to tap into it or develop it, they are spoiled with ease so it just stays dormant. the opposition and square indicates the resolution of conflict and putting in the hard work to develop qualities and skills so the person is pressured into action so these talents can be developed. the opposition will involve signs that are opposite one another. these signs share the same axis so they are just reversed mirror images of each other. the opposition basically demands that dualities be resolved, the amalgamation of opposite forces (both are same energy but polar from one another) so when they are ONE they activate the complete archetypal potential for that apex. its difficult for the easy aspects because the initiative isnt there, they get away with doing nothing too easily. its difficult for the former because two planets are trying to dominate each other and win. but you must compromise, negotiate, try multiple ways, be frustrated, elated, then watch them work together. then you will know talent

anonymous asked:

Hi Lori, I'm the college anon. I appreciate your response! I think I needed to hear a lot of that. I've really only started to be interested in dating recently, so it's new to me still. I was just hurt yesterday by something a guy said/did to me, so I came to you. I will say that there's only been a handful of people I've liked and I feel like I'm doing the opposite of forcing anything, but I can see now that my way of thinking may be a little warped. I need to relax about all of this.

I heard something during my college years that really stuck with me and kind of changed the way I think about myself during that time.

Your happiness is not contingent on the actions of others.

I tell this to myself often. It is not the duty or responsibility of others to make me happy. This is my job. I will find something i enjoy doing. I will not complain to other people that i am bored and they need to entertain me. I will explore things that i enjoy and find fulfillment in things that make me smile. I will find something that occupies my mind in a healthy way as an outlet for my own creativity.

I will find ME.

This has been my life motto for some time. Does that mean it always works? Well i dont get bored often anymore. I dont get particularly dependent on anyone. I tend to be sort of cold but that’s just me.

Can someone still ruin my day? Sure. It happens sometimes, someone will do or say something and i let it get to me for a while until i remember that that person is not in charge of my happiness.

I refuse to give them that kind of power over me.

I hope you can find something to make you smile because honestly you made me smile and I appreciate the response you sent. I appreciate your follow up and your positivity and your attitude. :3

The 8 Steps of a CHARACTER ARC

You know that moment as a writer, when you’ve been charging through the story, high on how fantastic it is, and then suddenly…it all STOPS.  The next scene doesn’t form in your head. You’ve got nothing. 

Behind your characters, a string of bright and captivating scenes mark the trail of that rocket of inspiration; ahead of your characters, a foggy expanse, stretching to who-knows-where, a few shapeless blobs that should be scenes floating in the nothingness. The rocket is dead, and not refueling any time soon.

Well, to everybody who’s suffered this, or is currently suffering it, there’s a way to navigate through that fog. A map. Directions and a destination.

Or, more specifically, events that form the underlying structure of the story. 

This post is going to focus on one facet of story structure: character arc. Structure is something people subconsciously recognize and expect, and if the story doesn’t match those expectations, they feel cheated (though usually can’t explain why). Every good story follows a structure. So if you know structure, you’ll always know where to go next, and won’t get lost in the fog. 

So here are the 8 steps of a character arc:

1) Hero: Strength, Weakness, and Need

This happens in the setup of the story, when the main character’s ordinary world is being introduced. First, the main character’s strengths must be displayed; we must be given a reason to like them, or if not exactly “like” them, empathize with them, and be fascinated by them. The reader needs to bond with the character, feel concerned about how it all turns out for them. Or in other words, feel that the main character is worth experiencing the story. There are easy traits that do this: courage, love, humor, being in danger, being unfairly treated, being highly skilled at something, having a powerful noble goal. (Courage is the one they all need. If the character doesn’t have the gumption to actively pursue what they want, they are automatically a background character.) 

After this, still in the beginning of your story, let the character exhibit what needs to change. Show their weaknesses of character and self awareness.
And lastly, hint at what they NEED to learn. Sometimes this is even stated to the character, and they don’t understand it, refuse to believe it, or condemn it. Like “A Christmas Carol”, when Scrooge’s nephew says his speech about Christmas and how wonderful it is, and Scrooge replies “Bah Humbug!" 

2) Desire: This is the moment when the character knows what they need to pursue, in order to obtain what they inwardly want. It is not the inciting incident or catalyst, the event in a story that disrupts the ordinary world and calls the hero on an adventure. This is a separate step entirely, occurring after that catalyst has shattered life as the main character knows it. They believe obtaining this goal will calm whatever inner turmoil or conflict they’re battling. And always, they’re not quite right.
Think of Mr Fredricksen: His goal is to get the house – a  symbolic representation of Ellie and the life he shared with her – to Paradise Falls, which he believes will heal his grief and guilt. It won’t. Once he obtains it, the achievement feels hollow. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So on we go! 

3) Plan: Once in Act Two, the character is going to scramble for a plan of action. The inner want has solidified into a tangible goal, but they need a strategy to achieve it. This also spells out for the reader what to expect in that second act.  

4) Conflict: What’s going to try stopping them? A hero with a goal is one thing, but to make it a story we need something that stands in the way. An obstacle. A force of opposition. If we didn’t have obstacles, books would be as interesting as "Harry Potter and the Trip to the Grocery Store.” (Although honestly, I’d probably read that.) After the catalyst has changed everything, after the character crosses the threshold into Act Two, everything from here on out will be laden with conflict. This is usually when enemies, or more accurately forces of opposition, begin to appear. Everything is accumulating to complicate the main character’s pathway to achieving what they want. The forces of opposition come from not only the villains, but from the actions that have to be taken to achieve the desire. Whatever this action is, it’s exactly what the main character is not suited to do, an action that pressures their flaws, exposes them to exactly what they need to become but can’t right now. 

Like Stitch being forced to be the family dog. He’s not suited to this task.

5) Battle: The forces of opposition are amping up, growing stronger, fighting with greater intensity. The main character is taking the punches and working around them, relentlessly plowing forward. Hero and allies are usually punching back too.

6) Midpoint: This is the event where they first encounter what they need to learn, what they need to become. Something happens that forces them to behave in this new, life-saving way. But once they’ve seen it, they don’t know what to do with this knowledge. 

7) Dark Night, Revelation, Choice:
This is always the darkest point in the story, where all seems lost, and death – of a literal or spiritual nature – is in the air. And in this moment, something usually happens that makes the main character wake up to what is wrong, and what they need. More often than not, this revelation will arrive from the “love story” or relationship of the plot, and will be the thing that helps them pull themselves out of despair and see the light. And once this is uncovered, once the revelation of the truth about themselves is recognized, they are faced with a choice. Of course, they’ve been faced with choices in every beat of every scene, but this is the big choice that is going to determine if their story has a happy ending or a tragic one. The choice is this: “You are being faced the truth that you need to heal. Are you going to choose what you need, let your old self die, and become someone better?” And always, always, always this is a hard choice. The revelation must be significant to them. And it’s never easy. It can’t be. We don’t write stories about heroes who make easy choices. Villains have it easy. Are you going to adopt this new way of living, adopt this truth, and let your old self die? Or are you going to stay the way you are (which feels safer and is much less challenging) but end up stuck in a sort of living death? Most of the time, of course, they choose the right thing. 

This moment is usually always the saddest scene in the thing. Like this scene with Stitch.

8) New Life: This is their changed life. After experiencing the trials of the story, after realizing what they need and choosing to be reborn, they are going to be different people – and are going to live a different life. This is what follows the statement “And every day after …” What has changed? Show the audience how things are different, how things are better, because they want to see that. This is the resolution, the wrapping up of everything we’ve been through with the main character, and having this in the story is often what gives that feeling of satisfaction after seeing a really well-told story. 

So! To show off how this works, I’ve chosen the character arc of Carl from Up. 

1) Hero: Strengths, Weakness, Need

Strengths: Reasons to like Carl are packed into that heartbreaking opening sequence. By the end of it, we love him, love Ellie, and are crying our eyes out.

Weaknesses: Now Carl is curmudgeonly, grumpy, cold, and won’t pay attention to a living soul. He’s also plagued by grief, regret, guilt, and loneliness. (Which we are all 100% okay with, because we already like him.)

Need: He needs Russel. The statement of what he needs to learn isn’t outright said (as it will be later) but Russel represents it. 

Step Two: The catalyst was when a truck knocked down Ellie’s mailbox, Carl hit a construction worker in the head with his cane, and for this a judge declares him a public menace and orders him to go to Shady Oaks Retirement Village. The DESIRE is this moment. 

Carl escapes in a flying house, thousands of balloons lifting him skyward. He even says the desire of the whole story out loud, “So long boys! I’ll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!” The tangible goal is “live out the rest of his days in his and Ellie’s house, on the edge of Paradise Falls, South America.” (“It’s like America … but South.”)

Step Three: The plan and the conflict overlap, as they are wont to do. We have a scene where Carl is unfurling sails, setting a compass, and settling back in his chair for a smooth journey. But later on, after some conflict has arrived, we have Russel figuring out how to actually make it there. And after even more conflict has arrived, we have him telling Russel “We’re going to walk to the falls quickly and quietly, with no rap music or flash-dancing.”

Step Four: The moment he settles back into his armchair, high above the city, and here’s a knock on the front door, nothing is going to be easy for Carl. First, we have opposition in the form of Russel. Then we have a storm. Then the house lands miles away from the Falls, so they’ll have to walk it. Then we have Kevin, the giant bird. Then we have Dug. Which means they’re also being chased by a legion of talking dogs. Which brings us to Muntz, the main villain, and Carl’s shadow – the representation of Carl’s flaws, and the consequences of refusing to let go of the past. 

Step Five: This is the trek to the Falls. It’s also the battle with every complication that arises. And it’s also exactly what Carl is not suited to do. He’s a curmudgeonly old guy, bent on living out the rest of his life alone. Well, the story says “Nope, Carl, that’s not how it’s going to be” and promptly gives him a surrogate grandson to take care of, a dog who adores him, and even a giant mythical bird. And he has to lead them all, if he’s going to get to the Falls. 

Step Six: The moment when Russel invades Carl’s heart. Which is what he needs, but he doesn’t understand. (I have the scene beated out in the previous post.)

Step Seven: Finally, he gives in to the worst of himself and chooses his goal of living in his broken house on the edge of Paradise Falls. But somehow this doesn’t feel like victory. He’s still alone, next to Ellie’s empty chair, and she is still beyond his reach. 

He picks up her adventure book, and leafs through the photographs, missing her; he pauses on the page scrawled with the words “Stuff I’m Going To Do”, lets his hand rest on it, grief and regret overwhelming him. He begins to close the book, and the page shifts … revealing the edge of another picture. Surprised, he turns the page. It’s their wedding picture.

Ellie added picture after picture of their happy marriage, the whole wonderful life they shared, all the things she did. And on the bottom of the last page is her last message to him: “Thanks for the adventure! Now go have a new one! Love, Ellie.” Exactly what Carl needs. He doesn’t need to be guilty, he doesn’t need to regret the past. The past was beautiful, and she will never truly leave him. 

Choice: So, Carl can make the choice to throw everything out of the house to go save Russel. 

New Life: Sitting on a curb, eating ice cream with Russel.

In the credits, we see a whole new life – or new adventure – with Carl, Russel, Dug, and even a bunch of new puppies.

So, it’s actually pretty simple. And once again, it’s fun to develop your own stories like this, but it’s surprisingly fun to analyze movies and books with it too. It improves your storytelling ability, I’ve found. Practice makes perfect.

I hope this post helps somebody out. It’ll make the ten times I cried while writing it, while watching scenes from Up, worth it.

Venus Aspects

Venus is my best friend so here we go…

Sun - Venus Aspects
(I’ve done these ones before, but I want to include it again in this Venus aspect master post)

In a person’s chart, the Sun and Venus are never further than 48 degrees apart; the only possible aspects it can have are a conjunction, semi-sextile, or a semi-square.

Sun conjunct Venus
This creates a strong connection to Venus’ energy and carries over Venusian traits. These people are in tune with the beauty of life. They are charming and easy-going. They are very romantic, but they too often get tied up into the thought that a prince or princess will come for them rather than they find a lover themselves. With that being said though, they do possess a magnetic attraction and a lot of people will fall for their charms. This aspect softens the masculinity parts of you into feminine and gentle pursuit.  

Sun semi-sextile Venus
When the Sun and Venus are 30 degrees apart (2 degree orb) it creates a semi-sextile. A weaker aspect, but still have some influence on the individual. These people are cheerful, good humoured, and optimistic. Semi-sextile is a 12th harmonic aspect, so with that vibe you can imagine that the influence this aspect creates will almost go unnoticed. 

Sun semi-square Venus
When the Sun and Venus are 45 degrees apart (4 degree orb, but the closer, the stronger) it creates the semi-square. This is another weaker aspect, but it does create a strong pursuit for talent in music and dance. These people also seem to be strongly inclined to female offspring. These people are sensitive and somewhat shy (still keeping in mind that this is a minor aspect so major aspects elsewhere in the chart can say something else). Since this is technically a discordant aspect, the shyness is rooted from insecurity. Semi-squares being an 8th harmonic will give off some Scorpio/8th House vibes to this person’s romantic character. 

Mercury - Venus Aspects
When I think of Mercury-Venus aspects, I picture a poet writing, dancing his pencil across the paper.
Again, Mercury and Venus can only be so far apart, that is, never more than 76 degrees apart. So with that being said, the possible aspects that can be made are the conjunction, semi-sextile, semi-square, sextile, quintile, decile, and semi-decile. I will exclude quintiles, deciles, and semi-deciles, but you can sort of get an idea on how to interpret a Mercury-Venus decile/semi-decile by acknowledging a decile/semidecile’s Capricorn/Saturn/10th House energy. And for hints on how to interpret a quintile/biquintile, I talk about this aspect here

Mercury conjunct Venus
The mind is very refined and artistic. Soft and charming. Ideas and voice can be almost hypnotizing. Very friendly when unafflicted. Speaks beauty so effortlessly. According to C.E.O. Carter, people with this aspect are typically fond of youth and may even act juvenile… This could create a wide range of motives to why someone might act this way; to attract young people or to just stay “hip.” This is very true when Saturn isn’t very pronounced in the chart. You can imagine people with this aspect being quite proficient in writing, music, or speaking, especially when this aspect is in the 3rd or 5th house. 

Mercury sextile Venus
Great placement for musicians; it combines the mind with artistic abilities. Very artistic. Friendly, charming, and social, may come off a little fake though (unless of course, the rest of the chart says otherwise). Like all harmonious Venus-Mercury aspects, you have a way with words; a great conversationalist. 

Mercury semi-sextile Venus
Very minor aspect so again, it may go unnoticed, but because it is harmonious, it still has its intellect and charm to it. Like the sextile, the individual can be a good speaker. I would consider this another good placement for musicians just because semi-sextiles are 12th harmonics so therefore there could be some Neptune vibes drawing in there. Artistic ability is definitely there, but will need to seek it out even harder than the sextile. 

Mercury semi-square Venus
The 8th harmonic sprouting from a semi-square could potentially make the individual possessive, perceptive, seductive, and manipulative. An alluring charm to the way they communicate to others. Can sometimes be negative for relationships if the controlling aspects to this placement are indeed prominent. 

Moon - Venus Aspects

Moon conjunct Venus
If prominent in the native chart, they have a calm and gentle presence. There is a strong appreciation for love, beauty, and art. Generally all around affectionate, charming, and trusting. This sensitivity might make the person prone to people using them because they are sort of a “Yes-man” type person. Strong motherly character to them. A very good placement for people who wish to have children as it symbolizes harmonious family life. 

Moon sextile or trine Venus
Quite similar to the conjunction in the sense that they are very artistic. Blessed with charm and attractiveness. Financially a good placement as well, money is hardly an issue unless badly afflicted somewhere else in the chart. The trine comes more naturally than the sextile.

Moon square Venus
Difficult and afflicted position for Venus. The individual feels a sense of melancholy around the idea of love and beauty, there may be some insecurities around that as well. Unless Venus shares a stronger, more positive aspect some where else in the person’s chart, this is not a very good aspect for money. There are strong insecurities to bring the effeminate side of the person out, they hide it through aggressiveness and toughness. To overcome this hard aspect, the person needs to accept genuine love where it is given, do not shut it out. Financially, the individual should look to earthy aspects in their chart to handle money better and for stability. Work on being more loving unconditionally.

Moon opposite Venus
This aspect is not as difficult to handle as the square, but there is work involved. There are fears of being unloved and difficulties with handling finances. Again, accept genuine love where it is given and give love where it is deserved. I feel this aspect can also be overcome by a strong relationship between them and their lover or them and the mother. Disconnection of the mother through this aspect tends to have very negative affects on the individual. 

Venus - Mars Aspects

Venus conjunct Mars
While conjunctions are commonly seen as harmonious, they are actually in fact neutral and in this case, the powerful combination of Venus and Mars can actually be quite difficult. Depending on where Venus and Mars are positioned will depict just how this aspect will act (the Venus side of this aspect may smother Mars if Venus is in an empowering sign and vice versa). An overpowering Venus will weaken Mars’ abilities therefore the individual could lack qualities Mars typically provides (such as, drive towards passions…). The overpowering Venus will favour fairness, love, and harmony, but will also be lazy, superficial, etc. On the other spectrum, we have an overpowering Mars which could make the individual lack Venus’ gentle and loving traits. Lust and power could be a big thing for Mars placed here. Can make the individual moody and reckless, but brave. Both extremes can be balanced by focusing on the one that is being weakened. 

Venus sextile or trine Mars
Harmony between the spirit and animal self. Makes a strong, enthusiastic, courageous character. Very good placement for health, makes for a generally robust and healthy body. Great love of life and they tend to just effortlessly tread through life like a warrior. Affectionate and kind. Makes the individual magnetically attractive to the opposite sex. Mars will put any sort of Venus related talents to work and may prefer Venus related activities, but can also do well in athletic fields as well. 

Venus square Mars
Quite a difficult aspect that needs taming and it can manifest in different ways. From what some astrologers have observed, this aspect can create conflict with family life; this could range anywhere from quarrels or unfortunate family events. It does not doom romantic relationships, but it does stir up drama. Romantic life has quite a bit of flare; passion, heartbreak, tears, kiss-and-makeup sort of situations… It’s very extra. Creates a jealous and possessive character and should try to work on eliminating this trait. In masculine individuals, it can make them harsh, unloving, or unruly; this must be tamed in order to find a healthy, happy, permanent mate. Careful who you marry or dedicate your life to; avoid marrying young or marry wisely. Sex drive is either too much or very little with this aspect. Usually impatient and many unfulfilled desires. Look to what houses are involved with this aspect because what this aspect comes down to is conflict between passion and harmony to whichever houses are involved. Harmonious aspects to Saturn can calm this position down. Aside from the negativity this aspect gives off, it can create an extremely passionate and driven character.

Venus opposite Mars
Oppositions represent outer forces creating conflict. This aspect has many of the same difficulties and tendencies as the square, but it is much easier to escape its framework with conscious movements away from its negative energy. People who are more feminine ruled will develop overly sensitive traits and attract men who are aggressive and licentious. People who are masculine ruled likely have aggressive and touchy traits and attract overly sensitive and submissive women into their lives. Either way, both characters come on too strong. This aspect also represents conflict with the opposite sex; that can be manifested in many ways like oppression, difficult parents, etc. Just like the square, it can create a very passionate and driven character.

Venus - Jupiter Aspects

Venus conjunct Jupiter
Considered the “lucky” aspect as Venus and Jupiter endlessly compliment each other, but there can be too much cheese and wine if you know what I mean (indulgence… Laziness… Self-centredness… Impulsive…). But yes, this is considered one of the best aspects a natal chart can have as it represents a very artistically developed character with great appreciation for beauty and absolute gracefulness. Popularity and prosperity also come from this aspect. Jupiter expands all that Venus has to offer, Jupiter gives Venus a huge heart to just love all of life’s virtues. 

Venus sextile or trine Jupiter
Many of the same benefits as the conjunctions, less of the negative traits as they are more controlled with these aspects. The sextile needs to actually be put to work to achieve the benefits whereas the trine makes them come naturally to the individual. There is also a strong interest in religion and attunement to the Higher Self. 

Venus square Jupiter
What’s great about Jupiter aspects is that the negative aspects often get same benefits as the positive aspects (trine, conjunction, sextile, etc.); it is the case for Venus squaring Jupiter, but on top of that, there are some negatives that need to be controlled and overcome. Typically problems routed from this aspect are over-indulgence, bad judgement, vanity, laziness, and doing things without purpose; the individual usually overdoes it or doesn’t do enough. May be foolish with money; if this is controlled, the individual can be quite prosperous though. Individuals with this placement should be wary of the consumption of alcohol and fatty, rich foods as the liver is sensitive with this aspect.

Venus opposite Jupiter
Again, like I mentioned in the square, negative Jupiter aspects can still possess the same benefits as the trine or sextile. It does also possess the same troubles as the square, but often times the problems come from outer forces and aren’t caused by the individual themselves. Often times the issues, whether they be financial, or romantic, or etc. issues, can come from foreigners, travelling, or just justice. It’s best to also see what houses are involved with this aspect to get a better idea where the excess and trouble comes from. 

Venus - Saturn Aspects

Venus conjunct Saturn
In this case, the intense energy coming from the conjunction can be a bit discordant; here we have love being smothered by Saturn’s restriction. So yes, there is a lack of lovingness from this aspect, but it is because Saturn is making Venus cautious in love and considerate of their own feelings. Saturn will restrict the use of money as well; an individual with this aspect can be quite stingy, even possibly to the point of being a Ebenezer Scrooge. It is, however, perfectly okay to be careful with finances, but it is the selfishness that could create a problem; it will attract equally selfish people. Insecurity is another issue with this aspect as it restricts Venus’ ability to appreciate one’s own beauty. An individual with this aspect may not even see what is described above as an issue to them; they may think that ultimately, their duty to serve on in this life is more important than beauty, love, etc. If however, what is described sounds troubling to a Venus conjunct Saturn individual, the best way to overcome these issues is sacrifice. There is no love without sacrifice, especially in the case of Venus conjunct Saturn, but the sacrifice itself could very well be a very small price to pay.

Venus sextile or trine Saturn
Creates a character of absolute loyalty and dependability. Takes love very seriously and will not waste time with careless people; they value commitment. Is patient with love; one of the most important factors in love is to know that love is patient, therefore you must be patient with love. It is quite possible that insecurity is also routed from this aspect, but it really depends on the houses and signs that are involved (A detrimental Venus in aspect to the first house definitely screams insecurity). Like the conjunction, the individual can be quite careful with finances, but not to the point of being stingy. A great amount of spiritual strength and survival skills is developed with this aspect from either past-life hardships or early-life hardships. 

Venus square Saturn
This aspect is what many astrologers consider karmic debt. Saturn freezes Venus when the aspect is tight on this one. It reaps disappointment through love. Loneliness is inflicted on themselves. An individual with this placement may cut themselves off from opportunities in love to avoid disappointment (or may feel they don’t deserve love) or may make foolish decisions in love which can cause obvious disappointment. The first case would be especially true if this aspect is connected to the fourth house or even the first house. The second case would be true if this aspect is connected to one of the houses involving relationships (like the seventh house). Venus - Saturn aspects also hint to greed which may be true with the square. Ultimately this aspect if trying to teach the individual to have some balance; knowing what you truly deserve and don’t deserve; to give love to receive love; to share to be shared. Like the conjunction, a person with this aspect may feel like they don’t need love because they devote that energy towards their ambition or duty… They sacrifice comfort… 

Venus opposite Saturn
Some of the same negative encounters with this aspect as the square, but the problems arise mostly through outer forces like the people they meet; the outer forces are reflecting past-life behaviours. The houses involved with this aspect can tell a lot about where the problems will arise (seventh house could symbolize a difficult relationship or the tenth/fourth house could symbolize a parent, usually the father, that is a burden, distant, unloving or cold; quite possibly also the need to assimilate for the parent, the need, but often resulting in inability, to impress them. Saturn in the second house opposite to Venus may symbolize financial conflict… Saturn in the eighth house opposite Venus may symbolize conflict with inheritance..). The possible conflict with this aspect is vast and needs to be inspected carefully to really know exactly what it may represent in an individual’s chart, but to put it simply, Saturn is inflicting dread and misfortune on Venus and it is often due to the individual’s choice in environment. The effects of this aspect are easily avoidable by consciousness and choice; you can choose to be happy, you can choose what people or things effect you. 

Venus - Uranus Aspects

Venus conjunct Uranus
Eccentricity draws people to this individual; it is creative, dynamic, unique, and ultimately attractive to others. Unless earth or Saturn gives some commitment and stability in the individual’s chart, this placement can make a person hard to tie down and dislikes responsibility. They never really know what they like or admire because it’s always changing! There can definitely be “a sudden change in heart” with this placement for the individual. Funny enough, if they aren’t the one to break things off, they’re often extremely upset by separation. Great independence; the individual’s freedom comes before love, especially true if there is a lack of water or earth in the chart. The trick to tying one down with this aspect is to be a valuable friend before a lover as one of their morals is usually something like “Lovers come and go, but friends remain forever.” Being able to speak on a friend level gives a person with this aspect room to breathe. Artistic talent is strong with this placement as Venus combines her eye for beauty with Uranus’ unique ideas to create an artistic genius. 

Venus trine or sextile Uranus
These individuals could easily be described as fascinating. Has the same magnetism and artistic genius as the conjunction. In every thing that Venus entails, Uranus is going to put some surprise twists in there; brings love, prosperity, and events from unexpected places. The sudden events and changes will always be in favour of the individual. The trine aspect brings all of these traits more easily than the sextile

Venus square or opposite Uranus
An individual with this aspect may need to seek stability in himself before seeking a successful and stable romantic relationship for emotional instability is common with this aspect. Fickle behaviour is common. Magnetism is just as strong as the trine aspect, but it may attract the wrong type of person for this individual. Has unconventional ideas around love and sex, but this aspect won’t cause promiscuousness. Strong will to be independent to the point where the individual may forget just how much he/she relies on certain people. Demands freedom, but also needs to realize that they must give freedom to others to be, well, ultimately free. 

Venus - Neptune Aspects

Venus conjunct Neptune
This has got to be the most favourable aspect among artists and musicians as it blesses a chart with immense inspiration, imagination, and romantic traits. Attractive and angelic. May be psychically sensitive. Interest in mystical or metaphysical fields can also be strong; anything of divinity. This interest in the unknown can also result in a negative direction such as escapism, but a more developed individual with this aspect will know that the path to enlightenment includes a raw and sober mind. Romantically compassionate, usually has a great understanding of the laws of love and has a lot of love to give. Nerves are sensitive in love. An individual with this placement may romanticize toxic behaviours, people, ideology, etc. 

Venus trine or sextile Neptune
Like the conjunction, this is an extremely favourable aspect for artistic and musicians as it denotes great imagination, inspiration, and talent. An individual with this aspect will have a great eye for beauty and some level of refinement. Great understanding of love and values love on a spiritual level. Compassionate and is the type of person to “always be there for you.” Not super attached to the material world and just like the conjunction, there is interest in the metaphysical fields; may be psychically sensitive, if not, intuition is definitely still strong. Sensitive type. 

Venus square Neptune
Neptune is creating self-deception in Venusian realms and whichever houses that are involved is where it will often take place. The most common self-deception created from this aspect is in the area of love; individuals with this aspect often create an image of how a person is when they’re clearly not like that at all; they try to fit their partner into a framework that isn’t them; a square block into a circular hole. This ultimately will bring the individual some disappointment in love when they finally realize they cannot change a person no matter how much they wish upon it. So while commonly it is that the expectations are too high in love, they can also be too low; the individual needs to find a balance in order to be happy. There is also a strong desire to seek true enlightenment and the divine, but is often unable to fully achieve this desire. The square does not affect artist ability in a negative way like some may associate with a negative Venus/Neptune aspect, in fact, it could create a positive influence on the individual’s artistic ability as squares often provide motivation and drive.

Venus opposite Neptune
I mentioned in the square description that there is self-deception, but in the case of the opposition, there is deception coming from outer forces, most often people and even more specific, romantic affairs. A person with this aspect is likely to encounter someone like described in the square, but with selfish and controlling motives also. The easiest way to opt out of this experience is to simply just avoid these people; you don’t need to sacrifice your interests to fit someone else’s needs. Be wise with who you allow into your life romantically. This aspect can also manifest in other ways, not just romantic ones, but also be aware of possible deception and schemes through other Venusian realms such as money and beauty. Again, just like the square, artistic ability is not negatively affected by this aspect.

Venus - Pluto Aspects

Venus conjunct Pluto
There is a great deal of lust, magnetism, and sensuality with this aspect. This aspect has the potential of making a person a master at seduction. What’s also great about this aspect is that Pluto, a planet that sees right through all there is in its rawest form, will break some of Venus’ superficialness and social barriers that Venus often entails. Romantic endeavours are far from lacking steaminess thanks to Pluto. Your artistic projects will usually have an intimate connection to you. 

Venus trine or sextile Pluto
There isn’t the same amount of magnetism as the conjunction, but the people who do get caught by your allure REALLY get pulled in by you. Romantic feelings are intense and leave great emotional impact. Great value for intimacy. Eye for beauty is intense and raw. Has the same amount of empathy as a personal planet aspected to Neptune, but holds their ground and doesn’t sacrifice who they are. Looks for the good in every person. 

Venus square Pluto
An individual with this aspect may have held deep grudges and indulged too much in lust and selfishness to the point where they must redeem themselves and change their behaviour in order to seek peace and happiness in this life. One way an individual can fix this behaviour is by teaching others to love and to give because teaching someone something is actually a very strategic way of teaching yourself as well. 

Venus opposite Pluto
In this aspect, the individual is likely to encounter people like described in the square who are likely going to use them for pleasure and their own motives. This sort of emotional abuse can obviously take a toll on someone and carve this sort of individual into a secretive and closed-off character. The individual may have bad experiences in love that will lead them to believe that love does not exist or that they should freeze their heart from any sort of feeling of love. They may also be blind to the love that is already in their life and won’t realize it until they’ve lost it. Avoid people who are manipulative and are secretive of your affair with them, be aware of abusive people. Don’t let others destroy the concept of love to you. Give love where it is genuinely deserved, but at the same time, don’t expect anything back… Be patient with love. Appreciate and value when love is given to you.

The 15 PLOT POINTS of Story Structure

To all the writers who have ever been told they need to outline their story, and privately thought “Great. But how do you DO that? What exactly does that mean?! Is there a map? WHAT IS THE SPECIFIC DEFINITION OF THE VAGUE WORD ‘OUTLINE’?”

Good news. Stories have structure. Structure that can be learned. And a fantastic place to start learning structure? 

Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder. This book gives a simple outline that most stories follow. And as an introduction to story structure, it can’t be beat. 

In Save the Cat, 15 plot points are spelled out in something called a beat sheet. During the outlining process, these “beats” or plot points can be used as an armature or skeleton that your story is built upon. 

So what are those 15 plot points?

Opening Image: A snapshot of the hero’s problematic ordinary world, right before the story starts and changes everything. 

Set-Up: Further establishing that ordinary world and what the hero does every day, impressing upon the audience or reader what’s wrong, and the idea that something needs to change.

Theme Stated:  The truth that the hero will learn by experiencing the story, the statement that will be proven to the audience. But upon first encountering this truth, in this story beat right in the beginning, the hero doesn’t understand or outright refuses to believe it. The theme stated is asking a question, a question which the story will answer.

Catalyst: The ordinary world is shattered. Something unexpected happens, and this event triggers all the conflict and change of the whole story. Life will never be the same after this moment. This is the Call to Adventure. 

Debate: But for a moment, the hero won’t be quite sure about answering that call. Leaving behind the ordinary world is difficult – even if the catalyst has come along and disrupted everything – because the ordinary means safety, it means not being challenged, it means avoiding conflict and heartache. Yes, that existence they’re stuck in might be stagnant and unpleasant, but it protects them from facing the intimidating task of growth, of becoming something better.

Break Into 2: And this is when the hero decides to answer the call and cross the threshold of act two, determined to pursue their goal. 

B Story: This is when the relationship – which usually carries and proves the theme – starts in earnest.

Fun & Games: This is just what it says: the premise promised a certain type of pure entertainment, and this beat is where we get to experience it fully. 

Midpoint: This is either a false victory or a false defeat. Something really really good happens. Or something the exact opposite.

Bad Guys Close In: Forces of opposition and conflict begin to converge on the hero and his goal. Everything begins to fall apart for the hero, the defeats piling up one after another, the main character punching back.  

All Is Lost: This is the sequence where absolutely everything falls apart for the hero. The plans fail, the goal is lost, the mentor dies, the villain wins. All is, quite literally, lost. 

Dark Night of the Soul: The hero’s bleakest moment is right here. In addition to all of the tangible things that have been lost, hope and the gumption to continue with the story have also vanished. There is usually a hint of death here, of some kind. An actual death, or an emotional or spiritual death. 

Break into 3: Ah, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Inspiration occurs, hope is rekindled, courage to pursue the story returns. Usually, this is the moment where the main character learns what they NEED, the truth which will heal them, and allow them to fix their own lives. With this, they are able to snatch victory from defeat.

Finale: And in here, the story goal is pursued once more, but this time from the stronger version of the hero – the version that has learned the theme, and committed to act accordingly. 

Closing Image: The opposite of the opening image. This is a snapshot of life after the story, the problems of the ordinary world solved or banished, a new world opening up for the hero. If the opening is the equivalent of “once upon a time” this is saying “And every day after … “ 

So let’s see how that works! And to see it, let’s look at my favorite short film of all time – Paperman  (because this gave me an excuse to watch it several times and listen to the music while writing it.)

1) Opening Image

We see George, a twenty-something in a sixty-something’s suit and tie, obviously on his way to work, and not looking at all enthused about it. He stares straight ahead, expression bored, lifeless, right on the edge of depressed. Wind from a passing train pushes him slightly, and he lets it, demeanor unchanging. 

2) Set-Up

But then a sheet of paper, caught on the wind, hits his shoulder. The paper flies off again, and a young woman appears onscreen, chasing after the paper, as the surprised George watches.

 After catching it offscreen, the girl returns, tucking the paper into the stack she carries, smiling slightly. They both face forward, waiting for the train side-by-side, in silence. She’s glancing sideways at him, he’s smiling and fidgeting nervously, but still resolutely facing forward; they’re both aware of each other, seemingly hoping the other will be braver, but neither able to overcome their shyness and the unspoken rules of everyday life. 

3) Theme Stated 

As a train charges into the station, a paper from George’s stack is snatched by the wind and lands flat on the woman’s face. When he pulls the paper away, she laughs: her lipstick left a perfect kiss mark on the sheet. When George spots it, he laughs too … 

but when he opens his eyes, she’s gone. She’s boarded a different train. The kiss-mark paper flaps in the wind as the train begins to move, taking her away. He watches, crestfallen. She glances back. Looks of regret and disappointment are exchanged, both a little wistful. The paper, the symbol of their fleeting memorable meeting, waves goodbye. 

Through this little sequence of images, the question of the whole story is asked: Was there a connection between them? Will they find each other again? And on a wider level: What does it take to find love? 

Further Set-Up:

And cut to George behind a desk, in a gray office, dark file cabinets towering behind him, clocks on the wall ticking away his life. Miserable again, he stares at the lipsticked paper. A stack of documents slams onto the desk from on high. The grim-faced boss of the office scowls down at him. George frowns at the stack, then at his boss, who stomps away.   

4) Catalyst 

Breeze pulls the kissed paper off his desk and out the open window. He catches it just in time, breathing a sigh of relief. And then he sees something. The girl! She’s there! She’s right across the street! 

5) Debate 

He needs to get her attention! He dithers for a moment, then throws the window wide and enthusiastically waves his arms.

 An ominous "ahem” from the boss brings him back inside, and back to his desk. But his attention is still on the girl, and the need to get her attention. He folds a paper airplane, stands before the window, poises the airplane to fly … but he glances at his boss’s office before he throws it. Should he? 

6) Break Into Act 2

Yes. Yes, he should. He sends the little airplane messenger to bridge the distance between himself and the girl. 

7) B Story

What he should have done while waiting for the train, he’s committed to do now. Talk to her. The relationship of the story has started officially. 

8) Fun & Games

In this moment, he becomes the “paper man” of the title. He folds and throws paper airplane after paper airplane. The boss shows up, shoves him back and slams his window. George pauses until he’s gone, then just keeps sending airplanes. They sail over the street, but are intercepted or miss their mark every time. 

9) Midpoint

He reaches for more paper … and knocks an empty tray off the desk. He’s run out. Except for one paper, the kissed one, the only one he’s held onto. With a determined look, he folds it precisely into an airplane, stands before the window, breathes to steady himself … 

And the wind steals the airplane from his hand, sending it spiraling to the street below, George reaching out pointlessly. On top of this defeat, the girl leaves the office.  

10) Bad Guys Close In 

Immediately, the boss emerges from his lair. The other office workers hurriedly return to their scribbling, hunched to avoid drawing attention. The girl is leaving the building across the street! George turns from the window … and finds the boss looming above him, glowering, delivering another tall pile of meaningless work. 

George sinks into his chair, defeated. But something happens as he watches his boss walk away, as he sees the office workers in neat rows; all of them older versions of George, reflections of what he will become … if he doesn’t do something right now. 

He runs, sending paper from the perfect stacks flying in his wake. 

11) All Is Lost

But when he escapes the building, and attempts to cross the street, cars nearly kill him. And when he finally makes it to the opposite sidewalk, the girl is nowhere in sight. She’s lost again. 

And all he manages to find is the little traitorous paper airplane. The paper he’d believed might mean something, might have signified something important and maybe a little magical. Which it obviously never did. 

12) Dark Night of the Soul

Angry, he grabs the plane and throws it with all his strength.  He’s lost his job, he’s lost the girl, he’s lost all faith in the magic he’d just started to believe might be real. He stomps towards the train station, returning home. 

13) Break Into 3  

But fate has other plans. The airplane glides over the city, almost supernaturally graceful and purposeful. It dives between buildings, and lands in the middle of the alley where all the paper planes have collected. 

It sits immobile. Then it moves. Moves again. And jumps into flight. The airplane flies over the rest, stirring them into motion, into the air. In a place where not even a breath of wind could reach, there is now a whirlwind of George’s airplanes. 

Though the forces of mediocrity tried to keep them apart, something greater has recognized George’s efforts and is going to see things through. 

14) Finale

A parade of airplanes follows George down the street. 

The leader attaches to his leg. He brushes it off, mad. A flurry of them attach to him, then carry him down the street, unfazed by his fighting. 

The leader airplane rockets over the city purposefully, finds the girl, then lures her to follow.

 She chases after. 

Somewhere else in the city, George is being pushed wherever the paper airplanes want him to go. We switch back and forth between George and the girl, as the airplanes push him and beckon her. 

Until they’re both on different trains, which stop simultaneously, on opposite sides of the platform. The girl gets out. She fiddles with the airplane, like she’s trying to get it to work again. And just then, a breeze brings hundreds of paper planes skittering all around the platform.

 She looks up …

15) Closing Image

And there’s George, covered in paper planes. 

He lurches towards Meg, and the airplanes falls away, their work done. 

George and Meg face each other, smiling, the barriers of routine and shyness overcome. Exactly what should have happened, exactly what was meant to happen. Putting effort into connection and love prevailed in the end, defeating the allure of life spent in safety and mediocrity. The closing image is the opposite of the opening: he’s not alone, he’s not facing the train leading to his mundane job, he’s not looking miserable and hopeless. He’s facing the girl, his bright and meaningful new future.

***

So! Those are the 15 plot points. This is a fantastic way to begin learning what story structure is, why it works the way it does, and how to precisely pull it off. 

For a more in-depth explanation, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Save the Cat. (It holds a special place in my heart; it was the first screenwriting book I ever read, and started obsessive study of storytelling.)

3

I’ll let nothing stand in our way

2

Two very different kind of evil.



How to Keep Your Readers EMOTIONALLY Involved

Why is it that sometimes a book or movie can make you THIS emotionally invested  … 

And sometimes it’s more like this? 

My stories used to inspire a reaction similar to Hermione’s in my readers. And in me.  At some points I’d be reading my work, and a little honest voice buried somewhere in my head would say “I wouldn’t care if this character was hit by a bus right now.” Then I’d heap some denial atop the voice, silence her unwanted mutterings, and go back to trying to enjoy my story. Problem was, my readers appeared to have this little honest voice as well. And if she told them “Cartoon bus. Hitting this character. Wouldn’t that be funny?” they had a tendency to listen to her.

What was the problem? My scenes didn’t connect to my reader’s emotions. They didn’t change those emotions throughout the scene. They started out sad and they ended just as sad or even more so. And what came after that? Well, another scene that began with the main character feeling horrible, which ended with him just as downtrodden as before. Or worse: The scene began positive and just got better. The next one would start out absolutely giddy and ended effervescent. And this kept going until the characters were almost singing with joy. (Okay, maybe I’m being slightly snarky about my past self.) But after that, I’d follow it up with a long sequence of sadsadsad scenes. 

So what happened? My readers had only two emotions while enduring this: frustration and impatience. 

The scenes weren’t keeping my readers emotionally engaged. The scenes weren’t changing emotionally. And that is what needs to happen: The emotional charge of the scene has to change. Switch between negative and positive. The flow of the reader’s emotions has to be taken into account, and consciously adjusted. It’s that simple. 

How can this be accomplished? 

1) Determine what’s at stake in the scene. To the characters, something important is being threatened, something emotional or primal. Love? Safety? Friendship? Justice? Make sure the scene means something for the characters. (If it’s not emotionally significant to them, connected to the A Story, B Story, or Character Arc, it’s not a scene and the reader won’t care.) And since the readers are emotionally connected to the characters, the readers care about what’s at stake, and are conscious of what it means. 

2) Beats. The exchanges of action and reaction between characters and forces of opposition in pursuit of the goal … these carry that emotion, these are how emotions shift within the scene, gradually taking it from one to another. 

3) Emotional Charge. If the scene starts with what’s at stake in positive way, then it’ll switch to negative by the end. If if starts negative, the scene will change to positive. 

Anyway! How does this work?  

To illustrate it, because I’m having a lot of fun reading the screenplay, here are five scenes from Zootopia. 

Let’s start with the scene right after this happens: Manchas has gone savage, and Judy and Nick are running for it.

Scene 1 

What’s at stake? Life

Opening Charge: Negative (They’re being chased by a jaguar who is about ten times bigger than either of them, and who seems quite keen to tear them apart. To the characters, this scene opens with a 95% likelihood of imminent brutal death. To the audience, this scene opens with two characters we’ve come to care about in this dangerous situation.)

Closing Charge: Positive (They manage to call backup. Judy manages to handcuff Manchas. Nick stays to help Judy, rather than hop on the gondola to safety. They fall but manage to survive. They fall again, but are caught by a vine just before impact. Bogo and the rest arrive, and Judy is full of confidence about her discovery in the Otterton case, and eager to show them. Everything in this scene ended in Judy and Nick’s favor.)

How has what’s at stake changed? They lived.

Scene 2

What’s at stake? Judy’s lifelong dream, the goal she’s worked towards since she was a child. 

Opening Charge: Negative (Judy tells Bogo that this is way bigger than a missing mammal case – Otterton and Manchas went savage. He scoffs at her. In response, Judy confidently sweeps back the leaves to reveal the wild jaguar … and he’s gone. With her proof nowhere in sight, what she’s told Bogo sounds insane and ridiculous. Which provokes him into demanding her badge.) 

Closing Charge: Positive (Nick stops Bogo from taking Judy’s badge. Nick also bluntly tells him that he’s been an unfair little jerk to Judy, they have time to solve the case, and they have much more important things to be doing than standing around dealing with these idiots. He even calls her “Officer Hopps” instead of Carrots. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? She still has a chance to achieve that lifelong goal. And Nick was the one to buy her more time. 

Scene 3
What’s at stake? Truth

Opening Charge: Positive (Judy, and the audience, are feeling thankful and closer to Nick.)

Closing Charge: Negative (But even though we are in a good place, Nick looks far away … he starts thinking back … and we can sense that this memory lane doesn’t end anywhere pleasant.)

How has what’s at stake changed? He’s about to share something significant.

Scene 4
What’s at stake? Innocence

Opening Charge: Positive (We see little Nick! Looking happy and excited. All he wanted to do was join the Junior Ranger Scouts, and his mother scraped together money to buy him a uniform. She’s even adjusting his tie for him, lovingly.)

Closing Charge: Negative (Nick, who had been so happy at the beginning of this scene, is now hiding from the evil kids,  struggling to pull the muzzle off, panicked, crying like his heart’s broken.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Traumatized

Scene 5
What’s at stake? Closeness

Opening Charge: Negative (Well that was a horrifying story. And now Nick is avoiding eye contact, while revealing the takeaways he got from that childhood episode, which have shaped his decisions from then on. Suddenly Judy, and the audience, understand Nick a lot more. We empathize and sympathize with him.)

Closing Charge: Positive (The traffic cameras would have caught whatever happened to Manchas! And Judy has a friend that can help them access those cameras. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Nick dodges out of further vulnerability BUT they’re back on the case – this time, together. 

So!

As you can see, the emotional charges of these scenes fluctuate smoothly, from a scene’s opening to its closing, from one scene to the next. In every moment, in every beat, we’re feeling something. And when the scene turns, we (and the characters) are feeling the opposite of what we were at the beginning of the scene. Our curiosity and minds are linked to the story by the question “What’s going to happen next?”; our emotions are connected to the story by the conduits Judy and Nick, these two characters we care about, as every emotional change pushes us closer towards the answer to the question “What’s going to happen to these two? Is everything going to end up alright for them?" 

Now, let’s see what happens when you stop paying attention to the emotional changes of your scenes. 

Scene 1: Manchas is gone. Bogo is berating Judy. Nick stands there and watches. Judy ends up handing over her badge. The real cops leave, and Judy stays behind, figuring she might as well try and complete the case anyway. All Nick wants is that carrot pen, so he tags along.

Scene 2: Judy has nothing to feel thankful about, and certainly doesn’t feel closer to Nick. He’s thinking back on his childhood, but doesn’t share anything with Judy… 

Scene 3: Instead of the flashback opening on a happy Nick, it opens on him getting beaten up by the evil children, and ends on him weeping with the muzzle strapped to his face. 

Scene 4: We snap back to the present. Judy staring, beyond tears at this point. Nick looking traumatized and bitter. He remembers he needs the pen. He thinks about the reward money if they had found all those missing mammals. He has the traffic camera revelation! He drags a dejected Judy into his scheme, which she doesn’t care about, but why the heck not? 

In this horrible alternate universe version of Zootopia, this sequence of scenes is negative from beginning to end. And what would have happened to the audience if the scenes had played out in this depressing way? 

They would have emotionally checked out.

The connection between emotions and story would have snapped.

We would have forced our emotions to abandon the story, and watched the rest of the movie feeling betrayed and cheated. 

Because in the end, all we care about are these characters. All we care about is story, and character is story. It’s no coincidence that removing the emotional changes of the scenes equated to removing Judy and Nick’s relationship in the scenes; that relationship, that B Story, or Love Story, function (oddly enough) as the heart of the movie: it keeps the story alive, it keeps us connected and invested in the narrative, it keeps the scenes emotionally turning. Before Nick showed up, and we had two characters to care about, what kept us emotionally involved in the story was our relationship with Judy, this plucky bunny that we really wanted to see succeed. Establishing that connection is a subject for another post, but in regards to scenes, this manipulation of the audience’s emotions is how you keep that connection going strong.

I just said to manipulate someone’s emotions. How villainous.

‘Developing’ countries are still 'developing’ because they are exploited by multinational corporations from rich 'developed’ countries.

Globalized capitalism paints a gruesome picture of the appalling, deadly practices these corporations engage in to use cheap labor and suppress any opposition through force.

The outsourcing of jobs from developed countries occurred when workers won their rights: protection from unsafe working conditions and products, a guaranteed wage, abolition of child labor, et cetera.

The fact that multinational corporations outsourced jobs to vulnerable developing countries where they can neglect basic human rights proves that capitalism is built on the backs of the poor, who suffer and starve despite resources being abundant.

Neoliberalism has identified exploited countries as 'developing’ to shift the blame and promote a disastrous agenda.

Arguments defending this exploitation usually are along the lines of “well, you can’t expect corporations to protect these people, it’s always the government who is at fault”. Those arguments prove that neoliberals have succeeded in their agenda.

Globalization, under capitalism, has not created a world government, but rather a connection between the ruling class worldwide, allowing for legal agreements that promote their interests above all.

Capitalism kills millions, regularly. Globalization has not only made that easier, it has legalized and normalized it.

oppositions are harsh aspects. they can represent talent and skill and finesse but they have to be wrangled out and worked at. it’s hard for the opposition aspect to lay dormant, it can dominate the individual until it’s reconciled. trines and sextiles let you laze around, but oppositions force the work out of you. our most profound talents can be found in this aspect 

Communism isn’t trying to make everyone share toothbrushes, it’s trying to give everyone the right to own a toothbrush, the fucking literal opposite of forced toothbrush sharing. 

People are far more likely to share a toothbrush under capitalism than under communism, because under a capitalist society if you cannot afford your own toothbrush, you do not get one and thus may be forced to share another persons toothbrush in order to have your teeth brushed at all. In a communist society all would be provided a toothbrush if they needed one.

10

Nutritional info on Obi-Wan Kenobi says he provides 510% of your daily value of salt. (with special guest Siri “FITE ME” Tachi)

Fire and Ice aesthetic (x)

“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.” 

anonymous asked:

Is there ever a good reason to turn your back on someone in a close-up fight (like spinning around or whatever) that isn't running away?

Okay, the Hollywood spin that you see in a lot of fight scenes is bunk. These random spins are just there because spinning is dynamic and looks better on screen.

The answer to your question is that we don’t really spin to dodge attacks, we utilize spins to gain momentum. If you take into consideration that power comes from the momentum of your body in motion, then spinning and jumping lend themselves to more powerful techniques.

Spinning techniques open up a can of worms when talking about real fights, not really whether or not they work. That’s not up for debate. The question is, should you risk it? It’s a combat philosophy question.

This is about risk versus reward.

Spin kicks and jump kicks are the more advanced versions of the basic and the intermediary kicks. Any spinning or jump technique will have a version on the ground that must be learned first. The more complexity is added to a technique, the more your fundamentals and basics become important. A sloppy hook kick will translate into a sloppy spinning hook kick. The more force there is at play then the greater the risk of injury to yourself if you mess up. Broken ankles, fractured toes, broken legs, busted or blown knees, torn tendons are all risks beyond just the standard pulled leg muscles.

Remember, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The more force you generate to put into someone else, the greater the chance that same force has of rebounding on you. Poor technique increases the chance of injury, but there is no way to ever do any of these techniques in complete safety. You have to trust yourself and your ability to perform.

Jump kicks, spin kicks, spinning hand strikes, and flying punches exist as techniques across multiple martial arts disciplines. The body in motion creates momentum which is the source of power. When you spin, or run, or jump, you create a lot more momentum then you will from a standing position. These techniques are the more powerful upgrades of their non-jumping, non-spinning, ground based counterparts.

Someone flying at you can break your bones, and its potentially lethal. There are dozens of videos from kickboxing matches and taekwondo tournaments showcasing knockouts from wheel kicks and 360 degree jump roundhouses. The wheel kick or spinning hook kick can and does knock people out in sparring matches, tournaments, and professional fights.

A landed kick will drive the force of the blow through the headgear or head protection meant to soften the impact. If they manage to land the wheel kick while jumping then it is even stronger than it was on the ground. Spinning and jumping combine into the ultimate power up. The art of the flying death kick is not a joke. Well, not completely. Lots of martial arts styles have their own variants on spin techniques, from spinning kicks to spinning backfists and even elbows. We can go back and forth debating in what context they work, but they do exist. They do work, and they populate many different martial styles.

Spin kicks, jump kicks, jump spin kicks, any spinning technique is risky business. They’re powerful finishers. They can be used as openers, but if you fail then you leave yourself wide open. Most of the time you’re going to need to set your spins up via combinations to create the necessary openings in your opponent’s defense. 

That said, turning your back on your opponent is a bad idea. Running away in close quarters when you haven’t created an opening is a terrible one. The same is true for spin techniques. You need great timing and the ability to create openings in order to pull them off. The crux of the issue is: they’re high risk, high reward. When we perform a spin kick is we’re turning our back on our opponent and trusting they’ll still be there by the time we’ve finished our turn. Your opponent is never just going to stand there and let you hit them. You’ve got to make sure they’re not going anywhere first.

The combat philosophy on spin techniques varies from individual to individual. Some will say never do it as what you get isn’t worth the risk, and others will do it and make it work. You’ve got to decide for yourself if the benefits outweigh the risks.

For writers, especially ones without experience, it’s important to understand that spinning jump kicks are among the most difficult kicking techniques. Spinning is advanced martial arts. If your character doesn’t come out of a strong kicking discipline, it’s unlikely they’ll ever consider you using them. Even if they do, they may decide they’re too risky.

If you, the writer haven’t figured out how the basic kicks like the front kick, the roundhouse, and the sidekick work then wrapping your head around the mechanics of a spin kick is going to be difficult. This is before we get to the combat applications of when or how we use kicks like the wheel kick, the spinning jump roundhouse, or the popup back kick.

And that’s okay if you look at these kicks, think they’re awesome, and when you sit down to try to write what you saw get confused by how they work. The advanced kicks are mysteries to the white belts too. That’s normal.

Mechanically, these kicks are fairly complex. Sometimes, there’s switching between the legs that happens. Multiple body parts are all moving at the same time. With the wheel kick, you turn and look over your shoulder, lift your leg, extend your leg, and spin in one almost simultaneous spin. You need to spin while balanced entirely on one leg, not overextend, not be thrown out of whack by your own momentum, and not be destabilized by sudden contact with another object that’s not moving.

It is not uncommon when learning these kicks to lose your balance and fall over, to experience vertigo, lose track of your target and get really dizzy. You stumble, you fall, you get scared. It can very be intimidating.

Writers, if you find yourself looking at these techniques and getting confused don’t worry about it. You’re seeing kicks that are studied between blue (in TKD basic popup kicks, axe kick, crescent kick), brown to red (wheel kick, jump axe kick, jump crescent kick, jump wheel kick, and advanced popups), and black belt (kicks like tornado kick, the 540, and the 720). These are kicks learned two to four years into a student’s training, when they have a strong foundation. Don’t get down on yourself for not being a black belt if you’ve never done martial arts.

Ironically, the best way to train your pen is start with writing the basic kicks and work up. If you can figure out the application for the back kick and the hook kick in a written scene, you’ll begin understanding the wheel kick.

If you want to watch the knockouts in action, here are some videos. (Warning: do not watch any of the following videos if you are uncomfortable with watching real human beings, some of whom are minors get knocked out.)  If you want to watch a lot of these in action then look up videos like The Best Taekowndo Knockouts KO. Or this Tornado Kick KO (360 degree jump roundhouse) from MMA. Lawrence Kenshin did a decent breakdown of these kicks. (Learning the Tornado Kick was how I fractured my tibia when I was twelve.)

-Michi

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Dumbing Down Aspects Between The Sun to Jupiter and Saturn

Aspects between the Sun and Jupiter

Sun Conjunct Jupiter
If unafflicted by other planets such as Mars or Saturn with hard aspects, this is seen as a very positive aspect to have. It attracts optimism and joy in one’s ego. Provides protection and ease around financial, spiritual, and most health aspects in life. Approach is strong and vital, but in a gentle way. It attracts curiosity to religion and good morals. Love of children and animals. Likely to travel quite a bit if their crave for knowledge asks for it. Overall a person with this aspect could easily be labelled as a “good” person.

Sun Trine/Sextile Jupiter
Quite similar to the conjunction as it applies ease to areas listed. May not be as direct as the conjunction, but it still there, especially when activated. Likely to have carried over religious/spiritual knowledge from past lives to continue to grow and expand in this life. Love of children and animals, the individual believes they can learn from them and nature.

Sun Square Jupiter
The square appears in people’s charts to test them and build strength in this area. Jupiter always provides too much ease, so as this is an inharmonious aspect, what can be learned from it can become beneficial. An individual with this aspect may carry blind optimism or over exaggerate. Unless other aspects show responsibility and maturity, the individual may see big losses due to immaturity. This aspect shows the individual may gamble too much and should also watch their diet. Look to a harmonious Saturn to neutralize a lazy Jupiter.

Sun Opposite Jupiter
Similar to the square, but a lot more must be learned from it. There is feelings of self entitlement. According to medical astrology, a person with this aspect should be very careful with their diet, especially with age as their liver is sensitive. Must learn not to over-do the gambling, the eating, and the relaxing. Too much giving in, needs to learn to restrict. Perhaps a good aspected Saturn can be helpful.

Aspects between the Sun and Saturn

Sun Conjunct Saturn
Organized and Disciplined. Comes off as cold and lonely. May see many limitations, but will only make them stronger and make the individual more persistent. Hard work and patience is what brings in rewards, opt to see material success later in life. May see many disappointments in life, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, especially when the chart holds a good aspected Jupiter. Very determined character. May be issues with the father figure in this person’s life; either too prominent, neglecting, or not there at all. If Saturn overrides the Sun completely, childhood may have been very somber and disappointing.

Sun Trine or Sextile Saturn
Practical with good drive. Ambitious and easily directed towards goals. High integrity and morals. Willing to work for success. Individual likely to have strong bones and teeth; good genetics. Again like the conjunction, may have issues with the father figure in their life.

Sun Square Saturn
Unfortunately this aspect makes the individual have sort of a “Scrooge” attitude. Gives selfishness and bitterness to the personality. Again, childhood may have not have been very happy. Possibly not a strong connection with the father figure. An individual with this aspect finds it’s hard to be loved and the coldness seems to grow with frustration. Look for and embrace harmonious aspects to the Sun, Saturn, and Jupiter to sort of “cure” this hard aspect. It also depends on how the individual views this aspect; the more they dread unwanted events, the more they show up. This is why we look to Jupiter for optimism in hard aspects to Saturn. Past life karma usually creates fates like this one. The reason for this is, in a past life, the individual may have been too lazy or had not really put their ego to work properly. It is to balance the karma, it is the stars giving your soul a push.

Sun Opposite Saturn
Actually not quite like the Square at all. According to Isabel M. Hickey in her book, Astrology A Cosmic Science, she mentions that oppositions tend to be forces outside of ourselves, meaning the forces of other people and nature whereas a Square is an inner struggle. So with an aspect like this, the individual is likely to meet a lot of difficult people in their life. Again, it has to do with karma; either in a past life they were like these people or in a past life they had unresolved issues with these people. Likely to see these difficult personalities in men of the individual’s life. Compromise and understanding is key to overcoming the outer forces.