or it might just be that i associate it with good things

Crystals/stones that would be helpful for each sign...

Aries: Fire Agate: stimulates the sacral chakra, favorable for sexual endeavors. enhances vitality throughout the body. encourages one to think before they act; deepens capability for rational reasoning and resolution. can help eliminate destructive behaviors, and helps to realize the harm one has committed. helps mellow you out, putting out the raging fire inside an Aries that can build up. 

Taurus: Bloodstone: this stone helps avoid dangerous situations and promotes courage. it enables the user to use strategic plans to make their way through life - Taurus is known for being very practical and strategic-minded, perfect for this sign. being an extremely down to earth sign, Taurus as well as the earth element in general is very present at all times; they are not very spacey individuals. this stone assists in acting in the present moment, keeping this sign even more grounded. it also helps ground the heart energy, reducing frustration, anger and impulsive behavior stemming from one’s own emotions. it reduces feelings of impatience. this stone is also perfect for the fixed sign Taurus - a sign known for being highly resistant to change - because it assists in helping one adjust to unaccustomed situations, scenarios or circumstances. this will help Taurus find comfort - which they need - in any situation they come across.  

Gemini: Blue Kyanite: this stone stimulates the throat chakra; promoting self expression through verbal communication, something Gemini excels at and values highly. they are the sign of communication, after all. this stone encourages one to speak the truth, and powers through any blockages made against the throat chakra. it’s excellent for public speaking. it can fight through confusions, delusions, illusions, frustration and stress. increases capacity for learning and logical thinking. weaves the higher mind into casual conversation. this stone heals the voice and throat. 

Cancer: Lepidolite: cancer is a highly emotional and sensitive sign ruled by the moon. they need stability and security/safety in their lives, and lepidolite can provide this for them by emitting feelings of high serenity and diminishes any hostility present in the user or around them. cancers can become too defensive when they feel personally attacked, they can put up metaphorical walls around themselves too. lepidolite can diminish the need for this kind of behavior. cancers notoriously hold grudges and have a hard time letting go of the past as well; this stone aids cancers in the direction of using past experiences as lessons to be learned and grow from. this stone helps emotional healing and brings back balance into one’s emotional state and life. lepidolite also brings guidance from a higher power, and can help create a oneness with spiritual matters.  

Leo: Orange Calcite: this stone stimulates the sacral and root chakras. it brings joy into one’s life, something Leo needs, they are ruled by the Sun in astrology after all - they must shine and let themselves be noticed for their positive contributions to others. this stone boosts one’s vitality and will power, and encourages energy to those that feel lethargic or dull. this stone can improve one’s natural instincts and prevent emotional impulsiveness - something fire signs may suffer from. this stone can overcome depression, removes fear, and maximizes one’s own potential, stimulating growth and stardom - something Leos dream of. 

Virgo: Moss Agate: brings abundance and wealth. helps intellectual people or people living more in the mental realm have easier access to their intuitive insight and sensitivity, perfect for Virgo - a sign ruled by the most mental planet, Mercury. this stone improves self-esteem and releases fear, worry, and anxiety - all things Virgo deals with most often. inspires new ideas, projects and promotes self expression through verbal communication. can help get one out of a depressive state. Moss Agate assists midwives in their work; those of service to others - like Virgo most commonly finds themselves to be. 

Libra: Ametrine: libras tend to suffer the most out of any other sign in the zodiac from indecisiveness, the fear of making the wrong decision, the fear of looking too selfish or not making the choice that will benefit another. Ametrine is here to get rid of those blockages in the mind and encourages the user to make the divine decision with a clear mind on the right track. this crystal clears stress and confusion. it aids in harmonizing one’s thought process and actions. it aids in creativity as well - a sign ruled by Venus might benefit from. libra is the sign of relations and partnerships/relationships, and ametrine actually enhances compatibility with others as well as acceptance. this stone can help libras take control over themselves and their own life. ametrine is a combination of amethyst and citrine - two very powerful crystals. 

Scorpio: Labradorite: stone of power, transformation, can enhance will-power for the user. mends and weaves intuitive & intellectual thinking into one; ruling over the throat chakra, aids in empowering others and the self. uplifting and can help lead one out of the darkness in life; fights one’s fears and blockages preventing one from living joyously. prevents one’s own energy from leaking out, helping Scorpio keep their cool and private self in tact when they need it to be. can help ground spiritual energy and raises consciousness. 

Sagittarius: Celestite: sagittarius is known as the teacher, voyager, the explorer. celestite is commonly known as the “teacher for the New Age”. this crystal sets one on a voyage for self-discovery, enlightenment, and attracts good fortune; like the sign sagittarius itself and its ruler, Jupiter, the “luckiest planet/sign in the zodiac world”. sagittarius’ might experience difficulty in relationships because of their permanent wanderlust, this crystal can soothe relationship dysfunction by miraculously sending the user down all the answers they need, by also stimulating spiritual and guide contact. this crystal brings inner peace and calms restlessness of the soul while also urging openness to new experiences. celestite cools firey emotions too, and sagittarius is a fire sign after all. this crystal sharpens the mind, improves the intellect and aids in analysis of complex ideas. promotes mental balance between intuition, intellect and instinct - fire signs summed up. 

Capricorn: Anhydrite: this crystal helps bring structure, support and strength physically. capricorn and the earth signs rule the physical realm and all things that are tangible; this crystal aids in feeling protected and guided to their highest purpose. this crystal can also help fearful capricorns - capricorns tend to suffer more in silence - that are afraid of death, the afterlife, etc. it can help people that have trouble coming to terms with troubling things, help relieve and promote calmness in one’s life involving grudges, lies, daily life troubles, etc. it helps bring acceptance in one’s life and for what tomorrow may bring - and we all know capricorn is always concerned about how their actions today impact tomorrow and their future overall. 

Aquarius: Fluorite: aquarius is a very futuristic sign, one that is known for being very ahead of its time - associated with technology as well. fluorite is effective against electromagnetic stress, and blocks geopathic stress. the stone is associated with progressiveness, just like aquarius is. however, aquarius is a fixed sign - sometimes too stubborn in what they think or believe, luckily fluorite is an aid that can dissolve fixed behavioral patterns, it brings suppressed feelings to surface - being an air sign, aquarius can intellectualize their own emotions and suppress their feelings. fluorite can help immensely. air signs love to learn and take in new information, and fluorite organizes information coming in to be processed, it aids in concentration and helps weave what has already been learned to what is currently being learned. it can promote quick thinking as well - and we all know aquarius is known for their lightning bolt ideas and thoughts. this stone can help aquarius look at the bigger picture and not get so caught up in one thing. it aids acceptance, open-mindedness and dissolves illusions. 

Pisces: Angelite: this stone is formed from celestite; which I applied to the sign sagittarius. I believe these two signs are linked, mostly because jupiter also co-rules pisces; filling it with the faithfulness this sign is known for having. angelite helps us be more compassionate, speak our truth, and accept the things that cannot be changed. this stone gives off a strong feeling of tranquility, and is used by many healers because of its ability to enter spiritual realms and allow spiritual contacts to come down to the user. pisces is a very spiritual sign and this will give them a better sense of purpose and self overall. this stone helps understand more complex and logical facts. this stone helps us stay in the reality we know presently while entering other versions of reality. 

Ok but can we talk about how the Paladin’s bayards don’t just suit them, but actually ARE them? THE BAYARD PICKS THE PALADIN, MR. POTTER.

The bayards are frankly the coolest metaphorical device happening in this show and I haven’t seen anyone talk about it yet (I’m sure someone has, but I feel like it’s not really… a thing??), and if my major has taught me any(useless)thing it’s to get stuck on functional motifs in storytelling so

Keith

I mean this is just fun. You’re probably not surprised that he gets the big blade because he’s main-character-red and the emo/possibly-Asian-one, but let’s consider a few things: 

The fact that it’s sharp on both sides acts as a physical reminder of the duality happening within his character (he cuts others down, but internally he’s cutting himself down just as much: a double-edged sword). 

Furthermore, that double edge reminds us that it’s a loner’s weapon: he needs to be able to attack with each swing, in any direction, because no one’s coming to back him up. It may be space, but dude is clearly rockin’ the lone wolf/samurai vibe. The length backs that up a bit as well–it keeps everyone he sees as an ‘enemy’ or a ‘rival’ at a distance (//side-eye @ lance). 

What’s even more interesting is that if you look at Keith’s relationship with his bayard compared to his Marmora blade, they represent his hidden and public selves: who people see him as/expect him to be vs. who he truly is and wants to be (is afraid to be) himself. 

Most people only see his bayard, a classic warrior/knight weapon that represents strength and grace and leadership. Keith brings this out in battle, in front of his friends, before enemies, etc. But when he’s alone at night or when he’s holed up in the desert, the blade on his mind and in his hand is his Marmora dagger. Despite being a secret for so long, it is actually this blade (and not the bayard he got from Voltron) which Keith always keeps close to him (and which he keeps strictly concealed). 

He covers up the mark on the hilt as if to cover his own hidden thoughts and feelings (and maybe even dubious past). In public, he feels he can proudly show his bayard but doesn’t want anyone to know he has the dagger, even before he himself knows what it might mean. 

Even more interestingly, this blade also represents close combat–letting people get close to you–and the desire to protect others, showing that these are things Keith thinks about, feels, and even wants, but is afraid to show to those around him. What’s more, while the obvious skills and general cool-dude-ness associated with the bayard are something Keith has earned/achieved by his own merit, the Marmora dagger (and all the things it represents) were something he was born with; something inherently part of him. Ironically, once Keith learns more about his dagger and what it represents, it becomes longer–it adds distance, just as the truth about his past puts distance between him and the other paladins.

Like, I could literally (gladly) write an entire essay just on the symbolism of how Keith treats these blades, but you get the idea. 

I was gonna do Shiro next but his is even sadder than Keith’s so let’s do

Pidge

So some things about this are obvious: it bears a (kind of adorable similarity) in shape to her head. It’s small, she’s small, but if you underestimate either of them you will be sorry. It’s an incredibly quick/nimble weapon (a great parallel for her stinging wit). Her bayard is designed for quick, surgically precise movements, which is exactly how Pidge works (both mentally and metaphorically).

However, while it has great attack capabilities, that’s clearly not the bayard’s (or Pidge’s) main purpose; it’s a necessary consequence in the pursuit of other goals. Rather, the transformative and flexible uses of Pidge’s bayard emphasize the desire to be useful and to solve problems over attacking. This is belied by the fact that Pidge forms Voltron’s shield. Pidge would much rather think her way out of/around a problem than charge in head-first

Her bayard is a reflection of that. Pidge’s bayard is also the most technically complicated, which is another great parallel for her mind. Furthermore, the grappling hook function of her bayard echoes her desire to find things out of reach, and cast out into space and bring those things close to her, or herself to them (*cough*MATT*cough*). 

TL;DR: it’s an all-purpose, unassuming weapon meant to perform multiple tasks in an efficient, creative way, and it focuses on problem solving/extraction more than brute attack (though it packs plenty of punch when cornered). And, of course, though she be but little, she is fierce.

Lance

As his swagger (and even his name, like talk about being on the nose) suggests, Lance is totally in-your-face, up-in-your-business blabbermouth who seems pretty simple to understand. So why does he have the weapon that arguably requires the most finesse, patience, and also has a long range? Because that’s what Lance is really like under all that talk. It may seem like Lance lives with the words “are we there yet” on his tongue, but consider this: Lance wanted to be a pilot, but was originally relegated to commercial-class ranks. Did that stop him? Nope. He kept at it until he made it to the top of those ranks (it’s safe to assume that if they only promoted one pilot to fighter-class after Keith’s expulsion, it would be the top of the commercial-class students). That’s more patience than any of the other paladins have shown.

As a gun in a team that has close-combat weapons, Lance’s bayard automatically assumes a supportive role (despite all his talk about beating Keith and being the best), and we see this multiple times throughout the show. His first day as a fighter-class pilot, what does Lance do? Talks to his team and says they should stick together. How does he find out about Shiro? He’s following Pidge and asking about what she’s up to–crazy theories that others wouldn’t care to hear out. There are a lot of other examples of this (notably, when he throws himself in front of Coran), but from the get-go we’re slyly shown that Lance actually cares about and pays attention to those around him (even though he keeps talking about kicking their butts and being #1). It makes sense, then, that his weapon would be one designed to support and provide cover for others. In fact, we see Lance doing exactly this in the first episode when Pidge mouths off and he rushes in to cover for her.

Sadly, as one of the longer-range weapons, Lance’s bayard is also one of the loneliest metaphors in the group, and we see the reason for this just as much in VLD: Lance doesn’t feel appreciated (or sometimes even accepted) by the people around him. He often feels distant, though not by choice. He may shoot (ha) his mouth off a lot, but at the end of the day it’s pretty apparent that this boy craves love and attention, almost as much as he wants to be perceived as a ‘top gun’ (double ha) within the group.

A gun–especially the rapid-fire type that Lance has–further mirrors his tendency to be impulsive (and even impetuous) rather than controlled and thoughtful. On the bright side, though, it is exactly that willingness to pull the trigger that has catapulted the gang forward on a number of occasions.

Shiro

Between Shiro’s arm and his bayard there are so many different things going on here I don’t even know how I can touch on all of them. If I could write an essay on Keith’s weapons, I could write a BOOK on Shiro’s.

First, let’s talk about Shiro’s actual bayard. In Zarkon’s hands, you can read this as a physical extension of Shiro’s freedom, or even as Shiro himself: Zarkon took the bayard–something meant to be used for good–from another world, and then warped it in the hopes of using it to cause destruction. 

The good news is that both Shiro and the bayard escape Zarkon’s clutches because of Voltron, and though Zarkon intended to use them, they instead become the strongest weapons to fight against him. They will always feel the effects of Zarkon’s influence and ownership–the bayard because of Zarkon’s former paladin connections, and Shiro because of his arm and PTSD–but they still fight. In the end, it is Zarkon’s obsession with them as his former ‘possessions’ that becomes his downfall. So deep is his trauma that Shiro actually waits until it looks like they’re about to die (when Voltron is in an electric headlock) to activate his bayard. Why? Because he doesn’t trust his arm, he doesn’t trust his hold on the bayard or the lion (don’t even get me STARTED on how the lion–down it’s right-hand weapon and still somewhat under Zarkon’s control–represents Shiro himself), and as a result he doesn’t trust himself to be stronger than Zarkon. 

Even when Shiro finally gets the bayard back, he doesn’t call it his bayard, or the black bayard; he calls it Zarkon’s bayard (and it looks the part). This can be seen as a mirror for how Shiro sees himself: even though it’s a bayard, Zarkon tainted it, and now it doesn’t belong to him even though it’s rightfully his and he has it in his hands (which, ironically, is still technically Zarkon’s hand… you get the picture).

However, as Keith corrects him (”you’ve got your bayard”), the bayard rejects the changes Zarkon forced upon it, and reverts to a form that matches Shiro and the other paladins (likely how it looked before Zarkon started using it for evil). Just as the paladins healed Shiro by rescuing him and making him part of Voltron, Shiro does the same for the black bayard. Indeed, he only pulls out the power necessary to retrieve the black bayard once he wakes up to find the team fighting to protect him. It might be telling symbolically that Shiro leaves his bayard behind when he goes missing at the end of the season–perhaps he’s won his freedom only to have it taken once again.

 Which leads me to… 

The black bayard could also represent Shiro’s memories: both are known to exist, and we get hints/flashes/teases throughout the show, but both are initially “lost”. Slowly, it is revealed just how both Shiro’s bayard and his memories have been taken/corrupted by Zarkon. We see this in the way Shiro’s memories haunt him, only to frustratingly elude  him when he needs them. When Shiro finally tries to find out more about why Zarkon has the bayard, he’s also facing his own mind–his memories, his insecurities, and his apprehension at what fate awaits him–as well.  In this sense, when Shiro reclaims the black bayard, he is also reclaiming so much more: the hold/fear Zarkon held over him, the insufficiency and anxiety he felt because of it, etc. 

You can also read the bayard as a mirror for Shiro’s arm: Zarkon took Shiro’s arm and replaced it with something Galran. Shiro joins Voltron only to find that Zarkon also has his metaphorical right hand–his weapon. Shiro can’t use the weapon he should be holding (in a hand he doesn’t have because of Zarkon) because Zarkon took it. Talk about a vicious cycle. This symbolism is supported all through season 1 and parts of season 2 where we see Shiro simultaneously struggle with controlling Zarkon’s lasting effects on Voltron and coming to grips (ha) with controlling his arm. It’s hinted–both during battle and through PTSD–that if Shiro doesn’t control his arm, it will control him, just as Zarkon demonstrates that if Shiro can’t reclaim the bayard, Zarkon will use it to kill him (we see a similar parallel with his memories). 

I’m just going to stop here because the black bayard and Shiro’s arm can represent so many different things that it totally distracts me and I can only really do it justice by literally sitting down and writing out a full on dissertation on it.

But TL;DR: Shiro’s arm and his bayard are in a crazy, soap-opera drama with Zarkon on so many different levels and it is symbolistically incredible.

Hunk

Hunk’s bayard, much like Hunk, is pretty straight-forward and simple. Physically, it’s a big weapon. A big, hulking (Hunking????) weapon. It looks incredibly imposing, but its chief function isn’t destruction, but preventing destruction. Just as Hunk likes to avoid violence, his canon is mostly used to disable enemy weapons as part of Voltron, and individually Hunk uses it to provide long-range cover fire for his team (when he tries to use it in a more actively combative role, he just ends up almost shooting Pidge… gg, Hunk). 

Unlike Lance’s more nimble and quick-fire weapon, Hunk’s takes a lot of strength to move around and a long time to power up–this mirrors Hunk’s own well-rooted stance (he’s not easily swayed), and his cautious nature. He doesn’t do things off-the-cuff or on a whim; he thinks them through first. Indeed, it’s almost always Hunk warning the others of the possible outcomes of their proposed escapades. 

He’s also slow to anger, just as his weapon is slow to fire. However, once he has decided to take a shot, his firepower is incredible, just as when he does decide to take action (like with the Balmerans), his will is unstoppable. 

I could go on for days, guys. I have so much stuff I had to cut out because even the hardcorest Voltron fans don’t care about underlying motifs this much, I know, but AGH. GUYS. GUYS. THE BEAUTY??? OF THIS WRITING??? IN A KIDS’ SHOW????? 

Bless.

PS this is long I didn’t proof read it SO SUE ME

🔔 BELLS IN WITCHCRAFT 🔔

Originally posted by marklsmovingcastle

Bells might just be the earliest form of superstitious practise that I remember. My baba attached three sakura-patterned suzu bells on my schoolbag as a kid, purportedly for good luck and protection from evil spirits – and Japan is far from the only place to have associated bells and bellringing with mystic practise. They’ve been used worldwide to ward off evil and carry messages – and in a more metaphysical sense, sound is the movement of energy through substance. Sounds have the potential to work powerful magic.

Here are some of the ways I’ve found utilising bells to be helpful to my craft. While I’m more likely to use traditional suzu type bells, your own background, path and culture will likely have its own types of bells – and as ever, bells can be ornate antiques or they can be a bottle cap in a tin can, as long as they’re used with intent.

GETTING STARTED

🔔 As with so much of the craft, if you’re new to the witching bell, it’s a matter of exploration and experimentation. Get a “feel” for what works for you and the specific bell you’re using.

🔔 It’s good practise to ensure that the bell itself is cleansed, warded and protected – you don’t want anything nasty tapping into that power. All witching tools can do as much harm as good, intentional or accidental.

🔔 A good way to begin incorporating bells into your craft is infuse them into any typical ritual that you’re comfortable with, or even just a prayer or moment of contemplation at your altar if you have one.

🔔 Give the bell a soft ring while focusing on the energy it’ll ripple and move, try to track the movements it creates and what it touches. The tone it’s sending out.  The most primal and versatile use of the bell – and what many of the below come down to – is simply another manner of physically channelling energy, giving it shape and direction.

PROTECTION

🔔 “Passive” bells such as windchimes or small bells attached to belongings you don’t want disturbed are a starting point. They will scare off some forms of spirit all by themselves, especially if appropriately blessed, charmed or enchanted. Or cursed.

🔔 Gently tolling can draw energy into a ward or circle you are forming and enforce its protective properties, or for a simple cleanse, letting the sound travel to every corner of the area you are protecting. It’s a little more “cutting” than a smoke or incense cleansing, which I view as more “gentle” forms of cleansing. Both have their uses.

🔔 Harder tolling is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful ways in which to enforce a banishing – however, it’s best to you know what you’re doing with the bell before you go bashing it about.

DISCERNMENT

🔔 Bells can have quite the effect on your perception and awareness. Ringing and then stopping, listening to the silence left in its wake, can bring you new perceptions or make things you’d previously missed obvious. Let it attune your mind and senses to something new, whether that’s in your thoughts or something with a little more presence. Visualise travelling with the sound, taking heed of the energies it touches and disturbs. Take note of the echoes – you’ll learn what they mean with experience.

🔔 A set of windchimes can let you know if something is passing through or if there’s some unusual energy afoot – and, yes, it may also just be letting you know that it’s a particularly breezy day, but that’s witchcraft for you.

CONJURING

🔔 This can be as simple as calling good energies to witching tools, spell jars, tarot decks, crystals, altars and shrines, your favourite teddy bar, anything at all.

🔔 With spirit work, it can truly help to magnify your “calling”. This can range from gently bringing your latest offering to the attention of your friendly neighbourhood house spirit – all the way to trying to catch the attention of something more. Be mindful, however. As I said, I consider bells pretty powerful tools and a call that’s too loud is not good spirit work practise for the spirit worker’s own sake. It can really help coax something out of hiding if you’re gentle with it, though.

COMMUNING

🔔 Some use bells to mark the beginning and end of a ritual, and I’ve read that in Wiccan practise an altar bell can be used to invoke the Goddess, although as a non-Wiccan, I’ll welcome corrections on that if I’m wrong.

🔔 In my experience, very simple forms of communication via bell work a lot better than anything too complex – “come here” and “stay away” have already been covered, and other than that they can serve as greetings or signals of a start or end of some practise or ritual, the opening or closing of a door, etc.

🔔 They can also serve as a warning or a litmus test regarding spirits, a signalling of your presence and awareness, lack of fear, or willingness to defend – but be prepared to deal with whatever responses these garner.

BINDING

🔔 Bindings are where you most often see that famous (clockwise) circular motion of the bell, embodying the meaning of the spell. This can be a simple binding to seal a spell or charm or enchantment, or a spirit-binding.

🔔 Personally, spirit-binding is something I do as little as possible simply due to my beliefs holding the autonomy of spirits in very high regard. However, sometimes situations arise that call for it, and I’m aware that not all bindings are unwilling. Far from it – and some spirits are dangerous when unbound.

🔔 As an animist (believing that all things, including inanimate objects, contain a spirit of their own), I consider gently nudging a spirit back into its physical form a sort of semi-binding, and that can be useful.

I’ll leave you all with a note that I am an urban apartment-dwelling witch through and through, so I understand that we can’t all be jangling away at all hours. I myself have a glass windchime in my front window that makes a distinct but muted sound when disturbed by passers-through, and highly recommend wooden ones also. I also only use my small and relatively quiet suzu bell for my crafting – one given to me by my baba herself.

Feel free to add any of your own findings, and happy tolling.

What to do when you really don’t want to study.

I think we’ve all been there - the class is important and you know you need to study but when you sit down you end up feeling grOSS AND YOU don’t want to. So here are some tips to overcoming that:

 Take a deep breath and reevaluate why you need to study. Try to stay positive.

  • When I’m not motivated I keep saying things like “what if I just don’t do it?” And then - surprise! - I end up not studying and suffer/regret it later. When coming up with reasons to study, try to keep it positive. Don’t say things like “if I don’t study I’ll fail the class.” Instead, say things like “if I study, I have a better chance at doing well on the exam. Future-me will be so proud of current-me.”
  • If you truly cannot find a single reason to study, set your studying aside for later and do another productive activity or take a long break.

Drill it into your mind that you really don’t need motivation to do well.

  • Even if you find the reason to study, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are very motivated. Sometimes we feel like no motivation = unable to study. This isn’t true.
  • Make a deal with yourself. Try studying for ten minutes. And actually try to study. If by the end of ten minutes you feel like you can continue studying, great! Keep going! If not, then you can take a break and do something else.

Choose a study scheduling method that works for you.

  • Some people feel great studying for hours on end once they get in "the zone.” Others feel the need to take quick breaks every half hour. Studying and scheduling methods are different for everybody! Play around with scheduling to find out what works for you.
  • In high-stress times, work (studying, assignments, etc.) can feel pretty overwhelming. To organize all the stuff you have to do, write it down! This takes some of the stress of remembering tasks off from your brain, so that your brain can focus on the more crucial things.
    • If you’re making a to-do list, keep the general list short. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by too many tasks. (You can keep sub-lists on separate paper/sticky notes to break down each task.)
    • If you’re making a time-table, keep your schedule loose. Give yourself buffer time to complete each task, just in case you overestimated your efficiency.
    • It’s totally okay to overestimate efficiency! - ifyou do, you learn more about yourself and how you study best.

Small (pomodoro) breaks

  • Pomodoro technique in a nutshell: 25 minute blocks of working with 5 minute breaks in between. Feel free to change the length of the blocks according to your preferences! During your breaks, you can
    • Get more water
    • Get snacks
    • Make tea/coffee
    • Stretch
    • Do a tiny bit of yoga
    • Walk around the room/building
    • Stretch
    • Five-minute meditation
    • Head massage
  • Try to avoid looking at a screen. When you look at a screen, you stimulate your brain and it won’t get its rest. Also, the internet might suck you in and your break could last longer than intended. (cough tumblr)

Long breaks

  • Sometimes I really really really really reALLY don’t want to study. Or do anything. And I feel kind of gross and am on the verge of a mental breakdown. If you feel this way, stop.
  • Take a hella deep breath. And another one. One more. Aaaaand one more just for good measure.
  • Get away from your desk. I associate desk with studying, so getting away from it helps me relax. Lie down on a bed, or move to a different room if you can. If you can get near a window, try looking into the distance to relax your brain and eyes.
  • Breathe for a couple of minutes, then evaluate how you feel. Again, try to stay positive. Instead of “I feel shitty and I don’t want to do anything,” try “I feel tired right now and resting can help me feel better.”
  • Based on this evaluation, estimate the amount of time you need to rest. If you have a lot of studying to do, try to keep it under an hour. Set a timer for the amount of time you have decided on. (remember to include buffer time!) Getting back to work on time can make you feel more productive, which conduct better productivity!
  • During a long break, do an activity that makes you feel good and takes your mind off studying. You can
    • Take a long walk. If you live near a park or a trail, try strolling around in it.
    • Eat healthy food. Junky comfort food can make you feel groggy, especially foods that are fried. Instead, try eating some fruits or nuts.
    • Take a shower/bath
    • Talk with a friend
    • Make some art
    • Enjoy a long coffee break. (avoid caffeine if you feel anxious/panicky, though)
    • Play with a pet
    • Take a power nap
    • Longer meditation/yoga
  • Again, try to avoid looking at screens. Also, avoid thinking about studying. Let yourself have the luxury of NOT THINKING ABOUT STUDYING for a while, so you can return to it with a fresh mind.

Mental health days

  • Sometimes everything is just too much and you might feel the need to stop everything for a day. If so, take a mental health day!
  • Think of mental health days as physical health days. If your body isn’t feeling well, you are allowed to stay in bed and sleep/not do anything for a day. Similarly, if your mind isn’t feeling well, you are also allowed to stay in bed and sleep/not do anything for a day.
  • Let your parents and teachers know that you don’t feel well and can’t go to school. From my experience, most teachers are pretty understanding and will let you have the day off. (You might have some work to make up later, though.)
  • Do not study on mental health days. Don’t even think about studying on mental health days. Instead, just focus on getting better. You can
    • Sleep in
    • Clean your room
    • Take a super long bath, complete with bath bombs and candles
    • Watch a good movie
    • Read a good book
    • Sing your favorite songs really loudly
    • Literally anything that (IS HEALTHY and) makes you feel good about yourself.

Study groups can keep you going, even when you kind of don’t want to

  • Setting up a time (like a date!) can keep you on track
  • Study with someone you trust to keep you accountable. Don’t study with someone you know you’re going to gossip or watch cat videos with.
  • If you really feel the need to cancel a study date, it’s ok! Just like canceling any kind of date, it’s 100% okay to back out if you feel uncomfortable.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and happy studying!

A Witch's Guide to the Moon

  The moon. Every witch keeps it in conscience. Nearly every religion seems to have something to say about it. In science, history, religion, even in architecture, the moon has come to show its importance and status. Babylonian astronomers in the 5th century BC recorded a lunar cycle, and back in 4th century BC, Chinese Astronomer Shi Shen created a guide regarding the prediction of lunar eclipses. Civilizations like the Han Dynasty thought the moon to be a driving force, while many Native American tribes associated it with female divinity. So, with all this in mind, how can we use and understand the positioning of the moon to better our witchcraft today?

  First, we have to understand a lunation. A lunation is a roughly 30 day cycle, from new moon to new moon. The word moon actually comes from the word month. Ancestors used and understood the moon phases to tell time. Each phase lasts a few days to the naked eye, though the moon is really only in each phase for a brief second. It appears the moon stays in a certain phase due to the time buffer in which we on earth see the light. The New Moon represents the start of a new cycle.

 So, exactly what does each cycle mean, and how does it correspond with the craft?

 New Moon - The new moon is a time of new beginnings. The Sun and Moon are aligned, leaving the moon dark and invisible to our eyes on earth. It will also rise and set around the same time as the sun. It is a time to start new projects, jobs, friendships, and to seek new intentions. Starting a diet, trying to kick an old habit, or redecorating will all be made easier by the energy given by the New Moon. Wishing upon a New Moon is also a good way to bring in some luck.

Waxing Crescent -  Also known as the ‘young moon,’ the crescent begins the move towards a full moon. A small, sliver shaped section of the moon is illuminated. Plans or goals that were made during the New Moon can be solidified and worked towards, and often clarified.

First Quarter -  The first quarter moon is a small pause from the motivation and working to balance oneself out and discover possible mistakes and holes in plans and ideas we had made. Now is a time to focus and fine tune little things in your life. Meditation and introspective journeys are at hand.

Waxing Gibbous - Also known as the three quarter moon, the waxing gibbous is ¼ away from becoming the anticipated full moon. Spells for success and goal reaching work best, especially in relation to the project you’ve been working on. Think about positive spaces and constructive magic–bringing in money, romance, etc. If your project so far has failed, the Gibbous will help recharge it.

FULL MOON - The full moon. Esbat. Regarded highly as the best and most effective time to cast spells, lore and tales have surrounded the mysterious full moon for centuries. It is a time of heightened psychic awareness, in which everything comes together, including family, friends, plans, and ideas. In Wicca, the full moon is the mother’s moon, and in folklore, the full moon represents divine female power. Divining is especially powerful during a full moon. It is a perfect time to make Moon Water and to perform any exciting or lengthy spells you’ve been working on.

Waning Gibbous - As the waning begins, so does the shedding of old or toxic things in your life. Removing bad habits, curing illnesses, quitting bad jobs, ending addiction, or even breaking off relationships can be planned or started. This is also the time of the goddess Demeter.

Last Quarter - Continue banishing work here, especially focused on your emotions and negativity. Remember things you want to improve and save them for the upcoming new moon, but for now, simply make room for them.

Waning Crescent - The final waning phase before the start of a new cycle, now is a time to confront head on what is causing chaos in your life. A little hexing here and then, if such practice coheres with your beliefs, might just work out during this moon phase.

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Lunar Deities: Phoebe, Artemis, Selene, Hecate, Chang'e, Sin, Mani, Tsukuyomi, Ibis, Chonsu, Thoth, Set, Chia, Wadd, Elatha, Luna, Nepthys,

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The Moon Tarot

 The moon tarot invokes the unconscious, introspect, and discovery. The face of the moon is half seen, symbolizing pregnancy and the mystery of the soul. The rays of light represent creation and power, and are a vital symbol of life. The animals, perhaps a wolf or dog, sit opposite of a river, mouths lifting to howl at the moon. This can represent the cutting of ties with someone close, and is especially poignant in the idea of hiding or forgetting ones ancestry. A crustacean sits in blue water at height of a pond, symbolizing hidden emotions and sensitivity. The water flowing towards the moon along with the crustacean and dogs rising towards it can be seen as a unity of self. The water at the bottom, where the crustacean sits, is drawn in by the moon, evoking female cycles, as well as passage from life to death and vice versa.

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This will most likely be updated and added to, but for now, here this is! I hope this can help somebody out.

[Revised 2/17] Books for Witches, Diviners and Spellcasters

Hi, everyone. A while back (a long time ago, actually), I started an annotated bibliography on books about witchcraft and magick, and I’ve updated it once (last November). 

Since then, I’d been keeping a list of things I need to add to it, but didn’t get around to actually reworking and updating the list a second time until today. Largely because I can’t really go outside much today because of the smog. But anyways, here it is. I’ve also included divination-related books in this version, whereas previously they were separate.

I hope you find something on here that suits your fancy! Happy reading! Also, yes, I do want to do more book reviews on this blog, so if you’d like a longer review of one of the books listed below, let me know and I can write one.

For Absolute Beginners

Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, by Judika Illes. Even better than the Weiser Field Guide to Witches - this book is huge and chock-full of information. It’ll explain in easy-to-understand language how the concept has developed throughout time, why witches do what they do, and different types of witches.

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, by Judika Illes. This gives an excellent look at the historical lore concerning witches, from the perspective of a witch herself. It’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, but it does have some information that won’t be found elsewhere.

The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, by Skye Alexander. Great book for those who’re really absolute beginners and are wondering what witchcraft is all about. Skye takes a very postmodern, utilitarian, and unfailingly honest approach, and it’s geared towards those of almost any belief system.

Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Attractively packaged and readible for almost all ages, this is a great (mostly) non-denominational look at the foundations of magical practice. It’s extremely detailed. Some of it only applies to Zell’s own tradition, but it’s quite useful, anyways.

Basic Techniques

Protection and Reversal Magick, by Jason Miller. This gets a little woo-woo at times, but he gives good advice on how to avoid serious problems that can come up as you begin to practice. Take with a grain of salt, though - some of this has the potential to make you feel paranoid.

City Magick, by Christopher Penczak. If you’re at all interested in tech witchery, or just want to practice magick within an urban setting, do check this out. It is by far the best look at the subject I’ve seen, and his discussion of urban tutelary spirits is worth the price alone.

Power Spellcraft for Life, by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. Nicely done, quite secular book providing basic beginner information regarding writing original spells and workings. It does fall prey to the trap of just listing correspondences with little information at times, but also contains a great deal of detail about ritual timing, raising power, and other topics essential for the beginner.

Sorcerer’s Secrets, by Jason Miller. This is a decent volume that describes a lot of techniques you don’t usually see in books, such as gesture and gaze-based magick. Be warned that Miller writes extensively about manipulative techniques, but it’s useful theory regardless of how you put it into practice.

Witch’s Bag of Tricks, by Melanie Marquis. This is not recommended for beginners, because the whole point of this book is to help existing practitioners refine and improve their already-established techniques. It’s got some novel ideas in it, and I like the author’s approach to symbolism in spellcasting.

Direct Magick (Energy Work)

The Un-Spell Book, by Mya Om. This non-denominational guide to working with magical forces is filled with useful exercises that go beyond the author’s previous work. I recommend reading this after reading Energy Essentials.

Instant Magick, by Christopher Penczak. Excellent beginner’s guide for those who don’t have access to a lot of fancy tools or prefer to work without them. This book won’t instantly teach you magick, but it will help even a seasoned practitioner find quicker, less-complicated ways of achieving results.

Energy Essentials for Witches and Spellcasters, by Mya Om. Though I balk at the use of the term “energy” to describe magical forces, this book is worth a look. It’s a bit like a workbook, with various exercises. Expect a lot of pseudoscience, though, and there are many religious references, but the techniques are solid.

Hedgewitchery and Astral Travel

Ecstatic Witchcraft, by Gede Parma. This is actually probably my favorite book on this subject, even though hedgeriding is only a part of what the book discusses. The only bad thing I can really say about this book is that it’s really not recommended for beginners, and it’s helpful to have the basics of visualization already mastered (for example) before doing the exercises Parma recommends.

By Land, Sky and Sea, by Gede Parma. This book goes into even greater details regarding different ways of conceptualizing the cosmology of hedgeriding, and I find it a very refreshing book that appreciatively draws from a number of different perspectives while grounding itself, so to speak, with the overarching metaphor of land, sky, and sea as the three worlds.

The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, by Christopher Penczak. Penczak is usually a pretty mixed bag, and this book is no exception. It gives a lot of good practical information and a very in-depth exploration of the three worlds (a useful concept), but it’s primarily framed by Wicca, so it might not resonate with those of other faiths and particularly those who aren’t pagan at all.

Ascension Magick, by Christopher Penczak. There’s a chapter or two in this that address alternate ways of conceptualizing the architecture of reality, and it’s pretty helpful for a hedgerider. Beyond that, this book is mostly about ceremonial magick, but it’s a (mostly) good book. Certain parts (such as the bit about UFOs) are a little off, in my opinion.

The Shamanic Witch, by Gail Wood. This book is really best suited for someone who practices Wicca and, besides the background info and cosmological descriptions, is really only useful in the context of that tradition. If you’re Wiccan or willing to pick around a lot of Wiccan-talk, though, this is a good foundation.

Witches, Werewolves and Fairies, by Claude Lecouteux. It can be hard to find scholarly works on these phenomena that are affordable, but here’s one I personally enjoyed. It details many accounts of journeying experienced by both pagans and Christians in earlier times, and gives a good description of the concept of the astral double, the architecture of the soul, and other topics throughout history.

Betwixt and Between, by Storm Faerywolf. This book is mostly a guide to the Feri tradition of witchcraft, but while I myself don’t practice that, those who do seem to know a lot about hedgeriding! The book has several chapters on the subject and is highly recommended for this reason.

The Psychic Energy Codex, by Michelle Belanger. A lot of people have strong opinions about this author, but this is book actually provides a lot of good information about so-called “energy work” which can be a step in the right direction for those wanting to ride the hedge.

Psychic Dreamwalking, by Michelle Belanger. In this book, Belanger discusses, essentially, how to use your non-waking life as a vehicle to for journeying, and while I myself don’t usually dreamwalk, much of what she says applies to hedgeriding in other states, too.

Hedge Riding and Hedge Witchcraft, by Harmonia Saille. I only mention these two in order to say that they’re best avoided. Saille tries to give a comprehensive look at the phenomenon, but it’s poorly-written and overly New Age. The negative reviews of them on Amazon really cover the problems with these book in more detail than I ever could.

Magical Writing, Words, and Symbols

Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells, by Claude Lecouteux. Mostly a historical text, this book isn’t exactly practical or terribly useful. It is, nevertheless, incredibly interesting. It’s a bit difficult to navigate, but worth a glance.

Composing Magick, by Elizabeth Barrette. A very general, but well-done, look at writing in a magical context. Some of the ritual templates are slightly specific to religious witchcraft traditions, but most information is widely applicable.

Crafting Magick with Pen and Ink, by Susan Pesnecker. Focuses both on the physical act of writing as a magical act, and the mental state associated with it. Highly recommended

The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire, by Skye Alexander. This book is for those who want to create their own grimoire. It gives fairly good advice for doing so, as well as providing hints and tricks for spellcasting and useful correspondences.

General Concepts

Planetary Magick, by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. If you want to work with the planets at all, particularly in a highly ritualized context, I recommend this book. It’s large, comprehensive and gives a good foundation beyond what you find in general astrology books.

Practical Planetary Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Shorter than I would have liked, but a useful reference to have on your shelf, with excellent tables and appendices in the back. The meditations are also quite useful.

Practical Elemental Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Should be read alongside the other book by this pair. Comprehensive guide to working with the elements in a ritualized fashion. Not as accessible to newbies as Lipp’s book, but good for seasoned practitioners.

The Way of Four, by Deborah Lipp. Though mostly geared towards Wiccans, I found this author’s in-depth treatment of the four elements highly fascinating. I will note that it’s probably best to get the print version of this book, as it contains exercises and quizzes.

Ingredients and Correspondences

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison. I cannot praise this book enough for its concise and well-formulated approach to astrology, herbs, and magick as a whole.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, by Judith Hawkins-Tillirson. This is excellent for anyone who’s interested in any kind of magick. Yes, the focus is generally herbs, but there’s a lot to be learned here about Kabbalah and other correspondence systems, as well.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic, by Sandra Kynes. Fills a very difficult gap in published knowledge regarding the use of essential oils by discussing, in great detail, how scents interact with each other and how to create a formula that’s not only palatable, but evocative.

Dunwich’s Guide to Gemstone Sorcery, by Gerina Dunwich. Given the New Age fascination with all things shiny, it was quite a chore to sort through the myriad crystal books to find something with good information. While far from perfect and not exactly devoid of fluff, this book does give a level of detail about the lore surrounding gemstones not seen in many other texts.

Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett. Excellent book, lots of history and detail. There’s a strong focus on tradition within the text, yet the author is quite accommodating of his audience and describes alternate methods that work better in a modern context.

Spagyrics, by Manfred M. Junius. With a highly-developed academic tone and attention to detail, this book is a meaty look at traditional alchemy. I recommend this more for intermediate practitioners due to the sheer density of information.

Spellbooks

The Goodly Spellbook, by Dixie Deerman and Steve Rasmussen. The title sounds horribly fluffy, but this is a hidden gem. It explains obscure concepts like alternative alphabets and potential uses of musical notes, as well as plant lore and other bits and pieces. Definitely worth checking out. It’s way more than just “a book of spells.”

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells, by Judika Illes. The title sounds trite to some, but it delivers. This book has spells from almost every culture and spiritual philosophy, as well as a very detailed formulary. I read it when I’m bored sometimes, too, just because I always learn some tidbit from it.

Book of Spells, by Nicola Pulford. In most editions, this book is absolutely gorgeous and describes spellcasting traditions from a variety of perspectives and traditions. Recommended for those who already understand the basics, as this book jumps straight into spellcasting and gives only a small amount of information about how things work.

Ceremonial Magick

Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig. I received this as a gift several years ago. It is essentially a workbook meant to be completed slowly, step by step, and while the format will not appeal to everyone, it’s a good easy-to-read introduction to ceremonial magick.

Familiar Spirits, by Donald Tyson. Though geared towards ceremonialists, any practitioner can likely learn a thing or two from Tyson’s interesting stroll through the whys and wherefores of spirit work and thoughtform creation. This is by far the best book I’ve seen on the topic of familiar spirits.

Secrets of High Magick, by Francis Melville. The most recent edition of this (the one I own) is lavishly-illustrated and full of rudimentary, yet useful information. He stresses the basics of ceremonial practice, and his writing style is very accessible. Highly recommended for absolute beginners.

My Life With The Spirits, by Lon Milo DuQuette. This is a memoir of a ceremonial magician, but it gives a good look at the magickal mindset in a highly developed form from someone who’s experienced quite a lot. I have major issues with DuQuette’s approach to Qabalah, but his memoirs are worth a read.

Chaos Magick

Liber Null and Psychonaut, by Peter Carroll. Classic book of chaos magick. I consider it required reading for almost anyone interested in the occult. Even if you have no love for chaos magick, do give it a read, just to understand how influential Carroll is, and why.

Hands-On Chaos Magic, by Andrieh Vitimus. Knowing some of the people involved in the creation of this book, I’m a bit biased towards it. That said, even if I didn’t know them, I would still recommend it. It’s especially interesting to read alongside Liber Null and Psychonautin order to see how the chaos “current” has developed over the years.

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 by Taylor Ellwood. There aren’t a lot of books on using pop culture symbolism in magick, but this one is nearly perfect. The author writes in a highly erudite, literate fashion, while still being accessible to newbies. Many useful resources cited, as well, so prepare to branch off a bit while reading it.

History-Related

Triumph of the Moon, by Ronald Hutton. An inside no-holds-barred look at the history of Wicca and Modern paganism. Highly recommended. This is sort of the book that fluffbunnies don’t want you to read.

Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, by Richard Metzger. Lots of facts and history of magick in the context of Postmodernity. This is different from the Crowley text of the same name, which I wouldn’t recommend unless you want to focus on his tradition.

The Place of Enchantment, by Alex Owen. This is a purely historical text that documents the occult revival within the context of Modernity. I remember it being very good, but please realize I haven’t really picked it up much since graduating, and it might just have served my mindset at the time.

Tarot

The Book of Thoth, by Aleister Crowley. Make sure you actually own (or have access to pictures of) the Thoth deck before you dive into this. By far one of the best books on Tarot ever published. The prose is often dense and purple, but in this one book, Crowley teaches so much about Tarot and it’s connection to the Western Mystery Tradition. I can’t really say much more - it must be experienced.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by Arthur Edward Waite. I recommend this book because it is a classic and was introductory for many older readers. It will teach you to read and gives insight into the methodology behind the Waite-Smith deck specifically, particularly his use of what are essentially parables and why he does this. Do not expect too much esoteric information, but read it anyways.

Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack. This is the epitome of a good modern Tarot book and is really one of the first ones I’d recommend for someone looking for an accessible book on Tarot in a modern context. Very dense in information and history, yet altogether worth it. You’ll want highlighters nearby for this one!

Tarot for a New Generation, by Janina Renée. This is essentially a book for children and teenagers, but I do recommend it for them, specifically, because it is well-written, easy to understand, and helpful to absolute beginners.

Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot, by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin. This book focuses just on the history, symbolism, and creative process of the Waite-Smith deck. It gives you an inside line on just what Pixie Smith was thinking when painting specific scenes, and is a great look at her life’s work, as well.

The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, by Robert M. Place. This book will not teach you to read Tarot, but does give an actual, accurate portrait of the history of the phenomena, which is incredibly important and useful. Know your history.

Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, by Lon Milo DuQuette. I hesitate to recommend DuQuette due to issues I have with his approach to Qabalah, but many people ask me for a beginner book for the Thoth Tarot specifically, and this is the closest I’ve come to finding one. I recommend reading this alongside, and not instead of, Crowley’s Book of Thoth.

The Back in Time Tarot, by Janet Boyer. This is more for the intermediate reader, and the entire book details a single, extremely useful technique for familiarizing yourself with the cards, namely by framing past events in terms of how they might appear in a spread.

Lenormand

The Essential Lenormand, by Rana George. This was not the first Lenormand book I picked up, but it was the most influential and intense. Ms. George writes in a personable, touching fashion and brings the concepts of the system home by relating them to life experiences in a way rarely seen. She is one of those authors I literally go all “fangirl” over.

Learning Lenormand, by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin. This is one of the better beginner books on Lenormand. I’m not going to lie - it isn’t as good as Rana George’s, but it definitely is worth reading if you’re completely new to the system. It’s very accessible, where some of the books I’ll be listing later in this can seem intimidating, or so I’ve been told.

Lenormand: Thirty-Six Cards, by Andy Boroveshengra. This book is intense, but in a different way than Ms. George’s. Expect to be inundated with information and techniques. Another one of those where you really need to take notes or highlight while reading, and read it multiple times.

Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, by Sylvie Steinbach. This book is organized in a novel and useful fashion by topic, and gives specific techniques for readings on love, money, spirituality, and other topics. Highly recommended, and I tend to use it as a reference book nowadays, looking things up as needed.

The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook, by Caitlyn Matthews. Not for the beginner, nor the faint at heart, this one details a lot of what, to me, seem to be more advanced approaches and techniques. I use this book a lot, and I think anyone else will enjoy it, too. Good information on the connection between Lenormand and traditional playing cards, too.

Cartomancy with Lenormand and the Tarot, by Patrick Dunn. This is more of a special topic book, and best read after you’ve got some familiarity with both Tarot and Lenormand. It’s all about using them in tandem and the synergy between them.

Astrology

The Luminaries, by Liz Greene. I could really recommend anything by this author, but she’s written so much, and this book is a particularly important one. It focuses entirely on the Sun and Moon in astrology, and gives a good look at why the luminaries need to have a special place in your understanding.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Practical Astrology, by Priscilla Costello. This is focused, as you might expect, on actual interpretation of charts and less on theory, but it gives a good background on that, too. Was quite helpful in my attempts to interpret @xepsurah‘s unusual natal chart.

The Complete Book of Astrology, by Kris Brandt Riske. Very beginner, and very light on intellect, heavy on intuition. A great introduction, but I would not suggest it as the only book you read if you’re really interested in the subject.

Tasseography

Tea Leaf Reading for Beginners, by Caroline Dow. There are only a few books within Llewellyn’s immensely popular “For Beginners” series that I would recommend, and this is one of them. The symbol glossary (which makes up the bulk of the book) is the most useful part.

Tea Cup Reading, by Sasha Fenton. This book goes into some detail (quite a bit, actually) about the history of tea and coffee, and, better yet, how to prepare them in the traditional fashion! A lot of traditional lore is described, as well.

Scrying, etc.

Scrying for Beginners, by Donald Tyson. This is really a surprise find, as I don’t usually expect much from this series, by Tyson knows his history and goes far beyond simple exercises for scrying. He is a bit biased towards mirror and crystal-gazing techniques, but does discuss other methods.

Psychic Development for Beginners, by William Hewitt. Readable, and offers some very practical developmental exercises for those wishing to hone extrasensory abilities. Be prepared to sort through a lot of woo, though.

anonymous asked:

In ur opinion what's the camren timeline look like ? Like when'd they date or take a break whoa date and break rhyme

I’m giving you the big lines… jk, it’s basically a whole fanfic 😂

2012 : Camila and Lauren meet on x-factor - instant attraction between them but neither of them wants to admit anything - it’s just a crush at this point - they become best friends through the course of the show - Lauren is also dating Keaton at the time 

2013 : Fifth Harmony is reunited and starts touring, the friendship is still there and strong. Camren is a playful ship, they interact on twitter and don’t hesitate to show affection. It’s Camren yo!  

Camila and Lauren spend more and more time together, feelings grow and it shows on camera - I believe Camila was more accepting of those feelings while Lauren had a little more trouble with them, probably already questioning her sexuality (at this point neither of them has admitted to anything)

While all of this is happening, the Camren ship as a romantic pairing takes off and as the fandom gets bigger so does the ship until it eventually reaches the girls. Lauren gets scared because she probably feels like her sexuality is written on her forehead and she’s not ready for that, plus she’s probably scared of losing Camila’s friendship and ruining their public image. That was the time when Lauren started lashing out at the fandom, calling us delusional and stating clearly that she was not bisexual. Camila, witnessing how hard Lauren is against any romantic association with her, is very hurt ( I think at this point she already had very strong feelings for Lauren) and starts distancing herself from her (that’s around June/July). Maybe Lauren thought Camila wanted to distance herself because it’s Camila who didn’t want to be associated romantically with her, which pissed Lauren off even more because she thought “Camren” was the reason she was losing her best friend. 

They stay distant until the end of the year - Lauren starts dating Luis, maybe a way to get Camila off her mind ( there are theories out there about Lauren and Luis’s relationship being p.r to shut down Camren, I guess it’s always a possibility). Anyhoo, during that time Camila’s feelings only grow stronger, probably pushed also by jealousy and I think eventually she confessed her feelings to Lauren, which Lauren couldn’t reciprocate since she was in a relationship.

2014 : little time has passed since Camila confessed her feelings and Lauren probably can’t get her out of her mind - I think that’s the reason why she eventually broke up with Luis. Once that was done, Lauren returned Camila’s feelings and there you have it : Camren finally together!

They probably shared their first kiss, which was also Camila’s first kiss, at that time - since Camila says her first kiss was at 16 (not sure since it changes every two interviews 😂) then the kiss must have happened either in January or February.

By March/April they’re full on together, they go on “dates” - the most famous one is the 1975 concert.

They both realize they’re very serious about this relationship and slowly tell their families about it (Sinu probably knew since day one 😂) - eventually the management finds out. Of course, tiny problemo, you can’t possibly have two members of a still very new girl group publicly in a lesbian relationship, no sir. To add to the situation, the Camren fandom is getting bigger, starts its own detective agency. 

I think the girls fought hard to be able to actually stay together, even if it had to be behind closed doors. They probably had to negotiate a lot, and part of that negotiation was for one of them to have a good p.r boyfriend, and unlucky us, they’re about to go on tour with Austin Mahone aka Dorito Boy.

The “relationship” between Dorito and Camila is sold to the medias - they’re just asked to appear together outside a few times, hold hands and that’s that - but it was probably already too much for jelly Lern who decided to shut this down real quick, which is why it only lasted like 3 weeks - the break up is staged and sold to the medias as well.

Since a p.r boyfriend for Camila is not an option anymore, maybe a p.r boyfriend for Lauren will work better - oh and look who’s coming with them on tour soon, the Vamps! The p.r relationship is put in place with asshole Brad - my own personal theory is that maybe he didn’t know exactly what the p.r was for and he started actually wanting to date Lauren for real but she shut him down, probably revealing her relationship with Camila, hence the song “I found a girl” - they had to stop the p.r there, and because asshole Brad got his little asshole pride hurt he then went on to basically say Lauren was a slut in an interview with his little dicks asshole bandmates. 

Anyway, moving on. While all of this p.r is happening, Camila and Lauren try to navigate their own relationship while having to stay hidden and pretending in front of the world. Not an easy thing to do while at the same time having to deal with the pressure of touring and the fandom who’s always watching. 

Eventually I think Camila wanted to end all of it and come out. Probably by letting themselves “caught” making out or something, since the label/management would never let them properly come out. Slight problem, Lauren doesn’t want to, she’s not ready and there’s too much at stakes. We all know Camila is a dreamer, an optimist, and she tries to convince her but nothing does it. 

2015 : They eventually break up over it beginning 2015, knowing it might be the only way to salvage their friendship, for the good of 5H. They were both probably incredibly hurt by that break up.

(We enter The Hurting 😉 )

Basically that whole year was about them trying to get over each other while remaining friends for the sake of the group. That’s why we still get lingering looks, smiles and hidden touches… because who on earth could get over someone they still love if they have to see them everyday? 

A whole lot of shit also happens when Camila does her first solo collab with Shawn - she receives hate from “fans” like she’s never received before. The girls aren’t allowed to support her publicly because the perspective of a feud is more appealing to the medias so management plays that card.

Basically a really dark time for Camila, where she ends up writing “I Have Questions” in an hotel bathroom before she stops writing altogether. I think it’s a period where Camila’s anxiety really shot up and became a real problem for her, which is also probably why she distanced herself from the girls, to not bother them with her problems, and also obviously to stay away from Lauren.

I think eventually the girls went through to Camila and did everything to support her.

(We enter The Healing)

Somehow Camren found a way to really rebuild their friendship, which was always laced with quite a bit of flirting.

2016 : Lauren tries to get her girl back. And it takes a while 😂. I think they started an on/off casual kinda thing because Camila wasn’t ready to go down that road again probably because she was scared of getting hurt and also because she knows they will be in the same situation they were before, having to hide. But what can you say? The heart wants what the heart wants, and I think eventually they did officially get back together somewhere in the middle of 2016. 

(We enter the Loving *behind closed doors*)

If now Lauren feels more comfortable with her sexuality and the prospect of coming out - the problem now resides in Camila’s upcoming solo career - they already know 7/27 will be Camila’s last album with 5H. Coming out at this point in the game would be a public suicide. There’s no way in hell it’s happening. 

So instead Camila makes the deal of playing the “straight” girl image as much as the label wants if it means her and Lauren can be together behind doors.

A few months roll out, Camila’s departure is coming soon and the label needs to get ready for the “after Camila” - and the person who comes after Camila is Lauren. Now, how to make Lauren become even more popular? What could make medias talk about her? A little weed in her bag? Yes, but it’s not enough, she needs to make an impact. What could be more impactful than a well prepared coming out? Oh I know! You pair it up with a letter against the biggest enemy of the country at the moment, Donald Trump. 

But you can’t just risk that out of nowhere, you need to test the waters first, see how the fandom would react to Lauren’s coming out  - enters Lucy.

Now, Lucy has been Lauren’s best friend for years, she obviously knows about Camren and I believe she was also friends with Camila. The fandom knows Lucy, we’ve seen her with Lauren on multiple pictures, Lauren calls her her “sister”. Choosing Lucy to be Lauren’s love interest is a very smart move because there’s tons of “proofs” to back it up and for the fans to create a timeline of. Obviously the Laucy timeline will also have the benefit of discrediting the Camren timeline since Lauren couldn’t have possibly been with both girls at the same time. 

So, to test the waters, a photo of Lauren and Lucy kissing at a party is purposely leaked - the fact that the picture was taken at party is important because if the fandom and the medias don’t react the way the management expects them to, you can always say the kiss was just a kiss between to best friends who had a bit too much to drink at a party. Turns out the fandom reacts exactly like predicted, they embrace Lauren for who she is, they defend her against the people who “outed” her, she’s the new hero. That’s why only a few weeks later they give the green light for her to fully come out through a politically incline letter.

You might be wondering why would Camila, Lauren and Lucy accept such a plan? Well in Camila’s case it shuts down the Camren rumors which helps her keep her straight image up, plus it gives the woman she loves the opportunity to finally be herself. Lauren gets to finally come out and be proud of herself while at the same time protecting her girlfriend’s upcoming solo career. And finally Lucy gets to be known by the fandom and the LGBT community, putting her name out there before she releases her first album. 

So here we are, end of 2016 - Lauren is out and in a supposed relationship with her best friend, Camila is still playing the straight girl wanting a spanish boyfriend, while Camren is still together and in love behind the scenes. 

And now, it’s time to say goodbye. It’s all planned out, a feud is going to happen, Camila’s exit will be a dramatic one. Dinah leaves us little hints a few days prior, Normani cries before their last performance as a five piece and then it starts. 4 statement letters is all that everybody needs to believe everything went wrong, 4 letters is all that everybody needs to believe that a 4 year friendship ended in a day. 

2017 : radio silence for a weeks - Camila gives an interview in which she says none of the girls are talking to her, they keep the feud game going. 

Now that Camila is gone, there’s no real use for Laucy anymore and even if Lauren is identifying as bisexual, the label would rather have her being in a p.r relationship with a man - they use a photoshoot and an interview to end it simply and boost Lauren’s image in the LGBT community - which they will also do by having Lauren collab with Halsey.

Her and Camila are still together, but obviously it’s getting even more complicated now that they can’t absolutely be seen together. 

The label wants a p.r boyfriend for Lauren and Ty Dolla Sign is in need of some headlines with his new album coming out this year. Her and Camila are already having a hard time maintaining their relationship because of how complicated things are with the “feud” and Camila having to stay in the closet, plus probably other unresolved issues between them - the new p.r plan is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back - they eventually mutually decide to break up and to try to figure themselves out without the other. Camila buries herself in work and Lauren parties away the pain. When Camren shippers keep coming at her from all sides she loses it and tweets that Camren “was never real, ever” to shut them down and probably to shut herself down too.

I still think they’re in touch, they keep each other updated on their lives, congratulate each other on the new projects.

I really do hope now that they both try to be with someone new, try to heal and figure out who they are without the other. I hope Camila gets to come out once her career is well established. I hope they can meet again in a little while and actually be together in open light and finally be able to be free to love each other.

The end, until the next chapter 😂

Again this is all theory, a big fanfic - saying this to all the haters out there, no need to bother sending me an ask, you’ll just be wasting your time ✌️

Pasifika culture meets pop culture.

I hate making posts like this one. I feel mean and like I’m being overly aggressive. Denying other people a good time.

But I really feel like I have to say something in this case. So lets talk about the hongi/honi, and fandom culture (particularly shipping culture).

(Image description: Pictured above is a still from James Cameron’s Avatar where two aliens are leaning in to press their noses and foreheads together. Bellow it is a photo of a Maori person and a white person engaging in a Hongi with their foreheads and noses pressed together.)

Said Hongi in New Zealand, and Honi in Hawai’i, the custom of pressing ones forehead and nose to that of another person is a traditional greeting.

It’s used widely in New Zealand in all situations. From formal events at parliament, graduation, a gathering at a marae (meetinghouse). To casual situations like visiting ones uncles, aunties, and couzies. Or welcoming an interviewee on a midday TV show.

A Hongi represents equality, trust, the sharing of ha (breath of life), the sharing of communal responsibilities and duties, belonging, respect, and conveys a welcoming spirit.

It’s considered to be somewhat like a handshake, and often accompanies a handshake.
The one thing it doesn’t imply? Romance between the participants.

Except with the greater visibility of Pasifika culture late last year and early this year (2016-2017), fandoms have been picking up on the Hongi. But the problem is I’m only seeing it depicted in ship art.

This is harmful. It’s appropriating, and divorcing it from it’s true cultural function. And it’s creating some awkward associations for people trying to participate naturally in their cultural customs.
Yes a fan artist might think “It’s just one picture.” But their one picture is one of many that are having the effect of misrepresenting and fetashizing the Hongi for use as ship fuel.

And in fact, this colonization has been in effect longer than one might think. Consider that the Honi is often translated or explained as “The Hawaiian kiss.”

So this is just a request to fan artist, to be careful, and to practice cultural sensitivity.

(Ok to reblog.)

Let’s talk for a bit, because I’ve known about this for a while and I think now’s a good time to explain how I feel about using music not originally written for OC’s. This might be a lengthy read, because it’s personal. This vid was one of the first to use Tokyovania as Ink Sans’ theme.

I absolutely love when music can be associated with a character. I think it’s magical when a track makes you think of something you love or enjoy, and I love seeing messages or comments that I track I wrote would fit someone’s OC, because it feels special. Originally, this video was meant to be a tribute, with my track as the proposed theme, and I didn’t worry about it. After all, I didn’t write Tokyovania for Ink Sans, I wrote it for personal reasons, and I was sure most would understand that.

After a few months, it started to catch on for some reason that this indeed was written for him. A few other tribute vids were posted, and my name was nowhere to been seen as the artist of the track. On some videos, the name was also changed to Inklovania. The “Tokyo” was just erased, on a song containing the melody of “Tokyo Teddy Bear”, an incredibly special track I adored in 2014-2015. 

Back then I was in high school. It was me against the world, and I had two friends. Things became rough around September in 2015, and I’ll keep the events hidden because they’re not something I need a reminder of. By December I was alone, and I had nowhere to turn but to music. I walled myself off and focused on composing, and being quietly alone all the time eventually led to the idea of Undertronic.

It was around this time that I decided to compose a remix of Tokyo Teddy Bear, as it’s a song I associate with wishing I could be anywhere else when things aren’t great. Seeing as I was also remixing Undertale at the time, I thought I’d combine it with another track, as a particular character was also in the same situation as I was, in terms of emotion.

In short, it was a special little remix to me and it would stay that way until Ink Sans became involved. Like I mentioned, I love when others use my music for OC’s, but I started to realize there was something wrong when I was accused of stealing this theme from Ink Sans, that it solely belonged to him, that I didn’t write it and I was a terrible person.

And the list goes on and was almost constant. To many, I’ve been disregarded as the artist of the track because “It doesn’t matter who wrote it,” and nothing hurts more to a musical artist than having a personal song be taken, even accidentally, from you and it suddenly becomes something else. The meaning behind the song no longer matters, and no matter what I do, this song will always be known as his theme. 

It feels like a inconceivable back-stab knowing that literally millions believe this is his theme. I don’t even want to know how many would believe I stole the track from an OC, as if an actual artist doesn’t exist and the track magically created itself. Months went by, then a year went by, and I was very bitter about this track and the accusations I kept receiving. Finally I decided to write a response, and this response was “Tokyovania Control.”

I wrote in the description that I didn’t like the old Tokyovania. This is only partially true. I loved it for what it represented to me, I hated it for how I was being treated because of it.

If you may have noticed, I included new lyrics for Tokyovania Control. It was a slightly hidden, but direct message to how I felt, and it started at 0:53. Breakdown of the meaning is in the brackets.

How’d I get this feeling?  [How’d it come to this?]
I am running from this beauty,  [I am running from Tokyovania.]
Misunderstood or  [It’s been misunderstood what the track is about.]
Whom it’s made for?  [Who was the track made for? Even I’m not sure now.]
There’s no purpose,  [The song has lost its original meaning.]
Words are worthless.  [Explaining/arguing won’t do anything.]
Well, it’s still charming.  [I still adore the track though. It was special to me.]
I’d say “Sorry.”  [Sorry, it was my mistake to let harsh words harm me.]
“My mistake to let it harm me.”
“Pardon my writing.”  [Pardon my music, I’m sorry I got in your way, I should be thankful that this track is loved right? Indeed I am selfish for believing my name should be next to Tokyovania.]
Though it hurts, it still sounds special taken from me,
“Heh, oh well.”  [Though it hurts, Tokyovania still sounds special taken from me. There’s nothing I can do now, so oh well.]

It was hidden well, and I didn’t expect anyone to catch on. And I was right, no one figured out why these lyrics were added or what they meant.

So no, I still don’t mind when a track I write is used for an OC’s theme. I only mind when I become non-existent as the producer, because “Who cares who wrote it, just enjoy the music.” I also mind when I am repeatedly told my work doesn’t belong to me, and I’m a horrible person for stealing a theme that belongs to an OC.

It’s one of the reasons I tend to include signature melodies in my music now. I don’t want to be forgotten or disassociated with my work. I don’t want to be told I don’t deserve to be the artist. Is it annoying? To some it is, but it’s a hell of a lot better than going through another Tokyovania situation. Having a track recognized by millions as an OC’s theme scares me much more than having someone simply steal the track, and nothing is worse to a musician than being repeatedly told my work doesn’t belong to me anymore, it belongs to an OC, and I’m scum for thinking otherwise.

I suppose what I’m trying to say, is be careful when you decide to pick songs to represent OC’s or AU’s. You may think no harm will be done, but it’s impossible to tell if something will take off. I don’t think this has ever been discussed before. I haven’t seen any musicians write about this, or share their thoughts. But I am friends with many of the Undertale remixers, and it’s sad to see that this has also been happening to one of my best friends Kamex with his “Your Best Friend” remix:

His music is gorgeous. He’s so kind & doesn’t deserve to be treated this way. If the remix is titled “Undertale Remix”, that does not mean it is an AU Remix. It is a remix for Undertale. But because this theme was used in an AU theme compilation video, the track apparently belongs to Underfresh. Again, no artist apparently exists and track magically created itself. Even worse, he feels he needs to prove it, so far as to say he has the project files if he needs to show it. To some, he’s not even respected as the producer. If you understand how I feel with Tokyovania, you can imagine how he feels as well.

Even Inktale’s creator recognizes Tokyovania as a theme for Ink, though it’s probably accidental.

Which makes me feel even more guilty, because I hate bringing people down. And knowing this wasn’t written for the AU will probably be a disappointing let-down.

So that’s about it, I thought I might as well share my thoughts, now that it’s almost been a year since this has been going on.

On another note, I’ve been working on something for Dusttale and Outertale. The Dusttale track will probably be the next vid, I dunno.

[Edit: I took a look to see if there were any comments marked as held for review, and the first one I find is-]

[The word choice gets more colorful in there.]

How to Meet Local Spirits

(Revamp of my answer to this ask [x])

Local spirits are the spirits that are constantly around us, in the forests, on the beaches, in schools, in homes, etc. They can be ghosts, mythological creatures, entities never mentioned in lore before and more. Their personalities and friendliness towards humans can vary quite a bit, especially depending on where you live. Think of them as your spirit neighbors. Some might remain as such for the entire time that you know them, others might become your companions or maybe even your rivals! The important thing is that you respectfully interact with them and be aware of their boundaries.

There’s two main ways that I’ve found to make contact with local spirits: call them to you or go outside and meet them in the places they live. Calling them to you is actually kind of a similar concept to conjuring except that you are only calling to the spirits that live in your area and that there’s no guarantee that they’ll show up. Going out is like a scientist going on a field study for an organism that they’re interested in: might find them, might not, and if it’s spirits we’re talking about then might find but they don’t want to be interacted with.

That’s the biggest thing to remember when working with local spirits, that not all spirits are interested in interacting with humans. In fact, many spirits couldn’t care less about humans or even actively have ways to prevent humans from meeting them. You should respect spirits that don’t want to be worked with. If you really want to work with a particular group then you could try negotiating with them or slowly building up a relationship with them in order to see if they will eventually be willing. Just don’t force any spirit to interact or speak with you, that will end badly for you every time.

Safety

Spirit work isn’t always the safest thing and there’s many ways that you can be harmed. The most important thing to have is a protective circle. It will protect you from many things and can actually be very versatile. Obviously this is hard to make when going out and meeting spirits so we’ll separate the safety procedures for each technique.

Going Out to Meet the Spirits

When going out not only is it harder to bring and set up materials, you’re also in public a lot of the time which limits what you can do. That is why personal warding is important. Personal warding can take the form of energy shields, protective amulets, etc. These are things that should be prepared before going out with the intent of meeting spirits so that they are ready in case you do get attacked.

Calling the Spirits

Calling the spirits comes with the risk of inviting unknown entities into your home. That is why it is important to have wards and a protective circle. The circle will protect you if they try to attack you during the meeting while the wards will prevent them from getting back in after being banished. Generic wards are basic spirit work stuff so I’m not going to go into them here.

A circle, however, can be made in many different ways. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it has protective elements that you feel are helpful to you, not what some list on the internet says. You could take from traditional circles and use them as a template for creating your own or you can completely make a new style of circle. The possibilities are endless! Some things you might want to include are protective stones, the names of deities you work with, protective words or sigils, candles, etc. Any physical item you use should have a designated spot for it. Your orientation of the elements of the circle is also important, or well it can be if you ascribe that importance! Perhaps you use the four elements to protect you in your circle and you associate them with a particular direction for example.

When you decide on what the circle should look like, practice making and using it! You can draw it out on an old sheet so that you don’t have to keep remaking it, you can set out physical items in the shape of a circle or you can create it with energy if you’re good at that. However you make it, it’s important to get used to being in it and the energy that goes into “activating” it. Activating it usually involves calling upon whatever makes up the circle to protect you. Sticking with the element example, you’d activate is by calling for Fire, Water, Earth, and Air to protect you. Once you are done with the circle, you must close it. This usually means allowing whatever you called upon to depart but in the reverse order from before. Try it out, play around with it, find or create whatever procedure that is comfortable to you.   

When speaking with spirits, do not let them in no matter how much they try to persuade you. Also, do not leave the circle until you are sure that they are gone. That’s why you should keep any banishing tools and the like on hand so you don’t have to run and fetch them. If you don’t follow both of those rules then what’s the point of making the circle?

[There’s many different ways to use a circle, this is just a generic explanation of it].

Calling the Spirits to You

This process includes creating a call of energy and sending it out into the “energy network” of your local area. Spirits in the area can hear this call and choose whether or not to answer it and show up.

Tools needed: An offering for the spirit that you are calling, any banishing tools, any physical items that make up your circle, a wand if you need/use one, and any communication tools if you need them.

Making the Call: Cast your circle, set your offering outside of it and get into a clear state of mind where you can access your energy. Say the call, either out loud or in your head, doesn’t matter. It can be anything but basically along the lines of “I call to any [spirit name] that would be interested in speaking with me for [an interview]. In return, I have an offering of [the offering]”. You can call them for any reason but like I’ve mentioned before, they’re not obligated to come. As you say the call, form the energy of your words into a ball of energy in front of you. This is where you can use your wand to help channel the energy easier. Visualization also helps here. Once it is formed and stable, send it out in all directions into the environment. I usually just shoot a quick burst of energy at it to give it the momentum to move fast but you can flick your wrist/wand or do whatever it is you normally do to send energy out.  

Even after you finish saying the call, you can feed more energy into the energy ball if you want the call to be “louder” and travel farther. This can be dangerous though because since the call is made from your energy, it is connected to you and that’s how the spirits who answer your call can find you. When the call reaches the limits of its strength it disappears and all links to you are gone. However, the stronger you make it, the longer it is out in the environment and the more likely unexpected spirits can trace you. So basically, don’t make the call too powerful.     

Meeting the Spirit: If the call isn’t made too strong (aka the amount of energy that the sample call above makes) then at most, it should take 10 minutes for the call’s energy to die out (usually not actually that long but it’s good to be safe). After you finish speaking with the spirit, thank them for coming and allow them to leave. Make sure that they are actually gone before closing your circle. If a spirit doesn’t appear within that time you can either resend the call or close your circle and try again later.  

Notes: Creating the call doesn’t guarantee that a spirit will show up. It also doesn’t mean that the spirit who shows up is the spirit that you called to. I mean in the four years that I’ve been using this technique, I’ve never had the “wrong” spirit show up but I find it very hard to believe that it’s not possible. Both of these are reasons why it’s important to have the basic techniques for being able to sense a spirit’s presence and determine their identity.

Going Out and Meeting Spirits

This process is much more straightforward. You essentially go out to places in your area like beaches, parks, schools, etc., see if you can sense any spirits, and then see if any are interested in talking with you.

Tools needed: Any protective amulets or items that you have and an offering for any spirits you may come across

I don’t have much explanation for this because it ain’t much more complex than that. If you don’t know who you’re going to meet, generic offerings to bring include water, alcohol, bread, rice, tobacco, etc. If you know of an offering that the spirits where you’re headed would prefer then bring that. No matter what you bring do not leave anything that will pollute the environment. Any food offerings you bring should be in a container and then properly disposed of, not thrown on the ground for example.    

Set out the offering and ask if anyone wants it. You can also respectfully approach anyone you see and ask if they would want it. If they decline your offer, then don’t press them. Just give them a “okay, sorry for bothering you” and leave. Be respectful when interacting with them, you are on their territory after all.

Also be smart about who you approach. If someone’s energy makes you feel uncomfortable or they’re a species or have an affiliation with a group that is known to be hostile, then be aware that you may need to defend yourself if you choose to approach them and things go sour. Of course not all bad-feeling spirits are actually bad, not all good-feeling spirits are actually good, and first impressions can be misleading. Just trust your intuition and be prepared for the worst in case it happens.  

What to Do if You Are in Danger

It’ll happen. Not all spirits are friendly and many might look at you as prey or something to mess with. The most important thing to do is stay calm. When a spirit attacks, it can be very scary so I know that keeping a clear head isn’t always the easiest of things in that situation. That is why you should develop a clear plan for dealing with attacks beforehand and have all the tools that you need already prepared. If it’ll help, write down a basic procedure for banishing and keep it in your pocket or somewhere else that spirits won’t be able to easily see. That way even if you’re freaking out, you’ll have a lifeline telling you what to do.

Calling the Spirits

If a spirit attacks, tries to force their way into your circle, or suddenly acts hostile, banish immediately. It’s best not to take any chances. Once they are banished, cleanse the area and reinforce your wards. Sometimes spirits may do something that might make you uncomfortable but you don’t feel as though it’s bad enough to warrant forcing them out. You can simply ask them to leave or let them know that the behavior will not be tolerated. If they ignore your request, banish them. It’s possible that a spirit isn’t aware that they might be making you uncomfortable and so talking it out first before immediately jumping to banishing (if they’re not actively attacking you) could be beneficial for both of you. Just remember to be firm in your boundaries and don’t let the spirit persuade you into letting them go.  

Reasons not to banish a spirit:

If they look “scary”. Their appearance doesn’t always reflect their personality. For some, that’s just the way that they were born.

If they’re a “demon”. Demon is a very useless, broad term that describes a myriad of entities all of which have different personalities and moralities. “Demon” is not the equivalent of “evil”.

Going out and Meeting the Spirits

The difference here is that you can’t really banish spirits when you visit them at their homes. That’d be like going over to a friend’s house and trying to kick them out. If a spirit attacks you while you’re away from your protected space, the best you can do is get out of there. If you came prepared with proper protection then it should be able to buy you enough time to escape. Depending on the situation, the attacking spirit may or may not be interested in chasing you. So, sometimes “escaping” can be simply removing yourself from the area immediately as the spirit is just acting aggressive so that you’ll back off. But other times, you may need to do a little more than that. If you suspect that you got followed home, perform a banishing of your property and cleanse yourself and the area. Then reinforce your wards.

The one thing that I have to say is that you need to be cognizant of why that spirit is attacking you. More specifically, you need to be aware of when your actions provoke a spirit to attack. Did you infringe upon their territory? Did you bother them after they told you that they didn’t want to interact? You are out in their realm, just as a spirit that you invite into your house should respect you, you should respect spirits when you meet them at their homes.     

Which Process Should You Use?

It depends on what “level” of spirit work you’re at and what you want to accomplish. Calling a spirit to you is definitely requires an intermediate skill level in energy and spirit work whereas going out and meeting them only requires that you be able to sense and communicate with spirits. However, when you call a spirit to you, they’re more likely to be willing to talk since that’s what they came for according to your call. You’re also more protected since you’re able to have your circle and tools right at hand. Spirits that you simply meet outside aren’t always going to want to speak and it’s a bit harder to protect against them. So which process should you use? Both.

Not all spirits are interested in answering a call but they may be willing to talk with you come across them when outside. Sometimes, you need a long conversation with a spirit which is where calling them will be more useful. Calling them might even seem more convenient but I think that it’s important that you learn about the spirits around you by going out and meeting them before calling them to you. It not only helps you get a better idea of the community but it also lets spirits get a better idea of who you are.

Figure Skating Charms and a Wealth of Nuance

Haha…so…*guiltily posts this months later* I had this in my drafts 70% completed since episode 10 came out, but with episode 11 and 12 the fandom exploded on other issues, and I thought it was kind of irrelevant since the rings have so many layers of meaning already. But in PASH magazine’s March issue, Kubo-sensei actually brings this up. 

I ended up cleaning this post and after finding out that @sachiro​ was going to make a similar post, we decided to have “pair posts” to submit for victuuriweek. You can read their yoi meta here , which discusses and connects specific moments throughout the series to the points I’ll lay out in the second half of this post.

About Yuuri’s charm. Yuuri has a figure skating precedent for buying jewelry to act as a charm - it isn’t a blasé “lots of good stuff around here…yeah, rings can make good charms, right? idk, but I’m doing it anyway.” Here’s yet another layer.

Charms are a legitimate THING in figure skating.

You won’t read about this in figure skating intros or on Wikipedia, and you won’t hear commentators talk about it either (if it’s brought up, consider it a stroke of luck and immediately save that video/interview forever). Unless you follow skaters to the point of knowing about their personal lives, then this is one meaningful aspect of figure skating that is easy to miss.

Keep reading

Summer Solstice Celebration!

Hello my lovelies! 
Only one week left until the Summer Solstice and I am just beaming for the upcoming celebration! I decided to make another post like my Spring Equinox celebration one since you all seemed to like it so much. I do plan on having a bit more of a ‘proper’ ritual and celebration of the day since that Monday I have off from work, but here are some other low-key ways that I am going to celebrate the day. I’ve split it into two sections of day activities and night ones because the Summer Solstice can go all night long and I plan on doing a whole cycle’s worth of things. 

During the Day:

  • Greet the sun! I know it’s going to be an early sunrise, but if you’re there to greet the sun, you’ll be starting the day off on the right foot! You can either just lay in bed and watch the sun rise from your window or head outside and do a sun salutation, both will give you energy!
  • Wear your favourite summer clothes! Shorts, tanks tops, t-shirts, sun dresses- even flip flops if you can get away with it! The colours associated with Liltha are reds, oranges, yellows/golds, blues, greens and white! 
  • I’m going to be setting my citrine, clear quartz and peridot stones absorb the sunlight throughout the day- other gems that would love to be out on the Summer Solstice would be fluorite, sunstone, agate, carnelian, and any stone that is green or yellow in colour! But you best check to see if it’ll fade in colour before you set it out all day. If that might happen, then the moon light will work just as well. 
  • For lunch, enjoy a summer salad filled with summer berries like strawberries and blueberries, apples, leafy greens and a sweeter dressing! The berries are a great way of celebrating what the summer will bring for you. 
  • Get outside! I don’t care if it’s for five minutes at your lunch break or an hour long hike like I plan on doing, but get outside and live in nature! Breath in the fresh summer breeze, feel the sun on your skin, meditate and be with nature. 
  • There are so many ways to drink summer in- literally! Lemonade, iced tea, fruit juices, herbal teas like chamomile, rose or lavender will be such a great way to get just that little bit of summer in you. 
  • Today is also a great day to try and interact with the faeries and fae folk. Leave a small offering of milk and honey (or a honey cake!) outside in your garden, in a park, on the outside window ledge, and the fae will appreciate the gesture! Who knows- that could be the start of a relationship between you and them. 

At Night:

  • Have friends over or go out to dinner! If nothing else, the summer solstice is about celebrating with friends and family! It’s about being thankful for what you have and getting excited for the summer, so get together and discuss your upcoming summer plans! Who knows what might come out of it?
  • Listen to music- your favourite music, and sing your heart out! The god Apollo (the Greek god of Light, Sun, music and poetry) is one of the many gods who will be thriving off the activities of today and you can honour them by just enjoying music and art. 
  • Light candles- or your barbecue! Traditionally, this sabbat is celebrated with a balefire (outside campfire), but if you’re like me and lack an outside fire pit, then lighting up the bbq and cooking up some veggie or meat kebabs will be a good way of making a feast and substituting the ‘real thing’. No BBQ? No stress- light up some candles and watch it glow. Bonus points if they are coloured or scented to match the holiday. 
  • Make a craft for the summer- a flower crown, a bird house, a sun catcher. I know I plan on making a flower crown and perhaps painting that day, but so long as you create something, spell or not, it can honour the day’s celebrations.
  • Watch the sunset- like watching the sunrise, watching the longest day of the year come to a close will be an amazing way to celebrate the whole of the Summer Solstice. 
  • Are you of legal age? Have a drink of summer wines or berry ciders- just remember to give either the first or last sip to nature, the faeries will find it! 
  • Decorate your home for summer and for the summer solstice by incorporating some common symbols as decor- seashells, fresh flowers like sunflowers, daisies, carnations, and peonies, little statues of birds, deer, faeries, feathers from birds, and shining crystals. The summer decor, beach house look is always a popular one during June and July so you’ll bled right in.

So this is the rough outline of what I plan on doing during the Summer Solstice! I am going to do a spell that day I think, but I haven’t decided what just yet. I’m thinking a motivation spell or a creativity spell, so I can charge up my summer and all the writing I plan on doing. All I know is that it’s going to be a great day! I hope that I have inspired you to celebrate, regardless of how busy you may be that Monday. 

I hope you have an amazing week and a fantastic Summer Solstice! Love you all and sending all my good vibes out to you for this summer.

-Faye xx

Inexorable (1)

So I thought, why not combine that shit and make it a mini-series or something? I really hope you two anons enjoy it! No idea how many parts there will be. We shall see. Gif isn’t mine, cred goes to the owners! 1,560 Words

Pairing: Jeon Jungkook x Reader 

Genre: Fluff, a little crack, (Eventual) Smut, Mafia au!

Part 1 | Part 2

Everyone’s heard of blind dates – never of blind marriages, not even in the mafia world. Yet, here you were, walking down the aisle, your hand latched onto your father’s arm, towards a young man you had never seen before. 

You hadn’t even gotten the chance to speak to him, let alone this being the first time you actually got to see his face. There was so much rage bubbling inside you at the moment, but it was all hidden behind a small smile.

Combining two mafia organizations together was a huge deal; something bosses usually agreed on with the exchange of girls, but considering Red Python was one of the most powerful organizations in the country, they wouldn’t want just any girl. They wanted a suitable bride for the heir of said organization.

And your father, being the great, generous man he was, suggested you.

Keep reading

Working with energy sources

How do you power your magic? As with anything magical, there are far more answers than any one person would care to know. When it comes to spells, what you use can have a potent influence on the efficacy of the spell. Whether channeling, transmuting, or just using your own internal energy,  it’s good to consider the source of the spell’s power when crafting it. More traditionally minded witches look toward the elements and herbal/crystal correspondences, but there’s also plenty of other ways to power your spells! Here, I review some common and uncommon energy sources and how to use them. This list is most certainly not exhaustive and is intended more to provide a starting point for thinking about what makes different energy sources unique. If you don’t already, I encourage you to think critically about the sources of magical power you use and what makes them so effective!

 
Traditional Sources:

  • The sun - As the primary provider of measurable energy such as light and heat, the sun is essential to life. Solar energy is potent and unfiltered so it’s very powerful, but also undirected. For both physical and magical purposes, solar energy has to undergo transformative processes in order to be useful to us. Channeling solar energy to power a spell is a common practice, though it should be done with care since the sun tends to burn up whatever it touches when used irresponsibly. 
  • The moon - The moon is the gentler counterpart to the sun. It traditionally fills a more mystical role, better suited to emotionality, secrecy, and protection than raw strength. The moon’s phases also offer clear time periods to suit different goals, especially ones that need time to develop. Many practitioners choose to time their workings by the moon’s phases, like to ensure that a spell manifests by a certain point in time. 
  • Candles - A candle is a firey energy source that can be easily manipulated by the practitioner. Like all fire-based energies, it is best suited for creative works, strength of will, etc. Candles are especially useful due to the high degree of specification they can have. A candle dressed in oil or carved with an intention can be more closely bound to the magical goal and thus more easily channeled into the spell. Herbs, colors, sizes, and scents may also be used to attune the energy source to the goal. Furthermore, the practitioner has direct control over the source itself and can make use of lighting and extinguishing the candle as a means of manipulating the spell’s energy. 
  • Grounding, earthing - There seems to be a bit of disagreement over whether grounding is best used as a conclusion to a spell or as an energy source for a spell, but I think the reason for this is that there are several different kinds of grounding processes. When grounding a spell after its completion, the practitioner is sending the existing magical energy back into the world in order to allow it to take effect and manifest. Grounding as an energy source is a way of channeling energy from the earth (or the universe) to power your spell. Both are good techniques in my opinion, though I tend to find other ways of concluding and “sending out” my magical works similarly effective. 

Man-made Sources:

  • Railroads - Railroads are an old form of energy, at least as far as man-made sources go. They are a good source of energy for things that need a lot of strength, or that need to travel long distances. They also have a significant association with trade and commerce, as well as with moving or traveling for pleasure.
  • Subways - I find myself using subways most often for work related magic. I find the electrified third rail to be a powerful point to tap into when working spells that need to reach across the city (like calling for trains to come sooner) or when I’m working in the direct vicinity. Subway commuters tend to be pretty well synchronized to the ambient energy, so you could also probably use some of it to affect the atmosphere on the platform or give yourself a little boost of energy before heading off.
  • Outlets & Adapters - I love using adapters for charging little charms and sigils! It’s a pretty neutral energy, plus it’s well suited to passive charging. Usually, I can leave stuff sitting on my laptop adaptor overnight and find it all juiced up in the morning. You could also definitely transmute it for use in more structured/ritual-based spells, though I find it a bit awkward to include.

Internal Sources:


  • Personal energy - Like most things, the magical practitioner themselves may act as an energy source. In some cases, this is desirable as it allows for a very personal mark on the spell. Tying a spell’s energy to one’s own will and strength gives the practitioner direct control over the spell and also can help them keep tabs on how active the spell is. On the other hand, a spell might require more energy than the practitioner has to offer, potentially draining the user unexpectedly, causing the spell to fail, or both. Personally, I use my energy when I have some extra to spare, which is a nice way of saying I dump all my anger into my curses. When doing that, I also make sure to seal off the spell when I’m done so none of it comes back to me. If you choose not to seal off your workings entirely, you may leave a limited connection in order to keep tabs on whatever it is you’re powering. I do this for simple servitors and wards so that I can keep them from running too low. I wouldn’t recommend dumping all your energy into a spell all at once because you can and will exhaust yourself.
  • Channeling - Channeling is less a source of its own and more a means of using sources like those mentioned above. When channeling energy, the practitioner simply acts as a conduit to direct external energy into their magical work. Channeling is generally regarded as a pretty basic energy work skill and is virtually essential for witches, regardless of path. Of course, now that I’ve said that, someone’s going to tell me they have a practice that never uses channeling, but hey, that’s how it goes. I think the trickiest part of channeling is keeping your energy and the energy you’re channelling separate. Obviously, your own personal energy can be used in a spell, but that gets exhausting fast and if you’re trying to avoid that by channelling, you should be careful not to still end up draining yourself too. Likewise, channelling opens you up to direct contact with external energy sources, some of which you may not want lingering around. If you’re worried about getting stuff mixed up, try working with a familiar energy source like a crystal or a plant before working with more powerful energy like the sun or a planet.
  • Transmutation - Like channelling, transmutation is a way of making use of energy. Its main difference is that instead of using an energy specially chosen for the practitioner’s purposes, they simply pull from what’s around and transform it on the fly. Transmutation requires a bit more practice than channeling, as you have to modify the energy you’re bringing in before you can make use of it, but it’s also damn convenient. I find it best used when working with neutral energy, especially the kind that seems to linger around cities and man-made sources. Neutral energies can also be combined through transmutation, so you can even mat Transmutation of natural sources is most definitely possible, but it’s best suited to the kind of generic energy that you’d find in unprogrammed quartz rather than say, trying to transmute the energy in lavender for a nasty curse.

I wrote this very quickly and I’m not sure it makes any sense but here just take it!! & please feel free to add on with any of your favorite energy sources and how you use them

What To do if you wake up with Scratches and Bruises.

Hello! So I’m really interested in the Paranormal, and I realized that some people don’t know what to do if a demon is near them. Although many witches do, here’s a post about it anyways;

First, Ask yourself these Questions:

1.Have you done anything Different?

-For example, have you moved to a new place? Did a spell go haywire? Did you buy something that feels negative? Did a Ouija board session go wrong (Even though I don’t believe that the boards open portals or are evil, I still believe that you can get demons, or if you don’t use it right something bad can happen.)? Did someone evil you knew in real life die ? Did you make enemies with a witch that does curses ? These can all lead up to a possible demon/negative entity.

2.When do  these occurrences happen?

-If you know the old folklore belief, then you know that 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. is called “The Witching Hour”. It goes that “ witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful. “ Do you often wake up at this time? Although it could just be a coincidence, it never hurts to have some old wives tales.

And if this is all happening during night, just be aware that sometimes we can give ourselves bruises in our sleep, if our body is restless or you’re prone to kicking, thrashing or falling off the bed. Animals and pets can also play a role in bruises, bumps and scratches.

3.Have you been getting Sleep Paralysis?

-Demons are often associated with sleep paralysis. Though, if you’re prone to it and get it often, even before you’ve started getting bruises/scratches, it might not mean anything.

4.What do the Bruises and Scratches look like?

-Demons are often associated with the number “3″, and sometimes “6″. Most people who deal with demons often get scratched with three claw marks. Demons and negative spirits are strong, and can and will do some serious damage. How big are the bruises? How many are there?

5.Do you smell Horrid Scents?

-Demons and negative spirits can give off bad scents, such as sulfur, rotten eggs or rotten/burned flesh. Although, they seem that they can give off bad scents as well. For example, in my Freshman year of public high school, I had smelled a horrible poop smell, after angering a witch I used to be friends with. She had always told me that she and her friend would send ghosts to each other. But, anyways.

6.Do you feel a Presence?

-Ghosts and demons will often make you feel a presence. It’s a little different for everyone, but it is normally a feeling of dread and fear.

7.Do you see Shadows or hear Sounds?

-If a demon or spirit is strong enough, it can manifest and show itself to you, or can talk or, if very strong, can move objects around.

What to Do if you answered ‘Yes’ to some of these Questions:

1.Cleanse, cleanse and cleanse some more

-Cleanse this thing. Cleanse yourself, cleanse everyone that lives in the home, cleanse the home itself, and cleanse the whole property, if you can.

2.Banish

-Banish the thing. Make sure to protect yourself and others, so to make sure it doesn’t possess anyone.

3.Set up wards, immediately after banishing.

-There’s many different kinds and types of wards, but make sure they’re charged and will work, once you set them in place. Wards will help keep the thing out.

4.Cleanse again.

-I personally like to cleanse a couple of times every time something like this would happen, To cleanse again right after is optional, though.

5.Line the windows and doors with Salt, Holy water or Rose water.

-Although I don’t know much about holy water and rose water, salt is a good form of protection. Simply line the doors and windows with salt. Or for extra protection, mix salt and garlic together and leave under the moonlight, then put on doors and windowsills (this was my very first thing I did as a witch)

6.Fill the space with Good Energy.

-Live plants, flowers, Himalayan salt lamps, or even herbal pouches and poppets made to bring good energy can work.

7.Continue to be Careful.

-These beings are far different from us. Be careful.

Note; Scratches, bruises and panic attacks can also be traced to health problems. Go to your doctor as well to make sure you’re in good health. Also, if you make yourself paranoid enough, you will put yourself on edge, which can make you see/hear things.

How Mary Morstan destroyed the moral centre of BBC Sherlock

So let me just start by saying that no one wants two-dimensional, black-and-white characters. Flawed people are normal, believable, more interesting, more relatable. That’s all fine. What the first two series of Sherlock gave us was:

1. Sherlock Holmes: A self-appointed detective, occasional (mostly past, seemingly) drug user who solves crimes as a puzzle to keep his overactive mind occupied. Rude to people, a trait born more out of impatience to get on with saving lives without being hampered by other people’s relative slowness, and possible also because he falls somewhere on the autism spectrum and struggles with social skills. Tries to believe that he is cold, emotionless, but the opposite is palpably true: his facial reaction when Moriarty destroys the old woman in The Great Game. This line: “This hospital’s full of people dying, Doctor. Why don’t you go and cry by their bedside and see what good it does them?” (Read: wasting time wringing our hands won’t save this person’s life.) This exchange:

John: Charming. Well done. 
Sherlock: Just saving her time. Isn’t that kinder? (Read: He attempts to be kind, successful or otherwise.

Sherlock’s face when he sees John wearing the bomb jacket in The Great Game. Sherlock admitting his fear in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sherlock showing compassion by rescuing Irene in A Scandal in Belgravia. Sherlock’s tear as he was saying goodbye to John in The Reichenbach Fall. These two series are full of evidence that Sherlock absolutely does care about people, so much so that his brother reminds him to be wary of sentiment as though it’s an old refrain, routinely repeated. And the final touch: “I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.” That’s it in a nutshell: Sherlock is no angel – but he is indubitably on their side. He solves crimes. He stops criminals from their actions. He saves lives. He is, despite his surface rudeness, a good person.

2. John Watson: An ex-army captain and doctor with an appetite for adrenaline, an inability to settle into civilian life, post-traumatic shock nightmares, and a dangerous violent streak. A man with a “strong moral centre” who waits until he believes it absolutely necessary to kill, then does it cleanly, quickly, humanely when he thinks he must. John is such an interesting mix. In one way of looking at it, there’s a lot more dark in him than there is in Sherlock. Something obviously went wrong in his family, too, as not one of his immediate family attended his wedding. There’s some resentment there, some thirst to prove his worth – and a corresponding hyper-willingness to assume that people doubt it, that people place blame on him, that they find him wanting in some way. Trust issues, indeed.

And yet he’s the one who’s mindful of when Sherlock is stepping on toes and hurting feelings, the first to pull him into line, to make sure he doesn’t go too far. They’re such a good team this way: John came back from the war with a hand tremor that made it impossible for him to practise medicine and a psychosomatic limp and blasted-up shoulder that made it impossible for him to be the “war hero” Sherlock describes him as during their first cab ride. They fit each other perfectly: Sherlock gives John a safe outlet to let out his demons and channel them into being a hero again, cures him of his impediments almost just by believing him unshakably, always, without one shred of doubt, no matter what his sharp-edged humour might suggest, even giving him back the ability to practise medicine again, and in turn John provides Sherlock with equanimity: someone to come home to, eat with, be normal with, someone who will save him from going too far either verbally or into the deeps to search out a criminal there, who will follow him down and shoot the criminals off his back. They save each other. They do good work: they’re good people.

And then series 3 gave us Mary. Mary the former secret agent gone rogue, Mary who kills for the highest bidder (confirmed in The Six Thatchers), Mary who scales a building pregnant to intimidate or kill a man who is blackmailing her. Mary who shoots a friend in the heart rather than accept his help and request his secrecy, or his help in breaking the truth to John. Mary the pathological liar, who layers lie upon lie upon lie, and feels that she should never have to apologise for anything, including all of these lies. Mary, who got snippy and resentful over John’s “months of silence” after she tried to murder his best friend, as though he had no right to his anger. Mary, who denied John the right to have a say in naming his own child after she put him through all of that. Mary, who would rather drug her friend and abandon her family rather than accept help. Mary, who abandoned her team without confirming that they were beyond rescue and started a new life with a marriage and a baby and not a second thought for the people she’d left behind. Mary, who never for a second left her profession, keeping her guns and her outfits and her secret info stashed in random walls in Norway, her vast collection of wigs and offensive accents.

This might have worked if the show had seen her arc through as the villain she clearly was. Mary was decidedly NOT on the “side of the angels”. Mary was not saving lives. Mary was taking them. Mary was a person whose life choices, past and present, clearly put her on the other side from Sherlock and John – two flawed, yet ultimately good men who do good work. Mary’s work was, in a word, bad. She was the opposite, really: an inherently bad person with a cute façade, who could giggle and make little jokes (that frequently had a sting buried within), who could roll up her pants instead of just getting them hemmed, who could tease and banter, but as soon as the pressure came back on, her real self came out again. The old habits came back: drug a friend, shoot them in the heart, run away without looking back, kill anyone who gets in your way. The fact is that the show did NOT see this arc through. The writers tried to spoon-feed us the façade, and it didn’t work, because the truth was so very visible: Mary was not a good person, and trying to pretend that she was is either completely unbelievable, or else destroys the entire point of who Sherlock and John are, in their essence. To have them take Mary on board without question, without her actual redemption by having felt or demonstrated remorse of any kind at any point for any of the very many terrible things she did, does not work! This is tantamount to Sherlock and John teaming up with Moriarty! Even if they’d needed information from Moriarty or something, it would have been a necessarily temporary arrangement, because they are not on the same team and never have been!

So, tl;dr version: we want characters who are nuanced, who have grey area, who are three-dimensional: but not characters who betray their own moral code by associating themselves willingly with someone they would normally oppose with all of their combined might. Writing their acceptance of Mary Morstan destroyed their moral centre. In a way, it made them no better than she was, and we know from the first two series that this just isn’t who Sherlock and John are. They’re good people. Mary wasn’t.

Spoonie Witch Tips: Cleansing

Cleansing is important. Whether it be after a spell or ritual or just maintenance, a good cleansing can keep icky vibes out of your space while also lifting and promoting good vibes. (I’ve also noticed that cleansing works especially well for keeping the spookies that are attracted by my depression away. More on that later.)

I don’t know about everyone else, but sometimes I just don’t have the spoons to get out of bed, let alone cleanse my house on the regular. Over the course of my practice, I’ve compiled a few low maintenance ways to cleanse my space and I wanted to share them with my fellow spoonie witches.

Low Energy Cleansing Methods

1) Open the windows. Let the air come in and sweep away all of the stagnant and gross energy that’s lurking in your space. A bonus to this is that fresh air will get into all of the cracks and crevices, so it’s really thorough.

2) If you have an oil burner or diffuser, pop in some rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender oil (if you have a burner, you can find these oils for under $5 at Walmart. If you have a diffuser, check Amazon for the most efficient option for you). These oils have seriously cleansing and protection properties, especially when paired together. If you’re using a diffuser, you can also use some charged water (sun, moon, etc) to help boost the energy.

3) Don’t want to make a cleansing spray or whatever? I feel you, friend. Take yourself to Walmart or your local dollar store and buy some air freshener. If possible, try to choose a scent you associate with cleansing. I like Air Glade Lavender and Chamomile. I pretty much just spray it while telling it to cleanse the space. It also smells nice, so bonus. This is a good one for the closet witches out there!

4) Himalayan salt lamps. Seriously, just turning them on and asking the element of Earth to cleanse the space works for me.

5) A salt water spray for those who are not open about their work. You can also add a little bit of vinegar or lemon to boost the cleaning properties of the spray. I like to add lemon juice, some rosemary, and holy water to mine.

6) Literally, just small bowls of salt around your space. In my own practice, I’ve found this also helps ward and fight off the spookies that are attracted to my depression and anxiety. It doubles as a cleanser and ward, so I make use of this often.

7) Music is a powerful tool. There are whole YouTube channels dedicated to this purpose, so finding a tune you like may take a little time, but at least you’ll have options. I like to use the wind chime sounds.

8) Light a candle. Sometimes I choose a scent associated with cleansing (lilac is good for cleansing and exorcisms, lavender is cleansing and protection, and any scent named after sunshine makes me think of cleansing and healing), other times I just light a white candle and visualize its light consuming all of the darkness in the room, clearing out all of the crap.

9) Get some plants. I don’t know what it is about having plant babies, but they cleanse and raise a space’s vibes like no one’s business. Look into cactuses, succulents, and other starter plants!

10) My personal favorite? Opening the windows and doors to my space and telling the bad vibes that they don’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here, aka the GTFO method. This is probably best paired with another method, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t use this one frequently.

I hope this helps some people out there! Again, I just wanted to share some things I’ve learned work for me and my situation. You might find that you prefer some methods to others or that you need to tweak them- and that’s okay! Do what works for you, your spoons, and your practice. 💖🌌

→ Paper Doll (pt. 2)

Originally posted by jengkook

pairing → Jungkook x Reader

genre → idol+singer-songwriter!au, drama, slight angst, smut

 warning  sex, language

word count   → 4.7k

 summary   → When the nation’s little sister, IU, gets into a huge scandal, your agency seizes the opportunity to thrust you into that now vacant spotlight. Your self-composed song Paper Doll becomes an overnight sensation, and soon people are itching to find out who was the one who broke your heart. All hell breaks loose once netizens discover that you used to date popular idol, Jeon Jungkook. Little do they know that it wasn’t him who left the relationship unscathed –  it was you.

↳ alternatively: a story on the consequences of a hit break-up song

i | ii 

 a/n  → i haven’t even been on tumblr for a week and askdjjj I can’t believe how many people liked pt. i –  also, I know absolutely nothing about songwriting or music theory, or anything really, so this is me bullshitting my way through 4k words that i haven’t proofread



You associated every song of yours to a specific time and place.

The whimsical cluster chords that opened up Blue Afternoon made you think of the view from your window last spring. Looking down on the busy streets of Seoul from your flat, a crowding of umbrellas had danced to the sound of heavy rain, and you had been immediately struck with a melody line.

That was your favorite part of songwriting – that moment when you finally had something, after having absolutely nothing.

Ironically enough, out of all the songs on your album, you disliked Paper Doll the most.

Even before it had been propelled to the top of the music charts, the song had never been a favorite. The melody line was catchy but predictable, with the most common chord progressions and an overproduced chorus. The people reviewing your songs during the album production had all loved it, however, and they had adamantly decided to push it as a title track.

It was amusing how people presumed the song described a devastating heartbreak between you and your first love. They weren’t exactly wrong, but their interpretation was completely off. Still, you weren’t stupid enough to disapprove their theories. If they wanted to believe that your first boyfriend was a heartless playboy, then that wasn’t your problem.

At least you had never thought it would have to be a problem.

Keep reading

Her Running Away From Them but Them Finding Her: BTS

I’m not responsible for any nosebleeds, hyperventilations, or heart attacks associated with this reaction. Thank you.

Jin:

After having enough of the troubles that came together with his bothersome occupation, you had tried to run away, packing all of your things in the middle of the night while he was on one of his raids. You sincerely hoped that with this, he won’t ever find you, even leaving him a small note to say how sorry you felt and that he shouldn’t try and look for you anymore. Unfortunately, you were wrong in your calculations and didn’t even have enough time to get to the airport before a black sedan drove to your side and forced you down into one of the leather seats, where SeokJin already waited for you.

“Love, I seriously hope that you didn’t believe in any chance of escaping.”


Suga:

When he confessed you of his occupation, you knew from then on that your relationship won’t last for much longer, since you were never a person that liked danger and adrenaline, settling for the more quiet prospects of life. And true to your word, you decided to leave the man with no calls or mesagges, simply disappearing after your trip to a shopping mall. 

A day passed, then another, and there was no sign of YoonGi even realizing that you were gone. You nearly danced in glee, thinking that you got off easy from the dangerous man. Only that you didn’t; which you realized after a phone call.

“I’m giving you another week of free time, and on a Sunday, I expect your ass to be back home. Understood?”


J-Hope:

After the break-up with your infamous boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, you had decided to start your life anew, though it wasn’t much of a likeable decision, but more like a must. HoSeok was against you two breaking up, so the reality of situation was that you ran away from him, and were now hiding, travelling the country after working in diners for a month or two, collecting enough money to move towns. It was not the best decision, but it was better than staying with somebody who did murder for his career. Of course, what you didn’t know was the fact that through his gory work HoSeok had loads of powerful connections, tracking you down easily.

Getting to your new job, one early morning, you were struck speechless as the man you were trying to avoid so dearly was sitting there, just there, eating his breakfast, completely concentrated on his food and not even seeing you. Or so you thought, so you tried to run away again, only to be stopped by his voice.

“Where do you think you’re going, this time?”


Rap Monster:

This man, even before you knew he was a gang leader, was giving you the shivers with his harsh glare. After you found out what was his occupation, however, everything clicked in your head and you instantly swung your tail under, leaving him be with all your stuff still at his place.

You decided to stay at a friend’s place for a couple of days, before renting a cheap place for yourself. Yeah, didn’t think so. NamJoon found you quickly, knocking on your friend’s door so harshly that it nearly flew off of its hinges, leaving you scared speechless, pale from shock and nearly hyperventilating.

As your friend let him in, you had trouble carrying his strong gaze. “You’re like an undisciplined dog. Running away from your owner just like that. I’m taking you home and putting a collar on that pretty neck of yours; try running away again, and we’ll see what happens.”


JiMin:

You knew that JiMin will find you quickly, it was like hide and seek for him; just a game, but you were still going to try; what if you succeeded? However, your positivity soon came to a halt as you noticed your cards being blocked, police occasionally knocking on your door, as they were reported of were noises and smells coming from your place. Your life, albeit slowly, was becoming a living nightmare.

The final drop were the photos of your friends sent to your post, though they were from far away distance. It terrified you, just the thought of any of them getting harmed and you being at fault was sending your stomach on to a task of a billion somersaults.

You had to come back, and you had to do it quick, or else who knows what might happen to the people you cherished.

“That didn’t take too long, now, Baby… I was expecting a better chase from you…”


V:

TaeHyung had always been a clingy man, add to that formula the fact that he was also in a gang and you’ll get a completely undesirable man. Those were the reasons why you left him; he didn’t you give any room to breathe and he scared you to the bone.

Occasionally, you still felt him everywhere you went. While sleeping, you felt his hands snake around your form, whispering in your ear incognitive sentences. You could hardly sleep, leaving you exhausted and beyond repair.

Your friends, being the good buds that they were, invited you to an art museum, to help you to relax while spending time in your favourite environment. Oh, how thankful you were for that. Only when you were finally there did you realize what a bad decision to come it was.

The familiar hands snaked around your body, pressing you against his lean build. “Long time no see, Love.” he had whispered into your ear. You knew then, that there will be no chance of escape ever again.


JungKook:

After you left his house, JeongGuk came out with a brilliant plan hot to slowly drive you insane, setting it into motion as soon as he got the word of you finally finding a permanent place to live in.

He appeared before your eyes from day to day, waving at you, or smiling cutely, not doing anything above that. He knew what that did to you; you were slowly becoming sick with the idea of being stalked- by him. That was fun, to watch you squirm everyday just from seeing him. He knew it won’t take much longer before you’d come back to him in hysterics, begging him to stop, but just when you’d step through his threshold, you’d never step out again.

mark’s countdown site?

ha yeah i know it and i spent the last like.. hours.. looking at the code..

i have found so much

favicon.ico leads to the picture of the icon of the site, the M with the mustache.

i also saw a tumblr post saying that theres 2 pictures of a coffee shop and 1 picture of a white rose somewhere in the code, and i went on and searched for meanings.

“White rose: Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility, Youthfulness,
“I am worthy of you”, Heavenly”

“The color white: White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection.White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity.In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it’s the color of snow. You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products. White is an appropriate color for charitable organizations; angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes. White is associated with hospitals, doctors, and sterility, so you can use white to suggest safety when promoting medical products. White is often associated with low weight, low-fat food, and dairy products.”

Also; White rose (bridal): Happy love

also since a lot of the background is black i went to search for the meaning of black color and:

“Black color: Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.

Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’). Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes). In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief.

Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make the other colors stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – black gives a very aggressive color scheme.”

I dont know about you but a lot of these things remind me of the photo in the countdown page.

more code:

i found a link to a site in the wall of code but found this, feels like they’re trying to.. hide something??

i hope you can read that because i hardly can,

a funny word. enjoy bootstrap.

audio-player, it makes me believe that at some point there might be audio on the main markiplier.com site, like a bell dinging when the timer ends at 12 as is said somewher else on the code, on feb 14. or maybe something else?

maybe some static? hello, darkiplier?

makes me think that eventually there might be a change to your cursor which is on the screen? maybe it might change to a bloody one or anything like that?

maybe theres gonna be a thing that kicks people out of the site and only a number of people can join back to learn a secret about it? maybe people are kicked out of the site for a bit when they’re making a change? who knows

the same but a little different.

delete this? as in maybe delete the site when the countdown is over? or in delete features when you ‘removeAllListener’? im not onto anything but, detective samerine.

artistName?? excuse me??

m ore audioplayer,,w hy

more audio n destructor?? function??

who th hell are helpers

also does bg mean background bc

escapeExpression reminds me of like, changing the expression of the picture of mark’s face on the site, maybe it’ll eventually change the picture a little?

seems like its an important number since i saw it repeated a lot too..

i found a site on the original code site and it lead to just a blank page, on mobile it doesnt let you access it at all

colors???

h m

makes me think there might be a thing to click on the original markiplier.com site?? like hovering over something and clicking it could lead to a secret?

amy nelson and timezones, hm?

that’s all i found now, im still searching for more and talking with my friends about what i find, im the detective on this discord server, hehe.

but uh i see your secrets mr fischbach, you cannot hide, you cannot run.