our century

Dear non-natives

The Plains warbonnet is not a Cherokee thing. It is not a Navajo thing. It is not an Indian thing. It is a Plains thing.

Stop calling every silly thing you draw that even vaguely resembles a native “Cherokee” or “Navajo” or “Aztec.”

Stop drawing the warbonnet everywhere as the apparently definitive native thing. It isn’t part of all of our 600+ cultures.

Same goes for the tipi, not part of every one of the 600+ indigenous cultures.

Stop thinking that if a native person doesn’t have dark, “mahogany” skin, that their heritage is invalid. Even without admixture, we actually do have varying skin tones.

Stop wearing crappy fake warbonnets.

Stop wearing redface.

Stop using us as your silly mascots. We are people.

Stop saying “spirit animal.” It’s derived from a New Age bastardization of a something that actually exists in some of our cultures.

Don’t smudge. Cleanse all you like, that’s fine, but don’t smudge.

Don’t call us “Indians.” “Native American” isn’t great either, it is not our name, but it’s slightly better than “Indian.” “Indigenous” is also fine.

Don’t use NDN/ndn. That is ours.

Step off about our hair. If you meet a long-haired native, admire it if you like, maybe even ask them about it (RESPECTFULLY), but do not touch. The same applies for someone with short hair, but additionally for those with short hair, don’t say things like “oh you’d look more native/Indian/etc if your hair was long.” We didn’t all traditionally have long, flowing hair. Believe it or not, there are actually different haircuts existing in our various cultures, and aside from that ultimately it’s a personal choice, one does not need to have long hair if they don’t want to. Doesn’t make them any less native to have short hair.

Don’t pray to our spirits/gods/energies. Native spiritualities are closed, they are not for outsiders.

Don’t say “The Native Americans believed…” Firstly, the past tense is silly, we still exist and do things. Secondly, we are NOT A MONOLITH. As I mentioned before, there are upwards of 600 different Native American cultures.

Don’t ask about someone’s “Indian name.” That’s not only insensitive, the name you are referring to in that instance is something sacred, and might not be something that person wants to share with you.

Don’t call yourself silly crap like “howling wolf” or “flying eagle.” That’s also racist and insensitive.

Regardless of whatever you might think you’re doing, or what your intentions may be, if a native person tells you that what you’re doing is disrespectful, STOP DOING IT.

You aren’t honoring us. You’re just mocking us further, demonstrating your continued ability to treat us like shit and get away with it even now, centuries after our colonization began. Your feelings are not more important than our history and survival.

To those doing your best as allies, thank you, keep doing what you do. HOWEVER, don’t let opportunities to educate others escape you. By letting them continue to be ignorant, you are failing. Spread the message.

There will be no “please.” It’s been more than 500 years, and we still are made to be invisible in our homelands. Still we are treated like less. Some even think we all died long ago.

We are still here

We will still be here

Treat us with respect.

There’s usually some stigma that the novels published in our current century aren’t as literary & thought-provoking than previous centuries’ novels. Here are some novels published from 2001-Present that are incredibly literary/outstanding!! Feel free to add on & enjoy!!

MAINSTREAM / WELL-KNOWN (these novels can also be critically acclaimed)

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett 
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel 
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Thriteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Me Before you by Jojo Moyes
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

FICTION YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled housseini
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Everything is Illuminated by Johnathan Foer
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

LITERARY FICTION / CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

SERIES

  • The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  • The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
  • The Twilight Series
  • The Game of Thrones Series
  • The Divergent Series
  • The Percy Jackson Series
  • TheHeroes of Olympus Series
  • The American Gods Series

OTHER RESOURCES


studyblr | studygram | my posts

2

Newt Gingrich says America can’t “be multicultural and still be a single country”

  • Newt Gingrich went on Hannity Wednesday night to discuss the London attack. The discussion veered into America’s so-called “issues with refugees and migrants,” as host Sean Hannity described them.
  • Gingrich replied that Americans needed to get over the “mythology” that people from different cultures can coexist peacefully in the same country:
  • “[Part] of it is when people come here, we need to go back to teaching people how to be American — to assimilating them into an American civilization,” Gingrich said. “We absorb lots of people from lots of places. We can do it again, but part of that requires that we defeat this left-wing mythology that you can be multicultural and still be a single country.”
  • Gingrich assumes that there is one monolithic “American” culture — implying one centered on white Americans — that all others must conform to in order for the U.S to function properly.
    He frames the idea of different cultures living in harmony as a “myth” compounded by immigrants unwillingness to assimilate.
  • Yet it seems not to have occurred to Gingrich that maybe he is the problem, not immigrants. The U.S. has certainly had trouble getting people from different races to coexist peacefully. 
  • But most of that can be attributed to our centuries-long history of white supremacy. Read more (3/23/17 11 AM)

follow @the-movemnt

You know that bit of DW fanart where Rose, Martha and Amy are wearing their Doctor’s outfits and Nine, Ten and Eleven are wearing their companion’s and Nine and Ten are laughing at an embarrassed Eleven because he is wearing a skirt. Does that not ring false to anyone? I honestly think Eleven would not mind wearing a skirt and that the other two wouldn’t laugh at him for it because why would that me funny someone who thinks our 21st century ideas about gender and fashion are silly. Someone should really do an alternative version where Eleven wears the skirt proudly and the other two are jealous of how good his legs are in it? Because we really need to destroy the idea that a man wearing feminine clothing is something to laugh at.  

What Do We Find Attractive?

Reblog this post if you find the ladies of long ago to still be beautiful in our modern 21st century!

In our era where thigh-high splits in skirts and navel-length necklines in dresses dominate the couture of what seems like nearly every female celebrity—not to mention many instances of very heavy makeup—one often has to wonder how our standards of the beauty ideal have changed. A century and more ago, Charles Dana Gibson developed what was considered for that era, the Ideal Woman. She had a sweet and wholesome look, and one of her biggest extravagancies was her pompadour hairdo, commonly referred to afterward as the “Gibson Girl” look.

A woman—if she wanted to retain the title of a true lady—would be dressed most respectably always, and if she dared to show her ankles among the company of men, oh, she was a hussy! When we realize what was considered proper in terms of dress in the Edwardian era (and what could really be inexplicably daring!), one often has to wonder how some vintage photos we look at now seemed in their heyday. By looking at this image below, the question that comes to mind is, Was Camille Clifford considered to appear “loose”? Although her gown was generous in length, the cut of her neckline seems to me to be a bit of an eyebrow-raiser in its day.

If Miss Clifford lived now and appeared on the red carpet, would she even be noticed for this? I’d say not at all! She would look exceptionally modest and would instead likely earn either high accolades of being most stylish (as I would tell her!) or be censured for being old-fashioned! It really is incredible how fashions change.
   When we are bombarded with more and more bold fashions and daring hair colors, one has to wonder if the glamour of long ago can last today.
   If you find such luminaries as Camille Clifford and Evelyn Nesbit (to name just a few; I’ve picture more well-known faces below), let me know by reblogging this post!

~ The Modern Edwardian

Above > Zena Dare

Above > Florence Evelyn Nesbit

Above > Ethel Barrymore

How do you measure a year?

Request: soulmate au- when you reach 18, you stop ageing until you meet your soulmate. 

Pairing: Anthony Ramos x reader

Warnings: mild angst

Word count: 2,797 

A/N: welcome to day one of the @hamwriters writeathon (aka AU time)! I’m posting a fic a day this week (woah) and I am so excited pls come and scream with me. endless thanks to @gratitudejoyandsorrow for proofreading and being awesome ^-^

schedule for the rest of this week here

@pearltheartist, @whitestorm547

1783

You celebrated your eighteenth birthday in seventeen eighty three. Your parents, ageing together for twenty years, looked on fondly as you accepted their gift- new writing supplies and a diary.

“Write about your life,” your father suggested. He had fought in the revolutionary war alongside Washington himself, meeting your mother when he had returned from to New York to begin his life anew.

“Thank you,” you told him. Your best friend Theodosia had already found her soulmate and, despite you being born before her, she now looked older.

You carefully signed your name on the inside cover. The ink shone on the page and you decided you would write a letter to your soulmate each and every day until you met them.

2015

You pushed your way through the streets of New York, shivering in the cold. Having invested your money well over the last two hundred and thirty years, you didn’t have to work full time, and could afford to spend your time in coffee shops, writing.

You were on your two hundredth journal. You always carried your first one and your latest one with you- the beginning and the end of your life, you reasoned. You had written over eighty-five thousand letters to your soulmate.

And you had never met them.

A couple of times you had tried to find someone else- someone who had lost their soulmate or who hadn’t found them yet either, but it never worked. If they had known their soulmate, you could never be enough.

You slipped into your current favourite coffee shop- a two story independent shop that was a stones throw away from Broadway. You wondered idly if there was a new show you could go and see, and decided to head over to take a look later.

There was a new barista at the counter. Her hair a golden-brown that caught the light as she chatted animatedly to her coworkers. You slid into your favourite seat - a cushy armchair by the window - and pulled out your journal.

You opened it to a fresh page and pulled out a pen and a paperclip. You wrote the date above the lines and fished around in your jacket pocket for a moment before finding your ticket to an art exhibition you had been to. You clipped it to the page and started to write.

Dear Soulmate,

New York is so different now- so busy, so tall, and so alive. It’s no longer the city I grew up in, but I suppose the world moves on even if I don’t.

There was an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art about soulmates - I saved my ticket. They had photos of people with their soulmates, dressed in the clothing of the era they were born in. The kind of thing they might have worn on their eighteenth birthday.

Couples from all over the world - every nationality, every gender, every sexuality. Little placards letting you know how long they’d waited for each other. People born during World War One - a horrible time - meeting their soulmates today.

It gave me hope that I might still find you.

You closed your journal as the waitress brought over your coffee, setting it down with a smile. You thanked her.

Over two centuries you had met people who had waited for their soulmates for just as long as you had. Many of them had watched their families die, as you had, and struggled to keep faith. Every one of them had found their soulmates eventually and promised you it was worth it.

So you waited.

Keep reading

Did Europeans “civilize” the Americas? Actually, anthropologists tell us that “hunters and gatherers were relatively peaceful, compared to agriculturalists, and that modern societies were more warlike still. Thus violence increases with civilization.


[…] Textbooks cannot resist contrasting "primitive” Americans with modern Europeans.


[…] Europeans persuaded Natives to specialize in the fur and slave trades. Native Americans were better hunters and trappers than Europeans, and with the guns the Europeans sold them, they became better still. Other Native skills began to atrophy.


[…] because whites “demanded institutions reflective of their own with which to relate,” many Native groups strengthened their tribal governments… New confederations and nations developed.. The tribes also became more male- dominated, in imitation of Europeans.. [there was] an escalation of Indian warfare… [the slave trade helped] to deagriculturize Native Americans. To avoid being targets for capture, Indians abandoned their cornfields and their villages.


[…] "Europeans did not “civilize” or “settle” roaming Indians, but had the opposite impact.


[…] According to Benjamin Franklin, “All their government is by Counsel of the Sages. There is no Force; there are no Prisons, no officers to compel Obedience, or inflict Punishment.” Probably foremost, the lack of hierarchy in the Native socieites in the eastern United States attracted the admiration of European observers. Frontiersmen were taken with the extent to which Native Americans enjoyed freedom as individuals. Women were also accorded more status and power.. than in white societies of the time.


[…] "Indeed, Native American ideas may be partly responsible for our democratic institutions. We have seen how Native ideas of liberty, fraternity, and equality found their way to Europe to influence social philosophers such as Thomas More, Locke, Montaigne, Montesquieu, and Rousseau… Through 150 years of colonial contact, the Iroquois League stood before the colonies as an object lesson in how to govern a large domain democratically.


[…] John Mohawk has argued that American Indians are directly or indirectly responsible for the public-meeting tradition, free speech, democracy, and “all those things which got attached to the Bill of Rights.” Without the Native example, “do you really believe that all those ideas would have found birth among a people who had spent a millennium butchering other people because of intolerance of questions of religion?”


[…] Indian warfare absorbed 80 percent of the entire federal budget during George Washington’s administration and dogged his successors for a century as a major issue and expense… [in many cases] the settlers were Native American, the scalpers white.


[…] All the textbooks tell how Jefferson “doubled the size of the United States by buying Louisiana from France.” Not one points out that it was not France’s land to sell–it was Indian land… Indeed, France did not really sell Louisiana for $15,000,000. France merely sold its claim to the territory… Equally Eurocentric are the maps textbooks use to show the Lewis and Clark expedition. They make Native American invisible, implying that the United States bought vacant land from the French… [Textbooks imply that the Indians were naive about land ownership, but] the problem lay in whites’ not abiding by accepted concepts of land ownership.


[…] The most important cause of the War of 1812.. was land– Indian land… The United States fought five of the seven major land battles of the War of 1812 primarily against Native Americans… [a] result of the War of 1812 was the loss of part of our history. A century of learning [from Native Americans] was coming to a close… until 1815 the word Americans had generally been used to refer to Native Americans; after 1815 it meant European Americans… Carleton Beals has written that “our acquiescence in Indian dispossession has molded the American character.” … destroyed our national idealism. From 1815 on, instead of spreading democracy, we exported the ideology of white supremacy. Gradually we sought American hegemony over Mexico, the Philippines, much of the Caribbean basin, and, indirectly, over other nations… We also have to admit that Adolf Hitler displayed more knowledge of how we treated Native Americans than American high schoolers who rely on their textbooks. Hitler admired our concentration camps for Indians in the west “and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination–by starvation and uneven combat” as the model for his extermination of Jews and Gypsies.


[…] Yet we “still stereotype Native Americans as roaming primitive hunting folk, unfortunate victims of progress.

— 

Excerpts from  Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong 

by James W. Loewen

Crash Landing

I do not own the image.

Title: Crash Landing (Part 1?)
Character: Reader x ?
Summary: The reader somehow finds themselves in the 9th century with our favorite Vikings.
Note:  Just an idea I had and decided to perhaps make it into a multific.

Warning: None.
Word Count: 925

When you decided to take a nap that afternoon, you didn’t think you would end up in the 9th century. In fact, you didn’t think you’d ever end up in any other century but your own. Of course, when you opened your eyes, it was clear you were no longer laying on your couch in your living room.

The foot that woke you up nudged you again to get your attention since you had failed to move for some time. You flinched away from it, your muscles finally jumping into action. Following the leg up, you found yourself looking up into cold blue eyes. The man’s hair was shaved at the side, the top pulled back into a long braid. His face was covered in scars along with an unkept beard. Most importantly, he held an ax that has obviously been used for something bloody in his hand.

The man’s face was blank as he took in your leggings, large sweater and bare feet, “Get up.”
Your voice seemed trapped in your throat as the blade leveled with your neck.  “What are you doing here, witch?”

“W-witch?” You squeaked

“Only a witch can appear out of thin air,” the man snarled, pressing the tip closer to your skin.

You leaned as far back as you could to avoid the sharp edge. Your voice shook as you responded “I don’t even know what’s going on.”

“Silence,” He barked, lowering his ax a little. “You are not allowed to speak unless spoken too.”

You nodded quickly, not wanting to risk getting your head chopped off. You watched nervously as the man reached his hand out to touch your sweater.

“What is this you are wearing?” He asked, his eyes running up and down your figure.

You were a bit confused, couldn’t he see what you were wearing?

“Leggings and a sweater,” you whispered, not sure if he was going to yell at you again for speaking.

His eyebrows bunched in confusion as he repeated your words. “I do not understand.”

It was then you realized what he was wearing. Thick plated leather vest with a long shirt underneath and loose pants made from some type of fabric, his wrists were wrapped in a wide leather strap from his wrists to his forearms. In other words, he looked as if he had come right out of some old Viking movie.

You held your breath as he stepped closer to you, his eyes narrowing as if he was trying to look into your soul. Only when he lowered his sword and took a step back could you breathe again. The man sheathed his ax on his hip in one practiced motion. Though the weapon was away, the way the man’s eyes watched you told you he didn’t trust you.

“Where did you come from, witch?” He questioned, his head tilting slightly. “And do not lie to me.”

Quickly, you opened your mouth to answer before he brought his ax back out. You told him everything you thought he would want to know: where you lived, what your name was, what high school you had gone too, who your parents were, you even went as far as to explain what a cell phone was and your number.

“Silence,” He growled, successfully ending your rant. “I told you not to lie.”

“I’m not lying!” You replied. “Please, I don’t understand what’s going on. I don’t know how I got here or where I am for that matter. You have to believe me.”

You could feel your eyes start to water as he just watched you. It was clear that he was confused and didn’t know if he should believe you or not but you tried to remain strong under his gaze. Finally, after what seemed like a life time, the man shrugged.

“Very well,” He started. “Don’t tell me the truth then. But, witch, you are coming with me.”

“What?” You gasped as his large hand wrapped around your wrist and he started dragging you behind him. “I can’t go with you! I don’t even know who you are! I have to get home, please!”

“My name is Björn, son of Ragnar Lodbrok and Lagertha. You are now my prisoner.” He replied evenly.

“Prisoner? This is the 21st century,” you tugged on your arm, now annoyed with him. “You can’t do this!”

Björn turned around then, his eyes narrowing. “What did you say?”

“You can’t do this! It’s against the law, this is kidnapping.” You responded, your anger making you forget about his ax. “My parents will look for me and – “

“What is this 21st century?” He turned to you fully once again.

“Wow,” you snorted, “You’re going to pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about? It’s 2017 and last I checked, kidnapping is still illegal.”

He dropped your wrist then, his eyes once again showing confusion. “Are you daft, girl?”

“Daft?” You snorted. “No, I’m not.”

“Perhaps that is why you were in the center of a field,”  Björn snapped his fingers together as if it was obvious. “Poor girl was abandoned.”

“I was not,” you gasped, offended by the thought.

Whatever Björn was saying next fell on death ears as you reached a town. Taking everything in, it was obvious that you weren’t in your time- not even close to it. Sound seemed to disappear, your ears only picking up a dull ringing as grey dots turned to black. You didn’t even feel it when your body hit the ground- if it hit the ground.

Just some study tips that I like to use, and thought maybe other people would find helpful!

1. Re-write your notes in ‘casual form’

This is probably the method I use the most, just because I find it funny. Basically what I do is I write a summary version of my notes, but I write it in the same way I would speak if I was trying to explain this topic to a friend. When your notes say: “David Hym used Faeries to Explain the theory of Monetary Neutrality in the 17th century” you re-write “Our 17th century homie  David H had a slight fetish with Faeries, but that’s his own business. All we care about is the fact that price be change if money supply be changing.” This method can take a little bit longer, but I do find that it makes your notes more interesting to look over later. And more importantly, it really helps you remember things because your are rewriting it in your own words. Everyone says the best way to learn something is to teach it, so imagine you are teaching a friend over a beer, you wouldn’t explain it in casual structural form, you would explain it how you would talk. Honestly I rewrite my notes a lot for studying purposes, and this method is probably the most beneficial. It summaries everything as well as put it into your own words, and the best part is that its kinda funny!

2. Paint your nails

I always find that I feel more “study aesthetic” when I my nails are painted. I know this sounds kind of strange, but when my nails are painted I automatically feel like typing on my computer is better, and my handwriting is more aesthetically pleasing. I just feel like a more composed and accomplished person overall. I cant really explain it, and honestly its probably just because I never really have my nails painted, but hey it doesn’t hurt to try if you find you are lacking motivation.

3. Use your music playlist and as a timer

No matter what type of music you listen to, I recommend making your own playlist. The reason I suggest doing this is because you can use your playlist as a timer! I find that when I have a timer app on my phone, I check it WAY to many times, seeing how much time is left, did I turn the volume up, ect. BUT if you make a playlist, filled with instrumental music for example, and then every 5-8 songs, you input a song with lyrics, you know that songs with lyrics are your break time! So, as soon as the instrumental fades out, and your 1-3 lyric songs come on, you know its free time! And once the lyrics end, its time to get back to work. You can literally shut your phone off if you use your laptop for music, and you wont be tempted to check a timer every 10 minutes to make sure you didn’t miss the break time alarm!

4. Download the “Get Shit Done” App

This app is wonderful because it literally just sets a time limit for you to get some shit done. Although I prefer a Pomodoro type clock for normal studying, if I have something to get done (An essay, a set of notes) that I am seriously procrastinating, I find this app helpful. All you do is set a time limit, set a reward and a punishment, and decide if you get breaks or not. As soon as you hit start, you have to complete the task in the allotted time period, otherwise the app sends you a mean message and the punishment you decide is put on the screen. This app is good for when you need to just DO something, but your motivation is -2. I find the allotted time period helps me overcome procrastination in a way that Pomodoro cannot.

5. Listen to Disney Music

The third tip in this post was to use your playlist as a timer, so going off that, I thought I would talk about type of music that I enjoy listening to while studying.
I am a huge nerd. no shame. And as much as I enjoy studying listening to movie soundtracks or video game soundtracks, I find that what I like the most is Disney Land music soundtracks. I know that sounds super lame, but honestly the music that Disney Land plays in its ride ques is so awesome for studying because its happy, and upbeat, and it makes you feel less like you are dying. Also the music is not so intense you are freaking out (Video Game soundtracks for me) or so calm that you are falling asleep (Classical music for me) is just a nice, happy, in between. This is the playlist I use - its nice because it has some ride tracks mixed in, so I find that I study while the instrumental tracks are on, and the lyrical ride tracks are my breaks.

archiveofourown.org
The Fox and The Maiden Fair: The Wedding night Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

She didn’t know what to do. Ivar’s gaze was fixed on her. It was like he had some power over Emer. She couldn’t move. Ivar passed Emer, sitting on the bed. He started taking off his belt, and then his tunic. Emer looked at his thick and dark hair, it was shiny and inviting. She wondered how it would feel to run her fingers through his locks. It was impossible not to look at his broad naked chest either. His torso was decorated with dark patterns she didn’t know the meaning. Ivar’s arms were something extraordinary too, so muscular, she imagined it was due his constant effort to carry himself without putting all of his weight on his legs. Her eyes traveled to his stomach, it was flat and well-defined as his chest and arms. He had distinct cheekbones and an angular and strong jaw, his pale skin made him look devilishly handsome.


His jaw was tense while he was working to take his boots off. She came closer and kneeled to help him.


Ivar yelled, scaring her. “Don’t!”


Emer looked at him in confusion.


“I don’t want your help!”, he added.


Emer replied. “But I want to help you. It’s my duty!”

 

He laughed in mockery, but Emer saw pain in his eyes.


“Duty? What other duties do you have? To lay on your back, allowing me to place my crippled body between your thighs?”


She was on her knees, almost crying from the humiliation. But, she would not give him the pleasure of seeing her pain. She walked to the table to drink more mead. If this night was going to be this difficult, she’d rather be drunk.


Before she could realize, Ivar was standing behind her, with the help of just one of his crutches. His free hand running through her hair as if she was made of glass. It was the first time she was so close to an almost naked man. Emer was embarrassed. She didn’t want to look at him, she was sure her face would give away what she was really feeling.


His smell was not helping her to think straight. He smelled like pine, mead and leather. Her head was spinning. She wanted to blame the mead she had had. Yet, Emer knew it was not the case. He bent forward, smelling her hair. She had never expected a man of his reputation to act in a gentle manner. Maybe, this was part of his dangerous nature. You wouldn’t expect the violence, wrath and cruelty until it was too late.


She was lost in her thoughts, until she heard his command. “Look at me!”

 

Emer complied. She was now facing him. This close, she could see he had strong arched brows and thick eyelashes. And then his eyes. They were deep and catastrophic, a vivid blue. As if he was born to have a close bond with the sea. After all, he came from the fogs of the sea to torment her.

The Forms of Spirits Defined


Is the shape of a nature spirit given form over time by a culture and its linguistic perception of that spirit or is it formed in a more immediate way through the prism of cultural perception in the individual having the experience, defined by that culture’s language?

When we look at the cultures of the world, both classic and contemporary, we see a spectrum of belief in “spirits” that is prevalent in all cultures continuously throughout history. In some form or another the concept of spirits is as wide ranging as language itself. An instrumental part of the development of all socities, the nature of these spirits takes on a wide variety of roles depending on the culture in which they have blossomed.

From the ancient jinn of the east, to the nagas of Asia, the fae and sidhe of the Celts, the ancestor spirits of Africa and her diaspora in the new world, the German goblins, Norse trolls, the Vodoun lwa, the saints and demons of Judeo-Christian pantheons, the world over is full of the belief in beings whose form is transitory yet whose power is recorded as often enormous in scale. Who exist at the edge of temporality and are supplicated with offerings, orisons and rituals.

Yet while the concept of spirits is one that is universal, little contemporary thought has been given to the nature of these beings and their origins on a practical level. Relying heavily on pre enlightenment ideas of corporeality the contemporary magician is often working under conditions that have proven to be obscure at best, fraudulent at worst.

What then is the nature of these beings with whom all magicians the world over interact? How are we to express in terms scientific and yet openminded, those entities with whom our craft is indebted? Where are we to find the headwaters of these beliefs and their origins in human culture?

To say that nature is the source of all life is axiomatic, for nature is itself all life, the very mathematic formula that drives evolution on all its scales. While the boundaries of what makes up life may be little understood its form, as we perceive it, tends toward that which is measurably obvious to the viewer. As mankind has developed intellectually over the past few centuries our understanding of the complexities and subtleties of living beings has grown immeasurably. From the first understanding of the nature of germs to CRISPR gene editing in under two centuries mankind is just now beginning to scientifically understand the fields of energy that surround us that have long been overlooked.

The electromagnetic fields of all living things stretch far beyond the boundaries of their physical masses. The electromagnetic field of the earth itself functioning like an engine driving our planetary variables, steering tectonic plates, controlling weather systems. The interplay of these electromagnetic forces, coupled with energies we are barely able to understand that exist in quantum interactions and dimensional concepts too complex for a blog post, are just now being looked at, let alone fully grasped at this stage in our intellectual enlightenment.

It is in this realm, of complex energies, vibratory frequencies, and misunderstood quantum mechanics, that we find the root of those beings who can be grouped into the categories of “spirits”. From Grecian daemons to Galician mouros, lwa to kitsune, wight to ghost, the patterns of energy that make up these beings are all drawn from that stream of energies which is invisible to mankind, though slowly being revealed under the lens of contemporary technology.


“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” ― Nikola Tesla

While this river of energies may be just now coming into focus through accepted scientific practice the craft finds its very roots at the base of this tree of knowledge. The varieties of dealing with these spirits are as complex as the cultures that bore them. The negotiations of these relationships across the world playing similar tunes, yet varied in their composition to reflect the variables and practicalities at hand.

Yet we must wonder at the nature of these manifestations against the cultures in which they are perceived. What causes such a diverse narrative and a motley assortment of creatures that have long interacted with mankind? How are we to know wight from lwa? What defines the differences and commonalities of these beings? How can a river of energies so universal manifest so differently among disparate cultures, while retaining distinct core similarities in their nature?

I propose that these manifestations are given form via the specific language a practitioners understands and communicates in. That the culture whose folk narrative has given form to these spirits is manifesting the boundaries of said beings through the use of language itself.

We are linguistic beings by nature. Our entire world perception is defined through the language we speak, and not all words in all languages easily translate across linguistic boundaries. We may speak in one language of emotions and concepts that are entirely alien to the thoughts of a native speaker in another language. The sounds of one culture’s joy may be the sound of aggression in another culture and its linguistic palette.

Thus as a culture has become defined throughout time, like the polishing of the facets of a jewel, mankind’s perception of these entities that exist at the boundaries of our perception have come to reflect the inherent peculiarities of a given culture. Our fears as a people, our inhibitions and immoralities, our taboos and desires projected onto these entities we encounter in the natural world.

Thus the differences that have grown between cultures are the differences in mankind’s pantheon of spirits the world over. Some are to be feared, as that culture is one of fearfulness, others to be befriended, as that culture is one of openness and sharing.

Though as much as there are differences, more striking still are the commonalities between cultural perceptions of nature spirits. That their roles remain often identical in light of their polarized appearances, that they are more common among the untouched places of the natural world, that they can be bound, threatened, supplicated, bribed.

When in the course of the practice of the craft a magician of any ilk encounters a spirit, through accident or intention, it’s best to be aware of the shape that they manifest in relation to our perceptions and expectations. That their form is one that easily fills the container of our language and its inherent biases and preconceptions about the nature of reality. We give to these spirits as much of their form and power as they themselves, much the way we give to our rulers the power over us that we must yield in order for them to rule.

While much research in this field has yet to be done the current of this form of spirit anthropology is just now awakening. Considerable historic documentation exists to outline the ever evolving relationship between mankind and that other. Yet a fuller look at the extent of human participation in spirit interaction may be a decade or more in the making. 

It would do well for the practitioner to keep in mind that the nature of the spirit catalogues of antiquity are that of slow evolution, where names shift over time via generations of misspelling and misappropriation. Recent research has been done in tracking these changes, yet the full scope of how the spirit is given specific form by the language, and thus the perception of reality that the practitioner holds, has yet to be done.

To they whom traffic in the boundaries of the landscape, know that your expectations place you in a precarious position. Those beings with whom you court and barter, supplicate and invoke, are more than your perception of them. They are merely being given form by your expectation of their presence. When the magician commands the demon to appear in a “comely form” it is to oneself the words are spoken. For the eyes only deceive us in our dealings with that world, no truth can be had in the illusion that is sight. The lies our eyes tell us have names made of the words we have been raised with, a set of linguistic boundaries on which perception is given form by that great deceiver that is culture.

theguardian.com
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman review – nice dramatic narratives, but where’s the nihilism?
With its chatty gods and gentle giants, Gaiman’s good-natured version of the mythos lacks brutal tragedy at its heart
By Ursula K Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin, one of my favorite writers, reviews the new Neil Gaimen interpretation of “Norse Mythology” and gives it an honestly brutal treatment.

“For the Norse myths, we really have no original, only interpretations. Most of the material was first written down by a single monk a century or more after Christianity had outlawed and supplanted the “heathen” religion of northern Europe. Later came scholarly attempts to translate and present the stories so as to glimpse what the lost original versions may have been.

Then came use of elements of the mythos in drama and opera, free adaptations for modern readers, and the appearance of increasingly familiar tropes in books for young children, cartoons, graphic presentations, animated films, and so on. A luxuriant growth indeed from the few, fragile stems of medieval manuscripts, one of which lay hidden for several centuries in a barn in Iceland.

Their survival is remarkable, for the Norse tales are about as un-Christian as you can get: no all-powerful creator deity, no human virtue rewarded but courage in battle, and on the Last Day, no salvation for anybody. Their fascination for us may be this near-nihilism: a world created essentially by nobody out of nothing, an existence of endless warfare and the rivalry of brutal, dishonest powers, ending in defeat for all. In contrast, the classical myths retold to us through centuries of splendid verbal and visual art can seem pallid. The stark cruelty and essential hopelessness of the Norse stories suits the artistic taste of the last century, our hunger for darkness.”
….
“Gaiman plays down the extreme strangeness of some of the material and defuses its bleakness by a degree of self-satire. There is a good deal of humour in the stories, the kind most children like – seeing a braggart take a pratfall, watching the cunning little fellow outwit the big dumb bully. Gaiman handles this splendidly. Yet I wonder if he tries too hard to tame something intractably feral, to domesticate a troll.”
…..
“What finally left me feeling dissatisfied is, paradoxically, the pleasant, ingratiating way in which he tells it. These gods are not only mortal, they’re a bit banal. They talk a great deal, in a conversational tone that descends sometimes to smart-ass repartee. This chattiness will be familiar to an audience accustomed to animated film and graphic narrative, which have grown heavy with dialogue, and in which disrespect is generally treated as a virtue. But it trivialises, and I felt sometimes that this vigorous, robust, good-natured version of the mythos gives us everything but the very essence of it, the heart.”

Whiskers

James Potter x Reader

The Marauders Era It´s Just My Favorite Thing In The World

Words: 2,650

A/N: Just read a time turner fic, and I´m feeling quite anxious so I needed to write this

He suppressed a growl, silently reminding himself that the dog was Sirius and the werewolf Remus (what left him like the only graceful animagus). And that he should act as a proper human in the common room, because Lily hated when he acted childishly. (She hated almost everything he did.) Still, James cursed under his breath. The very idea of you two being together irked him.

It was utmost betrayal! How could you?!

His pretty chubby, second favorite bookworm that liked sweet chocolate frogs and acid pops couldn’t possibly fancy a mad wizard with a strange fascination of dark magic. James could tolerate Lily awkwardly chatting with the snake, but you were part of the Marauders, something so…so…hideous wasn´t about to happen in front of his eyes.

“I believe you both are being overly dramatic, Whiskers is kind with everyone when we aren’t around.”

“So you mean she really doesn’t like us?  Is she faking because I always buy her treats at Honeydukes?” Remus gave James a disbelieving look while Sirius crossed his arms. Without a word, Peter blushed while you embraced Severus warmly one more time.

“How come she never actually hugged me before!?” The seventeen year old prat with the longest hair wiggled around with a scowl, leaving James with a bitter expression. “I mean, yeah, I know we actually don’t treat her so much like a beautiful woman and all that shit, but even she could have given me a squish or two.”

“You are being awfully stupid, Padfoot.” Remus sighed in exasperation, passing a tired hand through his sandy hair before placing his hands in Sirius´s shoulders. “Whiskers is a beautiful lady. You are a dirty dog. She isn’t going to hug you.”

“Then I don’t get why she is passionately hugging the life out of Snivellus!”

“Love can get us blind…W-We should admit that Whiskers is old enough to get a…hum…love interest.” Peter mutely offered, earning a gasp from each one of the present marauders. When the words left the air completely, the boys changed their stunned expressions. James went paper sheet pale suddenly feeling really sick, Remus simply nodded to himself in astonishment and Sirius got that knowing glint on his bright eyes.

“Even if it is Snivellus?” James tried to discard the mere idea of you actually being in love, frowning at his group of friends.

“Well, Whiskers doesn’t have a lot of options. I mean we are out of her league, you know, with all the let´s vow for our friendship and all that bloody oaths.” With trembling hands, Black rambled a few more words that Potter didn’t get. Sirius easily read the painfully obvious disdain of his best mate at his not correctly phrased comment, however he lacked self-control when it came to reassuring people, so he just continued pointlessly speaking.

In love? Like in the real thing? Weren’t you still too young for it? James couldn’t even know how he felt about Lily –the girl he had fancied since his first year at Hogwarts- and you suddenly loved a snake?

“Please don’t pass out.” Tough hands clasped James arms, keeping him in a standing position. “Thanks for breaking Prongs, Wormtail.”

“Moony, do something!” Pleaded Peter with a scared grimace.

“Something? Why are you two pushing Remus?” A friendly voice interrupted the sullen atmosphere and all the four boys turned to face the young woman who talked. Full soft cheeks and warm eyes met with the suffering forced smile of the boy who couldn’t contain himself anymore.

“Whiskers.”

“Umm, yeah? So, no one is going to answer my question?”

“Sniv-”A hard blow in the stomach left Sirius mute.

“He meant to say snitch, we thought about going to practice Quidditch a little, see you at dinner!” Dragging away to the outside an almost knocked out Sirius, James waved a quick goodbye without looking back.

“That means I´m not invited?” Remus shrugged not giving a trace of an apology, nodding before turning around and walking in the same direction as the other boys. (Peter followed him closely, not that you actually cared –since Wormtail used to ignore you most of the time-.)

“Are we going to Hogsmeade this weekend? I mean, last time we stayed here to pull pranks at professor Slughorn. I´m running out of sugar quills.” Munching a piece of chocolate cake, you asked the abnormally quiet marauders. All of them were odd –Remus acted the same as always but his eyes were fixed to his plate and nothing else-. James seemed out of place, skin to pale and sickly looking, his hair was glued to his face, due to a tiresome rough time practicing or a lot of slick substance that could have been shower gel. Sirius was certainly pissed off, however you didn’t know at whom. “Did you have a fight? Where is Wormtail?” You continued when your first attempt of conversation was plainly avoided.

“He´s going to change his name to Lovegood, he´s going insane.” Remus joked, or kind of tried to make it sound as a joke.

“I hope he doesn’t dare to sit with us tonight.” Muttered Sirius, giving his pumpkin juice a long gulp. “How could he said it? Now our Prongs it´s like a hollow puppet.”

“Can someone inform me of the situation? I kind of feel left out.” Brown vivid eyes gazed at your for a couple of seconds, leaving you waiting. “So?” You insisted forcefully.

James managed to look quite dashing even with an ill expression and oily skin. That type of grace was something that made you wonder how he could get to actually fall for someone like you.

(Not that you were too ugly or anything, it was just the mere fact that he was absolutely stunning.)

“Peter just screwed me.” James finally said, smiling at you, absent mindedly playing with the spoon that his fingers held. The slice of apple pie on his plate was untouched and a growing desire of tasting it clouded your thoughts. Why the heck were you such a guzzler?

“Are you going to eat that?” Now you questioned with a light hint of hopefulness, knowing that interrogating him wouldn’t help but your sweet tooth would make him chuckle. What happened next made wasn’t what you expected. James sighed, softly caressing his right wrist before standing up and rolling the plate to your side.

“Goodbye.”

“Sadly, I will be leaving too.” The black haired boy said with a grin. “You screwed him more, and Padfoot is going to fix him for you, love.”

“Don’t miss me too much, Sirius.” A soft hand messed with your hair before pressing hard on your skull. “Moony, I don’t like that.”

“I´m just trying to accommodate your brains, they seem to be in a difficult situation-” You gaped at him, jokingly scowling.

“Why do you all seem eager to mess with my life today?”

“Don´t think about it too much, lovely bee. The boys are just being idiots. Like always.” Lily said calmly, sipping her tea despite the fact that Remus glared at her.

Keep reading

4

Even with faster-than-light travel, it would still take several human lifetimes to cover the 2.5 million light-years to your destination. Survival will be made possible by spending the majority of this voyage in cryostasis, protected beneath the mass effect shields generated by your pods. As you travel to the edges of the known galaxy, a small escort of combat pilots will defend us from any threats. However, once we cross into dark space, we will be alone with only our kinetic barriers to shield us during our centuries long journey.

In fact, it’s why all of our ancestors came to this contry, and were themselves originally unwelcome. because that’s the story of America. From Ben Franklin’s worry that Germans were ruining Pennsylvania, to our 19th century 60 year ban on the Chinese immigrants who had just finished building our rail system, to our very real and justifiable concerns about the Irish, and their insatiable applying for jobs. We have always been a nation of immigrants who hate the newer immigrants.
—  Jon Stewart