*reads a gorgeous line in a fanfic* oh my god. how is this possible. how did they even fucking think of this. the symbolism is spot on. the planets are fucking aligned, everything is one and all and the world is complete, my soul is at peace
The universe works in mysterious ways, and just as the heavens shift so that certain planets may briefly align only once in a lifetime – so too can this happen with souls. Sometimes you will meet someone who seems so perfect for you that it is as if you were created from the same celestial material… yet you find your trajectories taking you away from each other in hopelessly opposite directions.
It seems almost cruel… to find a love so perfect only to lose it after such a brief time, but it is simply because your paths were destined to cross but not converge as one. You are, to each other, but a shooting star… a momentary flash of brilliance… a beacon of light sent to brighten each other’s lives and illuminate each other’s true path.
So let them go with a thankful heart… Wish them well on their journey and accept with grace the fact that some people fit perfectly into your heart but not your life and it is as simple and as complicated as that.
on august 21st, during the new moon in leo, the moon will pass in front of the sun in a total solar eclipse. with three planets in leo and five planets total in fire signs, this is a great time to cast spells that deal with power, authority, creativity, justice, starting new projects, and personal empowerment.
to fully utilize the energy of this eclipse, i would highly recommend timing your spell to occur during the exact moment of the eclipse. in my opinion, it doesn’t matter if you can see the eclipse or not. those of us who practice cosmic witchcraft draw from the energy of the stars often, and light pollution prevents us from fully viewing the night sky. in this instance, timing is far more important than location.
eclipses are all about balance, and the placements of this eclipse are all about balancing fiery energy with the rest of our solar system’s major cosmic players. (see more on eclipses and balance here.)
the moon is dimming the light of the sun, but this powerful event is taking place in the sun’s sign leo. further empowered by a near conjunction with mars, and two trines by this fiery trio to saturn and uranus, these planets are in excellent alignment to help you chase your ambitions in a measured, balanced way. exercise the caution and discipline of saturn and utilize uranus’s intuition and creativity.
be sure to consider the planets that are not currently in a fire sign to emulate the balance of the eclipse, particularly jupiter, which is the only planet in an air sign. i would suggest deliberately incorporating tools or representations for air to ensure your spell isn’t lacking in the element’s positive qualities.
if you won’t be able to sit down and take some time to cast your spell during the eclipse, you can prepare your spell beforehand and leave things to charge until a predetermined time during the eclipse. set aside five minutes to cast your spell, in whichever way you choose, from wherever you are during the hours of the eclipse.
from work, you could draw a sigil that will activate a spell jar at home.
sit down at your desk or in the break room and visualize the eclipse from space, seeing the moon’s shadow upon the earth, envisioning the fused solar and lunar energy filling you to the brim with power.
create a sachet, spell jar, necklace, or some other magical object and leave it outside to charge in during the hours of the eclipse.
Don’t let money or tools be the center of your craft.
Don’t wait for the metaphorical planets to align.
Do what you want to or need to do with what you have. Use the three year old candle, the empty jar of yogurt and the half dead potted plant.
Don’t be afraid to do your Craft even if you can’t have 10 tarot decks and four different types of rose quarz.
Clensed and blessed bottle water can be just as effective as rain or river water.
We all want beautiful altars and a dozen self grown herbs for our spells. The problem is, not all of us can have that.
And that’s OK.
You are the center of your magic. What you decide is the most important thing.
You decide if the purple craft glitter represents amethyst or not. You put the magic in the water or the cards or the stone.
Without you there would be no magic.
So please remember, having a lot of different tools is great.
But the most important one, the one that makes everything possible in the first place, is you.
i don’t care about anyone’s sexuality. gay? straight? not important. what matters to me is the content of a person’s character. for example, i think your sonic oc could benefit from some more realistic flaws. it just seems kind of out there that he can only be killed when the planets are perfectly aligned
I’ve been thinking of writing a post like this for weeks now, but my hand was forced after catching up with season 3 of Voltron: Legendary Defender. This season was the strongest one in the show yet, raising the stakes and adding some interesting new concepts (like multiple realities.)
But what really stole the narrative was Prince Lotor of the Galra Empire. Look at him. Look at this magnificent asshole.
Now before I get into it, I should state that a lot of my ideas on this have been formed by The Anatomy of Story by John Trudy, which is a superb book I’d recommend for anyone interested in story-craft. Furthermore I’m not getting into the original Voltron series, as I haven’t watched it and don’t really want to. I’m sticking to V:LD, with examples from other fandoms as well.
Okay, let’s see. Lotor. As a villain, he immediately grabs your attention because for a start, he’s actually fabulous. Aesthetically pleasing. Beautiful hair, sharp features, dazzling smile. Lotor is supposed to be attractive. He’s created as the villain to look at. To admire.
Then you have this great sequence where Lotor, after defeating Throk like he’s a mosquito, spares his life. You think, huh, that’s interesting. Then later in the show, Lotor orders his generals to send Throk off to some far-off Galra post, with a small grin that suggests he’s taken the revenge he sees fit for Throk’s disloyalty.
What this suggests to me is that Lotor is interested in a kind of control that does not resort to bloodshed–not at first, anyway. Lotor likes to humiliate. It wouldn’t be enough to kill Throk if he can all but banish Throk off to some nowhere outpost. This has advantages.
a) By not killing Throk, he’s signalling to the other Galra that he, Prince Lotor, is merciful and just. He’s hitting this point harder: I don’t rule by fear, I rule by earning loyalty. After Throk surrenders and pledges his loyalty to Lotor, Lotor “forgives” him. In front of hundreds, maybe thousands, of Galra soldiers. This is a visual stunt that basically says, Prince Lotor is merciful; join him and you will be rewarded.
b) Yet, by sending Throk off to some random outpost, he’s signalling again that, if you are disloyal, I won’t kill you, I’ll ruin you as you live. Lotor’s attack is on Throk’s legacy. The Galra, who are so obsessed with power and prestige, would find themselves destroyed if it was taken away from them. It is in direct opposition to their militaristic culture. Lotor has humiliated Throk, and that is more punishment than death.
Furthermore, throughout the season, Lotor is a consistently active villain. I feel this was a HUGE improvement on seasons 1 and 2, where Zarkon, and the entire Galra empire, just didn’t seem like that much of a threat because all Zarkon ever did was stand there and look grumpy. He acted through his generals, which (apart from Sendak), just seem buffoonish. Zarkon is boring because he’s generically evil. Haggar, at any point in the story, seems more like its central villain because she seems genuinely interested in being villainous. I sometimes feel like you could replace Zarkon with a cardboard cut-out of Casper the Friendly Ghost and it would make no real difference to the plot.
But Lotor. Lotor participates in his plans. In fact, he’s the most active member of his squad. He goes out there on his own to lure the paladins into dangerous terrain.
According to The Anatomy of Story, opponents and heroes actually want the same thing, but go about obtaining the goal from different points of view. That’s where the heart of the conflict lies. In V:LD, both Voltron and the Galra empire want to influence the universe with their brand of ideology. The Galra believe in the propagation of one single ruling unit: their empire. Voltron believes in individual planetary sovereignty. It is for this goal that they compete.
Which is why Lotor wanting to rule by creating alliances is a fascinating twist to Galra ideology, and if it works, Voltron really wouldn’t know how to cope. As the show stressed, Voltron’s forces are stretched thin, and they struggle to keep the promises they made. Lotor, with the full strength of the Galra empire behind him, has no such worries. Many planets would align with the Galra under “alliances” if Lotor promised them basic freedoms (i.e: ruling by creating a sense of loyalty, rather than fear.)
What also interested me was that Lotor is a thinking villain. He has thoughts and ideas that go beyond “I’M EVIL HAR HAR”. He understands things like loyalty, he recognises the paladins’ disharmony, his orders are very clearly focused on gathering intelligence about the enemy. He hasn’t actually launched open attack on Voltron, he’s too smart.
His actions prompt the paladins to form Voltron and act like a team. This is what a villain is supposed to do: the challenges they pose to the hero should change the heroes in some way, either by making them stronger or weaker. Once Lotor realises Voltron is back, he knows he can’t win until he creates an object strong enough to counter Voltron. He does not want to attack Voltron until he is sure he has the upper hand. This is a smart villain. This is a villain I want to root for, because he knows what he’s doing, and he enjoys what he’s doing. It’s brilliant.
Finally, I think Lotor succeeds in the most important thing a villain should be good at. The bad guy should hit the heroes right where they’re at their weakest.
For examples of this, let’s look at Avatar: The Last Airbender. Azula is Zuko’s foil and ultimately the villain he has to defeat to overcome his own feelings of insecurity, rage, and failure. She knows exactly what he wants: his father’s love. Or really, any kind of love. She uses Mai to lure Zuko to her side. Read Azula’s wiki page and you’ll see how she’s obsessed with being more powerful, more adored than Zuko. Even in post-series storylines, her sole focus is trying to humiliate Zuko.
And Azula gets to Zuko. He resents her, he feels inferior to her, there’s a part of him that wishes he could be like her. He believes if he catches the Avatar, his father will love him like he loves Azula.
In the end, Azula was Zuko’s villain to defeat.
Another great example is Sherlock and Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock.
Sherlock and Moriarty are exactly alike except for one thing. Moriarty is pure rationale that bars on madness. Sherlock is smart, yes, but he is also emotional. He has made emotional ties with John, with Mrs Hudson, even with his brother, Mycroft. Moriarty uses the people Sherlock loves to manipulate him, to get the better of him. The whole climax where Sherlock jumps to his (supposed) death is because he’s trying to protect John. And in fact, it is Sherlock’s emotional ties–with Molly, in particular–that save his life. Without Molly’s help, it simply wouldn’t have worked.
Lotor from V:LD does a similar thing, which is especially obvious in the episode “Hole in the Sky”, where Lotor wants Voltron to retrieve the comet. It would not have worked if Lotor hadn’t understood that Allura would do anything to help Alteans, being as her race is all but extinct. He also knows that Voltron is all about helping the little guy, they answer distress signals all the time.
“If Voltron disappears from our world, then we win. If they make it out with the comet, we’ll take it from them. It’s a win either way.” –Lotor.
Lotor is literally assuming none of the risk but reaping all of the rewards because he has hit the paladins exactly where he knew they were weakest. “Thank you for answering my distress signal, Voltron,” he says as he flies off with the comet. What the heroes see as their strengths: in this case, Voltron being a bunch of do-gooders (which was cemented by Allura’s need for wanting to find Alteans), Lotor sees as an opportunity.
Another great fandom where the villain used this same technique to attack the hero? Harry Potter, book 5! Voldemort makes Harry think he’s seeing visions of Sirius in pain, and that’s how he lures Harry to the Department of Mysteries, which ultimately leads to Sirius dying.
Tl;dr: Good villains all have a couple of similar qualities:
1) They are active villains. They go after what they want. Their goals are actually the same as the hero’s, but they approach it from a different angle. The opposition between hero and villain comes because they want the same thing.
2) Good villains should be able to attack the hero at their weakest point, or put another way, a good villain should be able to use a hero’s greatest quality against them.