power of context

You have the power of context. As long as you focus on something - whether it’s something you see, hear, smell or touch - you know the history and facts surrounding it. The more you focus, the further into the history you can go. Usually, you avoid any and all sketchy people that you meet - but when someone from the CIA shows up on your doorstep, you quickly review their story and decide that this time you really can’t afford to shoo them away.

Sticks, Stones, and Bones; Divination Through Casting Objects

My wonderful friend @peacock-witch and I regularly Skype and have fun divining with found objects. This means, whatever is at hand! One night I picked up a pack of cigarettes and started tossing them in the air to see how they fell. Thus was born my love of casting objects to divine. Casting objects is simple, easy, and super “witchy” and in my opinion quite fun and accurate as well! All you need is a selection of two to ten power objects.

What are power objects?

In this context, a power object is whatever has special significance or meaning to you. Just as a deck of tarot cards has 78 distinct meanings to it, your collection of power objects will each have their own distinct meaning. When you cast them on your cloth, the way these objects fall in relation to each other will determine what the reading is.

Here are some ideas of what power objects could be and what their meanings might be:

  • Crystals, stones: Use traditional magical meanings (love, strength, wisdom, protection, etc.).
  • Runes, ogham: Include a full set of runes or ogham sticks, or include certain ones that have special significance to you.
  • Matches, lighters: Guiding light, technology, civilization, fire element.
  • Feathers: Air element, communication, travel, motion, movement.
  • Cigarettes: Sickness, indulgence, hedonism, disease.
  • Ring: Family, bond, friendship, trust.
  • Key: Answers, wisdom, truth, opening, awakening.
  • Coin: Wealth, prosperity, earth element.
  • Glass beads: Creativity, glamour, manipulation, water element.
  • Pills: A state of being unwell, problems, where healing is needed.
  • Battery: High energy, energy blockage, energy containment, energetic flow has been altered.
  • Pen or pencil: Society, lawfulness, rules, order, regulations.
  • Skittles: Sweetness, well-being, happiness.
  • Animal figurines: Use animal lore and meanings to determine what the animal should represent.
  • Walnuts: Brain, intelligence, mind, cunning.
  • Popsicle stick: Bridge, pathway, path, route, solution.
  • Pins and needles: Pain, attack, aggression, fear, worry, unease.

You can really pick up any object around you, assign it a meaning, and cast it with your power objects. Over time you will gain the discernment to tell when an object adds meaning and depth to your readings, or when it becomes clunky and unwieldy. At the start, just cast 2-5 power objects; as time goes on you should experiment with adding more and seeing how it affects your reading. Don’t be afraid to add or especially remove objects that aren’t working for you.

It is a good idea to search for object that are equal in size. For example, casting 5 cigarettes may be a more balanced reading than casting a dime, a lighter, and a crow’s feather. When objects are similar in size they fall similarly and may provide with a more balanced reading to start with, or at least, a reading that is easier to read! This is in my own experience however, perhaps to you the size of the items doesn’t matter at all.

So where do you find power objects? Anywhere! @peacock-witch​ and I pick up whatever is in the room with us and figure out a way to divine with it. To make that list of objects above I just sat still and looked around my kitchen. Even carrots and celery sticks will do if you’re really short on objects to toss around.

Remember that you can mark on or alter your objects! I draw meanings on the filters of cigarettes. You can draw symbols on coin with permanent marker, write words on Popsicle sticks, or dab paint on figurines to give them extra meaning.

Put meaning to your objects

The way your power object collection looks will reflect what type of questions you want to divine for. If you want to do love divinations you may have five different objects each representing a subtle form of love. If money is your concern, you may have extra objects representing the economy, cash money, debt, savings, wealth, and financial players.

Assign one object to represent the person you are reading for. Suppose you are using Skittles to divine. Red can represent the person you are reading for; Green stands for love, yellow for wealth, purple for spirituality, and orange for success.

Experiment with different meanings for your objects. See what group of meanings works well together. You should be quickly able to tell what meanings work as a group, and what are clunky, redundant, or nonsensical.

Trust your throw

Just as you trust tarot cards to come up correctly, you need to trust your power objects to come up correctly. What works for me, and for many other readers, is to have a ritual you follow each time you cast for a question. One such example ritual is to hold the power objects, focus on your question, then cast in the same way every time.

Observe the fall

Once you have focused on your question and cast your power objects, the real fun begins!

Let’s go back to our Skittles example. Suppose you want to divine a person’s love life, so you cast the red candy (the querent), the green candy (love), and the orange candy (success). Now, you read the position of the candies to determine whether or not love will soon be in their life. Suppose the person is closely touching love but is far away from success. Maybe this means they will get very close to their goal but never be successful. Or, what if it means they do not need to be successful to find love? As a reader it is your job to interpret how the candies fall.

  • Look at how your power objects are oriented on the board. Do they appear to make a shape or picture? Do all the power objects appear to be pointing towards one side of the board? Do they give you a feeling of active motion, or a feeling of stillness? Do some seem to be clustered together as if they are stuck in a gravity well, or are they spread outwards as if there was an explosion? Take time to consider the board as a whole and the entire picture made by the objects.
  • Look at how your power objects interact with each other. Are some objects touching or even stacked on top of each other? Do some objects seem to mirror each other across the board? Are two or more objects pointing at each other or facing away from each other? Consider everything!! This is the true fun and excitement of casting power objects :3 Take time to consider the objects individually and how they interact with each other.

Casting power objects is an especially useful form of divination to use when you want to determine the nature of relationships between things. It is a powerful system because you can select as many objects as you want and give them their own meanings, as opposed to runes or tarot where there are a set number of meanings for a set number of objects. It is also impressive because you can pick up literally anything and cast it, and you will be able to divine (once you get the technique down of course!)

My advice is to be careful about how you label your objects and pay special attention as to how the objects interact until you get a good team of power objects working for you. Also make sure to keep looking for new levels and depths of meaning. Group readings are a great way to get new levels of depth in your readings, by having multiple friends each read the same spread and share their interpretations.

APH Germany 1945

Ludwig, das Symbol der Deutschen, wird durch ungünstige Umstände dazu gezwungen, die volle Verantwortung für die Ehre seines Landes auf sich zu nehmen, da sich der König als unfähig erweist. 


Ludwig, symbol of the Germans, is due to unfortunate circumstances forced to take full responsibility for the honour of his country, because the king proved to be unfit. 

Connecting dots

Hey guys! In light of the new info we got from the databank, i decided to bring together a few things featured in the novelization, in the commentary and sometimes the movie script. Personally, i’m very happy with the consistency between all the canon sources, which makes me believe that there won’t be any lazy plot twists. Before i start, two points:

  • Kylo Ren biography:

Now calling himself Kylo Ren, he served the First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke. Neither Jedi nor Sith, Kylo used the pain of his emotional conflict to fuel his extraordinary powers, and dedicated himself to destroying the last traces of the Jedi tradition.  

  • Kylo Ren biography (cont.):

Kylo swore his loyalties were only to Snoke. But he was intrigued when he captured Rey, a Jakku scavenger whose Force abilities were raw but very powerful. A mysterious connection seemed to link the two.

This supports what i said here, Kylo indeed uses his pain and conflict to fuel his powers. Plus, the context is rather curious because it sounds like Kylo started questioning his loyalty to Snoke when Rey came into picture. I also stated before that maybe when Kylo offers himself to be Rey’s teacher, he wasn’t including Snoke in his plans. A little bit of validation is always good, right?

Let’s begin:

Kylo Ren biography: 

Landing on Takodana, Kylo confronted the young woman who’d escaped from Jakku with BB-8 – and found himself puzzled by a strange connection he felt with her. Resistance X-wings drove the First Order’s forces away before BB-8 could be found, but Kylo took the young woman, Rey, into custody.

TFA novelization (page 182):

Having circled her, he moved even closer, peering into her face, her eyes. Then the red lightsaber he held came up: close to her flesh, close enough to cast a red glow on her skin.
“Something.” He sounded mystified. “There is something…Who are you?”

Movie commentary: 

And he (Kylo Ren) is letting go of the droid as his goal, and he’s focusing just on her (Rey). And clearly, you think, he can just extract the information he wants now, but because he’s taking her you get the sense there might be something else going on here.

Part 2

Kylo Ren biography:

Speaking with his captive, Kylo removed his mask, revealing his surprisingly young face, and used his powers to dig into Rey’s mind. But both captor and captive were surprised when Rey found herself able to sense Kylo’s own thoughts¹ – including his conflicts and doubts. When Snoke requested Kylo’s presence, he donned his sinister mask and left Rey in her cell. Sneering at Kylo’s weakness, Snoke ordered his apprentice to bring Rey to him².

Rey biography:

Kylo interrogated Rey, using his Force powers to dig into her mind. He uncovered her feelings of loneliness, and the fact that she’d come to see Han as a father figure. But to the surprise of both, Rey found Kylo’s own mind open to her as well¹. She saw that the seemingly fearsome warlord was vulnerable, filled with conflict and pain.

Movie script¹:

THEY’RE BOTH SURPRISED: they react to a feeling that passes
between them – AN ENERGY THEY RECOGNIZE IN EACH OTHER.

TFA novelization² (page 207):

The Supreme Leader’s voice was flat. “You have compassion for her.”
“No—never. Compassion? For an enemy of the Order?”
“I perceive the problem,” Snoke intoned. “It isn’t her strength that is making you fail. It’s your weakness.

Part 3

Movie commentary:

1. This is the moment of course where Kylo Ren learns about Rey. And now, these two disparate pieces come together. 
2.  One of the new relationships that we were focusing on was between Kylo Ren and Rey. They’ve never met but he’s heard of this girl.

TFA novelization (page 251):

“It is you,” Ren murmured.
His words unsettled her: Not for the first time, he seemed to know more about her than she did about herself.

Bonus: 

Kylo Ren biography:

But Rey took up Skywalker’s saber. Rejecting Kylo’s invitation to show her the ways of the Force, she attacked him – and Kylo found he was no match for her power and rage. Rey defeated him, and Kylo escaped Starkiller Base before its destruction. He sensed his destiny and Rey’s were somehow intertwined, but how?

Rey biography:

She rejected this call to destinybut was captured by the dark side warrior Kylo Ren, with whom she shared a strange connection. 

Another curious “but”, if i may say. 

Feel free to add anything that i forgot to mention.

youtube

[ENG] 160602 SBS Power FM Kim Changryul’s Old School Radio (Cut)
Watch here (Part 1234) | Credit: iheartshinee

after seeing sufjan live and hearing him say “i heard the voice of god and it sounded like this” and then playing a keyboard solo reminiscent of the noises on the age of adz and enjoy your rabbit was so..like i feel like that was such a key part in truly understanding his music and why it sounds how it does. it just made everything hes made have such a powerful context to it? like, him having that element of electronic noise in his music isnt random or Weird its just him incorporating The Voice Of God into his work in a way ive never seen or heard anyone do that before which is why i really love enjoy your rabbit and age of adz So much…..

Can you say President Bannon?

Trump is putting his counselor in top position, giving him power on policies.

For context, Dubya Bush did not allow Karl Rove in on National Security Council.

consider the possibility that adaptations can mean something. 

there is nothing wrong with making a show purely because you think it will be entertaining. but do not underestimate the power of thoughtful awareness of context to widen one’s enjoyment–or the power of mindlessness to narrow or even destroy that enjoyment. 

that’s why relying on ‘but it’s canon!’ or ‘but it’s in a new setting!’ are bad rebuttals to critiques of an adaptation. because a.) any adaptation is in its own way almost definitely not canon, and can often be better without it (cf. the Dark Knight Trilogy being faithful to source but not verisimilar to it), and b.) both dedication to and distance from canon require thoughtfulness! 

by distancing from canon, Iron Fist would have had the potential to discuss race in the entire setting in a more nuanced way, create an Asian-American lead with potentially radical narrative drives both internally (diasporic identity and the fish-out-of-water story, the personal concern about seeming stereotypical/not liking violence clashing with the Iron Fist as a spiritual responsibility, etc.) and externally (y’know, punchin’), and have a radically diverse Netflix Universe. 

instead, Iron Fist tells a story people that, outside of Marvel’s comic universe, people have already seen on TV constantly. but, y’know, with bad punchin’. 

by being radically distant from canon, Ghost In The Shell could have either been 1.) a rad original-IP movie about the chick from Lucy being a cyberpolicewoman in an intensely posthuman world, allowing itself to draw more widely not only from Shirow but from Dick or Gibson or anything else, or 2.) a story asking questions about mind/body duality and identity still through the body of an Asian woman, even if that woman isn’t Motoko, continuing to be expended by considerations about the diaspora, race and posthumanism, and the deeper economics of the universe. 

by… just being unimaginative about canon, it instead is just a team of white men literally reskinning Oshii’s first movie with a thin layer of ‘you were lied to’ intrigue. 

adaptations can mean something. they have the potential to expand, redress, polish, focus, or presently recontextualize a work’s concerns for its audience. 

thinking of them instead as just romps for white people to gallop within is a very good way, outside of its racist implications, to just tell shit stories, adaptation or original. 

8

Zoro, this thing is in the way! Cut it.
Okay.
First part of that-nagging-source-of-reason’s valentine’s day gift.

Bonus.