praying children

The events that happened in Manchester are not a joke

I’ve seen many posts on twitter joking around about the Manchester event claiming they don’t blame the bombers or “last time I listened to Ariana Grande, I died too.” All of you need to take a step back and look at what you’re joking around about;

Saffie Rose Roussos (girl on the left) was eight years old, killed by the Manchester blast. She was described as “ “simply a beautiful little girl.. quiet and unassuming with a creative flair” by her teacher.

Eighteen years old Georgina Callander (girl on the right) also reported dead from the events. 

“At least 12 victims aged 16 or under are being treated at a children’s hospital for serious injuries, some of them fighting for their lives, a Manchester health official said.”

Anyone remember Olivia Campbell (fifteen years old)? The girls face has been retweeted over and over again on Twitter, and she’s still missing. 

These young girls and many other children have had their lives taken away and some of you have the audacity to joke around about it. I don’t care if it’s “dark comedy,” it’s horrible and heartless to even think for a moment “Ya I don’t blame the bomber for doing what he did” simply because it was an Ariana Grande concert. 

Get your head out of your ass and be respectful of those who have passed away and the families that are now suffering because of these losses.

Maybe in ten years from now they’ll make a movie about the world today.

Maybe they’ll make a movie about a father in Syria contemplating whether to kill himself, his wife or his children in a desperate attempt to stop the Regime from getting their hands on them.

Maybe they’ll make a movie about an 8 year old Rohingya boy who was thrown into the fire in front of his mother after his village was set alight.

Maybe they’ll make a movie about a young orphaned girl in C.A.R, crying as she remembers her sexual abuse at the hands of UN “peacekeepers” who do as they please without consequences.

Or maybe they’ll make a movie about a daughter in Gaza who picks up the phone to hear an unfamiliar voice letting her know her family has 60 seconds to run before the bombs drop.

And maybe we’ll see it and shed some tears - but we shouldn’t be crying because of the atrocities that occurred.
We should cry because we watched as these horrors unfolded and in our silence betrayed them.

The Man In Black

After many questions and a few requests, I think it’s time to make a longer post about this. 
An enigmatic figure has floated around in witch lore for a very long time. A particular spike in his appearance comes into place during the Early Modern Period. A tall man, comely and swathed in black, adorned with either the horns of a goat or that of a buck, approaches men and women alike to offer them a new life. If they decline, they will go about their life as if it was an illusion. If they accept, they will be granted gifts and wealth (of all kinds) in exchange for loyalty to him. 
Throughout the centuries, he’s acquired many different names. He’s been called Old Nick, Old Scratch, The Black Goat, Akerbeltz, Black Donald, The Dark Man, and countless other names. Of course, they’ve all been summed up rather quickly with the word ‘Devil’. And is he? 
Yes and no. 
The Man in Black is not to be separated from the Christian Devil, but that is not his sum total. He represents much more than that and is an extraordinarily complex figure; so complex that his nature cannot be completely known (a trait that I’ll see to in a bit). He is Lucifer, the Usurper, the Light Bringer, the Torch Bearer, and the Opener of Eyes. 

The Man in Black is intimately connected to the topics of the dead, the underworld, fertility, sexuality, and magic. Though the intermingling of life and death might seem befuddling at first, it is important to understand that this is the truest representation of the wilderness. Thus, in total, the Dark Man is, above all, a spirit/deity that represents the Wilderness found both inside humans and outside of them. 
He also represents ‘The Great Other’. Where there is order, he is Chaos. This too can be said for all things natural. In a world where we live between giant, rectangular towers, he is the storm that makes them shiver. He is the flaw in the bricks. He is the tree that crashes into them. 
Beyond that, he is the concepts that have been shunned by polite society. Most importantly, sexuality and aggression. These primal instincts are intertwined and deeply misunderstood. Sexuality does not always mean lewdness. Aggression does not always mean butchery. Sexuality is the force through which life is animated. It is the conjoining and drinking of souls. Aggression is competitiveness. It is a will to survive and thrive. 
In these, we find the origin of him being Satan. Satan is the Lord of Sin, the Liar, and the Roisterer. The Man in Black drinks deeply of Earthly pleasures. He cannot be predictable, for that would make him orderly, where he is chaos. He excites primal passions, of both lust and fury. 
His Chthonic associations don’t help with this. Beasts that are usually thought to be messengers and walkers-between-worlds are his symbols, like crows, flies, snakes, toads, foxes, deer, and most importantly, goats. This Underworld association also deals with his link to primal emotions and concepts we tend to ‘push deep down’ for the lack of a better term. Death is one of them. This too deals much with his associations with Chaos. Hell is simply the Underworld. Where the Underworld is Chaos, the Heavens are Order. Earth is the marriage of the two. Where there is civilization, there is also wilderness. 

He could be considered a trickster, but more appropriately, he is the Trickster. He isn’t an other, he is the Other. Where in Christian mythos, God created Order, the Dark Man usurps control and creates Chaos

His title as the ‘Witch-father” denotes his fondness for, and interest given to, witches. Witches, even separated from the Devil, always have represented the wilderness, or the most wild, primal, and beastly parts of mankind. Naturally, they would be joined with the very spirit/deity that is the embodiment of these qualities. The Man in Black is the embodiment of the thing that witches hold precious, and when they are joined, he teaches and guides them to be the best witches they can be. Many view this as servitude, and while it is true that many witches hold allegiance to the one who pulled them onto the path, it isn’t necessarily true that they are his unwilling servants. The ones who do favors for him are also the ones who are quite affectionate towards him. He isn’t a slave-driver with a whip. Instead, he represents the man who steals the whip from his master’s hand and gains freedom. 
Similarly, witches are often people in folklore who have gained powers not intended by God to override His own Divine Will. They are selfish and they change the world to suit their means, and for some, that meant bringing kings and queens to their knees. As Lucifer coveted the Throne of Heaven, so these witches would no longer be subservient. 

Since ancient times, people have looked to find the wilderness in horned male spirits and deities. They pray to them when they hunt, they pray to them when they wish to have children, they pray to them when they want connection to the wild. Magic practitioners and religious priests wore horns atop their heads as symbols of spiritual importance. Horns were thought to bestow the ability to see, hear, and interact with the spirits. They were, in essence, both crown and key. They were thought to bestow strength and a will to survive, but also a sensitivity to things beyond the perception of most. We find these qualities in the Man in Black.  

Commonly, he is portrayed with a flame between his two horns. This flame is called the Cunning Fire. Those witches who he has created and initiated are lit by his own flame. He passes the Fire Between the Horns to his witches, and they too have power over the world as he does. How does he do this? 
He is known as the one who swallows what is and spits out what will be. He eats away the parts of a person that stops them from traversing the witch path. This common theme, even outside of witchcraft, is found in folklore of him, especially in the American South. He puts them through a test of sorts, where they are made to suffer internal and external turmoil. If they pass, they leave changed, new, and somehow improved. For witches, he gives them fire, and in doing so, gives them power. If they don’t pass, they either try to walk away as unscathed as they can, or they leave broken.
In some witch myths, he has drawn his initiates to the woods and attacked them. If they survived, he rewarded them. Still, this happens spectrally when some fly. Some account for being attacked, torn apart, and put back together. 
He didn’t always create the witches, either. Some of them were waiting to have latent skills awoken, and during his testing phase, he spurred them. Those witches who were said to have power asleep inside them would go through this to awaken their talents. 

Witches of the past, and even many in the present, initiate under him. During this process, many people believe that a witch is selling her soul for powers and a new life. While it is true that a ‘witch’s sixpence’ is required when asking, it is not the soul that is bargained off (though I’m sure he wouldn’t refuse it if offered). Instead, the witch is bound to the path and the spirits of that path. They become a part of one another. Their soul, though their own, is part of a larger whole then. The witches before then and the spirits who guide the tradition, in this case the Dark Man, become a part of the initiate and vice versa. 

He is to be considered the Master of the Hidden Art. Some people interpret this as widely magic in general, while others feel that it is specific to witchcraft. He is often called the First Sorcerer, the Shapeshifter, the Wanderer, the Trickster, and the Horned One. He stole the Fire (the hidden knowledge), the light, from Heaven and gave it to humankind. This theme has repeated throughout history, of a wild God stealing fire and giving it to the world. In this case, that fire is magic and forbidden knowledge. He is the Light-bringer and is called Lucifer. The fallen angels, too, known in some mythos as faeries and in others as gods, impart their Divine Spark to humans as well. 

He appears as many things. He does not have one form. He is the great buck, standing tall with a full set of antlers. He is the black wolf that eats it. He is the goat with great horns. He is the fox that enters the peaceful henhouse and eats to his content. He is both hunter and prey, for the two are sometimes one and the same. He is the man wearing a black suit, handsome and tall.

The wild places are his domain. Not just in the woods does he dwell, but back alleys and bus stops late at night. Crossroads lit by moonlight but shaded by fog are his home too. He walks among beasts and humans. He walks the woods quietly and slyly. He walks among the people at midnight in the city. 

The Man in Black is an enigma, even to those who know him. He is Chaos, and therefore is eternally shifting shapes. As nature changes over the span of 100 years, so does he change with the world. His nature is to never fully be known, but truly be felt. He is, perhaps above all, feeling. Fear, aggression, lust, excitement, bliss, etc. These are his calling cards. 

Working with him isn’t something that someone else usually teaches. Someone might teach you how to call him, but they can’t tell you how to work with him. Like I said, he ever changes. His way of working with each is different. 

How would you call him? 
How was the Devil called in folklore? 
Almost always at a crossroads or in the woods, but as I stated before, these are not his only domains. 
Alcohol, money, black hen feathers, antlers and horns, bones, poisonous plants, etc are all things that will draw him close. 
But the most important ingredient is feeling. Whatever feeling you have while calling him has to be felt fully. Envelop yourself in it. Fear, bliss, or whatever it is, must be sat in. The reek of it will call him. 

He is known to appeal to feelings and senses when he arrives. He is not only drawn by them, but he is an embodiment them. He is inside the fear and the bliss. Through that, a connection can come. That connection can be so vivid and profound that it is often found to be either extraordinarily comforting or deeply unsettling. It is to touch the other half. 

If no other spirit or deity will remind you that working with him is a relationship, he will. Everything has a price on it, and that goes for his end too. Whatever favor or task performed, he will grant favors in kind. It is always important to remember that he is a trickster, however. His favors are always repaid, but not always in the way you’d expect them to be. 

Witches who walk a traditional path will run into him, be it through the pages of a book, a fleeting thought, or a full-blown ritual. It is impossible to avoid him when practicing folkloric craft. He is not, however, required to be worked with. He is beloved by many witches, and will welcome more into his fold, but it is not required that a witch becomes one of his. Instead, it is always important to remember what he stands for as a champion of witches and what kind of qualities he puts forth as a sorcerous spirit. He is a reminder that, in the traditional and folkloric ways, a witch is a wild being; truly, both hunter and hunted, both crown and key, both king and usurper, both natural and supernatural. 

Neymar recording a message for 7 year old Arthur who suffers from leukemia. Afterwards you can also see the reaction of Arthur to this video.


His family wrote the following with the video message of Neymar: 
“I can not thank you enough. I really have no words to say how happy my brother was. Thank you @neymarjr! Thank you very much. Our warrior will come out of this soon, God willing ❤️ 

Thank you @mariahdiaspeople who helped me in inexplicable ways and who gave us a huge force! We are still in shock and we end at the ICU INFANTIL! Everyone cried, giant emotion! He (Arthur) even had lunch and was hungry! Thank you, thank you and thank you! These days have been very difficult and this has given us strength, all these videos, the messages, T U D O! Thank you again @neymarjr.”

With the reaction video of Arthur his family wrote: 
“This was our warrior’s REACTION to @neymarjr’s video and Arthurzinho has a message to give as follows. Ney: “When I leave here and have healed, I’m going to play ball with you.”

And if it depends on me you will. I’ll move worlds and backgrounds to make it happen! Thank you @mariahdiaspeople who helped us with all of this. Thank you for being the light. Enjoy this wonderful video! I already sent your e-mail, Mariah! He still did not really thank the video, because it was very painful (chemo effect) and went to rest! ❤️❤️❤️ @butgix”

Neymar also commented on the reaction video of Arthur afterwards:



Ste. Anne de Beaupré was quiet. 

She couldn’t understand it.  She assumed Jamie had rushed out to be here.  She rang him in the cab and he hadn’t answered.  She assumed he was busy at the scene.

She walked cautiously towards the abandoned chapel.

Stopped.  Tried Jamie again.  

No answer.  

She tried to call the secretary back.  Dammit, she didn’t even know her name!

No answer.

It felt wrong.  But in a strange way it felt like it was supposed to.

Jamie was frantic.  He hated the part of his job that required him to get a search warrant from the court.  It could take hours.  And he didn’t have hours.  What if the man would knew he was being hunted?  Only God would know where to find him then.  

Mary, Michael and Bride, what is taking that Magistrate so long to sign a fucking piece of paper?  He checked his phone out of habit.  Two missed calls from Claire.  No voice message.  He stepped into the corridor to try her back.

No answer.  

She was probably at home, busy.  

He turned sharply when the door opened.  D.C. Mohr raised the warrant triumphantly in the air. 

Someone was in danger.  She could feel it. 

Claire walked slowly towards the old chapel.  Pushed on the heavy door. 

They were there.  The secretary.  Another woman.  

A boy.  

He was on the altar.  Tethered.

And the Killer.  Rapt.  Consumed.  Misguided. 

Claire slipped in unnoticed, the rise and fall of the prayers disguising any sound.  She could see the secretary trying to work at the knots of the straps without the priest seeing.  She was participating in the prayers, as was the other woman, but her fingers were working frantically to free the boy.

Beeswax candles filled the air with their scent.  The smell was clawing at Claire’s throat.  The heat pressing down on her.

From all evil, deliver us, O Lord.

“Deliver us, O Lord.”

From all sin,

“Deliver us, O Lord.”

From your wrath,

“Deliver us, O Lord.”

From sudden and unprovided death,

“Deliver us, O Lord.”

From the snares of the devil,

“Deliver us, O Lord.”

The litany continued.  He held a large, wooden crucifix over the boy.  Eyes closed.  Sweat beading on his brow.  His large body swayed with the rhythm of his voice.

 Claire stayed still so as not to attract his attention.

She focused on the victim.  She could tell his breathing was laboured.  Skin red.  She needed to get closer to examine him more thoroughly.  She weighed the risk.

To hell with it.

She walked forward, digging in her bag for her stethoscope.  She would need to move fast. 

He didn’t see her right away.  He was too deep into his ritual to focus on her.  It wasn’t until she touched the boy that he exploded.  

“What blasphemy is this??”  His jowls shook with the force of his anger.  “You will not play God to this boy!”

Claire quickly looked the boy over as she jammed the stethoscope in her ears.  Shortness of breath. Turning blue. Tongue swollen.  Blood pressure dropping.  Pulse thready.  Clearly suffering from stomach pain.  

His anger heightened with her indifference towards him.  

“I am the Lord’s Disciple!  You are not ordained to drive away the demon!  Now leave this place!”  His voice was graveled.  Rasping.  Outraged. 

“This boy is a slave to satan and must be purged!”

Claire tuned him out as best she could.  She needed to focus on her diagnosis. 

Allergic reaction.  She was sure of it.

She reached into her bag for the Epinephrine.  

The priest grabbed her arm and squeezed it tightly.

“I smell the vapours of hell on you.”  His hand was like a vise.  His mouth was close to her ear, breathing his hate onto her.  

Claire was assaulted by the visions.  

The hound of Hell barking at him.  Chasing him.  Catching him. 

Half mad, spittle falling from his lips.  

At the pulpit.  Expounding the idea that each child was filled with the Devil.  His obsession with the idea of Satan roaming the Earth. 

In the hospital.  Every illness was a chance to prove God’s power.  Convinced he was one of the chosen Twelve, sent to cast out demons, to anoint the sick with oil, to heal them.  

In this room.  Praying over the children.  Anointing them in the name of the Lord.  Lecturing parents on how their prayers of faith will save the sick.  If anyone has committed sins he will be forgiven.  He will save the sick man.  God has used their suffering to bring about good.  Suffering brings sanctification. 

Claire twisted in his iron grip.  Would not let the visions take her under.  

She felt the unknown woman grab her other arm to steady her.  Could hear the secretary crying out to let Claire help.  

She wrenched her arm free.  In one smooth motion she turned on her heel, and raised her arm.  

She’d grabbed her scissors from the bag instead.  

Long handled, sharp, menacing looking things.  She held them in her fist as if to strike him.

He recoiled.  It gave her the time and space she needed.

She grabbed the boy’s pant leg and cut it open, reached back in the bag for the syringe, and holding his skin tight, plunged the tip of the injection into his outer thigh. 

The priest moved towards the door quickly.  “Satan may like to make a fool of God.  But God will have the last word.”

“Actually, Father Bain,” a thick Scottish accent said, “The Judge at yer trial will.”

Claire spun around in time to see Jamie shove the priest up against the wall, tying his hands behind his back.  

“I don’t even know your name,” Claire said, sitting quietly in a chair in the emergency ward’s waiting room. 

“Shauna,” she said, softly.  “Shauna MacNeil.  My son, Lindsey, was friends with Thomas.”

Thomas Baxter was currently in the back with his mother being monitored.  Seems the Epinephrine bought him some time, but he still needed proper medical attention.  

“Thank God you came,” Shauna whispered.

“I’m glad you called,” Claire said.  

“What happens now?”  Shauna’s dark eyes met Claire’s. 

“Well,” Claire sighed.  “That depends on Detective Sergeant Fraser.”

“How did you know what was wrong with Father Bain?”  Shauna’s dark eyes met Claire’s.

Claire shivered.

“Classic symptoms.  Rare, mind you, but textbook symptoms nonetheless.  Confusion.  Hallucination.  Excess saliva.  I just needed to see if he’d been bitten.”

“Will he live?”  Shauna asked.

“Well, Thomas should be fine.  I think we got to him in time.”  

Shauna visibly relaxed.  

Claire continued, “But I think it will be difficult for Father Bain to recover from this virus.  It’s been weeks.  His central nervous system is definitely compromised.”

Shauna simply nodded.  After a moment she spoke.  “Rabies.  Who would have thought?  I mean, he said he’d been bitten by a stray dog.  Father Anselm told him to get it checked.  We just assumed he had.”

Claire sighed.  She was exhausted.  The sight of the priest’s festering, infected wound kept flooding her mind.  The visions kept resurfacing.  

“He saw demons everywhere.  He was hallucinating.  It’s a symptom of the disease.  In his mind he was performing exorcisms to save those children.”  She turned towards Shauna.  “I’m so sorry your son was caught up in this.  I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“The truth is, Dr. Randall, my boy Lindsey was always sickly.  I was bound to lose him.  Maybe not as early as I did, but he couldn’t fight forever.”  Shauna’s eyes filled with tears.  “I miss him,” she said, choking out the words.  

Claire put her arm around the woman.  She could feel Shauna’s loneliness, her grief, her bone deep sorrow.  

“I know,” Claire whispered.  “I do know.”


A Song of Ice and Fire + champions of the smallfolk

“The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends,” Ser Jorah told her. “It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace.” He gave a shrug. “They never are.”