happy new year friends! i finally found some good pictures to post, so, to start off 2017 fresh, here’s some original content and a throwback to a study date i had with one of my girls three weeks ago. ordering a croissant instead of the cafe’s waffles remains as one of last year’s biggest regrets lOl
no but (among the 1424356 other things on my list) i so need to write a book about medieval history for a popular audience, just because the reality would blow people’s minds
there are so many things you can learn from it, so many misconceptions to destroy, and such an interesting social and cultural study of people learning to do things in different ways after rome fell. they had a period of almost 1000 years where classical culture was NOT the automatic standard. that is why we have gothic architecture and script. why they invented new literary and artistic genres, why they developed new laws. where, unlike in the ancient world, women and slaves were not relegated to a position of utter inferiority – in fact, slavery was abolished throughout most of the middle ages, and only began returning in the 16th-17th century when people were determined to replicate the criteria and legal systems of antiquity. same with women. you can find records of women doctors, bookbinders, copyists, shopkeepers, traders etc throughout the high middle ages. women religious were HUGELY influential; the abbey of fontevrault in france was required to have an abbess, not an abbot, in charge. queens regularly ruled whenever the king wasn’t around. it was only in 1593 that france, for example, decided to outlaw them from public/professional life. the salic law, made by philip iv in the early 14th century, barred them from inheriting the throne and later spread throughout europe, but that was not the case beforehand.
don’t talk to me about how “feudal anarchy” was a thing. feudalism was the last thing from anarchy, and it wasn’t about a lord mistreating or killing his peasants however he pleased. it was a highly structured and regulated system of mutual obligations – not a desirable condition for the serf, but still the bedrock on which society functioned. serfs were not slaves. they had personhood, social mobility, could own property, marry, form families, and often obtain freedom once they were no longer in an economic condition to make serfhood a necessity. abbot suger of france (late 11th-early 12th century) was most likely a son of serfs. he was educated at the same monastery school as the later king louis vi, ran the kingdom while louis vii was on crusade, and became the foremost historian of the period and partially responsible for establishing the tradition of ecclesiastical chronicles.
don’t talk to me about how everyone was a fervent and uncritical religious fanatic. church attendance on the parish level was so low that in 1215, pope innocent III had to issue a bull ordering people to take communion at least once a year. the content of clerical grievances tells us that people behaved and thought exactly as we do today – they wanted to sleep in on sunday, they wanted to have sex when they pleased, they didn’t believe the guy mumbling bad latin at them, they openly questioned the institutional church’s legitimacy (especially in the 13th century – it was taking assaults on every side as splinter and spinoff sects of every nature grew, along with literacy and the ability of common people to access books and learning for themselves). in the 14th century, john wycliffe and the lollards blasted the rigidly hierarchical nature of medieval society (“when adam delved and eve span, who then was the gentleman?”) partly as a result, wat tyler, a fellow englishman, led the peasants’ revolt in 1381. yes, the catholic church had a social and institutional power which we can’t imagine, but it was fought and questioned and spoken back to every step of the way.
don’t talk to me about how they were scientifically ignorant. isidore of seville, in the frickin 7th century, wrote books and books on science and reason from his home at the center of the andalusian “golden age” in muslim spain. toledo in the 9th century was a hotbed of theology, mathematics, and writing; admiring western european observers called multicultural, educated iberia “the ornament of the world.” in the 8th century in the monastery of jarrow in northumbria (aka in the middle of FRICKING NOWHERE) the venerable bede was able to open his “ecclesiastical history of the english people” with a discussion on cultural, linguistic, demographic, historical, geographical, and astronomical details, and refers to britain’s location near the north pole as a reason for its days being long in summer and short in winter (“for the sun has then departed to the region of Africa”). while bede’s information is obviously imperfect by virtue of his social and chronological location, he is a trained scholar with a strong critical sensibility and the ability to turn a memorable phrase; discussing an attempted imperial coup by an illiterate roman soldier, he sniffs, “As soon as he had seized power he crossed over to Gaul. There he was often deluded by the barbarians into making doubtful treaties, and so inflicted great harm on the body politic.”
don’t talk to me about how they were uneducated and illiterate. they were well versed in antiquity and classical authors through the high middle ages. they didn’t just suddenly discover them again when the 15th century started. the renaissance wasn’t about finding the texts, it was about deciding to apply them in a systematic way. beforehand, the 13th century saw the rediscovery of aristotle and the development of a new philosophical system to compete with the long-entrenched and studied works of plato. thomas aquinas and the dominicans were writing in this century. dante wrote the inferno in this century. i could go on.
don’t talk to me about the stereotype of the silent and oppressed woman – we already discussed that a bit above. i should also add, women usually had voting rights on the level of their community and this wasn’t regarded as odd. i already wrote a ranty post earlier on the myth that “it was just medieval times” and thus a rapey free-for-all.
we should also talk about how a form of gay marriage was legal for hundreds of years – two men could take wedding vows in a church and live together like any other married couple (though they called them “spiritual brotherhoods”). we should also talk about the cult of male bonds between knights in the 12th/13th century, and how it was idealized as the highest form of love. i also wrote a post a while ago about richard the lionheart and how sexuality worked. so.
we should talk about how all of this was happening in the time period that routinely gets written off as basically a wash between the fall of rome and the renaissance. we should remember that the renaissance was what led to modern structures of oppression for women, slaves, etc – everyone who had been worth nothing in antiquity. we should tear into the myth of historical progress and how it was invented to justify massive, wholesale colonization, genocide, and “civilization” in the supposedly enlightened 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – because nothing we do now, apparently, can be as bad as what those bad ol’ bloodthirsty ignoramuses did back then.
we shouldn’t idealize the medieval era as a golden age either. that is never the right way to approach history. but we should take a long, long look at why we are so insistent on our simplistic, erroneous concepts of this time period, and how exactly they serve to justify our behaviors, mindsets, and practices today.
further reading to support any of these topics available on request.
whattup my friends! exams are exactly four weeks from now and my very first one is on the 31. since chem is my first period, i started rewriting a few pages of my notes and worked a little bit more on my flash cards. i !! am ready !!!! to suffer !!!!!! :))))))) when do your exams start, my buds?
hey !! i’m aimee n ive been lurking in the studyblr community for a couple months now. ive always admired people’s motivation to study (n their pretty notes lolol) n i made this blog to (hopefully) increase my own will to do homework n study for tests!
facts abt me
i’m chinese!! i immigrated to the us when i was 5 n i currently live in wa state :)
although english isnt technically my first language, its the one im best at (i can barely read & write chinese now oops)
im a freshman in hs- class of 2020!
i rlly like alt music n i hold a soft spot for panic! at the disco which is left over from my emo days lol
im interested in psych n hope to take it next yr
our school lets people who qualify to do ib sophomore n junior yr & internships senior yr- im part of this program !!
im a really bad procrastinator n i want to fix this asap
hello again lovelies !!! so far, it’s been a hectic semester with student council and all my courses, so i went out to a cafe and treated myself. thats the vice prez in the pic and she’s been on my ass about taking to her to a cafe since last july so :))) lMAo anyway, i’m gonna have a study date with another one of my buddies soon, so watch out for that ;) peace out y'all!
Let’s start with this –
I am not the witch Pope. I cannot speak for the witchcraft community
as a whole; only for my own tradition.
5 Things I Believe
Beginner Witches Should Ask Themselves
Note that the answers to these things
will change, but that a firm grasp of the answers at any point in
your practice may be helpful to you. I recommend actually writing
your answers down, and every now and again check back and see if your
stance has shifted.
1. Is magick real?
If yes, then what do you mean
when you say, “Magick is real”. (Do you mean that you can effect
reality with your will, intent, and energy? Do you mean like, Harry
Potter real? What will disappoint you to realize might not be
probable? What will inspire you to realize you can accomplish?)
2. Where are your lines? (What do
you firmly believe is true/false, right/wrong? Violence, doing harm,
controlling others, etc. Would you punch someone if they threatened
a friend? Would you curse someone if they threatened a friend? What
would you do, if your coven head told you it was right but you felt
it was wrong?)
3. What are you looking for in a
magickal path? (Pro Tip – no one has all the answers and there is
no one right way.)
4. What are you prepared to do in
order to accomplish your goals? (How many spoons do you have to give
this practice? Can you devote one night a week, are you going to
randomly pick stuff up on Tumblr, are you going to leave society to
pursue your studies under a waterfall, etc.)
I recommend that no one make any oaths
or vows in their first year of practice. Get to know yourself, how
you feel about magick, and what you actually want to do before you do
any big commitments. (Historic anecdote – this is what the original
year and a day was for.) More strident, but still personal,
recommendation: if someone tries to get you to oath to them within
your first week of being a witch, run.
Things People Should
Tell Beginner Witches, But Often Don’t
1. Don’t be afraid to change your
2. Don’t throw good energy after
bad by continuing to do something that isn’t right for you.
3. Don’t be afraid to continue your
education, even if that means learning something that was right for
you before is no longer right for you.
4. There is no one right way to do
this. There is no Witch Pope - there is no dogmatic enforcement of
the path to being a witch.
5. There are absolutely as many
assholes in Paganism and witchcraft as there are anywhere else.
Don’t think that these people are all spiritually enlightened beings
who mean you well and who will give good advice.
6. Yahoo Answers
is not your friend. You have the internet – which has access
to both all of human information and all of human misinformation.
Look for credible sources. Anything that seems too easy or too good
to be true probably is. Work on critical thinking.
7. Try Scholar.Google.Com over
“this article says so on Patheos.com.” Seriously, recently an
article on there claimed Friday the 13th was a sacred
holiday in goddess centered pre-Christian Paganism before the
patriarchy ruined it. There is no
historical validation for that, but a bunch of witches reblogged
it. (Things you learn from scholarly sources rather than the latest
poorly edited Llewellyn mess: the Burning Times didn’t happen,
different kinds of Pagans warred amongst themselves long before
Christianity came onto the scene, there was no great unified Pagan
religion before Christianity, and Gerald Gardner was probably lying
about almost everything he said.)
You Should Probably
Learn the Difference Between Paganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft
What is Paganism?
Pagan is an umbrella term for a member
of a religious, spiritual, or cultural community, other than those of the main world religions, so:
Non-Abrahamic – it is not Christian,
Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or Mormon
Non-Eastern – it is not Buddhism,
Hinduism, Taoism, Sufism, or Sikhism
Theistic – The belief in some kind
of divine power, which is sometimes polytheistic (a belief in more
than one god), but not always
Some Pagans practice witchcraft –
others do not.
This definition isn’t quite right, though it’s in hugely common usage, because there are Abrahamic and Eastern
persons who consider themselves Pagan. Keep in mind that there will be
exceptions to this definition and that those exceptions are valid.
There are also secular Pagans, so it
isn’t even always Theistic. I know – it’s complicated. Though this is the largely accepted Academic definition, it doesn’t really work when applied to the real world, if you’re considering someone saying, “I’m Pagan” as a self-identifying definition, which I do.
Wicca is a religion. Most people
consider Wicca as falling under the Paganism umbrella, although not
all Pagans are Wiccan. Not all Wiccans are witches, and not all
witches are Wiccan.
Wiccan is generally defined as:
Dualistic – There is a God and a
Pacifistic – Wicca has a rede that
requires Wiccan do no harm to themselves or others, though not all
Wiccans (such as those who follow Doreen Valiente’s suggested
guidelines) are Pacifistic, so there are definitely exceptions to
Earth-based – Having a respect for
and acknowledgment of the powers of the Earth
spiritual or secular art,
craft, and/or practice
of the witch, defined many ways by many different people.
witch is a witch who says they are one.
there is no witch Pope and no witchy excommunication because you
define yourself as a witch differently than someone else does.
male identifying and/or presenting persons can be witches.
and Witch Fallacies
There are certain ideas that most
beginners in the witchcraft community will encounter over and over
again. I’m going to run down some things – with the reminder,
again, that I can only speak for my personal tradition.
1. “You should remove all negative
influences from your life! You should purge all negative feelings! Be
positive all the time!” Not everything that is negative is bad.
Not everything negative can be avoided – we can’t all just quit
our jobs and live in a witch shack in the mountains. We have to
endure negative things, both because it is healthier to experience
the full range of human emotion rather than to ignore a large chunk
of it, and because it isn’t possible. What we should do is stop
victim blaming witches who are going through hard times and stop
telling witches they can’t be angry when they encounter something
that should be angering.
2. “But, tradition!” Just
because an affluent white guy in the 1400-1600s said something,
doesn’t mean you should do it. We don’t follow their medicinal advice
anymore; we don’t have to follow their magickal advice either.
Seriously, I don’t care if tradition says a trans woman shouldn’t
be in a sky clad ritual – that’s bullshit. We don’t put leeches
on our bodies anymore – let’s leave the past nonsense where it
3. “We have to make sure everyone
feels included and welcome!” Not
if they abuse the welcome of others, we do not. The
problem with making some people feel included and welcome is that you
make their victims feel excluded and unwelcome because you’ve made
“We have to support each other and love each other and be
a positive force in people’s lives.”
Okay, yes, in small doses, this is a great aim. It doesn’t work for
everyone (some witches are spite and malice fueled and they are still
witches), but okay, it’s a nice idea. Until it becomes ableist or
demands free emotional labor from people, which
it often does.
“We have to educate them!”
Okay, it’s great that there is this effort in the community to
educate others. But if you don’t have the spoons or if it seems
like they’re using the demand for their own education as a way to
still have access to a community they are abusing, then no, you have
no obligation to put their education over your well being. None. They
have access to Google (even if they have to go to a library to use
6. “You have to earn your right to
be a witch.” No, no you don’t. Seriously, though, from whom?
Dusty white men in graves? A Llewellyn author who couldn’t fact
check themselves out of a paper bag? Again – no witch Pope. I’m
just gonna keep pointing out the lack of a witch Pope until people
7. “You have to be ________ rank,
degree, etc. to have an opinion on this topic.” Yeah, okay,
I’ll be sure to wave my certificate in your face before having an
opinion on my own tradition. No. Your opinion may
be an uneducated one and you may be corrected for it, but that
doesn’t mean that you didn’t have the right to it before you
completed your O levels at Hogwarts.
a corollary to above, “This is just my opinion and you
can’t be mad at me for it!” People
absolutely have a right to their opinions. And everyone else the
right to decide those opinions make them an asshole.
“I’m super special and powerful because xyz, which
means I get to tell you what to do.”
People only get to tell you what to do if you let them. Sometimes,
that’s an exchange we willingly make, but other times, people will
feel they have the right to tell you what to do because they are a
hereditary witch or because they’ve been practicing longer. Just
remember – their position doesn’t trump your humanity and you
don’t have to kiss the feet of someone who kicks you.
“The person really wants _____ from you, and you should
help them on their path. Helping them on their path helps you on
yours!” Just because
someone wants something from you, doesn’t mean they get it. Being a
witch doesn’t take away your right to say no.
Please remember that you don’t have to
earn your right to be here. This one is tricky on some level – to
be the respected person in your community, you need to put in your
time. However, in order to be part of a group you don’t need to give the High Priest a blow job (seriously, run).
You don’t have to earn admission to witchcraft, but
you do have to earn specific positions and other people’s trust. If you teach people not to trust you
through your actions, they won’t trust you.
Context: (Same group as the story about six-inch goblin dick, but different story, different submitter.) It’s my first time DMing, an it’s everyone else’s first time playing. The party consists of a Goblin Bard, (Gobbo) Halfling Rogue, (Milo) and a Human Fighter (Knottley). Long story short, the Bard failed to listen to sincere advise from an NPC, failed some critical rolls, and ended up as a Chaotic Evil Lich.
[Sometime halfway through the Lich’s health]
Fighter, OOC: Can I ask him to… not do this?
DM: Yes, you can make a persuasion check. [Pause.] Talking is a free action.
Fighter, OOC: Oh! Then I’ll do it.
Fighter: Little Goblin man, do not do this! We are friends.
DM: Roll persuasion.
Fighter, OOC: … That’s a five. Minus three.
[Laughter from around the table.]
DM: Alright, Gobbo, roll to see if you get a nat 1 against persuasion.
Bard, OOC: Okay. [Rolls a nat 1]
[A good moment of stunned silence, and then laughter from everyone but me.]
DM: No, I love it! I love it! So, Gobbo, this speech, it pulls at your heart strings. You remember, you are not a murderer, you are a scholarly goblin. You went to college-
Bard, OOC: The college of swords!
DM: [sighs] Yes, the college of swords. You remember, that these people are your friends, and you are not a killer. So…
[I wrap up the story line, (entailing the power of flight, as well as beating up the person who sent them on the quest and Gobbo becoming the “court lich”) and after some laughter (once again, everyone but me,)…]
DM: Oh my god. [Fighter’s Player], this is your folk hero destiny! You saved the world from an awful lich!
Fighter, OOC: Oh my god, I did!
DM: With the power of friendship!
Bard, OOC: Because of a nat 1…
DM: Good god, this is a power of friendship story! My worst nightmare!
hello! im tara and im brand spanking new to studyblr! (my pronouns r they/them so please be mindful<3) im a senior in high school and i just finished up my ap tests in spanish physics english and psych. next year ill be beginning my major in applied physics and after 3 years moving to my other major in engineering! im a fan of some kpop groups, so u might see some of my favs incorporated into my future notes because i find its a fun way to combine things i love and stay motivated. anywho, i hope i find a place in the studyblr community :D
Earlier this week I went to a hearing about the confederate monument in front of my city’s courthouse, and the mental gymnastics the neo-confederates in attendance had to perform to justify the further existence of the monument was nothing short of incredible. At one point, a man with a PhD in history from a local university spoke in order to demolish the mythology that surrounds the monument. He provided the context for the erection of the statue, which was the “lost cause” ideology that emerged in face of the defeat of the confederate military, an ideology that sought to whitewash history by ignoring the actual cause of the civil war: the southern states’ desire to preserve the institution of slavery.
Not a single neo-confederate in attendance listened. Not only did they not listen, several spoke up after to denigrate them while they were still in attendance. One lady got up to speak and said “I guess they got their degrees from Berkeley”, which made the neo-confederates erupt into laughter and applause. I thought it was weird, because they outright said they got their degrees from a university in this state. One man took the floor to say “we’ll never reach a consensus about the cause of the Civil War”, although professional historians already have: the articles of secession for every state that produced them mention the preservation of the institution of slavery explicitly as their reason for secession.
It really clarified the anti-intellectualism that drives the neo-confederate cause. These are people who simply have an emotional attachment to the symbols of the confederacy. They grew up with them. They formed these attachments long before they were capable of thinking about them critically (if they ever formed the capacity for critical thought at all). This is clearly not a debate between two rational parties. This is debate between people who recognize the scholarly consensus on the confederacy, and people who outright deny history because to do so would require shedding their cultural conditioning.