The Moon now shone upon the grey face of the rock; but they could see nothing else for a while. Then slowly on the surface, where the wizards hands had passed, faint lines appeared, like slender veins of silver running in the stone… At the top, as high as Gandalf could reach, was an arch of interlacing letters in Elvish character. Below, though the threads were in places blurred or broken, the outline could be seen of an anvil and a hammer surmounted by a crown with seven stars. Beneath these again were two trees, each bearing crescent moons. More clearly than all else shone forth in the middle of the door a single star with many rays.
Seven Things About Supernatural: 12x12 - “Stuck In The Middle (With You)”
Okay, I joked about how concerned I was about having to write Thirty-Five Things About Supernatural because of the multiple PoV action, but now that I’ve seen the ep? Y’all, we’re all going to be writing about this for a decade. There is no way I can say everything I have to say in one post. Pressure = gone. Let’s do this.
Supernatural as a show excels at the Concept Episode – like, it’s literally a signature thing that the show does – but sweet cuppin’ cakes, this ep is on a par with some of the bigger things Robbie Thompson was doing before his departure. Davy Perez and Richard Speight Jr. fucking knocked my socks off so hard I no longer have socks. Some of that is the joyful lack of restraint in bringing the Tarantino cliches, but they’re also doing it with a solid, substantial bit of story that has implications up and down the timeline.
NEW LORE NEW LORE NEW LORE. And it’s the good stuff, too. The Princes of Hell are another Ancient Big Bad in the vein of Cain, but still recently active enough via Azazel that it’s not like, “HEY! SURPRISE!”
Plus, great shock factor for the characters AND the audience when Ramiel’s eyes go yellow.
Ramiel, like Azazel, appears in the Book of Enoch as a fallen angel. Dagon is mentioned in Biblical literature as a deity among the Philistines, and is attested as early as the Bronze age (for those of us Watching While Pagan). Asmodeus has a long pedigree as a demonic force – he’s a baddie in the Book of Tobit, for example – and is the only one of the four to also be among the seven classic Crown Princes of Hell in the Sixteenth Century stuff, which seems to be a frequent aesthetic influence on SPN generally.
This ep didn’t just leave the door open for Asmodeus and Dagon to join the party. It handed them an engraved invitation with Kelly Kline and the Winchesters’ names on it.
OKAY, BUT THE CROWLEY STUFF. For an episode that I mostly failed to realize before air was a Crowley episode, there is a ton of character stuff happening with him here.
Gaining the crown, for example, more or less at the pleasure of the Princes? It makes a lot of sense, and especially helps drive home how tenuous his position is. It also clarifies a little how he came to a position that he does not love in its particulars, but clings to because the only thing worse than having it is not having it.
Which, given that Ramiel just got Winchestered on his watch, is a real possibility if Dagon and Asmodeus decide to get involved. Which, given that Dagon is already interested in Kelly…well, there’s a reason Crowley wants the Colt back. He broke the OTHER tool he’d need to do the job to save Cas.
(Cas who is “not a friend.” Right, Crowley. Yeah, there’s strategic value in keeping him around and the Winchesters happy/in your debt, but with two angry Princes, breaking Michael’s Lance is basically gambling with your life, and you don’t do that for someone you don’t have some attachment to.)
We also see that he’s rebuilding his position in Hell, and is at least making some attempt to put right his humiliation at Lucifer’s hands by turning the tables. Which, given that this is Lucifer we’re talking about…well, I have concerns. Especially because Crowley’s luck rarely runs smooth.
But hey, Lucifer’s in a cage right now. That’s good, right? I mean, he’s probably not going to stay in there, because Lucifer is the dickest of dicks, and that whole Nephilim thing is going to come bite us all in the ass soon, but hey. I’ll take it.
So. Mary. Mary is in the process of learning (the hard way, and at great risk to herself and others) that Unilateral Choices Involving Secretive Deals With Douchebags is not the way to secure the greater good. In fact, she’s sort of finding herself in Cas’ position from back in S6. It’s a colossal breach of trust, which she struggles with in the final confrontation with Ramiel.
And, like Cas, she opts to press on in the belief that she can handle it, that her stab at this is going to be worth the hazard, that the ends are going to justify the means if she can hold out long enough.
So just in case anybody missed it:
A) Cas is family, both in Cas’ mind and on the Winchesters’ side. B) As in Sam and Dean won’t leave his side even though an Azazel-level baddie is getting ready to eject them from his barn. C) Mary even called him one of her boys. D) “I love you. I love all of you.”
Please excuse me while I weep openly.
Okay, but did any of us expect Wally to survive this episode? Because honestly, the lineup here was like a classic Star Trek away team, with four Named and Knowns accompanied by That Other Poor Bastard Who Isn’t Coming Home™.
Like, I took one look at the promo shots and was like, “there is no prayer circle big enough to save this man.”
Bonus Thing: I liked Mandy. A lot. She was snarky and she probably smelled delicious. But I do have questions about why Cas didn’t spot her as a demon in the cafe. I mean, I suppose it’s possible she’s not a meatsuit full-time, but it’s more usual for demons to stick around in the bodies they’ve claimed, and it makes a ton of sense for Crowley to have informants posted in the area around Ramiel’s farm so that he can help manage his end of the deal. But yeah, if there’s a complaint to be made about this episode, this is mine. Oh hey, never mind. The demon I mistook for Mandy is actually Ronnie, who is played by an entirely different person. Mandy probably still smells delicious, and not at all like sulfur.
Bonus Thing #2: OKAY BUT THE COLT. THE COLT IS BACK. THE COLT. THE COLT THE COLT THE COLT. So that’s neat. Question, though: what’s with the lighting in the box? Is the box illuminated? Is the lighting diegetic (i.e. a real thing in the story world) or are we just having Pulp Fiction fun? Time to tweet Davy Perez…
There are only two times that they meet every cycle, two times that their realms blur at the borders and the rulers walk past each other as one sigil rises where the other one falls. Dusk and dawn are the most precious times of day to Victor, because that’s the only opportunity he has to glimpse the elusive Ruler of Night.
The boundary separating them is not one that is easily described. No land can be night and day at the same time, no land can host them both together. So Victor waits for the moments that he throws the Sun into the heavens and the moments he calls it back to earth, for that is the only time that Night and Day blur and they can be together.
The Great Red Dragon paintings are a series of watercolor paintings by the English poet and painter William Blake, painted between 1805 and 1810. It was during this period that Blake was commissioned to create over a hundred paintings intended to illustrate books of the Bible. These paintings depict ‘The Great Red Dragon’ in various scenes from the Book of Revelation.
“And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.”
-The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun -The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun -The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea -The Number of the Beast is 666
So here’s the truth—I love you. I love everything about you—the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you’re not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You’re as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what’s best in themselves. You’ve changed my life. You’ve given me the words I need to become whatever I want.
I love how you talk to lytlings. You don’t talk down to them. You respect them, and anybody can tell you’re actually interested in what they have to say.
I love the way you ride a horse—how you stick there like an upland thistle, whooping like a Demonai. I love the way you throw back your head and stomp your feet when you dance. I love how you go after what you want—whether it’s kisses or a queendom.
I love your skin, like copper dusted over with gold. And your eyes—they’re the color of a forest lake shaded by evergreens. One of the secret places that only the Demonai know about.
I love the scent of you—when you’ve been out in the fresh air, and that perfume you put behind your ears sometimes.
Believe it or not, I even love your road smell—of sweat and horses and leather and wool.
I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life.
Han Alister in Cinda Williams Chima’s The Crimson Crown
Sometime I wish the Seven Realms fandom was bigger because then I’d have more people (any people) to fangirl with. But other times I’m just like: MINE YOU NO TOUCH and I thank the book gods that nobody (as of yet) wants to fight me over Hanson Alister.
The Seven Realms is a must-read series. From the day I finished reading it I haven’t been able to get it out of my thoughts. I loved the series so much that some of the characters felt like close friends. Each one was amazingly developed. I will miss them and, because of that, know that I will eventually pick up these four books again.
adapted from The Dragon Book of Essex (excerpt: I of IV)
I. The First Call: Petition
Myself to myself I offer, this Holy Rite to begin. By Lightning-bolt, by Flaming Torch, by the Serpent’s Fire within: Let all that I have attained in eternity be manifest in the Present Moment of I: Absolute.
O’ Azra-Lumial! Angelick Soul of the Master Cain! Initiator of the Draconist Mystery, Opener of the Gates to the Crooked Path! Hear my call, for I entreat Thee! The vessel of the Heart is opened unto Thee!
Behold I stand alone in Void, within the Empty Circle of the Royal Arte; My Lover’s Call goeth forth to Thee, O’ Angel of the Peacock-quill! The Lamp of the Hermit awaits the Flame of Thy Presence: My Heart awaits the Adamantine Light of Thy initiation!
O’ Az’ra-Lumial! Solely Manifest of the Eleven Elder Gods, Thou are XON: Light from all Nullity revealed unto Man. Thou art the Begetter of the Four Sovereign Watchers and The Sixteen Faithful Gods.
As Man thou art born – fire amidst clay – from their wiseblood and cunning seed; Self-from self, eight times Thou art begotten on the Wheel of The Year and a Day.
O’ Az’ra-Lumial, descend as Flesh, the Living Word; The One of Light, seven times adorned in the rainbow’s promise!
O’ Az’ra-Lumiel, arise as Gnosis, the Mind of Heaven: The Great Dragon, seven-headed, crowned and victorious!
(Petition I of VI)
“The text of this Rite is adapted from The Draconian Grimoire or Dragon Book of Essex… The version of the ritual presented here is newly adapted for The Book of Fallen Angels in dedication to Michael Howard.”
“Choose love, she thought bitterly. That joke has been played on every Gray Wolf queen since Hanalea. Love, she thought,with a rush of understanding. You love these mountains. You love this town, with its crooked streets and stone staircases. You love the people in this room–most of the time, anyway. It would not fill the chasm in her heart. But it was something.”
Sanskrit Name - Muladhara Associated Raag - Shyam Kalyan Root Note Frequency - 256Hz Color - Red Location - Base of the Spine Function - It governs over our physical energies, giving us a sense of safety and security with other people and ourselves.
2. Sacral Chakra : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJzeZK-qihg&list=PLsuCfYXzi5DKMBVDK7KBXMhnfoL4Uk-cf&index=2
Sanskrit Name - Svadhishthana Associated Raag - Yaman Root Note Frequency - Color - Orange Location - In your lower abdomen, about one to two inches below your naval. Function - The Sacral chakra is about feeling and sexuality. When it is open, your feelings flow freely, and are expressed without you being over-emotional.
Sanskrit Name - Manipura Associated Raag - Bhimpalasi Root Note Frequency - 320Hz Color - Yellow Location - At the navel or slightly above the solar plexus Function - Manipura is considered the center of dynamism, energy, willpower, and achievement (Itcha shakti), which radiates prana(the life energy) throughout the entire human body.
Sanskrit Name - Anahata Associated Raag - Ahir Bhairav Root Note Frequency - 341Hz Color - Green Location - In the central channel of the spine at the heart Function - It is associated with the ability to make decisions outside the realm of karma. In Anahata one makes decisions or follows one’s heart based on one’s higher self, not the unfulfilled emotions and desires of lower nature.
Sanskrit Name - Vishuddha Associated Raag - Desh Root Note Frequency - 384Hz Color - Sky Blue Location - At the throat region, near the spine Function - It is known as the purification center of our body and is associated with creativity and self-expression.
Sanskrit Name - Ajna Associated Raag - Bhupali Root Note Frequency - 448Hz Color - Indigo Location - Directly behind the center of the forehead Function - Ajna translates as “command”, and is considered the eye of intuition and intellect. When something is seen in the mind’s eye, or in a dream, it is being seen by Ajna
Sanskrit Name - Sahasrara Associated Raag - Darbari Root Note Frequency - 480Hz Color - Violet Location - Either at or slightly above the top of the head. Function - The Sahasrara Chakra symbolises detachment from illusion; an essential element in obtaining higher consciousness of the truth that one is all and all is one.