recursion - simaetha - The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-Earth - J. R. R. Tolkien [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Relationships: Celebrimbor/Annatar
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, implicit dubcon

“My Tyelperinquar,” he says, voice lingering on your name, rich and musical and satisfied. “Isn’t this better, my sweet?”

“Better?” you ask, smiling.

anyway I’d like to campaign for the Bilbo Baggins tag to be changed to Bilbo Baggins | Bilba Labingi, since you never know when you’re going to get some new readers on AO3 who are coming to Hobbit fandom from reading the untranslated Red Book of Westmarch

credit for passive-aggressive coinage idea goes to simaethae

The coins of Beleriand are all massively passive-aggressive. 

For one thing, there was the debacle with the commemorative ‘Death of Fëanor’ coin, struck by the mint in Barad Eithel. The denomination was too low (”Father is worth more than that!” Caranthir remarked) and worse, the depiction of Fëanor exploding into flame looked more like an anus than anything else. Only thirty coins were made before they were removed entirely from circulation. 

This has made the ‘Death of Fëanor’ the most collectible First Age coin. Many numismatists of Númenor desired it so greatly that they sailed away to distant, forgotten corners of Middle-earth, seeking the coin but never to return. 

There is, of course, a ‘Death of Fëanor’ coin in the Mathom-house at Michel Delving.

Hekate and Witchcraft in Ancient Greece

(This is adapted from a previous post of mine here.)

There are a few Hellenic polytheists that tend to reject not only Hekate’s role as the goddess of witches, but the presence of witchcraft in Ancient Greece. However, there is historical evidence to support the existence of both. I’ve worshiped Hekate for almost 6 years now and I’ve done a lot of research on this subject. If you look at the practices of magic in Ancient Greece, witchcraft was, in fact, present. The magical use of herbs (also known as pharmakeia), image magic (most would know this as something like voodoo dolls), binding spells, love potions, and other things commonly accepted as witchcraft did in fact exist and were written about. If you read the passages on witches in Greek literature in Daniel Ogden’s book Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds, you will definitely see that witchcraft did exist. Such an example is the love spell the witch Simaetha uses to return her unfaithful lover which goes as follows:

“Where are my bay-leaves? Come, Thestylis; where are my love-charms? Come crown me the bowl with the crimson flower o’ wool; I would fain have the fire-spell to my cruel dear that for twelve days hath not so much as come anigh me, the wretch, nor knows not whether I be alive or dead, nay nor even hath knocked upon my door, implacable man. I warrant ye Love and the Lady be gone away with his feat fancy. In the morning I’ll to Timagetus’ school and see him, and ask what he means to use me so; but, for to-night, I’ll put the spell o’ fire upon him.

So shine me fair, sweet Moon; for to thee, still Goddess, is my song, to thee and that Hecat[e] infernal who makes e’en the whelps to shiver on her goings to and fro where these tombs be and the red blood lies. All hail to thee, dread and awful Hecat[e]! I prithee so bear me company that this medicine of my making prove potent as any of Circe’s or Medea’s or Perimed’s of the golden hair.

Wryneck, wryneck, draw him hither.

First barley-meal to the burning. Come, Thestylis; throw it on. Alack, poor fool! whither are thy wits gone wandering? Lord! am I become a thing a filthy drab like thee may crow over? On, on with the meal, and say “These be Delphis’ bones I throw.”

Wryneck, wryneck, draw him hither.

As Delphis hath brought me pain, so I burn the bay against Delphis. And as it crackles and then lo! is burnt suddenly to nought and we see not so much as the ash of it, e’en so be Delphis’ body whelmed in another flame.

Wryneck, wryneck, draw him hither.

As this puppet melts for me before Hecat[e], so melt with love, e’en so speedily, Delphis of Myndus. And as this wheel of brass turns by grace of Aphrodite, so turn he and turn again before my threshold.

Wryneck, wryneck, draw him hither.


As you see, not only does the portion of this spell in the passage support the existence of witchcraft, but Hekate’s role in Ancient Greek witchcraft.

Hekate’s role as a witch goddess, I will admit, was not one of her original aspects. This came, as suggested by Sarah Iles Johnston, from her increasing associations with the spirits of the dead, her rule over daemones, and her lunar aspects. Most people used the spirits of the dead for their magic, like curse tablets. This is why many curse tablets were buried in places where the dead were buried. As this connection increased it was displayed in stories, most notably the tale of Medea and Jason. Hekate appears in this tale and the associations of her with witchcraft are quite apparent in this quote:

“You have heard me speak of a young woman [Medea] who practices witchcraft under the tutelage of the goddess Hekate.”


Medea, considered to be one of the first witches in literature along with Kirke, was a priestess, or daughter in some cases, of Hekate, and she continuously invokes her in her acts of witchcraft, or pharmakeia. Now while I agree that Hekate’s role as a witch goddess has been largely misinterpreted in much of neo pagan lore, such as her portrayal as a wise and friendly crone. She was usually viewed as a beautiful maiden in Ancient Greece and was also often portrayed in a frightening manner when seen in specific aspects, most specifically in her aspects as the queen of ghosts.

Many Hellenic polytheists view witchcraft as impious, and that’s definitely consistent with the way the Greeks viewed witchcraft. Witchcraft has always been considered an evil, or at least dangerous, practice. That fear, in my opinion, actually gives witches more power, but that’s another story. Witches were often portrayed in literature as poisoners and scary people who howl at night while harvesting poisonous herbs (an actual depiction of Medea gathering herbs in Sophocles’ lost play the Rootcutters (Rhizotomoi). But as a Hellenic witch myself, I don’t feel very impious. I feel that my skills in witchcraft were given to me by the gods. I don’t command or believe to hold power over them. I believe that my witchcraft happens by their decree, and when I perform it, I ask for their assistance, I do not demand it. But that’s just me.

So whether or not you believe in it, the historical context of her as a witch goddess is indeed there. Even if it wasn’t one of her original roles, it did develop much earlier than “modern times”.

#473 - Simaethula Jumping Spider

Small (Simaethula means ‘small Simaetha’) but very robust, somewhat flattened jumping spiders, with small rear eyes, and frequently metallic.

Rob Whyte, who corrected my ID,  has further info from a Polish expert on Saltacid spiders

Marek Zabka says Simaethula and Simaetha should probably never have been split, and the characters for separating Simaethula are rather weak, including the posterior lateral eyes being further back on the head than those of Simaetha. To really know one must revise all known and unknown Simaethula and the problem is they are rather small, with simple genitalia which doesn’t vary much between notional species, so it has to wait till a DNA lab and operator wants to spend about a year.

Coolbellup, Perth

simaethae replied to your post “Randomly I thought of the Dagor Dagorath, and of how poetic, after a…”

I hope you don’t mind but I’m curious: what makes you think of melkor as creative? It’s not how I interpret his character but I always find other people’s takes interesting so I’d love to hear what makes you think of him that way!

Oh no, I don’t mind at all, no worries :) I just hope I can infuse some sort of sense into this!

My tendency to interpret Melkor as a being of creation is predicated upon a handful of quotes in the Ainulindalë chapter, such as this one: ‘‘[F]or desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own …’‘ Moreover, I have a little pet theory regarding what instigated his rebellion during the Music—or rather what reinforced that rebellion subsequent to the Music—and this also ties in with why I view him as creative. Melkor is said to share in the ‘‘gifts of his brethren,’‘ by which I am assuming that whatever ideas he would generate would essentially be an amalgamation of the bits and bobs of knowledge imparted to the other Valar; therefore, said ideas might come across as alien or disturbing or unnatural in the eyes of the Valar seeing that ‘‘each comprehended only that part of the mind of Ilúvatar from which he came, and in the understanding of their brethren they grew but slowly.’‘ The text goes on to state that understanding derived from listening to each other, yet often Melkor isolated himself in the Void in his search for the Flame, thus precluding the possibility that the others might deepen their comprehension of him.

Another pet theory of mine is that for the Ainur sense of self is somewhat more insular than we experience it, in that it is threaded through that one province they are drawn to (Ulmo and water, for instance). In my interpretation, Melkor’s sense of self is founded upon his existence as a creator. Thus he rebels during the Ainulindalë—he is not going to align to the norm and pursue another’s theme; he is going to get his thoughts out there, and tentatively I suspect there might be a need for acceptance somewhere in there as well. Following this train of thought, when Eru says, ‘‘And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite,’‘ I reckon Melkor experiences it as a denial of his creative abilities: his thoughts, which give rise to the discord in his song and from whence, ideally, would spring creations, are not fully, unequivocally of his own making, and this Melkor might feel as loss of autonomy and a stripping away of his identity. Consequently, his rebellious streak carries over into Arda proper as a reaction to that threat—it is denial: striving against Eru’s designs would nullify both the plans themselves and that poisonous little statement.

In the same vein, I see him as possessing his own brand of creativity, inasmuch as the atrocities he inflicts upon the world, both on a smaller scale (torture, though this largely rests upon headcanons) and on a larger scale (wars and arguably the creation of Orcs), are upped with the passage of time, essentially conveying ‘‘surely this would not be part of Eru’s schemes’’ and thereby aiming to confirm that Melkor is a creature independent in his creation. As something of a tangent, I am wondering if perhaps Melkor’s perversion of the Elves into Orcs may be construed as a wish to alter them so much that Eru would repudiate all claims of ownership so that Melkor would at last have something of his own. This could likewise be applied to Melkor’s marring of the initial work of the Valar in shaping Arda.

Whew, I am sorry for this veritable block of text. My thoughts about Melkor have been stewing for quite some time, and given the opportunity, they kind of bled all over the place. Well, I hope this made at least a tiny bit of sense, and of course these are just my interpretations—please feel free to disagree with anything in here!

anonymous asked:

What is Feanor?

For twelve Ages, you have been asking: What is Feanor Curufinwe? This is Feanor Curufinwe speaking. I am the Elf who loves the work of his hands. I am the Elf who does not sacrifice his Silmarils or his sons. I am the Elf who has deprived you of boats and thus has destroyed your world, and if you wish to know why you are freezing your nuts off - you who would usurp my throne - I am the Elf who will now tell you.

Invocation to the Witch Ancestors of Hellenistic Lore

Oh great witches of old, whose legends and names continue to penetrate the minds of all. Great women of magic whose gifts are accessed by the witches of today to work their spells and rites, hear my calls.

Erichtho, Thessalian woman, dreaded by all, come to my aid. Conjuror of the dead and feared leader of the witches of Thessaly, I invoke thee!

Medea, fabled witch of many drugs whose power is legend among us, come to my aid. Poisoner and healer, great daughter and priestess of Hekate, I invoke thee!

Kirke, great daughter of Hekate whose name is known by many, enchantress of lore and you who have been called goddess, nymph, and witch alike, come to my aid. Great sorceress whose skill in drugs and poisons is surpassed by none but the lady Hekate herself, I invoke thee!

Simaetha of legend, you who bound the errant Delphis back to thy side, come to my aid. You whose skill in binding and erotic magic is known by so many, I invoke thee!

Daughters of Hekate all, by the name of your three-formed mistress, I compel thee to come to me and provide me with your aid in my works of witchcraft. Fabled witches who I honor above all the shades of the departed, I invoke thee. Come upon your fellow witch and give aid to my spells!

@simaethae replied to your post: “But on the subject of 1,600 year long gaps in history, and patchy…”

i’d be up for your ideas about numenoreans just saying :)

Ahaha I actually need to really finish thinking it through to make sure it doesn’t trail off into plotholes or something, but the pieces I have thought of are mostly:

So, the whole shadow-falling-on-Numenor comes right on the heels of their defeat of Sauron after he invades Eriador to get the rings from Celebrimbor and came very close to completely annihilating the elves of Lindon and Eregion and conquering the region. And it’s during the 500 years of Tar-Ciryatan and Tar-Atanamir’s rule that the Numenoreans begin to become “proud men, eager for wealth, and they laid the men of Middle-Earth under tribute, taking now rather than giving.” It’s also this time when their growing resentment/jealousy of Aman and of the elves’ immortality came to a head and they had their big debate with the messengers of Manwe about why they have to die and why they can’t go see Aman, they reject Manwe’s arguments that death is an inherent part of being human and was never intended to be a punishment and immortality is not all it’s cracked up to be, and “the fear of death grew ever darker upon them, and they delayed it by all means that they could…”

The context and timing here is really interesting, because if Gil-galad etc were uncool with the Numenoreans’ actions in Middle-Earth they are in a really awkward position, since they literally owe the Numenoreans their lives and the continued existence of their society. The Numenoreans came and rescued them from Sauron after Gil-galad asked them for help, the elves would have been toasted without them, and the Numenoreans’ goodwill is important if they want to keep from being toasted for good. Also, the elves can’t do much anyway even if they were willing to. During the War of the Elves and Sauron, Numenoreans > Sauron > Elves in terms of power, and afterwards, the might of the Numenoreans is still rising while the might of the elves is waning as more elves sail, so it’s not a remotely even-keeled alliance.

Also, the Numenoreans are now pissed off and jealous of the elves of both Tol Eressea and Middle-Earth. It says that starting not long after this time, during or following the reign of the next king after Tar-Atanamir, Tar-Ancalimon, the King’s Men “were estranged from the Eldar” and “[The Elf-friends] alone came now ever to the north and the land of Gil-galad.” But it also says that it’s not until hundreds of years later in the reign of Ar-Adunakhor that they cut off all contact with the elves of Tol Eressea (which they did because they hoped “to keep their deeds and counsels hidden from the Lords of the West”), and since the elves of Tol Eressea are the family and friends of the elves of Middle-Earth, the Numenoreans probably aren’t about to start oppressing the elves of Middle-Earth, even though it’s within their power to do so. So it’s a kind of tricky situation where the elves of Middle Earth may or may not have tried to express disapproval for the Numenoreans (which would probably piss the Numenoreans off even more) but were in no position to actually stop them by force and probably didn’t want to risk trying, especially with Sauron rising again in strength, and the Numenoreans’ attitude towards and communications with the elves of Middle Earth deteriorated, though we’re not really told what this deterioration looked like.

But, say, if the elves of Middle-Earth did express their disapproval to the Numenoreans, how would they do it, and how the Numenoreans react? Well…Gil-galad might do it entirely by himself, but consider also Elrond, who may or may not have had a close or influential relationship with the Numenoreans (who the hell knows, there’s just zero info on this topic), but I mean, imagine if your 12x great-uncle who was born hundreds of years ago was still alive, how could you not be at least interested in his existence. And vice versa. He would know what’s going on, and perhaps some of the men the Numenoreans have been oppressing have turned up in Rivendell and given some first-hand accounts that can’t be glossed-over or justified or explained away. And…I’m pretty sure that a big chunk of whatever allowed Elrond to cope with Elros’s death was the knowledge that even if his brother is dead, at least he died for this great peaceful new society where humans can live up to their potential. So he would likely have something resembling a slo-mo panic attack as it becomes increasingly obvious the Numenoreans are becoming these greedy entitled tyrants, and he would be desperate to go talk some sense into them if he was allowed to.

And lol, okay, this is actually a semi-hilarious tangential scenario because the Numenoreans are, at this point, extremely touchy and insecure about death and age and obsessed with immortality. How badly would it have gone over with them to be pestered by this 1,900 year old guy who is the twin brother of their revered ancestral founding king (who, y’know, got old, and died, like a human, centuries ago), and who looks like a dead ringer for every statue and painting of Elros in his youth, but who has not died or gotten old, and is not about to ever die naturally or get old. How infuriating and unsettling would it be to them for this elf, who is a neat little bundle of everything that is driving them into an society-wide existential crisis and eating away at their self-worth right now, to drop in and start bending their ear about how they’re running their country wrong. It seems like this sort of thing would quickly head them in the direction of a pretty violent and dramatic display of rejection and bridge-burning, and the Numenoreans know that neither Elrond nor Gil-galad nor any of the elves of Middle-Earth are in any position to dictate to or threaten them, so at this point I think they might be like “what exactly are you gonna do about it, huh?” and start leaning harder and harder on the elves at well.

Not that it excuses them in the least or anything, but bullies are usually bullies because of feelings of inferiority and insecurity, interacting with elves who they are ancestrally related to, and whom they might have been counted among were it not for one person’s choice to be human and procreate with humans, doesn’t help. Neither does being unable to feel good about the physical and meta-physical realities of their own species. The Akallabeth implies that the Numenoreans wanted to drown themselves in wealth and comfort to stroke their egos and distract themselves from the looming inevitability of death, but probably another big part of the reason they are so terrible to the men of Middle-Earth who cannot properly defend themselves is to assert their power and superiority of that which they can control, in the face of the inevitable fatal defeat of each and every one of them by the forces of time that they cannot control (This thing all things devours…)

But also, as a side-effect of all the pressure the Numenoreans are putting on Middle-Earth, it makes even more sense that various leaders of men during this period would accept these iffy rings from Sauron, perhaps to fight back and prevent their lands and peoples from falling under the power of the Numenoreans (the Akallabeth says only three of the Nazgul were Numenorean in origin), and a similar thing with the dwarves - if the Numenoreans were extracting all the wealth out of the peoples of Middle-Earth, it would also make sense for dwarves to a) be more inclined to accept rings that promised them the ability to stockpile larger savings accounts to keep themselves independent and self-sufficient (as well as able to keep their culturally precious and meaningful treasure safe) and b) more inclined to become obsessive about their wealth once they received and were being affected by the rings. If Sauron deliberately planned it this way and was playing the different societies off of one another for his own benefit even before Ar-Pharazon took him to Numenor, he’s an even sneakier villain than I thought.