structures of nature

A Tip for Book Lovers

If you go to libraries and if you shop at Thriftbooks (both of which I recommend) then you may already know this fact. But if you don’t, let me enlighten you;

These places are breeding grounds for BED BUGS.

No this is not me telling you to stop. No this is not me calling that places dirty or gross. This is just the consequence of book sharing. Because these books trade hands and houses in a wonderful and perfect system of intellectual freedom. And I think that’s beautiful. But when a book trades houses that many times it’s prone to pick up something. That something is usually bed bugs.

Due to their natural structuring, books are ideal homes. And once a book returns to the library or the warehouse, these bedbugs wiggle out and find more places to burrow and breed.

And here’s another fun fact. Unlike ants, bed bugs are not social insects. They don’t like each other. So if you think you can just put down a single trap and catch them all, you’re wrong. They don’t work like that. If you poison one, it won’t go home and do a secret handshake with a hundred other of its friends. It’ll just die. If you kill one, you’ve only killed one.

Why am I telling you this? To scare you? To ward you away? Of course not. I’m just here to make sure you’re aware AND to introduce you to something that could save you a shit ton of grief.

The moment you bring the book home or take it out of its packaging, PUT THAT FUCKER INTO THE FREEZER.

NO. THAT’S NOT A JOKE. MOVE THE LEAN CUISINE OUT OF THE WAY AND POP THAT SUCKER INTO THE FREEZER!!!

Extreme cold and extreme heat kills bed bugs. And since we’re not Trump and holding book burnings is generally looked down upon, we do the next best thing. Freeze it. No, it won’t damage the book. A few days in there will only leave it cold and bug free. But if you’re worried, pop it into a large Ziplock before you do.

Read safe and stay bug free, my bookish friends! 📚📚📖

10

Reforming The Built Environment: Architecture Photo Collages by Michael Jantzen

Michael Jantzen is a conceptual artist, designer, architect, inventor and engineer currently based in Los Angeles, California. Michael explores art, architecture and design in his imaginative renderings of conceptual buildings and structures inspired by nature, technology and science. He describes this series as a surreal reinterpretation of known structures such as houses, churches, apartment buildings, and other conventional built forms, including furniture.

Major Aspects in Astrology

Conjunction (Hard)

  • This aspect is form when two or more planets are within 3 degrees of one another (the tighter the degree is to 0, the more powerful and profound the integration of the two planetary energies into one another).
  • Each planet has their own individual energy, however in a conjunction, the planetary energy is expressed simultaneously in the style of the sign they are both placed. These planets will act together, not individualistically.
  • This aspect is considered a ‘hard’ aspect due to the fact they can express more positive or negative qualities depending on the style of drive of a planet.
  • Conjunctions to other planets can give that planet a style of expression as the conducting planet rules (Example: Sun conjunct Jupiter will give the native a Sagittarian style of expression to their self identity, regardless of sign. Conjuncting Jupiter will also greatly enhance the sign of the sun, making them far more prominent than without the conjunction).

EXAMPLE:

Easy - Moon conjunct Venus: Love and affection is also integrated into the natives style of nurturing and what they need to be emotionally satisfied. This is an extremely gentle, and affectionate conjunction.

Hard - Sun conjunct Saturn: This can be a very self limiting aspect, as Saturn puts blocks on the natives drive for self expression, making the native rather quiet and shy. This can also be an indication of someone who is prone to depression and self doubt.

Opposition (Hard)

  • This aspect if formed 177 - 183 degrees from one another (the closer to 180 degrees, the more prominent this aspect is felt).
  • This aspect show two conflicting energies within the self, that are contradicting and conflicting.
  • These planetary energies will make a ‘swinging’ motion, going back and forth as they try to gain dominance of expression.
  • This aspect feels internally tense, irritating and uncomfortable, as if no matter what you do, you can’t get exactly what you want.
  • Though this is another hard aspect, like the conjcuntion, it does carry benefits and can be balanced.
  • The first step to balancing this aspect lies in the realisation that you need BOTH energies to be expressed, not just one.
  • This aspect is easier to resolve if a trine to one or both planets is involved or is part of a T-Square.  
  • The opposing planet, like the opposition, will integrate the style of the sign it rules (Example: Mars in pisces opposite Pluto in Virgo would indicate someone who acts passive in times of confrontation one time, than becomes explosive and aggressive - much like a mars in scorpio - another time).
  • This aspect can also be balanced as planets will more often than not share the same modality and be a in compatible element (apart from the cases where this aspect is formed by out of sign planets).

EXAMPLE:

Venus opposite Uranus: To balance this opposition, the native would need a sense of personal freedom in relationships in oder to form a functional relationship. This person may also fluctuate from being affection to passive, and in these time, some personal space will be needed, and they are ready, can return to the partner - unconventional relationships tend to manifest from people with this aspect.


Trine (Easy)

  • This aspect is formed when two planets are 117-123 degrees from one another  (the closer to 120 degrees, the more prominent this aspect is expressed).
  • Training planets are often in the same element.
  • It is a easy, flowing aspect whereby planets interact with ease, often providing the native with a ‘talent’ or strength in and between characteristics and energies.
  • This aspect is so easy, the native will not notice this aspect in their own personality, and are often puzzled by others who can not express the planets training in the same way they do.
  • This aspect holds a lot of potential, though because the nature of the aspect is so natural and laid back, a transit or interaction with another who activates the trine in synastry may be needed for the potential to be manifested.
  • Acknowledging this aspect in your chart will help you better understand and utilise this talent/gift.

EXAMPLE:

Sun trine Mars: This will show a native who’s self-expression and self-drive flow together with ease. This person will have no problem expressing who they are and what they want, and have a great amount of personal drive to achieve goals. This can also give the native an aura of sexual magnetism and a heroic and stand-out presence.


Square (Hard)

  • This aspect is formed when two planets are 88-92 degrees apart (the closer to 90 degrees, the more prominent this aspect is expressed and felt).
  • Planets squaring one another will often be a planet with the same modality but with an incompatible element.
  • The tension caused by this aspect is described as a type of ‘friction’ - two planets having the same aim (modality) with a different style/method (element).
  • This aspect can force and issue/compose a challenge externally as the aspect is projected outside the self onto the outside world to be dealt and resolved with.
  • This aspect can pressure to to find a resolution based on the lessons of the planets (in signs) that are involved.
  • A lot of effort is required to resolve the issues proposed by this aspect.

EXAMPLE:

Mercury square Neptune: This native may have difficulty in differentiating facts from reality. There may be a lot of mental confusion with this aspect and a tendency to get lost in conversation, being spoken to and to transverse into a world of daydreaming and fantasy. Their concentration may be short, and may also be delusional in their thought. This aspect could also manifest a lair, or through a more positive manifestation, someone who can express their mental confusion through creative writing and materialising their fantasies into words/poetry.


Sextile (Easy)

  • This aspect is formed when two planets are 58 - 62 degrees from one another (the closer to 60 degrees, the more prominent this aspect is expressed and felt).
  • This aspect links planets of different modalities and elements, though the elements will be compatible (Earth/Water - Air/Fire)
  • These planets have compatible styles of expression and will ‘encourage’ one another in their form of expression
  • They can excite/stimulate one another, feeding each other productive energies
  • This aspect can manifest opportunities, but it is up to the native to decide whether or not they chose to use them. More to gain if taken, and if ignored or declined, nothing is lost.
  • This aspect is also another indicator for talents, possibly more active than the trine. You are more likely to notice and work on these talents.

EXAMPLE:

Mars sextile Pluto: This aspect would give the native formidable ability to incorporate raw plutonic  power into their will power and drive. This can give great ability to put a lot off personal power into tasks and to achieve goals. This natives drive would be persistent and they would possess tremendous durability. This native may posses great physical power and have a large sex drive, not to mention quite sexually skilled and magnetic.


Inconjunct/Quincunx (Hard - often debated as a major or minor aspect.)

  • This aspect is formed when two planets are 148-152 degrees apart (the closer to 150 degrees, the more prominent this aspect is expressed and felt).
  • This is a point of major confection between planets. Two planets that have no compatibility by sign or modality, yet are forced to interact with each other.
  • This aspect must be balanced and adjusted (either by escape rout evil sextile or trine to one of the planets involved).
  • Those who poses this aspect in a tight orb between planets often tend to compartmentalise the two areas of life indicated by the planets and points involved, acting out one planet at a time until the other planet becomes frustrated and takes over and is expressed.
  • Through the inflexibility of this aspect, it can manifest as an either ‘make or break’ situation.
  • A new, inventive and personal outcome can be created with this aspect.

EXAMPLE:

Venus inconjunct Saturn: This aspect can indicate a native who’s ability to express love and tender affection clashes with their sense of authority, structure and patriarchal nature. This person may give excessive amounts of affection and love and may begin to feel like they aren’t getting the same amount in return, thus resorting to becoming cold and rejecting any affection that the partner tries to give. This person may also try to be patriarchal and directing in a situation that really requires gentle affection and care.


©ellie-mae-astrology on Tumblr

HEARTWOOD: Non-binary Tales of Sylvan Fantasy is the newest anthology from P&M Press.

Across time and cultures, humanity has spun tales about the forest: tales of caution, adventure, rites of passage, and discovery. Some of those stories persist as the folklore and fairy tales that delight our imaginations today, and the forest remains a symbol for facing the unknown and emerging transformed.

This anthology is for everyone who’s walked through the undergrowth, in the silence of nature, and longed for an adventure of their own to unfold. These stories of modern-day sylvan fantasy will showcase the best non-binary cartoonists of our day, guiding characters like us into the woods and back again.

Submission Period

Submissions will be open to the public from October 16th - November 13th. (A line-up of preselected creators will also be unveiled throughout this period!)

Who Can Participate

We want submissions from people who identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, bigender, neutrois, twospirit, genderfluid, demigender, trans femme or trans masc, and other genders outside the “man or woman” binary. 

For team submissions, at least the writer must meet the above criteria. If two submissions are equally matched, the all non-binary team will be prioritized. Use #TeamHeartwood (Tumblr or Twitter) to find teammates!

Age Restrictions

All contributors must be 18 years or older. All content must be suitable for readers as young as 14 years old.

Specifications

  • Comics from 4 - 12 pages long
  • 6” x 9” trim size (template provided)
  • Bleed? Yes.
  • Black & White or Grayscale (no screentones please)
  • 600 dpi

Timeline

Selection Process (October 2017 - December 2017)

  • Project Announcement - 2 weeks
  • Open Submissions - 4 weeks
  • Final Selection - 2 weeks

Work Period (December 2017 - July 2018)

  • Creator Portraits - 1 week
  • Script + Thumbnails - 8 weeks
  • Pencils - 10 weeks
  • Inks - 6 weeks
  • Grayscale - 6 weeks
  • Letters - 2 weeks
  • Bios - 1 week

Kickstarter (Fall 2018)

Compensation

Contributors to our first anthology were paid $100/page plus Kickstarter bonuses. In keeping with P&M Press’ founding goal of increasing pay with each successive campaign, HEARTWOOD contributors will be compensated at $105/page plus any Kickstarter bonuses.

Contributors also receive a minimum of 10 complimentary copies of the anthology, royalties on all digital sales, and royalties on any print runs of the anthology after the first printing sells out.

Rights

Creators will cede exclusive first worldwide print and digital rights to their stories for a full calendar year from the date of publication, and non-exclusive worldwide print and digital rights in perpetuity. Ownership remains with the creators.

What We Want

  • Previously unpublished stories.
  • Forests. Jungles. Decaying structures reclaimed by nature. Trees, trees, and - oh yeah - more trees! Deep, lush settings that have character. (If you absolutely hate drawing backgrounds/characters interacting with their environment, you may want to sit this one out.)
  • At least one protagonist must be non-binary.
  • At least one non-binary protagonist must be human (they can be half magical-species-you-made-up, but their gender should not be portrayed as a “fantastical” result of that).
  • Stories set now-ish (a hard date isn’t necessary, but keep the human fashion and any tech to post-1990 and pre-2030).
  • Movement from one space to another (entering, leaving, traveling), literally and/or metaphorically.
  • Personified aspects of the natural world (e.g. whispering winds, walking plants, talking animals, etc).
  • Original fantastical creatures/beings.
  • Discovery and Understanding.
  • Tests (of will, wits, ethics, etc).
  • Person Allied With Nature.
  • A spirit of adventure!

What We DON’T Want

  • No fan works. No auto-bio. No prose. No one-off illustrations.
  • Stories that basically amount to “protagonist realizes they are non-binary and explains gender to the other characters/the reader.” Your character can come to understand their gender better by the end of the story, but there should be a plot beyond that.
  • Meet-cutes. (“Two people meet and crush at first sight, the end.”)
  • Horror: this includes horror tropes, body horror, classic horror monsters like werewolves or vampires, popular cryptids/urban legends like Slender Man or the Jersey Devil, and so on. Your story can use fear and danger as plot elements, but if instilling fear/existential dread in the reader is the overarching theme, this is the wrong anthology.
  • Tolkienian fantasy: no elves, dwarves, orcs, etc. We won’t freak out if you make something up that’s very loosely(!) inspired by any of these (unless it replicates the problematic elements of Tolkien’s work, in which case your work will not be accepted).
  • Cursing is permitted as long as words aren’t used literally (i.e. “Shit, you scared me!” as opposed to “Let’s go shit in the woods!”) and are used very sparingly when used at all. In general, we’d prefer not.
  • No porn. No references to specific sexual acts. No explicit nudity whether sexual or non-sexual (sorry, folks). “Consensual fade-to-black sex between legal adults” is fine.
  • No depictions of abuse (sexual, physical, psychological) whether pictorial or written. Characters may vaguely reference (in non-graphic language) abuse that they have suffered in the past if doing so serves the story or is integral to the character (i.e. maybe the story is about a survivor working on their agoraphobia by going on what they believe will be a brief, non-magical hike…).
  • No gore. People can get hurt, bleed, die, etc, but not in a grossly over-the-top way that fetishizes violence.
  • No slurs, no racism (not even “fantasy racism”), no misogyny, no transphobia, no ableism, no xenophobia, no white supremacist nonsense in general. (And please, no stories whose sole purpose is to teach that these things are bad.)

Ready? Here’s How To Pitch

Send us an email at powerandmagicpress@gmail.com with the subject line “Heartwood Pitch” that includes the following information/attachments:

  1. The name, pronouns, and role of everyone on your team (or just yourself for solo submissions). Give the name(s) you want used during communications with you, marketing of your contribution, and credits in the book (even if those are all different).
  2. A working title and page count for your comic (doesn’t have to be exact).
  3. A synopsis of your story, including a beginning, middle, and end. Spoil everything, but try to keep it under 500 words.
  4. Preliminary sketches associated with your pitch: character ideas, important creature designs, environment concepts (the latter is especially important if your portfolio lacks strong examples of background art), etc. These don’t need to be final or polished pieces! Just detailed enough to give us an idea.
  5. Links to any relevant publishing credits (whether you’re writing the comic, drawing it, lettering it, or doing everything yourself). Self-published works and webcomics count as credits! Choose examples that best reflect the style you intend to use for this comic. You may simply include a link to your portfolio if you have no pre-existing credits, but please note that folks with sequential storytelling examples will receive preference.
  6. Tell us about yourself, your cultural and artistic background, and why you want to be in HEARTWOOD. Short and sweet is best!

More Questions? 

Check out the FAQ. If your answer isn’t there, Ask away!

The position of mercury or the 3rd house ruler indicates the learning style and topics of interest. 

Aries mercury/Aries 3rd house/mercury in the 1st: Energetic mind enthusiastic to learn. Does well in a classroom when they have motivation, physical activity and the freedom to immediately express thoughts/opinions at will. Could focus on topics that concern themselves, competitive sports, future goals, independence and social activism.

Taurus mercury/Taurus 3rd house/mercury in the 2nd: Values and finds beauty in education. Does well through hands-on experience and in serene, comfortable environments. Heavily relies on the physical senses to learn. Could indulge in learning and find pleasure in it, concerning themselves with topics like music, art, fashion, food and cooking, finance, cosmetology, security and moral codes.

Gemini mercury/Gemini 3rd house/mercury in the 3rd (☿): Extremely adaptable to most learning styles, preferably active and communicative learning activities as well as visuals that stimulate the mind. How well they perform in the classroom depends on their attention span. The eternal student and natural teacher. Interested in a variety of things, such as technology, journaling, media, science, gossip, sociology and communications. 

Cancer mercury/Cancer 3rd house/mercury in the 4th: Learns well with one-on-one interactions, such as private tutoring. How well they pay attention and their performance in the classroom depends on their mood and comfort. Good memory, especially if the lesson appealed to the emotions. Could be interested in topics about motherly principles, children, women psychology, social welfare, cooking, the home and spirituality.

Leo mercury/Leo 3rd house/mercury in the 5th: Takes pride in their intelligence and does well in settings that encourage and praise their efforts. Any insults to the mind directly injure the ego. Wants learning to be fun, playful, expressive. Passionate learner interested in studies concerning the development of ego and identity (psychology), self-expression, creative writing, the arts, romance, childcare and youth.

Virgo mercury/Virgo 3rd house/mercury in the 6th (☿): Extremely adaptable to most learning styles, preferably logical and precise lectures as well as systematic methods that structure the mind. Natural educators. How well they perform in the classroom depends on the state of their nerves. Topics of interest may include journaling, science, mathematics, mental and physical health, self-care and healing, technology, social service and work ethics. 

Libra mercury/Libra 3rd house/mercury in the 7th: Does well in settings where the environments are calm, civil and equalized. Interested in esthetic matters, the arts, social debates, equity concern, mediation, social justice, law, and relationships. Benefits from participating in projects where they can exercise the mind and work with others. 

Scorpio mercury/Scorpio 3rd house/mercury in the 8th: Learns well in settings that challenge the mind, where they can critically question concepts and ideas. Wants learning to empower them and strengthen their perceptions, can become fixated on topics that catch their interest such as science, esoteric research, politics, social injustices, death, criminology, conspiracy theories and law. 

Sagittarius mercury/Sagittarius 3rd house/mercury in the 9th: Adaptable to most learning methods preferably ones where the individual is able to learn from experience such as through traveling or ‘outside classes.’ Interested in religious, spiritual, theoretical, political, cultural, ethical and existential topics which have no limits and could be further expanded on. A constant search for “god,” in other words, a sense of fulfillment through learning.

Capricorn mercury/Capricorn 3rd house/mercury in the 10th: The mind is focused best in environments that provide structure and order, with methodical designs and encouraging figures. The individual is concentrated on topics having to do with morals, law, family principles, public and political issues, power and future ambitions. The mind most inclined to be groomed as a natural mentor to others.

Aquarius mercury/Aquarius 3rd house/mercury in the 11th: The learning style is best cultivated through unordinary methods and only does well when the nerves are stimulated, otherwise boredom causes static and unfocused restlessness. Engages in topics that are bizarre, concerned with society, social wellness and justice, Utopian ideas, politics, technology and spirituality.

Pisces mercury/Pisces 3rd house/mercury in the 12th: An extremely adaptable and impressionable mind with a visual learning preference and a liking to environments where they are able to work and study alone. Could devote themselves to topics involving mysticism, religion, healing, the arts, mental illness, psychology and social welfare. 

4

The Pitch Lake. La Brea. Trinidad and Tobago.

Located at La Brea in southwest Trinidad, the Pitch Lake is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world. Known to many as the 8th wonder of the world, the lake is the major supplier of asphalt to the international market and is one of the many tourist attractions on the islands.