symbolic representation

Black Girl, NYC

Greetings people. I identify as a Black female who was born and raised in NYC. I am slowly progressing through my study of education and history in college. Other then that, I spend (probably) an unhealthy amount of time reading and writing sci fi and fantasy. But by high school, I got sick and tired of the same story featuring blonds and brunettes saving the day with their straight, lean male heroes so I turned to my librarian seeking something new. She pointed to Octavia Butler and the rest was history. I’ve been seeking diversity in media ever since.

Family life and Culture

I grew as the middle child of six siblings with my single mother and grandparents. Yes, my working-class household fits the stereotype. We even have an absent father *sighs* But, hey shit happens. And with the biological father turns out not to be the best father figure, shit had to go right out the door. Yup. But make no mistake that this is a norm. Most households on my block do have both parents involved in their children’s lives. Our circumstances called for us to have one. That’s all.

The house was full, loud and rambunctious. We made up a good portion of the children on the block (unsurprising) and basically ran it. There’s a whole novel that could be fleshed out of my childhood if I wanted to. Our neighborhood is very tight knit. Next door neighbors were treated like Aunts and Uncles. When summer came around, we were sometimes divided into groups as the parents who were off from work overlooked us while braiding our heads. Blackouts became an all night bbq and sleepover on each other’s porches. Crooklyn by Spike Lee was a good representation of what it was like in fact. Somewhat. Minus the brownstones, plus a couple more fights (lol).

My grandma was a nurse who’s pretty big on us knowing our family history. She made sure to talk a lot about our Gullah Geechee roots. We also had some Dominican culture influence since her closest friend and our Madrina was, well, Dominican. But she is fairly strict on gender norms and how my sisters and I should act especially with brothers. She antagonized me the most growing up because I continued to ignore this. We don’t get along but i can’t say i don’t get why she’s the way she is. She has a pretty dark past. My mother, a latchkey kid of the finest stock, is more laid back and gives all of us free range to make our own mistakes. Most times. Other times, she’d rather lecture us. Depends on our crime.

I don’t know what my grandpa used to do. He retired waaaaay before my grandmother. I also don’t know much about his culture. He’s 1st gen Jamaican who fully assimilated into American culture. Well, beside his food choices. Now, he gambles and goes to church. When I was younger, he used to teach us how to gamble too. And how to cheat and not get caught. We got a lot of free fast food while he taught us. He has gotten more frugal the older he got. And more isolated.

Dating and Relationships.

I don’t date. I have no interest. Well, no, that’s not exactly true. I’ve considered it but I rather have not seek out anything outside of platonic right now. I have a tight knit circle of friends and several other groups of friends I associate with depending on the activity. I’m realizing it seems like I’m using the term “friends” loosely but I swear I’m not. I’m a virgin and I feel nothing about being one until someone goes “*gasp* You’re a virgin really?” and then I end up on high defense saying “So?” Believe or not, that messed with me a lot.

My love life and lack of interest in having one has always been a struggle. In middle school, the group of friends I hung with were becoming more infatuated with love and sex. Yes, middle school, fifth through eighth grade, ages nine to thirteen. But, when they would talked about who’s hot or not, they would look at me funny when I didn’t join in the discussion. Instead of explaining myself, I simply copied other’s reactions and gushed along with them. This instinct followed me through High school til stopped out of annoyance. I became a listener and adviser in their relationships because I really do love stories in many shapes and forms. And I would never turn down hearing a story.

Language

My primary language is English and AAVE. I’ve been living in a neighborhood filled with Blacks and Latinx. Most of my friends are Black and Lantinx. I didn’t meet a white person my age until college. Okay that’s a partial lie. I’ve been in a summer camp that was made up of predominantly white children. But as the only black kid in my age range, I was sorta uncomfortable. I never made lasting friends there. After High School, I spent a year abroad in Tena, Ecuador where I learned Spanish and Kichwa. I still suck at both languages.

Clothing

Lots of my clothes when I was younger were borrowed or hand-me-downs. Half of them still are. It’s like thrift shopping without the hiked prices thanks to its popularity by rich white people (Thanks rich white people!) All my siblings’ taste varies. In my case, I’m fond of combining loose and tight clothing (tight jeans and a loose sweater/ baggy jeans and a tight top). No makeup. Silver accessories.

I used to have a short bob cut permed. I hated it. But I rather a perm then getting my hair straightened with a hot comb because the back of my neck and big ears would always get burned. It wasn’t until I made a friend with a natural afro that I realized my natural hair was even an option.

Academics

Lol I was a nerd with bad grades.

Religion

My family practices Santeria, which has historical roots in both Catholicism and Yoruba thanks to slavery (Yay slavery!). However, because the religion is not fully accepted or well-known, I tend to say I’m simply Catholic if asked. Apparently, a Black Catholic is hard to believe. It is assumed all Black folks are Baptists or some branch of Christianity. I have no idea where that stereotype came from. But I can give some guess. (*cough cough* Tyler Perry….).  

As I stated before, I love scifi and fantasy. I especially love urban fantasy involving witches. I blame this love on Practical Magic and Eve’s Bayou, my childhood faves. It’s because of this love that I wish to see more stories with witches of color. And no, I don’t mean that one evil/mysterious southern/Caribbean Voodoo/Hoodoo witch hollywood loves to portray so much. That always plays into the “Black is evil” trope. Give me some damn variety!

I would squeal so hard if the mythology involved in a story isn’t even Eurocentric. I’m not joking. This is serious. When my religion was simply hinted at in the Raven Boys series (It was also a great way of making even more obvious that the character was definitely not white.) and Kenya Wright’s Habitat series, I squealed. All the authors did was write the names of some of the Orishas and I couldn’t help but put my phone down for a moment and inwardly scream with glee. That being said, if a writer does decide to use afrocentric or any religion involving “witchcraft” as a basis, I would personally ask that they make sure is is not a closed religion.

Santeria is, in fact, a closed religion. And while I don’t mind mentions of it in fantasy and even a main character stating they practice it, do not go any further than that. Don’t even research the practices within the religion other than what is public knowledge (And if you don’t have any public knowledge, just ask) Respect that there’s a limit. Anything further spelunking  is consider rude, disgusting, disrespectful and dangerous. There’s things that I don’t even know because I haven’t been properly initiated. And the internet has a lot of these practices exposed when it shouldn’t be so please don’t look into it. Please.

Food

Most of the cooking in the house has been done by my grandmother. Because of her various relationships, our food has always been a mixture of Black American, Gullah, Lantinx and Caribbean influences. It is so good. So, so good!

The only thing I don’t eat of hers is her seafood gumbo because I don’t like shellfish. One of my sisters said I should have my “black card” taken for my distaste. I said she could take it if she can name more black movies than me. She still can’t take it. My other sister wishes we could switch places because she loves crab but is allergic. The crazy girl actually sends her husband to buy some benadryl so she can eat some if we ever have some on the table. Smh. Siblings.  

Holidays

My family on both sides are quite fond of reunions. On my grandpa’s side, the family uses Fourth of July and Christmas to get together. On my grandma’s side, they tend to host annual summer reunion and send out RSVP invitations complete with schedules of the whole two to three day event. I didn’t mention this under my family life, but both sides of my family are boujee to different degrees. Lots of black sorors and frats members on both sides. I can’t believe that slipped my mind typing.

I’m a little iffy with Christmas. It’s more of a holiday for the older generation and our niece and nephews. The younger generation, however, don’t particularly care for the holiday. For some of us, it’s because it’s not really Jesus’s Birthday and Santa was whitewashed. For others, it’s because we don’t care to feed into the corporate holiday. For most of us, it’s a combination of the two. But we do love getting together when we can. My older sister and I have conspired to celebrate kwanzaa instead for the past two years. So far, it hasn’t grasped the interest of anyone else in the family.

Struggles

  • Being nerds from a young age, my siblings and I have been called “Oreos” or“Not really black” by kids in school on more than one occasion. We shut them down by fighting. Probably not the best strategy but it was best one I could think of in middle school and below. Made it easier to go back to reading my manga.

  • I got compared to my sisters a lot. It was the absolutely most annoying thing ever. And a major source of my insecurities growing older.

  • Need I address colorism? My highschool was filled with it. #TeamLight v #TeamDark. I was on neither team, because in the region I live, skin color was a pretty long spectrum. I fell in the between. Who came up with this?

  • I’ll admit it. I hate my own tears. They make me feel weak. Which isn’t true…I know. But, it is a mentality I always had. I have depression and PTSD. This isn’t really a secret. I tell people if I’m asked. But have you ever had someone look at you and say, “Really? You don’t seem like the type.” ……

  • I am a black female. I’ve been labelled “Strong” and “Independent” the older I got. By my mother. By my siblings. By my peers. And I get those labels. Even from friends. I loved those labels. I call myself by those labels. I mean, who doesn’t want to be seen as strong and independent? Those are positive affirmations, right? I think they would be. If that wasn’t all the positive labels we could get. Somehow, society has decided we are beings that are incapable of being multifaceted. I was indirectly taught to hate my own tears because black girls don’t cry. You can’t cry and be strong. What a terrible mantra fed to black girl at a young age. So, instead you tell everyone “It’s fine.”

I told my therapist it was fine. Until she told me straight up it was not fine. And it was okay to cry. I don’t like to cry. But I still (involuntarily) did it.

Things I’d like to see less of/Things I’d like to see more of:

  • I’m sick and tired of seeing black and latinx folks being portrayed as only fantasy gangs members. We are not only gang members. That’s a terrible popular myth the media put out there and I hate it even more so when it’s portrayed in SFF genre..

  • I’m tired of having one black person in a novel being described as having skin the color of “midnight.” And he’s (it’s always a he) not even that important to the story

  • I hate how every time someone decides to add a person of color, they have to be ambiguous brown. I’m not saying ambiguously brown don’t exist and don’t need representation but is it really that had for a dark brown skin person to play a major role in a story that’s not about slavery? Speaking of which….

  • Why we always gotta be slaves? Or better yet….

  • Why don’t we exist at all in High fantasy stories? Urban fantasy? Brooklyn wasn’t always the gentrified white town it is now. Still isn’t. How are you erasing people of color from NYC??? We make up way too much of the population to be completely erased

  • Stop racial coding other creatures to surround your white human characters. Especially as the bad guys. That’s just shitty writing. Step up your game!

  • I love Black love

  • I love Gay love. I wish more would follow moonlight’s example and show poc are gay too and gay doesn’t always equal to stereotypical femininity.

  • I love interracial love HOWEVER, can we pair people of color with other people of color as well? I’m starting to hate seeing it always a white person paired with a Poc. Variety damnit!

  • Friendships between boys and girls that don’t transform into love.

  • Friendships between girls that didn’t start out as a rivalry.

  • Different body types besides the skinny and tall. Make a main character that’s fat for once. It’s not a problem.

  • Magical characters of color that aren’t “Noble Savages” or “Wise Monks” that used their magic for personal gain for once instead of waiting for the white hero to come.

  • Nerdy black characters who aren’t 100% competent and cries. One that isn’t in a five token band that always gonna be compare to the white main character. Make the nerd the main character!

That’s all I can think of at the top of my head. But my list really does go on. 

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

The 8 Steps of a CHARACTER ARC

You know that moment as a writer, when you’ve been charging through the story, high on how fantastic it is, and then suddenly…it all STOPS.  The next scene doesn’t form in your head. You’ve got nothing. 

Behind your characters, a string of bright and captivating scenes mark the trail of that rocket of inspiration; ahead of your characters, a foggy expanse, stretching to who-knows-where, a few shapeless blobs that should be scenes floating in the nothingness. The rocket is dead, and not refueling any time soon.

Well, to everybody who’s suffered this, or is currently suffering it, there’s a way to navigate through that fog. A map. Directions and a destination.

Or, more specifically, events that form the underlying structure of the story. 

This post is going to focus on one facet of story structure: character arc. Structure is something people subconsciously recognize and expect, and if the story doesn’t match those expectations, they feel cheated (though usually can’t explain why). Every good story follows a structure. So if you know structure, you’ll always know where to go next, and won’t get lost in the fog. 

So here are the 8 steps of a character arc:

1) Hero: Strength, Weakness, and Need

This happens in the setup of the story, when the main character’s ordinary world is being introduced. First, the main character’s strengths must be displayed; we must be given a reason to like them, or if not exactly “like” them, empathize with them, and be fascinated by them. The reader needs to bond with the character, feel concerned about how it all turns out for them. Or in other words, feel that the main character is worth experiencing the story. There are easy traits that do this: courage, love, humor, being in danger, being unfairly treated, being highly skilled at something, having a powerful noble goal. (Courage is the one they all need. If the character doesn’t have the gumption to actively pursue what they want, they are automatically a background character.) 

After this, still in the beginning of your story, let the character exhibit what needs to change. Show their weaknesses of character and self awareness.
And lastly, hint at what they NEED to learn. Sometimes this is even stated to the character, and they don’t understand it, refuse to believe it, or condemn it. Like “A Christmas Carol”, when Scrooge’s nephew says his speech about Christmas and how wonderful it is, and Scrooge replies “Bah Humbug!" 

2) Desire: This is the moment when the character knows what they need to pursue, in order to obtain what they inwardly want. It is not the inciting incident or catalyst, the event in a story that disrupts the ordinary world and calls the hero on an adventure. This is a separate step entirely, occurring after that catalyst has shattered life as the main character knows it. They believe obtaining this goal will calm whatever inner turmoil or conflict they’re battling. And always, they’re not quite right.
Think of Mr Fredricksen: His goal is to get the house – a  symbolic representation of Ellie and the life he shared with her – to Paradise Falls, which he believes will heal his grief and guilt. It won’t. Once he obtains it, the achievement feels hollow. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So on we go! 

3) Plan: Once in Act Two, the character is going to scramble for a plan of action. The inner want has solidified into a tangible goal, but they need a strategy to achieve it. This also spells out for the reader what to expect in that second act.  

4) Conflict: What’s going to try stopping them? A hero with a goal is one thing, but to make it a story we need something that stands in the way. An obstacle. A force of opposition. If we didn’t have obstacles, books would be as interesting as "Harry Potter and the Trip to the Grocery Store.” (Although honestly, I’d probably read that.) After the catalyst has changed everything, after the character crosses the threshold into Act Two, everything from here on out will be laden with conflict. This is usually when enemies, or more accurately forces of opposition, begin to appear. Everything is accumulating to complicate the main character’s pathway to achieving what they want. The forces of opposition come from not only the villains, but from the actions that have to be taken to achieve the desire. Whatever this action is, it’s exactly what the main character is not suited to do, an action that pressures their flaws, exposes them to exactly what they need to become but can’t right now. 

Like Stitch being forced to be the family dog. He’s not suited to this task.

5) Battle: The forces of opposition are amping up, growing stronger, fighting with greater intensity. The main character is taking the punches and working around them, relentlessly plowing forward. Hero and allies are usually punching back too.

6) Midpoint: This is the event where they first encounter what they need to learn, what they need to become. Something happens that forces them to behave in this new, life-saving way. But once they’ve seen it, they don’t know what to do with this knowledge. 

7) Dark Night, Revelation, Choice:
This is always the darkest point in the story, where all seems lost, and death – of a literal or spiritual nature – is in the air. And in this moment, something usually happens that makes the main character wake up to what is wrong, and what they need. More often than not, this revelation will arrive from the “love story” or relationship of the plot, and will be the thing that helps them pull themselves out of despair and see the light. And once this is uncovered, once the revelation of the truth about themselves is recognized, they are faced with a choice. Of course, they’ve been faced with choices in every beat of every scene, but this is the big choice that is going to determine if their story has a happy ending or a tragic one. The choice is this: “You are being faced the truth that you need to heal. Are you going to choose what you need, let your old self die, and become someone better?” And always, always, always this is a hard choice. The revelation must be significant to them. And it’s never easy. It can’t be. We don’t write stories about heroes who make easy choices. Villains have it easy. Are you going to adopt this new way of living, adopt this truth, and let your old self die? Or are you going to stay the way you are (which feels safer and is much less challenging) but end up stuck in a sort of living death? Most of the time, of course, they choose the right thing. 

This moment is usually always the saddest scene in the thing. Like this scene with Stitch.

8) New Life: This is their changed life. After experiencing the trials of the story, after realizing what they need and choosing to be reborn, they are going to be different people – and are going to live a different life. This is what follows the statement “And every day after …” What has changed? Show the audience how things are different, how things are better, because they want to see that. This is the resolution, the wrapping up of everything we’ve been through with the main character, and having this in the story is often what gives that feeling of satisfaction after seeing a really well-told story. 

So! To show off how this works, I’ve chosen the character arc of Carl from Up. 

1) Hero: Strengths, Weakness, Need

Strengths: Reasons to like Carl are packed into that heartbreaking opening sequence. By the end of it, we love him, love Ellie, and are crying our eyes out.

Weaknesses: Now Carl is curmudgeonly, grumpy, cold, and won’t pay attention to a living soul. He’s also plagued by grief, regret, guilt, and loneliness. (Which we are all 100% okay with, because we already like him.)

Need: He needs Russel. The statement of what he needs to learn isn’t outright said (as it will be later) but Russel represents it. 

Step Two: The catalyst was when a truck knocked down Ellie’s mailbox, Carl hit a construction worker in the head with his cane, and for this a judge declares him a public menace and orders him to go to Shady Oaks Retirement Village. The DESIRE is this moment. 

Carl escapes in a flying house, thousands of balloons lifting him skyward. He even says the desire of the whole story out loud, “So long boys! I’ll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!” The tangible goal is “live out the rest of his days in his and Ellie’s house, on the edge of Paradise Falls, South America.” (“It’s like America … but South.”)

Step Three: The plan and the conflict overlap, as they are wont to do. We have a scene where Carl is unfurling sails, setting a compass, and settling back in his chair for a smooth journey. But later on, after some conflict has arrived, we have Russel figuring out how to actually make it there. And after even more conflict has arrived, we have him telling Russel “We’re going to walk to the falls quickly and quietly, with no rap music or flash-dancing.”

Step Four: The moment he settles back into his armchair, high above the city, and here’s a knock on the front door, nothing is going to be easy for Carl. First, we have opposition in the form of Russel. Then we have a storm. Then the house lands miles away from the Falls, so they’ll have to walk it. Then we have Kevin, the giant bird. Then we have Dug. Which means they’re also being chased by a legion of talking dogs. Which brings us to Muntz, the main villain, and Carl’s shadow – the representation of Carl’s flaws, and the consequences of refusing to let go of the past. 

Step Five: This is the trek to the Falls. It’s also the battle with every complication that arises. And it’s also exactly what Carl is not suited to do. He’s a curmudgeonly old guy, bent on living out the rest of his life alone. Well, the story says “Nope, Carl, that’s not how it’s going to be” and promptly gives him a surrogate grandson to take care of, a dog who adores him, and even a giant mythical bird. And he has to lead them all, if he’s going to get to the Falls. 

Step Six: The moment when Russel invades Carl’s heart. Which is what he needs, but he doesn’t understand. (I have the scene beated out in the previous post.)

Step Seven: Finally, he gives in to the worst of himself and chooses his goal of living in his broken house on the edge of Paradise Falls. But somehow this doesn’t feel like victory. He’s still alone, next to Ellie’s empty chair, and she is still beyond his reach. 

He picks up her adventure book, and leafs through the photographs, missing her; he pauses on the page scrawled with the words “Stuff I’m Going To Do”, lets his hand rest on it, grief and regret overwhelming him. He begins to close the book, and the page shifts … revealing the edge of another picture. Surprised, he turns the page. It’s their wedding picture.

Ellie added picture after picture of their happy marriage, the whole wonderful life they shared, all the things she did. And on the bottom of the last page is her last message to him: “Thanks for the adventure! Now go have a new one! Love, Ellie.” Exactly what Carl needs. He doesn’t need to be guilty, he doesn’t need to regret the past. The past was beautiful, and she will never truly leave him. 

Choice: So, Carl can make the choice to throw everything out of the house to go save Russel. 

New Life: Sitting on a curb, eating ice cream with Russel.

In the credits, we see a whole new life – or new adventure – with Carl, Russel, Dug, and even a bunch of new puppies.

So, it’s actually pretty simple. And once again, it’s fun to develop your own stories like this, but it’s surprisingly fun to analyze movies and books with it too. It improves your storytelling ability, I’ve found. Practice makes perfect.

I hope this post helps somebody out. It’ll make the ten times I cried while writing it, while watching scenes from Up, worth it.

In case you missed issues B.A.P WAKE ME UP MV has touched on pt 2 cuz im trash and have been wheezing/crying the whole day fight me

Insecurities + Low Self Esteem/self-worth: shown through the girl with makeup around her and she soon tries to apply lipstick, only ending up smashing the mirror.
Murder/Shootings: The man waving his arms around as if conducting a musical piece until lights spark at his fingertips (like gunshots being fired) and then people dead surround him.
Anxiety/Depression/Mental Illness: The man in the bathroom, coiled up by the bathtub as he looks at his surroundings afraid of something, only to submerge himself into the water in his bathtub.
Illness in General/Suicidal thoughts or attempts: The girl who drinks down those pills as well as some other type of liquid can represent either illness in a physical aspect or portrays the attempt to suicide.
Eating Disorders/Hallucinations: The scene with the woman chopping veggies can allude to two different interpretations. Hallucinations as she almost eats a worm or it is the symbolic representation to express eating disorder.
Societal/Political Issues: The probably most iconic scene where the man is holding up a sign “Emotion Revolution”. This is representative of public demonstrations we see on the news today to fight for equal rights and social justice. The people passing by as if its nothing represent those who are unaware of the issues that surround them.
Revolution is starting to be achieved when these people who went through their own respective life problems come together to help ‘spread the awareness’. I guess you can say they, “wake up” into new ‘selves’, represented through celebration towards the end of the MV.

This isn’t even it. The MV is very diverse in nationality and they haven’t placed labels/stereotypical roles on these people according to the colour of their skin or where they came from. Each and every person was given a role that any human being would go through in their life because every human being is a human being despite race, colour, place of birth, gender, etc.

Not only did B.A.P create a song concerning social justice but they went even deeper this time. They went into mental illness, problems that we have as individuals at a personal level rather than just ‘society’ as a group. They looked into people in their variety and represented it through WAKE ME UP MV.

B.A.P aren’t just ‘kpop idols’. You probably thought I’d say “they don’t fit in the kpop category anymore.” No. This is something far bigger than just the music industry.

anonymous asked:

Do you know anything about creating servitors?

A servitor is a spiritual being you create in order to do your bidding.

Servitors are used for:

  • Protecting you spiritually.
  • Guarding your property or your loved ones.
  • Creating glamour: creating a certain aura about you, and how others perceive you.
  • Bring you things you might need.
  • Aid in tasks.

Some servitors are such powerful thoughtforms that even others can see it (although this tends to be rare or is reserved for long-existing servitors).

Essentially, creating a servitor is put into three parts:

  1. Construction.
  2. Charging.
  3. Casting.

It is outlined as follows:

Construction

You will need to create a symbolic representation of your servitor. What do you want your servitor to do? If, for example, you would want your servitor to guard you, you might want to create one in the form of a knight or an intimidating dog. Or, if you want to create an appearance entirely of your own, you may wish to add features such as sharp teeth, claws, weapons, armour, etc.The possibilities are endless although I do suggest using features that you associate with protection (I prefer using traditional associations, sometimes I even borrow imagery from tarot cards). Even drawing it out on a piece of paper helps you mentally create a “solid” representation of it if you don’t want to solely rely on your imagination in your head. Also consider: what special powers does your servitor have? What colour aura does it have? It is advisable to create a smaller servitor to begin with because larger ones require more energy.

Create your statement of intent for your servitor (what you want it to do). However, be specific and create guidelines - for example, if you want your servitor to help you gain money, you may want to tell it that causing misfortune in order to gain money is not permissible. You don’t want anything to backfire! 

It is also advisable that you create a sigil for your servitor or a symbol by which you will know your servitor. Finally, you will need to give your servitor a name. It can be any name you like or deem fitting. Do not tell anyone its name

Charging

After you have created the appearance and description of your servitor, you will need to actually bring it to life.

Draw the sigil or symbol of your servitor on a piece of paper and find a place where you will not be disturbed. Focus all of your attention on the sigil, repeating the servitor’s name. Visualise as vividly as you can the servitor’s shape forming. Firstly the base, and then the main symbols and features, and then the detail. You need to believe with all your will that the servitor is real and alive. There is no point in creating something which you think does not exist. This can take from 10-30 minutes. Repeat this for three days. Afterwards, the servitor will be able to function and appear on its own. 

Casting

You will need to give the servitor concise instructions on how to do your bidding here. See the servitor alive before you and call its name. Then, give it your instruction and then send it out to do your bidding. Never be afraid of your servitor, it is bound to you and it exists in order to fulfil your work and desires. 

You will also have to decide on what your servitor will feed on in order to require energy (you may wish to do this on the creation section too). Here are some examples:

  • Sunlight.
  • Moonlight.
  • Incense.
  • Candles.
  • Attention.
  • Prayers.
  • Water.

I suggest not using your blood or yourself as a way to charge it because this can very quickly spiritually drain you, especially if it is a larger servitor. 

You might also want to create a vessel or talisman for your servitor, and this way “feeding” it is easier as you can place the object on the feeding source. You can use anything you deem fitting for this, either jewellery, a statue, a drawing, a crystal, etc. 

To get rid of a servitor

If you no longer require a servitor because its purpose has been fulfilled, you may wish to destroy it. You can either stop using it and feeding it, destroy its vessel, or simply tell the servitor to stop and return to you. 

Damon Brand suggests that you add a code word or ritual to the job description that when spoken or done ends the life of the servitor – the warning being that it shouldn’t be a word or ritual that you could do by accident and destroy your Servitor without that being your intention.

8

Mosques domes

Most mosques also feature one or more domes, called qubba in Arabic. While not a ritual requirement like the mihrab, a dome does possess significance within the mosque—as a symbolic representation of the vault of heaven.

Modern Pagan Ways to Worship

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways I worship the gods, and watching my other Pagan friends to see how different our styles are. I thought I might list some of the ways I’ve noticed. Feel free to add anything you think is worth mentioning!

Learning about the gods: This is always the first thing I tell people to do when they decide to work with a new god. Read the stories we do have about them, even if there’s only one. What are scholars saying about the story/ies? What can we learn from knowing about the culture of the time? Is there any crossover from other cultures and mythologies?

Prayer: The obvious one, but perhaps not one that all Pagans engage in for fear of feeling ‘too Christian.’ Ceiswir Serith has a great guide, “A Book of Pagan Prayer,” if you want to take a look at new ways to pray. 

Offering food/drink: Whether you’re offering a separate meal to the goddesses or sharing a part of your plate, this is a very old tradition. Some gods prefer you partake of the meal, and others don’t. Whatever is best for you, offering a glass of wine or a portion of your lunch to the gods also makes you more conscious of the food you’re ingesting.

Building/maintaining an altar: Another very common one under the Pagan umbrella. We dedicate a space to a deity or deities, and decorate it as a workspace for spells, a welcome mat for the god(s)/ess(es) we worship.

Donning a deities’ associations: If yours is a sea goddess, it is likely she’ll prefer you wearing shells, pearls, or colors that remind her of her home. By contrast, a fire god might like to see you sporting some carnelian or even lava rock. Wearing their colors, crystals/stones, scents, animal representations, symbols (either overt or covert), etc., is a way to remind yourself of them throughout the day.

Writing: Some Pagans keep journals, a Book of Shadows, and blogs to write to and about the gods. If you’re a verbal learner, this can be a great way to figure out your feelings if you’re working through new concepts, or to tell stories about your deities if they like to hear you talk about them.

Art: Other Pagans like to draw, paint, or otherwise decorate parts of their world with a visual representation of their god(s)/ess(es), their associations, or experiences they’ve had with their deity.

Music: Writing a chant, alternative Christmas carol lyrics, or compositions can be a great way to worship! Don’t forget drum circles and jam sessions.

Meditation: One of my personal favorites, guiding yourself (or having them guide you) through a visual meditation to show them more of their world. You can learn a lot about a god this way.

Crafty hobbies: Making jewelery, fetishes, or other gifts for the gods can be a relaxing and informative way to learn about how you see your goddesses compared to how other people do.

Volunteer work: Many goddesses and gods require their followers to flow good energy back into the world, whether that’s by volunteering at a women’s shelter, running a recycling campaign in your neighborhood, or counselling LGBTQ+ youth, this is a rewarding way to prove you can put your money where your mouth is, spiritually speaking.

Academic work: Particularly for knowledge/wisdom deities, this can be a good one for students. Silently dedicating your homework assignments to your gods can boost the quality of the work you turn in–it’s going to someone a little higher than your professor, after all!

Designing sigils and symbols: A lot of people are starting to take up the sigil-making hobby, which is great! Making a unique symbol for your deities lets them know you’re thinking of them, without necessarily letting other people know. Particularly good for people in non-Pagan-friendly households.

Sana and her two worlds

So for a while I have noticed that this season has included a lot of shots with Sana and doors. She’s been behind them, walking through them, peeking behind everything beyond the door, and even standing in the doorway as she is greeted by others.

I tried to not think too much about it because it’s just showing Sana enter a room right? It doesn’t mean anything.

But then I started to think about what Sana’s theme is this season. She is torn between two worlds. Her faith, religion, family as one world and then her friends, Norwegian culture, and now Yousef, representing another.

She wants both but she is struggling to find the balance between these two worlds.

The door is a symbolic representation of a passageway from one world to another, particularly in regards to religion. 

So when it comes to Sana, every time we see her with a door, it is representing Sana transitioning into another world.

When she sees the girls in ep 1, she stands in the door, observing the world they represent before joining them

When we first see her home, we get a shot of Sana actually entering it. Introducing us to her other world. The one we haven’t seen before this season.

We get to see her enter a party, representing her walking into that world again.

And then, we see her enter a room in the party to pray, symbolising her switching into her other world again.

She is literally taking the passageway into each world. Trying to separate them but have them both at the same time.

and you can tell it is going to begin to become exhausting, trying to juggle being a part of both.

Without knowing it at the time, when Sana looks behind the door at Yousef in episode two, this was representing her observing another world she wants to be a part of, but without actually walking through the door and leaving her world behind - which is now the issue she is going to struggle with when it comes to Yousef and her faith.

To be with him, how much of her world does she need to sacrifice?

If she steps through the threshold, how much of her world begins to crumble?

she is truly torn, so she continues to stay in the doorway.

and now in this clip we saw Sana hiding behind the door as she peeks at her mother and her brother arguing, representing Sana feeling lost between her two worlds.

She is watching as this one begins to shake at just the mere droplet of the other world mixing in. And this is when the trouble truly begins.

Soon Sana will have to stop hiding behind her door…and either choose between the two worlds, or find a way to bring them together.

Dragon’s Hoard

Originally posted by zavassilissa

Hello all!  It’s been a bit since I put out a draconic spell!  We all know how dragons are fiercely protective of what is theirs, so here is a spell to protect your personal belongings and even your personal space!

Things you will need:

  • A space to set up a grid of sorts
  • A symbolic item that represents your valuables
  • A sheet of paper with an overhead sketch of your room lay out if you are protecting your space
  • Black Lava salt or Black Ritual Salt
  • Thorns
  • red pepper flakes
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Incense (Preferably Sun or Dragons Blood but this is up to you!)

First step:

Mix together your salt, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper focusing your energy into it in a fierce protective wave.  Place your mixture in the window on the night of the new moon to charge it up with it’s banishing and protective energy. Place your thorns here too to charge them up as well! Light your incense next to it (although half of the incense will suffice - if you can’t burn incense, leave your mixture in the window for an extra night to get an extra boost in energy).

If you are protecting your valuables and personal belongings

Grab one or two things to be a symbolic representation.  Like maybe a few gemstones or some jewelry.  Preferably smaller things because otherwise you will have a mess to clean up later.  Pour a circle of your salt and spice mixture around your chosen items, focusing on that strong protective energy encompassing your personal belongings.  Next arrange your thorns, points facing away from your items all around it.  

If you are protecting your personal space

Draw out on a sheet of paper the lay out of your room (or full house/apartment).  After that is done, lay your thorns on the outer most corners of your space, pointing outwards.  Then draw a line between them with the salt and spice mixture.  Focus on it encompassing your entire space in a protective barrier and anyone who dares cross will be ravaged.

The final steps

Light your incense again (this would make it better to use half of your incense on the first step and then the other half here).  Focus on it consecrating and “locking” your protection spell into place.  After your incense has finished burning, here comes the waiting part.  You need to let these things sit for a few days to really “sink in”.  Three days is ideal.  After your wait is up, you may clean up your spice and salt.  I would throw it out at this point since most of the energy you charged it with will be gone at this point.  However, if you really want to you can recycle it and recharge it.  But all and all you are finished!  You will have to recast this spell as time wears on because its effects can fade.

Safe Travels

Act 4: Trolls as Manifestations

Homestuck gains complexity through iterations, in plot, setting, and character. As the tutorial character, John’s actions are straightforward and relatively easy to follow, which sets the stage for grander installments. John’s plain house and Dad are followed by the increasingly complex circumstances of his friends. John’s ability to combine items across captchalogue cards (1917) is a primer for combining items via alchemy. If a rule is introduced through John, subsequent iterations of the rule will be more grandiose.

So, an observation: John is afraid of heights. When John slips on a staircase, he flips out (2460). When he nearly launches himself into the abyss with the Pogo Hammer, he has to take a nap before he has calmed down enough to continue (2537). Immediately following both moments of vertigo, massive ogres begin to climb toward John’s house (2461, 2542). The eventual fight with the ogres begins after John looks over the roof of his house, into the abyss (2562-3).

All of this suggests that Sburb is reacting to John’s emotional state (fear) to produce in-game content. This is further suggested by a peek we get at some of Sburb’s internal processes (3419):

Here, we have reference to terminology associated with Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. The terms suggest that Sburb interacts with the ideas in the kids’ subconscious minds (archetypes) and brings symbolic representations of these ideas into conscious reality (manifests the ideas). Like, pipes are Johns’s dad symbol (1974), so LOWAS is covered in pipes as a subconscious reminder of his dad. Or, Dave is surrounded by dangerous sharp objects in his apartment, so LOHAC is full of grinding metal gears to subtly (?) remind him of his awful, awful home.

Even before we reach the kids’ planets though, John’s encounter with the ogres asserts Sburb’s dream-like nature. The “hyper flexible mythology” of Sburb  is essentially the same as Freudian dream logic – Sburb caused John’s latent fear of heights to manifest as real, punchable monsters.

But if you look through Homestuck for things that materialize due to emotional events, it doesn’t stop with imps and monsters. It also includes the trolls.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

It irks me when people say that Dany is nothing without her dragons. GRRM described her as a warrior Queen some years ago. He compared her to Nymeria the warrior queen from Dorne. I can't find the source but I do remember reading it. I wonder how Martin feels when people try to deminish one of his favorite characters? He must take some offense or something.

Hey anon,

I’m sure GRRM is used to it by now, but I think he probably laughs to himself when people are so off about one of his characters. 

Regarding Dany, her dragons are in a way a symbolic representation of her own power. People who say she’s nothing without her dragons don’t understand the character and quite frankly have a really shitty memory. Her dragons did not make her strong enough to survive and get the respect of Drogo, or to cross the Red Waste, or to come up with the entire plan to sack Astapor without anyone’s help, or her plan to make Yunkai put down their swords with minimum bloodshed. He dragons are not what inspires her people or keeps them loyal to her, it’s her and fight to free the slaves and to treat them like people. 

It’s funny that you mentioned Nymeria because I was discussing with a friend the many similarities Dany shares with her. GRRM has compared Dany to Nymeria (who is Dany’s ancester from her great-great-grandfathers marriage to Mariah Martell) on a couple of occasions. Here is one

In particular, given that Nymeria was a warrior-queen, is there a certain amazon tradition?

“The Rhoynar did impact Dorne in a number of ways, some of which will be revealed in later books. Women definitely have more rights in Dorne, but I would not call it an “Amazon” tradition, necessarily. Nymeria had more in common with someone like Daenerys or Joan d'Arc than with Brienne or Xena the Warrior Princess.”

I found this fantastic comparison between Dany and Nymeria, I’ll quote my favorite parts but you can find the discussion here: (The bolded are quotes from the books.)

The refugee, the nomad, the woman wearing the literal skirt and metaphorical pants

“In the songs, Nymeria is said to have been a witch and a warrior; neither of these claims is true. Though she did not bear arms in battle, she led her soldiers on many battlefields, commanding them with cunning and skill.”

Dany is doing the exact same thing. She’s a warlord that’s not a warrior. And yes, you can be a warlord with absolutely no skill at arms, else Dany wouldn’t be called Aegon the Conqueror with teats.

Now let’s skim over Nymeria’s general history as it applies to Dany so far.

“Only Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar spoke against him. “This is a war we cannot hope to win,” she warned, but the other princes shouted her down and pledged their swords to Garin.”

In AGOT, Viserys is dreaming his fool dreams about re-taking Westeros with Dothraki. Dany knows better. She’s also somewhat skeptical of the Dothraki taking Westeros from the start, mostly thanks to Jorah Mormont educating her.

“The same fate awaited her own city, she saw.”

Nymeria runs for it after Valyria massacres the Rhoyanar men.After Drogo dies, Dany hatches her invaluable dragons. She’s also left with few Dothraki, and she has to flee from various Khals (on top of her constant running from Robert).

“Nymeria’s voyage was long and terrible.”

The difficulty of the Red Waste corresponds to this.Then, Nymeria had her Odyssey: Rhoyne -> Basilisk Isles -> jungles of Sothoryos -> Isle of Naath -> Summer Isles (Isle of Women).She couldn’t stay in any of these places, because~

“(…) arrived at Yeen to find that every man, woman, and child in that haunted, ruined city had vanished overnight.”

Haunted (to the eye) ruins, like the House of the Undying?

“The sullen wet heat oppressed their spirits, and swarms of stinging flies spread one disease after another (…)”

and

“On Naath, the Isle of Butterflies, the peaceful people gave them welcome, but the god that protects that strange land began to strike down the newcomers by the score with a nameless mortal illness”

Illness, like the Bloody Flux outbreak? Also, Missandei - one of Dany’s main helpers - is a friendly girl from Naath Dany finds somewhere at the halfway point of her journey.

“Basilisk Isles (…) only to fall afoul of the corsair kings (…) carrying off hundreds into slavery.”

and

“new towns on Basilisk Point were raided by slavers,”

Well, what do you know, Dany’s slave liberation campaign isn’t working out so well. In fact, seemingly half of the slaving Essos is sending armies against her in ADWD - Yunkai, Qarth, New Ghis, Tolos, Elyria, Volantis, the Harpies within Meereen itself.

“In the Summer Isles (…) its thin stony soil yielded little food, and many starved.”

As Dany approached Meereen, the slavers put the land around it to torch to starve her out. She still took the city, but many of her people are nonetheless starving.

“The battered, tattered remainder of the ten thousand ships sailed west with Princess Nymeria. This time she made for Westeros.”

Dany at the end of ADWD:

“Meereen was not her home, and never would be. It was a city of strange men with strange gods and stranger hair, of slavers wrapped in fringed tokars, where grace was earned through whoring, butchery was art, and dog was a delicacy. Meereen would always be the Harpy’s city, and Daenerys could not be a harpy.

Never, said the grass, in the gruff tones of Jorah Mormont. You were warned, Your Grace. Let this city be, I said. Your war is in Westeros, I told you.”

The once and future queen

Back to Nymeria and why I think Dany will do well in Westeros~

“Dry, desolate, and thinly peopled, Dorne at this time was a poor land where a score of quarrelsome lords and petty kings warred endlessly over every river, stream, well, and scrap of fertile land.”

Wet, desolate and overflowing with corpses, at the end of ADWD Westeros is a fucked-up continent where a score of quarrelsome lords and petty kings war endlessly over everything. Euron, Tommen, Aegon, Stannis, KINGINDANORF? are just the Kings we have. (Does the Night King count?)

“Most of these Dornish lords viewed the Rhoynar as unwelcome interlopers, invaders with queer foreign ways and strange gods, who should be driven back into the sea whence they’d come.”

Yeah, Dany will have barbarians, slaves (you think Westerosi can notice they have no collars?), the infamous Imp, dragons, a trail of burning enemies behind her. She won’t get warm reception from most.

And they lived happily ever after

Well, probably not. I don’t see how GRRM will keep Dany on Nymeria’s track without breaking his tone.

“Though she married twice more (first to the aged Lord Uller of Hellholt, and later to the dashing Ser Davos Dayne of Starfall, the Sword of the Morning), Nymeria herself remained the unquestioned ruler of Dorne for almost twenty-seven years, her husbands serving only as counselors and consorts.”

I suppose that in a certain way, Mors can also work as Drogo, old Lord Uller as lame King Hizdahr, and the Sword of the Morning as… Jon NOT DARKSTAR, because I refuse to contemplate the possibility of Darkstar (she already did Bad Boy Daario). The husbands as consorts works for Hizadhr, and whomever her prophesized 3rd husband is, Dany will be leading in her own right - Drogon, Dracarys! helps there.

“She survived a dozen attempts upon her life, put down two rebellions, and threw back two invasions by the Storm King Durran the Third and one by King Greydon of the Reach.”

Dany already survived at least 4-5 attempts on her life - AGOT wineseller, ACOK manticore and arguably Undying, ASOS Titan’s Bastard, ADWD Poizdar do Loqust. I also don’t see Stannis bending to Dany, same for Tyrells who’ll stay with Tommen Lannister. Other possibilities for revolting kingdoms are Dorne (the irony!) and Iron Islands.

That was pretty awesome, there are more quote at the link if you want to read all the parallels between these awesome women. 

I will add one thing regarding Nymeria’s 3 husbands vs. Dany’s 3 husbands.

Nymeria’s first husband (Mors Martell) came from a people who are famed for their horses (Dorne), Dany’s first husband came from a people famed for their horses (Dothraki). 

Nymeria’s second husband came from Hellholt (Lord Uller), which is symbolized by a sort of fiery yin-yang thing, it’s half this and half that, it’s divided basically. Dany’s second husband was symbolized by the Harpy, half woman, and half bird. 

Finally, Nymeria’s third and final husband was Ser Davos Dayne the Sword of the Morning, I do wonder if the Sword of the Morning will play a role in the books as it has been mentioned a lot. And whether Jon will use it or not. Jon does have a connection to an actual Sword of the Morning in Author Dayne. And of course, there is the whole War for Dawn thing going one. 

Sorry, I hijacked your asked but yeah, Dany doesn’t need to wield a sword to be kickass, just look at her very kickass ancestor Nymeris. 

TTFN

Different Types of Magic

A note by the poster: this list is not extensive; these are not the only varieties of magic that exist or can be used, but are merely examples of some of the more common or well-known branches of practiced magic.

Elemental

In this particular  type of magic the Elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water are given their own directional focus to create added power and give extra energy to your spells. You will no doubt find that you tend to favor one particular direction, but you should be able to use all of them.

Color

Perhaps the simplest form of magic is that which involves color. This method of working is also used in conjunction with various other forms of magic. Color can enhance, alter and completely change moods and emotions and therefore can be used to represent our chosen goal. At its simplest, it can be used alone and in dressing an altar. 

Herbal

Herbal magic is often used alongside many other forms of magic. Used as talismans and amulets – for example in a pouch or bag – herbs become protective; the oil from herbs can also be used in candle magic. There are many different types of herbs available for use in this way. Each herb has its own specific use, but frequently is used along with many other herbs and oils to produce a desired result.

Candle

In candle magic, man discovered the ability to control light and this is one of the oldest forms of magic as well as one of the most simple. Using candles to symbolize ourselves and our beliefs means that we have access to a power beyond ourselves. Candle magic also forms an effective back-up for most other forms of magical working.

Crystal

Every stone or gem has its own attribute which can be used in magic. Crystals are used extensively in healing because of the vibrational impact they can have. Because of this, they lend themselves to the enhancement of any spell making or magical working. Even ordinary stones have their own power and can be used as repositories for all sorts of energies and powers.

Knot

Knot magic works partly with the principle of binding, which is a type of bidding spell, and also with that of weaving. It utilizes ribbon, rope, string, yarn, or anything that can be knotted or plaited to signify our aspiration. It is a type of representational magic, and is used in conjunction with many of the other forms. The techniques of color, form and use of energies are all used in its practice.

Representational

Representational magic involves using an object that represents something or someone for whom you are working the spell. It helps in concentrating the energy and visualizing the desire and the end result. Representational objects should never be used for negative purposes. [This is an opinion of the book’s original author, and not one that is shared by the poster.]

Symbolic

In this system different symbols, rather than objects, are used to represent various ideas, people or goals. These symbols can be personal to you, or such things as Tarot cards, runes, sigils, or numerology. You will often use symbolic magic in your magical workings and will soon develop your own preferred symbols.

Talismans, Amulets and Charms

These devices use all the other forms of magic in their formation, but principally representational and symbolic magic. They are ‘charged’ (given power) magically and usually are worn or carried on the person for protection or good luck. Many are worn around the neck, perhaps as jewelry, or carried in a pouch and incorporate crystals, herbs or other magical objects. There are many types of each of these objects and you will gradually learn to differentiate between them.

Source:
[“The Ultimate Book of Spells” by Pamela J. Ball]

How the Zodiac Signs got their Symbols

♈ ARIES:
Athamas, a king in the land of Croneus, had a son named Phrixus and a daughter named Helle by his first wife. Her name was Nephele. He eventually grew tired of Nephele and sent her away. He then married Ino, the daughter of Cadmus who was the King of Thebes. Over time, Ino grew jealous of Nephele’s children. She wanted the kingdom for her own sons and decided to use treachery and deceit to get it. Nephele was fearful for her children’s safety, and sent a protector into the castle walls to watch over them. The protector was a Ram with a fleece made of gold that was given to her as a present from Zeus. The Ram has always been loyal to Nephele ever since. When the day of sacrifice came, the ram spoke to Phrixus and Helle, told them to climb on his back and to make sure they held on tight. Once they did, the ram sprang into the air and flew across the sea. Helle, who is much weaker than her brother Phrixus, fell off the ram’s back and into the ocean where she plunged to her death. The place she fell is called Hellesponte. Phrixus survived and ended up marrying into the royal family of Colchis, thus maintaining his noble status. In thanks to Zeus, Phrixus sacrificed the golden ram that had carried out the god’s wishes on Earth. Phrixus hung the ram’s fleece in a special spot in Colchis, where it would be the theme of legends to come. Zeus hung the ram’s likeness in the sky to commemorate its bravery, and it shines there to this very day.


♉ TAURUS:
Zeus was a lover of women, both mortal and immortal but it was sometimes hard to escape to be with other women being under the watchful eye of his wife Hera. He also was unable to appear in his true form, as he would strike too much fear into the hearts of mortal men and women. One of Zeus’s methods was to change himself into an animal, which allowed him to escape from Hera and get close to the woman of his choice. One day, a maiden named Europa caught Zeus’s eye as she was out playing with a group of girls by the seashore. Knowing that she and her friends would be terrified if a strange man or god approached them, he changed himself into a beautiful white bull. Once she was comfortable with the bull, she started to play with it. They got farther and farther away from her friends. Zeus laid down, and Europa climbed on his back. Then he plunged into the sea and swam away with Europa clinging to his back. Zeus took her to the island of Crete, where he changed back to his true form. He took Europa as his lover, and she bore him three sons. Zeus hung the image of the bull in the heavens, where it represents love, strength and beauty.


♊ GEMINI:
Gemini represents two heroic twin brothers named Castor and Pollux. Their mother, Leda, was one of Zeus’ many love affairs. Castor and Pollux were legendary adventurers and fighters. They were members of the Argonauts, the group of brave young men who set off with Jason to find the Golden Fleece (Aries story). The two brothers are also known for their constant rivalry with Theseus of Athens. Theseus, in fact, kidnapped their sister Helen one day and locked her up in Athens. When Theseus was away, Castor and Pollux stormed the city and took Helen back. The twins died fighting while they were still relatively young. Castor was killed in a struggle with the Leucippidae. Zeus saw the struggle and the death from his place in the heavens. The twins were among his favorite mortals, and Zeus did not want to see them both go to Hades, so he hurled a thunderbolt at the Leucippidae and killed them. Then he took Pollux up to the heavens. Pollux did not want to be immortal while his brother was still in Hades so Zeus brought Castor up in the heavens with Pollux, where they were reunited and remained together forever.


♋ CANCER:
This crab was the first symbol of the Zodiac to be placed in the heavens by an immortal other than Zeus. It was actually sent by his wife, Hera, to plague the Greek hero Heracles (Hercules), who she hated very much. Hera hated Heracles because he was the product of Zeus’s many affairs. The crab was not a particularly kind creature while on Earth. It was originally called Carcinus, which is Greek for ‘crayfish’. It dwelled underwater, and was huge and rather malevolent. Heracles was in the middle of the Twelve Labors, which was his punishment for crimes committed as a young man. In a fit of madness, which was actually placed on him by Hera, he killed his wife and young sons. The gods decided that even though he wasn’t fully responsible for the crime, he would need to spend many years atoning for his sins. They put him in the service of his brother, Eurystheus, who ordered him to do one thing after another, all of which seemed impossible. Heracles was no ordinary man, and in the course of his labors he gained glory and won over most of the Olympians. Hera, however, remained implacable in her hatred. At the time when Hera sent the giant crab to attack Heracles, he was fighting a much more terrible monster, the Lernean Hydra. Hera thought that Heracles would be too busy fighting the Hydra to pay attention to the giant crab, or that if the crab distracted him, the Hydra would have an opportunity to finish him. Unfortunately for the crab and Hydra, Hera was mistaken. Heracles killed Carcinus easily, then turned his attention back to the Hydra. Hera, who had watched the incident, did not forget the animal that had died at her command. She placed it in the heavens to show that she was grateful for its efforts.


♌ LEO:
Leo is represented by a mythical monster fought by Heracles during his Twelve Labors. This monster was the Nemean Lion. The valley of Nemea had been terrorized by the beast, which was thought to be impossible to kill. The was actually Heracles’s First Labor. He had to find the lion in its mountain lair and destroy it before it could completely wipe out the Nemean countryside. Once he had killed the lion, his brother and taskmaster Eurystheus wanted him to bring its hide back to the city as proof that he had actually accomplished the task. Once he found the lion, he tried to kill it right away. First with his arrows, then with his giant sword, which were both unsuccessful. He ended up wrestling the lion, strangling it with his bare hands. Once it was dead, he skinned it using its own claws and carried it to Eurystheus. After showing his brother, who panicked and ran when he saw the lion’s remains, Heracles took the lion’s carcass away. He made a cloak out of the skin and a helmet out of the head. The spirit of the lion was placed in the sky, where it was no longer deadly, but beautiful.


♍ VIRGO:
This constellation is said to be the figure of a goddess. According to legend, during the Golden Age, which was under the rule of the Titans at the time, the gods and goddesses lived on Earth among men. Once the Olympian era came to be, things started to change. Zeus was a harsh and strict ruler. He saw humans as rather lowly creatures who were far beneath immortals. He thought they should be treated like animals. Prometheus, a Titan, became the protector of men and sided against Zeus. He stole fire from the Olympians and give it to humans. Zeus was pissed off and chained Prometheus to the top of the Caucasus Mountains, intending to leave him there forever. However, Zeus was not finished punishing Prometheus or the human race yet. He sent down Pandora, the first woman. Ancient Greeks believed that women were the source of all evil and discomfort. The symbolic representation of women’s corruption of humanity is Pandora’s Box, which was filled with all the demons that torture humanity, from greed to spite. After Pandora unleashed these demons, the remaining immortals on Earth quickly departed for Olympus. The last one to leave was Astraea, the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Astraea was the goddess of virtue. She went to the heavens and watches from the sky every night to see when earth will be ready for her to return.


♎ LIBRA:
The legend of this sign seems to originate in Egypt, where the Egyptian lord of the dead used a scale to weigh the souls of those who had died. Anubis is portrayed with the head of a jackal. He and his brother Apu-at watched over the two roads that led to the Underworld. Anubis would weigh the souls of the dead to determine their value based on what they had done on Earth. Anubis sent worthy souls to the kingdom of Osiris, the equivalent to Heaven. He could be seen as a benevolent deity but also a dark and terrible figure that you could not escape from. His attribute, the scales, was a symbol of final judgment. The Greeks allowed them to retain their place and legend in the heavens.


♏ SCORPIO:
The Scorpion was a monster summoned at the will of the who at the time was a wrathful goddess, Artemis. She called upon the Scorpin to destroy Orion. Orion was a giant. He was more than mortal, but less than a god or goddess. He was the son of Poseidon and is often supposed to be the son of Gaia, as were all giants. Orion was strong and very beautiful, but he thought too highly of himself and forgot to show proper respect toward immortals. It is not clear what Orion did to anger Artemis. According to one version, he tried to rape one of her handmaidens. According to another, he may have tried to force himself on Artemis herself. Perhaps he simply boasted that he was a better archer than she was. Of all the goddesses, however, Artemis may have been the worst one to anger. She was the goddess of the hunt and the goddess of revenge, and she was ruthless and violent once angered. She became furious with Orion’s impudence and commanded a giant scorpion to attack him. The scorpion stung Orion and killed him. Artemis placed her servant in the heavens as a reward for doing her bidding. Because of Orion’s parentage, he could not go to Hades. He was placed in the heavens as well, where he continues to flee across the night sky, away from the poisonous scorpion.


♐ SAGITTARIUS:
The Archer represents one of the more heroic figures of the zodiac, Chiron, the kindest and gentlest of the Centaurs. Although many of them were stupid and violent, Chiron was known for his wisdom, caring nature and his ability to teach. He was immortal. Chiron tutored the Greek heroes Achilles and Jason and many others. He was renowned among the Greeks, although he lived by himself in a cave in the countryside. Heracles shot him with an arrow by accident. He was trying to kill the other vicious centaurs who were plaguing the countryside. He had no intention of shooting Chiron, and was extremely remorseful. Although Chiron used his medical skills on the wound, it was incurable. Heracles’ arrows were tipped with the deadly venom of the Lernean Hydra, which killed any victim it touched. But Chiron was immortal so instead of dying, he remained in terrible pain and agony. Prometheus, the Titan, managed to help Chiron. It is not clear what exchange Prometheus and Chiron made, but the Titan made Chiron mortal, and enabled him to leave the Earth and go up to the heavens.


♑ CAPRICORN:
This constellation has a mythological explanation that dates to before the Greeks. Capricorn, the Seagoat, is thought to be the image of a powerful Babylonian deity named Ea. He has the lower half of a fish and the head and torso of a goat. He lived in the ocean. He came out every day to watch over the land, and he returned to the sea every night. The Greek version of this legend does not match with the physical description of the Seagoat. Greeks thought that the starry figure was Pan, a Greek demigod. Pan had the upper half of a man, but he had the legs of a goat. He was the son of Hermes and a forest nymph. According to legend, when the nymph saw her strange baby, she shrieked in fear and ran away. Hermes, however, loved his strange son. He took him to Olympus, where the other gods and goddesses also took a liking to Pan. He became the god of shepherds and flocks, taking the responsibility from his father. He did not dwell on Olympus; he preferred to live among the shady trees in the mountains. He amused himself by playing his beloved reed pipes or by chasing nymphs through the woods.


♒ AQUARIUS:
In many ancient cultures, there was a god known as the 'Water Bearer’ or 'Water Pourer’. Water is the bringer and sustainer of all life; therefore the force that made water rain down from the heavens was among the most revered by ancient peoples. In Greek legend, Zeus was the Water Bearer. Although he was the god of many things, one of his most important roles was as the god of storms. The constellation Aquarius could have originally been representative of Zeus as the Water Bearer. Another myth, probably of more recent origin, is the myth of Deucalion, the only man to survive the Great Flood. The story of this flood is very similar to the Judeo-Christian legend of Noah’s Ark. As the story goes, during the Iron Age, humanity had become more savage than animals. Brother fought each other, fathers were killed by their own sons, and no one was safe. Both men and women were violent, bloodthirsty and had no morals. The words of the gods meant little or nothing to them, and no one would repent for their sins. Zeus, despairing for humankind, sent a great flood upon the Earth. The flood destroyed all the people in the world – with the exception of Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha. Zeus came across them while visiting Earth and too a liking to them. They lived alone and had almost no food or material goods. Despite this, they fed Zeus, gave him shelter for the night and spoke kindly to him, even though they had no idea that he was a god. They were the last godly people on Earth, so Zeus allowed them to survive the flood. After it ended, he helped them to create a new race of men, which was supposed to be stronger and better. Deucalion is known as the 'Water Bearer’ because he not only lived through the flood, but he helped to bring life to a new generation.


♓ PISCES:
This constellation is associated with a Greek legend about Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, and her son Eros, the god of love. The two were walking along a river one day when the terrible monster Typhon suddenly rose up out of the water trying to kill them. Typhon was ancient and awful. Typhon was as strong as a Titan, meaning he was also as strong as the Olympians. He was as tall as the heavens and his eyes shot flames. He had 100 dragonheads sprouting from his hands, taking the place of his fingers. None of the Olympians had the power to destroy Typhon alone, so for a time, all they did was flee from him. They did this by transforming into animals. Aphrodite and Eros transformed themselves into fish and swam away. Alternately, they dove into the river and were rescued by two friendly fish, who carried them to safety. Two fish were hung in the sky, their tails intertwined, to commemorate the day when love and beauty were saved.

First house;

The first house narrates the story of our first steps in this world.

Before being granted a physical form, we were one with the universe, dissolved in its starry, scintillating waters.  This is represented by the 12th house, where universal consciousness links all existing things together as if they were one and the same, despite physical attributions and tangible limits. In the 12th house, we were everything. We had nothing to separate us from everything else; no identity. We had no end — and no beginning.

The 1st house, then, is a symbolic representation of the moment we receive something to identify with. We’re cut off from our universal ties in a violent flash of colourful light, and we fall from heavenly skies to receive a material, limited form. This specific moment is represented in the cusp of the 1st house, also called the Ascendant. It is a point in the East horizon, representing dawn, where energies of the signs emerge into the light of day, and it pierces us as we’re born, presenting us with an astrological badge that spontaneously says, “This is who I am now; this is what makes me unique!”

This correlation between the 1st house and the moment of birth is why planets in this house and its characteristics in general may describe conditions of child-birth.

If we pay attention to it, this is also quite a dynamic house so far, isn’t it?, representing a constant state of lively actions, separation, change. Nothing stays stagnant for too long in this angular house, so here energies are in nonstop movement.

I’ve previously talked on how Rising signs work. Now let’s take a brief look at how planets in this house tend to manifest.


Sun in the 1st house: alone, a vigorous warrior contemplates the sunrise before parting on a journey to fulfill their destiny. Their determination is reflected in the warm radiance that proudly illuminates the dark. Accessible motivation and confidence. This is someone whose personal purposes, goals and individuality tend to be easily perceived by others, because the essence of who they are is constantly projected outwards in their everyday life. This Sun favours the nurturing of an energetic physical body, as well as being in leadership positions.

Moon in the 1st house: on the horizon, the Moon descends quietly, like a heavy shooting star leaving out a fading trace of watery silver. The seas are restless. The world watches, mesmerized. People with this placement tend to have strong and spontaneous emotional responses to their environment and surrounding events. The individuality is emotionally sensitive and tends to react defensively. Physical well-being and feeling beautiful become emotional needs with this placement. The Moon is not so distant anymore, and on Earth it now absorbs worldly problems and conflicts from other people, producing an empathetic individual.

Mercury in the 1st house: a child runs happily in a park, talking excitedly to their friends. They are amazed by the infinite information that world has to offer. Children of Mercury are often clever and witty, usually with great communication skills with which they express their impressive ideas. Curious, active and creative, the individual has a rich and instinctive experience within their own mind, and this is easily perceived by others as they express themselves.

Venus in the 1st house: among flowers and heavy curtains, a young noble charms everyone around with their beauty and politeness. They wear their heart on a bracelet beside ribbons and jewels. The embodiment of Venus, this is someone who expresses their ability to appreciate balance, harmony and stability in all things. They usually value the Arts and are on a constant quest for finding beauty and love in the world.

Mars in the 1st house: upon a windy arena, a young soldier wields their sword, ready for an ultimate battle. The sky is changing with swift-moving clouds; birds fly quickly away from the turmoil. Blessings upon the individual’s ability to assert oneself due to strong passions. Active and enthusiastic, this is someone who forges ahead towards the accomplishment of their desires; this an evident trait for everyone around.

Jupiter in the 1st house: sit in a giant library, an old magician reads quietly. The pages’ surface flickers with green, twinkling light, producing ancient sigils of faith. The individual is blessed with an abundant interior experience, favouring the exploration and study of one’s own character, ideals and aspirations. This placement also infuses the personality with fairness and benevolence, often producing the self-confidence that is needed to take risks and work towards the expansion of oneself.

Saturn in the 1st house: an elderly scholar looks down upon newer students as they bow down, embarrassed by their folly; the scholar’s gaze is fixed, demanding and wise. There’s still much to be learned. This is someone who easily expressed their concern for discipline, commitment and loyalty, favouring the transmission of one’s knowledge. These people are usually regarded as professors of some kind, even if they’re not related to a career in education. Being spontaneous might be hard, for Saturn draws clear limits for the 1st house’s flaming instincts.

Uranus in the 1st house: an Angel suddenly emerges from the dark, revealing themselves for an enlightened scientist. They talk of what discoveries are to come, revealing inspiring visions of the future. One presents themselves as original and eccentric in the way they present themselves as individuals. This placement favours development of independence and enlightenment, blessing the individual with an ability to foresee future events because of their clear understanding of present tendencies.

Neptune in the 1st house: as a composer dreams, glittering ideas are poured from the stars and into his mind; words of celestial music reverberate from the deep starlit sky. Blessings from Neptune favour creative and artistic expressions of one’s individuality through a poetic imagination. People with this placement usually have a broad understanding of the universe, producing someone who’s receptive and caring towards other people’s expressions. The 1st house’s physical limits are partially dissolved by Neptune’s waters.

Pluto in the 1st house: cornered, a noble calmly considers the furious riot that spreads into the burning castle. It’s not over yet. Powerful and persuasive, this is someone whose powers may transcend their own understanding. Pluto’s blessings produce an individual who has a great ability to transform themselves and others, as well as a need to exert powerful influence over others.


It is important to remember that any of these potential manifestations can be altered by the charts overall conditions.

Detail from: Falling Star, 1884 by Witold Pruszkowski (Polish, 1846–1896).

Sana and food vs Sana and sex

Following my previous metas on food and intimacy in SKAM (here and here), I’d like to say a little something about Sana and her relationship with food and sex in the Er Jeg Sen? clip.

Food and meals are symbolically a representation of intimacy, like I showed in my previous metas. I think that in the first clip of sesong 4 we see it take a prominent place in the narrative.

We see Sana look at boys’ bodies openly and in a sensual way. Her reveries are soon interrupted by a call to prayer app (representing her faith, that’s a no-brainer). We are immediately shown this apparent opposition of sexual/sensual desire and faith (I am saying “apparent” because I do not think these are necessarily opposite).

Later, when Sana joins the girl squad, she is offered to share their meal with a pizza pepperoni.


The pizza takes up the whole frame as an intrusion. We know that Islam forbids eating pork so we are not surprised when we see Sana politely decline it.
There’s an immediate separation here between Sana and the other girls. She does not eat pork but they do. They can’t share any meal together. Sana is reminded she is “other” immediately, even before talking.
Eva then offers Sana another pizza and this time she accepts. But we realise this pizza has beef on it that is probably not hallal and Sana has to pick them out.

(cont. after the “read more”)

Keep reading

Why do we dream?

In the 3rd millennium BCE, Mesopotamian kings recorded and interpreted their dreams on wax tablets. In the years since, we haven’t paused in our quest to understand why we dream. And while we still don’t have any definitive answers, we have some theories. Here are seven reasons we might dream.

1. In the early 1900’s, Sigmund Freud proposed that while all of our dreams, including our nightmares, are a collection of images from our daily conscious lives, they also have symbolic meanings which relate to the fulfillment of our subconscious wishes.  Freud theorized that everything we remember when we wake up from a dream is a symbolic representation of our unconscious, primitive thoughts, urges and desires. Freud believed that by analyzing those remembered elements, the unconscious content would be revealed to our conscious mind, and psychological issues stemming from its repression could be addressed and resolved.

2. To increase performance on certain mental tasks, sleep is good, but dreaming while sleeping is better.  In 2010, researchers found that subjects were much better at getting through a complex 3D maze if they had napped and dreamed of the maze prior to their second attempt. In fact, they were up to ten times better at it than those who only thought of the maze while awake between attempts, and those who napped but did not dream about the maze. Researchers theorize that certain memory processes can happen only when we are asleep, and our dreams are a signal that these processes are taking place.

3. There are about ten thousand trillion neural connections within the architecture of your brain. They are created by everything you think, and everything you do.  A 1983 neurobiological theory of dreaming, called “reverse learning,” holds that while sleeping, and mainly during REM sleep cycles, your neocortex reviews these neural connections and dumps the unnecessary ones. Without this unlearning process, which results in your dreams, your brain could be overrun by useless connections, and parasitic thoughts could disrupt the necessary thinking you need to do while you’re awake.    

4. The “Continual Activation Theory” proposes that your dreams result from your brain’s need to constantly consolidate and create long term memories in order to function properly. So when external input falls below a certain level, like when you’re asleep, your brain automatically triggers the generation of data from its memory storages, which appear to you in the form of the thoughts and feelings you experience in your dreams. In other words, your dreams might be a random screensaver your brain turns on so it doesn’t completely shut down.   

5. Dreams involving dangerous and threatening situations are very common, and the Primitive Instinct Rehearsal Theory holds that the content of a dream is significant to its purpose.  Whether it’s an anxiety filled night of being chased through the woods by a bear, or fighting off a ninja in a dark alley, these dreams allow you to practice your fight or flight instincts and keep them sharp and dependable, in case you’ll need them in real life. But it doesn’t always have to be unpleasant; for instance, dreams about your attractive neighbor could actually give your reproductive instinct some practice too.

6. Stress neurotransmitters in the brain are much less active during the REM stage of sleep, even during dreams of traumatic experiences, leading some researchers to theorize that one purpose of dreaming is to take the edge off painful experiences to allow for psychological healing. Reviewing traumatic events in your dreams with less mental stress may grant you a clearer perspective and an enhanced ability to process them in psychologically healthy ways. People with certain mood disorders and PTSD often have difficulty sleeping, leading some scientists to believe that lack of dreaming may be a contributing factor to their illnesses.   

7. Unconstrained by reality and the rules of conventional logic, in your dreams your mind can create limitless scenarios to help you grasp problems and formulate solutions that you may not consider while awake. John Steinbeck called it “the Committee of Sleep” and research has demonstrated the effectiveness of dreaming on problem solving. It’s also how renowned chemist August Kekule discovered the structure of the benzene molecule, and it’s the reason that sometimes the best solution for a problem is to “sleep on it”.

And those are just a few of the more prominent theories. As technology increases our capability for understanding the brain, it’s possible that one day we will discover the definitive reason for them; but until that time arrives, we’ll just have to keep on dreaming.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why do we dream? - Amy Adkins

Animation by @clamanne

2

“It’s my most sacred and valuable material possession. I call it ‘the super jacket.’ It started in high school, when I got a jacket, which I actually hated, and I slightly fought with my mom. As time went by, it started to rip, but I wore it every day. I would stitch on different pieces of clothing and it just kept growing. Eventually, the jacket became a physical representation of my soul.
I’m not necessarily Hindu, but the soul in Hindu spirituality sheds different shells as it goes on its journey. In the same way, the jacket changes as I pass through the different phases of my life. That’s why I think clothing should be a symbolic representation of what’s important to the wearer.
I wear my super jacket all the time. I’ve worn it during official presentations, I wear it in my office, and I will wear it at my dissertation defense.”
One of the special patches is this one. It’s made from my mother’s wedding sari. The patch itself is an embryonic blue-color and you can see two spindles pulling apart two components—death and life. Life is the green-colored wavelike turbulence, and death the compartmentalized squares because death often reorganizes what was in life. Here, they are pulled apart but as the individual grows, they come together again. When you die, they reunite.“

Lexington, MA

Different Forms of Magick

Magick can come in various forms, with various techniques and uses. There is no right or wrong form, just whatever works best for you. You may find you want to use few, many or even all forms you encounter. There’s no limit. The only thing I would say is fear or doubt of your own ability may not provide the best results when working.

I’m going to list some, though I am in no way an expert on all, nor do I know all forms magick takes. But at the very least, I hope this will be an interesting if not useful read.

• Colour Magick - some would say this is one of the simplest forms of magick. It is often used together with others, but can be effective when used alone. Colour can enhance or change moods and emotions, it can be used to represent your goal and even something as simple as dressing your alter in a specific colour can have an effect.

• Herb magic - this can also be used alongside many other forms, for instance with talismans and amulets. The oil from herbs can be used to dress yourself or candles. You can even combine many herbs and oils together to create the desired effect.

• Candle magick - one of the oldest and simplest forms of magick, they can be used in many ways. They can be used to attract or repel, used as an offering, used to form your circle, to represent elements when placed using different colours and locations, or even just to represent the element of fire solely.

• Crystal magick - crystals and stones have their own energies and can be used in many ways. They can be used for protection, healing, enhancement, enchantment, to aid in meditation any many more ways. Even ordinary stones can be charged for use in different ways, an example would be rune stones.

• Knot magick - strangely although this is a simple and versatile form, I’ve found few people know of it. It can be used in weaving, knitting, crocheting, just plain knots or intricate knots. You can use anything that can be made into a knot, whether you choose rope, ribbon, cord, wool, string. At its simplest it’s knots in a cord, but you can make it more intricate with uses of different colours, shapes, changing the pattern in places and even weaving in symbols.

• Representational magick - magick is ever changing and flowing, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add this or not, but history is important and unfortunately a lot has been lost. Representational magick can now be used to describe what you’re using a tool or ingredient for, an example would be that a purple candle is used to represent spiritual power. But there was a time, if not still, that it was used to describe a form all of it’s own. A good example would be the use of poppets, dolls fashioned by the witch to represent a person. With witch hunting and bad portrayal in media this has come to be seen as a negative practice, when it can be used for many things.

• Symbolic magick - unlike representational magic which would use items, this uses shapes, sigils and symbols. They can be used to represent anything, and while there are many you may know as standard, planetary for example, you yourself are free to create your own. Many years ago when a witch would have to hide their workings, they would even come to develop their own alphabet for their book of shadows.

• Elemental magic - with this magic the elements are called upon to add power to workings. You may find yourself favouring one in particular, and it may not be one that would be traditionally fitting for you. For example I am a Gemini, typically an air sign, but I favour working with fire.

• Talisman, amulet and charm magick - this uses a lot of other forms. There are many uses for them, luck and protection being very well known. They are fashioned as jewellery, carried around in a pouch and can even be made into key chains and phone charms. This form of magic can be as simple as a necklace made with a single stone or as intricate as you like, including symbols, containers for herbs many different stones that compliment each other, use of colour and different metals, even the shape it takes can have an effect.

• Divination magick - divination magick can come in many different forms. From tarot, scrying, crystal balls, palmistry to tea leaves and many more. You may find one works better for obtaining answers than another, it’s not uncommon to find one is more successful for you personally. Most people will think of it as “future telling” thanks to how media has portrayed it, but that is just one aspect of it. You can use it to seek answers, to find things that are lost, and to find information to guide you. You may choose to use to obtain the meaning behind dreams. There are many uses besides seeing the future, and you may find you use divination in a completely different way to others.

☆☆Thank you for reading, and please let me know if there’s any forms you think I should add☆☆