The Sick Roseis a visual tour through the golden age of medical illustration. The nineteenth century experienced an explosion of epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria, driven by industrialization, urbanization and poor hygiene. In this pre-color-photography era, accurate images were relied upon to teach students and aid diagnosis. The best examples, featured here, are remarkable pieces of art that attempted to elucidate the mysteries of the body, and the successive onset of each affliction. From here
4. Invoke - the presence of spirits to assist in tasks, to protect on journeys, to grant guidance, maintain connections and uphold contracts.
5. Craft - use the hands to create, to construct, imbue each creation with spirit and purpose, a meal, a potion, a carving, a weaving, enchant the mundane and material.
6. Sing - the old songs, the power songs, the prayers, the chants, to heal, to awaken, to enforce, to ward, sing the sun to sleep and the moon to rising, sing in the bath, at the hearth, in the heart.
7. Read - widely and deeply, old and new, academic and popular, across boundaries and taboos, slowly and with full attention, take notes, research, reflect.
8. Write - record experiences, practices, thoughts. keep journals and grimoires, spellbooks and scripts, remember, elucidate, illuminate.
9. Draw - sigils and runes, symbols and signs. Carve, paint, scratch, blacken, redden, scrawl, in the sand, with salt, in the air, with chalk, ink, blood, charcoal, the mind.
10. Collect - herbs, woods, stones, feathers, bones, teeth, soil, the raw materials of natural magic, fill jars, boxes, bags, gather, forage, wildcraft, thrift, take that which is discarded, value the found over the bought.
11. Observe - the cycles of moon, sun, planets, stars, take heed with the eyes as well as the almanac, feel the sap rise, the birds migrate, the bulbs awaken, the leaves wither.
12. Renew - old spells, old wards, protections, and boundaries. Clean what is obscured, recast what has weakened, maintain what is working, replace what is lost. Tie up loose ends.
13. Communicate - with everything, stones, trees, spirits, the dead, that which grows in the garden and that which visits it, other practitioners, mentors, students, seekers, the younger self, the higher self, the wyrd.
This is basically a must for all writers (or at least, it makes our job significantly easier/less time consuming/less likely to make us want to rip our hair out by the roots), but visual thinkers tend to be great at plotting. There’s something about a visible outline that can be inexplicably pleasing to us, and there are so many great ways to go about it. Here are a few examples:
The Three-Act Structure
This one is one of the simplest: it’s divided into the tried-and-true three acts, or parts, a la William Shakespeare, and includes a basic synopsis of what happens in each. It’s simple, it’s familiar, it’s easy to add to, and it get’s the job done.
It starts with Act I – i.e. the set-up, or establishing the status quo – which is usually best if it’s the shortest act, as it tends to bore audiences quickly. This leads to Act II, typically the longest, which introduces the disruptor and shows how characters deal with it, and is sandwiched by Act III (the resolution.)
This is the one I use the most. It allows you to elucidate on the goings on of your novel in greater detail than the quintessential three act synopsis generally could, fully mapping out your manuscript one chapter at a time. The descriptions can be as simple or as elaborate as you need them to be, and can be added to or edited throughout the progression of your novel.
Can easily be added to/combined with the three-act structure.
The Character Arc(s)
This isn’t one that I’ve used a lot, but it can be a lot of fun, particularly for voice-driven/literary works: instead on focusing on the events of the plot, this one centralizes predominantly around the arc of your main character/characters. As with its plot-driven predecessors, it can be in point-by-point/chapter-by-chapter format, and is a great way to map out character development.
The Tent Moments
By “tent moments,” I mean the moments that hold up the foundation (i.e. the plot) of the novel, in the way that poles and wires hold up a tent. This one builds off of the most prevalent moments of the novel – the one’s you’re righting the story around – and is great for writers that want to cut straight to the action. Write them out in bullet points, and plan the rest of the novel around them.
The Mind Map
This one’s a lot of fun, and as an artist, I should probably start to use it more. It allows you to plot out your novel the way you would a family tree, using doodles, illustrations, and symbols to your heart’s content. Here’s alink to how to create basic mind maps on YouTube.
2. “Show don’t tell” is probably your strong suit.
If you’re a visual thinker, your scenes are probably at least partially originally construed as movie scenes in your head. This can be a good thing, so long as you can harness a little of that mental cinematography and make your readers visualize the scenes the way you do.
A lot of published authors have a real big problem with giving laundry lists of character traits rather than allowing me to just see for myself. Maybe I’m spoiled by the admittedly copious amounts of fanfiction I indulge in, where the writer blissfully assumes that I know the characters already and let’s the personalities and visuals do the talking. Either way, the pervasive “telling” approach does get tedious.
Here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s say you wanted to describe a big, tough, scary guy, who your main character is afraid of. The “tell” approach might go something like this:
Tommy was walking along when he was approached by a big, tough, scary guy who looked sort of angry.
“Hey, kid,” said the guy. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to a friend’s house,” Tommy replied.
I know, right? This is Boring with a capital ‘B.’
On the other hand, let’s check out the “show” approach:
The man lumbered towards Tommy, shaved head pink and glistening in the late afternoon sun. His beady eyes glinted predatorily beneath the thick, angry bushes of his brows.
“Hey, kid,” the man grunted, beefy arms folded over his pot belly. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to a friend’s house,” Tommy replied, hoping the man didn’t know that he was ditching school.
See how much better that is? We don’t need to be told the man is big, tough, and scary looking because the narrative shows us, and draws the reader a lot more in the process.
This goes for scene building, too. For example:
Tyrone stepped out onto his balcony. It was a beautiful night.
Tyrone stepped out onto his balcony, looking up at the inky abyss of the night sky, dotted with countless stars and illuminated by the buttery white glow of the full moon.
3. But conversely, know when to tell.
A book without any atmosphere or vivid, transformative descriptors tends to be, by and large, a dry and boring hunk of paper. That said, know when you’re showing the reader a little too much.
Too many descriptors will make your book overflow with purple prose, and likely become a pretentious read that no one wants to bother with.
So when do you “tell” instead of “show?” Well, for starters, when you’re transitioning from one scene to the next.
As the second hand of the clock sluggishly ticked along, the sky ever-so-slowly transitioning from cerulean, to lilac, to peachy sunset. Finally, it became inky black, the moon rising above the horizon and stars appearing by the time Lakisha got home.
These kind of transitions should be generally pretty immemorable, so if yours look like this you may want to revise.
Day turned into evening by the time Lakisha got home.
See? It’s that simple.
Another example is redundant descriptions: if you show the fudge out of a character when he/she/they are first introduced and create an impression that sticks with the reader, you probably don’t have to do it again.
You can emphasize features that stand out about the character (i.e. Milo’s huge, owline eyes illuminated eerily in the dark) but the reader probably doesn’t need a laundry list of the character’s physical attributes every other sentence. Just call the character by name, and for God’s sake, stay away from epithets: the blond man. The taller woman. The angel. Just, no. If the reader is aware of the character’s name, just say it, or rework the sentence.
All that said, it is important to instill a good mental image of your characters right off the bat.
Which brings us to my next point…
4. Master the art of character descriptions.
Visual thinkers tend to have a difficult time with character descriptions, because most of the time, they tend to envision their characters as played their favorite actors, or as looking like characters from their favorite movies or TV shows.
That’s why you’ll occasionally see characters popping up who are described as looking like, say, Chris Evans.
It’s a personal pet peeve of mine, because A) what if the reader has never seen Chris Evans? Granted, they’d probably have to be living on Mars, but you get the picture: you don’t want your readers to have to Google the celebrity you’re thirsting after in order for them to envision your character. B) It’s just plain lazy, and C) virtually everyone will know that the reason you made this character look like Chris Evans is because you want to bang Chris Evans.
Not that that’s bad or anything, but is that really what you want to be remembered for?
Now, I’m not saying don’t envision your characters as famous attractive people – hell, that’s one of the paramount joys of being a writer. But so’s describing people! Describing characters is a lot of fun, draws in the reader, and really brings your character to life.
So what’s the solution? If you want your character to look like Chris Evans, describe Chris Evans.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
The guy got out of the car to make sure Carlos was alright, and holy cow, he looked just like Dean Winchester!
No bueno. Besides the fact that I’m channeling the writing style of 50 Shades of Grey a little here, everyone who reads this is going to process that you’re basically writing Supernatural fanfiction. That, or they’ll have to Google who Dean Winchester is, which, again, is no good.
The guy got out of the car to make sure Carlos was alright, his short, caramel blond hair stirring in the chilly wind and a smattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose. His eyes were wide with concern, and as he approached, Carlos could see that they were gold-tinged, peridot green in the late afternoon sun.
Also note that I’m keeping the description a little vague here; I’m doing this for two reasons, the first of which being that, in general, you’re not going to want to describe your characters down to the last detail. Trust me. It’s boring, and your readers are much more likely to become enamored with a well-written personality than they are a vacant sex doll. Next, by keeping the description a little vague, I effectively manage to channel a Dean Winchester-esque character without literally writing about Dean Winchester.
Let’s try another example:
Charlotte’s boyfriend looked just like Idris Elba.
Charlotte’s boyfriend was a stunning man, eyes pensive pools of dark brown amber and a smile so perfect that it could make you think he was deliciously prejudiced in your favor. His skin was dark copper, textured black hair gray at the temples, and he filled out a suit like no other.
Okay, that one may have been because I just really wanted to describe Idris Elba, but you get the point: it’s more engaging for the reader to be able to imagine your character instead of mentally inserting some sexy fictional character or actor, however beloved they may be.
So don’t skimp on the descriptions!
5. Don’t be afraid to find inspiration in other media!
A lot of older people recommend ditching TV completely in order to improve creativity and become a better writer. Personally, if you’ll pardon my French, I think this is bombastic horseshit.
TV and cinema are artistic mediums the same way anything else is. Moreover, the sheer amount of fanart and fanfiction – some of which is legitimately better than most published content – is proof to me that you can derive inspiration from these mediums as much as anything else.
The trick is to watch media that inspires you. I’m not going to say “good media” because that, in and of itself, is subjective. I, for example, think Supernatural is a fucking masterpiece of intertextual postmodernism and amazing characterization, whereas someone else might think it’s a hot mess of campy special effects and rambling plotlines. Conversely, one of my best friends loves Twilight, both the movies and the books, which, I’m going to confess, I don’t get at all. But it doesn’t matter that it isn’t good to me so long as it’s good to her.
So watch what inspires you. Consume any whatever movies, books, and shows you’re enthusiastic about, figure out what you love most about them, and apply that to your writing. Chances are, readers will find your enthusiasm infectious.
As a disclaimer, this is not to say you get a free pass from reading: I’ve never met a good writer who didn’t read voraciously. If you’re concerned that you can’t fall in love with books the way you used to (which, sadly, is a common phenomenon) fear not: I grappled with that problem after I started college, and I’ll be posting an article shortly on how to fall back in love reading.
So in the meanwhile, be sure to follow my blog, and stay tuned for future content!
(This one goes out to my friend, beta reader, and fellow writer @megpieeee, who is a tremendous visual thinker and whose books will make amazing movies someday.)
Why does Mojo Jojo have pointy ears in the later seasons of the show?
…aesthetics? I guess? After the movie came out, they freshened up the designs of the characters on the show to reflect the new design from the film, and that’s where his pointy ears first showed up:
I’m just gonna go on a limb and say it was just a stylistic choice to make him look a little more evil and bring in some more angles (and I’m sure a certain individual here on Tumblr could further elucidate if he was so inclined to! :D), but… ick. I’m personally not a big fan of the choice. It’s a little less extreme in the movie than in the show where it makes him look more like a goblin than a chimp. And I think they ended up kind of making his face a little more narrow for the show, too, so he kind of looked…
I dunno. I was glad that for The PPG Rule!!! they went back to his original design with his rounded ears (and I was happy they did it for the reboot too… even though the rest of the design is lacking) ‘cause he’s not JUST a super serious evil angular villain. He’s gotta be able to look goofy and chimpy too! He’s our little antihero!
CastielXReader, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester
Word Count: 1980
A/N: Jealous!Cas with
a hint of Dom!Cas for extra spice. Public sex. Adult/NSFW/smut warning!!! A little fluffy,
because I don’t know how to write Castiel without the fluff. I am not ashamed of this.
laughter rose above all else - the din of bar conversation, the clinking of
glass, the sloshing of alcohol, and the classic rock humming on repeat from the
jukebox. It needled at the patient reserve of the angel isolated in a dimly lit
corner. Castiel’s steel-blue eyes smoldered - fixed on the raven-haired man in
a well-fitted suit situated at the bar - lids burdened with disdain.
hair flirtatiously tossed, teasingly dragging your lower lip through biting
teeth, fingers playing with the lapel of the man’s coat, you exuded virility.
pitch of your giggle pierced the seraph more painfully than any angel blade
could - fuel to the flame, his fiery gaze flared, the wrath directed towards
this stranger barely contained in tightly wound muscles primed to snap. Cas
observed you dance this dance before – the choreography a festering lesion seared
into his memory. Next, you would excuse yourself on some pretext to reapply
needless makeup and straighten already perfectly mussed hair. Upon returning,
you would whisper something meant only for the stranger’s ears, yet also perceived
by angelic ones - an invitation to call it a night and join you in your motel
room. The rare evening such as this one, witnessing you escape the rigors of
the hunter life into a stranger’s arms, was nearly overwhelming. The angel seethed
with envy, longing for those words to be uttered from your honeyed lips - spoken
only for him. But you didn’t look at him that way, and never laughed so freely
when he spoke.
Hearing with your eyes – A Western style of speech perception
Which parts of a person’s face do you look at when you listen them
speak? Lip movements affect the perception of voice information from the
ears when listening to someone speak, but native Japanese speakers are
mostly unaffected by that part of the face. Recent research from Japan
has revealed a clear difference in the brain network activation between
two groups of people, native English speakers and native Japanese
speakers, during face-to-face vocal communication.
It is known that visual speech information, such as lip movement,
affects the perception of voice information from the ears when speaking
to someone face-to-face. For example, lip movement can help a person to
hear better under noisy conditions. On the contrary, dubbed movie
content, where the lip movement conflicts with a speaker’s voice, gives a
listener the illusion of hearing another sound. This illusion is called
the “McGurk effect.”
According to an analysis of previous behavioral studies, native Japanese
speakers are not influenced by visual lip movements as much as native
English speakers. To examine this phenomenon further, researchers from
Kumamoto University measured and analyzed gaze patterns, brain waves,
and reaction times for speech identification between two groups of 20
native Japanese speakers and 20 native English speakers.
The difference was clear. When natural speech is paired with lip
movement, native English speakers focus their gaze on a speaker’s lips
before the emergence of any sound. The gaze of native Japanese speakers,
however, is not as fixed. Furthermore, native English speakers were
able to understand speech faster by combining the audio and visual cues,
whereas native Japanese speakers showed delayed speech understanding
when lip motion was in view.
“Native English speakers attempt to narrow down candidates for incoming
sounds by using information from the lips which start moving a few
hundreds of milliseconds before vocalizations begin. Native Japanese
speakers, on the other hand, place their emphasis only on hearing, and
visual information seems to require extra processing,” explained
Kumamoto University’s Professor Kaoru Sekiyama, who lead the research.
Kumamoto University researchers then teamed up with researchers from
Sapporo Medical University and Japan’s Advanced Telecommunications
Research Institute International (ATR) to measure and analyze brain
activation patterns using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Their goal was to elucidate differences in brain activity between the
The functional connectivity in the brain between the area that deals
with hearing and the area that deals with visual motion information, the
primary auditory and middle temporal areas respectively, was stronger
in native English speakers than in native Japanese speakers. This result
strongly suggests that auditory and visual information are associated
with each other at an early stage of information processing in an
English speaker’s brain, whereas the association is made at a later
stage in a Japanese speaker’s brain. The functional connectivity between
auditory and visual information, and the manner in which the two types
of information are processed together was shown to be clearly different
between the two different language speakers.
“It has been said that video materials produce better results when
studying a foreign language. However, it has also been reported that
video materials do not have a very positive effect for native Japanese
speakers,” said Professor Sekiyama. “It may be that there are unique
ways in which Japanese people process audio information, which are
related to what we have shown in our recent research, that are behind
I want to talk today about why Why Animals Do The Thing is done educating on behalf of the wolfdog community. This doesn’t mean I won’t be doing education about wolfdogs if the subject comes up, and I still encourage people to utilize @packwestwolfdogrescue as a source for wolfdog-related information, but WADTT will no longer be advocating for the private-ownership wolfdog community or collaborating with them. I know WADTT readers have really appreciated the previous education surrounding wolfdogs, and I apologize for not being able to continue on a topic that garners so much interest. This is a not a choice I want to make, but one that is necessary, as it has been made clear there is a fundamental incompatibility between their ethos regarding education and public outreach and mine. My ethos for WADTT has always been to create accurate, fact-based education drawn from comprehensive research and to foster a community that encourages dialogue and active collaborative efforts; it is time to disengage from supporting a community whose approach to education is spreads misinformation, attacks learners looking to engage with it, and actively supports harassment.
I’ve been in the various wolfdog Facebook groups since Pack West and I began discussing collaboration about a year ago, because they’re the best source of general education for people interesting in learning about phenotyping and wolfdog behavior. I learned a huge amount from those groups - both about wolfdogs and about the general mentality of the people who own them and participate in discussions about them online. As an educator, it was hard to watch and as someone who wanted to learn it was even harder to engage in.
The education done there of new members was consistently combative and hostile - with threads often devolving into lambasting people for not doing more research before asking questions - and occasionally threads would be created about the new members and how much their attempts to contribute to conversations before they knew everything were a problem. The only people who were considered credible when discussing wolfdogs were those who had owned wolf content animals for most of their lives - which meant that the input of anyone with relevant professional experience was ignored, if not often outright denied as being valid. This meant that the actual education accomplished in the groups was really vitriolic and frequently inaccurate: some posts would invite people to try to phenotype animals for education, but the same people involved would immediately turn around on other posts and condemn people for phenotyping animals they hadn’t met; the discussions about wolfdog behavior I observed were full of urban legends and misunderstandings of dog behavior, and awareness of recent research or even understanding of basic behavioral science concepts was frequently absent; training wolfdogs was not considered unimportant and frequently discouraged, and it seemed that using preventative training strategies to safely manage typical wolfdog behaviors wasn’t even on the radar. Education from the groups in general required being able to discriminate between mythology and fact and the ability to weather the constant unpleasantness that pervaded the threads. I chose to stay because I didn’t want to ask Pack West to be my only wolfdog primary source, and it was important to me to engage with the community I wanted to assist as an outside educator.
Last week, I published an article on what people should know about one of the most internet-famous misrepresented wolfdog, Loki. I’ve talked about Loki in posts a few times on this blog, and while I was at Pack West in January it became clear from our discussions that a larger article was necessary due to the frequency of questions received about him. When the article was published, while the response on tumblr was fairly positive, it brought on a deluge of harassment from the wolfdog community on Facebook that has not yet ended at the time of writing this post. It is the response to that article, specifically the pieces of it that they chose to attack, that finalized my choice to disengage from the private-ownership wolfdog community and helping with their outreach efforts.
I originally shared my article on the groups I was in as an offer of an outside resource that could be utilized, since I had asked the groups for assistance finding sources when I began writing it two months earlier. In the time I had been part of the groups, Loki had been a frequent topic of discussion and irritation, and I assumed that it might be useful for them to have a link to offer people rather than having to reiterate the facts so often.
In response, I was swamped with enough comments to shut down my ability to use Facebook for a couple days: how I don’t have enough experience to write anything education related to wolfdogs, how it’s completely unthinkable to publicize even a well-agreed-upon phenotype on an animal I have never personally met, how I should get sued for writing such a character attack, how I’m not actually an educator and just a person with a vendetta, etc. In addition, multiple threads discussing how appalling it was that the article existed at all and everything wrong with it showed up in the groups, because the fact that they were visible to me didn’t matter. I engaged with a few of them in a similar matter to how I respond to critique on the blog, explaining my reasons for writing and my sources. The comments and the private messages got nastier once I made it clear I wasn’t willing to capitulate to taking the article down. I was eventually kicked out of the main group without any communication or explanation from the mods as to what I’d done to violate the rules. It was exhausting and it hasn’t calmed down: I’m still getting passive-aggressively tagged in things on the groups I haven’t left to give my “expertise”. I recently received a letter from the board of the National Lupine Association, whose phenotyping pamphlet I linked to in the text of the post as further reading, officially requesting that I remove any reference to their association from my blog post. It’s awful and it’s exhausting, but the harassment isn’t why I’m no longer willing to support the private-ownership wolfdog community - it’s because of the type of feedback given regarding how they want education regarding wolfdogs to be done.
These are the major points made by the private-ownership wolfdog community (meaning they were repeated multiple times by different people) in response to my article that elucidated how incompatible the reasons I do education are with that community:
My article was not approved by the general community and therefore should not exist. The private-ownership wolfdog community hates messaging they cannot control, especially if they do not agree with it. Some of the well-respected members had told me not to publish when I first brought it up in January, and they were furious that I had not obeyed.
My article might have created blowback against the wolfdog community by Loki’s owner, which meant silencing me was more important than educating the general public. The private-ownership wolfdog community is terrified of aggravating Loki’s owner, as they believe he has threatened to use his fame to go anti-ownership, and are desperate to do anything to prevent that occurring. No matter how many animals are killed or left in horrible welfare situations because of the exact type of misrepresentation Loki and his owner perpetuate, it is more important to the majority of the Facebook community to not risk having someone popular speak out against them than to accurately educate the public to prevent other animals suffering in the future.
My article contained a phenotype I did not have enough “experience” to be giving, no matter where I sourced it from, so the article could not be credible. Even though I had produced educational content for the wolfdog community regarding phenotyping before, did research into Loki’s parents and kennel of origin, and discussed his phenotype at length with an expert before writing, my lack of personal wolfdog ownership discredited the validity of any educational material produced.
My article mentioned having been in contact with a government agency as part of my research, which is a cardinal sin. I contacted USDA regarding the existence of an exhibition permit for Loki - the private-ownership wolfdog community does not believe anyone should ever interface with any authorities regarding a wolfdog, no matter what the situation. (In some ways, this is a reasonable concern, as people have historically reported animals to the government and gotten them taken or killed. However, as Loki is internationally famous, he is not an animal that animal-related government agencies would not already be aware of. Moreover, Loki lives in a wolfdog legal state, USDA considers wolfdogs domestic animals by their own regulatory definitions, and USDA is primarily concerned with enforcing licensing and registration in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act. Inquiring as a journalist about the existence or lack thereof of a specific permit would, at worst, get Loki’s owner fined and forced to get the permit.)
My article told the truth about rabies law as it applies to wolfdogs, and it was inappropriate for the general public to be aware of that information.
That is not the education I believe in doing. I do not believe in advocating for people who allow vague threats to keep them from speaking out about an issue that regularly gets animals they care about killed. I do not believe in being told not to do thorough research because it might involve a regulatory agency. I do not believe in being told that it’s inappropriate to educate the public about laws that both protect our pets and could also get them killed just because the truth isn’t pretty or straight forward. And I really don’t believe in supporting a community that is willing to attack and discredit any advocacy on their behalf that they don’t control.
I’ve chosen to remove the Loki post from the WADTT side indefinitely. I abhor letting the bullies win, but the choice comes down to the fact that this is not the hill I want to die on. What I’m trying to build with WADTT is bigger than this and I’d rather fold on this single piece of writing for now to facilitate what I want it to become in the future. The blog has been completely dark for over a week, which hasn’t occurred since I started it two years ago, because this has impacted my mental health so drastically. The folk supporting the WADTT patreon and WADTT’s future are supporting me so I can be present and do daily education, so for now, that’s what I’m choosing to prioritize.
Regular posting and the queue should resume in the next couple of days.
The focus of the real dread rears to the surface once again, and the ones who suffer for it are submerged in the swelling undertow. There are a set of choices to be made, to be discarded, and the self that cannot commit to either ends up lost in its regrettable self-unawareness.
Kaneki’s revelation, as it were, probably comes at the price of feeling as though a part of his very existence was excised. This is him confronting the unvarnished absurdity and simplicity of his existence in its most primitive form. The boy who bleeds black is not anybody’s king, not his own prisoner, but a fool that wants to delay death and serve life to another as he always had been. A fitting image, it should seem, for him to know that no fetters can make him forget that he’s painfully, ineluctably human.
Hence why it’s an admirably labyrinthine setup, to have him descend into this underworld as something closer to a demon followed by his horde of tempted, desperate fallen where gods were born to rise.
To elucidate, the ghouls that attempted to ambush Ayato leave him with what I perceive to be a far more ominous tidbit to chew on than the translation lets on:
“The Naagaraji destroyed everything.”
(Screw it, I’m eschewing the deliberately incoherent patois for clarity’s sake.)
If the abstruse speech of the underground dwellers is to be trusted, then “Naagaraji” is likely a nod at the Nagaraja, the three serpent god-kings that belong to a hierarchy of what is called the Eight Great Dragon Emperors responsible for the different dimensions of the creation of the universe in Buddhist and Hindu mythology. Their mother was Kadru, who gave birth to a sum of one thousand deities.
Of the three, a particular one that is revered by the name of Vasuki stands taller than the rest of his siblings. This is because the name in Japanese is transliterated as 和修吉, which is read as washukitsu. His mark on the world was left through the prodigiously noble act of allowing himself to be coiled around Mount Mandara to be used as a churning tool in the Sea of Milk in order to assist with collecting an immortality elixir.
The second worthy of interest is his eldest brother, Ananta (or Shesha), whose name means “endless” or “infinite.” What must be regarded as equally vital when considering these points is that both of those words translate to 永遠 (read as eien) in Japanese. It is said in the legends that Ananta resides among the seventh abyssal plane of Patala, the subterranean realm illustrated to be more exotic and beautiful than Svarga (heaven) itself. Accounts vary, but either Ananta or Vasuki possesses one thousand heads.
Perhaps it’s obvious by now what it is that I’m trying to get at here. This is the cogency of Ishida’s subtle yet resounding storytelling devices.
"A thousand minus seven.” A god, likely depicted by Ananta, removed from his resting place; he will soon return home.
That which Ananta symbolizes, eternity (永遠), and Nagachika written as 永近 — the first characters are identical and the second are direct opposites, wherein the former means “faraway,” the latter means “nearby.” More impressively,
doubles as a homophone for 地下, the word for “underground.”
Kaneki realizes that there was never hope of exceeding his mortal flesh, that he is dying. But, in his misfortune of being faced with the choices of protecting Touka and his child, or saving Yoriko to secure Touka’s total happiness, he is ready to be lured into making the same mistake from years ago — to do both — which would necessitate expediting his death timer despite Nishiki’s warnings. However, a great deal of cannibalism has the chance to delay it, to offer Kaneki a small window of that “immortality” that can only be a god-king’s right.
Hesse’s Demian revolves around the titular Max Demian causing the self-awakening of Emil Sinclair, the coming to terms with his liberty and purpose to live for himself. It’s all but canonically established that Hide is still alive. If Hide is analogous to Demian and Kaneki to Sinclair, then Hide’s job is not done; he will truly disappear after he manages to slam the progressive failure straight out of Kaneki’s torpid being, after Kaneki is able to live again.
Sprinting non-stop with the rampant tinfoiling, it’s possible that Hide’s reappearance will mean that he is to be devoured by Kaneki in this reality (rather than in his delusions or skewed memories) so as to ensure the extension of his lifespan as much as his body could permit it — through this, Kaneki will definitively break free of his eggshell, and they can figuratively, literally become two as one:
“Everything that has happened to me since has hurt. But sometimes when I find the key and climb deep into myself where the images of fate lie aslumber in the dark mirror, I need only bend over that dark mirror to behold my own image, now completely resembling him, my brother, my master.”
Observing the narrative of Tokyo Ghoul from this angle, it makes every measure of sense now in retrospect that Furuta vaunts the honoring of his “Washuu roots” when introducing the mysterious, mystical “dragon”—
—for it’s what Hide could be if he were a Washuu in disguise.
This, of course, doesn’t preclude the possibility of involving Shirazu (given the framing of the above scene) in Furuta’s scheme, though Kaneki’s misfortune and despair would be amplified to a dizzying degree by Hide’s revival as a draconic beast seemingly standing for the enemy. To surpass a god of limitless power is to swallow him whole and become his new vessel, ultimately contained in his own transcendence.
Sooooo. I may or may not have spent the last ten minutes in a catatonic state dwelling on how much Hannibal and Will’s physical and mental synchronicity subliminally accentuates their potential in regards to sex. These two men are so completely entwined emotionally that more or less everything they do in each other’s presence is synchronised to some degree. They move in complete tandem, they communicate almost telepathically, they even fucking eat and drink at the same time.
This obviously serves to elucidate just how deeply these two men connect but SERIOUSLY HOW AM I MEANT TO IGNORE THE FACT THAT WHEN THEY EVENTUALLY FUCK, THEY WILL INSTINCTIVELY KNOW HOW TO REDUCE THE OTHER TO PURE NEED WITHOUT UTTERING A WORD? THERE WOULD BE NO RESTRAINT, NO HESITANCE, JUST MINDLESS, PASSIONATE, VAGUELY VIOLENT SEX, EACH KNOWING EXACTLY HOW TO MAKE THE OTHER COME, BLESSED WITH THE CAPACITY TO ACHIEVE IT IN SECONDS BUT DOING EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO DRAW IT OUT. IMAGINE ONE OF THEM GIVING THE OTHER ONE OF THE SOUL SEARCHING STARES WE’VE ALL COME TO ASSOCIATE WITH HANNIGRAM, BEFORE BEARING THEM DOWN ON THE NEAREST SURFACE AND FUCKING THEM UNTIL THEY CAN’T WALK. I S2G HANNIBAL AND WILL COULD MAKE EACH OTHER COME WITH A LOOK. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT? I WAS HAVING SUCH A GOOD DAY GODDAMMIT.
“…Mr. Tesla was charmed to hear about the Vedantic Prâna and Âkâshâ and the Kalpas, which according to him are the only theories modern science can entertain. Now both Âkâshâ and Prâna again are produced from the cosmic Mahat, the Universal Mind, the Brahmâ or Ishvara. Mr. Tesla thinks he can demonstrate mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy. I am to go and see him next week, to get this new mathematical demonstration.
“In that case, the Vedantic cosmology will be placed on the surest of foundations. I am working a good deal now upon the cosmology and eschatology (That is, doctrine of the last things — death, judgement, etc.) of the Vedanta. I clearly see their perfect unison with modern science, and the elucidation of the one will be followed by that of the other. I intend to write a book later on in the form of questions and answers. (This was never done. But from his lectures in London in 1896, it is easy to see that his mind was still working on these ideas. (See also Vol. VIII Sayings and Utterances& Letter to Mr. Sturdy .)). The first chapter will be on cosmology, showing the harmony between Vedantic theories and modern science.
Brahmâ = The Absolute
Mahat Ishwara = Primal Creative Energy
Prâna and Âkâshâ = Force and Matter
“The eschatology will be explained from the Advaitic standpoint only. That is to say, the dualist claims that the soul after death passes on to the Solar sphere, thence to the Lunar sphere, thence to the Electric sphere. Thence he is accompanied by a Purusha to Brahmaloka. (Thence, says the Advaitist, he goes to Nirvâna.)
“Now on the Advaitic side, it is held that the soul neither comes nor goes, and that all these spheres or layers of the universe are only so many varying products of Âkâshâ and Prâna. That is to say, the lowest or most condensed is the Solar sphere, consisting of the visible universe, in which Prana appears as physical force, and Âkâshâ as sensible matter. The next is called the Lunar sphere, which surrounds the Solar sphere. This is not the moon at all, but the habitation of the gods, that is to say, Prâna appears in it as psychic forces, and Akasha as Tanmâtras or fine particles. Beyond this is the Electric sphere, that is to say, a condition in which the Prâna is almost inseparable from Âkâshâ, and you can hardly tell whether Electricity is force or matter. Next is the Brahmaloka. where there is neither Prâna nor Âkâshâ, but both are merged in the mind stuff, the primal energy. And here — there big neither Prâna nor Âkâshâ — the Jiva contemplates the whole universe as Samashti or the sum total of Mahat or mind. This appears as a Purusha, an abstract universal soul, yet not the Absolute, for still there is multiplicity. From this the Jiva finds at last that Unity which is the end. Advaitism says that these are the visions which rise in succession before the Jiva, who himself neither goes nor comes, and that in the same way this present vision has been projected. The projection (Srishti) and dissolution must take place in the same order, only one means going backward, and the other coming out.
“Now as each individual can only see his own universe, that universe is created with his bondage and goes away with his liberation, although it remains for others who are in bondage. Now name and form constitute the universe. A wave in the ocean is a wave, only in so far as it is bound by name and form. If the wave subsides, it is the ocean, but those name and form have immediately vanished for ever. So though the name and form of wave could never be without water that was fashioned into the wave by them, yet the name and form themselves were not the wave. They die as soon as ever it returns to water. But other names and forms live in relation to other waves. This name-and-form is called Mâyâ, and the water is Brahman. The wave was nothing but water all the time, yet as a wave it had the name and form. Again this name and form cannot remain for one moment separated from the wave, although the wave as water can remain eternally separate from name and form. But because the name and form can never he separated, they can never be said to exist. Yet they are not zero. This is called Maya.
“I want to work; all this out carefully, but you will see at a glance that I am on the right track. It will take more study in physiology, on the relations between the higher and lower centres, to fill out the psychology of mind Chitta (mind-stuff), and Buddhi (intellect), and so on. But I have clear light now, free of all hocus-pocus. I want to give them dry, hard reason, softened in the sweetest syrup of love and made spicy with intense work, and cooked in the kitchen of Yoga, so that even a baby can easily digest it.”
(A Letter To Mr. E.T. Sturdy. 228 W. 39th Street, New York, February, 13, 1896.