the holiday spirit is strong in this one

Companions on the 4th of July

Heyyyy no one asked for this and I’m a day late but why not?

Backstory: The minutemen are holding a firework show/ cookout at the castle to celebrate the holiday and everyone’s invited!

Cait: She loves seeing the exploding of the fireworks and wears a grin throughout the entire firework show. She threatens to throw a firecracker at Sole when they point out how cute it is that she’s having so much fun.

Codsworth: He finds the holiday nostalgic and it reminds him of the day when mum and sir and little Shaun sat and watched fireworks just like this. How reflects on how much things have changed since then and becomes emotional until Sole lets him do the honors of lighting off the fireworks.

Curie: “Oh… Zis is beautiful!” She exclaims, her eyes full of awe as she watches the fireworks from her seat. She has never seen fireworks before this, and thinks they’re absolutely perfect. For weeks afterwards she asks Sole many questions about how they work.

Danse: He likes the concept of the holiday because of how patriotic it is. It reminds him of the amount of pride that the brotherhood has. Of course he’s the one cooking out, wearing an apron that Sole insisted he put on over his power armor. He isn’t sure what it says but everyone else is laughing at the large lettering that says “kiss the paladin”.

Deacon: No one can find him for the majority of the night, not even Sole, who’s almost always able to point out the sunglasses-wearing trickster in disguise. When Sole opens up the first box of fireworks, Deacon jumps out wearing brightly colored body paint and yells, “BOOM!” Sole falls screams and falls back, and doesn’t hear the end of it for weeks.

Dogmeat: He’s loving the whole event. People are throwing him snack cakes and bloatfly burgers left and right. By time the fireworks start he’s stuffed and laying on Sole’s lap, snoozing and having sweet dog dreams.

Hancock: Of course he loves the 4th. He gives everyone a very extensive, very Chem-fueled version of the history of the American Revolution. When it gets dark he insists that he leads off the fireworks with a singing of the national anthem. He forgets some of the words in the middle but everyone loves it and he bows confidently at the end of the song, everyone applauding.

Maccready: Much like dogmeat, Mac stuffs himself full of food during the event and he accidentally misses the fireworks because he falls asleep inside the castle. He pouts the next day.

Nick: He helps danse with the food and smiles when he sees that everyone is enjoying their self. He sits next to Piper and Sole during the fireworks as he lights a cigarette and stares at the night sky in peace.

Piper: She won’t admit it, but fireworks kind of scare her. The noise just frightens her and she can’t explain why, but she does a pretty decent job at hiding it. She sits next to Sole on a blanket as they watch, and when Sole sees that Piper jumps at every loud boom that goes off, they let her hold Sole’s hand for comfort.

Preston: He plans the get together and patrols the area while everyone enjoys the show. He’s just happy knowing that Sole and the companions are having such a good time spending time with one another. He feels like the holiday really embodies the spirit of the minutemen.

Strong: He hates fireworks and yells at Sole every time one goes off.

Witchcraft in the Media: Hail, the Lion King!

Originally posted by disneymoviesanywhere

Disney classics are no strangers to us. In fact, those of us who were born in the late ‘80′s and early ‘90′s practically grew up on Disney’s golden age and are bearing witness to a bit of a Disney renaissance. Throughout each Disney film, magic has a tendency to play a prominent role in some way: either it is meant to assist the main character, or it is meant to hinder. Later on, the role of magic became a little more fuzzy - the curse cast on the Prince in Beauty and the Beast, for instance, was meant to assist the Prince but was perceived otherwise.

But one Disney classic stands out in my mind as being fairly devoid of any kind of cinematic curses or spells: The Lion King. This 1994 film is magical in and of itself, to be sure. There is hardly a ‘90′s child out there who hasn’t cried over the death of Mufasa or sung along with Timon and Pumbaa during “Hakuna Matata.” The animation and the music are exceptional, and while many cite the story’s many parallels with Hamlet as being part of why the story endures almost two decades later, I tend to think that it goes a bit deeper than that.

First, a brief overview for those who haven’t seen the film for some reason. The Lion King follows the story of Simba, a young lion cub, and his coming of age and journey to discover his role as king. Though naive in his youth, he is forced to flee his kingdom after his power-hungry uncle, Scar, framed him for murdering his father. Convinced that he is responsible for his father’s death and afraid to return, he stays hidden in an oasis paradise while Scar’s tyranny reigns supreme over the kingdom. Simba is discovered by Nala, his childhood friend who had run from home in search of help, who tries to convince him to return home. Faced with a choice between returning home and staying put, he begins to question who he is and where he belongs. With a little help from Rafiki - a baboon shaman - he comes to terms with his past and returns home to dethrone his uncle and become the proper king.

Originally posted by grumbleofpuggies

Aside from giant lion heads in the sky during a moment of revelation, the movie tends to lack a supernatural component, which separates it a bit from quite a few other Disney movies. But we need look no further than the opening scene to see that the film is laden with magic and pagan symbolism.

Before I go any further, I am not approaching this from the standpoint of African religious beliefs. I am no expert regarding that subject, and will not pretend to be. Instead, these are observations made from the point of view of a witch who was watching for moments where spirituality was prominent. So keep that in mind as we head forward.

I’m going to focus on that first scene to start, but these themes can be found throughout The Lion King. This opening scene, backed by a version of Elton John’s “Circle of Life,” shows the animals of Africa gathering to see their newborn prince for the first time. When they’ve gathered, Rafiki arrives and presents Simba to the kingdom in a ritual reminiscent of a blessing or baptism before the scene concludes.

I mentioned earlier that Rafiki was a shaman. there is a reason as to why I refer to him as this instead of as a “witch doctor” as I’ve seen him referred to in other analyses. To begin, let’s consider the music playing.

A core, running theme in many pagan religions and forming the groundwork for most shamanic practices is that life and nature does not run in a linear fashion. Instead, the belief is that every “beginning” is an end, and every “end” is a beginning. Everything is cyclical, and this is often seen where reincarnation is a huge part of a belief. What binds many of these religions and beliefs together is that all must be treated with love and respect.

When the animals are gathered, we see Rafiki walking among the crowd toward Pride Rock, and this is a key moment to consider. As he passes, the crowd parts to let him through, and bows as he walks by. Shamans in shamanic practice are treated with great respect, often honored and followed more closely than a chief or king. This is because the shaman is the mouthpiece of spirituality.

A shaman was believed to be able to cross into the spirit realm - often through dreams or vision quests - and back, bringing ancient knowledge and wisdom with them for the betterment of society. They were historians and healers, capable of working magic and acts of prophecy. In addition, they were the religious leaders of society, guiding the younger generations in matters of the heart and spirit.

The fact that Rafiki is treated with such deference is an indicator that he is a figure of authority, and the warm greeting between him and Mufasa shows that in addition to being friends, they are on equal footing.

After seeing baby Simba, he smiles and shakes a rattle of gourds over the cub. Growing up, I’d often thought that he was gently playing with Simba as a parent or close relative might with a newborn. But as I got older and deeper into my spirituality, I began to find that that explanation didn’t sit right. Eventually, I realized what purpose the rattle has.

Like bells in modern witchcraft, rattles are instruments used for more than just music. They held a ritual purpose as cleansing tools, as well. And frequently seen in many cultures, percussion instruments are used for anything ranging from communication (both between living parties and the spirit world) to cleansing to even summoning or invoking a spell. Rafiki shaking his rattle over Simba was not simply an act of affection. It was the start of the ritual - a cleansing act before the blessing.

Breaking open a fruit (possibly a gourd or melon), Rafiki then anoints Simba’s head with some of the juices. This is the blessing act, which in other cultures may be done with oil. Food is a source of life, but fruit is also cool and refreshing in hot climes. In addition to this, the juice is a source of water. Nearly every culture has some sort of respect shown toward water due to its life-giving properties (i.e. baptism in Christianity, ritual washing of feet in several other cultures, blessing of water in all cultures). Anointing Simba’s head with water is a wonderful way of both blessing the child as well as encouraging a connection with the elements.

This is further reinforced by the scattering of dust over the juices (accompanied by an adorable sneeze). Like water, nearly every belief system acknowledges to a certain extent that we come from the earth. By blessing Simba with both earth and water, Rafiki is connecting the cub with the two most respected elements in nature religion (arguably… some would say that air is just as respected, or fire respected out of fear…).

Simba is then presented to the animals of the kingdom, raised up and graced by sunlight. The animals make quite a bit of noise before bowing, and like the rattle, I had at one point thought that they did so simply out of excitement. But with further reflection, I do think there may have been an additional reason. In some cultures, producing a lot of loud noise is said to drive away negative energy and evil spirits. This can be done during rites and holidays, but also as a way of protecting a newborn. It’s possible that this could be part of Simba’s blessing - a communal act of protection.

So within that first scene, we have a huge amount of pagan symbolism, and a strong acknowledgement of shamanic belief. But these themes don’t stop there.

Later on in the film, Mufasa pulls Simba aside to discuss the young cub’s duty to the kingdom when he comes of age. He points out the stars and explains to Simba that each star is the light of an ancestor, watching and guiding the living so as to protect the kingdom, even after they have passed away.

Ancestor worship is part and parcel to many shamanic and pagan paths, and honoring one’s ancestors is a theme found in nearly every culture in some form or another - consider Samhain in Celtic belief, Dia de los Muertos in Mexican Catholicism, and mummification in various cultures. In shamanism, the shaman is sometimes seen as the mouthpiece of the ancestors, communicating their wisdom with the living. In addition, respecting and honoring ancestors helps us see and learn more about ourselves.

This very same aspect of ancestor worship is brought up again midway through the film (during a moment of stargazing between Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa) and then closer to the climax when Rafiki reminds Simba that Mufasa lives on through Simba’s legacy. 

Originally posted by great-circleoflife

Easily the most magical moment in the film is Simba’s discussion with Mufasa - a moment of revelation in which the young Prince is tasked with remembering his place in the Circle of Life. But this same magical moment further emphasizes the role ancestors play in some beliefs.

In Conclusion…

While music and the Shakespearean inspirations behind The Lion King may play a part in what makes this movie so relatable, I do feel that it goes much deeper. To some extent, we all have some part of our pagan origins still living on in our lives today. Whether this is in our culture or religion, it chimes in with our more primal selves.

So with this movie, Disney didn’t have to choose an arcane villain or cast any kind of spell on the main character in order to communicate with us. All the movie needed to do was identify with the magic that we have in our lives already, turning it into a timeless classic.

Blessed Be! )O(

Christmas Spirit - Peter Parker

Requested: no, prompt I created. Reader is excited for Christmas and attempts to make her boyfriend, Peter Parker, excited as well. 

Warnings: None, maybe a little swearing, fluffy, and totally unedited so sorry in advance! 

Word count: 3,465 

Peter Parker made his way down the busy streets of Manhattan squeezing in and out of crowds. His hands were buried deep in the pockets of his second hand store jacket in hopes of bundling up a bit of warmth. The weather in New York had shifted dramatically over the week. On Monday the sun was shining high in the sky but by Tuesday evening the temperature had dropped down to low thirties.
The massive Avengers Tower could be seen a mile away from where Peter shuffled about. If it wasn’t for the bright eyed, h/c haired girl he had running through his mind, Peter would still be wrapped in the warm comforter of his twin bed duvet deep in sleep. Y/n Stark, Peter Parker’s girlfriend as well as the daughter of his mentor, had called Peter in panic early that morning screaming about how she needed to show Peter something as soon as possible. She refused to send pictures claiming it was a sight needed to be seen in person rather than by photos.
So at seven in the morning, Peter rolled out of bed and threw on the first thing he could find and after leaving a note to his Aunt, he took the first subway to Manhattan. Much to his surprise Peter pushed his way outside of his complex to find a shiny black mercedes was waiting outside for him. Once he got into the city most of the streets were backed up with commuters traffic that Peter decided to walk the last block of the way to the Tower.

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‘Tis the Season

Summary: In which you get a good feeling about the upcoming holiday season.

Pairing: Reader x Your Choice

Word Count: 615

A/N: This fic and all the ones below (plus a moodboard!) are dedicated to @marvelingatthewonder. Thanks to you, a group of amazing, supportive ladies were brought together in the Avengers Trash Tower™. This is our way of saying thank you and, more importantly, happy birthday. We hope you have a wonderful day!

As for this fic, it’s nothing more than a short intro for what’s waiting at the bottom. There, you will find links to 4 scenarios. Each of these scenarios are unique in their own way, including the Marvel men featured in each one. It’s there that you can choose what you’re doing this holiday season.

Originally posted by xmas-wonderland

On most occasions, waking up to the sound of an alarm clock blaring loudly in your ear is enough to make you growl under your breath and curse the universe. Today, that isn’t the case. Today, there’s a smile on your face and a skip in your step as you push back your covers and walk over to the calendar hanging on your wall.

“Goodbye, October,” you say to yourself, ripping the month free from it’s place. It flutters to the ground slowly, but you don’t pay it any mind. Good riddance. “And hello, November.”

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fic recs march - may 2015

* = favorites

** = absolute favorites


always one foot on the ground  47k ** The Valentines Day themed AU where Liam and Zayn won’t leave Louis alone about his policy against dating, Louis enlists Harry on the fake boyfriends adventure of a lifetime, and Niall is not above bribing everyone with food to get what he wants.

Outwit, Outplay, Outlast  60k ***  A Survivor All-Stars AU in which Harry and Louis are just in this game to win the million dollars, but they end up with something better.

nobody shines the way you do  115k  Louis pretends to be Harry’s boyfriend to help him win back his douchebag ex-boyfriend, but things don’t go according to plan.

hand over  60k ‘Twenty one things to try before 21,’ he reads aloud, voice lilting with amusement.

Love Is A Rebellious Bird  134k  AU in which the boys still make music. Louis is the concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra, Harry is the New! and Exciting! interim conductor/ex-cello prodigy who “has made Mozart cool again” according to Esquire Magazine (Louis hates him immediately, which is definitely why he internet stalked him in his dark bedroom late at night that one time), and Niall is the best. Zayn and Liam are around too.

one shots:

(your heartbeat) rang true inside my bones  32K **  Harry goes as Louis’ date for a weekend wedding. He ends up taking the role a bit too seriously.

i’ll be yours to keep  17k  louis should’ve thought a lot more about who he said his fake boyfriend is, especially since he and his “significant other” kinda hate each other. most of the time.

fast like fuck slow  8k  Miami, 2013; Harry gets fucked for the first time (ZARRY)

my kingdom for a kiss (tonight you’re on my mind)  30k ** The one where Zayn and Louis make a friendly wager and it goes too far, Harry’s a baker with a heart of gold and really great hair, Liam is an overworked PA who just wants to enjoy his holiday and Niall is completely at ease, as always. An accidentally married AU mixed with a splash of modern royalty.

(scream my name) i’ll make you mine  3k I want to fuck you, right here, with Harry right next to us, and I want to hear you scream my name and wake him up so he knows that you’re mine - not his. (ZIAM/ZARRY)

Temporary Tattoos, Hotel Hearts, Horizon Homes  17k *  Louis is just 18 and ends up in 2015 for one day at Harry’s request, one day to make sure his spirit is strong and hopeful enough to take him to the X Factor and end him up where he’s supposed to be. Aka, the one where Harry makes sure Louis knows how amazing he is.

read you for some kind of poem  11k Louis is human, and Harry is lucky enough to be his vampire boyfriend.

A Little Trouble Never Hurt Nobody  13k  A Harry-centric ot5 orgy with spin the bottle (OT5)

Maybe With Me  14k **  Harry tries to help Niall hook up. Set during the American leg of the TMH tour. (NARRY)

Cool With It  3k  Zayn gives Harry the wrong idea. X-Factor era bungalow fic. (ZARRY)

You & You & I  3k** “Wait,” Niall says this time, taking a step closer. “Feel free to, I dunno, deck me if I’m wrong, but are you asking me in for a threesome?” “Jesus,” Liam hisses, looking around the empty hallway.  “Liam,” Niall says. It’s extremely important that Liam answer the question, because Niall’s just chubbed up. (NOPHIAM)

Indestructible  24k ** “Hi,” Harry murmurs, and Louis hiccups out a sob. “Hi,” he manages, still clutching onto Harry’s shoulders. Harry’s fingers drift across Louis’ cheeks, and there’s something off about Harry’s expression, but Louis can’t figure out what it is.“I’m okay,” Harry says, and Louis is going to say something to that, even if he doesn’t know what, except Harry’s kissing him. Louis freezes.

Except It Is  5k  He likes helping people, is all. He likes making people happy. A people pleaser, is what his mum called it. Harry doesn’t think she was talking about this, though.

Never Ever and Ever  4k  Harry loses a game of Never Have I Ever and starts a new game with Zayn. (ZARRY)

Trust In Your Dream  3k  Harry hits his head and wakes up in a world where he and Louis are not dating.

one of us must know (sooner or later)  11k   Ten years on, One Direction break up, make up, and - eventually - make out. (OT5)

reflex of our earthly frame  5k  Non-AU, Niall-focused smut with glimpses into how the OT5 relationship came into fruition. (OT5)

Left To Their Own Devices  16k *  In which Liam finally figures out they’re all a bit gay for each other, and various sexy hijinks ensue. (OT5)

but more than a feeling  12k **  Liam doesn’t mean to think about it over the next week. He doesn’t purposefully think it over, but the thought pops into his head at the oddest of times: bunging a sausage roll into the cart at the shop, stopping Loki from peeing on someone’s shoe at the park, climbing off the treadmill after working out, there’s that random thought of I could sleep with all of them, maybe at the same time. (OT5)

anonymous asked:

Hey! Merry Christmas!!! I don't know if you are taking requests but could you write some hiccstrid snoggletog/Christmas for us? I wish u all the best this Christmas

A/N: Merry Christmas, happy Snoggletog, and happy Holidays!!! <3 You asked, and I deliver–I was more than happy to write holiday Hiccstrid. :) I do have a Snoggletog fic in mind, and I may or may not post it–but here’s a modern AU in which our two lovely nerds are totally “just friends” spending Christmas with one another. Because I’m total a sucker for this stuff. I hope this suffices, my friend! xx

(This actually ended up getting kinda long–like, 7k words long. Because I wasn’t strong enough to cut out any particular scenes. I am weak, I apologize.)



“It doesn’t feel like Christmas.”

Despite the presence of a massive, elaborately decorated tree strung up with twinkling lights, soft holiday music drifting from the living room stereo, and the heavy blanket of snow draped over the entirety of Berk… It was hard for Hiccup to grasp onto the spirit of the season. Shortly, Astrid made her way back to the sofa from the kitchen, two mugs in hand and a curious look on her face.

“Duh. It’s Christmas Eve.”

“No, no–I mean, it just. I’m not… feeling festive, for some reason? Uh. Also, thanks, but I’m–I’m good, on the, uh, eggnog–”

“It’s hot chocolate, you dweeb,” Astrid snorted, passing him one of the cups as she reclaimed her seat beside him, legs pulled up to her chest and feet tucked beneath her.

“…Oh. Thanks, then.”

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Peppermint Tea Benefits: If you’re trying to keep close tabs on added sugars and calories, it’s time to rethink a daily Starbucks Peppermint Mocha. This seasonal drink should only serve as an occasional indulgence not an everyday occurrence. Just one tall peppermint mocha (made with two-percent milk and no whipped cream) weighs in at 250 calories with 40 grams of sugar. Backing off your Starbucks habit will help your waistline (and your wallet), but you can still enjoy the holiday scent and flavor regularly, just with a new tradition. Swapping out your peppermint mocha for a cup of hot peppermint tea keeps your drink in the spirit of the season while supporting your healthy goals. And of course, it’s really delicious!!

It suppresses appetite: Mint’s strong scent has been shown to help control your appetite and suppress cravings. If you’re always reaching for a sweet treat after dinner, consider sipping on a cup of hot peppermint tea to help curb your dessert desires.

It supports digestion: Multiple studies have shown that peppermint tea can calm down your gastrointestinal tract and allow for healthy bowel movements; in short, it keeps things moving and flowing naturally in your body. Dr. Oz says that peppermint tea can alleviate constipation, get digestion back on course, and that even folks suffering with IBS symptoms may find relief with peppermint oil capsules.

It keeps you relaxed: In a NASA-funded study, researchers found that during a stressful commute, subjects who smelled peppermint decreased their anxiety and fatigue levels by 20 percent and decreased frustration by 25 percent. When it comes to weight loss, increased cortisol levels from heightened stress can have negative consequences on your metabolism. The calming, soothing scent from your peppermint tea can help reduce stress and keep your body on track.

make my wish come true (underneath the mistletoe)

Clarke, Octavia, and Raven take over Bellamy’s apartment to decorate for Christmas. Resistance is futile and he knows it.

dedicated to the protectbellamynw, because you guys are awesome <3

rated: general audiences
( read on ao3 )

It was the sound of raindrops attacking her window that woke Clarke. She rolled over in bed and squinted at the glow-in-the-dark hands of the analog alarm clock (once her dad’s, it was one of the few things that held enough sentimental value for her not to smash it in the frustration of having to force herself out of bed) on her desk across the room.

She sighed. She and her roommates had been planning to get a head start on holiday shopping today, but their favorite mall — where they always began their quest for presents; it was practically a ritual at this point — was a bit of a drive (a slightly hazardous undertaking in this weather) and none of them would want to haul their purchases through the downpour to the parking lot.

There went that plan.

Of course, they could always stay in and study for finals — because those were a thing that existed and caused them needless misery and stress — but not even Clarke could say that she was excited to spend her day looking at textbooks rather than toys for her kid sister. (The Griffins had adopted Charlotte six years ago; now she was a bright-eyed eight-year-old, beloved by all who met her.) It was a hobby of Clarke’s, browsing store after store to find something worthy of her favorite person in the world, and she wasn’t going to pretend she would rather review Freudian theory.

The very thought had her burrowing back under the covers and squeezing her eyes shut in the hopes that she could fall back to sleep. Or that it would stop raining.

Footsteps sounded outside her door. “Clarke! You up yet?”

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