the oblation

Artist’s impression of the fastest rotating star (artist’s impression)

This is an artist’s concept of the fastest rotating star found to date. The massive, bright young star, called VFTS 102 rotates at about two million kilometres per hour. Centrifugal force from this dizzying spin rate has flattened the star into an oblate shape, and spun off a disk of hot plasma, seen edge on in this view from a hypothetical planet. The star may have “spun up” by accreting material from a binary companion star. The rapidly evolving companion later exploded as a supernova. The whirling star lies 160 000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.

Credit: NASA/ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Fly-Over Reconstructed From JunoCam Images

Gif from video. Courtesy The Telescope Times

   The movie shows a 25-fold time-lapsed flight of NASA’s Juno spacecraft over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot on 11 July 2017. It is reconstruced from the four raw Perijove-07 JunoCam images #059, #060, #061, and #062, together with spacecraft navigation data.
The movie covers 18 real-time minutes.

The movie is composed of scenes. The stills of a single scene are rendered directly from one raw JunoCam image. The scenes are overlapping in simulated real-time. This overlap has been used to blend between scenes in a smooth way.
Besides a raw JunoCam image, a scene uses trajectory data derived from SPICE kernels, the way NASA provides spacecraft navigation data.

A raw JunoCam image essentially provides a texture. This texture can be wrapped around a model of Jupiter’s rotating 1-bar MacLaurin spheroid. This kind of oblated sphere approximates Jupiter’s real shape.
Together with the spacecraft trajectory and correct times, a realistic fly-over can be reconstructed.

Since Jupiter’s natural colors look pretty pale, the raw colors have been strongly enhanced for this movie. This brings out detail, which would be hard to perceive without enhancement.
Rendering the video took 34 hours, running on about three CPU cores in parallel, i.e. about 100 CPU core hours.

Repetitive camera artifacts have been patched using color of nearby pixels. There are still some bright pixels left over. Some of them might be new hot CCD pixels, but most of them are more likely to be hits of energetic particles colliding with camera hardware. Rare lightning events on Jupiter are possible, too.

Most of the rendition has been performed with a proprietary software developed over the past four years. For file format conversion, including converting a series of stills into a movie, and for scence blending, the batch utility ffmpeg has been used.

Credit: NASA / JPL / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt

EDH Deck Tech: Hokori, Dust Drinker

[you can see every deck tech here]

Hello & welcome to this weekly deck tech! This week we’re exploring EDH with a very fund (for the person who plays it) deck: Hokori, Dust Drinker.

Now, it’s to no one surprise that I love Stax & Attrition archetypes, so this commander, in my opinion is very fun and super cool to play. For those who don’t know what Stax is; the archetype revolves around making it near impossible for your opponents to play anything. You use effects that attack them from every angle, just to prevent them from doing stuff. Most of the effects are symmetrical, but you build your deck around ignoring those effects. By going over the different types of cards you need, you’ll understand.

Keeping Things Tapped

Let’s start off with your commander’s effect: making sure things stay tapped. By this mean, your opponents can’t really play anything, since none of their lands untap (well, just one, but whatever). Other cards like Static Orb, Tangle Wire, Mana Web, Storage Matrix, Marble Titan Meekstone & Crackdown are amazing at making sure that your opponent’s things stay tapped at all time.

Tapping Things

Now that we’ve seen how to make sure nothing untaps, what about tapping them in the first place? You have so many options in White, with cards like Kismet, Loxodon Gatekeeper,  Thalia Heretic Cathar, Imposing Sovereign, Orb of Dreams, Yosei the Morning Star, Icy Manipulator & Scepter of Dominance. Now you’ve effectively tapped everything and are making sure that everything stays like that.

When Tapping isn’t Enough

Sometimes you need to get rid of things, that’s just part of life. You have different ways of destroying stuff and they’re all really fun cards! Stuff like Oblation, Return to Dust, Austere Command, Wrath of God, Day of Judgment, Terminus, Swords to Plowshare & Path to Exile are obvious ones, but you can also play some fun cards like World Queller, Elesh Norn, Michiko Konda Truth Seeker, Archon of Justice, Tragic Arrogance, Cataclysmic Gearhulk, Smokestack, Karmic Justice & Martyr’s Bond. With those cards you have that extra Attrition that makes the deck so much fun. Oh, you can also play lands like Ghost Quarter, Strip Mine, Wasteland, Tectonic Edge, Dust Bowl & Encroaching Wastes, paired with Sun Titan & Crucible of Worlds just to screw with your opponent even more.

They Gotta Pay the Tax

Part of what makes a Stax deck is the Tax part. Just put a big old tax on everything! Go nuts! Play cards like Aura of Silence, Thalia Guardian of Thraben, Lodestone Golem, Vryn Wingmare, Sphere of Resistance, Magus of the Tabernacle (you can also play the Tabernacle at Pendrall Vale if budget is not an issue), Leonin Arbiter, Spelltithe Enforcer,  Glowrider, Chancellor of the Annex, Kataki War’s Wage, Suppression Field, Trinisphere & Defense Grid. Now your opponent has to pay extra to play & keep stuff, their stuff keeps getting tapped, doesn’t untap and some of it just gets destroyed all the time. You might think this is enough, but no, it’s never enough.

Straight-Up Nope

Sometimes you just got to say Nope. Play some cards that literally prevents them from doing things. Stuff like Silence & Orim’s Chant paired with Isochron Scepter. Or other things like Stony Silence, Leyline of Sanctity, Aegis of the Gods, Nevermore, Ethersworn Canonist, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Grand Abolisher, Aven Mindcensor, Containment Priest, Eidolon of Rhetoric, Angelic Arbiter, Phyrexian Revoker, Pithing Needle, Iona Shield of Emeria, Angel of Jubilation, Sanctum Prelate, Chalice of the Void, Linvala Keeper of SIlence, Ward of Bones, Grafdigger’s Cage, Cursed Totem & Rest in Peace. You have many, many ways to just deal with most situation by just saying “you can’t do that”; white has answers to most things. Also, cards like Torpor Orb & Hushwing Gryff in EDH are plain insane, you should play them.

Building a Castle

This goes in the same vein as taxing; if ever your opponent is able to keep some stuff on the field, make sure it doesn’t attack you basically. White has access to so many Pillowfort effects; stuff like Ghostly Prison, Windborn Muse, Archangel of Tithes, Peacekeeper, Magus of the Moat (and Moat if budget is not an issue), Norn’s Annex & Sphere of Safety are amazing at making sure no one can attack you.

What About My Mana?

We’ve made it clear that everyone is getting screwed by your cards, even you. So you have to find ways to make it less sucky for you. Easy, just make sure you have non-lands mana sources, ways to untap things & stuff like that. Play cards like Aether Vial, Gilded Lotus, Land Tax, Marble Diamond, Hedron Archive, Mind Stone, Thran Dynamo, Gold Myr, Knight of the White Orchid, Solemn Simulacrum, Burnished Hart, Palladium Myr, Sword of Feast & Famine, Everflowing Chalice, Darksteel Ingot, Worn Powerstone, Unwinding Clock, Pearl Medallion, Mana Vault, Fellwar Stone, Caged Sun, Basalt Monolith, Grim Monolith, Coldsteel Heart, Commander Sphere, Mana Crypt, Coalition Relic, Khalni Gem, Thought Vessel & Clock of Omens. You’ve got plenty to choose from, just make sure you have enough non-land mana producers and some ways to untap them!

Being Extra

Here are some cards that don’t really fit any of the previous categories that can really help a deck like this: Gideon Jura, Gideon Ally of Zendikar, Elspeth Knight-Errant, Elspeth Tirel, Elspeth Sun’s Champion, Scroll Rack, Sensei’s Divining Top, Eight-and-a-Half-Tailes, Mother of Runes, Platinum Angel, Emeria Shepherd, Stoneforge Mystic (to grab that sweet sword of Feast & Famine), Mentor of the Meek, Recruiter of the Guard & Enlightened Tutor.


That’s it for this week! I hope you guys enjoyed this deck tech as much as I did. If I missed anything let me know. I’ll see you guys next week for a Standard deck tech!

anonymous asked:

Greetings brother, what do you know about sacrifices for odin? Are there sources directing to That?

Velkomin(n), vinur minn!
(Welcome, my friend!)

There are indeed many sources that speak of sacrifices to Odin. In fact, I would argue that his sacrifices are the most famous, at least among the Norse gods. I will tell you what I know, but do feel free to explore any of the sources that I cite as well.

The most important sacrifice involved with Odin is his own, when he hung upon Yggdrasil and pierced himself with a spear in order to gain wisdom; a sacrifice of himself to himself. This is not only important symbolically, but also in its impact on the sacrifice rituals that surrounded him.(1) So although this may not be the kind of sacrifice you came to me for, I would still like to share it as a lead-in to actual ritual practice. It comes from Hávamál, stanzas 138–141:(2)

“I know that I hung on a windswept tree
nine long nights,
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.

“With no bread did they refresh me nor a drink from a horn,
downward I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there.

“Nine mighty spells I learnt from the famous son,
of Bolthor, Bestla’s father,
and I got a drink of the precious mead,
I, soaked from Odrerir.

“Then I began to quicken and be wise,
and to grow and to prosper;
one word from another word found a word for me,
one deed from another deed found a deed for me.”(3)

And so Odin once hung himself upon a tree, the tree, in a sacrificial ritual. Yet, this ritual is not just unique to the lore, nor is it strictly a symbolic tale. Aye, animals and men alike were sacrificed in this manner to Odin, the All-Father and Lord of the Slain. Adam of Bremen recorded this type of sacrifice at the temple at Uppsala — a once very sacred location in Sweden.(4) Here Odin is named as Wotan, and Freyr as Frikko:

“For all their gods there are appointed priests to offer sacrifices for the people. If plague or famine threaten, a libation is poured into the idol of Thor; if war to Wotan; if marriages are to be celebrated, to Frikko. It is customary also to solemnize in Uppsala, at nine-year intervals, a general feast of all the provinces of Sweden. From attendance at this festival no one is exempted. Kings and people all singly send their gifts to Uppsala and, what is more distressing than any kind of punishment, those who have already adopted Christianity redeem themselves through these ceremonies. The sacrifice is of this nature; of every living thing that is male, they offer nine heads, with the blood of which it is customary to placate gods of this sort. The bodies they hang in the sacred grove that adjoins the temple. Now this grove is so sacred in the eyes of the heathen that each and every tree in it is believed divine because of the death and putrefaction of the victims. Even dogs and horses hang there with men. A Christian seventy-two years old told me that he had seen their bodies suspended promiscuously. Furthermore, the incantations customarily chanted in the ritual of a sacrifice of this kind are manifold and unseemly; therefore, it is better to keep silent about them.”(5)

A few things should already sound familiar. Odin has been mentioned, who, in the Hávamál, said that he hung for “nine long nights.” Along the lines of that symbolic number, “nine heads” are offered and these ceremonies occur in “nine-year intervals.” A sacred grove is also referred to, and Odin hung upon a sacred tree. The trees of this grove are all considered sacred because of these sacrifices, which are hung upon these trees. Given the nature of this ritual, there is a connection between it and Odin, who sacrificed himself in a noticeably similar manner.

What may be surprising is the element of human sacrifice involved here. After all, Adam of Bremen clearly states that “even dogs and horses hang there with men (my emphasis).” More than one source, including non-textual sources, indicates that this was a truthful practice. In what is perhaps a less reliable source,(6) Guatreks saga recounts the sacrifice of King Vikar to Odin, who was even present himself in the judgement. This heroic legend is intertwined with lore and mythological fantasy, but echoes the attachment Odin has with the sacrifice of men. Here Odin, disguised as a man named Grani Horsehairs, has told his foster-son Starkad how to properly sacrifice King Vikar. But they must trick him and the others, for this was a king they were planning to sacrifice, after all. Odin gave Starkad a spear that would appear as a reed to everyone else. Furthermore, the “gallows” he constructs is made to look weak and harmless. And so the ritual unfolds:

“‘Your gallows is ready, king, and it doesn’t seem all that dangerous. If you come over here I’ll put the noose around your neck.’

‘If this contraption is no more dangerous than it appears,’ said the king, ‘it won’t do me any harm. But if things turn out differently, so be it.’

The king mounted the tree stump, and Starkad placed the halter around his neck. Then Starkad stepped down from the stump to the ground, thrust at the king with the reed, and saying, ‘Now I give you to Odin,’ let go of the fir branch. The reed turned into a spear and went right through the king. The tree stump fell away from under his feet. The calf’s entrails became strong rope, and the branch sprang up and lifted the king to the top of the tree.”(7)

Once again, the ritual is clear: a man is stabbed with a spear, hung from a tree, and dedicated to Odin. Even though the people did not find the sacrifice to be in good taste after it had happened, this saga still shows that there was some connection between this manner of sacrifice and Odin. Yet, it does not always have to be of this exact nature, at least when we choose to believe the word of each saga we consider. In Ynglinga saga, Snorri mentions that King Olaf Tretelgja, who did not sacrifice much and perhaps caused a famine as a result, was sacrificed to Odin in this manner instead: 

“Then the Svíar mustered an army, made an expedition against King Óláfr, seized his house and burned him in it, dedicating him to Óðinn and sacrificing him for a good season.”(8)

Further examples of human sacrifice to Odin can be seen in even earlier sources, although we enter a possible debate in doing so (see endnote 9 for details). Regardless, there was at least a point in which the first man captured in war was sacrificed to Odin, which may answer the question that if men were to be the offering, what type of man would it be? Other examples suggest criminals as well (Tacitus mentions this in his Germania), but the most honorable sacrifices that one could offer to the Lord of the Slain were, well, the slain. And so, in the days of Old, before the dawn of the Viking Age, men of war were sometimes sacrificed in the same manner as Odin himself described in Hávamál:

“And they incessantly offer up all kinds of sacrifices, and make oblations to the dead, but the noblest of sacrifices, in their eyes, is the first human being whom they have taken captive in war; for they sacrifice him to Ares, whom they regard as the greatest god. And the manner in which they offer up the captive is not by sacrificing him on an altar only, but also by hanging him to a tree, or throwing him among thorns, or killing him by some of the other most cruel forms of death.”(10)

Procopius wrote this during the sixth century, which was near the end of the Migration Period.(11) Some may believe that the above passage refers to Tîwaz (later Týr), but it is known that Wodan (later Odin) took the reigns of war from him during this period.(12) It was during the time of Tactitus, who wrote during the first and early second centuries that the god of war was still confidently Tîwaz. As a result, I consider this example to be referring to Odin, or at least an ‘older’ version of him, especially given the reference of “hanging him to a tree” when considering sacrificial options. It is generally accepted by scholars that this type of sacrifice was “known to be associated with Wodan from early times,”(13) thus giving Odin an old relationship with this ritual; a part of Odin, however small, once demanded and expected this type of sacrifice.

Despite the early nature of these more grim sources, the Prose Edda still retains this image of Odin; even by the late tenth and early eleventh centuries, Odin could still be called by names that reflected this type of ritual sacrifice. When Snorri introduces Odin, for example, it does not take long before a name related to this practices is revealed:

“Odin is called All-father, for he is the father of all gods. He is also called Val-father [father of the slain], since all those who fall in battle are his adopted sons. He assigns them a place in Val-hall and Vingolf, and they are then known as Einheriar. He is also called Hanga-god [god of the hanged] and Hapta-god [god of prisoners]…”(14)

The words of Adam of Bremen must also be remembered, for he also mentioned this sort of human sacrifice (that of hanging) and wrote of such just after the end of the Viking Age.(15) Thus, we have sources from before and after the Viking Age that indicate that men and animals alike were hung from trees in sacrifice to Odin. His name as “Hanga-god” (Hangaguð), God of the Hanged, comes from this practice. As we have already seen in several written accounts, men are hung upon trees when they are sacrificed to Odin, hence the additional title being added to Odin’s long list of names. Yet, do we have any proof beyond written record that the Norse and other Germanic peoples, whether before, during, or after the Viking Age, sacrificed men in this manner? Is this ritual purely literary exaggeration and symbolism to make these people seem backwards and violent in the eyes of Greeks and Christians alike? The Tollund Man would suggest otherwise.

On May 6th, 1950, the body of a man was discovered in a bog in Denmark. This alarmed the locals who had stumbled upon the body, which still looked like it was sleeping beneath the ground. The police came by the 8th, and it was soon realized that this was no murder victim, at least not a recent one. Nay, it was a man who lived around the fourth century. Around his neck was a rope, and the medical examiner was certain that he had been hanged by it.(16) Here is an image of the Tollund Man:

Although it is well-known, and well-documented, that Odin demanded hanged men for sacrifice, this was not the only option that was available to his worshippers; hanging men from trees may be a part of Odin’s vast complexity, but not all of his followers had the means to provide this. One could offer animal sacrifices, and they need not even be hanged. One could even host a ritual feast, which, of course, included ritually sacrificed animals, but also much ale-drinking and feasting in honor of the gods. Such a ritual is spoken of in Hákonar saga Góða, contained in Snorri’s Heimskringla:

“Sigurðr Hlaðajarl was very keen on heathen worship, and so was his father Hákon. Jarl Sigurðr maintained all the ritual banquets on behalf of the king there in Þrœndalǫg. It was an ancient custom, when a ritual feast was to take place, that all the farmers should attend where the temple was and bring there their own supplies for them to use while the banquet lasted. At this banquet everyone had to take part in the ale-drinking. All kinds of domestic animals were slaughtered there, including horses, and all the blood that came from them was then called hlaut (‘lot’), and what the blood was contained in, hlaut­bowls, and hlaut-twigs, these were fashioned like holy water sprinklers; with these the altars were to be reddened all over, and also the walls of the temple outside and inside and the people also were sprinkled, while the meat was to be cooked for a feast. There would be fires down the middle of the floor in the temple with cauldrons over them. The toasts were handed across the fire, and the one who was holding the banquet and who was the chief person there, he had then to dedicate the toast and all the ritual food; first would be Óðinn’s toast—that was drunk to victory and to the power of the king—and then Njǫrðr’s toast and Freyr’s toast for prosperity and peace. Then after that it was common for many people to drink the bragafull (‘chieftain’s toast’). People also drank toasts to their kinsmen, those who had been buried in mounds, and these were called minni (‘memorial toasts’). Jarl Sigurðr was the most liberal of men. He did something that was very celebrated: he held a great ritual feast at Hlaðir and stood all the expenses.”(17)

In the end, there is much to be said about Odin and the sacrifices that were made to him, the prevalent theme of which is consumed by spears and the hanging of men from trees; sacred groves, spears, hanging, and the men of war are all associated with Odin and the rituals of sacrifice in his name. Yet, one could also offer him a ritual toast and feast, which was far more ‘peaceful’ than hanging men in trees; sacrifices of this less extreme nature were likely the norm. Although, that still usually involved the sacrifice of animals and the use of their blood, which, it seems, could have been either hanged or slaughtered in order to be sacrificed properly. Apart from the hanging of men, the sacrifices made to Odin were much like that made to other gods, such as Thor, Freyr, and Njord (all mentioned above, at one point or another). Regardless of the available options, though, the spear-pierced man (or animal) hanging upon the branch of a sacred tree was a type of sacrifice ritual specially devoted to Odin, the God of the Hanged.

I hope this information satisfies your search for knowledge, friend, for that is what I know in regards to sacrifices to Odin. Feel free to ask me any follow-up questions you may have, or even investigate the sources that I used in the composition of this post. Regardless of what you do now, I wish you the best in all your endeavors.

Með vinsemd og virðingu,
(With friendliness and respect,)


1. This could be the opposite of what happened, though; the story could have derived from already existing rituals, versus being the cause for its beginning. The poem itself, however, is likely later than the rituals themselves, but that does not mean that the lore behind it was not already alive and well in the hearts of men long before.

2. Some include stanzas 141–144/5, which consists of the knowledge of runes that he acquired while hanging upon Yggdrasil. I have decided to omit them since our purpose is the ritual of the sacrifice itself.

3. Carolyn Larrington trans., Poetic Edda (Oxford: University of Oxford Press, 2014), 32. (Hávamál, st. 138-141.)

4. His account, History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen, is from ca. 1072-75/6, and was later revised in the early 1080s.

5. Adam of Bremen, History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen, translated by F.J. Tschan with new introduction by T. Reuter (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 207-8. (Via the Viking Age Reader.)

6. Sagas are always challenging for the scholar, for we must beware the motifs being used for the purpose of symbolism. It is clear here, after all, that the example stands more strongly for the purpose of symbolism, as the passage will soon tell. Regardless of the inherent insecurities that we may have when history meets mythological fantasy, the existence of other sources that attest to human sacrifice makes this example all the more likely. Furthermore, it strengthens the connection of this practice to Odin.

7. A.A. Somerville trans., Gautreks saga, in Fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda, edited by Guðni Jónsson, Vol. 4 (Reykjavík, 1959), 31. (Via the Viking Age Reader.)

8. Snorri Sturluson, Ynglinga saga, in Heimskringla, Volume I: The Beginnings to Óláfr Tryggvason, translated by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes, 2nd ed. (London: Viking Society for Northern Research, University College London, 2016), 42. The topic of burning the dead is actually a rich discussion to be had itself, although not necessarily in the form of burning men alive in homes, which is a separate fruitful discussion to be had. 

9. The source soon to be mentioned was written by Procopius, an outsider writing in the early sixth century. The key problem is not that he was an outsider, but rather the date of the source. Gods change, and this is a very early look at Odin, or rather Wodan. Some actually would consider these gods to be very different from one another. In fact, because gods change over time, does the Odin of Snorri’s Edda truly compare to the Wodan on the sixth century? They are the same, and yet they are different. Odin is clearly considered God of the Hanged in later works (soon to be mentioned in more detail), but not to the intense nature that is seen in even earlier records. Thus, to use an early source to attest to Odin’s thirst for human sacrifice in war raises the question of temporal placement. Did the men of the Viking Age sacrifice war-captives like this? Perhaps not. Other source do suggest, though, that the practice had not quite died out completely. At the very least, it was perhaps not to the same scale as it was in the more distant past. Yet, even that scale is questionable.

10. Procopius, History of the Wars: Book V and VI, translated by H.B. Dewing (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), Chapter XV.

11. The period, lasting primarily from the second century up to the sixth century, is named for clear reason: many of the Germanic peoples were on the move — mostly moving south into the territories of the Roman Empire.

12. The process is complicated, of course. In fact, it appears likely that Odin is not simply the later version of Wodan, but a combination of both Wodan and Tîwaz (see H.R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, 56-7). This returns us to the debate mentioned above in endnote 9, which argues that the Odin of the Viking Age may not be the same god we hear of from before the Viking Age. Debates aside, though, this is still a part of Odin’s overall image. Whether the influence is direct or indirect does not matter, for the fact still stands that a part of him once, or always had, demanded human sacrifice in such a manner.

13. H.R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe (repr., 1964; London: Penguin Books, 1990), 144.

14. Snorri Sturluson, Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes (London: Everyman, 1995), 21. (Online Edition.)

15. Within a single decade, in fact. The Viking Age ‘officially’ ends in 1066, with King Harald Hardradi’s defeat at Stamford Bridge; Adam of Bremen wrote his text around the year 1075.

16. This information, and much more, was found at, which was developed by the Silkeborg Museum and Library, along with ACU Århus County. I thus consider the information to be fairly reliable.

Fig.1. “The Tollund Man with the rope around his neck”, retrieved from

17. Snorri Sturluson, Hákonar saga Góða, in Heimskringla, Volume I: The Beginnings to Óláfr Tryggvason, translated by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes, 2nd ed. (London: Viking Society for Northern Research, University College London, 2016), 98-9.


The Washing of Feet

These hands once cradled stars
in the throes of their birthpangs.

From these lips once burst a Word
that expanded outward into a universe.

Brown hands. Calloused palms. Nails ridged
and chipped at the ends of long fingers

well-acquainted with splinters, with
the rope-burn kiss of a fisher’s net.

These the hands of a shepherd, a carpenter, a king,
a God — these the hands

that cradle your feet now, worship
with oblation of water, pressing of lips.

He exhales as he kisses your newly washed feet.
From breath you came, by breath you are transformed.

Here is the Act that topples monarchies:
the Universe’s Ruler on his knees.

ME!ME!ME! English Translation + Analysis

Ever since Me!Me!Me!’s music video (yes, the highly questionable one) came out in 2014, there have been only a few English translations of the song floating around the internet - and unfortunately, many of these are either very wrong (google translate, using the wrong kanji and thus obtaining a very wrong translation, made pre-official lyrics release) or far too literal for any meaning to be obtained from them. I decided to create a translation from scratch that I believe captures the essence that the song is attempting to convey - loneliness, anger, betrayal, heartbreak. Please click read more!

Keep reading

The Litany of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ hear us. R. Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, R. Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit R. Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Priest and Victim, R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek, etc.
Jesus, Priest Whom God sent to evangelise the poor,
Jesus, Priest Who at the Last Supper instituted the everlasting Sacrifice,
Jesus, Priest always living to intercede for us,
Jesus, High Priest anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit and with power,
Jesus, High Priest taken from among men,
Jesus, High Priest appointed on behalf of men,
Jesus, High Priest of our confession of faith,
Jesus, High Priest of a greater glory than Moses,
Jesus, High Priest of the true Tabernacle,
Jesus, High Priest of the good things to come,
Jesus, High Priest, holy, innocent and undefiled,
Jesus, High Priest, faithful and merciful,
Jesus, High Priest of God and on fire with zeal for souls,
Jesus, High Priest, perfect forever,
Jesus, High Priest, Who passed through the Heavens with Thy own Blood,
Jesus, High Priest, Who gave eternal life for us,
Jesus, High Priest, Who loved us and washed us from our sins in Thy Blood,
Jesus, High Priest, Thou hast offered Thyself as an oblation and victim to God,
Jesus, Victim of God and of men,
Jesus, Victim, holy and immaculate,
Jesus, appeasing Victim,
Jesus, peace-making Victim,
Jesus, Victim of propitiation and of praise, .
Jesus, Victim of reconciliation and of peace,
Jesus, Victim in Whom we have confidence and access to God, .
Jesus, Victim living forever and ever,

Be merciful! R. Spare us, O Jesus.
Be merciful! R. Graciously hear us, O Jesus.

By Thine eternal priesthood, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy holy anointing,Thou wert constituted Priest by God the Father, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy priestly spirit, etc.
By Thy ministry, Thou hast glorified Thy Father upon earth,
By Thy bloody immolation of Thineself made once upon the Cross,
By Thy same Sacrifice renewed daily upon the altar,
By Thy Divine power, which Thou dost invisibly exercises in Thy priests,

Graciously preserve the entire priestly order in holiness of life, R. We beseech you, hear us.
Graciously provide for Thy people pastors after Thine own heart, etc.
Graciously fill them with the spirit of Thy priesthood,
Graciously grant that the lips of priests may hold knowledge,
Graciously send faithful laborers into Thy harvest,
Graciously multiply faithful stewards of Thy mysteries,
Graciously grant them persevering service in accordance with Thy will,
Graciously grant them meekness in the ministry, skill in action and constancy, in prayer,
Graciously promote through them everywhere the worship of the Blessed Sacrament
Graciously receive into Thy joy those who have served Thee well,

Lamb of God, Thou takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Thou takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Thou takest away the sins of the world,
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord.

Jesus our Priest, R. Hear us.
Jesus our Priest, R. Graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O God, sanctifier and guardian of Thy Church, raise up in her by Thy Spirit worthy
and faithful stewards of the sacred mysteries, that by their ministry and example,
the Christian people may be directed along the way of salvation under Thy protection.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.

Prārthana : The hindu way of communicating with GOD (Prayers)

A prayer is one of the methods of being in communication with God. It, more often than not, takes the shape of addressing the God with the purpose of petitioning, praising, worshipping, confessing or even verbally abusing the chosen deity while in the process being in communication with the God. Or a prayer can also take the form of a person merely pouring out his/her emotions as an act of sharing. One of the main ends of a prayer across all religions and cultures is seeking solace.


In a Hindu’s life, the prayer forms an important component. Every action, event and the ensuing circumstances, success or failure, is filled with prayers. Therefore, in Hindu tradition, prayer takes different and numerous forms compared to other cultures, though the object and motive remain the same.

Arguably, Hinduism is the one religion with maximum number of prayers, worship, rituals and ceremonies. Waking up, going to sleep, bathing,  and commencing a new venture – to name some, prayers form the important part in all these and the whole life.

In Hinduism, the prayer is called Prārthana. Prārthana is not merely requesting or praising or confessing. It is simply an act of communicating to God. 

  1. Hindu prayers can be broadly classified into mental or Mānasika, verbal or Vācika and physical or kāyika. Staying in the very thought of the Divine and completely forgetting oneself is a mental or Mānasika Prārthana, though, at lower level, a thought about Divine, an appeal or desire about God can also be construed as Mānasika Prārthana
  2. Chanting of mantras, repeating the verses about God, or verbal appeals and requests constitute the Vācika Prārthana
  3. Offering of oblation to fire, making mystical gestures, circumambulation of a temple, prostrating in front of god,  going on a pilgrimage, etc. constitute physical or Kāyika Prārthana.

In the verbal Prārthana, several mystical syllables are used since these syllables have the power of conveying the Grace of God quicker and also cleansing the aspirant both physically and mentally.

An unique feature of Hindu prayers is that the prayers are not only made to God or Deity and the images representing them, but also to many things that are considered Holy and Sacred as they are manifestations of the Ultimate. So, a Hindu prays to variety of Sages, Saints and Preceptors, the mountains, the rivers and even the trees.

There are set of prayers that a Hindu repeats every day spiritualising and energizing every day existence. There are prayers that are repeated on certain occasions. And there are prayers that are meant for special occasions. Many of these are not followed by many people because of growing western culture in the east and diminishment of culture.

Following are a few daily prayers and some useful prayers to various gods and for specific occasions. [PS: There could be minor variations in the mantras provided in this series, due to regional differences, etc.]

~ Prayer to be chanted before studies :

Saraswati namastubhyam
Varade kāmarūpini;
Vidyārambham kariyāmi,
Siddhir bhavatume sadā.

“Oh Goddess Saraswati, my humble prostrations unto Thee, who are the fulfiller of all my wishes. I start my studies with a request that Thou wilt bestow Thy blessings on me”.

Saying this prayer, the student should start studies daily.

~ Prayer to be chanted before meals :

Brahmārpaam brahma havir
Brahmāgnau brahmanāhutam;
Brahmaiva tena gantavyam
Brahma karma samādhinā.

“Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the clarified butter etc. constituting the offerings, by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in all actions.”

Uttering this prayer, one should start one’s meals.

Prayer for Universal Peace :

Sarve bhavantu sukhinah,
Sarve santu nirāmayāh;
Sarve bhadrāni paśyantu,
Mā kaśchid duhkha bhāga bhavet

“May everybody be happy. May everybody be free from disease. May everybody have good luck. May none fall on evil days.”

anonymous asked:

What do you think is going to happen in the opening chapter for Dany in Winds of Winter? Do you think that she will have Drogon kill Khal Jhaqo?

Thanks for the question, Anon.

Good question!

I think certainly, the chapter opens immediately or at least shortly after the close of Daenerys X of ADWD. The face off between Daenerys and Drogon (standing over the bloodied carcass of a horse Drogon killed, could there be more obvious foreshadowing?) and Khal Jhaqo and his “half a hundred mounted warriors” is too potent a setpiece not to explore, or to explore only in flashbacks. This is a moment that has been building up since the end of the very first book; it was in the penultimate chapter of AGOT that Daenerys swore that “Mago and Ko Jhaqo [would] plead for the mercy they showed Eroeh” before she, Daenerys, finished with them. What’s more, lest the reader think that the author forgot this vow, Daenerys explicitly references Jhaqo’s riding off with part of Drogo’s khalasar, and Mago’s rape and murder of Eroeh in her very last ADWD chapter. Daenerys not only has fresh in her mind the cruel deeds of Jhaqo and Mago, she’s also in a place to make good on her vow. Practically, of course, she now has a much more fearsome mount in Drogon, a dragon that can and has killed grown men and beasts (and she herself has begun to be a true dragonrider). But personally as well, Daenerys has discarded the peacemaking, conciliatory Queen of Meereen garb of most of her ADWD arc to embrace “who you are, what you were made to be” - the blood of the dragon, whose words are Fire and Blood.

So, I would be very surprised if Khal Jhaqo survived Daenerys I of TWOW. Not that he’ll be burned and eaten in the first paragraph; there’s has to be some recognition between the two of them. After all, we don’t know whether Daenerys yet recognizes the khal as her husband’s former ko; the narration of the end of ADWD took a curiously neutral tone, only noting that “that was how Khal Jhaqo found her”. But there needs to be some explicit dialogue between the two of them that shows each understands who the other is. Perhaps there is some suggestion of dragging Daenerys back to the dosh khaleen, where according to Dothraki custom she should have gone at Drogo’s death, which Daenerys would obviously refuse. I would bet any amount of fake Internet money that she mentions Eroeh, but otherwise I’m not sure what specifically they say.

Additionally, I think there has to be a true fight between Daenerys and Jhaqo. Not only would such a fight give us readers another opportunity to see Daenerys leaning how to command her dragon, and in a battle environment, but I think Daenerys needs to show the assembled Dothraki why she deserves to be hailed as their supreme leader. The Dothraki being impressed only by strength and riding ability, Daenerys needs not only to kill Khal Jhaqo unambiguously, but to demonstrate the fierceness of her mount. Daenerys has been calling herself “Khaleesi of Great Grass Sea”, but if she’s going to prove why she should not be shut up with the crones of the dosh khaleen, she has to elicit wonder and terror on the part of Jhaqo’s assembled warriors.

Still, I tend to think Daenerys will not spend a huge amount of time with the Dothraki in TWOW. As I’ve said before, with the sheer number of POVs in this upcoming book, I doubt whether even the “big” characters will get the 10-15 chapter arcs that were a staple of the previous novels. So I see Daenerys I of TWOW ending with Daenerys resolving to go to Vaes Dothrak and commanding Jhaqo’s khalasar to bring the other khals to the city of the horselordss, with Daenerys II being where Daenerys receives the oblation of the dosh khaleen (that we saw prophesied all the way back in the House of the Undying) and is hailed as the khal of khals.

My big question mark is Mago. GRRM has mentioned him before as a “recurring” character in TWOW (in contrast to his show role, where he was killed in Season 1). Now, take this with a grain of salt: that was said back in 2011, and six years (and no TWOW) later, it’s possible he’s cut that possible storyline completely, or at least decided against giving Mago such a prominent role. But, taking him at his word, I wonder what sort of role Mago could/will have. I have to guess that Mago is for some reason not with Jhaqo and his fifty men, and instead of bowing to Daenerys flees and gathers the anti-Daenerys Dothraki. From there I could see Mago being a recurring thorn in Daenerys’ side as she and her new khalasar make their way to Volantis. But of course, she will kill him eventually.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)


[o-bley-shuh n]

(n.) 1. the offering of the bread and wine of the Eucharist to God. 2. the act of making an offering, especially to a deity. 3. any offering for charitable or religious uses.

The islanders threw their oblations into the mouth of the volcano, hoping to placate the mountain spirits that slept fitfully beneath their feet.

Playlist Masterpost

Themes include: Heathen, Kemetic, Writing, Fandom, Literature, Mental Illness, Queer

Heathen Devotionals

To Loki, With Love, 8tracks, youtube

For the Sacrifice (Narvi), 8tracks, youtube

Lady of Dust (Hel), 8tracks, youtube

Mother of Monsters (Angrboða), 8tracks, youtube

Mother Earth, 8tracks, youtube

Oblation and Victory (Sigyn), 8tracks, youtube

Hound of Hell (Fenrir), 8tracks, youtube

Ouroboros (Jörmungandr), 8tracks, youtube

Valkyrie Queen (Freyja), 8tracks, youtube

Divine Frenzy (Óðinn), 8tracks, youtube

Huntress (Skaði), 8tracks, youtube

Keep reading


Planet Earth.
The above images may look like art, but they are indeed places on Earth. Most of them are part of NASA’s Earth as Art. Click each image to see where they are.

Fun facts about the Earth:
• Earth is the only planet with only one moon.
• The Earth is not a perfectly round sphere, it bows outward at the equater as if it was stepped on (like an oval). The actual shape is “oblate spheroid”
• Earth is the only planet that has liquid water that can freely flow on the surface - Mars occassionally has liquid water but it quickly evaporates
• This planet is the only one that has an atmosphere that consists primarily of oxygen

Part of Celestial Reconnaissance Bodies of the Solar System series. :)
CLICK HERE for the series.

Young and Beautiful (SCM fanfic) Chapter 0 - The Fool

This is a Star-Crossed Myth fanfic story. The idea was inspired by the ancient Egyptian tarot, Clive Barrett’s brilliant work. I also used the SCM beautiful CGs as templates to make the 22 Major Arcana tarot decks. 

( I’m neither a good writer nor a good painter, just did this on impulse 

Type: Alternative History (AU)

Background: Ancient Egypt

CP: 12 Gods × Reader  

Warning: May contains smut  in the following chapters

A cool wind stirred the curtains of your chamber. With each breeze the delicate linens danced, wrapping themselves around the wooden columns which had been carved into luxuriant flowers. You stood in front of a mirror, stared at your reflection in the polished bronze. Light, young, as beautiful as a blooming lotus blossom, also as pale as the moonlight.

Well, you thought, young and beautiful, to be a perfect widow Queen of Egypt

Studying your reflection with a wry smile, you met your gaze, empty and indifferent. You were named Chief Wife of Pharaoh at the age of 17 and soon became a goddess. Your people loved you. Whenever you rode your golden chariot along the roads, crowded people chanting your name, throwing lily and lotus in front of you, and begging you to bring them eternal happiness. Every day they lined up at the palace gate, just to catch a glimpse of your passing beauty. 

You were a real goddess of the Egyptian people. It was you who lead their enthusiasm and great passion to your husband. He was made the People’s Pharaoh only because of you. Apparently, he loved you, or more accurately, he was deep in love with your enormous influence. 

However, after eight years of holy marriage, you fail to produce him an heir. Even a princess. Now Anubis had taken him away, without omen, only left you and your royal family behind the crown an impasse. 

Keep reading



Within the river Yamunā there was a great lake, and in that lake the black serpent Kāliya used to live. Because of his poison, the whole area was so contaminated that it emanated a poisonous vapor twenty-four hours a day. Due to the poisonous effect of the Yamunā’s vapors, the trees and grass near the bank of the Yamunā had all dried up. Lord Kṛiṣhṇa saw the effect of the great serpent’s poison: the whole river that ran before Vṛndāvana was now deadly.

Kṛiṣhṇa, who advented Himself just to kill all undesirable elements in the world, immediately climbed up in a big kadamba tree on the bank of the Yamunā. After climbing to the top of the tree, He tightened His belt cloth and, flapping His arms just like a wrestler, jumped in the midst of the poisonous lake. The kadamba tree from which Kṛiṣhṇa had jumped was the only tree there which was not dead. When Lord Kṛiṣhṇa jumped into the water, the river overflooded its banks, as if something very large had fallen into it. 

When Kṛiṣhṇa was swimming about, just like a great strong elephant, He made a tumultuous sound which the great black serpent Kāliya could hear. The tumult was intolerable for him, and he could understand that this was an attempt to attack his home. Therefore he immediately came before Kṛiṣhṇa. Kāliya saw that Kṛishṇa was indeed worth seeing because His body was so beautiful and delicate; its color resembled that of a cloud, and His legs resembled a lotus flower. He was decorated with Śrīvatsa, jewels and yellow garments. He was smiling with a beautiful face and was playing in the river Yamunā with great strength.

But in spite of Kṛiṣhṇa’s beautiful features, Kāliya felt great anger within his heart, and thus he grabbed Kṛiṣhṇa with his mighty coils. Seeing the incredible way in which Kṛiṣhṇa was enveloped in the coils of the serpent, the affectionate cowherd boys and inhabitants of Vṛndāvana immediately became stunned out of fear.  All the cows, bulls and small calves became overwhelmed with grief, and they began to look at Him with great anxiety. While this scene was taking place on the bank of the Yamunā, there were ill omens manifest. The earth trembled, meteors fell from the sky, and the bodies of men shivered. All these are indications of great immediate danger.  

As soon as Nanda and Yaśodā and the cowherd men heard this news, they became even more anxious. Out of their great affection for Kṛiṣhṇa, unaware of the extent of Kṛiṣhṇa’s potencies, they became overwhelmed with grief and anxiety because they had nothing dearer than Kṛiṣhṇa . While this was happening, Balarāma, who is the master of all knowledge, stood there simply smiling. He knew how powerful His younger brother Kṛiṣhṇa .When mother Yaśodā arrived, she wanted to enter the river Yamunā, and being checked, she fainted. Mother Yaśodā remained still, as if dead, because her consciousness was concentrated on the face of Kṛiṣhṇa. Nanda and all others who dedicated everything, including their lives, to Kṛiṣhṇa, were ready to enter the waters of the Yamunā, but Lord Balarāma checked them because He was in perfect knowledge that there was no danger.

For two hours Kṛiṣhṇa remained like an ordinary child gripped in the coils of Kāliya,then suddenly ,He began to expand His body, and when the serpent tried to hold Him, he felt a great strain. On account of the strain, his coils slackened, and he had no other alternative but to let loose the Personality of Godhead, Kṛiṣhṇa, from his grasp. Kāliya then became very angry, and his great hoods expanded. He exhaled poisonous fumes from his nostrils, his eyes blazed like fire, and flames issued from his mouth. The great serpent remained still for some time, looking at Kṛiṣhṇa. Licking his lips with bifurcated tongues, the serpent looked at Kṛiṣhṇa with double hoods, and his eyesight was full of poison. Kṛiṣhṇa immediately pounced upon him, just as Garuḍa swoops upon a snake.

Thus attacked, Kāliya looked for an opportunity to bite Him, but Kṛiṣhṇa moved around him. As Kṛiṣhṇa and Kāliya moved in a circle, the serpent gradually became fatigued, and his strength seemed to diminish considerably. Kṛiṣhṇa immediately pressed down the serpent’s hoods and jumped up on them. The Lord’s lotus feet became tinged with red from the rays of the jewels on the snake’s hoods. Then He who is the original artist of all fine arts, such as dancing, began to dance upon the hoods of the serpent, although they were moving to and fro. Upon seeing this, denizens from the upper planets began to shower flowers, beat drums, play different types of flutes and sing various prayers and songs. In this way, all the denizens of heaven, such as the Gandharvas, Siddhas and demigods, became very pleased.Gradually, Kāliya was reduced to struggling for his very life. He vomited all kinds of refuse and exhaled fire. While throwing up poisonous material from within, Kāliya became reduced in his sinful situation. 

Then ever so slowly ,Kaliya  began to understand that Kṛiṣhṇa was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he began to surrender unto Him. He realized that Kṛiṣhṇa was the Supreme Lord, the master of everything.The wives of the serpent, known as the Nāgapatnīs, saw that their husband was being subdued by the kicking of the Lord, within whose womb the whole universe remains. The Nāgapatnīs began to offer their prayers as follows:

“O dear Lord, You are equal to everyone. For You there is no distinction between Your sons, friends or enemies. Therefore the punishment which You have so kindly offered to Kāliya is exactly befitting. O Lord, You have descended especially for the purpose of annihilating all kinds of disturbing elements within the world, and because You are the Absolute Truth, there is no difference between Your mercy and punishment. We think, therefore, that this apparent punishment to Kāliya is actually some benediction. O dear Lord, we are simply astonished to see that he is so fortunate as to have the dust of Your lotus feet on his head. This is a fortune sought after by great saintly persons. Even the goddess of fortune underwent severe austerities just to have the blessing of the dust of Your lotus feet, so how is it that Kāliya is so easily getting this dust on his head? 

“They continued to pray “Our dear Lord, because You are the Supreme Person, You are living as the Supersoul within every living entity;  In other words, O Lord, You can see perfectly all the activities happening in every moment, in every hour, in every day, in every year, past, present and future. You are Yourself the universal form, and yet You are different from this universe. We therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto You. You are the ultimate goal of all philosophical efforts.You are the root of all evidences, and You are the Supreme Person who can bestow upon us the supreme knowledge. You are the cause of all kinds of desires, and You are the cause of all kinds of satisfaction. You are the Vedas personified. Therefore we offer You our respectful obeisances.You can order us and ask us to do whatever You please. Every living being can be relieved from all kinds of despair if he agrees to abide by Your orders.”After the Nāgapatnīs submitted their prayers, Lord Kṛiṣhṇa released Kāliya from his punishment.

Kāliya was already unconscious from being struck by the Lord. Upon regaining consciousness and being released from the punishment, Kāliya got back his life force and the working power of his senses. With folded hands, he humbly began to pray to the Supreme Lord Kṛiṣhṇa:  "My dear Lord, I have been born in such a species that by nature I am angry and envious, being in the darkest region of the mode of ignorance. Your Lordship knows well that it is very difficult to give up one’s natural instincts, although by such instincts the living creature transmigrates from one body to another.“ 

“ My dear Lord, I am born as a serpent; therefore, by natural instinct, I am very angry. How is it then possible to give up my acquired nature without Your mercy? It is very difficult to get out of the clutches of Your māyā. By Your māyā we remain enslaved. My dear Lord, kindly excuse me for my inevitable material tendencies. Now You can punish me or save me as You desire.”

After hearing this, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who was acting as a small human child, ordered the serpent thus: “You must immediately leave this place and go to the ocean. Leave without delay. You can take with you all your offspring, wives and everything that you possess. Don’t pollute the waters of the Yamunā. Let it be drunk by My cows and cowherd boys without hindrance." 

The Lord then declared that the order given to the Kāliya snake be recited and heard by everyone so that no one need fear Kāliya any longer.Anyone who hears the narration of the Kāliya serpent and his punishment will need fear no more the envious activities of snakes. The Lord also declared: "If one takes a bath in the Kāliya lake, where My cowherd boy friends and I have bathed, or if one, fasting for a day, offers oblations to the forefathers from the water of this lake, he will be relieved from all kinds of sinful reaction.” The Lord also assured Kāliya: “You came here out of fear of Garuḍa, who wanted to eat you in the beautiful land by the ocean. Now, after seeing the marks where I have touched your head with My lotus feet, Garuḍa will not disturb you.”

The Lord was pleased with Kāliya and his wives. Immediately after hearing His order, the wives began to worship Him .In this way they pleased the master of Garuḍa, of whom they were very much afraid. Then, obeying the orders of Lord Kṛiṣhṇa, all of them left the lake within the Yamunā.