the sacred taken

anyway can you believe that black sails unironically has a gay man use the biblical telling of god’s creation of adam and eve to describe his partnership with the man he loves I mean what a time to be alive

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I’ve been ready to return Flint to the sea for a long time.

they still have each other and that’s all that matters ;;m;; anyway congrats team lucina! the gauntlet was really fun. i hope we get to participate in others like it.

The Galileo Controversy

It is commonly believed that the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo for abandoning the geocentric (earth-at-the-center) view of the solar system for the heliocentric (sun-at-the-center) view.

The Galileo case, for many anti-Catholics, is thought to prove that the Church abhors science, refuses to abandon outdated teachings, and is not infallible. For Catholics, the episode is often an embarrassment. It shouldn’t be.

This tract provides a brief explanation of what really happened to Galileo.

Anti-scientific?


The Church is not anti-scientific. It has supported scientific endeavors for centuries. During Galileo’s time, the Jesuits had a highly respected group of astronomers and scientists in Rome. In addition, many notable scientists received encouragement and funding from the Church and from individual Church officials. Many of the scientific advances during this period were made either by clerics or as a result of Church funding.

Nicolaus Copernicus dedicated his most famous work, On the Revolution of the Celestial Orbs, in which he gave an excellent account of heliocentricity, to Pope Paul III. Copernicus entrusted this work to Andreas Osiander, a Lutheran clergyman who knew that Protestant reaction to it would be negative, since Martin Luther seemed to have condemned the new theory, and, as a result, the book would be condemned. Osiander wrote a preface to the book, in which heliocentrism was presented only as a theory that would account for the movements of the planets more simply than geocentrism did—something Copernicus did not intend.

Ten years prior to Galileo, Johannes Kepler
published a heliocentric work that expanded on Copernicus’ work. As a result, Kepler also found opposition among his fellow Protestants for his heliocentric views and found a welcome reception among some Jesuits who were known for their scientific achievements.

Clinging to Tradition?

Anti-Catholics often cite the Galileo case as an example of the Church refusing to abandon outdated or incorrect teaching, and clinging to a “tradition.” They fail to realize that the judges who presided over Galileo’s case were not the only people who held to a geocentric view of the universe. It was the received view among scientists at the time.

Centuries earlier, Aristotle had refuted heliocentricity, and by Galileo’s time, nearly every major thinker subscribed to a geocentric view. Copernicus refrained from publishing his heliocentric theory for some time, not out of fear of censure from the Church, but out of fear of ridicule from his colleagues.

Many people wrongly believe Galileo proved heliocentricity. He could not answer the strongest argument against it, which had been made nearly two thousand years earlier by Aristotle: If heliocentrism were true, then there would be observable parallax shifts in the stars’ positions as the earth moved in its orbit around the sun. However, given the technology of Galileo’s time, no such shifts in their positions could be observed. It would require more sensitive measuring equipment than was available in Galileo’s day to document the existence of these shifts, given the stars’ great distance. Until then, the available evidence suggested that the stars were fixed in their positions relative to the earth, and, thus, that the earth and the stars were not moving in space—only the sun, moon, and planets were.

Thus Galileo did not prove the theory by the Aristotelian standards of science in his day. In his Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina and other documents, Galileo claimed that the Copernican theory had the “sensible demonstrations” needed according to Aristotelian science, but most knew that such demonstrations were not yet forthcoming. Most astronomers in that day were not convinced of the great distance of the stars that the Copernican theory required to account for the absence of observable parallax shifts. This is one of the main reasons why the respected astronomer Tycho Brahe refused to adopt Copernicus fully.

Galileo could have safely proposed heliocentricity as a theory or a method to more simply account for the planets’ motions. His problem arose when he stopped proposing it as a scientific theory and began proclaiming it as truth, though there was no conclusive proof of it at the time. Even so, Galileo would not have been in so much trouble if he had chosen to stay within the realm of science and out of the realm of theology. But, despite his friends’ warnings, he insisted on moving the debate onto theological grounds.

In 1614, Galileo felt compelled to answer the charge that this “new science” was contrary to certain Scripture passages. His opponents pointed to Bible passages with statements like, “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed …” (Josh. 10:13). This is not an isolated occurrence. Psalms 93 and 104 and Ecclesiastes 1:5 also speak of celestial motion and terrestrial stability. A literalistic reading of these passages would have to be abandoned if the heliocentric theory were adopted. Yet this should not have posed a problem. As Augustine put it, “One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: ‘I will send you the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon.’ For he willed to make them Christians, not mathematicians.” Following Augustine’s example, Galileo urged caution in not interpreting these biblical statements too literally.

Unfortunately, throughout Church history there have been those who insist on reading the Bible in a more literal sense than it was intended. They fail to appreciate, for example, instances in which Scripture uses what is called “phenomenological” language—that is, the language of appearances. Just as we today speak of the sun rising and setting to cause day and night, rather than the earth turning, so did the ancients. From an earthbound perspective, the sun does appear to rise and appear to set, and the earth appears to be immobile. When we describe these things according to their appearances, we are using phenomenological language.

The phenomenological language concerning the motion of the heavens and the non-motion of the earth is obvious to us today, but was less so in previous centuries. Scripture scholars of the past were willing to consider whether particular statements were to be taken literally or phenomenologically, but they did not like being told by a non-Scripture scholar, such as Galileo, that the words of the sacred page must be taken in a particular sense.

During this period, personal interpretation of Scripture was a sensitive subject. In the early 1600s, the Church had just been through the Reformation experience, and one of the chief quarrels with Protestants was over individual interpretation of the Bible.

Theologians were not prepared to entertain the heliocentric theory based on a layman’s interpretation. Yet Galileo insisted on moving the debate into a theological realm. There is little question that if Galileo had kept the discussion within the accepted boundaries of astronomy (i.e., predicting planetary motions) and had not claimed physical truth for the heliocentric theory, the issue would not have escalated to the point it did. After all, he had not proved the new theory beyond reasonable doubt.

Galileo “Confronts” Rome

Galileo came to Rome to see Pope Paul V (1605-1621). The pope, weary of controversy, turned the matter over to the Holy Office, which issued a condemnation of Galileo’s theory in 1616. Things returned to relative quiet for a time, until Galileo forced another showdown.

At Galileo’s request, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit—one of the most important Catholic theologians of the day—issued a certificate that, although it forbade Galileo to hold or defend the heliocentric theory, did not prevent him from conjecturing it. When Galileo met with the new pope, Urban VIII, in 1623, he received permission from his longtime friend to write a work on heliocentrism, but the new pontiff cautioned him not to advocate the new position, only to present arguments for and against it. When Galileo wrote the Dialogue on the Two World Systems, he used an argument the pope had offered, and placed it in the mouth of his character Simplicio. Galileo, perhaps inadvertently, made fun of the pope, a result that could only have disastrous consequences. Urban felt mocked and could not believe how his friend could disgrace him publicly. Galileo had mocked the very person he needed as a benefactor. He also alienated his long-time supporters, the Jesuits, with attacks on one of their astronomers. The result was the infamous trial, which is still heralded as the final separation of science and religion.

Tortured for His Beliefs?

In the end, Galileo recanted his heliocentric teachings, but it was not—as is commonly supposed—under torture nor after a harsh imprison- ment. Galileo was, in fact, treated surprisingly well.

As historian Giorgio de Santillana, who is not overly fond of the Catholic Church, noted, “We must, if anything, admire the cautiousness and legal scruples of the Roman authorities.” Galileo was offered every convenience possible to make his imprisonment in his home bearable.

Galileo’s friend Nicolini, Tuscan ambassador to the Vatican, sent regular reports to the court regarding affairs in Rome. Many of his letters dealt with the ongoing controversy surrounding Galileo.

Nicolini revealed the circumstances surrounding Galileo’s “imprisonment” when he reported to the Tuscan king: “The pope told me that he had shown Galileo a favor never accorded to another” (letter dated Feb. 13, 1633); “ … he has a servant and every convenience” (letter, April 16); and “[i]n regard to the person of Galileo, he ought to be imprisoned for some time because he disobeyed the orders of 1616, but the pope says that after the publication of the sentence he will consider with me as to what can be done to afflict him as little as possible” (letter, June 18).

Had Galileo been tortured, Nicolini would have reported it to his king. While instruments of torture may have been present during Galileo’s recantation (this was the custom of the legal system in Europe at that time), they definitely were not used.

The records demonstrate that Galileo could not be tortured because of regulations laid down in The Directory for Inquisitors (Nicholas Eymeric, 1595). This was the official guide of the Holy Office, the Church office charged with dealing with such matters, and was followed to the letter.

As noted scientist and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead remarked, in an age that saw a large number of “witches” subjected to torture and execution by Protestants in New England, “the worst that happened to the men of science was that Galileo suffered an honorable detention and a mild reproof.” Even so, the Catholic Church today acknowledges that Galileo’s condemnation was wrong. The Vatican has even issued two stamps of Galileo as an expression of regret for his mistreatment.

Infallibility

Although three of the ten cardinals who judged Galileo refused to sign the verdict, his works were eventually condemned. Anti-Catholics often assert that his conviction and later rehabilitation somehow disproves the doctrine of papal infallibility, but this is not the case, for the pope never tried to make an infallible ruling concerning Galileo’s views.

The Church has never claimed ordinary tribunals, such as the one that judged Galileo, to be infallible. Church tribunals have disciplinary and juridical authority only; neither they nor their decisions are infallible.

No ecumenical council met concerning Galileo, and the pope was not at the center of the discussions, which were handled by the Holy Office. When the Holy Office finished its work, Urban VIII ratified its verdict, but did not attempt to engage infallibility.

Three conditions must be met for a pope to exercise the charism of infallibility: (1) he must speak in his official capacity as the successor of Peter; (2) he must speak on a matter of faith or morals; and (3) he must solemnly define the doctrine as one that must be held by all the faithful.

In Galileo’s case, the second and third conditions were not present, and possibly not even the first. Catholic theology has never claimed that a mere papal ratification of a tribunal decree is an exercise of infallibility. It is a straw man argument to represent the Catholic Church as having infallibly defined a scientific theory that turned out to be false. The strongest claim that can be made is that the Church of Galileo’s day issued a non-infallible disciplinary ruling concerning a scientist who was advocating a new and still-unproved theory and demanding that the Church change its understanding of Scripture to fit his.

It is a good thing that the Church did not rush to embrace Galileo’s views, because it turned out that his ideas were not entirely correct, either. Galileo believed that the sun was not just the fixed center of the solar system but the fixed center of the universe. We now know that the sun is not the center of the universe and that it does move—it simply orbits the center of the galaxy rather than the earth.

As more recent science has shown, both Galileo and his opponents were partly right and partly wrong. Galileo was right in asserting the mobility of the earth and wrong in asserting the immobility of the sun. His opponents were right in asserting the mobility of the sun and wrong in asserting the immobility of the earth.

Had the Catholic Church rushed to endorse Galileo’s views—and there were many in the Church who were quite favorable to them—the Church would have embraced what modern science has disproved.

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MYTHOLOGY MEME - [15/?] GREEK GODS/GODDESSES: STYX

“Once is enough to have beheld the unlovely

realm of Hell, once to have gone across

the stream of Styx.”

( requested by iamnotyour-darling )

The Cat and the Moon

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

[W. B. Yeats]

prints at society6

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More doodles

These are all @happymaskshoppe related

Mutton slapped the mask salesman on the back if you’re wondering. He’s trying to be friendly…

Werewolf Calum-Part 3

A/N: Sections of this part contain slight violence so proceed with caution. Thanks for reading:)

Your POV

Walking over to your window you closed it, making sure to leave it unlocked in case Calum decided to come back later tonight. Both your parents were out of town, but since you were a pretty good kid, they trusted you enough to allow you to stay home alone for a few days while they were on their business trip. Until then, it was just you and hopefully Calum because you just couldn’t get enough of him. Humming to yourself you sauntered over to your bed and laid down flat on your back with your legs dangling over the edge. You closed your eyes and thought about the moments that had taken place mere minutes before. It was all still extremely overwhelming and you could still hardly believe it, but at your core you knew it was all true. Calum was a werewolf. A werewolf who happened to be your mate, whos pack wanted you dead. And to think yesterday you were sitting in the library alone reading a book and your biggest worry was finishing your essay for Literature class. As you continued to daydream about Calum your thoughts were soon interrupted by the sound of footsteps downstairs. Assuming it to be Calum, you leaped off your bed and bounded down the stairs.

“Calum?” You called out, but there was no reply. You knew he had to have heard you since most of his senses were much sharper than the average human. So why wasn’t he answering you? You could hear some more noise coming from the kitchen so you carefully made your way down the hall towards the kitchen. “Cal?” You squeaked out, terrified that maybe it wasn’t him in your house afterall. Taking a deep breath, you turned the corner that led into the kitchen.
But what you found there was perhaps more terrifying than all of today’s events combined.

There, on the wall opposite to the refrigerator was a message, written in what looked like some type of animal blood. 

It read: “We warned him. And now you will pay the price.”  
You gasped, starting to feel tears leak out of your eyes. But the tears never came, because before you could process what was happening there was a loud thud behind you.
You didn’t even have time to scream before your world was black.

Calum’s POV

Calum ran through the woods at top speed, his hind legs digging into the ground to gain full momentum, wind racing through his fur as he raced back to the pack to get things sorted out with Tate. The last he had seen of the Alpha, he was knocked unconscious and Calum was high tailing it back to Y/N’s house to make sure she was alright and to explain himself to her. Fighting Tate wasn’t too much of an issue but instead the reason they were fighting that caused the problem. The minute Calum had woken up from his dream about Y/N, Tate had been the first member of the pack to confront him. Often, wolves slept restlessly when they dreamt of their mates, which is what given away what had happened. Calum had made a mistake confiding in him about who exactly the dream was about. He should have know that he wouldn’t understand. But he had never thought he would truly go through with the tradition of exile and execution. Now, his foolishness had put Y/N in danger and he could only pray that it wouldn’t cost her her life. Because if she died, he knew that soon after he would surely die of a broken heart. He loved her. He loved her with everything he had because that’s how he was programmed biologically. It was in the nature of a werewolf to immediately fall in love with their mate. They are designed to mate for life and to love their mates until the day they died. That’s why they were never supposed to be with a human, because the love of a human is fickle and hardly ever lasts. Most of the prejudice against humans stemmed from that fact alone.
That prospect is the only thing that terrifies Calum about being with Y/N. That maybe someday she won’t want to be with him and he’ll be left alone, pining for the only girl he’ll ever love while she is off somewhere in another man’s arms because she is allowed to love someone else.

Pushing the depressing thought to the back of his mind, Calum treaded on through the forest where he was met with the familiar smell of his pack. While it was good to be getting back home, he was equally anxious to discover his fate. If Calum wasn’t able to talk the rest of the pack out of their disapproval-because at this point Calum was sure that Tate had already told them all about his and Y/N’s relations- it could mean both of your demises. But he would talk them out of it. They would listen to him. They had to. 

There was something he had forgotten to tell Y/N. Tate may be the Alpha of the pack, but Calum was his second in command, the beta of the pack and he had just as much, if not more respect than Tate had. Calum had many supporters, most that wanted him to overthrow Tate and become the Alpha himself. A lot of the wolves in the younger generation were tired of the old ways. There were too many restrictions that the elders had placed upon the pack in the name of upholding tradition. The wolves were not allowed to interact with humans at all, nor could they hunt during the day but instead under the protection of nightfall for fear of humans seeing them. Eating in human form was forbidden because in the eyes of the elders, humankind was a vulgar race and to eat like them was to be like them. Unlike the myths, werewolves are actually very elegant creatures. They run swiftly and gracefully and do not hunt for sport, but merely to survive. There was complexity in their kind, but tradition has become such a major part of the pack that they have disregarded any form of progress or new ideas. Calum was tired of being forced to obey archaic pack laws and it was time for a change. Maybe his love for Y/N was just the push the pack needed to begin on the path to a brighter future.

Getting so caught up in his thoughts, Calum failed to realize that he had now reached the camp. He gave a curt nod to the wolf guarding its borders and strolled into the clearing where the rest of the wolves were gathered in what looked to be a pack meeting.
There, on the lowest branch of the largest tree in the wood stood Tate, in full wolf form, delivering a message to the rest of the pack.

“They are not to be trusted! Their kind is grotesque and cruel, unfit for the love of a wolf! He has betrayed the traditional law of the clan and cannot reside among us any longer! For him to be here, in his position, would be an abomination!” Just then, something unexpected happened. A younger wolf, no older than fourteen spoke up. Only wolves who were of age could speak at pack meetings and a werewolf didn’t come of age until age 18.

“We shouldn’t kick Calum out of the clan just for being in love. It…It’s not right.” The young wolf squeaked. There were many murmurs among the elders of the clan and looking up, Calum could see that Tate’s eyes were now blazing with fury.

“How dare you even speak young one? Calum has not only broken tradition by mating with a human, but he dared to defy my orders as well. He protected her from me and allowed her to get away. He disrespected his alpha all for that…that whore! Just as you have now done!” Tate seethed.

Calum locked eyes with a extremely angry Tate and bared his fangs. How dare he say such things about his mate’s kind? He knew firsthand that Tate had only ever interacted with a human one time from afar, meaning he could not make any rash judgements about a whole culture just because he didn’t understand.

“That’s enough Alpha” Calum spoke the word alpha like it was poison in his mouth. The ends of his fur were on end and his ears were pointed straight up. “If I ever hear you talk about her that way I will not be responsible for what happens next.”

Tate smirked. “You see? Even now he commits this crime, in front of you all. He must be exiled! And rid of the filthy human!” Tate addressed the crowd, but to both Tate and Calum’s surprise, they seem to be split. Most of the older generation of wolves howled along with their leader, agreeing that Calum must be punished. But the same, perhaps even a larger portion of wolves began to circle around Calum. Most of them were between the ages of twelve and twenty three, but intermixed were a few older wolves and even one of the seven elders, which surprised Calum more than anyone.

“You are not the only ones with opinions Tate, and I think it’s time you realized that your word is not law.” Calum spoke defiantly. The wolves among him howled in agreeance, even throwing in their own voices.

“It’s time for a new Alpha!” One spoke.

“The old traditions must no longer be heeded! A new era must begin!” Shouted another.

“And Calum should be the one to lead us!” The wolves were in a frenzy now. There was dissention in the pack and Tate began to lose control until he shouted with a rage none had seen before.

“SILENCE!” You are all traitors and you all deserve to die!” A darkness in Tate’s heart was beginning to come to light as he spoke his next words, his eyes glaring directly into Calum’s. “But only one will die tonight. And she is on her way to just that Calum. I have already sent my best hunter to fetch her. She is likely an inch from death as we speak.”

A feeling of horror filled Calum like nothing he had ever felt before. He knew exactly where Y/N was being taken. The sacred tree had only ever been used in the old days, when humans and wolves were at war. If ever a human was caught lurking in werewolf territory then they were taken to the sacred tree, tied there, and then left for dead. It was an old tradition of cleansing the human soul and returning it back to the forest so that the wood could prosper from the human instead of be harmed by it. Of course Calum thought the whole idea was bullshit, and apparently so did many other wolves in the clan. If she was being taken there, then that would be it for her, and essentially for Calum as well. 

“In fact, I think I might stroll over and end her miserable life myself. Put her out of the misery of having to mate with a traitor. But then again I suppose you two really are meant to be then. You both are unworthy of this pack.” Tate sneered as Calum fought back to urge to lunge out and sink his teeth into Tate’s throat and kill him then and there. But there were more important things to be dealt with right now and that was the safety of his mate. 

In a second, Calum was out of the clearing with Tate’s murderous voice echoing behind him. “You have no chance! She’s already dead!” Turning to Calum’s group of followers Tate now addressed them. “You all better hope I forgive you after this stunt because the treason committed here could have you all exiled, or killed.” And with that, Tate leaped down from his podium and raced after Calum, leaving the rest of the pack behind. Calum knew his supporters may speak his praises, but attacking the Alpha was a cardinal sin to any pack and he knew they wouldn’t dare to physically fight Tate, even if it meant helping Calum and ending Tate’s tyranny.

Calum could hear the heavy steps of his former friend following close behind, but he had only one thing on his mind. Get to Y/N. Get to Y/N. Get to her before anything too terrible happens. Get to her before Tate does. In the end, Tate was the only one Calum actually feared. He knew that all Tate wanted was to see Calum suffer at this point and he wanted it to be at his own mercy. Tate was ruthless and he would not let their old friendship stop him from making Calum an example for the rest of the clan.

He was almost to the sacred tree, almost to Y/N. His ears had begun to pick up short breaths that could only come from a human. So she was still breathing, she was still alive. The thought pushed Calum to run faster than he ever had, his legs aching as he drove on.

Finally, he reached the clearing, almost having to look away at what he was greeted with, but Calum had to be strong. He had to be strong for you.

There you were, the ropes that were wrapped tightly around you, securing you to the tree was the only thing keeping you from collapsing to the ground. Your hair and face was streaked with dirt, suggesting you had been dragged through the woods. Your clothes were torn and dark purple bruises were beginning to form all along your body. Your legs were littered with various gashes, blood freely falling from them and into the dirt. The lips he had once showered with kisses was now bleeding and busted and you had scratches, likely from sharp, low hanging branches, on your once soft cheeks that he wished he could caress even in this moment.
Tate was right about one thing, you were an inch from death. At Calum’s arrival, you struggled to crane your neck and look up at him catching his eyes and giving him a small reassuring smile, even though you were in more pain than you had ever been. Standing next to you, was one of Tate’s closest followers. His name was Hadley and he was almost as cruel as Tate was; almost. He was in his human form, likely so he was able to tie you up properly. Turning away from you, he greeted Calum with a devilish grin.  

“Calum, how nice of you to join us. I expect the others aren’t far behind?”

“Let her go Hadley. She’s done nothing wrong.” Calum had turned back into his human form so that he could communicate with you, but he was ready to quickly transform back into being a werewolf when he needed to.

“She’s a human, every breath she takes is wrong. Although I must say Calum, for a human she’s quite pretty. If it wasn’t against tradition I might actually have a crack at her.”

Calum was fuming, but trying not to let it show for you sake so he spoke in a low voice. “If you even breathe in her direction one more time I will end you. You may be Tate’s favorite, but it’s not because you are the strongest. Or the smartest, or the fastest. Remind me again why it is that he calls you his favorite Hadley? Because the rest of the pack doesn’t know either.” Calum insulted him, trying to distract him from hurting you again.

But his attempts were all in vain because suddenly, there was a rustling in the bushes behind where you were tied. Emerging from the thicket was none other than Tate. He was no longer in his wolf form, but instead holding something in his hands that gave Calum chills. The sacrificial knife of the eldest clan, used only for situations like this one, where a victim must have their life forcibly stripped from them by the hand of the Alpha. Tate walked over and grabbed a handful of your hair, yanking your head up so that he could look down at you.

“You’re the cause of all my problems aren’t you? I lost my second in command because of you.” Tate was whispering in your ear, but Calum was sharp enough to be able to hear. He had to be careful because while Calum may be fast, Tate was standing close enough to you that he could end your life before Calum even took a step in your direction. It was all Calum could do to watch as Tate traced the blade along your cheek and down your neck all while looking Calum directly in the eye, as if daring him to attempt something. Then he glanced down at you and let out a little scoff.

“Say goodbye Calum.”

And with that, he plunged the sacrificial dagger deep into your chest.
One word fell from your lips as you felt your breathing slow and the world around you became indistinguishable. 

“Calum.”

__

Part 4

Masterlist

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5 Things to Consider When Creating a Personal Sacred Space

It’s taken me years to create a space for myself within my home. YEARS. I feel like my space is finally the way I want and need it to be. For now. LOL! I’m always rearranging things every few weeks. For now, this is the way I love for it to be. This is where I pray, practice yoga poses (when it’s not doing me more pain than good) and meditation, listen to records, and read from my tiny library (books, zines and comics). This is my personal sanctuary and where I rest my aching body and anxious mind every single night. I’m mentally and chronically ill so some days - sometimes a week or weeks - I don’t get out of bed especially when my depression is really bad.

Here are five things to consider when creating a personal sacred space. Enjoy!

1. Use what you have

My record player sets atop a TV dinner tray. In my prayer space, my sacred objects are set upon a floral print tray I’ve used for makeup, coffee makers, and many other purposes. A Gremlins lunchbox (c. 1984) houses a tiny zine collection and an Annie lunchbox (c. 1981) houses a tiny comics collection. Other things like my floral print trash can and containers were purchased at the dollar store. 

2. Clear the clutter

Take out things that might contribute to your anxiety or remind you of things you can’t or don’t want to do (I once was able to do weights but haven’t been in over a year so I took them out). I used to have everything in my room from makeup to books to my writing/craft desk. Makeup is now on my bathroom vanity and, except for mental health and self care books, my books and desk are in the living room. Over time, I went through all of my documents and any other papers and only keep what I need. I placed them in cute folders in magazine holders on a designated shelf in my closet.  Since I removed the desk, I rarely work on the laptop and do any other work like writing or zine making in my room.

3. Surround yourself with what represents you

For the longest time my walls were bare. No art, just white walls. I didn’t start investing in art until maybe a year ago. The art in my room definitely represents who I am and makes me happy: Hopi, Otham, a river and desert person, and no doubt a Star Wars fan. (My Hopi and Star Wars art was made by a Hopi/Otham friend which I purchased from him at our tribe’s museum at First Friday’s. It was the end of the event so I bought seven pieces which was pretty much his inventory that night!) I love bright colors, floral patterns and cute things which is represented from my sheets to my trash can to small containers that hold special objects. I keep mental health, yoga, and self-care books (coloring books and paper dolls) in my room because I want them to be within reach on the days I’m struggling, especially to get out of bed. I also try to be a minimalist when it comes to buying and keeping records and comics because cost and space.   

4. Decide what kind of space you want it to be

Whether you have a tiny room, a roommate, share with a significant other, a relative, or whatever it may be, you might not have a lot of space or any space to create the sanctuary you want and need. It’s okay, I used to only have the floral print tray for my sacred objects and that was it. My room is maybe 150 sq. ft. but I managed to create “zones” which include a listening space, yoga space, prayer space, art space and a reading space. Decide what’s most important to you and create something, even if it’s an altar on a TV dinner tray!

5. Take your time

Like I said, it’s taken me years to curate this space I call my sanctuary. Take your time figuring out what means the most to you, what makes you happy, and doesn’t cost a lot of money or any money at all. It’s important to have a space that is safe and all yours. You need a place to help nurture you back to health in your body, mind and spirit. You deserve this!

Thank you for reading. Please, do share with me how you created your personal sacred space and what it means to you and your mental, spiritual and physical health. Sape!

Cut Up Angels: Part 2

Originally posted by bellamyblakesource

Summary: Bellamy x reader where, once again, your binding love is put to the test. Can you learn to let go when the love of your life also becomes the ultimate source of your pain? (Parts 1 & 3)

Warning: Season 3 spoilers!

A/N: It’s been awhile. Have you all been well? I hope so. Anyway, I decided to make this a sequel because the relationship in part 1 already had great depth and I thought it made this piece more meaningful. If you are satisfied with the original ending and no longer wish to suffer, completely disregard these optional continuations.


“I will never leave you.”

Those five words formed a sworn oath. They represented a sacred pledge taken by you and Bellamy, spoken in the purest sincerity, following your close call with death. The pair of you spent each day abiding by that pact with passionate fidelity and every night, swearing fealty to it anew. Within one seemingly simple phrase was the promise of never having to face the cruel reality of the ground, alone.

The balance had been restored to your relationship and you were, once again, working as a cohesive unit. Whether it was carrying out chores around camp, hunting, or even in the heat of battle, you each made it a habit to remain side by side, to be there to protect, to sustain, and to nurture one another. For every new and challenging occasion that arose, you were there to firmly grasp the other’s hand and face it down together. Together, you were strong. Together, nothing seemed impossible. And together was how you would remain from this day forward. This philosophy held true until the events of Mount Weather transpired.

All it took was one moment, one short second of splitting up, and suddenly you were watching as the dropship doors closed on your other half, seemingly leaving him for dead. You spent your final days in Mount Weather withering away in a tiny cell, believing that you left your one true love to burn to death in a ring of fire that was meant to destroy your enemies. You thought you were having a feverish dream the day a guard appeared, freeing you from captivity. He removed his helmet, letting his dark curls fall and revealing his true identity. It was Bellamy. He didn’t leave you. He came back for you, just like he always said he would.

You remembered the well of tears that sprang forth from your eyes upon realizing Bellamy was alive, the memory of the dropship doors closing without him flooding your every tear. You remembered eagerly running your hands over his hair and skin and pressing your cheek firmly against his when you were finally sure that he was real. You clutched him tightly in your arms, never wanting to let him go and never wanting to experience the pain of separation again.

You left Mount Weather with optimism, thinking that you and Bellamy would pick up right where you left off. You would go back to your concept of unity, of togetherness, and strength as a couple. However, things didn’t go as smoothly as you planned and you seemed to be clinging to Bellamy more than he was clinging to you.  

Bellamy went into Mount Weather and emerged a changed man. The differences weren’t immediately noticeable to others, but you saw it. There was something hiding there in the leaden drag of his stride, in the flat timbre of his voice, and in the hazy glaze covering his eyes. If anything gave it away, it was how he displayed his affection for you. He seemed to hug you a little less tight and his nightly affirmations were without dedication. Anytime you tried to ask about what was ailing him, he would provide you with a smile that seemed more like a piece of a mask and an answer that lacked authenticity. He would always say that he was fine and that he was just adjusting, but you knew better.

You knew this wasn’t about you, but about the things he had done. You knew that the lengths Bellamy went to, the measures he resorted to, and the lives he took, were wrapping themselves around his psyche and squeezing him like a boa constrictor until he was nearly blue in the face. You weren’t sure if he felt like a hero for saving you and his friends or a villain for aiding in the slaughter of hundreds of innocent lives, but you knew he was facing an inner conflict. Even if he never spoke a word about it, you still felt his hurt.

Due to Bellamy’s silent woes, three months of relative peace felt more like six months of walking on egg shells. While you were growing extremely comfortable inside of the fortified walls of Arkadia, Bellamy was quietly unsettled. He joined the guard, he had a happy home with you, and he had his sister, yet he still couldn’t seem to find solace in this society. It was almost like he was playing a game of house, merely pretending to fit in, as he tried to insert himself into an active role within this community.

There was a part of you that was pretending too, burying the piece of you that knew Bellamy’s tumultuous spirit couldn’t stay locked in the cage of normality. You knew he was doing this for you, to keep you safe and to keep you happy. He was keeping quiet so that he wouldn’t throw off the balance, but his very nature was fighting against it. Though you tried, you couldn’t domesticate the wolf stirring inside of him and day by day, more of it broke free. It was always on the hunt for something more, a bigger purpose. There was always another task Bellamy could take on, another job to do, and another way to hide how he was actually feeling.

With his new position as a guardsman, Bellamy was heavily investing his time in his work. Anytime there was a mission, he had to be a part of it. Anytime someone was in trouble, he had to be there to save them. And anytime there was a problem, he had to be the one to fix it. Maybe he thought resolving other people’s issues might help him with his own, but no matter how much community work he involved himself in, nothing seemed to satisfy his hunger for atonement. He was always too ready and too willing to put his life on the line to further the state of living for his community.

Most recently, upon hearing of the bounty on Clarke’s head, Bellamy went out on a dangerous escapade to save his friend. He looked death square in the face, passing through a field of ice nation warriors and confronting a formidable grounder mercenary, only to return home empty-handed and with a nasty leg wound that hardly had time to heal. Now, he was getting ready to leave again, heading to Polis to warn his comrades about an incoming attack on their summit.

You had returned to the scene of the crime, the place where the Bellamy you knew had become this tarnished version of himself, Mount Weather. You were there to help the new Farm Station residents settle in when Bellamy caught wind of the bad news. He immediately wanted to rush into action and you tried to stop him.

“Bellamy, you shouldn’t go,” you said, trying to softly urge him to reconsider his hasty behavior.

“I have to warn them,” Bellamy replied, edgily.  

“What about your leg?”

“My leg is fine.”

You gave him a look that said everything you were thinking, “Don’t go. I’m worried about you. You’re not fine. Stop pushing your body beyond its limits.”

“I’m asking you not to go,” you said, your tone of voice becoming rigid and serious. This time, your words were less of a gentle suggestion and more of an insistent plea. You wanted to make it clear to Bellamy that you were completely against what he was doing, for him to understand your concern and hopefully, be receptive to your feelings.

“I won’t ask you to come with me because I know what’s best for you,” Bellamy started. He knew your dissatisfaction, but he also held fast to his truth. “And since you know what’s best for me, then you know that I have to do this.”

The truth was always a tough to pill to swallow, bitter on the tongue and burned on the way down, but once it made its way to your stomach, you knew it was right. That didn’t stop you from trying to mold the truth until it was fit for your liking.

“Am I not enough?” Your voice squeaked out, hoarse and tearful, finally exposing the feelings you both tried so hard to ignore.

“You are everything and more,” Bellamy responded, taking your hands and holding them snugly in his warm grip. This was the most sincere declaration you had received from him since he rescued you from Mount Weather. A light seemed to click on in the attic of his mind when he looked at you and suddenly, he remembered you were his world.  

“Then what is it?”

“My entire life, I’ve always been responsible. Responsible for Octavia, responsible for you, for these kids. When does my existence not depend on someone else?” Bellamy explained, wholeheartedly. “I need to figure out who I am.”

“I know who you are.”

“But I don’t!” Bellamy raised the volume of his voice, clearly growing exasperated as he released your hands from his. He backed a few paces away from you, brushing the hair away from his forehead and then letting it flop back in place.

Even on The Ark Bellamy was always very high-strung, but it was always because he was hiding something. Since he was a young boy, he was constantly hauling around a steel safe filled with deep, dark secrets –things he wasn’t supposed to say, emotions he wasn’t supposed to feel, and wounds that weren’t allowed to heal. He was burdened to bottle up his vulnerability, to keep it stored securely behind lock and key, because being strong for his loved ones meant there was no room for his own weaknesses. It was no wonder that Bellamy felt as if he didn’t know himself because he was continually validating his existence by how well he served others, but that’s why he had you.

You were the one that understood that Bellamy wasn’t someone who was made out of mysteries and that he wasn’t himself because of what his peers poured into him. You never saw him as some sort of action hero, a perfect king, or a majestic god to be placed on a pedestal. You saw him as the reticent intellectual, the bona fide history buff who could get lost in a book for hours. You saw the proud older brother who valued his sibling as worth her weight in gold, the dangerously loyal ally who always stood up for his friends and the sensitive lover who spent as much time praising your mind and spirit as he did your body. You saw a man who was fiercely determined, someone who never strayed from his deep-rooted beliefs or backed down from a challenge without a fight. Bellamy was someone who shaped the world around him with his compelling character and not someone who was shaped by the world around him. In his simplest form, Bellamy was a human being, one who made mistakes, but wasn’t defined by them, one who was allowed to have feelings and to be felt, and someone who was imperfect but still extraordinary.

Bellamy never needed to go out and find himself because his true essence was always right there, with you. If he would’ve only given you the chance, you could’ve reminded him.  

“I’m sorry, but I have to do this,” Bellamy asserted.  

He was determined to leave and you would say anything to make him stay.

“If you leave now,” you said, heaving an uneasy breath between your phrasing. “It’s over.”

You knew that your paltry threat held no weight, but it was your last resort. It wasn’t even enough to make Bellamy flinch because he knew, just as well as you, that your warning was fictitious.

“Don’t be that way,” Bellamy continued with a sigh. All traces of his prior frustration disappeared, the husky vibrations of his voice turning into gentle and affectionate hums. “I’ll see you when I get back.” He caressed your cheek before kissing you long and hard. “I love you.”  

“I know.”

He left you standing in the middle of the dining hall in Mount Weather. You didn’t want to let him go, that fear of separation taking hold of you again, but you knew what was best for him and it was setting him free. He had to be free to learn things on his own, without you.


On the journey to finding himself, Bellamy soon realized that he had lost every crucial building block that structured his very existence. His sister, Octavia, had plans of leaving Arkadia in the dust while his close friend and strongest ally, Clarke, refused to come home with him after he went through hell and high water to find her, but most importantly, he failed you. Though he tried, he was unsuccessful in upholding his end of the covenant, once again, leaving you to suffer at the hand of his reckless decisions.  

While he was parading through grounder city, trying to find a semblance of himself amidst the dirt and concrete, you were dying. The twisted pit in his stomach hadn’t left from the moment that Raven radioed to him, telling him that all of Mount Weather had been destroyed. It was blown to bits and pieces in an Ice Nation attack, leaving the young mechanic and Sinclair as the only survivors. Raven never confirmed your death, only offering Bellamy a somber apology as if the bleak confession of your passing was a message too heavy for her tongue to relay. Raven’s incomplete admission wasn’t enough and Bellamy had to see for himself to truly believe that you were gone.

Tiny embers were still burning as he stood in front of the crumbled mass of cement that was Mount Weather. Smoke pervaded the thin mountain air, the harsh chemical odor of burnt industrial metals and wood filling Bellamy’s nostrils as he inhaled a shaky breath. He scrunched up his face, placing the fold of his elbow against his mouth and coughed a few times. He scanned the area, his eyes darting anxiously between the desolate building and the barren woodland surroundings, as he searched for any sign of you. His frantic gaze fell upon the debris once more and halted there.  

He slowly approached the mass of concrete before kneeling down on top of it and then he started to dig. He was hysterically tearing at the debris, chipping away at the large cement chunks with his bare hands, believing that he could dig his way to you, that you would be alive beneath the destruction, and that he could save you again. He was holding onto the hope that you had found a way out, that you had somehow survived the explosion because you promised him, every morning and every night, that you would never leave him and he believed you.

“You promised…You promised…You promised…” Bellamy repeated, breathlessly.

He let out a painful groan, gritting his teeth, as he pushed aside another heavy cement block. There was no end in sight, his excavation only unearthing more gray gravel. The ash and dust arising from the rubble began to sting his eyes. He stopped abruptly, gasping for air and looking down at his shaking hands; they were bloody, filthy, and white with ash. He stood in his place, dragging his feet from the pile of cement and back onto the soggy earth. He started to murmur incoherently and groan with nausea until he collapsed to the ground, a sobbing mess, consumed in his grief.

His denial had led him to believe that you would be there waiting for him. Your shining form would be standing against the darkness, smiling back at him and you would be okay, but you weren’t.

He was given a second chance and he ruined it. He walked away when you practically begged him to stay and if he would’ve listened, you would still be alive. It was his fault that you were gone, stolen from this world in the most horrific way. The price for his impulsive decision was your life and no amount of begging was going to bring you back this time.

3

The Sacred Chickens of Ancient Rome,

In Ancient Rome the Sacred Chickens were a roost of…sacred chickens that were used for divination by Roman priests. Revered for their ability to give portents of the future, the chickens were attentively raised and kept by the priests, hence why depictions of Roman priests often show them with chickens.

To use the Sacred Chickens for fortunetelling, feed would be spread around the ground and the chickens set loose. If the chickens ate voraciously then a favorable outcome could be expected. If not, then an unfavorable outcome was expected. If a favorable outcome was needed, then the chickens would be kept in cages for a period of time without food before being set loose, which seems to me no different than shaking a magic eight ball repeatedly until you get the right answer. Regardless, the portents of the Sacred Chickens were taken very seriously, and matters of state or military were not conducted until first consulting with the chickens. If this sounds ridiculous and you are forming a superior attitude toward our modern society, know that as someone born and raised close to Punxstuwaney, Pennsylvania, I don’t believe that we are much more enlightened than the Ancient Romans.

In 249 BC during the First Punic War, the Roman Consul Publius Claudius Pulcher was leading a fleet of 120 Roman warships on a surprise attack on the Carthaginian port of Drepana. When feed was spread out on the deck of the ship, the chickens refused to eat, signaling that the attack was doomed to failure. Pulcher, believing the Sacred Chickens to be superstitious nonsense, ordered the chickens cast overboard exclaiming “Bibant, quoniam esse nolunt” (Let them drink if they will not eat) .  The morale of the Roman fleet spiraled downward. After all how could one conduct a successful military campaign without good portents from the Sacred Chickens? When the fleet attacked the port, it made a clumsy and slow advance against the harbor, thus losing the element of surprise. The Carthaginian fleet quickly mobilized and attacked the Romans, sinking or capturing 93 Roman ships. Ignore the Sacred Chickens at your own peril!

anonymous asked:

why do you think there was a religious war and did the enemies try to kill eachother

Ok I’m gonna go into heavy spoilers territory from here so you’ve been warned! DO NOT read on if you haven’t reached the end of Dark Souls 3 yet and care about spoilers. Skip ahead; this post is long and there’s screenshots, just scroll until they’re past.

Religious War in Lothric

Towards the end of my playthrough of Dark Souls 3 I came to realize that there was very likely a religious war at some point in the (possibly very recent) past. There is a lot of compelling evidence for this so I’m going to walk through as much of it as I can.

Item descriptions

Divine Pillars of Light

The Queen’s holy maiden Gertrude was visited by an angel, who revealed this tale to her.

Despite losing both her sight and voice, she was determined to record the tale. Ordinary men cannot decipher her fragmentary scrawl, nor comprehend how it became the foundation of the Angelic faith of Lothric.

Bountiful Light

Miracle taught to knights by Gertrude, holy maiden to the Queen.

The Heavenly Daughter is said to be the Queen’s child.

Crystal Chime

A sacred chime, once the possession of Gertrude, the Heavenly Daughter, and defiled by the scholars of the Grand Archives.

Winged Knight set

Armor of the Winged Knights, who swore themselves to the Angels.

Worship of the divine messengers was viewed as heresy in Lothric and unrecognized by any of the Three Pillars of rule.

This is believed to be why Gertrude, the Heavenly Daughter, was imprisoned in the lofty cell of the Grand Archives.

Various rings and Lothric Knight armor set also explain that the Three Pillars of the King’s rule are comprised of the Knight, the Scholar and the Priestess (Emma). The Queen is also very likely Gwynevere, based on the Divine Blessing description:

The Queen of Lothric, married to the former King Oceiros, was initially revered as a goddess of fertility and bounty. After giving birth to Ocelotte, her youngest, she quietly disappeared.

…as well as several other nods and clues, such as the Silver Knight in Irithyll gazing at a portrait of Gwynevere while a Divine Blessing is in a chest nearby, the Divine Blessing being associated with Gwynevere in the original Dark Souls, etc. From all this we can extrapolate the following:

  • The Queen of Lothric might have been (was probably) Gwynevere. She gave birth to at least three of Oceiros’ children; the Twin Princes and Ocelotte (liquiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid)
  • Gertrude was the Queen’s holy maiden, also said to have been her child. If the Queen is Gwynevere then she could have been her child with Flann, or really any number of possibilities, she’s a fertility goddess and it’s been eons since the first game, where we didn’t even meet the real Gwynevere anyway.
  • Gertrude was visited by an ‘angel’ who told her a tale of miracles, an encounter which took her sight and voice. She scribbled the tale down and it became the foundation of a new ‘angelic’ faith. This is interesting to note because ‘angelic’ has strong Judeo-Christian connotations and a lot the associated imagery trades off this as well (more on that later), which is interesting because despite ample amounts of priests, clerics, and crusaders, Dark Souls’ take on godhood has always fallen into the pre-Abrahamic polytheistic pantheon camp.
  • This angelic faith worshipped ‘divine messengers’ – note the plural, interesting given that Gertrude is only described as having been visited by one angel.
  • The faith was considered heresy by the Three Pillars of the King’s Rule: the Knights, the Scholars, and the Priestess. As a result, Gertrude was locked up in the Grand Archives. Her sacred miracle chime was taken and defiled by their crystal sorceries, likely by the Crystal Sage(s).
  • A faction of Winged Knights emerged that swore themselves to Gertrude’s angelic faith. These guys can be found scattered throughout Lothric Castle, usually isolated. They don’t aggro onto Lothric Knights.

That’s what we can extrapolate from item descriptions. Now for the juicy stuff…

Environmental Clues

All of Lothric is scattered with the armor of fallen Lothric Knights and Winged Knights!

#1: The first Winged Knight we encounter in the High Wall level is patrolling a courtyard filled with a shitload of dead Lothric Knights.

#2: Nearby is a dead Winged Knight that’s been pierced through the neck by what looks to be a Lothric Knight Long Spear

#3: At the top of the Grand Archives we encounter three golden Winged Knights, literally with wings.

I’m usually pretty averse to overanalysing Souls x Berserk parallels because I think they both trade on the same dark fantasy tropes so it’s kind of redundant, buuuuuuut these guys are so Conviction arc it’s not even funny.

#4: Anyway they are hanging out around a tower, and inside we can drop down into a huge bird cage and pick up the Divine Pillar of Light miracle, off what may or may not be Gertrude’s corpse.

You can see that she’s surrounded by feathers. It’s also really interesting to note that the cage door is wide open; this opens up a lot of possibilities but I’ll get to that in a little bit. There’s also a man-grub (from Cathedral of the Deep) on the rafters below. (not pictured)

Okay so from all this I don’t think it’s a huge leap to imagine that much of the devastation in Lothric came about as a result of a religious war between the Lothric Knights and Winged Knights that decimated both factions. This is not necessarily reflected in the gameplay, as these two enemies don’t attack one another, but I think that could just be a gameplay oversight and the environmental evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of this. The upper bridge between Lothric Castle and the Grand Archives is also heavily fortified against invasion, with troops positioned against an assault coming from the direction that the three Golden Winged Knights are. Note: they could also just be fortified against Undead seeking to claim the cinder of the princes.

The last few details are what really interest me the most, though! Firstly, the golden Winged Knights. Having sprouted actual wings, I assume that these guys have been met with some divine miracle. But: what are they doing around the top of the tower? A couple of possibilities: they could be guarding Gertrude’s corpse, maybe fulfilling some divine edict. Or, they could be stationed to guard her by the Scholars, contradicting the previous theory. They might have only just arrived, having stormed the castle to liberate Gertrude but arrived too late. And there’s another possibility that I’ll talk about in a bit.

Down in the cage, we find a corpse holding Gertrude’s miraculous tale, surrounded by feathers. The cage doors are flung wide open, meaning she could have escaped. A couple more possibilities: Gertrude could have already been dead when she was found by the Winged Knights, who opened her cage doors and then stood guard over the corpse. It could have simply been left open after she died out of neglect. She could have sprouted wings in a heavenly epiphany and then immediately combusted from the experience, explaining all the feathers. But my final theory, and the one that I think might be the most likely, is to do with the man-grub on the rafters. We know that man-grubs are servants of Rosaria, Mother of Rebirth. I think that Rosaria may have sent for her servants to rescue Gertrude from the cage. Whether they succeeded or not, I’m not really sure; but if this is the case then it’s a possibility that the Golden Winged Knights are there to cover her escape.

As for why Rosaria would do this? Well I’m not entirely sure. This is a whole other can of worms, but my personal hunch is that Rosaria is, in fact, Gwynevere and the Queen of Lothric! This is based on several things: firstly, she’s a mother-god, described as “mother Rosaria” in her soul and a goddess of rebirth, while Gwynevere is a goddess of birth and fertility. Queen Lothric disappeared after the birth of Ocelotte, so it’s possible she was “reborn” as Rosaria. Remember, Gwynevere is already given another name in AotA – Marvelous Chester mutters “Oh, for Juniper’s sake…”, a huge mindfuck when everyone realized that Juniper is a derivation of Gwynevere. Rosaria’s soul also transposes into Bountiful Sunlight, which is specifically described as a miracle of Gwynevere, so that more or less cements it for me.

This would also lend motivation for Rosaria to send out her man-grubs to rescue Gertrude, her holy maiden and daughter. Sorry for the long post, it’s pretty nifty stuff and I’ve been itching to talk lore for ages now!

In war, victory- a mix dedicated to all those who have taken the sacred oath and pledged their lives to protecting the realm from darkness

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1. Ready Aim Fire - Imagine Dragons / 2. Glory and Gore - Lorde / 3. Into the Darkness - The Phantoms / 4. Hunt You Down - Ana Crenshaw / 5. Immortals - FallOutBoy / 6. Warrior - Beth Crowley /  7. Jungle - Jamie N Commons & Ambassadors /  8. Pompeii - E.S. Posthumus / 9. Warriors - Imagine Dragons / 10. Run This Town - Posthumus Zone, Jay-Z/Rhianna / 11. Demons - Sleigh Bells / 12. Answers - Final Fantasy XIV  /13. String Theory - Les Friction / 14. Wonderful World- Joseph Willian Morgan / 15. I’m not Afraid - Eminem  / 16. Bad Blood - Bastille / 17. Sweet Dreams - Marilyn Manson & Emily Browning /  18. Centuries - FallOutBoy / 19. Mourning Ritual - Bad Moon Rising / 20. Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Lorde / 21. World on Fire - Les Friction /22. Blood Hands - Royal Blood / 23. Breath of Life - Florence and the Machine /

five cemeteries dean hated (and one he didn’t)

Fluffy Destiel and also me practicing Dean’s characterization.  Also, apparently I’ve been in fandom since like 2009 and I’ve never written a 5 + 1, so here you go

i. 1983

The flowers don’t look like the ones in Mom’s garden.  Hers are droopy, sun-dried, brown, crinkly.  These are vibrant, glossy, alive.  It’s November.  All the flowers in Mom’s garden are dead.

“Hold them.”

Dean looks down at the flowers being shoved into his hands and wrinkles his nose, deciding then and there that Mom wouldn’t like them, not one bit.  Still, he does as he’s told.  There’s something wrong, he’s figured out that much.  Mom hasn’t met them at the motel yet.  Dad won’t explain what’s going on.  And Dean can’t find the words to ask.

In his stroller, Sammy lets out a sharp, piercing wail.  Dad doesn’t stop pushing, like Mom does when they go for walks and Sammy decides he doesn’t like it.  Dean breaks into a short run to get level with his brother.  At the sight of him, Sammy calms a little, but he still looks scared.

Well.  It’s a new place, and Mom isn’t here.  Dean’s scared, too.

He wants to comfort his little brother, but words are still out of his reach.  He makes a few cooing noises instead and pulls a face that always promises a laugh.  He gets one. Pleased with himself, Dean bounds ahead a few paces.

Dad finally stops pushing the stroller. “Give the flowers to your mom, Dean.”

Dean pauses.  He can’t see Mom.  There’s new dirt spread on some of the grass in front of him. Dad points at it.  He wants Dean to do something about it, Dean can tell, but he doesn’t quite know what.  Hesitantly, he sets the flower down and follows Dad back out.

Keep reading

A Higher Power Proven to Exist: Upholding Dual Faiths and Traditions

@f-alke asked:

I’m writing a story set in a “reinvented” Earth where basically religion ceases to exist because they believe in a different higher power that has been proven to exist. 

However, one of my character’s is Native American and the other Chinese and I’m worried that dropping religion would conflict with existing beliefs within their cultures, if that makes sense.

Why does something being powerful guarantee everyone will drop everything else and choose to worship that instead? Considering how many different ways there are to be Baptist, which is just one specific kind of Protestant Christianity, I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that an entity shows up and our incredibly diverse and argumentative species ALL follow it. 

Some Christians might see it as Satan. Even if a Jewish person was pretty convinced it was God they might still argue with it. Some issues you may want to address as you work through your idea.

Shira

The assumption here is that everyone in the story will believe in that deity without question. However, there may be a million explanations for the appearance of said deity, and some people may refuse to believe. There are many different ways to perceive something.

To answer your question directly: I know of Chinese Christians who still hold some traditional beliefs, such as refusing to have guests whose relatives have recently passed, and even integrating their religion into Chinese New Year, where there are Bible verses on red envelopes. There isn’t any reason the characters in your story have to do away with their traditions entirely.

–mod Jess

I’m going to be blunt about this. Your story basically exactly parallels what happened during colonization and forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples around the globe. Our religions have been bent and beaten within an inch of their lives because Christians forced us to stop believing in our Creator, and believe in their god. Only, instead of the scraps of hope Natives have in our current existence, you have the assimilation be successful.

You are not working in a situation where this is a hypothetical. Christians can and have forced dozens and hundreds if not thousands of groups to assimilate; some religions have died, some have been beaten within an inch of death, some have adapted. Some cultures have had religion imposed on them where there hardly was one, while others have had their whole belief systems and in turn their whole cultures nearly destroyed because of this exact situation.

This type of plot is incredibly harmful, Christian-centric, and mirrors colonialism on an extremely grand scale. From my perspective, you have basically generated the exact situation colonizers believed to be the “reality” (one actual proven god, all others should stop believing what they do and follow the one proven god) and erased all the damage in its wake, instead having hundreds of peoples already hurt by this exact logic follow along because “that’s what’s real.”

No. We have our own religions; our own Creator is what’s proven to us, and while sometimes it might overlap with the Christian god, other times it doesn’t, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There is, however, buckets wrong with erasing Indigenous religions who have already been hurt by people insisting there is only one and we must follow.

~Mod Lesya 

So what I think this ask is saying is “If I had a world where everyone believed in a proven ‘higher power’ and therefore religion ceased to exist, would it be problematic if my Native American character and Chinese character *didn’t* lose their religions?” Or am I misreading the question?

From a logical perspective, I think it’s ridiculous to believe that all religions would cease. Believing in this new higher power, proven or not, doesn’t cause all religion to cease - in my opinion, it replaces it. It’s the new religion.

And honestly, we know what happens when a new world order tries to make the whole “one religion” thing happen.

But plenty of books/settings aren’t logical and require massive suspension of disbelief, so let’s pretend for a minute that the whole “all religions have ceased and everyone believes in a new higher power” isn’t unfeasible.

(1) A cultural belief isn’t necessarily a religion. Superstitions, urban legends, folktales, cultural beliefs, all this stuff is a part of cultural traditions but they aren’t necessarily religious. Some may have their roots in religion, but many people from many countries have cultural beliefs that exist alongside their religious ideologies.

It isn’t offensive for a person to have cultural beliefs and traditions alongside their religion. Plenty of religious people have found ways to incorporate their cultural beliefs into their religion and their religious beliefs into their cultures.

(2) There isn’t a Chinese “religion”. I’m unsure but pretty confident in saying there isn’t a pan-Native American “religion”. There isn’t anything about Chinese culture itself that dictates that Chinese people have to have a religion or they can’t leave a particular religion.

So I’m a little hesitant when this ask is wondering if “dropping religion would conflict with existing beliefs in their cultures” because it seems like you’re assuming that there’s something about Chinese culture or Native American culture (okay that phrase hurts to write - there is no monolith Native American culture…!) that insists that Chinese or Native American people have to believe a certain way.

Not all Chinese people are Buddhist (and being Buddhist means different things to different people). There’s a huge diversity of religion and spiritual thought among Chinese people and Chinese diaspora, both today and throughout history.

So unless this new non religion is going to erase all cultural AND religious belief, it’s not weird for a religion to exist alongside cultural beliefs.

BUT here is where this premise breaks down for me, personally. If these Native American and Chinese characters are still holding onto some of their previous beliefs, (religious or cultural) then not enough time has passed for this world non-religion to have taken over in a gradual, non threatening way.

And you can’t retcon the new world nonreligion into existence by saying “Oh what if this new entity revealed themselves thousands of years ago”, well then, Chinese cultural beliefs would have evolved alongside that, right?? There just isn’t any way for this to work out. Skeptics exist. People who are entirely devoted to their beliefs exist. Those people aren’t going to disappear. You can’t make those people change their minds in your text without brainwashing them in your text.

So, like other people have pointed out, there’s basically no way to have this new world non religion exist without basically destroying other people’s religions. To replace them with a new one.

To people who don’t have a sacred belief system, this isn’t a big deal. But to people who DO have an understanding of what it means to hold something sacred, to people who have had their sacred beliefs taken away and suppressed through violence and oppression, this is not an okay story. To people who have had to keep the light of their beliefs shining through incredibly dark times, this story basically takes the real life work they’ve done and blows all those lights out entirely.

So, in my completely non expert and totally unasked for opinion (because I’m not Chinese or Native American), the problem here isn’t this idea of trying to make religion and cultural beliefs coexist - they already do in real life. But this very premise probably comes from the perspective of someone who is privileged enough to never know the struggle of trying to keep your religion and cultural beliefs alive in a world that won’t accept them.

Many of the religions being erased in this story already don’t have a place in any stories. But I think you are making the mistake of believing that if EVERYONE’s religions just disappear because of this new non religion, it’s fair and okay. And I just don’t think that’s true. 

~mod Stella

“It was a mistake. I’m sorry.”

His mistake.

Another one of the hundreds he had made in his life, this one so much worse than so many others.

As good. As perfect. As warm and whole as that one night in her bed had made him feel–more alive and sensate than any drug, any amount of adrenaline, or any other temporary high–it had been wrong.

When she was gone, his skin had crawled and the tap couldn’t produce water hot enough to cleanse him of the feeling.

The hissing voices of his insecurities and doubts latched on like snakes, twining around him and sinking in their fangs. He had defiled something sacred, taken something innocent and destroyed it, worthless, murderer, coward.

Sakura deserved something else; something better than the tangled mess of a wretch before her. The man who was falling apart piece by piece in her presence but couldn’t even bare it to her.

A mistake. Like it was somehow her fault too. Like it wasn’t an experience that would haunt him for months and leave his books feeling strangely hollow. Like he hadn’t let her pin him to the bed and go until he was a writhing, sweating mess, begging for her to just end it and it was the sweetest torture he would bare. Like they hadn’t spent the day after tangled together in bed sheets and pillows and lazy satisfaction, talking and sharing secrets.

“I’m not.”

He saw it coming and the stubborn set of her jaw was half of every reason why he had been in love with her for at least a year now.

Worthless murderer. Worthless coward.

It just didn’t fix anything.

Friend, you were not very specific and you deserve what you get.

—-

After they chain him in a damp, unpleasant smelling room, his kidnappers yank the hood from his face - hello to three copies of generic thug #8: the common fish-breathed no-bath snarl-troll - but they don’t blindfold him before stalking away.

John doesn’t know if it’s a courtesy, or if the trolls who nabbed him have just never sat down and really *thought* about their human stereotypes. His night vision sucks, but it’s not *nonexistent*. They didn’t even take his goggles; the gloomy below-decks shadows are pretty well defined as gloomy below-decks shadows go.

Attached to the adjacent wall, Karkat is loudly attempting to dislodge the blindfold anchored around his horns, but that doesn’t prove anything either way.

“Hey Karkat, calm the hell down!” John calls. “We’ve only been kidnapped by pirates.”

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