‘‘You have to believe in yourself. You can’t just accept what other people say all the time, otherwise you’ll become them, and not yourself.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE BUSH !!
‘‘When I hear The Kick Inside now, I still wish I’d written those songs. I don’t belive in God, but if I did, her music would be my bible. She should be more treasured than the Beatles. That she isn’t is probably down to her own personality, because she can walk away from everything. And I respect her for that. Just to live your life, and not play the game - to me, that’s success.” — Tricky
In my article on the Ascendant or Rising sign, I explained how the cusp of the first house is our identity, the way we perceive the world, the way we act in it. The cusp of the seventh house, opposite our Ascendant, is the Descendant. While the Rising sign is coming up over the horizon at the moment of your Birth, the Descendant is falling down into the shadows. The first house is our self and the seventh house is other people. We identify with the sign of our Ascendant, we form our sense of self around its energy. It is the path through we which we find ourselves. The Descendant is the path that lies between us and the other. It marks the seventh house, Libra’s house. Libra is the sign of relationships. The balance beam. Libra is the first of the collective signs and refers to the one-on-one relationship in particular. Librans find themselves through relationships, their sense of self is better defined in relation to some other. This is contrast to Aries, its sister sign, ruling over the first house and the Ascendant. Aries is the self, the baby who feels as if the world revolves around it. Libra is the world revolving around someone else. This is why Aries and Libra make a good match. And everyone has this dichotomy within them, particularized by the sign of the Ascendant and Descendant.
We identify with the qualities of our Rising sign. The qualities of our Descendant, the opposite qualities, we tend to project onto others. As I wrote about in my article on Pluto, we all have a shadow side. These are qualities we find undesirable, that tend to sink into our unconscious as we would like to think we aren’t like that. We may project this shadowy side onto others. The Descendant is a bit different, in that it comprises the qualities that we don’t identify with, but that aren’t necessarily “bad.” Sister signs (signs opposite one another) are two sides of the same coin. They are defined in relation to one another. So when we identify with our Ascendant, we demarcate the qualities that are opposite to it as the ones that don’t characterize us. This is a trick of the ego, however. In order to experience completion and wholeness, we project the Descendant onto others, integrating the qualities into our lives through relationships. Cancer Risings say I am the caring, nurturing, motherly one, and my partner is the structured, serious, fatherly one. They seek out these Capricorn qualities in others, to balance them out. Their partner doesn’t even have to be a Capricorn for the Cancer Rising to project this onto them. The Descendant describes the type of partner we desire, the type of person we think will complete us. The attractive opposite, the yin to our yang.
The planets in the seventh house or conjunct the Descendant will also tend to be projected onto others. Someone with the Sun on the Descendant will find their sense of Selfhood through another. Venus on the Descendant finds beauty in another. Mars on the Descendant may want a take charge partner, projecting their own drive onto them. Uranus on the Descendant wants a unique, original, wacky partner. The planets in the seventh house can also describe the nature of our love life. Relationships are very transformative for those with Pluto in the seventh house. They may be elusive, spiritual, or characterized by a victim-savior dynamic for those with Neptune in the seventh. The planets and sign of the Descendant are the energies inside of ourselves that only really come into play when there’s someone else there to bring them out. People with heavy seventh house or Libra influences need other people in their lives to help shape them.
The point I want to drive home is that our astrological charts are complete and whole in themselves. Our souls are whole and divine. The Descendant is an illusion of the ego, it is the way we split ourselves in half in order to find a sense of self, of identification (the Ascendant). This is the nature of duality. We are social creatures and we experience ourselves through our various interactions with others. But the Descendant is not necessarily the sign we don’t have within ourselves, that we must find in others. It is the part of ourselves we don’t identify with as easily. Our shadow isn’t just the undesirable qualities we don’t want to be associated with. It’s also the positive qualities we don’t feel worthy of, that we hand over to others. We may think that we’re average looking, and that our loved one is gorgeous, or that we aren’t book-smart but our spouse is very well learned. This is identification and projection, this is boxing ourselves in and limiting ourselves, while allowing our partner to be on a pedestal while we look up at them. The Descendant seems so far away from us, so unreachable. But it is in our chart, and to be whole within ourselves, we must integrate it in our personalities. Otherwise, we will always feel half of a whole, won’t be content without a significant other. Every planet in the solar system is part of our psyche, including the ones in the seventh house. If we don’t own their energy, we become dependent on other people to feel as if we are living a full life.
So explore the sign opposite your Ascendant. Speaking from personal experience, I am Libra Rising and have taken on the role of the amiable, Venusian peace keeper in my life. I’ve oftentimes sought out Arian partners to balance me out, as I am Aries Descendant. My Venus and Sun are both in the seventh house and I have tended to only feel alive when in a relationship, and have idealized my partners. This in itself is not destructive, but when I make myself feel lesser, or when I stop shining when I’m on my own, I am cutting off an important part of myself. My Mercury and Venus are both in Aries and it is silly for me to only identify with my Libran side, while letting other people be the fire-y go-getters. I have this energy inside me, too. If anything, the sign and planets of our Descendant are pieces of ourselves that are very important parts of us, as they make us whole. We spend our lives seeking them in other people, thinking we need someone else to complete us. But this doesn’t have to be the case. A relationship between two individuals that are full and whole within themselves - this is what we should strive for. And we can get there by embodying our Descendant and the planets in our seventh house.
In 2011 I made a series of pixel art Kate Bush studio album covers with ZX Spectrum limitations. It was a pretty fun project, and I finally recovered all 10 of them, so I’ve queued them up to be posted separately over the coming few days.
Man, what an album to start out on! Apart from the obvious Wuthering Heights, a lot of the songs on this album are my favourites, including The Man With The Child In His Eyes and the titular The Kick Inside. I think Them Heavy People was the first music video of hers I ever saw.
Rules: list 10 songs you’re currently vibing on and tag 10 people.
1. No Other Baby - Paul McCartney 2. Sweet Adeline - Avriel & the Sequoias 3. Courage - Peter Gabriel 4. Them Heavy People - Kate Bush 5. Rosanna - Toto 6. Mull of Kintyre - Wings 7. Ain’t That Peculiar - Marvin Gaye 8. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys 9. The Walker - Fitz and the Tantrums 10. Try It Again - The Hives
How do I write a combat scene where the fighters are grappling without putting in excess detail. I don't want to write out blow by blow but I also don't want to undersell the action.
You’re going to have to figure out whether it’s standing grappling or on the ground. If it starts standing, it’s going to end on the ground. Grappling can be very dynamic, if you understand the basic thought process.
1) It’s all happening in a very tight space.
Grappling means you’ve moved past the point of punches and kicks (aka you are too close for them to work) unless we’re talking about some very specific kinds of techniques designed for work in a space with limited arm movement such as the uppercut or a knee.
At this distance, the general point is to destabilize your opponent so you can put them on the ground. (Preferably without going with them, but if you must be the one on top.) This means a fair amount of shoving, seizing of the arms, grabbing the neck, chokeholds, etc, but sequences where the two fighters are essentially just dragging each other about in an effort to get the other to lose their balance. This can mean knocking each other into walls, tables, chairs, or just maneuvering their feet.
The general assumption with grappling is that it’s all about upper body strength. It’s actually not, where you put your feet and your ability to maintain your balance so that you stay standing is far more important. You’re close enough to smell what the other person ate for breakfast, there is no room for full extension of the arms. You’re going to go round, and round.
2) We all fall down
This will not last long, however, because someone is going down and it’s going to be hard. Write them falling over.
3) Someone is going to land on top.
Ground fighting is a scramble. The one who goes down first and lands on the bottom, the one who goes down second and ends up on top has the advantage. It’s also a question of gravity and weight, weight matters a lot more on the ground than it does while standing.
180-280 pounds bearing down on your chest is a lot, 120-170 is also a lot.A 90 pound woman can hold a significant advantage over someone while sitting on them. People are heavy, if you’re on the bottom that’s essentially you trying to lift that or shake it off. Without decent training, most people don’t know how. Most people don’t know how to make their arms and legs work together on the ground, long before we get into even basic grappling techniques.
If you land on your stomach and they’re on your back then it’s over. Their weight will bear down on you, they can pin you to the ground, grab your head, slam it into the pavement, choke you out, and you can’t do a goddamn thing to stop it. You can’t really get up and crawl away, no matter how strong you are. It is, however, the first instinct to flip over onto your stomach as opposed to staying on your back. This is one of the places where natural instinct will screw you over.
Being on top can be the difference between victory and defeat, especially depending on whether the one of the bottom managed to trap them between their legs or they escaped to jump onto the stomach. If your character knows how to lock up an opponent in the guard, then fine. If you have no experience with holding someone in “the guard” (aka you wrap your legs around their waist to keep them away from you), then don’t bother really. It’s more likely whoever got on top has managed to bypass this stage.
From the position sitting on the stomach, it’s the perfect position to start wailing on the other guy. They can just hit them a metric ton or move to try to strangle them. The punches may not be that effective, but they’re going to hurt a lot. You can expect at least a broken nose if any land on the face.
One basic way to defeat this is to buck, the bottom person widens their legs, braces their feet, and jerks their hips straight up much like a reversed bucking bronco in an attempt to unseat the other person. The success of the technique will depend on how well the other person can keep their balance (and the bottom’s skill at keeping it up under pressure). Done right, the top’s body is going to come forward, the bottom grabs one or both of their arms, twists their hips, and rolls sideways into their opponent’s guard thus reversing position.
More realistically though, someone’s just going to end the grappling bout with their face getting pounded into the concrete.
That’s all assuming no one breaks anything on the way down and no one hits or lands on their head. If one goes down and the other doesn’t, then they’re just going to start kicking and stomping them.
Never go to the ground unless you have to. You’ll still end up there.
You don’t have to say everything, you do have to paint a clear picture of what is happening. Move swiftly from one action to the next, keep a sense of kinetic motion going, play up the tension, make sure you know what position is a good one and what is a bad one, and manipulate your characters into them.