there has to be a rule against this

Crying over James McGraw right now.

There’s this naval lieutenant. Young and talented, but born of poor circumstances and has clearly fought tooth and nail to get where he was. Stoic, and has clearly followed the rules deemed by society his entire life.

Then he meets Thomas Hamilton. He lowers his guard, takes off his mask, and shows the man hidden underneath. The one with a clever sense of humor and fiery passion. Thomas brings out who he truly is, and shows him what life is what really about. Not conforming to the norms, but actually fighting against them in the hopes of a better world.

James falls in love with him because of it.

And then he loses everything.

youtube

Chopin - Scherzo no.1, op.20

Going through some old time Romantic favorites on my iPod, I came across Chopin’s Scherzi which I neglect too often. The first has been a personal favorite since high school. While the scherzo was a “musical joke” genre, Beethoven had elevated it to dramatic heights in his symphonies, and Chopin played off of that by writing scherzi that were no laughing matter. This first one, written soon after the November Uprising, the failed Polish revolt against Russian rule, which had caused enough political unrest that Chopin’s friends convinced him to leave the country. He would never return to Poland for the rest of his life. Like the stormy quality of his etudes [written around the same time], this work opens with fire and drama, rushing along in complexity until we get a break with a softer middle section that quotes a traditional Polish Christmas song, “Lulajże Jezuniu”. After a few repetitions, we are thrown back into the maelstrom, that ends with an intense coda, that includes a brilliant upward chromatic scale that spans four octaves [which legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz embellishes in octaves, you can listen to that performance here]. Chopin’s four scherzi had influenced other “ironic” scherzi from later composers, notably those by Brahms.

I hate it when fans deliberately place different rules and expectations on DD and GA – giving them different standards by which they are judged.

It’s not WHAT David has done, it’s how the *fandom* holds him accountable. He gets a free pass….WHICH HE SHOULD!!! His life and his choices are not for us to judge.

But Gillian? Her balls are nailed to the wall for practically the same issues.

David has information leaked to the press about a stint in rehab. The fandom pitied him. The fandom rails against the injustice. Gillian has photos taken of her semi-nude body without her consent, and she is called a whore.

David goes on tour with his band for weeks at a time. Fandom celebrates and buys all the tickets. Gillian does a play in NY for weeks on end. Fandom celebrates and buys all the tickets and then calls her a shitty mom for being away from her kids.

If you think David is being judged as a way of comparing his transgressions to Gillian’s, then you have completely missed the point. It’s not what HE or SHE has done….

….It’s how the FANDOM forgives him and vilifies her.

That is the injustice of it.

bbc.com
Venezuela crisis: Helicopter launches attack on Supreme Court - BBC News
A helicopter reportedly flown by a police officer drops grenades on Venezuela's Supreme Court.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has been attacked by grenades dropped from a helicopter in what President Nicolás Maduro called a “terrorist attack”.

Footage on social media shows a police helicopter circling over the city before shots and a loud bang are heard.

The police officer said to have piloted the stolen aircraft issued a statement denouncing the “criminal government”. His whereabouts are unknown.

It comes after mass protests against the political and economic crisis.

The Supreme Court is regularly criticised by the Venezuelan opposition for its rulings which bolster Mr Maduro’s hold on power.

anonymous asked:

It's sad that such a large percentage of the population of African Americans in the United States are so negative towards government and law enforcement. Their ancestors who fought for their lives to become free are literally turning in their graves from the lack of progression their race has made. There were more Asian slaves than blacks and you don't see them rioting and protesting against the rules. They're all doctors and lawyers, etc. Grow up and take advantage of your freedom in the US!!

👏🏻

When I read “Satan as the good guy” texts I of course came across the two main satanic groups Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple.

Neither group actually believes in Satan (or God for that matter) but they both use him as a symbol of defiance.

Church of Satan is of the “Do what you will, there are no rules, but try not to be a dick” mindset, while The Satanic Temple is more of the “Try to make the world a better place, respect other’s freedom, fight back against oppressors” mindset. Both also have a great respect for science.

Church of Satan is responsible for the Satanic Bible and has rituals and black masses as symbolic gestures, while The Satanic Temple mostly just have “rituals” for fun, like their pink mass where gay people kissed over the gravestones of noted homophobic people. The Satanic Temple’s main thing is fighting for women’s right to abortion, protecting children form corporal punishment, gay people’s right to marry and religious freedom.

They are not entirely Tumblr friendly though because they believe that you can say whatever you want, even if it’s deeply offensive, as long as you don’t harm people. So you can say women should have no rights, but if you try to take their rights away there will be trouble.

And if you’re wondering where all the goths went, look no further than the Satanic groups.

2

European court rules Russia’s gay propaganda rule violates freedom of expression

  • The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia’s infamous gay propaganda law — which bans any materials promoting homosexuality to minors, and has been used to stifle gay pride marches and arrest members of the LGBTQ community — violates European treaty rules, Reuters reported. 
  • The court ruled that the law violates people’s freedom of expression and discriminates against LGBTQ Russians.
  • Though the law aimed to protect minors, the court said in a statement that “the limits of those laws had not been clearly defined and their application had been arbitrary,” Reuters reports. Read more (6/20/17)
Relationship Check Up

A healthy relationship means that both members of the couple are…

1. Communicating with each other: Talking about problems without screaming and shouting; listening to each other, and respecting their viewpoint; being willing to adapt and to sometimes change their mind.

2. Showing respect for one another: Valuing the other person’s culture, beliefs, viewpoints, opinions and boundaries. Also, treating each other in a kind and caring way.

3. Demonstrating and conveying trust: Each person is trustworthy and trusts the other person – because they have been shown that they are worthy of that trust.

4. Honest with each other: Both are open and honest – but are private as well; and they don’t demand the other person tells them everything.

5. Equals: They make joint decisions and treat each other well. No person calls the shots or determines all the rules.

6. Able to enjoy their own personal space: As well as spending time together, they spend time on their own. They’re respect the fact they’re different, and they need their own life, too.

7. Decisions about sex are discussed, and are consensual: They discuss sex together, including birth control. There’s no one individual sets the rules and standards here.

Signs of an unhealthy relationship

An unhealthy relationship develops where one, or both, of the partners is…

1. Failing to communicate: Problems are ignored, or not talked about at all. One or both don’t really listen, and they rarely compromise.

2. Acting in ways that are disrespectful: One or both are inconsiderate toward the other person; and they don’t behave in ways that send the message that they care.

3. Refusing to trust the other person: One or both is suspicion of their partner’s loyalty. Hence, they make false accusations, or won’t believe the truth.

4. Acting in a way that is dishonest: One or both is deceptive, or they lie and hide the truth.

5. Acting in a controlling way: One person thinks that they should set the one who rules, controls the other person, and say how things should be.

6. Beginning to feel squashed and smothered / cutting themselves off from friends and family: One partner is possessive, or feels threatened and upset, when the other’s with their family or spends time with their friends.

7. Attempting to pressurise the other into sexual activity / refusing to talk openly about birth control: One partner wants the other to participate in sex, or to engage in different practices against that’s person’s will. Or, one of the partners stops using birth control, or expects the other person to “take care of all that.”

Signs of an abusive relationship

An abusive relationship develops when one of the parties…

1. Starts to communicate in ways that are abusive: When arguments occur, one of the partners screams and cusses, or they verbally threaten or attack the other person.

2. Shows disrespect through acting in abusive ways: This is where one of the partners abuse, harms or threatens the physical safety of the other individual.

3. Wrongly accuses their partner of flirting or cheating: One of the partners is convinced – with no real grounds – that their partner is cheating or having an affair. Thus, they lash out verbally, or hurt, the accused partner.

4. Refuses to accept responsibility for the abuse: When they fly into a rage or act in ways that are abusive, they miminise their actions and refuse to accept blame. They may even blame their partner for “causing the abuse.”

5. Starts to control the other partner: One partner has no say as the other sets the rules – and arguing against that simply leads to more abuse.

6. Does what they can to isolate their partner: One partner has control of who the other person sees, the way they spend their time – and, even, clothes they buy and wear. Thus, they start to lose their confidence and personality.

7. Forces sexual activity: The frequency, type and circumstances for sex are determined by one partner – and the other must comply. If they don’t acquiesce it leads to violence or abuse. Also, sometimes violence is included in the sex.

ABCs of your OCs

a list of oc questions in alphabetical categories - i made each category based on the first word I could think of in alphabetical order, so enjoy!

A: Aptitude
1. what are your oc’s natural abilities, things they’ve been doing since young?
2. what activities have they participated in?
3. what abilities do they have that they’ve worked for?
4. what things are they bad at?
5. what is their most impressive talent?

B: Basics
1. what is their hair color?
2. what is their eye color?
3. how tall are they?
4. how old are they?
5. how much do they weigh?

C: Comfort
1. how do they sit in a chair?
2. in what position do they sleep?
3. what is their ideal comfort day?
4. what is their major comfort food? why?
5. who is the best at comforting them when down?

D: Decoration
1. how would they decorate a house if they had one under their name?
2. how would they decorate their child’s room?
3. how do they decorate their own room?
4. what type of clothes and accessories do they wear?
5. do they like makeup/nail/beauty trends?

E: External Personality
1. does the way they do things portray their internal personality?
2. do they do things that conform to the norm?
3. do they follow trends or do their own thing?
4. are they up-to-date on the internet fads?
5. do they portray their personality intentionally or let people figure it out on their own?

F: Fun
1. what do they do for fun?
2. what is their ideal party?
3. who would they have the most fun with?
4. can they have fun while conforming to rules?
5. do they go out a lot?

G: Gorgeous
1. what is their most attractive external feature?
2. what is the most attractive part of their personality?
3. what benefits come with being their friend?
4. what parts of them do they like and dislike?
5. what parts of others do they envy?

H: Heat
1. do they rather a hot or cold room?
2. do they prefer summer or winter?
3. do they like the snow?
4. do they have a favorite summer activity?
5. do they have a favorite winter activity?

I: In-the-closet
1. what is their sexuality?
2. have they ever questioned their sexuality?
3. have they ever questioned their gender?
4. would/was their family be okay with them being LGBT?
5. how long would/did it take for them to come out?

J: Joy
1. what makes them happy?
2. who makes them happy?
3. are there any songs that bring them joy?
4. are they happy often?
5. what brings them the most joy in the world?

K: Kill
1. have they ever thought about suicide?
2. have they ever thought about homicide?
3. if they could kill anyone without punishment, would they? who?
4. who would miss them if they died?
5. who would be happy they died, anyone?

L: Lemons
1. what is their favorite fruit?
2. what is their least favorite fruit?
3. are there any foods they hate?
4. do they have any food intolerances?
5. what is their favorite food?

M: Maternal
1. would they want a daughter or a son?
2. how many children do they want?
3. would they be a good parent?
4. what would they name a son? what would they name a daughter?
5. would they adopt?

N: Never Have I Ever
1. what would they never do?
2. what have they never done that they want to do?
3. is there anything they absolutely can’t believe people do?
4. what is the most embarrassing thing they’ve done?
5. have they done anything they thought they’d never do?

O: Optimism
1. are they optimistic or pessimistic?
2. are they openly optimistic, throwing it on others?
3. are they good at giving advice?
4. is there anyone in their life that throws optimism on them?
5. were they always optimistic?

P: Personality
1. what is their best personality trait?
2. what is their worst personality trait?
3. what of their personality do others love?
4. what of their personality do others envy?
5. do they hate anything about their personality/about other’s personalities?

Q: Questions
1. do they ask for help?
2. do they ask questions in class?
3. do they answer questions that make them a little uncomfortable?
4. do they ask weird questions?
5. are they curious?

R: Rules
1. do they follow rules?
2. would they be a strict or laid-back parent?
3. have they ever been consequenced for breaking a rule?
4. have they broken any rules they now regret breaking?
5. do they find any rules they/others follow absolutely ridiculous?

S: Streets
1. are they street-smart?
2. would they give money to someone on the streets?
3. have they ever gotten in a fight on the streets?
4. has anything happened to them on the streets?
5. are they cautious when out?

T: Truth
1. are they honest?
2. can they tell if someone is lying?
3. is it obvious when they’re lying?
4. have they lied about anything they regret lying about?
5. have they told truths that have been spread against their will?

U: Underdog
1. have they been bullied?
2. have they bullied anyone?
3. have they been physically attacked by a bully?
4. have they ever been doubted?
5. have they surprised people with being good at something?

V: Vomit
1. do they vomit often?
2. do they get lots of stomach aches?
3. are they good at comforting someone ill?
4. what do they like as far as comfort goes?
5. do they burp, cough, or hiccup most when nauseous? when vomiting?

W: Water
1. do they drink enough water?
2. have they learned to swim?
3. do they like to swim?
4. can they dive?
5. can they swim without holding their nose?

X: Xylophone
1. what is their favorite genre of music?
2. do they have a favorite song?
3. do they have a favorite band/artist/singer?
4. can they sing well?
5. can they rap?

Y: You
1. how old were you when you created them?
2. what inspired you to create them?
3. were they different when they were first created?
4. do you enjoy writing them more than other characters?
5. what’s your favorite thing about them?

Z: Zebra
1. what’s their favorite animal?
2. do they like animals?
3. cats or dogs?
4. what’s their dream pet?
5. do they have any pets at the moment?

5

A ship full of boys needs a precious gem to help find their lost mentor, but the Princess who owns it won’t give it up without a fight. The simple Search and Rescue mission soon becomes an adventure holding the fate of the entire Poseidon Ocean in the hands of a ship full of children.

Zack Underwood: Stand-in-Captain of the Chronological Voyager (Chrono for short). His real position is First Mate to the ship’s owner, Sir Ortin Mahlson, the greatest adventurer in the Seven Seas. Native from the Desecrated Island of Nila, he comes from humble roots, the son of the Royal Fitter and Seamstress. He holds resentment to anyone rich (Noblemen, besides the Royals). Zack was the first of many of Mahlson’s boy students, when the man decided to begin teaching boys how to sail and the wonders of the Seas in the Seven Kingoms. Zack has been his student since he was 4, and knows the most of all the young crew about Mahlson’s journals and studies, and has a vast knowledge of the seas. He is proud and secretive, and only the crew knows why he is so cautious around the newcomer. His pride is challenged when Princess Melissa refuses to give him the Gem he needs to find Mahlson, and he finds himself having to work with a stubborn yet pretty Royal.

Milo Murphy: Orphan found on the Island of Auria. While Zack is proud and strict, Milo is the optimism needed on their journey. And he is for good reason, being cursed since birth. Found with a stray puppy by Zack at the age of 4, Milo has been part of Mahlson’s students since the beginning, and has known nothing but the Chrono as his home. Milo is nimble, and his alertness has gotten the Chrono out of many a sticky situation. While liked by the entire crew, only Zack is brave enough to spend more than five minutes within twelve feet of Milo (that isn’t to say Zack isn’t aware of the Murphy Curse; he just sets it aside half the time because they’re best friends). When Melissa joins the crew, Milo immediately befriends her, much to Zack’s dismay.

Princess Melissa Chase: Princess and only daughter of the King of Soleah, the Island Ruled by the Daylight and the Seven Kingdoms’ Strongest Defense against outside foes. She longs for adventures beyond her Island. Her father has become anxious, and this keeps him busy and away from her. Her only companion is her handmaiden Amanda, and the High Princess, daughter of the High Rulers of the Seven Seas. That is, until she “kidnaps herself” aboard the Chrono, striking a deal with the young Captain for the Gem passed down from her father. Learning that the ship belongs to her Hero and Inspiration, Sir Mahlson, Melissa refuses to leave. She enjoys challenging Zack and competing with him, and thinks only of adventure, until she makes a discovery that threatens the friendship between Zack and Milo, and the safety of their ship.

*****

And yes, Diogee has 4 peglegs.

@spatziline​ and I will eventually give away more of this AU, which includes several adventures and two giant ones. Zack and Meli’s friendship is reversed in this au, where Zack has known Milo forever instead of Meli. Many more MML characters will show up. We also have music to go with everything, and a Map of the Seven Islands.

More BG info to come with more fun of course 8D

THE POINTLESS LETTERS TOP THIRTY-ONE “TERRIFYING PHRASES TO SEE SOMEONE ACTUALLY USE WHEN WRITING IN TO A NEWSPAPER TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING”

31. “I’d abolish all rights and rename them privileges.”

30. “Human rights law should be suspended when dealing with the nation’s security.”

29. “Those who think their privacy is more important than the safety of all of us worry me and I’m glad the government doesn’t listen to them.”

28. “When does free speech become sedition?”

27. “If you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide.”

26. “Unless action is taken to root out these fifth columnists the problem can only get worse.”

25. “I would want the state to employ numerous torture techniques, working shifts around the clock.”

24. “If a few terrorist suspects have to be held without trial, deprived of sleep and yes, even water-boarded, to protect the rest of us then so be it.”

23. “We should put armed soldiers on our streets.”

22. “It’s time we ended all this ‘civil liberties’ nonsense.”

21. “Torture is OK.”

20. “If you aren’t doing wrong then you haven’t got anything to worry about.”

19. “Anyone with nothing to hide should have their DNA taken.”

18. “Everyone who lives in our country should give a DNA sample.”

17. “Forget about civil rights, we are at war.”

16. “This country needs a military presence on its streets.”

15. “Anyone who opposes this has something to hide.”

14. “Perhaps Western Christendom needs to declare its very own holy crusade.”

13. “Why not allow the Government total access to all electronic communications? I have nothing to hide.”

12. “If accessing my phone means stronger and greater security for the country, I’m more than happy.”

11. “If, like me, you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about.”

10. “I would have no objection to carrying proof that I am entitled to live in our country.”

9.“I am happy for MI5 or MI6 to know when I am on the train…if that means they are free to gather information about someone who plans to blow me up.”

8. “We have to be less tolerant.”

7.“Torture these terror nuts until they tell us wot we need 2 know and when they’ve told us torture them more just 4 the hell of it.”

6.“…make sure that everyone in the UK has an identification card…anyone at any time can be requested to show this card to prove that they are in the country legally.”

5. “…the time has come for the normal procedures with regard to evidence to be suspended for the duration of the war on terror for the protection of the public.”

4.“Shouldn’t we be on a war footing with everyone carrying an ID card at all times and state security being empowered to stop and search at will?”

3. “In this day and age, if you don’t do what a policeman tells you to do, then expect a world of hurt.”

2. “…surely it is time to re-introduce internment.”

1. “I don’t understand why people are against internment.”

A Lesson in Love (The Reunion)

Summary: (College!AU) In which you’re assigned to write a story about romance, a subject you know nothing about, and Bucky, a hopeless romantic, offers you his assistance.

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Word Count: 3,837

A/N: This is the second to last part in the series, babes. We’re almost done with this journey. 

“A Lesson in Love” Masterlist + Soundtrack

@avengerstories - you truly are the best of the best when it comes to editing (and everything else too)

Originally posted by captaincentenarian

You’ve walked the length of this hallway more than a dozen times before. Hundreds, if you count the amount of times you’ve strolled through the hallway in your apartment, one that is a spitting image of the one you’re standing in now. Your familiarity with the small space should make the journey from where you’re standing to where you need to be easy.

Should.

Every time you’ve made this walk, it was never with the knowledge that what’s waiting for you at your final destination had the potential to change everything.

Keep reading

If you want to live in this Romanian town you have to plant three trees

If you want to move in this Romanian town, you are obliged by law to plant trees. Sounds strange but this is what the town council has decided.

Nobody seems to be against this idea and the locals quite love it. The rule is if you buy a house in Ghimbav, Brasov county, or you build it each family has to plant 3 trees for every garden. Factories are obliged to plant a tree for every 100 metres of land they use for constructions. Companies that build blocks of flats they have to plant a tree for each flat.

Apparently, the town does not have many trees and there are no forests nearby. The town only wants to improve the quality of life, the air and their health. The project was called Ecological reconstruction and the rules are now official. Any company or individual that wants to build anything, when they apply for an authorisation they also have to agree to plant trees.

There are no rules to planting trees. They can be on their own private property or on public space. The council allows companies and individuals to plant all sorts of trees: oaks, poplars or lime trees.

The council also has a group of specialists who can advise on the trees to be planted and when it’s the best time.

Erik Klose and the Twinyards

I’ve been thinking about this and (this is so long, gosh):

  • Erik doesn’t like the twins
  • at all
  • and he hates that because he knows Nicky loves them both to death, and he wants to support him and that tiny speck of family he has left but
  • indeed
  • he loves Nicky
  • and it’s hard, you know?

Keep reading

nytimes.com
Court Refuses to Reinstate Travel Ban, Dealing Trump Another Legal Loss
The ruling, the first from an appeals court on the travel ban, is likely to be quickly appealed to the short-handed United States Supreme Court.
By Adam Liptak

WASHINGTON — A three-judge federal appeals panel on Thursday unanimously refused to reinstate President Trump’s targeted travel ban, delivering the latest and most stinging judicial rebuke to his effort to make good on a campaign promise and tighten the standards for entry into the United States.

The ruling was the first from an appeals court on the travel ban, and it was focused on the narrow question of whether it should be blocked while courts consider its lawfulness. The decision is likely to be quickly appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

That court remains short-handed and could deadlock. A 4-to-4 tie in the Supreme Court would leave the appeals court’s ruling in place.

Joe Biden says he “very well may” run for president in 2020

  • Trump administration officials may see Elizabeth Warren as their greatest threat in 2020, but maybe they should keep an eye on Joe Biden.
  • The former vice president told attendees at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas Thursday evening that he hasn’t ruled out running against Trump in the next election, when Biden will be almost 78 years old.
  • “I may very well do it,” Biden said about running for office again, according to CNN.
  • But first, Biden said he has to focus on putting his family back together as he and his loved ones continue to deal with the May 2015 death of his son Beau. Read more (5/19/17)
It was White Diamond

I have a hard time believing Yellow Diamond shattered Pink Diamond. While seemingly very ready to get rid of Earth and anything else connected with Pink, Yellow seems to commiserate with Blue Diamond and openly admits that she misses her in the song What’s the Use in Feeling Blue. During all this, White Diamond is no where to be found.

During the trial, Yellow does not want details. Blue makes it very clear that she needs to know everything for her personal closure. Yellow abruptly poofs both Zircons after being semi-accused along with Blue. Yellow is definitely acting very suspicious and many would think that Yellow is the the one who shattered Pink and wishes to hide it from Blue, but I think it goes much deeper than that. I believe Yellow is covering for White Diamond. 

When we first heard the accusation that Rose Quartz shattered Pink Diamond in Back to the Moon, Pearl visually was very upset after being reminded of this. Why would Pearl be upset if Pink Diamond was terrible enough for Rose to need to shatter her? Because Pink Diamond didn’t deserve to be shattered. We learn in the later episodes that Pink Diamond wanted to preserve some of Earth’s inhabitants, showing mercy towards humans. Rose would never harm someone that felt similarly to her, and especially not a strong ally such as a Diamond herself. It would be stupid for Rose to pass up the chance to get a Diamond on her side of the rebellion.

I wouldn’t doubt it if Rose did attempt to convince Pink Diamond to join her cause. If she did succeed, Pink Diamond would become a traitor to Homeworld. It is definitely Rose’s fault that Pink was shattered, but it was not her doing. 

In all imagery of the Diamond Authority, White Diamond is on top. It could be understood that because of this, White Diamond is the head of the hierarchy. In her mural, she has conquered the most planets. You could believe that White Diamond would have to most to lose if the rebellion was successful. White Diamond shattered Pink since there is no room for a traitor in the Diamond Authority, and anyone going against her rule would be a threat to her personally.  

If Homeworld had learned that White had shattered a fellow leader, many of Pink’s loyal subjects would have been furious and most likely would turn against the Diamond Authority. Yellow’s loyalty is to Homeworld and not her fallen Diamond, although she is hiding this from Blue due to her mourning the loss so greatly. Yellow may fear Blue herself may also turn against White, and be shattered as well. Yellow is very close to Blue, and probably wishes to prevent losing her too. Because of this, all blame was put onto Rose Quartz to avoid further rebellion. We know so little about White that it would make the most sense since as to why they are holding out on introducing her. They are hiding something big.

Only a Diamond can cut a diamond.

Lesson 29: Spirit Work 101

By: Mama Bones

Live class date and time: 04/13/2017 at 6pm CST

Disclaimer: spirit work is a path that requires a lot of intuitive thinking and “feeling”, but it’s important that you not let things get toxic or dangerous with your emotional and mental health. Be aware that this is a path that deals with “talking to non-physical beings”; which can be dangerous for many types of diagnosed conditions. Please be safe and logical in your own practice. Spirit work is absolutely not required for the practice of witchcraft.

Primary focus on: basic communication/sensing


In this lesson, I will be working with nature spirits, not ghosts, as those are easier and honestly, more safe, for beginners. However it’s still vital that you are familiar with basic shielding and warding before putting this lesson into practice.

 I won’t go into detail on that since we’ve had at least one lesson and numerous references shared on the server that are in pins.


There are some important things to remember with spirit work.

           1.) Always shield, at least on a basic level, before working with a new spirit. It’s good policy to shield with spirits in general, regardless of how well you know them, but I’m not going to helicopter your longterm decisions. For myself, the only spirits I don’t actively shield around are my personal companions.

           2.) Be patient. Spirit work is NOT an instant gratification path, nor a constantly rewarding one. It’s difficult and frustrating. But the rewards can be entirely worth the frustration if you stick with it and remain as levelheaded as you can.

 

           3.) Be polite. This should go without saying, but you will not find spirit work successful if you’re a dick. Don’t be a dick. That’s not to say you have to be overly chatty or friendly. You can be logically cool, but still not be a dick.

           4.) Be logical. Yes, spirit work requires some openness to the esoteric and intangible. But don’t overwhelm yourself with daydreams and fantasies. Mundane is still mundane. Don’t force interaction. And remain aware of your physical surroundings. Don’t let yourself get in a bad or dangerous situation just for spirit interaction (i.e. a non-witch observing or prying, weather, lighting, laws, etc.).

 

Nature spirits

I am Hellenic, so I deal with them mostly in the sense of dryads and nymphs. But do feel free to treat them as you would for your path. The above rules should apply to all, regardless of your visualization of their “essence”, so to speak.


Do NOT choose a plant/tree that you or your family has caused damage to in the past. I.e. through landscaping, weeding, etc. Even if it was years and years ago, they remember. Especially trees. Trust me. If you are stuck in a situation where your family does harsh landscaping/poisoning of the plants in your yard, go to a park or friend’s house where you will be a neutral party.

I like to sit with them. When it’s a spirit I don’t know, I will sit near, but not touching/leaning. Definitely not crushing! Once you work with a spirit a lot and become friends, those rules may change. For example, I lean my back against my pine trees frequently. They like the physical affection.

Get comfy. This will likely take some time. Feel free to have a book out on your lap or headphones with music playing quietly if you are needing a cover for sitting outside for that long. I also encourage bringing water with you, both for yourself and as an offering for the plant. A snack doesn’t hurt, especially to help ground you afterwards.
You can bring a divination/communication tool as well if you want to try that route. I don’t personally use them for my spirit work, so I’m not good at instructing on that, but you can incorporate them into my lesson today I’m sure.

Place your hands on the ground lightly and focus on the feel of the earth, the soil. The temperature. The texture. If your sense of smell is sharp enough, focus on the smell of nature around you. Filter out human related sounds and focus on things like wind, birdsong, insects. If you’ve done meditation or trance-states before, what we’re trying to achieve is a light version of that. A receptive trance state. It’s very much similar to what you do for many kinds of divination, like Tarot, runes, pendulums, etc. It’s up to you on whether you would like to do this with your eyes open or closed. Please choose what makes you feel safe, especially if you are in a public area.

You want to stay quiet and observing for a couple minutes. You’re welcomed to let your mind wander and think- we aren’t going for traditional blank meditation by any means. Ideally you want your thoughts to be about nature and the plant you’re about to focus on, but it’s okay if other thoughts pop in.

After a couple minutes, you should gently start to focus your observation and thoughts on the specific plant. Do not touch it yet. But you may lean closer and smell it, look at it closely. Observe how the texture is of this plant up close. What colors it has. The shapes.

Now, after all that physical observation and use of your normal 5 senses, it’s time to try and exercise your non-physical observation and sense. I like to close my eyes for this, but it’s absolutely not required. It may help you “catch” the sense initially though if you want to try it for a minute or two and then open your eyes again for safety.

You will be reaching for something abnormal. It is hard for me to describe, but if you can’t snag the sensation, it’s okay. This is just an exercise that you want to practice regularly when starting out with spirit work. It’s not uncommon at all that it doesn’t work the first time. The best way I can describe it without narrowing it too much for individual experiencing of the sense, is you will get a “pop” sensation when the connection/sense clicks into place. But the way you experience the sense is entirely your own.

If you are able to sort of feel that connection to the plant, fantastic! If not, don’t worry but stay open. It could be that the connection will snap into place after you start the communication itself.

Now you’re going to do the meat of spirit work. Communication!

Talk to your plant. It does not have to be out loud. It does not have to be in English (although it does need to be a language you understand). Keep the inquiries pleasant and light initially. Don’t give your life story. Don’t talk about global warming. Like office parties, the weather can be a good opener, especially if it’s pleasant outside. Although discussing rain or storms is perfectly fine as well and not “upsetting” to plants.

For “replies”, you likely will not get them in comprehensible “human” language at first. That’s fine. It’s normal. The easiest thing to sense is vague emotions or concepts. Some people hear music/sounds. Some see pictures. Some get scents. It’s okay if you struggle with this. Continue carrying on your one sided conversation, remaining as open as your can to things that don’t “seem” to come from you.

You can ask if they need anything like water or soil loosened. Even if they don’t seem to need any tending, you can ask if they would like an offering (water is really the best offering, although you can bring a stone/crystal if you like as well). Keep in mind that if you are still struggling with sensing “replies”, it’s okay to give a splash of water as a good faith offering regardless. Don’t give it a bunch though, unless it looked very thirsty.

Honestly, you can keep this communication/conversation part going as long as you’re comfortable with. If you keep getting feelings or impressions, feel free to go until they start to sort of fizzle a bit. That’s a good way to know that the spirit is done talking for now. Don’t take it personally, there’s a variety of reasons why they’re “tired” of talking. Thank them for their time and wish them well.

You should end with the similar trancing actions that we began with- using your standard senses to connect with nature. Smelling, touching, listening, looking at the soil/grass and plants around you. Slowly ground yourself. Feel free to drink or nibble something at this time. If it helps you, turn your music up. Stretch slowly, rolling your joints.

You may feeling like you want to encourage that extra sense to linger and keep paying attention to it as you do mundane things. I do not recommend this, especially for beginners. For many people, your body is used to processing “peripheral” sensations from your other five senses without clogging up your ability to function smoothly. It takes a lot of practice for this to be possible with a new sense. Take it slow. Reach out for it only when you have the time to focus on it until you’re more comfortable and at ease with the sensations and impressions.

Spirit work comes more quickly if you direct your focus, so I do recommend going back to the same plant/tree and working with it more than once to try and strengthen that connection. Once you have one more solid connection under your belt, the others will come much more easily.

The biggest tip I want to leave you with though is to balance being practical/logical with that esoteric optimism. That’s what I’ve found has given me the best and safest baseline for my spirit work over the years.

Note: This technique can be tailored to work with communicating with your pets/animals, spirits that aren’t from this plane, and ghosts. Just remember to do the order of “centering, semi-trance state, connecting/communicating, withdrawing, grounding”.

Any questions?

Newcomers Pt6

“EAT IT!!!”

“NO”

“I SAID EAT IT!”

“GET OFF ME WOMAN!!” Hesky shouts throwing Karen off him and running out the door.

“YOU WILL ACCEPT MY VALENTINE LOVE!!!” she shouts chasing after him holding her home made chocolates above her head.


The two Humans screaming and running past Dr Loop’s door was nothing out of the ordinary these days, he liked the Humans and found them fascinating and rather good company. That did not mean that he did not find them odd to the point of thinking they were all insane. Some were quiet and preferred to be alone and other were loud and found hurting themselves to be hilarious. Suddenly his door opened with another Human limping.

“What happened to you?” Dr Loop asks.

“Sergeant Stabby got me” he replies.

“Why do you keep it around and why the Admiral allows that thing to stay I’ll never know”

“Don’t talk ill of Sergeant Stabby, he is war hero you know”

“IT is a cleaning machine”

“Irrelevant he is a hero and deserves our respect”

“But-”

“SHHHHHH here he comes”

Sergeant Stabby made his way into the Dr’s office and bumped into a few wall and furniture all the while the Human stood up and saluted it until it left.

“Tell me something um…” Dr Loop said

“Cho”

“Cho, tell me something Cho is it the norm for you race to be so….nuts?”

Cho smiled “You’ve never been to Terra have you?”

“No”

“Shame, because if you think we are crazy you’d love to see us on our home world”

Dr Loop just scoffed and went to look at Cho’s foot. “The bleeding has already stopped”

“Well yeah he doesn’t stab us deeply”

“But still  for wound like this to stop bleeding so soon”

“Yeah it’s clotting? Wait…have you worked on Humans before”

“I have studied Human anatomy yes”

“But actually worked with one? In person before we got here?”

Dr Loop did not like his skills being questioned, his race the Seelom were a very proud race especially of their skills.

“It matters not, I know all the ins and outs of your kinds bodies, probably better than you and the rest of your backwards and primitive kind”

Cho raised an eyebrow “Give your arm for a sec” he asked.

“Why?”

“Just trust me”

Dr Loop gave him one of his right arms and Cho stuck out his tongue all the while looking at his face for a reaction but Dr Loop just looked confused and a little disgusted.

Cho licked his arm and a split second later Dr Loop was screaming as Cho’s saliva burned through his skin.

Dr Loop fell tot he floor cradling his arm and after a few more seconds the burning stopped and Cho was on his feet.

“Guess you forgot our saliva is like acid to your kind” he said and left without helping him up.



The Benemar Chief of Admiral Polts fleet was back on Bento Prime, he had already been disgraced for not seeking justice after one of his clan leaders was killed by a Human female. And to let the Humans gain all the glory for the liberation of Remer making their kind out to be a joke.

“Cheif Goolack of the Benemar step forward!” called one of the High Chieftains and he stpped forward.

“You are a coward and weak, you let the murder of your own kind go unanswered and these Humans push you around like your are their slave, what say you in your defence”

Chief Goolack stood up straight, the chains around his wrists were heavy and those around his legs were heavier, his pig-like nose snorted and his tusks had been cut to show his disgrace.

“I am a Benemar and I fought for our people and uphold my laws and our laws say that the STRONG!!! rule. Well the Humans have shown their strength and I saw their might in battle against a foe who outnumbered them many times over and they came away from that battle covered in the blood of their enemies. They are the only race who has ever besieged our world and you judge me as a coward for respecting strength?”

“They are the ENEMY!!! they burned our breeding pens and they must be wiped out. They are gaining too much power, power they are taking from us”

The court cheered and banged their weapons which were a combination of ancient war axes and rifles against their armour.

“Let this cry go out across to the star to all Benemar, the Alliance high command has given us the location oft heir breeding ground, we march…TO WAR!!!!”


The Benemar all over the Alliance suddenly began disappearing from Alliance ships, when asked why they were going back to their home world they simply replied “The High Chief has risen the banner”

Many thought this was the Benemar about to begin an independent push into Gal territory but they did not deny or confirm this and the army on Bento Prime continued to grow, the Humans though did not trust the Benemar and kept their eye on them.


Life in Admiral Polts fleet went on a s usual, or as usual it could be with the Humans around and with the Benemar now gone their was no hostility in the air. The Humans did their best to include the other races in their odd practices such as celebrating the anniversary of ones birth. They even as far to inquire to the other races celebrations and traditions and asked to take part which made the others rather flattered. They ranged from celebrating the unification of the Fookkarl under one banner which the Humans described as one large orgy as there was a lot of kissing but the Humans obliged.

The fun did not stop there.

Depit, an Elong like Admiral Polt was travelling in the ship main elevator to the observatory when it stopped to let a number of other crew off but only person got on. It was a Human, female by the looks of her but her stomach was huge, maybe she had just eaten he thought to himself. The elevator stopped a few more times and before long it was only him and this Human who from her tag her name was Sergeant Cathy. He started to sweat, he saw what was left of the body of the Benemar that she had attacked.

She smiled at him and gave a nervous smile back but nothing was said between them, until the elevator suddenly and harshly stopped.

“Ahhh!” Cathy screamed at the sudden change of momentum.

“Are you okay?” he asked and she nodded. “Must be a power outage” he tired raising maintenance but go response, there was no power to the that call button either. Suddenly Cathy was breathing fast and hard.

“Umm, are you sure you’re okay” he asked again but she shook her head and held her large stomach.

“The baby is coming” she panted.

“Baby? What baby?”

“I’m FUCKING PREGNANT YOU ASSHOLE!!! she screamed and he jumped.

“Oh? OH?!!! CRAP!”

Cathy sat down as her water broke and leaned back.

“What do I do!! HELP!” he shouted into the call button in some hope that someone would hear.

“What…what is your name?” she asked.

“Depit”

“Depit, come here I need you to help me” she said holding out her hand and he slowly came and she grabbed it.

“I don’t know what to do” Depit said.

“Just hold my hand and squeeze when I squeeze!”

“What?”

“AHHHHHHH” Cathy screamed and squeezed Depits hand so hard she broke two of his fingers as he had tried to pull away when he heard the word squeeze.

“WHY YOU PULL AWAY!!!” she shouted at him.

“You’ll break my hand if you squeeze it”

It then dawn on her that Humans were far stronger than Elong, so she pulled off her trousers and tore off a piece so she could bite down on it and screamed again.

“Why are you screaming what’s happening I don’t how to help” Depit said panicking.

“IM HAVING CONTRACTIONS YOU FUCKING IMBECILE!”

“WHAT ARE THOSE!!!!”

“MY BODY IS GETTING READY TO PUSH THE BABY OUT!”

“OF WHERE!!”

“WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU THINK?!!!”

Another contraction came and she screamed so loud Depit had to cover his ears.

This went on for over and hour till finally Cathy stopped screaming as contractions suddenly stopped.

“Okay…okay” she said to herself with Depit fanning her with his wings.

“How long does this usually go on for?” he asked.

“My mother was in labour for 32 hours with me”

“32 HOURS!”

“Ah don’t shout, I’m lucky the contractions have stopped”

“What happens next?”

Cathy looked at him “Next comes the pushing”

“Elong births are lot…faster than this”

“You’re a bird race, you have it easy” she laughed. Then started panting. “Here it comes! Get between my legs!!”

Depit obeyed and cathy spread herself and Depit froze.

“What do I do?”

“Catch!”

“Catch?”

Cathy burst into laughter “I’m kidding, just guide it out”

Depit got ready and Cathy screamed again, this time louder and so much Depit thoughtt he walls were shaking.

“I can see the egg”

“IT’S NOT AN EGG IT’S A FUCKING HEAD!! WE DON’T LAY FUCKING EGGS!!!”

“WHAT!!! HOW THE…I’M SORRY…BY CREATION WHAT THE…..!” he screamed as the head appeared.

Cathy started breathing again and moved her hand to feel where the baby was “okay, one more” she positioned herself and Depit put his hands by the baby’s head and Cathy pushed with every ounce of her remaining strength and it fell into Depits arms.

After the baby began crying he handed it to Cathy who wrapped it up in her jacket and cradled it.

“It’s a boy” she said.

“No wonder your race is so tough, you endure coming into the world like that and are willingly go through it to bring one of your own into the world”

“And we do it over and over again, I’ll be doing at least two more times I think” she laughed “What did you say your name was again?”

“Depit, my name is Depit”

Cathy smiled and looked down at her son “Do you mind if I call my son Depit?”

Depit’s eyes nearly shot out of his head, for a child to bear ones name is a great honor among his people. “You would do me that honour?”

“Of course, you brought him into the world, well I did most of the work but still”

“Thankyou” he said smiling.

“Oh beware of the after birth”

“The what?” Depit said looking down just as it slumped down in front of him.


In the higher levels and completely unaware of the new addition to their family the Humans were having a friendly game of football with some of the Aliens when Captain Clerk called for a stop. Admiral Polt was with him and everyone could tell by their Captains face that something had happened.

“Men and woman of the 8th Human army” Clerk started “Approximately 16 hours ago the Benemar launched a full scale assault on Terra”

The air became heavy as if every Human and Alien had stopped breathing, no one spoke.

“The battle is still going on and all Human forces are being recalled to aid the defence force fighting there, our latest report says they have breached our outer defence net and are landing their troops. So get your stuff I want us ready to go yesterday!!”

The Humans didn’t say anything and as a single mind dropped what they were doing and ran to their quarters and collected all their belongings and things they brought with them. The cargo hold that they had made their own was dismantled within 10 minutes, every Human was found and accounted for including Cathy and her new son Depit. Hesky was thrilled to see his son but annoyed that she named him something that reminded him of cesspit.

Within 2 hours the Humans were all loaded onto their own ships, they said a quick farewell to their Alien friends and set off for Terra.

The Benemar continued their assault, unaware that word had gotten out about their attack on Terra, unaware of the armada coming for them.