anonymous asked:

okay so i asked someone already and they were an asshole about it. since you are a witch mom, maybe you can explain?? why can't we call them spirit animals?

Originally posted by 2009wasagoodyear

This would be the part that the lights would lower and all eyes would be on me as I roll in a white board.  Anyway…

See, darlin’, there is thing and it is called CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.

*The very words echo off the walls of the empty auditorium.*

By definition, cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.  Let’s take the United States and use it as an example…

Because people from hundreds of different ethnicities make up the U.S. population, it’s not surprising that at times cultural groups rub off on each other. Americans who grow up in diverse communities may pick up the dialect, customs and religious traditions of the cultural groups that surround them.

Cultural appropriation is an entirely different matter. It has little to do with one’s exposure to and familiarity with different cultures. Instead, cultural appropriation typically involves members of a dominant group exploiting the culture of less privileged groups–often with little understanding of the latter’s history, experience and traditions.

“Borrowing” is a key component of cultural appropriation. In the 1950s, white musicians borrowed the musical stylings of their black counterparts. Because African Americans weren’t widely accepted in U.S. society at that time, record executives chose to have white recording artists replicate the sound of black musicians. This led to musical forms such as rock-n-roll being largely associated with whites in spite of the fact that black musicians were pioneers of the art form. This move also had financial consequences, as many of the black musicians who helped pave the way for rock-n-roll’s success never saw a dime for their contributions to the music.

Onto the more witchy aspects of this…

The term Spirit Animal, as used by young adults today, is a bastardized version of a Native American tradition.  The word’s loss of meaning is damaging to the concept of tradition, especially one as regularly plagiarized and demeaned as the traditions of Native Americans. Religion and belief is something to be taken seriously, and when it’s corrupted by pop culture and turned into something it shouldn’t be, then that’s where the damage starts to set in. 

I am nowhere near qualified enough to go into the importance of the term, and by no means do I want to generalize Native Americans as a singular identity, especially since Spirit Animal is not the same for every tribe. However, I (and many of my other witchy peers, AKA those assholes you speak of) do feel like the inappropriate use of the term is something that should be pointed out more, since most of the time people don’t know how problematic certain language can be.

Alternatives to “spirit animal” could be: personal totem, Patronus (ha!), familiar, and so on and so forth.

And by the way, I do have three personal animal totems I refer to in my craft.  I used to say “spirit animals” when I was younger and I quickly realized how offensive it was because I, a mixture of some very weird Cajun-Creole/Black Irish, am not Native American.

Hope this helps.

TL; dr: If you appropriate other cultures, YOU are the asshole.

some fae facts from lore (pt 2)

pt 1 here

  • iron, salt, and bread (any kind) will ward fae away. so will rowan and hazel.
  • rowan and iron will ward most bad things away, actually.

  • ringing church bells at dawn and dusk will drive fae and/or changelings from your village.

  • alternately, cream and butter and cakes (not bread!!) will attract them.

  • they have many names. fair folk, the good people, the gentry, the wee folk. my favorite is the good neighbors

  • there are places where the veil between worlds is thinner, and these places see more fae. ireland is said to be one. transient places (crossroads and bus stops etc.) are said to be another.

  • musicians are often taken to their world. they may come back but they won’t be the same.

  • adder stones (also called hag stones, witch stones, snake eggs, adderstanes) can reveal fairy or witch traps if seen through the hole in the stone. you can’t trick an adder stone.

  • the fae are highly sexed. orgies are common.

  • random body pains were attributed to the fae. this was called elf shot.

  • tangled hair in the morning was also considered their fault. this was called elf locks.

  • consumption (tuberculosis) was attributed to the fae as well, for forcing young men and women to dance all night.

  • basically if you were sick and there was no cure, blame the fae.

  • alchemists sometimes called on certain fae to assist them. no word on how well this worked out for them.

  • millers were thought to be ‘no canny,’ which means in league with the fae, owing to their ability to control elements. (fire in the kiln, water for the burn, wind for the mill, general control of machinery.)

  • if you know a fae’s true name, you can summon them at any time to do your bidding. but this is a double edged  sword. if they learn your true name, they enslave you right back, and the things they do would be far worse than anything you could think of.

  • some myths have lesser fae paying a tithe (a tiende) to their royals. some myths have them paying this tithe directly to hell.

  • mortal midwives were sometimes summoned to the fae realm to assist in the birth of another kidnapped mortal woman. they sometimes offer an ointment for use on the baby. if the midwife uses it herself, she will gain fae sight.

  • lesser fae can die or be killed. to witness one of these funerals is bad omen.
  • Riddler: So we need to talk about an exit strategy. We don't want to get caught.
  • Two-Face: Okay, exit strategy. All right, I'll run the op. This the only entrance and/or exit, therefore if somebody comes in, I will spring off the balcony to safety.
  • Riddler: No, no, no, no. That's a 50-foot drop.
  • Two-Face: Yes, of course, and I'm a professional, so I will tuck and roll.
  • Riddler: Oh, you're gonna tuck and roll through a 50-foot drop?
  • Two-Face: Nygma, if I had a gun with me, I'd be spraying bullets into the air as I fell.