truth is power

3

What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.” - Oprah Winfrey, the first black woman to accept the Cecil B. de Mille award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards

8

Watch: In a powerful Congresional speech, Sandra Bland’s mother called people who think they’re woke “the walking dead” because of how little we still know

The speech included a rousing call to action before the newly formed Congressional Caucus On Black Women & Girls. See every single time Bland’s mother spoke truth to power before she dropped the mic.

Gifs: Josh Begley

WATCH THE VIDEO

Follow Refinery29

This is Black Obsidian.

When volcanic lava comes in contact with water, it cools extremely quickly. The result is a shiny, glossy black stone that almost looks like black glass. This is Black Obsidian!

This is SUCH a powerful crystal. Black Obsidian is a protection stone in all senses of the word. This amazing crystal is said to form a type of shield against negativity. It blocks psychic attacks and helps draw out negative energy from the environment, keeping it away from you. (Because of this magnetic nature towards negative energy, you should cleanse your Obsidian regularly!)

Obsidian has a way of pulling out stress and tension… And it has a very strong pull! Because of this, sometimes when you first start working with this crystal you’ll be flooded with these negative emotions as they are brought to the surface to be dealt with before continuing. This stone might not be the first choice for a beginner for this reason.

It’s a stone of truth… Which means that it’s great for stimulating personal growth. It brings the user clarity, and is said to be a wonderful crystal for discovering who you really are.

Obsidian is great for cleansing spaces of negativity as well! That makes it a great choice for a home office or bedroom or sacred space… Anywhere that you want to remain free from negative energies.

When it comes to Chakra healing.. This powerful crystal responds very strongly to the Root Chakra. It’s extremely grounding and helps us dispel and absorb energies through our Root.

For you magic folk, Obsidian is said to be great for scrying and gazing. It’s also a great stone to have if you plan on making contact with the spirit world… because of its strong, protective nature.

The 3 Elements of a CHARACTER GOAL

You know that moment in a book or movie, near the end, where everything has gone terribly wrong? All has been lost, the main character appears to have been brutally defeated, the mentor has probably kicked the bucket, and generally things couldn’t look bleaker? 

Writing feels like that moment.

Or more accurately, one point in the writing process feels akin to that dark night. It’s that time after the intrepid writer has pushed through the first draft of the story – they’ve brainstormed the development process, sailed through the beginning, blazed through the middle – and then quite suddenly …everything falls apart.

And this despair can be summed up in one soul-crushing sentence: “What happens at the end?" 

The writer realizes that they don’t know. A giddy optimism has propelled them thus far, a chipper little voice in the back of their head assuring "Don’t worry about the end yet! It’ll sort itself out!”

That little happy voice, it turns out, is a liar. 

But your reign of terror is over, lying voice. There’s a way to fix it so you can never trick another writer again. Because knowing what happens at the end comes down to knowing something right in the beginning: knowing three integral facets of the main character. If you know this golden trio, you’ll have a much better chance of knowing exactly what happens at the end: because the end is all about these three. 

So what are these three things? 

GOAL: What the main characters wants, and will pursue throughout the story, overcoming all obstacles and enemies to obtain. 

WANT: Their reasons for wanting it, which is usually to fill some emotional void they sense in their lives, something they believe will fix life and make it complete.

NEED: What they TRULY require to fill that emotional void, to be complete. 

Yup, three of the things listed in that other post “10 Elements of a Main Character”. But now, we’re going to delve into more detail, the elements of a good Goal, a good Want, and a good Need. 

So what goes into a story GOAL? Goals should be …

SINGULAR: The character must have one objective, and only one. A desire, and the overcoming of obstacles to achieve it, form the spine of the story. If there are two, the character is split between two storylines; they are trying to balance two stories at once, confusing them and confusing the reader. 

TANGIBLE: The goal must be something REAL. Something we can see and feel. 

SPECIFIC: In addition to being tangible, it must be highly specific. If the goal was to “escape” it would have to be “escape to a definite destination”. It can’t be at all vague or easily fulfilled by many objects: it must be finding a specific object, winning a specific prize, getting to a specific destination, etc.  

Like in Tangled: The goal is “see the floating lights.”

NOT EMOTIONS/STATES OF MIND: The goal can’t be something like “happiness” or “belonging” or “love.” Those aren’t tangible, they’re not specific, and most of all the reader can’t envision it being achieved. The goal CAN be a physical representation of an emotional state; obtaining this specific and physical objective will mean achieving the emotional state. 

IMAGINABLE: We should be able to easily envision the main character achieving the goal. When we see it, we know it’s happening, know that everything has been building to this moment.

Like in Monsters Inc, we know what getting Boo back home is going to look like (though in the beginning, we don’t know that it’s going to be heartbreaking.)

NOBLE: The goal should be something the reader can cheer on. The reader understands why the main character wants it. The reader can relate to the goal, and the emotional reason behind it.

Cheer like this.

STAKES: If they fail, something will be lost. If they choose not to pursue the goal, things will be very bad. There can’t be a sense that if they stop going after the goal at any point, life could just go back to how it was. When the catalyst came in and shattered their ordinary world and everyday routine, the story entered the realm of “nothing will ever be the same” and the only way to restore order to their universe is to achieve this thing. And that thing that will be lost must be something we can relate to, something significant: love, safety, family, life, future, freedom, loved ones. 

What goes into the WANT? The want is…

CONNECTED TO GHOST: The ghost is a moment from their past that still haunts them, and is the source of their moral and psychological weaknesses. Their reasons for wanting the goal should be connected to this moment. They believe that if they achieve it, their world will be fixed, life will go back to how it was before this haunting moment occurred.

MISGUIDED: And they’re usually always wrong. Achieving the goal just as it is will never fix what’s broken in their lives. 

SAVING GRACE: It’s often this Want behind their goal that acts as their saving grace in the eyes of the reader. Sometimes it’s hard to connect with a character – they’re difficult to understand, easy to find unappealing, even downright unpleasant – until we know why they are the way they are. (Think Marlin from Finding Nemo; he’s pretty unlikable and frustrating half the time, but we know why he’s behaving that way, so it’s easier to forgive him.) 

What do all of these character NEEDS have in common?

HOW TO FIX LIFE: In their pursuit of the tangible goal, something else is revealed that will truly save their lives. This is some truth that will banish the power of the ghost, let the character see themselves clearly for the first time, and show them what needs to be done to live a better life in the future. This usually arrives right after that “Dark Night” moment, which is usually when the goal has been achieved or lost; the truth revealed in this moment will allow them to snatch victory from this darkest defeat, renew their courage, inspire them to soldier on and pursue the story goal once more. 

NEW WORLDVIEW: This crucible of battle and revelation of truth changes them. They’re not the same person anymore. They’ve conquered the thing that haunts them, overcome weaknesses, have greater knowledge of themselves and life.

Okay! So how does this work? Let’s use Wreck-It Ralph, because I’m in the mood.

What is Ralph’s Goal? 

A medal. 

A single medal will suffice. A tangible medal that we can easily envision. A specific medal, namely the one he got from Hero’s Duty.  A medal that we can imagine him obtaining, bringing to the Nicelanders, and using to change his lot in life. 

It’s easy to cheer on because it means Ralph doesn’t have to live in the garbage, alone anymore. We can relate to it, and cheer it on, because nobody wants to be alone (especially not while living in garbage). 

And the stakes for this are obvious: ___.

Now how about what Ralph wants?

This medal is connected to Ralph’s ghost which is years and years of being the bad guy. The bad, unlikable, unloved, unworthy, friendless guy. 

He thinks if he gets it, he’ll become the good guy at long last, and his loneliness and lack of self-worth will end. 

How is this his saving grace? It immediately makes the audience empathize with Ralph. Everyone, at some point, has felt alone and unloved. 


What about what he Needs?

Getting the medal doesn’t work out for Ralph. It doesn’t fix anything. What he NEEDS is this medal:

To become a hero, he needs to be the hero for Vanellope. 

New Worldview: 

“As long as that little kid likes me … “ 

So these three are the destination. These are what everything is going towards. If you know these three elements, you’ll have a much better chance of an ending forming in your head. So take that annoying little liar voice.

You know what that voice looks like?  Her. It looks like Umbridge.

Sorry I wanted you to hate it as much as I do.

Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to a limited, disconnected, negative image of a person in the past. See that person now. Your relationship is always alive and changing.
—  Brian L. Weiss, Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into the Power of Love
Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story.
—  Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
youtube

The poets speak the deepest truth to power. They always have.

3

What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know.” - Oprah Winfrey accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Pluto in the houses

Pluto is the planet of transformation and rebirth. The house Pluto is in shows where you search for truth, deeper meaning, control/power, and change. It is also associated with fear, paranoia, intensity, and fear of loss.

Pluto in 1st: You come off as intense, private, and intimidating. You come off strongly and give a strong impression. You are suspicious and wary of others, and you are careful in who you interact with. You fear being rejected or overpowered by others.

Pluto in 2nd: You are resourceful and have a drive for your security and wealth. You want full control over your possessions and value money and resources. You have a hard time letting go of possessions. You are strategic and enjoy your values. You may transform or have a lot of changes due to finances.

Pluto in 3rd: You challenge authority and power and like to be in control. You have a sharp tongue and may use it as a weapon during arguments. You are extremely curious and like to dig deep. You have the ability to dig deep into people’s thoughts or conversations and uncover secrets and information.

Pluto in 4th: You are self protective and secretive. You may experience highs and lows about your feelings or thoughts towards your home life. You may have had power struggles between you and your parents or felt controlled at home. You have transformations and regeneration of the self.

Pluto in 5th: You express yourself dramatically and intensely. You tend to have extremes in your love life, being fully in love or not at all. Your relationships or view of love is all or nothing. You have powerful impulses of creativity and passion. You take your hobbies and creations very seriously.

Pluto in 6th: You give your all towards your work. You are good at analyzing and want answers to everything. You fear criticism of your work. You like to be in control of your work or work environment. You transform through your health and are constantly trying to improve yourself. You think about your health a lot.

Pluto in 7th: Your relationship or partner may be intense and have power struggles with them. You fear but desire close relationships with others. You may find yourself drawn to partners who are jealous, passionate, or powerful. You may be untrusting of your partner or relationships as well.

Pluto in 8th: You have a hard time letting go, especially with close relationships. Your feelings are unconscious and may express them through bursts rather than consistently. You are naturally drawn to taboo or deep/dark subjects. You like to see what motivates or drives others. You have healing powers for others, but also for yourself.

Pluto in 9th: You have a strong need and drive for learning. You are attached to your religion, beliefs, and opinions. You are persuasive and opinionated, and you back your arguments up as much as you can. You have a desire to travel, and experience life changing experiences through travel. You may be drawn to teaching.

Pluto in 10th: You have a strong, intriguing public image. You are ambitious and desire control and power in your profession. You have good goals and focus on those goals. Your career may include research, transformation, psychology, chemistry, or repair. You are untrusting and competitive.

Pluto in 11th: You take your friendships, groups, and interactions very seriously. You are aware of the power dynamic of groups and like to observe them. You are untrusting to those you have just met. You have strong thoughts about your hopes and wishes and can be intense about them. You want to change groups and the dynamic of them.

Pluto in 12th: You have an intense and powerful inner self and have complex emotions. You repress your emotions and inner thoughts. You like to find your solutions behind the scenes, you find solutions and change on your own. You are compassionate about the powerless in society and want to help them.