venerer

Alternatives for 25 overused words in writing

1. Interesting- note worthy; thought-provoking; fascinating; attracting; appealing; attention-grabbing; captivating; gripping; invigorating; engrossing; engaging; electrifying.  

2. Beautiful- striking; stunning; magnificent; lovely; charming; gorgeous; radiant; dazzling.

3. Good- acceptable, wonderful, exceptional; positive; brilliant; first-rate; notable; stellar; favorable; superb; marvellous; prime.

4. Bad- awful; lousy; poor; unacceptable; crummy; dreadful; rough; inferior; substandard; atrocious; appalling; dreadful; defective.

5. Look- glance; fixate; observe; stare; gaze; peer; scan; watch; study; browse; eye; glimpse; review; inspect.

6. Nice- lovely; superior; pleasant; satisfying; delightful; likeable; agreeable; correct; adequate; swell; fair; okay; approved.

7. Very- extremely; exceedingly; exceptionally; immensely; tremendously; abundantly; particularly; remarkably.

8. Fine- satisfactory; worthy; respectable; exquisite; suitable; well; imposing; decent; admirable; praise-worthy; decent.

9. Happy- cheerful; delighted; pleased; content; amused; thrilled; elated; thrilled; ecstatic; on cloud 9. 

10. Really- genuinely; truly; honestly; actually; undoubtedly; certainly; remarkably; incredibly; downright; unquestionably; extremely.

11. Sad- miserable; gloomy; devastated; down at heard; distraught; distressed; dispirited; sorrowful; downcast; feeling blue; desolate.

12. Big- massive; huge; giant; gigantic; enormous; large; colossal; immense; bulky; tremendous; hefty; sizable; extensive; great; substantial. 

13. Shocked- taken aback; lost for words; flabbergasted; staggered; outraged; astonished; astounded; stunned; speechless; appalled.

14. Small- tiny; petite; mini; miniature; microscopic; minuscule; compact; pocket-sized; cramped; puny; undersized; limited; meager; modest; minute; pint-sized. 

15. Angry- irate; enraged; touchy; cross; resentful; indignant; infuriated; wound-up; worked-up; seething; raging; heated; bitter; bad-tempered; offended; frustrated. 

16. Know- understand; comprehend; realize; learn; perceive; recognize; grasp; sense.

17. Change- alter; transform; replace; diversify; adjust; adapt; modify; remodel; vary; evolve; transfigure; redesign; refashion; advance; transition; shift; adjustment.

18. Old- aged; ancient; matured; elderly; senior; veteran; decrepit; seasoned; venerable; past one’s prime; doddering; senile.

19. Think- ponder; reflect; conceive; imagine; contemplate; consider; determine; realize; visualize; guess/assume; conclude; envision. 

20. Funny- comical; ludicrous; amusing; droll; entertaining; absurd; hilarious; silly; whimsical; hysterical; joking; witty; facetious; slapstick; side-splitting; knee-slapping.

21. Go- move; proceed; advance; progress; travel; walk; journey; depart; exit; flee; make one’s way; clear out; get underway.

22. Give- grant; donate; hand-out; present; provide; deliver; hand over; offer; award; bestow; supply with; contribute to; send; entrust.

23. Get- acquire; obtain; receive; gain; earn; gather; collect; buy; purchase; attain; score; secure; take possession of; grab.

24. Easy- effortless; simple; clear; smooth; straightforward; uncomplicated; painless; accessible; apparent; basic; plain; child’s play; facile; elementary; cinch. 

25. Fast- agile; brisk; rapid; nimble; swift; accelerated; fleeting; high-speed; active; dashing; winged; hurried; turbo. 

Ancestors: What Types there are and How to work with them

Introduction:

What is Ancestral Veneration

Ancestral Veneration is one of the most ancient religious and spiritual practices.  The respect and belief in an afterlife as well as honoring ancestors can be traced back to paleolithic mankind.   It is believed that honoring our ancestors was the first religious and spiritual form of ritual work.  From ways the dead were buried to views of the afterlife ancestors and the dead were never far from the mind of our paleolithic ancestors, and for some this truth remains today.

Ancestral veneration is not worshiping our ancestors, at least not in the common sense of worship. Ancestral veneration is more like honoring the dead in a respectful way.  Its a belief that they are still with us in a spirit form.  That they can hear us and can effect our lives from the other side.  Its a belief that our ancestors like other spirits can help us become the best person we can be and to live the life that we really want and desire.

There are exchanges of offerings and gifts.  This isn’t worship.  In some ways I think of it like when I put a flower on my ancestors grave.  Its giving something to them to signify that you remember them and care for them.  These gifts can be basically anything.  Though some cultures do have rules against some items being given to different spirits.
In some cultures flowers are only for the dead and it’s ok to leave offerings to the dead till they rot as this signifies they have taken everything.  In other cultures and practices only water is offered to the dead.   Even Christianity has mention of the value of prayer for the dead.  Working with and honoring our ancestors is a powerful spiritual path and there are many ways to go about it.

The act of the gift and the offering is the important thing though.  Its through these exchanges that relationships with our ancestors can develop and grow.  Its believed that a gift will ensure a gift.  Its also believed that because the dead and our ancestors are beyond the veil they have access to energy and powers of the universe that we don’t so by asking them to help us in our work and our lives they can tap into those energies for us.  Granted they dont help us unless we help ourselves.  So the gifts symbolize our part to do our work.

Many religions and traditions have celebrations and days of the dead.  Halloween, All saints and All Souls day,  Samhain, Dia de los Muertos(Mexican Day of the dead), The Bon Festival (Japan), and Pitru Paksha (Fortnight of the Ancestors-Hindu) are different festivals in different cultures.  They have one thing in common.  They are all festivals to honor the dead and the ancestors.  These are only a handful of celebrations that exist to celebrate ancestors and the dead.  The point is that the concept of honoring the dead is still alive and well in this world today.

The practice of honoring the dead is starting to become more common in Pagan practices today as well.  Part of that is that many of us are reclaiming this practice.  It was a part of ancient pagan traditions, so the practice was largely destroyed in the west.  For many reclaiming ancestral veneration as a part of our practice not only connects us to our more recent ancestors and keeps our passed loved ones in our lives, but it also allows us to reach the deepest ancestors we have which can be powerful guides for those starting down pagan paths.

Personal Development of Ancestor work

One of the reasons I am writing this post today is in honor of a new ancestor.  A loved one of mine has just crossed the veil.  It is this passing that has once again made me think about working with my ancestors and how is really always been a central part of my practice.  I haven’t always considered the contact with my ancestors and the shrines to my past loved ones ancestral veneration.  I thought it was simply remembering them and keeping them alive.

Ancestor veneration is a large part of my practice and spiritual work.  My ancestors have a lot to teach me.   I have an ancestor altar that I pray at everyday. While it is a strong part of my practice these days, ancestral veneration and honoring has not always been a large part of my path.  In fact it was at one point something I really only did on the festival of the dead (Samhain) as that was the focus.  I thought that was really all that was needed, and at the time maybe that was for my best.

When I started to practice witchcraft I had recently lost my Grandmother.  Many of the psychics and readings I had done at the time confirmed that she was staying close to me as a spirit guide (I was having dreams of her). So I started working with my ancestors through a single ancestor as a spirit guide.  That was 17 years ago.  Now I have an altar to all my ancestors as I have learned that any of our ancestors can be our guides and guardians.

Originally I didn’t offer any prayers, or much to my ancestors.  I would simply say hello to them when I needed to feel their presence.  I had a place of memory for them where I could see them and keep them in my life.  Then when I started to explore traditional witchcraft as a religious and spiritual practice I heard of the concept of giving them offerings and having shrines and altars to them.  So I created one and started an ancestral prayer working.

The practice with ancestral veneration got even deeper when I started to explore Germanic paganism and found I had Germanic ancestry.  When I read how they honored their ancestors and the powers of wyrd and Oorlog I decided that I had to develop my relationship even further.  So I started to work them into Germanic rites and rituals through the phrases “The Alfar and the Disir”

There was a time when I stopped practicing basically everything.  Then I started to explore Hoodoo.  My interest and desires to understand magic and witchcraft returned.  Through this I found more focus on ancestors and honoring your culture.  I found that ancestors will be powerful allies in spells as well as in meditations and trance work.  So through Hoodoo my work with my ancestors started to develop further and I learned new prayers to use for my ancestors.

Now today I have a prayer I say to them every morning and I have a prayer I say every evening to my ancestors.  I give them offerings when I perform rituals and I invite them into my ritual circles.  They have a part of my day to day life and my spiritual life. I couldn’t imagine my spiritual work without my ancestors at all.  They are always there for me and they always will be.  I may not be able to physically hold them and see them, but when I need them I can feel them and I know they are always there for me.

The types of ancestors:

Being adopted my ancestors actually come in different forms and types.  Not all of my ancestors are of the blood.  Some are of the spirit and some are of the heart.  I have legal blood ancestors and blood ancestors.  I have ancestors in all of my families that I don’t know but are my allies through the bonds of the heart and the spirit.  I even have ancestors that are not really in my family at all but are in my spiritual family. All of these ancestors have roles to play in my life and I honor them all.

I dont consider ancestors limited to just the blood and the heart though.This post is going to discuss the different ancestors I have through my adoption and my spiritual practices and how I can honor and work with each of them.  For the longest time I didn’t engage in ancestral veneration because of my adoption.  I wasn’t sure if I should honor my ancestors of my adoption, my foster family, or my biological family.  Thinking about this also was painful so while I wanted to honor my ancestors I didn’t go about it until I had answered my confusion.

How I came to see the types of Ancestors

That was how I came to see the different ancestral lines.  One year I went to the local Pagan Pride day.  I typically attend a few of the workshops that go on.  This year there was one about ancestral work and contacting your ancestors.  The key component of that workshop was a meditation on ancestral lines.  During this meditation I saw three lines of ancestral blood flowing from my body.  There was a fourth that was some what gray at the time and today its now clear.

It was then I knew that I was to honor all of my ancestors.  Those of my foster family, my blood or biological family, and my adoptive family.  It was through this work that I came to see that there are many different types of ancestors and that not everyone will have access to blood ancestors.  Through these meditations and concepts I came to see that there are
four primary types of ancestral allies: You have your ancestors of the Blood, your ancestors of the heart, and the ancestors of the spirit.  Adoptive ancestors are actually a mixture of two types which I will get into in the next sections as well as being their own type of ancestor.

Ancestors of The Blood

Every one is familiar with the concept of blood ancestors.  These are those of your family or blood line that goes back generations.  These are the strongest allies that one can have.  These are the ancestors that everyone thinks about when they think of ancestors.  Ancestors of the blood also include ancestors gained through marriage and long term committed relationships.  When I got engaged to my fiance his ancestors joined mine and mine his.  We are a family unit.  These ancestors go back generations on each side.  So the lines of blood ancestors are very long.

These are the strongest allies that you can have as a spirit.  They are the ones that have your best interest at heart.   Through the strands of Fate, and the workings of Wyrd we are always directly connected to our ancestors.  Our actions reflect them as much as their actions reflect on us.  So we need to honor them in our lives and we need to keep them close to us.  Before any other spirit is petitioned the ancestors will work stronger for you and faster for you. There is little that is stronger than the power of the blood.

Adoptive Ancestors

For me I also have my adoptive ancestors,  These are the ancestors of my adoptive family.  They are the family that raised me and that belongs to me.  In ancient cultures at times the roles of the blood ancestors would be replaced by the foster and or adoptive family.  In my case I never considered them to replace the blood ancestors at all.  I considered them additional ancestors that I was blessed to have.

We have no physical blood that ties us.  However to all of the world and all legal meanings they are my flesh and blood.  That is how I feel about them as well.  In all honesty at times they are more my family than my blood and biological family simply because I have minimal contact and my relationship with that family is in its infancy (until recently was non existent).  Which is why they are both ancestors of the blood and of the heart.  The time that they spent raising me and being involved in my life can not be undone.

They gave their blood, sweat, and tears to me.  They are for my my most powerful allies.  They have been there for me more than the blood ancestors.  They were the first ancestors I have contacted and they were the first ones to make themselves known to me.  This is the ancestral line that has been the strongest for me.  My blood ancestral work is focused on more ancient pagan ancestor while my adoptive ancestral work is more with Saint and angel work (Hoodoo influences as well).

It is because my adoptive Ancestors gave so much of their blood, sweat, and tears into my life and that they took me in they are also ancestors of the heart.  They are of the blood because of the family ties and concepts but of the heart because there is no physical blood.  Its a spiritual and memory based blood love.  The bond of the heart here shows how even just being in a family for a short while can create strong family bonds.

Ancestors of the Heart

Those of the heart are the family that has passed that are not connected through marriage or blood or even legal adoption.  In my case this is where my foster family lies.  They did not adopt me but are still my family.  I have lost several members of that family and they were all close to me.  They are now my ancestors and they watch over me.  Our bond is somewhat stronger than blood or law.

These ancestors are some of my more recent ancestors.  It was my Uncle Cleve’s passing which made me think about ancestors.  He was my foster uncle and is an ancestor of my heart.  His two brothers are also my ancestors here.  I have a Grandfather here as well.  To them and to me the fact that I did not live with them, and was not legally a part of the family after my adoption never mattered.  I never stopped being their family.  That is what the ancestors of the heart are all about.

The ancestors of the heart are those that have passed on we considered family even if there was no blood between you.  These can be friends you thought of as brothers and sisters, close friends and even those who you would consider “father"or "mother” figures.  If you feel that they were and are apart of your family in your heart than they are your family and are your ancestors.  Never let anyone else tell you any different.

Ancestors of the Spirit:

Finally there are ancestors of the spirit. For me I consider any Occultist, Witch, and Magician who worked hard to preserve the magical and spiritual arts are my spiritual ancestors.  Even though I dont agree with all of their teachings and philosophies people like Gerald Gardner, Aliester Crowley, Doreen Valiente, Scott Cunningham, and many others put a lot of work into making magical spirituality acceptable and part of our day to day lives again.  Those are a few of my spiritual ancestors as a witch based on the practices I have taken into my practice.

As I explore Hoodoo and other magical systems other spiritual ancestors will come into my practice.  For example Marie Laveau is a famous Hoodoo worker in New Orleans.  In some respects I could consider her a spiritual ancestor.  Other ancestors in the case of Hoodoo would in general be any one who struggled to keep African American spiritual heritage alive through Hoodoo and Rootwork.  When a teacher passes I would add them to the spiritual ancestors as well.

You can also have ancestors of the spirit when you are spiritually adopted into a tradition.  There are many religions and paths where they are only open to people of a specific culture.  Occasionally through the practice of spiritual adoption outsiders are initiated and welcome into that spiritual family.  The ancestors of your initiator in these situations become your ancestors and guides as well.  It is a spiritual family you have entered into and like all families they will help you and work with you if you honor them as taught.


Working with your ancestors

Now that we have covered the types of ancestors out there and I have mentioned the importance of working with your ancestors its time to actually start thinking about how we can work with them.  Why do we work with them, and what the best ways of working with them are.

There are two primary ways aside from meditation and spirit travel work that a person can work with their ancestors.  These two forms are the altar and prayers.  They work well together and serve as a starting point for building power with your ancestral allies.  Unless one is experienced in astral travel and spirit communication using those tools right away to work with your ancestors is not the best of ideas.  Prayers and altar work are all you really need.

The altar

Really when it comes to working with your ancestors the only real must do I have found is having an altar of some sort where you can offer prayers and other items to them as you get to know them.  These altars can evolve and change over time. The point of the altar is to serve as a focal point in your work.  The altar is a place for you to offer your prayers and your gifts to them.

Your altar doesn’t need to be fancy.  Many people start off not knowing any of their ancestors. In which case a candle, a cup for water, and a plate for offerings is all you would need to contact them.  If you know your passed on loved ones and you have photos of them you can and should add those photos to the altar.

The altar also serves as a place of remembrance of the dead.  So its a place to put items that make you think of your ancestors as well as their photos.  You want it to look nice and appealing.  This is going to be their home for you in your house and their place in your life.  So its also important to keep the altar neat looking.

There are no limits on your ancestral altar.  Let their spirits come through.  There are reasons for the symbols I have placed on my altars.  They grew as my focus and my relationships grew.  One thing has always been common though-the focus has been on remembering them and keeping their memories alive in my life.


Ancestral Prayers

The best way to work with your ancestors even before starting an altar is simply to pray to them.  Prayers to your ancestors aren’t really any different than prayers for gods and spirit guides.  You are simply having a conversation with your ancestors.  Prayers are how we can communicate with them directly and its our best way to communicate with them.  They can communicate with us in different ways (dreams, scents, meditations, sudden insights etc) but we can really only speak to them through prayers.

The easiest prayer is simply:
“Blessed Ancestors I welcome you into my life.  May you bless and guide me and may you teach me what you yourself can”

That’s all your prayers to your ancestors need to be.  You dont need to praise them.  You don’t need to have a fancy invocation.  You simply can address them as your ancestors and they will listen to you.  You dont even really need to ask for a blessing.  You could simply say something along the lines of:
“Good Morning Ancestors.  I welcome you this day”.

All you are doing with your prayers is acknowledging that they exist and that they are apart of your world.  By giving them a simple welcome everyday you will start to feel their presence build up.  You will begin to know them and feel them like you do can with other spirits and beings that you work with.  The more attention you give them the more you will notice them.

Prayers can be more complex and verbose.  My personal prayers evolved from a simple Hello and welcome to a full blessing and daily petition for them to be here.  There is a bit of praise and there is a bit of thanks.  These prayers are offered twice daily.  I feel that they flowed from me into the written form when I was channeling spirits and writing prayers for them.  My ancestors let me know what they wanted.

Offerings and Gifts

The final way that we can work with our ancestors is in offerings and gifts.  These gifts are ways that we say thank you and show our appreciation to them.  There are many ways types of gifts that can be given to our ancestors.   You can give your ancestor basically anything you would give yourself or a person.  They are still family and they are still people.

For myself I consider flowers on graves a gift to them.  I also place flowers on the altars every so often as remembrances of them.  I try and give them their favorite flowers.  I also try and give them their favorite things.  For my grandmother I will think of her when I go bowling and send her some of that energy as play and a memory of our times together.

On holidays I will set aside a portion of the food on my plate for my ancestors.  I will let it sit till the end and eat that last.  They eat the essence of that portion while I eat my meal.  When I have finished the portion for me they will have had their fill and I can take nourishment from the food.  Other cultures burn food offerings to ancestors and spirits.  Some burry the food in the yard.   Other throw it into the woods for animals to eat.

There are some taboos in various cultures about what can and can’t be given to ancestors and the dead.  If you belong to a specific culture, religion, and or tradition I suggest that you look into ways that they honor the dead.  By honoring the traditions of your culture, your religion and your tradition you are honoring your ancestors in that way as well.   These traditions after all were ancestral in many cases.

Conclusion:

This post has covered my own discovery into the importance of ancestral veneration.  It has covered the types of ancestors and a few of the ways that we can work with our ancestors.  Your ancestors are part of who you are.  They are powerful allies that can teach you things you wouldn’t imagine and who can be there for you in ways none else can.   Your ancestors are still here in this life and in this world just in a different form.

There are many ways to work with them.  Once you start working with them you will find that there are many more ways and reasons to work with them.  I’ve been working with my ancestors actively for several years and my relationships with them continue to grow and develop.  I am constantly learning new reasons to honor them and new ways of working with them.  The more I learn the more I realize there is to learn.

These allies seem to be the ones that develop the most as I develop spiritually.  The more I understand spiritual and magical practices the stronger they seem to become and the more things we seem to be able to so together.  Its my hope that any one who has read this will start to develop their own relationships with their ancestors and start to find the power and comfort in ancestral grace and guidance.

mynormalusernamewasalreadytaken  asked:

Do you know when "canon," like as a concept, became like a standard nerd thing?

The amazing thing about the term “canon” is that it didn’t bubble up from the undifferentiated mass of fandom (who actually knows who came up with memes?). We know exactly and specifically where the word comes from when used in this context: an essay written by a Sherlock Holmes fan in 1911, who compared the wild and crazy veneration that fanatical Holmes fans have for the original stories, to holy writ. Another name for the books assembled in the Bible was the canon, as opposed to other books that, for various reasons, were left out of the Bible and “didn’t count.” In other words, the term was originally used ironically and in a self-deprecating way to talk about the almost religious intensity of Holmes fans. 

Part of the reason the term canon caught on was because, even in the 1910s, the public was so mad for Sherlock Holmes that there were all kinds of illegal imitators and non-Conan Doyle authors and knockoffs, and yes, there were even amateur works that were distributed by mail (what today we’d call “fanfiction,” some of which even survives today), so a crucial distinction began to arise between the stuff that was “official” and the stuff that wasn’t. So, here we have the three things that we need to even have the concept of canon as we define it: 1) a group dedicated enough to actually care, who can communicate, 2) a necessary distinction between “official” and not, particularly due to the presence of amateur works (what today we’d call fanfiction), 3) a long term property that could sustain that devotion. 

Now, of the three, which do you think was the one that was absent from a lot of science fiction fandom’s first few decades? It’s actually 3. Canon only matters if it’s something other than just a single story, which the business model of the pulps discouraged. Like TV in the 1960s, every story had to be compartmentalized and serial storytelling was mostly discouraged.

One fandom, big from the 1930s to the 1960s was E.E. Smith’s space opera Lensman series. The Lensman stories were so popular that it received 5 sequels, all of which were planned from the outset. Some Lensman fanfiction from the 1940s is actually still available for reading. Part of the reason the Lensman stories were so popular is that it described a consistent world with consistent attributes: Inertialess Drives, aliens like Chickladorians, Vegians, Rigellians, pressor beams, space axes, Valerian Space Marines, superdreadnoughts, “the Hell Hole in Space,” the works. It was way easier to get sucked into this than it was with the usual “one and done.”  Take for example, this amateur guide to the Lensman series, with art by Betty Jo Trimble.

Canon “policy” as we know it today, as a part of a corporate strategy, started with Star Trek: the Next Generation. Before that, there was no “multimedia property” big enough to necessitate it; Star Wars just didn’t care, which is why pre-Zahn “expanded universe” stories like the Marvel comics were so bonkers. There was no reason to believe that the Trek novels, including good ones by John M. Ford and Diane Duane, were anything else than totally official. Roddenberry, though, was deeply angry about losing control of the film series, and due to his illness (hidden from the public at the time), his canon policy was enforced by his overly zealous attorney. In Star Trek canon, for a long time, the only thing that counted was what was on screen. And not even that…the Star Trek animated series, for several decades, was decanonized. (It wasn’t until Deep Space 9 that animated references crept back in, and today, it’s as canon as everything else).

I don’t want to scare anyone, and this is hearsay, but I’ve heard from three people who were there that Next Generation writers, at least as long as Roddenberry and his attorney were around, were encouraged to not think of the original series as canon at all. References to Spock and even an episode that had an appearance by the Gorn were rewritten.

The Star Trek canon policy was so harsh and unexpected that rules were invented deliberately to kick out popular reference sources, like the rule that starships could only have even numbered nacelles, which meant much of the Franz Joseph guides, published in the millions and praised by Roddenberry and others as official, were vindictively decanonized. 

Star Wars canon is interesting because it was entirely created by the West End Roleplaying Game. It was the only major Star Wars product printed in the Star Wars Dark Age, the 5-6 years between 1986-1991 when all toy lines and comics were canceled and the fandom was effectively in a coma or dead. The Roleplaying Game was the first place that information was collected from diverse sources like the comics and novels. Every single Star Wars novelist read the West End game because it was the only time all this information was in one place. 

Marvel Comics canon is a very interesting example because it was a harbinger of things to come: superhero comics were one of the earliest places in geek culture where the “inmates started to run the asylum”…that is to say, fans produced the comics, guys like Roy Thomas (creator of the Vision and Ultron) who started off as a fanzine writer. Because of the back and forth in letters pages, there was an emphasis on everyone keeping it all together that didn’t exist at DC, which at last count, had 5 (!) totally contradictory versions of Atlantis. 

  • Raja whenever Manila shows up on Photo Ruview : that's manila. I love manila. I was actually there when this photo was taken. I actually took this photo. I know exactly where this photo was taken. I actually made that outfit for her and gave it to her as a present. I actually did her hair and makeup too. Here's an anecdote about this picture. I love this look. I love manila. Toot.

New Orleans: a neighbourhood guide

From the pretty French Quarter to the hip Marigny district, each of New Orleans’ neighbourhoods jive to their own funky beat – learn all about them with our in-the-know guide.


FRENCH QUARTER  

The charming, walkable Quarter is full of step-back in-time architecture and venerable dining institutions that speak to its status as New Orleans’ oldest neighbourhood, but it’s also home to exciting, new foodie spots…


Eat

Photo by CC-By-SA-3.0 on Wiki Commons 

For more than a hundred years, Galatoire’s has been serving trout meuniere (trout with a flour-based sauce), soufflé potatoes and champagne to the New Orleans elite in its mirrored, tiled dining room. The French 75 bar at Arnaud’s, has an eccentric museum of vintage Mardi Gras costumes hidden upstairs.


Stay

Built in 1886, the Hotel Monteleone breathes old New Orleans character, from its elegant Beaux Arts architecture to its many reported ghost sightings.


Do

Preservation Hall faithfully presents traditional jazz each night, just like when it was launched in 1961, with musicians who were there when the genre was born in the early twentieth century. Expect intimate, late-night concerts with contemporary artists like Elvis Costello and Angelique Kidjo.



BYWATER/MARIGNY

Just downriver of the French Quarter, the bohemian Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods have become a centre for hip, laid-back art, music and cuisine.


Eat

Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans on Wiki Commons

Grab a bottle at tiny, jewel-like wine shop Bacchanal, then drink it in the expansive, magically lit garden where live bands provide the soundtrack. In New Orleans, there are gigs 365 nights of the year meaning your toes will always be kept tapping.  A block from the Press Street train tracks in Bywater, the aptly named Junction features Louisana’s finest craft brews and gourmet burgers.


Stay

The cute Balcony Guest House oozes Creole charm with its pretty characterful rooms. Its eponymous balcony provides a wonderful vantage point to admire the area’s rainbow-coloured tiny ‘shotgun’ houses, and see Marigny’s creative types ambling through the streets.


Do

Photo by Robbie Mendelson on Wiki Commons

At Euclid Records and the Louisiana Music Factory, stock up on sounds to remember your visit to the cradle of American music. Crescent Park runs for two miles on the edge of Marigny and Bywater, and has breathtaking river vistas, as well as running and biking paths.



WAREHOUSE DISTRICT/CBD

A few blocks uptown of the French Quarter, this neighbourhood is packed with galleries, plus stylish hotels and restaurants.


Eat

The latest from celeb chef John Besh’s team is Willa Jean, an expansive, corner space specializing in delectable bakery items, and brunch accompanied by lemony frozen rosé. Grab a seat on the raw bar at the award-winning Peche, for the best seafood in the Gulf.  In 2016, New Orleans had the most James Beard award nominees per capita over any American city, so come hungry.


Stay

The old Roosevelt Hotel epitomises grandeur, with a Guerlain spa and its historic Blue Room, where Louis Armstrong once performed.


Do

Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans on Wiki Commons

Stop by the Ogden Museum and browse its collection of contemporary and classic Southern art. On Thursday nights, local musicians play in its soaring atrium. The National World War Two Museum houses an extraordinary multimedia collection dedicated to telling the story of the conflict that shaped the twentieth century.



UPTOWN AND THE GARDEN DISTRICT

Live oaks and magnolias provide lush natural canopies over some of the city’s most impressive architecture


Eat

Photo by Pexels on Pixabay

The relatively new Freret Street cultural district is home to a handful of laid-back, innovative bars and restaurants, from the home-style Southern cooking at High Hat Café to next-level cocktails at Cure. Hidden away on a residential street, Clancy’s where generations have enjoyed fried oysters with Brie and lemon icebox pie.  


Stay

The Avenue Plaza Resort, is home to locals’ favourite Mr. John’s Steakhouse which serves up prime beef just steps away from oak-lined St. Charles Avenue, where streetcars rumble by.


Do

Tipitina’s, founded in the 1970s to give rhythm-and-blues piano man Professor Longhair a place to play, brings in both major touring bands and local luminaries. Magazine Street offers brilliant shopping for miles, including handcrafted jewellery inspired by the history of South Louisiana at Mignon Faget’s 

Book flights to New Orleans with British Airways


Written by Alison Fensterstock

Submitted by @ attentiondeficitohlookasquirre

Imagine an alien species that venerates the spoken word.

Speaking is a sacred thing to them. Why wouldn’t it be? it’s the ritual exchange of information through a complex series of structures evolved over millennia. That’s a really big deal. So they only ever speak to each other in words to relay important information, like orders or thins not already obvious. Small talk either doesn’t exist or is only exchanged with your closest friends or family members. Otherwise it’s not just impolite, but practically blasphemy.

Then humans come along. At first they seem like they’re the same way–their ambassadors are eloquent and polite, and sure maybe their wording can be a little needlessly fancy, but every species is a little different and you’ve gotta make some allowances.

That’s what the aliens think until they actually meet their human crew mates.

And they discover that humans??? Will just say???? Anything?????

One human is braiding another’s hair and comments, “you have so much hair!” as if the other human didn’t know that already??? Their alien crew member is absolutely appalled at the casual use of speech to relay such pithy information. But the other human doesn’t even care???

Another human sees something funny and says “I’m dying” and the alien runs over like “OH NO WHERE DOES IT HURT” and the human is utterly baffled and says “I didn’t actually mean it” which is outrageous because why would that human dare use the power of speech to state something blatantly untrue?

The alien thinks they’ve seen the worst of it. And then a human comes out of the latrine. And they open their mouth.

“YOOOO GUYS I JUST TOOK THE BIGGEST SHIT”

to my aro/ace friends and smols: if you’re ever feeling undervalued, remember Hestia

You know, Hestia. The greek Goddess of the hearth and home. simultaneously the oldest and youngest of the Olympian Gods. Hestia turned down marriage propsals from both Poseidon and Apollo, two of the arguably most desirable gods in the hellenic pantheon. Instead, she asked her brother Zeus, king of the heavens, for permission to never marry and never have to take a lover or anything. Which he granted. Without question. Zeus, lord of sleeping around, did not question his ace sister when she said that’s who she was. That is some divine allyship, yo.

She went on to be the Goddess of the Hearth. For ancient greeks, the hearth was the center of the home and the center of worship for the family. In ritual practice, Hestia always recieved the first (best) and last part of any sacrifice. Put that in context of patriarchal societies where the “father” of the group “always” recieved the best part of a meal. But not Hestia. No, your friendly hometown goddess was venerated before the king of the heavens, without question or anything. Hestia was the center of the family, the center and grounding point of the home, and was treated as such. 

The lesson for aces here is that you are worthy of being yourself without question. You are a valuable member of your community, a most valuable member of your family, and if you are not treated like it, maybe take after Hestia, and burn those motherfuckers to the ground.