Long Live the Plains Magpies

I know I’ve talked about this before but I’m going to talk about it more because fuck this shit. 

Pocahontas (the Disney movie) has received well deserved flack, but I almost never hear about one way it really affected me growing up: It taught me how natives are ‘supposed’ to look. It came out the year before I started kindergarten so the hype was still pretty fresh. Picture this


I’m the girl on the right. The girl on the left was my friend Ashton. 

Of course there came a day when we had a ‘dress up as pilgrims and indians’ day at school. My family couldn’t afford to get me an ‘indian costume and I wouldn’t have my own regalia for another four years*, but Ashton was from a better off family and she, along with many, many others showed up at school wearing Pocahontas merch. 

And little five year old me couldn’t quite understand what I was feeling. See, the popular idea of native peoples has us looking like this:

Know what Osage (and other plains people) wear to powwows? 

This did not add up in my mind. 

The ‘good’ natives wore simple buckskin. The popular girls dressed up as these good natives. But when I thought about what I’d seen at powwows I started to feel like this was Pocahontas:

And this was Osage

If you get what I mean. I’m trying to give voice to a 5 year olds feelings, cut me some slack. 

I saw my own culture as tacky and over the top and I learned to become embarrassed by it, even ashamed of it. I spent years feeling like this. Like my culture was the gaudy aunt with 500 cats compared to ‘REAL’ natives. I also was very confused at why a blonde white girl was considered more ‘indian’ than me by our classmates because she wore a fake buckskin dress and I remember sitting in my pink sweats wanting to scream ‘but I really AM native!’ but since I wore pink sweats I honestly thought no one would believe me so I stayed silent.

Eventually I unlearned this. But it wasn’t as six. Or seven. Or seventeen. It was at twenty-four. 

THAT’S how deep this shit runs. 

I was speaking with fellow plains native @stalkershandbook one night and she remarked that natives are like magpies; we take ribbons and sparkles and beads and paint and we make it work. Our regalia is BEAUTIFUL. It’s taken me so fucking long to appreciate it. I hope you do too. 

* this is the regalia I got at 9, the dress made by my grandmother



The scene at the eastern bridge is indescribable. Pilgrims and undead are arriving at an unprecedented rate, this is causing major issues for bridge security.

Lothric Knights have now arrived at the scene and are attempting to quell the protesting masses. Here’s an eye witness report:

“This is against everything we pilgrims stand for! Just because a small percentage of us are agents of Kaathe, doesn’t mean you should ban us all! I say Prince Lothric should be thrown into the first flame for this!”


Up next, weather in Drangleic. It’s raning. Again.

Lyra Erso and the red of enlightenment

This post will discuss events of Rogue One; beware spoilers.

Lyra Erso, the wife of scientist Galen and mother to daughter Jyn in Rogue One, appears on screen for only a few minutes. Very little is known about her beyond roughly sketched out roles: mother, wife, geologist and cartographer (known only through ancillary media), rebel-sympathiser, believer. Jyn’s journey is driven by her relationship with her father - then later the adoptive father substitute of Saw Gerrera - with little acknowledgement of her mother despite Lyra’s desperate self-sacrifice in a vain attempt to protect her family. As a result, Lyra’s most lasting impression is of her faith and trust in the Force. This aspect of her character, and its influence, is expressed primarily through (surprise!) costume.

L: Lyra Erso from Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, this unseen costume is slightly different from the costume seen on Lah’mu. Her more severe hair paired with the coat of her overrobe and overskirt both suggest that this was a scene set earlier - possibly shortly after the Ersos fled the Empire - that was cut. C: Lyra Erso on Lah’mu as seen in Rogue One. (Unfortunately I have not been able to find a clear full-length shot.) R: Erso Family version 2a detail, Glyn Dillon. Here Lyra is shown with a red headscarf to match her sash and overskirt.

When we meet Lyra she is living with her family on Lah’mu, eking out a farm life as they hide from the Empire. Lyra’s clothes are rough and well-worn and generally unremarkable, except for their explicit mirroring of Jedi robes. The layering, though practical in this environment, evokes the layers of the typical Jedi robes, most obviously in the crossover of her tunic and skirts. The high-necked underskirt calls back to Ben Kenobi in A New Hope - a man surrendered to an alien environment, hiding from his history and true identity. Not entirely unlike Lyra and her family. With a kyber crystal necklace that she passes on to Jyn, it is unmistakeable that Lyra believes in the Force and follows some tradition akin to the Jedi Order even if she is not a Jedi herself. (In early drafts of the script, Lyra was a one-time Jedi which would have pushed the precise implication of this costume in a slightly different, more heartbreaking direction.)

In a wider level, there must be loads of people who just believe in the Jedi and believe in the Force and have been affected by it. If it’s a really ancient religion, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, it’s got to exist in thousands or millions of people in the galaxy.
- Gareth Edwards [x]

Lyra’s colours are soft and earthy, not unlike those favoured by the Rebel Alliance, blending with the dark landscape. Except for the bright slash of red in her overskirt. The Ultimate Visual Guide describes this as a ‘red sash of enlightenment’. Worn over a heavy padded underskirt and trousers, this overskirt and sash are a statement rather than practical, and given that at one point it was layered under a darker overskirt it is a loud and emphatic statement. Given Lyra’s actions when Krennic comes to abduct her family, she is a woman tired of hiding. 

This over skirt is similar to the hakama worn by Japanese Shinto miko or shrine maidens: a pleated skirt overlapped and tied at the waist. Today miko perform typical temple duties, but at one point they performed shamanistic roles not unlike the Ancient Greek Sybils: entering trances to communicate with spirits of the dead, elements or land in order to learn, purify and share divine revelation. In a less literal sense, this could translate to Lyra as a geologist, a scientist that has learned to understand rocks and the land; to let the world speak to her, even if it is not directly through the Force. Faith and science combined to allow a greater understanding and an open mind.  A similar garment is worn by Chirrut Imwe, a Guardian of the Whills, though his overall costume appears to be more inspired by a fusion Chinese hanfu and Buddhist robes. 

L: A modern miko or shrine maiden wearing the red hakama. C: Chirrut & Baze concept art, Glyn Dillon. ‘Baze is like a combination of all your favourite elements of star wars characters. the partial armour, the boiler suit, the cool gun, the backpack. Gareth really responded well to the red, so we put some red in Chirrut as well.’- Dave Crossman. As principal heroes, Baze and Chirrut’s looks will have been in development long before Lyra’s. The presence of this red and its importance is something that may have been seeded through the production’s costumes from this starting point. R: Chirrut Imwe in Rogue One. Note the layered skirts and sash akin to Lyra’s.

Although it is not stated if Lyra is in anyway connected to the Whills, or if she follows some other related faith, the similarity in these garments implies that either she has had some association or it is a widely adopted colour. On Jedha we see a very great many pilgrims, priests and guardians wearing this same shade of red in a number of different garments.

Red is a colour that typically holds Dark Side connotations in Star Wars,  though has also appeared in association with ambiguous but self-serving Night Sisters. Here, however, it appears to be a positive expression of connection. In China and India red is a colour of good fortune. In Buddhism, a real world influence on the Jedi Order, red is considered to have been a colour that emanated from Buddha when he achieved enlightenment, and a colour of protection against evil, a belief shared by Shinto. Red being used by these faith-based Force religions shows a difference in approach - a multitude of approaches - to the Force, to understanding and engaging with the Force and the wider galaxy.

Top: Nightsister concept art from The Clone Wars Bottom: Silvannie Phest, ‘Part of a colony of Anomids that have recently converted to become disciples of the Whills,’ Star Wars Ultimate Visual Guide. One of many disciples and pilgrims of the Whills seen on Jedha.

We see Lyra Erso once more in Rogue One - briefly, fleetingly in Jyn’s dreams, shrouded in shadow when she doesn’t have her back to the camera (and Jyn, as this sequence is shot from Jyn’s perspective.) A clearer image of this costume appears in the Ultimate Visual Guide (above.) This costume appears to be a fascinating intersection of Republic and fledgling Imperial fashions, a blending of styles and regimes. This short scene - a memory, really - took place roughly two years after the fall of the Republic. In that time Palpatine, a terrifyingly savvy and aware politician and Sith, would have implemented changes and redirection in fashion and textiles industries with effects rippling out from Coruscant and the core planets. Just like all other industries, fashion is a tool to be utilised and maximised to ultimate efficiency and reward, but in this case to control and manipulate the populace.

Lyra Erso on Coruscant, approximately 2 years after the fall of the Republic. In an early concept painting of this sequence, Lyra was depicted wearing a sari.

In 1930 Mussolini stated, “Any power… is destined to fall before fashion. If fashion says skirts are short, you will not succeed in lengthening them, even with the guillotine.“ In both fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, boards were formed to promote and enforce national fashions, to propagate conformity to their respective ideals: fashion was recognised as a key lynchpin for rapid social and cultural change. In Germany this led to a promotion of traditional and subdued wear, a push for modesty away from the extravagance and vanities of the French, idealising history. In Italy, however, it was the avant garde and modern that was hailed in fashionable circles, architecture and fashion shifting hand in hand. There was a search to control, measure and literally shape the body to achieve the Italian ideal future by fusing science and fashion. Imports and influences from other countries were banned in order to elevate purely Italian lifestyles.

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it’s the differences that count

for @bodhirookweek - April 19th: Jedha

I love Jedha!! I have so many headcanons I wanted to stuff them all in here (disclaimer: spice here means normal spice, not the drug kind of spice oops. yes technically only the holy city was destroyed but I think it’s safe to word it as if the entire moon itself was crumbling) 

word count: 780

“You’re from home,” Chirrut said matter-of-factly. As usual, as if it wasn’t a surprise he knew.

Bodhi looks up from his clenched hands. 

“You’re from Jedha,” Chirrut repeats. “You carry her spirit in yours.” 

“I-I’m not… from the Holy City. I’ve been, I had friends there, but…” 

“Cities make no difference when we’re talking about galaxies,” Chirrut replies. 

Baze grunts. “Chirrut, you know what they think of us.”

Bodhi’s eyes widen. “N-no. It’s not - it’s not you. Not the locals. It’s…” 


“W-we hated the pilgrims for bringing the Empire with them. Like a…” Bodhi waits for the right word. “L-Like a disease.” 

Chirrut inclines his head. “It’s a common belief.” 

They fall silent, the hum of the U-Wing roaring in Bodhi’s ears. Like the sound of Jedha crumbling. 

“H-how do you take your tea?“ Bodhi blurts, to muffle the sound. Baze makes a choked noise in surprise. Chirrut grins.

“That’s personal preference, isn’t it?”

“But I heard Guardians don’t take any milk. Or sugar. Or anything.”

“That’s not true. We take it with lemon.” Baze says gruffly. 

“Or spice.”

Or spice.” Baze nods. “Lots of cinnamon.” 

Bodhi grins. “Cinnamon and black pepper.” 

“Uh, no. Pepper is a no.”  

He closes his eyes, trying to remember the smell of the tea of his childhood. 

He sees the light filtering in through his window, and feels the ratty, warm blanket on his shoulders. His bare feet swinging off his bed, flinching at the chilly floor. He remembers leaving the bathroom shivering from the buckets of water, making his way to their small kitchen, lightly touching the kyber crystal hidden away on a shelf. 

He waits for the kettle’s shrill voice, and now he hears the screams of NiJedha instead. 

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Norta Elementary Part 4!

It’s time. It’s here. The due date of the projects.

Words: 1269 (it’s a long one!)

Ships: Mare x Cal

Rating: G


     I jump out of my bed four minutes earlier than usual. I’m going to get to the bathroom before Gisa today. I run as fast as possible, because the moment Gisa hears that I’m up she’ll be coming, too. My feet thump on the uneven tiles, probably waking everyone up, but I don’t care.
     Not today.
     I skid when I reach the door and the moment I’m in the bathroom, I shut it. I take a deep breath and examine myself in the mirror. The few extra minutes of sleep for the past few days have…sort of… payed off. My cheeks aren’t as sunken as they usually are at this time of morning but I still have circles under my eyes.
     Sure as hell, Gisa comes along, pounding on the door.
     “Speak of the devil, ” I call to her from inside.
     I hear her stomp on the floor before saying, “Come on, Mare!”
     She waits outside as I brush the tangles out of my hair and throw it up into a ponytail. The usual ponytail.
     The old ponytail.
     I give up with a sigh and unlock the small tab on the door knob, letting Gisa in.
     I turn towards her. Though she just woke up she looks completely fresh. She stares at me, curling her lips, leaning back on one foot while crossing her arms.
     Her eyes meet mine and I feel her trying to stare me down like any good sister would. “Why are you here? You never care about this stuff.” After a moment of thought, she casually continues, “What’s his name?”

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Jaal asks Peebee to mate.
  • Jaal: Let's do it Peebee.
  • Peebee: Uhh...do what?
  • Jaal: Find out if asari and angara can mate. You and I- we can be pilgrims.
  • Peebee: Uhhh...Ryder?
  • Ryder: You got yourself into this.
  • Peebee: Jaal? Uhm...yeah..that's not really in my immediate plans...
  • Jaal: You mean you'd let someone else beat you to it?
  • Peebee: I..-
  • Jaal: I didn't know you were...what's that saying Ryder?
  • Ryder: All talk.
  • Jaal: All talk! Peebee i'm so disapointed. And Hurt.
  • Peebee: OHHH! I get it. Did you rehearse this or something?
  • Jaal: Just a little harmless flirt.

Today is #RileyAppreciationDay and the song I chose for her is “The Miracle” by one my favorite bands, U2. When I heard it, almost everything reminded me of Riley, especially her strong bond with music. Let’s get started.

I was chasing down the days of fear
Chasing down a dream before it disappeared
I was aching to be somewhere near,
Your voice was all I heard
I was shaking from a storm in me,
Haunted by the spectres that we had to see
Yeah I wanted to be the melody,
Above the noise, above the hurt.

I believe that these lyrics describe perfectly Riley’s story. A big tragedy changed her life forever, and she can still see the “spectres” of the tragedy she experienced. It changed her life forever and she couldn’t be to the same. And here comes the first reference to her deep relationship with music: “I wanted to be the melody above the noise, above the hurt”. Music helps her to lock away the pain, to find a way to go on. She’s a survivor. And music has helped her to go on. As the lyrics says later, “music so I can exaggerate my pain, and give it a name”. Riley uses music to give a name to her pain, to recognize it and to try to put it behind her. 

I was young
Not dumb
Just wishing to be blinded
By you
Brand new
And we were pilgrims on our way

I woke up at the moment when the miracle occurred
Heard a song that made some sense out of the world
Everything I ever lost, now has been returned
In the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.

The miracle is the cluster, and especially Will. For her, he’s “a song that made sense out of the world”. When she meets Will she understands that now she can love again. A tragedy took away from her her husband and her little child, but a new life is beginning for her. A life as a sensate. The life that she had lost has come back, of course in a different way. Her new life is the cluster and her beautiful and strong relationship with Will. I like all the references here to music and sound: “the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard” is Will, the sound that brings her to life again. 

We got language so we can’t communicate
Religion so I can love and hate
Music so I can exaggerate my pain, and give it a name

I was young
Not dumb
Just wishing to be blinded
By you
Brand new
And we were pilgrims on our way

I woke up at the moment when the miracle occurred
Heard a song that made some sense out of the world
Everything I ever lost, now has been returned
In the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.

We can hear you
We can hear you
We can hear you

I woke up at the moment when the miracle occurred
I get so many things I don’t deserve
All the stolen voices will someday be returned
The most beautiful sound I’d ever heard

Your voices will be heard
Your voices will be heard

Adoration of the Great Teacher

My Incubus said to me…

Kneeling before the Stang, the True Altar and very Idol of the Witch-God, is the same Mystery of the Inversion of the Tree/Compass - “Crown to roots, roots to crown, down is up and up is down.”

It is more than the willingness to be taught, to gain knowledge. It is the diligent commitment to the Teacher, who in the end is one’s very own Daimon-Self. This is being a seeker of wisdom. Remember that the Cunning Fire is a lamp, and we are pilgrims in the great dark of the cosmos, and in the fog of human confusion.

Our journey is to Truth and Wholeness, to Mastery. The Master and the Mastery are one. To kneel before this, is to be as it; to be it. “Crown to root, root to crown.” There is only one point on the Compass. The Tree is ever a Seed, and ever unfolded. Center-Circumference.

Even the Master kneels before Our Lady, subdued by Her Love. The Hand that tames the Beast of Many Eyes; the Pure Bright Spirit hot with Pride. Be subdued in love when you kneel. This is the key to the Mystery. Adoration, not subjugation.

you ever have those moments where you remember that Donald Fucking Trump is the President of the United States and you feel like you’re going to projectile vomit

And then you remember that there’s an entire investigation to find out if Russia fucked with our election 

And another investigation to find out if Trump tried to interfere with the investigation to find out if Russia fucked with our election 

And we may wake up one day and find out we elected Donald Fucking Trump but maybe we didn’t really elect him because Russia fucked with us but Trump is impeached which seems good but then we’re stuck with actual 1700s pilgrim fresh of the Mayflower Mike Pence or Devil in a man’s body Paul Ryan and its like waking up from a weird nightmare just to find out you’re life is miserable 

dirty mouth // [listen here]

we are sex bomb-omb! - scott pilgrim // heavydirtysoul - twenty one pilots // girls/girls/boys - panic! at the disco // DARE - gorillaz // cherry bomb - bratmobile // irresistible - fall out boy // lonely boy - the black keys // professional greifers (feat. gerard way) - deadmau5 // cherry lips - loon lake // seizure boy - watsky // black sheep - the clash at demonhead // guilty pleasure - cobra starship // are you gonna be my girl - jet


Dark Side Pilgrims?

Now this is interesting. Apparently some Force-worshipping pilgrims to Jedha wear red, burka-like shrouds that bear a strong resemblance to the red-robed “Imperial Royal Guards” seen in Return of the Jedi. The resemblance is almost certainly intentional, even if Lucasfilm hasn’t decided what it all means.

Let’s start with what we can reasonably infer. If they’re pilgrims, they’ve traveled to Jedha from another world for religious reasons. The only other Force-worshiper we know of in this time period—Chirrut—doesn’t wear such garb. (Chirrut and his pal Baze are apparently from Jedha, itself, and are not on a pilgrimage.) Unless the shrouds are everyday clothing on their planet (which seems impractical, given that the shrouds even cover the hands and fingers), we can assume the garments have some sacred purpose. They’re the space opera version of the irham worn during a hajj to Mecca. In fact, a quick search revealed similar clothing worn by Christian pilgrims in medieval Europe, as well as a striking outfit still worn by Japanese pilgrims (pictured above) while hiking to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano, a Shinto tradition. Note that each tradition settled on loose-fitting robes and/or a walking stick as part of their ensemble.

Since we’re assuming the similarity between the Jedha pilgrims and the Emperor’s guards is intentional, it’s only natural to ask whether they’re adherents of the Dark Side. If they were, there’s no reason they couldn’t share the same holy sites as people like Chirrut, Lor San Teka, and Maz. Although a Jedi Knight must eschew the darkness, an unpowered person might be able to safely ponder its mysteries while still leading a normal life. If the Force is like the Dao, or like the Hindu Brahman, then the Dark Side would be essential to the entire belief system. For example, in Hinduism one of the principal aspects of God is the beautiful and fearsome warrior Kāli, who represents the most powerful, dreadful, and essential of forces—time. Not just time in general, but time that brings death and total collapse. As best I can tell, Kāli represents cleansing destruction. She wears a necklace of human heads and a skirt of human limbs and shrieks with mindless fury. Yet She is nonetheless the “mother of all,” and protector of the righteous. The Mahanirvana-tantra describes the paradox beautifully:

Because Thou devourest time itself, Thou art Kāli, the original form of all things … Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One, ineffable and inconceivable… Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.

To the western mindset, Kāli seems almost satanic. (That’s how Her worshippers were cartoonishly portrayed in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.) But She is worshipped and revered by all Hindus — even adored in some places. There are entire sects of Hinduism devoted to Kāli. She’s like the lightning that sparks a forest fire, burning up dead growth and fertilizing the earth so new plants can sprout.

Any believer in the Force would have to acknowledge that the mystical energy field lends its power to good and evil alike. On a certain level, the Force transcends morality. If there are Dark Side pilgrims on Jedha, true believers would have to welcome them.