whys and wherefores

The old grey donkey, Eeyore, stood by himself in a thistly corner of the forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, “Why?” and sometimes he thought, “Wherefore?” and sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?”—and sometimes he didn’t quite know what he was thinking about. So when Winnie-the-Pooh came thumping along, Eeyore was very glad to be able to stop thinking for a little, in order to say “How do you do?” in a gloomy manner to him.
“And how are you?” said Winnie-the-Pooh.
Eeyore shook his head from side to side.
“Not very how,” he said. “I don’t seem to have felt at all how for a long time.
—  “In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail, and Pooh Finds One”, Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne
  • MBTI English Proverbs
  • INFJ: "Still waters run deep."
  • INFP: "It's better to travel hopefully than to arrive."
  • ENFJ: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
  • ENFP: "Laughter is the best medicine."
  • ISTJ: "Do right and fear no man."
  • ISFJ: "There's no place like home."
  • ESTJ: "Business before pleasure."
  • ESFJ: "There is safety in numbers."
  • ISTP: "A bad workman blames his tools."
  • ISFP: "A picture is worth a thousand words."
  • ESTP: "Rules are made to be broken."
  • ESFP: "Seize the day."
  • INTJ: "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst."
  • INTP: "Every why has a wherefore."
  • ENTJ: "You can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs."
  • ENTP: "All's fair in love and war."

ask-cherrytale  asked:

You got the Wabbajack?

Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

Maybe the Wabbajack is the Book of Knowledge. Maybe I’m smarter because I know cats can be bats can be rats can be hats can be gnats can be that’s can be thises. And that doors can be boars can be snores can be floors can be roars can be spores can be yours can be mine. I must be smart, for the interconnective system is very clear to me. Then why, or wherefore do people keep calling me mad?

Wabbajack. Wabbajack. Wabbajack.

I swear this probably happens in everyone's english class
  • English Class: Watching Romeo and Juliet
  • Juliet: Wherefore art thou Romeo?
  • Girl sitting behind me: He's right there, you idiot!
  • Me: THAT'S NOT WHAT IT FUCKING MEANS! *knocks over desk and spontaneously combusts*
So long as you can read good books in the languages they affect, that’s enough for education:but it adds greatly to your pleasure if you have memory enough to remember the why and wherefore of the waxing and waning of people’s, and to trace the slow washing up and down of event upon event…
—  TE Lawrence to his parents 4/12/17 TE Lawrence The Selected Letters Malcolm Brown
Herbal Alchemy Beyond the Usual

This will be one of those posts that will be slightly controversial, because I’m going to be trying to instruct people. Instructing is a good thing to do, but to do it well, a person must necessarily believe their method of doing things is better than the status quo. And, in this case, I do, for the most part.  There are reasons for this that will be explained.

Lately, I’ve been posting a lot about herbal alchemical experiments and herbs in general. I wanted to offer some recommendations for those who study herbs. It’s almost a plea, because I really don’t like the conventional approach to how they’re studied. The idea here is to break out of the status quo of witchcraft texts and move towards something more solid, because a lot of popular books on herbal magick don’t really offer solid foundations for beginners. Nor do most (but not all) websites. Hence, I felt the need to just come forward with my opinions on this matter.

First off, I recommend newbies ignore a lot of what’s out there, as I’ve said. I could reference some books that I think lead people in the wrong direction, but that strikes me as an incredibly rude thing to do. The problem, though, is that most resources offer no concise information as to why certain herbs have certain associations. In short, they just parrot the associations without backing them up. This is a problem, because it leaves the beginner with no idea why they’re doing what they’re doing. Everything in magick should be done for a reason, and if you don’t know the reason, you’re missing out!

Lets delve a little deeper with examples. A typical book discussing herbal magick these days will list a bunch of herbs and their correspondences. It’ll say that rose is associated with love and mugwort helps with developing psychism. This is all well and good, and is, in fact, traditionally considered true, even, but they never say why. In reality, roses are associated with love due to their appearance in the legend of Venus’s creation, as well as their scent most common colors evoking strong emotions in people throughout history. Mugwort is associated with psychism due to its association with the Moon. This comes from its silvery appearance, which draws to mind the exquisite shades of our dear Moon. The psychism comes in because the Moon reflects the Sun, and the Sun represents truth. Getting at truth is the goal of psychism, so, naturally, mugwort is conducive to doing this due to its Moon-like appearance.

You see? That wasn’t so bad, was it? Indeed, it’s quite fun. It gives the aspirant something to “chew on” rather than memorize. It gives you something to think about, and accept or reject depending on how you react to it. For example, you might decide that mugwort’s color more resembles quicksilver, and thus associate it with the rapidly-flowing forces of Mercury rather than the Moon. You can then use it that way. Or, conversely, you might decide that the above association wholly resonates with you, and use that. It goes far beyond “I need rose petals for my love spell!” and this is the path to more effective magick. It requires significantly more time than just looking up correspondences in a book, but believe me when I say it’s worth it.

A word about astrology, though: it doesn’t have to be part of your practice if you don’t want it in there. It’s true that most conventional associations for the planets stem from astrology (mostly as a result of Culpeper’s work), but you’re free to reject them. You can, if you’d like, spend time getting to know the plant and develop your own associations for it based on the impressions it gives you. You can also look into non-Western traditions and folk traditions regarding these herbs. Just because I chose astrology doesn’t mean that you have to. The point, though, is that you must develop a keen understanding of why you’re using, say, rose or mugwort, and then you’ve got a solid foundation.

I’ve spent quite a few paragraphs emphasizing the need for understanding the why of magick. It’s time I talked a little bit about the why of the why. I’m sure you want to know why I think this method is better, and I’ll tell you. It’s for multiple reasons.

The first, rather mundane reason, is that researching all this herb business gives you insight into other things. I’m getting to the point where I can interpret natal charts with a modicum of accuracy, almost solely because I’ve had the nature of the planets and their Godforms drilled into my head by my herbal research. Similarly, even if you’re working in a non-astrological tradition, you’ll learn all kinds of things by looking into why certain herbs are used. Even if you’re “making up” your own associations for each herb, you’re still learning (about yourself). Mythology, culture, religion, your mind - it’s all in the plants, if you get to know them well enough.

Another reason is that it allows you to develop a spiritual rapport with the plant, even if you’ve just bought the herbs dry. Ideally, we’d all have our own gardens and grow our own herbs, thus being parent to the things that help us with our magick. We would know them intimately. That’s not possible for everyone - it’s not for me. I can’t get anything to grow. Nor can I forage, given how inadequate my area is. Despite this, I do firmly believe I can connect with the egregore of a particular plant, by studying how it functions in tradition. Realize that, regardless of what tradition you’re operating within, these plants have been used for these purposes for hundreds, if not thousands of years. That alone shapes the plant. Humans have a relationship with nature rather than an inert dominion over it. Even if you come up with your own meanings, you’re still dialoging with the plant, and that will super-charge your magick exponentially. At least, compared to how it is when you simply memorize from a list.

I’m not saying your spells won’t work if you learn from the conventional lists in books, but I do firmly believe they won’t be as life-enriching as they could be. Controversial, I know, but I believe it’s true. Why? Well, I’ve been getting some memories floating through my head lately. In the old days when I studied herbs, I never moved past the aforementioned “Peppermint is good for communication! Rose petals for love!” lists of correspondences, so I was essentially flying blind. The spells were functional, but I got nowhere near the results that I’m getting now. There were some incidents of excellent success, but in those cases, I’d, without exception, worked out why the herbs were suited to the purpose at hand on my own.

I was going to have actual citations in this post, since I recently learned that it’s (kind of) possible to have footnotes in a Tumblr post. I decided, though, that it would be more productive to spend some time here listing useful sources. Here are a few. Most of them are biased towards the Western Mystery Tradition and Western astrology in general, because that’s my chosen focus. This may or may not suit you, but there are comparable sources I’ve seen (though not fully read) for other traditions. I’m just mentioning these to get people who are interested in the WMT started. I realize there’s not nearly enough books listed here, but, well, these are the only ones I’ve found thus far that really chew into the herbs and the forces they channel. There are probably others (not to mention websites), but I’ve yet to encounter them, so this is all I can mention. If anyone out there in Tumblr-land knows of any others, or useful websites, please send me information about them!

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison is by far the most accessible and enjoyable book on this subject. Each chapter begins with the classic list of correspondences, then goes into detail about the why of it all. And it’s topped off with a small recipe for a simple (in varying forms) for each planet! As is the case with most of these books, it focuses only on the traditional planets, so someone wanting to work with the outer planets will have to look elsewhere. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that understanding the inner planets is crucial and should be undertaken before approaching Neptune and company. My only major qualm with it is that a lot of the correspondences are justified solely by the physical effect the herb has upon the body. While these are mostly in line with other methods of figuring them out, it’s not the whole picture.

A more meaty, but less easily interpreted book is the Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, by Judith Hawkins-Tillirson. Essentially, the author of this book draws from Crowley almost exclusively, so if you’re squicked by him, you’ll want to give it a pass. Much of the correspondences come directly from 777 and are lucidly described as relating to various paths on the Tree of Life. It’s an education in herbs, yes, but it’s also sort of a sneaky introduction to Kabbalah that can be absorbed organically. Some folks might consider the source suspect, given that some people hate Weiser (because reasons), but you have to realize that this lady cites complete sources for almost everything she writes, to the point where much of the book is explication at heart. Very dispassionate. One downside to using Crowley almost exclusively, though, is that there’s only a few plants discussed for each celestial force, and thus it’s kind of limiting. This can be remedied by consulting other sources, of course, so I still recommend checking this out just for how thorough it is.

I recommend Mixing Essential Oils for Magic, by Sandra Kynes for anyone who is even vaguely interested in compounding oil or alcohol-based potions using essential oils. Rather than being mostly about different correspondences, this book focuses almost exclusively on how to achieve a balance that excites the senses. This is extremely useful, because if you can’t stand the smell of a potion, it loses some of its efficacy, in my opinion, because this sort of cuts into the bond you have with the plants. That’s really why I recommend this book, because it doesn’t go into much detail about the reasons behind the associations, but it’s still quite a gem.

There’s also Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett. I’ll be honest - I’m not quite finished reading this book, but I’ve absolutely got to mention it! It’s amazing and mind-blowing. I had grown frustrated and a bit stagnant just mixing herbs based on planetary associations, but this book brought me out of that. It doesn’t just talk about the plants and why they have certain associations. It goes into detail about centuries-old techniques for harnessing their power. The only caveat I have about it at this point is that he says some pretty cringe-worthy things in an attempt to justify using modern methods. For example, he spends three or so paragraphs trying to convince the reader that it’s okay to use Everclear rather than distilling your own alcohol. Kind of a waste of time, in my opinion. The book’s quite useful, though, giving practical advice. One note, though: it requires a pretty complex setup to perform some of the operations in the book. He tries to simplify it, but a lot of it can’t be simplified.

Anyways, thanks for your time, and I hope this didn’t anger (to many) people. We all take a small risk whenever we throw our opinion out there onto the web, but the key is to be able to accept the consequences. I think the way to achieve that is through knowing yourself and your views intimately, and being willing to allow others to test and examine them.

Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to th’ creating a whole tribe of fops
Got ‘tween asleep and wake? Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund
As to th’ legitimate. Fine word- 'legitimate’!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top th’ legitimate. I grow; I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Edmund, from “King Lear”

This might be very favorite Shakespeare monologue. Edmund is a cold character with a distrust of tradition that makes him a compelling villain for times like ours.

SCENE II. The Earl of Gloucester’s castle.

   Enter EDMUND, with a letter


   Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
   My services are bound. Wherefore should I
   Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
   The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
   For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
   Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
   When my dimensions are as well compact,
   My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
   As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us
   With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
   Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
   More composition and fierce quality
   Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
   Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
   Got ‘tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
   Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
   Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund
   As to the legitimate: fine word,–legitimate!
   Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
   And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
   Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
   Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

—  Shakespeare, King Lear

In s12 I’d like to see Mary coming to terms with the fact that her boys were raised as hunters, because she’ll learn from reading John’s journal all the whys and wherefores. She’ll understand that it was in their own best interest to learn to protect themselves against the monsters she knows all too well, including the demon who killed her over her infant son’s crib.

But at the same time I want to see her growing anger over how John taught them about hunting. I want to see her become horrified at the entries about the fact that Dean was so traumatized he didn’t speak for months after her death, after John uprooted them and essentially assigned a 5-year-old the job of raising his infant brother. I want her to be furious that her 6-year-old baby had a gun in his hands. That her 9-year-old was standing guard with a shotgun waiting for a shtriga while her 5-year-old was used as bait. I need her to be furious that yes, her boys were trained as hunters– probably the two greatest hunters on the planet, but that they’d been forced to sacrifice every other worthwhile part of their childhoods in order to do that.

Because Mary knows what it’s like to be raised as a hunter, and her life had never been anything like that.

Tulkas the Humiliated?

(warning: long post, sorry in advance) 

We need to talk about this. This old canon is just too good in my opinion to ignore. (And I beg pardon if it sounds like I’m fangirling at any point. Tulkas is one of my favorite Valar and I have no intention of hiding it!) Plenty of truncated versions of events in the Silmarillion exist in the HoMEs, some still legit, some abandoned, some revised but still used, you know the drill. But right now, I want to talk about the earliest (possibly the very first) version of the war that went down at Utumno when the Valar finally captured Melkor. I know some don’t enjoy this version and that’s cool, but frankly, I love this version of the story. I love it so much that part of me despairs that Tolkien abandoned it, even if I understand the whys and wherefores. And part of me to this day wishes that Tolkien had kept it in the final version, just for the sake of how frickin’ cool it is for two main reasons: 

1.) This old canon really showcases the love the Valar had for each other and especially for Manwë. Though it’s mentioned and even elaborated on in later texts, the more finalized ones (particularly the Silmarillion) don’t focus much if at all on that aspect of the Valar. Yes, Manwë was King and had their complete allegiance and steadfast loyalty, and they were very much like one big family. But this old canon shows that the Valar also loved him, loved him and respected him so much that it actually played an integral part in how the story climaxed (and then concluded). And – 

2.) Because of what Tulkas does. That’s all I’m going to say. 

As a quick catchup, Tulkas has already introduced Melkor’s mouth to his fist. Aulë has already crafted Angainor. And the Valar have finally come together exchanging ideas on subduing Melkor and how to assail Utumno to do it. 

But the desire of the Gods was to seek out Melko with great power – and to entreat him, if it might be, to better deeds; yet they did purpose, if naught else availed, to overcome him by force or guile, and set him in a bondage from which there should be no escape. 

Though he’s not mentioned by name, I can see Manwë’s influence all over this. Anyway, though Aulë had crafted Angainor for the sole purpose of binding Melkor, it was unmistakably to be only used as a last resort if Melkor didn’t concede to their practically begging him to correct his ways. “To overcome him by force or guile.” In the finalized accounts, the Valar conquer Utumno through their might and power alone (and so subdued Melkor with the same), but in this old canon, they elect the route to beguile, which is somewhat different from the more straightforward (and honest) approach the Valar tend to act with. 

Fastforward. The Valar get themselves armed and head to war “in great power and anger”. I know I’m glossing over it here, but I do encourage reading the passage if you have the book because the descriptions are certainly on the glorious side; among them Manwë being styled to have climbed in his blue chariot pulled by three of Oromë’s whitest horses while carrying a great white bow that would “shoot an arrow like a gust of wind across the widest seas”, the Feänturi riding together in black and grey, Tulkas having no weapon save a gauntlet on his right hand (I can’t be the only one who smiles at that deliberate effrontery. As it’ll be pointed out, Melkor clearly remembers Tulkas’ blow to his mouth and here Tulkas is, encasing his fist in iron as his sole “weapon”), and Aulë going all-out Thor with his epic hammer. Melkor sent out servants to stop the Valar on their way, but “all their ways availed nothing to hinder them”, and when they finally arrived at the huge gates of Utumno, Melkor himself slammed the doors in their faces. 

That made Tulkas angry (like, really angry) to the point where he actually punched the gate “thunderously” with his own fist. It didn’t work, but Oromë fixed that by blowing his horn next, and the blast that emitted from it was so great that the gates flew open immediately. Manwë “raised his immeasurable voice” and ordered Melkor to get his butt outside, but Melkor had already fled back inside to the lowest halls. He heard Manwë but refused to come out (to think Manwë’s voice traveled that far, hehe), instead sending his servant to try to sweet-talk them, saying that he would gladly welcome the Valar but his abode was just so poorly that he couldn’t possibly entertain more than two of them (a load of bullhockey, right?). 

Now, Melkor was sincere in letting in two Valar, yet he “begged” (Tolkien’s word) that neither Manwë nor Tulkas be one of them. Because Tulkas would’ve demanded “hospitality of great cost and richness” BUT that Manwë would’ve “merited” it. It may just be me, but that’s a rather intriguing opinion to have of someone you hate. :) 

Anyway, Manwë, Tulkas and the Valar got mad about this too (‘furious’ is a better word) because Melkor kind of blew it by ending his placations with an insult, in that if the Valar didn’t want to do the two-Valar-only thing, he would do as Manwë said but only to hear what his Brethren wanted so badly that they would leave “their soft couches and indolence of Valinor” just to come for him who merely “laboured humbly and did his toilsome work.” 

So yeah, the Valar got furious. Tulkas actually started to rampage down the stairs to Melkor’s lair, but Manwë and the others held him back. Aulë calmed him down and suggested that they play on Melkor’s fear of either Manwë or Tulkas entering his halls. Aulë didn’t know how, but he thought that maybe if Manwë and Tulkas could come upon Melkor without him realizing it, it might scare Melkor enough into correcting his ways. Even now, the Valar’s main objective was to get their brother back, even if fear must be the driving factor to see it done. In the end, Manwë agreed with Aulë since he didn’t believe all their combined might would get Melkor out of his stronghold, so he assented using deceit but warned to be careful because they would be attempting to deceive the master of deception. Melkor’s greatest chink in his armor was his pride, so Manwë said to use it against him. 

So now the Valar cooled their tempers and pretended to appease Melkor themselves this time, the words coming from Manwë himself. Manwë’s practically kissing Melkor’s feet by this point with his words, praising him and begging his forgiveness for making his big brother angry. (Yes, it’s as sickening as it sounds) But Melkor doesn’t budge and Tulkas was horrified by what Manwë was saying, enough that he actually refused to do as Manwë said. But Manwë (either ignoring him or calming him) kept going and further announced that Tulkas would be bound “with violence” while they begged Melkor’s pardon and pleaded with him to come home, that he could stay wherever he wanted until Aulë could build him a house that towered higher than Manwë’s own Taniquetil. 

By this point, Tulkas was not happy to say the least. 

But Melkor liked what he was hearing: 

“At last do the Gods speak fair words and just, but ere I grant their boon my heart must be appeased for old affronts. Therefore must they come putting aside their weapons at the gate, and do homage to me in these my deep halls of Utumna: – but lo! Tulkas I will not see, and if I come to Valinor then I will thrust him out.” 

Tulkas isn’t getting any less furious. :) Melkor practically says, “finally, you’ve come to your senses!” but wants them to apologize first for everything they did to him. And then they can disarm and enter Utumno to pay homage. I can’t help but wonder what’s going through Tulkas’ head right now, and I don’t doubt for a moment that he only became more enraged at Manwë’s response: 

Manwë returned answer that the Gods would do as Melko’s heart desired, yet would Tulkas come and that in chains and be given to Melko’s power and pleasure; and this was Melkor eager to grant for the humiliation of the Valar, and the chaining of Tulkas gave him great mirth.

Then the Valar laid aside their weapons at the gates, setting however fold to guard them, and placed the chain Angaino about the neck and arms of Tulkas, and even he might scarce support its great weight alone; and now they followed Manwë and his herald into the caverns of the North. 

I’m not sure I want to know what Melkor’s “power and pleasure” entails, but here, Tulkas was the first Vala to be chained in Angainor, which had been crafted solely for Melkor. Talk about ironic. Were the Valar muttering soft or palliative words to him while they wrapped the links around him? Assuring him that this humiliation was just for the sake of getting inside? That it wouldn’t extend to him actually being surrendered to Melkor? What was Manwë saying? Or was he silent, simply holding Tulkas’ gaze while the others bound him in that hellish chain? Tulkas really had an astounding depth of faith in Manwë in that moment. And to think that Angainor was so heavy that Tulkas himself could barely tolerate its weight. It took four Maiar to merely transport it to Utumno, so woof. 

I can only imagine Tulkas’ opinion of all this, but hey, they got in. All the way down to where Melkor sat on his throne, where then Manwë again started flattering him like no tomorrow, greeting him courteously, saluting him, doing whatever it took to maintain their ruse (got to give it to Manwë, though. If he had any pride at all, he definitely never let it get in the way. Pride may be Melkor’s weak spot, but it certainly isn’t Manwë’s). He ends his whole speech with another heartfelt plea to “come now and be in Valinor”, and I have no doubt Manwë is very sincere in this beseeching. He really does want his brother to come home with him. 

But Melko might not thus easily forego his sport. “Nay, first,” said he, “wilt thou come Manwë and kneel before me, and after you all the Valar; but last shall come Tulkas and kiss my foot, for I have in mind something for which I owe Poldórëa no great love.” Now he purposed to spurn Tulkas in the mouth in payment of that buffet long ago, but the Valar had foreseen something of this and did but make play of humiliation that Melko might thereby be lured from his stronghold of Utumna. In sooth Manwë hoped even to the end for peace and amity, and the Gods would at his bidding indeed have received Melko into Valinor under truce and pledges of friendship […] Now however was scant mercy left for him within their hearts, seeing that he abode in his demand that Manwë should do homage and Tulkas bend to those ruthless feet. 

It just amazes me. Even after that incredibly debasing, humiliating command of Manwë (let alone Tulkas. Death-glare, anyone?), Manwë is still willing to do what Melkor wants to keep up the ruse. Tulkas’ humiliation was purely for the fist to the mouth Melkor received at their last confrontation, but Manwë’s humiliation….This, this here changed the game entirely. Manwë doesn’t even hesitate to disgrace himself in this manner, but this was the final straw for the rest of the Valar; Manwë just had to say the word and they gladly would’ve “received Melko into Valinor” in all sincerity and forgiveness. But this, his demand that “Manwë should do homage and Tulkas bend to those ruthless feet”, it eradicated practically any and all compassion and tolerance they had for him. Melkor’s crimes against them, against Arda, against the Quendi, all of that they were merciful enough to forgive. Yet this was the deal breaker. 

That is one heck of a massive transition. Good job, Melkor. You now just lost the favor and patience of pretty much everyone except your brother. 

But what comes after in the text is what I absolutely love: 

Nonetheless the Lord of Gods and Elves approaches now the chair of Melko and makes to kneel, for such was their plan the more to ensnare that evil one; but lo, so fiercely did wrath blaze up in the hearts of Tulkas and Aulë at that sight that Tulkas leapt across the hall at a bound despite Angaino, and Aulë was behind him and Oromë followed […] and the hall was full of tumult. 

Please tell me I’m not the only one enthralled by this visual. Manwë silently steps forward and starts bowing, is halfway to his knees, and Tulkas becomes so wrathful at the sight that he can’t contain it anymore and essentially explodes. Aulë too (and as read, the others as well), but Tulkas just erupts. Remember when it said that Angainor was so heavy that he could barely endure its weight? That weight now doesn’t even register as he charges for Melkor. I think that says something to either Tulkas’ might or to the power emitted when comes Tulkas Unleashed, or both. 

As it says, chaos erupts in the hall and Melkor himself leaps up from his throne before Tulkas can reach him. Everyone starts fighting and Melkor’s minions join in the fight. 

Then lashed he at Manwë with an iron flail he bore, but Manwë breathed gently upon it and its iron tassels were blown backward, and thereupon Tulkas smote Melko full in his teeth with his fist of iron, and he and Aulë grappled with him, and straight he was wrapped thirty times in the fathoms of Angaino. 

I really wanted to include the first sentence because the image of Manwë calming standing there and breathing on a cruel instrument much like the cat-o-nine-tails as it’s being whacked at him so that it flies backward is just too majestic. :) And Tulkas…the irony of this whole part of the story is noteworthy, even funny. Tulkas punched Melkor in the mouth once, encased said fist in iron as a reminder that he did, the very punch that Melkor is now demanding Tulkas kiss his feet for, and now Tulkas literally deals Melkor the exact same fist to the mouth that he did before. I know I can’t be the only one giving him a hearty cheer at reading that. Melkor just can’t get a break where Tulkas’ fist is concerned! And all because Tulkas couldn’t take the sight of Manwë kneeling. 

Part of me wonders if Manwë scolded (or gently rebuked) Tulkas for blowing their cover/plan like he did. Yes, it still resulted in Melkor being captured and taken to Valinor, but with how Manwë was adamant to not use force because the chance of success was far too small to trust, I’m curious if Manwë had anything to say about Tulkas’ loss of control. :) 

Another reason I adore this old canon is because even though the events that occur and accompanying details are dramatically different than the final or latter versions, the characterizations of the Valar still fall so beautifully in line with how Tolkien characterizes them later (which leads me to believe he never really tweaked their actual character traits all that much through all the revisions; just changed the way things in the story happened). 

But this is one of my favorite passages concerning the Vala of War, purely because Tulkas “even in policy could not endure to see the majesty of Manwë bow before the accursed one.” 

**texts from HoME The Chaining of Melko I.107-11
(quick thanks to @glorfindelsbitch for prompting me to do this)


In general, I don’t get too much into the hows and whys and wherefores of Tumblr and its features or lack thereof because it’s off-topic and I have a personal blog for that kind of stuff, but this time around, the UI/UX changes are likely to affect the way UfYH functions, so I want to just address it for a second.

Getting rid of tracked tags, while unbelievably inconvenient since it’s how I find before and afters to reblog, has a few reasonably easy workarounds (new XKit, bookmarking tumblr.com/tagged/thetagIwant). However, the lack of replies is, to be frank, a pretty damn ridiculous way to limit relatively casual communication between users. I’m not sure why tumblr @staff would have possibly chosen to do this, or what untested replacement they’re planning to roll out at some unknown point in the future, but it makes interaction close to impossible without reblogs, so that sucks.

These UI/UX changes may change the way I have to do things around here, but as always, I’ll keep you guys posted. I’m also a little disappointed that there’s been absolutely no response from staff about the user base’s opinion of these changes, but it might just be my way of doing things that I like to talk this shit out when a whole bunch of people are pissed at me about the same thing. Either way, I haven’t used my two questions for the day yet, so I’ll end this with a question mark so I can actually see what you all have to say about this.


Impermanence and Gratitude

You will lose everything. Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memories. Your looks will go. Loved ones will die. Your body will fall apart. Everything that seems permanent is impermanent and will be smashed. Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away. Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away.

But right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground, for that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realising this is the key to unspeakable joy. Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you. This may sound trivial, obvious, like nothing, but really it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence. Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude.

Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar.

-Jeff Foster