Sundays in the Philippines begin with church bells.
Sundays, the witches come out. Sundays, the church and the marketplace are alive as one, with shamans setting up wooden benches selling healing potions, dried leaves, crystals and healing prayers, talismans gleaming under the baking sun.
Brown faces and drenched brows crumpled fervent in prayer, street urchins peddling wreaths of jasmine to uninterested church goers-
Dozens of porcelain-skinned, glass-eyed, plastic haired saints being paraded about, decorated with dried wildflowers as the voice of a priest echoed across the plaza,
as is custom in the Philippines-
Such were were the Sundays and most days of Cain- Born named Nerissa, orphaned at the age of 11, Cain was gentle in every way. He kept his long, inky, black hair loosely tied back.
When his mother was alive, they would make necklaces and necklaces of nauseating sampaguita flowers and hunt for clam and fish to sell at the marketplace. Dried Fish wrapped in newspaper, and wreaths of jasmine.
Cain told himself he was content living his life selling fish and wreaths. Learning to count at the age of six, grubby, baby fingers separating five peso coins from one peso coins on their earthen floor, delighting when it was enough for dinner.
One afternoon his mother vanished into the sea foam. (It’s been years and Cain still thinks the mermaids took her.)
It’s been years and Cain still walks to the lighthouse, wondering if the whales were crying, or if his mother had asked the mermaids to come for him and take him to their underwater world.
Cain, like many other orphans, lived at the church. Wise beyond his years, and beloved by the priests.
Cain, malcontent, who longed for a life much more than wrapping fish in newspaper, making wreaths of jasmine, and studying in his quiet room, in his quiet church.
Yule is the first minor sabbat of the year, celebrated at Winter Solstice (which is on December 22nd in 2015), the longest night of the year. This day marks the return of the sun, as the days will start to get longer again from here on, and the rebirth of the Horned God, as well as the beginning reign of the Oak King, taking the Holly King’s place and bringing the light half of the year.
This is a day for introspection, peace, planning for the future and new beginnings and spending time with your family and friends. Parallels can be seen in Christmas, Hannukah and other festivals around this time of the year, all with the same motifs: light and joy. Giving gifts and decorating a Yule tree (I decorate mine with candied oranges and other handmade decor!) are popular activities, as is creating a Yule log and burning it in honour of the sun returning.
Other activities include caroling, wassailing, kissing under the mistletoe, making wreaths, storytelling, sending greetings, lighting a fire, as well as charity, donating food and clothing, volunteering or putting up bird feeders.
Edit: It’s that time of year again! I’ll be reposting this for the upcoming Sabbat but will probably be updating it as I go along. Not everything at the bottom is a link yet but the ones that are there should work. If you guys find any problems just let me know!
as the sun lowers in the sky, suddenly the surrounding area comes alight. one after the other, trees and vines and flowers illuminate with light, heralding the start of the celebration that has been whispered about across the entire city: The Vernal Ball. petals and leaves and everything in between are limned in a rosy glow, bringing them to light as the true guests of honor for the evening – after all, this is a night to celebrate life, love, and growth of all sorts.
the air hums with anticipation of the events to come, benches are wreathed and wrapped with lights and lilies, and a few sheep in bowties stumble through trying to find the best way to balance trays of snacks, drinks, and flowers on their fluffy backs. the dull thrum of feedback can be heard as the music equipment is plugged into a piece of equipment with more knobs than you care to count (and you have to wonder briefly if the sheep DJ really even knows what all of them do.)
but as you peek through the stunning sight of the garden rustling gently in the last breezes of the evening, you can see the candles and tables and countless elegant decorations beneath canvas tents that all frame the center of the area for the celebrations – the dance floor set out in the open grass, a sprawling spectacle that will surely be the scene of countless smiles, unbridled laughter, unadulterated joy, carefree dancing…. and memories to cherish for years to come.
so what are you waiting for?
The Stella City Vernal Ball Mini Event has officially begun!
Companion/Advisor Monologues - Cheering up the Inquisitor
Writing Practice - in which the Inquisitor is feeling down and everyone notices. Cue their closest associates and companions saying a few words to cheer them up.
Josephine: “Your Worship… If I may ask, is everything alright? We are all concerned about you. I’m concerned about you. It’s so worrying to see you in such low spirits. Tell me, how would you respond if told you I’ve arranged for an indefinite break from work? …. No truly, I insist! You’ve worked harder than the rest of us here! You deserve the chance to rest and put your mind at ease. The Inquisition is in good hands, so take all the time you need to recover. In the meantime, should you seek guidance of any sort, I am at your service.
… And please, do not worry about our guests. Rest assured, I’ll see to it that everything is taken care of in your absence."
Cullen: "If there is one thing I’ve learned as both a Commander and a Templar… it’s that in our line of business, there will be always be someone in need of counsel, whether they realize it or not. As such, I like to let the soldiers know that my office is always open to them. ‘Tis true that morale as a whole is important, but more so is the mindset and well-being of the individual. You’re no recruit, but I’d like to extend the same offer to you, all the same. You’re taking too much on your shoulders at once. No one should have to fight their battles alone.
…Perhaps it would have done me some good to have known this a long time ago. The least I can do is make sure that you know this. I’ll do what I can to help, if you’ll have me.”
Varric: “Hey. How are you holding up? Saving the world is all and good, but you look like you could use a distraction. No, don’t give me that look, you’d be surprised at what it does for the mind, keeping yourself busy. And I’m not talking about work, mind you, I can tell there’s enough on your plate to keep even the Guild up at night. As long as I’m buying - that part’s non-negotiable - we could talk about it at the Herald’s Rest over a few drinks. Maybe even a game of Wicked Grace. And not to get ahead of myself, but I might have a good story or two saved up for your
The world’s not going to fall apart if you
kick back and treat yourself every once in a while. Whatever you need,
and whenever you feel up for it, I’m your dwarf.”
Leliana: “I heard that you were unwell. Is everything alright? If you need someone to talk to, I will always be here. You need not think of it as an inconvenience, I promise you. After all, we are more than just commanders, diplomats, spymasters, or Inquisitors, working tirelessly to maintain order. You and I are friends. All of us are here, because we look out for each other. I want you to know - no matter what happens, that will never change.
By the way, my dearest Schmooples the Second is here for a visit. If you like, I can introduce you to him. He is clean, gentle, easy to hold, and very friendly… especially if you scratch him ‘neath the chin. If he likes you enough, I daresay he’ll even let you give him a hug!"
Sera: "This isn’t like you. You’ve got that look on your face, and it isn’t right. I want to set things right, but that’s the part where I’m absolute rubbish! I mean, feeding someone a boot for hurting you? That’s the easy part. Break a nose, pop a nut, pay back the sods who did you wrong and give ourselves something to laugh at… I can manage that just fine, yeah? But the fixing bit… Making it all better? Making you laugh? Where do I even start? If bashing someone’s sack in isn’t enough to make you crack even a little one, then… then that just means I’m good for shit, doesn’t it?
But I’m not giving up, you hear? We’ll think of something. And we’ll put that smile back on your face again. Just you watch.”
Blackwall: “You don’t have to say anything. Just by looking at your face, I can tell there’s something’s amiss. You’ve no obligation to explain anything if you’d rather keep it to yourself. But you won’t find an answer shutting away the rest of the world. Trust me when I say that no one is alone in this world. No matter how much you sell yourself short or vilify yourself, there will always be someone in the world who will take your side when no one else will. Not that you’ll have trouble finding that one soul. You’re not letting anyone down, and I know you won’t be causing disappointment any time soon. Believe me, I’m the last person who would dare to judge.”
Vivienne: “Darling, you look worn down! Come here, do let me have a look at you. …Now, now, there’s no need to put on a brave face. I know it might seem the contrary, but I assure you, there will be no
judging eyes here. Appearances are important, yes, but first and
foremost, one must never neglect to care properly for oneself. Whatever
torments you, dear, it is not born of weakness or any fault of
character. One seldom asks for their ordeals, but know that there will
always be a way to survive them. Now, do sit down while I send for some
tea - the best chamomile and lavender, from Montsimmard. I’ve been
neglecting you for too long, my darling. For this moment, you have my full attention.”
Iron Bull: “Alright, Boss. I think I’ve seen enough to know what’s going on. It’s time we got you away from this place. No, I won’t take any buts. There will be no more 'Inquisitor’ this, 'Your Worship’ that, on my watch. For the rest of today, it’s just you, me, and the rest of the Chargers. You’ve been bugging us for stories about our wildest assignments, now’s your chance to live it. All else fails, we can always go for a nice stroll in the wilderness and look for something to kill. Bandits, deserters, a few Venatori agents, here and there. Maybe even a Dragon or two. You can join in if you want, or you can sit back and just enjoy the show. Whatever the past or future, forget it all. Leave everything behind and make this moment yours. And no matter what, don’t forget to keep those horns up.”
Solas: “You look burdened, my friend. Rest here, and allow me to help. Now… close your eyes. Forget whatever you were doing before, and breathe. Empty your mind, and feel every breath purge your weariness. …Now. Where would you like to go? …Somewhere different, yes? Imagine that you’re far away from here, in a distant place full of peace and serenity. Your eyes are closed, but what do you hear? Is it the whisper of the waves as it crashes upon the shore? Or the murmurs of leaves in the forest? Do you feel the clear breeze upon your skin? The soft carpet of grass beneath your feet? The rush of the cool stream flowing through your fingers? Can you feel it, this place that you have created, painted with your colors, for yourself, and you alone? …Good.
Now… open your eyes. Look around, and see where we are. Look at where you’ve brought us. …That wasn’t so difficult now, was it?
After all, this place is of your own creation.”
Cassandra: “I know it’s hard to believe, but every time I look at you, I stand amazed. The Maker has put you on a difficult path, my friend. Where others would have stumbled, you have remained steadfast.
But even the best of us falter from time to time, do they not? If it
helps, I do not think any less of you. If anything, it only serves to
prove what I have always said - you are stronger than you realize. I
have faith in you, and not once have you given me reason to doubt. I
only ask that you allow me to walk by your side, if it means that I can
help see you through this.”
Dorian: “You haven’t been your usual self, lately. Tell me, what troubles you? I can’t say I’m the best at giving sound, wholesome advice. … But if you’re in need of a listening ear, I won’t walk away. I don’t know if I can imagine how the world looks through your eyes right now, but I can tell you that the absolute last thing wrong with it - is you. You are fine the way you are. It may not seem that way now, but I promise you - even if the world is at its worst, things can get better. You can get better. Maker knows how - there’s the tricky part - but that’s what we do here at the Inquisition, isn’t it? Muddling through blindly, we always find a way in the end. … Besides, can you honestly say that me being here doesn’t brighten up your day? Even a little?”
Cole: “… Did you call for me? You harbor hidden hurts, but I can always hear. I could help you to forget, but that’s not how a person would do it. …Would you mind if I try something new?
… I’m here. I’m here because you called to me. You know that, but… knowing doesn’t come from nowhere. Arms are more than just for holding. ’Here’ is safe. ’Here’ is sanctuary. …. I’m 'here’, and ’here’ is where you stand. You’re warm, wrapped up, wreathed against the winter, away from the nowhere. ’Here’ is a place where my arms enfold. ’Here’ is where the hurt disappears, and the heart heals.
… Varric says this is called a 'hug’. I'm… not sure if I’m doing it right. But does it help? … Let me know if it does.”
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to the CP fandom!! 8D I can’t believe that tomorrow is Christmas already! It’s gone by so quickly! You guys are the best fandom ever!! <3 <3 <3 So here and have a lovely Laurent and Damen wrapped up in a wreath~
The familiar tune of a holiday classic sounds softly over the din of the room filled with people chattering animatedly to each other about the nearing holiday season. Although Lena disliked the holidays, she found herself in awe of the effort that went into the decoration of the building. Beautiful balsam wreaths were wrapped intricately around the pillars throughout the space, the pleasant albeit sharp smell of cinnamon permeated the air, and in the back of the room was a large, pulchritudinous pine tree adorned with thousands of shining lights, shimmering red tinsel, and a plethora of ornaments of various shapes and sizes. It looked like a scene from one of those Hallmark movies that played on television every year.
Detail of Tutankhamen’s Outermost Coffin, photographed by Harry Burton, 1926. The golden vulture and cobra goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt were wrapped in a wreath of cornflowers clasped in olive leaves, which fell to pieces when it was removed, after 3,000 years.
(My) Grandma and Darcy having a mince pie moment at church last night. Carols by Candlelight is one of my favourite services of the year. Everyone dresses up, we fill the church with candles wrapped in wreaths and berries, gold baubles hang from every nook and we sing all the christmassy songs. The atmosphere is so warm and cosy and safe. December is a most magical month. ❤️✨🎄 http://ift.tt/2gQyO3O
Regina snaps her head to the side, searching out the glass panels of the French doors. There is an arrow. In her backyard. Protruding out of the splintered edge of her wooden fence.
“Robin!” She sets down the orange she’d been chopping into slices and wipes her hands on her red apron, deftly freeing its ties and lifting it over her head. She drops a kiss to Roland’s curls where he sits at the counter, adding a directive not to touch the knives or anything dangerous until she gets back, then makes her way to the front of the house, stuffing her feet into the nearest pair of boots.
“Robin, what the hell is–” She breaks into the outdoors, wrapping her arms around herself against the cold as she takes in the front porch. It is stunning; she’ll give him that. Golden-white lights sparkle in the late afternoon, strands and strands of them wrapped around the columns and lining the path to the front door on green cords. Larger, lit baubles glimmer as they dangle from the trees. In the darkening sky, with yesterday’s snow still pure and fresh on the ground, the entire yard gives off a cozy glow.
But that is not what interests her right now. What interests her right now is her thief looking at her with a cautious half-smirk, a glint in his eye, and a bow in his hand.
“What do you think?” he asks, his thumb running up and down the bowstring, “too much white? I quite like it, actually.”
She looks at him, and then follows his glance up toward the roof. There are lights there, too, she notes. Lights that weren’t there when she brought them hot chocolate and cinnamon an hour ago, that spider out from the peak of the roof down to its edge in even spokes.
“I’m sorry, M’lady?”
“You did not shoot an arrow at our home in order to string Christmas lights.”
He bites his lip and quirks an eyebrow as if to say I believe you already know.
She turns to her son. “Henry?”
The teen shrugs evasively, a badly concealed grin peeking through his features, as he busies himself with the evergreen wreath he’s wrapping in more white lights. “It looks awesome, Mom, doesn’t it?”
She looks back at the brick path, then up again at the roof, and heaves a heavy sigh. “It does,” she admits. “Although I could’ve used magic to string them.”
“And what would be the fun in that, M’lady?” Robin asks, drawing closer to drop a kiss to her cold-flushed cheek. “I’ll mend the fence later, I promise.”
“No need,” she dismisses, waving a hand towards the backyard. They hear the crunch of the fence piecing itself back together. “Just…don’t do any more damage, all right?”
“We’ll try,” Robin promises with a solemn nod betrayed just a little by the hint of a grin.
Regina nods, sending Henry one last gentle glare, and Robin a stern one, before she turns and walks back into the warmth of the house.
Roland has just helped her push the button to start preheating the oven when the lights flicker, and then go out entirely.
Regina narrows her eyes as Roland looks around them curiously. “Who turned the lights out?” he asks, not yet completely certain of how electricity operates.
Regina laughs, tapping his nose with one finger. “I have a feeling it was your Daddy.”
Roland frowns, then turns toward the door, and calls, “Papa?”
They hear Robin’s perplexed voice from outside, where the decorative lights have also gone dark, calling. “I can explain!”