young oak

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The Children of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine

William, Count of Poitiers (1153-1156) / Henry the Young King (1155-1183) / Matilda, Duchess of Saxony (1156-1189) / Richard I “The Lionheart” King of England (1157-1199) / Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany (1158-1186) / Eleanor, Queen of Castile (1161-1214) / Joanna, Queen of Sicily, Countess of Toulouse (1165-1199) / John, King of England (1166-1216)

Oakley is a 4 month old australian cattle dog (”blue heeler” is more often what we call them here). Someone was just giving her away yesterday so I couldn’t resist bringing her home. The previous owner explained that their teens begged for a puppy so they reserved a puppy from a litter of heelers for them months ago, but then when they finally got one, the teens lost interest and wouldn’t take care of her, thus why they were trying to rehome her. She is extremely smart for a puppy and very fearless. I’m quite sure she will make an awesome dog. 

WANT TO SEE MORE OF OAKLEY? I made her her own tumblr. :)

Yule - Winter Solstice

Originally posted by arcanesage

Yule is also a celebration of the birth of the Sun King and nature’s renewal. We practice sympathetic magick by lighting fires or candles to encourage the sun to grow stronger.  

This is a time of new beginnings both physically and spiritually, the wheel of the year has made a complete circle. The darkest night of winter is a good time for self-examination and discovering the “seeds” of  spiritual growth or hindrance which are lying dormant within us. 

The Winter Solstice is the turning point in the natural cycle of the year, this darkest night in all the year is followed by a day that will dawn just a little earlier!

So, what exactly is Yule?

Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). On that day (or close to it), an amazing thing happens in the sky. The earth’s axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches its greatest distance from the equatorial plane.

Many cultures have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light.

In addition to Christmas, there’s Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays.  As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light – candles, bonfires, and more.

While it may be mostly Pagans who celebrate the Yule holiday today, nearly all cultures and faiths have held some sort of winter solstice celebration or festival. Because of the theme of endless birth, life, death, and rebirth, the time of the solstice is often associated with deity and other legendary figures. No matter which path you follow, chances are good that one of your gods or goddesses has a winter solstice connection.

  • Alcyone (Greek): Alcyone is the Kingfisher goddess. She nests every winter for two weeks, and while she does, the wild seas become calm and peaceful.
  • Ameratasu (Japan): In feudal Japan, worshipers celebrated the return of Ameratasu, the sun goddess, who slept in a cold, remote cave. When the the other gods woke her with a loud celebration, she looked out of the cave and saw an image of herself in a mirror. The other gods convinced her to emerge from her seclusion and return sunlight to the universe.
  • Baldur (Norse): Baldur is associated with the legend of the mistletoe. His mother, Frigga, honored Baldur and asked all of nature to promise not to harm him. Unfortunately, in her haste, Frigga overlooked the mistletoe plant, so Loki - the resident trickster - took advantage of the opportunity and fooled Baldur’s blind twin, Hodr, into killing him with a spear made of mistletoe. Baldur was later restored to life.
  • Bona Dea (Roman): This fertility goddess was worshiped in a secret temple on the Aventine hill in Rome, and only women were permitted to attend her rites. Her annual festival was held early in December.
  • Cailleach Bheur (Celtic): In Scotland, she is also called Beira, the Queen of Winter. She is the hag aspect of the Triple Goddess, and rules the dark days between Samhain and Beltaine.
  • Demeter (Greek): Through her daughter, Persephone, Demeter is linked strongly to the changing of the seasons and is often connected to the image of the Dark Mother in winter. When Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter’s grief caused the earth to die for six months, until her daughter’s return.
  • Dionysus (Greek): A festival called Brumalia was held every December in honor of Dionysus and his fermented grape wine. The event proved so popular that the Romans adopted it as well in their celebrations of Bacchus.
  • Frau Holle (Norse): Frau Holle appears in many different forms in Scandinavian mythology and legend. She is associated with both the evergreen plants of the Yule season, and with snowfall, which is said to be Frau Holle shaking out her feathery mattresses.
  • Frigga (Norse): Frigga honored her son, Baldur, by asking all of nature not to harm him, but in her haste overlooked the mistletoe plant. Loki fooled Baldur’s blind twin, Hodr, into killing him with a spear made of mistletoe but Odin later restored him to life. As thanks, Frigga declared that mistletoe must be regarded as a plant of love, rather than death.
  • Hodr (Norse): Hodr, sometimes called Hod, was the twin brother of Baldur, and the Norse god of darkness and winter. He also happened to be blind, and appears a few times in the Norse Skaldic poetry. When he kills his brother, Hodr sets in motion the string of events leading to Ragnarok, the end of the world.
  • Holly King (British/Celtic): The Holly King is a figure found in British tales and folklore. He is similar to the Green Man, the archetype of the forest. In modern Pagan religion, the Holly King battles the Oak King for supremacy throughout the year. At the winter solstice, the Holly King is defeated.
  • Horus (Egyptian): Horus was one of the solar deities of the ancient Egyptians. He rose and set every day, and is often associated with Nut, the sky god. Horus later became connected with another sun god, Ra.
  • La Befana (Italian): This character from Italian folklore is similar to St. Nicholas, in that she flies around delivering candy to well-behaved children in early January. She is depicted as an old woman on a broomstick, wearing a black shawl.
  • Lord of Misrule (British): The custom of appointing a Lord of Misrule to preside over winter holiday festivities actually has its roots in antiquity, during the Roman week of Saturnalia.
  • Mithras (Roman): Mithras was celebrated as part of a mystery religion in ancient Rome. He was a god of the sun, who was born around the time of the winter solstice and then experienced a resurrection around the spring equinox.
  • Odin (Norse): In some legends, Odin bestowed gifts at Yuletide upon his people, riding a magical flying horse across the sky. This legend may have combined with that of St. Nicholas to create the modern Santa Claus.
  • Saturn (Roman): Every December, the Romans threw a week-long celebration of debauchery and fun, called Saturnalia in honor of their agricultural god, Saturn. Roles were reversed, and slaves became the masters, at least temporarily. This is where the tradition of the Lord of Misrule originated.
  • Spider Woman (Hopi): Soyal is the Hopi festival of the winter solstice. It honors the Spider Woman and the Hawk Maiden, and celebrates the sun’s victory over winter’s darkness.

Four thousand years ago, the Ancient Egyptians took the time to celebrate the daily rebirth of Ra, the god of the Sun.

As their culture flourished and spread throughout Mesopotamia, other civilizations decided to get in on the sun-welcoming action. They found that things went really well… until the weather got cooler, and crops began to die. Each year, this cycle of birth, death, and rebirth took place, and they began to realize that every year after a period of cold and darkness, the Sun did indeed return.

In some traditions of Wicca and Paganism, the Yule celebration comes from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representing the light of the new year, tries each year to usurp the old Holly King, who is the symbol of darkness. Re-enactment of the battle is popular in some Wiccan rituals.

What are your thoughts on Yule? How will you celebrate? Reblog and share your thoughts!

☽ All-Things-Witchcraft ☾

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1895 Harrison P. Young House, Oak Park, IL. An 1870s Victorian farmhouse enlarged and remodeled by Wright. Top to bottom: 1895 FLW front elevation; 1900 photo; current photo; view from the Reception Room into the large; centrally located Foyer; Wright designed Living Room; detail of glazed Roman brick fireplace and tiered mantel; view through Wright-designed spindle screen into Reception Room; recently remodeled kitchen featuring replica spindle screen matching Wright’s design; Tree of Life windows, modeled on those in Wright’s Darwin Martin House, on stairway landing; Victorian fireplace surround in Master Bedroom likely from the original house. 

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New Young Adult Novels Releasing Today! (November 7)

If you’ve added any of these titles to your TBR, or if you think I’ve missed a title, please let me know!


New first book in a series/Standalones: 

  1. This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
  2. Now is Everything by Amy Giles
  3. Eight Days On Planet Earth by Cat Jordan
  4. The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves
  5. Kat & Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza
  6. Renegades by Marissa Meyer
  7. The Ocean In my Ears by Meagan Macvie
  8. Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin
  9. The November Girl by Lydia Kang
  10. The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
  11. Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

Sequels: 

  1. Retribution Rails (Vengeance Road) by Erin Bowman
  2. Speaker (Sea of Ink and Gold #2) by Traci Chee
  3. War of the Cards (Queen of Hearts Saga #3) by Colleen Oakes

Happy reading!

Sugar Smoke (M)

Getting yourself a sugar daddy was not in your plan. Having Jeon JungKook as your sugar daddy, was the last thing possible on your list. And no matter how much you try to lie to yourself, you already feel addicted to him, to your dirty little secret.

<- Previous chapter                                                                 Next chapter ->

Pairing: Reader x JungKook, Reader x Chanyeol | ft. Lisa, Jisoo

Word count: 3720

Notes: I will update this every Sunday. Extra notes at the end. enjoy :)

Your mouth opens and a big cloud of smoke flies into the air like myriads of grey wings. They float for a while, undescriptive forms, they linger before your eyes before they crumble and dissipate as if they never existed. Bringing the cigarette to your lips, you see that the fingers that hold it are painted in muted yellow. The gravel near the bench crackles and you turn your head to see a couple of wizened leaves falling down on the ground; behind their parched veil is a figure, lazily walking towards you.

“If this were a date, I wouldn’t have come.” he says.

You laugh, low and guttural, and pat the spot next to you. The wood feels rough and slightly sticky underneath your palm, but you only hear his voice.

Keep reading

Some very tiny awkward flinthamiltons back in London.




Lord and Lady Hamilton had numerous friends, some very close – who attended their salons –, some moderately – who were invited to dinner on occasions –, and some of the farthest kind. Tonight, the latter were concerned.

It was a ball. The house was one of the richest in London. Their host was a Duke (“obscure, and equally unbearable,” Thomas had said), and their hostess, the Duchess, was an acquaintance of Miranda. Before the dances started, she played the harpsichord. A piece by John Weldon, with John Weldon himself in the audience.

As the crowd began to move and sway around them, James declined Miranda’s offer for a dance. “At least allow me to introduce you to Miss Charlotte Wesley, Lieutenant,” she said, offering him her arm.

He frowned. “Miss Wesley?”

“You may have seen her at our residence,” Thomas said. “She sometimes takes part in my wife’s harpsichord lessons.”

“She is very charming, and sublimely witty,” Miranda pointed out.

James’ eyes went from Miranda to Thomas. He shook his head. “And may I ask what is the point of that introduction, specifically?”

Miranda’s eyes widened with candor. “She is single, James.”

Keep reading

Sid x MC - into the night

warning of violence and non-character death.

“Aye! Come back here ya little wench!”

I could hear my pulse pounding in my ears, my cheeks were flushed, and sweat streaked my face even though the night was cool.

Returning home from town late at night, I’d run smack into a group of bandits- but they had not been satisfied with taking my money and now I was running for my life deeper and deeper into the thick woods.

Knees nearly buckling underneath me, I dropped to the ground behind a large tree trunk- desperately trying to calm my panting.

“Come out, come out little pretty-!”

“We know you’re here little lady! We’ll find you eventually!”

Sinking into the shadow of the tree, I quieted my breathing, but my trembling made the leaves underneath me crinkle and crunch.

“Oh what a nice little mouth you have- ha!” A breath full of alcohol blew in my face as a snarled face with beedy eyes appeared before mine.

In my terror I shrieked as the bandit’s rough hand grabbed my cloak yanking me forward. He was laughing -a loud, disturbing cackle as I struggled in his grip.

I rid myself of the cloak and took off again into the closest shadow, but my steps were shaky and my feet unsure- tripping and stumbling over roots and stones, my ears barely catching the man’s cursing behind me.

The clouds veiled moon at one point, and the woods were shrouded in darkness. I could see nothing, not even my own hand in front of my face.

I stopped, listening for voices around me to try to hear where the men were.

A large hand clapped over my mouth, and I felt the hot breath of someone who stood very tall on my ear.

“Be quiet,” he said, “there’s a lot of them bastards and I’m a little too drunk for this,”

As the breeze blew, the clouds skittered away and the silver light from the moon shone again.

“Are you going to scream?” He asked.

I shook my head ‘no,’ too afraid to do anything else.

He released me from his grip and I turned to look up at a broad smirk forming across thin lips. He stood a full head and shoulders above me, with a broad chest and arms that looked like young oak trees. He withdrew a sword from his hip and the metal blade shimmered in the moonlight.

“Name’s Sid,” he whispered.

“Little pretty-,” a voice called out and my head snapped to the left where it came from, “where are you little pretty? I’ve got your cloak- it’s nice and warm and smells like lavender! Don’t you want it back?”

I shuddered at the creepy words spewing from his mouth and Sid reached around my shoulders, pulling me into his coat; hiding me from sight.

“I’m right he-ere,” the Sid jeered in a higher pitch, “come and get me!”

The bandit came into view from the shadows, he was carrying my cloak in one hand, and his own sword drawn in the other.

When he saw Sid, he stopped. “Hey- where’d she go!? C'mon, if we find her we can share her,” he stepped closer and closer to us until I could smell the stench of him in my nostrils.

At that point I realized I was clutching Sid’s shirt in a death grip with my face buried in his side trying to hide. I tried to relax, but my knuckles practically locked around the fabric of his button down.

“Maybe you should just disappear,” said Sid, “that’s probably your best option right now.”

“Hey-!” The bandit pointed his sword at us, “you’re hiding her- give her to me! I found her first!”

“Ah, dammit,” with a hefty push, Sid shoved me aside and I tumbled into the grass, stunned that he would do such a thing after hiding me under his coat.

Frozen on the ground, unable to move, I watched him and the bandit as they fought with each other in the cold night air. The mist from their breath rising from their lips and reflecting off the moonlight. The sound of cold metal clanging as they swung their swords and hit each other’s time after time.

The bandit was grunting and cursing with every move, but Sid swung effortlessly again and again. Finally, as if he was bored and tired of the fight- he raised his arm and plunged his sword into the bandit’s chest. The cut made a visceral tearing sound as the bandit cried out in pain and fell to his knees.

Sid placed his foot on the bandit’s shoulder to steady him and gave a hard tug to remove his sword from the former’s chest. Then he slung the blade hard, flicking off flecks of blood.

The night was quiet now. There were no other sounds in the forest. The others must have either given up or purposely left their partner for dead.

“Well,” Sid breathed, “that was not how I wanted to spend my night, and now I really need another drink,” he stepped closer, sheathing his sword and offering his hand to me , “how about you?”

A Seed to Grow a Kingdom

A short story about Persephone and Hades, and the things wich grow in the dark.

900 words.

She was a young immortal, but she carried herself with an age and splendour like the young oak tree. Hades thought her naive. Her steps were a breeze in a kingdom that never breathed; was always cold, or scorching, and cruel to all but the unthinking dead. No life should ever have been promised to him, but she was. For a half a year, and half a year only, Hades knew what it was to be alive and he was terrified of letting her go. The pomegranate seeds on the table grew old and withered and curled up, mummified, like sleeping commas in the palm of his hand. He could not bear to part with them. So he slipped them in one of the pockets of his fathomless coat and squared his shoulders, the six months of his side of the bargain resting close to his heart. Outside the windows of his palace, the kingdom remained a barren waste, thirsting for a queen.

“Nothing can grow in the dark, my lord.” Her eyes were fire as she looked at him, her hand raised to keep him from touching her. Was he so unbearable, so cold? In her presence he was mortal, and she became the idol; untouchable thing, unattainable thing.

“Some things can.” He only wanted to show her. His palms were splayed in the air in front of him, as they had been when they held the pomegranate seeds, fingers halfcurled and inviting her. Or at least, he tried. His was not a face made for tenderness. “Please, my lady.” He said, and the Persephone played on the edge of his tongue, the nectar that he was never allowed to enjoy, cursed god as he was. Persephone turned aheel and walked away. Hades went to the garden alone.

Persephone wore black those first few half-seasons, and gave him a look that said she knew. The long ebony gowns and the veils that hid her weeping face all hurt him, as he sat cradled in his obsidian throne and looked out with an all-seeing eye on the garden that he had grown for her, sprung from his own ichor and the living rock beneath his hands. She sat beside him, his equal in every way, her radiance snuffed out like a statement screamed without words to the caverns lined with tortured souls. Hades wished that he could change his kingdom. He considered asking Apollo for a piece of the sun to give to her, to present to his wife, who mourned for the daylight as the trees mourned for her. Would that he could let her go, but the deal had been done. They were gods, and their words were the bonds that held them together. Hades was cursed enough already. He would not be the one to start the unravelling of Olympus.

So Hades and Persephone sat side by side, and watched the lines of the dead traipse in their weary hordes under the slavering maws of Cerberus. The other gods laughed, and let them laugh; even Hephaestus, shunned by beauty and love for possessing none of the former and plenty of the latter, found delight in the plight of the Lord of the Underworld. They were just dogs, scrambling for pickings and laughing at the starving. Hades often watched Tantalus struggle for his forbidden fruit and felt nothing— if bitter, visceral irony could be called nothing.

“Come to the garden.” Hades would offer to Persephone when the pomegranate seeds weighed too heavy on his heart and he could no longer bare the glimpses of her moonwhite face under her veil.

“Not today, my lord.” Persephone would reply. It became almost a tease. Hades wondered why she was so afraid of finding beauty in the underworld. Could be she was already falling for it, could it be? Best not to wonder at all. Hades went to her garden alone.

“Nothing can grow in the dark.” Hades said it first this time, with one hand extended to her and a knee planted in the riverside dirt. Persephone looked down from the boat with her face as yet unveiled, her autumn hair unbound, her garb the colour of dusk. But not black. There were improvements here; toddling steps.

“Did you not say that some can?” Persephone stepped off of the boat. She did not take his offered hand, but placed her fingers under his chin and brought his eyes to hers. There was still sunfire in her eyes, and starlight. She carried the aboveworld in every curve and ridge. Hades wished that he could keep her like this for a little longer, before the darkness crept in. “My lord?” his tongue was leaden.

“They exist, but they do not grow: they do not thrive, nor learn, and so envy the flower that can.” Hades rose, although whether by her will or his, he was unsure.

“Do you call me a flower?” Persephone did not blush or smile, but watched him with the intensity of clear-eyed youth and the age of all the growing earth. Hades had nothing to say to that. Persephone walked away.

He almost sank back to the bonedirt all over again.

“The garden?” Persephone looked back at him. Hades stumbled in her wake like a puppet and wondered how it had come to this.

So yes, she was young, but Persephone, daughter of Demeter and the raging sky, was far from naive. She was not what Hades had coveted for so many centuries, and he loved her all the more for it. They planted the pomegranate seeds in the garden of stone and fungi side by side, the mushroomglow casting ripples over her hands as they brushed against his. Where she touched, life blossomed; the kingdom of the dead became her queendom as much as it was his. They shared one heart, one bed, one dream in the dark, and outside the windows of his palace Persephone’s roses bloomed.

I’ll call this “traditional” because it’s merely one of many ways to meet the same end. There are some methods more popular than others, but this is my method – a method not so set in stone, I might add. Adaptions are always welcome, this is but a guide. As I’m sure you all well know (and this is mostly for those who don’t) – The Devil is not synonymous with the Christian Satan or the Muslim Shayṭān, but rather an archaic being pre-dating the Christian conquest of Europe. He exists in many forms, under many names – but serves much the same purpose: a force of Enlightenment. He is the Keeper of the Arcane, whisperer of Mysteries, the Intercessor but do not fall under the notion that He is wholly benevolent (nor wholly malevolent) for, so too, is he the Trickster, The Fool and the Hanged Man. In these capacities, he can be likened to Hermes/Mercury, the Lwa Legba, and Exu  – Keeper of Wisdoms, but ones that must be earned. You will be Tested – and he will decide if you are worthy of His knowledge.


To Evoke The Devil:

Go forth to a Crossroads at the edge of town – the more secluded and forested, the better – near midnight or when the moon is New. Take with you the blood of a chicken or horned animal, two black candles tied into an “X,” anointing oil, a crown woven of (young, malleable) oak or hickory – as well as a staff or limb of the same, and an accelerant of your choosing (I always used 91% isopropyl alcohol as it burns clean – however, it’s temperamental in colder weather). Optionally, bring pemba or chalk if your crossroads lacks any dirt to draw in.

When you feel the time is upon you, mark in the dirt with your finger or a stray branch, the symbol of the crossroads (the + in a circle, in this instance). Adorn your head with the crown, place the candle(s) at the center of the circle (at the cross) and with the staff/limb, knock the ground in the sequence of: knock … knock-knock … knock-knock-knock – Take the blood and drizzle around the circle in a counterclockwise fashion. Light the two candles and anoint your brow with the oil. Sit before the circle on your knees and bow in the traditional manner (sitting on your heels with your arms stretched out before you and your forehead just off the ground) – ball your fists and knock in the same fashion as above – asking the Devil to come forth. Repeat three times.

Return to your upright position and wait patiently until there is a change in the air or His presence is revealed. Beseech him in whispers – be not commanding, but receptive – and allow His behavior to influence your own. For instance, if he is stern and stoic, be solemn. But if his behavior is relaxed, exuberant and playful – feel free to be so. I’ve only ever experienced the latter. The Devil comes as jubilant and child-like to me, teasing and joking – but I know this isn’t the case for all. Most importantly, be genuine and be respecting. Crossroads beings always have a way of seeing through any farce you attempt to construct – so save yourself and them some time by being open and honest to begin with. They are knowing – don’t underestimate them.

This is but the building of the bridge. Do not yet ask for anything, merely introduce yourself and note what it is that you wish to receive from this relationship and how you might honor the knowledge imbued on you.

When the communion is done – remove the crown from your head and place it in the circle. Drizzle it with anointing oil and the accelerant, and set it alight with the candles. Extinguish the candles and lay them in the flaming wreath.

Take three steps back from the circle, and whisper the words “DIABOLUS – LIBERA ME,” turn away and do not look back – as is customary with all crossroads rituals.

Prepare, for you will be tested in some way or another – knowingly or not.


Pictured is Hermes: “ So-called “Hermes Ingenui” after the inscription on the pedestal indicating the name of the sculptor or of the donator. Hermes wears his usual attributes: kerykeion (or herald’s staff), kithara, petasus (round hat), traveller’s cloak and winged temples. Marble, Roman copy of the 2nd century BC after a Greek original of the 5th century BC.”