The page that was once “Stand Up – BLM/LGBTQ+” is now No Justice, No Peace, which provides resources, volunteer/donation opportunities, and more regarding the institutional and system prejudices being perpetuated in the USA. The page has been updated to include the Stop Asian Hate movement. I will soon be adding sources regarding how you can help American Indian communities that respectfully address the needs of individual tribes (rather than they all being grouped as if they’re all the same because they’re not.) I also aspire to share environmental awareness sources soon.
If you have a reliable resource, feel free to send the info to my contact page.
I romanticized storms all my life, until I saw within myself a lightning strike shattering me. The fractals of my psyche flew out of reach. I felt their razor edges dig into the thinnest barriers of my consciousness, forcing me to scream, laugh, weep, rage, and die repeatedly. Those fractals seized my imagination at the most inconvenient of times and also so conveniently, like when I’m in front of a blank canvas or a blank screen or floating in silence and the agony pours from my fingers or my voice and temporarily, I’m relieved. Perhaps that romanticization lingers, but when I remember that lightning strike, I weep over all I’ve gained and all I’ve lost. It’s an endless confusion, an enchanting chaos; it’s a heartbreaking echo of what I know now as my greatest fear: instantaneous and concentrated instability without escape or hope.
Wow, I talk about perfectionism a lot don’t I? Lol, well that’s because it haunts the f**k out of me. I’m a very ambitious, but sensitive person. I have big ideas that turn into elaborate, yet overwhelming strategies, and have issues altering those strategies only because I get stuck in a strong spell of the […]
During my meditations this week, I accepted an important sacrifice I had to make. Sacrifice is strange to me. Sometimes I go out of the way trying to find a way where I can get everything I want without losing anything. I try to strategize, work around the way people perceive me, hoping I can […]
Look, dreamcatchers aren’t “aesthetic” investments. The regalia of indigenous American tribes aren’t Halloween costumes. Instead, you should invest in this wonderful list of Native American brands I found on Tumblr, where the artistry is spectacular and deserves more recognition. I really love Jamie Okuma‘s work (her work is in the featured image above [click here […]
Us autumn lovers are in love with Halloween and then there’s us pagans who also love Halloween and recognize the traditions of Samhain (pronounced Sow-win – don’t worry, many have said Sam-hane at least once and only a**holes won’t let you live it down lol). Before I devoted myself to the mystic path, and way before my Christian phase in my late teens/early twenties, my psychic senses have always strengthened during Samhain. It’s never been a full-blown “I see dead people” kind of vibe. It’s a somber feeling where those who have passed on are on my mind and my ability to sense what’s beyond the veil couldn’t be ignored. My connection to Celtic culture was a distant love in the past, but currently, I’m more eager to learn more about pagan or indigenous cultures as it inspires my current beliefs and increases my respect for our ancestors and their history.
History.com has a decent summary of Samhain’s origins and evolution, but when learning about the culture of the ancient Celts, I prefer the Druid perspective. Tha gliocas an ceann an fhitich! is the Scottish Gaelic proverb “There is wisdom in a raven’s head.” It’s similar to the Irish proverb “To have a raven’s knowledge,” which was a way of affirming a seer’s ability. Those who sense the power of the changing seasons certainly gain some wisdom when Samhain comes around.
Druid Susa Morgan Black of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids presents Samhain as such:
‘To the ancient Celts, the year had two “hinges”. These were Beltaine (the first of May) and Samhain, or Samhuinn, (the first of November), which is also the traditional Celtic New Year. And these two days were the most magical, and often frightening times of the whole year.
The Celtic people were in superstitious awe of times and places “in between”. Holy sites were any border places – the shore between land and water (seas, lakes, and rivers), bridges, boundaries between territories (especially when marked by bodies of water), crossroads, thresholds, etc. Holy times were also border times – twilight and dawn marking the transitions of night and day; Beltaine and Samhain marking the transitions of summer and winter. Read your myths and fairytales – many of the stories occur in such places, and at such times.
At Samhain (which corresponds to modern Halloween), time lost all meaning and the past, present, and future were one. The dead, and the denizens of the Other World, walked among the living. It was a time of fairies, ghosts, demons, and witches. Winter itself was the Season of Ghosts, and Samhain is the night of their release from the Underworld. Many people lit bonfires to keep the evil spirits at bay. Often a torch was lit and carried around the boundaries of the home and farm, to protect the property and residents against the spirits throughout the winter.’
Crossing thresholds not bound by time and sensing the entities beyond, I feel, is something either you experience personally or more so through the observance of nature, such as the passing seasons. In either case, autumn holds power. Those of us who take in that power through more shamanic means revere this time rather than get caught up in the thrill of fearful tricks or treats (not that I don’t mind a good Halloween prank). As Samhain draws closer, I want to say with the considerations of the pandemic and the families and friends who have lost loved ones this year, be respectful of how the dead are grieved if you honor the existence of an afterlife or simply respect death itself. Samhain, representing letting go, sacrifice, endings, and transitions, will call you to at least do that.
During the break I give myself between studying psychology and working on my creative projects, I was reflecting on how much freedom I’m currently blessed with. My last post was about how perfectionism was haunting me and helping me again, and that felt good to share because it’s a matter of health that isn’t paid much attention to. It can be a very terrifying form of entrapment, especially because it’s an illusion. But today? There’s just freedom. I can breathe between my studies and my work without rushing to satisfy someone else’s schedule. I can alter my calendar and make plans for my study sessions without forcing myself to cram information or blow something off and hope luck will be on my side. There’s flexibility now and adaptability married with my responsibilities. I know the starving artist life doesn’t appeal to many and is often ridiculed if you’re not rich and famous. Who cares? I wish everyone could live a life without the starving and with more of the mindfulness and calm that comes with the artist mentality. The idealist, INFP that I am wishes more people could live the life they want and abandon the life others try to push upon them. We are capable of so much awesomeness when we aren’t forced to ignore the beauty around us. We’re capable of even more when we’re gifted with clarity, seeing what is and isn’t working for us. That’s a practice we have to chose to adopt, I suppose. Not everyone is as privileged as I am in this moment, so I’ll do my best to never complain about it.
In this breath, I am so humbled and light.
For what it’s worth, I hope you are well. It will get better.
Many creatives are caught in the rat race while trying to maintain the status of being a valiant competitor just to make ends meet. Doing this almost kills us. As creative and critical thinkers, whether neurotypical or neurodivergent, being forced to follow a regimen is something we can excel to keep AND completely fail to […]
“The primary power of water is in assisting the creation of forms for the expression of consciousness, providing nutrition for their continued existence, and physical purification.” Mark Stavish – The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing & the World of Natural Magic (Pathways to Enlightenment) When I started practicing, I wasn’t really into using water because […]
I’ve wanted to be a polyglot since I was a kid and I blame Lara Croft (the movies and the games). I was head over heels in love with her. Having her level of erudition and speaking so many languages was so attractive to me. But how do you achieve that? I’ve done the research […]
The magic abilities assigned to each character reflect their personality and develop overtime, but I almost bombard them with restrictions, not just for conflict, but for strategic problem solving. In the world setting of my story, everyone is a mage or a magical being and they are all part of various societies that have laws for and against particular paths of magic. There is a reigning government in place that most of the mages and magical beings respect, but there are some “outlaws”, for lack of a better term. So while I was thinking about the structure I have in place, I was also thinking about what makes a good magic battle. Combining my own imagination with Timothy’s advice, here’s what I came up with…
“Alchemy is a rainbow bridging the chasm between the earthly and heavenly plans, between matter and spirit… Alchemy, the royal sacerdotal art, also called the hermetic philosophy, conceals, in esoteric texts and enigmatic emblems, the means of penetrating the very secrets of Nature, Life, and Death, of Unity, Eternity, and Infinity.” – Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Alchemy: The Secret Art
This Klossowski de Rola quote is in the first chapter of Mark Stavish’s The Path to Alchemy, a book I’ve been reading/studying for months now. Although alchemy’s origins stem from many stories (many say Egypt, some say China, the list goes on), alchemy will always be more about inner transformation than anything else regarding the transmutation of metals or exploiting any kind of relationship between Earth and Heaven. Through processes that require patience and open-mindedness, much of what alchemy can teach you inevitably braids itself into your personal philosophies. Even the technical procedures, such as making sure you start and finish an alchemical process at a specific hour and day, challenges your level of respect for how forces outside of yourself affect your work, your mentality, and your aura. The procedures, prayers, and meditations learned by the alchemist create a more fulfilling understanding of the self and the world, emphasizing the act of “penetrating the very secrets of nature”. Overall, alchemy is a very interactive philosophy that demands your dedication, your honesty, and your resilience as a co-creator in life.
Internal conflict: “An internal or psychological conflict arises as soon as a character experiences two opposite emotions or desires – usually virtue and vice, or good and evil – inside him. This disagreement causes the character to suffer mental agony, and it develops a unique tension in a storyline, marked by a lack of action.” – literarydevices.net
My horror short, “Autonomy Bleeds Black“, is a story driven by internal conflict. My protagonist, called “the author” is torn between standing up for himself or giving into parental manipulation. I think for internal conflict to remain engaging, you have to keep three things in mind: 1. Make it relatable, 2. Make it believable, 3. Make sure the stakes for each choice are high. The relatable element comes from our most common emotional and psychological conflicts in life, like relationship issues, career choices, etc. The believable aspect comes from how characters act and respond to their conflict. In my story, my protagonist has anxiety attacks and maladaptive daydreams in response to the parental pressure in his life. Lastly, raising the stakes requires suspense and for most internal conflicts, the consequences have to be clear even for situations as messy and ambiguous as emotional instability. What are the consequences for letting a manipulative person back in your life versus setting up your boundaries and expecting destructive backlash from the manipulative person? What about betraying a friends trust versus being loyal at the cost of losing your job? It’s about emphasizing the importance of the consequence to the character and translating that over to the audience even if the true consequence isn’t so black and white.
I know this doesn’t fit the “theme” of my brand or content, but I genuinely don’t care. The police brutality issue towards African Americans in the United States requires more than just firing an officer when they get caught.