ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," "Little and Broken, but Still Good," and "Up the Water Spout."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Phil Coulson, Betty Ross, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, JARVIS, Bruce Banner
Medium: Poetry
Warnings: Past imprisonment, torture, experimentation. PTSD. Flashbacks. Dissociation. Cyclic amnesia. Temporal trauma. Broken people. Internalized oppression. Low sense of self-worth. Self-destructive behavior. Shame. Depression. Suicidal ideation. Physical and emotional whump.
Summary: Bucky experiences life in fragments as his memory cycles through past and present.
Notes: Hurt/Comfort. Mercy. Freedom. Good and evil. Family of choice. Team as family. Trauma and recovery. Healing. Friendship. Love. Nonsexual intimacy. No sex. Trust. Memory. Artificial intelligence. Safety and security. Competence. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2.

Read more... )

Posted by Inominandum

A few weeks back I made a post about statements of intent. In the comments Rose Weaver, from the excellent blog Weaving Among the Stars, mentioned that “I modify statements even more so they reflect “is”. In the “now”. This practice of framing statements of intent, or visualizing outcomes to seem as if what you want to happen already has is a very common practice. I did it for decades and started back in the 80s when I read the Necronomicon Spellbook, in which Simon advised holding your goal as having already occured. As far as I can tell the practice made it’s way into magical practice from New Thought movement.

I stopped doing it many years ago, and as the concepts behind the strategic sorcery approach came into focus I actively teach against forming statements of intent in this way, or spending too much time visualizing things happening like this.

The reason is simple: strategic sorcery relies upon figuring out the most cunning steps to achieve your goal, then enchanting each of those steps along the way. There is a Macro-Enchantment that ties you to your goal – say your “spell to find a job”, but the micro-enchantments that impact every phase are what make the system particularly effective.

Look at Untitledthe chart to the left for an example of what I mean. The Macro Enchantment directly effects the goal, but so does each individual step. People that focus on the goal as being already achieved tend to skimp or skip on the steps needed to get there.

Focusing or stating that a goal is already achieved makes you feel good, but it does little to get you towards your goal, in fact often people mistake this feeling of success with success itself. See my earlier post “Setting Goals is not an Accomplishment” for more on how this feeling of success can blind us to what actually will bring us to the real thing.

Recent research into the effects of positive thinking have affirmed my observations. One study showed that participants who were made to feel parched and who visualized themselves drinking a cool glass of water were less motivated to actually get up and quench their thirst with real water. In study after study research shows that visualizing yourself as having actually achieved something makes you less motivated to go out and achieve it.

In the article above, they teach a mental contrasting technique that does involve visualizing a desired outcome, but following it up with visualizations or affirmations of the path that will lead to it, obstacles that you may encounter, and what you will do when you hit those obstacles.

I myself have often been far more successful fueling my passion and my magic by contemplating the negative implications of NOT doing something. It was only after I had children and needed to increase my income that I started my business – which in turn has led to my most creative and important pieces of magic. It is only after I get paid on a book that I can actually force myself to write it.

If you are looking to make big changes in the real world with magic, I recommend engaging in as little fantasy as possible, and instead focusing on the details of what needs to be done, and how magic can hep you achieve it.

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht,  there are 11 new verses in "What a Precious Privilege."  Lawrence enjoys the omelette and finally starts waking up enough to realize that there are some things he needs to say to Stan.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
This expert in racial studies thinks that we have the perfect term for entitled, privileged white men who want to step on everybody else on their way to the top: Douchebag.

Lots of rather accurate observations and comparisons in there. Come for the definitions, stay for the douchebag-or-not game using popular comic-book characters.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by conversations with [personal profile] lynnoconnacht.  It also fills the "fever / delirium" square in my 7-31-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo  fest.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer.  This poem belongs to the Stalwart Stan & Antimatter thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," "Little and Broken, but Still Good," and "Up the Water Spout."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Phil Coulson, Betty Ross, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, JARVIS, Bruce Banner
Medium: Poetry
Warnings: Past imprisonment, torture, experimentation. PTSD. Flashbacks. Dissociation. Cyclic amnesia. Temporal trauma. Broken people. Internalized oppression. Low sense of self-worth. Self-destructive behavior. Shame. Depression. Suicidal ideation. Physical and emotional whump.
Summary: Bucky experiences life in fragments as his memory cycles through past and present.
Notes: Hurt/Comfort. Mercy. Freedom. Good and evil. Family of choice. Team as family. Trauma and recovery. Healing. Friendship. Love. Nonsexual intimacy. No sex. Trust. Memory. Artificial intelligence. Safety and security. Competence. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Not every plot looks like an inverted checkmark.  Look at all these!

The Evolution of Food

Oct. 19th, 2014 11:07 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Explore the massive changes in peaches, watermelons, and corn over millennia.  Science is delicious!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written the science fiction ficlet "Spinward" to someone else's prompt in the Creative Jam, but it's so awesome I wanted to share anyhow.  If you enjoy positive stories about human/AI partnerships, definitely give this a look.

History

Oct. 19th, 2014 03:51 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Things I enjoy about my current life: not having to wear 5-40 layers of clothing.
ysabetwordsmith: (Karavai)
This is the freebie for the October 2014 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It also fills the "Far Over the Misty Mountains" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Torn World project.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The October Crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open on Dreamwidth and on LiveJournal, with a theme of "paradigm shifting without a clutch." Come give us prompts, or claim prompts to make stuff yourself!  [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is offering to write something for each person who leaves prompts.


From My Prompts

"Find You Lost, Keep You Found" is a story by [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters about a brother and sister getting back together after a long separation.

"Saving the World Is Like Driving Stick" by [personal profile] alexconall is a microfic about activism. So very true!

"Clutching at the Future" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is an adorable family ficlet, set in Polychrome Heroics although it's not obvious from just this snippet.  ALL THE FEELS.

"Changing to Light and Smoke" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is a creeptastic story about environmental apocalypse.


What I Have Written

"Paradigm Shifting Without a Clutch"
A Polychrome Heroics poem about gaining a very disturbing superpower.
70 lines, Buy It Now = $35

"Believing What You Know Ain't So" 
From this I got the free-verse poem "Believing What You Know Ain't So." While working a summer job at the Tef, Eric and TeJay discover that some of the ideas they got from their respective families aren't as accurate as they used to think.
69 lines, Buy It Now = $34.50

"Over the Misty Mountains"
This session's freebie is about when the barrier falls between Slunai territory and the Lichenwold in Torn World.

"The Sounds You Can't Unhear"
This inspired the free-verse poem "The Sounds You Can't Unhear," which is a direct sequel to "A Voice from Beyond." Seth thinks about the jumbled sounds of Noc's speech and the challenges of human-cetacean relations. It's sad, but hopeful, and it very much focuses on paradigm shifts caused by hearing things that suddenly make a lot more sense than they used to.
58 lines, Buy It Now = $20

"Dr. Doohickey and the Smile Machine"
Backchannel prompt from [personal profile] chordatesrock inspired the free-verse poem "Dr. Doohickey and the Smile Machine." Therapy doesn't work for everyone, but everyone needs coping skills to deal with paradigm shifts. Some people just like to build their own.
71 lines, Buy It Now = $35.50


Other Awesome Entries

"Spinward" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is a story about a positive relationship between human and AI.  Some relationships don't fit neatly into boxes.

"She Called Me Mel" by [personal profile] mdlbear is a gorgeous ace love story, matched with a filk song.  Bring kleenex though, it's a bit of a tearjerker.

"Culture Shock" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is another Polychrome Heroics piece, mainly visible in construction workers doing the opposite of what's expected.  I love this fic; a surprise is something you didn't know you wanted until you got it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] rix_scaedu, there are 9 new verses in "The Lotus Warriors."  The invasion begins!  The resistance begins!  And promptly goes splat.  Clearly something will have to be done about this.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," "Little and Broken, but Still Good," and "Up the Water Spout."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Phil Coulson, Betty Ross, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, JARVIS, Bruce Banner
Medium: Poetry
Warnings: Past imprisonment, torture, experimentation. PTSD. Flashbacks. Dissociation. Cyclic amnesia. Temporal trauma. Broken people. Internalized oppression. Low sense of self-worth. Self-destructive behavior. Shame. Depression. Suicidal ideation. Physical and emotional whump.
Summary: Bucky experiences life in fragments as his memory cycles through past and present.
Notes: Hurt/Comfort. Mercy. Freedom. Good and evil. Family of choice. Team as family. Trauma and recovery. Healing. Friendship. Love. Nonsexual intimacy. No sex. Trust. Memory. Artificial intelligence. Safety and security. Competence. #coulsonlives

This story spans many different times in Bucky's life. It also fills the "amnesia" square in my 6-10-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. I know that this audience prefers to read poems all at once, but this one runs over 3,000 words so I'm going to break it into three parts to avoid the risk of hangfiring the blogware. If you want to read it all at once, just wait until the third part goes up.

A note on feedback: While it's not necessary to comment on every post I make, remember that I don't know who reads/likes things if nobody says anything. Particularly on long stories, I've discovered that I get antsy if there's nothing but crickets chirping for several posts. So it helps to give me feedback at least once, even if it's just "I like this" or "This one doesn't grab me." First and last episodes are ideal if you rarely feel inspired to comment in the middle.

Anonymous commenters: You don't have to specify exactly who you are, but it helps to have a first name or a username from some other service, so I have some idea of who's saying which and how many different "Anonymous" folks there are. You can just type some kind of identifier at the end of your comment.

(Also the perk story "Brotherlove, Brotherlust" is still open for audience activity to reveal new material; see Part 1 and Part 2.)

Skip to Part 3.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Thanks to a donation from LJ user Westrider, there are 14 new verses in "Climbing Rocks."  Brenda and Darrel debate alternate methods of fighting the rock monster since the obvious ones did not work.
timeasmymeasure: azealia banks with rollers in her hair and her eyes closed (Default)
theme name/layout: foggy beach / lefty
layout: info || source || preview

theme name/layout: glossalia / lefty
layout: info || source || preview

theme name/layout: foggy beach / patsy
layout: info || source || preview

theme name/layout: glossalia / patsy
layout: info || source || preview

Writing Aliens

Oct. 16th, 2014 03:54 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about writing aliens who are really alien and not just funny-looking humans.  There are some good ideas.  But then there is this mistake which people keep making ...

This is a related argument to the issue that if someone creates a “real” alien, it might be so far off from what human minds can comprehend that no reader or viewer could get into the story.

*headdesk*  Do you have a cat?  A dog?  They are nonhuman, think very differently from us, yet most people have lived with one or the other.  Consider our interactions with horses, pigs, ferrets, elephants, dolphins, parrots, etc.  These are all animals we interact with.  We play with them, train them, talk with them, eat them, ride them, occasionally even have sexual contact.  My bet is that if we meet aliens, we're going to respond very much the same way: Can I eat it?  Fuck it?  Wear it?  Play with it?  Train it to work for me?  Experiment on it?  Decorate my house with it?  Will it want to do any of those things to me?

This is why I often use animals as inspiration for an alien race.  It gives me a basis of plausible biology to start with, and that suggests some things about its culture, how it might interact with people.  The aliens won't think like humans, but will think as sapient beings.  And humans will go right on being humans, the way we deal with the nonhumans we already know.

Another thing I do is bring in bits of far-flung human cultures, ones that many readers will be less familiar with than their local culture.  That's because other humans are usually weirder than so-called alien characters.  They have little quirks like Korean culture considering plans to be dangerous, or many Native American tribes counting a third (or more) gender, or the Canary Islands whistle-language Silbo Gomero.  So make sure you at least out-weird other humans.

One of my favorite, most-alien characters is Alakazam by M.C.A. Hogarth.  Imagine an empathic, fluffy person the size of a basketball who does not speak but does emote in helpful, usually pleasant ways and expresses preferences for certain people's company.  Sort of like a pet, but always with a sense of being deeper, more nuanced, and ineffably mysterious.  You don't have to understand it to like  it.

Inspirograph

Oct. 15th, 2014 09:30 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Remember the old Spirograph? It was one of my favorite toys.  :D  Inspirograph is an online version. Bend over and kiss your time goodbye!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] perfectworry, LJ user Westrider, and Deb1789.  It also fills the "parent(s)" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

Read more... )

Posted by Inominandum

Halloween 2014

Five Years ago, I noticed a problem in the way many people were using practical magic. The spells, spirits, and rituals they were using were just fine, but they way that they were being used was not getting people anywhere. It was not being integrated into real life strategies that way that I knew it could be. I decided to offer something different.
On Halloween 2009 I started the first cycle of the Strategic Sorcery Course, and since then over 1000 people have taken the course and benefited from an approach to magic that makes real and lasting changes in their lives.

I am very excited to be announcing the next Cycle of the Strategic Sorcery Course which will begin on Halloween – October 31st

Every cycle of the course starts on an auspicious date, but the Halloween cycles are always special to me, and I like to celebrate them with a Global Hekate Rite.

GLOBAL HEKATE RITE

To kick off this cycle I will be releasing a special Hekate rite that can be performed between October 31st and November 2nd. This rite is optional, but will link you up to a root power of Sorcery, as well as other people performing the same rite all over the globe. Reports from prior global rites have proved the powerful catalyst that these rituals can provide.

THE DETAILS

The course consists of 52 lessons arriving by e-mail every Tuesday morning for a year. In addition to this there is a student’s group and access to me for questions.

The cost for the class is $150

To sign up for the course simply write me at INOMINANDUM@GMAIL.COM for an information packet or click the paypal button below.

STRATEGIC SORCERY COURSE





A RECENT COMMENT ABOUT THE COURSE FROM A STUDENT

I treasure any feedback about the course, but I place extra value on students who already  have years and years of experience. I received this letter three days ago from a student who has been practicing magic for almost fifty years:

“I first became interested in the Occult around 1965 (I was in my early teens). Over the years I have belonged to a couple of occult fraternal organizations, read dozens of books, and performed some very dramatic attempts at ritual magic (with a little witchcraft, from time-to-time).  My results were less than spectacular.

For the past year I have been working slowly and carefully through the Strategic Sorcery course, and have only applied the most elementary material.  However, I have learned more, and had more tangible, verifiable results (financial magic, specifically) from Jason Miller in the past year, than I gained from anything I’ve previously attempted.  His instruction in the art of proper meditation is worth the price of the course all by itself.

I have paid more, and gotten less many times.  Thank you Jason!”

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has started posting the Polychrome Heroics story "Clearing the Air" in which Aidan offers to teach Danso how to drive.  Read Part 1 of 7. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," and "Little and Broken, but Still Good."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Natasha Romanova, Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Betty Ross, Bucky Barnes.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Mention of human trafficking and nonconsensual drug use. Slightly offstage sexual violence. Dubcon/Noncon.
Summary: Sometimes the Black Widow needs to hunt, and sometimes she needs help settling her personality afterwards. Uncle Phil arranges an extra ageplay session.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. BAMF!Black Widow. Black Widow is creepy. Spiders. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Nonsexual ageplay. Caregiving. Competence. Girl stuff. Toys and games. Gentleness. Trust. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19

NOTE: This scene takes place before the first chapter of this story, but it was written later and I don't think the bonus scenes would work as well at the front.

Here ends "Up the Water Spout." Thank you all for sticking with the series this far! I love your input. Final thoughts on the story overall are welcome, in addition to reactions on this specific chapter. I also have a list of favorite photogenic scenes from the whole series for fanartists to consider, partly compiled from audience requests.

Next up will be the poem "The Life of the Dead," on Bucky's experiences.

A note on feedback: While it's not necessary to comment on every post I make, remember that I don't know who reads/likes things if nobody says anything. Particularly on long stories, I've discovered that I get antsy if there's nothing but crickets chirping for several posts. So it helps to give me feedback at least once, even if it's just "I like this" or "This one doesn't grab me." First and last episodes are ideal if you rarely feel inspired to comment in the middle.

Read more... )

Poetry News

Oct. 14th, 2014 11:45 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some tidbits of news from the Poetry Fishbowl ...

Because there is so much unsold stuff in Polychrome Heroics, the half-price sale will include an option for a quarter-price sale if you spend $100 or more.  At that level you're getting poetry for $.25 on the dollar.  (Yes, I can afford it.  I want my writing to be seen and enjoyed.  Also merry bundles of cash keep our household afloat.)  It also puts you at k-fan status if you are not already there, which gets you a series collection at the end of the year.  Budget accordingly if this interests you.

[personal profile] lynnoconnacht and LJ user Natasiakith are helping me improve the organization for this series so that folks can tell which poems belong together in a related storyline and what characters appear in which poems.  You can see a rough draft of the storyline guide on my website.

At this stage it would help to know how you're using the series page and what information is most useful to you.  Originally I started out listing poems in my best guess of chronological order.  That worked fine when it was just Damask and a couple of extras, but currently we have three major  storylines (Damask, Danso & Family, Antimatter/Stalwart Stan) plus some smaller or more eclectic ones, so it's more erratic now.  Is the overall series chronological order still of interest to you or do you only care about inline order within a single storyline?  Would you like to have a list of which characters appear in each poem?  Is there anything else that you really-really want?

I haven't had time to do this kind of value-added recordkeeping myself -- I'm treading soup just to keep up with the minimum I need for my organizational purposes -- but I'm happy to swap poetry to fans who have the time and skill to put this stuff into a format that I can paste into a page.  "A Little Something Extra" is Natasiakith's perk.

Some stuff only I can do.  Some stuff I could delegate but don't always think to ask people to do for me.  Some stuff I actively plan to delegate, like getting someone to host the linkback poem on fishbowl days.  So if you have ideas for things you might be able to do to help, you can always ask me.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of lengthy conversations with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, and with [personal profile] helgatwb  who lives in southern Louisiana, about how Easy City could have developed from the fractious mix of cultures there.  It also fills the "argument" square in the Birthday Bingo Fest public card.  It is posted here in thanks for LJ user Natasiakith sorting out the Polychrome Heroics poems into individual storylines, and this poem belongs to the same series.

WARNING: This poem features cultural tensions, rude language, arguments, natural disasters, minor character death, and some other challenging topics.  The overall tone is hopeful, though.  Sensitive readers should aim for viewing this while in a steady state of mind.

Read more... )

Posted by Inominandum

20141014_150507All my life I have been told, and read here and there that the Tarot de Marseilles was the “truest” Tarot. One early teacher even went do far as to say that everything that came after was not really a Tarot but an oracle deck as you lost the original postures and meanings.

Still, I dismissed the Marseilles for flashier decks with more overtly esoteric flavor, and most especially for minor arcana cards with helpful scenes on them.

About a month ago I was telling someone that I felt like Khabbala was the worst thing ever to happen to Tarot, and that I got much more out of the cartomantic interpretations than the Levi/GD derived stuff. I decided to delve into the Tarot de Marseilles and suddenly every other deck I have seems flat by comparison. There is so much “there”, there.

If someone tells you that Tarot is for psychological analysis, contemplation, and big questions while Lenormand and playing cards are for real world stuff, don’t believe them. Those systems are great too, but Tarot does the same thing and can be read the same way.

Though I have been reading playing cards for years, it is only recently that I have been reading Tarot in the same sort of manner. Only now just learning all the little legends and that people apply: the rope around IUSTICE’s collar is the one that LE PENDV hangs by, the woman in LASTOILLE becomes the woman in LE MONDE. etc. All that is less important though than interpretting the image in front of you in a straightforward manner. What direction do they face? What is their relation to other cards? Why are the magicians feet pointing away from one another? It is a very different Tarot than the Waite and GD derived decks.

If you want to dig into Marseilles a lot of people steer you right to Jodorowsky and Yoav Ben-Dov, but thus far I have found that no one speaks more clearly on it than Camelia Elias on her blog Taroflexions. The writings of Enrique Enriquez have also been very illuminating. I am waiting for Castle of Crossed Destinies to show up in my mailbox soon to see what it unlocks, and maybe pick up some tips from translating some Colette Silvestre.

Posted by Inominandum

20141014_150507All my life I have been told, and read here and there that the Tarot de Marseilles was the “truest” Tarot. One early teacher even went do far as to say that everything that came after was not really a Tarot but an oracle deck as you lost the original postures and meanings.

Still, I dismissed the Marseilles for flashier decks with more overtly esoteric flavor, and most especially for minor arcana cards with helpful scenes on them.

About a month ago I was telling someone that I felt like Khabbala was the worst thing ever to happen to Tarot, and that I got much more out of the cartomantic interpretations than the Levi/GD derived stuff. I decided to delve into the Tarot de Marseilles and suddenly every other deck I have seems flat by comparison. There is so much “there”, there.

If someone tells you that Tarot is for psychological analysis, contemplation, and big questions while Lenormand and playing cards are for real world stuff, don’t believe them. Those systems are great too, but Tarot does the same thing and can be read the same way.

Though I have been reading playing cards for years, it is only recently that I have been reading Tarot in the same sort of manner. Only now just learning all the little legends and that people apply: the rope around IUSTICE’s collar is the one that LE PENDV hangs by, the woman in LASTOILLE becomes the woman in LE MONDE. etc. All that is less important though than interpretting the image in front of you in a straightforward manner. What direction do they face? What is their relation to other cards? Why are the magicians feet pointing away from one another? It is a very different Tarot than the Waite and GD derived decks.

Pockets Writing Meme

Oct. 13th, 2014 11:08 pm[personal profile] finch
finch: a boy with unruly, short, dark hair (Lost: Kether as a boy)
[livejournal.com profile] lilairen introduced me to this writing exercise:

Pick three to four major characters out of your current WIP. For each character, do a one-paragraph description of whatever they're carrying in their pockets, handbacks, backpacks, saddlebags, or whatever, in such a way as to provide a sense of what each character is like. Do not mention the names of the characters, though you may use pronouns. Do not go into the backstory of the things, what they mean, or why the character is carrying them. Omniscient, necessarily.

Except I looked at that and immediately thought it should be a meme instead. So! Pick a character! And I will tell you what is in their pockets/backpack/EDC. All my characters are fair game, any project.

Robin )

Jian )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chanter_greenie[personal profile] mdlbear, and Shirley Barrette.  It also fills the "suicide" square in my 7-30-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo  fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem deals with some intense and controversial issues. Some of the warnings are spoilers; highlight to read. It talks about historic suicides, possible murder, assisted suicide in battlefield conditions, homosexuality, kink, vulgar and derogatory language, discrimination against smart people, homophobia, despair caused by social pressure, and other cultural ills. Please think carefully about whether or not this is something you want to read.
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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was inspired by the "youth" square of the Birthday Bingo fest public card.  It has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $200 goal.  It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Paranormal detective Brenda in a wheelchair (PIE)
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, the poem "Pitfalls" is now complete.  Read the resolution as Brenda and Darrel wrap up the loose ends at the police station. 

The Shape of Devotion

Oct. 13th, 2014 11:12 am[syndicated profile] jackwren_feed

Posted by Jack Vivace

When I first started with Mara, devotion was simple. She likes candles and shiny things. Shiny things certainly seemed befitting a wealth goddess. She liked pilgrimage, visiting her at Disney, but that’s complicated and she has always understood that. I didn’t think too much about it, honestly. The person who’d introduced me to her used green seven-day candles, so I used green seven-day candles. She used a certain kind of statuary to stand in for Mara, who of course had none of her own; I used the same kind of statuary.

It was a very basic practice, but it was a workable one. I didn’t have to think much about it – I only had to deal with the candle once or twice a week, even. When you’re new to a devotional practice, starting with a structure someone else has outlined makes a lot of sense. Whether it’s a recommendation from someone else who works with that deity, something from a similar culture that you can adapt, or an outside structure you can apply to a wide variety of deities, like an ADF ritual, starting somewhere is what matters.

The initial style of my devotion worked for me for a long time – several years, even after I lost touch with the person who’d introduced me to the practice. While it was working, I had no real desire to change it. Eventually, however, it stopped feeling correct and effective. The point of starting is just to find a way you’re comfortable reaching back to this deity or spirit that you have reason to believe wants a relationship with you.

Once you’ve started, your practice will evolve over time. All relationships change over time; this is perfectly natural. The way you relate to someone on a first date and the way you relate six months later will be different. After several years, I came against a wall. I wanted to deepen my relationship with Mara, and I had the gnawing sense that she was ready to ask more of me.

There seems to be an infinite variety of ways people can hear their gods, and even the way I hear different gods can vary. In my case, with Mara, it’s very much a sense of sudden, strong knowing. When I’m talking about her, I generally say that she told me something or she said she wanted me to do this or avoid that. It sounds imprecise, but I suspect that a lot of people use these words without literally hearing words. Conveying sound is hard. It’s easier to get ideas or images, a sort of mental game of “hot and cold.” I may simply get the sense that something is not “right” until I stumble across it and get that sense of correctness.

It’s easy to feel like an underachiever when you listen to other people talk about their conversations with their gods and you feel like you’re not getting as much information as they do. Devotion, however, is about your own relationship with your spirits. The person who introduced me to Mara definitely had more direct interaction than I felt I did, and even after leaving my life, I still felt I was living in the shadow of that for a long time.

I honor Mara more now than I originally did. I light candles every night, because she likes me to take attention out of my day. I offer water every week, a simple practice. I still offer shiny things and sometimes offer food as well. Each of these seem to please her.

However, most of the practice I do for Mara at this point doesn’t look much like devotion if you don’t know what you’re looking for. There’s an ongoing trend of behavior modification, using the correct and incorrect feelings I mentioned above. Some action will trigger the feeling that I’m not reacting correctly – to use one of the very first examples I noticed this with, consider shopping at Walmart. I never liked the crowds in Walmart, and I always knew in the back of my head that I “shouldn’t” shop there, but it’s cheap and it’s open twenty-four hours so I lived with my choices… until simple annoyance with the crowds turned into full-on skin-crawling discomfort. At first I was afraid my OCD was going in new and exciting directions, but the feeling remained limited to Walmart for some time. When I swore off trying to shop at Walmart, though, I got a definite sense of correctness from Mara. Over time, this has deepened into a complex understanding of priorities when it comes to how I spend money.

Mara has many times helped me when I was in a tight financial spot. As a devotee, then, when I have the money to spare, it is my obligation to pass it along to other people in similar situations, acting as her hands. This is actually more important to her than traditional charitable giving or tithes. If I want to please Mara, I start at gofundme.

Devotion also changes with a deepening understanding of the deity. As I’ve come to know Mara as a hearth goddess, she’s challenged me to find closeness to her through caring for the home as much as she does. When I cook, when I clean, when I struggle with managing the household, I offer all of that to Mara. I give it my intention and my attention, and those are both turned over to her. I do what I can, I do it even if it’s hard, and I do it as well as I can, specifically because I know that’s an area where she’s watching.

That’s really what all devotion comes down to, in my opinion. I figure out what pleases my gods and I do it to the best of my ability, with my heart and my mind turned to them as I do it. Figuring out what pleases – learning to be quiet and listen for myself – is the easy part. Then I just have to do everything with an open heart. Somehow that’s the hard part.

ysabetwordsmith: Paranormal detective Brenda in a wheelchair (PIE)
Based on an audience poll, the general fund sponsored 10 new verses in "Pitfalls."  It's almost complete now!  Follow Brenda and Darrel back to the police station.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has posted "Storm-Brought" from a previous Creative Jam.  This is a wonderful bit of science fiction featuring aliens hemmed in by a storm, one of whom finds an injured human afterward.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," and "Little and Broken, but Still Good."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Natasha Romanova, Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Betty Ross, Bucky Barnes.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Mention of human trafficking and nonconsensual drug use. Slightly offstage sexual violence. Dubcon/Noncon.
Summary: Sometimes the Black Widow needs to hunt, and sometimes she needs help settling her personality afterwards. Uncle Phil arranges an extra ageplay session.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. BAMF!Black Widow. Black Widow is creepy. Spiders. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Nonsexual ageplay. Caregiving. Competence. Girl stuff. Toys and games. Gentleness. Trust. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18

NOTE: This scene takes place before  the first chapter of this story, but it was written later and I don't think the bonus scenes would work as well at the front.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
The poll to pick the series for the free epic is closed, and now it's time to vote on the individual poem to be posted. Note that this is a checkbox poll, so you can vote for more than one, just don't check all of them.  You can vote in a comment if you're not on LJ.

Sensibility (Tabula Rasa)

Oct. 12th, 2014 06:45 pm[personal profile] timeasmymeasure posting in [site community profile] dreamscapes
timeasmymeasure: corrine bailey ray with flowers in her hair (corrine: flowers in my hair)
Name: Sensibility
Author: [personal profile] timeasmymeasure
Layout Submission Type: CSS layout based off Tabula Rasa
Images: No images
Notes: CSS currently only works with "2 column sidebar right" but please feel free to fix that and anything else that needs fixing/changing.

Themes:

MODED

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GIVEN

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CLEAR

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