#i'm not like the Ultimate source of wisdom or anything
Do u have any advice for a questioning ace or resource references that may have helped u? I consider myself a bi ace and I DO find ppl attractive and beautiful and I feel all gooey/butterflies w attractive ppl but I also don't want to have sex with them?? Like maybe down the line if I really RLLY fall in love with someone and they want that I can try/ease into it but I don't have any intention or want to do that right now. Does that sound ace at all?
the website i went to when i was figuring stuff out was the message boards on aven, but i haven’t been there in over a literal decade, so i can’t vouch for it anymore - i feel like i read that they had a little bit of a racism problem in recent years. reddit is for the most part deeply DEEPLY cursed but i comment over at r/asexuality sometimes (not...under this name i have a secret name lol) and they seem like generally a good bunch. just, uh, don’t wander out of there. i really wish i had a tumblr blog to give you but i find most of them these days are filled with people complaining about aphobia which is SOOO fucking valid but it gets disheartening to see on your dash like ALL the time yk? but if anyone has any they can link ‘em in the notes. imo the best resource is to talk to or read about what other ace people are saying about their feelings and experiences, especially older aces or people who are “used to” being ace, if that makes any sense. not to sound too self-important but being almost two decades out from my first “oh i might be that” moment i like to think i qualify lol. i say this a lot but ftr my door is always open for these kinds of questions!!
anyway, first of all, the short answer, yes, that does sound totally ace. you can get the butterflies and find people beautiful without finding them HOT/sexually attractive. you can be attracted to someone w/o it being sexual. so if all or most or even much of the time you don’t feel sexual attraction, you’re under the ace umbrella.
asexuality is on a huge spectrum and there’s not really any such thing as like the ace police who are gonna come throw u in jail if you’re not “really” ace. but labels are supposed to describe our experiences, not the other way around - you don’t need to worry too much about if you’re “ace enough,” if that makes any sense. you're allowed to just try it out and think of yourself that way for awhile and see if it feels good and makes you feel more right with the world. a lot of ace people go thru TONS of different labels - i was bisexual, demisexual, a lesbian, a bunch of stuff. so don’t feel like you have to pick one and stick to it.
one of the things about asexuality is that it’s really hard to confirm the ABSENCE of something (which is why a lot of ace people wind up IDing as bi at first - in both cases it’s a situation of feeling the same about every gender, it’s just the switch being flipped “on” or “off” - also please read that post i think it would rly help u). it’s also easy to mix up sexual attraction and libido, and for a lot of people, especially afab people/people with periods, both can fluctuate with both the time of month and your age. so you don’t have to have a clear-cut “ugh NO thanks” reaction or total disinterest in sex/finding other people sexy to “count” as ace. neutrality or ambivalence totally “counts” too (the ace community even coined special terms for people who are sex neutral vs repulsed vs favorable), even having sexual attraction one every other month when the weather is right or having a list of exception “counts” because there are SO many ways to be asexual, it really is such a massive spectrum!!! and aces are the last people who are gonna be gatekeepy about it lol
i don’t personally care for microlabels, i don’t even use the split attraction model because i find the sheer amount of jargon overwhelming/exhausting and difficult to explain to the general population, but reading through the list of them (this list also explains some split attraction model terms) gives you an idea of sheer number of different ways people experience asexuality and attraction to others. it’s part of why i love being asexual, because even if we tend to overthink things, we’re a group of people who are willing to tackle the norms of sex/romance/etc and talk about the different ways those feelings have us interacting with the world. my point is at some point almost every ace person has gone “does that even COUNT as ace?” so like if you’re asking the question imo that’s one of the most asexual things you can do lol <3
anyway, that’s it!! like i said, you don’t have to memorize that whole vocabulary list up there, i personally find the sheer amount of jargon to be too much, BUT i think it’s good to know that there are a lot of ways to “fit” into that ace box. so if it’s a useful label for you and it helps you communicate how you feel to other people more easily, Thats The One, yk? i hope you got at least a little something helpful out of the rambling. ur always welcome to write back if u ever want to talk <3
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Hi! You really look like someone who truly lives by the law and if you wanted you could literally manifest the craziest of things, even things that defy the laws of nature and physics and I'm wondering how do you personally view life and existence if you can have everything now with just an assumption? If you are so above everything in the universe? Doesn't this make you feel lonely? Don't your desires feel meaningless? I'm always moved by great stories (most of which have something tragic or sad or bittersweet) and I love being moved by such things and I ultimately want my life to be a good meaningful beautiful story and my fear is that by buying the pearl of great price I'll have to give up on all that so now I find myself almost completely uninterested in my ideal life and I can't bring myself to visualise because I wouldn't feel a thing (btw do you think this will make the manifestation easier or harder?) but I still know deep down that I couldn't accept anything from life other than that perfect ideal I have for myself even though I sorta feel like cheating like... can I call this kind of experience authentic? Share some wisdom ma'am please. Can you also share some films or books or anything that inspired your idea of perfect life if you feel like it?
Hey! You make such an interesting and excellent point! Thanks so much for having such faith in me, hahah, it's extremely flattering!
I honestly have a pretty simple answer for you! Whilst I'm well aware of the law and how things operate and that I am the god of my reality, I am still human. We all are. That's what makes life so beautiful, colourful, and emotionally rich. I believe that the process of manifestation and conscious creation for many people is actually one of the most transformative and emotionally charged human experiences anyone could have, because they face their fears, overcome them, persist and stay determined, and ultimately win the best prize of all - and the prize is not just a material thing or a specific person - the best prize of all is happiness, contentment, and self-love.
I only consciously manifest in areas of my life that I feel have unfolded negatively as a result of low self-worth. The law has taught me that these things are a reflection of the way I treat myself and talk to myself and think about myself. The law has taught me that I should not let my happiness depend on a thing or another person, my happiness should come from within myself.
Our human experiences, the good and the bad, are what shape us as people, and I think that finding the law after we've experienced the ups and downs that human existence has to offer, can be really empowering. Yes, learning about the law helps us take control over our lives and create a happy and abundant life with our specific people, money, the right career, etc, but what I think the biggest thing that the law gives us is the lesson that we need to love ourselves and empower ourselves more.
I don't view life and my desires as meaningless. Just because you are the god of your reality and you have the power to shift into a new reality doesn't mean that the people around you are operating like robots. They are real people and they have thoughts and feelings. You aren't changing anyone or anything around you when you manifest, you are changing yourself and moving into another reality where the people and things around you reflect your new state of being.
The law of assumption has taught me how to speak lovingly to myself and get out of bad habits that ultimately diminish my power and worth. It has taught me to transform myself and my overall love and appreciation for myself so that I can be the best version of myself that I can be.
I personally don't subscribe to any particular religion, but I believe that somehow we were all put on this earth to have a human experience, but we are all one - part of the 'god' source, whatever that is. We all are gods and we all have the power to create the lives we want, but we are here to have desires, to feel all the emotions that come with it, and to experience life's ups and downs, overcoming them and learning from them. I don't know why, but we are all here, and we may as well make the most of it while we are. If we can learn to love ourselves fully and treat ourselves with kindness, we can experience the most lovely parts of life and live in realities where we are surrounded by a reflection of these amazing things.
Let's be real, just because I understand the law of assumption well, doesn't mean that I'm bothered to apply it to every part of my life. Who wants to have to affirm for everything in their life? With most things, I just sit back and enjoy the ride. If there is something negative in my life, I don't let it bother me because I know who I am and I know my worth. If something REALLY bothers me, then I know it's coming from an issue that I have within myself. If anything, it makes me look within and figure out what it is that is causing this.
Even when you know how to use the law of assumption to your advantage, life is still an adventure, and events still impact you emotionally and physically. Sometimes things pop up or happen in your world that come from some deep assumption you didn't even know you had. Life with the law of assumption is a journey of constantly learning about yourself on a deeper level and evolving, and to me, that is so awesome!
When you see people that have successfully manifested their desires, the story doesn't stop there! The new chapter of their lives begins following this, where they get to experience happiness, success, and everything that comes with it! Just because we have the power to change something if we can put our mind to it, doesn't mean that the things we experience aren't extremely real. They feel real, don't they?
Just because the 3D is a reflection of our imaginations, doesn't mean that the experiences we have aren't real. If imagination is reality, and the 3D is a projection of it, then that means that if we have thought of something and it is brought to life, then it is real on some level. We just have the power to place focus on what we want to stay and ignore what we want to go if we decide to.
Even though we manifest things, doesn't mean we don't feel the full weight of their reality. That's human existence. You can still feel your skin, right? You can still feel it when someone kisses or hugs you, right? So it is real to you. If you experience something that you wish you hadn't, you simply have the power to change it, doesn't mean you didn't experience it before, otherwise, where would the desire to change it come from?
Honestly, I can't think of any movies or shows specifically that have taught me anything about the 'perfect life', because everyone's idea of that is different. However, for manifesting and creation, I would recommend Neville Goddard's books. I have his complete reader, which I recommend, as well as Dr Joe Dispenza's books 'Becoming Supernatural' and 'Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself'.
In answer to your question about whether or not that perspective makes it easier or harder to manifest, it depends on what you believe, honestly. I would say that it if anything would make it easier for you to reduce resistance towards things if you truly feel and think that way. However, I encourage you to continue to feel life and to live it fully! The law simply means that things in your life reflect your inner world, and that should be the most real thing to you ever!
Don't let the knowledge of the law taint your view on life and the validity of your emotions and experiences. I, for example, know that the law is real, but I still feel every day and I still have doubts and negative moments in my life. I feel everything so real that sometimes it's too much. The law doesn't mean I won't ever experience hiccups and regular life moments again, it is very likely that I will, because I AM human, and humans naturally develop a mixture of emotions in various aspects of life. It just means that I'm on the journey of life and continuing to overcome these things, just like any other person. You can use the law to make it easier to do this, or harder.
The law is simply a reminder to stay in the state of loving myself and staying in my power so that overall I continue to experience true happiness, because that's ultimately what we all want, right? To be happy and to live in peace.
I hope I've somewhat answered your question and not just rambled on, talking nonsense hahah!
I appreciate the question because you got me really thinking.
All my love x
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I was tagged by @carewyncromwell on a post for MC patronuses! I, sadly, don't really talk about most of my characters because I'm hyperfixacted on mostly one character 😅
I'll only do this for my Hogwarts Legacy and Hogwarts Mystery MCs. Anyways, let's get to it!
I can't find the original docs I made for my MCs' patronus so majority of this was a copy paste from the site I use to figure out their patronus.
What's My Spirit Animal?
I mentioned in the Mac Uaid family crest that the wolf is part of the emblem and how every McQuaid's patronus is a wolf.
As a spirit animal, the wolf comes to support and teach us about matters of personal power, balance, self-control, and our animal instincts.
Wolves are misunderstood by many to be aggressive, vicious animals who attack with no provocation. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, wolves go out of their way to avoid fights. However, when they want to be heard, when they want to stave off or deter an attacker, they will stand their ground.
Wolves are incredible examples of standing in the seat of your own power. They let predators know that they can fight to the death and are prepared to do so but they rarely initiate combat.
The wolf sometimes appears when we face challenges for which we feel less than prepared. The wolf reminds you that you have all the tools in your spiritual treasure chest to handle this effectively.
For seekers who feel afraid or threatened, the wolf reminds us of how those feelings put our entire psyche off balance. Yes, fear plays an important role in personal safety unless it becomes all-consuming or is baseless. Don’t let the darkness consume your spirit.
Sometimes the wolf calls on us to become the Lone Wolf, who breaks away from the pack to discover the Sacred Self. During times of aloneness, you rediscover your dreams and passions. You also start uncovering the true self and voice that howls at the moon with abandonment!
Humans are animals, and sometimes we overlook the gifts from nature that are already within us. Life has an order and rhythm. When you run with a pack, there is a sense of community, and when you’re alone – liberation.
Those who walk with the wolf sometimes don’t trust themselves as much as they should. When you find yourself falling into that emotional pattern, rely on your keen mind and logic to renew balance.
The key caution for wolf people is your predatory nature. Now, here’s the thing about a wolf’s “predatory” nature – they mostly focus on taking down the weak, sick, and elderly.
Rarely will a Wolf prey on a strong, mature adult. Surely nature has a reason for this, but in terms of symbolism for humans, the lesson here is to make sure that you do not choose to prey on those who are not able to stand against you.
Rohan Mac Uaid (Hogwarts Legacy)
The Gray Wolf is Rohan's patronus. As his patronus is the gray wolf, he is constantly transforming himself, improving himself as he encounters the lessons and challenges of life.
The gray wolf is the wolf who stands at the Western Door. The winds of change will gently flow through the life of the gray wolf soul, stirring him to greet the change with the knowledge of the lessons that such transitional times will herald. The gray wolf soul understands that change is merely growth, an essential part of life, and thus, embraces change easily.
McQuaids with the gray wolf patronus doesn't strain to see what is not yet visible on the other side, merely acknowledges that the changes will surely take place and that the choices he/she makes, will fashion the path they take.
The individual with the totem of the gray wolf understands the importance of protecting and nurturing life in all of its varied and brilliant forms. He is the soul that desires to be of service to others and thus enters a profession which will be in alignment with these principles. She is the soul who desires to nurture the spark of soul awareness in the other members of her society, so as to ensure the survival of the species. In whatever form this urge of guardianship manifests itself, the gray wolf totem will always strive to be of benefit to the whole.
The wolf soul is one who understands the depth of connection with another, be it mate, friend or family member. These individuals will tend to be monogamous in nature. If a mate is not found that shares this same sense of loyalty, then the wolf totem will choose to live as a solitary wolf yet will still have deep and abiding bonds with friends and/or family.
The gray wolf totem is drawn to individuals who possess the ability to employ rational thought coupled with intuitive understanding. As he walks through life, wolf soul uses his keen intelligence to assess issues and situations which demand resolution. He then follows the prompts he receives from his own higher sense of knowing to achieve necessary growth and learning.
Rohan has quite a fierce temper and often scolds others for their incompetence. After meeting Avis, her gentle nature melting his heart of ice, Rohan shows more self restraint in terms of his emotions. He cares little about status or tradition, and merely judges others solely based on their knowledge, skill and loyalty.
Coby McQuaid (Hogwarts Mystery)
Coby's patronus is the Arctic Wolf. It is said that at the door of each of the Four Winds, a wolf keeps silent vigil, each bringing change to the life of those who walk the good Red Road and with the change, a lesson unique to that wind.
The arctic wolf is the Wolf of the North Winds. He stands quietly in rigid determination, unyielding at times, much as the barren landscapes of his home appear to resist the beginning of Spring. She is a soul that is comfortable with her surroundings and therefore sees no “reason” to change.
Yet the promise of the North Wind is wisdom unfolding through gratitude and acknowledgment. This is the direction in which wisdom is sifted from the sands of experience and then fashioned into a red staff of manifestation that wields personal potential. Therefore, if the white wolf soul can accept change when it appears, yet remain true to his/her values, then the higher vibration of wisdom and truth can emerge from beneath stubborn resistance like shoots of sweet summer grass bursting forth from a blanket of winter’s snow. Thus, personal power can be embraced, understood and ultimately, the soul’s individual potential manifested.
The individual with the arctic wolf as their power totem is one who is capable of withstanding numerous challenges and setbacks, only to emerge stronger than before. It is little wonder that these souls will often face adversity in their lives in order to build the resilience with which to overcome obstacles? Paradoxically, they are also gentle souls with a great deal of emotional sensitivity . . . and this is the area in which they are likely to encounter their greatest lessons. Yet by calling upon the inner strength and resilience of the arctic wolf, they can triumph and raise their heads with gratitude to the loving rays of the sun.
The arctic wolf soul is an individual who is capable of performing nearly miraculous bouts of stamina that would weary other souls as he travels the good Red Road. He possesses within him the ability to push his body and mind to the limits, and in fact, can appear to even derive pleasure from doing so.
With each new goal that has been met, the arctic wolf individual will then set his/her sights on the next task at hand. Preferably the new goal will be even more challenging than the one just completed, as this engenders the acknowledgment within their own reasoning that they are worthy of that which has been given to them, yet the truth of the matter is that anything they have received, has been honestly won.
Veruca McQuaid (Hogwarts Mystery)
The Arctic Wolf is Veruca's patronus. Although she shares the same patronus as her brother, the patronus takes on a different meaning. The Arctic Wolf patronus Veruca has, is the shadow to the alpha Arctic Wolf. So even with her patronus, Veruca is still in Coby's shadow.
When manifesting as a shadow totem, the arctic wolf brings lessons in life experience that will tend to build up a defensive wall around the shadow wolf soul. These individuals enter onto the Red Road with a good deal of vulnerability, in many instances a higher degree of sensitivity to their environments than most. Yet, as time goes by, extremely painful circumstances are met that will either construct a fortress of solitude or a friendly barrier that keeps others at a “safe” distance, thereby decreasing the chances that the individual may once again be hurt.
McQuaids who have the arctic wolf patronus are stoic and resolute individuals who appear to bear any storm with a spirit of strength and perseverance. And indeed, they are quite capable of enduring many hardships, yet the true lesson for the arctic wolf is the act of maintaining a certain measure of vulnerability in the face of the brutal lessons they encounter.
Though those with the arctic wolf patronus are naturally geared toward a mostly solitary existence, they will have a couple, to a few close & trusted friends that will be more like family members than their own biological family. The reason for this is due to the fact that the shadow arctic wolf soul will often grow up in a family that is either highly dysfunctional, or in circumstances where one or both parents are absent, be this as in the sense that the parental figures are deceased, or where the mother and father are emotionally unavailable.
Veruca isn't as close to her mother as she is with her father. Though she loves her just as much, she can't help but feel like a second thought compared to Coby. Carson is a close friend to Veruca that they consider each other siblings. Veruca even refers to the Iveys as her second family and addresses Mr. and Mrs. Ivey as mom and dad.
Again, trust is hard to earn from those who own an arctic wolf patronus, and bonds once forged in trust will rarely be broken unless there is an extreme betrayal on the part of their loved one. The ultimate challenge of these individuals is to learn to be open, vulnerable and trusting in the face of a lifetime of lessons in rejection, disillusionment, and betrayal. Yet it is interesting that these people will often be the ones to break off relationships, and are seldom the one to be “left behind.”
Right after graduation, Veruca leaves everyone behind to find her own peace and come to terms with everything that has happened. After finding her peace, she comes back to reconcile and reunite with everyone else. While on her own journey, her patronus ends up changing to match Diego's patronus.
Carson Ivey (Hogwarts Mystery)
Carson's patronus is the owl, specifically the Brown Owl. The owl cannot be deceived, which is why this spirit animal reminds us to remain true to ourselves, our voice, and our vision. The owl spirit does not tolerate illusion or secrets.
Being Veruca's best friend, it's a given Carson knows what's truly going on with her. Though it's pretty easy for him to read the moods of someone, he's not one to pry into someone's personal affairs.
The owl is a symbol of being able to navigate any darkness in our life; this spirit brings clarity, prophetic inklings, and a strong connection with the mystical world.
Those with the owl patronus have the opportunity to become far more observant. Being able to notice a lot of important details that previously eluded you. The world is filled with layers of symbolism and meaning, and the owl gives you “new” eyes with which to see those.
As a spirit animal, the owl often calls on us to release the past and put down burdens that hold us back. You have to face your shadows and fears, then move beyond them to find true happiness.
Owls don’t just honor us with the ability of “Second Sight." These majestic birds have hearing that is quite literally “perfect stereo." The owl as a spirit animal guide can aid you in hearing what is really being said despite the words and emotions coming from the messenger.
The owl spirit can help support you when the time to speak your truth has arrived. Remember, owls are birds of prey, and little stops them when they set their sites on “the prize.” What or whom do you have your heart set on? Focus, patience, and stillness can win the day.
Invoke owl energy when you need to see all the details of what or who is coming toward you and what is right in front of you.
Carson may be chaotic with his personality, but he can be patient to analyze and assess a situation. He's quite stubborn, might be because his childhood friend is Veruca and he picked up on her own stubbornness, but he will continue to push for what he stands for.
In Celtic mythology, owls knew the way to the underworld and were fierce defenders of truth and honor. The owl has no tolerance for deception, even when we are deceiving ourselves.
The Celtic Owl was tied closely to the ancient Goddess of fertility. It frequently appears in knotwork and bestiaries, being revered for its ability to see in the dark and acting as a messenger between humans and the Divine.
Avis Ni Conraoi (Hogwarts Legacy)
Avis' patronus is the butterfly. Those with the butterfly patronus means it's time for personal growth and greater awareness of mental, physical, and spiritual rhythms. Change can sometimes be challenging and daunting because it moves us out of our comfort zone.
You cannot embrace a “new you” until you release the old. With the butterfly spirit, you’ll find that you can fly gracefully above the barriers that would otherwise hold you back.
The Conraois are quite a spiritually oriented family one can say. They don't appear to worry over minor things that can cause someone to stress out to the point of exhaustion. Avis, herself, lives her life freely with no worries. Life is too short for her to take a slow path and be cautious of everything. She simply goes with the flow, following where the wind takes her on a new journey.
The butterfly as a teacher puts great emphasis on movement: Be it blossom-to-blossom, home-to-home, or one state in our spiritual exploration to another.
An old Irish blessing says,
“May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun, and find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness, and riches today, tomorrow and beyond.”
Throughout Celtic regions, the butterfly represents prosperity, joy, good fortune, and honor. Butterflies also symbolizes the soul. So much was the case that harming a white butterfly was against the law in Ireland because of the belief it bore a dead child’s spirit.
The butterfly often turns our thoughts inward to review elements of our character, morals, and habits that weigh us down, keeping us stuck in a mire of negative energy.
The goal of the winged ally is restoring lightness in your being so you can dance life’s dance with unbridled joy!
People with a butterfly as their patronus have a natural lightness of spirit! They love the beauty of nature and are guided by the greatest good when it comes to maintaining balance with the environment.
Avis is normally against violence, opting to be an advocate of peace. Though if that peace has been disturbed, she will take on a more passive aggressive attitude to protect that peace.
With the butterfly patronus, you’ll find that you’re better equipped to look at difficult situations from another angle. As you fly on her wings, your perspective becomes more global and hopeful.
Butterfly people are naturally social, colorful, and vibrant. They endeavor to live each moment to the fullest.
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I recently came out to my mom as bisexual (we'll deal with the NB part later in family therapy which we're going to now i guess), and she didn't take it well. I explained to her why I believe it's ok to be in a relationship with someone of the same gender, provided sources and scriptures and my own story about reconciling my faith and my identity. She's still stuck in the mindset that homosexuality is evil, and that i'm breaking her heart. (1./2)
This is a tough question to answer. And first off, I’m really sorry you’re going through this. I can only imagine how painful it is. So I extend all the comfort and prayers your way that I can.
Part of it really is up for her to work out with God. There’s only so much you can do. Only so much you can say, do, and try, to help her see things from your perspective a little bit. But ultimately, her mind is her mind and her heart is her heart. It’s one of the hardest things to come to terms with.
There’s many ways you can approach this and I’m honestly not entirely sure of the correct one. It’s a tricky situation.
But, if this is any consolation to you at all: even if she never agrees with you about the lgbtq+ issue. Even if she doesn’t understand how you can be lgbtq+ and a Christian. You can explain and explain and talk and talk and it can in one ear and out the other. But when she sees the way you live, the way you love, and the way you reflect Christ- those are things that are hard to negate. And hopefully seeing those things can help her to respect you as a fellow believer.
So, I’d advise:
1) That you pray. Pray for wisdom in speaking to her. Discernment in your conversations with her. Pray that your heart, mind, and ears are open to listening to her. And pray that you can try to understand it from her perspective.
But also- pray for her to open her heart to listen to you. And pray for her to remember that you are still her child, regardless. Pray she is reminded of the commandments to love and care for you.
2) Know when you need to back down- for your own sake and hers. Sometimes, I get in arguments back and forth with some of my anti-lgbtq+ peers and family, and eventually, hours pass, and I’m sitting there, exhausted to my bones, tears in my eyes, and a weariness in my heart that I cannot bear any longer. Don’t stop at that point. Stop long before. Sometimes, it’s better to say, “Mom, I love you, but we need to stop arguing. I don’t either of us to say anything hurtful to each other. Let’s stop,” than to keep going until you’re so upset you don’t know what to do with yourself.
3) Don’t expect too much. And I’m not just saying this in a, “Your mom will never change, she’s doomed,” kind of way, no. I’m saying this in a “your mom has lived with this particular form of theology/beliefs for a long time and it’s not something that’s going to come undone in one night.”
I was homophobic for about fifteen years of my life. I’m talking about genuinely hurtful terrible homophobia. Gays don’t go to heaven, their ‘sin’ is worse than other sin, and so on so on. I was angry with people, with myself, and God. I also was a closeted bisexual with confusion and dysphoria regarding my gender. But that doesn’t excuse it. Homophobia is a heck of a drug and I firmly believe it isn’t biblical.
But undoing that? Unraveling your beliefs, examining them, and trying to see where the toxicity has been so woven into the fabric of who you are? That’s tough. I’m still not done figuring it out. I’ll probably continue on figuring it out for years to come.
I’m just saying- have patience with her. Don’t put yourself in danger. Don’t let her hurt you. But do understand that, if she’s genuinely putting in an effort, and trying to understand- it won’t happen overnight.
4) There’s a lot of rich theological discussion to be had with her, if she is willing to discuss it calmly. A lot about forgiveness, love, judgement, and especially about being one body of believers, despite our diversity of opinions and backgrounds and experiences and orientations, etc. See if your mom is interested in having a discussion about it. A good verse to reference is this one:
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (ESV)
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Your mom might benefit from examining that passage from a new perspective: you, as an lgbtq+ believer, bring things to the table that others can’t. Maybe urge her to think about what some of those things may be.
Regardless of whether she does or not, you’ve at least given her something to dwell on and pray over.
5) Remind her of this simple verse. We all know it.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
There are no asterisks. No long terms and conditions. It’s simple enough that a child can understand. And that’s the point. With faith alone that reaches beyond understanding, you can be saved. We cannot save ourselves. Only Jesus can. Salvation is not from your mom, or from you. The moment you declared Jesus Lord is the moment you were “born again,” just as your mom was. It’s us that try to put conditions on God’s love and Jesus’s sacrifice- not Him. He loves you. You are his child. Regardless of sexuality and gender.
and 6) Protect yourself. If debating with your mom or arguing or trying to convince her- if that is hurting you. Take a step back. Tell her that you love her, but you’d like to put the discussion to rest for the time being.
You are valuable member of this family. A family of believers. From different walks of life, backgrounds, experiences, struggles, hurts, and joys. You are loved deeply and valued by the God who created you, the one who will never leave, nor forsake you. Try to cling to that, even now, when things are rough.
Trevor Project hotline: 1-866-488-7386
God bless you. You will be in my prayers.
(If I said anything wrong, I apologise. I did my best to respond but I am fallible to error. I ask that you forgive me if I made any. ♥)
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Having not long found this blog I'm now currently reading it alongside my current re-read of the story (currently in book 4) but I first started reading the series in 99. I wonder how especially given your amazing knack for calling things how would you have coped having to have years between books just to see what happens? I know you have it now with the Stormlight Archive which I really enjoy too. But for me there was something about RJ's writing the build up where waits for books were torturou
Hello and welcome! Well, a belated welcome, anyway, since I seem to be incapable of responding to messages in anything resembling a reasonable timeframe, these days.
Anyway, yeah, I can imagine the wait between books would have been rather excruciating. There’s definitely a very different feel to a series you approach as a completed work, where you know you’ll only have to wait for answers for as long as it takes you to turn the page (or, in my case, to…um…anyway yes I’m working on it, shhhhh) than there is to diving into a series that is years if not decades from completion.
One of the things that’s most noticeably different, at least for me, is that this side of a finished series, there’s an almost eerie silence where a series in progress has a hungry fandom full of conversation and spiralling theories and often absurd infighting and endless, endless speculation of all forms. Harry Potter fandom circa 2002…what a time. And yes, Stormlight Archive now. There’s a very specific brand of delightful and yet liberating frustration that comes of knowing that no matter what you do, you cannot have the absolute certainty of an answer now. You cannot know - you can speculate and guess and run with theories both plausible and absurd to your heart’s content - what the author’s truth will be until it has been written and read. You can be very close to certain, but you can’t actually know.
It’s fun. Or infuriating. Or boring. Take your pick, really. But when the series is finished, it all takes on a different feel. Not better or worse necessarily, but different. There’s something about knowing that you could have the answers in an instant that makes it laughably easy to wait. To speculate at leisure rather than with the frenzied desperation of the need to prepare yourself for what’s coming, when you know full well that you can’t. Surrounded by hundreds or thousands of other fans in the same state, magnifying everything.
The thing with mass fan speculation, though, is that while many of the answers can be found in the archives and forums and margin notes in the aftermath, they’re diluted and buried by a deluge of dead ends and false leads and wishful thinking and some good old-fashioned absurdity. That’s half the fun, of course, if that’s your sort of thing. But with a work in progress, when the side of fandom inclined towards such speculation and theorising has plenty of time to stew in its own juices, you can end up with things that ultimately veer wildly, often hilariously away from what ends up being published in the next book, just because there are so many people with so many ideas. Follow one, and take it somewhere interesting, and then someone else follows it, and then and then and then…and it’s fun. It’s a way of interacting with a story in progress, of giving it a vast infinity of endings before it has a single one, of generating a multiverse from a single point source.
But it also, I think, can make it harder to actually predict things the way they ultimately end up written, just because you’re exposed to so much else surrounding the story, so many other things bouncing around inside the space, playing off of each other and the story and gaining or losing context and traction along the way.
All this to say, Wheel of Time has been a fascinating one for me because, relatively isolated as I’ve made myself from any external discussion of the series but without the pressing need to know everything now that comes of the impossibility of knowing everything now in a series that is not yet finished, it’s a chance to read and consider and think and play around in a rather empty, quiet, peaceful space. It’s a different kind of fun. It’s fucking weird sometimes, don’t get me wrong, and there are also times where it feels entirely artificial - after all, why speculate when everyone reading your speculation knows the answer and therefore there’s no point attempting to convince or persuade or even walk through your own reasoning - but that’s…oddly enough, part of the fun. There’s no pressure, when you’re immediately right or wrong and everyone but you knows it. It’s oddly freeing, in a way. I can sit here and write hundreds of words on why I think something is going to happen, when it ‘happened’ half my lifetime ago. Most fan theories of an ongoing series at least get some time during which they exist in a state not unlike that of Schrödinger’s cat; mine are instead immediately alive or dead.
And I think in some ways that makes it easier to figure things out. Which is not to say I haven’t had my share of very dead cats in boxes (at least Schrödinger didn’t try it with a dragon), but rather that I have the luxury of working in relative silence, so to speak. It has its benefits and drawbacks - I lose out on the wisdom of the crowd in some things, but I also get space to think free of influence or persuasion of things I might never have even considered otherwise. Ever seen those few fan theories that become absurdly prevalent to the point of being accepted as more or less canon, despite being truly absurd? (Those are delightful, in their way, sometimes. Ah, fandom…) I’m not exposed to those, and I don’t feel like I have to generate them or discuss them just to have a place in the conversation. I just call out what I think I can see or speculate on, and stay quieter on the things I can’t yet figure out.
(It also helps that WoT was written long enough ago and had enough of an influence on subsequent works that things that may at the time have been new and different and surprising have in many cases become familiar staples of the genre. The whole thing has been like some weird experiment on the effects of time and continuity and completion on a reader in a vacuum. With a possibly dead cat floating in the box beside her).
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I'm gearing up. I'm clutching. I'm strapping in.
You told me to fight, i didn't understand what you ment all i hear was the violence that was shown to me and i didn't want to hurt you ever but the biggest waves come from the smallest ripple.
I wish my last words were don't look back in sadness but my last words i forgot buried to the sands of time, i like to think it was our last fight. But the last word i said was goodbye and it haunted me for the past 7 years every tear another reminder of wherever you are, you are my sail boat on the high seas but we crashed ashore.
Oh lala, how i want you to know the things we did i hope it was worth it, i like my chances because now we're older, oh lulu how this wasn't the story but I'm glad you remembered the day i hold close but I'm fighting I'm kickin and screaming a spark of life, just a friction stripe, but to break you to keep myself alive and warm it's the only way.
Oh sweet of honour, i know you made poems of me I hope they don't haunt me like every word you said, but fuck now I'm haunted and what might of been if i had fought but that was kindling to my fire, but you need a fire after shelter and a water source or if your cold to warm up it's all about priorities.
Oh victory of wisdom, I learned skills no man should learn but I'll learn anything if you asked me to do it, I'd ask you for many things but ultimately they are still there and everything I wanted and what's next you'd be unprepared for because there's no plan just a stroke of a match on some lint that will start the fire.
Oh crowned with laurels, I'm sorry don't look back im sadness, tommrow is coming around the corner I'm putting wood down, i hope it burns a fire that needed fuel. Warm me up tonight i say but the fire needed to start, Burn my fire my wildfire heart burns again be my wildfire.
Oh loz, I still want my log cabin, some say I was planning to purchase one for you but i wouldn't of known where to send the deed. I'm sorry i didn't understand your mind when I was sick but maybe I was stuck on Grand Lake, Michigan. I think your blooming now but you wait the best is yet to come, I can feel the twin flame burning my soul it's burning like a phoenix the rebirth, oh it's beautiful I'm becoming what I've wanted to be but couldn't have you had your rebirth.
Ohhhh Ren, the smallest ripple has just began again, I'm back in business I just need to fight for my stability before I can make commitments for two again, i want you back in my life and all i can seem to do is look back in sadness. At least you are still beautiful I'll throw this stone, and hope that the waves wash me clean and I'll be reday to catch the wave back home. Looking forwards again to our log cabin I'll make from this shipwreck that had taken me to the forrests.
From what I've seen on your blog, you claim to be a Catholic Witch. Please, please, please understand that this is wrong. I'm not trying to shove anything down your throat and sound like a bigot, but you are practicing Divination. Our wisdom comes from God, not from magic in any form. Please research this topic as there is much biblical evidence to back up what I am telling you. If you are Catholic, I encourage you to go to mass and to pray the rosary, and confession. God Bless you.
Firstly, if you’ve read my original posts, you’ll see that I don’t talk about magic as an original source of its own. When I do talk about magic, which is rare, I talk about either the concept of magic within the context of cultural witchcrafts or about magic being a way of God interacting with the mundane world. Secondly, I think you misunderstand my use of Tarot. I don’t do fortune telling. Tarot is a form of art therapy for me, a meditative tool. Although it sometimes surprises me which cards come up in readings, ultimately they are just small art prints with symbols that I reflect on intrapersonally.Thirdly, I do pray the rosary. I do go to Mass. I do participate in Reconciliation.
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I am planning on writing a fantasy book and two of my races are elves and fairies. However, I am having trouble thinking of a way that seperates them into different races. One idea I have is that elves were once fairies, who are beings of pure magic, that traded a majority of their magic to become a static being on the physical plane. I'm not sure whether to keep this idea though. I was wondering if you may offer any ideas? I love your blog by the way, definitely one of my favorites. Thank you!
Hi writer! Thanks for sticking with me all this time, it means a lot!
For your dilemma, I think it depends a lot on what mileage you’re trying to get out of your races. The origins and exact natures of both elves and faeries have been muddled across time and cultural beliefs occurring in virtually every Western European country, so giving you the historical lowdown on what the exact differences between the two are (and there are several) wouldn’t be particularly helpful, in my opinion. If you were trying to be accurate to specific elfish and fae traditions, you’d want to nail it down to one country and research away on the differences between the two. The collective understanding of them can be anywhere from “faerie is a broad term that includes elves” to “elf is a broad term including faeries” to “faeries have wings and elves don’t” to “neither have wings” to “they serve similar purposes” to “one is mischievous and the other is more benevolent” to “elves and dwarves are similar.” Sifting through to find the truth is nigh on impossible anymore, particularly now that we have Tolkien mucking it all up.
What this means for you is that you can do anything you want, within respect and reason. (That said, below the cut are some entries from a book I have.)
Let’s think about this a bit… Are these two branches of an ancient ancestor or are they entirely separate entities that came about distinctly on their own? Are there physical differences between them? Wings? Feathers? Scales? Ear shape? Hair texture? Gills? Hollow bones? Translucent skin? Eye shape? You don’t have to know exactly how they came to exist in the cosmos, so don’t stress about nailing that down too much, but do think about how closely related the two are. That will help you begin to determine what parts of their physical nature you may want to modify to differentiate them.
Also remember that making them physically distinctive isn’t a requirement. Maybe it’s a regional difference of the same race. Culture, lifestyle, and ability are going to create just as many immediately identifiable differences as over-the-top and overt physicality differences. If you focus more on making each of them believable groups of people, readers will be more willing to forgive that their physical descriptions are pretty similar.
Think about: What do they tend to care about? What kinds of environments do they gravitate toward living in? Trees? Plains? Meadows? Sea? Mountains? High elevation? Low elevation? What sorts of fashions do they wear? What is unacceptable to their culture? What will upset them, and in turn what are they thrilled to see? What are relations between various cultures and races like? Do they tend to be more petty, malicious, rule-bound, upright, truth-speakers or liars, insightful, helpful, peaceful, war-faring?
Sounds like you have magic going on in your world, so consider the differences in their magic and how it sets them apart from each other. What do they use or not use it for? How integral is magic to their existence? Are they made of magic or just have control of it? What kinds of abilities do they have with their magic, how do those abilities differ between the two groups, and how would it impact either race to not have magic at all? How do they view each others’ magic type and use?
Your idea definitely sounds pretty neat; just remember not to over-develop what won’t be necessary on the page. Knowing the background of where they originated is great, but if you’re not going to need to explicitly state it on the page for the readers, focus instead on the aspects they will see: how they look, how they act, how they live. Use those details to communicate that these two races are different without overloading the narrative with extraneous worldbuilding that could be kept behind-the-scenes influences to the characters.
Good luck! -Pear
From Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses by Judika Illes:
Elves are mysterious Northern spirits, sometimes equated with Fairies. Like Fairies, Elves have not been cleaned up and made over to suit sanitized children’s fiction, often portrayed as miniature, whimsical busy bees: Santa’s little helpers. Originally Elves were human-sized, sometimes taller, and they were renowned archers, artisans, and healers; author J.R.R. Tolkien’s portrayal of the sacred but dangerous Elven folk in The Lord of the Rings trilogy of novels hews closer to mythic tradition.
Elves live in a realm that parallels humans. Norse myth divides the Elves into Light Elves and Dark Elves, otherwise known as Dwarves. Scholars disagree as to whether the Elves and the Vanir spirits are the same, but they are closely affiliated. The Vanir spirit Freyr is the Elven King.
Elves are beautiful, volatile spirits of wild nature. They were not trivial spirits; once upon a time, bulls were sacrificed to them. Their significance is recalled in human names like Alvin, Elvis, Elva, and Elvira. Elves feature prominently in Anglo-Saxon spells and charms, many intended to protect from the Elves themselves. A hostile relationship between Elves and people is often now presumed, but before Christianity, spiritual alliances existed between Elves and people. Once this alliance ended, embittered Elves, previously helpful, may have turned dangerous, or, conversely, people were taught to fear Elves specifically so that they would not continue Pagan devotions. In Scandinavia, however, relationships between people and Elves were generally positive.
Like Fairies, Djinn, and Bori spirits, Elves can be benevolent or hostile; some can even cause illness. Elves strike at people with the poison darts known as Elf-shot, which cause illness and malaise. They may cause paralysis or stroke, too. Elves sometimes target cattle and livestock, as well as people. Various spells, charms, and amulets serve to protect against them. Elves are sources of wisdom, fertility, and wealth (when they want to be). They love music and dancing.
Manifestation: Seductively, alluringly beautiful
Realm: Alfheim (”Elf Home”)
Plants: Elder trees, rosemary
Sacred time: Offerings are traditionally left out for Elves on Christmas Eve. Although this now appears to derive from the myth of Santa’s workshop, it may actually be related to Old Norse traditions. Yuletide was a traditional time for visitations from other realms.
Also known as: Faerie, Fae, Fay, Fee, Fada, Fata, Hada, Draga, Encantada, Damizelos.
The word Fairy has become a catch-all for all kinds of tenuously related spirits. In general, what they share in common are associations with wild nature and an interest in human life cycles, especially birth.
Fairy is also the standard word used to translate amorphous, volatile, sexy nature spirits from around the world, especially if they’re female. Thus Vila, Rusalka, Keshalyi, and Tunder are all referred to as Fairies although they are all distinct types of spirits.
The word Fairy is related to fate. Birth Fairies–those who arrive shortly after a birth to announce a baby’s future and fortune–may be the “true” Fairies. This is more obvious in Italian than in English: the word for Fairy in Italian is fata or fada. Fata Morgana is literally Fairy Morgana.
For many people, Fairy means the Sidhe of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. The word is commonly used in Ireland as the English translation for Sidhe. When people describe green as a Fairy color, for instance, they are referring to the preferences of the Sidhe. (Balkan and Slavic “Fairies” tend to prefer white.)
Shamanic healers and herbalists who work with Sidhe are known as Fairy doctors. The old shamanic tradition of venerating and working with Sidhe is the Fairy Faith.
Animals: Frogs, toads, dragonflies, butterflies, cattle, deer, and foxes are among the creatures most identified with Fairies.
Plants: Wildflowers in general, but also the following plants traditionally associated with Fairies–blackthorn (sloc), bluebells, brambles, briar roses and dog roses, crocuses (especially saffron), ferns, foxglove, hawthorn, heartsease, hollyhocks, lavender, morning glories, mushrooms (especially amanita muscaria), pansies, poppies, primrose (allegedly serving as keys to Fairy Land), ragweed (aka Fairy’s Horse), rosemary.
Time: Fairies favor nocturnal hours and threshold times, for instance, twilight and dawn.
Sacred dates: Fairies are particularly active from May Eve (Beltane, Walpurgis) until a last annual fling at Halloween.
Also known as: Fates
In the famous story Sleeping Beauty, a king and queen, celebrating the birth of a long-awaited royal heir, throw a festive banquet for Fairies. Each Fairy brings a blessing as a baby gift. One Fairy fails to receive an invitation. Why the invitation was never received depends upon the version of the story, but the inevitable end result is that she bestows a curse, not a blessing.
This scenario is no mere fairy tale, but a description of rituals once common throughout Europe in French, Slavic, Celtic, and other regions, as well as among the Roma. Birth Fairies foretell (and may bestow) a baby’s fate. They are direct descendants of the Moirae, Parcae, and other Fate goddesses.
Following a baby’s birth, it was traditional to create an offering table for these Fairies. Ritual details depend on specific spirits to whom the ritual is devoted. There will be a set number of spirits and they will arrive on schedule. Most frequently, three are anticipated, but sometimes there is only one and occasionally as many as thirteen, as in the original version of Sleeping Beauty. Usually the spirits are female, but the Roma, for instance, have male and female birth spirits.
The offering table is the crucial element. A table is laid as if for a festive meal. Fairies, the honored, desired guests, are expected to come and dine: food and drink are offered. The table is set with individual place settings, napkins, glasses, the whole works. (Each tradition will specify how many Fairies are expected, although as in Sleeping Beauty, it’s usually best to be prepared for extra guests.)
Also known as: Devas
Tiny little winged spirits, flitting from flower to flower, these are flower Fairies. Regular Fairies compare in size to humans, although many are skilled shape-shifters who can take any form. Flower Fairies are a separate, distinct species of spirit.
Theoretically, every flower may have its own Fairy. A field of wildflowers or a lush, flower-packed backyard contains a universe of spirits. Flower Fairies’ natures reflect the type of flowers with which they’re associated. Flower Fairies associated with the beautiful blossoms of poisonous plants, like belladonna or wolfsbane, have different personalities and interests than those associated with daisies and buttercups.
Flower Fairies suffer from habitat loss. Give them a home and they will come. Plant your favorite flowers and see what types of Fairies arrive with them. In general, Fairy gardens should not be overly manicured: allow a little wilderness to creep in so that the Fairies feel at home. Give them a little room for privacy, places to hide and observe where they won’t feel exposed. Add Fairy flowers, especially bramble bushes, wild roses, and hawthorn trees. Fairies enjoy the company of other species, too. Add butterfly gardens; bird and squirrel feeders; and/or bat houses. Incorporate a source of water: if a pond or stream is unavailable, a birdbath may suit them. They may be happy to share a hot tub with you, too. Ornaments such as crystals, statues, or witch balls are equivalent of interior decorating for Fairies. Flower Fairies tend to make themselves visible to children. (Alternatively, many children are very good at seeing them.)
Iconography: Modern perceptions of Flower Fairies are heavily influenced by the popular works of Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973), the author and illustrator of the “Flower Fairy” series of books.
Offerings: Creation and preservation of habitat is the ideal offering. Once at least a little habitat exists for them, invite Flower Fairies with offerings of honey, nuts, and thimblefuls of milk.
Sidhe; The Good People; The People Who Go Widdershins:
Pronounced and sometimes spelled: Shee
Origin: Ireland; Scottish Highlands
The Gaelic word Sidhe has three meanings: “barrow” or “tumulus”: ancient burial mounds often filled with treasure; “Fairy” or “Fairies” (the word is both singular and plural); “Fairy mound”: the sidhe are Fairies often living within the sidhe that are barrows.
When the Gaels successfully invaded Ireland, their predecessors, the divine Tuatha De Danaan were literally driven underground. They established their own parallel realms beneath the Earth. Fairy mounds are their portals. The Dagda, among the leaders of the Tuatha De Danaan assigned each member of the Tuatha De residence in a sidhe or mound. The Tuatha De Danaan became known as the Sidhe.
The key word regarding the Sidhe is beauty. They are magnificent, passionate, proud spirits who perceive themselves as worthy of veneration and intense respect: they accept (and perhaps expect!) small but consistent offerings such as dishes of milk placed out overnight on the windowsill or doorstep. There are male and female sidhe. They have an elaborately structured society that parallels that of humans.
The sidhe have an intense relationship with people, characterized by love and hostility. Once upon a time, they were the subject of passionate human veneration: hidden within fairy tales and legends are suggestions of Pagan devotion and voluntary channeling of spirits, similar to modern spiritual traditions such as African Diaspora faiths and Zar.
The Sidhe are master healers and may bestow this medical knowledge on those people they favor. So-called Fairy doctors combined herbal and shamanic healing and were trained directly by the Sidhe. On the other hand, the Sidhe also inflict illnesses like sudden tumors, stroke, and paralysis.
Sidhe stand accused of stealing humans, especially babies, children, midwives, and wet-nurses. The milk they expect as offerings may not always have been bovine; legends tell of Fairies accosting women and begging for a sip of human milk. They are generally not industrious spirits: their passions are dancing, music, poetry, and pleasure. They do raise cattle, which they sell or trade at fairs.
A ritual from the Scottish Highlands encourages bribing the Sidhe to save lives: 1. Sit on a three-legged stool at a three-way crossroads at midnight on Halloween; 2. Listen: voices will intone the names of those destined to die during the next twelve months; 3. This destiny may be avoided by returning to the spot with gifts for the Sidhe: one gift for each person whose destiny needs amending.
Time: Most Sidhe are active from dawn until noon and then from dusk until after midnight.
Days: The Sidhe are particularly active at Beltane (May Eve), Midsummer’s Eve, and Samhain (Halloween).
Sacred sites: Barrow mounds associated with individual sidhe are well-known. Fairy forts, also known as ring forts or stone forts, are circular earthen banks or stone walls. There were once as many as 60,000 of these circular earthworks in Ireland. Local names for them include cashel, forth, rath, or rusheen. Ring forts became known as Fairy forts because they are allegedly among the favorite haunts of Fairies. Ring forts can be physically or spiritually perilous, as many contain underground passages.
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I Finally Care More About Being Strong Than Skinny, and It's Because I'm Working Out at Home
The first time I was congratulated for losing weight, I had just gotten my wisdom teeth out. For the past week, the only thing I had been able to stomach was chocolate pudding, plain yogurt, and lukewarm soup, but my doctor didn't know that. All she saw were the numbers on the scale ticking downwards - a cause for celebration, not concern.
I liked what my doctor was saying. For once, I felt like I had done something important - like I might actually have a shot at looking like the models I loved to compare myself to. I felt powerful, in control, and enjoyed being praised for what could only be my newfound commitment to health and fitness. In the moment, I didn't feel like acknowledging that my weight loss was by no means the result of a healthy lifestyle.
I had always been a healthy weight, but was never traditionally thin, so this kind of admiration was new to me. In years past, I would try to suck in my gut during dance class, shrinking my profile in the mirror as much as I could, and becoming frustrated when I couldn't make my backside look completely flat like the other girls. I became obsessed with my size and thought that if I could just lose a few more pounds, I would look the way I was "supposed to." I didn't know how, but I knew that getting thinner was my ultimate goal.
As I went through high school, I placed more and more value on superficial measures of skinniness that (spoiler alert) I was never able to fully achieve. Thigh gaps, flat stomachs, and, most importantly, the numbers on the scale, were the determining factors in how I felt about myself. What I heard that day in the doctor's office only confirmed my own toxic ideas about weight loss: skinniness meant health, and fitness wasn't anything without it.
A few years later I was off to college, and most of the exercise I attempted there continued to center around weight loss. I'd have a great workout and still find myself discouraged if I felt like I was gaining weight. Likewise, I'd pick up terrible eating habits and become delighted once I found that they were helping me become closer to a skinnier ideal.
As a Young Girl, I Was Ashamed of My Strength, but Now It's a Source of Pride
When social distancing became the new normal, however, my goals were temporarily derailed. I was home, hungry, and didn't have anyone around me to impress - not even my doctor. Without a gym or any motivation to do anything other than skim through social media and watch Tiger King, I turned to home workouts. Not as a means to lose weight, but as a way to pass the time and keep myself moving during a long period of isolation.
I started off half heartedly with a few videos that promised to target my abs and arms, and they delivered. The next morning my muscles were sore in a new way - a good way - and although I didn't initially believe that the various sets of crunches and planks would ever become easier, I was interested in the idea that a workout could mean more than just a smaller dress size.
I was finally working out because I wanted to feel like my best self no matter what my body looked like externally.
For the next month, I worked my way through different home workouts, even attempting intense HIIT exercises I used to avoid at all costs. In those four weeks, I grew stronger than I ever had when all I cared about was losing weight. My body was changing in a way I liked, but I was more excited about my ability to fly through the workouts I had initially struggled with, challenging myself in new ways and genuinely enjoying myself in the process. Workouts were now something I looked forward to instead of something I dreaded, and I noticed real progress that had nothing to do with my weight.
It took a few weeks of social distancing and some chaotic circumstances, but I was finally working out because I wanted to feel like my best self no matter what my body looked like externally. Going into my second month of home workouts, I'm continuing to view my health in terms of strength and nutrition, not weight loss and quick diets. Now when I approach my fitness, I remember to be mindful about what it is I actually want to achieve and whether or not I'm being honest with myself about my goals. Home workouts were my unexpected saving grace, but even when the gyms open back up and social gatherings resume, these are habits I'll want to keep forever.
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