fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
"What To Do When The Power of Positive Thinking Fails,
And How To Avoid Blaming Yourself When It Does"
By = Tempest Alexandria Arts

If you're at all involved in the New Age or pagan movements, you probably know that there are a lot of books out there about the power of positive thinking. There's no shortage of gurus ready to teach you all about how the universe really loves you and wants you to get what you want, and for a price they will teach you how to think in order to tap into this power. Because, as they quickly inform you, if you're confused about what you want or need, the universe will be too, which tidily explains why you aren't already rich and happy.

The power of positive thinking is real, of course, insofar as it can do amazing things because the human Will can do amazing things, but there are a major problems with this philosophy, and there are limits to what it can do that most of these gurus fail to address. First, the assumption behind why positive thinking works (that the universe loves you) works as a great excuse for why you need to be taught how to think positively (by buying their books or taking their expensive classes), but ultimately sets you up for failure. Secondly, it's a lot more difficult than the gurus try to make it seem, because the money is in providing a seemingly simple yet ultimately difficult and complex solution, so that you keep buying their books for more insight, more help. Third, it is far too easy to fall into the trap of victim blaming (especially victim blaming yourself) when it fails, which can become a vicious cycle. And fourth, the process can be made more difficult if you have conditions like clinical depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder, and is not an easy process even without conditions like that. Hopefully, though, you will have a fair idea how to go about the process in a meaningful and realistic way, and be able to help yourself without expensive books or classes, after reading this article.

The central assumption behind the "power of positive thinking" in most New Age philosophy is that God/the universe/the Goddess loves you, and wants you to be happy, but that it can't do that if your thoughts are confused, or you aren't thinking the right way. The idea is that if you don't know what you want, the universe doesn't know what you want either. On the surface, it sounds reasonable and so innocuous, but there are real problems with it that don't really come to light until you've tried it for a decade or more and failed at it, and even then only if you realize there's a problem and stop to analyze it. Because ultimately, the philosophy as it is usually taught is doomed to failure, since the even deeper assumption is that the power of positive thinking can be learned by everyone, it just takes vigilance, and also because the way it is taught is full of flaws; flaws often left in on purpose or added in to begin with, since it makes selling more books easier.

The problem with that assumption that everyone can learn to wield the power of positive thinking is that it isn't true. Getting positive thinking to work for you as it should is one of those things that you can either figure out how to do or you can't, to various degrees. Take lucid dreaming as an example; some people can learn how to do it, and do it easily, others never figure out how to do it at all, still others only manage to lucid dream by accident, and reading books or taking classes doesn't really help much. Similarly, some people can learn to activate the full potential of positive thinking, others never manage it at all, and still others only ever do it by accident, or somewhere else along that spectrum. Books can help, at least in getting the process started, but they can only do so much, and most books on the subject are deeply flawed.

Furthermore, even if you do manage to change your thinking to be positive all the time, that alone may not be enough. The power of positive thinking is a kind of magick, and magick can only influence the odds of something happening, it is still up to other people to have opportunities available for you, and up to you to take said opportunities. After all, you can think as positively as you like in the middle of the Sahara desert, but that's not going to miraculously make water appear out of nowhere. And even if you find an oasis, you still have to walk towards it and drink from its waters; those waters will not come to you.

Now that's not to say the power of positive thinking isn't real, and can't do wonders. It can in fact work, but my stress here is on the can. It can work for you. But not because the universe loves you and wants you to be happy. That belief defies all the evidence. If the universe truly loved us and wanted us to be happy, we would all be immortal, eternally youthful, and eternally healthy, with either no need to eat, or with plenty of food readily available without the need for hard labor. There would be no more menstruation, and people would only be able to have kids if they really wanted to, and the planet would never get overcrowded.
Continues )

Still ill

Jun. 17th, 2017 06:30 pm
fayanora: Steph Death Glare (Steph Death Glare)
Bah scumbug, I still have that cold. It's been hanging on like a parasite for over a week now, it's very annoying. I hope it goes away soon, it's driving me crazy and giving me flashbacks to my childhood. I served my time already, being that I was constantly sick in my youth, so much so that my body forgot how to breathe through its nose without me having to concentrate on doing it.

Seriously, it made itself known on the ninth, and though I've gotten better since the first few days where it was kicking my ass, it's like an uninvited guest severely overstaying its welcome by continuing to hang around and stuff up my head and make me cough occasionally. At least so far today the coughing appears to be down to around once every 10 or 15 minutes, or less-frequently.

My being sick all the time as a kid made it so that, with rare exception, I almost never get sick as an adult. I wonder if that means the things that DO manage to get me sick are especially powerful? That could explain the extra-long cold I'm having now.

Did some small hair sacrifices to Jiijiinis and Alorno, gods of Health and Healing, last night. Couldn't burn the sacrifices, because I couldn't find matches, so I had to make them be lost by throwing them away. I thought it had worked this morning, but no, I just keep consistently feeling better when I wake up and backsliding within 20 minutes. It's incredibly annoying.

Gonna find some matches and try again later.

Fierce

Jul. 31st, 2016 02:18 am
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)
I've never really understood this whole "masculinity = fierce" thing. You know, the strong, fierce, scary warrior type? Because:

A. My masculine side, growing up and now, was always the meek and gentle side. (Even Alex, who has a strong masculine aura about him and a lot of anger and aggressiveness, is the way he is because he's gentle and sensitive at heart and everything wounds him, and he can only deal with it by vacillating between anger and apathy. Though he's improving. And Ian, the only other boy in the collective, is so shy and sensitive and fragile that he never comes out of hiding anymore.) It's my feminine side that's fierce, strong, and occasionally terrifying.

B. My main deity is a Goddess of Chaos, and at least two others in the system identify as avatars of Her. While She does have Her softer side, I am empowered by Her fierce, terrifying side. Djao'Kain, in Her fierce and terrifying side, could face any masculine warrior type and make him shit himself in terror, even before She started turning him inside out and showing him his own beating heart, with Her eyes like amber lanterns, Her many arms (with clawed fingers) wielding many weapons, the look in Her eye challenging people to try to hurt Her or the ones She loves, and Her Chaos Fire.

I get a thrill of power when I access one of Her even fiercer Aspects, like Shao'MaHK, covered in blood and grinning like a madwoman, fire roaring out of control behind Her.

Yeah, you can keep your masculinity, thanks.

Wiccans

Apr. 8th, 2016 08:15 pm
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)
I like doing rituals with other people, but this SisterSpirit group has twice now done something that concerns me. Specifically, not doing their research. First it was a ritual where they were going to invoke a Celtic Goddess that doesn't like being summoned for frivolous reasons, for a frivolous reason, without knowing jack squat about Her.

And now in an email they've called Diana “the Goddess of the Faeries,” but 5 minutes on Google proves that wrong; Diana has fuckall to do with the faeries. The Goddess of the Faeries, at least from what I found, is Danu.

I don't know if I want to continue with this group, if they're going to continue to be careless idiots. They’re gonna get godsmacked if they don’t use more caution.

I wish I knew why so many Wiccans tend to be, in my experience, so disrespectful of the Deities. Oh wait, I know: it's that whole "All goddesses are The Goddess, all gods are The God" bullshit, whereas I know that all Deities are their own person, with their own personalities, likes, dislikes, etc.

Contrast that to the other group, the School of Witchcraft, where they direct us to invoke our own Goddesses instead of half-assedly picking one at random to invoke. So far, my only complaint about School of Witchcraft is that in the last ritual, the leader - a white woman - ended the ritual with what sounded like a black spiritual song, which made me uncomfortable because it felt like appropriation to me. To help myself clear away the energy of my feelings about that, I got the “last word” by telling the Discordian version of the Footprints story, to banish those feelings with laughter.

*Sigh* Wiccans.

Ritual

Apr. 7th, 2016 01:25 am
fayanora: Steph bouncy (Steph bouncy)
Went to this meetup I've been going to lately, where they meet every month to do a ritual. It's pretty cool. They meet in a dance studio they rent time at, and one of the rules of the place is no shoes allowed. I don't mind being barefoot on it, is kept pretty clean. Also, I prefer to do magic barefoot.
I'm going to skip the opening and closing parts of the ritual and go right to the spot where we did a guided meditation bit, because this document began as journaling we did after the ritual. Here goes:

We were directed to picture ourselves at a body of water. So I imagined myself with my feet in a stream, saw a rabbit in part of that scene. Then we were directed to dive into the water down into an underwater cave. The cave I pictured had white crystals in the walls and ceilings, and bioluminescent life lighting the whole place. The sand on the shore was black. Shao'Kehn was there, nude, dancing like one of those Hawaiian fire dancers, including fire breath. We were told by the person leading the meditation that there was a message there, but She didn't give me one, unless the dancing was a message. We moved forward to a scrying pool and crystal. Crystal was amethyst, purple. Scrying pool had image from Illinois, my childhood, there. (Picture of the house we lived in there.) That, too, was supposed to be a message. Don't know what it meant.

When we were directed to move on or stay, I moved on, my body was light brown with black hair and amber eyes (Thus looking like Fayanora Ahnabahn and Shao'Kehn). When I found another room, it had this neat 3D labyrinth made of stairs going up and down. By labyrinth, I mean one of those things drawn on the ground that you walk along, that look a bit like a spiral or series of spirals, only this one was – as I said – 3D and you had to go up and down stairs as you went along the path laid out. No idea what that means.

I like guided meditation, but I often feel rushed by them, which interferes with receiving messages. This one especially so.

After the meditation, we did a dance, and I felt The Wild Woman aspect (Djao'Ide [ʒaʊ-aɪd]) of Shao'Kehn trying to go wild. But I'm out of shape, so She didn't get far before my body gave up. (Well, it was either Her or Shao'Rahk [Queen of Filth]. The two may have even been competing to see which one would get through.) I am glad to know I should do more dancing.

~

After the ritual, I asked how much rent was for time at the place we were at (a dance studio), and apparently it's $15 an hour, which ain't bad.
Then there was an after party at a nearby restaurant (a bar) and I spent an hour taking with one woman in particular. We have some common interests, including Robert Anton Wilson, science, and superheroes.

One last thing: before I went to the ritual, I drew a bunch of images on my arms with face paint sticks. Images to follow.

Pics under cut )
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
They say the third time's a charm. In this case, literally. Specifically, a third type of magic that is tied to specific deities from my pantheon. Shao-Kehn's magick has always been red-orange, like flames, and sometimes silver like metal. The magick of Ayil'Kwahl'Ah'Gorah, Deity of Computers, electronics, and the Internet, is a whitish silver, best in the form of little circuits that spread across the screen, or in a net across the screen, shimmering into sight on Will-full inhales and exhales. And now, Jiijiinis and Alorno, twin deities of health and healing, their magic blue and looking a bit like water.

I wonder if others will appear?
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)
On the FB page of a group planning an Imbolc ritual that I was interested in going to recently posted a status that was talking about a Celtic Goddess named Cailleach. The way this woman talks about this Goddess makes it clear that she's only just read about Her, and is going to invoke Her in ritual without so much as knowing how to pronounce Her name. Which led me to post this comment:

Let me get this straight; you're going to invoke a Goddess whose name you can't even pronounce? Without formally introducing yourself to Her/getting Her permission to call Her?

Deities are powerful entities, individuals deserving of respect, not correspondences you refer to in ritual. Have you heard the expression "Do not summon that which you cannot banish"? Well along similar lines, I would say "Do not summon that which you do not respect; you might just live to regret it."


And now I'm not so sure going would be a good idea.
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)
Our upstairs neighbor, the one who was probably on meth as he never seemed to sleep and had a ridiculous amount of energy for someone in his 60's, the one who has made our time in this apartment a living Hell with his nearly constant noise, the one who beat female neighbors of his and made us all feel unsafe (yet, for some reason, was never evicted), was found dead in his apartment today. He refused medical help for something a few days ago (refused to leave his apartment even after the firemen broke his door down), and now he's dead.

I can't honestly say I'm very sad about this, because the man was clearly very disturbed. He would yell and scream at the voices in his head, or vaccuum his apartment at all hours to drown them out, and for that he had my sympathy, but he really should have been in a permanent care facility and not here in an apartment on his own, especially given his violence towards women.

I am relieved, to be honest, not just to be rid of the noise and violence, but for his sake as well. I don't know what was wrong with him, but he was very disturbed. I'm relieved that he's now at peace. I didn't really want him to die, just move out, but I'm not exactly shedding any tears for this outcome.

I may be doing a ritual for him, help his soul cross over if it needs any help. Not out of any positive feelings for the man, because I had and and continue to have none, but mainly because the last thing we need is for his ghost to hang around haunting his apartment.
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)

A Thanksgiving Day Blessing


I participate in the Circle of Life,
I participate in the Circle of Death,
I participate in the Spwii'Ny'Py.1

Many Thanks to my plant & animal siblings that gave their lives so my own may continue!
As I devour your flesh, I pray I will live a life worthy of your sacrifice.

I apologize, my Brethren, for any suffering you may have endured in life at the hands of my fellow humans,
And I hope you are at peace now in the Between-Life,
Or else Ferried back through the Waterfall from the Between-Life to your new lives.
Either way, I hope you are at peace.

As I eat, I remember that I will one day be eaten in turn,
My own flesh devoured and made into new flesh, new life.
I am thankful for this beauty and wonder.

We are all tempests, hurricanes of energy, galaxies of atoms,
Dancing, colliding, devouring, changing.
The dancers change, but the dance is eternal.
I am thankful we have had this dance.

Sahn-kia, da-zirrovais seh thiiah ahshah; Koh Soh La Kohrain.2






















A brief analysis: As I wrote this, the mythos expanded. The Between-Life (Land of Eternal Childhood) doesn't have gates the way some Afterlives do, it is a realm separated from the realm of the living by an infinite falling of water from the Wellspring, one of the three major Powers of the Omniverse. (There's The Void, The Heart of the Chaos, and The Wellspring, representing nothingness, chaos, and order respectively.) Shyao'Shyoh, one of Djao-Kain's Aspects, ferries the dead to the Between-Life, through the Waterfall. I do not know if She ferries them on the return trip or not, but I'm getting the sense that She doesn't.

Anyway, this whole thing made me start thinking of reincarnation like a kind of water cycle; death is evaporation, the Between-Life is clouds, and then rebirth is rain.

1 = Spwii'Ny'Py: Circle of Life/Death

2 = Translates to "Many-Thanks, spirits of my food; You Are The All."
fayanora: SK avatar (SK avatar)
Last Friday night, I went to a Samhain ritual hosted by SisterSpirit, a women's-only pagan group that includes and welcomes trans women, that Amanda - a friend from Sorcha's pagan meetup told me about. I was expecting - like a lot of pagan events in Portland - that there wouldn't be many people, maybe 10 or 15 people at most, but I was very much pleasantly surprised by how many showed up. I don't know how many there were, but I'd guess maybe at least 25 or 30 people. There were so many people that, large as the room was, there wasn't enough room for everyone to form a single circle even though they'd gone as big with the circle as they could, so there were two other rows of people sitting behind the 1/4th of the circle nearest the door. Naturally, with more people than they'd expected, they ran out of programs for the ritual, and people had to share.

I honestly don't remember the details well enough to do a blow by blow, but there was chanting, singing, the circle was cast, energy raising, etc. The Goddess of the ritual was Hecate. Candles were lit for deceased loved ones; I lit a candle for my maternal grandmother (Gramma Cripe, as I call her), as hers was the most significant death in my life. There was a bit where we all took an actual dead leaf, cast into it something we wanted to be rid of in the new year (Samhain being Witches' New Year), and buried them in dirt; the whole lot is going to be buried up in Forest Park. (I chose "Anxiety" for my leaf.) Another part of the ritual had us doing something called a spiral dance, where we're supposed to take the hand of the person in front of us and follow them as everyone dances in a spiral that moves in and out of the area inside the circle. Only, I still had my hands full with this drum thing from an earlier part of the ritual, and since there were other drummers still and I was at the end of the chain anyway, I just kept my eyes on the person in front of me and followed along, which worked a lot better than I'd hoped it would.

Then, after all the excitement of the spiral dance, we sat down and communed with one of our departed loved ones silently for several minutes. Again, I went with Gramma Cripe. In the vision, she embraced me, and I turned into Molly and she held me. Molly and she spoke, about what I will not say, but I will say that it was lovely and touching and there was silent crying involved, and I was not the only person in the room (by far) who was crying.

I also noticed there were several black women and several other women of color there, which is cool. Diversity in pagan communities is always great to see. :-)

Oh yeah, and there was this young girl, maybe 9 or 10 years old, who had the most incredibly beautiful witch dress and matching pointy hat on, purple and black with metallic spiders & spiderwebs in either silver or gold (or both), and some kind of hoop or the like in the skirt, which made it keep a flared look; and a toy broom with some kind of covering on it in the same fabric as the dress. She also had an adorable cat purse that made me want to squee!

She wasn't the only one in costume by far; the instructions on the FB page said to wear something witchy, so a lot of people wore witchy costumes. I would have worn either my sorceress dress or my black robes, but the dress has been sitting in the limbo of needing repair for over a year, and I'm pretty sure the black robes are still in storage. Ah well, I had my cloak with me, and I wore an outfit as witchy as I could do with my normal clothes. I also wore my Shao'Ahn'Dih'Gahn necklace, one of my pentagram necklaces, and this necklace of a hand holding a crystal ball that I inherited from Gramma Cripe.

There's another ritual on... I think they said December 13th? Fudge, I don't remember. Ah well, I'm on the email list.
fayanora: Chloe (Chloe)
Got some face painting sticks, IE face paint in a marker type form, from Amazon. The bit on my hand is a test, the shape is the symbol for the SH sound from the syllabary (alphabet, but each character is a specific sound) for my Trai’Pahg’Nan’Nog conlang. Once the test had been on there for hours without any sign of reaction, I drew the Eye of Grah’Bahn design on my arm.

I got these face paint sticks because I had an idea about drawing sigils and other symbols on myself with them, for magick/ritual purposes, as well as for another way to express myself. I’m pondering making stripes or something on my arms, like some of my deities have.

Pictures under the cut.

I'ma cut you! )
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)
My brain gave me a funny image just now, an image I will have to pre-explain a bit before I reveal it.

If you're new, or you just forgot, or you never knew the full gravity of it, one of the major religions of Traipah is a religion called Gosgolot (all the o's in it say their names, IE gohs-goh-loht). Gosgolot's teachings state that the universe is unimaginably old, unimaginably enormous, and unimaginably terrifying. They do not name their Gods, out of fear that saying the names would attract their attention, and one does not generally want the attention of Gosgolot deities. (One exception is Zyao'Ḥyn (zyow-[throat-clearing][I as in "eye"]n), their version of Shao'Kehn, but that's another story.) The most notable of these Nameless Gods is their sun, which non-Gosgolots call Naipah. (This is acceptable to Gosgolots because Naipah is not actually the star's name, according to their ancient texts.) They refer to the sun by a myriad of euphemistic titles like The Howling One, The Widowmaker, Howler Into The Void, Water's Demise, etc.

Gosgolot, interestingly, predates any kind of science that would have given them the idea of a vast, cold, merciless universe. When science confirmed the size of the universe prior to The Reformation, the one group that took the news the best was the Gosgolots, who felt vindicated. Gosgolot is basically a religion in which ideas the likes of which you'd see in Lovecraft's works are taken seriously; very seriously. Their scripture reads like horror stories, though interestingly on a larger scale, the universe - vast and old as it is - is just one of countless infinities of universes, all of which are living beings that are born, grow old, breed, and die; making everything that happens in our universe just the inner workings of a lifeform that - in its own time scale - exists for but a blink of an eye in the lifespan of the greater multiverse, a Megaverse as large and terrifying to our universe as our universe is to us, and then the proverbial "turtles" all the way both up AND down.

So the funny image my brain gave me was a meeting between a Gosgolot and a Christian Creationist. The Gosgolot would find the Creationist's earth-centric view laughable naive, the idea that the planet was only 5 or 6 thousand years old would probably cause them to die from busting a gut laughing, and if they survived that, they'd think the idea of a god as powerful as Yahweh being benevolent was fucking insanity! Especially after reading the Bible. After reading the Bible, doubtless they would have another God to be terrified of.

More under the cut )
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)


Picture I drew of one of the Aspects of my primary Deity, Djao’Kain. The Aspect’s name is Shao’Vara. Xe is an Aspect representing Death, Mystery, the Death Mysteries, and the transformative side of death. Xer face is covered by a featureless mask to represent mystery (especially the mystery of the Afterlife) as well as the faceless and uncaring truth of death. Xe is wrapped in a burial shroud (in the culture on Traipah that Xe is from, burial shrouds are black), and the hands holding fire are both torches and symbols of pallbearers; though in that culture, pallbearers don’t carry a body to be buried, they carry it to where the corpse can be liquefied. The liquefied remains are fed to Memorial Trees, which are old-growth trees fed the remains of everyone from a particular family that dies, with plaques installed in their trunks. Those plaques have names, birthdates, and death dates of those whose remains were fed to the tree. Traipah has whole forests full of Memorial Trees, called Memorial Forests.

The three moons of Traipah are also visible in this picture. One is full, two are crescent. One of the crescent moons is tiny, right to the left of Shao-Vara’s head. The paved road is mainly to try to give a sense of perspective. Shao’Vara, wrapped in Xer burial shroud, kneels on a cliff. Not pictured is the ocean the cliff is overlooking, because I didn’t know how to draw that in a way that added to the mystery (or at least did not subtract from it).

I originally wanted to draw Shao’Vara as Xe first appeared to me in a vision, where Xe was nude and emaciated, with one saggy breast and another shriveled up, but I didn’t know how to draw that.
fayanora: Djyahlah (Djyahlah)
I've been working on this Traipah story called "Culture Shock," which is about humans moving to Traipah without enough preparation, and finding it very difficult to adjust. I have the human characters hailing from a colony world that's a lot like our society now, so they're like a stand-in for us. I've been having fun remembering existing Traipahni cultural things that they'll have issues with, of which there are many, and making a few new ones along the way. But the core of the story is making the humans feel, on Traipah, like people on the autism spectrum here feel now.

I was originally going to use this emotive language I came up with for the AKB, which was essentially a subconsciously-used vocabulary of sounds representing different emotions. But it feels unnatural, and it contradicts previously established canon, so I'm scrapping that, rewriting everything I've already written. I came up with a new system anyway, one which feels natural and makes sense. What I've changed it to is that pretty much everybody on Traipah is empathic, and they've been this way so long that most have forgotten how to read most body language. And what's more, the AKB - while looking almost exactly like humans - have an entirely different body language than humans do. A lot of their body language directly contradicts our own, and there's just SO much opportunity for misunderstandings there. Especially since I've come up with an outline of the different ESP abilities which puts humans on such a different empathic "channel" from AKB that only Active Empaths, IE empaths that can reach into people's minds to feel their emotions as opposed to just picking up passive broadcasts, are able to read human emotions. So characters who can read human emotions, like Nokwahl can - from other stories in the same 'verse - are... uncommon. At least compared to other empaths. But it works because "active" ESP is open to other channels, so they don't have to actually violate someone's mind to get an emotional read on them, just keep switching channels until they find the one the passive transmission is on. (Though some species, like the Xazis, don't broadcast their thoughts, and so reading their minds can be very challenging and painful.)

One of the unexpected side benefits of the work I'm doing on this story has been the cultural aspects I've been adding. Like clothing (when they wear it), body decorations, jewelry, festivals, and various sorts of things that are sounding like ideas I want to adopt in my own life if I can. Which is great, because I've wanted ideas like that for YEARS. For years I've been wanting Traipahni cultural things I can do in my own life to feel closer to my spirituality, and the prelim work for this story is providing ideas towards that. Which, funnily enough, most of that is coming from my focus on the youth culture of Traipah, since there are two kids in the family who will be attending school on Traipah, and thus will become immersed in the local youth culture.

For another challenge, Griiahkah - the city they've chosen to live in - is not as familiar with humans as other cities, as it isn't a tourist attraction yet, and is more traditional in the sense that they've literally been using the same computers in the city for the last few thousand years1, so their AI - while more impressive than what we have nowadays - is nowhere near on par with what they'd have in Grah'Bah'Nah'Scia. So the computers there don't know any Terran languages, and the family is poor, so until the kids learn TPNN, the family has to kludge together an adaptation to the language barrier using their own cheap and shitty tech that they brought with them, and trying to interface it with Griiahkah's ancient tech. Which should prove amusing.

Could they try another city, one more familiar with humans, with more people who speak English or other Terran languages? Yes. But A. This is more fun. B. By the time the mother feels like giving up, the kids are already adapting and have friends. She's already moved them away from their friends once, she doesn't feel like doing it again. Also, for all their struggles, life on Traipah really is better than life on their home colony.

One last note: There are parts of the story I've written already that are too good to scrap. Like the scene where they're trying to figure out the bathrooms, that's just too hilarious to leave out. :-)

1 = Things on Traipah are designed to last a hella long time.
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)
This post is about the different Aspects of Shao'Kehn/Djao'Kain. I've put the older ones under the cut, leaving the newest ones visible. You will need this link if you don't already know IPA.

Full list under the cut )

17. Shao'Jo [ʃaʊ dʒoʊ] AKA The Musician – While Djao'Ide dances, Shao'Jo plays the music She dances to.

18. Shao'Vara [ʃaʊ vɑ: ə] AKA The Masked Stranger – Represents silence, mystery, the unknown, The Void, and death. Wearing a faceless, eyeless mask made of Creation Onyx, Her skin white as bleached bone (differing from most Shao'Kehn Aspects that way; most are brown skinned), Her nails yellowed and cracked, Her hair long and black and sleek (different texture from most SK Aspects), and one breast is tiny and undeveloped while the other is withered and saggy. She is almost skin and bones, having very little muscle or fat mass.

Shao'Vara stands ramrod straight and unmoving on a pedestal of Creation Onyx on a cliff overlooking a black, roiling sea. There are two of the three Traipahni moons in the sky overhead; one is waxing, the other is waning. The third is technically there, but is. Both moons are low in the sky and look tired. (The third is not there, to represent the dead.) The wind blows, but Her hair does not move even a little. She in unaffected by the cold. Shao'Vara does not move, does not speak, but She listens (though She gives no indication that She is doing so). The only part of Shao'Vara that ever moves is an ancient, tattered black death shroud behind Her (on Traipah, their death shrouds are black, not white); what part of Her it's attached to, if any, is unknown. Even it barely ever moves.

The cliff She stands on is an island, with a rickety rope and wood plank bridge leading to it from the mainland. Sometimes She lets you walk back to the
mainland when you're done conversing with Her; other times, the bridge collapses, or the part of the island you're standing on crumbles into the sea, taking you with it. Still other times, the whole planet crumbles and tumbles into a black hole, without Shao'Vara moving at all.

Her ramrod straightness and stiffness represents rigor mortis. The occasionally-moving funerary shroud represents the stage after rigor where the body goes soft again, as well as everything else a funeral shroud represents.

She will not let you approach too closely. She will not let you remove Her mask. You probably would not like what you saw behind Her mask if you did get a chance to remove it; whatever is back there is likely too horrible to imagine.

It is unknown if She could speak if She wanted to; if She did, the voice would probably be horrifying to hear. And since She represents a corpse, She would never move. She can respond, though, in other ways: the sudden appearance of animals, for instance, or other omens; changes to your own body; changes to Her body; changes to the landscape or sky; etc. Or perhaps intense visions. She's representative of the unknown and the mysterious, so anything is possible with Shao'Vara.

Shao'Vara's Aspect name comes from Shao'Kehn and from "vara," the TPNN word for "any."

Yes, there is another Death Aspect, Shyao'Shyo, but She is much different from Shao'Vara. Shyao'Shyo is very friendly and personable, especially compared to Shao'Vara. Shyao'Shyo comforts the dead and dying; Shao'Vara is the discomfort of death incarnate.

BOGEF

Aug. 6th, 2015 06:27 am
fayanora: Djyahlah (Djyahlah)
On Tumblr, I added a comment to a post about neo-pantheons by mentioning my own, and someone said something that prompted me to give a reply I feel is worth repeating here.

Their bit:

that’s sort of what i’ve done with mine, i created two deities for a story of mine and i feel really connected to them. though i’d have to worship them quite differently to how their followers in the story do, as theres a lot of sacrifice and not-very-nice things done in their names. still, it’d be interesting to try.

have your deities shown many signs of their existence? and if you don’t mind me asking do you have any tips on staying sure of your path and not doubting your deities and stuff? that’s my problem at the moment i think.


My response:

Yes, actually, they have. At least, my main one has. Djao’Kain [ʒaʊ-keɪn] is Xer name, and I have at least one friend who has had conversations with Xer in their own mind. (I specify that because anyone who talks to me can have Djao’Kain talk with them through me.) Also, the same friend told me once about a time when she read about something going on in Iraq during the most recent war there, I don’t remember what exactly, but it prompted her to ask Djao’Kain to deal with the situation non-violently, and the next day there was this humongous sandstorm in the area, disrupting whatever it was she asked that favor for. It’s just the sort of thing Djao’Kain would do, too, being a chaos Deity.

As to your other questions, it helps that Djao’Kain has left a copy of Xerself inside my brain, so I can talk to Xer whenever I please. But yeah, I do still struggle with “is Xe real or just one of my Aspects?” When I’m feeling doubtful, I generally resolve it by remembering that Xe is very useful either way, seeing as - among other things - Xe has acted like a live-in psychologist for me, and Xe once stopped me from attempting suicide. Oh yeah, and Djao’Kain has this interesting ability to know stuff about me before I do, and hint strongly at it (essentially beating it against my head for months or years until it gets through my thick skull), which is useful.

As an example, I was referring to Djao’Kain as “the Deity with Multiple Personality Order” due to Xer having a bunch of different Aspects with different personalities (yet all tied in together via a hub Aspect)* - and the Ah’Koi Bahnis people of Xer planet Traipah showed a marked tendency to be healthy Multiple systems - for YEARS before I even knew Multiple systems could be healthy, years before I knew the members of Multiple systems could coexist without memory gaps and communicate with one another without help from an outside person, and years before I realized that - DUH - the reason I was so frustrated and confused was because I was laboring under the delusion that I was a singlet.

Then, a more recent example is that from the beginning, the AKB were quite obviously on the autism spectrum compared to humans, years before I knew what autism/asperger’s was, let alone knew I had it. And I’m certain Djao’Kain was the one putting these things in. For some reason, Xe can’t tell me these things directly, can only sneak things through into my writing and other ideas, and I have to figure it out based on Xer clues. But who knows how long it would have taken me without Xer help?

Then, also, I remind myself of the evidence outlined above. And also remembering that all (or at least most) Deities began as someone’s imagining, so why should my having created Djao’Kain make Xer any less real than others? Always assuming, of course, that Djao’Kain did not simply claim me as Xer own, put the ideas about the Yahgahn faith and the planet it hails from in my head, and let me take the credit for “inventing” Xer and the others. Which, now I think on it, is totally something Xe would do.

* = Djao’Kain: Buy one Deity, get like - what’s it up to now? Seventeen? Eighteen!? - get eighteen free! | Djao’Kain: When you want a Deity that is a Russian nesting doll! | Djao’Kain: Pantheon in a box!

Which actually, looking up the exact number of Aspects for that joke made me realize I haven't posted about the latest one, and haven't even written Her into the official list yet. Hell, I had to hunt like a mofo to find the right file just to remember Her name. So, a post on that soon.
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)
I just had a funny thought: Since Djao'Kain is a Multiple, with - currently - 18 Aspects, if Her worshipers on Traipah decided to stop believing in all other Deities but Her, and rewrote things so that She and Her various Aspects were the only Deity in their faith... would that make them monotheists? Or polytheists?
fayanora: DMT Collective Icon (DMTC)
I'm glad I wrote "Chaos To Chaos." (LJ DW) In the week since I wrote it, I've had several instances of that worried part of me starting to fill with terror at the thought of death, and I stopped it every time just by reciting to myself the final line of the poem: "From Peace I came and to Peace I will return." I am pleased.
fayanora: Djao'Kain (Djao'Kain)
I tend to have this problem, wherein I am usually a firm believer in an afterlife and reincarnation, but sometimes - usually at night when I'm trying to go to sleep - I get worried and terrified of death, thinking "What if there is no afterlife? What if there is no soul and nothing happens to us at death but blinking out of existence?"1 Well, since my main Goddess is a Chaos Goddess, I wrote up something that started as an attempt to make a simple chant or mantra or something to reassure myself that, if that turns out to be the case, it won't matter then. But I had too many ideas to fit into one mantra, so I made an entire poem about it. And here that is:

“Chaos To Chaos”
By = Tempest Alexandria Arts (Fayanora)

From Chaos I came and to Chaos I will return.
“I” am a complicated dance of quintillions of tiny points of energy, and my soul is the choreographer.
When the choreographer departs and the dance is over, the dancers will join other dances.
We're all choreographers of our own dancing energy, the only choreographers we can know in this life.
“I” am a temporary pattern in the chaos, in a temporary world, in a temporary universe;
All of us patterns in the Chaos,
Ever changing from second to second,
All of us sand paintings in the wind.

From Void I came and to Void I will return.
My life is a pebble in a pond, making ripples, the only thing left of my life when I am gone.
I shall not fear death, for I am not real;
I am like a virtual particle blinking in and out of existence, in the grand scheme of things;
A virtual particle in a holographic universe, the Multiverse every bit as ephemeral.
All of it whispers heard in static,
“Objective reality” via shared programming,
All of it a hard drive in an EMP.

From Naught I came, and to Naught I will return.
I shall not fear death, for I am just a temporary tempest of what-ifs and uncollapsed quantum states.
I am a hurricane contemplating its own eventual landfall.
I am a raindrop watching the ground approach at speed, contemplating the sudden stop.
I am a single breath, from the lungs to the blood, contemplating being exhaled.
All of us lightning in a storm,
Gone as quickly as we appear,
And all the world is the storm.

From Change I came, and to Change I will return.
I am like Jupiter's Great Red Spot, in a constant state of stable chaos.
But like all things, the stability will fail, the tempest will fall apart.
We are never not Change, it is the only constant in life;
Even death is just one facet of Change.
All of us are hurricanes,
Complex, multi-layered, and doomed to landfall,
But spinning off descendants before we do.

From Death I came, and to Death I will return.
My life is a fire, my body made of the ashes of other patterns tossed like logs onto my fire.
When my fire goes out, I will be a log tossed on the fires of other beings,
My ashes recycled, remade, reused; Life and Death eternal dance partners,
Entropy and Enthalpy embrace like lovers on the dance floor.
Gaia's biosphere is the phoenix,
Dying and being reborn from its own ashes;
The biosphere is Ouroboros eating itself.

From Peace I came, and to Peace I will return.

~ ~ ~

1 = Note that I never worry that the afterlife is worse, like Hell or something. I either believe in my own version of the afterlife, or I worry death is final.
fayanora: Elle tongue (Elle tongue)
Sometimes, the combination of using TPNN for prayers with the fact that there's a LOT of gaping holes in TPNN's vocabulary, makes for some very interesting work-arounds. In a prayer I just did, I made the TPNN term " woi'jiijii-kursh," which basically translates to "re-healthful." (Woi- prefix = "full of-", jiijii = from jiijiinahr, meaning "health," and the "-kursh" suffix means "again.") So it literally means "full of health again," but one rule I've recently come up with for TPNN is that compound words like that are generally read backwards (IE, kursh jiijii woi in this case), which means "re-healthful" is a better translation. (Well, not literally read backwards. Constructed backwards? Yeah, constructed backwards. Like, if you did it in English with that rule, instead of "re-healthful," you'd have "fullhealth-re."

Plus, I kinda like "re-healthful" as an English neologism. :-)

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