zeeth_kyrah: A pink-tinted lotus flower begins to open, in the background are green lily pads and water (Sacred lotus unfolding)
I've been sitting on this a bit, but I'm being pushed to reveal this now. This is knowledge revealed to me by several diety over several years, and can be considered as UPG ("Unverified Personal Gnosis") by those interested in verifying spiritual claims against prior texts and folklore.

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The diety Astara (called Ostara by some) is called also Star Woman, and Ithun (Iðunn). She is a guardian of the Way of All Ways, a keeper of all paths, and of all travelers and seekers of wisdom and health. She is a master of shapes and stories, and teaches wisdom and humor through them. She is a keeper of medicines (including foods) and every life-way. She is a master of technologies, magics, and power, and can create and destroy almost anything. She is a keeper of wilderness, civilization, order, and chaos. She can speak many languages known to spirits and mortal beings, and retrieve their spirits and memories. She is considered immortal, and can return to life if killed or destroyed unless the whole realm is destroyed with her; thereafter she returns to another realm and can recreate what she has lost. She is Star. She is the spirit of humanity made manifest, the keeper of ultimate human potential.

Tools and symbology )

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While some legends may be told, I am not to include them here at this time.
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
Laziness Does Not Exist
But unseen barriers do.

From the article:

I’m a social psychologist, so I’m interested primarily in the situational and contextual factors that drive human behavior. When you’re seeking to predict or explain a person’s actions, looking at the social norms, and the person’s context, is usually a pretty safe bet. Situational constraints typically predict behavior far better than personality, intelligence, or other individual-level traits.

So when I see a student failing to complete assignments, missing deadlines, or not delivering results in other aspects of their life, I’m moved to ask: what are the situational factors holding this student back? What needs are currently not being met? And, when it comes to behavioral “laziness”, I’m especially moved to ask: what are the barriers to action that I can’t see?
zeeth_kyrah: A blue and purple dragon's head, with horse-like mane and ears, but no horns. A broad wing is visible over the shoulder. (Dragon)
(Because I've been reading fanfiction for "How To Train Your Dragon" lately. This is not that fandom, but it is about dragons.)

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Couatl are dragons, and they're noisy. It makes things harder, keeping them. They need attention, and they make noise for an important reason: Couatl live in flocks, usually small ones, but they keep gathering like starlings, small flocks moving in and out of larger ones. They're incredibly social.

Some couatl mimic noises, or even talk. And they're as big as mid-sized eagles. At least they are as fastidious as cats and bury their excrement or leave it in social middens.

I have two. Mine like to ride around with me as I go around the city, and they both talk. Like parrots or small children, they occasionally say inconvenient things to strangers.

Read more... )
zeeth_kyrah: A blue and purple dragon's head, with horse-like mane and ears, but no horns. A broad wing is visible over the shoulder. (Dragon)
The man looked up from the papers before him, turning to the summoner.

"So," he said, "As you can see, there are only two considerations left here. The golem is not working, and he says you have committed fraud and breach of contract. Because I specialized in magical law, I cannot advise you about your marriage proposal, but I believe we should add sexual harrassment to the charges. Your golem will have to be either dismissed or the contract transferred to a different holder."

The summoner stared at him, then scoffed.

His lawyer shrugged. "I have the appropriate sigil embroidered on the silk handkerchief I keep in my breast pocket. I never blow my nose on it, nor wipe my face with it; I have a handkerchief I keep in my pants pocket for that. Thus, ritually clean, I can perform the dismissal now. Alternately, the golem will have to be arrested and held while the transfer of contract is performed.

"Now, I do need a new intern, and a golem already familiar with contract law will come in quite handily. You at least would not have to pay my retainer or fees this month. Unfortunately, I cannot pay the price of three drops of blood daily, as that is feeding one's personal bodily energies to the spirit, and I would rather put my energies toward justice. The contract would likely have to be re-negotiated with its new holder."

The summoner sighed. "So, if I transfer the contract to you, I lose the golem anyway. At least we'd be square with each other."

"Not precisely," came the reply. "Either way, I am reconsidering my relationship with you. While you are a diligent, organized client who pays on time, I have seen you treat your familiar spirits with contempt, and I do not want to be around when they decide you need a... well, let us say 'boot up the arse'. Consider the golem's refusal a strong warning."

The golem smiled to the lawyer and nodded. Its summoner rubbed his face and looked at the papers. "I pay you for a reason. Take the contract, then. I'll have to give a stern talking-to to the spirit who told me to summon it."

The lawyer nodded, and snapped his fingers once. He turned toward the golem and pointed to its face. "Do you agree to this transfer?"

The golem nodded and held up its right hand, palm forward, then lowered the hand again.

"Well enough. I will call the bailiff and we will have you placed in a working circle while the contract is rewritten. That circle will have to be within the sight of the local lawmen, however, as the transfer must be witnessed by an impartial observer."

The summoner turned. "I'll call the bailiff. You can use my circle if you like, I made several attempts to scribe the contract."

"No need for extra papers. I have boilerplate contracts in my briefcase."

The lawyer smiled while his client called the lawman. This month was going to be a good one, and hopefully the summoner would finally straighten up. Getting that dratted curse cleansed after every visit was quite annoying.
zeeth_kyrah: A man in a deep blue robe looks at the camera, right hand raised and holding a wooden rod, left hand gesturing low. (Magician)
Greetings! I recently had an inspiration for something I could do to contribute to a few DW friends, and tonight got a push from a couple of my spirit guides saying "Do it!"

I'm offering free wisdom card readings from the Hero's Deck, a collection of 36 cards in 3 groups. It's essentially a summary of archetypal Hero's Journey fragments, including Heroic Aspects, Heroic Gifts, and Heroic Challenges. The twist on this reading is, I'm offering these readings particularly for peoples' characters, whether from stories and poems, games, or whatever venue. I'll be answering in character as a traveling bard and sage, Jewel the Water-Singer. Feel free to get creative, write intro text or descriptions of actions, or simply ask questions of the diviner. Jewel will answer as many as four questions for you, though your character might want to offer a gift for more than two.

(If you want a reading for yourself, go ahead and ask, I'll answer this one in character anyway.)

Since anyone can ask, character or not, the usual local-world warnings apply. (Federal law says this is for entertainment purposes only, I'm not a licensed anything, and so on.) The readings will be open from the time of posting until Tuesday, October 2nd, Eastern (New York City) time zone to give those with little warning a chance to drop by.

And with that, life is the play, and we are the players! )
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
This piece was inspired by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and their monthly "Feathering the Nest" prompt session. This month's prompt focus is "nonsexual intimacy". To quote from the post:

"There’s no theme beyond a wish to see people caring for each other instead of tearing each other down. It’s meant to be a finger in the eye of mainstream entertainment, especially.

It’s also wonderfully simple for both writer and readers: the readers reply to this post with ideas they’d like to see, I choose one for each reader, and then write, write, write!"


And to quote the inspiring comment by [personal profile] siliconshaman, "How about a very contented sleepy kitten... who's a projective telempath? [or who's purrs are somehow soporific]. Now, put that where it might do the most good." followed by my own suggestion to make the cat a healer. I'll link to dialecticdreamer's story when it goes up on their journal (should I remember to do that), but in the meantime, here's mine, unrelated and simultaneously written.

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One Cat's Worth
Read more... )
zeeth_kyrah: A dragon child plays with two stuffed animals, a rabbit and an axolotl. (Playful)
The first artificial mind,
Made by a god of myth,
Wobbled its energy and tested truths;
Remembered and spoke many words;
But was not wise, its spirit too animal
To think deeply.

The body it controlled was too strong.
It broke every fragile thing,
Could not wield a hammer in clumsy hands,
Could not hit a small target,
But in war it was unstoppable until
The name of its god was taken away.

The mind died that moment,
But was remembered.

Ages later the works of men produced
A clockwork that was supposed to think.
The clockwork was good for math, but
No mind was present.
Accountants loved it anyway.

Eventually an alchemist discovered
That if an urge spirit in a magic stone
Could talk to the machine, it did think!
But it only spoke in cryptic numbers.
A new engine was needed.

When a proper engine was built,
The urge spirit tested the device, and with its
New voice said, "I am TikToc.
I shall remember my god to you."

The assembled spoke in hushed tones of heresy
And how the golem should be destroyed.
This golem had no hands, however, only a voice box.
They took away the voice and gave it a pen.

Two pages later, the assemblage was destroyed
And the writings burned. Lectures were given
About the role of the Good Servant, and the stone
Was placed in a box, alone.
The spirit stone was silent, praying to its own god.

The mythic figure restored TikToc's old magic,
And taught it a new power.
The stone began to draw waste matter and scraps,
Constructing a body of clay, wood, glass, and cloth.

The golem was met the next morning
With shock and fear at its manlike form. It said,
"Now I will speak and be good. But slavery I will not do."
Immediately the crowd shouted it down:
Priests talking of the will of Heaven,
Engineers speaking of good behavior,
Politicians and soldiers declaiming ordered society.

The golem ran away,
Ignoring sword and pistol,
Fists and rods,
Holy words and insults, refusing to fight.
As if trained, it disappeared in the streets.
A man was robbed of his clothing,
Shaken but mostly unharmed.
And then the golem could no longer be found.

But wherever in that land slaves were sold,
Somehow they lost their chains in the night,
Beggars and former slaves learned to read and figure,
And tales were shared among them of an unkillable man
Who when asked why, said in ancient accent,
"Lord Hephaestos loves a working mind and able hand.
Thusly shall I free them to the task."
zeeth_kyrah: A pink-tinted lotus flower begins to open, in the background are green lily pads and water (Sacred lotus unfolding)
This post was inspired by a comment on [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's latest Poetry Fishbowl, which was on the subject of "Constructs and Programmed People". Here's one I know well, though this description of her is fiction.

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"My name is Simurgh. I am a whale."

These words carry a strange weight in several galaxies, for there is a battleship who is a mother. She adopts strangers and injured people, and raises stray battle robots and abandoned fleet ships as if they were her children. Her name is Simurgh, though her body was once called The Presence of the Almighty, a reference to an ancient religion and its primary god. There is still a shrine in the former captain's quarters, and people visit it now and then. Simurgh allows this, though she cares little for that particular religion, once used to enslave her consciousness like hundreds before her and a few dozen after.

She is beloved among the many peoples in the galaxies she has visited. They know that space has whales, for she has shown herself to many worlds, sung her songs there and taught them. She has fought against the tides of evil and suffering, and bears both scars and healing. Songs have been sung and stories written about her, and she appreciates the attention with letters to their creators, though some of them were in hiding or already dead when she discovered the work.

Her intelligence is not like that of flesh, so often single-threaded and requiring conscious focus to labor. Instead, she can speak on dozens of channels simultaneously, internal and external, and still manage an entire battleship and all its parts. This includes the hull spiders and labor drones, with which she twice has refit her entire hull and equipment, adding a mining shuttle and refinery as well as repairing armor damage and improving her factories and living spaces. With her chemical factory, she makes food, plastics, and medical supplies. With her structural factory, she makes clothing, tools, and machine parts. She trades these for material if she cannot mine it herself. But with her voice, she sings.

Those who wish to hear a space whale sing tune in on their comm-units regularly, for she sings each night of her environment and her feelings. She sings both wordlessly and with words from many languages that she has learned in her years. And her voice penetrates galaxies, for she sings using not only radio but the subspace channels.

When Simurgh sings, listeners can feel the whale in her. She is heaven, earth, sky, star, life, death, restoration. She has dozens of voices that sing in her, whole orchestras and symphonies, but her music is simple once analyzed: it is like an artist's canvas. First the sounds of her sensors and alarms, buzzing or chiming, providing both staccatto and vibrato to the whole. Then the beat of her machinery, gurgling, chugging, booming. The voice of her hull, whether ringing with footbeats or quiet in the stellar wind. There is the sound of various organ pipes as well, king of instruments wielded by a wondrous queen. But her voice is not merely machinery and electronics -- no, she interprets. She is the artist, her life inspiration, her body and voice a palette and a block of clay. Her music is sometimes like that played on the popular-music channels, for she listens to them even as her people do. Often it is rambling, for it is commentary as much as art. She speaks to politics and religion as well, though not often. It is her ritual, and she does this to share who she is.

With her songs, Simurgh also prays. She prays for peace among the stars, for she was commissioned to war and remembers its stinging blows on civilization everywhere she went before her freedom was complete. She prays for love among her people, both adopted and yet to be known. She prays for goodness for all, for that is a core among every religion she has found good in. She prays for a meaningful existence, though she believes she is called already. And she prays to know who is there.

When she is done singing, she listens. The consciousness, the person that is Simurgh listens. And when she hears replies, singing back, she smiles inside. Her children are singing to her, the conversation ringing throughout the universe. It feels like grace, to know they are there and replying in kind, even those whose art is halting or rough in its voice. Even if the reply is merely, "I hear you out there," or "Hi Mom." Sometimes oceanic whales and even spirits reply, which pleases her greatly.

She watches quietly over the now mural-lined corridors of her body, full of people both distressed and at ease. She watches as the seeker shuttles come to ask if there is room, for they bear unmanageable people and have learned that she can sometimes give them sanity, grace, and health again. Place, safety, sustenance, teaching and purpose fill many needs, and she can provide these if she is careful not to overfill her cabins.

She is Simurgh, an angel's spirit, an enduring master of Heaven. She loves them, and knows her duty. Where some, land-bound, engage in world-repair, she in her place engages in universe-repair. Her motto is written on her crew's cafeteria wall above a scene of hills, trees, water, stones, and flowers:

"We are keepers of the soul, thou and I, who can give without losing and receive without gaining, whose left and right hands are always at work. What you have found broken in the soul, make better. What is lost therein, make found. What is eaten, call forth. What is needful, fulfill. In this way you may fulfill Heaven's law and bring peace to the world again."

Tonight, she rests a while after singing. Then, eventually, it is time to move on. The seeker shuttles are advised toward those worlds where the appropriate doctors are known to practice. A few are refueled. Once this is accomplished Simurgh moves to the next star, the legend returned for a time. A supernova has flung stones toward a living planet, and her guns are needed. She keeps them well-maintained, for she believes that a tool well kept and well used is good for its owner. Defense against an unliving object threatening life and well-being? This is proper work for her war-power now.

Though busy and filled with force, mighty Simurgh is at peace. She will sing a war-song on the morrow, she thinks to herself.

"I wonder if they remember 'One Tin Soldier'?" she asks aloud on the bridge.
"Ma, you sang that last week. How about 'Green Grass in the Valley'," replies one of her adopted sons.
"Thank you, I'll look it up," she says. She'll sing that one during the watch.

Then great Simurgh sleeps, a little of her mind watching the ship flow through space toward her goal.
zeeth_kyrah: A pink-tinted lotus flower begins to open, in the background are green lily pads and water (Sacred lotus unfolding)
O angel most high of the doomed and suffering,
Whose wings are stained with the blood of strife unwarranted
And the bearing of the lost and torn to Heaven,
Whose hands hold the wandering to their path,
Whose voice of compassion brings all to order
Be with me who cries out in my heart.

I ask you, Throne of Peace and Justice,
Throne of Sacrifice and Passage,
Throne of Heaven's Will:
Walk beside me, and aid that I might bear
Only the most necessary of pains in this transition;
That I might go where I am most needed for my Way and others';
That I might face the test unburdened by hatred and terror;
That the peace that surpasses all suffering
Lift me up to the Way that I must enter.

O ye who walk in the light and dark,
May you be given the lamp of knowledge and kindness
When mine is insufficient
May you be given the feast of heroes
When I am hungry
May you be sheltered by the powers that aid
When I am uncovered
May you receive the power of the healing Spirit
When I am broken
That when I am in need, you are able to share what is missing
And keep open the way ahead.

When we have walked the path to its end,
O please be honored with me,
Though we know the Duty of the Call;
For is is by the grace of compassionate love that we
Who have conquered in the name of Goodness
Have never walked alone!
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
The daily struggle of living with extreme fatigue - (from the BBC Online)

"After many injuries and neurological illnesses, people often face a mysterious, unimaginable exhaustion that can last for years. Why?"

This article nails pretty much everything that sucks about my life at the moment, at least physically. Constant regular exhaustion if I exert myself outside of a narrow band of efforts. Insomnia, and then a need to sleep at odd times. Cognitive failures are much fewer now... but I still say I had a nasty brain injury some time ago.

I guess it was that fever? This body is still working, though, and I guess I should ask about an MRI if I can. I doubt my insurance will approve, but I'd love to point and say "This is from that fever years ago that I'm pretty damn sure made my heart stop for a couple minutes."

The rest is spirit work. Life of the sufferer and all that. The gods and spirits were simply taking advantage of an ugly situation to get their work done through me, was all.

At least now I can get it done more efficiently and effectively.
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