It is astonishingly rare for a paradigm shift to be triggered from outwith the scientific community, and it’s not hard to see why: in almost all cases, no matter how much amateur theorists may batter against the wall of scientific indifference—like angry wasps against a window—the reason their theory is not being taken seriously is that it has fundamental flaws that are immediately obvious to anyone with even just a modicum of extra knowledge that the amateur does not possess. It’s no real wonder that amateur theorists often feel themselves persecuted by the “lords of ivory-towered academia”, or whatever—a regrettable situation to which there seems no easy solution: as noted above, scientists have limited amounts of time they can spend dissecting each and every new hypothesis that to them is quite patently nonsense.
Whether you spurned a fairy lover, insulted a witch disguised as a beggar or had the bad luck to be born to the wrong parents, there’s nothing worse finding yourself the target of a transformation curse. One minute you’re enjoying life in your perfectly formed human body and the next—bam!—you’re a hideous beast, a slimy frog, a white cat, or some other creature. Don’t let your new form get you down. You can break out of that enchantment using the time-proven system outlined below.
Your first step is to set the bait. Residual magic from the enchantment can be shaped into an appropriate setting. This is no time for humility or small ideas. Dream big: grand estates, cavernous jewel-encrusted grottos, underwater palaces, darkened woods shrouded in mist. Choose your location carefully—not somewhere out in the wilderness but definitely off the beaten path. Old trade routes, lands once occupied by legendary kingdoms, and abandoned ruins all are suitable. Don’t forget the attendants. Invisible servants are popular these days, although anthropomorphic animals are traditional.
The second step is to cultivate patience. You can’t expect your prince or princess to show up the day after you’ve been enchanted. It takes time for word to get out, or for a hapless questor to stumble across your estate. While it is frustrating not knowing how long you will be locked into your cursed form, put the time to good use. Learn how to play chess with the servants. Practice dancing, fencing and dining without making a mess. Improve yourself; it will help with step number three.
The big day is here! Your rescuer has arrived either under his own volition or as a deal to save her kingdom from your murderous appetite. Now you must make your guest fall in love with you. This is the easy part. Such rescuers are raised from birth to expect to find true love through magic. All the stories they have heard end with, “And they lived happily ever after.” Every royal brat dandled on a nurse’s knee is taught that underneath all ugliness and uncouthness a just and noble heart lurks, waiting to be released by True Love’s Kiss. And their true love will be found through adventure and adversity. This will, however, prove to be a small obstacle in breaking the curse.
By now your beloved has seen past your external horridness to the sensitive, refined person trapped inside. It is time for step four: the second hardest part. Persuade your prince to cut off your head. Encourage your princess to throw you against the wall. The details vary according to the spell, but it can only ever be lifted through violence. This is tricky. Convincing your rescuer to do violence without revealing why puts his or her faith and love to the test. It also requires a certain character defect on the part of your beloved, so it is a test of your love as well. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with someone who is willing to hurt you?
Step five: congratulations! The spell has been lifted. You are now free to live Happily Ever After with your prince or princess. Do not look for your servants or estate or library. These all disappear with the breaking of the spell. Now it’s off to the faraway kingdom to live in relative wealth and comfort. You can entertain your children and grandchildren with stories of magic and true love so that in time they will be prepared to go out and find their own. And if you have to settle for a life less magical, well it will be worth it, won’t it?
“So You’ve Been Enchanted, A Guide to Breaking the Curse in Five Easy Steps” copyright 2016, Raechel Henderson
This post originally appeared January 12, 2016.
Halloween is just around the corner! Take this weekend to whip up some spooky looking jars to bring a little bit of “horror” into your habitat.
This that is beautiful, it shows my way;
This that is beautiful, it shows my way;
This that is beautiful, it shows my way;
Before me, it is beautiful, it shows my way;
Behind me it is beautiful, it shows my way;
This that is beautiful, it shows my way.
—Navajo creation chant
Get your spooky on this month with this Friday craft. All you need are empty cardboard rolls, glue, electric tea lights and black paint!
The pressures on all sides to bond make those who, for whatever reason, find themselves alone uneasy and even guilt-ridden in their situation. Even worse they reduce the possibility of success for the relationships which they constantly promote. If, as we are told, our lives can be fulfilled only by our intimate attachments to others, then those attachments are from the beginning under a weight of responsibility that cripples their growth. Even more importantly, this current insistence on relationships not only spoils our chances of relating—it gets in the way of our discovering the value, perhaps the necessity, of solitude.
It’s Friday Craft Day! Help yourself to some Spooky cross stitch patterns to make over the weekend. I’ve got a mix of free and for sale patterns covering the Halloween aesthetic. So get your stitch on.
Spring cleaning is about clearing out stagnant energy. Fall cleaning is about carefully picking through the contents of your life to find what to keep and what to pitch. It is for opening your closet doors and laying all your clothes on the bed, for pulling out your fall and winter gear and inspecting it. Those gloves and scarves and coats you carelessly packed away six months before get an airing out. You wash those that need it. You pair up gloves, toss those what are missing partners, or, as I do with my son’s gloves, pair them up with another lonely one to make a mismatched set.
This is the process I’m going through now. I am trying to bring order to a house I never properly set up. Our move-in was hasty and chaotic, and the last year didn’t afford me much time to purposefully arrange things. This fall, however, has brought me the time and energy to tackle such housekeeping details.
I’ve started with my clothes. By virtue of my life spent mostly in my home, my daily wardrobe consists mainly of pj pants and T-shirts. Those times I have to venture into the outside world, I will exchange the pants for one of my skirts. This has been my daily uniform for the past five years, and my clothes are beginning to show it.
I began with the shirts. All the T-shirts riddled with holes went under the pinking shears. In thirty minutes I had reduced them to rags for cleaning. They replaced the previous rags that had come to the end of their useful life.
This last week I moved on to my skirts. Currently I have four every day skirts, one “fancy”, and two that haven’t made it into rotation yet. All of them are handmade. One skirt went into the bin, so torn up and run down it wasn’t even fit for rag duty. The other three are threadbare and torn at the seams. If I toss them now, I’ll be short of outside wear, though, so I’ve decided to mend them enough to get through the next month while I make new skirts.
I’ve patched these skirts before. Those times I was careful with my fabric choice and my stitching. This time, knowing that I just need to keep my underwear from showing, I set to the task by first grabbing a handful of scraps. The result is haphazard, but serviceable. And that’s all that’s warranted. Once I’ve made up new skirts, these will be retired. I’m considering remaking them into a throw, something cozy for the winter nights ahead.
This upcoming week the target of my fall cleaning will be the pj pants. Several need some light mending and I’ll probably make a couple of new pairs, as well as retire a couple that are as ratty as the skirts. Then I will move on to the winter clothes: sweaters, sweatshirts, long sleeved garments, as well as tights and leggings. By the time December rolls around I should be well sorted out to survive the winter.
Examine your patterns. Consider first if the pace and the pattern of your life are of your own choosing. Take the measure of your life, honestly and logically. Determine which patterns are imposed upon you from external sources and which are self-imposed (or self-inflicted).
Make an honest assessment of what you have to do, what you don’t have to do, and of what you have consciously chosen to do, regardless of whether it is required or not.
Now reach a little further within to take a deeper measure of your personal life patterns. In doing so, realistically determine what it is you are striving for. Reexamine your life patterns in the clear light of personal truth and choice. Ask yourself what it is that you truly want from your life, from yourself.
If you are fairly clear on what you really want, then you can effectively determine whether or not your life patterns are structuring your success. If you are uncertain about what you ultimately want, then you must ask yourself who or what is actually determining and managing thee patterns of your life for you and why.
These are hard questions, but necessary ones if you want to take more power over the patterns in your life. Know that you do have the ability to choose far more in the matters of your life patterns. The first step—and the last—is taking your personal measure.
I’m a word nerd and a science fiction geek. I also love to swear. Like, really fucking love to curse. My swearing is sometimes a problem (like when my children started dropping f-bombs as toddlers). But mostly swearing offers me a release for frustration. (Also, swearing has its benefits.)
Which is why I love science fictional swearing. You get to express your anger in a way that won’t lead to judgmental looks from those around you.
This cross stitch sampler is my love letter to the swears used throughout fandom. The pictured sampler was stitched on white 14 count Aida cloth using two strands of floss. Download the free chart by clicking on the download button below, or clicking here.
If you get your stitch and bitch on, please post a picture in the comments. I’d love to see how it turns out for you.
This post originally appeared October 2, 2017.