sunshine addict

activism, crafting and sillliness



Loki Week: Day Three - Magic


An Old Norse term for a type of sorcery practised in Norse society. Seidr practitioners were of both genders, although females are more widely attested, with such sorceresses being variously known as vǫlurseiðkonur, and vísendakona. There were also accounts of male practitioners, known as seidmenn, but in practising magic they brought a social taboo known as ergi onto themselves, and were sometimes persecuted as a result. Within pre-Christian Norse Mythology, seidr was associated with the god Odin, as well as the goddess Freyja, a member of the Vanir who was believed to have taught the practice to the Aesir.

i get that you’re trying to be concise and all but you’re missing a lot of really cool—and really relevant—stuff, like the fact that the concept of ergi is intimately connected with transgender people1. academia being academia, it gets swept under the rug a lot, but the connection is there. seiðmenn are not inherently argr; although it’s a common enough reference and accusation, avoided most often by being of a high enough status nobody wants to start anything. See: óðinn2. his status is also complicated by the fact that seiðr is not the only type of magic he practices; galdr, which he uses much more often, is considered an almost purely masculine form of magic, along with runic magic. galdr is a form of magic which uses musical incantations. runic magic is pretty self-explanatory.

Then there are the two more ‘effeminate’ forms of magic: seiðr and spá. seiðr is a very broad category of magic; it encompasses illusions, battle-magic, prophecy, causing physical phenomena such as earthquakes and storms, potion-brewing, healing, and shapeshifting, amongst other things3. it has certain connotations of evil and untruthfulness behind it because of what seiðr-workers can do. spákonur and völur, by comparison, work specifically in the realm of prophecy, or what is called ørlög: the law of how things shall be, as laid down by the norns. the prophecy of a seiðr-worker is not the same sort as that of a spákona; rather than perceiving ørlög directly, the seiðr-worker gains the knowledge of it by using the spell vardlokur, that is, summoning spirits4.

argr amab seiðr-workers are sometimes called seiðskrattar5. another term is seiðberendr6; sometimes considered a way to refer to any seiðr-worker because berendi literally means “carrier”, however it was used often as a term for the womb7, and has connections to transwomen who used witchcraft to combat their dysphoria8.

loki is innately connected to the concept of ergi; one of their kennings is rög vættr, another áss ragr—both can be  translated as, roughly, “the queer god”9. they have been a mother several times, and they are said to have given birth to all witches10. (let’s assume that’s metaphorical.)

despite not often being brought up in mythological discussion as a seiðberendi, their status as such is inarguable. strangely, though, their most obvious use of magic, their shapeshifting, doesn’t appear to be the traditional sort of shapeshifting used by a seið-worker. a shapeshifter in this vein is called an hamhleypa11, and while they take on new forms, their native body lies inert. if you’re familiar with discworld, you’ll recognise granny weatherwax as an hamhleypa, though she’s not named as such. of course, given that loki embodies the liminal, boundary-crossing aspects of seiðr, perhaps that should be expected of them.

schnurbein; shamanism in the old norse tradition

2lokasenna, et al. “en þik síða kóðu/sámseyu í,/ok draptu á vétt sem völur;/vitka líki/fórtu verþjóð yfir,/ok hugða ek þat args aðal”

callaghan; magic beyond the binary: magic and gender in the poetic edda

eiriks saga rauda, et al.

5sørensen; norrønt nid: forestillingen om den umandige mand i de islandske sagaer (sidenote: in modern icelandic, skratti now means “demon”. gotta love christianisation.)

6hyndluljóð, et al. “ero völur allar frá viðolfi/vitkar allir fra vílmeiði/seiðberendr frá svartöfða/iötnar allir frá ymi komnir”

7 strömbäck; sejd: textstudier i nordisk religionshistoria

8 fritzner; ordbog over det gamle norske sprog

ergi as a concept is difficult to define; it’s often said to mean “unmanliness”, but that’s a vast simplification. it comes from proto-indo-european h₃orǵʰ-, meaning “to have sex” (which comes to modern english, incidentally, in the form of “eerie”), defined by seiðberendr both in the past and present as not only gender transgressing behaviour and/or sexual activities but being, essentially, ‘out’, willingly taking on the taboos associated with them.

10hyndluljóð. “varð loptr kviðugr at kono illri,/ϸaðan es á foldo flagð hvert komit”

11 simpson; the witch figure

very very cool academics

(via knottahooker)

And yet fanfiction is an inherently transformative work which, by its very nature, strives to address or change some flaw that exists in canon, even if that flaw is “why isn’t there more of this thing?!” Fanfiction has addressed the lack of gay men by making straight characters gay; it’s addressed countless cultural misappropriations with wildly varying AUs; it’s addressed canon plot holes and timeline issues with fix-it fics and crossovers. Fanfic is the show your show could be like, if only you dared to dream.

But for all its transformative nature, fanfiction and fandom still suffer from a real dearth of femslash. Beyond the simple fact that very few girls exist in canon materials, the societal emphasis on the male gaze seems to have affected fanficcers’ creativity to such an extent that even in our own fantasies, we cannot give women a fair shake. Just as the answer to “Why is there so much slash?” cannot be boiled down to “ Well, straight girls are horny”, the answer to “Why isn’t there any femslash?” cannot be boiled down to “Well, straight girls don’t care.” The bias against female characters and female pleasure is an ingrained, institutionalized problem which won’t go away on its own.

—Conclusion of Lady Geek Girl and Friends’s fascinating article on femslash and fandom (do give it a read if you’re interested!)

(Source: damnspacepirate, via alamaris)

The difference between blanket stitch and tailor’s stitch

I’m writing this because it’s taken me months of being confused, and of having to look up blanket stitch every. time. I. start. a new line, and of being thoroughly lost whenever I tried tailor’s stitch.  And then the cycle repeated itself.  So, now I’ve finally figured it out, and because I’m not the only person who finds pictures/diagrams a little confusing, I’ve written this out.  If nothing else, the next time I’ve forgotten, I’ll have this to look up.

The most important difference – and this is the root of all my confusion – is that blanket stitch (the plain edging without knots) is made with the needle pointing towards the hem.  You go down into the fabric and up in the solid line.

Tailor’s stitch (the edging with a knot) is made with the needle pointing towards the fabric.  You go down into the solid line, and up into the fabric, pointing away from the ‘legs’ of the stitch. 

Once I got that, everything else fell into place.

So!  Tutorial!

I’m stitching right to left, adapt as you need.

Also, apologies for the quality of the cellphone pictures.  I don’t own an actual camera.

After anchoring your thread, bring the needle up in line with where you want the solid, knotted line to be.  Insert the needle at the next point on the line.  Bring your needle up at 90 ° making the ‘leg’ of the stitch as long as you need.

Take the working thread just below your needle, and slip it under the needle’s point, right to left (or left to right if you’re sewing in that direction).

Pull your needle through the fabric, and allow the knot to close.  You’ll see the knot forming as follows:

Pull on the working thread in the direction of the ‘leg’ of the stitch.  You might need to wiggle the thread a bit to get the knot in place, but finish the tension in the direction of the leg (you can see that I’ve only just got this, because my tension in the Aida fabric is slightly off).


And repeat as needed!  So simple I’m kicking myself :)

To finish off, insert your needle in the same hole (for Aida/evenweave fabric) or just underneath the knot, and weave in the back.

 I hope this helps you as much as it will, guaranteed, help me the next time I forget.

For anyone (like me) who is embarrassed how wonky their blanket stitch ends up - claim it’s based on this :)

For anyone (like me) who is embarrassed how wonky their blanket stitch ends up - claim it’s based on this :)

The UfYH Guide to Spring Cleaning for Actual People


The UfYH Guide to Spring Cleaning for Actual People


Daylight Saving Time is upon us, and we’re (theoretically) headed into spring. Personally, I find it hard to welcome spring when there’s still a half a foot of snow on the ground and we had flurries again this morning, but the calendar says it’s almost spring, so we’ll go with that. With the advent of spring comes the truly obnoxious concept of “spring cleaning.” While I understand that some…

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(via unfuckyourhabitat)


I fucking love the way this movie portrayed anxiety and anxiety attacks (though not necessarily the way other characters reacted to them ((namely the child)) but that’s another story)

tell me anxiety isn’t a big deal when Tony fucking Stark thought he’d been poisoned the first time he had an attack

(Source: letsgetdowney, via taibhsearachd)


"Maybe I should finish one of these projects that’s 95% done before I start a new one."
Said no knitter or crocheter ever.

#why is this so difficult?  #sometimes my own nature baffles me 
#ok i lied


"Maybe I should finish one of these projects that’s 95% done before I start a new one."

Said no knitter or crocheter ever.

#why is this so difficult?  #sometimes my own nature baffles me 

#ok i lied


(via ineedthisname)