River the Rescue

There are many stigmas held against rescue dogs that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some of the stigmas people may believe is that, rescue dogs can not be trained and will have behavioral issues. Another is that rescue dogs can’t be purebreds. The final, and largest, stigma is that rescue dogs are given up because there is something wrong with them. In reality, most dogs are given up to shelters because of moving, personal issues, no room, financial reasons or even lack of time. Some of the dogs in shelters have lived a hard life and have a rough and abusive past, but that does not mean the dog is “broken”. Take River for example.

River’s Story

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River waiting for treats.

River, a two-year-old Black Mouth Cur mix, was rescued by Jill and Jay Waddell, when she was just six months old. River had gone through some difficult things in her short life. River originally came from an abusive and neglectful situation, spending most of her life in a crate, without any bonds with humans or dogs. When she was rescued from that situation and brought to a shelter, she faced several families who adopted her and then quickly returned her. It can be assumed that it was due to the fact that River needed some extra time and attention.

Jill and Jay met River and ended up adopting her and renamed her River to stick the theme of their previous two dogs named Canoe and Kayak! They were a little wary at first after hearing how families had brought her back, as anyone would be. They soon realized why she had been brought back and started to fit the puzzle pieces of her past together.

River started out pretty aggressive. While she never hurt anyone, she would bite their clothes and pull or jump all over them. They observed this behavior mainly in the backyard. This led them to believe that her crate had been in the backyard. She would also start to panic whenever there was any sort of yard equipment in her rescuer’s hands, such as a rake. This led them to believe that River had been previously been abused with yard tools. River also liked to lick anything metal, which they assumed was a form of her self comforting, since most of her life at that point had been in a metal cage.

River  had no concept of how to be a “normal” domesticated pup. She didn’t know how to play and did not know how to act around people or dogs. Jill and Jay eventually went to a trainer for help with helping River. The approach of the first trainer was not a good fit, which involved reacting to the negative behavior in a negative/ punitive way.  Instead, they discovered the best way to deal with the aggressive behavior which was River’s fear reaction was through love. Whenever River got riled up, they would sit with her and just hold her tight–even when she would try to wiggle out, they showed River that, no matter what, she had a family who unconditionally loved her and would always be there for her. She would softly tell her nice things and showered her in love. She would do this as long as twenty minutes until River felt safe enough.

River Today

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River being patient.

Fast forward to now, River is a completely different dog, even though she is still a work in progress. She is only two years old, so she still has quite a bit of energy. She has even received the title of being the business partner in the organization of the Rescue Dog Olympics in Atlanta. “She doesn’t have any actual assistant responsibilities,” Jill had joked. However, River’s job does entail lots of emotional support and snuggles. She is constantly loving on her family as well as everyone else. She also loves to run, play with toys and now knows how to have fun with other dogs. Just by giving River the love that she so desperately wanted and some extra time and care, Jill and Jay were able to completely transform her into a beloved member of the family.

At the moment, Jill is training River to become a therapy dog for chronically ill children.  She says that because River has so much love to give to others that she would make a great therapy dog to those in need. River still has a lot of work to do, since she still has so much energy and loves to jump on people to show her love, but will still make a great therapy dog in time.

River’s Impact

River is just one example of the countless rescue dog stories being made every single day. Rescuing a dog from a shelter as opposed to buying one directly from a breeder has so many benefits. By rescuing a dog saves two lives: the life of the dog rescued and the life of another dog in need that can now come to the shelter due to the open space. Most rescues are already spayed or neutered and even microchipped. Most adult dogs are already potty-trained and with a rescue, the workers will be able to tell you about the dog’s unique personality. According to the ASPCA, about 3.3 million dogs are brought into rescue shelters while 1.6 million dogs are adopted each year. By adopting a rescue, you can help shelters bring in more dogs that are in need and keep the euthanization rates low.

Rescue dogs have so much potential that more people need to see, which is a reason Jill started the Rescue Dog Olympics in Atlanta. It’s a dog lovin’ festival and dog party on Sunday, March 10, 2019 in Piedmont Park.  It’s a chance for people to do something fun with their dogs and for families looking to adopt to meet some great rescue organizations and find their new family member. It’s a way to spread awareness to the greatness inside every rescue dog and to show just how much they deserve to be loved for their entire lives.

My Time As A Volunteer Crisis Counselor

During my freshman year of university, I was at my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. I was in bed on my barely running laptop making my rounds on Tumblr when I stumbled across an ad-like post. Typically, I ignore these and move on but I actually stopped for this one. I was in a depressive pit and the post talked about a fairly new organization called Crisis Text Line. The post talked about all of the things the organization did and helped with and even mentioned the need for new counselors to help out remotely.

I was in university studying computer science at the time so I knew that there was no way they would want me. For whatever reason, I kept reading. The post mentioned how it didn’t matter about your studies, current jobs or anything. As long as you were over 18 years old and wanted to help people, you had a shot. I thought to myself that there was no harm in trying so I sent in an application, had some friends write me recommendations and carried on with my night. The following week, I received a response; I had been accepted. I was asked to schedule what weeks I wanted to start an intensive two-week training course and signed up for the first one.

I spent hours on my laptop completing these training courses, which is a tad ironic as I was too depressed myself to go to classes but had the capacity to do this. I finished all of the training within a week, attended a remote live stream observation for two straight hours, and completed a mock conversation with a professional. I received a certificate stating that I had completed the course and was a certified volunteer counselor.

Crisis Text Line advertisement.

What is Crisis Text Line?

In layman’s terms, think of the Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255). Instead of verbally talking to someone, you can just text from your phone. You can have complete anonymity with Crisis Text Line. They are available 24/7 but I’ve personally heard complaints about the wait times. Sadly, there are less and less counselors because it is an incredibly difficult job to do. Crisis Text Line is also only in the United States (741-741) and Canada (868-868) and currently working on getting into the UK.

As a counselor, you are responsible for bringing people back to a cool calm. You are responsible to ask in depth questions and emotionally support that person to your best ability. As a counselor, we also had notes that we had to write about each and every texter in case they were to text back in and the future counselor would have a better idea of what they’ve been going through. These notes included a checklist of problems such as depression, family issues, abuse, etc. We also had to write down what their interests were, what their coping mechanisms were, and general notes on the situation itself along with the date of the conversation.

What did I do?

Me with a sticker Crisis Text Line sent me for Christmas.

Well, I was a volunteer crisis counselor. What this means is that I spoke to people of all age, backgrounds, sexual orientations, etc. We would talk to people on topics such as LGBTQ+ related issues like trouble coming out to parents, general anxiety or depression, homelessness, veterans/soldiers with PTSD, and so much more. Our purpose? To bring someones mental state from that was high to a cool, collected calm.

The misconception that I learned some texters had was that they thought we were like a regular counselor and they could just text us constantly. We had a time limit of how long we were supposed to talk to people and some didn’t really understand that. Of course, it’s nothing against them. Studies showed that the most effective conversations were about 30-45 minutes long, so going over that typically meant that someone was just going in circles.

One of the most helpful things that we could do, in my opinion, was to give references to people. On the remote portal we used to talk to people, we had a section where we could find references for everything. Homeless? We have references to help you find a place in your area. Self harm? We have references for you to not self harm. Need a therapist? We have websites to give you to find one close to where you are.

The organization also gave us “cheat sheets” to help us when we worked, which I printed out and created a counselor binder for myself. Despite the fact that I no longer volunteer for them simply because college has sucked away all of my free time, I still use this handbook in my everyday life. It has a lot of handy tricks for talking to people that are not in the safest mindset.

Conversation Guidelines

Me in my free Crisis Text Line jacket I earned for working for an entire year.

There were four key factors we were encouraged to use while talking to texters: validations, tentafiers, open-ended questions and strength IDs. Validations were used to remind the texter that what they were feeling was completely valid to feel and to create a trusting relationship to allow them to open up. Tentafiers (“You seem to be feeling…” or “I get the impression that…”) were a way of pretty much confirming emotions with the texter to make sure everyone was on the same page. Open-ended questions (questions that cannot simply be used with a “yes” or “no”) allowed for more details on what exactly was going on. Strength IDs (“You’re clearly a strong person because…” or “It sounds like you really care about…”) allows for the texter to feel empowered in a time of weakness.

We also had 5 stages of a conversation to follow. First, we had to establish a rapport, which includes the volunteer introducing themselves and the texter introducing themselves and the basis of the problem. The second thing to do was to identify the problem and explore the problem more in depth. Third, we needed to collaborate with the texter to identify what their goal was. Fourth, problem solve collaboratively. Lastly, end the conversation.

In order to really collaborate on solving the problem, the counselor needed to explore the texter’s individual problem-solving and decision-making skills. Counselors also needed to explore the texter’s support systems, such as family and friends, and community resources, such as school clubs or counselors. Lastly, counselors needed to discuss options for the Action Plan and explore the implications of each option with the texter. Ending the conversation includes recapping the conversation, pointing out the texter’s trengths in a genuine way and reviewing the action plan.

An important thing to note for counselors during the rapport building and problem identification portion was to conduct an imminent risk check and slick as possible. What this means is asking if the texter is suicidal. If they were, asking if they had a plan. If they had a plan, asking if they had the means to fulfill that plan. If they had the means, asking for a timeframe. Depending on the texter and the severity of the risk assessment, it was sometimes necessary to “flag” the conversation for a higher up to get involved in. Personally, I had a texter who had confirmed all four of these questions and very quickly stopped texting in and my supervisor had to alert the authorities to do a check in for their safety. To this day, years later, I still worry if they are okay.

Personal Texter Stories

Famous YouTuber, Markiplier, who did a charity live stream for Crisis Text Line in 2016.

Obviously, we aren’t supposed to talk about specifics and even though I am no longer a volunteer counselor, I will still respect that. These are personal stories that happened many years ago (I worked from December 2015 until the summer of 2018). So these will continue to be anonymous. They are simply stories of people I spoke to long ago. These are also not in order.

The first texter was an older woman. She was over 70 years old and had texted in, apologizing for misspellings as she wasn’t the best at texting. She explained how her adult son was stealing money off of her, despite the fact that she barely had any money herself. It was putting her into a position where she was going to lose her home because she just simply did not have the heart to get him to stop or even tell him what it was doing to her. She came to Crisis Text Line for strength and support.

Mind you, at the time I was just some 18 year old college student. This was something I absolutely could not relate to and felt completely unprepared for it. However, I sat there and listened to her cry to me about her struggles. I validated her and comforted her to the best of my ability while sending her links to websites to help with financial struggles. Being a counselor, we were not allowed to give personal advice such as “If I were you, I would…”, so I really couldn’t offer advice even if I knew what to do. Instead, I gently brought up how it would be in her best interest to talk to her son calmly about what he was doing, so we spent a good 20 minutes making up a game plan for her. At the end of the conversation, she told me how much I had helped and thanked me over and over.

Famous YouTubers, Game Grumps, who held a charity stream for Crisis Text Line.

In a less happy story, I had to help someone that we call a “managed texter.” What this means is that this person was using Crisis Text Line as a daily therapist rather than a once in a while crutch to help with intense emotions. With managed texters, we could only talk for 30 minutes max. These texters were typically very angry, as they did not fully understand that their use of the organization was not what it was intended for. We would have to explain what the new protocol was for them and tell them how much time we had with them.

These managed texters already had a written gameplan from prior counselors so the future counselors would know exactly what was happening and what to talk about. We would pretty much just have to verify that they were safe and review the prior game plan that prior counselors had discussed with them to make sure they were still working. Texters like this were always disheartened and always made me sad, as I wanted to talk to them but the rules I had to follow didn’t allow it.

What not to say to texters

Example of a text one might receive when working as a counselor.

Like I mentioned, we couldn’t give advice such as “If I were you, I would…” The main purpose of counselors was to gently guide the conversation but the texter was ultimately in charge of what was discussed. We also could not use “why” questions, as tone of voice can be easily misinterpreted over text and we did not want to come off as accusing the texter. For example, I could not use phrases such as “Why don’t you just…” We also couldn’t say things such as “You should do…” or “Wouldn’t it be best if…”

Along with not being able to give advice, we were not allowed to openly relate to the texter which was difficult for me personally. I remember a texter who had been going through the exact same struggles I had faced and I couldn’t say anything. The purpose for this is so that we do not let the texter think that we are moving the conversation away from their issues and onto us as counselors. Along with that, we obviously could not be dismissive of anything; we always had to ask in depth questions about anything brought up.

Types of texters

The support texters can feel through texting counselors.

We had a common list of texters and how to approach them. One type was a third party texter. What this means is that someone has texted in on behalf of a friend or loved one who they were worried about. Obviously, we cannot provide help for someone we are not directly speaking to. These types of texters were something I personally struggled with, as protocol stated I had to take care of the person texting in even though the problem wasn’t about them. Third party texters would often get annoyed with me caring more about them than the person they texted in about.

We also encountered break up texters. These texters ranged in ages, the youngest I ever spoke to was thirteen years old. We were taught five things in regard to these texters: talk it out, walk it out, shut it out, seek it out, and watch out. Talk it out being obvious, which is to let the texter talk and not hold back. Walk it out is literal; encourage the texter to get out of bed and physically move. Shut it out means that the texter should not dwell on their ex’s Facebook photos; they need to remove or block them in order to move on. Seek it out means that texters are encouraged to find counselors, as Crisis Text Line is not meant as a permanent, daily therapy service. Watch out was something counselors told texters so that the texter could become aware of mental/emotional changes within themselves because of the breakup and to use tools discussed with the counselor to stay out of that rut.

Another type of texters are LGBTQ+ texters. We have a whole sheet of things to talk about with these texters such as “How do you feel about your assigned birth gender?” or “How do you like to express your gender?” If they’re getting bullied, we can say things such as “You have the right to feel safe at home, at school, and everywhere you go. No one has the right to bully you.” We are here to validate and uplift those struggling with their gender/sexual orientation and plan with them on how to keep them safe.

How to get in contact with Crisis Text Line

The Crisis Text Line Facebook page.

Like I mentioned earlier, there are phone numbers you can text. However, Crisis Text Line went beyond that and into apps. Fun fact, you can actually access a Crisis Text Line counselor through Facebook. You can either connect through Facebook Messenger on their public Facebook page or, if a friend has reported a post related to suicide or self harm, they will see the Crisis Text Line resource.

Crisis Text Line is also available through the messaging app called Kik. The automatic Kik bots can notice messages such as “I want to die” and will automatically send a resource for Crisis Text Line for the user to message. Even though a bot sends the resource, Crisis Text Line counselors are not bots; they are real people.

Volunteering for Crisis Text Line was such a rewarding yet difficult experience. It taught me more about myself as an individual and about the people all around the United States. It taught me how to be a better support system for people in my personal life and how to help those I meet. It helped me calm classmates countless times in high school and made me feel really helpful. Even though I joined when I was mentally struggling myself, it actually helped me mentally a lot. It gave me such a strong purpose in this world that I will continue to grow until the day I die.

Pagans and Pendulums

If you haven’t read my Paganism crash course, you should read that before starting this one!

Growing up in a Catholic school, I remember that the “new girl” in my 3rd grade class had this odd looking crystal on a chain one day at lunch. It was swinging in different directions and she seemed to be talking to it. Confused, I asked her what it was. She explained that it was a pendulum that allowed her to talk to spirits. If it spun to the right, it was a yes to your question. If it spun to the left, it was a no. Later on, she got in trouble because my teachers told her that it only spoke to demons.

Pendulums, like most tools used in divination, are wildly misunderstood. They have a historical purpose and a modern day purpose, as well as typical false assumptions and such. There are many different tools for divination such as tarot cards, runes, numerology, crystal balls, dowsing rods, teacups, Ouija boards and more. Pendulums are the most popular among them and typically the most simple for beginners.

History of Pendulums

A pendulum was used to gain knowledge that was both scientific and practical. Pendulums in the Vietnam war were used to detect underground mines and tunnels. Doctors in France used pendulums to diagnose illnesses and predict gender. The swaying motion of the pendulum is hypnotizing and it’s easy to understand why many previously thought that there may be a power behind it. However, the use for pendulums today is a little different.

What are pendulums?

Pendulum and a tarot card.

To start with, they aren’t these possessed tools that a spirit lives within. A pendulum does not know anything that you do not know as the user. A pendulum is really a tool to connect you to your unconscious in order to receive psychic messages. Divination tools such as the pendulum just bypasses your conscious mind and goes straight to your subconscious mind.

Some also use pendulums as a way of contacting spirits. Once you call for a spirit, it should signal their presence by moving the pendulum. A helpful tip when summoning a spirit to your pendulum is to do it over a tarot card. However, whatever you use pendulums or divination for, it is important to remember that not everything revealed will come to light. It is important to not become dependent on divination but rather use it as a guide for your future train of thought.

How to use a pendulum?

Two Methods

There are a few factors when it comes to actually using a pendulum and two different methods. The most common way to use a pendulum is called the free hand method. This means you are simply asking it yes or no questions. To start, ask your pendulum to show you what a yes and a no looks like. You will watch for the pendulum to sway bath and forth, side to side, counter-clockwise or clockwise in response. To verify what is yes and what is no, ask simple questions like “Is is currently June?”

Pendulum Board.

The second method is a pendulum board. This allows the user to ask more than simple yes or no questions. Be sure to hold the pendulum somewhere on the board where it is not hovering over any specific answer. You can also make your own board pretty easily and for cheap.

Materials

Most pendulums are created out of crystals and each crystal results in a different experience for the user. For example, the most common and easiest for beginners is a quartz crystal pendulum. It allows for answers to be easily picked up and to amplify the energy through the pendulum. Rose quartz is great for people who are sensitive and need a gentle touch. Amethyst is for those that are having issues with trusting their intuition and need guidance to connect to their higher self. Lastly, black obsidian is the crystal for those that hate vague answers. To make this even more chaotic for beginners, the shape of the pendulum is also a factor.

Shape

Pendulum drawing by baiir on Tumblr.

Pendulums come in a variety of different shapes, such as a regular sphere. Sphere pendulums allow for more energy to be picked up and is great for dowsing energy fields. Point pendulums draw insight from the user and great for beginners as the points allow energy to flow from you to the base to the tip. Merkaba pendulums has a much wider range of picking up energy and allows for guides/ spirits/ ancestors to help with your divination.

Actually using a pendulum

To start using a pendulum, you first need to clear your mind before you do anything. You need to open that channel from your subconscious to your pendulum. Hold the chain of your pendulum in between your thumb and pointer finger. Take a few deep breaths afterwards and ask it to show you a yes and a no. A general rule of thumb is if the pendulum moves in a clockwise motion or front to back swing, it’s a yes. If it moves counter-clockwise or left to right motion, it’s a no. It is also important to recognize a “weak yes” and “weak no”, which you will come to recognize with practice.

Hand painted pendulum board.

Pendulums require a steady hand, so it may take time to really get the hang of it. It’s also helpful to eventually create a pendulum board, which can be done as easily as a piece of cloth and some index cards. You also don’t need a fancy pendulum; all you really need is something weighted on a string. For example, keys on a lanyard or even a needle and thread.

Humanity’s Attempt to Remove Itself from Ideology

The concept of subjects’ refusal to take self-accountability for their actions and how it impacts everything within an ideological state apparatus.

Ari Lentini

This is a 21 page term paper that I wrote for my Critical Theory course. Obviously, I cannot copy and paste it all into a blog post so I am including the PDF below if you are interested in reading it.

What is Paganism: A Crash Course

I’ll start out with a small(ish) backstory so you can understand where I’m coming from and where I am. I was born and raised Catholic. I attended a Catholic school from age 4 up to age 14. I attended Catholic churches well until I was 20 years old. Events in my life began to stack up and I simply realized that it wasn’t the path for me. I didn’t enjoy the teachings, the belief system, the strict system and more. I was looking for something more flexible and something that empowered me. That is just how I personally feel so that should not in any way, shape or form infringe on your beliefs or opinions of a Catholic/ Christian faith. If you find joy and fulfillment in a Christian religion, that’s amazing and I hope that you hold strong. However, I could not and did not.

For a good six months, I was so lost. I had spent so long convincing myself that this was the faith I always had to keep and the only thing keeping me grounded. My faith became my identity and I actually believed that I was nothing without it. When I lost and abandoned that faith, I was in such a state of loneliness and confusion. I couldn’t force myself to go back because I would be just as unhappy if not more, so I started exploring different paths. I investigated Buddhism, Taoism, generalized polytheism but none of them quite fit. They still felt really restricting and that was exactly what I wanted to steer clear of. Then I stumbled upon Paganism.

Disclaimer: I have only been studying for 1 year and am still very new. I will update overtime, if things that I currently understand turn out to be not exactly correct or if I discover more information. Don’t chastise me for anything incorrect. Also, this is absolutely not meant to bash Christianity. That is the last thing I want to do. These are just historical facts I’ve found over time.

witchcraft-comic

What is Paganism?

Paganism, as a way of describing a modern religious practice, did not actually start until the 20th century. However, the practice of paganism can be seen in things as early as medieval writing. Now, before you click away while screaming “WITCH”, understand that the actual notion of Paganism and what it is was actually something that created the early Christian Church. Yes, you did read that correctly. Not to mention that most, if not all, of how witchcraft is portrayed in mainstream media is completely false.

There are a lot of misconceptions about Paganism, one of which is the pentacle or as most people think is a pentagram. Believe it or not, the two are different. A pentagram is the five pointed star. A pentacle is the five pointed star with a circle around it. The pentagram is the oldest symbol known to man that goes back to 3000 B.C. For Pagans, the pentagram stands for the five elements: air, earth, fire, water, and spirit. The pentacle, which looks like the pentagram but in a circle, is a symbol for all of those elements coming together. Long story short, not a satanic or evil symbol as many believe.

Paganism and Christianity

Pagans originally celebrated the festival called Saturna (Saturnalia by ancient Romans) or simply winter solstice, which would go on for eight days before the winter solstice. This would eventually become the Christian holiday we all know and love, which is Christmas. For Pagans, winter solstice was a time for celebrating the sun god, Odin. Fun fact, Odin’s physical appearance is seen as a chubby man with a white beard and large coat. Sound familiar? Christians “re-purposed” the celebration of Odin and focused it on Jesus Christ instead. Many Pagan holidays such as the winter solstice were inspiration used for modern day Christian holidays. Other holidays that got their inspiration from Paganism includes Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and many many more.

Going back to the pentagram versus pentacle topic, even early Christians used both symbols. It was an important symbol to the Catholic church for the first 500 years after the death of Jesus. For Christians, it was used as a protective symbol and even represented Jesus himself and his five wounds when he was crucified. However, in 1855, a Catholic deacon named Alphonse Constant was kicked from the Catholic church for his interest in magic. He changed his name to Éliphas Lévi and started writing books like Transcendental Magic, where he convinced people that an upside down pentagram (where there are two points of the star pointing upwards) was a symbol of evil and was what kick started the symbol to be used for the Church of Satan in the 20th century. This inevitably led mainstream media to create what was known as the “Satanic Panic.” Thanks, Alphonse Constant, for making something good into something bad.

Even down to the basic belief system, Paganism had a huge influence on Christianity. The origins of Jesus have roots deeply planted within Paganism, which have records of a deity similar to Jesus that surpass any Biblical record. Babylonian mythology had Ishtar and her son Tammuz. Tammuz would die each year and would be born again during spring. This would later result in what most know as Mary and Jesus. To really understand how Tammuz would later become the Christian Jesus, there is the Chaldean symbol (Chaldean are Easter Rite Catholics which were united with the Roman Catholic Church) which appears as “t” or a cross and later became the cross Jesus died on. (UCG.org)

With so much influence from Pagans, why is there such tension between Christianity and Pagans? In short, Christians wanted their religion to spread and the early targets audience was Pagans in the ancient world due to the fact that everyone except Jews were Pagan. Converting so many people would ensure that Christianity would continue on for many years, so therein lies the persecution of Pagans. The persecution began in the late Roman empire, which included pillaging and anti-pagan laws. Christianity went as far as to claim that their god was superior to any other god(s). In short, a huge power struggle despite the fact that Christianity is based from Paganism. (Culture wars aren’t something that regularly taught, sadly.) (History.com) Now that we’ve got a small history lesson, what exactly do Pagans do?

Paganism, as I understand it, is extremely diverse and differs from person to person. One could be specifically trained in particular traditions of Paganism such as Druidry, non-Wiccan forms of religious witchcraft, Heathenry, Hellenism, and Celtic (all of which will be discussed later). The other side of paganism is up to the individual person, so one could follow their own inspiration. Yet both sides of paganism have some innate characteristics.

Characteristics of Paganism

teacup

A focal point of Paganism is the importance of nature. Pagans recognize the spirit of a place, which involves personifying things like lakes or mountains. One example is Athens, Greece. Athens holds the goddess Athena. Another main point of nature within Paganism is that Pagans acknowledge different seasons throughout the year as a time for spiritual growth and renewal. These periods of growth have festivals for Pagans to have access to different divinities according to the season.

Pagans also believe and recognize deities, making is a polytheistic religion. These deities can range depending on ones beliefs. The main two that I’ve found are Celtic and Norse deities. With deities, there are a god and goddess, and there are literally thousands of them to choose from. The god is the masculine form of divinity, which is opposite yet equal to the goddess. The goddess, of course, is the feminine form of divinity. Choosing a god and goddess is actually a misnomer; a god and goddess actually chooses you.Typically, one would receive “a calling” from a god and/or goddess through dreams, visions, inner voice, gut feeling, etc. These signs are typically associated with a specific image or animal associated with that god or goddess.

Another characteristic is something called The Threefold Law, also called Rule of Three. While this is more specific to Wicca, which lies under the Pagan umbrella, it pretty much means that any and every bit of energy- positive or negative- will be returned to you three times. This is the Pagan version of karma, but is taken much more seriously. This also applies specific to magical work (again, we’ll get to that later).

Pagans also have an ultimate respect for nature and strive to live in harmony with it rather than dominate it. It has basic roots in nature-based deities and there’s even a specific path of paganism that focuses mainly on the earth called neopaganism, which is relatively new. This brings us to the many paths of Paganism and what this umbrella term encompasses.

What paths lie within Paganism?

Wicca

Triple Goddess symbol.

Wicca is probably the most widely known path within Pagan religion. However, Wicca can be a little confusing due in part that many Wiccans only refer to themselves as Witches. In Wicca, one worships a god and goddess. These gods and goddesses that Wiccans worship ranges depending on the person. Some use two deities from different pantheons, such as worshiping a Celtic goddess and a Greek god. Others may choose Wicca specific deities, such as the Horned God and Triple Moon Goddess (symbol above). Believe it or not, Wiccans can also worship deities from other religions. Considering that Christianity, as we’ve learned, has a lot to do with Pagans, you can actually be Wiccan and also worship Jesus Christ (yes, Christian witches are a thing, and there are actually handbooks on it)! Wiccans have an understanding that the energy of the Divine flows within all things and that creation is due to the elements of earth, air, fire and water.

Druidry

Symbol representing the Awen from Celtic beliefs.

Druidry, also called Druidism, lies within Paganism. Their goal is to seek humanity’s “greatest yearnings” and have a worldwide group dedicated to Druidry called The Order of Bards. They define those yearnings to be “fully creative in our lives, to commune deeply with the world of Nature, and to gain access to a source of profound wisdom”, so the three goals are creativity, love, and wisdom. Druids emphasize diversity in tolerance of either a monotheistic belief or polytheistic belief. Regardless, Druids uphold the importance of nature and how sacred it is over all.

Heathenism

heathenism_symbol
Heathenism symbol.

This path under Paganism is mainly about old Norse beliefs. They believe in the Norse pantheon which includes Odin, Loki, Freya, and Thor. This path focuses more on history, making it the more unusual religion within Paganism. Heathenism is also one of the only paths that truly sticks to its roots. Since I’m desperately trying to make this as short as possible, more info on Heathenism can be found here, because I could seriously make an entire post about just this.

Hellenism

220px-hellenism_symbol.svg_I know what you’re thinking. “It has ‘hell’ in it! That’s bad!” Remember, hell is a Christian concept and this isn’t Christianity. Hellenism is a Greek word, which should give you a good idea that this path is revolved around Greek Gods and mostly the Twelve Olympians. Hellenism also deals with the cosmogonies (origins of the world) and cosmologies (ordering of the world). More in depth can be found here, because it’s a lot to take in and this is just a crash course.

Contemporary Witchcraft

This path is also known as Non-Wiccan Witchcraft and there are various types. Stregheria follows ancient Italian traditions of witchcraft, which can be traced to the 14th century. Feri Tradition is the orgal tradition of modern neopagan witchcraft. It was brought to the United State in the 1960’s. Jewitchery is Jewish witchcraft, where practitioners borrow from existing Jewish magical and Kabbalistic traditions or reconstruct those ritutals based on Judaism and Neopaganism. Reconstructionism, also called Polytheistic Reconstructionism, is a movement to recreate historical forms of witchcraft since the old forms have been lost. This also emerged in the 1960’s.

Hedge witchcraft is based on traditional European witchcraft which has traditions of old wise women and wise men, cunning folk, herbalists, healers and witches. It has an emphasis in solitary work around nature and has many similarities to Wicca, such as the Triple Goddess and Horned God. There’s Kitchen witchcraft, which involves substituting mundane items for magical items. This means subsituting a regular kitchen knife for the sacred ritual athame (double-edged dagger used in traditional witchcraft). Lastly, there’s Ásatrú which is primarily Norse and has records in Scandinavia.

I know this is a lot, but you’ve braved the different paths within the umbrella term “Pagan.” Unfortunately, I can’t really go into spells and traditions or practices too much since there are so many depending on the path, and I don’t want to favor one more than another. Maybe that will make for more installments on this. But what I can tell you is why someone might choose one of these paths.

Why do people choose to become Pagan (or a form of Pagan)?

Like I said, I had an upbringing that involved a Christian belief system. However, there are many Pagans that do not have this upbringing. They aren’t all upset former Christians. Becoming Pagan isn’t a form of running away from anything, it’s actually a way of running toward something. What is that something? Depends on the person and what they hope to find. The reason for becoming Pagan will vary from each person, but there are some common reasons.

One reason is that people like the belief system that had the masculine and feminine deities. Another would be for acceptance, as Pagan beliefs do not condemn anyone from the LGBT+ community. A reason could be that one wants to reconnect with nature and embracing that relationship between humanity and the world around us. One of the most commons reasons is due to how flexible Paganism is, since there’s no set doctrine, no universal book of rules, no hierarchy. Last reason is for personal empowerment. Pagan beliefs put emphasis on ones own responsibility and doesn’t allow for someone to not take self-accountability for their actions by claiming it was the will of God.

While Paganism is very inclusive to everyone, there are some bad reasons for choosing the path. One example is if you just want to cast spells on people (refer to the Threefold Law). Another being that you just want to conjure spirits, which isn’t even something every Pagan does. A terrible reason is because you “want to join a religion that lets me do what I want.” While this may be true to an extent, refer back to the Threefold Law and the concept of taking self-accountability. As long as you have good intent and are actually interested in what Paganism is and you aren’t attempting to go down that path for “bragging rights” or something of that nonsense, you’re pretty much fine. I hope you learned something and maybe had a new understanding.

Living On Michigan’s Mackinac Island

From May 2017 until August of 2017, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to live on my favorite island for 3 months. Being a Georgia resident, how did I even get the option to do this? For starters, my uncle and godfather, who runs the island, suggested that I try applying to work there. We both wanted my chances to be fair, so we weren’t very obvious about the fact that he was related to me. After a phone interview, I was offered the job and allowed to live in a house with other workers. Little would I know that this would be a life changing experience for me.

During this time, I was facing my rock bottom. I had just gotten kicked out of college and had no job. Each day was becoming a blur, as I had no responsibility or drive to do anything due to my mental health. However, I figured getting out of my shell and different scenery would be a great change for me. My family and I would visit my aunt and uncle on the island when I was growing up, so I formed this indescribable attachment to that island.

Moving to the Island

Crossing Lake Huron by ferry boat, looking at Mackinac Bridge in the distance.

I left for a grueling fourteen hour road trip at the end of April 2017 so that I could move in and attend the orientation. Unfortunately, as I was not accustomed to how Michigan is, all of my clothes were made for spring. When I arrived in Cheboygan late at night and saw clumps of snow on the ground, I quickly realized I was in for a struggle. With only a hoodie and jeans, I boarded the ferry the next morning with my parents, a single suitcase, backpack, ukulele and camera bag to move into my temporary home.

When I walked into my room, I was shell shocked. It was nothing that I had anticipated. I had never lived in the same bedroom as anyone else, even when I was living in my freshman dorm. The front door to the room opened to a kitchen, complete with dining table. Walking through the curtain covered doorway to the left, there was a large room with four beds lined up next to each other. My heart sank immediately. I was confused, scared, and incredibly anxious at the sight. However, I hadn’t just traveled fourteen hours just to turn back around. I walked past the beds and into the small, shared bathroom, hoping to find some solace. Instead, I was met with dirt and grunge. Desperately trying to hide my disgust, my aunt (who had joined us) smiled at me and reminded me of the house I was currently standing in.

Me sitting on a bike in front of Mission House, where I lived for three months while working on Mackinac Island.

We were living in the Mission House, a historic landmark that had been built in 1825 for the purpose of boarding and teaching Native American children. It was very old and hadn’t really been updated too much and that I had to accept that it wasn’t going to be what I was used to. Quietly, I picked the bed closest to the window against the wall, grabbed a nightstand from the corner of the room, and made it as much of a home as I possibly could. As for making it homey, all I brought were some cheap gray sheets that I found as Walmart a week prior to moving in, a teddy bear, a pillow from home and a Star Wars throw blanket since I didn’t want to lug a comforter fourteen hours away. On the nightstand, I placed an old lamp I found in the room and a small Polaroid photo album.

My corner of the room.

It was so cold for so long. It was constantly cloudy and foggy. I started to doubt if I had made the right decision. Then, my first roommate moved in. I met her at the orientation and we ironically had been randomly made roommates prior to us meeting. At first, it was awkward. She was very quiet and kept to herself. She picked a bed at the opposite side of the room, far away from me. For the first week, we rarely spoke except to ask questions about living conditions and cleaning. To my surprise, after a considerable amount of time, we actually started bonding and became attached at the hip. It’s almost as though she was put into my life because I was debating on going home out of fear. She calmed all of my nerves and made working a lot easier and a lot more fun.

Starting to Work

A lot of coworkers hanging out in their Eno hammocks at our house we lived in.

On top of meeting a lot of interesting people and eventually getting two more roommates, work was actually fun. It wasn’t just a job, it was actually something I looked forward to. It was my first full time job that I had ever had. My roommates and I got up at 9:00 am every day together, would tell jokes and talk as we prepared for the day and walked to our stations together. One of the reasons that working was so fun was because we never did the same thing every single day.

There were several different places we had to work and most had different responsibilities. For starters, everyone was giving a little gold key. This key would unlock a door at the employee building for us to go and get our till for the day. These keys also unlocked the stations we worked at. After opening the door to the employee building, our shift leader would hand our till to us and we would have about fifteen minutes to make sure we had the correct amount of money in our tills. Of course, we had to count by hand so it would take quite some time. After collecting our till, we would go to our stations.

One responsibility was the ticket booths to sell guests tickets to enter the fort located on the island, appropriately called Fort Mackinac. Fort Mackinac was garrisoned from the late 18th century to the late 19th century by British and American soldiers. The fort harbors loads of history, a gorgeous restaurant called the Tea Room and a gift shop. The fort also contained reenactors that portrayed soldiers and women of the time period. For my coworkers and myself, we had several jobs to uphold within the fort. Like mentioned, ticket booths are extremely important. There were two ticket booths: one at the base of the fort and one at the top. The fort was placed on a large hill, so the state park wanted to accommodate for people either below that hill or on top of it. We also were placed inside of the fort to work in the gift shop.

One of the many views from the Tea Room.

Outside of the fort, we had three other places we could work. One of those places was the state park visitor’s center. It was a gift shop as well as a general place for information. We weren’t given any sort of cheat sheets to look at for information except a large map, so gathering knowledge of the island took time and practice. The visitor’s center was a personal favorite for me to work at because I became very close friends with the manager at that station. The other place we could work at outside of the fort was a kiosk across the street from the visitor’s center. However, the only people who could work in the kiosk were seasoned workers who had been there for several years. The kiosk served as a place to sell tickets if it was a busy day and sell maps. The last place we could work was the art museum.

The art museum that we could work at.

The art museum was generally known as the easiest place to work at. Tickets to the fort included additional entry to the art museum, which meant that rarely anyone paid to enter so you wouldn’t really have any money to count at the end of the day. Barely anyone would even go to it so you were typically alone to read or draw. If you worked at the art museum, you pretty much knew you were going to have a great day.

Having six different places to work made each day interesting. Our supervisor, who gave us our tills and made the schedules, was the one to pick who would work where. We would get a printed sheet every two weeks of where everyone would work. I would personally go through and highlight my name and where I was working and eventually started highlight when my friends would work with me.

The Pros

Pertaining to work, there were a lot of pros. Everyone treated each other with respect and everyone would help out one another as needed. Our lunch breaks proved that teamwork. If you worked at the ticket booths, which of course you did alone, someone working in the gift shop within the fort would come to take over the ticket booth so you could have a lunch break for half an hour. Since there were always two to three people working at the gift shop at all times, they would organize their lunch breaks between themselves and cover each other.

If you were working outside of the fort, people in the visitor center were responsible for going to the kiosk and art museum to take over and allow those people to take their breaks, as people in the art museum and kiosk worked alone. The visitor center, much like the gift shop, always had three to four people working at a time so lunch breaks were organized between them. It was a great system, and each station had phones where you could call your coworkers for either questions or announcements. While many stations were independent, there was still a large amount of teamwork needed to be done.

A sign on Mackinac Island located near to the house I lived in.

While it was a full time job, each person got one or two days off a week. If you were lucky, you got both off days back to back. On those off days, you could really accomplish a lot. Personally, I would catch up on laundry, cook a good meal at home, visit my friends at work, or explore the island. The island was a little over eight miles around, and I completed several bike rides around the island, each ride lasting under an hour. There’s something very important that I have forgotten to mention: Mackinac Island has no vehicles. The only way to get around was by walking, biking, or by horse. The only vehicles the island had was a single police car and a single ambulance. Bikes were taken very seriously, and you even had to go to the police station to purchase a tag for your bike that would last a year.

The house we stayed at had a huge front yard and some picnic tables. On sunny days, I would sit outside with the head of housing to play ukulele. I’d walked to my favorite coffee shop called Lucky Bean, where I eventually became a well known regular. I would visit my aunt and uncle who lived in a house right behind the fort and spend time with them. I would enjoy the fresh air and tranquility of the island. It was almost like a dream.

Arch Rock, a famous landmark on Mackinac Island.

The pay was really good, but I unfortunately spent most of my pay on lunch at a nearby pizza shop. For living in Mission House, we also had to pay rent. This rent was automatically subtracted from our paychecks so we never had to consciously worry about paying it. Asking for time off was fairly easy and most workers were very open to picking up extra shifts. It was also fun to take the ferry back to the mainland with friends to make a Walmart run in Cheboygan.

The Cons

While there weren’t many cons, there were still cons. Coworkers would inadvertently destroy your entire week for asking ahead of time for time off. For example, I had to work eleven days straight and it was a nightmare just because someone wanted to have a few days off to get wasted with some friends that didn’t work for the state park.

While coworkers were typically respectful and easy to work with, there was always one that just wasn’t on that same page. That bad apple for that season was unfortunately my roommate, who eventually was moved out of my room for causing so many issues. While that wasn’t something my job could control, it was still an unfortunate thing to deal with.

Fort Holmes, the highest point on the island.

The guests were sometimes too much to handle. Some didn’t really understand that the island ran on a very tight schedule. The state park had to abide by the time that the ferries would start to bring in guests and close shortly before the last ferry of the day left. This ensured guests not missing their chance to go home and ensured that everyone got off on the right time. For example, if someone was working in the ticket booth, it would be really bad for everyone if they sold a ticket to a desperate guest five to ten minutes after we were closed. This would force the reenactors to stay much later, the gift shop to stay open later, and the park rangers to stay to ensure everything was perfect for the next day. Everything worked like a giant wheel, and one mistake could mess it up for a lot of other people.

Sometimes, it was difficult to live on the island. There was a grocery store on the island, where everything was drastically overpriced to account for the amount of money spent on transferring food to the island. In late June to early July, the island became really packed with people and we would actually find random strangers trying to come into Mission House because they thought it was for the public, despite there being a sign on the doors stating otherwise.

The Experiences

Like I said, I made some great friends on the island that happened to be my roommates and coworkers. We would go hiking, biking, have dinners at nice restaurants, watch the beavers build their dam by our house, smell the lilacs when they were in bloom, and listen to the freighters while trying to translate their horn sounds. There would also be boyscouts and girlscouts that would stay on the island for a week at a time and they would hold dinners for the state park workers to join in on. The Grand Hotel located on the island also held public dances, which everyone in Mission House would attend together. The only catch was that you had to wear formal attire in order to enter, which was difficult for a Georgian like me who had packed so little.

My roommates and I at the Grand Hotel for dance night.

The experiences I had from the island are deeply important to me, as they impacted me to my very core, and is one of the things I love talking about since this is obviously the longest blog post I’ve created yet. Working for Mackinac State Historic Park is something I would recommend to anyone and everyone. It is a once in a lifetime experience and is such a different way of living life. No matter where you live, as long as you’re willing to literally go the distance, you can work on this beautiful island. The requirement for the particular position I held can be found on the state parks website, along with a list of requirements to work there.

I hope that you, my dear reader, can understand what love I hold for this island and everything I experienced there, good and bad. I hope that this encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone to experience something that could be life changing. You never know what will impact your life forever. For me, it was Mackinac Island.

Madeleine Hanna and Jackie Stacey’s Discourses on Feminism

After reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides and reading the Gender and Sexuality section of our textbook, I feel as though Jackie Stacey’s arguments on escapism, identification, and consumption play an important role in Madeleine’s life. While Stacey argues on how these factors play an important role in why women go to the cinema, I also feel as though these factors can be seen through Madeleine, a graduate who majored in English. There were a few key events that stuck out to me while reading that seemed to correspond with these ideas.

One of the discourses Stacey claims to be a huge factor is escapism. Escapism, in The Marriage Plot, can be seen in a few ways by watching Madeleine. As an example, we can see how Madeleine uses Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse as a way of escapism. In one section of the book, she uses it as a way to escape her feelings about Leonard, yet the book forces her to face those feelings instead despite her trying to do the opposite. If we look on page 49, we can see how the scene is set with her trying to enjoy a typical college student’s night in by reading yet finds “a sign that she wasn’t alone” (Eugenides 49) within her book. She, after reading, realizes that what she had read “had to do with Leonard” (Eugenides 49), which defeats the purpose of her trying to escape her own thoughts.

However, escapism is also shown through her own relationship with Leonard. Madeleine hadn’t been as excited as her peers to graduate since her breakup with Leonard. Once she finds out from Auerbach about Leonard being in the hospital for his mental health, she uses Leonard as a way to escape her own graduation. One could argue that it was because she cares for Leonard and misses him, which is true. However, taking into account that she wasn’t thrilled to be around her parents and Mitchell also struck some chords with her earlier, one can see why she would take Leonard’s hospitalization as a way to escape her own graduation. Madeleine also uses Leonard in another way to escape.

Rather than just simply using him to escape her own graduation, Madeleine used Leonard to escape the reality of her life: she was a college graduate who was denied access to the Yale Graduate Program in English and didn’t have a job. To be specific, “neither of them had a job” (Eugenides 170), which left Madeleine to nurse Leonard back to health and escape the realities of her life even further. By Madeleine nursing him back to his former self, Madeleine shows the second discourse of Stacey’s theory, which is identification.

According to Stacey, identification can occur when women “become complicit in their own oppression” (Storey 156). Madeleine, as a woman, went and got herself a higher education and even a college degree yet is being a doting housewife for her boyfriend Leonard. While staying at his place, Madeleine gets to a point where she is “unable to bear with the filth any longer” (Eugenides 167) and cleans his entire place and even puts up new curtains and sheets. She’s even allowed to water his ficus tree which, earlier, Leonard had put up a fight about. Madeleine conforming to what is the typical doting housewife shows the idea of identification has developed in her, since she seems content with the standard “womanly duties” of taking care of the house and “having her big Saint Bernard all to herself” (Eugenides 170).

The last discourse Stacey mentions is consumption, which analyzes exactly what the modern woman takes in and how that affects her through a feminist perspective. Throughout the novel, we see Madeleine describe what type of man she refuses to date. For example, “Madeleine made a point of going out only with guys who liked their parents” (Eugenides 52) and how she doesn’t date guys who have any sort of mental illness. Madeleine also mentions how “guys weren’t supposed to be the talkers” (Eugenides 63) which really made me as a reader realized how accustomed she had gotten to what her expectations for men were. She seemed so hesitant in the beginning because of this; because her only consumption with men had been the complete opposite of Leonard. By breaking that “Hannesque” consumption of partners, I find that Madeleine had taken her first steps into becoming who she truly was outside of her parents’ expectations and society’s expectations of her.

To sum everything up, I find that taking Jackie Stacey’s theory on discourses in cinematics and applying it to the life of fictional Madeleine Hanna can explain more of who exactly Madeleine is as a character and as a concept. We can see how she develops as a character even from the beginning through baby steps as she breaks out of the cookie cutter woman that is expected of her and into an educated young woman who isn’t afraid to step outside of her comfort zone. She shows examples of Stacey’s discourses of escapism, identification, and consumption throughout the novel, even in her early pages.

A Secret History by Donna Tartt – A Psychoanalytical Approach

The Secret History by Donna Tartt is a mind-boggling novel about 6 students studying Greek at a college in Vermont where two of the students actually die. There is a lot going on from a mental standpoint in these characters, which Freud’s theory can help with. Despite how horrific the events that happen are, a psychoanalytical approach to the novel allows the reader to really understand the characters presented because it helps one to see into the mind of the characters. The best place to start analyzing would be around the end of chapter 4.

Henry, Francis, and the twins performed a bacchanal party where they went into a “Dionysiac frenzy” (Tartt, 163) and Henry admitted to killing someone after Richard guessed at it. As for why, Henry says that being able “to escape the cognitive mode of experience, to transcend the accident of one’s moment of being” (Tartt, 164) was good enough to attempt the endeavor. Using Freud’s theory, one can asses that this “obsess[ion] with the idea” (Tartt, 164) could potentially be due to an unconscious desire to perform the deed. Henry, throughout the novel, is a quiet gentleman that Richard seems to be able to read well. Given that information of his character, it seems almost as though Henry would be the last person to partake in such an act, giving the sense that it was an unconscious desire that even Henry did not know about.

The novel also contains a good amount of foreshadowing to Henry’s admission of killing someone. Throughout the novel, Richard remarks about how certain things would make sense in the future and how “it is easy to see things in retrospect” (Tartt, 93). This leads one to see how Richard may have repressed some of the events he witnessed. He never quite dwelled on anything until the admission. He would dismiss the events indifferently but his future self would mention how he had wished he knew what was to come. With how fond of the group Richard was, it isn’t difficult to understand why he may have repressed anything questionable or why he tried to keep himself out of issues, such as when Richard witnessed Julian and Henry talking discretely and Richard decided to leave and never mention it (Tartt, 71-72).

Talking about the killing of the man during the bacchanal, Henry discusses how “duality ceases to exist; there is no ego, no ‘I’” (Tartt, 167). In regards to ego, Freud describes it as the way we, as humanity, are most tied down to reality. With Henry’s apparent lack of ego in that moment, it raises the question of how we could even begin to function without ego. In accordance with Henry, we could lose all sense of morals and realities of the world and people around us. Henry describes that losing ego and himself altogether was “like being a baby” (Tartt, 167), which would confirm that it would be like having no moral compass whatsoever.

With all of this in mind, there was really none of the defense mechanisms Freud describes in either Henry, Francis or the twins regarding the bacchanal. All four of them didn’t remember what lead up to the event but very much understood that they had killed a random man somehow. There was no repression or denial of it, except when dealing with Bunny for obvious reasons. None of them presented any projection or displacement of any kind. They simply understood what they had done and didn’t take it out on anyone else. They only wanted to move past it without facing consequences, so they decided to take care of Bunny.

Continuing on with the novel in chapter 5, the group decide to kill Bunny off and stage it as an accident when Bunny begins to blackmail the others. In figuring out how to carry out this plan of killing their friend, Henry’s demeanor begins to change in front of the readers’ eyes. He begins to care less about his own life, which is apparent when Henry mentions how “the more I hear about luxury barges, the less terrible death begins to seem” (Tartt, 235). These subtle things Henry mentions can give the reader a sense of foreshadowing to Henry’s suicide.

Leading up to the suicide was the arrest of Charles for drunk driving. While Richard was attempting to diffuse everything, they started talking about Henry and Richard posed the question of “not why he tells us what to do. But why we always do what he says” (Tartt, 447). It creates the idea that the other characters depend on Henry much more than they let on, especially when Charles can’t come up with a reason why. However, Charles starts to display an example of defense mechanisms onto Henry for why they’re currently in that situation. “I blame every bit of this on him” (Tartt, 447) Charles has said, showing how he has started to use Freud’s defense mechanism of projection.

In conclusion, The Secret History by Donna Tartt displays many instances of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory in regards to the models of the mind and also defense mechanisms. I realize that there are many more just in his psychoanalytic theory along with different theories, but these were the ones I most noticed throughout the novel. It was an overall interesting novel that shows how important the mind and its processes can be in all types of situations.