44 thoughts on “[8.2 Spoilers] Soul & Self

  1. Title: Self, Spirit, & Souls

    Page 1. Picture of a deer-headed, feminine spirit wearing sneakers.
    Text: SELF -Capital S. The Self includes the raw totality of our being. It is spirit, substance, power, and how we’re defined by the connections around us.

    When we pay power for something and we don’t say how the payment will be made (and if we haven’t set some expectations in advance with pattern or label) then we’re assumed to be paying with Self. This can be hard to notice until we pay a lot, but makes us weaker, slower, less able to change things, hurts our friendships and relationships, and maybe the worst thing of all, makes our practice worse.

    Tends to take away from everything about our Self evenly. But depending on how you pay, it might lean one way or the other. (Pay with blood, get physically weaker).

    Just like our body has cells, the Self has a really complex setup of spirits. Viewed
    from far away, it looks like one spirit but viewed up close, there’s always more ways to break it down. LOTS of emphasis on symbols, abstraction. This is why we usually have the masks built in
    if we’re looked at with Sight or scrying.

    Missing Self can be boosted with Spirit. May ‘pollute’ us if not aligned to our usual
    Self. Weird appearance & side effects.

    Page 2. Picture is of a girl, crouching, with cat ears, in shadow, with cat images scribbled over her.
    Text: Other forms of bolstering Self come with similar issues. Echoes will juice more civilized, ‘human’ stuff (if those echoes are human. I had to ask Mr. Palaisy)… but because Echoes are essentially juiced up collective memories, they’ll have a much bigger effect on OUR memories. Pollution can be sneaky and dangerous because it rewrites us at the core of our being, like mad-science DNA teleporter stuff and flies except it’s not our bodies that change. The wrong thing can throw off our whole balance, and in the really bad cases, our Self gets so desperate for
    equalibrium that it overcompensates and goes too far the other direction. Putting out the fire with a
    flood, or responding to the fire by putting out ALL fires. Got too many false memories from echoes? BAM, Self took initiative and fixed it by purging your memories of the last year.

    The GOOD side of bolstering Self is that it charges up most things about us. It makes us stronger, braver, more important, and better at practice. Which sounds great, but the problem is that:

    A) It must blend! If it doesn’t mix into US, it’s less of a cyborg upgrade and more of a knife jabbed into us.
    B) Big boosts tend to have minds of their own. Often literaly!!

    So we gotta pick the right sources of power & take small steps, we gotta suffer the side effects and any pollution, or we stay really formal. Deals & duels make the You juice more cooperative, apparently.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Page 3: Image is of a fox-headed young woman, black head and arms, white body, big afro-ponytail behind her.

      Text: When putting stuff into the Self, there are a few windows or key points of the body that have been formalized. A lot of the more intense schools of practice will dig into these, either to harvest from others or remove from themselves. Hosts, for example, dig out a hallow in one of these areas, usually.

      (A few categories of ‘departments of the Self’ are listed, dotted lines connected to the image on the right…)

      Crown – Spiritual (Dotted line goes to top of head)
      The Crown is said to be where the Self extends out to the worlds/realms. Connection to greater world, practice.

      Brow – Awareness (dotted line goes to forehead)
      The Brow holds sight and Sight, third eye and regular eyes, nose, and primary senses.

      THROAT – Connections (dotted line goes to throat)
      The throat is where many common social connections are rooted. Word, breath, communication, society.

      HEART – Health, healing (dotted line goes to upper chest)
      Physicality, health, healing. Mr. Palaisy went on a tangent about how a connection to someone can be rooted in any of these parts; the heart may be where someone good for you is rooted. Wellness.

      SOLAR PLEXUS – Absorption (dotted line goes to base of ribcage, top of stomach)
      Processing & digestion of outside influences, deeper knowledge, spirits. ‘Wisdom’

      Page 4, Text is divided into sections, some reflecting the page on the left (finishing out the list of departments, but above that is…
      We can apply some of these core principles to Others and objects. Ghouls, for example, are pretty hungry guys and gals, and have weird vitality. And not a
      coincidence? Hearts & gut are weak points!

      Items and implements can have their own key parts. This gets into ‘Valkalla’ stuff he’s teaching next week.

      Then page 4, second section, the list…

      SACRUM – Wantings
      Rude stuff, food, entertainment, and our own creativity. The fuel that drives us. This may be where Power in general sits, when we’re done digesting it.

      THE WOOHOO – Legacy
      Opposite to Crown. If the Crown is the tree extending its branches, the Woohoo (not the official term) is the roots. What we leave behind, family, deepest connections (deep, hee hee), fundamental power, and the nature of the work we do. (you better do some work while you’re there, boyo)

      Third section…

      Everyone’s balances, preferences, and way of processing each ‘department’ of the Self is different. Might be important to do some research & figure out my own balances. Esp. if I’m going to muck around with them.

      An image of a man flailing and flying through the air as a yellow wiggly line goes into his head and a purple line sprays out of his woohoo appears in the bottom right. It’s captioned ‘Aaaaaaaaa aaaaaaa aaaaaaa aaaaaaa heeeeeelp meeeeee Too much power flows through meeeeeee”

      She adds a note in the bottom right: This guy is more boring than Bristow was. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      • Page 5:

        Soul – Soul is the blueprint that determines ‘us’. We start out as derivatives of our parents (ugh) and a lot of those doors are closed, except the woohoo (for the butt) and needs, and our Crown is cracked wiiiiide open, so we’re taking in the world like crazy. And then as we mature we hope to find a loose balance. Connections constrain and define our general shape, and some Others can see this.

        Lose the soul and you lose the blueprint. The recipe that makes us US. You might hold your general mental & physical shape but just about everything
        is going to distort you after that. All those key body parts/departments of the Self? Big factors.

        If brought to the edge of death, a person with a soul can (but might not) find their way back to ‘normal’. A soulless Other or person is going to be like a drawing of a drawing of a drawing, and they easily lose their way. Tend to be easy to manipulate.

        So in sum total, my take is…
        * Soul – the blueprint/foundation.
        * Self – you as you are now. Multifaceted, a lot of stuff contributes, can have set ‘departments’, which seem to be practice-set convention, mostly.
        * Spirit – Abstract & idea-driven ‘you’. Reflects self-image & others’ image of you, dreams, important things about you that don’t fit neatly elsewhere. Might be the kite that pulls you forward & feeds stuff into you to help you grow & develop.

        Probably want all of these things. Ugh.

        There’s a small picture of man from prior page kneeling in purple puddle, yellow steam coming off his head, in the bottom right corner, closing out the extra materials.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. nods sagely ah, yes, the Woohoo chakra xD

    This sheds a different (though not shocking) light on the trials in Lucy’s implement ritual. The choices she made about her desired Self are different trajectories one could reach from her Soul — a long-term architectural plan, to borrow Verona’s metaphor. The implement makes it a smoother process getting to that endpoint, through repeated use(?).

    And we might be looking at one of the Fae traps set for Avery. Reinforcing the Self with glamour might not harmonise well with who she is (see also: crush-whose-name-I-forgot), so… compensatory backlash? An “immune response”, so to speak?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Now that you’ve pointed that out, Avery’s glamour dependence does definitely seem like one of the traps. Given how glamours “shatter” dramatically and all at once, I think it’ll keep equilibrium until it’s given too strong a blow, and all the immune response will happen in a concentrated way and leave Avery in a very bad way.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think all of her glamour washed away when she escaped to the ruins after Laila died. And didn’t Shellie said the two traps were the Nettlewisp HAVING to go off and Verona’s over- reliance on cat form making her an easy target for fae magic? Though I could definitely see that as a lie, with the real traps still hidden

        Liked by 1 person

    • I put it together when I got to “The Woohoo” because I figured Avery and Lucy would probably be less jokey about it. And then I realized that Verona’s probably the furry of the bunch.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Honestly, the drawings are a big give away. Lucy doesn’t really draw unless it’s a circle/diagram of some sort, Avery only doodles. Verona does more realistic stuff.

      (Verona also draws late-teens/aldut bodies instead of anything resembling 13 year-olds, apparently? that was odd.)

      Liked by 5 people

      • Each of them has a different font too, if you want to instantly tell on the “handwritten” notes. Verona’s is this cursive, Lucy is a neater looking font and Avery’s is digital messy chicken scretchy

        Liked by 4 people

      • The last bit doesn’t surprise me. We know Verona is looking up nude models both for art-learning and puberty-exploration purposes. It makes sense that what she’d find would be adult body types.

        Also, on another level, Verona hates being seen as a child. While all three of the girls are looking forward to adulthood in some way (Lucy wants to be an adult who’s got her shit together and Avery wants the freedom and possibility of gay romance that adulthood brings), Verona is the one who specifically hates being a child. She looks forward to nothing so much as them all being cool awesome adults who are free and hates being reminded they’re just children. Makes sense to me that when drawing idealistic, stylized versions of herself and her friends, that they’d be idealistic adult versions of themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This can be hard to notice until we pay a lot, but makes us weaker, slower, less able to change things, hurts our friendships and relationships, and maybe the worst thing of all, makes our practice worse.
    This is Peak Verona.

    Also the slightly provocative pictures.

    Also, pretty sure the “Too much powaaaa” totem is flying around being launched by the spray from their woohoo…

    That’s our Verona.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tbbq pngpu

      v vzntvar ehfgl/ebff unq n fbhy, ohg gung jnf cebonoyl yvgrenyyl gbea va 2 ol gur oneore, ohg bayl univat unys n fbhy jbhyq cebonoyl fgvyy znxr lbh zber rnfvyl vasyhraprq. ol qrfvta, xabjvat ebfr fravbe

      Liked by 3 people

      • Is there a code to read this I don’t know about, or is this divine punishment for spoiling Pact?
        Or did I shore my Self up wrong and now I can’t read anymore? (Please don’t be this last one, I really wanna know what happens next)


        • It’s ROT13. There are autodecoders online, but the basic gist is that each letter is encrypted as the letter 13 spaces down from it in the alphabet (looping back to A in the case of the latter half)

          Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you very much! I have never heard of this before, but after a quick search, apparently it’s common? Anyways, thank you again!


      • Ng bar cbvag, Ebfr rkcyvpvgyl pbzzragf gung jura n crefba vf gbea va unys ol traqre gung gur srznyr cbegvba nyjnlf trgf gur fbhy. Fvapr fur pna’g yvr, V rkcrpg gung gurer vf ng yrnfg ernfba gb oryvrir gung Oynxr arire unq bar qhevat gur fgbel (bs pbhefr fur pbhyq unir orra jebat, gbb).


        • V guvax zber yvxr, bar cneg trg gur fbhy juvyr gur bgure fbzrguvat ryfr (fcrpvsvp culfvpny nggevohgrf?), naq gur fbhy cneg vf onfvpnyyl nyjnlf srznyr, fb vs gur bevtvany vf znyr gur gjb unyirf jvyy or qvssrerag traqref. Bar bs gur qrsvavgvir pyhrf orsber vg jnf cebira gung gur bevtvany jnf Ebff va Gbebagb naq abg Ebfr va Wnxbo’f Oryy

          Liked by 1 person

        • @Theodore Kuzmich:
          Gurer jnf nyfb n cnffvat zragvba gung nygubhtu fbhyf jrer hfrshy ba gurve bja, gur znva ernfba n qrzba jbhyq frrx gb chepunfr n cenpgvgvbare’f fbhy jnf gb trg n cenpgvgvbare jvgu ab fbhy. Tvira jung Ireban fnlf va ure abgrf urer, V pna frr ubj gung pbhyq tb irel onqyl irel snfg.

          V guvax vg jnf xvaq bs gur bgure jnl nebhaq. Ebfr uryq gur snpg gung gur srznyr unys trgf gur fbhy nf cebbs gung fur jnf gur bevtvany, juvyr Oynxr cbvagrq bhg gung ur unq nyy gur pybgurf naq yvggyr guvatf yvxr gung. Ebfr jnf jrnevat Ebfr Fravbe’f byq qerffrf, orpnhfr ure ragver jneqebor unq orra “nppvqragnyyl” qrfgeblrq. Fur gbbx gung gb or ure snzvyl shpxvat jvgu ure, ohg vg jnf cebonoyl Oneongberz pbirevat hc gur snpg gung vg arire rkvfgrq va gur svefg cynpr.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This can be hard to notice until we pay a lot, but makes us weaker, slower, less able to change things, hurts our friendships and relationships, and maybe the worst thing of all, makes our practice worse.

    So these are Verona’s notes, then.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Now I have to wonder… Did the instructor refer to it as the “root” chakra like modern real-world jargon, and Verona found the euphemism to be boring so she substituted a more interesting one? Or did the instructor use something more explicit and Verona substituted a euphemism?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This was really interesting. The art really should have clued me in to it being Verona’s notes; she’s noted good at drawing. So taking from the Self is a little hazardous, that’s interesting. Little curious about runes and wards; are they powered by the Self, or do the spirits take the encouragement they represent and do their own thing?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So Avery wants to shore up her Spirit, because she has an idea of herself she wants to become.

    Lucy wants to shore up her Self, because she wants to remain who she is and not be changed by the pressures of the world or the practice.

    Verona wants to mess with her Soul because she doesn’t like where she is but would love to be in charge of what she can become.

    They’re all obviously important but each of the Trio has one they’re currently more focused on, even without necessarily noticing/being overt about it. That’s kinda neat. (or i’m just reaching haha)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Crown, brow, throat, heart, solar plexus, woohoo.

    I think Verona might be missing one, possibly conflating sacral(genitals) and root(base of spine) given their close proximity… granted, I can’t recall the list from Matthew’s interlude and it’s hard to keep track of the different variations on the Chakra system, both in serious mysticism and it’s usage in fiction.

    Also, I wish there was an easier way to deal with ROT13 than blindly(quite literally in my case) copy and pasting into a online converter.


  9. Love this codifying of the abstracts into the magic system. Glad V has decided that a soul is maybe an important thing. Verona notes are great, probably my favorite of the three, love the art,love the detail and love the humour


Reply - No Pact spoilers!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s