TV Shows Pop Culture

‘Destiel’ from Supernatural became canon (sort of), but at what cost?

Well, this is surprising to discuss, but ‘Destiel’ is trending, and it shot me into the past. It sounds impossible, but the long-lived CW show Supernatural is ending after 15 seasons, running from 2005 to 2020. The decision taken by the show’s writers to address the growing relationship between Dean and Castiel left some fans elated, while others walked away with a bitter taste in their mouth.

For the uninitiated, Supernatural is a fantasy show about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, trained by their father to hunt monsters, demons, werewolves, and other fantastic creatures. In season 4, we see the introduction of a new character – Castiel, an angel. Dean is sent to Hell, and season 4 begins with Castiel pulled Dean out of Hell, and saving him. The friendship between Dean and Castiel develops into a ‘profound bond’, as mentioned by Castiel himself. We see the two develop an intense friendship, and thus the ‘Destiel’ ship was born. 

Over the years, the actors and the show-writers have hinted at the relationship, without making any overt actions, basically queerbaiting. It was assumed that the relationship would live in the heads of fans, and not on-screen. Supernatural became famous for referencing to, and at times pandering their enormous fanbase. 

The latest episode, “Despair”, finally ties the thread that is Destiel, but not in the best way. A quick rundown of the episode (major spoilers ahead!):

“Ever since I pulled you out of hell, knowing you has changed me. Because you cared, I cared. I cared about you, I cared about Sam, I cared about Jack. But I cared about the whole world because of you. You changed me, Dean.”

Castiel is forced to make a deal with ‘The Shadow’ to save Dean from Death. To sum up, Castiel makes a deal if he takes his own life, and the deal was that he could die only after experiencing a moment of true happiness. The twist is the entity that he made the deal with is ‘The Shadow’, a being that controls the dimension that existed before God. When angels and demons die, they go to this dimension, ‘The Empty’, for eternal slumber. Castiel experiences this moment of true happiness by finally admitting to Dean that he loved him. After he says those fateful three words, he’s taken by this entity to a dimension that’s worse than Hell, leaving Dean weeping on the floor. 


There are two things that didn’t sit well with me, in this confession. One was the lack of response from Dean whatsoever. To Misha Collins’ (the actor who plays Castiel) credit, the scene was incredibly emotional. However, Dean’s response was… stoic, to say the least. The conversation was incredibly one-sided, and it felt tremendously unrequited. Part of the reason the ship worked was because both members participated. Dean and Castiel worked well together and they had good chemistry. Dean constantly tried to save Castiel, and vice-versa. Having Dean say nothing during this speech, except to say “why does this sound like a goodbye?” feels incomplete. 

What’s worse is how quickly and effectively they killed that poor angel. Sending him to a fate worse than Hell immediately after he confesses his love is a pretty obvious example of the ‘bury your gays’ trope. Supernatural is famous for killing characters and then bringing them back, to the point where death felt meaningless. When you know they’ll return somehow, it doesn’t matter anymore.

Castiel’s death is different. He’s sent to a place of eternal slumber for angels, and this is the last season of the show. It’s coming to an end, and I doubt they’ll bring Castiel back after he’s had his grand speech. It makes the trope that much more obvious, and the queerbaiting that much worse. The grand reveal may have been touching, but at what cost? We see the ship being lived on-screen, only to have it cruelly – and permanently – snatched away. It’s a trope that should not have a place on-screen, and it sucks that burying your gays is still an idea that writers turn to, in 2020.

This is coming from someone who gave up on Supernatural because of their queerbaiting, and their wandering storyline. I walked away from the show because I couldn’t take the will-they-won’t-they dance anymore. The only reason I returned was because of this grand gesture, this final revelation where Castiel bears his soul. Honestly? I’m disappointed that this is what 9 years of shipping has led up to.

There are just 2 episodes left till the show closes, and Castiel’s return seems impossible. I’m hoping they don’t bring the angel back because it undercuts his grand speech. His death resulted from him experiencing a moment of happiness, which he felt after confessing to Dean. Bringing him back after that would cheapen the moment, and undermine what the two of them went through.

“I love you. Goodbye, Dean.”

The villain of the final season is God itself (fitting for a show that addresses supernatural and paranormal beings). The show looks like it will end the way it started, with the Winchester brothers. Considering how often Supernatural has killed its characters, I have a feeling that the show will end with the final death of Dean and Sam. Keeping one alive means that they might find a way to bring the other back, so ending the show with both their deaths seems final. In terms of carrying their demon-hunting work forward, other characters have been introduced over the seasons, so monsters will continue to be destroyed. I’m hoping that the brothers do find some form of ‘final peace’, either on Earth or beyond it, just like Castiel did.

The friendship between Dean and Cas was beautiful, and it was an unspoken truth that the two deeply cared for each other. Voicing out that love, just to kill it immediately afterward feels insulting. I’d have preferred the two standing together, vowing to protect each other.

Hell, I would even have preferred a platonic ending, rather than a confession that killed one of them. There is plenty of queer content that does a better job than this fantasy show. For thrills, Supernatural is fun to watch. For satisfying relationships? You’re better off elsewhere.

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History Ancient Practices

How the Pope stole Halloween 1200 years ago

In the spirit for more spooky stories? Check out our Halloween series!

Halloween – what a weird word. There’s nothing quite like it phonetically in the English language. Except for “hello”, and “sweets”. Man, if only it really did mean just that. But the term’s real history is less on-the-nose.

At school we learn that the word is just a simple contraction of “all Hallows’ eve” and that is true. But before it was called any of these things, it was originally known as Samhain or Sauin.

Samhain is where most of Halloween today stems from

Pronounced ‘Sow-Win’ (kinda sounds like Gretchen Wieners is trying to coin a term for success; “omg that’s like, so win”) this pagan ritual was an ancient Gaelic celebration where the Celtic people marked the end of their calendar year and prepared for the dark, cold winter.

Because this “dark half of the year” was a time often associated with human death, Celts believed that on Samhain, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead disappeared, presenting a one-night-only connection to the supernatural. People would dress up in costume and present food offerings outside their homes to ward off any unruly ghosts, as well as attempt to get their fortunes read around the bonfire. This is where the elements of spooky, dress up, and trick-or-treating first came from, as well. 

Samhain was Christianized into All Souls’ Day

But being a pagan ritual, Samhain was eventually Christianized and reframed as All Hallow’s Eve. All Hallow’s Day was one of the three days Roman Christians would honor and pray for the ‘hallows’ to reach heaven; hallow [v.] being an archaic term for a holy person. These days already held similar rituals to Samhain, like parades and dressing up as angels and devils. So allegedly, in the ninth century AD, Pope Gregory III switched the original date of All Hallow’s Day which fell on 13 May to instead fall on November 1st, attempting to overwrite the non-religious occasion. I suppose it does make sense to commemorate the dead when it’s darkest, so can we really blame him? 

But the true Samhain still reigns supreme

Once Halloween had itself a new Christian dogma, the world said “so long” to the word ‘So-Win’. But while the celebration was intended to turn holy, the original pagan myths, beliefs and rituals were never quite done away with. Of course, over time these rituals morphed and spread,  blowing up even more with the mass Irish migration to America into the Halloween we know and love today. So while Halloween may have undergone a name change, it’s still pretty much ye olde festival from 2000 years ago.

Except now we have heaters and eat too much candy.

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TV Shows Pop Culture

5 reasons why “Stranger Things” is our ultimate Netflix obsession this summer

Netflix has come out with a few fair original TV shows over the years, some of which aren’t half bad. From the beloved Orange is the New Black to the equally adored Marvel series Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Netflix gives viewers plenty of binge-worthy material. However, they hit it out of the park when they presented Stranger Things to their loyal couch potatoes. The eerie and often jaw-dropping show is not only worth watching for 8 hours straight, but is so good that it makes it impossible to watch any other way. It’s honestly so captivating and intriguing that it deserves the title of “Best Show on Netflix,” for a number of reasons.

1. An Incredible Telekinetic 12-year-old Girl

Eleven isn’t only awesome in her own right, but she makes girls everywhere believe that they can be the hero, too. While she is a little different and just trying to learn the ways of the world, like what a promise is and how delicious Eggo waffles are, this girl consistently saves the butts of boys in the series. She is the ultimate example of female empowerment.

2. The Superb Acting

Good acting in a short series like is one thing, but the quality of acting in this show is something I haven’t seen in a new series in a while. It isn’t easy to pull off the act of convincing audiences that the supernatural exists (look at how long Supernatural has been trying – since 2005!), but Stranger Things definitely makes the “Upside Down” that they talk about seem not only real, but right below our feet.

3. The Most Ultimate Friendships Ever

Three boys, who have probably never left the little town in Indiana they’re from, go on a literal adventure (times infinity!) to find their friend, and just maybe  save said town in the process. Sure, they argue here and there, but stress can take its toll on a group of middle schoolers. Ultimately, they work it all out and show how perfect and true their friendship is. Nothing could be better – or more inspiring to all us normal people out there.

4. The Show’s Ability to Force Us to Binge Watch

I guarantee that every viewer said “I’m going to bed right after this episode,” until they realized that they were still staring wide-eyed at the screen hours later, about to dive into episode 8. Really, there’s no choice but to finish the whole mini-series in one sitting. Each episode ends on just the right amount of cliffhanger that it leaves us wanting more and more, so much so that it forces us into binging, because we absolutely have to know what happens next.  

5. The Mess of Questions We All Had at the End

While most of the time too many loose ends at the end of a new show’s first season is kind of a turn off, audiences would expect nothing less from Stranger Things, because, as the name suggests, there are so many strange things that you can’t help but be left with questions and wonder.

[bctt tweet=”Our only hope is that the show doesn’t jump the shark, like other Netflix Originals.” username=”wearethetempest”]

There were plenty of things left open-ended at the show’s close, but from all different perspectives, which somehow makes it okay. Overall, there was just enough mystery left at the end to leave fans dying for season 2 to start immediately. Our only hope is that the show doesn’t jump the shark, like other Netflix Originals (cough House of Cards cough).

Science Now + Beyond

Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak may become a reality

History shows us that supernatural speculations by humans have consistently been achieved centuries later through scientific advancement. We cure diseases with “potions”. We learned to fly. We can access the entire world through our pockets.

Some of us still have the cynicism that things we think of as magic today — time machines, invisibility — will always remain magic. But because science is ever-progressing, one of our greatest fantasy genre wishes is coming true: Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.

To understand how invisibility is possible, we have to understand visibility. All that our human eyes see is possible due to light waves. However, visible light is only a fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The electromagnetic spectrum is made up of waves, ranging from short wavelengths (gamma rays, x-rays) to long wavelengths (microwaves, radio waves). Visible light waves are somewhere in the middle. They don’t look “wavy” to us because they’re measured in nanometers, which are one billion times smaller than meters. We also don’t see the wave as it’s traveling because the speed of light is up to 300 million meters per second.

Understanding visibility to achieve invisibility

When light waves move around, they hit an object and are either absorbed (taken in) or reflected (bounced off) by the object. The reflected waves travel to our eyes and we interpret them as color(s).

Light waves pass through things in different ways. When they bounce off a surface and come back to our side, it is called reflection, like in a mirror. Refraction is when waves change direction if they pass from one medium to another, like from air to water. Because water is more dense than air, any light wave passing from one to the other will change speed and bend. Have you ever noticed that a stick in a pool of water seems bent?

Reflection and refraction aren’t the only two ways waves can move around. There are many more properties of waves that change the way we see.

Even more, we manipulate light waves all the time: eyeglasses, contact lenses, magnifying glasses, microscopes, etc. These tools bend and spread light, making the image bigger and/or clearer. But glass, the most common lens material, is not good enough for invisibility.

If we see objects because light waves bounce off of them, it’s not hard to imagine that invisibility is possible if light waves aren’t reflecting or absorbing light. In fact – transparent objects do just that. But we can’t use transparent objects to make us transparent. For us to achieve invisibility, waves should curve completely around us (or whatever we’re trying to make invisible) through refraction.

So have we created an invisibility cloak?

In invisibility cloak research, scientists use metamaterials, which are artificial, to try to succeed in this refraction feat.

The first successful experiments were published in 2006 in the journal Science. Scientists passed microwaves around an object covered by a cloak made of metamaterials, making it seem as though the object were never there. However, because this was done with microwaves, which the naked eye cannot see, making visible objects invisible was still a few steps away. We weren’t quite there … yet.

This past July, Scientific Reports published a paper detailing their use of a cloak composed of seven superthin layers. Each of these layers had different electromagnetic properties, so when light waves hit them, instead of scattering in different directions, they were arranged in a way to conceal the coat completely by making all curved surfaces appear flat. This version worked better with larger objects and more irregular shapes.

And most recently, on August 2nd, a publication in Applied Physics Letters became a game-changer. The researchers used a new metamaterial called germanium antimony telluride (GST). Previous experiments used metals, which tend to absorb light and get damaged more easily. GST is a phase-change material that’s structure can be “switched” by light. And when it is switched, the light refracts differently. This was successful with both infrared waves and the visible light spectrum itself – a green laser successfully “switched” the surfaces and blocked light waves, turning the object transparent.

With that kind of accuracy, the real invisibility cloak will totally be foolproof to Malfoyesque antics, with no disembodied Harry heads popping out.

Cloaking devices still have a long way to go before we’re buying them at our local Madam Malkins — er, Bloomingdale’s. But the significance of a step like this cannot be understated. Scientists are constantly challenging what is possible, and with invisibility we have yet another example of magic-turned-reality.

Now, I’m still waiting on that time machine.

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

THE FANDOM FEELS: Ultimate Obsession Mix

The struggle of locating a working soundtrack to your life in the fandom is over. The internet has been meticulously researched, and these songs are the result.

1. “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe” II Doctor Who, The Snowmen

For all things Christmasy, cheery and great, I present my favorite piece from the soundtrack. This always feels like a good start to the day because of how lilting it feels in comparison to our TARDIS – free lives.

2. “Harry’s Wondrous World” II Harry Potter, Deathly Hollow


A reminder that Harry Potter will always pull at our heart strings.

3. “Sherlocked” II Sherlock, season two


This song will wrap you in fifteen different threads and lull you to sleep. The feels, the secret ships no one will ever know about…

4. “Sad Girl” II Supernatural, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things


”Honey found time costs / You never learnt to economize / You look around and before you know / It’s gone, turned to dust”

5. “Bones Into Dust” II Supernatural, Bloody Mary


“And In God we Trust / Salt turns to rust / Ashes from Eden / and bone into dust / And I had a river of good intentions / and a head full of great inventions / but blew it all with a slip of my tongue.” 

Crash and burn, amirite, ladies.

6. “Rey’s theme” II Star Wars, The Force Awakens


I’m a fake fan of Star Wars. I’m sorry, but I am. Fakeness aside, I think the reboot was heavenly and the soundtrack superb.

7. “One More Miracle” II Sherlock, The Reichenback Fall

Sherlock-S02E03-The-Reichenbach-Fall-sherlock-on-bbc-one-28353861-624-352 (1)

All good things end on a sad note. One more miracle, Sherlock. For me.


Because we love you, we compiled all your new favorite songs in one playlist. Enjoy!

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Love Life Stories

I tried to ease my anxiety with witchcraft

I first came across the witchcraft community on Tumblr, nestled on my dashboard between cat gifs and political musings. These witches not only posted spells from Wiccan writer Scott Cunningham’s famed grimoires, but created their own. The community was made up of mostly young women and girls, unsurprisingly, and after poking around, I found that there was a fairly low barrier to entry.

Herbs were one of the few elements I found to be within easy reach of me. Living in a black family, my pantry was filled with tons of spices, even if most were two years old. I hoarded these herbs for incenses, spells, you name it.

My main objective at the time was to find a job. Because I have social anxiety, I had communication with DARS, a Texas-based agency that helped people with mental and physical disabilities secure employment. They understood my plight and worked with me just fine, but I felt, like always, that I needed an extra boost. Maybe, I thought, a little success magick was what I needed.

I got on Tumblr again and began to compile all the info I needed into a secondary blog. I gathered items—a green candle, basil, cinnamon oil–for a prosperity spell I created. I set up my circle—where my magick would be cast—in my bedroom closet, made up acorns and paprika and incense. I stared into the candle with deep attention. I visualized, I chanted. “I am worthy of having money,” I repeated to myself while mixing my herbs and oils in a china bowl (sorry, Grandma). I decided to leave the bowl on the closet floor overnight.

[bctt tweet=”‘I am worthy of having money,’ I chanted while mixing herbs and oils in a china bowl.”]

Days later, my job counselor Mary took me in for another interview. Compared to my last interview, when I struggled to hold a panic attack at bay as I was surrounded by Mary, the manager and an associate, I managed this time to have more confidence in my voice and what I said – and I snagged the job. I would like to believe how that maybe, just maybe, that day I just happened to be well rested that day. But things…just worked out.

Next thing I tried to get into was crystals. The idea that crystals could protect you while driving (turquoise), make you feel more feminine (moonstone) and get you horny (carnelian) fascinated me. I wanted to work efficiently so I got a tiger’s eye, commonly noted for courage, from Etsy. Metaphysical and magick shops are so common there that the online marketplace seems to have banned selling spells altogether. Ebay made a similar move to ban intangible supernatural services and “advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic potions; healing sessions” in 2012.

Sure, it cost me a few dollars. But in a time where people are always looking for the next thing to improve themselves and make their lives totally fulfilled and magical—self-help books, motivational speeches, programs, dares, mantras—crystal magick interested me enough for me to say, “screw it, let’s test this out.”

I wore the tiger’s eye in the pocket of my shirt. I didn’t have some golden aura visibly enveloping me, but I did feel it. After a while, I started thinking about this life enhancing thing: what about the days I forget my tiger’s eye? How can I get the feelings I want from within?

Some days, I would leave the eye at home to see any differences. But I folded. I knew I needed those external forces to work efficiently and be confident in my abilities. I went to Etsy again to buy a rose quartz pendant to help me with relationships. The pendant broke when I tried to put it on before work. I messaged the shop to get a refund. What I got: “Welllll, it wasn’t our really our fault.”

I entered a slump in my witchcraft. I had wanted to get many crystals; now, not having much spare money to waste, I was scared they may not be the real thing. I decided to collect rocks from parks and use them as alternatives.

Broke witchcraft has now become one of my hobbies. I don’t have a set-in-stone program or credo that I go by. I take my time to decide what I want to do. Sometimes I don’t. Despite not trying to do everything by set rules, I still try to make myself more disciplined because at some point I have to (I’m not going to be in my early twenties forever). I still keep tabs on the witches on Tumblr, a community that I’ve found to be open to people of all genders, sexualities and races.

One thing you’ll often hear they say is that witchcraft is a life enhancer, not a replacement for any work. You still gotta push forth with the resumes and the sales pitches. And any young witchling whose asks for spells to help with period cramps or scars and rashes will often get the response of “I’m not a doctor.” I find that to be quite funny, as witches will claim many ‘cures’ for mental ailments like anxiety: chamomile tea for restless thoughts and insomnia, amethyst to ward against nightmares, lavender for just about anything.

When I came across a certain site that said crystals could help with schizophrenia, I wanted to laugh. My brother has had schizophrenia since his teens and I could only wish that arming him a crystal could ease him. I can’t say if witchcraft is ‘curing’ me of my anxiety. Maybe it could work as a placebo for those dark times.

As I’m writing this, I have a letter from a psychologist sitting in front of me. It’s a referral for an evaluation to see if I have ADHD. I don’t know what to really expect from these results. I just know this is something that needs to be done. There is so much I would like to do in my witchcraft. It’s a vast open book of charms, spells, chants that I’m still researching and trying to gain access.

I’ve since quit the job that I ‘gained’ from my spell. Naturally, it didn’t work out. Magick can help you get your foot in the door, but keeping you in that room, takes much more work.