The Exorcism

As mentioned in previous postings, I grew up in a rather strict religious household. Or did for the latter half of my upbringing anyway. The point of speaking on this topic is not to whine or complain, but rather to speak out on what I have seen and experienced first-hand of the ‘Spiritual Warfare’ techniques being utilized by the tribes of Evangelicals and other demiurgic ilk in our current day, and to do so for the benefit of fellow occult practitioners.

***

Spiritual Warfare essentially teaches that there is a strict black and white divide in the spiritual realm. And spirits are everywhere, in people, in objects, in places. Everywhere. All spirits of any sort are aligned with either God or Satan. Who are supposedly at war. (Which all seems very Zoroastrian in essence to me, but they’ll never admit it.) And once aligned they work to further one agenda or the other, knowingly or not. That’s very important to remember as this goes for both spirits and people. According to them, your ignorance doesn’t matter. The spirits can influence you and thus influence events through you, even without your knowledge or consent. They subsequently view the afflicted as both a victim of and  an agent of the spirits working through them, making it necessary to treat them accordingly.

The church we were to attend was Pentecostal. The name of the denomination is taken from the event of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was said have descended upon the disciples of Christ. This act supposedly provided them abilities, like speaking in tongues, prophecy, and the casting out of spirits. Due to this descending of the spirit onto human disciples Pentecostals believe that there is no need for a priesthood to act as an intermediary between humans and god. They believe every person has the ability to have their own personal relationship with god and to invoke god directly.

For those who may be unfamiliar, Pentecostals are the types who like to dance and run in circles around the congregation. They’ll stand up in prophecy then promptly collapse in a fit that from the outside looks a lot like a seizure. When they act like this it is because they say the “spirit” is coming upon them. They believe that the essence/spirit of ‘God’ is descending on them as it supposedly had descended upon the disciples. This sudden perspective shift also grants them the ability to speak in tongues, speak prophecy and revelations of their own, and  gives them an air of great confidence when they claim to have the gift of spiritual discernment then subsequently “cast out” or exorcise entities at their will. (Something of note: this has also been directed in a macro-cosmic fashion to cast out spirits supposedly residing in political parties, government officials, and elected members of office. As well as to support prayer-events where entire congregations pool their energy together to pray and work themselves up for certain political or foreign policies they find in line with their specific reading of scripture.)

They would typically cast out spirits of addiction, of depression, of cancer, and even spirits of issues like poverty. Sometimes they would cast out things like atheism and doubt. Other times they would simply cast out Satan, or the ‘Devil and his Legions’. They would cast out all Spirits under His power, and all influence they held over anyone within the walls of the church or the sphere they were praying for. As someone who already inwardly and privately identified herself as a Satanist, I was pretty sure they were full of shit. But as 15 year old kid I had to wonder, could it work?

***

All of this Pentecostal/Spiritual Warfare stuff had become an obsession to my mother by 2002-2003. She prayed late into the night. She’d walk up and down the hallway speaking in tongues or come bursting into my room in the middle of night spewing some “prophecy” and gibberish. Other times she burst through the door in a violent rage, bee-lining to a drawer or corner of my closet, stating ‘God’ had shown her where I was hiding books, or ritual paraphernalia, or tarot, or for fucks sake even tea leaves. Generally she was looking in the wrong place and in my anger at being woken up like that I found myself stifling smug giggles at her stupidity.

Occasionally in her paranoid fits she did find things though. CD’s, my book on making demonic pacts, the beginnings of a notebook of autonomic writing and attempts at spiritual correspondence (mostly encoded thankfully)…

I’m not sure which of these was the final straw, but one night she started in before I even went to bed. And it looked like it might be a long one. She wasn’t accepting silence. She wasn’t accepting my attempts at uninterested teenage shrugs. She wasn’t accepting my normal avenues of shutting the conversation down. She was convinced, utterly convinced, that I was bringing evil spirits into the house. This suspicion had been ongoing which is why she would look through my things in the first place. She claimed she felt evil spirits in them.

Up until this point I’d had her pretty convinced that I was simply disinterested in any religious practices at all. She could at least logically understand a teenager entertaining atheist thoughts, even if they weren’t accepted, much easier than she could understand someone dabbling with magic and spirits. But not that night, that night she turned on me. I was no longer her daughter but the enemy. She determined that whether it had occurred by my intent or due to my stupid curiosity, it didn’t matter. I was a danger to the household and thus needed to be exorcised.

I thought she was kidding at first. Bluffing maybe. Even if she wasn’t, by the time we got to church and she talked this all through with the Pastor, she’d calm down and feel like an idiot I figured. But she had no intention of involving the Pastor or even any other members of the congregation. This was an embarrassment she told me, and one that she would handle herself. Before I knew it she flew into a rage, pinning me to the chair I was sitting in while she easily had over a hundred pounds on me at the time. For roughly the next hour she held me down, screaming, slapping, and slamming me around in an attempt to cast out whatever she said I was bringing into the house. At some point in the midst of it her wording changed and she began invoking her God by a specific name, the name of ‘Yahweh’. (Which at the time didn’t mean much, but has since revealed itself as potentially meaningful.) And then to my panic, she began asking him for assistance in casting out ‘the Devil and Satan’ specifically.

I’d like to say I kept trying to laugh her off even at this point, and to my credit I did maintain the ability to do so outwardly through the duration of the event. I never did anything but deny it all and call her crazy. But inwardly? Not a chance. Inwardly I was a 15 year old kid suddenly terrified that this insane zealot would find a way to cut off my pact. It seemed to follow that would then cut off any tie I had to the spiritual at all, since they saw it all as so evil.

By this age I had already developed my own methods of “clearing the air” and purifying against the god of her church when need be, but I couldn’t even move my arms with her holding me down. I mentally and emotionally went inward and called out in that way, half in a call for aid and half in a call of warning. I fought tears knowing full well there was nothing I could do to stop this but wondering if I’d be held responsible by the Spirit I’d made a pact with regardless.

As this continued the tension in the air was becoming palpable. The pain in my neck and head was unbearable from her pushing down on me and from being slammed around. A migraine set in and my stomach kept rolling with nausea, the pressure in my head only making it worse by the minute. I felt like I might pass out from it all and continued my inward and seemingly pointless call for help.

Surprisingly, not long after I resigned myself to just trying to survive this event her fit came to an abrupt stop. It had been edging up to a fever pitch when she had a sudden vision and fell back, releasing me in the process. She looked stunned while backing away into the nearby wall.

“What was that? That gate? What the hell was that? What did you do?”

Clearly, I had no way of knowing what she was seeing or imagining in her worked up mind so I just continued to look at her like she was insane, no less stunned than she was at this turn of events. She claimed she saw a gate slam against her but I had no idea what she was referring to.Whatever it was, it spooked her because the tension in the room immediately dissipated. She seemed to realize things had gotten out of hand and started straightening herself up, shaking her head a bit as if to clear it. Then she stated hollowly that this had been for my own good and left to her room for the night. The next day it wasn’t mentioned and the event was never spoken of between the two of us again.

***

On my end, another few months passed before I had the courage to try contacting the Spirit I’d made a pact with again. This was partially due to just being afraid to “show my face”. After all, had I hidden my things better this might not have occurred. Perhaps that was my mistake and one He wouldn’t tolerate. (How the hell would I know?) I was so shaken from what happened that I didn’t think I could handle knowing if I had been written off for good yet. The rest of the hesitation came from a fear that it might have worked, that my mother had somehow encircled me in the energies of the being she was calling on. If that were true, then I was potentially a danger to everything I wished to work with, wasn’t I? So not knowing what else to do, I kept to myself.

At the time I was just thankful it was over and that the situation had ended when it did, before there had been any permanent physical harm or anything of the like. Back then it didn’t even occur to me to think that maybe something had aided me after all given the abrupt stop when she backed away. I just continued on in silent limbo for a long while. From what I can recall, it was simply the isolation of it all that led me to try making contact again eventually. Much to my relief, once that connection was re-established it was as if not a single beat had been missed and I slipped right back into where I’d left off with my adolescent theories and beginner attempts at ritual.

Rather than dwelling on it or trying to make sense of something that likely had no sense behind it, I chalked the whole terrible experience up to a momentary lapse of sanity in my mother that at the end of the day only took a little over an hour out of my life. By that metric it was meaningless, so I erased it from mind. That is, until the last few years when it started bubbling back up to the surface of my memory in response to spiritual endeavors of my own. Through processing these experiences I have looked back to see that magical techniques were in fact being used (though she and her congregation would never know it, let alone admit it).

It became apparent that perhaps speaking on this experience could be an exorcism of sorts in its own right. (After all, is that not what the first telling of a traumatic experience is, psychologically speaking?). But more importantly this act could also double as an avenue to get information on the Spiritual Warfare techniques being used today into the hands of those who it is being worked against. These practices are not necessarily mainstream, even within Christian/Evangelical circles, so the chances that someone entirely outside of those spheres (like say, an occultist) would be well versed in the attacks being lobbed against them would be incredibly small.

As such it is my hope that the above information finds its way into the hands of any fellow practitioners who might benefit from ‘knowing thy enemy’.

~

Alchemy, Memory, and Archetypes

 

When we read literature or poetry especially, where the use of symbolism is blatantly on display, we conjure images in our minds; our own individual illustration of the words we are absorbing. I think this is what the Art of writing is about, as opposed to the act of writing, and its more literal purpose. The Art of writing is utilizing and weaving together words which are capable of conjuring images in others. Conjuration of these images occurs the  moment the words hit the human mind. Same as it does in the Art of storytelling.

Just like in the tarot, the Art is the card of Alchemy.

ThothArtXIV

And I personally think that magickally speaking, this is also the moment in which our Archetypes are born.

Of course the Archetypes then evolve and in a sense, take on a life of their own from this point of conjuration. This moment is only the beginning of a process of evolution, which can be illustrated in humanity’s art. Whether it be longstanding artistic pursuits like music, literature, or painting, or more modern, and technologically advanced pursuits such as videos, or graphic design, the always present influence of myth, symbols, and our Archetypes cannot be denied.

I’m coming to the realization that spiritually “connecting the dots” is a bit like playing a constant game of Memory in the back of my mind.

Memory

In case anyone is unfamiliar with what I’m referring to; it’s a simple card game, one I happened to play with my grandparents as a kid. A deck of playing cards, often designed with child-friendly pictures of  animals, symbols, or fairy tale characters was laid face down on the table. Each person playing would then flip two cards over on their turn. The goal being to choose a matching pair. If they did not match, they were replaced face down again and your turn was over. The person who held the most pairs when there were no more cards to choose from was considered the winner. I’m sure there are variations, but that’s the one I happened to learn.

So then, what I mean when I say that this path becomes like the game Memory, is that often when I get these spiritual “aha!” moments that confirm theories or connect dots I already have floating around in my mind, I seem to get a flash of whatever mental image connects them, just like the location of the matching playing card would spring to mind in the game.  I do not know if this is something everyone experiences, but I have a feeling others likely know what I’m referring to.

For example, when I thought of this,  of the moment when our mind first creates these images and archetypes, the picture of the Baphomet initially came to mind. baphomet

 

Following this was the phrase Solve et Coagula which is of course engraved on Baphomet’s arms. This phrase then called forth the image of the Art card above, and the concept of Alchemy which is a science I initially discovered when researching what the phrase meant. This brought my thoughts full circle. The myths, or  the “above”, combine with us, the “below”, and are transmuted into our own individual Archetypes. This is the conjuration which brings the images to mind in the first place.

Artistic endeavors are in turn where humanity fleshes out the myths, and by thus doing so, we have been placing the influence of the myths and also the influence of the Archetypes, into the material world.  Again combining the Above and the Below, by literally taking an intangible spark of mythical illumination and placing it into the tangible clay of matter. Once it is in matter, once it is capable of existing outside ourselves, it then holds its own influence, in accord with each individual mind which perceives it.

The myths seem to spark the images and Archetypes which are born in our minds, and we then make them tangible through creation and the Art of alchemy. It seems also that this connection echos in the ever evolving creation of our spiritual paths through those “aha!” moments which resonate.

 

Devil Worshiper

Very few phrases can cause such a visceral reaction in people. Even today, in 2015, where the world in general is quite secular. Atheism, at least in the west is viewed by many as the philosophy of logical people. Theism is a dying perspective, primarily due to the utter failing of the mainstream religions to be of much use whatsoever. But even so, the accusation of being a devil worshiper is still the first thing people distance themselves from.

When someone comes out of the “broom closet” and announces themselves as a Wiccan, Pagan, or any other fringe religious group, what do they almost always follow that statement up with? “But…I DO NOT WORSHIP THE DEVIL!”

I find myself laughing along in agreement with Keith Nicholson’s sentiment in “Above Below Within: Planetary Magick and the Greek Gods” (pg.35);

Neo-pagans will fight their way to the head of the trough for any possible information that removes validity to Christianity. Such examples might be: Jesus was a pagan construct; Horus was a predecessor; and so forth. However, when their own gods are examined, they cry in unison, “Foul!” More importantly, they’ll proclaim defiantly that Satan (and the devil) does not exist in their pantheons of gods. However, they’ll call on any other god-form they desire, even if not in their own pantheon, except of course, Satan or the devil. Hypocrisy!

Fundamentalist churches often preach that atheists are actually devil worshipers, which of course is utterly idiotic and laughable. But they preach it regularly. It is stated as a matter of fact. I know this because I was raised in a very fundamentalist minded Pentacostal church and I heard it frequently. They still hold to the monotheistic ideas so strongly that anything not in agreement with their god is of the Devil. Period. And this, of course is said to discredit atheists and to try and paint them as incapable. “Well, Jane Doe can’t know what she’s talking about, and she certainly can’t be trusted. We can’t vote her into office, she’s an atheist, clearly she’s being influenced by Satan.” You might think I’m joking, but sadly I’m not.

In a youth group I was made to attend as a teen, there were a few times where the leaders would “lay hands” on an atheist minded kid, and they would pray to cast out the devils and demons who they thought were causing the person’s doubt and skepticism. It was less dramatic, but very similar to the more intense versions of this practice which they do to those who might be plagued with addiction, depression, or illness, on those silly Televangelist shows. (To give this church some credit, they saved all that stuff for the adult services at least.) There were actually deacons who were designated to stand around with sheets, ready to rush over and cover women who might have a “wardrobe malfunction” when they would collapse, or “fall out” in the “holy-spirit” while having demons cast out of them in their Sunday dresses.

This is how I came to originally align myself with Satanism. It was my breaking away from the Christian perspective in the only way I knew how at the time. So at thirteen, while following Faust’s lead, I wrote up a pact, lit a candle, drew a bit of blood, and called on the Devil. It was not scholarly or well informed. It was honestly that simple.  And to this day, as someone who has now studied, at least to some degree, most of the worlds various religions, spiritualities, and magickal practices,  I will still stand here and say;

I worship the Devil, and I stand in league with Satan. 

pactwiththedevil

The funny thing is, this statement is controversial even among the majority of Satanists and Left Hand Path practitioners as well. Which, I can understand to a point. The archetype of Satan is the one who does not bow. And Satanism in general is a philosophy that respects free will, self determination, and strength. So to many “worship” appears as an anti-thesis of these ideas.

I disagree.

At the risk of sounding like a grade-schooler, I think this is a term that the definition is worth taking another look at. So according to Webster there is a simple definition as well as a full definition;

Simple Definition of worship

  • the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god : the act of worshipping God or a god

  • : excessive admiration for someone

Full Definition of worship

  1. chiefly British :  a person of importance —used as a title for various officials (as magistrates and some mayors)

  2.   reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also :  an act of expressing such reverence

It seems clear to me that the simple definition is nothing more than the connotations conjured up by this word. Excessive admiration is not a smart move, ever. To place anyone, human or divine, on a pedestal is dangerous, and often a mistake. That is not what I mean when I say worship.

I hold to the full definition above. I see the Deity I worship as a being of importance. I see Him as both a natural and divine being, as well as a supernatural power (or essence). I express my reverence and veneration to this Deity through my rituals, and by having the utmost respect for Him, until/unless such respect is no longer warranted or deserved. As of today that has not occurred. In fact what began as respect has turned more into a profound awe. But even still, I do not bow, I do not grovel, and I do not beg. Such acts would be disrespectful to everything Satan or Satanism represents. I fully expect that if I went to my altar, got on my knees, and pleaded tearfully for favors that I’d get a well deserved anti-cosmic kick in the ass, and told to get some damn respect for myself before wasting His time again.

My worship is an alignment with Him, a working with the Deity, not standing below Him. I seek enlightenment. I seek strength. I seek self-evolution,  and I seek empowerment. So who better to respect as a teacher? Who better to apprentice with? Who better to turn to as my guide while navigating the abyss? He is like the Virgil to my Dante, and I will not deny that I do indeed worship the Devil.

V0025816 Satan sits on his throne at the centre of a witches' sabbath
Satan sits on his throne at the centre of a witches’ sabbath Credit: Welcome Library, London.

A Mythicist and a Theist

The term “mythicist” was a new one for me. I came across it a few weeks ago while listening to an episode of Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio on YouTube (though, for the life of me, I can’t remember which episode exactly). The term apparently applies to the Christ Myth Theory, which holds that there is no proof of a historical Jesus, and even if there were by chance a historical Jesus, he would have little to do with the archetype he became, and even less so with the church that spawned. It is often now extended and used as a term for those who view all supernatural aspects of the worlds various religions as pure mythology.

I feel that I should be acquainted with the Judeo-Christian stories out of necessity so this is the exact approach I take when looking into them. And even to take it that one step further; I also think it is a healthy approach to take when looking into any mythology or belief system. When we start off by seeing these archetypes as flesh and blood we run the risk of becoming almost dogmatic in our perceptions of them. Or, even worse, we run the risk of projecting our own human baggage onto them. When first delving into a new mythology I find that viewing things with the widest lens possible tends to help me avoid putting these Archetypes into boxes which often limit their potential, at least magickally speaking.

But at the same time, I am a theistic practitioner. This puts me in a different boat than most mythicists because I do not believe that the supernatural (or maybe more appropriately supra-natural) is impossible. I hold the opinion that the essence we know as Satan or Lucifer (or any of the endless names that have been used) is very real and can be tangible in various ways through practice.

I see no issue with holding both views at once because I do not believe any single culture, text, or belief system holds the “truth” (if such a thing even exists). The Deity I venerate is, in my opinion, something vast, chaotic, and primordial, which could not possibly be known in It’s entirety by any one person, coven, or church. Similar to how no single person in my life sees all aspects of me. Who I appear to be to my mother is not the same person I appear to be to my significant other. Who I appear to be to my significant other is not who I appear to be to my coworkers, etc. And if for some reason you wanted to understand me by asking these individuals to define me, you would get very different descriptions of who I am as a person. All of these descriptions would show aspects of me, but none of them would properly define me as a whole. This, I think is what happens when we try and understand our Deities and Archetypes by taking the literal word of the myths. Each myth is just a snapshot frozen in a specific time and culture, and is then further eroded by translation, politics, and unfortunately even literal erosion.

I was told  a short while back that “God is man writ large, and man is God writ small”. (The capital G here is denoting the concept of Deity, rather than a specific god.) If this holds true, and I am of the opinion that it may, then I’d say the myths and their subsequent religions can define Deities only as well as a coworker or an ex might be able to define you or I. So I think the myths themselves actually hold very little weight. But, they can certainly form a foundation for our understanding, especially when viewed comparatively.

156 – Babalon and the Beast

Chaos-Star,-Symbol

I’m not a poet by any means, but sometimes I find it easiest to get my thoughts and theories out onto paper in a poetic format, free formed and all. (Edited: 8.24.17)

 

BABALON!

Daughter of Fortitude

And bride of Chaos

You are indeed a living flame

The blackened embers

Ever burning in His eyes

 

Lawless blood is the pulse of His machine

This war engine which was promised

Now reaches forth in all directions

As a spiders web

In clear echo of She

Who inspires Him

 

As Inanna on Her ascent

She comes forth

And Hell comes with Her

We are many tribes under one banner:

156

And we are Legion

 

John’s revelation

Was not of the worlds end,

But of our return

We are the wild hunting party of the dead

The many-headed Hydra

Born of shining blood

As it was declared:

Your time is NOW!

Our time is NOW!

 

As Man and Lady

As Whore and Devil

As God and Goddess

You both preside over this frenzied Sabbath

Of witches and warriors

Of all who spat in the face of the tyrannical archon

And his poisonous church

 

As Esther have I been

Heeding the secret words of Marduk

To wrap the noose of my King

Around the traitorous neck of Haman

And so as Salome you dance

Those mysterious seven veils

To harvest the head of the Baptist

With Qalmana’s holy sickle

 

This is indeed a new Aeon

And we,

The Crowned and Conquering children

Are lighting the path as Lucifer’s

With the flames of wicker men burning

Parallels between Azazel and Cain

 

AzazelSigil5
Sigil of Azazel

Though I have never previously worked with him, Azazel has been on my mind lately. I’ve even begun to invite him into my practice a little here and there so I have been going back through the textual sources of him to try and gain a better understanding. He is broad and varied, and could take up multiple posts to really analyze, but one thing that stuck out to me is a parallel I see between Azazel in the Day of Atonement ritual of Judaism, outlined in Leviticus 16, and Cain’s tale in Genesis 4.

To quickly paraphrase Leviticus, there are two goats brought forth. Lots are cast so that one goat is for “god” (YHWH/Jehova) and the other is for Azazel. The goat for YHWH is killed as a sacrifice, whereas the goat for Azazel survives. The priest places all the blame of the communities’ sins onto it, making it a literal scapegoat, then it is lead into the wilderness and released.

Azazel
Azazel – Dictionnaire Infernal (Paris,1825).

This calls to mind Cain, who was marked and cast off to wander the wilderness east of Eden. In this tale, Abel is beloved of the Hebrew god, he is the favored son as it were, and he is slain by his brother. When this transgression is discovered, YHWH does not kill Cain, but rather marks him so that none shall kill him, and then sends Cain away bearing his sin. It is almost as if Abel is filling the shoes of the goat for YHWH and Cain is filling the shoes (hooves?) of the goat for Azazel.

cain_abel_grt
Cain and Abel – Tintoretto

I don’t see any direct connections between these two characters though. Cain and Abel are hardly the first tale of feuding brothers, and purely a mythical story, whereas the Day of Atonement is still a literal holiday in modern Judaism. From a Left Hand Path perspective, the archetypes of Cain and Azazel embody similar traits however.

In Islamic mythology Azazel (Iblis) is a djinn. He is first born of smokeless fire, and is the one called Shaytan/Shaitan/Satan; the one who refused gods command to bow to Adam. Whether he is a scapegoat or djinn, Azazel seems to have no problem standing his ground in contrast with god. And it’s this trait which I also see echoed in Cain’s tale. When confronted by god regarding Abel’s disappearance he spits back “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Both Azazel and Cain seem to represent strength, independence, and opposition to the ways of the Judeo “god” and so I’m finding both to be potent archetypes of the very essence of Satanism.

Changing Direction

Writers-Block

Ever since starting this blog, I have only ever written a handful of posts. Every time I post again I say to myself that I want to post more regularly, at least once or twice a week or so, but then I sit here with nothing to say. I have decided recently that I think this is because the direction of this blog is no longer as inspiring to me as it was when it first began.

The original goal was to break down the concepts and philosophies that I used in my practice and bring them into the everyday. Since around the time of starting this blog though, my practice has become more and more serious and many times I find that I can’t in all honesty break certain concepts down to any more “mundane” terms, so it often leaves me with a mind full of racing thoughts, and a perfectly blank page in front of me, but nothing whatsoever to actually say.

To cure this tongue tied writers block I think the best course of action would be to change the direction of this blog a bit. I want to begin utilizing this space to discuss my practice, to brainstorm with others, and to discuss the philosophy and beliefs that influence me. I thought originally that I should start a new blog, something completely fresh and just drop this one off of my radar, but I think I’d rather keep it up. Perhaps the old posts might serve a purpose and if nothing else they illustrate the changes in my understanding and perception over time.

So this is fair warning to any who do read this blog, things will be moving in a more “occult” direction. If that’s not your cup of tea feel free to unfollow, I know it doesn’t suit everyone’s taste and that’s quite alright. I can’t rationalize keeping a blog I don’t write it, or mentally spinning my wheels in silence while I have a perfectly good outlet available, so in an attempt to be honest with myself this appears to be a step in the right direction.

 

fitzgerald write