Thoughts and Discussion After a Long Absence

When I first walked away from this blog it was because I found myself at an impasse. With myself.

The systems I began resonating with and working within were seemingly at odds with one another. And it was around this point that my whole life crumbled. My health had started failing with no end in sight. Due to this I finally lost my job, yet couldn’t get approved for disability, and wasn’t seeing the improvement needed to land a new job I could sufficiently perform. I was out of prospects and hurtling toward inevitable homelessness. During this, my fiancé left me, on my birthday of all days, while in a particularly private and vulnerable position. An intentional act of cruelty that took advantage of an altered state. This was the final straw. I broke.

The next 6-12 months were spent near suicidal. I would open my eyes upon waking in the morning then crumble into sobs because I wished I had died. I couldn’t bear to face another day. I’d lost my gods, my faith, my love, my job, my health, my sense of self, I’d lost everything. I had ceased to be. I didn’t care anymore. But the sun always rose, relentlessly, and I was convinced that something would be happy if I killed myself so I just endured out of spite. And so it repeated day after day after day.

I did not have context for much of what I had dabbled in. Like a kid in a candy store I was excited by all the options. It was all new to me and I tried my hand at almost everything. I trusted people’s word naively assuming they had to know better than me due to my lack of experience. I unknowingly said things I should not have, unknowingly posted things I should not have, and I didn’t feel I understood my own practice any longer. There were others who I knew existed now, I had found them, seen their posts, read their books, listened to their musick, but I was still alone and isolated. My personal notes and myths crisscrossed with theirs in so many ways. I had no idea what to make of it. It was jarring, overwhelming, confusing, and I was completely lost.

Until their first manifestations in the form of this blog and the other (now closed) social media groups and sites, my beliefs and practice had always been hidden and in secret. My run ins with church authorities throughout my youth were never because I blabbed or spoke my mind about these practices. I had hiding spots for my notebooks. Even the symbols of my faith were hand designed between myself and the primary spirit I worked with so that I could have something to hold onto that others wouldn’t violently react to if they saw it. All of my theories, notes, communications, etc., had been between only myself and the page. Often at least partially written in code and shorthand so that even if the notes were found they would be indecipherable to others. I denied everything. Always. After the Satanic accusations were started by my mother in my early teens I outwardly denied belief in anything at all and claimed to be an atheist who didn’t believe in any gods or devils (despite my own continued private practicing), but it was to no avail. She just kept insisting that during prayer “God”, specifically Y-H in this case, had told her what I was involved with.

So after all of this, after reaching out to find anyone else, albeit virtually, I came to a point where I dejectedly thought, what the hell am I doing? What else but harm would possibly come from continuing to talk about this? Clearly, I’ve gone massively wrong somewhere. What if I cast this information in a false light simply out of my own ignorance? Would that not be disrespectful to my own gods? To their systems? To their practitioners? Have I already done so? Is that why people are behaving as they are toward me? What if I point others in a bad or unsafe direction? This isn’t to say my own writing stopped. I’ve filled another 2-3 notebooks during the interim, but I did not feel it would benefit anyone to read those thoughts or theories.

***

Fast forward to current day. After having rebuilt my life – on December 24th, while driving to a friends holiday dinner, I was victim of a hit and run collision. A drunk driver came tearing down the surface street I was on at freeway speeds. I was stopped at a red light waiting to turn into the neighborhood. I heard the squealing of brakes behind me and looked up at my rearview mirror to see white smoke billowing up from the tires of a truck skidding towards me. I gasped, and before I had time to do anything else – BAM – he slammed into the rear of my car. Then pulled up alongside me, looked straight at me, and sped off around the corner leaving a trail of radiator fluid from his smashed front end.

I mention this because in the aftermath of this event I found myself running in the same circles as I had when I had decided to walk away from my practice and realizing that has led me back to this blog.

Two days prior to the accident I had brought offerings to a protection spirit who I had called upon as a shield back when my practice and life were both crumbling. Recently, in hindsight, I was able to see footprints of this spirit and felt he was due an official thank-you for much that has occurred since then. I hoped to thank him for his previous unseen assistance. I wanted to hopefully build a working relationship with one another moving forward if he was open to it. I had been thinking up different offering ideas but not really feeling pulled to any one thing or another. I figured I’d push it out of mind until something felt right.

With it being winter I decided to try my hand at making stew that day. I’d let it cook in the crock-pot all day so the house would get all delicious smelling and cozy. Within a few hours the impression that he wanted stew was constant and impossible to ignore. So the next day when I had the house to myself and could do so unnoticed by the mundane I reheated it in the crock pot, built him an altar with fresh candles and his charged sigil, brought him a bloodstone in a silk bag as a symbol of his protection and brought him a big bowl of hot stew with a few slices of fresh bread. I laid this out, called to him and spoke a short but heartfelt message of thanks and of my intent to him then invited him to enjoy the offerings.

As human nature would have it, following the accident I was angry. “Some protection” I mumbled and kept thinking about how I was going to give him an earful once I was back home. As despite having insurance I could still be stuck in a bad situation.

I knew it! I thought. This system is at odds with my beliefs, these spirits won’t ever protect me and I was stupid to think they would.

I started convincing myself that those footprints I had thanked him for were just me connecting dots that weren’t necessarily connected. Wishful thinking I told myself, You should know better than to believe anyone has your back.

Then as the night went on and I was better able to grasp what had just happened I stopped and took stock of the fact that physically, aside from some major soreness, I was fine. When the truck was barreling toward me in the rear view mirror I just knew my face was going to be smashed through my own windshield, yet it wasn’t, I was fine. Not a scratch, not a broken bone, not a drop of blood on me. And suddenly it occurred to me, this could have been, and looked like it was going to be, a hell of a lot worse.

But this brings me to a strange place as a practitioner. The only context I have for these thoughts is my Evangelical (Pentecostal) Christian upbringing, where every bad event is explained away as “God” working in mysterious ways (or demonic influence) and every time things work out “God” is thanked as having helped. This is not a context I am comfortable with or willing to work within for obvious reasons. Aside from the fact that I don’t share their “God”, it seems like an intellectually dishonest position to hold.

Despite working with entirely different gods in an entirely different manner, I came to think, am I not doing the exact same thing? When calling upon spirits for aid with specific issues or short-term projects it’s pretty easy to gauge their influence, if any. But with more broad concerns like protection, health, etc., how on earth can we ever know where to draw the line? How can we possibly quantify or measure their influence?  I assume most mature adults understand that no one can be protected at all times. It seems more logical to assume all is chance a la Chaos Magick, but if we’re engaging with spirits, wouldn’t this view disregard any work they actually are doing on our behalf?

Since this blog originally started as a place for discussions, to brainstorm, and just to talk with others who might function within similar worldviews I feel like this is a good topic to come back with. As most of you who will see this are practitioners yourselves, how do you walk that line? How do you avoid blaming spirits or magick for bad luck? How do you avoid giving them undo credit for good luck? Where and how do you find that balance?

Dogmatic Attention Seekers

There is something that has been on my mind for quite a while and though I very much hold a live and let live philosophy, I don’t think I can bite my tongue any longer. I feel that in the Left Hand Path’s attempt to be “mainstream” as we see with modern Luciferian movements, a huge amount of the darkness and individuality which is the very lifeblood of the LHP is getting lost.

There is a very active attempt to water down the philosophies for public consumption. No different from how LaVey made a mockery of Satanism in the sixties. Now I’ll admit that as an occultist, the man had brilliant insights, but nevertheless he turned Satanism into a trashy, pretentious, joke of a philosophy. There is no doubt that being a laughing stock is better than being persecuted, and maybe that was the point of it all. But isn’t it about time we stop acting like those are the only two options? The only purpose such groups serve, from my perspective, is as an easy deflection to discredit my beliefs if I somehow get cornered into explaining them against my will. “Oh it’s all just smart ass anti-christian satire, nothing serious”, then I shrug it off and change the subject. They give me a facade to hide behind, but nothing more.

Now that Luciferianism is trying to break mainstream as well, I can’t help but see history repeating itself. Now, I want to state, this is not an attempt at mud slinging and so I will not name the organizations I am referring to. People are capable of seeking the information out on their own if they are so inclined. But, I have seen Luciferianism defined as a strictly atheist philosophy, same as Satanism was. On Luciferian and Satanic forums I have been attacked and mocked for holding theistic beliefs. I have been told I am not a “real” Luciferian because I worship Lucifer. I have seen pieces of propaganda officially published by Luciferian organizations stating that people only hold to theistic beliefs because they are too fearful to face reality, and that it is a Luciferian’s duty to help these cowardly theists “evolve” for the sake of humanity. When I publicly, and politely, confronted one of the heads of this organization about their redefining and apparent propaganda, I was accused of wanting to convert people to the “dark arts”. 

What is the purpose of castrating the spiritual elements of these philosophies? Why adhere to a LHP title, and then change it’s very meaning? And this is not to say that one can’t be atheist and Luciferian, of course they can. Anything LHP is individualistic by it’s very nature, and if someone finds that the archetype of Lucifer inspires them to be a better individual even without any belief in a spiritual element then good for them. The issue arises when one of these groups says something like “a Satanist does not worship Satan” or, “a Luciferian does not worship Lucifer”.

BULLSHIT! 

Some do, and some don’t. Defining either Satanism or Luciferianism as philosophies that must be atheistic is anti-individualistic, dogmatic, and an outright lie. Is it really so hard for so called “light-bearers” to speak the truth?  I see a bunch of adults clinging to a “scary” title for pure shock value and it’s no wonder we are all such a laughing stock to the mainstream. The LHP is becoming a parody of itself. These new organizations and “churches” want the title of Luciferian, and Satanist because it’s attention grabbing, it makes the headlines, it’s controversial, but the moment they have people’s attention they cower and say “No! We aren’t like THOSE people!” It’s a disgusting publicity stunt to gain membership dues, and it’s disrespectful to the rest of the occult.

Beyond this, a colleague of mine was telling me just recently that on a Luciferian forum he frequents, a woman made a post regarding cursing her rapist. The responses she received were saying that one should not practice dark magic, that she’d be best just forgiving the person and moving on with her life. Many others simply told her that there was no such thing as magick and that she was wasting her time. No one on the entire forum supported her or offered any useful information. Everyone who responded attempted to dissuade her.

Let that sink in for a moment.

An alleged victim of a violent crime came to a self proclaimed LHP forum, looking for LHP information, and was instead told to turn the other cheek. Whether you believe magick and curses work or not is beside the point. If someone is a practitioner and wants to practice dark magick, who on earth is anyone else to tell them they should not do so? If someone has been victimized and is looking for ways to bring about justice, who is anyone else to tell them to simply accept their victim hood instead?

I say fuck that! If someone assaults me and my only method of recourse is magick, you bet your ass I’m going to use it. If one can’t curse their rapist, then exactly who could one curse? When is dark magick socially acceptable to these castrated and Christianized LHP organizations? What is the purpose of dark magick at all, if not for in such horrendous situations?

There is such a push to be respected in the mainstream. I understand that desire, I truly do. But not at the expense of alienating actual practitioners or redefining words to better fit an agenda.  I find myself growing increasingly disgusted with the state of the modern occult. Over and over these philosophies are neutered and dressed up in cheap goth garb before being paraded around in the public eye. There will be no respect because there is nothing to respect. It’s a fucking joke.

 

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.