Saturday, January 30, 2021

"Fading is the light that never shines, aiding manipulation against our minds..."

I had a few rough emotional days earlier this week - rougher in part due to it being frustratingly unclear what the trigger was - which then necessitated a certain amount of writing-energy-expenditure that’s left me a bit unmotivated for writing an actual Satanism-related entry this month.  I’m therefore going to deviate from this blog’s established format of “issues I’m grappling with, framed in connection with Satanism,” and say a few things on a purely personal note.  

It seems apt to do this on the basis of some mental-illness-awareness-raising stuff I’ve seen going around the last couple days, the idea being that what I say here might stand as a contribution to that sort of effort.  What follows is thus a more detailed meditation upon my descent into mental illness in the mid twenty-tens, prior to this descent being thankfully curtailed by that infamous Uada incident that regular readers of this blog will already know about.  

The nature of this situation is such that it’s impossible for me to share my story without getting into personal details whose revelation is liable to cause social friction.  To be clear, everything I say here about that pertains to my perception of the situation, with awareness that I myself was not in a good state of mental health at the time.  Nothing here thus pretends to be an “objective” or “fair” portrayal of any other persons involved.  

The story, as a whole, is not about someone “being a bad friend,” but rather, about how, as the far-left itself so likes to repeat, “intent isn’t magic” - i.e. you can have the best of intentions to be a supportive friend, and the best of intentions to be a good person as far as making the world a better place, and unfortunately have the latter manifest in a way that undermines all semblance of the former.  I don’t tell this story to put guilt-trip on that person or anyone else.  The point, rather, is education, with the message being, this shit happens, and if we’re going to go around talking as if we care about peoples’ mental health, maybe we need to think about the dynamics that cases like this reveal.

I also feel this story is important to tell because truth be told, I’ve been through years of isolating cynicism now re: mental-health-awareness-raising-exercises, i.e. seeing them and feeling, because of the particularities of my situation, that it’s a case of, “they say they want to hear everyone’s story, and to save everyone from sinking into depression to the point of drowning, but that doesn’t really mean you.  If you spoke, they’d surely reply with things like ‘that’s just privileged bullshit, not a real mental health issue,’ and ‘stop taking up space meant for discussing actual problems,’ and ‘you’re actually the kind of person that we hope will just drown...’”  

Do you find it disturbing that amid an ever-growing societal aspiration to take mental health seriously, this is how someone has nonetheless wound up feeling - regardless of the exact way it came about?  Personally, I think anyone at all humane should be disturbed by it.  

I also think that I should be able to say this and have it understood in the context of a sincere desire to do something positive about mental health, rather than it being taken purely negatively in terms of “she is just taking attention from X, Y and Z other-good-and-important-causes.”  The sheer fact that I instead fret about perceptions on this front - i.e. here I am, a biracial bisexual woman, who lectures on feminism-related topics and has a drag persona, afraid of being dismissed as some right-wing loser trying to weaponize self-pity if I actually speak my mind bluntly about my own life experiences - strikes me as illustrative of the extent to which toxicity surrounding certain political matters is, indeed, highly detrimental to mental health in general.  

I do not foresee silence about this issue standing any chance of improving the matter.  Hence, the account that follows (i.e. all links in this sentence go to entry sub-sections), of how in my own case, years of immersion in a Twitter echo chamber, together with a difficult relationship with a friend, together produced the kind of despair that came to the verge of destroying me back in 2018.  

I emphasize that I have since gotten much better, i.e. I do not want anyone becoming alarmed as to my current mental state on account of frank discussion of these things.  Nonetheless, they do still trouble my mind from time to time, sometimes in an intrusive way - as per bad sleep a few days earlier this week - and I’d thus like to see if talking about them point-blank helps at all, both re: less ruminating on my part, and re: encouraging others to think about the matters discussed herein.  

Hopefully I do not thereby wind up learning anything discouraging with regard to re: how (in)sincere certain people truly are about “let’s talk about mental health.”  But I guess we’ll see…

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Sunday, December 27, 2020

Krampus, COVID, and coping with "dark nature"

Since my last entry mentioned Krampus, this struck me as not a bad time to write something I’ve been meaning to write for awhile, not about Krampus in folklore and the holiday per se, but about the 2015 Krampus film.  I’ve long found that film “stuck with me” in a way that goes far beyond what one would expect or was surely intended with a random PG-13 holiday-horror film.  The train of thought it leads me down also touches on certain aspects of 2020 in an interesting way, and upon how I’ve come to interpret Satanism differently over time due to certain philosophical and political things that I’ve been grappling with in recent years.

Now, upon trying to actually write this entry, I’ve discovered that no way is the full trajectory I’d envisioned do-able in any kind of manageable length, mostly because the “COVID rant” part of this got rather lengthy (go figure, LOL).  Nonetheless, what follow are some thoughts to share on what I’ll call “the dark force of nature,” or “dark nature” for short, subdivided as follows:

Obviously this will entail spoilers about the Krampus film - FYI if anyone hasn’t seen it and wants to.  

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Monday, November 30, 2020

Marking the seasons as a Satanist

As this is a busy time for me, for this month’s blog I’ll just share a few brief random thoughts I have about seasonal observances for Satanism.

Having had a brief Wiccan / Neopagan phase in my teens prior to deciding it wasn’t for me, I’ve long had some familiarity with the concept of the “wheel of the year.”  I’ve then found in recent years, having become significantly more “in touch” with nature especially after relatively-recent spiritual awakenings, that I have the desire to observe something along these lines.  On the other hand though, not everything pertaining to the Neopagan conceptions of these holidays necessarily speaks to me - partly because I’m not of that tradition and am instead of the Satanic one, and partly because some of the associated folk traditions strike me as not localizing well, e.g. they revolve around specific plants or vegetation changes or etc. that are not actually relevant to my part of the world, or etc.

Nonetheless, my thoughts on seasonal observances fall into the following three categories:

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Thinking harder: defund the pleasure police, pt 3

The series of posts that continues here constitutes a sequel to a previous entry I wrote about the LaVeyan principle of “Indulgence, not abstinence.”  Similarly to that entry, it too is about the further implications of that principle - specifically, the idea that the free pursuit of pleasure, defined in whatever manner suits the individual, is a fundamental good of life that therefore ought to deserve more respect than it sometimes gets.

The central argument of this series of posts is that inasmuch as indulgence is of the significance that it is, people ought not to police pleasure unless engaging in it is causing a clear-and-present identifiable harm.  Among the things this specifically means are:

  1. Do not police pleasure on the basis of accusations of falsity.
  2. Do not police pleasure on the basis of supposed awkwardness.
  3. Do not police pleasure on the basis of it allegedly revealing something one ought to feel guilt or shame over.

Observing these rules re: not judging other peoples’ pleasure makes life a more pleasurable experience for everyone.  Doing the opposite creates situations in which people are garbage toward one another for no good reason, all-too-often toward the end (whether intended or not) of promoting herd conformity.  The overarching sentiment can be summed up briefly as "just let people like what they fucking like."

This series is already-written-and-complete, but is being split into three entries spaced over several months, because i) it’s long and ii) then I don’t have to put my blog on hiatus due to being busy.  Editing it after the fact, I'm realizing that some of it is toward the extra-bitchy end of stuff that I post on this blog, but that's how it goes sometimes: I have opinions, and you can enjoy them... or not. ;)

This particular entry is especially on the longer and bitchier side, but you folks who actually like hearing me rant about politics should at least enjoy it.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Thinking harder: defund the pleasure police, pt 2

The series of posts that continues here constitutes a sequel to a previous entry I wrote about the LaVeyan principle of “Indulgence, not abstinence.”  Similarly to that entry, it too is about the further implications of that principle - specifically, the idea that the free pursuit of pleasure, defined in whatever manner suits the individual, is a fundamental good of life that therefore ought to deserve more respect than it sometimes gets.

The central argument of this series of posts is that inasmuch as indulgence is of the significance that it is, people ought not to police pleasure unless engaging in it is causing a clear-and-present identifiable harm.  Among the things this specifically means are:

  1. Do not police pleasure on the basis of accusations of falsity.
  2. Do not police pleasure on the basis of supposed awkwardness.
  3. Do not police pleasure on the basis of it allegedly revealing something one ought to feel guilt or shame over.

Observing these rules re: not judging other peoples’ pleasure makes life a more pleasurable experience for everyone.  Doing the opposite creates situations in which people are garbage toward one another for no good reason, all-too-often toward the end (whether intended or not) of promoting herd conformity.  The overarching sentiment can be summed up briefly as "just let people like what they fucking like."

This series is already-written-and-complete, but is being split into three entries spaced over several months, because i) it’s long and ii) then I don’t have to put my blog on hiatus due to being busy.  Editing it after the fact, I'm realizing that some of it is toward the extra-bitchy end of stuff that I post on this blog, but that's how it goes sometimes: I have opinions, and you can enjoy them... or not. ;)

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Thinking harder: defund the pleasure police, pt 1

The series of posts that begins here constitutes a sequel to a previous entry I wrote about the LaVeyan principle of “Indulgence, not abstinence.”  Similarly to that entry, it too is about the further implications of that principle - specifically, the idea that the free pursuit of pleasure, defined in whatever manner suits the individual, is a fundamental good of life that therefore ought to deserve more respect than it sometimes gets.

The central argument of this post is that inasmuch as indulgence is of the significance that it is, people ought not to police pleasure unless engaging in it is causing a clear-and-present identifiable harm.  Among the things this specifically means are:

  1. Do not police pleasure on the basis of accusations of falsity.
  2. Do not police pleasure on the basis of supposed awkwardness.
  3. Do not police pleasure on the basis of it allegedly revealing something one ought to feel guilt or shame over.

Observing these rules re: not judging other peoples’ pleasure makes life a more pleasurable experience for everyone.  Doing the opposite creates situations in which people are garbage toward one another for no good reason, all-too-often toward the end (whether intended or not) of promoting herd conformity.

This entry is already-written-and-complete as of today, but I’m going to split it into three entries spaced over the next few months, because i) it’s long and ii) then I don’t have to put my blog on hiatus due to being busy.  

Today is thus merely part 1 of my extended “just let people like what they fucking like” rant. ;)

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Ritual magic addendum: magical equipment

I’m increasingly thinking I may have to put this blog on hiatus for a few months or longer, as I’ve started a new project that draws on the same pool of mental energy as writing these blog entries draws on.  The amount of writing thereby being produced, while definitely good in-and-of-itself, is barely sustainable now while I’m on holidays, and thus clearly unsustainable once I go back to work in the fall.  I’ll likely still write a few more entries yet, though.

The current entry is an addendum to the previous sorcery lesson, which was in turn a concrete example of principles discussed in the greater magic entry.  Very likely there will be more than one of these addendums coming up, so as to further elaborate on previously-posted stuff.  

This particular addendum is about magical “equipment,” as while the banishing ritual I described was intended to demonstrate that there is very little equipment that ritual magic actually “requires,” there are also various reasons why one may want to get “fancier” and I thus wanted to discuss some nuances of that here.

This entry is divided into three parts:
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