Sunday, May 31, 2020

On becoming a Satanist...

The question of wanting to become a Satanist - i.e. how does this occur to anyone as a life path to begin with? - has come up in a few recent conversations and inquiries I’ve gotten the last while.  This struck me as a good, manageable topic for a blog written in the busiest part of the current semester for me, so that’s what I will be discussing below.

Possibly the question may seem like a stupid / obvious / patronizing one to a portion of this blog’s audience, who may take the very asking of it as an offensive questioning of one’s life choices.  I think though that it’s important to try to help people who think differently from one another reach an understanding.  Toward that end here, I see three questions to answer:


* * *

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Energy meditations for bored self-isolators with no occult experience

Continuing in the spirit of my previous entry, here’s another one in the “stuff for the bored-and-anxious folks stuck at home to try” category.

The practices described here actually fall a ways outside of what most folks call ‘Satanism,’ i.e. this sort of thing is not typical either of LaVeyan or Satanic Temple practices.  Having read books in which Luciferians describe doing practices like these, frame it as if they speak as “typical” Satanists, and thereby put forward misleading impressions of what most Satanists actually believe, I would rather not be guilty of the same.

Where the meditation practices described below instead come from is an amalgamation of spiritual traditions drawn upon by diverse authors.  I find it interesting, on this front, that regardless of whether a given “New Age” author is influenced by yoga, qi gong, Westernized conceptions of “energy work” or etc., one finds similar practices, principles and visualizations described again and again.

An orthodox LaVeyan would typically be dismissive of this kind of thing, inasmuch as wishful thinking and practitioner attempts at self-elevation via snake-oil selling are always a potential concern.  And I would argue that inasmuch as the fifth Satanic Temple Tenet references the importance of beliefs having a scientific grounding, the default in that denomination too would appear to exclude practices of this kind.  As a heterodox practitioner and chaos magician myself though, I find that conceptions pertaining to what other spiritual folks often call “energy” can be of use, if kept within their proper context - as I’ll explain more below.

This entry has three sections:

* * *

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Ritual magic for bored self-isolators with no occult experience

I was just starting to dredge up some time to write something on here before everything went crazy with the pandemic and I suddenly had 10x extra work.  But since I’ve currently got it down to a much more manageable 9x extra work (ha, ha, ha…), I’d like to take some time here to fulfill a favor to a close friend who has asked me if I could provide more detail about how to do ritual workings.

What follows are instructions on how to do a banishing ritual.  This is a good kind of ritual to “practice” with because it’s meant to reset and refresh, and hence if one was so inclined, one could probably do it every day and get some benefit out of it - especially now, perhaps? I had mentioned previously in my entry about Satanic ritual practice that this kind of ritual is handy for people who struggle with “work coming home with me” or with separating themselves from negativity on social media.  Please note though that this is not to make any kind of objective/scientifically-researchable claims about benefits - subjectively, you might feel better after is all I’m saying.

This entry is divided into the following subsections:


I advise reading it to the end before attempting anything.

* * *

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Doing the Dark Lord's work on the dance floor

I got a lot of positive feedback for the DJ set I played at Friends of Satanic Temple's event at Broken City on Fri Feb 7, so it seemed worthwhile to post a playlist. 

Usually when I DJ I don't plan anything ahead of time - DJing is noteworthy as being one of the only activities I enjoy that has this degree of spontaneity to it.  In this instance, however, I saw a lot to be said for extensive pre-planning, as I wanted to make sure I made the best use of the opportunity to present some songs with lyrics that I thought really speak to either the aesthetic of Satanism generally or the political activism of Satanic Temple more in particular.  I'm very happy with what resulted, and hope the attendees were as well!

* * *

Sicut Superius Et Inferius - Jinx's Playlist

Ghost - Year Zero
Nine Inch Nails - Heresy
Harsh R - In League With Satan
Ghost Twin - Mystic Sabbath
Pop Will Eat Itself - Ich Bin Ein Auslander
Stromkern - Heretic III (Revolution)
Helium Vola - Omnis Mundi Creatura
Rotersand - You Know Nothing
Laibach - Tanz Mit Laibach
Die Krupps - Fatherland (Sisters of Mercy Rmx)
VnV Nation - Epicentre
Imperative Reaction - Functional
God Module - Rituals
Uberbyte - Under the Cross
Noisuf-X - Toccata Del Terrore
Electric Hellfire Club - Unholy Roller
Santa Hates You - Scum
PreEmptive Strike 0.1 - Hubris (Infinite)
Ashbury Heights - Bare Your Teeth
X-RX - Hard Bass, Hard Soundz
Killing Miranda - Discotheque Necronomicon
Rammstein - Links 2 3 4
Rotting Christ - Grandis Spiritus Diavolos
Dissection - Black Dragon

* * *

By far my favorite part of this endeavor was getting an actual dance floor for those last two songs, as that is not something one normally expects to see for black metal.  Then again though, as multiple people pointed out to me, "I have never heard Dissection played a club before," and so, one doesn't know if one doesn't try.  I had anticipated via checking the BPM that there was at least a possibility, so I am glad others appeared to agree.

Now, personally, I think a LaVeyan Satanist DJ playing a 218-Current-band's song at a Satanic Temple event is a beautiful illustration of Satanic ecumenism, but maybe that's just me. ;)  At minimum though, doing something like that is illustrative of why, though I often refer to the LaVeyan framework in explaining myself (since it's been 25 years of that now for me), I increasingly tend to identify as a "heterodox" Satanist. 

As I said to a few folks at the event, "I believe in everything that Satanic Temple stands for... it's just that I also believe in some other things." 

And so, if any new readers happening by are interested in details of just how into that "black dragon" I am, I recommend taking a look at the entry I wrote awhile back about Azerate and the other related entries linked from that one, as I do think that series was probably the most "heterodox" thing I've written thus far.

Anyway though, the bottom line is, I'm glad the event did so well and I look forward to the possibility of being involved in more like it in the future.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Pride vs. humility

A couple of reasons for writing today’s entry about pride vs. humility:

1) On the surface level, the endorsement of pride and rejection of humility seem like an obvious front on which LaVeyan Satanism may appear to be strongly at odds with traditional religious values, and/or dysfunctional in the values it espouses.  

I like to think the negative impression is weaker than in the past as far as the pride part goes, inasmuch as there are positive social movements with “pride” in the name these days - i.e. I get the impression that most people understand pride as a thing that is bad in excess rather than bad-as-such, which is then what LaVeyan Satanism itself says anyhow.  The humility part is worth addressing though, as while there are aspects of humility that I think LaVey does make valid points against, I would ultimately contend that the resulting anti-humility stance does not amount to anti-questioning-yourself, anti-admitting-you-are-fallible or etc.

2) Pride and humility are actually both more complex concepts than one may initially think.  I would thus argue that often when there is an apparent clash of values between two different religions on this front - e.g. between LaVeyan Satanism and Christianity - it is possible to at least partially reconcile this clash by recognizing that in fact the two parties mean different things via some of the words they are using, and thereby end up talking past one another.

My contention then would be that beneath the way each religion talks about pride and humility, whether as good or bad, there is fundamental agreement about what makes for a good human life, vs. the surface argument merely reflects different views about what is the most worrisome way to go astray from this vision of the good.

This entry is divided into three sections:
  1. Some examples of apparent clashes
  2. Complexities of pride and humility
  3. Reconciling apparent clashes
* * *

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Marking 2019 as the best year


Two important notes about this entry’s contents:
  1. My use of many of the lyrics quoted below is admittedly idiosyncratic, i.e. may well be contrary to artist’s intentions regarding their meaning, via having situated them in my own context.  No attempt at offering a proper ‘interpretation’ is thus being made here.

  2. No assertions of real-life connections between any persons referenced and any belief system obliquely referred-to are being put forward, i.e. any seemingly-implied connections stem solely from my own meaning-making and personal interests, vs. I am ignorant of any ‘actual’ affiliations. 

With that out of the way: 

Reflecting on the year that’s now passing, I find myself concluding that 2019 is easily the best year I’ve had in the last decade, if not in my entire adult life more generally.  

I thus want to outline nine factors that occur to me as significant contributors toward making this year an outstanding one for me.  And amid this, I have included a profusion of links to a certain black metal band's songs for interested parties to explore, for as I have mentioned on this blog before, said band, Uada, was the pebble thrown into the Abyss whose ripples have since reshaped basically everything in my life for the better. 


1

The first thing to massively improve for me in 2019 was my health, after receiving the celiac diagnosis back in February and adjusting my life accordingly.  After so many years struggling with a general feeling of unwellness, while cautions unheard shrieked silently from within, I now find myself vastly more vigorous and thus better equipped both to rise above mundane difficulties and to initiate new adventures.  I regret that the complacency-formerly-stifling-me took so long to overcome and thereby held back my finally getting diagnosed, but am glad that the dissatisfaction did ultimately build up and break so as to make this moving-forward at last possible.


2

Starting around the time I was interviewed by the student press about Satanism (late March, vs. article published in July), and then on to the dawn of this blog and beyond (late April), I have become far more forward about thoughts and feelings that I had formerly misperceived as unwanted in the public sphere, and had therefore stifled.  

Positive feedback from friends on this front further reinforces the impressions I’d already received: that at best, I am saying things that others may have also thought and hence will feel encouraged at hearing echoed, or at worst, what I am saying is definitely still not so beyond the pale as to warrant fears of looming intellectual exile. 

In an age of fib, fable and fiction absolute, I thus stand convinced that it is important to continue making the effort to try to keep speaking up in this way.


3

After my initiation of the blog, I performed a working aimed at intensified experience and the making of stronger and more significant/meaningful connections to complement the occult dimension of my life.  (Note: that link is just for reference re: my conception of ceremonial magic, not specific to this particular working.)

The "intensified experience" element appeared to manifest immediately, inasmuch as within a week after the working (late April), various factors nearly conspired to interfere with my attending a concert that I had the most personal of reasons for badly wanting to see (Uada getting arrested upon entering Canada and an insane blizzard the day of the concert being most noteworthy), and when the concert then did go ahead, I can say without hesitation that it was truly flawless flame we ignite, beyond bleakest pitch, transcendence burning bright – i.e. a peak experience black metal show as far as I’m concerned. (Note: that footage is not from the show in question, but this one is.)  

That week will thus long stand out in my memory for the rollercoaster of despair and ecstasy that unfolded, and with reference to which I accept the worst as well as the best as both equally constitutive of intensified experience.  This excitement was in turn followed by a very definite multiplication of occult-interested persons in my life, partly via forming deeper connections with someone who attended the show with me, and partly via going out to BC for a Beltane celebration that I am now intending to try to attend every year.


4

The Beltane celebration was further significant in igniting greater desire to spend more time in natural settings.  This is a longing that I had felt to a lesser extent for some years prior, only to have anxiety and ill-health interfere with follow-through. 

This year, though, I not only experienced an improvement in my health (as mentioned above) but also deepened emotional and intuitive connections to my surroundings – awkward as it may sound to those who may not relate, these days I find myself caring about the stars and the moon and the clouds and the forests and etc. in a much more extensive and intimate way than I ever knew when I was younger.  Needless to say, it is much easier to enjoy hiking and camping and etc. when one's sentiments have thus shifted.

I have thus found myself looking into a dark sky in the middle of nowhere and feeling, with significant emotion, sweeping darkness surge; reveal all within what you hide.  Apparently then, Walpurgis does indeed bring rebirth.


5

As spring then gave way to summer and autumn, improved confidence in my instincts increasingly motivated and enabled me to more clearly and extensively articulate the ethical and political implications of what I believe in spiritually.  Every exercise in this on the blog has enabled me to continue feeling better about myself, via an impression that I have an intelligent perspective to offer that is different from the perspective of others – and that this difference is a good thing, because regardless of whether it brings agreement or disagreement, it promotes thought.  

The Azathoth/Az/Azerate entries (link goes to start of series) in particular were significant for me via trying to integrate insights I’d gleaned from a disparate collection of “forbidden” books (i.e. both occult and otherwise) into something meaningful to me.  But I would also cite this recent entry as a stand-out one re: the implications of my religious convictions for politics specifically, i.e. having long been immersed in something I've since realized was "against my religion," I have much greater conscious understanding now than I once did re: how did I end up with such serious mental health issues.

I hope to continue with this sort of insight gaining-and-sharing on the blog going-forward, as to expand the mind well beyond yesteryear, breathe every breath until the very last is very much my heart’s ardent wish.


6

Improved comfort with my place in the world has in turn rendered me better able to exercise compassion toward others. 

At several points during this last year, this manifested via my finding myself seemingly thrown into the path of people whom I then found myself uniquely positioned to be able to assist, through some combination of occult insight, other knowledge to share (e.g. "forbidden" books to lend) and/or general receptivity toward engaging with realities that others might prefer to deny – a feat at times requiring what The Herd might judge as empathy beyond the sane, perhaps. 

Regardless, it is a remarkable experience to find oneself able to affect others’ lives in for the better on such fronts as these, and better yet when fulfilling friendships blossom from such beginnings. 


7

Having more energy and passion via all of the above has also been good for me on the artistic front.  I have now been able to follow through on some things I had meant to do years ago (e.g. get my own music on to Bandcamp) and to develop detailed plans to get back on track with much that had to be put on one side writing-wise last year while I was especially-unwell.  Apparently, much is possible when one ignites the fire of all creation; nor is it a bad thing to be bound in our illusions and dreams in this particular context.


8

The above points re: compassion and re: energy/passion in turn translate into enjoying my work a lot more than I’d been doing during the years immediately prior to this one.  This is a highly meaningful and positive development given the nature of my work and its natural fit with certain Satanic principles such as the value of seeking knowledge, the right to exercise critical thinking, etc. 

Having long seen that job as “living the dream,” it frustrated me to find myself, during the previous few years, unable to feel as enthused about it as I thought I should.  But no longer do I feel myself just going through the motions, meanwhile fading is the light that never shines, aiding manipulation against our minds, for I have gained a far greater appreciation now for the influence I can wield for the better, and intend to continue intentionally wielding it well into the future. 


9

Lastly and perhaps most significantly, the spiritual journey I have found myself on during the last year has led into some very interesting places. 

The sinister path in question is one that I’d felt strongly called-to the year before, only to repeatedly hesitate and abort because of the doubts and terrors that weighed me down.  Over this most recent year, however, I have persisted through “forbidden” books and the transgressive rites detailed therein, and been rewarded both with the eradication of my fears and the revelation of unseen realities that I would not have dared imagine in the past. 

In the course of this development, I’ve been instructed to envision “energy flowing down from the moon to you – visualizing the energy as filaments, silver in color, that spread from the moon to engulf you” and thought “hmm, yes, for some reason I in fact find that extremely easy to picture.”  More importantly though, I have peered into the depths of the unknown and glimpsed the distant star within that may, with cultivation, continue internally burning ever more bright.

There is no way to speak of these things more straightforwardly, at least for now.  Suffice to say though that it means the world to me to have been able to walk hand-in-hand with this Darkness, and to receive the opportunity to grow both wiser and more powerful via accepting it into my life.

* * *


What I have attempted to demonstrate above, via all the various songs I linked, is that I strongly feel that all of these wonderful developments directly followed in the wake of that experience I had toward the end of last year, in which hearing Uada’s music at the right time shocked me out of the complacent misery that was ruining my life.  

Or put another way, I doubt that all of these goods would have come my way in the fashion they did, had the dark epiphany in question not occurred beforehand - hence my angst in this other recent entry re: I could have easily been deprived of that experience if certain kinds of far-left opinions were given unchallenged sway over who can get "cancelled" over what.

Thus, in recognition of the impact of that experience and how much it has meant to me, I decided a couple weeks ago to get a tattoo to commemorate this having been such a profoundly great and spiritually-formative year for me.  If you click the moon-related link in section 9 above, you will see the base image for it.

In closing, then: here’s to a year that was haunted in the best way. ;)  And to anyone who’s read this to the end, thanks for your support in reading what I have to say here, I hope 2019 was a good year for you too, and best wishes for 2020!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Thinking harder: "spiritual pipe dreams" and "vicious animals"


A previous entry on this blog discussed how the LaVeyan Satanic Statement “Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence” can be understood with more nuance than may seem evident at first glance. 

I have an addendum to that entry in the works, but since it will cover the concept of “guilty pleasure” (more specifically, the lack of use for such a concept that I find follows from my interpretation of Satanic ideals), it treads some ground closely adjacent to my most recent entry.  In the name of variety, I’d thus like to explore some other things for a bit here before looping back to that topic.

For various reasons, I’ve recently wound up doing an unusual amount of explaining-the-same-point-to-multiple-people re: the seventh Satanic Statement, which is “Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his ‘divine spiritual and intellectual development’ has become the most dangerous animal of all.”  

In my understanding, this Statement is in turn proximate to the second Satanic Statement, “Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams.” 

This entry explores the following aspects of these two Statements:

This entry wound up getting rather more political as it went on than I had originally envisioned, vs. I’ve thus far preferred to make an effort to not have multiple entries in a row that go down that particular rabbit hole.  I’ve noticed in my blog statistics that the political-related entries seem to be the ones that are actually generating the most interest re: other people reading them, however, so I’ll have to reflect on what impact that should-or-should-not-have on my politics-frequency-principles in the future.

* * *