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.

* * *

Saturday, November 30, 2019

In case anyone needed a reminder that "fan" is short for "fanatic"

It’s approximately the one-year anniversary now of the incident I spoke of in my first journal entry.  On one hand, I have the urge to reflect, but on the other, I have limited time-capacity for doing so right now, given the workload-rhythm of my chosen career.  Nonetheless, I’d like to have more than one entry for November, so what follows is a condensed version of a longer reflection/rant that I tried to write back in July/August but failed to finish before getting distracted by other things.

I also shelved it because I figured it made me sound crazy, but we won't worry about that just now. ;)

Anyway: at Terminus this last year, I wore outfits on all four days that were inspired by four bands who’ve had an especially big impact on my life.  To put that impact in a nutshell:

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Of black dragons and blind idiot gods, part IV: Yes, this is a functional basis for a religion


Last part now of this 4-part series on my idiosyncratic beliefs about “ultimate reality”:

This entry is longer than the previous three, and hence split into several sections discussing various right-hand path and sinister path perspectives on my proposed “dark trinity”:

The latter three are really all one discussion, just split up for the purposes of manageability length-wise.

* * *

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Of black dragons and blind idiot gods, part III: Azerate


Part 3 now of the following 4-part series on my idiosyncratic beliefs about “ultimate reality”:

As mentioned previously, each entry in this series will start off by describing the “primary” entity as I have come to understand it from various sources, and then provide some tie-ins re: why, beyond the “A” and the “z,” I interpret these as all being essentially one being, albeit with three distinguishable facets.

Note about the entry below: Technical terminology for “what Dissection believes in” has only recently been clarified to me, vs. in the past absence of said terminology (“The 218 Current”) my ability to seek out any/all connected literature was hindered.  I have thus not yet gotten around to reading the actual books of the 218 Current, e.g. “Sitra Ahra” and so forth.  Therefore, what follows does not pretend to be a comprehensive take on how Azerate is conceptualized by that particular Satanic tradition.  Rather, it is a reflection on how I relate what I have discerned about the entity - mostly via Dissection’s music, but also via a limited selection of online sources – to other things that I know and believe, so as to arrive at something meaningful to myself. 

* * *


Azerate

Azerate is an entity venerated by black metal band Dissection on their album Reinkaos.  Some lyrics typical of how the entity is conceptualized can be found in the song “Beyond the Horizon”:
This is the realm of Azerate, eleven as one
Destroyer of cosmic order, extinguisher of the sun
In this place so sinister I shall find my dreams
Illuminated by the blackest flame to transcend with dragon wings

Salient details thus alluded to include:
  • Azerate is a composite being, consisting of eight Dark Gods and three Dark Goddesses, for a total of eleven-entities-in-one.*  The significance of the number eleven is tied to this Satanic denomination’s interest in Qabalah (an interest that I myself definitely share), but that is way too complicated a topic to get into in the current entry.
  • As a being of chaos, it is an enemy of order in general, but particularly of the current order inasmuch as that order is dominated by light-oriented right-hand-path religions.
  • The occult adept who is a devotee of Azerate sees the promised destruction positively, inasmuch as it will deliver them to “a place of eternal freedom, the void where all illusions die,” as lyrics later in the same song state.  Multiple Satanic denominations associate “black flame” with self-evolution; context then suggests that “place so sinister” here can be taken to mean “via the left-hand path,” though of course it can also be taken to mean something less ethos-oriented and more overtly-occult-oriented, such as “the acausal realm.”
  • As a composite being, Azerate is envisioned as an eleven-headed dragon.*  Other songs on the same album refer to “dragon mother” and equate her with primal chaos monsters of every pantheon, e.g. Tiamat, Leviathan, Apep, etc.

(* = the chaos magician in me feels it is salient to point out: these two details in combination look to yield the somewhat-amusing conclusion that apparently, what we have here is not only a Hydra in the mythological sense of “multi-headed dragon,” but also a Hydra in the Marvel sense of “a group of villains cooperating toward the end of producing maximum mayhem.” :))


Beyond just the association with chaos, the aspect of Azerate that makes me think of Azathoth is the reference in multiple songs to bringing about the apocalypse by waking the dragon.  This detail fits very well, it seems to me, with the notion that the world’s stability depends on Azathoth remaining in some sort of torpor, vs. the end of the cosmos coming about if he were roused. 

This analysis admittedly paints Dissection as being real-life’s manifestation of the worst kind of insane Lovecraftian cultists.  Really though, I feel like that is not entirely unfair, what with the whole “they probably would have eventually staged their own mini-Jonestown if Nodtveidt hadn’t gone to prison for that homophobic-murder-thing first” business. 

Important note related to this issue: I stand solidly with what I hope is a majority of Dissection fans when I say, “great music, but too bad about the lunatic-asshole front-man.”  Also, I personally think you have to be a special kind of loser to style yourself as any kind of chaos-devotee while at the same time taking issue with anyone’s sexuality for any reason, but maybe that’s just me.

In any case, the aspect of Azerate that makes me think of Az is the dark feminine aspect, as when the entity is given any gender at all, it is typically female – “dragon mother” as above.  Going even further though, there is also an explicit tie-in to Lilith here, both via Lilith being one of the eleven “Azerate members,” and via Lilith herself being called “dragon goddess” on the song “Dark Mother Divine” on the same album.  The lawlessness of Az, and the adept’s hope of “eternal freedom” in Azerate’s wake, also appear to be congruent with one another.

Now, since the previous two entities discussed are horrifying primarily in concept, vs. this one, as per the above-given link, has actual real life casualties of both a homicidal and suicidal nature associated with its adherents, obviously it’s a bit urgent for me to clarify where I’m going with the idea that there’s any possible way of engaging constructively with Azerate. 

The nature of the beast though is such that I’ll have to wander through quite a bit of philosophy to get there, much of which is not going to initially sound like it is helping much.  Nonetheless, to proceed:

One thought is that, parallel to the above discussion of “dark realities” personified via Azathoth and Az, I think Azerate can be understood similarly: basically, in Freudian terms, Az is equivalent to libido and Azerate to thanatos; the former seeks a pleasure as total as that of the embryo with all its needs supported by the mother’s body, while the latter seeks dissolution in accord with the default entropic tendencies of the inorganic matter.  

Acknowledging these forces then need not be equivalent to worshipping them, but rather just entails recognizing that life is driven by chaotic forces that are both antisocial and destructive if unregulated.  It would then follow that if “indulgence” is the goal, self-mastery is a pre-requisite, which brings us back to the ethos of LaVeyan Satanism.

Another “dark reality” that Azerate can be taken as an expression of would be the Medea hypothesis, which argues that contra the Gaia theory of life on earth self-regulating toward a harmonious state, actually life tends to be suicidal in the long run, since: 
  1. The drives and adaptations that are selected-for by evolution are those that favor the individual and its immediate descendents, without an eye to the horizon of the species or biosphere as a whole;
  2. Populations just are large groups of such individuals, who are then adapted in such a way that they tend to individually compete for resources and reproduce until a shortage of resources forces starvation and die-off, not before;
  3. Such a population additionally produces ever-increasing amounts of waste just in the process of staying alive, which within the context of a closed system (which a planet ultimately is) means slowly poisoning itself;
  4. Getting life to not behave in the manner just described in 2 & 3 is an uphill battle, because to accomplish this, you would have to convince it to resist drives strongly selected for in 1. 

This is not, by the way, an argument against trying to fix the environment, so much as it is rather a case of “I am really, really not surprised that we are failing” on that front. :/  

What is interesting mythology-wise though is that Medea seems to embody a lot of the same drives as Az so long as she is getting her way (i.e. accomplishes all manner of wondrous feats and transgresses all sorts of boundaries in pursuit of her own desire), vs. the same drives as Azerate once she is not getting her way (i.e. seeks total destruction of the currently-existing order – the familial, in this particular case – out of sheer malice).

That this should be so is suggestive of the unity of the two figures.  It is suggestive too of the dystopian experience of an evolved-and-aware consciousness, simultaneously insisting on the goodness of persevering in existence on one hand, and sensitive about the frustrations of life to the point of being tempted toward nihilism on the other. 

Faced with such a fork in the road, the LaVeyan Satanists go one way and the Anti-Cosmic Satanists go the other.  This is perhaps most evident via contrasting LaVey’s strongly negative attitude toward suicide to Nodtveidt’s seeing suicide as a fitting and perhaps even triumphant conclusion to his life.  

I would nonetheless argue that the difference between the two positions lies not in one denying the darkest side of life and the other plunging headfirst into it, but rather, in one merely acknowledging that darkness with open eyes while the other was utterly overpowered and possessed by it.  

One thus arrives again at the idea that, from a Satanic perspective that values “undefiled wisdom,” we ought to acknowledge this dark force within ourselves in order to become empowered to take steps to overcome the aspects of it that are ultimately not in our best interest. 

A further constructive angle for Azerate is an angle that I think also applies to a lot of other apocalyptic discourse, regardless of specific religious origin of that discourse: that which leads to very bad places when taken literally and projected outward can be constructive if taken figuratively and directed inward.  From this perspective, references to destroying the cosmos refer to the need to break down one’s unreflective default worldview, toward the end of replacing it with something more comprehensive, adequate and/or freeing.  This process naturally manifests as tribulation prior to its full completion though, since it throws one into a state of pervasive doubt and attendant temptations toward hatred and despair – i.e. chaos prior to the re-establishment of a better order. 

The inadequacy of Anti-Cosmic Satanism – at least in my heavily-skewed-by-Dissection-and-thus-not-necessarily-reflective-of-the-218-Current-as-a-whole opinion – lies primarily in its neglect of that rather-important last step.  And yet, at the same time, I think hints of this perspective can be found on Reinkaos itself in the song “Internal Fire,” specifically with its reference to “Atazoth.”  This name is the Order of Nine Angles’ dyslexic spelling of Azathoth (i.e. I am under the impression that there is literature openly attesting that they are the same thing) with the rationale that “at-azoth” means “an increase of azoth,” azoth being the agent of transformation in alchemy. 

So, in other words: keeping the Daemon Sultan asleep may be a good idea if you are fine with the status quo, but if that is dissatisfactory, waking up the Black Dragon of Chaos would mean clearing the path of the obstacles that stand in the way of evolution and actualization.  

Construed that way, Azerate starts to seem rather a lot like some of the Hindu deities like Shiva and Kali, whom plenty of people manage to venerate without construing “the Destroyer” as permission to be a nihilistic fuckhead.  Yes, I know, there’s a Kali song on Reinkaos, but let’s not write off all the actual Indian Shiva and Kali worshippers who are functional people over that one small detail. :)

Summing up then about Azerate: tempting as it may seem to jettison the idea of a Destroyer in this trinity, since doing so might make it easier to explain the whole thing in a way that sounds constructive, it seems to me that destruction does have its place here, both as a force of nature that simply needs to be acknowledged with open eyes, and as a process worth undertaking intentionally for the purposes of replacing that which has become old and inadequate with something new and better. 

The idea mainly goes astray when it drifts into destruction for destruction’s own sake, wherein it can wind up leading into some disturbing territory.  I would argue, however, that this drift can be arrested via proper attention to the other two elements of the trinity.  I will elaborate more on this in the final installment to follow.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Of black dragons and blind idiot gods, part II: Az


Part 2 now of the following 4-part series on my idiosyncratic beliefs about “ultimate reality”:

As mentioned previously, each entry in this series will start off by describing the “primary” entity as I have come to understand it from various sources, and then provide some tie-ins re: why, beyond the “A” and the “z,” I interpret these as all being essentially one being, albeit with three distinguishable facets.

Note about the entry below: as we’re now moving on to a being that originates in a specific culture, rather than in fiction, it seems worth pointing out that I am not a religious specialist in Zoroastrianism, with much of what follows coming more from Michael Ford’s Luciferian take on the demons of that pantheon than from academic/primary/etc. sources.  One should thus keep in mind that what follows is presented primarily because I find the narrative in question, whatever its ultimate true source, to be an apt fit with my beliefs, vs. no claim is being made as to its adequacy in educating anyone about any “real” beliefs pertaining to Zoroastrianism.

* * *

Monday, September 30, 2019

Of black dragons and blind idiot gods, part I: Azathoth


Previously I wrote an entry about Tezcatlipoca in the context of the “dark pagan” element of my practice, i.e. while I still think LaVeyan is a better descriptor of my ethos than other labels, my particular styling of greater magic is outwardly pagan-like as far as positing a relationship with particular entities predicated upon interest in the mythology that surrounds that entity.

The current entry, as well as those that will follow, are about another such entity – one whom I might well go so far as to term the “ultimate reality” in my own idiosyncratic-belief-system-pertaining-to-acausal-matters. 

This entity I have not found to be captured adequately in any single tradition, but a survey of several of the most infamously “dark” streams of occultism enables one to build up a threefold-picture it via the following beings:


Each entry in this series will start off by describing the “primary” entity as I have come to understand it from various sources, and then provide some tie-ins re: why, beyond the “A” and the “z,” I interpret these as all being essentially one being, albeit with three distinguishable facets.  This latter, comparative portion is scarcely a footnote in the current entry, as you’ll see, but will become more substantial in later ones since the greater groundwork laid by then will make the endeavor easier at that point.

All of this will finally be followed by a fourth installment to tie up a few loose ends I foresee, namely:


Stick around and keep reading to find out… ;)

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