Light, dark, crowns and reversals

Coronadolores By Cofradía de Ntro. Padre Jesús Nazareno (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons - digitally altered

I’ve been finding it good to do videos at the moment, having found a nice way of recording them on my phone while pacing around the flat, which makes the flow and spontaneity work for me. I’ve been focusing on Spiritual (Theistic) Satanism, and things like Qabalah, and it has been a relief to be able to just focus on the kind of Satanism that speaks to me, without qualifying it with an attempt to (not mis-) represent Satanism more broadly. In fact, since really embracing the sense of Satan as a being, things have really slotted into place, and I’ve come that much closer to finding the next steps of my path. In some ways this was inevitable for me, as I am a polytheist and occultist, and the spiritual (rather than the materialism of more purely LaVeyan inspired Satanism) was bound to play a large part for me.

My last video was more of a video diary entry, and in it I was musing on the meanings of “dark” and “light” which people refer to.

One of my problems with neopaganism was its prosaic use of what were meant to be significant insights. We were told often of how monotheism “demonized” the dark and exulted a sense of the “light”, and how Pagan religions, being far more “natural”, accepted the different parts of life, the dark and the light, the painful and the blissful. We were given the sense of dark and light being a polarity of Nature, embraced by naturalism. Night and day, Summer and Winter, sunrise and sunset, birth and death. But there’s a catch here.

Is all that we have to consider really natural? Are we really accepting suffering equally with happiness (and should we)? Are we, in all our apparent aberrations as human beings, not also Nature? And when you have gone through the cycle of accepting day and night, birth and death (speaking as an ex-nurse, I have never got used to death), with that panacea of “reincarnation” as the supposed solution – have you really done the dark? Even if we talk about “facing the shadow” psychologically, what do we really mean? And what of “evil”, that ultimate emotive term of condemnation? I have no doubt that none of this is as the monotheists claim. But is it really so easy, so clean, so tamable?

As you might guess, my answer is “I don’t think so”. It’s good as far as it goes, but it only really goes as far as the insights of secularism and a tolerant common sense, which is fine, but not profound.

If you want to enter into a spiritual understanding of existence, then the darkness you deal with can’t just be “psychological” or symbolic, and can’t just be natural. And beyond a certain point, neither can magick. My critique here is not of the “Paganism” of old, which while it may be only partly known to us, dealt in grittier, dodgier stuff. It’s more modern, mainstream Paganism that I think hasn’t got it. The monotheisms, while I am opposed to them on pretty fundamental grounds, at least know something is there, and have the guts to call it “evil”, even if they don’t understand it, or its place in self-actualisation, and are antagonistic to the latter.

At some point we have to deal with the alien, the monstrous, that which doesn’t even belong to this Universe, which cannot for that matter be said to either exist nor not exist. This brilliant, lawless darkness we glimpse through the cracks, the points inbetween, and in so doing breathe a freedom we have never known before, an original creativity which lies also at the heart of ourselves. At that point, all bets are off. It is neither evil nor good, but ecstatic, yet in the absence of goodness will always be rationally and conventionally viewed as “evil”.  This freedom is part of what I see as being at the heart of both Satanism and Thelema.

The Left Hand Path has different goals to the Right. It is not “one of the infinite paths up the mountain”. This is no holism or universalism.

The Right Hand Path would have us ascend the Tree of Life, and merge ultimately in egoless union with The One. At least I believe that is the general picture. At the top of that tree (qabalistically) is Kether, The Crown. I don’t see any point in this, the coming here, only to go back, not even to a heaven, but blissful extinction in the unity we were meant to have come from, and should necessarily still be a part of already. So the Left Hand Path (in my view) takes another crown for its system, the sphere of Da’ath (knowledge, I think as gnosis), the gateway in the abyss, to other Universes, to the reverse of the Tree of Life.

Here we have the mystery of time and space, multiple alternate realities, and the labyrinthine, lustrous, black mother of pearl of the tunnels of being. And here the lawless creativity and gratification, the Sabbat of the dark of the Moon, the New, the brilliant, the free.

Here poetry, art, criminality (inevitably though not necessarily), and the savage desire that fires genius and the crackling, reckless impulse of science.

Here a figure dances and glitters between dark and light. An illicit Mercurius; magician, trader, thief, demon.

The fruit of Saturn, and Pan and our deepest dreams.

The new flesh.




  1. I never thought of Qliphoth that way, but it sounds like I probably should look at it that way. The Sephirothic Tree as the tree that leads upwards to God, and the Qliphothic tree as leading towards the other light, the one at the end of the abyss. Or something to that effect.

    Honestly, what you describe as neopagans described the monotheist demonization of dark sounds a bit like how in Ford’s work he sometimes gasses on about how Western culture with muh monotheism suppresses our natural desires. I think I used to believe that Western culture did that until I realized that Western culture has done a shitty job of doing it.

    • it’s a work in progress for me Aleph, I have plenty of research and experimentation to do, but I am re-finding something I found in my early twenties with figures like Austin Osman Spare, but this time I feel like I have matured enough to come back to it (or it to me). I started watching some of M Ford’s videos and found some very helpful, though I can tell there is a significant divergence. I am at base a spiritual sensualist and eroticist, and a lover of the artistic process. Love is very important to me, but selfhood is essential. In many ways I’m closest to being a thelemic demonolater, with an abiding personal connection to the shadow or Typhonian side of Thelema. I get strong, instinctive intuitions on things, and they are usually fruitful for me. I know that Da’ath and the Qliphoth play a key part in this, but the exact balance of it I haven’t determined, though I do see a kind of transcendent black magick in a really sketchy form. Your pleasure, fulfilment and enjoyment should still be central in a sense, but we are complex beings, and our need for freedom and creativity is as deep as any other desire. I am looking for a lawless path in a sense.

      I think in some ways the neopagan (and to an extent the secular) world has hidden behind the sense of “doze stoopid Chrisjuns” and their moral hang ups, and have so avoided the issues, which leaves them open to the same moralism in different forms, and also unequipped to engage with a deeper reality. You can even see it in the way leftists and atheists develop their own kind of religiosity, their own devils and dogmas. Everyone has their monsters. There’d be no creativity without them, and no inner peace until steps are taken towards their understanding.

      Incidentally, while I still feel that LaVey initiated a magical-cultural current of considerable significance, this kind of Satanism has I am quite sure got older roots (though I am not going down the Margaret Murray rabbit hole).

  2. Pingback: the magick mirror of Yesod | Summer Thunder

  3. I love your writing! There’s so little on the Left Hand Path worth looking at. Not to debate, at all, I don’t claim any expertise on such a deep mystery, but for now I feel that the Left Hand Path is not the opposite of climbing the Tree of Life. Well, it might be opposite in what it calls us to do, but the goal may be the same. Union with the Sacred Masculine and Feminine, with all that is. As you say, it’s ecstatic union. Not good or evil. Most definitely outside of the bounds of social norms.

    • Thank you David. The Left Hand Path seems to me to be more of a conversation than a teaching, a conversation with the trans-human in some senses. I started out learning that the LHP was the same end by more direct means, but it depends how you look at things, certainly I’d say it involves mystery and direct experience, and is very individual. I hope you enjoy your journey, wherever it goes 🙂

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