more on my philosophy

Maybe “philosophy” is too grand a word. I believe very much in individual fulfilment and responsibility, as most Satanists do. Freedom is important, pleasure, gratification, desire, imagination, choice, self esteem. But life is a great, dynamic thing; passionate and serene, intricately ordered and structured, with veins coursing with the chaotic stuff of life, bound and freed, ridden and riding, a wondrous thing, that seeks ever more.

But what do we seek?

For me love is an immensely important factor in life, just not the castrated “love” of some religious traditions. There is a saying: “if you cannot curse, you cannot cure”. That which can powerfully do good can also harm. When we create we also destroy. When we love, ever more deeply, we love with all of ourselves. It is not a walk in the park. It’s not a meditation retreat. It is hazardous, a gamble, that takes our all. So love is very great in my estimation.

If part of our goal is mastery and self-mastery (and I think it is), it is also to be remembered that the deeper we go, the more our methods can look like madness, and the wisdom (in the making) of our flesh and soul look like foolishness. Except we follow the deepest course, with pure intent, the purest instinct for the deepest fulfilment.

We don’t live in our heads. We don’t live in the conscious mind, even if we must have this spark of awareness here, making sense of all this. We live across and between worlds, and our greatness, your greatness, my greatness, is found in this deepest stirring to go beyond ourselves, in the mystery of love. Undone, pure, bliss.

As poetry speaks truth, so love lives life.

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Eros Psyche Galate – by Jean Fontayne (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

what “self” means to you

I came to a realisation recently, about the “self” that I feel pride and worth in.

When I was very young I led a quite creative, bohemian life for a while. I painted and drew a great deal, and threw myself into meditation, magical practices and journaling, and I did access a good deal of creativity, and even seemed to enthuse others with an expressive spirit at times, but I was actually deeply unhappy. I had a very definite “self”, and a productive one, but I was unhappy because what really mattered to me was love. And I was very, very lonely.

It’s not uncommon for me to say to my loved ones that I wish to do or achieve things for them, and I do sometimes get the response that I should do it for myself. I understand why they say that, because self-esteem is very important. It can seem like I might be neglecting myself in some way, but what I realise is that I am working to actualize my deeper self. The self I truly value, love, and feel good in is the self that loves my loved ones, has those bonds with them, and lives in the capacity to love. This may be why Freya is my Heathen patroness, and Venus is my astrological chart ruler. I know it can be different for other people, but for me that is how it is, and it’s important for me to understand that about myself.

Love has always been the central reality of life for me, for as long as I can remember. Not the sterilised “love” of some kinds of exoteric religious teachings, and more than just the romantic type, which can be many things. But the spiritual heart of the erotic, rooted in soul, body and heart, that cannot be scripted, bound by a narrative, status or any power other than itself, infused with the energy of Life itself, seeking its true fulfilment, that has always been the meaning of life for me.

And that is why I am as I am, and I love as I do.

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Satanism, Paganism and Nature

Two years ago I left Paganism, and by May 1st of that year I had declared myself a Satanist.

It was good to make the break with Paganism, and I have no regrets about that, or becoming a Satanist. After two years of rest from the online tangle of neopaganism, and all the community roleplaying, I feel like I can look at things a little more neutrally though, and recognise a great deal of common ground between Satanism and Paganism. Having remained a polytheist with a deep interest in the occult has probably helped there admittedly.

When people used to ask me about modern Paganism, I used to point to two things which didn’t define it, but which one way or another described modern Paganism as far as I could see. I used to say that modern Paganism tended to be polytheistic and/or Nature centred as a spirituality. You could find Pagan paths that were one, the other or both, but really rather few that were neither.

There is of course a major part of modern Satanism which is atheistic, but there are whole sections of neopganism which are at the least non-theistic in essence. Then again, there are other parts of Satanism which are polytheistic or henotheistic. I maintain that the most natural default for Satanism is agnostic, as this leaves all options open for the individual to determine themselves. Personal experience is the royal road of Satanism, and actually this seems to be what a lot of neopagans are looking for in Paganism too.

The reverence for Nature, while not universal within Paganism, is quite prominent. Within Satanism Nature is pretty much the bottom line, and is one of the things reflected in the acceptance of carnality and fulfilment of the whole person. Satanists in general have a love of Nature, and of our own deepest nature. On the other hand, Satanists recognise our capacity to negate and seemingly go against Nature, as part of our creative, individuating essence. But this level of sophistication is part of Nature itself, when seen in a wider perspective.

So I see a good deal of commonality between the phenomena of modern Satanism and Paganism, and what people are looking for in both. That is something I celebrate and enjoy.

Here is a clip of the front man of the black metal band Inquisition taking about Satanism, which my friend Aleph turned me on to. I really liked it.

I liked the way he talks about love, showing that it is important for him, but not making a defining badge out of the concept. I put love very central in my own spirituality, but I leave it to others to discover their own terms and understandings. I like the way he brings everything down to the individual, without prior conditions in essence, to the open minded enquiry into Nature. I can see that we are experiencing some of the same thing here.

What I can also say now, after two years, and a reconciliation with Paganism, is that I feel an increasing sense of the “personage” of Satan, alongside the concept or symbol, particularly transitional, subtle, metaphorical, open, free, fearless, clear. As with everything for me, it is the direct experience that counts, rather than the formal sense or definition, for this is where we find the reality of things. This is good.

Meanwhile I feel a renewed sense of connection with deities and Nature.

Bon voyage, and Hail Satan.

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The witches Sabbath by Luis Ricardo Falero [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

16th February 2017: 9th paragraph edited.

Mindful and Satanic

It’s been a good few days, quite a few, of stability and contentment, which is a lovely thing.

Over the last year I’ve drawn a lot on my polytheism, and links with my Heathen deities especially. I’ve needed them, they’ve been there. Others have been there too, such as my Egyptian “daemonic father”. “Gratitude” is too prosaic a word to describe what you feel for the presence of deities within your life, too commonplace a word for the bond, but the feeling is deep and free.

I’ve come to really value mindfulness, a mental practice and state that I first came upon decades ago in connection with Theravada Buddhism, though it also forms part of Reiki practice and training, and pretty much all Asian derived meditation techniques. The capacity to maintain mental balance, and not be overwhelmed by powerful emotions, thoughts and energies is a good skill for anyone, but it is essential for a magician or someone going through powerful experiences of personal growth, as powerful emotions and energies can be guaranteed in these situations at some point, and you have to be able to maintain your composure as you choose, in order to be able to function properly.

I am not a Buddhist, and do not subscribe to the wider Buddhist philosophy, but the traditional image of the Buddha is a good symbol of mindfulness for me, and I do use it.

In addition to this, the figure of Satan emerges as a fine focus of self-actualisation, pulling together my independent worth and stance, which is very good for someone as inclined to relationship and surrender as I am. No regrets there, not at all, as love is so important to me. But Satan for me matches both the irreducible clarity of selfhood, and clarity of mind that can cope with all of our nature.

Surrender blissfully as you wish, you will not lose that jewel-like self.

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bad girls and crimson lads

Astrology can be a very rewarding study, as it deals in a psychological language that subjectively correlates with our inner and outer lives. It does this in a way which is not rationally explainable, but due to its potency it seems to dig down into Nature. For the receptive astrologer it can illuminate principles that structure experience, and elements of identity in a luminous manner. It is not a science, nor a rational study, but it is real in the same sense that poetry and artistic meaning are. Its archaic interaction with our lives is one of the reasons I consider it akin to magick and divination. Magick and astrology both inhabit an intermediate, ensouled world between matter, body and psyche.

Astrology uses the planets and other astronomical bodies, and associates these with principles which it links to the gods of mythology (most commonly, though not exclusively Roman). These might not be understood in the way that a hard polytheist would, but they nevertheless carry an influence which can follow mythological themes and structures, in poetic recombinations. This is why exploring your natal chart can almost seem like the discovery of your own, personal sacred themes, as if you were discovering an unwritten mythology, which yet resonates with larger themes, but without absorbing or replacing the individual life and its meaning.

I’ve had some interesting experiences with this kind of thing. One of the challenges in my own chart lies in a square (90° aspect) I have between The Moon and Venus (the latter being on the IC). The square is generally consider a “difficult” or challenging aspect, as the planetary energies have conflicting modes of expression, due to the signs they are in. So for instance one may express impulsively and spontaneously, and the other express cautiously and sensitively, but being linked, they have to learn how to get the combinations of their energies “right”. In the case of the Moon and Venus, these are both archetypally feminine energies, and very compatible simply as energies, but the square aspect creates an awkwardness, with my responsive and reflective, receptive Moon nature being independent and spontaneous, and my more romantic, sensual and relating nature being protective and nurturing. I’m very Moon-Venus by nature, but it takes work to understand my own awkwardnesses and sensitivities, insecurities etc.

The challenge is further elucidated by my Moon being conjunct both Eris and Black Moon Lilith*. It’s important for me to be able to reconcile both my Venus (which is also my chart ruler) and the complex of Moon, Black Moon and Eris, for me to be myself most deeply, and have a full life where I fulfil my nature and “purpose”.

Recognising the necessary relationship (for squares are powerful relationships, and as necessary as any other) between Black Moon Lilith/Moon and Venus has itself been very important for me in understanding myself. Darkstar Astrology says the following about the conjunction:

“Moon conjunct Lilith fuses two ‘moons’ together. So we get the mother and the anti-mother in one being. I think it becomes rather like the Black Madonna, it is extra potent and a Virgo archetype. This combination has to successfully merge the paradox of the virgin and the whore or the very worst manifestation of Lilith can surface. At its best this is sheer priestess and occult ability at the highest level. The conjunction can work as a hard or soft aspect, so when it is good it is very good, but when it is bad it is terrible”

Darkstar Astrology

Yup, I get that. In fact it’s been one of the themes of my life, first surviving (in my earlier life), and then understanding this, and its meaning for me.

The connection with this in perception came about after I had come to relate to a deity that isn’t found in astrology at present though, the Thelemic goddess Babalon. This itself was accompanied by events in my life, which led me to search inwardly. Our lives are driven from deep within us at crucial points. Babalon is based upon a reinterpretation of The Whore of Babylon, and she is both a Venusian goddess, and also a transformative spiritual agent with “demonic” (or daemonic) associations. The above mentioned merging of “the paradox of the virgin and whore” is apparent in her qualities, for she is both deeply sexual and powerfully spiritual, and evokes Virgo’s self-possession, but with Scorpio’s transformative and taboo inheritance thrown in.

I knew Babalon was important to the person I most deeply was, and knew I had to become. Now I can see it in my natal chart, and the patterns fall into place still more. Love, nurturance, sexuality, spiritual transformation and the most raw forces of life and desire are all called forth, to confront shadow, and truly love.

Virgo and Scorpio are placed either side of Libra, the Venusian sign most associated with relationship and balance. In terms of astrological rulerships of signs, we have the planets Venus and Mars, combined under the auspices of Mercury/Hermes.

Babalon is an archetype of the “Scarlet Woman” in Crowley’s system, but this same energy can and does manifest through males. I like to call the male counterpart “crimson lads”, but that’s just a little poetic license.

In astrology, if you follow intuition, feeling, instinct and creativity, you can come to listen to its language more personally. At the right time, this can help to illuminate our authentic experience and natures.

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Star of Babalon

* I’ve written before on the subject of Black Moon Lilith, and this “imaginary Earth” is a fascinating astrological point that can resonate on many levels.

metamorphic quiet

Good morning 2017.

The light grows brighter and clearer, through the translucent casing of the chrysalis. I know something with a certainty, though I don’t yet know what it is. It comes from too deep to know exactly, but it is me.

A lot has changed for me over a period of time, very intensely.  I feel a sense of gratitude to be here. I feel almost like a child again, and like an animal. I breath freer.

I have struggled over the past year, as I imagine a moth would struggle within its casing, on the way from caterpillar to moth, a process deeper than itself, but so essentially itself. Solve et coagula.

A lot of things have changed on the inside, or maybe they have re-formed, reverted, awoken. Years, decades of faulty expectations, and accommodation with untruths, have fallen away, slowly or suddenly.

A lot of things I would have to say now, and that I see, would not go well with the “LGBT community” of which I was a part for about 17 years. Much might also be unwelcome for a lot of the Pagan community that I used to mix with. I feel like I have come to a reconciliation, a peace, with reality, both my own and the world’s, and that even when it is difficult or unflattering for myself. I feel relieved. I can start to get on now, as myself, who and what I am.

If you’ve read my blog over the last year, you’ll know that my sexual identification is no longer “gay”, though it is overwhelmingly homosexual. I think there are many different kinds of homosexual individuals, and we can be quite different in our natures, and we certainly don’t fit a political box. As far as identity politics is concerned, my advice is “if you want happiness, just get out”, because politics will not make you happy.

Politically I find myself at a delightful if surprising point. Looking at the UK I realise that if there were an election tomorrow I would not be able to vote for the Labour Party as it stands, with its ideological bent, the barely disguised neo-marxism of its leader and his faction, its feminism and identity politics. I could not vote for the Greens for similar (if more fuzzily expressed) reasons, and the fact that they shelter former Satanic Ritual Abuse fanatics. I could not vote for the Liberal Democrats, because they haven’t a clue as to what liberalism is, and they oppose democracy in overtly wanting to prevent the popular decision to leave the EU. None of them get my vote.

That basically leaves the Conservatives and UKIP, or not voting. Never thought I’d say that, but then I lived a good deal of my life brain washed by the Left. I don’t consider myself to be right-wing, but neither do I consider “right-wing” an insult. It’s only the extremes that are fucked, that’s equally for both Left and Right.

I’d actually consider myself a classical liberal, though I have a lot of fellow feeling for Libertarians. It’s funny that the people I find most common cause with now are conservatives and libertarians, but then I really agree with Jordan Peterson that conservatives and liberals (as in old fashioned liberals) need each other, and can learn from each other. Liberals and conservatives need to drop the habits, and start listening and talking. The only people who seem incapable of listening or teaching are the Left. They really do seem too far down the road of moral cultism.

It’s telling that the people I actually listen to regularly are Sargon of Akkad and Bearing, while I find Gavin McInnes a continual delight, and Milo just too good not to watch, for all the people he pisses off. It’s actually Sargon that I agree with most closely, and Milo the least, but I’d rather have stimulation, entertainment and ideas, rather than agreement and comfort within an echo chamber. One thing I will say though, is that while I really despise identity politics, I find it unfortunate in the extreme that transfolk have only just got on the train as it went over the cliff. I still feel a lot of respect and support for transfolk, but I think they are going to have to wrest their campaigns back from the SJWs* that would turn them into just another feather in their war caps. I’ve said this before, but if some identifies for life as a man or woman, acts as one, dresses as one, pays the price of one, then ferfucksake, give them credit. Life is hard enough, for everyone. Just give ’em the respect they deserve. But when it comes to the madness of people claiming there aren’t two sexes, or that you can have unlimited psychological genders and that’s still going to be socially intelligible, well really the people screaming about this are not your friends, because they are trying to prize you, and everyone else, away from reality, and no one is going to be happy or fulfilled by that, even if they managed to crowbar all of us off into space. So I see the SJWs using transfolk as their ideological battle standard, and the movement against SJWs then tearing that down, and I can see it’s inevitable, but please transfolk, get better representation than these arseholes, because at the end of the day they are not your friends.

Spiritually, I will have more to talk about in future, just as I will about sexuality and sexual identity, but that is for another day. All in good time.

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A burnet moth (Zygaena sp.) emerging from its chrysalis. By Olkavk76 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

* SJW = “social justice warrior” a pejorative term for the illiberal, self-righteous, moralistic activists that we see on college campuses and social media, most commonly associated with identity politics

for Jake

I’m just letting my readers know that on 7th December 2016, our son Jacob died. He was 23. He was awesome, and we were and are so proud of him. Quietly very intelligent and brave, a good man. He wanted to be a cop. He’d have been the best kind of cop. A great, quiet, intelligent heart. He was a piece of ours.

Where is he? Where is our fine young man?

Here

In here, in here

 

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