In modern Satanism, there is a very strong thread of pragmatism and self-interest. This is very sensible and practical. You should go for all you can in life, and get the very best, most fulfilling life you can. On the other hand, there’s no point barking up the wrong trees, deluding yourself, or yearning for the impossible, if you can avoid it. But some things are genuinely hard to avoid, because they are too deep, or their denial is too overwhelmingly circumstantial. People don’t get dealt equal hands, just a fairly standard set of needs, not all of which can be met for everyone. Anton LaVey was very clear in his admiration for the personal qualities of severely deformed individuals who had managed to put their situation to advantage by being sought after as “circus freaks”, and got people to pay for the privilege of seeing them. The strength, determination and individualism of these people was outstanding.
With some things it’s fine to say “suck it up”, and “bite the bullet”, but there are points at which a person suffers in a way which is so psychologically potent for them, that such advice doesn’t go very far.
What I would like to highlight here is that people face real losses and deprivations in life, inequalities and what would be obviously unfair, if there were any expectation of existence being “fair” (which there clearly cannot be). However, without engaging in sentimental concepts of “everything being for a reason” (which really isn’t the point), the way life and human nature works out, there are often compensations, and ones which only become apparent through hard experience. These sort of areas I think go deeper into universal aspects of spirituality, as they deal with areas of self-realisation which we discover through facing life as it is, sometimes making surprising discoveries in the process.
I use the term “warlock” to describe myself because I am male, and I like the resonances of “warlock” as a Satanist. But I also like the term “witch” for its sexual ambiguity as a male. My inner life is a door, not a thing; a space, not an object. Beyond that door, you’d have to know me beyond words or appearances, or available categories, to see.
I have relationships with deities and spirits, with the “other world”, a world which could be judged “non-existent”, indeed you might well consider it such, if you hadn’t experienced yourself as part of it. Being and nothingness are threads in one cloth, and if you held that cloth to your face I would defy you to tell me which was which. That is the love of life for itself.
If I had experienced a happy, fulfilled younger life of relationship and love, I would not have fallen into the arms of that world. I would not have been seen from the other side, and found a kind of recognition. These bonds don’t come from practice, but from your own soul, that part of your being that recognises the stuff of life as poetry, and poetry as life. Why these things happen, why they are, I do not know, other than that they carry a meaning that bears its own gravity, attracting us and the events of our lives across fields to their ends, however distant and forbidding, hard or verdant, towards the meaning we most deeply share.
With time we see who we are, and lack becomes fullness. We see what we can do. We see how we can love.
The heart is bigger than we think; red as blood, luminous as dreams, warm as our lover’s flesh. And it is open.
There may be many kinds of want, each in their way revealed through different circumstances. The crucible is hollow, the pot useless without its emptiness. The fire is real. And we have lives to live, and meanings that may take time and experience to uncover.
Dancing with Helen Moller by Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons