ethics and moralism

I’m not fond of moralism, in fact I think it really sucks, and that underlies quite a lot of things I dislike in politics (aside from the obvious such as genocide and imprisoning people for their views). It has a mechanical, reactive quality which makes it a poor guide to living, or decision making. It also tends to be highly polarising. Ethics on the other hand I see has a fundamental human need, however those ethics are couched.

I think for me ethics appears more reflective, and more in the nature of an enquiry which leads to the personal refinement of values which one rests with and finds peace with, between oneself and the world.

The quality of thinking arising from these two things is I think quite distinct.

Ethics requires reason and reflection (but is not divorced from feeling and pragmatism). The thinking arising from it tends to be rational and open to discourse.

Moralism on the other hand tends to give rise to emotional thinking, has a desperate or dominating quality to it (you could say an authoritarian quality), and tends to be closed to discourse. A moralist discusses in order to change their “opponent’s” mind. An ethical thinker discusses in order to ascertain the truth or validity of an idea.

In politics I think this is one of the distinctions between Leftists and actual (rather than emotionalist) Liberals. Conservative moralism tends towards the traditionalist and religious as far as I can see, and is well understood as such. Leftist moralism seems to be more in the direction of secular ideological belief, and has clothed itself in the terms of social liberalism (to the point that people general believe it to be liberalism). But it is still emotional thinking.

It does of course go far beyond politics, but politics is one of its modern arenas, as amplified by the media.

I think you can tell the difference by seeing how people discuss issues with those of differing views.

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Pride London, 2018

Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of me and my husband’s handfasting, which we did for ourselves in Virginia City NV. It was also this year the date for the Pride March in London. I had not been on the march in years, as it’s a difficult thing to attend for someone in a wheelchair with chronic pain. We last went to watch in 2010. This year I wanted to go for Phil. His original Yahoo ID was “gaypridebear” when we met, and gay pride was very important to him. He was a brave and generous man, and I’m very, very proud of him.

I went with some close friends, and we went with the Queer Alternative group. Though it’s free, you have to register to go on the march, mainly for the sake of organisation and coping with the massive numbers attending. You can go as an individual (while that’s available), but there are a lot of places that go to groups. I’m not much into groups, but they do make the march more interesting, and give a chance for collaborative creativity. The Queer Alternative group were mainly (though not exclusively) Goths, and they were a very welcoming and fun bunch to go with. I left once we got to Piccadilly Circus to get back to my dog at home. Here is a video of us walking to the start of the march.

how you

a devotional poem to The Devil

Maroon Moon

How you made me

One who longed and searched for you

At night as a teenager

Open like split fruit

In my bed


How you

Soaked me in your old image

Smelling of sweat and heat and fur

Trembling with relief and memory

Walking a country road at midnight


How you

Struck me down in the power of rut

And liquid Moon

Pumped into me

In final peace


How you

Made me love in awe

Your horns, your herds

Your Earth, your Hell


How you

Kept the promise

That had bred me

Over and over

Again


How you

Father Devil

Satan, Shaitan


Your warlock

Collared

And leashed

In love and being

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the elements of a path

Three buffaloes heads above water in Si Phan Don By Basile Morin [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Recently I did a video in which I gave a recounting of where I’m at in terms of my work, linking it in part to the four elements. I just wanted to do a little further description, which might show how it integrates for me.

Earth is the most material and external element in many ways, and in earth I would put religion, form, physical practices. This is why I associated Satanism especially with earth for me; not because it is only earth, but because it is my religion. On official documents, I’m a Satanist. On the next census, I’ll be down as a Satanist. If I’m asked my religion, “Satanism” is the accurate answer.

Water is the element of communication with the invisible, the spirit world. It is the “soul” of a spiritual path. In my video I mentioned Michael Bertiaux here, because he has taught me more, more simply, than pretty much anyone in this regard. It’s the poly in polytheism, the image in imagination, the psyche in psychology, the conduit of the liquid messengers of hormones, the moistness, and sweat and spurt of sex.

Fire is the element of individual sovereignty, and I see this exemplified in Thelema, which is a flowering of the Satanic spirit for me. Fire in the belly of the Earth, fire in the unconscious, fire that turns solid to liquid, liquid to vapour, that rips the shell off particles, coalesces, purifies. Fire that eats the world and births every mineral richness.

Air is the element of ideals, application, crisis and peace. I think it is probably the most idiosyncratic side of a path. Air seeks answers, final resolution, a comprehensive sense that can be communicated. This is why it needs to be empty, so as not to entrap in limited meaning that fabricates certainty. I associate this with the Maat Current for me personally, and it is of course my own expression of it as a Satanist.

The Astrology of Satan

Pluto and Cerberus, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons. Digitally treated.

The title of this post might make it sound a bit grand and authoritative, but it is just some associations that I can trace for the being we call “Satan” – The Devil.

A clear reflection can be seen in the astrological Saturn: dweller on the threshold, Lord of this world, tester and opposition that all consciousness must push against in order to actualise work, and thus power. In tradition he is regarded as the “greater malefic”, because, well life is hard (resistant at the material level) and Saturn is all about the bottom line. But Saturn is also the initiator, the gate keeper, the demand of maturity and growth. Saturn by placement shows that part of experience where we feel denied, deficient, unable, failed. But this is only so until we find how to fulfil that area of experience as ourselves, in the way that is truly authentic for us as individuals. This often takes time, another attribute of Saturn.  Liz Greene called him “an old devil”, and she was correct in that.

Another principle we can see in Satan is the astrological Pluto. Lord of the underworld, of death, transformation and phoenix-like revivification. Pluto is the crux of the evolutionary drive of consciousness. This is the “dark” (because initially unconscious) secret of why we come here. It is not the course of “union with God”, the absolute, the all-oneness. Pluto is quite aware of where all comes from, and that the oneness is the ground of things. But Pluto is not about coming into apparent separation and material experience, only to return to what it was in blissful dissolution. Pluto understands that the ground of everything is union already. In this way Pluto can appear “evil” to people, for it is just not about the oneness, and so it can appear opposed to the God that doesn’t actually exist, for oneness can be only exactly oneness. That “evil” is of course in our heads, for that is where our “God” is, an artefact of limited vision. But Pluto doesn’t actually oppose, because nothing can finally oppose it. It is irresistible, and its gift is the shadow and darkness that makes our existence, our life, our experience possible. Just as Saturn ensures balance and growth, boundaries and individual integrity, and repudiates individual chaos and inertia, Pluto holds us to life and the presence of the True Will deep within us. You co-operate with it or get crushed, until you realise it is the beat of your own blood.

A third classical planet that we can see in Satan is Mars. Formerly known as the “lesser malefic”, it is known as the planet of drive, desire, energy, aggression and sex. Mars is your “little Pluto” in a sense, stepped down but very vital. It is the “second hand” of the evolutionary clock of consciousness, and intimately connected to the transformation of energy for human beings.

A fourth principle which can be mentioned is Uranus, though this should be subsumed under Saturn in some ways. Uranus is the planet of innovation, rebellion, deviation and sudden enlightenment. It can be shattering and traumatic, liberating and alienating. It is the outsider’s planet, and the planet of genius, mad or otherwise. It’s the Addams in “The Addams Family”. It is deeply occult.

And lest we forget, The Sun is a Satanic planet, symbolising as it does the sovereignty of consciousness, but the Sun shows the quest in abstract, not the method. Yet as a star it does trace out that individualization of light, thanks to the night and space that surrounds it, and gives it its unique definition in relation to other stars.

The signs associated with these planets are Aries, Leo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Aquarius.

While it is possible to explore other avenues (basically all the other planets, directly or indirectly, plus the Moon’s Nodes), I feel it is better to focus and go deeper.

I hope this is of interest.