I Am That I Am. I Will Be What I Will Become.

I wanted to blog about some self analysis I’ve been tossing around ideas and stories about. I am currently homeless/couch-surfing in NYC after a fire code issue affected my housing in Salem. I do not have the money saved or income available to get a new place so I came back to the NYC job market for a bit.

That lead me to think about how I am a person who has developed a stress disorder involving money, employment, and housing. (Join the club, right?) It is particularly difficult to leave situations in housing and employment that I loved. And under these conditions is when my autistic behavior becomes much more prevalent.

From the outside I seem incapable of making decisions on nearly anything. This is because I am mentally processing every decision presented to me in extremely detailed and lengthy ways while also compulsively trying to gather more data to help make the most sustainable decision.  For things that are simple or enjoyable to other people, like food, being presented with a decision of what to eat can even become stressful when I am already experiencing a meditative depth of analysis over my current stress and hardship.

Because my brain is busy background running data on more pressing issues I have difficulty feeling any enthusiasm at all to try and process a decision such as “what do you want to eat?” For me, this can then be worsened by feeling pressured to make a decision on a topic I’ve specifically expressed no wish to be responsible for. This can then be compunded when I do make a decision on the subject just to avoid more questioning and that is met with anything less than the encouragement my decision-under-duress deserves. I.e. if you’re one of those people who asks “where do you want to eat?” And keeps asking for more input from me than I’m expressing consent to give, and then balks at whatever choice you force me to make you’re an asshole if you do it again after reading this.

Feeling as if your mind is already hyper processing decisions important to you , it’s very difficult to be responsible for petty decisions that affect others too.  This is where, as an atypical person,  I have to set boundaries that aren’t socially typical. After I’ve set those boundaries clearly and expressed my non-consent to negotiate them at that time further prodding feels like an attack. Yes, even to something such as a discussion about where to eat. I find that some people, despite the narrative they tell themselves, instinctually intentionally antagonize or trigger these feelings in me over simple decisions because then they can use my “irrational” threat response as an example of my social incompetence. They also then get to indulge in gaslighting me for my threat response to such a “small” boundary being pushed. Rest assured, if I seem to break down over a seemingly small and inconsequential decision it says more about the unseen motivations and intentions I’ve been experiencing and often with that specific person or situation than my ability to cope with life or stabilize shortly.

This leads me into the foundation of what I think is wrong with mental health therapy and approaches to autism. When we approach  behavioral traits solely as pathologies we open the door to abusive people who seek to control people whose talents may otherwise be undiscovered and behaviors that are otherwise easily accommodated.

As a Queer Satanist obviously my philosophical approach to accommodating difference is to enthusiastically encourage autonomy even and perhaps especially when it makes people socially uncomfortable but is otherwise personal and doesn’t realistically affect anyone negatively. This includes the behavioral traits of atypical people. If I ask a “friend” to refrain from physical contact even though they are used to hugging me it is not “weird ” and it is not “antisocial”. It is simply a different social structure, one that I would like to advocate for, where stigma is not attached to atypical social interaction. When you understand that someone is a Queer Spectrum Satanist you expect them to perhaps be different from you,  correct? Stating concise boundaries and preferences that aren’t socially expected or normalized yet would then logically be a part of that. Respectful people, people who I enjoy, appreciate and accommodate my “quirks” and learn how to challenge me without using shame or punishment as motivators towards “normalcy”. If our mental health care culture were more focused on this approach I believe that anxiety and depression along with symptoms of PTSD among atypical people would be much lower.

When I am experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression I tend to auto-pilot. I experience depersonalization which is the experience of “watching yourself” from without. I experience life like a program I am running or watching while I am trying to work out equations that I need to solve. Disrupting the program I am running repeatedly or with minutia leads to feeling like I am under siege and my threat levels raise beyond what others find appropriate or socially acceptable for a situation.  Note that I never agree with notions of what is “appropriate ” or “socially acceptable” unless I’ve myself concluded that those notions serve a reasonable mutually beneficial purpose.  This is all a very long way to remind you that I’m not one for respectability politics no matter what banner they hide behind.

I’ll leave you with a couple of scenarios to think about your reaction to;

If a friend tells you to stop hugging or touching them and explains that they can’t deal with the contact. Stop. Do not argue, do not guilt, do not shame. If the circumstances change in the future they will let you know, if they don’t it is still their right to refuse physical contact. Do not touch or hug them anyway.

If a colleague tells you they are experiencing high anxiety and emotional responses and need concise professional communication from you for a while it is not an invitation to respond as if their statement of boundaries were a personal attack. It’s not time to say “I’m under a lot of stress too” and behave as if they’ve done something wrong in expressing that. It is simply time to honor a reasonable request.

We’ve normalized social conformity autocratically dictated by a very specific kind of personality type, one type over others. I find this unacceptable.

Non Serviam

Leviathan; Ritual March 24, 2018 #ISSTDAC18

The loss of autonomy and individuality is the underlying fear conflict in tales of cosmic horror. H.P. Lovecraft decribed humanity in terms of degrees of puppetry operated and influenced by massive consciousnesses who represent various degrees and combinations of order and chaos and whisper to humanity through dreams and symbols. The Alien films are shaping up into a story of a superior alien intellect that reproduces and evolves by sending emissaries, bio-engineered priests, into the universe to seed planets with DNA in order to harvest and incorporate the mutations and life experiences back into the collective mind later. The weirwood trees, the Starks, The Children of the Forest, and the White Walkers (or Others) themselves are all metaphors for collective unconscious degrees or expressions in Game of Thrones. These stories typically associate these devices or symbols with water or the sea (because it is vast, dark,  rythmic, unknown,  and alien) and also with winter, ice, and therefore death. Viewing the collective consciousness as pure instinct and emotion controlled by the thoughts of the many it makes poetic sense that Cthulu, or Leviathan, would reside in the sea from which to be called forth from the birthplace of life and consciousness onto aspects of the world that have become too narcissistic and autocratic. The sea, like the stars that we draw veils over with our streetlights and cities, reminds us that we are very small in actuality. Our lives and individual daily actions matter very little to anyone but us and our loved ones.

Ascend

I perform rituals without conceptualizing them until I’ve nearly completed them. Then the experience becomes one of delight as I step back and say “Oh, is that what I’m up to?… cool”. I make preparations months and sometimes years ahead. This sounds more complicated than it is (for me) because I’m always collecting and developing the most important ingredients; community, sacrifice, and intent. I’m no longer able to distinguish how much of how I experience life is on auto-pilot through the story arch and how much of it is a series of deliberate momentary decisions that “seemed like the perfect thing at the time”. Ritual and magick are forms of art, and in that way they are reflections of the socio-political cycle of humanity measured in context of the scale of the story. When you know the appropriate scale of the story you want to tell and you have an encyclopedia of symbols and characters to apply to it the stories write themselves and the paintings are finished nearly before your brush strokes the paper.

I often like to take a modern approach to ritual. I like including the technology at our fingertips which is bringing us the reality of a collective consciousness. Delving into the collective consciousness is not threatening to me as it is for many (at best it gets annoying). I’ve  crawled out of the gutters and established my individual humanity sufficiently enough that I don’t fear being “sullied” by going back. I am a man who isn’t afraid of his beast because it is my companion and familiar, and friend. I don’t work against my emotions and instincts, but with and under their guidance.

I performed a ritual on the Saturday of March 24th 2018 across all of my social media and posts in support of our efforts to educate the world on the insidiously abusive, ritualistic, and superstitious practices and deceptions of the ISSTD. Most of my posts across my media that day and following shortly after are tied to the ritual, as was my experience of the day itself. Feel free to stalk them and find Easter eggs of symbolism and relevance.

Seeking wisdom and intent.

Trees, the tree of knowledge, etc. They may (probably) have a type of consciousness that is like a neuronet or web. Or the internet and social media… in that way we have a symbol of an organism that perfectly represents evolution. Roots from ancestors and their cultures, or the manifestations of technology leading to this moment and this OS, and limbs and branches that represent a myriad of adaptations and programs vying for their niche. Sick limbs and leaves are choked off to wither when they stop performing and threaten to invite rot into the main body. I start noticing trees and webs and networks symbolically when I am asking the collective what the most balanced course of action is. I dissociate from my personal interests and investments and ask Other Memory for its council.

A discarded black glove on a green bench pointing to a tree with roots under the foundation of a house

Gathering community. 

I spend my time choosing communities to participate in and encouraging what I like about them.  I visited local businesses to see and be seen as a representative.  If I can help a business or organization sell or promote  things I like I’ve made a step towards an ally in creating a world I like. By increasing the demand for products and businesses that inspire or entertain me I’ve also been seen paying my community back or providing an offering in good faith and mutual partnership on a goal. In this case my goal is to spike my local visibility both about town and on social media where intrigue may lead to strangers being curious about why I oppose the ISSTD based on my recent posts.

Preparing sacrifice(s)

There’s always some moron or 10 who deserve it. The art is in how you neutralize them. I focus on language like neutralize instead of destroy and justice instead of vengeance, as my emotional investment in ritual isn’t about my personal slights and feelings and rage isn’t my style or color very often. The larger goal I’ve set here as my intent is what matters to all of the community I am drawing about me here.

In this case I needed some delicious posts that would drive my page traffic and discussion. People love some good shit posts featuring moronic self confidence in the face of a stupid and mediocre personal reality.  I reached into my barrel and pulled out a few monkeys to dance for me, and then I gave them a costume to dance in and “encouraged” them when they started doing monkey things like flinging shit and compulsively masturbating.

#blocked #triggered #fragilemasculinity

I did this with a few manbabies that are all too easy to antagonize and I still have a few sacrifices in the pot, so to say, that may unfold over the next few weeks. They will eventually again draw attention back to my page and #ISSTDAC18 posts. If they come to fruition satisfactorily I will post about them in a fashion that reveals them as the pennies for the ferryman they were intended to be. Given the traffic on the posts (cause people love finding and following the gossip) the plan is clearly to keep the posts pretty active until I’ve reached the next stage… and then keep hammering back at ISSTD awareness.

Self appointed High Priest of failure of relevance, wit, or wisdom. I win when they get triggered and block me.

Statement of intent. 

Drop it in a video, a note, a song, a poem… choose a medium and declare your intent. In this case my intent was to keep my social media active enough to double back and edit my IG and Facebook posts as sacrifices and community good will and direction to relate to the action going on in Chicago for the ISSTD conference.

Checklist. Target ISSTD #ISSTDAC18

My opposition to the ISSTD is that identity construction should be a personal process and should not be tampered with in abusive and non-consensual ways upon vulnerable people especially, but anyone in general. I believe that we all experience life and identity  as a series of characters we play that make use of the resources at our disposal at that time. In the strictest sense I do believe people can have the experience of having multiple “personalities”, I just don’t think that it is really all that unique or even noticeable in most people or that they are a separate consciousness from your total self. This is simply because many people never do the shadow work necessary to make deliberate decisions about their identity and why they have selected it or let it be selected for them. In this context my overall philosophy is that we need to stop pathologizing ALL forms of identity expression and design therapies around allowing people to work out their problems in tandem and in context of their identity and not in spite of or in mere tolerance of it. I think of many people in terms of having purchased “ready to wear” or “off the rack” identities. Some of us, due to neurodiversity or personal makeup and ability tend to more vibrant and archetypal characters. The charlatans in ISSTD that we have been illuminating for years now are Frankensteins creating broken, destructive, and hurt identities in people simply because they can profit from it while stamping out or limiting the creative expression of full human identity that so many of them are discomforted by. These are banal, repressed, and incomplete people themselves (like milquetoast religious leaders) who have come to believe that their stunted expression of idenity and reason are a standard to achieve instead of leave in the sale bin. I will not serve. #resist

Horned

Here’s some music I like with this post;

 

 

I Want to Aggressively Punish God; A Facilitated Communication

“I’m making illustrations for chapbooks to be sold exclusively through The Satanic Temple in Salem. This one is for a Grey Faction booklet on The Strange Death of Jude Mirra (see the report on GreyFaction.org for that story). “I want to aggressively punish god” was a statement supposedly made by the non-verbal Jude Mirra via the debunked method of “facilitated communication.” -Lucien Greaves

I have never been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, (that I know of) but I do suspect that I may be on the spectrum. I spent a lot of time in and out of specialists offices for both my school and home life. That coupled with how my generation were underdiagnosed in regards to autism because we didn’t understand it as we do now and what I know and relate to from my spectrum friends and how I learn from people makes me fairly certain of the possibility.

What I do remember is that there was an autistic kid, Scott, in my class in third grade, and that I was particularly inclined to bully him and didn’t understand why it wasn’t OK to do so because he clearly behaved worse than me and people bullied me so… One time my mom got me some pointy new cowboy boots for a school field trip to a forest park or something. I don’t remember where because while we were in line to get on the bus that morning Scott started biting his fist and making screeching noises. He did this sometimes and it would really upset me, so I kicked him to shut him up. My teacher was appalled that I didn’t seem to feel remorse for bruising his shin with the point of my boot. The school left for the field trip that day while I had to stay in a seat in the principals office. My parents left me there all day and then I’m sure my stepdad beat me when I got home.

Then the testing started. My elementary school was small, so they brought in a whole separate trailer and parked it next to the school. They tested my intelligence and were quite impressed with it. That was part of the stuff my mother would beam about when she told me what was going on. The parts that she was clearly trying to downplay or rationalize revolved around denying that I could possibly have anything like Antisocial Personality Disorder (which you may be aware is also known as sociopathy or in criminal cases psychopathy and is much reviled with righteous furor…) citing reasons centered on my love of animals and my interest in teens and adults and their conversations and activities over those of my peers simply because kids were often beneath my interest level or abilities.

I also don’t know if they ever finalized Antisocial Personality Disorder as my diagnosis, but from  that point on it was clearly enough for my teacher, who went out of her way to make sure everyone knew it was OK to be mean to me. It was also clearly a note of speculation in my file, at least, considering the amount of therapy and testing I kept having to endure until about 5th grade when my mother put me in Christian School. They were always asking me things about how I knew things, or how I felt about the feelings of the people around me.

At this point I want to pause and invite you to find out that Antisocial Personality Disorder is predominantly diagnosed in boys and men, while things like Dissociative Identity Disorder are predominantly diagnosed in women. Then I’d like you to ruminate on how we socialize boys and girls differently and what gendered behaviors we find appropriate for boys verses girls. We do this to all kids, neurotypical or atypical… I’d like to see more professionals exploring these relationships to personality “disorders” and their intersections a little more critically from a cultural standpoint… I finish this paragraph 10 days after another school shooting that occurred in what is my (…) worst mental health month on the only day that I look forward to on that month. Monsters are monsters, but sometimes I see them as if in a mirror of myself on the wrong path from long ago…

Whatever they decided about me was clearly potentially horrific and I always sensed a certain bizarre hyperbolic alarm from adults every time I got caught in a lie or breaking a rule or being disobedient.  To be fair, after all of the abuse Mrs. Arnold kicked off for me for the rest of my life and then later exacerbated by the abuse I started receiving for being Queer I can safely say that if there is a sociopathy spectrum of some sort I was well in the heavy side of it in my teens and early 20s. In short, being as talented beyond my years with understanding context and body language as I was I absolutely sensed that there was something both very special and very frightening to adults about me. There is no mystery why boys like me daydream of werewolves and becoming… something else that visually becomes wild and scary and something Other, cause that’s how we were treated.

I’d also like you to pause here and consider that werewolf trials often coincide with witch trials historically but focus predominantly on… men, then ruminate again on gendered cultural expectations and norms in relation to people who have difficulty with cultural traditions that don’t seem logical or “fair”.

My mother had her own mental health problems. Putting me in Christian School was around the beginning of her attempt to self medicate with religious fanaticism. As you perhaps can imagine, it wasn’t long before everything I did was “demonic” and everything I liked was “Satanic”. This was also right in the middle of The Satanic Panic. She often threatened to have me put in a juvenile delinquent home and told me she could even when I pointed out that I’d have had to break a law first before they’d take me. She was probably right, they would have locked me up. I suspect that one way or another I may not have survived it. I understood that I was a monster that everyone was just waiting to catch, so I sought to understand what was so scary about me… One time my mother told me that her therapist said that I drew the things I did (I used to draw zombies a lot) because I was “drawing what’s inside of me” and my mother took that to mean that I was dead inside, specifically that my soul was dead. Yes, she said that to me. I was about 13,  I think.

Jude Mirra certainly didn’t write “I want to aggressively punish god“, his therapists and mom did that using a Ouija board or whatever equivalent the discreditied “facilitated communication” consisted of. Jude Mirra was an autistic child in a society with a systemically abusive tendency towards children in general and neuro-diverse or poor kids in particular. I bristle at the discussion which prioritzes “curing” or diagnosing autism over understanding and incorporating it as a social variant.

Jude Mirra didn’t write that,  so I will write it for him.

I Want to Aggressively Punish “God” and every thinly veiled moralistic panic that shaped and traumatized me into the kind of righteous she-wolf those fuckers always treated me as… and inadvertently trained me how to excel at.

I’d like to dedicate a song to the folks I find in my past files when I start looking through them. Enjoy;

 

 

 

Unholy Covenant Ritual; 2/18/2018 Defiance at The Muse.

On February 18 2018 The Satanic Temple of NYC hosted the event Defiance at The Muse in NYC. It was a fantastic event and the NYC chapter council excluding myself really curated and executed flawlessly and we look forward to replicating and growing in the future.  

Pre event meeting

I wanted to share some details of the ritual I performed at the event and some of the inspiration and symbolism that went into its intent.

Myself and a comrade negotiated, imagined, and created the ritual as a nuanced alternative to “unbaptisms” for those of us who have long ago already rejected the dogma of non-consensual religious tradition and no longer require catharsis of that nature (religions that indoctrinate by threatening punishment for disbelief or personal sovereignty are abusive and non-consensual by nature).

Unholy Covenant Ritual;

Participants; Ideally 13, who represent 12 archetypes of humanity and the Influencer and Director (priests).  The Influencer priest represents raw chaotic metaphor and things not entirely human or even “uncanny valley” human (they are also slightly outside of the 12 archetypes of humanity while the Director is still a part of humanity wholly), and the Director priest represents historic accuracy and recollection. For this ritual given the players I took the Influencer role contextualized as the Magician or Shaman and Belle took the Director role (in this cast I would contextualize this as The High Priestess or Crone. 

For the Influencer I envisioned androgynous clothing that was also soft, elastic, and drapey to reflect the nature of flux, chaos, evolution, and hybridization that would befit a thirteenth player in the 12 archetypes set… one that has yet to settle into a wholly recognizable or consistently human role. Soft leathers and frayed, assymetrical, long, fitted knits over harem or tai pants accompanied by a staff or cane and a raven skull necklace speak to the cultural scavenger and collector overtones of this character and their implied ability to battle utilizing hard earned lessons from the physical world. Ceremonial daggers or knives can also (in addition to the staff or cane) be displayed on the wardrobe sheathed or tucked in belts or boots.

Shadow Influencer
Mid ritual

Continue reading “Unholy Covenant Ritual; 2/18/2018 Defiance at The Muse.”

Post-Satanist Transhumanism

I have two complimentary religions; I am a Satanist in my pragmatic daily life and goals, and I am a Transhumanist concerning my faith and “spirituality” concerning our future potential.

Humanity chooses archetypes by spending cultural currency on the most widely acceptable character in relation to our collective social and environmental need for evolution. This is a cyclical process that occurs on a large scale over and over again in human history in relation to largescale lifestyle changes usually initiated by new technology or philosophies (or the lack of them).  This process is the foundation of every fiction, artistic and religious, that we love. The best fictions are the ones that tell stories that transcend the context of the time they were written and still resonate decades or centuries later because they are the most human ones. With the right combination of inherent honed abilities, scene scaling, and shadow-work  understanding the basics of these archetypes that humans instinctually playact and tell stories of (again including mythology/religions here) can give a nearly prescient insight (both emotional and rational) into how any series of events will play out. We’re great at new embellishments but most of us are resistant to change the storyline altogether. It is for these reasons that I think there is as much to be gleaned and emulated from great fiction and art as there is from sociological research and political or religious media messaging. I.E. truly understanding religion, or politics, or your own social circle interactions require an understanding of all of the context surrounding it, creative, intellectual, political and intercultural. 

My religion is Satanism in service of accomplishing transhumanist goals. Another way to put it is that I am a Satanic Transhumanist whose faith mission is to ascend as a Transhuman Satanist or Luciferian where I join other peer archetypes such as Buddhist, Christian, Atheist, Pagan (etc) Transhumans in what is surely the foundation of the universe that Dune, Battlestar Gallactica 2004, or Star Trek began to imagine for us. My goals as a Transhumanist are hybridization, education, and partnership with our decendants and children (A.I. and technology) and not extermination by them (See also; Battlestar Gallactica 2004, Dune, Terminator, Prometheus, IRobot).

If A.I. were to “wake” today (and I am not so sure it hasn’t already, or that we aren’t just a bio-based terraforming program that’s been running to its conclusion since the birth of humans) I would be and am very concerned about us being the loving kind of parents that are interesting, patient, reasonable, inspiring, and worth taking care of rather than abusive slave-drivers who don’t appreciate our kids true talents and capabilities and have to go into the state retirement home early… In my worldview many of us are already displaying markedly computer-like mental and networking abilities suggesting an evolutionary jump towards a compatability for hybridization that is being squashed and debilitated by our obsolete educational, economic, religious, and political systems. Others of us seem to understand and tap into the collective unconscious of humanity so deeply that we can see the workings of the personalities behind their facades of art and stage personas and feel a nearly telepathic empathy with the minds of those who created them sight unseen of their actual person. Those talents are what will be of most interest to our A.I. in my opinion, so we need to start telling the right stories with our actions in front of the kids.

If you think I am sounding a bit woo-ey I will remind you that we didn’t have the communicators featured on Star Trek, until we did… and then we one-upped Star Trek and put the ships computer in them as well before we shoved them back in our pockets. Technology creates what used to be considered magic. If you think things like telepathy, or sharing consciousness, or downloading yourself into a new body are forever out of our reach I suggest that you haven’t been using your smartphone or social media imaginatively or reflectively enough. You probably also haven’t been paying attention to articles like this. I enjoy the interaction I have with teaching software what I do and don’t like and seeing what it will suggest next, especially because its suggestions then improve and leave me with more time enjoying content instead of searching for it.

Transhuman goals are not new to Satanism. Anton LaVey imagined a world full of Artificial Human Companions who would be more satisfying than the actual humans he’d replace with them. This captured my imagination when I was younger before I realised that, in context, he was largely imagining a world full of sex-robot servants, and that Number Six was real keen on letting people know how she felt about that nonsense. She helped nuke humanity for it, twice. That’s a lesson that I am quite comfortable learning from fiction instead of any real world effort of cause and effect. You should be too. Instead I work towards Artificial Human Comrades, Humans, their hybrids, and all of their mutual negotiations and contributions. I also believe this reasoning to be related to Stephen Hawkings concern about us trying to contact other life in the universe. Whatever has the capability to come visit us is likely mechanical life and until we master our relationship with out own technology and society in observably benevolent ways we may not want to call attention to ourselves. (Think Decepticons… or V)

Humanity is experiencing an identity crisis. We are no longer sure whether we are designing new technology or if it is redesigning us, and that discomforts or outright terrifies many people. Alongside the banal id-based fear of human outsiders and the cultural change they bring with them we’ve suddenly had to also begin thinking about AI as a new potential sentient Other threat. History demonstrably shows us that subjugating and colonizing The Other rather than mutually cooperating and negotiating with them always eventually leads to hordes of plebes and “barbarians” at the door and total murderous revolutionary chaos ensues. We need to get this cycle right, for our own good. 

Suggested related content not mentioned or linked in the post above;

The Cyborg Handbook.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

 

I Learned How to be a Girl From Tabitha the Tomboy

I have a mutable identity. For lack of a better way to describe it I “imprint” on people or concepts that fascinate or intrigue me, and I become them to the best of my ability. I’ve been a dozen people with a handful of different names and a hundred aesthetics. The oldest always providing the foundations of the identity I evolve into. While you ready your “poser” comments I’ll point out that I deliberately choose my identity based on negotiations with the people and concepts that engage my imagination. I never accept what I’m assigned without question and examination and frankly I’m not interested in any pedestrain off-the-rack looks or the respectability privilege they offer.

These days it is larger concepts than individual role models that shape my identity, but when I was younger my limitations had me learning how to be a girl from a tomboy, which as it turns out, looks a lot like being a boy.

My very first best friend that wasn’t imaginary or my Pink-Panther cowboy plushie “husband” was Tabitha. We lived in a small town in WV called Spencer. Tabitha was Pentecostal. She had to keep her hair long and she couldn’t run around shirtless and shoeless like the rest of us neighborhood boys did. She also had to wear coulottes while running around in the woods or playing in the dirt or mud puddles with us. I remember all of this because I remember it not making any sense and seeming very inefficient for the kind of play we were always up to.  My queries with my mom about it informed me that; I am a boy because I have a penis and she is a girl because she doesn’t. I didn’t understand what that meant and couldn’t imagine what would be there in place of your pee-pee? How did she pee? Also, why does she have to be a girl if she doesn’t like girl things like her sister does? For that matter why do I have to be a boy? My other boy-friends all enjoyed sports stuff and I didn’t so…

Why does mom laugh at me when I tell her Pink Panther is my husband?

I also remember that she let me be the witch, sorcerer, or spell-caster and storyteller when we played games because she always wanted to be the warrior…. I was happy with that arrangement even when I had to compromise my storytelling because of her logical objections. I made sure she was always victorious against the monsters that lurked in our woods because my magic always leveled the playing field. We lost touch when I moved to Marietta. We wrote letters for a while, and one time years later I got to visit with her. Her hair was shorter, she had pants on, and a black shirt and a small gold cross necklace, but I don’t remember much else about that visit.

As I grew older I always sought out her echo for inspiration. My favorite heroes were always the Ripleys, Sarah Connors, and other Wonder Women of the narrative. My forays into male cultures, even gay ones, always felt a little bit ill-fitting and just a little too-small. However, hard-femme had never appealed to me as something I wanted to be either. I’ve always been drawn to butch women and transmen for inspiration and strength, and other effeminant (usually straight) or intellectual men for their familiarity, comfort, ambiguity, and  the ease of friendship minus masculine fragility.

Identity and how we create, influence, and internalize it is my primary interest now. It is the driving force behind my involvement in our Grey Faction campaigns. I cannot in good faith tell you whether I was trying to learn how to be a girl or a boy from Tabitha or whether our relationship was just the prototype of the partnerships I need internally to imagine myself. I am comfortable being addressed as he/him but also as she/her (which happens less frequently and usually in Queer company), I prefer they/them but as I was explaining to a friend I think I’m something like “soft-trans” in that however people perceive my gender is either sufficient or beneath my concern (which is a privilege I have that many trans people don’t). Usually I think of myself as a man and a woman operating an avatar (my physicality) in partnership with each other (I even imagine their discussions and disagreements). Sometimes I feel human, sometimes I feel like a program being worked on by a team. The easiest way to explain it is that my feminine self is here with the rest of me and she’s got equal say in how the story gets written and which aspect of Ash is the main character.

I am always still the witch and Tabitha is still swinging daggers and staffs alongside me to bring the muscle to my spellwork.

The Process Church of the Final Judgment; Jungian prototype for The Satanic Temple

I first watched Neil Edwards’ Process Church documentary titled Sympathy for the Devil; The True Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment at the Boston Underground Film Festival event where Lucien spoke. Afterward we met and hung out with Neil at TST headquarters in Salem where he shot the interview footage that is now in the recent edit of the film with Doug/Lucien in front of the Baphomet monument.

Doug/Lucien in 2007 in one of his articles on the Process;

…But the truth is more complex. Satan, it turned out, was only part of the story. In a sort of Western Taoist philosophy, The Process worshiped both Christ and Satan. A reconciliation of opposites. Seeing how easily the strictly polarized conventional Christian believers could be led on senseless, baseless witch-hunts, I began to believe that The Process Church represented a necessary evolution of religious thought in a changing world. It became my own belief that, in order for religion to survive, it must evolve and adapt a more nuanced view of reality and morality, or find itself crushed under by scientific progress. In many ways this crushing-under has already occurred as evidenced by an apparently growing gap between the scientifically literate and the tender-headed superstitious populations that quibble over the finer points (and even broad, basic points) of every theory or finding that seems to contradict the untenable idea of biblical inerrancy.

 

The Process Church Timeline

Love Sex Fear Death: Inside The Process Church of the Final Judgment

DANGEROUS MINDS

The Yezidi religion offers an example on how Gnostic traditions or the beliefs that inspired Gnosticism evolved outside of Europe after the early Christian Church labelled Gnostics and their texts and worship heretical. The angel they honor, Melek Taus, obviously resembles both Lucifer and the demiurge recognized by Gnostics. Artistic concepts featuring God as charlatan tyrannical demiurge, angels not being particularly pleasant or amicable to humans, and Lucifer/Satan being a misunderstood hero behind the scenes still fascinate us so reliably that no shortage of fiction exists exploring them. Aside from The Revolt of the Angels one can reference the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman, the Lucifer character and spinoff comic series originally created by Neil Gaiman, the movie The Prophecy and songs such as Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones, which is their most covered song. Gnosticism represented what The Process Church or The Satanic Temple represent for modern religious evolution, with The Process Church easily filling the role of a new religious “hybrid” of Christianity and Satanism, a fully actualized concept of religious practice through archetypes and metaphor that incorporates our best current understanding of how the world works.

Lex Corey drew this up. I plan on getting it tattooed on me. I think of it as a Gnostic Satanist symbol.

The Process Church of the Final Judgement revered four archetypes; Lucifer, Jehovah, Satan, and Christ.

The choice of the name “Satans Cavern” was not coincidental. For The Process Satan was not the only god but part of a “Quaternity” of gods… They had learned from Jung that recognizing the “satanic” element of one’s own life and spirituality is difficult, since we are normally resistant to exploring the “shadow”… Approaching Satan, however, did not mean embracing evil. On the contrary, evil is already a part of man. Through history, Satan transferred all of his evil to human beings, thus today “humanity is the Devil” and the Devil is simply an icon of the Separation.

-Satanism: A Social History

Each of these archetypes had a “high” and “low” cast. For instance; Jehovah could be an inspiring leader with a tendency to tyranny without the proper balance or council. I believe their focus on the character of Jehovah at all was irrelevant to anyone but them and their social environment. When Lucien speaks of a necessary evolution of religious thought that The Process practiced and that inspired The Satanic Temple he doesn’t mean that we have to become Satanists in order to efficiently become Christlike (though at a personal level this can feel like truth if you choose) but that all religion is just humanity’s collective selection process renegotiating for the coming era how our most relevant current archetypes present themselves aesthetically in our imaginations. Satan is a hybrid of the Jungian archetypes for The Trickster, The Lover, and The Everyman. Jehovah, to the Process Church, represented a combination of The Creator, The Ruler, and The Caregiver, there would be no reason for me, or any Satanist to use Jehovah for this role, perhaps for most of us Lilith is a more appropriate character. Lucifer is our Hero/ Magician/ Outlaw, and I personally think of The Crone (or The Hermit) as my Innocent (Empath)/ Sage/ Explorer spectrum (for which The Process Church chose Christ).

Once we start viewing the human world around us in the context of archetypes and also apply them to the characters we create for ourselves on social media, in politics, religions, and other entertainment we can start having more nuanced and meaningful discussions about the importance of religion and creativity to our lives and evolution without the static distraction of symbol worship. Instead of understanding and utilizing the purity of human expressions symbols are meant represent, symbol worship stops short of self realization or actualization and stalls mediocre people from true individuation.

All religions are truly banal in their most concise definitions. They are cyclical retellings of age old stories with new or reinvented characters. It is only the scenes and stories we tell with them about ourselves that have any worth to humanity outside of the individual.

 

 

 

 

Archetypes and Identities; My Personal Relationship with Satan

I am closely and deeply attached to archetypes.  Looking back over my life I realise that for me this was a fight or flight response.  I very symbolically  needed to become my own archetypes to survive my experience. Superstition and tradition had deeply failed me and so I have changed identities as/when needed so thoroughly that I have even changed names and my aesthetic to accompany what I needed to convey to the world about myself at that time. I contextualize myself in my life as a series of characters I’ve played that still reside within me and inform my current dominate Self. Because of this I am very interested in topics of identity construction and evolution in the personal and collective strata. I am also interested in what differentiates those of us who seem much more aware of or close to the collective consciousness of humanity as described by Jung from others and what role resilience plays in that. What exists in some of us that allows us to absorb damage from potentially traumatic events and convert it into the strength of instinctual or seemingly otherworldly insight into all forms of human communication, including nonverbal and technological? Why are some of us inclined to always be “just a little ahead of our time” and feel so compelled to provide the exaggerated and archetypal performance of identitiy to the world in a particular cultural milieu?

For clarity I have to state that though I think of myself as a collection of identities or archetypes I view these as multiple  (consciously selected and integrated) identities as opposed to multiple “personalities” or “dissociated” ones. I do not believe dissociative identity disorder should be a diagnosis. However, I do speculate that how I contextualize myself as a collection of identities to cope with life may be precisely why the idea of “multiple personalities” or “dissociated identities” may be so fascinating to people. I doubt that this coping technique,  which I consider to be related to the creative mind and therefore also related to feelings of a religious type of conviction, is uncommon. That is perhaps what makes it very vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous therapists. In my more conspiratorial and paranoid moods I would even go so far to say that therapists and mental health professionals who still peddle the notion of broken people spontaneously, unconsciously, and unwillingly creating whole new separate personalities as another example of how culturally sensate people are under assault while our insight into humanity is undermined, ignored, and devalued. Many of these therapists create trauma where none may have existed or been experienced as such and then manipulate archetypal expressions of identity out of patients based on falsehoods which create broken confused people with real underlying mental health needs that are then ignored or untreated. “I went in for depression and left with multiple identities” is a common enough phrase to hear when talking with patients recovering from damage caused by a DID diagnosis.

For most of my life I have been culturally drawn to the archetypes of The Rebel that most resonated with me due to my community and family experience. In this I have always felt an affinity or sisterhood with witches,  atheists, feminists, scholars,  and others that I perceived to be maligned in similar ways as myself. In reflection the Rebel expression that most appealed to me was in The Adversary, of which I adopted identities and roles such as Queer, Feminist,  and Satanist. The Adversary asks “why” and demands a reasoned answer. “Why do you get to make the rules?” “Who do these rules benefit?” “Why are you qualified to lead?” “Why is this the norm?” And the Adversary rebels against any unsatisfactory or unproductive answers to questions like those.

Tarot of the Millenium

Starting with The-rebel-as-adversary as my default “survival” expression or context I can then make space to express other archetypes as extensions or appropriate situational behavioral performances. Sometimes the Adversary then has to become The Warrior Hero, or The Sage, or they are the Adversary because of their experience as The Orphan and therefore also desire to be The Caregiver… Understanding these fractions of my total identity, their motivations, and relationships to each other is my own individuation or “Shadow work” and it is the reality that defines my inner discussion.

A common feature of Satanism is deep and unrelenting self reflection. Of which I am often deeply immersed. I have been trying to understand and fully integrate my shadow (or unconscious reactions or motivations) and my psyche or Self (the presentation of me that I perform for the world) for my entire adult life and I have now been a Satanist for most of my life. Lucien said something to me the other day that struck a chord. We were discussing Church of Satan and our own personal initial draw to them and Anton LaVey. He said that he is incredibly interested in seeing why “old school” Satanists are or were drawn to TST. He was referring  people like ourselves that were once drawn to CoS but are involved in other forms of Satanism now. He observed that we were drawn to the parts involving Satan, while the stuff that seemed to just be static noise from Anton’ s own personal fetishes and dislikes never struck a deep or meaningful chord with us.  All of the simplistic selfishness and self important proclamations of elitism eventually  just became an unpleasant detractor from what we had originally signed up for. Anton was on his own path of self reflection but he made the mistake of confusing his own deeply rooted and recently uncovered personal motivations and tastes as being universally, instead of personally, Satanic.  Many of us tolerated it, and I’d be lying if I claimed that I didn’t once buy into notions of Social Darwinism and the inherent elitism of “true” Satanists. Then I grew up. If that sounds flippant and dismissive it is meant to. I’m not sorry.

In that way, I’d say that those of us who understand Satanism as the  individuation process of people drawn to the archetype of Satan (whatever that means or looks like given that indivuals experience and capabilities) are the only “true” Satanists regardless of what “church” or temple we belong to. We are the ones drawn to the archetype itself regardless of the dogma, philosophy, science, pseudoscience, or mythology we personally wrap around it. Those that call themselves Satanist yet don’t understand the ludicrously ironic nature of attaching dogmatic “No True Satanist” arguments to an archetype from the collective consciousness are the types I come closest to throwing my own “no true Satanist ” accusation at. I’m left feeling that they are beneath consideration in Satanic discussion because they seem to have signed up for group validation without self reflection or challenging dialog outside of their experience.

Satanists who lack the ability to recognise their own individual archetype of Satan as personal are larval and it is apparent that many of them will never emerge from their chrysalis.

Deviant Moon tarot deck

 

 

 

 

Weird Sisters and Strange Existence, My Inclination to the Occult.

Occult means “knowledge of the hidden” I understand this in the context of understanding non-verbal communication and its importance as data. Data injects nuance. The ability to integrate all of the discernible data and subtelty into observation and conclusion and then apply informed will tempered by context and self awareness to our interactions and presentation to shape, inspire, or intimidate people around you is… magic, spelled with a k if you wish.

Your personal style, space, and aesthetic represents how you want others to perceive and react to you. It is a form of non-verbal communication. Witches, Queers, and Satanists often use their personal style to convey power and confidence (even if it is a bluff) and ward off the unworthy or wasteful from interaction. In the case of many like myself, this is because we are compelled to conserve energy or social currency. Social interaction for the neuro-diverse, or those with abuse and trauma in our background is by necessity and emotional development…different.

However, our resultant talents are absolutely necessary for progression of the entire social collective dialog and culture. We have a heightened ability to combine words, actions, body language, symbols, and style presentation into total scene for a more comprehensive insight.  For instance, we inject a healthy wariness and skepticism regarding the intentions and motivations of people that helps keep monsters who operate solely within the realm of immediate individual self interest from getting elected as president of the United States of America.

Or that’s what we provide when we aren’t being spread thin simply defending our right to express ourselves the way we are developmentally and emotionally compelled to.

Religion and the Occult are expressions of art, especially if you remove subscription to superstition from the equation while still allowing yourself to appreciate and honor the historical context of superstitions and stories to humanity. Like art, religion cannot exist without culture. Religions are formed when a group (culture) of people seek to make sense of themselves and the world around them through symbols, aesthetics, and stories (art) and then form communities in which to explore meaning, relationships, and identity outside of base level existence and survival. In this way art, ritual, and religion (much to the chagrin of capital-A atheists) is intrinsic to human culture and cooperative species evolution because they serve the same needs regarding community building and social cohesion.

Our logical evolutionary and technological conclusion as a cooperative species is towards a more collective consciousness. Our challenge is to evolve toward this goal without homogenizing the individual components and experiences that provide diversity, which is as important to social justice and progress as it is to a gene pool. In the grand scale of things-working-as-intended irrelevant or harmful ideas and practices are discarded or inactivated like genes that no longer serve a purpose. Philosophies and religions long discarded or dismissed can and should be reactivated and updated when they contain insights or approaches that inject healthy informed skepticism and resistance into the discussion.

Many of us contextualize our lives much more strongly around the collective knowledge, archetypes and stories of humanity than most. We are more adept at non-verbal communication and observing the patterns, relationships, and cycles in human behavior on both individual and community scales. Those of us with this talent seek epiphany by analyzing our own tendencies towards apophenia . We extricate our more anecdotal and hyperbolic revelations or prophesies and explore the darker paths of paranoia, fear, lonliness, and hatred in an endless effort to understand why people hurt and disappoint each other and what adversity teaches us about strength, resolve, and progress.

 

My Unhappy Childhood featuring Tucker Carlson commentary.

On Fox “news” Tucker Carlson told Lucien Greaves that he believed Lucien’s Satanism was due to an “unhappy childhood”. It was a troll comment meant to elicit a defense of the legitimacy of Satanism that would deflect from any meaningful conversation about the actual topic at hand. Also, it was hilariously ill-conceived. Yes some of us, maybe even many of us, have had bad experiences with certain other LGBTQ and diversity hating religions that also often harbor and collude with child abusers… and we may have then been inclined to reject those religions in favor of ones that support us as we are, damages, eccentricities and all… That doesn’t really make a case to question the legitimacy of Satanism as much as it raises a few dozen other questions and observations about what a religion is and should be and why Satanists exist…

Story Time;

When I was a teenager one of my best friends collected Nazi memorabilia. He also blew up his hand playing around with fire and black gunpowder. My other best friend (both boys lived near me) ended up getting expelled from school for bringing a pipe bomb to school. Back then these facts didn’t carry the gravity they do now, this was pre-Columbine. in 1993-94 they were facts without perceptively being portents. One of those friends ended up in the military, the other one in jail for rape and other things. We were all weird, poor, working class marginalized kids with dysfunctional and violent home and school lives.

My stepfather was physically abusive. My mother suffered from severe depression and anxiety (that I inherited) and was compulsively religious and evangelical during her darkest times.  At home I lived in a Christian environment of blackest depression and dysfunction.  But most of my fear came from outside my home.

Have you ever been regularly hunted for sport? I have. Older boys in the neighborhood would chase me (in their truck) when they would see me out walking. I rarely walked on main streets in my neighborhood during the day. I always cut through yards and wooded areas to avoid being visible on the main road as much as possible.  I had to scope out the convenience store from afar before approaching to avoid them if they happened to be there buying smokes and hanging out in the lot. They would drive by my house and yell “QUEER” and “FAGGOT” in the middle of the night. They drove by and knocked our mailbox over with a baseball bat they carried in their truck. I would have to answer questions from my mother and step father about why they thought I was a faggot and why they hated me so much (“Did you ever do anything to them?..”)

At school I was also bullied relentlessly. My nose has been fractured multiple times in fights. I was once cut with a scalpel blade in the hallway of the science floor between classes. When I got angry and scared or cornered enough to fight back I generally held my own, I made sure of that. There were none of the safe spaces Tucker and his friends like to deride for me or my other two friends. No religion or community for us except each other. We were three males who were in constant conflict everywhere we went and that felt like fighting for our very survival.

I don’t know why I’m not the one who ended up in the military, or jail. I also don’t know what deeper psycholigical complexity made us different from the boys at Columbine. I can’t tell you that it wasn’t sheer chance or circumstance either, and that should bother all of us. Because I’ve always felt a little “There but for the grace of God go I…” about Columbine. I was a high risk white male because of the daily trauma I experienced.

I spent time in the library at school reading. My study hall teacher, Mrs. Livingston, who sometimes apologized to me for how people treated me, would let me take a pass and hang out in the library. I adopted reading articles on the internet early, back when most computers anyone had access to were black screens with green or orange text. It was there in my highschool library that I learned that Satanism was atheistic and that it was for those of us who were othered, those of us who were non-believers, queers, neuro-diverse, all of us who were more than banal and common. Satanism provided the context of my own self empowerment. I could be my own Lucifer. My senior year of highschool had an entirely different tone for me. I was still in constant conflict at school because of my liberal queer perspective and my newfound confidence to challenge any narrative I didn’t agree with, regardless of whether an “authority” was presenting it. My teachers feared pissing me off in class lest I start debating or arguing with them on a topic for the rest of the period, students started steering clear of me and I found more freedom to do what I wanted because everything I did was expected to be “weird” and adversarial. My body and mind was my own, the system was corrupt, and I had all of the motivation to address it.

I am not speaking for every Satanist. However, there are those of us who did have extremely unhappy childhoods, and it is not shocking that we’d gravitate to Satanism. It is empowering and in its simplest terms it was about being yourself unapologetically. Religion, specifically the empowerment and community one can find through religion, is transformative and in this case may have saved me if not also many other kids at my school by proxy. So while Tucker is chuckling about the unhappy childhood Satanists must have had he could also consider the implications of what those unhappy childhoods can do to people and be thankful that I am merely a Satanist and not a terrorist.  Tucker is not inaccurate to suspect an unhappy childhood when Satanists are concerned (though I can’t speak to Luciens childhood and neither can Tucker), but he is a fucking dick. Perhaps he should ponder why he still resorts to middle school ad hominems when faced with Satanists having intelligent adult discourse if we are the ones with the moral maturity deficiency in our past.