“Death is for the Living”
My years working in an E.R trauma center had me repeating this personal mantra many times over, often several times a day. But it was one that held my emotions in check, one that made the veneer of professionalism easier to carry amid the continuing rote of horror and tragedy that plagues any E.R department. And one that was validated time after time. Though unspoken out of respect (and hospital policy) for family and friends of a deceased patient, as far as I was concerned, death was the end. No heaven. No hell. No spiritual evolving, reincarnation or awaiting planets. It was finished. Anything more done for the dead would be a ritual the living encompassed in a cultural closure.
But least I sound cold, the collective grief of those left behind is what tore at my heart strings: a mother beating on me at the loss of a child, a family lost in a car crash, an unforeseen suicide, the charred remains of a burn victim. It was these daily scenarios that saw me on my knees in tears after having reached the sanctuary of home. But the difference between people of faith and myself is they hold the hope of “life after death”.
I do not.
It was this “hope”, encased in faith and belief that I saw as prolonging the mourning period and estranging life. Of course I am not exempt from the stages of grief as so dryly and rightly/ rationally explained by science: denial, anger, etc. Many an Irish wake has seen me ritualize relief. The difference is that as an Atheist on a LHP journey, I find I move through personal loss as few do, forced by my own convictions to deal with what is at hand in the land of the living.
“Right now” is the only thing that I am sure of. Umbilical cords to a personal and faith based utopia in the clouds do little more than shut the door to obtaining the treasures and potential in this life and, and at the same time, prolong grief.
Don’t get me wrong. I have been shattered by those I have have loved and lost. It’s a nasty part of life.
By Lisa Corrine (Mistress Babylon)
“There was indeed a time when women in Satanism were proud to be women and knew the power that their femininity held, and that they could call upon as another tool in both lesser magic and life itself” Jake Block, Bloodless Coup
It is with but a mere touch of unadorned humor that I entertain a disturbing muse that wonders what happened to the precious and exclusive aspects that define womanhood? What happened to her sense of self, sexuality, eroticism, her sureness and pride in choices made? Sadly, a fleeting image reveals a Maid, Mother and Crone at the Cauldron, stirring a bland and murky brew that feeds the Ewes their daily dose of banality and submission of imposed restrictions. Indeed, united they are behind the grotesque mask of intended solidarity.
The “Art of Womanhood” is rapidly becoming a lost art. The joys of it, including sexuality, independence, and mode of thought are a current and an apparent disturbing crime by the hands of those who chose to lounge in the “Safe Rooms”, crayons and bubbles at hand, by those who choose to define a glance of appreciation as rape, an unintended touch an assault.
“Women’s desire — its inherent range and innate power — is an underestimated and constrained force, even in our times, when all can seem so sexually inundated, so far beyond restriction. Despite the notions our culture continues to imbue, this force is not, for the most part, sparked or sustained by emotional intimacy and safety. In fact one of our most comforting assumptions, soothing perhaps above all to men but clung to by both sexes, is that the female eros is much better made for monogamy than the male libido, is scarcely more than a fairy tale.”- Daniel Bergner, Journalist, Author of “What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire”
Toughen up Ladies. Displays of weakness and denial under the rotting guise of “Feminism”, the guerilla club, only further erodes and mocks the foundation of “choice and/or rights” under the Suffragette and Women’s Movement.
The myriad of unique attributes and verdure that is a woman is being suffocated at the hands of her own kind and risks being little more than a memory deeply buried and sheltered in a well guarded social tomb by a faceless she-soldier. Self-fear, a weak ego, and a comfort in herd mentality pave the way as the “right way”, and becoming what you hate, the new ideal.
By Edward Bartlebaugh, member of The Sect of the Horned God
Within the shadow of his horns, I find the darkness within inviting and enter without fearful apprehension, a path untrodden by my steps, a horizon unseen with my eyes, thus I find the aforementioned to be strange and yet uncommonly beautiful to be true, but can only find glances within the past to be to contrite to understand.
Once forbidden to indulge of this knowledge or even to take quarry of an inkling of curiosity within this darkness. Always told and taught to fear the believed evil that lies behind the veil submersed and drowning in the misunderstanding of the light, this darkness that dwells in the realm of all reversed value of conscience thought or meaning is the only true freedom of self, often repressed or dismissed.
Once the spark of my black flame was ignited, to feel the sulphuric burning of the righteousness being burned out of the places that light once touched. To feel the brush of the talons to hear the swift extension of the wings to walk in the footsteps as the light within dies and becomes what was once was and now has passed within the mind, For I have bathed in unrighteousness and clothed myself with damnation.
To taste the freedom of thought not bound by the constant treading of the masses, The subservient in mind and speech, pleading for a future life that is filled with an endless eternity of unknowing without dignity without pride without self and forever on their knees. A promise of eternal bliss but at the cost of their own cognition of being, but never knowing the true freedom that dwells within the darkness.
The hand of the ancient one burning to the touch, and phosphoric to hold, as the embers of darkness are fed, fed to the point of ingition of the flame within, as the Old One guides my path deeper down into the abyss of myself, for I no longer fear the abyss as I stare into it and it into me, driven by my demons to see what has and what will come, much wisdom lies in the catacombs of self. The shelves of wisom the years retain, but just out of reach of conscience thought. These halls of solitude hold my future my past my present and my destiny. My darkness is my own!
Within this darkness my freedom resides, this ever urning to go deeper within, within the mind within the soul to find and embrace the darkness of which now I abide. To lean to see to feel even likened as a young child who’s first lessons are but hard but necessary to grow and become what was intended from my inception.
Their Wine it sours to my taste, their Bread molds before my eyes, their savior is no longer mine. The threat of an eternal damnation no longer holds value to me, For I no longer fear the hollow words that they dare thrust at me, their stares of discontentment and empty concern are as insincere and vacant as are the fraudulent words contained in their so called books of holiness!
My mind no longer encased in the binding thoughts and fears that their words once brought to me, my eyes no longer blind to what they believe is light, I’m no longer a servant to fear or a servant of others to whom would only grind me underfoot in their own path to their deemed righteousness. For in the shadow of the horns I will dwell protected at peace within myself and unrestrained to He who’d have me bow to any god’s made within their image.
I can only bear witness to my own darkness, to find and gather strength and knowledge, my hand is outstretched Old One come for I await your arrival, and in my darkness I will dwell and have solitude and solace within the shadow of his Horns!
By Luci Dawn
I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there’s nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it.– Cicely Tyson
Humankind seems to have an innate need to record its knowledge. Whenever we feel that we have discovered something important, something transcendent, we build frameworks, structures, and hierarchies in order to organize what we have learned or discovered. The desire to then pass that on, to share it with others, is nigh irresistible. In a way, passing on our accumulated knowledge is a way of achieving immortality. We can live on after death in the words and structures we leave behind and in the people who continue our work.
In order to organize our knowledge it is often necessary to construct a sort of hierarchy, and the most common is the pyramid. Our language is littered with references to this method; “Build a strong foundation,” “Climb the pyramid,” “Reach the top.” This is not without reason; like a pyramid we must first build a strong, wide base of knowledge, and then build upon that knowledge, getting narrower until we have reached the pinnacle of expertise in a subject. As other people join the structure they will naturally find themselves at different levels of the pyramid corresponding to their levels of knowledge.
Whenever a new structure is being built or a new hierarchy is established, the creator of this structure predictably places him or herself at the top. And why not? They are in the best position to do so, being as they are the creator and therefore most knowledgeable in the topic. Or are they? Perhaps, but what message does that send, being at the top of the pyramid? Being at the pinnacle of something implies that there is no higher attainable position, that there is nothing further to discover or learn about the subject. How often is it the case that there is nothing left to learn about something? How often are we really at the pinnacle?
As Satanists we are constantly carving new paths, constantly crafting new structures. Our philosophy is individualistic, our hierarchies for ourselves. As Satanists we are also prone to having sizable egos. When building our pyramids, perhaps we should caution ourselves against the all too common proclivity of placing oneself at the top of the pyramid. Pride is an excellent thing to have, but sometimes we should resolve its opposite – humility – and leave that pyramid unfinished. Thomas LeRoy of The Sect of the Horned God has said on multiple occasions1 that some Satanists stand at the entrance to the Path, beating their chests, proclaiming their self-deification, when what they should be doing is traveling down the Path and breaking new ground.
The Great Seal of the United States contains the Unfinished Pyramid and All-Seeing Eye. The Unfinished Pyramid symbolizes that even though we build a great nation it can always be better, and it is those who come after us who will continue to build. The All-Seeing Eye symbolizes the guidance of a higher level of awareness, usually a deity. When we build our own pyramids and discover our Path, we should be reminded that there is always more to discover, always further to travel down the Path. Let our Third Eye guide us as we continuously build the pyramid, instead of retreating into dogmatism as we beat our chests at the pinnacle of a molehill.
People dream of leaving their mark on history. To be the best in the field they believe to be most experienced on. To bring about a change. To stand out by having stepped up before the masses. Be it through study and devotion. Be it by seeking ways to stand out from the perceived mediocrity. Always failing to comprehend there’s no difference between the proverbial “them” and “us”. It is a futile attempt, and indeed trait, to be the bigger man as all (wo)men are righteous and bigger than the other in their own distinct ways. Mindspace can invoke quite the illusions as if they almost become tangible…
The mind, despite being a curious and fascinating thing in itself, is quite boring without the flesh. What would the mind be without the stimuli of the flesh? How would the mind possibly know what sexual ecstasy is without having perceived the pleasure of intimacy between highly sensitive spots. The rubbing of skin on skin and invoked rapid breathing of the increasing thrusting movements and the release of hormones due to extreme arousal.
How would the mind know what strength is if the flesh has never stretched itself or never experienced the impact of brute force. How does the mind know what technique is if it never learned to perform successions of movements in repetition? It does not know. It can only imagine but not perform.
The mind needs the flesh. Otherwise it is unable to make sense of itself. It needs carnal pleasure to know what ecstasy is. But what it learns best is pain. People can learn tradition through words. They only have they obey them without thinking twice. It’s carved and pre-set. Mindspace can do the necessary “illusions” (albeit with a bit of stimulation if needed) to imagine possible consequences. But all people learn, oh how they learn, through pain. Without it, many things would simply sound so un-impressive. There would simply be nothing to relate to.
But what sights it can invoke. Arousal. Education. Responsibility. Humidity. Nostalgia. This and much more. There’s always a bit of constraint to enjoy the pleasures the flesh can offer. But let it be known that the greatest suffering can lead to the greatest efforts. Rejoice! As it is the truest vector to know and recognize reality.
There’s a beauty in suffering.
It reminds to the fact you’re no better than the lowest beast.
Isn’t it exhilarating to know your greatest mentor?
And people want to leave their mark on the world.
How utterly pointless. Leaving a scar is such more worthwhile effort.
Pain will always be remembered. The bigger the atrocity, the better the memory.
By Thomas LeRoy, Founder of The Sect of the Horned God
What is the self? You feel as though you are a thing with an intellectual sense, physical, but with an awareness. But try to capture that self. Go ahead. Sit in the dark, close your eyes and try to capture that essence that is you. You can’t. You are the whole of your parts, but not your parts. You are a process, fluid, changing, always in flux; an ever-shifting bundle of thoughts, feelings and memories.
We tend to think the self is as an integrated individual inhabiting a body. But according to neuroscientists, there is no single place in the brain that generates a self. On the flip-side, though, if we are a body inhabited by an undying soul — ghost in the machine — would we be the sum of those past lives? The answer is no. We would not be identical to that man that battled with the Irish forces against the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Nor would we be that stable boy who had relations with the lady of the manor in 18th century England. We would be very different from those individuals. We would still have our independent identity.
While searching for the self, one cannot simultaneously be the hunter and the hunted. It would be like trying to grasp that image in the mirror with your hands; or having the image try to grasp you. It is you. So since we can’t capture the self, can we then guide it? The answer is yes, but what do we Satanists do with the self so that it progresses in a fashion that is beneficial?
The first question to ask is — are you on the left-hand path? You may call yourself a Satanist, but that does not mean you’re on the path. A Satanist is who you are. It is your identity. Just as some people are introverts and others extroverts, you may have certain traits that fall in line with that label called Satanist. The left-hand path, though, is something you have to choose to take. So, I’ll ask again — are you on it, or are you one stuck in a circle of conformity? A leaf in a stream, going with the flow?
The idea of the LHP is to create your own hero’s journey, to go counter-clockwise while reveling in your personal emancipation. It is taking that which you know as the self and carving your own path. Since you are ever-changing, always in flux, you have the choice to counter that natural flow and defy what may seem to be a scripted order. That scripted order is an illusion. It is you lying to the self. And there is no director guiding that script. If you follow it, though, you will find you have put up walls around the self, restricted it, preventing you from reaching that goal of self-deification. Outside influences may try to re-enforce those walls. It may be your parents, your community, society in general. Vanquish that illusion and instead follow the heterodox path, the LHP, toward the exaltation of the self.
by Thomas LeRoy, Founder of the Sect of the Horned God
“Everything is consciousness.”
Above is an example of one of those trippy-dippy-hippie bullshit New Age sayings that has been voiced by more than a few gluten-free, organic granola-eating types with a meaning lost to them, but since it was muttered by Deepak Chopra it must be deep. In truth, it has the depth of a drought-ridden California mud-puddle.
But what would happen if we rearranged those words? What if we wrote: “Consciousness is everything”? Does that have meaning?
The fact is, there is no truer statement. Consciousness is everything. All we know, all we see, feel, smell, etc. we do so with our minds. Our hands feel nothing, our eyes see nothing, our nose smells nothing, our ears hear nothing; it is all in the mind. And what is the mind? It’s that occupant of the brain. It is one with our consciousness.
But what is this thing called consciousness? Not an easy concept to define, but it has been described as the state of being awake and aware of what is happening around us, and of having a sense of “self”. We can never go so far as in creating a science of consciousness, for science is purely objective and consciousness is subjective. But it is said that consciousness can be quantified to a degree. It is believed that in the brain there are three different levels of consciousness. Level one is found in the back of the brain, also known as the reptilian, where we find the awareness of the space around us. Level two is found in the center. This is the mammalian brain, where awareness pertaining to relationships with others is found. Last, and located in the frontal lobe, is level three, the human, the part that allows us awareness of time, the future, tomorrow. But what about awareness of reality? Can we fully comprehend that? Maybe one day our brains will develop a fourth level of consciousness in a frontal-frontal lobe, but until that day the answer is no. We can not be sure if anything is real. It’s all perception. BUT, there is one thing we can be absolutely sure of — our own personal existence.
“Cogito ergo sum. I think, therefore I am.” The 17th century French philosopher René Descartes uttered those words with the idea that the mere act of thinking about one’s existence proves there is someone doing the thinking. We can know we exist, but we can never be sure as to the true extent, or location, of that existence. For all I know I am right now sitting in a rubber-padded room, straight-jacket on, in a puddle of my own piss imagining I founded a Satanic organization and that I live with a beautiful wife on a lovely winery in Northern California. Or I could be a head in a jar with electrodes hooked up to my brain feeding me a simulated reality like out of “The Matrix”. Or I’m simply pure consciousness trapped in a material reality created by the “Demiurge”. Who knows? The truth is we can not know for certain. But don’t get me wrong. If the objective reality is a simulation, or an illusion, one can’t help but notice that there are some pretty strict laws in this illusion that seem unbreakable. It wouldn’t be wise for one to jump off the roof of a skyscraper and attempt to manifest a staircase out of pure consciousness. Could end poorly.
So where does this lead us? Well, if we wholeheartedly and unabashedly want to seek the truth we have only one direction to go. Most look outward for answers; we go searching in an uncertain reality seeking 100% assurance when we should be looking inward!
Before the advent of psychology, one of the best tools to aid in our psychonautical studies was mythology. But most today ignore this tool, or attempt to make the gods and monsters of mythology “real” by using a little trick called faith. Some may get a true sense of fulfillment from faith, but they have missed the point. If myth is the song of the psyche that gives voice and substance to the archetypes of the collective unconscious, then faith is unnecessary. Once the journalist Bill Moyers said to mythologist Joseph Campbell, “You’re a man of faith.” Campbell’s response was, “No, I’m not. I don’t need faith when I have experience.” If you use the word “Satanists” in defining who you are, you too are delving into that experience of the mythological. You have found that psychological tool. You grasp it in your greedy little hand, for Satan is more than a word, but less than an absolute. Myth should be experienced, not believed. It is a way for us to better understand that which we know without a doubt is real — our consciousness.
By Thomas LeRoy, Founder of The Sect of the Horned God
The four pillars of the left-hand path educational foundation called The Sect of the Horned God are philosophy, psychology, mythology and the occult. These four sciences are represented by four men: Friedrich Nietzsche, Carl Gustav Jung, Joseph Campbell and Anton LaVey. And the most important of these disciplines (for it leads to a greater understanding of the other three) is the science of the mind — psychology. Jung, and his theory of the collective unconscious, has been an indispensable tool in our understanding of not only mythological archetypes, but also the occult.
During an individual’s lifetime the make up of the personal unconscious is manifested, but the contents of the collective unconscious invariably consist of archetypes that were present from the beginning. Archetypes are at the foundation of the collective unconscious. They represent basic human behaviors and situations. Thus, the mother-child relationship is governed by “The Mother” archetype, the truth-seeker in “The Sage”, the desire for power and control is represented in “The Ruler” and so on. Also, and in reference to the occult, mystic experiences are also governed by archetypes, not by entities from without. But the archetypes that are clearly characterized from an empirical point of view are those which have the most frequent and disturbing influence on the conscious self, or the “ego”. And the most accessible of these, and the easiest to experience, is the “Shadow”, for its very nature comes from, in greater part, the personal unconscious.
For a better understanding of the collective unconscious and the archetypes therein, picture a vast ocean, limitless, with small boats adrift upon that ocean. These boats represent our egos, or conscious selves. We are in control of our vessels to a certain extent, but in truth, we are at the mercy of the elements, namely the sea (the unconscious/collective unconscious). Swimming beneath its surface is an array of creatures that have an impact, large or small, upon our vessels. They could, with ease, swim from one to the other, either to the benefit, or degradation, of the individual ego. Those upon the left-hand path must endeavor to utilize these predators of the deep to the exaltation of the ego, rather than the degradation. They should, to a certain extent, be assimilated into the conscious personality to break away from the maelstrom that our boats (or egos) are at the misery of. But beware. If one attempts to draw these deeper creatures of the collective unconscious to the surface, they will invariably die, for they were never meant to be a part of objective reality. They are metaphor, symbols, whereby a literal interpretation will result in their demise; for a metaphorical truth is not an objective truth.
The shadow, though, that which is fed by the personal unconscious, can be brought to the surface through symbolic means. One way is by artistic representation, thus the ego is able to integrate rather than repress unpleasant unconscious impulses. Examples of positive shadow integration would be artists who deal with dramatic or foreboding themes, such as the paintings of the late H.R. Giger, or the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. But when repressed, the shadow may still find a way upon our boats, slithering on board and manifesting itself in unpleasant fashions.
We on the left-hand path have come to terms with our shadow. We do not shy away from the darker aspects of music, art, or philosophy. We are compelled by symbols such as Baphomet and the inverted pentagram, that most popular of LHP symbols. The inverted pentagram points downward to the depths of the vast ocean that is our shared unconscious, not toward the heavens. It invites us to look into the sea’s murky depths to seek out personal truths to aid us on our path.
July 27, 2015
“The armchair philosopher; the bane of a life less lived. And as they rise to meet the world, they are unaware their shadow in the chair remains.”
The Armchair Philosopher; such a curious species in their ever continuing attempt to create an obligation around the whims of babbling fancy and stilted airs of intellectual importance. Convolution and contradiction mixed with common quotes make for a murky soup of feigned scholarly pursuit, yet still they ride on the sails of intentional confusion.
They’re not hard to spot, of course, with their shiny suits and brand new shoes nearly 10 years old and the more they talk the more they reveal the nonsensical nature of their thoughts and words. I’ll listen for a time to the droning deliberations, fascinated by the many indiscretions that counter the claims of above average intelligence. More often than not, however, a breath of impatience will usually meet my questions to them of “How and Why”.
Time is of importance, though, and one to be shared wisely and cautiously. Standing to take leave I look down at my boots and smile. They seem more muddy and worn amid the glare and cage-like austerity that such a persons mind holds.
What is more wise then, but to open the door and head back into the storm?
Consider this question: If you won’t, can’t, or refuse to “_________” for yourself, why is the obligation or expectation put on to others to do it for you?
In the last several years, I have found myself crass (and either mildly amused or apathetic) to the bully of self-entitlement , yet at the same time, I see it as an ever-spreading cultural poison deemed acceptable by the “sensitive flowers” of our society as they spread like a rampant weed that choke out self-determination. In turn, the grandiose illusion of self-entitlement has pablumized the true nature of need in terms of economic stratification.
There are, of course, many areas in life where those holding the candle of self-entitlement will stalk you, yet I have encountered few, less than a handful, that are not capable of doing what-ever it is that needs to be done on their own steam. Still, the idea of getting a second job, as I suggested in several cases was deemed repulsive. Remarkably, at the same time, “independence” off another’s dime, sweat and labor was acceptable. Go figure.
If it was one thing that Mother taught me, it was to always ask myself “have I done EVERYTHING possible to make “____” happen, on my own, to the best of my ability?” If I couldn’t find a solution, she showed me another route to get there, and believe me, it often wasn’t easy
I view self-entitlement in the way that Nietzsche views Pity; “Pity thwarts the whole law of evolution, which is the law of natural selection. It preserves whatever is ripe for destruction; it fights on the side of those disinherited and condemned by life; by maintaining life in so many of the botched of all kinds, it gives life itself a gloomy and dubious aspect.”
The question remains, how independent are you?