Archive for Aleister Crowley

satanism

Posted in Black Magick with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2011 by Susana Romatz

(Portrait of Francis Dashwood, 15th Baron le Despencer (1708-1781) by William Hogarth (1697-€“1764) from the late 1750s)

It’s been awhile since my last posting on Urban Mysterium, so I thought I’d jazz things up a bit by doing a little posting on Satanism. It’s a titillating subject, no doubt, and one that mayhap be such that not many dare to read about, lest they fall prey to the Horned Demon himself. Well. I’ve read a bit about it, and I’m still here. It’s pretty interesting stuff too. Here is an excerpt from The Encyclopedia of Magic Witchcraft by Susan Greenwood:

For Satanists, Satan or the Devil is symbolic of a hidden force in nature responsible for the workings of earthly affairs and representing the spirit of inspiration and human progress. Revolting against organized religion-which is only suitable for “the herd”-Satanists allegedly seek to harness what have been called dark forces to liberate the will in the advancement of evolution. Claims that Satanists conduct rituals to abuse children are reminiscent of early modern witchcraft accusations, and are vigorously denied. Satanism concerns the self-affirmation and freedom of the individual. (pg. 238)

Here is a listing of the Nine Satanic Principles from the same source (emphasis not added by me):

1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!

2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams!

3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!

5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!

6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!

7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!

8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!

9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!

Whenever I used to think about Satanism, I always thought about animal sacrifices and weird rituals and evil intentions. I thought about Aleister Crowley and “Do What Thou Wilt” and Charles Manson, and the Devil, etc.

Reading this got me thinking about Puritanism. I know, I know, it seems like an interesting leap at first, but, when I say black, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? 88% of people say white. (I made that statistic up). So, when Greenwood says Satanism, I think Puritanism.

Satanism says that the earth is a place for us to experiment, try sex, drugs, rock n’ roll…hell, throw caution to the wind! Try all three at the same time! Find your passion and go all out to chase that passion until you find the source of it and then suck all the juice out of that source until it is totally exhausted and juiced beyond recognition. Don’t worry about whatever, do what thou wilt, ok?

Puritanism says that if you even just think a tiny little thought about sex, or drugs, or rock n’ roll, God will smite you something fierce, you lowly flea bite on the ass of a boil (It wasn’t bad to say ass in the days of Puritanism because it just meant donkey.) Really, even if you think a thought about thinking about somebody else thinking about sex, you really should consider washing out your mouth and eyes with Ajax.

Thinking about Puritanism and Satanism together makes me think of the middle path. Puritanism sounds horrid. I don’t know any Satanists, so I can’t ask, but I heard that Aleister Crowley’s last words were “Sometimes I hate myself.” Not exactly a winning endorsement for being Satan’s main guy here on earth. Although, to be fair, I don’t believe Crowley considered himself to be a Satanist per se. I include him here because of the sentiment expressed in this quote:

I was not content to believe in a personal devil and serve him, in the ordinary sense of the word. I wanted to get hold of him personally and become his chief of staff.–Aleister Crowley in The Confessions of Aleister Crowely, Chapter 5, 1929 (I found this quote here, website of Nick Zymaris)

Anyway, my point is to show that perhaps Buddha was right to direct folks down the middle road. We're not totally going crazy on the world, because then we burn out. And we're not holding back to the point where we are not able to feel the joys and wonder of having a human body, which is a fabulous gift. 
This all reminds me of a great ole' Buddhist story I heard once that really stuck with me:

There are two middle aged men in town who are both depressed. One of the men is an alcoholic who regularly visits the local brothel. The other is a virgin who eats only rice and drinks green tea every night. Both men decide to visit the local Zen master. First one goes in and tells his story and receives his advice from the old man. 
"You need to quit drinking whiskey and going to the brothel," is what the first man hears. "Only then will you find true happiness."
Then the second man enters, tells his story and receives his advice.
"You need go and drink a whiskey and visit the brothel," the old man tells him. "Only then will you find true happiness."
I am open to discussion.
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ghost stories.

Posted in Ghosts with tags , , , , on November 26, 2010 by Susana Romatz

(can you see the ghost between the cars?)

Everybody knows a ghost story. The best ones happened to you (first person), but most people will settle for a story with one or two degrees of separation, i.e. your babysitter’s haunted basement or your aunt’s housekeeper’s ghastly prank calls.

My dad told me a story once: He was up very late. He was reading a scary book and he finally got up to go to bed. He was walking down the dark hallway to the bedroom when he saw a swirling mass of darkness up near the ceiling. His heart began to pound and his mouth got dry. Then he said he shook his head and told himself to “stop being silly.” The mass disappeared and he went on to bed.

Also, when I was a kid, my cousin’s and I would tell a story about my great grandpa who was in the field plowing (because that’s what great grandpas do) when a huge red thumb came up out of the ground and thumbed in the direction of his shack (because that’s what great grandpas live in). He tried to ignore it (really?) but it continued to thumb at him. Finally he went back home to check things out and he found my great grandma burning up in the fireplace. I’m pretty sure my cousin Jamie made that one up. But still it used to send shivers up and down my spine…

I was never really sure whether or not I should believe in ghosts. Obviously I’m fairly susceptible to far fetched scary stories, which always made me second guess myself. However, now that I have matured a bit and really put my head to the question, I now know that I do believe in ghosts, I just needed to figure out my picture of them. I met a man named Andrew in a college religion class. He was the first “real pagan” that I’d ever met. He told me that he believed that whenever a person walks on the earth, that person’s soul leaves behind something like a fingerprint (I suppose it would be called a “soul print” though) of energy that sometimes shows its face to the people who are still here. That made sense to me. It feels like that’s right, because sometimes I can feel the energy of people I’ve known who’ve died, even though I know they aren’t here anymore.

I also recently read here (a super cool blog) that praying and meditating and speaking to your ancestors is another form of necromancy. I’d never thought of it like that. I always just picture Edward Kelly lying on the ground in a burning pentacle at midnight with his eyes rolled back in his head. Necromancy seems so dramatic, but it’s really just talking to dead people, whether you have a burning pentacle or not.

Ghosts are no different. You can get all Aleister Crowley/burning red thumb with it, or you can stick to knowing that people are made out of energy and that when they leave, they might leave some here, and you might see it. It’s not a bad thing, or a good thing, it’s just something that happens. At the very least, you get a good story out of it. At the most, you get to experience first hand the mysteries of the other worlds…

ps. If you have a good ghost story tell it to me! I love them, red thumbs and all.