I got a mention and a plug by a blogger I’ve admired for years, Jack Faust of Dionysian Atavism. I’m listed by him right alongside magicians I’ve admired for years too. I’m so proud I could burst.
I said, I think, in an earlier post this wasn’t true anymore, but with this (usually mild) benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome I’m going through I’m feeling it again. I just feel better when the Sun goes down. I’m often awake at sunrise, and when the Sun rises it feels like a burden. I just feel better at night, particularly after midnight.
I can remember feeling this way since I was a child. A thunderstorm would come and I’d go out and watch the rain, the clouds, the lightning, listen to the thunder, and feel a sense of awe. Then the clouds would thin, the temperature would warm, the humidity become oppressive, and then the Sun would come back out. Sometimes I would feel so low. And as a teen I got pretty good at amateur astronomy. I would get out my telescope and let it cool or warm to the ambient temperature at dusk. Dusk, from sundown till the stars had all come out, was my favorite time of day then. To this day I still go for walks mostly around dusk.
I worship and am very slowly becoming, I think, a mystic of a Goddess one of whose epithets — Νυκτιπόλος, Nytipolos — means Roaming by night. Hekate is both a chthonic and a uranic (heavenly) Goddess, but it is Her chthonic qualities I first fell in love with. I make most of my offerings to Her at night, as one does for a chthonic Deity in the Hellenic tradition, though I pray to Her whether it’s night or day. And of course Her deipnon, Hekate’s Supper, is always offered late on the night of the New Moon.
And I wonder why this is true about me. Something, unseen, unheard, only felt, happens at sundown. It’s similar to the cessation of the “psychic whine” of collective humanity during the wee hours when most people anywhere near you are asleep, but it’s not that because people don’t go to sleep then. I do not know what this something is. And I don’t know why it’s again bringing me such relief.
Just to be perfectly clear, I’m not here insinuating I’m a vampire, psychic or otherwise. I know how, theoretically, to practice psychic vampirism, and I’ve even done it on occasion, but it’s just to see if I can, or still can. I’m not a natural psychic vampire so I couldn’t take enough energy for anyone ever to notice no matter how hard I tried. It’s just a sort of naughty lark when I do it, maybe a couple of times a year. I do it when I’m feeling particularly antinomian. That doesn’t happen often these days. [EDIT: see comments, I’ve learned a lot about myself since reading this.]
Of the archangels I’ve summoned in order to receive preliminary initiations into their respective planetary spheres — I’m not ready they say for complete initiation — Michael’s initiation, Michael the archangel of the Sun, was by far the most painful. I could tell you what it was like in detail but that would involve delving into my psyche deeper than I’m comfortable doing here. It was beautiful, I will say. It was like what people tell their children dying and going to Heaven is like, in a small way. And it hurt like Hell. It hurt so bad — the sheer beauty of it — that I’ve still not performed the next rite of angelic-planetary initiation, and Michael was maybe a year and a half ago.
I do not understand these things, can’t explain them. They’re just true. I thought they weren’t true for a long while but now I know again they are.
Somehow I’m alien to the Sun, and the Sun alien to me.
I’ve been hurting these last 4, 5 or 6 days — I honestly can’t remember! — from trying to lessen my dosage of Klonopin. I didn’t figure out why I felt so bad till yesterday. —A sigil has helped me some, or my prayers, but it’s still not good.
So I’ve not been able to write a real post for a while. Sorry about that, folks.
Hoping to be back in action soon! Much love, Rachel Izabella
PS — Meanwhile enjoy some art I’ve swiped from various parts of the Web.
Abraxas, or, more commonly in Antiquity, Abrasax
The way I feel
The way I feel, No. 2
A Dance Macabre
Nightmare. (Sweet dreams.)
Edward Gorey’s Atu XV
By Zdzisław Beksiński
Click on the ravens, they fly.
A beautiful Atu XV
The website looks like it was designed in 1995 and a lot of the information is out of date. But this page is pure gold (actually it’s pink but you know what I mean). Some gems:
Coming Out is a matter of personal validation.
To Come Out, is to stop hiding, and to break that viscious circle of self loathing.
Though the article linked to below is old, all these pronouncements by the Vatican against transsexuals still stand. They have not be retracted by anything more recently issued by the Vatican or the new Pope Francis I. As a recovering ex-Catholic and transsexual woman I abominate the Church’s stance, which defies all logic and the scientific consensus.
PS — This page from religioustolerance.org has a lot of the real quotes:
A gem of a story, but a scary one, from Jack Faust. With a name like “But Spirits can’t Hurt You!” I had to read this one as soon as I saw it was posted. Read the comments too, Melitta Benu makes a very good point.
Spoiler alert. Yes, spirits can hurt you. Oh my yes they can. Keep yourself protected and listen to your spiritual allies.
Many questions remain but only two that seem important to me. Who is Lucifer? What is Lucifer? And unfortunately I can’t answer those definitively. I can however present various views and lay out for you my own personal gnosis on the matter.
Probably the most interesting thing I’ve read about an encounter with Lucifer comes from this blog article by Jason Miller, AKA Inominandum. He entered a state of lucid dreaming one night and Lucifer was basically waiting patiently for him to show up and introduced himself thus: “I am the father of the first flame, fallen for freedom’s sake. Have a seat, we have much to discuss”. Read the whole entry, it’s not long and well worth your time.
So that introduces the first possibility. Lucifer is a fallen angel or other entity fallen from the Heaven of some tyrannical God. I don’t believe in any one true “God” — my gut and my experience so far tell me that everything in the universe is somehow plural — so I’ll be discussing Lucifer’s Unnamed God and the Gods from my polytheist’s POV.
I like this theory best — because it’s the one I believe — but there is are possible snags in it. My time with Quimbanda taught me a few things. First, there is no more enmity between the Gods of the Christian pantheon and Lucifer. But that said, he might have fallen from the Christian or other Heaven — the multiverse is a big place with room for plenty of Heavens, Hells, infinite-sized Gods, etc., etc. — before the current state of non-conflict was in place.
Snag number two. Basically, an angel is his/her function. They are what they do. They’re vast cosmic beings, the ones I’ve met, and I won’t theoretically deny them free will a la Thomas Aquinas, but the idea of an angel leaving his/her post is a hard pill to swallow. Again, that said, the archangels of the planetary spheres, most of whom I’ve evoked, are not part of the Christian pantheon. They were “discovered”, for a lack of a better term, by late Renaissance or early Modern Hermeticists, who may have been Christians, at least nominally, but most unorthodox ones indeed. These archangels are eager to come when you summon them and can be of great help even to a polytheist like me. My personal opinion about them, and that’s all it is — opinion — is that they are a necessary part of the multiverse. Where did they come from? I don’t know. Maybe they’ve been there since the beginning. The planetary spheres are just metaphors, after all, and are universal in scope. They might also be in a hierarchy beneath such Beings as the Logos and the Sophia, but here I’m treading on ground I know little about, so I’ll stop now. —But I do not believe that Lucifer is that kind of angel. And if he isn’t, he may well have fallen from a pantheon of some others God. Maybe — probably, as I believe — even the Christian pantheon.
Just to make it doubly or trebly clear, not just the Old Man with the Beard (and I don’t mean Odin) has angels in his service. According to the Chaldean Oracles Hekate Herself has three choirs of angels who serve Her. This idea may well have influenced the late Neo-platonist Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, who invented or discovered the hierarchy of nine choirs of angels adopted by the Christians.
And to further clarify that I’m still a bona fide polytheist, I’ll repeat something I’ve said before. —Every God worth worshiping is both infinite and a Mystery. Mathematically there are an infinite number of infinities, and I believe the same may be true of those other Infinities, the Gods (the ones worthy of the name).
The angels of the Christian pantheon are far from the only angels out there. The multiplicity of Heavens makes it possible for me to believe that Lucifer fell from the Christian Heaven, or Gnostic Heaven, or Islamic Heaven, or early Judaic Heaven, or from some such place and retain my pluralistic, animistic, polytheistic viewpoint.
That was a very long-winded way to explain how I can be a polytheist and still believe in angels and in the Christian pantheon (it’s just another pantheon amongst all the rest). But let it stand, maybe there’s something useful to someone hidden in all that verbiage.
I think this is the most likely “origin story” for Lucifer. The Fallen Angel theory. My personal answer to who and what he is. Others who know a lot more than I do have some other ideas though. I don’t happen to believe them, but let’s take a look at some other peoples’ ideas.
I’ll start with the Demonolaters because I think they deserve more attention and more respect. The Enns they’ve seemingly channeled — mantras of voces magicae, basically — really do work to get a demon’s attention. That is in itself quite an achievement. I respect them and their religion. For more information on Demonolatry see http://demonolatry.org/. And, as an aside, Audrey Brice writes a mean occult thriller set in the world of Demonolatry and with Demonolater heroes and heroines. Notice I said occult thriller, not paranormal romance or urban fantasy. The magic described in her books is real magic.
Somebody correct me if I’m wrong but, if I understand aright, Demonolaters believe that Satan is the All, the One Thing in Hermetic terms. Lucifer is one of the Lords of the Elements, the Lord of Air to be specific, and is called from the East when “casting circle” (that’s not their name for it, but everybody knows what it means and I can’t recall or find the correct term at the moment). Demons, like Lucifer, are humankind’s elders and teachers. If Satan is the All or the One then the Demons are the Gods of the Demonolaters.
That answers the question of who and what they believe Lucifer is. If however they have an origin story it’s not in the public domain.
Perhaps the hardest question of all is that of the relationship between the Lucifer of the grimoires and Lucifer the fallen angel. Jake Stratton-Kent mentions Hermes Chthonios as a possible higher octave of Lucifer, but otherwise doesn’t have much to say about the subject. I use the word octave here in the esoteric sense. Saturn, the astrological planet, is the higher octave of planet Earth, for example.
Although I say this is perhaps the hardest question of them all, I have some Unverified Personal Gnosis here. Perhaps I should call it Peer Corroborated Personal Gnosis, because a friend was involved. —Many Quimbandeiros believe that Exu Rei, King Exu, is Lucifer the Fallen Angel. Other lineages of Quimbanda might consider, for example, Exu Mor or Exu Death, to be Exu Rei. But when Exu Rei came calling not that long ago he identified himself to me as Lucifer. A few days later a magician friend across the ocean who was performing the rite in the Black Dragon summoned Lucifer and he, Lucifer, told my friend Tell Rachel I give her my regards.
As far as I’m concerned, this hardest question is resolved. Lucifer the fallen angel is the same being as the Lucifer of the grimoires. Take my personal gnosis for what it’s worth (be gentle please), and remember, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).
As for Satanists, by and large they can be divided into two camps, doubtless with many subdivisions: the Atheistic Satanists such as the Church of Satan founded by ex-carnie Anton LaVey (whose books are great reads, with many moments of intentional hilarity) and Theistic Satanists, such as the group The Joy of Satan. These are just examples, there are many more groups, but the beliefs of these two are as representative as I know how to present. The Atheistic Satanists are just that — atheists. They don’t believe in Satan, or any spiritual reality for that matter — he’s a symbol or parable of personal freedom, autonomy and responsibility. Notice I do not say just a symbol or parable or story. Stories and parables are very powerful things, and I respect that. They don’t use the name Lucifer because of its Christian connotations. The Theistic Satanists, most but not all, believe that Lucifer and Satan are two names for the same Entity. Both believe that Yahwist myths about Satan and/or Lucifer aren’t even myths, they’re just figments.
I can hardly leave out Luciferians. Unfortunately the only group that even vaguely meets that description that I know anything about is the Cultus Sabbati. I have a great love for the writings of Andrew Chumbley and Daniel Schulke, but one group cannot stand for all. Nevertheless I’ll tell you what I think I understand from those writings, what I can make out of the often cryptic sentences and paragraphs of the Magistri of this group of traditional witches.
Basically, personal beliefs are malleable and can be changed at will. This I believe is a result of the influx of Chaos Magick brought into whatever group of traditional witches Chumbley either joined or founded. Thus myths are myths. They are useful teachings but not to be taken literally. The Gods of Men are not equal to the Elder Gods (who are emphatically not H.P. Lovecraft’s Elder Gods, by the way). And neither group necessarily is believed in by any member at any given time. It’s a personal decision. Lucifer is not named amongst the retinue of the Sixteen Faithful Gods, AKA the Elder Gods. Lucifer falls into the category of pure myth.
I could completely misunderstand the point of view of the Cultus Sabbati, by the way. Also their working beliefs seem to be a moving target. Daniel Schulke’s latest works are very different from those of Andrew Chumbley. —I wish I knew something about other, more literally Luciferian groups. But I don’t.
As for the Christian Church, the consensus that Lucifer is another name for Satan is almost complete. There are however a few exorcists who believe they are separate Entities. I believe the late Malachi Martin was one such. If you want to read a non-fiction account written by a real exorcist, Martin’s Hostage To The Devil is truly more hair-raising than any horror novel I can think of.
My writing time is run out, and I’m spent anyway. I hope you found something of worth in this series.
—Much love, Rachel Izabella
Reblogged from a forest door, one of the best polytheist blogs, maybe the best.
One more thing I wanted to say that came out of the superhero fiasco – although it might seem tangentially related, I think it actually is one of the core issues for me. I saw several people lamenting those of us who dared to say “you’re doing it wrong” (the cardinal sin of modern paganism, because of course it’s all about feelings and there is never a right or wrong way to do anything – a notion that most ancient polytheists and modern indigenous traditions would laugh at). They would say something like, It doesn’t matter to me how everyone else practices or how they see the gods, the only thing that matters is that what they’re doing is beneficial to them.
Here’s the thing. I don’t care if other people’s practices are beneficial to them. I mean, no more than I’d care that any person I don’t know…
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My unread copy of the Deluxe Edition of The Psalter of Cain is now for sale on eBay. You can still smell the goatskin leather. —I said my readers would be the first to know. Hard cardboard dust jacket included. Never opened except to take the photo seen on the eBay page linked to above. Auction price starts at 650.00 USD. Buy It Now price 845.00 USD.
Honestly, it’s a good deal. It’s a great book too. I’ve read my other copy and am still debating whether or not to put it up for sale.
may this incense serve for prayers
for this morning I am verbless
may its lighting serves for works
for this morning I am deedless
may its savor serve for many libations
for this morning I am too feeble
to open a bottle of wine
and holy darkness has not come
Rachel Izabella P.
May 26, 2013
O my Goddess
⸻a mine and mine
⸻let me climb worlds’ heights
⸻I see glimpses of Your
⸻and blinding light
⸻not wallow in the mud
O my Lady
⸻let me be Your mystic
⸻see hear at times at least
⸻without interference of the
⸻of lesser spirits
⸻of humankind’s psychic whine
⸻beauty endless and fine
⸻let me be Your horse and You my
⸻Rider spurring with beauty and terror
⸻see flakes of Your infinity
⸻contain in me
⸻flakes of You my Mystery
⸻and no need to flee
⸻the closer intensity
⸻as ruminants at approach of the lion
Rachel Izabella P.
May 25, 2013
An astounding collection of occult art, 225 pages of it so far. I’ve only scratched the surface of the treasures to be found here. The pic below is a sample showing how oftentimes in Western Medieval and Renaissance art it’s Lilith, not Satan or Samael or Lucifer, who was regarded as the Serpent of the Garden of Eden.
A beautiful, evocative, mystical prose poem by Opinionated Man.
I just performed the Rite of Her Sacred Fires, the rite written by Sorita d’Este and performed by probably thousands world-wide.
I suppose I’m expected to enthuse over it, but I’m not going to. I found myself underwhelmed. The from the heart prayers I offered afterwards had more power in them, for me. —What did I expect? The ritual is rather lovely. But I felt no call to join in with those thousands also performing the ritual tonight, even though I gave it my best shot. Perhaps not a very good shot, but the best I have within me. I did not feel, with one exception, my Goddess’s presence when I performed the rite. Perhaps I missed the target.
I can’t criticize the Covenant of Hekate. I know very little about it. I have some dear friends who are members, friends who know what they’re about. The fault, if there is a fault, lies within my own wayward heart.
I felt power however in these voces magicae: Askei Kataskei Erōn Oreōn Iōr Mega Samnyēr Baui (thrice) Phobantia Semnē. Just like there’s power in the Ephesia Grammata (Ephesian Words): Askion Kataskion Lix Tetrax Damnameneus Aision. I need to source the former — the voces magicae used in the Rite of Her Sacred Fires — in the Greek Magical Papyri. I think they’re found there though I could be wrong. They won’t be difficult to source regardless. I did indeed feel a connection, feel something click, when I repeated those words, only I have no idea what they actually do. Perhaps I can do something on my own with them when I find them in context and attempt to get a clue as to their function within the context of the rite containing them. The latter after all, the stand-alone Ephesia Grammata, is/are a powerful protective charm if uttered with enough Will-Desire-Belief, and also repeatedly, like a mantra.
Which brings me to the crux of the matter. Did I simply not invest enough Will-Desire-Belief in tonight’s Rite of Her Sacred Fires? Doubtless I did not. And doubtless I’ll remain unable to do so.
The Covenant of Hekate has its place, but I’m not a joiner. I’d planned on joining, but I posted somewhere about not joining any societies except the most informal. I have no idea how informal the Covenant of Hekate is, and not knowing I’ll not apply to join.
My heart’s just not in it, nor I think shall it ever be.
Those of you reading this who are members of the Covenant of Hekate, please don’t be offended by my words here. I mean no harm. As I said, the fault, if any, lies within me alone.
I’ve always been a loner. I’m proud to be one because I’m proud to be me. Too proud? Maybe. But I won’t change. I don’t know that I can, having no desire to do so.
All the materia magica I needed to pursue Quimbanda further arrived in the mail yesterday.
I’m abandoning Quimbanda.
Last I mentioned it on this blog I said of Quimbanda that I’d been on the verge of abandoning it but had changed my mind. Now there’ll be no more waffling.
Yesterday, after a session of meditation where I successfully rested in pure awareness for twenty minutes, I asked myself: How will I feel following the way of Quimbanda? My stomach sank, I felt the anxiety in the solar plexus and my belly. It felt so bad I had to think for several moments of something that makes me happy and “copy and paste” the physical sensation of that emotion everywhere I had that feeling of disappointment and anxiety.
After I didn’t feel so wretched any more I asked myself: How will I feel completely devoted to Hekate as my sole Patroness? And feelings of peace and calm and quiet happiness arose in me. —These I allowed to persist.
I did a divination. Will I be happier if I abandon Quimbanda and worship Hekate as my sole Patroness? Interpreted as past-present-future I got a chart that I read as follows. Before, I was trapped, in a prison. Now I am experiencing great good fortune due to inner strength and just fighting the good fight through to the end. This figure means Yes in no uncertain terms. In the future I will lose & experience no more my state of imprisonment.
I generated one more figure: it was one that’s favorable only for endings. My feelings were not deceiving me.
Quimbanda is fascinating, fun and scary. It’s also an interference with my real spiritual vocation.
Any Deity worth worshiping is both infinite and a Mystery. Hekate is both. She is fascinating but She is not scary. She is vastly more terrifying than all the Legions of Hell. I am in love with Her and have been for going on five years.
If I can horse just a tiny flake of Hekate’s infinity — and I have done — then why in fuck’s name should I bother worshiping far, far lesser spirits? Because it’s just so cool? Because Neopaganism in America is a mess that can’t get its shit together? Because Lucifer paid me a visit?
No. Not nearly good enough.
Hekate is my Goddess. She is my one true and unquestionable Love. I have simply acknowledged that I am what I always was.
I am Devoted.