Taroting Depression: The High Priestess

The High Priestess speaks to us of spirituality. Not necessarily religion, but spirituality. 

The High Priestess Tarot card from the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen

What does spirituality mean to you?

For myself, spirituality is my ongoing work with Lilith, my connection to my spiritual guides, and ancestors, and my constant questioning and refining of my belief in an afterlife. It’s my core being. My soul, if you like.

For you, it might be something different. It could be a specific religion, it could be a love of nature and spending time outdoors, it could even be a fandom of some sort. 

Spirituality is the tool you use that feeds your soul. It’s the thing when you lose all track of time, and when you feel fulfilled, and at peace.

We have food to feed our bodies and we have spirituality to feed our souls.

Why is spirituality so important when you have Depression?

Because your soul is hurting. Depression goes beyond sadness, beyond pain, and beyond thought. However it starts, it results in a chemical imbalance in the brain and until you can get the imbalance “re-balanced,” you need something to believe in.

In the deck I’m using, which is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen, the High Priestess is holding a scroll with “Tarot” written on it. This suggests that her version of spirituality involves revealing many secrets and mysteries.

She brazenly, and with pride, shows us the way.

Let’s spend some time with the High Priestess.

When you go to bed tonight, place the High Priestess card under your pillow. If you don’t have your own tarot deck you can print one from the internet or even just write the words “The High Priestess” on a piece of paper and put that under your pillow.

When you close your eyes, out loud, or in your head, ask the High Priestess to send you, in dreams or any other form, during the night, a lesson about spirituality, just for you. 

Make sure you have a pen and paper beside you so that you can write down your dreams, insights, or thoughts as they come to you when you wake up. Don’t worry about writing them down word perfect, you just want the general gist of what you were being told.

This doesn’t have to be a one-off thing, you can do this exercise as many times as you like. And don’t forget that once you get the information, you need to use it. Spend some time working with your new insight, do some research, read more about the High Priestess. 

The goal of the High Priestess is to get you to become, and sometimes create, a spiritual life for yourself. Having something other than yourself to believe in is a powerful tool against the demon Depression. It gives you another focus, something outside yourself, while at the same time, something deeply within yourself.

After all, there has to be a higher purpose of some sort, doesn’t there? 

Tarot Deck used is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen.

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.

Basics of Botanicals: ACORN

Occult:

Associations: lightning, Horned God, Ostara

How to use:

talisman against premature aging

Acorn ink (sigil creations, dye) (Dana & Dana 2020)

Medicinal:

Quercus  (Oak)

(robur {english oak},alba {white oak}, etc.); there are  500 species in the genus Quercus.

Parts used are bark, leaves, acorns

Short-term external use

The acorns of the Quercus brantii Lindl are widely used in alleviating symptoms of diarrhea, laryngopharyngitis diseases, menorrhagia, obesity, and stomach ulcers. (Taib 2020)

May help or improve: bone health, metabolism, energy levels, heart health, diabetes (possibly aid in blood sugar regulation), digestion, skin care. However, the tannins of these can cause great stomach upset, so it is recommend to “boil until the water no longer turns brown.” (WebMD 2022)

Nutritional Facts  (Staughton 2021)

 

 

Citations:

link to photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/branch-acorns-in-the-fall-brown-3682386/

Dana, & Dana. (2020, May 24). What to do with acorns. The Druid’s Garden. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/tag/what-to-do-with-acorns/

Staughton,  John (2021, July 16). 8 amazing benefits of acorns. Organic Facts. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/acorns.html

Taib, M., Rezzak, Y., Bouyazza, L., & Lyoussi, B. (2020, July 31). Medicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of quercus species. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7415107/#:~:text=The%20acorns%20of%20the%20various,ulcers%20%5B8%2C%209%5D

WebMD. (n.d.). Acorns: Are they safe to eat? WebMD. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/are-acorns-safe-to-eat

Further Information:

Pollux, A., & May, A. (2021, February 26). The protective magickal properties of oak and acorns. Welcome To Wicca Now. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://wiccanow.com/magickal-properties-of-oak-and-acorns/

 

DISCLAIMER:

ANY INFORMATION WITHIN BASICS OF BOTANICALS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE

BASICS OF BOTANICALS IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION. It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

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The Book of Radiant Darkness: Part 3

Continued from Part 2…

When writing this story, I aimed to use a present tense to emphasize the “here and now” nature of how I see it. It is not to be interpreted as referring to any sort of historical event somewhere in the past, nor is it dependent on any one text.

It is symbolically teaching about consciousness and spiritual practice.

I implemented a biblical writing style I think appropriate in feel and accordingly a verse system to make reference easy.

So, let’s break it down a bit at a time….

“1. In the beginning is the Abyss, a heart of radiant darkness dwelling in the unity of depth and silence, the waters of a womb pregnant with possibility, an emptiness of form yet a fullness of potentiality.”

What is pointed to here is the ultimate fundamental reality beyond all conceptual being. All description can only point at it, it can only be experienced. In the Gnostic system of Valentinus, according to Iranaeus, it is described as a kind of androgynous formless unity, a Father called Depth (Bythos) and a Mother called Silence (Sige), two aspects with no clear distinction possible so utterly unified are they, not Father and Mother but rather Father-Mother. Preceding the figurative moment of creation, the unity may be described simultaneously as empty given that no form, no conceptualization, is present, yet given this state contains within it the potentiality for all things, it may also thus be described as a resounding Fullness (Pleroma). It is the heart of all being. The concept is paralleled in the Saivite Tantric system in the concept of the Tattva of the Heart (hrdaya):

“It is this same ultimate principle that is worshipped in radically nondual Goddess Tantra as Kali Kala-sankarsani: the radiant Dark, the resounding Silence, the Devourer of Time—by which is meant the timeless ground of the cycle of creation, stasis, and reabsorption.” -”Tantra Illuminated,” by Christopher D. Wallis

Interestingly this concept is even found in Christianity in the work of the early church father St. Gregory of Nissa:

“For leaving behind everything that is observed, not only what sense comprehends but also what the intelligence thinks it sees, it [the heart] keeps on penetrating deeper until by the intelligence’s yearning for understanding it gains access to the invisible and the incomprehensible, and there it sees God. This is the true knowledge of what is sought; this is the seeing that consists in not seeing, because that which is sought transcends all knowledge, being separated on all sides by incomprehensibility as by a kind of darkness. Wherefore John the sublime, who penetrated into the luminous darkness, says, ‘No one has ever seen God’, thus asserting that knowledge of the divine essence is unattainable not only by men but also by every intelligent creature.” -“Life of Moses”

In Hermetic Qabalah this largely corresponds to the Ain Soph, the “no limit”, that precedes creation.

In terms of consciousness this may be described as pure Awareness, Self in the most authentic sense. Take a moment to look at yourself, who are you really? You are not your narratives. You are not your emotions or any other transient thing about you. They are all valid parts, but none are a whole and none are constant. What is the one part of you that is in fact constant, the “You” that is always there in every waking moment? Nothing other than Awareness itself, the arena in which all experience occurs. This pure Consciousness, the “Higher Self,” is what pervades all experience, it is what preceding all label and thought and is the source of all things.

Now, it is very common in spiritual circles to say things like “You are not your thoughts, feelings, body, etc.” As I said, “You are not your narratives.” And in a sense, this is very very true and can be a critically helpful and necessary realization. It opens the door to the all-important question: “If I am not these things, then who or what the hell am I?” But this language also has a built-in danger, a door can be opened to dissociation and spiritual bypassing, to self-gaslighting where things such as feelings, thoughts, and the body, or even material reality itself are dismissed as illusory.

We need not fall into that trap though if we think of ourselves more like an iceberg. Imagine if our thoughts, our feelings, our bodies, our experiential reality are often like the tip of that iceberg. No one would be foolish enough to claim that the tip that we see is fake or not real, but we often are foolish enough to assume that the tip of the iceberg is the whole thing. The problem is a matter of perception.

We overidentify with the tip and ignore the very depths and ground of our being, so narratives that allow us to take that step back and see the big picture are thus really important! We just need to not go so far as to make the mistake of total dissociation from the iceberg. The tip is just as much an important, genuine, necessary, valid, and good part of us as what lies beneath it.

Now to return to the answers to these questions: if I am not merely these things above the surface, what the hell am I? What the hell are we? What the hell is reality? Let’s take the iceberg analogy a bit further. Reality as we view it is really more like countless tips poking through the surface of ordinary perception, and we see the diverse forms each one takes individually, but beneath the surface all those individual tips are part of one mindbogglingly huge mass of ice. That depth that lies beneath the surface? The ground of your very being? It is Awareness itself! It is what is actually is doing the viewing of each individual tip. It is also the least unique thing about you! Now that flies in the face of what you are socially taught as our sick society thrives on the largely ephemeral things that divide us, feeding the ego and profiting off its insecurity and alienation. Reality has little time for such delusion, however. We are connected, and we have far more in common than we do differences. Difference and diversity should be celebrated absolutely but also, we are a communal species, and we should act like it.

“2. From the passion of unity of light and dark, depth and silence, potentiality overflows into
manifestation in a creative explosion, emanating as dualities pervaded by unity, like a tree
sprouting mirrored branches from its trunk. Every branch was another womb, another world, another home, each with its rulers and citizens.”

“From the passion of unity of light and dark, depth and silence” is a direct reference to the idea of creation coming into existence due to the sexual union of Divine masculine and feminine principles. It is a means of describing in relatable terms the energy of creation from unity to a duality prevaded by an ongoing unity. In Tantra this is embodied in the famous union of Shiva and Shakti. I would like to be careful to point out that each part of any such pair is whole
and complete in and of itself, it does not “need” a counterpart, it seeks its other not from any position of lack, but from a position of overflowing potential manifesting as a willingness to share in free creative worship. I would also caution regarding the use of gender in spirituality. Such language is simply a useful tool for describing polarities, for creating a usable system out of already existing and commonly understood language, but do not assume that naked reality cares one bit for such socially constructed divisions! Reality is more like a diverse spectrum than any neat divide.

In Valentinus’ system the action of Silence upon Depth causes the emanation of a series of progressive emanations of unified pairs called syzygys. In Tantra a system of emanations of Tattvas is seen. Here, however the Hermetic Qabalah is in focus, with this interpretation seeing the Trees of Life and Knowledge as one Tree with two sides, each sephiroth and qliphoth an inseparable pair. This is the “tree sprouting mirrored branches from its trunk.”

“3. The dark emanation from primal silence, the first thought, the embodiment of wisdom, is called
Lilith.
4. The light emanation of primal depth, the embodiment of liberation, is called Lucifer.”

The primal first principles from the beginning take form as emanations, named Lilith and Lucifer. Here they take and act out the roles that in Gnostic myth are that of Sophia and Christ respectively. It is also here that the myth becomes expressly Luciferian in nature.

“5. Now, in order for manifestation to occur, in order for unity to exist as plurality, an illusion of
separation within unity must occur. In order that the whole may be revealed, it must first be
concealed.
6. Hence, Lilith in her wisdom sets out to impart concealment. She weaves a web of fate, and begins
to pull its strings. Being utterly one with source she cannot be the concealer herself, so she brings forth
a being modeled on the highest oneness yet ignorant of its origin, a craftsman to create and separate
and manifest the illusion on behalf of the Divine.”

We turn next to Lilith’s role in the unfolding of Divine will. In the Gnostic version of the creation myth the embodiment of the divine feminine is known as Sophia, and she creates the Demiurge by mistake when she attempts to create something without her masculine partner. She then falls into and becomes trapped in the creation of the Demiurge, waiting for Christ to rescue her. Obviously, the Gnostics were Jews and Christians, and this version of the myth is accordingly patriarchal. The result also leaves a degree of dualism even in the otherwise monist scheme of Valentinus.

But what if we keep the myth but clean out the patriarchy with the Luciferian approach instead? With Lilith in this role things work much better. Now, rather than an ignorant damsel in distress, we have an empowered cosmic being knowingly creating the Demiurge as part of the natural and necessary process of manifestation. Any remaining dualism is eliminated. The world isn’t an illusion to escape from, it’s a real and valid part of creation about which we have illusions we need to be liberated from and those illusions need to come into existence precisely so that liberation can happen.

“She weaves a web of fate and begins to pull its strings.” With this phrase Lilith is likened to a spider on a web because, as the creator of the Demiurge, as the one who is both the actual manifest immanent Divine lying behind the Demiurge’s illusions, she is the weaver of the web of cause and effect, what in Buddhism is called “codependent origination,” the understanding of reality as a vast predetermined multidimensional pattern of interdependence. Quite simply the cause of all things is everything else that has ever occurred! It could not be otherwise.

“7. She creates the Demiurge, who looks upon creation as though he were floating over a chaos of
formless waters, an imperfect reflection of the Divine, and he begins to create, separating light from
dark, water from dry land and so on, naming and imposing limit.
8. He creates for himself angels to serve him, imitations of the highest emanations, and a kingdom to
rule over until the end of the age.”

We are now meeting up with the standard Genesis account with the Demiurge perceiving himself floating over the waters that are “formless and void.” As in that myth, which gives no explanation where he came from, he begins to create a world, and he does this via a process of separation and imposing name. If the primal heart or oneness from which all things spring is seen as our direct nonconceptual experience of raw reality, then the Demiurge can be seen as the embodiment of ego, creating a world of narratives and identity that hides that reality from us.

As we so often do in life, we attempt fit everything within the convenient boxes of label, and that isn’t bad in some moral sense. Labels are useful but the reality we blind ourselves to is the reality that such narratives are not truths but tools. And as so often happens, reality refuses to conform to the boxes we try to stuff it in. It is too messy, too wild. Dissatisfaction and suffering are the inevitable result of all this, feelings of fear and incompletion, lashing out, and the search for escape, for salvation, for liberation arises. Rebellion becomes necessary. I want to take a moment to be very clear here about something: the Demiurge is not and should not be described as simply “evil”! Evil is first of all a human moral construct, and while often the Demiurge here is functioning in the role of ego, and while much “evil” can definitely arise from that, it also needs to be recognized that the ego serves a critically important role, a necessary role in human development. It is also important to understand the context in which Luciferianism is rising from: a defiance of Christian supremacy. It subverts the dominant oppressive forms of Christianity. It is not a subversion of every form of Christianity nor is it simply a subversion of Judaism. It is extremely dangerous and unacceptable to simply demonize the deity of an oppressed group, in this case that would lead directly to antisemitism, and there is nothing Luciferian about bigotry. There is a world of difference between the Demiurge presented by the dominant American megachurches and those of similar mind on the one hand, who we happily blaspheme, and the God professed by the downtrodden, with whom we will gladly show solidarity.

“1. Lucifer, seeing the kingdom of falsity, steps forth in the form of an angel into the heaven where
the Demiurge rules and begins to spread truth among his servants. The angels marvel at his wisdom
and praise his beauty as being above all others, likening his glory to the morning star.
2. Yet many are angered at his unbending truth, denouncing him as proud, and there is war in the
heavens.
3. When the Demiurge moves to seize him, Lucifer casts himself down to the earth, leading a host of
angels with him, where he begins to work time and again to shine the light of liberation within the
world as an example to all.
4. In a world of lies the speaker of truth is hated, but where there is oppression there is always
resistance.”

One of the most popular myths regarding Lucifer that has captivated people far beyond Luciferians themselves is the myth of his fall. This derives from the 14th chapter of Isaiah which regards a Babylonian king. However, when the text was translated into the Latin Vulgate under direction of St. Jerome in the 4th century he used the name Lucifer, which was a symbolic personification of the morning star used by Roman poets. The Romans did not consider Lucifer a deity in the way they did say Mars or Mercury. It is not due to a mistake that the verse is associated with Lucifer and the Orthodox Satan as is sometimes believed. Rather, early Christian writers such as Origen and Tertullian in “Adversus Marcionem” already had associated the text with the Devil before Jerome. So simply the myth can be read to both be a prophecy about a human king and also a reference to already existing lore regarding Satan. The myth has certain plot holes that placing it into a Gnostic context easily fills. How can angels, who are supposed to be perfect and basically utter slaves, be described as proud and spontaneously engage in rebellion? How is he not simply seized and destroyed by the Demiurge who is supposed to be all powerful? An intrusion from outside is clearly needed.

If Lucifer is the Gnostic Christ, his appearance in heaven is simply the intrusion intended to subvert the Demiurge’s kingdom and provide an example for humanity to follow. He cannot be simply destroyed because he is more powerful and of purer stuff than the Demiurge. He does not simply destroy the Demiurge because the being serves a necessary purpose.

“1. The Demiurge then goes forth and begins to create from clay a figure, in the shape of that which
he saw in the waters and tries to give it life. At the moment he breathes into it, Lucifer steps forth
again, bestowing a life-giving flame, and the first man comes alive, but like his creator, the man is
ignorant of the true source of his nature.
2. Satisfied, the Demiurge declares the need for this man to have a servant, as his angels serves him,
and so, he forms a woman of the same substance, but being closest in form to the true manifest world,
Lilith herself takes on the body in accordance with Divine Will.”

In much of the accounts from here on I present a retelling of the myths of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel rooted in the biblical account but filling out the often-sparse nature of such texts by drawing on Gnostic scriptural traditions that can be found in the Nag Hammadi scriptures as well as points taken from folklore and non-Canonical texts such as the “Life of Adam and Eve” and Traditional Witchcraft lore regarding Cainite mysteries. In verses 1 and 2 we are in pretty standard biblical territory although the Demiurge, lacking the ability to give genuine life to anything, requires Lucifer to step in and bestow that spark secretly. This points to the idea that all life, all humans whether having Gnosis or not, are endowed with the spark, the Black Flame, of Divinity within them all of them have the potential whether or not it has been used. It also points the fact that even the realm of illusions that the Demiurge creates contains a bit of the essence of the Divine. The Demiurge again continues his attempts to create, driven to model his continued work as a poor image of things above him and things he has already done. In this he is us, our ego, constructing narratives that at best can contain some degree of Truth, can point at Truth, but are always inferior imitations, undermined often by the nature of Truth itself undermining our certainty. He accordingly makes a woman and for a moment we step out of the biblical text and into folkloric accounts. Lilith takes the opportunity to step forward. This theme of Lucifer and Lilith each stepping into the act of creation is present at every point in this myth as manifestation is seen as a kind of dance, a conversation, they each play their role in the undermining of the Demiurge’s plans.

“3. From the beginning Lilith argues with the man, who demands she lie beneath him and be
subservient to him and bear him offspring. She refuses, declaring herself his equal, and when she
finds he will not relent, she flees his presence across the Red Sea.
4. The Demiurge in his anger sends his angels after Lilith but she speaks the True Name of the
Demiurge and in that moment, seeing her true nature and power revealed, they can not seize her.
5. Lilith dwells then in a cave upon the sea, hidden as a spider in a burrow, waiting and weaving
the strings of Divine Will.
6. The Demiurge then creates a new woman from the rib of the man he called Adam, a woman who
would be called Eve.”

I present here a simple and pretty straightforward retelling of the standard Lilith myth. But it raises a big question: How does she know his True Name if she is simply his human creation? The True Name of a thing, in occult tradition, embodies that which is named.

To know it suggests tremendous power and such names are typically kept secret. I suggest there’s really only one way she could know it: because she created him. She is a demonization of the feminine archetype, a kind of dark Shekinah. She is the Gnostic Sophia minus the patriarchy.

Let’s go further into the identity of Lilith. In 1587, the famed occultist John Dee with his partner Edward Kelley evoked a spirit, who gave a famous vision where she said,

“I am the daughter of Fortitude and ravished every hour from my youth. For behold I am Understanding and science dwelleth in me; and the heavens oppress me. They cover and desire me with infinite appetite; for none that are earthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the Circle of the Stars and covered with the morning clouds. My feet are swifter than the winds, and my hands are sweeter than the morning dew. My garments are from the beginning, and my dwelling place is in myself. The Lion knoweth not where I walk, neither do the beast of the fields understand me. I am deflowered, yet a virgin; I sanctify and am not sanctified. Happy is he that embraceth me: for in the night season, I am sweet, and in the day full of pleasure. My company is a harmony of many symbols and my lips sweeter than health itself. I am a harlot for such as ravish me, and a virgin with such as know me not. For lo, I am loved of many, and I am a lover to many; and as many as come unto me as they should do, have entertainment.”

Now this bears striking resemblance to a text neither Dee nor Kelley had access to: the Gnostic scriptures of Nag Hammadi, the text of “Thunder, Perfect Mind,” where Sophia, also known as Barbelo, speaks for herself,

“I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin…”
and
“I am the knowledge of my inquiry,
and the finding of those who seek after me”

A careful comparison is worth studying as the places where the character differs seem to be directly related to history, “Thunder…” was written at a time when the role of women in the church was being debated. The “Daughter of Fortitude” speech is the words of a goddess set to return,

“As yet, I walk in the clowdes,
As yet, I am carryed with the wyndes:
And cannot descend unto you
for the multitude of your abbominations,
& The filthy lothesomnes of your dwelling places.”
“….I comme unto you again.”
Aleister Crowley and Victor Neuberg performed Dee’s ritual themselves in 1909
and here the Goddess Babalon revealed herself saying,
“I am the harlot that shaketh Death.
This shaking giveth the Peace of Satiate Lust.
Immortality jetteth from my skull,
And music from my vulva.
Immortality jetteth from my vulva also,
For my Whoredom is a sweet scent like a seven-stringed instrument,
Played unto God the Invisible, the all-ruler,
That goeth along giving the shrill scream of orgasm.”

In Thelemite Jack Parson’s Babalon Working, Babalon ties her own identity directly to Dee’s ritual.

“23. My calls as thou knowest. All love songs are of me. Also seek me in the Seventh Aire.” -Liber 49

Crowley also flatly stated,

“Here also is a mystery of mysteries. Lilith is truly Babalon.” -”footnote on the 3rd Aethyr”

So. If Daughter of Fortitude = Sophia, Daughter of Fortitude = Babalon, and Babalon = Lilith, then Lilith= Daughter of Fortitude and Lilith= Sophia.

Psychologically our ego is a direct product of our environment and upbringing and Lilith as an embodiment of the manifest world, literally a dark sort of ‘earth mother” is that environment. Like the real manifest raw reality, she sits hidden behind the veil, the realm of the Demiurge, yet continues to pull the strings of fate, and this is symbolized in her residency in her cave; a cave that naturally sits on a sea, reiterating her relationship to the watery Abyss of nonconceptual reality.

“1. Now there grows in the midst of the garden a tree, and the Demiurge knows not from where it came and is afraid, but he takes credit for its creation and warns Adam and Eve saying “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree in the middle you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die. ”

While the Demiurge is away curiosity gets the best of Eve and she approaches the tree.”

The classic story of the Garden of Eden is a symbol for the basic human situation. We come into this world as children into a garden with nothing but our inborn potentialities, our inborn Divine nature, yet ignorant. We are taught rules, narratives as we grow, do this, don’t do that. The world is divided into the pure we can touch and the impure we mustn’t. But before the installation of social conditioning we experience reality nakedly. This is reminiscent of the Indian Left Hand teachings of the Aghori sadhus:

“The gurus and disciples of Aghor believe their state to be primordial and universal. They believe that all human beings are natural-born Aghori. Hari Baba has said on several occasions that human babies of all societies are without discrimination, that they will play as much in their own filth as with the toys around them. Children become progressively discriminating as they grow older and learn the culturally specific attachments and aversions of their parents. Children become increasingly aware of their mortality as they bump their heads and fall to the ground. They come to fear their mortality and then palliate this fear by finding ways to deny it altogether.” – Ron Barrett, “Aghor Medicine: Pollution, Death, and Healing in Northern India”.

Interestingly, this idea that the method is one of returning to a primordial,
Christ teaches childlike state as well:

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:1-4, NASB

And yet much like the mysterious Tree, reality intrudes into our world of illusions, a means that can be used for escape, though we are told of course, “Thou shalt not touch it!”

“2. On its shady side Lucifer awaits in the form of a serpent. And he says to the woman, “Has your
Lord really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
Eve replies, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree
which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or on that
day you will die.’”
3. The serpent says to the woman, “You certainly will not die! For your Lord knows that on the day
you eat from it the eyes of your mind will be opened, and you will become like the Divine, knowing
good and evil.”
4. When the woman sees that the tree is good for food, and that it is a delight to the eyes, and that
the tree is desirable to make one wise, she takes of its fruit and eats. Immediately the eyes of her
mind are opened and she sees things nakedly. Imbued with the power of the fruit, she is with child,
though she does not know it.”

The “shady side” of the tree is a reference to the Sitra Achra, the “other side” of the Tree of Life in Hermetic Qabalah, and I imply here that rather than two trees growing in opposite directions and united only by their root as some traditions speak, I favor an interpretation where the light and dark sides are one fully united tree and to work with one side is to work with the energies of the other. An obvious question should arise to anyone reading this myth: given that the Demiurge depicted in Christian versions is supposed to be a beneficial character, one mankind is supposed to follow, if that is the case, why does he so much wish his creations to remain ignorant and enslaved to his will? Doesn’t seem very “good.” The Luciferian answer, which dates back to the Gnostics who first said it, is: because the Serpent is actually the one mankind should be following not the Demiurge. It is the Serpent who acts as the liberator. And surely enough, Eve did not die on the day she ate of the tree but as promised the eyes of her mind were opened. Next question: what exactly was the “fruit” in question? The fruit of the tree is metaphorical for sacred sexuality. Note that the type of fruit is not mentioned. It is said to awaken to the knowledge of good and evil and reveal nakedness. What sort of act could both reveal nakedness and the implications of one’s actions? The counterargument here that one might expect is that surely the Demiurge does not see sexuality as a sin in and of itself as, in the original scriptures, he gives the command to “Go forth and multiply” and therefore the fruit cannot be sexuality. But what needs to be understood is that the fruit given here is not just any sexuality. It is one outside the boundaries of the Demiurgic plan. It is a sacred one, nothing less than sex magick. The Demiurge intended for sexuality to be for procreation, hence why his command was focused on reproduction, and given his rejection of the equality between Lilith and Adam and the creation of the subservient Eve, he intended for the power dynamic of procreative sexuality to be patriarchal. Lucifer’s gift to Eve was one that bestowed the knowledge of a sexuality that transgressed all that. In doing so he planted a seed of his own, a blood line of a different order.

“5. She gives fruit to Adam and he also eats of it and the eyes of his mind see their nakedness. In
shame he makes them garments of fig leaves to cover themselves.
6. The Demiurge returns in the cool of the day and when Adam sees him he hides himself.
“Where are you?” the Demiurge calls out.
7. Adam says, ““I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I
hid myself.”
8. And the Demiurge asks, “Who showed you your nakedness? Have you eaten from the tree from
which I commanded you not to eat?”
9. The man says, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me some of the fruit of the
tree, and I ate.”
10. Then the Demiurge says to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman
says, “The serpent seduced me, and I ate.”
11. Then he curses the serpent for giving them a glimpse of naked reality.
12. He curses the woman and the man and all their descendants for their disobedience. He condemns
forever the seed of the Serpent and the man to enmity.
13. Then the Demiurge says to his angels, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good
and evil; and now, he might reach out with his hand, and take more fruit from this tree of life, and
eat, and live forever.”
14. He then makes them drink from the waters of forgetfulness and casts the couple out into the
world and sets angels to guard the tree for all time.”

Having learned from the Serpent, Eve now initiates Adam who likewise awakens but feels shame for his transgression and chooses to cover the offending body parts. When the Demiurge returns, he hides himself in fear. He immediately blames Eve who then blames the Serpent. Note that Adam’s primary sin here is basically that he listened to his wife but neither of them, despite having a small glimpse of Gnosis, is willing to take responsibility for their actions. So, the Demiurge begins handing out his punishments and he specifically places a curse of enmity between the seed of the Serpent and that of Adam. Again, the idea of sexuality as fruit is invoked here as in the original scriptures the imagery of fruit and seeds is often used to refer to procreation. The seeds represent the spiritual bloodline of the Serpent and that of the Demiurge via the man, the Serpent-seed planted here specifically is that of Cain.

Next the Demiurge speaks to his angels and declares openly that the eyes of these humans have indeed been opened however briefly and that they have “become like one of Us,” so out of fear that they might more fully attain to such heights and become perhaps even more powerful than he, the Demiurge wipes their mind of any attainment and casts them out of the garden placing his angels to guard the Tree forever.

“1. Now Adam and Eve have their first children, a set of twins, who grow to be shining and
beautiful, the male she names Cain and his twin sister she names Calmana. They are of the blood of
the serpent, called Lucifer, as an image of the truth, a complementary unity with desire only for each
the companionship of the other.
2. Adam impregnates Eve and again twins are born, called Abel and Azura. They are of the blood
of their father, in the image of separation, out of deficiency they grow to desire their elder siblings.”

3. The Demiurge conspires with Adam and commands that Cain should marry Azura
and Abel should be wed to Calmana. When the older twins hear of this they protest to
Adam and he declares as his ruler instructed: to have Cain and Abel each bring an
offering to the Demiurge, that he might show one favor and thereby decide the case.
4. Now Abel is a shepherd in the hills and he brings to the altar his best lamb and slays
the peaceful beast upon the altar and a fire from heaven strikes down upon it and burns
it up and the smoke rises to the heavens.
5. Cain is a worker of the field, a grower of crops and he brings some of his best crops
to be offered up. He burns them upon the altar but the smoke does not rise, instead he
is surprised to find the smoke lingers on the ground at his feet and absorbs into it.  Cain, angry at the rejection of his offering, leaves.
6. The next day as he is working in his fields, Lucifer appears to Cain as a fellow farmer
saying, “Behold! The ruler to whom you gave offering conspired against you! Listen
and follow me though and you will have great wealth and my relations will attend you.”
7. Cain asks, “Where are your relations?”
Lucifer responds, “I have come from roaming about the earth, and walking forth on it.
My relations are a kingdom all about you though men do not see them. I am your
relation as I am your father.”
8. At these words Cain’s ears are opened to truth and his eyes see clearly. He sees there
will be no justice without rebellion. He conspires with Calmana who lures Abel to the
field and Cain slays him there with his sickle. Upon that field of harvest, the Blood
Acre, Abel’s blood is offered up as sacrifice to the Divine, the blood following the path
of its furrows, a sacred place where the illusion of separation collapses, the roads of
material and spiritual cross. Here, the awakened Cain and Calmana worship in awe.
9. Cain makes a necklace of his bones as a wedding present for his bride. From Abel’s
blood and the grain of the field she makes a bread that they share in celebration, a
communion of the Divine, washing it down with wine from the vineyard.
10. In rage, Abel’s blood cries out for vengeance and the annihilation not merely of his
brother but also his descendants, for he is like the Demiurge who would say, “ I am a
jealous God, inflicting the punishment of the fathers on the children.”
10. And the Demiurge hears its call and comes and asks Cain, “Where is Abel your
brother?”
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain answers disdainfully.
11. And he answers, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying
out to me from the ground.” And the Demiurge tries to curse Cain and Calmana but
they cannot be seized, so he only manages to put marks on them, horns that grow from
their heads and send them away.
12. So they leave the place and walk the Crooked Path of the witch, learning the ways
of herbalism and divining, how to traffic with spirits and work magick at the feet of
Lucifer and Lilith themselves.
13. From they and their descendants, all those bound by the spiritual lineage of
Witchblood, does all wisdom come. Unto humans the spirits teach knowledge, of
music to Jubal, of the forging of weapons to Tubal-Cain, of cosmetics to his sister
Naamah, and so on.
14. The history of man from then is the history of oppression and the enduring spirit of
rebellion against it, from which all progress comes.

It is important to reiterate that the myths being dealt with here are not historical but spiritual events, and this is exemplified in the Cain and Abel story, where we see the process of initiation and spiritual practice dramatically played out. Cain, whose name means to acquire, from a root that means to create, embodies the Initiate, he is the first Witch and therefore the root of the lineage of Witchblood. Abel, whose name derives from a word that may be rendered breath, vapor, and vanity, implies something surface, ephemeral, impermanent. He embodies the initiate’s binding narratives, habits, material unaligned with ultimate reality and therefore to some degree false. Calmana and Azura continue the theme of reality exiting in complementary polarity, both have names that imply beauty, though Calmana represents the deeper beauty of reality versus the surface nature of Azura.

The myth here derives from canonical sources with material supplemented from noncanonical sources with nods to Sabbatic Craft.

So, there you have it. Does this material resonate with you? Looking to put it into practice?

Go here next!

The Book of Radiant Darkness: Part 2

Continuing from the previous article….

To communicate the highest spiritual realities and experiences, to speak at
all utmost reality is only ever a game of approximation, the game of myth. Words
can only point towards truth yet never capture that which dwell before label and
concept. Myths are necessary and powerful because the soul speaks in the language of
symbol, and language, like the soul, evolves. Every age produces new myths and
reimagines old ones, as the Divine, and our relationship to it develops in an endless
conversation. Myth then, is not a record of the historical or the literal, but something
higher, and if that is what you wish, let me give you then, this myth.

I. The Creation

1. In the beginning is the Abyss, a heart of radiant darkness dwelling in the unity of depth and silence, the waters of a womb pregnant with possibility, an emptiness of form, yet a fullness of potentiality.
2. From the passion of unity of light and dark, depth and silence, potentiality overflows into manifestation in a creative explosion, emanating as dualities pervaded by unity, like a tree sprouting mirrored branches from its trunk. Every branch is another womb, another world, another home, each with its rulers and citizens.
3. The dark emanation from primal silence, the first thought, the embodiment of wisdom, is called Lilith.
4. The light emanation of primal depth, the embodiment of liberation, is called Lucifer.
5. Now, for manifestation to occur, for unity to exist as plurality, an illusion of separation within unity must occur. In order that the whole may be revealed, it must first be concealed.
6. Hence, Lilith in her wisdom sets out to impart concealment. She weaves a web of fate and begins to pull its strings. Being utterly one with source she cannot be the concealer directly, so she brings forth a being modeled on the highest oneness yet ignorant of its origin, a craftsman to create and separate and manifest the illusion on behalf of the Divine.
7. She creates the Demiurge, who looks upon creation as though he were floating over a chaos of formless waters, an imperfect reflection of the Divine, and he begins to create, separating light from dark, water from dry land and so on, naming, and imposing limit.
8. He creates for himself angels to serve him, imitations of the highest emanations, and a kingdom to rule over until the end of the age.

II. The Rebellion

1. Lucifer, seeing the kingdom of falsity, steps forth in the form of an angel into heaven where the Demiurge rules and begins to spread truth among his servants. The angels marvel at his wisdom and praise his beauty as being above all others, likening his glory to the morning star.
2. Yet many are angered at his unbending truth, denouncing him as proud, and there is war in the heavens.
3. When the Demiurge moves to seize him, Lucifer throws himself down to the earth, leading a host of angels with him, where he begins to work repeatedly to shine the light of liberation within the world as an example to all.
4. In a world of lies the speaker of truth is hated, but where there is oppression there is always resistance.

III. The Incarnation

1. The Demiurge then goes forth and begins to create from clay a figure, in the shape of that which he saw in the waters and tries to give it life. Now he breathes into it, Lucifer steps forth again, bestowing a life-giving Black Flame, and the first man comes alive, but like his creator, the man is ignorant of the true source of his nature.
2. Satisfied, the Demiurge declares the need for this man to have a servant, as his angels serves him, and so he forms a woman of the same substance, but Lilith herself enters the body in accordance with Divine Will.
3. From the beginning Lilith argues with the man, who demands she lie beneath him and be subservient to him and bear him offspring. She refuses, declaring herself his equal, and when she finds he will not relent, she flees his presence across the Red Sea.
4. The Demiurge in his anger sends his angels after Lilith but she speaks the True Name of the Demiurge and in that moment, seeing her true nature and power revealed, they cannot seize her.
5. Lilith dwells then in a cave upon the sea, hidden as a spider in a burrow, waiting and weaving the strings of Divine Will.
6. The Demiurge then creates a new woman from the rib of the man he called Adam, a woman who would be called Eve.

IV. The Seduction

1. Now there grows during the garden a tree, and the Demiurge knows not from where it came and is afraid, but he takes credit for its creation and warns Adam and Eve saying “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree in the middle you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die. ” While the Demiurge is away curiosity gets the best of Eve and she approaches the tree.
2. On its shady side Lucifer awaits in the form of a serpent. And he says to the woman, “Has your Lord really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Eve replies, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or on that day you will die.’”
3. The serpent says to the woman, “You certainly will not die! For your Lord knows that on the day you eat from it the eyes of your mind will be opened, and you will become like the Divine, knowing good and evil.”
4. When the woman sees that the tree is good for food, and that it is a delight to the eyes, and that the tree is desirable to make one wise, she takes of its fruit and eats. Immediately the eyes of her mind are opened, and she sees things nakedly. Imbued with the power of the fruit, she is with child, though she does not know it.
5. She gives fruit to Adam, and he also eats it and the eyes of his mind see their nakedness. In shame he makes them garments of fig leaves to cover themselves.
6. The Demiurge returns in the cool of the day and when Adam sees him, he hides himself. “Where are you?” the Demiurge calls out.
7. Adam says, ““I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid myself.”
8. And the Demiurge asks, “Who showed you your nakedness? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?”
9. The man says, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me some of the fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
10. Then the Demiurge says to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman says, “The serpent seduced me, and I ate.”
11. Then he curses the serpent for giving them a glimpse of naked reality.
12. He curses the woman and the man and all their descendants for their disobedience. He condemns forever the seed of the Serpent and the man to enmity.
13. Then the Demiurge says to his angels, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out with his hand, and take more fruit from this tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”
14. He then makes them drink from the waters of forgetfulness and casts the couple out into the world and sets angels to guard the tree for all time.

V. The Initiation

1. Now Adam and Eve have their first children, a set of twins, who grow to be shining and beautiful, the male she names Cain and his twin sister she names Calmana. They are of the blood of the serpent, called Lucifer, as an image of the truth, a complementary unity with desire only for each the companionship of the other.
2. Adam impregnates Eve and again twins are born, called Abel and Azura. They are of the blood of their father, in the image of separation, out of deficiency they grow to desire their elder siblings.
3. The Demiurge conspires with Adam and commands that Cain should marry Azura, and Abel should be wed to Calmana. When the older twins hear of this they protest to Adam and he declares as his ruler instructed: to have Cain and Abel each bring an offering to the Demiurge, that he might show one favor and thereby decide the case.
4. Now Abel is a shepherd in the hills, and he brings to the altar his best lamb and slays the peaceful beast upon the altar and a fire from heaven strikes down upon it and burns it up and the smoke rises to the heavens.
5. Cain is a worker of the field; a grower of crops, and he brings some of his best crops to be offered up. He burns them upon the altar, but the smoke does not rise, instead he is surprised to find the smoke lingers on the ground at his feet and absorbs into it. Cain, angry at the rejection of his offering, leaves.
6. The next day as he is working in his fields, Lucifer appears to Cain as a fellow farmer saying, “Behold! The ruler to whom you gave offering conspired against you! Listen and follow me though and you will have great wealth and my relations will attend you.”
7. Cain asks, “Where are your relations?” Lucifer responds, “I have come from roaming about the earth, and walking forth on it. My relations are a kingdom all about you though men do not see them. I am your relation as I am your father.”
8. At these words Cain’s ears are opened to truth and his eyes see clearly. He sees there will be no justice without rebellion. He conspires with Calmana who lures Abel to the field and Cain slays him there with his sickle. Upon that field of harvest, the Blood Acre, Abel’s blood is offered up as sacrifice to the Divine, the blood following the path
of its furrows, a sacred place where the illusion of separation collapses, the roads of material and spiritual cross. Here, the awakened Cain and Calmana worship in awe.
9. Cain makes a necklace of his bones as a wedding present for his bride. From Abel’s blood and the grain of the field she makes a bread that they share in celebration, a communion of the Divine, washing it down with wine from the vineyard.
10. In rage, Abel’s blood cries out for vengeance and the annihilation not merely of his brother but also his descendants, for he is like the Demiurge who would say, “ I am a jealous God, inflicting the punishment of the fathers on the children.”
10. And the Demiurge hears its call and comes and asks Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain answers disdainfully.
11. And he answers, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.” And the Demiurge tries to curse Cain and Calmana but they cannot be seized, so he only manages to put marks on them, horns that grow from their heads, and send them away.
12. So they leave the place and walk the Crooked Path of the witch, learning the ways of herbalism and divining, how to traffic with spirits and work magick at the feet of Lucifer and Lilith themselves.
13. From they and their descendants, all those bound by the spiritual lineage of Witch blood, does all wisdom come. Unto humans the spirits teach knowledge, of music to Jubal, of the forging of weapons to Tubal-Cain, of cosmetics to his sister Naamah, and so on.
14. The history of man from then is the history of oppression and the enduring spirit of rebellion against it, from which all progress comes.

What I have aimed to do with presenting this myth, rather than creating something completely new and original, is bring together some of the various myths popular among Luciferians in one place, one narrative. At the same time, I also wanted to push further than that, push towards theological evolution.

It is impossible I think for an author’s voice to not shine through in a written work. Bias will always seep in, so rather than attempt some feigned neutrality, I openly embrace that this is my interpretation. But why listen to me?

Well firstly, why listen to any of the writers of the so called “Left Hand Path’s” claims? Are most scholars with degrees? Not really. There are no PhD’s in Luciferian Theology! They are just people offering their own interpretations based on their study and practice and I am no different in that, no less valid. Some might try to invalidate this narrative by appealing to older interpretations or etymology and to those people I simply respond that things change. I am not interested in static conceptions of spirituality. I see humanity’s relationship to the Divine and to spiritual beings as an ongoing conversation and progressive unfolding, a thing of constant reimagining and I would suggest that newer traditions and approaches may better fit the needs of spiritual seekers better than older ones. We are to learn from history, not be bound by it.

You are welcome to accept or reject as you please.

Second, the next part of this series I will hopefully show here why I interpret things the way I do. I will show my influences and cite my sources and I will look to other traditions for corroboration.

Stay tuned.

The Book of Radiant Darkness: Part 1

Alice Pike Barney’s “Lucifer”

Preface

What follows is a statement of belief. A mythology. A theology. And a bit of how I got here.

After a lot of thought and consideration I have felt called to address a lack in the Luciferian community, to provide an alternative voice to what often passes for Luciferianism, Satanism, and so called “Left Hand Path” spirituality in the wider occult movement. Over many years of study and practice in which I engaged with many of these types of western “Left Hand” practice and its “scene” I became disillusioned. I walked away in disgust. Yet life has a way of calling us back, of forcing us to rethink. Fires get rekindled. I was called back with renewed vigor, and a deep feeling that what was often being taught was off base. So, I threw myself into study, dug deep into how this kind of spirituality developed, the sources of its language. I have learned much since regarding the roots of Luciferian ideas and the tangled pathways of witchcraft. I have tapped deep into veins of heresy and mysticism. Here I am certainly indebted to some amazing scholars and those who have come before me and presented their own forms and systems of Luciferian ideology, some of whom I agree with and some I most definitely do not! There are many Luciferianisms to be honest.

It is not a dogmatic spirituality.

What I intend to present here is the center of my contribution to an ongoing evolution, to present the core of Luciferianism as I teach it. It is what I refer to, to distinguish it from others and to emphasize its roots and mindset, as Gnostic Luciferianism.

To be sure, the kind of Gnosticism in question here is not the hard dualistic and anti-cosmic sort from which some others draw inspiration but closer in themes to that of the monist Valentinus.  This is a Luciferianism that weaves this together in its web with Hermetic Qabalah and expresses it in the practice of Traditional Witchcraft. I seek to transcend simple reversals of Christian worldviews and approaches that seem to lead only to bloated egos, dark fetishism, and the valorization of trauma and personal toxicity. This is a mature Luciferianism focused on spiritual wholeness and embodied liberation.

What I feel called to do in this text is retell and then interpret Gnostic mythology in a Luciferian manner. But why would I do that?

Firstly, Luciferianism has a long history of incorporating Gnostic ideas, it is easily argued that the practice of witchcraft and the occult in general owes much to Gnostic derived ideas in the Middle Ages.

This is discussed by Jefferey Burton Russell in “Witchcraft in the Middle Ages” and by Richard Cavendish in the later chapters of “The Black Arts. ”

The basic scenario is that the sects and the associated systems used by the Gnostics were largely crushed by the Orthodox Church, however the ideas of these sects survived and filtered into medieval Europe over the centuries in a constant stream of heresy, from the Gnostics and Marcionites to the Paulicians, then Bogomils, then Cathars in southern France, Amalricians, Brethren of the Free Spirit, etc. Everything medieval witches would be accused of is that which all of these heresies were accused of as well. Early witch trials? Many spring up dead in the middle of Cathar country. At some point it is suggested that a reversal occurred, heretics adopting and owning the accusations against them. As Cavendish suggests in regard to the Cathars:

“ It is possible that some of them concluded that if the Catholic God was really the Devil, then the Catholic Devil might be the true God.”
– “The Black Arts”

Did such witches actually exist? It has been suggested that no one was practicing the worship of Lucifer historically, that all those accused were innocent of any sort of occult practice. But this appears overly skeptical. Certainly, if anyone was practicing such things they were not practicing any sort of survival of pagan religion. Murrayism has been debunked since the mid-20th century. So if anyone was practicing such things, what they were worshiping could only be the devil due to sheer process of elimination and the fact that confessions openly and consistently state such. But are any confessions believable? They were extracted often under torture or more often the threat of it. Well, what do we actually know about magic and witchcraft in this period?

We do know that the practice of magic was widespread among the populace. A whole host of charms and spells, herbalism, astrology and other systems of divination that any modern person would now call witchcraft was popular at the time.

Most of this was undoubtedly heretical but still very much Christian.

At every point in history there has been resistance movements to the dominant narratives.

We do know from some of the most credible confessions, especially those extracted without torture, that much of what is accused of occurring are things that could easily be stage managed with things like masks and costumes.

We know that the concoctions known as ‘flying ointments’ in trial records are functional and reproduce the very effects associated with “midnight rides to the Sabbat.” If there were no witches practicing these things, why are there functional ointments that induce these very experiences?

As there are people today and in recorded history who are attracted to such things, based on what we know it seems reasonable to conclude that there were at least a few scattered individuals and groups practicing the worship of Lucifer. We will never know for sure of course as illiterate peasants did not leave us with any records.

Regardless, that folklore and mythology, those ideas, persisted. But put yourself in the shoes for a moment of an LGBTQ person in the Renaissance. You have been raised from birth to believe you are hopelessly damned.

An abomination.

The god of the church does not accept you. Your community would hate you if they knew.

But there is one who will, one who offers power, and a place where you will be accepted. Celebrated.

So, do we really think no one had a good reason to seek out the Devil?

People openly claiming and praising Lucifer start showing up in the 19th century where he is embraced as a figure of rebellion and revolution by poets, artists, occultists, and anarchists.

Gnostic and Luciferian ideas and mythology show up extensively as well in modern Traditional Witchcraft with the prominence given to the folkloric Devil. So retelling Gnostic myth in a Luciferian way both honors the roots of the religion while also appreciating and considering its development in history.

The use of transgression of social norms is a defining feature of this type of spirituality. This is because to experience ultimate reality one must be able to move past one’s social condition. Mind you this is not merely a pursuit of shock value, nor is it any sort of excuse to hate the practitioners of the many diverse Abrahamic faiths, nor is it a vehicle for base hedonism. People whose interest is of this nature should be discouraged. But so long as the Christian faith remains the dominant one even to the point of shaping our very language, Luciferian spirituality will remain relevant. Heresy is always relevant, and if the things said in this text are heresies even to other Luciferians, so much the better!

 

Introduction: The Gnostic Luciferian View

I would like to begin by presenting in a brief point by point manner the basic principles of Gnostic Luciferianism, I will flesh these out over the course of these articles but for now just give them some consideration and invite yourself to consider how your life might be different if they were true.

1. All of reality is One Divine Essence manifesting as particular diverse forms in a massive web of dynamic interdependency. All that manifests may be understood as patterns of energetic vibration, from common objects to spiritual beings.

2. This Divine Essence is experienced as pure consciousness as consciousness pervades all experiential existence.

3. There is no separation between the spiritual and the physical. This Divine unity in diversity is embodied beautifully in Levi’s art depicting Baphomet and in the Hermetic maxim of “That which is above is like that which is below to achieve the wonder of the One thing.”

4. As there is no separation between material and spiritual, scientifically verifiable natural laws are Divine Laws part of the Divine Will, and science a tool for us to better know and refine spiritual knowledge and destroy illusions.

5. The diverse forms the Divine energy manifests as includes ourselves and the beings we variously call specific deities, demons, spirits, etc. The difference between humans and such beings is that deities and other spirits simply exist in other dimensions relative to our own perception.

6. Myths regarding such beings should not be seen as literal truths regarding historical events but as sacred allegories teaching mystical truths.

7. The central beings worshiped in Gnostic Luciferianism are Lucifer and Lilith as complementary manifestations of the Divine, along with various demons, and other spirits who act as spiritual guides and teachers to humanity.

8. Lucifer is the bearer of the Divine Light of Knowledge to mankind. He embodies destruction of illusion, he ignites the Black flame of Wisdom within the Self that burns away our falsehoods, that liberates us from the bonds of our social conditioning and our narratives, allowing us to see reality as it is. He is the dark and radiant Gnostic Christ. He is One with Divine Transcendence.

9. Lilith is the initiator into sensual grounded being, she is defiant sensuality, the dark womb from which all things spring, the embodiment of feminine equality and justice in a world that seeks to enslave, she is emotion and passion, the celebration of the totality of existence. She is the dark and defiant Sophia. She is One with Divine Immanence.

10. In union Lucifer and Lilith embody the goal of genuine Gnosis: Immanent Transcendence. Fully Embodied Liberation.

11. In Gnostic Luciferianism the Demiurge taught by the Church is nothing but the Divine embodiment of ego, the lower self, here defined as that aspect of Self that produces a sense of separate, disconnected identity. In so doing it creates a “world” of illusions that keep us enslaved to it.

12. Lucifer, in relation to the Christian Demiurge, IS Satan in this tradition. He is the preeminent accuser or adversary of that being. The form of the Divine known as the Devil or Satan is nothing more than a particular dark form Lucifer takes in relation to the Demiurge. This is a title he has earned, and that history has associated with him for over one thousand years. And it is purely via that association and identification that no one even knows the name Lucifer.

13. The practice of Gnostic Luciferianism is embodied in the mysteries of Traditional Witchcraft. It embraces Magick as the practice by which the Divine Self enacts its will upon the Divine substance of reality. These practices of witchcraft include spellwork, work with spirits, divination, dreamwork, and herbalism.

14. The practice of Gnostic Luciferianism embraces the use of acts that transgress, or break accepted social rules regarding spirituality. This is done for a few reasons:

a) coming from a nondual perspective where all things are considered Divine, even that which disgusts, the liberated individual is free to spontaneously engage in actions without socially constructed shame.

b) such acts are ritually engaged to intentionally break social conditioning and identification of self with socially conditioned narratives.

c) engaging in acts that “blaspheme” the practice of a dominant spiritual institution allows the initiate to tap into the reservoirs of power those institutions contain and transmute them to their purpose.

15. The morality of Gnostic Luciferianism flows directly from its nondual understanding of the world. Since all beings are Divine whether they recognize it or not, and all are enacting the unfolding of an interdependent process, one who recognizes their own Divine nature acts accordingly. One does not act according topredetermined “thou shalt nots” or under threat of eternal punishment, nor does one act from a place of egoistic reaction, but freely responding, judging the rightness of action in specific context from a place of fullness and security that is the only place from which genuine compassion, love, and kindness can flow.

When it comes down to it, stripped to its most basic essence, Luciferianism is an invitation to experience the fullness of your being, of the overwhelming beauty and terror of existence. It says, “You are and always have been utterly Divine, whole, and perfect right from the start, you need only taste and see.”

Accordingly, it is and must be an an unflinching confrontation with all that dares
blind you to that truth, to all that conceals, so that our fullness can show itself in its
glory.

To eat the fruit of the serpent is to tangibly “bite into” reality, to fully engage
and savor, to fully see and say yes to who you are. It’s not a one-time thing either, after
all how many times do we lose sight of ourselves and our path and must choose to taste
again?

What is it in your life that is preventing you from tasting that fruit every day?

What if you just stop for a moment, every so often, and listen to that invitation?

 

 

Meanwhile, what, on the other hand, is NOT Gnostic Luciferianism? We totally reject:

…vulgar or “hyper-” individualism. That is any sort of individualism that places the individual separate from or above their social context, that rejects any sense of social obligation to other Divine beings.

… long debunked “Might makes Right” and “social Darwinist” philosophies. Such are not scientific and are simply a defense of unjust status quos and thus hold no liberatory power.

… any form of bigotry. A religion of liberation is utterly incompatible with any sort ideology that rationalizes the oppression of entire groups of people, it always stands with the oppressed.

Next, we will dig deeper and present a Gnostic Luciferian mythology and its implications.

Stay tuned….

A-dress me, Witches

Freepik

As some of you may or may not know, my favourite gothic dress recently disappeared from the shared accommodation in which I live.
And many of you might be asking, why should we care about that?
Well, spiritual seekers, let me spin you a tale of Witchcraft and empowerment, the infusion of heart and soul into fabric, and the absolute violation when something is just… gone.

Before we begin, let us acknowledge that the world of fast fashion is a blight on our world.
In a world which excuses the horrendous actions of companies because they get cheap bargains, we, as those who understand the impact of energetic vibration (and hopefully care about other people in the world), must open our awareness to the suffering selfishness can create. We can shop smarter, locally, from small independent sellers with higher ethical standards.

All that being said… it began with a dress.

A long black gothic maxi dress with white occult symbols all over it, slit up one side, with a caduceus painted up the front.
The caduceus was very special to me – I was born under the month, day, and hour of Mercury, so my attachment to that symbol as a part of my identity was profound – it became one of my Priestess dresses that symbolized healing and divine messages. I wore it to several important events in my priestess training at Glastonbury, and in Goddess circles. I, like one of the snakes on the chest, became intertwined with it, for as with many magical items – the specialness to their owner creates a magical imprint, and that belonging weaves magic into the fabric.

Growing up I had never rebelled, because it was not safe to do so. I grew up in an environment of abuse, and though I adored the gothic styles, I never quite dared to step outside of the box of safety I had created.
Inviting my mother’s attention for any reason was a bad plan.
So later in life, I experimented with the more gothic styles available – anything that I felt celebrated my Witchy self. It was part of the process of undoing the conditioning that had destroyed me with fear as a young woman. I stepped into my power – mine.
Constantly copied by my youngest sister (the golden child to the narcissist,) anything that used to be mine was taken. Given away or stolen. My boundaries were constantly violated.

Moreover, my Priestess dress became a kind of armour.
Later I had gotten myself into a toxic relationship where my looks and weight were under constant attack. The male in question tried to tell me that ‘bad things happened’ whenever I wore my dress.
He knew it was my favourite, and he knew I looked (and felt) good in that fabric – its unusual cut flattering my natural hourglass figure, and he sought to ruin that for me.
But it didn’t work.
My dress helped me rally that ember of resistance, that steely grit that I had forgotten how to access, and inwardly begin to whisper, ‘fuck off.’
My dress was no longer just a part of my spiritual expression, it had become armour.
The occult symbols were no longer just marks on fabric; they were alive, thrumming with purpose and magick – when I wore it, I was protected. I was totally and completely myself like a second skin.

This brings to mind the stories of Selkie Women and something I wrote about them for one of my Songs of Shades books:

Selkie

“I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

I have learnt

From my mistakes,

It took a life time or two,

I swam to shore,

Gave it my all,

The reason being you.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

I was burnt

My actions blurred

Naked and alone

I gave up to much

Against the rocks

My nimble body thrown.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

The tears I wept

The blood I spilt

My essence rough and dry

I longed for love,

And scaled the depths

Reaching for the sky.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

Now I steal away

In the dead of night

My skin clasped, oh so tight,

I leap the cliff

Into my waves, knowing,

I will be alright.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.”

Much like the tales of the Selkie women, my second skin was suddenly gone. Missing. I knew it had not left the house by my hand, and I rummaged through my wardrobe, under the bed, anywhere and everywhere for days and days on end.
It was nowhere. It was just… gone.

Freepik

The emotions that I cycled through because of this (and continue to do so) are very real. That dress was a part of me. My life. I had earnt the money to buy it, I had worked magic in it. I had honoured the Goddesses of my spiral walking in it. I had stood discussing sisterhood and what it meant. It was a part of my magical self. Infused down to the stitch. The violation in it being simply gone (without rhyme or reason,) was a cold stab in the heart.
At the time I had also thought it irreplaceable because this dress was a few years old and no longer sold – but the universe sent me a beautiful soul who found a second hand one online, and I cried as I purchased it.
Many other beautiful shining examples of sisterhood rallied around me and told me that they understood why I felt such pain.
This touched my heart, and opened up further understanding.

Throughout history, the creation of clothes has, historically, fallen to the women. Our ancestors weaved and dyed and created magic into their clothing, sewing protective symbols and chanting songs into their stitches. The skill and the witchcraft there was profound – and that memory still reverberates within us through the spiritual ecosystem.
We are connected to that practice. It is a part of sisterhood throughout history, and so when something we value so deeply is gone, it betrays what sisterhood stands for in our hearts, or our connection to the matriarchal spirits who watch over us.
Something precious that mattered to us is simply absent – and the heartbreak that follows is very real.
When people copy or steal from us, they are infringing on our personal sovereignty, our essence, our expression of self.
This is not the same by the way as taking elements of inspiration and weaving it into our stories – for that is a thread, not a garment.
Weaving together is respectful, the energy has a reverence instead of blatant disregard and self-centred violation.

And so we weave a spell, Starlets.
We remind that which was our second skin of our love for it, and how it belongs to us, a beautiful rose with which we adorned our body, and how too it may have thorns should such a violation of its purpose have taken place.

Travel well through the Otherworlds, Starlets

Joey Morris

Basics of Botanicals: ACONITE

Aconite

Occult:

Associations: Feminine, Saturn, Water, protection

How to use:

Consecration of tools or spaces

Incense

Invoking Hecate

Amulet “Invisibility” earthwitchery.com states you can, “wrap the seed in a lizard skin and carry to become invisible at will.”

Please use caution handling this plant, wear nonpermeable gloves (Grandmont 2017), make sure you have no open sores/cuts or wounds, and do not submerged yourself or any appendages in its water during consecrations or washes 

Medicinal:

Aconitum napellus

There is a very low margin of safety between therapeutic and toxic doses of aconitine. is considered POISONOUS.

Also known as Wolfsbane (Aconitum napellus) & Monkshood (Aconitum japonicum) (Britannica 2022); over 200 species within the Ranunculaceae (Britannica 2021). Please do not eat any part of these plants. Introductory; will not be listing the homeopathic uses here despite their existence.

Aconitum napellus (A. napellus, also known as monkshood or wolfsbane) is a perennial herb often grown as an ornamental plant due to its attractive blue to dark purple flowers. All parts of the plant, especially the roots, contain toxins. Aconitine is the most dangerous of these toxins. It is most noted as a heart poison but is also a potent nerve poison. Raw aconite plants are very poisonous. (Poison Control)

Example of attempting homeopathic remedy that went negatively and caused a young adult to be sent to the ER for self-treating anxiety. More is not typically better, unfortunately, the individual thought increasing his dose would serve him quicker effects. He took 3 capsules, as opposed to his single capsule dose, of his homemade blend of dried up root matter. Went to bed, but awoken to symptoms of:

. . . generalized numbness, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and defective color vision (he was seeing purple).

He spent 48 days in the hospital.  (Poison Control n.d.)

 

Citations:

Link to photo source:

https://pixabay.com/photos/monkshood-toxic-poisonous-plant-5449413/

 

Poison Control (n.d.). aconitum napellus (monkshood): A purple poison. Poison Control. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.poison.org/articles/why-is-monkshood-considered-a-poison–174

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2021, September 22). aconite. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/plant/aconite

Britannica. T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2022). Monkshood. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/plant/monkshood

Jean-Pol Grandmont ( Jan. 31, 2017). Plant profiles in Chemical Ecology. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://sites.evergreen.edu/plantchemeco/wolfsbane-fictious-plant-contains-very-real-dangers/

Witchery, E. (n.d.). Monkshood aka Wolfsbane. Monkshood. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from http://www.earthwitchery.com/monkshood.html

 

DISCLAIMER:

ANY INFORMATION WITHIN BASICS OF BOTANICALS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE

BASICS OF BOTANICALS IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION. It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

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Written by H3rAwesomeness  

Manifestation Tactics on the Back End

Holding hands open with glowing lights on dark background

TUE 2/22/22 Intention setting time, various cosmic energies at work to ensure their manifestation. But even on the most mundane of days, successful manifestation hinges on our ability to direct these energies with a clear mind and focus as well as believe these things we desire are actually possible and that we deserve to experience them,  to not conflate desire with alignment. Because it’s all about alignment!

People can get lost in the idea that we need to stay positive at all times even if it’s completely fabricated in order to maintain this alignment, but ultimately this is a trap. Not meaning one should wallow in it for any extended amount of time, but if you keep telling the universe that you are great even though you are dying inside will have a tendency to signal the universe that “hey, this person is great, let’s leave them right there.” Being uncomfortable and recognizing that discomfort, addressing it, and not ignoring the signs or pasting over it with “everything is fine” is one of the most direct ways of clearing that path.

Some situations are much more difficult to wiggle our way out of than others but with the desire to change and the willingness to believe it’s possible, most situations can be made more positive and in alignment with our desires for them.   In order to have something different, a different space must be made for it, otherwise, the blessings will be more difficult if not impossible to maintain or even be recognized. An open mind is quite helpful in this process but even attempting that can carry inherent discomfort. But if looked at properly this discomfort signals areas that need attention in order to get into the energetic alignment we desire.

woman was meditating in sunrise and rays of light on park and nature, soft focus

Alignment calls for these energies we are directing and following through to have a clear pathway. Do we believe we deserve the things we desire? Do we believe these things are even possible? Are we working from a feeling of lack? Is the energy and inspiration to change being followed or fought against? Are we adding a lot of emotional weight to the request, or letting it flow freely to where it needs to go?

Time to check our feelings surrounding the things and outcomes we desire. By addressing these feelings and underlying emotions we clear the path for this light, these energies, to work through us thus we become clear conduits. Now deep breaths, relax the jaw and unclench the stomach and buttocks… Find that flow, release judgment of ourselves and these desires, and try and work from there. Light on our feet, the cosmic dance.

Lessons in Magick: Witch, Remember Yourself!

This came from a deep place inside me. They are words I wish someone had spoken to me when I needed it. I bring them to you, to light your way and lessen your pain.

We have all done it. Stepped out of the current, the flow with the Other. We have tried to forget what makes us “US” and thought if we hide our particular truth, we’ll be safe; if we conform, we will become a part of a different whole that didn’t seek us out and that probably doesn’t really want us.

Then, we are lost and only when we hit the bottom of that well do we feel the desire to jump into the flow and pull ourselves back to remember who we were and who we are to become. Who the multiverse needs us to become.

I’ve done it myself. More than once and found a way to get back to myself. Slogging through the world’s density, to break into the Light. But it doesn’t make others comfortable and it isn’t always safe and sweet, but it is necessary. And in the end, restarts work. You haven’t really lost ground, only some time.

You’ve come a long way and you are not a beginner. The flick of the lighter is like the click of a key in a door to a room you have known and decorated for years. It’s your space and it is available to you at a moment’s notice. And all you need is a moment.



For years, you have made this path. Your breath has cleared the air, each step marks the way. The fire in your heart shines the light to guide your way. The incense fills the air, drawing to you the allies to guide you and dispelling all those that would trip you up. You write the map as you dream. Your words inspire the long-sleeping spirits, who also dream as we incarnated do, to awake.

But sometimes the world of our bodies makes us distracted and forget who we are. Lesser minds and souls get in your way because they want you small and wounded. Just getting by makes us even smaller.

But you are not small. You are as wide as the universe, bright as a star. And your light, your fire sparks the same in your own kind. And that fire is needed to drag the rest of the world out of its darkness. And that is needed more than ever.

If you need to, start small – a candle, one stick of incense, a few lines of chanting, or just once, speaking a true statement instead of dancing around the subject.

If only in the shower to yourself, at first. Be true to yourself. Speak it out loud. They will hear you. The ripple of the truth, of one person being honest with themselves, will eventually build to a tsunami that will wipe out the darkness of lies.

Musings of a Modern Mystic: Quiet Observations

I’ve never considered myself a torchbearer or of anyone with great importance.

I’m more like a wallflower, hiding behind the vines so I’m not seen. I’ve spent a lifetime living in the shadows, diagnosed young with ADHD, diagnosed in my early 30s as being on the autistic spectrum. And all together struggling to be understood and to communicate in a way that makes sense to the outside world. My thoughts are often jumbled and my words are a storm of confusion to the uninitiated.

I’ve always seen the world differently, heard the wind through the trees differently, the harsh notes of the world always ring strangely to me. But I suppose that is neither here nor there. There is nothing particularly special about me. I’ve never been good with divination. Because of my trauma, my intuition really doesn’t work all that well, but to be a witch, you’ve got to be good at those two things. I’m not and I don’t feel like I need to be in order to follow the path set before me.

I think my gift is seeing what no one else wants to speak about and I’ve spent a long time being afraid of speaking that. What I see is communities in trouble, what I see is safe spaces being turned into boxes to be checked. If you don’t feel or think the same way about blank, then you do not belong. Art that is supposed to be subjective is no longer subjective.

You’ve got to think and feel the same way about it. And before you say that isn’t true… I’m here to tell you it is because it’s happened to me. I was told I was wrong for not feeling the same way about a movie. What’s the big deal you may ask? The big deal is we can’t discuss things anymore without being told we’re toxic and wrong for having different thoughts about things. I’m not even talking about the big things like transphobia, sexism, racism, bigotry… we can’t even feel differently about small things without someone being offended.

The very people who told us we could be individuals are the same people gatekeeping what is allowed and what isn’t. I’m part of many different communities and this problem is in all of them. No one is talking about how unbelievably toxic these spaces are becoming. You are free to be who you wish as long as you fit into certain boxes and you check off certain tallies. No one is talking about how dystopian we are becoming as a society. How can no one be alarmed about this? How can no one see the storm coming beyond the horizon? If we can’t even discuss the little things, how can we discuss the big things?

I’ve seen all sides dehumanize one another, insult each other like children, and overall just be completely hateful and none of it changes anything. You cannot educate through hate. I don’t think a single person gives much thought to someone’s point if it’s filled with any of those things. So if it doesn’t work on you… why would it work on them?

If everyone is unwilling to budge, then how does anything change? All sides trying to silence each other by being louder don’t seem to be working and I feel like we’re running out of time. I don’t know the answers, but I know if we don’t figure out what the answers are together.

We will all fall together.