This week’s Witch of the Week is a Woman by many names whom inspires our community with her otherworldly words, and teachings.
“Four Pen Names, Four Elements”
S. Connolly, or as I have come to know her, Stephanie, is a writer with many published works under her belt. She has been a leading female voice in the LHP and Occult communities for decades; in my eyes she is very much a Divine Feminist.
Ms. Connolly has been practicing Daemonic Magick since 1984 and has been an initiated Daemonolatress since 1990 giving her over 34 years of experience working with the Daemonic. She has written over 35 titles about Daemonolatry and Daemonic magick. Among them the bestselling Complete Book of Demonolatry.
Her work has appeared in: Qliphoth Journal, Sabbatica, and Anthology of Sorcery: Books 1, 2, and 3, alongside some of the most revered occultists of the 21st Century. She currently serves as an acquisitions editor at DB Publishing.
Outside the Daemonic and Magickal side of things, Ms. Connolly is a bestselling novelist who writes fantastic, supernatural, and erotic fiction under three additional pen names (Anne O’Connell, Audrey Brice, and S. J. Reisner). She graduated from MSUD in 1995 with a B.A. in English. She and her husband live along the front range of the Rocky Mountains with their three feline companions.
Links to her books and social media can be found on her personal website.
Personal Website: www.sjreisner.com
More about Daemonolatry: www.demonolatry.org
The Egyptian Glpyh for Heka (Magic)
Q. I was introduced to your work initially through your book ‘The Complete Book of Demonolatry’ and I hated it. Not that the content wasn’t good, or valuable, it was! It is! I think my main issue was the use of the word worship; I generally skim books in an odd manner as opposed to reading them front to back immediately, so maybe that was my mistake. Growing up Roman Catholic worship was a sign of weakness, of being less than our Gods. Have you seen this distaste, or even misunderstanding of the word? Is this something you think people struggle with when entering the world of Demonolatry?
To put things into perspective for the readers I want to use a quote from the book that finally made everything click for me; once I read this, I devoured the book several times over.
“Self-knowledge, Self-responsibility, and Self- Worship are all parts of Demonolatry as is the quest for knowledge and the practice of Demon worship. We do not grovel before the Demons as unworthy beings that depend on their aide to do anything. They do not control us. We control ourselves. We work with the Demons and honor them to discover our true potential as imperfect, yet divine beings bound by a physical plane of existence. By honoring and worshiping them we are honoring and worshiping ourselves because they are a part of us as we are a part of them. All things are divine. We don’t spend our time trying to look into the eyes of our gods. Instead, we work toward looking through the eyes of our Gods. Basically, we are all the physical manifestation of the divine.”
A. “Most people come from a Judeo-Christian background, and from that worldview – humans are subservient to their Gods. Because people often come to Daemonolatry with that mindset about what worship is – yes – many do have an issue with the word worship. In reality, the word worship means to hold something in high regard, or to have great respect for it. Once people realize this and realize the Daemonic prefer capable students to sedentary grovelers, they get over it. Of course, there are still a fair share of self-styled Daemonolaters out there who do like to grovel before the Daemonic, though that’s not what I teach.”
Q. In recent years, especially the last two, there has been an increased interest in not only Earth Based and Pagan belief’s but working with infernal energy. We have seen a rise in numbers of the Luciferian, Satanist, Demonolatry, and Nihilist communities. Among them, it seems that there are key demonic (Daemonic) players in the game. Belial, for example, has been around a lot more recently; I have noticed people who wouldn’t usually connect with demonic energy working with Him and others. Why do you think that is? Do you think the current state of the world (widespread political and social unrest) is fueling these Spirits to make an appearance, make themselves known, as an attempt to help us understand ourselves better?
A. “I think that with popularity comes trends. Just like fashion and music. If one of the cool kids in everyone’s favorite online occult group starts chatting about one Daemon, everyone wants to check that Daemon out, so they can come back the next day and chat about it around the virtual water-cooler. None of these Daemons are new, and I knew people who were working with Belial long before it was cool. So, I believe humans create their own trends. You’ll also notice Sorath and Paimon have also had recent bouts of popularity. You’ll notice the trends ebb and flow if you just sit back and watch. Clauneck was popular there for awhile. Belphegor and Leviathan, too. A lot of the time you’ll find popular occult personalities or writers are responsible for these trends because they’re writing about the particular Daemon in question. Next thing you know – everyone is working with that Daemon and conversing with them.
“I think the popularity of the Daemonic/Infernal is due to the fact that more than ever, people are disenfranchised by their birth religion and/or Judeo-Christian dogma, so they’re searching for something that doesn’t tell them they’re inherently flawed and unworthy. Many pagan religions, LHP and “darker” forms of magick celebrate what it is to be human – flaws and all, while also saying that each person is divine. We are perfect in our “perceived” imperfections. Not to mention LHP religions tell people they are powerful and can make their own choices – create their own lives. Whereas with Christianity, for example, there’s a “let Jesus take the wheel” mentality that leaves people feeling helpless and powerless. People like being given the tools to take their power back (and that’s a lot of what magick is in a nutshell). Also, our deities and god forms, or divine intelligences, aren’t petty and jealous, nor do they threaten to destroy us and send us to a place called “hell” for disobedience. Infernal, to me, simply means an energy (Daemon) is closer to the earth sphere (physical plane).”
Q. You are an extremely well-known and respected figure in the Occult and LHP communities, in the beginning did you find it difficult being a Woman? Is it still at times? For me, when I first started out (and I am nowhere near your level) it was a boy’s club, so to speak, and it took a lot of proving myself, for lack of a better term, to be accepted. Why do you think it’s important for Women, particularly, to have a voice in the LHP community? Obviously, it’s important for us to have a voice everywhere, but I think regarding areas of the Occult and Magick that are not all love and light our presence is powerful, and necessary.
A. “Sadly, I have faced some sexism along the way, some of it ongoing. In recent years, now that I’m a woman of a certain age, I have been berated for my looks by young men in the community who judge a woman’s worth based on whether or not her looks give him a hard-on. As if women magicians exist only as masturbation fodder.
“I know several men who have written modifications for Goetic work, or work that sends traditional ceremonial magick on its head who have not been as vocally criticized as I have for ideas that are no stranger or any more unconventional. Basically – they write a modification guide, they get a pass. I write one, the villagers want to burn me at the stake. Complete double standard there.
“I have also found that a lot of people think I’m an easy target. I actually have several male assistants now, who help deal with my email and social media, and believe it or not, that has reduced the number of death threats (from other occultists), and the drama people try to drag me into. But it’s sad that I have to have a male barrier to fend off those types of attacks even now in 2018. While the occulture is rife with people who mind everyone else’s business instead of their own, I do sometimes feel singled out for being a woman who works with the Daemonic. When I initially released Daemonolatry Goetia years back, a rather prominent pagan, woman writer contacted me just to tell me how unusual it was for a woman to write about Goetia. I don’t think she meant anything bad by it, I just think she was surprised and wanted to share her surprise with me.
“The fact of the matter is that there are thousands of women who work with Daemons and infernal powers. We are not nearly the minority some people may think. It’s important we have a voice in the community because we have a lot of experience and knowledge to offer. Sadly, in a lot of occult circles, female participation is marginalized, and we’re relegated to assisting roles, treated as sex objects or symbols of fertility, or we’re “used” as mediums. As if we’re merely magickal tools that exist for the benefit of our male counterparts during their sex magick rituals or what have you. Instead of being relegated, we should be celebrated for being the powerful magicians we are – on the same footing with male magicians.
“Women are more powerful than we’re given credit for (or that we even give ourselves credit for), and we should be valued beyond our physical appearance, wombs, and vaginas. I think women on this path should focus on lifting each other up, not tearing each other down (which I see far too often). We tear each other down when we’re insecure about ourselves. But if we lifted each other up, a lot more women would feel secure, and imagine how empowering that would be. A rising tide lifts all boats.”
Q. What is one piece of advice that you were given that you will never forget?
“From one of my magickal mentors the best advice I ever received was, “If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to manifest it.”
Q. Finally, what is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in Demonolatry?
A. “Be patient, study, practice, and be present with the Daemonic Divine. Listen. Spiritual gnosis, self-growth, and magickal competence takes time and effort. There are no quick fixes, magick pills, or shortcuts.”
Stephanie is a force within the Occult and Magickal communities; her words are her weapons, and her balm. She encourages us to see ourselves through the eyes of our gods, and nothing is more profound to me than that.
She defies the status quo one pen stroke at a time.
It’s for these reasons and so many more that she is The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.