April 30, 2018

Hellish Hexennacht!

via Burgsatzvey.de
Wherever in the world you find yourself, I hope you're having a hellish Hexennacht, and if you don't know what Hexennacht is, then just think Halloween, but six months later, because that's pretty much exactly what it is. Hexennacht, also called Walpurgisnacht, also called Walpurgis Night, is an old German holiday which celebrates the St. Walpurgis who allegedly protected superstitious town-folk from the work of witches meeting on Brocken peak. Given that German town-folk are still where they've always been, one would think that the witches just didn't care that much about hexing them and were more interested in doing what everybody loves to do this time of year: get a bonfire started, get proper drunk, and get laid. Maybe some music, too, but the important things are the fire, the booze, and the sex. As it happens, Hexennacht happens on April 30 just before Beltane on the first of May which is the neo-Pagan equivalent of Hexennacht and also involves a lot of fire, booze, and sex. Po-tay-toes, po-tah-toes. 

And as it happens, for some of us this is kind of like New Year but for Satanists, and in light of New Year's -- which I like to celebrate on New Year's day as well as the spring equinox, because why have one New Year celebration when you can have three? -- it's a nice time to throw the old year into the bonfire and make something new in the light of the blaze. That's a metaphor for sex, you know...

... where was I? Right, Satanic New Year. This Hexennacht I'm throwing rather large pieces of myself into the bonfire. One of those pieces that I'm throwing into the fire is myself as a Tarot reader, but more specifically my role as a full-time reader. My wife is going back to school, and to make things fit I've become the full-time, stay-at-home parent who keeps the kids fed, the house cleaned, the groceries purchased, the laundry washed, and pots of tea steeped. I can't even believe I'm saying this word, but I'm re-contextualizing my life away from Illuminati grand-master Tarot reader and toward full-time dad. 

I'm not closing my website or anything, but in terms of advertising and self-promotion the only thing I'm sustaining is my blog, and that only because I enjoy writing. My YouTube channel is going into hibernation, aggressive blogging schedules are being eliminated, and my social media use has either been eliminated or been pared down to the barest bones (which is another way of saying that I've deleted my Facebook account and given up hope that Google+ will ever be worthwhile but refuse to give up Reddit.) 

This is mostly a continuation of a trend I've been following since earlier this year in which I've been eliminating sources of stress and compulsion, and for the most part it's been very successful. One of the things I've learned to accept about myself over the past year -- but more acutely over the past couple months -- is that I'm just not the hard-charger I wish I was. I went into the Marine Corps right out of high school, and was really drilled into the mentality that anything can be accomplished if I just put on a war face and ATTACK THE HILL! Part of me wants to minimize this and whine that I was a fitter person 17 years ago than I am today, but the fact is that physical fitness doesn't really factor into it because I'm a flake.

Yes, I'm a flake. Whether it's related to diagnosed mental health issues, or I'm just mentally weak, I couldn't say, but I think I've finally come to a place in life where I'm accepting my nature and my limitations, and among those the fact that with the exception of my marriage -- huzzah for seven years strong in the last legal form of slavery! -- I've never managed to sustain anything longer than three years. As it happens, I started this blog in December 2015, so if I keep it going into 2019 then I'll be able to add this to small collection of qualified successes in my life, hmm?

But back on topic, one of the parts of me that I'm throwing into the bonfire this year is the hoped-for fantasy that I am not bound to my weaknesses. No matter how much I don't like it, I've got limitations, and I've got to be careful because there are consequences for breaking them. I walk a fine line with this blog in terms of how much I share about myself, which is another way of saying that I'm not going into the details on this, but exhaustion, anxiety, overwhelm, depression, and forgetfulness are things I struggle with on a regular basis and they're made worse by irregular schedules and interruptions to routine.

When I'm feeling good, I feel like I can do almost anything and I start new projects, add new events to my schedule, push for new horizons, and so on. If I were a machine, I'd be well-oiled and running over capacity. What do I do with all the energy I have? But me being who I am -- and whether this is a medical condition or not, I'm not always convinced -- I find that my mood and energy wane. The machine that is me starts to burn oil, gears begin grinding, and production falters. In the final outcome, the oil dries up, gears lock in position, and clouds of black smoke billow out from under the hood. 

And for me, the most frustrating part of all this is that unless I'm being really fucking attentive to my mood and behavior, I'm not even aware of these changes until well after the fact. This pattern has cost me numerous jobs, made school very difficult, and soured many friendships. From the outside looking in, I'm an unreliable flake, and from the inside looking out I find it difficult to disagree with that assessment. This is one of the reasons that I keep almost no close friends, because for me relationships are candles that don't just burn at both ends, but burn completely. So why not throw some fuel on the fire? I'm giving the Hexennacht bonfire that part of myself that keeps over-reaching. Burn, baby, burn.

Well... that got heavy really quickly... 

... and now for something completely different: Satanism. After I resigned my membership in the Church of Satan this past October, I've been reevaluating my understanding of Satanism and questioning the Satanic pillars (of both the figurative and literal variety) that I want to support. Among the literal pillars I'm supporting is the Satanic Temple because they're promoting several political campaigns that are important to me. I don't have the time or energy to do the work that they're doing, so I periodically throw some money in their hat as my way of saying thanks for their work.

Among the figurative pillars I'm supporting, I've been reading about one of my favorite myths: the Tower of Babylon. I've always enjoyed learning and speaking foreign languages, which is why I took six semesters of Spanish and one of German in high school, dabbled with Latin and Italian for fun, went to college for Russian, and am presently learning Esperanto. The world's a mighty big place, and language is one of the ways that vested interests created boundaries to not only keep foreigners out, but also keep citizens in. Esperanto in its aspiration as an international auxiliary language breaks borders and stands up to the linguistic tribalism that some people would use as a fence to separate one tribe from another. 

So the story goes, the jealous God of Abraham was so frightened by the prospect of what people speaking a common tongue might accomplish that He broke their stairway to heaven, confounded their speech, and scattered them across the world. To the best of my knowledge, Satan has never been a part of the myth of the Tower of Babylon, but in a contemporary sense the Tower of Babylon is tied into the conspiracy theory of the Illuminati and of course Satan is involved. All true Satanists look down their noses at the popular association between Satan and the Illuminati, but I for one find this modern myth particularly stimulating and entertaining if only because it appeals to my selfish desire to think of myself as enlightened and powerful.

For my preferences, I've come to find this personal mythology of the Tower of Babylon and its attendant trappings (the all-seeing eye, one-world language, etc.) much more stimulating than the traditional Satanic aesthetic of carnal goats. Now, don't misunderstand me: I'm not making a value judgement or attempting to say that I'm doing it better than everybody else. What I'm saying is that this works for me.

The Hexennacht bonfire is burning brightly from the offerings I've fed its fiery heart. If I've conducted my ritual properly, then it will consume only the dead flesh which no longer serves me, but you know what they say about fire: it's easy to get burnt. At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing what rises from the ashes. I've attempted to feed the fire, but who knows? Maybe the fire will feed me. Have a hellish Hexennacht, and I'll catch up with you next year to discuss what demons rose from the ashes.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. I really enjoy reading about your transformation and self-re-making. I wish you much success in that on-going endeavor. I also enjoyed your comments about Hexennacht. I tend to undervalue the festival aspects of these few opportunities we have every year and not to make the most of them. For instance, last night I went to be at 8:15! I like thinking of this time as yet another New Year: another chance to start fresh and, to borrow Ezra Pound's words, make it new. I'm honored to be a friend and hope to continue as one for a good long while. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

Freedom of Expression =/= Freedom from Consequences