Game Of Thrones; A Satanic Review

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD

I grew up with Game of Thrones. I’m about the same age as Arya Stark or Maisie Williams, the actress who played her in the TV series. We began as children and now… we’re not.

Now that the series is over I wanted to write a review or an appreciation of it. In particular, given the controversies surrounding the ending, I wanted to write a follow up to something Cassie wrote in our other blog a few years ago, in which we spoke about the Satanic elements in the show. This is what we wrote back then. Satanic Morality In Game Of Thrones.

Before speaking of what happened in the final series, I want to say a few things about what made the show great for eight seasons stretching over nearly a decade. For the most part the writing, the character developments and the plot construction and twists were superb. All of the characters were nuanced, almost nobody was entirely good or entirely bad (with a few exceptions) and as a Satanist I appreciated the shades of grey and the way in which nearly all the main characters had to integrate their darker natures in order to survive and do what was right in the circumstances they found themselves in. There could be many dissertations written about the moral values which drove the main characters and the story as a whole. Very little about the show was predictable. Much loved and important characters could be killed off unexpectedly and some of the most heroic and important things were done by those you did not expect. It could be extremely violent but the stories depended equally as much on tender moments and great acting which was delivered by a cast who excelled themselves. We also entered a world where sexuality was more down to earth and honest than it often is in the world we really live in. During the course  of the show there were some of the most spectacular battle scenes ever filmed for television or film and some climactic set pieces such as “The Red Wedding” which have become almost legendary. All of these elements were helped by excellent direction and editing. And finally something I became more aware of as the series progressed and especially in the final season, the drama and the action were emphasised by an amazing musical score.

Because the show became so popular, there were a lot of expectations going into the eighth and final season. And not all those expectations (or hopes) were fulfilled. While many people enjoyed it, some were so angry about the way the season developed that they have petitioned for the entire 8th season to be remade. The petition has been signed by millions which probably is a piece of TV history in itself. Do those people have a right to be so upset? Was the final season really so bad? Are people silly to get so worked up about a piece of fiction? Does anybody really have a right to complain because a piece of fiction doesn’t end the way they think it should?

Well firstly, the fact that that people got so worked up about the final season proves how strongly the story of the first 7 seasons had affected them and how invested they felt in the lives of the characters. If nothing else it is proof of how good and how special the first 7 seasons were.

The last season was different. There were only 6 (albeit) longer episodes instead of the normal 10. Personally I think that was probably the biggest problem. They tried to squeeze too much into too few episodes and at least one of the crucial plot developments got fairly mutilated in the process.

Last warning, very big spoilers coming…

The thing which annoyed most people was the sudden transformation of Daenerys Targaryen from heroine to the most evil and insane villain of the entire series. Yes, it can be argued that some elements of her evil insanity had been foreshadowed intermittently earlier in the series… But no, not really. When Danny turned crazy in episode 5 of series 8, it happened, literally, in the blink of an eye. It was not well done despite Emilia Clarke’s best efforts to convey the unbelievable. I can see how the story could have gone that way and perhaps that was intended all along, but it really needed several more episodes to chart her decent into homicidal madness convincingly. As it was… Well it wasn’t great. At the same time the person who had been the real villain all through the previous seasons, died with a whimper in the arms of her brother/lover; not the vengeful death many of us had dreamed up for her. And it is not as if the really bad guys of the show don’t usually get what’s coming to them in the end… Ramsey Bolton for example…

The handling of Daenerys’ storyline annoyed me particularly because she along with Arya had been my favourite character, largely because I saw her as an example of the positive side of Satanic morals and mentality. She was basically a good person with a dark side who could be forceful and vengeful when circumstances required it but who was equally motivated by love and compassion. This made her strong and the kind of person a lot of people like myself could identify with. But in the last part of the series she unexpectedly morphs into an evil superhero villain; suggesting that to be the inevitable direction of her lifestyle… Obviously, I take issue with that.

In fairness, Arya whose story arc was much darker than Danny’s in every way, survives with her personality in tact and in many ways becomes the real hero of the series.

Tyrion was certainly the best example of of the importance Satanists place on intelligence and cunning and it was a shame that his character wasn’t given much to do during the last season, although I suppose he did become the king maker in the end.

Finally Bran becomes the king of the hill even without the Iron Throne. Bran! Should we celebrate another unexpected twist? Frankly I think most people’s reaction was that this development was a cop out. The kind of ending designed not to offend too many people but which failed to satisfy anybody either. In all honesty Bran could have been missing from the entire series without making too much difference to the plot. (The Red Witch, for example, was equally well placed to have some cryptic visions when the plot demanded it).

Leading up to the final episode there were a few things which just wouldn’t have got past the script conferences in previous seasons. For example, Danny and her two remaining Dragons failing to spot an entire fleet below them, a fleet they knew would be there…  Missandei heading for a safe space on the ship and then turning up as a doomed prisoner in Kings Landing…

I think the lack of source material by George R.R. Martin, together with time and probably budget limitations meant that the writers of the last series were forced to make things up and take shortcuts that wouldn’t have been allowed in previous seasons. In comparison to other TV series it wasn’t really that bad, but in comparison to what had gone before in Game Of Thrones it was quite childish. Sadly, the climactic season just wasn’t in the same league as the rest of the series. It had some good moments and even some great ones, but it had too many flaws for fans to give it a free pass. It was disappointing.

If they did remake the final series, I would watch it and hope they made it better. However, they won’t do that and I don’t think they should. The eight seasons constitute a work of art in their own right and the job of an artist is to make the art they want to make; not to make what the public demands.

Despite my criticism of the final series (which I hope is fair and honest) the Game Of Thrones television series as a whole was something epic and unlike anything that had gone before it. It was nearly always addictive and clever, often funny or surprising, sometimes sexy or violent. It had very high production standards and despite it’s fantasy setting it portrayed themes and characters which often reflected the real world. Like many masterpieces of art it had its flaws if you looked for them, but overall, it was something special and I will miss it.

The generation before me grew up with Harry Potter. I grew up with Danny, Arya and Tyrian. They gave me much to enjoy and think about. There will be other series in the future which grab the public’s attention in different ways but maybe for people like me, Game Of Thrones will always be what the next great thing is measured against.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sex, relationships and women’s rights.

You may remember that a month ago I met a woman at the KitKat club in Berlin. We kept in touch. Well, we did more than keep in touch. This weekend she is visiting me in Vienna. Last night we went clubbing together. We were in the mood for a big night out. It was left open whether we would come home together or if we would go our separate ways at some point during the night; wishing each other luck with whoever we picked up… It’s fair to say we both intended to end up in bed with somebody. As it turned out,  it was with each other and it was great. Then this morning during a weed and coffee break, we spoke about what this all means to us and we decided we are in a relationship of sorts even if it isn’t what people normally think of as such.  I am writing about it now because blogging has become part of what I do and helps me to see where I’m going… Also, for larger reasons which I will come to later (the clue is in the title).

Louise isn’t the first woman I have slept with, but she is the first one I have thought of as having a relationship with. I was fortunate to be brought up in a family of libertarian Satanists, so sexuality (mine or anybody else’s) has never been a taboo subject. I don’t like labels. I like and am sexually attracted to men and women. I like trans people too and frankly I tend to be attracted to anybody who is confident and happy with their sexuality, whatever it is. I admit I don’t really understand the hard and fast labels of sexuality that many people seem to identify with; and nor do I understand the prejudice against the way some people express their gender or sexuality. Perhaps I’m part of a new generation for whom these things are less important, but sadly I’m constantly reminded that they are extremely important to some.

I suppose Louise and I are both bi or omnisexual. I’d say the sex we have with each other is the best I’ve ever had, but still, it’s not what our relationship is about… Our relationship is about our values and our shared interests and a special understanding and connection which we had from the time we met. We will both sleep with other people, together and separately, but our relationship is more about the little talks and unspoken understanding than about the sex. It’s not the kind of relationship that our society promotes or speaks much about at all, but I am starting to realise it is not as unusual as many might think. We are certainly not the only “people like us”.

I am aware that I couldn’t have spoken about any of these things a generation ago without being called lots of unpleasant names and perhaps suffering worse consequences. The idea that sex can be something for women to “enjoy” independently, not necessarily always with men, and not just in order to produce children; is still pretty new to some. I don’t want to be sexist but I think there are still some people, mainly men and mainly on the right wing edges of society, who are terrified of the idea of independent women enjoying sex for its own sake and having as much agency and power as men in all aspects of life as men always have.

I have never wanted to be a militant feminist but now it seems to me that many of the rights and freedoms I have taken for granted because previous generations of women had fought for them, are under attack. I am not the kind of person who can be silent about such things.

In Alabama (and other states) and in other western countries around the world it is actually getting harder for women to have a legal and safe abortion. Many people seem to have a strange idea of what this issue really means. It doesn’t mean that any woman “wants” to have an abortion. I would say almost certainly that an abortion is the last thing any woman wants to go through. I hope I never have to have that experience, but if I do, I don’t want to get arrested or have to go to some illegal, back street abortionist who might kill me or make me infertile. Apparently, in Alabama it is not impossible for a woman to get the death penalty for having an abortion!

Mostly, when I sleep with men for the first time, I make them wear a condom although I’m on the pill. They generally don’t like it. Okay, nor do I to be honest, but I’d prefer that to getting AIDS or another STD. And I certainly don’t want to get pregnant at the moment. Imagine if all men had to factor that into their decision making when they were a bit drunk on a night out and they are together with a girl they want to sleep with! I think the laws in Alabama and elsewhere would be very different. Because unfortunately  sad, old, conservative men are still making too many decisions about what women can do with their bodies. How can any of them not be sick at the idea that some women could be forced to carry and birth their rapist’s child?!

In the worst case scenario for myself and any other woman, abortion must be a legal and safe option. We must not let Trump inspired idiots overturn the decades of progress that generations of women and intelligent men have fought for!

And women like Louise and myself are in the frontline. We are pushing the boundaries even further and challenging concepts of what a good or a normal relationship is. We can do this because so many people fought for our rights and possibilities before we were even born. So it doesn’t seem right for us to hide.

We will be at the life ball in Vienna in a few weeks standing (and dancing) together with people from all shades of the gender and sexual spectrum. People like us. And we will do all we can to defend women’s rights whenever they are being attacked.

And part of our little rebellion against the conservatives and misogynists, is just being our naughty, kinky selves.

 

Myself and other animals

Greetings and blessings to all who will celebrate Beltane or Samhain today! I will be joining a group to do some fire leaping and other seasonal things.

Everybody has a passion. (Well I hope they do). I have more than one passion but perhaps the first and the greatest is a love of animals and nature in general. I was born with it. Often as a child, I would spend whole days at the lake or in the country watching animals and fish and collecting spiders, butterflies and other insects. I never really had any doubt that when I was older I would work with animals in some way. And now I’m at university studying veterinary medicine and conservation and my head is full of plans and ideas for what to do in the future.

Its funny how things fall into place. My view of animals and nature fits into my spiritual and philosophical views and always has done since long before I could put a name to my beliefs. As much as I love animals and nature, it is not in a very romantic or fluffy way. I understand that most animals will do whatever they need to survive and to protect their young. They can sometimes be aggressive. A lot of animals kill and eat other animals. There is no unkindness in what they do, it is all based on survival instincts. I have never doubted that humans are just another type of animal. It was in Satanism that I first saw that sentiment written down as a guiding principle. That may have been one of the biggest hooks for me at the time.

Im not particularly sentimental about things. I eat meat. I like meat. I respect vegetarians and vegans and I think that might be the way humanity should develop, but I’m not at that point yet. But I do like to be real about things. A few years ago after eating a burger, I started thinking about the food I was eating. I realised I was eating a lot of meat but the meat I was eating didn’t really look like something that obviously came from an animal. Animals were being killed for me to eat, but I wasn’t doing the killing. The steaks and cold cuts on my plate could just as easily have been produced in some high tech food processing factory. I changed that. I went on a kind of hunting and survival course. During the course I caught and killed a rabbit. Then I cooked and ate it. I wouldn’t want to do that everyday, but it is good to know I could do it if I needed to. Killing animals is horrible and messy and there is blood… But every meat you buy at the supermarket began its journey to your stomach in that way. I appreciate that. I am an animal that kills (or has things killed on my behalf) in order to eat. I am not better than or morally superior to other animals.

But human beings are different in some ways to most other animals. We have language and culture. Most other animals don’t have that except on a very limited scale. We have abstract ideas and thoughts. As far as we know, other animals don’t have the ability to think in those ways. That doesn’t make us better than other animals, it just makes us different. We have a highly developed brain because that has allowed us to adapt and survive. Other animals have been able to do that just as successfully in other ways. Crocodiles and turtles have been on this planet longer than us, pretty much as they are now. And the little birds singing in the gardens are direct descendants of dinosaurs who lived for millions of years longer than we have been here. Intelligence is nice, but it isn’t everything.

Our intelligence sets us apart to a small degree. But the fact that we eat, we go to the toilet and we like to fuck, reminds us that at a basic level we are still animals and our basic instincts can be just as powerful as our sophisticated thinking abilities. Some religions and institutions of social control try to separate us from our animalistic nature. Not mine! I think my mind and my ability to think is actually improved sometimes by allowing it to shut down for a few moments and give my body over to instincts and pleasures that are far older than we are as a species. My religion, allows and values that.

Sometimes when several birds eggs hatch together the larger chicks eat the smallest one. That seems cruel. It isn’t nice to watch. But it is all about survival. In general animal’s motives are more simple and pure than humans. They normally aren’t cruel. They don’t set out to hurt others unnecessarily. They don’t take more food than they need. And among the more intelligent animals such as apes and dolphins, I do think you see occasional acts of kindness, affection and pure fun.

I am grateful for the way the human mind has evolved. We are able to make and appreciate art and music, we can record the present and the past and build on that knowledge. We have become very powerful. But with that power comes great responsibility. The worst a lion can do is eat so much that there is no prey left for itself or it’s pride in the immediate future. That very seldom happens. Humans, on the other hand, can waste and misuse resources on a global scale creating problems for ourselves and all other creatures that could destroy us and the natural balance and could take many generations to heal.

I do not believe there is another species that is capable of as much stupidity, cruelty and destruction as human-kind. Partly that is because we have lost our sense of being part of nature. We have evolved religions and politics that try to separate us from nature, and which indeed look down on the natural world as if we were better than it. We are not.

I appreciate all animals for what they are, including humans, but humans are the most dangerous and infuriating.

I am an animal. I am a human female. I have a sophisticated brain and basic instincts. I value both. In my small ways I will try to restore the balance between humanity and nature.

I am famous for liking the kind of animals that most people don’t, such as spiders and snakes. But really I do like all animals in their different ways. A few favourites might include Orangutans, Capybaras, mantises, stick insects and all cephalopods.

My ambition is to take part in schemes to protect and preserve endangered species. In the background I am also one of those people who is trying to focus attention on climate change because the mess we are making of dealing with that is a danger to all species.

Finding Myself In Berlin.

I think there are some moments that change your life. They can last a few seconds or hours or days maybe, but somehow the universes line up and you become aware of who you are. You are changed by it.

I love my father who always spoils me and accepts me whatever I do. I love my mothers or my Satanic sisters, Sophie and Cassie, who guide and protect me. But sometimes it is hard to step out of the shadows when your parents have always been there and done that before you… Satanism and hedonism are pretty much family traditions and I have often joked that if I wanted to rebel I’d have to become a born again Christian Nun! And that has never been what I wanted.

But last weekend I found my own style of debauchery. I relaxed. I let my hair down (well actually I cut most of it off) and suddenly I was me. Distinct. Not anybody’s idea of how I should be. Just me.

For my nineteenth birthday Sophie and Cassie took me to Berlin for the long Easter weekend. I have been to Berlin a few times before with my parents and once on a school trip. I already knew it was a great place to visit and hang out in. The first full day we did some sightseeing in the Mitte district and relaxed in the Tiergarten. In the evening we had a nice meal and went to an alternative club that Cassie knew well. As a result of that, we slept most of the next day. When we woke up we discussed our evening plans. My mother and Cassie wanted to go to the KitKat club; Cassie had been there once before. It was left up to me if I wanted to join them or do something on my own. They gave me lots of information/warnings about it. (Look it up on the internet, it’s very famous in Berlin; a kind of combination of techno and fetish/sex club). I was curious but didn’t want to be a burden on my mother’s fun. I was also nervous about fitting in and what to wear (they have a strict dress code which mainly involves not wearing much at all once you get in). And we were all a bit nervous about getting in at all, since the most famous Berlin clubs have very annoyingly picky bouncers at the door. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I went and all three of us got in.

The scene inside is probably how some Christians visualise hell. Most of the place is lit with a strange neon glow. There is a mechanical dragon which sometimes breathes real fire. There are crowds of people in every room dancing, chilling or getting off with each other and most are dressed in various forms of fetish wear, or are not dressed at all… There is erotic art on the walls and large screens often playing porn in the background. With or without their clothes on, you can’t always tell if the people dancing next to you are male or female, or somewhere in between… It is both terrifying and beautiful. To be honest, at first I was completely overwhelmed, and I did secretly think about leaving. Then two things happened…

First my mothers and I started chatting to this man. He was far older than most of the people there (old enough to to be my father, or grandfather even). He was a bit more conventionally dressed than most of the people and didn’t quite fit in. He confessed to us that he was a voyeur and that he just came to listen to the music and watch people. I think he sensed that I was feeling a bit out of place and the story he told us seemed to be directed at me.

He said that the first half of his life he lived in what was still communist East Berlin. He learned from an early age to keep things to himself. In his teens he realised he was gay but that was taboo at the time so he repressed it together with most of his opinions and kept his head down… Eventually he got into a loveless marriage to a woman which didn’t last long. When the wall came down things improved generally but he was so used to repressing things that he found it hard to change. Eventually, only a few years ago, he came to the KitKat club and kind of realised what he had been missing. But he felt he was already too old to change. He liked to watch people being themselves but he was still too repressed and shy to join in… And recently he found he had cancer and it is possible he will die within the next year. He said this made him think a lot about his life and his death. He said he doesn’t really regret anything he has done but he was full of regrets for the things he’s never done or even tried. And I guess his message was, ‘don’t be like him.” He sad, (I translate) “The world will never be perfect but at least today people have the freedom to be themselves. That’s a freedom you shouldn’t waste.”

The second thing was that later in the evening/morning when I was feeling a bit more self confident I met a girl who turned out to be a kind of soul-mate. We were dancing close to each other then we started chatting and flirting a bit (with each other and some guys we met). Nothing much more happened. Sophie and Cassie went off doing their own thing (checking in with me from time to time) and I spent the rest of the time dancing, chatting and generally having fun with this girl, who we shall call Louise… At the end of the evening (which turned out to be about ten in the morning!) we exchanged phone numbers and I went back to the hotel where I was staying with Cassie and Sophie.

In the late afternoon Louise phoned me and invited me to go again in the evening but she suggested we meet earlier at her place to get ready. I agreed immediately. I spent several hours at her place where we were trying on sexy underwear and helping make each other up. I also got her to cut my hair so I had a complete new look. And of course we were chatting and laughing and getting to know each other and getting quite stoned as well. For me it was great to meet somebody who has very similar opinions and way of life to me. She is not officially a Satanist, but philosophically very similar. She is a nursing student so also like me she is a libertine on one side but also very caring about people and the world.

When we arrived at KitKat, I was ready. I felt totally confident and at ease. I felt at home there. I got to know one of the DJs and quite a few of the regulars. I had a lot of fun with Louise and other people. I joined in with everything and went with the vibe of the place, the dancing, the drinking, the drugs, the sex and everything that makes KitKat unique… At one point I had a momentary out of body experience where I looked down at myself and thought this is me being the person I want to be.

Now, I’m back home and putting things in perspective… I’m in a hurry to finish this post as a way to sort out my thoughts.

While I know very well that the things that happen on a holiday are normally not quite the same as real life; I did feel that this weekend I kind of changed, or at least allowed myself to be fully and quite excessively me. It was like all the parts of me came together and came into focus. While I clearly can’t go to KitKat every day and it would be unhealthy to be so free and hedonistic all of the time, I can be that libertine woman when I want to be, and I will not waste the freedom I have.

Other things in my life are equally real and important to me. First and foremost my family. I’m not sure if my mother and Cassie totally approved of some aspects of my weekend, but they and my father accept me as I am and will always be there for me. I’ll try not to disappoint them…

I will continue to study hard and will not let my hedonistic nature interfere with that because I have a whole list of things I want to do and achieve when I get my masters degree. Plus, in a way I want to prove to myself and the world that you can be both a libertine and a serious and caring person when you need to be. I think it’s time the world moved away from basing morality on sexuality and following religious rules, and started to judge things more on how people make positive contributions to society.

I also want to read, study and live Satanism even more fully because that keeps me grounded and keeps my brain working. And I will continue to learn and practice witchcraft because that empowers me and gives me a close connection with nature.

But I am an unashamed hedonist and libertine as well. I’m a woman who swears, who drinks and smokes a lot, who sometimes takes drugs, who embraces alternative music, art, culture and sexuality.

Perhaps how I balance all these things will be a main theme of this blog as it continues.

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Self Reflection and Self Improvement in Satanism

I have been lacking inspiration for something to write about here. It is not really that I’m short of ideas to explore but I seemed to be lacking a key point or conclusion  that I wanted to write about. So I asked some friends on Facebook to suggest things and I’m keeping the list of their ideas as something to fall back on. For this post I am grateful to Cain and Will for a few ideas that seem to go together.

Cain suggested the main title and Will asked the question, “Why do idiots always blame others instead of blaming themselves for their own misdeeds.?”

I’m going to answer the question first in very simple terms which should lead into the main theme. Idiots have no sense of responsibility for themselves or their own actions. They are like children who have never been taught that one day they will have to clean up their own mess. And to be fair, some idiots can go through most of their lives without really suffering the consequences of their actions or having to care. That makes them a pain to eveyone else. I would like to believe that karma will get them but I don’t believe in karma. Some people might like to believe that those kind of idiots will go to hell but in reality there is no hell in the way people usually imagine. The unfortinate reality is that some idiots just get away with being idiots and blaming others for their own faults and the problems they cause. But… Their lives are wasted. They learn nothing. They die as ignorant as they were born, unliked, unloved and unforgiven.

Some people think it is a negative thing that Satanism is so focused on the self, but it is by being self reflective and by aiming for self improvement that we at least try to avoid becoming the kind of idiots that are best forgotten. In our own terminology we often refer to idiots as sheep;- people who follow the crowd without question and never try to step out on their own or take responsibility for their own actions. It should be noted that some sheep live their whole lives being herded by forces they don’t think they can control and that their final jouney will always be towards their own slaughter.

The kind of Satanism that I follow insists that we are self reflective and that we aim for self improvement. We are encouraged to ask who we are, what we are doing, why we are doing it and where we are going, all of the time. The difference between us and many other religions that call for similar things is that we don’t believe that any outside force is going to do the hard work for us. We also have a sense of realism that many other philosophies lack. We tend to take a scientific view of ourselves as animals which are part of nature (not separate from it). We don’t over emphasize the idea of innocence (which is often just an excuse for ignorance) we are not content to blindly wonder round a garden of Eden for eternity not asking any questions; rather, we engage with the world as it really is and try to discover our place in it and learn from all the experiences that come as a result.

Although I respect Buddhism for many reasons we are not like Buddhists. The aim of Buddhism is about losing your “self”, whereas Satanism is about finding, enjoying and improving your “self”.

Self improvement can only really come when you know and understand what your true self is, and that comes about through self reflection.

How do Satanists do self reflection? There can be many ways. We are strong believers in individualism and so it is clear that certain things will work for some and not for others. For me, I do a lot of meditation. I grew up with it and find it fairly easy and useful. I can clear my mind of distractions and focus on one question, and quite often, deep inside of me, I find an answer that I wasn’t expecting. But perhaps even more often I start with a question “what would I do in that situation?” and then I put myself in that situation and find out. Sometimes I do that in meditation and some times I do it in real life. From time to time asking yourself such questions can lead to answers you don’t much like or can lead you into tricky, or even dangerous, situations. But this is the path I have chosen and I will take those risks from time to time. I don’t believe my “darker side” is some foreign, evil creature to be banished; it is a part of me and needs to be integrated in a wise way to make me whole and help me grow.

So what do we as Satanists mean by self improvement? I think there are many answers which will vary from individual to individual. As a general analogy I would say “the self” is like a canvas on which an artist paints something. We are both the canvas and the artist. Self reflection is about understanding the shape and substance of the canvas, and self impovement is painting on the canvas so that we express something. (Maybe that is also why I choose to cover my body in tattoos)! Another general analogy I could use for self improvement could be along the lines of doing the best with what we have, or becoming the best version of everything we have the potential to be. And who decides what that best version is? We do. Some people might decide the blank canvas looks pretty as it is. Okay. Some might think it would be great painted in one, uniform colour, maybe blue, maybe green, maybe black… Okay. Some might want their canvas to reflect the world exactly as it is. Okay. Others might prefer an impressionistic or surealistic expression to decorate their canvas… The individual must decide what their canvas is best suited for and how best to enjoy the artistic creation they are emgaged in.

Once you are engaged in this kind of process you are no longer an idiot or a sheep because you are taking responsibility for your own decisions and your own destiny. This doesn’t mean you will never make mistakes or wrong decisions. In fact you will probably get almost as much wrong as you get right. But they will be YOUR mistakes and whatever you learn from those mistakes will be YOUR knowledge to add to YOUR creation.

This is how we become gods. Well; there is a phrase that will annoy some people, but what is a god if not a creature with the power and ability to control it’s own destiny?

For myself I have always known that my canvas has a connection to nature and wildlife and that part of my creation will be about expressing that. I am learning  how to integrate the other things that give me pleasure at a time when more and more ideas and possibilities are opening up to me. And I have a thirst for knowledge and experience which must also play a part in the creation of the whole me. Indeed, in writing this post I have focused on a connection between the artistic life and the Satanic life which hadn’t specifically occured to me before. So every little thing we do adds to the greater whole.

But then what? When we come to the end of our life is there some kind of reward for making the most of ourselves? I am agnostic on that. I think there may be another stage or dimension of existence; but there might not be.

Did Van Gogh paint Sunflowers or a Stary Night only to get some reward? Certainly he deserved more recognition and respect than ever came during his lifetime. But he painted what he did because he believed that was the best use of his canvas. And the world we live in now is richer because of what he painted.

If I can improve my canvas to that degree I will be very pleased with myself.

International Women’s Day

I decided I should write a short post for International Women’s Day. Does that make me a militant feminist? Well, it makes me a feminist for sure. That fact alone makes some people angry. Those type of people probably won’t enjoy anything I write on this site. Yes I’m a feminist and so are most of the people I associate with, including most of the men I call friends. I do think feminism has developed more political factions than are useful. For me feminism is simple, it is about freedom and equal rights for all people, men and women, straight or gay, black or white, trans or gender fluid… All people. Clearly all people do not yet have equal rights, freedom or respect, so there is still work to be done.

Today I want to write about three women who inspire me, partly because I have occasionally been criticised for holding these particular women up as examples and partly because there are some links and common themes between them.

Malala Yousafzai had already gained a little bit of local fame by writing a blog about the difficulties girls had in trying to attend school during the Taliban occupation of the region of Pakistan she lived in. Then one day when she was still only 15 a gunman entered the the bus that was taking her to school and shot this little, defenceless girl in the head at close range. Somehow she didn’t die. But she needed to be transferred to a hospital half way round the world in Britain to get the specialised treatment she needed. And after a time she recovered. She then went on to campaign for the rights of women and girls around the world to get schooling and education. She even went back to Pakistan despite the fact that the Neanderthal Scum who tried to kill her still wanted to kill her. Of course she is now world famous and has won the Nobel peace prize. When I was fifteen the most daring thing I had done was smoke a joint!

Funnily enough the people who have criticised me the most for having huge respect for Malala are other Satanists. “But she’s a Muslim!” They complain. Good grief! I don’t give a fuck what her religion is, I can’t think of any teenager in the history of the world who has done as much to promote education for girls as Malala has, and continues to do. And while I’m sure she has many layers of protection now, she is still extremely brave to keep doing what she does.

Malala now calls herself a feminist. She didn’t used to refer to herself in that way until she heard a speech by Emma Watson.

I always liked Emma Watson. Of course I first noticed her in the Harry Potter films where she played my favourite character from the books, Hermione Granger. I admit I was and am a fan of the books and the films and of the author J.K. Rowling who is another woman I admire.

Emma came from a quite wealthy family and made a point of continuing her university education even when her fame sort of made that unnecessary. She went from being pretty but slightly nerdy little girl to a beautiful and glamorous woman. By now she is very rich and successful as an actress and model. But it is what you do with your power that counts.

While still working on the final Harry Potter films, Emma started doing work to promote education for girls. She was then made a U.N. Women’s Goodwill Ambassador and gave a nervous speech at the U.N. Headquarters in New York which went viral and it was after hearing that, that Malala Yousafsai decided to refer to herself as a feminist. Emma described and defined feminism in pretty much the same way I do, and she was keen to involve men in the struggle for women’s equality. She has continued to do a lot of work to promote equal rights. However, I really began to like and respect her even more when she started getting criticised by other, so called, feminists…

In 2017 she did a fashion shoot for Vanity Fair in which, if you looked really hard, you could see one of her nipples. She was accused by some feminists of being a hipocrite and exploiting her own looks and sexuality. She responded that her tits had nothing to do with the real issues and that freedom and equality was about being able to present yourself however you wanted. I agree with her. I don’t particularly like the look of Moslem women wearing the hijab but I would defend their right to dress how they want. Women should be free to be as sexy or as modest as they choose to be, and neither men nor feminists should dictate the right way for a woman to look or to dress. Emma continues to support campaigns to improve education for women and speaks up for the right of women (and men) to live and look how they want.

For the third person on my list of women who inspire me I was torn between two people. One of them was the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo who I admire for lots of reasons; but in the end my scientific side won out and I have chosen Marie Curie.

Marie Curie arrived in Paris to start her studies as a virtually penniless refugee from Poland. Just getting there was a dangerous adventure and continuing her studies in poverty must have been really hard, but she went on to become one of the most brilliant scientists of her time. There were many points during her studies and in her career where her work was not valued or even recognised because she was a woman. Eventually she won two Nobel prizes but they nearly refused to let her accept one of them because she had had an affair. (Would that have been at all controversial if she had been a man)? She also suffered prejudice in France for being a foreigner and because she was thought by some to be Jewish.

Despite all this, during the First World War she set up mobile radiology units, trained people (especially women) how to use them and went herself to the front lines in the battlefields to help injured soldiers. Apart from the dangers of being in the battlefields this work eventually played a part in killing her because she later died of leukaemia as a result of her exposure to radiation.

These days Marie Curie is respected as one of the great scientists of her time, but actually her life was very hard and she was often the victim of all kinds of prejudice despite her brilliance or the many things she did to help other people.

I think what the three people I have spoken about have in common is intelligence and a determination to help other women study, learn and become the people they want to be. All of them have suffered prejudice and criticism partly because they were women and partly because they challenged people’s preconceptions and expectations in other ways.

They were and are about empowerment. So am I.

Not so casual sex

This post doesn’t really have that much to do with me being a Satanist. It is more about my views as a fairly young woman living a life in 2019, a life which includes sex. Being a Satanist does have a part to play in my lifestyle choices and I admit I am what some people call a “libertine,” however, in reality I don’t think my sex life is very different from most of the other people I know in my age range (most of whom are not Satanists). I am once again greatful to my Facebook friend Fabienne who got me thinking about this subject as a possible blog post.

To start off with you might want to watch this (Terri Conley We need to rethink casual sex). I pretty much agree with all the findings included in this Ted Talk. The reason I wanted to write more about it is really because of a sense of surprise that in 2019, people are still so confused and easily offended by sex. Perhaps mostly it is the last finding; that many people still think of sex as essentially a bad, dangerous and immoral thing that really got me thinking… That finding does go to the core of my beliefs (Satanism is at least partly about challenging ideas of morality) but mainly I am just a bit shocked by the ongoing hypocricy society seems to live with; in which nearly all people have sex which breaks some conventions, but still nearly all think it is something bad or tabboo or something to be ashamed about.

I’m glad I’m a Satanist; I wouldn’t like to cope with all the guilt and shame that most other people seem to live with when it comes to sex!

The video above starts off with some “sad” reflections on the differences between the ways men and women regard and enjoy “casual” sex. I suppose the finding that a lot of men who seek casual sex have zero respect for the women they have it with, is not as surprising as it should be. It’s depressing though. So women are still stigmatised for wanting and enjoying sex while men aren’t… Who knew? (Sarcasm). What comes through, is that straight women and homosexual men and women are more sensible about it and (shock-horror!) tend to be motivated by the idea of having enjoyable, satisfying sex rather than fucking the first person who says yes.

The video then goes on to bust some common myths about sex and people’s attitudes to it; most interestingly about the difference between monogomous relationships and consensual non mono relationships. This is of interest to me because in my parents I have seen how both styles can work, or not…

As far as I am aware my mother and father had sex with quite a few people before meeting each other and then had a mainly monogomous relationship which resulted in me! But later they grew apart and eventually divorced. After a few short term things my father met another women and they have been in a monogomous relationship ever since which seems to make both of them happy. My mother also had a few short term things before meeting Cassie and the two of them have been happily together ever since. However, in their case, while they started off as monogomous, they later decided to spice up their love life by having sex with other people as well. Again, that seems to work for them; they are very happy and committed to each other. So I have seen that both mono and poly relationships can work.

As for me, I suppose “casual” is the only form of sex I have at the moment. But I hate that word (in fact I tend to hate most of the words and terms people use to describe sex and sexuality). For me “Casual” does not mean random, uncaring or meaningless sex. It just means I am not particularly interested in being in a long term, monogomous romantic relationship at the moment. If it happens, it happens. But for now I am more interested in having quality sex with people I like without a lot of long term promises or commitments. In other words… Normal Sex. I like to experiment. I like to try new things. Perhaps because of my Satanic backgound I am not shy or shameful about having some darker elements in my sex life, but then again neither are any of the people I have been with… I suppose I come under the heading “Bi” although I tend to have more sex with men. And that is that…

And I cook. And I clean. I work. I study. I read. I write blog posts. I eat, drink and sleep. I am boringly normal. Most of us are. Sex itself doesn’t make us any more immoral than what we eat or how we eat it. Morality only comes into it in terms of how we treat the people we are with. Are we honest with them? Are we considerate? Are we kind? Are we nasty or deceptive? These are the things when our personal morals come into play but the sex itself is just sex; a pleasuable human bodily function.

Perhaps I should add that I am talking about sex in the context of consensual sex, between two or more adults who are capable of consenting. Anything else is wrong and almost certainty illegal (or should be).

And should I or anybody else really need to say anything more about it?

I shouldn’t. But still in 2019, there will be people who call me a slut just because I am open about having and liking sex. There will be people who think I’m bad because I carry condoms with me rather than thinking I’m a sensible person because of that. There are men who barely know the difference between the vulva and the vagina but who feel it’s okay to go online and educate us silly women for pointing out the difference! (That happened recently, as some Facebook users will know). There will be some who think I’m depraved because I own some sex toys. And, as it says in the video, a lot of people still think that sex is fundamentally immoral and more dangerous than driving a car.

Well, let’s think about driving cars…

Do you think it is wise for young people to drive a car without having had any lessons? Do you think it is a good idea to know a few basic things about how a car works before going on a long journey? Would you set out on a long car journey without checking the lights are working or that you have enough oil and gas? Would you make sure your car has the right kind of tyres for the terrain you are travelling on or the time of year? If you really enjoy driving and want to become an expert (perhaps a racing or rally driver) or if you want to travel around the world, do you think it is sensible to train in just one car, driving slowly on a road without any twists or turns?

Oh, and while we are thinking about “cars”, do you think it would be perverted to look at pictures of cars in magazines or on the internet? Do you think it would be wrong to fantasise about driving the car of your dreams or to imagine driving lots of different cars in different conditions?

Keep in mind that statistically you are far more likely to encounter problems due to driving than you are to get problems from sex. In fact you are many times more likely to die in a car accident than you are to die from a sexually related illness.

So maybe we should tell people that cars are dangerous and immoral. Perhaps we should advise young people to abstain from driving? An perhaps, like in Saudi Arabia, we should think of women who drive as dangerous, radical sluts?

Or maybe, in the twenty-first century, we should just all grow up a bit when it comes to sex??