Doubts and Agnosticism

I’ve been having some doubts about my beliefs.

Shock!

Horror!

I’ll start off be saying I think it is okay to have some doubts. When I spoke to my mothers, Sophie and Cassie, about having doubts they just said, “Finally, you are human after all!”

It is fair to say that since I became a Satanist around the age of 14, I never doubted it at all, until now. The strange thing is that now I’m on the verge of my twenties I’m probably leading the most in your face, authentic, Satanic lifestyle you could imagine… And I’m enjoying every moment of it… So why do the doubts come now?

So I’m going to write some of my doubts down here. It’s my own therapy. A chance to see what these questions look like when they are put down in writing. If other people find my thoughts helpful or entertaining that’s great, but I’m really writing this post for me.

I am still torn between the theistic and atheistic versions of Satanism. Most of the people I associate with are atheists of one sort or another and I have always leaned heavily in that direction. Atheistic Satanism has always made more sense to me scientifically and philosophically. I would say it is at the core of what I believe and how I live. But I have been exposed to the theistic side of Satanism as well and I have felt the presence of “something” which I find empowering and kind of addictive. I’ve taken part in rituals dedicated to the person of Satan and I have felt that release something “primal” in me; it seeps into my mind, body and soul in a way that the pure logic of atheistic Satanism doesn’t. It is new and challenging and probably leads me to discover darker aspects of myself and I wonder is that good, is it bad or are those questions even relevant?

Maybe we have to fully engage with Satan and the darker sides of of ourselves before we can really grow? Or can you take the same journey without any reference to Satan?

Okay, I accept that a lot of people don’t feel compelled to take this sort of spiritual journey, or any form of spiritual journey at all, but I do… It’s part of me.

My girlfriend, fuck-buddy and kinky conspirator, Louise, has a very similar lifestyle to me. She thinks it’s cool that I’m a Satanist but she isn’t remotely interested in becoming one herself. Perhaps that is the core of my doubts. The fact that I’m a Satanist and she isn’t, is one of the very few differences between us. Apart from our kinky tastes and hedonistic pastimes, we also have similar political and social concerns and similar dreams and ambitions for our own lives; so what difference does my being a Satanist make??!

She is what she is, without any particular spiritual beliefs. (She has her own beliefs but nothing that can be labelled or categorised in any way). Yet I don’t think I really would be the person I am if I had not been a Satanist. So is Satanism just a crutch? Does it just show a weakness in me?

I’m pretty sure a lot of people still think I’m only a Satanist because my mother and her partner are. I suppose the only truth in that is that I was a bit more exposed to what Satanism is than most other teenagers are. It made me curious and I wanted to find out more. I lapped it up. I loved it. It made total sense to me. I do think it gave me a confidence I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I was a shy, rather nerdy girl and really quite late in blossoming into a woman. But when I did become a Satanist, I don’t think it’s much of an exaggeration to say I grew up almost ten years in ten months. There was almost no relation between between 14 year old Léonie and 16 year old Léonie. And now, on the verge of 20, I know I have experienced a lot more things than some people much older than me. I understand that not everyone will think that is good, but I do… Yes that very much feeds into my Satanic belief that we are meant to grow up and take responsibility for our lives and that innocence and ignorance are no substitute for experience and knowledge.

But how did Louise get to that stage without Satanism or any other religion? Is there something wrong with me that I need Satan or any other form of religion just to be me?

Self empowerment is at the heart and core of Satanism, but are you really self empowered if you are depending on Satanism or Satan himself? And if you can be equally self empowered without any named religion or philosophy then what is the point of Satanism? Why not just be an atheist or a humanist?

So these are some of the questions in my mind. And yet, I like being a Satanist. There are things beyond what I have said here… Satanism is more strongly rebellious to convention than atheism alone. It is about challenging norms and conventional wisdom, it is about breaking taboos… And there is the tantric side of the Left Hand Path, which was passed down to me by Cassie, which is about being true to yourself and in a way uncorrupted even when in the middle of corruption. And there is the figure of Satan himself, whether you see him as real or symbolic, and the feeling that you can learn something important by seeing the truths behind the slanders of his enemies. What are they (the mainstream religions and authorities) afraid of? What is it that a lot of people are missing but which I can see?

There are a lot of questions here and not many answers yet. I have doubts about Satanism. I have doubts about its validity. I have doubts about the way Satanism itself should go… how it should develop… what it’s point and purpose should be..?

I have doubts about my own future in Satanism.
That was actually a hard sentence to write.

Well, I don’t know the answers. I have always thought agnosticism was honest. I don’t know. I don’t rule anything out.

Being a Satanist is a strangely precious thing to me in ways that are difficult to explain. So these doubts are making me uncomfortable.

Perhaps it is just part of the path. I’ve had things pretty easy so far, maybe these doubts are a good thing. (I can imagine Sophie and Cassie nodding knowingly at this point).

I just want to be a happy-go-lucky, naughty Satanic lady. That’s not wrong is it? 😉

.

 

 

The Satanic Witch

I was going to write a post about what it means to be a Satanic Witch. While doing some rerearch I discovered that one of my mothers had already written omething which covers everything I want to say. As a witch I work alone or together with other Satanists or sometimes with pagans and witches from different traditions. I am alsways a witch but I must say that at this time of year leading up to Halloween and in the dark months after that, the witch inside becomes much more dominant in my life.

Devil's Advocates

womanperformingdevilworship

This is not a review of the famous (or infamous) book of that title by Anton LaVey, although I do recommend the said tome as one of his most perceptive works. No, this is simply a post about what it means to be a Satanic Witch; or a witch who is a Satanist. Not all Satanists practice witchcraft (although I would imagine that many of us do to some extent) and clearly not all witches are Satanists. So let’s start with terms…

There are many definitions of what a witch is (look them up) but I will give my own. A witch is a person who uses their knowledge of things natural and supernatural to manipulate the universe according to their will. It sounds a bit pretentious but does I think sum it up quite neatly. Thus witchcraft can include everything from knowing how to use herbs to poison or…

View original post 945 more words

Where I’m at. Catching Up.

I have neglected this blog for a time while doing other things. One thing was writing in another blog which got me into trouble for posting “adult” content. Even looking back through this blog today I realised many recent entries were focused on the hedonistic side of my life and not very much about my studies or the more philosophical aspects of my beliefs or even on witchcraft. I could understand people thinking these things had become less important to me. This is actually not the case and I’m planning a few posts which will talk about those aspects more fully. To put things in perspective meanwhile I will just say that my studies and future career plans are still my main priority; Satanism is the philosophical backbone of all that I do and even if I don’t speak about it all the time, I am a witch and using all the crafts of the witch is part of my soul and everyday life.

So why the recent posts on sex, drugs and hedonistic lifestyle? The answer is simple really, this is the part of my life where the most change is going on and which has been the most fun and interesting for me to think and write about. And given my beliefs and my philosophy, I refuse to feel ashamed or inhibited about it. In a way I feel it is important for people in the wider world to understand that people like me exist and that we can and do play a constructive and caring part in their world. Nobody should be wholly defined by their sexuality, their kinks or their vices anymore than a person should wholly be defined by their job or their nationality. We are all mixtures of many things.

Anyway, here’s a short summary of some of the things I have been up to in the last few months…

Back in June (it already seems ages ago) I finished my first year at university. I ended the year with good grades and a sense of relief. I then spent a few weeks in Berlin with Louise, having a lot of fun and enjoying myself a lot. After that I went home to Switzerland to see my mum and Cassie and chill for a while. Then I did a six week mini internship assisting a country vet.

The internship had been arranged with a friend of the family. I think the last time he had met me I was a quite shy and innocent 15 year old. He seemed a bit shocked when I arrived on his doorstep now four years later, covered in tattoos and not looking very innocent at all. He had a look on his face which meant “OMG! What have I done!” Despite this we ended up being friends and I learned a lot from him. Working out in the country we had to visit a lot of farms and it was not very glamorous. I spent a lot of time covered in shit and on a couple of occasions had to stick my arm up the bottom of a cow! There were some sad occasions… One day I had help euthanise a horse who had gone lame in two legs. That was hard. On the other hand there were some very nice things like delivering some kittens and looking after a baby alpaca. I like the practical side of things and it was good to put some of the things I have learned in the last year into action.

After six weeks of work I went to Ibiza with Louise for a final week of holiday which was kind of like kit kat club in the sun.

I’m now back in Vienna and back in uni. I’m actually quite pleased to be back in Vienna, I have really fallen in love with it and there are some places close by which are especially beautiful in the fall. I have reconnected with some of my pagan and satanic friends here and attended a couple of outside rituals. I am also glad to be back in study mode. This will be a quite intense year and I have to think about planning a year long internship abroad starting  in about 18 months. That is quite exciting but stressful to decide on my options.

I’m also happy to be back in my own place. I like having my own little nest where I can do what I want and decorate it how I like. I actually like cleaning my place, doing the dishes and cooking for myself. I’m not sure if other people like my cooking though, I’m a bit experimental!

So that’s where I’m at, at the moment.

Yes, I’m bad, but not all bad. 😉

If I keep to my schedule (no guarantees!) my next post here will be something about witchcraft. And if I have time I might right some more wicked things for Satanic Muses as well.

Personal Responsibility; My Satanic Rules.

The Nine Satanic Statements and the other rules I have listed later in this post were first published by Anton LaVey in The Satanic Bible in 1969. They are still used as a guide by The Church Of Satan and some other Satanic groups and individuals (including me).

Actually I’m not much of a fan of Anton LaVey as a person or even as a leader although I do respect what he did to reinvent Satanism in the late twentieth century. He opened a lot of doors that people like myself were able to walk through fairly easily generations later.

I have tried to find fault with the suggested rules he set out, but I can’t really. I find them to be sensible and wise even if he himself wasn’t always. The only one I don’t quite agree with is statement number nine which I think ties Satanism too much to the Christian Church; but I do see what he was getting at…

I grew up in a Satanic family. How do you rebel when your mother is already more radical than anyone else you know? How do you rebel when virtually everything is allowed anyway as long as you take responsibility for your own shit? Well I suppose my rebellion was in becoming a Satanist quite young, long before my mother or her girlfriend wanted me to.

People tend to assume I was indoctrinated into becoming a Satanist. Nothing could be more untrue. My mother and Cassie tried to put quite a distance between me and their Satanic beliefs and practices. Both of them had come to Satanism much later in life and they thought it was important for me to go through some of the same processes and searching that they had been through. They had been Buddhists and Wiccans and had explored many different spiritual and philosophical paths before finding Satanism (or before Satan found them). They understandably thought I would benefit from going through some of the same processes. And frankly, they thought I was too young to be a Satanist. They would have been less nervous or concerned if I had told them I was becoming a Christian than they in fact were the day I told them I was a Satanist too!

But I had been searching all over the internet and had had my head buried in books on Satanism. When I told them I was a Satanist, I meant it and I wasn’t going to change my mind. I was about 14 years old. They were a bit shocked. Luckily they grew to accept my decision and it made my growing up process a lot easier. Now that I am nearly twenty, I have never doubted that decision and my Satanic beliefs and philosophy inform everything I do.

And what attracted me was the basic human wisdom in it; seeing human beings as part of nature (not separate from it) and making the self and the responsibility of the self the starting point for all moral and ethical thinking.

Most of Anton LaVey’s rules and guidelines which I have quoted below boil down to self responsibility. No god, not even Satan is going to help you if you fuck up in a stupid way. You can do what you want but you have to think it through and be ready to accept the consequences for your actions. Satanism makes you depend on yourself as much as possible and treat others with the respect you would like to be treated with unless they do something to hurt you. Satanism is fair and honest. It takes for granted that we have both dark and light within us and both can be used wisely or unwisely. It doesn’t try to make us feel guilty about our human needs or instincts and even acknowledges the positive side of things that many religions try to forbid or control. But all the way through it emphasises that “we” must take responsibility for ourselves.

In a later post I would like to show how some of these things work in practice, in particular I would like to show how starting with yourself does not mean being entirely selfish. We need to take care of our environment and those around us as well. Satanists can be, probably should be, and often are some of the kindest and most socially responsible people you can find. Meanwhile, these are the “guidelines” I live by…

The Nine Satanic Statements

1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!

2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe-dreams!

3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!

5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!

6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!

7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development” has become the most vicious animal of all!

8. Satan represents all the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!

9. Satan has been the best friend of the church as he has kept it in business all of these years!

The Nine Satanic Sins

1) Stupidity

2) Pretentiousness .

3) Solipsism

4) Self-Deciet

5) Herd Conformity

6) Lack of Perspective.

7) Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies

8) Counterproductive Pride

9) Lack of Aesthetics

The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth

1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.

2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.

3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.

4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.

5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.

6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.

7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.

8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.

9. Do not harm little children.

10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.

11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

 

Hedonism, Satanism and the question we always come back to.

I recently finished my first year of university and have been enjoying a couple of weeks of hedonism and debauchery. During the Summer I will be doing a bit of travelling and I will also be working and studying. So there is some balance there. But for some people I suppose the hedonistic elements of my lifestyle will always be the controversial talking points that will outweigh anything else I do or say. For me they are the grounding things that underline my philosophy and make me feel healthy and happy.

I have never claimed to be a “good” person. In truth as I have gotten older I probably do more and more things that are often considered to be bad, especially by those who object to pleasure and enjoyment that isn’t regulated by the god of their religion. Well, the god of my religion is me, and I give myself permission to do almost anything. And in recent months I have been experimenting with and indulging in all sorts of forbidden pleasures. I’ve been dancing naked or dressed in bondage gear. I’ve been having sex with men and women in all sorts of ways and situations. I’ve been drinking and smoking. I’ve taken cocaine and other drugs. I have been a very bad girl and I have never been happier.

I’ll never be the nice type of girl that nice boys bring home to show their mothers. I’m more the kind of girl that good Christian mothers have nightmares about! (Yes, I’d enjoy the sense of power that comes from corrupting nice boys and shocking their mums). Does that make me evil? Well that is the question we always come back to…

Some Satanists don’t mind the label of evil being attached to them. I have sometimes taken that point of view. I thought it was other people’s ignorance that saw me as evil and so by accepting the label it was more like accusing “them” of ignorance. In another way I also thought that if they want to call Satan evil then I am happy to be described in the same way because for me Satan is the ultimate symbol of freedom and independence.

The problem is that in everyday use the word “evil” does have a meaning most of us agree on, and I don’t think there is anything about me or any Satanist I know which is evil in that way. If evil is being racist, sexist, fascist or anything like that, then I am certainly not evil. If evil is being cruel to innocent people, I am not evil. If evil is hurting or molesting children or animals in any way, then I am absolutely not evil. If evil is damaging the environment, causing wars, using weapons of mass destruction or inciting people to hate each other I am not evil. In fact my views and the the views of most Satanists I know are the complete opposite to all the things I mentioned. So by logic and use of English (as far as I understand it) you could almost say… I am good!

But I don’t say I’m good. I just say I’m not evil. Satanic yes, hopefully in every way. But not evil. Not at all.

Hedonism is part of my lifestyle and philosophy so I would like to ask two things. 1) Why do some religions and some people think that hedonism is evil or at least bad? 2) Why do I think it can be a good and healthy thing?

I think the answer to the first question is a lot about control. Most religions in my opinion are ways to control people. Most religions claim there is a god who makes rules and in order to progress we have to obey those rules. It is the priests and authority figures in those religions who actually make up, police and enforce the rules. The rules which affect us most personally and intimately are the ones which apply to our natural instincts and our desire to feel good and happy. If god/the church etc can control how we love, how we have fun, how we get our kicks, then it can control virtually every other thing about us. The result is we have to get permission from the religious authorities to enjoy ourselves and if we do it the wrong way we are sinful and the religion programs us to feel guilty and insecure about ourselves. I find that way of controlling people’s lives and minds to be evil.

Of course some religious authorities hide behind other issues to justify their control of your life. God doesn’t want you to get pregnant before you are ready to have a child… God doesn’t want you to catch an illness… God doesn’t want you to become addicted… God doesn’t want you to waste your time or your money on that… But the truth is, God has nothing to do with it. Religions don’t want people to think that. Religions don’t want people to think and take responsibility for themselves. Religions don’t want us to realise it’s all up to us. Yes, we might get pregnant, we might get addicted, we might catch a disease and we might waste our money stupidly. But it is our choice and that is empowering. The last thing religions want is for us to reclaim power and authority over our own lives because then religions and the people who control them lose their control over us.

So for me hedonism is sort of a rebellion against all of that. It is me taking control and telling religious authorities to fuck off. But it is far more than that…

When some people want to ground themselves they go to a quiet place in nature, stick their toes into the earth and meditate. That’s fine and I use that method as well sometimes. But recently I have discovered another method that is extremely powerful.

I recently wrote a blog entry about a club I go to in Berlin. That has become a regular thing that brings a lot of happiness into my life. It is a club frequented by people of every type who feel confident to express themselves and their sexuality openly and confidently… So there I am, usually with my girlfriend, not wearing a lot, feeling high, a bit drunk as well, hot, sweaty, moving in rhythm with the electric, psy-trance music, not really thinking much but just letting go, being an animal, feeling, experiencing… And around me there are men and women, gay, straight, trans, bi and every label of sexuality you can imagine. Some wear leather bondage or fetish gear, some wear pantomime fairy tale costumes, some wear nothing much at all. We all move in rhythm with each other. There’s no prejudice. There is no judgement. We are equal. We are all just enjoying the scene, the music, the movement and the vibe. It’s all about enjoying the pleasure of the moment and that feeling of connection with everyone around me. It is pretty much my idea of heaven. Sometimes that continues in a more intimate way later when my girlfriend and I have sex with each other or others.

And this is the image that I recall and focus on when I need to ground myself for ritual or magic work, or when I just need to chill or concentrate. This is the real me, the animal inside. But where others might see debauchery I see a confident person surrounded by love and untouched by judgement or criticism. And that is very empowering. It is also, I think, physically and mentally healthy.

I made a kind of joke earlier about the sense of power I would feel “corrupting” an innocent young man (it could equally be a woman). I wasn’t entirely joking. Some people might find that evil. I don’t. I think finding your true self and getting the confidence to “be” yourself is one of the most beautiful things in life. If I helped somebody in that way I would see it as a kindness, and hopefully they would too. I sincerely thank my family and friends who always encourage me to be myself.

Finally, a few quick things to say before I come to the end of this post. I have been talking about hedonism which is a part of my philosophy and my life. It is not the only part. I spend far more time studying, working and doing boring housework and other things. I play hard but I also work hard. Some of my work and free-time is spent looking after sick animals and helping refugees; how evil is that?

I have been open about the part sex and drugs play in my enjoyment. I do not underestimate the risks associated with these things and I might speak more about them in a future post. Satanists are obliged to take care of themselves, to think about the risks they are willing to take and to live as healthily as possible. There are always some compromises. I am not saying that my lifestyle choices are right for everyone. They might not always be right for me. If I make mistakes hopefully I will lean from them. I only spoke openly about it here because I think there is a lot of hypocrisy about it. I know very few people who don’t or haven’t used recreational drugs of some kind, but it’s all very hidden and secret. They criticise other people who get caught or who have problems connected with their drug use while secretly they have done just the same or worse. I don’t want to be like that.

That’s it for today.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.