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.

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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??

 

 

 

Atheism and Theism

Apparently my last post in which I admitted to being a Theistic Satanist rather than an atheistic one, caused a bit of discussion on Twitter. So I had my five minutes of fame and nearly missed it altogether! See here.

It was important to me to be honest about the way my thinking and lifestyle has developed, but perhaps what I said was not entirely clear because people have different interpretations of what theism and atheism actually mean. These confusions run so deep that I don’t think I can clear it up in one post. What I can do though is clarify what I mean.

The way I see it, the main problem is that most people define atheism by Christian definitions of God. By those definitions, I am still very much an atheist. I don’t believe in the Christian God or that the Christian God exists. Nor do I believe that Satan is anything like the way Christians or their non existent god define him.

Moreover, in most respects I am still what most people would define as an atheist. I believe in science and the power of science to explain things. I believe in the Big Bang and in evolution. I think the idea that God created the world in seven days and then created humans starting with Adam and Eve, is dangerous rubbish that should never be presented in schools as if it were true.

But what about those definitions of atheism which state there are no gods of any kind? The problem I see there, is that it all depends what you mean by “God”.

Does a God have to be the one thing that created everything else? Does a God have to have what we would recognise as human qualities? There are plenty of gods in many religions which are not like this.

Lately I have been mixing with a lot of Pagans. Most of the ones I know describe their relationship to deity as “working with this god or that god”. But it is clear they don’t see their god or gods as necessarily being the ones who created the universe. Some of them use the phrase, honouring the gods, rather than worshiping them and a lot of Pagans acknowledge more than one god, sometimes whole pantheons of gods. Some believe that their gods are real, actual beings of some sort while others see their gods as energies or symbols relating to aspects of the universe.

Are these things what atheism is against? Clearly these things have very little similarity to the idea of God in Christianity and related religions.

So does atheism mean being against any concept of god whatsoever? There is an idea in many Satanic traditions (Theistic and atheistic) that we ARE or CAN BECOME gods ourselves. I believe this. I find the idea empowering. Indeed in most branches of Satanism that I know, there is some form of the belief that we are our own gods. But if atheism states that the very idea or even the word “God” is toxic, then perhaps we should not believe in ourselves?? This is ridiculous.

So it seems to me the word and idea of atheism, has become too vague and bland because it is always related to the word and idea of god which itself has perhaps thousands of potential meanings. Indeed saying that you don’t believe in God has about as much meaning as saying you don’t believe ‘Something”.

But some atheists go even further. Some insist that you can’t believe in anything that can’t be seen or proved by science. Fifty years ago nobody (not even scientists) knew that a thing called Ultima Thule existed. But it did exist! Now we have seen photographs of this thing on the edge of our solar system. Fifty years ago the idea that I could exchange instant messages with my friends on the other side of the world would have seemed like magic or science fiction. Now I do it on my phone everyday. I think science will know everything; but it doesn’t know everything yet. Just because you don’t know or can’t explain something doesn’t make it unreal or untrue.

It seems to me that atheism has been infected with a kind of arrogance that is totally unscientific. The scientific mind should be open, not closed. Yes, question everything. But that does not mean disbelieve everything on principle.

While we should always be open to the possibility that we are wrong, we should allow ourselves the possibility to trust our instincts, or at least follow them and see where they lead. I suspect some of the biggest scientific breakthroughs were made in this way; by people who ignored what those around assumed to be the right way to do things.

I’m a witch. I have been studying and using occult magic since before my teens. I know it works. For some things I’m pretty sure I know how it works and I could explain it scientifically… But I can’t explain everything. It still works though.

I still believe that maybe 95% of my Satanic path comes entirely from me and that Satanism is to a very large degree about opening up your own psychological pathways in order to progress as a person. I can see scientifically and psychologically how that works. But I have had a steadily growing feeling that a part of my path is lead by some outside force. As I have grown and developed on my path I have begun to study demonology and work with spirits or forces that many religions regard as taboo. Again, I am prepared to believe that part of this is actually opening up my own psychological pathways. But not all of it…

In the midst of all of this I have had the feeling that Satan, it or himself, is guiding me. And my feelings and instincts tell me that this force, whatever it is, is external to me. I was brought up to believe that if somebody is kind and helpful to you, you should be kind and helpful in return. To deny the help I feel I am getting from this outside force would seem to me to be unkind and disrespectful.

I do not pretend to know exactly what this force I call Satan actually is. But I am very open to the possibility that many kinds of intelligence and forces can exist in the universe. I certainly do not believe that Satan is a god in the way that the word god is usually defined. But that should not minimise the power or influence that Satan may prove to have.

I’m 19 this year, so still fairly young. I have plenty of time to learn and even to change my mind if necessary. For now however I have come to the conclusion that I need to acknowledge the outside force that I feel has guided me on my path. Indeed, I feel I have grown in certain ways just by doing that.

Even if I turn out to be wrong on this occasion, I still think the arrogant side of atheism is a dangerous thing. In fact it is as “religious” in all the wrong ways as many religions are. We need to have open minds. We need to be open to things that don’t seem possible according to our present understandings, because what we understand will change over time. This does not mean we stop asking questions or being critical.

Satanic New Year Resolutions

I will follow Satan wherever he leads me.

I will try to listen to and learn from Satan.

I will study hard, work hard and play hard.

I will not fear the judgement of others.

Backstory

I have followed a Satanic philosophy since my early teens. I have always been fiercely atheistic in my beliefs; partly because this resonated with my scientific beliefs and outlook on life, and partly I think to differentiate myself from the Theistic beliefs of my mothers. For these reasons I gravitated towards LaVeyan Satanism and eventually joined an atheistic LaVeyan coven.

But it never felt quite right. I always had a feeling that Satan was real in some sense. I had increasingly powerful experiences in my dreams and during meditations and rituals in which I felt the presence of Satan and Lilith. To deny them seemed to me to be insulting them. But members of my LaVeyan coven were dismissive. It’s just your imagination they said… Part of the psycho-drama that our rituals involve… Only the weak and stupid could believe these supernatural things are real.

I hate the idea of being weak and stupid, but I also hate being told what I should or shouldn’t think or believe.

Lately I have also mixed a lot with Pagans of different types, many of whom are polytheistic, and have shared insights on different ways to understand the whole concept of deity.

I don’t quite know where Satan or Lilith fit into that understanding. I don’t pretend to understand exactly what they are. But I do know that they are ancient and wise entities and that they are real. I also realise that I have feelings of love and affection for them.

So I have left my coven and I begin the New Year as a Theistic Satanist with a much deeper connection to Satan and Lilith. I marked the occasion with a personal ritual followed by a ritual with my mother’s Theistic coven. I feel different and changed in ways it is hard to explain. I also feel the last vestiges of childhood and innocence are finally gone. This fact was probably underlined during our extended Saturnalia parties and celebrations this week.

While it is good to have the support of Sophie and Cassie as sisters on my chosen path, I will not be part of their coven, that would be too incestuous. I will be a solitary practitioner for the time being, carving my own path as a Theistic Satanist.

It will be an interesting year.

I wish my friends and followers all the best for 2019.

Dark Blessing, Léonie.

Dark and Dangerous?

Apart from those of us who follow a Left Hand Path, nobody really knows what it means. At best they associate it with things which they call dark, or maybe even evil.

The simplest way I can explain it is, it means learning by doing. To be a bit more specific it means that rather than avoiding all the things the world considers to be dark or taboo in order to improve yourself; you experience those things and learn from them. That’s where the other aspect of the Left Hand Path comes into play; being self centred. That does not normally mean being selfish. It just means looking after yourself and taking responsibility for your life and your actions. If you look after yourself sensibly there are some experiences which you might choose to avoid or have in very moderate amounts so that you don’t come to harm.

Another thing about the Left Hand Path in general, and Satanism in particular is that we don’t just blindly or mindlessly accept conventional morals. We come to our own decisions about what is right for ourselves. Sometimes we will end up agreeing with what the majority think, but sometimes we won’t. The important thing is, “we” decide. And finally Satanism has a particular emphasis on hedonism, seeing pleasure (sensual, sexual, physical and mental) as positive, not wrong or sinful.

Those are the basics, but it gets a bit more complicated. In our family we believe in moderation and you will hear us say things like “our spiritual or philosophical beliefs and our lifestyle are based or “centred” on the dark side of things.” I have been trying to think of a way to explain that and what comes next is my best attempt.

If you happen to live in London most of your views and experiences will be based on what it is like to live in London. Your neighbors will be in London. Your newspapers and TV will be in English. Probably your job and your friends will be based in London as well. It doesn’t mean that you hate everyone who lives in a small village in Armenia, but your everyday life experience will be very different to anybody who is based there. Those who are based in Switzerland will be different to those who live in Australia. Those who are based in Rio De Janero, will have very different views and expectations to those who are based in Siberia. And so on. Now let’s take this one step further. Imagine that the place you are based is not just where you happen to be born, but where you “choose” to be. For example I come from Switzerland but I’m living in Vienna, Austria. It doesn’t mean that I have stopped being Swiss or that I hate Switzerland, but my daily life at the moment is based more around things that happen in Vienna than Zurich, and there are some subtle differences. People who choose to live in Tokyo will have very different lifestyles and influences to those who choose to live in a small town in the Arabian desert. Etc. Etc.

So where we centre ourselves is not a point on a two dimensional sliding scale from right to left, or good to bad; it is more like a place in a three dimensional universe where we feel most at home. We may have friends and relatives in other places and we might visit other places, but we have decided where we come home to. My spiritual and philosophical home is in a territory some call dark. I have friends in other places and I can go where I want, but this is where I call home.

I rebel against many things that others just accept or take for granted. I enjoy this territory that some people feel unsafe in. I’m not made of sugar and everything nice, I enjoy some deliciously wicked things. I am kind of adventurous, I like trying out new things and pushing my own boundaries. I learn from those things and I think that is what life as an adult is about. I have a lot of sex. I like some porn. I get drunk. I swear. I smoke a lot of cigarettes and weed. I enjoy good food and wine. I like horror movies. I like doing things which scare me. And I like being around and mixing with people who have similar beliefs and attitudes to me.

I don’t see Satan as evil. I see Satan as the one who encourages us not to be unquestioning robots, living in fear of being sentenced to eternity in an awful place. I see Satan as one who encourages us to live fearlessly as ourselves so that we can grow as human beings and reach our full potential. Of course we will sometimes fall down and fail… Living dangerously is, well, obviously not always safe. But it is only by picking ourselves up that we can really learn and become self reliant rather than dependent on some other force or God. That’s my view anyway.

Some people assume that I was always a bad girl or a difficult child or a rebel. That’s not true at all. I was a very sweet and innocent child and enjoyed being that way. My parents were actually very strict and I was generally well behaved. For example I always took my studies seriously and I still do. But I never imagined that I would be a child forever and I never wanted to be. And luckily my parents encouraged me to grow up when I was ready (but not before). They had the opinion that childhood should be an innocent and enchanted time but that it was also a preparation for adulthood which should be a much longer phase of life and equally enjoyable in other ways. If I ever have kids I will try to bring them up the same way.

So now I am staking out my territory in the darkness and enjoying delicious, wicked things as much as possible. I will probably get cut and bruised a bit, but hopefully I’ll always get up again with a wicked grin on my face. 😈

Sexual Freedom and Sexual Exploitation In Satanism and Paganism

A Pagan Facebook friend of mine recently drew my attention to an article which was very critical of many aspects and trends in present day Paganism or Neo-Paganism. While I’m not a Pagan there was one thing mentioned in the article which I think has relevance to Satanism as well and that is the degree to which many of the rituals and workings in our groups are sexualised and perhaps, according to the article, over sexualised.

I have tried to clarify my opinions on this subject and this is in fact my third attempt to state my opinions in a way that makes sense to me and hopefully to others.

One thing that many Pagans and many Satanists have in common with each other is a fairly liberal and positive attitude to sex and sexuality. While there are exceptions, most of us regard sex as a normal and healthy aspect of life and not sinful, bad, forbidden or taboo. We do not accept the Christian doctrine of sin in connection with sex or other things and many of us have sexual lifestyles which are not in any way governed by Christian based laws or morals. For example in both Pagan and Satanic groups and covens there is often (but not always) nudity in our meetings, rituals and magical work. I think that in both Satanism and Paganism we use sexual imagery and symbolism quite a lot. Finally in Satanism for sure, and I think in some Pagan groups, there are some situations where actual sex takes place as part of the ritual or working.

The main problem which I think the article was pointing to is the potential for unscrupulous leaders of any such groups to make things more sexual than they may need to be or to coerce or force members (especially vulnerable young or new members) into sexual situations or activities that they are not really comfortable with. In the worst case scenarios, rape and other forms of sexual abuse could happen.

My first reaction is yes, sadly I do think those worst case scenarios do sometimes happen and that as serious Satanists or Pagans we should do what we can to prevent such things and to drive the sexual predators out of our communities. I don’t know enough about Paganism to say any more about what they should or shouldn’t do so the rest of this post is only about my views as a Satanist.

Satanism is the framework of how I live my life, but I also consider myself to be a feminist. I think the #MeToo movement has achieved some good things but has become a bit confused. I know there are different strands of feminism and I am not knowledgable enough to be sure which strand I fit into. I think it has become too complicated. For me feminism simply means women should have equal rights and opportunities and should be treated with equal respect. It also means we should have all the same freedoms, rights and privileges that men enjoy. I am suspicious of so called feminists who seem to be anti men or anti sex. It is clear that historically women have been oppressed and repressed in many parts of society and that there is still work to be done in achieving full equality, but I don’t think restricting our own hard won freedoms or treating men as an evil species that want to enslave us is helpful.

I like sex. I like men. I like women. My core beliefs make me question and often oppose some of the supposedly religious or moral restrictions that are placed on sex. I understand that for some people the only “legitimate” context for sex to happen is within a loving relationship legalised by some form of religious marriage. Often for those type of people, they would go further and say that sex should only happen between heterosexual couples. I am completely opposed to all of that. I think sex can happen and be good within all sorts of relationships, between all sorts of people and also outside of relationships. And I think such things are all perfectly normal and natural and good as long as everybody involved is fully consenting. Also as a witch and a Satanist I think there is a real place for various sexual activities (including full on, actual sex) to happen in rituals and magical workings. I have taken part in a few such things. I have found them empowering and have seen and felt the energy raised used to good effect.

So to anybody reading this who is thinking about exploring Satanism, let me say quite clearly that if you join a group or coven there is a high chance that they will practice some of the things I have mentioned. If you are not sure; ask! If you don’t like the answers or the feelings that you get from the group, stay away from them. Many of us enjoy the sexual parts of our practice, but if that is not for you, you can either find a different group or become a solitary practitioner. There are many such people. But you should NEVER feel obliged to do anything sexual that you are not comfortable with.

Most Satanists are actually sensible and sensitive. They have nothing to gain and a lot to lose by getting people involved in sexual activities that are unwanted. There is enough suspicion and prejudice against us already and we don’t want to add to it. In most cases we would much rather that people didn’t join our groups rather than naively get involved in something that is not right for them and then cause problems and controversy for the group.

In ALL LEGITIMATE Satanic groups and covens any rituals or workings which include sexual elements are discussed in detail in advance and people are given the option not to participate. If anybody is not given these options they should leave the group immediately.

In Satanic circles (and I think in Pagan ones too) we should stay true to our beliefs and practices (which will always be a bit different from one group to another). We have chosen beliefs and lifestyles that some people don’t approve of. That’s just the way it is. We should always call out and condemn people who are using the labels of our beliefs for their own purposes. We should do what we can to protect those who are vulnerable and prevent any form of abuse from happening. Certainly nothing sexual should ever happen without meaningful consent. If we witness or suspect some form of abuse we should do something about it.

But there will always be some foolish or naive people who try to join with us for the wrong reasons. And there will always be some sexual predators (men and women) who will try to use whatever power or influence they have for their own reasons.

In the end I don’t think we should alter our beliefs or practices just because there is “potential” for abuse to happen. Nor do I think we should change our ways because some of the things we do or believe don’t fit in with the current trends of political correctness. But I do think we need to be mindful of what we are doing. We need to ask ourselves what the point of what we are doing is; and we need to be able to live with the answers we get.

And finally I don’t think it matters what religion you are, but sex without meaningful consent is always wrong. If that is difficult for some people to understand, tough. I personally don’t think convicted rapists should ever be let out of jail, certainly not with their sexual organs still attached.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Review)

I haven’t done a film or TV review before, so why start here? Well because I have never seen another TV series in which the main character and heroine is a Satanic Witch…

To get a few things out of the way first… I will try to avoid spoilers but I will talk about the tone and characters of the series and that will include a few details of the storyline. Secondly, this series isn’t about real witchcraft or real Satanism but it comes close enough to offend some real witches and Satanists. Some Christians hate it because they think it “normalises” Satanism and doesn’t portray witchcraft, Satan or Satanism in an exclusively bad or dark way.

My perspective is that of an actual Satanic Witch (even still a teenager for one more year) and I haven’t seen any other reviews from that perspective. I want to look at the series first just as a TV horror show, and see how that works. After that I will make some comments about what, if any, connections the series has to real witchcraft or Satanism as I understand it.

This is nothing like the old Sabrina the Teenage Witch series which was wholesome in a Disney kind of way. The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina is very dark and based more on the comic strip of the same name. It is apparently set in the same universe as “Riverdale” (which I have not seen). While the characters are very modern and include people from most varieties of gender, sexuality, race, religion and ethnicity; the locations and artistry of the series owe more to the 1950s and ’60s with a strong gothic twist.

Sabrina is a half witch, half mortal 16-year-old who is trying to reconcile the two aspects of her life. The main themes of the first ten episodes are about how she keeps her identity as a witch hidden from her boyfriend and other school friends while getting more involved in the activities of her coven. She has to decide whether or not to go through with her “dark baptism” while other forces conspire to make her choose a darker path.

Since being orphaned as a baby, Sabrina is cared for by her two aunties who are members of a coven devoted to Satan. In the first couple of episodes, while interesting, the depiction of Sabrina’s family is very cartoonish and in my opinion a bit annoying. However, as the series develops their characters are richly developed and both the aunts are portrayed as multi-layered and complicated people. The acting by Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina and Miranda Otto and Lucy Davis as her aunties is very good throughout the season. Indeed most of the main characters are well portrayed and Michelle Gomez is particularly well cast as, well in order not to give anything away, Miss Wardwell…

As a horror series I would say it works. It is “quirky” (as my mother Cassie would say) and very off the wall, but the scary scenes actually are pretty scary and the tension is well built up. There are a few scenes which would not suit people who are not fans of the gory side of horror…

The scripts and story development get better as the short season develops and I had to binge watch the last four episodes which run together… I found the way the first season ended to be quite pleasing and not entirely predictable. Apparently the second season of ten episodes has already been filmed and it will be interesting to see how the plot and the characters develop.

So how do I feel about it as a witch and a Satanist?

Well firstly let’s make this really clear, “Sabrina” is a fantasy and the way witchcraft and Satanism are portrayed in it aren’t real. They did not set out to make a docu-drama about modern satanism or witchcraft, it is a fantasy horror story. Perhaps the biggest difference between the show and reality is that in reality most witches are not Satanists. In fact most modern witches go out of their way to disassociate themselves from Satanism, and for that reason many of them dislike and disapprove of the way the two things are conflated in this story.

In “The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina” the principle characters (including Sabrina herself) are part of a coven which reveres Satan; so in a sense they are Satanists. The Satan of this fantasy is portrayed as at best morally ambivalent, and at worst what most people would recognise as evil. The members of Sabrina’s Satanic Coven however are portrayed in a more diverse way. While she does employ what most would regard as pretty black magic, Sabrina is always motivated by a desire to do the right thing and in particular, to protect her loved ones. Her family have similar motivations. Other members of the coven are diverse in their beliefs, motivations and actions. In these respects I think it was a fairly close depiction of the diversity of Satanists in the real world.

The majority of groups who identify as Satanists in the real modern world (including my own coven) relate to some degree to the atheistic form of Satanism invented by Anton LaVey. As such most modern Satanists don’t believe in Satan or any other deity outside ourselves, rather Satan is seen as a symbol of opposition to the power of mainstream religions. There are some theistic Satanists such as my own mothers, and I admit to having some leanings in that direction as well… Among most Theistic Satanists however, Satan is seen chiefly as a liberator who frees us from slavery to the false gods and empowers us to live by our own rules and our own nature. So for 99% of those who identify as some form of Satanist, I’d say most of us don’t regard ourselves, our beliefs or Satan himself as evil, in the way that evil is usually understood.

While I don’t think “Sabrina’s” depiction of Satan or Satanism is very accurate, it does get some of the ambiance and diversity right. There were a few rituals which were not totally unlike things I have seen. There are several characters who would not be completely out of place in my own coven or that of my mothers. And in it’s depiction of and allusion to sexual diversity and a willingness to incorporate the darker side of our sexual natures, Sabrina is not far from reality either.

The strongest characters in Sabrina are all female. There are some interesting men too but I did enjoy seeing something where women were dominant.

Overall I found I enjoyed the series a lot. Strangely, in the end I realised I enjoyed it largely because what the Christian critics say about it, is true. While it is within a fantasy context, it does kind of normalise Satanism.

There was a time when people of colour were not represented at all on TV so I can imagine how important it is for people of those communities to be represented in mainstream TV and other media. When I was a child you hardly ever saw members of the LGBT community on mainsteam TV but now you can see these people more and more and I think that means a lot when you are coming to terms with your own sexual preferences and identity. Since #MeToo, I think women have been given more powerful and diverse roles in front of and behind the camera although it still seems incredible to me that it has taken us so long to get here.

And now there is a series where the principle character, a strong female, has a similar world view to people like me…  She may not be a real Satanist but she is a Satanist of sorts, a darker soul who has chosen a Left Hand Path that many disapprove of. A person who breaks taboos but who isn’t entirely evil as a result. The very idea of this is a challenge to everything Christians hold true.

Maybe our time has come.