Guys, I must have made a deal with the wrong devil

Everyone is so caught up on the idea of Faustian bargains being a tool of the devil’s trade, but it doesn’t work that way with the Lu I know.

Well, actually, if someone was offering me something like their firstborn in return for power I would fuck up their lives in order to teach them a lesson too, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

You want fame? Go learn a trade and earn it yourself. Wealth? He’s not going to kill your long-lost aunt who named you sole inheritor of her fortune, but he’ll probably flood your mailbox with job applications. Immortality? Uh, closest thing to it is a long life—he’d sooner give you a ban on junk food than mess with your genetics.

Seriously, remember how I said he was practical? I wasn’t kidding. Now, I’m not saying asking for divine help is a bad thing. It’s certainly understandable when the situation is entirely out of one’s own control. But if you want a deity who will coddle you and give you your heart’s desire in return for your devotion—Lu is definitely not the one to go to.

So I can’t help but laugh whenever I come across the idea of Lucifer leading people astray with his ‘false promises’. I don’t know about his interactions with anyone else, but he’s never ‘promised’ me anything. As a devotee of his who has been taught to forego attachments to material things, who has restrictions in place when it comes to ‘worldly’ pleasures, I can’t see what he could possibly have to offer others that is materialistically tempting, considering the fact that they would have to work for it themselves. The only false promises I see here are the ones that have been invented by others and imposed onto him.

From my experience, he seems to favor the idea of everything in moderation.

Shocker, right? Isn’t Lucifer supposed to encourage and glorify indulging in luxury and sin? There’s that reverse-Christianity mentality again. Do those who follow a Rokkatru path have to reject the nine noble virtues of Asatru and do the exact opposite? Of course not. Why should Luciferianism embrace sins as virtues? Maybe we don’t see them as being bad exactly, but it doesn’t mean we have to automatically believe overindulgence in them is ‘good’.

Especially if we consider the idea that Lucifer was once the highest ranked angel, second only to God himself. A role like that requires trust, it is something that is earned through one’s actions and deeds—so, he must have believed that they were doing something right, otherwise why not rebel from the moment of his creation? Why does his rebellion have to mean that he rejects everything and anything that Christianity deems good and virtuous?

Let’s say I have a job in a company I am very content with. I agree with a lot of their policies, and I believe in what the company stands for. I love my work, but I can’t stand my boss. Maybe I thought he was a cool guy in the beginning, but later on realized that I don’t agree with how he’s running things—the company I loved is slowly being corrupted into something else entirely, and the employees are not being treated as they should. I’m not the only one who thinks this way, either. So I go and tell my boss exactly what I think, and he fires me.

Well, screw that, maybe I’ll just go start my own company.

It doesn’t mean I hate the previous company. It doesn’t mean I hated my old job. It doesn’t mean I’m going to run my company on ideals that are completely opposite that of the previous one. But my ex-boss and his loyal employees might see things that way, especially if they feel threatened.

Their business has over a thousand employees, with a solid reputation amongst their customers and clients, while my own newly founded company has only a handful of employees and no reputation to speak of just yet.

So when the mudslinging begins as a consequence of feeling threatened, guess who people are going to flock to and believe?

And thus we get all these skewed concepts like the Faustian bargain, and vices as virtues, and double standards—oh goodness, the double standards are the worst, I think. Selfishness and pride are okay when it’s YHVH we’re talking about, but not Lucifer? Well fuck.

Here’s an idea–how about we focus on our own faiths instead of trying to demonize someone else’s?

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Disparaging Remarks

Reblogging because this woman is wonderful.

O, Mourning Star. . .

Recently on some of the pagan Tumblr blogosphere, there’s been some very heated discussion regarding an image that’s been going around:

The initial concern over the image, was of course, discussion on the fact that this pretty much insinuates that this is a common mode of thinking for Paganism-that by a Christian calling a Pagan a Satanist they are basically doing the same as saying all Christians follow the word of The Pope, which if course, we know is utterly ridiculous.

I keep seeing this pic going around, and it keeps bothering me. It’s a cute concept…except that’s not what satanism and paganism are in respect to each other.

Most assuredly not, given that the Pope is an figurehead basically appointed by a religious institution-specifically, the Catholic Church, which has very little or nothing to do with Christians as a whole, and indeed, most Christians I’ve met (paradoxically) have really…

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Shadow Work

To be honest, I never even knew this was an actual ‘thing’. I didn’t have a name for it, I just knew it was what my workings with Lu largely consisted of.  But apparently a lot of other people have gone through it and call it Shadow Work, based off of Jung’s Schattenarbeit (psychological shadow work), which fits rather nicely I think.

Others have noted that it isn’t really talked about within the pagan community—sure, there’ll be mentions about its importance here and there, but there are no guidelines or helpful tips on how to go about it. And that’s because Shadow Work practices are unique to each person’s needs. It’s an introspective practice that deals with our inner selves, so it wouldn’t make much sense for another person to tell someone how to go about it.

Shadow Work is a self-built process—it is ultimately up to us what we want to confront and what we’re willing to risk. That being said, this isn’t going to be a how-to guide. It’s only an overview of the broad expanse of Shadow Work as I have come to know it.

For some, Shadow Work may consist of confronting one’s own inner demons. Facing one’s fears is usually a crucial step in this practice. This can be potentially dangerous, not to mention traumatizing. Even our mental fears can have scarring effects. Others must make peace with the darker parts of themselves, their shame and regrets. Already, you can probably see why many would not be willing to share their own experiences with Shadow Work, due to the intensely personal nature of such work. Shadow Work tests limits, and seeks to break them.

You know those ‘difficult questions’ I always talk about? The ones that rip holes in the fabric of our spirituality, or that make us doubt that which we love and hold on to for support? Those are a part of Shadow Work too. The answers may not always be pretty, may not be what we want to hear, but it’s what we need to hear. Each one of those questions has the potential to tear apart the vision of reality we have built for ourselves, the ‘truth’ we cling to like a security blanket. We have the option of letting those questions haunt us or facing up to them. And on the occasion that they cause our truths to crumble around us, we have the choice of leaving it in ruins or attempting to rebuild it.

But it isn’t about morphing our fears into something more acceptable, or sugarcoating our flaws. It’s about owning up to them. Sometimes, we can even use them to our advantage. And it’s not always about overcoming or getting rid of our fears—sometimes a healthy dose of fear can be a good thing.

The end goal is not about defeating your shadow self. Those shadows are essential for spiritual growth. They are as much a part of our world as the more pleasant aspects. Instead, it’s about learning how to deal with them, living in a controlled sort of flux with our shadows. A balance, if you will. Comfort and security are nice, but fear keeps us sharp and aware. It is not a balance between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, or ‘light’ and ‘dark’.

And as you can imagine, not everyone reaches the end of some phase of their Shadow Work. Some might give up halfway, and it’s important to note that this is NOT a sign of weakness or failure. There are very real reasons as to why we fear things, why we hide away from some parts of our shadow selves, and sometimes the cons outweigh the pros in such situations. Emerging from the entirety of a phase of Shadow Work does not always equate with emerging a happier, stronger person. It isn’t a battle to be fought, with only two outcomes. If anything, it’s about how much you’re willing to ‘connect’ with the shadow. How much can you accept as a part of yourself, as a part of your reality?

I’ve heard the theory that we as humans cannot possibly hope to contain the amount of energy/knowledge/power/whatever that deities are capable of, because we would break under the sheer force or pressure. I see Shadow Work as being similar to that concept. Not everyone can delve as deeply into their shadow for fear of losing themselves or their sanity. There are very real consequences of Shadow Work that affect our mental and physical states, a common one being severe depression and/or suicidal thoughts.  

So how do we know when to stop or keep going when it comes to Shadow Work? We don’t. But personally, if I feel that something is not worth the effort or I’m in serious danger of losing everything I’ve achieved thus far, I would stop. Sometimes we have to recognize when it’s prudent to cut our losses and move on to something else.

I don’t know how others reconcile Shadow Work with their respective deities, but for me, Shadow Work is mostly solitary. Lucifer oversees my progress, but he doesn’t play an active part in it.  He does not ‘guide’ me in any way that might influence the end result. He has only once been an active participant in my Shadow Work, but that was because I was dealing with my Christianized fear of Him at the time. But even then, it was almost as though he was trying to dissuade me from making the choice I thought he wanted me to make. But mostly, he only initiates phases of my work by presenting me with questions or situations, and then leaves me to flail and deal with the consequences on my own. Then again, that’s just the type of mentor he is.