The festive cry of the winter goat shall herald the travel of Nature’s Sun which shines superior to the light of the Logos

As we arrive upon the holiday season, the time of festivity, the great winter mass, perhaps this is a good opportunity for some seemingly random and probably rambling discourse inspired by a rather cryptic quotation I found on a blog devoted to the writings of Carl Jung. The quotation is as follows:

“The first ‘devil’ in Christianity was Lucifer, the ‘light bearer’, ‘the Light of Nature’. It existed before the Light of Logos, the spirit. It is a feminine earthly light analogous to Pan.”

Try as I might, I have been unable to find a source for this quotation outside of Carl Jung Depth Psychology. Yet, strangely, it gives me a few ideas.

For some reason, I think the relation, perhaps even concordance, between Luciferianism and paganism. Perhaps I get much of this feeling from Michael W. Ford’s Magick of the Ancient Gods, for my money a good treatise on the idea of chthonic paganism, but maybe it will make sense once I explain it.

The logoic (that is, of the Logos) hierarchy of Christianity upholds the servants and avatars of the word of God in the heavens, while casting its rivals to the domain of the abyss. Thus many of the gods of old found themselves recast as evil demons in Christian lore, some of them forming the amalgamation of Satan himself (Zeus, Dionysus, Pan etc.). You find this in the Bible with many rival gods of Yahweh cast as either false gods or demons, you find it in Christian demonology such as the work of Colin DePlancy in his Dictionnaire Infernal where various pre-Christian gods from different parts of the world form a lot of the demonic rogues gallery, and in Paradise Lost where part of the infernal retinue consists of the gods of Egypt and the Levant. Hence, the gods of old, their creed, and the philosophies of their peoples and civilizations, only ever attained savage, wicked and heretical character precisely because that is what Christian and Jewish doctrine has made of them, or in a sense by the hand of the great Hebraic sky tyrant who fancies himself to be The Great Will.

When we consider the idea of Logos, from Hellenic philosophy right up to Christian philosophy, we come upon the idea of an external force directing the cosmos, bending its shape. This active cosmic principle, seen as the order of the cosmos, as the divine faculty of the demiurge of Platonic thought and in Christian doctrine the Word of God as embodied by his son Jesus, almost seems as a thing separate from Nature, supernatural in this sense that it is above and outside of Nature. Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, the old Demiurge, and perhaps other deities and philosophical conceptions, other iterations of The Great Will, represent this conception of Logos.

In that regard what might our conception of The Light of Nature represent? Perhaps he represents God-In-Nature, or Man-In-Nature, the light accessible to Man, a dweller (and transformer) of nature as Alexander Spirkin might put it. Pagans, both in the ancient world and in modernity, have seen man as a being in nature, partaking in the great spiral of the universe.

Where precisely am I going with this though, and what does it have to do with Christmas?

It is Nature’s Sun, Nature’s God, Nature’s Light, that is the object of pagan devotion. It is the birth, vacation or rebirth of the sun that is the reason for the season for pagans. For the ancient Greeks, this probably meant the travel of Apollo, the son of Zeus and a solar god of the arts, oracles and knowledge, to the mythical land of Hyperborea where spring was eternal. In Rome, December 25th was the birth of the sun god Sol Invictus, and this was celebrated with much gift-giving, light-kindling and merrymaking, including excessive drinking. Indeed, this was the festivity that the early Christians tied to the birth of Jesus, without any basis in the Bible, so that the Romans might accept their religion through popular custom. Some might claim that Mithras, the martial solar deity of the Mithraic mysteries, shares the birth date of Sol Invictus. And this may well have been linked to the whole theme of regeneration, that is the regeneration of the world through the re-emergence of the light of the sun, the regeneration of the cycle of the seasons, and the triumph of the Sun.

In a way the modern Christmas is pretty bifurcated. On the one hand, some of what we know celebrate very clearly derives from the old Roman festivity to some extent, and other aspects of it also coincide with other old winter solstice festivities and themes. On the other, the theme we have imposed upon it for over a thousand years is the birth of Jesus, which is only connected to the old tradition by the opportunistic co-option of the Roman festivities by the early Christians. It is largely from the Christian recasting of the winter solstice, however, that the commercialist mode of Christmas ostensibly springs. We echo the old festivity devoted to Nature’s Light, but in the name of Jesus and hence the Light of Logos. While, of course, the ways of old and their gods are still remember as barbarous idols in the eyes of Jesus.

In that milieu, you have the infernal pantheon, consisting of many of the old gods, and Satan, who shares many characteristics (at least aesthetic anyway) of a selection of the old gods. He occupies the spot that the Christian hierarchy allots him to, the domain into which Christianity has pushed all of its old rivals, all of that which opposed their God, their Logos. To renounce, to displace, to abolish, to truly transcend that order is to change that position. It is to return those demons, those idols, the princes of darkness, to their place of light, perhaps make the darkness conscious in a Jungian sense, to raise the fallen host from the abyss to godhood, to reject the false order of Yahweh in favour of the true one, one which spirals as nature does. Though, it must be said, there has always been chthonic force to the paganism of old. But, it was not in exile from the divine like it would be in Christianity. Instead, it was but the shadow of the divine, one aspect of it, the underworldly light of nature. Raise the Beast up to the heavens and perhaps he will no longer be beast, but just as much divine as any other god. Or, perhaps, as much a part of the web of archetypes, of deific masks, as the like of Apollo. And picture, as I have demonstrated in the past, the gods rebuked to the realm of the fallen – Ba’al, Astarte, Melqart, Pan, Tammuz, Ishtar, Amun/Ammon, and many more. In the hierarchy imposed upon them by Christianity, they are demons. Removed of that, they are the gods they once were. In this way I make sense of what may be called a holy “mission” in life: to bring forth the light of nature, where the Luciferian, Promethean light is accessible. For it is not in the logoic planes that the Christian mystics and their modern wannabes think enlightenment takes place, but in the cosmos, the material universe, the earth, where Man can meet with any sense of gnosis and knowledge, and attain the wisdom that is in the primary key to the freedom that would allow one to direct one’s own destiny and liberate your fellow man.

I hope I haven’t I seemed to out of it in writing this post, it really was simply a rambling that I wanted to do, and based on an admittedly mysterious and perhaps dubious quotation, but one that, somehow, helps me make sense of part of my worldview, and this slowly emerging “renaissance” (I say that as though I was ever truly able to part with if it as thought before) of pagan thought in conjunction with my own philosophical Luciferianism. On that note, Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, Io Saturnalia, praise to the blessings of the Jolfadr and long live the golden age of Saturn. I hope that, in keeping with the old Roman way, you enjoy the season with at least some drunkenness as I intend to do.

Detail of Apollo and the Continents by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Christmas/Yule 2017

The winter holidays aren’t over for me yet, I’ve still got a pretty long break ahead, but I have to say I’ve been feeling great this Christmas. One of the reasons for this is that, at last, I’ve started drinking. Sure, it’s just some gin mixed with other drinks so far, but I’m becoming pretty comfortable with the idea of drinking alcoholic beverages. That’s a long way from the way I used to be: not only a non-drinker, but someone who detested the very idea of drinking, because I feared the loss of control that would come with drunkenness. Now, it seems, I’ve crossed the threshold and abandoned that fear. And I’m telling you, I’ve been feeling great.

All I needed to get comfy with idea was to try some gin mixed with some other non-alcoholic drink, and it wasn’t a bad drink at all. But I didn’t start . At first I tried some red wine at Christmas Eve lunch, but it smelled and tasted horrible. After a few sips I couldn’t handle it. At my oldest brother’s where I had Christmas Day lunch, I tried some champagne that was apparently mixed with Ribena, and it didn’t smell as bad but it still tasted awful. Then, on the night of Christmas Day, I tried a can of gin and Schweppes that I bought with one of my brothers last week and meant to drink earlier, and I didn’t immediately want to spit it out after drinking it. That was definitely good, but the drink itself was also rather nice.

This particular aspect has, understandably, been treated with surprise. When I was at a family dinner yesterday and I said I wanted some gin to drink, my relatives were kind of surprised. My sister, for one, couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It wasn’t a condemnation or anything like that, and being that I’m well over 18 at this point there certainly wasn’t a sense that I was doing something that was socially unacceptable, but it was just kind of a shock. I can hardly blame anyone for the surprise. Here’s me, a guy who’s avoided drinking for nearly all of his life (except one time last year when one of my cousins made me a light alcoholic drink involving lemonade and beer, but for some reason I didn’t continue drinking after that until literally this week). By the way, the drink I ordered was rather nice. It was apparently a mixture of gin and cranberry juice that my folks suggested, since apparently pure gin wasn’t recommended, at least for me. Nonetheless, it had a nice taste to it.

Anyways, one of the ubiquitous truths of human nature is that we humans are pretty much creatures of habit, and that we’re very much a pattern-seeking species. We desire familiarity in the world around us, as this not only comforts us but also grounds us to the world so that we can make sense of it. When we establish patterns or habits for ourselves we always become predictable to others, who in turn establish patterns and familiarity. Often, when we change things about ourselves, including our appearance, it surprises people, changes their perception of us, and it can generate a bit of shock in people. It’s pretty mundane to be honest, to the point that it’s kind of obvious when you think about it, but it’s something that was really brought home to me when I told people I wanted a drink of gin.

It doesn’t matter too much in the end. I don’t drink all that much alcohol, and I’m still at a point where I’ve pretty much just decided I like it, but I feel good about myself, so I don’t care in the end.

Anyways, Merry Christmas, Merry Yule, Io Saturnalia, Happy Winter Mass, and a Happy New Year from me. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season.

Best wishes this holiday season.

I just want to take the time to spread best wishes on this day of the year.

Merry Christmas

Happy Yule

Happy Saturnalia

Happy Holidays

May good tidings be upon you this season, and unto the new year.

This will not be the last post I publish for 2016. The last post I write for 2016 will be a retrospective on the current year and my thoughts on it, and some “New Year’s resolutions”, dare I say it for lack of a better term. For now, enjoy the rest of this day.

Time for a happy Winter “Mass”

Today is the end of the first part of my third year of university. I break up for three weeks of winter holidays after having finished a VIVA presentation and having to hand in two written assignments, including a dissertation (or about as close as a 6000 word document gets to a dissertation on my course). It’s been a lot of work, and I think I’ve been progressively busier as the months went by until I opted to just get my shit together with the written assignments.

Now I honestly just want to begin the winter holidays and get into the spirit of the Winter Mass – my own name for the Christmas holiday season, or rather the time between the start of the winter solstice and New Year’s Day. Basically this means I start doing nothing other than try to have as much fun as possible, especially given that this has been quite a year for me. Yes, I ask not much more of 2016 than playing video games, playing my guitar, and some reading I didn’t do, interspersed with a lot of movies. There’s still plenty of time for future blog posts between now and the time when I have to get back to work again, which will of course be some time in January 2017. Essentially, I’m going into festive mode as it were, and I plan to enjoy the fruits of a long fucking year.

The grand climax

Xmas is only 3 days away, the winter solstice begins today, and the holiday season is well under way by now. And so I should take a short space of time to reflect on the nature of the season. At one time, I read about the Roman deity Silenus, and his connection to the modern day Santa Claus. It brought up a connection between the holiday season and festive abandon; merrymaking, excess, revelry, indulgence, drunkenness – all represented by the soused deity Silenus (and, for that matter, Dionysus), and reflected in Santa Claus’ jolly expression, soused face, and festive plumpness.

It seems to make sense that the holiday season would be tied to the likes of Silenus, Dionysus, and Saturn, and that the Roman predecessor of the modern Christmas/Yule would be tied to indulgence. The holiday season, being a time of the celebration of the winter solstice, represents the imminent end of the current annual cycle, the climax of the old year. In terms of the seasons, we are at the peak of darkness when we hit the winter solstice, and we can look forward to the eventual return of light. When we celebrate the closing days of the year, we can feel a seasonal release of sorts, an approaching of the end, and we relieve ourselves with great indulgence until the beginning of the new year. Saturn represents the waning of old before the arrival of the new, hence his depiction around the time of New Year’s Day alongside Baby New Year – a representation of the imminent new year. Deities like Silenus and Dionysus represent revelry and base indulgence of the senses, perfectly befitting the time of revelry. It’s also worth noting that Saturn’s festival of Saturnalia was a time of the subversion of the normal social order of Roman society, a reversal of norms and positions, effectively ushering in a time of liberation. Some also felt that Saturnalia represented a time of the releasing of souls into immortality. In any case, this sense of liberation from the cares of the old year (and, in ancient times, the order of the old year) perfectly befits the time of release, the climax of old, before the end of the year and the beginning of the new year.

This truly befits the spirit of what we now call Christmas, Yule, or Xmas; not the mass of the newborn Christ (despite its title), but the mass of the winter solstice leading up to the new year. I can’t think of the winter solstice embodying anything else, and I certainly can’t think of a genuinely Christian mass of Christ being worth celebrating because everything that makes our winter solstice is simply irrelevant to that Christian story of the birth of Jesus (especially given that Jesus’ actual birthdate probably wasn’t December 25th) and the anti-materialism he is held to have championed. No, it is the decadence, indulgence, and the release of revelry of the celebration of winter solstice and the end of the current year that makes our holiday season what it is.

The Romans of the Decadence, Thomas Couture (1847)

One last thing in advance: Happy Birthday Mithras.

That time of year

If you’ve been anticipating the holiday season, then chances are you may have been following coverage of what’s referred to as the “war on Christmas”. Every year someone does something that isn’t “festive” enough or too secular for the conservative Christian crowd, and all of a sudden it’s declared a war on traditional values and a war on Christmas. This year is no different. Most famously (or infamously if you will), last month we saw Starbucks unveil their festive holiday cups to signify the approach of the holiday season, but instead of having the cups being decorated with festive imagery, this year’s cups were a simplistic design featuring simply an ombre or red color. The company stated that its intent was to allow its customers to write their own story on the cups in contrast to previous cups telling stories of their own, which I think is somewhat noble but kind of pointless because there is a better way for people to tell their own stories than just write on a coffee cup (then again, this is the same company behind that disastrous Race Together campaign). Anyways, this is all something that nobody made a big deal out of until some guy named Joshua Feuerstein decided to whip up a frenzy about it, claiming that Starbucks wants to ban Christmas from their stores, ban employees from saying Merry Christmas, and hates Jesus.

But of course, Starbucks was not the only example of this madness. Apparently, there was one person on Fox News who tried to suggest that the San Bernandino killings could be a literal war on Christmas, and I think some people are thinking that the killings were a hoax . Then there’s the Nevada lawmaker Michele Fiore (who is also a member of the NRA) releasing her own Christmas card, featuring most of her family facing the camera and carrying guns (which people in the UK probably find chilling but in America not so much) and with a caption saying “It’s up to Americans to protect America. We’re just your ordinary American family”. And then there’s the University of Tennessee being accused of placing a “ban” on celebrating Christmas, or at least referring to the holiday season as Christmas (even apparently going as far as banning Secret Santa). And America isn’t the only one participating. In Italy, the headmaster of a comprehensive school in the town of Rozzano was accused of cancelling Christmas celebrations for fear of offending non-Christian schoolchildren and parents, particularly those of the Islamic faith, provoking outrage from mostly the right-wing.

Clearly, the same old “war on Christmas” malarkey has persisted to this day. But then there’s the other side of it: when I find people commenting on the “war on Christmas”, and the foolishness of asserting that the holiday season should be the exclusive domain of the Christians, I often see the same old malarkey from the pagan point of view. You know, stuff like this:

Putting aside the narrative that all conversion was forced and happened over a short time as opposed to over a thousand years, last time I checked Christmas as we know didn’t come about as a result of violent conversion. In fact, the modern Christmas isn’t one pagan holiday (like Saturnalia for instance), but rather an amalgamation of winter solstice festivals and traditions, among various of customs even including modern commercial traditions. In the case of the Christian holiday, the winter celebration of Saturnalia was assimilated in the Roman Empire when it became Christian, but ultimately the Christian Christmas that people bicker over nowadays emerged as a result of a mingling of folk, Christian, and what were then modern inventions.

The only historical equivalent I can think of for any “war on Christmas” was when the Puritans tried to stamp out the Christmas holiday in the 17th century in England and in the early American colonies. In other words, when Christian fanatics were trying to get rid of a tradition they thought was pagan, whereas other Christians assimilated it instead.

For me the Christmas we celebrate today doesn’t exclusively belong to Christians or to pagans. And even if this was formerly the case, it isn’t anymore. In fact, Christmas is just the Christian name (derived from an Old English phrase literally meaning “Christ’s Mass”) for what we now recognize as a more universal, or secular, winter celebration that some can choose to celebrate and others can choose not to. I even know some people in LHP circles, circles where people can be against anything perceived as having anything to do with Christianity, who plan on celebrating the holidays in their own way. The Christian way is not the only way to celebrate Xmas, and neither is the old pagan way. For that matter, which old pagan way exactly? Anyone who knows about the pre-monotheistic world knows there were many ways to celebrate the winter solstice. Or are we referring to some new, more universal modern “pagan” tradition, aimed at celebrating a purely “pagan” holiday?

My point is, Xmas/Christmas/Yule is not a Christian holiday, but it stopped being a pagan holiday a long time ago, thanks to the mingling of various traditions and cultural forces and the march of cultural evolution into the modern world, and I’m willing to argue the same for all the holidays I’ve previously heralded as pagan holidays (well, maybe except Easter). And because of this, I think no religious group has the right to claim the holiday season for themselves. Shame on those who try to turn the holiday season into a conflict of traditional values versus modernity, or of monotheism versus polytheism.

Christmas and materialism

With the holidays well in our minds and on our agendas, I feel there is a side of the holidays many of us miss. We commonly think Christmas is about the birth of Jesus (hence all those carols and Nativity scenes), or family (hence the glut of awful family movies), or about giving for giving’s sake (hence those sappy holiday commercials), but honestly I don’t think it’s about that.

I feel it is all about joy for joy’s sake, joie-de-vivre in the midst of the cold and darkness of winter. As a Satanist and a pagan I celebrate Christmas as a time of indulgence and joy, even if as I’m older I get less gifts than when I was a kid. If there’s any joy or excitement that can be absorbed in the holiday season, I seize it and enjoy it. And materialism actually has a role to play in this joy. I think Christmas would be boring if we weren’t indulging in the pleasures of food or enjoying the material gifts we’re given because indulgence is a big part of the celebration to begin with. What good is Christmas if it’s just observance and lofty feelings of “peace and goodwill to all”?

Thoughts on the “War on Christmas”

Yep, looks like it’s that time of year again.

We all know that Christmas is coming, but something else is following the season, just as it always has been lately. I’m talking about the so-called “War on Christmas”. Only in America do we have some right-wing farce about how secular progressivism is out to destroy Christmas.

Yes, every year we have to deal with a giant and loud manifestation of the Christian persecution complex. That’s basically all this “war” is. These God-fearing fools want you to believe they’re being persecuted and that their traditions are being threatened, when in reality no one is preventing anyone from putting up a Christmas tree, signing carols, or even just saying Merry fucking Christmas, regardless of what religion or ethnicity they happen to be, because we all know that only dicks do that. To be honest, if these Fox News types had it their way, they’d force everyone to put up a Christmas tree or do the some things even if they have different traditions or have a different ethnic traditional background.

Christians also seem to be under the delusion that Christmas belongs to them. It was never theirs. Christmas, or Yule, is actually a pagan holiday, but we dressed it up as a Christian celebration in order to more easily give ourselves over to that faith. Why do Christians even care about defending a tradition that isn’t even theirs anyway? Some of these Christians are the same people who view Christmas as nothing more than a day of indulgence and Baal-worship.

If you ask me, if there really is a war on Christmas, then the Christians started it a long time ago by trying to claim Christmas as their own and turn it into a Christian holiday.

Honestly, I think we should get those Christians off of their high horse.

My feelings on Christmas

That’s not my house, or my dog, but it all looks amazing.

It’s only over a week to go until Christmas, and in that spirit, let me tell you what I think of Christmas. You know, besides it being a pagan holiday with nothing to do with Christianity.

Christmas is still a holiday I can get excited about and look forward, enough that I’ll get up ridiculously early for and engage in crap tons of festivity, though for me, the presents I can get aren’t really as big a deal as they were back when I was a kid. Filling up a Christmas list these days is kind of a hassle considering I don’t quite know what to ask for these days, though I eventually work it out. It also doesn’t mean much if I’m at the age where I can just buy games at any time, especially after the Christmas cards from my folks start rolling in.

The holiday music isn’t that bad, unless you’re talking about those excruciating Christmas pop songs, especially the X Factor Christmas “hit”. You know, I hope they actually succeed in getting Highway to Hell to be the number 1 for Christmas instead of the next X   Factor crap anthem.

In the Christmas season, I get to watch a lot of movies (not really festive movies, real movies) and play video games a lot, and on Christmas Eve I see my folks for a seafood feast. This adds much merriment, indulgence, and festivity to a festival that is all about these things.

I do try to celebrate Christmas in a pagan manner, mostly with the knowledge that Christmas (a.k.a. Yule) in its pagan form is the same holiday we commonly celebrate just without the Christian pretensions. Really I celebrate Christmas in both the pagan way, by celebrating the same holiday as the pagan holiday it always was without the pretensions of Christianity, and the satanic way, which means being aware that its a festival of indulgence and being proud of it.

Lastly, don’t ever pretend to me that it’s about “peace on earth”, because I can’t stand these pretensions.

All-in-all, I still like Christmas and look forward to it, and growing older won’t stop that.

How to celebrate Christmas if you’re a Satanist

Some of you may have heard that I’m a Satanist, and may be asking, “how does a Satanist celebrate Christmas?”. Fear no more if you are, I aim to tell you how this is possible, and how this is no contradiction.

For starters, we don’t celebrate the Christian holiday, the one that celebrates Jesus. We celebrate a time of great indulgence and festivity, primarily for its own sake. We celebrate Christmas the same way most people do, just without all the Christian pretense. We feast, we open presents, we party, we get festive, but we don’t celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Second, we’re aware that Christmas is basically a pagan holiday, only in this society it has Christian pretensions and added commercialism. However, we celebrate it in an essentially Satanic fashion, which basically means secular indulgence with no pretensions, though ideally without killing ourselves via over-indulgence, and still taking responsibility for ourselves.

We also don’t pretend that Christmas is a day for “peace on earth”. That would be just as stupid as pretending it was about Jesus.

Lastly, we don’t believe in a Satan Claus, or that Satan delivers presents to your house instead of Santa Claus and sends bad kids to hell. Plenty of Satanists are elite atheists. I myself am not, and I still don’t believe in a satanic Santa Claus. That’s just silly.