It’s All Their Idea!!!

I’ve been re-reading “The Satanic Bible.” As a kitten, this tome meant something completely different to me. As I’ve reviewed the book over the last week, I get this feeling in the back of my head of how 1960s it really is. And that’s evident in some of the language that Uncle Anton uses. He uses phrases that appear to be targeted at the type of individual that understands Xtian culture of the period. I could see this book being used in a college level course in the future as a tool to examine culture of that period. Actually, I would be quite surprised if there isn’t already a course that uses “The Satanic Bible.”

Overall, I feel that there is a lot of showman fluff all throughout the actual solid stuff here, which is something you need if you want to sell yourSelf or something you’re doing. It would do me a lot of good to focus on improving my own showmanship in many areas of my life. It will also come in handy as I continue to get comfortable doing tarot readings. Like using showmanship to bide time while I use my other faculties to interpret a spread. I already do this some, and maybe this is where some loose basic knowledge of astrology will be able to actually be useful.

When I look at “The Satanic Bible” from the point of view of how “showy” it is as opposed to the things Uncle Anton has written, the book becomes something else entirely. Dare I say, genius, because there’s a lot going on under the hood here. Both in actual message and presentation.

This nature of showmanship actually makes me want to scrutinize the current state of stand up comedy. Nowadays, there is no showmanship. You can dress in a t-shirt and blue jeans and go up to tell unironic jokes about the everyday. It’s become really common, even among bigger names in the industry. They want to convey a “no-bullshit let’s laugh at idiots” type of routine. And it works. It would be interesting though if someone were to come up and instead of talking about idiots, they bring the idiot to the stage. Maybe like Steve Martin or Robin Williams did in their heyday. Like an unintentional intentional funnyman as opposed the stoic “cut to the chase” pessimistic type of comedy that’s become the norm. I bet if the right person did it, in the right place, they would become huge.

Show and Tell

I can tell my audience about something until I’m blue in the face, but until I really show them that everything they thought about what I’m trying to communicate with them is congruent to what they had in mind there’s going to be some level of disconnect. I must seek to instigate a superficial moment of Synesis between mySelf and my audience. For example, I have this tool to tell you what you already know (a tarot spread), and I know that you already know it through the reactions you make to what I’m showing you. I now know what you know and reveal that “truth” objectively through speech, even though we both knew that “truth” simultaneously before it was even said.

This all goes back to the idea of being clever by making your audience feel as though they are the clever ones. If I can get them to believe that what I’m doing is their idea, I’ve not only created a sense of urgency through perceived realization in my audience, I’ve also made them feel special by making them believe that what I’m describing to them was their idea first.

Showmanship also embodies something else, mode of dress.

Suits. People don’t wear them anymore. I was watching a documentary recently about how particular James Brown was about his band’s presentation back in the 60s. If they did six shows in one day, he expected his band to have their suits cleaned and pressed before the next show. Somehow they were able to pull this off. After a time, he even expressed a no-tolerance policy to his band for not wearing a cleanly pressed suit–even on their tour bus. All of this was done as a way to aide James Brown himself and the public persona he was building up as a way to hack the system at a time where it was very difficult for a black man to move up into the upper echelons of society. In order to get what he wanted, James Brown had to give the public the idea that he was always a well-dressed man, surrounded by people of a similar demeanor.

Persona building can be aided greatly by mode of dress, it’s only a matter of finding what part you want to play.

Atmosphere is also important. For example, I find using extravagant trappings in my ritual laboratory like candles, statues, symbols, signs, and even location as tools to aide in connect with a persona capable of communicating with my NeterSelf. Subjectively speaking, the use of such “props” help to enhance the atmosphere of my ritual laboratory in such a way that the space between me and my higher Self closes ever so slightly. In writing this, I’m reminded of the movie “Arrival” (2016). If I used the scientists trying to communicate with the aliens in that movie as a model to explain my objective corporeal meat vehicle, I can use the aliens in that movie as a model for my higher Self. Neither speak the same language, but through unique invention, the scientists figure out a way to communicate with the aliens using abstract symbols. Ritual trappings are used in this same way. These types of tools can be used “on stage” as well, especially if I’m taking a job that requires creating a level of “escape” for my potential client.

It bums me out to see local fortunetellers read out on 4th avenue here in Tucson without taking into account the importance of showmanship and atmosphere. They’re usually out at every street fair we have downtown. Ragged jackets, dirty card tables, and a demeanor that makes them seem more like transients down on their luck than noble fortune tellers. It all just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Who wants to have their fortune told by someone who doesn’t even look like they know what fortune is?

Just some things to think about on a mesmerizing Monday.

Xeper through the mirror of the Self,

Adept Nikoletta Winters

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It’s All Their Idea!!!

The Disguised Gods–Xenia and the Necessary Tension of Xeper

Xenia is a concept engineered by the ancient Greeks which is essentially what we would regard in the postmodern era as hospitality. This idea was fundamental to the Greeks as it served as a cornerstone for human interaction in their households.

There are three rules to Xenia when it comes to the relationship guests and hosts have with one another:

  1. A guest could not insult the host, make demands of the host, or refuse Xenia.
  2. The host could not insult the guest, fail to provide protection for the guest, or fail to be as hospitable as possible.
  3. Gifts and exchange of gifts is customary. Guests weren’t necessarily expected to bring gifts but it was considered good Xenia to do so.

Xenia Proper

I find Xenia fascinating for providing–at least in my opinion, the ground work for some of the ideas brought forth in modern Satanism in the twentieth century. It’s no secret that many of the ideas expressed in “The Satanic Bible” were quite literally lifted from the likes of Ragnar Redbeard’s “Might is Right,” Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” and Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Anton LaVey’s “Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth” are no exception to this re-appropriation of good ideas. The similarities between Xenia and the following should come to no surprise:

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

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

Rule three is essentially the guests’ rule for Xenia. Rule four, however, is much more curious. It goes without saying that the hostess should put every effort to insure her guest’s comfort and needs. What isn’t overtly spelled out in the ancient Greek concept of Xenia that is in LaVey’s “Eleven Rules” is the course of action the hostess should take if bad Xenia is expressed towards her and her household. Here LaVey essentially wrote the unwritten rule to the concept of Xenia.

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The ancient Greeks were very well aware of this “unwritten rule.” The repercussions for displaying bad Xenia in another individual’s household popped up again and again in many popular examples of ancient Greek literature. The best example comes at the end Homer’s “The Odyssey” with the death of Penolope’s suitors who give a great example of how to be bad guests in another person’s home, eating and drinking large quantities with no respect for Odysseus, his son Telemachus, and Penelope. They were also more or less squatters taking up residence in Odysseus’s home for over three years. This line towards the end of the “The Odyssey” foreshadows their fate with regards to their transgression towards the unwritten rule of Xenia:

“For these were laughing aloud as they prepared a dinner that was sweet and staying, for they had made a very big sacrifice; but there could not be a meal that was more unpleasant than this one, such was to be the attack that the powerful man and the goddess would make on them. For they had first begun the wrongdoing.” (Homer 308)

The Disguised Gods–Lesser Black Magic for the subtle

One aspect of Xenia that intrigues me most is something I like to call the disguised god. Essentially what this entails is using a disguise to test a person’s true character towards you. During the course of “The Odyssey” both the goddess Athene and Odysseus use disguise as a method to confirm the sincerity of others towards their expression of proper Xenia. Penelope’s would-be suitors would eventually pay with their lives for coming to blows with the rules of Xenia, with Odysseus killing them all off at the end of the poem.

This concept can be applied when we come into contact with various sources of new information through our interaction with the multitudes of people constantly coming into and out of our lives. Picture your mind as a house. Information coming in from outside of yourself are guests in your house. Without a constant flow of information coming in and out of your “house” it would be impossible for you to be able to refine yourself in such a way that you are able to understand the things that make you tick–as well as what your limitations might be. Using Xenia with regards to your “mind-house” allows for one way of apprehending the necessary tensions in order to encounter Xeper.

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The knee jerk reaction to topics of discussion and/or people we disagree with is embodied by LaVey’s fourth rule of the earth. It is vital to recognize that our natural reactions mean to treat these things “cruelly and without mercy.” In postmodern society, we encounter this on a regular basis. Perhaps this is one of the reasons you should never bring up politics or religion in a bar. Some liberals, blue-haired man-hating femininsts, Nazis, men’s rights activists, Christians, and even Satanists, really under-emphasize their love for existing within self-contained echo chambers. These echo chambers may be called something else, such as a “community of like minded people,” a “congregation,” or a “coven.” While I will not discount the advantages of having a group like this to be a part of, if every person shared the same ontological and spiritual views it would be one boring planet.

Being able to argue with individuals who share other perspectives without killing each other, or taking personal offense to potential discussions serves as a springboard for bringing about tension to understand, shift, or solidify your own views that much better. In the context of the mental household and how it relates to Xenia, it’s important to recognize that a little tension helps to strengthen character as well as the ability to present an argument outside of the echo chamber of whatever demographic you belong or don’t belong to.

I’m all for a healthy argument, and we do in fact need tension in our initiatory pursuits to be able to experience Xeper. Where we must be aware that we should be able to have civil conversations with individuals that exist outside of our echo chambers, we must also be aware that there are people who will never be able to argue outside of their own. Many of these people aren’t bad per se, they just choose to attach existential limitations onto their views.

In my opinion, by employing the concept of the disguised god in situations like these you are also employing the rules of Xenia by essentially closing doors to the potential for a productive discussion–because there absolutely cannot be one.

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You never want to reveal vital personal details about yourself when testing character. Pulling back the curtain ever so slightly when appropriate is enough. The disguised god is a lot like being an inquisitor that cannot be seen. Allowing a person to tell me all about themselves or whatever they would prefer to talk about is a good strategy in extracting information I might find pertinent. The intention is to always disclosing their true natures whether they’re conscious of it or not. Also it’s important to keep in mind more than what an individual is actually saying. For example, body language, mode of dress, the way a person carries themselves, changes in voice inflection, and above all the eyes are a good way to delve deeper into a person’s character.

In the context of determining true natures, Xenia can provide simple rules to engage others by. These rules can provide an invaluable tool in the exploration of your own beliefs by opening yourself up to the right amount of necessary tension that may illicit a positive change or growth to your worldview.

 

 

 

 

The Disguised Gods–Xenia and the Necessary Tension of Xeper

It’s Better to Have 25% of a Good Thing than 100% of Nothing: A Trans Woman’s Thoughts on Anton LaVey’s “The Compleat Witch”

My Criticisms of “The Compleat Witch”

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What to do when virtue fails? Slap on some devil horns and scowl at your iPhone in front of a creepy painting.

I have a few problems with Magus Anton LaVey’s “The Compleat Witch” (#13D)—the most glaring these is his reliance on anecdotal evidence to support his claims of how women can make use of the “Law of the Forbidden” in order to charm both men and women alike. He makes outrageous declarative statements such as “the most effective turn ons will never look staged.” How does this actually work though? And more importantly how does he know this type of statement can be understood to be a fact?
Magus LaVey is relying on two things here to support his claims—(1) the fact that women reading this book are primed to agree with what he’s saying not only because of who he is but because they are looking to make themselves “Compleat Witches” and (2) his claims are supported by compelling the reader to put them into practice.
A blue-haired feminist reading of this boo220px-TheCompleatWitchk would probably dismiss it as being absolutely outrageous. How could he possibly know anything about what it means to be a woman? He never lived as a woman! Magus LaVey is a white cis-gendered male born into a life that invalidates every claim he makes in “The Compleat Witch.” However—from my point of view, I would find the feminist reading of this book to be ill-informed. LaVey is an outsider from the experience of what it means to be a woman. Therefore, he can make observations women can’t make for themselves. In other words, he can see our blind spots.

Aside from his somewhat perverted assertions about how a woman should go about putting the Law of the Forbidden into practice (strategic panty slips) there’s something endearing about how Magus LaVey views what can make a woman charming.

What LaVey never addresses directly in the book is where exactly he lies on the LaVeyan Personality Synthesizer (LPS) clock. The way he writes leads me to believe that he regards himself as an eleven o’clock or twelve o’ clock on LPS. He makes over abundant references to women that have qualities of a five or six o’ clock.

So why is this important?

He believes that it adds to his credibility in a subliminal way by conveying himself to be the all-seeing, all knowing alpha male. People who are naturally leaders fall in between the eleven to one range on the clock. The problem with this is very similar to the feminist argument—how can he know so much about the rest of the positions on the clock when he’s a twelve o’ clock male?

While it would be unfair of me to say that “The Compleat Witch” was written with five to seven o’ clock women in mind, I do get the feeling that his Demonic Minority Self is catering to women in that range on the LPS.

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The LaVeyan Personality Synthesizer

The LaVeyan Personality Synthesizer as Applied to Gender Transition

Magus LaVey’s work in “The Compleat Witch” is very female positive in a back-handed sort of way—he does constantly acknowledge that not all women are bombshells, but he does make an effort to point out ways to improve. This includes all types of women. The LaVeyan Personality Synthesizer was included in this book to not only address diversity issues that may arise from his sometimes biased suggestions but also as check and balance to his own claims on what works and what doesn’t work in the application of “The Law of the Forbidden.”

To me, the most interesting aspect of “The Compleat Witch” were a few very brief mentions of where transgender individuals fall on the LPS. Considering when this book was written, I find it interesting (and progressive!) that LaVey included this detail.

He writes, “the woman most prone to stereotyped lesbian activities is the twelve o’clock. The man most likely to fit the established image of the homosexual is the six o’clock. All types, however, have their respective homosexual counterparts. This simply implies that a twelve woman and a six man are ideally suited for sexual interchange and often are transsexuals. When a sex change operation is performed, it is most complete and successful in these individuals.” I wish that LaVey explored this more fully, but based on his writings in (#13D) I have come to an understanding as to how transsexuality interacts with his system. I’ve come to this understanding because of my own personal life experiences as both a transgender woman and also as compleat witch.

As a male I wasn’t exactly the paragon of all things alpha—on the LPS I was on the lower spectrum of the clock, probably a solid five o’clock or five-thirty. I had always been the more subdued outsider struggling to be the alpha I wasn’t. During that time in my life my Demonic Minority Self was a strong female figure—which is something I wrestled with prior to the start of my transition at nineteen in 2005. What I find interesting about how the LaVeyean Personality Synthesizer applies to my transition is how my Demonic Minority Self as a male surfaced to the top and became my Majority Self as a woman.

To me, this makes sense because as we transition to our new gender identity we still stay the same in many respects. If I now embody the identity of an eleven o’clock female, my former male self (a 5 o’clock) becomes my new Demonic Minority.

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By the nature of what it takes to transition, transgender women are primed and ready to become compleat witches out of the box. A very curious excerpt from the “Sex Magic without Sanctimony” section of Magus LaVey’s book further supports this idea:

“The emphasis on the power of strong contrast is supplied by the fact that you are ‘dressed up’ in all the readily visible areas of your body while totally naked under your coat. The same element is present in the incongruity of mingling with people who are clothed while you are naked in an unstated environment. If this does not present a feeling of self-consciousness, you’ll never make it as a witch, for you lack the emotional response of the individuals on who you would be working your magic. If you are so alien to other’s emotional responses, I would recommend you give up on trying to be a witch or else take a few lessons from a Martian or Venusian who has learned to ‘pass.’ The Law of the Forbidden is subjectively practice in your constant awareness of your outrageous behavior.”

Transgender women, especially at the beginning of our transitions are easily recognizable by those around us as being both different and unnatural. Most people aren’t stupid. Mode of dress, the voice, facial structure, and height are huge giveaways for the would-be male bodied individual making the attempt to “pass.” Trans-women are self-conscious by our very nature—and this adds to our power. The aspect to this that I find most interesting—is that by going out into the world to operate as our Demonic Minority Self as opposed to what we are naturally, we employ Magus LaVey’s Law of the Forbidden not only against other people but also against ourselves. The power that we draw from our self-conscious behaviors is therefore doubled because of this phenomenon.

If was born into this world as a five o’clock male then my Demonic Minority Self would be that of an eleven o’clock female. As a five o’clock male I was attracted to the idea of becoming my Demonic Minority Self because of how attractive she was to my sensibilities. She was everything I wasn’t. Assertive, pretty, outgoing, and extroverted. Because I was attracted to the eleven o’clock woman, my sense of self-consciousness was amplified when I finally summoned the courage to go out into the world. I was attracted to myself, but also shy of myself—and therefore working the Law of the Forbidden…upon myself. Because I adopted this identity that wasn’t what other people perceived to be my Majority Self as a male that also caused me to become even more self-conscious by projecting the Law of the Forbidden onto those people.

I remember as a young twenty year old trans-woman back in 2006, believing that I was passing as female one hundred percent of the time. I thought that my size and age made me untouchable. I thought I could wear anything without being clocked as trans. How wrong was I? I was making huge fashion mistakes, like wearing pants way too tight, too much makeup, etc. I was aware of this in a subliminal sort of way, but I was made more aware of it when other people pointed out my many fashion oversights.

LaVey writes, “In utilizing the Law of the Forbidden, you can make many of the things you do appear as though you were unaware of them happening. Thus, you will be employing a double threat by your proper and conducive choice of garments and also by your apparent lack of knowledge of your exposure.”

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The difference between what he’s suggesting here, and what I was going through early on in my transition is that I wasn’t acting like I was unaware of my fashion fubars. I actually wasn’t aware at all! So when LaVey says “the most effective turn ons will never looked staged,” the fact that I was going out to bars with pants on so tight that my cock ’n balls were poking out of one of my pant legs while dressed like a woman—this potential turn on wasn’t staged. I wasn’t acting, because I wasn’t aware. So when I was getting unwanted attention by would-be tranny chasers trying to bed me, I was genuinely drawing power from their awareness of my difference from all the other “girls” at the club.

Magus LaVey writes that “The power of the vampire lies in that no one believes him.” At the onset, this rule is one-hundred percent true when it comes to dealing with other people as a trans-woman. In the beginning, no one actually believes—including yourself, that you’re a woman. A lot of our power as trans-women is drawn from this knowledge, and as we become more aware of ourselves we can use this to our benefit should we decide to venture down the path of the compleat witch

It’s Better to Have 25% of a Good Thing than 100% of Nothing: A Trans Woman’s Thoughts on Anton LaVey’s “The Compleat Witch”