I Get Anxious

So, I’ve talked previously about how I live with depression, which is something that runs in my family. This post is going to be similar to that. I want to talk about my Anxiety, how it impacts my life, and how I deal with it as a human and a Satanist.

First off, I want to talk directly to the people who think that this is bullshit. This whole post is for you because I want to explain to you the physical toll it takes on my body. This is more than “just getting nervous” or “an excuse”. It’s real and it hurts.

The Mayo Clinic defines anxiety as “intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations”, which is may not seem like a big deal, but those who live with anxiety can tell you otherwise.

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Photo by Markus Spiske 

Here’s how it goes down for me. It doesn’t matter how big or small an issue may be, I will puke. Every morning, and sometimes into the day, I will puke and puke until there’s nothing in my stomach and then it’ll keep trying to pull stuff up. It’s really gross and it’s really bad for my throat and teeth. It gets so bad during really stressful times in the year that I have to schedule time into my morning to deal with this.

One time, it was almost immediate. My car broke down two hours away from my house one night and I had to wait two hours and pay $300 for it to get towed to my parents house 30 minutes closer. My Mom let me use her car to get the rest of the way home and as soon as I got into her car, driving again, my body knew that it was out of the situation, I threw up in my lap. I knew it was going to be expensive and that I was going to have to go live with my parents until it was fixed, which was going to take forever because my dad refuses to help people other than himself, but in a dickhead way.

Something that also crosses my mind in these states of anxiety is suicide. Now, I’m a Satanist, so I would never kill myself, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a thought I have from time to time. Here’s the thing, it’s okay to be weak and to have these thoughts as long as you don’t act on them, but instead do something to relieve yourself from whatever is causing these issues.

The thing is that I thrive in high-stress environments such as theatre. I love being a Stage Manager and being in charge of everything. I like fixing problems and calling cues and getting actors into places and all the millions of other things that an SM does.

I do not like walking past the woman who cleans my classroom because she is really passive aggressive and does a crap job anyway. I could do better because I used to be a damn good janitor. I loved being a janitor because the cleaning soothed my anxiety about writing a paper in class or having to tell my director I needed a night off.

So, what do I do? Well, I do my best to get these things I’m nervous about done as soon as I can so that my body doesn’t kill itself. I also try to get something easy in my stomach, normally a protein shake, before I start to feel too nauseated. Sometimes it comes back up no matter what I do and the shake is easier. (I know this is TMI but I’m trying to make a point).

I also get nightmares, bite my nails until they bleed, shake, and get irrationally upset. I don’t like myself and I don’t like how I feel, so I want it to stop as fast as possible and that means fixing the problem, as scary as that may be.

Remember, it’s okay to feel this way, but you have to work to get out of that funk so you can enjoy life.

Have a wonderful rest of your day, my Sweet Satans.

HS!

LH

No, I Don’t Run an ASSC.

I was halfway through this post and it deleted, so here we go again. No, hold on, I’m going to get a snack first.

Okay, I’m back. So, as I have said before, I’m a teacher and I also run two different clubs after school. The first is Drama Club. I teach drama so it’s natural for me to run this and I love it so much! I don’t do much other than steer the kids and teach them the skills they need to act, work back stage, or be part of the creative team. The students are totally in charge of directing, stage managing, sound, lights, costumes, set, and props. The productions they put on are totally student created.

This is crucial because it teaches them responsibility as they know their friends and family, as well as strangers, will be coming to see what they’ve done and they want to be able to take pride in their work.

The other club I run is Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) club. Here, as in Drama Club, the students take charge. If one of them decides they have a story they want us to be a part of, they take charge as Dungeon Master (DM) as long as the current DM is done with their campaign or wants to take a break. If they’re not DM, they’re playing along with me. I mostly just show them where they can find the information they need within the books and explain how to do things such as rolling a character (4D4-lowest=STAT).

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Not my dice, but they could be

I LOVE running this club because it is so much fun and it teaches them so much. These students have to learn how to work together to overcome obstacles and that doesn’t just mean fighting big dudes. Sometimes you have to solve a murder or get through a dungeon with a bunch of traps and other times you’re running a business in order to get money. There’s a lot of quick math and you have to learn how to work together and use other character’s skills to get around (or through) problems. On top of all of this, they create friends and that’s really important for students.

All that being said, I would like to make an official statement.

I DO NOT RUN AN “AFTER SCHOOL SATAN CLUB”

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From Afterschoolsatan.com

When people find out I’m a Satanist, either by noticing my attire or I feel I can tell them, one of the questions they ask, if they also know I’m a teacher, is if I run “one of those After School Satan Clubs they saw on Facebook”.

No I don’t.

First off, let me sorta explain what an After School Satan Club is. To the best of my knowledge, the clubs were created by a group of well-meaning trolls who wanted to provide a space for children to learn STEAM programs in a secular environment. look, I get it. Doesn’t it sound really cool to have a place for little kids to be themselves and learn and grow, all under the loving eye of Papa Baphomet?!

No, actually, that sounds awful. One thing Satanists don’t do is force our religion on others, especially children, so the club’s desire to have the kids learn in a secular environment is instantly squashed by the name of the club itself.

The idea of a club also goes against Satanism as we have the internet. Yes, there used to be a grotto system in place, but that was before we could connect on social media. So, Satanists would never endorse a club for children, no matter how well-intentioned.

Here’s the thing, if you really want children to learn and grow in secular environments, there are better ways to do it. You can donate to the school or to clubs directly; you can go to sporting events or school plays; you can make sure to encourage children to work hard in areas they are interested in, even if it’s not something in which you are interested; you can be their cheerleader while also helping them improve. If you’re worried about education losing funding, call your local representative and make sure your voice is heard in a meaningful way, not stunts.

So, no, I don’t run an After School Satan Club, but I do run two clubs. These clubs operate based on my values and as much as that includes not forcing Satanism down people’s throats, it also includes pushing to be the best at what you do and becoming who you want to be, which does translate into my teaching. I want to give the kids the skills they need to go out and play DnD without me or leave Drama Club and get into a professional production. So, I guess I run a Club That Meets After School That Isn’t Satanic But The Teacher is a Satanist So The Club Teaches You How To Be a Better Person on the Down Low But is Mostly About Life Skills. A CTMASTISBTTSSTCTYHTBBPDLBMALS. Catchy.

Have a great rest of your day, my Devilish Darlings.

HS!

LH

I Have Friends in TST

Hey, friends, how’s it going? I just woke up so this post might seem like I’m tired and that’s because I am. My Grandma is having me paint her fence today and I want to get it done early because I’m using the money to get my cheese nips pierced. Anyway.

So, I’m a Member of the Church of Satan, which was founded in 1966 by High Priest Anton LaVey. Satanism is a religion of individuals, which means the Church doesn’t take stances on ideals that might be coming up through the ages such as politics. One thing they do stand by, though, is the hard separation of Church and State- they even pay their taxes!

Often times, we get confused with The Satanic Temple, which is very different. That’s like confusing “The Room” with “Room”. They veeeery different movies. In my research, I’ve found that The Satanic Temple was founded in order to push the government’s buttons. During an interview with The New York Times, Malcom Jerry, one of the co-founders, said that he wanted to create a religion “that met all the Bush administration’s criteria for receiving funds, but was repugnant to them”. The Temple was founded in 2012 and began demonstrations in 2013.

Here are their tenets:

  • One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  • The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  • One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  • The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
  • Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  • People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and remediate any harm that may have been caused.
  • Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

Now, though I don’t agree with The Satanic Temple, nor do I wish to shit on them, I don’t need politics in my religion. But, I’m not here to talk about me today. It’s time, instead, for the latest entry in…

end of MY rope

Today, we are speaking to Tim Miller, who is a member of The Satanic Temple. Tim is also author with titles such as Satan’s Highway, Snuff Film, and Coulrophobia but he did NOT direct Deadpool. According to his bio, “Tim Miller is a horror author with over 40 books in print in the U.S. and Germany. He lives in Texas which provides him lots of scary locations and ideas to pass on to his readers. His trusty sidekick, a chihuahua named Sancho, sits by his side and supervises his writing activities”.

Tim can be found on Twitter and probably other social media platforms, but I know him from Twitter, so. According to his website, Timmiller.org, he loves interacting with fans so go bug him.

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These girls both look like Charlie from Supernatural!

So, please put your hands together for the wonderful Tim Miller!

1) How do you define Satan?
To me Satan is the symbol of rebellion and nonconformity. It means to be our best selves and walk our own path. Not the path everyone else is walking, or telling us to walk.
2) Do any of your family know you’re a Satanist?
My wife and kids know, though not sure if they realize how serious I take it. THey realize I’m a non-theist so I’m not out sacrificing goats which is the important thing!
3) Do you have any creative projects you are currently working on?
I’m writing a book right now called Texas T-Rex where government experiments on genetically engineered dinosaurs go horribly wrong.
4) If the Evil Wizard that haunts this blog told you that he was forcing you to live either 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future, which would you pick and why?
Oh god, I’m not sure which would be worse. I know the past was pretty bad, so let’s go with the future and hope we’ve evolved past our current dystopian hellscape.
5) What made you decide to join The Satanic Temple?
I’ve known about them and their work for a few years. I joined both TST and LaVeyan Facebook groups over time and thought of getting involved a few years ago, but was concerned about it coming back on my writing career as a Satanist. With everything that has happened in the world the past few years, I wanted to do more to get involved, that it was more important than ever to fight for free speech and equality now, but didn’t want to be overtly political like 3/4 of the people online. So I went back to the TST, did more reading and talking to members and decided this would be the way to go.
6) What are your three favorite scary movies?
Hmm, I like so many Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sinister, and Martyrs.
7) What in your life are you the most proud of?
I would say my kids, my books I’ve written and my service in the Marines years ago.
8) What is your biggest phobia?
SNAKES!
9) How do you celebrate Halloween?
We usually try to go all out. I set up a table with a fake dead body in our driveway and dress up while wife hands out candy and we scare kids. It’s a lot of fun. Last year it rained though, so cut down on our festivities.
10) What is your go-to karaoke song?
Oh hell I haven’t done Karaoke in so long! I wouldn’t even know what they play anymore. Probably something 80s or 90s.
That’s all for today, folks! I have to get ready to paint a fence in the hot, hot sun. Yay?
HS!
LH

We End Our Journey

Finally, we have made it to the deepest pits of Hell where those who committed the sin of Pride reside. Pride is considered to be the most serious of the Seven Deadly Sins, as well as the seed in which all of the other Deadly Sins stem from. St. Augustine had this to say about Pride:

“It was Pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels”

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Image from the British Museum 

Pride is also referred to as Hubris and Vanity. When Dante and Virgil get down to this final level of Hell, they see that the sinners are destined to walk with large stone slabs on their neck so that they are forever bowing. Another source states that those who commit this sin will be “broken on the wheel”, which refers to an executions method used in the 18th century.

The How Stuff Works website describes The Wheel as follows:

“One of the most horrible wheel tortures was akin to crucifixion. The victim would have the bones in all four limbs broken in two places by strikes from an iron bar. Then, the shattered limbs were threaded through the spokes of a large wheel. Finally, the wheel would be attached to the top of a tall wooden pole and left out in the sun for days. The victim might be alive for hours, enduring the agony of his or her mangled arms and legs and the relentless sun, not to mention the attentions of crows [source: Hunt]”.

So how does The Church define Pride? According to Deadlysins.com, Pride is “excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God”. Another site calls Pride the “Anti-God” state while Aristotle defined it by saying “shaming the victim, not because of anything that happened to the committer or might happen to the committer, but merely for the committer’s own gratification”.

It seems that the definitions have changed slightly over the years, though the underlying message remains the same. You’re going to Hell because you put your faith in yourself more than you put your faith in God.

Okay, guys, I can hear you all giggling. Yes, we Satanists obviously put our faith in ourselves over God because 1) we don’t think God is real and 2) we know that the only person we can rely in is ourselves. The reason The Church made Pride a Deadly Sin is because they need people to need them. They need to make people believe that God is the reason for their success in life so thanks must be given or all will be taken away and you will be sent to Hell.

The Satanist knows that there is nothing wrong with Pride. It’s one of my favorite sins because there’s not a huge negative side to this Sin other than coming off like an asshole. I mean, being too big of an asshole can totally ruin your life, so I guess my word of caution here is “Don’t be an asshole about it”. You’re welcome.

Be proud of yourself, damn it. I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my lighting design and teaching careers. I’m proud to be a Member of the Chruch of Satan. I’m also proud of my family’s achievements such as my little brother’s sports ball wins and that my little sister got into the fraternity she applied to. As long as you don’t become an asshole, you’ll be fine.

That’s all for this one, kiddos! Watch out for some sweet Infernal Interviews as well as whatever else is on my mind. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to cover.

HS!

LH

P.S. I was gone yesterday because I was really hung over. Not sorry.

 

I Wonder How The Joneses are Doing.

We are almost to the end of our journey through Hell and come now to a ghastly site.  Here are those whose souls were weighed down by the Sin of Envy have their eyes sewn shut with wire as they had once derived pleasure by seeing others brought low. That is interesting to me because the sin becomes less about wanting what other have and more about enjoying seeing that other are below you.

As before, these damn sins could be all be boiled down to, like, three and this is one of the sins that could disappear into Lust. Envy, to me, seems to just be you lusting after what others have, which can do two things. It can either 1) Drive you mad and/or 2) Push you.

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Envy by Jacques Callot

I don’t have a lot of good things to say about Envy other than that it can drive you or at least become an indicator of what you might want in your life. I know I want a family one day because when I look at these families at the park or whatever, I feel a bit of envy for what they have. When I see a car that I like, I might feel that little jump in my stomach and I might feel a little more of a drive to get where I want to be.

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That’s pretty much all I can say in favor of envy because, as Epstein says, it’s no fun at all. Well, until you get what you want, but that erection eventually fades and you’ll never stop wanting.

This is what Rev. Campbell called on one of his live streams “Keeping up with The Jonses”. This is when you use your neighbor at a benchmark for social class and the accumulation of material goods. This can drive a person to want and want and spend and spend in order to put out this false idea that they are as good as those around them. This is no fun and will run you into the ground.

Yeah this isn’t going to be a long one saying “Yeah go out there and be envious!” because I don’t think that would be worth your time and energy. If you want something, go get it!

Now, I’m going to go get a piercing or a tattoo. I’ll show you later.

HS!

LH

I Might Nap

Hey, guys, I took a break yesterday to dye my hair (It went to a really nice royal purple), but that fits for today’s topic: Sloth!

I’ve been using a website called deadlysins.com a lot for my research and they describe Sloth as “the avoidance of physical or spiritual work” and that those in hell will be punished by dancing in a pit of snakes forever. Ya know, cuz you slept in a lot.

Dante does address sloth, though it’s referenced in Purgatorio and known as “acedia”. These souls sinned by not loving God with “all one’s heart, all one’s mind, and all one’s soul”, the ultimate form of this being suicide. They were then forced to run continuously at top speed.

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Thank you Catholic.com

Now, I can get behind the no killing yourself but that’s just because self preservation is so natural. I know that you can’t be strong all the time (I’ve been there) and I plan on doing a post about the topic, but for now let’s just say please don’t kill yourself.

When it comes to the rest, I’m not so sure. The one half says that you were too lazy in your worship of God. Whatever. This God seems like he needs a lot of praise and money or he’ll get real pissed at you and send you to hot forever jail. But let’s define “God” as Satanists. God is ourself in that case in which the sin would be not worshipping yourself enough. Well, sometimes the god Lauren wants to spend a day watching her favorite shows!

That brings us to the second part of the Sin: Outright Laziness! I love this one because I’m a teacher and my lazy days are precious during the school year. The same goes for when I’m designing a show! I always work my booty off because I want my work to be done right and done quick, unless I’m charging by the hour.

Now, naturally, there is an extreme to this, too, and I again will tip my hat to “Indulgence not Compulsion”. When I take a day to lay on the couch all day, it’s because the weekend before I climbed over 100 flights of stairs after going up and down and up and down and up and down because lighting design takes place at the highest parts of the theatre. Sometimes school with overlap with theatre days and when I get home at 11, I literally lay on the ground when I enter the door.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve earned it. I’m not allowing my want to nap to get in the way of my want to be a teacher and a lighting designer. I also don’t want to compromise the image I present to the world. I like how I look and I don’t want to be so lazy that the image I’m presenting to the world changes. Well, except my hair color. That changes weekly.

So, like with all the sins, it comes down to balance. And with that thought, I am going to go nap because I got bad sleep.

Have a lazy day, my dearest devils!

HS!

LH

We Journey Further into The Pit

Hello, My Dearest Devils, and welcome back! I am excited to continue down the path, further into the torturous realm of “sinners”, or so they were labeled by The Church in order to sway the public’s opinion of them. As we enter the fourth level, we are ignored.

The souls here are too preoccupied with pushing massive weights at each other in a slow, unending joust. One group are the souls that hoarded possessions while the others spent it without thought and are now watched over by Pluto. Here, we see many prominent Cardinals and Popes.

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This is the last circle we will enter with our friend Dante as this is the last that corresponds with our Seven Deadly Sins, besides Anger, so we might visit when that pops us for us as Rage. If you guys enjoy this series, we can always come back and complete the tour of Hell. If that goes well, I can do a series on The Seven Heavenly Virtues, too, just for fun.

But, for now, let’s talk about Greed. To be honest, I think this one could be lumped up with Envy or, again, Lust, but that’s based off the definition found on this website Deadlysins.com. It says:

“Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness” -DeadlySins.com

See? Seems like Lust or Envy to me, so I’m going to base this entry off the definition from Dante:

“Here, more than elsewhere, I saw multitudes
to every side of me; their howls were loud
while, wheeling weights, they used their chests to push.
They struck against each other; at that point,
each turned around and, wheeling back those weights,
cried out, ‘Why do you hoard?” “Why do you squander?”
So did they move around the sorry circle
from left and right to the opposing point;
again, again they cried their chant of scorn;
and so, when each of them had changed positions,
he circled halfway back to his next joust.” (Inf. VII, 25-36)

Here, Greed is defined as keeping too much for yourself and also spending all you have, which is interesting because it seems like there’s no escaping it then. Also, don’t worry, charitable donation to The Church doesn’t count and will actually help you get into Heaven!

Let’s break it down now.

As I have said before, and will say again, Indulgence not Compulsion! It’s okay to collect, but don’t get crazy, right? Unless its books and you’re taking care of them, because that’s a library and bitches love libraries.

So, a wonderful author and friend of mine, Logospilgrim, collects vintage toys, or it may be toys in general… or maybe just cool 70’s stuff. I think it’s all of those, actually. Well, she collects these things that make her happy! Everything moves her in some way and being around them becomes a sort of ritual time for her.

For me, its posters of shows I’ve worked on in the past few years. I’m really proud of each show I’ve done and looking at the posters can give me just the boost of confidence I need.

I also know a family who keeps everything. They have just all this crap that they don’t need and there’s crap all over the floors and it’s not clean and UGH. I hate it I can’t go there anymore because I just feel so sicked out and I’m afraid of what it looks like now. I shudder at the thought.

There’s the big difference. Satanists know that collecting items that mean something to you, or that brings you joy in some way, is totally fine, but you can’t let it take over your life. Well, unless you’re Reverend Campbell because people keep just sending him cigars and he just can’t help it at this point.

Then there’s the other side of the fight between the Greedy A-holes in Hell. Those who spend more on themselves than The Church thought they should. This just seems like a ploy to get more money to The Church to be honest, though I can get behind the message.

Obviously it’s your money and you shouldn’t listen to me, a 24-year-old child, on finances. That being said, I do know that you should save in case there are unforeseen bumps in the road or if there are things you see that you decide you want. Maybe you want a nicer car or you car breaks down. Either way, you need money.

But you can still treat yourself as long as you stay within your means. As I said in a previous post, my treat is a McChicken. I really love the damn things and it just so happens that they’re very cheap, though then I have a problem of slipping into Gluttony!

That’s all for this post, my friends, though I hope to have a new Infernal Interview for you soon!

Have a delightful day my lovely Lucifers!

HS!

LH