I Performed a Ritual

Hey there, friends, I’m dropping in to say hello! I survived my crazy week and am now operating at my acceptable level of stress. It was a great time, but I didn’t get to talk about my ritual two weekends ago!

A few days ago, somebody asked me to address ritual magic and how I interpret it. I will give my opinion, but I’d like to take the time to mind everybody that, while I am an Active Member of the Church of Satan, I do not speak for the Church of Satan or any of its other members.

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My Ritual Outfit

So, my friend Colby and I set up everything at his house, but we had to make a few changes to the ritual due to the fact that fire is a danger we were unwilling to risk. Instead, we used water. The necessary candles were used, we just didn’t feel comfortable burning anything in his basement.

I recited the proper words and we went through compassion, destruction, and lust, as we had discussed before going into the chamber. I don’t know why he needed to ritualize, nor did he know my intentions, but I knew enough to formulate a ritual around our needs.

I don’t want to go very far into what the ritual actually looked like, as it is depicted on the Church of Satan’s Youtube, as well in The Satanic Bible. There were candles, robes, music by my boy Hexenkraft, bells, and everything else that goes along with entering the ritual chamber. I will, though, talk about how it made me feel and how I use Ritual Magic.

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When I perform a ritual, it’s because I have done everything in the physical world I could possible do to influence my desired outcome. If I, let’s say, had my eye on a guy who I wanted to go out with, I would have used every trick in The Satanic Witch, bringing out the big Lesser Magic “guns” each time I have the opportunity, in order to draw him to me. If I have done all that I, myself, can do, I might decide to perform a ritual. This is a way to take all my strong, emotional, powerful feelings and throw them from my body, towards the object of the ritual, and use that power to also help in reaching my desires.

It also clears my mind, taking a weight off my shoulders, because I feel as though I really have done EVERYTHING. I have covered all of my bases and there would be no reason to stress anymore, meaning that I can move on and put my energy into other creative or professional endeavors. My energy is wasted on worrying about that which I can’t control, and my energy is my power. I don’t want to waste it.

So, after my ritual, I felt lighter than air. I felt dark and powerful and that I could have moved a mountain with just a glance. It was a wonderful, electric feeling that I took with me the rest of the night out with my friends, and man did I have a good time!

That is what ritual means to me, so it might be different for other Satanists. Just like people, no two rituals are the same and asking Reverend Campbell would probably have a different answer than me, so I recommend asking others and, even better, doing your own! There’s no better way to experience a ritual than just doing on yourself.

I hope you liked this little entry and if you have any questions or comments you can email me or comment below and I’ll check them out. Be sure to check out my Youtube videos where I sometimes post instead of on here and follow me on Twitter if you want to really know what’s going on in my brain.

I’ll see you on the other side, my friends.

HS!

LH

Yesterday was Veterans Day

Hey guys, this was supposed to go up yesterday, but apparently I missed the button so you get it today. So, all this happened yesterday and I don’t want to go back to fix all the tense issues. Cool? Cool.

I went for a walk today. The bitter fall breeze bit my cheeks until they were cherries and Feel Like Making Love rang through my headphones, overpowering the lonely sound of my sneakers crunching through fallen leaves. Through the trees that line the trail, I watched various sea birds bob up and down on the Puget Sound, scuttling past sailboats named Freedom and Seas the Day.

The forest trail gave way to a park dotted with people and their dogs. I watched the shivering owners desperately wrap themselves tighter in their coats and shove their throwing hand frantically back into their jeans pocket after tossing their dog’s slobbery tennis ball. A few held coffee from down the street. One man stood in the center of a large patch of grass, a mirror ball gliding over his fingers in a manner that suggested years of practicing in his room had given him the idea that people would gather around and watch. Nobody had yet.

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The park morphed into walkways that spanned the small inlets of water that scooped into the earth. A woman wearing a cranberry hijab stopped me and pointed towards deeper water where two black lumps were rolling through the waves. Sea Otters. I watched them for a moment, listening to the woman murmur to her husband about how cute the little creatures were.

As I walked on, my small Sigil of Baphomet necklace tapped rhythmically against my chest. I thought again of the sailboat named Freedom as I passed the small groupings of flags fluttering at half-staff, and I was grateful. I thought of the other places in the world where a woman would never walk alone and I was grateful. The tapping of Baphomet upon my chest reminded me that I am very lucky to live in a world where I am free to be whatever religion I choose, no matter how evil those may assume it is. I thought, naturally, of the military and all they’ve done, since the birth of the nation, to protect my right to be myself, and I was grateful.

Then I thought of the veterans in my life. My great-grandfather was one of the first responders to Pearl Harbor and once told me of seeing the smoke on the horizon, his heart turning the same acrid color. As I began to feel pride, a wave of anger washed through my arms and down into my fingertips. My great-grandpa was not, is not, an honorable man, nor should he be celebrated.

My great-grandpa should not be celebrated. He was cruel to his family and created rifts within the family that won’t be healed for generations. He abused his family. He threw unwanted kittens into rivers rather than fix his cat, first allowing his children to play with them. He was, and still is, a manipulative, horrible man.

I passed a group of runners going the other way. A few of them nodded at me while others stared straight forward, as if I weren’t there. I realized, then, what I was thankful for were the individuals who went into the military. They want to protect what the country stands for, which means fighting for things you may not believe in. I’m thankful for them and I gladly thank them.

What I refuse to do is blindly thank veterans. I’m sure this is where people will start to get irritated with me, but that’s okay. I understand that there are evil people in the military who have still given so much. I, too, understand people in the armed forces have raped and murdered their fellow servicemen. Am I supposed to thank them? I don’t think so and I won’t. A person can be part of a greater good and throw kittens into rivers.

The bitter fall breeze halted and my cherry cheeks grew hot as I stepped into my house from the cold. My cats ran up to greet me and I ran my hand along their tails, warming my fingertips on their heads. I knew I was glad for the good men and women who were protecting me, even though they didn’t know me or agree with me. In the end, there is more good than bad. I just wish we could do better.

So, on this Veterans Day, thank you for all you’ve done.

Except my great-grandpa and those like him.

HS!

LH

I Spoke with The Homo Satanist

As I was scrolling through Twitter yesterday, a term caught my eye. “Homo Satanist”. As somebody who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, I began to feel myself prickle, preparing for rage. I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually a title of a book, as well as the title somebody had chosen for themselves. I was curious, so I dove a little deeper.

Fred Andersson is the an author and, while not a member of the Church of Satan, feels very connected to Satanism and the philosophy of Anton LaVey. So, I decided to send over some questions to get to know Fred a little better in this edition of

end of MY rope

Please give a round of applause to our latest victim Fred Andersson

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From Twitter
1) What is your relationship to Satanism and the Church of Satan?
I’m not a member of CoS, but I feel very connected to their philosophy and LaVey is a role model of some sorts, even if I don’t agree with him in everything. But that’s also the great part of CoS and Satanism; we’re all true individuals and respect each other. I’ve always, since I was a kid in a Christian community, had similar ideas and ways of looking at life as CoS, but it took me some time to understand the value in this. When a friend years ago told me I really need to read The Satanic Bible I bought it, read it, found it fun and interesting but it didn’t leave a big mark. Maybe I year later I picked it up and read it again, and some things spoke to me even more. And this happened every year or so until I finally “got it”. LaVey himself I’ve always found interesting and witty and I understand what he was trying – and succeeded – to do.
2) What does being part of the LQBTQA+ community and being a Satanist have in common? 
I found out that may inside the community either sees themselves as Satanists or at least have the same philosophy, and I love this. I believe that Satanism, and maybe more specifically CoS, is the perfect thing or LGBTQ+ people, as we’re embracing ourselves, our sexuality, we breaking free from norms to live the lives WE want to live. Some Christians blame us gays for being egocentric – and I say YES to that, because we dare to do it. We’re not tied down by guilt and Christian moral rules; we live as we want.
3) Where would you take Charlie Chaplin on a date in the year 1994? 
I would probably take him to an old wax museum in Sweden, now bankrupt since many years back, where they had THE worst very wax figure of him ever made. I think he would have appreciated it for some reason.
4) How do you celebrate Halloween?
The thing is, Sweden isn’t much of a Halloween country. The tradition itself have been growing over the years, but it’s not the same as in the United States. I usually try to watch one of the Halloween films, this time it was my hold favorite Halloween III: Season of the Witch. That one sets the mood very well!
5) Tell me the story behind Homo Satanist. How did you come up with the name/title/term? 
It kinda just came to me while thinking about who I am. I usually just introduce myself as Fred, because Fred for me is everything I am – but if I’m not Fred then I’m not a homo sapiens like my fellow humans… and suddenly it struck me; I am Homo Satanist, a man of Satan. That felt so comfortable I decided to build a concept around it, and that’s one of the things that lead to the book.
6) What’s your favorite movie and why?
Difficult to say! In my personal collection of films, physical media, I have over 7000 titles! But If I must chose one I’ll chose Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, a film which triggers both my fascination for the occult, rituals, sex and individualism. I love it so much I might one day write a book about it – and the novel it’s based upon and the 60’s Austrian TV-movie based on the same source. I always find something new in it and it still, to this day, have some of the best writing I’ve ever seen in a film.
7) Is there a story that you weren’t able to fit into your book that you’d like to tell? 
Oh sure, but most of them deals with what’s legal in Sweden or not – and when some things still are not legalized or accepted it’s a bit difficult to talk about it without being branded a criminal. It’s not that I’m especially active in this area, but the idea of banning certain substances is primitive and goes against my whole idea of individualism.
8) What do you do when you’re bored? or Do you get bored? 
I rarely get bored nowadays, but if that happens I usually watch the most depressing film I have available. It makes me appreciate my own life a lot more and triggers my emotions in very stimulating way. I also have a tendency to shop a lot of expensive books when I’m bored, which is both good and bad.
9) THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING! Quick, what in your house do you grab and why? 
I suppose the cats have already escaped, so that means I’ll grab water and warm clothes. Because I bet I’ll need to hide in the woods for a while until it’s all over!
10) Do you have any other creative projects you’re working on? 
I’m currently finishing the editing of a short story collection, which I hope will be published in two-three months, but it’s written in Sweden. I’m also halfway through something we can call Homo Satanist 2 and one book about chaos magic, or maybe more an inspiration to use magical thinking in everyday life.
The End
I love that in order to get over being bored, you watch a sad movie. That’s wonderful. Thank you, Fred, for taking the time to answer my silly questions and I hope your book does very well!
And thank you all for coming back and reading, I really love doing these interviews and you guys make it worth my time!
I’ll see you all later, my Sweet Satanists!
HS!
LH

I Interviewed The Satanic Warlock of the Year

Good morning, my darlings, and welcome to a very special edition of The Infernal Interviews! Today, we hear from the winner of Reverend Campbell’s Satanic Warlock  of the year Award, Les Hernandez. For those who don’t know, The Satanic Warlock of the Year is nominated and voted upon by other members of the Church of Satan during the month of October. Nominees must be in good standing with the Church of Satan and “not necessarily in a direct way, but more importantly through their actions and mastery of their works and demeanor.”

While the award has passed this year, you can still watch the awards show on Reverend Campbell’s Youtube page, which I highly recommend, as we get to hear from a wonderful collection of guest speakers. This years winner, Reverend Les Hernandez, is an amazing example of what it means to take the teachings of Satanism and create real change in the world. I’m not going to get really into it, as they’ve been discussed before, but if you’re interested, some of his many accomplishments can be found here.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into today’s edition of

end of MY rope

 

Our victim today is The Satanic Warlock of the Year, Reverend Les “Bloodfire” Hernandez.

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Thank you, again, to Reverend Hernandez for taking the time to answer my questions!

1) What does being a Satanist mean to you? 
Being a Satanist, to me, means owning your actions and thinking before
you act. It means taking pride in your personal successes and
achievements, and not letting anyone prevent you from pursuing your own
happiness. It’s being true to your own nature and not what the media and
societal norms try to program you to be. This can be
dangerous–especially in a society where the norm is portrayed as
extreme Left or Right, not seeing that both sides are just different
flocks of sheep. The danger comes in both sides’ hatred of anything not
like them. Blues will call you Red, Reds will call you Blue, while both
sides are blind to your real color, or Third Side. People get beaten and
killed for not conforming, even in this day and age, so the Satanist has
forethought and knows when to be what or when to “tuck the Baphomet,” as
has become the phrase. Change doesn’t come from conformity, however. It
comes from The Other; it comes from that outsider rebellious spark or
Black Flame. These things are why the spirit of rebellion will always
exist where there is a free mind, and why we embody the ultimate rebel
in the form of the adversary–Satan.
2) How do you spend your birthday? 
As richly as I can! I used to throw live events where my band would play
and I’d be surrounded by Martinis, but I like things a little quieter
these days. A good steak dinner with perhaps a nice Charles Smith
Cabernet Sauvignon, with select company in a dimly lit room is more my
style now. Followed eventually by more carnal, sensual pursuits, which
no real birthday should go by without.
3) Which of the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth speaks to you the most? 
Off-hand, I’d say number three: “When in another’s lair, show him
respect or else do not go there.” This should apply across the board,
from homes, to businesses, to the local Wal-Mart! People seem to feel
like just because they’re in a store in the mall that they don’t need to
remember etiquette. I’d like to see Willy Wonka’s lesson’s on a grander
scale in these cases. Can’t keep your voice down on your cell phone in
the grocery store? Fall into a trap-door in the floor leading to a patch
of poison ivy. Folks would start behaving more civilized, I’d wager.
4) If cats had wings, what would be the best name for one? 
Labia. Without a doubt!
5) What in your life are you most proud of? 
The letters I sometimes get from folks who tell me how I’ve inspired
them or changed their lives in some way. To hear from others what you
felt about your own mentors growing up–that’s absolutely magnificent,
also humbling.
6) Describe your idea vacation if you could time travel. 
I’d hop in my TARDIS, pick up a young Barbara Feldon (1960s era), and
bounce around every top eatery of the past few centuries. We’d see the
Ramones when they were young, The Beatles, every creepy old bookshop in
the world. I’d probably spend a lot of time in the 1960s and ’70s. And
I’d also probably eventually return Ms. Feldon to her time and pick up
Winona Ryder to go check out other galaxies and the future with me.
Hell, with a TARDIS you don’t have to limit your vacation time! Might as
well do it all! (Last years Satanic Warlock of the year also loves Doctor Who. The author is seeing a pattern.)
7) How did it feel to win Satanic Warlock of the Year? 
First of all, being nominated was a shock. I really didn’t expect it,
much less to win. Hell, I voted for Adam Cardone! Hahaha! There were so
many impressive nominees that I was just proud to be in such esteemed
company. These are folks I greatly admire, each for their own reasons.
Here I am just doing my own thing, so it caught me off guard. I’m
definitely honored and grateful to those who voted for me. It’s a proud
honor, indeed!
8) What advice do you have for young Satanists? 
Study our core texts, don’t just glance through the books. Apply what
you’ve read in the real world. Get a firm working grasp of these
principles and ideas. These are the tools that will move you forward.
Study the history of Satanism, so you can confidently speak to your
religion when confronted by naysayers. Read HTF Rhodes’ ‘The Satanic
Mass’ and A.E. Waite’s ‘Devil Worship in France’ to get an understanding
of why we can honestly say that there was no such religion as Satanism
until it was founded and codified in 1966 with the creation of the
Church of Satan. Then familiarize yourself with the reality of the
Satanic Panic of the 1980s and ’90s, and just how real that kind of mass
hysteria can be–it ruined people’s lives ad destroyed families. These
tools will give young Satanists a strong foundation to move into the
world from.
9) What is your best Halloween memory? 
One of my favorites was spent at a fellow member’s house, who is no
longer with us. I met a lot of other Satanists that night that I still
call friends. Drinks flowed, the conversation was great, there was a
group ritual. Memories I’ll always cherish.Another favorite Halloween memory was when I was 16 and dressed up as
Nikki Sixx. A friend and I went into this rock’n’roll shop and, as the
cute counter gal was talking to us, I took off my wig and she about hit
the floor in shock that it wasn’t real. It was the ’80s, so big hair was
normal. We all had a good laugh!

10) How do you answer the question “What is Satanism?” 
Satanism is an atheistic religion based on humanity’s carnality and real
nature instead of believing in some fantasy afterlife we have absolutely
no proof of. Satanism is selfish, but we acknowledge the difference
between selfish and greedy. It is the Individual over the herd; the
outsider excelling out of genuine passion as opposed to the life-hating
daily grind working drones with no hope of fulfilling any dreams.
Satanism is putting your lust for life into reality–living it on your
own terms, but always being in control of it. It’s the best tool for
real happiness, as far as I’m concerned.
The End
Thank you, again, to Reverend Hernandez for taking the time to answer my silly questions and to Reverend Adam Campbell for putting everything together. If you’d like to participate next year, start following Campbell on Youtube or you can join me in becoming a Patreon.
If you’re wondering, there is a comparable award for the ladies in The Church of Satan. Magistra Ygraine holds the Wicked Witch of the Year Award on her show, Confessions of a Wicked Witch, presented by Radio Free Satan. The nominations for this begin soon, so keep an ear to the ground.
Thank you all for reading and thank you once more to Reverend Hernandez and Reverend Campbell for everything, and congratulations.
HS!
LH

I’d like to say Thank You

For those who don’t know, today is the day in history in which Anton LaVey shuffled off this mortal coil in 1997, but that’s not what I’m here for really focus on. Instead, I’d like to say thank you.

Something that really amazes me is that LaVey created Satanism and was able to pull me into a religion 20 years after his death! (I joined last year). Talk about some strong lesser magic. I remember looking through the various pages on the Church of Satan site and being entranced by the pictures of LaVey in these dark, interesting photos, surrounded by imagery that many would call “creepy”.

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Photo Credit: Church of Satan Archives 

Well, I thought they were damn cool! I was drawn further into the Church of Satan because this man was presenting himself as confident, dark, and creative, which was something I saw in myself as well. I wanted to know more.

I realize now that this is the second layer of defense that LaVey had against those he didn’t want in the Church of Satan, the first being the name. If you can hear that title, see the Satanic imagery and still want to learn more, then you might be a Satanist. Probably not, but maybe. Once you allow yourself to sink into the darkness and have fun with it, you can get down into the beliefs into the Church of Satan, which are nothing more than (seemingly) obvious.

Some people say that they find themselves within a religion and I just gotta say, that’s total bullshit. I didn’t find myself within The Satanic Bible, but I saw me. I saw LaVey sitting down with a glass of red wine, creating a religion for himself that was able to reach past his death, 20 years into the future, and touch me. I didn’t need a name for how I was living my life, because I was always going to be living in a Satanic manner, but I had the name Satanism because of Anton LaVey.

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Photo Credit: Church of Satan Archives

I saw those people around me worshipping an idea that never seemed to actually do anything but was still given all the credit and that pissed me off. I saw people harming others and forcing their ideas onto others in the name of this idea and that pissed me off. LaVey saw this, too, and created something else. I am the god that must be worshipped. I am the god that can change tides and move mountains and I WILL be given credit where credit is due.

So, thank you Dr. LaVey, for seeing clearly. Thank you for taking what I was feeling my whole life and putting it to paper, decades before I was a glimmer in my mama’s eye. Thank you for being unapologetic about who you were and what you enjoyed. Thank you for creating The Satanic Bible and the Church of Satan so that I might eventually wander through its proverbial doors and discover I was already there, leafing through the pages.

There are various hats I wear in various times in my life. Downtown Party Lauren isn’t the same as Teaching Children Lauren isn’t the same as Lighting Designer Lauren, but one thing I always keep with me is the words written by Anton LaVey, as the teachings of Satanism, the ones I felt but never had the words for, will always inform my decisions.

So, thank you to Anton LaVey, and also to the rest of the founding members that have taken up the torch since LaVey passed. It is because of them that young folks, like me, were able to finally have the word to describe who we are: Satanist.

Have a wonderful rest of your Monday, my Darling Devils, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hail Anton LaVey!

HS!

LH

I Hate Nazis

I can’t believe I have to say this. Honestly, I haven’t had anybody say that I am connected to Nazis since my school years when kids would make fun of my extremely german last name. Back then I would just laugh at them for being unoriginal and shrug it off. I knew the kids didn’t think I was hateful or a murderer.

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A few weeks ago I was poking around on Twitter when I saw that somebody was making comments on my friend Sophie’s tweet, trying to say that the Church of Satan and its members were Nazis. It was really pissing me off because I am not a nazi. I am a Democrat and also not a monster.

Now, the Holocaust is interesting in a “peek into the mind of a maniac” sort of way, but the acts committed by Nazis and in the name of Hitler were astoundingly cruel and horrific. That makes me a student of history, not a Nazi.

But this person decided to go on and say that since the Church of Satan may contain members with Nazi sympathies, it is a Nazi organization. Um, no, that’s not how anything works. If we were to apply the same logic to everything else, the world would fall apart. Organizations all over the world have members that may have ideas or values that the organization doesn’t share.

An example: Most Nazis are Christian but Christians would take offense if you were to say that being Christian makes them a Nazi because they don’t kick the Nazis out of Christianity. An easier example: A square is a rectangle but not every rectangle is a square.

I am a very firm believer that people should be able to make their own choices in life. This may be because I had an abusive stepdad who wanted to control me and my mother and due to him, I put a lot of value in freedom. I dye my hair different colors because I don’t want to be constrained to black, brown, or blonde. Sometimes that means living in a world where I disagree with others.

Now, does that mean I would condone the banning of non-halal foods because Muslims decided that they don’t want them on the shelves anymore? No. Just like I don’t agree with Nazis that white people are the master race or whatever. I think that’s a disgusting ideal and I’m horrified anybody would compare me to a Nazi.

Maybe there are Nazis in the Church of Satan, I don’t know, because I am not responsible for who the Church of Satan decides to allow into their ranks. Nor do I have the power to kick Nazis out of the Church of Satan. If low-level members like me had that power, I’m sure the Nazis would have used it by now.

The members of the Church of Satan are not one hive mind. Sure, there are some values that we share such as The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth and The Nine Satanic Statements, but they mean something different to each individual Satanist. If you were to ask Reverend Campbell to interpret the Seventh Satanic Rule of the Earth and then asked Citizen Nero to do the same, their answers would probably be different.

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Humans consume the world through different filters. These can be race, religion, socioeconomic status, childhood experience, privet vs public school, city vs farm living, and so much more. Because of these lenses, information is processed differently from person to person and no two people’s experiences can be the same. To say that all Satanists are one thing because you saw one Satanist do the thing is a sign of a small mind.

So, what can I do if I don’t want to be labeled a Nazi? The guy who prompted this post said that I am appeasing the Nazis because I’m not doing anything to get them out of my Church. That is if there even are any because I really haven’t looked into it. That’s not a productive way to spend my energy.

Well, I’m a teacher and I am using that influential position to make a better future. I am introducing them to plays and scripts that make them think and challenge their world view. We learn about the ways theatre was shaped in different regions of the world and how culture is a huge part of putting on a production. I am working on creating a world where Nazis can’t exist.

Reverend Campbell posted a video today where he discusses The Satanic Warlock of the Year award and what he is looking for in candidates. One thing that was on my mind a lot today was looking at what you’ve done in the real world and not within the world of Satanism. I really recommend watching the video because he’s spot on. I’m not just trying to drive Nazis out of the Church of Satan, I’m trying to drive that sort of thinking out of the entire world. To focus on JUST changing the little Satanic bubble you live in would be short-sited. I am focused on much larger prizes.

So go change the world, my Sweet Satanists, whatever that means to you.

HS!

LH

I’m Afraid

Life is scary. There are a lot of ways to get hurt and killed out there, and we are more aware of that these days than ever before due to how quickly information can spread. Every day I look at my Twitter feed and see numerous headlines such as “Texas water resort closed, tested for ‘brain-eating amoeba’ after man’s death“, “Facebook just had its worse hack ever — and it could get worse“, and “Seven parked cars set on fire in Redmond” and my brain instantly goes “well, what would we do if that happened?”. Well, I don’t know, but maybe I should know.

My day is filled with dangers. I could slip in fall in the shower or just be straight up murdered in my sleep. Every day I drive 45 minutes to and from work, either on the freeway or the nerve-wracking Chuckanut Drive. It’s a wonderfully beautiful area

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From the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

right edge of the Puget Sound and surrounded by forests, but the road has a lot of twists and turns. The lanes are very small and the road follows a steep cliff, which makes passing large trucks very scary.

The best part is that my car is one of the deadliest to drive these days. To be fair, I’m looking to buy a new one soon but I really needed a new mattress. I know that doesn’t seem as important as a new car, but you should have slept on my old mattress.

Back to danger. So, I work at a school and that makes me nervous due to the school shootings that have occurred. I worry about keeping my students safe and what we would do if something were to happen. I have a plan, but I worry anyway.

If I go out, I could be drugged (that’s happened twice to me), I could get hit by a drunk driver, I could be raped or murdered for denying a man, or sold into the illegal sex trade.

When I’m in the theatre, I could fall from the ladder, lift, or catwalk, which range from 10 feet up to 60 feet up, depending on the location. I could start a fire and die

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From McIntyre Hall. This is one of the theatres I work in. See the catwalk above the house?

from that in various ways. I could be electrocuted. I could get hit by something coming in from the fly system. Also you can just be murdered anywhere, so just add that mentally from now on.

There are many, many diseases all over the world that could destroy my life and leave me in agony for my raining days. There are animals that can sting you, bite you, poison you, paralyze you, brutalize your body and/or murder you. I’m looking at you, Australia.

My greatest fear in the world is dying before my mother followed closely by getting in a violent car accident and burning alive. My phobias are spiders, bees, and clowns/mascots.

The thing is, I still drive to work every day to teach children. I still go 60 feet up onto the catwalk in the theatre and lean five feet out to gel a lamp. I still want to travel and eat new foods! There’s too much to do and see for me to say, but my bucket list is long. There’s a lot I’ve already done, too, like driving across country in 18-wheelers and performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

I live my life aware of the possible hazards and I think about what I would do in situations, but I don’t live my life as if it will happen every time I step out of the house. That’s no way to enjoy what the universe has to offer.

Go for a drive down Chuckanut if you’re ever in Bellingham, but pay attention to the road and wear your seatbelt. Have a belt-cutter and a way to break your window in case you crash into the water. If you’re prepared, you’ll be okay.

Case in point: Last winter my boyfriend and I were driving home from a party in Seattle. It was really, really snowy and he’s driving slower, but we came to a big hill on I-5 (just past the Starboard road exit if you’re familiar) and at the bottom, I felt the car start to slip. Dylan started to panic a little and I watched the trees and the lights of oncoming traffic as we spun towards the median. He was trying to correct

black car on roadway while raining during nighttime

and hit the break, so I very calmly said to take his foot off the break and keep his hands still. Eventually, we came to a stop facing traffic, though it was really far up the road. After a breath, we continued. This time, much slower. We passed other cars that night that had spun out. Some had gone into the trees, others into guard rails or just straight off the road. When we made it home, I almost cried.

My point here is that I was able to be calm because I was prepared. I wasn’t afraid, even as it was happening. I distinctly remember feeling a crisp, chilly weight in my stomach and feeling very even. I was the calm within the storm and we didn’t go off the road.

So, what I’m trying to say is to go out and live your life, just be prepared.

Okay, off to school. I’ll talk to you later, my Darling Devils.

HS!

LH