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.

businessman office mobile phone finance
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).

dnd_mound2
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”

ASSC_1_Test_Layered.png
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 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.

2017031709.jpg
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

Today is Extra Special

So, I normally don’t do two posts in the same day, but I was really excited to get this one out there and I know you’ll be really excited, too. I also didn’t want to skip a day in my Seven Sins essays as I have a bit of a thing going. Ever forward!

So, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this entry in The Infernal Interviews!

Our sacrifice today is the wonderful Mitch Horowitz

Mitch Seated.JPG
He sent me his own photo and everything!

So, from the extensive research I’m currently doing, as well as what I’ve seen on Twitter, I can tell you that Mitch is a busy guy. He is an award-winning historian, as well as an author on subjects ranging from The Occult to the secret life of Ronald Reagan. His voice has been used to bring tales to life in the form of audiobooks and has been a voice of “alternative spirituality on CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, CNN, and throughout the national media”, according to his blog. He has been published but has also been on the other side of that as a publisher.

Honestly this is all on his blog and if you want to check that out, click here and you will go there. Don’t click here though, it’ll go to something else.

So, without further ado, lets get on with this entry in…

end of MY rope

1) What is your relationship to the Church of Satan?
I am not a member (I’m an ecumenical Satanist) but I greatly admire CoS and the work Anton did in founding it. Aesthetically and ethically, CoS has been an earthquake on the religious scene. And I admire Peter Gilmore’s work—I’m more metaphysical in my orientation, but he has sharpened CoS’s focus in a manner that keeps it from being a museum to what Anton did, and keeps things fresh.

2) Do you have any creative projects on which you are currently working?
I have a new book called The Miracle Club coming out in October, and I am writing and speaking a lot. I’ll be Los Angeles in October discussing the life of Manly P. Hall, women and occultism, and why magick works. Soon I plan to present a series of talks and a book on Satanism called God of the Outsiders, so I’m looking forward to that. My pal Ronni Thomas and I are also making a film version of the occult book The Kybalion. (Oh this all sounds fun)

3) What is the best name for a cat?
Lucius.

4) Tell me a little about “Satan’s Honor Roll“.
I wanted to lay down the law that there is an ethical code on the Left Hand Path. The other night, one of my kids asked me, “Dad are you a Satanist—yes or no?” I said yes, but realized that I have trouble explaining even to my own kids that that doesn’t mean what they get taught online or hear in their peer group. I think that was the inception for the article, which has gotten an incredible reaction.

5) How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I like to be alone. I might do a ritual of some kind, or write down aims for the future. I do like getting gifts—generally anything having to do with artist Steve Ditko, and I don’t care if I have it already because I also like giving stuff away
6) Do you think there is relationship between how well somebody can drive and their religion?
Wow—amazing question. I have noticed that Hasidic Jews drive like shit. I can say that because I had an Orthodox bar mitzvah. So, I really don’t know, but that’s one observation!

7) How do you define Satan?
I do believe in a nonphysical aspect of life, so I see Satan as the name that humanity has placed upon the energies of rebellion, discontent, protest, and consequences-be-damned art. Whatever term you use, I do believe that there is an extra-physical presence called Satan whom you can approach. Approach him at twilight at a crossroad—he’ll give you a new name.

8) What’s your biggest Pet Peeve?
People who think they’re badass because they call people names online. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t say it digitally.

9) What are your top three favorite songs?
10) Tell me your favorite joke
Here’s one I made up (may Satan forgive me):

“Did you hear that Tom Petty is taking swimming lessons?”

“No, tell me about it.”

“He says the wading is the hardest part.”

The End

Damn, I am glad we ended on that joke because it was really bad good. Please take a second to check out Mitch and all of his work as he has taken a moment to chat with us.

Enjoy the rest of your day, my Darling Devils, and I’ll see you tomorrow in the Fourth Circle.

HS!

LH

This is your Daily Reminder to Sin

The party’s not over… Lauren’s back! *Fist bumps to music*

Hey there, friends, I know I’ve been gone for a long time, but I was coming up with a fun set of essays for you! Also, I was camping, breaking down on the side of the road, staying in a Wal-Mart parking lot for a day and a half, house sitting, cleaning, and generally enjoying my summer.

But now I’m back! So, welcome to the first in a seven-part series where we dive into the Seven Deadly Sins and how they can be interpreted in a Satanic way. Now, I want to again make it clear that I don’t speak for the Church of Satan or any of its other members. These is just what’s going on in my strange brain.

This is your Daily Reminder to Sin

First up to bat is one of my favorite Deadly Sins: Lust!

1430166436356.jpeg
From seven sins.com

I’m starting here because it was often considered the least harmful of the deadly sins and it also places us on the path Dante fallows in Inferno, which I highly recommend, it is awesome. There, Lust is described as “excessive love for others” but we also tend to associate lust with the pleasures of the flesh. Lust can also talk about material things such as a lust for money or a lust for fame. Honestly, I don’t know why they bothered with the other sins when it seems Lust can cover them all.

Okay, here’s what up with lust. To have these fleshly desires, one is admitting that they are closer to animal than God, which doesn’t really fit the narrative of The Church. These feelings of Lust, however they manifested, also meant that you put something above God which makes God real jealous so he will send you to hell, I guess. I don’t pretend to know how they believe this stuff, especially since their God is so “loving”. I digress… (Don’t even get me started on unbaptized babies).

So, if you’re loving something more than God and you’re admitting you’re an animal with desires just like any other animal. That flies in the face of every story The Church has to keep their flock coming back, thus they make sinners out of normal, human feelings. If somebody is trying to force you into subservience and is trying to keep themselves in power, it is very easy to control you if you’re already hating yourself.

When you go to confession and tell them about how you had boner for a chick in the market the other day, he’ll tell you to go home and pray on it and say this amount of whatever, but that doesn’t really do anything… right? All it does is waste your time because these are the Deadly Sins… right? Whatever, so now you’re home and you sit there praying and wasting your time and then do it all over again because you can always go back and confess again and you will because you’re scared. You’re scared to go to hell.

*Satanists, roll your eyes here*

How awful it must be to live in this fear of yourself. First of all, I don’t have an issue with putting God first because that’s me, I am my own God. That alone sends me WAY into the depths of hell, anyway, so fuck it with the rest, am I right?

But why shouldn’t I allow myself the pleasures of the flesh? They’re fun and it’s a totally natural feeling. Satanists know that we are just human animals and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with lusting after people as long as you’re not a dick about it. (Lauren’s Rule #1: Don’t be a dick about it)

Lusting after wealth and such can be good, too, but you can’t let it ruin your life. As long as I am considering myself God, then yeah don’t put anything before god… as long as god is you because self-preservation is the highest law. But if what I lust for is a nicer car, I have to work to get that nicer car and that lust is a motivator.

Again, nothing should take over your life. Satanists practice Indulgence not Compulsion, which can include working too hard or wanting after something too much. It’s not good for people obsess to the point of addiction.

So, go forth and lust after whatever! As long as all you’re doing is bettering yourself or your situation, there can be no harm in lusting.

That’s all for the day, kids! I need to eat something.

HS!

LH

I Want to Talk About Stan

So, you know that spot in the corner of the board that says what the date is and what is happening in the day? Well, mine has a little mascot.

images.jpeg
From Amazon

His name is Stan and he kind of looks like this. Stan is a very rich character and the students have made up an entire lore for Stan.

Stan started with a typo. The kids and I were putting on a haunted house  on Halloween and were brainstorming ideas for what we wanted in the various rooms. We were thinking of various scary things and had made a list consisting of things such as Zombies, Cannibals, Clowns, Chainsaw Clowns, Crazy Laughing People, and Dead Children.

Then one of my youngest students in Drama Club chimed in with “Satan Room”.

I would like to take a moment to remind readers that my students don’t know about my affiliations. I don’t wear my necklace around them; I don’t bring literature to school; I don’t talk to them about it. The same goes with my peers and most of my family. It’s a small town and I love my job. As long as I do these things I feel secure.

So he says Satan Room, and he meant like a bunch of people in black robes in a dark room with a pentagram sacrificing something unseen while people walk through and we follow them. I put myself in this room, after it got voted in, to make sure nobody came in and just freaked the hell out. (One lady did start praying in Spanish, though).

So, as I was writing down “Satan Room” I was thinking about something else and just wrote “Stan Room”. This is when Stan was born. After some banter, they decided that “Stan” was the projector that we were always fighting with because he was sometimes in charge of if we could do a lesson or not. Stan was a powerful force. Not long after, I got the little snake and put him on the board so that it read “Stan says it’s (Date) and today we are doing (Whatever)”.

Well, again, I didn’t pick the name. I had the middle school kids vote on what we should call it and, again after some banter, they decided on Stan. It was a close vote, but one student won over the majority of the class by saying “the snake was Stan but in real life”.

Seriously these kids have really great story-telling abilities. I’m sure there are stories of Stan that have yet to be written or told to me. So sometimes, when the projector is being really annoying, the kids will look towards the damn thing and start saying things like “Come on, Stan!”; “Please, Stan, don’t!”; “Hail Stan”. Some kids want it to work and others don’t. Stan doesn’t care and does what it pleases. Stupid thing.

So, that’s Stan. Please send in your best Stan fan art.

HS!

LH

I Want to Introduce You to One of My Heroes

So, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you would have probably (Hopefully) read my blog posts about Lighting Design and Teaching. Well, I didn’t end up where I am by accident. I got here by working hard and loving what I do. Technically my degree is in Creative Writing, so most people think I’m going to be an English Teacher or a starving writer, but I’m not really using it in either of my jobs.

14556619_10210064505945124_2963371685252493831_o.jpg
RUN DAVE!

As a Lighting Designer and a Drama Teacher, I am one of those few who can actually say that I make my money through theatre. I started my career in community college and had only briefly worked backstage in a high school production my freshman year. Well, Until I met Dave.

Dave was my Theatre and ASL Teacher in Community College and, the first week of class, pointed at me and informed me that I was the Stage Manager. I loved it! I ended up finding myself drawn towards the lighting aspect of the stage, though, and that’s now what I introduce myself as. I have thought about doing an SM job at some point soon… I digress.

Dave is so amazing, though, beyond just being one of my Teachers. He is Director, Actor, and Writer with titles such as Rescuing Awen, Guild of Immortal Women, and Angakok.

Oh and he likes to float around under water breathing canned air. I only make it sound strange because I am hugely jealous at what he gets to do and see when he is going scuba Diving. More amazing than that, Dave is a PADI instructor at Seattle Scuba who is gay friendly and will teach you in ASL if that’s how you prefer to learn.

32186763_10215331200409194_8796947183828992000_n
Damn you, Dave.

So, if you want to check out more about my wonderful, director, mentor, fellow actor, and friend, you can check out his website here.

For now, let’s dive into his actual brain in this entry of…

end of MY rope

with David Alan Morrison

1) What do you like to do with your free time?

I have a lot of varied interests. I wish i could chalk it up to being an interesting man, but the truth is more mundane…I’m restless and A.D.D. I spend a lot of time directing community theatre, line dancing and 2-step (country/western dancing). I used to do quite a bit of scuba diving, but a while ago, my apartment burned down and I lost my equipment. I still haven’t replaced it all.
2) Are there any creative projects you are working on right now?

I’ve been doing two things: 1) making edits to my middle-grade book, RESCUING AWEN and 2) outlining a new book I’m working on. Unfortunately it’s going slowly, though. I keep getting hung up on how much (and what kind of) sex to put into a “romance”. (Thoughts, readers?)
3) Tell me about your books.
I would love to do that! I have four books out: a middle-grade book, RESCUING AWEN, a memoire, TRAVELS WITH PENNY; OR, TRUE TRAVEL TALES OF A GAY GUY AND HIS MOM; a Magical Realism, GUILD OF IMMORTAL WOMEN; and ANGAKOK, a gay-themed suspense thriller. RESCUING AWEN is one of my favorites – it’s about a sentient planet that is dying from pollution and ecological disaster. She gives a young Earthling super powers in an attempt to heal her. TRAVELS WITH PENNY is a popular one with women – especially mothers. It centers around coming to grips with the definition of “family” and how it effected my coming out process.
4) Give me the craziest drama you’ve experienced in your theatre career.

So many! Probably doing an original one-act in a local pub – we used the alley in back as our dressing room. Not only embarrassing, but the night it rained, it made for a very wet evening.
5) What is your interpretation of Satanists?

I’m not sure. I haven’t had enough exposure to know. I don’t believe in “hell” or “satan”, so I reject the idea that it is worshiping some kind of “evil spirit”. I also reject that it is akin to what some refer to as “Black Magic”. I think of realists; those who understand that for every YIN there is a YANG and every good deed, there is a bad. Which means Satanists can see the order in chaos; the sanity within the insanity of today’s world. Rather than throw personal power aside and let “Jesus Take The Wheel”, they choose to exercise their power of choice and forge their own way amongst the fucked up-ness we see around us. Am I right? What do I win? (Five Starts for Dave: 𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐)
6) Do you have a religion you subscribe to?
I follow a belief system most people call “Pagan”. It’s actually a combination of traditional Paganism and Taoism . I believe that there is a series of events that we have no control over, as life is a complex combination of the fates of all humans. That belief, mixed up a devout belief that humanity is tied to our Earth – makes for an interesting lifestyle.
7) Which celebrity (dead or alive) is your dream man?

I’m not too picky – I have quite a few of “wanna haves”: although I must admit, 1970’s Burt Reynolds was pretty hot.
8) Tell me your favorite joke.

I can’t – it’s a joke I learned in American Sign Language and has no direct English translation. Besides – jokes are so firmly rooted in culture, that while Deaf people may think it’s hysterical, Hearing people won’t get it.
9) What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen while diving?

An ancient Sea Turtle who floated just feet from me, chowing down on some underwater plants. He seemed totally unfazed by me and my fellow divers. Such grace! The creatures are amazing.
10) What in your life are you most proud of?

I am *tremendously* proud of students who I have taught who have then gone on to great success. Whether it be using their theatre education, or sign language, I fill with pride when I hear from them and they tell me how I helped kick-start their future.

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 3.37.32 PM

Dave is really one of the best people I’ve ever met and can either be the nicest person in the world or a total bitch, depending on if he likes you or not. Or if he’s hungry… or hasn’t had a soda for a while… LOVE YOU, DAVE!

That’s it for now, kids! I’ll see you all tomorrow, a day further down the left hand path.

HS!

LH