Everything burns in January. It’s not only furnace flames that lap at the dried timber and kindling, but the way the icicles pop and snap from their rooftop perches when the shattering cold mercilessly bullies even them. It’s the way the forest sings in creaks and sighs, and the way its pine needles bristle against one another, as if the trees whisper dark secrets to one another about an unstoppable impending doom. Animals gently leave their mark in white beneath the glassy branches, suffering the oppressive gnaw of chill upon their noses, ears, and other sacrificed tips, all under the pale torch of a moonlit sky. This is the season of Belial.
At sundown on December 31, 2020, I had the audacity to pack my wife into the car with nothing but a jacket (and whatever happened to be in the trunk) and embark on a +200mi spontaneous road trip into the country. It’s not that we were looking for some way to celebrate the cap of the calendar year. (I can’t even say that the reason is because it was convenient to run an errand since we could have used other means.) We just wanted to go… and so we did. We hit the highway, and then we kept going. I was driving; I like to drive. My wife? She likes the occasional surprise, and so after we set our destination, we just enjoyed the ride.
It was smooth. For the most part, we were alone. People were either celebrating in bars or at home due to the state commercial curfew, and so we enjoyed mile after mile of being comfortably lost in our own minds or dabbling in whatever conversation happened to arise—you know, like the ‘olden days,’ before TV and before computers, before phones and the internet, distractions and push notifications—before people lost their shit if you didn’t respond to their split-second technological demand for their attention. No, we paid no attention to the Happy New Year wishes: the wishes were in vain, we were already living our happy moment, and even when we’d finally arrived, our moment didn’t end.
The rocks popped against the rubber of our tire as they eased to a stop on an off-road drive, and I stepped out from my luxuriously warm interior to begin to take in the wonders of the natural world around us. We didn’t have to go any farther. My jacket was in the back of the car (easier to drive), and the chill stabbed through the knit of my sweater, demanding that we forget about the placebo life of the cities for a little while and remember the raw power of the universe just outside of our labyrinth of skyscrapers. So we did. Our eyes turned to the dominating wall of darkness on the horizon, measuring its shape under the cut-out of twinkling starlight overhead, and I waited with baited breath for some mythical animal (or more realistically, a deer or a moose since they’re plentiful in this region) to come springing out of it.
No such luck tonight—but that’s all right. We were alone with the carpet of stars, the bristling tall grass that lapped at our boots, and the phantom popping, cracking, and sighing of pine boughs and needles in that great black curtain before us. The forest was on fire, and it was on fire with that black flame that burns within our cores.
I have a lot of fun thinking about the patriarchs in Satanism. I have a penchant for metaphor, if you haven’t noticed, and as a writer of fiction I enjoy developing characters—the patriarchs for my religion are no different. Since they aren’t real, they can become what I want them to be, what I need them to be. They can become a reflection of different parts of myself, and so I get to decide for my own life what silly little details I’d like to assign to them “as a character.” Because of this, I can easily identify which ‘face’ is associated with what, and for the seasonal calendar, it’s just as clear to me. While Satan is clearly a summer choice, and Leviathan for spring, I associate Lucifer with the end of the year and Belial with… that’s right, the early winter months.
It’s a time when most people consider nature to be quiet, gentle, and submissive. They believe that since animals have gone into hibernation, and since some leaves have fallen from their branches that all of nature has entered a state of death—a state awaiting rebirth in spring. They don’t value it for what it really is. They don’t listen to the violent howling of the wind or witness the savage fight for survival. They don’t understand that winter, to the contrary, is just as active, feral, and enlivened as, if not more so than, the rest of the seasons. In the end, winter isn’t a season of death for me, but a season hallmarked by perseverance, resilience, and unconquerable lust for life. …People like to save those associations for season that follows the one in which the hard work is actually performed—spring. Like I said, they associate these attributes with spring.
This winter season, instead of disregarding the strengths of this period, embrace them. Earth, the element that this patriarch is commonly associated with, is an undervalued element in today’s’ society because we take our bedrock for granted. Inner strength will carry us through the shredding shrieks of what awaits us in that impenetrable black veil on the horizon. No matter how long the night seems, and no matter how fearsome the shadows squirm at the corner of your eyes, know this: you are a creature of nature. You are fierce, and your claws are sharp. You will not be defeated by the unknown because you are a Satanist, resilient and strong, bold and courageous.
After some time spent in the natural world, our genesis, my wife and I called it a night. We climbed back into the sedan; me, shivering something awful at having been outside in the cold for so long; and the first thing we did was headlights and heater. There’s no shame in living life’s elegant luxuries, but don’t you dare for even one minute forget where you come from: the earth.
Welcome to the season of Belial.
Who is the Witch?
Once I called myself a Christian, then an atheist, and a Satanist. At the end of the day, I'm just a person who is living her truth one day at a time. I'm interested in religion, its effects on the mind, the occult, and more. Learn more about me on the about page.