Deconversion is a perpetual topic in my Satanic corner of the world. When you reach out to me about my experiences, I hear a lot of folks saying that they are coming from a Christian background but they are beginning to question if their god exists and they don’t know where to go from here. The mere fact that I receive these questions tells me that there are people out there who feel trapped and already know that they aren’t Christian, but who can’t fully emancipate themselves from it. As Satanists we have options available to us for breaking past religious influence such as the Black Mass (I mean, hah, don’t make me define “available!”) but those who haven’t yet crossed the line in the sand are still in bondage. These, you folks, you don’t feel like you have any tools to help you free yourself because of the influence that religion continues to have on you, even if you’re unhappy. Thankfully, you’re wrong. Yeah, you’re wrong, aren’t you happy to hear that? You, like the rest of us, have magic within you. You can break imaginary chains with that power if you know how to use that magic. I did it. I used that power on myself and I’ll show you how.
Last night I lay awake thinking about something unimportant (as we all do), until suddenly I realized just how unimportant it was, and I laughed aloud. My wife, who thought I was asleep, and who I thought was asleep, jumped, so I jumped, and the laughter continued until she asked me what we were laughing about in the first place. “Well,” I said, “I was just thinking about the phrase, ‘I feel badly.’” Silence. “If you think about it,” I went on to explain, ‘Badly’ modifies the word ‘feeling’ because it’s progressive, because of the -ly. So really, what we’re saying when we say, ‘I feel badly’ is that we are performing the action of emotion in a bad way.’” More silence. I knew it was because she was listening though, “Really, it’d be correct to say, ‘I feel bad,’ but that’s not accepted as grammatically correct. The English language, we have all of these irregulars and […].” She agreed with the long-winded explanation she suffered through, and sometime after that we went to sleep. Writing is something that has always been a part of my life in some form or another. My boss said to me the other day that he’s afraid to give me documents to proofread because I remind him of his 9th grade English teacher and with all her shrewd precision regarding grammar and words. People around me know that I love words. Hell: it’s the last thing I think about at night! I’m not the only one who knew words were important though: so did Anton LaVey, and you can see it in the way he structured Greater Magic. Words. Writing. It’s all about the power of communication, and in this case the power of self-communication. Writing, writing, ladies and gentlemen, is what enabled my apostasy.
Now knowing the two silly unimportant truths I shared with you above, you’re probably going to accept without any doubts that I have been one of those folks to journal for as long as I can remember. I do remember my first journal. It was magenta and navy with a fairy on it, and throughout the years I continued to buy journals that fit my tastes, often going to absurd means to use the former before allowing myself to begin the new purchase. (No lie: I used to increase the size of my handwriting to gargantuan proportion so that I could somehow tell myself that I wasn’t “wasting a journal.”) Over time my use of them evolved from a daily record to something more practical though: I only wrote in them when I had something bothering me. I began to write in them when I had an inexplicable feeling that whatever perspective or problem was with me was important in some way, and so I was sure to document it.
Well, at the time of my apostasy, I was having some trouble. I was suffering from emotional turmoil brought on by working for morally defunct New York executives, domestic politics were affecting me, and my health was spiraling down the gutter faster than I could catch it. The ashes were slipping through my bony fingers, and no matter how much I wanted it to be sculpting clay, it would never be the case. My physician believed I may have had something that was terrifying and life threatening, and I was fraying at the edges. Photographs of me from that time were grim and skeletal, I was at the end of my rope, and the cold silence of winter was drawing over the horizon. I knew it was an important moment, and my inner flame whispered to me the need to document it. I knew that whatever happened in this dire situation, my words were going to be important, so I found it, I found the very specific and priceless thing which I sought: the journal. Not just any journal – that one specific journal. In the same way that we Satanists decorate ourselves to honor ourselves, I needed this book to be designed in a way which would honor the words that I’d write in them – whatever they may be. So, when I found it and felt that emotional “fit” that we notebook lovers experience, I began to write.
I wrote everything. Sometimes I wrote twice a day. It helps to have a place to lay your emotions (especially when in crisis). I used it as a tool, perhaps like a scientist would, to lay down the issues and then return to them later for puzzling and solving once my head was clear. Sometimes I do go back and re-read my journals (Maybe once every few decades), and for this interview, I promised to provide a photo of the journal for her blog, which I did.
And then I cracked the pages.
I want you to fall into this December midnight moment with me.
Having lived through it, having written the words, I had a vague memory of what was within it, but it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to read something from the past and know that the past is securely where it will stay. I had to laugh. I smiled at how the dialogue in its pages opened up on a surface problem, and as I began to dig deeper and deeper for a solution, I saw my words and focus shift from the everyday life to something a bit more spiritual. I saw me scolding myself, even in writing, for doing things which went against everything I had been taught, things which would probably only make matters worse, not better: questioning. That smile held steady as I found the entry, THAT ENTRY from that night, the one which was so terrifying to imagine writing, but the one I wrote anyway, the one which spanned several pages, the one where I metaphorically threw down my emotional baggage once and for all and said, ‘Fuck all of this. Fuck this, and fuck you, too. I’m done.’ It began in a characteristically fierce fashion:
Those dramatic words were the last words in that entry. I really can’t articulate how heavy and important those words are, how difficult they were to say for someone in my condition, someone who was sick, someone who should have been running into the arms of a deity they were told would save them. It’s serious stuff to make a clear-cut decision to not buy into all the lies that you’ve been raised with your entire life, and I do mean entire life. A world without God does not exist in my family dynamic. I don’t live in the Bible Belt, but the religiousness in my experience (emphasis: my) was quiet, and in a sense, more difficult to defeat. I couldn’t mock anyone and satire the idea. I had to decide, black and white, to not involve myself in it anymore. This girl had been to her last church service.
My steady smile turned into a laugh powerful enough to close the book at first read of the very first line on the very next page:
I had forgotten that I had learned about Satanism before my apostasy. I don’t think that Satanism had a definitive impact on the act of giving up my faith, however. When I read the Satanic Bible, I did find that it echoed my thoughts in large part, but those thoughts were already held by me. I had already thought them. I had already felt that those thoughts were true. Satanism was a natural progression from there; it seemed like the polar opposite. The day after my apostasy I wanted to live completely differently than I had lived before it, and as I continued to read my own words about how the day went, I had to take a break and put the journal down for a little while. The power of these written words, especially knowing my state, was strong enough to reduce me to rawness, even after these years.
Immediately after this experimental day I wrote about how I was going to let that be for a while and take it slow, to go out there and learn about other religions and what they were really about, to see if any of them would be a good fit since Christianity certainly never had been. This did turn out to be a very important moment in my life, and I’m very glad I wrote it down because now I have the date of my apostasy and am thinking now, as I write this, that I should celebrate it as one of my own personal Satanic Holidays (holidays are, after all, more or less up to the individual). It really was like a birthday for me. It was a moment that I was able to reach back and touch that version of me before I had been tempted down the wrong path. Christianity is evil. It led me astray from who I truly was in favor of turning me into a compliant mind slave just for the sake of perpetuating the system of mental slavery. A system that perpetuates for the purpose of perpetuation alone must be destroyed. In the case with ideas, moments of clarity such as the one that I was able to work out through using a journal are the ones that will bring such a system to its knees. We need more people to wake up for themselves. It’s not our jobs to ‘free them,’ and we can’t. If we want a better world, a Satanic world, all we can do is arm people with the tools that will make them successful.
When I talk to Christians, I encourage them to learn and try other beliefs. I explain to them the truth, that it will either bring them closer to their God or it’ll help clarify to them that it was never their God in the first place. If you’re someone who is reading this blog due to curiosity, if you’re someone who is reading this thinking: that makes sense, I’m speaking now directly to you. Don’t be afraid to question the way things are. I would want for you what will make you happy because I know what happiness does for me. You deserve happiness. Maybe a journal won’t work for you, but I’m willing to bet that it will. Start your journey. Write down your thoughts and reflect on them. Learn about where you stand, and keep your record with pride: it’s a part of who you are, and it will help you to grow into the person that you need to be.
What's next, boss?
Who is the Witch?
I'm just another successful Satanist who happens to be kinda good at the whole Lesser Magic thing. This blog is about my personal experiences and perspective in Satanism and does not speak for others nor their experiences. For more information please click here and learn more.