Satanists get a bad rap when it comes to self-prioritization. I’ve gotten into my fair share of “debates” regarding the selfishness of Satanists as a whole, and they never really resembled a “debate” as much as a chilling exposure of how preconceived notions and half-assed understandings can so deeply wound a person’s impression of us. Left unchallenged, it steeps like a rancid odor, and before anyone can notice, a full-fledged and completely misdirected prejudice evolves from the mold. One conversation regarding “What’s best for the group vs what’s best for the individual” comes to mind. The person I was speaking with was adamant that the group’s needs should always win-out in such conflict. I continue to disagree with their position. Just because the herd wants something doesn’t mean it’s good for them. Hello, have we heard of the Holocaust? How about politics in general?
Still, there was no rattling their misguided and black and white belief that Satanists, with their appreciation of the ego, always pursue selfish endeavors that will be at the eventual expense of their communities. I wasn’t interested in offering a platform for their unfounded prejudice, and so I left them to their grouchy perspective. This person knew nothing of the way the Satanic mind worked, and I’ve had enough conversations of this nature to know that it wasn’t worth the effort to respond. We see things differently than most. Where we see it as a natural thing to recognize that it brings us happiness to help others, many people see it as self-interest. Self-interest is a fact of life for us, but in their world self-interest is harmful. As backwards as their philosophy strikes us, I recognize that our perspective isn’t one that many can swallow, so I had no interest in trying to push a cart sideways with this cognitively isolated individual. I find satisfaction in and responsibility to identify who is deserving of my attention, time, and effort, and that person just didn’t meet the bar.
There are great and admirable people in this world who are doing meaningful and impactful things that I could never do. I respect them, and I want to be a part of their success story by doing what I can to help them reach their full potential and maximum impact, especially in areas where I can’t do the same. For me, this is the core “volunteer” sentiment. It’s about having a vision for the world you want to exist and taking the steps you can in order to bring that dream closer to reality. Volunteering is a quiet yet powerful form of activism. Maybe that’s why I refer to my own most recent project as “the cause.” It’s something worth working toward, and I fully believe that with enough hands we can surmount our challenge here. It’s something that we’re all in together, and it benefits us all to participate in the endeavor.
I would say that it all started with this tweet, but maybe that would be untrue. I’m not the sort of person to sit on my hands and let someone else run my life. My governor shut down businesses temporarily. I was home, we weren’t permitted to gather, and it was well known that the cause had to do with the new coronavirus. It made sense to me, but it doesn’t mean I had to like it. Staying at home and only waiting for the incubation period to pass was never an option for me. I’m not a benchwarmer. This spirit has always been within me, and so when I saw that tweet, it was the flame to the tinder already established. If we were going to be successful and prevent an indefinite shutdown, we needed to work together and support one another. It means taking an active role, even while abiding the law.
The main question for me was “how.” I have many skills that could apply here. I’ve built businesses, I’ve built communities. I have skills with a sewing machine, and I’m not afraid of inspiring my community with my words, voice, and persuading magic. It made for a pretty involved night of staring into the ceiling; but as committed as I was ready to be, I knew one thing. “One step before the other.” Even if I didn’t have any contact with potential recipients at that time, it didn’t mean I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to get them. I trusted my own ability to be flexible, and I let myself sleep. After a whirlwind of research, I would eventually decide to dedicate my time to something that “anyone” can do: sewing. Sure, my community did lack leadership at the time, but our deficiency in seamstress people-power was far graver than our need for a chief overseer, and so it became quickly obvious to me what I needed to do.
I sat at the sewing table for four weeks and worked on the weekends, after work, and in time off. I researched what qualities a high-quality mask would have, and I designed and modified experimental patterns until I had created something beautiful. I fought with my machine and had a myriad of issues ranging from bobbin tensions and breaking needles to my iron deciding to scorch fabric on a whim. I even had to sew a new sewing board cover in this process because my iron had burned the other one, and I wanted to make sure that this process was as clean and hygienic as possible. It turned out great for a 30-minute project—because my aim was just to be able to get back to sewing masks again.
I am a practical Satanist. I first started making masks from my fabric stash because I knew they would be donated and I knew that I needed conserve where I could to keep them as inexpensive as possible. In the long-run, it would allow me to make a greater quantity and this would help more people, even though it would use up my stash. At that point, I intended to just order more fabric online, and surprisingly, that moment was incredibly exciting! I can only compare it to that feeling a booklover gets when their books are delivered. The fabric came, it was aesthetically gorgeous, and I am bubbly with enthusiasm for the masks I have made from it! (We deserve to wear beautiful things, damnit!)
The overall need for cloth masks constantly evolved throughout the process, and this perpetually changes where the masks would end up. Early on I settled for dropping them off at a collection center, but when the business was closed under governor order, I had to restrategize. The collection center was helpful because originally the masks had been designated for a “Plan B,” which was a backup for when the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ran out. When the requests for fabric masks in my state failed to rise to the levels expected, the collection center distributed them nationally based on the type of mask that was donated. What our state did instead was release a campaign directed at individuals that “strongly encouraged” them to stop hording the N95s, to donate them, and keep the cloth masks for themselves. Instead of sewing masks as a backup plan, I was suddenly now sewing masks for my neighbors so that they would feel comfortable turning in their N95s to the doctors who needed them more.
I decided to list some masks on Etsy so that people could get a mask with a fabric design they liked (so they’d enjoy wearing it). Listing them on Etsy also gave me a way to afford to keep making masks to donate since I was hellbent to continue to donate masks. As doctors began to conserve the N95s, they sought a way to reuse the single-use masks, and eventually began using a cloth mask on top of the N95s. Simultaneously, governors began to require their citizens to wear a face mask in public spaces “where social distancing could not be maintained.” It’s been all over the place as to who would benefit the most from my effort, but as far as I am concerned, I don’t really care who uses them since the way I see it: 1 cloth mask, regardless of who it goes to, is helping. My drive to make them comes from a desire to help us from this situation sooner rather than later, and so I continue to make them in hopes of bringing that vision closer with every stitch. Although I originally sewed exclusively with health care workers in mind (Specifically New York health care workers), I have come to realize how important it is for citizens’ use as a supplementary preventative measure as well.
It’s important to emphasize: the masks we sew aren’t a substitute for N95s, but they’re versatile. You can wear them to show your empathy for your community, as a show of unity, and of course—as a practical reminder to not touch your face. We Satanists may find ourselves in the natural role of the adversary, but it’s also all up to perspective. While some people may feel that resisting the order to wear face masks is a true manifestation of adversarial nature, I argue that setting aside combative mindsets in favor of us emerging better and stronger is a truer manifestation of the Satanic spirit. Making face masks has done more than given me something to do, it’s helped me feel as if I am a part of the solution.
If you want something, Satanist, reach out to it! Living is something you do, not something you dream! Living means interacting with the world and making a legendary impact. We all chip away at the old world every day and try to encourage it to be a little bit of a better place, a place that better suits our evolved vision of it. Volunteering isn’t something that pays you in profits, but it’s something that can bring you peace, knowing that you’re making that change happen with every breath you dedicate to the cause.
I would encourage all Satanist to volunteer at something at some point in their lives. Sure, it can teach you valuable lessons and whatnot, but it’s quite rewarding in other ways as well. I’ve been able to provide masks to kin who are dangerously at risk, and the cost compared to the impact was minimal. I feel peace knowing that they have a basic line of protection, and the bottom line for me is this: If I couldn’t sew, I would still want my love ones protected. I would want for someone to be sewing cloth masks to donate. In a world where I treat others as I’d like to be treated first, I am willing to step into that role. It would be hypocritical of me to expect someone else to do what would be unwilling to do myself. This matters to me, and so this is what I dedicate my time to, even if it’s considered “volunteering.” Volunteering isn’t a waste of time. Volunteering is just another way that we Satanists build a reality from the drafts that we’ve dreamt.
Hail us. Hail our own power!
Where next, boss?
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.