Beyond The Mask

This post contains topics like suicide. Reader discretion is advised.

Lots has happened in 2023 for me. From incredible highs to terrible lows, last year had them all. However, the most prominent event would be getting self-initiated into Demonolatry. You see, I was never a religious person. I thanked my parents a million times over for never baptizing me in a church even if the only reason was that my dad is a catholic and my mom a protestant. I have always believed there was more, but religion? No thanks. Around 2015 I did dabble for quite a while into Norse Paganism, but I didn’t see it as a religion at the time because all I did was work with Thor. I have been fairly eclectic my entire life which meant, very rudely put, that working with demons started as a means to an end. Norse Paganism didn’t work, Hellenism wasn’t my thing & Traditional Witchcraft didn’t cut it for me either. I wrote before about Nyx telling me that ‘my path lies with the dawn’ was the start of my journey towards Demonolatry. The only reason I got here was because I had the option between Arcanua, the Dutch deity of death, magic & the dawn and Lucifer. 

The signs pointed towards Lucifer.

Working with Lucifer was a lot different than any of the other divines I’ve worked with before, I must say. Suddenly, I had to do things and I did them. The most difficult thing was fixing my sleeping rhythm. If one thing has been a nightmare since I was a teenager it was that. Back then, I didn’t want to go to school because I couldn’t focus and got bullied, so teenage me had this genius idea of ‘waking up’ when class was done so my mom couldn’t force me to go anymore. This was 15~ish years ago and I haven’t been able to long-term fix it since earlier this year. For Lucifer to come in and make me wake up at 11AM every day was a feat to me, and a respectable one at that. But what struck me most was how gentle it all was. Christianity aside, I heard bits & pieces through the grapevine about working with demons and it always came down to ‘prepare yourself because they don’t fuck around!’. And it’s true, demons can certainly be in your face about things, but it was nice to actively experience that when I tried something I could fail and we would try again tomorrow.

That experience continued while contacting more demons, which is why I’m still here to this day and why I even considered joining the religion on my own terms. To clarify, the self-initiation I went through and how it’s written in The Complete Book of Demonolatry are vastly different. In the book it says to cut your hand, have some drops of blood drip into the goblet of water blessed by Leviathan & take a sip. Personally, I don’t do well with cutting myself. I’ve done it twice for a new year's ritual with Mammon and I’ve always dreaded it months before December even began. Instead, I opted to go to the man himself and ask if he had any other ways to get me initiated that didn’t involve the latter. What happened is what I want to share with you in this blog post.

The Beginning

When I connect with Mammon we often talk in this giant triangular white office space with dark brown wooden slats on the walls. There isn’t too much in the office, one white desk and some book closets behind him with some trinkets in them. Mammon himself often has salt & pepper hair in a low ponytail, glasses & tends to wear a black suit with thin gray vertical stripes with some golden accessories here and there. I told him I was serious about becoming a demonolater, he said he would get it done. He didn’t come back to me until a few days later close to the Rite of Belial (winter solstice) where I basically had to come over and meet him in the astral.

We met in front of a church-like building surrounded by rough rocky terrain and twilit skies. The inside was a lot nicer. There were wooden benches, wooden walls that were decoratively cut near the middle and big windows. Near the end of the building was a cloaked figure, who I assumed to be some sort of priest, standing next to a medium sized pool. There were a few other demons there with whom I worked with in the past like Lucifer & Verrine, but also some new ones like Rosier. I walked up to the priest as Mammon sat down and stood next to him. I had to declare my name and my intent of coming here. I don’t quite remember what he said, as this was almost 6 months ago, just that I had to repeat a lot of things. What I do clearly remember is that he pushed me into the water and spoke the words ‘be free’ before I sank into what seemed to be an inky black void.

Be Free of Guilt

Mammon hadn’t told me anything about the initiation I requested, so I wasn’t sure what to think once I was ‘grounded’ in the void. I could’ve guessed what was about to come, but I’ll write about that a bit later. I decided to walk in the hope I would see something as I went and sadly, I did. I saw a figure sitting on a tattered 2 persons sofa and as I got closer it dawned on me that person was my late brother. Our relationship as siblings was a complex one. We were polar opposites when it came to our behavior. He was strategic, calm & collected, or maybe at least knew how to not show what he was going through inside of him. However, I was loud, impulsive and you could easily tell if I was not doing okay or did not want to talk with you. We didn’t really match as teenagers and because of our parents divorce we spoke even less. It wasn’t until 2 years before his death we got to talk again.

The news about his suicide caught me by surprise until I realized I got a warning beforehand. During the night before, I hung-out with my (then) neighbor at his place doing our routine occult shenanigans where I asked for a reading from him. I didn’t dare to tell him what I wanted to ask because I thought it was silly so I held his cards for a bit and let him do his thing. The answer I got however was about a totally different topic. I, everso doubtful about my experiences at the time, wanted to know if the spirits I spoke with were real. But, the cards talked about a man who was not doing well and it would involve and upset the family with lots of conversations and planning. I didn’t even make the connection with my brother back then, but hearing the news literally the next day broke so many things inside of me. I could’ve gone full copium and said things like ‘it was meant to be’, but since I got that reading with the cards spelling it out to me it made me feel nothing but tremendous guilt. I saw it as a responsibility and one I failed to the highest degree.

Seeing him there during my initiation did make sense, but I hated it. It was a reminder of how I never truly got to know him, never got to meet his cat and there was an ending filled with ‘what-ifs’ which I carried with me in silence for years. Don’t even get me started on the hurricane of a week after my family got the news. It was hell. I sat with him in silence. I didn’t know what to say and I was honestly just trying to convince myself this wasn’t ‘really’ him but a figment of my imagination. You know, the mindscape and all that. But he broke the silence with a few simple words: “Stop feeling guilty.” …Thanks. It’s what I like about him, though. Luna once did a reading for me and he said something along the lines of “Stop being arrogant. You don’t know everything. Trying to be perfect is debilitating you so stop that as well.” He is straight to the point and I can appreciate that. Our conversation was short in the darkness, but he wished me to be free from the guilt, as there was no guilt to be had. As far as I understood it, no one knew of his plans nor his reasons as to why he would even do it. What can we do then? Hence, I have accepted the reading as a warning for the eventuality rather than a step I had to take. Hell, it’s even a twisted form of proof if I think about it.

Spirituality is both a blessing and a curse.

Be Free of Others

The second person was also someone I did not wish to see, but for different reasons. I don’t want to get into detail because I want time to forget him. Harsh punishment, I know. When I saw him I basically jumped him and punched him for about 5 to 10 minutes. That’s what it felt like anyways. The anger was so real, too. The yelling even more so. It wasn’t only directed at him. If I think back to it, it was probably an amalgamation of every person I let walk over me. Everytime I decided to shut up instead of standing up for myself. I punched the people who humiliated me in public. The ones who made me feel unlovable for being neurodivergent. The ones who lied to my face about who they were, about loving me. The cheater ex. The leech of a friend. All the energy I’ve put in the wrong people. All the energy I considered wasted. I did stop eventually, because no matter how hard I punched him and how hard I yelled, the person in my hands didn’t have a dent and that was the point. “You have to accept that I exist, whether you like it or not.” The urge I felt to punch him again. I wish I could say I walked away with acceptance of the situation. That I can find peace in the fact I finally cut the cord and destroyed him with it, after destroying myself for years. That whatever hell I left behind is replaced with a brighter future. Sadly, life is not that simple. I hold grudges and for quite a while too. I never act on them as I want nothing more than to move on with my life, but the grudge is there and I rant about it. A lot. At the time I was definitely still dealing with it.

It’s weird to say that I found this lesson harder than the one with my brother. It involves acceptance of things I have never said and can never say again. A missed opportunity of showing myself I care about me paired with the loathsome realization that I too have neglected myself as I felt other people did. I have to accept that these people have no dent on the outside, as I can not look inside their mind. All I know is what I struggle with after everything. All the pieces I have to put back together knowing they won’t fit without breaking them again, to unlearn all that has shaped me in a way I do not like. Knowing it’s for a better future with people who deserve that change as they do the same thing I do, but feeling angry because I feel like the people who hurt me are getting away with it without putting any work into themselves. Because why better yourself if you can just blame someone else? Why do it if you can just stay a victim and get pity?

I’m proud of the person I am today and the work I’ve done to get here, but acceptance of the past is hard. Standing up for myself is hard too. No wonder it came up. No wonder it made me so mad.

Be Free of the Past

The last person I saw was myself. Not much happened. I gave her a hug and left the void during. There is a reason for this, though. A few weeks earlier I was very upset. Ugly crying upset. The reason? Well, what you read previously. I broke up with my ex-boyfriend in November for reasons I will not disclose, but it was the catalyst of my conflicting feelings towards bettering myself. I remember heavily crying and saying “Mammon, I don’t know what to do anymore! It’s so unfair! Even when I think I do things right, I end up doing things wrong! What do I do?!”. Often when he wants to talk to me I get a vision of a candle lighting up in my head, so I obliged and went to him. But instead of us chatting in his office as usual he stepped inside the trapdoor I had to force myself out of. He went inside my mindscape. I tried to stop him because it’s not easy for me to show vulnerability. However, he insisted and took me to a place with mountains, grass and some trees. He gave me a torch and told me I had to find myself because the only one who can help me, is me. I wasn’t going to like it, but he said it was something that I had to go through.

I traveled towards the mountains. Everything was 3D and animated while I was on my way, but when I walked around them the scenery slowly turned to 2D until a lot of it was just mere lines. A sketch on a white canvas. I saw one of my old drawings from when I was 16 years old who spoke to me, but I do not remember our conversation that well. I think I asked for directions. It was weird. At the base of the mountain was a cave that beckoned me, so I went inside. It was very dark and my torch didn’t give much light inside, but once close enough I could see someone sitting on the ground in chains. It was my 15 year old self. I was confused as to why she was there because the chains were sketched on paper. Sadly, this is a common theme for me. When meeting Gheana (the Goddess of Life at the D&D Guild I worked at) vines wrapped around my body and made it impossible to move. The only way I could get rid of them was to cut them with my pencils. If I can undo such bonds with those tools I can definitely draw them upon myself as well. She couldn’t break them because she couldn’t do anything. The me of the current times had the fire. I needed to have the willpower to change what I had done, even if it was not my intention to bind her.

I can blame a lot of people for how I ended up. No one puts themselves willingly in chains after all. But at some point I have to accept that I continue the cycle myself. I always thought I wasn’t worth anything unless I proved useful. That it is better to blend in than to stand out. That my experiences, views, opinions & emotions had no merit because I didn’t do things like other people or traditions and often times if I had big emotions they got ignored or cast aside. Things like these take time to unlearn and that’s what hurts. I feel like a contradiction of myself because deep inside I like being in the spotlight. I like dressing the way I do and how I approach the occult. I like to help people where I can & I am an open book when it comes to myself. I like to feel things, good or bad. I like to go out on adventures and travel by train. But fear holds me back so much. I have fears of being seen. Fears of being misunderstood. Fears of failure. Fears of being forgotten. I struggle with public transport and socializing. Although I am lots better in showing vulnerability with some friends, family and relationships I had to force myself to tear down those walls for years. Being unseen is comfortable, but not a life I wish to live anymore. I want to have a place in this world even if I make mistakes and don’t know everything. Even if I’m not perfect. Even if my existence & ideas provoke people. Even if I don’t mean to. Without fear there would be no courage, so here I am now trying again & again.

In Conclusion

As you can see, my biggest wish is to be my full authentic self in a world that’s made to scrutinize. Although this website has its 4 year anniversary in July, only now does it truly feel like my corner of the internet with this blog post. I’ve scratched the surface before, but never went this deep. It is scary, but I am hopeful. And else I’ll try to remember what Sakura says:

“Everything will definitely be alright.” ♡

photo by freepik