I’ve always found it fascinating how our culture has turned something as unique and sacred as personal spirituality into some sort of bizzare competition where the “loser” is everyone but ourselves. Perhaps it’s the human need to be “right” or somehow “special” and to have others validate that, that causes the “who’s right and who’s wrong” and “which way is right, which way is wrong” debate. That ever pervading human ego.
Just like in Qabalah where each man’s tree is his own, each man’s spirituality is his/her own as well. Nothing is, technically, right or wrong. It’s either right for YOU or not. Demonolatry isn’t right for everyone. Some people take it to a dark place and it destroys them from the inside out.
Now before certain friends of mine have a complete fit and start bitching me out for promoting “Do-what-you-want-and-call-it-Demonolatry”, let me start out by saying that I am a firm believer in foundation. Those of you who know me should know this.
Look, I will not admonish people outside my denomination for working outside my own beliefs and structures. I might cringe on the inside when someone stabs a ritual dagger in the air while invoking Anubis, but that’s my problem, not theirs. These days I keep my mouth shut because I realize just because I choose to practice a certain denomination of Demonolatry does not mean everyone else should or has to. Spirituality is not one size fits all. Anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish.
We don’t have to agree. I have specific practices etc… that I adhere to out of respect to the traditions I’ve incorporated into my own spiritual practice. It works for me. I also believe in foundation and teach from a place of foundation, write from a place of foundation, and usually only practice with those who also come from that same foundation. If you find me talking about gendem type stuff in my books it’s because that’s the place I come from and I write for both them AND everyone else. Not an easy task, I assure you. It’s hard to keep my personal practice out of what I write. ::shrug::
But that is my choice as it’s my practice and I can do what I want. Other people’s opinions do not validate or invalidate my spirituality or my practice. Why? Because I’ve grown past needing validation from others.
Do I think my way of working is superior? For myself, yes. As I am sure everyone reading this article finds their method of work superior for them as well (or you should – otherwise you need to keep searching). That’s just how it is.
As for foundation I will say this: There are a few things that, while you can just make it up as you go along, are foundational to all of Western Magick as a whole. If you practice any of the following things and follow the “traditional” ways of working within this foundation — your work is not only based in Western Magick, but it has some sort of foundation.
- Planetary – the nature of the planets does not change. It’s a constant. This includes planetary hours, days, and symbols.
- Astrology – I’m talking the standard zodiac, not sidereal astrology.
- The basic premise behind each sphere of the tree of life or qlippoth.
- Herb lore, including medicinal and magickal uses (as well as alchemical uses). Lemon balm, for example, will always be refreshing in teas and represent knowledge and truth (among other airy qualities). I did recently make a post about my thoughts on what makes me respect herbalists and alchemists HERE.
- Base Daemonic attributes. Okay, this one might be debatable, but I do believe the base attributes have stuck with the Daemons for centuries for a reason.
- Applications of certain things in magick. And by application I mean that we already have agreed upon meanings of colors, stones, etc… in Western Magick and all of that is part of our shamanic tradition and seems to overlap into most, if not all, Western traditions that use stones or colors etc…
- Agreed upon symbolism. For the most part, many spiritual folks and magicians have agreed upon certain spirit sigils and symbolism to identify processes, spirits, planets, etc… This doesn’t mean the individual can’t create his/her own symbols. It just means a lot of the existing symbolism has a great deal of meaning and a lot of thought was put into it. It’s just as valid as a personal sigil.
There may be more than this, but I think this is a good foundational list. Feel free to add more in the comments if you feel I’ve missed anything imperative.
But all in all, no matter who disagrees with you or snarks at your personal practices or beliefs, your spirituality is your own. If you think throwing a sprig of chamomile down a well at the stroke of one a.m. will keep you from getting a cold – more power to you. If it works for you, great! Who am I to judge?
Does it annoy me when people make stuff up and call it Demonolatry? No. Demonolatry means Demon Worship. So as long as you’re being respectful to the Divine Intelligences, I see no problem with you using the label. Demonolatry is a broad term and there are literally hundreds of “denominations”. It is what it is.
And for my friends who disagree with me and really do hold to the stance that there really is only one way to practice Demonolatry, that’s why you practice the denomination you practice. Some people will find your denomination inferior (there is a group of folks out there who HATE gendems, though I’m not sure why since the beliefs and traditions of the gendem folks has nothing to do with anyone outside those groups), others will find it right for them. We must accept that fact and move on. Other people’s beliefs (or validation or invalidation of your beliefs) have nothing to do with your spirituality or your connection to the divine. Once we all figure this out, maybe it will put a stop to the “My spirituality is better than yours!” schoolyard behavior.