I’ve been a private student of the occult and Pagan paths for many years now. I first felt the calling around 2007 or 2008, and I was about eighteen years old. I was often drawn to the small section of occult books at Waldens/Borders, and I’d been reading regularly, long before that, books by Hanz Holzer about ghosts and his investigations, as well as perusing the early 2000s web of paranormal websites. I even stumbled upon an early source of Satanism that I’ve since realized was not true Satanism at all, but a sad gathering of people who’d lost their sense of reality. The Satanic Pagan I am today holds much more positive and inclusive, as well as morally good, ideals.
Rewinding back to 2007/2008, I had brushed by the same tarot deck and books on witchcraft more than a few times. I couldn’t explain why, and each time I paused to look at the same book and deck of cards at length. Ultimately, I’d hesitate before moving on once more. Something was calling to me and I knew it, and I began to look into things. My mother was fully supportive of divination with tarot, as she’d confided in me that my troubled birth was predicted by someone who did a tarot reading for her.
I finally realized what was happening, and I grabbed the Cachet Tarot cards and the book about solitary practitioner witchcraft. Sadly, the book was by an author who was later found to be a bit of a fraud, but the history and information within it was still useful. I just didn’t bother with any of the spells.
My mom was present for my first tarot readings. I had a natural talent for it I hadn’t expected. From my first reading, I felt something I can’t really describe. When I saw the cards lied out and my mother’s confirmation of their accuracy, I knew it was the right time. It was the beginning of many years of discovering so many interesting and life-changing things.
I went on to help friends at work learn more about themselves through the cards (and frightened a few of them due to the accuracy of my readings). I caused my aunt to cry — happy tears — when a reading for her turned into a brief confirmation and message that her deceased husband’s energy was very much with her, and she was taken care of. Each time things like this happened, it shocked even me since I’d had no prior practice.
I went down many roads and made many mistakes. The cards guided me through all of it, often times revealing things, like a lie my ex told me at the time, and at others, they would simply jumble as I consulted them over and over again with the same question, not yet understanding the need to read without bias for myself. I wanted an answer the Universe just wouldn’t give because the Universe isn’t about coddling anyone. If you go down this path and you want the truth, but you are fooling yourself, it won’t even answer you.
I learned the hard way the power of words. I was getting into Satanism as I finally discovered the right path with it — the actual path that wasn’t full of pretenders. I found the first edition of the Demon Dictionary by M. Belanger, and it opened up my world to where I truly felt at home. The entities in those pages — first mentioned in medieval texts and books lost to time — felt like home. I also knew I had to be careful, but at the same time, I felt declaring myself as a Satanist meant I was done and all was good.
No. No, it wasn’t.
I made a horrible wish once — offhanded — that I hadn’t truly meant. Something said in a moment of misinformed anger. I awoke a few days later, on my birthday, to find that the person I’d wished would just go away had suffered a horrible accident and passed away. I was mortified. Did I cause it with my careless words? Many would say it’s a silly thing to think, but after I realized I was inheriting a lot of his art supplies and other things, including a retro camera I grew to cherish, I knew I had to be careful what I wished for. Anyone should be careful what they wish for.
I was advised to acknowledge the wish was fulfilled regardless of my disgust with it. I’d never meant for that to happen, rather it was an accident or a result of my careless words due to messing with forces I didn’t understand. I never wished death on anyone, let alone harm. But when you’re working with darker energies and your emotions are volatile and intense? Being vague is your worst mistake.
At the time, I’d also inherited an old doll from an ex-friend that I’m sure had something to do with the few years of misfortune around the time. I stopped trying to contact entities from the Demon Dictionary, and instead attempted to interact with whatever was in the doll. I was warned it wasn’t good. It was obvious it wasn’t good as in the last few years of my time with it, I’d often wake up out of sleep with my eyes already open — something I don’t do — staring directly at it. My parents heard the warped, dark laughter coming from my bedroom when everything was silent and we were the only ones home.
Out of fear, I hid the baphomet pentagram I often wore in a witchy box and attempted to get back to some kind of light. I delved into Wicca and tried to search for healing and a way to be rid of the dark entity that had attached to the doll that in turn attached to me. I couldn’t get rid of it. When I tried, I felt intense fear and an emotion I can’t describe. Desperation? Mourning? Either way, the doll that frightened even my most skeptical of friends was there to stay, and I was suffering the consequences of diving into things head-first like an idiot.
I saw a faceless entity in my dreams warning me that I was on the wrong path. I saw the entity in the doll taunting me because it knew I was afraid of it, and it had attached to me. I saw for myself the shadow men I’d only read about before. I was terrified and my mental health was shot. I was also introduced to my sleep paralysis entity at that time.
No amount of discovering the color of my aura, searching for light Wicca spells, or meditating in ways better suited to lighter beings saved me. It never felt right, but I forced it anyway because I feared what I’d done. I was running away after dabbling in things that I surely offended. I reiterate; I was a grade-A idiot.
Shortly after all of this when I was living back at home with my parents, an old friend came to visit in a way he never had. And by old friend, I mean of the Hellish variety. My spirit guide, Darokin, who is still with me, began to communicate more directly with me. He knew I was frightened, and although I was consumed with Wiccan practices at that point, I didn’t question his presence nor fear him. I’d first met him, although not literally yet, in high school years previous during an unexpected automatic drawing session while nodding off in study hall. The fact that he was talking to me more regularly then, as well as humoring me when I asked him to follow me around to protect me from the negative entities making my life hell, meant something big.
But there was a more important reason he’d finally decided to communicate with me after all those years.
He told me, seriously, that I needed to reconcile with my true calling. I’d made many mistakes, and one of them was abandoning that which I’d dedicated myself to. I was suffering because I’d been disrespectful, and not only that, but your true path always has a way of calling you back. When that path happens to be a left-hand one, a darker one, the consequences of betrayal are a bit intense. Granted, I never came to physical harm. Spiritually? Yes. Was the thing in the doll punishment for turning my back on my true calling? No. But I certainly had messed up and I needed to start over.
I pulled the baphomet pendant out of the purple witchy box, and I’ve worn one in various styles every single day ever since. And I’ve discovered that an old friend who I thought was an alter is actually a spirit guide, and my life partner, and I’ve met another infamous Hellish friend who is also dedicated to helping me as long as I am dedicated to him and the path; Byleth.
Zagan Lestan, Darokin, and Byleth are still, of course, my spirit guides and they are with me now, and as I reflect on all of this, I realize the call to my spiritual path is growing strong again. I’ve dedicated myself to this path for the rest of my life because it’s called to me for as long as I can remember, and I’ve consistently worked with various tarot decks, most often the first one I ever bought on that day years ago, to show me and others guidance. I’ve learned to be specific and practice more caution in what I say, and I’ve become wiser and better with all of it. Darokin, Byleth, and Zagan Lestan’s presences an even bigger sign of that. I’ve had an altar for many years now as well, and every once in a while, I add something new to it.
I know why I’m feeling the pull again so strongly. Not because I’ve strayed from it all. On the contrary, I often joke about having one foot in the spiritual realm and one in reality at all times. I think it’s time to delve deeper again. And I need to. I need it again to help me heal.
2020 was a nightmarish and traumatizing year for many people. The pandemic, civil unrest and violence, a corrupt government here in the USA, and a general sense of sadness and dread. People became addicted to anger. Isolation drove a lot of us into our worst mental health experiences.
I’ve written a lot about that on this blog — my declining mental health, that is. I’ve written a lot of things in the moment, and at the end of 2020 going into 2021, an incident left me a dissociating, self-loathing, suicidal, inhuman mess who ended up relapsing with self-harm, regressing into a strange child-like mindset for a while, and just generally rewired my brain. Shadows came around once more, but this time, they weren’t the shadow men or the entity that attached to the accursed doll I’d thrown in the trash and left behind years ago.
Some of them were memories. Ghosts of past abuse and trauma that made me dissociate for days. I lived in fear. I won’t go into the details again, but you can read more about that specifically in this entry on my main blog.
Some of these entities, however, were rightfully scary, but they weren’t there to harm me. They weren’t the harmful PTSD illusions and hallucinations that haunted my dreams and waking hours — that left me in my own Silent Hill otherworld. As Darokin explained to me, and as I explored in a book I finished writing about my life, these entities were from a place very ancient. A plane that didn’t exist in time itself or in any way a human could perceive it. The coldness of space. The void. The realm of the dead — Hades. Most importantly though, these were ancient entities that existed in the shadows and at night, and thrived beneath the moon. The cold came with them, and they were frightening to see, but ultimately, Darokin knew them very well as he existed in the shadows with them.
He told me they were my allies and they meant me no harm. For the dark — the purest of darknesses under the moon and at night — were a part of my calling. Partly due to the circumstances of my birth, I feel, where I nearly died, as well as the times I survived suicide attempts. Aside from those things, however, there was another sign long before now I’d dismissed as morbid interests of a Goth teenager.
I’d always been drawn to cemeteries, and I wanted to be a mortician as a teenager. Death fascinated me, and I learned everything I could about it in my early years. Possible afterlives, ghosts, the process of dying and decaying, and going back to the earth. The beauty and romanticism of the darkness surrounding all of it.
And I was, and am, extremely obsessed with horror.
I have always belonged to the dark. My calling has always been right here with the most misunderstood of them all. The dark isn’t evil or bad, or inherently good either. It’s neutral, and those who are drawn to it and belong in it — as well as among the neutral entities that lurk in it — probably know what I’m talking about. Either way, it’s been a hell of a trip and a discovery, and I still discover things every year that I remain with one foot in the spiritual realm.
I need healing at this point in my life again. Zagan Lestan, Byleth, and Darokin help me in the ways that they can, and Darokin guides me into some amazing meditations that leave me with new revelations, teachings, or a renewed vigor to keep going on my worst days. I still work with the tarot, usually a few times a month or once a month and always around the same time unconsciously. I have been feeling the pull to work with the cards more often lately.
I need to find someone who is further along than me. Someone who understands all of this to a greater degree, and who can teach me more things than I can teach myself. My spirit guides spend quite a bit of my life with me, and they teach me things as they become relevant, but they also understand that I need another person to discuss these things with. To experience this all with. I feel odd wanting a mentor or guide at this point in my spiritual life, as I’m pretty far along, but I just can’t shake the need for another person’s insight who knows leaps and bounds more than me.
Finding that, though, is a challenge. Where do I look? And is there even anyone who understands any of this, or who can sympathize with what I’m drawn to? Someone who is equally drawn to these places that I feel are home to me. Someone who isn’t prejudiced against a Satanist witch with spirit guides from that path? Someone who truly understands the neutral and fulfilling, and complex, nature of all of this. Genuinely.
Or maybe it’s just like the tried and true way of all things mystical. It will find you, or call out to you, when you are ready.
Well, I’m ready. And it seems the Universe is tugging at me to go down this path.
©2021 Shane Blackheart