Contemplate This On The Tree of Woe!

“Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” – Thulsa Doom (Conan the Barbarian)

Hmm. What shall we contemplate today? Today I’m actually contemplating labels and how restrictive they are. Everyone is always trying to attach their own definition to subjective self-labels in such a way that it excludes some and includes others based on personal viewpoint (and who we get along with – or not). This makes me wary of labels and makes me want to define myself in broad, sweeping terms, or by usage of such exact or unique labels so that first, no one will misunderstand, but second so people don’t think they know me (when they don’t) and third so no one can tell me I must be a certain way to fit the parameter of a certain label. This happens a lot with religion. It also happens in political affiliations and even within specific groups. I don’t have time to fight over labels, one-true-ways, or whatnot. I’m too busy living life to give a crap really. 500 different people with 500 different beliefs could all label themselves Satanists and I could give two craps about the differences between them – let alone what makes them more “real” or “authentic” than the next guy. Good for you – you’re all Satanists. I have no challenge to that. Don’t care. I am technically not a Satanist by my personal labeling system (even though some will insist I am while others will agree with me and tell me I’m not…)

Next contemplation. I am very annoyed by how some people define words. First – you can’t make up definitions for words. We already have books of agreed upon meanings for words. We call them dictionaries. Sure, we can assume implication of a word based on our own experience, but this tends to make our interpretations of such things both dubious and subjective at best. When I say I worship the Daemonic Divine, for example, I don’t mean I grovel before my deity as an unworthy inferior. Worship actually means to hold in high regard and have respect for. It is the context in which some religious folks put worship (as an unworthy inferior being waiting for deity to throw them a bone) that causes so many people to find an aversion toward worship in the first place. Just as the word hope does not imply lack of conviction or uncertainty , but rather realism.  If you live your life stating nothing but absolutes and the exact opposite happens you’re going to be far more disappointed than the guy who, for example, throws his invention out to the world hoping it will do well. Expecting it to do well and then having it flop — that’s usually enough to discourage most people from trying something like that again.  But throwing a project out into the world and hoping it does well is more realistic and less painful if it does flop. It also isn’t nearly as discouraging and will often encourage the person to go back to the drawing board and try again. Hope simply means (and this is a direct quote from dictionary.com) “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” Nothing wrong with having hope. It does not make one weak or indecisive to have hope. Nor does it make one weak to worship something (especially when that something is also a part of the self).

Final contemplation for today – anger is not a weakness nor is it a bad thing or a negative thing. That’s one of the biggest misconceptions out there. It’s a very Christian idea to think Anger is an emotion we should ignore or suppress at all costs. Anger is motivating. It can change us. We can channel our anger into productivity (that’s what I often do) and we can use it to motivate action toward change for the better. After all – without anger the Civil Rights movement wouldn’t have happened. The Civil War would have never happened. People wouldn’t have left their homelands to move to the United States in search of a better life for themselves or their families. There are so many positive things that have come out of Anger. Anger is only bad for those who don’t know how to take coal and transform it into gold. This might be where alchemy comes in handy. Regardless, there is no black and white. Only shades of gray. Once you learn to see the good in the bad and the bad in the good – the lines blur and that black and white worldview disappears. I find it freeing. Not everyone does. Some people need black and white otherwise the world doesn’t make sense to them. I prefer to see it through Hermetic eyes. “All things are the same, just different degrees of the same.”

Enjoy contemplating and I promise not to tie you to a tree in the middle of the desert. 😉


Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at swordarkeereon@gmail.com

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