Fundamentally we intend to heal ourselves, and each other, by putting Demonkind’s principles into action. What does that mean in practical terms? Given the underworld theme of our philosophy, you would naturally expect something spooky, like intoning arcane names by candlelight with a bowl of blood. But that is just an external appearance–it does not suggest anything about whether the ritual will actually work. That means a lot of what you’ll read here will not seem much like a dark occult grimoire, because we intend at first to cut past the aesthetic, and focus on some foundational techniques supported by empirical evidence.
Once you have seen positive effects then you can shape and dress the appearance of the ritual in whatever way suits your internal culture. Since you are the Demon, you decide whether your rites need incense or warm goat milk. Grimoires and teachers of “magick” tend to put a heavy emphasis on doing their rituals correctly, warning of awful consequences for error; but even if you do everything just right, they say not to expect much, because magic happens in its own time, in its own way. We don’t disagree, but we do recommend starting with practices that more reliably provide repeatable results.
In order to stay on a path of positive growth, we have to first get onto that path, put one foot down and follow with the other. When you want to have a particular behavior or quality, you start by just going through the motions: act like you have that quality, or do the things that reinforce or represent it. The first few times it will feel forced, uncomfortable, or unnatural. But the more you do it, the more accustomed you become, and eventually you will just take the action without even having to think about it. Choose some consciously positive actions, however awkward they may feel, and repeat those actions, as a ritual, as often as it takes until the habit sets in. Over time you will naturally see yourself as a person of positive action, a powerful self-realizing spirit. You are your own evidence.
Some examples of actions include giving money to charities, volunteering at community centers, giving people compliments, and promoting the positive work of others. Even if you think you have nothing to give, you can certainly amplify someone else’s voice, or let them know what they do matters to you. Whenever possible, do this work in person rather than electronically. Look them in the eyes, or touch their arm, as appropriate. This triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin in your system, which in turn increases your sense of bonding with the other people, so that you feel an innate urge to help them.
Do you remember an old children’s song about a magic penny, where the more you spend it and give it away, the more of it you have? Kindness operates in this way. You spend a little by giving someone the recognition they want, or by speaking up for the vulnerable, or by letting them express themselves; strangely, you have not lost anything afterward, and in fact you feel better, so you have gained something.
Reward your pleasure centers by giving out these positive and supportive interactions whenever you can. A bitter person may scoff at those “warm fuzzy feelings”, but how happy or content in life do they feel, truly? Additionally, the support that you give others will give them a positive feeling, which will then radiate into their interactions with other people. It could trigger a zombie apocalypse of healing.
Since we lose absolutely nothing in these transactions, and we gain so much personally, this realization and continued action makes us incredibly wealthy. We can only keep and build that wealth by giving it away, so shovel it out generously. Act like a high roller. Make it a ritual. Those who suffer may sometimes consider suicide when they feel hopeless, so a simple action of kindness might actually save someone’s life; remember that when wondering about the “value” of do-gooder feel-good actions.
While we primarily refer here to the metaphorical wealth of good feelings, naturally you can also get that kind of positive internal reinforcement by donating actual money or material resources to causes that benefit vulnerable members of society. In each case, think for a while about your connection to the people that will benefit, and make an inner connection if you don’t see one right away. By helping them, you help yourself.
Giving support to other people, even when we have a hard time being good to ourselves, keeps us engaged in life. When you do not engage, you do not live well, you die a bit inside. People everywhere plod through their days in a torpor of self-defeating inaction, indecision, apathy, and cynicism — they are the living dead. But you may possess the antidote, the healing serum, in your own blood. Will you rise in flames, rise from your own death, rise with such spreading force of will that it lifts up the dead around you?
Buddhists have a saying that after you attain enlightenment, you chop wood and carry water. This means the internal work just prepares you for real life, doing whatever we normally do, and ideally this makes any outer action a reflection of the inner. We engage in life, we drift away, we catch and challenge ourselves, we re-engage; in this way we reveal to those around us the strength and integrity of our burning spirit, turning any work we do into a Demon ritual and invocation.
Utah Phillips said “don’t tell me what you believe — tell me what you do all day, and I’ll tell you what you believe”.
Demonkind does not itself have an activist agenda or platform. Instead we intend to provide a meaningful compass for you in your own choice of action. We want you to have both passion and a steadily self-refreshing habit of checking your decisions against our values. This will help when you join existing activist groups, create a new group, argue a position, or vote with your wallet.
Demonkind does not believe in imaginary gods or devils, so we do not try to summon or communicate with them. We do not imagine that anyone outside ourselves cares whether we chant in Latin or Swahili, or swirl our incense clockwise or in a star pattern, or wait for a particular hour of a particular moon phase to perform our ritual. However we do recognize the potency of performing rituals for ourselves to more deeply embed the values and concepts of our belief into our everyday lives. Also we recognize that rituals performed with a group can help that group feel cohesive and revitalized in their shared culture.
Whether it sounds occultic, or merely “new age”, self-talk genuinely has a powerful impact on how well we function in life. If you repeat negative stories about yourself in your mind, you will soon believe in those stories as “obvious facts”. Many of us do this every day, replaying a loop about our ugliness, for example. But the positive version works too! You can reprogram yourself, literally changing your brain and your reality for the better. Recite a chant of the attributes that you want people to see in you, claiming them as your Demon powers. Remind yourself about a specific instance when you showed strength, empathy, generosity, or self confidence. These positive messages will become the new true facts inside you.
It can help to combine the words with a formalized set of actions. For example, go to the window nearest you, and trace a pentagram on the window with your finger, while reciting your ritual words. The mere fact of repeating this action over a period of time will ingrain the message into your personal psyche. Your ritual action might include anything from pouring a cup of tea, to blood letting, or drumming, or writing your words on a scrap of paper and setting it on fire. The particulars only matter to you, and whether you feel sincerely engaged when taking those actions.
Many cultists and spiritualists over the centuries have used sex, body piercing, and hypnotically dancing in groups as ritual practices. On the one hand, those are all great choices when used with careful intention. On the other hand, they mainly rely on our body producing morphine-like chemicals when we stimulate it intensely, which makes us feel like we have achieved some higher plane of experience or perception. The same thing happens to those who “get the spirit” in revival churches. Enjoy your endorphins however and whenever you wish, but don’t fool yourself that the high comes from some angelic power outside your own body’s chemistry.
As mentioned earlier, acts of kindness or generosity can also serve as rituals, if you imbue them with that meaning and purpose. We do not do these things to get thanks or even acknowledgement, we do them to actively engage in healing. When we ascribe ritual intention to our positive support of other people, we do so knowing only we ourselves may see it, because it changes the way we exist in the world — as though by magic.