In the article on occult symbols we assert that even science-minded Demons might use the imagery of tarot, runes, and other divination arts for the purpose of storytelling. By this we mean that even without ascribing any magical, mystical powers to these cards, bones, yarrow stalks, drawings, and tea leaves, we still can use them as tools for psychological study and cultural reference. By reading and drawing them we tell a story, and the purpose of this storytelling may include:
- examining our own subconscious thoughts with a new perspective;
- illustrating archetypes of experience that we might have a hard time expressing in plain language;
- keeping ancestral aesthetics alive;
- drawing towards us others who can relate;
- sharing wisdom with those who can receive it.
The Sufis have a rich tradition of storytelling, such as the tales of Mulla Nasrudin, that they use as a means of conveying their teachings. The stories work the same as seeds carried great distances by wind and wild animals. The carrier finds them easy to digest and transmit, as the stories are usually short and funny. They will grow in all types of soil, as they carry different layers of messages, that people at different stages of understanding can appreciate. Each story is first a joke; then it tells us something wry and relatable about human behavior; then it reveals a deeper philosophical argument; and lastly it points to specific lineages of Sufi tradition for further study.
At a minimum they produce more seeds that will get distributed yet further over time, as people like to tell jokes. In more fertile ground, more receptive and perceptive minds, they will bear fruit. Nasrudin stories have practical application. They describe systems of Sufi thought, with illustrations of how to use those systems, densely veiled in metaphors and humor to avoid censorship and murder of the storyteller by the local theist authorities.
The famous “whirling dervishes” serve the same purpose. The dance by itself is just a hypnotic religious practice, and at that level it means nothing more than any other superstitious ceremony. But the superficial attractiveness of the music, the garments, and the dance has allowed the tradition to travel worldwide, keeping it alive. Under the surface, deeper layers of communication can be found by any students that might be prepared to see them.
In this way, esoteric knowledge has survived through hundreds of years of oppressive religious regimes. Even the recent bombing, padlocking, and bulldozing of Sufi schools and holy places cannot wipe out their self-replicating cultural seeds that have spread everywhere.
Demonkind differ from them in many ways: Sufis believe in utter devotion to God, and the rejection of earthly concerns, while we reject the idea of a god outside ourselves, and choose to work toward a better life here on Earth. The “wild animal” that has carried most of their seeds is Islam, while the seeds of our Demonic concept passed through the digestive tract of Judeo-Christianity and blew rootlessly through the barren terrain of atheism and nihilism, before finally finding niches in which a seed could plant, sprout, and blossom. Clearly though, we admire the Sufi method, and we intend to turn a similar approach to our own purposes.
We tell stories with the symbols we wear and the way we present ourselves. By dressing as a goth, a yogini, an executive, or other common trope of style, we broadcast a simple story about our habits, preferences, and beliefs. The story gets more specific when we choose particular icons such as pentagrams, rainbow flags, or other group affiliations. You may find this observation trite and obvious, but it illustrates a bigger point about creating our own reality through storytelling.
If wearing a particular outfit and hairdo helps us identify ourself as a certain kind of person; and if others see it and treat us as that class of person based on our appearance; and if wearing the same style for a long time feels like our normal, natural, preferred state; then have we not created both our “real” persona and the world it inhabits? Therefore if you feel unhappy with your self, your relationships, or the way people treat you, the responsibility and the power to change all of that rests squarely with you.
Some more-or-less unchangeable parts of our appearance, such as skin color, present a challenge to that assertion. People treat you differently based on your skin color regardless of how you dress. But even then we can look to cultural heroes such as Grace Jones who defied anyone’s attempts to fit her into a neat little set of assumptions. Certainly her defiance has not prevented people around her from acting out of prejudice, but she has consistently put them in their sad little place through her outrageously wonderful performance of iconoclastic self creation.
Gender and sex nonconformists also work harder than average at storytelling; they must both create a persona that feels true and right to themselves, and simultaneously cultivate an external story for others to see and interpret, that will ideally not result in violence. They may not have the luxury of simply waking up in the morning with their story already written.
Young people will typically make their persona “scary” or “tough” as a protective ward against harm. The longer you live in hostile circumstances, the longer you may require that mask and that shield. But after a while the harm of isolating our inner self outweighs the benefit of protecting it. So we must start as early as we can to write a new story for ourselves, one in which we have real strength rather than just armor.
Our storytelling has a surprising amount of power for positive change in the real, tangible world. The whole Demonkind concept rests in this premise that we create our own reality, thereby wielding a highly potent magic, and we acknowledge ourselves as spirits of great power in this domain. Our engaged and intentional exercise of creative will exalts us. Now we have the greater responsibility of teaching others how to uplift themselves and become their own gods. So we shall create narrative messages that can travel independently and plant themselves.
Earlier we mentioned tarot, runes, and other forms of ritual storytelling. Those images and characterizations already form a richly layered subconscious vocabulary that we can use rather than having to start from a blank page. Even in the modern era, where shallow TV and internet tropes have all but washed away the traditional archetypes from general consciousness, the new grew in the soil of the old. We may reach up from within the soil and grab young ignorance by the leg. Hear them scream! They will taste the earth.
This website is the beginning, the “once upon a time called right now” as Parliament said. Ideally, as we convey our message over time, we will create more evolutionarily effective seeds for distribution. Perhaps the seed of a story has begun to form in you?