lore reads things

  • Morrigan: I see the stories they tell of Grey Warden endurance are not exaggerated.
  • Warden: You're just saying that.
  • Morrigan: Not at all. Legends abound regarding such figures as Garahel, sordid though they may be. The unanswered question, of course, is whether the endurance exists because of the taint within you or because the Grey Wardens are by nature so very... healthy. I enjoy the thought that 'tis a little of both. Natural prowess driven by a darker side.

Reading up in ghouls and renevants and there’s a part where it mentions that Giovanni ghouls all have a flaw; 

Weakness; Giovanni ghouls tend to think and act as if they were related by blood, even if they are not part of the Giovanni lineage. - 
- All Giovanni ghouls suffer from the Vengeance Flaw. This Flaw manifests whenever the player character discovers that a member of the extended Giovanni family ,either herself or another mortal, ghoul, renevant or vampire, has been wronged. The player will take on other vows of vengeance as if she herself has been hurt.  

rambles and discussions

This arose from a, slightly unfortunate, event and one night of chatting with @spiritscraft.

Why is it that American witches, or even American occultists and magical practitioners, in general seem to be more OK with the Devil in the craft? This isn’t to say that there aren’t groups based outside the US that are A-OK with devil and satanic themes in their traditions. But rather, Americans tend to be more open and vocal about it? I also find this especially true around the youth, though know a few elders in the community that partake as well. 

In general, I do like to think about the difference of American witchcraft vs witchcraft in other countries, but for now I’ll stay rather focused on the specific topic of the Devil. 

The rambles will mostly consist of personal experience and views, along with some supporting factors to help things along. Overall, I hope everyone enjoys reading and pondering about all this. Not saying anything is right, wrong, or even has to be involved in your stuff. Just looking for some stuff to chat about. 

Also, you guys are gonna get this in one go. I’m too lazy to revive and read this over haha.

I think the main points behind why can be summed up into the below bulletpoints

  • America has never had laws making witchcraft straight up illegal
  • Separation of church and state
  • Growing up in a Christian (non-catholic majority) country
  • Individualistic and rebellious mentality
  • A more devil focused folklore

1)With bullet point one, America has never had a federal law that caused the practice of witchcraft to be illegal. Of course, Salem took place in North America; however, this was long before America even came to be. It was a British colony. With America becoming its own country, many sought to abandon a lot of the mentality that they saw as unfit coming from England and other places in Europe. Many also moved there in order to receive religious tolerance.

In 1980s, the District Court of Virginia court recognized witchcraft as a valid and legitimate religion, case of Dettmer v Landon, determining that people who practice witchcraft as a religion are entitled to the same Constitutional protections as those who follow other belief systems.

2) Pretty much at the very beginning, there was a defined line between the government and church. This came along with trying to abandon many British practices. It became more difficult for certain religions to oppress others, not saying it didn’t happen (oh boy it did); however, it was paving the way towards more freedom in alternative religious practices compared to the major religion at the time. 

3) As you all know, the USA’s largest religion is Christianity (and all its various branches and traditions). From extremes to the normality, it is difficult for many having the strain of hate and oppression placed from religious bigots. It has caused and continues to cause a lot of heartache for many. We have to deal with hate towards our sexuality, gender identities, life styles, religious followings, and so much more. And for many that I have met, their turn towards witchcraft and the occult was fueled from this. From many of these folks, I have heard a rather common phrase being used “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”

4) Continuing from 3, the American mentality of individualism, being against “the man”, and rebellious expression fuels so much of American witchcraft and its growth in the States. They look to the devil as a both a metaphorical and spiritual ally. An icon, in a way, to represent their expression of self and community. I have also noticed that American youth tend to be more expressive and open with their sexuality and sexual desires compared to other countries? I’m certain that some folks reached a point that they were like “Hm, the Devil isn’t all that bad.”

5) The Devil is so big in american folklore. It is almost an all encompassing name that covers so many different figures. For people, myself included, as we explored into the witch lore and came upon him, we came to realize that the devil is much more than what is first presented. Like how people screamed that LGBTAQI+ folks were evil, that abortion is murder, or that premarital sex is sinful: perhaps we found a kindred spirit? I do also think that we might be more separated from the old fights and feuds that happened in England, so we, upon investigation into the lore and reading into things ourselves, determined that the Devil was more than just a spooky bad spirit. 

Some might even perhaps call their deities “the Devil” in the same way that one might use a slur to refer to themselves as a way to reclaim it (like how I, as a bisexual woman, might call myself queer). This, though,l is mostly just a rambling thought.

In regards to more personal stuff, I was once sitting with my Grandmother in church and made a comment that “I wish I could stay on earth forever. It is so pretty”. She then told me that I didn’t mean that and that the earth was nothing compared to heaven, especially since it belonged to the devil. She then quoted me a passage from the bible that talked about Satan being the god of the earth. 

This moment really stuck with me for a long time, and made me wonder for the first time “is he really that bad?” 

I think it comes down to our history, experiences with religious intolerance, and the fact that we’re little rebellious butts. 

With that, I leave you all with a lovely little tale

Dancing with the Devil: A Texas Ghost Storyretold byS. E. Schlosser

The girl hurried through her schoolwork as fast as she could. It was the night of the high school dance, along about 70 years ago in the town of Kingsville, Texas. The girl was so excited about the dance. She had bought a brand new, sparkly red dress for the dance. She knew she looked smashing in it. It was going to be the best evening of her life.

Then her mother came in the house, looking pale and determined.

“You are not going to that dance,” her mother said.

“But why?” the girl asked her mother.

“I’ve just been talking to the preacher. He says the dance is going to be for the devil. You are absolutely forbidden to go,” her mother said.

The girl nodded as if she accepted her mother’s words. But she was determined to go to the dance. As soon as her mother was busy, she put on her brand new red dress and ran down to the K.C. Hall where the dance was being held.

As soon as she walked into the room, all the guys turned to look at her. She was startled by all the attention. Normally, no one noticed her. Her mother sometimes accused her of being too awkward to get a boyfriend. But she was not awkward that night. The boys in her class were fighting with each other to dance with her.

Later, she broke away from the crowd and went to the table to get some punch to drink. She heard a sudden hush. The music stopped. When she turned, she saw a handsome man with jet black hair and clothes standing next to her.

“Dance with me,” he said.

She managed to stammer a “yes”, completely stunned by this gorgeous man. He led her out on the dance floor. The music sprang up at once. She found herself dancing better than she had ever danced before. They were the center of attention.

Then the man spun her around and around. She gasped for breath, trying to step out of the spin. But he spun her faster and faster. Her feet felt hot. The floor seemed to melt under her. He spun her even faster. She was spinning so fast that a cloud of dust flew up around them both so that they were hidden from the crowd.

When the dust settled, the girl was gone. The man in black bowed once to the crowd and disappeared. The devil had come to his party and he had spun the girl all the way to hell.