satanic references

anonymous asked:

Is it possible we could get more fun facts about the angels? ;; i really love the ones you gave us

Fun Facts about the Archangels ft. Lucifer part 2:

Michael: Michael loves to sing/hum. He does it so often under his breath, it drives people insane.

Gabriel: Has only checked out one library book on earth once. He forgot to return it. It’s been over 80 years. He thinks about it sometimes in a cold sweat of guilt.

Uriel: Can be dared to do almost anything (within reason). He’s the easiest to goad; just say “I double dog dare you” and it’s double dog done.

Zadkiel: Once had a painting of Uriel hidden in her bedroom, like teenage girls with crushes under their mattresses. She’d take it out occasionally to practice asking him out before they started dating, but she’d usually get too nervous/embarrassed and would have to go work out immediately to take the edge off. 

Raphael: Loves horror movies. Is unphased by gore or thrillers. Can watch them all day. It’s romcoms that make him uncomfortable.

Chamuel: Beat her entire troop, Gabriel’s troop, and Uriel’s troop, including Uriel, in arm wrestling. She was on a role and only stopped before she fucked up her fingernails. Zadkiel and Michael vehemently challenged her for years after that to no avail. 

Jophiel: Has tried to get fired at least once per year since his creation. He’s lazy and is prone to anxiety in stressful situations. He’d rather be a janitor nobody than an Archangel with prestige.

Raguel: Is bad with people but surprisingly good with animals.

Lucifer: When he first fell started having humans fight and cause each other problems on earth just to get Michael’s attention and piss him off. No other real motivation than that. After a while he found he just generally enjoyed it, and did so without the intent of making his brother come down and argue with him.


LaVeyan Satanism is a religion founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey. Its teachings are based on individualism, self-indulgence, and “eye for an eye” morality. Unlike Theistic Satanists, LaVeyan Satanists are Atheists, Agnostics and Apatheists who regard Satan as a symbol of man’s inherent nature. According to, LaVeyan Satanism is a “small religious group that is unrelated to any other faith, and whose members feel free to satisfy their urges responsibly, exhibit kindness to their friends, and attack their enemies”. Its beliefs were first detailed in The Satanic Bible and it is overseen by the Church of Satan.

LaVeyan Satanism, often referred to simply as Satanism among most adherents, was founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey. Its teachings are based on individualism, self-control, a morality based on severe retribution on people who aggravate you, drawing influences from the rituals and ceremonies of occultist Aleister Crowley, and the philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand. Employing Crowley’s terminology, its adherents define Satanism as a “Left-Hand Path” religion and philosophy, rejecting traditional “Right-Hand Path” religions such as Christianity and Wicca for their perceived denial of life and, as in Christianity, emphasis on abstinence. Unlike Theistic Satanism, LaVeyan Satanism does not involve the literal worship of any being other than the self, but rather uses “Satan” as a symbol of carnality and earthly values, of man’s inherent nature, in what it calls ‘ritual psychodramas’.

Anton LaVey established Satanism’s first and largest religious organization, the Church of Satan, in 1966, and codified Satanic beliefs and practices in The Satanic Bible in 1969. The Church of Satan acknowledges that there are many Satanists around the world, including both members and non-members. It rejects the legitimacy of any other organizations of Satanists, dubbing them reverse-Christians and pseudo-Satanists. Although exact numbers are not known, conservative estimates are that the number of adherents run into the thousands.

In 1969, LaVey published The Satanic Bible, which, even to this day, remains the most authoritative literature on the subject of LaVeyan Satanism, outlining the basic concepts, philosophy and rituals of the religion. A companion book, The Satanic Rituals, published in 1972, presents an array of rituals associated with Satanism throughout the ages, but not necessarily central to the Church’s belief system.

Types of Witchcraft and Wicca

This lists the most common types of witches, but there are many more.

  • Alexandrian (Wicca) - This tradition was begun in the 1960s by Alex Sanders. Alex Sanders lived in England. He used what are known to be slightly changed Gardnarian traditions and calls himself the “King” of Witches. Covens involve both men and women.
  • British Traditional (Wicca)- This is, according to Silver RavenWolf a “mix of Celtic and Gardnarian beliefs.” Covens involve both men and women. One can study a course and receive a degree in British Traditional Witchcraft.
  • Celtic Wicca - Celtic Wicca focuses mainly on Celtic and Druidic gods and goddesses (along with a few other Anglo-Saxon pantheon). The rituals are formed after Gardnerian traditions with a stronger emphasis on nature. Celtic Wicca also puts much emphasis on working with elementals and nature spirits such as fairies and gnomes. Gods and Goddesses are usually called “The Ancient Ones.”
  • Caledonii - This was once know as the Hecatine Tradition. Traditional Scottish Witchcraft.
  • Ceremonial Witchcraft - This tradition is very exacting in its ritual. All rituals are usually followed by the book, to the letter and with much ceremony. Little emphasis is put on nature. This tradition may incorporate some Egyptian magic. Quabbalistic magic is often used in ceremonial witchcraft.
  • Dianic - Dianic can incorporate nearly any magical traditions, but emphasis is placed on the Goddess only with little or no mention of the God. Known as the “feminist” types of witchcraft.
  • Druidic - Neo-Druids are polytheistic worshipers of Mother Earth. Very little is known today about ancient Druidism and there are many gaps in the writings that have been found. Modern Druids practice their religion in areas where nature has been preserved - usually wooded areas. Druidic ritual often employs sacrifices to the Mother Goddess. These sacrifices often include grain, sometimes meat. These ritual sacrifices are often accompanied by a verse not unlike the following: “Earth Mother, giver of life we return to you a measure of the bounty you have provided may you be enriched and your wild things be preserved.”
  • Eclectic (Natural)- An eclectic witch mixes many different traditions together to suit their tastes and will not follow any one particular tradition. Whatever seems to work best for them is what is used, regardless of which magical practice it comes from. This is one of the most popular types of witches found today.
  • Gardnerian (Wicca) - Gardnerian witchcraft was begun in England and is Wiccan in nature. It was formed by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. Gerald Gardner was the first to publicize witchcraft in an effort to preserve the “old ways.”
  • Hereditary Witch (Natural or Wiccan) - A hereditary witch is a witch who is born into a witch family and brought up learning about witchcraft. Many witches claim to be hereditary witches when in fact, they are not. You must be brought up in a family of witches to be a hereditary witch.
  • Kitchen Witch (Natural) - A kitchen witch is one who practices magic having to deal with the home and practical life. Kitchen witches use many spells involving cooking, herbs, and creating magic through crafts. A kitchen witch is very much like a hedge witch. Kitchen Witches practice by home and hearth, mainly dealing with practical sides of the religion, magick, the elements and the earth.
  • Pictish - Pictish witchcraft is nature-based with little emphasis on religion, Gods, or Goddesses. It is much like Celtic witchcraft, only the traditions are Scottish. Pictish witches perform solitary and rarely, if ever work in groups or covens.
  • Pow-Wow - Here is a term rarely heard when referring to witchcraft. This tradition is based on old German magic. Today, it is considered a system of faith healing and can be applied to most any religion.
  • Seax-Wicca - This tradition was begun in 1973 by Raymond Buckland. Buckland and works on Saxon principles of religion and magic.
  • Shaman (Natural) - It is arguable as to whether shamanism is or is not witchcraft. It is included here because shamanism is a form of Paganism. Shamanism puts no emphasis on religion or on pantheon. Shamans work completely with nature: rocks, trees, animals, rivers, etc. Shamans know the Earth and their bodies and minds well and train many long years to become adept at astral travel and healing.
  • Solitary (Natural or Wiccan) - Solitary witches can be practitioners of nearly any magical system. A solitary works alone and does not join a group or coven. Often, solitaries choose to mix different systems, much like an eclectic witch. Solitaries can also form their own religious beliefs as they are not bound by the rules of a coven.
  • Strega - This type of witchcraft is said to have been started by a woman named Aradia in Italy in 1353. Aradia is known in some traditions as the “Goddess of Witches.”
  • Teutonic - A Nordic tradition of witchcraft that includes beliefs and practices from many cultures including Swedish, Dutch, and Icelandic.
  • Wicca - Probably the most popular form of witchcraft. Wicca is highly religious in nature and has a good balance between religion/ceremonial magic and nature. Wiccans believe in a God and Goddess who are equal in all things, although some may lean more toward the Dianic form of Wicca, worshipping only the Goddess or lowering the God to an “assistant” status. Wiccans commonly form covens and rarely work alone.
  • Satanic Witch:  Satanism can refer to a number of belief systems, from the worship of the Christian Devil, to occult/ritual magic and the “Left Hand Path” or the modern Satanism belief system of Anton LaVey. It is often associated in the public mind with demonology (the systematic study of, or belief in, demons and other malevolent beings), with black magic (a form of sorcery that draws on malevolent powers, or used for dark purposes or malevolent acts that deliberately cause harm in some way) and with the Black Mass (a parody of the religious service of the Catholic Church, with its ritual profanation of the Host and lurid sexual practices, sometimes used in the past as a symbolic opposition of the Christian, but not used in the current day by Satanists).
  • Theistic Satanism: (or Traditional Satanism) is the belief that Satan is an actual deity or force worthy of reverence or worship. Theistic Satanists may consider their forebears to include figures such as La Voisin and Eliphas Lévi. Some view Satan as a human-like entity, some accept the ancient Roman image of Lucifer, and some imagine him as the image of the Greek god Pan. 

Different Types of Witches 

  • Augury Witch - Similar to a shaman in practice, the augury witch will help to direct those on a spiritual quest by interpreting the signs and symbols the traveler encounters.  The term derives from the official Roman augurs, whose function was not to foretell the future but to discover whether or not the gods approved of a proposed course of action by interpreting signs or omen such as the appearance of animals sacred to the gods. It is important to note that augury witches are not “fortune tellers”, as their gifts are of prophecy and not divination. In the context of prophecy, in his Scottish play Shakespeare’s witches appear as augury witches.
  • Ceremonial Witch -  One who combines both the practices of witchcraft and ceremonial magic. They may use a combination of disciplines drawn from the Old Ways, but will often employ more scientific precisions such as sacred mathematics and quantum mysticism as well.  They will also call upon an eclectic blend of spiritual entities, leaning towards archetypal figures representative of the energies they wish to manifest. They are more spiritually centered than most ceremonial magicians, using an Earth-centered path with focus on the Divine within.
  • Eclectic Witch - An individual approach in which the witch picks and chooses from many different traditions and creates a personalized form of witchcraft that meets their individual needs and abilities. They do not follow a particular religion or tradition, but study and learn from many different systems and use what works best for them.
  • Faery Witch - An eclectic witch who seeks to commune with faery folk and nature spirits in their magick workings. They have no organization or tradition and it has developed of its own accord through common practice. (Not to be confused with the ‘Feri Movement’
  • Green Witch - A practitioner of of witchcraft whose focus is on the use of natural items and places. The goal of the Green Witch is upon achieving magic through communion with Mother Nature and using Her energies.
  • Hedge Witch - Hedgecraft is a path that is somewhat shamanic in nature, as they are practitioners of an Earth-based spirituality. These are the ones who engage in spirit flight and journey into the Otherworld. They can, in this capacity, be very powerful midwives and healers. A bird of one kind or another is usually associated with the Hedge Witch, most commonly the raven and the goose. The term “hedge” signified the boundary of the village and represents the boundary that exists between this world and the spiritual realm.
  • Hereditary Witch - Also known as a Family Tradition Witch, it is someone who has been taught “The Old Ways ” as a tradition passed down through the generations of their family.
  • Kitchen (Cottage)Witch - A practitioner of witchcraft who uses the tools at hand to work their spells and create their rituals and who deals with the practical sides of religion, magick and the Elements of the Earth. Some who hear the term “Kitchen Witch” may think it is a magickal art confined only to the kitchen or cooking, but it is much more. It is about the finding of the sacred in everyday tasks, no matter how mundane they may appear to be. An increasingly popular type of witchcraft, it is about working with the energies of nature to make the hearth and home a secure and sacred place.
  • Solitary Witch (Solitaire) - This is one who practices alone, without a coven and without following any particular tradition. Sometimes they are among that class of natural witches whose skills have been developed in previous lifetimes. There is a legend among witches that after practicing for several lifetimes, the knowledge of “The Craft” is awakened upon passing puberty.
  • Wild Witch - (Usually Hereditary witches and will work on their own (solitaire) or in family groups, similar to, but not as strict in guidelines, as a Coven. They are healers, using things of the Earth to do their healing; including crystals, herbs, oils and potions. They do not usually worship any deities, but worship the Earth and the Moon. 

Wild Witches are not Wiccan, in fact Wild Witchery is much much older than Wicca. But since the days of old, Wild Witches have worked within villages to heal illnesses of the body and mind and perform midwifery.  They do not believe In harming anyone or anything.  Most Wild Witches will share their homes not only with pets, but also wildlife and native animals. They tend to live in the country as even modern day Wild Witches cannot bear the noise and bustle of cities and find it spiritually and psychically draining.

Most Wild Witches use natural tools for divination, such as water and crystals, rather than Tarot Cards or other modern tools. They believe in and share their homes with Fey of all kinds. Knowledge is usually passed down within families (generally to the first female of each generation, although in some families, the knowledge is passed down to all females). Most, if not all Wild Witches will be naturally psychically gifted, and the gifts are usually inherited only by the females in the family. 

dan and phil play the sims 4 #39: a summary


impression of the iconic woman from the simpsons

dan has no care for children and i relate

“… not that you’re children” dan says whilst phil is trying to speak

dig yourself into a hole in your own time stop interrupting him you curly haired lumberjack wannabe

i sound mocking but he actually looks bomb i love it

they both do

“don’t talk about the words. the words just come, they mean nothing… like our lives” also just like the rebrand apparently

briefing on the toddler stage

the lack of skills is going to make me cringe

phil watched the video back just to call dan out, what a guy

they feign surprise that we’re so observant

the parp debate

“… and other things i’m not particularly comfortable with you saying”

“he’s just dead in the bed” // “he’s fine”

phil recalls being in daycare and crushing trucks in sand with his friend owen…. okay boy

can’t wait for the abundance of original characters called owen in fics now

dan just remembers a sandpit

what kind of fancy ass daycares did you two go to i didn’t have any of that shit i just remember all the girls except for me used to fight over the doll pram whilst i sat alone in the corner of the room attempting to read and being sad that i was there

both their daycares were inside and they stank because ‘everyone peed’ …. again what kind of daycare did you two go to

“even though we were three hundred miles and a couple of years apart… we had the same experience” // “essentially that sand came from the same place” i’m so done with these two and it’s not even three minutes in

“fill the bath with fruit loops”

the toddler food glitch is so fucking annoying and seeing it in let’s plays only annoys me more

phil thinks the final bedtime story will be about a dragon

“party miami dad with abs”

“hey dan it’s your ripped jeans, you just need to cut them off as shorts” // “oh my god, yes, and when i have abs i will wear a top like that”

please stop talking over each other we’re not even four minutes in yet this is going to be painful

“that’s kind of dragon, come on, give that to me” the latter of this sentence immediately triggered the 'it’s not the first time he’s said those words’ sensor in my brain

phil wants to change the miami dad outfit whereas dan literally screeched his argument to keep it

phil feels pain in his own stomach watching a simulation on a screen do ab crunches

the excitement over transformation of the day is cute what a cute thirty year old man you are

“that reminds me, you should do transformation of the day, come on, i’ve been waiting” very contradictory but sure okay phil

“time to sacrifice one of our children” the youtube comments are going to have a field day with that one aren’t they

“party dil’s whacking out…”

the draw phil naked music :((((

dan the materialistic man resurfaces

the first singing interlude of the video

“is it dab or usain bolt, scientists can’t tell”

“happy famalamies”

“how does one cake” me on a regular basis honestly

they both agree that blue confetti cake sounds 'birthday-ish’

the artistic prodigy aspiration and the cheerful trait were chosen

“dab - a ray of sunshine running through everyone’s lives”

“i’m like who is this thing in the house” phil lester english university degree holder

lame science jokes from dan there

supportive bf phil is back with a vengeance though don’t you worry

the game spawned him with bunny slippers nice

“he’s growing up before our eyes, dan” fanfic writers have fun

“i’m gonna punch. and i’m gonna punch you, phil. because you’re the only one here” // *phil leans away* “don’t punch ME!”

“amphibians need representation”

cue the 'de-toddling’ decor section

“dinosaurs are still valid”

phil was scared of space print bedding he had as a kid

apparently it included the molester moon so i mean that’s a thing he said

and here’s the creepy speaking in sync thing again. add it to the compilation videos

“easy beans”

a creativity table for children gave phil tingles

the debate over whether or not to give him a tablet is really proving who will be the easygoing parent and who will be the disciplinarian (the majority of the fics were right)

“you-you’re gonna not give someone at school access to youtube? how can they make it through life without minecraft youtubers?” he was speaking from personal experience minus those last three words

i see u howell

phil wants him to draw a vehicle so dan chooses shapes

domestics are on the horizon

“yes this is danandphilcrafts, who’s gonna be sacrificed to satan?”

phil take that reference back before i shove it where the sun doesn’t shine

time to age up evan

quick sidenote have you seen how many dabxevan fics there are bc wow there are a ton, not that i’ve read any but they’re out there

“see i went to cheese and you went to trapeziums… what does that mean, psychologically?” that dan needs to get his well-educated stick out of his ass and realise a block of cheese when he sees it

“all this cake is making me so hungry, dan..”

this whole cake talk is so domestic what the fuck is happening you just moved how are you still providing domesticity

they’re going to get deliveroo cake

i’m surprised we didn’t get a tweet about that crazy night

apparently eliza is a milf according to dan even though phil says he isn’t allowed to say it (make of that what you will, demons)

daddy pancakes

they’re literally providing more weird fic prompts pls stop

“tumblr’s gonna go nuts. they have matching trackies” so we now know what tags dan stalks on tumblr

red apparently reflects evan

the science set is reminding phil of fallout yes i relate what a quality game

this video took so long to summarise what the actual fuck but okay it’s over it’s just the buildup to the outro now

“don’t explode the universe with a chemistry set” wise words from phil there

Daniel Howell - i guess these puns have to be daniel themed now


Myth Creations Fairy Tail

My buddy was @sakurastarwriter who is an awesome friend that de

Ship: Grayluna (Gray x Lucy x Natsu)

Rating: M+ 

Disclaimer: The aspects and thoughts of this piece are in now way affiliated with my own beliefs/prospects on religion. Any research and references were purely for artistic purposes. 

Trigger warning: Satanic references. Anti-Christ. Lil bit of blood. 

Words: 2,65

Creature: Demons.

“I can’t believe you’ve gotten us in this position, again!” Gray hissed, pushing with his shoulder Natsu roughly which made them both swing a little, having been bound upside down in a seedy lounge-room.

Natsu gagged, feeling suitably sick from all the rocking and swaying, as well as the fact all his blood was rushing to his head. Gray groaned at how stupid his companion was, and how stupid he was for following him into this position.

After a particularly pathetic sound, Natsu looked up with red-ringed eyes, “Listen, you asshole. They said they needed help. What was I supposed to do? Ignore them?”

“No. But you could have at least given them a background check or something.”

“I did! But the computer wasn’t working and I burnt the keyboard-”

“Again? For fuck’s sake-” 

Natsu’s voice grew louder, swallowing Gray’s insult, “And time was of the essence! Would you rather we let a little girl die?”

“We are demons Natsu. We aren’t supposed to care.”

“You cried over Titanic.” Natsu shot and Gray struggled, fury rushing through his veins, turning his eyes pitch black.

“That was one fucking time!”

A small giggle made them both look up, where the third for the relationship sat on the trusses above, long silky hair falling down around her face as she watched them bicker. Hope and affection blossomed in Gray’s chest as Natsu grinned widely, struggling not to move around in excitement.


“Hey, guys. How’s it hanging?” She asked, before bursting into more giggles, easily balancing herself on the supporting beam, eyes watering with delight over her own joke. Gray chuckled while Natsu rolled his eyes, calling up.

“How long are you been up there?”

“Only a few minutes. It was hard to get in the building. Crosses everywhere.” Lucy stated, before easily dropping to the floor in front of them, placing her hands on her hips as a teasing smile slid over her lips. She gave them both a look over and pouted playfully.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

My school's dress code says that no student may wear "satanic references" and I'm just texting my friends like "GUESS WHO'S WEARING HER PENTACLE NECKLACE ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL". And I have tons of other stuff I'm doing in protest of the dress code. My goal is to make the administration hate me.

Lmao good luck!! When I was in middle school we weren’t allowed to wear band shirts unless it was a Christian band. That lasted all of one year before the parents bitched enough about it.

Speculations about the “second Eden” concept

David killed Elizabeth because he… lost?

We know, from the movie, the extras and the interviews, that David killed Elizabeth essentially for two reasons: to use her DNA for his experiments and because he didn’t want her to leave him. 

Thinking about the references to Satan in David’s character, I have always thought that the way David and Elizabeth’s relationship developed end ended, is pretty fitting with the “role” of the Devil that somehow David has in this saga.

The Devil has interest in people with a strong faith, he’s interested in people difficult to corrupt. David becomes obsessed with Elizabeth, and as Fassbender said in an interview, David finds strong women “attractive”. The Devil try to isolate the people he want to bring by his side, and basically makes them believe God doesn’t love them, that them can live better without him. David tried to look, in front of Elizabeth, as the real, only one “God”. He tried to make her feel abandoned by God when Holloway died, he tried to take away her cross, representative of her faith and probably also of her bond with her deceased father. David showed her to know her better than anyone else: he watched her dreams and probably knows everything that happened to her during all her life. Elizabeth suffered for her sterility, and David demonstrates to have the “power”, thanks to the black goo, to make her able to “create life”. Elizabeth wanted to see Paradise? David managed to bring her to the home world of her creators. Is the “paradise” disappointing? Let’s make another one.

David, probably, struggled to demonstrate Elizabeth that he could start all over again in the universe and that he can be a better God than the all others creators of the universe. 

 “I washed this world clean as a gift to her. We could have built anew. A second Eden”. 

In all of that, from David, there is probably the attempt to be a new “Adam figure” to his Eve: Elizabeth, the attempt to be part of the new couple that would have produced a new species to inherit the universe. 

“I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed”.

Says the monster of Frankeinstein in Mary Shelley’s novel. The monster wanted a female companion from his creator, but Victor Frankeinstein refuses to give him a wife, and the monster ultimately decides to be his enemy. (“Satan” means “the enemy” in the Bible, in the Ancient Book). This sentence may fits with David too: all the previous creators (humans and Engineers) refused to really recognize him as the future “man”, as the “better man” that should have inherit the universe, the first of a new kind, a superior one, and turned him into a servant or attempted to destroy him. Weyland makes David open his eyes for the first time sitting on a throne, but then Weyland orders him to pour the tea. Weyland considered David his true son, his true “heir”, but only metaphorically: David was only the perfect A.I. to celebrate Weyland’s genius. When David asks Weyland if he’s a son to him, Weyland doesn’t give a direct, affermative answer, and few mitutes later David understans why, when Weyland deludes him giving him an order. At the same time, Elizabeth refused to be his Eve in his new Eden. David is no Adam. Adam is the first man, the one that gave origin to mankind throught his desendence. David shows to be willigly to has a sort of “descendance”, he shows this twisted desire giving birth to the Xenomorph species. That desire is related with his name too: “David” is the name of the famous king of the Bible that obtains the right to have a never ending descendance, a right he obtains with the Ark of the Covenant, and David regurgitates two embryos of facehuggers, his “children”, the first two of many others, of really many others: we have seen that in the original Alien saga: the Xenomorphs will never entirely disappear from the universe… (because 20th Century Fox will never allow that ;) ) when he takes control of the Covenant ship (the ship that directly refers to the Ark of the Covenant in its symbol).

David’s new Eden has a strange couple: their body can’t create life, for different reasons, but David basically considers himself the new God, and thanks to the secrets he stole from the Engineers, he can give life to new creatures. 

 "But she refused”. 

The Devil is famous for having physically harmed some irreprensibile saints that were very difficult to corrupt. The Devil hates to show himself, it is said that when he manifests him, revealing even his violent nature, it’s because he’s really frustrated and can’t do anything to influence his “targets”. Elizabeth inevitably saw the “twist” in David’s plan. She realized he was planning a monstrosity, and that his “second Eden” would have brought a lots of horrors to mankind, and so, she refused to cooperate with him. At her rejection, David killed her. The fight was over: he lost. He couldn’t be neither a new Adam or a new God for Elizabeth.

(I thought to write this post after reading this one from @muthur9000, give it a look :)

anonymous asked:

Are repressed memories a thing? Cause I recently learned about them in my psych class and the book said that they're unlikely to actually be real and at best they're unreliable

Repressed memories are quite cotrovesial now, mostly because of the satanic ritual abuse controversy in the 1980s and research that suggests that memory can be manipulated and is therefore unreliable even under normal circumstances. Having said that, dissociative amnesia (also called psychogenic amnesia) is well documented and it’s well known that one of the ways our brains cope with trauma is to block it out. Both these terms describe very similar things, yet while the term ‘repressed memory’ has a lot of negative connotations, dissociative memory loss doesn’t (here’s a link to an article about dissociative amnesia, and you may like to compare the wiki article on psychogenic amnesia to the article on repressed memories).

One way of interpreting trauma responses that I think is really valuable is as a spectrum of responses with hyperarousal on one axis and dissociation on the other (I believe Bruce Perry created this). Hyperarousal responses are things like fighting back or running away, panic attacks, exaggerated startle response etc while dissociative responses are things like emotional numbing, the ‘freeze’ response, memory loss related to the trauma, and dissociation as the word is usually used (so feeling ‘unreal’ as if you’re dreaming, seeing yourself as if you were observing yourself etc). 

In terms of how memory problems fit in with abuse, I think one of the main distinctions to be made is that many of the criticisms that posit memory as unreliable are talking about memory as evidence in a courtroom setting or legal context generally. Victims are often called unreliable if they change even a small detail of their recollection or have any conflicting memories, but trauma itself interferes with how we process information, including memory; we’re so focused on just surviving what’s going on, all our brain power goes toward that and very little is dedicated to creating new memories. Additionally, stress hormones (such as cortisol) interfere with the creation of new memories also. Additionally, our memories don’t have to be perfect to be true, but the way the legal system operates is frankly pretty awful yet legal standards have become general standards, which they shouldn’t be. 

Another issue with this is the fact that these situations where memory is deemed unreliable - the legal system and the satanic abuse panic - are situations where other people are deliberately influencing the individual. This is very different to traumatic memories resurfacing on their own (as they often do with time); in these situations, the individual’s memory has been manipulated by other people who want them to believe what they want or say what they want. 

So to summarise, it’s true that memory is changeable and can be unreliable depending on what it’s needed for. Precise information is generally difficult anyway but especially when there’s trauma involved, and people can manipulate others into having ‘false memories’; police are known to do this for example, as are many of the psychotherapists involved in the satanic abuse scandals. This is very different to memories which surface on their own and to memories about general events; even if our memories of our abuse aren’t exact, that doesn’t suggest that our abuse wasn’t real in any way.

If you take a look through the memory tag (you can click here to do that) there’s more information, links etc. I think what your psych book said is .. well, I can see where they’re coming from but they’re oversimplifying a very complex issue. The term ‘repressed memories’ is seen unfavourably but dissociative memory loss isn’t particularly controversial. I suspect - though I could be wrong - that this is more about the associations the different phrases carry, though they describe very similar things.