THE OTHER

—ALICE VAN HAMMER

With It being PRIDE Month, I am given to thinking on the significance of symbols.

Symbols are fascinating things.

The power and lastability of symbols should never be underestimated. They serve as shorthand for understanding. They communicate meaning and intent.

Most importantly, however, they serve as a cipher, a locus for the filtration of personal experience, nostalgia of the past and comprehension of the present, funneling it into a smaller, more easily communicated form, sometimes collapsing countless social norms, mores and markers down to no more than a single icon—all of it specific to the person.

The meaning of anything is never truly inherit to the thing itself but is only found between the thing and the observer. Purely in and of themselves, symbols are only images, empty icons. Thus any one symbol can mean so many things, an infinite parade of causes and experiences to as many persons.

For Many, the rainbow flag of the gay pride movement is one such symbol. Though many more nuanced elements of queer culture may have a standard unique to their group, all tend to come together under this banner- this symbol.

To the christian conservative it is a symbol of evil. It represents a dangerous and hedonistic way of life their “god” deems to be a crime punishable by death.  It is the brightly-hued perversion of their “gods” beautiful promise- a palatable representation of the end of their culture.

For members of the LGBTQ community, it is a rallying banner. It is a public declaration of bravery in the face of violence.  It is defiance, spite even, for the social taboos and norms which have truly oppressed us all.  It is the symbol of their love, their hope for the future and the strength of their solidarity. It is all colours, all creeds, all sexes, genders, lovers and ways to love, united together as all colours of the rainbow, all seperate parts of the same beautiful whole. It is a beautiful ideal to aspire to.

Love is Love—as is Pride.

As above, so below—As is The Baphomet.

For many, The Baphomet is an ancient  symbol of Satanic religion or the movement of modern Satanism as it is. Depending upon what source you cite, its origins go back to the 10th century or possibly much, Much earlier. Over the centuries, the figure has gone through several mutations, alterations in form and apparent purpose.  The icon has been associated with many causes and ideals—whether true or not.

Personally, she is what got me into Satanism—and so very much more.

A symbol of all things, she encompasses the totality of existence—the union of dynamic Adversarialist7- The Other(sized-colour)opposites. At her fingertips are the Sun and moon, hers to claim should she choose to do so.  Both beast and human, she is our animal impulse and our evolved sensibility. Cloven-hooved, she trods the earth, yet winged, she may fly among the clouds.  In her lap is the caduceus, invitation to healing and rest. At her temples are the horns of her animal countenance, invitation to conflict and struggle.  Both masculine and feminine, she encompasses the totality of sex and gender.  On her arms are the markings of “solve” and “coagula”, meaning “to separate” and “to unite together”. Crowned by a torch or candle of flame, she is the font of light, guided by the freedom of new knowledge yet upon her brow is the pentacle or pentagram, symbol of ancient knowledge.

She is a beautiful ideal to aspire to.

And yet, she is one other VERY important thing as well—at least to roughly .5 to 1.2% of the population, the same percent which I belong to.

She is something somewhat unique in the pantheon of modern deities. Being at the same time both and neither fully male and\or female, she is the public figurehead of hermaphroditism or in popular parlance, the Intersexed.  She is “the other”.

To the christian she is a symbol of evil to be feared and fought. To the unaffiliated she is likely little more than a cool image for an album cover.  To the Satanist she is an icon of familiarity and bonding—if not branding and marketability.

To me, she is me—or at least all that I could wish to aspire to.

Thus she truly is my God, if there is to be such a thing.

You have your rainbow flag, your symbol of unity, love, all-encompassing fearlessness and empowerment in the face of tyranny.

I have mine.

Enjoy your PRIDE. What could be more Satanic?

Ave Lucifer.

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