A while back, on our Finnish language blog, some of our members were asked short questions on how it is like to be a member in the Star of Azazel. We decided to repeat this, but this time, it is our international brethren who answer the questions.
1. Why did you decide to join the Star of Azazel?
2. As occult work can also be done alone, what kind of added value do you feel that a fraternity gives to your work?
3. What kind of hopes do you have for the development or direction of the fraternity in the future?
Male, member for two years
- Before I joined the Star of Azazel, I have been studying the occult alone. I was searching for exchange with and the possibility to learn from like-minded people, and a chance to grow over the person I have been back then. I felt the need to test my own experiences and perspectives against that of others, since I think that if we go such path all own our own, we may easily fall prey to fallacy. In another aspect, I began to see importance in carrying what I learned outside into the world and become more active in general.
2. Through my membership, I got to know Fraternity as a value in itself. I believe that occultism brings up problems that are not understood and cannot be helped with by many people. For years I have experienced this as a dissonance between myself and the world around me, which doesn’t exactly make a good ground to thrive and work. I experienced fraternity to connect individuals that go a similar path and to bring about mutual understanding & inspiration. Also, I think such fraternal connection to a collective may ease the suffering one may encounter upon one’s path. I believe that being part of such a Fraternity imbeds one into a context that goes beyond that of the individual, which comes with the constant possibility to go beyond oneself.
3. I would love to see the Fraternity growing internationally, and maybe even lodges being formed outside of Finland. I think the latter would give both the collective and the individual greater possibilities to work, and that concentrated groups of people forming a spiritual center point, so to speak, is quite beneficial for both fraternity and outsiders.
Female, member for two years
1. I’ve been a solitary dabbler into all things esoteric pretty much since I was born. However, because of my personal psychological makeup, I didn’t find it possible to join esoteric groups before. Partially this is because lots of them seem to require conformity of belief, because I didn’t find groups who have a mature and grounded relationship with the occult, and for the large part, because of my own lack of humility and openness toward other people. At the time, I talked with my old friend (also a member of the Star of Azazel), who encouraged me to join the open discussion forums. I did, and I found the discussion to be interesting and often substantial, and that I was ready.
I’m not a Satanist or a Satan worshipper, however, and that aspect of SoA seemed foreign to me since I have trouble with dualities and don’t “believe” in them. However, I am dedicated to Truth and believe in the Absolute as an Immanent All and I felt that my beliefs were in line with the basic premises of SoA. We are, so to speak, on parallel paths, or that’s how it feels like. I think the differences are mainly on level of chosen symbols. SoA has been wonderfully welcoming toward me even if I don’t share the symbolism.
2. Well, first of all, when dealing with the occult, people are in dealings with very subtle, often non-materially based things that are in stark contrast with what is usually thought to be real in our everyday, western, rationalistic existence. It can be things like ghosts, clairsentience, or magic, just to name a few. This causes occultists to position themselves somewhere in the fringes of the society, and too often they have to experiment with things without a strong network of teachers. This can be dangerous because imagination is a wondrous thing and from the subjective point of view, it is often hard to tell the difference between ramblings of a mind off its rocker, and real knowledge of the occult. The beauty of esoteric groups is that, ideally, they provide a grounding network for an occultist so that they can be informed if and when they get ungrounded and off track. I’ve seen this work within SoA network, and greatly appreciate it.
Additionally, working in group can provide inspiration and power, and give a person space to talk about these matters. For me, personally, talking about my experiences with the Ineffable has been important, and I’ve gained very practical benefit from participating in some exercises and from reading other people’s views on matters such as the Tarot. I’ve learned a lot. Also, it’s simply nice to have the connection with like-minded people.
3. This is a hard question to answer. I feel off loop due to my absence from the forums and because I’ve never been involved with the inner workings of SoA. Perhaps I should wish for more practices that could be done at distance so that us international members can participate (but realize too that now is not my time simply because of technical difficulties). Others who are more involved hopefully have more vision than I do.
Male, member for three years
- I decided to join the Star of Azazel after reading Fosforos, but especially after joining the forum. There are people from a variety of different backgrounds who all approach Satanism, Left Hand Path philosophies etc. in sincere and interesting ways.
2. This relates to the above, but communicating with other people is very important. I think in a particular way, yet am often blind to problems or suggestions that others with different perspectives can easily identify. Conversing with other members, either on the forum or in person, has therefore been incredibly beneficial for me and hopefully vice versa.
3. To be honest, I have no idea. However, I assume as membership of the Star of Azazel increases I’m sure different insights, but also challenges, will arise. I suppose my hope is that these will be productive as I’m sure they have the potential to be.