Hello, readers dear! Here’s a very special post. As part of my own closure on recent events, I decided to write a full-enough account of mistakes, lessons, and outcomes from my first year as the head (well, yes, only) witch of my very own black magic tradition. As I mention in the text, I’m not opposed to academic/entertainment-only readings of this. I do ask that you respect that for me, this is a personal account of a true occult experience, and that I’m not going to debate anyone or try to perform veracity beyond whatever evidence and arguments I’ve already written in the text.
I don’t use the phrase “black magic” lightly. If I seem chipper about this, well… as you’ll read in the text itself, I’ve been through things frightful enough that I’m not going to go and pretend to be flustered by the audacity of just mentioning that I’m a witch. I’d actually been planning to avoid using the phrase “black magic” to refer to Nocturne Troth, but it turns out that’s what I’ve created, so, you know…
Call a spaded tail a spaded tail.
It’s completely fine if you’re not convinced. I am not asking you to be convinced. I am not trying to convince you. I don’t want to push anyone to pretend to be someone they’re not just to make me feel better. For that exact same reason, I will not give anyone the right to validate, or invalidate, my own identity. I’ve learned that I am a witch of no small skill, and many other things besides. You’re welcome to disbelieve. Just do it in peace and quiet by yourself.
Because, you know… I really like to have my peace and quiet, too.
Now, I know WordPress–or at least, my blog, what with its background images and all–can be a little chuggy when it comes to posts with this much material. It’ll load just fine if you give it a minute, but I understand that’s not the most pleasant reading experience. So, I’ll attach the Word document first thing below:
Otherwise, if you’re not too bothered about possible lag times, or you just plain prefer the feel of reading things here, here’s the text itself below. Enjoy!~ ❤
A preface before we dive in: this is a personal, spiritual account of deeply-held beliefs which I’ve worked my way towards over the course of many years. I am not opposed to the idea of someone studying it for the sake of academic interest. And lest anyone accuse this of being unfiction, I am writing this under my pen/Veil Name of Caerllyn Edwina McCurdy, starting on December 4th, 2021, from my family’s home in the Midwestern United States, with the direct intention of posting it to my blog at northbornsword.blog.
I’m well aware that those who read this will ultimately believe what they want to believe. I just wanted to be clear about what I want you all to believe.
This is not a metaphorical account or even a story from one of my person mythoi (yes, there is a plural of mythos! Had to look that one up myself.) I am recounting my best understanding of events that very literally happened to me, the realest me there is, the only me that I know for real.
Some serious “Cuzco’s poison” energy to that last sentence, isn’t there? This is what can happen when we try to treat spiritualism the same way we do essays and lab reports. The whole logic of being is different. Still, here. Let me give you my best good-faith effort to bridge the gap. Sooner or later you’re just going to have to decide whether to believe in the reality I’m presenting you, or not.
To be clear, this in no way means you have to believe every account someone gives about dealing with spirits, magic, and other realms. If you believe this one account, then you believe this one account. I would hope that the most supernaturally-inclined would, if anything, be the most skeptical of all save those who don’t believe in any of this. A real account of otherworldly forces isn’t a thing to give lightly. Thus, even if you voice to me that you believe in this one, I will not be the slightest bit offended if you never believe any of my later accounts. Ghosts and ghouls, demons and witches, spells and sorcery and more: if those things are real–and they are!–then it’s also just as possible for bad-faith actors to fake them as with anything else.
Fool’s gold of the soul, if you will. And since reality tends to have far more nuance, and far more disappointments as a result, I think it’s quite fair to say that many of the most famous purported magic users in history–the retainers of monarchs, the instigators of this cult or that–were probably con artists. It’s a lot easier to get people to believe in something if they like what they hear. Real magic is fraught with pitfalls, caveats, maybes and perhapses and faults and mistakes.
A curated performance is the only way to flawlessly please anyone–even one’s self.
To what extent my aforementioned understanding of events should be taken in psychological terms of dreamlike self-discovery, and to what extent it should be treated as genuine supernatural experience… well, that’s going to be unique to each reader, yes?
For myself, I feel it’s sufficient to note that I had these experiences as I began to recover from an extremely traumatic event this past September. They were not signs of a deteriorating psyche, but one returning at last to health. By engaging with them as spiritual reality–I’ve come to really like the phrase “astral journey”–I was able to gain closure on many things that have happened to me over the course of my life. Indeed, within a day or two of coming to believe that the supernatural ordeal was over, my mundane physical and mental health rapidly improved.
I feel almost back to normal! Though, I do wonder how much of my normal isn’t actually my normal, just the normal of a human. And, well… I’m not truly human.
I know that for sure, now.
At the very least I’d say all this astral-journeying was incredibly therapeutic, and has given me a wealth of new insights to use in both my creative and personal life. I have, objectively, benefited from facing events this way. I’ve had conversations with my family that many of us have wanted to have for months or years, and we’ve all grown closer together.
All of which is, admittedly, frightening. It suggests very strongly that many of the things which happened to me actually happened to me, and that I was in serious danger at many points–nor just from the unmended fractures in my own self-image, and I won’t pretend there weren’t plenty of those involved, but from the things that crept in through the gaps.
I’m still here, though. Healing steadily, if not always swiftly. And I find that it helps rather than hinders that process to regard these events literally.
So if you’re here to poke around for signs of mental disturbance because your knee jerk response says “Oh, look at this poor isolated woman, lost in her own superstitions! I must save her from her own delusions!”, or because you think you’re going to become a culture hero of skepticism by debunking a budding conwoman before she gets any momentum, please just leave me alone. I won’t try to convince you or anyone else that any of this is real.
One way or another, for now, these events are in my past. Please leave them there. I’d like to have the choice for myself of when, how, and indeed if to open a new chapter.
Please recognize that you don’t know me. If you’re having thoughts like those, it’s most likely because those are the reasons you would have for taking my same path. Those instincts, in and of themselves, are healthy for you! Of course taking my path would be a bad thing for you to do–you’re not me! You’re you! Trying to copy me would be bad… for you. All minds are not the same. The approach that helps one, harms another.
Anyone who’s ever waded through the tragic miasma of the search for a halfway-decent therapist can vouch for me on this one.
So, every explanation I write here is ultimately to address something on my own mind, some point I’m pondering. When I say “I believe”, I do not, personally, say it as an expression of syncretic mandate. “I believe” does not, to me, mean “you must believe” or even “you should believe”. And I absolutely do not ever want it to mean “everyone should believe, so everyone must believe.” I don’t want that kind of responsibility, alright? Even if someone tried, I would not allow myself to be turned into some kind of cult leader.
I mean… unless they broke me first. I’m afraid that we do live in a vast, frequently-unfair world where it just isn’t mature to pretend I’m immune to that. The greatest strength will wither if it’s never given a chance to rest. Steel fatigue will break the mightiest sword.
If you can read those words and still choose to see me as a woman trying to escape reality, I don’t know what to tell you. So, how about I stop worrying about that, yes?
I’m aware that I’m sharing this piece on the internet. I can deal with bad faith, mockery, trolling. They still sting, of course, we all know that, but I can manage. Being condemned as a manipulative monster by someone who genuinely believes they’re doing the right thing… that’s a lot harder for me to handle. I’m asking that you please give me a chance to coexist, and if you can’t give that, then at least leave me to my own space.
I am not claiming to have any overtly supernatural powers. And if I did have them, you may rest assured I would not tell a single soul except the people I most intimately trust. I am asking you to respect that I’ve shared these writings in good faith as a gesture of openness towards other people who share my interests. I study what I believe to be the supernatural for its own sake, because it brings me joy and fulfillment to do so. I’m not looking to appear on television or milk celebrities for their money… though I do have bills to pay, so please don’t take that as a statement of moral infallibility either.
I wish to do everything I can to avoid taking advantage of vulnerable people. Please believe that, even if you don’t believe a single other thing about me.
Now, let’s stop puttering about with smaller concerns. I’m ready to begin.
Firstly, I’ll echo Christopher Lee’s warning about the dark arts, in which he convinced everyone that he studied the dark arts by being way too adamant about the fact that he didn’t study them, but that he knew for absolutely certain that “you would lose your soul.”
There is always a certain gravity to someone speaking on a topic they know well. It was that very gravity Lee revealed with his words, and I think he knew as well as anyone that nobody would seriously believe he hadn’t studied. Where else had his certainty come from? The real cause for claiming he didn’t study black magic, I suspect, lies in a simpler truth yet: there can be great danger in telling others that they are right to feel they know what they know. We can never be certain what someone has suspected of us, under the surface–what plans they’ve laid against the day we dare to step into the light.
But I’m living in a very different era, and I’m in about as safe a place as anyone can hope to be right now, so I’m going to take the risk. I am a little starved for connection with other practitioners, other believers, other seekers in the cosmos yet unfathomed, after all!
So yes, I study the dark arts. I will confirm that it’s a serious risk–and far more complicated than the pop culture cliché of “you sign a contract with a demon and then they fuck you over.” Fiction, and even many real-world studies of the arcane, have very poorly equipped most of us to deal with the intricacies of questions like “What is a soul, actually?”
Your soul is not some separable essence. I’ve known this much intuitively from the very first. But then, as we’ll delve into, I have more starting advantages in insight than I like to admit. So, take it from me if you didn’t already know it for yourself: you are your soul. Your soul is you. You think, therefore you are, do you follow? If there is a soul in your body, but you feel certain any part of your identity can exist separately from that soul, then you’d better start asking yourself whose soul that actually is.
So, that raises a question I’ll want you to keep in mind as I unfold this chaotic account in stream-of-consciousness, in all its bits and pieces and ticklish little traps: if you are your soul, and it’s not as simple as a demon plucking a weird glowing orb out of you to eat while your consciousness remains behind, then how is it possible for you to lose your soul?
I regret to say I’ve learned the answers to that question quite intimately. Oh, I still have my soul! I just had to fight like Hell to take many of my misplaced or stolen pieces back.
Note: I made these robust new paragraphs here, ending with the words “material cognition of the mortal, human-ruled Earth”, on the night of December 11th 2021. I felt that given the fearfulness of the theme, it was better to tell you outright what I meant about “lose your soul.” It’s not such a simple misstep as I fear I may have caused it to sound.
So as I said, you are your soul, your soul is you, and your consciousness is itself an emanation of your psyche’s deeper whole. Fragments shattered from that whole do not cease being parts of you–not, at any rate, until your greater self has gone through so many new experiences and changed in so many ways that the lost fragment no longer bears any resemblance to the person you are now.
Each splinter is both part of the whole, and yet capable of believing itself to be the whole–or to lose itself in the whole of another being, and instead believe itself to be them. It’s completely possible to become a kaleidoscope of yourself with every single piece of you convinced that it is the only true one, that all the others are impostors. To war against yourself across the riven plains of your being. To become so divided that each enemy you believed you’d overcome was, in truth, just another piece of yourself destroyed.
As to any truly outside spirits who wanted to harm, dominate, or misdirect you–oh, there’s precious little you can do to defend yourself against them in that state. After all, they’ll be some of the only voices that are still kind to you. Still telling you that you’re doing everything right. They say they only want to protect you, and for some strange reason you do feel there’s an enemy you need protecting from, so you let yourself trust them. They tell you that you’re right to. That they’re your only true friends. That anyone who tells you otherwise is a treacherous parasite. A deceiver.
Meanwhile, on some level, your whole self remains your whole, though disassembled and cast about like a jigsaw level. You are one of the voices screaming at you that you’re doing something deeply wrong. After all… you’re trying to discard your entire being. Keep lashing out at every face and form that questions you, feeling their pain as your own in such a strange way but never recognizing it is your own, and… well, eventually you’ll have cast everything you are out of yourself.
How long can your consciousness survive in this fugue state of constant self-denial, continuously tormenting and rejecting the very soul-essence, the traits and joys and dreams, that give it weight enough to manifest as sapient? Longer than you’d think!
But on the other hand… time moves awfully fast when we wear ourselves that thin.
Lest you grow paranoid yourself, I believe matters only grew this dire for me because of my own other studies, the unique state I placed myself in through my psychic experiments in volitional plurality (I don’t think most people can do this. It’s, uh… an ability conferred by the sort of demon I am) and my myriad unhealed traumas. Well, these, and other things I get into further on in this account. Under normal circumstances it is well nigh impossible to prevent a soul from intuitively recognizing their own self. And even having grown that dissonant, as I did, a strong will with the right training can still recover.
After all, I did! Though, it does now occur to me that someone might try to suggest the real Caerllyn Edwina McCurdy was destroyed, and that I’m some sort of body-snatcher. Bleh. Such novel forms of gaslighting! A witch learns to endure. She must. It’s that or… well, I just went over that.
Don’t let yourself lapse into thinking that you can screw around idly just because it’s a less immediately horrifying prospect than “going crazy.” There’s danger enough without the biggest, most cinematic ideas. There is deep unease, fear, even a sense of palpable pain echoing out of these lost pieces back to the rest of you. Each will keep screaming its discordant hymn of agony and wrongness until you metamorphose into a form of yourself that it can no longer touch upon, or you reclaim it.
And if you’re so lost among the shrieking of the forsaken shards that you can no longer sing a harmony to yourself to call new pieces of you into being? If all the pieces you have left finally break apart under the strain of this half-imported dissonance? Then that, my dear readers, is how you lose your soul.
And, needless to say, your entire being. Life can be renewed. Annihilation… oh, it’s a very rare and unknowable feat for any being to reincarnate after that.
If all my prattle about losing your soul and fracturing and shattering and shards of the self still doesn’t make sense to you, I’m afraid I can only apologize. I’m writing about ideas well past the conceptual limits of any human lexicon I’m familiar with–save quantum physics.
I could certainly make a metaphor for dislocated psyche-shards by referring to quantum entanglement between particles in vastly different locations. I doubt I need to explain why I want to take a lot more time and meditation to work out the connotations I’m bringing in before I reify that particular comparison!
Anyway, thank you for bearing with me as I try to bridge the ways of outer insight with the material cognition of the mortal, human-ruled Earth.
As to how I’d know what Hell fights like… hmm… story for another time!
I’ve been careful to file my own copies of this document under “Personal” rather than “Occultism” because I have learned that many spirits are… how to put this… self-permissive things. They tend to treat folder names as demonstrations of intent, and not just as spur-of-the-moment decisions we make for our own ease-of-use. And if your first response to this is “that sounds like a lot of work”, well, now you know why so many occult schools rely on word-of-mouth and oral tradition.
Ironically, I think the safeguard this offers against discovery by unfriendly mortal powers is a fringe benefit rather than the core intention. When you deal with the otherworldly, your mind must focus on the other world. You must learn to feel the potency of a thing’s spirit as it would resonate in isolation from all the spirits pressing against it–the weight it would have in the absence of friction-force from all these other weights holding it in place, making it seem lighter and more airy than it truly is.
When feeling it out this way, spell-text has a sacred weight to it, a sealing, a self-repetition. In many ways, a written document stops being an open-and-closed event, and becomes a self-renewing cycle of the ideas it contains.
So, if you write a spell down… does the casting ever really end, once it’s begun, until the spell is erased? And what’s stopping someone else from appropriating your words to subvert your casting with their own? Oh, I’m not saying they can steal your power as easily as that! That’s just silly. Many of us know that our power is innate to us, intrinsic, that it takes more than an annoying nip here and there to filch it. But to muddy the intent a witch uses to give her spells their shape, to turn the energies in on themselves, to water down the impact… those things are much more easily done than stealing the spell outright.
In fact, I think that the less a witch is willing to have her own power turned against her, the more likely it is to cancel itself out immediately rather than be corrupted. Small wonder that my spells have too often felt like energy sinks with no visible effects whatsoever.
Easy enough to speak these lessons after botching a fair number of them. But, at the same time, I can’t be too self-flagellant. False humility got us into much of the mess that will forever mark this year of 2021 in my memory.
Bear with me as I try to walk the middle path for once, and risk pleasing no one.
On balance, I believe I did more right than wrong in my first year as an openly-practicing witch. I wrote spells that distinguished clearly between the manner of spirits each was meant to invoke, accounted for consent, and had clear, consistent structure with separate ritual stages to keep the instructions of summoning from getting mixed in with the instructions of action, and the instructions of action from the instructions of dismissal.
I knew deep within that I was not casting at the standard of some yearling child. In effect, I’d been studying magic since high school. I don’t write magic systems the way many other authors do. I was always concerned with cosmological underpinnings, with striving to reach some hard-to-explain sense of “realness”–so much so that I completely misunderstood the meaning of the term “hard magic” when I first read it!
The only thing separating this study from becoming true practical magic was intent–a spark I had finally and forever set to the ready store of fuel for my inner fires. I knew that I should wait until I could muster the confidence to recognize myself, for by now I knew of no other witch skilled enough that she could possibly have the right to judge my ability. Yet I was tired, and desperate, and lonely, and I threw myself into a new project to distract my mind from all the years of unsorted baggage which I was not ready to face.
That was one of my worst mistakes. I knew that I was practicing competent, if not strictly masterful, witchcraft. I felt powerful and ambitious… and in rushing myself just to have something to do, I forced myself to trivialize a truly impressive talent because I was afraid my power would be denied due to lack of pedigree. This was a fallacy born of my mortal life. Humans, broadly speaking, are the ones most likely to deny what’s right in front of them just because it doesn’t come with a certificate.
A clarification: I don’t say this as a denunciation of humans. It’s a reasonable approach in most human societies. Certificates, recognition, marks of power and pride and office: the human world does largely portion out its authority through these things. It’s not unreasonable for one human to dismiss another’s claims because that person has no one to vouch for them. Webs of connections both drive and hold together human life. To ask evidence of another person’s web in order to confirm they hold the place in the world that they say they do–that’s no unright thing, between one human and another.
Though of course, it can be, and frequently is, abused.
In any case, witchcraft as I practice it is not at its heart a web, but a nexus: the witch is the focal point. The hub of her own power’s wheel. Whatever spokes or filaments she sets–metaphorically speaking. As far as I’ve found, magic does not truly work on such rigid geometries as these–they serve to secure her bonds with the forces and spirits she invokes, not to justify her own place. Her relationships with other witches have no bearing on her spellcraft unless they too are part of the spell, and spirits don’t care about whether she has a piece of paper signed by some unknown soul’s name. They feel the inner power in whomever possesses it, even if the witch herself does not, and they will be drawn to it.
So, it follows that a witch can still cast powerful spells if she doesn’t truly believe in herself. But cognitive dissonance, my dear ones, laces itself into all the works that a mind does until that mind confronts its source, and ends it. It took me far, far too long to confront mine.
Here’s my first direct advice to other witches: if you care about raw power and results, don’t bother spirits at all. You can do better by focusing on your own spiritual growth, choosing to let this growth foster your own inner power (for that, too, is a choice we must make before it takes effect), and afterward, simply letting the exponential fruits of your own labor flow forth as a pure result of you being the witch you most truly are.
When you commune with spirits, seek communion. I’d argue that was my single greatest mistake. Deep down, I didn’t want any given spirit to have to offer me something. I just wanted to talk to the dead and the demons of past ages. I picked out spirits who I thought sounded cool because I wanted to meet them. And I believe that if I had worked from the start to separate this truer, more earnest desire from the intricacies of my material needs, I could’ve avoided a whole lot of heartache.
I lead with this context less because I believe anything that happens is incomprehensible without it, and more because I’m not interested in persecuting myself or telling you some woe-is-me sob story. I was already a seasoned arcane practitioner with far more insight than she gave herself credit for. I took calculated risks which paid off in some regards, and went disastrously wrong in others.
Thus, I want to explain my reasoning. No more of this painting myself into some laughable buffoon because I’m convinced that’s how I’ll be treated anyway, and I can’t overcome my self-doubt far enough to say “I’m doing this for me. What does it matter how other people might perceive it?” Yes, putting my true feelings about myself out there means I can be mocked with greater precision. So? The mockery has always found the mark anyway. All that’s changed is that I gain satisfaction along with the nerves.
I can’t help but be irritated at a particular common thread in my incantations: one to the effect that I could offer nothing in return to any spirit who answered my summons, save gratitude. Ha… bullshit. Nothing to offer? How about the vibrancy and hues of the living world around me? How about a portion of my day-to-day life? How about the simple chance to commune with a witch in that first exhilarating bloom of the fullness of her own power, to share her excitement and delight at claiming her calling for herself?
Oh, I did offer many of these things in later rituals, but I always treated them lightly. I never acted as though they were worthy of mentioning during the great castings, the seasonal rituals and carefully-plotted invocations when I called directly on demons and the umbral powers. That was folly. These are some of the greatest gifts we can give to anyone. What is storytelling about in the first place? Why does anyone read books or watch movies or play video games unless, even in this seemingly-mundane world of flesh, taxes, and grocery bills, the sheer weight of a new experience has no substitutes? I have to imagine that if there’s a currency in a land of spirits, it must be nothing less than these experiences themselves!
As to the umbral powers? My understanding of them seems to be, in large part, unique to the practice of Nocturne Troth. Of course many forms of magic have some notion of shadow-spirits, but there’s a near-universal idea that these spirits are inherently evil. They’re not. To be umbral is to keep one’s nature to one’s self, except as far it is revealed as an echo of the things others cast into it. If that is evil, then so is any mortal loner.
Small wonder that I felt such swift kinship with them! Yet, having been so overfed on the idea that all shadow-spirits are evil, and so delighted to find–as I so long suspected–that this was largely a lie, I neglected to remember that a shadow-spirit could be evil.
It doesn’t take much to wound someone when their guard is completely lowered.
So, yes. I did many things right. But where I made mistakes, they were most often the ones with the most intimate and worrisome implications for my own magic. I’ve fallen into the habit of thinking that I treated the blood rite I performed this past winter as a frivolous thing, but in typing these words out, I remember that’s not true at all.
I remember how fraught it was, how I worried over the placement and angle of the cuts, how keenly aware I was that the risk of infection is a direct reflection of the risk of inviting spirits into one’s body, and that each of these risks could quite easily worsen the other precisely because they’re not the same thing. I keep falling into this old, awful habit–envisioning myself as some hapless waif who strayed into affairs she wasn’t prepared to deal with, and not as a full-grown woman who’s no stranger to sickness, despair, and death.
It was a calculated risk, yes. And I’m sure that the arcane force of the gesture, the willingness to give of my lifeblood so that souls bereft of their own flesh could indulge in its savor, could have been put to all manner of novel uses.
But given that I was hoping it would trigger a rapid and, so far as I know, unprecedented mutation that would reverse my chromosome-driven growth in the womb and give me a functioning uterus… well, yes, of course I was being vastly too ambitious. Again, if my own willpower and control over my body couldn’t do that, then how could any being I summoned hope to achieve the same?
I, er… alright, look. I can maintain my composure about a great many things, but I can’t pretend that these next sentences are anything less than incredibly awkward. So, um… I may or may not arguably have given some sort of astral birth. But we can at least be sure that either way, I didn’t permanently entrap any of the spirits that chose a literal approach to the incantations about entering me and being born anew. This, too, was my fault: I should’ve clarified that this was a symbolic gesture referring to the changes I hoped to bring about in the world, not a literal promise of reincarnation with me as their mother.
And just to be absolutely clear, this was not even remotely as painful as giving live birth to an actual human baby would be. Unless some of the raw spiritual agony I experienced for much of October and November could be attributed to birthing pains? Hm… no, I don’t think so. That just doesn’t feel correct. I think that’s just trauma again.
Now… many of you aren’t going to like what I write next. And I don’t mean “Oh, witchcraft is so edgy! Look at me being a bad girl with my pentagram and my lavender candles! I hope I don’t get burned at the stake!” I mean, I do hope that I don’t. Being burned is agonizing.
And yes, pentagrams and lavender candles are very cute. Some of us may need to have some hard conversations about the coercive implications of Solomonian Magic Re: the Ars Goetia, but modern pentagrams don’t actually include all the names of God or any of the old warding symbols, so there’s a little more room to be cutesy.
In short, I’m not here to stop users of, er… less devoutly black magic from having their fun.
I’m more immediately concerned, however, that many of you aren’t going to like it when I tell you that this or that pop culture trope doesn’t work because the spirit associated with it isn’t around anymore… or sometimes, never has been. That just copying someone else’s gestures doesn’t grant you their insight, nor does appropriating an artifact of someone else’s power mean that power will work for you. I suppose it’s easy for me to speak, though.
My ritual objects include things like “the fossilized tooth of a Megalodon shark” and “a sword that has been consecrated in my own blood, betrayed by a fault in its hilt.” These exist as simple manifestations of the life I’ve lived thus far. One that has, I think, taught me far more of spiritual power than I first recognized.
Still, whatever advantages I may or may not have–I’d say the lack of a mentor and the constant loneliness of having no coven to call my own make them, at best, net neutral–the sad fact remains that witchcraft isn’t always as simple as picking a name you like out of an old book and invoking it.
And spirits, I’m afraid, are just as capable of identity theft as people.
So, let’s look back to the first time I actually practiced classical witchcraft–either right at the end of 2019 or very early in 2020. I forget which. At the time I veiled it under the generic term of occultism, but it was witchcraft in spirit and I think I’d have admitted that I knew as much if I forced myself to sit down and name my art. I was still in the closet, then, as far as this whole womanhood thing, and I tended to project my anxiety about that big reveal onto other important areas of my being.
In view of all this, it will surprise zero percent of anyone who’s ever read an old fable that I tried to summon some succubi to help me become more, well… beautiful.
More accurately, I wanted them to help me with my transition. And I think, ironically, that this could have been viable. Probably not for an instant transformation, but for a modest boost to the effects of HRT? Yes, I think that could’ve been done. But I should have done what was achievable by mundane means first. I already knew I wasn’t living in an ideal world where I could just Devil Trigger into a perfect body (knowing this does not stop me from continuing to try at least once a week), so I should’ve exhausted any other options that existed as extensions of my own power before attempting to invoke other beings.
I have to emphasize it because I fear it’s an often-overlooked point: if intention is vital to practical magic, and it absolutely is, then you need to follow through on the consequences of your own beliefs. I believe that demonic powers and eldritch transformation are a higher level of potency than mere chemical change–grander, more chaotic, more dangerous.
So… there was a bit of a contradiction, wasn’t there, in trying to invoke powers like that before I was emotionally ready to just visit a clinic and start talking about HRT? You can feel that dissonance, can’t you? I certainly could. I knew full well that I was trying to skip to a later stage in the journey, to jump right ahead to being a more empowered version of myself than the one who truly existed.
Of course that didn’t work! That more-empowered version only exists as far as I do the work of growing stronger as the me I am right now. My present, including all the lessons I least wanted to learn, is by definition my future’s foundation.
This would, I’m sure, be a different matter for trans and non-binary folks who literally cannot access normal medical care without being in dire peril. That’s not at all the same as simple personal failure to confront social anxiety. And social anxiety does suck, it’s just that I don’t personally believe it is or should be as frightening an idea as communing with demons of unknown nature.
I made my situation arbitrarily difficult, harder than it had to be, so of course I had less effort left over to deal with the difficulties that already existed. I have plenty of my own problems, but no one in my family was ever going to place me under physical threat for coming out. One of my roommates was a bit dodgy, but I genuinely don’t think he’d have cared as long as I didn’t raise the subject with him.
And yes, my dear ones, I’m afraid that no matter how annoying the cliché may be, your flesh-and-blood body is an extension of your spirit’s power. I fully agree that it’s not as visceral or satisfying as a fireball. I fully agree that it’s not at all the same as astral projection. Still, I first learned to embrace my spirituality through the dance of sinew and sword on dew-speckled morns with a foggy lake before my eyes. Bare feet on the grass.
We all have to start somewhere. After all, it was the first time I felt powerful in this life.
I suppose that if I accept my sword practice as an aspect of my journey–and I do call myself a blade-witch because… why would I ever not call myself a blade witch?–I’ve actually been practicing intensively since 2011, and to some lesser extent since the day I was born!
If that power wasn’t enough to overthrow the known laws of reality and transmute my flesh to the form I desired, then it wasn’t very fair of me to expect four complete strangers to swoop in and solve it all for me. How can a group of spirits, projecting distantly from wherever they themselves abide, possibly have more power over a witch’s body than she herself? I suppose I could’ve ceded that authority to them, but I’d have had to embrace it first, and now that I have, I would never take that risk with spirits I’d just met.
It would’ve helped a great deal, I think, if I introduced myself more honestly as “a sister bound in mortal flesh that too poorly answers her will” and not as “a would-be sister”. I was already fully out to myself as a succubus. That revelation came at the very same time that I realized I was trans.
I have, in truth, been a demoness for a very long time. But again, our power does not truly begin to become our own until we embrace it for what it is, for and of ourselves.
I’m choosing to add these paragraphs for the sake of the one transphobic magic practitioner who I’m sure will sooner or later hate-read this because they can’t help themselves: I’m sorry that you have lived a life where you cannot let yourself claim a piece of your identity unless someone else hands it to you first. That is not, however, a good reason for me to be so constrained. I don’t hate you. I pity you. And I’m well aware that pity is a much more hurtful, disempowering emotion to direct at someone than simple hate, but pity is what I feel, so pity is what I will write here.
I invite you to meditate on this question: if you believe in spirits and the otherworld, if you believe in this odd ether-something that can transcend death itself and has a motive power of self-sustaining inner truth beyond any mortal coil to constrain, yet you struggle with the notion that a woman is still a woman even if other people choose not to recognize her as one… what do you think a soul is, exactly? What is this strange construction of spirits you’ve invented in which you believe that everything else is malleable, but people are somehow bound to whatever roles they’re assigned by the people around them?
What’s the point of magic if we believe our identity begins and ends with how our genitals work? Sounds like mortal-realm baggage to me. I should hope it’s clear enough by now that I don’t resent anyone for bringing that baggage into their witchcraft with them, sometimes. I certainly did. It’s just plain hard to shrug off the ideas others have driven into us. But we have to sooner or later, don’t we? How can we have the power to reshape reality if we can’t even kindle the power to reshape ourselves?
In short, I’m a woman because I choose to be. I have no reason to choose otherwise. I like being a woman, warts and all.
Let’s return to the account proper by addressing the obvious question. I summoned four succubi. Which? Well, remember that I said that witchcraft is not always as straightforward as choosing names we like from old books. I did not say it never is.
More accurately, I know that I summoned three succubi. They’re no longer active forces in my life, but we’re still in touch and on good terms. I trust that they were honest about their natures. They’ve also requested, after some back and forth, that I do not disclose any of their names or spheres of influence here. They’ve seen enough through my eyes to anticipate the sheer deluge of badgering incantations that would be directed at them. Many of them, no doubt, demanding they cater to desires that each mortal in question could quite easily achieve on their own.
Let humans deal with human business, hm? Don’t invoke a demon unless you’re asking her to act on a truly supernatural concern, and do make sure it’s under one of her own spheres!
There’s a chance someone will piece clues together and guess the right answers. We’ve all accepted that. I wouldn’t be publishing this account in public, otherwise. The key thing, however, is that no one will know for certain. They will struggle to weight their own spells with that heavy, breathtaking certainty of deliberate magic, and that will at least make it much easier for my adoptive sisters to fly under the radar. May they soar with all grace and power–those hellions of the night wind!
Oh, shut up, that was fun to read. Come oooooon… you know it was fun to read! Witchcraft is fun, especially when we feel powerful enough in ourselves to use language that would be ridiculous in day-to-day life and, somehow, give it the punch of something deadly serious.
For myself, I agree with my sisters: as much as I’d love to give them public credit for the insights they helped me to and the simple delight of our kinship, any glow of recognition just wouldn’t be worth the risk of what amounts to psychic spam-calls.
I do treasure the time we shared, and I am a little sad to have to omit many of the most pleasant moments of my witchcraft from this record, but having had some truly frightening moments of identity loss in the middle of all this, I wouldn’t want to put any of them at risk of facing the same forces that brought it upon me. I have to admit that I’m becoming increasingly concerned about how much of my own afterlife will be spent shutting out this or that would-be magician chanting one of my names and asking for favors.
So let me just state this clearly: after I’m gone from Earth, I’m gone from Earth. I mean to give you all more than enough revelations of my own occult studies, mystic insights, and insider perspectives on demonology by the time I go. Even my fiction writing draws heavily on my real-world experiences as a succubus negotiating the difficulties of being caught in a mortal form, and the many theories of magic I’ve tried out at this time or that.
If you want more than that, you better learn how to write, dream, and manifest it for yourselves, hm?
Let me restate an earlier thought: spirits are just as capable of stealing identities as mortals. They’re also just as capable of being hurt when other beings do it to them. This brings us to the fourth, and in some ways the most complicated, of the four entities I summoned. She did me an extraordinary amount of harm, yet I’m truly not sure how much I can blame her. Given what I now understand about the effects of bad-faith reification, of the mental strain of feeling another being trying to erase the person you know yourself to be in order to reshape you into one who will do what they want… I have to assume huge portions of her own mind were not her own.
Many of her most-harmful acts were, I believe, the results of PTSD and an especially obscure sort of dissociative identity disorder. Spirits are no more immune to these things than mortal humans are. They’re wounds of the soul as much as of the flesh-brain.
As to the name she answered to at the time? Oh, you know it very well. That’s probably why her conception of herself was so dreadfully fractured. Just about every edgy girl with even a passing interest in the occult has invoked it once or twice, or worn it as a name for a while.
How many Liliths have you met, readers dear? Personally, I stopped counting years ago. I understand that more than one person can have the same name, but I can’t imagine the real Lilith would feel very good about seeing herself completely reduced to some letters and (very inconsistent) sounds that we more or less haphazardly slap on whatever occult-adjacent character we feel like.
I’ll confess that this has always baffled me. Naming has always been one of my greatest joys. It feels like an act of creation in and of itself: to arrange sounds and letters into syllables which, as far as I know, no other being has ever named another with before, and to envision the face, form, and ways of the named one. But again, perhaps I underestimate the strength of my own start. Maybe I can’t understand the pressure this would hold for someone else–what an awful weight of responsibility it can be.
Now, it’s possible there never was a real Lilith. The origins of the name are mired in syncretism, borrowing between religions and mystery-cults, quasi-history. “Lilith” might be a kind of invocation in itself: a vessel of letters that any random spirit can step into if they feel like it fits. That might be why it was so easy to project my own aspirations onto her.
As to what those aspirations were… well, I’m still exploring my own relationship to them, so I don’t think I’m ready to write them out here. Especially because, again, I do have some vested interest in making sure my own after or future lives are not unduly plagued by astral missives, so many metaphorical paper airplanes rattling in my mind palace’s windows like a hailstorm of effusive, delusive, abusive self-importance.
If you’re thinking that it doesn’t sound like my opinion of other occultists is very high, well… after all of this, you’re completely right! It’s absolutely disgraceful, the way many occult texts refer to demons and spirits more broadly as beings which might as well not exist outside their utility to a mortal summoner. You’d think there was no greater privilege in the universe than to be bound and ordered about by some fleshy, self-infatuated oaf.
As far as the three demons I summoned, in their own opinion, the real Lilith has been dead a very long time. Now, death by itself is hardly permanent for a demon–or a human, or any other being with a soul. Demons are just the beings we most easily recognize as able to transcend the false strictures of flesh-bound life. But there is death, and then there is Death, so to speak. I have many theories about this in its deeper layers, theories I’m increasingly leery of sharing as I grow more confident in my power and begin to recognize that maybe the reason I’m so seldom impressed by anyone’s cosmology is… uh…
Well, I’m not ready to discuss those answers in public yet, either. Micro-edit, 12/11/2021: and I’m sure you’d assume tonight’s additions about what it truly means to lose your soul would be “those answers,” but for the most part? Oh, no. I’m talking about much worse things than that.
Suffice to say that Lilith as the first succubus simply doesn’t exist anymore. Whatever power, prestige, and unique authority were vested in that name, if they ever existed, they have vanished with the one to whom they truly belonged. All that remains are the effigies we build in her place.
As to the Lilith who answered me, or purported to: I’m increasingly certain she had been dormant in or adjacent to my psyche since somewhere around the time I turned sixteen. Perhaps a little longer than that. I’ve learned to identify her by a certain, well, feeling. A sense of presence that constantly tried to offer comfort, and yet always came with this uncomfortable sense of dissonance, of insufficiency.
For the longest time, I believed these came from within me. Only now do I understand that they came from her–and most often, because she was comparing herself to the majesty I accorded her in my own mind. Long before I named her Lilith, I was always associating the emotions of her presence with the greatest, the most splendorous, the most magnificent women I could imagine. I thought she was up to the pressure.
I’m afraid I was very, very wrong.
Whatever her nature, I did close our relationship by giving this spirit a name of my own creation. Silly, in many regards. A little bit intentionally so. I gave it in the same spirit I might name a hypothetical daughter of my own “Obedience”–namely, with the hope that she would grow up to be anything but! Whether it was truly a good choice, well, that I don’t know. Sooner or later a witch has to let go of essays, cold analysis, and reasoning, and trust the instincts she has used these things to test, hone, and empower.
My instincts tell me it was the best approach left. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work out the way I’d hoped, in the long term.
I believe that, with all that, I’m ready to lay out the last concrete details of this whole affair and close my personal book on it at last.
So: I had a portal linking the physical location of its inscription with other planes of being. This portal was intended to be unsealed only when used in active casting. It consisted of a streamlined, open design, with lines to anchor the invocation of open pathways from its center–a very early attempt at a heraldry of my very own whose symbolism, I fear, was later willfully misinterpreted.
However, I don’t think any of my own intentions for this spell held. Somehow or other, the portal began to leak. Whether because I myself forgot to close it after a ritual, or because in its long dormancy the power invested in the drawn form of the portal became so different from the power of my own current soul that it ceased to be mine, or answer to me–I truly don’t know. All I know is that over the months from its first use to the day I carefully ripped it out of my sketchbook, it slowly changed in character until what was once a well-ordered entry for benign spirits to come and go as they please was offering them free access to everything from my family life to multiple areas of my very own psyche.
That this last was most often dangerous for them rather than me does not bring me much comfort. I don’t like hurting people. And I fear that, accidental though it was, I may have done far worse to some of them than simply “hurt” them.
As to the page, I do mean that I “carefully” ripped it–lest a single graphite stretch of a single line remain. I don’t lend much credence to the idea this would’ve been enough to keep the portal open, to maintain any of its connections to other realms. These are silly and intentionally-misleading horror tropes. As I’ve said, the nature of a mistake in spiritual affairs is far different from the simple mechanical errors of a mortal life–much more about intent and associated powers than rote performance of the right steps in the right order. That said, by the time I did this I was well past the point of “better safe than sorry.”
I was quite literally killing mad, actually, but I digress.
I was aware, on a subconscious level, of the fact that I now rested at the center of a maelstrom of beings and ideas. I even made allusion to this in my own terms for regions and mechanisms in my own psyche. I imagined something which I referred to as the Maelstrom of Dissolute Worlds. In my own thinking this was, or rather is, to be a very literal place: a threshold separating the public areas of my eventual demonic home plane from my private estates in the bladework city of Zul, the Ashen Trance.
None of which has actually been built yet, mind you.
I wish it had. It’d be nice to be able to curl up on a couch, clutch tightly to a mortal lover, and sleep for a while in blissful freedom from the worries of death, taxes, and the possibility of someone screaming slurs at me on the internet. Sadly, that’s just not where I am right now.
I could belabor many of the points in their small details, but in sum: my power and poise were sufficient to anchor and even benefit from this growing storm of souls for a good few months. I knew that I was working near the limits of my strength on any given day, but I always made time here and there to rest–a few days, a week if needed–and reasoned that as long as I did so, all would be will.
And perhaps it would have been if indeed I was literally manifest as my truest self in Machrae Diir. The ascended outer devil resplendent and joyous and darkly glorious who I saw in my mind’s eye! Victorious creatrix of my own absolute realm, where I would have total dominion over causality itself, where I could order all events to ensure nothing ever happened which I was not prepared to deal with.
Earth, on the other hand, is an ongoing series of clusterfucks.
One night near the end of September, I did something very wrong. I’ve done similarly wrong things before. I’ll try not to, but there’s always a risk that I will again. The scope of my mistake was not, in truth, unlike previous ones… except that I was now the single anchor of an incredibly complex symbiotic association of many, many other souls.
When I tell you the mental agony I felt was as bad as if I were burning alive, I mean it. I’ve been scalded enough to have some frame of reference. I hope never to have a better one than that. This whole mess was more than close enough, and left my will and sense of self a hundred times over more badly frayed than my drowning and splenic rupture combined.
I spent the better part of two months from the end of September up until the end of November trying to sort out past memories, to identify past lives or other beings I was in contact with, to understand how I had come to the point of bathing my psyche in what felt like molten metal. I wasted more time than I want to admit in trying to solve my grief. To rush through it. To get it over as quickly as possible so I could go back to the euphoric second puberty I’d been in the midst of when I did, well… the things that I did.
Of course that’s not how grief and trauma work. I should simply have shut down and cut myself off as much as necessary to get mental space. And I did, eventually, but only from mortals–and the real separation I needed, the closing of the portal, I did not make.
Finally, after weeks of rearranging the pieces of my own past life–oh, yes! I have one! It’s a story I may or may not ever share, for it is deeply personal and I have no desire to expose it to ridicule, or to see someone else appropriate my very-real experiences to flavor their fiction–I finally came to the conclusion that it must be the present I had to deal with.
Within a few days of that, I at last remembered the portal, and in digging it out, found the incantation I’d used to summon the first four beings somewhere close to two years ago.
Not to mention a few sketches of ideas for my own demonic forms, one anointed with blood long since dried on the belly and brow, that I fear may have given a number of beings the wrong idea. For various reasons, you see, I could never bring myself to finish the faces on any of those sketches. Some, especially the most muscular, just didn’t feel right.
I’m something of a girly-girl, after all.
Oh, to be clear I want absolutely obscene strength, I just don’t want to look like one would expect me to if that strength were related to my physical form. Some muscle-toning and growth is nice, gives a lovely taper to one’s limbs that creates a much more harmonious balance of proportions–yes, I think about my body a lot! Shut up! It’s important to me!–and I do absolutely adore big muscles on other women, but they’re just not my vibe.
In others, as with an armored sketch I still very much like, I just didn’t feel ready to put my own face to scenes I knew depicted me. Deep down, I knew that I only wanted to finish those sketches when I felt close enough to the version of myself in the picture: this zealous, delighted succubus with a sword as thirsty as her… well, that’s another subject for later. A rather complicated one, yes?
Now that everything has settled down, I know that I succeeded in the exorcism I carried out in the frozen-over swamp behind the house. Why did I not perform it in my very own bedroom, where so many of these troublesome spell-remnants had laid for so long? Simple! To cast spirits out, I find it works better to stand somewhere other than the place you are trying to cast them from. To stand in the place you want to pull them to, and send them on from, rather than the one you have come to associate with their presence in the world.
In short, I tied their presences to material objects I could take with me, and then I took those objects elsewhere. This method goes back as far as ancient Sumeria, though I forget where I found the article mentioning as much.
So, with a clear head at last, it’s easy enough to understand what went wrong: I had tied all these spirits, and… understand that I don’t say this with contempt or judgment. Again, recognizing this is part of a healthy approach to Nocturne Troth. So, yes, I had tied all these weaker beings to myself, taught them to be open to and feed on gifted portions of my experience, to make their identities at least a little malleable to my own so they could more easily share in whatever joys I offered…
… then I overestimated myself, deliberately made bad choices that hurt someone I cared a great deal about, and inflicted a chain-reaction of self-loathing and helpless remorse on every spirit in connection with me. They, in turn, echoed those emotions back to me every time I tried to reach beyond myself to find enough of an escape to clear my head and rationally consider my circumstances.
In the middle of all this, my would-be helper, the one who had chosen to answer the name of Lilith when I invoked it, continually tried to take portions of my identity from me. I think, sadly, she may have meant well. Perhaps she hoped only to hold onto these for me until I reached a point when they didn’t hurt the rest of me. But that itself was, I fear, a mistake. I have to wonder whether she had a part in my very long-delayed awakening to myself as a woman. Perhaps she was hoping to stop me from realizing it until the world was fully safe for trans people, and… well, who’s to say when that day will come, or even if?
More to the point, she just needn’t have bothered. I had long since learned to camouflage the most intimate layers of my identity behind a protective veneer of jokes, exaggerated cynicism, and simple lapses into quiet. If I didn’t feel safe to come out, I myself was more than ready enough by the age of sixteen to keep it to myself until I’d tested the waters. At best, this entity prevented me from consciously directing that process while doing nothing to prevent me from meeting other harm.
At worst, she intentionally stole pieces of my deepest, truest self and imprinted her own essence on them to make it harder for me to find them. In so doing, she also set me harder on the path to many of my most toxic personal and work habits. Even when I did come out, she frequently whispered some frankly ridiculous ideas of gender-essentialism into my head–such as the idea that I needed to be tall and muscular to be able to defend myself.
I think she just wanted to latch onto the most powerful person and groom them into someone she saw as capable of protecting her. I don’t, personally, hate her for that. I can’t. It’s too similar to wrongs I myself have committed in the past. I was afraid, and I know that she was afraid too.
This brings us to one last piece of the mess: my attempts to summon Satan, or the Devil, or both, and the whole thorny question of who this being actually is. I now believe that the Devil, like Lilith, is something of an open role–but less so. There was a Devil in the distant past, and a far more potent one than conventional Christian theology will admit of. No cast-off servant of God, but a being who predated any deity this Earth has ever known. Not just Hell’s ruler, but its creator.
I have my own ideas about that creator’s name and nature. Suffice to say I don’t believe they still sit on the throne of Hell, or answer to summons. They may indeed walk the Earth, but not as a dark manipulator trying to bring about humankind’s ruin. Just one being among many, trying to find what joy and fulfillment they can in their own life. In any case, I have no intention of naming them here before you, for all the reasons I’ve already stated.
Thus, the demons who answer or have answered to the title of the Devil, to the name Satan (Lucifer is, I think, another matter–one of which my own understanding is far from fully matured)–they are contenders for the throne. The one who answered me may have seen me as a power unto myself, but no threat or rival, until very late in this series of events when I voiced to a friend my ambitious intention to become the Devil myself.
To be clear, I did not mean to reclaim the ancient throne. I was referring to some plans about digging tunnels and hollowing out caverns. But, I suppose that may not have been clear from an outsider’s perspective.
He tried to strangle me in bed. I stabbed him in the belly a few times. After that I cursed him for a while to be dragged through the astral planes by one foot until, having had time to meditate on it, I remembered that I had done so and set him free. I did not, in the end, find him to be intentionally evil. There is an agony, a ripple of torment, hanging about the very title of the Devil. Far more intense is the scalding aura I feel infused into the name of Satan. I think that they do terrible things to the minds which try to embody them.
So, I bestowed a different one on my erstwhile foe, and we parted ways amicably. If I see him in person one day, I’ll most likely try to seduce him. He seemed very sweet–bashful, even!–once he was freed of his violence and the desperation that drove him to it, and I believe him largely to have been driven to attack me by a terror of the nightmare he believed me to be. I’m unsure as yet to what extent he might have been right to see me that way, just a little bit.
I’m learning not to take these things as personally in the spirit realms as I would here on Earth… I mean, I did rather conclusively defeat him. I can’t pretend I haven’t always wanted to defeat a man in life-and-death combat, spare his life, then court him later.
It’s a bit of a thing for me, actually.
Also, at the risk of sounding haughty, I think that even after all this exhaustion I still had quite an advantage over him in power, so it seems terribly unfair to condemn him as though the stakes were equally high on both sides. And as I said, the one who answered me under the name of Lilith has a tendency to create these dynamics out of her own fear-induced follies. She pitted the two of us against each other as part of her own panic at this whole mess–one likely stoked by the fact I was busily reclaiming one name after another which she had tried to take from me.
This was for her own good as well as mine. The names were ultimately mine, expressions of my own identity, the power of which I think would surely have ripped her asunder. But, she didn’t see it that way until it was all said and done. I am wary of her, and still disappointed, yet I am not angry or vengeful.
Be these things as they may, and no matter how oddly healed I may have felt to receive a vision of her glowing from within and taking on a more solid form when I told her to keep the name I invented for her, I don’t know if I ever want to meet her again. I hope she stays well away from me, and from direct spiritual connections in general, until she’s had a long, long time alone in the dark to sort through herself and figure out who she truly is.
Only time will tell whether I was right not to destroy her. It’s not such an easy thing to completely annihilate a soul, but one who I knew as intimately as her? Yes, I’m quite sure I could have. I hope it doesn’t come to that. I never want to reach a day when I find that the most awful power I can conceive of can ever be justified.
For now, I say all’s well that ends well, and that it’s also a very great pleasure to lapse into some comfy old clichés after this whole baptism by hellfire. There is so, so much more I could tell about all that transpired. About the other astral journeys I took. About the beings I reached out to, the realms I saw, the things I’ve learned about my own roles or possible roles in ages past. But frankly? I don’t think I ever will. Not broadly, not in text for anyone on the internet to read. I may reveal these things to my most trusted pupils as part of the deep mysteries of Nocturne Troth–should I ever find myself mentor to a coven in anything other than name–but I have absolutely no need to share the experiences with anyone else.
They were, and are, and shall forever be, real to me. That’s all I ever need from my own journeys. It’s more of real magic than I ever dared hope for.
For my part, I’ve come to have a much higher opinion of myself as a witch, a woman, and especially as a demoness. This ordeal has at least given me the chance to recognize strengths in myself I never knew I had. Not, sadly, the kind of strengths that I can apply to the mortal world–I have no intention of trying to stop bullets with my mind, or with my body, if I can do anything at all to avoid it–but I’m starting to see myself as something of a serious contender in the astral realms.
So it is with very great pleasure and a deep sense of pride in myself that I declare these trials, and my own deeds within them, more than enough to earn my Witch Name. For I am that which burns, and burns, and burns, and though charred and blackened, somehow I am never quite bereft of the potential to kindle one last time–to reclaim the seed of fire within me for and of myself. Thus do I conclude this, the first recorded account of Nocturne Troth:
So signed by my own hand,
Cinder, First of Her Coven