Short answer: yes.
Long answer: right, so, um… I have been dealing with a staggering amount of mental baggage. I feel the need to be frank about some answers that are going to sound pretty insane.
Let’s start simple and non-crazy: this blog only ever had one author. Plurality was something I tried out for a while to see if it fit, got lost in the woods on, and which ultimately caused me to become a fractured, dysfunctional woman who couldn’t use her own greatest strength: adapting to a new context by thinking flexibly about how to bridge the gaps between where she is, and where the people in that context are.
I believe lots of people are plural. I don’t believe I ever was, and my unadmitted desire to force my mind to work in a way that it never truly has… that got me into trouble with beings that have never previously been strong enough to cause me any. I came frighteningly close to losing myself entirely, and I have nothing to show for clawing my way back except that I’m still here.
So, I’m not plural. I’m a single, cohesive mind that just likes having a bunch of different names for myself. Asche, Kairlina, Caerllyn, probably 90% of my horniest female “characters”… they’re not aspects. They’re just me placing myself in different contexts. Going on all the kinds of adventures I couldn’t have with my body of flesh and blood. Doing the things I’ve always wanted to do.
So, thank you all for bearing with me while I pieced my fractured psyche back together, one perspective at a time. I wish I had one single material benefit to show for it. I can’t uplift my friends with a dream, nor can I buy a house with revelations of the cosmos unfathomed.
God. This sucks. Those are things I should be able to do, right? We all feel that, that deep and somehow utterly-rational conviction of “I have these powers within me, this is how they will manifest, this is what I know I can do!” and yet… look at the world.
We as people know innately that we should have such wondrous power to reshape it. Yet, it refuses to change. So much of my change from child to adult was this continuous, cruelest breaking: finding out again, and again, and again, that the things I knew intuitively I should be able to do… just didn’t work.
It also brings me to my roles as a witch and a demon. Now, I understand that some of you will be skeptical about this bit. It’s okay. I don’t need to lean on you to affirm me for who or what I really am, nor are you failing me or somehow at fault if you don’t believe. It’s my internal spiritual reality. Why would it feel real for you? It’d be weird if it did!–or indicate that I have more power than I feel I do right now. Either way, most of humanity (as well as many otherkin) are spiritual, so I guess I’m just directing this at the folks who are open to it. I do not, sadly, have any kinds of undeniable supernatural powers.
I felt that I had to just come right out and say that. For whatever reason, and regardless any blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em loopholes, this world just doesn’t work that way. If I had powers like telekinesis, shapeshifting, dreamwalking and the like, do you really think I’d be sitting here running this blog?
Well, alright. Not frequently. Writing is a context I still like to embrace sometimes, but I definitely wouldn’t be as frequent or as verbose.
I carried out an exorcism recently to banish a bunch of spirits pouring through a portal. Unfortunately, I never actually saw the fuckers. The best I got were weird sensory phenomena and a lot of cloying attempts to steal pieces of my identity–in fact, this weird insistence on plurality can be traced back to my early forays into witchcraft starting December 2020.
Addendums: the portal wasn’t very impressive, either, aside from being a nice design which I myself drew. Not perfect, but pretty good for being done by hand… buuuut, it lost much of its sense of mythic potency by virtue of being on a sketchbook page. Fortunately, that made it much easier to destroy.
Yes, I opened this damn thing. And you might think that would feel very validating for a self-taught witch, but I thought I was going to have cool lucid dreams and sex with the devil, not spend close to a full year getting gaslit and manipulated by dream-parasites who tried to take credit for my ideas and hard work!
Upshot: you can totally stab ghosts with a sword as long as the sword is personally significant to you. Hell, you might not even need that. Your killing intent manifests in the spirit world. You channel it down the blade and you stab things with it–ghosts are, if anything, easier to stab than people. Even that might have been overkill. I’m pretty sure swords can have or develop souls too, in which case they will happily handle the ghost-poking for you.
God, what an absolutely terrible waste of an opportunity. What a bunch of loser spirits. A succubus summons them into the world, openly invites them to visit her in her dreams for some horny fun, and you want to know, dear reader, how many times I was taken up on that offer?
ZERO. And I am well aware my flesh-body doesn’t look that neat, but in dreamspace I am a knockout. Easily 10/10, and I very capable of making others horny with my presence alone. Not one single taker? Then good fucking riddance, I say. At least I got the satisfaction of beating someone in a fight, finally.
Unfortunately, as I already stated, this was all completely invisible. Trust me. I know. I know this fucking reads like a self-parody of the absolute dumbest horror tropes. Nobody is more disappointed by this than I am. I guess I’ve got some empathic gifts, maybe, so that’s pretty neat, but having to imagine the forms of the spirits in order to perceive them through the emotions they gave to signal their presences isn’t what I signed on for.
Also, just to be clear, my incantations were very carefully worded and left everyone plenty of room to just.. not act on them. Unfortunately, this did not stop many of the beings I summoned from acting in deliberate bad faith. And I don’t even get to feel cool because, a day out, I’m not really convinced any of this happened either! This is one of the most disappointing experiences of my entire life!
What I’ve learned is that there is nothing to be gained from bargaining with spirits that a witch cannot achieve under her own power. Just don’t bother. They won’t alter fate for you or speed up the changes you want in your body, and large portions of them may give you well-meaning but terrible advice because they literally don’t understand how our reality works.
By themselves, they’re not even that dangerous! They just aren’t worth the trouble, period. I met three succubi who were pretty cool. In isolation I think they might genuinely have been helpful–if only they had not been frequently drowned out by a scrambling morass of spirits who all wanted something from me.
And of course, right along with them, there was one who constantly got in their way as well as mine, tried to ruin my life, and also kept trying to steal my identity. And she knew full well I was a fellow demoness, she just didn’t give a damn!
All of which, as far as any of you are concerned, amounts to the hallucinations of a raving madwoman. I believe a lot of it was felt by the people around me, but none of it was actually seen. Nobody witnessed a single fucking thing, myself included–except inside my own head, a way only separated from imagination by the strange weight it had, and the emotions it excited. I guess I could dramatize it as a pretty cool story if only I had more leeway to actually write more stories.
I had a past life, yes, for those of you who are wondering. I don’t know how much knowledge or power I actually retain from it. I only know that I began that life alone as the most powerful being I knew of, and I ended it the same way. Was I a universe-weaving monstrosity, or just a lonely sprite in the snows of some frozen-over planet speckled by the ruins of a lost civilization? I don’t know. Power is a relative thing. Our experience of it depends so much on the beings around us.
I do genuinely think I was “most powerful” on a cosmic scale, but I also don’t think I retain any of that galaxy-altering power or cognition, so what fucking difference does it make? I can’t even give myself a cool true form, so I honestly agree with anyone who says “if you can’t do that stuff anymore, I don’t think it really matters.”
So, do I believe in supernatural power still manifest in our own world? Absolutely! That’s what souls are. That’s what I believe allows us to be. I mean… that’s sort of why I think psychology and neuroscience will never tell us exactly how or why brains work. I think they’re vital pieces of the puzzle of being, but trying to treat sapient life as 100% objective, quantifiable reality will never get us anywhere.
I’ve never met more people who are terrible at dealing with other people than I have among pure-psych specialists, which I think should be a clue as to how much they really understand other minds.
Also, like… psychology isn’t like other sciences. You can know more about someone’s circulatory system than they do, but nobody is ever going to know more about the way someone’s mind works than that person themselves does–unless something is terribly, terribly wrong, which is not a great assumption to have to start from in order to make your entire field viable.
Psychology suffers from exactly the same tendency to self-important bias that medical science does, but with none of the saving grace that drugs and procedures have solid, quantifiable effects that at least generally separate themselves from malpractice which depends on mentally reconditioning patients to justify itself. I mean… the idea that I had no control over or insight into my own psychology, and just had to go with the flow while accepting whatever anyone in a position of authority told me, is kind of what set me up for the cascading disasters of these past few months in the first place.
The whole nature of psychology seems so fundamentally backwards that I have to wonder if maybe it doesn’t need to start over from square one. There are so many terrible ideas that psychology has introduced into society at various points and then just, y’know… never dealt with?
I do truly believe that, regardless of your spirituality, the use of souls as a mental construct or framing of psychology consistently shows better results for dealing with the actual weirdness of people than do the would-be objective sciences invented for the same purposes.
Having conducted that exorcism on myself and my room… yesterday? Fuck, that was yesterday! It feels like it’s been a year!–anyway, I would say the emotional power of the experience was in itself therapeutic, whether anything supernatural actually happened or not.
And ultimately, it won’t matter whether any of our sciences do or don’t give us definitive answers on the whole “so how much of your humanity is in your brain?” question. Whether we are luminous beings cloaking ourselves in tawdry flesh until the day of our escape to brighter realms, or hapless meat-puppets swollen on the maladaptive glut of our own mortality-induced paranoia, nothing will free any of us from the need to live among and deal with other people.
There’s no equation or device we’ll ever come up with that will allow us to dodge having to negotiate boundaries, learn tough lessons, and atone for our mistakes as part of a world of other people with their own agency–people who may help us, hurt us, or neither.
Which… brings me to the part of this that really hurts. No matter what vibrant pasts I imagine, no matter what I conceive or how true it might be, no matter how grand I might once have been… what I am now is a demoness who only has manifest power in her own imagination, and in the feelings of others. I’m still living in a body that’s such a long, long way from feeling like the me I feel in my head.
And if my instincts are right, and the journeys I’ve gone on in my mind have grown my power, then… well, fuck. I don’t know what to do at this point. I don’t know what else is going to let me or anyone else actually manifest all these cool powers outside our own minds as hard, inarguable reality shared with other people. Not if the sheer volume of study I’ve poured into enhancing my own spiritual strength hasn’t already gotten me to the necessary power thresholds, or taught me the right tricks to applying that power. And if you’ve read Urhexen, you know this isn’t about impressing people, for me. I genuinely don’t feel like a complete, self-actualized being, living the way I am right now.
And meanwhile… meanwhile I really thought all my writing would’ve gotten somewhere and… well, let’s not revisit that absolute ravine of a beaten path, shall we?
I know some of this is just the time of year, relative isolation, all our old projects coming to an end, same old problems in the world, but… but this is also me trying to give up on ever having some revelatory moment and waking up the next morning with horns sharp and tail a-frisking.
This is it. This is the life I get. I’m pretty sure there’s an afterlife. I can feel it deep within no matter how afraid I am, and I have never been a woman to believe in something without reason. I tried being an atheist for a while and it just didn’t stick.
But living out the full remainder of a human existence with all of its aging, illnesses, pains, traumas… I’ve already been hurt so much. I’ve lived most of my first thirty years exhausted, lonely, and defeated at every turn. The existence I have to go through just for a hope of making it to the next life where I can actually embody my full self… it terrifies me.
Earth terrifies me.
I am, despite that, okay. I’m a little shocked at the sheer amount of fear I’ve learned to live with. But… fuck. This is actually it? All those millennia of occultism and witchcraft and would-be psychics boil down to this moment of harrowing disempowerment? So, yeah, I guess I can forgive myself for wanting to imagine there were a bunch of other minds sharing my head with me. It was nice to imagine some journey I could go on, some force of allies I could assemble, some powers I could claim to create that sudden cosmic tipping point. The breaking of the veil. The return, or first appearance, of magic and monsters and all the joyous chaos of the astral planes made manifest on the mortal Earth.
So many of us want it. Humans as well as otherkin. But I guess that just isn’t how the world works. I guess, in the end, there’s nothing I can do–and not in a cutesy poetic sense like in Sword of the Outsider. Trust me, I already tried that.
I’m okay. I’ll live. I just… I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that life, now. What’s the point of discovering who I am if I have no power to be me?
A past I can never reclaim. A present I can’t live in. A future I can’t believe in. Who the hell am I supposed to be now?