Got Demons?

I wish I could say that the below graphic is from a funny site or a tongue-in-cheek book on cults or even a dark arts list from bygone days where exorcisms and wooden stakes were handed out willy-nilly.  But no, it’s from a modern-day group of demonologists – led by an “end times” pastor.  I had hoped that the site would still prove satirical, but I have yet to find any proof of that. Instead, it appears to be on the up and up.  For whatever that’s worth.  Which is both scary and sad. I’m hoping someone proves me wrong by finding the small print I have overlooked…you know, that teeny-tiny legal disclaimer stating the site is “for entertainment purposes only.”  Trust me, pointing out my mistake in this instance would make me feel better all around.  As it is, I can only take this list and the site itself at face value. Oh, did I mention the “end times” pastor in question also writes books? Yeah, apparently, he does, along with marketing videos and podcasts as well. Go figure.

click the pic to dive down the rabbit hole

Not content with your everyday demons, this particular end times pastor also delves into the mayhem that aliens and fairies spread far and wide…specifically their predilection for giving food to unwary travelers in an attempt to swoop them away. I know, I know, I shouldn’t make fun. Fairy kidnappings are not a thing to mock. My friend’s cousin’s wife’s brother-in-law’s neighbor was taken by a fairy back in 1973 and they haven’t heard from him since. It was horrible. The family never recovered. Or so I heard from my friend’s cousin thrice-removed.

Nothing if not versatile, the good pastor also advises and counsels people for mental illness and developmental disabilities of all kinds – but only in so far as he believes these poor souls to be possessed by demons. According to him, from what I’ve read on his site that is, all manner of illness or variation from the so-called norm (whatever the hell that is) – from anxiety to depression to autism to dissociative identity disorder, are part and parcel of demonic possession. He helps his followers by somehow expelling said demons and abracadabra, they’re cured of whatever ails them. I’m telling you, this guy must be really fun at parties.

Oh! Did I mention fallen angels?  Yeah, there’s fallen angels we have to watch out for too, besides Satan, that is. Of course there are. They’re different from demons you know. Obviously. I’m not sure why these end times people aren’t spending their time and energy on praying for Satan and any other fallen angel…I mean, if anyone out there needs prayers of salvation and a bit of simple humanity, it’s Satan and his merry band of fallen angels.

Now, I’m not one to question another person’s faith. Everyone faces the world and whatever might lay beyond it in their own way. If that’s through organized religion or howling at the moon, to each their own and I wish them well, truly. But it’s this kind of thing that I just can’t respect or get behind. Trading on fears and cult mentality is always, at its center, for the benefit of the so-called leader…not those who follow. As it just so happens, this pastor also wrote a book back in the day on starting your own business. Wonder if it includes a step-by-step guide on how to become a door-to-door exorcism salesman? I might want to get in on that gig. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I hear my evil “mom look,” the one I would give my kids when they were doing something wrong in public (but were too far away to grab) struck fear in everyone within viewing distance, not just my kids. So, I think I could work some good old-fashioned discipline on a pesky ol’ demon. As Scrappy would say, “let me at ‘em!  Let me at ‘em!

Not to mention, that according to this list, I’ve just accrued a myriad of new reasons as to why I’m going to hell. As if I needed more reasons. Sure, just pile on, why not? But hey, it’s clear now that the demons have hold of me (my ex would say he’s known that the whole time) — my brimstone-heated road to hell is not my fault. It was paved by yoga and Harry Potter and *cough* Twilight (shhh, that one’s a secret) and goodness (badness?) knows what else. So at least there’s that.

New Year’s Resolutions? What New Year’s Resolutions?

They say you should welcome the New Year with a resounding declaration of “a new year, a new me!”  This is excellent advice and I just want to take a moment to share my reflections on the past year and the personal changes I have in store for the coming…oh, who am I kidding?

It’s Not Just a Ball Dropping

Once again, New Year’s Eve is upon us.  Some see it as a reason to celebrate the end of a year. Others, especially the seasoned partiers among us, call it “Amateur Night.”  Still others view it only as an excuse to stay up late to watch Anderson Cooper get picked on and the ball drop in Times Square. In its simplest form, it’s a day that marks the completion of a specific period of time, and while that sounds boring, it’s not really. We celebrate the fact that after 365 days, 6 hours, 8 minutes and 38.4 seconds, this large chunk of rock and water travelling at 67,000 mph (yes, that’s faster than a speeding bullet) we call Earth, has arrived at the same spot in the universe it left 12 months ago without hitting something and spiraling wildly off into space killing us all. Hmmm, I guess that’s a pretty good reason to celebrate.  Before I go on, let me take my Neil deGrasse Tyson hat off (and hope that the smarter ones among us, I’m looking at you Paul, don’t end up correcting me on my figures – I worked hard on that).

As we complete each year, New Year’s Eve holds a special place in my heart. And while I’m not big on the whole resolution thing, it’s always been a moment of self-reflection. New Year’s Eve, especially this year, is for me a confluence of emotions that bring back a lot of memories and presents thoughts about what might lie ahead for me as I make plans for some serious changes in the coming year. I know, heavy, right?

This year, I’m celebrating my own version of the ancient Roman holiday of Carmentalia. It was a festival celebrated around this time of year in honor of the goddess Carmenta. She had the power of looking back into the past, and looking forward into the future based on what she learned from the past. Pretty nifty gift if you ask me, and don’t we all wish we had that power? The power of using what we’ve learned from the past wisely.

I feel that I should take a moment to explain. The time around New Year’s Eve always represented a personal trifecta for me. I was born on December 30th, a last-minute tax deduction for my father. I won’t say what year it was, just know that the AARP has me in their membership sights. Discounts at Denny’s are great, but yeah, not yet. Of course, there is the “normal” reason for celebrating.  I made it through another year without blowing anything up, or getting sued for anything I’ve written here. And miraculously, my kids and animals are all still alive, as is the one plant I’ve laid claim to. Go me! And this December 31st would have been my 19th wedding anniversary. I say “would have been” because my divorce was final this past January, hard on the heels of my 18th anniversary.  Believe me, that was a positive event despite also being a disappointing one. And since then, the dating world opened up in front of me in all of its anxiety-inducing glory. I know, it’s weird, right? Glorious and exciting, but weird nonetheless.

Anyway, as I said, I’ve decided that I’m going to celebrate Carmentalia. And I’m going to have a little chat with Carmenta herself. I need answers. Where have I been, where am I going, just what the hell is up with Tinder?

I have big plans for the coming year and life changing events are on the horizon. It’s a thrilling and good-scary time, and long-overdue. Ever the realist though, the raging introvert in me shouts, “Yeah, okay, so you’re starting a new adventure in 2018, but let’s not go overboard, okay?” I guess I do have a New Year’s resolution after all. And that’s to put my hands over my ears shouting “la-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you!”

In the meantime, placating the introvert in me actually sounds like a peaceful way to usher in the New Year and ready myself for what’s sure to be a wild ride. So, this New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day will find me ensconced on my sofa – with some equally introverted company, grazing on leftovers and sipping on a lovely Moscato a friend gifted to me, while the TV alternates between a 24-hour marathon of “Psych” and the showing of all 6 “Thin Man” movies. I know, I know, it won’t be the chaos that is Times Square when the ball drops. But, hey, it’s not like I can completely disregard who I am after all. And why would I want to? Plus, this will no doubt ease my mind and prepare me for the next 67,000 mph race around the sun.

Bring it on 2018 and Carmenta. I’m ready.

The Day After

Well, the holidays are over and presumably we all survived the reunion with our extended — or not so extended, families without too much of a hangover.  I just wanted to remind everyone, keep an eye out…you’ll be seeing Valentine’s candy and Easter eggs in the shops any day now. If you’re really lucky, the stores in your neighborhood will squish St. Patrick’s Day in there somewhere.

If you’re still on holiday break, I hope you have a well-deserved, relaxing time — unless you’re shopping and/or otherwise participating in the Yearly After-Christmas Returns and Sales Craziness, in which case, good luck. May you remain unscathed and without need for bail money. And if you’re back to work today? Well, Godspeed, my friend. Godspeed.