I get questioned often enough about why I use the Term “Infernal Polytheist” for myself that I think it is well past time to address it, and to address just what this “Infernalism” is and means to me, and some of the concepts that are central to it in my practice. As of writing this, I keep in contact with handful of people who are studying these concepts and are working with these Deities on their own, and as we have shared information and experiences with one another, some common ground has shown it’s self, and Im hoping I can capture it well enough here… at least well enough to allow for understanding of our *base* as it were.
For starters “Polytheistic Infernalism” is not really a standing Religion, but more of a Religious Concept that centers on The Gods and Spirits of the various Underworlds, and all the different Concepts that encompass Darkness it’s self. It is a Concept that sees The Darkness and The Light as two different Spiritual Constructs, which have very different paths of interaction, and concerns it’s self with the workings of The Gods and Spirits Darkness rather than the (very well tread, very well known) concepts of Those Of Light. Not because one is better than the other, or because they are at odds with one another, but because at a Polytheistic Infernalists very core is a tugging that cannot be denied, a tugging that leads our feet off of the Path of the Many, and into the Shadowed Worlds where so many monsters dwell. Unlike those who go through “The Dark Night of the Soul” and return gladly to the Daylight, or those who take a few spiritual journeys to conquer what they see as their own negative darkness, a Polytheistic Infernalist finds themselves quite at home in the Shadows of both worlds.
Now, right here is where many people start to delve into very tiresome clichés… Images of Goths and LARPing Vampire get togethers (Those are still fun though!) , teenagers haunting their local graveyards smoking cloves and playing with ouija boards (also fun), self proclaimed “Dark Magicians” who couldn’t magic their way out of a wet paper sack (these guys are less fun)… When most people start talking about “The Darkness” or “The Shadowside” this is what they see represented. This is why so many people who are called to do this work keep it to themselves, and pretty much go at their practice alone. These clichés are part of what I am hoping to help others break free from if they like , and why Im writing all this… so that they can peruse the Darkness in a serous, authentic, and healthy manner. Because there is so much of worth that is yet uncovered.
I am going to be addressing a number of basic concepts and some simple applied language and terms to give one a more firm footing about the actual subject matter of these concepts. The sad truth is, that when one tries to delve into this subject matter in a way not aimed at the very shallow or the played up spooky, one quickly discovers that the subject of the Infernal Strain of Spirituality is missing vast chunks of foundation in our top heavy and light obsessed world. There are many popular misconceptions carried forward by mainstream religions, consumed media, and bad Alternative Religious Concepts. Instead of trying to combat those things, it is actually a far more simple process to start from the underground up as it were.
The first thing we should address is “What, exactly, are your referencing when you say Darkness?” Hint: it is far more than one, singular thing. Having spent years wrapped up in the study of these very things, and with help from some of my Infernal leaning Associates, I have come up with The Three Concepts of Darkness as a basic introduction to some Key Concepts that are often worked with.
The First Concept of Darkness is the Darkness Present in our Physical World. This is the Darkness of Night Time, The Darkness of Shadows Cast by Objects, And the Darkness of Earth, which can be both natural (places like caves) and man made (places such as basements). While each of these Concepts of Darkness are rooted in our physical world and can be experienced as *physical* things , they each also have different spiritual qualities, and different energy patterns that one can manipulate and interact with. This is the first Concept of Darkness that I encourage people to interact with at length, as the nature of these Shadows are often mirrored in the other two concepts. The stand apart here is, of course, the Darkness of Night, which is more than the simple absence of light and physical Nighttime, but also a Primal Deity that I will address at length at a later date.
The Second Concept of Darkness is the Darkness of our Inner Landscape. This is the Darkness we carry inside of us, our inner monsters, our darkest natures. As a society obsessed with the Spiritual Concepts of Light, very few people ever take the time to learn about their Inner Dark Landscape. While it is given lip service in many religious settings, it is most often treated as something to be conquered, something to be beaten into submission, and something to be buried deeply, ignored, and never shown to others. The Monsters and Predatory Natures dewclawed and defanged for polite society. For those who are called to the Infernal Side of Spirituality, this is not only toxic to our basic nature, but can actually harm our being able to function in the Infernal Realms should we find need to go there. For someone willing to go through the process of taking this Darkness inside and learning to cherish it’s gifts, the outcome is nothing less than a shattering restructuring of our very concept of self. Those who are willing to fold their inner darkness into the fabric of their every day lives are catalyst of spiritual change in themselves and others.
The Third Concept of Darkness is the Darkness of the Underworld (that I personally approach as Erebus)… This is the misty darkness where rests all of the various Underworlds, the Shadowed Land of Death, and the Birthplace of all Dreams. It is in this Place that the Infernalist finds themselves the most strongly drawn too. While popular Religions tend to consider all places nested within Erebus “Hells” (and do not be mistaken, those Hells DO nest here as well) the landscape of Erebus is expansive with both beautiful afterlives, and pockets of beauty that can rival anything in the Lighted World.
These Three Concepts of Darkness, while being separate things, very often have an extreme level of interplay as well. Dreams drift to us from the Underworld, Night Descends and brings the Keys to the Doors of Erebus closer to grab at… their are many, MANY levels of interaction at play all wrapped up in that single word of Darkness. For those who wish to work the Infernal, knowing how this interplay happens, and understanding the different forms of Darkness are the beginning steps to unraveling ones place within the landscape of darkness.