Sunday, October 17, 2010

Broken Laptop Blues

I meant to post more, but sadly my laptop broke. I had to go get a new one. Hopefully soon I'll get a chance to start writing again.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Vocalists Are Suicidal

I just now realized that 3 of my 5 all time favorite vocalists killed themselves. How strange is that?

Jon Nodtveidt
Born: June 28, 1975
Died: August 13, 2006
Method of Death: Self-inflicted gunshot wound 
Band: Dissection
Vocalist and Guitarist

Dissection is probably my favorite band. I bought "Reinkaos" when it first came out in Europe before it was even out in the U.S.. Well, I made my grandparents buy it for me. But none-the-less I still got it first thing. Highly influential album in my life. And of course I still love Storm of Light's Bane and Somberlain, two equally fantastic albums that still get most of my playtime.

Rozz Williams
Born: November 6, 1963
Died: April 1, 1998
Method of Death: Hanging
Band: Christian Death

Christian Death is one of my 3 favorite Goth bands, alongside the Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim. Rozz Williams was the frontman for the old Christian Death, and he did a fantastic job of it. I wish I would have been aware of music when Rozz was around, but sadly I never had the chance. The best I can do is keep re-listening to Only Theatre of Pain and accept the fact that Valor Krond has ruined the band. And no, not just because he isn't Rozz Williams. I love the Atrocities album. It's because he turned one of the best Goth/Death Rock bands into...whatever you'd call a band that releases an album as terrible as "American Inquisition." And that is unforgivable.

"Dead" (Per Yngve Ohlin)
Born: January 16, 1969
Died: April 18, 1991
Method of Death: Self inflicted gunshot wound
Band: Mayhem

Dead was the vocal pioneer for the first Black Metal act, Mayhem. He was a very strange and interesting person, to say the least. He basically created the concept of corpse paint because he wanted to look like a real corpse on stage. He developed what most would consider a morbid obsession with death after he fell into a frozen lake and nearly died. It carried over for the rest of his life. To give you an idea, one of his most famous attributed quotes is "Jag är inte en människa. Det här är bara en dröm, och snart vaknar jag. Det var för kallt och blodet levrades hela tiden." It translates to "I am not a human! This is just a dream and soon I will awake! It was too cold and my blood was frozen all the time!"

Very interesting. Still leaves me with two of my favorite top 5 vocalists, Andrew Eldritch and Carl McCoy. Eldritch probably won't be kicking the bucket any time soon unless his health fails him, and likewise I don't see Carl McCoy opting to kill himself either. Either way, I should definitely pencil in concerts just in case. I've already seen the Sisters live, but seeing them again would be fun. Definitely need to see Fields live. That must be nuts.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Nothing new to report on the Thelema front. Been doing some research on Eliphas Levi and I might get to posting some background on him, but college and work is keeping me plenty busy. Hope to get around to some more posting. Til then, enjoy my favorite song from Christian Death's "Atrocities." It's called Tales of Innocence.

As always, Love Under Will.



Friday, October 8, 2010

Love You To Death

One of my favorite songs by London After Midnight, a fantastic Darkwave act that I've grown to appreciate more and more every time I listen to their albums. I love it because it's a beautiful deconstruction of the classic  love song that gets recycled by every new mainstream pop star. That type of boring retread of the same topic in the same way is part of why I never got into music as kid. All the songs more or less sounded the same. When I hit 13 I discovered Marilyn Manson. His music was a breath of fresh air because, for once, an artist wasn't sugar-coating their work and singing what everyone else was singing about just to sell records. Course, later I discovered the Sisters of Mercy and "Temple of Love," which along with "Lucretia My Reflection" was probably responsible for getting me into Goth music.

Sadly, a lot of people don't get what the point of the song. First time listeners often point out to me that Sean Brennan (the guy who writes the music and does vocals and guitar for LAM) sounds like an incredibly creepy stalker. Well...yes. That's the point. If you could distill the message of this song into a single sentence, it's that mainstream attitudes of love and affection seem to be written by narcissistic psychopaths whose destructive obsessions have nothing to do with really loving someone, but rather are about seeking a state of adoration at the expense of the wellbeing of their victim. These people want to be loved by beautiful people to validate themselves and their existences. So I figured I'd write this stanza-by-stanza analysis of the lyrics to prove my point. Below is the lyrics and a link to a youtube video with the song. I chose a song that has poor compression quality from youtube as encouragement to buy the album.

Without further to do,

Love You To Death
By: London After Midnight

"die when I hear your voice,
to touch you Divine.
Be my posession, my sweet obsession wine."
The opening is standard fair romance music talk, creepy but not uncommon in the likes of music such as Brittney Spears. The last line of this stanza is pretty jarring however. It's a clear statement of the intent of the true intentions of the narrator. His/her goal is to become intoxicated with the feeling of romance rather than expressing true emotion to his victim. Notice how the first two lines actually don't actually relate to characteristics of the victim, but rather the narrator's physical responses to interactions with them.

"I'm dealing in demons love,
its just a matter of time.
I'll wear you down,
one day you will be mine."
In this stanza, the narrator demonstrates the destructive element of his obsession. If he/she cannot have their intended victim, no one can. This is a question of ownership and power, of being in a relationship for the sake of having someone they can control. If their victim does not adhere to their strict sense of love and affection, they must change or be destroyed in the process.

"Only I can make your life complete,
just give yourself to me.
Only I can make your destiny."
Again, the narrator's narcissism shines through. He/she is adamant in their own importance in the victim's life, regardless of the victim's feelings for him/her. Obviously if the victim feels otherwise then they are lying to themselves. In the narrator's eyes, it is only by relinquishing control that the victim can understand their destiny.

"So give me your heart my love,
and give me your soul.
I'd give you mine but I
sold it long ago."
Control is key here. The narrator wants the victim to surrender their will to him/her. Yet ironically, the narrator is not in control at all of their destructive behavior and dangerous obsessions. Perhaps the need for control of another is compensation for the narrator's inability to regulate and understand their own emotions. The lack of self control makes the narrator seek out control over another, and their obsessive single mindedness and desire to watch their victim is a distraction from their lack of introspection.

"Only I can see inside of you 
just give yourself to me.
And I won't stop until you see the truth."
An interesting element of the narrator's obsession is that because his/her interest in the victim is purely self-serving, their understanding of the victim is shallow and superficial. Instead, the narrator assigns characteristics to the victim based on his/her desires. The victim is a canvas for the narrator to project his desires upon. The real personality of the victim is inconsequential.

"I love you to death.
I love you completelly,
a love that is purely vain.
I never meant to hurt you so badly,
I thought you'd enjoy the pain."
The first line, the title of the song, carries most of the meaning of the song. It also has multiple meanings. On one level, the narrator's obsession is no doubt destructive. It represents both their own death, as they continue to project their own lack of personal understanding in their obsessions rather than trying to understand themselves and their own feelings, as well as their victim's death, whose life is certainly being ruined by the narrator's power game. On another level, it represents the narrator's obsession destroying the reality of the victim in his/her mind. The real individual doesn't exist in the narrator's mind. They are an object to project their feelings onto and nothing more.

The second and third line is an open statement of the nature of the narrator's feelings. His/her "love" is the obsession and it is complete and total. It has to be to make up for the fundamentally flawed narrator's perception of themselves. The love is "vain" because of its superficial quality. It only exists to cover a flaw, and therefore has nothing to do with real emotion.

The last two lines demonstrate the narrator's awareness of their destructive behavior. The narrator knows to some degree that what they are doing is bringing harm to their victim, but by virtue of their narcissism they cannot take this into account when moved to action. The narrator can only proceed by convincing themselves that the victim wants to be harmed.

"I know what you feel it love,
I can tell from your tears.
So don't deny me,
give into your fears."
The narrator once again equates the pain they are inflicting with love, and thus the reaction of their victim to their behavior as reciprocation. The narrator cannot have this any other way, because it would mean the victim has no feelings for them. This beautifully mirrors the narrator's own condition. In the mind of the narrator, the victim behaves this way because, like the narrator himself/herself, the victim does not truly understand themselves or their emotions. Thus the narrator fools themselves into feeling connected to the victim by virtue of their own lack of internal understanding. It becomes a perceived commonality between them, even if this commonality only exists in the mind of the narrator and has no basis in reality. 

"I love you to death.

I love you completely,
a love that is purely vain.
I never meant to hurt you so badly,
I thought you'd enjoy the pain.

I love you to death.
I love you completely,
a love that is purely vain.
I never meant to hurt you so badly,
I thought you'd enjoy the pain."

So there you have it. A stanza-by-stanza analysis of one of my favorite songs. Hope you liked it!



Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Good 'morrow, ladies 'n gents! My name is Setoth93, but you can call me "Setoth." The purpose of this blog is to act as a magickal diary of sorts. This way, I can look back on this and see how much I grow and develop as an occultist. I'm also using blogspot as part of an effort to stay in touch with some of my friends who use this site for personal journals and the likes. So...I guess I'll make this first post an "about me" posting because that seems like the appropriate kind of post to make.

Name: Setoth93, Setoth
What does it mean?:  "Setoth" is a portmanteau of "Set" and "Thoth." In Egyptian mythology, Set is the God of Chaos and Storms. He is the one who battles with Apep every day to claim the sky. He was also the one who ripped Osiris limb from limb. In turn, Thoth is the Egyptian God of Wisdom and Knowledge in its many forms. He was considered to be unbegotten, a characteristic shared with few characters in mythology (Christ comes to mind). He was often times considered the "Heart of Ra." This is doubly significant because to the ancient Egyptians, the heart was considered the source of thought, feeling, and emotion. Combined, the word "Setoth" represents "Wisdom From Chaos" and "Wisdom Through Chaos."
Brief History: I became involved with the occult when I was 15. I explored a variety of traditions and theories, ranging from Kaballah to Hermeticism to dabbling with the Goetia. I had read Crowley early on and always considered him a significant influence in my work, but it wasn't until a few months back that I decided to really explore Thelema from more than just an academic point of view.
Outside of occultism, I'm a full time college student and part time employee. I attend St. Edwards University, a small private Catholic university in Austin. I'm a business management major and english writing and rhetoric minor, though I'm not really much into either. College is just one of those things that's always been expected of me, so I'm just trying to enjoy the experience as much as I can.
Interests: Occultism, video games, politics (Libertarian-esque), philosophy and social contract theory, music, horror, technology, transhumanism, old TV shows.

And that's about all I got for now. And sorry for what an eyesore the blog is right now. I'll fix it later when I have photoshop open. Until then!