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The Devil Horns: A Formula for Success

Nietzsche wrote, "My formula for happiness: a Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal."

He also wrote, "My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”

And this: “What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”

 And "...all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer."

That's some good shit right there. Phonomancers say YES. We say YES to the True Will of the Holy Ma, and stand in righteous opposition to the NO that is Resistance

Finding the strength to say that "yes" to all the pain that life offers can be difficult. Rejection, loneliness, anxiety, alienation, despair, madness. There are so many ways to feel bad, and they all reach into the Abyss.

To support your yes-saying, what I want to offer you is a way to get better at feeling good. And I think I can boil it down into one simple instruction.
Consciously develop, in as many ways as you can imagine, your ability to feel and express joy.
Before you dismiss this as New Agey treacle, understand that this encapsulates a plan to achieve self-actualization. It's going to take a lot of work.

Begin by asking yourself, What brings me the deepest, most energizing happiness? Write down the answer. Then ask yourself, Why does that make me happy? Write down as many reasons as you can think of.

Keep going until you've got a list. Efficient development starts with evaluation. Once you've made an initial attempt to map out your sources of joy, you may find that in aggregate they form a vector. That vector may point to a goal, an image of who you want, in your heart of hearts, to become. Don't think of it as something to push for, though. Get teleological. Let it pull you forward through time, and I think you'll find your strange attractor will fill you with inspired ideas like lanterns on a trail leading you home.

Here, I'll work through a couple of my own sources of joy, in hopes it'll inspire you to do the same. To be honest, this is the first time I'm doing this. But I already know it's going to be a major new part of my practice.  

1. I love being in great physical condition. Why? Being strong gives me confidence as I move through the world. Being lean and muscular makes me feel attractive. The process of achieving and then maintaining a high level of conditioning has taught me many lessons about courage and grit. The gym is where I first learned the value of hard work.

The proprioceptive sense I've developed by working to master the form of many different exercises has made learning other physical skills, like singing, much easier. And no matter what kind of day I've had, no matter how dark things look when I'm walking into the gym, I always walk out feeling better. Lighter. More worthy of love--at least from myself. I've earned my self-respect.

These days, my approach to increasing joy via optimal physical fitness is pretty simple. I go to the gym five days a week. Three days of weights, two days of cardio. That's what I feel like doing now, because it gives me good aesthetic results that support other sources of my joy, like performing on stage and learning to dance. But at other times in my life I've been a long-distance runner and a martial artist. For ten years I was a CrossFitter. Maybe someday I'll get really into yoga, or rock climbing, or ballet. I'll listen to my intuition and follow my heart. 

The most important thing is to be open to new directions. Three years ago, I never would've imagined that I'd someday be studying belly and go-go dancing, but here I am. When I finish writing this entry, I'm going to cue up one of the instructional videos I'm working through and practice my chest circles, my snake arms,  my omis, my mayas. I'm learning to move in a feminine manner, and I absolutely love it. I've got a goal of somehow synthesizing that with the muscular Travis Bickle-level intensity I've been trying to embody for years. When I get there I'll have found a whole new level of joy in my physicality. That's what I mean about applying imagination. 

2. I love music. I really love rock music. It's been my best friend since I was ten years old. In consoling me, in psyching me up, in making me feel wonder, in making me feel more ecstatically alive, it allows me to experience emotions, energies, that are archetypal in resonance and intensity. Rock music is magic--actual, literal magic. According to the visions I've been having for the last couple years, it's connected somehow to the Horned One--the archaic forest deity that was the precursor for more familiar gods like Shiva, Dionysus, and Cernunnos. In fact, it may be that the Horned One created rock music explicitly for the purpose of providing an appropriately wild and explosive soundtrack for his re-emergence as a focal point of religious devotion.  In a word,
Given that his image was co-opted by the Christians to become Baphomet, one of the most popular images of the Devil, we may just find out that by throwing the heavy metal horns hand sign for all these years, we've been summoning Him back into existence. Rock 'n roll may truly be the devil's music. 

Consider how and when the horns are deployed. People hold up their fists with index and pinkies extended at concerts, especially metal shows, as a salute. There's supposed to be something devilish about it. When the ambiance isn't characterized by crushing volume, sometimes they'll add "Hail Satan!", mostly ironically. 

But just as often they'll simply say, "Metal!" and in that single word is a whole complex of meanings. By that interjection they're invoking the music, sure, but also the attitude associated with it,  a kind of wildchild adolescent male energy channeled into ardent devotion. And then there are the people who use the horns as emphatic affirmation, Fuck yeah!, sometimes saying it aloud, and sometimes not, because you don't have to, really. It's there in the gesture. It's code, and usually the person(s) whom you're signaling knows exactly what you mean.

Fuck yeah. I don't know if there's a better expression of Nietzsche's amor fati, his willingness to affirm every pain in life along with every pleasure. I mean, come on, the metal horns--not the Texas hook 'em horns, but the way Dio taught us to throw them--they make a Y. As in, "yes."


Well yeah, of course. Unless you prefer to believe that it's not. If you can start to believe that thowing the devil's horns, when displayed with the proper attitude of amor fati, is in fact a magical act, an invocation of a cthonic power that's been stirring in the collective unconscious of the West for the last seventy years or so, then it is. It is. It is because you believe it is, and belief is what closes the circuit and allows for the flow of magic. By that I mean if you choose to live in a world where magical is a literal reality, then you will start to experience magic more and more. 

And that's exactly what's been happening to me through my practice of phonomancy. I have found the means to unlock the magical potential of rock music. I can use it to steer my altered consciousness toward truly extraordinary experiences, including vivid encounters with the Horned God. What distinguishes the visions is the truly stunning thunderclap of emotion that accompanies them, ranging from terror to savage, berserker, ecstatic joy. The feeling that accompanies the arrival of the Horned One in your consciousness is all the power of Black Sabbath times Judas Priest times Mastodon times Jane's Addiction times whatever else you love, but made sacred. The most unholy music ever created, self-consciously, preposterously, pulpishly, perfomatively wicked and hedonistic, becomes the vehicle for the the incarnation of God. 

God gave rock 'n roll to you. I mean, how can you not love that?

Rock music is my joy, and by exploring and developing that joy, something truly glorious and new has transpired. I've been taken to a place of happiness that, again, I never would've imagined, but now that I'm here, makes so much sense. And I haven't even begun to touch on the truly salvific joy of learning to participate in the rock I love so much by learning to sing. It's late and I need some sleep; that particular topic will have to wait. 

But there's still so much to talk about! Reading and writing fiction, dancing, sex, metaphysical speculation, talking about movies, the history of popular culture, creating theater, word play, finding ways to encourage the people around me. Those are all areas that I need to dig into, to figure out why they make me so happy, and then start imagining new ways to evolve and intensify that happiness. In doing so, I fully expect to create myself as self-actualized full-spectrum human being, just crushing it physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and creatively. 

I know that you can do that, too. It starts with asking yourself, "What do I love?", then figuring out why you love it, then finding evermore interesting ways to express that love while saying FUCK YES to anything that stands in your way, because every obstacle is an opportunity to prove yourself worthy of your desires. That's my Nietzsche 2.0 formula for your success. Train up your ability to feel and express joy in the face of Resistance. Now go be fucking amazing.


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