Some people love to hate Slytherin and all it represents. Yet Slytherin is an archetypal necessity that possesses tremendous merit.
Without competition the world would stagnate. Knowledge (Ravenclaw) and kindness (Hufflepuff) are both wonderful, but very localized. What can you do with knowledge if there isn’t an ambitious Slytherin broadcasting it? It just dies with you.
How do you get great ideas out in to the public eye? You think the world just lets that happen? No. Galileo and Jesus’s head are always on the chopping block.
Ravenclaws can yap about knowledge but, when push comes to shove, it’s a Slytherin who is going to take their ideas and actually change the world with them. Hufflepuffs can be sweet and nice but when push comes to shove its Gryffindors fighting the war up at the front line to defend them. Otherwise it’s all North Korea and the rich powerful run everything.
You may not assume the Slytherin would want to broadcast your kindness and knowledge, but understand, that’s what Slytherins do to get ahead. They take something that people need so that they buy it and thus they get paid.
Slytherins are shit heads, but they are necessary for the world. They may be broadcasting an idea because they want to make money or be famous. But they’re still selling it. While Hufflepuffs are resisting competition because they don’t want to hurt anyone, Harry Potters, Hermiones and Snapes are up front and center defending and fighting for what they believe. Rowling is a Hufflepuff herself, but her book centered on Slytherins and Gryffindors for a reason: because thats where the world moves.
Still, Hufflepuffs are equally necessary to the world, because kindness is a thing worth defending. If that doesn’t exist, Gryffindors will go back to sleep and Slytherins will take over.
I am a thousand percent Gryffindor. I’ve always been ambitious, but my big heart defending what I believe is first and foremost and I’ll die in the fire of my loyalty and integrity. If there’s one thing that stops me from “making it big” it’s my big stupid heart. I work hard, but I won’t sell a lie. That is the death of me. And it can be stupid, but it’s the way I’m wired. Still, I’m smart enough to recognize that without Slytherins, people like me would have no purpose and nothing in society would move.
This is not to say that (archetypal) Hufflepuffs utterly and completely lack ambition, but rather, that they are under the delusion that they don’t have to step on any toes to actualize it.
Since I lost my voice to Lyme Disease and was left speaking in a whisper, random people at stores or restaurants ask me what’s “wrong” with my voice. Without missing a beat, they tell me to stop smoking (which I have never done), to try seeing a doctor or drinking tea, or offer other unsolicited advice which suggests I am a complete idiot who brought this “defect” on myself, by neglecting my own health. When people learn that I used to sing, they tell me I must have been singing wrong. In some cases they say it’s karma or a punishment. No matter what I tell them about my diligence and my top notch doctor, they come up with alternative options, paranoia about medication and suggestions… as if I have not tried everything in my power to cure myself.
The reason they do this is they want to believe they have control over their own lives. The thought that, like me, disaster could strike and leave them crippled or stripped of their greatest passion through no fault of their own, is too harrowing to face. So they have to project their fear on me, by convincing themselves that I deserved my cruel fate, and as long as they do things more correctly than I did, they will fare better.
After 20 years of being asked this question any time I dare to shop in a new store or call a company, it doesn’t hurt me emotionally anymore, but it never fails to remind me how fragile the human mind is, and how lucky I am to have been forced to face major losses and struggles in my early life, so that I could grow stronger.
I was thinking about my name, looking at the root “ven” for venus, veins, and “hunter.”
I’ve gone through one incarnation already, from Erica Brand (who died with my voice) to Erica Xenne (who resurrected the ghost of my voice from the dead after being exiled from passion). Xen means foreigner/stranger, which is what I became when I was exiled from Erosia through that loss.
Now, I feel I’ve stepped into the space of my ultimate purpose. As a child, I always saw my desire mirrored in Venus, Aphrodite and the like, though it was never quite dark and destructive enough. In this sense, Kali is perfectly in line with what I related to and the “Goddess” symbol I was looking for. I hadn’t heard of her when people started telling me they saw her mark all over my art. Her name means time/eternity and “black” (the shadow self, death). I relate to her volcanic, destructive-creative nature, and the eternity inherent in cycles of death and rebirth (phoenix). Also, the carnal-spiritual blend. “So carnal it’s spiritual.”
People often tell me I look like Botticelli Venus, but it’s too innocent and pure a depiction for what I am. I am a destructive force.. sex is transformative. And it goes beyond sex. Passion and purpose itself is what I embody. Creativity, diving deep into the darkness in oneself to come out the other side, burning alive so you transform fully – this is what I embody.
Xenne was only the beginning stage, as I was a stranger, reborn. But I need something that combines the soul-marking power of Brand with the reanimation – the self-discovering, self-actualizing and autonomous/alien nature of Xenne.
Brand was my original voice – it left a powerful mark on people and was physically strong. Xenne was my new voice – foreigner, stranger, exiled from my power, coming to terms with my rebirth and resurrecting my voice as a ghost. Xen- (stranger) -Ne (Not). I reclaimed myself by singing through my whisper, making a powerful statement out of my loss and exile.
My new name would be the process itself; the process of branding and transforming, dying and rebirthing, destruction and creation. This unites the two. And it would also show that I am more than my singing voice and its incarnations. I am a vessel through which passion itself emerges. Desire is the force that drives all living beings, and my purpose in life is to mirror it in my work.
My given name, ‘Erica,’ suits me in meaning. My parents did not do this on purpose, but they accidentally named me after my father. Erica is a derivative of Richard. By keeping Erica I’m not only preserving the name my parents gave me, my father’s name specifically (since the surname is usually the father’s name; not because I have him in some hierarchy over my mother).
I want to change my middle name to Jane, my mother’s name. My given name is Erica Kelman Brand. Kelman is my mother’s maiden name. I’d like it to be Erica Jane, since Erica carries “Richard” within it and Jane is her name. (“Jon,” my brother’s name, is also the name from which Jane is a derivative.) This would preserve the family connection in my mind. And I am very close to my family. I also like the meaning of Erica.
The given name Erika, or Erica, is a feminine form of Eric, deriving from the Old Norse name Eiríkr (or Eríkr in Eastern Scandinavia due to monophthongization). The first element, ei- is derived either from the older Proto-Norse *aina(z), meaning “one, alone, unique”, as in the form Æinrikr explicitly, or from *aiwa(z) “long time, eternity”. The second element -ríkr stems either from *ríks “king, ruler” (cf. Gothic reiks) or from the therefrom derived *ríkijaz “kingly, powerful, rich”. The name is thus usually taken to mean “sole ruler, autocrat” or “eternal ruler, ever powerful”.
Unique/one/alone, ever powerful, eternity/time, autonomous (sole ruler)…. this is me. I would not change it. I am the sole ruler of my own destiny (though I choose to do Kilian’s bidding, since he is my muse), and a powerful force behind the creation of a universe.
As for a possible surname for my current incarnation (likely my final one in this lifetime), I like the prefix “Ven.” In Sanskrit, “Desire.” In the dictionary it is associated with both Venus and Veins. I like Veins because I’m a vessel through which passion emerges. So I may look into a second half of this name that embodies my Kali nature and also my sense of purpose: to be a vessel through which passion emerges, and ideally, to create mirrors in which others can see their true nature, bare and exposed. As I said above: Desire is the force that drives all living beings, and my purpose in life is to mirror it in my work.
This is also very Kali. Her nudity is a symbol of honesty with oneself about the soul, the forces that drive them, birth life and death, desire laid bare.
My final name must incorporate desire/hunger (as the force that drives all beings) desire laid bare, naked desire – but also, chasing or hunting. That would tie it in with the idea that desire is what drives us to hunt. Sort of like “passion and purpose.” Mixed with some idea of ‘eternity,’ this would be the perfect name. So carnal it’s spiritual.
The “oppression olympics” mindset is a real threat to our safety and the integrity of our society. It has already eroded our morals, self respect and respect for others, so our moral integrity is going down fast due to the effects of this mindset taking hold over the last century. Yet people take for granted what we DO still have.. freedom to choose our job, sexual freedom, freedom of choice in many areas.. people won’t realize how important these liberties are until they take them away by trying to force everyone into “equality.”
What equality really means is oppressing the strong citizens so they can be brought down to the level of the weak, and the only people with real power are those in government. So it ends up being a divide between the well-to-do government and everyone else.
What we want to improve is opportunity, but we cannot fool ourselves into believing this can ever be equal without forcing everyone to be the same at the cost of their personal choices.
The sentiment underlying the current “apologize for your advantages” type of social pressure is that the strong must be made weak so that everyone is equal..except the government, the great Big Brother savior. If you read Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” he outlined the path for this type of ideology to become mainstream: by infiltrating the schools, the media, the government. Hillary Clinton trained with him and his influence is all over Obama’s speeches. What is happening now is not some “stupid accident,” but rather, the result of almost a century of radical leftist indoctrination.
In the 1920s, Woodrow Wilson changed a lot of information in our history books to underline how horrible slavery was , our horrible slaughter of the Natives, etc. While these incidents are genuinely awful, slavery and conquest lies at foundations of every country but the other countries teach their children national pride. Here we have been taught for a century to be ashamed of ourselves. And this is why Lincoln’s prediction – that America cannot be defeated from outside, but that we will destroy ourselves from within – is coming true.
Did anyone ever notice that there are no black heroes in our history books? Looking back at paintings and documentation there were plenty of black war heroes, the first self-made female millionaire in the country was black, and there were black governors early on.. and they used to be in the textbooks. They were taken out so that black people would feel like they were never given a chance and white people would feel like blacks contributed nothing of value to the country (of their own volition anyway), and whites would also feel guilty for looking down on blacks and oppressing them. This would create an us vs. them divide that would become impenetrable.. and that is what we’re seeing today.
And the problem is, people are now feeling they aren’t entitled to the things they earn. Is this true… well, I understand the logic behind it: not everyone had the same opportunity. That’s a very easy sell. Problem is, have the radical leftists (meaning, modern liberals).. thought about the effects of this message that we are seeing right before our eyes? People aren’t willing to work hard anymore, to do the hard labor and discipline that it takes to improve.. because they can get more sympathy and empathy – not to mention government privileges, ranging from health benefits to lower taxes to welfare – by having less, and they don’t feel entitled to improve anyway.. everyone will hate them and they’ll have to give giant chunks of their income to a government that spends it on bullshit like war and governors using our tax money to pay off women who they assault to keep them from complaining.
Motivation has been sucked out of our society, and we are made guilty for feeling entitled to our own earnings. This is the result of the mindset which lead to shaming people for their advantages, earnings and privilege, regardless of the merit underlying the complaint. And people love to complain about what’s wrong, and fix it by shaming other people.. but they don’t stop to think about where this is leading and what good could possibly come of this mindset becoming mainstream. We are seeing the effects, divisiveness, anger, hatred, violence and poverty among the citizens rising up now.. and if that isn’t enough proof that their shaming ploy didn’t work, I don’t know what is. Trump won because people were so sick of being silenced, shamed and belittled for having anything good in their lives or disagreeing with leftist jargon.. people were so relieved to hear “grab her by the pussy” and other such “I don’t give a fuck what you think” attitude, that they voted for this person to be our president. The left wants to believe it’s about racism, and there is definitely a percentage of racists on any side and arguably a higher percentage voting for Trump… but if they actually make people feel like they can be honest as I do, they would talk to a lot of people who tell them directly (in secret) that they voted for Trump, but they’re not telling their friends, but the reason is they’re sick of being silenced. It’s not just me either – some major media personalities, including major leftists like Russel Brand, have postulated the same thing and some have even done some research into statistics backing this up.
The left has gotten too complacent since the 60s.. too complacent about their rightness and the “obviousness” behind what they’re saying, without looking at the effects their mindset has reaped. They need to listen to people respectfully, stop hating and putting down the “other side” and actually watch the right wing media they’re cursing at (even though they’ve never actually given it a chance)… they need to wake up.
Now don’t get me wrong.. I’m not claiming that the right, the conservatives or the republicans are “The Answer” either. I had more hope for the left, but at this point it’s a cesspool of ignorance, shaming people for seizing opportunity, creating and honoring divides between people, and applauding weakness. I am not a fan of either “party” or mass mindset, and from the outside, it all looks quite ridiculous.
To be clear, I don’t judge the left for being heartfelt about the have-nots, but I notice that they aren’t thinking about the real living consequences of their “morals” and how they are enacting them and pushing them on society. The problem with unbridled morality is that people aren’t thinking about the consequences of seeing them through. If there were more careful distinctions being made about the society that would realistically result from a certain mindset playing out in full, many people would address these problems in a different way than they do now. The problems are real, but they are calling out problems and hates and blames and shames instead of sitting down to think about solutions.
Either that or they are busy thinking about who is right and who is wrong (morally) which isn’t as much the question as who is getting hurt and how do we fix that? And a quick-fix solution, like force-taking money from one guy and force-giving it to another, may put a band-aid on the issue but in the long term the consequences of this turn to loss of motivation as a society , expansion of government, more rules, laws and regulations, and less trust in ourselves to pull ourselves up, and more riots.
We would benefit from stepping back and thinking about what has worked historically; what mindset pans out in a timeless way, among people, to lead to social productivity long-term.
This is my message to the heartless manipulators who try to shame me for my honesty and my open romance with natural beauty and love. My nudity- whether it be physical or psychological – is only offensive to those who have something to hide. My nudity burns their eyes and makes them feel exposed, so they try to cover me up and make me shrink away like they do, so they can cower safely behind their masks. When that doesn’t work they create rumors and stories around the meaning of my nudity, trying to cover it up with fantasies. “She wants me, she cheats on her husband, she’s a whore, it’s a scheme!”
Yet I remain naked, open, honest and true, in all of my beauty, suffering and errors: I remain true. Psychological nudity, physical nudity, emotional nudity, mental nudity.. I am what I am, and I am here to stay. Murder me, and I will haunt you in another form. Murder all the lovers in the world, and the monsters in your head will strip you naked in your nightmares. My nudity is a force of nature, and it is not going ANYWHERE. Your only chance against me is to free yourself from your lies before the fire of truth burns you alive.
“Kali’s nudity has a similar meaning. In many instances she is described as garbed in space or sky clad. In her absolute, primordial nakedness she is free from all covering of illusion. She is Nature (Prakriti in Sanskrit), stripped of ‘clothes’. It symbolizes that she is completely beyond name and form, completely beyond the effects of maya (illusion). Her nudity is said to represent totally illumined consciousness, unaffected by maya. Kali is the bright fire of truth, which cannot be hidden by the clothes of ignorance. Such truth simply burns them away.”
Next time some healthy person gives you unsolicited medical advice implying that you “aren’t trying hard enough” to get better, or some pseudo-spiritual nutjob starts preaching about changing your mindset, here’s a piece of advice:
Look that ignoramus straight in the eye – even if it’s your friend. Look them straight in the eye and say, “Does it scare you to think that a person could take all the right pills, adopt all the right diets, pursue all the deepest psychological healing, and still remain ill? Does it scare you to think this could happen to you? Does it scare you to think that even if you did manage to attain some ideal spiritual enlightenment, you could still contract a physical illness that ruins your life or kills you? Can you look that TRUTH in the eye, and accept it? Accept that your life is not in your control, yet still do your best to do what you can, love while you can and strive for health in the best ways you are able? When you learn to do that, you just might be as spiritually enlightened as I am, and thus you would not feel the need to project your fears onto others.”
Then, forgive them, if it suits you. Know that their suffering is likely deeper than yours, as you have been forced to accept something they are still struggling with. There is no point hating people for their luck, as this hatred will burden you unnecessarily; but this dose of truth may help them to wake up, if they are strong enough to appreciate it.
I did not fall from grace.
I clawed my way through my own inner hell and traveled so deep beyond its core that I caught glimpses of the other side.
I had wonderful, loving parents.
But I was not innocent, idealistic or good. My hope, innocence and goodness had to be earned, if ever I was to discover them at all.
What about you?
We need our defense strategies (enneagram) and biases (functions) for a reason. These strategies give the mind a pattern that it can learn to protect itself from chaos.
The defenses work on automatic..so uncovering the truth about them weakens them and leaves the ego bare, exposed, raw.
Over time it helps to see ourselves, so that we may use our defenses but prevent them from using us …
But at first, exposing the truth about our automatic reactions and “inner settings” forces us to change. The ego resists changing because it is scared of exposure and chaos…rightfully so. Whether or not someone types correctly, it is only a strong ego that can digest the true meaning of its own type… and even then, the ego will continue defending itself by creating distortions around that idea, such as taking pride in your type, being ashamed, creating internal drama around it… all of which distracts from looking at the self objectively. Embracing the deep value of typology, on an egoic level, is a lifelong journey.
I was in some ocean city with a weird electromagnetic building and I kept having visions – or maybe watching previews – of this giant building which looked like a crystal lump from afar, lighting up electrically and sinking into the ocean.
I remember walking past the building with you on the bridge in the same place where I had seen the vision of something odd exuding weird light and blowing up. So one day I went into it. I seemed to know my way around. The decorations were amazing low yellowish light, bone made art, wooden bookshelves, combo between rustic and steampunk, but the steampunk vibe was not explicit. As I walked through the aisles, I saw Brady, my first love. It was still the same setting, but felt like a dimension somewhere had shifted. I was emotionally by myself, you weren’t in my heart yet.
I locked eyes with him and we moved through the shelves in the shared mindset (I could feel it) that we needed to work this out once and for all. So we talked in these dark kind of serious but nostalgic tones for a bit. Then some women saw us. They looked like they were part of the setting… their style was in line with the rustic steam punk vibe, and it felt as though they knew something about us on a level that we needed to be cautious of. So, we headed behind bookshelves quietly and then, as we rounded corners, I looked over and saw the woman following us and her two friends. She was black looking with long hair and gigantic heart lips, bold as fuck, with a small dark gold axe in her hand and leathers on her body that signaled me she was some kind of warrior.
She looked over at ….Salvador (my best friend). It was as though he had been the one sneaking through the shelves with me, and his outfit suggested familiarity with the place… he was either from there, or knew about it and dressed to match. But this was his full style, like his real heart was born in this outfit. There was bone and claw jewelry involved. The woman stared at him. She wanted him. He and I knew we needed to keep to ourselves and somehow, I knew he felt like he could not let her find something out. So I looked at him and he was staring at her, unflinching, but I know he also knew I was watching and was telling me he would take care of this and confuse her (not in words). But I looked at her. She looked like evil other-planet warrior leaders in her vibe and garb, confident, in charge and ready to have her way. I did not know fully what that meant but I guessed, as I watched her watching him, that it was at least partly sexual.
I looked back at…you. She was looking at you and you at her, but you looked more statuesque, more ..dangerous. You had an outfit similar to how that place was and how Salvador’s outfit suited it, but you were a darker evolution or perhaps something more base. The sense i got was “bone claws.” And bone necklaces with claws and another that had special power. And snake rings on your fingers. Blackness around your eyes like those photos we took, and you staring through it in a similar way. Destruction was near and it was inevitable, but you didn’t give a flying fuck..bring it on. That was your vibe.
As she stared at you and you at her, you glanced at me, met my eyes and had a smile in your eyes. It wasn’t obvious.. it was a kitty glare, with some sarcasm. But I knew, I knew you were going to lure her from afar but if she got too close… destroy.
She looked at me and said something. I forgot but something like, I will have him. None can resist me.
I knew.no other could resist her. But I had no shred of doubt.. I knew resistance would be a much better outcome for her than what was actually going to happen, but I didn’t know what it was. I said to her go ahead. Try . But I think I only said it with my eyes.
She said aloud, something like: are you sure. He will not resist.
I saw no point denying her the right to move in on you because I knew from how she stood that she did not see me as an obstacle. I could say no, he’s mine, but it would mean nothing. In her mind (the energy gathered from below the hips which was thinking for her, both about sex and conquering or destroying in a bigger way) you were already hers physically and she was doing me a courtesy by pretending I had the option to give you away. If I said no, it wouldn’t stop her, but would signal weakness or provoke a physical brawl that I could not win. She had that axe, and the look of a woman who could conquer cities in one night. Her friends would also do her demands, slim short haired sleek beauties with no soul.
I looked at you. You would not budge – your eyes said so.
I looked at her, signaling to go ahead, with a half smile like: how do you possibly think you can break through what we have? I was not worried; I found it amusing and absurd. I said either aloud or to myself , something like “i dare you.”
She approached you. As you stared at her coming towards you, your body language revealed she was going to lose. You were so solid it warmed my soul, but it was also unsettling. Salvador, when he was there, had the look of knowing he was in control (though I was not convinced, but at the very least that was his aim).. you had the look of, do whatever you want but if you cross this point and come too close… OBLITERATION.
But you did not think it was destructive. She deserved it, it was a dare, she could still have time to leave, and her friends would be stupid as fuck to not run away afterwards.
She got to you and there was a stare down, very brief and fleeting, but it felt like time slowing down. Then she reached forward to choke you, probably only to induce a rush but not to kill you. One of the snakes on your fingers suddenly hissed and wrapped itself around her finger, then her neck. As the snake choked her and she tried to choke it, which lasted only seconds and happened so fast that I’m not sure what happened and who was hurting who, the world turned to.. light. A magnetic unnatural light that felt almost not there, like it sucked us into a void.
I watched you and you watched me but there was no time to move; everything was changing to another dimension where there was no form, even though perhaps it was temporary, and not like death. I knew though, in that last moment, that although you were in obliterating mode, you had no idea this would happen.
Then I was watching through the eyes of someone else, a middle aged male reporter watching the same building from across the water, and someone beside him took footage. It was the same crystal edged bizarre structure falling into the water while light came out of it everywhere that I had seen in my visions. And so many I loved were inside.. including myself.
The world was shaking, darkening. We have to stop it, a voice shouted. The world is ending! It finally happened! Etc. But while some panicked, some seemed to feel there was a way to stop it and things could change. Darkness swallowed the world as all of these sentiments floated around and I realized that was why Salvador was there. But his presence opened the path to something base, and you had somehow moved through it and materialized in that spot. No matter what Salvador or we had done, this would have found a way to happen. The electromagnetic dimension and time shifting energy of the place had a mind of its own and we were instruments to enact its will, you most of all, Salvador more of a messenger. And I was your reason to not go along with the flow of the place, to obliterate the forces that be, rather than to lose your soul. You changed the rhythm of life. Salvador and I both danced right along with it and you heard it best somehow. Your danger outfit, the black around your eyes… you were the destruction while also being the only one that did not play along. Or perhaps that is exactly what you did.
But now our only hope to be together or be the same again was out of our hands. And I don’t know what form we were in or how we could come out if we ever did. But I felt we would emerge and our souls would be charged with something very, very powerful that would require training and presence of soul to control. We would be the next force to set the other forces. Not gods but beings of energy that glowed from within us and could be so powerful that it was a responsibility to channel it. But that was only how i felt, if we emerged at all.
I don’t think of people as having flaws. I think of every quality a person has as potential.
Let’s suppose you start with being a very receptive person. Your worst potential then is to lose your own voice completely; whereas a possible best potential is to channel and navigate the energies of the world.
Any quality someone has, has potential to be their best or worst.
I’ve always said, my best AND worst quality is my passion. My passion can go to the realm of manic obsession, singularity of focus at the expense of all else.. or it can get channeled in a way that inspires others.
I’m a vampire at my worst and a vessel at my best.
Is that a flaw? No. Is it an asset? No.
It’s whatever I make it.
But trying to be something else..to embody something that isnt naturally “me” … is.. not going to work.
I think it’s best to discover what makes you “you” and then channel it.
And in channeling it, there will be mistakes, there will be glory, there will be pain…
but as long as there’s growth, it is worth it. Nothing worth having comes easy. Nothing worth DOING or BEING comes easy.
I have always been very hyper aware of whats wrong with me as in, what other people can’t accept or can’t love; but I also feel like I’d be fine if only I was on my home planet.
But, I’m not.. so the best I can do is bring memories of my home planet to Earth, to help others discover themselves, to communicate, to give them ..whatever it gives them. Hope, escape, introspection…whatever.
Not everyone will care or notice. But I can only share my own truth.
What more can anyone do?
When people start thinking in terms of “flaws” vs. “assets,” what they’re really doing is plugging in to what others want or expect them to be.
When they think of themselves as “potential” or “energy” ….
then perhaps there’s a chance of learning what to do with that energy.
“Flaws” is a myth that society has drilled into us.
Something is only a flaw if you let it destroy you.