devil's manifesto

Devils-manifesto-zine-cover

Devil’s Manifesto started with a thorn, literally. Without getting too personal, back in April I went through something that really hit me in the face. I bought flowers before it happened and as I was putting them in a vase I realized they had many thorns. I was actually hurting myself putting them in the vase. I had never bought flowers like this before and I hadn’t understood then but this would be very symbolic later of the situation that unfolded. An aside: Ironically I had cut my hair back then too, in April, before I went through anything. I had never cut my hair like this before, and I felt something inside of me change. I felt without knowing that I was ready to embrace a new part of myself that was slowly emerging. It was supposed to be a new beginnings hair cut, but little did I know the new beginning wasn’t a new beginning at all, it was actually the end. The real new beginning would come later.

Thorn

DARKNESS THRIVING
My own emotions are an actual ocean inside of me, and when I feel them I feel them very deeply and it takes a while to get back to my natural optimistic state of being. I mull and think and reflect and wish and regret and cry. I did that with what happened to in April. Then I didn’t. I started to develop a routine of going to the library with my computer and work on ideas I had been holding onto for quite some time. The more I sat there, the more the creativity flowed. My first idea had to do with cleaning up my old website, EVA. If you’re unfamiliar, I started it in 2017 and it largely focuses on my own experience with emotional abuse and other branches of domestic violence. It served its purpose when I wrote for it, but I felt it wasn’t aligning with who I was anymore. I had grown immensely and I wanted the blog and brand to reflect that so I thought of adjusting it to who I was now. One night I had this deep knowing of what the new name would be, and I began building that out on paper. I even had a vision for a photo shoot to redo all the photography and reframe what it represented to me and my girlfriend and I went and did a whole beautiful shoot for it. It was also the first time we worked together which was amazing, the first of many creative collaborations. Back then I thought I was about to release/implement all of it but I actually held back a lot. My confidence started getting in the way so I just sat on everything.

Darkness-thriving-shoot

JENNIFERSCHECTER.COM
Next came my idea to redo my personal website and blog, Haute Harlot. Since I was an adolescent I adopted the pen name Jennifer Schecter. I vowed to use it in all creative endeavors, and I did, only I had never made my work public enough to use the name. Now I wanted to use it for real and showcase my work (my writing specifically) in a real way, I kept thinking. I wanted to own it. So I bought the domain which by some miracle was still available. Perhaps it had been waiting for me all along. Then I began working on the website, with the intention of getting rid of hauteharlot.com and replacing it with jenniferschecter.com. I started migrating everything over. Then my girlfriend and I did another photo shoot to go with jenniferschecter.com. So now I had two projects I was sitting on with the most amazing pictures to match but I still wasn’t implementing anything. Then I had a thought to do a third shoot half dressed. I wanted it to be lusty and soft, but dark at the same time somehow. One evening my girlfriend and I set it up and we were on fire. She took the most unbelievable pics of me I had ever seen. I was over the moon and excited. It’s also when I claimed the title of “model.” Since I was young I wanted to model, and I did a lot to try and make that happen, but it never worked out. I realized that night after the shoot that I was already a model, and had been since I was 17 -- because I said I was. I didn’t need a contract. I didn’t need someone to tell me I was. This concept of not needing people to tell you who you are but rather claiming it yourself, OWNING IT, would play into the basis of my future zine, Devil’s Manifesto.

Model-20-dead

DARK LORD, SHOW ME THE WAY
The first few weeks of all this went by so quickly as I continued to bring to life all my visions and creative wants and needs. Other realities started to set in though, and I began panicking. That part of me that was so carefree at first actually died down a ton. I sat on all my ideas as I said, releasing/implementing nothing. I even stopped working on all of it at one point because I was trying to figure out what was going on with me. While shopping one day I found a notebook with goats all over it. Since I am a fanatic for baphomet and all things devil-related and felt like I needed to find myself again because fear was truly consuming me, I wrote “dark lord, show me the way” on it. I needed guidance from my darkest self, the part of me that had stayed up all night writing or redesigning my blogs when I was in college, the part of me that worshipped all things goth and had a real knack for fashion, the part of me that knew what my true passions were. This was a cry for help to her. I also loved that the goats were green, in this small way I was using color magic to manifest abundance without even realizing. The writing on the notebook became the title for my Substack newsletter as well, if you haven’t checked it out, you can find more of my writing there too.

Dark-lord-show-me-the-way-notebook

JUNE
In June I stumbled upon Clementine Morrigan's webinar about self-publishing. I was drawn in because I was interested in finding out how this worked. Something she said during struck the shit out of me, and that was that “writers do not write, writers are not good at writing; a writer is someone who feels compelled to write; not everybody feels that way so if you feel that then you are a writer.” I had never in my life heard someone articulate what I had felt my whole life about writing. And she was fucking right. An aside: I have always wanted to sell my own stuff. I knew I’d possibly have a witchy fashion line one day, but my writing? I never knew how I could sell it besides via writing a book and I wasn’t writing a book anytime soon. I stayed up til about 3am listening to that 2 hour webinar, taking notes in my goat notebook, searching for answers within myself. I was simultaneously getting really excited about the prospect of something that could take me out of my rut and help me own being a writer. Also in June I had another emotional upheaval that took place. This pushed me deeper into myself and my path. Hecate, the Dark Mother, had also visited me at this time. You can see in the pic below when I got to the hotel (I could not sleep at home that night), the room they gave me not only on the 3rd floor but when the doors opened the first thing I saw was room 333. Hecate’s numbers are any variation of three. Beyond this experience I knew it was time, time to write full-time, time to sell my writing, time to make myself known as a writer, time to own that I WAS a writer. Time to also write about my pain, and exorcise demons through the process. Ones that I’d held onto since I was a little kid hanging out on livejournal.com writing for other sadboiz and girlz. The side effect of beginning would be that other people would now be affected by my writing, for better or for worse. The way in which I would begin was also significant since I always thought back when I was younger that you needed a book deal or publisher to pick you up in order to get your stuff out there. Even simply poetry I was like I have to get published otherwise it won’t work. I used to send my work to thousands of publications, and no one wanted it. One guy called it filth (my poetry at the time was dark, ugly and raw and I loved it) but I was being me and even then I knew that wasn’t wrong. But I was upset that I had held myself back for this long and I started to realize “you can let go of that now, too.” Again, the concept of thinking you need others to put yourself out there would become a central theme in Devil’s Manifesto.

333-hecate-is-here

Unbeknown to me at the time, butterflies were suddenly popping up everywhere, on post cards, at a fair I went to, when I was at my favorite coffee shop sitting outside, on objects on street corners as I drove. They were made of all kinds of things as well, they would start showing up in all forms. One was made from crystals, extra large at a spiritual shop I went to. Another was drawn with graffiti. Another was art work, a print you could buy. Another was on a t-shirt. Several were loose pieces of decorative material which you hang on a wall (those I saw when I was taken into a room at university radiology for an echo exam). One was golden, as if it had been spray painted gold. Another was black outside of my house, there when I left an errand, and still there fluttering about in the same place when I came back from running that errand. They were everywhere, they were repeating over and over, and they were signs. Not only am I very spiritual, but I believe heavily in signs from my guides and the universe. This was it. I was transforming, like a butterfly. My soul was calling out and to be honest despite everything I wasn’t really listening. I was too lost in my own shit to pay attention as closely as I should have been at the time to my inner voice and again, all the signs.

Butterflies-galore

AUGUST
I decided to start doing abundance magic since I was living in so much lack. I really needed this. By August I began seriously thinking about creating a zine and went to a witch market like I always do and signs were there also. I had a reading and the man told me things that I knew I couldn’t embrace but was trying so hard to. I also bought something there and the woman slipped something else into my bag as an extra. When I got back home I took it out and the extra was incense labeled “success blast.” This was also very symbolic. I bought moldavite in August too, which is a very special crystal that is supposed to move things around for you so that significant change can occur. The first few days I wore my moldavite my ideas began to flow for the zine. It is funny because these ideas actually did not pertain to the physical zine but to the trailers and I genuinely never planned or even thought of filming for any part of this project. But suddenly when things started flowing I felt pulled to work on some trailers before I worked on the zine itself. I had 4 ideas for 4 trailers, but only 2 actually worked out.

Ideas-doodled

TRAILER 1
For the first trailer my original idea was to be behind a door with a glass window, you know the small ones such as on a freezer door. That never panned out as I searched and searched but something else ended up working - an abandoned building in which a hole was punched out of the wall. My girlfriend recorded me several times, screaming, in that abandoned building. We went at night when it was pitch black and there were many insects. My plan was to use blue light as the background, but on the multi-colored light I bought, blue was the only color not working. It was faint in color. The others were bright (green, pink, etc). Red looked really good, so I used that instead. This was before I even thought about the cohesiveness of the red light and the zine’s name/premise of the whole zine.

Abandoned-building

I blackened some of my tattoos for that night as if to scribble them out and I made my face look very dirty and fucked up. I wore underwear instead of a thong. This was all for the purpose of getting into character for the first trailer. I wanted to feel trapped and betrayed, as if I could no longer be me. I mean, I did already feel this way. My history with writing was very secretive and concealed. Shy and scared. I wanted to connect to that part of me that wrote “filth.” She knew she was worthy she knew people had their own fucked up problems and that is why she always felt held back. The criticism, the putting down, all the rejections. Ironically that is also a part of what was coming up during this time so it would all be reflected in the trailer and zine. The music for the first trailer I had remembered from 2009. I loved Flyleaf and Memento Mori was a favorite album. I knew the Melting Interlude would be perfect.

TRAILER 2
The second trailer’s script just came to me. One day I envisioned myself sitting on the floor with children, talking to them about Lucifer. It was nuts. Suddenly I’m imagining myself in an old 1970s film, with the soft precise voice that the ladies had back then had and a really specific filter over the lens of the camera filming. So I wanted to capture what was in my mind’s eye by filming in an old house and after looking for one I realized my grandma had an old house. Everything inside was vintage. I thought that was really cool. I would use my dead grandfather’s bedroom since my grandma had left it exactly the way it was when he died. I honestly wanted him to be there while I did this too. I knew he would give me the confidence I needed. My inspiration for the character was the mom in Carrie. At the very end of the movie, I loved her look right before Carrie threw the knives at her: she wore an ivory 70s nightgown with her hair naturally out, a pink lip, and very light makeup otherwise.

Margaret-white-from-carrie

I found a victorian looking nightgown in an antique shop, and parted my hair down the middle to hide my bangs. I did my makeup so completely different and tried to ensure I didn’t look like me of course. I watched a few old films to get the voice right, and I loved how it came out. The music used I heard once while watching something and I knew it would fit in well. Right before the second trailer’s debut I realized parts of me had died/were dying and this idea aligned well with the character and scene in the second trailer (you will known what I mean if you read the zine). Because of this the caption I wanted to use on Instagram changed last minute to “The ghost of Caroline tells her story to three children.”

Grandpas-bedroom

THE ZINE ITSELF
In between working on the trailers and editing them I did all my research on zines, decided on a size, and put it together (the name of it came to me one day, I just instantly knew what it would be). The third shoot my girlfriend and I did that I discussed above (lusty and soft, yet dark) would end up being the main photography and I would also incorporate past pictures of myself for the purpose of the copy within it. I love doodling and decided I had to include some in the zine as well. The picture on p. 5 is actually a pic that for some reason came out with the film messed up, but if you can’t tell it is a pic of three of me, two more people are sort of coming out of me. That was purposeful as well (everything about it was done with intention). The mini ads were a true last minute thing but I absolutely loved how they came out. Lastly, most of what I wrote in the copy is creative nonfiction, so a true account of things that happened to me and a true account of what certain people said to me at different times. Below is a sneak peek of the final copy. I won’t give away too much as you can buy it and see for yourself here. With each purchase you receive a free tarot reading. Tarot is a big part of my life so I loved being able to incorporate it into this launch.

Sneak-peek-of-devils-manifesto

Devil’s Manifesto ended up being a rebellion. A real fight of me v. me. How I have let myself down. How I have loved myself in ways I couldn’t ever imagine. It is angry and it is dark and I am really proud of myself for bringing it forth now that it is all said and done. A few days before I released it I changed my Instagram name to own my pen name and I am so happy I did. Makes me feel like I keep taking steps further into her (Jennifer Schecter) as a writer and owning that part of myself, finally. Also - I was really excited to release this on the day of the Autumn Equinox or Mabon, one of eight of the universe’s sacred holidays. I wanted to honor the universe as it has honored me, I wanted to give back as it has given so much to me as I’ve been a practicing witch since 2018. I owe my practice to the universe as well and having learned and grown in ways I never thought possible due to my faith and due to the help of them. They’re always pushing me closer to my truest self because it is where I belong.

The last thing I will touch on is, after a happiest Mabon, after releasing the zine and getting home after dark, I walked up to my door and sitting on the Ring was a white (white represents the upper world) butterfly - literally in the dark. I see it fluttering and I say holy fuck is that another butterfly? I died. I just died. I opened my screen door and it flew right in to perch on the inside door. That beautiful creature wanted to be let into the house so it could greet me, tell me I was brave and deserving, and then maybe sit down and share a cup of coffee. I talked to it for a while out there, as I had to all the others that I saw that were living that I had encountered throughout this time. I was stunned and enchanted that night, and the turmoil I went through since April to get here to this very moment I knew at the end of that day had been completely worth it.

White-butterfly-from-the-ethers

I have lots of plans to release more work going forward. It is like they say, when you release one thing you give yourself the confidence to continue. So I am slowly building my writing legacy and developing a readership (which I am more excited about) and I couldn’t be happier. Devil’s Manifesto is the first of several zines I will end up putting out. I intend to continue creating them and selling them in my Big Cartel shop. Jenniferschecter.com will debut before the end of the year. I am currently working on two books with poetry that I released last year, Rural Horror, and the year before, Folk Horror, and after I put them up in the shop I will have more time to finish the new Jennifer Schecter website. Also I am planning to debut Darkness Thriving in late December. As always you can follow all of this stuff and my progress on Instagram.


guide to the rite of her sacred fires

Rohsf
{ last year's ritual }

 

Everything I learned about Hecate I have learned from my own research plus devotee Cyndi Brannen. Please be aware there are many many ways to conduct this, I am simply sharing how I was taught. I recommend reading through this entire post all the way to the end before you actually begin the ritual, just so you're aware of everything. Also, be sure to perform it on the night of the May Full Moon!

 

Khk
{ brief intro to the goddess, my notes from the Keeping Her Keys book }

 

The purpose of The Rite of Her Sacred Fires is to claim your own fire, to ignite it within you. The ritual honors the goddess and activates the kinetic power of fire by connecting us to her Wheel of Fire, calling forth the power of her five sacred flames:

The Star Fire: the power of inspiration and mysticism
The Fire of Life: the spark of Anima Mundi (world soul) in all things
The Guiding Fire: Hecate’s torch that leads the way for our earthly journey
The Witch Fire: The unique essence of Hecate in her witches
The Fire of Destruction: the power of Hecate to destroy all things

List of what you will need:
Five candles (any type)
Mugwort (or thyme or sage)
Basil
Skullcap (in any form)
Pomegranate seeds

Before you begin, choose 3-4 aspects of Hecate that you want to work with during the ritual. This is to get her attention but also to truly narrow down what you need help with. Let each English interpretation guide you. Check out this link for a full list of aspects or epithets, or see below for her fire aspects of which you can choose. This year since the full moon will be in Scorpio, I am using Chthonia (Of the earth) as one aspect to counter the intense emotional energy that day.

Hekates-Fire-Epithets

Before you begin, check out the hand positions below. You will do them during the 6-part evocation section of the ritual. For one you will put your hands together (they will all be touching as in the picture) in the specific position and hold against your heart. For the others your hands will be in the same specific position but will either be pointing up (always the right hand) or down (always the left hand). All hand positions are cued within the ritual itself below.

Hand-positionss

Candles | Five candles will represent each of the five sacred flames. In the past, I have used Brannen’s method of creating a pentacle on a flat surface and placing each candle on each of its points (see the photo at the top of this post). Otherwise arrange them however you see fit. You can also take it a step further and carve Hecate’s name or each type of fire into each candle. Each candle will be lit by you during the ritual.

Hieros Pyr (Holy Fire) incense and ash | You will burn the mugwort, basil, and skullcap during the ritual. As it is burned it will create ash, which you will also use during the ritual. Note: You can burn incense in a charcoal disk to create the ash, or buy a bundle which you can find at any spiritual shop, and let a piece of it burn in a metal or ceramic bowl.

Holy Fire water | Drop 2-3 pinches of mugwort, basil, and skullcap (or several drops of skullcap if using liquid) in hot water. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Then drop 113 grams of pomegranate seeds in, bring water to a boil. Let cool. Strain herbs but leave pomegranate seeds in water. Pour into any cup or mug you feel connected to.

The Ritual

To begin, always remember that the power is in you and no one is perfect. If you mess up just keep going, because nothing will stop Hecate if she wants to come through. Wash your hands to be clean and clear of anything physical or non left over from your day. Light the incense, and be sure it is close to you as you will need the ash it creates. Have the Holy Fire water close to you as well as you will need to sip it while you read different sections of the ritual.

1 Ground yourself. I get on the floor for this usually, I sit on my knees and then place myself down to the ground, my forehead touching the floor. I feel the earth and its roots coming up into me, then I go back down with them through each floor of my house and finally we get under the house and into the soil. I swim around in the soil for a while and feel how cold it is. Until I feel connected to the earth I do not get up.

2 Cast your circle. Since Hecate’s number is three, we do this 3x. Stand and face your unlit candles. Point your finger outward in front of you (if you don’t have a wand or anything specific). Turn clockwise and envision a white light appearing and surrounding you as you turn, until you face your candles again. Do this two more times.

3 Summon Hecate.
Hecate [first aspect you chose],
I call upon your energy on this night.
Hecate [second aspect],
Hecate [third aspect],
Hecate [fourth aspect or say Hieros Pyr],
Hecate Hieros Pyr [if you had a fourth aspect].
Bless this sacred space with your mighty presence,
Make available to me your energy on this night.

4 Recite the 6-part evocation. The below is from this article. It only lists 4 parts. The full evocation is available in the book Keeping Her Keys, in Lesson 6. You can purchase the Kindle version for quick access if you would like. Note: I know Hecate with a C, not a K (Hekate) and so I altered the way her name is spelled in the evocation. You will also notice I removed any "Hail" that was in there. Hail doesn't resonate with me and so I do not like saying it when I talk to her. To me it is how you resonate with her, so it is up to you how you would like to recite this. Remember the link to the original is here.

Part 1 – Evocation of Hecate’s Three Forms

(Hands together at heart center)

Hecate, Great Mother, I am grateful for Your presence in my life.
I implore You, attend this rite.
Hecate, who spins the web of the stars and governs the spiral of life.

I welcome you as Guardian, Queen of the Under World,
I welcome you as Guide of the Middle World,
I welcome you as Gatekeeper of the Mysteries.

Part 2: Evocation of the Energy Currents

Fierce Goddess, Attend your epithets!
I draw upon Your colors!

(Left hand down)
Black as night,

(Hands together at heart center)
Red as blood,

(Right hand to the sky)
White as stars.

(Hands together at heart center)

Lend me their energies,
I implore you, Mighty Queen!
I offer myself to You.
I bow before You,
Hear me, know my name.
(Bow your head, state your name).

Part 3: Evocation of the Three Forms

(Left hand down) Hecate

(Right hand up) Hecate

(Hands together at heart center) Hecate

I honor You as She of all forms.

(Left hand down)
I honor You as the Young Mistress,

And ask that You bestow upon this ritual the energy of youth.

(Hands at heart center)
I honor You as the Eternal Creatrix,

And ask that You send the power of creation to my working.

(Right hand up)
I honor You as the timeless World Soul,

And ask that You lend me your wisdom for this rite.

Part 4: Evocation of the Three Realms

(Left hand down) Hecate

(Right hand up) Hecate

(Hands together at heart center) Hecate

I honor you as She who rules over
The Under World, the Middle World and the Upper World.

(Left hand down)
I honor You as the Gatekeeper of All Under World and Goddess of the Daemon
May they strengthen my rite!

(Hands together at heart center)
I honor You as the Guardian of the Crossroads of the Middle World, the Universal Key Holder,
And seek Your guidance along my earth-bound journey.

(Right hand up)
I honor You as the Breath of the Universe and the Mother of Angels
Behold, I seek their assistance now!

(Left hand down) Hecate

(Right hand up) Hecate

(Hands together at heart center) Hecate.

5 Recite the story of Hecate’s Wheel of Fire. As you recite this, the red underlined words will cue you to light each candle. Five underlines for five candles. Read slowly and feel the fire rise in you as you recite each one.

Hekate-Wheel-of-Fire

5 Recite the ritual (credit). Sip the Holy Fire water throughout. I have marked in red when to anoint yourself with the ashes while you recite this. You can anoint any part of your body that you feel comfortable.

Hecate, I call upon you as the Hieros Pyr,
The Queen of the Sacred Fires,
Bestower of life,
Destroyer of lies.
You are the Wheel of Fire.
As the Star Fire,
You fuel the Upper World,
And the mysteries,
Grant me the power to see the structure of the universe,
To know the order and the chaos.
You are the Fire of the World,
Lend to me the flame of creation,
So that I can give life to all that I need to bring forth.
You are the guiding torch along my journey,
May I follow your path gladly.
Hail to thee as the source of the witch fire,
May I be ever strengthened by this flame.
And you are the fire of destruction.
Render me the wisdom to let go of that which must burn.
I summon the powers of your Hieros Pyr to me now.
I claim their powers by marking myself with ashes (anoint yourself),
And I bless this smoke, sending forth the power of your fires,
Hecate, Hieros Pyr!
I honor you on this night of your Sacred Fires!

6 Bid her farewell.
Hecate [first aspect you chose],
Hecate [second aspect],
Hecate [third aspect],
Hecate [fourth aspect or say Hieros Pyr],
Hecate Hieros Pyr [if fourth aspect],
Thankful am I for your presence, protection and blessings at this ritual.
I bid you farewell.

7 Open the circle. Stand again in front of your lit candles and point your finger outward, this time turning counterclockwise, while envisioning a white light disappearing as you turn, until you face your candles again. Do this two more times.

8 Ground yourself if needed.

If you have tarot cards, you can pull them now to reflect. I use a specific spread by Owl and Bones, and I drink the rest of the Holy Fire water throughout. When I am finished, I pour what is left in my cup outside, back into the earth.

Tarot-spread