Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Demons for Kids

I never fail to be confused by Christians who can't tell the difference between fiction and reality. I shouldn't be - they have a long history of it. To be clear, I'm not talking about all Christians or even the majority of them, but poor oppressed fundamentalists who find even the slightest exercise of imagination disturbing and potentially dangerous. Like this nonsense.

The retail giant Amazon is actually selling a children's book that teaches young children how to summon demons.

What, like every edition of the Goetia, every paperback grimoire, and every other practical occult guide that teaches people how to work with real spirits? Amazon carries all of those. And Llewellyn has a whole "For Beginners" series, again, all sold on Amazon! But that's not what the fuss is about. This is much, much sillier.

Yes, you read that right. Amazon is peddling a book titled A Children's Book of Demons. The description on the Amazon webpage reads: "Don't want to take out the trash tonight? Maybe you're swimming in homework? Perhaps that big bully is being a real drag? Well, grab your coloured pencils and sigil drawing skills and dial-up some demons! But be careful, even if these spirits are more silly than scary they are still demons." If you're not aware, a "sigil" is a symbol that's said to have magical powers.

Well, yes. Real sigils that are associated with real spirits are said to have magical powers because they are associated with said spirits. I'll return to this in a moment.

If that one book isn't enough, Amazon also suggests you purchase another book for your kids titled Demon and Devil Stories for Kids: Sixteen Short Stories About Demons and Devils for Children. The description also reads: "Sixteen short stories about demons and devils are selected from several popular books for children. These tales are designed to be fascinating reading for young children."

So let's say that the first book mentioned teaches children to conjure real spirits, demonic or otherwise. It seems to me that would be a much bigger deal to any reasonable Christian than an indisputable work of fiction. But no, it gets mentioned in the same breath. This is what I mean when I talk about the distinction between fantasy and reality being fuzzy with these folks.

As it turns out, these two books do belong together, but not for the reasons claimed. A Children's Book of Demons is also fiction, because the demons described in the book are all made up. From a Publisher's Weekly review:

The demons necessitate specific summons (a riddler named Corydon requires a sigil “drawn in bright red, the colour of a clown’s nose—preferably while you’re giggling”), and express specific characteristics and abilities that range from pragmatic to gross. They include “Flatulus,” whose talent is passing gas; “Quazitoro,” an expert at finding missing objects; and “Spanglox,” “the best-dressed demon in the underworld,” who offers cutting-edge fashion advice.

So it's nothing like a real grimoire for kids. It's basically a children's book that's designed like one, but with a bunch of imaginary spirits. And Christians are scared of this thing? The author may be a "fan of all things occult" but as far as I can tell he's an illustrator, not a magical practitioner. I'm not an artist, but I certainly could hire one to draw some funky spirit pictures and then draw a squiggle on the opposite page or whatever.

Magick is a technology. You can't just draw a random made-up sigil and get a magical effect. Imagine if that were true! Every business logo, every graffiti tag, and every drawing would conjure spirits - and they would be everywhere. The reason that doesn't happen is that there's a difference between a real sigil and a shape that kind of looks like one.

I know, I sound like a broken record. I've been saying the same thing for years. What I really don't understand is why anyone would remain part of a religious denomination that has a problem with mere exposure to ideas other than its own. It all seems so dull.

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