I met Lucifer the Witch Father, and his consort in Dream in late 2014, many moons before I would know for sure that it had in fact been them I encountered. My first conscious encounter with him didn’t come until near the middle of 2015. Around that time I’d begun watching Salem, the then new TV series that aired on the WGN America network until January 2017 when it was canceled. As you can tell from the title, Salem was a dramatization of life in colonial Massachusetts at the head waters of the witch hunts. That dramatized story has been told before but what drew me to Salem was the show’s often overt engagement with issues of gender and power in colonial America and the struggles women faced in every facet of life. The show did a great job of demonstrating why a woman might be drawn into the Devil’s court. In my read of the show, the women weren’t drawn to “evil” but instead to the promise of agency in a world that otherwise denied them.
The Devil was referenced often early in the life of the show, but he didn’t make an appearance until later seasons. When he did finally appear in the flesh, it was in the form of a child. His principal servants were the Countess von Marburg and her son, Sebastian. Over the course of the show – plot details aside – the Salem universe resonated with me on some level. The dark labyrinthine woods just outside of the village were particularly compelling. The trees were tall and thin. Each was incredibly similar to the ones around it and so easily given to snaring those who wandered too far from known paths. Within the woods, there was a location called the Crags. The highly Puritanical town interred their undesirables there, everyone from criminals to plague victims. As you might guess the laws of dramatic sensationalism would demand from a show like Salem, the Crags served as a regular haunt for the various clans of witches in the town.
One night in 2015 my mind drifted to that place and my soul followed. I met Lucifer at the Crags in Salem’s dark and hollow woods. He came in the form of Sebastian, all curly hair and sinister smiles. When I asked Lucifer why we meet in the Salem universe, he said that it is a place where intellect and imagination meet. The writers made an intellectual foray into an old and primal energy current and brought the fruit of that project to the screen. He went on to say that Salem was a place of imagination, on the edge of human consciousness and awareness of that old and primal energy current. For these reasons, it was ripe (and low hanging) fruit that he could offer in order to draw my awareness to him.
This is the power of the Cunning Fire. Long may it burn.
Ave Lucifer, Light Bringer!
I give praise to you who ride into shadow,
The sun at your back.
Son of Night Cloaked in Morning,
With golden light above your brow,
You bestow the Cunning Fire.