Sunday, July 30, 2017

Religious and Occult Symbols

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Today I want to talk about something a little bit more serious. And that is the (mis)use of religious and occult symbols in subcultures, particularly in goth and black metal (as those are the ones I'm familiar with).
In black metal, it's always been the typical ''I didn't do my research'' (see failed latin album titles). It mostly has to do with being as shocking as possible. For most people it's just part of the image / on-stage persona, and has nothing to do with their own religious beliefs. But for some it does, and good for them, I guess.
In goth, I don't think there has been much misuse up until recently. Crosses and upward-pointing pentagrams have been quite common, the former wasn't necessarily connected to religion, but the latter definitely is, as many goths are Wiccans. But the past few years (I guess the years Tumblr has been popular), the trend of wearing clothes, jewelry or other things decorated with religious and occult symbols have exploded. It's pretty obvious that it is just an aesthetic (Tumblr people have ruined that word for me) thing, and has absolutely nothing to do with their personal beliefs.

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The fact that a lot of people are wearing symbols that they have no idea what represents just because ''it looks cool or edgy'' or whatever, is just wrong - It might even count as blasphemy!

''Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity, to religious or holy persons or sacred things, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable.''

That a trend like this has popped up in an alternative subculture (where people reject the mainstream), makes no sense. You're an individual, why would you follow a trend so cluelessly? That is very much like how mainstream trends work to me. So I definitely don't understand.
I guess there are young people who aren't really sure of themselves yet who just want to be tough and scare everyone who grabs all these things and use them like that. That definitely doesn't help any subculture, or the religion(s) that uses the symbol(s) they are misusing. So please stop it.

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I personally only wear Wiccan symbols, since that's my belief. But I actually often don't want to, because of this trend. I don't want to give my money to companies that market their stuff to edgy, ignorant teens. If I see something when I shop that is nice, but has a symbol on it that isn't part of my belief, I don't buy it. Because I respect other religions, and even though I COULD wear their symbols, I won't. To me that's just wrong. I wanted to say that religion isn't an ironic t-shirt for you to wear, but OH WAIT - It kind of is now.
Same with that you wouldn't wear a shirt of a band you don't know - OH WAIT, that's a thing too. (Sidenote: It's common that metal band shirts and artwork include occult symbols, which is kind of a pet peeve for me, so I avoid it if I can.)
The latter isn't that serious though, but a lot of people in this world take religion very seriously, and it isn't something you should mess with or take lightly. It's very personal to people! Even if you don't believe in anything or are against them, you should still respect people and their opinions. Cause most likely, if you respect them, they will respect you - and isn't that something a lot of alternative people struggle with? We should all do our best to help our overall reputation.


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I know this post has been very ''oh kids these days are stupid!'', but I just can't help it when people don't use their brains at all and don't do their research. So please educate yourself on the symbols you choose to wear! They are way more than just a decoration. Be your own unique person with your own opinions and beliefs! And be sure to do at least a little research on the things you choose to indulge in (I think that's fun, personally) - just a quick look through a wikipedia page should tell you the very basics about a topic. You kids today have high-speed access to the internet everywhere you go from a very young age, use it! It amazes me pretty often how little kids today use the amazing resources they have available to them. I feel so old and old school now that I'm gonna stop.

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I guess I have made my point across! There's not really much to say about this, I just wanted to bring it up so that the people this concerns can stop and think, and actually do some research.
I have way too many things to complain about. My next post will be positive, I swear!

3 comments:

  1. Good points here. I remember first time I have spotted photos of "we know what brand of clothing". My thought - someone just vomited every possible occult symbol in existence onto black fabric and added some made up to increase WTF factor. This was more over the top to me than Dimmu Borgir's music videos and showering public with pigs' blood at concerts of some black metal bands altogether back then. Well, good provocation. As it get moved even people "at this side of barricade". But umm... unless you hold certain views on occultism you would just shake your shoulders after seeing such clothing items few times. I bet there is probably even new conspiracy theory right now about it circulating somewhere among depths of the Internet.

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  2. Thanks for this post, I have been trying to educate people about this too.

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