What is Gothic in Reality?
This article first appeared on the How to Be Gothic blog which was launched about a week ago.
Most people think Goths or people of the dark world as they are popularly called, worship Satan and perform blood sacrifices, which can not only harm but also kill people. Yet another group of people believe that Goths can be witches, who cast spells for harming people, or for encouraging evil acts. Few others think Goths are similar to vampires and Goths can be supporters of death, dark sex rituals or acts, suicides and even drug based rites and rituals.
The objective of writing this article, is to explain what's being Gothic and in turn, help people understand IT, rather than indulge in gossip or assume and derive at conclusions based on imagination. Being a goth could be a trend or a fashion statement, or it could be more than that.
Goth Craft: The Magickal Side of Dark Culture, a book by Raven Digitalis, a witch who proclaimed herself to be a witch stated, “In the end, and above all else, Goth is not something someone does. It is something someone is. We are the children of the night, and are damn proud of it.”
During the times of Christ, Goths lived in Northern Europe, moved down to South now France, Germany, Spain and Eastern Europe. Then they became separate groups and became known as Visigoths of West and Ostrogoths of East, then went on to mingle with the Roman Empire around 400 C.E. While goths were into idolatry and Shamanism, many eventually converted to Christianity. Around the eighth century, historical Goths ceased to exist, unlike the past where they were individual groups with political influence.
Today, Goths follow a trend and give importance to the darker side of life and affectionately call it Doom and Gloom. They study Paganism, occult and witchcraft, though refer it as craft. Many Goths consider being pale, or wearing black clothes and the pale appearance, piercing and other Gothic oriented appearance as a style statement. Their attire and appearance depict that of the Renaissance and Victorian periods.
They don't believe in one God or entity, but rather multiple entities and switch between Shamanism, Voodoo, Wicca and other mystic methods levels in Celtic Druidism, Hinduism, Gnosticism, Buddhism and Judaism, in particular as discussed in Cabala. To put it more precise, eclectic would the right word to describe Gothic interests as a whole, both occult and metaphysical possibilities. If only it's about truth, esoteric fun and relevance, one can tell how much of interest it can garner.
The traditional Gothic music, begun around late 1960 to early 1970, with bands like Black Sabbath, Velvet Underground and Blood Rock. The music is typically Rock 'n' Roll, often very hard, or heavy metal, though some leave it melodious. Bands that take to this music are the Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie, Fields of Nephilim, the Banshees, Marilyn Manson, Motorhead and others.
Goths typically relate themselves with Vampires, in particular, the one in Bram Stoker's Dracula and over all Vampire culture. Most Goths do drink animal blood and at times, donated human blood, however, they do not go out hunting for human blood at nights or for victims to suck their blood and turn into Vampires. Though that's what many think, that's not true, even though they claim to have turned into Vampires, they mean something else altogether and avoid limelight.
Though Goths do practice Wicca, they don't try the so called “black magic” to harm others, or kill others. Be it men, or women, they use Green, or Wild Wicca, as it's called and that is only to help them accustom to changes in nature, in particular, Sabbaths, or holidays and lunar cycles. They do create potions and spells to transform others. Even so, the witches don't do anything evil, just perform few acts to get help from Mother Earth and Horned God (a Pagan as they are called and not Devil), or to maximize the power of their intentions.
While it seems that Goths have an inclination for death and suicide, non-goths do that as well. In reality, Gothic Philosophy helps those with suicidal thoughts to understand and to use their magical powers, prayers, or Zen Meditation to make things better. There will be someone who can guide, it all takes one to just ask.
Much like Vampires, Goths do accept Ghosts exists. A book called The Autumn Cemetery Text, which is an esoteric tale on dark life, the writer who is a man by the name September wrote, “Once a person dies, we wonder where they are. Intimate to loss are the invisible, those whom most imaginary creatures do not admit to seeing. God is just such an invisible, ghosts another. Some can see God, others can see ghosts. When something is lost, it is invisible to the seeker, who might find their thieved roses have simply laid themselves upon their doorstep, but in glass from now. Thus are ghosts composed of hope and memory. Ghosts, God, those not Gothic: all are imaginary friends and we save them within our hearts, and so love them until we die and dying end loving, alas.”
Like every other individuals, Goths use drugs, though it's restricted to marijuana and other psychedelics like absinthe, since many believe it helps with expanding one's mind. However, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and even ecstasy, which are all considered as hard drugs are not allowed for reasons that are obvious. Raven Digitalis wrote like this, “Hard-drug addictions have absolutely no place in the Craft; I also feel strongly that they have no place in the dark culture because of their devastating, not healing, effects.”
When it comes to sexuality, none will really know what Goths really do, though they do embrace different types of sexual relationships like bisexual, gay, transgender and intersex. By rule, such bold sexual encounters do have a slight advantage with Goths. For those who prefer to mingle with those with weird lifestyle, there are people and groups like covens to help with the same. In short, they have an insatiable liking for Love and Death (read Erotica and Thanatos), much like everyone else.
It looks more like Goths are inclined to being rich and happy, and then, learn different things during the time they get and go about their quest for reincarnation, or other mystic goals.
The world we live in, is surrounded by dangerous and dreaded groups of terrorism, hate groups, religious fanatics and criminals of weird sorts, whereas, Goths are just about focusing their energy on positive things with a different style of doing things. In fact, I would say, most of us should turn Goths, irrespective of the age. What's wrong in wearing black, looking pale, donning piercings and performing ceremonies, or walking around cemeteries, or even spending a night in the casket? It will probably change the way one looks and in one way, the end result could be being happy!