Beltane 2023

Beltane is the worst day of the year for me. It’s more than just an excuse for an orgy; it is a cruel parody of the beauty of spring, a negation of abundant life force. Old guys raped little kids as well as any women that caught their eye. And the young guys followed suit. There were always a couple who looked miserable, and I hope they got out, remembered, and started their healing journey.

Actually, I wish they all could have remembered and come to their senses. It would have meant the end of this insanity.

I always wonder what happens to babies born on May Eve or Beltane. I have known one survivor born on Beltane, so they didn’t all get killed, as I fear. 

I don’t remember any babies at the ritual. That is because, in our cult, children were not allowed at rituals until they could “behave.” Instead, they were trained to be obedient, to be amnesic, to be sexual, and to kill. Those who trained the children – both men and women – did not have high status, but they were good at what they did and seemed to enjoy the work.

Some cults call children conceived on Beltane “spawn of Satan.” In our cult, they were considered special – it would make sense that any child of Satan would be pretty special. Just a few days ago, I put two and two together and realized my father could well have been conceived on Beltane. He was born a bit less than nine months later, a couple of days before Candlemas. He didn’t look at all like my grandfather, although his brother did. Well, I shall never know, for there is no way I can ask my grandmother, is there?

So here I am, feeling sad, angry, and afraid. Those feelings are absolutely appropriate for a Satanic cult survivor on May Eve but at odds with a sunny spring day. Flowers are blooming all over, and the wind is rustling through trees that are starting to leaf out. I look out the window at the gorgeous big street trees, wishing I had taken a picture of them every spring to track their growth. There is still so much beauty in the world, despite a surplus of ugliness.

I hope all of you are safe today and will stay safe through Beltane, through the rest of summer, and through the rest of your lives. I wish for your pain to ease and for you to find your place in your own post-cult world. 

Life may still be hard and painful, but it will never be as bad as when you were a powerless little kid surrounded by huge violent grown-ups constantly lying to you, tricking you, deceiving you, and hurting your body, mind, heart, and soul in every conceivable way. You have survived your childhood. You are resilient, strong, and creative. 

May you come through this Beltane with renewed hope and strength.


Did I tell you he has thrown away his winter coat and is wearing his beautiful soft new summer coat? So pretty!

He has also learned how to drink from a water faucet. I let the faucet in the bathroom sink drip slowly, and he contorts himself to get every last drop. When he straightens out for a moment, the water falls on the top of his head and surprises him. He shakes himself and goes back for seconds.

I’m tempted to get him a drinking fountain of his own, but all the ones I have found are ugly plastic things that you have to clean all the time and keep supplied with filters to keep mold from growing. Why bother? He seems pleased enough with this free, low-tech set-up.


Sunlight Lives. I love this blog, especially the gentle healing story. 

The videos of the RA/MC panel presented at last year’s Social Justice and Human Trafficking Conference are at: Part 1 – and Part 2 –

The GrassRoots’ April Newsletter is ready. To be added to the mailing list, send your request to: 

Survivorship 2023 Online Conference

Clinician’s Conference – Friday, May 19 – Survivors’ Conference – Saturday and Sunday, May 20 – 21    

Researching Ritual Abuse and Mind Control in Art and Literature: One Art Historian’s Journey – Lynn Brunet PhD

The Effects of Social Movements on Survivor Support Systems and Survivor Recover– Neil Brick

The History of Ritual Abuse and the Effects of Social Trends on the Therapeutic Profession – Neil Brick

How to Create a Successful Recovery Path for Disassociated Survival Skills and DID – Shelby Rising Eagle

The Enmeshment of the British False Memory Society and the British Psychological Society. – Dr. Rainer Hermann Kurz 

Child Trafficking through Family Court Proceedings: A UK Case Study – Dr. Rainer Hermann Kurz

Some Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines and Standards Relevant to the Psychological Care of Extreme Abuse Survivors– Dr. Randall Noblitt 

Creating Calm – Patricia Quinn

Programmed and Internal Psychological Mechanisms that Perpetuate the Cycle of Extreme Abuse – Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D.

Blurring the Past and the Present

Beltaine is Coming Up

April 30 is May Eve (also called Walpurgisnacht), and May 1 is Beltane. Since the pagan holidays appropriated by Satanic cults start at midnight, May Eve is basically part of Beltane. 

This year, May Eve is on a Sunday. It wouldn’t surprise me if the preceding Saturday, and perhaps Friday the 29th, will be treated as part of Beltane.

Here are some previous posts on Beltane and May Eve.

Beltane: A short article on Beltane traditions.

Walpurgisnacht: This background article has information about Saint Walpurga, plus additional information about Beltane.

Rereading it, I had an “aha” moment. My father’s birthday was just before Candlemas, which means he could have been conceived on Beltane. I didn’t catch that when I wrote the article. I feel sick to my stomach.

Beltane Blues (personal) Read it to the end – there is a beautiful letter from my friend GhostWolf. 

A Beltane Re-Birth Memory (personal)

My New Blog Is Still Scheduled for April

Although I’m still hoping to get it going in April, I’m beginning to have a few doubts. April is more than half over, and there’s still a lot to be done.

At least I am not working at some high-pressure company. I have no boss but myself. My deadline is not firm. The world will not end if I take as long as I want. Besides, SquareSpace keeps coming up with exciting new features!  

No matter when the change occurs, this blog will stay up for reference for a long, long time. It may live forever through the WayBack Machine at


I took him to the vet the other day. His litter box behavior is not due to a UTI, but to anxiety from changes in his environment. The biggest change was in me – I got pretty stressed out around the time he started having litter box problems. Anxiety is contagious, even between species! At least I have something to work with.

The vet found a heart murmur. She said it could be something serious, or it could be a big nothing. We did a blood test for some marker, and the results showed that it might, indeed, be serious. So there will be more tests to find what we are dealing with.

Happier news: Shedding is slowing down. He has lost almost all of his winter coat, even though it’s still only in the 40-50 degree range here. Less fur all over is happier news for me – he doesn’t care one little bit. 

Blurring the Past and the Present

I think it’s very easy to get past and present mixed up. I also think it would be much easier to learn to be present all the time and not have to think about the past or future. Not sure how that would work, but I am certain it is something I am not going to achieve any time soon.

Before my amnesia dissolved, I projected the present back into the past, covering most of the events in my life in a sanitized version of my childhood. I did remember some major changes, like getting older, taller, and more educated, and I saw how they shaped my present. I, therefore, thought my past was pretty much like the present. I was safe, taken care of, and had the best clothes, food, toys, and education possible. All was good. There were photos to prove it.

When I finally remembered what the past had really been like, I no longer believed for one second it had been as safe as I had thought. On the contrary, it had been dangerous and abusive and had damaged me deeply. 

Remembering reversed the flow of time; the past became projected onto the present. Although the abuse had, in fact, stopped many years before, it felt like it was still going on. That’s because the past feelings came swooping back in flashback form. I felt all the terror I had experienced as a little child. I thought I would die from the pain and the fear. 

I also worried that the past had continued unbroken into the present. Could I still be going to cult rituals? If I had once not known I was going, thanks to amnesiac barriers, what was to say I wasn’t doing things I was unaware of now? Was I missing time and not knowing it? The thought was terrifying. Over and over, I checked to see whether I might still be involved and slowly decided I wasn’t. I had no way of figuring out whether I had “sleeper” alters – parts that had been deactivated but could be brought back to return and participate in activities they had been trained for.

In the first case, when I was still amnesiac, the present flowed back into the past, covering up everything that did not fit with the official version of how my life was unfolding. Nothing was confusing, and nothing felt wrong or out of place.

Except I knew there was something very wrong with me. I knew it as early as first grade. I ks? Fear of men? Anxiety? Depression? Hatred of my body? No matter what I tried to do to fix myself, nothing made any difference.

 When I realized that I had been ritually abused, the first words out of my mouth were, “I always knew I was damaged goods.” The past had been flowing into the present, sending out hints and coded messages, at the same time that the present was flowing into the past, covering up the ugly parts. 

Think of it as tides in an estuary. The salt seawater flows in and covers the fresh river water. It retreats, and the freshwater takes its place. High tide, low tide, over and over. A natural process. Nothing wrong with it. Nothing to fix. It’s just the way things are.

There has never been anything wrong with me. My reactions to extreme danger, fear, and pain have always been natural and healthy. It’s normal for a child to believe what the adults say. It’s normal not to challenge your childhood beliefs until later in life – and only then if there is a compelling reason to.

The main things that are wrong with my body can’t be fixed, but I can adapt to them and find ways to compensate for the deficits they cause. The same for my mind, my emotions, and my behavior. Why try to fix them? Why not accept them as they are? It’s more realistic, after all. And more pleasant. Also easier. I can’t think of a single downside to accepting them enthusiastically and then learning how to adapt and compensate.

A Hard Christmas Season for RA/MC Survivors


I have heard from way more than one RA/MC survivor that the 2022 Solstice/Yule/Christmas/New Year’s season has been harder than usual.

It was for me. I have been spoiled by the last two years. To my amazement, I sailed through all the holidays just as if I were not an RA survivor. I still was aware of memories and feelings about my family of origin – dislike of holiday feasts and other forms of jollity and deep disappointment in presents. Of course, all my childhood memories of holidays were tainted by cult experiences. Many gifts were triggers (like taxidermy baby chicks at Easter) or chosen to make me feel fat, stupid, unacceptable, unheard, misunderstood, and unloved.

This year, I was caught unawares around the middle of December. Suddenly, my senses were dulled and it was extremely difficult to enjoy anything whatsoever. Not my friends, not the cat, not even coffee or chocolate. I felt unconnected to others and to everything inside and outside myself. 

For about two weeks, I felt like a half-ghost, floating through the days, not thinking about what was coming. Not connected to much of anything, certainly not to my fear. I was in flashback, a feelings-flashback, a flashback to childhood dissociation.

I told myself I would get my energy back after the first of the year, but I woke up on the 28th feeling “normal.” I have more energy and I once more care about my friends and my projects. I have no idea why there was a two-week flashback this year and not last year or the year before. I have no idea if I will greet all the holidays in 2023 with flashbacks or whether I will once again shrug them off.

But I do know that whatever happens, I will cope. 

On Comparing Myself to Others

I subscribe to Anu Garg’s “A.Word.A.Day,” along with almost 4,000,000 other people. You can subscribe here:  Archives are here It’s free.

Today’s email starts with these words:

“I’m such an underachiever.

“I don’t have a single world record to my name. Not only that, I have not even attempted one.

“Make it, underachiever and unambitious.

“I was reminded of this when I read about a man named Ashrita Furman. ( He has made more than 700 world records. Imagine when the number of records you have made needs to be rounded. To the nearest hundreds!

“Furman has another record I had not even thought about: Having made the largest number of world records.

“That makes me: underachiever, unambitious, and unimaginative.

“…. well, I sit here in my corner of the world, playing with words.

“This week we introduce you to five words that make a record of sorts, let’s call them word records.”

I love this guy, who gives me a word every morning for six days and on the seventh gives me readers’ comments, limericks, and puns on the week’s words. 

Today’s word is eunoia, the shortest word in English with all five vowels. (A word record!) It means “a feeling of goodwill” and has inspired a really odd book. Peek inside: you will be amazed.

At the moment, I am not ashamed to say I am an underachiever, unambitious, and unimaginative. Everybody I know is. I may have met a few people in Ashrita Furman’s league, but I can’t recall who or when. And yet I keep scolding myself for not being perfect…yet.

One of my core beliefs is that I am incompetent, not good enough. No matter how hard I try, I will never be good enough. Unless I am the best in the world, I am second-rate. 

With standards that high, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. How would I even know I was the best in the world at something? If somebody told me I was, I would assume it was a trick and they were lying so they could laugh at me when I believed them. And even if it were true, and I knew for sure it was true, I would also know that somebody better than me would come along, and I would once again be second-rate. One little moment of success, snatched away almost immediately.

Looking at this situation with a jaundiced eye, I conclude that it is ridiculous to compare myself to others. It’s a no-win situation, a waste of time and energy, and a drain on my life force. I’ll never be the prettiest, the smartest, the best educated, the most accomplished, the most original thinker, the best dancer. If that is to be my life’s goal, I will fail dismally. It is better to be content with being mediocre.

It’s no secret how I came to believe I was doomed to fail over and over. In the cult, children were set up to fail and then blamed and shamed for not succeeding. We were placed in double binds, and whatever path we took, we were punished for taking the wrong one. Stripped of all self-confidence, our minds were ready to unquestionably obey any order given. We were trained to obey without thought or resistance.

At home, the methods were different, but the message was the same. My mother had a beautiful, accomplished older sister, and, on a good day, she felt second-best. I was supposed to have the life she should have had – or rather, her sister’s life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. My genetic makeup was different and I was not born in 1895.

There was less pressure at school – until I got to college. I had chosen an Ivy League co-ed school with a ratio of ten boys to every girl. Standards were high, and competition was fierce. Girls didn’t shine in that atmosphere.

Over the years, I learned to let go of perfectionism. If a job was worth doing, it was still worthwhile, even if it had errors. A typo was not the end of the world. It was good enough, and good enough was good enough for me.

Now that I have lowered my standards, I find I am far less anxious. Instead of being mortified by everything I do, I can take pleasure in it. I enjoy the process and care much less about the finished product. And the finished product seems better to me because it is created in a calm atmosphere, not an anxious, chaotic rush.

And guess what? Now that I don’t compete with others, I enjoy them a lot more. I appreciate who they are and am happy for their success. I like myself more, and I like other people more, too.

Spencer’s News

In the olden days, I would blame myself for neglecting my cat. If I only paid enough attention to him, he wouldn’t be invisible most of the time. Now I enjoy discovering his personality in the few moments he makes a guest appearance. 

He comes up to me while I am at the computer, stands up on his hind legs, puts his front paws on my knees, and waits for me to scratch his chin. Today, for the first time, he jumped up on my lap. He stayed only long enough to jump down off the other side. I took that as a great compliment.

Some nights he comes and licks my neck for a moment. Now and then, he adds love bites. Last night, he crawled under the covers and settled next to me with one paw on my arm. He didn’t stay long, and he was completely invisible under the covers, but it made me happy.

My timid, invisible cat with soft shiny fur and pale yellow eyes is showing more and more affection. It’s slow-going, but that’s good enough. Actually, it’s great.