|1. You have written several books on occult and paranormal topics, including vampires and afterlife communication. What led you to become interested in these subjects?
Aside from the fact that we’re all destined to eventually give the occult a chance, two great grandmothers are responsible. The one on my mom’s side, the one who’s still living, would baby-sit us and tell the greatest tales of folklore from Greece—the Old Country. These tales would cover the entire occult gamut: magick, curses, vampires, the restless dead, you name it.
What hooked me was not the tales themselves, though, but the inherent logic or underlying link that ran through them. As different as these stories were, there was something that made them all seem possible. That something was what I sought to learn more about, and I found it to be the “hidden” or the occult.
The other grandmother would ultimately help along what you’re going to ask me about next…if I read you right.
2. You refer to yourself as a “Dark Neopagan.” Could you describe how you got started on that path and what that path is?
My dad’s mom got me started by giving me great books on Greek mythology. At around eight or so, I believed I was the reincarnation of some ancient Greek hero, which was the only “logical” explanation as to why I felt so close to the Gods I was reading about.
Ultimately, I would end up seeking out different forms of Paganism and Wicca, finding that none of them quite fit with my inner feelings. I wasn’t attracted to the solar deities and rites at all. The mainstream, bright, and dare I say “fluffy bunny” forms of Paganism didn’t speak to my dark sensibilities. A Dark Neopagan is someone who feels that they can only link to the unseen through dark deities and rites.
3. Was it a lack of resources for those who are interested in the darker aspects of Witchcraft and magick (or “nightkind” as you have referred to them) that led you to write your two most recent works, Nocturnal Witchcraft: Magick After Dark and Gothic Grimoire?
That’s exactly right. If you feel an attraction to dark things and get into the occult, it’s almost expected that you are looking for the Left-Hand Path. But that is just not the case. I wanted people who felt like I did to be able to find what they needed more easily.
These two dark books gather ways to connect with the energies that nightkind need in their lives. And the magick is done best after dark. Besides being the time we dark folk tend to prefer, it really is a superior time for accessing magickal states of consciousness. There’s less mental background noise about, and we can send out our created mystical thoughtforms with greater ease.
4. Do you feel that you are negatively stereotyped because of your association with all things dark and your often “Gothic” appearance?
Most definitely. First of all, it’s not my “often” Goth appearance that freaks people out. It’s the fact that I always have a Goth appearance!
Anyway, stereotypes are something you have to live with, even if you’re one hundred percent mainstream. Truly mainstream is its own stereotype!
People naturally assume that I worship Satan, or am in fact Rosemary’s Baby all grown up (I was actually born six years later than he). To them I say, nonsense—Paganism has no Devil. But you know what? They say the Devil is charismatic as, uh, Hell. So, if Pagans need a fall guy to take on such a role, then I’m happy to play it. Bring on the protesters to meet the 6'6" Goth Devil. I love controversy.
5. There is a propensity in our culture to associate darkness with evil. In Nocturnal Witchcraft, you distinguish between four different “soul types”: good-light, good-dark, evil-light, and evil-dark. Could you describe these types further and explain how you came up with them? Which one do you identify most with?
The four types are just general “ranges,” actually. The idea is to show that being good just means you’re on track, spiritually, and that evil is a failure of the things you were meant to accomplish in this lifetime. Whether you’re tending more toward good or evil in an incarnation has nothing to do with whether you tend to be dark or light. I feel I’m good, despite the heat I take for jokes like the Devil one I just made. Yet I’m drawn primarily to the dark, so, Good-Dark. Others may have other combinations.
What’s fascinating is that people don’t realize how many Evil-Light folks there are. My favorite example is a born again nut who bombs an abortion clinic. Such a person is surrounded by so-called light things, yet does something way sinister.
6. You refer to the Divine as “the Source”; that from which we come from and that to which we return. There are many manifestations of the Source, often known to us as gods and goddesses. What are some of your favorite dark Divine energies with which to work?
As you might have guessed by now, I love the dark ones. Gods like Anubis and his father Set (I don’t care what anyone says, he was never Left-Hand Path—that bad rap came in the mid 1970s). Goddesses like Nephthys (okay, Anubis’s mother) and Nyx. And even more subtly dark deities like Inanna, who descends to the Underworld. Every culture has dark deities. I just gravitate toward the Egyptian, Greek, and Sumerian ones.
7. In Nocturnal Witchcraft, you assert that “of all my books, this is the one in which I feel I can most deeply connect with the psyche of its readers.” Do you have any advice for those who are drawn to this type of spirituality, and yet feel themselves misunderstood by society at large?
Stick with your instincts. If you are drawn to dark things in this lifetime, then there’s a reason. This is the life when you are to work with and confront such energies. We’re supposed to, in theory, experience everything, but only over the course of several lives. There’s just no way to be everything in this one, so be what you feel you were meant to be this time around.
Just use your common sense about how much of your dark self to let on to others. I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to worry about some boss being ticked off at how Goth I look. Your mileage may vary at, say, work or school, so you might have to tone it back a bit here and there. However, as long as you know you’re sticking truly to what works for you, you’ll go far.
8. You conceived Gothic Grimoire as a companion volume to Nocturnal Witchcraft. How does it build upon the material introduced in the first book?
Nocturnal Witchcraft was unique not only because it was devoted to Dark Neopaganism, but because it avoided providing lists of spells and got right into training. Readers learn how to actually be a magickian, not just perform what others have struggled to put together. There’s a lot of mental preparation that goes into accessing the unseen world of night, and I’m proud that Nocturnal Witchcraft gets that across.
Gothic Grimoire gives advanced training techniques, as well as ready-to-use rituals for those who have done the groundwork. Its rites are not for everyone, though. Some of them bring you into contact with powerful emotional forces. One of them involves the use of your blood. Hey, with a disclaimer like that, how can you not be interested in reading it?
9. At present you have written five books for Llewellyn, and all before the age of thirty. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Do you have any advice for aspiring young writers?
From a young age, books were terrific friends. The neat stuff my Grandmother got me into at age eight needed some backing up. I needed to find other such tales of folklore and magick. The library provided that, and a love for books and writing was born. I knew that one day I’d create a book that provided in someone else the feeling of wonder that those early occult books provided in me. My best advice for aspiring writers is to realize that it’s a crowded marketplace. There’s little room for imitation. Find your unique voice and use it to get across only the things you can write about. Then, write every day if you can. Even if for a short period of time, writing daily keeps the flow, well, flowing.
And one other thing: There’s no such thing as writer’s block. It’s really just boredom. Rethink what you’re writing if you get “blocked” often.
10. Who are some of your favorite writers?
In the occult space, I have to say Franz Bardon. He was the best. You can argue with me on this, but you’ll lose.
In the non-occult realm, there’s Clive Barker. Besides having been really great to me as a friend, his prose is of a caliber that makes me want to give up writing. How can you not admire someone whose way with words can do that? The first book I ever threw across the room because it was so beautifully written was Imajica. Yet I carry on, in hopes that something I write will one day have the same reaction in someone else.
11. What are some of your other favorite pastimes, besides writing?
Well there’s a bunch of stuff I love to do, but it will all get edited out of this interview if I go into it! So I’ll stick to the just slightly inappropriate.
I love dancing at Goth clubs, smoking cloves, drinking chartreuse and absinthe (yes, real absinthe), and being able to wake up with only minimal ill side effects from all the above. That will change in time, though. I mean, my ability to get up unaffected, not what I was doing the night before.
12. Do you have any future projects that you would like to share with us?
Well, remember Vampires: The Occult Truth? That book was supposed to kick off an “Occult Truth” series, but no other books manifested. Finally, we’re seeing to that. I’m currently writing Demons: The Occult Truth.
While I was touring for Vampires, people would call me a vampire. Now, with Demons, I’m proud to realize that if there’s anyone left who hadn’t labeled me as The Prince of Hell before, this book will surely change that! Aren’t stereotypes just grand?
Konstantinos is a recognized expert on occult, new age, and paranormal topics. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and technical writing from New York Polytechnic Institute. He is a published author of articles ...