When I first met Erica Frevel, I was giving her a reading in the summer of 2016. I had already done an aura-portrait of Constantine Charagma, and the three of us had decided that I would do one for Erica, so that they could be the author photos for Erica and Constantine’s book release, THE DEPLORABLE WORD (Martinet August 2016).
This is what I wrote the night that I painted her.
“When I first looked at Erica Frevel in my trance state, I silently screamed for about two minutes. I’m shaking yet again as I type this, I can’t eat until I type this. What I felt and saw when I looked into her eyes were flames everywhere and a sort of eternal scream. It is only comparable to that of which when I channelled the demon Abaddon. As I drew what is inside her, I notice it is incredibly similar to my depiction of him. I still feel residual intense rage.
Erica does not resist the forces that want her, she swallows them like medicine. I painted her superficially at first, making her look like what insensitive people usually see of her physically, but I knew that when I had looked at her, I saw that her eyes were fire. Her brown eyes are currently not her real eyes. She does not maintain a careful collaboration with the dark forces that Constantine Charagma has a sinister agreement with. She drinks them like juice or milk, and they have contaminated her humanity.
It’s difficult for me to read more than a few parts of her life, because these forces have swallowed her and made her powerful. I find her art fascinating and it’ll add another layer to her work now that I understand the unnatural rage behind each piece’s creator.”
(my depiction of what Erica looks like from the inside)
I had enjoyed Erica’s art before my reading and depiction of her, but understanding what forces and energy she works with changed my perception of her entirely. Her world is so completely different from 99.99999% of the population, inarguably. If it is said that roughly 0.01% of the population is said to experience long-term possession, less than that will decide to truly embrace it. Because of the choices that Erica has made, her everyday life is filled with the things the average person can only see in horror movies. What is unbearable to the reader of this article has become her staple, her normal. And she absolutely thrives in it, the darkness in her has become an assembly line for intricate works of art.
Ok, Erica, your art feels like it’s absolutely alive, filled with passion and intention. Can you tell us what’s going through your head while you’re working on a piece?
When I’m actively working on a piece, I don’t think as much as I feel… and that feeling is usually a mixture of blasphemous exaltation and unbearable clarity. Personal thoughts are kept out of the way just enough to act as a vehicle – a conduit for the specific entity/energy of the Abyss to be inserted into the piece. I receive messages, usually visual, but often accompanied by strange writing (not always in my native tongue). I keep track of these communications in my sketchbook, which is inadvertently becoming a grimoire. These messages form the essence of the work. This kind of art requires a magickal approach, so every piece is really only the visual aspect of a larger ritual working, which gives the piece a specific and unrelenting momentum. I can’t stop a piece from being made if it needs to be made, even if I don’t care for it. Sometimes I can become oddly detached and unresponsive when I’m working. I can go into a full-on trance which can be unnerving for others around me given that the forces I work with/for are quite aggressive and destructive. A lot of blood and energy goes into each piece, so I do warn people who collect my work (or are inspired to do their own work in the same current) that the art is alive in every sense on the word. You can’t just hang my work in your house as neglected decoration and expect nothing destructive to occur. Luckily, most people who have my work are practitioners of the Sinister Tradition and can use the work as part of their practice or altar.
When I read you and felt that you have a high level of an intense and destructive “demonic” energy strain in your system that I felt was replacing your human energy signatures, you expressed a sort of satisfaction by your transformation. You’re fascinating to me in the sense that you’re aware of what you’re doing and seem to be able to handle it and channel it into your amazing work. How does it feel to choose to integrate and wield very dark energies into your everyday life? What are some pros and cons?
It was a rough decision, but a decade of practicing black magick and Theistic Satanism prepared me. I knew I was going to lose part of my human-ness and risk going completely insane or lose my loved ones. I am really fortunate to have married under the sign of Satan so the darkness protects our union and does not interfere with our relationship, which I was honestly concerned about. A major downside to working with dark forces every day is the constant cosmic backlash. Fucking with the fabric of reality in two different realms at once does draw attention from the opposing forces and the systems that uphold them. I’ve had to learn how to protect myself and my work from the “white lodge” as I refer to it. I supposed that’s a result of effective magick. Anything that doesn’t serve to push me forward in my work is quickly weeded out and destroyed, which doesn’t leave much room for sentimental ties or anything resembling a normal life. I have to spend all of my time in the studio/ritual space or in the woods to functional normally. The best part of having demonic energy inside me is the relentless creative force. As an artist, its a serious benefit to have more visions than time to manifest them; I never get artist’s block now. That’s probably due to the vampiric nature of the spirits I work with; I can feed from anything creatively and turn it into something else. I feel more energetic and devout than ever, possibly a bit zealous in my work-mode, which I do enjoy. I also seem to be aging very slowly, even looking younger now than I did years ago as a result of the fiery element of the energy. When you told me you had trouble reading my past, it didn’t surprise me – all of my instincts have been affected and I am not the same person I was.
Yeah, your physical appearance is unnaturally youthful for your age, nearly vampiric. I know a man who is working to sustain a similar energy signature to the one residing inside yourself. He has been channeling Abaddon every day for a year and when I look at him in my trance state, he seems to be vibrating very fast in order to be able to train himself to handle an energy signature that has personally been known to make people like me bedridden for days after it leaves. I’m curious, because you embrace the constant movement and fire, do you sleep less? Do you move faster and more intensely?
Constant movement is very natural to me. I rarely settle down in one place for more than a year, I prefer to be nomadic. Stasis repulses me. I move and work at a fevered pace. I prefer to work both the day shift and the night shift in my studio so that I am constantly feeding the fire. I’m surprised to find how well I’ve adapted to the influx of frenzied energy, considering how downright sleepy and lazy I used to be. Now I expect everything to be accomplished vigorously and as directly as possible. I’ve noticed an increased vibration in the shadows when I raise my energy levels in a ritual setting and my energy does mirror that frenzy. At times it can be overwhelming physically, like I’m being electrocuted with a cold dark vibration. My hands (where I store a majority of my energy) become twisted and immovable and a strange sensation comes over me like I’m being lifted up by huge claws around my ribs. It can leave bruises and soreness, but I recover from that state quickly and it seems to recharge me. My sleep cycle has been completely different in the last year or so. I sleep much less and when I do sleep, my dreams pick up where my ritual work left off, so there is essentially no down time for me.
Fascinating, do you have any pets that are affected by this? And your marriage partner has adapted to your lifestyle well?
I do have dogs who are always with me, and they watch me work and meditate. I open my eyes after meditation and they are both usually staring at me from a few feet away. They have good instincts, though, so they know to stay back when I’m starting any ritual work. Our 17 year old black cat has been killed twice and came back – she doesn’t seem to take it personally. When I married my husband, he knew I was a Satanist in theory, but we didn’t really talk about the fact that I’m a Theistic Satanist let alone the Abyss worship. He is not a Satanist, but people assume that he is, possibly because he is aggressive and used to be a butcher and escorts me to the graveyards often. It was pretty easy to hide behind the be-your-own-god Satanism Lite publicly while experimenting with Satanic magick and ancient ritual behind closed doors. I was private with my practice, and my husband gave me my privacy, but he knew more about the other side than he let on. Now I don’t hide anything now that my work has become public, but I still operate independently. I do absorb and use my husband’s sexual energy (which is insanely plentiful, he’s a Libra/Scorpio cusp and never seems to runs low, he’s a beast) which is actually good for him and keeps him sane. Not that he’s complaining about the sex magick aspect. He is an extremely intense person and was willing to give up everything so that I can focus on this work. I do take precautions to protect him, but he’s a very strong person mentally and physically.
That’s lovely, what’s the most intense thing you can remember experiencing from a ritual?
Well, there have been some instances of entities coming out of fires, showing me things I’d rather not have seen at the time. Those sort of visuals are really intense and always prefaced by the harshest loudest vibration I’ve ever experienced, like something is announcing itself. It resets my equilibrium. I guess anything involving invocation is really intense, though. One experience in particular, with Pazuzu, took me a long time to understand. That was after one of my first ritual experimentations at a very intense time in my life. I went to sleep thinking it didn’t work. He came to me, though, literally blew a hole through my dream and dragged me into consciousness to answer me. That’s something I’ll never forget. It changed the direction of my life.
Would you have foreseen this life for yourself in your younger years?
Yea, I’ve always been pretty focused on darker creativity. I started tattooing when I was fourteen, so that set me in a creative direction that involved blood. I was hanging out in tattoo shops and it was mostly bikers back then, so I was more interested in underground art than the mainstream. There were decent hardcore punk shows around Philly and that atmosphere definitely affected what I thought about creativity/violence. I joined a few bands when I was younger that weren’t very good, but it allowed me a more aggressive outlet. As far as the occult practices are concerned, it’s something that’s always been with me in one form or another. I was practicing magick and astral projecting as a kid, but I didn’t know there was a name for it.
Oh definitely. It’s not talked about much in popular culture, so magically inclined kids don’t really know what exactly they’re doing. Are you proud to produce such such high energy work that people use them as altar pieces?
I wouldn’t say I’m proud necessarily, because it’s devotional work – it’s a privilege. The energy in the work is definitely its defining characteristic, so it’s successful in that regard. I don’t seek to make a name for myself or anything like that, so I don’t sign the work. I consider myself a humble servant of the Void. Sometimes I feel like an Icon Painter from Hell. Whenever someone gets in touch with me to tell me about their experience cutting out and using the imagery from The Deplorable Word as an altarpiece, I know that the energy has been successfully transferred and my work is worthwhile.
Erica Frevel’s work is for sale in the CVLT Nation BIZARRE