My Dark Muse

Of all the unusual subcultures currently coalescing on the internet today, the tulpamancers are one of the most intriguing from a mainstream occult standpoint. These experimental psychonauts create internalised thought forms from narrative and fantasy, ultimately sharing psyches with another slowly developing but synthetic soul distinct from their own. Yet those chaotes who regularly work in the realm of fiction, be it as artists or writers, will also recognise the concept of a character developing into something more as the pen scratches across the page. What follows is the story of my own accidental tulpa, Katherine, and the weirdest few years of my life.

Something of a recluse, I spent most of my otherwise unhappy childhood in a self induced dream world of monsters and mutants, beasts and heroes. Though never good enough to turn my hand to it professionally, despite studying both graphic design and advertising at college, I did open an online gallery to showcase some darkly gothic pen and ink illustrations around my early twenties. Soon the self imposed pressure to continually produce new and more interesting narratives left me desperate for inspiration and willing to plumb the very depths of my subconscious to get results. It was then Katherine made herself known to me as I slept.

This choice of entry point was especially interesting considering that our nocturnal trysts were the only dreams that I could remember from the time due my suppression of the horrific content which heavily laced the rest. Katherine was a sexually obsessed little creature, a succubi by nature if not by species, cold and vibrant and achingly alive. She quickly found expression in the real world through my artwork, taking an existing character which I had never desired to develop and remodelling that into a mirror of herself. Soon an entire fictional universe was moulded in her image, one where high fantasy and bloody treachery abounded in equal measure.

In time my art began to take on a more playfully sexual aspect, no doubt as a result of her growing influence. This was far from an unwelcome evolution of my style, and to begin with I was more than comfortable with showing a little skin here and there. Soon that progressed to full nudes, rendered as tastefully as possible. Yet my outright refusal to cross the line from pin up to full on erotic work probably caused the next, and far more sinister, phase of our working relationship. There had always been an underlying darkness to Katherine’s personality, and it began to exert itself more noticeably as I fell further under her sway.

The slide into creating sadistic, fetishistic and at times outright violent images disturbed me to such an extent that I tried my best to stop drawing altogether. In practice, said abstinence only resulted in Katherine periodically knocking on the inside of my head and thrusting a fresh, usually blood soaked concept for an illustration before my vision. Her charming smile and softly spoken demands quickly pushed me to a point where I knew that things would have to change. My ersatz succubi wanted dominance in our partnership, and I understood enough about the workings of the occult even then to realise that surrendering would be a very bad thing indeed.

The people who visited my online gallery at the time new nothing of all this, of course. They lusted hungrily after the next image of their underground icon, her sway over them growing even as I actively sought to break free. My personal life became a mess, social life next to nonexistent. Things lurched along in this way for a few years as I fought a constant battle of wills with an entity whose soft and yielding nature, tinged as it was with blood and pain, made any thoughts of resistance seem almost nonsensical. The change happened when I met my then lover, during the very conversation where we were discussing the possibility of becoming a couple. I felt my aura stretch and snap back into shape and knew Katherine was gone at last.

Intriguingly, this whole process occurred around the early to mid 2000’s, long before tulpamancy was an internet buzzword. Katherine’s creation was completely organic, a result of my artistic endeavours and sleep deprived psyche. When I am told by other occultists that thought forms are not really alive I think back to her, the vibrant shard of entropy dancing through an otherwise negative period of my life, and smile. It is doubtful she ever was a real succubi, but perhaps all it takes to be considered a daughter of Lilith is attitude. Either way, I cannot escape the feeling my tulpa was a stepping stone on the path to approaching that dark goddess so many years later.

3 thoughts on “My Dark Muse

    • That is absolutely fascinating.

      When I was younger I thought my experience with Katherine was completely unique. Even worried about my sanity, as you can no doubt tell. Yet the more I learn about both tulpas and the idea of muses in general, the more natural my interactions with her seem to have been.

      Perhaps, in hindsight, Katherine was indeed a muse of sorts after all, and existed outside of my head. I know that all my interest in drawing tailed off about the same time she left, along with most of my better ideas for images, both of which would support that premise.

      At least I survived our relationship.

      Ultimately, the question I am left with is this: are those who dabble in the occult more susceptible to attract or accidentally create such entities (depending on if they are seen as external or internal to the magickian’s own psyche) or is it simply a case that our dabbling in the unreal means that we notice their presence as opposed to just thinking that we’ve had another good idea all on our own?

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      • I believe that I came into contact with muses of various kinds in previous lifetimes, which would make me more susceptible to them. Studying the occult in general could also predispose you to noticing them and interacting with them. I often call Ino ‘my dark muse’ and as I’m a lady I frequently say our relationship is ‘like sisters.’

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