site related information

Site Purviews

The purpose of this site is to:

  • Organize links to archival material about Aristasia, Rhennes, Romantia, Lux Madriana, and related movements/traditions. Much of this material, while well-preserved, is hidden away in the Internet Archive or elsewhere. People have complained about this before, particularly those interested in the religious aspects of these movements. Why let such a peculiar, unique, and controversial part of queer history vanish? Though problematic at times, I do think it worth preserving, even for that reason, too.
  • Provide a coherent explanation of the movement in such a way as to remove the ridiculous “alternate reality game” comparisons. I want to show that it was a real thing that did exist, involved real people, with real effects, both positive and negative. Despite only interacting online, bothers me a bit when people treat Aristasia as if it were merely an online roleplaying game. It's a movement going back forty years with a complicated and elaborate belief system, not to mention actual effects on real people. We're only recently (even previous members) sorting out all the details.
  • Clear up existing misinformation about Aristasia and the experiences of those involved in it, especially some of the ideas being passed around by podcasts and journalists. For example, many people desperately want Aristasia (and especially the St. Bride's School) to have been a “sex cult” of the sort one sees in more mainstream occult circles. It decidedly was not, and it's really irritating to see men posting memes about "beating their meat" (forgive the crudeness, but...) to the concept, when real abuses happened.
  • Allow other people with experiences inside and otherwise with Aristasia a potential space to reminisce about the movement itself, the aspects we enjoyed and treasured, as well as those that we found disturbing or problematic. Many pettes (as us maids often called ourselves within the movement, in slang terms) found Aristasia impactful in their lives, in one way or another. Some of us feel massively betrayed by the lies of the movement's leadership - I know I do. Many would like to know what really happened. I might not be able to provide that, but I want to give a place to reminisce. Plus, I've noticed many ex-members still drawn to, and still sorting out, this idea of God as Mother and what that means outside of Aristasia. All that deserves to be explored, and I’ve spoken to others who are interested.

The purpose of this site is not to:

  • Portray Aristasia in a sensationalist or sexualized fashion for hits. This isn’t an insensitive jerk’s shock podcast, nor do I intend to treat it as one. This, actually, is part of why the site features such a twee and “kawaii” theme reminiscent of older Aristasian sites - I do think it will help to take the thrill out of those looking for the "tea" on the “lesbian bondage sex cult that made games” or whatever nonsense the latest YouTube vlogger has cooked up. Gotta say, I appreciate some of what is being done using vlogging to explore the movement's past, but I'm really sick of hearing this called a video game sex cult.
  • Resurrect Aristasia or Chelouranya. Nowadays, my values are very different than what Aristasia professed. I no longer flirt with the idea that we're witnessing the decline of the West into patriarchal chaos, for example, and I know that there wasn't a global prehistoric matriarchy that needs to be restored. I don't have everything figured out. I learned a lot from my involvement with Aristasia, though. I think a lot of girls projected their desires onto the concept, but Aristasia never was what I’d hoped it was. New things I am learning (practically daily) about Aristasia's past have changed the way I see it, too. I do think subverting the concept is fun, and perhaps that ought be the vibe if one wanted to do that.
  • In any way invade the privacy of those who were once involved in this movement, in a present or past sense. All information provided comes from publicly-available archives. I am avoiding anything resembling personal information. I highly suggest those visiting this site be sensitive to the rights of these people to leave the past behind them if they so choose. Please keep in mind, of course, that there are also, potentially massive legal issues here that a neocities website held together by shoestrings can't handle in the slightest.
  • Allow this site to become a place where folks come primarily to "gawk" at the "freaky people" or hope for sexual gratification. I realize that Aristasia is an immense rabbithole which many cannot resist climbing into. Still, this can be approached in a mature fashion. If you're here because you want to just have a chuckle, or, far worse, get off on it sexually, well... you'll be disappointed. In fact, you'll likely find the content very tedious. It's fine if you can't resist a mystery, but please be respectful, and don't expect sexuality. Aristasia was never, at least, as far as a millennial like me could discern, a sex cult despite what you might've been told. The truth is much more messy, and not as "fun," either.
  • Provide any kind of venue for those wishing to do the above.

Who might this be?

Call me Clarity Anne Mayhew, at least for right now. This is for anonymity and safety's sake at present.

I originally found the Aristasian usage of multiple personae to be fun and charming. I do think they were a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to that, and that it can be safe and healthy within certain constraints (furries do it, in a way). I initially had plans to split the work (so to speak) on this site into two such personae. I've decided against that given how emotional I'm getting, though, and how unhealthy the Aristasian approach to it has been in the past. No personae here - just an alias and a lot of flowery language that's hard to turn off.

Anyways, I’m an American millennial. I’m a married, cis woman, white, and I’m pansexual (I think that is the word anyways - I like all sorts). I’ve never interacted with any Aristasians IRL. I took on (both melini and chelana) personae over the years in Aristasian web forums and on Second Life (what they called Virtualia). The majority of my personae were chelana.

I was actually in my (quite young) teens when I found Aristasia online. I was immature, and lied to them about my age. On a “News of the Weird” site, I saw a link to Aristasia. I mostly clicked it because I’d been looking for LGBTQ stuff online already, after realizing I was pansexual or whatever one calls it when gender doesn't matter. Seemed synchronous at the time?

So, I found Aristasia’s websites (or, as they called it elektraspace), ultimately messaging some London Aristasians. I quickly realized they weren’t what I’d sought, but rather, a sorta queer club for adults? I lied about my age to talk to them. The discipline stuff kinda bored and squicked me, but the worldbuilding, aesthetics, mysticism…

Back in the early 2000s I was also really interested in vintage aesthetics, too! The kind of thing the kids these days would probably call “dark academia?” I even allowed Aristasia to (ultimately) be the inspiration for both my junior and senior prom dresses (Vintesse and far North-Estrenne Arkadya - a 1920s gown and an early medieval one). Nobody locally knew about Aristasia, so it was a delicious secret for me. While I still appreciate those styles, nowadays, I mostly just dress for comfort insofar as my daily job dictates/allows.

Also, esotericism has been a huge interest of mine ever since I was a kid. The majority of my involvement occurred from 2006-2011, when spirituality had become a larger focus, both in my life and in Aristasia. This was the “peak” of my involvement, I guess? I’m not a Filianist, though some of my (more mystical) beliefs overlap more and more heavily as time goes on for some reason. I do appreciate the efforts by currently-extant Filyani to distance themselves for the less-than-positive aspects of Aristasia and Filianism's history.

There are many elements of Aristasian worldbuilding that I adored, obviously. Some parts I absolutely detest, though. I’ve written stories set in (my own version of) Aristasia Pura and in worlds similar to it. They leaned heavily into the Chelouranyan-era worldbuilding, as you might expect. I never posted them (and haven’t got ‘em anymore).

I will not provide a list of all my Aristasian personae, nor the names involved. This is partly because it has been almost a quarter-century since my first steps into Aristasia. I was very young, and parts of it are a bit misty in my memory. Mostly, though, I won't provide this information because it both seems irrelevant and equally invasive as posting everyone else's "who's who," which, as I've said, I won't do. Those who remember Aristasia-in-Telluria in the 2000s, particularly the late 2000s, probably remember some of it enough to recognize me, though.

There has been some people asking about whether I’m autistic, and whether Aristasia (and related topics, such as goddess spirituality, etc) constitute a “special interest” for me. I’m actually (as far as I know) not autistic, so I don’t believe I’d call this a “special interest” in that sense. I do, however, have a neurological condition that correlates heavily with graphomania, which might explain my verbosity, at very least. I’m willing to admit I’m not a normal person by any stretch of the imagination, but I see no shame in that.

Reminiscence, not Resurrection

When I say that Aristasia no longer aligns with my values, I mean that, over the years, I’ve grown and learned more about the world.

I now know more about (for example) their beliefs about human history, which have been roundly debunked. I also know more about the real history of physical "discipline" within the movement. It also became clear after a while that Aristasia’s escapism in and of itself was an issue. There is, of course, new information coming to light about Miss Martindale talking to people from the British National Problem while simultaneously running St. Bride's School. I find this deeply disturbing as someone who once found Aristasia's later online incarnation warm and welcoming.

I’m coming to understand that, while Aristasia marketed itself in a variety of ways both online and off, it was never actually what it claimed or sought to be. I disagree with the intimation that Aristasia itself was, on the whole, a sort of fascist cult. I say this because those weren’t my personal experiences in it, nor those of the people I knew (albeit online) within the group. That does not mean that other Aristasian or Aristasia-linked groups weren’t cult-like or didn’t have strong fascist overtones.

The people I met via Aristasia in Second Life seemed just like me, though, and were there for similar reasons - because they felt like outsiders, enjoyed one or more of the niches that Aristasia catered to (vintage fashion, worldbuilding, alternative spirituality). The girls I knew closely weren’t fascists, and I’m certainly not a fascist, now or then.

Were there fascists there? Quite possibly, given some of the Aristasian mindset and its alignment with so-called “traditionalist” thought. In the 2000s, yes, this went a bit over many people’s heads, I don’t doubt, including my own. I am left with odd memories of friends and events online that certainly didn’t fit with Aristasia’s often awful past. It is possible that the sharp difference between my experiences and those earlier (or offline) owed to a variety of factors, but I can’t speculate on what I really don’t know for sure.

As I’ve mentioned multiple times, I found Aristasia at age thirteen, and lied about my age to become involved via the internet only. Young teens may not be bright, but still. Had I known about things like the cult abuses that occurred at St. Bride’s School, or the long-term correspondence with folks from the British National Problem, who knows if I’d have turned back? I can hope I would’ve had the sense to avoid the whole milieu.

Links and Likeables

The Aristasian resources you see either linked or archived/uploaded on this page come from one of several places. In all instances where possible I link to where I got what I'm posting. Most of the time, I just summarize or quote the material and link to the (decidedly more stable) version at Internet Archive. In cases where I have copied material verbatim, it's labeled as such with a link to the original page. The source is generally going to be either:

  • Archives from the Wayback machine and Internet Archive's Aristasia category. These include both websites and news articles.
  • Miss Starry's wonderful Tellurian-in-Aristasia Tumblr blog, which is full of info and served to curate the latter.
  • Information gathered by other people, including first-hand accounts, as well as what I remember from my time in Aristasia. I don't fully trust my own memory sometimes, and mention things sourcelessly as rarely as possible.

I generally mark this with the symbol of Mercury (☿) if I intrude on otherwise verbatim pages. I have plans to produce a sort of masterlist (mistresslist?) everything linked on this site, but for now, sources are linked within each article. You can contact me here.

Beautiful Buttons

As is tradition on neocities and the small web, I include here a list of buttons to beautiful and otherwise significant sites, resources, and more, primarily hosted on neocities. My inclusion of sites here doesn't mean they endorse mine or have anything to do with Aristasia, really - often, these are aesthetic inspiration. Many of these creators can do things with code that I can only dream of, thus far.

Button Title Description
Café Rosé Café Rosé is a weblisting for cute, pretty, soft, pop and kawaii websites run by adults.
Surfscape Surfscape is a web portal, inspired by the aesthetics and values of the early web era, to revive the spirit of a web that is free.
Houdini Magazine An online magazize focusing on unusual entertainment, unorthodox ideas, and all with a delicious, slightly-gothic flavor.
Mooeena Creator of the tutorial for the intricate and beautiful honeycomb pride flags the one can see at the bottom of the sidebar on this site.
Adilene A coding inspiration, and wrote the tutorial that I followed for setting up the music players.
Dannarchy A wild retro site! Provided my native neocities hit counter and update tracker.
Foollovers Excellent resource for creating cute, pastel, or elegant aesthetic sites on the small web. Entirely in Japanese, but easily translated with google.
Lexiqqq Personal site of a pro web designer where she shares graphic resources, information, and more. Beautifully designed!

Rings and Such

This section features webrings that have been kind enough to accept my site's membership, despite it's oddness and sheer creepiness. I am immensely grateful for this, and I'd love if you'd hope along to visit some other sites here, too. Currently only two webring are featured. If you would like to add my site to your own ring, do contact me!

Ring Description
This webring is for pagans, polytheists, occultists, and people with new age interests to find each other.
This webring is for therians, otherkin, and others who consider themselves alterhuman in some way.