Father Satan?

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Quite a lot of Satanists, particularly theistic ones like myself, frequently refer to Satan in parental terms as Father. I can understand this and in certain situations and some rituals I do so myself. However, I think it is often limiting and sometimes faintly ridiculous. The notion of Father Satan can easily seem as childish as the notion of Father Christmas.

I think there is a danger with any deity in any religion of limiting that deity to base human forms. The result quite often is the creation of a limited and fundamentalist mind-set. To me Satan is indeed a real entity, but one which goes beyond the bounds of purely humanistic definitions. He can indeed be a father figure, but he is not limited to that.

Let’s consider some reasons why it may sometimes be inappropriate to think of Satan purely as a Father figure. For many people the idea of a father is of a caring, nurturing guide and mentor. I am quite happy to think of Satan in this way. However to others a father maybe a distant, cruel or even abusive figure and to many the idea of a father lies somewhere between those two polarities. Moreover since we are psychologically complicated people our thoughts and feelings towards our father can be confused and sometimes unhealthy. There are more than a few people whose desire to “please” their father leaves them open to all sorts of abuse and exploitation both from their actual father and other male authority figures. So thinking of Satan exclusively as a father can mean very different things to different people; and could lead some to relate to Satan inappropriately.

And what about a Mother Figure? As a very pagan satanist it is very important to me (and I am sure to many others) to recognise the divine female in all her forms. A purely male, fatherly God will always be lacking fifty per cent of human experience and understanding. I don’t believe Satan does lack that; but this of course implies that Satan has strong feminine aspects and cannot be confined to being a father. Nor can Satan be confined to being a mother. As a deity… As a force of nature it seems clear to me that Satan cannot and should not be limited or confined by human terms and stereotypes.

And yet I must confess that when I first became a Satanist, the feel of his character, the archetypes and images I associated with him and the very taste of his energy were indeed very male. I did and in some ways still do think of him as a Father figure to some degree. I think that was because that was what I needed at the time. The concept of Father Satan is perhaps the entry point for those of us who take the theistic route. But Satanism is very much about progression and it is very important for us to progress and not get stuck with or addicted to the over simplistic concepts which opened the door for us.

It seems to me that if Satan is to be respected as a Deity at all it is important to embrace our deity’s breadth and complexities. It is here that we meet the feminine as well as the masculine and it is here that we realise our language and our stereotypes can not do justice to something which in essence is in advance of us. We can aspire to become equal with Satan, we can embrace and acknowledge Satan as our own true nature and respect our own divinity, but we should also be realistic about our place on the learning curve. Our potential is limitless, but that doesn’t mean we have reached it yet. Satan as Father and Mother and much else besides, represents all we still have to learn in rejecting orthodoxies and our quest to become true masters of our own destinies.

Thus in some contexts I do still think of Satan as a spiritual father figure. In the sense that a child inherits some of her parent’s DNA, I believe as Satanists we inherit some of Satan’s characteristics. This also implies that we become as family with other Satanists even if we don’t agree with them all the time. Satan is our mentor and guide, our inspiration, protector and head of our family. In various rituals I keep these fatherly archetypes in mind. But I also believe Satan is far more besides those concepts.

The image of The Baphomet has become my favourite depiction of Satan and satanic principles. The history of The Baphomet is long and complicated and not limited to purely Satanic traditions but as a shorthand archetype that is obviously androgynous and which is actively male and female I find this the most comprehensive image of Satan to focus on.

Satan is as female as s/he is male. Moreover personally I have found that to fully embrace Satanism means to work with the whole spectrum/pantheon of demons associated with Satan and here you find all aspects of human and non human experience represented; male and female, light and dark and many things which are impossible to categorise.

So yes, Satan can be thought of as Father but should not be limited by that definition. The real beauty and depth of Satanism is beyond simplistic definitions.

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12 Comments on “Father Satan?”

  1. flexibeast says:

    Great post! As someone who’s two-gendered, it’s frustrating to constantly encounter limited “either-this-or-that” ideas and beliefs about gender, and assumptions that Satanic energies are necessarily ‘male’ / ‘masculine’. And i was recently verbally attacked as a ‘freak’, by a Satanist who said that they regularly connected with Baphomet – because i stated that i feel having a cock is part of me being a woman and having breasts is part of me being a man. i found this rather odd (to say the least!), given my sense of Baphomet as representing ‘freaks’, ‘outcasts’, and challenges to received wisdom and the status quo!

    • WOW Someone else that feels they are two gendered.. I see Myself as 70/30 Masculine to feminine on the platonic side and 90/10 feminine to masculine on a spiritual as well as sexual self.

      • flexibeast says:

        Well, to me, ‘womanhood’ and ‘femininity’ are not necessarily the same thing; nor are ‘manhood’ and ‘masculinity’. i’m not a woman because i have a ‘feminine side’, where the notion of ‘feminine side’ is based in stereotypical notions of what’s ‘feminine’ (e.g. softness / weakness / receptiveness / submissiveness / etc.) – i’m a woman because i know, deep inside, after many years of soul-searching, that i’m a woman, regardless of how ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ people perceive (or don’t perceive) my looks and behaviours to be. Some people read me as more ‘feminine’ than ‘masculine’, others the reverse; but either way, i continue to be both a woman and a man, simultaneously, all the time, in any case, something i note in this old blog post of mine.

        (More generally, i’m wearied by the tendency of many spiritual currents – whether Christian, Satanist, Muslim, Wiccan etc. – to accept stereotypical dichotomous notions of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ as ‘objectively’ true, something i address in this old blog post. Lilith is a good example of how such an approach is broken: Lilith is clearly a woman / female, and yet according to stereotypes of ‘femininity’ / ‘feminine energies’, she’s fundamentally not ‘feminine’, and thus somehow not ‘really’ a woman! To me, there’s something wrong with a system of concepts that implies that a woman is not ‘really’ a woman unless she looks and behaves like an idealised 1950s housewife …. )

    • Cassie says:

      I don’t seem to be able to reply to your second post but. I am pleased to see the discussion my post provoked. I’m in agreement with many of the points being made and I have always thought there is a vast and complicated spectrum of sex and gender combinations and I think as champions of individualism and individuality Satanists should ideally be the first to recognise and accept this. Sadly things are seldom ideal! I was interested in the point you made in your later reply about Lilith; very true…

  2. I really like the image you put on this post.

  3. julio says:

    I am in agreement with this concept. We are beget only through the sexual relation between a man and a woman. There isn´t any god that can be our father.
    Satanist that call Satan like their father possibly reflect the xian conception about his relation with their god

  4. satanicviews says:

    Human beings seem to have an inherent need to anthropomorphism of entities, even animals. From an objective point of view Satan is gender-neutral, but each individual Satanist forms their own subjective form of what Satan is based on what is comfortable to themselves.

    • Hmmm!

      I think THAT is worth considering, seriously. Any personal experience with a particular deity should be from an individual perspective. Some may feel more in tune with a Father figure. At least that is the way I see it.

  5. Very good article CW. I feel that if one is self empowered as one’s own god or goddess then it is often normal for one’s external god/ess to be of the opposite sex to oneself, whether psychologically or physically. Baphomet definitely combines both, as do goddesses like Lilith as written in a comment above. Reblogging and TY. BB / 93 / AS

  6. Reblogged this on Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge and commented:
    My comment – “Very good article CW. I feel that if one is self empowered as one’s own god or goddess then it is often normal for one’s external god/ess to be of the opposite sex to oneself, whether psychologically or physically. Baphomet definitely combines both, as do goddesses like Lilith as written in a comment above. Reblogging and TY. BB / 93 / AS”

  7. Cassie. I assume your full name is Cassandra? I just started paying you and your view on Satanism by using the term “Cassandra Satanism” with a friend who is a Satanist the other day. I said i am not a LaVey atheistic materialistic Satanist. I am not an Aquino theistic Setian Satanist. I am a “Cassandra Satanist” because my view pretty much match yours in this blog. So go ahead girl, get a copyright on that term, and go start your own Cult now. LOL. But ultimately I do not mean this as a joke but it is a term i now use. Blessings dear.


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