We have mentioned our Coven in passing but have not said much about it until now and probably won’t say much in future. The main reason for this is to protect the privacy of our members. I decided to write something now for two reasons. Firstly a few people have asked us things relating to our Coven or Coven Satanism in general. Secondly because a few of our recent posts seemed to be interpreted as if we were apologizing for our beliefs. That is not the case. We are Theistic Satanists. We are Devil Worshipers (although we have our own interpretation of what the words “devil” and “worship” actually mean). Within our coven we are Satanists in the raw and to the core. That is what we are. No apologies.
You certainly don’t have to be part of a coven in order to be a Satanist, most Satanists aren’t. In fact probably most Satanists are rather solitary, keeping most of their beliefs and practices to themselves. This suites the psychological profile of many of the Satanists we know who for many reasons are often quite reclusive and introverted. We, on the other hand, are rather extrovert and have come to appreciate the comradery and power that can be experienced as part of a group united by similar beliefs and shared experiences.
I had coven experience before becoming a Satanist as part of a Wiccan coven. When I fully converted to Satanism I was keen to experience a Satanic Coven. It was kind of a test for me. I had already made a commitment to Satan but I wanted to immerse myself in Satanic lifestyle and practice in order to check for myself if I had done the right thing. It seemed to me that being part of a Coven would be like jumping in to the deep end of the dark pool and I would either sink or swim. (I don’t recommend everybody to follow my example but that kind of all or nothing approach suits my personality). For me it worked. The things that I was perhaps least sure and most uncomfortable about, quickly became comfortable norms for me. It was like finding my true Satanic nature and celebrating it rather than hiding it. So, for me being part of a Satanic Coven was a big and very significant part of my personal journey and development. Even so, I recognize that for many people this step, and this experience is not necessary at all.
So I was a member of a Satanic coven in the UK where I was taught, nurtured and well treated. But then life intervened; I fell in love, was traveling a lot and missed some meetings and then I decided to move to another country altogether.
At first Sophie and I were content to go it alone and with hindsight I think that was good for our development as a couple but eventually our thoughts turned to establishing our own coven.
Our coven came together gradually and organically. At first it was just a very informal group of friends in which Sophie and I were the only ones who fully identified as Satanists. The other people were what I would describe as open minded spiritual searchers from various backgrounds including Buddhism and Darker Pagan strands. Our meetings were just social gatherings at which we would discuss and share ideas over a few glasses of wine. (Okay, sometimes more than just a few glasses of wine)! It was great for me as I had recently relocated to Switzerland and was unable to keep up my commitments to my British based coven; so this new hard core group of friends became my new extended family. As time went by several members expressed an interest in the magical and ritualistic aspects of Satanism as Sophie and I practiced it. As a result we experimented with a few group rituals and I gave a bit of guidance and direction for those that were keen to explore witchcraft more fully. And so it began… Quite soon after that our friends, one by one, decided to fully embrace Satanism themselves and our meetings became more organised and regular.
No two covens of any variety are exactly the same and this is probably even more true in Satanic circles. There is no rule book and no single right way to do things. The shape and structure of our coven is based loosely on my previous coven experiences in Wicca and Satanism, simplified and tailored to our own needs. At present we have ten regular members and a few other interested parties. We have several teachers, scientists of various descriptions, an artist, two musicians and several business people. I am nominally the High Priestess and Sophie is the Coven Mother but I think we all acknowledge that in all practical aspects Sophie is the boss (or official Dominatrix, as one of our members put it)! As far as possible we share all jobs and responsibilities around the coven.
We try to meet monthly. Many of us have jobs which involve a lot of travel, so finding times we can all meet is a task in itself. For practical reasons we only celebrate two Satanic holidays in addition to our own birthdays, these are Beltane/Walpurgis Night around Mayday and Samhain/Halloween in the Autumn.
We decided from the beginning that the Coven needs a purpose and a direction. Ours is to further our members self interests and promote Satanic ideas and philosophy in the wider world. These things may seem somewhat vague to outsiders but among ourselves they are well understood and fine tuned.
Some of our meetings are still mostly social or based around structured discussions or debates but ritualistic and magical gatherings form the core of what we do. Also with ten birthdays spread out through the year there is plenty of fun and debauchery as well!
Clearly none of us would remain in the coven if we did not find it pleasurable and advantageous to do so.
Personally I feel it has helped me to learn new skills in terms of people management, ritual preparation, psychological understanding and manipulation and it has brought the “crone” aspect of my persona to the fore. In a practical sense I think the magic and manipulation we perform as a group is significantly more powerful that what I could normally achieve alone. And perhaps most importantly as a Theistic Satanist, I feel ever closer to and more in tune with Satan or my own Satanic nature.
Having said all that, I would urge caution to anybody looking to join a Satanic coven. It simply isn’t necessary or beneficial for everybody. I would describe ours as a fairly gentle and understanding Coven, but we are Satanists and our ways and morals reflect that. Blood is sometimes used in our rituals (our own; freely and hygienically given).There is some nudity and sexual content in some of our rituals. It would be easy to take advantage of new members keen to prove themselves or afraid to say no. We choose not to take advantage. Other covens may take the view that fools get what they deserve.
I said at the start that we are perhaps more outgoing and extrovert than some Satanists. That may be one reason why the Coven works for us. I also think that being involved with other people helps to constantly underline and fine tune our beliefs and thus ensure continual growth. The coven also becomes an extension of family with all the advantages and some of the strains that brings.
Promoting Tina’s blog. 🙂
Some people don’t think that Satanists have morals. That isn’t true. It’s just that we don’t usually share other people’s morals. Other people’s morals are usually based on religions and cultural conditions which we don’t agree with. Our morals start with ourselves. We don’t pretend there is a god forcing us to act a certain way. If we are good it is because WE are good. If we do bad it is because WE are bad. Nobody else is to blame. We are our own gods. We have to decide for ourselves what is right or wrong in any situation and take the consequences for our actions.
Satanists don’t have a rule book of morals, but because we believe most other religions are wrong we often start off by questioning or opposing things that other religions and philosophies accept without questioning. Some of us also take some of the ideas…
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Recently I was berated by an (ex) acquaintance who said I have corrupted my own daughter, that Cassie had corrupted me and we had all been corrupted by Satan! Perhaps it is true, but if so, I view this entirely differently than the person who was intending to insult me or perhaps shame me. I think I was supposed to feel that I have lost my moral principles and that Cassie and I have lead our own daughter into a dangerous path of evil and depravity. But what does that actually mean?
“Corrupted” is a word with several meanings. I don’t think even the idiot previously referred to meant it in the financial sense it is often used in. To quote dictionary.com;-
“dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery”
No, it was meant in the following sense; again from dictionary.com:-
“the action or effect of making someone or something morally depraved.
synonyms: sin, sinfulness, ungodliness, unrighteousness, profanity, impiety, impurity;
immorality, depravity, vice, iniquity, turpitude, degeneracy, perversion, pervertedness, debauchery, dissolution, dissoluteness, decadence, profligacy, wantonness, indecency, lasciviousness, lewdness, lechery;
wickedness, evil, baseness, vileness”
Okay, to some of that I will plead guilty although I would dispute the use or the meaning of some of those synonyms such as degeneracy, indecency and vileness! We are not vile! Anyway the problem is always who is the judge and what is the measure of such things?
I’ll accept that by some people’s measures we are sinful, impure, decadent and that we use profanities and enjoy a fair amount of vice and debauchery. But isn’t it interesting that in this list of supposedly bad behaviour most of the things are related just to sex or generally any language, action or philosophy which questions religious authority. There is nothing in that list that attributes the same degree of evil or depravity to the other meaning of corruption. There is nothing there which suggests it is wrong to squander the world’s resources. There is nothing there which directly states it might be vile to be torture animals or people. There is nothing which questions the morality of arms production and war mongering.
No. If you fuck and if you use the word fuck you are corrupt and depraved. But there is no equivalent linguistic and moral reprimand if you torture animals for kicks or napalm children in Syria. Oh, and if you are a Godly priest we will turn a blind eye to what you are doing with little boys.
My moral compass had diverged a long way from the western Christian map points it was supposed to be attuned with long before I met Cassie. When Cassie introduced me to Satanism however for the first time I felt justified in coming to my own conclusions about what was right and wrong. Satanism empowered me to be responsible for myself and to make intelligent decisions about was right and wrong for me. Satanism demands that you throw out all preconceptions and really start from your own first principles. It forces everybody who embraces it to grow up and leave behind philosophy and morals based on fairy tales and herd mentality. I don’t for a second regret that my daughter has taken Satanic ideas and philosophy to her heart. It has enabled her to leap frog most of her contemporaries in terms of maturity and life experience. I am very proud of the strong young adult that she has become. Yes she is beginning to enjoy some of the debauchery and vice that Cassie and I also enjoy. Should I be ashamed that she has lost her innocence?
No. There is a lot of confusion between innocence and ignorance. Certainly adopting Satanic values has lead all three of us to lose our ignorance. My daughter is not ignorant of sex, of pleasure, of vice. Nor is she ignorant of pain or suffering or the ugly side of humanity. But I would say that she, Cassie and myself are still innocent in the most important way. None of us have lost our sense of wonder when we look at the world and the universe beyond. We see beauty in art and in nature. We are amazed by discoveries in astronomy and quantum mechanics. We take delight in seeing children learn and animals survive against the odds. These things still and always will touch our souls. And this sense of awe and wonder is not diminished by the fact that we walk a Left Hand Path, that we engage with the darker sides of ourselves and of life in general. In fact knowing our darker selves only increases our respect for the universe as it is and strengthens our ability to thrive in an imperfect world.
I never wanted to remain a quiet, softly spoken virgin. I never wanted to be a dependent child all my life. I never wanted these things for my daughter either. So I guess by many people’s standards I have been corrupted and am corrupt. I plead guilty to leading my daughter in the same way.
Some people will always fear the words Satan and Satanism. Many will always associate Satanism with all that they regard as bad, sinful and corrupt. But many of those same people will never really think about what their inherited morality means, never mind what it lacks.
I don’t care if some people think I am corrupt and depraved or even if they think I have lead my daughter into corruption. But I don’t think we have been corrupted by Satan. Rather, I believe that Satan has educated and enlightened us. I think that Satanism has liberated us and allowed us to think freely. Satanism is self empowerment, a gift I would never deny my daughter.
Post by Cassie
It is only just over 4 years ago that I wrote a post on my personal blog which was in effect my “Coming Out” as a Satanist. It hardly seems possible that so much has happened and changed in my life since then. At first I deleted the “coming out” post for all sorts of personal reasons and because I was afraid of the backlash and criticism I would receive. So my first steps into Satanic life were rather timid. However, I did reinstate that post and held fast to the decision I had made. In those early months I think I felt that actually I would find a middle path that was somewhere between Satanism and the kind of eclectic paganism I had been following up to that point. A lot of Satanic writing and precepts seemed a bit too radical, self centered and even brutal to me. But I put my faith and trust in Satan and took a leap into the dark… Now I suppose I find some of my early posts from a Satanic perspective to be far too apologetic; seeking approval and acceptance. Well, it’s a journey and you learn along the way. I learnt in big dramatic steps. Within months I was fully immersed in Satanic life, believing in and participating in things I would have bulked at a few months earlier. Within a year I was writing about Satanism with much more confidence and authority, I was deeply involved in a Satanic Coven and in various online Satanic circles. My soul was darker and my heart was probably harder. Meanwhile I got a girlfriend and adopted a daughter who both became Satanists and together our Satanic journey accelerated even further.
And now my lover and I run our own Satanic Coven. There are no half measures. We are not espousing any form of watered down middle path. Ours is a fully and exclusively left hand path. We reject all other moral systems and values and live by Satanic principles and will alone. There is nothing timid or half-hearted about our beliefs. We are Satanists. Accept it or fuck off.
But is that where the story ends? So nice little Cassie gives her soul to Satan and becomes a foul mouthed, hard arsed bitch… Is that it? Is that anything worth reading about, let alone celebrating? Is that a point at which anybody who has followed the story so far can say “Oh that was cool!” or “Told you so!” or even “What a shame!”
Well don’t worry, this is not the end. This is just a taking stock. The journey continues. The journey never ends.
It is true though… I am not as “nice” as I once was. I certainly can be a foul mouthed, hard arsed bitch and I enjoy giving that aspect of myself free reign sometimes. I no longer have any shame about the darker aspects of myself, or about expressing them when the need arises. So since I am taking stock, lets look in a bit more detail at the ways Satanism has changed and helped me.
Perhaps the most important thing in the early days was that Satanism helped me to cope with the illness and death of my mother. It was complicated and difficult but I think that without the hardened edge and support network that Satan provided me with, I would have broken down. It was also at that time (coincidence?) that I met my life partner and her daughter and inherited a new family. My love and passion for Sophie began on a high but has steadily increased as we have both become ever more deeply involved in Satanism. And while I will probably never give birth myself, I couldn’t love my adopted daughter more. Her presence totally activated my maternal instincts and hormones and helped me to grow in ways I would never have imagined possible. Now she is old enough to begin making her own way in the adult world and I couldn’t be prouder of her. (More about that later).
Satanism allowed me to know myself better, to shamelessly indulge in my passions and pleasures, and to grow in confidence in leaps and bounds. That confidence has lead to several promotions and thus to a much more enjoyable, rewarding and lucrative work life. I am earning more money than I thought possible a few years ago, I am living in a very comfortable apartment in an expensive city but can still afford just about any luxury or pleasure that takes my fancy. While I have a few unhealthy vices, I am fit, active, happy and relaxed and therefore in very good health. Sophie and I are both approaching the phase of life that used to be known as “middle age” but I think we could both pass ourselves off as “twentysomethings” if we wanted to. And our own coven has given us both the opportunity to develop our maternal and organisational skills in new ways. Gradually we have become quite influential in wider Satanic circles. So it is as if in work, social, personal and coven life all limits and barriers have been removed.
So while people who used to know the nicer Cassie might regret the harder edge they see now, I am thoroughly grateful to Satan for the person I have become and the limitless opportunities ahead of me.
I am aware that there are elements of this post which I have spoken of before, not so long ago, and that is a bit of a problem… Looking back through this blog, we have already covered most of the themes that are important to us. We don’t want to get repetitive…
The thrust of this post so far might seem to be saying “Look we are fully immersed in Satanism now and everything is great;- end of story.” But that is not it.
There will be challenges ahead and we are not so naive as to think all our problems are over and this is where we stay now. No, life is always a journey. There are always new things to learn and experience in any path and it is no different for us. I think the three of us are Satanic to the core of our beings and that will probably not change. But how we live that out in the reality of the everyday world will always pose questions and challenges for us. We will continue to share what we learn from those experiences in this blog and we will continue to write about any themes that seem important to us. But since we have covered quite a lot of ground already we will probably not be posting to this blog as often as in the past. We do not want to be repeating ourselves too much.
However we have encouraged Tina to start a blog of her own. She has a very different perspective and voice to Sophie and myself. Sophie and I came to Satanism in our thirties after a lot of spiritual searching and all sorts of different life experiences. Tina, on the other hand, has been brought up in the centre of a Satanic family. In terms of philosophy and religion, Satanism is pretty much her normality in a way that certainly wasn’t the case for us, or for most people… Also, at sixteen, as she begins to explore adult life in general, her concerns and interests are quite different from our own. All three of us are aware there is not much quality material around for younger people who are interested in Satanism, certainly not much that we would recommend. Sophie and I are confident that Tina will become a good and knowledgeable example of a young Satanist. We hope she will indeed keep her blog going and we are curious to see what she will say.
So, while Sophie and I may be posting here a little less often in future, the journey of this Satanic family continues in many ways.
You can visit Tina’s blog here.
This is a post to mark a right of passage, as much for me as for my daughter. But it makes sense for Tina to speak first.
Tina speaking… Unlike my mother or Cassie I have never really been interested in or experienced any religion or philosophy except Satanism. It is true that I got interested in it because it was so important to them but since I started finding out about it myself I never really had any doubts about it. It is also true that I became a Satanist at the same time I started to change from a girl into a woman and I suppose the two things are connected.
Some months ago I started to have some doubts about continuing with Satanism. It wasn’t because I stopped believing; it was just because a lot of other things were happening (school, study, boyfriends etc) and also I was a bit frustrated with being on the fringe of things at home. (Mum and Cassie are very busy with their coven and I get on well with all those people but can’t join in with anything. I am friends with the children of the coven members but most of them are not my age and anyway, strange to say, none of them are actually Satanists themselves. The only Satanists of my own age I am in contact with are online contacts and that is not the same as real life.). So I thought maybe I should just let go of Satanism for a while and concentrate on other things. Mum and Cassie were perfectly fine with that. But the problem was I couldn’t let it go. It was already too much part of my life. I have been learning witchcraft for quite a few years already and I couldn’t “not” be a witch. And I couldn’t stop being a Satanist either, it is what I am. So instead of leaving Satanism I went the other way. I did a big, deep and dark ritual of self dedication to Satan. And then I felt that connection and power surge that my mum and Cassie have spoken about before. In some ways I think it changed me even more than losing my virginity (which also happened during the last year).
So now I feel supercharged as a Satanist and strangely it doesn’t bother me now that I have to wait a year or two before officially joining the coven. I feel I have my own relationship with Satan now. And while I know I still have lots to learn about just about everything I am an adult now. Childhood is over and I am fully enjoying being a young adult. I will sin. I will indulge. I will learn. I will grow.
I am keeping this short and missing things out but obviously while all this was happening there were lots of long discussions with my mother and Cassie. I think as a result of all that, my relationship with my mum has changed. It was always a good relationship but now I think it is a more equal and adult one. But I will let her explain…
Sophie again… All relationships grow and change including the mother/daughter relationship. The fact that my daughter and I share broadly the same religious and philosophical beliefs has certainly helped in the past few years and I believe there has been far less conflict between us than some mothers and daughters experience. However we are indeed both Satanists and that has repercussions and consequences. Simply put, in order to be true to the beliefs and philosophy we share I have had to allow her to grow at her own pace and embark on adult life free of many of the restrictions I experienced and free of the guilt that I and many others experienced living in a world dominated by Christian values.
Only a couple of years ago when puberty was just beginning to take effect, I could still think of my daughter as essentially a child. Although she was already starting to change into a woman physically and mentally, I still saw her mainly as my little girl to be nurtured and protected. And I think even she would agree that in many ways she was still a child and was mostly quite happy to be treated as such. One of her first grown up decisions was to become a Satanist. Cassie and I discouraged her quite strongly at first, believing that it would be better for her to have more experience of life before deciding on any religion or philosophy; let alone one as outside the mainstream as Satanism is. But she was strong-willed, determined and persistent and eventually we decided it was best to respect her decision and guide her on that path as best we could. And so Satan became one of the guiding lights and cornerstones of her development as an adult. Cassie and I thought perhaps it was just a phase and we would have been ready to accept it if she had said she wanted to back out or just focus her energies on the less spiritual aspects of adolescence. But it was not just a phase. Her adulthood has blossomed within a Satanic household in which we value knowledge, pleasure and experience and where we have no great reverence for innocence and certainly no respect for ignorance.
And now sitting opposite me, Tina is an intelligent, quick witted and beautiful young woman who shares some of my beliefs and many of my pleasures and vices. But she is her own woman. She disagrees with me on some things (even concerning Satanism) and she has many interests and aspirations that have never been mine. She will always be my daughter, blood of my blood and I will always love her and be there for her in that capacity. But I also love the Satanic woman that she has become and respect her as the individual she has chosen to be. In some ways her Satanism is more pure than mine and there is much I can learn from her. We are both now daughters of Satan and go forward as equals and friends.
It is a year since we heard the sad news that our friend Lee had passed from this world.
He is still often in our thoughts.
His legacy remains.
Some interesting perspective from an academic who studies weird people like us!
This is a long-overdue response to John L. Crow’s post about Satanism and scholars of religion. And by overdue I mean by almost two years. John L. Crow (whom I met briefly at the American Academy of Religion’s Annual Conference in Atlanta last November) had written asking for my thoughts way back in December 2014. At the time I was preparing for my research trip in Norway, and then life and work got in the way, and this year I’ve been ill, and well, academics have no good excuses for these kinds things, but here we are, and I can haz ideas.
So, with apologies to John for the delay, here are my thoughts on the experience as a scholar of religion actively focusing on religious Satanism in relation to the broader context in which Satanism is discussed in popular, religious, and academic forums alike.
Allow me to begin with…
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