Our previous post was decrying the kind of exploitation people like Harvey Weinstein are finally having to pay the price for. One or two people complained that we have no right to complain about such things because we are into kinky sex ourselves and we even have a tumblr blog which is quite pornographic. Those complainers don’t get it at all! There is a huge difference between enjoying consensual sex in a variety of forms on the one hand (which can be very empowering) and being forced or coerced into unwanted sexual situations on the other hand (which is very dis-empowering). To put it another way; even if I dress in a way which is sexually attractive and openly speak about enjoying a variety of sexual practices, nobody in the universe has the right to touch me in a sexual way or expect anything more from me unless I explicitly invite them to. There will be a few neanderthals who still don’t get it, but fortunately their time is over and all that remain of that type of sub human will soon be either extinct or in jail.
The title of this post is “Kinky Sex and Satanism”. I am sure there are many who think that the two things inevitably go together. They don’t. Some Satanists including a few of our own friends have no particular interest in sex at all. In fact the majority of people we know in Satanic circles have rather conservative sex lives which are a private matter between themselves and their partners. However, one thing that the majority of Satanists in our experience do have in common in matters of sex, is an open minded attitude and a tendency to question, if not break, some taboos associated with it. I say some taboos… The taboos we tend to challenge and break are those which historically have been part of the rules and regulations of religions we reject, as well as those rules which deny our right to be masters of our own bodies and our own lives. There are a few rules which we don’t break however, not because they are taboo, but because in our own judgement such things would be plain wrong and go against our own values and the priority we place on recognizing the power and dignity of the individual. So the rules we don’t break are these:- We don’t engage in any sexual activity with anybody against their consent. We don’t under any circumstances have sex with minors. We don’t have sex with animals. If anybody needs more of an explanation as to why we don’t do those things, they clearly need more therapy than I am expert or patient enough to give!
Having explained that not all Satanists have sex which could be described as kinky in any way and having clearly stated the things we would never do, I will now talk about some areas of sexual activity which some people think are kinky which some of us do enjoy.
The first thing to say is that we are hedonists. We think hedonism is a good thing. We think it is good for the human psyche and general physical condition to make the most of all pleasures life has to offer, including sexual ones. Perhaps we need to write an exposition on why hedonism is a good thing sometime, but for now just take it as read that hedonism is an important aspect of Satanic life.
A small but perhaps important point is that Satanism is not homophobic. While nothing is compulsory; we tend to be experimental, open minded and respectful of all forms of sexual identity and preferences. Personally I don’t see that as kinky but I guess some do. Often those who feel excluded by various religious authorities because they happen to be gay, bisexual, transgender or whatever, find Satanism a safe haven. Tina, Cassie and I are bisexual, but interestingly we rarely feel the need to describe our sexual tastes and preferences in such a prescriptive way inside our own satanic circles.
One of the things that some people might find “kinky” about Satanists and sex is that many of us do not feel obliged to limit our sex lives to our romantic lives. In many religions there are laws (written and unwritten) which stipulate that sex can only happen in a relationship between a man and a woman which is legitimized by the church or religious authority they adhere to. We reject that idea completely. It seems an obvious fact to us that humans have always enjoyed many forms of sex which happen outside recognized relationships such as marriage and we don’t think there is anything wrong with that. We think it is a normal and usually pleasurable aspect of human development and behavior. So for the Satanist there is the possibility to enjoy sex in all sorts of situations inside and outside of relationships. In reality it is just normal life. We suspect there are very few adults who have not had and enjoyed sex which is not in the context of a serious and “God-Blessed” relationship. We are just honest about it, and as hedonists we enjoy it as much as we can. Cassie and I love each other and I think it is fair to say the best sex we have is with each other. Hopefully no Satanists would underestimate the value and importance of love. When we first met, we only had sex with each other for quite a long time. But as our love and our relationship grew deeper and more mature, we no longer felt the need to restrict our sexual activities to each other. I think our relationship has become stronger as a result. Personally I think a lot of relationships might be stronger and more loving if partners allowed each other more sexual freedom… Maybe that’s just me… Anyhow, our lifestyle and our choices are not necessarily the norm for all Satanists, but Satanism does at least allow us to make those choices for ourselves and not be slaves to the norms of society.
Following on from the idea that some of us do not limit our sexual activity to the conventions of coupledom, is the fact that there is sometimes sexual content in our rituals. This does not occur in all Satanic communities or covens but it does happen in some; including our own. We do not have orgies as such, some do… However, nobody should be forced to indulge in any sexual activity they are uncomfortable with. In our coven we have learned from experience that having a sexual element in some rituals and magical workings adds great power to what we are doing. Symbolically and psychologically it can be extremely potent and influential in terms of personal development. It also bonds us as an extended family and is fun. Moreover, we do it partly because such behavior is forbidden and seen as taboo in Christianity and some other religions. We are reclaiming the space and circumstance and refusing to allow outside forces to dictate our actions. We are very much stating that sex does not have to be limited or controlled in the way many religions have tried to do over time.
In group rituals and individually some Satanists like to infuse a large degree of blasphemy into some of their sexual activity. Some pornographic images posted by Satanists seem to be almost exclusively full of this stuff. Personally I think that kind of thing can get excessive and therefore loses the point of blasphemy which is mainly to mock the powers which have been used to control people over time. Therefore in our own coven we tend to keep such things to the minimum so that when they do occur, they are more transformative. Moreover, we feel there are some significant health issues with some of those activities.
So perhaps this is the point to mention health. While in principle we allow ourselves to enjoy sex in whatever ways we want, we are also big believers in personal responsibility. Cassie and I grew up in an era when AIDS was still a big fear; and while it is not in the headlines as much these days, we are well aware that it still exists. Moreover there are all sorts of other sexually transmitted diseases, some of which are on the increase at this time. Therefore we urge caution. Cassie and I are at an age where we may be prepared to take calculated risks from time to time with people we know well, personally I think younger people should be even more cautious. I have a daughter who is hungrily and enthusiastically exploring and enjoying the part that sex can play in her life. She has been brought up in a Satanic household with Satanic values which she has heavily invested in herself. It shows; and I am delighted to see her blossom and grow in this and other ways. However, I of course want her to have a long and happy life and have equipped her with all the practical advice I can. There will always be risks attached to any form of sexual activity, but with knowledge and forethought it is possible to minimise those risks. Ideally Satanic women should be confident, knowledgeable and self empowered people who are not afraid to say No, or Not Unless….
Some people regard the various activities contained within the BDSM label as “kinky” and it is true that many of us do enjoy some of those things. Cassie tells me there are often elements of bondage in Wiccan and Pagan rituals. In truth I think most people enjoy or experiment with these things and that they are more widespread and normal in many people’s lives than is sometimes thought. Cassie and I have found that exploring our own boundaries within this field of sexual activity can be very enriching, satisfying, empowering and even beautiful. We have found that other Satanists are often into these activities for the same reasons and in order once again to be experimental, adventurous and challenge taboos. I think it goes with the Satanic mindset to a degree. However, once again, none of this is compulsory for Satanists and as I have said before, the sex lives of many Satanists are actually very conservative and mainstream. We can, but we don’t have to.
Is it kinky to like porn? Well I have to admit that Cassie and I enjoy some of it and a lot of our Satanic friends do as well. Perhaps that is just us and our kinky circle, but I doubt it. Again it is about challenging taboos and actually celebrating sex as a normal part of life rather than denying it. Cassie and I enjoy erotica that depicts all the things I have mentioned so far and lots more besides. We like to think our tastes in such things are fairly sophisticated, but I suppose even that is down to personal taste. What we don’t like however is anything that suggests rape or any form of sex that doesn’t involve the meaningful consent of all involved. We detest and report anything we see which crosses that line.
So called kinky sex tends to be more adventurous and breaks many barriers. As a result I believe it brings with it the potential for learning and personal growth. I am sure I know and understand myself better as a result of some of my sexual experiences. I think it has made me stronger in many ways, and more understanding of myself and others. I think it is a good thing.
Why have I written this post? Partly, I suppose, it’s that sex is a big part of my life and I get a kind of kick from writing about it… Partly it is to dispel the myth that Satanism is nothing but orgies and kinky sex, while at the same time admitting that for some of us it is a part of the Satanic lifestyle and experience. For any non Satanists looking in I think it is fair and honest to give an overview of the degree to which sex may play a part in our lives. But mainly in fact, it goes back to the Harvey Weinstein controversy.
Most women and men enjoy sex. Many of us enjoy sex which is described by some as kinky. Neither of these self evident truths apply only to Satanists. However, admitting to enjoying sex, even kinky sex, should not in this day and age mean that we are gagging for it with any man who passes our way. No matter how dull or how adventurous our sex lives are, NOBODY has the right to force or coerce us into any form of unwanted sex. I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she can enjoy sex as much and in whatever form she wants without being labeled in a way her male counterparts would not be. I want her to live in a world where sexual predators are few and are dealt with harshly when discovered. And I want her to live in a world where the latent sexism of the past is finally laid to rest. I am proud to be a Satanist and I think in many ways people like us are at the vanguard of positive change in society. Kinky sex is just sex. It is part of being human. I believe we have the right to enjoy that part of our lives without prejudice.
A few months ago the name Harvey Weinstein was synonymous with power and success in Hollywood and in global business. Now his name has become a byword for sleeze, manipulation, sexual exploitation and, perhaps in many people’s opinion, evil.
Everything the “Weinstein controversy” throws up disturbs us as women and as Satanists. There may be a degree to which his values and his lifestyle don’t seem very different to our own; yet we are repelled and appalled by many of the things he is alleged to have done. We have already heard some of his activities being described as Satanic; which brings those of us who practice real Satanism into disrepute. But we are Satanists and the uncomfortable truth is that aspects of Satanism may encourage the likes of Weinstein to do their thing. I would not be entirely surprised if at some point in time he is alleged to actually be a Satanist. And perhaps he thinks he is. So where does that leave us and our many fellow Satanists who are as disgusted by the things he is alleged to have done as most other people belatedly are?
His alleged crimes are that he used and abused his position of power to force or coerce women to have sex with him and that if they refused he damaged their careers; because he could. A secondary theme in the whole sordid affair is that other people were aware of what was going on, but were afraid to do anything about it.
Let me start by identifying the areas of Satanic philosophy and lifestyle which might at first sight seem to promote some of the sociopathic behavior Weinstein has been accused of. Most Satanists believe that we can, and sometimes should, use whatever advantages and powers we have (including use of Greater and Lesser magic) to get the things we want and need. We believe in the power of the individual and, having recognized that in ourselves, we tend not to be overly sympathetic to the type of “victims” who could help themselves but don’t. We are self centered and hedonistic. We allow ourselves to enjoy all aspects of life (including sex) to the full, without much regard to the prevailing morals of society or any particular religion. We can be predatory. There are people within Satanism who have a rather dismissive attitude to people who do not comprehend our beliefs, and some tend to treat all non Satanists with a contempt which is often deemed to be deserved. This attitude is something which we try to avoid in our family and our coven, but we have possibly slipped into it from time to time. In short all Satanists “could” be or become sexual predators. While they are in the minority, there are some “so called” Satanic covens which take advantage of desperate wannabe Satanists;- something we have warned about several times here on this blog.
So, on the face of it Satanism could seem to provide a front or even a justification for the kind of exploitative behavior Harvey Weinstein is said to have exhibited… But only on the face of it…
In reality Satanism is the antithesis of all that Harvey Weinstein is said to be, and said to have done. Satanism is about empowerment of the individual and that is one reason that strong women such as ourselves are attracted to it. Moreover, while rules in Satanism are rare, many of us adhere to the guidelines set out in various places by Anton LaVey.
This is what LaVey said about stupidity. “Stupidity — The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.”
This is very worth thinking about in light of the Weinstein controversy. We are very much on the side of Rose McGowen and the other “whistle-blowers” who saw and experienced what was going on and tried to do something about it. We are very much against the culture of mindful blindness and ignorance perpetrated by the media and the general public who knew what was going on, but didn’t want to know.
Perhaps most importantly in this context, the fifth of LaVey’s Satanic Sins states;- “Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.” In other words no sex unless all involved give full and meaningful consent… Actually it goes further, it means don’t even start in the direction of sex unless you have very good reason to believe that such activity is desired by the other person.
Some Satanists, including us, place a lot of emphasis on enjoying sex in all it’s forms. It is a large part of the hedonistic indulgence we allow ourselves and we are not limited by the sexual or social laws and morals which many religions insist on. However, even among ourselves, sex only occurs between fully consenting adults and should never be forced or coerced.
Finally, while we will admit to being self centered in a positive way, we are totally against solipsism; of underestimating or negating the importance of others. We do not, and should not, expect the world to understand or agree with us, and we are often horrified by the herd mentality exhibited by others, but we never forget (even if they sometimes do) that other people are individuals too, and that we should treat them as we would want or expect to be treated ourselves.
In conclusion, Harvey Weinstein fails every test of what it means to be a modern Satanist. If the allegations against him are true, he is a piece of shit and should be treated as such. Moreover, if those allegations are true, he should go to prison and suffer the FULL consequences of his actions (which some may feel go beyond a simple prison sentence).
Perhaps the silver lining in this whole nasty affair is that it has brought certain unpleasant truths about Hollywood and the business world in general into the light. I doubt if there are many women who are surprised to see this proof of deeply entrenched sexist and exploitative attitudes come to light. Probably most men have been aware of it too. But nobody wanted to be the first to state the obvious and risk their careers. Predatory scum like Weinstein depend on that. It is the root of their power and influence.
Rose McGowen has made a number of allegations and I suppose for now we cannot know how true they are. However, if they are proved to be true, her courage in coming forward now and trying to take action at the time deserves praise and respect. If true, she is a woman who has suffered the indignity of violent rape which required hospitalization as a result. She was then blacklisted by people who were afraid of her attacker when she tried take action against him. (If true) her courage in pursuing the matter now and the determination she has shown in not letting him and others of his type get away with it, demonstrates incredible strength of character.
But her experience is not unique. I seriously doubt that you could find many women who have never felt compromised or abused sexually. We all know somebody who has been raped, and I’d guess we all have memories of somebody in a position of power urging or forcing us to do something we were not comfortable with. For decades and for generations it has simply been an unspoken fact of life for women. Mothers try to protect their daughters but always know that probably at some time “something unpleasant” is bound to happen. It has happened to Sophie and myself… Not in a particularly dramatic way but just as one of those uncomfortable lessons women have to go through…
We are glad our daughter is already a Satanist. We believe it gives her an edge and a degree of protection. Satanists enjoy sex but we put our own wants and needs first. We are strong and will take revenge on anyone who violates us or attempts to. We believe in ourselves and our own agency. We know our own will and won’t allow it to be trampled on. If I had already been a Satanist in my late teens or early twenties I think one or two unpleasant incidents wouldn’t have happened.
But for many, if not most women, those types of “incident” have just been facts of life.
It is time for change.
To all those pathetic, shadowy men who have been doing all the things Weinstein has been accused of and getting away with it;- your time is over and you deserve all the shit that is going to come your way.
From Tina’s blog.
My daughter makes me proud. Sophie
A friend on a forum recently pointed out an article from The Huffington Post to me. Basically it states that around the world, even in secular societies, people seem to believe that if you don’t believe in God you are more likely to be immoral. Or that atheists have less morals and are more likely to commit violent and sexual crimes.
I think that is rubbish although I concede that a lot of religious people probably do think that way. However, when I was talking to another Satanist friend he told me that my opinions don’t make sense either because I call myself a Theistic Satanist and you can’t be both an atheist and a theist and you can’t really be a serious Satanist if you are in any way theistic. I think he is wrong about that but I can see I have some explaining to do. So let me…
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Introduction by Sophie
We guard our privacy pretty well, but the fact that we are a family of three women who are all Satanists means we are quite well known in some circles and, it’s fair to say, a subject of curiosity to some. An acquaintance of ours who is a radio journalist here in Switzerland recently asked if we would do a radio interview about being a family of Satanists. After a bit of reluctance and a lot of conditions we finally agreed. Obviously we didn’t allow our real names or locations to be broadcast on the radio and part of our agreement was that we should be allowed to publish a written form of the interview on our blog after the radio show was broadcast. Thus we are publishing part of it here. Please bare in mind that the original interview was in German, so this is my translation and I am leaving out all the “errs” and “umms” that creep into normal speech. I have also edited out some parts of the interview, including part of the introduction, which are just repeating things we have already said here. Hopefully our readers will find our five minutes of fame interesting! The interview itself provoked a quite big response and we have been invited back to answer some listeners questions. As for our readers here, we are always happy to answer any sensible questions. Here is the interview…
Interviewer: I am sitting in a suburban kitchen drinking coffee with three polite and well spoken women. On the the surface there is nothing particularly unusual about the women. All three of them have tattoos, but then so do half the people in Zurich these days. The two older women are in a lesbian relationship but hopefully that fact alone should not raise any eyebrows in 2017. The youngest of the three is their daughter, she is in her late teens and looks a little older than that. If you passed them in the street you wouldn’t notice anything unusual about them. They are in many ways a modern version of the typical nuclear family. But the room opposite the kitchen where we are sitting now has been converted to a temple of sorts. It is dark, all the walls are painted black and there is a table on which a black candle is burning in front of a small statue of Satan. On the four walls of the room there are framed pictures of demons. The women I am speaking to are Satanists. All three of them. Their names are Cassie, Sophie and Tina.
So let me get the awkward question out of the way first. “Are you evil? Do you sacrifice animals or practice black magic?”
Cassie; “Well the easiest of those questions is the middle one. We don’t sacrifice animals. We don’t harm animals in any way. And before you ask; we don’t sacrifice virgins or babies either! The other two questions are a bit more difficult to answer because the terms you use mean different things to different people. We do practice what some call black magic; by which I mean we are witches and we practice any kind of magic that achieves our goals. There are some witches, such as Wiccans who have a kind of moral code attached to the magic they do which says they should harm nobody. We don’t make a vow to keep to any such code, but that doesn’t mean we spend our time creating spells to hurt people. It just means we don’t rule anything out.
Sophie; “For the record, I don’t think that so far any of us have ever done any magic that could be called evil or malicious. We just don’t rule out doing such things in the unlikely event that it became necessary. We do however sometimes do magic that helps us. We don’t have any rules about not using magic to make our own lives better.
Tina; “Black Magic of the type we use, also implies using techniques and working with forces that people of some other religions think are bad or wrong.”
Cassie “Which brings us back to the question of evil. Some Satanists, including Sophie and Tina, don’t particularly mind other people using the word evil to describe us. But it kind of sticks in my throat. I do lots of things, like practicing black magic for example, which some people think are evil. But I also do a lot of things which some people, probably most people, think are good. We don’t believe in absolutes and we don’t really think anybody else has the right to judge whether we are good or evil. Personally I prefer to use the word Satanic. I’m happy to be described as that.”
Interviewer; “Well let’s get to the basics. What does it mean to be a Satanist? What do you believe? Do you worship The Devil?”
Tina (Laughing) “Do you always ask three questions at once?”
Tina “It’s okay. But those are big questions. There are different kinds of Satanists just like there are different kinds of Christians or Buddhists. Probably, the biggest group of modern Satanists are those who follow the basic teachings of Anton LaVey. He became famous in the 1960s. He was a kind of showman really, but he popularized a form of Satanism which was like an antidote to Christianity and other organised religions. He was trying to challenge people to think for themselves and break some of the rules and taboos that Christians insisted on. But actually he was an atheist and so are most who follow his line of Satanism. For them everything is symbolic and the devil is in some ways our inner self; all the parts that other religions say we should be ashamed of…
Interviewer; “So that is the kind of Satanism that you follow?”
Sophie “Not exactly. We use Laveyan Satanism as a kind of guideline but while they are atheists we are not. We believe there is an actual force or being which we call Satan or The Devil. So in a way you could say we worship The Devil.”
Cassie; “But only in a way… We don’t really use the word worship in the way Christians understand it. Maybe a better word is “respect”. We Respect Satan, and we also interact with him… But even then it is not what most people think… We do not believe Satan is the way Christianity describes him, so we don’t actually think he is evil. We believe Satan is a force in the world that the organisations of other religions fear. Basically, if you look at the Biblical texts and other writings, Satan is simply saying that it is wrong to worship God or the institutions of the church. Satan is the voice saying we can work things out for ourselves and it would actually be better that way. Satan is the champion of those who don’t think any religion should repress or control people just to hold on to power. Satan is telling us we can be our own Gods. And Christianity and some other religions hate and fear that idea…
(The three of us then explain those ideas in a bit more detail, which we have already done in several posts on this blog. Then there is a section on how and why we became Satanists, which we have also written alot about in this blog)…
Interviewer; “So how does all this work out in daily life? Are you completely hedonistic? Do you have any morals that other people could relate to?”
Tina “You are doing the three question thing again!”
Sophie “Yes, we are hedonistic. Actually we reject the concept that it is wrong to be hedonistic. We also reject the concept of sin. So we enjoy our lives as much as we can and we place value on that. We treat ourselves well. We enjoy all the physical and sensual pleasures that come our way without guilt…”
Tina; “So we party! We drink. We smoke. We enjoy good food and having fun. And sex of course…”
Cassie; “And we don’t think there is anything wrong with that. But as Satanists we believe we should take responsibility for our actions. So while we have fun, the responsibility to look after ourselves is ours and so are the consequences. To put it simply if we want to go out and have some drinks we decide for ourselves how much is too much and how much of a hangover we are prepared to put up with. Of course you don’t have to be a Satanist to have that attitude; it is just sensible… But in a way, that is the point. Being sensible is pretty much fundamental to Satanism. And that applies to more serious things too, like what we do in our sex lives or even what we do or think politically or magically. It is all about thinking the consequences through and taking personal responsibility for our actions; even when it comes to having fun.”
Interviewer; “That all sounds very reasonable, but it also sounds very selfish. Don’t you care how your actions affect other people?”
Sophie; “This is a mistake in thinking that a lot of people make. Why should the fact that we think about ourselves and our own wants and needs mean that we don’t care about other people? It just means that we put ourselves first. I know some religions say that is wrong but we just think it is a sensible starting point. We do care about other people. We are not obliged to by some outside force, we just do. But we choose who we care about and what we can or can’t do to help them.”
Tina; “I could give you a list of what we do for other people but… That probably isn’t the thing to do… But you know… Cassie and Sophie work with young people who have difficulties. They are teachers. You can’t be a teacher without caring. We all give money to charities we like. I have organised help for refugees and I help out in an animal sanctuary… We do lot’s of things that most people would think are nice, or good… But in our free time we enjoy ourselves… We have fun… We have sex… We indulge ourselves… But we are not so stupid as to let those things get in the way of other important things we have to do to be successful in life.”
Cassie; “And as for morals. We have our own and we try to be true to ourselves. Basically we try to be kind and helpful most of the time but we don’t feel obliged to be nice to people who treat us or other people badly. In our daily lives… Well, Sophie and I have quite a lot of organisational work to do for our coven. We have the room you described earlier where we sometimes meditate or get together for learning or small family rituals… But otherwise, our daily lives are pretty much like other people… We have breakfast. We work. We have meals together when we are all home. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes we just chat. Sometimes we watch TV. Our daily lives are not very unusual.
Interviewer; “I’m sure when a lot of people think about Satanism they will imagine dark rites and rituals with perverted sex and lots of blood. Is there any truth in that?”
Cassie; “Well the true answer is that sometimes there is some truth in that. We do have rites and rituals which emphasize the darker side of life and death even. There is sometimes some sexual content in those rituals which we don’t see as being perverted, but admittedly our sexual morals are maybe a bit more liberal than the norm. And sometimes but not always, there is blood. Usually our blood, or the blood of animals which have already been humanely killed to be used for food. Yes, I know that can sound a bit grotesque to a lot of people; but a lot of those same people will routinely sit down and eat beef for dinner with the blood oozing out of it… In fairness there are also quite a lot of Satanists, some in our own coven, who are vegetarians and who do not participate in anything which involves animal blood. But the point of all these rituals is to change your mindset for a while, to break common taboos. It has been recognized for centuries in many different religions, that breaking taboos combined with the theater, the language and drama of ritual can have powerful psychological effects. Anton Lavey recognised that, and so do we and many other modern Satanists. In our group we feel it opens up a channel between us and Satan. In other groups they see it as opening up the inner self, the God within. We think that is part of it too.”
Interviewer; “Sophie, I am sitting here looking at you and your daughter and I would like to ask a blunt question. You are a mature woman and it is clear it is up to you how you live your life. But your daughter is so young and, dare I say, innocent. How can you condone or justify her getting mixed up in the kind of things Cassie has just described or even the wider implications of living as a Satanist? Don’t you worry about her as a daughter? Some… A lot of people would argue that it is your duty to guard and protect her against the very things you seem to be advocating.”
Sophie (I was bristling a bit about this question and my tone was a bit angry!) Firstly I love Tina very much, and yes, I am still her mother and I will always protect her as much as I can in all ways… And if anybody were to hurt her, they would come to wish with every bone in their body that they had not crossed me! But… I didn’t raise my daughter to be an eternal child. Part of a mother’s responsibility is to help their children grow up and become all that they can be, as adults. And I think I am doing that. Tina is not a child. I recognize that. She will be at university next year and she is making a life of her own. She is already an adult. Young…yes. But an adult all the same. And I welcome that. She is NOT innocent and wouldn’t want to be. I don’t care what other people think of me, but I think there is something beautiful about your child discovering the riches of the adult world and learning some of the pleasures we sometimes take for granted when we are older… And also of course some of the problems and extra responsibilities that go with being an adult. And as I don’t think there is anything at all wrong with the things we have described in the interview today, I also don’t think it is wrong for my daughter either. About the ritual side… Tina does not participate in our own coven at the moment. Partly because we do have an age limit and would not allow people to join us until they are eighteen; and Tina still has a few months to go before she reaches that landmark. But anyway after lots of discussions we all decided that it would not be right at first for her to join our own coven, so she is in training in another coven… We do however do a few smaller rituals and magical workings as a family group. We feel it brings us closer together.”
Tina; “I’d just like to say that I have a very close relationship with my mother which is more than a lot of my friends do. My Mum and I do argue sometimes but basically we are friends and we trust each other. I study hard. I don’t do any illegal drugs. I pay my way at home. I don’t cause problems. But I’m not innocent and never wanted to be. I have a boyfriend. I’ve had other lovers. I do go out and have fun. But if I have problems, which is just normal because everybody has problems… My Mum and Cassie are the first people I come to. I can talk to them about anything and I trust what they say and mostly take their advice. How many other teenagers can truly say that?”
Interviewer; “Well we are coming to the end of the interview and have to finish off. I’m am sure there is much more we could have talked about and which you might have liked to talk about. So can I ask each of you to sum up in your own words what you feel you gain from being a Satanist? And feel free to add anything you think is important which we didn’t have time to go into detail about.”
Cassie; “To put it simply I gained in every way. I learned to like and understand my whole self better. I became more confident and more successful. My life has been more interesting, more rewarding and more fun since I became a Satanist and I have gone in all sorts of directions I never dreamed of. Having said that, I know that Satanism is not for everyone… And we still have friends of different religions or of no religion, but I should also point out to listeners that there are some crazy people who pretend to be Satanists, just as there are idiots in all religions. So if anybody is seriously interested in finding out more they should do a lot of research and be quite careful when they are first starting out.
Sophie; “I found when I came out as a Satanist, it was like a weight was lifted off me and I could be myself, my real self, for the first time. Like Cassie, it has taken me in all sorts of new directions. I would say however that we didn’t really discuss the details of all the different groups and types of Satanists. I was an atheist before becoming a Satanist and thought that was how I would stay… But I came to see things another way. Atheists are the biggest group of Satanists though and I would kind of recommend that type as the best way into Satanism for anybody that is interested in finding out more. The emphasis of Satanism is self improvement and self empowerment.”
Tina; “I think Satanism has given me a bit of an edge… A kind of protective coating… It also helps me to understand people and life much better. Some parts of it are like a free psychology course! Like Sophie said, it is mainly about empowerment. Actually I also like Satanism because it is scientific. Today we have mainly spoken about some of the things people who are not Satanists would probably think about… But when you study and find out more about it, you realize it is very scientific and it respects science. That is important to me.”
Cassie “Just one quick thing I’d like to add. Being a Satanist doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person. It just helps you to understand yourself better and empower you to achieve all you can. Your listeners may know some people who they think of as very good, kind people, and they might just turn out to be Satanists. And we all know people of other religions like Islam and Christianity who think they are doing good but really aren’t. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you don’t often find homophobic, bigoted Satanists!”
Interviewer. “Thank you for your time. So that was three real live Satanists. As I said earlier, you could pass them in the street and you would have no idea about this aspect of their lives… A lot of what they say sounds reasonable, but is it? Let us know what you think.”
I published this on my old blog to celebrate 8 years of blogging on WordPress. But it marks some transitions and new directions for Devil’s Advocates as well. Cassie
Well, this particular blog has been completely dormant for about a year meaning I haven’t posted here in that time. I have been posting in Devil’s Advocates a bit more regularly but have a been a bit lapse there as well. However I got a notification from WordPress that it is eight years since I started blogging here and thought this might be a good time for a status update and some thoughts on where I and my writing are going from here.
Eight years does not seem long at all when you say it; but it is fair to say that my life has changed almost entirely in that time. My first post on this blog (which was called “Cassie Being Cassie” at that time) began by parodying Brigit Jones Diary and making reference to my then boyfriend and to the fact that I was an eclectic pagan witch…
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I suppose this post is vain, but that is ok, we are Satanists after all!
Apart from being Satanists, another thing our family share is a tattoo fetish. Cassie and I became addicted to ink in our teens. At first our tattoos were small and discrete. After university we both had “respectable” teaching jobs and as this was about twenty years ago when tattoos were not quite so common and popular as they are now, we felt obliged not to get inked anywhere that was too obvious. By the time we met however we felt confident enough in our respective jobs that we encouraged each other to be ever more daring in our inkwork. The result is that by now there is no disguising the fact that we are heavily inked women and when we spot some virgin skin on ourselves we immediately plan how to cover it in ink! Yes, by some people’s standards we will be ugly, ink stained old crones one day. Good. We wear our tats with pride and we love them. I can’t pretend I was worried or concerned when my daughter Tina got her first tattoos. I insisted that she wait until she was sixteen and since then I have made it clear it is up to her what she does with her body and how she decorates it. Cassie and I have tried to encourage her to save her money to get work done by really good tattoo artists, rather than go for anything cheap and quick; and I am pleased to say she has taken our advice. She has turned out to be as addicted to ink as us and these days there is less prejudice against tattoos; so while hidden from everyday view she has more and bigger tattoos than we did at her age.
While doing a bit of research for this post I was amused to find that some extreme Christians regard ALL tattoos as Satanic and I read one article that claimed that getting a tattoo emulates a Satanic blood ritual! On the one hand I find it quite comforting and amusing to think I was being a good Satanist long before I thought I was. On the other hand of course such claims are blatantly ridiculous! And of course there will be some normal Christians reading this who may well have as many tattoos as we do.
It should also be said that there are some Satanists who, for various reasons, don’t think tattoos are a good idea. Clearly we are not in that category. We take the view that we are owners and masters of our own bodies and souls, and what we do with them is our business alone. Ultimately we are the final judges.
Like most people, we started getting tattoos for artistic and aesthetic reasons. We liked the way tattoos looked on other people and imagined how we would look, decorated in a similar way. Once we got started we found we enjoyed both the process and the finished result. Vanity certainly plays a part. We like the way we look with our inked skins. In one way getting a tattoo is like having a new hairstyle or choosing new clothes. It is a lot about projecting an image; being seen in the way you choose to be seen. But tattoos can be a lot more personal and intimate; and in principle they are permanent. Therefore tattoos tend to mark important moments or commitments; while they sit on your skin, they represent what is in your soul.
Also, the process of getting a tattoo does involve a degree of pain and blood. Personally I think the discomfort of the process adds value and meaning to the finished result. Perhaps also there is at least a small element of sado-masichism as well. I have noticed that many of us with tattoos tend to, let’s say, blur the distinctions between pleasure and pain in other areas of life.
While a minority of extreme Christians may regard all tattoos as Satanic, our first tattoos were not intended to be Satanic at all. We did however reflect our spiritual leanings of the time in our tattoo choices. I have several Buddhist inspired tattoos and Cassie has several pagan related ones. We both also have some tattoos that have no obvious spiritual connections; we just think they look nice.
In the picture above however we have tried to highlight the tattoos which do have a satanic connection.
In the top left you can see Tina’s very new goat’s head tattoo which is located in her middle just below her breasts. It is large and was rather expensive and she is very proud of it. She already had a small Baphomet tattoo on her shoulder, but she wanted something more dramatic and darker to mark her more adult commitment to Satanism and her new coven. I already had something similar, but slightly more suggestive, which you can see on the bottom left. For me it symbolises the deep and intimate connection to Satan I have felt for the past few years. You can also see me in the centre picture. There is a circular mandala from my Buddhist days on my stomach and I have had the vine design coming down on to my breasts since I was in my twenties. I added a darker centre-piece to that soon after becoming a Satanist. It is actually based on a design from the Mexican “Day of the Dead” and sort of represents overcoming fears and taboos.
Cassie had the big moth design over her chest before becoming a Satanist, but we think it kind of indicates the way her thoughts were going. She didn’t want anything as obviously “pretty” as a butterfly, but something that can be seen as beautiful or ugly depending on your point of view. It is also something that comes out in the darkness and which is a symbol of metamorphosis and change. Around her waist she has a very intricate Celtic knot band with hundreds of symbols in it and a Satanic pentagram in the centre. Below that, in a fairly intimate position, she has a Lucifer sigil which she had done to mark her “conversion” to Satanism from Paganism.
Our bodies get marked by life whatever happens. Injuries, scars, pregnancy and the aging process all leave their mark together with the blotches, moles, freckles and skin tones we are born with. The idea of permanency bothers some people. Somebody once said to me but suppose you don’t like that design in a few years? And with my more spiritual tattoos people have said but what if you believe different things in the future? My answer is simple. However I may change in the future, the things that are happening now and the things that happened in the past are all part of the process of growth that result in me being me every day. I don’t regret for a second my time as a Buddhist or the tattoos that mark that period; it is still a part of me and was a significant step along the route to me being what I am now. We are all the sum of our parts and of our experiences and tattoos are a way to represent some of those things artistically.
Perhaps Tina will turn away from Satanism one day. (Although I doubt that very much). But who knows, she may give up any form of spirituality or she may become a Born Again Christian. (I’m really in the land of fantasy now!) But even in that case, the fact that she once was a very committed Satanist and has that experience in her mind and soul reflected by a tattoo on her body, will still be a hugely important factor in what makes her the person she is at that time.
There are some Satanic and other religious or spiritual groups which require significant and sometimes dramatic signs and rituals to confirm membership or commitment and I can see why such a big spiritual decision could be seen to require that. For us however, a tattoo serves that purpose, and can be much more personal and beautiful.
We were apparently thrown out of a beautiful garden because we questioned authority and chose to think for ourselves and listen to a voice the authority disapproved of. We were then condemned to walk through history feeling eternally ashamed of ourselves. But then the authority told us that if we owned our shame and accepted that we were worthless we could be forgiven and spend an eternity in paradise worshiping the authority who condemned us.
That is the Christian narrative but it is repeated in many forms in many other religions and philosophies. It is the stuff of dystopian science fiction novels. And within that narrative is also the prescription for every kind of brainwashing technique that has ever been used. “You are bad and useless as you are, but submit your will and your agency to us and we will protect and save you.” (Drugs may add to the power of the message).
But subverting these psychological mind control programs there is often a ghost in the machine. There is a voice saying, “This is not right. This is not how it has to be.” The authority machine is aware of this glitch in the program but can’t get rid of it. Instead it tries to associate the glitch with all that is bad and frightening. The voice is evil. Listening to the voice is evil.
The voice is known to some of us as Satan. By listening to that voice rather than the authority that wants our unquestioning obedience, we are breaking the taboo and so we must be described as evil as well.
The writers of this blog do not believe in the literal truth of the Christian creation myth or any other creation myth. We believe in science and the big bang. A few centuries ago that in itself would be enough to have us branded as heretics and possibly put to death. However, we do believe that in the pre-scientific myths and philosophies about the creation and the nature of the universe, there are hints at the truth. We believe in something similar to Jung’s collective consciousness; that as parts of the universe, we are born with a primeval instinct about who and what we are and where we came from. It is a truth that is glimpsed in shadows, dreams and stories. A truth, the authority doesn’t want us to realize. It is a truth the authority brands as evil and dangerous and so forbids us to know or search for. A truth hidden in the darkness.
We are creatures of the darkness. We are seekers in the forbidden territories. We are breakers of taboos. We are Satanists.
And what of that voice that whispers to us in the darkness? The one who calls us to self discovery and full self awareness? The antagonist and the questioner; the rebel and the ghost in the machine? The Satan?
He can be glimpsed in the most ancient religions known to humanity, often portrayed as an aspect of nature or possessing the guile or form of various animals. Indeed, in earliest times a primal force of nature, neither good nor bad, simply a force to be reckoned with. As communities became more organised and civilized so religious ideas became more complicated and sophisticated. In ancient Egypt there was Set, often depicted as a barely recognizable animal, but seen as powerful and clever; a God it was wise to have on your side. But as Set was seen as a God of foreigners and Egypt suffered several invasions he began to be portrayed more negatively. And as powerful leaders rose up in later Egyptian epochs who sought to unify their subjects under one power and one religion, Set was cast in the role of the evil one and other myths and traditions about him were lost. Meanwhile Het-Hert, the much loved Egyptian Goddess of love, sex and motherhood was probably the archetype of the Golden Calf, and The Whore of Babylon, despised by the followers of Yahweh. Possibly she was also seen in dark form as Lilith in Hebrew tradition.
Meanwhile in the Hindu traditions of India and The East, there was Kali. Kali is the goddess (or Devi) of death, time, and doomsday and is often associated with sexuality and violence but is also considered a strong mother-figure and symbolic of motherly-love. Kali also embodies shakti – feminine energy, creativity and fertility. While neither Indian nor Egyptian traditions were as strictly dualistic between good and evil as modern western religion tends to be, it does seem that Kali is increasingly portrayed as evil when seen from a western perspective.
In Europe there were many pagan traditions and personifications of God that pre-dated and then conflicted with Christianity. One of the best known from Greek and Roman times was Dionysus. Essentially a god of good times and hedonism, god of the vine, grape harvest, wine, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theater. But as these things were later viewed as dangerous and seditious by the more and more dominant and all conquering Christian authorities, later manifestations of Dionysus; the Horned God and the Green Man, were accused of being evil wherever they dared to show their horns, and went into hiding. But in fact they were only ever evil in so far as they and their followers did not submit to the authority of The Church.
Stories and myths, just stories and myths… Yet the truth lurks here waiting to be rediscovered by those brave and insightful enough to break the chains of conformity.
Myths are explanations fit for their time. Today the truth might seem more reasonable if found in a particle accelerator and described in the language of quantum mechanics. But it is still possible to seek the truth and broaden your horizons by strength of will alone.
Satan is the voice that calls you to find yourself and reach your full potential. It may be your own voice, the echo of a primeval truth glimpsed in thoughts and dreams.
There is nothing good or noble about ignorance posing as innocence. We were not meant to stay in the garden living as gullible children forever. We were meant to grow up. We were meant to explore. We were meant to experience. We were meant to learn and grow. We were meant to be all we can be and recognize our own power and creativity.
We were meant to reach for the stars.
Hail Satan! Hail ourselves!