Who/What is The Devil?Posted: April 5, 2013
Sometimes it is nice to have a writing prompt. Tilda at Swift Expressions frequently publishes such prompts within her own blog, and in that context she recently asked; ” What are your views on the Devil? Is he real, and why do you believe that? And if you do believe that the Devil exists, what do you think he (or she) looks like? Tilda then came over here and specifically asked for my input. She is a prolific blogger and has a keen and open mind. She has asked me questions about my beliefs before and I believe she is prompted by genuine and honest curiosity. It is therefore a pleasure to answer this question and it is possibly one of the few responses she will get from an actual Satanist.
What are your views on the Devil?
Simple question; long and complicated answer! The name or title of Devil is so loaded with other people’s meanings it is difficult to know where to begin. I shall try to give an answer which owes as little as possible to other people’s interpretations. I seldom refer to Satan as The Devil, but perhaps “A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” To me Satan is the male aspect of divinity I feel closest to. I personally associate him with traditions derived from both with Satan and Lucifer. I also see him as the archetype behind most if not all the manifestations of the Pagan “Horned God”. I see him very much as a force of nature, a God of the Earth, THE God of the Earth. While some religions seem to spurn anything “Earthly” I celebrate it, and He represents the natural wonder and beauty of the Earth; it’s power, it’s magic, it’s ways and it’s rhythms. His is a very male energy who shows man as another animal; part of nature not separate from it. I also see him as a liberator; an entity who encourages us to become all we can be. To me that is perhaps the one truth the Christian bible has; I can’t interpret the story of the expulsion from Eden in any other way. Satan “corrupted” Eve and then Adam not with evil but with knowledge which could enable them potentially to become like gods. The Christian God wanted to keep Adam and Eve as mindless tame pets forever under his control. Satan urges us to learn, to study, to do, to experience, to grow and to full-fill our whole potential. I respect and indeed love “The Devil” for unselfishly leading us out of mindless slavery and onto a path of self discovery which could ultimately make us as a species equal to any god.
To me the Devil also represents abandoning all inherited dogmas and ethical systems and using our own will, our own mind, coming to our own conclusions and making our own moral judgements. Of course that also means taking responsibility for the things we do and the decisions we take. We are free to indulge in whatever we wish but we are obliged to think things through and take the consequences for our own actions.
Is he real, and why do you believe that?And if you do believe that the Devil exists, what do you think he (or she) looks like?
I believe he is real because I have felt his presence and sheer power in my life. But I don’t believe he is a little red man with horns with nothing better to do than lead good people into bad ways. I don’t believe he is evil. I don’t believe it is always helpful to refer to him as a person at all, it is just part of our natural anthropomorphic tendency to visualise and understand things in human terms. I think Satan is probably more a force of energy, an intelligent entity that doesn’t need a physical form but can utilise one when necessary. I am open to the possibility that Satan is in many ways an aspect of our own psyche that is often repressed. He is my God but I am somewhat ambivalent about what the nature of God actually is. Leader… Inspiration… Mentor… Connection to the Earth… Connection to the universe… Connection to things in realms and dimensions we don’t yet have words for… Yet also connection to our deeper selves…
Therefore I believe Satan can look however he chooses to look. Nevertheless, it is helpful for us to be able to visualise him as something. I like the image of the wild “Horned God; very manly, very animalistic and very at home in nature. The horns are very symbolic of power, authority and, yes, the other thing! 😉 In prayer and meditation I might focus on an image like this…
Or something more symbolic like this…
But I’m not adverse to a bit of Tim Curry either!
You can find Tilda’s original question (no4 of one of her weekly writing prompts) here.