Selling Your SoulPosted: April 14, 2013
On a Satanic forum I frequent somebody recently asked “I want to be a Satanist; how do I sell my soul to Satan?”
I gave my answer and other people gave their input which made me think about the subject more deeply. The answer I gave which I shall state in a moment probably lies somewhere in the mainstream of modern Satanic thought, but there are other opinions out there which I shall expand on later.
So my answer was fairly simple; “In my opinion Satan has no need or desire for people to “sell their soul” to him. Satan urges us to learn and become all we can be. Sure if along the way we ask for help or favours it is only right to repay in some way, that is generally the way things work.”
To unpack that a bit further, a lot depends on who or what you believe Satan to be. Some, maybe most people who identify as Satanists, don’t actually believe that Satan exists at all. For them Satan is a symbol of opposition to perceived norms and orthodoxy. Well clearly in that context you can’t sell your soul to a being that doesn’t exist! Others believe passionately in Satan as a God, a supernatural entity who rules the world. In this case you have to ask why would such a being want or need to buy people’s souls? To me this way of looking at the question depends too much on interpreting Satan from a Christian perspective and seeing Satan as a wheeler dealing bad guy who needs to do back street deals to acquire the souls that would otherwise belong to Jesus. In my opinion that is a load of BS! My God doesn’t need to do shady deals like some cheap and nasty mafia boss!
My own view of Satan is a mixture of theistic and atheistic. I do believe in Satan as a God, an actual entity, but I see him more as a force of energy and ideas that has been present in the beliefs and archetypes of many religions over time. He has been known by many names but in the guise of Satan and Lucifer he represents liberation, enlightenment and opposition to false Gods and Dogmas. Thus philosophically I have a lot in common with atheistic Satanists. So why would such a truly supernatural thing, an entity that is not dependent on physical form, a timeless force of wisdom that pre-dates all things human; why would that Satan need to barter for our souls? It makes no sense.
As somebody else on the forum said, the idea of selling one’s soul to the devil pretty much all stems from Christian myths and fears and from badly informed media. I would add sensationalist books and films to the list.
We don’t need to sell our souls to Satan and Satan doesn’t need or want us to do such a thing anyway. End of story. Or is it?
We should never underestimate the power of language and the way it communicates personal and cultural values. Selling your soul is a common idiom most of us use from time to time and I am sure we have all done it to greater or lesser degrees in different contexts whatever our religious beliefs or personal values may be. Selling your soul implies making an unpleasant or costly compromise in order to further your goals or needs. Politicians make deals with people they despise in order to achieve their personal objectives. But before we point fingers at them, how many of us have not made similar compromises in our work-place or in our relationships or elsewhere in our daily life? We may try to avoid it but unless we have some kind of charmed life most of us will have to sell our souls from time to time or prostitute ourselves or our talents in some way to get things done. In this context the idea of selling ones soul to Satan may have considerable psychological relevance and weight to some people because it does mean giving up everything you may have taken for granted including your time, your energy, your previous beliefs and maybe some of your closest family and friends to live a new life with new priorities and allowing previously unseen aspects of your personality to come to the fore.
I still don’t believe in the concept or need to sell your soul to Satan but I can see how the notion of it may help people from some backgrounds to dedicate their lives to Satan. It can be a powerful linguistic/psychological catalyst.
One thing is sure, whatever way you take your first major steps into Satanism (which might be simple prayer and meditation, it might be a personal initiation ritual, it might be induction into a satanic coven) your life will change and so will you. There is indeed a cost. Maybe the same could be said when seriously and fully dedicating yourself to any religion or philosophical stance. In Satanism however those first steps do seem to be particularly intense. All the Satanists I have met have similar stories of their induction. The days following your dedication can be extraordinarily overpowering. If you were not sure about your dedication or if you went about it in an trivial or unthought-through way I imagine it might be very unnerving, frightening even… The Satanic energy that enfolds you at that time is truly overpowering and if you are not ready or don’t want it, you definately shouldn’t ask for it! Personally I welcomed it and marvelled at the changes it was making in me almost on a minute by minute basis. But even I kind of asked for a break after a few days to let my mind and body calm down a bit! Satan was kind and things progressed more gently after that. But yes, it changed me. I am still me. I am still the same person, but many of my beliefs, attitudes, tastes and thought processes have evolved and parts of my personality that had lain dormant began to blossom. I am happy and confident with the new me; but not everybody likes it; and that is another cost we should keep in mind before making such a decision.
If some people find this a bit strange or scary I would say that in reality it is the same when you start a new relationship with a lover. You do always change. You adapt to the other person. You may pick up some of their interests and habits Slowly but surely you encroach into their life and personality as they encroach into you. You do it willingly and you must also decide if and where to draw a line on that process. The relationship with Satan is very similar in that respect and should only be entered into knowingly and willingly. It is clear you have to get to know Satan or your partner as well as possible before making grand gestures of dedication.
Thus I still don’t think the notion of selling your soul is appropriate because some of the implications of such a transaction don’t hold true. Selling your soul seems to me to be making one grand gesture in order to abdicate personal responsibility thereafter. “Oh it wasn’t me, it was the Devil made me do it!” No matter how caught up in Satanism you are, no matter how changed you feel by your relationship with Him, your decisions, all of them, are always your responsibility.
Perhaps again my feeling on this topic is because I am not the marrying kind. My relationship with my lover is not secured or defined by some legalistic contract. It is a beautiful ongoing thing that I rededicate myself to more strongly every day. But yes, in theory either one of us could opt out at any time. In my mind that makes my lover and I work harder to keep our relationship fresh, meaningful and rewarding for each other. I view my relationship with Satan in the same way.
My soul maybe satanic in nature, but it is mine and always will be. And if I think of Satan as an entity I believe it pleases him that our souls meet by choice rather than by contractual obligation.
- Satanic Responsibility (1) (cassiejourney.wordpress.com)