Satan and LuciferPosted: February 11, 2014
Folllowing my last post about connecting with Satan several people asked me how I would differentiate between Satan and Lucifer. Do I see them as different entities or perhaps as aspects of the same thing? Well, I can only give a personal view which I warn may differ significantly from the views of other Satanists and Luciferians. Developing our own opinions and theories is central to most of us who use those labels and it is very rare that we all agree.
There are plenty of sites and books which give cultural, religious and historical accounts about how the various traditions associated with Satan and Lucifer developed and have been interpreted over the years. I am not going to add to them. I am simply going to put my own feelings and beliefs into words, and in these matters words are often inadequate.
There are some rough generalisations that could be said about Satanists and Luciferians; both are broadly left hand paths with an emphasis on personal gnosis and a willingness to explore ideas and practices which some may find questionable or even taboo. There are subtle differences however and as a Satanist I am not qualified to give deep insight into the various strands of Luciferian beliefs and practices. Perhaps those who hold Lucifer at the centre of their beliefs have a slightly greater emphasis on the theme of personal enlightenment and pride and a slightly less ceremonial and ritualistic style of practice. Maybe those of us who hold Satan at the centre of our beliefs are rather more openly antagonistic to the beliefs and practices of the Western Abrahamic religions, a bit more theatrical and ceremonial in our magic and rituals and (in my own view) rather more pagan in our beliefs and values. However all these things vary greatly from person to person. People often say that my own views are very Luciferain and I know several Luciferians who probably appear more “Satanic” than me. There are large overlaps between these subtly different belief systems.
But who or what are Satan and Lucifer anyway? My answer will probably be very unsatisfactory to some because I think the answer is always personal and totally dependent on the individual’s views, beliefs and needs. In short, we find what we seek.
Most LaVeyan Satanists are atheistic. For them Satan is a symbol of many things, particularly opposition to Christian conventions, and as such also a psychological key or gateway to inner gnosis and liberation from many social conventions. (Forgive me for trying to cram huge and complicated ideas into short and simple sentences)! Theistic Satanists on the other hand and (if I am not mistaken) most Luciferains see Satan and Lucifer as actual entities that can be engaged with. But there are a virtually infinite number of ways in which these entities can be understood and most of us would be insulted by the idea that we worship some kind of horned super being who lives in some hot and sulphurous Cavan.
Personally I believe that most if not all religious or spiritual people who practice meditation, magic, prayer or anything that might be called transcendental or supernatural connect with whatever deities/energies/entities they have an affinity with. To some degree the name doesn’t much matter except as a key to opening particular spiritual doors and pathways. I connect with something that I love, respect and learn from, something my own personality is naturally attracted to. I call that Satan because within my own educational and cultural context, that is the word, the name which resonates, rings, and opens channels to that particular energy and entity. I suspect some people may be connecting with the very same thing by using the name Kali, or Lucifer even.
The more we learn, the more we fine tune our means of connection to the ideas and energies we identify with. At different points in my life I have been grasping at and sometimes successfully connecting with that entity or energy I identify with. I have used different names at different times depending on my knowledge and my needs. While I never much respected Jesus and I intensely dislike the Christian idea of “God”, I did like something in Eve and the two Marys of the Christian myth, which lead me to later embrace various faces and aspects of the Pagan Goddess most notably in Hathor/Het Hert. But there was always a male aspect of deity that seemed to be missing although I glimpsed it in the Pagan Horned God. In Satanism I have found the most real and meaningful manifestation of male deity and as my understanding has increased I find the female form there too.
However my main point is that I was ALWAYS connecting with aspects of the same thing and that others may connect with that same thing or aspects of it by other names. It is also possible to engage with specific aspects or lesser aspects of that energy when needed. We call those lesser or more specialised aspects, “Demons”, but others might call them ghosts, spirits, angels, fairies or something else…
Lucifer is a key personality, entity, energy and concept in Satanism and one which I hold in the highest regard and respect. Lucifer is certainly an aspect of my beliefs, but for many personal reasons it is the figure of Satan who is front and centre to me. As for those who hold Lucifer at the centre of their beliefs, I personally do believe we are tuning into aspects of the same or very similar thing. Psychologically, linguistically, culturally and spiritually there are some differences between Satan and Lucifer and the keys to consciousness and liberation they represent but, yes, essentially I think the two are very much related. And in neither case is their power or reality limited by the words any one person or culture uses to describe them.