Satanism Against ReligionPosted: August 8, 2015
Cassie and I are lucky to have each other. If we find ourselves becoming too religious in our Satanism we can give each other a kick! Satanism shouldn’t be too religious. In essence Satanism should be anti-religious. Yet we would be the first to admit that there are many elements of our belief and lifestyle which could seem religious. So I would like to look at two questions in this post. Firstly why we are against religion and secondly why Satanism isn’t religious even when it seems that it is.
Before coming to those questions however I would like to state that Cassie and I do consider ourselves to be spiritual people and unlike some very hard atheistic Satanists we do believe that spiritual matters are important. By “Spiritual” I mean that we believe that we do have souls and that it is as important to take care of your soul as it is other aspects of your persona such as mind and body. We do not pretend to know exactly what the soul is and we are open to the possibility that it is an aspect or projection of the mind, but even in this case we think it is something which should be protected and nurtured.
But we are against religion. Or at least, we are against religion in the way it is usually perceived, organised and manifested. Religion is usually defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. This is usually organised and controlled by a hierarchical and institutionalized authority which maintains and enforces a dogma of beliefs. We see this as a form of social control which limits or forbids the individual’s right and ability to make their own judgements. In Religion the thoughts and the will of the individual are almost always subservient to the controlling authorities. In short once a person buys in to any religion they are obliged to believe and follow the creeds and moral laws of that religion as interpreted by it’s authorities. This means in many matters they are obliged to be unthinking and uncritical or at least to ignore their own thoughts and interpretations. We find this inhuman and detestable. And in our opinion this kind of blind faith that many religions require has been responsible for many of the greatest atrocities in human history. And still is. Most forms of modern terrorism emanate from this form of mind control.
Satanism is totally and passionately against this form of belief, yet it does involve ritual and formats which are similar to those used in other religions. Speaking personally I would say that Cassie and I and the the Satanic Coven we run gain quite a lot from the rituals we engage in. So isn’t this hypocritical? No, because in Satanism such rituals serve other purposes. First and foremost it is parody and mockery of other religions. It is deliberately blasphemous. Why? Are we aiming to anger the Gods of those other religions? No. We don’t believe that those other gods exist! We are in a way mocking our own historical stupidity in allowing ourselves to be governed by other people who have used these fairy tales to control us. We are not going to get struck down by an entity that doesn’t exist. In mocking the unreal, we are freeing ourselves to deal with the real world on our own. We are empowering ourselves and reminding ourselves of the power and responsibilities that are our own, not the property of an old man sitting in judgement on a cloud!
This was Anton La Vey’s take on ritual and though he is NOT a profit or a hero to us, I think he was morally brave to take this stance at a time when to think such things was still considered blasphemous. But he also saw another benefit of ritual which had never been lost on the authorities and shamen of other religions. The drama of ritual can have a powerful psychological effect on the participants. It can indeed be as mind bending as the drugs that were being experimented with in La Vey’s time. (And yes ritual often has been combined with drugs historically and in modern times).
Thus Cassie and myself and a good many other Satanists use meditation, ritual and some other seemingly religious techniques to align our minds and focus on areas of thought and experience we want to explore more deeply. The difference between us and participants of many other religions is that WE decide where, when, how and why we enter into such things. We design and take responsibility for the self empowerment and possible side effects any of these activities might involve.
There is another aspect and/or meaning of religion that is also worth avoiding. People can become “religious” about almost anything; not just metaphysical and spiritual matters. People can get religious about anything they care about such as a cause, a hobby or an interest. By this I mean that they become obsessed on this one thing and it begins to skew and take over their lives making them unbalanced. I’m sure we have all met people who follow their football team or favourite band with a religious zeal that leaves no room in their life for anything else. This kind of zeal does sometimes follow traditional religions but could equally well be associated with something as mundane as trainspotting! Unquestioning devotion and zeal can be dangerous. Being religious can also mean or imply getting into unthinking or superstitious habits; wash the car on Saturday, go to Church on Sunday… We all do some things habitually but it is clearly best not to allow such routines to take over our lives too much. It tends to take the meaning out of things.
Maintaining balance is not always easy, but it is important. Cassie and I are definitely passionate about Satanism. Even our daughter is a Satanist. If this blog is the only insight into our lives that some people get it would be easy for people to assume we never think about anything other than Satanism. If that were the case it would not be healthy. By virtue of the fact that we write about Satanism, practice it and now run a coven it does indeed take up a large chunk of our lives and indeed Satanic principles lie behind much of what we do and say. However we feel it is very important to devote time and energy to the other aspects of our lives. Cassie and I both have very demanding jobs which require total attention when we are at work. Very few of our work colleagues know anything about our spiritual beliefs and we like it that way. As a family we very often do things together which have nothing to do with the stuff we write about here. We visit museums, the theatre, the cinema. We eat out. We go on trips and holidays. We entertain guests. We paint and play music. We go to gigs. We watch TV and D.V.Ds. We fight, we argue… We feed the spider and water the plants!
We take care to be as grounded in the reality of everyday life as possible. If that were not the case our Satanism could easily become a meaningless and potentially dangerous religious type of thing which would negate its entire purpose.