Very much following in the family tradition.
I was inspired to write this post by reading this.
I chose a controversial religion. I can’t pretend I didn’t know that from the start. I’m a Satanist. In many people’s minds Satan and Satanism are (and always will be) linked with everything they consider wrong, bad, immoral and evil. More than 90% of press coverage about Satanism around the world is negative, linking us with everything from animal sacrifice to sexual abuse. Most of it isn’t true of course, but those who don’t want their minds changed, won’t have their minds changed.
I could take an easier path. I could believe almost exactly the same things and live life the same way I do now and just call myself something different. But I want to challenge perspectives.
I am not making it easy for other people. I know that. By calling myself a Satanist, I am forcing an…
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Our daughter is going through some doubts. I see this as a very healthy thing and a big stage in her spiritual and intellectual development. In fact I think of doubts as a sign that we always thinking and questioning. If Satanists don’t have occasional doubts, they are not challenging themselves enough.
I’ve been having some doubts about my beliefs.
I’ll start off be saying I think it is okay to have some doubts. When I spoke to my mothers, Sophie and Cassie, about having doubts they just said, “Finally, you are human after all!”
It is fair to say that since I became a Satanist around the age of 14, I never doubted it at all, until now. The strange thing is that now I’m on the verge of my twenties I’m probably leading the most in your face, authentic, Satanic lifestyle you could imagine… And I’m enjoying every moment of it… So why do the doubts come now?
So I’m going to write some of my doubts down here. It’s my own therapy. A chance to see what these questions look like when they are put down in writing. If other people find my thoughts helpful or entertaining…
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This is the third and most personal of the posts in my theme of living Satanism. In a way this is my confession. Confessions are normally seen as an admission of guilt but the only guilt I acknowledge is in not living a fully authentic Satanic life sooner than I did. I confess to being a rather “fluffy” Satanist for many years, so keen to prove to my friends and to the world that Satanism didn’t make you a bad person, that I tried to justify everything I did and believed according to their standards and values and not my own. In trying to point out the logical and “good” aspects of modern Satanism, I denied myself the pleasures and personal growth that comes from admitting that I don’t adhere to all the moral norms of society.
I took a certain satisfaction from being the “nice” woman that people could not believe was a Satanist. In fairness I think there was some merit in that; I think I did, in some cases at least, challenge and confront the negative assumptions people often make about Satanism. However, it also stunted my growth and development as a satanic person. I was by default still measuring my life by common, often Christian, standards.
I needed to remind myself that in truth, I chose Satanism, I chose the Left Hand Path, because that is where my heart and soul belong.
I went from being an eclectic Pagan witch, to an openly Satanic witch fairly rapidly. Within months of “coming out” as a Satanist I had joined a coven and gotten involved in various online Satanic groups. It really wasn’t long after that that I found myself running my own Satanic group/coven in Switzerland together with my partner Sophie. All the while I was charting my spiritual progress in this and other blogs. In certain circles I became quite well known. As time went on I realised that in much of what I said and did, in my blogs and in my life, I was always trying to justify my beliefs and prove I was still a “good” person. But part of being a Satanist, is a willingness to explore your own dark side. I talked about that, but gradually realised I wasn’t really doing it. About two years ago I challenged myself to let go of all vestiges of the values and morals I had lived by up to then and try to live entirely by satanic values alone. Part of doing that meant breaking taboos and going against the grain of everything I was brought up to believe. I knew people would think I had gone mad or become evil. I wondered if that might even be the case. I didn’t know where it would lead me but that was the point. The Left Hand Path is about embracing the darkness within and integrating it to become whole. Going back to Tantric traditions it is also about experiencing the forbidden without being tainted by it.
So it was goodbye to “nice” Cassie and hello to my darker alter-ego. I did several cleansing rituals to darken my heart and soul and rid myself of any remaining Right Hand Path leanings or attributes. I made a conscious effort to align my will with Satan as fully as possible, placing my own considerable ego aside, allowing The Devil to lead, guide and speak to me clearly. (I could write a paragraph of ifs, buts and explanations for every sentence I write here but that is not the point of this post).
I decided to live as if there were no laws, no morals, no values whatsoever outside of those found within Satanic texts, and to follow my own will and my own desires no matter how depraved they might once have seemed to me.
In private and in my coven I explored many of the darker rituals associated with Satanism. I used Greater and Lesser Magic more regularly and as often as I could to achieve whatever my aims or desires were. I gravitated towards darker magic and did not flinch from cursing people or taking revenge when I wanted to. Moreover, I encouraged my partner, my daughter and others to do likewise. As I was tempted and corrupted, I tempted and corrupted others and I took great pleasure in doing so.
I became more hedonistic than ever before. I indulged all my senses to the max. I ate the best food, drank the best wine and took the best drugs. Sexually I did whatever pleased me with whoever it pleased me. (I was aided and abetted in this by my partner Sophie who shared most of this journey with me). We became “swingers” and in the many parties we attended we broke most of our personal and sexual taboos and indulged every vice and fetish we had.
Meanwhile I made a point of never being “nice” to anyone outside my family or my coven unless it suited my various schemes to do so. I became quite a hardened bitch in many respects. This brought me success, lots of it. I had never earned more money or been more financially secure. And despite my excesses I managed to remain in good health as well.
Before long I had become the evil woman that a secret part of me had always wanted to be. And that is where I am and that is who I am now.
Perhaps I should just end there. But all journeys continue and all lessons are there to be learned. So now, as I reflect a bit on a period of life I deliberately exposed myself to, there are a few things of meaning I have learned and want to share.
I am a hedonist, I enjoy all the things which give pleasure in any way, but I need to take care of myself. The Devil has encouraged me to enjoy many things and has helped protect my health in the process but this is really my responsibility and I need to moderate certain vices and behaviours to do my share of the work in keeping healthy.
In sexual matters the only morals I have are concerned with consent and agency. These are my boundaries and I despise the way religious and other authorities have tried to control natural human sexual instincts and desires; mainly as a way of social control.
I gave myself permission to do “anything”, even things that many consider to be evil. However, in reality the worst I ever was, was a bit mean and hard on others. I have never chosen to hurt anybody unnecessary. My curses are effective but usually mild. Overall I am kind to most people not because Satan or any other religion requires that of me, but because I choose to be that way. I believe “love” is fundamental. I love my family and my coven and many of my friends. I believe love is as fundamental to Satanists as to anyone else. And it is fundamental to Satan.
I have come to understand better than ever that good and evil are relative and totally dependent on context. But what I am (and what you are) comes from ourselves and no outside source.
I am self centred. We all are, but Satanists are honest and practical about the fact. Pretending not to be self centred is just a step away from abdicating responsibility for your life.
I believe in and worship Satan because I choose to. Satan doesn’t want or need servile robots.
In exploring my darkest side, I have come to appreciate lighter side better.
I am evil and I am good. We all are actually. Knowing it, and working with those truths is helpful if you want to progress. Experience is a good teacher. Living Satanism is living fully and being true to yourself.
Let me preface by saying you absolutely don’t have to be in a coven or a group of any type to be a Satanist. Indeed the vast majority of Satanists are probably solitary practitioners.
I decided to write this post because to outsiders membership of a coven is perhaps one of the most obvious aspects of “Living Satanism” which is my theme of the month. Also we have occasionally received questions about what we actually do in our group.
There are many Satanic covens and groups. I certainly would not recommend all of them. To anyone looking for such a group I would say be patient, look around and don’t be tempted by the first group you come across if it doesn’t match your criteria. (So decide what you are looking for and what you want and don’t want from membership of a group before you start looking). There is nudity and some sexual content in some groups (including ours), check first and if you are not comfortable with that, don’t join. And a final warning, there are some very nasty and exploitative people around who will use the guise of a Satanic group to further their own sexual or other agendas. I’d say the first rule of anybody calling themselves a Satanist is “Personal Responsibility” so if you find yourself in a group which you think is doing anything illegal or harmful, look after yourself, leave quickly and safely and if necessary report them to whatever seems to be the appropriate authority. Stay safe and never be bullied or feel obliged to do anything you don’t want to do.
Very quickly my history of coven membership is as follows. Before I was a Satanist I was Wiccan and a member of a Wiccan Coven. I am a very social person and the group dynamics of being part of a coven was an attraction to me. I felt it also helped and amplified the effect of witchcraft which in one way or another had been an element of my spiritual path for a long time. There was nudity in some of the meetings and rituals in the Wiccan coven, and I was always comfortable with that. When I took the big step of becoming a Satanist and admitting to myself and others where my spiritual heart really was; I wanted to be part of a group because of the social aspect and because I was used to that dynamic, and more importantly because I felt the need to embrace Satanic Life as fully and completely as I could. Thus, being the person that I am, I sought out a coven. I was lucky (Satan helps those who help themselves!) and found a reasonably local group quite quickly. (This was in Britain). They turned out to be very decent people and looked after me well. I studied and socialised with them and gradually took part in more of their activities and rituals. They never pressured me to do anything I didn’t want. There were some aspects of their rituals which were similar to what I had known in Wicca, but some things which were very different, darker and clearly Left Hand Path in nature. There was nudity in some meetings and rituals (which I was used to) and some sexual elements which I was not used to but didn’t object to. Within about a year I was a full member and participated in everything the coven did. I was very happy there and felt I was growing and changing in ways I needed to. After another year because of my life and my job I was spending more and more time in Switzerland and was unable to keep my coven commitments as regularly as I wanted to. I became an associate member rather than a full member and Sophie and I started meeting with like minded people at home in Zurich. Gradually, what began as a group of open minded people from several different religious and non religious traditions morphed into a group reflecting mine and Sophie’s satanic views. Our own coven was born.
Before I describe what we do in our coven I would like to stress that all Satanic groups and covens are different. We do our coven in our way with our priorities. We have adapted things we have learned elsewhere. What we do as a group is not necessarily representative of what all or even most Satanic covens do.
WE have ten full members at present and a few people who join with us occasionally including our daughter Leonie. We aim to meet about once a month but it is sometimes more often and sometimes lass often. Our members are all Theistic Satanists, but we allow a wide variety of opinions about what that means exactly. Sophie and three other members of our group used to be Buddhists. Several of us used to be Wiccan or Pagan. The rest mainly had no fixed religious or spiritual beliefs before becoming Satanists although several were brought up in loosely Christian families. I am the nominal High Priestess of our coven, mainly just because I started it and tend to play a more dominant role in setting our agenda. In all practical respects Sophie is our main organiser and Coven Mother. Sometimes because of work and travel I can’t attend meetings, in which case Sophie takes over completely. At the moment we have six women and four men as permanent members which perhaps gives our group a more feminine dimension. Our coven is dedicated to Satan of course, but also to Lilith. We hold three kinds of meetings which come under the headings of ‘Social’, ‘Magical’, or ‘Ritual’. A few meetings have aspects of all three.
Social meetings are mainly a chance to get together, chat, drink and have fun. We also use these meetings to learn from each other, to share and discuss books or web-sites we have read related to Satanism and to offer each other practical tips for living Satanically. As the most experienced witch in the group I also teach aspects of witchcraft. We also share and listen to music and art connected with our beliefs. Finally, during these type of meetings we do our planning and discuss any ideas for ritual or magic. For social meetings we usually rotate around our members homes and each member has a chance to decorate the room we will meet in, in their own distinctive style.
Some of our meetings are designed specifically to do magical work. We do all consider ourselves to be witches, people who use the full extent of our knowledge and experience to effect change. We use herbs, we use potions, we use spells and incantations, we evoke and invoke powers within and beyond us, we use psychology and science. We use the power of our collective will and focus to make things happen. We use magic to help us progress as a group and in our individual lives, to minimise obstacles in our way, to promote good health, to heal ourselves and our loved ones, for protection of ourselves and our environment, to bring about desired outcomes in our communities, and if necessary to deal with people who oppose or threaten us in some way. (While we don’t rule out full blown curses and dark magic, we can usually achieve our aims in more positive ways). While some magic can be done with the minimum of preparation, fuss or ritual; there are some workings which need to be more elaborate. So some magic oriented meetings happen in our homes and for others we hire rooms or go out into the country and work outside.
Some of our meetings are specifically for ritual. There are two main kinds of ritual we perform. The first I call rituals of alignment. These are rituals specifically designed to highlight and underscore the fact that we are Theistic Satanists, to acknowledge and honour Satan as a force or energy and as an aspect of ourselves. To align our wills, our minds, bodies and souls with Satan and to seek knowledge, guidance and inspiration from the Satanic realm. We all see these as the most important and transformative aspect of our Satanic lives and identities. We are very aware of the changes and empowerment we have felt as a cumulative result of these rituals. Our rituals include our own version of the Black Mass and mark transitional points in the year such as Samhain/Halloween and Beltane/Walpurgis Night. The second kind of ritual that we have are celebrations and inductions. Inductions are mainly for new members, to welcome them to the coven and fully align them with our outlook and agenda. We do also perform inductions when we feel that any member (including ourselves) has reached a significant point of progress in their Satanic lives or understanding. Celebrations mainly revolve around birthdays which as Satanists we think are some of the most important personal landmarks. Celebratory rituals nearly always extend into social evenings;-parties!
We are not heavily into ceremonial attire although most of us do own robes which we wear on some magical or ritual occasions. For most meetings we wear loose fitting, generally black or dark clothes. Most rituals and magical work are performed naked. There are some rituals and magical working which involve consensual, ritualistic sex. Our members are made well aware of that before joining and it is always possible to opt out for personal reasons.
I suppose in a way our Coven Life is the most obvious physical and practical manifestation of living Satanically. We have found it very useful in redefining ourselves. But it is hidden. Nobody outside our circle really knows that we meet as a coven at all.
Sometimes “living Satanism” is a much more personal thing. Satanism challenges us to transform our own lives on a daily basis, to confront and break our own personal taboos in order to grow and advance. It is not always comfortable or easy. In the third and final part of this series of posts I will share a little bit of my own journey and transformation in recent years.
I recently got a notification from WordPress that it is ten years since I started blogging here (where has the time gone)? It seemed like a prompt to write something. I have been neglecting this blog while getting on with other projects, work and life in general. I don’t want to do a post looking back to ten years ago and charting how things have changed; I have done enough of those for the time being. When I started thinking about what to write there were several different ideas that came to mind but it seemed to me they all came under a similar theme; Living Satanism. There are going to be three parts to this which I hope to complete over a short period of time so that I can then get on with other things. In the second part I’d like to talk a bit about the coven Sophie and I run. We haven’t mentioned it much in our blogs but I suppose in some ways it is one of the clearest and most obvious aspects of our lives as Satanists. In the third part I want to talk about a journey I have been on;- exploring the darker elements of my life and my soul and coming to some conclusions about what that has taught me… So far… But I will begin with a fairly short and simple update on what my family and I have been up to and where we are at in our lives.
I have been very busy at work and that means I have been travelling more than ever. So far this year I have not been out of Europe but I haven’t had much time at home. I have been to every corner of Germany and have spent time in Austria, Italy, Spain, France, The Czech Republic and Romania. Having a whole weekend at home in Zurich has become a bit of a rare luxury. When it happens Sophie and I try to do nothing but relax, eat, drink and enjoy the wicked pleasures that we Satanic, omnisexual women are famous for! When I can’t get home, we sometimes try and arrange to meet up at swinger parties in locations close to where I am working. This has become a significant aspect of our lives and might be mentioned more in the third part of this little series of blog entries.
I am not sure if I mentioned it here previously but I have now got a Swiss passport. The ongoing, idiotic, Brexit mess of my home country became too much to bare. Besides which I can’t afford not to have a passport which guarantees me free movement in Europe. Switzerland is not actually in the EU but has so many bilateral agreements it might just as well be. Most importantly, it IS in the schengen free movement area. So yes, I’m turning into a Swiss person… I even have a bit of a Zurich accent!
When I have time, I have been writing a book about Satanism. It has had several false starts but seems to be progressing a bit more smoothly now. I am hoping to get it published sometime next year, but I’m not making any promises yet.
That’s enough about me for now; I will say more in parts two and three.
Sophie has become our coven mother and does all the hard work organising the coven since I am seldom at home between meetings. This takes up a fair amount of her time and she is very good at it. Her life has changed considerably over the last year and will do even more so from now on. She has resigned from her full time teaching job and will now only work as a consultant for the school on a part time basis. This will actually allow her to focus more on the aspects of the job that mean the most to her, starting with a project to set up a kind of half way house for students who cannot live at home while finishing their final years at school. Hopefully she will also have more free time as well. She has started painting a lot more which is great and we have some plans for her to do an exhibition next year. She is also doing more musical projects and is playing regularly in a band now.
Leonie is enjoying university life and is working and playing very hard. During the summer she has been doing an internship with a country vet and when that has finished she is going to Ibiza to party for a couple of weeks before her studies begin again. I get to meet up with her once every couple of months and it is always fun. It is fair to say she has very fully embraced all aspects of Satanic life. She is a lot like I was at her age but braver and more wicked than I would have dared to be at the same age. But the thinks deeply about stuff and I am impressed with the things she writes in her blog Femme Diabolique. It’s like reading my thoughts through the lens of somebody who has never really been anything but a Satanist.
That’s all for this post. In the next part of this short series I want to talk about our coven. What does a Satanic Coven do, what does it mean? Is it essential to Satanic life? How does it work? And what kind of people are members of such a thing?
The Nine Satanic Statements and the other rules I have listed later in this post were first published by Anton LaVey in The Satanic Bible in 1969. They are still used as a guide by The Church Of Satan and some other Satanic groups and individuals (including me).
Actually I’m not much of a fan of Anton LaVey as a person or even as a leader although I do respect what he did to reinvent Satanism in the late twentieth century. He opened a lot of doors that people like myself were able to walk through fairly easily generations later.
I have tried to find fault with the suggested rules he set out, but I can’t really. I find them to be sensible and wise even if he himself wasn’t always. The only one I don’t quite agree with is statement number nine which I think ties Satanism too much…
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That’s our girl!
You may remember that a month ago I met a woman at the KitKat club in Berlin. We kept in touch. Well, we did more than keep in touch. This weekend she is visiting me in Vienna. Last night we went clubbing together. We were in the mood for a big night out. It was left open whether we would come home together or if we would go our separate ways at some point during the night; wishing each other luck with whoever we picked up… It’s fair to say we both intended to end up in bed with somebody. As it turned out, it was with each other and it was great. Then this morning during a weed and coffee break, we spoke about what this all means to us and we decided we are in a relationship of sorts even if it isn’t what people normally think of…
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