If you have come to this post because you are a Born Again,Protestant, Free Church, Fundamentalist Christian who has always believed that The Pope is Satan’s stooge then you may be disappointed. The writers of this site are passionate practicing Satanists (Proud Devil Worshippers no less) who are totally opposed to Christian beliefs and practices (especially yours) and we view the Catholic Church as the largest and most powerful of the Christian institutions we oppose.
So now that we have got rid of the Fundies, let’s continue. In former times it was all too easy to despise The Pope as a person and as a leader. Most former Popes have been characterised by stupidity, corruption, hypocrisy, perversion or just sheer distance from the needs and concerns of everyday people. As such we Satanists found it all too easy to mock the Pope in our sacrilegious and blasphemous words and rituals. Our problem is that the present Pope is not so easy to pour scorn on. Indeed it is rather hard to dislike him. So what should our Satanic perspective on Pope Francis be?
Pope Francis is supposed to have said the following;-
“It is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. In a way the traditional image of God is outdated. One can be spiritual without being religious. It is not necessary to go to Church and give money; for many nature can be a Church.Some of the best people in history did not believe in God while some of the worst deeds were done in his name.”
Now if Pope Francis really did say these things we would have to say that we find ourselves in agreement with him. Moreover we find these words and indeed other things the present Pope is reported to have said to be wise and worthy of respect.
Let’s be upfront about this. Sophie, Tina and myself “like” Pope Francis. We also like many of the things he is trying to do with the Catholic Church and the general direction he is trying to take it. As a person we find him to be an uncommonly genuine and good man for somebody in his position. We think that perhaps for the first time in the era of Modern Satanism there is a Pope who is a real challenge to us. A Pope who forces people including us to think and question. A Pope who deserves respect rather than mockery. A Pope to take seriously. A worthy adversary.
But we remain fully committed to Satan. And here is why.
Pope Francis is the leader of The Catholic Church, the biggest and most powerful Christian institution. He seems to be steering that institution in a more humanitarian and sensible direction. In doing so he will attract more intelligent, liberal minded followers. The Catholic Church will therefore grow, both in terms of numbers and in terms of people who can argue the Christian message convincingly and who are not tainted by the misdemeanours committed by Church authorities of the past. Francis is turning out to be the cleverest and most effective type of leader.
But any brand of Christianity is still wrong. Still a trap.
Let’s set aside the fact that despite Pope Francis’ reforms in certain areas, the Catholic Church is still against abortion in nearly all cases, is still against the very idea of homosexuality let alone homosexual marriage or rights, is still very prescriptive and restrictive about the roles and rights of women, is still very rich and corrupt in many ways and still has an awful history and legacy of child sex abuse… The main issue is simply that most of the beliefs and dogma of Christianity are plain wrong and are harmful to human life and development.
We are not born into sin. We don’t need a saviour to die for us. We are not dependent on the whims of a grandfatherly God for our success and personal development. It is not wrong to seek pleasure for ourselves. We do not need Ten Commandments to substitute for our own moral judgements. We don’t need priests or anybody else to intercede for us. “We” are the authors of our own lives and we need to be allowed to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves. The fact that we have a darker side to our psyche is not a failing, it is simply part of our human condition which can be helpful to us if we are allowed to integrate it properly. We are indeed animals and there is no need or reason to be ashamed of that. And science has proved a better guide to our social and technical evolution than the dogma and superstition of religion.
But because Pope Francis is a good man and a good leader we Satanists must rethink and re-evaluate the way in which we oppose Christianity and its values. We must stress the positive reasons for our beliefs rather than relying on cheap attacks on a generally good man which will just make us look stupid.
We have a worthy opponent. We must recognise that fact in order to be taken seriously.
In our family we’d be happy to invite Pope Francis round for supper. We can imagine being friends with him. We can imagine having some strong but respectful discussions with him. We don’t imagine we would convert him to our way of thinking or that he would convert us to his. But the substance of such conversations would be very nourishing food for thought and personal development.
And that is what WE are about.
I can understand people’s misconceptions and prejudice about Satanism and Satanists, in fact it is not at all hard to understand. Before I met Cassie I probably thought many of those things myself. I would say that 98% of what you read or hear about Satan in the Western/Christianised world depicts him as pure evil and his followers as the same. And then again the whole idea of the Left Hand Path (which I believe originated in Eastern traditions) can be oversimplified to mean selfish, nasty and depraved. Thus Satan and his followers are extremely bad, cruel, selfish folk who derive pleasure from hurting and destroying others, injecting chaos into order and celebrating depravity.
The problem is that while many of us might come to some consensus about what actually constitutes evil or depravity privately, in reality and in law it is the Christian church and the governments it has supported which has effectively dictated what should be seen as evil or depraved for many centuries. So while most of us might actually agree that murder, rape and child abuse are very wrong, the Christian church has for centuries set arbitrary rules and standards about what is evil. These include the notions that homosexuality, sex outside marriage, abortion and even challenging the Pope or other religious authorities on matters of doctrine can be sinful or even evil and in some cases punishable by death. And like many invading armies when moving into new territories, the Christian Church went about dismantling and discrediting the local structures, authorities and cultures. So the Pagan Horned God of nature became associated with a rebranded version of a shadowy figure from Judao-Christian tradition, the Devil, Lucifer or Satan.
I must stress that I am not an expert; but it does seem to me that if you look into the history of The Devil as presented in different epochs of history through the three Abrahamic religions ( Judaism, Christianity and Islam) the picture that emerges is a confused one… Sometimes a fallen Angel, sometimes God’s agent, sometimes the tempter, the accuser or the antagonist, sometimes working against “God’s” plan, sometimes a part of it… The pure evil of Satan only seems to become really prominent when the church needs to emphasis it’s authority (often with the sword and lots of blood).
As modern Satanists, Cassie and I are not so much confronting the Christian Church. We are doing something we hope is far more effective; we are ignoring it.
What if Christianity, Judaism and Christianity had never existed? Well, for a start the Middle East might be a much more peaceful and harmonious place! But let’s have a look at a bit more fantasy history…
The Romans would have remained Pagan. Who knows whether this would have speeded up or slowed down the demise of their Empire. To be honest I think the Roman Empire would have degenerated a little more quickly because for all it’s faults, Christianity did become a unifying factor. But Europe would have remained strongly Pagan for many more centuries, with Roman influences merging with Germanic, Nordic and Celtic traditions. In some ways the speed of civilisation may have slowed down because it was the single language (Latin) and the development of an internationally literate clergy using the Bible that helped spread and popularise some of the ideas we associate with intellectual development. However, writing, literacy and even an internationally understood language could easily have developed in a Pagan Europe as well.
And what a socially different place it would have been. Probably less centralised (no Pope in Rome), possibly Germany and the Nordic Countries would have been more central to European development. And instead of being the enemy of all that was deemed to be civilised, The Horned God and his Goddess consort under various names would have been at the heart of most European spiritual traditions. Witches might have been venerated rather than burned and may indeed have found themselves at the centre of the dawning scientific enlightenment. I imagine Paganism in Europe would probably have developed in a very similar way to Hinduism in India. And probably there would have been contact and cross references. Each town or even household might have their own particular deity(s) and over-arching myths and legends would have developed to link many of them. As Pagans we would not have seen our bodies or our animalistic nature as sinful or wrong; we would not be forced to grow up feeling ashamed of our human nature. Endlessly in sin-debt to a judgemental God
I think it is fair to say that while science was often at odds with Christianity, it’s development grew on the back of Christian intellectualism. On the other hand, since paganism is so related to nature I don’t think there would have been the animosity against science or the centralised vested interests that conspired to refute and punish scientific discoveries. Thus I think the scientific revolution and enlightenment may have come more swiftly and smoothly in Pagan Europe and then spread to America without the dogmatic fundamentalists who even today refute and hinder science.
if that had been our history I think modern Europe and America would by now be atheistic and scientific in essence but our common pagan heritage would form the backbone of our spiritual beliefs. We might now understand that the myths and legends of old as ways to understand and work with nature and we would not question our place in the natural world or be alienated from it. Satan might not be known by that name, but the horned God of nature would not be our enemy; he would be our friend and spiritual father and teacher.
And perhaps also without the example of Christianity to cloud the issue we would understand more easily that we have to rely on our own moral judgements and that there are many paths to personal and spiritual development. What we now refer to as the Left Hand Path would not be seen as an opposition to prevailing Christian sentiments of morality, but as one of many possible routes to progression. A route which doesn’t shrink from the dirt and grime of the world but gets down in the dirt and realities of life. A route which celebrates life and recognises balance and harmony depend on working with both light and darkness. A path that understands that light and dark are not always so easy to tell apart and that both are necessary to be whole.
Of course all this is fantasy and speculation. We cannot in fact rewrite history or change the past. But by imagining how things might have been different perhaps it is easier to see Satanism in a different perspective. A perspective Christians don’t want anybody to see it by.
On the death of my Mother.
Firstly I would like to thank all those who have expressed their sympathies or sent their condolences to me and my family over the last few weeks. Your thoughts and your support have been both helpful and much appreciated. Thank you very much.
My mum had been ill with early onset dementia for a long time. Her dementia was caused by a series of minor strokes caused by a combination of stress and an inherent medical condition I will not go into here. As far as the medics are able to assess I have not inherited that condition myself. It has been very distressing over the past six years to watch my mum, a vibrant, intelligent woman become ever more feeble in mind and in body. While I think she still knew I was somebody special to her, I don’t think she has really known exactly who I was for the last year or so. Her death was not totally unexpected but still came as a great shock to me and her last few days were very difficult and distressing to witness. Even so I am glad I was by her side, and when the moment came there was a look of peace in her eyes that I don’t think any religion or psychologist could fully explain.
This only happened three weeks ago so I think I am still in the very early stages of grief/bereavement or whatever this phase of life experience should be called. I feel sad and tired but life goes on and for all sorts of reasons I think my mum would want be to get back to living as fully as possible as soon as I am ready. I have Sophie and Tina to support me and so I believe I will be fine.
I loved my mum very much and still do. She was the most kind and caring mum when I was a child and in many ways my closest and most trusted friend as an adult. I miss her very much and choose to believe she is happy and whole again now in some other form of existence.
Actually I don’t know exactly where she is and I have felt slightly envious of those who have a strong faith in heaven, nirvana or reincarnation. Satanists don’t really have any fixed or standard beliefs about the afterlife. We are called to be honest with ourselves and sometimes that is hard. I think there are many possibilities which could be true which include some sort of spiritual afterlife, reincarnation and the possibility that there is nothing at all after death. I don’t know which is true. I can say I still feel a connection to my Mum and therefore I choose to think that she still exists in some way that I hope is happy and without the cares and troubles she had in this world. I know for certain she deserves happiness and if she lives again her life should be long, happy and carefree.
Some people may be surprised to hear that Satanists have no universal belief about what happens after this life. Satanism is about individual beliefs, lifestyle and growth. Many atheistic Satanists probably believe that death is the end; a full stop. Some Satanists believe they will go to hell, usually not in the way that other religions describe hell though. I do not claim to know the answer but if hell is a place of continued growth and existence in the presence of Satan and the other spiritual energies I identify with, then I will be content to dwell there when the time comes.
However the death of my mother has brought to the surface some internal struggles and doubts concerning my beliefs.
My mother was not particularly religious and was genuinely open to considering and respecting a wide range of beliefs, but she was brought up as a Catholic and I would say Christianity formed the backbone of her personal beliefs. Her funeral was Christian and I went to as much trouble as I could to organise it in the way she would have liked with the service being lead by her favourite priest. I must say that he was very kind and caring. He knows I am not Christian but did not probe, and from my point of view it was certainly not the time to get into a religious discussion or debate. There were points in the service where I felt uncomfortable, but I hope and feel it was the kind of thing my mum would have wanted. I also gave a tearful address about her which was hard but also therapeutic. So while I felt out of place which was a bit sad at my own mother’s funeral, I have no criticisms of the way the priest and other members of the congregation acted towards me. While I never discussed my beliefs I had my girlfriend with me all the time and I must say there was no trace of criticism or disapproval. Progress I suppose.
One of the greatest sadnesses of the past few years is that I was not able to have discussions with my mother. In the past she has been the yardstick by which I measure much of what I do. I haven’t always followed her advice exactly, but I have always valued it. She met most of my boyfriends and girlfriends in the past and while she would never say outright what she thought of them, she was usually right! Spirituality has always been important to me and she discussed most of the twists and turns I made on my own path. She accepted me as a Taoist, a Pagan and a witch, in fact I think she was becoming quite interested in witchcraft herself. But that was when her illness began to bite. After that her memory and ability to communicate began to fade progressively and so what was perhaps for me the most fundamental and transformative change in my spiritual path, becoming a Satanist, was something I was never able to discuss with her while she was alive. Keeping in mind her Christian upbringing, I always felt this was the step it would be hardest for her to simply accept.
On some level I do believe that now she is whole again, free of the constraints of her disease, and that she can and does know everything about me. I always told myself that if my Mum died and I got a strong sense that from her new perspective Satanism was wrong or bad for me, and she made me aware of it, I would give it up. Over the past few weeks I have been listening for her voice, her guidance in everything that has been going on around me and in my dreams and quiet moments. After a while I began to realise that I dreaded her disapproval and that it would not be so easy or even possible to stop being a Satanist. The idea that I could be in conflict with my mums wishes after her death, or that she might disapprove or be disappointed in me has been a distressing thought that haunted me for several days. All the more distressing because I realised more surely than ever that I couldn’t and wouldn’t change my spiritual beliefs even if it met upsetting her; my lovely mum, the person I have loved and respected longer than anybody in my lifetime.
I am a Satanist through and through. My heart and soul are satanic. Satanism is the scaffolding that all my beliefs and my lifestyle are based on. Satan is a real and welcome presence in my life. My girlfriend and my daughter are Satanists. And I am pretty sure that explaining Satanism to those who are willing to listen is going to be a significant part of my future life. So that is who and what I am now.
What has happened in the last week or so is that I have had a growing sense that my mother loves and accepts me for who and what I am regardless of whatever labels are attached. She is outside of our time and space now and probably knows everything that I am trying to learn and make sense of in this life. I also have the feeling that she wants me to be me, that she wants me to live fully and learn wisely. I will try to do all of this.
Ultimately I think probably all people choose both the life and the religious values that have the potential to teach them the lessons they need in order to progress spiritually. Therefore, while I fundamentally disagree with many things in Christianity and other religions, I still think they have a place and a value to certain people at certain times.
My mother was an incredibly kind and caring person, so while I may be walking a darker path than she would have chosen for herself, I still have her example to act as a compass when I feel lost.
If a Christian were to define a Satanist they would probably say. All or some of the following things;-
We are evil. We have lost or sold our souls to the devil. We are depraved. We take pleasure in every kind of wicked thing, every kind of evil deed, every kind of perversion. They may say we hurt or corrupt children and the innocent. They may accuse us of unspeakable cruelty to animals. They may think we wish to bring the world to some kind of brutal and cataclysmic end in which all goodness is lost and there is only pain, suffering and despair. In addition we may be accused of being delusional and deranged, sadistic and selfish, nasty and narcissistic. And of course the devil we associate ourselves with is all of these things and more to the nth degree. We are acolytes of the epitome of all that is evil.
The Christians who say and believe these things about us are wrong of course, but to some extent it is at least understandable if not forgiveable because this is what they are taught and brainwashed with from a very early age. We may not wish to forgive because as Satanists we are by nature independent thinkers and we may be critical of the lazy way of thinking that allows these ideas to be swallowed without question; but still we can and should at least understand why we are perceived in such a negative way by some people. To the fundamentalists in particular who believe in a black and white world, Satanists have to be the absolute bad guys to oppose a God whose arbitrary actions are deemed to be always good.
What is less easy to understand and what is perhaps the biggest problem in modern Satanism is the degree to which we as Satanists not only allow ourselves to be defined by Christians and Christian standards; but actually internalise some of those ideas. To put it in a nut-shell, many of us come to a point in our spiritual lives where we go through the stage of thinking, “Well, if everybody thinks I’m evil or that my views and morals are evil because I’m a Satanist, perhaps I am, or perhaps I should be.”
As a result of asking this question some people embark on a darker more twisted path of Satanism which is ultimately unnecessary and which can lead to harm. The mistake is in internalising the Christian concept of Satanism in the first place.
It is Christians who say we are evil, AND THEY ARE WRONG.
As Satanists we come to our own conclusions about what things are good and evil. We don’t have to believe in such concepts at all and we certainly don’t have to use the road map leant to us by Christians to see where the boarders are.
The problem is that while our religion is relatively new it has a long and complex relationship with Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions. Satan and Satanism have been defined by Christians for hundreds of years. That gives them a power we should be aware of and counteract. We should not submit to it.
There may be people reading this who are thinking, as I once did, that it would be much easier if Non Evil Satanists just called themselves something else. Actually that is not possible. We are what we are and we associate ourselves with Satan for many good reasons. But I think that makes it even more important that if and when we must stand up and be counted; if and when we must be open about our beliefs, we convey something that defies the stereotypes and propaganda that surround us.
It is getting easier. The world is less dominated by Christian thinking. Many of us live in multi cultural, multi ethnic societies where the reach of Christian propaganda is not as strong as it was. We don’t have to allow ourselves and our ideas to be defined by Christian prejudices. And I think it is important that we don’t.
One of the things which impressed me most about the first Satanists I met in person, long before I became one myself, was his kindness and generosity . This really jarred with me and forced me to think. I was not a Christian at the time I was very much a Pagan, however I had been brought up in a loosely Christian/Catholic household and I still found the idea that a Satanist could be kind to be quite mind-blowing. It went against all the conventions I knew. He explained that he was not kind because of any particular rule in his religion, he was kind simply because he chose to be. Since that time I have always found that to be the most honourable and authentic reason to be kind. Over the years I have also found that simple kindness is one of the most powerful weapons to make people question their assumptions…
Put it another way… If the first Satanist I had met just sat in a corner being dark and broody, if I had found out he was indeed a cruel, sadistic individual who only cared about himself; I’m not sure if I would ever have taken the time and trouble to find out more about Satanism, let alone become a Satanist myself.
But I will also confess that since becoming a Satanist I have from time to time asked myself the same question. If everybody already thinks I am evil, perhaps I should be… Perhaps I am…
I think it’s a stage many of us go through. In fact it is a stage I suspect we come back to more than once. For me the answer is, “No, I am not evil, and I refuse to let my beliefs and my lifestyle be defined by a religion I don’t believe in and which I think is wrong.”
So let’s insist on defining ourselves in a positive way as free, independent thinkers who make up their own minds about what is right and wrong, as people who believe in their own divinity and their own potential, as people who are genuinely trying to better themselves, as people who celebrate life and living, as realists who embrace science and value critical intelligence.
There is no need to boast or brag about our beliefs but on those occasions where our beliefs do come into the public domain, let’s be good examples that challenge preconceptions and prejudice.
At this time of year some Satanists, especially those of us that have theistic views, have a big ritual called the Grand Climax. Some Satanists celebrate this festival in December or at other times of the year while other Satanists do not celebrate or recognise it at all. As ever, we are a contrary bunch!
We do celebrate it. For me it marked my adoption into the coven and my full and total dedication to Satan and Satanism as a spiritual path and philosophy. A year later it marked the same change for Sophie.
You will not read much online about what the ritual consists of, at least not much which is true. And we will not give many details here of what it involves either. Among the Satanists that we associate with, it certainly does not involve any form of cruelty and nothing which is illegal. There is some blood involved (our own) which may rule out people who are squeamish about such things and there can be a degree of consensual sexual activity. However, I would say that for those who know little or nothing about real Satanism, the ambience and drama of this ritual probably does come closer to their darker expectations than many other Satanic rituals.
Its main point is to deepen our connection with and understanding of Satan in our lives. The lead up to the ritual, which can be days or weeks even, encourages us to meditate on what it means to be a Satanist and hopefully to become more Satanic in nature. And that means a lot of thinking…
All that thinking brings to mind some things which concern me about Satanism, some misgivings that haven’t gone away. For those that follow this blog, my misgivings will come as no surprise. They come under two headings.
While Satanic beliefs and individuals are very diverse, I do still think that many of us are still too influenced by Christianity. We need to let it go! I have met so many Satanists whom I consider as spiritual brothers and sisters who seem obsessed with that old religion of Western Tradition. Most of their Satanism seems to be about opposing anyone and anything that purports to be Christian. Such a waste of energy! Others still seem to frame their lives by Christian expectations or morals. If Christianity says it is bad it must be good and vice versa… That is such limited thinking. While as individuals with freed wills we can and should oppose Christian morals and ideas when necessary, why the fuck should we allow a Christian perception of Satanism to in any way influence how we live. We don’t HAVE to be dark and evil just because that is how Christianity depicts us. We should be forming our own morals and values. Oh and I still occasionally hear of loud mouthed Satanists advocating burning churches. Idiots! Becoming criminals and terrorists is not going to move us forward or serve Satan in any way. Opposing Christianity is a starting point, but we really need to get over and beyond it!
Yes, we follow a Left Hand path. Sophie and I adhere to this philosophy mostly because it makes logical sense to us. It is more subtle than it first appears and seems based on the realities of the human condition; making it practical and useful. And we certainly fully embrace our darker, shadow sides; without which we would not feel like whole people. This is an area that some right hand paths seem to neglect. However, while embracing, celebrating and using the darker aspects of our persona’s as productively and enjoyably as possible, we do not reject all that is deemed light. We greatly value love and kindness and many other things that right hand paths by default seem to have the monopoly on. Again it is in my opinion that some misguided Satanists give right hand paths power and credence by rejecting everything they have to offer. If we dress entirely in black, hiding in corners watching only the most gory and depraved horror and porn, we will become what our enemies want to depict us as in the first place. We should instead be striving for balance because that is intelligent and self empowering.
With all this being said, I am more dedicated than ever to Satan. I will relish this weekends ritual as an opportunity to refresh and recharge. If Satanism had no problems and no faults it would be neither human nor useful. It will never be more than a work in progress because we are all souls on a path to self improvement. Being aware of things that need work is a good starting point for rededication. Cassie
Naturally I agree with all that Cassie has said. I would just like to add that this ritual is a personal one in which as well as thinking about Satanism as a whole we are thinking about how we are personally progressing and Cassie and I would be the first to admit that we have many faults and there is much to do in our own lives in order to be better, happier and more productive satanic people.
This will also be a personal ritual in the sense that this year we will be organising and leading it ourselves with a small group of like minded friends here in Switzerland. In the past we have celebrated with Cassie’s coven in the UK, but now we are living here permanently we are unable to participate fully with them so we are branching out. That is a challenge and an opportunity that we are both quite excited about. There is for me another personal reason why this year’s ritual will be special; but I’ll write more about that next time.
So for today I will finish by wishing all those who are celebrating this weekend and all those who are perhaps merely thinking about Satnism for the first time sincere Satanic Blessings. Sophie
Good Friday seemed a good day for this post! 😉
Here is our take on the Nine Satanic Statements made famous by Anton LaVey and followed to some degree by quite a lot of Satanists including us.
1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
Sophie I admit to being a hedonist. I think you should live life as fully as possible and that means sometimes indulging in the things you enjoy. I think most of the rules laid down by religions and governments are only there to reinforce other peoples control over you. I think we should take responsibility for ourselves and our own enjoyment, however that does also mean being sensible and making compromises where necessary. I could eat chocolate all day long but then I’d lose my teeth and my figure and my health which would mean I wouldn’t be able to enjoy other things… I am sure the effects of heroine are nice at first or people wouldn’t do it, but I have seen too many lives ruined by it and I don’t want to end up the same way. What people need is the education and knowledge to make informed choices about how they want to live and enjoy their lives.
Cassie. I couldn’t have put it better!
2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe-dreams!
Sophie. I think this is quite similar to the first statement. It means taking joy in being alive and concentrating on what you do and achieve in this lifetime rather than investing all your energy in preparing for the next life; be that in heaven or hell or in another human life.
Cassie I agree. I think a lot of religions almost ignore the realities of this life both the pleasant things and the suffering, and emphasise instead storing up treasure in heaven. This often means ignoring the real problems and suffering that many people have, or even blaming them for it… These statements were written by a man who was essentially an atheist so I suspect he was a bit suspicious of anything that seemed too spiritual or other-worldly. Personally I think it is good to focus equally on the spiritual side of life, but we need to keep questioning things and make sure that our spiritual beliefs make sense and can stand up to arguments and criticism.
3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
Sophie I think this means not kidding yourself… Or others… Living according to what you really believe rather than what others expect you to believe. So in short it means being honest with yourself and others.
Cassie I think it is also a reference to science and the scientific method. I think it means we should test things and work things out for ourselves in a logical, scientific way and beware of superstition and rules and laws which are only there to prevent people being self empowered.
4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
Sophie. We have a right to choose who we are kind to and who we may not be so kind to. I choose to be kind to most people, at least at first, but I don’t want to feel “obliged” to be kind to all people all the time. It also depends what you mean by “kind”. Sometimes you really do have to be a bit cruel, or harsh, to help people learn the lesson they need. A drug addict might think you were kind if you went out and scored drugs for them when they pleaded for it, whereas in fact it would be kinder to lock them in a dark room and listen to their screams of agony while they went through withdrawal symptoms.
Cassie I think I am generally a kind person but I have learned that it is sometimes a waste of my own energy to be kind to people who are stupid or abusive in return. I think Christianity encourages people to be kinder and more forgiving than is really useful. It sounds like a “nice” idea but I have seen so many people continue to do stupid and nasty things to the people around them because their constant forgiveness gives the impression it is okay or safe to continue being an idiot. When you are known to be kind to everybody, no matter what, people will take advantage of you. I guess I have developed a slightly harder edge, but I would prefer to save my energy and my kindness for those who really deserve it.
5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
Sophie. I think this is just honest and logical in a belief system that is focused on the self. If I am responsible for all things in my life that must include justice. If somebody hurts me or somebody I care for, I have the right to make them pay for it. That is natural justice.
Cassie. I wasn’t sure about this one at first because I think vengeance can become all consuming, obsessive and self destructive. I still think you have to guard against those things but overall I agree completely with Sophie that vengeance is a natural consequence of taking full responsibility for your life. Vengeance doesn’t belong to the Christian God, it is our own right. However when most people think of vengeance they probably think of various extreme things but while I wouldn’t rule anything out, vengeance can equally well be got through the police and the processes of law.
6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
Sophie. To be honest I’m not exactly sure what he meant here as it seems to repeat the gist of previous statements. I’d say we are only responsible for our own actions and we are not responsible for the actions of others. However, if we do something to affect the actions of others then we must have some degree of responsibility for how they react.
Cassie Well on the subject of psychic vampires there are basically two types. The first are people who just drain you of energy. They tend to cling, tell you their problems but never take any advice… I used to waste time on such people but now I don’t. Some of them are actually the second type but don’t realise or understand it.
So the second type are people with the psychic ability to give and take energy to and from other people at will. It can be a useful psychic ability and/or magical skill which I have and use myself so I don’t think there is anything wrong with it if is done responsibly.
7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development” has become the most vicious animal of all!
Sophie. I like this in the sense that it means we are part of nature and not separate from it. Some religions try to make us ashamed of our animalistic nature while Satanists on the other hand celebrate that fact. Also even though this was written decades ago there is a slightly critical edge to it, warning that we often don’t treat other animals or the environment as respectfully as we should. In that way I think this particular statement was ahead of its time.
Cassie. And I think it is also a warning that we don’t treat each other as well as we should, it says we have become the most vicious animal of all which in many ways is true. But you have to recognise that fact before you can do anything about it. I think this is where Satanism is grounded in reality and where from the start there is implied advice that we need to take a more balanced approach to life.
8. Satan represents all the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
Sophie. This is quite similar to the first statement about indulgence and I would say the same now as I did then. However I think as well as gratification the so called sins can also lead to well being… How many people make themselves Ill because they have to constantly repress their strongest desires? Still, just because we can indulge in anything doesn’t mean it is always a good idea. We have to develop the intelligence and will power to know when to stop ourselves and you can’t do that if you are always avoiding or repressing the things that tempt you. You have to face your weaknesses and take control of them.
Cassie. It is all about self control rather than relying on the church or the state to tell you how to live.
9. Satan has been the best friend of the church as he has kept it in business all of these years!
Sophie. Maybe. To be honest, I don’t care. I was never a Christian and I don’t really care much what happens to the Christian Church now. That statement seems a little bit irrelevant to me.
Cassie. I think he means portraying The Devil as an evil creature to be feared is what kept the Church in business all that time. But I agree with you; I also find that statement a bit irrelevant now. I understand that Anton LaVey was setting out to challenge the orthodoxy of his time and I see that last statement as a bit of a throw away joke that was meant to provoke Christians. But I think it is time to leave the past behind. We don’t want Satanism to become stilted and bound to the past. Satanism is evolving. I am a Satanist because I see it as a positive, life affirming religion in its own right. I am a Satanist because I like what Satan represents. I accept that it is anti Christian but it is also anti many other things.. It is more important that it is pro individualism, pro freedom, pro knowledge, pro science and pro self development.
Sophie and Cassie
Actually what we like most about these statements is that they are just that. They are statements, not rules or laws. They are designed to challenge perceived norms and wisdom. They are supposed to provoke thought and discussion. They encourage us to re-examine what we thought to be true and come to our own conclusions.
…Note… It turns out this was the 100th post in this blog!
Hail Satan! Hail Ourselves!
Real Satanists are invisible which is a problem because a lot of people calling themselves Satanists aren’t.
Recently there were several reports of a person who claimed to be a Satanist doing terrible and obscene things. In truth this person probably thought she was indeed a Satanist. She described being initiated into a Satanic sect in her early teens. This may indeed have happened much as she described it. She may have been encouraged by other members of that particular sect to do evil and perverted things. That does not excuse or mitigate her actions in any way. Those of us in the real Satanic community tend to scoff at such things and the media attention they generate. Some of us look down on those who unquestioningly believe that such things represent Satan or Satanism. “That was just a sect” we might say, “and there are crazy sects that attach themselves to all religions and philosophies…” But I think that type of reaction is a bit lame and short sighted.
We real Satanists have to recognise that there are many understandable reasons why people might be quick to think the worst of us. Moreover other people’s ignorance about us is no worse and no less understandable than our own ignorance of beliefs we have never studied or our habitual beliefs in things we have never had cause to question. People didn’t believe the world was flat because they were stupid, they believed it because it made sense at the time. Likewise, most people who think we Satanists are evil do not think so because they are stupid but rather because much in our culture leads them to believe so and they have never had cause to question it.
The western culture I and most of my readers have grown up in is a culture that is largely based on Christian principles and history… A culture which has uniformly painted Satan as the epitome of evil and his followers as immoral evil doers. A culture which painted all other beliefs as false, wrong, bad or evil. A history which saw many non Christians and heretics as deserving of death. A culture and history which often gained dominance by destroying or slandering any opposing culture. A culture which for hundreds of years has deemed all witchcraft as evil. And even in more recent, scientific and enlightened times popular culture continues to portray Satan and his followers as the arch villains; the bad guys in black with nothing but evil on their minds. Let’s face it even in our so called enlightened times there are places where you can still be sentenced to death for practicing witchcraft or even just for being homosexual. It is not hard to see why in this environment, Satan as a concept remains for a significant majority the personification of evil.
And then of course there are evil people who do sick and perverted things in Satan’s name… Why should anybody question the cultural archetype of Satan as the very bad guy?
Well perhaps if more Real Satanists were visible people might begin to question their assumptions. I’d like to think that the people who read this blog will realise that I am not evil and I don’t do very bad things even if they don’t agree with my views or lifestyle. But even I am only visible to a limited degree. My internet identity is just enough removed from my everyday life that I can hide to a degree. A few close friends and colleagues know I am a Satanist but if it were more widely known it could cause me problems. I imagine quite a few people would have reservations about the idea that a Satanist is teaching their child. The popular misconceptions about Satan and Satanism are indeed strongly ingrained even in many otherwise enlightened and scientific minds. Many people will simply never question the idea that Satan and Satanists are synonymous with evil.
But some will; and therein I see signs of hope and change. I questioned it. All of my Satanic friends questioned it. More and more people are questioning established religions and seeking their own spiritual paths. It is not important if they become or call themselves Satanists, what is important is that they are questioning established conventions. The veil of lies is slipping and people are challenging moral and spiritual rules and norms; they are thinking for themselves, and that is what matters. The power of the institutions which dominated the last two thousand years is waning significantly.
So as Satanists we must be as visible as it is sensible to be. We must be good examples and good ambassadors where and when we can be. And if we can be prepared to do that maybe we can depend on the spirit of the age, of enlightenment, of Lucifer, of Satan to do the rest.
Perhaps that sounds naive, over optimistic and even a bit new agey… After all, the perverts who occupy the headlines by reinforcing the negative stereotypes of Satanism aren’t going to go away anytime soon. Some people may be beginning to question things, but being prepared to turn deeply ingrained cultural norms on their head does not come easily to anybody.
Oddly I think we can take some hope and inspiration from the earliest days of Christianity. Before the power that became the Catholic Church was established, the people who called themselves Christians were a tiny, persecuted minority who were routinely vilified and regularly fed to the lions. While I don’t agree with any of the beliefs they had even at that time, it is clear that many of the stories spread around about them in those early days were false and slanderous. I think if I had been a neutral observer at that time I wouldn’t have given much for their chances of surviving a decade let alone a century. But they did survive. Fate and politics lead them to dominate the whole of the western world for the next two thousand years.
How much better are the chances for a religion which is far more egalitarian, enlightening, logical, scientific, life affirming and has at its core the notion that humans as individuals and as a species can progress without limit? I think we can afford ourselves a little optimism.