Hedonism is one of the things we Satanists are most criticized for, even sometimes by other Left Hand Pathers. The idea of indulging as fully as possible in all the pleasures life has to offer, certainly seems to go against the grain of what most western traditions think is right and proper. Some would argue that hedonism places too much emphasis on physical and sensual pleasure or that it just trivializes life. I disagree. I often feel a deep spiritual connection to the universe as a result of hedonistic indulgence and as a Satanist I have come to see that fulfilling my own physical needs and desires is as important for my self development and growth as a person, as any amount of meditation or the spiritual practices of other religions.
In truth I was probably always a hedonist. The difference since I became a Satanist is that I no longer feel any guilt for my hedonistic impulses; and that makes a big difference. Moreover I have come to understand how and why hedonism is actually healthy and good. Keep in mind that according to common Satanic principles;-
1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe-dreams!
And, 8. Satan represents all the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
I am certainly a hedonist and I have brought my daughter up with the same values. I have asked her to write a paragraph at the end because I think her perspective on the subject may be slightly different to my own. Before coming to my own conclusions however I will, later in this post, acknowledge some of the criticisms of hedonism and place my own hedonistic lifestyle within the satanic concepts of intelligence and responsibility.
Hedonism is of course not a uniquely satanic concept. Hedonistic values can be traced back in time at least as far as Ancient Egypt where, rich and poor alike, uncertain of what would happen to them after death, often believed they should maximize pleasure in life whenever possible. At various times in their long history the Egyptians indulged themselves in every sensual pleasure available including various drugs, food, alcohol and sex. They were not shy or prudish about such things. In Ancient Greece, hedonism became an important stream of philosophy.
The following extract comes from wikipedia and there are more details on the same page
Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them. It is also the idea that every person’s pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aris
Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them. It is also the idea that every person’s pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good.
Hedonism is a sub-philosophy of utilitarianism, which says to act in a way that maximizes utility. Hedonists equate pleasure with utility and believe that pleasure is the master of all humankind, and acts as the ultimate life goal. Hedonists believe that there are only two motivators of human action, pleasure and pain, and that decisions should only be made to further our pleasurable experiences and minimize or completely eliminate our painful ones
tippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good.
Hedonism is a sub-philosophy of utilitarianism, which says to act in a way that maximizes utility. Hedonists equate pleasure with utility and believe that pleasure is the master of all humankind, and acts as the ultimate life goal. Hedonists believe that there are only two motivators of human action, pleasure and pain, and that decisions should only be made to further our pleasurable experiences and minimize or completely eliminate our painful ones
We are so used to seeing things from a Christianized, western world view, that the truth of the above statement can take a long time to sink in; and some people are blind to it altogether. In short, pleasure is good for us, and taking decisions on the basis of what gives us pleasure is better for us as individuals and as a society than deciding in favor of what brings us sadness and pain. This might be in terms of deciding to eat that delicious cream cake rather than being hungry, but it could equally be deciding to feed somebody who is starving because ultimately their poverty makes us suffer too. Satanists always start from ourselves and work outwards but you don’t need to be a brain surgeon or rocket scientist to see the obvious logic… Enjoying the things we like makes us happy, whether it is stroking a cat or drinking a glass of wine. Experiments have shown that such things reduce stress and release endorphins which are good for our health and promote long life. Moving out from ourselves we soon realize that the suffering of others often has a negative impact on our happiness and therefore the obvious solution is to try and reduce the suffering of others. Some people don’t like this reason for being kind because it seems self centered; and indeed it actually is. But I think those who believe they are being purely altruistic are virtually always fooling themselves. In any case, just imagine how enjoyable the world could be if we made all our decisions based on what is most pleasurable for us;-and for others.
For many people who convert to Satanism, one of the biggest reliefs and psychological boosts they experience is the freedom from guilt that is often associated with the things they enjoy. Western society guilt trips everybody. I remember the first time I had sex… Even though I was above the age of consent, I came from a fairly liberal and secular family, my parents did not forbid or object to me sleeping with somebody, the sex was quite good and enjoyable, nobody got hurt, and yet, despite all that, I still had a sense of guilt and shame for not being a virgin anymore! That guilt just hangs in the air in western society! Imagine how much worse I would have felt if I had come from a stricter or more religious family. And then imagine how it feels if you happen to be gay in a society that is still uncomfortable with the idea… My first time was with a man, but when I finally got around to sleeping with a woman, despite being strong and determined, modern and proud, despite it being lovely, there was still that pang of guilt for doing something taboo. Okay, in my quiet way I was always rebellious and I went on to enjoy many forbidden pleasures long before I became a Satanist. But why should these pleasures be forbidden in the first place? Why should we feel pressured or obliged by society to forgo the things which bring us pleasure and therefore health? Satanism and hedonism argue that you don’t have to forgo those things.
I would not go so far as to say there is no place for guilt. Guilt is a normal emotion that most of us experience from time to time and in it’s proper context it serves a purpose. It is probably right and a useful part of self development to feel guilty when we have done something wrong (something which causes unnecessary harm to ourselves or others) however, is is wrong and self destructive to be surrounded by guilt just for being ourselves and enjoying ourselves.
From my point of view I think Satanic hedonism is healthy for the mind and body and if it includes confronting taboos, that also helps us to grow and come to our own conclusions about things.
Satanism does however require us to use our intelligence and warns heavily against stupidity. We are animals whose survival depends upon being kept in as good condition as possible. In order for our minds and bodies to be happy for longer we have to keep them healthy. An inconvenient truth is that some of the things which can satisfy our desire for experience and happiness, can also damage our health. Thus, we need to be intelligent and wise in our hedonistic choices. There is nearly always a compromise to be made between the gratification of the moment and the longer term consequences of any pleasure we choose to indulge in. In principle we can do anything, but not everything is ultimately good for us, and some things are very quickly harmful. Satan requires that we use our brains and our minds.
It is quite possible that if it had no negative consequences at all, I would be shooting up with heroine everyday. But it does have very serious negative consequences which I know about and some I have witnessed; so I choose not to get my pleasure that way. In fact heroine is one of the few things I would urge people never to even try. On the other hand, I do smoke cigarettes and cannabis which also cause harm to debatable degrees. We make compromises and informed choices. We cannot (and I do not) however claim to be unaware of the potential negative consequences our pleasurable choices may have. There is a good chance I will die younger than I might otherwise have done as a result of some of my hedonistic choices. (I would argue however that my lifespan may also be boosted from the positive effects of the pleasures I enjoy and the lack of guilt and resulting stress I have in comparison to others).
It is also worth noting that while the hedonistic aspect of Satanism might at first entice irresponsible people, such people never stick long at anything. For all it’s emphasis on hedonism, Satanism is often a refuge and rebuilding philosophy for people who are trying to overcome addictions of various sorts. I know of plenty of people who thank Satan and Satanism for empowering them to live a healthier life, free of addiction. For one thing, while we do not rule out chemical and substance fueled pleasures, our emphasis is on enjoying natural pleasures, including sex in all it’s forms, without stress or guilt. This often makes the use of expensive and/or illegal substances redundant.
And while it might sound a bit poetic and “New Agey” I do think some of the most profound pleasures are the simple things like a walk in the forest, admiring a view, appreciating art, reading a good book, or going to a concert. I believe we should always make time in our lives for things like that.
I will now hand over to Tina…
My mother and Cassie are Satanists. My father is not a Satanist but I guess he is still a hedonist in many ways. I have been a Satanist for three years, pretty much through the most important time of my adolescence, right up to now when I can hopefully think of myself as an adult even if I’m young. I suppose that in terms of how I live my life, Satanism and Hedonism is all I have ever known. You might think that would make me some crazy sort of wild child; I’m sure that is what a lot of people expect. But it is not really true at all.
I certainly am a hedonist, but I would say that Satanism has made me a sensible one. I could eat every ice cream and every cake that is put in front of me (I sure would be tempted!) but I don’t because I am not stupid and I want to keep my health and my looks. I could take every drug that was ever offered to me (which would be a lot) but I don’t because I want to stay healthy in mind and body. I could sleep with every man and woman that showed any interest in me (which would keep me busy for quite a while) but I don’t because I’d rather have good sex than cheap sex and I want to minimize the risk of catching a disease or getting pregnant. So I do enjoyable things in a fairly boring and moderate way. I’m sorry if that is not what people want to hear. (I’m not sorry really)!
My studies are important to me because I want to have an interesting career which brings in enough money to do fun things with. So I work hard. I’m kind of glad I smoke because that reduces my stress when I have a lot of reading or writing to do. And to relax after studying I sometimes have some wine or smoke some weed (which is totally legal where I live thankfully); but that is about as excessive as my drug use gets.
A good piece of advice my “Mothers” gave me is to become a connoisseur of all pleasurable things. Find out what I like and don’t like, refine my tastes, learn and increase the pleasure of all things. That works for everything from good food and wine to good sex. And now as a younger adult I am at a time of finding out about all these things, experimenting and becoming an expert in what makes me happy. In comparison to some of my friends who are still at the stage of drinking til they throw up and having sex they don’t really enjoy (because that’s what people do), I think our form of hedonism is much more healthy and wise. And unlike most of my friends I almost never feel guilty about the things I do for fun. (I’m not saying I’m perfect, I’ve obviously made some mistakes).
To finish this post I want to say something simple that sums up what Sophie and I have been trying to say. A lot of people seem to assume that hedonism and stupidity go together. They don’t. At least they don’t have to. Satanism actually calls us to be intelligent and wise in our hedonism; to do what makes us happy without feeling bad or guilty about it, but NOT be stupid.
Sensible hedonism is healthy for your mind and body.
Sophie and Tina
Our family have become big fans of the TV series, Game Of Thrones. There are many things about it we enjoy and we each have our own favorite characters and plot lines. However, more pertinent to this blog, is the fact that we feel the moral backdrop to the story is at least Pagan and perhaps Satanic.
Before going further I would like to emphasize that in our view nearly all the main characters seem to be driven by Satanic imperatives and morality, not just the ones it is easier to point to as the bad guys. While one of the pleasing and engaging aspects of the character development in GoT is that almost everybody is multi-dimensional with grey and ambiguous sides to their moral character, even those characters who are as close as the series gets to being the “good guys” seem to have a moral base that we could point to as being entirely Satanic.
For anybody who has not seen any of the series or read any of the books, here is the shortest synopsis possible. The stories take place in the fictional land of Westeros which resembles Europe in the Middle Ages to some degree with a good sprinkling of witchcraft, magic and a few dragons. The main plot revolves around the various factions who are trying to secure “The Iron Throne” the dominant seat of power in the land. The spiritual background is broadly pagan although most of the characters pay little more than lip service to any particular line of belief. There is one, still pagan, religion which becomes dominant for part of the story which bares some resemblance to our organised Abrahamic religions.
We have spoken of Satanic morality many times on our blog before but to briefly clarify for the context of this post; Satanic morality is personal and individual and rejects the concepts of absolute good and evil or laws set down by gods or churches. We, like many modern Satanists, refer to ideas set down by Anton LaVey which are based more on logic and usefulness than anything else, but we don’t regard even what he says as anything more than a rough guideline. It is possible for Satanists to indeed be all that the world considers to be evil, and a few no doubt are, but the vast majority of us recognize the need and usefulness of being helpful and kind when it suits us; which might well be most of the time. What we don’t accept or recognize is any divine or outside imperative to be kind or “good” all of the time.
And so to the characters of Game of Thrones…
We will start with the character who could be described as the most evil, the principle “baddie” of the show, Cersei Lannister.
Cersei, played superbly by Lena Headey, is a monster. She is clever and manipulative and driven more and more exclusively as the story develops by her personal ambition and obsession to rule the whole of Westeros from the Iron Throne and rid herself of any possible opposition. She thinks nothing of killing anybody who gets in her way (on occasion hundreds of people at a time), she is not adverse to physical or mental torture of her opponents and she will always take revenge without mercy. In case you think she is all work and no fun, rest assured she likes to let her hair down sometimes; mainly by having sex with her brother! Now as Satanists ourselves we have to admit there are some elements of Cersei which we don’t deny can be aspects of our morality. We do value ambition and being self centered. We think it is often good to be clever and manipulative. We are not against taking revenge if necessary. And we often go against other people’s sexual rules and morals. Cersei’s one redeeming feature is that she does genuinely love her children and does all in her power (like any Satanic Mother) to protect them and their interests. However even that gets out of control and has fairly disastrous consequences.
We cannot deny that Cersei is both evil and Satanic. Perhaps she serves as a warning to us. “There but for the grace of Satan go we.” Cersei is an example of a Satanist out of control, unrestrained by any law or much personal morality. In the show we see that she causes a lot of suffering as she proceeds and succeeds in her schemes and plans. However, it is not without personal loss and cost. Ultimately she is insane and hated by almost everybody.
We, like all Satanists, could go the way of Cersei. If we don’t, it is because we choose not to because of personal wisdom and personal morality.
Next we will look at Arya Stark.
Arya, is a tomboy; a girl who from the beginning preferred swards to dolls. She is played by the very talented Maisie Williams. Arya is strong willed and independently minded, determined to do things her own way. Most aspects of her character are what we understand as Satanic and yet she is portrayed for the most part as sympathetic. In a sense she is a victim of brutality but, in various ways we Satanists approve of, she refuses to be a victim and instead tries at every turn to control her own destiny. However, her story is dominated by her need for vengeance. As Satanists we do not rule out vengeance, in fact we see it as an aspect of taking responsibility for your life. In Arya’s case however we see the danger of becoming obsessed with vengeance. While we as the audience are in many ways rooting for Arya to get her revenge on the people who have wronged her (terribly in many cases) we can also see how as a person she is damaged by her obsession. On the one hand we want Arya to succeed in killing the people on her list (most of whom deserve nothing less) but on the other hand, as her violence increases, we see that she is becoming no less evil than those who have hurt her and that her lust for vengeance results in the deaths of innocents as well. Her story arc is not yet finished but it seems clear that even if she succeeds in her quest, she will be destroyed by it. There are lessons to be learned for us in her story.
As Satanic Witches, we couldn’t fail to mention the Red Woman or Red Witch, Melisandre.
In terms of moral values Melisandre is one of the most ambiguous characters in the series. She is a witch from another continent who follows another religion dedicated to the Lord of Light (although her beliefs and practices are sometimes very dark indeed). At first she is keen to convert people to her religion but is less evangelical towards the end of the series so far. She has premonitions and uses magic (often very dark magic) quite frequently. Her magic includes what Satanists would call lesser magic, often involving sex and seduction. She appears very beautiful but we later learn that her appearance is deceptive. It could be argued that she instigates and presides over one of the most evil acts of the series (the murder/sacrifice of a very innocent child) and yet she also plays a key part in rescuing the archetypal hero of the series from the clutches of death.
So let’s speak about Jon Snow
In fairness there is nothing very Satanic about Jon Snow except for the fact that his obvious “goodness” is a self chosen path. He is the good warrior, on the side of the right; a protector of the poor and vulnerable. While he has seen and experienced bad things, there are very few elements of darkness in his character. In some ways that makes his character’s development a bit more bland than many of the others. But still, we include him in our list for two reasons. Firstly because Satanists can of course be good if they choose to be. (We like to think we make that choice most of the time). And secondly…Eye candy! Sophie and I would love to invite him round for dinner and afters; and while we may not tempt him over to the dark side exactly, we could at least work on his kinky side! (Mind you, these days we’d probably have to fight off our daughter Tina first)!
Another character all three of us might like to entertain after dark if we had the chance is Daenerys.
Daenerys Targaryen is in our view one of the most positive Satanic characters in the series. She also has one of the most impressive and testing personal journeys. She begins as a shy and powerless teenager dependent on her abusive brother; and develops through luck, cunning and courage into an impressive and inspirational leader and warrior Queen. She has more than her fair share of troubles and tragedies but with magic (she is impervious to fire) and cleverness rises to become one of the principle challengers to the Iron Throne. It would be all too easy to point to her as the female equivalent of the “nice” Jon Snow and certainly, like him, she has a strong moral compass which is usually in favor of helping the underprivileged and freeing slaves. She also has a sense of duty to her destiny meaning she will often do what is best for her people or her long term plans rather than what she would like to do in the moment. But she has not become powerful without developing a darker side and knowing how and when to use it. She can be very ruthless and vengeful when she needs to be. Indeed we see her as a woman whose instincts and moral values are entirely Satanic (like us) but in a positive and good way that is not often seen or understood by non satanists.
And finally we shall speak about Tyrion…
Tyrion Lannister is a dwarf, a fact we will mention briefly only because it is pertinent to his role in the plot. Actually Tyrion is, in our opinion, a giant of a character not only in Game of Thrones but also in modern literature, and surely Peter Dinklage who plays Tyrion is proving to be one of the great actors of our time. He certainly has some of the best one liners and set piece speeches of the series. Like Daenerys, we see Tyrion as a fully rounded Satanic character who has a highly active and visible dark side but knows the destruction and depravity that can lead to. Ultimately his moral compass points to doing what is wise for the short and long term. He can be a foul mouthed womanizer, a heavy drinking pleasure seeker who spends much of his time with whores. But he is also the most intelligent and perceptive character in the story who can be very courageous and who knows the pain, the power and value of love in it’s many forms.
There are many other characters we could mention but we don’t have time. There are certainly many others we like and find fascinating, and all of them in our view could be seen as representations of satanic lifestyle in it’s many forms. The fact that some are broadly “good” and some are broadly “bad” only serves to show the diversity which exists within the satanic landscape.
We also like diversity of sexuality that is represented in the world of “Thrones”. Devoid of Christian influence, people are less hung up and generally more free to enjoy and express their sexual tastes and preferences. We would like to think the same would be true in a Satanic world.
There are many reviews of Game of Thrones on the net and probably many are more comprehensive and better written than this. What we have attempted to show however is two things. Firstly that many GoT characters and storylines could be described as Satanic. Secondly that describing them in such a way does not really mean what some people (especially Christian types) would expect. In Game of Thrones and in real life Good and Bad are not defined by the religious or spiritual labels you claim, but by your actions. It is just as possible (we would say more likely in fact) for a satanist to do what is good or at least best in the given situation, as it is for a Christian to to do what is evil. Satanists are people who deal with their inner darkness and use it wisely and constructively.
And finally if you haven’t seen the series or read George R.R. Martin’s books, why not give them a try. The books are inventive and extremely well written. The TV series has high production values and is also well written and acted. It got us hooked! One warning though in case you have been living on the dark side of the moon and if you haven’t been paying attention to what we have said here, be prepared for rather large doses of sex and violence between the plot twists!
It is a year since we heard the sad news that our friend Lee had passed from this world.
He is still often in our thoughts.
His legacy remains.
I have been meaning to write a post on the pros and cons of group or coven Satanism compared with Solitary Satanism for quite a while, so here it is; or a first try anyway.
A short piece of personal background. I started off very much as a solitary Satanist, but from the beginning I was in contact with other Satanists over the Internet in various ways. I then met Sophie so then we were two, then three including our daughter; and eventually Sophie and I started our own coven. As a result I have looked at this subject from several perspectives.
I will start off by saying that in my opinion all Satanists are essentially solitary even if they regularly or occasionally work with others. Individualism is a cornerstone of Satanism, so while we can, and I think sometimes should, collaborate with other Satanists; we never stop being the authors of our own individual lives and beliefs. Any group that demands we conform to beliefs or practices which we don’t agree with is a group to be avoided. With that said it is still usually possible to find groups with which it is enjoyable and beneficial to collaborate and cooperate.
I will talk about the possible benefits of working with other Satanists first, but also raise some reservations. In the end I will come back to my first point that we are all essentially solitary.
For the vast majority of us the decision to become or identify as a Satanist is a very profound and deeply personal thing that happens very much within our heart, mind and soul. It is liberating but marks a huge departure from the mainstream of public opinion. We are choosing to follow a way that is very misunderstood and thought of as perverse and evil by many. It is therefore comforting to meet and get to know others on a similar path and deeply satisfying to be able to be your true self in front of others without the need of excuses or explanations. These days many of those encounters are likely to be over the Internet on various forums where distance is not an issue. Sometimes these encounters will be helpful and fulfilling and could be the start of meaningful friendships between like minded people. These connections can be very important in gaining knowledge via other people’s experiences. There must be caution however because there are a lot of creeps and idiots posing as Satanists on the Internet (some of whom genuinely believe they Are Satanists) who are dangerous and can do a lot of harm to individuals and the real Satanic community.
Assuming you navigate your first encounters with other Satanists carefully and successfully you may want to reach out for closer, more personal, deeper and sometimes more intimate connections with other Satanists. There could be several reasons for this. Some are naturally more social than others and simply want to physically spend time in the company of other Satanists. Those who practice greater magic may feel that their knowledge and power will be magnified by working closely with others. Many will understand the power of drama in ritual with others to unlock and unleash the Satanic mind more fully. For myself it was a mixture of all these things plus a desire to feel immersed in Satanic thought, life and culture that drew me into seeking out and joining a coven.
I was lucky in that I found a suitable coven fairly quickly; for others geography and other factors can make finding the right coven take much longer. It is worth spending time over and you should never join a group which makes you feel uncomfortable or where there is pressure to do things you don’t want to. The intelligent Satanist will wait and may ultimately decide it is better to remain solitary than hook up with people you don’t want to be associated with. I felt nurtured and educated by my coven and that being with them gave me the space and confidence to become my true self. Now Sophie and I have our own coven which is both a social group of people who have roughly the same philosophy and hopefully a caring community which promotes the personal growth of each member. Some of our meetings are purely social but we feel we grow by working magic and engaging in ritual with each other. Again there is a sense of freedom and liberation that comes from full and shameless engagement with the diabolical realm in the company of other dark souls. So for us being in a coven is an important part of our Satanic life and experience. It is not and does not have to be that way for everybody however.
While I enjoy the dramatic, ritual and ceremonial aspects of working in a coven and the comradery that goes with that, I still acknowledge that Satanism is essentially a path of personal and intellectual growth and development. You don’t always need anyone else to facilitate that. Indeed for the Satanist (even those of us who believe in a Satanic entity of some sort) I would argue that it is essential to rely first and foremost on one’s self and none other. Many people can and do go through their Satanic lives keeping their philosophical or spiritual views very much to themselves. Very often it is both wise and useful to keep your head down and not draw unwelcome attention. Sometimes this can be the most effective way to live out Satanic principles in everyday life. It is a truism that some of the most dedicated Satanists are people whom the the gullible masses would never suspect of being such.
There are probably far more Satanists who do their own private thing than those who are actually members of groups or covens. There are many advantages in not having to compromise with others in perusing your own beliefs and personal development. Thus for many Satanists the lone path is the path of choice. Even for those who would ultimately like to engage more with other Satanists the lone path can be educational and empowering. And the lone path is where we all begin.
Even while working in a group every Satanist is an individual whose path is unique and whose priority is the empowerment of his or her self. We are all different. Some of us may want or need the company of others as an aspect of expressing ourselves and our beliefs, others don’t. We have chosen a path of self empowerment and we must make our own experiments and choices when it comes to crafting our own lives unrestrained by the norms or taboos of society. Certainly we should not be restrained by the views of other Satanists.
Coven or solitary? It’s whatever works best for you. And there is no reason we can’t be both.
Quite a few people I like and respect describe themselves as Humanists so I decided to research Humanism a bit. If you do the same you will find that there are very many definitions of what Humanism is. Some stress the atheistic aspect, others stress dependence on scientific method while seeming to leave other beliefs open and some are very much against any form of supernatural belief. There seem to be many overlaps with various shades of Satanism although most of what I read seems to have a very right hand path and ultruistic dimension. The most general definition I found on the British Humanism Association site was as follows;-
Roughly speaking, the word humanist has come to mean someone who:
trusts to the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural (and is therefore an atheist or agnostic)
makes their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals
believes that, in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to the universe, human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.
Well there some things I agree with there and some I don’t. But anyway I was curious so I went on to do the following quiz. I don’t agree with some of the limited options for each questions and you will find my comments in italics. My answers are in bold and my degree of humanism is revealed after the quiz.
Does God exist?
It depends what you mean by God, but I think so.
I am sure there is a God ruling over the universe.
I don’t know.
There is no evidence that any god exists, so I’ll assume that there isn’t one.
(Well the emphasis is on the question what do you mean by God. I don’t believe in a judgemental figure who sits on a cloud or even a cloven hooved evil mastermind, but I do believe in Satan as a personification of a NATURAL cosmic force that can be interacted with).
When I die…
My soul will go to another place where I will be rewarded if I was good and punished if I was bad.
That will be the end of me.
I will live on in people’s memories or because of the work I have done or through my children.
I will survive in some kind of afterlife.
(Although I am open to the possibility that this is the only life we get and thus think we should treat it as precious).
How did the Universe begin?
I don’t know.
It was set up as an experiment by extremely intelligent aliens from another universe, who drop in every now and then to see how we’re doing.
God created it.
The scientific explanations are the best ones available. No gods were involved.
(I don’t believe those two statements are mutually exclusive; what I think of as God may have been involved).
The theory that life on Earth evolved gradually over billions of years is…
Likely to be true, but I think God had a part in it too.
Probably true, because my Science teacher said it was true.
Just a theory. My religion tells the true story.
True. There is plenty of evidence from fossils, DNA and many other sources showing that this is how it happened.
When I look at a beautiful view I think that…
It must have been designed by God.
We ought to do everything possible to protect this for future generations. (This too).
It would be a nice place for a motorway.
This is what life is all about. I feel good.
How do you know what is right and wrong?
Accepting what my parents and teachers say.
Thinking hard about the probable consequences of actions and their effects on other people.
Reading a holy book or listening to a religious leader.
I don’t really think about it much. People should just do as they like.
(I don’t really like any of the options above. I picked the last one because it most closely reflects my Left Hand Path beliefs. A better answer would be “thinking hard about the possible consequences for myself and others.”)
It’s best to be honest because…
It’s usually against the law or the rules to be dishonest.
My religion tells me so.
I’m happier and feel better about myself if I’m honest.
People respect you more if you’re trustworthy.
(And sometimes it is best Not to be honest).
Other people matter and should be treated with respect because…
They are useful to me.
They are people with feelings like mine.
God created us all in his image.
We will all be happier if we treat each other well.
(Badly phrased question and options… In truth it is hard to say that ALL people matter to ALL of us and when they do matter the reasons are many, varied and complex).
Animals should be treated…
However we see fit. They don’t have souls and were created for us to use.
Kindly because they are sweet and fluffy and nicer than people.
With respect because they can suffer too. (Actually for many other reasons too, not least being that we are animals ourselves).
With respect because they are part of God’s creation.
The most important thing in life is…
To preserve the planet for future generations.
To increase the general happiness and welfare of humanity.
To have a good relationship with God.
To make lots of money.
(The first was the best of the available options but I would say the most important things in life are to experience, learn, grow and be happy).
We calculate you are 63% humanist.
Your answers are fairly neutral, perhaps a bit dependent on authority or other people or pure emotion. Humanists try to think, and to think for themselves. You may be an agnostic or a humanist or vaguely religious.
… Ah well. So far I am finding Humanism to be a bit vague and perhaps not as well thought out as a scientifically based philosophy should be… I accept I have some Humanist tendencies and maybe that is a good thing… Overall however I am a far more convinced and committed Satanist. Perhaps I should devise a test to see how Satanic people are? 😉
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
Balance and integrity are concepts which are important to both Sophie and myself. They are two of the most important factors in our choice to take the particular spiritual path that we follow and yet many people seem to think that these concepts are incompatible with Satanism. Clearly we disagree and here we would like to explain why.
Balance by Cassie.
I used to be shocked or disturbed when people claimed that the very fact that I identified as a left hand pather was proof in itself that I could not be balanced. I was disturbed because in fact the idea of balance and harmony are very important to me, so much so that I had to seriously consider the arguments that were put to me. These days I am less disturbed but more frustrated by the fact that most people who take such a view and particularly those who attack me most often and aggressively seem to be blind the the gaping holes in their own position.
The first gaping hole is a simplistic one. If it were not possible to be balanced on path described as “Left” then it would be equally impossible to be balanced on a path described as “Right”, yet most of my accusers would indeed identify in that way.
A more sophisticated argument is that the terms left hand and right hand are fairly arbitrary descriptors and a more enlightened approach would be to disregard both such terms and try to find some sort of less divisive middle or neutral ground on which to build a spiritual path. That sounds reasonable and to a large degree many of us effectively take that stance anyway. However people who hold such a view tend to make a lot of false assumptions. The first false assumption is that anything as complex as spiritual development can fit on a sliding scale between left and right and that the best, most honest and worthy place on that scale is always for all people in the middle ground. That is rubbish. Take politics for example; is the liberal centre always the best either for the individual or society? Socialism and Capitalism (left and right) are only opposites in the abstract way they are generally positioned on the left right scale. Are those with socialist leanings 100% right and conservatives 100 % wrong? Should everybody aim for the centre? What about greens and environmental politics; are their views null and void if they are not also liberal?
I would agree that the term left hand path could be misleading and restricting if it were regarded only as a counter balance to whatever is deemed to be right hand path. In fact however the term has a much more esoteric and even physical origin. The term originally signified people who were actually left handed, different and feared by other people. Linguistically that is where the term sinister comes from. Yes indeed some people were regarded as being sinister or evil just by virtue of being left handed and so historically those of us who identify with the devil and forbidden knowledge have been branded as left handlers and now reclaim that title in a positive way.
It is clear to our enlightened minds that being left or right handed doesn’t actually make you a good or a bad person, BUT being left or right handed is a physical reality. It is an actual difference in the way people are made. Society has learned through painful experimentation that it is not good to try and force left handed people to be right handed. Similarly esoterically, spiritually and morally some of us are just more inclined to a certain way of being and seeing things that modern usage describes as left hand path. That fact alone does not make us good, bad right or wrong in itself. It is a perspective; a starting point, that is all.
In modern spiritual usage the term left hand path simply denotes people who start with a particular world view and perspective. We are people who value personal progression and feel that must begin with ourselves. Characteristically we are unafraid to challenge norms, break taboos and work with occult energies and entities that others scorn. But within that framework we of course find our own sense of balance just as right hand path practitioners do within their frames of reference. Within our own paths there is of course also a place for light, for happiness, for kindness and generosity.
Rather than try to fool ourselves or others, our point of balance begins with a realistic appraisal of who and what we are…
Over to Sophie…
Integrity by Sophie
Integrity means being honest, especially about who you are. It is closely related to the German word Konsequence which I have written about before. To us integrity means being honest about who we are and what we believe and living by those standards. It means that those who understand and respect us can also rely on us.
To say one thing and do another thing is the virtual opposite of integrity. But sometimes it can be tempting. How many people claim to always put others first but actually don’t? How many people say they care about the environment but do nothing at all to protect it and in fact abuse it as much or more than others? How many people genuinely believe they are all goodness, sweetness and light but are in fact unkind and hurtful to many of the people around them? How many people promise they will do anything to help their friends but never seem to be available when those friends have a problem? How many people start off saying they will never take a bribe but then later say exchanging gifts is just the way business is done? How many people condemn those who take drugs while stocking up their wine cellar? How many people despise the people who pose for porn although their computers are full of it? How many fine upstanding members of society talk about the sanctity of marriage while cheating on their wives or husbands? And how many people claim to take the moral and spiritual high ground, or to be looking for nirvana or enlightenment when actually they are lost and confused and not making any spiritual progress at all?
Cassie and I value integrity but we know it isn’t always easy. We try to keep things real but that means first being honest about yourself. We are not and never want to be the good, clean living, virtuous type of people that most religious people want or aspire to be. We like the grit and the dirt. We like many of the darker things in life. Our bodies are not temples of purity but vessels in which to explore all the things we like or are interested in. Many of the things we believe and do are said by many to be wrong or even immoral. But that is who we are.
And that is where we start. To us, starting from ourselves and looking outwards from there is the only honest way to be. We could pretend we always care more about others, that we are always motivated by the greater good of the world, but that would be a lie. And how can you be balanced if your starting point is a lie? We do of course care about these wider issues and in a practical sense we might even do more to help the wider world than some who claim to be only interested in love and light. But we are trying to be honest about where we begin.
We start with ourselves and we are spiritually and philosophically on the side of Satan because that is what seems right and what makes sense to us. We believe that if more people were honest with themselves and the people around them there would probably be a lot more people claiming to take a left hand path. And we think that would make the world more balanced.