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.
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!