So I celebrated my birthday this weekend; my 40th Birthday!
I started writing various things on the internet when I was a teenager and the blogs developed in my twenties. I have now reached an age where I am constantly asking myself; “where did the time go?” Moreover, isn’t 40 an age that is supposed to mean something? An age where you magically and resentfully become middle aged?
Well, clearly I’m getting a bit older. There have been grey hairs lurking beneath layers of dye for quite a while. But I seem to be aging fairly well, the diabolical lifestyle, hard work, late nights burning the candle at both ends, smoking, drinking, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, don’t seem to be doing me too much harm… Well, I get more aches and pains than I used to and there are a few wrinkles which I prefer to call “laughter lines”. I’m not yet menopausal but that will come and I don’t really fear it. Being a witch helps with that. I have felt the maiden, the mother and the crone within me come into their own at various times in my life. I like my inner crone and when my ink stained skin shrivels up and reveals the scary crone within, she will be wearing a wicked smile!
I still feel young, and maybe that is the key. I have never really bought in to the stereotypes of how people should be or behave at various ages. I think if you keep busy and if you maintain your curiosity and enthusiasm for life, you’ll probably feel younger than you are, and you may look younger too.
While I don’t feel any special need to mark the coming of middle age, forty is a bit of a landmark for any woman, and I will use this opportunity to take stock and perhaps say a few things that I haven’t said before about my life and my beliefs.
I am generally a positive and happy person but that doesn’t mean my life has been without problems. I was always adventurous and made some mistakes along the way. While I still occasionally use various recreational drugs from time to time, when I was in my late teens I went through a short period of indulging in that side of life too excessively with several negative consequences, the most serious of which was getting raped. I now understand that I wasn’t to blame for the actual rape at all; but clearly cocaine impaired my decision making faculties and my ability to be fully responsible for myself. I’ll just leave that there for people to think about. In the meantime I recovered, grew up a lot and did not allow that horrible experience to negatively impact the rest of my life. But I had a strong will, supportive friends and family and spiritual/philosophical/psychological aspect to my life which helped me a lot. Not everyone is so lucky.
Almost certainly the two biggest things I have had to cope with were the break up of my parents and the illness and death of my mother. I have never said a lot about either of these things and probably won’t say much more now. As a child I thought I had a charmed life with the happiest and most devoted parents anyone could imagine. In my twenties I discovered that much of that had been an illusion and that my father had been routinely cheating on my mother and then he left her just when she needed him most. Then my mother had a series of small strokes and was diagnosed with a form of early onset dementia. I spent several years watching her mental and physical state decline in ways that would have been an embarrassment to her until her death at a young age came as both a relief and a hammer blow to my soul. I don’t think you ever really “get over” things like that, you just deal with it as best as you can, move forward and get on with living; taking care of yourself and the people you love.
I was blessed that at a time when I was more broken than I let on, I met Sophie and Léonie. Neither Sophie nor I are really lesbians (we are bi or pansexual if you have to put a label on it) but we are absolute soul mates and we fell in love almost instantly. Over the years our relationship has grown and changed in many ways but it is the rock and the cornerstone on which much of my life rests. We take a certain amount of pride that our love and our relationship is not defined or limited by conventional norms but works because we understand what is best for ourselves and each other.
I have not had a child of my own and I have taken a decision that I am not going to do that. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) at the amount of grief and anger I have been confronted with because I chose not to gestate a child in my belly. Even in the overpopulated 21st century there seem to be a lot of people (including some women) who think that if you decide not to have children you are somehow betraying your sex or humanity itself. Well, pardon my language but, fuck them!
But when I met Sophie, I also met Léonie and I couldn’t love her more even if she had sprung from my own womb. Somehow she just accepted me (which I am eternally grateful for) and I became like an older sister and sometimes second mum to her. It has been a privilege to watch her grow up and develop into the wise young woman she has become. She reminds me of myself at her age in many ways but she is far more grounded and sensible. Oh of course she can be a rebel too, and there will always be things she sees and does differently to me or Sophie but I’m immensely proud of her and the small part that my motherly hormones and guidance play in her life.
I have learned that you don’t have to physically give birth in order to be a decent mother. In fact you don’t have to have children at all, in many ways I am at my most maternal when I am guiding and nurturing the coven that Sophie and I run.
From my own life experiences I decided to be as honest as possible with Léonie about my relationship with Sophie. In fact we seldom argue and even more rarely have full blown fights, but if Sophie and I are having any form of disagreement we don’t hide it from Léonie. We are equally open with our affection for each other. And as Léonie has become old enough to understand such things we have also been open and honest with her about our sometimes unconventional sex lives.
I never set out to be unconventional in any way just for the sake of it. But neither have I ever been shy about challenging conventions when I feel it is right to do so. Perhaps, with hindsight, that attitude was fundamental in the spiritual path which eventually lead to me becoming a Satanist. That step was a big one for me and I was fully aware of the misgivings and misconceptions most people (including family and friends) would have about me becoming a Satanist. I did lose touch with and lose the respect of some people as a result of that but I also made new friends along the way. I don’t think I could ever have foreseen how all consuming and life changing that step would be. Sophie and I are now at the centre of a coven which is like an extended family and takes up a lot of our time and thought. I write about Satanism and administer and participate in several Satanic groups on line and in person.
At a deep personal level I have been liberated and changed in many ways. My values and thought processes have evolved along with my self confidence and the skills and knowledge I have acquired as a witch. Satan and Satanism have become central to my family and I and the lifestyles we enjoy. I have always understood that Satanism is not right, necessary or even helpful to everyone. But for some of us it the door that needs to be pushed open. Moreover I have always felt and still feel a sense of mission and purpose in presenting a more positive image of Satanism than is often seen in the media.
But I am not a perfect example of anything. There are many more knowledgeable Satanists than I. Many 40 year old women are far more experienced and wiser than I am in most aspects of life. And there are plenty of nicer, more sensible, healthier and more successful women around…
But I am me and I quite like being me! I know better than most that there are no guarantees in life about health, success or longevity. And I don’t minimise my own risks as much as some people would think is sensible. Yet, at 40 I still feel young. I am as curious as ever about life, the universe and everything and after a good amount of celebrating I intend to go on exploring and trying to be the best version of myself I can be.
It’s an old joke, but relevant; “How do you like your coffee?… Black like my soul!”
And it is really true for the three of us as we sit here drinking coffee and satisfying our nicotine cravings to the degree that by now our lungs might also be as black as our souls. During the past couple of weeks we have indulged all our vices to excess, we have enjoyed parties that others might describe as orgies, we have organised and participated in dark rituals, we have invoked demons and given thanks and praise to Satan for all that we learn, all that we enjoy and all that we are.
We have immersed ourselves in the dark side of life more fully and completely than any of us could have imagined or predicted a few years ago. We have become the kind of women that Christian missionaries and fundamentalists have nightmares about. And without doubt we would seek to seduce and corrupt any such people who come our way.
We are Satanic women, Devil Worshipers, sisters of demons, emissaries of hell. Hail Satan!
While all of the above is certainly true, it is mainly written in the context of language and understanding that is not, and should not, be part of our beliefs. We have chosen a path that is described as dark by our enemies and it is difficult not to fall into the trap of allowing our enemies to define us. I don’t mind the word “dark” or even “evil”, but the question then is, who defines what is dark or evil? It is an old question we frequently come back to in this blog, but it is always relevant.
Lets look at that first paragraph again and try to frame the same things in more neutral language.
Recently, like many people during the season of winter festivities, we have over indulged in many of the things we enjoy. We have eaten a lot of good, rich food. We have eaten too many chocolates and sweet things. We drank more alcohol than we normally do. We smoked a lot of cigarettes and a few cigars. We smoked a bit of weed and popped a few pills and substances that are illegal in some places. We had more than the normal amount of consensual sex of various types. We enjoyed these activities all the more for realising that it would be unhealthy and impractical to devote this amount of time to our personal pleasure every day of the year. We thanked the God we believe in for the times we were enjoying and used our imagination to create rituals of thanks to him. In doing so we reconfirmed our commitment to him and our desire to learn more on our chosen spiritual path.
Is that really dark or evil?
Is it really any darker than what a lot of supposedly respectable folk did while letting their hair down during the festive season? Sure, we are more open about the sex and drugs part, but just because others don’t speak about it as freely as we have on this occasion, does it really mean that they don’t do it as well?
Of course the difference is that we admit to being Satanists, and that makes everything we do dark, doesn’t it? While we are open about enjoying our hedonistic impulses; those are not the only things we do. We are three women… One of us is studying to became a vet and work in animal conservation. She is a grade A student who devotes some of her free time to looking after refugees. One of us donates a sizeable amount of her income to UNICEF and other charities. One of us devotes much of her time when she is not officially working with troubled teenagers, to working in a half way house for homeless and abused young people. Does the fact that we are Satanists and do not claim to be virginal “white lighters” darken and diminish these other things we do?
But while what I have said until now could be seen as a criticism of the hypocrisy of the goody goodies who judge our Satanic lifestyle, Satanists also need to be careful how the darkness they enjoy is defined, and who defines it.
How would it be if Jehova Witnesses got to define what is right or wrong, good or bad, light or dark for Buddhists? Ridiculous right? What if Hindus became the judges of what was moral or immoral for Jews? A stupid idea or…?
And yet as Satanists we quite often fall into the trap of allowing our own morals and ethics to be defined by other religions, and in particular by the religion that has the biggest axe to grind against us. Are we really dark and evil just because Christians say that we are? No we aren’t. We chose Satan not because we believe him to be evil as Christians insist; but because we know that he isn’t. We enjoy a hedonistic lifestyle not because we believe it is wrong and harmful but because we believe it can be right and helpful.
Yet most, if not all, Satanists (including all three of us) go through a stage of believing we are evil and indeed celebrating that fact. It leads some into acts of evil and depravity they would not have considered before but they unwittingly buy into the Christian concept of evil and suppose that since they have chosen to follow the devil, they are damned and might as well act accordingly. That is the road to Reverse Christianity, and it is NOT what Satanism is about. This should be obvious but it is frequently obscured by the prevailing Christian culture.
We must strive to define Satanism and Satan himself by ourselves, and not get sucked into being how Christians think we should be.
So what is the darkness that we love and immerse ourselves in?
Actually it is rather like the Dark Matter and Dark Energy which scientists seek to understand. The word dark in that context does not mean bad or evil, it simply means unknown and mysterious. An unknown force which has a profound effect on the entire universe. As Satanists we seek to explore the dark areas of ourselves and learn how it shapes us. We believe (and many psychologists, especially of the Jungian type, agree with us) that working with our darker nature, our shadow side, is a quite essential aspect of personal growth and development.
We choose to explore the darkness and all that is within it because we cannot truly know ourselves otherwise. We seek to know, and understand and progress. There are many religions that would prefer that we didn’t know, understand or progress. There are many gods (or ideas of gods) that would be threatened by the idea of humans reaching their full potential and not needing jealous gods anymore. Satan isn’t like like. Even Satan’s enemies agree that his biggest “crime” was bringing us knowledge and enlightenment, of removing us from the influence of lesser gods.
Darkness as we define it is therefore a school of knowledge and empowerment.
I guess that by now, according to a lot of people, we are evil sinners beyond redemption. That’s okay, we don’t want redemption. We are content to be evil sinners. In fact we don’t do much that is either bad or wrong or even illegal by a lot of common standards. We don’t kill anybody. We don’t kill animals except for food and we try to buy meat from ethical places where the animals have been kept in good condition. We generally don’t hurt people or animals at all. We are generally kind and respectful to everybody we meet unless they give us good reason not to be. We obey the laws of the land about as much as most people do. We work hard. We pay our taxes. We are mindful and respectful of the environment. We recycle. But we are Satanists. We worship (according to our own definition) Satan; The Devil. We live by Satanic precepts. And these facts alone are enough to be deemed evil and beyond redemption by many people. And I have realised that according to those sort of people our greatest sin may be that we make being Satanists seem quite okay. We are perhaps leading people who read our blogs “into temptation”.
Yes we are. Yes I am. I confess… I do aim to tempt people. I do see it as a duty and a bit of a mission to bring people to a different and more positive understanding of Satan and Satanism. I am happy when people I have reached in some way turn to Satanism. And it does happen. I have interested many people locally to join our coven. I have helped them to overcome their doubts and prejudices and I have felt satisfied when they fully commit to Sataniism. I have reached out to people on line who are just curious and lead them to become Satanists themselves. Indeed this theme is on my mind because such a thing occurred very recently. There is a new fully committed Satanist in the world who attributes at least part of her reason to my influence on her. It is quite a big responsibility and I’m not sure exactly what I should think about that.
But I don’t feel any guilt. What some people call temptation, I call discovery and enlightenment. I am a Satanist not because I think it is bad; but because I think it is good. I think it prompts us to use our intellect and to come to our own conclusions about what is right or wrong for ourselves. I think Satan weans us off passive acceptance of orthodox beliefs and helps us to think for ourselves. I don’t feel any shame for encouraging other people to do that.
But what if I am wrong? What if when I die I discover I signed up for the wrong side? Well I’m a grown up and a big girl. If I am wrong, I am wrong. I will take the consequences. I have chosen the road to hell. I don’t believe hell is remotely the way Christians portray it. I don’t think I believe in hell as a place at all (but that is a theme for another post). So yes, I have chosen this path, this way of life and if hell is the consequence, so be it. Well, that’s fine for me. But what happens if somebody else chooses this path partly because of me, and later they regret their decision. Should I feel bad about that?
Probably there were many individuals who influenced my decision to immerse myself in Satanism. Should I hold them responsible in the unlikely event that further down the line I decide that was a mistake? Of course not! We are intelligent creatures with the ability to think for ourselves. No matter who I listen to, no matter who influences me; my decisions are mine and mine alone. If I or others can’t accept that, then what is the point of having a mind or free will? Thus, no matter how I influence other people, their decisions are theirs alone.
Of course I am saying that from a Satanic perspective. We believe in the strength and power of our own will above all else. I will be honest. There is a grey area when it comes to dealing with those who are weak minded or weak willed. Many of us (probably most) voluntarily limit the power of our will when dealing with children or those who are easily confused or fooled due to physical or mental incapacity of some sort. But in general we do not limit our strengths in order not to overpower the weak. I put it like this; should all alcohol use be banned because some people are unable to handle it?
As a potential temptress (of the spiritual, philosophical or any other kind) the line I might be accused of crossing is a Satanic one. In general we are not at all evangelical. We don’t preach. We don’t proselytize. We think that those of “our kind” will tend to find Satanism in their own way. Fine, but there have to be things to find…
When I made what was indeed a big decision to turn away from the cultural norms and values I had been brought up with and seek something new and more real for me, there wasn’t that much to signpost me in the right direction. The few books and websites which I found invaluable, were only there because somebody had gone to the trouble to write them. So I have always felt an impulse to add to the useful stuff that genuine searchers may find useful… There are many intelligent and thoughtful people who read my stuff but don’t become Satanists. I have a lot of respect for those people. But if some do find what we write here to be one of the final turning points in their decision to become Satanists… Good. I can’t say I am not pleased.
So yes. We aim to confound and confront. We aim to make people question what they have assumed. We aim to tempt people to explore the Left Hand Path…
Take a bite of the apple. Knowledge is good. Knowledge is power. Go on, you know you want to!
The past 12 months have been a big year for the three of us. We have all been growing and changing and becoming more the people we want to be. As part of that evolution we have started some new blogs to express different aspects of ourselves and our beliefs. Some of those blogs might continue and some may not…
This blog has continued to enjoy a fair amount of traffic and we have decided to return to it as our main outlet. Our dynamic has changed a bit. We are now a family of three adult women who happen to be Satanists. Our basic beliefs are very similar, but we are women of different backgrounds, ages and tastes and each of us has a unique and equally valid viewpoint.
Aspects of our chosen lifestyles will make some people raise their eyebrows, while other aspects might be surprisingly mundane. In the blogs we have begun over the past year we have tried to be less apologetic and more adult in our writing. This was particularly the intention of our Satanic Muses blog. That trend will now continue in this blog. All three of us will continue to write about what Satanism means to us and how we live it; and in addition, we will write about anything else that interests us individually. We all travel frequently (especially me, Cassie) and we are now split between two main cities with myself and Sophie based in Zurich and Léonie based in Vienna.
We will continue to embrace chaos and order in whichever measures seem appropriate at the time.
We shall probably make some cosmetic changes here in the next few weeks to try and incorporate some of the features we have enjoyed in our other blogs.
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
This is a kind of taking stock post, and a notification of subtle changes in our lives and in our blog. I have also edited out “about” page.
Cassie is very busy with work and other projects at the moment and will probably be taking a back seat here for a while, leaving Tina and myself in charge of Devil’s Advocates. It is still a family affair and every time I think about it I have to thank Satan for the part he has played in helping and shaping our family. I remember writing a post on one of our other blogs years ago speaking about the fact that Tina had started smoking. It was, in a way, the first sign that she was transitioning from a girl to a woman. Not long after that she told Cassie and I that she was a Satanist as well. Perhaps we didn’t take it very seriously at first, but her commitment has never wavered… It all seems so long ago, but it wasn’t, not really… I checked, and in fact that was only just over three years ago. Now there is a woman sitting beside me, cringing as I write these words. This woman has become a trusted friend and confidant, a person I am happy to socialize with, a woman who shares many of my beliefs, my tastes and my vices. She is still my daughter, but all traces of the innocent little girl have gone. She has become a sophisticated Satanic woman and while I am still her mother, I find I am learning as much from her these days as she can learn from me. And I like it that way. (Sophie)
My mother has grown up too! Looking back it is clear to me now that until she met Cassie she was a bit sad and lost. I really was still a child then. Sophie was always very protective of me and I was a very babyish child in many ways. Cassie’s arrival in our lives was a catalyst for all of us; including her. Since then, the rest is history… I like to think that I would have become a Satanist anyway at some stage and Sophie says she would have too but we can’t deny that Cassie was the one who introduced us to Satanism. We all started to really grow up then. My mother is much happier and more confident in all things. The same is true for me. But while we are all Satanists, we are not the same. I think some of my beliefs and the way I choose to live my life are a bit darker and more traditionally Satanic than either Cassie or Sophie. I quite like the fact that I can shock them from time to time! While they run their own coven which is very modern and untraditional, I am studying to become a full member of an older coven across the border in a few months. I think it is good that I feed ideas from my coven to my mum and Cassie and I can sometimes transfer their ideas to my coven. That way everybody grows. Meanwhile I have given up writing my own blog for a while to concentrate on other things… I will try to post here though from time to time. Sophie and I are working together on a post about hedonism which we will publish in a few days hopefully.
And don’t worry, Cassie is still around doing lots of stuff. I will nag her to post things here too even though she is busy. 😉 Tina
Introduction by Sophie
We guard our privacy pretty well, but the fact that we are a family of three women who are all Satanists means we are quite well known in some circles and, it’s fair to say, a subject of curiosity to some. An acquaintance of ours who is a radio journalist here in Switzerland recently asked if we would do a radio interview about being a family of Satanists. After a bit of reluctance and a lot of conditions we finally agreed. Obviously we didn’t allow our real names or locations to be broadcast on the radio and part of our agreement was that we should be allowed to publish a written form of the interview on our blog after the radio show was broadcast. Thus we are publishing part of it here. Please bare in mind that the original interview was in German, so this is my translation and I am leaving out all the “errs” and “umms” that creep into normal speech. I have also edited out some parts of the interview, including part of the introduction, which are just repeating things we have already said here. Hopefully our readers will find our five minutes of fame interesting! The interview itself provoked a quite big response and we have been invited back to answer some listeners questions. As for our readers here, we are always happy to answer any sensible questions. Here is the interview…
Interviewer: I am sitting in a suburban kitchen drinking coffee with three polite and well spoken women. On the the surface there is nothing particularly unusual about the women. All three of them have tattoos, but then so do half the people in Zurich these days. The two older women are in a lesbian relationship but hopefully that fact alone should not raise any eyebrows in 2017. The youngest of the three is their daughter, she is in her late teens and looks a little older than that. If you passed them in the street you wouldn’t notice anything unusual about them. They are in many ways a modern version of the typical nuclear family. But the room opposite the kitchen where we are sitting now has been converted to a temple of sorts. It is dark, all the walls are painted black and there is a table on which a black candle is burning in front of a small statue of Satan. On the four walls of the room there are framed pictures of demons. The women I am speaking to are Satanists. All three of them. Their names are Cassie, Sophie and Tina.
So let me get the awkward question out of the way first. “Are you evil? Do you sacrifice animals or practice black magic?”
Cassie; “Well the easiest of those questions is the middle one. We don’t sacrifice animals. We don’t harm animals in any way. And before you ask; we don’t sacrifice virgins or babies either! The other two questions are a bit more difficult to answer because the terms you use mean different things to different people. We do practice what some call black magic; by which I mean we are witches and we practice any kind of magic that achieves our goals. There are some witches, such as Wiccans who have a kind of moral code attached to the magic they do which says they should harm nobody. We don’t make a vow to keep to any such code, but that doesn’t mean we spend our time creating spells to hurt people. It just means we don’t rule anything out.
Sophie; “For the record, I don’t think that so far any of us have ever done any magic that could be called evil or malicious. We just don’t rule out doing such things in the unlikely event that it became necessary. We do however sometimes do magic that helps us. We don’t have any rules about not using magic to make our own lives better.
Tina; “Black Magic of the type we use, also implies using techniques and working with forces that people of some other religions think are bad or wrong.”
Cassie “Which brings us back to the question of evil. Some Satanists, including Sophie and Tina, don’t particularly mind other people using the word evil to describe us. But it kind of sticks in my throat. I do lots of things, like practicing black magic for example, which some people think are evil. But I also do a lot of things which some people, probably most people, think are good. We don’t believe in absolutes and we don’t really think anybody else has the right to judge whether we are good or evil. Personally I prefer to use the word Satanic. I’m happy to be described as that.”
Interviewer; “Well let’s get to the basics. What does it mean to be a Satanist? What do you believe? Do you worship The Devil?”
Tina (Laughing) “Do you always ask three questions at once?”
Tina “It’s okay. But those are big questions. There are different kinds of Satanists just like there are different kinds of Christians or Buddhists. Probably, the biggest group of modern Satanists are those who follow the basic teachings of Anton LaVey. He became famous in the 1960s. He was a kind of showman really, but he popularized a form of Satanism which was like an antidote to Christianity and other organised religions. He was trying to challenge people to think for themselves and break some of the rules and taboos that Christians insisted on. But actually he was an atheist and so are most who follow his line of Satanism. For them everything is symbolic and the devil is in some ways our inner self; all the parts that other religions say we should be ashamed of…
Interviewer; “So that is the kind of Satanism that you follow?”
Sophie “Not exactly. We use Laveyan Satanism as a kind of guideline but while they are atheists we are not. We believe there is an actual force or being which we call Satan or The Devil. So in a way you could say we worship The Devil.”
Cassie; “But only in a way… We don’t really use the word worship in the way Christians understand it. Maybe a better word is “respect”. We Respect Satan, and we also interact with him… But even then it is not what most people think… We do not believe Satan is the way Christianity describes him, so we don’t actually think he is evil. We believe Satan is a force in the world that the organisations of other religions fear. Basically, if you look at the Biblical texts and other writings, Satan is simply saying that it is wrong to worship God or the institutions of the church. Satan is the voice saying we can work things out for ourselves and it would actually be better that way. Satan is the champion of those who don’t think any religion should repress or control people just to hold on to power. Satan is telling us we can be our own Gods. And Christianity and some other religions hate and fear that idea…
(The three of us then explain those ideas in a bit more detail, which we have already done in several posts on this blog. Then there is a section on how and why we became Satanists, which we have also written alot about in this blog)…
Interviewer; “So how does all this work out in daily life? Are you completely hedonistic? Do you have any morals that other people could relate to?”
Tina “You are doing the three question thing again!”
Sophie “Yes, we are hedonistic. Actually we reject the concept that it is wrong to be hedonistic. We also reject the concept of sin. So we enjoy our lives as much as we can and we place value on that. We treat ourselves well. We enjoy all the physical and sensual pleasures that come our way without guilt…”
Tina; “So we party! We drink. We smoke. We enjoy good food and having fun. And sex of course…”
Cassie; “And we don’t think there is anything wrong with that. But as Satanists we believe we should take responsibility for our actions. So while we have fun, the responsibility to look after ourselves is ours and so are the consequences. To put it simply if we want to go out and have some drinks we decide for ourselves how much is too much and how much of a hangover we are prepared to put up with. Of course you don’t have to be a Satanist to have that attitude; it is just sensible… But in a way, that is the point. Being sensible is pretty much fundamental to Satanism. And that applies to more serious things too, like what we do in our sex lives or even what we do or think politically or magically. It is all about thinking the consequences through and taking personal responsibility for our actions; even when it comes to having fun.”
Interviewer; “That all sounds very reasonable, but it also sounds very selfish. Don’t you care how your actions affect other people?”
Sophie; “This is a mistake in thinking that a lot of people make. Why should the fact that we think about ourselves and our own wants and needs mean that we don’t care about other people? It just means that we put ourselves first. I know some religions say that is wrong but we just think it is a sensible starting point. We do care about other people. We are not obliged to by some outside force, we just do. But we choose who we care about and what we can or can’t do to help them.”
Tina; “I could give you a list of what we do for other people but… That probably isn’t the thing to do… But you know… Cassie and Sophie work with young people who have difficulties. They are teachers. You can’t be a teacher without caring. We all give money to charities we like. I have organised help for refugees and I help out in an animal sanctuary… We do lot’s of things that most people would think are nice, or good… But in our free time we enjoy ourselves… We have fun… We have sex… We indulge ourselves… But we are not so stupid as to let those things get in the way of other important things we have to do to be successful in life.”
Cassie; “And as for morals. We have our own and we try to be true to ourselves. Basically we try to be kind and helpful most of the time but we don’t feel obliged to be nice to people who treat us or other people badly. In our daily lives… Well, Sophie and I have quite a lot of organisational work to do for our coven. We have the room you described earlier where we sometimes meditate or get together for learning or small family rituals… But otherwise, our daily lives are pretty much like other people… We have breakfast. We work. We have meals together when we are all home. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes we just chat. Sometimes we watch TV. Our daily lives are not very unusual.
Interviewer; “I’m sure when a lot of people think about Satanism they will imagine dark rites and rituals with perverted sex and lots of blood. Is there any truth in that?”
Cassie; “Well the true answer is that sometimes there is some truth in that. We do have rites and rituals which emphasize the darker side of life and death even. There is sometimes some sexual content in those rituals which we don’t see as being perverted, but admittedly our sexual morals are maybe a bit more liberal than the norm. And sometimes but not always, there is blood. Usually our blood, or the blood of animals which have already been humanely killed to be used for food. Yes, I know that can sound a bit grotesque to a lot of people; but a lot of those same people will routinely sit down and eat beef for dinner with the blood oozing out of it… In fairness there are also quite a lot of Satanists, some in our own coven, who are vegetarians and who do not participate in anything which involves animal blood. But the point of all these rituals is to change your mindset for a while, to break common taboos. It has been recognized for centuries in many different religions, that breaking taboos combined with the theater, the language and drama of ritual can have powerful psychological effects. Anton Lavey recognised that, and so do we and many other modern Satanists. In our group we feel it opens up a channel between us and Satan. In other groups they see it as opening up the inner self, the God within. We think that is part of it too.”
Interviewer; “Sophie, I am sitting here looking at you and your daughter and I would like to ask a blunt question. You are a mature woman and it is clear it is up to you how you live your life. But your daughter is so young and, dare I say, innocent. How can you condone or justify her getting mixed up in the kind of things Cassie has just described or even the wider implications of living as a Satanist? Don’t you worry about her as a daughter? Some… A lot of people would argue that it is your duty to guard and protect her against the very things you seem to be advocating.”
Sophie (I was bristling a bit about this question and my tone was a bit angry!) Firstly I love Tina very much, and yes, I am still her mother and I will always protect her as much as I can in all ways… And if anybody were to hurt her, they would come to wish with every bone in their body that they had not crossed me! But… I didn’t raise my daughter to be an eternal child. Part of a mother’s responsibility is to help their children grow up and become all that they can be, as adults. And I think I am doing that. Tina is not a child. I recognize that. She will be at university next year and she is making a life of her own. She is already an adult. Young…yes. But an adult all the same. And I welcome that. She is NOT innocent and wouldn’t want to be. I don’t care what other people think of me, but I think there is something beautiful about your child discovering the riches of the adult world and learning some of the pleasures we sometimes take for granted when we are older… And also of course some of the problems and extra responsibilities that go with being an adult. And as I don’t think there is anything at all wrong with the things we have described in the interview today, I also don’t think it is wrong for my daughter either. About the ritual side… Tina does not participate in our own coven at the moment. Partly because we do have an age limit and would not allow people to join us until they are eighteen; and Tina still has a few months to go before she reaches that landmark. But anyway after lots of discussions we all decided that it would not be right at first for her to join our own coven, so she is in training in another coven… We do however do a few smaller rituals and magical workings as a family group. We feel it brings us closer together.”
Tina; “I’d just like to say that I have a very close relationship with my mother which is more than a lot of my friends do. My Mum and I do argue sometimes but basically we are friends and we trust each other. I study hard. I don’t do any illegal drugs. I pay my way at home. I don’t cause problems. But I’m not innocent and never wanted to be. I have a boyfriend. I’ve had other lovers. I do go out and have fun. But if I have problems, which is just normal because everybody has problems… My Mum and Cassie are the first people I come to. I can talk to them about anything and I trust what they say and mostly take their advice. How many other teenagers can truly say that?”
Interviewer; “Well we are coming to the end of the interview and have to finish off. I’m am sure there is much more we could have talked about and which you might have liked to talk about. So can I ask each of you to sum up in your own words what you feel you gain from being a Satanist? And feel free to add anything you think is important which we didn’t have time to go into detail about.”
Cassie; “To put it simply I gained in every way. I learned to like and understand my whole self better. I became more confident and more successful. My life has been more interesting, more rewarding and more fun since I became a Satanist and I have gone in all sorts of directions I never dreamed of. Having said that, I know that Satanism is not for everyone… And we still have friends of different religions or of no religion, but I should also point out to listeners that there are some crazy people who pretend to be Satanists, just as there are idiots in all religions. So if anybody is seriously interested in finding out more they should do a lot of research and be quite careful when they are first starting out.
Sophie; “I found when I came out as a Satanist, it was like a weight was lifted off me and I could be myself, my real self, for the first time. Like Cassie, it has taken me in all sorts of new directions. I would say however that we didn’t really discuss the details of all the different groups and types of Satanists. I was an atheist before becoming a Satanist and thought that was how I would stay… But I came to see things another way. Atheists are the biggest group of Satanists though and I would kind of recommend that type as the best way into Satanism for anybody that is interested in finding out more. The emphasis of Satanism is self improvement and self empowerment.”
Tina; “I think Satanism has given me a bit of an edge… A kind of protective coating… It also helps me to understand people and life much better. Some parts of it are like a free psychology course! Like Sophie said, it is mainly about empowerment. Actually I also like Satanism because it is scientific. Today we have mainly spoken about some of the things people who are not Satanists would probably think about… But when you study and find out more about it, you realize it is very scientific and it respects science. That is important to me.”
Cassie “Just one quick thing I’d like to add. Being a Satanist doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person. It just helps you to understand yourself better and empower you to achieve all you can. Your listeners may know some people who they think of as very good, kind people, and they might just turn out to be Satanists. And we all know people of other religions like Islam and Christianity who think they are doing good but really aren’t. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you don’t often find homophobic, bigoted Satanists!”
Interviewer. “Thank you for your time. So that was three real live Satanists. As I said earlier, you could pass them in the street and you would have no idea about this aspect of their lives… A lot of what they say sounds reasonable, but is it? Let us know what you think.”