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CHLow: Dark/Light Neopaganism

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,alt.religion.christian,talk.religion.misc
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: CHLow: Dark/Light Neopaganism (Was Re: Dark roygbiv Light)
Date: 28 Dec 1995 17:42:06 -0800

[from alt.pagan.magick: Clifford Low ]

In article <4bce2j$> Lorax/TOKUS, writes:

>Neopagans, on the whole (especially those with any experience) tend to
>reject the moral notions of 'good' and 'evil'.  Neopagans are painted
>into the 'evil' side of conservative Christian moralisms *regardless*
>of whether Satanism (by any form) is included within it.  In fact, most
>conservative Christians define 'Satanism' to be anything that is not
>their own religion.  So what?  Neopaganism does not take Christianity
>as its guide for definitions, and the two religious movements are not
>even completely separate (as many Christian Witches or Christ-worshipping
>pagans will attest).

The bottom line is that Satanism and Neopaganism have strong links
relating to the concept of evil. Neither accept the Christian definition
of evil, nor do they identify with it unquestioningly. Both identify with
some things Christianity considers wicked, but not others. They have self
created systems of value which are geared towards plutting humans in the
most empowering position, and seek to reverse the abuses of religion.
Both are supposed revisions of past religions which included barbarous
qualities; these qualities are looked at fondly, but are not considered
desirable for people who today want to avoid persecution and jail time. 

Satanism makes a better effort at negating the Christian perspective in
the individual. In far too many cases, Neopagans are reinventing
Christianity, by giving it more lattitude and gelding Jesus and the
Saints, turning them into dead gods which cannot harm and, well, in my
opinion, do anything else very well either. Satanism reverses the
Christian system and stands it on it's head in some respects- the
individual frees themself from the JudeoChristian system because both
sides seem absurd. The religion which is used from that point forward may
be superficially inverse JudeoChristian, but it's content (ideally) is
paganic- possibly more paganic, earthy, practical and healthy than what
paganism offers.

Thus, it can be argued that Neopaganism is simply a watered-down version
of Satanism. I think there is a lot of truth to that statement.

># Here's the trap.  If pagan's include satanism as part of the pagan
># spectrum, then, by association, we must also include Christianity.  
>I don't agree, though I see your reasoning.  Christianity is a huge
>religious edifice which preceded Neopaganism and thus could not be
>contained within it.  Satanism (esp of a more organized and non-
>Christian sort) could easily fit within Neopaganism if the styles
>of worship or common values remained true.  There are too many
>differing values promoted by the Christian community at present to
>reconcile it with Neopaganism (nature, sexuality, ethics, etc.).

Many neopagans revere beings who Christian consider Satan or demons in
disguise, such as Pan, Astarte, & Lilith. Actually, Lilith was always a
demon, so any pagans revering her are demon worshippers, while Satanists
generally are not.

Satan is a mythic figure just like any other. If you include him, you
don't automatically become a Satanist. You can include Erzulie without
being a Voudonist, nor a Catholic. And so on.

># In order for satanism to be, it needs its adversary, Christ; without
># Christ, Satan as an entity looses meaning and becomes a two
># dimensional figure, looses the adverserial aspect, and concepts such
># as Hell becomes absurd and needless.  Therefore, for satanism to
># remain satanism, it must have christ as part of its process.  

See Karl's statement. Also, Satan is in religions other than
Christianity- Judaism, Islam and the Yoruban-syncretic religions as Exu.
The dualism is much harder to argue there, or at least much different.

># ...the Dark cannot, from  a pagan expression, be stanistic.  
>That would depend entirely what you mean by 'satanistic'.  Given your
>previously ideas on this, I agree with you, yet I think you'd better 
>open your eyes.

For Satanists, Mr. Scary Bad Guy (Satan) is the Darkness given form. He
is not necessarily malign. Christianity thinks the darkness is malign.
They also think the world was created in seven days and that the sun
rotates around the earth. Silly lemmings.

>Well, this is the common notion and I think it is a leftover from your
>(admitted) Christian upbringing.  It results in stupidity like 
>'black/harmful' and 'white/beneficent' magick.  When paired with 
>morality and ethics, this is harmful to us all.

I am working on a system which focuses on white, black, red, blue,
yellow, green, orange, and purple energies/spiritualities/magics as
equals. It seems to encompass the diversity of coherent spiritualities
out there better than black and white. It's a system to simplify the
reality, which is that the coherent spiritual varieties are vast in
number, if not innumerable.

>Here is your fundamental and leftover bias as I see it:
>I think you may wish to get over it.

What about gods of war, like Tyr and Athena? Guess they're evil. 

I am pro scary destruction. It tends to make the folks who can't deal
with real life and real spirituality reach for their clawless toothless
child-proof-cap not really real like you and me real teddy bear "gods"...
and procede to make utter fools of themselves.


+----------Clifford Hartleigh Low------------+--------------------+
| Email:           | |
| Finger/Talk:  | TAINTED BUT HUNGRY |

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