a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Intro to Satanism

[from ]


Subject: Intro to Satanism

          By: Diane Vera

          As promised in the PAGAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES echo, here's my brief
          introductory essay on Satanism (though Corwynt won't be seeing i
          alas).  I'll confine myself to discussing _serious_occultists_ w
          identify as Satanists. I have no interest in the teen-age glue-
          sniffing "Satin rulz" crowd, who are into "Satanism" as a way to
          shock the grown-ups, and who usually (as far as I know) outgrow
          Nor am I interested in criminals who say the Devil made them do
          (often, I suspect, as a way to get themselves declared insane).
          Since I don't know how much you don't know, perhaps I should sta
          with the usual elementary disclaimers:
          (a) Most Satanists do not think of themselves as "worshipping ev
          Satan is associated with a variety of human traits and magic(k)a
          energies which Christianity traditionally considers "evil", but
          which the Satanists themselves do not consider "evil" -- though
          Satanists may describe themselves as "evil" in an ironic sense.
          (b) In what there is of a Satanist subculture (for serious
          occultists), nobody advocates sacrificing animals or babies,
          sexually abusing children, or other horrific activities describe
d in
          fundamentalist propaganda.  As Anton LaVey explains in
          _The_Satanic_Bible_, such activities serve no useful magic(k)al
          (c) Although Satan is, obviously, a figure from Christian mythol
          (derived from Judaism and Zoroastrianism), Satanism is not just
          "reverse Christianity".  I have yet to meet even one Satanist wh
          believed in Christian theology, or a simple reversal thereof.  (
          heard that such Satanists do exist, but they don't seem to be pa
          of the organized Satanist scene.)  All Satanists I've ever
          encountered have some alternative explanation of who/what Satan
          There are many alternative explanations and, correspondingly, ma
          different kinds of Satanism.  Following is a list of _some_ of t
          many different possible interpretations of who/what Satan is:
          (1) Satan is the Christian-era guise of some pre-Christian deity
          e.g. Set or Pan.
          (2) Satan is not a real entity at all, but just a symbol of huma
          individuality, pride, thinking for oneself, sensuality, etc.
          (3) Satan is an actual discarnate intelligence, and is the bring
          of wisdom in a form of Gnosticism with the Christian "God" cast
          the Demiurge.  This idea is based on a form of Gnosticism that
          actually existed in the early centuries C.E., which venerated th
          serpent of the Garden of Eden myth.
          (4) Satan is not an actual discarnate, sentient being, but is mo
          than just a symbol.  Satan is, at the very least, today's most
          powerful magic(k)al egregore.  "Satan" is present-day society's
          number-one magic(k)al Name of Power.


          (5) Satan is an impersonal "Dark Force in Nature".
          (6) Satan is one of many gods, all of whom are in some sense rea
          There is no one all-powerful "God" like the Christian idea of "G
          There are many gods who are powerful, but not all-powerful.
          Of the above possiblities, my own personal beliefs lean toward a
          combination of interpretations #4, 5, and 6.  The Church of Sata
          founded in 1966 C.E. by Anton LaVey, usually espouses interpreta
          #2 and sometimes #5.  The Temple of Set is into _something_like_
          (but not quite) a combination of #1 and #3.

           La> If you haven't been around other satanists, how do you know
           La> what is being practiced, is what you would do?  I could cal
           La> myself a Dianic Wiccan, but what I might practice is not wh
           La> is generally practiced...and there is no way for me to real
           La> learn "right way" from "wrong way".
          It doesn't matter.  Satanism isn't really just one religion, but
          category of religions, some of which are radically different fro
          each other.  (See my message to Deborah Kest on "Satanism 101".)
          Since most forms of Satanism do celebrate individuality, the lac
k of
          standardization is just fine, in my opinion.  The only "right wa
          or "wrong way" has to do with _what_works_, and this will vary f
          one individual to another.
           La> The reason you are being "punished" I think ostracized
           La> a better word, is that most Satanists, and people who follo
           La> left-handed Magick/spirituality (folks I know it is not a f
           La> term, but it works for this arguement) are considered by ma
           La> of us the true enemies of Spiritualism that we would practi
          The term "Left-Hand Path" is OK.  We use it too.  You and I woul
          probably define it very differently, however.  What's your
           La> Even more than Christaniaty folks who follow your system of
           La> believes are very differnt than we.  Pagan and Christanity,
           La> have very similar ideas and ethics, and while not at all
           La> tolerant of each other (generally) can live and let live.
           La> Satanists et.all on the other hand, have such a different v
           La> of life, love and the pursuit of the Divine, it is hard for
           La> to accept you into our midsts.
          Could you please be more specific?  _What_ do you see as the
          similarities between neo-Paganism and Christianity?
          I too see some profound differences between Satanism and neo-
          Paganism.  And I too see enough similarities between neo-Paganis
          and Christianity that one can meaningfully use a term like "Righ
          Hand Path", which includes both Christianity and neo-Paganism bu
          not Satanism.


          But I _also_ see some profound similarities between Satanism and
          neo-Paganism (especially Wicca) as well, which set them both apa
          from Christianity.  For example, Satanism and Wicca-based Pagani
          are both much more tolerant toward sexual variety than Christian
          traditionally is.  (To be more exact, Wicca is _now_ tolerant to
          sexual variety, though there was a time when it was quite
          homophobic.)  And in general, Satanism and Wicca-based Paganism
          emphasize individuality in ways that Christianity doesn't.
          Also, as I've discussed at length both here and in the PAGAN and
          PAGAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES echoes, Satanism and most forms of neo-
          Paganism (especially Wicca) are both part of the family of moder
          Western magic(k)al religions, with many common roots and many ba
          magic(k)al concepts in common.  We have natural reasons to be pa
          of the same magic(k)al community (e.g. occult bookstores and thi
          computer network).  It would be much more pleasant for everyone
          concerned if neo-Pagans could get used to Satanists, because you
          going to keep running into more and more of us whether you like
          or not.

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races