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Neopaganism and Satanism

To: alt.satanism,alt.pagan,alt.religion.wicca,alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.misc
From: (Jason Posey )
Subject: Re: Neopaganism and Satanism (Was Re: Wiccans...alt.mgk (...Sweetness...)
Date: 4 Dec 1995 22:54:24 GMT

In article <49q877$>, Rain  wrote:
>In article <49gn8s$>, Dean  wrote:
>>If there is a relationship between satanism and the dark realm, then
>>there is also a relationship between christ and pagans.  Satan is a
>>construct of christianity as it developed and changed. 

This is only partly true. While Christianity certainly developed the 
concept of the Devil along its own lines, they did not invent it. It was 
adopted from the Hebrew Leviathan and Rahab, influenced by the Canaanite 
Lotan/Shilyat, the Sumerian Nammu, the Babylonian Tiamat, the Egyptian 
Apep/Neheb-kau, and others. The early Christians did not even add 
anything significantly different to the tale. 

 If we take
>>that Satan is the antithesis of Christ, with out debating good vs.
>>evil, and then take that Christ represents light and Satan represents
>>dark, then the 'line' between the pagan realm of dark/satan is
>>equivalent to the 'line' between Christ and the Pagans. 

Satan is not the antithesis of Christ. Even the Christians never said 
that. You also oversimplify the Christian concept of good and evil. 

 This is based
>>on the concept that there is a conflict between light and dark; that
>>there is a war between light denizens and dark denizens.
>Shouldn't your last sentence here be your first?
>I also don't know that I buy your opening "if."
>Why drag Pagans into a Christian sociological/historical/psychological issue?
Again, the idea of a battle, or at least a disparity, between "good" and 
"evil," between light and dark, order and chaos, is not the exclusive 
domain of the christians. It was explicitly present amongst the 
Zoroastrians, apocolyptic Judaism, Neo-Platonism, most major strains of 
Hinduism, and to a certain extent within the religions of ancient Egypt 
and Mesopotamia.

>The evolution of Christian concepts of Satan is far more complex than 
>this (having one root in Judaism, touching on military conflicts with 
>Islam, then evolving further with the renaissance's rediscovery of Pan 
>before the more modern, French decadencess of the late 18th and 19th 
They are in fact a good deal more complex than even you seem to 
recognize; you are acting under the false presumption that "Satan," and 
that name or others, did not exist outside of, or before, Judeo-Christianity.

>>However, there does not necessarily have to be a conflict between
>>light and dark.  Nor is there a conflict between satan being a part of
>>the dark and Christ being the part of the light.  That is, imagine
>>that the dark is a large continent, in an area on this giant continent
>>is satan, the rest of the continent is habitated by the dark.  Across
>>an ocean is another continent.  One part of this continent is christ,
>>the rest belongs to the light beings.  Now because one part of the
>>land has christ or satan, does not mean that the whole land is
>>corrupted.  If neopagans/pagans say that the dark is evil because
>>satan is involved, then paganism is christian because christ is
>>involved as well.
>But you're still trapped in an essentialist dualism.  Why not conceive of 
>dark as the total absence of light, as some Catholic theologians think of 
>Hell as a complete absence of God, a sort of theological "zero Kelvin. 
>"Light" and "dark" are grades along one visible spectrum (that of visible 
>light), itself a part of a much more complex spectrum.  This is far more 
>complex an analogy than dualism can address.

Neo-Platonic material/spiritual dualism. Big whoop. Why not 
conceive of light as the emanation of darkness? Horus arising from Nun, 
Enlil from Nammu, YHVH from Tehomot?

>Other than as a variant of the Osiris-Horus myth, how is Christ involved 
>in Paganism?  You're losing me here, and I usually find your commentary 
>useful.  If you or anyone else would like to carry this thought out, it 
>might be interesting and educational for many.  Or then again not. :-)

Christ was a variant on the idea of the dying and rising fertility god, 
be it Osiris/Horus, Dumuzi, Baal, Dionysos, Baldur, Krishna, or Orpheus. 
By Roman times, and characteristic of the Jews, the myth had become 
politicized and spiritualized, much as the cosmic enemy dragon was 
identified with political enemies such as Egypt and Babylon.

>>Just me thoughts.
>Thank you.  I hope my comments are taken in the spirit they're offered, 
>trying to unpack what may be a misleading metaphor and its 
>associated, ambiguous analogies.  Peace.

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