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Satan, Worship, Service, and Depiction

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.satanism,talk.religion.misc,alt.religion.gnostic
From: (SOD of the CoE)
Subject: Re: Satan, Worship, Service, and Depiction
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 22:00:49 GMT

50030302 VII

bobo re the Nag Hammadi:
>> there are mentions by name of 'Satan'? I've never heard
>> that, plus that's some kind of Gnostic scripture-set, no? (RyanS2):
> The Gnostic corpus of Satan doesn't really mention Satan, 
> though Lucifer gets his fair share as the brother of Jesus.  

that's something! my read of Pagels (particularly recall of
"Gnostic Gospels" and recent refresh of "The Origin of Satan")
indicates that the Gnostics are more likely to *depart* from
any kind of God-Satan dualism in favour of something more
comprehensive, even dyadic (cf. Levi's Baphomet and other
dyadic imagery in alchemy emblems for possible referents that
might qualify graphically).  this is especially true of, say, 
the Valentinians, in *The Gospel of Phillip*. I'm curious, 
which of the gospels feature Lucifer and how is he described?

this is reminiscent of 'Aradia: Gospel of the Witches', in
which Lucifer is prominently featured (later time period)
as the mate to Diana, Goddess of Witches in apparent Italian
Stregheria lore (possibly constructed by Leland or his agent(s);
for more on this see works by Carlo Ginzburg).

> Gnosticism influenced some of the "literary" versions of 
> what we could call literary Satanism, or that's the brunt 
> of A. D. Nuttal's "The Alternative Trinity: Gnostic Heresy 
> in Marlowe, Milton, and Blake" thesis. (Nuttal doesn't 
> actually call it Literary Satanism, or even Satanism at all.)

it probably isn't justified to do so, based on my read of at
least Marlowe (predominantly negative) and Milton (negative).
Blake may be an exception here. I've seen numerous Satanists
hold up Blake as proto-Satanist material. this says nothing
about *Romantic* re-interpretations of the aforementioned, 
which can at times be quite positive (JBRussell documents 
some of these despite their transcendance of evil categories).

>Robert M. Grant, University of Chicago Professor Emeritus, believes
>that the account of Irenaeus may be Gnostic, or it may be a blend with
>Justin's lost Syntagma, which combines the god of the Jews, whom
>Christ came to destroy, saving believers; archons; and Satan, (which
>are in Justin's account.)  So, it *could* be a sympathetic
>interpretation for Satan.  Jesus still gets to be the head of

what character of Satan is featured within these texts?
some irrascible trouble-maker, just another archon, or?
any titles? authors? trajectory I.D.s of Gnosticism?
>>>> Sympathy for Satan does not automatically constitute 
>>>> worshipping Satan, 
>> well said, Ryan, however, I would suggest that it may
>> constitute a qualifying aspect of any Satanism. this
>> point was made long ago by Diane Vera in alt.satanism
>> and elsewhere in cybernetic forums.

>I've made it as well.  My definition of a Satanist is somewhat
>different, but it's here:


from that page:

#   Let's look at some preclusionary statements about being a
#   Satanist:
#  1.) Sympathy for the Devil:                                             
#  Someone who is a Satanist must either believe that evil is being        
#  misrepresented by anthropomorphized accounts, or that the               
#  traditional account of the devil is incorrect. 

I'd restate this somewhat:

  Someone who is a Satanist must understand the Devil to be something
  other than is purported by those who identify it with something 
  evil or be wholly convinced of the truth of inverso-Christianity.

#  Most people know         
#  that the Devil has been much misaligned in the past, so this only       
#  serves as a basic starting point. 

problem: "the Devil" incorporates so much of such diverse quality
that this statement is somewhat meaningless on its face. instead,
we're talking about a composite which may be traced through time
and space, under a variety of names, for a variety of purposes.

in the consideration of a Satanist, the association must in some
way be made attractive or palatible such that affiliation with
it becomes rational.

# For this reason, I cannot             
#  include teenagers who think that murdering cats is a form of            
#  Satanic worship. They still believe that Satan is all-evil,             
#  hence, no sympathy for the devil. They just want to get their           
#  jolly's being evil, there's nothing behind it.                          

inverso-Christianity or perverso-Christianity, agreed.

#  2.) A belief based on this sympathy for the Devil:                      
#  Going along with the first, the account of Satanism must be based       
#  upon that system of interpretation. Either that evil doesn't            
#  exist as anthropomorphized, or that the Devil's account is wrong,       
#  and that God is both evil and good. Trying to switch the account        
#  to God being evil is merely inversifying a structure, and that's        
#  just redundant and pointless.                                           

I'd extend this somewhat:

	* that evil is a meaningless or mistaken term and cannot
	  be applied to any symbolic or real figure

this includes nondualists of a variety of types, plus those who
may believe in nonmoral dualism such as spirit-matter or some
kind of positive-negative pole without moral qualities. this 
*could* be used to describe cat-murdering teens in that they are
out to demonstrate the absolute moral neutrality of the cosmos
in a sick and callous manner (compare with Gnostics who were
convinced that continual "sinning" was actually virtuous). in
these cases they appear quite reactionary and Christian-based.

	* that evil is not properly anthropomorphized

this is what you've stated above, though it is again selective
in its predisposition to any particular favoured set of symbols.
i.e. some might believe that the Bad Guys lived in the clouds
or came from the outer reaches of the cosmos and that the Terra
Lord was actually a Good Guy in the Underworld. for a complete
expression of this concept, in opposition to Milton, consult my
"Lost in Paradise: Milton-hatred", at              

	* that evil's anthropomorphizing is selective and cannot
	  adequately define religious activity beyond its category

this relegates each religious contention to its quadrant, thus
making an identification of evil or a description of any specific
character peculiar to the religion in which it appears. therefore
Christians may have their Cosmic Evil and call it 'Satan' and
Satanists may or may not have evil, but Satan is presumably not
about evil per se (maybe they'll be inverso-Christians and put
Yahweh in the Cosmic Evil category, maybe they'll omit anything
anthropmorphized and qualify evil as that which opposes them,

one might look for comparison to the complete inversions that
are to be found when contrasting Indians (Devas/Asuras) and
Persians (Asuras/Devas) in some kind of titanic cosmic struggle.

>I have a few verses from the Qur'an I wanted to add in, but haven't
>gotten around to it.  Anyway, the two most basic points of calling
>oneself a Satanist in my opinion is sympathy for the devil and basing
>a religion/philosophy/SMO, whatever, upon that sympathetic

this is sensible as regards Satanist *religion*. as you have made
clear within this page, Satanist relation to religion per se is
variable. I have occasionally noted an anti-religious slant to
Satanism and characterized Satanism itself as a kind of anti-religion,
though I realize that this is limited in its descriptive power.

blessed beast!

boboroshi at-sign Satanic Outreach Director
Church of Euthanasia:
Ninth Scholar's Library (Satanism Archive):

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