The black flame, the fire within

The Black Flame is a concept that is attached to the Left Hand Path, but for some reason (or perhaps no reason at all) I never wrote about it. Oddly enough I only noticed this concept on occasion, but now that I looked at it there are things that make sense to me because of it.

As I understand it, the Black Flame is a Left Hand Path concept that refers to a source of spiritual power within the individual, the divine spark within the individual, or the spiritual core of the individual. It is often believed to be the spark that produces creativity and innovation. For Luciferians, it can be a source of inner light. For the Setians, it is considered the source of individual consciousness, intellect, and the possibility to become divine. Satanists may consider the Black Flame . The term “Black Flame” was first coined by Michael A. Aquino during the 1970s. He was a member of the Church of Satan during its early days around that time until he split from the organization in 1975, after which he and other former CoS members founded a new organization known as the Temple of Set, and the Black Flame would become a central concept of this new temple. In the Temple of Set, the Black Flame is considered to be a symbolic gift of Set, who is considered a being apart from the objective universe and, while not worshiped, the only god with independent existence.

Since the Black Flame is a Left Hand Path concept for the divine spark and a source of spiritual power within the individual, I feel there are parallels to this concept across many beliefs even those that are far outside the Left Hand Path. There is a concept in Indian yoga known as the kundalini, which refers to a primal energy believed to reside at the base of the spine and is traditionally awakened by either yogic practice or transmission by a guru. Kundalini is popularly represented as a serpent, a latent goddess (or just The Goddess), or the natural unconscious energy of the self. Similarly in Hinduism, there is a concept of Shakti which refers to power. Specifically, it refers to primordial cosmic energy that is thought to move through everything in the universe and is thought to represent dynamism. Arguably the Holy Spirit is a similar concept for the Christians, though in the Christian faith the Holy Spirit tends to come from without rather than within.

In the Left Hand Path, the Black Flame seems to inspire passion, life, creativity, power, and desire, as well as illumination and intellect. I feel this ties into the idea of the Four Crown Princes of Hell within Satanism. This system features four exceptionally powerful devils attached to four elements and sets of attributes. The element of fire is associated with Satan, and is associated with the will, the ego, rebellious spirit, and opposition to mediocrity, mundanity, and conformity. The element of air is associated with Lucifer, who represents intelligence, truth, awareness, enlightenment, pride, imagination, and person’s inner light. The element of earth is attached to Belial, who represents strength, lust, pleasure, power, self-sufficiency, and accomplishment. The element of water is attached to Leviathan, the great sea monster from unknown depths who represents inner emotion, passion, sexual desire, chaos, and the power of creation and destruction in man. Frederick Nagash of the Church of Lucifer also provides an interesting explanation of the Crown Princes, which can be found on Encyclopedia Satanica.

Elemental Pentagrams by DBlackthorne

I think the attributes of Four Crown Princes of Hell could refer to all the things that the Black Flame inspires, and aspects of the potential of the Black Flame.

The Luciferian occultist Michael W. Ford also offers an interesting perspective of the Four Crown Princes in his book Luciferian Magick (I think it’s the Azal’ucel edition), whilst talking about Leviathan particularly. He describes Leviathan as a subconscious source of power within the individual and the potential chaos within the self. He also describes Leviathan as the passions that arise within every individual, while Belial represents the flesh made of those passions, Satan represents the will behind it, and Lucifer represents the imagination to accomplish it. I think that this might be another way of describing the Black Flame, or the power of Chaos: a pure primordial passion and power (Leviathan), which inspires the desires of the flesh (Belial), the will (Satan),  and the inner light (Lucifer), as well as emotions, drives, strength, and inner freedom.

The Black Flame could also be an aspect of the Chaos that runs through the whole universe (in much the same vein as the Hindu concept of Shakti), it could be the primordial flame, or the flame of Enlightenment. It could even be another way of referring to spirit itself.

Whether it’s the Black Flame, the power of Hell itself, or just the bright flame of Lucifer,  or even if it’s Shakti itself whatever that force is it’s the force that inspires power in the individual, and if that force is the force that all this time is the Chaos I have been seeking, then I would be more than happy and proud to indulge in experiencing it.

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5 responses to “The black flame, the fire within

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