Think of this post as a sequel to “Giving Lucifer his due“, because even though I had expressed an admiration of Luciferianism and a desire to embrace, there was still much about the difference between Luciferianism and Satanism that I did not yet understand at the time. I continued to ask questions about that same subject, continued researching, until eventually I was directed to the book Wisdom of Eosphorus, which was written by Michael W. Ford, Jeremy Crow, Jacob No, and Hope Marie. I ordered it the day it was published as soon as I had heard it was, and five weeks later it arrived at my house. At first I was disappointed at the lack of comparative description of Satanism (and when it does mention Satanism it’s only as a primarily carnal religion, following the description of Anton LaVey’s Satanism), and that the introductory description of Luciferianism felt like there was little difference to Satanism in general (both Luciferianism and Satanism emphasize the values of being free for yourself, living to be alive for today and enjoy it fully, and both honor the carnal self). But I only had to keep reading to realize that there are subtle yet noticeable differences.
I was already aware that Luciferianism valued the light as well as dark part of the human self, but Luciferian philosophy goes on to stress the creation and destruction aspects of the self and in nature, sees those as ultimately being polar aspects of the self. Creation and destruction was often a part of my own perspective, but not necessarily emphasized in Satanism. Balance and equilibrium are things that can fit into Satanism or can be implied, but in Luciferianism embracing both the dual, or rather polar, aspects of the human self (light and darkness, carnal and spiritual nature, logic and emotion, love and war, creation and destruction) is a centrally important concept. Good and evil are ultimately treated as a matter of the individual perspective, but Luciferianism also advices that one does not do things that contradict your own morals, and engenders honor alongside wisdom and self-deification. Like Satanism, Luciferianism embraces the freedom of our desires and our freedom to express them in consensual settings. Luciferianism also seems to accept war and combat as a part of the human drives but rejects wars that are fought solely to control other societies and make them accept your ideas. Luciferianism as a belief system sounds a lot like my own perspective, and it’s very similar to Satanism, but of its own essence. There are some noteworthy differences between Luciferianism and Satanism that I have noticed:
- Luciferianism is far more open to the whole gamut of mythological entities from all cultures, whereas in Satanism it’s easier to stick with the darker (or so-called acausal) entities because darkness usually has primacy there and because darker entities can work better for Satanic ritual practice if it involves entities. It feels like in a Luciferian framework it might be easier to work with symbolic entities association with light and order as well as darkness and instinct, and from any culture, including Asian cultures since I have always wanted to maintain some connect with Asian myths.
- Both philosophies consider the individual self paramount, but while in Satanism self-preservation is a stronger theme (which is by no means anything bad), for Luciferianism the quest for immortality, unlocking the potential of the self, and/or elevating the self to the godly level seems to be a stronger theme.
- While Luciferianism is ultimately a philosophy oriented towards the self, it also has a goal of affecting the wider world in some way, whereas most forms of Satanism I feel are not concerned with affecting the wider world (with The Satanic Temple being a notable exception for their frequent activism). The goal of liberating the world is something that could align with a desire I’ve had since teen years to see a world in which liberty/freedom triumphs over oppression.
- Luciferianism does not necessarily affirm any opinion for or against the afterlife other than one should not hope for any paradise that is promised by any kind of father in the skies, but it uniquely also seems to say not only to live life to the fullest but also as if there is the possibility of spiritual existence after death. That’s an idea I feel I have never seen in the Satanic current before, and just like in Satanism I feel it allows for the perspective I have that I create my own paradise for myself, which I feel would make sense in the Left Hand Path in some way (if you are your own god, it’s only natural you should be able to make your own paradise of some kind).
Another captivating element of Luciferianism is the symbolism. For instance, look at the logo for the Greater Church of Lucifer.
You may recognize the Sigil of Lucifer, originally from the medieval Grimoirum Verum, as the symbol of Lucifer. It represents the blazing star of mastery of the heavens and earth, and the morning star and evening star, which symbolizes balance higher consciousness and primal instinct. It also represents Venus, the planet of love and war (as represented by the goddess Ishtar, and many other gods and goddesses associated with Venus). But there are other symbols paired with the sigil of Lucifer. The eye, which closely resembles the eye of Horus, represents wisdom, the power of order (which is really interesting), self-determination, and the awareness of the potential of each individual. The torch is another symbol tied to Lucifer, it represents illumination and the bringing of light (much like Lucifer and Prometheus did). The broken chains represent freedom from thought slavery and restriction of the self. The Greater Church of Lucifer also has a wolf sigil, which represents the noble predator, a harmonizing of primal instincts and intellectual and moral consciousness. A wolf is a self-reliant predator and ruthless to prey, but is an intelligent hunter that thinks before acting, and they are loyal and protective to those they consider fellows (in this case members of the pack). Other animals can be good symbols as well, including snakes, hawks, ravens, lions, and even eagles. Also, one of the sections of the book is titled Fire and Shadow, which I think refers to the symbolism surrounding light and darkness. Instantly that reminds me of my alter ego’s use of the power of fire and the power of the demonic. The traditional concepts of heaven and hell are all treated as symbolic, with heaven being symbolic of the sun and the vast sky representing the higher articulation of consciousness, and hell being the abode of our desires and our primal instincts.
To me, Luciferianism as a spiritual philosophy is not a departure from Satanism, but rather an expansion of Satanism for reasons I have explained already. The former simply could not have been without the latter, and I don’t think it’s necessary to depart from Satanism ultimately. I maintain the belief in the preservation of the self alongside its growth, and maintain the ideals of “do what you feel is right” and “do what you feel like doing” which I’ve held for a long time and were part of what made me a Satanist to begin with. And since I still see Luciferianism as ultimately a Satanic path (albeit with its own ideals and essence) in spirit, I would still wear an upside down pentagram, because it represents the inner power of the self over the “power” given by a providential plan or external beings, and it’s also a totem of heavy metal culture. This may sound strange, but outside the blog I actually feel like I have the courage to out myself as a Luciferian and it’s partly thanks to reading the book. Much like reading Lords of the Left Hand Path has done. I would be a fool to waste the courage and the fire I felt, I’d have to die on my knees to live in hiding all of my life.
There will be a couple more posts about Luciferianism and Luciferian concepts directly following this one. And now that I am settled with Luciferianism and Satanism, I also plan to examine my relationship with Asian culture in future blog posts. I’m also likely to take more inspiration from Michael Ford’s books. And I have a funny feeling my friend The Desolate One knew all along that I would become enchanted with his work in the way that I had.