The Church of Satan? Progressive?

A rather fascinating article from The Guardian caught my attention, titled “Hell freezes over: how the Church of Satan got cool”. And by fascinating I mean this was just a puff piece. The article in question goes on about how the Church of Satan suddenly got hip and cool in the eyes of progressive commentators because some imbuing of left-wing radicalism into the Satanic zeitgeist (by the way, please no), and lamenting the fact that Chelsea Clinton isn’t a Satanist. I don’t see why that last part is a problem: the last thing Satanism needs is the Clintons tarnishing its image.

And a strange puff piece indeed. As you’ll see in the link I’ve left at the end of the post, most of the article deals less with the Church of Satan and more with a Los Angeles Times article (which I will also leave a link to at the end of the post). The LA Times article in question makes the case that  ̶a̶ ̶b̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶e̶d̶g̶y̶ ̶C̶a̶l̶i̶f̶o̶r̶n̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶h̶i̶p̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶  a new breed of Satanists are channeling their affinity for the dark side towards progressive political causes to unite against Donald Trump.

Yep, it’s more bourgeois left-wing political activism with a layer of pop occultism on top. Just like last year, when you had “witches” casting “spells” against Trump and then nothing came of it other than they looked ridiculous.

Essentially, these people buy into the idea that the world is going to hell, that American life is never-ending chaos, and that, because of this premise, they’ve decided to mix Satanism with feminism. They earnestly believe that without a sense of magical community centered around their version of Satanism, you’d have the rise of groups such as The Proud Boys (Gavin McInnes’ no-fap PUA brigade), and they, seemingly without any sense of irony or  self-awareness, describe the fact that people have those groups as “black magic”. It’s so bizarre to hear that complaint when that’s what you’re into. I mean, the idea of just people forming social clubs as a form of magic is stretching, hard, but even if it’s true, why are you complaining? Is it good when you have black magic, but not when they have it? For me but not for thee, is it? They also talk about how one of their main advantages is being more well-versed in Internet culture, which is ironic because, anything, the anti-leftist political circles seem more savvy than they are in Internet culture because of their skill in making irreverent memes – the right arguably helped a President get elected through memes for shit’s sake. And then later on, the article goes on about how it’s all connected to African belief systems like Voodoo (which have nothing to do with Satanism) and how, predictably, The Satanic Temple is promoting inclusivity in Satanism and that sort of thing. I must say, for a bunch of spiritual rebels they certainly are very politically correct. But we’ll get to that later on. And to say that the new direction is more feminist than nihilist is rather accurate: there’s really nothing intrinsically nihilistic about it, because the progressive movement is, fundamentally, one that vies for its own brand of meaning, however vapid it may be.

But I see no sign that this current has anything to do with the Church of Satan. In fact, the funny part is how in the LA Times article they actually acknowledge that supporters of the Church of Satan believe in resisting liberal pieties as well as Christian ones, referring back to LaVey’s opposition to the hippie movement. So The Guardian went and promoted the Church of Satan as being more feminist, based on an article where they outright say The Church of Satan is still against liberal and progressive orthodoxy. The Guardian article just goes on to extoll the virtues of autistically responding to everyone casually using the phrase “satanic” in a manner not consistent with their beliefs. Funny, I’ve seen them accuse all Christians of being pedophiles just because a bunch of Christian priests came out to defend Roy Moore, who was accused of child molestation during the Alabama special election. I wonder, is that just a part of their “laconic” wit? Because to me it sounds like the take of a bitter teenager who still unironically listens to Antichrist Superstar and thinks he’s got religion all figured out. And the way they quote the FAQ section is rather pretentious. They seem to be under the delusion that the universe being indifferent to humans and values being subjective doesn’t apply to their own brand of progressivism as well: as in, surely it’s just as meaningless as Christianity? But hey, self-serving leftists rarely have that consistency about them.

What I find really, almost insultingly hilarious, is when at the end it says that “Satanism’s latest mutation is something else, a contrarian uprising against a patriarchal world order that deserves its comeuppance”, which gives you a very good idea that these people have no idea what contrarianism is. Feminist progressivism? Contrarian? Well I mean it has to be, that’s why in my country you have an entire political party embracing the zeitgeist. No, two! Labour is now thoroughly progressive in its socialism, and the so-called Conservative Party are actively in the business of diversity hiring with their most recent cabinet reshuffle. I mean it’s definitely contrarian, because you see so many Hollywood celebrities virtue signal about equality. Yeah, that’s what contrarianism is: going with the flow!

Whereas, here’s what Anton LaVey had to say about his conception of the “modern Black Mass” in The Satanic Bible:

Any ceremony considered a black mass must effectively shock and outrage, as this seems to be the measure of its success. In the Middle Ages, blaspheming the holy church was shocking. Now, however, the Church does not present the awesome image it did during the inquisition. The traditional black mass is no longer the outrageous spectacle to the dilettante or renegade priest that it once was. If the Satanist wishes to create a ritual to blaspheme an accepted institution, for the purpose of psychodrama, he is careful to choose one that is not in vogue to parody. Thus, he is truly stepping on a sacred cow. A black mass, today, would consist of the blaspheming of such “sacred” topics as Eastern mysticism, psychiatry, the psychedelic movement, ultra- liberalism, etc. Patriotism would be championed, drugs and their gurus would be defiled, cultural militants would be deified, and the decadence of ecclesiastical theologies might even be given a Satanic boost.

It amazes me how no Satanist movement that I have seen seems to be interested in tapping into this, because the simple fact is that we don’t live in the 1980s anymore. Even in America, the age of people like Bob Larson or Pat Robertson is long over. There’s still Satanic Ritual Abuse themed conspiracy theories spread around today, but it’s not the media phenomenon that it was until the early 1990’s. And despite the left’s fears in the wake of Trump getting elected, we see no signs of theocracy in the United States. If anything, despite the government being in the hands of the GOP, the zeitgeist of the wider establishment seems to be against him (including most media outlets). The idea that anyone’s being contrarian by embracing progressivism is dubious at best, and incredibly deluded at worst. It’s disappointing that there are no Satanists out there, that I know of, who are exploiting things like the reactionary movement as a form of rebellion against contemporary culture. Whatever your opinions on them, you can’t deny that they are at the opposite end of the establishment political zeitgeist, and exploiting the energies of such movements would play right into the kind of thing LaVey was talking about. But nope. If the LA Times and The Guardian are to be believed, it seems that modern Satanism is looking to embrace an ideology that, frankly, oozes with not just conformism and moral purity, but also (that’s right, I’ll say it) Christian universalism.

I fear that this will lead to the loss of a chaotic, rebellious edge that was classically associated with the Satanist movement, and if that happens, then I think it will be the end. Satanism’s primary impact and appeal came from the fact that it was rebellious towards the establishment, it placed the individual in opposition to outside social forces and institutions aligned against it, intent on corralling it into conformity in opposition to its will, and dared the individual to think for himself, treat these ideas with derision and mockery, and laugh at those stupid to embrace such hollow dogmas. But whereas in the 60’s it was Christianity and the hippie movement, and in the 80’s it was fundamentalist Christianity, in the 2010s, the popular zeitgeist is progressivism. You can be fired for publicly expressing ideas contrary to progressive ideology, that alone should be enough of a reason to channel rebellious intent against it. But instead a new breed of Satanists are embracing it. This will undo the original spirit of Satanism, rob of its chaotic, rebellious vitality, and turn it into just another whiny progressive movement based on what is, ultimately, feminist emotional porn. It would be sad to see such a defiant movement fall like this.


Link to the Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2018/jan/08/chelsea-clinton-church-satan-got-cool

Link to the Los Angeles Times article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-satanism-music-20180105-story.html

A long con

Twitter, Facebook, Google and the like, they will continue to bend the knee to the establishment until it no longer becomes profitable for them to do so. They will continue the business of suppressing information that they determine to be to false, as if it is their authority to do so. And they will hypocritically follow their doctrine of “hate speech” on ideological lines, targeting whatever directly opposes their ideological line while ignoring misinformation and abuse from their own ends of the political spectrum. But their competitors, such as Gab or Minds, from what I have understood based on developments I have seen within the last couple of months, are not the bastions of freedom of speech that they promise to be. They too will ban content that they dislike, often with minimal explanation if at all.

It’s becoming increasingly evident to me that social media is a long con. I would like that social media websites allow individuals to speak freely, post what they like that isn’t pornography, incitement or private information, and/or at the very least be honest about the terms that they’re setting for their users. But sadly, I predict that they aren’t going to me. In the meantime, we’re all suckers in the end because, in many ways, we depend on social media to sustain our modern lives. As I’ve mentioned before, communication with fellow students is pretty much one of the only reasons I’m on Facebook besides the fact that people like Summer Thunder and Sean Ridley Ravensdale are there with me. At least I still have some friends there. As much as it renders us into a situation where we’re pretty much stuck dealing with social media companies run by people who are, frankly, untrustworthy, it’s also the biggest reason why the struggle to actually have some rights is an important one, even if perhaps a tragic one (on account of how, like I said, there may not be much we can do). I do not want those companies being able to just trample over me like a dog, but if I don’t the only way I can do anything is to fight, and I don’t know how.

But if I’m convinced of anything in that direction, it’s that they will not be defeated by the self-serving. The people who would’ve been all for social media companies denying the liberty of the people who use it, were it not for the fact that the people they like received . The people who are against censorship, like myself, were warning about precisely this. There is no guarantee that the forces of censorship will spare you in their wrath, instead they will eventually target you, whether for ideological reasons or out of pure incompetence. You can’t control the censor once you allow him to censor anymore than you can control the Internet, so don’t complain if he decides to censor you or someone you like unless you are opposed to it on principle.

And I extent this principle to the fake news meme I still see going around. The fight against fake news is pointless. Those of us who aren’t sheep know it’s just a way of accusing someone else of spreading lies, when the people who started the meme in the first place started saying it in response the failure of an American presidential candidate they wanted to win. They needed a scapegoat, and social media was arguably the perfect fit in an age where it is so ubiquitous that it practically dominates our lives. Those who think the powers that be will save you from this think that all they ask is to protect the public from misinformation, when really all it is is making it a crime to either lie or spread something you think is true, but might not be. All we would be doing is surrendering our faculty, and duty, to determine for ourselves through reason whether or not we are being told lies. This is something that should not be given up so that politicians could win a game they lost over a year ago.

It’s all a long con. The only difference is with one con we can’t avoid without total hermitude, but the other, we can think our way out of. If, that is, we remain free to.

It’s 2018 and the Priest is back!

HEAVY METAL OVERLOAD

Happy New Year everyone! What better way to get the 2018 HMO ball rolling than with some brand spanking new music? So here’s the new Judas Priest single Lightning Strike from their upcoming album Firepower.

You’ll no doubt have heard this already, so what do you think? I’ve listened to it a few times now and I’m pretty impressed. The co-production from Andy Sneap and the returning Tom Allom is a tremendous improvement over the previous album, the disappointing Redeemer Of Souls. Boaby Halford sounds totally rejuvenated too and signs with grit and power. It’s just got that classic Screaming For Vengeance era classic Priest vibe to it.

Whether the rest of the album lives up to the promise is another thing entirely but, based on the quality of this Lightning Strike, I’m way more excited about the release of Firepower than I expected to be.

Firepower

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An organizing idea for myself

Going forward, I have thought that I should construct an organizing idea for myself as a Luciferian going forward: one that will govern and underpin my practice, my spirituality and my personal framework for Luciferianism in the long run and thus define the ideal I seek to aspire to.

This organizing idea stems from some contemplations and conversations about the balance of the “light” and “dark” aspects of the self, akin to the superego and the id, or rather the struggle of Man’s rational and instinctual impulses, as well as of the concept of the Morning Star, a name for the planet Venus as the day star, and how it is title that has been not just the King of Babylon but also Jesus Christ himself.

On the first topic, I believe I’ve covered the subject of balance many times before on this very blog, though not so much through the lens of the rational versus the instinctual. So will just say this: whoever said that humans are primarily rational creatures was either wrong or lying. Which isn’t to say that humans are just chimps a few extra sparks of consciousness. Look, in the wild, nearly every animal other than homo sapiens operates primarly on instinct and animalistic pragmatism. You think almost exclusively through the lens of eat, drink, court a mate, procreate, and try to avoid getting killed. This isn’t necessarily rational on its own. Or if it is, it’s in a limited sense because you aren’t necessarily calculating your actions all that much. You’re just making do or die actions all the time, and you can’t ignore the moment or avoid acting out of desperation or else you’re going to die. This is because in the pure state of nature, there is only one primary goal: survival. And that basic desire to survive is not necessarily a rational one, but an instinctual one – perhaps the seat of our instincts. Now bear in mind that I’m not making a moral judgement here. Without following our basic instinctual desire to survive during the time before civilization, perhaps we might not have arrived at the point in our evolution in which we conceivably could build civilizations and rise to the top of the food chain. To have lived in that state was a necessary step in our evolution before we could arrive at civilization. But it can’t be confused as rational, not in the purest sense anyway.

Rational thinking, by contrast, requires objectivity. Even if we can’t achieve perfect objectivity, the rational person must approximate the level of real objectivity as much as possible. This involves the ability to step back from the moment and think long term, guided by logic rather than the immediate senses. Man achieves this in the pursuit of power and civilization, for civilization is ultimately the pursuit of a system in which humans can not only survive but also thrive for many generations to come, long after the architects of such systems are dead and buried. It also requires being able to step back from instinctual habits that, while they were likely useful in the wild, serve to hinder us during the civilization phase and, if left uncontrolled and unchecked, would also potentially lead to destruction. Our tribalism, our proclivity towards force or emotion over reason, our ability to be misguided by fear, and many other flaws of the human condition also derive from millions of years of evolution. This is why few out of our species achieve greatness, because most are ultimately limited by their own condition, while those who achieve greatness do so because they overcome those limitations by, among other things, their ability to step outside of the moment, and make the undertakings that few dare to. But in a way, it can perhaps be said that people achieve greatness by the ability to transform themselves. Again, where most are limited and, whether by choice or otherwise, fail to undertake the necessary transformation, great men and women have the capability to transform themselves, becoming almost akin to gods in the process. The truly great are not limited by the rational, superegoic drive or the instinctual. Often times rational thinking has its limits: after all, it’s not possible to survive as a purely rational being, it’s not healthy to be driven solely by the superego. But equally, we cannot afford to be driven solely by instinctual drives or the id. Hence the need for balance.

On a slight tangent before my next point, this is why I appreciate the philosophy of the Luciferian occultist Michael W Ford so much, because he stresses the ideal of balance. Yet when reading his books, it strikes me how often he focuses on the archetype of the Shadow, via the adversarial or Satanic archetypes (often via Ahriman; I notice the Zoroastrian lore, specifically Ahrimanic sorcery, is a big theme in his writings). He also focuses on Cain quite a bit. Given that Cain was most famous (or should that be infamous?) for that story in the Book of Genesis in which he murdered his brother Abel because Yahweh liked his meat sacrifice more than Cain’s vegetable sacrifice, at the very least it suggests more of a focus on the darker side, a bit ironic considering the emphasis on the balance in his own philosophy. For there to be a hard balance, we must have not just the Shadow, but the light.

From this I segue into the second point, on the morning star and its myth, and its identification with Jesus. The morning star, which is in fact the planet Venus, is the brightest object in the sky other than the Sun and the Moon. It may have been for this reason that its radiance as the morning star was used as a signifier of divinity approximate to a god, or the God. It was probably why Jesus is referred to in the Bible and elsewhere as the morning star, due to his radiance as an incarnation of God, indeed his son. Perhaps it is also why Jesus’ mother, the Virgin Mary, is herself referred to as the morning star by the Catholic Church. Or John the Baptist? Perhaps they brought about the light or day through their teachings? When the term was used to refer to the king of Babylon in the Book of Isaiah, there was a rather different context attached to it. The king was referred to as the morning star, perhaps in a derogatory fashion, because of his perceived ambition to make himself “Most High”, akin to the level of a god or God himself, during his condemnation. Perhaps his comes from Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of the Israelites. In Ezekiel, a similar fate is alluded to for a king of Tyre, who was compared to an unnamed cherub who was once considered “the seal of perfection” before his pride led him to being condemned by God. It’s these associations that lead the morning star to become synonymous with Satan through the myth of his war with, and subsequent fall from, the heavenly host. In Christianity, it seems, the morning star has both positive and negative connotations. On the one hand it is the light of the day, perhaps symbolic of the light of God. On the other it is the symbol of arrogance and rebellious, “satanic” pride.

For better or worse, thanks to Christianity Jesus is the representation of what can be described as the principle of goodness within Western culture. This is not limited to simply Christians. Many secular cultural artifacts in the West treat Jesus in that basic light, just for cultural reasons rather than necessarily religious ones. In a society that has been influenced by Christian thought for well over a thousand years, Jesus represented the archetypal good, at least according to Christian thought. When you think about it, regardless of whether Jesus was a historical person, which I personally doubt, Christ is an archetype. While the Christ myth is not wholly ripped off from pagan stories as people like Peter Joseph and Bill Maher liked to claim back in the day, the story of a divine being who sacrifices himself only to resurrect, and then whose resurrection signifies a greater rebirth or salvation was doubtless adapted from, or at least influenced by, other stories in the pre-Christian world. Some have taken this to mean transformation into a greater self. Some classical myths have this theme as representing the loss and restoration of the earth’s fertility. I have to admit, on its own this doctrine is pretty benign. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the doctrine of Christianity, or the personality of Jesus? Who knows.

So where precisely am I going with this? Well I thought about this idea, and I thought about the morning and evening star as phases of Venus when it changes position in the sky, and the myth of Ishtar’s descent into and return from the netherworld, and from there I thought, what if through a myth of the morning star Lucifer would not simply be a dual representation of the light and the shadow via his connection to Venus, and by extension its day and night faces (Vesper the evening star, after all, is but the shadow of Lucifer the morning star), but, in a way, an alternate representation of The Good. Or, perhaps, the Highest Good (if I’m paraphrasing the likes of Jordan Peterson correctly).

Remember what I said earlier about how in Western, or at least Christian, culture Jesus represented the ideal of the good to which to aspire to. Remember also the general archetype of the dying and rising deity surrounding the Christ archetype. Now consider the myth of Ishtar, one of the earliest deific images of the planet Venus, who journeyed into the underworld to meet the goddess Ereshkigal and rescue her husband Tammuz, only to find him alive and well in the surface, acting as though nothing happened, and sent him to the underworld for 6 months each year in retribution. This is thought to mirror the cycle of the morning star and evening star phases of Venus and how Venus “descends” below  the Sun only to reappear on another side. The morning/evening star cycle has been observed as follows: Venus appears as the morning star on the east side of the Sun for a period of time, then descends below the horizon, reappears on the other side of the Sun as the evening star, descends below the horizon again and returns to the east side, thus perpetuating a cycle. This is somewhat alluded to in Aztec mythological lore surrounding the deity Quetzalcoatl, the god of wind, wisdom and the planet Venus, as well as two deities who represent the morning and evening star aspects of the planet – Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, the lord of the dawn, and Xolotl, a dog-faced deity who guarded the Sun on its journey through the underworld (much like who Set or Horus guarded the Egyptian sun deity during its own journey through the underworld) and guided the soul to the netherworld. Indeed, aside from the astronomical journey of Venus, Quetzalcoatl at one point does indeed go on his own journey through the netherworld, to gather the bones of the dead so that he could use them to rebuild the human race (based on the belief that human bones would give birth to new humans as though they were seeds) in order to populate a new world after the previous one was destroyed (in this case the fifth world after the fourth world, which is also this world after the last one).

This is how I envision a Luciferian archetype of Lucifer: Lucifer, the brightest star in the sky, descends to the underworld to gain its wisdom, or perform some quest where this is the outcome, returns from the underworld as the master of the kingdom of shadows, perhaps reemerging to the other side to bring fourth the light – hence the name Lucifer, as in light-bringer. To bring the rays of liberty and liberation, to achieve enlightenment, to expose the secrets of the realm of darkness, to make darkness conscious, to enact the greatest good, to make the quest for wisdom, to overcome one’s limits, and perhaps many other meanings. Traditionally, through his association with Satan by Christians, Lucifer is seen as a principally rebellious figure. Through this Luciferian lens, Lucifer becomes more than that. He becomes a heroic archetype, just a heroic archetype that is perhaps willing to be rebellious (at least, according to the Christian rules). His journey is an embodiment of both the embrace of the shadow side and the pursuit of the highest good. It would be a quest comparable to the other underworld journey quests of the mythical world: Ishtar’s descent, Quetzalcoatl’s bone quest, Ra’s quest to defeat Apep, Orpheus’ journey into Hades (and those of various Greek gods), even Jesus’s Harrowing of Hell to some extent. These are heroic quests. And here, the quest is a link between Lucifer, and the Luciferian, and the quest for meaning and the good. And where in Satanism the spiritual system centers around the archetype of the shadow, in Luciferianism, the shadow is simply part of the totality of the spiritual path, to be part of a hard balance struck between it and the light side of the self.

That is the organizing ideal I intend to pursue, meaning that I will lean more towards Luciferianism going forward. I intend to meditate on this much further, and then go on to as much practice as I kind within my limited schedule.

Phosphor & Hesper Circling Their Double Star by Harriet Hosmer

Happy new year

I have to say 2017 was, well, something. On a personal note, I’ve finished my third year of university, and as of October I began a fourth year as a Masters degree, and now I feel like I’m getting closer to an actual career path. Who knows, if I graduate in July I might still have to get a “dead-end” job so that I can get a steady source of income and work my way up, but I suppose that’s for some further discussion a little later.

On the world around me, my gods I’m still not sure if I want to call this year better or worse than the last year, and that’s partly because I’ve seen so many clusterfucks and so much pointless drama that it’s made my head spin. On the other hand, at least it serves to remind me to not trust political movements, because nearly all of them are shit. Isn’t that the weird thing about the West? For all our problems we’re pretty much the best region of the world to live in by almost any measure, and our politics is still almost all garbage. I guess you could say it’s not politics that makes a civilization great. Thank goodness for that.

I don’t want to go on a spiel about New Year’s resolutions, because it’s pointless. They don’t always pan out, and in fact they have a reputation for just being shirked after a month. However, I will say that I do have hopes for the next year, and ideas for how to improve going forward.

For one thing I could do with being a little less of a cynic, and be less apprehensive towards believing in things. This seems a bit ironic given that I feel like shitting on all movements politically, but of course I’m not talking about politics. Since I have a habit of underestimating myself, I need to believe in myself more, for one thing. And taking a cue from the Luciferian tradition I align myself with, I should consider, study and hopefully try to experience the power of belief; not in the gay-ass conventionally religious sense, but to not only believe that I can good but also have faith in my results, whatever they are – because hey, at least you can trust that. I need to spend less time thinking things through and more time doing things. And, I suppose, I need to “go with the flow” more. Sooner or later, I think positive change probably will come my way if I allow myself to embrace it, or just grab it by the ass at the right time, but I wouldn’t like to let myself get carried away regardless.

Anyways, Happy New Year to all my readers, and I hope you enjoy your lives this year. Just don’t expect too much activity from this blog after Sunday, because I’ll be back in university next week.