The earthly light of Ben Kadosh’s Lucifer

I have recently stumbled across a blog post from someone named Frater V.I.M., writing for a blog entitled Satanic Witchcraft, about the writings of the Danish occultist Ben Kadosh, who was quite possibly one of the earliest exponents of what might be called Luciferianism today. The post inspired me to reconsider Kadosh, who for a while I dismissed as a mere Gnostic for some reason, because I find that, in his strange identification of Lucifer with Pan, I can see at least some basis for how I might tie Luciferianism to a conception of worldly, rather than idealistic, spirituality compatible with both paganism in general and a more naturalistic outlook.

Kadosh actually lays it out very simply in his work Dawn of a New Morning: The Return of the World’s Master Builder, Lucifer-Hiram:

Lucifer is the “Sum”, or Ego, of the material nature, the creating Logon and Force! Both personal and impersonal or individual and non-individual, as any other thing in nature, and as we want it. In fact he is the thing and the individual in third person. If one is in possession of the necessary keys or knowledge of his unfolding, one can unchain him, evoke or call him forth; but if not in possession of these, one must be content with having him in spirit, disembodied, and according to the written description of him.
Lucifer in his own image, is not the foolish character some have wanted to turn him into, but a true physical reality, though of a semi-material nature.
Just like the creative force in the immaterial, abstract, disembodied yet nevertheless functional nature inspires contemplation and exploration, so does energy in form of matter transforming into life – that, to us humans, is the most positive, and a substitute of the abstract, functional part of nature – also deserve attention.
LUCIFER is the potency of force in living matter, in an individual personified form, the “Sum” of the creating nature.

Kadosh considers the creative power of Lucifer to be a force of matter, and as such part of the material unvierse (though of a spiritual character). This in my view has the potential to be taken forward and extrapolated as the basis of a naturalistic basis for Luciferianism. If Lucifer is the logos of matter, then this necessitates the consideration of matter as a primary basis of one’s philosophical ontology as a Luciferian, and from their this lends credence to a naturalistic outlook of the universe, although perhaps not necessarily one that follows the more vulgar schools of materialism. He perhaps can be thought of as the earthly light, the earthly logos, in the sense that I tried to explain in Yule 2018.

Further, what is interesting about Kadosh’s view of Pan is the way he ties Pan as well to the natural world.

Everywhere and in all is Pan, the eternal “Sum” of nature.

The rammifications of this for me are quite obvious. Pan is nature, he is the natural universe, and logically (though I’m not sure if Kadosh had the same idea) this would mean the material universe, thus the natural, material cosmos is held as divine. This would entail that Kadosh had basically a sort of pantheistic outlook on God and universe, with Lucifer serving as the creative energy inherent within said universe. I’m not sure that Kadosh was a naturalist per se, or least in regards to whether or not he considered himself a naturalist, but in his worldview, Pan is the universe, and hence the universe is a divine being. This necessitates, of course, consideration of the natural universe as a primary ontological object, and indeed a subject of reverence.

We even see him likened to a cosmic fire, in a manner that, to be honest, reminds me of the way Philolaus conceived of a cosmic hearth of Zeus, or how the Stoics conceived of a creative fire.

Pan is the great Master Builder of the Universe and a cosmic living Natural Fire, flowing and kindling all. The Source of All Life is his Father, which no language has a pronounceable word for.
Pan is a vehicle for his Father, why the Father only is known through Pan. Pan becomes the very image of his Father, and the existence of the Father is only due to Pan. Pan expresses the Father and thus becomes the expression of the unpronounceable.
Pan is the highest known, “the unknown Fathers” visible image, in whom – like a stove – is lit an eternal burning Natural Fire.

Pan also appears to be Kadosh’s way of connecting Luciferianism with the ancient current of paganism:

As propaganda for this Sum or Ego of the creating nature, is this little writing of agitation published, and whose task therefore is to be: the working towards enthronement of the Ancients’ Pan-Ideals and Pan-Substitutes – springing from an inner comprehension of them and their value, and thereby the acquisition of them – and their worship.

He seems to consider Pan to be the deific embodiment of a set of values, ideas, and spiritual praxis that predates and opposes Christianity; in a word, pagan ideals. Consequently he considered it his mission to ensure the survival and propagation of ideals that were, as ideals associated with Pan, the product of ancient spirituality, and we can assume also that Kadosh viewed his own belief system as adjacent to paganism. This is not a million miles away from how I myself see Luciferianism, as a paganism-adjacent belief system in that it bases itself around a pagan deity, as well as Michael W Ford who can consider many connections between his own belief system and the ancient pre-Christian order. As such Kadosh’s view of Luciferianism actually seems to make sense with how us Luciferians after his time view the belief system we seek to construct and propagate.

As a side note, it is worth mentioning, given how often he refers to that famous saying “The Great God Pan is dead” in reference to how he repudiates such a statement, that the phrase “The Great God Pan is dead” is actually a mistranslation. The phrase “The Great God Pan is dead” is derived from a story related by Plutarch in which a sailor named Thamus, who is said to have lived during the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius, hears a voice that tells him “When you are arrived at Palodes, take care to make it known that the great God Pan is dead.”, and then follows said instruction accordingly. This story appears to be the origin of a popular talking point from Christian apologetics about how the resurrection of Jesus supposedly vanquished paganism. In reality, however, that phrase may have come from the phrase “Thamus Panmegas tethneke”, which translates to “Thammuz the All-Great is dead”, obviously in reference to the Mesopotamian deity Tammuz (or Dumuzid), who was known for dying and rising, whose cult spread to Greece where he was often identified with the deity Adonis. In summary, Pan never canonically died, he just got mixed up with a different god and the Christians just ran with it after the fact.

Anyways, it is worth noting also that my dismissal of Kadosh as a simple Gnostic appears to be gravely mistaken. In fact, he was quite critical of Gnosticism in Lucifer-Hiram on the grounds that he thought of it as simply a product of the Christian framework that he opposed. More specifically, he is deeply critical of the Gnostic conception of the Demiurge:

Demiurgon of the Gnostics is usually pictured as “Ildabaoth” of the Ophits, or as Eblis of the Manicheans, equal to Samael of the Cabbalah, whose image again can be transferred to Pan, on one side, and on the other to that of “Satan” which is an alien element in Christianity.
This is the exoteric account derived from superficial considerations.
By this, Demiurgon – in his original capacity of creator must have been and is: the first – has been turned into a second-rate principle, and Light has been put before Darkness.
This is absurd and a delusion! It has never been so! Never has any secret science taught such a thing!
If the Light was created before the Darkness, then this is due to the superficial, and by Christian thought influenced, illusion of manipulated men. Look closely into the ancient ESOTERIC writings and you will find that the Darkness, the Source and Abyss of Matter, still – as it is now – was before anything else.
The Light, the Glory and Root of FIAT, can only be sought in the created nature!
Logically speaking, this is the only true concept. To consider it as an enemy seems to me both wrong and dangerous. The Dominion of Darkness – when considering such through the ages – tends to make dark Creatures shun the light – rather than making any Creature shun darkness.
He appears also to consider the Gnostic Demiurge to be another representation of Pan, which would mean that the Gnostic religion demonizes Pan by casting him as the “false” creator of material reality:
From an esoteric point of view Demiurgon is the “fallen soul of the world”, the true title of PAN in his ability as the creating force and principle. He is to be considered as a first-rate principle, who’s outer and inner add up to Darkness, Darkness in its duality, in which it touches life in its primitive and invisible form.
The dark first-rate principle is – although only manifest through one outer appearance – a principle of duality. Only the dualistic form has the ability to create the Light, as creating in general.
He also repudiates the description of “fallen soul of the world” as being a popular superstition:
The one “unknown Father” – by the way a good description of a metathesis – disappears completely from the ancient writings when interpreted esoterically. The Ancients have never
named, nor spoken of Demiurgon as “the fallen soul of the world”. This interpretation is only derived from a popular view on him.

And on that point he is indeed correct. In fact, whenever the concept of a demiurge appears in Greek philosophy, from which the concept may indeed find his origination, it was actually seen as a somewhat positive concept, akin to how Christians view their “father in heaven”. Plato considered the Demiurge to be the entity responsible for arranging the elements of primordial chaos into an orderly cosmos consisting of eternal forms.

Kadosh’s attack on Gnosticism is rather salient (though perhaps undialectical given him putting perhaps too much emphasis on “darkness”) given how there are plenty of Luciferians and Satanists who seem willing to embrace a Gnostic framework. It doesn’t really matter whether or not the Bythos of Gnosticism is some white light concept as the Gnostic Christians believed or whatever great evil force that the Chaos-Gnostics envision of in their daily masturbatory exercises of wanting to be more evil than thou, the function is still basically the same but with effectively different window-dressing (and maybe with a bit more fascism added to the mix). Where even the Chaos-Gnostics would identify the material world as a delusion, being the creation of a demiurge, for Kadosh this appears not to be the case necessarily, in fact his Demiurgon is Pan, who he already establishes as the sum of natural reality. For me to have thought of him as Gnostic was quite mistaken.

Pan and Syrinx by Jean-François de Troy