Luciferianism as Dark Paganism?: Discussing T. L. Othaos’ terminology of Satanism

NOTE: This was originally written about a month ago and I’ve wanted to get it out sooner, but a lot of important things came up. In the time since, I’ve reflected on Luciferianism as something that can be really anything, and the term “Luciferian” for me is basically falling out of use because of it. This article represents a discussion of just one of many ways “Luciferianism” is expressed.

Recently I stumbled onto the website of a Satanist by the name of T. L. Othaos, specifically an article discussing the terminology surrounding the broader milieu of Satanism and the Left Hand Path. This, of course, means a discussion of Luciferianism, and what it means, and I think Othaos’ discussion of what Luciferianism means is potentially an insightful one.

First, though, there is a necessary disclosure. T. L. Othaos’ project is unique, to say the least. Othaos espouses a brand of esoteric Satanism (it is my understanding that Theistic Satanism is not her preferred term) that she refers to as Tenebrous Satanism. It is called Tenebrous Satanism because it emphasizes a positive engagement with occultism and even “the supernatural”, with the aim of cultivating a positive relationship with the “Dark Gods”, or Nekalah. Of course, if you’ve ever seen the term Nekalah before, you probably know that this is the term that the Order of Nine Angles uses to refer to their pantheon of deities. Now before anyone sounds the appropriate alarm bells, Othaos seems to have an original take on the O9A brand of Satanism. It adopts the O9A pantheon and much of its theology and occult practice, but without the cullings, the encouragement of criminal behaviour or esoteric fascism/neo-Nazism that is usually a part of O9A ideology and praxis. It’s easy to think of it as an attempt to reform O9A Satanism, but it actually kind of seems like a synthetic project that builds itself on top of O9A occultism and then separates into its own unique thing. It’s definitely not something I would get into, and given the historic nature of the Order of Nine Angles I would be hard-presssed to see how an “O9A Reform” project would turn out, but evidently Othaos seems to have had some positive experiences with O9A occultism, sans the murderous fascism of course, and by her account at least worshipping the Nekalah seems to have had a positive impact on her life. If T. L. Othaos thinks that it is possible to develop an actually positive formulation of O9A Satanism, and that O9A occultism can be separated from its neo-fascist underpinnings, then on an individual level I think that she is certainly welcome to try, but I do not endorse the project.

With that disclosure out of the way, let’s get started for real.

The present discussion concerns an article written by T. L. Othaos titled “Satanist, Luciferian, and related terms”, which is basically an overview of terminology within the broader Satanist “community” as such. My focus here is on the section concerning Luciferians, and Luciferianism. It seems that Othaos accepts the term Luciferianism as a valid synonym or classification for her own practice of Tenebrous Satanism, but does not personally gravitate towards the label. Her aversion to the term, and it is a strictly personal aversion, is partially motivated by certain preconceptions of Luciferianism. Such preconceptions include the idea that Luciferians prefer a “whitewashed” Devil to the more openly adversarial Satan (though, as far as Ford is concerned, they’re practically the same archetype), and the idea of Luciferianism being separated from Satanism by its emphasis on the spiritual side being arbitrary, since her brand of LaVeyan Satanism and then Tenebrous Satanism is also highly spiritual. Another preconception involved is the idea that Luciferians believed in the objective existence of “dark” entities (demons, gods, etc.), leading her to see Luciferianism as more or less a form of Theistic Satanism (which is not an uncommon perception to this day) at a time when she was basically a LaVeyan Satanist.

I will say, in fairness to Othaos, that some Luciferians absolutely do fit the stereotype of “whitewashing the Devil”, and in a fairly ridiculous way. Michael Howard to me is a well-known example of that, and he basically helped codify the idea of Luciferian Witchcraft in Britain. Howard talks plentifully about Horned Gods, frequently identifying Lucifer with several “horned gods” (including Janicot and Odin), and discusses Cain, Lilith, and fallen angels being central figures in his Luciferian tradition, yet absolutely insists that Lucifer is not a Devil or Satan figure, instead preferring to see him as a self-sacrificial avatar of the godhead! I should wonder if anyone told Howard and other British witches that Azazel, the name of the fallen angel, was also a name used by Christian theologians such as Origen as a name for their nameless Satan. It’s such a silly thing, because even though there’s no need to identify Lucifer with Satan, much of historical Luciferian veneration of Lucifer involved seeing him as a less than fluffy being. Carl William Hansen saw Lucifer as an expression of the inner darkness of the universe, Eugen Grosche viewed him as identical to the dark god Saturn, and even within British witchcraft Lucifer’s identification with the Horned God led to chthonic associations. People can indeed take the “light” in “light-bringer” quite literally, without much thought to what the light is.

Another issue for her is ritual praxis, which for her didn’t really work and thus she found herself drawn away from it. But more to the point, it’s after this we come to how she defines Luciferianism in the present. Her summary of Luciferianism is “like Neo-Paganism, but directed toward demons instead of pagan gods.”. This summary is extrapolated from her current perception of Luciferianism, which is that it involves the veneration or worship of dark spiritual beings, whether as external intelligences, archetypes, inner energies, or what have you, that this supposed may or may not include Lucifer (which sounds strange considering the question of “how do you have Luciferianism without Lucifer?”), and that, apart from all of that and apart from some Luciferians saying they value discipline more than indulgence, Luciferianism has the same basic ethos as Satanism, in terms of individualism and anti-clerical opposition to traditional forms of religion. It is on these grounds that Othaos says that it is intelligible (here perhaps meaning valid) to refer to Tenebrous Satanism as a form of Luciferianism. She also states that it is also a form of “Dark Paganism” or even Demonolatry, though she seems to prefer the term “Dark Pagan” over the term “Luciferian” or “Demonolater”.

Having established this as the assessment of Luciferianism offered by T. L. Othaos. Let’s begin discussing what insight it might offer for how we might view Luciferianism as a whole.

Since Luciferianism is here at least potentially equated with “Dark Paganism”, let’s start by discussing what “Dark Paganism” means. Dark Paganism can seem somewhat obscure within the broader milieu of neopaganism, and it definitely doesn’t seem like reconstructionist polytheists are big fans of the idea, but from what little is available we can see that “Dark Paganism” is sort of an umbrella term for a set of approaches to Paganism that centre around the worship of “dark” gods (such as Hades, Morrigan, Cernunnos, Set, Hecate, Hel, and others). John McLoughlin defines Dark Paganism in terms of an emphasis on the “dark” portion of the light-dark polarity, the attendant emphasis that darkness is not to be confused with evil, the acceptance of “the shadow” and primary embrace of shadow work, a focus on self-expression via aesthetic darkness, and a general attunement to “darker” or more internally-focused currents of spirituality, which favour self-discovery and self-realization without the perceived focus on external morality and traditional worship found in other religious paths. Darkness in McLoughlin’s brand of Paganism is not just about a corrective aspect of “the balance”, it is a link to awareness of both the self and the sacredness of life (which, of course, is inseparable from death) and to the importance of living life to the fullest and remaining true to who you are; as I may understand it, to align yourself with the true basis of life, to the true nature in an inner and outer sense, and self-essence freely without being bound to the norms of society. The way I talk about it, it kind of sounds like Dark Paganism is an apt enough label for what I aspire to. Given the emphasis on darkness and transgression, the focus on self-expression, and the stated objectives of freeing people from social conditioning that blockades authentic, self-originating individuation, Dark Paganism can be seen as an application of the Left Hand Path within Paganism.

Othaos in her articles uses the term Dark Paganism interchangeably with Demonolatry, but this is not necessarily accurate to Demonolatry, not least since there are many Demonolaters who do not consider themselves Pagans and would reject being called Pagan. The way I see it, it is very possible to approach Demonolatry in a manner consistent with Paganism, but I think some of the theology that comes with it can’t be described as Pagan. In Stephanie Connolly’s Complete Book of Demonolatry, there’s a theology that seems to be inspired by Hermeticism in that it derives from it a pantheistic cosmos, which is to say a monotheistic cosmos in which God, or rather in this case the Egyptian god Atum, is the universe or reality itself rather than an intelligence that exists beyond it. The difference, of course, is that Satan is the identity of this pantheistic divine presence instead of God or Atum, and that the co-identity of Man and the Whole represented by Satan/Atum/God is interpreted as a form of self-worship. When it comes to Dark Paganism versus Demonolatry, I would also refer to Amaranthe Altanatum, who is a Theistic Satanist and practicing Demonolater. She points out that Demonolatry is not in itself Pagan, due to the fact that it is not a nature-based tradition, which she considers to be more definitive of at least contemporary Paganism. I’d add that, although there are plenty of modern Pagans, especially reconstructionist ones, who reject the idea of Paganism as a nature-based religion, it is possible to parse a nature-based or even somewhat “naturalistic” religious outlook from the animism that sometimes comes with polytheism and is especially integral to Heathenry in particular.

So how does all of this come back to Luciferianism? Well, Luciferianism does have some intersection with Paganism, or at least neopaganism. Fredrik Gregorius, in a section of Per Faxneld’s The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity, at least tentatively argues that Luciferianism can be (theoretically) distinguished from Satanism by placing Lucifer in a more distinctly non-Christian, sometimes even neopagan, context. In this definition, Lucifer is distinguished from Satan by the consideration of Lucifer as a pagan god versus Satan as a strictly Abrahamic entity (the enemy or angel of God). This definition is met by many Luciferian groups, historical and present. Carl William Hansen identified Lucifer with the Greek god Pan, and several other Greek gods, as well as some gods from other pantheons such as the Norse gods. Eugen Grosche, while obvious playing with aspects of Gnosticism and even claiming descent from a particular set of “Gnostic” teachings, he identified Lucifer with the Roman god Saturn. Several British Luciferian witches, and those who do not call themselves Luciferians, identify Lucifer as a figure similar to the Horned God of Wicca, and link him to a litany of pre-Christian deities. Even some Wiccans believe that Lucifer is either a name for their Horned God or a sun god in the vein of Charles Leland’s Aradia. And of course, Michael W. Ford argues that Lucifer is an ancient pre-Christian archetype, and probably popularized the approach to Luciferianism built around what could be termed an adversarial take on neopaganism; or, as Amaranthe put it, “adversarial polytheism” – albeit, in Ford’s case, definitely a rather soft form of polytheism in light of its heavy reliance on the archetypal theory of deity.

It’s not universal, since there are plenty of Luciferians who can’t be counted as neopagans and instead lean much closer to Gnosticism. In such an approach, Lucifer would still basically be distinguished from Satan, but not so much as a pagan god and more as a sort of Christ-like figure, or even assuming the same role that Gnostic Christianity actually reserves for none other than Jesus Christ. In fact I’m quite worried that a more Christianized version of Gnostic Luciferianism may become an influential current of Luciferianism, if not somewhat dominant. Still, the description T. L. Othaos gives of Luciferianism as “like Neo-Paganism, but directed toward demons instead of pagan gods”, or to put another way “like Neo-Paganism but based around the Left Hand Path”, almost certainly applies to a number of historical representations of Luciferianism, and to a number of contemporary Luciferians. Thus, could Luciferianism as Dark Paganism, or a subset thereof, be valid? I suppose in some ways that depends on whether or not it’s accepted as a subset of Theistic Satanism, and what I’ve seen historically suggests to me that Luciferianism is too broad for that to be the case. I think that Luciferianism as a mode of Dark Paganism is viable as one of the different ways of being a Luciferian, and not just because Luciferianism seems to be a big tent of Left Hand Path occult movements anyway. There do in fact seem to be modern Pagans around who consider themselves Luciferians, and whose idea of what that means involves gravitating towards darker deities in the various pantheons with the aim of ritual self-empowerment, and in this sense perhaps these Luciferians can be called Dark Pagans, at least by John McLoughlin’s definition. In older online communities, many more mainstream Pagans, Neopagans, and especially Wiccans have taken to defining Luciferianism as essentially “devil worship” in opposition to Paganism, supposing that Luciferians (or more specifically practitioners of Luciferian Witchcraft) are not Pagans because they worship a Christian Devil. Such a fearful response obviously fails to account for the Latent Christianity inherent in the rejection of all things dark and devilish (even while also accepting the worship of the chthonic gods that were often feared in antiquity) or for the fact that ancient polytheists or at least magicians did worship or invoke the angels and names of God alongside the old gods in the time before Christianity had almost completely eclipsed polytheism. I mean, if Pagans could include the heavenly host of the Christian God as part of polytheistic worship and pluralism, and not be thought of as fluffy idiots even though the God of Christianity calls for the oppression of all other gods, I don’t see why the Devil and his demons should be so taboo? To say that it’s because they’re considered totally malevolent in the Christian context is, quite simply, to accept the moral claims of Christianity at face value, which is untenable so long as you also (correctly) refuse to take the claims they make for their God at face value.

I would maintain that the description of Dark Paganism is not universally applicable to all forms of Luciferianism. But if it can be practical to define Luciferianism or parts thereof as a kind of Dark Paganism, that idea has some positive potential, and I may find it very useful.

There is, however, one snag. While I was sleeping on it one day I was thinking about it, and it seems to me that the more concrete way to define Luciferianism is actually a lot more simplistic. It occurs to me that the main thing, possibly even the only thing, separating Luciferianism from Satanism is the idea that Lucifer is to be venerated as a being separated from and distinguished from the Satan or the Devil; essentially Lucifer for the Luciferians is a non-Satanic figure, and the idea that Lucifer is a Devil or a Satanic figure is just Christian slander. That would make sense of the idea of Lucifer as a Pagan god as Luciferian Pagans might suggest, but it also makes sense of the idea as a Gnostic saviour or even an appearance of Christ. But even then, a lot of Luciferians seem to venerate Lucifer as a Devil figure, even if they don’t consider that Satanic. Even older Luciferians used the terms and concepts interchangeably, such as the case with Carl William Hansen (who used Satanic imagery for fuck’s sake!) and guys like Alasdair Bob Clay-Egerton were Luciferians but he called his organisation the Luciferians Temple of Satan and defended the concept of devil worship in witchcraft from mainstream Wiccan critics. So even here, can the boundaries be said to be all that solid? Not to mention that Peter Grey in Lucifer: Princeps offers the suggestion via historical analysis that perhaps the boundaries between Lucifer and the Devil were never very strict.

Witches’ Sabbath (The Great He-Goat) by Francisco Goya (1821-1823)

Relevant articles from T. L. Othaos

T. L. Othaos’ article on Satanism and Luciferianism: https://othaos.com/satanist-luciferian-related-terms/

T. L. Othaos’ article on Tenebrous Satanism: https://othaos.com/about-tenebrous-satanism/

T. L. Othaos’ article on Teneberous Satanism vs the Order of Nine Angles: https://othaos.com/tenebrous-satanism-vs-order-of-nine-angles/

Another pondering on Lucifer

Lucifer by Guillaume Geefs

I’ve been doing more pondering on this figure called the Lightbringer, or Lucifer. I’ve come across the idea that Satan was originally Lucifer before his fall again, and I think that, in a way, Lucifer’s fall could be a metaphor for something else.

According to tradition, Lucifer fell because of the following reasons:

  • He believed he was just as great as Yahweh, or that Yahweh wasn’t as powerful as he seemed.
  • He didn’t like the idea of bowing down to the first man
  • He disagreed with Yahweh’s plans, and wanted to stand up to him
  • He didn’t much like serving Yahweh

Thus it can be said that the story of Lucifer falling from heaven and taking the identity of Satan (“adversary”, “opposer”, fitting of his status as rebel) can be seen as the Judeo-Christian way of saying that pride, freedom of thought, dissent, and insubordination are not accepted, and are in fact seen as sinful in the eyes of their god. This would continue into their teaching of “salvation”, which basically says that anyone who doesn’t believe in God or what the Bible says is going to suffer eternal damnation in hell. After all, what better way to silence freedom of thought, curiosity, and desire than with fear and morality stories for the sheep?

His rebellion extends to his continuous efforts to thwart the plans of his enemy, like when he took the form of the serpent to give them knowledge and awaken them from their ignorance in Eden. Added to the idea that Yahweh is a tyrant when it comes to sex, Lucifer can also be seen to represent sexual liberty as the opposite. In general, he can be seen as representing of freedom and selfhood, and the wisdom attained from following your own path (wisdom counting the serpent). Or a symbol of fighting against the “purity” espoused by Christians, and the oppression that God would want. He’s the freedom-loving opposite of everything a control-based self-denying religion or ideology like Christianity might stand for, hence the title Satan. In a way, you could say I treat him similarly to the LaVeyan way of viewing Satan, with similar characteristics and virtues.

If Lucifer is Satan, then it’s possible Satan is a name that we give Lucifer, “God” gave Lucifer, or Lucifer gave himself. Funny enough, the name Satanael is mentioned in the Book of Enoch as referring to the same entity (Satanael meaning “adversary of God”).

That’s about all I have on the subject.

Who is the devil?

And no, it’s not this guy.

Often times I come across the question of the identity of the Christian devil, or Satan as he is most often called. Who is this character really called? To answer this question, I would have to look into the history of the mythological evolution of this character, as well looking at Satanist perspectives.

First, let’s define our devil. The traditional concept of the devil is an entity with godlike abilities (though supposedly not as powerful as “God”), is the prince or ruler of demons, and works ever so hard to foil the plans of his mortal enemy (including tempting Adam and Eve away from “God” by granting them knowledge in the form of the fruit of the tree of knowledge).

Artwork of the temptation/liberation of Adam and Eve.

One of the names we usually call him is Satan. The actual name Satan goes back to the Hebrew “ha-Satan”, which means “opposer”, “accuser”, or “adversary”. Obviously, this refers to his role back in the Old Testament as the prosecuting angel who tested the faith of humans.

The title Satan can has also been given to other beings in the Bible, including humans, but also divine beings, so it could refer to anyone who challenges your faith, or in a different sense (the Christian context), anyone who opposes or rebels against “God” (or Jehovah). Well, that might be me then, along with anyone who’s anti-Christian or anti-Abrahamist, or for that matter anyone who doesn’t believe the word of “God”, according to the Bible at least. This probably explains why we use the word “Satanic” for most things that are anti-Christian, or just not Christian.

In theory then, King Diamond could be called Satan. If he actually was, that’d just make him even more awesome than he already is.

Then we have the name Lucifer. Traditionally it means “light-bearer” or “lightbringer”, and is a Latin translation of the Hebrew name Helel, which means “shining one”. He is also commonly viewed as the angel who fell from heaven after rebelling against Jehovah. But some also say the name Lucifer, or Helel, refers to a Babylonian king who was defeated. Isaiah 14:12 seems to think so.

It should be noted, though, that before the rise of Christianity, there were pseudepigraphica of Enochic Judaism that enjoyed much popularity during the time of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. This material gave Satan an expanded role and interpreted the morning star reference found in Isaiah as applicable to Satan, thus presenting him as an angel who fell from grace and was cast out of heaven. In turn, this would influence the Christian idea that Satan was known as Lucifer before his fall from heaven.

The Lightbringer

Similar to the traditional concept of Lucifer is Satanael. In the Book of Enoch, Satanael is an angel who fell from heaven after rebelling against God, with light rivalling even his. I think he appears in Gnosticism as well, and in Gnosticism he fostered the first Fall by offering Man the choice of selfhood before the tyranny of the Demiurge. Also, whereas Satan just meant adversary, Satanael means “adversary of God”, though that could just be a title or moniker.

From what I’ve heard, the Bible really doesn’t have a name for the devil, and it tends to use quite a few names to refer to either the same entity, or individual agents of the devil. Various names include Beelzebub, Samael, Mastema, Abaddon, Azazel, Belial, and probably many more. But as I said, they could be either names, or more likely separate demons.

Azazel as depicted in Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers.

I think it might be Baal, or Beelzebub. Beelzebub is identified as the prince of demons in Matthew 12:24 (in which Jesus is accused by the Pharisees of driving out demons by the power of Beelzebub). And besides, before the concept of the devil in Christianity, Rabbinical texts mention an entity called Baal-zebub (or “Lord of the Flies”) as a major false god. And keep in mind, Baal and the religion dedicated to him was the greatest rival of the Israelites and the religion of Jehovah. Not to mention, I hear the Bible contains surprisingly few references to Satan as the devil.

Also of interest is that in the Testament of Solomon, an apocryphal Jewish text, Beelzebub is not only the prince of demons, but that it is also said that he was formerly the highest ranking angel in Heaven, and was associated with the star (or planet) known as Venus. Sounds familiar? The traditional concept of Satan is shown as being the ruler of all demons, and was once an angel. And Lucifer is also ascribed these characteristics while also being associated with Venus. However, a problem with bringing the Testament of Solomon into this is that the text is dated between the 1st and 5th centuries CE, probably sometime after the supposed death of Jesus.

Baal, the rival god of the Israelites who would later be known to the Judeo-Christian world as Beelzebub.

Still I think Beelzebub might be the real identity of the Biblical devil, not for the Testament of Solomon, but for his history in Rabbinical texts and origins beforehand (which I previously elaborated on). And he is clearly identified as the prince or chief of demons in the New Testament (which should probably be the criteria for the devil), and Satan seems to have been sent by “God” to test Jesus in the desert from what I have heard. Beelzebub is clearly identified as the devil in the New Testament.

Fun fact: Did you know that Baal-Zebub, or Baal-Zebul, also means “Lord of the High Place”, or “Lord of Heaven”? Kinda ironic don’t you think? Or mysterious?

However, there is an irony in all this. I don’t consider the Bible a very trustworthy source of information, and yet passages from the texts are being used to identify the devil. Maybe it works, perhaps? By that logic, who’s to say that the devil’s actual name isn’t Lucifer, and Beelzebub might be another god?

Maybe Beelzebub and Lucifer are separate entities, with Lucifer being the allegorical light bringer, and Beelzebub being the devil and rival god of Jehovah, both rebels in some way, or at least both opposed to Jehovah or his ideals (and by extent the ideals of Abrahamism). Two different devils. And Satan? Probably a title.

I’d also like to take some time to mention the Satanist concept of the devil. In Satanism, Satan is generally a symbol of ideals such as self-godhood, free will, independence, rebellion, selfhood, and selfishness, as well as traits such as pride, lust, anger, ambition, and other traits that the Bible tends to condemn. This is true in Christianity in a way, because in Christian tradition Satan does indeed represent things such as pride, ambition, lust, selfishness, and “sin” in general, as well as temptation.

Well, that was a lot. Thanks for reading, if you did.

Satan’s origins in the god Baal

We’ve all heard of the Christian Satan (a.k.a. Lucifer, Beelzebub, etc. yada yada yada I’ve said this before), and thus you may have noticed his appearance throughout culture. You may also have heard that Satan’s design is a composite of pagan gods. Baal is one of those gods, and his role in the birth of the devil is a large and important one.

Let’s first start with Baal himself. While the word Baal (or Ba’al) itself simply means “lord”, and was also used as a title for a number of gods in the Canaanite religion, it is also a common way of referring to Baal Hadad, who for the purpose of this post we’ll refer to simply as Baal. He was a god of storms, thunder, rain, weather, and fertility. Among his notable features includes horns (or a horned headdress) and a thunderbolt, usually three-pronged, the latter of which would later appear as a weapon wielded by gods like Zeus and Indra. Baal was also equated with the Egyptian god Set, who, like Baal, was a strong and virile god of storms, but he was also a god of deserts who was also associated with foreigners and worshipped by Egyptian armies and soldiers, until later myths were he was a god of evil, darkness, and chaos (Egyptians really didn’t like chaos).

An ancient coin featuring a bull-headed deity. Notice he looks a lot like Set and with features of Baal.

Now we move on to Baal in Judaism. While there is no concept of the devil within Judaism, let alone as a being who opposes God, a similar kind of being is found in Ba’al Zebub. In Rabbinical texts, the name Ba’al Zebub (meaning “lord of the flies”) was the Jewish way of mocking the religion of Baal that surrounded them, and its followers, and it may have been a way of referring to Baal as a pile of dung and his followers as flies. They saw Baal as a false god, unworthy of worship. Does that sound familiar? Of course,  it’s a lot like the later Christian concept of Satan. The term Ba’al Zebub is the source of the name Beelzebub, and may have come from a Philistine deity named Baal Zebul.

In Christianity, we have Satan (who the Jewish Beelzebub is now synonymous with), who is most commonly shown as a horned male figure with a trident or pitchfork, along with other features like wings and a tail. The horned devil with a trident actually calls back to the god Baal with his horns and thunderbolt. It should be noted that Baal, or more or less the religion of Baal, was the biggest rival to the Jewish and Christian religions, so it seemed only natural for them to vilify him, and for the Christians to co-opt him into the design of the devil. Images of Baphomet may also be similar, being a horned entity holding objects.

A standard depiction of the devil.

So there you have it, Satan’s primary origins lie in the Canaanite god Baal, and in the Jewish (and later Christian) transformation of him (Beelzebub). There’s the traditional devil in Christianity, then before that a mockery/vilification of Baal in Judaism, and before that, Baal in the pre-Christian world. Baal does seem to me like the archetypal (male) pagan god, and that would probably make sense with regards to his vilification.

An eclectic path of Chaos

As long as we’re talkin’ primordial…

This post has taken a lot of work to think about and a lot of effort to consider, hence the delay. Anyway…

You may remember what I said I believed about God. Well throughout the blog, I have gone on record talking about my belief in primal chaos as the prime and endless foundation and substance of all that is. After some thought, I can’t reconcile any overarching God of any sort with believing in Primal Chaos as the prime substance. I know I already said I was agnostic about God, but even if God was a force running through everything, that might as well be the same as primal chaos being the prime substance of all. In effect, you might say I’m atheist. But save it for now, you’d be missing out on the rest of what I have to say.

A serpent, classic symbol of primal chaos, and carnality.

I believe in Primal Chaos as the prime foundation and substance of all that is, and a prime mover of sorts. The play of creation, destruction, change, movement, sensation, and power. Order does not exist, not truly. That or chaos is the order. I’ve already covered order not existing.

While I don’t believe in God as a concept, the creator, destroyer, and governor of existence, the reason all is, the maker of order, the demiurge, you get the idea, I am still open minded about the existence of gods/deities, monsters, spirits, and demons. Besides, I love gods, monsters, and demons, they’re so cool. For the most part, I simply believe in an ungoverned universe. It moves and changes on its own, and the chaos is endless. We’re born in chaos, we live in chaos, and we pass through chaos, and I make no claims about what happens after death, you’ll have to find out yourself. All I’m certain of is that there’s more than what we see with our eyes. I distinguish God from gods by stating that God is the concept of a demiurgic governer of reality, while gods are spiritual beings of some description, but they are not better than us, morally speaking. They’re just powerful beings.

You could call me a Satanist because I consider Satan/Lucifer a symbol of rebellion against religious authority, represented by God, as well as, in a way, self-empowerment, and he himself is a celebration of rebellion. You might even say he’s an example of sorts to follow.

Speaking of Lightbringer…

My idea of spirituality heavily involves granting yourself spiritual power, self-empowerment, awareness of chaos, and the freedom of our sexuality. Find your own truth and be objective about yourself. That fits well with what I said about Satan. I’m all about unlocking the chthonic flame inside you, your spiritual and emotional power, and getting to know all that is primal; any way you can, and any way you want. I don’t believe in oneness with a higher being. I do believe there is potential in music for spiritual goals, such as what I previously said about heavy metal, and I’m open-minded about magic and occcultism so long as you can use it to achieve the goal of gaining spiritual power. I value living your life for yourself, and not solely for the sake other people, and certainly not for a god, or for any lofty utopian ideals.

Fire 1 by markopolio-stock on DeviantArt

I’m also thinking of incorporating pagan thought. And no, not Wicca, I find it a little too peacey. I’m scrolling through pagan ideas concerning human nature, or Man’s animal nature. I go to paganism mainly because, in ancient times, pagan societies were less repressive about sex, paganism itself was never repressive about sex. It just wouldn’t be pagan otherwise. Besides, I’m a huge fan of earth mothers, particularly the curvacious kind and of proven fertility and power. Earth Mother to me just screams Primal Chaos. But I am not a Luddite, and I’m not anti-technology. If I was, why would I be playing video games and listening to music on computer?

Ishtar, as depicted in Shin Megami Tensei II

I make it a point to incorporate Asian religions. You know: Hinduism, Buddhism, and to a lesser extent Shinto and the folk traditions of China and Japan, mainly for my love of Eastern religions. I admire the appreciation and respect given to sexuality in traditional Indian religious thought. I admire the divine imagery in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Tantric schools of both religions. Perhaps, the images of gods like Shiva, Kali, Durga, and similar Hindu gods, along with Buddhist warrior-like Tantric gods, can be used as part of meditating on personal and spiritual power and strength.

A wrathful deity, possibly Mahakala. I prefer to think of them as beings of power, energy, anger, and flame, ironic considering they are assigned to destroy passion.

Also, Hinduism has a concept of earth mother goddesses, and a concept of Shakti, which refers to both an earth mother and a primordial power and energy, which is responsible for creation and change. Shakti  seems to be a prime mover, much like Primal Chaos, and it can also be a metaphor for any kind of spiritual power, especially female. The Earth Mother also quite sexual in a way. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s not like the primal and the sexual aren’t related.

Shakti in beauty and power

It’s not as though I don’t believe in actions not having reactions. They always do. It’s part of chaos: one thing pushes another, the other pushes back, all part of the neverending movement of all. But this is not a law. A law is a decree that needs to be enforced by its agents, whereas this is a nature. You could say that’s Buddhist, however, I disagree with much of Buddhism’s actual teachings, including the non-existence of selfhood or the self, their devaluing of passion and desire, despite their sexual and passionate imagery in their deities, their concept of fetters (mainly what the fetters are, including sexual desire), and the Mahayana idea of bodhicitta.

I’m anti-religious and against organized religion, definitely, and there’s certainly a sense that my ideas are anti-Abrahamist and against the traditional spiritual/religious/philosophical ideas based around the notion of an orderly or governed universe. Also, have you ever noticed most religion want us to escape from chaos and our human nature? Christianity, Islam, even Buddhism seem to have a utopian vision of a world or just existence without sin or desire. We all know where that’s gonna go. Why run from chaos and the primal, when we can embrace it? And when we don’t, we end up becoming drones, or worse. Besides, primal isn’t all bad. We humans are animals, sure, but we have infinite potential, we are capable of brilliance and intelligence.

We are not as detached from the jungle as you might think. We are creatures of the jungle.

All in all, my core beliefs/values are Primal Chaos as the prime substance of all that is, an existence that is ungoverned, unlocking spiritual and emotional power, sexual freedom, and getting to know all that is primal, including the primal within Man. It’s about embracing Primal Chaos, rather than rejecting it, or fearing it. It’s about empowerment, the empowering of your self, not dissolving it into some higher consciousness. It’s about respecting sexuality not repressing it. It’s about knowing the primal, not running away from it. It’s about power, it’s about freedom. It’s about not surrendering yourself or your free will to anyone. It’s about not having any spiritual governance. If you’re worried that my spiritual path doesn’t have morals of it’s own, it’s not supposed to. I am not supposed to decide someone else’s morals for them, you are supposed to decide yourself.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to hear me out, if you did. This took a lot of work, so I hope you appreciate it. After this, I’m taking a break from posting for the weekend, because I feel like having a break after the effort I made to concieve this post.

Sex and the demonic

Sex and desire were always enemies of religion, because religion asks for the sublimation and suppression of human desires, and tries to justify it mythologically. I seem to notice much of the demonic has a very carnal quality, and in a strange way it relates to sexuality.

Think, most religions have their ideal god or angels as being above sexual desire, and they idealize detachment from sexuality and earthly desires, and their demons seem to embody carnal and sexual desires. Satan, or Lucifer, seems to be associated sexuality, if mainly through temptation and desire.

The demonic in general feels quite carnal. I’m not sure why, but it probably has something to do with Satan’s nature as a sexual being, or perhaps all demons are carnal beings.

But none of this is a bad thing. All it means is that religion seems to demonize sexuality. And if this is all this is about, maybe the demonic isn’t all bad.

Sympathy for the devil

Apparently this is Satan, and he looks cool.

This is just my opinion, but I think some of you saw this post coming. Keep in mind, this post has nothing to do with John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Yes, I have my sympathies for the devil. Satan (or Satanael), Lucifer, Helel, Beelzebub (or Ba’al), Samael, El Diablo, Shaytan, Iblis, The Red Guy, The Serpent, The Dragon, the Apostate of Heaven, the Lightbringer, the Prince of Darkness, the Morning Star, the Devil, King of Demons, Al Pacino, whatever you decide to call him. Why?

Well consider this, the Biblical god is a tyrant and a dictator in the Bible, and otherwise just plain an entity who lies about his power and spends his days trying to force everyone to believe he has any spiritual authority. Satan rebelled against such a god and, if the Bible is anything to go by, continues to rebel and works constantly to thwart his works any way he can. The concept of the devil is pretty against the notion of any spiritual authority and represents disobedience to tradition religious dogma concerning god and the human soul. That doesn’t sound so bad. And what do you think he was doing in the garden of Eden? If he hadn’t led Adam and Eve to that fruit, they’d be stuck as mindless creatures living under Yahweh forever. And who wants that?

So why is he so bad? Even if he is just a creation of the Bible, think of what he is created for. He’s part of the Judeo-Christian concept of two beings fighting for control of the soul of Man, thus “God” is painted as good and someone deserving of spiritual authority and ownership of your soul, and if you don’t believe, it’s misguidedly believed Satan will take control instead. Propaganda is what’s going on here. The Abrahamic religion’s been doing this for centuries now, constantly pressing on us to believe what they tell us to believe, without any questioning of the truth or even validity of the dogma. That, and evolving Western culture and its trends (most likely inherited from Christianity), is how Satan is evil.

I’m not saying he’s utterly good, and I certainly don’t believe in worshipping him (because what’s the point?), but I’m just saying he’s not exactly bad. In fact, he only ends up killing 10 people in the whole Bible, and most of that is on the Biblical god’s orders. And the whole Garden of Eden doesn’t count. For all we know, Yahweh might’ve told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit as a bluff, or cursed them with mortality after they ate the fruit (personally I prefer the latter idea).

What it means to be Lucifer

Lucifer in the Shin Megami Tensei series, who apparently looks gorgeous.
Lucifer in the Shin Megami Tensei series, who apparently looks gorgeous.

We know the story, the devil (Lucifer/Beelzebub/Satan, whoever you want to call him) wanted a place higher than the biblical “God”, considers himself better than the other angels and didn’t like having to bow down to humans, and in general never liked being told what to do. And so, after waging war against heaven with a third of the angelic host, he was defeated and fell to the ground, watching and waiting for a chance to strike again. From then on he’d be propagandized as the one responsible for all sin and evil, the supreme tempter of mankind, the lord of nasty things (much like Ahriman in Zoroastrian myth being the creator of pain and creepy-crawlies), the king of evil, etc. In other words, the rebellious angel became the scapegoat through which we absolve ourselves of thought and personal responsibility by blaming it all on another entity. But that’s not what being a devil is about.

Have you ever noticed that demons and devils seem to appear in just about every religion, or least what could be called religion? A devil is the antithesis of all religious thought, and of conventional thought. Who in the right mind could deny that in the Bible, the thing most greatly attributed to him was the fact that the devil refused to obey the orders of god? The greatest attribute of a devil is that a devil is self-serving. A devil thinks for himself. A devil doesn’t care how he’s perceived. A devil follows his own judgement on just about everything. A devil worships nothing and no one, not even a “satanic” god. Being a devil is about freedom, in a way. By that logic, what is true freedom? Freedom is autonomous thought, thinking for yourself, never having to worship or bow down to anyone, never being governed by anyone except yourself, never having to be responsible for anything except yourself. That’s why a devil is so appealing, because a devil is a freethinker, not bound by anything.

A more demonic artwork of Lucifer from Shin Megami Tensei II, just for the lulz
A more demonic artwork of Lucifer from Shin Megami Tensei II, just for the lulz