The Global United Nightside Movement

I have just been apprised of a new development that is set to undertake within the broader Left Hand Path community. Thomas Karlsson, the Swedish occultist known for his involvement in Dragon Rouge, wrote a Facebook post on Friday announcing the birth of a Global United Nightside Movement. This is not to be taken as a pet project of his, but rather it appears to be a collaboration between Thomas Karlsson and Michael W. Ford (founder of the Assembly of Light Bearers, formerly known as the Greater Church of Lucifer), Stephen Flowers and Don Webb (two prominent and high-ranking members of the Temple of Set). It’s not strictly associated with either Satanism or Luciferianism or any specific Left Hand Path tendency per se, rather it is intended be a movement for all religions that fall under the category of “Nightside Spirituality”, otherwise known as “The Dark Path” or The Left Hand Path. With such leading lights as Karlsson, Ford, Flowers and Webb behind it, you can be assured that this is supposed to be a major project.

Right off the bat, I have a mixed opinion of this pursuit. Unity is a sorely lacking feature in many LHP circles. I’ve heard it once said that we are like a heard of cats. Therefore, it is easy to imagine that we would need to find a source of unity, and thus the idea of a Global Unified Nightside Movement has some appeal in the sense that it might seem to bring such a unity. However, I find it difficult to imagine such unity being possible in the long run. People often chalk it up to just different Satanists or different Luciferians being too different from each other, and in many ways that’s true, but in my view it comes down more to the fact that Satanism, Luciferianism, Setianism or what have you all represent movements that are distinct from each other. They can be thought of similarly to the relationship between Christianity, Judaism and Islam, or between Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism – all of them can be thought of as belonging to a loose family of faiths, whose relationship is defined by a shared common origin or a shared set of themes, tropes or philosophical and mythological frames of reference, but are ultimately distinct in content and ideology. To me as a Luciferian I find that, in the ultimate analysis, to treat me as being part of a united front with Satanists or Setians seems to be missing the point, especially given that I disagree with a lot of the doctrines from various Satanist organizations nowadays, and I’ve made clear that I do not support Michael Aquino’s particular vision of Satanism. And to be honest, I don’t think I would want to be a part of anything that would ask that I find common cause with the Order of Nine Angles and the degenerates that comprise that fascist cult. Not that I should assume that, of course, but it is worth raising as a concern as regards the theme of unity. My sense of reservation also emerges from my experience as a socialist, having entered into various left-wing spaces via the internet and observed conversations such as the theme of “left-unity”. The left has, historically, never been a united front in the same way that the right has managed to be. Throughout the history of socialism you have Marxists, utopian socialists, social democrats, anarchists, progressives (if you could call them left-wing) and other factions of the left constantly fighting each other over doctrinal differences. In Marxism itself, doctrinal division is also all too common – in my country alone, there are numerous self-identified communist parties, some of them splintering off from each other or existing as splinters from existing socialist parties, and many of them all subscribing to similar doctrines of Marxism-Leninism. Now I’m not quite saying it’s like that for LHP movements, but I derive from my knowledge of the history of socialist politics and of modern leftist spaces a sense of skepticism for any attempt of unity between wide and disparate movements.

That said, although there is little information to go on other than Karlsson’s Facebook post, I believe that there is some potential in the proposal. There is clear ambition and reflection in the project proposal, there is the desire to be a genuine, large-scale spiritual movement, which is something that I respect. There is quite a bit of emphasis on the exoteric aspect of Left Hand Path practice. What I would like to know more about, however, is precisely the exoteric side, the activity and praxis that this entails. We are invited to gather collectively as part of a larger movement dedicated to what is called Nightside Spirituality, but what we could really use is a well-defined plan of action or set of events to go on. I realize it’s early days, and I’m expecting there to be some sort of website or Facebook page or whatever to go with this project, but I still long for more information on the subject.

At the center of my desire to assess this project, however, is the nine constituents that Karlsson outlines in order to break down the essence of the movement. These constituents serve as basic points underpinning the philosophy of the movement. They are as follows:

1) Individual freedom: “The bigger the government – The Smaller the citizen.”
2) Spread the knowledge of The Nightside to those worthy.
3) Support science against superstition.
4) Be Watchmen against imperialist religions.
5) Create strong networks.
6) Inspire to Indiviuation as C.G. Jung called it.
7) preserve and relive the ancient traditions and make them adapted to our times.
8) Support each other.
9) Be loyal to our common taskmaster who has many names.

I like most of these constituents, but I think it’s worth discussing them in more detail.

I won’t lie, the first point is a real eyebrow-raiser for me, due to my familiarity with right-wing politics. Now I’m prepared to give these guys credit by pointing out that the statement “the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen” could mean have a number of meanings beyond right-wing libertarianisma and conservatism, and it could just be a generic assertion of the value of individual freedom or liberty, as can be found in left-wing doctrines as well as right-wing doctrines. In fact an argument for left-wing minarchism is very much possible to make, drawing from the works of authors like Anton Pannekoek, Eric Hass, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mihailo Markovic, and Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels themselves. But when I see talk of “big government vs small government”, it almost invariably comes from right-wingers, an American conservatism/libertarians in particular, and while the discussion of “big government vs small government” is often applied to discussions of individual liberty, in practice the whole point of that theme is economics, specifically the role of the state and its regulations in overseeing market forces within the context of capitalism. “Big government” usually means the expansion of government bureaucracy in theoretical context, but it also tends to . Thus I worry that there is a noticeable right-wing political flavour to this effort by Karlsson and co, which I suppose may be but a broader sign that the Randian framework of the Church of Satan is still subtly at play.

In case you may think I’m being out of line in saying this, consider two things. First, the fact that “big government vs small government” is a theme that only really appears in right-wing circles, and at that it’s mostly an American thing. I almost never encounter it outside of the US, except for in some British conservative circles, particularly the ones partial to Nigel Farage. Second, Stephen Flowers, one of the men behind this project, seems to be intensely right-wing. In his comment to Karlsson’s post, Flowers responds to the point about opposing superstition in which he singularly blames Karl Marx for what he believes to be, a sentiment that echoes the right-wing conspiracy theory known as Cultural Marxism. In fact, if you read Flowers’ book Lords of the Left Hand Path, you will find there are many times where we comments on Marx, Marxism and communism, and he makes claims about Marxist philosophy without ever citing any works from Marx or Engels or any other Marxists, or at least not directly. This is even more telling when you consider that, when he comments on the anarchists and their apparent reverence for Satan or Lucifer as literary figures, he will directly cite anarchists like Bakunin and Proudhon. Also, in the same book, there’s a section in which he accuses Marxism of being the origin of what we would call political correctness, a claim that is no different to the kind of conspiracy theories that have been bequeathed to us by people like Paul Weyrich and William Lind, the former of whom I might add was a leading figure in the conservative Christian “Moral Majority” movement. Again, no citations offered within that part of the book.

Honestly, I wonder what people are still doing talking about Cultural Marxism these days after Slavoj Zizek demolished Jordan Peterson, its chief exponent in the current decade, on the subject in their debate in April. Just for the sake of illustrating it, I will present the relevant clip from that debate below. But, I can sum it up with the following: Peterson fails to identify any Marxists that he holds to be responsible for the trend of academic postmodernism within the mainstream or for political correctness.

Anyways, returning to the constituents, the second constituent seems to show a sense of reservation regarding the distribution of knowledge. The idea seemingly is not to spread the knowledge of the Nightside to as many people as people, but only to “the worthy”. The logical questions that follow from this, of course, is “who are the worthy?”, “what determines whether you are worthy or not?”, and “what does it mean to be worthy?”, and for that matter, “worthy of whom?”. I suspect this plays into that idea of esotericism, of hidden knowledge, which I think all of us who get into Left Hand Path ideas and similar belief systems tend to be into. But I think there is this pervasive attachment to the idea of it being esoteric that misses the point: the point of being the light bringer is to reveal the hidden, and that means the esoteric no longer being esoteric, no longer hidden but instead known. No one will fear the darkness once it is brought into light. Isn’t that the point?.

The third constitutent is entirely positive and noble, and for me very befitting for those who seek to embody the Morning Star. Supersition is in no way the ally of those who seek truth and freedom, and we do not raise ourselves against the mystified reign of Yahweh only to mystify ourselves further. I think it’s worth noting that one comment to Karlsson’s post stook out in particular because it seemingly defended superstition on the grounds that the word superstition means the survival of pagan beliefs, on the grounds that the word superstition comes from the Latin words supra and stitio meaning “stay above” and “survive”, adding in a separate comment that this was the Christian meaning of the term. Of course, the word superstition originated not in Christian Rome but in pre-Christian pagan Rome, where authors such as Pliny used the term to refer to the survival of folk beliefs like divination. The similar term “superstitio” was used by Roman writers such as Tacitus to refer to religious movements that were barred by the Roman Empire, such as the religion of the druids. The concept of superstition in the Greco-Roman world also seemed to have . The Roman author Cicero used the term “superstitio” to refer specifically to fear or excessive fear of the gods, as opposed to the proper respect and veneration of the gods, for which he used the term “religio”. So in a way, when we say we oppose superstition, you can think of it not only as opposition to irrational folk belief in unfalsifiable supernatural phenomenon, but also opposition to the need to fear the gods and the unknown. This idea is completely consistent with Luciferianism in particular, and it was bequeathed to us by the Hellenists of Greece and Rome, and we would do well to learn from them.

The fourth constituent leaves me a little puzzled. What exactly is meant by “imperialist religions”? That’s another thing about this project I hope gets explained more. For my initial worries about right-wing political influence, one wonders if there’s a bit of a left-wing cue to this one. But I jest. Considering that the revivification of ancient tradition is involved in this project, I do wonder what this means for Alexander the Great (who is the subject of low-key praise in Michael W. Ford’s works), whose imperial expansion spread the Greek religion far and wide and resulted in syncretic interpretations of the Hellenic tradition. I don’t have much to go on here.

The fifth constituent is to me a genuinely positive one. It’s one of the key assurances that there will be a focus on collective solidarity, whether Karlsson and co realize it or otherwise. Exactly how this is to take shape is yet to be seen, but I think it’s safe to assume that this will involve the formation of a community of like-minded individuals. Of course this still leaves the question of whether this points chiefly to online communities or real life communities. I will find it hard to imagine that there’s much to be done in the way of real life community activity, but I do have high hopes and would like to see where this goes further. In fact, I am eager to find out whether or not the invariably social nature of this constituent and its demands leads to a collective pondering of how to interpret Left Hand Path ideas in a way that frees them from the atomizing effects of the hyper-individualism that the community often lays claim to.

The sixth constituent is interesting because it lends to itself a means to liberate the community from the egoism that was bequeathed to us by the likes of Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan, along with similar figures and movements. After all, the process of individuation is contextualized by an idea of self that is not definable as the ego, and in relation to which the ego is nothing but a diminutive aspect of the broader whole, or even an entirely illusory entity. In fact, I’ve seen interpretations of Jungian individuation as in fact not referring to the consolidation of a unique state of being but instead referring to, in a bizarre way, the attain of oneness, of initation with the whole. In any case, you cannot interpret the concept of Jungian individuation in a manner that resembles egoism, Randian or otherwise, without bastardizing it completely, and I imagine that anyone familiar with Jung’s ideas knows this, so it will be interesting to see the notions of self that emerge from the emphasis on Jungian individuation.

The seventh constituent resonates with me because I find that it aligns with the Luciferian ethos, which is all about revivifying the ancient ways in a new context, centered around the revolutionary figure of the Morning Star, or Lucifer. Of course, with the Temple of Set a big influence in Karlsson’s project via Flowers and Webb, I am rather concerned about what they could mean by “the ancient traditions”, possibly they may follow from Aquino’s fanciful fictions about the religion of Atlantis, but as it is intended to be a broad principle this might not necessarily be the case. It could simply refer to the ancient custom as defined within the Indo-European milieu, which would include Hellenism. In either case, this is a strong element of the Nightside Spirituality being defined by Karlsson, and I can definitely support it.

The eighth consitutent is benign in much the same way as the fifth one, and to me it seems to be almost the same point, a very positive one at that. We all start out msiguided, confused, and ignorant outside of our volition, and many of us lose our way. As such, a network of support which forms the basis of a community is often vital, and a good way to promote interpersonal solidarity.

The ninth constituent to me is rather mysterious. Just who is “our common taskmaster who has many names” supposed to refer to? I have to guess it is the name of a deity or a force of some kind, which leads me to suspect the influence of theism, but I can’t quite say for sure. So for now, I’m just going to have to ponder on what was meant by that statement.

And that’s all there is so far on the Global United Nightside Movement project. I’m eager for more information on the project, and I wait patiently for the opportunity to learn what my place in it might be.

A Luciferian Case Against Transhumanism

One issue that will probably define the fate of the Left Hand Path movements in the future is the issue of transhumanism. As technology, specifically the technology of artifical intelligence and human modification, develops, the issue of transhumanism will increasingly become relevant, and we may also face conflict between those who support it and those who oppose it. It is relevant to the Left Hand Path movements for two reasons. First, there is already some discussion on transhumanism happening within these circles – one example being the atheistic Satanist B. J. Murphy, who also happens to be a Marxist Transhumanist (as a Marxist myself, I cringe at this appellation), who wrote a Medium post in December where he attempts to tie his transhumanist beliefs with the ideals of The Satanic Temple. In fact, from what some have told me, transhumanism appears to be generally accepted in Left Hand Path circles, with people within them seeing them as the path to self-realization and ascencion to godhood. And, sadly, this assumption is not entirely unfounded in my experience. I remember a guy I once knew who was into Luciferianism and happened to support the Transhumanist Party, and even Satanicview views and I have clashed on the issue of artificial intelligence. I have, for the longest time, been skeptical and oppositional towards transhumanism, and this has often stemmed from this long-standing sense that the ideals of transhumanism are not only simply utopian but also would present a major threat to the sovereignty of the human species. When the transhumanist assures us that they are only working towards the liberation of humanity, I rebuke them for in my view they are liars, bearers of a false promise that will bring slavery disguised as freedom, like the Thousand Year Kingdom of God.

Close-up of The Creation of ATOM by Eric Susch

Let’s start by establishing just what exactly is transhumanism. Transhumanism is the name given to a futurist movement that generally believes in the progressive and emancipatory power of a wide range of technologies as well as the broader goal of creating a “post-human” (as opposed to simply superhuman) state of being and from there a utopian society through various technologies aimed at bringing about that transition. The general goals of transhumanism tend to including “curing” aging and eventually death (hence to achieve physical immortality), redesign human nature (which they consider to be a work in progress), the emergence of the technological singularity (that is, the hypothetical point where technological progress will exceed human control and subsume humanity), making it possible to upload and transfer consciousness into artifical bodies, and even the fusion of Man with machine, and the technologies that transhumanists (and their critics) concern themselves with include artificial intelligence, mind uploading, cryonics, super-intelligent computers, digitial brain emulation, robotics, nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Its ethos can be described as a thoroughly utopian one, seeking to bring about the perfect society by transcending the frame of human being and experience. Although strictly speaking transhumanism is largely confined to the realm of the hypothetical, this is to say what certain technology is theoretically capable of, there are examples of certain technological developments relevant to the movement that are in the embryonic stages right now. To give just a few examples, artificial intelligence is already being developed throughout the world, with the US and China in particular leading the way in the development of AI for military purposes in particular (we’re now at a point where unmanned military aircraft piloted by AIs are already being produced), not to mention the androids that have been showcased over the last decade, and there is apparently work being done on brain simulation that some take to be relevant to the possibility of mind uploading.

For all its promises, transhumanism is often regarded as a kooky, utopian, fanciful and sometimes even dangerous idea whose proposals not only entirely speculative at best but also fraught with serious scientific problems, to the point that same consider it to be a kind of secular religion. Even Francis Fukuyama (who I normally despise) was sensible enough to cite it as one of the most dangerous ideas in the world. Despite this, transhumanism is already a somewhat popular idea in the modern world. There are Christian transhumanists, there is a Mormon Transhumanist Association, there is a movement known as anarcho-transhumanism, and in some cases there’s even a strange intersection between transhumanism and nationalism – while it is often more common for transhumanists to oppose nationalism and vice verse, there are instances where the two sometimes go together. In Russia the anti-semitic nationalist Anatoly Karlin has often supported transhumanism as a means by which to improve the human population, while anthropologist Anya Bernstein believes that transhumanism may serve as a way of strengthening Russian national identity and pride, linked to its roots within Russia via the Cosmist movement. In India, particularly southern India, some Hindu scientists use the belief that Indians invented several advanced technologies before Western civilization (a claim I covered in my first post about Hindutva) to advance the idea of a synthesis between science and religion under the aegis of Indian nationalism, which some believe creates the space for younger Indian scientists to formulate a transhumanist platform following such a synthesis. In the US the libertarian transhumanist Zoltan Istvan has stressed that he wants the advancements of artificial intelligence to be consolidated exclusively in the US. For the most part, however, transhumanism is not strongly linked to nationalism and instead is associated fairly closely with the politics of neoliberalism and pro-capitalist libertarianism. Zoltan Istvan, for example, is currently running as a member of the Libertarian Party, and is said to have invoked the ideas of Ayn Rand in his book The Transhumanist Wager. Gabriel Rothblatt, who during the 2014 midterm elections was billed as the first openly transhumanist politician to run for office, is an economic and social liberal in addition to being a transhumanist. Peter Thiel, a well-known libertarian billionnaire, has a documented interest in transhumanist causes, such as “curing” ageing and the idea of the singularity, and is known to have bankrolled a number of organizations dedicated to transhumanist causes – these include the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, the Methuselah Foundation, The Seasteading Institute, and the SENS Foundation. Indeed, the capitalist class as well as Silicon Valley are increasingly getting spotlight for their ambitions to live forever at the top of an unshakeable hierarchy headed by the wealthy, presumably now godlike elite, thus we get a rare instance where the ruling elite actually seem to be fulfilling some conspiracy theories that posit that there is some sort of transhumanist agenda embedded within the political establishment. There are, of course, left-wing transhumanists, such as those who support “fully automated luxury communism” (including Aaron Bastani, whose latest book bears that phrase as its title), and indeed the “techno-progressives” often lament the domination of the transhumanist movement by the libertarian right, but on the whole the bourgeois character of the transhumanist movement or is close proximity to pro-capitalist politics is largely undeniable, and from there I think it’s safe to consider transhumanism to be, at least in practice, a largely elitist movement. Not to mention, take it from me, you wouldn’t want the fully automated luxury communism that left-transhumanists advocate for, because it rebukes even Marx’s ideal that labour should be life’s prime want rather than the subject of expropriation by the capitalist class.

Or maybe something like the plot of Elysium, where our immortal capitalist overlords live in space.

With all that out of the way, let’s establish my main objections. The first major problem I can think of is just this idea that, by casting aside the frame of humanity in favour of the frame of the machine, the limitations of the human frame of experience and physical form will be abolished leading to limitless transformative and evolutionary potential. One problem with that, of course, is that it’s a false premise concocted by people who have no real understanding of the difference between human and machine, or for that matter human consciousness. For quite some time people have had this idea that there really is no difference between human consciousness and mechanical computation. At the center of this conception is the idea that the human brain collects and stores information much like a computer stores code and files within its hard drive. The problem with this idea, however, is that this is not how the human brain actually works. The human brain does not actually store information in such a way, not even memories. This is not to say that the brain is empty, of course, and we do not know much about how the brain actually changes when we acquire new information (for example, learning a new skill). What we do know, however, is that there is nothing that suggests that there is anything like a file or a program stored within the brain as we have often believed for decades. In fact, often times the brain works in the opposite way: we tend to lose information on a regular basis, and as far as memory goes the brain can often generate memories of things that sometimes don’t correspond to actual past events.

This naturally presents a major problem for the idea that mind uploading will even be possible in the future, distant or otherwise. The very premise of mind uploading depends on the premise that the brain stores information in the same manner that a computer does. After all, what are you uploading to a larger computer or cyberspace if not a set of information stored within what is supposed to be another, smaller machine. If the brain doesn’t actually work that way, meaning there isn’t really anything comparable to files or programming that can be “uploaded”, then the whole concept falls apart.

Beyond that, however, there is the much larger problem of how we appear not to realize just how limited machines really are compared to humans. There isn’t even a real basis for whether or not machines can actually think or demonstrate intelligence as humans do. The idea that they can is generally traced to the premise of the Turing Test, but the Turing Test was never actually intended to demonstrate whether or not machines could exhibit intelligence comparable to or even superior to humans. At least not according to Alan Turing, the man who devised the test to begin with. He did not seem to believe that machines can think in a meaningful sense, and in fact he considered the very question of whether or not they could think to be, in his words, too meaningless to deserve discussion. In fact, when it was announced in 2014 that the first machine ever to “pass” the Turing Test had been created, even the arch-transhumanist Ray Kurzweil dismissed such claims. In fact, it is likely that computers will never be able to emulate the human brain in the way that people like Kurzweil have often suggested it will. Not to mention, computation in general has several practical limitations, and it would be foolish to assume that any computer, present or hypothetical, is able to catch up with the complexities of the human brain,. Not to mention, as Roger Penrose pointed out, computers are incapable of understanding just what it is they do. That would be a faculty of evolved sentience that computers do not possess, and most likely cannot possess since consciousness cannot be emulated by computers. As such, the desire to achieve a “post-human state” by moving from man to machine amounts to what is in the end the path to becoming an inferior state of being, if it can even be called a state of being I suppose. You’re not transcending the limitations of human existence, you’re embracing an existence that is probably going to be even more limited than human consciousness.

Oh what’s that? You say you’ll be immortal in your new transhuman machine body? Well even if we overlook the destruction of the solar system, or the galaxy, or the fact that you won’t be able to escape the “heat death” stage of cycle of the universe if the species even survives long enough to see it, there’s this thing in physics called the Higgs field, which is the name given to what is thought to be the field of energy that permeates the universe. It’s believed that if this field is disrupted or fluctuates to a certain degree (and not necessarily a large one either), it will trigger a reaction that causes pretty much everything in the universe to be destroyed, and your transhuman machine body won’t be withstanding that.

So long silicon, along with just about everything else

The second problem, of course, hinges on just what kind of world we’d be living in if we attempted to go through some sort of transhuman program. In my estimation, it would be a world where human agency is completely diminished. One example of this would be in the proposal found within the Venus Project and Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist films, in which the end goal is a society that is centrally governed by a super-intelligent computer and where robots do most if not all of the work. Humans supposedly would still be doing things, but they’d apparently only be doing what they want to do. The fact that what they want to do will invariably by affected by the “will” of a supercomputer doesn’t seem to cause a logical problem with these people, nor do they seem interested in addressing the problems for human agency that this creates, except by saying it doesn’t matter because, in their words, “nature is a dictatorship” (incidentally, I remember hearing that line in the third Zeitgeist movie during my late teens and being dramatically turned off from the movement). I have to guess that’s why the movement, from what I’ve seen of it today, doesn’t seem to emphasize the vision of transhumanist technocracy in its politics anymore and instead just likes to bill itself as a generic bourgeois sustainability think tank (and at that, one that seems to be almost completely depoliticized). Outside of that, however, I fail to see a transhumanist society emerge that won’t end up being heavily stratified and tyrannical. Consider that, at present, the transhumanist project is intimately connected with the interest of capitalists, particularly in Silicon Valley, who view transhumanist ideas and the technologies relevant to their cause as the path to immortality. It seems reasonable for me assume that such resources will be concentrated in the hands of such a powerful group while the classes that exist below them will not be afforded what will doubtless be treated as the luxury of the elite. If you thought society was profoundly unequal now (in fact, many say that the current economic order has given us a level of inequality comparable to the Gilded Age of the US), just wait until you have where you have an immortal bourgeoisie supported by the power of an automated, artifiically intelligent military. I ask you, what freedom is that? Is this not the type of tyranny that we were warning ourselves about throughout popular culture? And the sad thing is, unless we dismantle capitalism and take the path towards socialism, that society will likely be the inevitable outcome as the bourgeoisie seek to consolidate their rule to a point of immutability.

After all this, I think it’s pertinent to tie it all back to a question I’m sure you have: what does all of this have to do with Luciferianism exactly? Well, to tell you the truth, many people seem to have their own interpretation of what Luciferianism is, and that’s largely thanks to how decentralized the movement presently is (even with the existence of organizations like the Assembly of Light Bringers), but there is something we can agree on as far as what Luciferianism is based on: it can be described as the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and the attainment. This, however, is a general idea, based on what many Luciferians say about their ideas, and we have much to disagree on from time to time as to what those ideas mean in the larger scale of things. However, I believe I can invoke a framework relevant to my case based on a man I’ve been gassing on about for the last few months now: none other than Ben Kadosh (or Carl William Hansen), the eccentric Danish occultist who may well have been the father of our movement.

Whereas some Luciferians, including Michael W. Ford to my knowledge, imply the goal of isolation from the material universe, Kadosh’s framework considers the premise of the Lucifer-Logos to be inseparable from the material or natural universe. I have covered this before, but for the purpose of my case I will explain again. I base my assessment on numerous aspects of Kadosh’s seminal work, The Dawn of a New Morning, Lucifer-Hiram, The Return of the World’s Master Builder (which from here on out we will refer to as just Lucifer-Hiram). Kadosh establishes the universe itself as divine on the grounds that it is isomorphic to Pan, the Greek god of the wilderness whose name has oft been interpreted to mean “All”, and he says directly that Pan is the eternal sum of nature. It’s interesting to note that Kadosh also identifies Pan with several deities who were traditionally the leaders of their respective pantheons – such as Jupiter, Kronos (who was the king of the gods before Zeus in Greek mythology) and even “Jeve” (which seems to have been an archaic way of referring to Jehovah) – as well as the Gnostic Yaldabaoth (or Ildabaoth) and even Hiram, the great architect of the Temple of Solomon venerated in Freemasonry, which to me suggests that Pan in Kadosh’s framework replaces what would be the classical theistic framework with a pantheistic one by identifying God with the universe. Lucifer, in his framework, is the Logos, the creative energy and “ego” of the material world as Kadosh himself would put it, the potential force of matter, though simultaneously in his framework the agent responsible for creation. The strange quirks of his original doctrine aside, it’s possible to derive from it the formulation of a framework of Luciferianism wherein a natural universe is one of the primary subjects, in which the Lucifer-Logos, and thereby Luciferian enlightenment, is not separable from the material universe.

Pan in Arcadia by Sarah Young

Now you might be wondering what all of this means. Well, I think most crucially that this means an embrace of the natural world, and our identity as natural beings, and in that sense we have something that my framework of Luciferianism (and Kadosh’s) has in common with much of Satanism, including LaVeyan Satanism believe it or not – we both position ourselves in relation to the natural world, and reject the false heaven that is supposed to exist outside of it. For me, this means for Luciferianism a very specific relationship with the natural world, one defined by both mastery and harmony with our surrounding environment. We undeniably have the power to transform our surroundings, this is one of our great powers and even virtues, but it can also be the source of destruction if we do not utilize it correctly so as to ensure a relationship that benefits the natural world as well as us. It also means, however, that I think Luciferianism means seeking the divine in the natural, the soul of the flesh to use a metaphor. The practice of Luciferianism is centered on Man’s mastery of himself, and his ability to shape the world around him for the better in service of freedom, but this is not to be taken as some Gnostic flight from the material world. If anything, if we choose to take the approach of the Neo-Luciferian Church wherein Lucifer represents the quest of the identification with the Godhead, then through the framework of the man they venerate so much as the father of their tradition we can only take this as identification with the universe itself, and from there to see the divine in everyone. Transhumanism, in my view, teaches us to have the opposite outlook of the world. The unstated premise of transhumanism, which underrides its commitment to “transcend” the human frame, is that we must abandon the natural world, because we see its limitations as a form of slavery. Said people would do well to listen to Noam Chomsky, the famous linguist and one of the few anarchist thinkers I respect, when he makes the great point about how our capacities would not be definable without the existence of limitation, which is salient from the perspective that we are biological creatures and as such answer to the limits of biological creatures accordingly, or Anton LaVey who, even in spite of his most utopian projects of Pentagonal Revisionism, stated on numerous occaisions that limitations are inevitable and often necessary for biological beings. To be salient of not only this but also the fact that human self-consciousness is non-computable requires us to hold that the goal of enlightenment and realization, in identification with morning star, makes sense is a component of a human framework, an expression of human spiritual manifestation, and thus to take the transhumanist route means to abandon the frame in which human self-realization can take place. And although we Luciferians place self-consciousness at the center of our beliefs, this human self-consciousness cannot be separated from nature. I also find the idea that some transhumanists have that their technophiliac platform can be utilized in service of environmentalism to be laughable as well – after all, what’s the point of tending to the ecosystem when you no longer depend upon the ecosystem. Wanting to place your consciousness into a machine to me thus amounts to just an excuse to not give a shit about Nature – in fact it arguably premises itself on the idea that human consciousness can be separated from natural being – because you get to “live forever” in a body of circuits that can’t even do all the things that make the human brain so extraordinary.

If what I’ve explained about transhumanism is true, then what we are dealing is nothing more than yet another utopia, a false promise of salvation, as I said earlier akin to the Thousand Year Kingdom of God, and much like Christianity it’s the same old promise to save us from ourselves. It asks us to forsake our identities as humans for the false promise of physical immortality, albeit as either a machine or as information floating around in cyberspace, and a society free from the limits of the natural world. To follow the path of the angel of liberty, therefore, means to oppose transhumanism and its grotesque plans for the world. I thus do not appreciate it when transhumanist ideas are promoted in any circles related to Left Hand Path ideas.

Scene from The Terminator (1984)

A review of Naturalistic Occultism by IAO131

About a year ago I became aware of the existence of a book entitled Naturalistic Occultism: An Introduction to Scientific Illuminism, which was written in 2009 by IAO131 (or Frater IAO131), a Thelemite author who produces a podcast entitled Speech in the Silence and is the creator and editor of the Journal of Thelemic Studies. The subject of the book is, as the title would suggest, is the concept of Naturalistic Occultism, the author’s formulation of a system of occult practice consistent with naturalism and skepticism based on Aleister Crowley’s framework of Scientific Illuminism, as elucidate in the first edition of The Equinox along with numerous other works of his. I have been meaning to read it, but for some reason I didn’t get around to it until the last week. The following post is my assessment of the book, or more specifically of the content of Scientific Illuminism being espoused. It should be stated for the record that the edition I have is the 2nd Edition, which was released in 2012 and apparently has some additional content not found in the original edition.

The introduction to the book gives us a pretty clear sense of where IAO131 is going with his concept of Naturalistic Occultism as well as the concept of Scientific Illuminism. Naturalistic Occultism, simply put, is a framework by which to understand occultism through modern scientific concepts, specifically within the range of what is presently accepted by the mainstream of neurology and psychology. This concept is treated within the book as interchangeable with Crowley’s concept of Scientific Illuminism, which refers here to the methodology by which Crowley espouses skepticism as a device of Thelemic spirituality and occultism as described in The Equinox. In its initial form, it’s a refreshing take on the field of occultism, going out its way to point out the trend that some of us in the LHP field have known for quite a while – namely that far too many occultists are fanciful charlatans who peddle superstition in place of organized religion, while of course setting themselves against organized religion for the thought-slavery that it imposes upon us, and the attempt to marry occultism with psychology and neurology, on the whole, is genuinely fascinating. But while it makes a fairly convincing case for taking occultism through a naturalistic lens, I do worry about some aspects of its proposal. For example, it lays a specific emphasis on “pragmatism”, which is defined in the book as the belief that truth can be determined based on what works, that a belief is true insofar as it is useful – as Crowley put it, “Maximum Convenience is our canon of Truth”. At best, it tends to be a rather shallow framework, and I say that because it simply isn’t enough to say that it works. You need to go further, and ask “but why does it work?” or “how does it work?”. At worst, however, it reminds me of when Jordan Peterson said that truth is based on survival or whether or not it “serves life”. The other problem I have is the emphasis on phenemonolgy, and the reason that worries me is because, as the book lays out, this approach spells out to us that there is no external world that exists outside of the phenomenal realm, and since IAO131 links this to consciousness, this entails that there is no world that exists outside of human cognizance, which is entirely (and normally I hate this word but) problematic because the very premise of naturalism, I would assume, demands the consideration of a world or cosmos (and processes therein) that exist independently from our cognition.

Early into the book, IAO131 compares and contrasts his doctrine with a selection of more popular occult doctrines – New Age occultism, Hermeticism, and Chaos Magick – and in it he does make some pretty good points. For example, with New Age occultism, he points out that the New Age movement is an anti-scientific movement that bases itself on pure faith that sustains itself on rampant consumerism, though I feel its analysis was lacking in detail to the point that it made me wish I was just reading Michael Parenti’s Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America instead, given that it has a section dealing in New Age religion and, from what I’ve heard about the book, attempts to deal with it in terms of ideology as part of a criticism of the broad pantheon of bourgeois ideology that serves to undergird capitalism. IAO131’s assessment of Chaos Magick was also rather enlightening, and I find the most salient criticism he gave of it as that it lacks a systematized framework and a unified language or structure, owing to its fundamentally decentralized approach. With Hermeticism, though, I was slightly disappointed, and I guess I was expecting him to go more in depth as to his issue with the actual content of its doctrine given, from what I understand, it is a fairly long-standing tradition with quite a bit of theory developed for it, but his main complaint about it seems to be more that the Hermeticist movement has this apparent sense of superiority and appeal to authority, with little attention given to its actual doctrine.

In a more general sense, one thing that often annoys me about IAO131 in the book is his constant invocation of cultural relativism, that is the way he constantly tells us that, in real terms, no system or set of values is better or worse than the other. He extrapolates this from that axiom of Crowley’s, “there is no law beyond Do what thou wilt”, saying the following:

As the Book of the Law says so succinctly, “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt”, and we have no right to insist that anyone is fundamentally wrong in pursuing their Wills, even if it does lead to ignorance, obscurity, or ineffectiveness.

In the context of this particular passage, the author intends this attitude to be a safeguard against prejudice and hubris, but the underlying lesson we get about what seems to be the ethos of Thelema is, basically, that you can’t be wrong in any of your beliefs, even if you actually are wrong – or, more accurately, it’s OK if you have erroneous and delusional beliefs, we’re not really going to do anything about that. This attitude for me is one of my major problems with what appears to be the Thelemic movement as it exists today, and it’s largely to do with the fact that it’s actually far more pervasive than Thelema. You see it in people on the online left, for instance, some of whom sincerely believe that they can commit to specifically atheistic formulations of communism and theistic religions such as Islam or Christianity at the same time, with no evident theoretical justification for such a marriage, and if you criticize them for such foolishness they simply accuse you of being a judgemental bigot. I guess it makes sense when the only thing holding your beliefs to together is your will or your desires, or when the only reason you believe in something is as some kind of emotional support.

This attitude also bleeds into the general attitude towards religion, which I worry colours his methodology. Perhaps its a consequence of how he interprets the motto of Scientific Illuminism as Crowley originally put it (“The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion”), but it reeks of typical liberal defences against atheism. He insists that, while we absolutely should oppose superstition and uphold skepticism, and to that effect we should not disregard science, we also shouldn’t disrespect religion. By the end of the book he even goes so far as to accuse atheists (and scientists) of , being just as subject to blind faith as the theists they oppose, strawmanning hard or strong atheists as being “rabid” militant atheists, which such a delicious irony for my considering, from the very start, his framework only makes sense when treated as an atheistic one! He also complains about materialism on the grounds that he considers it to be a reductive doctrine that disparages religion and spiritual pursuit, which is weird to me because if you’re basing your doctrine on naturalism you’re invariably in the business of discrediting conventional religion by taking the power away from it by explaining conventionally religious, spiritual and magical concepts in as phenomenon that can be understand entirely as natural concepts, which invariably makes them part of the material universe. The way he goes about it just sort of makes me think back to Luciferians like Ben Kadosh and Michael W. Ford, and how in their own they actually recognize the material universe as one of the key points of their ontology, albeit through symbolism. In the case of Kadosh, as I’ve discussed earlier in “The earthly light of Ben Kadosh’s Lucifer“, this is represented as the Greek god Pan, with Lucifer being the Logos of the material world, while in the case of Ford this is represented through Az (the mother of demons in Zoroastrian mythology), who for Ford not only represents the power of evolution but also connected to the material universe by virture of the fact that Az apparently corresponds with the Greek word Hyle, which refers to matter, as Ford explains in Adversarial Light: Magick of the Nephilim. But I suppose as someone who’s been a Marxist for over a year now I was going to take issue with IAO131’s treatment of materialism. It lacks imagination to me, strikes me as the mark of a man unable to find the soul of the flesh so to speak, and I believe it to be limited by what is quite obviously a liberal framework (one of the tells is how he criticizes capitalism on the subject of New Age spirituality, but ultimately declares that does not actually oppose capitalism despite that it brings him the consumerism he rightly despises). As a matter of fact, it shows when he declares on the last page before the glossay that “the truly childish attitude is to assume you are right and that anyone who disagrees must be delusional”. For some reason it reminds me of that saying, attributed to Gene Knudson Hoffman, that an enemy is just someone whose story you have not heard – to which, as Slavoj Zizek pointed out in his debate against Jordan Peterson, the obvious answer is “should we have decided that Hitler was just someone whose story we haven’t heard from?”.

The theory that he offers for various occult concepts tends to be the most interesting part, as we get to IAO131’s actual formulations of how to understand occultism through his naturalistic framework. At first I found his treatment of the concept of “as above, so below” to be a little unfair, and I would probably maintain that a concept like that can be interpreted from a somewhat pantheistic lens (after all, if the universe is God, and Mankind its most sophisticated offspring that we know of, we may find the cycles of Man and his environment reflected in the natural universe) and his own approach too phenomenological. There’s also a more social secular way of looking at it, one that presents individual ills as reflective of social ills, which the Marxist can take and shift it away from the superstructure and onto the base structure. However, after reading the book I did a little digging, and it seems the microcosm and macrocosm ideas apparently has its connections to astrology, ideas about sacred geometry, Hermeticism and alchemy (and for some reason the Wikipedia articles on them have “Family as a model for the state” listed as related articles), and it seems to me like IAO131 could have gone into more detail about that, but he didn’t. The sections on astrology, divination and gematria, however, are pretty illuminating even though they’re as short as the other sections. While they aren’t particularly detailed, they explain how a lot of these concepts arbitrarily base themselves on confirmation bias, with some pretty amusing examples (in the case of gematria, there’s an example involving Sarah Palin). The section of divination is similar, but it explains it in terms of what’s called a Barnum statement or the Barnum effect (a reference to the famous 19th century showman P. T. Barnum), which refers to ambiguous statements that are otherwise subjectively imbued with personal meaning. The section on “why magick seems to work” seems to avoid any claim to whether or not it actually works, but instead takes the concept of the placebo effect and uses it to formulate a way to understand magic as an internal process of self-improvement. However, I feel that the subject of magick and “how it works” requires a lot more depth, and once again the brevity of the content betrays the level of exposition that could be devoted to the subject, thus the theory section also, on the flipside of its fascinating content, underscores on of my major complaints about the book – namely, it’s too short, which is a real problem for me because I really want him to get into more depths with the discussion of Jungian ideas in particular.

Some sections on theory are longer than others though. These are dedicated to astral phenomenon, initiation, and the “mystic attainment”. And perhaps it’s no coincidence that I found these to be among the most fascinating. There could still be a more detailed exposition to these concepts, but there is plenty to take away from what I’ve seen. With the section on initiation for example, the relation to psychotherapy is actually a fairly interesting angle because, if done correctly, a naturalistic framework of occultism as related to psychotherapy can manifest as a way to bring the capacity of psychotherapy into the hands of the individual and the masses, allowing you to take control of that process through such a pursuit, which could have untold spiritual and cultural benefits. The section on “astral bodies” seems interesting in the sense that it attempts to tie it to a neurological concept known as the “body image”, referring to a representation of the body that is apparently generated by the brain. The concept of the “mystic attainment” is, in my view, actually a pretty good way of framing the goals of just about any spiritual let alone occult tradition, perhaps even in a conventionally LHP context in that it creates space for interpretation upon which a distinct framework can be developed.

And on that front, there are actually quite a few parts of the theory of Naturalistic Occultism that, in my view, dovetail quite nicely with Luciferian philosophy. For example, in the book’s section on “As Above, So Below”, there’s a great quote from William Blake (one of my great and foremost spiritual inspirations) which reads “men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast”, with IAO131 noting that this statement can be amended to refer to the brain instead of the breast, though I find myself questioning the way he uses it to invoke the premise that “the macrocosm is actually a reflection of the microcosm” (meaning the universe is a reflection of consciousness). In the section on initiation, the definitions of initation, framed as spiritual attainment and spiritual progress, are related to that concept of “making the unconscious conscious”, which is taken to mean the integration of unconscious material into conscious awareness. In fact the concept of initiation is a great way to make sense of Luciferianism. I see the concept of initiation discussed far more in the Luciferian tradition than in the Satanic tradition, and the book’s idea of spiritual progress, entailing self-discipline, maintenance and enhancement, is a great way to contrast it with the hedonism that is much of baseline Satanism. The section on invocation, thought in need of exposition, arguably lines up with the concept of Deific Masks in its psychologizing of the gods and its premise that invocation refers to invoking parts of yourself rather than external masters. It’s also curious to note that, as this section ends, there is a note on how the magician “”becomes” what she is invoking”, which is then psychologized in the sense of being interpreted to mean the release or access of unconscious potency. In a sense, the framing nonetheless allows to think of apotheosis from the lens of continuous transformation, becoming many gods on the way to the state of Theos Epiphanes, which may serve only to inform the Luciferian framework in a positive, emancipatory direction, might even have some radical ideas for what we consider to be the true self. The section on “mystic attainment” ends in a quote from Aleister Crowley in One Star in Sight wherein he says that what IAO131 refers to as the mystic attainment is the knowledge and conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel (itself a concept that crops up in Michael W. Ford’s work as well; who knows why) of making humans “no less than the co-heirs of gods” and even refers to those who achieve this as a Lord of Light – I can’t say for definite that this is actually a reference to Lucifer, and might not be, but it does seem rather reminiscent. In the section on “astral workings and scrying”, it’s noted quite often the necessity of facing up to the “shadow” side of the psyche, that the ability to handle the adverse aspects of the self is to be taken as a sign of great spiritual strength, that there is no light side that is not accompanied by its dark side, and indeed ends with a quote from Crowley that endorses the virtue of overcoming, “strive ever to more”, all of them great points to make note of in the Luciferian framework, indeed that many Luciferians often emphasize themselves already. However, I don’t believe IAO131’s liberal morality and relativism serve the Luciferian framework well, given that he counsels us not to bash religion so much, which we Luciferians might have a problem with, given our contempt for the Abrahamic faiths.

Towards the end of the book we get a very short section on practice, where the methodology regarding certain aspects of occultism from the framework of Naturalistic Occultism is outlined. This is one area where brevity is actually somewhat merited and the instructions seem rather simple. I imagine you won’t get the technique right away, practice making perfect after all, but it seems pretty easy to follow through. Following this, we get an “inconclusive” conclusion, telling us that the book is simply a starting point for the development of Scientific Illuminism, which for all intents and purposes is accurate.

Ultimately, I will say this to conclude: the concept of Scientific Illuminism is sorely lacking in study and formulation. In fact, I think it’s somewhat telling how even within Thelema, the religion from which this framework originates, it seems to be a pretty obscure concept. Indeed it is to a point that, for the flaws in IAO131’s framework, the only serious development of Scientific Illuminism I can see in the modern day can be found in his book. That worries me, because in my view the concept deserves far more attention than it gets, and it deserves to be developed in new ways, ways that differ from the approach taken by IAO131 and even perhaps by Crowley, while, of course, remaining as respectful to much of its basic premise as possible so as to serve as having genuinely been informed by the idea in the sense of a kind of continuous tradition. Luciferianism, I believe, may have great use for such a doctrine. The mission of Scientific Illuminism, to make the practice of occultism apprehensible to reason, is perhaps an archetypal manifestation of that ancient quest to bring the divine to earth, in the hands of Man, which is, I believe, the great mission of the Morning Star and his devotees. Lucifer, after all, has almost always been recognized by occutlists as the angel of science, reason and freedom, not superstition, ignorance and the chaos and tyranny that those things stimulate.

An illustration of the Abbaye de Thélème, the “anti-monastery” described by Francois Rabelais

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

Long live the democratization of deity

In the foreword of Karl Marx’s Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature, there is noticeable attention paid to the myth of Prometheus, which he seems to view as the champion and affirmation of the virtue of philosophy. He makes reference to the philosopher Epicurus as echoing the cry of philosophy against its adversaries through the following quotation from his letter to Menoeceus:

“Not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them, is truly impious.”

Now it is worth noting that, in the actual letter, the context of that statement is negative. Epicurus considered the affirmation to be a literal blasphemy, because in his words “the utterances of the multitude about the gods are not true preconceptions but false assumptions”.

There is a version of that quote that reads a little differently, found in Karl Marx’s Social and Political Thought: Critical Assessments by Robert Jessop, as well as Activity in Marx’s Philosophy by Norman D. Livergood, and it reads like this:

“The blasphemous is not he who scorns the gods of the masses, but he who adheres to the idea that the masses create the gods.”

And truly this would be blasphemy indeed for the classically religious person. After all, this brings the level of the gods, God, and divinity in general down to the domain of Man, and in so doing binds them to the earthly realm, to worldliness. This would be impermissible for most religious/spiritual systems. But, it is in part that quality that makes such an idea truly revolutionary in the context of the ancient world, and perhaps still so in the modern day.

It is also from the foreword of Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature that we derive a very peculiar quote, one that I find should appeal to those who seek to uphold the Promethean ideal:

“Prometheus is the most eminent saint and martyr in the philosophical calendar.”

In Marx’s canon, Prometheus is the mythological and heroic champion of philosophy, and through whom philosophy rebukes the clemency of the gods in his response to Hermes:

Be sure of this, I would not change my state
Of evil fortune for your servitude.
Better to be the servant of this rock
Than to be faithful boy to Father Zeus.

This quotation is in many ways the ancestor of that famous speech given by Satan in Paradise Lost, in which he proclaims, rightfully, that it is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. When Hermes, a servant of Zeus, approaches Prometheus, he attempts to scare Prometheus into telling him what he knows about the eventual destroyer of Zeus, as this is one condition for Zeus to release him from his bondage to the Caucasus. Prometheus refuses to comply, and asserts that he would prefer to remain in his state of punishment and suffering then to serve as the lackey of the gods. This is how one can make sense of the Promethean interpretation of the character of Satan in Paradise Lost, assuming of course that John Milton was familiar with the story of Prometheus.

For Marx to cite him as the foremost saint of the philosophical calendar suggests that the spirit of Prometheus is very much intended to manifest in much of his worldview, and for him at least the practice of philosophy. Or, more pertinently, that the emancipatory spirit of Prometheus reminded Marx of his own overriding ideal of collective emancipation (Prometheus being the emancipator of humanity by stealing the fires of knowledge, with Marx’s .

Now, in Jessop’s book, We get an interesting analysis of the way Marx addressed the Promethean themes invoked in the foreword of Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature. First we address the analysis of the quotation of Epicurus.

“True blasphemy is not contempt for the gods but advocacy of the idea that the gods are human creations, detached ideas, become independent in the mind. Philosophy or secular self-consciousness, in other words, does not reject ‘gods’, a metaphor for ideas, but sees them as reflections of man’s own self-consciousness; i.e. gods, like ideas, are products of human self-consciousness and not the absolutes of theology.”

Theistic religions, from pre-Christian religions to Christianity to Islam to Hinduism, have traditionally held their gods in absolute, being tangible beings with tangible power, through the tremendous power they were held to have over natural and spiritual forces that directly affect the survival of humans. Framed this way, however, the gods are presented as the emanations of human consciousness, from there perhaps dependent upon it. Perhaps this is not too far away from the way that the naturalists of old viewed the gods, such as Prodicus of Ceos who regarded the gods as reflections of the natural forces that provided comfort to mankind, though perhaps it could also be taken in another way.

Continuing from there:

“The point is even more clearly established by Marx when he makes ‘the confession of Prometheus: “In simple words, I hate the pack of gods”‘, into philosophy’s own self-declaration; i.e, there will be no gods other than profane ‘human self-consciousness’. The same point is made in a footnote to the Appendix of his dissertation, where he presents the ontological proof of the existence of god as being in fact a proof of the ‘existence of essential human self-consciousness’. If the ontological proof states that the concept of a thing begs a corresponding reality, then, ‘which being’ Marx asks ‘is immediate when made the subject of thought?’. The answer he asserts is ‘self-consciousness’ – not the concept of self-consciousness but real, existing self-consciousness, the immediate source of all concepts, and the subject matter of the thesis.”

To say that there will be no gods other than human self-consciousness ties in rather nicely with the statement that it is the masses that create the gods, that they are the products of consciousness. For in much the same way, to declare human self-consciousness as the realm of the divine brings the divine into the world realm and through which, crucially, into the domain of Man.

This ethos permeates what Jessop identifies much further on:

The Foreword ends with the statement: “Prometheus is the most eminent saint and martyr in the philosophical calendar.”. In other words, philosophy, as human self-consciousness, finds its symbol in Prometheus, who brought the secret of fire to man from the gods so that man might develop his own arts and remove himself from subordination to the gods. Like Prometheus, philosophy must end the separation of the sacred from the secular, it must bring ideas down from the heavens and make them the content of real human consciousness.

It is from here that I get to my main point. The true ideal at the heart of the Promethean (and from there Luciferian) archetype is the idea of the abolition of the separation between Man and the divine, from there emancipating the whole of mankind.

In that sense, I’ve also begun to consider this in relation to even Jesus and Christianity. No, Prometheus is not an analogue of Jesus Christ. I covered this in a separate blog post in February 2017 (though, having said that, the satirist Lucian of Samosata apparently related Prometheus’ punishment in terms of Jesus’ crucifixion, and ironically there may be considerable similarities between Jesus and Heracles, the rescuer of Prometheus). But there is something the two figures have in common worth noting: theoretically, at least, Jesus through his death and resurrection was supposed to abolish Man’s separation with the divine.

In this sense, the real problem with Christianity is that it never in its thousand year plus reign truly achieved the abolition of that separation between Man and God. How could it, with its embrace of the rigid hierarchy of the great chain of being? Though I suppose it does not help things that the ideal of Christianity . There’s a profound sense of cuckoldery within the Christian religion. In Jesus you have a potentially emancipatory figure, potentially even the means by which God becomes accessible and tangible to mankind (whereas, in Judaism, he could only ever be so close, indeed his very being blinds and burns whose who lay sight upon it), and even then Jesus’ salvation can only really be a thing within the very same hierarchy within which, in Judaism, God is ever so inaccessible. Indeed, despite Jesus’ best efforts, the Christian conceptions of hierarchy served only to further or sustain Man’s partition with the divine. Not to mention, have we not forgotten when Jesus said “think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets”, referring to the Judaic law of the Old Testament, “I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill”, very clearly stating that, as much as he may have established the bridge between the divine and man, he still upholds Judaic law, and from there the spirit of the hierarchy of the intangible and the tyrannical authority of the Abrahamic Logos, and very much to the letter as he says “not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished”.

The Luciferian, therefore, seeks to emancipate Man in a way that Christianity could not. His goal is to work towards ending the separation between the divine and Man, to liberate the soul from ignorance and bondage, and to generate freedom for all sentient beings. In so doing, the Luciferian rejects the order of the God of Abraham as a condition for Man’s freedom, whereas Jesus sought to uphold it. The Luciferian, in seeking to carry the mission of Prometheus, places the divine in the locus of Man, for man is the object of Luciferian liberation.

Prometheus and Hercules by Christian Griepenkerl

The festive cry of the winter goat shall herald the travel of Nature’s Sun which shines superior to the light of the Logos

As we arrive upon the holiday season, the time of festivity, the great winter mass, perhaps this is a good opportunity for some seemingly random and probably rambling discourse inspired by a rather cryptic quotation I found on a blog devoted to the writings of Carl Jung. The quotation is as follows:

“The first ‘devil’ in Christianity was Lucifer, the ‘light bearer’, ‘the Light of Nature’. It existed before the Light of Logos, the spirit. It is a feminine earthly light analogous to Pan.”

Try as I might, I have been unable to find a source for this quotation outside of Carl Jung Depth Psychology. Yet, strangely, it gives me a few ideas.

For some reason, I think the relation, perhaps even concordance, between Luciferianism and paganism. Perhaps I get much of this feeling from Michael W. Ford’s Magick of the Ancient Gods, for my money a good treatise on the idea of chthonic paganism, but maybe it will make sense once I explain it.

The logoic (that is, of the Logos) hierarchy of Christianity upholds the servants and avatars of the word of God in the heavens, while casting its rivals to the domain of the abyss. Thus many of the gods of old found themselves recast as evil demons in Christian lore, some of them forming the amalgamation of Satan himself (Zeus, Dionysus, Pan etc.). You find this in the Bible with many rival gods of Yahweh cast as either false gods or demons, you find it in Christian demonology such as the work of Colin DePlancy in his Dictionnaire Infernal where various pre-Christian gods from different parts of the world form a lot of the demonic rogues gallery, and in Paradise Lost where part of the infernal retinue consists of the gods of Egypt and the Levant. Hence, the gods of old, their creed, and the philosophies of their peoples and civilizations, only ever attained savage, wicked and heretical character precisely because that is what Christian and Jewish doctrine has made of them, or in a sense by the hand of the great Hebraic sky tyrant who fancies himself to be The Great Will.

When we consider the idea of Logos, from Hellenic philosophy right up to Christian philosophy, we come upon the idea of an external force directing the cosmos, bending its shape. This active cosmic principle, seen as the order of the cosmos, as the divine faculty of the demiurge of Platonic thought and in Christian doctrine the Word of God as embodied by his son Jesus, almost seems as a thing separate from Nature, supernatural in this sense that it is above and outside of Nature. Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, the old Demiurge, and perhaps other deities and philosophical conceptions, other iterations of The Great Will, represent this conception of Logos.

In that regard what might our conception of The Light of Nature represent? Perhaps he represents God-In-Nature, or Man-In-Nature, the light accessible to Man, a dweller (and transformer) of nature as Alexander Spirkin might put it. Pagans, both in the ancient world and in modernity, have seen man as a being in nature, partaking in the great spiral of the universe.

Where precisely am I going with this though, and what does it have to do with Christmas?

It is Nature’s Sun, Nature’s God, Nature’s Light, that is the object of pagan devotion. It is the birth, vacation or rebirth of the sun that is the reason for the season for pagans. For the ancient Greeks, this probably meant the travel of Apollo, the son of Zeus and a solar god of the arts, oracles and knowledge, to the mythical land of Hyperborea where spring was eternal. In Rome, December 25th was the birth of the sun god Sol Invictus, and this was celebrated with much gift-giving, light-kindling and merrymaking, including excessive drinking. Indeed, this was the festivity that the early Christians tied to the birth of Jesus, without any basis in the Bible, so that the Romans might accept their religion through popular custom. Some might claim that Mithras, the martial solar deity of the Mithraic mysteries, shares the birth date of Sol Invictus. And this may well have been linked to the whole theme of regeneration, that is the regeneration of the world through the re-emergence of the light of the sun, the regeneration of the cycle of the seasons, and the triumph of the Sun.

In a way the modern Christmas is pretty bifurcated. On the one hand, some of what we know celebrate very clearly derives from the old Roman festivity to some extent, and other aspects of it also coincide with other old winter solstice festivities and themes. On the other, the theme we have imposed upon it for over a thousand years is the birth of Jesus, which is only connected to the old tradition by the opportunistic co-option of the Roman festivities by the early Christians. It is largely from the Christian recasting of the winter solstice, however, that the commercialist mode of Christmas ostensibly springs. We echo the old festivity devoted to Nature’s Light, but in the name of Jesus and hence the Light of Logos. While, of course, the ways of old and their gods are still remember as barbarous idols in the eyes of Jesus.

In that milieu, you have the infernal pantheon, consisting of many of the old gods, and Satan, who shares many characteristics (at least aesthetic anyway) of a selection of the old gods. He occupies the spot that the Christian hierarchy allots him to, the domain into which Christianity has pushed all of its old rivals, all of that which opposed their God, their Logos. To renounce, to displace, to abolish, to truly transcend that order is to change that position. It is to return those demons, those idols, the princes of darkness, to their place of light, perhaps make the darkness conscious in a Jungian sense, to raise the fallen host from the abyss to godhood, to reject the false order of Yahweh in favour of the true one, one which spirals as nature does. Though, it must be said, there has always been chthonic force to the paganism of old. But, it was not in exile from the divine like it would be in Christianity. Instead, it was but the shadow of the divine, one aspect of it, the underworldly light of nature. Raise the Beast up to the heavens and perhaps he will no longer be beast, but just as much divine as any other god. Or, perhaps, as much a part of the web of archetypes, of deific masks, as the like of Apollo. And picture, as I have demonstrated in the past, the gods rebuked to the realm of the fallen – Ba’al, Astarte, Melqart, Pan, Tammuz, Ishtar, Amun/Ammon, and many more. In the hierarchy imposed upon them by Christianity, they are demons. Removed of that, they are the gods they once were. In this way I make sense of what may be called a holy “mission” in life: to bring forth the light of nature, where the Luciferian, Promethean light is accessible. For it is not in the logoic planes that the Christian mystics and their modern wannabes think enlightenment takes place, but in the cosmos, the material universe, the earth, where Man can meet with any sense of gnosis and knowledge, and attain the wisdom that is in the primary key to the freedom that would allow one to direct one’s own destiny and liberate your fellow man.

I hope I haven’t I seemed to out of it in writing this post, it really was simply a rambling that I wanted to do, and based on an admittedly mysterious and perhaps dubious quotation, but one that, somehow, helps me make sense of part of my worldview, and this slowly emerging “renaissance” (I say that as though I was ever truly able to part with if it as thought before) of pagan thought in conjunction with my own philosophical Luciferianism. On that note, Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, Io Saturnalia, praise to the blessings of the Jolfadr and long live the golden age of Saturn. I hope that, in keeping with the old Roman way, you enjoy the season with at least some drunkenness as I intend to do.

Detail of Apollo and the Continents by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Deconstructing Duality and other announcements

OK, so I think at this point I should lay out what to expect going forward for the blog regarding the Deconstructing Duality series of posts.

The series will consist of the following parts:

  1. Collectivism and individualism – What it says on the tin: the aim is to deconstruct the false dichotomy of collectivism vs individualism for the misleading and absurd framework that it actually is, and establish the framework of a dialectic between the individual and society within which Man, being a social species, operates in.
  2. The liberty-authority dialectic – Drawing largely from The Principle of Federation written by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, we’ll examine liberty and authority as interdependent concepts that cannot be separated, not least because their existence is presupposed by social arrangement. This will probably end up expanding on the previous theme to some extent.
  3. The matter-spirit dialectic – In criticism of idealism and technical materialism, drawing in part from The System of Correlation of Man and His Environment, . Will probably also serve to neutralize the nature-nurture debate and the question of human nature.
  4. The dialectic of “free” will – Essentially a thought experiment regarding the nature of choice and agency within a largely deterministic environmental framework, how will exists only within a sphere of stimuli in which choice can be made to begin with, and how it doesn’t matter whether really you have proper free will or not.
  5. Gods and demons, light and darkness – Through a Tantric Buddhist understanding of the deities, the pro-Christian metaphysical moral ambiguity of the gods and spirits, and a framework of the dialectical unity of the psyche of Man in a manner consistent with Luciferian ontology, we shall fuck with the conception of gods and demons.

I’d also like to use this opportunity to make a few other announcements regarding the blog.

First, I intend to, instead of having the pages dedicated to Deific Masks, have pages serving as short articles, each ideally about 1,000 words maximum, that serve to introduce people to Luciferianism, at least from my perspective. The parent page for this would be titled What Is Luciferianism?, which serves to explain what I see as the crux of Luciferianism and what makes it stand apart from other belief systems that it stands adjacent to, such as Satanism and paganism. Stemming from this will be the following sub-pages:

  • The Morning Star – This page will be dedicated to the archetype of the Morning Star, which is at the heart of Luciferian philosophy in all of its forms and interpretations in the same sense that Satan is the archetype at the heart of all forms and interpretations of Satanism.
  • Dialectical Unity – This page will be dedicated to theme of the inherent unity and interdependence of classically perceived opposites, as, I’m sure you know, is personified in the famous occult symbol of the Baphomet.
  • Praxis – This page will explain the concept of Praxis as a creative force and its relation to Luciferianism. While I did do a post on the same subject, it not necessarily its own focused idea, rather part of a series of ideas connected within a stream of consciousness. This time it will be.
  • Deific Masks – Drawing from the theory of Michael W. Ford, this will be a short discussion on what the term Deific Mask refers to as is utilized within Luciferian circles.
  • Will – Discussing the Luciferian conception of will, or the True Will, as adjacent to the concept of the Daemon or the Holy Guardian Angel.
  • Scientific Illuminism – This article will be a discussion of the concept of Scientific Illuminism, originally the name of an epistemological framework for occultism proposed by Aleister Crowley, and its utility as a practical ontology for Luciferian practice.
  • Liberation, Illumination, and Apotheosis – This article will discuss the eponymous process of Luciferianism, echoing the Greater Church of Lucifer/Assembly of Light Bearers, its continual role for the Luciferian, and what it means.
  • The Black Flame (or The Luciferian Fire) – This article will discuss what most Luciferians dub The Black Flame, the key conception of divine consciousness, the spark of potential within humans.

Once these pages are completed, the previously occupying pages will be removed and then republished as separate Mythological Spotlight posts, possibly with some updates in the actual content. In that event, the pages will be published one week apart from each other, so as not to barrage the reader with some sort of content bukkake.

I am still elaborating on designs for a new logo as well, truth be known I haven’t really settled on a singular design ethos for the logo. I will say though that I am considering going with a bit of a Hellenic design for a new logo, to match my increasing desire to inject Hellenic influence into what I think and do overall. I hope to get it done within at least a month or two providing I’m not too busy.

And finally, I think it is worth mentioning how things are going on the material side of things. I am still looking for employment so as to generate a source of income so I can build my life and future projects, and I’m currently going through all kinds of liaisons to get something through. Also I’m supposed to be having a meeting in a few weeks to discuss the future projects in which I intend to bring up these issues so I can work something out smoothly.

That’s about all for now. I hope to deliver on this new content soon enough.

The Devil, The Goddess, and Luciferianism

During one of my regular online travels, I encountered a lengthy, fascinating and well-sourced essay entitled The Devil & the Goddess: Meditations on Blood, Serpents & Androgyny, originally written in 1997 by a man who goes by the name Gyrus and can be found within his 2007 book Archaeologies of Consciousness: Essays in Experimental Prehistory. The essay goes into incredible detail concerning the subjects of Satanism, the archetype of Satan, various strains of left hand path occult philosophy, pre-Christian pagan religions, Tantric Hinduism, goddess worship, sexuality, and many other topics, and according to Gyrus originated as an expression of dissatisfaction with the ethos of Social Darwinism he found in Satanism, particularly as expressed by black metal bands in interviews he had read via EsoTerra Magazine. In this essay, I feel I have found some keys towards crafting an identity for Luciferianism, particularly with Gyrus’ critique of Satanism and his dialogue concerning Taoism. What you are about to read is not, I must stress, a response to the essay itself, nor ultimately an appraisal of it as a standalone text, but rather a commentary on key ideas presented within it as it relates to the “real” subject: namely, the Luciferianism I seek to craft and embody.

There is one thing to bear in mind, of course, with his critique of Satanism. When dealing with Satanism, it is ultimately based on the LaVeyan doctrine of Satanism, as originally outlined in The Satanic Bible. While some theistic Satanists might be disappointed, I have said before that a lot of the core philosophy of The Satanic Bible permeates theistic Satanism as well, though the Church of Satan dares not to admit to such a fact.

Let’s begin this post proper with Gyrus’ commentaries on Satanism in “The Devil and the Tao”, more specifically with his critique of the social Darwinism of Satanism:

“The so-called rationalism of modern—usually ‘socially Darwinian’—Satanism rests on very dodgy philosophical ground, simply because when you bother to try and define the terms used in the idea of “the strong over the weak”, you’re invariably left with a sense of, “Yeah, and…?” It’s like saying you believe in the philosophy of “winners beating the losers”. Jello Biafra nicely undermined knee-jerk social Darwinism with his quip that “the strong prey on the weak, and the clever prey on the strong”; but in the end this just begs the question. Also, orthodox Darwinism inevitably holds that humanity is the latest in life’s progressively ‘better’ attempts at creating organisms. Surely social Darwinism would hold a similar view about contemporary culture? This doesn’t sit too well with the misanthropy, and contempt for the ‘lowering of standards’ in modern society, that is prevalent among many supposed social Darwinists. If the strong really do overpower the weak, why have we been dominated for so long by such a half-assed religion as Christianity? I think many Satanists, in claiming “strong over the weak” to be a universal principle of nature, are actually trying to say, “I’m harder than you and I could have you easily.” Or at least, “I could out-stare you, mate.” That’s another argument. But as for universal principles—forget it. Evolution and history are far too complex and multi-dimensional to limit themselves to the strategies of a fight in a pub.”

In this critique, I see many things. First of which, I see how easily I fell into the right wing of politics between the middle of 2016 and the outset of 2018. Even though many Satanists naturally find themselves averse to social conservatism and reactionary politics because of, among other things, the reactionary antipathy towards the expansion of human liberty and progress in the name of arbitrary tradition and the consolidation of state power and authority to achieve this end, the logic of social Darwinism permeates conservative politics so ubiquitiously, that many people hardly notice. The contempt for the “lowering of standards” is but one trope you see from them, as I often remember from High Tory lizards like Michael Gove when talking about the education system, but you also find it in the logic of free market libertarianism, wherein the market, in the society they ultimately desire, is this force of natural selection wherein those who are able to accumulate capital and wealth ascend to the top and those who cannot meet the demands of the market exist as essentially fish bait, and in this general conservative habit of extolling success above all else – if you aren’t successful, you’re not really worth anything.

More importantly, the brute simplicity of social Darwinism, and the primary mentality that drives it, are exposed in this section. The brute simplicity of social Darwinism lies in its emphasis on the hierarchy of strength, whatever basis for strength or superiority we’re going with here, and consequently in the ability to exert strength over others. The mentality at work is often invariably not just that the strong should rule over the weak, but also “I’m one of the natural elites and deserve to rule over the weak”, but even then this tends to amount to “I think I can beat you in a fight/arm wrestling competition/video game”. You kind of see it in this idea of being like a wolf as opposed to a sheep, after all wolves are mighty predators and sheep are defenseless domesticated herbivores who could be their prey. But wolf behavior doesn’t much the predatory vision of Ayn Rand individualism that some in the Left Hand Path suggest. Not only are wolves pack animals, immediately suggesting a little more collectivism, but the alpha male trope that supposedly stems from wolf behavior is inaccurate: wolves don’t actually compete for the spot of top dog in vicious battles for dominance with the strongest wolf becoming pack leader, rather a wolf becomes the leader of a pack simply by breeding with other wolves and producing pups which then form the pack. In fact, wolf packs are formed in much the same way human families are formed – that is, males and females from different families seek each other out, find each other, and form a pack. Don’t just take my word for it; take it from David Mech, the man who originally wrote about “alpha” wolves in his 1970 book The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species and changed his mind in the light of new evidence concerning wolf packs some 35 years later.

A typical wolf pack

The point of “If the strong really do overpower the weak, why have we been dominated for so long by such a half-assed religion as Christianity?” is a very fascinating and revealing dilemma for many social Darwinists. For the Satanist, Christianity is the religion of the weak and the dumb, the feeble teachings of the lamb, yet, it has dominated the Western world and the imagination of its people for less than two thousand years. Clearly, it is not the “strength” of the Christian religion that has propelled it to power – indeed, Christianity was pretty much persecuted by the Romans until the emperor Constantine embraced it; it gained power not through its own merits but through its elevation into the halls of power by the believing ruler. More to the point, if might makes right, Satan presents an odd scenario, depending on the interpretation of Satan being utilized. If we are dealing with the Satan of the Bible or even Paradise Lost, that figure is ultimately defeated, is he not? But then for many Satanists, Satan is not simply that figure, but a much broader, more universal and thus more powerful natural force that pervades the universe, a dark force of nature as Anton LaVey put it. Taken this way, what could be more consistent with might makes right than getting behind the might of nature itself! Returning to the main point, you might say that the clever rule the strong who rule the weak, and Boyd Rice certainly has, but even then, Christianity is not what I would call the religion of the clever. In fact, I believe it to be one of the most absurd and stupid religions the world has to offer, for reasons that I have devoted many a post within this blog over its entire lifespan to covering. So if the clever rule the strong, who in turn rule the weak, how did such an idiotic, foolish and self-contradicting religion as Christianity come to be the guiding religion of the Western world for over a thousand years?

At the risk of seeming glib, we find a very similar dilemma throughout fascist politics, especially in ethno-fascism. Why is it that if the strong rule the weak and the fascist represents the strong, that the fascist is always destined to be the loser in contemporary society? Why does the mighty Aryan/white man find himself subjected by other races, especially the Jews, when he is supposed to be the master race, the strongest and greatest race of mankind? Conservatives have a similar problem with their memes about how leftists are cucks, and they’re the “alpha males”. You find this encapsulated in Milo Yiannopoulos going on about Marxists being weak beta male cucks. One wonders, then, why the communists were historically more than capable of matching the West in combat, such as the Soviet victory over the Western-backed White Armies during the Russian Civil War, or the frequent routing of American armies by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Moreover, why does the fascist go on about how might makes right and yet never seem to line up in support of the victor? Oh wait, it must because the victor in the struggles of the 20th century was not fascism, but liberal democracy (or more or less whatever passes for democracy these days)! It must be, then, that the fascist places value on something other than simply might – if, that is, he isn’t simply using that as a cover for pure desire for a totalitarian, socially Darwinist state. Returning to Satanism, it seems to To value Satan, a being supposedly to be defeated by God, is to value so much more than the superficial value of might: otherwise, the logic of might makes right, taken to its conclusion, should lead to the Christian Yahweh or Jesus who defeat in in the corresponding myths.

I also find the overall mentality of social Darwinism to be inferior to the quest for knowledge, enlightenment, transformation and praxis, as well the broader sense of mission to emancipate mankind in this sense, and I will quote the late Robert Anton Wilson on this – specifically a section of his essay Don’t Be Afraid of Black Magick in which he criticizes people who pride themselves on being cunning black magicians as opposed to the “suckers” who deal in the light.

The hoodlum-occultist is “sociopathic” enough to, see through the conventional charade, the social mythology of his species. “They’re all sheep,” he thinks. “Marks. Suckers. Waiting to be fleeced.” He has enough contact with some more-or-less genuine occult tradition to know a few of the gimmicks by which “social consciousness,” normally conditioned consciousness, can be suspended. He is thus able to utilize mental brutality in place of the simple physical brutality of the ordinary hooligan.

He is quite powerless against those who realize that he is actually a stupid liar.

He is stupid because spending your life terrorizing and exploiting your inferiors is a dumb and boring existence for anyone with more than five billion brain cells. Can you imagine Beethoven ignoring the heavenly choirs his right lobe could hear just to pound on the wall and annoy the neighbors? Gödel pushing aside his sublime mathematics to go out and cheat at cards? Van Gogh deserting his easel to scrawl nasty caricatures in the men’s toilet? Mental evil is always the stupidest evil because the mind itself is not a weapon but a potential paradise.

Every kind of malice is a stupidity, but occult malice is stupidest of all. To the extent that the mindwarper is not 100 percent charlatan through-and-through (and most of them are), to the extent that he has picked up some real occult lore somewhere, his use of it for malicious purposes is like using Shakespeare’s sonnets for toilet tissue or picking up a Picasso miniature to drive nails. Everybody who has advanced beyond the barbarian stage of evolution can see how pre-human such acts are, except the person doing them.

Genuine occult initiation confers “the philosopher’s stone,” “the gold of the wise” and “the elixir of life,” all of which are metaphors for the capacity to greet life with the bravery and love and gusto that it deserves. By throwing this away to indulge in spite, malice and the small pleasure of bullying the credulous, the mindwarper proves himself a fool and a dolt.

With regards to my point, and I guess Gyrus’ as well, the TL;DR is thus: social Darwinism and the “alpha wolf” mentality of it is stupid because it tells people to focus on being the dominant personality who’s better than the suckers and the sheep rather than actually providing a framework by which the masses can emancipate themselves and seeking out anything more than the simplicity of strength, cunning and the reptilian psyche. There’s natural realism, the acknowledgement of the harsh realities of life and the necessity of strength and force, and then there’s simply wanting to gun for the king of the pack for its own sake. Church of Satan and Order of Nine Angles on suicide watch.

Why seek power for its own sake when you can seek the philosopher’s stone instead?

Next we will discuss how in “Satan’s Ancestry”, Gyrus discusses the pre-Christian lineage of Satan, and approaches discussion the Greek deity Dionysus as the nexus between the archetypes of Christ and Satan (before continuing such discussion in “Reclamation”).

“The greatest insights into Christianity and Satan can be gleaned from exploring the Greek god Dionysus. He is very typical of pagan nature gods: he is horned, signifying kinship with animals (like the closely related goat-god of the Arcadian pastures, Pan, another source of Satanic iconography); he is a ‘dying-and-rising’ god, reflecting the cyclic process of the seasons in nature; and he has a strong wild and untamed aspect, again like Pan, forming a bond with pre-civilised humanity. It’s obvious how Satan, Christianity’s repressed shadow, has derived from such an archetype. In its irrational suppression of sexuality, nature, cyclicity and the body, Christianity latched on to this archetype and pushed it so far away from human experience that it became alien, and we became alienated. The already feral, ego-shattering Dionysian godform became utterly evil and terrifying, a force to be held at bay at all costs.

Now things get confusing. Did not Jesus, like Dionysus, die and rise again? Both are intimately associated with vines and wine; both have been connected to the use of psychedelic mushrooms; the flesh of both is in some way eaten as part of their worshippers’ rites; and both names, according to John M. Allegro’s The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, stem etymologically from the same Sumerian root. There’s almost as much evidence connecting Dionysus with Jesus as there is with Satan.

It’s my feeling that we have here a crucial fork in the history of archetypes. Christianity appropriated the more abstract spiritual motifs of dying-and-rising nature gods (mainly supposed ‘life after death’) and up popped the mythical Jesus. The chthonic associations with the Earth, with sexuality and the body, were all repressed, compressed and demonised into Satan. In this division was lost all cyclicity, all the transformative and change-affirming power of nature’s process. We descended into truly profane time; linear time instead of rhythmic, spiralling, sacred time. Norman O. Brown has noted that “the divorce between soul and body [analogous to the Jesus/Satan split] takes the life out of the body, reducing the organism to a mechanism”. Likewise, the conception of an extra-terrestrial, eternal time (Heaven) as sacred renders the Earth profane, and binds us to the linear track of uni-directional historical ‘progress’. We may see ourselves as moving towards this sacred time—but it is an ever-receding carrot-on-a-stick, and tears us away from omni-directional immersion in the moment. “No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.” (Jim Morrison)”

Dionysus’s transformation, like so many pre-Christian pagan deities, into Satan, becomes a metaphor for the bifurcation of mankind, who is split between his bright and shadowy selves, extrapolated in turn as Christ and Satan, engaged in metaphysical conflict at the end of which Christ is supposed to be the winner in the end. This divorce is something that is identified by Luciferians, who desire the completion and unity of the human psyche. In this sense, it is worth discussing Dionysus as a Luciferian archetypal deity of sorts, one whose internal dialectical unity of “light” and “darkness”, or spirit and matter, embodies the unity and wholeness of self that is to be present within the Luciferian consciousness.

Where exactly are the “light” and “dark” sides to Dionysus? In Dionysus one finds both the celestial and the chthonic, his celestial component obviously derived from being a son of Zeus, but his chthonic component coming from both his lineage from the goddesses Demeter and Persephone in some versions of his myth and his identity as Zagreus, “the first-born Dionysos”. He is also frequently associated with chthonic powers, shown to be defeating his enemies by invoking his power as a shaker of the earth, and his chthonic and Olympian personae were venerated alongside each other. Dionysus even seems to have an association with Hades through his apparent powers of the underworld, and he himself made the descent into Hades in order to rescue his human mother Semele. Some, including the philosopher Heraclitus, identified Dionysus with Hades himself, even going so far as to say that Dionysus and Hades were the same being. Interestingly, in Heraclitus, the link between Dionysus and Hades is an example of the unity between opposites within his worldview, with Dionysus representing life and fertility through a phallic cult devoted to him and Hades representing death, and this unity is also solidified by water – for him, death meant the soul becoming watery after life, and for him a man’s soul became moist when drunk.

Speaking of death, it’s in his dying-and-rising that often links him to the “light” half of the Christian archetypal mythos – Jesus. And indeed he did die and resurrect, but not in the way Jesus did. Dionysus died within the womb of his mother Semele, who burnt alive upon looking at the face of Zeus (whom no mortal could behold without burning to death), but Zeus rescued the unborn Dionysus and placed him inside his thigh until he was ready to be born. In another myth, Dionysus died after being ripped apart by Titans, who then ate every part of him except his heart, only for them to be destroyed by Zeus used his heart to create him anew. Later in his life, Dionysus would die again and attain the status of godhood thanks to Zeus, as his son. But Dionysus can overlap with Jesus in more ways than just dying and rising. For the Orphics, Dionysus represented the Good in Man, whose spirit is to be cultivated as opposed to the wicked influence of man’s Titanic heritage. He of course, has a strong association with wine miracles just as Jesus does. He shared his wine and its delights to all people of all walks of life, just as Jesus would claim to offer his salvation to all people of all walks of life. Both were even identified as the morning star, as one of Dionysus’ epithets in the Mysteries was Phosphorus, signifying him as the light bringer. His more devilish or “satanic” aspects are perhaps harder to pin down, but perhaps his historical connection and often outright identification with Hades makes this a little easier, what with him becoming a master of the underworld and all. Although, if Pan is any indication, his retinue of satyrs and maenads must have lent itself to a retinue of demons in the Christian imagination, and his association with the serpent and the phallus must have lent to his lustful associations in the same imagination.

We have, in what is typically recognized as the Greek deity of drunkenness, festivity, theater and revelry, the simultaneously embodied archetypes of the redeemer, the savior, the initiator of the mysteries, and of the wild and indestructible life force whose revelries set the limits of the self asunder. His dialectical unity of opposites, and his appellation of Phosphoros, make me think that Dionysus is a sort of Luciferian archetype, though hardly the same thing as Lucifer himself (historical mythology doesn’t fit the sort of patterns we’d often like them to).

A mosaic depicting Dionysus riding the panther

Continuing this theme of discussion, Gyrus critiques Satanism in discussion of Dionysus, or rather his being split in half by Christianity.

“In Satanism, Satan is seen as embodying the principle of division and duality, that principle without which manifestation—matter, flesh, bodies & sex—cannot occur. This is symbolized in the ‘inverted’ pentagram, where two points are directed upwards and one down. The dual realm of manifestation rules over the singular, united realm of spirit. In the ‘normal’ pentagram the spirit rules the flesh. Jesus is seen as opposing Satan, and embodies the spiritual principle of unity. So what are we to make of the actual historical beliefs and practices of the followers of these two figures? Christianity has turned out to be militantly dualistic, denying the body and ravaging the Earth, glorifying the ‘spirit’ and longing for some united heavenly kingdom. And Satanists, while obviously prioritising flesh over spirit, ego over collectivity, are inevitably involved in many practices which approach Dionysian revelry, serving to abolish individual distinction. Also, their emphasis on living for the moment instead of “spiritual pipe-dreams” could be seen to destroy the future-fixation of profane time, following Nietzsche into a whole-hearted immersion in the eternal present.

Our problems in analysing these contradictions betray our present evolutionary and cultural problems. In looking at the splitting of Dionysus, we’re seeing the mythical reflections of a phase in the development of the human species where the increase of city-dwelling and changes in agriculture & economics began to erode our bond with the rest of the biosphere. City walls are the rigidification of human ego-barriers writ large. “When Christians first distinguished themselves from pagans, the word ‘pagan’ meant ‘country-dweller’. For the first centres of Christianity in the Roman Empire were the great cities—Antioch, Corinth, Alexandria, and Rome itself.” (Alan Watts, Nature, Man & Woman) In our quest to urbanize our existence, to become as independent as possible from the less comfortable and benign aspects of nature, we have become lost in a mire of confusion. Witness Blake’s disgust at the industrial revolution in his phrase “dark Satanic Mills”, and the fact that most of the mill owners were probably devout Christians. Protestantism has been intimately linked to the rise of capitalism by psychoanalytical historians; Satanists advocate material power. A church in Coventry recently held a service in thanks for the car industry; and Jesus advocated shunning possessions and said rich people would have a bloody hard time getting into heaven. Such confusion seems to be the price for living under the sway of false dichotomies like Jesus/Satan, spirit/matter, collective/individual, intellect/instinct.”

There is an interesting contradiction referred to here with regards to Christian society, and nowhere is this more pronounced than in the United States of America. Stop and wonder how it is that society that is the most openly Christian, and chauvinistically so at that, is also most openly pro-capitalist, and the most reticent to direct the flow of capital towards the downtrodden and the poor. Jesus preached that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, yet wealth and Christian power intersect and permeate American society under the guidance of free market capitalist ideology. It is in America that what we call the “prosperity gospel” was born, and which permeates so much of Christian televangelism in the country. I can hardly imagine many rich evangelists in America actually giving money to the poor; they’re too busy telling them that God helps those who help themselves! Not only that, but, as I covered in my post against Cultural Christianity, Christian power has not arrived upon the world with the love, beneficence, virtue and compassion it preached, but instead with violence, hatred, avarice and treachery across Europe and the world.

And in a way perhaps this is but a window but the turmoil and contradiction that inevitably springs forth from dichotomous thinking, which I intend to go into in my future Deconstructing Duality series of posts. When you examine our world hard enough, you find darkness where there should be light, and nothing is as it seems. We think ourselves free and individuals yet we’ve hardly been under so much pressure to conform in our lives than in modernity. We see so much contradiction in our being and in our society living in an existence bifurcated by the cross, leaving internal division that once did not exist. The pagans of old did not see the universe in same way that Christians do now. They do not see an omnipresent struggle of good and evil, overseen by an all-powerful and all-knowing intelligence, and they did not see Man fighting himself between his superego and his id. They saw ups and downs, they saw cycles inherent to the process of the natural world, and they saw multifaceted personality in both the human and the divine condition, animating the mythological and natural universes. The contradictions of Christianity simply weren’t present until, well, Christianity became the dominant force in society.

Luciferians, and pagans (and I suspect Taoists and maybe Buddhists too), know that most of the dichotomies we organize ourselves with philosophically are bullshit, they’re pointless, they bifurcate the soul in ways that are not only unnecessary but also harmful to the soul and serve as an impediment to its liberation, wholeness and internal harmony. Our interest, therefore is in smashing these dichotomies, in resolving those contradictions, in freeing mankind from his bifurcated state of being, in leading humans toward a more internally harmonious and from there liberated spiritual existence. We see the superegoic light embodied by the likes of Jesus, Horus, Zeus etc. and the id darkness of the likes of Satan, Set, Hades etc. inevitably represent but shades of Man’s psyche. (or, for the pagans, shades of Nature). Splitting the individual between the two constitutes a barbarity of the soul. Because of that, it makes just as little sense to confine oneself to the shadow as to flee to the light never part with it. It makes equal sense to desire soul as to desire flesh in that they are both parts of Man. That is why we smash the dichotomies presented to us by Christianity and related philosophies with a hammer, and that is why we do not limit ourselves to light and darkness.

Thor, seen here, philosophizing with a hammer (Thor and the Midgard Serpent, by Emil Doepler)

Much of the essay after this deals very strongly in the theme of goddess worship so as to build a case for a connection between Satanism and pre-Christian goddess worship, and from there a detailed discussing of sexuality in Tantric practice. Such a subject makes for interesting reading and you can make of it what you will, but since I ultimately did not garner a lot of clues for the direction I should be going in with regards to Luciferianism from such lengthy historical discussion of goddess worship and Tantra, we will skip most of it.

Later on in “The Androgyne”, Dionysus is discussed further in the context of androgyny.

“Dionysus, familiar to us here as precursor of the Jesus/Satan split and son of the Earth, was raised by women, often jeered at for his effeminate appearance, and referred to by a king in a text by Aeschylus as “man-woman”. Alain Daniélou presents copious documentation, in his book Gods of Love and Ecstasy, that Dionysus is almost precisely equivalent to the Indian god Shiva—from whom we may also derive another traditional aspect of Satan, the trident, which is closely associated with Shiva. One of Shiva’s principal aspects is the Ardhanarâshvara, the hermaphrodite. “The Prime Cause may be conceived as masculine or feminine, as a god or a goddess, but in both cases it is an androgynous or transexual being.””

Gyrus’ description of Dionysus, for me, embodies a principle of moving between opposites through his status as the nexus between Christ and Satan and his seeming transgression of the boundaries of gender. He becomes a Baphometic figure, in a sense. In another sense, he could be taken as the embodiment of balance. For me, however, this unity calls for more than just balance, but what I refer to as “elegance”. Why elegance, you might ask? My rationale for this comes from my game design studies, specifically Fundamentals of Game Design by Ernest Adams and Andrew Rolling. Here is how they explain it:

Interactive entertainment is an art form, but like film and television, it is a collaborative art form. In fact, it is far more collaborative than either of those media, and development companies seldom grant the level of creative control that a film director enjoys. Designing games is a craft, like cinematography or costume design. A game includes both artistic and functional elements. It must be aesthetically pleasing, but it also must work well and be enjoyable to play. The greatest games combine their artistic and functional elements brilliantly, achieving a quality for which the only word is elegance. Elegance is the sign of craftsmanship of the highest order.

What they describe is more than balance. It is unity. It is synthesis. And as craftmanship, applied to the spiritual principle of Luciferianism, translates itself as self-making, or self-creating. And in the vein of Gyrus’ discussion of the Tao, we should see this principle of self-creation as perpetual. Elegance then is an aspect of the principle of Praxis. Ah but if only Dionysus was a craftsman, then the metaphor would be complete.

The same sense of synthesis is found in Shiva, but it is not simply through Ardhnarishvara wherein Shiva and his Shakti achieve synthesis. Shiva himself contains many opposites within himself: he is an ascetic, the lord of the of yogis, and yet as the husband of Parvati he is also keeper of his household, he is one of the “good” guys in Hindu mythology who fights and destroys demons and yet he has a host of demons in his retinue (the ganas), and indeed he himself can assume many demonic forms within Hindu myth (such as Virabhadra and Kala Bhairava), he is most well known as the deity of destruction and yet he is also the greatest possessor of creative power and energy. This internal synthesis is a trait that I have always recognized in the deity, and is one of the key characteristics of his that I have always admired as among the qualities I admire the most about him. There probably is a great deal of commonality between the two deities, and perhaps it’s for this reason among many that Shiva fits so well into what might broadly be referred to as the pantheon of the Left Hand Path.

And speaking of Shiva, there is an interesting discussion of Shaivism in “The Divine Body” that I can use to point to something that I believe I already discussed in “For the New Luciferian Era…“.

“Tantric cosmology sees the ground of existence as the union of the male and female principles, Shiva and Shakti. The manifest world is the product of their interplay, where Shiva is the static principle of consciousness and awareness, and the female Shakti is the dynamic principle of energy and manifestation. This is very similar to the Vedic idea of maya, or illusion. The ‘material’ world is seen as an illusion weaved by the goddess Maya (incidentally, this was also the name of the Buddha’s mother), behind which lies the non-manifest reality of cosmic consciousness. We can also relate this back to the idea that Satan rules the world of manifestation—”The Devil is the lord of the world” (Luther)—and God rules the ‘non-material’ realm of the ‘spirit’. Tantra’s Shiva-Shakti cosmology is much more holistic, and does not treat the web of matter weaved by Shakti as ‘illusory’ in the sense of something to be overcome, some cosmic deception that inhibits us. It is seen as the basis of our spiritual quest, the ‘raw material’ with which we should work to transmute ourselves and the world.”

In the post I mentioned, I discussed Michael W Ford’s discussion of the creation myth presented in the Enuma Elish to elucidate the point Ford makes on human evolution in the context of the myth. The blood of Qingu, who is slain by Marduk, and the body of Tiamat, become the raw material upon which the world and mankind is based within Babylonian mythology, and as Tiamat and Qingu are chaotic, reptilian, abyssal beings, Ford is implicitly stating that it is darkness that is the raw material with which humans work to transmute themselves and evolve towards the light of Lucifer, or rather the unity of light and darkness embodied in the Holy Guardian Angel, the Daemon.

But more to the point, I should mention that this view of the world not as illusory but as raw material, I detect the sense of what I have read about Kashmir Shaivism, wherein the world is not an illusion superimposed upon the divine consciousness but a real, objective realm that can be sensed and observed as a product of the energy and consciousness of Shakti or Shiva. The more prevalent view in Hinduism, such as within Advaita Vedanta, has never appealed to me because of its negation of the world, and this sense of infinite regression that it brings with it – I mean, if the world is not real, what is, and from whence did this “real” object spring, and why is this reality real and not the one we experience, sense and observe? But in this form of Hinduism, at least from what I’ve heard, the material, phenomenal world is a real, tangible thing that can be observed, felt and experienced, which allows for the subject to at least attempt to divine the truth through observation and experimentation in a reality shared between him/herself and a multiplicity of other subjects. The interesting thing about this, at the root of their view of reality, is their view that the phenomenal world is based on the energy of the divine consciousness, or the divine energy of Shakti – the divine and the phenomenal form the same body of the existence, and become the same thing, which was otherwise cleaved by such schools as Advaita Vedanta.

I think it’s also worth touching on the comparison between the Hindu concept of Maya and its superimposition over reality and the Christian conception of Satan as the ruler of the world. Applying the Hindu concepts to Christianity arguably results in the Gnostic interpretation – the real Satan, in Gnostic Christian parlance, is the Demiurge, or Yaldabaoth, who created the material world as a prison for the soul, and this prison becomes equivalent to the illusion weaved by Maya, and in turn the unmanifested divine consciousness of the Brahman becomes the true God within Gnostic Christianity (the Monad, or Bythos). But in principle you can kind of see it play out within the Christian perspective: Satan, being the father of lies according to them, weaves a web of ignorance over God’s creation through temptation and deception, resulting in a sense in a world of illusion layered over the actual world. But for Gyrus, in Tantra and Shaivist cosmology, the setup of the inferior world of illusion superimposed upon the truth and divine consciousness is done away with – instead of being an illusion superimposed upon all-pervasive and unmanifested spirit, the material universe we experience and inhabit is a real, tangible, observable thing, and the basis of our spiritual, alchemical transformation. There can be no great demiurge pulling the wool over our eyes in this set up, and the classic dualisms of ontological God and Satan, the Monad and Yaldaboath, Maya and Brahman, become quite irrelevant.

In this sense, free of the grand and ultimately false meta-dichotomy imposed by Christianity, Gnosticism and orthodox Hinduism, the universe becomes not this chess game between Yahweh and Beelzebub, or Jesus and Satan, not some parlor trick imposed upon the real self which is somehow also God himself (who, by the way, is also for my money the only logical source of the grand illusion in the first place!), and not a prison imposed upon you by, if we go by Gnostic lore, the bastard offspring of a misguided emanation of God (by the way, how is it even possible for an emanation of the perfection of God itself to make mistakes?), but the authentic locus of the perpetual transformation and evolution of all beings, forms and processes within it, and thus of the quest and struggle of mankind to emancipate and perfect itself, within which praxis is lived and achieved, enlightenment is achieved and disseminated from the enlightened to the unenlightened, and the vivifying force of life, quest, and struggle animates sentient beings. That, for me, is not only a more sensible way to view the universe, it also creates the perfect ontology for any spiritual and philosophical worldview and pathway wherein liberation is the primary goal.

Shiva as Nataraja within a hexagram

So why did I bother going through all of this? What body of philosophical ideology have we grasped for Luciferianism to inherit?

First of all, I think I’ve established in a very lengthy and detailed fashion that the social Darwinism of many old forms of Satanism, for me at least, would not be a part of it. It is a simplistic outlook, one destined to lead to subjection after subjection based on such an inane characteristic as either animal might or reptilian cunning. The state of a might makes right world is one in which the criteria for the creation, maintenance and removal of human subjection is based on the possession of the greatest strength and force, it is one in which the pure competition of power generates subjection and thus cannot be emancipatory, and it ultimately appeals to so little of the human (or even animal) condition as to be crude.

Secondly, while Luciferianism in some forms already emphasizes a unity and balance of opposites, here I establish the understanding of this not simply as balance but as a dialectical unity, light and darkness contained as aspects within the broader whole rather than simply existing as poles to be checked against each other by moderation. Following from this, it is pertinent not simply to recognize both light and darkness but to smash the relevant dichotomies entirely in favor of synthesis. This idea is extended towards a much wider premise, calling for the abolition of the divorce between the world and the soul that inhabits it. Rather than retreat from the material world, embrace the unity of soul and matter.

Third, building from the idea of Michael W. Ford’s interpretation of the Babylonian creation myth, and from what seems to be Gyrus’ assessment of Tantric Shaivism, I propose a kind of spiritual ontology based on perpetual transformation and self-making and re-making, using the raw material of the world, the chaos, the ceaseless transformations therein, for there is where the potential lies. We need no Redeemer so long as we have the capacity to renew and “redeem” ourselves.

Fourth, we should all be reading up on Tantra I guess.

Baphomet, the esoteric symbol of the dialectical unity of opposites

For the New Luciferian Era…

As I hew much closer to Luciferianism than to Satanism nowadays, the idea of a New Luciferian Era appeals to me much more than it did a few years ago when I was influenced much more by the Satanist perspective and also generally more cynical in temper in many cases. And, because of this, as my worldview began to change over the last few months, I have been doing some thinking of the manner in which a New Luciferian Era can organize, or the ethos that defines it and its outcome. Indeed, the shape of Luciferianism to some extent. I think I have laid some groundwork on that front in my post concerning the organizing idea, but perhaps you can think of this post as expanding on that in a different area: namely, the New Luciferian Era, and the ethos of transformation, emancipation and progress it should abide by.

To base one’s spiritual-philosophical path and outlook on the basis of a mythological being who defied, challenged or refused the divine ordinance of heaven, who carries the torch of the dawn and of liberty across the sky for Man to behold, who transcends the boundaries of heaven and hell and who brings the fire of emancipation to mankind is to acknowledge that one seeks progress in some form in the world, progress towards emancipation of the human species. To embrace reaction makes no sense in this context and actively runs against this ideal. That is what I have realized this year, and yet I am also aware that progress is an idea that tends to be used and abused with the tendency to divest it of any real meaning. Hence, the basis of progress is necessary to establish, so what people like me can take it, retake it and wear it with pride.

Lucifer as he appears on the cover of Helena Blavatsky’s Lucifer magazine

To do this, we will first start with Michael W. Ford’s interpretation of the mythological account of creation presented in the Enuma Elish, In Wisdom of Eosphoros, Ford outlines his view on mythology as an archetypal reference for what could be seen as an evolutionary ideology on the part of Luciferianism.

“If you read Enuma Elish, the Mesopotamian myth of Tiamat the mother of chaos and Marduk, champion of the gods, you will note a few associations with evolution. First, the waters of chaos in which Tiamat dwelt, contained monstrous and reptilian forms of abyssic darkness with predatory instinct. The young offspring of Tiamat and Absu, the gods were evolved enough to seek to create and shape the world. The myth explains that in a great battle, Tiamat and her general-king of the army of chaos were defeated by Marduk and the world was shaped from the primal form of Tiamat. The blood of Qingu was used to create humanity and from there life evolved. This is symbolic of our evolution from the earth’s primal waters, from simple organisms to human beings.

If you look at evolution, reptilian life crawled from the primal waters and evolved on land. Over time, their brains obtained more layers and physical features which would continue to create new species. At some point a group of primates began to eat red meat, which is known to be essential to growing larger brains. Due to some “perfect storm” of conditions, the first humans evolved in a primal form. Over time we evolved into what we are today. Our gift of consciousness allowed us to ponder at deep levels our potential and who we could be. We were driven by our survival instinct and made stronger by controlling the wide range of emotions that we could feel.

Luciferians look at evolution as our eventual obtainment of the symbolic “Black Flame” of divine consciousness; we could literally decide the path of life and basically what we wanted to attain.”

– Wisdom of Eosphoros, pages 67-68

If we look throughout the mythologies of the world, the myth Ford is referencing is echoed not just in the surrounding regions of the Levant (Ba’al Hadad versus Yamm for the Canaanites for instance) but also much further afield. The Irish myth of the Tuatha De Danann, the champions of the tribe, fighting the Fomorians, primeval beings of chaos who emerged from the sea, is a great example of the overall theme, with Lugh bringing Lugh down with his spear or slingshot on behalf of the Tuatha De Danann and helping them gain control of the powers of harvest. Greek mythology also kind of has an echo of this theme, with creation being presided over by successive classes of beings – from the primordial deities, to the Titans, and then the Olympians, after a great war between the Olympians and the Titans plus their monster allies. After the Titanmomachy, Prometheus was said to have created mankind and later given them the fire stolen from Olympus, for which he was chained to a rock and tortured by an eagle until eventually being rescued by Hercules. In Norse mythology, the divine brothers Odin, Villi and Ve kill the primordial giant Ymir and fashion the world, humans and other races of beings, and other things using Ymir’s flesh and blood. The Ymir myth has its echoes in Vedic Indian myth of the sacrifice (or Yajna as it is called in Hinduism) of Purusha, which produces all of creation from his body and mind. In Chinese mythology, there is a myth featuring the primeval giant Pangu who emerged from a cosmic egg representing the primordial chaos before creation, created heaven and earth and split them apart as he split yin and yang, and upon his death every part of his body became the land, the animals and plants that dwelt upon it, and the elements of nature and the cosmos.

Marduk battling Tiamat

Now the sort of Darwinian interpretation of Mesopotamian mythology can’t be taken as a literal reference to natural selection, but the overall theme can be used as the basis for a kind of mythological framework of evolutionary progression – the evolution from primordial chaos, to divinity, or humanity, to the fire of knowledge being brought to man, to the attainment of his daemonic self, or something to that effect. And the evolutionary principle can be taken as a powerful reflection of reality: all things, all processes and all states are subject evolution, the result of which occurs like a continuum upon itself (the new forms emerging from and building upon the old in progressive fashion), and if physicist Lee Smolin is correct this process even extends to time and the laws of nature themselves. Thereby, one can think of a constant state, an existence, that is always subject to change, transformation, and remaking, and I would think that matters greatly to the Luciferian.

Now, to journey outside of Luciferianism for a moment, there is an idea I would like to introduce to you, the reader, that I discovered from the writings of the Serbian philosopher Mihailo Markovic. That idea is known as Praxis. Praxis, simply put, is the creative potential of human beings, the principle of self-determination, which comprises the being of humans and allows the development of individual potential in both a personal and social sense: evoking the potential of the individual and also serving the needs of others through that potential. But it is also an idea connected to the notion of a historical struggle in some respects.

“The comparable question with respect to human history asks: What is the primary project of historical development? Which are the objective conditions necessary for human survival and development, not as a mere living organism but as a distinctly human being? Many things which actually occurred in the course of history do not belong to such conditions: famines, floods, earthquakes, massacres, destruction. What made human history possible and indeed unique – in view of the explosive development of the last few thousand years – was a specifically human activity: praxis. Praxis is purposeful (preceded by a conscious objective), self-determining (choosing autonomously among alternative possibilities), rational (consistently following certain general principles), creative (transcending given forms and introducing novelties into established patterns of behavior), cumulative (storing in symbolic forms ever greater amounts of information and conveying it to coming generations so that they can continue to build on the ground already conquered), self-creative (in the sense that young human individuals, after being exposed to an increasing wealth of information and new environmental challenges, develop new faculties and new needs). Praxis is a new, higher-level form of the human species. It retains genetic invariance, self-regulation, teleonomy. But it goes far beyond them. The plastic genetic material will be shaped in countless different ways by social conditioning; self- regulation will become more and more conscious and autonomous; and the conservative telos of the species – preservation and multiplication – will be replaced by an entirely new basic project: the creation of a rich manifold, increasingly complex, and beautiful environment, self-creation of persons with an increasing wealth of needs. Many human activities are clearly not instances of praxis, nor are they characteristic of human history. The repetitive work of a slave, serf, or modern worker resembles more a beaver’s dam building than creative work.”

– Mihailo Markovic, Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights

In essence, there is the historical struggle predicated on the further emancipation of Mankind, through the lens of the idea of Praxis. The progression towards new productive forces, new political and social forms, and new methods of philosophical inquiry, under the right conditions and through the right actions of people, would lead to the creative potential, the Praxis of humans, to expand and be raised up, and the creative spark lends itself to the generation of new forms which in turn lead Man closer to its own emancipation. Something like this I think would be a fantastic way to frame or envision the goals of the New Luciferian Era: to lead to the expansion of Man’s collective Praxis, by creating new forms and pathways to enlightenment, and unburden mankind from the forms that generate its spiritual, intellectual and material oppression, thus generating liberation. The process of making, remaking, and transformation is then tied to Man’s existence as a creative being, a being of Praxis, who through knowledge of his affairs, his potential and the forces otherwise blindly mold him to shape his own destiny, create new forms and engender a better and freer world around him, not just for himself but for all around him.

A relief depicting Phanes, the Orphic/Greek embodiment of creative power and probably future subject of his own Mythological Spotlight

Back when the Assembly of Light Bearers was known as the Greater Church of Lucifer, the leaders of the group outlined exactly what the New Luciferian Era meant. For them, the arrival of the New Luciferian Era entailed a new dawn in both personal and scientific discovery, freedom from superstition and the old religions, self-determination, and mastery of potential approximate to the ascent to divinity. In my view, to fulfill that spirit, the definition of the goal of the New Luciferian Era can do well to be influenced by the evolutionary worldview and the ideas of Praxis. As we progress , and when we enter into the New Luciferian Era, we will enter into an age where we can progress so much further, both as individuals and as a species, free of all that obstructs mankind’s Praxis, and make the ascension towards the evolutionary, almost transcendent potential of the human species, and the ideal will be imbued with a focus on human freedom, human sovereignty and human power. In a word, humanism. Luciferian humanism.

I could end there, but I think I should use the opportunity to address a criticism I once leveled against the idea in the past. Aeons and millennial beliefs aside, I think I had misguidedly judged the idea of the New Luciferian Era three years ago as not being individual-focused by nature of it being aimed at a mass or collective movement. Such a perception hinges on the dynamic between individualism and collectivism that I hope to get around to deconstructing in a series of posts about duality and false dichotomy, but put simply, there is no successful, powerful movement in history where people don’t organize as a mass, as a “collective of individuals” (I hate that phrase but I hope you get it), as a gestalt effort. The revolution cannot be atomized. It might seem strange, but it’s not as though the individual is left out of this. In fact, you can argue that, done right, the individual can find some power as a participant in the overall effort, not as a cog in the machine but as an agent of mutuality within the group. Seen this way, my older suspicions seem silly.

Apotheosis. Liberation. Illumination. NLE.

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