Thou Art

On Saturday, I somehow got the idea to write this poem, of sorts, dedicated to Satan. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Thou Art

Thou art the storm in the sky which brings the thunder of old, worshipped and coveted by Man

Thou art the force of desire which enters the flesh, and that which enraptures the spirit more than the Christ ever could

Thou art the eternal seed by which you propagate yourself again and again

Thou art the wild bronco that never bends to anyone’s will, the deviant troublemaker that will always pervert the establishment

Thou art competition, lust, greed, wrath, envy, pride, desire, love and all the glories of human nature

Thou art the figure in black who is pleased to meet you

Thou art Sathanas

Thou art the highest of lords

Thou art force pitted against force

Thou art the one who unlocks the freedom of mankind

Thou art the sword by which the tyrants are destroyed, the slaves are freed, the weak becomes strong and the servile becomes the master

Thou art the demiurge and the devil, matter and spirit, the master of this world and the Lucifer frees the minds of its inhabitants

Thou art the deities rebuked by the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims

Thou art that which some might describe as the will to power, to ascend above all others and to take what is yours

Thou art Sathanas

Thou art the highest of lords

Thou art the exalted goat of Mendes, the rebel chief, the lord of this world and the prince of the powers of the air

Thou art the one whose magicians honour your name with their spells, their signs, their deeds and their egos

Thou art the timeless meme of the force of beast and man, of that which shapes life, matter and spirit – that force which shapes us

Thou art the natural superior to both the religions of old and the religions of new, all of which demand the sublimation of the individual

Thou art the noblest inspiration of the artist, the creator and even the righteous who try in vain to rebuke thee

Thou art the one to whom I commit myself, from the summer of 2013 until the end of time, as the ideal that I strive to follow

Thou art Sathanas

Thou art the highest of lords

We are not Christians

There’s something that’s often said about Satanism that I’m familiar with, and it’s the claim that believing in Satan, in any way whatsoever, automatically affirms the existence of the God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. People have this idea that because Satan was an invention of the Jewish faith, and the adversary of Jehovah/Allah in the Christian and Islamic faiths, believing in Satan means believing in Jehovah and the teachings of monotheistic beliefs as well. Usually I hear this coming from people who are (at least apparently) Christians or atheists trying to belittle people who choose to identify as Satanists, whether theistic or not. I suppose I have to wonder why people don’t go around telling Christians that they’re pagans by default of the fact that their God was originally a pagan deity. Some of you may know that Yahweh used to be a Canaanite deity of war worshiped in the context of a polytheistic tradition before he came to be viewed as the one true “God” in the eyes of the Hebrew tradition.

The Canaanite Yahweh depicted as enthroned.

Satan is only dependent on the Christian Jehovah if you believe in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mythology, and if you still have the mentality that seems to come with the monotheistic belief systems. Satan, like all the deities and like all ideas, is not necessarily bound to another for validity. In the Satanic paradigm, Satan is largely independent of the Christian constructs. Although he is subverter of the monotheistic creeds and their deities and symbols,  his true identity is independent of that. What does Satan represent? He represents pure carnal existence, Man as a being that embraces it, and the freedom of such a carnal existence unchained by all the rules, norms, and mores that constraint carnal, or for that matter free and authentic, existence. In my mind, Satan doesn’t need Jehovah or his son to validate his existence, especially not while he treads upon his corpse and crushes it underfoot! By choosing Satan as a symbol for our path, we Satanists embrace a powerful archetype for our beliefs that in my mind a purely non-mythical world just can’t provide. That’s my interpretation anyway.

May Chaos come alive?

Writing the post on the Luciferian Points of Power actually gave me another idea as well. I’ve have been reading it and so far haven’t found about the passionate, chaotic, and free life force that the information on the back has implied yet, but as I think about the idea of a passionate, chaotic, wild life force, I feel like I just want it more and more, a real investment of interest towards it coming on.

I think about the force of Chaos, or perhaps the Adversary or Adversarial Force is a better term for it, and my desire for it is greater, perhaps because when I think about it I am reminded of that which I have held in the beginning, as though I have returned to it with greater understanding or new ideas. I think of that kind of life force I think of Chaos, the Adversary, Satan, The Black Flame, the Hindu Shakti as a force (and for that matter, the power associated with Shiva), and the power of Set and the power of isolate intelligence. I would also identify it with the power of heavy metal music. I’m even tempted to refer to Babalon of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema despite that Babalon is that thing you surrender yourself to (then again I might say the same of the divine Shakti according to Hindu teachings). But honestly, I’m not yet sure of the best term for it. Though if it’s really the Black Flame, or the Adversary or Adversarial Force, then just think about it for a second: Luciferianism would effectively be presenting what I’ve been trying to define in the early days of my personal path.

This could be one way of visualizing it.

Whatever it is, I think I definitely want to experience it, feel more of it, become empowered by it more than ever. I want to feel it in light and in dark forms, I want to feel it in creation and destruction, I want to feel it in imagination and creativity, I want to feel it in love, in conflict, in the thrill of battle, in emotion, in desire, in ambition, in competition, in my very being. I would like it to be so liberating and empowering, I want it to strengthen my spirit, my will, my soul, I want to know that it is the core of my being. Who knows, working with it might just dissolve not only fear and doubt but also the boundaries between emotion and reason, intellect and passion, and all in a manner that’s conducive to my being and individual to me. This might entail a conquest of my limitations, or simply the limiting of my limitations, if that makes sense. It doesn’t really matter if this force is simply my interpretation of a life force that may be considered to others, because at least that still means its uniquely my life force, or the life force I identify with. It should not be the life force to surrender to in an external form. It should be a life force within that fuels your individual being, gives you strength and life.

The only question lies in how this ties in with the mind in general, rather than overpowering it, and how this affects the arrangement of the deities I set out earlier. From at least an aesthetic point of view, part of me thinks that the deities of Asian religions that I like could go on the light spectrum of this force, as well as the light and heat of the sun, while the demons and devils can go on the dark spectrum of that force, but that’s just one simple idea, and I really hope I don’t have to overhaul my altar space too drastically. As for the conscious mind, who knows. Maybe I want to take a page from the Temple of Set or even Hinduism for this one. There’s probably a few things I can gleam from Hinduism, Taoism, and hopefully Shinto when dealing with this force.

Musings on Black Sabbath’s so-called Satanism

Despite that I’m definitely a follower of heavy metal music, I tend to have a hard dealing with the grandfather of heavy metal, Black Sabbath. It’s not because of their music, I think the music is great. It’s their reputation as this band that was in league with the dark side and the devil, which the music press seems to continue in some way despite the fact this reputation has no basis on the band or its music,. I recently saw a program in which a music critic talks about a song from their 2013 album, 13, which was titled “God Is Dead?”, and he talks about how supposedly Sabbath used to shout “God is dead” (according to him) or something along those lines and were now somehow more mature and simply ask if God is dead instead. At this point you can expect my reaction is thus:

What the fuck was he talking about!?

Honestly, it still feels like people like him haven’t been paying attention, that they haven’t seen anything about Black Sabbath or critically analyzed the lyrics. I mean, if Black Sabbath honestly believed that God is dead, then can you explain the lyrics of their song After Forever, from their 1971 album Masters of Reality? If you looked at the lyrics objectively, then you’ll have realized that the lyrics don’t refer to Satanism at all. In fact, they are Christian. As another matter of fact, as I’m sure the learned individuals who read this blog will know, Black Sabbath were never attached to Satanism at all, and it’s not just songs that reflect it. The whole image of them being supposedly being Satanic, as I’m sure you may know, is not only a lie, it was pretty much leveled against them by people who knew nothing about the band or what they were singing about. It’s based entirely on their name and the dark tone of their music, and the fact there are people who don’t understand anything about it. It’s so bad, that it never occurs to some people that the crosses that Black Sabbath wear are right-side up rather than upside down.

Black Sabbath during the 1970’s

I mean, it’s really quite baffling how musicians who went about wearing Christian crosses and put them on the stage could still be construed as Satanists, and it really speaks to level of ignorance present even in Christians. Not to mention, even if people were thinking of upside-down crosses, they’d still be thinking of Christian symbols. In Catholic Christianity, the upside-down cross is the sign of St. Peter, who is attested to be the founder of the first church, and it basically means “I am not worthy”, in reference to the story in which Peter is crucified upside-down instead of right-side up because he apparently felt he was unworthy to die in the same way as Jesus, to whom he was once a disciple. Pretty much all of the original line-up were Christian, and at least half of them Catholic.

Not to mention, whenever they talk about Satan/The Devil, it’s in a negative, Christian-influenced viewpoint, and right down to their self-titled song from their self-titled debut album, and that song talked about the Devil showing up and everyone being scared of him just like in the Middle Ages. I don’t think there was ever a metal band that sang about Satan in a celebratory fashion, and with genuine references to Satanism, until Venom showed up, and even then it was basically all for fun in their case. The same album had a song called N.I.B. which was also about the Devil (referred to as Lucifer), but it was about him falling in love and supposedly becoming “good” because of it. The second album, Paranoid, only has one song that has anything remotely to do with Satan, and it’s in traditional Christian context. Masters of Reality has a song called Lord of this World, in which the Devil is the evil overlord of this world, like he’s treated by Christians and their Bible. To be honest, I doubt religion and the devil are as highly talked about in Black Sabbath’s lyrics as people think, and people seem to be think that’s the bulk of what they talk about. A lot of their songs are about lots of other subjects including drug use, war, the horrors being inflicted upon mankind and the world by mankind itself, love (but not really in the same way all those pop and soul songs were doing it), and other subjects. I think the crosses and the name were all supposed to fit in with their dark, heavy, and striking sound, and I can only assume it worked even if not entirely the way they intended it.

Speaking of the Devil, I also suspect that Black Sabbath pretty much knew nothing about real Satanism and were entirely ignorant of it. Below is what Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath’s lyricist, stated on the BBC TV program Classic Albums about the song War Pigs.

“I wanted to write a song called ‘Walpurgis’ – you know, the Satanic version of Christmas – write it about that Satan isn’t a spiritual thing, it’s warmongers. That’s who the real Satanists are, all these people who are running the banks and the world and trying to get the working class to fight the wars for them.”

When you describe Walpurgis Night as basically Christmas for Satanists and warmongers as the “real” Satanists (never mind that here Satanists are confused with devil-worshipping cultists in the Christian sense), then your ignorance, nay stupidity, on the subject of Satanism becomes obvious, and I can’t find myself showing a lot of respect for people who are possessed of such ignorance. And that’s sad when you consider the virtues of the music itself, most prominently the way it challenged the hopes of the optimistic climate of the 1960’s and the tastes and expectations of “liberal” middle-class culture and the conservative mores and climate that may usually wag its finger at rock music in general, and the way it first introduced heaviness and darkness to music.

What’s wrong with Satan being likeable?

Lately I’ve been hearing about an upcoming TV show called Lucifer. Yes, Lucifer. It’s based on Neil Gaiman’s comic book interpretation of Lucifer, who was the ruler of Hell until he became bored and unhappy with this station and decided to retire and live in Los Angeles. This would mean Lucifer being identified with Satan, as is commonly the case, based on both the Christian depiction of Satan and the Satan of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Anyways, in this show, Lucifer Morningstar (as he is called) now apparently spends his days as a consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department, while simultaneously he runs a nightclub called Lux (which isn’t a very creative name). Ironically enough, the show is being aired by FOX of all channels.

Pictured: Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar

The thought of a TV show centering around Lucifer, Satan, or any similar entities, was bound to scare and/or outrage the ignorant, no matter how that being is interpreted, and in America (as usual) people are proving that they aren’t ready to live in a society where religious prejudice is being shunted to the side in creative media. A group called One Million Moms has been launching a petition against the show in recent days, feeling that the show disrespects Christianity and mocks the Bible by making Satan seem likeable. Here’s where we get to the crux of the matter: what’s wrong with Satan being likeable?

I must wonder how tired some people in the modern age are of explaining to Christians that the world does not revolve around them, or their Bible, or their church, but that’s exactly what’s going on here. Christian parents are complaining about a TV show and want it pulled because it mocks their religion, because they assume the world revolves around them, and it’s sad that this is still the case in America in particular. This is the same mentality that drives opposition to laws concerning freedom of expression and the right of the individual to freely pursue lifestyles other than the conventional Christian lifestyle. Outside the perceptions of Christianity and Islam, there’s nothing wrong with making Satan a likeable character, or seeing him as such. In fact, from objective viewpoint, he does less harm to human life than Jehovah does, if he causes any harm to humans at all. Even if you follow the belief that Satan tempts you to do evil things, that changes nothing, for in that instance it is you commits evil actions actions, not Satan. It is Jehovah who ultimately sends you to hell for going against his will, not Satan. And depending on your view point, Satan is the same serpent who gave mankind knowledge of good and evil and of their own desires, not Jehovah. If anything, people are likely to see Satan as more likeable than Jehovah as soon as they take a closer look at the same Biblical mythology that Christians clearly want to cram down our throats non-stop.

The heavy metal archetype of Satan

Heavy Metal Devil Horns by kennypick on Deviantart.com

As I have mentioned before, Satan is a figure commonly associated with heavy metal, but I think Satan’s association with heavy metal is not arbitrary, and not limited to how dark the music is. The presence archetype of Satan in heavy metal music makes a lot of sense to me.

I know that a main reason that Satan or demonic forces got associated with heavy metal is because of a musical interval known as diabolus in musica, or the tri tone, so named because in medieval times it was the sound that was believed to arouse the devil himself. It was believed that the tri-tone was meant to arouse sexual feelings and the forces of darkness, which is why it is associated with the atmosphere of black masses and demonic activity as portrayed in music. It gained importance to heavy metal music because it was that some kind of sound that Black Sabbath evoked in their music, particularly their famous self-titled song, a sound they borrowed from classical music. The band wanted to use that kind of sound because they liked the effect it had for their music. They wanted to create music that was dark, heavy, and doomy, music that reflected the environment they grew up in. Remember, the guys who formed Black Sabbath grew up in a time when the optimism of the 1960’s had dissolved and the 1970’s was coming down on the masses as a time of disillusionment, fear, and woe after the dream of flower power died and became a nightmare. They had no idea they were raising the devil with their music, or were being perceived as such. They had a fascination with the occult, and particularly the dark side, and I suppose they wanted to make music that reflected the darker side of things, but they weren’t intending to raise the devil and they weren’t Satanists. In fact, Geezer Butler, the man who wrote the lyrics, had a pretty orthodox view of things, and his lyrics spoke more against Satan than for Satan. But in the minds of listeners, and for those who would go on to turn their music into the whole of heavy metal, this is the sound that really did evoke Satan itself. Because of this, and other bands that became known for putting Satan on their album covers, writing songs about Satan, or generally employing Satanic imagery, Satan became the archetype for heavy metal music as a whole.

But this still doesn’t answer the question of why this makes sense. All it does is provide background. The reason I feel the archetypal association of Satan with heavy metal music makes sense is because of how heavy metal music as a whole has developed, crystallized, and become what it is today. Satan represented the darker forces that the tri tone evoked, but as the music evolved Satan also came to represent rebellion (though some of that can be attributed to the fact that it shocked the parents of those who listened to it) and the metal mind-set as a whole, simply by becoming attached to the music. Of course in black metal the association is far more involved regarding the tradition of exalting Satan than other forms of music, and a lot of metal bands don’t actively write a lot about the devil, but in a lot of forms of metal flirting with demonic forces is a tradition, if at times a cliche, because of how much Satan has become attached to the music. Satan is an archetype for the music itself, and the mind-set of metal and its fans, and that rings true in a way closely aligned with the philosophy of Satanism perhaps without any conscious intention behind it.

Of course, for a lot of the musicians, it’s all in good fun, and it’s all about finding something that suits the music.

Giving Lucifer his due

On various occasions I have been thinking about Lucifer and Luciferianism, particularly in reminiscence of how Lucifer was basically how I saw Satan in the past, and I more recently I have been trying to examine the philosophy of Luciferianism in comparison with Satanism. Between January and this month I have been pondering Luciferianism, and a few days after being shown the Greater Church of Lucifer, I think I can finally say what to do about it on my own.

You see, in recent times, I have started to feel that I have always been more positive than negative, or at least strived to be. I certainly seem less negative than my brother in spite of my moments of doubt, cynicism, and fear. I have also seen my path of Satanism as a positive path of spirituality, rather than as a purely material path, and I maintained beliefs in the soul and heaven, just that unlike in many religions my soul is my own and that my heaven is my own, and preferred to maintain an interest in the light side as well. I wanted light, but also darkness. I wanted harmony, but also chaos. I wanted those things because I felt both in me in different ways, and I recognized their history as a part of my being. And I wanted to bring it all within a Chaos-inspired Left Hand Path framework.

There are those who may ask me, what is wrong with Satanism? My answer: nothing! I don’t think anything is necessarily wrong with or bad about Satanism, and I never intended to leave Satanism in the strictest sense. Quite opposite. I intend to improve my framework. The thing is, Satanism on its own is a very earthly and carnal religion, and the focus is on pleasure and personal power. I actually still agree with the Satanic creed of live your life for yourself. A creed which can be expressed by Satanists as “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”, a phrase borrowed from Aleister Crowley (but expressed in a totally different manner to the way Crowley intended). I also still follow the Satanic idea that each Man is his own god and the true master of his own life, and I like the idea of seeking out power and pleasure. But on its own, it’s very much a carnal religion, and there’s a lot of emphasis on the darker side and the darker entities. Of course, I didn’t really mind because all that attached to a philosophy I hold dearly: the philosophy of self-freedom, fierce individualism and resistance to self-denial, and personal empowerment. But now I feel there are elements to my own personal framework that are either missing, or not encoded, or just not explored enough. That is where Luciferianism comes in. And, in a way, so does Lucifer himself. 😉

Bringer of Light by fuzzyzombielove on Deviantart.com

Whereas Satanism is a philosophy that primarily espouses the physical nature of man and focuses on the darker side of human nature and the entities that personify it, Luciferianism embraces the carnal, dark, and physical aspects of the self but also believes in the bright and spiritual aspects of the self. In fact, it believes in embracing both light and dark, all aspects of the self, and also advocates balance, often in a manner very similar to Taoism. Luciferianism is a Left Hand Path philosophy that worships the I its fullest form, that teaches that the individual should seek out wisdom and spiritual truth in pursuit of continual enlightenment, improvement, and the godhead of the self, all without negative energy. Like Satanism, Luciferianism is highly individualistic (no popes or sacred texts to dictate your lives, only your self and your inner light), rejects the surrender of the self to any God or universal consciousness, believes in the God within the individual (in other words, there is no true God higher than oneself), and adopts a mythical being as a symbolic archetype for their beliefs while not necessarily worshipping it. In this case, that being is Lucifer. Both Satan and Lucifer are commonly associated with each other in the public consciousness, where both are treated as devils if not referred to interchangeably. But while Satan represents the physical and carnal nature of Man,  Man’s pure animal drives, and the dark force in nature, Lucifer represents spiritual self-exploration, enlightenment, and the individual who is free in spirit and in body. Lucifer is also seen as a kind of Promethean figure, who symbolically stuck his own neck out and dared to share the gift of freedom, fire, and inner light with mankind. Luciferianism is sometimes seen as a form of Satanism that that venerates Satan as Lucifer the light bringer rather than as a figure of darkness, though Luciferians may tend to view their religion as very different from Satanism.

The Greater Church of Lucifer (which isn’t really a church in the traditional sense) has offered me a very interesting perspective of Luciferianism and by extension an incredibly fascinating way for me to improve my spiritual framework and understanding, and it is impossible resist such allure. If you look at their website and their Facebook pages, you might understand what I’m talking about. I am actually called back to when I used to refer to Lucifer rather than Satan (of course that was before I decided I was a Satanist), and my background in Shin Megami Tensei influences, where Lucifer is being associated with the Chaos faction and its philosophy of freedom and unbridled individualism, but the actual philosophy of Luciferianism reminds me of Chaos with influence from Neutrality, or Chaos with a balance, so that’s all the more interesting.

At this point, I must point out that Luciferianism can be atheistic, or theistic, or anywhere in between, much like in Satanism. It all depends on the perspective of the Luciferian in question, and not all Luciferians have exactly the same ideas. And going back to Satan, it’s a similar deal within Satanism. LaVeyan Satanists are atheists, who believe Satan is merely a symbol of the carnal Man and power in this world and vital existence over spiritual, but does not really exist anymore than God does, but theistic Satanists believe in Satan as a spiritual being that embodies those things, alongside a pantheon of Dark Lords. While theistic Satanists don’t worship Satan or any dark lords in a master-servant relationship, they do treat them with nominal respect in a manner that might be similar to modern paganism. Some theistic Satanists may see Satan or the Dark Lords as representatives of a dark spiritual force in nature, much like LaVeyan Satanists only not limited to physical nature, or see Satan as an external being interested in the development of human beings, similar to how Lucifer might be seen. Satan can also be believed to be the sum total of the dark spirits, or dark gods, of human mythology, in contrast to Christianity where he’s just a lord of evil (not to mention, in Christian theology he’s not even a horned god to begin with).

In my opinion, Luciferianism offers an excellent framework for me, and it relates to me in many ways. But I also still wish to continue the Satanic path as I see it, to give myself power to live without fear, to be a spiritually stronger individual, and to live right and with honor. So here is what I plan to do: I propose that I can be both.

Lucifer’s Pentagram by LenartLenartLenart on Deviantart.com

Think about it, I can basically see myself as philosophically and spiritually Luciferian, but maintain a Satanic leaning. I can seek about both light and darkness, spirituality and carnality, walk with my complete soul, my self, and inner flame and inner light until the day I die, but also cling to the Satanic path I mentioned by also remaining on the side of the Satanic values of the strength of the individual and the pursuit of power for the individual. This I feel can be achieved by invoking the Black Flame, described by Luciferians and some Satanists, to invoke personal power and become stronger in life. Also, some Satanists believe you are already your own God, and some Luciferians believe the goal is to become your own God through continual wisdom. Personally, I believe I am the creator of my own spiritual and personal world, I am what I am and nothing else, and I am my own master.  I embrace the Satanic idea that I am my own God, but embrace the Luciferian idea of growth and continual enlightenment. I believe that one’s own personal world, one’s own self, and one’s own identity, can be enriched with not just continual experience but also continual understanding. Not just understanding yourself, but understanding ideas and the world which helps you understand yourself anyway. With that in mind, and considering I believe in my own heaven, my own world, I believe that the Luciferian ideal of continual enlightenment can only serve to make your inner world and your imagination that much richer. Enlightenment doesn’t mean a total understanding that overhauls your identity and who you are. Rather, the Luciferian way is to understand your self, and continue learning things as you go, and you see things become a part of your self, or you see your self grow, certainly not be taken over or be destroyed by some religious totality. And, since the Greater Church of Lucifer has shown me many ways, my support for that organization will naturally increase because I see it as an individualized group with values I can get behind, without worrying about succumbing to group-think.

So that’s basically how I stand on Luciferianism now. I have decided to accept Luciferianism as a part of my paradigm, and identify as a Luciferian, whilst maintaining the Satanic ideas I have always maintained, and also incorporating my pagan ideas and ideas from other belief systems. In the future I will explore the concept of the Black Flame and any relation between Luciferianism and ideas I have explored before. But for now, all I have written here will suffice. In closing, I would like to thank my friend Tadashi for initially recommending Luciferianism to me, Tony Asmodeus and Vincent Piazza, along with the people at The Greater Church of Lucifer, for further inspiring my path, and James Nicholson and Sean Ridley Ravensdale for their additional support.