a rather democratic satanic majesty

Well, it’s that “strange” time between eclipses, and it actually feels pretty good. Pour me another shot, and I think I will reach early evening.

I had been planning on doing a kinda review of The Satanic Bible, because while it is not the last word on modern Satanism, its influence has I think been pretty immense. As far as I can tell, in verifiable terms, there just wasn’t much of a modern Satanic movement before LaVey’s founding work in the 1960s, and whoever you ask now, whether they are theistic or atheistic, there’s a good chance of Anton LaVey turning up as an influence, and elements of his philosophy certainly crop up.

I still intend to do that review, but right now I just want to say something short about why Satanism is valuable to me as a philosophy.

There are things which I’ve just got to the point of having to do something about. Mainly they concern things like society and social consensus, moralism and moral conformism, religiosity and the form these take in things like politics, and both culture and supposed counterculture.

Why Satanism is so very useful to me is because it burns down the moral edifice that we are all socially addicted to. All the bullshit, torched in one go. And then it takes it back to the individual. That in itself is worth it.

Why not just be an atheist, a humanist etc, you might ask? Well I was, when I was 14. And at 15 I became an occultist, because I wanted more. And because there is more. Call it art if you like, call it imagination, call it an extravagance, just call it desire, but life is too fuckin’ short to not do what gives you fulfilment. And yes there are checks and balances (and no they aren’t very moral, but they can be individually ethical).

You see Satanism allows reason, and questions, and disillusion, and rebellion; but it also allows the irrational, the imaginative, the creative, the tender, for the sovereign individual. It allows a world with magic and mystery, as well as myth busting and debunking.

And it allows me to not be totally fuckin’ outraged 24/7 by the reconditioned religious moralism of politicians, activists, commentators, academics, and the salesmen of a privilege they really aren’t offering. Ah well, you can only do your own thing, and only if you have the guts.

King Canute is famous for sitting on the beach and not being able to stop the tide coming in. He was actually trying to show people that, contrary to their belief in his divinity, he had no power over the waves. Oddly enough, we tend to remember him as the fool that got his feet wet, the one who was shown to be wrong (maybe confusing his with the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes). But it was actually the people who believed shit, not him.

Good Christian that he was, there seemed to be something just a little bit Satanic in Mr Canute.

one of those parties - The Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer (circa 1540/1545–1591/1600) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

one of those parties – The Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer (circa 1540/1545–1591/1600) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – cropped and digitally solarized

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6 Comments

  1. As a personal survey through life, I can honestly say the most authentic and enjoyable people I’ve met are satanists. My problem is that it aligns itself, or rather rallies behind a symbol that is not only a big fuck you to church establishment but includes the rest of us. It borders on anarchy. I get the whole search for individiality and pursuit of personal freedom thing. Really. And that it is open with complete arms human nature. good. But it’s a bait and switch to bring people in behind a symbol of the worst, evil side, endorsing the vices without extolling in public the good visionary. in my view, satanists need to more honest about their sense of rebellion. hedonists? okay.

    • Hi Brent!

      I think it is only a fuck you to the rest of us if we choose to identify with the meanings and interpretations of that Church establishment, or similar. Appropriating a symbol is not the same as rallying behind the *meaning* it has been given by an authority you disregard.

      Hand in hand with personal freedom comes personal responsibility, that is always so, and so it seems to be with Satanists. There really isn’t any bait and switch, because a symbol involves what it symbolises to *you*.

      I think if we can deal with the appalling hypocrisy and abusiveness of things like the Catholic Church, or any number of mainstream organized religions, then we can easily accommodate Satanists, who are largely individuals pursuing their own inquiries. I think it’s the former who need to be more honest about their sense of conformism 😉

  2. Satanism offers the opportunity to cut away the baggage and rebuild a personal path without subservience to the paradigms of others. Satanism embraces the individual, plus makes asking questions and testing truth as some of its fundamental qualities.

  3. incidentally folks, coming from the background that I do (esotericism and Paganism) and being gay, Satanism and the Left Hand Path were notable in being some of the first supporters and advocates that a number of us found in that area. It’s a bit lost today, as Paganism and society in general has caught up a lot in this regard, but esotericism and Paganism at one time followed the lead of Christianity in basically consigning us to the condemned and damned bin. Satanists and LHP’ers were notable to me and a number of other gay men I know, as the ones who stood alone and called bullshit on the demonization of gay men and male-male sex. People forget quickly, and some never knew, but the sanctified circle was never meant for all. It really is worth remembering the war that respectable religion and spirituality has so often waged against whole sections of humanity.

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