one year today

A year ago today I became a Satanist. It was on Walpurgis Night, during our ritual that I “put out the call” so to speak and affirmed my interest to “the other world” (which you can take poetically if you like), and by the morning the call was answered with certainty. So you could say I became a Satanist overnight, Walpurgis Night into May 1st. Yesterday was also the 50th anniversary of the founding of The Church of Satan by Anton LaVey, in San Francisco in 1966.

Something in our life has changed in tone, and changed very helpfully, though you’d have to know us to realise it. Phil has always been ahead of me on this, but I have become formally unconcerned with what other people in general think of me. I used to like to think that was so before, but it was always “within reason”. Now it’s a principle. It’s not my place in life to be concerned with others’ opinions of me, beyond what directly impacts me and my loved ones’ well being.

It’s also clearer than before that sorting out the world’s problems is not my moral obligation. I have an interest, naturally, to a point proportionate with my power and influence (guess how big that is ๐Ÿ˜„) and the problem’s consequences. But political emotionalism has about as much effect on me as “feminine tears”. Here’s the kleenex darling. The whole “we’re all responsible, and we’re all to blame, what are weย  going to do about it?!!” ends up sounding like Maude Flanders to me. Show me practical solutions that aren’t based on something as ephemeral and disingenuous as “people power”, and things that just make you feel better. You know very well that “people” are a nightmare, which is why populist moralisers are always authoritarians at heart. People just won’t do, or care about, what they are told to. A great deal of our advances and solutions come from science as far as I can see, so I’m more inclined to put my expectations there.

Another thing that has happened over the last year is that my curiosity about aspects of the mundane world has revived, for the first time really since the 1980s. Intellectual curiosity. I think that is a sign of healing and strength, but the joy of making sense of the world is returning.

Sexually we have become more open and engaged as a couple, and we would both consider ourselves polyamorous, ie open to relationships of different sorts coming into our marriage, providing they are affectionate, honest and consensual, and have genuine regard for each others’ well being*. It’s something we have been moving towards for a while.

I think the most memorable things about the last year have been the times when we have managed to support or help a loved friend in some way, to help them grow. That might not be most people’s idea of a “Satanic” activity, but the joy and energy of seeing a friend come into their own, as the person they really are, is deeply fulfilling.

Being Satanists, and being committed to our own authentic selfhoods, has encouraged that.

Hail Satan, and the good life.

birthday_candle2c_downpatrick2c_july_2010

Birthday candle by Ardfern (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

* “each other” meaning everyone directly involved.

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9 Comments

  1. Happy anniversary of being Satanist then. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just want to say that, as you may be aware, but being one who celebrates authentic selfhood is a significant rebellion in today’s world, one that seems intent on denying individuality and thinking self as an illusion, preferring to view Man as unavoidably driven by forces he cannot control, even to the point of scientists denying the very notion of free will thus rejecting Mankind as an autonomous being (and probably based on just the body and biological drives while ignoring consciousness, or mistakenly identifying body with self). It is good that we Satanists maintain free will and liberty within ourselves, while the rest of the world condemns mankind by denying the autonomy of our species.

    • thank you Aleph ๐Ÿ™‚

      yes I agree on selfhood, and sovereignty of the individual, and the maintenance of freedom. It is very easy for people to scoff at such things, but there is no mistaking the lack of these things in a person’s life, or in a society. Self-actualization and lack of freedom cannot properly coexist.

      • once you get into the study of consciousness, psychology (and the social sciences for that matter) etc, you are onto pretty shifting grounds really. But if you try and apply a “hard science” approach to the nature of consciousness, I think you risk running into a kind of reductive materialism. I think it is inference; they stack up all of their deterministic findings in relation to things they observe and measure, and they come up with something that can only be the sum of its parts. They will say that *has* to explain consciousness, because they can’t prove otherwise scientifically, therefore consciousness can only be a deterministic sum of parts. That isn’t what we experience of course (though it might partially be so), but they put that down to delusion. So they strike a position of “I’m a meat machine because we all are, and anything else is you just fooling yourself”. Naturally there is little free will in that, as free will would be an illusion. They are not invalid questions, but the answer seems more agnostic to me than materialistically determined. Of course I would acknowledge that the freedom of our will is relative, but I am also not fundamentally a materialist

      • I don’t think that the materialism is anything new, but then neither is the authoritarianism really, just the authoritarianism has been creeping in more and more over the decades in different ways. There is more of a rise of “hip atheism” I guess, but that hasn’t really influenced scientific thinking particularly, as they have to be evidence based, and measuring the immaterial is next to impossible. The social sciences and psychology are in some respects maybe an attempt to do that, but they are famously subjective (when they admit it anyway). In fact these latter things, the least “material” of the “sciences”, combined with political ideologies coming from what used to be called “the new left”, have maybe had some of the most influence in peddling authoritarianism for “society’s good”

  2. One point: Satanists are born, one does not simply become a Satanist overnight. One may have the epiphany one day that their worldview is that which was codified by Anton LaVey in The Satanic Bible, but that only comes through reading TSB and seeing yourself reflected in its pages. You were a Satanist before you read it, obviously, you simply weren’t aware of that fact.
    Congratulations to you on your anniversary of that knowledge. How did you celebrate Walpurgisnacht this year?

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