how you

a devotional poem to The Devil

Maroon Moon

How you made me

One who longed and searched for you

At night as a teenager

Open like split fruit

In my bed


How you

Soaked me in your old image

Smelling of sweat and heat and fur

Trembling with relief and memory

Walking a country road at midnight


How you

Struck me down in the power of rut

And liquid Moon

Pumped into me

In final peace


How you

Made me love in awe

Your horns, your herds

Your Earth, your Hell


How you

Kept the promise

That had bred me

Over and over

Again


How you

Father Devil

Satan, Shaitan


Your warlock

Collared

And leashed

In love and being

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the elements of a path

Three buffaloes heads above water in Si Phan Don By Basile Morin [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Recently I did a video in which I gave a recounting of where I’m at in terms of my work, linking it in part to the four elements. I just wanted to do a little further description, which might show how it integrates for me.

Earth is the most material and external element in many ways, and in earth I would put religion, form, physical practices. This is why I associated Satanism especially with earth for me; not because it is only earth, but because it is my religion. On official documents, I’m a Satanist. On the next census, I’ll be down as a Satanist. If I’m asked my religion, “Satanism” is the accurate answer.

Water is the element of communication with the invisible, the spirit world. It is the “soul” of a spiritual path. In my video I mentioned Michael Bertiaux here, because he has taught me more, more simply, than pretty much anyone in this regard. It’s the poly in polytheism, the image in imagination, the psyche in psychology, the conduit of the liquid messengers of hormones, the moistness, and sweat and spurt of sex.

Fire is the element of individual sovereignty, and I see this exemplified in Thelema, which is a flowering of the Satanic spirit for me. Fire in the belly of the Earth, fire in the unconscious, fire that turns solid to liquid, liquid to vapour, that rips the shell off particles, coalesces, purifies. Fire that eats the world and births every mineral richness.

Air is the element of ideals, application, crisis and peace. I think it is probably the most idiosyncratic side of a path. Air seeks answers, final resolution, a comprehensive sense that can be communicated. This is why it needs to be empty, so as not to entrap in limited meaning that fabricates certainty. I associate this with the Maat Current for me personally, and it is of course my own expression of it as a Satanist.

The Astrology of Satan

Pluto and Cerberus, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons. Digitally treated.

The title of this post might make it sound a bit grand and authoritative, but it is just some associations that I can trace for the being we call “Satan” – The Devil.

A clear reflection can be seen in the astrological Saturn: dweller on the threshold, Lord of this world, tester and opposition that all consciousness must push against in order to actualise work, and thus power. In tradition he is regarded as the “greater malefic”, because, well life is hard (resistant at the material level) and Saturn is all about the bottom line. But Saturn is also the initiator, the gate keeper, the demand of maturity and growth. Saturn by placement shows that part of experience where we feel denied, deficient, unable, failed. But this is only so until we find how to fulfil that area of experience as ourselves, in the way that is truly authentic for us as individuals. This often takes time, another attribute of Saturn.  Liz Greene called him “an old devil”, and she was correct in that.

Another principle we can see in Satan is the astrological Pluto. Lord of the underworld, of death, transformation and phoenix-like revivification. Pluto is the crux of the evolutionary drive of consciousness. This is the “dark” (because initially unconscious) secret of why we come here. It is not the course of “union with God”, the absolute, the all-oneness. Pluto is quite aware of where all comes from, and that the oneness is the ground of things. But Pluto is not about coming into apparent separation and material experience, only to return to what it was in blissful dissolution. Pluto understands that the ground of everything is union already. In this way Pluto can appear “evil” to people, for it is just not about the oneness, and so it can appear opposed to the God that doesn’t actually exist, for oneness can be only exactly oneness. That “evil” is of course in our heads, for that is where our “God” is, an artefact of limited vision. But Pluto doesn’t actually oppose, because nothing can finally oppose it. It is irresistible, and its gift is the shadow and darkness that makes our existence, our life, our experience possible. Just as Saturn ensures balance and growth, boundaries and individual integrity, and repudiates individual chaos and inertia, Pluto holds us to life and the presence of the True Will deep within us. You co-operate with it or get crushed, until you realise it is the beat of your own blood.

A third classical planet that we can see in Satan is Mars. Formerly known as the “lesser malefic”, it is known as the planet of drive, desire, energy, aggression and sex. Mars is your “little Pluto” in a sense, stepped down but very vital. It is the “second hand” of the evolutionary clock of consciousness, and intimately connected to the transformation of energy for human beings.

A fourth principle which can be mentioned is Uranus, though this should be subsumed under Saturn in some ways. Uranus is the planet of innovation, rebellion, deviation and sudden enlightenment. It can be shattering and traumatic, liberating and alienating. It is the outsider’s planet, and the planet of genius, mad or otherwise. It’s the Addams in “The Addams Family”. It is deeply occult.

And lest we forget, The Sun is a Satanic planet, symbolising as it does the sovereignty of consciousness, but the Sun shows the quest in abstract, not the method. Yet as a star it does trace out that individualization of light, thanks to the night and space that surrounds it, and gives it its unique definition in relation to other stars.

The signs associated with these planets are Aries, Leo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Aquarius.

While it is possible to explore other avenues (basically all the other planets, directly or indirectly, plus the Moon’s Nodes), I feel it is better to focus and go deeper.

I hope this is of interest.

In what ways are we Pagans?

Pan by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The important thing in a religion or spirituality is, well spirituality. The official criteria are really insignificant compared to the sincere personal reality of the adherent, and their relationship with their religion, faith or practice. I agree with RJ Womack’s assertion that Satanism is essentially a form of Paganism, and I’m going to try to explain why.

Needless to say this is my view and experience of my spirituality, which is developing for me all the time. I have always been most interested in personal religion. It’s that which gave stability and integrity, and the preservation of value. In that sense I am quite religiously conservative, but unconventional. I am a secularist because it both ensures religious freedom (and freedom from any single religion), and protects spirituality from the contamination of politics. But to embark on the subject of this post:

I feel we are most essentially polytheists or spiritists, as Spiritual Satanists. We generally have a profound interest in spirits, gods, demons, otherworldly entities, the supernatural, magick, and making contact with these things.

We generally have a love for Nature, its forces, beauty, majesty and power. I think Satanists also have an appreciation of the capacity to go against Nature, against the apparent natural order, and understand that this is itself a part of Nature. But we love it and try to learn from it.

Satanists generally have a real (though unsentimental) admiration for animals, often seeing them as embodying a wisdom and dignity which we can learn from.

The romance of the “Witches’ Sabbat” and of Witchcraft has been key to the revival of modern Paganism. There is really no question that the imaginal leader of the Sabbat, whatever his possible names and ancestry, was The Devil himself for the people at large.

Similarly the god Pan became a key focus of the Pagan revival in the early 20th century. That Pan’s form was also ascribed to The Devil was I think no coincidence. In The Devil the Old Gods returned, for in The Devil and his world, they had never left.

Aleister Crowley did a great deal to bring occultism into the 20th century and beyond, and he took one of his missions to be assisting the return of Paganism. If you take a look at the “Charge of The Goddess” of Wicca, Crowley’s influence is quite clear. Just compare the language of the “Star Goddess” section with chapter 1 of The Book of The Law. Crowley said he received this text from a being called Aiwaz, and it eventually came to define his life’s work. He identified Aiwaz with Satan and Set, the Devil. So according to the man who shaped it, The Charge of The Goddess is at least partly authored or inspired by The Devil.

I feel it is also quite clear that Thelema had a great influence on Anton LaVey and his philosophy, which certainly did not start out as atheistic or anti-supernatural. So the modern popularisation of Satanism has I feel got genuinely occult roots, which are themselves both Pagan and Satanic, prior to the creation of The Church of Satan.

As with many Pagan spiritualities, we draw on direct experience, Nature, supernatural beings, magick, poetry and art. We are not a “religion of the book”, but part of the perennial search for mystery and meaning, undimmed by monotheism and modernity.

To Spiritual Satanists

Château du Diable, Puymoyen, France - by Jack ma (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Well here I am, sat in bed with my dog curled up beside me, warm and peaceful, and I have to say it feels pretty idyllic. In a little under a month it will be Walpurgis Night, one of the great Satanic and witchcraft sabbats. In May Uranus will move into the sign of Taurus the bull, which will be a change in the energies. Uranus the magician, the rebel, the “deviant angel”, and Taurus the fecund, the stable, the earthy. Quite a change from the pioneering but volatile fire of Aries. Maybe a welcome change.

It is my hope that sincere Spiritual Satanists will lay down deep roots in this time, flourish quietly and grow in their fellowship and care of each other. We’ve seen a lot of activity and enthusiasm from atheistic Satanists on the internet, and in their activism, and the energy of the last eight years favoured that. Good for them. But the fuel for that is about to become more scarce, and the limitations of materialism will become apparent. Spiritual desire and the quest for the spiritual will prove more long lasting though, and I believe that the energies coming into play will aid that. We are an earthy folk, but much concerned with the unseen and the mysterious, and the unique. We can recognise and provide the Scorpio to compliment the sign that Uranus is about to move into.  We love Taurus’ natural sense of pleasure and enjoyment, Uranus loves Scorpio’s piercing depth and mystery.

Taurus is about values, foundations, stability, work, patience, endurance, instinctive well being. Feel it in your belly. Touch it, eat it, hug it, smell it, rest on it, make love together with it. It’s what you really have in a fundamental sense. Uranus is the crackling energy of magick and of the self. It’s not an obvious combination, but then the connections between worlds aren’t obvious. It requires spirituality, and beings from the spirit world to augment our limitations. I believe it always has.

But now I’m rambling on about astrology too much. I just have a sense that in this coming year Spiritual Satanists can do real work, and do so fruitfully.

Morning

I’ve been through a lot of trials in the last two years, and what I have found is that Satanism has acted as a religion for me. It provided strength, clarity, comfort, stability, fellowship, and influences that helped me return to firm foundations. This is something that a philosophy or a life style on its own is poorly equipped to do. Life style is a fair weather friend, and philosophy is excellent for the mind, but neither of these things comprehend the circumstance of lived experience for ordinary people. And in those circumstances we are all ordinary people, like any other. But the life of the Spirits is involved in everything, from the most common to the most rare.

Generally we are a diaspora rather than an actual community as Satanists, and Spiritual Satanists are a minority within a minority, though I have no doubt that there are far more people than we generally know of. I personally think we have the greatest natural kinship with Heathenry, Voodoo, and Typhonian Thelema. Compared to inner realities, what you are called is really not the point, though I am a Satanist as it happens, and I feel a pride in that. The conventional world (and this includes the internet, media and politics) broadcasts loudly and dominates the fractious mind, but this is not the life of the Spirits, nor of deep Nature, or our own deep nature. And this is not the life of ordinary people, who have always had to live in this world as it really is.

Don’t worry about the conventional world and its chatter. Live your life for yourself and your loved ones, and happily. Do your real work, simply because it is right for you.

Shaking the cocktail

one of my "crucifixes" - ebay is the best bet for these

I’m not interested in politics. I’m not interested in materialism. The world of the spirit is primary for me. I’m not an atheist, and am quite underwhelmed by modern atheism. I’m not in the least interested in the so-called “God” of Christians and Muslims. Moralism is a disease. Collectivism a cowardice and failure of nerve. I don’t believe all religions are leading to the same goal, and we’re all going up the mountain by different routes. “Interfaith” is puréed pre-modern politics.

I’ve developed a little collection of inverted crucifixes and crosses, and have taken up making rosaries and necklaces for other Satanists. I really like inverted crucifixes, I find them beautiful, and their aesthetic I find most beautiful upside-down. People will often wonder if someone like me is a “reverse Christian”, and while it doesn’t bother me, the answer is in some ways both yes and no.

In moral form, no, nothing as predictable. But in spiritual essence and direction, yes in a sense. You see I consider monotheism to be a block on spirituality, and in some real senses antispiritual. So the spiritual assumptions and goals of Christianity are certainly reversed out in many cases, or side-stepped as a falsity, though the results of this would probably surprise some people.

Nevertheless, Christianity itself being a kind of inverted Paganism (I know that’s a sloppy statement considering the vagueness of the term ” Pagan”, but there is something to it), it does have content of rich form, even if a bit backwards and upside-down. That is maybe why figures such as Babalon and The Beast are so potent. Christianity has led to two things spiritually: atheism, and the delivery of antique goods, pre-Christian entities freed from their stories, made lean and modern by the journey. The Occident Express has more than reached its destination.

So am I opposed to Christianity spiritually? Well of course I am.