If you’ve been reading my blog for a couple of years, you might have noticed that I’ve stopped posting about politics. This hasn’t been accidental, it was a conscious decision.
As I have come to focus more on spirituality and Satanism, and as Satanism became my religion, I felt more comfortable steering clear of the politics.
It isn’t that I don’t have views on various political topics, but I consider religion and politics to be a very substandard combination. A religion can have political meaning and consequences, by virtue of what it brings into human life through beliefs and values, and adherents of a religion can espouse whatever politics they want, but for a religion itself to be associated with politics in a more than incidental sense is I think disastrous. Spirituality is deeper than politics could ever hope to be, and at best it is a very limited, specific engagement on the part of a religion (e.g. opposing bad laws relating to partisan religious power). But where religion becomes politicised, politics inevitab!y detracts from spirituality, if it doesn’t just make religion its bitch.
Satanists are bound to oppose Abrahamic monotheism and Right Hand Path spirituality in a critical sense, and to oppose the imposition of these things. Given the form of just about every form of Satanism, they are very likely to oppose things which work against the freedom of the individual, or for censorship. But these are incidental effects of beliefs and values. They do not constitute a politics, though they may inform individual political choices.
I think a religion needs to focus on spirituality, and allow it and politics to be uncontaminated by each other. Otherwise you end up like Islam, or the Reclaiming Tradition, and quite a bit of squawking neopaganism.
Devotion is one of the most important practices in a spirituality I feel, certainly from a practical point of view, and it is no different in Satanism. This needs to come from the heart, as your relationship develops. It has to be genuine and entirely free, and the comfort this brings in the strength of your relationship is intimate and stable.
There is no conflict between the self-exulting nature of Satanism, and devotional religious practice. The Prince of Darkness gives us our greatest gift, and we are his children so to speak.
If you feel drawn to it, daily practice is of great benefit to a Satanist. Prayer, meditation, offerings, small rituals, or just talking and sharing inwardly with Him. His gift is in you, whether you realise it or not, and He is close.
May you have much happiness as a Satanist, and live the life that is right…
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While out walking the dog I was thinking on what I’ll call “Satanic intransigence“, which is closely linked to our approach to the question of morality. I had just seen a short video on Adam Daniels and his Church of Ahriman, which I don’t know a great deal about, but they seem to have quite a developed teaching and practice. I don’t think I’d do things the same way they do from the look of it, but I do think Mr Daniels (or Dastur Daniels by his religious title) is a genuine and sincere man, and I do like him instinctively. I found the video quite moving in its honesty, though I do wish the world were kinder to his daughter. It’s a difficult question as to the position your religion puts your children in, especially for a Left Hand Path practitioner who is right out there about it publicly, though you could see clearly how much he loves his kids and intends to protect his own.
One of the things Dastur Daniels does show is an intransigence, a resistance to the conventional ways of the world, and its moral dictates, and it was that which got me thinking on the subject.
Satanists need this kind of intransigence, however it manifests, but it doesn’t come from an opposition to the (stated) holistic objectives of morality (well-being, security, health, spiritual development etc), but to the disastrous nature of collective morality for the individual. This is one of the reasons why Satanism (even as a religion) is so compatible with secularism. Ethical enquiry is actually a necessary* activity in Satanism, but it has to be genuinely individual.
Individual sovereignty remains crucial, and it’s a sovereignty which is not just social. It goes “all the way to the top”, so to speak. Satanism isn’t just “doing your own thing” on steroids, but in basic terms there is that aspect to it, though it is more “doing your own thing on steroids” with a reflective mind and an appreciation of complexity and subtlety. For it to be Satanism though, it obviously needs to be a spiritual calling in my view.
One should make no mistake, we are in essence opposed to the Right Hand Path, and to Right Hand Path religions. That doesn’t mean we have to fight, or that we can’t coexist (though the sentiment might not be reciprocated), because another principle of Satanism for me is non-interference. Do not interfere with me, and I do not interfere with you. You work out your salvation, I work out mine. If you interfere, I will reassert my boundaries. If me and mine remain free to live our lives as we see fit, then your life is your own business, not mine.
This all becomes important when we see how much fear is attached to collective moral judgement. The authority of that moral judgement is rejected unequivocally, and that is the necessary way to uproot and kill that crippling, controlling social fear, and the effects of its attendant hypocrisies.
* in the sense that ethical questions are generated by objective and unavoidable circumstances, and their engagement by us forms one of our human needs. We shouldn’t confuse ethics with moralism, or throw the baby out with the rank bath water being thrown at us.
You would think that with a temperate climate our weather would be pretty ideal, and for greenery England’s climate is good, but for us natives the humidity, moisture and changeability gives disproportionate swelter and chill, and an often indeterminate quality. Great moody skies, and lots of days to savour staying inside, but enjoying the weather is something of a commitment, a cultivated taste. Today however was idyllic. A warm, mellow, somewhat hazy early Autumn day, the kind that feels soaked in private imagination and ripening figs, the profuse tangle of a gently declining Summer garden. Quietude hangs in the air, and the passage of time is eased.
I have also been doing some ritual work recently, work in the sense of working on ritual design. Exploring innovation within an established framework is an interesting process, in this case banishing and invoking pentagram rituals, and Crowley’s “Star Ruby”. I was actually looking to find a personal Satanic ritual practice piece for myself, something that could be done daily. I should add here that I don’t pay a lot of attention to elements and quarters in my “Greater Magick” rituals, so I’m exploring a few things in this case. Part study and revision, part instinct, part intuition, and a lot of “suck it and see”. Magical records really come into their own here!
I realise actually that I’m not temperamentally inclined to Golden Dawn style ritual, even with archangels kicked out. Undeniably powerful though, and more so since I found my path in Satanism. The results seem quite suited to the weather.
So that’s it for my ramble. All the best to my readers.
I’ve found that it is easiest to communicate through a number of blogs and media. I think that’s just inevitable, as a blog develops a vibe of its own, and that actually affects what you can most easily express though it. So I have developed a few, and their activity tends to fluctuate according to where I am at.
For those that might be interested, these are my main blogs:
Summer Thunder you’ll probably be most familiar with if you are reading this. It’s my oldest blog, and has quite a lot of my development and ideas traced out on it. It’s the closest to the “machine code” of Mo’s output. Process as well as product. Similar is Summer Thunder on YouTube, which is where I park my videos.
Maroon Moon is a more personal blog, under my ID as MagickPig. It is part journal and part poetry, as that is sometimes the only way I can communicate. More and more it has become a poetry blog.
Magick Pig is a blog dedicated to the subject of sexuality and its overlap with magick. It’s not very active at the moment (not so surprisingly really), but it’s still an idea I care about. It’s a mature content blog.
The Devil’s Pig is a journal, from my point of view as a 60 year old religious Satanist. It’s informal and I enjoy doing it.
These are books I would personally recommend to those with a sincere interest in Satanism. Obviously from my own perspective, but I hope they are helpful.
I don’t go with everything in this book personally, but it is a solid, down to earth work that takes a religious approach to Satanism, and is both mature and sincere. I recommend RJ’s podcasts for the same reason.
How most people get into Satanism. LaVey’s Church wasn’t actually atheistic at the time of writing, and though the book is ambiguous in its approach to entities, its belief in magic is clear. It provides, in a lurid pulp form, an essentially sound Satanic philosophy, if you clear away the bluster and sensationalism. [I attempted a summary with some commentary on The Satanic Bible starting here.].
A very devotional collection of prayers, invocations, chants, rituals etc, for religious practice.
A comprehensive and intelligent overview of what we now term the Left Hand Path historically, and on to the founding of The Church of Satan and The Temple of Set.
A charming, pocket sized prayer book. A lot of thought and care clearly went into its production, and it’s a beautiful little item. I certainly consider Venus to have been a pioneer in reviving an independent Theistic Satanism.
Neopagan, and I still think one of the best “how to” books on Witchcraft, predating the spate of Wicca 101 books by decades, and honouring the Devil aspect of the Horned God more than most.
One of the first Chaos Magic tomes. It provides a boiled down magickal curriculum for those who want a crash course in post Golden Dawn magick, and attempts to marry it with aspects of Crowley and Austin Osman Spare (or at least sigil work as developed by him). “Condensed Chaos” by Phil Hine is a more reflective book on Chaos Magic.
The text which Crowley considered to have been transmitted to him by an entity called Aiwass, who he identified with Set and Satan. I consider Crowley to have been the real inductor of modern Satanism in the form of the 93 current which he saw himself as reviving. Crowley’s influence upon the field cannot be overestimated in my view, though he is not ultimately its source, and wouldn’t have claimed to be (just a genius and prophet, that’s all. Humble chap).
Not all Satanists will consider this in any way relevant, but I consider Nema’s work, like Michael Bertiaux‘s to be important and fruitful. Nema’s book has clarity and sweep, and gives a real insight into some of the stages of initiation in the GD/AA kabbalistic scheme (with a specific Thelemic understanding). Michael’s work is powerful and very practically insightful in its understanding of magick and working with spirits and entities. Personally speaking, I can learn more from a few lines of Bertiaux’s than I do from some entire books. I feel a real connection with him.
All out of print, but if you can get hold of his Typhonian Trilogies for less than hundreds of dollars, they are fascinating, especially the first three books, while his “Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare” is a real beauty.