Satanism is a ferocious religion based on materialism, the empowerment of the self and the ego, the carnal realities of animal life, the questioning of social taboos, the ridiculing of most other religions, and the promotion of tough social justice. Satan is not real but is the most ideal and accurate symbol of reality and nature: The world is full of violence, suffering, stress, striving and death - the life cycle itself requires all these things. It is clear that no symbol of 'goodness' or 'light' can embody it all. The vast, uninhabitable darkness of the Universe, with galactic cataclysms rendering huge destructions on huge scales, means that only Satan can embody the true state of everything that is. Satanists tend to use all the symbols of darkness and evil. There is no heaven, no hell, no afterlife, no angels or demons: there are no gods or saviours apart from ourselves. But if there was a god, it would surely be utterly evil.
The Church of Satan was founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey and as of 2001 its Black Pope has been the powerful and articulate Peter Gilmore. Satanism as religion is highly skeptical, rationalist and philosophical, demanding evidence and strong argumentation, but is otherwise open-minded on magic and some parts of the supernatural. Satanists are often bold, intelligent, demanding; but are also often subtle, cautious, hidden, while others still are outrageous, aggressive, angry and puzzling. It is a religion of fire, drama, depth and forceful progress. 2. Some Opening Declarations
Book CoverFrom the founder:
“There is no heaven of glory bright, and no hell where sinners roast. Here and now is our day of torment! Here and now is our day of joy! Here and now is our opportunity! Choose ye this day, this hour, for no redeemer liveth!”
"The Satanic Bible" by Anton LaVey (1969)
The Book of Satan IV:2
Book CoverFrom Peter Gilmore, the High Priest of the Church of Satan:
“Satanism has been defined. It does not allow for distortions such as belief in cosmic entities, animal sacrifice, or claims that one is a "demon incarnate" amongst other theistic delusions.”
"The Satanic Scriptures" by Peter Gilmore (2007)1
Book CoverLaVey also describes Satanism as a social engineering exercise:
“My brand of Satanism is the ultimate conscious alternative to herd mentality and institutionalized thought. It is a studied and contrived set of principles and exercises designed to liberate individuals from a contagion of mindlessness that destroys innovation. I have termed my thought "Satanism" because it is most stimulating under that name. Self-discipline and motivation are effected more easily under stimulating conditions. Satanism means "the opposition" and epitomizes all symbols of nonconformity. Satanism calls forth the strong ability to turn a liability into an advantage, to turn alienation into exclusivity. In other words, the reason it's called Satanism is because it's fun, it's accurate, and it's productive.”
"The Devil's Notebook" by Anton LaVey (1992)2
3. Classifications, Keywords and Sociological Definitions of Satanism
There are so many ways or organizing religions and beliefs, and so few religions fit neatly into categories, that I must present a list of key terms without attempting to order them into a coherent order. Hover over bits of the text for relevant links:
•Atheist and Humanist: There are no Gods in Satanism.
•Not dualistic: souls and bodies are indivisible and there is no war between cosmic good and cosmic evil.
•Autodeist - we worship ourselves. The only God we can ever perceive is in our own existential world. We are each a God.
•A "human potential" movement. Striving for longer life and a better education. Science And Technology Are Necessary: We who walk this dark path along with the same interests will pursue the elimination of Human limitation to the maximum
•Left Hand Path
•Satanism is a World-Affirming Religion, not a World-Renouncing One
•Moojan Momen's 8 Pathways to Religious Experience: Categorizing Satanism: Satanism scores highest in the gnostic category.
•Melton & Moore's 8 Religious Categories: Satanism's Position: Metaphysical
•Satanism is a Mystery Religion, where symbols and inner truths are only understandable after a period of study and only to certain types of person.
Some pages about what Satanism is not:
•Christianity and Satanism are Completely Different Religions
•The New Age and Satanism
4. The Satanic Bible
Book CoverThe Satanic Bible was written by Anton LaVey in 1969. There are 4 books in the Satanic Bible:
1.The Book of Satan. A poetic presentation of the character and aggression of Satanism. It is taken from the words of Ragnar Rebeard.
2.The Book of Lucifer. The Enlightenment. The philosophical and conceptual basis of Satanism.
3.The Book of Belial. The theory and practice of Satanic ritual, magic and psychology.
4.The Book of Leviathan. Texts for use in Satanic rituals. The Enochian Keys, translated by LaVey from the 17th Century texts of the deluded seer John Dee and Edward Kelly.
In an academic book of Satanism, "Contemporary Religious Satanism" by Jesper Aagaard Petersen (2009), James R. Lewis examines the actual role that The Satanic Bible plays in Satanic debate, and concludes what should by now be obvious:
Book Cover“"Satanists do not consciously regard The Satanic Bible in the same way traditional religionists regard their sacred texts. [...] However, The Satanic Bible is treated as an authoritative document, which effectively functions as scripture within the Satanic community. In particular, LaVey's work is quoted to legitimate particular positions as well as to de-legitimate the positions of other Satanists.
James R Lewis in
"Contemporary Religious Satanism" by Jesper Aagaard Petersen (2009)3
Some scriptural analysis:
Introduction to The 4 Books of the Satanic Bible
The Book Of Satan - The first book in the Satanic Bible
Book Of Satan 1:1-4 - The first 4 verses of chapter 1
Book of Satan 1:5-7 - Verses 4 to 7 of chapter 1
5. The Symbol of Satanism: The Baphomet
The Sigil of the Baphomet is an inverted pentacle form, with two points pointing upwards, one downwards, and one to each side. It is the official symbol of the Church of Satan. Inside the pentacle is the image of a goat, its horns filling the upper two points, its ears filling the two lateral ones, and its mouth filling the lower one. This is Satan. The goat and pentacle theme is very old, and has its origins in alchemy. The pentacle is surrounded by two circles the innermost touching the points of the pentacle. In between the two circles are 5 Hebrew characters, spelling LVTHN anticlockwise: Leviathan.”
"Satanic Symbols: The Baphomet and the Pentacle: 4. The Sigil of the Baphomet" by Vexen Crabtree (2008)
My full page on the topic also discusses upturned pentacles in general: "Satanic Symbols: The Baphomet and the Pentacle by Vexen Crabtree (2008). 6. External Links
Endless information, graphics, links, chat, message boards
Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism
Radio Free Satan
Feral House - The publisher that refuses to be domesticated
DMOZ.org Satanism/Church of Satan category
7. Page Index Search
The following pages mention this religion. The 10 most relevant are listed:
Moojan Momen's 8 Pathways to Religious Experience: Categorizing Satanism, 144 times, in the following sections:
1.3. Evangelism (0/5)
1.7. Gnosticism (4/5)
1.2. Legalism (0/5)
1.6. Monasticism (0/5)
1.8. Mysticism (1/5)
1.1. Ritualism (2/5)
1.4. Social Reformation (2/5)
1.5. Asceticism (2/5)
Why I'm Not a Satanist: By Rev. R. Deinsen, 2001 Jul, 114 times, in these sections:
* Top of page
Black Solstice's Holy War, 102 times, in these sections:
1.1. Theology & Superficiality
2.1. Theology & Superficiality - Victory Through Dogma and Allegorical Symbolism Even When No Godly Enemies Survive
2.2. Things to Please the Scholars
1.4. Anti-religious to an Ignorant Extent
* Top of page
1.5. Over-emphasis on Christian Symbolism
Vexen Crabtree's Websites: What's New and Site History, 87 times:
* Top of page
Conversion and Deconversion to Satanism Amidst the Absence of Proselytizing, 81 times, in these sections:
2.3. Other Religions
2.2. Instant Conversion
2.4. Problems Facing Potential New Recruits
1. No Proselytising
4. Those Who Do Not Convert
What is the Relationship Between Satanism and Fascism?, 69 times, in these sections:
2.1. Social Stratification: Meritocracy is Good, Racism is Stupid
1.3. Strength Through Joy
* Top of page
2.2. Satanism is Liberal: Pro-Individual, Pro-Sexuality
1. Fascism and Satanism In Agreement
Melton & Moore's 8 Religious Categories: Satanism's Position, 66 times, in these sections:
* Top of page
Satanism is More than Humanism, 63 times, in these sections:
1. Humanism: A Truly Worthwhile Belief System
2.3. Final Comments
2.2. A Functional Equivalent to Religion
2.1. Ritual and Symbolism
* Top of page
Satanism as a Mystery Religion, 63 times, in these sections:
1.2. Differentiating Mystery Religions from Mundane Specialisation
3. Is Satanism Public?
2. Satanism as a Mystery Religion
Satanists and Satanic Community: How many are there and what are they like?, 60 times, in the following sections:
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