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The Neo-Luciferian Church
Michael W. Ford
The Temple of the Black Light
Balance and Gnostic Luciferianism
Last Updated: 18 October 2013
In this section, a number of varieties of Gnosticism are discussed that do not fit into the 'classic' forms of Gnosticism as described on the Gnosticism page, as they embrace a wider variety of religions, and are more polytheistic, occult and/or 'darker' in nature. Please read this aforementioned Gnosticism section before continuing with this page, as it will make much more sense if you do so. Thank you for your patience!
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If you have not already done so, please read the Luciferianism section on the Deities page as this section will then make more sense. A quick read of the Left-Hand Path page and Jungian Shadow and the Occult page will also help put Gnostic Luciferianism into context.
Gnostic Luciferianism is hard to define. Lucifer is seen as a/the 'bearer of light'. It is more syncretic and hetereogeneous than 'classic' Gnosticism. It is in general either the worship of a deity Lucifer (not usual); or the recognition of Lucifer as an archetype, ally or guide, often represented by various historical prophets, deities or indeed Gnostic Aeons (more common). In the latter scenario, one can consider the allying with, embodying of, learning from or use of one particular 'Lucifer' or several 'Lucifers'. Most Luciferians and Gnostic Luciferians do not worship the deity Lucifer, although a minority indeed do. More commonly it is something which one invokes from oneself, a reflection of the self. The concept in Gnostic Luciferianism is to plant the seed of thought into one's mind and let the mind take it where it wishes, to one's own personal expression of the Self and one's Will, a little like Gnostic texts and some passages from the canonical gospels do (but perhaps different in outcome to the latter depending on interpretation).
Gnostic Luciferianism draws on the cosmology of Gnosticism, in a literal sense as defining the universe, or a metaphoric sense as defining the Self. Gnostic Luciferianism then may use a literal Gnostic framework for the incorporation of other religious beliefs, or it may indeed use a metaphoric understanding to the Gnostic cosmology as a principle in which to reinterpret/understand other chosen religions, occult practices or belief systems.
The one true, benevolent, mysterious God, Monad, or rather his Pleroma, may indeed be venerated or recognised (by some). As with Gnosticism, Gnostic Luciferianism holds that (in some sense) the creator God, called Demiurge, is synonymous with the Hebrew God of the Old Testament. Demiurge is regarded as being evil and imperfect and created a flawed world and physical universe full of death, disease, suffering and pain (using the Neo-Platonic and Buddhist concept of physical or earthly suffering). Demiurge trapped the human soul into human form and condemned it to a cycle of endless 'suffering', through birth and death (reincarnation).
The Aeons of Gnostic Luciferianism are messengers of light emanating from Monad/Pleroma. They include messiahs, and deities drawn from various religions, that emanate from the one true God, Monad. The Lucifers may also include philosophers and prophets. They depend very much on the type of Gnostic Luciferianism one is talking about. These messengers are figures of light and self-actualisation, helping followers to achieve Gnosis, but offering a variety of different types of secret knowledge, enlightenment and aspects of Gnosis. Followers of Gnostic Luciferianism can choose which Aeon or Lucifer they wish to worship, venerate, recognise or acknowledge, according to their true path or 'Will'. Gnostic Luciferian Aeons often include the Gnostic Jesus Christ (aka Luciferi Christos), Buddha, The Serpent and the deity Prometheus.
Those that believe in the Gnostic cosmology and Gnostic philosophy, but apply it to their lives in the context of Luciferian philosophy and occultism, do not generally regard Monad as 'Lucifer' in general terms. Lucifer is still the archetype of the self, in its light and dark, and indeed higher aspects, as embodied and manifested in occult ritual. Monad is just regarded as Monad.
It should be noted that some forms of Gnostic Luciferianism equate the true God, Monad, with being the Satan of Theistic Satanism (or perhaps a pantheistic view of Satan), using the term 'Lucifer' in a theistic sense to describe Satan. Such forms of Gnostic Luciferianism are considered 'darker' and less balanced, and do not generally recognise some of the prophets or Aeons, such as Jesus. Perhaps these groups adopt Gnosticism as it fits in well with their view of Jehovah as being 'evil' and adopting ad adversarial stance towards Jehovah (Demiurge), Lucifer being the true God (not unlike the Theistic Satanist view), Gnosis being given a more Satanic spin - or perhaps just Satanism with token references to Gnosis and Demiurge. Although Gnostic Luciferianism relies more heavily on Satanism than it would like to admit, it tends to be more about intellectual furtherment, wisdom and balance, spiritual pursuits, as well as hedonism. Satanism tends to be more about hedonism, materialism, power and nihilism on the pretext of philosophical reasoning. One might argue that those who use the term Lucifer to mean Satan are still afflicted by the non-Biblical Christian concept of Lucifer being Satan, rather than a true understanding of the nature of what morning star or light bearer really means. One could also argue that anyone who uses the term Satan or Satanism to describe their own beliefs is also similarly afflicted.
Some of the philosophical differences between Satanism and Luciferianism are discussed at the link below.
By achieving Gnosis (choosing one aspect or multiple aspects of Gnosis from the various messengers) a person is able to break out of the cycle of life and death and rebirth and to ascent to join the Pleroma (the fullness or totality of divine powers) for eternity. See the section on Gnosticism on the Monotheism page for more information. The concept of what Gnosis actually is is probably slightly different from that of Classic Gnosticism, as it contains a somewhat Luciferic component in addition to the Classic Gnostic cosmology and Aeons. Gnostic Luciferianism is like most other Gnosticism in that it acknowledges, venerates and/or worships the true, mysterious God, Monad, or rather his Pleroma, but rejects the evil creator God (the Hebrew Jehovah).
'Modern' Gnostic Luciferians may use the framework and cosmology of Gnosticism, and incorporate their own religious/occult beliefs and practices into these. In this manner, they are free to choose the Aeons they most venerate or acknowledge, but also choose exactly how they view Monad. In addition, they are free to go between the different Aeons or belief systems, embracing both light and dark elements, to achieve 'balance.' It is likely that in most Gnostic Luciferianism, that the Gnostic Cosmology is for some adherents a metaphor or analogues for the Neo-Platonic ideas about the formation one's Self, rather than being a literal cosmology.
However, a large number of Luciferians may not literally adopt the Gnostic cosmology, but loosely use it in a philosophical sense, or a Buddhist sense, in that earthly existence has many pitfalls and addictions, but also many great opportunities. Life on earth is a pursuit for knowledge of the self, wisdom and enlightenment, for Gnosis, to achieve Self-Mastery whilst alive. With regards to life after death, and other such issues, the given individual may well be agnostic or keep an open mind. A large number of Luciferians are actually atheists, who are simply more balanced and philosophical than their LaVey Satanist counterparts, who enjoy life but also exercise restraint and balance, rather than pursue unbalanced hedonism alone.
It may be considered ironic that Gnostic Luciferians reject the Hebew God as being the true God, and in most cases adopt the religion/philosophy of Thelema and its use of the Hermetic Qabalah, when the Hermetic Qabalah was heavily influenced by the Jewish Hebew Kabbalah, which reflects Jewish mysticism and the secret relationship between man and the Hebrew God. Does anyone else find this ironic?
Perhaps Gnostic Luciferianism is somewhat incompatible with the Wiccan cosmology of Mother Earth being the source of creation, but that is not to say that Gnostic Luciferians cannot adopt the concepts of Wicca and so incorporate Wicca and Wiccan practices into their daily lives.
There are very few Gnostic Luciferian texts in circulation. Most Gnostic Luciferians rely on the Gnostic cosmology as defined by the Nag Hammadi Library, and in particular, 'On the Origin of the World' and also 'The Gospel of Judas'. These considered broadly considered Gnostic Luciferian and also broadly associated with neo-Manichaeism. There is some considerable overlap between Manichaeism and Gnostic Luciferianism.
There are however differences between Manichaeism and 'Theistic' Gnostic Luciferianism. Manichaeism does not use recognise Prometheus as a deity/Aeon, nor does it involve the practice of magical rites and rituals or tarot. It is likely that Hermeticism as a whole, and in particular the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn of the 19th Century, and Thelema of the early 20th Century, helped to form the magic and occult element of Gnostic Luciferianism. This is seen as another way of achieving Gnosis.
Whilst the process of seeking illuminism and 'spiritual' self-awareness through Gnosis could be considered a Left-Hand Path, the actual Gnostic goal within Gnosticism and indeed Gnostic Luciferianism of working towards something after one's death (i.e. breaking out of the 'prison' of cyclic existence and reintegration with God/Monad/the Pleroma) is a Right-Hand Path.
The definition of God or Monad within Gnostic Luciferianism is not the same as in the normal Judao-Christian sense or Right-Handed sense, perhaps being seen as a benevolent force or ally that helps one to experience Gnosis, knowledge, and self-conscious spiritual awakening from the experience/viewpoint of the Self. This is in some sense a cross between the Right-Hand goal of uniting with God, or learning from and emulating the essence and spirit of God, but from a Self stance, and the Left-Hand Path of self-deification and ultimate evolution of the Self.
The concept of Gnosis within Gnostic Luciferianism is not restricted to the classical Gnostic definition and that attained through demonology, Thelema, Chaos Magic, LaVey Satanism and other 'dark' magic. It may, depending on the individual's Will, other occult traditions, philosophies and sciences, such as hermetic quabalah, sabbat, tarot, other divination, astrology, lucid dreaming, astral projection, psychology, astronomy, astrophysics, particle physics, Eastern philosophies (Taoism, Ayurveda, Tantra, Yoga etc.) and indeed many other areas. It does not tend to involve 'new age' areas such as spiritual healing as the focus is on self-healing and the self rather than healing or helping others. This is discussed on the Left-Hand Path page. Gnostic Luciferianism is a diverse arena and its form depends on the uptake by the individual. Intellectual development and illuminism is thought to enable great spiritual understanding and thought and vice versa.
Most Gnostic Luciferians are drawn from other religions and belief systems, including Gnostics, Gnostic Christians, Freemasons, Golden Dawn members, Thelemites, neo-pagans, Wiccans, Chaos Magicians, Theistic Satanists, LaVey Satanists, Sabbat witches etc. Most Gnostic Luciferians or rather those that belong to Gnostic Luciferian groups that I have come across ironically do not appear to literally believe in the Gnostic Cosmology. They may well draw upon some of the philosophical aspects of Gnostic Luciferianism and its dark magic rituals, but in general tend to bring their old religious/philosophical ideas with them and simply evolve them a little rather than replace them. For example, whilst practising an invocation of Lucifer ritual, it may not literally be a deity who is believed to be invoked, but rather those feelings and illuminated and magical qualities in oneself that one believes one is invoking. For many, the broader concept of Luciferian Gnosis is that of intellectual illuminism and wisdom (through a variety of studies and practices, one of which is occult practice), a process to enjoy whilst one is alive to enrich one's life, a Left-Hand Path, rather than a means to an end to achieve the Gnostic Right-Hand Path goal of reintegration with the Pleroma. This is in keeping with Gnostic Luciferianism's claim to be a Left-Hand Path. Whilst drawing on Gnosticism and Gnostic Christianity, Gnostic Luciferianism is still very much concerned with the Self, as is a Left-Hand Path, and distinct from modern, mainstream Christianity which is very much a Right-Hand Path. Whether the Gnostic goal is a 'side effect' of Luciferian Gnosis or really a goal for some adherents is probably something that depends on the individual. For some, admitting any Right-Hand Path aspects may be 'unfashionable'!
Whilst Satanism, especially LaVey Satanism, draw on anti-Christian principles and imagery, and glorify the self in perhaps a somewhat excessive and materialistic manner, Gnostic Luciferianism tend more towards an open approach to religion in general, drawing from a variety of different religious sources, and taking from each what it sees as useful, from the perspective of the self, to seek both light and dark principles. This is perhaps less so for Modern Luciferianism which is less focussed on 'religious mish mash' and tends to stick to hermetic texts and the occult, drawing less influence from different world religions and indeed Gnosticism. Some Modern Lucifierianism dislike the tendency for Gnostic Luciferianism in some cases to adopt a heterogeneous Left Hand Path meets Right Hand Path approach. Clearly this depends on the individual and there is considerable freedom within Gnostic Luciferianism to choose one's own path and to indeed become extremely confused!
Spiritual Satanism in some sense could be likened to Gnostic Luciferianism, however the difference is really that whilst Spiritual Satanism may draw on other religions, mainly Taoism and Buddhism, there is still a primary belief in a 'dark God', like with Traditional Satanism. Luciferianism, on the other hand, is more about developing the self, and gaining wisdom, in the absence or not of any literal spiritual beliefs about a deity or deities. A Luciferian may not feel so tied to the said deity than a Satanist.
It is of course in many LHP private and secret groups, often those of an 'extreme' nature, the goal to further the self as much as possible, in monetary, power and influence terms, above all else. Such goals are best served by covert membership and 'old boys networks'. Membership is often only granted to those who are considered to have attained a certain level of wealth and power. This being considered a true measure of their worth in occult terms, in other words being able to manifest in material terms their Will in their own life; how educated they are in the occult and how many books they have read are not considered to be as important or relevant if they cannot apply it and change the world around them according to their Will. Such goals are rarely best served by 'false altruistic notions' of improving society through openness and education, but merely doing what they can to further their own ends above all else. This is more an attribute of Satanism, the most materialistic form of the Left-Hand Path. Gnostic or Luciferian groups may share some of these elements, but on the whole their main pursuit is intellectual furtherment and wisdom, of course which should be applied to one's own life, but materialistic goals are balanced with others, be they intellectual, spiritual or artistic, and indeed may not feature at all.
Gnostic Luciferianism in general can be said to be about aesthetics as much as it is about contemporary religious studies, science and the occult. Gnostic Luciferians may be as interested in religious art, Christian or other, and the architecture of religious buildings, for example, as they are interested in the works of Salvador Dali or H.R. Giger! Musical inspiration may come from baroque period of classical music to dark/death metal or industrial. Beauty is seen in many arenas, in life and in death. Appreciation of art in general is usually confined to the eloquent, literate, intense and dark, that which takes itself seriously, rather than the jocular or humorous.
Luciferianism is general however is considered to be very much a pure Left-Hand Path, focussing on the higher Self, seeking wisdom and illumination, rather than purely dwelling on the lower levels of Self awareness of Satanism, of simply fulfilling one's primeval instincts and desires. This is not to say that Gnostic Luciferianism and Luciferianism in general do not draw on elements on Satanism, and use the primordial state of mind from time to time, but it is not something that is somewhere that one may wish to reside all of the time, as it is by definition a lower form of wisdom, and the goal of Luciferianism is higher. In those types of Luciferianism that are Satanic in all but name, their claim to seeking higher wisdom is clearly not really the case, as they mainly embrace the lower wisdom of Satan. All forms of Luciferianism clearly draw on Satanism to some extent, and it would not be correct to say that they were not in some part influenced by Satanism.
Some take the spirit of the Left-Hand Path in different ways. For example, many who associate with Gnostic Luciferianism (which does not mean they are Gnostic or Luciferian necessarily), wish each other Merry Christmas and Happy Easter! This is perhaps ironic, although many tend to 'use' convention to their own benefit when it suits them. Some however find anyone telling them what kind of day to have extremely distasteful and even offensive, as it is a form of dogma about what state of mind one should have on a particular day. e.g. Happy Easter, Happy Valentine's Day, have a great day, have fun...The LHP adherent in these cases does not appreciate anyone telling him how he should be feeling at any given point in time. Perhaps this attitude shrugs off positive encouragement and encourages a 'grumpy' outlook, or perhaps the individual is focussed on themselves and does not require outside input from his immediate peers in the form of orders to feel good to feel good or bad or however he wants to feel at a given moment in time. The LHP is to such individuals all about personal freedom and not dictating anything to anyone, however unconventional or 'wierd' one wants to be or others want to be.
Some might argue that the concept of Gnosis in Gnostic Luciferianism is not consistent or compatible with the concept of (Theistic) Satanic Intelligence. Clearly Luciferian Gnosis is not quite the same as classic Gnosticism's idea of Gnosis, as it is broader in its remit and contains lighter and darker elements. However, this is some commonality with the concept of the Self. The idea of Luciferian Gnosis as mentioned above is considered a higher form of Self-wisdom and is not just fixated on sensory gratification and 'knee jerk' hostility and rebellion for the sake of it. That is not to say that there are no elements of Satanism within it.
It is not certain exactly when Gnostic Luciferianism was first founded. The term 'Gnostic Luciferian' can sometimes be found mentioned in 19th Century works such as Eliphas Levi's Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, first published in 1855. Jeremy Crow, claims to have popularised the term in 2002, when he promoted it within the Gnostic community. It is thus uncertain whether Gnostic Luciferianism is indeed very modern or whether it existed much earlier. So whether it should be called Gnostic Luciferianism or Neo/Modern Gnostic Luciferianism is a matter of debate. It is however nothing new but a recycling of Traditional Luciferianism and combining it with other magical traditions like Thelema and Chaos Magic, Gnostic Christianity, Satanism and the ideas of Social Darwinist and Nihilist philosophers.
According to Diane Vera, a Theistic Satanist, Gnostic Luciferianism is based on ancient Ophite Gnosticism, usually combined with subsequent Western occult traditions. www.angelfire.com/ny5/dvera/varieties/index.html#primary
The Ophites or Ophians (Greek for snake) is the term used to refer to any of numerous Gnostic sects in Syria and Egypt around 100 AD, who gave great importance to the serpent of the biblical tale of Adam and Eve, connecting the Tree of Knowledge (of Good and Evil) to gnosis. In contrast to Christian interpretations of the Serpent as Satan, Ophites viewed the serpent as the hero of Genesis, and in line with classic Eastern/Persian Gnosticism, regarding the Hebrew God of the Old Testament as the the 'evil Demiurge'.
The following Sects are regarded as being/having been Ophite Gnostic Sects:
- Naasseners (from Hebrew na'asch = snake)
- The Sethians
- The Mandaeans are considered an Ophite religion that has survived (up to and including the present day).
- The Perates (from the Greek language peras, "to penetrate")
- The Borborites
Diane claims that 'some Luciferians are also strongly influenced by LaVeyan Satanism or by the Temple of Set paradigm, though most are not. Luciferians typically make a sharp distinction between "Lucifer" and "Satan" and between "Luciferianism" and "Satanism," although their idea of "Lucifer" typically does borrow at least some themes from the Christian Devil concept. But a few Gnostic Luciferians do identify as "Satanist" as well as "Luciferian"; a well-known example was Herbert Sloane's Lady of Endor Coven, founded back in 1948. Those relatively few Gnostic Luciferians who do see "Lucifer" and "Satan" as the same entity (or as aspects of the same entity) can be considered Primary Theistic Satanists.'
Diane Vera, regards Gnostic Luciferianism in general as a form of Secondary Theistic Satanism. She defines Secondary Theistic Satanism as a religion or spirituality in which Satan is part of the pantheon and is worshipped, revered, or at least propitiated in some way, at least to some extent, but is not the primary object of worship, veneration, reverence or emulation. She claims that a subset of Neo-Gnostic Luciferians revere Satan as well as Lucifer, but regard Satan as a distinct entity. Gnostic Luciferians however claim not to worship an entity called Lucifer per se, but worship or revere Aeons or 'Lucifers'. Is Satan then one of these 'Lucifers' or is he just an archetype?
Others also believe Gnostic Luciferianism to be closely linked to Theistic Satanism or a subset of Theistic Satanism.
Please note that some of the information about Gnostic Luciferianism, in particular, its concepts, may be slightly out-of-date. I have endeavoured to present the information as accurately and in as up-to-date a fashion as possible.
It appears that there are many different views of the role of 'Lucifer' in Neo-Gnostic Luciferianism. There are many Neo-Gnostic Luciferian groups and churches around today, representing slightly different approaches to Gnostic Luciferianism, and indeed some level of heterogeneity within these groups, i.e. members with their own beliefs, concepts and understandings also. Some are listed below as examples.
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Some schools of thought in Gnostic Luciferianism equate to Lucifer and Satan as being two distinct entities. Jeremy Crow takes the idea about Lucifer and Satan one step further.
'Satan is a Hebrew word meaning "Adversary". This is interpreted a few different ways. One of the most common in the community is to use "Satan" to represent an entity which is an adversary to yourself, attempting to keep you ignorant and enslaved. This meaning is often connected with the Gnostic "Demiurge". The other main usage of the term "Satan" involves seeing this entity as an adversary to either God or mainstream morality. This second view of Satan connects it with carnality and hedonism. Those Luciferians who were formerly Satanists will tend toward this carnal definition of Satan.'
Perhaps the former view ties into the fact that Judaism and the Old Testament does not have a concept of the devil as such, but views The Satan (Ha-satan) as an 'attorney' of the 'prosecutor' Yaweh. Crow thus links Satan with Yaweh. However, it is likely that many Gnostic Luciferians, including Crow, believe that both scenarios are in fact true, Gnostic Luciferianism drawing on some elements of the 'flat' adversarial Satanism, but evolving it and adding many additional layers of higher wisdom, Gnosis and understanding to it, whilst also regarding Demiurge as being adversarial and in opposition to Lucifer.
Regarding Lucifer as being Monad/Pleroma, the one true God, the real God of the New Testament, which shares some ideas in common with Marcionism, but perhaps more with Gnosticism in general (and its Monda/Demiurge dualism). Jeremy Crow, from what I have understood from his articles, associates Jesus, Buddha and Prometheus with Lucifer.
Jeremy Crow has a number of articles of Gnostic Luciferianism on his web site. The Blinding Light Multi-Media Archive contains a number of older and more recent articles on the subject. I would like to thank Crow for his input.
Crow was formerly one of the moderators of the Ordo Luciferi yahoo discussion group (discussed below), being the main moderator during its latter years. Since the demise of this discussion group, Crow created a Left Hand Path group on the Ning networking site called 'Luciferian Research Society (LRS): Association of Occult Artists, Producers and Service Providers'. It is as stated but also a place Satanists, Luciferians, ex-Ordo Luciferi members and others to hang out, without any specific projects in mind.
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The Ordo Luciferi, also known as The Luciferian Order, was an internet-based community for the discussion of issues relating to religion, politics, magic and others, from a Neo-Gnostic Luciferian perspective. It was started in 2005, founded by Lucian Black, and was active until around 2010. It was essentially comparised of three parts, a web site and two internet forums. The web site contained a mission statement and founder Lucian Black's view of Gnostic Luciferianism. This used the URL 'http://www.ordo-luciferi.org' which was taken down during the latter part of 2009. This was claimed by members not to be fully reflective of the philosophy of group members. The internet forums consisted of a yahoo group, 'luciferian-order', known as the 'Outer Order'. This was the main discussion forum. It also consisted of an 'inner order', which consisted of a Ning network. The outer order was open to anyone whose membership application was approved, and the inner order was reserved only for those who were of deemed sufficiently knowledgeable. Some of the key members have now left the 'Ordo Luciferi' and are workin on other projects or areas.
Whether the Ordo Luciferi was intended to become an 'actual physical bricks and mortar teaching order' or not is a matter for debate, but it never actually opened any lodges and was an internet community only. I had previously summarised some of the key points made by Lucian Black on the former Ordo Luciferi web site about Gnostic Luciferianism, which I have included below as they summarised many aspects of Gnostic Luciferianism quite well (although clearly every person's view is different). Quotes are included in italics.
Ordo Luciferi, otherwise known as 'The Luciferian Order', is a philosophical Order that does not mandate a religious or dogmatic belief system. It is not a religion but a group of people who share similar philosophical ideas. The Ordo Luciferi is an Occult body, where magic(k) is considered to be one's ability to manifest of one's own free 'will' (c/f Crowley's concept of Themela) and accord, using ceremonial (hermetic) magic, invocations and prayers.
The Ordo Luciferi described itself as:
...a real world philosophical order, of Self Evolving Conscious Awareness (SECA), implementing various techniques and applications on the physical, mental and Higher levels of manifestation. For the real world, and the worlds beyond our current senses and reality perception, do we consciously develop the Illuminatus, the Higher Self from within.
It holds that Lucifer and Satan are separate entities. The Order considered Lucifer to represent higher intelligence, understanding and vision, the higher self and reason; Lucifer is seen as being the Angel/Lord of Light, Divine Light and Pure Energy; rather than a Biblical style deity as such; The Order considers Satan to represent base intelligence, physical strength, instinct, rebellion, primitive instincts, animalistic instincts, being emotional, controlling, matter and being the Prince of Darkness.
OL Luciferianism acknowledges both light and dark principles, realising the relevance of the natural order of dualities, but not being bound by them. It is claimed to represent balance in this respect.
The three lights of the Ordo Luciferi are said to be Science, Philosophy and Art.
A quotation is used from Lucian Black, the founder of the Order: "The profoundness of Luciferianism, is in discovering the Light of Lucifer where it had not previously been seen."
A quotation is used from Aleister Crowley: "We place no reliance on Virgin or Pigeon. Our method is science. Our aim is religion."
The OL is said to represent intellectual illumination and self-actualisation toward the 'advancement of humanity', individually and wholly. It is claimed to be the self aware conscious evolution toward the ideal of the individual higher self. In these respects it can be said to represent the principles of Gnosticism.
Luciferians (of this Order) are said to recognize that to remain balanced both sides must be actualised to evolve to higher levels of understanding and being. They consider themselves to be advanced intelligence, no longer at the base nor haveing reached their highest intelligence. Luciferianism does therefore not omit nor deny Satanic principles, however, Luciferianism is not Satanism. It does not also necessarily deny Christian principles or Gnostic Christian principles either. Members can therefore depending on the individual, time and place be: practising magical rituals involving various deities; embodying hedonism and the principles of Satanism; or embodying and embracing the light of (Gnostic/Docetic) Jesus, a teacher and Lucifer (bringer of light).
In the 'Ordo Luciferi', Lucifer as a distinct God or deity can be as real as the Luciferian chooses to make him in his life work. The belief of a higher intelligence expands the mind to understand this ideal intelligence. It is said to become a part of the believer. Luciferians could be considered in this sense Chaos Magicians. For Lucifer, either as an actual deity or as an archetype of a highly advanced, individual intelligent being, can assist the Luciferian in their great work and their perception of 'Lucifer' grows as the individual himself grows. The Ordo Luciferi therefore remains neutral to the question of actual deity of Lucifer. It provides a 'gnostic' framework in which Luciferians are free to believe in their own manner from a variety of different sources, which is said to be something it shares in common with Chaos Magicians. Luciferians see their strength the ability to question their own beliefs, and by doing so, will influence others to question theirs.
The Luciferian Manifest of the OL can be viewed or downloaded from the link below, or found directly from the main page.
Luciferianism, or rather Gnostic Luciferianism is a particular category of Gnosticism for which there is very little specific literature. This is perhaps reflected in the fact that it is a relatively 'young' movement.
The 'Ordo Luciferi' existed to enable free discussion of philosophy, magic(k) and lifestyle with like minded individuals. OL seems to adopt a structure more similar to Crowley than Freemasonry. It claims to be the embodiment of the Black Lodge, and acts as the central lodge for the Order. The symbol of the Ordo Illuminatus, those of the Magus III+ degree who oversee the organisation, is shown below. This is very similar to the Double-Headed Eagle symbol of 32nd and 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, as described on the Freemasonry page here.
The Luciferian Manifest can be viewed on scribd.com below.
The old Ordo Luciferi yahoo group is here:
On account of administrative issues and internal politics, a new Ordo Luciferi yahoo group has been created, now that Lucian Black no longer hosts the OL web site and yahoo group.
Many ex-members have now joined Jeremy Crow's Luciferian Research Society, described in the section above.
The OL claims that most Luciferian groups and orders are quite young in demographic composition, often attracting ex-Satanists who have become bored with Satanism or found that the 'lowest intelligence' hedonism is no longer as satisfying as it once was. These ex-Satanists are claimed to be seeking to place their faith in another deity or to continue to worship/align themselves with/use the same ideal/archetype/deity of Satan, but under a different name. It is therefore not surprising that many other Luciferian groups are very similar to Satanist groups, maintaining the same principles, beliefs and practices, but under a different name. OL believes Luciferianism in this respect to be the devotion of Lucifer as a father figure, whilst actually praying to demons, embodying a reversed Christianity (which is what many people see Gnosticism as - which is not incompatible with Theistic or Polytheistic Satanism per se). Such Gnostic LUciferian groups also attract many ex-Wiccans and ex-Freemasons and ex-Golden Dawn members.
OL claimed that there are other Luciferian groups that use the name together with a variety of unrelated areas; and even some groups that claim Lucifer is an alien that has genetically altered early man's DNA with his own to create a perfect being!
OL claimed that a few Luciferian groups, including itself, do represent the true Luciferianism as a philosophy of life, advocating conscious evolution in humanity, individual understanding and Luciferic illumination; whose ideals incorporate great vision, higher (self) intelligence and self-sovereignty; to better oneself in the physical, mental and spiritual planes of existence, to become a more effective lifeform. This embodies the Gnostic concept of spiritual self-awareness and knowledge or Gnosis, but in the Luciferian sense.
Having said that, although the OL claims to distance itself from Theistic Satanic groups, or rather Lucian Black did on his former web site, it does seem in some capacity have links to and influence in varying degrees from Michael W. Ford's The Order of Phosphorus (which is arguably a rather 'dark' form of Gnostic Luciferianism and heavily aligned with the adversarial path and Theistic Satanism) and also LaVey Satanism. As described above in the Overview of Gnostic Luciferianism, OL members or indeed Gnostic Luciferians in general may gain wisdom and insight from the archetype of Lucifer, but on occasion use the archetype of Satan, if it is appropriate in a given circumstance or situation.
Today, at the time of writing, Lucian Black is again active on the internet, and has a blog site / web site 'Luciferian Order' as well as a Luciferian Order Facebook page. The focus of his Facebook page seems to be a place to express his ideas and thoughts, where Luciferian 'followers' of the page can comment on ideas presented and mingle, rather than being a formal community or order as the Ordo Luciferi/Luciferian Order once set out to be.
Lucian Black does not seem to be using the brand 'Ordo Luciferi' which was last used by the yahoo group run by ex-OL members Jeremy Crow and others, and which has been loosely used in conjunction with Jeremy Crow's Luciferian Research Society (LRS), in the context of a type of coaching system in some ways in the spirit of the original OL. The LRS continues the former OL's old discussion format but with less moderation and guidance - the former OL's discussions on yahoo had a heavy presence by senior members. In a sense, whilst the former OL was somewhat top down, the LRS is more bottom up.
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The Neo-Luciferian Church:
The Neo-Luciferian Church is a group that incorporates elements of Luciferian Gnosticism, Thelema, Hermeticism (of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn), Voodoo (Voudon) and Neo-Paganism. I could not find any mention of Jesus or Luciferi Christos on the web site. The NLC cross is the inverted cross using the numbers '666'.
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Michael W. Ford:
The Order of Phosphorus (TOPH) is a Luciferian Magickal Order by Michael W. Ford, based on individual initiatory development based on the concepts of Luciferianism. It is based upon Magick and self-transformation, The Adversary as a psychological and spiritual force within, Sorcery and Witchcraft from a Luciferian perspective, A Path of Ascension in the Light of Samael and Lilith and Lucifer. Baphomet is also a deity of usage. It regards Set as God ('the same as Samael, Satan') as God, a view shared by the Theistic Satanists 'Setianists'. It aligns itself heavily with 'the adversary', Satan. Some might view this as being an anti-cosmic type of adversarial existence, e.g. adversary to existence, but it is more likely that it is more of a Satanic concept of the adversary.
'LILITH as the fire and hunger of instinct, SAMAEL is the spirit of rebellion and LEVIATHAN is the coiling Dragon or crooked serpent which is the dreaming mind. The Luciferian recognizes the symbolism of each and how they relate to leading a productive life.'
Although Ford references Luciferic Gnosis, the TOPH does not include any references to Demiurge, and I am not sure it is really 'Gnostic Luciferianism' as such but more generic Luciferianism. Gnosis is a term used by many LHP practitioners who do not necessarily subscribe any variant of the Gnostic cosmology. It states that Luciferianism is the only religion and that other religions are banned within the order, so it cannot really be Gnostic Luciferianism as such. Many Luciferians would argue that Luciferianism is not a religion but a philosophy that is able to accomodate a wide variety of spiritual beliefs or indeed atheism. Indeed, I understand that some members of the TOPH are atheists, using the various 'deities' simply as archetypes - Ford performing the difficult job of addressing theistic and atheistic audiences.
In my opinion, from the outside, the Ford's orders appear to be more a Polytheistic Satanic rather than Luciferian, although each person has their own definition of these terms, and the debate about whether one is a Luciferian or a Spiritual Satanist is not a new one.
Michael Ford believes that Luciferianism is not the worship of Satan, but the finding and evolving of the self as the 'Adversary', through light and dark principles, without the anthropomorphism of other religions. However, the claim of no anthropomorphism within TOPH may be somewhat exaggerated, given some of the above statements, in my opinion. It depends on how the archetypes are used - so the extent of seeming contradiction or deviation from this 'mission statement' would require further investigation or come down to the disposition of individual members, naturally. In most contexts, Satan is the archetype of the Adversary. Michael Ford founded The Church of Adversarial Light (the church arm of the order) in 2007. He also founded the Black Order of the Dragon, an inner order of the TOPH (not to be confused with the Order of the Black Dragon, a 'Church of Satan' (i.e. LaVey) Cabal.
Michael Ford was formerly a leader of the US branch of the controversial Order of Nine Angles for a couple of years, which he left in 1998 as he believed that far right beliefs held no intrinsic part in Satanism. He developed his ideas on Luciferianism in the early to mid 00s. Please see the ONA section on the Satanism and the Far Right page for more information.
Michael Ford declares that Luciferianism is about light and dark principles, and that it includes a wide scope and variety of magic. The implication is that what the individual chooses to focus on and use in his own personal repertoire is a personal decision, and may be biased towards one side or the other. The terms 'light' and 'dark' are only labels and for the Luciferian, there may perhaps not be any perceptible difference between the two. From my perspective, Ford's personal interest seems to derive largely from the darker side, in particular, magickal, astral or psychic vampirism.
Astral Vampirism is discussed on the Left Hand Path page.
Michael W. Ford writes in his book 'Luciferian Witchcraft' (2005) on page 297, under the demonic face illustration:
'Illustration above - Scribed by Azhdeha Lilitu (Elda Isela Ford) on the night when the former initiate shed the blood of another, an omen of awakening...Savar.'
It is unclear whether this reference in his book is referring to a (former) initiate of Ford's Order of Phosphorus or his Black Order of the Dragon. Perhaps it is a gross exaggeration. If not, it might suggest an ONA-inspired (ritual) culling or perhaps an argument that got out of hand, the dark energy of which others in the order used for their own ends or for inspiration; or which Ford capitalised on to make his orders sound more 'bad ass'. Perhaps it is merely a form of dedication to the deceased. It might be seen by some as a method of communicating to other magicians involved in ONA-style Aeonic magic that this spirit is carried through to his own order(s). Whether the person in question became a former member as a result of these actions, or whether he had already left the order when he spilt the blood of another cannot be determined from the text either. Who can say.
An number of articles by Ford can be found on the Chaostatic.com web site below, including 'Black Witchcraft: The Foundation of the Luciferian Path', 'Luciferian Witchcraft A modern approach to a medieval Magickal Art - An Introduction', 'Chaos Magick and Luciferism' and 'Phosphorus - The Shadowing Forth of Lucifer'.
Michael W. Ford has written a Grimoire called Liber HVHI: Magick of the Adversary. This is reviewed on Amazon below, with both good and bad reviews (which is not uncommon).
Amazon describes the book:
'LIBER HVHI, the awaited grimoire of the Luciferian Path is now published containing the infernal rites of the Qlippoth, an extensive ideological and magical system presenting a grounded and understandable form of working with the Qlippothic Tree of Da'ath and tunnels. The second part of the grimoire is based on the ritualistic inversions of the Avestan texts and the forbidden path of Predatory Spiritualism. LIBER HVHI contains the 22 spheres of the Infernal Qlippoth, the methods of filling and draining those "shells" and the Luciferian Rites of the Supper of Cain, symbolic of the first Satanist from the ancient Hebrew texts relating to the devouring process from a symbolic and ritualistic approach. The second half of Liber HVHI is the workings based on the demonology of the Avestan texts and ancient persian sorcery and predatory spirituality.'
Ford describes the book:
'Liber HVHI provides a powerful initiatory system based on inversion rituals of the Avesta and Cabbalistic workings centering on the Qlippoth. Liber HVHI was written to redefine the Adversary as a force of change, strength and using chaos sorcery to become Adept in the gnosis of Ahriman and Az.'
This book seems perhaps more in line with Theistic Satanism.
Qlippoth is the representation of evil forces in the Qabalah.
The Avesta is the primary collection of texts of Zoroastrianism.
A number of video interviews/presentations on the subject of Luciferianism are available on Michael Ford's youtube channel.
Some commentators have intimated that Michael Ford seems to jump on the bandwagon a great deal, borrowing ideas from others and presenting them as his own or being a champion for 'in vogue' occult Satanic and Luciferian traditions and practices of the day; and that he is less focussed on creating new ideas and more on marketing himself, commoditising Luciferianism/Satanism and profiting from book sales and calendar sales etc. One could argue that Ford's personal lean on Luciferianism may portray one view of Luciferianism to the Luciferian community, who take the books on face value and presume 'this is what Luciferianism is about', neglecting to see the bigger picture.
It should be noted that whilst many other occultist writers or members of different orders are good at posting or talking it up, few actually produce any meaningful creative output, and Ford has produced more books on the subject (in paper form) than almost any other in this arena. Whether you believe it is a good thing or not, he has done a great deal to put some of the more Satanic, Qlippoth and Predatory Magic practices of Luciferianism into the spotlight.
I have glanced through some of his articles and books briefly, and watched some of his video interviews, and has a minor criticism that he seems to be fond of rather gratuitously stereotypical inverted Biblical metaphors which are really not necessary (in his opinion) and confuse the whole issue rather than clarify it. Perhaps this is down to my lack of poetic sensibilities, but it is possible to be poetic without being Biblical. Ford also seems rather enamoured with Inverted Pentagrams and Chaos magic symobols, which are arguably a little derivative and unoriginal.
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The Temple of the Black Light:
The Temple of the Black Light (TTOTBL) is a Swedish (?) Anti-Cosmic Gnostic Luciferian Order. It was formerly known as the Misanthropic Luciferian Order until Jon Nodtvedit, the main figurehead, committed suicide. The order then largely ceased to operate and re-emerged as TTOTBL.
One famous example of Satanism meeting gangbanging is that of Jon Nodtveidt, guitarist for the Swedish Black Metal band DIssection and a member of the Temple of the Black Light (formerly known as the Misanthropic Luciferian Order) - an anti-cosmic Satanist order - and a member of the Werewolf Legion, a Swedish criminal gang. Whilst he was involved in all kinds of criminal activities and likely inter-gang violence, he was strongly against drug dealing.
'Nšdtveidt was convicted of being an accessory to murder, in the killing of the 38-year-old homosexual Algerian Josef Ben Meddour, in 1997. He was released from prison in 2004, and restarted Dissection. On the 16th of August 2006, he was found dead in his apartment in HŠsselby, a suburb of Stockholm by an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a circle of lit candles. Early reports indicated that he was found with an open copy of the Satanic Bible, but these were later dismissed by Dissection's guitarist Set Teitan. According to him, "it's not any atheist, humanist and ego-worshiping 'Satanic Bible' by Anton LaVey that Jon had in front of him, but a Satanic Grimoire. He despised LaVey and 'The Church of Satan.'
TTOTBL regards Satan and Lucifer as being one and the same deity (a Satanic version of Monad possibly), in opposition to the evil Demiurge. Although Gnostic, its main focus is on Polytheistic Satanism and Chaos Magic. It draws on Setianism also. It does not appear to embrace the lighter aspects of Lucifer or the concept of balance. TTOBL describes itself as a 'temple dedicated to the Current 218 and its Anti-Cosmic Tradition of Luciferianism/Satanism. The Temple is a manifestation of, and expression for, the adversarial, acosmic forces of the Nightside, and represents a new, wrathful form of Gnostic Left Hand Path. The tradition represented by the TOTBL can best be described as the essence of Anti-Cosmic Gnosticism expresed through the sinister forms of traditional Diabolism.' TTOTBL could be viewed as a Theistic (dualistic) Satanic order in reality. Perhaps intentional, found their logo graphic to be 666 pixels wide! [when formerly presenting more images on this site]
An article by myself on chaos and anti-cosmic/destructive types of occult philosophy can be found on the Left Hand Path page.
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Bestian Gnosticism was one point in the evolutionary philosophy of author Edward O'Toole. It is primarily defined by two books, Sophia Bestiae - The Wisdom of the Beast, and Grimoire Bestiae - The Bestian Rites of Aestheteka. O'Toole's most recent philosophical work is Zen Gnosis, published in 2010.
Bestian Gnosticism is Luciferian influenced, and is a heavily Jungian form of Gnosticism, perhaps mostly closely aligned to the Oliphidics (a.k.a. Ophite Gnostics or Ophites). Please see the Gnosticism page for more information. Bestian Gnosticism is the search for the self through mortal and occult means, through three stages of Buddha, of indulgence, abstinence and finally balance and understanding. Bestian Gnosticism does not view Satan as a God, but more as an archetypal concept, of an opposer or adversary, or of personal power. Bestian Gnosticism generally regards the worship or veneration of deities as distasteful. The focus instead is on the Self where deities or entities may be used as a means to an end, as in the ultimate goal of gnosis. 9 Luciferi (bearers of light), archetypal beings as seen throughout myth and lore, serve as guides and inspiration in order that one may find one's path in the darkness - acting as an interface between the Conscious and Unconscious mind (similar to the HGA concept), e.g. Ningishzida, Prometheus, Christos (the Bestian Gnostic Jesus Christ) and Buddha. The 9 Neteru, Egyptian minor gods, are also employed in the system, as keys to emanating from the ego to assist in unlocking both the personal and collective unconscious - creative forces that once shaped the ego during the self-formative years.
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Balance and Gnostic Luciferianism:
I am not a huge fan of classic (literal) Gnosticism as a whole, but I can see that it is used metaphorically for the larger part within Gnostic Luciferianism and its variants, rather than theistically, although not universally so. I will not repeat this critique of Gnosticism here, but these can be found by reading about Gnosticism page, if you have not already read this. Please read this now and the section above on the Left-Hand Path, as these comments on Gnostic Luciferianism will make more sense as a result - if you want.
Gnostic Luciferianism introduces a wider variety of Aeons, prophets, teachers or Lucifers than can be found in classic Gnosticism. In this sense, Gnostic Luciferianism is more syncretic than Gnosticism. However, the criticism of Gnosticism that I have that focussing too widely on a variety of interlinked teachings does not really allow one to full embrace the spirit of those teachings (at all, in enough depth or for long enough) applies even more so here.
Indeed, the concept of indulgence, abstinence and balance is all well and good, but some things are never really good when indulged in, when done in moderation or even occasionally. For example, drug abuse or drug consumption is a rather pointless exercise and participated by those who either lack self knowledge or have issues relating to their low self-esteem and negative self and global beliefs (which reflects in one's ability to have fun, be playful, let go, enjoy life, feel relaxed and enjoy the company of others. Sure, some things are good in moderation, but others are by definition always going to be bad and/or a waste of time. Balance is sometimes a poor excuse used by people who ironically have no balance, but are ruled by addictive thought patterns, addictive patterns of behaviour and psychological dependence on something. Sure, one can learn from a period of drug abuse, and use it to give you strength of conviction, but equally, many individuals were more clued up to start with and can reach the end goal of wisdom and maturity without having to waste 'x' numbers of years being stoner or drug addict - one may of course have had a few good times in between the bad, but equally one could have had more good times if one had been more focussed and more oneself.
One could argue that the sense of 'balance' is not present in the fullest sense in any/many of the religions or philosophies that inspire many Gnostic Luciferians, but this could well be where the LHP seeks to provide an overall framework of approach, seeking to unite a set of extremes within without becoming a slave to any particular one. It could be that trying to achieve this style of balance is like having one's cake and eating it, and that perhaps one cannot excel at anything by simply dabbling a little and in the next moment doing something that contradicts it, but then again, perhaps this is more conducive to individuation and uniting of the psyche. Like the Golden Dawn Tradition that GL was inspired by, seeking to master so many different systems is the work of several lifetimes. To be oneself one has to feel truly free and authentic, independent of crude approximations of the spiritual experience in one-size-fits all form.
There are inherent contradictions between the Gnostic world view (suffering, reincarnation, uniting with Godhead etc.), ascetic Gnosticism and the Satanic/LHP ideal of hedonism, but then again, hedonism could be said to represent art and other pursuits rather than just boozing, drug abuse and swingers parties etc. Hedonists do not tend to be the most balanced individuals one comes across in normal scenarios. If hedonism can be tightly controlled, is it going to contribute to 'gnosis' in the traditional Gnostic sense? Perhaps. Hedonism to me seems more about individuation than any traditional gnostic goal, although individuation could be said to be a type of 'gnosis' in a modern sense. Some people are naturally 'balanced' in terms of light and dark, the self and the self-less. They don't think about it, make it into a religion or philosophy, they just live it and are it. Gnostic Luciferianism can become dogmatic amongst 'adherents' who seek knowledge and wisdom in all they do - and maybe that's the problem.
If one has not been hedonistic enough in one's life, does that mean that one is on some level repressed or unbalanced and will not achieve full gnosis? Without an appreciation of Hedonism, however, one could argue that one is not truly oneself, one has not truly understood life's purpose, or one aspect of it, and that one is arbitrarily keeping oneself down and from being free or having fun occasionally because of a set of indoctrinated stoic principles or low self-esteem; or simply lack of mental clarity. Sometimes Nihilism can be a refreshing source of clarity. All truths are but half truths, and hedonism is one half-truth. In isolation it is unbalanced.
How does one know if one has got the balance right in one's life? Many Luciferians I come across talk about balance and believe they are indeed fairly clued up on spiritual and psychological matters but as is often the case have certain holes in their psyche where they are ruled by limiting behaviours and beliefs that seem patently obvious to the next person, but which they cannot see as it is in their blind spot. Many Luciferians I come across seem ruled by their political beliefs such that they almost become slaves. This doesn't strike me as particularly LHP - whilst what they want is a situation where LHP practitioners can be freer, in the process, they are enslaving themselves.
One consciousness can easily to ruled and dominated by the ego and restrictive thought patterns, negative beliefs and thought patterns and addictive patterns of behaviour. Over-familiarisation and lack of perspective/appreciation/gratitude can set it, and one can lose one's vitality, one's sense of here and now. Unless one makes a conscious effort to cultivate and reinforce positive beliefs, to interrupt one's focus when one is in a negative 'zone', on a regular basis, then it is easy to lose that vitality, balance and positivity. In GL, one could perhaps focus too much on the 'darker' side of the system, as it is more pleasing to the ego in many respects and one can deny one's softer side, letting it out occasionally. The mind tends towards the negative and dark by itself if left to its own devices. We are not our mind or thoughts, we are in a sense the consciousness observing what the mind does and are dragged around by it. Have you noticed how it is easy to notice a blemish or stain on an othewise clean garment? Does our mind focus on what wonderful the rest of the garment is? Or is our eye drawn to that blemish? Is this why the ego tends to predominate in Left-Hand Path adherents, when in theory it should not?
Sometimes, people use the concept of embodying both 'light and dark' qualities to avoid self-reflection. Perhaps there is an element of wanting to gain acceptance from all different ends of the spectrum, not wishing to alienate themselves from anyone or anything (being a 'yes' person or looking to please others), to feel that one has 'ticked all the boxes' and thus embodied 'wisdom'. For some, the pursuit of 'balance' may be based on insecurity or a lack of self-knowledge - not knowing what their true path is, so by ticking the boxes at different ends of the spectrum, one feels one has represented the 'self', even if one does not know what that true self really is. It is perhaps more the case however that individuals dabble in several areas within the context of the LHP and as they grow older, their focus and interests shift towards perhaps more the areas that really describe or suit their personality better, perhaps as a result of gaining self-knowledge from their practices or realising what isn't them with enough time, but maybe partly due to just living life in general.
Perhaps this is a drive towards conformity, to conform to all modes available. In some young adults, torn between the 'teenage sense of irresponsibility and partying' and the demands of professional society, education and employment, to try to 'tick both boxes', pursuing their career and becoming domesticated, whilst trying to keep their 'young and anarchic spirit alive'. Is this self deception? Or genuine balance and wisdom? Many Gnostic Luciferians are keen to point out how anarchic they are, and how much they don't care, but at the same time, how intelligent they are, and how rational their line of enquiry is and how well versed they are in the classics and how they contribute to society in a professional capacity (in terms of doing what they want professionally rather than anything altruistic for the sake of it). Do some choose the 'dark' path, having come from a place of 'normality' or being an 'average conditioned consumer' or even a place of light or non-self (or someone else controlling that self for you!), because they genuinely want to explore that 'darker' side of the psyche? Or is it an excuse for the ego to distract one from one's overall growth? Or is it because one wishes to 'break' psychological conditioning that one has allowed into one's brain over many years? Feeling that all truth is but half truth, and that to see the whole of the truth one must embrace a number of different philosophies and truths, including demonology (goetia) as well as theurgy (divine/ceremonial magic); one may end up in a place where one feels that one is oneself. Or one may alternatively end up in a place where one has no clue who one really is or what one really believes, and that one is in a constant state of confusion, inaction and disorientation, going from one line of thinking to another, depending on who or what one is talking about. The self shifts from one place to another without ever feeling that it is at home anywhere. Is the pursuit of knowledge empowering or disempowering in this sense - if one defines knowledge in these terms? Or is over-intellectualisation and the potential encouragement of the ego to take over most of one's waking consciousness or denial of physical existence's value merely a major stumbling block to one's intellectual and 'spiritual' growth/illumination? These types of issues are also explored in more detail on the Left-Hand Path page.
One could argue that Afro-Americans and 3rd generation Jamaican immigrants in the UK are more comfortable with the idea of balance of light and dark, of hedonism, aesthetics, a natural 'groove', having 'soul', sensuality, style, sense of mischief and also Christian values than many of the 'white caucasian' disposition. 'Black' people in this sense are often more comfortable and congruent within themselves and seem less 'awkward' than many 'white' people, who struggle to embody all these values and compartmentalise their values, beliefs and behaviour more. This is often why 'white' culture has seeked to copy 'black' culture. This of course isn't universally true and even whilst perhaps being more comfortable with Christianity, it will still have various psychological effects on these individuals, and will impede their ability to develop their sense of self in many respects. It could be argued that most adherents of Gnostic Luciferianism are 'white' as they are the people who struggle most with this sense of balance and self-expression. Does one really need to formalise some of the above qualities into 'Lucifers' or divine qualities or 'advisors' or can one just be it?
If one compartmentalises the emotions and different syncretic belief systems, do they work whilst residing temporarily in 'other compartments'? Do Gnostic Luciferians have problems feeling congruent? Are the 're-written' or 'reinterpreted' religious convictions compatible in this sense or is there still conflict? Can one feel congruent or does one have to swap from one 'mode' to the next when dealing with different situations? How connected are these 'modes' or compartments? Can one feel two different belief systems together in one moment? Or does one end up totally confused? Does one go from one extreme to the other, alternating, like a yo-yo, and experiencing only momentary fleeting glimpses of real balance? This is an issue for all occultists, and indeed many non-occultists. Clearly it depends on the individual to some extent.
Many people start to self-actualise on a low level (e.g. some Satanists, knee-jerk rebellious teenagers, drug users) before they are mature and are able to actualise on a higher level. However, it could be argued that if one is able to self-actualise on a high level day to day in one's life, for example, being who one wants to be, achieving what one wants to be, having a high level of self-awareness, physically, psychologically and spiritually, and one is able to create what one wants for oneself and others around one, for example, in one's job or profession (working on things on loves) or family life, then do you then have any real need to self-actualise on a low level? Some might argue that one has 'passed through' that phase in one's life and has no need to return there. Others may argue that one needs to reguarly 'return there' to keep balance and perspective, despite having 'flogged the dead horse' with this in the past - or perhaps the horse wasn't flogged enough back then, which is why they are compensating for it now.
A RHP practitioner could view that the idea of balance in Gnostic Luciferianism is just being selfish. It is acting from what you feel you need or want at any one particular time, for example, you feel like helping someone or you feel like looking after yourself or being hedonistic. It all comes from what you want at the time. This is clearly a reflection of the Self, which is what the Left-Hand Path is all about, after all! If one is not approaching life from the position of the self, who exactly is one doing it for? No one gets any prizes for not being themselves. Whether one wants to call it selfish or not or just Self is a philosophical matter and dependent on the situation and context. However, it is easy to get into an ego trap and ignore one's various fundamental human needs, by focussing narrowly on just a few. Whether this is a high form of intelligence and evolved spirituality, or several steps backwards in spiritual terms is a matter for the individual to decide!
Some may argue that when people only look "heavenward" in their ascetic pursuits to move on spiritually, they are only grounding themselves further to this material creation via their refusal to acknowledge the entirety of the human experience; by learning to ignore these 'demons', refusing to acknowledge that one could possibly have such thoughts and feelings. One can argue that until one accepts these things as a part of one, that one can render them powerless, even harness their power to be used in a more productive/creative manner.
In some sense I believe that stigmatising and being hateful of the concept of creation, the physical world and the concept of a creator is reflective of a 'chip on one's shoulder' and that seed of hate or anger may prevent someone from moving forward in terms of wisdom.
One may consider Gnostic Luciferianism and related philosophies, as a 'phase' that one goes through in order to learn about oneself and discover oneself. Satanism (in its various forms) could also be considered in this manner, and indeed is considered by many Gnostic Luciferians and Luciferians as a stepping stone to higher wisdom and knowledge, but not a sensible or rational final destination. Satanism and the darker forms of Gnostic Luciferianism (basically Satanism) could in a sense be considered to be an inversion of one's previous values, or a 'knee jerk reaction' to one's past values and psychological issues. Perhaps pursuing the self and the ego is considered a panacea to years of mental 'self-mutilation' and guilt. In some ways, it could be considered to be a 'zig-zag' path to the true self. Those who do not really know who they are may go from one philosophy to the next, in a 'zig-zag' manner, some perhaps eventually hitting the 'target' of their true self, and others never quite hitting it (i.e. never quite getting a feel for where the target is). Those who know what they want to be and who have discovered who they are, but need the leverage to get there, may use various techniques and empowering and positive beliefs to aim straight for the target with the minimum of 'messing about' and going from one extreme to another, but choosing the middle path and specifically targetting those negative beliefs that are clearly blocking one's path to that target. If one is consciously going into an inverted phase in order to 'rid oneself' of one's previous psychological baggage, and one believes one is doing so consciously and in a controlled manner, then one may indeed ask oneself why one is doing this in the first place and not just going for the target directly. Arguably Luciferianism as a whole is a more 'mature' or 'complete' philosophy than Satanism, but it depends on the individual as to what their emotional needs are as they grow older, and indeed some may argue that anyone who strays off the LHP has 'lost it' rather than become more mature, has chosen to focus on other human needs for a while, or have more self-knowledge than before.
One may perhaps view that one has not gone through certain phases in one's life in one's search for self-expression, and that one wants to experience a certain kind of freedom or craziness before becoming more balanced. This may of course be a response to years of self-restriction, a kind of release. For example, a part of growing up. Going through a late adolescence that one never experienced fully in the first place. Perhaps these are just crude substitutes for the 'real thing' i.e. meeting a true life companion, love, self-actualising on a high level. Who is to say. That is up to the individual to figure out! One could however conclude that if one believes one is in control going into a 'destructive' or 'dark' phase, as described above, then one will be the same or similar person on the way out; indeed the person who is on the inside may be a totally different person than the one first going in. And thus it won't be you making the decisions to move and try something else, it will be another person. And that other person might not make such a decision. Also, that person on the inside may be groomed or conditioned with certain core beliefs that are hard to shake off when one feels they have served their 'purpose' and that one wants to move on to something else. These beliefs or 'a force' may prevent you or at least try its best to prevent you from letting go and moving on, when part of you is ready to do so (if you allow youself to acknowledge this). Clearly, any extreme phase that one goes through in one's life has a profound effect on one's personality and not always for the better. Sure, different experiences are useful in life, but sometimes all an experience will yield is associations of various types of psychic or spiritual pain rather than any kind of wisdom as such. It of course depends on the individual to some extent. But one could argue that certain experiences are invariably of a certain (negative) quality.
Those Gnostic Luciferians that I have observed, particularly the 'darker' ones (i.e. those that are more biased towards destructive magic) or those that embrace the 'archetype of Satan' (more than any other archetype) in many cases seem to be a little self-centred, uninterested in other people (unless they are specifically 'dark', 'Satanic' or discussing the occult), unhealthily fixated on gothic imagery, lacking in self-discipline, sometimes even apathetic, and have an underlying anger or dissatisfaction, which tells me that there are perhaps some underlying unresolved issues or negative beliefs to which they are excessively ruled by, focussing on being in opposition to something rather than just forgetting whatever it is they don't like or are theologically 'opposed to' and just lighten up and be themselves. This attitude is sometimes found in stoners/wasters and teenage 'punks/goths' (and often many of those with an excessively adversarial nature) who are so fixated on their opposition that when it comes to actually just being themselves, they don't know where to start and can be somewhat apathetic when it comes to anything related to personal growth or their own self-interest! Clearly the various forms of the Left-Hand Path are about the self, but humans are social animals and there is plenty one can learn from others or ways one can enjoy other's company, which is often overlooked by low level self-actualisation and emotional-stuntedness of those who are excessively self-centred (representing the less admirable or desirable/sociable sides of the Self). This is of course just a first impression, a gut impression, and does not of course apply to everyone in this 'category'.
As described elsewhere, it is easy to be dark or cynical as it is kinder on the ego and does not challenge the ego in certain respects, even if it does challenge certain types of conditioning in an immediate manner. Indeed, if one only associates with such people, one may lose perspective and forget that looking relaxed and joking and smiling regularly is actually quite normal (not normal in the conformist sense, but in the natural aspect of our being sense). If you are surrounded by intense looking people all the time, then that's what you consider normal, and you all reinforce each other. The amount of anger and knee-jerk behaviour or expression may also arguably be a reflection of being less spiritually evolved, rather than 'wiser' and 'more spiritually evolved' by embracing both lower forms of intelligence (i.e. the strength and baser, primeval instincts of Satan) and higher forms of intelligence (Christ, Buddha, Lucifer etc.) In such groups, there is perhaps too much 'Satan' and not enough 'Buddha' or 'Christ'. No one ever said the balance should be 50/50, but in spiritual terms it seems to be more 90/10 or 95/5. Of course different groups have different cultures, and suit different temperaments and personality types, and different philosophies - and it depends who is around - you often get a lot of idiots and posers joining internet forums in general too.
Another thing to consider is to not judge a philosophy, religion or group of people by those one comes across on the internet. One could argue that by default, anyone who is on internet forums regularly is in some ways by default not a balanced person, or they would not be on the computer in the first place, but in the real world and interacting with it, with friends in person, with the natural environment and enjoying its challenges, vitality and diversity. People in internet communities, especially the regulars, are there to escape their lives and often have something missing in their lives or a major illness, adverse physical conditon, or psychology issue; or perhaps just a little anally retentive. This goes for all types of forums, not just Gnostic Luciferian forums, and it is something we should acknowledge and be honest about. And indeed people who create large personal web sites ;-) The mind is geared to receive intonation, body language, smells and soul! Not just text divorced from these qualities from anonymous icons. Clearly life is too short, and spending more of it on the computer means less time for all those 'proper' and actual pursuits, rather than virtual ones! This is after all wisdom.
I find that Gnostic Luciferianism as a whole often seems to attract people who consider themselves to be very intelligent and philosophical, almost to the point of narcissism and pretentiousness. Making out that one is intelligent and sharp, and refraining from cussing, and appearing so, is for some a matter of status and image - much as for some Satanists, appearing to be the most 'powerful' is attributed with the greatest status amongst peers. Some may consider a casual interest in chaos mathematics, quantum mechanics and astronomy, and gaining a dark and morbid ego trip/buzz from it, makes one enlightened. Well, it takes a little more than this and a limited amount of contrarian historical/religious knowledge to feign any reasonable understanding of the modern man, modern society, and indeed the universe. Whilst some indeed study these areas, to do so does not necessarily require one to be a Gnostic Luciferian or an occultist or to be a member of such a group. And because of the wide scope, it requires many years if not lifetimes of study, and invariably to the casual Luciferian, the actual extent of knowledge in any one area is usually thus very limited. I also regard the shallow treatment of these areas, in particular with regard to Quantum Physics or Astrophysics, to be of little interest and there being insufficient depth for the discussions to be of much useful scientific value. In short, one could learn much more by simply using Wikipedia or Google, let alone picking up a book on theoretical physics, String Theory or other by a well known author. If you want to learn about String theory, talk to a theoretical physicist, but don't expect much from an occult internet group! Of course, one cannot expect to learn the entirety of various specialised disciplines from those who spread themselves so widely and so thinly. However, it can be useful in terms of simply mentioning a topic on a high level, to be something that can inspire one to study it on one's own. Or to act as a reminder. The interesting 'nugget' may be obtained too, like a high level observation - which are often themselves reminders or inspired from the works of others. But regardless, they can on occasion be useful.
There are many positive things to say about balanced Gnostic Luciferianism in my opinion, that is, the form that follows the middle way, between indulgence and abstinence. I like the fact that many adherents of Gnostic Luciferianism have a high regard for many of the same spiritual guidelines and principles that some hold in high esteem, for example, the teachings of Buddha, of Jesus etc. I have found that some of the Gnostic Luciferians I have come across in a very limited capacity to be generally very level headed, although many are not truly balanced in my opinion, with an excessive tendency and attraction towards the 'dark'. At times they display some real wisdom and maturity but in some cases display egotism and childish behaviour in other contexts.
If Gnostic Luciferian groups or Left-Hand Path groups claim to represent an interest in wisdom, knowledge, science and self-improvement and development, then I believe that they should be more grounded and show more interest in areas of health and nutrition. These are generally considered a little more 'boring' to most. Members either tend to be to lazy or unmotivated to take an interest in this area, as they simply adopt a minor variation of the average Western consumer diet; or they are too interested in hedonism and getting drunk or wasted and studying the occult to reel back their ego slightly, and pay proper attention to their body - to desist from short term pleasure based treatment of their body and work with the body for better results in general for the long term. Or otherwise, members can be very 'brainwashed' in western scientific values when it comes to nutrition, and adopt the medical establishment's and food industry's beliefs about nutrition, diet and food, which is in general very unscientific and selective in its acknowledgement of the facts. To adopt a 'straight man's scientific inclination'. To me, this is not reflective of a desire for wisdom and to learn the entirety of 'hidden or 'occult' scientific/metaphysical knowledge, or true Luciferianism. To me, not being dedicated to pursuit of truth in this area is a huge whole in a person's quest for truth and self-knowledge. I consider the cutting edge of holistic science behind biochemistry and nutrition (science-based not just 'new age') to be a form of mysterious 'hidden knowledge' from the vast majority of the population, and thus could be considered as 'the occult' in the literal meaning of the term! So in some ways, I am ironically much 'wiser and more highly versed' than most Gnostic Luciferians in 'the occult'! However, my knowledge in other areas is still very limited, and I am not pretending to be 'wiser' and more 'knowledgeable' than everyone else as a whole. But important things first. Most Gnostics or those who fancy themselves as a little Gnostic may not be so interested in matters of cellular health as they perhaps see the body as 'a prison' and not part of them, which to me is partly true but partly moronic thinking. If one's body is indeed a form of 'earthly prison' then by abusing it or letting it be abused by your ego and society as a whole is simply making the prison more uncomfortable and more of a prison!
Perhaps the ultimate irony is that by being fixated on 'deprogramming' Judao-Christian conditioning by arguably childish inverted practices, and adopting hedonism, often at the expense of one's health, it overlooks the ultimate act of Satanic defiance, which is the empowerment on the lowest, most basic level - that of creating a physical body that is as powerful and energetic as possible, able to best live out a life to the full; and the act of cleansing the body of toxins accumulated by that dogmatic society and its food, agriculture and pharmaceutical industries - detoxifying the body - is the ultimate act of defiance against such a society and its physical dogma against the Self. As described in the health section of this web site. Yet few Satanists embrace this philosophy to the full. Irony indeed.
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