Gnostic Luciferianism & Bestian Gnosticism
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The Neo-Luciferian Church
Michael W. Ford
The Temple of the Black Light
Afternote on Gnostic Luciferianism and Bestian Gnosticism
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!
Please note that some of the content is slightly out-of-date on this page. In addition, the comments made regarding various Luciferian groups, order or authors are first impressions from a Neophyte made in 2008. This page shall be updated more in the future. Thank you for your patience.
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Before reading this section on Gnostic Luciferianism, please read the section on Gnosticism on the Gnosticism page, as one needs to get a basic feel for Gnosticism to reallly understand Gnostic Luciferianism. In addition, 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 has created a Luciferian group on the Ning networking site called 'Luciferian Research Society (LRS): Association of Occult Artists, Producers and Service Providers'. The Statement of Purpose is as follows.
'The Luciferian Research Society exists in order to provide an atmosphere of co-operation among "Left Hand Path" occultists and to encourage the application of Luciferian principles toward accomplishing real world projects.'
It is as stated but also a place for 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. 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 considers 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.
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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.
Below is a series of 4 videos from boobtube featuring an interview with Ford.
A number of other interviews with Ford can be found on boobtube also. Here is a small selection.
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.
'Ndtveidt 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 Hsselby, 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. The logo graphic above was in fact 666 pixels wide, but I reduced it in size slightly!
An article by myself on chaos and anti-cosmic/destructive types of occult philosophy can be found on the Left Hand Path page.
A critical boobtube video by Satanist Jason King on Anti-Cosmic Gnosticism and TTOTBL can be seen below.
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Bestian Gnosticism shares many concepts in common with Gnostic Luciferianism, but it is not actually Luciferian, in the sense that it does not recognise a deity called Lucifer. It was once associated with Gnostic Luciferianism, but has evolved beyond this, and could be more accurately labelled as a darker form of Gnosticism. Bestian Gnosticism is perhaps mostly closely aligned to the Oliphidics (a.k.a. Ophite Gnostics or Ophites).
Please see the Gnosticism section on the Mainstream Religion page for more information about Ophites, and also the link below.
Bestian Gnosticism (BG) 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 in a dark sense.
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. The goal of this gnosis being not just freedom from the 'cyclic swamp of existence' (the phrase used in the Tibetan Book of the Dead), but ascension from the mortal plane to the level of divinity. The goal of the individual Bestian Gnostic may however perhaps be more chaotic than this, being just to enrich their present physical existence, and not necessarily have any intention beyond this lifetime, but merely to live this current life to its fullest and with wisdom - and whether one attains part gnosis or 'full and true' gnosis being irrelevant and not really a concern.
Bestian Gnosticism works with the Luciferi (bearers of light) who serve as guides and inspiration in order that one may find our paths in the darkness. These are archetypal beings as seen throughout myth and lore. There are a total of nine in Bestian Gnosticism. They act as an interface between the Conscious and Unconscious mind, facilitating communication between the two (similar in concept to one's Holy Guardian Angel in Thelema). Examples of Lucifers might include the Serpent from the Garden of Eden (Ningishzida), the Greek deity Prometheus, Christos (the Bestian Gnostic Jesus Christ) and Buddha.
Ningishzida is an underworld Mesopotamian deity. He is the patron of medicine. In Sumerian his name means "lord of the good tree' implying he is also a God of nature. In Sumerian mythology, he appears in Adapa's myth as one of the two guardians of Anu's celestial palace alongside Dumuzi. Sometimes he was depicted as a serpent with a human head. Bestian Gnosticism considers this entity to be the Instructor, the Beast or Serpent, of the Garden of Eden. Perhaps there could be some parallels with Tiamat.
Let us consider the deity Enki. Enki is the Sumeran deity whose name literally means Lord of the Earth. Enki was later known as Ea in Babylonian mythology. Enki was originally chief god of the city of Eridu. He was the deity of crafts, water, intelligence and creation. Bestian Gnosticism regards Enki as a Lucifer, but does not worship him. Many Theistic Satanists worship Enki.
Bestian Gnosticism incorporates Jungian concepts of psychology.
The following quote from Carl Jung's 'Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious' seems to embody one aspect of the philosophy of Bestian Gnosticism, and indeed Gnostic Luciferianism in general:
'Whoever looks into the mirror of the water (the unconscious) will see first of all his own face...the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor...the shadow is a living part of the personality and therefore wants to live with it in some form. It cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized into harmlessness.'
Followers of the LHP often cite the concept of the Jungian Shadow as a justification or reason for their lifestyle. Whether this is a primary or secondary reason may vary from individual to individual and may not always be known to the person also. For a discussion of the LHP and the Jungian Shadow, please see the Jungian Shadow and the Occult page.
There is type of 'minor God' in Bestian Gnosticism known as the Neteru. There are nine in total. The role of the Neteru in the Bestian Rites is in a sense that of keys emanating from the Ego to assist in unlocking the Unconscious, both Personal and Collective. These are considered the same entities that shaped the Ego in the Self-formative years. They are powers of creation, and can therefore assist in one's recreation/transformation. This is why these rites can powerfully assist in one's psychological transformation, which is in itself tied to one's physical and spiritual transformation.
The reason why there are 9 Lucifers and 9 Neteru is the 9 is the number of the ego as it keeps returning unto itself:
Critics might argue that by trying to connect with Neteru using spiritualism, in order to connect with one's True Will (c/f Thelema) or the unconscious mind, then one has to also accept the consequences of this type of activity, both good and bad (in spiritual terms), as applicable; and indeed knowing that who one is trying to connect with, e.g. a particular Neteru and not just another spirit (malevolent or otherwise). However, this is clearly a matter of interpretation and subjective perception.
Bestian Gnosticism currently has two defining books, Sophia Bestiae - The Wisdom of the Beast, and Grimoire Bestiae - The Bestian Rites of Aestheteka.
These have been written by Edward O'Toole, the main proponent/founder of Bestian Gnosticism.
Sophia Bestiae - The Wisdom of the Beast is a book that is considered the 'Primer' for the Grimoire Bestiae. It examines the 'evil' nature of God, and God's adversaries, Satan, Lucifer and The Serpent; It also examines the nature of man and the self.
I have not read Sophia Bestiae but assumes that its criticism of Demiurge is not in a scornful or hateful tone as this might be contrary to the spirit of the aforementioned Christos and Buddha. Would anyone like to confirm?
Grimoire Bestiae - The Bestian Rites of Aestheteka is described by Aestheteka as 'a complete satanic magical system'. The book is highly regarded by LaVey Satanism and also Theistic Satanists. Those who have gone through the GB system claim that it is one of the most powerful systems in the occult for freeing oneself from past conditioning and to the path of true freedom; in particular the Rite of Unpardonable Sin (with reference to 'undoing Christian programming and associations').
A preview of a section of the Grimoire Bestiae can be found at the link below. It contains a variety of rites (e.g. nightmares, pain, daemon exorcism etc.) and invocations (e.g. Lucifer, Satan) which 'might imply' a literal belief in the deity Satan, which some members may wish to use. Satan is not regarded as a Lucifer, however, in Bestian Gnosticism, but more of an archetypal concept as in power of the Self.
The Grimoire Bestiae contains a number of different rites, which are used for different purposes by practitioners. For example, the Rite of Nightmares could be used as an outlet for expressing uncontrolled aggression, to 'let off steam'.
Perhaps the 9 pointed symbol on the cover of Grimoire Bestiae is related to the Nonagram. The Nonagram is said to be the star of Goliath, as the opposite to the Star of David, the Hexagram. The Hexagram is also a magic(k)al symbol. The nonagram is a symbol of achievement, completeness, supreme sanctity and also of boundaries. Within Bestian Gnosticism it (also) represents the nine Lucifers and the nine Neteru.
Bestian Gnosticism also includes Bestian Tarot, a slight variation on 'classic' Tarot, designed by Edward O'Toole with artwork by the sigil artist Eris X.
A third Bestian Gnostic book and new Bestian Rites are currently in the early stages of development (as of Q2 2008) by my friend DianaMotherGoddess (a.k.a. 'Diana'), who is a key member of the Order. Diana's myspace profile is shown below.
I have read most of Edward O'Toole's latest book, as of 2010, entitled Zen Gnosis, which is in the format of an old Gnostic text, with short sayings and observations. It is an accessible book and an easy read, and very interesting. I would highly recommend it.
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An example of, or rather the defining group of Bestian Gnosticism is the group is Aestheteka. Bestian Gnosticism could be considered to have arisen out of the group Aestheteka, or perhaps out of the writer Edward O'Toole's own work and studies, and collaboration with other occultists who had read his works. The founder of Aestheteka is Edward O'Toole.
Aestheteka is an internet commnity group/forum hosted on the 'forumwise' network. I have summarised O'Toole's description of Aestheteka below.
Aestheteka's three main principles are aesthetics, hedonism and esoterica (magical rituals, Tarot etc.) It also holds three guiding principles of beauty, pleasure and wisdom. These things are no doubt in part due to the influence of Thelema, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Chaos Magic. These three principles can also be seen in LaVey Satanism and Theistic Satanism.
Aestheteka is claimed to represent the 'exploration of the Jungian Shadow, a descent into the Abyss - a full dive - with the intention of emerging wiser. Many New Age beliefs promote the attainment of Enlightenment directly by merely abstaining and looking Heavenward in action and thought. Aestheteka postulates that until one has experienced the mire of the soul, and seen ones true reflection - and the true face of God - one will only see a weak imitation of Heaven and be deluded into believing it to be the truth.'
Depending on one's definition of the 'mire' of the soul, it of course reflects on how one goes about experiencing this 'mire'. Related discussion can be found at the end of this section on Gnostic Luciferianism.
Aestheteka defines itself in the words of the Nag Hammadi text 'The Thunder, Perfect Mind':
'For many are the pleasant forms which exist in numerous sins, and incontinencies, and disgraceful passions, and fleeting pleasures, which (men) embrace until they become sober.'
Although hedonism and the Gnostic concept of earthly suffering may seem at odds, it is the concept of Bestian Gnosticism that one should go through the three stages of Buddha of indulgence, abstinence and finally balance. Perhaps in the same way, Aestheteka's guiding principles can be seen as the opposite part to earthly suffering and withdrawal from the physical world, in the pursuit for balance, learning from both suffering and pleasure.
Aestheteka claims to have no single belief system as all considered to be plausible and at the same time all are considered contemptuous:
'It is the Individual Self who must decide which route to follow; Aestheteka merely provides the Muse and the starting place. Inspiration to commence a long and hazardous journey to meet one's Self.'
I am not sure how this fits in with the basic Gnostic cosmology which seems to unite and underlie all the (modified) religions and faiths that seem to be found within the philosophy of Aestheteka. However, it seems to use the Gnostic model and its unique anti-Demiurge type magickal practices in order to 'free' the soul from previous conditioning, whilst leaving it free to follow its own path after this. The Gnostic concept as personalised by Edward O'Toole is thus something that one may wish to pursue or not after that point in one's occult progression. The membership of Aestheteka as a whole is not particularly Gnostic per se, although some members are definitely Gnostic in their persuasion. Whether one wants to argue that the Gnostic cosmology is not a 'system' by just a collection of ideas is another matter of course. 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 a literal cosmology and theology.
Some of the main influences on Aestheteka could be said to be the Egyptian Gnostic texts (e.g. the 'Gospel of Judas' and 'On the Origin of the World'), The Book of Law by Aleister Crowley (the philosophy of Thelema/Will and Do What Thou Wilt), the Geman philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Italian political philospher Niccolò Machiavelli and also Miyamoto Musashi - Go Rin No Sho (A Book Of Five Rings). Nietzsche and Crowley were also major influences on LaVey Satanism. Crowley and his Thelema religion/philosophy are discussed elsewhere on this page.
Nietzsche's philosophy is examined in detail on the Atheism and Existentialism page.
The shared influences between the Social Darwinists, the Far Right and various Left-Hand Paths (including many of the above works) are discussed on the CoS page and on the Satanism and the Far Right page. This is not to say that adherents of the LHP are automatically Neo-Nazis, as there are clearly conceptual differences (rights of the individual vs interests of the collective), but that they both draw from many shared philosophies.
Aestheteka, Bestian Gnosticism, Gnostic Luciferianism, and indeed Luciferianism in general, all reject the concept of the Trinity. The Aestheteka Symbol is an inverted Triqueta and is a symbolic rejection of the Trinity. It is spelt 'Triquetra' here.
However, it is debatable whether this is a true representation of opposition to the Trinity as it is not strictly a Christian symbol. The Triquetra symbol is shown below.
Let us consider the origin of the Triquetra. Quoted from Altreligion's web site:
'The triqueta symbol predates Christianity and was likely a Celtic symbol of the Goddess, and in the North, a symbol of the god Odin. Although it is often asserted that the triquetra is a symbol of a tripartite goddess, no such goddess has been identified with the symbol. Similar symbols do occur in some Norse and Celtic goddess imagery, but most likely represents the divisions of the animal kingdom and the three domains of earth mentioned above. Triplicities were common symbols in Celtic myth and legend, one of the possible reasons Christian beliefs were so easily adopted by the Celtic people.'
'The triquetra (often, triqueta) is a tripartate symbol composed of three interlocked vesica pisces, marking the intersection of three circles. It is most commonly a symbol of the Holy Trinity (Father, son, Holy spirit) used by the Celtic Christian Church, sometimes stylized as three interlaced fish'
'In Wiccan and Neopagan belief, the triqueta symbolizes the triple aspected goddess (maid, mother, and crone). Some Christians have protested this "appropriation" of the symbol...however, ironically enough, the original Christian fish symbol was derived from an early symbol of venus, one representing female generative organs- making the triquetra perfectly appropriate symbol for a Goddess revival. The triquetra is also considered to represent the triplicities of mind, body, and soul, as well as the three domains of earth according to Celtic legend- earth, sea, and sky.'
The Triqueta symbol appears on the New King James Bible (NKJV), a more commercialised and less accurate version of the King James Bible (KJV). Many Christians regard as a Occult perversion of the KJV and believe the Triqueta symbolises 666.
O'Toole argues that because the Triqueta symbol predates Christianity and is a Celtic pagan symbol, it cannot be occult. Of course, whether one wants to classify a pagan symbol as 'non-Christian' or as 'occult' is a matter of personal taste. I would argue that even though the Triqueta has been used by some Christians since perhaps the time of the Culdees Celtic monastic order, it was first used by pagans (to represent pagan principles/cosmology) and as such cannot be called Christian as such. The same logic can no doubt be applied to festivals such as Easter or Christmas, which started off as pagan festivals and were later appropriated by Christians in order to either recruit pagans or to provide continuity for newly converted pagans with their past traditions.
Presumably it would be more appropriate to show opposition to the Hebew God, considered to be Demiurge, with the some contrarian use of the Judaic Star of David? Indeed the Nonagram used on Grimoire Bestiae is a mathematical opposite to the Hexagram (either Star of David or magical symbol), so perhaps this symbolism is already there. Perhaps the Aestheteka/Bestian Gnosticism symbolism shows double opposition, to the Trinity and to Judaism.
Aestheteka in the past has performed the Satanic Black Mass on line, but this is claimed to be in a symbolic sense ('psychodrama' - like LaVey Satanism claims to do) rather than in a literal sense. Black Mass is not Gnostic but is more aesthetic, and hence part of Aestheteka's activities. It is perhaps very similar/identical to that performed by LaVey Satanists. It could be argued that some of the Theistic Satanist members of Aestheteka are taking part in the Black Mass in a literal sense, so whether it is indeed just psychodrama or not is perhaps a matter of debate.
This uses the 'Howard Missal' version of the Black Mass, prepared by Jim Howard of Synagoga Satanae.
The image of an inverted cross, used to represent the Black Mass on the Aestheteka web site, is often used by LaVey Satanists and dodgy heavy metal bands to represent Satanism or an opposition to Christianity. The inverted cross was used in the middle ages by heretical monks to show their opposition to the Catholic Church (as opposed to Christianity in general) and the Inquisition's persecution of (somewhat Gnostic) Catharism in the 13th and 14th Centuries in France. Apparently Latin parodies of the Roman Catholic Mass started to appear around about this time, although the modern concept of the Black Mass did probably not appear until the 16th or 17th Centuries.
However, the inverted cross was first used as a Catholic symbol representing the martyrdom of Saint Paul, who asked to be crucified upside down as he did not consider himself to be worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus Christ (not that Gnostics accept the crucifixion...) Catholics have long used this symbol to represent humility and unworthiness compared with Christ long before the above anti-Christian usages.
The graphic below is from the Images of St. Peter from the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Charlotte, NC.
Whether one wants to consider the anti-Christian usage ironic then is a matter of personal interpretation. There is clearly some irony here somewhere, whether as intended or on those that think they are being ironic! The cynical might argue that Aestheteka is using a combination of anti-pagan (inverted Triqeta) Catholic (inverted cross) symbolism to define itself! Of course there are other interpretations, as described above.
Is picking on Christianity somewhat ethnocentric (Western European)? Why Christianity more than any other religion? Surely Judaism is considered the antithesis of Zoroastrianism (the mother of Gnosticism)? So surely using anti-Judaic symbolism would be more in keeping with this? Of course, Aestheteka can use whatever symbolism they like, it is up to them. As it has been said elsewhere on this page regarding LaVey Satanism, there are two ways of defining oneself, in terms of what one opposes (and usually picking on one particular thing one opposes as opposed to everything one opposes) or in terms of what one actually represents. The former is a negative method of self-expression and relies on an 'opponent' to give you your identity. It however tells you nothing about who you really are (with or without that opponent). The latter is a positive form of self-expression and expresses who are actually are and what you represent. Those who believe in the law of attraction hold that if you oppose something or protest about it, instead of avoiding it, you merely generate more opposition and more of what you don't want. Whatever you focus on, you will get. So why not create a totally new symbol, to represent a new development in Gnosticism? It's a bit late now though I guess if the will was indeed there.
Aestheteka also defines itself as being in binary opposition to the Ogdoadic Tradition. Unlike the Rosicrucian tradition of the Golden Dawn, the Ogdoadic Tradition, traces its mystical teachings through Byzantium and the Near and Middle East, including the Knights Templar. It is has historically been a much smaller tradition (in terms of adherents) than that of the Golden Dawn. It draws on Neoplatonism, Hermetic magic(k) and the Kabbalah.
Aurum Solis, Gold of the Sun, is a magical order founded in England in 1897 by George Stanton and Charles Kingold which claims descent from the Ogdoadic Tradition of the Western Mystery Tradition. This is the main (claimed) proponent of the Ogdoadic Tradition today. It claims to be an Initiatic society that transmits the Theurgic heritage of hermeticism.
Aestheteka's web site is said to be a melting pot of the dark arts, dark writing and the occult. It is in a sense O'Toole's own web site, reflecting his thoughts for Aestheteka's philosophy, and is a portal for the two groups/forums described below.
The Aestheteka web site's Forum is described as being an 'on line Hellfire Club' (see the Fringe Religions page regarding 'Theleme' and the London Hellfire Club.)
Whilst the Aestheteka forum is defined in numerous says by O'Toole, it is most importantly a free thinking forum for intelligent minds of varying persuasions. Not all members are occultists. It's remit is to attract great minds from all different ends of the spectrum, regardless of belief. One forum member was an evangelical Christian. Another member a horror writer. I have myself posted on this forum and discussed a variety of issues with fellow forum members.
The Myspace group is known as 'The Bestian Order of Aestheteka'. This was once the prime area of activity on cyberspace for Aestheteka, attracting a variety of occultists and free thinking individuals, and was not your usual conformist Satanist type forum. It is now no longer active, for a variety of reasons, the main reason being that Myspace changed the formatting of the group templates, meaning the group page was virtually illegible, members disappearing and going their own ways or migrating over to the Aestheteka forum on forumwise. Also, as is the case, people tend to come together at some points in time, for a while, then disappear and do their own thing after a while. Forums are hard to keep going sometimes. BOA, which can be said to be another aspect of Aestheteka, was described by O'Toole below.
The BOA is said to reflect occult pursuits (of the members). Perhaps the letters 'BOA' imply the ophite or snake connection. It is described on its home page as follows.
'Aesthetics, Hedonism, Esoterica - The intellectual pursuit of Self Awareness through the pleasures of the flesh and the wisdom of the ages.'
'GOD IS EVIL.
MAN IS THE BEAST.
THROUGH THE LUCIFERI WE FIND TRUE REALITY.
THROUGH THE SOPHIA AND THE BUDDHA WE FIND WISDOM.
THROUGH SATAN WE FIND STRENGTH OF WILL.
THROUGH OURSELVES AS THE BEAST WE FIND THE TRUTH'
'NON SERVIAM!!! DO WHAT THOU WILT!!!'
Not all members of the Bestian Order of Aestheteka and the Aestheteka Forum practiced Bestian Gnosticism, nor indeed embody the values of Aestheteka itself as defined on the Aestheteka web site. The BG and indeed Gnostic goal of reintegration into the Pleroma is not necessarily the goal of all members. Many members are simply there because of an appreciation or affinity for dark and deviant art, esoterica and/or because of Satanic, hedonistic and aesthetic pursuits. It depends on the individual member to what extent and in what manner, if any, they wish to practice Bestian Gnosticism.
Aestheteka has more a focus on the guiding principles of Bestian Gnosticism, rather than an acknowledgement of certain parts of the Gnostic cosmology itself and the practice of Invocation and Rites in the Grimoire Bestiae (represents Bestian Gnosticism) (e.g. some LaVey Satanist members). Indeed, some members are Theistic (or Polytheistic) Satanists and who actually worship Satan (or deities representing different aspects of Satan), rather than regarding Satan as just an archetype, probably at the expense of other archetypes/Lucifers of Bestian Gnosticism.
It could be said that Aestheteka is slightly more 'Satanic' influenced than 'Luciferian' influenced, although, as stated earlier, Aestheteka is hard to pigeon-hole. Whether there is more importance and emphasis on the Satanic parts of the Bestian Rites than on some of the Gnostic Lucifers is hard to say.
I have noticed that there was a heavy bias towards 'destruction' within many of the members of the BOA. This is no doubt a metaphor that is popular amongst those that favour Chaos and/or Chaos Magic, and also those of a somewhat nihilistic philosophical disposition. Destruction can be taken as a metaphor for deprogramming, but the metaphor seems to be stretched somewhat and taken completely out of context in other occasions. Please see the Left-Hand Path page for related discussion.
Clearly Aestheteka is extremely heterogeneous. Many members are clearly not interested in The Gospel of Judas, for example. O'Toole's interests do not necessarily reflect that of the membership's.
Edward O'Toole has another web site www.carpathianparanormal.com
Whilst both Bestian Gnosticism and Aestheteka reflect many of the concepts of the Left-Hand Path, neither choose to label themselves or associate themselves with any religious tradition or category, and reflect an occult evolution.
Could one consider Aestheteka to be slightly 'darker' or 'Satanic' in concept than say the Ordo Luciferi branch of Gnostic Luciferianism? It is certainly appears to be a little more chaotic and unruly! The fact that there seems to be little structure as such and that the forum is not overly moderated (or really moderated in any sense at all) is one of the things that I like about it. In other 'Gnostic Luciferian' forums, one may perhaps feel that one has to 'tread a little more carefully', although clearly this depends on the individual.
One could argue that the Aestheteka web site uses somewhat gratuitous gothic text, black backgrounds; mentioning 'darkness beckons' at the beginning; and using black and red text, as do most other Luciferian web sites. The artwork on the download page is also quite (gratuitously) dark (in terms of brightness) or using copious amounts of red, the two favoured colours of many adherents of this type of philosophy/group of philsophies. These elements are clearly reflective of the aesthetics of Aestheteka, but do they fairly portray the element of balance of indulgence/abstinence and light/dark split in Aestheteka's principles or the Luciferi of Bestian Gnosticism? There are pictures of beauty here though (I am referring to the hot pictures of the naked woman!) Did someone not tell her that smoking was bad for her!? ;-)
I can conclude that the notion of beauty embodied on the site is not the usual conditioned concept of beauty in the classical sense. This is not a huge issue, but still worth mentioning.
I have endeavoured to make this section an accurate portrayal of Aestheteka and Bestian Gnosticism. He apologies if there are any inaccurate statements or blurring of distinctions between Bestian Gnosticism, Aestheteka and Edward O'Toole's own personal writings. O'Toole's Bestian Gnosticism books use the Aestheteka symbol and the Grimoire refers to 'Bestian Rites of Aestheteka.' I feel that O'Toole's web site should perhaps further clarify the distinction between Bestian Gnosticism, Aestheteka, and the various forums including the Bestian Order of Aestheteka. This may however be resolved in the future with 'restructuring' of the 'organisation'. The matter is not helped in my opinion by the chaotic construction of the web site (less so now), which is a little difficult hard to navigate OK so this web site isn't the 'height' of web perfection either! It is easy to point out the splinter in someone's eye without noticing the log in one's own.
Writing this much on Gnostic Luciferianism was not my intention from the beginning and it happened by chance because of one of my friends. I would like to thank his friend Diana, and also O'Toole for their input into creating this section. When I get around to reading Sophia Bestiae, I will no doubt understand the concept better and will update this section accordingly.
I would also like to thank Diana for proof reading much of the content of this web site in its earlier form. Thank you!
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After Note on Gnostic Luciferianism and Bestian Gnosticism:
I would like to make some general comments and observations about Gnostic Luciferianism (and Bestian Gnosticism to a lesser extent) based on my brief exposure to this from various internet forums, from internet sources and from information gathered from a Bestian Gnostic friend of mine. Clearly my sources are by no means complete and his rudimentary understanding may be reflecting in some of the comments made.
Please note - this 'after note' was written and composed in the summer of 2008 and whilst I still hold many of the same views, some of the content is more historical in nature and does not reflect my current thinking. This will be updated in the medium term.
I appreciate that there are many positive things to say about balanced Gnostic Luciferianism, 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 Black holds 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 some 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. However, if I had not found the whole area interesting, and in some respects appealing, he would have not written so much on the subject. Studying and discussing this whole area has however raised many interesting questions about the concept of the self and the nature of God.
However, I have a few issues with Gnosticism as a whole. He will not repeat these 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.
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.
Gnostic Luciferianism provides a Gnostic framework for the person to embrace a number of seemingly syncretic or opposing belief systems, Lucifers or deities. Now this could be viewed as a good thing by many, as it provides a way of embracing different aspects of your spirituality in different situations. However, one could argue that certain aspects of one's ego should perhaps not really be celebrated, institutionalised or indeed worshipped in this manner, but just got on with at the appropriate time, in accordance with where one is on the journey of one's life and what stages one needs to go through to become more rounded and balanced. It depends on whether you approach God from the perspective of the Self or not ultimately, as discussed in the above sections.
I would argue that it is probably only really worth venerating/worshipping or holding in high regard those teachings of 'light' (e.g. Gnostic Christianity, Buddhism etc.) or more 'neutral' rather than the more self-oriented and hedonistic philosophies and/or occult teachings and practices, which are not really rocket science, but just a matter of 'keeping it real' and having an awareness of the self without necessarily having to celebrate/worship it or institutionalise attitudes towards it, but remain freer in one's thinking. Hedonism clearly has many advantages and benefits, but is it the be all and end all? Clearly it is in Satanism, but is just one of many parts within Gnostic Luciferianism. Do all aspects of one's life really have to be divine or regarded as wisdom? Or set in stone or regarded as all emcompassing philosophies? Or can they just be enhancements or temporary releases or modes in your day to day experience? One could argue that if they are not regarded as 'divine' or 'magical', then perhaps one is in denial about them or embarrassed about them, which is not in the interests of Jungian Individuation.
One could argue that wisdom (of the self) is not necessarily part of the experience of God, but something that one may choose to embrace or not for one's own benefit, that may 'enhance' one spiritual understanding or run in parallel to it, or make life easier! Perhaps it is just something that we can gain/learn and is for our use but has no real relevance to God and the Godhead. The content of wisdom will to some degree vary depending on life experience, culture and the environment one is born into, although some themes do cross cultural and interpersonal boundaries. Some aspects are just ego satisfaction, some are quite mundane and boring but necessary for one's survival and wellbeing. It clearly also depends at which of the 3 stages of Buddha you are at in your life. Is it worth celebrating the indulgence stage rather than just doing it? Is this something for celebration or being glad one did, or is it just something you do when you are young, free of responsibilities and also rather 'stupid' and clueless, oblivious to the consequences that it will have on your health, body, life and others.
Indeed, the idea of indulgence, abstinence and balance is all well and good, but some things are never really good when indulged in or when done in moderation or 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 any/many of the religions that are adopted by Gnostic Luciferianism. GL has introduced this concept into Gnosticism, but is this concept useful? To what extent does one want to achieve balance and at what cost? One could argue it is a case of having one's cake and eating it! It is clearly a topic that requires one's attention and thoughts, to question one's values and what they are really for. However, if one is not oneself determining one's actions, and using philosophy to enhance one's experience, then one has become a slave to that system and is not longer really fully self-actualising one's true Will. 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.
Gnosticism holds that one only breaks out of the cycle of life and death (reincarnation) if one attains a high enough level of gnosis for a long enough period. Are all the different aspects of one's nature, both light and dark, equally valid, and equally important in achieving 'gnosis'? 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? Those following classic ascetic Gnosticism might argue with this perspective. 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.
Hedonism is indeed counter to most schools of classic Gnosticism. In a sense Gnostic Luciferianism is basically suggesting that the classic Gnostic concept of what gnosis is is flawed or incomplete, and that Gnostics aren't really attaining true gnosis as they are too limited in their thinking and in their wisdom. They are in a sense therefore not 'spiritually self-conscious enough' and never likely to achieve true gnosis and reunification with the Pleroma! Is Gnostic Luciferianism therefore an evolution or improvement of Gnosticism, taking it to its logical conclusion? Or is it a complete contradiction and should it dispense with the concept of Gnosis entirely? Is it a case of 'I like the sound of this, let's include it into Luciferianism'? Is Gnostic Luciferianism just an excuse to rationalise the introduction of Thelema, Hermetic Magic, Luciferianism and often Chaos Magic into Gnosticism where it doesn't really belong and has no place? Clearly this is up to the individual to figure out for himself. Whichever way you look at it, the concept of gnosis is significantly different to classic Gnosticism, and that is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.
To grossly generalise for a moment, one might say that hedonists in general tend to be those that celebrate physical existence, the self, vitality and where they are in life, using all the resources around them to the full or more than most in order to have a generally good time, and have no interest in what happens after death whatsoever, as every moment of life is what is important; Or at least to have a blinding time regularly, followed by periods of recuperation where one tries to 'groove' as much as possible. Conversely, those that believe that physical existence is the root of all suffering (e.g. Gnostics, Buddhists etc.) tend to be those that lead a more ascetic or cerebral existence. Gnostic Luciferianism claims to occupy the middle ground here, but in some senses could be argued to be a contradiction or too syncretic to really gel properly. In addition, if one considers the Gnostic part of Gnostic Luciferianism, the part that regards physical existence as bad and negative, then surely to effectively experience balance, this 'Gnostic' belief system should occasionally be 'ditched' and 'discarded' and replaced with a philosophy that celebrates creation and existence as a vehicle through which one can self-actualise and to praise or 'dig' 'God' (be that Lucifer, Satan, Jehovah or whatever)? Is Gnostic Luciferianism a cohesive whole, or is it a delicate balancing act between being in 'Gnostic' mode and being in 'Modern Luciferian' mode (and if in between, then the cosmology and beliefs that attach meaning to the world around us subtly changing without us really noticing? Or being 'double-sided' and somewhat syncretic or contradictory in nature? If ascetism and hedonism are performed from a perspective of the Self, then perhaps it isn't such a contradiction if they are both explorations of the Self (i.e. Left-Handed wisdom)?
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? Indeed this applies to anyone, not just Gnostic Luciferians. 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' is 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. 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. 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? Clearly it depends on the individual to some extent. I am not a Gnostic Luciferian as such and does not subscribe to many of the practices, e.g. Thelema, Hermetic Magic, Chaos Magic etc. and nor does he accept the Gnostic Cosmology, as described above. However, I might describe myself as a philosophical Luciferian in some sense.
If for example one engages in Zen meditation, or meditation on/prayer to Jesus, for example, to what extent is one really aimed to lose one's ego or quieten one's ego, or embracing light, if one then performs a few moments later an invocation to an entity, e.g. Azazel, or magic rite using a deity, e.g. Prometheus? Presumably the overall effect is indeed darker than if one was to just concentrate on the Zen meditation, etc. One could argue that the purpose of meditation is to quieten the left brain (in right handed people), to quieten the ego and constant flow of unwanted thoughts and 'garbage' that the conscious mind produces, in its quest to dominate and refusal to 'let go'. If one then follows one's ego and allows interrupting thoughts or a desire for control to instigate another form of spiritual activity, in the form of an occult practice, then it could be argued that one is actually pandering to the right brains' desires and in effect negating the effect of the meditation. Presumably one could better achieve the Taoist or Buddhist goal of 'no mind' but not participating in these 'other activities'. But perhaps many Gnostic Luciferians do not see a conflict of purpose.
I have personally experienced different 'modes' or values/philosophies in a short space of time, as part of his attempt to integrate his own personal spiritual beliefs (mainly Christian-based) with philosophies, concepts and ideas from other religions and philosophies, which are somehow 'sandwiched' together. These are viewed from both a Left-Hand and Right-Hand perspective depending on the mood and context, and sometimes both at the same time. At times, I feel myself going off too far on a tangent and losing touch with his spiritual core or his 'Right-Hand' beliefs, and perhaps embracing resistance or adversarial qualities too much (which thinking of being in opposition to something else, the ego seems to excessively take over). This is perhaps the lowest level of the 'Self'. Such moments, I feel extremely uncomfortable, as if he isn't really being himself but is on some 'knee jerk' rollercoaster ride. When he senses this, he can shift his perception of the situation, whilst retaining most of the original ideas and philsophies, but returning to a point of 'balance', where he is still within the envelope of his own self and not being controlled by the insatiable power cravings of the ego. The ego is still there, as it is a survival tool, but it is not trampling over one's intuition and spiritual consciousness and core values. The middle ground is a place of rationalism and no-nonsense approach, not being especially adversarial but not necessarily being completely selfless either. Is it possible to experience and understand the claimed 'higher' levels of wisdom from the perspective of the Self? Is the inability to experience Self in any other form than resistance and ego (for most of the time) - clearly there are numerous more mundane experiences where one is very much Self-focussed, without attaching any spiritual connotation to it as such, but being 'normal' - reflective of 'Right-Hand Path' brainwashing and restrictive values?
The shift towards selflessness and conventional concept of Christian faith and the Holy Spirit is quite seamless, and at times it feels right and appropriate to operate in this mode. The different modes are not that compartmentalised - they are of course different in spirit, but the core values that define the self remain in each one. However, one could argue that this is never going to achieve the intensity of relationship with God that a 'hardcore evangelical Christian' would experience. It depends on who one believes God really is, and what types of relationship/perception we want to have towards God and how we perceive God wants us to interact with him and what values to attach to the self and to the selfless; and indeed if that relationship includes personal development for its own sake or not, or whether everything has to be dogmatically performed through God or not.
I value psychology, philosophy, health, science, wisdom, individuality and self-determinism, and does not see that these should be just 'dropped' in favour of a religious belief, but integrated somehow. Clearly there are numerous ways of achieving this, with many different possible permutations and indeed stances and methods. There is a balance, but it is not always clear where that balance exactly is. That will however come with time no doubt. I do however feel more comfortable in himself than he has in the past, and feels that he is getting very close indeed to his true self. However, he feels as if he is exploring 'dangerous' or 'unknown' territory, and there are clearly many pitfalls in this territory that he is mindful of. Indeed that is one of the lessons of Shadow Exploration and the Left-Hand Path.
I am not really a Gnostic, in that I do not believe in Demiurge, but that the creative principle/energy/essence, and the will to survive, is connected to positive energy, love and self-expression, and in this sense the concept of Lucifer or God. I believe that there is only one 'God' and that he is indivisible. Whether that God is a literal Person or an essence, Pleroma or Gnosis, or a combination of these is another matter and something I keep an open mind about. My view of God is perhaps somewhere in between the Trinity including Jehovah, Monad; and possibly the Great Architect of the Universe; drawing on Luciferian and Existentialist concepts of the nature of the self and existence in a philosophical sense; and equally drawing on some Buddhist and Taoist concepts). I view God as a universal, indivisible force, but at the same time, takes a (Christian) Existentialist view of God. I regard the philosophical questions as how to approach God and how God gives meaning in one's life, rather than being a source of 'darkness'. The 'darkness' is something that is within the human soul, or rather a means to understand the self. In some ways it can relate back to God. This is something I am examining and has no fixed ideas about at present. I can appreciate some of the Gnostic concepts of attaining Gnosis to achieve wisdom and to become closer to God, but at the same time not embracing the Gnostic cosmology. I can at the same time see the benefit in rationalism and positivism. However, the idea of literally worshipping multiple Lucifers or deities, each representing a different set of character traits, values or beliefs is pagan and not something that I am attracted to; and in addition I regard the number of different deities, Aeons, Archons and spirits involved in the creation of the physical world within Gnostic cosmology to be pagan but more importantly rather ludicrous.
I am caught somewhere in between between Philanthropy and Nihilism. Between theism and agnosticism. I aim to keep an open mind but also learn from the variety of spiritual and religious experience in the world today, with a view to developing the self, and self-mastery. I am more interested in the philosophical aspects of the teachings of different prophets or philosophers and interpeting these within the framework of his own faith and spiritual ideas. That is more the different religions themselves and the ideas of different philosophers, and some aspects of the concepts of Gnosis, rather than the magical practices within Gnostic Luciferianism, and the Gnostic Cosmology. Perhaps this does not actual require Gnostic Luciferianism at all, but perhaps Gnosticism. How Left-Handed or Right-Handed is this view though? It could clearly go in any number of directions. I appreciate some of the wider philosophical bases of Gnostic Luciferianism compared with Gnosticism; but clearly I am far from convinced about Gnostic Luciferianism as a complete 'package'. I have never really subscribed to the philosophy of just accepting complete packages but of making up his own mind and following his own path and Will. Indeed, I use those parts of Gnostic Luciferianism that he likes and reinterprets these and makes these fit into his own spiritual beliefs, much in the same way that Gnosticism reinterpets other religions or Gnostic Luciferianism reinterprets Gnosticism to its own ends. One could view Gnostic Luciferianism as a means to an end and something to reshape to fit your purposes rather than slavishly follow its cosmology. Indeed is this the kind of balance that Gnostic Luciferianism itself tries to achieve. I clearly prefer the 'balanced' aspect of Gnostic Luciferianism compared with Classic Gnosticism, but also believes this to be one of the flaws of Gnostic Luciferianism compared with Classic Gnosticism. I am also interested in the pursuit of personal development that is shared by many Luciferians and Freemasons.
Whilst I am interested in Self-Actualisation and getting in tune with his body and mind, and the body, mind and spirit's true capabilities (in a Taoist martial arts sense and Buddhist sense), he also believes in an indivisible single God in the universe or in all that exists. He also believes in a universal brotherhod or sisterhood, and feels a spiritual connection to every human and every other form of life to a slightly lesser extent or different manner; and indeed the non-living parts of the natural world and the universe. Whilst I consider everyone his brother or sister, he is aware of the Self, and considers them a separate Self, even though on some level their self is part of my self, and ultimately their pain and pleasure is their own, although it can of course be shared. I tend to try to share in other's pleasure whilst avoiding sharing their pain if they are insistent on nurturing it or if there is nothing he can do to help. The concept of sympathy but without torturing oneself and finding a pragmatic balance is an interesting one. By focussing negatively, one is not doing anyone any good or actually helping anyone, so one could argue that feeling sad about something is a 'selfish' response or one to serve your ego. I do have altruistic visions and ideas for humanity (at the time of writing!), and am keen to help others (hence this web site) think for themselves and help themselves, but respects people's freedom to make their own choices, however informed or 'ignorant' (or misinformed/misled) they may be.
Many people start to self-actualise on a low level (e.g. 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.
Some people argue that morality does not exist. Whatever you do, you do to fulfill your own needs. This is said to include altruism. This is explored more on the Left-Hand Path page.
There are clearly different reasons for adopting a faith or philosophical mindset. One could look at it the other way around also, and 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. 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!
Is following one's baser instincts indeed a form of wisdom? Is it divine in any sense? Or is it just our animalistic ego which requires satisfying from time to time (a necessary 'evil').
Is the search for 'truth' just an embrace of a variety of ideas that tilitate the ego - when a person is in the mood for something? Do Gnostic Luciferians sometimes say they 'like the sound of' something, as if it is there to titillate their ego, rather than believing in it or agreeing with it? Clearly, Gnostic Luciferianism is about discovering your personal truth, rather than accepting a prescribed religious dogma, but within certain limits. Gnostic Luciferianism is a dynamic entity and is continuously growing and evolving. Is it a case of making up the truth as you go along? Or merely 'refining' it?
Is Gnostic Luciferianism just a substitute for real balance, perspective and self-knowledge, mimmicking it with different belief systems, philosophies and occult practices, to incorporate light and dark elements, which are said to be 'natural'? Is natural balance without the need for philosophising and concepts superior? Can Gnostic Luciferianism frame one into a certain mindset, in terms of addictively having to require self-conscious spiritual growth rather than using faith alone, or even gut instinct with a 'zen' or no mind approach (i.e. not the ego rationalising)? Gnostic Luciferianism is not always about self-actualisation and self-determinism and some adherents may not choose this path of course.
Is Gnostic Luciferianism a 'one size fits all 'umbrella' philosophy or religion? In a sense, Luciferianism is not something you can quantify, as it is a personal journey towards self-development and the True Self. It comes down to the individual's personal preferences and biases, and what they deny themselves in any spiritual context. In most cases however, with its focus on light and dark aspects, and its ability to morph around a number of different religions and philosophies, it does seem to position itself in this manner; covering all aspects of the human psyche. However, does it attract or represent certain personality types more than others? Clearly it depends on the branch of GL you are talking about. Satanism, and 'dark' Luciferianism and Gnostic Luciferianism, for example, do tend to attract a large proportion of dominant and controlling personality types (see the personality types page in the psychology section - c/f 'red' personality type) or those who are trying to nurture these qualities to overcompensate for their imbalanced (and 'weak' or 'insecure') personality type in previous years.
When we consider the 'darker' side or the more ego oriented side, there are many different frames of mind, emotions and mind sets, some of which are good (in moderation), some of which can be good or bad depending on the context and others are generally bad, and are not something we may want to embrace on a regular basis at all as they are inherently destructive and counterproductive. Exactly which of these one should want to regularly nurture to be balanced and which one wants to avoid is a matter for the individual to figure out. Clearly some conflict with the values and principles of GL. Some Christians may associate all of them with being 'bad', although this is not indeed the case universally. Each individual is different. Some of these are listed below: Hedonism, strength, evil, vengeance, jealousy, prejudice, anger, uncontrolled rage, hate, fear, insecurity, looking after yourself and your interests (but being mindful of others) vs being selfish, greed, glutony, immaturity, being purile, taking more than you put back/give, cruelty, lieing, using people, stealing, cheating on your partner, bullying, insulting people, sneaky and manipulative vs honourable, cowardice vs bravery, lust, power, etc. Some of the above are often associated with Satan as a deity or archetype, and indeed with Satanism more than necessarily GL.
There is a list of emotions or states of mind in the psychology section on the focus and belief page that are ascribed to various 'spiritual or consciousness levels' and how some forms of 'intelligence/wisdom/consciousness' are higher or lower than others. Check this out.
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.
The following quote from Carl Jung's 'Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious' seems to embody one aspect of the philosophy of Bestian Gnosticism and indeed Gnostic Luciferianism in general:
'Whoever looks into the mirror of the water (the unconscious) will see first of all his own face...the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor...the shadow is a living part of the personality and therefore wants to live with it in some form. It cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized into harmlessness.'
Followers of the LHP often cite the concept of the Jungian Shadow as a justification or reason for their lifestyle. Whether this is a primary or secondary reason may vary from individual to individual and may not always be known to the person also. For a discussion of the LHP and the Jungian Shadow, please see the Jungian Shadow and the Occult page.
Hedonism is in some respects a contradiction of the desire to escape from the 'prison' of the physical world. However, can one reconcile hedonism with the idea of Demiurge? If hedonism is balanced with asceticism, to create harmony, then presumably the idea of a Demiurge should be balanced with an occasional view of creation being really good and enjoyable and something to celebrate? Would this not represent true balance? Are 'arbitrary' beliefs in Demiurge limited beliefs? Or are they useful, empowering beliefs? Are they one or the other, ALL the time? This would be assuming a literal theistic Gnostic belief, or viewing it in terms of Classic Gnosticism, which is not necessarily relevant here.
I regard the prophets and teachers of other religions as embodying aspects of the 'Divine' or of Self-wisdom (in different ways and to different extents), but they are not actually Divine, angels or Aeons. They are wise and spiritual teachers. With one exception, the view of Jesus. I am prepared to keep an open mind about the nature of Jesus and his true message. As there are so many different Lucifers in Gnostic Luciferianism, one could focus on just a few and totally miss the balanced picture, focussing on a narrow set of personality traits or emotions. Are there indeed enough Lucifers to really provide for each individual's particular spiritual and ego needs? I like the fact that one should choose who to pay attention to and be inspired by, but this goes without saying. I would not just belong to a group that told me what to believe, but would like to think that I would associate with people who inspired thought and the search for wisdom, and engaged in challenging and philsophical conversation. I am prepared to question his beliefs and change them, and not to be a slave to a particular set of values or beliefs for the sake of it, as the ideal for Gnostic Luciferians is also.
In some sense I believe that stigmatising and being hateful of creation, the physical world and the creator is reflective of a 'chip on one's shoulder' and that seed of hate may prevent someone from moving forward in terms of wisdom. I am a strongbeliever in self-actualisation, and clearly there are internal and external factors to one's situation and potential suffering, and of course factors beyond one's control, but often people are sabotaging their own lives, playing themselves, ruining their own health, letting society ruing their health or psychological wellbeing (not the fault of the creator God if people create a 'mixed bag' society where the ignorant are made to pay with their bodies and minds) and attracting bad situations into their lives by making poor decisions or associating with negative people or 'psychic vampires'. At the end of the day it is 'hard luck', but one should try to approach life with a sense of compassion but not beat oneself up about the cruel nature of our society. This is not God's fault! It is your/our fault and the inheritance of our ancestors short sightedness. Get over it. Going around hating anything is foolish and even childish. Surely, one should avoid being too dependent on one's physical environment and body, but at the same time embrace it with vitality and a sense of here and now, and now screw our bodies and minds up by being psychologically lazy and getting a 'quick fix' for our kicks.
Clearly, Gnostic Luciferianism, like the various branches of classic Gnosticism, can adopt a hard and fast dualistic position on Demiurge being 'evil', or it can soften the view somewhat, to adopt a more monistic view and to regard Demiurge as just 'ignorant' rather than evil. Some Gnostic Luciferian groups technically does not mandate a fixed belief system, religion or cosmology, and encourage members to bring their own faiths, beliefs and religions to the 'party'. However, one would have to share at least the general philosophy or principles regarding the cosmology and how they apply to one's day to day experience, even if one did not believe literally in the 'deities'. If one didn't, one would at least have to ask oneself why one is associating with others that do, and also being within a religious/occult organisation.
I believe in the concept of spiritual self-awareness and self-actualisation, as you can gather from this web site. This web site is all about self-empowerment and self-actualisation, being in harmony with you mind and body, with your heart, with your Will, and creating the body you want on the tiniest cellular level (through healthy eating, avoiding toxins and drugs, detoxifying your body and even electromagnetically stimulating your body), energising your whole being by getting in touch with the universal principle of creation and creativity (God), creating the beliefs you want and that serve you best in life to be truly fulfilled, wise and in touch with yourself, your soul and humanity. This web site is by no means perfect, and does not represent the entirely of knowledge on these subjects by any means, but the Will to self-actualise as much as possible is there! In many senses then, the spirit of this web site is in synch with the philosophy behind Gnostic Luciferianism, even if it does not share all the cosmological beliefs which in my view are in some cases somewhat arbitrary. The main sticking point could be said to be the concept of 'Self-Deification'. It depends on what you mean by this. Clearly Self-Actualisation is in some respects Self-Deification. Is becoming more in tune with the gifts and powers of God Self-Deification? Or it is a New Age view? Or is it a Right-Hand desire to join and be with God (in a humble manner)? It is open to interpretation.
One thing that I have noticed about Gnostic Luciferian Sects, some more than others, is that they are all willing to embrace the idea of fulfillment and hedonism, and to satisfy the ego, to varying degrees (some more balanced and mature than others), but certain aspects of fulfilling the ego's needs and wants are not addressed. For example, the ego has a need for love and to be loved. This is not often fashionable for adherents of the Left-Hand Path but nevertheless is something that virtually all Left-Handed Path adherents experience, even if just for fleeting moments, in a variety of different ways and contexts. Sincerity and passion is there. Some Gnostic Luciferians who regard Satan as a great role model or deity to worship may indeed downplay and compartmentalise this need for love and connection and companionship in the ego as it is considered 'soft', but doing so results in a serious imbalance and sense of not being fully satisfied over a period of time. It is a suppression of one part of the ego self and overcompensating with another part. Both aspects are part of your 'self'. Love should be somewhere in the principles or mission statements of any good Gnostic Luciferian Sect, and we are not just talking about sexual love (Thelema blurs the distinctions between hedonistic sex and brotherly love to some extent), but emotional and spiritual love. Clearly Gnostic Luciferianism is very varied and heterogeneous, and Sects/Orders vary in their emphasis, but I am slightly unsettled by the prominence of Theistic/Polytheistic Satanism within Bestian Gnosticism and Gnostic Luciferianism (at the time of writing). I can understand it being there to some degree, in a small part, but it's disproportionate representation is in my view unbalanced and reflective of the ego's obsession with the 'dark' or 'negative' and 'low level'. This of course does not apply to all Sects, as we have seen above, but the fact that it can affect some in this manner may reflect badly on Gnostic Luciferianism as a whole (whether it is the potential for such things or the thought of potentially associating with pure Satanists in a religious context which is the last thing I am interested in).
One may consider Gnostic Luciferianism and related philosophies, such as Bestian Gnosticism, 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 and Bestian Gnosticism (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.
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.
In some respect, each person may have needs to express themselves or to release tension or aggression in a controlled or perhaps uncontrolled manner. There are numerous activities, sports and outlets such for venting frustration in this manner. These are not necessarily things that one should shy away from. Nor are they necessarily areas that one should nurture. However, be that as it may, most people if not everyone has a need to 'let off steam' occasionally so it does not adversely affect their personality. In the same sense, one may well have areas that one would like to explore or understand, on some level - these may be taboos or things one is attracted to, things that one fears or has a stigma regarding. By exploring them from a position of 'safety', with a calm mind and level head, one can evaluate what it is about these things that is attractive and what it is about these things that one finds fearful or distasteful; why it is that one is attracted and/or fearful towards them and what parts of one's personality are unfulfilled or repressed such that one has this attitude towards them. Or perhaps by more closely observing those involved in this area and examining the associated philosophies and practices without actually directly immersing oneself in them. It could be considered partially embracing them, to 'taste them' and to understand them, so that one can move on and leave them behind with no stigma, but a better understanding of oneself. Perhaps this is what is meant by the 'mire' of the human soul or embracing one's shadow. Of course, it is easy to perhaps embrace something 'too much', so one loses one's sense of perspective (e.g. getting involved in recreational drug use, becoming a Neo-Nazi Skinhead, becoming a Satanist etc.), and that one in fact nurtures or conditions oneself in one particular direction at the expense of some of one's other personal qualities and fundamental human needs. This is where exploration of the human soul and the 'mire' becomes counter-productive, unbalanced and destructive. This is not conducive to self-knowledge and may be a phase one gets stuck in - and perhaps never gets out of - or gets out of many years later. Some regard phases or belief systems/religions as stepping stones in the path towards enlightenment. Others regard them as false ideas and a waste of time once they come out the other side. One's life experiences form who we are, depending on what beliefs we associate with those experiences, and indeed the same experience may be positive for one person and negative for another...
Some might compare Gnostic Luciferianism (or perhaps Luciferianism in general) with The Process Church of the Final Judgement, with it's embracing of Christ, Lucifer and Satan. Clearly there are differences, as Gnostic Luciferianism, as with Gnosticism in general, does not recognise Jehovah (or Demiurge) as anything positive, whereas The Process Church did. The Process Church held many Luciferian doctrines but perhaps did not have the concept of Gnosis (and escaping the 'prison' of perpetual reincarnation) that is central to much of Gnostic Luciferianism. It believed more than Jesus and Satan would come together as one in the Final Judgement. The ideas of The Process Church are said to have inspired Charles Manson in his serial killing spree.
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. Those who I have observed in this 'category' or who are affiliated with such groups are on the whole not as balanced as they perhaps like to think they are. The groups tend to focus more on the occult and 'darker' issues rather than the light of archetypes or Lucifers of Buddha and Christ. Dark always seems to predominate. 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 cleary 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 suit different temperaments and personality types, and different philosophies. I have personally found, with limited exposure (and not really in a position to comment in an authoritative manner), that the Ordo Luciferi seems the most 'balanced' and mature of the groups, in a relative sense, although he still considers the balance to be slightly off even here. However, this perception may change with further inside knowledge and exposure.
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 believe that those Gnostic Luciferian web sites that promote the ideas of balance and recognise Lucifers such as Buddha or Jesus should indeed consider being more balanced and less 'goth' or 'serious' and lighten up a little, and show some colourful, indeed beautiful pictures of landscapes, depictions of uplifting spiritual relevations etc. rather than explicit or dark themes which seem to dominate. In addition, instead of using a black page colour, why not spice things up a little, 'sex' them up, with white, yellow or multi-colours? Inject a little actual visual 'chaos'? Some humour? Sure, Gnostic Luciferians believe in the principle of aesthetics, but there is clearly a bias towards 'goth' or 'death' rather than pictures of smiling babies or people having fun or feeling beautiful. Can we have more pictures of Jesus and Buddha please rather than beasts and skulls? Of course, some occult group members argue that one's perception of beauty evolves or changes so that one sees beauty where one may have been repulsed, scared or offended. Whilst this may be true, it does not explain why there is a strong bias towards more 'disturbing' or darker imager, rather than a balanced approach, using the classically beautiful and the sense of 'acquired beauty' in equal proportion.
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.
The act of joining a group or being give an arbitrary grade by a senior member does not necessarily mean anything of itself. Those of higher or lower grades are known to spout garbage on occasion or to make substandard jokes - wisdom does not always come from 'higher grades' but can come from anywhere, anyone (no matter how much you like or respect them) and at anytime. The key is to pick out those 'gems' for oneself and to use them and develop them further to enhance one's own understanding, from any source. Wisdom does not only come from within the auspices of LHP internet forums, and the rather limited scope of people's perspectives therein, and quite often comes mainly from outside, from one's own life experiences and attaching meaning to events and experiences - approached with the right attitude and asking the right questions of oneself. Quite often the thoughts and ideas that are presented as wisdom within Gnostic Luciferian or indeed other LHP forums or arenas is highly 'fluffed up' mind candy with only the barest of wisdom or content, 'sexed up' to sound very impressive - often with very few specifics. Once in a while one may be pleasantly suprised however and learn something new or of interest, but this has to be balanced against the amount of time one would have to spent in the group and be around long enough to be there when it happens. Is this a productive use of your time? Is an internet forum a place to learn and occasionally visit or is it a place for those who are socially awkward (in the real workd) to mingle? Often the whole format of internet groups and how people communicate is rather flawed and many people erect barriers or simply are there to say their piece rather than genuinely listen to others. Good conversations are usually those one has in person. In general one would probably learn more from reading known source material than talking to fellow group members, but this is not so 'sexy' or psychologically addictive. For some, joining a Gnostic Luciferian or other occult internet-based group may be exciting at first, with many minds and personalities to mingle with and discuss topics with, but for some, they gain as much as they probably will from at least most of the members after a few weeks or months, and it starts to get a bit 'old' after thatand one feels like one has outgrown it and it has outlived it's usefulness. Of course, if one enjoys the format of communication and gets on well with members, and has lower expectations in terms of actual technical and specific content, and one has nothing better to do with one's time, and one enjoys the internet type group mentality and format of communication, one may continue to enjoy it for a long time. It ultimately comes down to how often you get a useful insight or enjoy yourself to how much time you have to put in.
The main focus of Gnostic Luciferian groups is on occult ritual, being the Luciferian method, with these other intellectual pursuits and indeed the Gnostic mythos and philsophy being held as sound lines of enquiry but often taking a firm backseat. Some consider a major part of illuminism to be well versed in theology as a whole and to make this a primary area of study, to the point where one is better educated than one who has a PhD in Theology and Philosophy. Otherwise one is perhaps only kidding oneself, relying on vague and flippant anecdotes from one's fellow group/forum members for one's religious education. The key is to find out for oneself and really study hard. Are most Gnostic Luciferians this motivated or are they more interested in lazy hedonism and the occult? Wisdom, education, charisma and an open mind and heart occurring simultaneously in a individual of a Gnostic Luciferian group is a rare commodity in my opinion and from my limited experience. Despite claims of wisdom and illumination, focus is often rather dark in nature and not as balanced as one would have hope, and there is an alaming number of short fuses, and occurrence of impolite behaviour and goth tastes!
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!
I agree with many or most of the philosophical principles of Gnostic Luciferianism, and believes that there are many things one can learn from GL, but it is just that when it gets down to theological and cosmological concepts, occult practice and the nitty gritty, that issues start to arise. Whilst I enjoy discussing philosophy and religion in various Gnostic Luciferian internet forums, and mingling with Gnostic Luciferian adherents electronically, I actually had very little in common on a personal level (at the time) and in terms of application of the philsophy and beliefs (in particular, the occult) with most adherents. Ultimately, I am not an occultist. I don't concede that one has to accept the entirety of a religion or philosophy just because it is presented as a 'package'. But pursuing one's own path and making one's own decisions, in a sense one is following a 'Left-Handed Path' even if it may not be classically a Left-Hand Path or indeed Left-Handed at all. God can be interpreted in so many different ways. God doesn't necessarily have to be one thing or the other. Why don't you ask him and find out? One could also argue that I am embodying the spirit of Gnosticism, Gnostic Luciferianism and Thelema, but following his Will, his true purpose and calling. This right now happens to be spreading as much factual information about health, psychology and also religion (in as far as I have experience) with the world! To empower others to break free of the chains of ill health, poor diet, low energy, addictive negative psychological patterns and to question one's core beliefs and to think about what one is doing. And generally expressing himself. My Will is to examine various concepts, ideas and approaches, take what is useful and reject/discard what he deems to be less useful, but at least try to understand it and be honest with himself. I have put my experience and understanding into his own framework, and presenting it for hopefully the benefit and interest of others, who may similarly choose to take on board whatever they choose and to understand/adopt these ideas, pieces of information and principles in their own way, and to the extent of their choosing. If I have come across excessively critical about your faith or belief system, then it is nothing personal. I just wants to stimulate thought and questions, and try to look at both sides of the equation.
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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