Satanism and Luciferianism - Part 3
Last Updated: 15 July 2014
Theistic Concepts of SatanChristians did not first create the concept of 'The Devil', the evil God or the dark Lord. It has been a recurrent theme in other religions albeit usually focussing on the 'destroyer' aspects, as one force of many in nature. The big question for many Christians is whether the various (predominantly pagan) deities that are commonly associated with Satan (by Christians) are actually this perceived 'evil Satan' or not. Clearly the nature of these Gods is different to the Hebew God and they are not referring to the Hebrew God. Depending on which God one is talking about, there is often a great deal of overlap, as described above. For those entertaining the notion of the Christian Devil, one can only really say for sure in all cases by studying closely the nature of the religions around each God, and how it feels in a spiritual sense, and what other religions it feels most spiritually akin to. Perhaps one can liken it to comparing the God of Islam, Judaism and Christianity as being the same God - some will argue that it is one and the same, but worshipped in different ways and perceived according to slightly different sets of belief systems. Others will argue that they are clearly not the same, and that one is the true God and the others are either false Gods or perverted interpretations of the same God. So perhaps similar approaches could be adopted to the Gods that are associated by Christians with Satan. Some argue it is narrow minded to call other monotheists wrong (e.g. a Christian calling a Muslim wrong, or a Catholic calling a Protestant a 'false' Christian', etc.), but that it is a different culture's way of perceiving the same God. Perhaps the same is true of other ancient religions.
Satanism as it exists today, in both its 'Modern' (LaVey or Atheistic) and 'Traditional' (Theistic) forms, is heavily influenced by ancient Egyptian and Sumerian mysticism and deities, as well as nihilism, hedonism, capitalism, and modern occultism. The philosophical differences between other reconstructionists, say pagans, and Satanists and indeed other occultists is in execution and the spirit in which it is engaged in. There is a large amount of overlap. So whilst the deities discussed above are equated with being the Christian version of 'Satan', i.e. the Devil, they are also regarded by many Satanists as being representations of 'Satan', i.e. the archetype or actual deity as an aspect of Satan, or literally Satan.
One could argue that Theistic Satanism is in fact just a form of dark paganism. If one venerates and worships different 'aspects' of Satan, being represented by different named Gods, i.e. Ba'al or Lucifer, then surely in some sense this is almost identical to actually worshipping these as separate, unconnected, but 'dark' entities as a dark pagan would? This is probably why there is considerable common ground between dark pagans and Theistic Satans, and indeed, many Theistic Satans consider themselves as polytheists rather than monotheists or panentheists.
Theistic Satanists argue that 'Satan' puts ideas and dark thoughts into their minds as a form of questioning, to keep one 'real', giving people a choice of dark deeds which they may or may not choose to actually follow (but presenting options, as 'freedom'), and constantly questioning one's environment, as a form of wisdom. However, one could argue that by that very nature, 'Satan' should also put positive and good natured thoughts into people's minds, and use positive questioning, as employed by psychotherapists and NLP practitioners! But does this actually happen? Or is it focussed on the 'dark' side, the negative side? Is the ratio of positive and enlightening to dark and critical an equal 50/50 split?! Without conscious effort, negative thoughts greatly outnumber positive thoughts. Is it easier to be critical and negative or creative, empowering and positive? Clearly the latter. With many people, the negative thoughts come out as default. Is having thoughts of jealousy, revenge, getting one's own back, punishing someone for an 'injustice', inadequacy or depression empowering or providing us with wisdom, and giving us more sound choices? Sometimes an individual may have momentary thoughts of violence and retribution, even rape and murder, that pass in a split second or matter of seconds. Are such thoughts providing us with useful options and allowing us to question our environment? Or is our mind just a runaway train full of chaotic thoughts, pulling in different directions, according to the various core beliefs we have about ourselves and our environment, both positive and negative? Is such 'questioning' just a result of conditioning, instigated by other people's fears, or those thoughts we are conditioned to associate with certain situations? Are such 'questioning' thoughts an effect of the negative core beliefs and addictive thought patterns and pattern of focus of the conscious mind, manifesting themselves in ways that we can feel powerful and good about ourselves (as our belief system does not allow us to feel good about ourselves in normal 'operation')? Putting someone down may make us feel temporarily better about ourselves, but in the long term, it is not going to work! It is often easier to feel empowered or in control by destroying something rather than creating something. Destructive thoughts come much easier than creative ones, and do not threaten the ego or require the addictive negative patterns of the ego to take a back seat or to be controlled in any way.
If one is looking for people who formally declared themselves as 'Satanists' prior to 1966, then of course they may well be few and far between. It is likely that in Western Industrial societies, society as a whole was not ready for such declarations and for formal 'Satanic' churches, which the rebelliousness, bohemian and free thinking approach of the 1960s enabled. It is likely that if Anton LaVey had wanted to form the CoS before the 1960s, it would not have taken off in the same manner. Society was much more controlled in spiritual terms prior to this. The CoS no doubt laid the ground for the launch of other Theistic Satanic churches. It is most likely that Satanism or worship or a 'Devil' or dark Lord in the literal sense existed behind closed doors and within secret societies and also within the inner circles of certain major Christian religious institutions, behind closed doors. One may find circumstantial evidence and witness statements for this on the internet or elsewhere.
It is likely that many people who call themselves Satanists today are in fact worshipping the Biblical concept of Satan - because of cultural conditioning of the notions of the 'Devil'. Such people may include certain teenagers and rock stars, who feel they are 'hard' and 'evil' if they make this claim or association. Few traditional Theistic Satanists have this concept of a Biblical Satan, and are not quite the same as these other Satanists, who are often more in the public eye. As stated elsewhere, those who worship a Biblical Satan believe in Jesus and God, but choose to worship their polar opposite, whereas many traditional Theistic Satanists do not believe in the existance of Jesus or God, or downplay their importance and position relative to Satan.
It could be argued that in some sense the Satan of the New Testament and of Theistic Satanism is a collective term for dark spirits, the concept used in certain religions. Perhaps in this sense paganism can be associated with Satanism. That is not necessarily putting a value judgement on 'dark spirits'. Indeed, those doctrines that worship the 'devil', reject the concept of the Hebrew God being the true God or existing at all, in which case Theistic Satanism never required Christianity or other monotheistic religions to exist in the first place. Whether you believe that some or all of these different names refer to the same thing is the real issue here. Are all the pagan Gods of historical faiths real? Or are they often describing a smaller number of entities or 'demons'? Or aspects of a smaller number of entities or 'demons'? Or are they describing perceived (real or false) spiritual aspects of the natural world they see around them? Or are they worshipping aspects of Satan? Or perhaps a mixture of both God and Satan (i.e. aspects of 'goodness'/God and aspects of Satan)? So perhaps pagans (e.g. Wiccans) and/or certain other monotheists (e.g. Luciferians, Rosicrucians, Thelemists or even Christians who dabble in New Age or Occult practices) are worshipping the same God as Christians, but also are worshipping/institutionalising the 'darker' or 'ego' side in some sense (interpreted as Satan in this context)? Or is this worshipping of the 'Devil' or dark force just the worship of a collection of 'demons'? So perhaps they are worshipping certain aspects of God and also certain practices are using the power of certain demons? Perhaps even there is no Satan or pagan Gods, but that one is in fact worshipping the dark side of one's ego (or 'dark' aspects of one's own psyche in a Jungian sense). Or perhaps one could interpret it as a balance of suppressing the ego and embodying the spirit of love versus the celebration of the ego through various more egotistical practices. Clearly, if one believes that one is worshipping both the 'good' (i.e. selfless) and 'bad' (self), whatever they might be, then the worshipping the bad will affect one's ability to really connect with the good in the same way as another who worships or embraces the 'bad' to a lesser extent. It could be argued that the vast majority of Christians serve themselves in many aspects of their lives anyway, and so are not really embodying the spirit of the teachings of Jesus (a large proportion of the followers of any religion are going to be hypocites of varying degrees) - but that the embodiment of embracing the ego is not (usually) formally institutionalised in worship or their religious belief system, but is just a result of conflict of values or not embracing the religion to that full an extent. Of course, it is up to the individual to what extent they want to adopt a set of values and what they do, and it is not up to others to judge their 'performance' or consistency.
Ultimately, it comes down to how much Theistic Satanism draws on past pagan and old panentheistic religions and practices, and it is clear that there is a very heavy reliance on these other Gods and Deities. So there is a relationship between many of them and Satan, it is just a matter of how much and in what manner. See the section above on Freemasonry and occultism. The way to decide for yourself is to examine the concepts, symbols and beliefs around each of these 'allegedly different' entities and religions. Remember the CoS law of being mindful of historical orthodoxies and not making incorrect historical statements!
A article by F.D. Lamb on the origins of Satanism, in Italian, can be read at the link below.