Colin Low: "What is Satanism?"
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What is Satanism?

According to the common definition, it is the worship of the fallen angel Satan by performing acts of evil. The truth of the matter is, that though there are diverse concepts of Satanism, few who call themselves such would consider the above statement to be remotely accurate.

Satanic perspectives range from those which are totally atheistic, to those which revere Satan as a god. How Satanism can exist yet not be a pursuit of "evil"- is resolved when one considers that most Satanists do not believe in evil at all, and virtually all disagree with the various JudeoChri stian understandings of Satan. Those who do believe in an entity called Satan, tend to believe that the behavior and intent of the being is both noble and misinterpreted.

Satanists remain at odds with a society so suffused with JudeoChristian ideals, that their perspectives are rarely listened to with an open mind. Here is my understanding of the "Satanic Scene"

The best known figure in modern Satanism is Anton LaVey, whose Church of Satan is agnostic with regards to Satan himself, and promotes a perspective of religio-philosophic materialism. Those who look towards LaVey for inspiration, feel that Sa tanism is the pursuit of the passionate and intelligent qualities of life.

Another well known leader of Satanism is Michael Aquino, whose Temple of Set splintered away from LaVey's organization over philosophic differences. The Temple of Set worships a dark god who has histor ically manifested as both Set and Satan, and revealed a philosophy of self-improvement called "Xeper". The Setian perspective, though rich in Egyptian imagery, owes a lot to the writings of Plato, Pythagoras, and Crowley.

Outside of the United States, a fairly large number of small Satanic organizations operate- many it seems, in New Zealand. Though largely discounted by members of the first two groups, various Yoruban-Syncretic religions which formed when African slaves settled in colonial lands, have public and popular worship of Satan, whom they call Exu.

And if that were not all, many independant Satanic thinkers exist, such as Tyagi Nagasiva, and Diane Vera, with slants on Satanism quite unlike that of all of the others. One such independant is the controversial and prolific Tani Jantsang, who claims to be a generational Satanist. Her perspective revolves around Satan as an elemental force, bloodlines, and natural living.

An excellent source of information on Satanism is the Alt.Satanism FAQ v2.3, currently maintained by Lupo LeBoucher. Despite mutual and public antipathy between him and some members of the Setian priesthood, his document is probably the d efinitive overview of Satanism online and offline.

[SNIP -- see the fine original for its Satanism Archive within the Necronomi.con Grimoire!!]

Related sites of interest:
The Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Satanism Bibliography: composite booklist of relevant sources on Satanity and devildom, by category
Satanic Blood Pact: explanation of how, why, and when to make a blood pact with the Devil
      Adversarial AEon Begins: the particular and specific incident of a Satanic Blood Pact described
Manifesto Satanika: a generalized Satanic sociopolitical manifesto, with a helpful elaboration
nocTifer: a tender-hearted Satanian (nagasiva yronwode) in all avenues of expression
      Bookmarks in compilation from the Magus of the AEon of the Adversary

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
      Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century hoodoo accounts, with ex-slave narratives & interviews
      Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: readings and hoodoo services
      Hoodoo Library facilitating an education on conjure, and help procuring modern sources
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, and a way to obtain them
Free Spells from eclectic witches, Coven Kyklos, in their Book of Shadows, called "Spiritual Spells"
Lucky Mojo Spell Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, and more
Mystic Tea Room: tea leaf reading, teacup divination, and a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Tarosymbolismatrix Tetraktypisciseferoticus: the symbolic foundation of a novel Tarot deck
Change Oracle: rudiments of Yijing (I Ching) and several means of using it for readings
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Usenet FAQ Archive: arcane and spiritual FAQs and REFs, brought to you by Lucky Mojo
YIPPIE: the Yronwode Institution, bearing the standard of indigenous ethnomagicology

Arcane Archive: thousands of archived usenet posts on religion, magic, mysticism, and spirituality
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: inter-faith; candle services; Smallest Church in the World
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century occultist