The Church of Satan, created by Anton Szandor LaVey in 1966 that he named the Age of Satan by self-proclaiming himself as High Priest of the first Church of Satan saw the light of day in the sixties.
A New Vision
Affectionately known as The Black Pope and Satanists’ “Prime Mover,” born in Chicago in 1930 relocated to California soon after. In his youth, Anton learned about superstitions and lore from his eastern European grandmother. His interested, peaked by these stories, absorbed himself in darker literature such as Dracula and Frankenstein.
Anton also became a fan of pulp magazines and characters such as Ming the Merciless and historical figures such as Rasputin, undoubtedly inspired his diabolical transformation into the shaven-headed goat and the creed he created. These childhood influences served as new fuel for his reverence of the darker side of human nature.
After years of lectures and research as well as the mammoth task of codifying Satanism, Anton, at the suggestion of his close friends wove all the pieces of his carnal system of thought into a real religious text.
He named it the “Satanic Bible.” It has since then never been out of print and has sold over a million copies. The current high priest of the church of Satan, Peter H Gilmore, has since published his book offering a more current incarnation titled the “Satanic Scriptures,” a deliberate theatrical oxymoron.
This statement, however, does not imply the original to be out of date. With Satanism being a religion with a huge emphasis on individuality, personal growth and expanding ideas rather than stubbornly clinging to the past, this ethos, as well as the concepts of updating and adapting methods, are a vital mechanism for Satanism.
Many other books and articles published in regard to the subject; include titles such as Infernalia by Michael Rose, The Satanic Warlock by Dr. Robert Johnson and The Satanic Witch by Anton Szandor LaVey.
The presently out of print satanic magazine, The Black Flame, served as a platform for the promotion and defense of Satanism during a time in the American eighties known as ‘The Satanic Panic’ during which a media frenzy erupted following claims of ritual abuse supposedly perpetrated by Satanists. These claims, of course, were unsubstantiated.
In the satanic bible are listed a set declaration known as The Nine Satanic Statements, they list as follows.
- Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence.
- Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams.
- Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit.
- Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates.
- Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek.
- Satan represents responsibility for the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires.
- Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who, because of his divine spiritual and intellectual development, has become the most vicious animal of all.
- Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental or emotional gratification.
- Satan is the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years.
Rules & Sins
The church has since published two other lists; The Eleven Satanic rules of the earth or the Lex Satanicus and The Satanic Sins. Both of which are in The Satanic Scriptures and also include the same simultaneous emphasis on self-responsibility and personal freedom.
Such as these two phrases from the eleven rules, when in another’s lair, show him respect or do not go there, compared to: If a guest in your lair annoys you, oppress him and without mercy. The sum of these two statements suggests that a desire for balance plays a big part in Satanic morality.
The use of the Satan character and the character of the adversary in general, as well as the pentagram, were intended partly to symbolize The church of Satan’s defiant stance in opposition of traditional religious values, as well as their contemporary sense of morality.
The blasphemous implications associated with these symbols and their intentionally use to mock and disparage long-held beliefs regarding the eternal adversary and the ideals he represents.
Although the imagery also serves as a visual aid to the Satanic vision of self-deification, in a purely metaphorical sense, Satanists see themselves as their devils or gods and are duty bound to strive to achieve and obtain the best from their lives and share those rewards with those they love.
Magic & Rituals
Some Satanists perform ritualistic magic, or greater magic, which are carefully curated ceremonies designed to shut out any distraction and focus the participants’ will on whatever the ritual is.
However, Satanists do not believe in magic in the traditional sense and see it as a psychodrama to catalyze personal change. Anton LaVey states in the Satanic Bible that; ”There is a beast in man that needs to be exercised, not exorcized.”
This statement suggests an acknowledgment of human nature and the belief that it pushes and pulls almost all of the human animal’s endeavors. It also implies healthier ways to live your life as it would be to give in to indulgences and desires rather than repressing one’s true self.
Another form of magic given a name by Satanism is lesser magic. Lesser magic is the none conventional technique of employing your skills and talents to obtain what you want from your life.
Mentioned above can include the deliberate choosing of clothes and appearance, as well as the use of sexuality and charisma as ways to manipulate and charm people in given situations that further your goals.