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Hello from the Little Beast Hello there.

I figured this was the place you introduce yourself. I've been a practitioner of traditional Satanism for a couple of decades, so thought I'd sign up here.

I follow a Gnostic approach, utilising the untitled text of the Nag Hammadi library ("On the Origin of the World" to scholars, from Codex II Book V and Codex XIII Book II) as a metaphysical set of guidelines to theology and the Ophite Prayers as recounted by Origen (in Contra Celsum) as a ritual basis. I mention this simply to clarify I don't identify as a member of the Current 218 - nor do I have any problem with their approach.

I'd also like to mention it's great to see an online forum of this kind that doesn't appear to be pure egotism and mudslinging. That's... why I'm here.

September 13, 2018, 09:58:17 am
Re: making a list of notable Satanist organizations/sects
Here's some defunct classics for ya:

Our Lady of Endor Coven of the Ophite Gnostic Cultus Sathanas
(1948; founded by Herbert Sloane)

This is kind of debatable as to being defunct. While Sloane is the originator of both the Our Lady of Endor Coven and the Ophite Cultus Sat(h)anas he referred to his group (which formed and disbanded several times) as simply being a coven of the cult. Over the years various Gnostic groups (including one I'm part of) have adopted his Ophite Cultus Satanas concept as simply a by-word for Gnostic Satanism, and have referred to ourselves being "coven x" of such.

In the case of the groups I'm aware of this was found useful to differentiate ourselves from more well known Temple of the Black Light, which is usually what people think of if Satanism or Luciferianism is mentioned in a Gnostic context. By this I mean we're not the Ophite Cultus Satanas, but that we follow paradigms which are Ophite, Satanic, and are religious in nature and relatively small... thus a cult.

I know that's semantics but thought I'd share the info.

EDIT: I'll make a post in the Satanism subforum to clarify this point for those interested.

September 14, 2018, 12:33:06 am
Gnosticism, Satanism and the Ophite Cultus Satanas These days it's fairly well known an eccentric American hairdresser named Herbert Sloane founded the Ophite Cultus Satanas (in either 1948 or 1968), which variously disbanded and reformed several times as the Our Lady of Endor Coven. Sloane used reading from Hans Jonas' book The Gnostic Religion during "witches sabbaths" held on the Full Moon, and adhered to the belief that Satan or the Serpent of the Garden of Eden (who he referred to Sathan or Sathanas) was the messager of the Hidden God, an infinite intelligence unknowable to finite minds.

This concept is recognisable as generally Gnostic in approach, and Sloane blended this belief with influences from Spiritualism and the Wiccan religion of Gerald Gardner. Sloane also referred to himself as a Doctor, had a fondness for Halloween kitch, did tea and tarot readings, and used a life size doll called April Belle as a talisman. Today Sloane's approach to Satanism would come across as quite "naff" or quaint in a world where the elite humanist materialism of the Church of Satan is more famous or the secretive Order of Nine Angles whisper about culling the herd. Despite this, various groups have also adopted a Gnostic approach to Satanism. The most well known of these easily being the Temple of the Black Light, but myriad others exist in some form or another.

If someone at any stage forms a Church or a Temple and dedicates it to Satan, they won't be the first to do so. If they're inclined to call these new groups the Church of Satan or The Satanic Temple there's no reason they can't. If it happens to be a Church, it might not be the Church of Satan (TM) founded by Anton Szandor LaVey, but it's still a Church of Satan. The actual meaning of words will always win out over who monetised them.

Likewise, usage of the term Ophite Cultus Satanas didn't end with Sloane or his Our Lady of Endor coven. Other covens, including my own and at least one other I'm aware of have adopted Sloane's concept to refer to the rather obvious pairing of Satanism with a Gnostic outlook. We may not have adopted his sermons or specific approach, but in a world where Satanism is usually associated with "elite mega evil ubergoth edgelords" all trying to out-do themselves with how utterly sad and pretentious they are it's good to have some sort of label to disassociate yourself from the empty cans that rattle the most.

I can't speak for other covens, but my own group found the idea of a funny little barber running a low key off-and-on coven inspiring and refreshing, and so adopted the Ophite Cultus Satanas as our own. We have almost no mystique, our individual views range from theistic to atheistic, and our members apart from having a general Gnostic outlook approach the occult and life in general on their own terms.

September 14, 2018, 02:21:04 am
Re: Gnosticism, Satanism and the Ophite Cultus Satanas I'm quite humbled at this suggestion coming from a site admin. I've got a fair amount of material I can share on the forum regarding the Gnostic Satanic paradigms, just would take a bit of editing for online consumption but certainly could be done.
September 14, 2018, 03:31:44 am
Re: Gnosticism, Satanism and the Ophite Cultus Satanas Thank you both, it's a privilege to be able to share. Seems I've definitely got some work cut out for me, I'll put up the notice to sticky shortly.
September 14, 2018, 03:53:54 am
Gnostic Satanism This subforum is dedicated to those paradigms within Satanism that fall into a Gnostic category; ie; that deal with an acosmic approach to the notion of the Divine and its applicability to Satanism. Such schools of thought or religious approaches include but are not limited to:

"Traditional" Gnostic Satanism
Groups that directly utilise the Gnostic approach, primarily drawing from Gnostic scripture concerning the role of the Serpent and the Tree of Knowledge.

Temple of the Black Light
Eclectic anti-cosmic Satanism with a unique deific pantheon centred on the Dragon Azerate.

Templum Falcis Cruentis
Eclectic Qayinic (Cainite) worship syncretic with the Argentinian cult of San La Muerte.

Syncretic blend of the Gnostic approach to Old Norse sorcery and giantology, with Loki fulfilling the role of Luciferian lightbringer.

September 14, 2018, 04:25:24 am
The "Ophite Prayers" in ritual usage

This text demonstrates usage of the “Ophite Prayers” as presented in ritual practice and an exceedingly brief and overtly simplified summary of concepts used in traditional Gnostic Satanism. The foundational structure of this is found within an unnamed text within the Hag Hammadi scriptures known to scholars as “On the Origin of the World” (Codex II Book V and Codex XIII Book II). What is of particular import about this scripture is its presentation of the Gnostic mindset separate from that of the Gnostic Christian viewpoint. Common motifs and themes from Judaism and Christianity are present interwoven with concepts from Egyptian and Greek mythology, all standing curiously displaced from their usual symbolism. The utilisation of the term Ophite to describe this variation of Gnostic Satanism aptly represents this “displacement”, as it is the being usually presented as the Serpent in the Garden of Eden who functions in a heroic role. Predetermined definitions of what is “good” and what is “evil” are quickly flipped on their heads; from the outset of the text, this is presented as a false dichotomy. The material universe, and everything within it is presented as evil. The only good that exists within it is the acosmic pneuma (Spirit). This “alternate tale of Genesis” proceeds as follows:

Pistis Sophia (Faith/Wisdom) “gives birth” to the cosmic realm as an abortion, as “darkness” “bottomless water” and “bile”. This darkness becomes jealous of her light, and forms into the androgynous Yaldabaoth, the “child of chaos” or the demi-urge. Yaldabaoth then generates six androgynous children, the rulers or Archons. These are the cosmic powers. Their names are Yao, Sabaoth, Astaphaios, Elaios, Oraios and Adonaios. Yaldabaoth forms the Earth as his “footstool” and seven heavens for himself and his offspring. Astaphaios destroys his heaven and is cast down into Tartaros by Pistis Sophia. Yaldabaoth declares himself the one true god.

Pistis Sophia reprimands Yaldabaoth for this, and Sabaoth believes in her voice. There is a war the heavens. Sabaoth is lifted into the seventh heaven and taught about the eighth by Sophia Zoe (Wisdom/Life) daughter of Pistis Sophia. Yaldabaoth creates Death out of the death of Sabaoth, and demands proof of a god above him. As a result the “Adam of Light” or “Luminous Man of Blood” descends into the cosmic realms. This is the pneumatic or “spiritual man”. The femininity of Yaldabaoth (Pronoia or Providence) becomes enamored of the Luminous man, and pours her blood upon the ground. Out of this forms Eros, who in turn the Archons become enamored with. Plants blossom from the blood forming the Garden of Paradise “outside the orbit of the sun and the moon”. The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge which is “radiant like the moon when full” are formed. The femininity of Astaphaios (also called Sophia) forms the sun and moon.

Zoe creates a man, “the Beast” or “psychic man”. Yaldabaoth and his children form a man in their image but in the likeness of the Luminous man, and this is Adam or the “mundane man”.  The Archons try to seize Zoe but she disappears into the Tree of Knowledge, forming a replica of herself as Eve. This replica is raped by Yaldabaoth resulting in Abel. The Archons instruct Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, but the Beast urges them on saying “in death you shall not die” to thus opening their intellect to the nature of their making. They are thrown out of Paradise by the Archons. Zoe becomes enraged, and the Archons are cast out of the heavens and become the daemons of the earth. Everything then proceeds to the apocalypse, and Pistis Sophia destroys the Archons and their cosmic realms. The Hidden God is revealed.

A point could be made that if someone was to rewrite the Genesis story after having ingested a great amount of strong drugs something like this would be the end result. Whether “the trip” is a good or bad one depends on the perspective of what is learned from the story. From the Satanic perspective one can easily see the “Luminous Man of Blood” as a Luciferian or Promethean figure, descending from the acosmic heavens into the cosmos bearing the light of the Spirit, which get embedded in man and then awoken by the Beast fulfilling the role of both the Serpent and Satan. But again, this is all subjective perspective – something that once again seems to be thrown out the window when more details are revealed.

Like most of the characters in the story, Yaldabaoth has an alternative name; Samael, and he also notably has a role as both the god who creates the material man and as a daemon. This becomes even more interesting when it is he and his offspring who are addressed in the so-called “Ophite Prayers”, not the heroic Beast or the liberators of the Gnostics. These prayers aren’t prayers at all, they are quite simply one of the earliest recorded rituals of daemonology known. They are commands for the daemons to open the gates of the mind.

So too, the feminine or alternative names of the Archons are revealing. Yao is Lordship, Sabaoth is Divinity, Astaphaios is Wisdom, Elaios is Jealousy, Oraios is Wealth and Adonaios is Kingship. They represent the mundane lawfulness of the cosmic mindset of man, a spiritless cycle of dominance hardcoded into the nature of material existence. The only thing that cannot be crushed, enslaved or exterminated is the Spirit itself. Whether the story of “On the Origin of the World” is believed in a theistic sense or received as a hardline nihilist tale of existential dread is ultimately irrelevant in the here-and-now. That is the brutally harsh reality of the Gnostic teaching. As anarchic and anti-authoritarian as its message may seem it still recognises the limitations of matter and human nature. In Hellenic myth, it is Pistis (Faith) that is the first of the daemons to come out of Pandora's Box.

Taking a cue from the Ophite Cultus Satanas, the earliest known Gnostic Satanic group, utilizing the “prayers” ritualistically is best suited for a full moon. This also has foundation in the scripture itself as symbolic of the Tree of Knowledge. The founder of the above group also used apple juice as an elixir representing eating of the forbidden fruit, although a "snakebite" (a mix of apple cider and beer) may be a little more symbolically appropriate. If grandiose ritualism isn't favourable to one's personal practice the first twelve words of the first stanza could simply be used as a monthly toast to the absurdities of life.

There is one more thing that should be taken into account before applying this as a ritual in Satanic context. The Ophite Prayers were recorded by Origen, a Christian theologian, eunuch, and aspirant to the Papacy. He recorded them as to contest the claims of the pagan philosopher Celsus in a work known as Contra Celsum. Celsus was concerned about the emergence of abhorrent Christian cults, and Origen was refuting his pagan opponent by explaining the rites of these Ophites and indeed how unchristian they were. There were certainly Ophite Christian sects during the early days of Christianity. “The Hypostasis of the Archons” is a text within the Nag Hammadi library that draws many parallels with “On the Origin of the World” but far more definitively Christian in outlook. Is an obscure set of prayers recorded by an enraged Christian eunuch and wannabe Pope valid as a Satanic rite? My own opinion on this is simply go down to your friendly local neighbourhood church and ask if they perform rituals evoking Samael that call on the Gnosis given to humanity by the Serpent. Satanism might be full of sectarian bickering about what it is constituted of but others opinions might be a little more honest and forthcoming.

"The Ophite Prayers"

I salute the one-formed king, the bond of blindness, complete oblivion, the first power, preserved by the Spirit of Providence and by Wisdom, from whom I am sent forth pure, being already part of the light of the son and of the father: grace be with me; yea, O father, let it be with me.

Thou, O first and seventh, who art born to command with confidence, thou, O Yaldabaoth, who art the rational ruler of a pure mind, and a perfect work to son and father, bearing the symbol of life in the character of a type, and opening to the world the gate which thou didst close against thy kingdom, I pass again in freedom through thy realm. Let grace be with me; yea, O father, let it be with me.

Thou, O second Yao, who shinest by night who art the ruler of the secret mysteries of son and father, first prince of death, and portion of the innocent, I am ready to pass through thy realm, having strengthened him who is born of thee by the living word. Grace be with me; father, let it be with me.

O governor of the fifth realm, powerful Sabaoth, defender of the law of thy creatures, who are liberated by thy grace through the help of a more powerful Pentad, admit me, seeing the faultless symbol of their art, preserved by the stamp of an image, a body liberated by a Pentad. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me.

O Astaphaios, ruler of the third gate, overseer of the first principle of water, look upon me as one of thine initiated, admit me who am purified with the spirit of a virgin, thou who seest the essence of the world. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me.

O Elaios, governor of the second gate, let me pass, seeing I bring to thee the symbol of thy mother, a grace which is hidden by the powers of the realms. Let grace be with me, O father, let it be with me.

Thou who didst fearlessly overleap the rampart of fire, O Oraios, who didst obtain the government of the first gate, let me pass, seeing thou beholdest the symbol of thine own power, sculptured on the figure of the tree of life, and formed after this image, in the likeness of innocence. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me.

September 14, 2018, 09:25:19 am
Re: Anticosmic Satanism & Qlipoth. And here I commit the dreaded crime of thread necromancy.

I've posted here before about how the Demiurge and his Adversary have been twisted up together, making discussions about Gnostic Satanism difficult to parse. Is Satan the Demiurge or the Serpent? Is a Gnostic Satanist one who serves the fallen God or one who opposes him? This is something that has to be clarified on a personal basis, and interpretations abound.

Defining Gnostic Satanism is as pointless as getting Protestants and Catholics to consistently define idolatry in my opinion. The "Satanism" is merely in the "Gnosticism". It's a system of thought based on estrangement. A Gnostic considers themselves spiritually alien to their own incarnation and the dominant paradigm. Thus to someone who believes in the "glory of the creation" this mentality or religious perspective is adversarial or Satanic.

Entirely everything else is subjective to the practitioner and their own Gnosis. All the original Gnostic sects were basically underground DJs of their time remixing the Old Testament into different rhythms and meanings. If a random someone came up with "Gnostic Machicism" and believed that the machines created an artificial truth to blind us from reality (kind of like a certain movie trilogy) that is in no way less Gnostic than believing in Azerate. By this I mean neither the Machines of the Wachowski's vision nor the Azerate of the 218 are traditional Gnostic deities, but the expression of their meaning is to those who get the point. One of my favourite expressions of LaVey's was "metaphysical constipation". It is also one of the greatest things about Carrol and Chaos Magic. "I reject your reality and substitute my own" is Gnosticism. It is knowledge of your own beliefs regardless of what is forced upon you.

"Satan" can be either the "demi-urge", the "serpent", both or neither, even your very own self. In a literal sense Gnostic Satanism can be rendered "KNOW THY ADVERSARY". To me it's fundamentally about committing thought crime against those who tell you what to believe.

September 15, 2018, 09:32:17 am
The Pentad and the Hebdomad

It is the nature of religion to provide a viewpoint into interaction with the world, an appropriate lens as to see the relationship with the self and others. The word religion is after all from Latin (religio) meaning union. The Gnostic view may be estranging, the idea that we are spiritually alien to our surrounding indeed on the surface could result in the formation of barbaric nihilism and extreme selfishness. The mythos however demonstrates a set of principles with which to guide a practitioner away from becoming a sociopathic malcontent, this being the Pentad. This could be considered as living by the example of the acosmic forces that uplift the mundane being, the simple vessel of flesh molded by the Archons to live in servitude. It is revealed in the recognition of the Luminous Man of Blood, the Beast Hermaphrodites, Pistis Sophia, Sophia Zoe, and Eros Himireris. Although the Ophite Prayers are directed toward the rulers the nature and tone of these incantations is to awaken the mind to their existence and rather dwell in the grace of the “father” and “son”.

This at first may seem as a reference to Christianised elements within the Gnostic mindset. The “Origin” text indeed mentions a Savior and even Christ himself. The Christ within this framework however is presented (alongside a being called Israel) as an entity produced by Sabaoth after he is uplifted into the seventh heaven and who resembles the Saviour in the eighth or infinite. When Yaldabaoth demands to see a god above him it is the Luminous Man who descends into the cosmic realm causing arcane desire in the demi-urge’s feminine side (Pronoia). The Luminous Man of Blood is like a spiritual template poorly imitated by the Archons in their creation of the golem-like puppet of Adam. It is only when the Beast - whose alternate name is Hermaphrodites - awakens the psyche to the nature of itself can the puppet recognize the spark of divinity ensnared within its form. The son (the psychic man) is thus fathered by itself (the spiritual man), as revealed by the “Song of the First Eve” (Sophia Zoe) when she produces the Beast:

It is I who am the part of my mother; and it is I who am the mother.
It is I who am the wife; it is I who am the virgin.
It is I who am pregnant; it is I who am the midwife.
It is I who am the one that comforts pains of travail.
It is my husband who bore me; and it is I who am his mother.
And it is he who is my father and my Lord.
It is he who is my Force; what he desires, he says with reason.
I am in the process of becoming; yet I have borne a man as Lord.

Likewise the daughter is the mother, Sophia Zoe is part of Pistis Sophia – or Life is Faith and this is Wisdom. The mirroring of the father and son being the same and the mother and daughter being the same is aptly expressed by the Beast Hermaphrodites – the external form is irrelevant to its inner nature. This is again layered into the creation of “man”. It is the Spirit that births the mind and the external form (the mundane creation of the Archontic powers) is simply a vessel. In accordance with this likewise there are two Eves. The first is Zoe, mother of the Beast or Serpent. When the Archons try to capture her she becomes the Tree of Knowledge and “clones herself” as the mundane Eve. The Beast then persuades this Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit (Wisdom) and as the text says her and her husband “clothe themselves with knowledge”.

Eros too plays a role in this tale of the Garden of Paradise. He is formed when Providence (Pronoia, Yaldabaoth’s femininity) sheds her blood on the ground in longing for the Luminous Man of Blood. This results in the Garden itself, the plants (first a grapevine, fig and pomegranate) spring from the sanguine spillage. The Archons are “lit aflame” by Eros’ androgynous beauty and fornicate creating the animals. It is however the only the pneumatic “seed spark” that makes the procreation of humanity any different than that of animals or plants – a knowledge of our own divinity. If our minds (the psychic man) don’t recognize our spirits (the spiritual man) we are empty vessels (mundane flesh) simply reproducing without meaning. The Ophite Gnosis doesn’t reject the carnal act – there is hardly a less sexual allegory than “the serpent in the garden” – but embraces it saying the “original sin” is lack of Wisdom in procreation. Consider another myth about Eros and Psyche when understanding this.

Eros is the beauty of the Garden and the Knowledge of Paradise that we have only “fallen" from or lost if we endlessly dominate it with an ever growing tribe of unwise flesh puppets. This symbolism of a spark of pneumatic light being embedded in the “blood” of mundane flesh may be ritualistically expressed during prayer on the full moon if a practitioner so desires. A single drop of one’s own blood that is drawn in the moonlight may be added to the snakebite elixir to symbolize recognizing one’s own divinity. The Pentad or guiding principles of Gnostic Satanism then can be identified as follows:

Enlightenment of one’s inner divinity or spiritual nature (this is the Luciferian Principle of the Luminous Man of Blood).
The Gnosis isn’t the skin of a man or woman and is alien to mundane form (this is the Satanic Principle of the Beast Hermaphrodites).
Wisdom of Faith in our own individual self salvation and apotheosis (Pistis Sophia).
Wisdom of immortality transcending mundane form (Sophia Zoe).
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Garden of Paradise is within (Eros Himireris).

If the Pentad could be regarded as the “virtues” of Gnostic Satanism, the Hebdomad could be regarded as the “sins” or rather concepts that run counter-intuitive to Gnosis. Providence, Kingship, Lordship, Divinity, Wisdom, Jealousy and Wealth as mentioned are the feminine names of the Archons. “Divinity” however is needlessly included, the point that the Spirit that is divine has already been made. Sabaoth (Divinity) died, “lifted up” by Pistis, and replaced by Death in the lesser Archontic pantheon. Conceptually, the Hebdomad are presented as negative qualities, and are possibly best expressed as follows:

To exist in the creation but not being of the creation; we live within nature but it is not ours to exploit and claim as our own.
The Kings and Queens of humanity are merely self appointed and hold no real power over others.
Leaders are appointed by others not themselves, no one may be forced to be lead.
To never learn and repeat the same mistakes gains nothing but is commonplace.
True Wisdom cannot be bought, wealth is the false god of the mundane and the actual god of most.
To want another’s life is to ignore one’s own and be lost in false appearances.
To kill another is inviting one’s life to be taken before it’s time.

The Pentad and the Hebdomad are not “laws written in stone”, but rather ethical guidelines and descriptors of what constitutes practice of this particular paradigm. “On the Origin of the World” is allegorical in nature and truly cryptic and arcane in presentation, it is in no way literal - it is a myth - and a myth deliberately distorted. So too these guidelines aren’t something that failing to follow them means a lack of understanding. Their conception is supposed to be that of liberation, not yet another dogma to stifle freedom of the Spirit. A Serpent must always shed its skin, mundane or otherwise.

September 17, 2018, 05:45:35 am
Re: Dr. Aquinos thoughts of WM Puzzles me a bit. Forgive my ignorance. What is WM? "White Magic"? I know LBM as Lesser Black Magic, but kind of get confused as to the LaVeyan and Setian definitions. It has been many years since I've read the Satanic Bible and I seem to recall the CoS definition was just "magic is magic"?
September 17, 2018, 06:58:02 am