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Re: Is image important to satanism?
The only thing that makes all of these groups un-Satanic in my eye is dogma. As soon as you place a system of rules of what is valid and then you've marched right the hell out of what Satanism is at its core. Satanism for me represents a spiritual insurrection of sorts, in that you must have the freedom to practice and think in the way that leads to your ultimate development. What "development" means to you is, of course, highly subjective. Without that though, I feel you aren't doing any Satanism in the proper sense at all no matter what you are calling it. That's why I think many of the organizations mentioned in the OP are dead - dead as in the corpses of failed experiments. They didn't learn from their mistakes and evolve, so they've become dogmatic in approach and turned into a group of wannabes. Surest sign of the wannabeism is that there become certain conversations that be inapproachable, or looking like something becomes more important than doing anything. It becomes an identity rather than a path, so that's why I feel they are not real Satanists.
On the one hand, I fullheartedly agree with this - Satanism is about following one's own will, and so basically pure adogmatism.
On the other hand however, such a definition makes it extremely difficult to determine whether anyone is a Satanist or not. Only oneself could really tell, and even then one might be mistaken due to self-delusions.
Also, in what way would Satanism then differ from the LHP in general? I mean, personally I use these two terms interchangably anyway, at least when referring to myself. Well, there are "Satanists" that are too dogmatic to be LHPers, and LHPers whom to call Satanists would be strange as they work with completely different cultural references and not with anything they would refer to as Satan ever.

And then, there is the question of how far one is on one's path, and how easy or difficult to attain one's individual will is.

Maybe someone first needs to learn how to adult before accomplishing anything that would look to others like LHP-work - but nevertheless that person could identify as a Satanist and even consider their current self-development to be part of the Path.
Maybe someone will never do something that would look to others like LHP-work as that person's individual will is something entirely different.

A curious thing I recently stumbled upon and which I found utterly fascinating is that there are people who of their own volition wear diapers 24/7 and who consider this to have much more advantages than disadvantages (e.g. much rarer use of the restroom, improved digestion, better sleep, ...). It doesn't seem to work for everyone but in several cases it actually increased their independance, they gained more self-confidence due to taboo-breaking, and for many it even meant living out a sexual fantasy.
That's LHP as fuck :mrgreen: but far from anything that would typically come to our minds, and 99% of those people probably haven't even heard of the LHP or anything related.

Having practiced Satanism for about 7 years now, I can't help but feel that this is a truth for much of Satanism. It seems all major fights in the Satanist "community" or "scene" is usually over what is "true Satanism" and honestly when it comes down to it a lot of the philosophies surrounding it, just seem like mostly ordinary "acceptable" ideas in our culture just focused on more than usual and then dressed up diabolically. It often seems to me that the focus on being more carnal, more intune with self, rejecting ideas of sin and pursuing individualistic fulfillment is only taboo in the context of religiously conservative areas.

A lot of Satanism, in general, it seems to not really fall that much out of the mainstream. But, now hear me here, the necessity of it to fall out of there, also seems to be a thing of image. I feel like something this polarizing has to be about at least some type of internal image since for many it does come down to symbolism no matter how literal you take it. I guess what I'm saying is, when you strip away Satan, all the language and put it in neutral terms, what are we left with?
That's a really good question.
Concluding from what I wrote above, I would say that what we are left with is a philosophy of self-improvement that differs from your typical self-help-books by including concepts and methods from religious and occult contexts, by very often being based on amorality and by encouraging one to take "do what you truly want" to an extreme.

I could mention a lot of other groups. There have been countless theist groups and a lot of modern communities but really when I think about all the Satanists I've known in my life part of groups or not most are never *too* radical with their life. Many not even going to the level of other counter cultures such as punk or whatever. Some even dress conservatively and use Satanism as a self image, while having a facade on the outside of respectability.
It's difficult to judge from the outside, and many of these people might actually be mere posers. But those that are not, who's to tell that it's not their true will to live such a conservative lifestyle?

Also, honestly, even figuring out one's true will is a lot of work. And then you have finally got a clue about what you truly want, and hell, it turns out to be not even physically possible :o
So, unless you believe in literal self-deification, you have to aim for lesser goals anyway.
And even if your will is physically possible, it still might be so against the nomos that you better think twice whether you really wanna risk all that.

What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism in radical ways. The Satanic Temple is an example of this, and I think it's hilariously awesome. But that's one example. Perhaps the more self-centered types could do more feats like survivalism or huge changes in lifestyle.
Full agreement - but, well, we are only humans. Taking myself as an example, there's a lot of stuff I'd love to try and do, but first I need to take care of the basics. My health is poor as it is, and my social skills are lacking due to social anxiety, so I first gotta work on seemingly mundane stuff like that before you can expect me to do more difficult things that seem more impressive.
Of course I can also try to work on more extreme stuff right now, too, but even then I gotta take one step after another, and much of it will not be visible to outsiders.

In other words, Satanism is more worthwhile if it's not (or at least not only) about image, but not everyone who gives an image to Satanism also follows through with it, any many who don't mind their image might be doing much more "satanic" stuff in their actual life.

November 01, 2017, 11:20:36 am
Re: Worship
Often times, I have this overwhelming sense of adoration and affection and I can't contain it. I try to use music as an outlet but really I can't hold in my enthusiasm or passion for it. It's so overwhelming, a sense of love. It's not something I can rationally explain or whatever, it's compulsive, not my choice. It's just this intense wave of intense emotion and spiritual energy, ecstasy even.

This happens fairly regularly, maybe once or twice a day, sometimes every other day or so and has for I don't know how many years now with only a few breaks of it.
To keep it short: That describes my own experiences fairly well.

I don't feel like I'm "submitting" to Satan though anymore than I feel like I am submitting to be overtaken by anything else breathtaking one experiences in their life. In a sense though, it does feel like "giving in" to some deep animalistic desire. Like there is this thing I've been fighting for so long that I can no longer resist now that I know how much of a part of me it is. A good comparison is "edging" durring sex, trying to not orgasm but when you finally can't control it anymore you give in and it's this most amazing thing.

It depends on the metaphysics, but if we believe in Satan not as some personal entity but basically as the underlying fabric of reality, or as the personification of our own will, or anything along those lines, then we can hardly not submit to it. Actively submitting to it would be only acknowledging what's already the case anyway and stopping to struggle against it. Not to invalidate its psychological effectiveness, though. Diane Vera has a short essay on her website about this which I found very inspiring and that expresses more clearly what I mean:
And yeah, it feels awesome.

And even if we believe in Satan as a personal and external entity, I wouldn't take offense with someone wanting to submit to it out of devotion.

November 01, 2017, 01:41:23 pm
Re: Vampires...history or folklore?
I recently found a book called the Vampire Sanguinomicon which I read because this thread got me interested in the topic. So over-all, eeeeh, a lot of it seemed like role-playing due to social rules of the philosophy. HOWEVER, I definitely see a practical application of their "glamour" to Lesser Black Magick.

This is where it gets interesting though, it's the most "realistic" take I can see of vamprism actually existing, it's based on astral stuff. I actually only bought the book because one of the astral techniques was what I do to cast a spell sometimes with success but reversed to pull in energy instead of out. It esentially ammounts to the equivalent of extraverts who recharge by being around others but through astral techniques. I think part of the reason it was philosophy and try-hard heavy is because, ironically, they had to set them selves apart from Lavey's psychic vampires and the common role-players.

Over all, I'd give it the book 6.8/10. Definitely above most new-age stuff but not the best. However, I feel like all books on the subject will suffer the same problems.
I haven't read any book on that yet, but I remember that V.K.Jehannum mentioned his experiences with a similar approach on his weblog or maybe on his YT channel - would need to search for the exact post or vid, though.
I found it to be quite interesting, but my (admittedly pretty half-assed) tries so far only showed me that if something like that is possible at all then I'm clearly not capable of it yet, or at least not capable of noticing it working.

November 01, 2017, 01:48:08 pm
Re: Is image important to satanism?
I think what qualifies someone is a Satanist opposed to the general LHP is simple. Are you involved in spiritually with Satan?
Fair enough. Just, define "spiritually" and define "Satan" ;)

I mean, more-or-less pantheists like @Kapalika and me have a pretty different concept of what we mean by Satan than you as a polytheist seem to have. It might be that our deities nevertheless are one and the same entity, or that two polytheistic Satanists' deities are actually two different entities, who can tell?

November 02, 2017, 01:05:56 pm
Re: Is image important to satanism?
I don't view it particularly different as I feel these differences are more of a product of what you can grok. As far as spiritually, I just mean that you know Satan exists in your mind.
Know? There's hardly anything that I consider myself to know.
I can "feel" Satan e.g. while praying, but I'm far from convinced that these feelings are caused by anything other than my subconscious.
I can "see" it in basically everything - but who's to tell that this is nothing but a fancy and completely subjective way of looking at reality?
I also now and then get some nice synchronicities/coincidences, but even then, psychological explanations are not unlikely for that either (confirmation bias, selective attention,...).

Don't get me wrong, I love my religion - and even if there turns out to be nothing true about my spiritual/metaphysical assumptions, they still help me.
And I am certain that as long as my perception of reality is not completely illusiory something that could be referred to as Satan does exist, but well, if I were to describe that something to an atheist they probably wouldn't call it a deity but simply an aspect (or combination of aspects) of existence.

Or is what you meant not "I just mean that you know in your mind that Satan exists." but "I just mean that you know that Satan exists in your mind."? Well, in my mind it certainly exists.

Whether you feel that in a more syncretic sense or not your execution (the actual practice of your beliefs) is probably no different than mine.
I'd need to know how you practice to make any definite statement on this. But well, principally yes, I suppose - I guess we all do such things like talking to our deity, dedicating stuff/actions to it, taking inspiration from it (either directly by intuition or per proxies like myths), and living our lives in ways that we deem to be compatible to our religion, no matter our actual theology. But that could probably be said for any theistic-or-similar LHPers, if not about theists in general.

What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism in radical ways.

I should of said: What I'd really like to see more of, is people aligning their ideas of Satanism with their practice in radical ways.
I think I took it that way, but thanks for clarifying!

Anyways keep up the discussion guys, I'm loving it so far. One of the more insightful threads I've seen on Satanism in a long, long time.

November 03, 2017, 05:06:00 pm
Re: Altar tools, where do you store them? I leave most on the altar, or before or under it, depending on what it is and where I need it next.
What I almost always leave on it are candles and ornaments.

Some of the tools I also use in other contexts (e.g. scissors, or my journal), so I just put them wherever I use them.

My altar is in my room, so there is not that much space anyway.

November 14, 2017, 04:42:39 pm
Re: Altar tools, where do you store them? Well, if we count stuff that has its spiritual uses and is not part of the altar... I got quite a bunch of pictures on the walls around (some with religious associations, some of a more ornamental nature), and my CD collection is arranged also quite neatly in a shelf.
The altar itself is very simple. A small table with a fire-proof plate on top, and some stuff lying on it. I mainly use it as a symbolic center/focus point, most of the actual work is done in front of it or elsewhere.

November 15, 2017, 11:07:14 am
Review: Inmaculada Senra Selva - The Significance of The Rune-Names Not an esoteric book, but a doctoral thesis. But since the topic of runes might be of interest to some of you I decided to write a few lines about it here.

This book collects and discusses a wide range of literature, mainly Old Norse and Latin, that mentions the names of the runes in one way or another or alludes to them. This includes of course the rune poems, but also less elaborate lists of rune names, as well as poetry that uses metaphors describing runic characters in order to conceal either their sound value or their meaning. It ranges from the middle ages up until the 18th century.

It is therefore a worthwhile summary of a major part of the traditional associations attached to the runes.
Due to the fact that most of the literary sources available are from Skandinavia, most of it however only concerns the 16 runes found in the younger futhark. For the other 8, later inventions, and even for some of the 16, only very limited information can be found, but that is due to the sources available.

I found most of the author's conclusions and translations to be reasonable and well-thought-out. However, I did find a few smallish mistakes in her translations from Old Norse and Latin, or at least parts that could need further justification.

For example, she always translates grafseiðr (which often appears in metaphors for the fé-rune) as "coalfish", although - as she actually mentions in the beginning I think - it's a kenning meaning "snake". She does so even in her translation of a bilingual (Old Norse/Latin) text where it was rendered "vipera" in the Latin. The kenning can be understood to literally mean something like "burrow-coalfish" (or "burrow-charm", depending on which of the two homonyme words seiðr you take to be meant) but since it's far from clear that the actual species of coalfish was meant there some further elaboration would have been helpful.

Nevertheless, a huge compendium of information, and I think I might consult it from time to time again.

This is scientific literature, but I think it's written in a way that also a general public can understand.

The book can be downloaded for free here:
albeit split into many PDFs (which you could merge using e.g. PDF24).

November 15, 2017, 06:47:24 pm
Re: My thoughts on Fatalism I believe in determinism, and all explanations of soft-determinism I found so far didn't really convince me. Yours doesn't differ in that regard. But maybe you can still convince me otherwise.

To explain my position: The whole of existence - including both the "objective" part of matter/energy/space and the "subjective" parts of mind and awareness - can be considered to consist of a gigantic amount of states of being which interact by the laws of cause and effect. If the same situation should ever occur twice, and all aspects of it are identical to the previous time, then also the outcome will be the same.*

Of course one's "destiny" or rather destination does also depend on one's own decisions. However, those decisions are based on in parts the circumstances, in parts one's own state of being. Even if one can change one's state of being, even the decision to do so would be caused by one's previous state of being, leading to a sort of loop mechanism.

From a psychological point of view, it certainly can be helpful to embrace one's destiny, so to speak. But one is basically fated to embrace it or not. And even if one doesn't embrace it, even this non-embracing of it is part of one's destiny.

*There are theories regarding quantum physics that imply that this wouldn't be the case, but they don't seem proven yet, or I at least didn't understand yet how they would proof it.

November 15, 2017, 07:05:44 pm
Re: Shouldn't Satanism be pro-cosmic?
It seems very bizarre to me that anyone would call themselves a Satanist and yet be against, or not believe in the physical Universe. If we are exalting our nature an as much animal as spiritual we have to recognize that we are material beings living in a very real place that isn't just a dreamscape. After all so much of what defines Satan and Satanism is of this world. The Christians, as wrong as they usually are, were at last (although by design) right in calling Satan "The Prince and powers of the air" and "Satan, who is the god of this world". LaVey, who popularized self-identifying religious Satanism personified this as it being "carnal" and inverting the traditionally spiritual pentagram to flip spirituality on it's head. He and many others before and after him also identified the self-denying of the anti-cosmic religions by ascribing pleasure and simply being alive as "sinful" or "unnatural". They wanted to make out the natural and this world to be evil so that people would recoil from it towards their imaginary not-universe plane of "heaven".
My issues with anti-cosmic Satanism go into a similar direction. If we take away all "cosmic" aspects of ourselves, what would be left? Pure consciousness, maybe? How could that even have any specific will when it has no definite properties?

But it doesn't seem to be a self-denying approach. The goal is still self-deification (in any of its many definitions). And while carnality seems to be seen more as a tool for fulfilling one's spiritual goals, it's not exactly shunned, either.

I don't really understand yet how it's supposed to work metaphysically, but the methods at least are not really different from other forms of Satanism.

Nevertheless, I really like it from a psychological/emotional point of view. And I suspect that all that edgy "we want to destroy the world"-stuff is ultimately a tool to get oneself to do the work. At least to me it's most useful when used in that manner.

Basically it's about aiming for a higher goal (namely the absolute freedom of lawless chaos) that might be actually out of reach to use the momentum to at least get closer to reaching individual freedom on this plane of existence.

(pardon this next part if I make any generalization or misscharacterization, I'm not terribly familiar with Gnosticism).

In my opinion anti-cosmic Satanism has more in common with Gnosticism and Gnosticism to me is just one small step away from Christianity. They already have this undesirable, "evil" Universe they want to escape from. They actually believe that the false god created this world and is the devil. Just like the Christian they wanted to escape and go to a heaven of sorts because this place is just so "evil".

//end disclaimer section///
Yes, anti-cosmic Satanism pretty much is gnostic Satanism, the two terms seem to be interchangeable in most contexts. Whether that makes it close to Christianity depends on what aspects of which version of either you compare. For example, there are also pretty pro-cosmic forms of Christianity, and the two religions certainly differ in most of their methods.

Anyways to me you can't have Satan without this "world", this Universe. Satan as far as I can ever tell is pro-Cosmic. From the moment I found Satanism pantheism just made sense, I have a hard time imagining what Satan is like without a tie to this Universe and the material. Even more generally just in a translation of the Hebrew "opposition" that's basically how everything in the Universe functions.. action and reaction, opposing forces. Counteracting frictions. It's why the sun's radiation pressure keeps the gravity from collapsing it and the gravity stops the pressure from ripping it apart. It's why when I take a step my feet can propel me and it's the movement and opposing forces of nature and elements that allow a series of resistant materials and conductive logic gates to interact to allow me to type and send this post.

So I don't see how "opposition", or Satan, whatever you want to call it... how it can be anything but cosmic.
I have been thinking about panentheistic Satanism lately, and that might be a possible way of how both pantheistic and anti-cosmic Satanists could be venerating the same something, just with different focuses.
In that sense, I, similar to the anti-cosmicists, would equate Satan with the chaos beyond the cosmos. However, I'd differ from them by stressing that the cosmos nevertheless still is a manifestation of chaos (gnostics normally believe that, too, they just say that chaos made a mistake by creating cosmos and that it's too far removed from it to be clearly perceivable as stemming from there).
Chaos from the anti-cosmic point of view is considered to be in opposition to cosmos and to fight against its laws. If assuming that this chaos actually exists, it seems to me to be of the same nature as cosmos, though, the source from which this oppositional/satanic existence stems from.

November 25, 2017, 01:49:56 pm