People have tried to dismiss Satanism, saying, “Well, Satan is only a construction of the Christian church so Satanism is only an inversion of Christianity. It’s still dependent on Christianity; Satanists are just Christians who want to play bad boy.” That’s missing the broader point. Christians didn’t invent Satan. There is always a Satan, an adversary, in every culture. There is always the figure who represents the Dark Side, the unexplored realms, the prideful beast who defies the norm. God, on the other hand, generally represents conventionality, predictability, the safety of normality, the comfort of the larger group and the rewards of staying within the bounds of propriety. That interaction is necessary to life and progress—not “good” versus “evil,” but that constant interchange between a need for conventionality and a need for risk-taking by those few who are compelled to explore the murky regions. The blasphemers and heretics take chances, clearing the path for others to follow. Christianity didn’t invent the idea of that interplay any more than they invented the idea of Lucifer; they just happen to represent the status quo at this time. So, in a Judeo-Christian society, we call ourselves Satanists.
We create our gods, not the other way around. In a very real way, we construct them and define them—and they, in turn, guide and define us. We are a world of storytellers. If aliens really were studying our various cultures on this planet, they might be quite perplexed about our obsession with fiction. We read novels, we go to movies, we watch fictions on television, we’ve carved them on walls for centuries—even our history is filtered through dramatic storylines. Why? We use stories about our heroes, our gods, our demons, our successes, failures, dreams and nightmares in order to preserve what has happened, to communicate our common values, to work through our common fears, to ritualize, instruct and have fun. Humans shine when events become unconventional. That’s the basis for all good tales. What do you do when you’re the underdog, fighting for survival? What do you do when God is dead and there are no rules? What kind of character or honor or sense of justice do you really have when there’s no God to judge you, no threat of eternity in the fiery furnace? That’s when things get interesting. Step beyond the boundaries and see what you might find within yourself. Satanists want to cut through the bullshit, challenge themselves and others, and enjoy life.
Written from the former High Priestess of the church of satan
Magistra Blanche Barton
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a vision Dante helped give us from The Inferno