While it is certainly difficult at times for one to be open about their being Satanists with their parents, it is more often than not much more difficult to do so with one’s grandparents. In fact, I haven’t ever heard someone mention their grandparents know. This really is with good reason, as many of the older generations are much more devoted to the Abrahamic faiths (Pew study for those so inclined). My grandparents on both sides of my family are certainly no exception to the rule, and I had never intended to let them know I was a Satanist, but in the case of my paternal Grandmother, I had no choice in the matter.
Around 2 years ago, Grandma and Grandpa Grant moved to my town after some health issues that required they be close to family. They had been in their old home my entire life, and had made close friends there. As a result, they moved into an area where my family was their only face to face interaction they could received. During my Senior year of high school, I visited for lunch twice a week before my dual enrollment class. Because that class was never in session on Fridays, Grandma Grant and I regularly went out for lunch at a local business and visited antique shops. I quickly became more friends with her than anything else, and confided in her that I was not a Christian, but practiced an alternative religion.
Fast foreword to last November. I had been in the midst of what would become a month of staying with her following her back injury and my grandfather’s stay in a hospital and rehabilitation clinic due to a broken femur. I enjoyed cooking my favorite foods a few nights a week, WiFi, and our discussions. The one that occurred the most frequently was her asking what exactly it was I was a part of. She had seen my Sigil of Baphomet necklace in the past, and despite my many assurances I was not a devil worshipper she needed occasional reassurance. Finally, after much prodding, I printed her out an educational packet on Satanism using various pages on the Church of Satan’s website, as well as some other sources. I painstakingly removed and replaced any mentions of the dreaded S word with acronyms and names with initials, spending hours making sure all the information still made sense without outing myself. I knew she could handle the philosophy, but not the Satan aspect. She vowed to read, and I went to bed.
The next day, I return from work, and immediately I am greeted with an angry accusation. “Christian,” she started, “I went to move your bag today and a book fell out. You told me you don’t worship the devil.” The book she was referring to was The Satanic Warlock by Magister Dr. Robert Johnson. My initial fear quickly turned to irritation, and I asked her a series of questions. Did she even begin to read her packet? No. She has known me my whole life, seen that I am a good student and rational person and an atheist. Why would she assume that I lied to her? Well, that was a good point. Did I seem like the type of person that would associate with people that worshipped the devil? No. Those issues quickly taken care of, I began what was to be a long night answering question after question on Satanism. I was surprised to learn that not only was she okay with it, she was utterly fascinated by it and wanted me to be open about it with her. Oddly she became one of the only members of my family that I wear my Sigil of Baphomet untucked around, talk about the blog with, or talk about interactions with other Satanists with. It has become one of the most refreshing things in my life.
So with that, I guess a Hail Grandma is appropriate.