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God Exists! (And He’s a Prick!)

How many times have you or a non-believer you know been accused of “hating god” by some religious zealot? And how many times as the response been something like, “I don’t hate God, because I can’t hate what doesn’t exist.” While perhaps not the first time this was used, what has made this line of thinking popular was the film God’s Not Dead. In 2014, Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman wrote the film God’s Not Dead. The film pitches a Christian college student against an atheist philosophy professor. After the student refuses to write an essay explaining how God is dead, the student and the teacher begin a debate on God’s existence. Despite the factual evidence the teacher gives to disprove the student’s faith, he is utterly defeated when it is revealed he “hates God” and the student proves that one cannot hate what does not exist and therefore, since the teacher does hate God, he proves God exists. The Christians win the day and prove their God is real. Only one problem. Neither the student nor the writers seem to understand what existence really means. This semantic argument presented in God’s Not Dead is intellectually inaccurate and atheists and Satanists need to stop allowing the religious to use this line of thinking, as there are plenty of reasons to hate the almighty, none of which validate him in our reality.

Let’s take a moment to analyze what their side is saying. Atheists and Satanists only believe what they do because they secretly hate God, and one cannot hate something without proving that it does exist, because you can’t hate, or have any emotion towards, what does not exist. And in that last point, they are right. It is impossible to even conceive of something that does not exist, let alone have any strong emotions towards it. Since I hate God, he does indeed exist. Just not in the way Christians like to think. God exists in the same way Harry Potter or Captain America “exists.” They exist in our universe as fictional characters within a creative narrative. Ask yourself: how many people have said they hated Prince Joffrey on Game of Thrones? Does that mean that the land of Westeros is real and that the undead once walked the earth as white walkers? No. It just means you hated a particular character in a work of fiction.

Despite this very easy dismissal of their so-called “winning argument” multiple non-believers, surprisingly enough, will concede to them this point. Non-Believers consistently allow the other side to twist the narrative, playing along by giving public statements and interviews telling how they can’t hate God because of this same incorrect view of existence the religious spout. And they always say it so smugly, as if they just gained a major win for the Atheist Agenda.  What they really did was surrender the definition of existence to the religious. We have prominent Atheists repeating this concession throughout social media and other platforms, with even High Priest Peter Gilmore echoing these sentiments, most notably in my mind during his interview on the previously affiliated podcast The Devil You Know, in which he stated this position almost verbatim, showing how widespread this semantic fallacy has become.

What giving in to their view of the world does is rob us of the ability to properly express our disdain of this religious narrative and its central character of God, and this disdain is well earned. We could go on and on about the atrocities of the Christian God, from the horrors of the Old Testament, to the weakening of the human spirit in the New. The stories within this fiction were designed with the carrot and stick mentality in mind. The Old Testament held punishment and torment for those who disobeyed the Almighty’s every whim, while the new testament offered the kindly Christ incarnation of our main character to assure people of all the good things to come if they just did everything he told them.

“Just fear me, love Me, do as I say, and I will be your slave.”

Jareth, “Labyrinth

Putting all of that aside, the writing itself is just awful. The plot makes no real sense, the stories contradict each other constantly, and the characters are unlikeable and uninteresting. There is no wonder why every attempt at adapting the Bible to a more modern storytelling involves adding and subtracting material in order to not only keep the audience entertained but also stop them from seeing the ridiculousness of the source material. Even when you have some of the greatest artistic minds of the age working on them, the idiocy of the religion still bleeds through.

Now there may be those of you reading this and wondering, “What’s so important? Why is this semantic squabble necessary? Perhaps we should just ignore this development and work to promote our own side.” I thoroughly disagree for a number of reasons. First, hate is a necessary human emotion, one that has been shunned by white-light religions. By allowing the religious to take existence, we in turn must then play their game and abandon our justified hatred lest we “prove their point.” The second point is more select to Satanism. It is commonly held that we must regularly check ourselves for these fallacies and falsehoods or else they will begin to lead us onto a path of greater self-deceit. Inaccuracies are infectious and ultimately corrupting. As the Doktor himself said in The Satanic Bible, “Belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom.” Allowing even one falsehood to penetrate our minds, no matter how small or inconsequential it may seem, wrongs only grow. One can easily see how this small concession is already forcing us to change our mindsets and deny our emotions towards this cult mythology. We cannot let the stupidity of inept filmmakers be allowed to corrupt our ideals and principles just to play their game. We are Satanists! Unlike other non-believers, we refuse to stoop to the levels of Theists. We’ll play by our own rules. Don’t like it? Find a different opponent.

We shouldn’t let ourselves be boxed into playing the game by their rules. The only reason they think they can get away with this is some idiotic filmmakers put it into a bad movie. You are more than free to hate God and we all know there are more than enough reasons to do just that. If you feel that hatred and disgust for this obnoxious mad redeemer, feel free to shout it from the rooftops! Or keep it as your own private fuel for your rituals and personal taste. Just don’t feel you need to surrender your feelings about the mythical sky daddy. Hate him, love him, ignore him completely, he’ll be just as fake as he was before.

Satan Predicts #1: Boundary Control

 

“If every trace of any single religion died out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again..”
-Penn Jillette

Satanism is not strictly a religion, in the more classical sense, but a kind of social science, or, rather, a blend of the social sciences. Satanism was formed not from someone trying to control and manipulate followers, as most other religions are, but instead from observations of the human-animal. For this reason LaVey’s philosophy has withstood the test of time in our increasingly analytical age.

While Satanic philosophy, by design, did not make its way into mainstream thought, Satanic ideas have found their way into the common morality with our generation finding Satanism seemingly all on their own. How? By observing reality, just as LaVey did all those decades previous. When you look at the world with an unfiltered eye, Satanism leaps out at you, like the proverbial “devil in the details.” Instead of a world filled with strict traditions that have browbeaten our parents and grandparents, young people are finding liberation in the simple acts of defiance that, just a few decades earlier, would have been herculean labors.

Satan Predicts will take a look at how Satanism has always known the best way to live one’s life, as masters of our own destiny, and that the rest of the herd is finally catching up.

“No hoary falsehood shall be a truth to me; no stifling dogma shall encramp my pen!”

-Book of Satan I:7

Satanism has often been ahead of it’s time, with it’s principles once demonized now championed 50 years later. Gen Z and even younger Millennials have been getting more and more Satanic without even realizing it, and the establishment of the previous generation is taking notice. We have looked under the curtain, just as LaVey did, and have found the same liberation. While it may go under different names, it’s not hard to see it’s Satanic roots.  Today we’ll be looking at one of the more important stances borrowed from LaVey’s church: setting boundaries. This generation has adopted a fundamental Satanic ideal on boundaries which is necessary to protect both individual liberties and mental health.

Social media is packed with Gen Z’s and Millennial’s sharing their experiences, and it’s proving to be more than just avocado toast and selfies. A recurring theme that keeps popping up in these posts is the subject of individual boundaries. For most of us, we have been told to surrender our boundaries in favor of keeping the status quo. “Don’t cause trouble,” had become the watchword in our schools and homes. We are forced to suffer through uncomfortable family members for no other reason than “they’re family” and so must be respected. This bred the perfect feeding ground for the psychic vampire. Today’s generation, however, has begun hunting these societal leeches and exposing them to the harsh light of day, always fatal to the vampire.

In previous generations, being disowned by ones family was the looming threat that kept the young in place. But our generation has since realized that the bond between friends and lovers can far surpass the fragile connection of family.  With the social unrest and injustices apparent in today’s society, our generation is finding their force, and seeing that, if their beliefs and principles drive away their family, then they are probably better off without them. The pain of the loss is still hard, but it no longer silences our generation in fear.

“The chief duty of every new age is to upraise new men to determine its liberties, to lead it towards material success – to rend the rusty padlocks and chains of dead custom that always prevent healthy expansion.”

Book of Satan II:8

Satanism has always held this view. As Satanism has very rarely been accepted by any group, Satanists know all too well about losing family and friends for their beliefs. But we must stand for ourselves and our needs. One can look throughout Satanic literature to see LaVey’s call for personal liberty. Look to the Book of Satan, III:6 “Love your enemies and do good to them that hate and use you – is this not the despicable philosophy of the spaniel that rolls upon its back when kicked?” or turn to the Eleven Satanic Rules of Earth, three of which directly deal with this issue, and others working towards it in a more indirect manner. Satanism has always believed in fighting off those who would abuse and manipulate us, and the young people of the day are taking to it like ducks to water.

There is more to this stance than a simple desire to be left alone. By allowing others to walk over your boundaries in favor of avoiding confrontation, you open yourself to being taken advantage of. You will hate yourself more and more until you find the strength to take a stand and say “no.” Having boundaries is easy, defending them is another matter entirely. It will be hard, painful, and stressful, but the alternative is none other than utter obliteration.

With this, there is of course the fear of Counter-Productive Pride. Is it always beneficial to fight to the death for every slight and infringement? Should we perhaps be more selective of our battles and which hills we are to die upon? These are all great points and cautions to be considered. But too many for too long have used this as the excuse to allow their principles to be trampled underfoot. We are not martyrs, but neither are we cowards. We do not sacrifice ourselves to be proven right, but we shall not run from a fight purely out of convenience.

I have some personal experience in this matter. My grandfather and I do not get along. He has frequently belittled me and my family with his little manipulations and petty slights. None of these on their own would truly warrant an argument or defense of self, but when taken together, they showcase a vampiric personality that has only been able to persist because of the hold he has over my family. The way he escapes repercussion and is always able to worm his way back into our lives is by making the alternative seem to be more trouble than it’s worth. Why go through the trouble of dealing with him when we can ignore him and just go about our lives?

As I begin planning my upcoming wedding, however, I am now faced with the decision of whether or not to have him attend. From his actions towards both me and my family, I am well within the right to deny his attendance outright, which would be more than appealing to me. Yet, I see this as damaging to my person in terms of my relationships. Also to consider, is the likelihood of a sizable wedding present from him, adding the possibility of financial gain to the decision as well. And so, I decided to take the high road, and will invite him, on the condition that I receive something of an apology for his previous offensive behavior.

When bringing this up, I have been told that he either won’t give it or won’t mean it and that the apology isn’t worth the trouble. But it isn’t about the apology. Not truly. By making his appearance conditioned upon his acknowledgement of his past abuses, I can both hold him accountable and while keeping the honorable persona I try to cultivate. I did not refuse him outright, nor did I roll over and allow him to do as he pleased with no accountability. If his fragile ego refuses to swallow his own pride to fulfill this simple request, then that is his decision. I have done what I needed in order to defend my individual liberties and I have established my boundaries to not only my grandfather, but to other family who would expect me to bend in acquiescence in order to avoid confrontation.

On the case of Counter-Productive Pride, were it a lesser event, some perfunctory holiday or what have you, this would not be an issue. I would have swallowed my own pride and bared the presence of him in favor of receiving gifts and placating my family. But on this day, with it being so special to me and those I care about, to allow someone who has so blatantly disrespected me and my family to attend would have violated all that I stood for and I would not be able to stand for myself again.

Our generation has risen up after decades of subjugation masquerading as respect. It’s taken time, but we’ve finally begun to put the needs of the self over the needs of others. We’ve begun to actively work for our own self-interests and personal health rather than sacrificing ourselves for our elders who have accomplished nothing more than staving off death long enough to mooch off of their betters. With our generation’s acceptance of personal boundaries and other Satanic ideologies, we can truly become a force to be reckoned with, and may finally be able to once again give the next generation something better than what we had.

We the Individual

There once was a time where everything was better. Many people have told me about it, Satanist or otherwise, and the older they are the more they talk about it.  It was a simpler time, back when the doodads and whose-its of today were the stuff of great science fiction. The music was perfect, the movies sublime, the culture exquisite. I am talking, of course, about the magical era known as Back When I Was A Kid. At least, that’s what everyone who enlightens me on its wonders calls it. Those people, by the way, are known as My Generation. That isn’t to say that they are the same age as me, it’s just how they tend to define themselves when talking about how things were back when things were perfect in Back When I Was A Kid. I think Back When I Was A Kid was sometime between 1958 and 1995, but I can’t be certain. I have but few clues to go on other than the aforementioned perfection. I know that children spent time in a place called Outside (weird) and that there wasn’t much of anything as far as the internet concerned. Also, people were much less focused on feelings, men were men, women were women, and children had respect for their elders. My Generation, so I am told, is far superior than any subsequent one, especially the Millennial generation.

. . . Yeah.

I am sure that many of my readers have heard this ad nauseum, and it’s one of my favorite bits of common hypocrisy, but it does trouble me to see it from Satanists. With one hand, an individual will tell their audience that the young people of their region are hyperfocused on group identity and collectivism. The individual will point out young people who take an interest in racial or religious minorities, or who describe themselves within the context of a fanbase or ideological bent. With the other, they will say that the group of people they are close to in age are superior individualists. “We never did that as kids, my generation respected people and weren’t so petty. We are individuals, not part of some collective!” they will declare, leaving time for their friends of similar age to back them up one way or another.  This “my group is better than your group, and I’m better because I was born then” line of thinking by those who claim to not be a member of a herd absolutely baffles me.

The reality is that an individual simply is who they are. They may have attributes that link them to a group, like membership in the Church of Satan, being born a certain year, or having a penchant for superman ice cream, but these are just parts of what makes that individual who they are. To say that your being part of a group makes you better simply by virtue of your affiliation with them is herd thinking at it’s finest. As Satanists, we are not above the herd because we identify as Satanists. Rather, each of us individually rises to that level because of our application of Satanism in the real world.

The world is changing, and My Generation is right, it’s much different from When I Was A Kid. I would like to leave this with a quote from Magister David Harris:

“For everyone that’s upset about how much the world is changing compared to how it was when you were growing up, I have good news: you’re old, and are most likely gonna die soon, so its not your problem anymore. Happy New Year!”

Filling the Void

While every Satanist is as such by birth, I think that the Satanist that comes to Satanism with the concepts of Satanism fully formed and structured before reading The Satanic Bible is exceptionally rare. The Satanic Bible gave form and structure to the feelings and ideas of all Satanists, and in some cases it expanded on some ideas by following them to their natural conclusions. For many, The Satanic Bible opens eyes to the reality of who they are. This eye opening nature manifests differently for different people, but for me it was the realization of the necessity of ritual and pageantry in my life.

When I first read The Satanic Bible, the book of Lucifer was what I identified most readily with. Most of what was written there was just my thoughts and feelings presented more accurately and artfully than I could present on my own. The Book of Satan appealed to the raw side of my Black Flame. It smashed idols, asked the questions that I myself posed, and made bold statements of truth. Reading beyond the book of Lucifer, my nodding became less frequent. I certainly understood Lesser Magic, but Greater Magic wasn’t something I saw myself doing. The whole thing struck me as odd and a tad unnecessary.  I didn’t understand how wrong I was for years to come. I do need ritual, and the 13 step ritual presented in The Satanic Bible has become a powerful tool for me in the years since my self discovery as a Satanist.

First and foremost, Satanic Greater Magic serves an important emotional role for me. My rituals are few and far between, with my last being last night and the one before that being about 8 months ago. My formal rituals only happen at the rare intersection of “really wrestling something,” “can’t currently be solved with Lesser Magic,” and “I can stay up until everyone is asleep.” When the three come together, I know that I need to do something about my issue for the sake of my health and productivity. That is where the emotional role of Greater Magic comes in. A successful ritual leaves me feeling spent, because the goal of any ritual is for me to pour out every drop of emotion and thought I have on the matter. Last night, a friend asked me before a ritual if I needed to talk about the subject of that ritual. I considered sending her all the thoughts swirling around my head on the matter, but decided to ritualize first. After the ritual I responded simply by saying “I have said everything that needs to be said.” As an introvert that is very selective in my friends, I realized I needed another method of venting. The expectation of my ritual being effective relieves me, and the purging of my negative emotions results in a joyful future. Beyond this, the introduction of a structured method of emotional release into my life has allowed me to be a healthier, more productive person, as well as given me a great source of fun. In this way Greater Magic has filled a void I didn’t know existed, my need for ceremony and healthy emotional release.

The other aspect of Greater Magic that makes it so important to me is one that I didn’t come to accept even in part until recently. When practiced properly, I truly believe ritual magic makes real world change. I have witnessed justice served against sex offenders within days of performing destruction rituals against them, needed change occur in my life within hours of a compassion ritual done for myself, and new sexual partners enter my life within hours of a lust ritual. Greater Magic only works when done properly, and as such I need to remind myself constantly of the balance factor and of the fact that I truly need to make the entirety of my being a force of emotion and focus. A half assed ritual is no ritual at all. My rituals have not always worked in this second regard and this has been for one of a few reasons. The first is a neglect of the balance factor. For instance, of course some unlikely, dramatic, and complex end didn’t come to my enemy. It is simply so unlikely and profound there is no way it could happen. Had I been more realistic, my destruction ritual may have been effective outside of emotional release. The second reason is that I broke Rule 7 of The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth either before, during, or after my ritual. I simply did not fully believe that ritual works until this morning. At times I partially convinced myself it worked, and at those times I saw real world success. However, denying the effective aspect of a ritual to myself did result in losing that which I had changed. The final reason I had no success in this aspect of ritual is that I simply didn’t feel it enough. I used Greater Magic in some way other than a last resort, and as a result my emotional output was lacking.  Once I overcame these challenges I came to understand that ritual magic filled another void in my life, the need for another way to get things done when all seems lost.

Many Satanists reject even trying Ritual Magic, and even from the time I discovered Satanism I haven’t understood this. While there are many reasons for this that I consider unsatanic, the biggest source of my confusion is the fact that ceremony plays such a large part in Satanism. Certainly the Book of Satan in The Satanic Bible is a shining example of drama used to the advantage of the Satanist. Why not try something that is in essence an extension of  part of what it is to be a Satanist, a flair for the dramatic? I would encourage every Satanist that I like to try some form of ritual magic, as one has nothing to lose but time and much to gain. It may fill voids that would have otherwise went misunderstood and neglected.

The Sanctum

When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.

If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.

As Satanists, we are familiar with these sentences, numbers three and four of the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth. Not much is formally discussed with regard to the lair and what it means outside of that, though Satanists generally seem to just know that there is more to a lair than respect.  For me, a recent conversation with a friend forced me to examine what a lair truly means.

We were discussing a trip I plan on taking soon, and the 12 hours I would be spending driving there. I hope to make pit stops on both the trip there and the trip home, saying hello to Satanists I have “internet met” over the last few months. My friend remarked that I could probably ask to stay the night at various houses along the way, and my initial reaction was one of shock at his suggestion. I wouldn’t dare ask to spend the night in an acquaintance’s home, especially not another Satanist. My shock at his suggestion was not just because these people are essentially strangers to me, it is also because I wouldn’t ever impose on someone’s lair that way.

This reluctance is because each individual’s lair is more than a home, it is a sanctum. The lair is not just the place you rest your head at night, it is a refuge from the masses. The four walls of one’s lair contain exactly that which each individual Satanist has decided will bring them the most happiness. Every knick-knack, morning routine, food item, air freshener, resident, and guest exists in the lair of each Satanist because that Satanist has desired it to be there or consented to its necessity. Their lair is their place, and I dare not disturb that which they hone as close to their ideal as possible.

To be invited into someone’s lair is an honor of sorts, at least to me. It signifies that somebody wants to share their inner most space with you, if only for a time. It is a sign that you are valued as an addition to their happiness, and that they wish to share their happiness with you. It is truly a complement to you, and should be taken as such.

Those of us in their teens and even their early twenties are likely still living with friends or with our parents. While the building we reside in as a whole is owned by someone else, this does not mean the entirety of that house, apartment, or other living space needs to be entirely that other person’s lair. Generally individuals have a space that is “theirs” in that the owner of the abode allows it to be so. This is an opportunity to create a “mini-lair.” While you must follow the rules of the homeowner, there is also room for personal touches. These touches make your mini lair just as important to you as someone else’s lair is to them. Do your best to make it a space filled only with things and people that bring you joy. Treat it like it is important, and soon it will be.

Times of Joy and Concealment

One staple of any culture is the holidays they celebrate and how they choose to celebrate them. In the West, these holidays consist mainly of Christian holidays and holidays commemorating the achievements of the government.  Of course, as Satanists we are free to celebrate any holiday in any way we choose. Personally, I am looking at my calendar to see when I need to insert an invented holiday. But it can be difficult for many young Satanists to celebrate the holidays they wish to, or to ignore those which he or she finds unimportant. Holidays, both those we choose to enjoy and those we do not, become times of both joy and concealment for many. While on the surface it would seem that joy wouldn’t come to us around those times, I find that it is best to find joy in those times.

Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter can leave one feeling a bit removed from family and friends. What was once an anticipated time of the year quickly becomes a holiday celebrating something you do not feel deserves to be recognized. Many Christians take these times of the year to become extra vocal. I find I am asked if I know about Christ far more often during the Easter and Christmas seasons than any other time of the year. Many Christians develop a persecution complex around these times. They cry that there is a social war against Christians and their holidays. I hear all of these things as a Satanist and find myself angry. Where are the Christians on trial because they were accused of being Christian? The task forces trained to spot “Christian Ritual Abuse?” This frustration, combined with a newfound sense of alienation around holidays like these leaves one dreading these holidays. Rather than spend every year of my adolescence looking forward to the ending of these holiday seasons, I choose to find a reason to celebrate. In the Easter season, I do not celebrate the rising of Christianity’s lich. I celebrate the end of Lent. Lent is a time of increased abstinence for those of many Christian denominations, particularly Catholicism. On Easter, great joy is had by all as indulgence once again becomes the norm. The weather is taking a turn for the better at this time, and I am better able to enjoy nature because of it. I also am fortunate enough to spend time with family that I cherish, and the holiday brings joy to many of my beloved friends. In the Christmas season I choose to celebrate the unity of family and friends, enjoy the gifts bestowed upon me as well as those I take delight in giving to those few I deem worthy, and take in the still fresh and beautiful winter landscape. I celebrate the warmth and beauty of a fire in the hearth and enjoy all the delicious peppermint treats offered to me. I find something to love about that which I would otherwise hate.

Satanic holidays present an alienation in the opposite way. Unless you know a Pagan, you will be hard pressed to find someone who cares about the changing of the seasons. Unless you know a Satanist personally, good luck finding someone who even recognizes the word Walpurgisnacht. let alone gives a shit about it. In adolescence you have little chance of celebrating your birthday the way you want to, be it because of financial trouble, family obligations, or age restrictions. The Satanic holidays often become a source of loneliness to the young Satanist. As with Christian holidays, this does not need to be the case. You can have a gathering of friends to mark the occasion without everyone seeing it as a holiday. Perhaps you are more solitary in nature. Take yourself out to a nice dinner, buy yourself a good book, or simply retreat to your bedroom and play videogames or read all day. Does your family monopolize your time on your birthday? Celebrate your way on a different day! I certainly will this year, as I plan on making a trip to Massachusetts this summer, with every aspect only being in accordance with my will. While life is not completely in my hands at my age, I don’t need to surrender it completely.

Now I did leave out one holiday intentionally. Halloween is a time of spooky fun and very dear to me. The night of October 31st brings joy in people of all ages and nearly all faiths. I take delight in watching both children and adults let loose their wild side, and I have no shortage of freedom to celebrate the day however I want. For many this is the one day the Baphomet can remain untucked, as it is the one holiday both Satanists and non-Satanists choose to celebrate. For me Halloween is a bit like Christmas is for Christians. I spend weeks delighting in decorating my bedroom, my car, and my house. I am able to celebrate with my friends the way I choose. It is for that reason I will get more joy out of Halloween than my birthday until that time I am in my own lair.

Never lose sight of the purpose of holidays, whether they “belong” to you or not. The purpose is delight, and there is reason to delight in every holiday. These are days where the marrow should be sucked out of life just as much as any other day. Hail Christmas, Walpurgisnacht, Easter, Veteran’s Day, Halloween, and today! It would be foolish and a waste to do anything else.

Small Paychecks and Big Opportunities

As has been discussed time and time again, it is easy for the young Satanist to not feel all that elite. One source of this discouragement is where we are likely to be employed. I, for example, spent 2 years working for a McDonald’s in my home town, and now work both in retail and as a laborer at a wastewater treatment plant. Both jobs are unskilled, low pay, and very unrewarding. This doesn’t mean they have to be.

These years (between 16 and 20) may be characterized by small paychecks and jobs that make one feel that they are making no progress in their goals, but they do not have to be so meaningless. A Satanist seeks to suck the marrow out of life, and these dead end jobs should be no different. Anything not furthering your lot in life can be used to improve yourself. For example, at McDonald’s I taught myself to budget. I had new bills during those years, and new priorities. I taught myself to stretch a dollar, and now I can afford college on my own. Retail has been my Lesser Magic proving grounds. I constantly interact with people from varied walks of life, and use those interactions to experiment with various Lesser Magic tactics. I have learned how to better read body language, how to better use the unconscious mind to my advantage, and I have learned more about a wide variety of careers. This has lead me to be better at achieving other goals, networking, and even lead to a promotion at that job. The title might as well be “Lesser Magic Specialist,” and it will soon put a little more money in my pocket. Working in the wastewater facility has given me a lot of time alone doing very mindless work. Rather than be bored all the time, I choose to educate and entertain myself through my earbuds. Podcasts like Philosophize This, Lore, The Dollop, and more educate me on things I would have never known. The podcasts on my Recommended Links page always put a smile on my face.

These low wage, no skill jobs are your chance to improve yourself. While more accomplished Satanists often are so because they have had more time, that does not mean you should neglect opportunity that you have today. Often these unpleasant jobs feel like a disaster. This reminds me of one of my favorite Voltaire quotes. He said “Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” We must use the time we have to do both things that make us joyful and things that make us better. Take risks while you can, because the stakes only get higher. These shitty jobs are your time to explore, use that time wisely.

Missiles and Sheep

Note: I understand that what I describe here is highly political. I do my best to keep my opinion on the matter out of it, and the views expressed here are representative of myself only. Also, I understand that I am being very general in the political opinions of others. This is not meant to be a commentary on the nature of Satanists in politics, but the nature of the herd. That being said, if the shoe fits, you best fucking wear it or at least reevaluate where you stand. 

Recently, President Donald Trump launched a missile strike on Syria. This was apparently in reaction to the leader of the Syrian government ordering an attack on his own people. Now, I will not get into my stance on the act, and refuse to use this blog to either praise or condemn United States politics. The event highlighted a quality in the general public I had not noticed before.

To highlight this quality, it seems important to me to highlight the underlying debate that the missile strike relates to. In the United States, there seems to be two opposing standpoints that the majority of the population choose from. One can either be “pro-interventionism” or “anti-interventionism.” Here, we will operate on the assumption that interventionism is a policy that basically implores the United States to offer assistance to or retribution for victims of atrocities or misfortunes in foreign lands. Often these atrocities do not impact the lives of  U.S. citizens in any major way. Those on the anti-interventionism side are often conservative, and claim that the United States should not get involved in other people’s problems because it is a waste of resources and none of our business. Those for interventionism often say that because of our vast resources, we have a moral duty to act as “world police” and stand up for the little guy. If we do not have a duty, they say, we at the very least should because it is a nice thing to do. Those for interventionism are typically more liberal than the anti-interventionists. Trump ran a largely anti-interventionist campaign to the delight of many voters, and spoke a lot about ending foreign wars. However, the strike can be considered by many to be an interventionist action.

That brings us to the important part of this piece, the part where I can happily move away from the political side of things, the part that applies to Satanism: the reaction of the public. Those who would have otherwise been against the U.S. getting involved took to social media praising the president of the U.S. on his taking action and stepping up to the plate where they saw failures by other elected officials. Those who would have been for foreign involvement similarly took to social media denouncing the missile strike as foolish and wrong. What this highlights to me is a tendency in the masses to have many heroes and villains. The herd has accepted the “good guy, bad guy” narrative and rather than hold an opinion on actions, they hold opinions on people. Those for the strike are really for Trump. They have ascribed him “good guy” status, and because of that he probably will do no wrong. Those against Trump have bestowed the title of “bad guy” upon him, and thus it is unlikely he will do anything right. The herd wants somebody else at the helm, and to them that person is either for their part of the herd or against it.

Not only is this apparent on the national level, it applies on an interpersonal level. Look to crowds in your local mall, high school cliques, or the meal areas of a local senior center. All have one leader, with many followers. In many environments, Satanists must outwardly embrace the narrative of dichotomy that underscores most all herd discourse to get ahead. People need an enemy, but they also need a hero. If you need to be at the helm of a group of people, perhaps it is best to create an enemy for your underlings and establish yourself as the hero to lead them. That way, you will build loyalty. The greater and more hated the enemy you give them is, the more loyal they will be to you. Looking at the missile strike discourse, we can see that if you fuel an us vs them narrative well enough, you can even get people to defend you when you betray their interests.

Who or what is this enemy? The ideal enemy for those under you is someone that they already harbor some level of dislike for, and someone that presents an obstacle to yourself or the object of the group you lead. Perhaps your boss shouldn’t be your boss, and everyone knows it. Simply reaffirm your coworker’s dissatisfaction, encourage them to pursue the correct avenues with their grievances, and tell them they are underreacting when they are frustrated. Soon, you will have any number of people coming to you with requests for advice any time that boss crosses them, and all of those people will encourage one another in sheep-like fashion to usurp the boss. Being a Satanist and being outside of sensationalism, the information brought to you can be compiled into an intelligent, well put together argument for the removal of said boss that you can present to those who can remove your boss. They now have more to go off of than “SoAndSo is an asshole because they messed up,” and you are the one that gave it. You have now elevated yourself above those you gave an enemy to, made yourself more likely to replace that enemy than those you lead, and gained respect as someone that stands out from the crowd in the face of unrest. You have utilized the herds need for a messiah to elevate your lot in life. This same strategy can work for any number of things, but be wary lest another clever individual seek to use your strategy against you. when that happens, simply bring them into your fold.

My point is simply that people want to be lead, to have someone to love and someone to hate. Use this to your advantage. While it is too bad stupidity isn’t painful, it is wonderful that it is exploitable. You are a God in your life, make yourself the God of others and you will ascend to new heights.

A Curious Island

The older I get, the more aware I am of myself in relation to the world, both presently and in retrospect. As that knowledge progresses, I am increasingly able to interact with the world in a way that will bring the most benefit and happiness to my life. At the risk of sounding overinflated, it seems to me that many of the non-Satanists that I interact with look at me a but like a strange and inviting island. I am not something they have encountered before, as I do not think as they do, yet it isn’t abrasive. I make an effort to be as polite, appreciative, and personable as I can be unless I am given a reason not to be. The older I get, the more I seek to use this to my advantage. I build metaphorical docks on my island, and seek to bring a varied group of people into my life, but as I move more into the adult world I have to remind myself to keep snipers in the trees.

It is often said by members that we must keep in mind that “We are not as they are,” and this seems to be one of the truest statements I have encountered. All Satanists worth their salt approach the world in a manner fundamentally different from the general populous. We move through the world joyfully critical of most every claim that comes our way, and are thus often the best informed person in the room on any number of things. We are highly logical, yet highly emotional creatures that accept both of these aspects of ourselves rather than choose one over the other. We make our own goals, and strive to accomplish them merely for our own sake. These are all qualities that lead to success in whatever we set our mind to, so long as sufficient effort is put in. It is very easy to be solipsistic in this, and have a lack of perspective on how others move through the world. It is easy to assume everyone has the same mindset you do. A simple glance through social media, the news, or various messaging platforms reveals this is a very unique set of qualities, and that these qualities manifest in ways unique to each Satanist. These qualities also are what generally makes us feel as if we are an island in our own lives.

Because I am not as they are, it has become increasingly clear to me that I am one of three things to others: a curiosity, a menace, or a person. When spending time with those that regard me as a curiosity, I quickly realize I am there to entertain them as if they possessed me. These people are generally those who invite me to parties and ask me to tell stories or explain my views on a matter of public discourse in a way that feels a bit like I am a neat toy one child is showing his or her friends. It is very draining, and unless I decide for myself I want to entertain and be the center of attention, I do my best to not have so many of these one sided interactions.  Those who regard you a curiosity also believe they are your friend, and often your interactions contain elements of a friendship. Quickly you will realize that while they care for you, they are no more your friend than they are friends with their favorite Television character.

Those who regard me as a menace do so because they feel threatened by anyone who does not fit a convenient societal label. These people are often such conformists, it is painful to observe them. They label themselves, then take on the characteristics of that label rather than possess characteristics and subsequently take on the appropriate label. For example, such a person may say they are a “Country Boy/Girl” at some point in their lives because they like someone that fits that label. Over the next few years they will unconsciously change the way they dress, their political stances, what their hobbies are, and even the way they speak just to exude that archetype. These types are immeasurably easier to deal with, as they treat you with nothing but malice in order to thrive off of your attention. Once they realize you see them as inconsequential and irrelevant to anything in your life, they slink away hating you all the more for daring to not bow to societal whim.

These first two are by far the majority of people, hence the feeling of being regarded as a strange island. The world begins to feel as if it is a place you move through wholly separate from every other person you meet. That is a very lonely feeling and one I feel very often. As a member of the Alien Elite that is just beginning to establish himself in the world, I often feel much more “Alien” than “Elite.” For this reason, those rare people that regard me as a person are the most important people in my life. These are people that value my company not as entertainment, but as an exchange. They stimulate me intellectually, emotionally, and sometimes physically, and they are stimulated in turn. These people are not always Satanists, but they invariably are individuals, and often very different from myself. People who see me as a person are the only people I consider my friends, and when I am around them I feel less alienated from the world. Suddenly, I am invigorated, and the world isn’t a place I move through separated from every other person, but it isn’t a feeling of “us against the world” either. It is a feeling of being in the world, enjoying it, and not giving a damn about those people in the first two categories.

No matter how introverted and unique an individual is, the human animal is a social animal. We crave rewarding interactions with other animals, both human and non-human. We crave even one person that we can feel understood by and happy around. It is what makes those in that third category so valuable and worth cherishing. In this new stage of my life, many of my true friends are off pursuing their own goals and taking care of themselves. I cheer them on, taking delight in their successes while also becoming increasingly lonely as I spend less and less time with them. At the risk of making a hasty generalization, it seems to me that many Satanists in my time of life (just out of high school and starting college) experience this drifting apart. I’d like to take the opportunity to relieve others and remind myself that it isn’t that there is something wrong with the young Satanist as a person. Rather, it is a natural consequence of being a driven and unique person with driven and unique friends living in a world largely dictated by herd conformity. You will not be an island forever. As you age you will find your tribe through pursuing your own goals. You will find people with shared passions and shared interests as you push yourself to be your best self, fueled by the Black Flame within. The expression “life happens” is generally a dismissal of the unfortunate, but look to it as encouragement for the future. Take solace in the confidence that your Is To Be will be because Satanists are doers. In time, you will not be a curious island, but a family member to that family you choose. In the words of Milton Cruver, “Hail thyself my child, the rest will follow.”

Maintaining Wonder

It is a great tragedy to me that adults only recognize a sense of wonder and the joys of wonder in children after they have lost it in their own lives. I have resolved to make every effort to maintain my sense of wonder. I have also resolved to use the word “wonderful” in my writing only to describe that which actually fills me with wonder. When I say wonder, I want to be  specific in what I mean. The Oxford Dictionary defines wonder thusly: “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.”

The challenge in maintaining wonder as people move into adulthood comes in those last three words. As people get older, coming by something unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable becomes less and less likely. The solution here is twofold. The first is to always strive to learn and discover more. The second was perhaps best described by LaVey in the 9th Satanic Sin, Lack of Aesthetics. He says “an eye for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness,” and a sense of wonder is quite the magical feeling. This latter solution is where most of my wonder comes from. I constantly seek to find beautiful places in the world, whether man made or not and they become “sacred” to me. One of my favorites outside of my own home is what I call “The Alley of Light” in a city near me. I plan to post a photo of it on my Facebook page in the near future.

The Alley of Light is a small, quiet spot in the historic downtown area of a town near me. The main roads of this town converge at right angles, with historic 2 story buildings. These buildings are storefronts of local businesses at street level, each separated by doorways to 2nd level apartments. It is very charming, and the storefronts often act like a wall against the main road they are situated on. One unique block  is “walled” on three sides, resulting in a wide pair of allies that connect in a T. Rather than let these two relatively quiet areas fill with garbage, the businesses that comprise the outer walls collectively decided to provide tables, chairs, and beautiful plants for the pedestrians that happen to see the alley, and white fairy lights are strung in a canopy overhead. I have never run into other people here, it never feels commercialized. Every time I visit, it feels almost like I have stepped into some pocket dimension that only belongs to me, where tranquility and content are sprayed like Febreze just. Sharing this space with another makes for a very romantic date, if only for a moment. It is truly wonderful, and I take visits there as a retreat. To learn about why it is, who is involved in its maintenance specifically, or overpopulate it decreases the wonder. I plan to write more on wonderful places in the future, and I encourage you to send me some of your favorite wonderful places. Ask yourself, how often do you feel wonder, and are you satisfied with your answer?