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Church of Satan FAQ
7. SYMBOLS AND SYMBOLISM
A. Do Satanists use inverted crosses?
The reversed cross is often seen by Christians as symbolic of St. Peter since legend states that he was crucified upside down (at his own request) by the Romans and thus it also can serve as symbolic of the office of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Literature has long depicted anyone who has embraced Satan and thus rejected Jesus as having embraced the reversed cross as symbolic of that act. Satanists are free to employ any symbols which they feel have resonance, so if such an upside-down cross has personal meaning they could use it.
However, the prime symbol for Satanists is the Sigil of Baphomet (see below).
B. What is the Sigil of Baphomet?
For information regarding the Sigil of Baphomet, read this essay.
C. How do I pronounce the word “Baphomet”?
We pronounce it with equal emphasis on each syllable and a hard “t” at the end: baf-oh-met.
Watch Satanis: The Devil’s Mass (released by Something Weird Video on DVD) and you’ll hear Anton LaVey say it this way.
D. What is the symbol with the Nine Satanic Statements in The Satanic Bible?
It is the alchemical symbol for sulphur. The stench produced when this substance is burned has long been associated with the Infernal regions. Dr. LaVey used it as a spooky decoration and it has no other significance despite some hilarious interpretations by evangelical Christians.
E. Is 666 a symbol of Satan?
For we Satanists, numbers are just numbers. We are amused by Christians who are superstitiously afraid of this number. And since we enjoy mocking irrationality in all its forms, we might use it to tease Christians, to show them how foolish it is to fear it.
Historically, 666 is the name of Emperor Nero reduced to its numerological value through Hebrew Gematria. In the New Testament it is referred to as the “number of the beast.” Satanists think this is quaint, but of no real value except for a record of the lengths people will go to force significance where none exists, objectively speaking.
So 666 is not part of Satanism per se, but since the public consciousness of it these days is as a Christian symbol of the “Antichrist,” we are happy to have addresses or phone numbers which include it as it stirs Christians to reactions which entertain us.
F. What does “Shemhamforash” mean?
This word is supposed to stand for the “secret” name of the Hebrew God. To utter it was considered to be the utmost blasphemy against this deity, thereby guaranteeing one’s damnation. It is also supposed to be the “word of power” spoken by Moses to part the Red Sea. So, Satanists use it for traditional blasphemy’s sake.
G. What does “Yankee Rose” mean?
There are many speculations regarding this, but Dr. LaVey wanted the detailed significance to remain a mystery and we respect his wishes. He did record the song by that name on his album Satan Takes a Holiday, which was released by Amarillo Records and re-released by Reptilian Records.
H. What is that medallion worn by Anton LaVey with the pentagram and lightning bolt?
That medallion is of a symbol originally created to represent the office of the High Priest of the Church of Satan. Read this essay for a detailed explanation of its development and meaning.