For Year 50 Anno Satanas we have relaunched The Black Flame as part of the news feed. As you see below, The Black Flame is comprised of articles regarding the application of Satanism and its principles. Our members are encouraged to submit pieces that offer what they've learned in their pursuit of their myriad indulgences. Practical wisdom, words to the wise, recipes, things worth pursuing, places of interest and even tips on how to move the world according to one's will. The Odditorium heading may include thoughtful reviews of music, literature, theatre, films and anything else that has brought pleasure. Within the articles of The Black Flame, Satanists will share what they've discovered in their ongoing journey of personal bliss.
Magic is the bloodstream of the universe. Forget all you know, or think you know. All that you require is your intuition. - High Aldwin; Willow, 1988
I found myself paralyzed. I was physically and emotionally paralyzed with marvel as I watched the M1A1 Abrams tank fire it’s first round downrange and the atmosphere itself react. I could see the soundwaves of the burst as it rippled out from the cannon, spreading in all directions through space-time. Passing by and crashing against everything around it. Moving everything lacking the strength to resist its inertia. I was paralyzed because I had seen this before. It was a familiar though otherworldly experience that flashed in front of my eyes, as memories tend to do when the right chord is struck.
Life of Agony’s River Runs Red album was blaring on my stereo. It was dark despite the candles I had lit and placed around my room. This was my first custom Satanic Ritual, a form of a Satanic Baptism that I needed in that moment. My parents kicked me out of the house months earlier. My father who I had just reconnected with, rebuked and rejected me for being a Satanist, for being me! I was invited to stay with a few friends in their roach infested duplex that butted up against the railroad tracks. Every few hours a train would remind you of your misery as it screamed by. It had taken weeks to paint the life sized four crowned princes on my west facing wall. This was my only true family.
Some people want to sell their soul to the Devil for earthly delights. I wanted to stand with them. I already saw my future, and it was something I could achieve on my own, but to open the gates of Hell itself and be greeted as a brother and friend, well that was everything to me. After the album ended, I turned on J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The organ pierced through me. The atmosphere reacted to the music. It was as if the smoke from the candles and the music together were the key needed to open a rift in space-time itself, and in that moment, standing naked with lines of blood running down my arms and chest, paint and blood staining my fingers, I could feel the music course through me, I could see the sound as it hit my body and rippled away. I closed my eyes, reciting the Invocation to Satan with my back to my painting and the gates opened. I stepped back until I passed the threshold and stopped as I stood beside my brothers, the only family that I would know for years that would truly accept me for who I was, not in spite of it. It was that moment that I knew I was a Satanic Warlock.
I had always been driven to the concepts of magic. I collected tomes that purported to instruct you in it’s mastery and mysteries. I quickly discovered perspective and personal experience seemed to be the end result of it all. That is, until I read The Satanic Bible. Satanic Magic was more than just your personal experience or your own shift in perspective. It is, as defined by Anton Szandor LaVey:
“The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable.”
This seemed both an impossible probability and a thrilling possibility. I had lived with the ideas of magic for so long, and had been burnt by my gullibility and ignorance to the reality of nature so many times, that I couldn’t accept the definition at face value. There was no internet at this time, and I had no contact with other Satanists to ask questions, so my only option was to experiment.
I would spend three years practicing Lesser and Greater Magic with success after success before I joined the Church of Satan and four years before I would interact with other Satanists to any degree. I was stunned when I discovered that some Satanists who claim to have Lesser Magic success or mastery didn’t even practice or believe in Greater Magic! I didn’t, and if I am being honest, still don’t understand how you can be a Satanist, practice half of Satanic Magic and completely disregard the other half of it. And that is when I realised that most Satanists I had met, didn’t see it as Satanic Magic that contained two categories that complemented and informed each other; rather, they saw it as Satanic Greater Magic unto itself and Satanic Lesser Magic unto itself.
This was such a foreign way of thinking to me, as I saw everything in Satanic philosophy, everything in The Satanic Bible being built on and informing each other. There were no isolated principles, essays or ideas. I understand that every Satanist is different, and that the only thing every Satanist is connected by is the religion as outlined in The Satanic Bible, but this is half of that book! Half of the text that defines the religion they claimed to see themselves in, was ignored or outright rejected. While this confounds me to this day, I accept that while we all perceive reality differently (my Drill Sergeant would say “Perception is 9/10 of Reality”), it’s their understanding of Satanic Magic, the individual’s lack of success, confidence or willingness to fail or experiment that drives this disbelief or rejection.
While I cannot address the latter, I can and will address the former. The Satanic Bible is broken into four books. Each representing both a natural element and a Crowned Prince of Hell. The third book is called (Earth) -Book of Belial- The Mastery of the Earth. It is here where Satanic Magic is defined in the first chapter titled Theory and Practice of Satanic Magic (Definition and Purpose of Lesser and Greater Magic). Satanic Magic is “the change in situations or events in accordance with one will…” It is after this that LaVey defined the two categories of Satanic Magic, Lesser and Greater. Greater Magic’s main function is to “isolate the otherwise dissipated adrenal and other emotionally induced energy, and convert it into a dynamically transmittable force.” Lesser Magic “consists of the wile and guile obtained through various devices and contrived situations, which when utilized, can create ‘change, in accordance with one’s will.’”
Did you catch that? Satanic Magic is defined by “The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will…” and the only category of Satanic Magic that addresses that directly is Lesser Magic! This is the exact opposite understanding of the majority of Satanists I have met who champion Greater Magic. So this raises a question: Did they read The Satanic Bible? I am sure they have, but there are many Satanists online and offline that try and switch the definitions of Greater and Lesser to fit the discussion or their understanding. Hell, I have even found myself doing this!
If we are to properly understand the complexities of Satanic Magic, I do not believe we can reject half of it outright. But more, we must accept and understand its categories definitions, purposes and uses. I will briefly discuss both categories but before I do we must meet on this singular understanding: Greater Magic is not receptive to intellectual deconstruction. That is the arena of Lesser Magic. This is at it’s core the single most important point of confusion for detractors or the dismissive. This will be explained further but for now, let’s start with the Special Forces of Satanic Magic, Lesser Magic.
I call it the Special Forces of Satanic Magic because you rarely see it in action, and it is absolutely precise and effective. This is the ‘on the ground’ form of Satanic magic. Lesser Magic is expressed generally in two ways as outlined in The Satanic Bible: Fascination, Glamour. Lesser Magic can help you blend in or stand out in a crowd. It can turn a stranger into a lover or a lover into a stranger.
The single most important skill in successfully performing Lesser Magic is confidence. Confidence is born out of an understanding of oneself and experience. This is the key to unlocking your true potential as a Satanic Warlock. You cannot expect to alter yourself for your target if you do not know what you need to alter, or how far you are removed from your desired transformation.
Once you have confidence within yourself, you need to master the LOOK. As The Satanic Bible states:
“To manipulate a person, you must first be able to attract and hold his attention.”
The LOOK isn’t just in reference to you gazing at and holding the gaze from your target, it is also how YOU look. Every Satanist knows personal aesthetics are an integral way of expressing yourself, but it needs to be interesting to your target(s) as well. LaVey outlined three categories of mastering the LOOK through Sex, Sentiment or Wonder. I will not go into detail with each, as it is brilliantly outlined in The Satanic Bible. I will say that we all fall into one or more of these categories, depending on how we wish to be perceived.
Recognizing your humanity, man is just an animal after all, is essential to Lesser Magic. We are carnal and emotional creatures. If you want to be remembered, if you want to make an emotional impact you must direct your wiles to all of the senses. Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste and Sound. We have discussed sight, let’s move on to smell. LaVey discusses this in detail. I will only add that though we can entice and inspire with odor, it is far too easy to go overboard and offend. If that is not your intention, you must take care, and experiment with the strength of any odor you use. The sweet smell of strawberries in your hair may draw your target in, but prolonged exposure to its intensity can quickly turn the moment sour.
Taste is the companion to smell. They don’t always need to live in harmony, many successful cooks can tell you the juxtaposition of flavors is just as exciting as a fully formed singular flavor. But as with odor, it can be just as offensive if your technique is lacking. Every woman I have tasted, is different. And every part of them, tastes differently. It can be exciting to explore a body, allowing your taste to guide you, but we must allow our targets the same experience. As humans we react to different tastes and they inform our perception. Salty sweat can be enticing if it is from hard work or exercise but not if it’s from your brining in a hot car during a commute. Your perception of an individual informs your interpretation of their tastes as well. If a gorgeous woman tastes bitter between her thighs she will begin to look less attractive to you. However if a homely girl is salty sweet, you will begin to see her true inner beauty! I will close this discussion point by saying if you use a perfume or cologne to enhance your smell, it may be offensive to taste, so bear that in mind as you apply that scent.
I am a tactile animal, and there are few sensations I love more than feeling a woman’s pubic hair on my skin as I slide down her, exploring her tastes. I am driven mad by the sensation of a stiffened nipple on my palm. Gently sliding my fingers down the small of a woman’s back and feeling her curves grow into an ample behind. Your skin will be explored and you will explore others so you need to take care of it! Grooming yourself to a degree can be inviting, but too much, it can turn you into an inhuman mannequin. Smooth skin is exciting, and the gritty tuft of hair around your groin can be dirty-good. As a magician, you must know what your target prefers, and groom or moisturize appropriately. A note about makeup: This can help enhance or completely mask your natural looks. Never wear so much as to prevent someone from exploring your skin with their mouth or hands. There are few things worse than returning from a kiss and being caked in her base. Ironically, a little lipstick on your lips can actually be quite enticing.
We have natural sounds that we may not be aware of. The whistle in your nose if it is not clear. The breathing through your mouth if it is open. Being in control of your bodily sounds can give you that extra leg up on a target. But the sounds are not always emanating from your natural body. It could be fabric rubbing against itself or a squeak in a shoe. Environmental sounds are a consideration as well. The sound of a train in the distance can be romantic, but right next to you and it’s offensive. Atmospheric music is great, but if you want to get close and move, perhaps a live show would be better. Being in control is great, but we also must be able to roll with the accidents. An ill timed fart or burp can be embarrassing or a moment of natural humor. It is up to you to decide which. Our mouths make sounds as do our other parts when being explored, as with everything in Satanism, you cannot take those sounds too seriously as to ruin a moment or experience.
There are many other devices and environmental factors that fall outside of this discussions focus. We must master ourself before we can attempt to master others. If you want to be effective in you life, you must be the master of it. Every Satanist should continually use Lesser Magic as it is our first line of action in making the change we desire manifest itself.
There is no scientific formula for Greater Magic Ritual success, this is a purely emotional pursuit. Further points of confusion to this end for Greater Magic lie in its definition and purpose. The sole point of conducting Greater Magic Rituals is to come to some form of resolution, be it Lust, Compassion or Destruction. The means to that end is detailed in its definition “… isolate the otherwise dissipated adrenal and other emotionally induced energy, and convert it into a dynamically transmittable force.”
If the way to meet success of a ritual is to convert your energy into a transmitted force, certainly there is some formula right? If I am creating a force, is that force not making change in the world as stated in the Satanic Magic definition? If we are not supposed to intellectualize the act, why perform it at all? If my created force is not the change agent to my desires, why is it defined as such?
The aforementioned questions are THE problem. Greater Magic is purely an emotional act. That’s it. It’s never meant to be analysed. The act of breaking it down defeats the purpose! If you read the second chapter in the Book of Belial: The Three Types of Satanic Ritual, LaVey clearly outlines the intended use and effects of each. But there is a common theme throughout…. The target is the one doing everything, not you! This is of course assuming you are targeting someone else. If you are the target, you would naturally be the one reacting. How do you know if your force effects the target? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you got out, what you needed to get out. If you see success, recognize it within yourself. If you don’t see success, stop looking for it! You should’ve moved past it after the ritual. It’s not about effecting others as much as it is about effecting yourself. If you want to make immediate and recognizable change, use Lesser Magic.
The Greater Magic Ritual space is referred to as a decompression chamber. It is here where you generate, direct and unleash those emotional energies LaVey was speaking to. There should be a satisfying cathartic experience at the end. You should have decompressed yourself of the emotions that have been hindering you in life. This is not to say some truly magical experiences cannot be had in the Ritual Chamber. We don’t suspend our disbelief within for nothing. Because this is a purely emotional experience, and our brains have a funny way of reacting to stimuli, we can have those truly magical moments without having to examine or explain them. In the same way that I had spoken to my deceased friend from years before, walked through a portal in space time to the very gates of Hell and stood with the four crowned princes, I have called upon demons to mercy kill a friends suffering father. Each experience was as real for me in that moment as typing these words are now. If perception truly is 9/10 of reality, we have near absolute control over our reality.
It is this perspective that has guided me in life, and allowed me to master it and those around me. It has informed how I experience life in general. It is how I can watch the explosive energy of a tank and connect it with a ritual experience from years before. The power is the same, as it comes from the same source. Man. We created machines, and we create our experiences. It is our imagination that inspires and informs both, and both have the capacity to destroy everything in its path. I do not see Greater Magic Ritual as an end, or final act. Rather, I see it as a tool. I can use it to help or hinder, to give love or to destroy. It is as much a part of my life as my profession, as both are expressions of my deepest passions.The best part is, I don’t have to explain any of it. It just is. I accept it for what it is and what it does, and whether anyone else accepts or rejects my experiences is irrelevant.
I know this can be frustrating to understand, especially when you read or hear about other’s Greater Magic Successes. But you must stay focused on your life, your successes, your happiness. Before you enter your Ritual Chamber, ask yourself: Why are you performing a ritual? What do YOU need to get out of it? Is a Greater Magic Ritual the best method of obtaining it? The answers will be different every time, and on occasion may lead to the use of Lesser over Greater Magic. There is no snake oil or cure all in life, and Satanic Magic certainly isn’t meant to be either. It is simply a tool that when used wisely, can help you navigate through the life you have chosen to lead.
None of this is to say a Satanist must perform, consider or acknowledge Greater Magic. It has been stated many times by the Administration that it is up to the individual, but until you have picked-up and tested the tool, you can’t be certain that it won’t be of use. I wanted to address this because I have received many confused questions from individuals over the years and I believe my perspective gained through experience may be worth consideration. I highly recommend you read and re-read The Satanic Bible yourself, and whatever understanding you come to, I trust that you might learn to both enjoy and respect Satanic Magic as an essential tool for every Satanist as I do. Hail Satan!
Many a street preacher has screamed “God Hates Fags” to pedestrians. Homosexuals and gender outlaws have been the scapegoats of religionists both moderate and extreme, and for thousands of years. As always men make God in their own image, rather than the reverse. It turns out he’s viciously petty and has a stake in the private ongoings of everyone, both great and inconsequential. I think it’s time for the symbolic response that “Satan Loves Queers.” It’s appropriately antagonistic, since many deviants have been compelled to argue within the confines of pious moral trappings. They’ve masked themselves in liberalized religion, they’ve whitewashed their relationships and sexual practices, and they place all their bets on whatever argument appeases their assailants. Enough is enough. “Satan Loves Queers” may be tongue-in-cheek, an antagonistic retort, but it’s also accurate. Satanism has treated queers of all sorts more favorably than any other organized religion, and since its very inception.
From time to time there have been essays, articles, and key passages from Satanists on subjects ranging from homosexuality to asexuality to gender non-conformity. Some of those passages are explicit dogma, such as The Satanic Bible’s direct recognition of these human conditions as perfectly natural regardless of how statistically deviant. The Church of Satan itself supports the legalization of same sex marriage and welcomes gender minorities into its membership and hierarchy. Though few if any Satanic texts have expressly celebrated just how goddamn full of queer rainbows the religion of Satanism, and the Church of Satan, have always been. Should that be necessary? It shouldn’t. It ought to be obvious that Satan loves queers and Baphomet is anatomically correct—tits, cock, and all. It’s been made clear, but nonetheless requires a hammer over the head. Dull critics and misguided wannabes love to misrepresent Satanism as a socially regressive ideology. Why? Because the religious movement of Satanism has dissected and even applauded the merits of family, self-respect, and traditional gender roles. More accurately, it has discussed theories of application rather than making moralistic proclamations on whose crotch is best. For some, not discussing a subject with seething hostility is enough to signal an unshakable bias.
Both textually and institutionally we welcome gender and sexual minorities into our “Infernal Empire,” which itself is always well decorated. Anton LaVey may have said “…conservative organizations will (and already do) find Satanism far more compatible with their doctrines than they now think it to be,” though let’s be realistic. It rings true, but large swaths of cultural conservatism are regressive through-and-through. Satanism is not. Especially in the case of gender and sexual minorities. Any movement or individual making an honest appraisal of Satanism will find more clemency for queers than even liberal parties were willing to support. Only recently have establishment liberal politicians and mainstream feminists taken sexual and gender liberation seriously. While the population at large either affirmed or skirted the myth that homosexuals were pedophiles, one and all, Satanism had already settled the question—half a century prior. Satanism has been ahead of the curve on questions of civil rights despite not adhering to conventional morality on the subject. Being a religion of the flesh, dedicated to the carnal nature of human beings as they really are, it would’ve never made sense for Satanism to ostracize anyone for consensual sexual activity and all the expression it might entail.
This isn’t an example of a Satanic Witch polishing her “Good Guy Badge,” showing off a collection of minorities and soliciting the affections of any movement. This outlook is a built-in feature. It simply couldn’t be otherwise. Satanism isn’t a morally restrictive creed where false and laughably ridiculous values are assigned to innocuous personal behaviors. We don’t take part in the control freak’s all-too-serious demand to “don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” Exactly the opposite, the Satanist tends to have one of two stances on other people’s consensual private lives. The Satanist may be apathetic, which is usually the case. At other times the Satanist might applaud those living the Satanic way. The Satanic way means kicking abstinence and counterproductive compulsions to the curb, preferring to actualize the most potent and authentic parts of ourselves. Unnecessary frustration isn’t Satanic and so unreasonable limitations on gender expression and sexual gratification aren’t Satanic.
Satan loves queers. There’s no preference for what type of queers. They are gay men, whether they be femme, butch, top or bottom, bear or twink. Some of them are sashaying their way to cocktail hour. Some of them are brooding over their ultra-masculinity like Spartans in mating season. There is no principle against dousing yourself in glitter and dancing to diva music at the gay bar, incessantly referring to oneself as A Massive Homo. It’s your own self-interest at play when finding your niche. It’s your job to find the mode of expression most befitting your personality.
Lesbians are welcome, and how. Lipstick or diesel, bisexual girls with asymmetrical hairstyles of all hues, pillow princesses or female-on-female dominatrices. Some emblazon the word “feminist” across their identities, marking that paradigm as an essential part of their analysis of the world. Others don’t, at all. My personal favorite is that special type of woman we call “soft-butch.” That type is near and dear to my heart. “Strap-on” is the watchword of my lifestyle and it’s all unquestionably Satanic. The rainbow banner hangs proudly in my home.
Whatever our lifestyle or orientation, we might be getting tied up, slapped, called a bitch and zapped with a violet wand. Or not. We could be swingers. Everyday 24/7 power exchange could be our thing. Either way, the Satanist isn’t invested in cleaning up the act and wailing that “we’re just like you.” Maybe we’re so different our households are alien planets in comparison. Perhaps the dynamics of our relationships don’t mirror those of your average heterosexual couple. It’s no problem for us.
By virtue of popular bigotry, transsexuals and other gender non-conformists are lumped in with sexual minorities, despite these categories having little to do with sexual orientation. Indulgence is indulgence. If gratification can be found in medical transition, private cross-dressing or role-reversal as fetishistic activities, if it’s found in drag performance, or in fashion and grooming habits that blur the lines between masculine and feminine, then these avenues of personal enrichment warrant encouragement rather than derision. The bewildered masses look on, ass cheeks clinched so tight they could turn coal into diamonds, trying to peg gender diversity as either sinful or mentally ill. Naturally, the Satanic attitude is these so-called sins lead to personal gratification. Go for it. Likewise, mental illness means instability and not peculiarity. The prevalence of gender diversity in today’s popular discourse is a positive outcome, despite all sensationalism to the contrary. It couldn’t be more pleasing to see this age of fire continue to play out, where individuals are freer than ever to enjoy themselves as they see fit. Ultimately this is what we’re seeing unfold in today’s march towards gender diversity, despite certain potholes along that road.
It’s important to spell out this list of perceived “deviants” and signify their abundant presence within Satanism. And it is abundant, make no mistake. Anecdotally, Satanism appears to encompass more gender and sexual minorities per capita than any other organized religion. That’s my impression from years of knowing and networking with other Satanists. Though exactly how queer Satanism happens to be isn’t the point. The point is that Satanism naturally contains sexual and gender liberation as a key component. What’s more, it functions far differently than many groups or ideologies purporting to have sexual and gender emancipation as core values.
How so? Because, again, Satanism is not a morally restrictive creed where laughably ridiculous values are assigned to innocuous personal behaviors. The individual isn’t seen as belonging to a group or to a higher value. Instead, individuals belong to themselves alone.
The sassy cocktail drinking homosexual isn’t held up as an example of all that’s repellent about the so-called Gay Lifestyle. His quirks may be unappealing to some but that distaste is not a moral value. His flamboyance isn’t avoided, swept under the rainbow rug at all costs, because it amounts to bad public relations for homosexuals who desperately seek mainstream approval as Manly Men with a capital M. Likewise, the masculine homosexual doesn’t have a sequined boot planted in his face. How and why he fancies all things stereotypically masculine isn’t up for debate or demoralization in favor of strengthening some collective queer identity.
The lipstick lesbian and the High Femme transsexual woman, such as yours truly, are not scolded for having “internalized misogyny” or “reinforcing female stereotypes” for embracing what’s most arousing and accurate to them. Instead, these types are encouraged to leverage their hyper-feminine sensibilities towards the ends befitting a Satanic Witch. Likewise, the butch woman isn’t harped upon as being a castrating, man hating, shrill bitch, unless of course she’s proven herself exactly that. Her short cropped hair and button down shirts don’t symbolize the blight of radical feminism run amok in the western world. She belongs to herself.
Satanic principles of personal liberation function in decidedly different ways from the norm. The status quo is to hold the individual as hostage for the sake of the group and its ideological or cultural purity. In traditional religion and socially conservative societies this means enforcement of a strict binary between male or female, heterosexual or deceased. As Christianity’s power and influence dwindles we’ve found that control freaks need no religion to play schoolyard bully. Armed with neither crucifix nor flag, millions of psychotic malcontents still froth with hatred at the sight of anyone living happy productive lives without “traditional values.” On the flipside, in the LGBT world there exists an unfortunate proclivity to cast individuals, and all of their behaviors, in the role of ambassador to the straight world. An unfortunate but predictable political response to being thrust into perpetual battle with authorities both great and pissant. Expected to abandon their own desires and proclivities, like martyr masochists, to appease the insensible and hypocritical piety of the masses, the result is a fractured psyche and an insatiable leech upon all enthusiasm. Resentment towards transsexuals and other non-conformists tends to run high, skittishly begging for scraps of legitimacy. Campy or strikingly provocative homo-eroticism are treated as leprosy, for the cause. Ironically, for the cause of liberating them from restrictive and baseless social norms. It’s documented history.
Or in other cases the individual is forbidden from appearing to reinforce long celebrated lifestyles and expressions, instructed to give no quarter to the straight world. There’s a habit to cast any perpetrator as a vile counter-revolutionary against a sexless and genderless utopian nightmare. Lesbians have nuclear showdowns over the ethics of using dildos, transsexuals charge one another with treason for appearing all too feminine, and bisexuals are both nonexistent and untrustworthy at once. A gay man without a penchant for diva techno and effete fashion sensibilities are Uncle Toms shucking and jiving for Massa Heterosexual. Whatever the case, abstinence or compulsion are being favored above indulgence and rational self-interest. That state of affairs is detestable to the Satanic eye. We don’t cower before “the cause.” No amount of books, articles, and lectures informing us how we should express our sexuality and gender will sway us. We’re not so flimsy. We don’t need to be told how to be real men, or real gay men, or politically convenient transsexuals, or straight as an arrow. In Satanism morality takes a backseat to pragmatism and self-interest.
In Satanism, the intersections of orientation and gender expression are not weaponized against the individual but rather weaponized for the individual. First you have to pinpoint your most honest and unfettered self. Second you have to put in the real work, which is studying and applying the carnal principles that give you—the honest-to-goodness you—mastery over this world. Satanic liberation means more than being oneself, it means making yourself useful—to you! And it has nothing to do with solidarity, herd behavior, group-think, or living up to impossible standards of purity; except insofar as these things must be understood as well.
It should be obvious to those who critically examine both Satanism and the Church of Satan that, again, deviance is abundant among our tribe. Though there is room for misinterpretation by would-be Satanists and critics alike. Facets of gender and sexual liberation have been criticized by Satanic writers, Anton LaVey included. Myself included. This comes as no surprise since Satanism climbed out of the monstrous womb of the 1960s counter-culture. The Satanic Bible was published amid second wave feminism—which isn’t devoid of valuable insight—and its distillations into flower children hippies. Their dictates were directly lampooned by The Satanic Bible and, later on, The Satanic Witch. Then as now, honest self-awareness was garbage while either conformity or empty-posturing ruled the day. A woman couldn’t be liberated if she hadn’t fucked at least a dozen greasy hippies in the back of a Volkswagen van. Better yet if she was fucking her guru. The same applied to men, whether gay or straight. Conversely, other factions branded the heterosexual woman as a loser who betrayed the dianic sisterhood of perpetual menstruation. Only political lesbianism would do. Sex with other women whether she liked it or not, or at least abstinence from cock, were deemed “liberation” for both woman and womankind. Little room existed for the individual to sort out their own needs on their own terms. And such is still the case in one form or another.
In the 1960s cultural cesspool we saw the fall of iconic forms of masculinity and femininity into modern day devils. Conventional appearances and manners could be traced, like so much Jewish blood quantum, way back to patriarchal invention. Embracing them became the most undignified betrayal. Never mind the “choice” so celebrated by cultural liberalism. The elaborate finery of yesteryear fell out of favor and the unisex pantsuit made a hostile attempt on our sex lives. To a man like Anton LaVey it must have looked like a whole species of peacocks ripping out their feathers in writhing agony; all for the sake of bald, well-plucked equality. Satanism stands in sharp contrast, offering genuine empowerment instead of fraudulent morality. The pantsuit is an option but it’s not totalitarian. We have options and we study them intently. For this we sometimes bare the mantle of regressive and we sometimes appear inviting to the regressive themselves.
But hardly. Satanic thinkers have been cutthroat (and imperfect) in critiquing the feminization of men and the masculinization of women at the hands of meddlesome ideology. And indeed, culturally mandated androgyny has earned plenty a Satanist’s ire. This has extended to the straight world and how queer communities function. They’ve sometimes been imperfect in their language, dubbing one negative quality or another masculine or feminine. Discourse evolves. Setting the record straight, the critique has forever been aimed at the herd conformity involved. It hasn’t been the morality of being either feminine or masculine, flamboyant or reserved, femme or butch. If a man is feminized because of popular morality then he’s not emasculated because he’s feminine, he’s emasculated because he’s a weak willed consumerist with a gutless personality. Same goes for his inability to hold his own in matters of sex and love. He’s not feminine at all. The Satanic woman packs heat but could kill with high heels, which includes our transsexual women. The pusillanimous “metrosexual” couldn’t speak up with more than a whine. He could only be so lucky to embody those classic feminine virtues of fortitude, nurturing, and elegance, or the ice cold rage women are known for. In the same vein, if a woman can’t turn off the feminist squawk-box for all of five minutes then she’s not masculine, she ain’t butch, she’s just a miserable asshole. She’s let someone else’s narrative whip her into endless discomfort. If she’s throwing her nicest dress in the garbage because of political convenience, out of misplaced loyalty to an abstract tribe of women, then she’s a coward and a moron. Her combat boots and blue hair have nothing to do with it.
Never has it been a Satanic principle that gender has a required dress code or androgyny itself is toxic waste. As a result, transgender and transsexual people aren’t verboten in Satanism. Have you seen how the most brutal royalty in past times used to dress? Drag queens would flat out lose the game of RuPaul’s Drag Race to them. Further, it has never been the Satanic contention that gay or transsexual people are inferior to or less authentic than their heterosexual or cisgender counterparts. If modern manifestations of gender diversity are critiqued it’s because some people, lacking in genuine identities of their own, crib notes from genuine transsexuals and interesting gender benders for the purpose of appearing more special, more unique, like some sort of “special snowflake.” The same can be said of those who poorly imitate genuine article Satanists. In both cases a Satanist would be wasting their time trying to sort these people out. This quickly devolves into unnecessary bickering and madhouse bullying. Flatly, it’s not our job to police every culture and sub-culture out there—which is something the normals haven’t yet figured out. Another millennia perhaps? It is enough to advise would-be Satanists there are qualities and values more pressing than gender presentation and sexual orientation. After all, Satanists are invested in themselves and not the herd.
These are facts. If it has to be a hammer over the head then so be it, here’s the hammer: real transphobia, homophobia, and genuine misogyny are unsatanic. Context clues can tell the difference. The Satanic perspective is more far-seeing than all that. They’re the trademark of people who both misunderstand and fear carnal reality. We can throw misandry in there for good measure, since this kind of insufferable bigotry is in vogue and largely unexamined in the mainstream. If that makes Satanism inconvenient for you, then find somewhere else to peddle your horseshit. On the other hand, if Satanism’s lack of political correctness ruins your appetite then I’m afraid you’ll be in bad company. We have the grill if you’ve got the sacred cow, so come on down. Either way, Satanism doesn’t distort the peculiar but otherwise harmless private lives of individuals into dire questions of moral stability. We don’t pretend that a pair of panties or a blow job can threaten the support struts of civilization itself. We don’t admonish the blond vixen who lusts for male attention, herself the subject of scorn in sex-negative feminist books like Female Chauvinist Pigs. Women who choose a lifestyle quite the opposite of our blond vixen, or transsexual women, are not threats to traditional manliness. For sure, one would think the muscle of such a man could weather the fleeting storms of popular opinion, itself being more appearance than substance. His insecurity in the face of freedom is more a threat to his perceived manliness. Everywhere we look we see personal preference rendered into convenient caricatures by career propagandists. It’s highly effective, since politicizing private lives is the quickest route to controversy.
In my estimate the whole ordeal of contemporary society’s culture war regarding gender and sexual minorities could stand to be more Satanic. Less emphasis on moral outrage would be preferable. It’s time to drop notion that having one sexual orientation rather than another, or existing as one gender or another, can be a moral question at all. Marriage is not a question of national security. Gender confirmation surgeries are not devious conspiracies. Individuals belong to themselves and for themselves. Their gender identities and bedroom activities don’t imply one political creed over another, no philosophy over another. Neither do they imply a specific value. Oral sex doesn’t make someone an ambassador for one group or another, beholden to any given public relations program. Appearing conventional is not regressive and being deviant isn’t special—and vice versa.
The Satanist will use sexuality and gender to their own ends. They shirk accountability to anyone that seeks to control, mold, or otherwise guide the trajectory of their personal lives according to a collective will. They sort out what works for them and they stand for themselves. As always, the Satanic third side perspective finds itself watching from the outside with a raised eyebrow. The whole world’s a stage, it’s always improv hour and the actors are desperately looking for a script.
Over the past 10 years synthwave has transformed from a small niche genre that raised eye brows in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive to record labels such as Blood Music pulling millions of views on YouTube and fans of the smash-hit Netflix show Stranger Things clamoring for a soundtrack vinyl treatment.
Heavily inspired by new wave, 1980′s films, soundtracks, and video games, the genre developed a retro-futuristic aesthetic found in projects such as
Perturbator (Black Flame Interview), Carpenter Brut, Power Glove, Com Truise, and more. Among these artists a ghost haunts the genre, pulling more heavily from classic slasher films, Satanic literature, and bass rich contemporary electronic music. His upcoming album, “Non Paradisi”, is described as “a loose musical adaptation of John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” concerning Lucifer’s fall from Heaven and ensuing ascent from the Lake of Fire”. At the end of the month Gost will launch an international tour in the United State and Europe, with shows already selling out. I’ve had the pleasure to talk to the man behind this infernal project and discuss some of his influences, Satanism & the Church of Satan, horror films and the throw-back horror trend, Stranger Things, his new album, and his brand new music video, all from a Satanic perspective. Enjoy!
As Satanists we embrace the power of symbols, mythologies, and archetypes that capture abstract ideas, emotions, and our understanding of the universe. Many Satanic artists create their own personas that they develop through their art. Can you give our readers a brief summary of the symbolism and mythology behind your character, Gost?
Gost is the physical vessel for the demon(s) known as Baalberith, the bringer of death, purveyor of truth, prince of Hell and the demon who guides men towards blasphemy. His mission is to spread the dark gospel of the master light bringer through this human form of music and perversion. Obliging human kind with dignity and the recognition of the dignity given.
The thing that brought you to my attention was your use of Anton LaVey’s Black House for your self-titled release. In previous interviews you mentioned that your attraction to Satanism and Satanic imagery was primarily a reaction against the Christian society around you growing up. Over time, has it become something more meaningful to you? Have you read LaVey’s work?
Yes, what started as a stone cast towards anti-theism has very much become a way of life and general philosophy personally… I have read The Satanic Bible, yes.
And what was your reaction to reading LaVey? What inspired you to include the photo of the Black House (Church of Satan headquarters) on your release? It seems to me that it was a nod to your influences.
I enjoy reading LaVey very much. Aside from the image itself being very striking, I align Gost quite closely with the ceremonial aspects that the Church of Satan uses. More than a nod, more like a giant flag!
Based on your Reddit AMA you stated that you are an atheist that understands and appreciates the power of religion and myths. Is that correct?
Yes, this is correct however, Gost allows me to employ some of the parts of Satanism that I like into the art.
I know other journalists are either spooked or just have a passing interest in your use of Satanic imagery. Do you think being published here on The Black Flame is a way of “giving the devil his due”? In private you said being published here is a dream come true for you, would you say that is an acknowledgement of the Church of Satan's influence on your work?
In a sense, yes, this interview and the project as a whole is for the glory of the devil. I do not mind at all! It is an honor to be aligned with the Church of Satan in any way!
As I noted in my interview with
Perturbator, I believe there’s something innately Satanic in horror-themed synthwave music. Creating new environments, new symbols and mythologies, and using the power of the past are all important to Satanism, and the pentagrams are fun too! I think there’s a dark current flowing through three artists in particular: yourself, Perturbator, and Carpenter Brut… something you’re tapping into maybe without knowing it. Do you feel like the three of you are operating on similar aesthetic, creative, and musical wavelengths? In what ways would you say you stand out?
We are all close personally and artistically. Synthwave has brought us together on a personal level and it just so happens we all come from very similar backgrounds musically as well. We all naturally and separately create a similar aesthetic and enjoy some of the same themes but it has been purely coincidental… I have been told that I am the darkest and the heaviest of the three which is something I completely agree with. Respectively though, we are all quite different in my opinion.
Let’s talk music. I understand you’re influenced by Justice, which I can hear in your use of fat, distorted synth pads. It gives your flavor of synthwave a more electric guitar sound. In some ways I hear a more modern EDM/Dance influence than a straight throwback Tangerine Dream sound. Was this the intention or just how it ended up?
I am definitely hugely influenced by Justice, Tangerine Dream and modern EDM. I think if any of these three influences in particular stands out more than another it is merely the personal experience and opinion of the listener. For me I take elements of many influences when I am writing for Gost. I am also constantly trying to evoke new or different influence in hopes of growing as an artist.
Some of my favorite tracks of yours are ones which have vocals, including Without A Trace which features Hayley Stewart from Dead Astronauts and Don’t Panic from your collaboration with Dedderz (such a high energy track, it’s my go-to when I’m at the gym). How did you come about working with Hayley Stewart and Dedderz?
With Hayley, Perturbator had already worked with her and I liked what she did with him so I had Perturbator put us in contact. Hayley is amazing to work with! Her tracks always come back polished and ready to plug into the track with very little extra work from me. Dedderz contacted me to re-work Don’t Panic. They gave me several tracks to choose from and Don’t Panic was the obvious choice for me because of the energy in the vocals themselves. Definitely happy with the end result of working with Dedderz.
What are your thoughts on remixing, both remixing others and people remixing you? Is there anything you’d like to hear done with your music?
Personally, I can be a bit tentative to work with people because in general
I do not enjoy collaborating very much. As long as the original song
is something I feel I can work with and I am allowed to do what I want
with my version I enjoy re-working others tracks. Perturbator (Link)and Dance
With The Dead (Link) have done remixes for Gost and I was really happy with
their work. All I want to hear in a remix of my work is a solid effort
I’ll make you a noise/harsh industrial remix.
For sure! Just let me know what song you’d like to remix!
I understand you’re a fan of classic slasher horror films like Nightmare on Elm Street and the work of John Carpenter. Are you a fan of any modern horror films? Along with retro-influenced synthwave there have been throwback horror films that have been trying to capture the visual and soundtrack elements of the late 70’s and 80’s. Have you seen these films and what are your thoughts on modern movies going back to the past?
Yes. I really enjoyed the new Evil Dead, Starry Eyes, The House of The Devil, We Are Still Here, House of 1000 Corpses, and It Follows to name a few. Personally I have no problem with artists of any medium conjuring the past for use in modern work. I do, however, think there is a fine line between using the past as an influence to create something new and ripping the past without attempting to add something new and fresh.
I have like three times through already! Great series and I can’t wait for the sequel. The soundtrack has created a new buzz but it was definitely not the soundtrack alone. Without the incredible work of everyone involved in the series we wouldn’t even be talking about the soundtrack. So well done all around!
What can you tell us about your new upcoming album, “Non Paradisi”? Any surprises or new developments in your sound that we can look forward to?
I can tell you this album is much more of a journey into hell than Behemoth ever was. It is a much more thought out play through. There are heavy tracks indeed but I took my time in places much more on Non Paradisi than I did with Behemoth. Coupled with the artwork this album is a much deeper experience in my opinion. There are some more ambitious sound attempts on Non Paradisi for sure. I am ready for everyone to walk through hell with me on this one!
How was it working with Valenberg on the new video? Did you have any
input on the story or concept?
Valenberg is an amazing artist. He is very open to working with others to achieve the best end result possible, which is so rare. I communicated with Valenberg through Blood Music during the process of the Arise video. Blood Music was extremely hands on with the video (co-directed) and I added to or approved many of the concepts and imagery.
How would you describe the narrative in the video? Seems like a variation on Milton’s Paradise Lost, which is outstanding.
Yes it is exactly that! The video picks up as the war in heaven has ended and Lucifer is cast out of heaven into the lake of fire. We changed things up a bit by casting Gost (Baal) as the right hand of Lucifer. In our version, Gost is instrumental in helping Lucifer rise from the lake of fire and triumphantly claim his new throne without the unjust hand of God controlling his every move.
It seems like Blood Music has become a nexus of dark synthwave culture, bringing together musicians such as yourself, visual artist Førtifem who created your upcoming album art, and director Daniel Schwartz who directed the video for Maleficarum. How did you come about to work with Blood Music? Has this inspired you to expand on the universe of Gost/Baalberith?
I became aware of Blood Music through them working with Perturbator. Perturbator pushed me to contact and work with Blood Music from the beginning. Blood Music has been exponential in my ability to make Gost available on a worldwide scale. My ambition for the universe of Gost was always there but without Blood Music I would be nowhere near where I am today.
Among your latest news is your upcoming tour in support of your new album. Your Helsinki show with Perturbator sold out in record time, congrats! What can fans expect from your live performances this time around?
You can expect a lot of energy as always. My set this go around is much longer than the last tour and I will be playing quite a bit of older material as well as some of the new record as well. I do have a few surprises planned here and there but for that people will just have to wait and see.
I think your Gost character would do great as a comic book or even video game like Splatterhouse. Thought about doing more with your project outside of music?
There have actually been talks of a comic yes but unfortunately nothing has panned out quite yet… I am not opposed to such a thing as long as the the artist and writer are completely on-board to stay true to the character.
What are you currently listening to right now?
I’ve had the newest Lorn release on repeat as well as the newest White
Lung album. Perturbator introduced me to The Devil’s Blood on our last
tour together and it’s become a staple as well!
Thank you for your time! Send my regards to James Perturbator and have a blast on your tour! Hail Satan!
Of course! Thanks and I will say hello to James! Hail Satan!
Satanism as a pragmatic philosophy uses everything at its disposal. Potentially everything is of interest and worth knowing to the Satanist. Naturally curious, we are seekers after knowledge. But what do we mean by knowledge, and how and why is it pertinent to Satanism?
We recall that Satanism champions indulgence (not compulsion) and the seeking of the attainment of personal desires, what we conceptualize as rational self-interest and vital existence. On the other hand, Satanism also promotes undefiled wisdom—a way of knowing, a certain attainment of certain knowledge pertaining to an experience which has withstood and endured. It is in this sense of enduring, lasting, weathering, aging, and holding out that one first comes to be wise. Indulgence, rational self-interest, vital existence, knowing, knowledge, wisdom; how do these things, which underpin Satanism, first and fundamentally go together?
As bearing for us the role of accuser and opposer, as a waving banner of rebellion to tradition and established norms, Satanism is a questioning. Questioning aims at answering. Answering exhibits and makes known—opens up, makes way for the happening of truth. We said answering makes known. To be made known is to make a grasping of. We see here a relation between knowing and grasping. When one has grasped something, we say one has understood it, one has comprehended it by way of seizing and laying holding of it. In this way, it could be said that one has knowledge of, that one knows. So we see: knowledge, knowing, has to do with a grasping, a laying hold of. We come to think of this grasping and laying hold of more clearly when we think of the actual activity of work and working with the given thing we are striving to know. For instance, in learning how mathematics work, the knowledge attained in learning comes from the actual working out of the problem. To be a skilled carpenter, one comes to the knowledge of the skills involved in carpentering by working with the tools and the wood—in the activity of carpentering. To fully know a thing is to be given over to the activity of working with the thing. We can see here a more literal implication of the word grasping in the activity of work. In philosophical language, our activity in the flow of dealing with the thing we call our project. To project, to be projected in activity, is to know, is the attainment of knowledge. These words: grasping, activity, dealing, projecting, all point to a doing.
Knowledge is projected activity, it is a doing. We said that potentially everything is of interest and worth knowing to the Satanist and that we are seekers after knowledge. But what do we mean here? How does this relate to indulgence and vital existence?
Knowledge as project is knowledge in a more original, that is, fundamental sense. This original, fundamental meaning of knowledge makes possible our common, that is, derivative sense of knowledge as awareness of mere facts. Both meanings are of concern for Satanism. Satanism stands for indulgence, in physical and emotional gratification. This is vital existence; it is a concern for this life and this moment upon the earth, rather than cares aimed at “spirituality”, “spiritual values”, or a "spiritual beyond". Satanism questions these matters, asking for proof and rationality behind these other-worldly claims. Our affairs are solely aimed at the carnal, having outgrown and shed these other-worldly notions. As such, we hold ourselves open to fleshly living and possibilities of stimulation and gratification. Satanism entirely advocates living in the authentic moment—moment in the sense of spontaneity—holding oneself open to solicitations from environments, equipment, nature, and other human beings as these matters present themselves to us. One stands openly free for them, making room for the activity of being involved in them. But notice here the doing involved in the holding open of ourselves to these solicitations. Vital existence is originally, that is, fundamentally a doing—it is the activity of existing openly upon the earth, opening up oneself to one’s environment and situation, becoming free for projects which offer us stimulation and gratification. Satanism is a religion which holds open the possibilities of living a gratifying life. It accepts human beings as being human beings, in all baseness of our carnal nature. Baseness here is taken to mean the undermost part in the sense of the basic, the primordial, the most fundamental part. Satanism sees the nature of flesh, our carnality, our animalistic nature as fundamental to the human condition. We call this open project the Satanic project.
Satanism as the Satanic project is a doing. We said that knowledge fundamentally is projected activity, that it is also a doing. What is Satanism a knowledge of in its activity, in its doing? And, both as project, how do vital existence and knowledge go together?
We said that vital existence is at bottom, fundamentally, a doing, in the sense of holding open oneself to gratifying projects in the authentic moment. If we take the general concept of existence to mean the activity one does to take a stand on one’s being, we see that existing is the basis for projective knowledge. As Satanists, we exist in vital existence, given over to the gratification of our lives in fulfillment. This includes the fulfilling of desires as well as employing the role of the accuser and opposer to spiritual proclivities which aim to stifle the fulfillment of our lives. In being held open to possibilities in our moment, in the gratification of life, a certain knowledge is reached in this project. We come to know a certain meaning, a certain rapture of life. We come to know the meaning of, as Nietzsche said, what it is to be a yes-sayer; we come to know strength-through-joy. We said that we are seekers after knowledge, and taken fundamentally, we mean to say we are held open to all life has to offer in its proliferation of possibilities and experiences–we are held open in the doing of the Satanic project. It is through this activity of doing, through aged experience that endures, lasts, holds out that undefiled wisdom is attained; one learns the meaning of wisdom and becomes wise. But this also gives rise to the seeking of knowledge in the derivative sense of mere facts. This applies to things like book reading, learning history or philosophy, educating oneself, examining the universe and the scientific implications which reflect on our lives. Satanists are naturally curious; it goes without saying that a hunger for knowledge in this sense is a Satanic trait.
But all this talk is philosophical. One need not be a philosopher or be educated in academic philosophy to identify as a Satanist. However, philosophy itself is of interest to the Satanist. Potentially everything is of interest to the Satanist, in both senses of fundamental and derivative knowledge. The Satanist investigates the world and questions accepted norms. It is for this reason that philosophy naturally shares in a unity with Satanism. Philosophy seeks to ask fundamental questions about the world; philosophy penetrates and questions everything. Nothing is off the table for philosophy. It is this kinship of investigation that Satanism shares with philosophy, and the Satanist would do well to at least wade the waters of philosophy. Philosophy and philosophical inquiry can add much to the forte of the Satanist. One learns to think critically about ideas, as well as one’s own ideas, and investigate the world in a rational, unbiased way. It teaches discipline in the realm of thinking. Satanism is not only about outward investigation, but also about investigation of the inner. Satanism advocates personal awareness; it advocates knowing oneself entirely, from what one’s fetishes and hang-ups are, to knowing what one’s personality type is and what one’s skills may consist of. It is a realized, actualized ideology. In keeping with this line of thought, and in the interest of encouraging the dear reader to delve into the waters of philosophy, I conclude with a pithy utterance of Socrates in Plato’s Apology: "The unexamined life is not worth living.“
In the early and mid 1960’s, Elvis Presley was surrounded by his most trusted & loved friends, family and fans. Hype men and women had led him to believe that he was the most popular star in the world. It wasn’t until Elvis began filming his ‘68 Comeback Special that he was served the cold hard truth. He had fallen into obscurity and no one really cared about his music. He walked down the street with nary a second glance from the other street dwellers. He had inadvertently surrounded himself with vampires, leeches, and admirers for so many years that he believed he was what they told him. It is easy to believe the hype others serve you, but it is the hype you create, not the sycophant that serves it, that can be truly poisonous.
We Satanists live in a time where self-importance, even self-worth, is widely measured by the number of likes you have on a post in social media or the number of people who follow your profile. A Satanist would never fall for such obvious shenanigans, right? … right? Our religion is one of individualism. It is a religion of celebrating your life and accomplishments when you have achieved them and always moving forward; forward to experience and achieve your own sense of purpose and direction. How can social media be anything but a hindrance for living? If we are constantly glad-handing those who would be so happy as to simply be in our presence, indulging such pathetic behavior and thereby enabling these vermin, we are creating the very roadblock that will prevent us from moving forward.
As a young man, I would sit in my basement bedroom. This space with cold cement floors and walls was more than just my bedroom, it was my cell. My companions were spider webs, paints, pencils, books and music. I would take time with music. It was a window into a different life. It spoke of parties and sex and living exciting, extravagant lifestyles! I would memorize lyrics by reading the cassette jacket with the song playing. I thought by somehow connecting with the band, by memorizing what they said, I was living vicariously through them like I was a part of their amazing lives. This is the method of social media. You sit in your lair, obsessing over others’ lives, hoping or believing that by simply viewing their interactions, you are somehow as important or living their same quality of life as they are. As a young man, I quickly shook these foolish ideas from my head and, rather than trying to live through artists music, I chose to live as a Satanist—through life!
As sad as this behavior is, worse are the fools that try to shower their importance on you. We have all met these hollow braggarts, constantly sharing their ‘inspired’ thoughts and activities. It’s a miracle they can be so fully developed and accomplished, yet have so much time to share their authority. You can easily identify this type as they will often come with a hype-man. Someone who will echo their importance should you not pay the proper respects or attention to their posts. And though this is at its core antithetical to Satanism, we see them everywhere. I’m not saying this to denigrate social media or shame those that use it. Social media, like everything, has a role in our lives. But it is you the Satanist, the individual who champions real-life accomplishment, who must tread most carefully lest you allow the social network du jour to become your entourage, blinding you from reality.
Now for the ‘moment of clarity’… you are not the sum of those that follow you. If your measure of worth is thoroughly wrapped-up in what others think, you are not only incapable of being an individual, you are NOT a Satanist. Now, there is nothing wrong with appreciating those who would deliver praise, but to measure your interactions to provoke that delivery is not living. It’s easy to find your inner god after reading The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Scriptures, but when your behavior is in direct contrast with your declared beliefs, something’s gotta give. It is the very independence of self that makes us most susceptible to this behavior. The individual loves to be seen as such after all, though this is a flaw, it is not one we should allow to hold dominion over our mind and behaviors.
Being aware of our flaws is the first step in overcoming them, and recognizing the behavior in ourselves is the first step in stemming its expression. Satanism champions indulgence, after all, it’s the First Satanic Statement. This is further explained in Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible chapter “Indulgence… Not Compulsion.” When it comes to active use of social media, it’s often nothing but compulsion.
Again, this is not to say a Satanist cannot indulge in social media. We can. We do. We just do it with intention. Engage from a distance. I measure my chosen activities in the following ways. I do not expect anyone else to do so, but it may be worth a look. If I am going to engage in an activity, that activity must be:
An activity that is physical, tangible and/or real.
An activity that will bring physical or emotional satisfaction.
An activity that benefits me and mine in the short and long run.
Let’s explore these ideas briefly. But before we do, I need to be clear that I am not anti-computers or online interactions. I recognize them for what they are—not real. Reality is what you see, touch, taste, say and hear. We all know an online troll would rarely if ever engage in the same behavior if standing in front of you. And that perfect photo of the glamorous woman was only one of hundreds taken and digitally touched up. Not Real. So what do I mean by my aforementioned list?
I mean, rather than measuring the sum of one’s self by ‘thumbs up’ or ‘stars’ or comments or shares, you measure the sum of you by the actions you have taken offline. I measure the sum of my worth by the actions I take to further my successes in personal, professional and social interactions. By teaching my children how to garden, earning a raise through hard work and exceptional contribution and sharing time with friends at home or at live events away. By living in the moment—being present with those you have chosen, and championing yourself regardless of others—you lead a clean, purposeful and utterly Satanic life.
There is an endless sea of martial arts styles
from around the world. Each style, or system was designed for either
self-protection from would be invaders, the preservation of an ancestral
tradition or for the development of warriors used to conquer other regions via
force. Some systems began as one type and evolved towards cultural preservation
as warring periods subsided. There are general aspects to look for when
searching for a martial art to indulge oneself in. A tremendous amount of time
and effort can be wasted without understanding the nature of any given system.
To avoid promotion or denigration of any particular style, I will present a few
concepts to help guide the aspiring student in a direction that will best serve
their personal inclinations.
There are varying motivations for
seeking out martial arts training. Many seek training to protect themselves or
those they care for from assault. Others are looking for a workout to enhance
their physical faculties; some are in search of a path to “enlightenment”.
Satanists would most likely find themselves motivated by the first two and
would prefer (unless undertaking research) to avoid the last. It is possible to
indulge in and enjoy cultural exoticism without attaching to spiritual
trappings commonly found in traditional systems.
It is important to be realistic
in not only your expectations, but what type of effort you are willing to
implement to achieve your desired goal. Honest self-analysis is the key to
finding a system that matches your capacities. This simple fact is the reason
why stints in random systems are found to be disappointing and soon abandoned
as not feeling “right”. What are you trying to accomplish? This is the first
question that most martial arts enthusiasts should ask themselves when deciding
on a particular style to study. What are your weaknesses and how can you
improve them? If a person who is relatively weak doesn’t have the ambition to
increase their physical strength than logic would dictate they should avoid an
art where strength is a prime factor. Again, honest recognition of one’s proclivities
can make finding a gratifying art much easier. Simply stated: What are you
willing to do and to what extent? A person who is athletic may enjoy using
their strength and power in an art that demands such. It is reasonable to
assume that any physical training will increase the body’s strength over time. Time
itself is also a factor to be considered. How much time can be dedicated to
martial arts training? How long will it take to gain a basic proficiency? Are
the techniques instantly usable or will they take years to develop? Does the art
include weapons training? If weapons training is included, are the weapons
archaic or modern, easily concealed weapons? These are a few questions I
suggest asking any instructor before committing to a training group. Many
martial arts training facilities require contractual commitment and should be
thoroughly researched before any such contracts are accepted.
The two general types of
non-spiritual martial systems can be roughly divided into sport systems designed
for competition and combat systems which focus on survival instead of a
“winning or losing” attitude. They are further subcategorized as soft or hard
styles. Soft styles minimize the use of strength and focus on strategy, accessibility
and defensive counter-techniques. Hard styles focus more on developing powerful
strikes, kicks and locks to subdue an opponent. There is a blending of these elements
within the Mixed Martial Arts movement, though it must be remembered that there
are rules to MMA fighting. A combat system will employ any means necessary to
ensure survival and cannot, by their nature, be used for competition. I am
often asked why MMA fights can go on for longer than a few seconds. My answer…
there are rules!
This raises the following question:
Can a rule based system work against a no-holds-barred street attacker?
Though any martial arts training
has the propensity to give one the self-confidence to act, the question
addresses a risk that sport martial artists take when involved in dangerous street
confrontations. Many traditional martial arts use memorized forms to transmit
the movements to students. There is no guarantee that the muscle memory
developed through forms training will work instinctively against an attacker. Combat
martial arts are utilitarian in nature and teach a specific method for
assessing a perceived or actual threat. Combat systems are usually advertised
as such. The word combat itself may be present in the name of a particular art.
There are combat versions of many traditional systems which focus solely on
self-protection and avoid competitive arenas.
In most Asian martial arts
systems, the name itself can be a clue as to the prime motivation for training.
The term “jutsu” in the name of a system typically implies a combat oriented
art. These systems are meant exclusively for fighting off an opponent. The term
“do” is indicative of a path or way. There is often a traditional, sometimes
spiritual aspect at the root of “do” systems. For example: most “do” arts are
defensive in nature. The techniques are performed as a reaction to an attack.
Typically, there is a moral code associated with these arts that forbids
throwing the first blow.
Once a prime personal motivation
has been established, it is time to start looking for the system that will best
fit your desires. With the ability to quickly search the internet for
information, a wealth of preliminary insight can be found by simply searching
for what you want. For example, searching “combat martial arts requiring no
strength” will list an array of arts that fit that category. Video files of
demonstrations can easily reveal the dynamics and methods used in technique
execution. Research is imperative, coupled with an honest understanding of
personal motivations. If a friend is
studying a martial art it might be wise to ask them what they are doing and
what benefits they have gained. Your friend may also know of other martial art
systems offered in your local area. Once you have an idea of the type of system
in your area that fits your desire, contact the dojo/training group regarding
their logistics. If possible, ask to sit in as a visitor during a class. Many
martial arts offer a free first lesson.
Look around while at the training
facility. If competition is of no interest to you and you see a wall of
trophies and plaques, you are probably not going to fulfill your needs there.
Observing the students in the class can reveal the atmosphere and teaching
style of the instructor. If there are several training groups for a particular
style, visit as many as possible. A teacher’s style is also a factor worth
considering. Are you able to handle a drill sergeant type tone or is a mild
mannered learning environment more conducive to informational retention? Many of the most dangerous martial artists in
the world are ladies and gentlemen who exude a calm and confidence that is the
result of their personal mastery.
A martial art that is effective
for dealing with street confrontations must contain an offensive and defensive
component. There are times when the first blow must be dealt in order to create
an advantage when no other options exist. This factor increases in situations
where multiple attackers are present. Here is an extreme situation to consider: A group of muggers commonly keep the “back
up” person, who is usually the biggest or strongest in the group, to the side
or rear while the other parties commit the attack. In situations such as this
where a fight with the group is imminent, dropping the big guy first can be the
wisest offensive measure. The advantage to this being that they probably didn’t
expect their “back up” to get taken out. The others may become instantly
intimidated and run away or be very reluctant to engage in a fight. This act
would require tremendous courage and/or skill. It is situations such as this
that must be considered when searching for an effective system of
self-protection. Research your local and state laws regarding martial arts
training. Know the possible ramifications of your actions. I am aware of at
least one state where a single day of martial arts training is considered
sufficient to avoiding excessive force during a defense. The laws may influence
your decision as to which type of training you pursue.
Individuals who are motivated
towards athleticism and enjoy competition will probably find hard styles or
sport systems appealing.
Those who are less interested in
athleticism and desire the ability to effectively defend themselves against
stronger opponents would be better served pursuing a soft style, combat system.
Athletic individuals interested
in personal protection with no interest in competition will enjoy hard style,
If cultural enrichment is your
desire, pursue the systems promulgated by the culture of interest. Examine the
dynamics of the various systems to further pinpoint their methodologies,
identifying which system/s best interlaces with your nature.
Carefully evaluate your
interests. You may enjoy multiplicity and find fulfillment in an array of
training approaches. There are martial arts that combine hard and soft methods as
There are also specialists who
offer workshops for specific aspects derived from one, or many styles. One may
choose, in lieu of committing to any one particular style, to seek out these specialty
events. A ‘Women’s Self Defense Seminar’ for example, generally offer a one or
two day workshop which demonstrates a few key martial art concepts. I recommend
researching the reputation of these training events, as well as the instructor
offering such classes. The more time invested in research, the less time you
will waste in your actual development.