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Part of the Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, curated by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson
This lecture will take place virtually, via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 12 pm EDT the day of the lecture. Attendees may request a video recording AFTER the lecture takes place by emailing proof of purchase to [email protected]. Video recordings are valid for 30 days after the date of the lecture.
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Dancing in the Graveyard: Death Imagery in Satanism by Blanche Barton
“Life is the great indulgence—death, the great abstinence. Therefore, make the most of life—HERE AND NOW!”
So reads a phrase from the opening chapter of The Satanic Bible. But if Satanism, true Satanism as defined by Anton LaVey in 1966, is a profoundly life-loving religion, why all the black candles, skulls, and funerary trappings? The use of a coffin in the ceremony known as “L’air Epais—the Ceremony of the Stifling Air”, for example, goes well beyond a simple memento mori to remind ourselves how fleeting is our time here on Earth. The coffin becomes, like the Hanged Man in the tarot, a symbol of both death and transformation.
One might successfully argue that all religions are invented to resolve this one issue: How do we process the inexorable truth of our own mortality? Satanism offers an engraved invitation to the courageous and the curious, to those fatally attracted to the darkest, most dangerous corners of forbidden arcana and scandalous lore, who are driven to dance with the Devil in the moonlight. Let’s glimpse beyond the veil together, shall we?
Memento Mori Forever by Carl Abrahamsson
For the human individual, there is no greater arbiter than death itself. Anxiety and fear are the very shadow-side fundaments of human religiosity, and nowhere is magical thinking as present as in thoughts and emotions touching upon (the fear of) death. One reason why human neurosis reaches ever new heights in contemporary culture is our distancing from death itself, and our painting ourselves into a corner of abstracted and compensatory imagination. How to cope? How to improve this highly detrimental neurosis and its dangerous side effects, such as monotheism?