Types of Satanism – Non-Fiction



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Feature Title: Types of Satanism

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Types of Satanism

Before we begin, I lied. Many of these aren’t technically Satanism, but are put in the same group by those outside of the community. Satanism itself is the term for following the philosophy of Satan. This would include institutions like LaVeyan Satanism, Rational Satanism, and so on. The worship of Satan and taking that to heart would definitely be a lifestyle, and there’s a lot of philosophy that goes with that, but the word “Satanism” does not denote theism. A better term that includes all of the following types would be “Diabolism,” as that’s suitably eclectic without losing sight of the main focus being on devils. This also doesn’t exclude Lilith from the craft, who is equally important as Satan. Nonetheless, I’m currently unaware of books on the philosophy of Lilith that aren’t just written by edgy feminists, nor a term denoting said philosophy. Perhaps Lilim? Lilist? Lilituism? Lillithosophy? I do think that a blend of most of the following practices is the best step forward for any diabolist, as no single one could be seen to hold all of the possibilities of the path. Nor would you want them to, it would prevent them from specializing in what each one does best.

Evilism (aka Sicko Satanism):
What it is: This is what most people think of when they think of “Satanism.” Depraved individuals who worship the devil as the God of Evil. They’re a fringe group and almost always solitary practitioners. Oftentimes they’re recent converts from fundamentalist Christianity or Catholicism, or else they use the label of “Satanist” in order to shock others. There are some noteworthy examples of evilists, but it’s a position mostly viewed with derision and disgust by other Satanists. It’s by far the least common version of Satanism, and in my opinion the second most misguided.

Narcosatanism (aka Criminal Satanism):
What it is: The highly eclectic variations of Satanism found among criminal organizations, such as gangs. It earned its name from the caravans of Mexico, where a permutation of Mexican death cults and African tradition formed the basis of rituals that involved a lot of potent spiritual warfare. They have been known to butcher bodies in complex necromantic rites in their fight to control the flow of drugs. The term could also apply to many gangs that take on the imagery of Satanism, often with their own traditions behind it closely associated with organized crime, such as prostituting yourself to the devil to initiate into the gang.

Folk Satanism:
In many places that were once deeply spiritual, but had their traditions and practices called Satanic by invading Catholics, one can still find the descendants of earlier practices that have long embraced their Satanic and “evil” nature. This can manifest in a wide variety of ways, the aforementioned narcosatanists are just one of them. These practices are too eclectic to cover in detail here, and work too closely with too many cultures for me to have any confidence in presenting them with any accuracy. I will say that the ways the evil nature of Satan is interpreted by these outlets are very interesting. Some view Satan as stern, but misunderstood. Others view Satan as overseeing rebellion or crime, and thus is less of an evil god and more of an adversarial one. Others truly view Satan as evil, only to be worked with if all you care is short-term material gain at the sacrifice of your soul and the willingness to commit great atrocities. It’s at the very least worth looking into.

Ditheistic Satanism (pejoratively referred to as reverse Christianity):
What it is: Satanists that believe there are two gods, Yahweh and Satan, and their cosmic battle has enveloped and defined the universe. They’re two sides of the same coin and either the only real entities or the only powerful entities that matter. Satan here is viewed as a mastermind tactician, making spiritual warriors out of those who convert to His side. Elements of this are used in a lot of decent paths.

Atheistic Satanism:
What it is: Atheists who see Satan as a symbol of antichristian attitudes and intellectualism, who hide behind the symbol of Satan as an excuse to do what they were going to do anyway. These are normally people who are wholly incapable of magick, and thus proclaim it doesn’t exist, although sometimes they will subscribe to a very limited psychological view of magick. It’s one of the most common forms of Satanism, and in my opinion the most misguided.

LaVeyan Satanism:
What it is: Belief in Satan as a symbol of freedom and the True Self, an aesthetic of darkness and a devotion to the individual. It posits that mankind is beast-like by nature, and that this isn’t always a bad thing, and is deeply opposed to hypocrisy and mindless dogmatism. LaVeyans hold indulgence of personal pleasure, so long as it’s not directly physically or psychologically harmful to an unconsenting other, to be of high importance in finding the Self. It’s so opposed to the concept of dogma, that Anton LaVey (despite believing in a devil theistically for much of his life) wrote against the existence of gods as a whole because he found their presence in philosophical texts unnecessary and lending the text to too much possible abuse. Later on, he converted to full atheism, much to the disgust of his peers. In his prime, he would find the aforementioned Atheistic Satanists to be quite the contemptible lot.

What it is: The syncreticism of Satan with Set. They are Kemetics who follow Left-Hand Path philosophy and belong to the black lodge, and they view Satan as an impure manifestation of Set. Those peers LaVey disgusted? This is the foundation they formed. Given the Church of Satan’s bad PR, one might be tempted to say that the Temple of Set’s attempts to legitimize Satanism in older practices and shed the name of the “Christian god of evil” was to avoid the same controversy. Regardless, Ancient Egyptian texts and beliefs are central to the Setian concept of Xeper, and many more of their teachings. To call oneself a Setian, you are to initiate in the Temple of Set. For this reason, there are plenty of Setians who disagree with the founding philosophy of the Temple, as the Temple has almost no dogma that it forces its members adhere to.

Pagan Satanism (aka Satanic Wichcraft or Sabbatic Satanism):
What it is: A form of polytheistic Satanism that integrates the reconstruction of Satanic practices common throughout the middle ages, often drawing upon the pagan deities that were subsequently demonized. Frequent use of Germanic (and general Indo-European) folk magick defines this path, as well as research into confessions of Satanism made under torture. It’s unclear how much of this material was truly Satanic, although it’s most likely at least some of it was, but the intent is normally to lift what could be used from these practices rather than discern what was used. Anton LaVey is a notable member of this branch. This can also include Wiccan practices with intentionally Satanic imagery. OFS Demonolatry could be seen as Pagan Satanism, though I would argue this is incorrect as there’s no element of reconstruction and is instead a supposed direct line of tradition. Satanic Wichcraft also often incorporates elements of eclectic necromancy, given how the two were seen as closely linked in the middle ages, although the Satanic Witches who do so almost always view the two practices as separate. There are exceptions, of course, like the cults of Qayin, though they aren’t necessarily Pagan Satanists either.

Anticosmic Satanism (aka Chaosophy):
What it is: A deeply ceremonial form of Satanism that draws upon Gnosticism and Kabbalah to form its own darker alternative to Rosicrucianism. It posits that demons are the gods of an antinomian force of chaotic darkness that is dead set on destroying the limitations of our world. They often work with the Qliphoth, and they view demons as having an ultimate goal of peace and freedom that can only be brought about through the dissolution of what prevents peace and freedom from reigning. This can, sometimes, be through terrifying and destructive methods. Unlike Christianity, however, the plan is clear and all of these methods tend to make sense in context without the need for “God works in mysterious ways” or “have faith in God’s plan.”

What it is: The worship of demons. Technically, that’s all it is. Normally this involves the belief that demons are gods, though not always.

OFS Demonolatry:
What it is: What most people mean when they say “demonolatry.” It’s a family practice that supposedly dates back to antiquity and has been handed down through generations in tomes. Stephanie Connolly and Selinda Dukante have taken information from this practice and helped put it out into the world. It has its own demonic hierarchy with the 9 infernal gods at the top, focusing on the positive attributes of demons. It’s sort of Satanism, as they view Satan as the figure at the top of their pantheon, but it also has more in common with Paganism than it does with Satanism. More than even Sabbatic Satanism, I would say.

Theistic Luciferianism:
What it is: Veneration of Lucifer. This does not mean the same as the veneration of Satan. The name “Lucifer” meaning “light-bringer” and used to refer to the morning star (the planet Venus seen at sunrise) has been used for a variety of figures. This includes both Satan and Jesus. This means that some Luciferians worship the devil, some Luciferians worship one or two other gods that they view as Lucifer, some Luciferians view the devil as one of many aspects of Lucifer found throughout multiple pantheons, and so on. There are a lot of schools of thought. The biggest Luciferian order, headed by Michael W Ford, was known as the Greater Church of Lucifer before it shut down due to constant Christian vandalism. Even while it was up, the work of Ford that was meant to unify the Luciferian community ended up dividing it further instead.

Atheistic Luciferianism:
What it is: Given atheistic Satanism, you would think atheistic Luciferianism would be just as bad. Nope. Atheistic Luciferians for the most part have codified rationality and civility, and teach disciplines that help adherents not only become more in-tune with themselves intellectually and philosophically but do so with maturity. Their primary focus is on the concepts of enlightenment, liberation, and power for all individuals. They pull from a lot of legitimate philosophy, like Stoicism and Epicureanism, while adding their own intelligent spin. Michael W Ford pulled a lot from this in the aforementioned attempt to unify the community.

Typhonian Tradition:
What it is: A strange mixture of Crowley’s rulership over the OTO and Kenneth Grant’s own proto-chaos magick philosophies. Michael W Ford was a part of this tradition. This practice is still adhered to today, and can be found through much of Grant’s works on the subject such as Nightside of Eden.

What it is: An intimate part of the Order of the Nine Angles cosmogony. It incorporates elements of demon-worship and witchcraft, avoiding the Qliphoth and focusing instead on the “way of wyrd.”

Niners (Order of the Nine Angles):
What it is: An eclectic and mostly non-hierarchical groups of Satanists, with quite a few individual practitioners. While, from what I’ve heard, they have a few decent ideas and information, I would be extremely careful around them. They have intentionally falsified ritual data so deeply that even the history behind many of their rituals is faked for dubious reasons. They advocate killing their own members for greater power, and have ties with everything from Fascism to ritual murder. Their aversion to the Qliphoth might be part of deeper antisemitism, rather than a want to keep their practice standing on its own legs. Michael W Ford was involved with them for quite some time, which is part of what made him divisive in the Luciferian community.

Joy of Satan Ministries:
What it is: Mostly inexperienced practitioners trying to find anything they can on Satanism who come across JoS and continue to give it life. Their teachings are a mixture of alien conspiracy theories, fake history, bizarre equivalencies between entities, and a mixture of practices stolen from other places. Their members are levied to participate in ongoing astral warfare against angels to help free demons, and are often attacked by angels while they sleep. Like the ONA, they also have ties to Nazism. They equate Satan with Enki.

Qliphothic Satanism:
What it is: Anticosmic Satanists, the Typhonians, Ditheistic Satanists, and theistic Luciferians, as well as many other solitary practitioners, have the qliphoth at the center of their practice. “Qliphoth” translates to “husks” or “shells,” as they’re filled with the void and could thus be viewed as empty. These husks serve as alternate planes of existence where demons reside, each filled with specific energies. Gamaliel is filled with sexual energy, for instance, and as such is where the succubi are found. Linking them together are the tunnels of Set. You “initiate” through each Qliphoth by opening up to their energies, which can be done in a multitude of ways. In this sense, the Qliphoth is the literal path that many Satanists have chosen to walk, with apotheosis and perfection of the Self as the reward.

There are many other kinds of Satanism that I have not covered here, even great ones such as the Draconian tradition. There are also a lot of practices that claim Satan demands crime, works for anarchy or communism, or fascism or monarchy, or obedience to order, and so on. It’s an extremely eclectic practice and everyone has their own take on it. I would personally argue that demonolatry and anticosmic Satanism are the most reputable, as one is a long-standing tradition that blends well with known demonology and the other approaches the topic from a point of ceremonial high magick that already has proven itself throughout the ages. I would start with these.

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