Satanism has its preconceptions, such as blood sacrifices, seances, and summoning circles. In this blog post, I’ll be talking about LaVeyan Satanism exclusively, and how the symbolism, practices and beliefs used have a much different reality than we might initially believe.
(For the remainder of this blog I will be referring to LaVeyan Satanism as just simply Satanism, and Laveyan Satanists as Satanists. This is not discrediting the existence of other Satanist groups, but for the sake of my word count will be simplifying the religion)
Anton Szandor LaVey, also known as his birth name; Howard Stanton Levey was born in 1930, and became the father to the modern day ‘Church of Satan’ after publishing the Satanic Bible in 1969. The Church of Satan had its beginnings in the notorious Black House, which was bought and painted black in 1950, becoming the headquarters for the Church for several years, oddly nestled between two stark white apartment complexes in suburban San Francisco, California.
The Church of Satan started out as a small organization named the Order of The Trapezoid. LeVay then renamed the organization to the official Church of Satan in 1966, declaring this the first Year of Satan, or Anno Satanas. Satan became the centre figure of the Church of Satan, but LaVeyan Satanists do not worship Satan, rather, they believe Satan represents ideals that should not be repressed. Satan fosters the idea of pride, enlightenment, materialism, individualism, egoism, carnality, and the pursuit of indulgence, the underlying message behind this lifestyle being; life is too short to restrict yourself, so it’s okay to occasionally indulge.
The Church of Satan has three main practices and beliefs, such as the Nine Satanic Statements, The 11 Satanic Rules of The Earth, and The Nine Satanic Sins. Upon reading these Satanic requirements, you’ll find your preconceptions of Satanism shattered, as many of these are agreeable. In the 11 Satanic Rules of The Earth, it addresses issues such as rape, pedophilia, animal activism and home invasion. the Church of Satan also has policies on drug use, illegal activities, and politics, which is hard to find in other religions. It’s very apparent that LaVey disagreed with other organized religions, especially Christianity, as he believing they were repressive and deceitful. This distaste towards Christianity led to the Satanic imagery we all know, such as the Pentagram, the Leviathan Cross (which is really just the Alchemical symbol for Sulfur), Lucifer’s Sigil, and the use of Baphomet.
In conclusion: Anton LaVey believed in questioning reality, messianic figures, and deviating from herd conformity, promoting individuality, but also utterly freaking out those that were unwilling to do so. Because of his use of Satanic symbolism he gained a following of individuals that were perceived as socially deviant due to the independence and non-conforming nature that the Church of Satan encourages, while also setting a distinct difference from other majority religions, questioning their following and beliefs. Due the advocation of sex, wisdom, and responsibility, perhaps we’re all a little Satanic in that regard.
Thank you for reading! 🙂