Applied Luciferianism Project: Initiative

I’ll be honest, this was a difficult post for me to write at first. I had started this entry two weeks ago, and found myself stuck about a few paragraphs in. I felt like I was repeating myself, like the information just didn’t flow as clearly as I had hoped, and like I was losing the entire point of the entry in trying to force myself to write something, anything.

And then today I attended a fundraising dinner for the Muslim Student Association at my school, where one of the speakers they had invited pretty much blew me away. So much of what she said resonated with my own faith, and gave me the inspiration I needed to continue writing. So just as a note beforehand—this entry contains a lot of interfaith dialogue, more so than the previous ALP entries I’ve posted, because of the effect the speaker had on me and the fact that activism, and initiative as tied into activism, is such an important factor in many of the world’s religions and belief systems. 

Jumping right in, the MSA speaker’s main point was about spiritual activism—a term I had never heard before, but one which I understand to encompass all of what I believe Luciferianism to stand for. The integration of one’s own faith and spirituality into matters concerning activism is something that is pretty much ingrained into Luciferianism, through the fact that this is not a belief system that urges its followers to implicitly trust that their god will sort things out, or that ‘everything happens for a reason’. Luciferianism is a system that is never satisfied with ‘that’s just the way things are’ for an end-all answer. Instead, it calls for the recognition of one’s own ability to initiate change, to revolutionize from within as well as outside ourselves.

She spoke of what Islam describes as the ‘levels’ of spiritual activism and initiating change. The first, she said, is to bring about change within your own heart. A phrase that speaks dearly to me concerning this is one that I’ve come to incorporate into my own faith through my past in Christianity—“break my heart for what breaks yours”. In molding my own values so closely with that of Lucifer’s own, Luciferianism speaks to me not only as a set of ideals that I respect, but ones that have direct emotional impact on me. I don’t uphold resistance, or sacrifice, or change because my faith tells me to, but rather because my heart does, and my heart is so deeply intertwined with that of my god’s, and the values embedded in zir mythos that I cannot help but be moved by these things.

The second level is that of bringing change with one’s own tongue—of speaking out against injustices, taking a stand for that which causes one’s heart to stir, and raising awareness in others. As a whole, Luciferianism is perhaps less so focused on this particular aspect of activism than the others. There is an emphasis on actions speaking louder than words, and thus we seek to incorporate our faith directly into our deeds, although I would also argue that sometimes, even subconsciously, our faith also shines through our words. There is also the issue of our faith being so stigmatized that being vocally ‘out’ about it is not only potentially ostracizing, but a safety hazard as well. For me, I would hope that my blog serves as a testament to my own efforts in contributing my voice to my faith, and educating others.

The third level is initiating change with one’s own hands. To me, this goes beyond the obvious of being a driving force behind change, into making the effort to live by our faith, and using that faith directly to inspire our actions. “They will know and recognize us by our love”—this is a paraphrased from John 13:35, and it’s a phrase that I heard during my days within Christianity that I believe lies in tandem with Luciferianism’s value embodiment. It refers to living one’s faith as a means of identity, and of actively practicing what one preaches—of having the initiative to carry out the beliefs we have such respect for. The point of these ideals is not to tell others that “this is how you should live”, or “these are the things you should be doing” while not making the effort to do so yourself. Rather, it’s about showing that “this is how I live, and these are the things I am doing through my faith”. These values aren’t embodied in the hopes that they will bring us fame or the approval of our peers, but as mentioned earlier, because they resound within our hearts and minds. This lies in another point that the MSA speaker made concerning her own spiritual activism, in that one should look inward for reasons to pursue activism rather than outward at the external, physical rewards that may be granted.

So…why does any of this matter? Isn’t Luciferianism focused on self-growth and development? Why should a belief system that emphasizes the individual be preoccupied with activism?

Luciferianism seeks to break and rebuild in the attempt to reconfigure the self into something stronger, something better than before. The speaker today said something along the lines of, ‘one has to search within one’s self, be comfortable in who they are and in their faith, before they can even think about reaching out to others’. On the one hand, I would agree with this statement—I think this is part of what makes Luciferianism a path about the individual: it is the starting point that many of us take to remaking ourselves into something we can be proud of. Through that, we can potentially connect to others who see the result of this path and wish to embark on it for their own benefit. But on the other hand, activism and spiritual activism can also serve as a way to understand and learn more about the self, or about the person they want to become. Activism, spiritual or not, requires self-reflection and questions one’s own intentions or motivations. The interactions with others can reinforce or break down previously held beliefs and convictions. In this way, Luciferianism both shapes and is shaped by the individual, while being connected to that which lies outside the self but just as equally moves and inspires us.

Applied Luciferianism Project: Choice

Luciferianism is all about choice. It is not a path one follows because of any command or oath, but rather one’s own individual decision that the values it upholds are right for them, and that they hold personal meaning. It does not promote any singular ‘truth’ or correct way of living, instead it supports the idea that there are many truths unique to each person.

I think I’ve mentioned this anecdote before, but it bears repeating due to its significance to this particular Luciferian value. For a while, I was dead-set on getting a more permanent representation of my devotion and faith in the form of a tattoo. I already had a devotional necklace that I keep on at all times, but I wanted something with more…I don’t know, ‘umph’ I guess.

But that idea was shot down. The permanence of a tattoo, despite the sincerity and choice behind its initial decision, disallows for the continued choice necessary to the fluid nature of Luciferianism. I have to accept the fact that at some point in the future, I may have to say ‘no’ and walk away from all this. My beliefs may change drastically, to the point where I can’t continue to devote myself to a cause that I may not longer believe or, or hold to such high regard anymore. A symbol of such permanence does not fit into a belief system where impermanence and change are the very building blocks.

But saying ‘no’ can be difficult when it doesn’t feel like a choice. I’ve described my experience with Luciferianism and my god as akin to falling in love, and that holds true now as it did years ago. So the question stands, why would I want to willingly refuse a god who has brought so much joy into my life? Why would I choose to walk away from the very path that makes my heart race and inspires every breath I draw? It doesn’t seem like very much of a choice when my very pulse beats to the same rhythm of zir heart. But that’s what makes it all the more stirring. It was never about ‘faking till you make it’, or committing to a path because I had to, but rather because I wanted to. The fact that I have such a choice, to continue with my devotion or to walk away from it all, makes it so much more worth having. Just as one cannot fully appreciate life without having the knowledge that it is impermanent, I could not appreciate my faith without knowing that it too could fade.

My choice to commit to this path is one I make every day—the choice to keep or remove my devotional jewelry is available to me every morning that I wake up, and it serves as a reminder that beliefs change, faith can shift, that paths can go in unplanned directions, and that I have the ability to say no. Just as Eve had the ability to refuse the fruit of knowledge or accept it and all its consequences, so too do I have that same choice each and every day

Applied Luciferianism Project: Identity

It is recognizing that I am not my failures, my scars, or my weaknesses. I’m shaped by all these things, they serve as memories of what I’ve overcome, or things that I still have to work on, and that’s okay. But I am not solely defined by them. Rather, we are defined by how well we rise after falling.

My faith as it stands is not merely a product of my former beliefs being shattered and broken, nor did it spring up out of thin air one day, strong and unwavering. It was a process of trial and error, of strength in adversity, and the journey of experiencing the initial despair of brokenness, the joy of knowing that I’ve come farther than I ever would have imagined, the moments of doubt, the moments of hope, and everything in between.

The process itself was what created my path, not necessarily the place I was in to begin with or the place I wanted to reach. Each challenge brought me new perspective, a better understanding of how best to structure that faith so that it might withstand the blows that brought it crumbling down in the first place. I came to realize that things I had taken as being ‘bad’ or ‘destructive’ could be tools for strength—doubt made my path fluid and capable of change, our own mortality made life worth living, rebellion served as a method of challenging oppressive forces and granting a voice to the voiceless.

Likewise, I make it a point to try and represent Lucifer in all zir aspects—the good and bad. Because while ze may have blood on zir hands from staging a violent rebellion, ze is also responsible for granting humanity the choice to realize their full potential, and the experience of life as being temporary and all the more precious because of it. Ze is as much shaped by zir defeat as ze is by zir former position as Beloved of YHWH. Ze represents persisting despite opposition and slander, of creating an identity for oneself rather than accepting the identity imposed one by others, whether that be ‘obedient servant’ or ‘Father of Lies’. We shape our own identities by conforming or breaking free of these labels—Lucifer zirself goes by many identities, some ze chooses to accept and some perpetuated by others: accuser, lightbearer, adversary, Morningstar, tempter, liar etc., but they do not become factual unless ze acts upon those identities. Action and deeds define, not words.

For me, much of my identity is wrapped up in living out these luciferian values, of being a reflection of the ideals represented through zir mythology, and of undergoing the ‘phoenix effect’ that is at the core of Luciferianism. But I am not bound by these values, the choice to live by them is just that—a conscious choice, and one that must be constantly renewed in order to avoid stagnation.

But identity also refers to the fact that I am my own person, that I have a life and obligations outside of my faith. I may be a devotee and disciple, but I am also a daughter, friend, student, caretaker, artist, and various other personas. These values rooted in my faith do not supersede my ability to live life to the fullest—after all, “life is there to be lived”, and Luciferianism is built around the almost paradoxical idea of making the most of a flawed, imperfect, mortal existence while striving to rise above those limits.