Time for a (possibly) controversial blog post. This is not directed towards any one person in particular, but rather I want to expand upon my answer to a recent question, and address an issue I’ve been growing increasingly uncomfortable with. But let me first state that I am not coming at this issue as someone who claims to have never been guilty of it, but rather as someone who at one point advocated in its favor and still engages in the very thing I’m now critiquing. But as my faith and practice require, critical reflection now leads me to question this same behavior not only in myself, but in the growing community of Luciferians here and elsewhere. As always, my ideas about these things are constantly in flux and are prone to change, and I am open to others’ interpretations and thoughts on the matter.
So what exactly am I referring to? I’m referring to the discourse surrounding the peculiarities of Lucifer as an entity, and constructing a Luciferian practice based on those peculiarities. In other words, I’m questioning the usefulness of discussions such as ‘Lucifer’s favorite [material] offerings’, or ‘songs associated with Lucifer’, or ‘interesting quirks about Lucifer’s personality’, and using these to build one’s practice as a Luciferian.
And before anyone even suggests it, I don’t really consider this to be a matter of ‘UPG vs. canon’. Yes, these discussions are often about UPG, but I’m not bringing their validity under question. It’s not about whether or not his favorite offerings are really chocolate and vodka, or if he’s really associated with dragons as per Revelations, but rather…why should it matter?
Now to be clear, I’m not so troubled about these things if they are strictly confined to the idea of paying homage to him as an entity. What I’m questioning is their relationship to Luciferianism, which as a practice focuses on human enlightenment and improvement—even Theistic Luciferianism.
I understand wanting to perhaps start with simple offerings when testing the waters of faith, or if you’re firmly on the theistic side of things, to introduce yourself and get his attention with ‘enticements’, so to speak. But quite honestly, I think it matters less about what you give him, and more about whyyou’re giving it to him. And for a god so highly invested in the betterment of humanity (possibly to the point of sacrifice, depending on one’s mythos interpretation), it seems unlikely to me that he would be satisfied or content with a ‘just because’ rationale. When it comes to material offerings, I honestly think he could care less. That isn’t to say that he doesn’t appreciate them, but the significance isn’t the object itself, it’s the thought behind it and the applicability to the ideals of Luciferianism.
That doesn’t mean all material, tangible offerings have little worth—it can be quite the opposite, especially if those offerings are meant to be shared or consumed by the person afterwards. Examples of this might be offering water if you don’t think you’re drinking enough on a daily basis, or a piece of jewelry that reminds you of your own beauty, worth, and potential whenever you wear it. I think the important question to ask is how these material objects are contributing to one’s own self improvement and enlightenment, or that of humanity. I would argue that for Luciferians, the bulk of one’s offerings, devotionals, and practices should not be so concerned with their god’s personal preferences. That’s not to say that ‘just because’ offerings are never appropriate, or that it’s never okay to offer him something you think he might enjoy/benefit from even if you don’t, but rather that if the majority of a Luciferian’s practice has no benefit to the self or those around them, then perhaps a bit of questioning is in order.
But what about associations? Again, let’s ask the question: why should they matter? Does it affect you as an individual, or humanity as a whole, whether or not a particular bird, song, or color is associated with Lucifer? Maybe, maybe not. I think that much like the idea behind devotionals and offerings, developing one’s faith and practice depends less on the particular association in question, and more on the rationale behind it. However, I think the ‘usefulness’ of associations is a bit trickier to define, because at least for me, certain associations have tangential connections to my own personal mythos interpretations, which in turn lead to real-world applications. The same goes for personality traits, and these are even more circumstantial as they rely on whether one is theistic, atheistic, or if you’re someone like me, somewhere in between.
But focusing on associations, one example would be dragons. They are often linked to Lucifer, especially as referenced in Revelations—but this particular association doesn’t really affect me UNLESS I use it to support the idea that Lucifer was the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which in turn plays a crucial part in my interpretation of Felix Culpa and the potential of humanity despite our flaws. Another example would be Lucifer’s association with music and dance, which motivate my own drive and passion as a singer and dancer.
When it comes to associations such as lightning or snow, however…well, those really don’t really play any significant role in any of my real-world applications of my faith. I find beauty and spiritual meaning in them, of course, but as I stated before, I think it’s worth it to question how useful they are in practical terms. As ideological reminders of my god, they are highly inspirational and remind me of my devotee relationship with him. However, in terms of Luciferianism, those associations are useless to me. But they might be incredibly useful to a Luciferian who actively incorporates snow or electricity into their magical practice.
So in short, I think that we (meaning myself and the rest of the Luciferian community) would stand to benefit in being more self-critical about the basis and function of our practices, and the usefulness of the conversations (and arguments) we engage in in relationship to the ideals that Luciferianism promotes.