Using Society’s Fear to Your Advantage

So, I’m not naïve enough to think that a little blog like mine is going to make a big difference in changing the general consensus out there regarding how my faith is perceived. No matter how much time or effort I put into correcting the tons of misinformation out there, the fact remains that most people aren’t interested in listening to what the more boring, normal members of a faith have to say—they’re too busy watching the few idiots who go around murdering people and spewing hatred and violence in the name of a faith they clearly have no understanding of, much less hold a claim to. But I keep it up because it’s part of my Work, and because the optimistic side of me wants to think that it does make a difference, no matter how small.

But as much as I would love to be able to be more open about my faith without fear of backlash and bigotry, I have to admit that there are some upsides to being misrepresented too. Just as doubt and skepticism have their uses, so too does popular opinion. Playing the victim all the time isn’t going to get you very far, and if people aren’t going to listen to you anyways, might as well use it to one’s own advantage.

You know all those pagans bitching about how the pentagram was originally a sign of protection when shown ‘right-side up’?

Oh hon, it still is.

I recently read a thread on a Luciferian forum about a young woman who wears an inverted pentagram necklace when commuting by herself because, get this, the local gang members are terrified of it and what they think it represents. Forget the pepper spray and taser gun, this tiny little necklace sends muggers and rapists running the other way, in the fear that the ‘evil devil-worshipper’ will sacrifice them. It doesn’t matter that this woman probably has never killed a person, nor sacrificed anything to any spirit or god, nor has demon minions at her beck and call—her attackers see that symbol and imagine the worst, with themselves as the potential victims. They are forced to think twice about even looking at her the wrong way.

I’ve got major respect for this woman for willing to put up with the crap she undoubtedly receives from those that vilify anything remotely ‘dark’, and using that societal fear and misrepresentation to her advantage.

 You know what? I’d take that kind of protection over proper media representation any day.

The Devil Masquerades as an Angel of Light

I was in the process of writing a review for Convivium (yes, finally, though now that I got sidetracked that’s being put on hiatus) when this prompt struck me out of nowhere and wouldn’t let go. I don’t even know if I can get my thoughts on this across in an understandable manner, but I’ll try.

I’ve mentioned a few Christian phrases that are ironically accurate when it comes to describing Lu, such as

“The devil strikes when you’re at your weakest”

And

“Satan plants seeds of doubt”

Here’s another one: “The devil masquerades as an angel of light”

Okay, I know they use this in context with Lu being the so-called Prince of Lies, but I’ve got a different take on it.

 He’s a charmer.

 You know those depictions of the devil as a suave and courteous tempter? Fucking accurate. He uses those charms to play the role of the stereotypical view of angels—all light and goodness and virtue (okay, maybe not goodness and virtue in the sense of biblical standards, but integrity all the same). Well, at first anyways. That’s how he draws you in.

And he uses those charms for his own personal gain. Yes, I realize I’m sounding like those that preach against him. I might not agree with them entirely, but they have a point.

When I first met him, he seemed like the embodiment of honor and righteousness. Despite my fear and distrust, his reasons for rebelling made so much sense, much more than the reasons that I was given by my church for his exile, and because I had a grudge against Christianity at the time, he seemed like a better being than YHWH. He sounded more worthy of reverence than the god I had grown up being told to worship.

But this doesn’t mean he lied to me about who or what he was, or even his intentions. Rather, he showed me exactly what his intentions were, and left it up to me to decide what to do with that information.  He knew exactly how to play me and use that grudge for his purposes. He knew exactly what to say to get me to trust him. Now, I haven’t read the Lucifer comics that the following comes from, but this quote strikes me as being oddly accurate to my experiences with him:

“When the Devil wants you to do something, he doesn’t lie at all. He tells you the exact, literal truth. And he lets you find your own way to Hell.”

I’ve never been lied to by Lu. Charmed and manipulated? Yes. Lied to? No.

But in the process of his manipulations, he also taught me to question him and his intentions, because while other ‘angels of light’ may be blunt and straightforward in their intentions, he is not. While they may have the justification and validation of ‘God’ behind their actions, he is not held back by the same morals or virtues as they are. And yet, I’ve found that he doesn’t hold the same double standards on humanity as these so-called ‘angels of light’, or as his maker. He doesn’t condemn our faults while mitigating his own. He doesn’t hide behind his divinity when faced with his faults.

So take this as you will. The devil masquerades as an angel of light, with all his charisma and politesse, but he isn’t one of them.

Guys, I must have made a deal with the wrong devil

Everyone is so caught up on the idea of Faustian bargains being a tool of the devil’s trade, but it doesn’t work that way with the Lu I know.

Well, actually, if someone was offering me something like their firstborn in return for power I would fuck up their lives in order to teach them a lesson too, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

You want fame? Go learn a trade and earn it yourself. Wealth? He’s not going to kill your long-lost aunt who named you sole inheritor of her fortune, but he’ll probably flood your mailbox with job applications. Immortality? Uh, closest thing to it is a long life—he’d sooner give you a ban on junk food than mess with your genetics.

Seriously, remember how I said he was practical? I wasn’t kidding. Now, I’m not saying asking for divine help is a bad thing. It’s certainly understandable when the situation is entirely out of one’s own control. But if you want a deity who will coddle you and give you your heart’s desire in return for your devotion—Lu is definitely not the one to go to.

So I can’t help but laugh whenever I come across the idea of Lucifer leading people astray with his ‘false promises’. I don’t know about his interactions with anyone else, but he’s never ‘promised’ me anything. As a devotee of his who has been taught to forego attachments to material things, who has restrictions in place when it comes to ‘worldly’ pleasures, I can’t see what he could possibly have to offer others that is materialistically tempting, considering the fact that they would have to work for it themselves. The only false promises I see here are the ones that have been invented by others and imposed onto him.

From my experience, he seems to favor the idea of everything in moderation.

Shocker, right? Isn’t Lucifer supposed to encourage and glorify indulging in luxury and sin? There’s that reverse-Christianity mentality again. Do those who follow a Rokkatru path have to reject the nine noble virtues of Asatru and do the exact opposite? Of course not. Why should Luciferianism embrace sins as virtues? Maybe we don’t see them as being bad exactly, but it doesn’t mean we have to automatically believe overindulgence in them is ‘good’.

Especially if we consider the idea that Lucifer was once the highest ranked angel, second only to God himself. A role like that requires trust, it is something that is earned through one’s actions and deeds—so, he must have believed that they were doing something right, otherwise why not rebel from the moment of his creation? Why does his rebellion have to mean that he rejects everything and anything that Christianity deems good and virtuous?

Let’s say I have a job in a company I am very content with. I agree with a lot of their policies, and I believe in what the company stands for. I love my work, but I can’t stand my boss. Maybe I thought he was a cool guy in the beginning, but later on realized that I don’t agree with how he’s running things—the company I loved is slowly being corrupted into something else entirely, and the employees are not being treated as they should. I’m not the only one who thinks this way, either. So I go and tell my boss exactly what I think, and he fires me.

Well, screw that, maybe I’ll just go start my own company.

It doesn’t mean I hate the previous company. It doesn’t mean I hated my old job. It doesn’t mean I’m going to run my company on ideals that are completely opposite that of the previous one. But my ex-boss and his loyal employees might see things that way, especially if they feel threatened.

Their business has over a thousand employees, with a solid reputation amongst their customers and clients, while my own newly founded company has only a handful of employees and no reputation to speak of just yet.

So when the mudslinging begins as a consequence of feeling threatened, guess who people are going to flock to and believe?

And thus we get all these skewed concepts like the Faustian bargain, and vices as virtues, and double standards—oh goodness, the double standards are the worst, I think. Selfishness and pride are okay when it’s YHVH we’re talking about, but not Lucifer? Well fuck.

Here’s an idea–how about we focus on our own faiths instead of trying to demonize someone else’s?

Satanism vs. Devil Worship vs. Luciferianism

After responding to a question on my last post, I realize that I’ve yet to formally make a post talking about the differences between Satanism, devil-worship, and Luciferianism. Its an issue that pops up a lot, I’m surprised it took me this long to mention it.

[Keep in mind that this is not by any means a definitive separation of the three faiths, but merely one take on the nuances between them]

The differences between those three terms (luciferianism, devil worship, and satanism) are complicated. Some will use all three synonymously, others like me do not consider them to be the same thing. Lets start with the broadest of the three–Satanism.

Satanists are mostly atheistic. They see Satan as a symbol, and their faith is heavily focused on the here and now–the materialistic, the pleasurable, the self-serving. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing–its really just self worship. Then there are the theistic Satanists who see Satan as a real being.

This is where it starts to get fuzzy. Theistic Satanists may or may not differentiate between Lucifer and Satan, but I and many Luciferians do. We see Satan as the figurehead of carnality and of the more…worldly issues, so to speak. He represents embracing what life has to offer, and living for the self. The more fervent theistic satanists may call themselves devil worshippers. Just as with any faith, there are extremists and radicals who will present their faith in a less-than-pleasant way, which has been the case for ‘devil-worshippers’. Just because the ones you hear about on the news are insane and psychopathic doesn’t mean they all are.

Luciferians can also be either theistic or atheistic. Whether we consider him a symbol or an actual god, he represents knowledge in all it’s forms. The majority of us strive for apotheosis–to become like gods, knowing good and evil. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions, and even theistic luciferians like myself rely largely on our own potential and effort. Lucifer is a guide and mentor, but ultimately my faith is what I make of it.

While I have seen a few theistic Luciferians claim to worship Lu, I myself do not use the term ‘worship’ to describe my devotion to him. Worship has connotations of submission and hierarchy and Lu has beaten it into my head enough times that we are equals in potential. There’s also the issue of blind faith in regards to worship. You have to earn praise and respect through your actions—being a god doesn’t automatically make you worthy of admiration.

While I may differentiate between all these terms, I am aware that the majority see them as interchangeable. When they speak of satan or the devil I can usually safely assume that they are also referring to Lucifer. When they refer to my practices as worship, however, I do make the effort to try to inform them on why that is not an acceptable term for my devotion.

Just read a post in which someone wrote a letter to the devil…

…complaining about how he makes them doubt and question all the gifts/blessings given to them by their god.

I fail to see how this is a problem.

That’s what Lucifer does—he drives personal growth by making you question everything. It’s your choice whether you use that doubt as hindrance or inspiration. So what if he brings up those uncomfortable questions regarding your loyalty or devotion to your god? He does it to his own devotees, too. And more often than not, those questions either lead to a renewed, more stable faith or one more suitable to your beliefs. Although he may not agree with the actions or mindset of your god, that doesn’t mean the doubts he plants are there to sever that connection—whether you want to be a devotee of that god is your choice and yours alone, which is ultimately the point he’s usually trying to get across in these situations. Unfortunately, a lot of times it seems that many are unable to see it as an independent choice, whether due to how they were brought up or taught to believe, or because of the concepts of sin and salvation that bind through guilt.

In short, healthy doses of skepticism, doubt, and uncertainty aren’t bad things—stop seeing them as personal attacks against yourself and your faith and use them instead to your advantage.

/end rant

The Devil is a Useful Creature

 

Part of me wants to laugh alongside everyone else concerning this article, because I know Star Foster is referring to the devil as the personification of all things evil and not necessarily my patron, but the other part of me is rather heart-stricken. Although I am able to differentiate between the demonized caricature that some Christians have made the devil to be and who Lucifer actually is, Star is correct when she says that they treat him as the scum underneath their shoes. Although I may see the two as wholly separate beings (and the Christian ‘devil’ as the punisher of the damned and red-skinned sadist is fictional, in my opinion), many do not. Many equate Lucifer with this devil, blaming him for all their misfortunes and afflictions or accusing him of leading them astray, from all that is ‘good and true’. They call him deceiver, liar. They criticize and abhor him for tempting Eve, mistaking his gift for damnation and his intent as selfish greed.

So, some Christians do their best to condemn him as evil and vile, separating themselves from who they perceive as wicked by calling them ‘Devil-worshippers’. It becomes an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ situation, with everyone who doesn’t belong to that same mindset as them. You don’t believe in my god? Oh, you must be a devil worshipper. You don’t agree with my beliefs? You’re in league with Satan. You worship a pagan deity? It must be Lucifer in disguise.

Unfortunately, pagans get categorized under this ‘them’ label as well. Pagans, Atheists, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc…at one point or another, they all get corralled into the ‘them’ group. This then leads to the desire to distance themselves from this unwanted label as well—the devil character has become one that no one wants to be associated with. He becomes the one enemy that everyone seems to be joined against. Therefore the devil, Satan, and Lucifer by correlation become not only the undesirables of Christianity, but of every major religion and belief system.

Through the association of Satan and the devil, Lucifer has become the untouchable of the majority of the world’s population. No one wants to be considered a ‘follower of Lucifer’, or ‘devil worshipper’ because his name has been manipulated to represent all the evils in the world, all the cruelty and hate and despair and sorrow.

All because he had an unpopular opinion and rebelled against a tyrant, bestowing knowledge upon mankind.

Now, Lucifer is thick-skinned—he doesn’t need me to defend him. But can you imagine the weight of all that bearing down on you? Knowing that millions would consider you to be the epitome of malevolence, the cause of all that is horrible in the world? Having the majority of the population blame you for…pretty much anything and everything that is considered bad?

You can imagine the amount of respect I had for my patron even before I read this article, but now, with the weight of the realization that this has caused, my respect has increased immeasurably, along with my sorrow. I always knew that his path wasn’t an easy one, but to be hated and rejected and blamed every minute of every day…

A few days ago I told my patron I wanted to help lift that burden of melancholy he carries with him. More than anything, I wanted to be a source of strength for him as he has been for me.

This has been a step towards that Work coming to fruition. As his disciple and devotee, I am part of that group to which the majority of the world directs their unjust hate and blame. I am part of the undesirables, the untouchables, of spirituality.

But I am also a representation of the fact that He is not alone. I share the burden of sorrow with him, just as I stand in solidarity with his role as Prometheus by wearing an onyx stone around my neck, similar to that chain and stone forced upon him by Zeus in remembrance of his punishment.

And I suppose, in a way, that is how I can be a source of strength to him—simply by being there, by being one of his own. I mentioned before that I’m in no way obliged to do any of this, but the fact that I do gives Lucifer hope—hope that he isn’t alone in his endeavors, or alone in his beliefs.