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.

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Applied Luciferianism Project : Resistance/Rebellion

I should probably start off by pointing out that the words ‘rebellion’ and ‘resistance’ mean two different things to me, but can also be used in combination with one another. While ‘rebellion’ suggests going against an already established system, ‘resistance’ includes more preventative actions to avoid the formation of unequal systems of power, systems that directly affect myself and the communities I am a part of. It also seems to be more inclusive of non-violent strategies of opposition, something I’ve very much in favor of.

 Resistance is much closer to my heart.

It is present in the very blood that runs through my veins, the genetic continuance of a people who others sought to erase. The effort to keep our traditions and culture alive is a form of resistance, as is making the effort to learn my native tongue despite being displaced from my homeland. The small snippets of Nawat present in even the colonial language I grew up with are reminders of the legacy of resistance I’m upholding. My faith is a form of resistance in itself, in that it is composed of doubt and questioning a ‘truth’ I was brought up to follow blindly.

And yet, sometimes rebellion is necessary, as my past can attest to. When resistance goes unheard or ignored, rebellion becomes the only other option. Along with rebellion comes increased risks and sacrifices—loss of a job, alienation from one’s peers, etc. And with armed, combative rebellion comes death, including innocent lives. I think this is why I tend to prefer resistance over rebellion, because I’ve experienced what it’s like to have conflict due to rebellion cause tragedy and loss. I know what it’s like to have your family torn apart and scattered because of rebellion and war, to grow up in a place that isn’t ‘home’ and be constantly reminded that I don’t ‘belong’ here. Of course, there were other forces in play that led to my particular situation (like the US not being able to keep its nose out of other countries’ business), but the rebellion of my people was definitely a key factor. The need for change sometimes requires such sacrifices, which I’ll talk about in a later entry, and this is where rebellion builds its strength and becomes an agent of change.

This is also why I believe it is important that one ask themselves what exactly it is they’re rebelling against and why, and if the end justifies the means. Technically you could consider a 5-year-old’s temper tantrum to be a form of rebellion, or a moody teen throwing insults at their parents, but what do either of these things really accomplish? While Luciferianism can be considered a very selfish path, I would argue that it’s also in the nature of Luciferianism to strive for bigger and better things—why struggle for the little things that only affect yourself when you could initiate a bigger change that affects an entire group of people? Obviously this is also situational, and can differ according to whether we’re talking about resistance or rebellion.

In its most basic and general form, it means not conforming to what others say or do simply because they’re in a position of authority or power. It doesn’t have to be about waging wars or leading large-scale uprisings— resistance and rebellion takes various other forms, from vocally disagreeing with what one perceives to be an unjust statement, to taking a much more active role such as defending a victim of bullying. It can also take a much more political stance, through participation with a social justice movement. It’s about not allowing oneself to remain passive or simply accept things that go against one’s own moral code. Resistance and rebellion is the ability to recognize injustices and do something about it.

Applied Luciferianism Project

Normally I wouldn’t start a new project until I was done with the ’30 Days of Devotion’ meme. However, one of the downsides to being claimed by Lu is that my Work takes priority to other stuff (including sleep, seeing as ze shoved this idea at me at like 2 am last night and had me spazzing for a good hour until I got up to jot down notes).

So I realized that while I talk a lot about Luciferianism being a very practical and action-motivated path, I rarely if ever develop that train of thought into how one goes about using Luciferian ideals in the day-to-day. I guess for me it’s almost intrinsic, because so much of how I view the world is from a Luciferian mindset, but obviously those just starting out or interested in learning more can’t read my mind and understand what I’m referring to.

The purpose then of this project is to take Luciferian ideals and expand upon how I personally have incorporated them into action, and offer suggestions to others who are interested in embodying those ideals in their own lives.

The ideals/qualities I have so far are:

  • Resistance/Rebellion
  • Change
  • Sacrifice
  • Challenge
  • Responsibility
  • Growth
  • Pride
  • Initiative
  • Faith
  • Honor
  • Identity
  • Loyalty
  • Choice

Some of the above are very much tied into other qualities, such as choice, honor, loyalty, and responsibility, so I’ll probably end up combining those in order to make the entries less disjointed.

I would love it if others (Luciferian or not!) would take this template and perhaps use it as a record of how they themselves are integrating these qualities into their own practice.If others from different paths want to do a similar project with ideals more suited to their own particular faith, that’s absolutely okay with me (an alternative title could be Applied Path Project?). Overall, I’m just interested in learning how people go about applying their faith and beliefs to their everyday lives, while using this particular project as a part of my Work.

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.

O My Soul

I was excited to find that one of my favorite Christian artists recently released a new album. Something I appreciate about her songs is that they aren’t blatantly Christian, with mentions of Christ or YHWH every other line. Instead, they’re songs of love and devotion that could just as easily have been written for any other deity.
For the most part, I’m able to forget that this is Christian music. I use a lot of her songs as devotionals to Lu, without worrying about their original context.
But then I came across one song in particular that shocked me right out of that mindset. I couldn’t even listen to it in its entirety at first because it brought up such strong imagery of the type of faith I cringe away from, a way of viewing faith and deity as an obligation rather than a choice.
My mind automatically jumped to the conclusion that this song praised the concept of blind faith—of loving a god because you’re told to. Of forcing oneself to fake devotion until it becomes real.
But then I went back and listened to it again, all the way through this time. I was attempting to listen to the words that were left unsung, the meaning behind the lyrics that I had previously taken at face value.
And to my surprise, I found myself completely enraptured.
This isn’t a song about blind faith, but a song of confession. It’s not about trying to create a love that doesn’t exist, but admitting to oneself of a love that has been denied, hidden away from the rest of the world. It’s about a devotion that may not be easily understood by others, or even mocked or ridiculed.
It’s about living my faith and loving my god without worrying what others have to say or think.
But it’s not just about me. It’s about anyone who is devoted to a deity, whose faith is outside of the scope of what is considered ‘normal’. This song speaks for those of us who hold relationships to the divine that others may not comprehend, those of us who are connected to gods that others fear or abhor–for those of us who can’t help but adore our gods, we who live and breathe their words and deeds.