Social justice DOES have a place within Luciferianism

I don’t even know why this needs to be discussed, but clearly it does. I’ve heard one too many renditions of “Get your social justice bullshit out of -insert belief system here-“, and I honestly cannot understand why someone would think that civil rights and human dignity would sully a religion or spirituality, Luciferianism in particular.

The statement that social justice does not belong within Luciferianism implies that religion and spirituality are free from intersectionality. It implies that my experiences as a woman, as a person of color, as a Latina, as a daughter of refugees should not impact my beliefs. It implies that these experiences have no place within my spirituality—that my hopes and dreams, my memories, my fears, my identity does not belong here. What then am I left with? What should my conception of Luciferianism consist of, if not this? For a belief system which is so often defended by others as being based on personal perspectives and experiences, I find it ridiculous that this would be denied to me. I will not apologize for integrating my identity and experiences within my faith, nor will I apologize for applying the mythos and values I hold so dear within Luciferianism to the world I live in. On that same vein, I do not believe it is a valid excuse for someone to claim disinterest or wholly detach themselves from matters of social justice due to a lack of personal experience—social disparity affects everyone, and often we are unaware of our part within the system because we are not the ones affected negatively.

I stand by my previous statement: Any version of Luciferianism that shuns the promotion and advancement of social justice, or fails to incorporate even the barest minimum of it (which includes introspective critique of problematic learned behaviors and perspectives) is a version that I do not want to associate myself with. If that makes me ‘exclusionary’ or what have you, then so be it. I have no time or patience for a form of Luciferianism that deems humanity to be irrelevant (or is complacent with the treatment of certain human lives as less deserving than others), despite the use of mythos and deities who fall within the roles of Champions of Mankind. I have no wish to align myself with a form that preaches “freedom and enlightenment”, all the while supporting and enjoying the benefits of systems built from the subjugation of others. A Lightbringer who sheds no light or truth on matters of worldly inequality and injustice is not one I consider worthy of my devotion. Why would I hold any respect for a Lightbearer who challenges and defies an unjust ‘divine’ hierarchy or authority figure, yet does not stand for the same values when faced with human issues?

I do believe that the majority of luciferians want to have an impact on this world. There is a desire to initiate change for the better, even if that change begins and ends only within ourselves—but this cannot happen unless we acknowledge that there are things that need changing or developing. We need to talk about the flaws and faults that exist, to examine them at every angle, before we can even consider how to go about working on them.

Windows and Mirrors

This past week I’ve found myself rereading parts of Milton’s Paradise Lost on a whim, and today I happened to come across a very thought-provoking discussion regarding Satan’s characterization within this work. What struck me in particular was the deceptive nature of this figure that so many Luciferians tend to shy away from or deny—we defend him against the title of ‘Father of Lies’ and we instead place him on a pedestal as an illuminator of truth.

But what I’ve come to realize is that Light is capable of both revealing and concealing truths (in that it can illuminate but also blind), and I think Luciferianism itself portrays this extremely well. Too often we may fool ourselves into thinking that we couldn’t possibly be wrong about something because our faith is so deeply rooted in seeking enlightenment. It is nearly unfathomable that we might willingly blind ourselves to truth in our endeavors to better ourselves, but it happens so often and with such ease that we don’t even think about it.

Speaking from experience, it is very easy to fall into a state where you think you are putting so much effort into learning and growing within this belief system that you really believe your faith and practice are showing you something new but in reality it’s just a more ornate version of the same old thing. I don’t say this to discourage people or to point fingers (like I said, I fell trap to this very mindset myself for a fairly long time), but as a reminder that we need to frequently take a step back and critically examine ourselves and the work we’re doing.

We tend to look to these luciferian figures we admire so highly and try to rebuild ourselves in their image while forgetting that we were first drawn to them because they appealed to our own values. We have projected our own ideals onto them and now seek to emulate and develop them within ourselves—these lightbearer figures represent everything we want for ourselves because we have made them in our romanticized image. This is NOT necessarily a bad thing, particularly if we recognize that this is what we are doing and are thus knowingly giving these symbols a human voice—our voice. When we uphold humanity as having its own sort of divinity, and we acknowledge mankind as being capable of initiating enlightenment and growth within ourselves and creating our own gods within ourselves, this methodology is brilliant.

But with Lucifer figures who not only act as Lightbearers but Seducers as well, it is incredibly important that we recognize when they are merely holding up mirrors so that we may see our own reflections. They are meant to tempt us by appealing to what we think we already understand and accept, the challenge lies behind that mirror. This is where all those difficult questions come into play, where we must shatter those comfortable ideas and perceptions we have held onto so tightly and rebuild anew so that we see through windows instead of mirrors.

The ‘What-If’ Game

I love playing the ‘what-if’ game when it comes to my faith. I will find any excuse to poke holes in the carefully woven fabric of belief that I’ve spun for myself, and then try to patch it up with questions and ideas that challenge the pattern and structure I had initially created. Some patched up bits have remained and grown into their own works of art. Others have not been able to withstand the constant destruction and renewal.

This has resulted in a vastly different faith than the one I started with—and yet, it’s not really all that different at its core. Perceptions have changed, paradigms have shifted, but what began with the radical idea of embracing doubt rather than fearing it has remained fairly constant throughout the years.

One particular version of the ‘what-if’ game that persists even today began when I started to let go of my grudge with my birth religion, when I stopped shying away from the love my god had for his Father. When I stopped trying to make my god fit the mold I had imagined for him, so too did the tapestry of my faith expand from the limits I had imposed on it.

This new game dared to ask: What if everyone else is seeing what I keep myself blind to? What if I’ve been trying to fit his Father and the risen Son into molds that supported my preconceptions, rather than just letting myself try to learn and understand what they were rather than what I thought they must be?

As time went on, new questions developed. If I have come to terms with Lucifer as being a mere spark from the fire that is God, as a small reflection (albeit profaned) of God, and I love him and all that he represents, what if I were to seek to love the son who was found worthy, he who resides in the Father and has won his favor, instead of Lucifer?

Lucifer, after all, is limited. He is the exiled son who was found lacking. His is the ruin and loss to Christ’s victory. How much stronger then, would my devotion be to the Morningstar who was crowned in his place?

Perhaps I’ve just heard renditions of “you follow the wrong god” one too many times. I prefer to think that this is the case, because the alternative is too heartbreaking to bear—that it is not my own skepticism speaking, but rather my god; that along with finding himself unworthy of seeking forgiveness from his God, he would also find himself unworthy of my own reverence and love.

And objectively, my studies have led to me finding far more parallels between them than differences. If I love Lucifer for his vision for humanity, it should be simple to lose myself to that proclaimed love and hope that Christ has for mankind. If I love Lucifer for his flawed nature, my love should grow tenfold for Christ’s human and mortalstate. If Lucifer’s sense of justice is mirrored and strengthened within Christ, I should be head-over-heels in love already.

So my doubting heart, that very same doubting heart which I cherish for having led me to my god in the first place, has risen to this challenge to lead me away from my god. I am no stranger to having my faith tested and tried, or threatened with destruction so that it may be built anew—that is what I expected from this endeavor. I think I may have even wished for it, subconsciously. After all, the previous times that my faith has been shattered have also been the times that I’ve come into greater understanding and love. If I’ve learned to trust anything throughout the years, it has been to trust in my doubt, to trust that the breaking down of one’s faith is not necessarily a bad thing, regardless of whether it is shattered by my own hands or by someone else’s.

But while I have thus far found a deep sense of respect for Christ, and perhaps some love has sprouted from that respect, it isn’t the kind of love and devotion that I feel for my god. I cannot force myself to love another. I cannot uproot my devotion and replace it with another and automatically feel the same for it as I did its predecessor, because no matter what the similarities, there are also deviances. Maybe, one day, that small tendril of reverence will grow into something that rivals or surpasses my current faith, but not without as much study and work as I have put into what I have now.

For now, although it isn’t quite over, this ‘what-if’ game has shown me that I don’t need a victorious king at the forefront of my faith, not when I find my strength in one who still finds hope despite defeat. Perhaps he is a flawed and lesser god, but I love him all the more for those imperfections. My god may have been rejected as an inferior and dissident son, but I find him worthy of honor, and for me that is enough.

Some thoughts on popular discussion topics amongst Luciferians and the development of our practices

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.

Applied Luciferianism Project: Growth/Enlightenment

 

Although I see this particular set of applied values as intertwined with Change, they have their own specific meaning in my mind. I had considered starting off this project with an Enlightenment entry, since that seems to be the one value that Luciferians of all types can agree on, but decided not to—enlightenment, after all, is a process and a journey, not a starting point (nor necessarily an end point, in my opinion).

 

And as I mentioned before, Luciferians as a whole tend to be very fond of this ideal. For me, it symbolizes our ability to learn from our mistakes, to see the value in the process of trial and error in our own self-growth. It is the Fortunate Fall, the Happy Fault, the wisdom gained from sorrow. It’s those moments of epiphany in our spiritual lives that allow us to sink deeper into our faith.

 

But it also refers to the more mundane and perhaps dull of experiences. It is also the research and the work we put into our faith, the countless hours of scriptural analysis, the projects we make for ourselves (much like this one) that we sometimes have to force ourselves to continue, the shadow work and self-reflection, the bookwork and interfaith research. This is all also a part of that process of enlightenment, and is integral to it.

 

It’s also what one does with that newfound knowledge. So what if I’ve done all this pathwork? So what if I’ve read all this literature about my god? How does what I’ve learned from my path and my god shape me as a person, and my interactions with others? How do I apply it to my every day life, as a student, daughter, friend, etc.? How does it affect my own personal goals toward apotheosis? 

 

Sometimes this process of enlightenment is inspired through group interaction. I’ve had many great experiences working with others of similar or different faiths, which have prompted me to see things in an entirely new way, or have supplemented my own personal findings. 

 

And sometimes these same interactions reach a point where they stop being quite so constructive, and instead restrain spiritual growth. Such was the case that led to my disassociation with the ‘pagan’ label, and more recently, my distance from the luciferian community. Perhaps not through any fault of the group itself, though—sometimes it simply has to do with the point one is at in their own path. In my case, I’m just finding it more fruitful to focus on my own personal research and devotions right now. I’m actually in the process of developing a physical devotional prayerbook that I’ll be using for a while in lieu of my online blogs. I won’t be gone for good, I just might not be quite as active for a bit. Change is a good thing, especially when it comes to the process of enlightenment and self-growth.

 

Devotional Luciferianism

Luciferianism is an umbrella term of sorts.While there are certain beliefs that could be applied to all Luciferians, and specific values that we all hold dear, how we carry out our practice differs from person to person. Some may seek self-growth and knowledge through the practice of magic (which can further be separated into ‘high’ or ‘low’ magic), others may strive for apotheosis through complete detachment from theistic perspectives, and still others might revere Lucifer and his mythology in the agnostic sense and use it to guide their choices in life.  Some of the more well known branches (in no particular order) are:

  • Ceremonial Luciferianism
  • Luciferian Witchcraft
  • Atheistic Luciferianism
  • Theistic Luciferianism
  • Monadic Luciferianism
  • Gnostic Luciferianism

 Personally, I don’t fit neatly into any of these established branches. I don’t really incorporate magic of any sort into my practice. I’m rather intrigued by Gnosticism, but I haven’t studied it in depth or know enough to comfortably call myself a Gnostic Luciferian. While I am polytheistic and do believe in a ‘Lucifer’ entity (well, to an extent—I’m actually rather agnostic when it comes to this), I approach Luciferianism as a practice in a more atheistic manner. I seek for practical applications of the values imbedded within the belief system, and use them as tools for self-growth.  

My beliefs are also largely shaped by contemplation on Abrahamic texts and philosophies, including those of more esoteric sects within the ‘big three’ religions. There’s a particular emphasis on the Catholic Catechisms, but that’s because it is the faith I grew up in and am most familiar with.

And as I’ve mentioned countless times before, my practice is hardly the ‘be all, end all’ of Luciferianism. In fact, I consider it a minority within a minority belief system. So I thought it would be best if I refined my practice by giving it its own identifier, distinguishing it from the various other practices and branches that fall under Luciferianism. 

I settled on ‘Devotional Luciferianism’ for a number of reasons. Devotion suggests ‘love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause’, which I think accurately encompasses the entirety of my practice in that neither Lucifer nor the atheistic values of Luciferianism are the singular centerpoint of my faith. While I may be uphold the value system to the highest regard, I am also utterly in love with the god who inspired those qualities in the first place. 

Through learning and knowing more of my god, I simultaneously learn more about myself. While this may be in part because of my desire to reflect the qualities I see within Lucifer, it is also because the more I try to understand Lucifer, the more I must engage in self-reflection. It requires an entirely different perspective from that which I grew up with, and it consequentially brings questions of my own beliefs up to the forefront. 

While Lucifer is said to have sought his own personal advancement, seeking to be on equal terms with God, through tempting humanity with knowledge he also aided their own advancement. This is how I view my own path—simply because I am working towards self-growth and apotheosis doesn’t mean that my own Work can’t contribute to his. Through honoring him, I can be equally honoring myself and vice-versa. When even my offerings to him must in some way be of benefit to myself, I think it’s only fitting that I in essence be a devotional to him and his Work, through embodying his values and furthering my own self.

The Great Destroyer

“…Set me like a star before the morning
Like a sun that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I’ll illuminate the path You’ve laid before me
But for now just let me be

Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
No, not before You show me how to die

So let me go like a leaf upon the water
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me”

The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy—or so it is often said. I, for one, have never shied away from this expression—experience has taught me that it holds some amount of truth.

In order to move forward, sometimes we have to let go of the things that are holding us back. In order to get to the core of ourselves, surrounding walls must be broken down. There’s no use building on top of a weak foundation if it’s all going to come crumbling down anyways—sometimes starting over is best. And (as paraphrased from Salman Rushdie’s infamous Satanic Verses) before this metaphorical rebirth can happen, first one must experience death.

Lucifer falls into the role of Destroyer through the trials of Job, in which he strips away all that Job held dear within his life—his health, his family, his fortune. I do not believe, however, that it was merely destruction for destruction’s sake. Having posed the question to God as to whether Job’s faith and devotion was built upon rock or sand, the destruction was meant to give Job a chance to strengthen his faith without the blessings that had initially prompted him to worship god, or take a different route entirely.

But apart from being the initiator of others’ destruction, I would argue that Lucifer is also intimately familiar with what it means to have everything you’ve ever known laid broken at one’s feet. He facilitated his own symbolic death through his rebellion, but upon losing his place at the right hand of God, he also gained the chance to rebuild himself into something greater than before.

“From the ashes,

Beauty rising like the morning star, and everything is come to light

In the wreckage,

Waking to a wonder unexpected, from this ruin comes new life

From these remains

A kingdom shall be raised”

-Jason Gray