I am the Bright and Morning Star

“When all the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” Job 38:7

When used scripturally, the title of Morningstar can refer to several different entities. The two most well-known of Morningstars, however, are also the two who are pitted as mortal enemies.—Lucifer and Christ. Personally (though I’ve found that other Luciferians also share this particular sentiment), I don’t view them as lying on opposite ends of a divine spectrum. I view Christ as a light-bearer in his own right, and as having several similarities to Lucifer himself.

Within Greek mythos, we have the brothers Phosphorous and Hesperus as sons of the Dawn—Eos. It is said that Hesperus acts as the evening star, and upon his falling his brother Phosphorous must take his place in the sky to usher in the morning and wake their mother.

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Phosphorous and Hesperus (1882) – Evelyn de Morgan 


Similarly, we see that upon Lucifer’s Fall, the title of Morningstar is passed down to Christ. I, however,  don’t believe that Lucifer ever stopped fulfilling the role of Morningstar, nor that he in any way ceased to be worthy of such a title. Rather, I found greater depth within the responsibilities of the title when I encountered the variation of Mourningstar.

I don’t see it as an empty title, but rather as a duty that must be carried out. If one accepts the role of Morningstar, they must also accept that of Mourningstar; illumination comes with a price. Christ the Morningstar bore the sins of humanity and was crucified, whilst Lucifer the Morningstar was forever parted from the grace and love of his God. (see The Suffering Gods)

In addition to being a Mo(u)rningstar, I often refer to Lucifer as the Throneless King. His position as such is not one of comfort—rather it is one of enduring discomfort, of refusing to rest weary feet, so as to be on equal ground with those he leads. The role of Morningstar is similarly one of enduring suffering, rather than one of glory.

But he is not a crownless king. And I think it apt that a Throneless King should feel the weight and burden of such a crown, and that a Mourningstar should be reminded of the sorrows that accompany such a title.

Prometheus, who is often viewed as a Lucifer figure within Luciferianism, was said to have been crowned with willow after his theft of fire from the gods. The willow tree, and in particular the weeping willow, is symbolic of grief and suffering, with it’s low-bending trunk and hanging branches reminiscent of a body hunched over in despair. Christ was given a crown of thorns in mockery before he was marched to his death. Some believe this was even a fulfillment of the curse laid upon mankind from their Fall

“…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you…” (Genesis 3:17-18).

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(x)

In the case of the Morningstars, I believe the phrase “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” most accurately rings true.

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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.

The Emperor/Throneless King

So far I’ve discussed Lu’s Lightbringer and Warlord aspects, but I don’t believe I’ve talked about zir Emperor aspect in depth. I don’t directly interact with this particular aspect, however it is the primary facet that I ‘represent’ (that’s not exactly the right word, but I can’t think of anything better to use at the moment). But before I explain why that is, I think I should define what I mean by zir ‘Emperor’ aspect.

In many ways, Lu’s Emperor and Warlord aspects play off of one another, but while Lucifer the Warlord acts as the strategist and General, Lucifer the Emperor is zir ‘public’ face, the voice of the Rebellion. It is this aspect that causes such talk of zir ‘lust for power’, and desire to take YHWH’s throne for zir own—which isn’t quite true. Ze came into this position of power not through greed or envy, but out of necessity. If ze had not instigated the rebellion, if ze hadn’t questioned the authority, control, and intentions of his Maker, who else would have? Consequentially, it fell upon zir to lead those who believed in zir cause, even in defeat.

Both Lu’s Warlord and Lightbringer aspects were present before the Fall, and as such retain some qualities influenced by YHWH. But zir Emperor aspect is a post-fall only aspect, so while he has attained a pseudo King-God role similar to that of YHWH in his own right, the fact that this role was created after the rebellion has caused the two to be quite contrasting. Lu has no desire to become what his Maker was (is?), and as such their Emperor aspects are entirely different.

I often like to think of this aspect as the Throneless King, rather than the Emperor. It’s a grounding reminder that this role holds none of the glory of a traditional King role. It isn’t even a hierarchal title in terms of status. Lu does not hold this position to ‘rule’ over subjects, or to be praised, but because ze has a responsibility to zir people, a responsibility to those who sacrificed everything for zir ideals and Fell alongside zir. But there is a sense of pride in this aspect, no matter how grim the circumstances that led to this role being thrust upon zir. Or perhaps that pride is present because it fell upon Lu to restore what had once been a defeated people, a family of broken and exiled angels who flourished and in essence created a ‘heaven of hell’. But I would also argue that Lu’s ‘empire’ extends beyond the brothers who Fell, to the devotees that have chosen this path, and perhaps even to all of humanity, whose innovations and drive for knowledge can be attributed to the gift given by the serpent in Eden. Maybe there’s some small grain of truth to the scornful phrase that gets toted around within Christian circles, of Lu as ‘king of this world’. However, that is not an argument in support of Lu being the cause of suffering and hate in the world—that is ultimately dependant on our own choices and actions.

Because ze is in this role as Emperor, the choice to call myself zir student and devotee places a rather heavy burden of reflection on the both of us. Even if the majority of people I interact with don’t know about Lu or my relationship to zir, it doesn’t negate the fact that my words and deeds reflect back onto zir as my mentor. Just as I strive to be an accurate representation of zir ideals, so too does Lu get judged based on what zir devotees say or do. A prime example would be of the stereotypical media representation of devil-worshippers ‘killing in his name’—even though these people probably have no clue as to what Luciferianism actually consists of, or that Lu would not approve of their actions in any way, the fact that they are committing these crimes and aligning themselves with zir perpetuates the opinion of Lucifer as ‘evil’.

I know I’ve gone on and on before about how Luciferianism is not a belief system rooted in theory, but rather action. Thus calling myself a Luciferian does not make it so, but rather my actions serve as identification (LucifersPA outlines some of the traits expressed by Luciferians quite well in this post). And for those that choose to pursue a closer working relationship with Lu, such as student or devotee, the necessity to act in a manner befitting of one of zir own becomes critical, due to his aspect as the Emperor. I know of several other devotees who are prompted to take care of what they do or say in any and all situations. There are also some who are encouraged to be mindful of one’s appearance and health—however invisible we may be to the general public in terms of our faith, we still act as reflections of Lu in this world. For me, this is not so much a restriction or hindrance as it is a form of protection in the situation that my faith were to be ‘found out’—even though Lucifer and Luciferianism carry a deep stigma attached based on misconceptions, my actions and words go against that stereotype and are representative of what Lu actually stands for within Luciferianism. Just because I would have this ‘new’ label on me to others doesn’t mean who I am has changed, my faith and my everyday life are irrevocably intertwined—and I should hope that others would recognize this (although the stigma is so deep-rooted that I highly doubt it would completely eliminate the possibility of alienation).

[Related posts: The Warlord and the Lightbringer, Bearer of Light, So-Called ‘Luciferians’]

It seems like such a simple question, but it’s really not.

“What is Luciferianism?”

Cue my ‘oh crap’ look.

I’d much rather deal with answering specific questions about my path. Things like “Do you worship the devil?” and “Are you a Satanist?”, I can deal with—no problem. But ask me to tell you what Luciferianism is, or what the beliefs of Luciferians are, and I’ll look like a deer in headlights for a few seconds.

Not only does this require condensing the entire belief system into one or two simple-to-understand sentences that border on generalization, I also have to be careful not to scare people off. Now, obviously this isn’t entirely possible—there’s the little issue of the ‘Lucifer’ in ‘Luciferianism’ (both the word and the belief system as a whole), but I’ve found that there are certain phrases that people respond to better than others. So I’ve learned to tailor my description to fit the sensibilities of the company I find myself in. The pagan community in particular is usually perfectly okay with ‘Promethean’ values, but call them by a different name and they suddenly can’t distance themselves from anything ‘Satan’ and ‘Lucifer’ (and ‘Christianity/biblical’ for that matter) related any faster.

But I’m tired of having to come up with different responses in a moment’s notice, based off of the general perspective and tolerance of the group in question. I’m done with trying to cater to everyone else’s discomforts regarding any mention of the Christian devil at my own expense. So maybe it’s time that I sit down and come up with a concrete answer to this question. I can’t make everyone happy with my definition, nor will I try to. But I do want something that encompasses the various beliefs within my faith, something that doesn’t only pertain to my particular beliefs, but is open to the range of perspectives within the Luciferian community.

You’d think that I would’ve have taken a crack at this sooner, what with how often I’m asked. So here we go, my first attempt at a ‘solid’ response to the oft-asked question:

“Luciferianism is the theistic or atheistic admiration of the qualities expressed by the biblical Lucifer and similar archetypal figures.”

Out of Curiosity

What do you all find resonates most strongly with your deities, or what are some strange things that remind you of them?

For me, it’s a combination of:

  1. Lightning

The first time I heard of Lucifer being associated with lightning by another of his devotees, I scoffed and blew it off as being utter nonsense. I thought it was just something the person had come up with to make him sound more powerful or cool or whatever. That same night, I was woken up by one of the most intense thunder storms I’ve ever experienced, complete with lightning that lit up the room as though it were midday. There had been no warning of any incoming storms in that area beforehand.

I was shaken enough to go back and do some proper research before disregarding the UPG completely. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s some (speculative) basis of this connection in the gospel of Luke:

“And he [Jesus] said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (10:18)

 I used to love watching lightning strikes, and being completely in awe of how a single strike could illuminate even the darkest of nights. But I was also acutely aware of how destructive lightning could be, and was always nervous when it got too close for comfort. It was stunning and awe-inspiring, but dangerous all the same, much like a certain angel I know.

 I’ve also mentioned how sometimes I get a buzzing sort of sensation in my left shoulder blade when Lu is around—almost like the buildup of static charge from a storm.

 

2.  Freshly fallen snow

This doesn’t have anything in scripture to back it up (I don’t think so, anyways), but the bite and even the scent of cold air after a snowfall reminds me of him. It has a certain kick to it that snaps me awake and keeps me alert, not unlike Lu tends to do. The cold chill makes me sharply aware of everything, from the icy kisses on the tip of my nose to the whisper of the winter wind at the back of my neck.

And the stillness and silence, where everyone seems to be too afraid to draw in a breath lest they disturb the tranquility, reminds me of him too. More often than not, he is quiet and hesitant to influence my choices unless necessary.

And looking back on these things now, I find myself rather amused that they have something in common—in both instances, they involve something falling from the heavens to the earth. 

Shadow Work

To be honest, I never even knew this was an actual ‘thing’. I didn’t have a name for it, I just knew it was what my workings with Lu largely consisted of.  But apparently a lot of other people have gone through it and call it Shadow Work, based off of Jung’s Schattenarbeit (psychological shadow work), which fits rather nicely I think.

Others have noted that it isn’t really talked about within the pagan community—sure, there’ll be mentions about its importance here and there, but there are no guidelines or helpful tips on how to go about it. And that’s because Shadow Work practices are unique to each person’s needs. It’s an introspective practice that deals with our inner selves, so it wouldn’t make much sense for another person to tell someone how to go about it.

Shadow Work is a self-built process—it is ultimately up to us what we want to confront and what we’re willing to risk. That being said, this isn’t going to be a how-to guide. It’s only an overview of the broad expanse of Shadow Work as I have come to know it.

For some, Shadow Work may consist of confronting one’s own inner demons. Facing one’s fears is usually a crucial step in this practice. This can be potentially dangerous, not to mention traumatizing. Even our mental fears can have scarring effects. Others must make peace with the darker parts of themselves, their shame and regrets. Already, you can probably see why many would not be willing to share their own experiences with Shadow Work, due to the intensely personal nature of such work. Shadow Work tests limits, and seeks to break them.

You know those ‘difficult questions’ I always talk about? The ones that rip holes in the fabric of our spirituality, or that make us doubt that which we love and hold on to for support? Those are a part of Shadow Work too. The answers may not always be pretty, may not be what we want to hear, but it’s what we need to hear. Each one of those questions has the potential to tear apart the vision of reality we have built for ourselves, the ‘truth’ we cling to like a security blanket. We have the option of letting those questions haunt us or facing up to them. And on the occasion that they cause our truths to crumble around us, we have the choice of leaving it in ruins or attempting to rebuild it.

But it isn’t about morphing our fears into something more acceptable, or sugarcoating our flaws. It’s about owning up to them. Sometimes, we can even use them to our advantage. And it’s not always about overcoming or getting rid of our fears—sometimes a healthy dose of fear can be a good thing.

The end goal is not about defeating your shadow self. Those shadows are essential for spiritual growth. They are as much a part of our world as the more pleasant aspects. Instead, it’s about learning how to deal with them, living in a controlled sort of flux with our shadows. A balance, if you will. Comfort and security are nice, but fear keeps us sharp and aware. It is not a balance between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, or ‘light’ and ‘dark’.

And as you can imagine, not everyone reaches the end of some phase of their Shadow Work. Some might give up halfway, and it’s important to note that this is NOT a sign of weakness or failure. There are very real reasons as to why we fear things, why we hide away from some parts of our shadow selves, and sometimes the cons outweigh the pros in such situations. Emerging from the entirety of a phase of Shadow Work does not always equate with emerging a happier, stronger person. It isn’t a battle to be fought, with only two outcomes. If anything, it’s about how much you’re willing to ‘connect’ with the shadow. How much can you accept as a part of yourself, as a part of your reality?

I’ve heard the theory that we as humans cannot possibly hope to contain the amount of energy/knowledge/power/whatever that deities are capable of, because we would break under the sheer force or pressure. I see Shadow Work as being similar to that concept. Not everyone can delve as deeply into their shadow for fear of losing themselves or their sanity. There are very real consequences of Shadow Work that affect our mental and physical states, a common one being severe depression and/or suicidal thoughts.  

So how do we know when to stop or keep going when it comes to Shadow Work? We don’t. But personally, if I feel that something is not worth the effort or I’m in serious danger of losing everything I’ve achieved thus far, I would stop. Sometimes we have to recognize when it’s prudent to cut our losses and move on to something else.

I don’t know how others reconcile Shadow Work with their respective deities, but for me, Shadow Work is mostly solitary. Lucifer oversees my progress, but he doesn’t play an active part in it.  He does not ‘guide’ me in any way that might influence the end result. He has only once been an active participant in my Shadow Work, but that was because I was dealing with my Christianized fear of Him at the time. But even then, it was almost as though he was trying to dissuade me from making the choice I thought he wanted me to make. But mostly, he only initiates phases of my work by presenting me with questions or situations, and then leaves me to flail and deal with the consequences on my own. Then again, that’s just the type of mentor he is.

There He’s Standing with His Open Heart

I can’t recall how many times I’ve asked myself if I made the right choice, to integrate myself with matters of the divine while dealing with the issues of this life as well. Was it really the best decision to accept Lu as my patron? The combined pressure of both worlds can be overwhelming, and sometimes I end up avoiding one in favor of the other.

And I have to admit, often that means neglecting my duties as one of Lu’s own. It means choosing what seems more real, as the skeptic in me mocks my devotion and belittles his and my Work. In times such as these, it’s difficult for me to remember the importance of my faith, because in terms of tangibility our work is entirely spiritual, mental, and emotional—it’ll never support me financially, it’ll never have a firm foundation in the material world, and I can’t see proof of it’s worth beyond my own mind. My relationship with my god and my work as his student cannot be assessed as easily as other situations. It cannot be evaluated through its payoff, and it certainly cannot be appraised by anyone other than Lu or myself.

So why do we do it? Why do we put so much time and effort into cultivating divine relationships, into doing tasks that may be meaningless to anyone else, into learning things that aren’t always relevant to our lives?

I can only speak for myself, and my reasons may be difficult to comprehend. One of the problems with dealing with Lu through emotions and feelings is that often I can’t describe in words the extent of my devotion, or the meaning behind our work. It is one thing to say that I’m his devotee, and quite another to live it. I could say that my work involves blogging and living to his standards, of bearing some of his burden, and of having my actions and words reflect back on him as my patron and vice-versa– but it goes beyond that. It goes beyond the mere act of being his disciple, but rather the yearning to be of use to him—to be a force of change in this world as he has been a force of change in my own life.

He is often accused of being too proud, of wanting to outshine his creator—to be brighter than the source that breathed life into him. And how can I, as his disciple, aspire to be anything less? He made it clear at the start of our patronage that my help would not be accepted if all I hoped to accomplish was to please him, or to repay debts that don’t exist. I had to want this for ‘substantial’ reasons, to feel as strongly for these causes as He did.

I thought I did. But it wasn’t until he began projecting his own emotions onto me that I realized how mistaken I had been. How does one even begin to describe a god’s sorrow, or his joy? All I know is that my own human emotions could not compare to His. He kindled the glowing embers of my own sentiments, feeding them with his own fiery passions.

But something like this can’t be undone. His grief, joy, and rage remain as muted imprints, irrevocably intertwined with my own emotions. And this is one of those consequences of my patronage to Lu that I spoke of before. I can’t unfeel these things, I’m stuck with them whether I continue to work with him or not.

So while I may whine and complain about the stress levels that being his disciple inevitably raises, I know that deep down I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t help but do his work, not only because I admire what he represents, but because the sentiments he has stirred within me won’t let me forget. I cannot fathom living my life feeling what I do, knowing what I know, and not make the effort to be a reflection of his ideals in this world.

It is because of this that I can endure that nagging voice at the back of my mind that mocks my faith; it is why I endure the weariness of my role as His student. It goes beyond what appears true, because this feels real–the emotions, the devotion, and his presence in my life. In the end, that’s what keeps me faithful, despite the silence (or rather my inability to ‘hear’ him) and despite the frustration. I can’t say for sure if the choice I made was the best one, but the fact that I keep choosing this god and this path, each and every day, has to mean something.