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.