Webster defines myth as “a story or belief that attempts to explain a basic truth.” There have always been story-tellers amongst us. From the time humanity first learned to speak we have tried to express our thoughts concerning the world around us, as well as the world of our own imaginations. Mythology, religion, philosophy and science have all grown out of these thoughts. At first there was only the oral traditions, passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. With the advent of writing (circa 3500 B.C.E.) the transmission of ideas increased and the integrity of the information was more easily preserved for future generations. Comparative mythology scholars, like Adolph Bastian and Joseph Campbell, recognize two main aspects that can be applied to all forms of mythology. These are the “local” and the “universal” aspects. As Campbell writes in his Primitive Mythology:
“We may therefore think of any myth or rite either as a clue to what may be permanent or universal in human nature, or on the other hand, as a function of the local scene, the landscape, the history, and the sociology of the folk concerned.”
We can see these two aspects in all myths, where some themes being represented are “universal” in the sense that they are human, and apply across the board, regardless of cultural influence.
Things like love, war and an attempt to explain our origin, how we got here and so forth. No matter what culture you consider, if you study their mythology you will find these and other universal themes being presented, but you will also notice many variations. The stories will be coloured by the local flavour, or the ethnic background of the culture from which the myths derive. This is because mythology is an attempt to explain both a specific folk, or people, their place in the world as well as their customs, rites, moral codes and aspirations and also an attempt to explain a transcendent reality, the realm of the gods, the origin of the universe, the purpose of life. Satanism has it’s own mythology, which is here referred to as the “Satanic Mythos.” But there is a key difference with this mythology, the local aspects of the Satanic Mythos are not defined by a specific geographical location. Satanism can be viewed as a culture unto itself which has manifested within many existing nations, be they eastern or western, ancient or modern. The archetypes of the Satanic Mythos can be found throughout all of the world’s mythologies. They are the gods, goddesses, demons and devils who oppose tyranny, oppression, restriction, complacency and servility. They are the benefactors of humanity and represent our own striving against the enemies of freedom, creativity and individuality. There are a multitude of archetypes that fall into this category, and there is no way I could even begin to cover them in such a short document as this, so I have chosen four which I feel represent a broad cross section of the gods of the Satanic Mythos. They come from the Toltec, Greek, Hebrew and Germanic cultures respectively, yet they are all inherently satanic because of the qualities the archetypes represent.
I. Tezcatlipoca, God of the Starry Night
Tezcatlipoca is associated with the night, winter, and the northern regions. He is a dark lunar god and thus the natural adversary of the Toltec solar deity, Huitzilopochtli. He is often depicted as a beautiful young man. His sacred animal is the jaguar, and this is a sign of his fierceness, cunning and strength. Tezcatlipoca is the god of warriors, and he represents courage, skill, power and competition. His myths are often tied in with those of Quetzalcoatl, the more gentle ‘feathered serpent’ god of both the Toltecs and later the Aztecs. Quetzalcoatl abhorred any form of sacrificial rites and when he was in power, he ordered them to cease. Tezcatlipoca would not stand for this and so set out to dethrone Quetzalcoatl and replace him as the rightful ruler of the Toltec Empire. He disguised himself as a merchant and showed up stark naked at the marketplace of Tollan, the capital of the Toltec nation. Tezcatlipoca has an impressively large sized penis, and he knew the Princess would notice him, for it was her custom to oversee the marketplace. When the princess saw Tezcatlipoca, and saw how well endowed he was, she grew sick with desire for him and could think of nothing else, day or night. Finally, she could stand it no longer, and she came to her father the king and begged him to let her marry Tezcatlipoca. The king conceded and the marriage was arranged. On the first night they lay together, the princess conceived a child, who was born on the sacred “Day of the Nine Winds”. The child became the prince of Tollan and the heir to the throne of Toltec. Now that Tezcatlipoca had such great influence over the city, he began to gain followers, the bulk of which came from the warrior class. He taught them how to win in battle, how to overcome all their enemies and how to improve their strength and skill. He also reinstated the sacrificial rites, teaching that it was a sign of the superior strength of the Toltec nation and a warning to those who sought to oppose them. Each year a prisoner of war was selected, duly consecrated and than sacrificed by having his heart torn out of his chest. So many began to follow the ways of Tezcatlipoca that Quetzalcoatl could stand it no longer. He abandoned the city and renounced it for good. Tezcatlipoca had succeeded in his desire to become the high god of the Toltec nation.
II. Hades, Lord of the Underworld:
Hades (coming from the Greek word Aidoneus, meaning the invisible one) is ruler of the underworld. He is the son of Kronos and the husband of Persephone. Satanism recognizes the importance of both life and death, and does not fear either one. Hades is also sometimes called Pylartes, which means ‘closer of the gates’ and it is he who guards the gates of the underworld so that none may return once they have entered his realm. This is representative of the finality of death and is a sober reminder to us all that one day we too shall die. Hades, as judge of the dead, also teaches us that our lives are completed by our death. Once dead, all accounts are settled, there can be no more transactions and the worth of ones life can now be viewed in it’s totality. Rather than fabricating “other worlds” and/or the “pearly gates” to sooth the minds of the fearful, Satanism takes a more realistic approach, seeing in death an inspiration to live life to it’s fullest. The Satanic mythos also teaches us to not be ignorant of death, but to be honest with ourselves and recognize it’s presence all around us, even in the midst of life. Death is also change, and we can see the rhythm of life and death, day turning into night and back to day, over and over again. This rhythm also appears with the changing of the seasons, the birth and new life of spring, the ascendancy of life in summer, the maturity and old age of life in autumn and the death of winter. This particular phenomenon is represented in the myth of Hades and Persephone.
“Demeter had an only daughter, Persephone, the maiden of spring. She lost her and in her terrible grief she withheld her gifts from the earth, which turned into a frozen desert. The green and flowering land was icebound and lifeless because Persephone had disappeared. Hades, the Lord of the dark underworld, the King of the dead, carried her off when, enticed by the wondrous bloom of narcissus, she strayed too far from her companions. In his chariot drawn by coal-black steeds he rose up through a chasm in the earth, and grasping the maiden by the wrist set her beside him. He bore her away weeping, down to the underworld. The high hills echoed her cry, and the depths of the sea, and her mother heard it. Demeter sped like a bird over sea and land searching for her daughter. But no one would tell her the truth. Nine days she wandered and all that time she would not taste of ambrosia or put sweet nectar to her lips. At last she came to the sun and he told her all the story: Persephone was down in the world beneath the earth, among the shadowy dead. Then a still greater grief entered her heart. She left Olympus, she dwelt on the earth, but so disguised that none knew her, and indeed the gods are not easily discerned by mortal men. That year was most dreadful and cruel for mankind over all the earth. Nothing grew; no seed sprang up, in vain the oxen drew the plowshare through the furrows. It seemed the whole race of men would die of famine. At last Zeus saw that he must take the matter in hand. He sent the gods to Demeter, one after another, to try to turn her from her anger, but she listened to none of them. Never would she let the earth bear fruit until she had seen her daughter. Then Zeus realized that his brother must give way. He told Hermes to go down to the underworld and to bid Hades, the lord of it, to let his bride go back to Demeter. Hermes found the two sitting side by side, Persephone shrinking away, reluctant because she longed for her mother. At Hermes’ words she sprang up joyfully, eager to go. Her husband knew that he must obey the word of Zeus and send her up to earth away from him, but he encouraged her as she left him to have kind thoughts of him and to not be so sorrowful that she was the wife of one who was great among the immortals. And he made her eat a pomegranate seed, knowing in his heart that if she did so she must return to him. He got ready his golden chariot and Hermes took the reins and drove the black horses straight to the temple where Demeter was. She ran out to meet her daughter as swiftly as a Maenad runs to the mountainside. Persephone sprang into her arms and was held fast there. All day they talked of what had happened, and Demeter grieved when she heard of the pomegranate seed, fearing that she could not keep her daughter with her. She was sent a message from Rhea, the oldest of the goddesses, telling her: For a third part only the kingdom of darkness shall hold her. For the rest of the year you will keep her”.
III. Nechesh, the Initiator:
The Serpent of Genesis (later to become associated with Satan, although he is nowhere identified as such in the original text), is a primary example of the archetype of gnosis (intuitive knowledge). The Hebrew word Nechesh means a snake or serpent. It also means to hiss or whisper, to divine, an enchanter or an enchantment, a magic spell, to learn by experience and to diligently observe. With these qualities in mind let us review the familiar story of the Serpent in the Garden and maybe gain a new perspective on this myth.
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, hasn’t God said, you can eat of every tree of the garden? And the women said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said unto the women, you shall not die, for God knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Was the serpent lying? Well according to the story no, he was not, for after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, “the eyes of them both were opened”, meaning they attained a level of awareness they did not previously have. The Serpent is here acting as the Grand Hierophant, or the Lord of Initiation. He provoked the enlightenment of the man and woman by encouraging them to partake of the ‘forbidden fruit’. When they did so, they both experienced gnosis, and for the first time they knew that they were naked. This is symbolic of seeing ourselves as we truly are, in all our nakedness, without being blinded by illusion and ignorance. They ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, i.e. the knowledge of the pairs of opposites, yin and yang, male and female, light and dark. The attainment of knowledge, as all true adepts will agree, comes with a price. One can not attain knowledge without working at it, and striving for it. Knowledge is different from information, knowledge is gnosis, information is just data. The serpent guided the man and woman towards the attainment of gnosis, and the price they paid was the “fall from grace”. They were no longer kept in innocence, like a babe in the womb, but were expelled from the garden and sent out into the world to make their own way, to learn through experience, to struggle and develop on their own, in a word, they became gods, masters of their own destiny. And here is the value of the serpent archetype, he teaches wisdom through experience, he teaches diligent observation, he teaches science and magic and leads humanity to grow beyond themselves, to master the earth, to know, to will, to dare and to become more than they are.
IV. Loki, the Trickster:
Loki comes to us from the old Germanic mythology. He is the father of the wolf Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent and Hel, the Queen of the Underworld. Loki is a shape shifter as well as a trickster. He can take any form he wants and often disguises himself to suit his needs. He is the one that will usher in the age of Ragnarok, the time of the Axe and the Sword, when men will fight one another until the whole world is set aflame. One of his key attributes is that he is a constant challenge to the established hierarchy of the gods as well as a catalyst for change. In one of his more popular myths, Loki is instrumental in the death of the god Balder, son of Odin. Balder began to have nightmares, warning him that his death was near. So the goddess Frigg made all things, both organic and inorganic, swear an oath that they would not hurt Balder. Because of this, Balder was now invulnerable, and for sport the other gods set him in their midst and threw stones at him, knowing he could not be hurt. They thought this was quite amusing and it pleased them very much. Only Loki, the trickster, was not amused. He changed himself into an old woman, and went to question Frigg. She told him that the weapons of the gods could not wound Balder because she made them all swear not to hurt him. Loki asked “Have all things sworn to spare Balder?” Frigg admitted that there was a flower called the mistletoe east of Valhalla that she thought was too young to sware, so she didn’t require it to do so.
So Loki went and pulled the mistletoe and took it to the assembly of the gods. There he found the blind god Hodur standing at the outside of the circle. Loki asked him, “Why do you not shoot at Balder?” Hodur answered, “Because I do not see where he stands ; besides I have no weapon.” Then Loki said, “Do like the rest of the gods and show Balder honor. I will show you where he stands, and you shoot at him with this twig.” Hodur took the mistletoe and threw it at Balder, as Loki directed him. The mistletoe struck Balder and pierced him through and through, and he fell down dead.
Coming soon: The Satanic Mythos: Part II
The author’s website: The Satanic Cabal
Image credit: DinosaursAreNotDead
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- Satanic Mythos: A brief study of four infernal archetypes - January 1, 2003