Far too long has the subject of Satanic magic and philosophy been written down by wild-eyed journalists of the right-hand path.While not a "wild-eyed journalist of the right-hand path" (whether defined in Tantric, Blavatskian or newage terms), I have, over the past few months, shared some rather amusing sensationalist news stories written by those who are. I thought it only fair to take the time to write a short piece on "real" Satanism and go beyond highlighting some of the more absurd stories that rise up out of the deep.This is a little tricky as Satanism is a broad term these days encompassing a variety of religions. There's "traditional" Satanism which does involve devil-worship and Luciferianism which (sometimes) runs along similar veins. However, there's also "modern" and LaVeyan Satanism which does not, as these Satanists are atheistic, holding the self in the highest position of reverence.For years I managed the website for the Satanic Read More
--Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible.
The Satanic Scriptures, by Peter H. Gilmore
Scapegoat Publishing, 0976403595, 302 pp., 2007
To the Satanist, Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshipped, rather it is a name for the reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will.
When Anton LaVey’s died in 1997 his wife, Blanche Bardon, assumed his place as the head of the Church of Satan. In 2001 Bardon ceded her position as High Priestess, and promoted Peter Gilmore and Peggy Nadramia to High Priest and High Priestess respectively; positions they still retain today.
The Satanic Scriptures comprises of a collection of essays written between 1987-2006, many of which were previously published in The Black Flame, the magazine founded by Gilmore and Nadramia which served as the official magazine for the Church of Satan. Unfortunately, apart from the odd reference to current events, there’s no clear indication when individual essays were written, a shame as it would have helped provide context for some of the opinions voiced.
The essays focus heavily on Satanic thought, practice and guiding principles as directed by LaVey and the Church of Satan. A student of music, Gilmore presents the reader with an overview of his favourite “Satanic” composers and brief guide to their works.
One of my favourite essays in the book discusses the misguided enthusiasm of some newcomers to Satanism who don’t quite “get” it, yet desire to “prove” themselves great and powerful to the world. Gilmore writes: “Satanism’s championing of self-empowerment is used against Satanism itself when over-zealous amateurs decide they have a mission to represent Satanism.” Indeed, this tends to result in bizarre high school groups, or the proliferation of the absurd and hastily created websites which littered the Internet in the late 90s (a practice which continues today, I’m afraid to say). Needless to say, it doesn’t reflect well on the novice Satanist, or the Church of Satan.
As Gilmore comically notes “As far as I can tell, the rest of the world’s religions and philosophies don’t have this problem, and this is generally because they preach submission. When someone reads The Holy Bible, he doesn’t immediately go out, make a website-Vatican emblazoned with the Papal Seal, claim he is a Cardinal or Pope, and ordain correspondents as Priests, Bishops and Arch-Bishops”2. The man certainly has a point.
The last section deals with ritual, after a brief note on the subject, and a dedication rite, three larger rituals are detailed: a Satanic wedding, a Satanic funeral using Anton LaVey as the example, and a Norse-inspired ritual called the Rite of Ragnarok. Following is a brief biographical essay on Gilmore written by his wife, Peggy Nadramia.