Whatever your reasoning for doing so be, if you’re reading this blog you have released your ship from the dock of “rumor” and are investigating Satanism for yourself. The ocean is vast, and it can be hard to know where to start with so many different ports in the world. Some of them are dangerous, some of them pretend to be something they’re not, and some of them speak complicated languages that pull you down a rabbit hole of mysticism, esotericism, and all that—not something you really have time to do just yet when you’re only just now deciding to get your toes wet. So where do you go? Unlike Abrahamic traditions there aren’t people standing on every street corner looking to convert you to the religion. That in itself, coming from the world you have been raised in, may be a bit intimidating, and that doesn’t help you steer to a destination you don’t know. Want a hint?
The first stop on your journey should be the Church of Satan Website.
“Waiiiiiit a minute,” you surely question, “I heard there was a book or something I need to read. Also, I heard the Church of Satan is an atheistic organization and has some sort of stuck up opinion about being the only valid form of Satanism, but I heard it isn’t.” Aye, you’re getting ahead of yourself, friend. Calm your fears, we’re going to take this one step at a time, and since I am not misleading you, I will be fully transparent. There are several reasons why this needs to be the first place you go aside from the ones you already know (For instance, obtaining the Satanic Bible can be a challenge for some). Let’s jump in.
Sink Some Roots
It’s important to know the roots of the group that you’re joining. You wouldn’t want to join a group posing as a civil rights group which originally was actively antisemitic, for instance (or do you?), because chances are some of those nasty behaviors and opinions are deeply seated in policy, procedure, or people still involved. (TIP: No organization does a 180 in beliefs. If one claims to it is fooling you. An organization which actually fully changes its mind would instead build a new organization from scratch.) In order to accurately identify as a Satanist you need to know what Satanism is and where it came from. Some people will tell you that it came from one “port” when it actually came from another—and this is because THEY didn’t do THEIR research. You never know who these people are, so you need to take it upon yourself to find your own true answers from reliable sources. Anton LaVey, whether you like him and what he said or not, did pull together a concept of what Satanism is in this modern era, and he packaged and organized it in such a way that it can be easily communicated to others. Satanism as defined in 1966 is relevant Satanism for any person who calls themselves a Satanist. On the Church of Satan website you will find credible and researched information about the history of Satanism before Anton LaVey was born and then how Satanism developed into what it is today. It’s a solid, credible place to start in your research to understand what Satanism was, is, and can be in the future, and the information provided on the website is deep but not overwhelming for new explorers.
Grow Your Own Opinion
It’s important to know the religious fundamentals so you can form your opinion on them. It’s clear that we all come from different walks of life and our perspectives can be very different from person to person. Some people who identify as Satanist call bull with certain aspects of the founded 1966 religion, and others call bull on other beliefs. Regardless of whether or not you agree, you need to read and understand the fundamental tenets on your own. Listening to hearsay about them is only going to let someone stuff their opinion down your throat via your eardrum. If you don’t know the basics and where the religion’s cornerstones are – whether you like them or not—there’s no way that you can analyze them in a way that’s fair to yourself, your beliefs, and your own philosophy. We don’t let other people do the thinking for us in Satanism, and if you rely on an “improved upon product” being sold to you then you’ll never have the chance to really thrive at your fullest potential with respect to your own belief system growth and individuality.
Speak the Lingo
When discussing a concept, you must have a baseline. In order to grow, mature, and thrive you’re probably going to be exchanging ideas with someone else, whether it’s a conversation had through the words of an author, the voice of a new acquaintance, or the visuals of a presentation on the big screen. If you don’t speak ‘the same language’ as someone else, you won’t be able to share information and develop in the same way. It goes back to the idea of—maybe you don’t like the material—fine, but you should still know it so that you can fully explain why you don’t like it to that other person. Maybe they never thought of your perspective before, but since you both have the same baseline they can see how you came to your thoughts. Maybe there’s something that you don’t understand down the road, and maybe this person can help you to find your answer because they know what you’ve learned and they know what you’re referring to when you describe your problem. (Ever tried getting help on your psychology homework from your art teacher?) Said another way, starting at the right place means that when others try to improve upon it (there were several cessations from the Church of Satan which each today still identify as Satanic organizations) you can decide for yourself if it is an improvement or if it isn’t, and if you want to stand behind it or not. You will be able to understand why changes were made—for better or worse—which will give you more insight into the minds of the peers who find satisfaction with their alternative paths. Better understanding of others will enable you to improve your relationship with them and you will find the tools to lead a better enriched, more fulfilling, and certainly more rewarding lifestyle.
So while there are plenty of “ports” where you can go and gather information to take with you on your journey, it’s important to start in an orderly fashion that will help you appreciate everything else you discover and get the most out of every interaction you have. Make every second you have count toward learning in a meaningful way by considering the order to which you develop your awareness. After devouring the Church of Satan’s material you will find yourself with several paths to explore; paths that will make themselves clear to you once you develop a curiosity for more information about material found there. From there you can set sail towards those other ports, now armed with the fundamental and relevant information about Satanism, able to discuss the cornerstones and basics with others, and now able to blaze your own path.
The Church of Satan had no partnership in the making of this blog.
Where to next?
Who is the Witch?
I'm just another successful Satanist who happens to be kinda good at the whole Lesser Magic thing. This blog is about my personal experiences and perspective in Satanism and does not speak for others nor their experiences. For more information please click here and learn more.