Facets of Satan pt. II
August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
I promised an elaboration on names and etymology of Satan and I’m here to deliver. After a bit more browsing, I found another piece of literature (called “Luciferian Sorcery” author unknown) that chose a different set of names for ritual. This time, Leviathan is in the west (not a fan of this one), Shaitan is in the South, Lucifer in the East, and Belial in the North. Seems unusual to me, this set up, as I’ve rarely seen Lucifer in the East. And no Satan! Can you imagine?
Of the names picked, Lucifer and Satan seem most sensical to me – in the sense that their origins are readily agreed upon, and their connect to one entity seems immediate. Lucifer and Satan were both names for the “Devil” in Christian lore – Lucifer, meaning “light-bringer” for before he had fallen, Satan for afterwards. The other names are a bit more elusive, less immediately apparent in origin. Belial is also mentioned in the Bible, as one of the “Seven princes of Hell”
Samael is in the Hebrew text the Talmud as an archangel, considered to be both good and evil. Here we can see the connections getting muddier – Shaitan is just the Islamic term for Satan (I’m unsure as to how I’d recognize him as a distinct being from Satan or Lucifer). Behemoth is another character out of the Bible, described as a large beast.
I worry about the amount of Christian names and lore featured in Satanic rituals. This is for two reasons:
The first is that it seems vastly inappropriate to bring up Bible based names so often, considering the Bible is something Satanists tend to stand against and disbelieve.
Second, and more importantly, calling oneself “Satanist” in a time when Christianity dominates immediately puts you at a disadvantage in public. When a non-Satanist hears “Satanist” they think of the Christian archetype of Satan – a man with horns and a pitchfork, an evil fallen angel. I doubt I could walk up to any person on the street and ask them what they thought of Satan and have them answer “A light-bringer, a bearer of supreme Gnosis, an all powerful force that pervades everything, supporting the acquisition of knowledge and reliance upon the self”. Nope. Only in my dreams.
This brings about problems. Theistic Satanism has incredible potential to do wonderful things for society. It encourages learning, questioning, a drive to understand – it encourages, nay, thrives on the independence and free-thinking of its followers. It allows for reverence of the true Father of this world (and other Gods, if you’re a polytheistic Satanist). However, Theistic Satanism is at an extreme disadvantage in gaining new followers simply by being called “Satanism”. The negative connotations of the word “Satan” have been drilled into society for centuries. The only way anyone finds out what Satanism is truly about is if they’re out there looking for it in the first place.
I fear we made need a name change. Church of Azazel is a start, as Azazel isn’t a name immediately recognized by most people as associated with Satan. Temple of Set has done well, and some have tried “Enki” and other older names. I don’t know whether or not that would solve the problem, but I do believe that if Satanism is going to gain as many followers and sympathizers as it needs to grow, it’s going to need to go by another name.
Until then, I’ll have to remain somewhat closeted in my beliefs. In today’s society, I cannot call myself a Satanist and expect my family, my boss or my friends to be able to get over their predisposed beliefs about what that means. I pray the day will come when that won’t be the case.
Ipsa scientia potestas est,