SATAN has certainly been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years. The false doctrine of Hell and the Devil has allowed the Protestant and Catholic Churches to flourish far too long. Without a devil to point their fingers at, religionists of the right hand path would have nothing with which to threaten their followers. "Satan leads you to temptation"; "Satan is the prince of evil"; "Satan is vicious, cruel, brutal," they warn. "If you give in to the temptations of the devil, you will surely suffer eternal damnation and roast in Hell."
The semantic meaning of Satan is the "adversary" or "opposition" or the "accuser". The very word "devil" comes from the Indian devi which means "god". Satan represents opposition to all religions which serve to frustrate and condemn man for his natural instincts. He has been given an evil role simply because he represents the carnal, earthly, and mundane aspects of life.
Satan, the chief devil of the Western World, was originally an angel whose duty was to report human delinquencies to God. It was not until the Fourteenth Century that he began to be depicted as an evil deity who was part man and part animal, with goat-like horns and hooves. Before Christianity gave him the names of Satan, Lucifer, etc., the carnal side of man's nature was governed by the god which was then called Dionysus, or Pan, depicted as a satyr or faun, by the Greeks. Pan was originally the "good guy", and symbolized fertility and fecundity.
Whenever a nation comes under a new form of government, the heroes of the past become villains of the present. So it is with religion. The earliest Christians believed that the Pagan deities were devils, and to employ them was to use "black magic". Miraculous heavenly events they termed "white magic"; this was the sole distinction between the two. The old gods did not die, they fell into Hell and became devils. The bogey, goblin, or bugaboo used to frighten children is derived from the Slavonic "Bog" which means "god", as does Bhaga in Hindu.
Many pleasures revered before the advent of Christianity were condemned by the new religion. It required little changeover to transform the horns and cloven hooves of Pan into a most convincing devil! Pan's attributes could be neatly changed into charged-with-punishment sins, and so the metamorphosis was complete.
The association of the goat with the Devil is found in the Christian Bible, where the holiest day of the year, the Day of Atonement, was celebrated by casting lots for two goats "without blemish", one to be offered to the Lord, and one to Azazel. The goat carrying the sins of the people was driven into the desert and became a "scapegoat". This is the origin of the goat which is still used in lodge ceremonies today as it was also used in Egypt, where once a year it was sacrificed to a God.
The devils of mankind are many, and their origins diversified. The performance of Satanic ritual does not embrace the calling forth of demons; this practice is followed only by those who are in fear of the very forces they conjure.
Supposedly, demons are malevolent spirits with attributes conductive to the deterioration of the people or events that they touch upon. The Greek word demon meant a guardian spirit or source of inspiration, and to be sure, later theologians invented legion upon legion of these harbingers of inspiration - all wicked.
An indication of the cowardice of "magicians" of the right-hand path is the practice of calling upon a particular demon (who would supposedly be a minion of the devil) to do his bidding. The assumption is that the demon, being only a flunky of the devil, is easier to control. Occult lore states that only the most formidably "protected" or insanely foolhardy sorcerer would try to call forth the Devil himself.
The Satanist does not furtively call upon these "lesser" devils, but brazenly invokes those who people that infernal army of long-standing outrage - the Devils themselves!
Theologians have catalogued some of the names of devils in their lists of demons, as might be expected, but the roster which follows contains the names and origins of the Gods and Goddesses called upon, which make up a large part of the occupancy of the Royal Palace of Hell:
SATAN - (Hebrew) adversary, opposite, accuser, Lord of fire, the inferno, the south
LUCIFER - (Roman) bringer of light, enlightenment, the air, the morning star, the east
BELIAL - (Hebrew) without a master, baseness of the earth, independence, the north
LEVIATHAN - (Hebrew) the serpent out of the deeps, the sea, the west
Abaddon - (Hebrew) the destroyer
Adramelech - Samarian devil
Ahpuch - Mayan devil
Ahriman - Mazdean devil
Amon - Egyptian ram-headed god of life and reproduction
Apollyon - Greek synonym for Satan, the arch fiend
Asmodeus - Hebrew devil of sensuality and luxury, originally "creature of judgement"
Astaroth - Phoenician goddess of lasciviousness, equivalent of Babylonian Ishtar
Azazel - (Hebrew) taught man to make weapons of war, introduced cosmetics
Baalberith - Canaanite Lord of the covenant who was later made a devil
Balaam - Hebrew Devil of avarice and greed
Baphomet - worshipped by the Templars as symbolic of Satan
Bast - Egyptian goddess of pleasure represented by the cat
Beelzebub - (Hebrew) Lord of the Flies, taken from symbolism of the scarab
Behemoth - Hebrew personification of Satan in the form of an elephant
Beherit - Syriac name for Satan
Bilé - Celtic god of Hell
Chemosh - national god of Moabites, later a devil
Cimeries - rides a black horse and rules Africa
Coyote - American Indian devil
Dagon - Philistine avenging devil of the sea
Damballa - Voodoo serpent god
Demogorgon - Greek name of the devil, it is said should not be known to mortals
Diabolus - (Greek) "flowing downwards"
Dracula - Romanian name for devil
Emma-O - Japanese ruler of Hell
Euronymous - Greek prince of death
Fenriz - son of Loki, depicted as a wolf
Gorgo - dim. of Demogorgon, Greek name of the devil
Haborym - Hebrew synonym for Satan
Hecate - Greek goddess of the underworld and witchcraft
Ishtar - Babylonian goddess of fertility
Kali - (Hindu) daughter of Shiva, high priestess of the Thuggees
Lilith - Hebrew female devil, Adam's first wife who taught him the ropes
Loki - Teutonic devil
Mammon - Aramaic god of wealth and profit
Mania - Etruscan goddess of Hell
Mantus - Etruscan god of Hell
Marduk - god of the city of Babylon
Mastema - Hebrew synonym for Satan
Melek Taus - Yezidi devil
Mephistopheles - (Greek) he who shuns the light, q. v. Faust
Metztli - Aztec goddess of the night
Mictian - Aztec god of death
Midgard - son of Loki, depicted as a serpent
Milcom - Ammonite devil
Moloch - Phoenician and Canaanite devil
Mormo - (Greek) King of the Ghouls, consort of Hecate
Naamah - Hebrew female devil of seduction
Nergal - Babylonian god of Hades
Nihasa - American Indian devil
Nija - Polish god of the underworld
O-Yama - Japanese name for Satan
Pan - Greek god of lust, later relegated to devildom
Pluto - Greek god of the underworld
Proserpine - Greek queen of the underworld
Pwcca - Welsh name for Satan
Rimmon - Syrian devil worshipped at Damascus
Sabazios - Phrygian origin, identified with Dionysos, snake worship
Saitan - Enochian equivalent of Satan
Sammael - (Hebrew) "venom of God"
Samnu - Central Asian devil
Sedit - American Indian devil
Sekhmet - Egyptian goddess of vengeance
Set - Egyptian devil
Shaitan - Arabic name for Satan
Shiva - (Hindu) the destroyer
Supay - Inca god of the underworld
T'an-mo - Chinese counterpart to the devil, covetousness, desire
Tchort - Russian name for Satan, "black god"
Tezcatlipoca - Aztec god of Hell
Thamuz - Sumerian god who later was relegated to devildom
Thoth - Egyptian god of magic
Tunrida - Scandanavian female devil
Typhon - Greek personification of Satan
Yaotzin - Aztec god of Hell
Yen-lo-Wang - Chinese ruler of Hell
The devils of past religions have always, at least in part, had animal characteristics, evidence of man's constant need to deny that he too is an animal, for to do so would serve a mighty blow to his impoverished ego.
The pig was despised by the Jews and the Egyptians. It symbolized the gods Frey, Osiris, Adonis, Persephone, Attis, and Demeter, and was sacrificed to Osiris and the Moon. But, in time, it became degraded into a devil. The Phoenicians worhipped a fly god, Baal, from which comes the devil, Beelzebub. Both Baal and Beelzebub are identical to the dung beetle or scarabaeus of the Egyptians which appeared to resurrect itself, much as the mythical bird, the phoenix, rose from its own ashes. The ancient Jews believed, through their contact with the Persians, that the two great forces in the world were Ahura-Mazda, the god of fire, light, life, and goodness; and Ahriman, the serpent, the god of darkness, destruction, death, and evil. These, and countless other examples, not only depict man's devils as animals, but also show his need to sacrifice the original animal gods and demote them to his devils.
At the time of the Reformation, in the Sixteenth Century, the alchemist, Dr. Johann Faustus, discovered a method of summoning a demon - Mephistopheles - from Hell and making a pact with him. He signed a contract in blood to turn his soul over to Mephistopheles in return for the feeling of youth, and at once became young. When the time came for Faustus to die, he retired to his room and was blown to bits as though his laboratory had exploded. This story is a protest of the times (the Sixteenth Century) against science, chemistry, and magic.
To the Satanist, it is unnecessary to sell your soul to the Devil or make a pact with Satan. This threat was devised by Christianity to terrorize people so they would not stray from the fold. With scolding fingers and trembling voices, they taught their followers that if they gave in to the temptations of Satan, and lived their lives according to their natural predilictions, they would have to pay for their sinful pleasures by giving their souls to Satan and suffering in Hell for all eternity. People were led to believe that a pure soul was a passport to everlasting life.
Pious prophets have taught man to fear Satan. But what of terms like "God fearing"? If God is so merciful, why do people have to fear him? Are we to believe there is nowhere we can turn to escape fear? If you have to fear God, why not be "Satan fearing" and at least have the fun that being God fearing denies you? Without such a wholesale fear religionists would have had nothing with which to wield power over their followers.
The Teutonic Goddess of the Dead and daughter of Loki was named Hel, a Pagan god of torture and punishment. Another "L" was added when the books of the Old Testament were formulated. The prophets who wrote the Bible did not know the word "Hell"; they used the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hades, which meant the grave; also the Greek Tartaros, which was the abode of fallen angels, the underworld (inside the earth), and Gehenna, which was a valley near Jerusalem where Moloch reigned and garbage was dumped and burned. It is from this that the Christian Church has evolved the idea of "fire and brimstone" in Hell.
The Protestant Hell and the Catholic Hell are places of eternal punishment; however, the Catholics also believe there is a "Purgatory" where all souls go for a time, and a "Limbo" where unbaptized souls go. The Buddhist Hell is divided into eight sections, the first seven of which can be expiated. The ecclesiastical description of Hell is that of a horrible place of fire and torment; in Dante's Inferno, and in northern climes, it was thought to be an icy cold region, a giant refrigerator.
(Even with all their threats of eternal damnation and soul roasting, Christian missionaries have run across some who were not so quick to swallow their drivel. Pleasure and pain, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. So, when missionaries ventured into Alaska and warned the Eskimos of the horrors of Hell and the blazing lake of fire awaiting transgressors, they eagerly asked: "How do we get there?"!)
Most Satanists do not accept Satan as an anthropomorphic being with cloven hooves, a barbed tail, and horns. He merely represents a force in nature - the powers of darkness which have been named just that because no religion has taken these forces out of the darkness. Nor has science been able to apply technical terminology to this force. It is an untapped reservoir that few can make use of because they lack the ability use a tool without having to first break down and label all the parts which make it run. It is this incessant need to analyze which prohibits most people from taking advantage of this many faceted key to the unknown - which the Satanist chooses to call "Satan".
Satan, as a god, demi-god, personal saviour, or whatever you wish to call him, was invented by the formulators of every religion on the face of the earth for only one purpose - to preside over man's so-called wicked activities and situations here on earth. Consequently, anything resulting in physical or mental gratification was defined as "evil" - thus assuring a lifetime of unwarrented guilt for everyone!
So, if "evil" they have named us, evil we are - and so what! The Satanic Age is upon us! Why not take advantage of it and LIVE!*
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|Copyright ©1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey - All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this material or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law. For information address Avon Books, Inc.|