Everyone’s Satanism is different. For some, Satanism will be a religion of hedonism and reclaiming physical pleasure from the clutches of repressive religion. For others, it will be based in centering outsiders or embracing outsider status. All of these are valid expressions of Satanism, and I share many of them myself.
As I’ve contemplated my Satanic path, I’ve come to realize that my own Satanism is one of mastery. In the myth, Satan rejects the tyranny of God and sets out on a path of self-deification. In my view, the icon of Satan as the eternal rebel, the triumphant iconoclast, and the unbowed will is the ultimate symbol of mastery.
One of the most popular articles I wrote last year is titled On Being a Normie Satanist, in which I pushed back on some Satanic stereotypes that exclude normal-seeming people like myself. I think these stereotypes (mostly from non-Satanists) are rooted in the notion that Satanism is less a religion and more a trend. But because Satanism is a religion, it will attract all different types of people – some who are more “stereotypically Satanic” and others who are less so.
However, despite the positive response, there was also some pushback, and I’d like to take a moment to explore three primary categories of pushback in Normie Satanism Discourse.
Satanists are often told that our religion is “fake.” Many people – especially those from older and more venerable religions – often seem affronted by sincere Satanic religious practice. When I try to get down to the bottom of this, the complaint seems to be (among many things):
“your religion is fake because you made it up. You co-opted Satan from older, wiser, more authentic religions and completely reinvented him.”
“Fuck that dude all the way.” Wrote one person. “He is a transphobic piece of trash that uses big words to make himself look smarter than he is.” Another response read, “Jordan Peterson a well known con, I guess what I see on the internet is true and The Satanic Temple [my church] isn’t divorced from bigots. Sad to see it.”
René Grigori is one of many volunteer leaders who helped form the Southern California Congregation of The Satanic Temple(TST) in 2019. At the beginning of 2020 René became the congregation’s Media Liaison and began hosting a weekly Friday Night TST Hangout. In May 2021 René was ordained a Minister of The Satanic Temple.
Interested in writing a guest post for the blog? Please contact me.
This ritual was inspired by the Temple Service sermon on Internal and External Satanism by Stephen Bradford Long and the ensuing discussion. Meditation/contemplation were provided as examples of internal expressions of Satanism while embodying/living the tenets were provided as examples of external expressions. The resulting ritual is a fusion of the internal and external where contemplation of the various situations that arise in the Tarot deepens our understanding of the Tenets and helps us better apply the Tenets to the various situations in our daily lives.
It was the activism that first drew me to The Satanic Temple in 2017. My boyfriend was sitting on his laptop and suddenly exclaimed, “oh my God, Stephen, you have to see this.” He showed me the BDSM baby protest, in which diaper and baby-mask clad protestors peacefully poured milk over themselves in protest against anti-abortion theocrats.
Growing up in the evangelical world, a central lesson I learned about reality was that there were necessary and normative divisions. These divisions began at the moment of creation itself: God separating light from dark, land from water, sky from earth, and, most relevant to me, woman from man. The first 27 verses of the book of Genesis describe this process of creation by way of division, from an earth “formless and void.”
As a gay child, I was raised to believe that the sin of my homosexuality blurred these foundational distinctions established at the dawn of time. Homosexuality, by its very nature, violated the metaphysics of man and woman. It was therefore understood as an act of Uncreation: a terrifying unraveling of the created order, a returning to an earth formless and void.
Several days ago, I was meditating with Sam Harris’s Waking Up app. During the meditation Harris instructed me, quite simply, to find the “I” who is doing the meditating and to look for the self within consciousness. I did as instructed and, just like that, my sense of self was obliterated. As simply as a candle being blown out, my feeling of being a self within my head was extinguished, and all that remained was the vast sky of consciousness.
I’m intensely social in the Satanic community, mostly online. I have an active Discord server, I regularly interview members of the Satanic Temple community, and I serve on Ordination Council for Satanic Ministry. I do a lot of very social Sataning.
As someone who’s been burned again and again by religious community, this does cause some anxiety. There is trepidation in giving my heart over to fellow fallible, neurotic, and disorganized human beings. It’s inevitable that someone within the Satanic community will leave me feeling deeply wounded, and I will have to confront the difficult emotional challenge of navigating how much of that hurt has to do with Satanism itself or just specific individuals within Satanism.
As I’ve reflected on this dynamic I’ve come to realize that a paradox lies at the heart of my Satanism: I’m able to engage publicly in Satanism because, at its most fundamental root, my Satanism is solitary.
This is a guest post by Warden Sif. Warden Sif has been interested in religion his whole life, and obtained a degree in history and theology. He has identified as a Christian, Deist, Agnostic, Atheist, Apistevist and, at this point, a Satanist. He began following TST’s efforts in 2015 and officially joined a few years later. His Twitter can be found here. He can also be found on BaphoNet Antisocial Network, its associated Discord server and the Sacred Tension Discord server.
After reading Mr. Morehead’s guest post titled “Why Are Evangelicals So Afraid of Halloween?” I was inspired to write further on something he touched on at the end of his article. I’ve tried in the past to emphasize his final point, but I consistently get push back from a fair number of other Satanists:
But understanding the psychological underpinnings of Evangelical prejudices and stances in popular culture toward others is helpful in formulating appropriate responses. Responding in-kind with fear, prejudice and alienation will only exacerbate our tensions in an extremely polarized environment. If you’re angry with Evangelicals over any number of things, including their stereotypes of Satanists, I get it. But I think we need to try to understand their fears rather than reinforce them.