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.
Continue reading “Meditation as Uncreation”
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.
Continue reading “Satanism, Meditation, and the Tyranny of the Self”
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.
Continue reading “On Solitary Satanism”
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:
Continue reading “Guest Post: Reinforcing Evangelical Fear”
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.
I understand how, to many onlookers, my conversion to Satanism could seem like an extraordinary escalation. For years I was a committed Christian, dedicated to the church and to following Christ. My mission in life as a Christian was simply to be normal, included, at home: I wanted a place in the church as a gay person. As such, I was generally a very well-behaved gay, and my faith was everything to me even when I wished it wasn’t.
How, then, did I find myself as a Satanist? When looked through the lens of my previous religious life, nothing can seem more scandalous and overly dramatic than my Satanism.
The truth is that my leap from Christianity to Satanism was not a large one at all. It was simple, obvious, and intuitive.
Continue reading “Satan Has Always Been My Home”
2020 was a hard year. Together we endured political terror, existential uncertainty, and social isolation. Our world was turned completely upside down, and many of us are still uncertain about our health, housing, and employment as we move into the new year.
Continue reading “Top Posts and Final Thoughts of 2020”
This is a guest post by Penemue, long time leader in The Satanic Temple and current director of Satanic Ministry. You can find Penemue on twitter. If you are interested in writing a guest post for my blog, please send me an email.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Denominating Satan”
The title of this article is, of course, something of a trick. If you know me or are even remotely familiar with my work, you know that I am robustly of the left. I am somewhere on the Social Democrat to Democratic Socialist spectrum, and I am pro sex work, pro degeneracy, and pro sex positivity. I believe every billionaire is a blight on the human race and a failure of our system. I believe Black Lives Matter, that trans women are women and that trans men are men. I believe we should have a broad social safety net, correct climate change, and empower minorities. If you gave me a list of leftist mantras and talking points, I would affirm most of them.
Instead, this title has to do with where I place my own identity, with how I name myself to myself. When I look at myself in a cognitive mirror, what do I see, first and foremost? What words do I use to filter the unfathomable complexity of self into a single narrative?
Continue reading “I’m a Satanist, Not a Leftist”
I recently had the pleasure of engaging in a public inter-religious dialogue with the Evangelical John Morehead. While the video is primarily geared towards Evangelicals and helping them overcome stereotypes of religious minorities, I also thought the video would be interesting to my fellow Satanists.
Continue reading “An Inter-religious Dialogue Between an Evangelical and a Satanist”
I’m a normie Satanist. With the exception of the occasional pentagram or Satanic Temple t-shirt, nothing about me would give away my Satanic proclivities. I pride myself on being generally milquetoast, polite, and unremarkable. I value kindness, courteousness, and making everyone feel welcome. I’m painfully averse to conflict.
Continue reading “On Being a Normie Satanist”