Guest Post: Daily Tenet-Tarot Ritual

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.

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Meditation as Uncreation

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. 

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Satanism, Meditation, and the Tyranny of the Self

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.

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On Solitary Satanism

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.

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Guest Post: Reinforcing Evangelical Fear

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.

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Satan Has Always Been My Home

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.

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I’m a Satanist, Not a Leftist

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?

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