This Satanism FAQ was written for you to answer some of the most common questions asked about Satanism.
These are the kinds of Satanism questions that are often asked on forums and groups by new or curious Satanists. A Satanism FAQ is necessary to answer these basic questions that the public wants to know.
This Satanism FAQ is based on my research and experience of being a Satanist for over 25 years.
Also, special thanks to my friends Maldoror and Darwin from the Satanity Chatroom. They gave their additional input for common questions for this Satanism FAQ.
– What is Satanism?
Satanism is complex and multi-faceted. Satanism is a diverse set of beliefs and practices that focuses on the central figure of Satan. Some Satanists worship Satan, while others do not. Some have a spiritual way of life, while other Satanists are materialist and atheist and use Satan as a source of inspiration. Some approach it as a religion and others understand Satanism as a philosophy, while others have a more spiritual view.
In a survey on Satanism composed in 2001, it was found that most Satanists are adults, some who have college degrees, and they are found all throughout the world. Today’s Satanism is a landscape of atheist, religious, and spiritual groups and individuals all practicing what they feel best represents Satanism for them. For a more detailed look on this, see my article: Is Satanism a Religion or Philosophy?
People become Satanists for various reasons. My essay, Why Do People Become Satanists? explores some of these ideas on why people choose to become a Satanist.
– How many different kinds of Satanism exist?
Satanism is a variety of beliefs and practices. For this Satanism FAQ here is a brief list of some of the more common types of Satanism available out there today:
- Atheistic Satanism – You’ll find groups like the Church of Satan, and the Satanic Temple who promote atheistic Satanism. For them, Satan represents a symbolic, materialistic philosophy. Their rituals are symbolic, working with the concept of “intellectual decompression”. They use psychological magic that focuses on physical persuasion and symbolism. Their focus is on the here and now, and making the most of life while we are alive. For a more in-depth look, see the article: Are All Satanists Atheist?
- Gnostic Satanism – Gnostic Satanists also have a variety of beliefs and practices. Some of them stem from the occult group known as Current 218. This group accepts that chaos is part of the natural order of existence. But along with this chaos, they seek destruction. In essence, they want to destroy any trace of existence. They recognize existence as limitation, and its destruction as the ultimate freedom.
- Luciferian – Luciferians focus on the figure of Lucifer either as a Gnostic liberator, or as a central figure of worship. Luciferians replace Satan as a central figure. They use the stories and mythology of Lucifer for their rites, rituals and magic. You will find that some Luciferians focus on philosohy, while others approach it as a religion or kind of spirituality. Luciferians are on this list because you will find many of them in the same places online as Satanists. They are a part of the Left Hand Path and share many of the same ideals.
- Traditional / Theistic – Theistic Satanists recognize Satan as a god. They are often involved in Satanic religious worship. Their magic and rituals work by metaphysical and religious principles. Some Theistic Satanists feel that Satan was creator of the earth. They have their own mythologies and stories based on these ideas. Traditional Satanists may use mythology and stories from the medieval era as a source and focus for their Satanic teachings.
- Spiritual / Independent / Self-Styled – This is an eclectic style of Satanism where the Satanist creates their own method of spirituality. Some worship Satan, and others take a more personal spiritual route without the need for worship. Beliefs about the origins and age of Satan can vary. Independents don’t belong to a church or organization. Rituals and magical practices vary according to personal taste. See the article: What is Spiritual Satanism?
For an interesting read on the demographics of Satanism, see: Who Serves Satan? A Demographic and Ideological Profile (PDF), authored by JR Lewis, 2001.
– Is Satanism real?
Yes, Satanism is real. In centuries past, Christian culture painted a dark and evil picture of Satanism and devil worship. They used the figure of Satan to demonize women, the Jewish people, the Muslims, social orders like the Templars, and any other peoples who were not Christian.
We do not have an accurate record of Satanist groups or Satanism as a social movement before the last century. Satanism wasn’t established in society until it was finally able to emerge without the threat of Christian retaliation.
The establishment of Satanism as a social movement didn’t appear until 1969. It happened with Anton LaVey and the creation of the Church of Satan. Since then it has branched out into a diverse belief system.
Satanism was also recognized in 1976 in the Army Chaplains handbook with a funeral rite. Satanism is also protected by the US constitution under freedom of religion. For further reading visit my post at the Spiritual Satanist Blog: Is Satanism Legal in America
– Can I join Satanism?
It is easy to join Satanism. There is no need to join an organization if you want to become a Satanist. You have the option to self-initiate with a personal pact with Satan, or remain independent and self-styled.
However, Satanic groups and organizations are available for you to join if you feel the need to socialize and be a part of a collective.
Satanist organizations vary according to what they offer. Some are religious and others are atheist. Some organizations, like the Church of Satan, have guidelines that they expect their adherents to follow. Other organizations are more lenient when it comes to rules and regulations.
There are plenty of organizations to chose from. If you decide to join, do yourself a favor and check their reputation online before you join. For some considerations, see my essay on Cults and Cult Leaders
– Does Satanism have a bible?
Yes, Satanism has a bible of sorts, but this document isn’t followed or recognized by all Satanists. The most famous example is the Satanic Bible. This book outlines the philosophy of the Church of Satan. There are also other books that serve as bibles or religious doctrines. Most of them focus on the teachings of individual Satanist organizations.
Other established religions throughout the world have had ancient documents translated and rewritten for modern times. The Christian bible is an example of this. Satanism doesn’t have an ancient text translated into modern language.
There is one exception, however. Some Traditional or Theistic Satanists use the document known as the Al-Jilwah as a bible. They claim that the Al-Jilwah serves as a Satanic religious book. For them it may serve as proof of Satan’s ancient origins.
That being said, a religion does not need to be ancient to prove it’s validity. Wicca is an example of this, where it is a religion that its practitioners claim to have ancient origins. While no such proof of this exists, it is still a valid and established religion like any other.
– Do Satanists sacrifice animals?
No, most Satanists do not sacrifice animals. The idea that Satanists sacrifice humans and animals comes from Christian beliefs.
Christians are not an authority on who Satanists are and what they do. Throughout the 1980s, Christians disrupted society with their false accusations about Satanists. Their unfounded claims created a culture of fear that believed Satanists sacrificed and humans. Authors, television producers, preachers, lawyers, courts, and counselors profited from this scheme.
Unfortunately, some people believe this Christian lie. They act out according to what Christians believe about Satanists. For an explanation of this phenomenon read my article on the Satanic Panic.
– Do Satanists believe in Jesus or the Christian God?
It depends on who you talk to, as with anything in Satanism, beliefs vary. Some Satanists believe that Satan is the ruler of the earth, and that the Christian god is an invading enemy.
Others don’t even recognize the Christian god at all. Some use the ideas from the Christian Bible and religion to paint Christians as being weak and subservient. Even still other Satanists may be atheist, so their belief in a god is unimportant.
– Do Satanists believe in heaven or hell?
Again, it all depends on who you talk to when it comes to beliefs of the afterlife. Atheistic Satanist generally don’t believe anything about the afterlife at all. They feel that life is meant for living, and that they should make the best of the here and now.
Other religious or Spiritual Satanists may feel that the Christian definitions of heaven and hell don’t apply to them. Since they aren’t Christian, why should they believe in it?
Still, other more Traditional Satanists feel that there is a hell, and that Satan resides there. So as you can see beliefs vary among different types of Satanists. For more information, see my blog post at the Spiritual Satanist Blog: What Do Satanists Believe About the Afterlife?
– Do Satanists believe in Sin?
Generally, no, because sin is a part of Christian teachings. Sin creates a sense of guilt where the participant is then rewarded with salvation. This false cycle of sin and redemption provides a never ending loop that is hard to break free from.
Many Satanists accept that we are animal by nature. We have no need to suffer through the psychological pain of sin that Christianity creates. We are born as we are without the need to feel guilty for existing.
Some would say that the idea of sin controls how others live their lives through morality. Many Satanists focus on ethics instead of morality. For an exploration of how Satanists can leave Christianity behind visit: On Leaving Christianity, Advice From a Satanist
– Do Satanists have a Golden Rule or a Moral law to follow?
Generally no. Many Satanists cite the Satanic Bible, which has the 11 Rules of the Earth. These rules gave Satanists an ethical guideline. Most Satanists are law abiding individuals and have no need for a moral guideline.
– Is demonic possession real?
Some feel that it is real. Here are some of my theories on demonic possession that explore why it happens. Some people are suggestible and they allow themselves to act out as if they have a demon within them. Sometimes it is for attention, or it could serve as a spiritual outlet.
Other times, signs of demonic possession should be investigated as a mental disorder or health issue. This is prevalent in Christianity, where people may pay for an exorcism to be ‘released from demons’. The downside is that many people who need medical help instead of spiritual exorcism remain un-diagnosed.
In Satanism and Demonolatry, demon possession is practiced by some. A demon is invoked so that the spirit of that demon can become one with the magician. People do this for varying reasons, but most often it is for spiritual enlightenment or personal spiritual integration.
Other world religions also work with the principles of spirit possession. One example is with the practice of voodoo where the spirits of the Loa are invoked by a priest. The Loa serve as an intermediary spirit between their god and humanity. Similar practices can be found in Santeria as well. So this phenomenon is not restricted only to Satanism, occultism and Christianity.
– Can I sign a pact with Satan to make me rich?
Believe me if it were that easy, everyone would do it! The myth of pact signing for riches and fame comes from Christianity. In the tale of Faust, he summons the devil and sells his soul for temporary fame. Afterwards the devil returns to claim it back. This is a Christian cautionary tale about soul selling and leaving Christianity. For details on this visit my post at the Spiritual Satanist blog: Satan Make Me Rich (or Popular, Or..)
Pact making in Satanism generally serves two purposes. First, it creates an outlet for self initiation into Satanism. Additionally, pact-making allows the Satanist to create a personal bond with Satan. This is an important step in becoming a Satanist.
If you want to try and sell your soul, an immaterial object, for something material you are welcome to try. Of course then you will also have to wrestle with the idea that your soul does not belong to you. This is because you are going against the Christian god to accomplish this.
– Can you go back after becoming a Satanist or Signing a Pact?
Yes, there is nothing stopping you from abandoning Satanism. If you change your mind at some point, you are free to return to Christianity or wherever it is you want to go. I am not aware that Satan seeks revenge on people who want to walk away. You can return to Satanism anytime you are ready to make a commitment.
This is an important question, so I explored this idea in depth with reader Q&A at the Spiritual Satanist Blog: Breaking Your Pact With Satan? Three Things You Should Know
– Where can I find books on Satanism?
Books on Satanism are easier to find now than they were ten years ago. Many books published on Satanism serve as manuals and guides for Satanic organizations. Still there are some useful information in these kinds of books. You should at the very least read read the Satanic Bible if you are new to Satanism.
For a complete list please visit the Satanic Reading List, and also, visit my Left Hand Path Books Blog. You are sure to find something that interests you if you want to increase your knowledge of Satanism, Magic and the Occult.
If you have a question that you feel should belong on this Satanism FAQ page, take a moment to contact me.
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