What comes into your mind when you hear the word Satanism? You probably imagine people who are involved in strangely violent rituals that may include sacrificing of dead animals and even people? But what is Satanism really? Where did it originate? Does Satanism involve rituals? This article will try to explain all that.
What is Satanism
Satanism is the worship of Satan that involves distortion of Christian symbols and practices as defined by the dictionary. Satanist do describe themselves as people who are openly devoted to the acceptance of man's true nature.
Origin and Beliefs
The word Satanism was adopted into English from satanisme in French. It was used by early Christians groups to attack their rival groups. This word was used to refer to an adversary. As used in this context, satanism was not used to mean people who worship Satan rather it was used to mean deviation or people who have a different opinion from the rest.
In 1966, at the Black House in San Fransisco, California, Church of Satan was established by Anton LaVey who was the high priest until when he died in 1997. This church was based on philosophies and ideologies based on Satan as their symbol of individualism and liberty.
The Church does not believe in the Islamic or Christian notion of Satan nor do they worship Satan as a deity. They embrace the word satan as an adversary and he is an ideal example of pride and individualism. Satanist do not believe in the existence of supernatural entities such as God or Satan. The followers of the religion have accepted that most people hate them and that there are many misconceptions about the religion. They have found a way to live with this.
The Satanic Bible plays a central role in influencing the Satanic community. Although this book is not treated as holy or sacred as the Holy Bible or Quran, it is an authoritative document that is meant to serve as scripture within the Satanic community.
The central conviction of the church is formulated into three parts;
- The nine satanic statement
- The eleven satanic rules of the Earth
- Nine satanic sins
Rituals and Ceremonies
Most if not all conserved Christians and many authors have described rituals that are alleged to be done by those who follow Satanism. This includes recitation of prayers backwards, black masses, sacrificing of souls and carrying the inverted cross. Is this really true?
LaVey stressed that in his tradition, satanic rites exist in two forms: ceremonies and rituals. Ceremonies are meant to celebrate a particular occasion while rituals are intended in bringing a change. This is not a form of worship, rather it is a lifestyle. Ritual exist in three form;
- Sexual rituals that are meant to attract the desired sexual partner.
- Compassionate rituals that are intended to help people.
- Destructive magic which is meant to harm others.
Satanism exalts and respects life and children are banned from such rituals.
In conclusion, as we have established above Satanism is a way of life where members are given the freedom to express their basic desires through a belief system that aligns with their perspective and lifestyle.