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                           THE TEMPLE OF SET FAQ

Last revision: November 30, 1994
Next expected revision: December 31, 1994

This is an evolving document and should be considered obsoleted
after: March 1, 1995


This document is Copyright (c) 1994, Temple of Set.
All rights reserved.  Permission to distribute the collection is
hereby granted providing that distribution is electronic, no money
is involved, reasonable attempts are made to use the latest version
and all credits and this copyright notice are maintained.
Other requests for distribution will be considered.


Part 1 --  General Information and Admissions Policies

File: InfoAdms

Post Office Box 470307
San Francisco, CA 94147
MCI-Mail: 314-3953
Telex: 6503143953
* * * * * * * * * * * *

(c) 1986-1994CE Temple of Set
- Updated May 24, 1994 CE -

The Temple of Set is an institution unlike any you have previously
encountered. Before you can make an informed decision concerning
possible affiliation, it is necessary for you to consider the history of
the Temple, its basic tenets, its current design and programs, and the
benefits and obligations incurred by each Setian.


While the Temple of Set as an organization was formally incorporated 
in 1975 CE, its magical and philosophical roots are prehistoric, 
originating in mankind's first apprehension that there is "something 
different" about the human race - a sense of *self-consciousness* 
that places humanity apart from and above all other known forms of 

Ancient religions - of which those of Egypt are generally 
acknowledged the eldest - either exalted or feared this self-
consciousness. Those which exalted it took the position that the 
human psyche is capable of opposition to and domination of the 
forces of nature. Those fearing it warned man that such a 
presumption of independence would be sinful and dangerous. 
Therefore, they said, such "will to power" should be concealed, 
sublimated - and if necessary punished and exterminated - that 
mankind might return to an Eden-like "state of nature" untroubled by 
the burdens of having to take responsibility for decisions, 
judgments, and actions based upon an essentially personal 
determination of "good" and "evil".

The psyche-worshipping religions were more intellectually demanding 
than their nature-worshipping counterparts, since it is more 
difficult to reason a path through one's span of conscious existence 
than it is to be swept along by a current of semi-rational stimulus 
and response. The reasoning religions - or schools of initiatory 
philosophy - attained levels of abstract knowledge that made them 
mysterious to the masses. In a few societies, such as Egypt and 
Greece, such groups were respected and admired. More often, however, 
their exclusive elitism and "supernatural" activities made them 
objects of resentment and persecution.

While all philosophical schools embraced the psychecentric 
consciousness to some degree, there were a very few that made it 
avowedly and explicitly the focus of their attention. The divine 
personifications ("gods") of such schools have come down to us as 
symbols of what most Western religions, worshippers of non-
consciousness, consider the supreme "evil": the Prince of Darkness 
in his many forms. Of these the most ancient is Set, whose 
Priesthood can be traced to predynastic times. Images of Set have 
been dated to ca. 3200 BCE, with astronomically-based estimates of 
inscriptions dating to ca. 5000 BCE.

The original Priesthood of Set in ancient Egypt survived for twenty-
five recorded dynasties (ca. 3200-700 BCE). It was one of the two 
central priesthoods in predynastic times, the other being that of 
HarWer ("Horus the Elder"). Unification of Egypt under both 
philosophical systems resulted in the nation's being known as the 
"Two Kingdoms" and in its Pharaohs wearing the famous "Double Crown" 
of Horus and Set.

Originally a circumpolar/stellar deity portrayed as a cyclical 
counterpart to the Solar Horus, Set was later recast as an evil 
principle by the cults of Osiris and Isis. During the XIX and XX 
Dynasties Set returned as the Pharaonic patron, but by the XXV 
Dynasty (ca. 700 BCE) a new wave of Osirian persecution led to the 
final destruction of the original Priesthood of Set. When the 
Hebrews emigrated from Egypt during the XIX Dynasty, however, they 
took with them a caricature of Set: "Satan" (from the hieroglyphic 
_Set-hen_, one of the god's formal titles).

Originally a sort of "prosecuting angel for YHVH", the Hebrew Satan 
was changed by Christianity into a personification of everything God 
was not - and since God was supposed to be "good", Satan was 
necessarily "bad". Alluring or mysterious deities from religions 
competing with early Christianity - such as the Hellenic/Roman 
Mysteries and the Persian Mithraic faith - were also "bad", hence 
the Christian Satan was decorated with many of their 
characteristics, such as Pan's horns & cloven hoofs. Non-Christian 
gods generally were redefined as Christian "demons" and given a 
place in the Christian "Hell" (another name stolen and perverted 
from ancient Norse mythology).

Christian propaganda notwithstanding, there is no record of any 
actual "Satanic religious underground" throughout the course of 
Christian European history. The *myth* of such a "witch cult", 
however, was promoted and actively used by the Christian churches to 
terrorize their followers into docile obedience and to eliminate 
those who could not be threatened. The number of accused "Satanists" 
tortured and burned to death in medieval and Renaissance Europe will 
never be known conclusively, but estimates run as high as 13 
million. Many European museums still display the grisly, almost 
unbelievably cruel devices used in such torture, and detailed 
records of the "trials" and "confessions" of the victims survive in 
shameful abundance.

Cases of torture, murder, and genocidal extermination of "infidels" 
and "heathens" in other areas of the world similarly abound - and 
stand collectively in testimony to the appalling legacy of the 
world's major monotheistic religions. It must further be remembered 
that the more "tolerant" climate of modern times did not come about 
through the wishes of conventional churches themselves, but rather 
through their increasing rejection by a mankind exhausted by 
religious warfare and terrified by the wanton viciousness of such 
establishments as the "Holy Office" (better known as the 

If the "Enlightenment" of the 17th and 18th centuries succeeded in 
reducing Christianity - the dominant monotheism of Europe - to a 
secular moral metaphor, it was not until the late 19th century that 
the so-called "Black Arts" began to be tolerated, and then only in 
their most simplistic and socially innocuous forms. From Freemasonry 
came a ceremonial magical offshoot - Rosicrucianism - which became 
increasingly more sophisticated in the Rosicrucian Society of 
England (S.R.I.A.) and then in the famous Hermetic Order of the 
Golden Dawn (G.'.D.'.).

In 1904 an Adept of the G.'.D.'. named Aleister Crowley broke away 
from that disintegrating body to form his own Order of the Astrum 
Argenteum (A.'.A.'.). To the Rosicrucian/ceremonial magical 
philosophy of the G.'.D.'., Crowley added first a strong emphasis on 
attainment of the highest level of self-consciousness ("Knowledge 
and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel") and later the 
Masonic/sexual magic practices of Germany's Order of Oriental 
Templars (O.T.O.). The latter practices, together with Crowley's 
cavalier lifestyle, brought him public notoriety. His organizations 
survived his 1947 death only in highly-fragmented and doctrinarily 
simplistic factions.

In 1966 a San Francisco sorcerer named Anton Szandor LaVey founded 
the Church of Satan as a medium for the study of the Black Arts and 
as an ethical statement repudiating the religious hypocrisy of 
conventional society. This event marks the creation of Satanism as a 
religion in its own right. Publicly its "Satan" was not the evil 
scarecrow of Christian myth, but rather a champion of anti-hypocrisy 
- a crusader against the corruption and moral bankruptcy of society, 
which LaVey blamed largely upon Christianity. In another, more 
private context, the Satan of the Church of Satan was understood to 
be an authentic metaphysical presence: a being not evil, but rather 
independent, assertive, and creative - a true Prince of Darkness 
after the imagery of Milton, Blake, Baudelaire, and Twain.

The Church remained principally a San Francisco phenomenon for its 
first four years, then during 1970-1974 branched out across the 
United States and Canada with local "Grottos" headed by those 
ordained to the Satanic Priesthood (the Priesthood of Mendes - named 
after a city in Ptolemaic Egypt whose hedonistic festivals 
particularly horrified the early Christian church).

The Church of Satan's attitude towards magic was more pragmatic and 
utilitarian than that of such mystically-based organizations as the 
G.'.D.'. and A.'.A.'. It saw no need for exhaustive studies into the 
often incoherent and inconsistent concepts of the Cabala, nor did it 
see anything extraordinarily significant in sex-magic. Rather it 
chose to approach the occult arts and sciences more rationally and 
even scientifically, employing "Occam's razor" to design and conduct 
Workings of ritual magic that were simple and direct, yet effective.

In this the Church was generally successful, but it continued to 
experience increasing difficulty with the basic nihilism and 
negative connotations of its religious imagery. It could not escape 
the self-assumed limitation of being "anti-Christian" in a society 
in which Christianity - and its "evil scarecrow" concept of Satan - 
were overwhelmingly predominant. Simultaneously the Church began to 
feel constrained by even its own redefinition of Satanism, as the 
parameters of philosophy and metaphysics extend far beyond the 
conceptual and symbolic limits of the Judaic/Christian tradition.

The Satanic religion proposes to raise the individual to personal 
godhood, free from enslavement to any other "God" [or gods]. 
Unfortunately this is a question not just of power, but also of 
ethics, morality, and psychological maturity. The Church of Satan's 
initial prescriptions - as outlined in LaVey's 1969 book _The 
Satanic Bible_ - were used by some as a basis for metaphysical 
growth, but by others as merely an excuse for egoistic 
irresponsibility. The Church suffered periodically from petty crises 
and scandals among the general membership, and finally Anton LaVey 
lost confidence in its organizational viability. In 1975 he made a 
decision to redesign it as a non-functional vehicle for his personal 
expression, exploitation, and financial income.

This decision was emphatically rejected by the majority of the 
Priesthood, who immediately resigned from the Church in protest and 
denied its legitimacy as a true Church of Satan henceforth. The 
senior Initiate, Michael A. Aquino, invoked the Prince of Darkness 
in quest of a new Mandate to preserve and enhance the more noble 
concepts which the Church of Satan had conceived and outlined. That 
Mandate was given in the form of _The Book of Coming Forth by Night_ 
- a statement by that entity, in his most ancient semblance as Set, 
ordaining the Temple of Set to succeed the Church. The Temple was 
incorporated in California as a non-profit church in 1975, receiving 
both state and federal recognition and tax-exemption later that same 
year. It has since remained the sole "Satanic" religious institution 
possessing these legal credentials.


In the United States the 1960-70s CE, despite [and in part because 
of] periodical psychopolitical strains such as the Vietnam War, 
generally represented a period of flourishing liberalism and freedom 
in personal affairs. Exploration and innovation were tolerated and 
encouraged in society. It was a time of breakthroughs in civil 
rights; of increased respect for racial, ethnic, sexual, and 
religious groups. There was controversy; but on the whole it was 
constructive and progressive in tone. By the end of the 1970s, 
despite continued growing pains, Western culture appeared to have 
moved decisively into the utopian "Age of Aquarius".

The 1980s, however, heralded a sharp and surprising reversal of this 
climate into conservatism and intolerance. The most primitive, 
fundamentalist branches of Christianity gained converts and sought 
political power. And controversial minority groups were assaulted 
with fresh waves of discrimination and repression.

Nowhere did this "new Inquisition" strike more directly than at "New 
Age" religions in general and at Satanism in particular. Invoking 
the same despicable tactics that their predecessors used over the 
centuries against alternative creeds, fundamentalists now began to 
disseminate hate-propaganda accusing "Satanism" of the most hideous 
crimes imaginable: human & animal sacrifice, cannibalism, the 
kidnapping/sexual abuse/murder of children. That none of this was in 
the least true mattered not at all to the accusers. If the Big Lie 
could be repeated loudly & often enough, it would catch hold. 
Suddenly it became dangerous to be an avowed Satanist in communities 
infected with anti-Satanic hysteria. The witch-hunt eventually 
spread to several other countries as well, among them the United 
Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Germany.

Why should the same post-World War II generation that had grown up 
in the open atmosphere of the 60s-70s tolerate, even encourage a 
relapse into the brutish hatreds and persecutions of the Middle 
Ages? Perhaps for the very reason that it was a generation 
unprepared for what might be termed humanity's "religious impulse". 
During the 60s-70s religion was generally dismissed as something 
quaint and obsolete: superstition embarrassing to an age of science, 
computers, and Project Apollo. "God was dead", and Christianity was 
invoked merely as an excuse for Christmas revelry and other 
entertainments (such as _Jesus Christ Superstar_ & the "Jesus Freak 
revolution" of 1970). Even the formation of the Church of Satan in 
1966 was somewhat anti-climactic: It didn't arise in response to a 
"threatening" Christianity - for Christianity already appeared to be 
a dead horse. The carcass was there to be kicked around a bit for 
the sake of theatre, but there was no expectation that it had any 
energy left to get up and kick back.

The "religious impulse" proved to be important to both Satanists and 
non-Satanists. In the case of Satanists it brought about an 
increasing interest in exploring the "human equation" and the 
metaphysical and psychological roots of the great Satanic/psyche-
centered philosophies of history. Even had Anton LaVey not provoked 
the crisis of 1975, it is clear that the evolution of Church of 
Satan into something like the Temple of Set - a completely non-
Christianized, positive "high Satanism" - would have proceeded 

Non-Satanists, meanwhile, found themselves adrift in a society whose 
Judaeo/Christian moral values had disintegrated into materialistic 
hypocrisy. In such an "arid wilderness of steel and stone", there 
arose a longing for "something/anything spiritual" - and the 
remnants of Christianity were there to offer the appropriate opium 
after various "New Age" fantasies had been tried and found to be 

In the 1980s, however, there was a difference in Christian 
evangelism. The new herd of converts had *not* received a gradual 
education enabling it to see Christianity in at least some 
historical context. Rather it perceived Christianity as a completely 
novel experience - and so it was far more vulnerable to Christian 
propaganda than the previous, more worldly generation had been. The 
result was an eruption in the 1980s of a fundamentalism as mindless 
and brutish as that of the Middle Ages. Now, as before, it needed a 
scarecrow - and "Satanism" was a word with an appropriately scary 
sound. Christian fanatics who knew [and cared] nothing whatever 
about *actual* Satanism suddenly embarked upon passionate [and 
financially profitable] campaigns brandishing the scarecrow before 
credulous followers.

Complicating the situation was the perennial impulse among alienated 
youth and antisocial elements to deliberately shock society by 
flaunting its bogymen. If prudish elements of the community were 
going to terrify themselves with "scarecrow Satanism", then Heavy 
Metal rock music would affect this same image, as would the 
occasional psychotic criminal and teenage gang. Fundamentalists 
happily showcased such aberrations as "proof" of the scarecrow's 

The Temple of Set, now the world's preeminent Satanic religious 
institution, found itself in the awkward position of having not only 
to defend authentic Satanism against the shrill screams of the 
scarecrow-merchants, but also to reject superficial glorification of 
the scarecrow that would return Satanism's image to nothing more 
than anti-Christian "Devil worship". Both challenges have been 
addressed, but not without the cost of time and energy drained from 
the Temple's own magical and philosophical interests.

As we enter the 1990s CE the initial danger has been largely 
averted. We have been able to establish the truth about Satanism 
sufficiently to expose the falsehoods of the scarecrow-merchants in 
all but the most ignorant backwaters of society. That same society, 
however, continues to flail about for the moral anchor that the 
large mass-religions claim to offer. Christianity's strength lies 
today, as throughout its history, in the *absence* of intellectual 
education and mental effort which it demands of its sheep. It has 
also become quite accomplished at exploiting humanity's fear of 
death, sexual neuroses, and other irrational hatreds and 

This is therefore a time of critical importance for the Temple of 
Set. Our philosophy has never been more sophisticated, yet we pursue 
it in the midst of a confused, superficial, and paranoid social 
environment. It is not the task of the Temple of Set to be a "savior 
of the masses" - but rather to help suitable individuals to 
apprehend and attain their own divinity. The wisdom with which our 
Initiates exercise this divinity may well determine whether humanity 
advances to the stars - or succumbs to the entropy of the universe 
as one more inconsequential curiosity of nature.


Since movements dedicated to the Prince of Darkness have been so 
ill-tolerated by the masses of humanity wherever and whenever they 
have appeared, why have they survived at all? Why do they continue 
to exercise such uncanny attraction, and why now should you consider 
approaching this particular one?

The appeal of occultism is much the same as that of conventional 
religion: Logical positivism and scientific materialism, though they 
have made great strides towards explaining the "how" of existence, 
have failed entirely to explain the "why". Hence the curious seek 
answers in metaphysical philosophy or religion. Metaphysical 
philosophy requires a logical base from which various suprarational 
principles are induced. Conventional religion is the simplification 
of such a philosophy into a crude ideology, which adherents need not 
understand, but only accept as an act of blind faith.

Conventional religions, with their colorful mythologies analyzed in 
terms of the underlying philosophical principles, represent simply 
the primitive longing of man to feel "at one" with the Universal 
harmony he perceives about him. "White" magic, as advocated by 
primitive pagan and modern institutional religions, offers devotees 
the illusion of "re-inclusion" in the Universal scheme of things 
through various ritualistic devotions and superstitions.

The Black Magician, on the other hand, rejects both the desirability 
of union with the Universe and any self-deceptive antics designed to 
create such an illusion. He has considered the existence of the 
individual psyche - the "core you" of your conscious intelligence - 
and has taken satisfaction from its existence as something unlike 
anything else in the Universe. The Black Magician desires this 
psyche to live, to experience, and to continue. He does not wish to 
die - or to lose his consciousness and identity in a larger, 
Universal consciousness [assuming that such exists]. He wants to be. 
This decision in favor of individual existence is the first premise 
of the Temple of Set.

The second premise of the Temple is that the psychecentric 
consciousness can evolve towards its own divinity through deliberate 
exercise of the intelligence and Will, a process of *becoming* or 
*coming into being* whose roots may be found in the dialectic method 
expounded by Plato and the conscious exaltation of the Will proposed 
by Nietzsche.

Ironically it is the very ease with which any individual can 
apprehend and appreciate his or her personal psyche that has 
frightened the many religions of the world which deny and oppose the 
power of that psyche. Clothed though they may be in riches, ritual, 
and respectability, they always have been and remain obsessed with 
the suppressed knowledge of their own essential falsehood. They 
endeavor to distract attention from this by sponsoring shows of 
mind-numbing drugs, mantras, masses, privations, entertainments, and 
penances to coax or cow their flocks of adherents into a confused, 
apprehensive, but trusting state of faith and automatic obedience. 
They shudder with horror at the psyche; they paint it red and add 
horns, cloven hooves, and a forked tail to dramatize how "dangerous" 
it is. Yet they can never escape it or defeat it, because they have 
never really succeeded in opposing themselves to it - merely in 
distorting and perverting it. How could they destroy something 
which, in the final analysis, is the conscious self of every human 

The "worship" of Set is thus the "worship" of individualism. In the 
Church of Satan this was taken to mean *indulgence* in all [legal] 
desires of the body and ego. Since many such desires are impulsive 
and destructive, the Church found itself in the awkward position of 
_de facto_ endorsing many practices which were degrading rather than 
exalting, and which simply accelerated the tensions resulting in the 
eventual crisis of 1975.

The Temple of Set determined to preserve the principle of 
individualism, but to add to it the evolutionary "higher self" 
aspirations of Aleister Crowley's pre-O.T.O. philosophy of 
_Thelema_. Glorification of the ego is not enough; it is the 
complete psyche - the entire self or soul - which must be 
recognized, appreciated, and actualized. The process by which this 
exaltation of the psyche is sought is called by the name _Xeper_ 
[pronounced "Kheffer"; it is the Egyptian hieroglyphic term for "to 
become" or "to come into being"].

The means by which Setians seek to _Xeper_ are many. As a matter of 
principle the Temple declines to standardize its approach to 
Initiates. Each may pursue topics of greatest personal interest with 
whatever emphasis and at whatever rate desired. The Temple seeks 
merely to be a forum for Setians to communicate and cooperate with 
one another constructively and courteously. Many ideas and 
philosophies are discussed within it, but such discussion does not 
constitute the dictation of dogma.

Indeed dogma - to include fixed ideology in any form - is repugnant 
to the Temple. We strive rather towards an atmosphere of "best 
possible premises", which are always subject to constructive, 
intelligent examination and criticism. That same atmosphere is 
Socratic, however, in that foolish, pretentious, or destructive 
egotism under the guise of exploration is neither respected nor 

While it is obvious that Setians have more than enough interests to 
occupy an organization with many times our membership and resources 
on a full-time basis, the Temple of Set is not intended to consume 
the energies or lifestyles of its Initiates. Since a truly Adept 
magician must interact constructively and comfortably with 
conventional society, encouragement of monastic isolation within 
Temple circles would be counterproductive to personal development 
and even constrictive of the flexibility necessary to the entire 
Temple. Setians are accordingly advised to pursue as wide a variety 
of secular interests as possible, and to let Setian philosophy apply 
to them only as appropriate.


The deliberately individualistic atmosphere of the Temple of Set is 
not easily conducive to group activities on a routine or programmed 
basis. There are no congregations of docile "followers" - only 
cooperative philosophers and magicians.

Executive authority in the Temple is held by the Council of Nine, 
which appoints both the High Priest of Set and the Executive 
Director. Initiates are Recognized according to six degrees: Setian 
I*, Adept II*, Priest or Priestess of Set III*, Magister/Magistra 
Templi IV*, Magus/Maga V*, & Ipsissimus/Ipsissima VI*.

Recognition as an Adept II* constitutes certification by the Temple 
that one has in fact mastered and successfully applied the essential 
principles of Black Magic. The bulk of Temple systems are geared to 
attainment of and subsequent support for the II*, and that is the 
level of affiliation which most Setians will maintain. It is 
understood that this is an organizational principle, as each Adept's 
magical and philosophical evolution will continue as he or she 
continues to energize and actualize it.

The III*-VI* are properly seen not as further benchmarks of 
individual attainment, but as specialized religious offices 
conferred by Set alone, and Recognized within the Temple according 
to his Will.

The design, care, and operation of the Temple are entrusted by Set 
to the Priesthood. All Initiates of the Priesthood are originally 
highly-qualified Adepts in the Black Arts. Most of your contact with 
them will be in this context. Because they are responsible for the 
integrity of the Temple as a whole, however, they have the authority 
both to evaluate and Recognize Initiates' competence and, if 
necessary, to suspend or expel individuals who have proven 
themselves incapable of maintaining Setian standards of dignity and 
excellence. The Priesthood takes all of these responsibilities 
extremely seriously, since it regards its name literally and its 
trust as sacred. In this respect it stands significantly apart from 
conventional religious clergy, who _de facto_ consider their 
"priesthoods" as social professions and their deities as mere 
symbols and metaphors for their institutional or personal 

The knowledge of the Temple of Set is made available through four 
principal avenues: an extensive reading list of published works in 
twenty-four specialized fields; the newsletter _Scroll of Set_, the 
publications of the Temple's various specialized Orders; and the 
series of encyclopaedias entitled the _Jeweled Tablets of Set_. The 
contents of the _Scroll_ and the Order periodicals are time-dated, 
of course, but those of the _Tablets_ change periodically as ideas 
are advanced, improved, or disproved; or as they become more or less 
relevant to the Temple's areas of concern. The _Scroll_, Order 
newsletters, and _Tablets_ are reproduced simply and inexpensively 
[similar to this letter] to preclude excessive membership 
expenditure for frequently-revised publications.

Because of the non-group-oriented design of the Temple, many 
Initiates are geographically distant from one another. This 
necessitates an organizational design geared more towards services 
to the individual than to localized "congregations". Recognizing the 
value - and fellowship - of a seminar environment, however, the 
Temple provides for "Pylons" (named after the unique gates of 
ancient Egyptian temples). Pylons are often geographically 
localized, but some are "correspondence" Pylons with global 
membership and interaction. While each Pylon is under the trust and 
responsibility of a II*+ Sentinel, they are emphatically not 
"leader/follower congregations", but rather cooperative and 
interactive forums for individual Initiates. Each new Setian is 
expected to affiliate with at least one Pylon within a year of 
admission to the Temple and Recognition to the II* will normally be 
recommended and/or formalized by that Pylon.

Individuals admitted to the Temple are provided with a personal copy 
of the _Crystal Tablet of Set_, which contains a wide range of 
organizational, philosophical, and magical information pertinent to 
qualification as an Adept. There is a two-year time-limit for each 
new Setian to qualify for Adept Recognition. If such Recognition is 
not received by that time, affiliation is cancelled.

The Orders of the Temple are entirely different in concept and 
operation from its Pylons. Each Order specializes in one or more 
particular fields of the magical arts and sciences. Such a 
specialization may be transcultural or oriented to a specific 
geographic area, time-period, or conceptual tradition. Within one 
year after II* Recognition, each Adept is expected to affiliate with 
an Order reflective of his or her personal interests and aptitudes. 
The collective knowledge of all of the Orders is available to the 
Temple membership generally.

Setians may also communicate with one another by means of a 
regularly-updated InterCommunication Roster, contained in the 
_Crystal Tablet_, and periodic Conclaves are scheduled on a 
regional, national, and international basis.

A recent addition to the Temple's structure is Glinda, a computer 
database and bulletin-board system accessible by Setians only. 
Besides offering a means for electronic mail and conferencing, 
Glinda serves as a repository for a constantly growing library of 
Temple documents which Setians can download at their convenience.

Personal affiliation with the Temple is kept confidential; your 
admission is known only to the Priesthood. If you desire to meet 
other Setians, you may do so under a magical name if desired. In 
summary, you may apply the services and systems of the Temple as you 
wish, and as you deem most complementary to your _Xeper_; otherwise 
they will not intrude upon you.


Regretfully there still exist some individuals whose idea of 
"Satanism" is largely a simple-minded synthesis of Christian 
propaganda and Hollywood horror movies. The Temple of Set enjoys the 
colorful legacy of the Black Arts, and we use many forms of 
historical Satanic imagery for our artistic stimulation and 
pleasure. But we have not found that any interest or activity which 
an enlightened, mature intellect would regard as undignified, 
sadistic, criminal, or depraved is desirable, much less essential to 
our work.

The Temple of Set is an evolutionary product of human experience. 
Such experience includes the magical and philosophical work of many 
occult individuals and organizations which have preceded us. Some of 
these were socially acceptable by contemporary or modern standards; 
others were not. Some made brilliant discoveries in one field of 
interest while blighting their reputations with shocking excesses or 
tragic failures in others. In examining the secret and suppressed 
corners of history for valuable and useful material, the Temple 
insists upon ethical presentation and use of such discoveries as it 
makes. Setians who are in any doubt as to the ethics involved in any 
of the fields which we explore should seek counsel from the 
Priesthood. All Setians are further expected to display a high 
measure of maturity and common sense in this area.

The Black Arts are *dangerous* in the same way that working with 
volatile chemicals is dangerous. This is most emphatically *not* a 
field for unstable, immature, or otherwise emotionally or 
intellectually weak-minded people. Such are a hazard to themselves 
and to others with whom they come into contact. The Temple endeavors 
to not admit them to begin with. If such an individual should gain 
admittance and later be exposed, he will be summarily expelled. In 
cases of doubt the Temple may be expected to place the burden of 
proof on the individual, for the sake of all Setians and the 
Temple's integrity.

The Temple of Set evaluates conventional religions as erroneous in 
principle and therefore unworthy of peer status. We feel no need to 
concern ourselves with their activities, or for that matter to 
maintain any sort of "diplomatic relations" with them [as in 
councils of churches]. Our position is that they may serve a useful 
social function as purveyors of soothing myths and fantasies to 
humans unable to attain Setian levels of self-consciousness. Hence 
we ignore conventional religious organizations unless they intrude 
upon our affairs.

These warnings are not intended to be oppressive or intimidating, 
but they should be taken seriously. The Temple is a forum for the 
investigation of many subjects which conventional society finds odd, 
mysterious, and even extremely frightening. The Temple will be 
tolerated only to the extent that it is known to be pursuing its 
interests carefully, expertly, and responsibly. It occupies a 
delicate position in a world which is largely unhappy with itself, 
and which is ceaselessly searching for scapegoats. Hence the Temple 
must take care to maintain its social balance with prudence and 


The Church of Satan learned that there were many people who wished 
to "visit", to "study", and to "observe" without the least intention 
of a personal commitment. For many years the Church endeavored to 
accommodate such dilettantes on the assumption that, upon exposure 
to its philosophy, they would appreciate its essential requirement 
for such a commitment. Once being in the position to enjoy the 
"accessories" of the philosophy without having to confront its core 
principle, however, such persons continued to vampirize the Church 
indefinitely. They contributed as little as they could, took as much 
as they could, and ultimately constituted the single most 
destructive influence leading to the Church's disintegration in 

The Temple of Set has determined that it will not make the same 
mistake. Its activities, publications, knowledge, and services are 
reserved for those who affiliate with it, or on an individual-case 
basis, for non-Setians who request assistance from the Temple that 
we deem to be in our interests or in the interests of the community 
as a whole. The First Degree (I*) of Temple affiliation is regarded 
as a "status of mutual evaluation" wherein the Initiate and the 
Temple can assess one another's merit from the standpoint of minimum 
investment and involvement. If a I* Initiate should decide that the 
Temple is not, after all, appropriate to his wants or needs, he is 
welcome to depart with our good wishes for satisfaction elsewhere.

Aspirants to the Temple should understand that it is not a club or 
fraternal society whose principles may be collected along with those 
of other social affiliations, occult or otherwise. Membership in the 
Temple of Set beyond the I* precludes membership in any other 
religious organization.

Members or former members of non-religious occult organizations 
should understand that within the Temple of Set they will be 
expected to respect and observe the Temple's protocol, and that 
literature and other information from the Temple is not to be passed 
to non-Temple individuals or organizations without prior approval of 
the Priesthood. If the Temple of Set can assist other deserving 
organizations or individuals on occasion, it will be pleased to do 
so. But it must exercise reasonable care over the Temple materials 
that are made available - both so that our own Initiates may enjoy 
the fruits of their honest labor [and that of their predecessors] 
and so that the Temple of Set may continue to enjoy its exclusive 
reputation for excellence in the disciplines it has pioneered.

Should you have questions which are reasonably pertinent to your 
serious consideration whether or not to apply for admission to the 
Temple, you are welcome to address them to the Executive Director of 
the Temple. If you wish to apply for admission as a Setian I*, there 
are two avenues of approach available to you:

(1) If you are already in contact with a Priest or Priestess of Set, 
you may request him or her to sponsor your application. In that case 
you may send a letter to the Executive Director mentioning this 
sponsorship. With your letter enclose a check or money order for 
US$60 (US$70 for overseas applicants), payable to Temple of Set. 
[Please note that this amount must be in U.S. dollars, either drawn 
on a U.S. bank or as an international money order only.] If 
Priesthood sponsorship is verified, approval of your application 
will be automatic.

*Important note*: If you are admitted, and if you are an overseas 
resident, your admission packet will be sent to you by surface mail. 
Depending upon the destination, this can take as long as two months. 
If you wish the packet sent via air mail, your application check 
should be for the amount of US$100 to cover the extra air mail 

(2) If you are not known to a member of the Priesthood, write a 
letter to the Executive Director introducing yourself, summarizing 
whatever aspects of your background you feel to be relevant, and 
stating your reasons for deciding to seek entrance into the Temple. 
Enclose the admission fee. The Temple will make a decision and 
respond to you accordingly. If necessary you will be asked for 
additional information. Should your application not be approved for 
any reason, the fee will be refunded. Persons applying for admission 
via this procedure should be as objective and candid as possible in 
their self-assessment. There is no point in misleading the Temple 
concerning one's suitability for admission, which will only result 
sooner or later in the truth coming to light - with the consequent 
waste of both the individual's and the Temple's time. If there are 
crucial areas of possible incompatibility, it is incumbent on the 
applicant to identify them before affiliation so that they may be 
addressed and, if possible, resolved.

Whichever method you apply through, please be certain to include:

(1) Your full legal name [no pseudonyms] and sex.
(2) Your complete mailing address.
(3) Daytime and evening telephone numbers.
(4) Date of birth.
(5) Present organizational affiliations.

Annual renewal fee for all Initiates is US$50 (US$55 overseas). [The 
first year is pro-rated from the month of your entry.] These fees 
are designed, as is the admissions fee, to cover the cost of 
mailings to you and the administration of the Temple. As a matter of 
policy the Temple is not designed to make a profit on its 
operations, and its assets are used exclusively for benefits to its 
Initiates as a whole. There are no other regular or recurring fees, 
save that Orders and Pylons may set reasonable charges for their 
newsletters or other time/effort services. Special publications of 
the Temple and events scheduled by the Temple are customarily made 
available on a non-profit basis to Initiates who are interested.

The only physical requirement for admission is that the aspirant be 
at least 18 years of age. Those below the age of 18 may not visit 
Temple functions, ceremonial or otherwise, whether or not they are 
relatives of Initiates. The Temple has no programs for children. It 
is our position that children and adolescents should not be 
indoctrinated into the assumptions and prescriptions of *any* 
suprarational system, whether it be our own philosophy or the faiths 
and superstitions of conventional religions. Rather their youthful 
years should be a time of *exclusively rational* training and 
education, giving them a sound and meaningful basis by which, as 
adults, they may consider and choose whatever philosophy or faith 
seems most meaningful to them.

If your application is approved, you will receive notification from 
the Executive Director's office, together with membership 
identification, certificate, copy of the _Crystal Tablet of Set_ 
[including the current reading list & intercommunication roster, 
most recent issues of the _Scroll of Set_ and Order publications [as 
determined by the Order Grand Masters], and Setian I* pendant 

Then the initiative is yours. The Temple of Set is designed to 
assist you in the ways we have found to be the most practical, 
productive, and factually accurate. But, as helpful as the Temple 
may be, and as proud of it as we are, it is nevertheless properly 
understood as a *tool*. *You* are the one who must put that tool to 
use in a way that will enable you to _Xeper_.

Such is the Word of the AEon of Set.


Part 2 --  Electronic Resources

The XEPERA-L mailing list is for serious discussion of Setian Philosophy, and
is available to both members and non-members of the Temple of Set.

  text: Subscribe Xepera
  Reference: mailto:// (John Youril)

Discussions of Setianism also take place on alt.satanism


Over the years, a number of files pertaining to the Temple of Set were
made available.  These were generally intended for limited distribution,
but over time were archived on various InterNet and FTN sites along with
material *about* the Temple of Set which did not originate *from* the
Temple of Set.  Many of these files contain dated information; the
accuracy and authenticity of others is doubtful.  In future revisions
of this document, comments about these files will be added.

Some sources for these files are:
     Reference: mailto:// (John Youril)
     Reference: mailto:// (Paul Southworth)
     (this is the original slopoke tree moved to funet)


Some Temple of Set documents are often made available to serious
researchers and other interested parties.  Such inquiries should be
directed to (Dr. Michael A. Aquino).


Current and future editions of this document can be retrieved
via FTP and e-mail:


For further information about the Temple of Set:
   mailto:// (Temple of Set)


For submissions/comments/corrections to this document:
   mailto:// (John Youril)


  Infoadms -- Dr. Michael A. Aquino
  Resources/Compilation -- John A. Youril


WWW archive:


  /end of file

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