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Definitions of Satanists/Neopagans

To: alt.pagan,alt.satanism,alt.religion.all-worlds,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick
From: (nocTifer)
Subject: Definitions of Satanists/Neopagans (was Re: Satanist/NeoPagan War)
Date: 2 Jul 1996 03:35:28 -0700

49960701 AA1

Thomas Hrouda:
|>...What specifically about Satanism makes you think its not pagan?  

|> Is it (for the sake of argument) that you don't believe the Satanists 
|> worship the "OLD GODS"?

I'll answer this too. :>  the question is ill-asked, as others have
already pointed out.  without including a ready-made definition for
these things we are left with overmuch ambiguity.  even so it is 
worth it to me to speak to it.

Satanism isn't "pagan" inasmuch as it doesn't truly participate in
preChristian religion.  then again, neither does Neopaganism as I
see it. ;>  in this sense Neopagans aren't "pagan" either.

Satanism isn't Neopagan in the sense that it includes elements which
extend beyond the circle which the term 'Neopagan' typically enscribes.
those elements are being pointed out adequately by Werner and others.

Satanism isn't Neopagan in that it doesn't always attempt to recreate
previous religious systems, a 'return to the old ways', and yes, many
Satanists don't even attempt to lend an appearance of worshipping old
gods.  these appear to be the elements of Satanism excluded from the
Neopagan descriptive as I've come to know it (be sure you understand
that I do think there is at least an intersection and that I may well
dwell within it, however).

Werner Arend :
|...Aquino's statement mentioning the "unconscious forces of nature" and 
|the disconnectedness of human individual consciousness from these would 
|disqualify him and those who follow his belief from being perceived as 
|Neo-Pagan by most Neo-Pagans, without further explanation.

I'm unsure.  there are at least a few Neopagans who think of the gods
as 'archetypes', and I don't know why these wouldn't qualify for the
type of rhetoric Aquino is using or that which CoSatanists occasionally
bring up about 'using the gods during rite'.  my own feelings are much
more devotional than many Satanists apparently feel.

|...see the quotation from [JJ]Assad.... I'll take his "definition", 
|and then tell you which of his "commonly held beliefs" are most 
|important to me personally, and why I think that some Satanists 
|don't qualify.

my response to his text also follows.

|>...commonalties [for Neopagan].... are:

|>The practice of non Judeo-Christian or Muslim monotheistic religions by 
|>the individual or group in question.

often 'The Goddess'.  yes, and not favored by many Satanists from 
what I can tell.

|>A commonly held belief of immanent divinity.

very often true it seems to me, yes, and I'd say that the idea of 'divinity'
here may exclude many Satanists but include others such as myself and
perhaps Diane Vera.

|>A commonly practiced rejection of the concept of transcendent divinity.

my experience isn't similar here.  I've known many who enjoyed the 
concept and even the mystical engagement of the transcendant, and
this does also appear true for some Satanists (Setians?).  

|>A polytheistic predilection towards the divinity forms that antedate 

or at least which they believe do so, yes, and I think this is also
true for some Satanists.

|>A fierce disavowal of "herd mentality" with the insistence on 
|>individuality and freedom of choices.

true and almost identical among many, many Satanists, at least within
their stated ideologies.

|>The open celebration of sensuality and sex.

eroticism, hedonism, yes, and very common among Satanists, both 
practically and within Satanist literature.

|>A commonly held concept of the "Sacred Round" or the Wheel of the Year 
|>which guides the seasonal celebrations and festivals.

again yes, and this is favored by a great many Satanists as well.

|>A commonly held reverence for Nature, her creatures and her very 
|>breast(the land we walk upon).

I agree, and this is sometimes true of Satanists such as myself, 
some elements of orgSatanists.

|>A sincere disavowal of Judeo-Christianity*(NOT universally held)."

this appears to be very common amongst many Neopagans and Satanists,
and I think it likely that it is due to reactionary forces.

Werner Arend :
|The first concept I suspect most Satanists of rejecting is "immanent 
|divinity". It seems that quite a few Satanists reject the concept of 
|divinity at all, or recognize divinity *only* in the Ego, instead of the 
|Self *and* the rest of the universe. Aquino certainly qualifies here.

sure, but Aquino and Co. are not the most numerous of the Satanic
batch.  I'd actually agree here and suggest that many Satanists are
actually atheist materialists who utilize their gods in rite for
(wonderfully!) selfish purposes, suspending disbelief in the interim.

for this reason I'd suggest that nonJCI monotheism would also
likely be unpopular among Satanists as it includes 'theism'.

|...I suspect many Satanists of being fundamentalists in disguise, 
|who do not respect others' individuality and freedom of choices....
|...statements [such as] "Respect to those who deserve it." and 
|"Respect has to be earned." 

I think 'fundamentalism' may be found in any religion or cult.
my own sense is that a great many Satanists actually feel as
you do, rejecting this type of aggressive elitism, but I can't
be sure.

|...who deserves respect is defined by these Satanists. 

I think this is true within most communities, it is just not acknowledged.

|This creates a hierarchy of values, and a society in which the 
|powerful do not have to respect the individuals less powerful than 

it is this element of some people's Satanism which concerns me most,
I must admit (the fascist and neonazi elements especially -- not
because Hitler and a study of him and his ways is alien to me or
even unattractive to me, but that I don't always know what they mean
by it and how they wish it to manifest in their lives).

|eliminates individual freedom for everyone but the boss of it all. 

if there is a boss, yes.

|The statement that "respect has to be earned" opens wide the door to fascism.

this seems rather ambiguous to me as 'respect' is not precisely defined
and what we do to or with those whom we do not respect is also not 
really spelled out.  in many Satanic documents the weak and/or disrespected
are merely left to fend for themselves.  why this of necessity leads to 
anything like fascism is beyond me.

|And that is what I will always answer with a "No!" put as strongly as 
|possible! I understand that your American constitution bases on the 
|belief that if there is to be freedom, it has to be freedom (and thus 
|a minimum of respect!) for everyone. This I subscribe to. 

I don't think that respect is required by that political document.
I gathered that it mostly protects the individual from the tyranny
of the governmental institution itself, rather than requiring any
particular demonstrations of 'respect' among citizens.  

I do agree that there are laws which protect us from violation by
others, but this would seem to be quite beyond any sort of 'respect'
as people normally understand the term.

|There are those "anarchist" Satanists who I would accept. [nocTifer] 
|is a good example. I don't know if he qualifies as a Satanist - I 
|don't remember him using that label with regard to himself  - 

I am a Satanist by my standards. ;>  that is as much as anyone can
say unless they mean to imply something regarding membership in some

|but he has an affinity to dark gods 


|and probably has no qualms whatsoever about "Black magic". 

actually I do not personally involve myself with coercive magick in
the slightest, being even resistant to retributive workings other
than a communication of my pain (as in my curse using the Names of

if you mean to imply here the typical significances of 'Black Magic'
used by orgSatanists (CoS/ToS), then I don't really enjoy what is
called 'Lesser Black Magic' as it involves manipulation and petty
persuasions, though I do think that my expressions are at times
intended to achieve this effect (not coercively, persuasively).
regarding 'Greater Black Magic' I spend the bulk of my time with it, 
though not *because* I learned about it from these orgs or truly knew 
what it was or studied ceremony extensively.  LaVey describes this as
"the integration of apparent opposites" and he claims that this is the 
"essence of Satanism and Satanic practices", which I find very 
intriguing and reflective of my own interests/doings.

|...while he strongly rejects any "infringement on his territory", 
|he respects others' too.  I would welcome him as a fellow seeker 
|in the universe of human consciousness, however different he may 
|be elsewhere and however different the details of his belief may 
|be from mine.

that is very often true, yes, as can be attested to by the various
religious with whom I have lived (atheists, agnostics, secular Jews,
Discordians, Wiccans, general Neopagans, Shamanics, etc.).  very 
keen of you to welcome me too. ;>

|All those other people, those crying "I'm one of you" and insulting 
|Neo-Paganism in the same sentence....  who feel that they need not 
|respect me just because I don't share their opinion, I can perfectly 
|well do without, and, yes, I *will* attempt to exclude them from 
|Neo-Paganism because I do not feel that they respect my 
|individuality, regardless of their being Christians, Satanists 
|or even other Neo-pagans. 

well, attempting to 'exclude people from Neopaganism' seems rather
a useless endeavor to me.  I see it is as likely as those who wish
to 'exclude people from Christianity' for similar reasons.  there
isn't really some Board of Authorization to which one may appeal,
though I can see it on a personal basis (through restriction of 
your personal associations, etc.).


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