Satan

Having had a good look at Christianity and it’s various positive and negative forms, and also the various pagan myths of Teutonic lore, we will now shift our focus toward a particular feature of mythology that is a recurring theme throughout the history of religion. The being known as ‘Satan’ in Judeo-Christian mythology and as ‘Shaitan‘ in Islam, means ‘adversary’ and features as an antagonist either to God or mankind in different mythologies throughout the world. He is known in one sense as the embodiment of all evil, but also as a tragic or even sympathetic figure who rebelled against God and was cast out of Heaven.

The lore surrounding this dark figure is a mixture of pagan and Christian myths, and his association with the Judeo-Christian ‘God’ is either as the prosecutor of Job, as in the Old Testament, or as tempter of Jesus within the New Testament. However, his appearance as a horned man with goat legs and a trident is a mixture of pagan imagery, in particular the Greek forest god Pan and his Celtic cognate, Cernunnos, as well as the Greek sea god, Poseidon. To mainstream Christians, Muslims and Jews, he is seen as the one who leads you astray from the path of God and towards damnation, but he is perceived as a liberator and a figure of freedom in some pagan traditions; and sometimes is even seen as a god to be feared, rather than the more benevolent Creator deity.

Though ‘Satan’ is the name most commonly known in the West today, he is also known by the titles of ‘the Devil’ (whose name relates to words ‘devious’, ‘deviant’ and ‘devour’), Beelzebub (‘lord of the flies’, thought to derive from the Canaanite deity Ba’al) or even ‘prince of darkness’. He is also associated with Lucifer, although this is a slightly different figure that we will look at in more detail later on. In other cultures, Satan is known in different forms, such as Ahriman in Zoroastrianism, who is seen as the enemy of Ahura Mazda (‘God’) and deceiver of mankind. In Buddhism, he appears as the arch-demon Mara, who represents illusion and is the lord of death.

Within Teutonic mythology, the best fit for a Satanic figure would be Loki; who also represents illusion and deception and is the nemesis of Heimdall, guardian of the Bifrost Bridge to Asgard (the home of the Aesir and a place representing enlightenment). However, in other cultures he was seen as a deity to be worshipped, such as among the natives of Virginia, who called this being Oke, and some even performed human sacrifices of teenage boys to him. In Ancient Egypt, he was known as Seth or Set, and despite being the brother and slayer of the Sun god Osiris, he still had followers among the Ancient Egyptian kings, though his name was later blotted out in religious dedications. Even within the Old Testament, there are references to dual goat sacrifices, one to Yahweh and one to Azazel, lord of the desert, who is very similar to Set in his attributes.

Today, he is often seen as representing a very real force of evil that compels individuals to commit atrocities against others. The so-called ‘Church of Satan’ and its brand of Satanism are simply a pompous form of atheism that promotes mockery of Catholic Mass and very base individualism based off of capitalist ‘philosophy’. However, much more serious stories involving human sacrifice and child abuse have appeared in mass consciousness over the past few decades. This practice of Satanism was once associated with people usually characterized as mentally deranged heavy metal fans, particularly in the United States during the 1980s.

However, this extreme expression of teenage rebellion is not nearly as prevalent nor as disturbing as tales of ritualistic sacrifices of children by plutocratic elites, many of whom are said to be or have connections to world leaders. Due to the nature of such clandestine activities, such practices are difficult to prove. For instance, it is possible that such stories are made up in order to disseminate fear and paranoia and have no basis in truth. Such accusations are similar to those made against witches by the Catholic Church during the Burning Times. However, it would also stand to reason that if these things were happen among the wealthiest members of society, then they would have sufficient resources to cover it up and protect themselves from the wrath of the public. Either way, the idea of offering humans as a sacrifice to an infernal being are nothing new, and it is naïve to assume that such beliefs and practices are not still adhered to within the darkest corners of Man’s heart.

Thus, the nature of ‘Satan’ is multifaceted and not so easy to discern in terms of a singular being. He is a different sort of character depending on the context and how his role relates to other beings portrayed as ‘God’. For example, in the Book of Genesis, Satan is usually associated with the Apple of Eve, which was eaten by the first woman from the Tree of Knowledge. Though not explicitly mentioned as the name of the serpent who tempted Eve to eat the apple, it has been inferred from the theme of temptation to disobey that this figure represents Satan in this context. However, this story could be interpreted in different ways. On one hand, the Judeo-Christian interpretation is that Eve and her mate, Adam (the first man, whose name comes from Atum in Egyptian mythology) were damned by God and cast out of the Garden of Eden (‘paradise’) for their acts of disobedience; and so began the Fall of Man from spiritual grace.

On the other hand, a Gnostic or Luciferian perspective is to see the serpent as the spirit of curiosity, which encouraged Eve to disobey the tyrannical false god ‘Yahweh‘ and reach towards enlightenment. Both versions reflect either a Left-Hand Path or Right-Hand Path interpretation of the story, for which the meaning differs depending on one’s own values. For one on the Right-Hand Path, Satan more often is seen as a dangerous enemy, and one who tries to distract you from achieving your goals through temptation and deception. However, within the Left-Hand Path, any obstruction to liberty is seen as a hindrance and Satan can be a valuable ally in overcoming the bondage of psychological conditioning during one’s lifetime. It is at this point that it is worth distinguishing the figure of ‘Satan’ from that of ‘Lucifer’, who are often conflated but who generally represent two distinct but related beings. Satan is a figure who was originally seen as ‘the accuser’ and acted as God’s dispenser of justice on Earth in Judaic mythology. However, within Christianity he is seen as the ruler of Hell (based on both the Greek and Teutonic underworlds) and as a fallen angel and lord of demons.

lucifer

Lucifer is an angel or demigod known as Phosphoros in Greek and whose name means ‘morning star’, which is the planet Venus. He is a metaphor for the ‘light-bringer’ or seeker of enlightenment, and is associated with both Loki and Prometheus; who is said to have brought the divine gift of fire to Man (‘Loki’ means ‘lightning’ in both a metaphorical and literal sense). Within Judeo-Christian mythology (though not actually in the Bible) Lucifer is portrayed as the angel who led a rebellion against God when asked to bow before Adam, and who was cast down into Hell following his defeat and becoming Satan. In this way, he is similar to the Yazidi deity Melek Taus, though their Creator is said to have praised the archangel for his refusal to bow before any creature lower than he, for this is how he was created. In these terms, Lucifer is the one who chooses to rebel, and Satan is who he becomes in doing so.

This process may also, however, work in reverse. Wotanist mystic, Kalki Weisthor, has suggested that both the figures of Satan and Lucifer can be incorporated into Wotanism by adding Wotan as a third component. The idea is that one begins their journey on the Left-Hand Path by acting as Satan, and so undoing unhelpful social conditioning and false beliefs by refusing to follow what you have perceived to be the rules. The next step is to become Lucifer, which involves pursuing enlightenment and acting as a free agent, having done away with what restricted you before. The last step is to embody Wotan, after mastering the skills of magic and using one’s liberated position to come back into society as a teacher and as a leader.

I personally find this a very helpful concept, though it presumably does not work as well for those on the Right-Hand Path, who will want to stick to their principles and resist the urge to rebel, since it is not in their nature to do so. Satan is not so much to be feared but respected, and he is a figure that will remain as long as human consciousness can conceive of a negative force, pulling us either towards damnation or enlightenment. It is also worth keeping in mind that Satan can mean many different things to many different people, and that misunderstandings about his character have led to persecution and ostracism which arise from ignorance. As a friend or enemy, he is with us always, as a teacher, tempter or that which we despise but know we must embrace as a part of life.

Hail Satan!

Wulf Willelmson

Rise of the Son God: The Christian Question

Over the past couple of years, I have found myself drawn further and further to this doctrine, which may not at first seem compatible with my Wotanist beliefs. However, the main religion of Western culture is Christianity, and I have found its elements to be present in our culture so strongly, that it is hard to ignore when embarking on a spiritual path. I have, for most of my life, had an apathetic or hostile view of this religion, as it always appeared to be an oppressive force that held back our people and kept them ignorant and servile. But, as I have discovered through the study of esoterics, all is not as it seems, and so a distinction should be made between two belief systems that appear under the same banner.

The institution of the Church is the force that presents itself as the face of the Christian faith, and so its words and deeds are taken to be representative of the Christian community. This means, however, that the Church sustains itself through a power structure that is reliant on donations and government funding, but does little other than act as a propaganda machine for the mainstream narrative in between reading passages from the Bible. It offers no practical tools to encourage spiritual growth and merely acts as a business, marketing their brand of ‘spirituality’ to the world. This money-making sham is more specifically known in an ideological form as Judeo-Christianity, and engages in all of the the practices which Jesus was supposed to have condemned among the Judean priests, namely the pursuit of profit.

On the other hand, there is also the esoteric form of Christianity, which is known as ‘Kristianism’. This version is based on hidden meanings behind the passages of the Bible, and is intended to bring the individual on the path to enlightenment. Much of this consists of allegories and figures of speech intended to help with memory when recording the oral knowledge that the texts were based on. For example, the term ‘forty days’ merely means ‘a long time’, and so it is not meant to be taken literally, as are most other parables. This is the main difference between these two forms of Christianity, in that the former takes the text literally, while the latter has to study their underlying meanings. ‘Kristianism’ is part of the Left-Hand Path of magic, as it involves self-empowerment through discovering godhood within one’s true, inner self. This is part of the reason why the Kristianist tradition is so hidden, because this method of spiritual development was suppressed by the Church, but was undoubtedly practised by at least some of the clergy from the Middle Ages onward. The Left-Hand Path is about changing yourself in order to have more agency in the world around you, while the Right-Hand Path consists of the traditions that are passed down by the priesthood to be practised by the laymen. It is the preferred choice for those who are bound by too many material obligations to embark on a spiritual journey, but who should still be able to trust their priests to provide for their basic religious needs, in order to have a spiritually healthy community.

Sadly, what has gone wrong with organized religions even since before Christianity has been the love of wealth and power. The Greek and Roman temples eventually became money-making schemes that did not encourage people to find their own path to the gods if they were capable, but rather to rely on the priesthood to interpret messages from the gods. The hoarding of knowledge and exploitation of the laymen by the priesthood is a gross abuse of their power and such systems should not be allowed to promote enslavement to institutions and dogma. This typically occurs in societies which have a centralized state, rather than among tribes or petty kingdoms. This was certainly true for Ancient Greece and Rome, but this corporatism continued under Christianity in these lands because they were already centralized under empires and kingdoms.

In Britain and Ireland, syncreticism occurred between the native Druidic mysteries and the Christian doctrine, until they merged to form a subset of Catholicism, known as ‘Celtic Christianity’ (or known today as ‘Gaelic Traditionalism’). This local variant of Catholicism survived until the High Middle Ages, when the Churches in Ireland and Wales were drawn closer to mainstream Catholicism, which was facilitated by Norman colonization of these two lands and centralization of royal authority. The struggle between Catholics and ‘heretics’ was present among the Roman Britons as early as the 4th Century, where the ascetic known as Pelagius argued that humans had free will with regards to salvation rather than being determined by fate and reliant upon the Church for forgiveness. Naturally, his ideas were considered a threat to the establishment and after his expulsion from Jerusalem, he invited to Egypt and never heard from again.

Gnosticism is another aspect of Kristianism, which was prevalent in Late Antiquity. Gnosticism extends beyond Christianity, but it was the main source of esoteric Kristian thought at this time in history. The main principle behind Gnostic Christianity is that God (that is, the unified principle of the cosmos) created the world in his image of perfection, as his spirit existed alongside the material world governed by Nature. However, it is also held that something went wrong in the process of creation, and that Sophia (a name meaning ‘wisdom’ and a personification of Nature) gave birth to a monstrous being known as the Demiurge, who, while having no name of his own, takes the form of Yaweh or Elohim in the Old Testament.

However, these names are merely stolen from Canaanite mythology and this being (or group of beings acting under a hive mind) is separate from the gods (who are known as ‘angels’ in Christianity). These dark forces are equivalent to the Jötnar of Norse mythology and Ahriman of Zoroastrianism, and was seen as the antagonistic force among the Gnostics. Unfortunately, because the New Testament was corrupted by Paul the Pharisee, the Church adopted Yaweh and the Judaic Tanakh (Old Testament) as part of the Christian faith (hence, Judeo-Christianity) and persecuted the Gnostics for criticizing their demonic ‘God’. As such, Kristian esoterics were largely driven underground, and only survive today through the preservation of Gnostic texts such as the Nag Hamadi.

The Demiurge is held to be the sovereign of the world of illusion and materialism, and is essentially the same as the figure known as Satan or Lucifer. He is the enemy of Christ (a metaphor for enlightened man) and is seen as responsible for Man’s fall from grace. In this way, the Old Testament is the tale of the Fall of Man, as spiritual and material become intermingled and how the Judeans were led astray by the Demiurge and destroyed the places of pagan worship in Judea. The New Testament is the guide to liberation from bondage to the material plane and achieving unity with God. However, all of the pages of the Bible are meant to be read metaphorically, as both the tales of Moses and of Jesus are meant to help the initiate achieve their goals.

The Church has promoted the literal interpretation of the Bible (to varying degrees, even non-fundamentalist denominations do not teach esoterics), as a means of controlling the masses, by teaching them morals that lead to self-denial and naïve trust. In this way, Judeo-Christianity holds Man to the will of the Demiurge, while Kristianism frees him from his enslavement. The stories of Christ’s resisting of temptations form Satan are meant to convey a life of moderation and not being held back by one’s desires. While Satan represents the tempter and the trickster, the Church used his image to demonize the pagan gods as an excuse to persecute pagans. The horns and goat legs of the popular image of the Devil come from the Celtic god Cernunnos, who is probably the equivalent of Wotan.

The struggles between the Church and what they deemed as ‘heresy’ were a manifestation of esoteric Kristianism and its suppression by the establishment. The most brutal Judeo-Christian warlords (such as Charlemagne), forced conversion by the sword, and in this way were the European equivalent of Islamic Jihadists. In Islam this struggle is also present, as the mainstream Sunni (Judeo-Islamic) dogma is used by the Demiurge to spread his cancer, while the mystic sects, such as the Sufis, use Islam as a means to achieving liberation. The same is also true of Judaism, as the Hasidic sects of Judaism were formed to promote the joy of life through the love of God, as opposed to Orthodox Judaism, which encourages xenophobia and contempt for the goyim (‘gentiles’). Thus, the true path of Christianity is learning how to discriminate between those who are really in the service of God and those who do the work of the Devil. There are many preachers who claim to be doing the work of ‘The Lord’, while engaging in Satanic acts (the mass child abuse of the Catholic Church is one such hypocrisy). The centralized institutions of Abrahamic religions have been acting as arbiters of the state to abuse its people, while the people themselves have held the secrets to these doctrines and passed them on down the centuries.

My own personal inclination is towards Protestantism, since it focuses on individual salvation and typically does not promote conversion. I know that many others will feel more drawn to Catholicism, although this doctrine will probably be more relevant to those on a Latinic or Celtic path (such is the case for most Western Europeans and their descendants). However, Protestantism emerged in Northern Europe among the Teutonic folk, and so it works well as an addition to esoteric Armanism, alongside the exoteric religion of Wotanism. Balder is the Christ figure of Norse mythology, and his death and rebirth is itself the story of resurrection. And so, in both Kristianism and Armanism, their stories are allegories for the rebirth of the spiritual man, both on a personal level but also in this new Age of Aquarius. Balder was killed by his blind brother Höth (‘hood’) at the behest of the jötun, Loki. This represents the veil of illusion cast over Man and Balder’s journey to Hel and is a metaphor for the bondage to the material world and consistent death and rebirth on this plane (a concept known as the ‘Wheel of Samsara’ in Buddhism). However, Balder’s return from Hel at the end of Ragnarök is analogous to the Resurrection of Christ, and so the two stories are more important for their shared underlying meanings than their cultural interpretations.

As both a pagan and a Kristian, I find it frustrating that there still exists sectarianism among these two groups. Though Christianity is a declining force in the West (it is still prevalent in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa), it still has a strong cultural hold on our society, and this works both for and against us. On one hand, the Catholic pope openly promotes the invasion of Europe by religious fundamentalists (mostly Islamic, though some are also from Christian Africa, where witch-hunting is still prevalent), while the mainstream Protestant Churches of our island are complicit in much the same propaganda. They purposely skew the original meanings of Christ’s teachings to promote self-loathing and pathological altruism among Westerners, while at the same time coveting the secrets of the Bible from the masses (they certainly know about these hidden meanings, they just don’t want you or I to know about them). At the same time, however, the thread of Christianity is so strongly woven into our heritage that it would be ludicrous to suggest that we can simply abandon it and return to the purely pagan past.

There is no reason to discard the useful parts of this religion, as it is a sensible option for those among our folk who are not drawn to pagan lore. I myself prefer the pagan expression and wish to see its revival among our people, but I can also acknowledge the benefits of yet another facet our culture that has been passed down to us from our forebears. Our people are in grave peril, and so I see no reason why Crusaders and Vikings cannot stand shoulder to shoulder to face a common foe, despite the pogroms of the past. We have the potential to be allies, but only once we accept that we must learn to co-exist as one people to be able to survive and thrive. The Renaissance was born through the resurgence of pagan motifs and philosophies that were blended with Christian expression. We will have another if we learn to achieve our potential as individuals and as a people, whichever spiritual path we choose.

Wulf Willelmson