As with many areas of non-traditional faith studies, I feel the need to offer a disclaimer. The information provided in this section of Ancient Pathway is the perspective based on one person from his experiences the many different forms of Satanism that exist today. This is by far, not inclusive of the rich belief system behind this often misunderstood following. If you have an interest in Satanism, I suggest that you research this subject yourself and pursue that which makes you comfortable within your own beliefs.
The History of modern Satanism
Satanism, as an above ground organization was founded as "The Church of Satan" by Anton Szandor LaVey on April 30, 1966. The book used as a core of this faith is "The Satanic Bible" by the same person.
This is not to say that the religion as a whole did not exist before this time, only that LaVey was able to bring the organization together formally and lay ground rules for living our human lives as those of a carnal beast.
However, this is where the story can become quite interesting, because the core of the modern belief system is not one of worship of some hell-bound, red-skinned fallen angel, but one of a turning to the carnal nature that leads the human animal back to a path of being the animal instead of the overly moral, highly justified modern constructs.
The Nine Statements
Modern Satanic followings are not simply reasons to drink, pillage and have sex as is often thought. Satanism is ruled by nine statements than encompass the "rules" of the faith. Though these statements begin with the term "Satan", you can easily substitute "humanism" or any other term that relates to the animal nature of the human condition.
1: Satan represents indulgence over abstinence.
Most faiths of the modern world show that abstinence is the way to true enlightenment. By denying our carnal nature, we are able to be enlightened and reach a higher plane of existence. This plane may be the Christian heaven, nirvana or even reincarnation higher up the supposed spiritual food chain but to the world of the Satanist, it is something different. Satanists recognize that nothing is gained by denying the self and encouragement of indulgence leads to both enjoyment and control. This is not to say that you would blindly submerge yourself into mindless pleasures, only that you should enjoy what the world has to offer.
2: Vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams.
This statement is about the understanding of reality over the abstract. To be true to oneself, the Satanist must separate the reality of life and the world around them from the abstract notions of spiritualism.
3: Wisdom that is undefiled instead of hypocritical self-deceit.
The Satanist takes a position to doubt the world around them instead of walking blindly though life accepting truths as offered by others. They will ask questions and demand answers, finding those answers for themselves instead of accepting the information offered to them.
4: Kindness to those who deserve it not love wasted on the unworthy.
Nothing within the Satanic faiths pushes anyone toward unkind actions or outright cruelty without just cause. Love and kindness should be offered to those that offer it to you. At the same time, love wasted on your enemies is a waste of time and energy. Love those that you care about with a whole heart and at the same time, hate with the same passion when that hate is deserved.
5: About the other cheek.
Those that follow the Satanic path recognize that we, the human race, are animals. When we leave a wrong unpunished, that person will commit another wrong. Punish your enemies with vengeance, making them understand that you are not prey. At the same time, do not bully, because this too can turn on you. Pay back like for like and hurt for hurt. Do not allow yourself to be the sheep.
6: Responsibility to the responsible.
Do not concern yourself with psychic vampires. Ignore titles and judge those around you by their actions and accomplishments, offering respect where respect is earned.
7: Man as an animal.
Mankind is an animal, sometimes better, but more often worse that those that walk on all fours. Mankind feasts upon the flesh of his brothers and brings about war for no reason. We, as man, have created myths and legends to justify our being, when the only justification needed is that we are!
8: A word about sin.
Sin is a religious and social construct devised to keep the man-animal on his knees begging for forgiveness. The Satanist realizes that the concept of sin is the breach of a religious or moral law. However, only the self can recognize what is sin to the self. When the Satanist acts against their personal moral code, then they understand this is a wrong. When this happens, they accept it, learn from it and then do not do it again instead of mentally beating themselves to a pulp or begging forgiveness.
9: Satan and the Church
The modern church lives in fear of this large, red-skinned, pointy ear creature of their own creation. And the church should be thankful to Satan as a matter of fact, because the legend of this creature is what has kept them in business all of these years. The problem with the Christian Satan is that he is a creature of fiction. The Holy Bible (available in full elsewhere on Ancient Pathway) says little about this fallen angel. In fact, other than the (sin) of pride, nowhere in the holy bible does Satan even commit a sin. In some Christian texts, Satan is the "Morning Star" and created the "Mighty Chorus "of the heavenly host.