Symbols of Satanism - The Pentagram and Goat

August 19, 2014

The Bessy Pentagram [shown on right] is one of many versions of the Baphomet that is so familiar to Satanists. It was from the book known as the History of Witchcraft and the Supernatural, written by Maurice Bessy. The symbol itself goes back much further than that but it had always been associated with Satan and the forces of the Underworld. It is a known fact that LaVey drew up his own version of this pentagram and baphomet, and took from it the same elements of design, including the "Leviathan" word that encircles the symbol. Due to the popularization of this symbol as 'Satanic' it is recognized worldwide as a symbol of Satanism, much like the adoption of the Roman Cross became a Symbol of Christianity after 400ad.

The controversy over this symbol exists even within Satanism. While the Church of Satan claims to own copyright on this specific symbol, the simple truth is, that they do not. The original Bessy pentagram and all earlier versions of it are in the public domain. Public domain images can not be copyrighted. Now that it is an internationally recognized symbol of Satanism in general it is most certainly in the public domain as a religious symbol, which can not be copyrighted either. The Satanic Church does have their own specific version of this symbol which is known as the LaVeyan pentagram.

LaVey had little regard from which he took his inspiration from, piecing together his versions of Satanism from various odd sources. Within the Church of Satan the book written by Bessy was used as a prop, much like LaVey adopted the Bessy pentagram for symbolic purposes.
From the COS website: []

"In its early days, the Church of Satan used the version seen on the cover of the Bessy book on its membership cards and stationery as well as on the medallions which were created both by hand and by professional manufacturers."

The 'Leviathan' spelled in Jewish letters surrounding the symbol came from an earlier versions of the Baphomet, found in various books. In the 1700's there was a symbol of the Baphomet within a circle in the book 'The History of Magic'. This symbol was paired with the upright pentagram [or as some call it, the pentacle] around this were the words 'Samael and Lilith' and it is often referred to as the Samael and Lilith Pentagram. Its purpose was to illustrate the unholy union of Samael, the Jewish angel of Death, and Lilith, the Queen of Demons in jewish mythology.

All of these symbols - the goat, the names of Jewish demons, point to the obvious connection between Satanism and Judaism. Even deeper than its christian association, the Judaic aspects of satanism are represented by the Goat - known as Azazel.. this was the Scapegoat of tradition that was sacrificed to the wild, who carried the sins of the people. it was natural then to associate and contrast the Jewish goat with the christian sheep, the natural reaction of Christians being that the goat represents evil, or the devil. This tradition has continued to this day.

In Reply To Many Recent Letters on Satanism

June 13, 2014
Hey there, just to clear something up - after reading my mail here i noticed several trends in what people are asking for...

I do not own a church or organization, I am not recruiting for any organizations, I do not promote religion. In addition I can not help you to make a pact with Satan to make you insanely rich, nor do I speak for Satan.

My website and videos, etc are aimed at independent studies in Satanism. I try to provide a variety of resources and let my readers and viewers come to their own conclusions about what Satanism should represent to them. I believe it is only fair. After all, many Satanists come from Christian and other monotheistic backgrounds where they had been forced to accept certain things about religion and spirituality without question.

Since I do not run an organization, I can not recruit you into my "church". A church or organization does not exist in my name. Getting recruited or indoctrinated into an organization does not guarantee your success in Satanism, nor does it make you "better" than any other person who is independent of activities like that.

Sure, organizations offer an opportunity to socialize with others of like mind, and some even offer the opportunity for you to learn some things that would take a long time for you to find out on your own. But, for those that chose to be independent, getting tangled in the politics and drama that organizations in Satanism so often provide proves to be a good way to sidetrack yourself from the real goals that you could be pursuing.

My own personal methods revolve around spirituality, and so because of this my focus is often on non religious methods of Satanism. It is a way to experience the path without being burdened by rules and regulations. It also offers me the freedom to explore whatever suits my fancy when it comes to magic and ritual.

Pacts for Money - how often do i get letters about this? Every day! See, if pact making with Satan to bring tons of money or a high level of success into your life was that easy, don't you think that everyone would be doing it? Wow, yeah..I could have been a rock star, or had millions of dollars in my bankroll if it was that easy. There would be no suffering or poverty in the world and everyone would convert to Satanism for that simple fact. Heh.

Truth is, selling ones soul for financial gain is a myth that was started by Christians long ago, in attempt to dissuade or prevent people from going to the dark side to fulfill their desires.

And no, I nor anyone else can speak for Satan. Your experience with Satan, like any other god or spiritual being, is a personal experience. I can describe what I have experienced but your own time on this path will determine what is right for you. For some, this prospect is frightening because they are entering into uncharted territory, where they never have been before. They may be used to having a priest tell them what to do and how to do it, and as far as I am aware, that's just not how Satanism works. You make your own choices, and you have the freedom to live the way that you want.

Now, that's not to say that getting advice is a wrong thing, but that to be told what to do and how to do it and to expect another to communicate to and from Satan (when you should be doing it yourself!) isn't the best thing to do. Of course, sharing your experiences with others is a great way to gain insight, but when others are literally telling you what to do and how to feel, and how to act, you have essentially given up the freedom that you sought when you came to the path.

Satanism and the Abortion Debate

August 28, 2013
  On the issue of abortion and a woman's right to choose..This is a tough subject for many people to discuss, no matter what path they are on, and rightly so. There are many sides to this issue, and many reasons why people are for or against it.

  The Church of Satan was recently thrust into this debate with their commentary that appeared in a recent CNN interview:

"Satan was thrust into the Texas legislature debate with pro-choicers shouting 'Hail Satan!' at the right-to-life faction. However, whom Satan endorsed was not clear. A British organization called U.K. Church of Satan appeared to criticize the pro-choicers (according to Twitter comments) while the New York based Church of Satan ( founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey) insists on a woman's right to choose, said its high priest Peter Gilmore - although he acknowledged that shouting 'Hail Satan!' To anti abortion activists was 'ludicrous and meaningless' ".. (Recorded in News of the Weird, Backstage Pass, August 12, 2013)

  While the Church of Satan may endorse abortion, not all Satanists feel the same way. However it is a social issue that has been important for many women for many centuries. In some parts of the united states, women do not have the right to choose and they have to suffer even if their life is in danger or even in the case of rape. Whoever made laws like these are obviously influenced by christian right-to-life groups that seek to keep women 'in their place' in society by not giving them an option to choose. 

  I feel that all women should have the right to choose. We are only given one opportunity in life and we should not be subjected to the laws of men who do not understand how some women can be at a great disadvantage both socially and economically due to pregnancy. The world is overpopulated as it is and our time is short as the resources that we have are limited. It is a difficult choice that is not easy to make.

However i do not feel that abortion should be a birth control method. Nothing will replace common sense or natural or artificial methods of taking charge of our own bodies. Women have been doing it for centuries and will continue to do so as long as we are able to, with or without government or religious interference. 

 Regardless of how we as Satanists feel about this issue, is it right for us to have a public opinion on this matter? Does your affiliation with Satanism, no matter what path you take, influence your decision on this matter?

Why Satanism Does not have Churches

March 12, 2013
Many people have come to me to ask me where they can find a local Satanic Church to worship at. It's a shame that in this day and age we do not have any churches to go to, let alone groups that we can gather in, in person to come together in the name of Satan.

Other groups and organizations can be found worldwide, where you can contact them and easily find a local chapter, allowing you to talk with others in person regarding your faith. Wicca is a good example of this, at least here in America. You are able to go to any major city and find your local Wiccan organization and participate in festivals any time of the year.

Satanists do not have this luxury. Not only is Satanism part of a new religious movement, meaning that it still has room to grow socially, but there are so few of us out there that even if we did have the opportunity to gather together it would be a rare occurrence.

Most of us meet online, in chatrooms and in social networks. It's safer for us as well, because despite our (supposed) freedom of religion, it would be too easy to attract attention from radical conservative groups who would want to make sure that our gatherings never happen.

So, Satanism has no brick and mortar churches to worship at. And, do we really want that anyway? Shouldn't that kind of thing be reserved for the kinds of religions that rely on social gatherings and long-held traditions? Satanism isn't reliant on those kinds of things, generally. It is supposed to be a personal experience. While you can share your experiences with others, generally you are on your own when it comes to your personal relationship with Satan.

5 Ways to Get Closer to Satan

December 11, 2012
Over the years one of the most important questions that I have been asked is how to develop a relationship with Satan. If you want to take a spiritual or religious approach with Satanism, having a relationship with Satan can be a rewarding experience, letting you know that Satan is with you every step of the way on your journey down the left hand path.

Nobody starts out in a religion knowing everything there is to know; nor do we have an intimate relation with our god as soon as we enter the gates of Satanism. A relationship takes time to cultivate. It can be likened to keeping a garden - you must plant the seed, water and feed it, keep the weeds out, and before you know it, you will have a beautiful garden to behold.

So here are some practical steps towards achieving your goals!

Develop a relationship - start small and work your way out from there 
You should consider that a relationship with Satan is a personal experience, so what other people experience in Satanism, or don't experience, may not be your own experience. Your mileage may vary! So in taking this into consideration, I can only offer generalities regarding a relationship with Satan, and discuss my own personal experience to give you some insight into the process as well.

My early years of Satanism were filled with worshipful rituals, Satanic music and transgressive acts. This is not so uncommon amongst new Satanists who are finding their place in the world. I would worship Satan on Saturday evening, gathering my tools and robes, and wondering out to the beach or in my room by the light of candles. It was an interesting experience. Because I am a spiritual person, I had always felt that all it would take would be for me to reach out to Satan [or any other god!] and that being would answer in return - so I never really took it on faith or hope that I would get results. I just threw myself into the work and got it done.  The results never ceased to amaze me!!

One of the most important aspects of my ritual making was my pact with Satan. First done at the age of 13, I thought that my pact put me in a position of power to bargain with a being that was so hated in this world yet had so much power over it. I would not recommend this to new Satanists of course, because after all this time I can see how much power and energy is in a pact and how that can influence a young Satanist who has not yet learned the ropes yet.

So start out by spending the next year studying and practicing your rituals, and by then you should have a clearer view of what you want to do with your pact if you so decide to make one with Satan.

Study the history of Satan in past times and modern times too
The history of Satan is a long and winding road. It contains interesting insights into the character of Satan through the myths, legends and stories surrounding his name. Beginning with the early gnostics, and continuing to this day, people's views of Satan have changed and evolved to mirror current events in history.

In developing a relationship with Satan, its important to consider the history that is behind the name. After all you would not want to get involved with someone if you didn't know their history, their likes or dislikes, and what they are generally about, would you? That truly would be a leap of blind faith! I don't recommend blind faith. I instead recommend that you study as much as you can about the history and character of Satan, both in past times and our modern views of Satan beginning with the Church of Satan.

Develop your own style of ritual - use others as a guide but do what pleases you
There are many examples of ritual to be found on the 'net, and in books. Starting with the Satanic bible, we can see a simplified formula that many have found success with. A ritual is like a recipe, it contains essential ingredients that when put together create an interesting and symbolic experience.

Writing your own rituals is not so complicated. Its important to consider that just because a ritual has been used by others and it carries the powers and energies of those who worked with it before you, it is not necessarily the best formula for your particular situation.

Here is a basic template:  Most rituals have an opening, a declaration of intent, and a closing. It really is this simple. For instance with an evocation/invocation of Satan, you could prepare your ritual space, make your ritual invocation, declare what you want out of your ritual, and then perform a closing or departing or a thanks at the end.

Realise that its a two way street - your communicating with an entity, and as such, signs may come to you

Signs, you say? Yes, a common experience for Satanists is to have dreams about Satan. How much of this is their own psychology or imagination at work and how much of it is Satan in communication is difficult to say, as dreams are a personal experience. I know for my own life, the dreams that I've had about Satan have come at critical times and stages and they have guided me and kept me on the path of Satanism. But just because you don't have a dream about Satan does not mean that he is not in communication with you.

Its important to just let go and enjoy your experience with Satanism, instead of obsessing over every little sign and symbol in your life. I've talked with new Satanists who's imagination just goes wild, they think that energies are all around them and every bad experience in life is some way of Satan getting revenge on them for not following orders! Just remember that Satanism isn't christianity and to my knowledge, Satan isn't out there giving orders to people and is not seeking revenge on those who "disobey".

Its important to keep perspective in this regard and to view your experiences as a part of the whole. Do not take your experiences for granted but don't obsess over them, either. What you experience in Satanism will be a personal journey, unlike that of any other that you will meet in Satanism.

Don't give up! it takes time to develop a relationship. Just like in real life it comes in steps
You can't have a relationship with someone without first initiating contact, learning about that person and making an effort to make yourself a part of their life. Satan won't come chasing after you and there is much work to be done in this regard especially when you are new to the path.

So take it a day at a time and don't be hard on yourself, and remember that your experience won't match what others have gone through. In the end you should make an effort to meditate on Satan or perform rituals in his name, to learn about Satan's history, and to work at learning about Satanism every day for at least a year before you make a solid commitment one way or the other.