Horned female shamans and Pre-satanism Devil/horned-god Worship?
Horned female shamans?
Pre-satanism Devil/horned-god worship?
“The god of the witches/pagans was not the Devil but the ancient horned god.”
Many horned deities are known to have been worshipped in various cultures throughout history. Such as the Horned God Naigamesha of the Indian sub-religion Kaumaram. Possibly from the Shunga period (1st-2nd century B.C), or earlier. Deities depicted with horns or antlers are found in many different religions across the world. Hathor is commonly depicted as a cow goddess with head horns in which is set a sun disk with Uraeus. Twin feathers are also sometimes shown in later periods as well as a
necklace. Hathor may be the cow goddess who is depicted from an early date on the Narmer Palette and on a stone urn dating from the 1st dynasty that suggests a role as sky-goddess and a relationship to Horus who, as a sun god, is “housed” in her. Bat was a cow goddess in Egyptian mythology depicted as a human face with cow ears and horns. By the time of the Middle
her identity and attributes were subsumed within the goddess Hathor. The worship of Bat dates to earliest times and may have its origins in Late Paleolithic cattle herding. Bat was the chief goddess of Seshesh, otherwise known as Hu or Diospolis Parva, the 7th nome of Upper Egypt. The imagery of Bat as a divine cow was remarkably similar to that of Hathor the parallel goddess from Lower Egypt. The significant difference in their depiction is that Bat’s horns curve inward and Hathor’s curve outward slightly. It is possible that this could be based in the different breeds of cattle herded at different times. Pan was a god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds and rustic music. Depictions in Celtic cultures of figures with antlers are often identified as Cernunnos (“horned one” in Latin). The prime evidence for this comes from a pillar in Paris which also features the Roman god Jupiter. Cocidius was the name of a Romano-British war-god and local deity from the area around Hadrian’s Wall, who is sometimes represented as being horned. He is associated with warfare and woodland and was worshipped mostly by military personnel and the lower classes. A ram-shaped oracle god whose name is unknown was
by Libyan tribes at Siwa. The figure was incorporated by the Egyptians into depictions of their god Amun that’s considered an ”
” of the Greek Zeus-Ammon. Adherents of Odinani (the traditional folk religion of the Igbo people of south-eastern Nigeria) worship the Ikenga, a horned god of honest achievement, whose two horns symbolise self-will. Small wooden statues of him are made and praised as personal altars. The Pashupati seal, a seal discovered during the excavation of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan has drawn attention as a possible representation of a “proto-Shiva” figure. This “Pashupati” (Lord of animal-like beings – Sanskrit paśupati) seal shows a seated figure with horns, possibly ithyphallic, surrounded by animals. Ref, Ref
Interconnectedness of religious thinking Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, and Paganism and Beyond
So, it all starts in a general way with Animism (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employing of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Sky Burials: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, and Paganism
* “totemist” Believe in spirit-filled life and/or afterlife can be attached to or be expressed in things or objects (you are a hidden totemist/Totemism: an approximately 50,000-year-old belief system (though it may be older as there is evidence of what looks like a Stone Snake in South Africa which may be the “first human worship” dating to around 70,000 years ago) (possibly extending to or from Neanderthals Likewise a number of archeologists propose that Middle Paleolithic societies — such as that of the Neanderthals — may also have practiced the earliest form of totemism or animal worship in addition to their (presumably religious) burial of the dead. Emil Bächler in particular suggests (based on archeological evidence from Middle Paleolithic caves) that a widespread Neanderthal bear-cult existed. Animal cults in the following Upper Paleolithic period — such as the bear cult — may have had their origins in these hypothetical Middle Paleolithic animal cults. Animal worship during the Upper Paleolithic intertwined with hunting rites. For instance, archeological evidence from art and bear remains reveals that the bear cult apparently had involved a type of sacrificial bear ceremonialism in which a bear was shot with arrows and then was finished off by a shot in the lungs and ritualistically buried near a clay bear statue covered by a bear fur, with the skull and the body of the bear buried separately. 100,000 to 50,000 years ago – Increased use of red ochre at several Middle Stone Age sites in Africa. Red Ochre is thought to have played an important role in ritual. 42,000 years ago – Ritual burial of a man at Lake Mungo in Australia. The body is sprinkled with copious amounts of red ochre. 40,000 years ago – Upper Paleolithic begins in Europe. An abundance of fossil evidence includes elaborate burials of the dead, Venus figurines (depiction of female) and cave art also involving red ochre. Aurignacian figurines have been found depicting faunal representations of the time period associated with now-extinct mammals, including mammoths, rhinoceros, and Tarpan, along with anthropomorphized depictions that may be interpreted as some of the earliest evidence of religion. Many 35,000-year-old animal figurines were discovered in the Vogelherd Cave in Germany. One of the horses, amongst six tiny mammoth and horse ivory figures found previously at Vogelherd, was sculpted as skillfully as any piece found throughout the Upper Paleolithic. The production of ivory beads for body ornamentation was also important during the Aurignacian. There is a notable absence of painted caves, however, which begin to appear within the Solutrean. Venus figurines are thought to represent fertility. The cave paintings at Chauvet and Lascaux are believed to represent religious thought. The oldest cave art is found in the Cave of El Castillo in Spain, in early Aurignacian dated at around 40,000 years, the time when it is believed that homo sapiens migrated to Europe from Africa. The paintings are mainly of deer. The next oldest cave paintings are found in the Chauvet Cave in France, dating to around 37,000 to 33,500 years ago and the second from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago with most of the black drawings dating to the earlier period. Chauvet Cave appears to have been used by humans during two distinct periods: the Aurignacian and the Gravettian. Most of the artwork dates to the earlier, Aurignacian, era (30,000 to 32,000 years ago). The later Gravettian occupation, which occurred 25,000 to 27,000 years agoThe paintings feature a larger variety of wild animals, such as lions, panthers, bears and hyenas. It’s strange to think that these animals were roaming around France at that time. There are no examples of complete human figures in these cave paintings. ref, ref, ref, ref, ref
Satanism More or Less?
I see satanism, as kind of having three main divisions: philosophic-atheistic, mystic/animistic, and theistic.
I am sometimes asked by religious/theists if I am a Satanist thinking all atheists must actually be a satanist, possibly thinking if one does not believe = just don’t like, thus working for some anti-god (satanist to them), rather than the antitheist that I am, no satanism required and for most antitheists they to will likely not be satanists. I will speak for myself that I have nothing to do with satan nor do I follow satanism at all but here go, I will offer the general explanations to inform those who don’t know or are interested.
Satanism is a belief or social phenomenon that features the veneration or admiration of Satan or similar figure for some brands of Satanism but not all nor always in the same way or not necessarily always the same figure.
Satanism may also refer to:
- LaVeyan Satanism, the movement founded by Anton LaVey
- Theistic Satanism, the worship of Satan as a deity
- Our Lady of Endor Coven, a cult founded by Herbert Arthur Sloane
- The Satanic Temple, a religious political activist group promoting secularism and bodily autonomy
- Satanic ritual abuse, a moral panic that occurred near the end of the 20th century
Satanism is a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs based on the character of Satan. Contemporary religious practice of Satanism began with the founding of the Church of Satan in 1966, although a few historical precedents exist. Prior to the public practice, Satanism existed primarily as an accusation by various Christian groups toward perceived ideological opponents, rather than a self-identity. Satanism, and the concept of Satan, has also been used by artists and entertainers for symbolic expression. Accusations that various groups have been practicing Satanism have been made throughout much of Christian history. During the Middle Ages, the Inquisition attached to the Roman Catholic Church alleged that various heretical Christian sects and groups, such as the Knights Templar and the Cathars, performed secret Satanic rituals. In the subsequent Early Modern period, belief in a widespread Satanic conspiracy of witches resulted in mass trials of alleged witches across Europe and the North American colonies. Accusations that Satanic conspiracies were active and that they were behind events such as Protestantism and the French Revolution continued to be made in Christendom during the eighteenth to the twentieth century. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Satanic ritual abuse hysteria spread through the United States and United Kingdom, amid fears that groups of Satanists were regularly sexually abusing and murdering children in their rites. In most of these cases, there is no corroborating evidence that any of those accused of Satanism were actually practitioners of a Satanic religion or guilty of the allegations levelled at them. Since the 19th century, various small religious groups have emerged that self-identify as Satanists or use Satanic iconography. Satanist groups that appeared after the 1960s are widely diverse, but two major trends are theistic Satanism and atheistic Satanism. Theistic Satanists venerate Satan as a supernatural deity, viewing him not as omnipotent but rather as a patriarch. In contrast, atheistic Satanists regard Satan as merely a symbol of certain human traits. Contemporary religious Satanism is predominantly an American phenomenon, the ideas spreading elsewhere with the effects of globalization and the Internet. The Internet spreads awareness of other Satanists, and is also the main battleground for Satanist disputes. Satanism started to reach Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s, in time with the fall of the Soviet Union, and most noticeably in Poland and Lithuania, predominantly Roman Catholic countries. The word “Satanism” was adopted into English from the French satanisme. The terms “Satanism” and “Satanist” are first recorded as appearing in the English and French languages during the sixteenth century, when they were used by Christian groups to attack other, rival Christian groups. In a Roman Catholic tract of 1565, the author condemns the “heresies, blasphemies, and sathanismes” of the Protestants. In an Anglican work of 1559, Anabaptists and other Protestant sects are condemned as “swarmes of Satanistes”. As used in this manner, the term “Satanism” was not used to claim that people literally worshipped Satan, but rather presented the view that through deviating from what the speaker or writer regarded as the true variant of Christianity, they were regarded as being essentially in league with the Devil. During the nineteenth century, the term “Satanism” began to be used to describe those considered to lead a broadly immoral lifestyle, and it was only in the late nineteenth century that it came to be applied in English to individuals who were believed to consciously and deliberately venerate Satan. This latter meaning had appeared earlier in the Swedish language; the Lutheran Bishop Laurentius Paulinus Gothus had described devil-worshipping sorcerers as Sathanister in his Ethica Christiana, produced between 1615 and 1630. Religious Satanism rather than being one single form of religious Satanism, there are instead multiple different religious Satanisms, each with different ideas about what being a Satanist entails. The historian of religion Ruben van Luijk utilised a “working definition” in which Satanism was regarded as “the intentional, religiously motivated veneration of Satan”. Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen believed that it was not a single movement, but rather a milieu They and others have nevertheless referred to it as a new religious movement. They believed that there was a family resemblance that united all of the varying groups in this milieu, and that most of them were self religions. They argued that there were a set of features that were common to the groups in this Satanic milieu: these were the positive use of the term “Satanist” as a designation, an emphasis on individualism, a genealogy that connects them to other Satanic groups, a transgressive and antinomian stance, a self-perception as an elite, and an embrace of values such as pride, self-reliance, and productive non-conformity. Dyrendal, Lewis, and Petersen argued that the groups within the Satanic milieu could be divided into three groups: reactive Satanists, rationalist Satanists, and esoteric Satanists. They saw reactive Satanism as encompassing “popular Satanism, inverted Christianity, and symbolic rebellion” and noted that it situates itself in opposition to society while at the same time conforming to society’s perspective of evil. Rationalist Satanism is used to describe the trend in the Satanic milieu which is atheistic, sceptical, materialistic, and epicurean. Esoteric Satanism instead applied to those forms which are theistic and draw upon ideas from other forms of Western esotericism, Modern Paganism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. The first person to promote a Satanic philosophy was the Pole Stanislaw Przybyszewski, who promoted a Social Darwinian ideology. The use of the term “Lucifer” was also taken up by the French ceremonial magician Eliphas Levi, who has been described as a “Romantic Satanist”. During his younger days, Levi used “Lucifer” in much the same manner as the literary romantics. As he moved toward a more politically conservative outlook in later life, he retained the use of the term, but instead applied it as to what he believed was a morally neutral facet of the Absolute. In his book Dogma and Ritual of High Magic, published in two volumes between 1854 and 1856, Levi offered the symbol of Baphomet. He claimed that this was a figure who had been worshipped by the Knights Templar. According to Introvigne, this image gave “the Satanists their most popular symbol ever”. Levi was not the only occultist who wanted to use the term “Lucifer” without adopting the term “Satan” in a similar way. The early Theosophical Society held to the view that “Lucifer” was a force that aided humanity’s awakening to its own spiritual nature. In keeping with this view, the Society began production of a journal titled Lucifer. “Satan” was also used within the esoteric system propounded by Danish occultist Carl William Hansen, who used the pen name “Ben Kadosh”. Hansen was involved in a variety of esoteric groups, including Martinism, Freemasonry, and the Ordo Templi Orientis, drawing on ideas from various groups to establish his own philosophy. In one pamphlet, he provided a “Luciferian” interpretation of Freemasonry. Kadosh’s work left little influence outside of Denmark. Both during his life and after it, the British occultist Aleister Crowley has been widely described as a Satanist, usually by detractors. Crowley stated he did not consider himself a Satanist, nor did he worship Satan, as he did not accept the Christian world view in which Satan was believed to exist. He nevertheless utilised Satanic imagery, for instance by describing himself as “the Beast 666” and referring to the Whore of Babylon in his work, while in later life he sent “Antichristmas cards” to his friends. Dyrendel, Lewis, and Petersen noted that despite the fact that Crowley was not a Satanist, he “in many ways embodies the pre-Satanist esoteric discourse on Satan and Satanism through his lifestyle and his philosophy”, with his “image and thought” becoming an “important influence” on the later development of religious Satanism. In 1928 the Fraternitas Saturni (FS) was established in Germany; its founder, Eugen Grosche, published Satanische Magie (“Satanic Magic”) that same year. The group connected Satan to Saturn, claiming that the planet related to the Sun in the same manner that Lucifer relates to the human world. In 1932 an esoteric group known as the Brotherhood of the Golden Arrow was established in Paris, France by Maria de Naglowska, a Russian occultist who had fled to France following the Russian Revolution. She promoted a theology centred on what she called the Third Term of the Trinity consisting of Father, Son, and Sex, the latter of which she deemed to be most important. Her early disciples, who underwent what she called “Satanic Initiations”, included models and art students recruited from bohemian circles. The Golden Arrow disbanded after Naglowska abandoned it in 1936. According to Introvigne, hers was “a quite complicated Satanism, built on a complex philosophical vision of the world, of which little would survive its initiator”. In 1969 a Satanic group based in Toledo, Ohio, part of the United States, came to public attention. Called the Our Lady of Endor Coven, it was led by a man named Herbert Sloane, who described his Satanic tradition as the Ophite Cultus Satanas and alleged that it had been established in the 1940s. The group offered a Gnostic interpretation of the world in which the creator God was regarded as evil and the Biblical Serpent presented as a force for good who had delivered salvation to humanity in the Garden of Eden. Sloane’s claims that his group had a 1940s origin remain unproven; it may be that he falsely claimed older origins for his group to make it appear older than Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan which had been established in 1966. None of these groups had any real impact on the emergence of the later Satanic milieu in the 1960s. Ref
In Western esotericism the terms Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path refer to a dichotomy between two opposing approaches to magic. This terminology is used in various groups involved in the occult and ceremonial magic. In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious black magic and the Right-Hand Path with benevolent white magic. Other occultists have criticised this definition, believing that the Left–Right dichotomy refers merely to different kinds of working and does not necessarily connote good or bad magical actions. In more recent definitions, which base themselves on the terms’ origins in Indian Tantra, the Right-Hand Path, or RHP, is seen as a definition for those magical groups that follow specific ethical codes and adopt social convention, while the Left-Hand Path adopts the opposite attitude, espousing the breaking of taboo and the abandoning of set morality. Occult and religious paths are sometimes divided into two categories: the left-hand path and the right-hand path. While there are many religions and spiritual practices in each path and they vary considerably, they hold a few things in common. These terms are not void of controversy and bias, however. The left-hand path is considered to be about the elevation and centrality of the self as well as the rejection of religious authority and societal taboos. The left-hand path focuses on the strength and will of the practitioner. It downplays the need for intercession by any high power although some may believe that a higher power exists. Satanism (both LaVeyan and Theistic) and Luciferianism are considered left-hand paths. Followers of Thelema disagree whether it is a left- or right-hand path. The right-hand path, in the words of left-hand path follower Vexen Crabtree, “concentrate[s] on the symbols of goodness, of the sun, of herd mentality and submission to god(s) and religious authority.” To put it a little more diplomatic, the right-hand path can be thought of as one of dogma, ritual, and a belief in the community and formal structure as well as a higher power. Though each of those can also be found in left-hand path religions, there is less focus on indulging the self in the right-hand path. The vast majority of religions are considered part of the right-hand path, from Christianity to Wicca. Ref Ref
Theistic Satanism (also known as traditional Satanism, Spiritual Satanism or Devil worship) is a form of Satanism with the primary belief that Satan is an actual deity or force to revere or worship. Other characteristics of theistic Satanism may include a belief in magic, which is manipulated through ritual, although that is not a defining criterion, and theistic Satanists may focus solely on devotion. Moreover theistic Satanism or Spiritual Satanism is an umbrella term for religious beliefs that consider Satan as an objectively existing supernatural being or force worthy of supplication, whom individuals may contact and convene with. The individual belief systems under this umbrella are practiced by loosely affiliated or independent groups and cabals. Another characteristic of Theistic Satanism is the use of ceremonial magic. Unlike LaVeyan Satanism, as founded by Anton LaVey in the 1960s, or more generally, unlike atheistic Satanism, theistic Satanism is theistic, believing that Satan (Hebrew: הַשָׂטָן ha-Satan, ‘the accuser’) is a real entity, that can be contacted, convened or even praised, rather than him being just an archetype, symbol or idea. While, theist satanists may believe Satan is an actual deity, they likely do not worship him or supplicate to him.
Left-hand Path philosophy states that we do not worship or submit ourselves to any external authority. So, while theistic Satanists do believe Satan is real, they do not worship him like the way Christians worship their gods. They tend to see the gods as helpers or equals as opposed to superiors. Also, just because someone is a theistic Satanist, that does not mean that they practice magick either. The history of theistic Satanism, as an existing spiritual path practiced by people, is obscured by a number of groups accused of being devil-worshippers who asserted that they were not, such as in the witch trials in Early Modern Europe. Most actual theistic Satanist religions exist in relatively new models and ideologies, many of which even claim to be independent of the Abrahamic religions. Theistic Satanists may try not to project an image that reflects negatively on their religion as a whole and reinforces stereotypes, such as promoting Nazism, abuse, or crime. However, some groups, such as the Order of Nine Angles, criticize the emphasis on promoting a good image for Satanism; the ONA described LaVeyan Satanism as “weak, deluded and American form of ‘sham-Satanic groups, the poseurs’”, and ONA member Stephen Brown claimed that “the Temple of Set seems intent only on creating a ‘good public impression’, with promoting an ‘image’”. The order emphasises that its way “is and is meant to be dangerous” and “[g]enuine Satanists are dangerous people to know; associating with them is a risk”. Similarly, the Temple of the Black Light has criticized the Church of Satan, and has stated that the Temple of Set is “trying to make Setianism and the ruler of darkness, Set, into something accepted and harmless, this way attempting to become a ‘big’ religion, accepted and acknowledged by the rest of the Judaeo-Christian society”. The TotBL rejects Christianity, Judaism and Islam as “the opposite of everything that strengthens the spirit and is only good for killing what little that is beautiful, noble and honorable in this filthy world”. There is argument among Satanists over animal sacrifice, with most groups seeing it as both unnecessary and putting Satanism in a bad light, and distancing themselves from the few groups that practice it, such as the Temple of the Black Light. Theistic Satanism often involves a religious commitment, rather than being simply an occult practice based on dabbling or transient enjoyment of the rituals and magic involved. Practitioners may choose to perform a self-dedication rite, although there are arguments over whether it is best to do this at the beginning of their time as a theistic Satanist, or once they have been practicing for some time. The worship of Satan was a frequent charge against those charged in the witch trials in Early Modern Europe and other witch-hunts such as the Salem witch trials. Worship of Satan was claimed to take place at the Witches’ Sabbath. The charge of Satan worship has also been made against groups or individuals regarded with suspicion, such as the Knights Templar, or minority religions. In the case of the Knights Templar, the templars’ writings mentioned the word ‘baphomet’, which was a French corruption of the name ‘Mohammed‘ (the prophet of the people who the templars fought against), and that ‘baphomet’ was falsely portrayed as a demon by the people who accused the templars. It is not known to what extent accusations of groups worshiping Satan in the time of the witch trials identified people who did consider themselves Satanists, rather than being the result of religious superstition or mass hysteria, or charges made against individuals suffering from mental illness. Confessions are unreliable, particularly as they were usually obtained under torture. However, scholar Jeffrey Burton Russell, Professor Emeritus of the University of California at Santa Barbara, has made extensive arguments in his book Witchcraft in the Middle Ages that not all witch trial records can be dismissed and that there is in fact evidence linking witchcraft to gnostic heresies. Russell comes to this conclusion after having studied the source documents themselves. Individuals involved in the Affair of the Poisons were accused of Satanism and witchcraft. Theistic Luciferianism believes in Lucifer as an actual deity, not to be worshipped as the Judeo-Christian God but to be revered and followed as a teacher and friend, as a rescuer or guiding spirit, or even the one true god as opposed to the traditional creator of Judaism. Theistic Luciferians are followers of the Left-Hand Path and may adhere to different dogmata put forth by organizations such as the Neo-Luciferian Church or other congregations that are heavily focused on ceremonial magic, the occult and literal interpretations of spiritual stories and figures. Ref Ref Ref
Mystic/Animistic Satanism (Which to me generally involves Luciferianism but us bit limited to it)
Luciferianism is a belief system that venerates the essential characteristics that are affixed to Lucifer. The tradition, influenced by Gnosticism, usually reveres Lucifer not as the devil, but as a liberator, a guardian or guiding spirit or even the true god as opposed to Jehovah. Luciferianism is the ideological, philosophical and Magickial attainment of knowledge and inner power via the left hand path. The type of knowledge sought is firstly that of the self: strengths, weaknesses and all that which makes us truly ‘individual’. Initiation or the revealing of knowledge is through study, practicing Adversarial Magick/Sorcery and the continual struggle for self-improvement through spiritual rebellion. Magick (Thelema), in the context of Aleister Crowley‘s Thelema, is a term used to show and differentiate the occult from performance magic and is defined as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will“, including both “mundane” acts of will as well as ritual magic. Crowley wrote that “it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature”. John Symonds and Kenneth Grant attach a deeper occult significance to this preference. Crowley saw Magick as the essential method for a person to reach true understanding of the self and to act according to one’s true will, which he saw as the reconciliation “between freewill and destiny.” Crowley describes this process in his Magick, Book 4:
One must find out for oneself, and make sure beyond doubt, who one is, what one is, why one is …Being thus conscious of the proper course to pursue, the next thing is to understand the conditions necessary to following it out. After that, one must eliminate from oneself every element alien or hostile to success, and develop those parts of oneself which are specially needed to control the aforesaid conditions. (Crowley, Magick, Book 4 p.134) Ref
“Luciferianism is rooted in numerous magickal traditions which express some specific aspect of the Adversary. The Adversary is perceived as being the “light bringer” and empowering spirit in which the individual models their initiation on. The Mind is trained to “think” as a God or Goddess, thus liberating the self from restrictive spirituality. The avenues of initiation within Luciferianism are as varied as its initiates. Lucifer is merely a symbol for a deeper, more enriching, diverse energy surrounding the order, thus allowing a trans-cultural embrace of darkness and the light contained within. Luciferianism encourages a strict adherence towards the self-determined goals of the initiate as well as the discipline of magickal practice. The process of initiation is central to Adversarial Light, known as Luciferian Magick, alchemical changes within the mind and soul of the initiate, thus a state of continual self-improvement and transformation.” – Adversarial Light, Magick of the Nephilim.
“Satanism is the rational focus on the self in relation to life here and now. This philosophy is based on carnal fulfillment with consideration for the preservation of self. Magic is practiced as a type of ideological empowerment and psychodrama. Firstly, Luciferianism is a modern term for the ideological, philosophical and Magickial attainment of applicable knowledge and inner power. The type of knowledge sought is through study, initiation and the continual struggle for self-improvement through spiritual rebellion against the social concept of “God” and “Religion”. Luciferianism is different from medieval magic and witchcraft as the Luciferian approaches the art as a psychological, subconscious and conscious foundation. The theory of ritual magick is that the Luciferian understands the “gods”, “spirits” and “demons” are the archetypical creation of humanity; that our subconscious feeds the type of energy in which these beings exist through. Luciferians thus seek experience and the darkness within to gain knowledge, wisdom and power. Luciferianism is thus the ultimate spirituality as it focuses on the growth and expansion of the individual in a rational sense here and now, with the broad range of spiritual exploration as well. “– Maskim Hul, Babylonian Magick
The left hand path for Luciferians is not a specific doctrine yet clearly an aspect of who we are. Luciferians are against the social concept of “God” and “Religion” as both is collective, sheep-herding doctrines which suppress knowledge, reward weakness and apathy and place unrealistic expectations on the individual for a ‘future’ reward which does not exist. Luciferians do not accept the dualistic concept of “good” and “evil”; we hold the opinion that like in nature, darkness empowers light and light establishes growth and renewal. Luciferians do not believe in an “afterlife” in the way which Judeo-Christians do. This does not insinuate that Luciferians don’t believe in the possibility or existence of an afterlife, there is just no need to believe in the Judeo-Christian absolutes such as a blissful paradise or some horrid place of punishment where terrible demons continually torture those who do not recognize the executed criminal-turned savior and his perceived ‘father’. In short, you will be hard pressed to find a Luciferian who believes in the “devil” and in “hell”. While it was the rage in a time of the masses having no literary skills, little science and overbearing masters, in our modern age of possibility that wonderful light is being shined in areas the early Christians would surely burn us for now. Luciferians consider magick to be a process of continual self-improvement, strengthening consciousness and obtaining knowledge via a self-chosen path of initiation. Rituals are small markers of this process, for they represent “road signs” which assist the adept on their own path of spiritual and physical insight. Luciferians consider that a balance and interaction of the spiritual with the physical leads to the wisdom of experience, ultimately power. Through pushing these boundaries, the Luciferian can ‘ascend’ as gods themselves. The theory of ritual magick is that the Luciferian understands the “gods”, “spirits” and “demons” are the archetypical creation of humanity; that our subconscious feeds the type of energy in which these beings exist through. Luciferianism is thus the ultimate spirituality as it focuses on the growth and expansion of the individual in a rational sense here and now, with the broad range of spiritual exploration as well. Luciferians find the symbolism of demonic gods, or ‘deific masks’ as representations of either a power or phenomena in nature and within the mind. It is the ‘bridge’ between both, the initiation, which unlocks the wisdom of darkness. Luciferians consider the Black Flame, or “Melammu”, the power of gods and demons, to be the essence of divine consciousness. This is visualized within via meditations and in ‘dream’ workings or astral projection. The Black Flame is the inner fire of the mind given to humanity by the Watchers or fallen angels. In ancient Mesopotamia, Melammu is the divine gift first held by Tiamat the Goddess of Darkness. (See MASKIM HUL – Babylonian Magick by Michael W. Ford) The Hellenic Ruler Cult is thought to be one great-grandfather of the ideological Luciferian foundation; albeit taken to an individual level where each individual cultivates a ‘Daemon’ or ‘Genius’ which is the esteemed possibility of self-excellence. This Daemon is the ‘true will’, ‘higher-self’ or ‘holy guardian angel’ which is not some complicated ‘outside’ deity. The Daemon is the continual spiritual possibility of what we wish to be; the Daemon is made strong by seeking to perform your Will and continually evolve (called Ascension) in the manner in which you have determined. The Daemon is formulated by a careful balance of understanding the darkness (base desires, lusts and motivational drives) and how it fuels and inspires the light (conscious self-excellence, discipline and achievement without regret). In the darkness we find our strength, it is the survival-instinct; the predator which is symbolized often as ‘demonic’ or ‘therionick’; this is our foundation and must be explored and reveled in. Never deny your primordial/therionick nature; darkness is equally as beautiful as light. The light is the willed conscious mind directing our deep desires towards creative goals. Luciferians think before speaking or acting; the luciferian ‘code’ is simple in summary: You may act selfishly (ALL humans do no matter their religion or image) as long as you do not impact another negatively. Luciferians create and destroy. Harming others is only an option in self-defense or when reasonable. If a soldier in the military, then you act in accordance with your governments’ laws and social contract. Thus, Luciferians do not accept Sin as it is Christian and self-defeating. If you make a mistake; think of what lead you there and consciously make sure this cannot happen again. Luciferians will not hurt animals or children; as this destroys the balance in nature and hinders another from ascending from the Christian death-cult. Lucifer is the King James Version rendering of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל in Isaiah 14:12. This word, transliterated hêlêlor heylel, occurs once in the Hebrew Bible and according to the KJV-based Strong’s Concordance means “shining one, light-bearer”. The Septuagint renders הֵילֵל in Greek as ἑωσφόρος (heōsphoros), a name, literally “bringer of dawn”, for the morning star. The word Lucifer is taken from the Latin Vulgate, which translates הֵילֵל as lucifer, meaning “the morning star, the planet Venus“, or, as an adjective, “light-bringing”. Later Christian tradition came to use the Latin word for “morning star”, lucifer, as a proper name (“Lucifer”) for the devil; as he was before his fall. As a result, “‘Lucifer’ has become a by-word for Satan/the Devil in the church and in popular literature”, as in Dante Alighieri‘s Inferno, Joost van den Vondel‘s Lucifer and John Milton‘s Paradise Lost. However, the Latin word never came to be used almost exclusively, as in English, in this way, and was applied to others also, including Jesus. The image of a morning star fallen from the sky is generally believed among scholars to have a parallel in Canaanite mythology. However, according to both Christian and Jewish exegesis, in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 14, the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II, conqueror of Jerusalem, is condemned in a prophetic vision by the prophet Isaiah and is called the “Morning Star” (planet Venus). In this chapter the Hebrew text says הֵילֵל בֶּן-שָׁחַר (Helel ben Shachar, “shining one, son of dawn”). “Helel ben Shahar” may refer to the Morning Star, but the text in Isaiah 14 gives no indication that Helel was a star or planet. Sometimes mistakenly associated with Satanism due to the Christian interpretation of the fallen angel, Luciferianism is a wholly different belief system and does not revere the devil figure or most characteristics typically affixed to Satan. Rather, Lucifer in this context is seen as one of many morning stars, a symbol of enlightenment, independence and human progression, and is often used interchangeably with similar figures from a range of ancient beliefs, such as the Greek titan Prometheus or the Jewish talmudic figure Lilith. They support the protection of the natural world. Both the arts and sciences are crucial to human development, and thus both are cherished. Luciferians think that humans should be focused on this life and how to make the most of it every single day. The ability to recognize both good and evil, to accept that all actions have consequences, both positive and negative, and to actively influence one’s environment, is a key factor. For Luciferians, enlightenment is the ultimate goal. The basic Luciferian principles highlight truth and freedom of will, worshipping the inner self and one’s ultimate potential. Traditional dogma is shunned as a basis for morality on the grounds that humans should not need deities or fear of eternal punishment to distinguish right from wrong and to do good. All ideas should be tested before being accepted, and even then one should remain skeptical because knowledge and understanding are fluid. Regardless of whether Lucifer is conceived of as a deity or as a mere archetype, he is a representation of ultimate knowledge and exploration: humanity’s savior and a champion for continuing personal growth. Ref Ref
Philosophic-Atheistic Satanism (Which to me generally involves LaVeyan Satanism but us bit limited to it)
Despite the name, Laveyan Satanism has little to do with Satan from the Christian Bible. In fact, Laveyan Satanists do not even believe in the devil. Satanism is, at its core, individualism and free thinking. LaVeyan Satanism is generally an atheistic religion founded in 1966 by the American occultist and author Anton Szandor LaVey. Scholars of religion have classified it as a new religious movement and a form of Western esotericism. It is one of several different movements that describe themselves as forms of Satanism. LaVey established LaVeyan Satanism in the U.S. state of California through the founding of his Church of Satan on Walpurgisnacht of 1966, which he proclaimed to be “the Year One”, Anno Satanas—the first year of the “Age of Satan”. His ideas were heavily influenced by the ideas and writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand. The Church grew under LaVey’s leadership, with regional grottos being founded across the United States. A number of these seceded from the Church to form independent Satanic organizations during the early 1970s. In 1975, LaVey abolished the grotto system, after which Satanism became a far less organized movement, although remained greatly influenced by LaVey’s writings. In coming years, members of the Church left it to establish their own organisations, also following LaVeyan Satanism, among them John Dewey Allee’s First Church of Satan and Karla LaVey‘s First Satanic Church. The religion’s doctrines are codified in LaVey’s book, The Satanic Bible. The ”Satanic Bible,” remains the most available text on the Satanic religion. He also formed the Church of Satan, which is by far the most well-known and most public Satanic organization. The religion is materialist, rejecting the existence of supernatural beings, body-soul dualism, and life after death. Practitioners do not believe that Satan literally exists and do not worship him. Instead, Satan is viewed as a positive archetype representing pride, carnality, and enlightenment. He is also embraced as a symbol of defiance against Abrahamic religions which LaVeyans criticize for suppressing humanity’s natural instincts and encouraging irrationality. The religion propagates a naturalistic worldview, seeing mankind as animals existing in an amoral universe. It promotes a philosophy based on individualism and egoism, coupled with Social Darwinism and anti-egalitarianism. LaVeyan Satanism – which is also sometimes termed “Modern Satanism” and “Rational Satanism” – is classified by scholars of religious studies as a new religious movement. When used, “Rational Satanism” is often employed to distinguish the approach of the LaVeyan Satanists from the “Esoteric Satanism” embraced by groups like the Temple of Set. A number of religious studies scholars have also described it as a form of “self-religion” or “self-spirituality”, with religious studies scholar Amina Olander Lap arguing that it should be seen as being both part of the “prosperity wing” of the self-spirituality New Age movement and a form of the Human Potential Movement. Conversely, the scholar of Satanism Jesper Aa. Petersen preferred to treat modern Satanism as a “cousin” of the New Age and Human Potential movements. For some LaVeyan Satanists their beliefs involve the practice of magic, which encompasses two distinct forms; greater and lesser magic. Greater magic is a form of ritual practice and is meant as psychodramatic catharsis to focus one’s emotional energy for a specific purpose. These rites are based on three major psycho-emotive themes, including compassion (love), destruction (hate), and sex (lust). Lesser magic is the practice of manipulation by means of applied psychology and glamour (or “wile and guile”) to bend an individual or situation to one’s will. LaVeyan Satanism is atheistic. According to LaVey, neither God nor Satan are actual beings. Instead, Satan is a symbol representing the qualities embraced by Satanists. Invoking the name of Satan and other infernal names is a practical tool in Satanic ritual, focusing one’s focus and will upon certain concepts. The only “god” in LaVeyan Satanism is the Satanist himself. Satanism is a celebration of the self. It encourages people to seek their own truths, indulge in desires without fear of societal taboos, and perfect the self. Ref Ref
The Satanic Bible
The Satanic Bible has been in print since 1969 and has been translated into various languages. Lewis argued that although LaVeyan Satanists do not treat The Satanic Bible as a sacred text in the way many other religious groups treat their holy texts, it nevertheless is “treated as an authoritative document which effectively functions as scripture within the Satanic community”. In particular, Lewis highlighted that many Satanists – both members of the Church of Satan and other groups – quote from it either to legitimize their own position or to de-legitimize the positions of others in a debate. Many other Satanist groups and individual Satanists who are not part of the Church of Satan also recognize LaVey’s work as influential. Many Satanists attribute their conversions or discoveries of Satanism to The Satanic Bible, with 20% of respondents to a survey by James Lewis mentioning The Satanic Bible directly as influencing their conversion. For members of the Church, the book is said to serve not only as a compendium of ideas but also to judge the authenticity of someone’s claim to be a Satanist. LaVey’s writings have been described as “cornerstones” within the Church and its teachings, and have been supplemented with the writings of its later High Priest, Gilmore, namely his book, The Satanic Scriptures. The Satanic Bible has been described as the most important document to influence contemporary Satanism. The book contains the core principles of Satanism, and is considered the foundation of its philosophy and dogma. On their website, the Church of Satan urge anyone seeking to learn about LaVeyan Satanism to read The Satanic Bible, stating that doing so is “tantamount to understanding at least the basics of Satanism”. Petersen noted that it is “in many ways the central text of the Satanic milieu”, with Lap similarly testifying to its dominant position within the wider Satanic movement. David G. Bromley calls it “iconoclastic” and “the best-known and most influential statement of Satanic theology.” Eugene V. Gallagher says that Satanists use LaVey’s writings “as lenses through which they view themselves, their group, and the cosmos.” He also states: “With a clear-eyed appreciation of true human nature, a love of ritual and pageantry, and a flair for mockery, LaVey’s Satanic Bible promulgated a gospel of self-indulgence that, he argued, anyone who dispassionately considered the facts would embrace.” LaVey was an atheist, rejecting the existence of all gods. Accordingly, LaVey and his Church do not espouse a belief in Satan as an entity who literally exists, and LaVey did not encourage the worship of Satan as a deity. Instead, the use of Satan as a central figure is intentionally symbolic. LaVey sought to cement his belief system within the secularist world-view that derived from natural science, thus providing him with an atheistic basis with which to criticize Christianity and other supernaturalist beliefs. He legitimized his religion by highlighting what he claimed was its rational nature, contrasting this with what he saw as the supernaturalist irrationality of established religions. He defined Satanism as “a secular philosophy of rationalism and self-preservation (natural law, animal state), gift-wrapping these ideas in religious trappings to add to their appeal.” In this way, LaVeyan Satanism has been described as an “antireligious religion” by van Luijk. LaVey did not believe in any afterlife. Ref
Atheism is the reality position.
Theism is the anti-reality position!
I don’t need religion or its fake gods.
I am will to power!
We, Truth Seekers Battle more than just god Beliefs
Here are some links about proving a negative: Link, Link, Link, Link, Link, Link We fight IDEAS, not people, so while I wish to destroy harmful or false ideas I wish to uplift and empower people by inspiring their will to reason and know REASON is often the enemy of ignorance.
Horned Figure, Shaman (?)
Possibly as old as 2,200 years ago
From Mexico, Mesoamerica, Colima
The sculpture of Colima is as stytistically distinctive as that of the neighboring regions of Jalisco and Nayarit. Round, smooth forms with little variation in the warm red-brown surface color characterize Colima work. The wide array of postures and expressions often make the sculptures particularly pleasing to modern tastes. Seated male figures that have a horn strapped to their heads, as here, were a favored depiction. The strapped horn has recently been interpreted as a stylised conch shell, meaningful because of its relation to rulership. The horned figures, however, have also been interpreted as warriors or shamans (ritual specialists). Conjecture might suggest that the figure, with its twisting, dramatic pose, pugnacious expression, and upraised right hand clenched in a fist, was protecting the tomb into which it had been placed as a guardian. ref
Daniel (or Dan) McCoy, and I’m the creator of this website as well as the writer of all of the articles here. His first book, The Love of Destiny: The Sacred and the Profane in Germanic Polytheism, was published in 2013. His most recent book, The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion, was published in 2016. I’ve also had the honor of being interviewed as a “Norse mythology expert” in Major League Baseball’s documentary Iron Knight: Lou Gehrig, which was released by A&E and had its television premier on the Smithsonian Channel. (I was discussing Gehrig’s life story in relation to myths about the Norse god Baldur.)
What is shamanism, and to what extent was it present among the pre-Christian Norse and other Germanic peoples?
“Shamanism,” like “love,” is a notoriously hard word to define. Any meaningful discussion of an idea, however, depends on the idea first being clearly defined so that everyone understands exactly what is being discussed. For our purposes here, shamanism can be considered to be the practice of entering an ecstatic trance state in order to contact spirits and/or travel through spiritual worlds with the intention of accomplishing some specific purpose. It is a feature of countless magical and religious traditions from all over the world, especially animistic ones.
The pre-Christian religion of the Germanic peoples teems with shamanic elements – so much so that it would be impossible to discuss them all here. Our discussion will have to be confined to those that are the most significant. We’ll start with Odin, the father of the gods, who possesses numerous shamanic traits. From there, we’ll examine shamanism in Norse magical traditions that were part of the female sphere of traditional northern European social life, and then move on to the male sphere of the berserkers and other “warrior-shamans” before concluding.
Odin and Shamanism
Odin, the chief of the gods, is often portrayed as a consummate shamanic figure in the oldest primary sources that contain information about the pre-Christian ways of the Germanic peoples. His very name suggests this: “Odin” (Old Norse Óðinn) is a compound word comprised of óðr, “ecstasy, fury, inspiration,” and the suffix -inn, the masculine definite article, which, when added to the end of another word like this, means something like “the master of” or “a perfect example of.” The name “Odin” can therefore be most aptly translated as “The Master of Ecstasy.” The eleventh-century historian Adam of Bremen confirms this when he translates “Odin” as “The Furious.” This establishes a link between Odin and the ecstatic trance states that comprise one of the defining characteristics of shamanism.
Odin’s shamanic spirit-journeys are well-documented. The Ynglinga Sagarecords that he would “travel to distant lands on his own errands or those of others” while he appeared to others to be asleep or dead. Another instance is recorded in the Eddic poem “Baldur’s Dreams,” where Odin rides Sleipnir, an eight-legged horse typical of northern Eurasian shamanism, to the underworld to consult a dead seeress on behalf of his son.
The shaman must typically undergo a ritual death and rebirth in order to acquire his or her powers, and Odin underwent exactly such an ordeal when he discovered the runes. Having done so, he became one of the cosmos’s wisest, most knowledgeable, and most magically powerful beings.
He is a renowned practitioner of seidr, which he seems to have learned from the goddess Freya.
Shamanism in Seidr
Freya is the divine archetype of the völva, a professional or semi-professional practitioner of the Germanic magical tradition known as seidr. Seidr (Old Norse seiðr) was a form of magic concerned with discerning and altering the course of destiny by re-weaving part of destiny’s web. To do this, the practitioner, with ritual distaff in hand,would enter a trance and travel in spirit throughout the Nine Worldsaccomplishing her intended task. This generally took the form of a prophecy, a blessing, or a curse.
The völva wandered from town to town and farm to farm prophesying and performing other acts of magic in exchange for room, board, and often other forms of compensation as well. The most detailed account of such a woman and her doings comes from The Saga of Erik the Red,but numerous sagas, as well as some of the mythic poems (most notably the Völuspá, “The Insight of the Völva“) contain sparse accounts of seidr-workers and their practices.
Like other northern Eurasian shamans, the völva was “set apart” from her wider society, both in a positive and a negative sense – she was simultaneously exalted, sought-after, feared, and, in some instances, reviled. However, the völva is very reminiscent of the veleda, a seeress or prophetess who held a more clearly-defined and highly respected position amongst the Germanic tribes of the first several centuries CE.In either of these roles, the woman practitioner of these arts held a more or less dignified role among her people, even as the degree of her dignity varied considerably over time.
Such was not usually the case for male practitioners of seidr. According to traditional Germanic gender constructs, it was extremely shameful and dishonorable for a man to adopt a female social or sexual role. A man who practiced seidr could expect to be labeled ergi (Old Norse for “unmanly”) by his peers – one of the gravest insults that could be hurled at a Germanic man. While there were probably several reasons for seidr being considered ergi, the greatest seems to have been the centrality of weaving, the paragon of the traditional female economic sphere, in seidr. Still, this didn’t stop numerous men from engaging in seidr, sometimes even as a profession. A few such men have had their deeds recorded in the sagas. The foremost among such seiðmenn was none other than Odin himself – and not even he escaped the charge of being ergi. We can detect a high degree of ambivalence seething beneath the surface of this taunt; unmanly as seidr may have been seen as being, it was undeniably a source of incredible power – perhaps the greatest power in the cosmos, given that it could change the course of destiny itself. Perhaps the sacrifice of social prestige for these abilities wasn’t too bad of a bargain. After all, such men could look to the very ruler of Asgard as an example and a patron.
Shamanism in Warrior Magic and Religion
In any case, there were other forms of shamanism that were much more socially acceptable for men to practice. One of the central institutions of traditional Germanic society was the band of elite, ecstatic, totemisticwarriors. In earlier times these took the form of tribal militias or warbands, and by the Viking Age they had become more informal groups such as the berserkers. These were no ordinary soldiers; the initiation rituals, fighting techniques, and other spiritual practices of these bandswere such that their members could be aptly characterized as “warrior-shamans.”
The divine guide and inspiration of such men was the same as for the seidr-workers: Odin. The Ynglinga Saga has this to say about them:
Odin’s men went armor-less into battle and were as crazed as dogs or wolves and as strong as bears or bulls. They bit their shields and slew men, while they themselves were harmed by neither fire nor iron. This is called “going berserk.”
Or in the astute and evocative words of archaeologist Neil Price:
They run howling and foaming through the groups of fighting men. Some of them wear animal skins, some are naked, and some have thrown away shields and armour to rely on their consuming frenzy alone. Perhaps some of the greatest warriors do not take the field at all, but remain behind in their tents, their minds nevertheless focused on the combat. As huge animals their spirit forms wade through the battle, wreaking destruction.
This combat frenzy (“going berserk”) was one of the most common and most potent forms that Odin’s ecstasy (óðr) could take. In such a battle-trance, these hallowed warriors bit or cast away their shields, the symbolic indicators of their social persona, and became utterly possessed by the spirit of their totem animal, sometimes even shifting their shapes to become a bear or a wolf. By extension, they achieved a state of unification with the master of these beasts and the giver of this sublime furor: Odin.
Given the prominence of shamanism in other traditional northern Eurasian societies, it would be shocking if it were absent from traditional Germanic society. So it’s hardly surprising to find, instead, that the established social customs of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples brimmed with shamanic elements.
It’s just as important, however, to stress the uniquely Germanic form of these elements. At the center of the Germanic shamanic complex is the “Allfather,” Odin, who inspires the female seidr-workers and the male “warrior-shamans” alike with his perilous gift of ecstasy. This maintains the communion between the worlds of spirit and the world of flesh that’s so central to a robust animistic worldview and way of life. The active shamanic practitioner receives an additional boon: an upper hand in life’s battles and a position of dignity and glory within the all-subsuming process of the cosmos’s ceaseless, Nietzschean “self-overcoming,” a position as an especially vigorous facilitator of growth, renewal, and re-beautification.
Looking for more great information on Norse mythology and religion? While this site provides the ultimate online introduction to the topic, my book The Viking Spirit provides the ultimate introduction to Norse mythology and religion period. I’ve also written a popular list of The 10 Best Norse Mythology Books, which you’ll probably find helpful in your pursuit. ref
1. The Sorcerer 12,000 BCE: The oldest image of a horned figure can be found in the Trois-Freres cavern in France. It depicts a stag standing upright upon human legs. Many scholars believe the figure is that of a shaman, who is performing a sacred dance to increase the yield of animals on a coming hunt. The motif of a therianthropic being (half human, half beast), is a common trait found on most depictions of the horned god, emphasizing a union between divine masculinity and untamed nature.
2. Rudra / Shiva 3300 BCE: Archaeologists discovered some seals in the Indus Valley which depict a horned figure seated in a lotus position. Scholars believe it is an early epithet of Shiva the destroyer. This Hindu god has two personas; an ascetic, abstaining from worldly pursuits, and a hedonist, embracing all carnal pleasures. His passionate side is personified by the lingam (a phallic statue), which embodies his raw, sexual power. Shiva is often portrayed in an animal skin with a cobra necklace, a symbol of renewal. This can be seen as an analogy to his cosmic role as destroyer, where he annihilates the universe every 12,000 years to make way for a new one.
3. Khnum / Banebdjedet, 2686 BCE: Khnum is one of the oldest gods of Egypt, who was worshipped as far back as the Predynastic Period (6000 – 3150 BCE). He had a human body and a ram’s head, the horns of which symbolised potency and virility. Khnum was therefore regarded as the lord of fertility, who brought the waters of the Nile to Egypt. The annual floods brought life to its surroundings, as well as masses of silt and clay. The Egyptians believed the Khnum created humans by mixing this clay with the life-giving waters of the Nile, and then sculpting them on a potter’s wheel. A similar story can be found in ancient Mesopotamia.
4. Enki / Ea, 2350 BCE: Enki is the Sumerian god of water and wisdom. He is a trickster, gifted with great intelligence and a mastery of magic. Iconography depicts him as a bearded man wearing a horned cap, with flowing streams running off his shoulders, emphasizing his association with life-giving water. His name means “Lord of the Earth” and his symbols are the fish and the goat, both associated with fertility. He is famously depicted in epics of Sumerian myth as the creator of the world and progenitor of humanity. Just like Khnum, he used clay to form the first lineage of humans.
5. Pan/Faunus, 500 BCE: Pan is the Greek deity of pastures and herds. He is half man and half goat, with hairy legs, a horned scalp and a goatee beard. His cult is centred around Arcadia where he lived the woodlands, hills and mountains. He could often be found dancing through the forests of Greece, playing his panpipes which he is credited with inventing. He is the lusty leader of the satyrs (woodland deities), and continually chases the nymphs of Greece for sexual union. During many Greek rituals, his essence is invoked for fertility of the flocks and for an abundant hunt.
6. Cernunnos, 100 BCE : Cernunnos can be found throughout the Celtic lands, and was regarded as the guardian of the Otherworld. In his early days, he was worshipped as a fertility god, but as time progressed he also became associated with wealth and prosperity. He was such an important deity to the Celts, that his image and reputation became a major target for the early Christian church. It is his image that is believed to have been adopted for their mythos of the Devil or the ‘false god’.
7. Freyr, 6th Century CE: Freyr is the Norse god of fertility who belongs to the Vanir tribe. He is associated with kingship and virility, and bestows prosperity upon his followers. Those who worshipped him were rewarded with fertility, health, and abundance. Although Freyr was never depicted with horns upon his head, he did use a stag’s antler as a weapon to slay the giant Beli, and in his final battle against the fire giant Surt. His virility was often symbolized by wooden idols which depicted him with an enormous, erect phallus. These effigies were often thrown into bogs, lakes, and rivers as water was regarded as a doorway to the other world.
8. Kokopelli is a fertility deity, venerated by some Native American cultures in the S.W. United States. He is depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with feathers or horn like protrusions on his head). He is the patron of childbirth, commerce, agriculture and music. Kokopelli’s flute-playing is said to chase away the coldness of winter, and to bring about the warmth of summer. He tends to wild game animals throughout the year, and is often depicted with animal companions such as rams and deer. He is also commonly found sun-bathing with snakes. He travelled far and wide across the wilderness, and was regarded as a master trader of goods and information. Many regarded him as a story teller, who had the gift of language and music to convey his tales.
9. Veles / Volos, 10th Century CE: Veles is a Slavic god of the forest. He is often depicted as a hairy being with the horns of a bull and a great, woolly beard. Many regard him as the lord of beasts (both domesticated and wild), and his main function was to protect the cattle of Slavic tribes. He is also the patron of the harvest, wealth, music, magic and trickery. Veles is associated with the motif of the serpent, which is a symbol renewal, as evidenced by the shedding of its skin. This link to life and death links him with the underworld, where he is not just regarded as shepherd to cattle, but also as a guide of human souls too.
10. Satan / The Devil, 1200 CE: Satan’s most notorious deeds are; refusing to worship God, tempting Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit, reproducing with humans to create a race of giants, and marshalling an army of demons to try and overthrow heaven. Ultimately his rebellion failed, and he was cast into a bottomless pit for punishment. Images of Satan as a horned devil do not appear until the 12th century where medieval artists began to depict him with more bestial features. This may be due to the Christian nation studying other heretical religions such as Greek, Norse and Celtic paganism. All these cultures had an ‘amorous’ deity as it’s godhead (e.g. Cernunnos, Shiva and Freyr) who practiced a hedonistic lifestyle, unbefitting to Christian values. As such, the horned god may have been adapted into the images of Satan based on his own indiscretions of fornicating with humans, and challenging the legitimacy of the ‘one and only god’.
11. Herne the Hunter, 1597 CE: Herne the Hunter is often depicted as an antlered giant, and is rumoured to live in the forests of Windsor Great Park. His longevity is owed to the cult of Cernunnos, who was also a provider of wealth and prosperity to the tribe (similar to the legend of Robin Hood). Some suggest that Herne was the father to Robin of Loxley; which is probably more an association since Herne is a much older figure in legend and myth.
12. The Old One, 19th Century CE: In traditional Wicca, the Horned God is often referred to as ‘The Old One’. He is viewed as the masculine side of divinity, being both equal and opposite to the Goddess. For Wiccans, the Horned God is the personification of living energy in animals and humans. He is associated with the wilderness, virility and the hunt. He is revered for guiding the souls of the dead to the underworld. Some believe that The Horned God is an Under-god, a mediator between an unknowable supreme deity and the people. Wiccans believe that the Horned God, as Lord of Death, is their “comforter and consoler” after death and before reincarnation; and that he rules the Underworld or Summerland where the souls of the dead reside as they await rebirth.
RECONSTRUCTING THE HORNED GOD
He resides over sacred body of water (which links to other world’s)
He is the embodiment of summer, health, fertility and abundance
He is a trickster god, gifted with wit, intelligence, and divine magic
He is often depicted with a large phallus, a symbol of his virility
He plays a flute, and can be heard playing it in the wilderness
He creates humans from clay or dust, mixed with god’s blood
He is often pictured sitting, adopting a contemplative persona
Other times he is depicted dancing and frolicking to his music
He is often depicted with a snake, which represents renewal
He wears a horned crown, typically from a ram, bull or stag
He represents the cycle of nature; birth, life and death
He wears beast skins and lives in the wilderness
He is a shepard to all beasts, including humans
Masks of Misrule, The Horned God, by Nigel Jackson
The History and Origins of Satan, by Lucas Sweeney
The Life of Adam and Eve
The Book of Enoch
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