Black Goat Cabal > Essays > Common beliefs
Below is a slightly revised version of an article originally written in the fall of 2003 by Diane Vera, in what she now regards as a failed attempt to establish a minimal common creed for all or most theistic Satanists. (The title of the earliest drafts was "Beliefs and principles of theistic Satanists.") The author now believes that it is neither feasible nor desirable to define any common creed for Satanists, and that it is best just to define "Satanism" as a very general category encompassing any favorable view of Satan. However, most of the beliefs described in the article below are common among theistic Satanists.
The opinions expressed below are those of the author at the time of writing, and are not necessarily endorsed by the Black Goat Cabal.
Common beliefs of theistic (traditional) Satanists
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2003, 2006 Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
Satan is our God. Satan is a real spiritual entity whom we revere.
Satan challenges us to think for ourselves, to question all things, to be strong as individuals, to face down our fears, to be creative, and to become ever more than we are.
All of these are significant challenges. For example, truly thinking for oneself can be very hard work -- though it can also be a lot of fun.
Satan encourages freedom and self-knowledge. And, unlike some other spiritualities, most forms of Satanism are fully compatible with the desire for material success.
Most theistic Satanists believe that Satan does not dictate a system of morality (or anti-morality). Most believe -- at least for the most part -- that it is up to us to decide such matters for ourselves, both as individuals and as groups. (A group does need at least some agreed-upon rules for its members in order to function.)
Yet many also believe that Satan does expect of us some specific attitudes and behaviors. For example, besides the challenges mentioned earlier, most believe that Satan wants us to fulfill any promises made to Satan or to a demon. Some believe that Satan wants us to regard other theistic Satanists (or, at least, other theistic Satanists of one's own particular kind) as family. Some say that Satan deals with different groups and individuals differently, holding them to different standards, depending on who they are and on their circumstances and level of development.
Others believe that Satan asks only that we know who we are and be true to ourselves.
It behooves us to act responsibly. We accept responsibility for all we do. We will choose our responsibilties ourselves and bear them willingly.
As public or semi-public Satanists, we are constrained by practical necessity to obey the laws of the land, though we may work for changes to laws with which we disagree.
We have no consensus on theology. Theistic Satanists may be monotheistic, duotheistic, polytheistic, pantheistic, or deistic. Some of us base our theology primarily on a reinterpretation of Christianity, while others look to more ancient pagan sources, others look to more modern sources, and most look to some combination of the above. The real truth about Satan -- or any other god -- is probably beyond human understanding.
Long live our differences, lest Satanism become yet another conformist herd.
See also: What is "traditional Satanism"?