Every couple of weeks, I get a message in poorly written English along the lines of "let me join your Satan group" on my Facebook page.
I couldn't understand this phenomenon. And then, this week, I found this post on the Church of Satan's website:
"If you are a resident of a nation situated on the African continent, do not send any attempts to register with us unless you have contacted us via e-mail and gained pre-approval. We've discovered that many unscrupulous residents of these nations attempt to use membership in religious organizations as a means to obtain funds from their governments under the pretense of being a representative of an organization. Sincere students of our philosophy from these nations must contact us via e-mail first and demonstrate a knowledge of our philosophy before we will pre-approve an attempt at Registered Membership. Our apologies to those who resonate with Satanism in these lands, but the ratio of scam artists is exceptionally high and this is our most direct recourse."
I am guessing they are spamming anyone with "Satanism" anywhere in their description. Weirdly, though, even after I explain it to them, many continue to ask.
I am not a Satanic organization. Unfortunately, I doubt the parties in question will be reading this, because of they read my work in general they would know I'm not a Satanic organization. They would know that while Satanism is one focus of my site, it certainly is not *the* focus of my site.
So, besides attempting to defraud your government, here are eight OTHER poor reasons for wanting to be a Satanist.
Western occult philosophy is an incredibly diverse topic. But one of the things you hit over and over again in studying it is the phrase "as above, so below."
This hermetic phrase has guided people for centuries in how they understand the universe (both physical and metaphysical). Higher realms guide the lower realms, and understanding the lower can show something of the higher. The separating and reconstituting of spiritual and physical parts of ourselves is a basic building block of alchemy.
Because of the subjective nature of occult studies, illustrations are often used to communicate ideas. As such, there are also a variety of images that symbolically reflect "as above, so below" in many different ways.
Many religious ideas become part of our common culture, even if we don't specifically take them as fact. For example, most Westerners known who Adam and Eve are even if they are not Jews, Christians or Muslims.
When Rael founded the Raelian Movement, he was influenced by a couple different sources. The first was the love of UFOs that the French, in particular, had in the 1970s. The second was knowledge of Christianity and living in a family that rejected it.
Rael teaches supernatural religions are false, but he also teaches that the Biblical stories did happen, just in a different context. Yahweh is an alien scientist who created life on earth. The aliens do have expectations for us and that soon there will be a judgement upon us.
Rael has taken Judeo-Christian myth but placed it in a radically new context. This does not necessarily mean he "made it up." He may have had a revelatory experience and this was how he came to understand it, for example. If it wasn't for the fact that he describes himself as a prophet, he might have simply come to such a conclusion on his own, finding an alien explanation more logical to him than a supernatural one. Separating facts, fallacies and hoaxes can be a tedious and sometime simply impossible goal due to the subjective nature of religious experience.
Why do people fast? Lots of reasons. For some it is a show of humility. For others it is a time of contemplation and spirituality, which is often seen as assisted by the denying of physical wants.
I don't know about anyone else, but I've gotten very tired of the suggestion that religious people have to be anti-science. Personally, I find my faith to be instructing me to better understand the world, and a primary way of doing that is through science.
There are a couple reasons why this idea is so prevalent. For one, increasing numbers of people see religion as superstitious, and science being the opposite of superstition. Ergo, it would make no sense to embrace both superstition and anti-superstition.
Second, Biblical literalist Christians are very vocal in their rejection of several mainstream scientific concepts. but they are the minority even within Christianity, much less among all religious folk.
A new image gallery went up this week centered around the alchemical idea of the chemical marriage, the union of the Red King and White Queen which ultimately produces The Rebis. In addition to the previous article on the Rebis (from the Rosarium Philosophorum), I have now added another Rebis image from a separate source, the "Book of the Holy Trinity and Description of the Secret of the Transmutation of Metals". I have also added the first image of the Red King and White Queen, also from the Rosarium Philosophorum.
The Great Work is the ultimate goal of alchemy, a refining and transmutation of the soul into something pure and without contradiction. The result of this Great Work is sometimes represented in images as the Rebis, a two-headed person representing the union of opposites. here I discuss one such image, with a new image gallery in the works.
While many occultists talked in terms of four elements - fire, earth, water and air, plus sometimes spirit - alchemists often talk of three elements: sulfur, salt and mercury.
The Westboro Baptist Church is arguably a dangerous cult. They are a small, tight knit, isolated group which sees the rest of the world as waging a war against them and God They don't tolerate dissenting opinions. On the other hand, they don't seem to be making threatening moves toward defectors.
This week, two granddaughters of leader Fred Phelps (and daughters of Shirley Phelps-Roper, Fred's intended successor) officially left the WBC, apologizing for the pain they had caused others when operating with the WBC. Today, another former member released pictures supporting the NOH8 (no hate) campaign.
When people talk of deeply devout religious beliefs, particularly unpopular ones, people often speak of "brainwashing." Certainly these women were brought up strongly exposed to these beliefs. But that is the same for any child: their parents makes sure the children believe in certain things, whether it be about religion, correct behavior, how math works, whatever. People do tend to embrace what they were raised to believe, but people *do* change their mind. These women did. So have others previously, including Phelps' son.
Everyone makes a choice. The members of the WBC choose to continue their ministry of hate. These three women, however, eventually choose to leave. The decided that this was not, in fact, the proper way of expressing their Christian beliefs.
Rastas have their own code for cooking, known as ital (rhyming with "vital," from which it is derived) cooking. Like halal and kosher cooking, it has some basis in scripture, although not as much. Ital cooking centers on good, healthy and unadulterated foods. It is generally vegetarian, and it rejects preservatives and other additives, although it is recognized that many urban Rastas simply cannot totally avoid such things.
I used to really like the triquetra. It has personal meaning to me. But it is terribly overused today. We can partially thank the TV show Charmed for that as well as the plethora of bad info that show has connected with the symbol. Celtic Romanticism hasn't helped the situation either.