Posts Tagged ‘anton lavey’

Who owns the Satanic Bible?

David Shankbone: Do Dr. LaVey’s children have anything to do with the church at all?

Peter Gilmore: His son Xerxes is a member because he asked to be. We generally don’t let people under 18 join. We used to let people whose parents allowed them to join, but because people are so litigious we changed that. We just don’t want to take the chance that some parents say, “Yes, it’s okay if my kid joins the Church of Satan,” and then decides that’s the reason they can’t control their kid. We’re just not willing to go there. But if our members have children who are interested, they can participate and become members, but that’s the only way you can if you’re not legally an adult. So Xerxes could become a member because his mother was High Priestess at one point, and still remains a member.

David Shankbone: But not Zeena?

Peter Gilmore: No, she left years ago. She’s not very bright and is very jealous. She and her paramour, Nikolas Shreck, got married I think. They wanted to take the Church of Satan over at one point and wanted Anton LaVey to retire, but he was a feisty guy and said "Hell no!" So they quit in high dudgeon and ran off to Europe and said, “America is corrupt and horrible and we’re going to Fortress Europa!” They played with being Nazi occultists, which is kind of funny because both of them have Jewish blood. They’re just like clowns. They then joined the Temple of Set, which was an organization that split off from the Church of Satan years ago, in 1975, when Michael Aquino—

David Shankbone: Based on the Egyptian god?

Peter Gilmore: Yeah, and they’re theists. They believe that Set exists and that their priests can commune with him and that their founder is the voice of Set. So, it’s like, good that they left for housecleaning. But Zeena went and joined them and became High Priestess because Michael Aquino has this Anton LaVey obsession, which is obvious since he wrote a book about him that’s about a thousand pages, so he made her the High Priestess of their organization. Then she left to form an even more orthodox Setian group called “The Storm”, which to us is just funny. Such theatrics. His oldest daughter Karla isn’t a very bright girl. She kind of hung around the background and once in a while she would come out to speak in public and support her father. When Xerxes was born she kind of got miffed because she wasn’t the center of attention. Karla is also jealous type. She withdrew from her father, which hurt him a lot.

David Shankbone: How did the legal wrangling surrounding his estate pan out?

Peter Gilmore: They finally settled. What ended up happening is he had written a will. Anton LaVey’s idea was that if he acknowledged he is going to die, then he’d be giving in to death, so he didn’t want to go to an attorney and make out a will. He was very feisty and had his own perspective on that. So he finally wrote a will out and signed it, but it wasn’t notarized and there were no witnesses. So when it came to court they said it wasn’t good enough. They basically split everything up between the three children, so Karla and Zeena and Xerxes all got part of the estate.

David Shankbone: Who received the copyright to The Satanic Bible?

Peter Gilmore: The estate. The money that comes in from that gets split up and goes to the three kids. Also there is a small percentage that goes to LaVey’s companion, Diane Hegarty; she says LaVey. But they were never married and had a falling out in the early 1980’s. She went off and left Satanism and sued him for palimony and he had to sell his house because of all of that, and he sold it to an old friend and member. Diane got a pile of money and she got a tiny percentage of the books that had been written up to that point. Every once in a while she comes creeping in off the periphery to say, “Ah! I’m Diane LaVey!” and it’s like, you were Diane Hegarty and you were kind of involved in it, but before the Satanic Panic happened you left and had nothing to do with it. She was never someone who wrote or said anything of interest. She was just the pretty blonde wife of Anton LaVey. She was a nice figurehead, but wasn’t of much use beyond that.

Religious and Satanic symbols

David Shankbone: Could you explain your logo? Peter Gilmore: The Sigil of Baphomet. Heavy metal people say “Bapho-MAY!” Because they want to take it from the French Templars, where it originally came from the trials of them. But we explain it as there is a goat face in the center of a five-pointed star. The goat face represents carnality. In ancient Egypt goats were considered representations as god symbols of lust, and we think lust is an important factor of biology that keeps humanity going so we value that. The five-pointed star really comes from the Pythagoreans. That is the one figure in which every element is within the golden mean of each other. It’s this wonderful mathematical symbol of perfection, organic perfection specifically. Since we are organic life and enjoy the idea of perfecting ourselves, that star is right for us in there and it perfectly fits the goat head inside. Now around it are two circles, one at the tip of the points of the star and one outside. In that are Hebrew characters starting at the bottom and going counter-clockwise spelling Leviathan. In Hebrew mythology, Leviathan was the great dragon of the abyss, this powerful Earth figure that even Yahweh was afraid of. So all these things taken together creates a symbol that Anton LaVey identified with Satanism specifically. When he started the Church of Satan, usually upside down crosses were considered Satanic, and he saw that these different elements and felt this was a positive symbol you could tie to the Satanism he was creating. David Shankbone: So much of the symbology references a lot of myths and superstitions, yet you’re antithetical to that. How do you explain how those two notions comport? Peter Gilmore: We have this approach that we take the dualities and find a third side to it, a way of integrating. You might find that even in Marxist theory, a way of finding opposites and coming with a new synthesis of the different thesis and antithesis. So ritual is natural to people, because humans have a conceptual consciousness. Symbols let us hold much more information in conscious focus, more so than just keeping them separately. So symbols are something we function with. It’s part of our nature. So using ritual activities that are symbolic and have deep meaning to us is common to our species if you look at our history from cave paintings up to every civilization currently existing. David Shankbone: It’s almost difficult to come up with a symbol that doesn't reference a superstition in some way. Peter Gilmore: Absolutely! So we feel that since they are often used to support a fiction, why not let it be used to explore the inner part of our nature. For us, when we do ritual—which we call greater magic—we call it an intellectual decompression chamber. It’s a place where we release our emotions, any emotions that are hindering us, and we use the symbolism we find most stimulating. We leave it in the ritual chamber. You enjoy the self-transformational psychodrama in the ritual where you release any emotions that are hindering yourself and then you go outside and basically pursue your life, being rational and doing what you need to do to make your life as rich as it can be.

What is magic in LaVeyan Satanism?

Magic, as practiced in LaVeyan Satanism, is defined in The Book of Belial of The Satanic Bible as "the change in situations or events in accordance with one's will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable". This definition incorporates two broadly distinguished kinds of Magic: Lesser (manipulative and situational) and Greater (ritual and ceremonial). LaVeyan Satanism, however, does not describe Magic moralistically by discerning "White" (good) or "Black" (evil) varieties. Such neutrality correlates with Anton LaVey's philosophical view of an impersonal, and therefore amoral, universe. Lesser Magic is a system of manipulation that incorporates one or more of three main psychological themes: sex, sentiment, and wonder. The first theme is virtually self-explanatory - sexual seduction is the main aim of the working; the term "sentiment" refers to ideas or impressions of innocence or those inspiring contentment, compassion, or even amusement; and "wonder" oftentimes denotes ideas of austerity and awe or impressions provoking fear or submissiveness on the part of the recipient. But these themes can be combined, when appropriate, to multiply psychological impact by increasing the number of complex and simultaneous emotional responses from the recipient. To build his theories concerning Lesser Magic, Anton LaVey seems to have taken inspiration, at least partly, from The Command to Look. by photographer William Mortensen and to have capitalized on its strategies, thus prompting the practicing Satanist to expand on whichever of the three major themes he (or she) seems to naturally exhibit. LaVey later expanded his system of manipulation in The Satanic Witch. The book was written from the woman's perspective because LaVey believed that women could more fully apply his concepts, but much of the book can be applied by men also. He relates ideas worked out from watching the proprietors of carnival stalls and fortune tellers in their manipulation of customers. The Satanic Witch also proposes The LaVey Synthesizer Clock, a form of somatotyping that adds a fourth body type, the "feminine." The synthesizer is used in identification of personality in order to know how best to manipulate a person through traits often associated with their types and what LaVey referred to as their "demonic" personality, or their opposite on the clock. Greater Magic involves ritual and ceremony in order to focus one's emotional energy for a specific purpose. Satanic ritual is highly variable, with a basic format given in The Satanic Bible. Satanists are encouraged to use whatever props and means suit their immediate emotional and psychological needs in order to bring their workings to an exhausting and complete climax. It must be noted that the Church of Satan claims that a mastery of Lesser Magic will contribute to a mastery of Greater Magic. The LaVeyan Satanic ritual is referred to as an "intellectual decompression chamber." Careful planning of the ritual form according to rational considerations of what means and props are most effective is executed before the rites begin, but during the ritual, skepticism and disbelief are willfully suspended, thus allowing the magicians to fully express their sexual or other emotional needs and frustrations, holding nothing back regarding their true snd deep feelings. Also, it is notable that Satanism acknowledges that a Greater Magic working is much more likely to succeed with a few Satanists who are committed emotionally to and focussed on what they are doing than with a throng who may all be distracted. Greater Magic, like Lesser, employs one or more of three major psychoemotive themes: lust (sex), compassion (sentiment), and destruction (wonder). LaVey elaborates on methods for focussing these motivations. Lust rituals can involve masturbation, with orgasm as the goal. Compassion rituals are designed to evoke overwhelming pathos or sadness, and crying is strongly encouraged. Destruction rites involve the symbolic annihilation of an enemy through the use of "vicarious" human sacrifice often involving a customized effigy representing the intended victim which is then put through ritual fire, smashing, or other representation of obliteration. Greater Magic also resembles Lesser in the possibility of combining more than one of the three broad themes of emotion, when appropriate, in order to maximize the success of the working. In any case, full and exhausting self-expression is encouraged for productive Satanic ritual. Much emphasis is placed on evocation and music. The last part of The Satanic Bible is dedicated to invocations and the nineteen Enochian Keys, originally written by John Dee. Music is encouraged because it is said to easily manipulate one's emotions, which contributes to the overall success of the rituals.

What are Satanic holidays?

Christian authors have written dozens of anti-Satanic books with lists of Satanic Ritual Days. According to the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance, in some cases the authors appear to reference the works of other conservative Christian writers. Few people, and many satanists, appear to lack major direct knowledge of Satanism and all show a general lack of familiarization with the religion. In The Edge of Evil "Grand High Climax" is said to be a major holiday celebrated by Satanists on December 24. Evangelical Christian author Jerry Johnston says in this book that it is a celebration meant to juxtapose the Christian holiday of Christmas Eve, when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated. However this goal to blaspheme is not always prevalent. He claims that Grand High Climax is traditionally celebrated with a Black Mass, followed by great excesses of food, drink, sex, and merriment, but a rite called "Grand High Climax", and the details of the activities involved, is not a rite acknowledged by all Satanic groups. It was once part of the Satanic panic and beliefs about the Witches' Sabbath. The most important holiday in Satanism is one's own birthday, as it is the birthdate of one's own god. This is a reminder that the Satanist, committed to true "vital existence", should consider himself (or herself) the most important person in his own life. LaVey recommends that a Satanist celebrate his own birthday in any way he chooses, with as much pomp and ceremony as he sees fit. The Satanic celebration of one's birthday can thus be seen as something of a "Black Mass", by redirecting to oneself the sanctimony and celebration typically reserved for the many "high holy days" commemorating the births of key gods or saints in other religions. Three Satanic holidays are named by Anton LaVey in The Satanic Bible but are not considered sacred. One among these holidays is Walpurgisnacht, which in addition to the occult significance the date carries, also marks the formation of the Church of Satan in the year 1966, or I A. S. (Anno Satanas, "In the year of Satan"). This date is commonly celebrated by Satanists with private or group rituals, and private parties or family celebrations to commemorate the foundation of the Church of Satan. LaVey also mentions the summer and winter solstices, and the spring and fall equinoxes as lesser holidays. These are likewise often celebrated by ritual or private party. However, they are sometimes also used to substitute popular holidays that Satanists wish to avoid imparting a Christian overtone to but still wish to celebrate in some form. Halloween is very commonly celebrated by Satanists, but typically there is far less occult significance attached to the date by Satanists than the public might imagine. Halloween is a popular date for both private and group ritual ceremonies, but also a popular date for Satanists to hold private parties for no other purpose than to enjoy the dark fun that is commonly celebrated on that date by the public at large. If anything, Satanists seem to take a sense of irony and humor in the holiday.[citation needed] Satanism does not specifically forbid the celebration of any holidays or festivals held by other cultures or even other religions. Entirely secular holidays are commonly celebrated by Satanists either for personal reasons or merely as an excuse to have a good time. It is not entirely uncommon for Satanists to even celebrate overtly Christian holidays such as Christmas, though the religious trappings are generally stripped from the holiday, secularizing it. Many Satanists, however, either transfer such holidays as Christmas to the Winter Solstice and either place a darker spin on it or secularize it entirely, or decline to celebrate such holidays altogether. Of recent note, June 6th, 2006 marked a Satanic High Mass in Hollywood, California by the Church of Satan. This celebration was by invitation only and limited to 100 attendees, and was held in large part to mock the superstitious fear of the date by the public. The date 06/06/06 does not hold special religious significance in Satanism, nor does the number 666. The event was documented, and many members of the Church of Satan were interviewed, by the BBC with permission.