Hello and Hail Satan!
I am a long-time lurker, first-time (obviously) poster to the forums.
I first learned I was a Satanist about three years ago, when I purchased and read The Satanic Bible.
The words reflected what was essentially already my world-view; one which I thought not shared completely by any other person, much-less an entire religion with thousands of adherents! Doktor LaVey was an amazing writer and thinker, as well as showman. I have yet to find another writer who matches the sheer cutting wit and personal, yet transcending voice of his prose. (Mark Twain and Christopher Hitchens come close in my mind, though they're respective works are topics for another discussion.)
Before my codified discovery of my own true nature, I considered myself an Atheist Humanist; highly skeptical and generally disbelieving in the "supernatural" or supernormal, preferring to anchor my ethics and understand of the world (and my own personal world) on firmly scientific ground. I have never considered myself a Christian or a member any other spiritual religion, although I have always found religion to be a fascinating subject worthy of study beyond just a trivial once-over and dismissal.
My highly skeptical and atheistic background I confess initially put me off from the subject matter of the Books of Belial and Leviathan. As such, I regretfully didn't try any Greater Magic rituals until last year. I'm still rather rough in terms of the physical materials available to me in the Ritual Chamber, but I'm a fairly talented writer and actor with a good imagination, so I can make do with less-than-excellent ritual tools. With practice, I have successfully used Magic as both emotional release and to augment "real world" efforts towards my goals.
As I mentioned above, one of my hobbies is writing, and with my college major and career plans I end up writing quite a bit, on politics, history, and philosophy mainly.
Maybe (definitely) I'll even get payed for it someday.
I act a bit on stage, though I sadly haven't been in any productions for quite a few months now.
As other hobbies, I love video games and board games, and I'm a hobby war game collector. I also do horseback riding, Western style.
I am a registered member of the Church of Satan
as of last year. I've been slowly working on my Active Membership Application on-and-off for a while now, perfecting it.
Satanism to me is a tool (weapon?
) that I use to keep me focused and driven in life, and to help me achieve my goals towards indulgence more directly through the Greater and Lesser Magic I've learned through TSB, The Satanic Rituals, and The Satanic Witch.
As someone that often gets too "sucked into" fetishistic pursuits or just stopping to smell the roses of life for too long, a re-recitation of the Satanic Statements or even an entire self-affirmative ritual are great for me to keep me on the onward march to my Earthly success.
The eyes of the Goat of Mendes stare into mine, reminding me for the whole of my mortal life that I am my own savior and my own redeemer.
I look forward to interesting discussions here on the philosophy of Satanism, and hope I can contribute something meaningful among all the powerhouse writers and thinkers present.
PS- I'm having trouble uploading an avatar picture on here...I have my desired image edited down to 176x180 pixes, saved in .jpg format and it's still not accepted. Any help would be appreciated.