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#505558 - 01/10/18 09:47 AM Re: My Journey to Satanism [Re: Babydoll]
Shine000 Offline

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Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 30
Loc: UK
Any idea where I can get hold of a copy?
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Say unto thine own heart, "I am mine own redeemer."- The Book of Satan, The Satanic Bible.

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#505559 - 01/11/18 05:26 AM Re: My Journey to Satanism [Re: Shine000]
Isobel Gowdie Offline


Registered: 12/28/15
Posts: 50
Iím sorry your experience of Alexandrian Witchcraft was a let-down. Most covens or paths nowadays, particularly Wicca, are largely hived from Alexandrian practice, but invariably with bits chopped out that were vital (but hard) and other bits squashed in that are irrelevant (but easy). Such is life; and itís a problem also common to ďSatanismĒ, particularly on the Internet.

The only thing Iíd like to add, as someone else new to Satanism, is that the quality of publication varies wildly. The core canon of Anton LaVey is all worth reading, as is The Satanic Scriptures Ė but, after that, I most strongly recommend The Fire From Within by Nemo and, particularly, Essays in Satanism by James Sass. The latter book is worthwhile for the Project Faust commentary alone, but thatís not the only thing to recommend it.

Itís very good.

If youíve only just started The Satanic Warlock, then Iíd put it down and move onto something else. Too much of it is laughably off-track. Equally, I do not recommend Michael Roseís Infernalia Ė itís extremely poor, and almost wholly ignorant of the material it tries to lampoon. Ultimately, neither book is worth spending money on before some of the other work.

Iím only a halfway through The Devilís Due and itís a mixed bag. Some of the essays are excellent, some are irrelevant and/or obvious, so discriminate with care.

Unfortunately, most everything in the Satanic canon is a selection of essays Ė with the possible exception being The Satanic Rituals. Theyíre written as an act of self-indulgence, which is very Satanic, but it means that some of the material just wonít matter to you, is wholly unlinked, or will be completely at odds with your own experience. Iíd argue that you need to read the publications in order to figure out whatís meaningful to you, and thereís value in all of them, but the two books I donít recommend are simply poor books. Infernalia, for example, is just poorly written, poorly researched (it regurgitates a number of ludicrous arguments that have seen no research at all) and poorly presented.

All that said, as ever, your mileage may vary. If youíre interested, from what Iíve read, this is the order Iíd put the books (with Church of Satan authors) in:

1. The Satanic Bible (LaVey, Anton S.)
2. The Satanic Scriptures (Gilmore, Peter H.)
3. The Church of Satan (Barton, Blanche)
4. The Satanic Rituals (LaVey, Anton S.)
5. The Satanic Witch (LaVey, Anton S.)
6. Essays in Satanism (Sass, James D.)
7. The Fire From Within (Nemo)
8. The Devilís Notebook (LaVey, Anton S.)
9. Satan Speaks! (LaVey, Anton S.)
10. Bearing the Devilís Mark (Paradise, Matt G.)
11. The Devilís Due (Collected authors)
12. Letters from the Devil (LaVey, Anton S.)
13. The Secret Life of a Satanist (Barton, Blanche)
14. The Satanic Warlock (Johnson, Robert)
15. Infernalia (Rose, Michael)

That order might seem a bit odd, but itís probably important to try and read things in an order that makes subsequent texts make sense. It would also be wrong to assume that later books get progressively worse; everything up to The Devilís Due is well worth your money, and I have a special enjoyment for Bearing the Devilís Mark. If youíre working through a book at a time, as I did, I supplemented the time by reading the Theory/Practice section of the Church of Satan website and found that quite easy to get on with.

Good luck.


Edited by Isobel Gowdie (01/11/18 05:31 AM)
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#505560 - 01/11/18 08:03 AM Re: My Journey to Satanism [Re: Isobel Gowdie]
Shine000 Offline

COS Member-VIP

Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 30
Loc: UK
Thank you for the advice, Isobel.

However, I must disagree and say that I found The Satanic Warlock very very helpful and highly recommend it. Sorry you didn't feel the same.

I have just started Satan Speaks! and like with a lot of Satanic literature I have read, I will go back and re-read after my first reading/skimming through.

I appreciate your opinions but im looking forward to making my own mind up about The Devils Due and Infernelia.

Been looking online for a copy of The Church of Satan by Blance Barton but I dont fancy paying £100 so that will have to pass.

Essays in Satanism also seems to be out of print?
_________________________
Say unto thine own heart, "I am mine own redeemer."- The Book of Satan, The Satanic Bible.

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#505563 - 01/11/18 11:12 PM Re: My Journey to Satanism [Re: Shine000]
Isobel Gowdie Offline


Registered: 12/28/15
Posts: 50
Of course you should make up your own mind. I only really meant to say that you should spend your money on the better material, and in an order that makes sense.

I wouldn't overspend on The Church of Satan given the prices you're citing, and if Essays in Satanism is out of print... That's a real shame. It's a gem.
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#505564 - 01/12/18 02:46 PM Re: My Journey to Satanism [Re: Shine000]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 13184
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
The value of any book depends upon its potential usefulness to the reader.

If a book contained only one idea that transformed your life for the better then the value of that book would be equal to the value of that transformation.

Like any thought, books are tools.

Their uses vary just as other tools vary in their uses as well.

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#505566 - 01/12/18 02:50 PM Re: My Journey to Satanism [Re: Nemo]
Shine000 Offline

COS Member-VIP

Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 30
Loc: UK
Beautifully articulated, thank you Nemo.
_________________________
Say unto thine own heart, "I am mine own redeemer."- The Book of Satan, The Satanic Bible.

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#505569 - 01/13/18 03:43 AM Re: My Journey to Satanism [Re: Nemo]
Isobel Gowdie Offline


Registered: 12/28/15
Posts: 50
Originally Posted By: Nemo
The value of any book depends upon its potential usefulness to the reader.

Sure, but only so far as it presents a concept or premise that you've not considered, or not considered in the way suggested. Most of the Church of Satan's published work is valuable in this way, once you ignore the repetition, but the real gems are in how the books relate to one another.

For example:

In "To: All Doomsayers... & Assorted Tremblers" (Satan Speaks!), Anton LaVey covers a lot of interrelated points; but one of his key themes is that Satanism is interesting, so long as you don't talk about actual Satanism. It was used as filler to scare people, but the truth wasn't worth airing because it was really only designed to reinforce extant beliefs about Devil worship.

Satanism, as we understand it, was never the point.

Time moved on, information became more freely available, and the Aeon of Horus started to really take hold. Rebellion became more commonplace and, suddenly, people weren't quite so frightened by what the media had told it Satanism was. The funny thing is that, were the masses introduced to Satanism properly, it could have undone a lot of the social exclusion and angst that was felt by people who were now proving to be such a nuisance.

The subject is then picked up, though not directly, by Peter Gilmore in "Victors and Victims" (The Satanic Scriptures). In his discussion about Columbine, he muses that Satanism could have actually prevented the Columbine massacre by providing an out for Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Smart kids with a bright future were treated to the social exclusion of a typical high school and chose oblivion rather than conformity to a standard they despised. Had they been introduced to Satanism properly, perhaps they'd have appreciated that their talents were worth more than what their classmates declared them to be.

Sadly, thirteen people paid for the oversight with their lives.

James Sass then picks up the idea of damaging group exclusion, caused by the social or physical coercion mentioned by Gilmore, in his essay "On Real Horror Films" (Essays in Satanism). He goes on to describe the alpha-untermensch that populate most social climes and the detrimental impact they can have.

The overall message to distil is that Satanism is so badly misunderstood by mainstream commentators, that they've actually caused damage by presenting it so haphazardly. Conversely, were it to be treated accurately, those who fall into the group that is excluded socially or physically may well find an "outsider" religion that suits their personalities and talents. They'd be given an opportunity to thrive, rather than resort to spraying bullets around.

Now-

Individually, all of these things have valuable lessons to learn. But taken as a group (and there are other articles one could add), you can see how the Satanic strain of thought has evolved into a clear message that spans three authors and several decades, without self-congratulation or contradiction from the source. It's the logical and persuasive development of a concept that has something new to add each time its revisited.

This is what makes those works so much more valuable than, say, Michael Rose's Infernalia. That book angrily repeats itself throughout, makes blunt assertions that are often so wrong as to be incoherent, and introduces no new thinking to the Satanic canon.

It's not even charmingly written.

So while it's accurate to say that one diamond idea can be valuable, even if you need to wade through lots of rough to find it, that's a horribly inefficient way of doing anything. Earlier books in my list present all the same conclusions that Rose does, and they do so much more thoughtfully and with much less immature gibbering to fight through.

Time is precious; our most precious resource, actually. The published work of Michael Rose just wastes so much of it.
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