Recently I was on another forum where a person asked some questions about registered membership in the Church of Satan
vs. active membership. I thought I'd share my responses to his post here.
Q: "Do you have active membership? I always wondered what that truly entailed, seeing as the grotto system was eliminated."
A: I myself started with just registered membership, and only later applied for active membership. At first, that registered membership was enough for me. It was clear that the COS was the one organization on the planet that most accurately represented my principles, and what I got out of Satanism was worth way more than the membership fee, so becoming a registered member made perfect sense.
But after a number of years I found myself taking a more active role than I had anticipated: writing articles for Satanism zines, meeting other members in person, setting up Satanism-related websites, running a Satanism-related podcast, etc. So by that point, I realized that I applying for active membership (which among other things allows you to give the COS a better view of what you've been accomplishing) was the sensible thing to do.
It's worth pointing out though that there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a registered member and not filing for active status. Different people join the COS for different reasons. I've even known a few people who didn't personally identify as Satanists, but still got a lot out of Satanism that has helped them through life (e.g., people who've taken the principles from "The Satanic Witch" and made lucrative careers) and joined as a gesture of gratitude. The Church of Satan
has no social obligations on its members. While we all share a common set of principles, how people choose to manifest Satanism in their lives is going to be different for different Satanists.
Q: "I wouldn't mind connecting with other Satanists for ritual and whatnot in my area."
A: I'm a big fan of group ritual, and I think every Satanist should try it at least once
in their life. When it's done well, it can be one of those experiences you'll never forget. In this day and age of the internet, I suppose it's possible to get on a message board and ask around for any and all people in your area who might be interested in group ritual. But when you limit your search to just fellow Church of Satan
members, you filter out sooooo
many random kooks and other undesirables from the equation! Just one of many benefits of membership.