Luciferianism

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William Blake's illustration of Lucifer as presented in John Milton's Paradise Lost

Luciferianism is a belief system that includes both theistic and atheistic denominations and is, therefore, heavily influenced by personal perspectives and experiences. Considered by many to be a religion and by some to be a philosophy or way of life, Luciferianism as a whole has no specific dogma to which its “followers” adhere. Rather, it is a deeply personal outlook with numerous variations ranging from the veneration of a literal deity and the practice of occultism to a secular set of principles, using mythological references as a form of symbolism and cultural tradition.

General beliefs[edit]

Although sometimes mistakenly associated with Satanism due to the Christian interpretation of the fallen angel, Luciferianism is a wholly different and unrelated belief system and does not revere the Devil figure or most characteristics typically affixed to Satan. Rather, Lucifer in this context is seen as one of many Morning Stars, a symbol of enlightenment, independence and human progression, and is often used interchangeably with similar figures from a range of ancient beliefs, such as the Greek titan Prometheus or the Jewish figure Lilith.

Luciferianism does not typically support violence or amoral practices.[citation needed] They support the moral and intellectual development of children in particular, and the protection of the natural world. Both the arts and sciences are crucial to human development, and thus both are cherished. Luciferians feel that humans should be focused on this life and how to make the most of it every single day. The ability to recognize both good and evil,[citation needed] to accept that all actions have consequences, both positive and negative, and to actively influence one's environment, is a key factor.

For Luciferians, enlightenment is the ultimate goal. They prize the wonders of nature and seek to connect with the natural world and the universe that humans inhabit, in order to move humankind forward, whether it be physically or socially. The basic Luciferian principles highlight truth and freedom of will, worshipping the inner self and one’s ultimate potential. Traditional dogma is shunned as a basis for morality on the grounds that humans should not need deities or fear of eternal punishment to distinguish right from wrong and to do good. All ideas should be tested before being accepted, and even then one should remain skeptical because knowledge and understanding are fluid. In whatever incarnation Lucifer is viewed, whether theistic or not, he is a representation of ultimate knowledge and exploration: humanity’s savior and a champion for continuing personal growth.

Theistic Luciferianism[edit]

Some Luciferians believe in Lucifer as an actual deity, not to be worshipped as the Judeo-Christian God but to be revered and followed as a teacher and friend, as a rescuer or guiding spirit, or even the one true god as opposed to the traditional creator of Judaism.[1] Theistic Luciferians are followers of the Left-Hand Path and may adhere to different dogmata put forth by organizations such as the Neo-Luciferian Church or other congregations that are heavily focused on ceremonial magic, the occult and literal interpretations of spiritual stories and figures.

Most theistic Luciferians, however, are solitary practitioners, connecting with others who share their beliefs but not forming or following a particular institution. A personal relationship with Lucifer is commonly achieved through meditation and the practice of magic, either independently or in small groups, unaffiliated with a larger community. While this relationship is a deeply personal one and, as such, varies from one practitioner to another, it follows by default the Neopagan approach of seeking camaraderie and inspiration rather than the father/child or master/servant dynamic of monotheistic beliefs. The thought of a spiritual hierarchy or submission to a higher power is looked down upon on the grounds that being a god is not enough; even a deity must earn respect and admiration from those who follow him. In some cases, Lucifer is seen as a rebel angel or opposing God who sought to move humankind forward in defiance of Jehovah’s will to keep them ignorant and childlike. In other cases, Lucifer is believed to be the actual creator of Earth and the mortal realm, and was punished for bringing humans into existence. Exact beliefs and practices vary greatly, as they do within any religion, but in all cases Lucifer is considered to be a positive figure of both social and intellectual progress, with magic and ritual as potential tools to follow in his footsteps.

Arcadic Luciferianism[edit]

Named for the ancient mythological society of Arcadia, this branch of atheistic Luciferianism is a unique marriage of secular humanism and Neopagan culture. Unlike most Luciferians, Arcadians do not believe in or engage in the literal practice of magic or the occult. Although they do revere mythology and religious lore, and may involve themselves in traditional Neopagan rites, they shun the idea of a higher power or universal plan. Most Arcadians actively celebrate the pagan seasonal festivals based on the Wheel of the Year, primarily as part of a cherished cultural tradition, but unlike other types of Luciferians, they interpret all such rites as purely symbolic and otherwise distance themselves from the occult. The stories and figures of ancient cultures function as representations and creative manifestations of individual morals and Luciferian philosophy.

Like its namesake, this form of Luciferianism prefers the concept of a natural life, free from the burdens and expectations of modern civilization, particularly those triggered by theistic beliefs. Like secular humanists, Arcadians glorify reason, equality and progressive thought, and look down on religious dogma. Objectivity, science and personal exploration or discovery are treasured beyond anything else, with the ultimate goal being a world of peace, acceptance and unity that is neither imposed nor hindered by theism, entirely free of the supernatural. Unlike Humanists, however, they have a deep appreciation for spiritual symbolism. They incorporate mythological figures and stories into their lives as representations of humanistic ideals, their outlook directly influenced by secular interpretations of those concepts, and how such ideas may apply to the scientific world or the past, present and future of humanity.

Differences between Luciferianism and Satanism[edit]

Although Luciferianism and Satanism are often incorrectly referred to interchangeably, they are very dissimilar. Theistic Luciferians may sometimes demonstrate characteristics or practices that cross over with theistic Satanism, but Lucifer is regarded as an angel or god of light, a more positive ideal than the animalistic and materialistic deity recognized by theistic Satanists.

Satanism, whether theistic or LaVeyan, is highly materialistic and carnal, recognizing the existence of humankind as an animal and encouraging the acknowledgment of one’s primal tendencies. The welfare and happiness of the self comes first, before the welfare of others. Satanism, while it condemns violence and does in many cases venerate nature, places a strong focus on survival, power, self-indulgence and materialism, and takes more of an elitist stance towards stupidity.

In contrast, Luciferianism seeks to enlighten all of humankind, and Luciferians are encouraged not to convert but to spread knowledge, understanding and tolerance wherever possible, helping others to realize the potential for greatness within themselves, and to achieve as much as they can. There is a spotlight on doing good and placing others before the self, regardless of who they are. While Satanists are deeply involved in living for the moment, content to remain who or what they currently are, Luciferians seek ways to aid humanity’s progression to the next stage of social, physical or intellectual evolution. One religion deals with the self, while the other deals with humanity as a whole and the natural world in which we live. In spite of using similar archetypes, the Luciferian pursuit of knowledge and understanding has little in common with the Satanic goal of immediate gratification.

Historical Luciferianism[edit]

The Gesta Treverorum records that, in 1231, heretics began to be persecuted throughout Germany. Among them were Luciferians, principally in the Archdiocese of Trier, but also Mainz and Cologne. Over the following three years, several people were burned as a result. According to a papal letter from Gregory IX, Vox in Rama, dated from July 13, 1233, one of the claims made by the Luciferians was that Lucifer had been cast out of Heaven unjustly.

On the other hand, Richard Cavendish has argued: "The confessions Conrad of Marburg extracted were apparently made without torture, but under the threat of death if the victim did not confess. If these confessions were accurate, the Luciferans were full-blown Satanists. They worshiped the Devil as creator and ruler of the world, complained that he had been unjustly and treacherously banished from Heaven, and believed that he would overthrow the God of the Christians and return to Heaven, when they would enjoy eternal happiness with him. They reveled in whatever displeased the Christian God and hated whatever pleased him..."[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spence, L. (1993). An Encyclopedia of Occultism. Carol Publishing. 
  2. ^ Cavendish, 1983, pp. 296-297, The Black Arts