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 differing personal beliefs. 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 encompasses a broad range of beliefs with numerous personal variations, ranging from the veneration of a literal deity and the practice of occultism, to a secular set of principles that use 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 talmudic figure Lilith.

They support the protection of the natural world. Both the arts and sciences are crucial to human development, and thus both are cherished. Luciferians think 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. Regardless of whether Lucifer is conceived of as a deity or as a mere archetype, 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.

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]

Organizations[edit]

Greater Church of Lucifer[edit]

In 2014 Luciferians founded a worldwide organization for Luciferians in Houston known as the Greater Church of Lucifer under the leadership of Jacob No, Michael W. Ford and Jeremy Crow, founder of the Luciferian Research Society. In January 2015 the founders of GCoL filed paperwork in the Austin County Courthouse in order to do business under the GCoL name. Jacob No describes GCoL as an organization that "follows a philosophy and is not a religion".[3]

Neo-Luciferian Church[edit]

The Neo-Luciferian Church (NLC) is a Gnostic and Luciferian organisation with roots in western esotericism, Voodoo, Luciferianism, Thelema, and magic.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spence, L. (1993). An Encyclopedia of Occultism. Carol Publishing. 
  2. ^ Cavendish, 1983, pp. 296-297, The Black Arts
  3. ^ The Sealy News, 29 Jan 2015, "Greater Church of Lucifer files to do business in Austin County"