This Is How Satanists Celebrate Christmas
Satanists, they're just like us!
When most of us refer to Santa's 'Naughty or Nice' list, we're hoping to land in the latter column.
In fact, they're more than happy to play the Devil to the Angel that sits atop many of our Christmas trees.
According to Leon Bael, who is a spokesperson for Satanic Australia (yes, there is such a thing), Christmas for Satanists isn't really that weirdly different from everyone else's celebration.
"Satanism is highly individualistic and it's hard to make generalisations about what each Satanist does with their time," Bael told 10 daily.
"That said, I do know quite a few at least try to celebrate by taking the tradition back to its pagan roots, or reconnecting with their ancestral history in some way."
For Bael personally, that means taking a deep-dive into his German ancestry.
"There's this German myth about Krampus -- who is a half-goat, half-demonic figure who follows Saint Nicholas around and punish the naughty children," he said, before making sure to add:
"We’re not about punishing children or anything like that -- I personally just like embracing the darker, creepier side of things."
Bael told 10 daily he became actively involved in Satanism "around Christmas-time last year" is quick to dispel some of the myths surrounding the religion.
"No, we do not participate in human sacrifices," he laughed.
"There's definitely no sacrifices going on."
Now, Satanic Australia doesn't believe in a literal Satan. Instead, they use The Prince of Darkness as a symbol of rebellion against tyranny.
Their core beliefs centre around their 'Seven Tenets':
- Compassion - 'one should strive to act with compassion towards all creatures'.
- Justice - 'should always prevail over laws and institutions'.
- Freedom - 'to willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own'.
- Autonomy - 'one's body is subject to one's will alone'.
- Reason - 'beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the word'.
- Accountability - 'if we make a mistake we should do our best to rectify it'.
- Wisdom - 'the spirit of compassion, wisdom and justice should always prevail over the written or the spoken word'.
Of course, one of the most well-known movements of Satanism was started in 1966 when Anton Szandor LaVey founded The Church of Satan. 'The Satanic Bible' -- the central religious text of LaVey Satanism -- was publish in the following years.
At its very root, Satanism is a philosophy that focuses on the here and now, rather than a higher power.
"We're just normal, everyday people," Bael said.
"We're secular and we have a secular philosophy. A lot of what we do is identical in practice to what other secular people do -- we don't believe in God or Jesus Christ. But for us, we tend to appreciate the darker aesthetic of things."
Bael also makes mention of John Milton's classic poem 'Paradise Lost' as a key impetus for his belief system.
For those who haven't read the (very, very long) epic poem, the TL;DR version goes something like this: Satan is banished to Hell after trying to overthrow God.
OK, there's a lot more to it, but that's the main part we're concerned with. The reason being is that Milton was able to make people feel empathy for Satan. Consider this classic line:
"Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."
Bael explains: "We look at the story of Satan in Paradise Lost and we see him as a figure rising up against a tyrannical leader (God). That really influences a lot of what we believe in -- we try to combat arbitrary authorities.
"Whenever there is a religious person telling us we shouldn’t do something with our bodies, or that we have to do something a certain way -- we will combat that. You need to make a better argument than 'our bible tells us this is how it's done'."
Beal said he and his fellow Satanists will also be busy this season spreading the word of their 'Blood For Satan' campaign -- which is in partnership with the Red Cross.
"They're always in need of blood," he said. "So anything we can do to help, we'll do."
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Feature Image: Getty