Dark Lilly Archive - A FEW MYTHS




No religion on Earth is more misrepresented and misunderstood than Satanism, not that this worries the Satanists. Black Magick or the Black Arts are general terms applied to the Left Hand Path (though not used by practitioners). “Black” or darkness is, in this context, associated with “evil” and this memory survives from primitive times when man moved about freely in daylight but, when night fell, he withdrew to the protective circle of light provided by his fire, which kept away hostile animals and anything else which might be out there, unseen in the darkness. As Shakespeare said: “Present fears are less than horrible imaginings” (Macbeth I:ii.) and, because we fear what we do not know, we may unconsciously exaggerate the unknown to proportions more terrible than its reality warrants.


It is difficult to substantiate claims regarding the origins of Satanism, since it has never been the official religion of a state or people. The most easily-available proof of its antiquity is in the bible: for instance, the legend of Jesus’ encounter with Satan. Satan offered him dominion over part of the world in exchange for allegiance, a peculiar tale which, at least, makes it obvious that such dominion was possessed by Satan. So the bible’s admission that Satan was not only in existence but powerful, at a time before Jesus began his campaigning, disposes of the myth that Satanism is merely a negation of and rebellion against Christianity.


There is no indication that the followers of the Left Hand Path, even if they personified their deity, ever represented him with the attributes of cloven hooves, horns and tail. These were features of various Pagan nature-gods such as Pan and Faunus, and were attached to Satan by the Christians, who regarded all other gods as their adversaries and naturally confused them.


The Satanists’ best-known symbol has often been mistakenly called “the inverted cross”. It has no connection with the Christian cross or the cross used by other older religions. The Satanic symbol represents the sword upraised, in challenge or acclaim.  Pointing downward, it would show defeat and surrender. Incidentally, in older and therefore more accurate versions of the Tarot cards, the suit of Swords shows the weapon upright in the Satanic manner. Only when the cards are reversed (with the unfortunate connotations usually attached to a reversed card in a fortune-telling spread) does the sword point down.


Necromancy is the illogical idea that spirits of deceased persons, if induced to make a temporary return to Earth, have, since or by reason of their transition, acquired clairvoyant ability, supernatural powers and wisdom.


It was essential to the state religion’s thraldom of fear that Death should be regarded with terror (despite vague promises of heaven for the few lucky ones). The cemetery, the ever present reminder of this dreaded inevitability, was surrounded by superstition and horror. The only people who did not regard cemeteries with this awe were those who had never accepted the new religion of Christianity and therefore understood that the dead were not more dangerous than they had been in life.


Cemeteries surrounded churches, and churches were often built on the sites of former temples. It was natural that the surviving Pagans should wish to meet as near as possible to their ancient holy place, since it had been consecrated by those with a knowledge of the Earth, a knowledge which has never been available to the Christians. The Pagan’s meetings in the grounds of their former temple were distorted by the Christians with an allegation that these meetings in the cemetery were for the purpose of raising the dead. The people were intimidated into regarding all Pagan practices with cringing alarm.



From the Dark Lily Journal No 1, Society of Dark Lily (London 1987).