I realize I have yet to talk about my path cohesively to this point. It is something I have mentioned briefly and in passing, but not with any chronology or alacrity.
Celebrating the one year anniversary of my official membership and receiving my red card, I had the chance to type it all out in a conversation and decided I would share it here as well, if for no other reason than to have it saved and “on record”, in as short a hand as I am able. There are many details left out in this retelling but those are anecdotes for later times.
The first time I saw The Satanic Bible, I was ten years old. It was on a table at a swap meet in southern California. This was in the early early 90s and the Satanic Panic was still raw and fresh in everyone’s mind and so I knew the word, and I knew the symbol.
As we walked through the rows of flea market stalls, we came to a long black table filled with knives, swords, slingshots, pepper spray and all manner of “self-defense” weapons. And there at the very end, was a pristine copy of LaVey’s The Satanic Bible.
I was fascinated and gravitated several times back to the table, longing to reach out and touch it, read it and just… absorb it. I wanted to know what was in this little black book that was so scary.
I dared not however, too scared myself to even dare ASK my parents if I could then, but I swore, one day I would. Little did I know it would be nearly a decade before that day came.
After a serious skateboarding injury when I was sixteen, I was recovering and got my hands on a copy of Satan Speaks.
I felt exhilarated reading it, like the essays were written for me. Though at that age and the trauma I suffered, I wasn’t able to really appreciate what it was, despite going over and over the essays for years after, even after having the book taken from me in school because an English teacher read a scandalous line over my shoulder. I knew there was something powerful within, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. The wit, the common sense, the scathing commentary… I enjoyed it but I couldn’t grasp why it was so appealing.
After all many of the core principles in it seemed to conflict with my desires and values at the time.
At nineteen I finally got a copy of the Satanic Bible. Though at that time in my life I was a rapscallion and a ne’er-do-well. I was a petty thief, a vandal, a drug addict.
To be honest when I read The Satanic Bible the first time, I tried to argue with the points I found within, as if I knew better in my nineteen years on this Earth. I laugh to think about it now, but it took years for me to realize why I felt so threatened by the words in those pages. So I put it away and was content to live fast, and die young.
For nearly a decade it lived on my shelf as I went up and down and back and forth in life and it wasn’t until I got married, and had a stake in this life. I didn’t die young, and I didn’t burn out… I grew up.
Turns out I was looking into a mirror and I was not satisfied with what I saw reflecting in it. I was an abhorrent mess. Rather than accept that early on I had to hit rock bottom, hard enough to shatter the frail ego I had at the time and start fresh.
The works of Dr. LaVey had a new shimmer to them. The Black Flame hotter than I ever thought it could be.
Then I read the Scriptures by Maestro Gilmore and, like the bang of a gong, there was this resonance in my deepest core.
I performed my first ritual, for real. A Lust and Compassion ritual that saw my daughter born nine months later (after many many miscarriages and fertility issues before the ritual)
I performed again, and saw the destruction of visible enemies and barriers.
I donned the Sigil, and started writing about my own experience. I branched out to read works from other Satanic figures, Reverend Vernor (then Corvis), Magister Nemo, Magistra Barton and many more, any that I could. I started listening to podcasts and interviews and the moment happened the day I got my copy of The Satanic Warlock just over a year ago.
I was listening to Magister Nemo on 9sense with Reverend Campbell, and he likened membership to graduating to college after high school. Studying on your own gets you so far but being able to interact on a personal level, attend the functions, see the “behind the scenes” stuff. That is the inevitable conclusion.
I had been working for years to that point in my career, my hobbies, my passions, I felt that I had grown well out of that Devil Worshipping youth I was. I had something to offer.
So I sent off my fee and active membership application at the same time, and here we are, one year later.