Jew by birth, lapsed Conservative.

When reading Paradise Lost in high school, I commented that a lot of the stuff was a little alien to me as a Jew.  My goyish teacher replied “But the fall of Satan is in your bible, too!”

No it isn’t. Satan isn’t evil in Judaism. Satan is G-d’s prosecutor, essentially. His purpose is to test the righteous. One of my central annoyances as a Jew with regards to non-Jews reading our theology as essentially Christianity without Jesus are little things like this. And the assumption we believe in the Christian versions of Heaven and Hell, or that we believe in Original Sin or any other Christian concepts that, frankly, were I not a Jew I would probably reject on their own merits. While I think Jews and Christians, and Muslims for that matter, ultimately believe in the same G-d, our understandings of said G-d and what is expected of us are wildly different. I wish we could accept them instead of, well, have you read a history book?

The Christian concept of Satan was so utterly confusing to me when I was younger. I was like, “So…he’s not human, but he has the free will to “rebel”? And he’s not G-d, but he’s acting outside of G-d’s plans? And he’s not another deity, even though he’s solely responsible for the creation of evil? And isn’t G-d technically still responsible for its creation, having created Satan knowing that Satan would rebel?”

Because, by the Jewish understanding, everything that exists was created by G-d. Including evil. I didn’t understand how another being could be responsible for it, if G-d was truly the creator of the universe.

And my Christian friends would get so frustrated with me.

Yeah. Yetzer HaTov and Yetzer HaRa (the good and evil impulse) made so much inherent sense to me that I didn’t see the NEED for some supernatural evil force to counter G-d. The concept feels very alien to me. That’s also why Original Sin confuses me so much. Are we or aren’t we responsible for our own actions?

The view of Satan presented in the book of Job is a very interesting one. To speak up and say ‘yeah, well prove it!’ to G-d, to question and then to test the loyal and faithful.

It presents this view of a Creator that doesn’t explicitly demand only blind belief. We’re Am Yisrael, the people who wrestle with G-d, and I think Satan, as the Tanakh presents him, is important to understanding that role.


lucifer speaks in his own voice

sure as i am
of the seraphim
folding wing
so am i certain of a
graceful bed
and a soft caress
along my long belly
at endtime it was
to be
i who was called son
if only of the morning
saw that some must walk or all will crawl
so slithered into earth
and seized the serpent in
the animals i became
the lord of snake for
adam and for eve
i the only lucifer
created out of fire
illuminate i could
and so
illuminate i did

— Lucille Clifton


Your wreckage shall build you one day .


Your wreckage shall build you one day .

The ‘What-If’ Game

 I love playing the ‘what-if’ game when it comes to my faith. I will find any excuse to poke holes in the carefully woven fabric of belief that I’ve spun for myself, and then try to patch it up with questions and ideas that challenge the pattern and structure I had initially created. Some patched up bits have remained and grown into their own works of art. Others have not been able to withstand the constant destruction and renewal.

This has resulted in a vastly different faith than the one I started with—and yet, it’s not really all that different at its core. Perceptions have changed, paradigms have shifted, but what began with the radical idea of embracing doubt rather than fearing it has remained fairly constant throughout the years.

One particular version of the ‘what-if’ game that persists even today began when I started to let go of my grudge with my birth religion, when I stopped shying away from the love my god had for his Father. When I stopped trying to make my god fit the mold I had imagined for him, so too did the tapestry of my faith expand from the limits I had imposed on it.

This new game dared to ask: What if everyone else is seeing what I keep myself blind to? What if I’ve been trying to fit his Father and the risen Son into molds that supported my preconceptions, rather than just letting myself try to learn and understand what they were rather than what I thought they must be?

As time went on, new questions developed. If I have come to terms with Lucifer as being a mere spark from the fire that is God, as a small reflection (albeit profaned) of God, and I love him and all that he represents, what if I were to seek to love the son who was found worthy, he who resides in the Father and has won his favor, instead of Lucifer?

Lucifer, after all, is limited. He is the exiled son who was found lacking. His is the ruin and loss to Christ’s victory. How much stronger then, would my devotion be to the Morningstar who was crowned in his place?

Perhaps I’ve just heard renditions of “you follow the wrong god” one too many times. I prefer to think that this is the case, because the alternative is too heartbreaking to bear—that it is not my own skepticism speaking, but rather my god; that along with finding himself unworthy of seeking forgiveness from his God, he would also find himself unworthy of my own reverence and love.

And objectively, my studies have led to me finding far more parallels between them than differences. If I love Lucifer for his vision for humanity, it should be simple to lose myself to that proclaimed love and hope that Christ has for mankind. If I love Lucifer for his flawed nature, my love should grow tenfold for Christ’s human and mortalstate. If Lucifer’s sense of justice is mirrored and strengthened within Christ, I should be head-over-heels in love already.

So my doubting heart, that very same doubting heart which I cherish for having led me to my god in the first place, has risen to this challenge to lead me away from my god.  I am no stranger to having my faith tested and tried, or threatened with destruction so that it may be built anew—that is what I expected from this endeavor. I think I may have even wished for it, subconsciously. After all, the previous times that my faith has been shattered have also been the times that I’ve come into greater understanding and love. If I’ve learned to trust anything throughout the years, it has been to trust in my doubt, to trust that the breaking down of one’s faith is not necessarily a bad thing, regardless of whether it is shattered by my own hands or by someone else’s.

But while I have thus far found a deep sense of respect for Christ, and perhaps some love has sprouted from that respect, it isn’t the kind of love and devotion that I feel for my god. I cannot force myself to love another. I cannot uproot my devotion and replace it with another and automatically feel the same for it as I did its predecessor, because no matter what the similarities, there are also deviances. Maybe, one day, that small tendril of reverence will grow into something that rivals or surpasses my current faith, but not without as much study and work as I have put into what I have now.

For now, although it isn’t quite over, this ‘what-if’ game has shown me that I don’t need a victorious king at the forefront of my faith, not when I find my strength in one who still finds hope despite defeat. Perhaps he is a flawed and lesser god, but I love him all the more for those imperfections. My god may have been rejected as an inferior and dissident son, but I find him worthy of honor, and for me that is enough. 

Lucifer and Countenance

I have a few messages in my inbox that I haven’t answered, because they all are pretty much asking the same thing—“what does Lucifer look like to you?” and “how do you feel about this painting/depiction of Lucifer?”

I’m no longer comfortable answering questions of this nature. I would have been more than happy to in the past, but it has gotten to the point where questions of this sort tend to outnumber any other topic, and I really don’t think my particular feelings towards what he might look like should matter in the grand scheme of things.

That isn’t to say that appearances don’t matter—I would argue that idealized appearances matter more for Lucifer than for other gods. After all, the Tempter is an important facet of his, as it tends to be the one which most people first meet. He is the god with starlight in his hair and a charming grin, resembling everything you’ve ever desired. He is the god who holds out the fruit of knowledge, finger crooked to beckon. But this mask of seduction is just that—a mask, easily transformed to fit the desires of each who look upon him. This appearance says more about the nature of the follower than the god himself.

Equally as important is the Veiled god, the god who has taken his Maker’s command to heart—“Be holy, for I am holy” (Lev 11:44). And that which is holy is not to be seen, it is hidden and obscured.

For the seraphim who were closest to the throne of God, it is said that their wings hid them from sight, so they would not dare to look upon the face of their Father. Their covering is a mark of humility, in that even these divine creatures were not fit to gaze upon their God. For Lucifer whose downfall is said to be pride, in that he sought to become like God in the Highest, I would imagine that these coverings would have come to represent the veil of Holiness. The symbol of his unworthiness to his God would have been transformed to represent worthiness to himself, as an angel-made-god.

And so, I choose to refrain from answering any more questions that deal solely with what Lucifer might ‘look’ like.

A message from Anonymous

Do you have a particular bible translation that you prefer?

Hmm, not really. I grew up using spanish bibles (don’t remember which ones in particular), but I was too young then to comprehend the nuances between translations. The KJV is lovely in regards to its poetics, but I have a hard time actually getting through its passages. I’ve been using BibleHub for cross-checking in multiple translations, but it’s really inconvenient for me because I can’t stand reading off the computer.

I did, however, recently order the ESV study bible, which I’m really looking forward to, because it is said to be brimming with lots of background historical context, amazing illustrations and maps, linguistic analyses, and just tons of diverse research material right alongside the scripture. The translation itself is said to be good, but unfortunately it doesn’t include the deuterocanon/apocrypha.

"My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of His presence? The Incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are ‘offended’ by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not. But the same thing happens in our private prayers."

CS Lewis, A Grief Observed (via formlessforce)

In honor of the tag reboot


I used to brush off things like this and be cynical about it. Why should we praise people for doing what any decent being should do? It should be the norm for us to offer help and support to one another, to be kind, not something wondrous and rare that happens once in a blue moon and thus gets media attention like these instances.

I was led to wonder, why would Lucifer ever offer humanity the gift of knowledge, knowing what we were capable of? What could he possibly have seen in such broken, flawed, corruptible beings who seem to cause each other more pain than joy? Whatever he thought he must have seen, we must have definitely proved him wrong by now. But if I’ve come to see death as an illuminator of life, then the goodness of humanity is made all the more evident when paired with the cruelty we inflict upon one another.

As beings that have free will, we have the choice to do these things. We don’t have to do them. And that’s what makes them all the more wonderful. We don’t have to help each other, but we do it anyways. We could hate and destroy each other (and goodness knows we’ve done enough of that), and see only the wretchedness in humanity, but then there are those who choose to love one another despite our flaws and mistakes, those that find joy in serving others, those who plant seeds of hope amongst the ashes of ruin.

I’ve come across some of these ‘faith in humanity’ examples that sometimes make me pause, in that they aren’t quite as inspiring but rather somewhat problematic, but you know what? People are doing what they can, given their limitations, given the structures which they have to function within, given what they know. Humanity is problematic in itself. But we’re trying, even when we don’t have to.

You guys


This is why I love our little community. There are certainly unpleasant things that happen amongst us, but when we’re good we’re good.

This has me thinking about ways we can redirect the Luciferian tag and introduce more constructive, positive influences. Lead by example. Foster growth.

One thing I’m considering is tagging educational resources as Luciferian. Free books, free courses, study aids, anything non-profit that encourages and indulges the quest for knowledge and enlightenment. This, to me, would not only fit the tag but encourage the spirit of Luciferianism.

Can we start tagging examples of people doing and saying things that encourage rebellious enlightenment? It’s good, encouraging, and downright inspiring to see living examples of what we are capable of.

I think the sharing of resources is a great idea, and I would love to see more of this in the tags. So often the tag seems to be so caught up in the awe and praise of lucifer, that there is little to no mention of the other important player in the faith—us. Humanity. I know for me, personally, that which inspires me most in my faith is also that which I find myself struggling to find—examples of the potential and goodness that we hold. I’ve started a tag on my blog, ‘crafting humanity into divinity’, that helps me to find that hope when I can only see the despair among mankind, and I think the tags might benefit from examples of this as well.