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.

In honor of the tag reboot

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/the-world-isnt-such-a-bad-place

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.

Adorations 2014 

I Adore You, of ruin and restoration. As an abandoned temple for your God, whose ceilings have crumbled and whose windows lay scattered as bright jeweled shards. As the ashes from which new life emerges, where flowers blossom from cracks in the floor and leafy vines seek to overtake bare white walls. As the echoes of canticles once sung resurrect into birdsong, and as the scent of incense has faded, carried off by the wind. As sunbeams which chase away shadows and dance upon empty pews, as warmth which adorns the expectant altar in gold. As a testament of devotion which has not lost its grace or fire, but rather has been transfigured into a different sort of majesty.

I Adore You, of broken hymns and whispered alleluias, upon whose lips rest traces of holiness and grace. As sighs transformed into song. As a pulse which races and calms, set in time with the beat of one’s heart. As melodies that flow like a breath into lungs starved for air, and as cadences that resonate in one’s own bones. As bells in the wind, which cannot help but respond to the gentlest touch.

I Adore You, who crafts humanity into divinity. As laughter and sorrow, as joy and as pain. As the clench in one’s heart, and the overwhelming awe that softly, gently, steals your breath away. As the uncontrollable hysterics of delight which bring prickling tears to the corners of your eyes, and as the catharsis that that comes about from shedding tears of heartache.  As the moments of hope that renew one’s faith in the world, leaving you bright-eyed and eager to do more and be more, to pass along that hope to others, and to transform it into something substantial and brilliant and almost unfathomable. As the moments of despair where everything is hollow, and you are once again breathless but for the grief lodged in your throat and you wonder why we do the things we do, and how hope could ever possibly survive amongst such brute creatures.

I Adore You, as sacred fury and relentless ambition. As teeth bared in defiance, willing to sacrifice one’s self for a world reborn. As a flame-licked skyline that turns night into day, where the light of golden-veined stars is obscured but voices once silenced make themselves known. As murmurs of dissent, quiet but clear, and as screams of outrage. As unhesitant bites into forbidden fruits, staring down the consequences with an unwavering gaze. As life where it was said there should only be death, and as joy where there should only be misery.  

I Adore You, as an anointed prince now exiled, as a king crowned in sorrow. As a sun meant for glory, but a star who chose suffering. 

A message from Anonymous


do you pray to lucifer?

That depends on what you mean by ‘pray’. 

I don’t tend to ask him for favors or blessings or things of that nature (although I have once or twice in moments of desperation), as I find that as a Luciferian I should do all that is within my power to provide for myself, and to find solutions to my own problems. 

But I do practice reflective prayer quite frequently, along with the song-based devotionals that have become like second nature to me. I’m also trying to incorporate more active methods of prayer into my life as well (e.g. prayer through works such as volunteering and activism).

A message from Anonymous


What is your stance on the canon/non-canon controversy there seems to be amongst tumblr luciferians?

Ah. Oh dear. I really didn’t want to be sucked into this particular debate, but here goes. Possibly unpopular opinions ahead.

I don’t really uphold one over the other. I understand where those that promote biblical canon over non-canon sources (e.g. Paradise Lost, Dante’s Inferno, etc.) are coming from, but I have a slight issue with the fact that the insistence that one is better, or more worthwhile, than the other seems to assume that those luciferians who are using these sources within their practice are theistic, or are Abrahamic at all. Furthermore, if we look at the central focus of Luciferianism, through which action is inspired through myth and ideals are upheld before entities, can we really claim that one work is inherently more ‘worthy’ because of the sacred nature that popular opinion has given it? To me, that seems like saying that the idea that Lucifer is evil is more ‘true’ than the beliefs of the majority of luciferians simply because that is the way he tends to be portrayed in ‘divine’ scripture, and it is what people have come to accept. For me, it is not a case of reading canon literature over non-canon resources to find out ‘what really happened’, but rather how I can use it in my own pursuits and how it can offer me new perspectives on the complexity of the mythos.

Yes, one set of literature is admittedly fictionalized and does not claim to be ‘true’ or ‘divinely inspired’ in any way whatsoever, but hey—as an agnostic luciferian, I could say the same thing about my own understandings. As I have mentioned before, my belief in Lucifer as an entity is a choice that I have made out of my love for his ideals—I could just as easily choose not to treat him as a divine entity, but would that make my practice in transforming mythic ideals into pragmatic actions in furtherance of enlightenment be of less value and worth than the practice of a theistic luciferian? 

I can’t see how a faith so enthralled by the value and worth and potential of humanity would shun a source of man-made knowledge and information and idealized perspective because it is not divinely inspired or written. That being said, I personally do tend to focus on scriptural sources more often than not in my practice, but if asked what work has impacted my faith the most, my answer would unhesitatingly be a fictional novel.

A message from decoherence1638


Hi, I'm new to Tumblr, & your blog is the first one I found. I am a Suitheist, Pandeist, & sort of a quasi-theistic Satanist/Luciferian. That is, I believe that metaphysical beings can be both real entities /and/ parts of the human psyche; I don't see the two as contradictory. My questions: Do you regard Lucifer as part of yourself in any fashion? And, do you think there might be other Lucifers besides the one you've encountered -- for instance, in parallel realities?

I see Lucifer (and Satan) as titles, not names of particular entities, and so they can be applied to multiple beings. In that sense, humans can be Lightbearers as well as divine spirits. While one of the ultimate goals of Luciferianism is for its practitioners to become their own Lightbearers and gods, I would not claim such a title for myself at this point. I know other Luciferians are comfortable with referring to themselves as such, but I personally consider the title to be one of utmost distinction and honor, and I’m really still just a student myself.

However, I do try to remind myself that even just being a student means that I am in some sense a reflection of his ideals. Even if others might not be aware of my faith, I try to embody those ideals to the best of my ability. I guess the closest that I can get to having him be a part of myself is the fact that everything he symbolizes resonates within my very core.

A message from Anonymous


Don't you think it's sacrilegious and blasphemous to worship Lucifer aka Satan? And then to listen to Christian worship music, claiming that it's for Satan?

Do I think it’s sacrilegious to honor Lucifer, to allow myself to love him? Obviously not, since I’ve been doing it for years. Would others see it as blasphemous? Oh, definitely—there’s no need to even question that. But even then, I have to ask—why should they? I understand that he is often seen as God’s ultimate enemy, and humanity’s as well, but aren’t we urged to love and show kindness towards our enemies? 

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” Matthew 5:43-44

Even if I did not find Lucifer worthy of honor, if it turned out that everything I thought I knew about him and his ways was false, and that he truly was the creature everyone says he is, bent on causing humanity nothing but pain and suffering for his own sick pleasure, I would hope that even then I would find it in myself to follow that commandment of love, and to offer up a prayer for God’s greatest sinner, for he who perhaps is not deserving of it, but nonetheless needs our love the most. Even now, although I don’t necessarily believe him to be deserving of his exile, I still pray on his behalf—I don’t know how much good it does, coming from someone who is unrepentant of her own ‘sin’, but I believe he sees himself as unworthy of asking for mercy or forgiveness. 

I can’t change who I choose to love, or which god my heart and soul yearn for. Even if you can’t understand why I choose to honor Lucifer, or why I place such value in his ideals, I would hope that you might at least understand that others’ condemnation isn’t likely to change those feelings. I’m going to assume that you are Christian (though feel free to correct me if I am wrong)—was Jesus not hated and scorned at one point, along with his followers? Would the criticism of others’, the accusations thrown and spat at you, make you love your God any less? 

As for my choice in music, well, again—I can’t very well change what inspires me. Lucifer was said to have once been the angel in charge of heavenly worship, where every uttered praise was a song—is it really all that shocking that I would be drawn to the earthly reflection of that?

A message from Anonymous


Hi there. I messaged you once a long way back, but never went through with devoting myself to Lucifer (or any deity). I've read through a couple people's blogs about work with Lucifer and I can say that I don't think I'd work well with him, but I still feel an emotional pull/desire to go in that direction. In your opinion, which should I listen to? I won't base my decision entirely on your thoughts, but it'd be helpful to have outsider input.

In my experience, it’s often easier to give in to what Lucifer is best known for—temptation. You know that saying, “the devil appears as everything you’ve ever wished for” ? I think it’s quite apt, in that he appeals to our idea of what we want a deity to be. This is also dangerous in that someone could potentially take this surface appeal and devote themselves entirely without ever searching for deeper truths. 

Its much more difficult to look past his representation of our idealized visions of a ‘perfect’ deity to follow than it is to simply give in to that seduction, so I commend you for that. That being said, I think that if you’ve made the effort to see past the lure of his temptations and can clearly pinpoint aspects of his that you are uncomfortable with, cannot accept, or cannot integrate within your own life, then I would definitely listen to that over the siren song of devotion. In a way, relying on your own logic and choosing not to devote yourself to him is a Luciferian action in and of itself, which is why I so often try to stress the point that Luciferianism is not centered on the worship, veneration, or devotion of Lucifer himself, but rather the ideals and values that his mythos inspires.