Just some basic thoughts about public Satanism, put into a question and answer format.
Do you do your thing regardless of what others may think?
Well, do you? are you able to be a Satanist in public? I think its difficult to live a lifestyle like that, but its not impossible. I’ve done it. Every day at my job I wore my pentagram, just to see what would happen, to test the waters. Luckily at my work there wasn’t a strict dress code and I wasn’t the only one who wore alternative religious jewelry.
I had a friend who was Wiccan and she always wore her Pentacle at work. She sold spell potions to her friends and she also read the Thoth tarot for them [at work, on breaks!]. She was known for years as being the ‘house witch’! The one that others go to for spells and readings. So I was lucky in my situation that I didn’t have to be the first to be public about witchcraft in the workplace. There were others before me. I have also introduced 2 other employees to the craft after they came to me for advice, they wanted to learn what it was about for themselves.
It helps if you have understanding friends and family who let you be yourself. many of us unfortunately do not, because of the christian backgrounds we have. For some being public about Satanism has caused them to be rejected by society, friends and family [and their family’s god, too]. These types of people want you to conform, because you don’t fit into their puzzle pieces, you aren’t the same as them. I’m sure in many cases they only want what they feel is best for you, but it hurts, its selfish and its not fair to deny others their right to be themselves!
We as Satanists aren’t the only ones to face these types of prejudice. Wiccans and even people involved in freemasonry can have troubles in daily life due to the beliefs and suspicious reactions of a ‘Christian society’. Thus, why things of the occult need to be secret and hidden. Because they will not understand and they will do what they can to oppose you, crush your spirit, and make you conform to their beliefs.
Do you really have the religious freedom to do what you want?
At times i feel that we do not. none of us do. There are troubles even for the wiccan and pagan community. i just read an article that my friend Troll Towelhead From Satanservice.org showed me, about an organization for pagans and wiccans.. and in this report was a story of how a legitimate business was thrown out of town because the religious right discovered that it was a Wiccan witchcraft shop. Unfortunately, the city won and the witches were driven out of town. This happened in the early 90’s. As I read the article I kept envisioning angry mobs of Christian townspeople with pitchforks and torches ready to burn the witches and drive the evil from their town.
This happened ten years ago, in America. It’s hard to believe that things like this happen, considering that we are supposed to have freedom of religion. This freedom is an ideal. See also my post about: Is Satanism Legal in America?
What does Religious freedom mean to you?
In this ideal world, religious freedom would be the ability to think, act, do say, and express one’s self in a spiritual way without the fear of restriction and social condemnation.
Is this accurately reflected in society? Does this matter to you at all?
I know that in America it is not. I can imagine that it would be worse in other parts of the world, especially in Europe. for instance, recently Italy tried to ban all Satanic organizations, claiming that these people were ‘conspiring against the church’. Witchcraft was still outlawed in many parts of the world by the 1900’s.
Are you prepared to answer to others who want to know what your Religious beliefs are?What do you tell people when they ask you what your religion is? Why?
I have been asked about religion in social situations. Especially when I wear any kind of jewelry that does not look Christian in origin. I have generic answers to give depending on the person, and what I feel they could handle for an answer.
At the very least I will identify as pagan, and when the curious christian asks, I will say that ‘its a non christian, natural earth religion’ or something like that. They usually don’t ask any more questions after that. Giving a generic answer lets them show me how much they could know about occultism or how comfortable they could be with the answers.
Only a few of my personal friends know that I am a Satanist. I will make an acquaintance, and if I feel the time is right I will tell them that I am a satanist. It is at that point that I usually see a very surprised look on their face, a look of shock and fear like no other. Like a deer caught in the headlights of a car.
Well this revelation will either deepen our friendship or cause a rift. and that is fine with me. If they aren’t willing to put their personal religious prejudice aside and relate to me on a personal and human level, then maybe they aren’t the right person to be associating with. I try to be fair and accommodate their beliefs, but if they cant do the same for me then I’m just not really interested in a deeper friendship.
And the ones that do, well they know me on a personal level, they know that I’m Venus Satanas, that ‘Satanist chick who’s into metal’ 😉