We can still disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.
– Son of Baldwin, a/k/a Robert Jones Jr.
When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
– Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, Anton LaVey
Every Man and Woman is a Star.
– Aleister Crowley
The Left-Hand Path is a rigorous path to walk. One must constantly take inventory of their internal landscape, ensuring that one truly knows thyself and is true to thyself – a task far harder to accomplish than it sounds. The eventual goal is self-liberation and deification. In order to accomplish that, one must test and push oneself beyond boundaries most are comfortable living within. It is not for the weak-willed or soft-minded, nor is it for the faint of heart. The breaking of taboos is commonplace, as are the examination and exploration of the most extreme aspects of one’s self and society. Naturally, one’s political views are going to be impacted. This isn’t to say that there aren’t normal run-of-the-mill left-handed democrats and republicans, but more often than not, the anarchist credo of “No Gods, No Masters,” is applied in various permutations. My own political worldview is on the anarcho-syndicalist end of the spectrum coupled with an extremist environmentalism characterized by deep misanthropy. Ultimately, though, like everything else LHP, the individual must find their own truth and their own positions politically. It is undeniable that this does lead some toward the fascist and racist end of the political spectrum. Far be it for me to say that there is a single right way to LHP since, again, everyone must find their own truth. Nor am I about to lay claim to the ridiculous notion that there is ‘only one true Satanism’ that pollutes message boards, essays and websites across the Satanic spectrum (this does not mean, however, that there is not false Satanism). Nevertheless, I do think that the basic tenets of LHP philosophy exposes fascist and racist beliefs as inherently contradictory to the path, as well as being the under-developed and immature political positions lacking any mark of real Luciferian gnosis that they are.
Acknowledging that there are as many permutations of the LHP philosophy as there are practitioners, there are a few hallmarks of any LHP practice. These general aspects include antinomianism (literally meaning “against law”), or the embracing of taboos and flouting of convention, an emphasis on individuated freedom and gnosis, and finally the deification of the self. Stephen Flowers describes the LHP in his seminal work “Lords of the Left-Hand Path” as such:
The left-hand path considers the position of humanity as it is; it takes into account the manifest and deep-seated desire of each human being to be a free, empowered, independent actor within his or her world. The pleasure and pain made possible by independent existence are seen as something embraced and as the most reasonable signs of the highest, most noble destiny possible for humans to attain – a kind of independent existence on a level usually thought of as divine.
One begins this process of self-deification through the adaptation of antinomian attitudes and practices. It is this aspect of the Path that could theoretically lead one toward embracing extremist political points of view. For instance, if one is hell-bent on transgressing the norms of a liberal democratic society, then it is little wonder that racism or fascism might seem like a viable option of rebellion (in the same manner, liberal democracy would be transgressive in fascist society). The problem is that antinomianism is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. Because of this, the fixed adoption of any political philosophy for the purposes of transgression completely misses the point of antinomianism, which is to trigger and confront shadows, fears and psychic roadblocks within oneself. We all have a dark and hateful side that needs exercising (not exorcising as Anton LaVey so cleverly declared) to truly know thyself, but the hate and darkness itself are not the endgame, the gnosis of self is. Antinomianism is employed in the service of individuated liberation to bring forth the knowledge that requires. It is merely a means to a much greater end. In many ways, antinomianism is only the first immature step along the Path.
At the beginning of my own practice, I wholly embraced the most blasphemous of gestures in ritual. I needed very much to act upon all the hatred in the world toward Christianity in order to free myself from the indoctrination of Abrahamic monotheism, so to cleanse myself I engaged in countless blasphemies. Eventually, I was free of the stain of Christianity on my soul and such acts and rituals were unnecessary. I have evolved beyond my war with Yahweh, and any further fixation on him would have become an obsession preventing me from proceeding to the next steps in my practice of self-liberation. Don’t get me wrong – I still think he’s an asshole, I just don’t overly concern myself with him, since he is no longer a roadblock on my path. That is the point of antinomianism: to confront the norms that are holding you back and smash them, not to remain fixated on war with them.
Again, the goals of self-liberation and deification are what we are looking toward in any legitimate LHP practice. Naturally, one must be concerned with one’s self first and foremost and certainly that belies a degree of selfishness, but such selfishness should be in the service of one’s own evolution; like antinomianism, it is not an end in itself. This is why most Satanists and Luciferians disagree with the notion of universal love, and instead believe that love is due only to those who deserve your love. As LaVey noted, if you love everyone equally then you don’t really love anyone at all personally. Furthermore, if you simply love everyone, you are not practicing the necessary self-love and care, and instead giving of yourself to anyone to use and abuse. We should love, but with meaning and purpose and in a manner that does not harm ourselves. Should the abused spouse love the abuser? Of course not. Should the slave love the master? Of course not. Such notions are absurd on their face and often a way to trick the oppressed into loving their oppressor. But who is deserving of love? Well, of course, those who are close to us in our personal sphere that we have chosen to be a part of our lives and who deserve our love. The notions of “choice” and “deserve” are very important here, because they hint at a larger aspect of LHP practice, which is the ability of one to create one’s own reality in accordance with their will. This would include loving those who deserve to be loved and who we value, or who merit our love. Each individual should be judged on their own merit, and not because of any genetic pool they are, or are not, born into. Such a deduction would be absurd and antithetical to the LHP. Church of Satan Magus Peter Gilmore touched upon this in his essay “A Map for the Misdirected”:
The Church of Satan is neither racist nor sexist. We are equal opportunity haters of most human animals—recall the “Seventh Satanic Statement.” Misanthropy is our general point of view, and we don’t exclude any race or either sex from this attitude. We seek to associate with the fascinating few at the top of the stratification pyramid, and that doesn’t necessarily mean those with the most intelligence, money, or talent. Many of them may be “damaged goods,” Thanatos-centered creatures who are incapable of enjoying life and obsessed with quenching the lust for life that enflames we who are carnal. We don’t care from whence a person comes or what genitals adorn their bodies. We judge people for what they are individually, their personal achievements, and how they behave, ascribing nothing to them based on their lineage. They can either succeed or fail in impressing us as humans who are worth our precious time through their own accomplishments and demeanor. Meritocracy is our approach, and we have nothing but disdain for people who demand they should be considered worthy of note simply because they had ancestors who were outstanding. We see these poseurs for the desperate losers they are, and shun them. And we will also recognize those who fall into herd-behavior patterns, people who are by nature incapable of personal self-realization. They are to be avoided whenever possible.
There are few things to note in Gilmore’s statement, but one that immediately jumps out and is prevalent throughout COS writings is the disdain for “herd-behavior.” Fascism requires a hive-mind or herd-behavior to function. It necessitates a godlike dictator who is to be worshiped and obeyed. A few LHP practitioners think that if they could be that dictator, then fascism is some sort of holy grail of individuated liberty, since that one leader will be creating reality on a mass scale. Nothing could be more fucked. To begin with, the chances of one of them being the next great dictator is slim to none (although, with the election of Donald J. Trump, it’s hard to say now that it’s impossible, since clearly any asshole can take power even at this late stage in history). It is more likely they will be one of the unwashed masses slavishly worshiping Dear Leader, a situation that is wholly and entirely antithetical to the LHP. There can only be one dictator in a fascist regime, the rest are either sycophants or the oppressed, neither of which allows for autonomy or the type of individual freedoms the LHP is built upon. Anyone thinking that somehow worship of another is in keeping with the LHP is truly no Satanist or Luciferian. Of the few things we must roundly reject on the LHP, it is deification of another above ourselves. Fascism requires the deification of a leader as well as a perpetual hive-mind among his followers. If neither of those things sets off alarm bells, you are better off sitting in a pew in your local Catholic Church on Sunday Mass than reading “The Satanic Bible” or books on Luciferian Witchcraft.
Another aspect of Gilmore’s essay is the emphasis on merit, not genetics. Nearly all forms of LHP practice I have encountered strongly favors meritocracy as a governing principle. This is a natural outgrowth of a philosophical system that is based on individuals shaping themselves in a metaphorical blast furnace. Particularly in Luciferianism, if you aren’t being the best you that you can be then you are failing yourself. Those that have been through the forge of life and come out victorious are to be admired in the left-hand philosophy. The self-empowered individual is God; literally. Therefore, any judgments based on one’s genetics instead of merit are a betrayal to LHP values. Now, having said that, I’ve seen some LHP practitioners react negatively to social justice groups demanding fair treatment for women or minorities. Such a reaction is immature at best, since it does not consider systemic inequities in society in regards to these groups. It is far easier for a white male to become “empowered” in this world than it is a black female. That’s just fact. And if the LHP is based on taking humanity as it is, we must also take into account systemic imbalances in society. Personally, I see these groups as mass movements towards empowering the individuals within them, and therefore should be supported by those of us on the LHP. The end game for them is simply equal opportunity to succeed or fail that white males like me have had by birthright in this country. We should support them in their efforts and afford them the same place at the table that has allowed us to achieve our own gnosis and liberation. Furthermore, if we are looking at our fellow humans in terms of merit, a self-empowered member of a minority or historically disenfranchised group deserves far more of our adulation than another white male who got to spend his college years fucking around and immersing himself in the occult. This is not to discount each of our own personal struggles. Satan knows that even as a white man I have been through the fires to get to where I am, but I am also honest about the fact that I started at a point of far greater advantage than my black and female counterparts.
This leads me to my next point: the LHP is all about knowledge and wisdom. If you can’t be truly knowledgeable and wise about the world outside of your door, then you still have far to go on the path. Remember, the LHP is about taking the world as it actually is, not about ascribing to ideals found only in a book. This means not only shunning simplistic political positions, but also facing any irrational fears and prejudices within. Just as antinomianism is about overcoming internal barriers, so is increasing gnosis. Racism is often based in irrational fear of the other, which is why most racists reside in areas where there are no actual minorities. It’s harder to maintain a racist attitude when the person working in the office next to you is of a different color than yourself, simply because as your knowledge grows of the world and the others within it, more often than not it leads to an increase in the acceptance of others, not a decrease. The same people who think all Muslims are terrorists are the same people who have never actually met a Muslim. Such prejudice bespeaks of a lack of knowledge, and a lack of knowledge and reason is death on the Path. Conversely, anyone maintaining ideas about racial superiority will have those fantasies dashed as soon as they interact with enough members of that race. Let us not forget that misanthropy spares no one, regardless of genetics.
Finally, I would like to end on a word to practitioners of my genetic lineage. Not only am I a practitioner of Luciferian Traditional Witchcraft, but my ancestry is northern European. The Norse Gods speak directly to my soul. My familial deities are Odin, Thor, Freyja and Frigg. I bring this up because there is an overlap between the LHP and Germanic paganism, with practitioners like myself finding a home in both (the reasons for this are the basis for another article, nah book, entirely). It is no secret that Heathenism is polluted by racialists that would forget that Odin was the breaker of barriers and boundaries in His unending quest for wisdom. I would imagine He finds such ignorant tribalism to be regressive and completely at odds with His own orientations. Nevertheless, these racists persist in branding themselves with valknuts and runes. It is not hard to understand where this attitude comes from. In one of the very early works on Germanic Paganism, “The Book of Troth,” Edred Thorsson wrote:
The troth is our folk-religion. This means that it is the religion that is particular to this folk, to this ethnic group. We seek first and foremost to delve deeply into the long neglected pathways of our ancestors, to learn their lore, and to follow their examples…the great psychologist Carl Jung, in an essay entitled “Wotan,” crafted an effective metaphor in reference to the mysterious way in which the old gods of our people remain, and can again become active in our world:
Archetypes are like riverbeds which dry up when the water deserts them, but which it can find again at any time. An archetype is like an old water-course along which the water of life has flowed for centuries, digging a deep channel for itself. The longer it has flowed in this channel the more likely it is that sooner or later the water will return to its own bed.
This truly says what needs to be said about how the gods and goddesses of our ancestors have always been with us, and how easily they can return if we will but quicken them. They are like a secret code in the very fiber of our being – other folk carry other codes which is right for them. Our code, simply for no other reason than it is ours, is right for us.
This idea of genetic inheritance is at the basis for “folkish” Germanic paganism. It should be noted that there are universalists who do not believe that the gods are genetic inheritances. Although I am a universalist, I cannot honestly determine whether or not Odin is in my genes, because I can’t step outside of my northern genetics to know if I would feel a kinship with Him if I were of Italian or Egyptian stock – I simply can’t know (although I should note that I also feel a direct connection with the Greco-Roman deities Hecate and Pan as well). What I do know is this: every culture has beliefs and practices that make them unique, and often those things are the most beautiful and fascinating things that make up the tapestry of humanity. I am fascinated with Voodoo, but I am an outsider to it entirely. I have nothing but respect and awe for that religion, but also know that I am a foreigner to it (although as a traditional witch, we certainly swap magical recipes with one another). Does this mean that Heathenry is superior to Voodoo because I am at home with one and not the other? Of course not. It simply means they are different and part of the different histories of different people. Difference does not mean inequality. Differences should be celebrated and respected. The idea that Germanic paganism makes one superior is as asinine as any other claim to superiority. It takes exactly zero seconds for me to recognize superior people whose ancestral practice is Voodoo than some of the troglodytes who lay claim to Odin. Race makes no one superior, merit does. This is as true in the LHP as it is in Germanic paganism. The Sagas were written about gods and heroes, not backwater dipshits whose greatest accomplishment is setting fire to an Algiz rune without engulfing themselves in flames.
To conclude, the next time you think you are being transgressive or edgy beyond edge by donning a swastika and sieg heiling, you aren’t. Instead you are betraying the ignorance of the hive-mind steeped in the most primordial irrationality and superstition. You might as well be a fucking Christian (from which, it is no surprise, most racism and intolerance springs). Your will to power does not necessitate the oppression of others. In fact, it is difficult to understand how a philosophy built on personal individuated liberation can ever allow the oppression of another. This gets to the ultimate reason to reject both fascism and racism, which is respect for individual freedom and empowerment. How can one value individuated freedom above all else, and then deny it in another? Does the Black Flame burn only in you? Such a position is rank hypocrisy that deserves nothing but contempt, and ultimately a bashing of the skull, for if someone bothers you in open land and persists, he should be destroyed.