When discussing occult or pagan practices it is difficult to trace lineage. Much of the time a practice or philosophy is constructed from varying sources, essentially remnants. Reconstructionists are stringent in their attempt to wholly revive what was lost. Other approaches are syncretic, focusing upon content rather than form. Either way, it cannot be stressed enough that the truth of occult or pagan practices is found in the actual practice itself. Indeed, the Church pillaged and destroyed any possible opposition to their jealous God. The Church was the hegemonic religion for centuries, and with that the victor makes the rules and writes the history. This is how the world works, for better or worse. The reason I state this is to bring up the question, how much is theistic content rooted in historical lineage and records? If the Church was destroyed, its traditions and rituals burnt to ash, the Bible itself ceases being, would that dismiss the theistic content thereof? I would answer with an emphatic no. If a person believes the theistic content is wholly rooted in the exoteric structure, then I would argue they are fixed on form and are oblivious to content. The same goes for other practices. Exoteric form may have been scattered to the winds, if it was ever recorded to begin with, but theistic content is in the here and now. As present now as it was then. In occult terms this intangible is often called a ‘current’.
With that preface, the following is a best attempt at giving a general overview of what is called Luciferianism. I am no expert, no historian, no pompous magician with ceremonial degrees. I speak only out of personal experience, personal study, and varying available sources.
Gnosticism and Luciferianism:
Elsewhere I have wrote about the Ophites, which were an obscure gnostic sect that focused on the role of the serpent in creation myth. The serpent was the savior of man, the one who revealed to man their true nature as gods, the ability to achieve gnosis, and revealing the Demiurge that presided over them was not the Absolute. The Demiurge being a fluke, a lesser entity; at worst malevolent and at best an incompetent tyrant. To my understanding, nowhere in Gnostic texts or records is there a mention of Lucifer or the ‘light bringer’. There is also no mention of comparing Lucifer to Christ, as brothers or as synonymous. This idea first came about through Blavatasky and later propagated by the popular ‘New Age’ Gnosticism.
Despite this, a syncretic form of ‘Gnostic Luciferianism’ has come about in the past decade. If one examines this alchemically, rather seeing the mythos-analogy as formulae or sigilic, then the intersection is not surprising. Lucifer is often associated with Prometheus. As Prometheus gave fire to mankind, a symbol of consciousness or self-awareness, so does the serpent tempt Eve into becoming self-aware. It is probably inaccurate to connect the serpent to Lucifer, or Satan to Lucifer for that matter. The Ophites never stated that. It is through popular misunderstanding that this occurs. Nonetheless Lucifer did defy God, the Demiurge, and is known as the ‘light bringer’ or ‘phosphorus’. This is strangely identical to the role of the serpent according to Ophites, and Prometheus bringing fire to man. In all three myth, an entity defies ‘God’ and delivers self-awareness or consciousness to the ignorant mankind. This is where ‘sigilic’ or ‘alchemical’ reading is quite clear, despite the historical discrepancies.
Within the Ophite context one can define Lucifer as sigilic of ones self-awareness of their true nature. Not as ignorant clay in servitude to the Demiurge, but as a divine being in ones own right acknowledging the Absolute, that which is known as Abraxas. Lucifer is not a ‘fallen angel’ or a lesser deity to be worshiped, rather it is symblic of ones true divine nature. One is Lucifer, or aspires to be as Lucifer, to embody gnosis. The flame that is conciousness burning away dross and clay, leaving only pure blazing phosphorus. This natural state is the truest and most beautiful state, an inherent deification.
“The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas.”
Neoplatonism in Luciferianism:
Often intersecting, Gnosticism and Neoplatonism have similar characteristics. One seeks to know their true nature, or rather to realize there is nothing to seek, one simply is. It is not necessary to go through the hierarchical realms to explain how Luciferianism fits within the context. From and within the One there is the plethora of Forms, distinction and differentiation, which constitutes the Intellect or Nous. By Intellect it is not mere cognitive function in our everyday use of language. It is a higher Intellect, an Intellect which allows one to access or ‘know’ Forms, the Form of a thing, the Ideals of things, a plethora of Forms. Nous is the first emanation from the One, and Soul is the second emanation that descends from the Nous. The Soul is ones Individual Self, the Psyche, that which contains passions and desire. The Soul contemplates upon the Intellect, the higher realm of Forms, and also accesses the lower ‘animal’ instincts in nature. Commonly it is said ones Soul contemplates upon the realm of Nous, or Intellect, and aspires to ascend to the One. The inherent divine of oneself is an extension or emanated spark from the One, the Source, the Absolute. In Gnosticism often called Abraxas.
Luciferianism is relevant to the Soul and its contemplation upon the Nous, or Ideal. In other words, one realizes ones true inherent divine nature and thus aspires to manifest it wholly in the present. Using the analogy of a mirror, one can look into this mirror and see their own Ideal Self, and the Soul can aspire to manifest this Ideal Self, which is Excellence, Arete. By Ideal Self I do not mean petty insecurities and comparisons, rather to become the most perfect Self one can become, to realize what already is and how to be. It is the most divinized self possible. Reminscient of the Venus essence of Lucifer, to become the most excellent one can be, the most beautiful one can be, to become the most Ideal one can be. It is personal perogative whether one aspires to the One, the Absolute in the definitive. Luciferianism tends to maintain the Ego, that is the individual unique Self, though the divinization of such. In a paradoxical manner the teachings of Max Stirner is synthesized with Gnostic or Neoplatonism. As strange as that may sound of course.
“Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not fine yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful he cuts away here, he smoothes there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown his work. So do you also cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labor to make all one glow or beauty and never cease chiseling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendor of virtue, until you see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine.”
Luciferianism, Qliphoth, and Apotheosis:
Up to this point a theist or atheist position is practical, and as this section is theistically inclined, an atheist position may still be practical.
There are numerous interpretation of the Qliphoth, also called the ‘Tree of Death’, in contrast with the ‘Tree of Life’ and the Sephirot. I do not claim to have authority or to be an expert, nor am I a total relativist. Again this section is based on my own experiences and studies, explained in words to the best of my ability.
The first misinterpretation that can lead to severe problems is comprehending the Qliphoth as purely dark or destructive, nor is it based upon being the ‘opposite’ of the Tree of Life. The Qliphoth acknowledges duality and differentiation. The Qliphoth contains both ‘light and dark’, creation and destruction. The ‘Tree’ which is a map or model of emanations and energy currents, both internally and externally, in the micro individual and the macro cosmic. Within Gnostic or Neoplatonic context the first emanation is the Source, the Absolute, Abraxas, of which the rest descends from which eventually manifesting the physical, Malkuth. Likewise the current also ascends toward Kether, toward the Absolute, toward Abraxas. Of course there are multiple channels and emanations along this route which is beyond the scope of this article.
Looking at the Qliphoth as internal emanations of the unique self that also reflect and resonate with the external, as the two are one, oneself is both creator and destroyer. Putting it into sigilic wording, one is both Lucifer as creator and self-divinity, as well as Cthonic (or satanic in the vernacular) as animal carnality and bestial instinct. The Qliphoth is a development of separation, or apotheosis, to realize ones self-divinity entirely separate from the Absolute, a divinized Unique Ego. If Eve or Adam (of the Absolute, not of the Demiurge) is the end result of the Tree of Life, then Lilith or Cain is the end result of the Qliphoth. The Sephirot ascends toward Union with the Absolute, the Qliphoth ascends toward Isolation. In an analogy using philosophers, the Sephirot is to the Qliphoth what Plato is to Heraclitus. Fire, flux, differentiation, conflict, strife, war, duality…as worded by Heraclitus, “the thunderbolt that steers the course of all things.”
There is no right or wrong concerning Sephirot and Qliphoth. Forces are simply forces, emanations; different approaches with different dynamics, much like there are multiple inventions to produce power, nuclear energy is no more ‘wrong’ than a steam plant. Plato generally dismisses the ‘shadows on the wall’ as mere shadows which people believe to be reality itself. In Vedic teachings this can be likened to ‘maya’, the illusion of appearances which entangles an individual, blinding them to actual underlying Brahman. The Qliphoth approaches the same matter in an entirely different fashion, as the Qliphothic ‘shells’ are often described as ‘clouding’ or ‘concealing’ the truth. The ‘shadows on the wall’ are not mere shadows, and ‘maya’ is not mere illusion to entangle. In Shaktism, in which the feminine divine is revered foremost, the ‘maya’ which is appearances is the dynamics of the Goddess, shakti, the creative power in a dance. For the unfortunate and ignorant it can entangle, cause suffering, optimistically for the sake of development. For others it is beautiful dynamics, the ever burning fire posited by Heraclitus, a constant weaving of differentation and conflict into appearance or immanent divine. It is no mistake the ‘left handed’ is associated with the power of femininity, and why Abrahamic religions have purposely oppressed in attempts to control the feminine. The Qliphoth does not dismiss the ‘shadows’ as mere shadows, or ‘maya’ as mere illusion, it acknowledges its immanent power as being equal to ‘that found outside the cave’, to those with the eyes to see and hands that are not easily burned.
Exploring the Qliphoth is a matter of ritual practice and intellectual pursuit. It does not require a hard theistic position, despite practicing invocation, evocations, and the like. A Qliphoth is a ‘shell’, a divine spark of power in itself, and within each node is further specified ‘deities’ or ‘demons’ of that particular current one may work with in detail. This can be perceived as an external or internal theistic force, or atheistically an atavism or aspect of the subjective psyche, or both.
This is sufficient to see how Qliphothic working fits within a Luciferian context, though is not required of course. This is only meant to be an overview, the vagueness is intentional, and at a later time I may go into greater detail. To repeat, there are other interpretations and by no means do I claim to be an authority nor claim any pompous occult degree. This is written from the heart, from my personal experiences and understanding, and described to the best of my linguistic ability.
Zazas Zazas Nasatanada Zazas!