“Throughout the 80s and 90s there was a moral panic against Satanic Cults that turned out to be nothing more than a delusion-fueled conspiracy theory. As with the alien abduction phenomenon, therapists were compelling their clients to confabulate false memories under hypnosis. While we now know that this process of creating false memories can be very damaging to individuals and has never been known to draw forth accurate recall, we find therapists still endorsing this practice and even still continuing to spread conspiracy theories related to Satanic cults […] The Grey Faction seeks to expose therapeutic pseudoscience and bring an end to its practice.”
— Sarah Ponto Rivera
International Women’s Day; Lacrimae Mundi for The Satanic Temple NYC
The existence of International Women’s Day suggests that women as a group are under-recognized. The reasons for this are structural and deep-rooted. Many women are caregivers, and make sacrifices in order to do a good job in that role. Many were taught from an early age that competition and ambition were unladylike. Many have been discouraged from entering arenas traditionally dominated by men. One way or another, fewer women are in leadership positions. Too many women’s voices have gone unheard. Too many women have lived in the shadows and worked behind the scenes so that their loved ones could shine in the limelight.
Many people do not understand how Satanism and feminism can be connected. This may be partly because alternative religions have become so popular in the mainstream that some people begin their paths unaware of the older literary sources that influenced these religions. In order to understand the connection between Womyn, Satan, and feminism, one must look first at the bible. Even if you personally have no use for that book, or Christianity, bear in mind that its mythology has had a powerful influence on many cultures. In fact, it still has the power to cause hysteria at the mention of words like Satan and Satanism, even among the most scholarly of individuals, and its use of womyn as a symbol of evil has unfortunately had the power to reach into our present times. The fact that equal pay for women is even in question should be enough to convince you that feeling personally empowered and focusing on our Goddess energy is not enough to overcome the societal legacy of biblical misogyny, the seeds of which are so deeply ingrained in the culture where we grew up, even we women too often accept our lower status as a fact of life, and sometimes expect other women to do the same.
To rebel against socially enforced conventions has traditionally been considered the way of a witch, or a devil. This mythology (which actually predates Christianity) was further developed by historical executioners of so-called witches while reveling in their fantasies of what their victims might have done to deserve punishment. It’s important to remember that these so-called witches were real-life victims of torture and murder, the overwhelming majority of whom were women. Our modern alternative religions were largely born of literary traditions, meaning that people read books like Malleus Malificarum (Hammer of the Witches, by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger; 1486) and saw the wrongness of the persecution of so-called witches, and wanted to blaspheme that wrongness by taking themselves back from a system of oppression, taking pride in what had been deemed shameful about being a woman, or a witch.
Historically, women who challenged the status quo were labeled witches, and it’s no wonder. They were acting as Eve did in the bible. Was it evil and wrong for Eve to disobey God? What kind of ruler puts a forbidden fruit and evil serpent in his so-called paradise, and blames his “children” for disobeying? Who questions authority by making these inquiries? Someone who questions the biblical god. This in itself is an act of pride, Satanism. I don’t swallow the words of the bible. I question those words, and I write my own words, as many poets and philosophers have done throughout history. Some call those poets and philosophers writers of literary Satanism, based on the idea that to think critically and independently is to act as Satan.
One can view the biblical god as a symbol of patriarchy, the same as Eve has been seen as a symbol of womyn and a consort of the devil. I have always loved depictions of Eve with her snake and her apple. To me it represents empowerment. To many, it is erotic to think of a woman disobeying and pursuing sexuality and knowledge. But I want something more than to be seen as naughty and sexy. I want something that is controversial and subversive in more than superficial ways. I want equality. I am not satisfied with being told, in various social settings dominated by men- such as family, work, and government- what I should accept, and how I should behave. So I am not just a devil outcast by standards of fundamental Christianity, but also the standards of many who call themselves witches and embrace concepts such as the divine feminine.
Not all witches draw down the moon ritually. Some say “Non Serviam” as a way of expressing their refusal to be silent and accept the inferior status enforced upon them socially by the macrocosm, and so often in the microcosm as well. I am one of those witches. I am a feminist. There it is: the F word. Like Satan, it causes controversy, even hysteria. Is feminism exclusive to women? As I see it: No. I see the word feminism as symbolic of all who have been relegated to a status of inferiority or evil; therefore, my kind of feminism means advocating for all groups that are oppressed. This is where sociopolitics connect with religion. For me, being a witch is absolutely political. It means that I am willing to identify with what has been demonized in the bible, and what continues to be scapegoated socially as a result of that demonization. I am no victim. I am proud . I love knowledge. I accept life on its own terms; therefore, I know that equality will not come without my willingness to take a stand. Non Serviam! I will not serve those who seek to define me and dictate my quality of life, my kind of feminism, and my kind of Satanism.
“The Priest realises clearly where the danger lies, that an enemy, a menacing rival, is to be feared in this High-priestess of Nature he pretends to despise. Of the old gods she has invented new ones. Beside the old Satan of the past, a new Satan is seen burgeoning in her, a Satan of the future.” -Jules Michelet