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The Church of Satan (CoS):
Practices &
rules of behavior

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Continued from a previous essay.

CoS practices:

bullet Seasonal days of celebration:
bullet The most important of all Satanic holidays is the birthday of the individual Satanist. Of lesser importance are:
bullet Walpurgisnacht (evening of April 30) and Halloween (evening of October 31),
bullet Solstices in June and December,
bullet Equinoxes in March and September.
bullet LeVey did refer to "Satanic revels" in his book "The Satanic Bible." However, he was referring to the seasonal days of celebration that various cultures observed between the solstices and equinoxes. These were Halloween (the Fall climax) and Walpurgisnacht (the Spring climax).
bullet There is a widespread but mistaken belief among conservative Christians that the term "Satanic Revels" refer to long, drawn-out celebrations held five to six weeks after each equinox and solstice. They are alleged to involve orgiastic sex and blood rituals of some type. Some suggest that they include kidnapping, forced confinement, sacrifice and dismemberment of human victims. All such activity is unsubstantiated rumor. The myth of Satanic revels may have originated in Modest Mussorgsky's composition "St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain" (popularly called "Night on Bald Mountain"). It involves "nocturnal revels, led by the demon Chernobog (often depicted as a black goat)." This was popularized by Walt Disney in his 1940 movie Fantasia. 1
bullet Many Christian anti-Satanic hate literature lists other seasonal days of celebration. However, they appear to have been pulled out of thin air by the authors. They have no connection with reality.
bullet Rituals and ceremonies: Some Satanists practice their religion free of ritual. They simply follow a lifestyle involving the Satanic statements and rules, while avoiding the Satanic sins. Others do engage in rituals, frequently involving the following concepts:
bullet Names used include Satan, Lucifer, Belial and Leviathan.
bullet Ceremonies are pageants, which are used to celebrate a person or element of faith.
bullet Magic rituals consist of three types:
  1. Lust ritual: sex magic which can include masturbation,
  2. Compassion ritual to achieve healing or happiness, and
  3. Destruction ritual (may include sticking pins in a doll; drawing a picture or writing a description of the victim's death; delivering a soliloquy, etc.). Destruction rituals are best performed by a group. If a person targeted by a destruction ritual is not deserving of it, the ritual will not harm them.
bullet Male Satanists sometimes wear full length black robes, with or without a hood. But this practice varies across North America.
bullet Young women generally wear sexually suggestive clothing; older women wear all black.
bullet Many Satanists from different traditions wear amulets carrying the symbol of the Sigil of Baphomet. This is "a star which contains a goat's head, and surrounding which appear two concentric circles. Between these circles appear five Hebraic characters." 2 The star is an inverted pentagram. Although there have been many similar symbols involving the head of a goat and an inverted pentagram in a circle, this particular configuration is a registered trade mark of the Church of Satan since 1983. 3 It was first used on 1967-SEP-01; filed on 1981-DEC-14, and registered on 1983-MAY-3 as U.S. Registration # 1236878. It was canceled on 2004-FEB-07. Registration for a second version was filed on 2004-FEB-18. 2
bullet The A.S. LaVey's book The Satanic Bible shows a symbol located over the Nine Satanic Statements. It is an infinity sign (a figure 8 on its side). A Roman cross is placed at the center of the figure with a second, longer cross piece added. This is not a Satanic symbol; it is an ancient alchemical symbol for brimstone.
bullet Many authors, almost all conservative Christians, have described alleged Satanic rituals in which religious Satanists recite the Lord's Prayer backwards, or desecrate and use the host and wine that they have stolen from a cathedral. This is pure fiction that can be traced back to books written during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.
bullet When the Satanic Bible was written (1969), a nude woman was customarily used as an altar, since Satanism is regarded as a religion of the flesh, not of the spirit. She reclined on an altar that was trapezoidal in shape, about 1 m high (39") and 2 m long (79") and placed against the West wall of the room. Her head pointed South. A live altar is now rarely used in the CoS.
bullet One white candle is placed to the right of the altar; it symbolizes the belief of Satanists in the hypocrisy of "White Magicians" and Wiccans because of the latter's insistence on avoiding doing harm to others.
bullet At least one black candle, representing the Powers of Darkness, is placed to the left of the altar. These powers are sources of energy which are currently unknown and hidden. Additional black candles are oriented as needed to provide sufficient illumination.
bullet The language used during magical ritual is Enochian, whose words variously sounds similar to Arabic, Hebrew or Latin. It was revealed to Dr. John Dee, court astrologer and metaphysician to Queen Elizabeth I, through his helper Edward Kelley. Kelley said that he was in contact with the Angels described in the Apocryphal book of Enoch.
bullet Satanic ritual tools: A simple Satanic ritual can be performed with a single candle and a Baphomet. However, more elaborate rituals may include the following:
bullet A bell which is rung nine times at the beginning and end of the ritual; the Satanic priest rotates counter-clockwise as he rings the bell
bullet A chalice, ideally made of silver; it may not be formed of gold because that is a metal that Satanists associate with Christianity. Wiccan, and other Neopagan religions. In fact, Wiccans and other Neopagans use chalices made of various metals, including silver, and other materials.
bullet Other ritual tools include a gong, sword, elixir (usually wine), phallus, and parchment. They and the chalice and bell are placed on a small table near the altar.

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Rules of behavior:

bullet Prayer is useless; it distracts people from useful activity.
bullet Ritual killing (of humans or animals) violates Satanic principles. Blood drawn from a victim is useless. Victims are killed symbolically, not actually.
bullet Members enjoy indulgence instead of abstinence. They practice with joy all the seven deadly Christian sins (greed, pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust and sloth)
bullet If a man smites you on one cheek, smash him on the other.
bullet Do unto others as they do onto you. This is the CoS' modified version of an Ethic of Reciprocity.
bullet Engage in sexual activity:
bullet Freely, in accordance with your needs, which may be best realized either through monogamy, or by having sex with many others.
bullet Through heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality; using sexual fetishes as you wish.
bullet By yourself or with one or more consenting adults.
bullet The ideal is a monogamous relationship based on compatibility and commitment.
bullet Suicide is actively discouraged.
bullet The Satanist needs no elaborate, detailed list of rules of behavior.
bullet Membership in the CoS is limited to adults of legal age, unless a teenager obtains the written permission and attendance of their parent or legal guardian.

Continued in a following essay.

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Night on Bald Mountain, Wikipedia, as of 2005-NOV-07, at:
  2. "Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR)," United States Patent and Trademark Office, at:
  3. Peter H. Gilmore "The History of the Use of the Sigil of Baphomet in the Church of Satan," at:

Copyright 1997 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2009-OCT-27
Author: B.A. Robinson
Links checked: 200

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