Before beginning it should be noted that there are two sides to Satanism.  One is the old way, steeped in the tradition of the dark lord Sammael.  The other is the reinvention of Satanism that occurred in the twentieth century.  The author has made an effort to keep these two manifestations separate, but in the end the results are the same.  Those children of clay who follow either path are certain to spend the afterlife tormented in Tartarus.

When Sammael first fell and a third of heaven's host with him, he sought allies among men.   He quickly learned that in order to turn the children of clay against their Creator their own kind would have to play an important roll. He sent his demons unto the world to recruit followers.  With false promises and lies, children of clay were deceived into worshiping the accursed one.  They called themselves Satanist, borrowed from the term Satan the term most commonly used by the children of clay to refer to Sammael.

It is ironic that Sammael has no particular need to be worshipped.  He cares not whether mortals prostrate themselves before him.  He needs no prayers to boost his celestial ego.  His only goal is to draw souls away from God.  He hates his followers as much as any other children of clay.

The dark rituals of early Satanist were meant to mock the Almighty and the worship of Him.  They were also meant to cater favor with their dark Lord (though no such thing is possible).  Though it was widely believed that these rituals involved human sacrifices, it is clear that such occurrences were a rarity at best.  It does no good for Sammael to order his subjects to kill the innocent.  Their death would simply ensure their place in Eden.  Animal sacrifices, on the other hand, were a common occurrence. 

But life was not easy for the followers of Sammael.  On one hand, the promises he made to them never came to fruition, and the righteous ones began to hunt them down.  During the period of the Inquisition many followers of Sammael were revealed and executed (a number of innocent souls were put to death as well).

The twentieth century brought a change to Satanism.   After years of hiding and near extinction, it reemerged with a new look.  The emphasis on unhidden evil was replaced by something far more insidious—self-empowerment.  The term self-empowerment is used by modern Satanist often, but it is nothing more than a gentle way to say selfishness and a desire to destroy all those who stand in their way.  

There are many factions of modern Satanism.  All with their own philosophies and own take on the figure of Satan.  Some, like the Church of Satan, represent Satan as more of a metaphor than an actual celestial being.  To them the goal is indulgence and succumbing to the animal desires in us all.   For others like the First Church of Stan, Satan is indeed seen as a true being.  They espouse a belief in what they call the pre-Christian Satan.  Here they claim to take on the roll of the adversary.  Indeed Satan (from ha-satan) literally means the adversary.  This church has taken its meaning and used to assume an adversarial position against mainstream organized religion.  Unfortunately, their logic is flawed.   Even the pre-Christian notion of Satan (while not having a distinctly evil character) has a distinctly evil outcome.  The point here was to challenge the belief of the children of clay, to see if they indeed possessed great faith in the Almighty.  To fail this challenge was never seen as a good thing, but rather another step down the wrong path.  To ascribe to this interpretation of Satanism is to admit that your way is wrong-- something they do not do.

It makes no difference to Sammael.  These new views seem far more alluring to the children of clay, and no doubt he will stick with them for some time to come.  In the end, all factions of Satanism, whether they know it or not, have been influenced by the hand of this dark angel.

Angels have a special loathing for these damnable mortals. For they have not just abandon God, but taken a position against him.  Ironically, Sammael has no special love for them either.  He will forsake them at the drop of a hat.

Satanists possess no special powers.  They cannot command their demon lords.  Their rituals are only meant to bolster their faith and are meant in no way to increase their power.

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