In 1969, Anton Szandor LaVey published The Satanic Bible, outlining his philosophy and metaphysics. Like Sade before him, LaVey was an atheist possessed with a hatred of organized religion, particularly Catholicism, which he mocked with great flourish throughout the book, right from the prologue.
The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey
In it, he stated the Nine Satanic Statements, outlining his basic ideology. They are as follows:
“Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!
Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!”
These are the tenants upon which his entire religion is founded. The rest of the Satanic Bible is separated into four books – the Book of Satan, the Book of Lucifer, the Book of Belial, and the Book of Leviathan, each pertinent to a different aspect of these statements.
The Book of Satan is taken from parts of the incendiary book Might is Right, also known as Survival of the Fittest, penned by an author under the pseudonym Ragnar Redbeard. Written in 1890, it preaches amoralism and hedonism. LaVey removed controversial passages pertinent to misogyny, racism and antisemitism to better suit his purposes, then spoke to readers through Ragnar, imploring them to “break away from all conventions that do not lead to [one's] earthly happiness.”
The Book of Lucifer is the Satanic Bible’s main body of philosophical discourse. Here, LaVey explains that Satan in his form of Satanism is not a deity to be worshiped, but rather, a metaphorical “creative force.” Magus Gilmore explains in his essay Satanism: The Feared Religion:
“Satanists do not believe in the supernatural, in neither God nor the Devil. To the Satanist, he is his own God. Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates. The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things. Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshiped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will. Thus any concept of sacrifice is rejected as a Christian aberration—in Satanism there’s no deity to which one can sacrifice.”
LaVey rejects the use of prayer or offerings, instead advocating for use of one’s own agency to accomplish goals. Rather than “do unto others as you would have done unto you,” he proposes, “do unto others as they have done to you.” LaVey believed that causing harm to others was an invitation by the perpetrator to be destroyed, and it is the ideal Satanist’s response, when victimized, to oblige them. Otherwise, Satanists are encouraged to cause unsolicited harm to no one, particularly children and animals. This is especially true of “sacrifices to the Devil,” a behavior LaVey, mired in media attention, wanted to separate himself from.
LaVey also taught his followers to use ritual magic to harness “Satan” for self-interested means. He made no distinction between “white” or “black” magic, which was in keeping with his neutral interpretation of the universe. He did, however, distinguish between Lesser Magic and Greater Magic.
Lesser Magic is better thought of as masterful psychological warfare using the self-explanatory themes of sex, sentiment and wonder. LaVey advised his followers on how to coerce people into doing their bidding through sexual seduction, emotional manipulation and winning charm. He expanded on these themes for female witches in The Satanic Witch, published in 1971.
Greater Magic is the use of rituals to channel one’s inner Satanic creativity. He distinguished three forms of Greater Magic: lust (sex), compassion (sentiment), and destruction (wonder). Lust rituals were guided by the use of masturbation or group sex; compassion rituals were designed to invoke overwhelming pathos in the form of crying, stimulating negative energy release; and destruction rituals involved the symbolic annihilation of a foe or victim through “vicarious” human sacrifice, usually by burning effigies or torturing dolls in their likeness.
The 72 Infernal Names of the Book of Lucifer
As well as discussing the metaphysics behind LaVeyan Satanic magic, the Book of Lucifer also lists the Four Crown Princes of Hell and the 72 Infernal Names of the Devil found in cultures around the world.
The Four Crown Princes are Satan, Lucifer, Belial and Leviathan.
The 72 Infernal Names are, as follows:
Angra Mainyu (Zoroasterism)
Demogorgon (“a name so terrible as to not be known to mortals”)
Gorgo (dim. of Demogorgon)
Guayota (Guanches; Aboriginese tribesmen in the Canary Islands)
Melek Taus (Yezidi)
Nihasa (Native American)
Samnu (Central Asian)
Sedit (Native American)
For other Infernal Names, see: