“During the last several decades of the 20th century, most public Satanists were only symbolic Satanists. That is, they did not literally believe in or worship Satan. Instead, they regarded Satan as only a symbol of various desirable qualities such as independence, individuality, and strength. Many were atheists.
A theistic Satanist, also known as a ‘traditional Satanist,’ ‘spiritual Satanist,’ or ‘Devil Worshiper,’ is one who does believe in and worship Satan as a deity, or who at least is strongly inclined in that direction. When this website first went online in fall 2002 C.E, we theistic Satanists were still a despised minority within the public Satanist scene. But we have grown rapidly and now seem to be the majority – at least in online forums, though we still have some catching up to do in terms of real-world organization and in terms of being noticed by scholars of new religions.” – Diane Vera