Lucifer 1: Why a Satanic Tarot?

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Among western occult practices, few are so venerated and worshiped as the Tarot. I will not devote time to the history of Tarot, because scholars of far higher esteem than I have done that already, and anything I repeat here would only be a pitiful imitation of their work. Instead, I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

Our journey begins on the right-hand path, and our road-map is the Tarot. Since the decision of Arthur Edward Waite to retain the services of Pamela Coleman-Smith and illustrate a 78-card Tarot deck, western cartomancy has been utterly dominated by his gnostic, kabbalistic, and Rosicrucian vision of western mysticism. To the man's credit, he crystallized a syncretic vision which has remained essentially dominant in the world of western occultism, and owing to his efforts his memory will live on for hundreds more years—perhaps even for as long as the memory of Tarot itself is present in the world.

Mr. Waite's vision has crushed nearly all others to the point that many name it definitive of Tarot, and spiritual occultists being who they are have long established themselves as the pious priests and priestesses of the Holy Tarot God. And as much as today's hypocritical occultists preach and shout against the evils of Christianity and the right-hand path, they move no closer to the left.

Indeed, they do the opposite and set their feet firmly upon the right-hand path. They dare to claim knowledge for themselves without lowering a bent knee in service to the impotent God of Abraham, yet what knowledge are they really conveying? No matter how they assemble the pages of their chimeric Tarot Bible, the answer will always be steeped in the spiritual, anti-materialist, and self-sacrificing philosophy embedded by Mr. Waite. Tarot-readers of the right-hand path may as well be musicians arguing that they're using angelic trumpets to play the Devil's music. No matter how they contort themselves, re-arrange the notes, or blow into the instrument, their music will always produce the same range of notes that one would expect from an angelic trumpet.

Until now, this pattern has largely remained changed. Skilled artists have illustrated thousands of Tarot decks over the past decades, yet no matter how edgy or grotesque the cards are illustrated, the essential pattern still follows Mr. Waite's footsteps: a selfless parade marching onward and upward to spiritual ascension and mystical awareness! Such artists have changed the sheet music, but they've done nothing to replace the angel trumpet itself.

For these reasons, a Satanic Tarot is needed not only to change the sheet music, but to replace angelic trumpets with devilish trombones. Here is loud, bawdy, and sinful music played by an instrument uniquely capable of communicating pride, ego, and delicious earthiness. I have created the Satanic Tarot to replace both the instrument and the sheet music. With these changes, he or she who engages in the performance of Tarot can turn away from the guilt of the right-hand path and embrace the liberty of the left-hand path. No more angels' music played with pious trumpets: here is devils’ music played with sensual trombones.

If you are unfamiliar with Tarot, then you won't be biased in this Satanic approach to lesser magic and may go farther in your studies than if you had already discovered it. If you are already familiar with the Tarot, then you may struggle to accept what is presented here because it is entirely different both in method and approach than the one which you've learned. Forget what you know—or think you know—because the knowledge of the right-hand path will not serve you here. The goal of this work is persuade you to the opinion that fortune-tellers are performers who use the Tarot to temporarily deceive both themselves and others. So long as the sitter consents to the fortune-teller’s performance, and the desired fantasy is stimulating or productive, temporary self-deceit is delightful tool you’ll be glad you learned to use.