Lucifer 14: Choice and Consequence.

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From time to time, I’m asked by a friend, family member, acquaintance, or even a stranger, “What is Satanism?” There are so many answers I can give, and because I don’t usually have 20 to 30 minutes to explain, I tell them only that Satanism is nothing more than choices and consequences. I want to be happy, so I make choices that bring me happiness. I want to avoid unpleasant consequences, so I make choices that bring favorable rewards.

But because books afford an unlimited amount of time for me to speak, I’m going to use this opportunity to say what most people don’t hear: I live by my own rules. I make, rewrite, or break my own laws. I alone am the sole arbiter of my actions. Depending on my choice, the consequence may be that I am able to indulge in wonderful pleasures and give the gift of my time and resources to the people I love. Or, depending on my choice, the consequence could be the erosion of my social ties and the loss of my personal liberty. Be the consequence favorable or unfavorable, it’s my prerogative to make any choice so long as I believe the consequence is worthwhile.

There are some Satanists who insist that Satanism is a religion of law and order that could never endorse criminality, but then, what constitutes illegality? In ancient Greece, it was common practice to abandon deformed and unwanted infants immediately after birth at the local trash dump. By today’s standards, that’s a hideous and revolting choice, but what would the ancient Greeks think of today’s forced-life laws to preserve every life no matter the personal or financial cost to the mandated caregiver?

I believe that what is legal may be wrong, and what is illegal may be right. I believe that arbitrary laws are a poor substitution for critical thinking. I believe that people who think that they can’t be harmed merely because of words written on paper are misplacing their trust.

And finally, I also believe that a quality popularly attributed to Satan which doesn’t get enough respect or recognition is her role as a thief. It’s true that thieves who make the choice to steal and be deceitful often encounter the consequence that they are pushed beyond the margins of polite society, but who ever thought to consider what either the archetype of the thief or the principle of thievery contributes to society?

Accuse me of sophistry if you will, but I believe that the archetype of the thief does more than just alleviate the gullible of their valuables, but ultimately nurtures caution, skepticism, and responsibility. If once burnt, twice shy, then the principle of thievery is the strongest remedy against lazy ignorance and willful stupidity.

If sitters don’t enjoy the consequence of being separated from their hard-earned money, then they will choose to be patient and budgeted. If sitters don’t enjoy the consequence of being strung along in a love triangle with the married man who will absolutely never leave his wife to marry his mistress, then they will choose to see reality and stop chasing pipe dreams. If sitters don’t enjoy the consequence of depending on a fortune-teller to make their decisions, then they will choose to exercise critical thinking and personal responsibility. Those who dislike continually suffering unfavorable consequences will choose to abandon me, and they may even warn others against me, and that’s the way it should be, but I will never be out of sitters calling for my services. For every one that leaves me, another two are already waiting.

Am I not generous? The lessons I provide to my sitters stretch like a spiderweb out into the lives of dozens of people, touching each of them with the value of skepticism and responsibility. Such is the power of the thief who reminds people to lock their doors, think twice about the company their children keep, and consider carefully the people they permit to hold power over them.

But lest you accuse me of self-deceit, I don’t believe that I’m immune to the consequences of my actions. Far from it, I am keenly aware of the consequences that I face not just in my role as a fortune-teller but also in my every-day life. I don’t enjoy the lessons that I’ve learned from the very real thieves I’ve encountered over the years, but in the final calculation they did teach me how to stand my own against a frequently predatory world, as well as how to deal with family and acquaintances whose choices would create unintended consequences for me.

As it regards fortune-telling, I always operate within the law in order to avoid the very real potential for civil suits. I decline to tell fortunes that would advise a sitter how to invest money, what medical decisions to make, or how to handle a legal matter. I could make the choice to do so—there’s nothing preventing the words from coming out my mouth—but I don’t enjoy living in fear that the police may serve me notice to appear in court.

For these reasons, I choose to not act in a capacity which is forbidden by law. In fact, I even go so far as to tell my sitters right up front that my services are for entertainment only. Some sitters will choose to not believe me when I tell them who I am, and for so doing will suffer the appropriate consequence. If they don’t enjoy the consequence of deciding their realities based on my fantasies, then they can instead choose to indulge in temporary self-deceit with full knowledge that they’re doing so for the purpose of purging anxiety, relieving frustration, or searching for a paradigm shift. 

There are worthwhile choices that can be made to reap satisfying consequences from fortune-telling without suffering the mercies of a thief, and there are worthwhile choices that can be made to offer fortune-telling without suffering the mercies of the local magistrate. On whichever side of the discussion you stand, it’s your responsibility to make choices which bring you the most favorable consequences. I make worthwhile choices based on the consequences I’m willing to accept, and so should you.