Returning to the Life of the Satanic Monk
Updated: Nov 9, 2019
For a long time, I've used "activism" to describe my heart path when I'm on social media. But in my wish to not sound preachy, I'm not really being accurate. The better description would be "religion," and since stepping down from leadership, I've now returned to thinking of myself as more or less a Satanic monk, once more dedicated in my solitude to my sacred path.
The Satanic Temple is a religious organization, not an activist group. Don't get me wrong ─ we're very active in fighting for religious freedom in the courts and the public sphere. But we are doing it as part of our religion ─ as one TST leader put it, "activism is our form of worship." By fighting for equal rights and standing against theocracy, we are following the example of our beloved literary symbol Satan, who stood up against an unjust tyrant.
Though that's mostly what the public sees, Satanism is so much more than that. It provides everything a religion does for its community: a sense of community, meaning, a shared symbol and narrative, local service opportunities, and a humanitarian code of ethics.
Since I was 12, I have attempted to live a sacred life. What that has meant has changed and evolved, from esoteric witchcraft, Zen Buddhism, sacred kink, Aghora, and a priestess path I crafted myself over the years (focused on Dark Goddess archetypes). Only now do I finally feel I've settled like silt down to the sea bottom, to home.
Up til now, this has been a lonely path. But then I found a family I never knew I had and meaning I never thought I'd find. I threw myself full force into growing a community here in Seattle.
Now I've passed on the mantle of leadership and returned to my life before it all happened ─ except now I had an amazing group of people by my side, and friends across the globe. But on a day to day basis, I am again the solitary practitioner, serving Satanism with my writing. I return to the regular sacred practice of my life, giving what I can to this path while also processing the disabling pain and depression.
Now I return to the life of the Satanic Zen monk, living a simple, repetitive life, surviving under the poverty line only through the kindness of others. I understand this kind of identification might grate on those who eschew all religion, so I want to reiterate that my practice is strictly atheistic and humanistic. But I reserve the right to think of this as my own sacred life, dedicated to the religious path that speaks to my heart.