"Compassionate Satanism" Book Club Questions
If your book club is thinking of featuring "Compassionate Satanism: An Introduction to Modern Satanic Practice," these sample questions may prove useful to your discussion. Even if you're reading the book solo, these questions can function as a study guide. Feel free to use, change, or add to them as you see fit.
BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS
1. The book talks about many different ways you can practice your Satanism ─ reading literature, taking action against tyranny, participating in ritual, joining or serving in a community, building an altar, making Satanic art, etc. What elements does your own Satanic practice include? What elements would you like to add in the future?
2. Did any of the sections on the Tenets give you a new or additional perspective? Which Tenet section was it, and how did your understanding change? Was there more you would have added about that Tenet?
3. What is your personal understanding of the narrative of Satan? Which parts resonate with you? Which, if any, do you see reflected in your own life?
4. Many people ask our members, "Why Satan? Why not some other, more palatable symbol?" In your own words, using some of the info provided in the book, briefly summarize how you would respond to the "Why Satan?" question.
5. The book contains an exploration of Satanic symbols and their origins. What symbols, Satanic or otherwise, do you find personally meaningful, and why? Do you ever wear any Satanic symbols in jewelry or clothing? In which situations do you feel comfortable doing so?
6. The book delves into the meaning and practice of nontheistic ritual. What role does nontheistic ritual hold in your own life? Could you see yourself creating a ritual, and if so, what kind of ritual you'd want to create? Do you have interest in ever becoming an official Minister of Satan, and why? If you already are a Minister, has it changed your life, and if so, how?
7. What is the author's perspective on individuality as a component of Satanism? Do you agree? In your view, what parts of Satanism should be left totally up to the individual, and what parts should be held in common with other Satanists in The Satanic Temple's religion?
8. The book talks about Religious Trauma, a type of complex PTSD caused by growing up in a strict, authoritarian religious environment. Have you suffered from religious trauma at any point in your life? What if anything have you found to help counter it? What would you say to help someone just coming out of that kind of background?
9. The book includes interviews from Satanists who have come out about their Satanism. What was your takeaway from these interviews? Have you come out to your friends, your family, and/or your work colleagues? If not, why? If so, how did you come out and what was the result? Have you lost friends or family over your Satanic identification?
10. Do you use a Satanic pseudonym? What about separate social media accounts for your Satanic persona? If so or if not, why? Would you recommend it? Have you received threats on social media or by other means for your Satanism?
11. The author encourages others to write or otherwise contribute to the Satanic discourse themselves. If you had the time, money, and energy to write or play music, make art, sculpture, or otherwise express yourself, what ideas might you have for a creative project centered on Satanism or your particular Satanic practice?
If your TST congregation's book club or other Satanic group would like Lilith to come in via webcam for a Q&A about Compassionate Satanism, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to confer on availability.
Lilith Starr is the author of The Happy Satanist: Finding Self-Empowerment (2015) and Compassionate Satanism: An Introduction to Modern Satanic Practice (2021). She is an official Minister of Satan ordained by The Satanic Temple, and she founded the Satanic Temple of Washington State in 2014.