On Sol Invictus, Like Satan We Remain Unconquered
I want to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday this year! In my Satanic tradition, today is Sol Invictus. It's a celebration of triumph over superstition and the pursuit and sharing of knowledge.
To me, Sol Invictus celebrates that though we are oppressed and opposed, we are still unconquered. I am unconquered. Thanks to all of your loving, supportive energy building me up and keeping me from my deepest depths, I am still here. And I have received countless messages that fed the fire of passion in my heart. Because of your support and encouragement, I am finally starting to accept those messages of admiration and respect as if they might actually be meant for me, not someone else.
I have decided to explore my Unconquered side this coming year. I don't mean arrogance and authoritarianism, throwing others under the bus in a struggle for glory and power. No, for me it is my inner strength, my success at the craft and creativity I've stoked since I was 5 years old. Despite the pain and limitations, I've written two books. At an hour a day. TWO books! It's hard to deny now that I'm a "real" author.
I feel in the Zen sweet spot here. I have worked my whole life to become the best writer I can. I've put my long witch nose to the grindstone to learn the sorcery of words. I always felt like I was searching, like I had this enormous capacity to serve religiously but I didn't know how. I felt empty inside, which of course fed my depression and addiction.
Then BOOM! The Satanic Temple was founded. Suddenly all my sacredness sensors lit up. I can't believe my luck at finding this community. It's a beautiful meld of nontheistic, rational belief with the many big advantages of religion -- and beyond that, it simply is my people. I knew we were kindred immediately.
And finally I knew how I could put my writing skills to work in the service of my religious path. That hole inside me, that weary life of searching ended at Satanism's doorstep. I had at last realized that potential I carried within, to help others understand Satanism and perhaps enable some to have that same Aha! moment I had when I first encountered TST.
I will not bow my head and submit to the forces of hate, harm and ignorance that seek to subjugate us all. I hurt like a motherfucker all the time, I have existential limitations, and I like all of you have been dragged through the infection mud again and again and again these past few years thanks to scarcity, greed, and willful ignorance. But I'm still here -- along with our thriving Satanic community.
I saw an article deflating the reality of imposter syndrome. It was diagnosed before researchers began including systemic issues like racism, misogyny and transphobia in understanding syndromes. I'd say nearly every Satanist I know has some level of imposter syndrome. I got it imposed on me by bullies in elementary school, and even now that I am 49, it still haunts me. Friends congratulate me on the new book, and I can't properly thank them and accept it. Strangers tell me my writing changed their life -- the very dream I've worked on so hard my whole life, touching readers' hearts. But it's very hard to accept; I feel like I don't really deserve it.
I'd estimate that almost all of us in the Satanic community arrived here already marginalized -- whether by our family, our peers at school, work colleagues, or society in general. Most of us have something that was deemed "wrong" with us; we are LGBTQ, we are women who refuse to be meek and submissive, we are people who dare to question, to speak up against injustice, to ask "what if we could make things better?" When you're bombarded by unkind, judgemental statements tearing you down for years, it's hard to shake that off. That harsh voice is still in my mind, telling me I haven't really accomplished any of the good things I've done, that I don't deserve the recognition.
But I do. YOU do. My wish is for all of us to learn to set aside that asshole in our heads -- it's just a relic that's dragging us down. All of you who swim against the current: you're blazing the path for the next generation to follow. Despite the forces ranged against us, we are all still here, still going strong. For instance, TST Indiana recently installed a display of Baphomet as a baby alongside a nativity scene at the state capitol. Death threats ensued. Yet the TST congregation persevered, striking a blow for equal representation in the face of Christian attempts to enforce hegemony in what is supposed to be a nation of pluralism. They stood up for what was right, even with danger lurking in the wings. That makes my heart soar.
I wish you all a very happy Sol Invictus! As Lucien Greaves has written, "Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered." May you see the Luciferian light that shines within you, even in the dark of winter. May we celebrate that despite the obstacles we face, we are still here, buoyed by the mutual support and love of our Satanic community. We are yet, and will remain, unconquered.
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.