Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture

Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture

Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture

Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture

Synopsis

Mathews offers a history and analysis of modern Satanism and its many derivations.

Excerpt

Death to the weakling, wealth to the strong!

—Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible, p. 30

Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgis Night) is an annual pagan festival, falling on April 30 or May 1, marking the final triumph of spring over winter. It is considered the most potent magical date of the year, and legends tell of witches meeting on the night, celebrating the change of season with wild revels and Black Masses as huge bonfires burn away the last vestiges of winter. the festival is named after Saint Walburga, a English nun who traveled to Germany to convert German pagans to Christianity in the eighth century. Following her death in Heidenheim in 778, her memorial—May 1—was confused with the pagan festival. the festival was, like so many pagan observances, adapted for the Christian era. the so-called Easter fires came to signify the driving out of evil spirits. Its original heritage, however, became widely known after its role in Goethe’s Faust, where Mephistopheles takes Faust to witness the proceedings on Walpurgisnacht and “mix with the devils.” in keeping with tradition, the revels are taking place on the Blocksberg, an atmospheric 1,142-meter peak in Germany’s Harz Mountains:

We creep as slowly as a snail;
Far, far ahead the witches sail.
When to the Devil’s home they speed,
Women by a thousand paces lead.

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