This is the religious worship of Satan.
Many of us who identify as a Devil Worshipper also utilise the title of Religious Satanist because Devil Worship is a religious practice, usually centred around Satan. There isn’t a great deal of differences but the main is that Religious Satanism is the focus on Satan. He is your God, patron deity and priority. Whereas in Devil Worship, the devil isn’t necessarily Satan as I have explained in the article about DW.
Religious Satanism views Satan as a literal being who is primordial and most worthy of worship. Essentially, this path is a step up from Spiritual Satanism. To us, Satan is our everything. We experience Satan to be our father and we believe that our soul is bound to Him. This path does require a dedication ritual and usually, the Satanist will rededicate themselves every year following. This relationship is based on worship, love and adoration for Satan rather than for the benefit of oneself. We give offerings to Satan as an act of devotion and to show Him our love, not because we want something in return. It isn’t a working relationship as such because the purpose of it isn’t reliant on personal gain and spiritual growth. This is one of the differences compared to spiritual Satanism.
The religious Satanist knows Satan to be the creator god of humanity, that He is the most powerful being in existence, or the All. This specific view can vary between individuals as I personally know people who believe Satan to be an ancient powerful god, but they don’t believe He is the creator of all things. In my opinion, if you have this view then you could be labelled as a polytheistic religious Satanist because with that, there’s less restriction surrounding the belief of how humanity came to existence. I would like to clarify that although this path in Satanism is a religion with more intense beliefs compared to Spiritual Satanism, there isn’t a rule book. I am in no place of authority to dictate what is exactly what or what every single religious satanist believes. What makes this path different, is that our whole life revolves around Satan and fulfilling His Will. He is our priority above all else and we consider Him in every decision we make. This is still a path of free will, but we acknowledge that it was Satan who gave us the right of Free Will.
A religious Satanist will have a shrine for Satan and less so of an altar. The difference is that an altar is a working space where you do divination, journaling or practical spell work. An altar is usually messy and covered in loose herbs, stained with candle wax and most likely has several burn holes on the altar cloth. This isn’t a bad thing though; this just means that your working altar is well loved. A shrine however is an offering space. It is kept clean and free from debris and unwanted energy. Religious Satanism involves continuous practice and devotion which can involve regular prayer, promise pacts, maintaining oaths, re-dedication rituals, weekly or daily offerings. There are outreach events, virtual masses and online gatherings for those part of a group.
Some of who follow this path may have views that are seen as extreme (a word I use only because I have been labbeled as such for the views I have). Views such as not attending weddings or funerals that are held in a Christian church. Invitations to Catholic baptisms and Christenings are refused, as well as the offer to be a ‘god’ parent. The refusal to participate in Christmas, St Patricks day, good Friday, Easter, Mothers-Day, Valentine’s day, Imbolc or Candlemas. Some religious Satanists may only get into romantic relationships with those who share the same beliefs. Personally, I won’t listen to music or support artists who devoted to an opposing religion. I love metal music, but a lot of bands are Christian, and even though they don’t make Christian music, I cannot support them. I have been asked to help and pray for people who follow Islam and Christianity, but this is too something I refuse.
I will never engage in anything that contradicts my beliefs and dishonours Satan. These sorts of things probably won’t bother a Spiritual Satanist or Luciferian as they have not made religious commitments. Unfortunately, I have heard occultists say that it is petty to avoid such things and to be so strict. I believe it is our right to create our own boundaries, and your religious practice shouldn’t be determined based on what other people think is reasonable.
If you are curious to know what else I believe in, you can read about that here.