It’s high time I recommended some books about Satanism to my dear readers. After all, every God of Light must have an arch-nemesis, the God of Darkness. Satan obviously belongs to the Judeo-Christian tradition by name. But we can easily draw parellels with other traditions, which means that there is a universal truth behind this great metaphysical divide.
For example, the God of Light in Zoroastrianism is Ahura Mazda, and his nemesis is Ahriman, another dark deity and very similar to Satan. Although there is a slight difference between the two because in Abrahamic thought Satan is usually depicted as a fallen angel and a more evil, advanced version of Lucifer, rather than a god.
That’s mainly because mainstream Abrahamic religions believe that there was a single creator of the world, not two forces of equal strength duking it out since time immemorial. Gnostics, Manicheans, Bogomils, Cathars and other dualist sects belonging to the Christian tradition often considered God as a purely spiritual force that didn’t create this world. According to them, the Creator of the material world is Satan, whom they preferred to call the Demiurge. Sort of like an imperfect God.
So where does Satanism come into the picture? Well, Satanists often take the monotheistic stance of there being only one God, and this God created everything. God is exposed as a tyrannt from the sky, who wants devotion and worship but isn’t worthy of any praise bestowed upon him. After all, if he’s the creator of everything, then he also created suffering and evil. So isn’t it more logical to rebel against God, as did Lucifer and other fallen angels? They believe that their master was correct in rebelling against God, so they follow in his footsteps.
So in some ways, Satanism is very similar to the dualist, heretical sects within Christianity as they all place the blame for the possibility of evil in the world on God, since.. well.. he created everything. However, instead of living a life of purity like many dualist Christian sects, Satanists often take on a more vengeful attitude towards God’s Creation, in a way embracing evil to demonstrate to God just how poorly he did his job.
That in a nutshell, is the core motivation behind Satanism, but there is so much more to learn. Satanism is a religion that’s lived in the shadows since time immemorial, just like Satan has lived in darkness, avoidant of God’s light. It has a great literary tradition along with esoteric and magical customs that are highly interesting and worth studying.
Now, some will say that Satanism is not a religion per se. There are obviously different schools of thought within Satanism. Some Satanists are more Luciferian in nature, philosophically libertarians. I often say that Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is a boring, protestant version of Satanism as it’s all about me, me, me, my money, my freedom etc. But there are also old-school Satanists who perform Black Masses and sincerely believe in Satan as a powerful spirit and live to serve him.
We need to take these differences into consideration when talking about Satanism, because Satanism can be purely philosophical or it can have religious/esoteric components to varying degrees. It’s important to be smart and read between the lines sometimes! Having said that, I’ve focused primarily on the more spiritual/religious Satanism while making this list because.. it’s more fun! This list has a great combination of fiction and non-fiction works that I personally enjoyed and that also have objectively high literary quality and are well reserached.
1. Book of the Fallen: Satanic Theory, Ethics, and Practice
The author Martin McGreggor goes at the core of what Satanism is, how it’s practiced and the morality or immorality of satanic cults. It also covers the practice of Satanism, both from an occult, magical and cultural angle.
McGreggor is a practicing occultist on the Left Hand Path with over 15 years of experience. So he provides excellent advice for readers who want to venture on this path of liberation and success, breaking the chains of social and biological conditioning to fulfill their higher destiny.
This book is packed with information but is fairly beginner friendly as well, making it my first recommendation since most readers will find it both a useful and interesting read.
2. The Satanic Bible
The Satanic Bible contains LaVeys worldview and philosophy. He wasn’t a religious Satanist, rather using the Satanic imagery for psychological liberation from all the social pressures and conditioning. Black Masses, black clothing, poligamy were all used to live in a uniquely individualistic manner free from what others think.
As the most popular satanic book of the 20th and 21st century this is a must-read regardless of whether you’re writing a research paper on Satanism or you’re considering joining an esoteric order.
3. At Satan’s Altar: A Collection of Prayers, Chants, Affirmations, Hymns, and Rituals
It’s a collection of prayers, powerful chants, affirmations and wonderful hymns that can be recited alone or in a group setting. There are also plenty of Satanic rituals involving candles, herbs, incense and other ritualistic items.
The author Marie RavenSoul has been a practicing Satanist for over a decade so she has ample experience to lend advice. Which she does in an interesting way.
She also writes about daily practices to be closer to Satan. This is the only book I’ve come across that explores the daily aspect of devotional Satanism in such detail.
4. The Dictionary of Demons: Names of the Damned
Occult scholar Michelle Belanger has compiled the most complete compendium of demonic names available anywhere, using both notorious and obscure sources from the Western grimoiric tradition.
Presented alphabetically from Aariel to Zynextyur, more than 1,500 demons are introduced, explored, and cross-referenced by theme and elemental or planetary correspondence. There is also a wealth of woodcuts, etchings, and paintings depicting demons through the ages.
Learning about Satanism is more than just learning about Satan. There is an entire army of spirits that work on behest of Satan, and many magical rituals depend on the knowledge of these demonic forces. This is a great book that condenses all of that vital information in short articles dedicated to every demon or demonology-related subject.
5. An Exorcist Tells His Story
Amorth shares the most interesting exorcisms he had, and while doing so reveals how Satan and his demons can possess a person, He talks about signs of possession, the various curses he’s encoutered and how Satan can pray upon the weak.
Perhaps this book should be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s valuable to get a perspective of someone whose decades long career was fighting against the Master of Darkness himself.
6. Down There
This is one of my favorite novels of all time. “Down There (La Bas) is the first part of Huysmans trilogy that follows a middle-aged writer in late 19th century from spiritual apathy to a mystical conversion to Christianity. Huysmans provides the greatest Black Mass description of all time in any novel in this work.
There is also a lot of talk about occultism, and we find the protagonist writing a book on one of the darkest figures of occultism and the first recorded serial killer, the Medieval nobleman Gilles de Rais.
Gilles de Rais was one of the commanders under Joan of Arc but he supposedly got very into magic and invited all sorts of magicians to his castle to perform rituals. Sacrificing humans and many perverse activities were part of the equation.
All in all, this is my favorite fiction novel about the Devil and related subjects.
7. The Master and Margarita
One of the most popular modern novels, The Master and Margarita combines a Soviet Moscow setting with a surreal Satanic excursion, featuring a beautiful naked witch, a talking black hat and the Devil himself.
This friendly group wreak havoc in a society that refuses to believe in any spiritual forces. At the center of the novel are the Master, a writer by profession, and Margarita, his women who’d do anything for him, even if it meant an eternity in Hell would follow.
This book has everything: humor, philosophy and an interesting romantic story. This is Bulgakov’s finest novel and a good intro to the rest of his literary corpus.
8. Paradise Lost
John Milton’s Paradise Lost is an epic poem that pits God against Satan. The narrative follows the fall of angels and the fall of man in all the treacharous and corrupt details that make this myth as popular as ever.
It’s one of the greatest poem ever written, and in it Milton demonstrates a more Protestant view of Satan, as the one who denounces or negates existence to spite God.
Be warned however that this poem is a work of erudition and it’s not an easy read. But seeing the huge influence it’s had on culture for over 350 years it’s definitely worthy of reading, even more than once.
9. Dante’s Inferno
Dante’s hero descends into Hell to rescue his love Beatrice, with the assistance of the Roman poet Virgil. As they descend through all the levels of Hell, they encounter various types of sinners.
Gluttony, greed, anger, betrayal all have their circle with sinners suffering in different ways. Satan is in on the lowest circle, shackled in ice, in a self-perpetuating torment.
Dante’s Divine Comedy (Inferno is the first of three books, followed by Purgatory and Paradise) is not only a story-telling and religious masterpiece, but also a highly relevant psychological analysis of why people commit evil acts.
Available on Amazon (contains the Italian original and a modern English translation)
10. The Anti-Christ
This is one of Nietzsche’s final books, and in it he goes hard against Christianity, exposing it as an anti-life, nihilistic religion. Nietzsche was like an atheistic Satanist, or at the very least a follower of the Left Hand Path.
In The Anti-Christ, Nietzsche provides a way to escape from “slave morality”, how to build a life of freedom and self-actualization in a world that has been disenchanted and no longer truly believes in God. I consider Nietzsche to be a Satanist philosopher due to his individualistic approach to life and a “beyond good and evil” morality (or lack of).
This is a good book to start if you’ve never read Nietzsche as it’s fairly easy to read. Another one I suggest for beginners in Nietzsche is “The Genealogy of Morals” in which he provides a biological and social explanation for the development of morality, as opposed to the theological explanations provided by Christianity and earlier philosophers.