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Church of Azazel proto-congregation, New York City Pages

Here in New York City, there are only two Satanist groups that hold regular meetings open to the general public: (1) the NYC Satanists/LHP discussion group, a.k.a. NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists, and (2) this group, the Church of Azazel proto-congregation, NYC.

The Church of Azazel proto-congregation is focused on a specific polytheistic Satanist paradigm developed by Diane Vera, the founder of both groups and author of a well-known website on theistic Satanism. On the other hand, the NYC Satanists/LHP discussion group welcomes Satanists, Luciferians, etc. of many different kinds, both theistic and atheistic, on an equal basis, excluding only those who practice or advocate violent criminal activity in the name of Satan or Satanism.

The Church of Azazel proto-congregation is intended primarily for those polytheistic Satanists who: (1) strongly oppose the religious right wing and have a strong desire to do something about it, on some level (e.g. political, artistic, literary, counter-evangelistic, or whatever), in at least some small way, and/or (2) have a strong desire to defend, or better yet to advance, at least one of the more desirable aspects of the modern world that are seen as "Satanic" by the more authoritarian, fundamentalist, and traditionalist sectors of the major religions.

The Church of Azazel itself will focus on spirituality, not activism, but aims to develop forms of spirituality that can strengthen activists on our side, while at the same time countering the pitfall of being blinded by one's own dogma. (By "activists," we mean anyone who aims to have a shaping influence, of any kind, on society as a whole -- on any level, not just political.)

Additionally, the Church of Azazel will be for polytheists who respect science and scholarship and eschew elaborate theologies. The Church of Azazel paradigm does not concern itself with the remote past, the remote future, the afterlife, or the alleged structure of the spirit world. We aim also to avoid basing our beliefs on pseudo-science or pseudo-history. Our theological focus is on how the gods interact with humans, and with human societies, in the here and now.

Those for whom the Church of Azazel is intended are a small minority among Satanists here in NYC. Hence the Church of Azazel is still more a vision than a reality at this point. Since 2009, the Church of Azazel proto-congregation has held four or five open meetings per year for people interested in the Church of Azazel paradigm. (The larger NYC Satanists/LHP discussion group meets more often.) However, as the NYC Satanists/LHP discussion group continues to grow, it is likely that the number of people interested in the Church of Azazel paradigm will grow too.

It is intended that a Church of Azazel congregation will consist of five Cabals, one for devotees of each of our five Rising Gods of the modern West: Lilith, Prometheus, Ishtar, Pan, and Lucifer-of-Sophia. The Rising Gods are each associated with specific desirable emerging aspects of the modern world that are under attack by Satan's avowed enemies, i.e. by the leaders of those branches of the major religions with strong belief in a Devil:


  • Lilith: Women's rights, GLBT rights, gender nonconformity of all kinds, acceptance of masturbation, controversial "dark" subcultures (e.g. BDSM and Vampire scenes), rights of social outcasts in general, opposition to tyranny.

  • Prometheus: Science and technology, including evolution, scientific cosmology, birth control, stem cell research, and climate science.

  • Ishtar: Acceptance of transwomen, polyamorous women, rights of sex workers, rights of polytheists and other religious minorities in the military, reforms of the criminal justice system (both to take rape and sexual assault more seriously as crimes and to free those who are wrongly accused).

  • Pan: Acceptance of bisexual and pansexual men, therians, protection of wildlife, acceptance of our own animal nature.

  • Lucifer-of-Sophia: Development of new spiritualities based on wide-ranging knowledge of anthropology, psychology, history, mythology, world religions, and occult traditions. Development of modern (and post-modern) ethical as well as spiritual philosophies.

(More information about the Rising Gods can be found here and here. More information about the hopefully forthcoming Cabals, one for each Rising God, can be found here. A relevant mini-ritual, to be used by the Church of Azazel proto-congregation as a whole when all the Cabals gather together, is the Affirmation of our common purpose.)

Since 2010, Diane Vera has already begun building -- or, sometimes, helping other people build -- separate larger groups for devotees of our Rising Gods. These separate larger groups, which are not just for Satanists but for Pagans, polytheists, and occultists of all kinds, are intended to be organizationally independent of the Church of Azazel. It is intended that the Church of Azazel will be just one of many paths represented in these groups, at the leadership level as well as among the general membership. Two such groups exist so far, one for devotees of Lilith (founded in 2010) and one for devotees of Prometheus (founded in 2012).

Apart from the groups devoted to each Rising God, the rituals of the Church of Azazel congregation itself will focus primarily on Satan/Azazel and the elemental Princes, seen as aspects of Satan/Azazel. Unlike the Rising Gods, we see Satan/Azazel not as the champion of any particular social order, but as a Being who (among other things) challenges us to re-think all dogma including even our own modern dogmas. We revere Satan/Azazel as God of this world, God of our flesh, God of our innermost Will, and God who beckons us beyond the comfortable and familiar.

We do not believe in the literal truth of any myths, including the Christian scriptures. Rather, we believe that gods and other supernatural entities use our myths as a means of manifesting to us. We do not believe that the Christian "God" is the true cosmic God or the true creator of the universe.

Apart from regarding the Christian cosmology as extremely unlikely, we do not take a stand on such questrions as how the universe was created, how humans were created, how the world will end, or the afterlife. We encourage our members to explore a variety of theological cosmologies. But we do not embrace any theological cosmology. Instead, we take a strictly here-and-now approach to understanding the meaning of various mythologies.

As of January 2013, we will begin building the Church of Azazel proto-congregation one Cabal at a time, starting with the Lilith Cabal. All members of the Church of Azazel proto-congregation will be expected to belong to at least one Cabal, and will also be strongly encouraged to attend meetings and rituals of a separate, larger, non-Satanist (but Satanist-friendly) local group devoted to the same Rising God as one's Cabal.

Prospective members of the Church of Azazel proto-congregration are asked also to attend (1) meetings of the NYC Satanists/LHP discussion group and/or (2) meetings of at least one of the larger independent local groups devoted to the five Rising Gods, as well as open meetings of the Church of Azazel proto-congregation itself and/or at least one of the Church of Azazel's Cabals. Meetings of all these groups will be announced in "Upcoming events" emails from the Church of Azazel proto-congregation. Once you join this Meetup group, please make sure you are subscribed to "Organizer broadcasts."

Please study the Church of Azazel website before you begin attending meetings of the Church of Azazel proto-congregation or its Cabals.

Prospective members are also encouraged to participate on our Meetup message board, again after first spending some time studying the Church of Azazel website.

If you're interested in joining us, it would be nice if you could also fill out your profile here on this group's Meetup site, as a further way of introducing yourself to us. You don't need to use your legal name or use a real picture of yourself, but please do tell us a little about your perspective on Satanism, your religious background, and your worldview in general.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Old group description, 2007 to 2010 October 7, 2012 9:42 PM Diane
Old "About" page, 2007-2010 CE October 7, 2012 9:06 PM Diane
Format of our open meetings October 7, 2012 9:25 PM Diane
About Church of Azazel proto-congregation, New York City May 4, 2013 1:55 AM Diane

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