The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey
I want to cover this book all by itself, just because I’ve been putting off writing a review for it because….well…I was wondering how to write a review for it. First though, I figure I could start with a story of how I got my hands on it in the first place. Ahem. Let me start by setting the mood…
Back in Pittsburgh I lived off of a rather busy street that was lined with cute small businesses and chains as well. The walk from my condo to the Starbucks I worked at was about seven minutes give or take (aka if I hit the intersection at Fifth Ave at wrong time) and the walk took me past a french restaurant, multiple hair salons, a Quiznos (my favorite), a cupcake shop turned Suski Fuku, a weird dentist office, comic book store, table top game store, tattoo parlor, and a used book store called Caliban’s Books. (There were other shops on the street too but I’m not going to list them all, that would be overkill) Anyways, Caliban’s was the kind of used book store that hipsters frequented, it also had a pretty decent selection of old used vinyl and had a section dedicated to local small-time authors and poets. Books were on the shelfs and also stacked in piles on the floor. But it was a great shop to get a good well worn and well loved book.
So I was walking to work and I looked over into their window displays and just right there at eye level was The Satanic Bible, looking right out into the street. I almost tripped over the uneven sidewalk. That’s the kind of thing that grabs my attention. I had never heard of the book before, and I put it into the back of my mind for later, because first I had work. For the rest of the week I kept looking into Caliban’s windows, where the book remained on display in the window. Finally, at the start of the next week I walked in and asked the lady behind the counter if I could get the Satanic Bible in the window display. She grabbed it for me and asked if I worked at Starbucks, and I replied that I did, and she was excited. She then gave me a discount, giving me the book for about 3 bucks, because I was a barista. So I got the Satanic Bible for three dollars being a barista, Fancy that.
Now, onto the book itself.
The book is a look into LaVey’s brand of Satanism. He goes over the creed of the religion, what they believe in, and in the last part of the book has the rituals listed, with the chats/how to carry them out, etc. He also tears down other religions quite intensely in the first part of the book, and speaks a lot about Christian Holidays taking root in pagan holidays that fall around the same times. He also talks A LOT about putting oneself first above all else (unless you are hurting someone else), which is the main creed of LaVey’s Satanism. Basically, do whatever makes you happy and fulfilled unless it hinders someone else’s ability to do the same. (Aka murder is not allowed because you are making it so someone else can’t live their life to the fullest)
To this extent there is a huge section in the book about what he calls “physic vampires”, which are people that bring you down by basically sucking the life out of you by never helping you, but always asking you for favors and such. He says to cut these people out of your life, which is the part of the book that I totally agree with. You should always cut toxic people out of your life, because they do drain the life out of you. It feels terrible to always be helping someone out, only to have them turn away in your time of need.
Anyways. So this book is the kind of thing that you read in your rebellious phase in college, and I have no strong feelings about it one way or another. I’d suggest reading it if you are interested in reading up on multiple religions, only because there is nothing wrong with broadening your world views.
And no, I am not a Satanist. I just like to read all kinds of books!