The horned beast, the scourge of mankind, the source of all that is wrong in the world!
How did this red winged, horn faced bastard come into being to plague the pure and innocent men and women of planet earth?
Who is he?
We cannot answer this question without looking under the stone of religion.
Cue a brief foray into the Bible...
Well I tried, but there is no straight answer and different stories range from Genesis to Ezekiel with no clear timeline or reason. The gist, is that he was an angel who pissed God off by competing with his son and was condemned to hell for being a jealous bastard. Condemned... by the loving, forgiving, God Almighty.
Now we have that out of the way, we can get on with a far more likely tale.
The horned god, Satan, the Devil, Baphomet, Pan existed long before Christianity became a blot on the landscape. Back in the day when all humanity was Shamanic and in tune with creation and the unseen forces behind the physical plane, there were no religions or gods so to speak. Only a shamanic practice that ebbed and flowed with the rest of creation. Our knowing was around the dragon, the mythical beast represented our own reptilian brain, lying largely dormant underneath what we share with the mammals and our human elements. As represented in every single mythology on the planet. As such, reptilian factors have made their way into the current consciousness and into filing cabinet 'evil.'
We also recognised the animating spirit of all living beings, the horned god that could be neither placated nor bargained with. Half man, half beast, it gave rise to man’s ability to survive in a world full of danger, despite the puny frame and lack of claws and teeth, for it was the brain, the psychic edge that gave mankind its power.
The horned god was born, two horns to represent the bipolar and contradicting nature of existence on this physical plane, good and bad, beautiful and terrible, joyous and depressing, light and dark, every duality carried in those horns. And with it creation and destruction.
As time went on we created other gods and became pagan or polytheistic (of many gods), before eventually arriving at the monotheistic Gods of Islam and Christianity and then tossing the whole thing aside for Atheism, Scientism and the worship of a small black screen.
Why did we do all this? Where did all this God stuff stem from?
“As a species we only started to form pretentious theories about cosmic gods when we mixed up our own megalomaniac psychology with the vestiges of shamanistic knowledge. The monotheistic God is only an idealised image of ourselves. The perspective of the telescope indicates that this idea was childishly small. No wonder the Inquisition burned astronomers.” Peter Carroll, Liber Null.
I spend a lot of time laughing at religions and Gods but I do not deny their existence. As humans we are manifestations of creation and through us creator continues to create, so all that is imagined is created. Humans have created a pantheon of Gods to satisfy the urge for control and power under the banner of religion. And also to explain our existence and release some existential angst. And those Gods now exist for they were created. They exist for all religions. And just as one may suspect that I dismiss all religion, it becomes clear that I accept it and all that is humorous about it. I work with the many deities that have been created when the timing suits.
In the Tarot wheel of the year we are now in my birth sign, Capricorn, represented by this card:
The Devil, marks the annual turn of the wheel out of the darkness of winter and back to the light of summer. Destruction and creation. Pan the God of this physical plane and representation of all that is to be experienced here.
How then did this God become known as something dark and evil, something to fear? This change occurred as the battle for the souls of mankind began between the Catholic church (the driving force behind all Christianity) and the pagan tribes of Europe. A power struggle of largely unrecognised proportions.
“The Devil was represented as black, with goat’s horns, ass’s ears, cloven hoofs, and an immense phallus. He is, in fact, the Satyr of the old Dionysiac processions, a nature-spirit, the essence of joyous freedom and unrestrained delight, shameless if you will, for the old Greeks knew not shame. He is the figure who danced light-heartedly across the Aristophanic stage, stark nude in broad midday, animally physical, exuberant, ecstatic, crying aloud the primitive refrain, ‘Phales, boon mate of Bacchus, joyous comrade in the dance, wanton wanderer o’ nights’ … in a word, he was Paganism incarnate, and Paganism was the Christian’s deadliest foe; so they took him, the Bacchic reveller, they smutted him from horn to hoof, and he remained the Christian’s deadliest foe, the Devil.”
~ Montague Summers
At this point I find it necessary to mention the worldwide and ongoing genocide committed by the Catholic church in its quest to become the most dominant and powerful force on the planet. May god forgive their sins ;-). It is an ongoing embroilment that has found its way into resource mining, land grabbing and government control over the years. All the while pointing the finger at the Devil for being the bad guy. As we Shamans say 'Nothing is ever as it seems.'
And now we know what we know, what does it mean for us? Is it a coincidence that the Devil is a goat and we have developed this term, Scapegoat? As I wrote on Synergy Sanctuary recently, we love to blame others for our problems. The Devil has become the ideal target for all our shit, all that is wrong in the world.
This isn't a call to start worshipping the Devil, worship what you will if it makes you happy. All worship outside honest self work is simply distraction from progress, real progress of the human blueprint.
We look at the world outside us, the world created by man with all its war, greed and environmental destruction and we seek to find a causation, something to blame for all these ills. We feel the pain of it all on varying levels depending on our psychological dissonance and capacity for sensitivity, and it just does’t make sense that it is us. All of us. It comes from the source and it is in all of us and to deny this is to let it control us. To transmute it is our path to freedom, but this will not be done in the outside world, for this is simply a reflection of our inner worlds. It is there that we all must go.