Friday, February 24, 2012

D is for Devil – Pagan Blog Project Post


The Devil, Diablo, Lucifer... most people recognize the name. The Devil is usually depicted with horns, a tail, sometimes with wings and is almost always hideous in form and feature, unless of course he is trying to seduce an innocent.
In Christianity the Devil is a fallen angel cast out of Heaven, the embodiment of evil who is always trying to lure unsuspecting souls away from God and Heaven, other faiths believe that the Devil is an otherworldly, supernatural evil entity and still others believe that the Devil commands a force of demons to torment the living. There are those who worship the Devil and many who fear it. Some use the concept of the Devil as an excuse, a simple way for them to release themselves from responsibility for their bad behaviors, how many times have you heard someone say “the devil made me do it”, or “he’s got the devil in him”. 
The Devil is a pretty good scapegoat if you ask me, a convenient way for people to skirt responsibility for their actions. Even worse, the Devil is a way for some religious leaders to frighten their flock. I am not poking fun or trying to insult anyone’s religious beliefs but one of my biggest pet peeves with the Devil is how people are told that if they commit “inset bad deed of the moment here” they will be going to hell and forced to endure torture at the hands of Satan himself. How terrifying to be told that if you aren’t following the current leader’s version of morality your soul will be eternally damned. To me, using a person's spiritual beliefs and fears to exert control over them is horrible. As a child I didn’t get it, as an adult I think it is ludicrous.
Throughout history, Witches have been accused of worshipping this creature, of conspiring with evil to harm unsuspecting innocents but as any witch will tell you, we don’t believe in the Devil. In fact, if you were to take a hard look at the belief systems of a witch you’d be surprised by what you find. Witches are the live and let live kind of folks, if you aren’t harming anyone we believe that you should live your life in the way that you want too. We try to take care of ourselves, our families, our environment and our friends, just like everybody else.  We also try to live our lives in such a way that our actions cause no harm.
If I do something bad or stupid, I have to take responsibility for it no matter how much I would prefer not to. I believe in Karma, that there are equal and opposite forces in the universe and that my actions, be they good or bad, will revisit me and not just 3 times, but as many times as necessary for me to learn that Karmic lesson. As you can imagine, I try hard to live a good life J Since I am human, have faults, emotions and bad days, I don’t always do the best or right thing but I try and when I make a mistake, I own it and try to do better the next time.  
The Devil won’t be taking the blame when I screw up… I will!
****This is my last reminder (shameless plug *grin*) about my Lace Mask Giveaway. I will be pulling the winning names on Thursday March 1st. ****

7 comments:

  1. I would not necessarily say that I do not believe in the devil, but I definitely do not worship him. Come to think of it, I do not really believe in the (Christian) devil, but very much in things for whom we are simply toys. Or food.

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  2. And the same cannot necessarily be said of traditional Witchcraft which had a figure quite close to the adversary of Christian tradition. The big question is what is the purpose and nature of the bing called Satan, iblib abd many other titles for a principle.

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  3. Ah, the D posts are ripe with Devil-ish thoughts today, and I'm enjoying all of them! I recall, when I was about 10 years old, one little girl on my school bus route (my age) was a Baptist Minister's daughter in the small town where I lived in northern Michigan. She brought and distributed horrific pamphlets to all of us on the bus one day (probably so instructed by her father). The graphic and disturbing images (of Hell, eternal damnation, etc) were enough to cause severe nightmares and everlasting terror in the minds of impressionable youngsters - especially in 1977 when stuff like this wasn't "readily seen".

    I don't believe in the existence of the Devil - and the term "Hell" comes from (sorry I can't remember this very well off the top of my head) burying things - such as "helling potatoes" meant to put them away in the cellar for storage. I DO believe good and evil is within everything and everyone, though. The same gentle breeze that caresses our faces can become a deadly and destructive hurricane. The same man who is goodhearted toward everyone he meets can turn into a killer if someone were to physically or emotionally injure his child...

    As far as spirituality goes, fear-driven (OR fantasy-driven: everything consists of flitting butterflies in fields of daisies) conversion tactics do NOTHING positive for the benefit of anyone, or for the human race as a whole.

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  4. Thanks for your comments :) The Pagan Blog Project has been fascinating to me. So many different takes on so many different thoughts and ideas.

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  5. I don't believe in the existence of the Devil (and never have, even when I identified as Christian). For me, there is no being that is purely good or purely evil; instead, we all have the potential to do good (but some seem to be aware of and use this potential more than others).

    As you said, the Devil is a great scapegoat, and this is what scares me about the concept. You can use it to damn just about anything that doesn't agree with you or your religion (like "Wise women? They are the consorts of the Devil!!" or "Homosexuals? They must be possessed by the Devil!"). This is why I'd love to get rid of the concept and make it mandatory for people to think about the consequences of their actions and to question whether a different lifestyle or religion isn't actually beneficial to the individual practicing it.

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  6. Yay! Someone else with this view!

    I think Sin and hell and the Devil have always been scapegoats for human fuck-ups. We like to think somebody else is responsible for our fuck ups so we can sleep at night. Obviously that's not very healthy.

    Besides, poor Lucifer just wants to be left alone to read his books. He kinda has a shit job, let's be honest here. He frankly doesn't give a fuck what you do.

    People create their own hell, ya know?

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