From the pentagram (or is it a pentacle?) to the Sigil of Lucifer, a Satanic symbol is easy to spot – but less easy to source and explain. In this episode, we discuss the origins and meanings of all those cool Satanic symbols you see stitched on the patches of the jackets of every Black Mass attendee. Simone, Daniel, Tabitha, and Satanic artist Jason Lenox do a deep dive to help you keep your Satanic symbols straight. Plus, we share what we learned on the “Sunday Streets” of San Francisco, Simone is moved by Satanic gestures of sympathy, and we try to figure out which Rugrats character Baphomet looks like.
Praise, condemnation, questions, and suggested funk songs for Alex “Nasty” Jones can cover can be sent to email@example.com.
- Satanic San Francisco is now Satanic Bay Area
- PayPal ends business dealings with Alex Jones’s Infowars
|Inverted Pentagram||Inverted Pentacle|
- Knot Magick: What is a Pentagram and why is it important to Witches?
- New World Encyclopedia: Pentagram
- Symbol Dictionary: Pentagram
- Symbols.com: Pentagram
- Mormonism Research Ministry: The Nauvoo Temple Pentagrams
|Sigil of Baphomet (Church of Satan)||The Satanic Temple||Satanic Bay Area|
- Stanislas de Guaita’s La Clef de la Magie Noire
- JSTOR Daily: Satanism and Magic in the Age of the Moulin Rouge
- Church of Satan’s Sigil of Baphomet
- Catholic.com: The Upside Down Cross: Satanic or Symbolic?
- Wikipedia: Crucifix
- History Answers: Sex, Satanism & the 19th Century ‘War of the Magicians’
- JK Huysmans’ Las Bas
- Thought Catalog: Here’s What An Upside Down Cross Really Means
|Leviathan Cross||Cross of Lorraine||Infinity|
- Symbol Dictionary: Cross of Lorraine (Cross of Anjou)
- Darthmouth College: Infinity and the Mind
- Symbolism Wiki: Leviathan Cross
- Mythologian.net: The Leviathan Cross (Satan’s Cross) Symbol and Its Meaning
Sigil of Lucifer
- Symbol Dictionary: Sigil of Lucifer
- Grimoire Encyclopedia: Grimorium Verum (Grimoire)
- Simone’s tattoo!
Mark of the Beast / 666
Jason Lenox, Satanic Artist
- Jason’s work will be featured in the upcoming Devil’s Reign, Book IV: All of Them Witches; preorder here!
GET IN TOUCH WITH BLACK MASS APPEAL
SATANIC BAY AREA
Welcome to Black Mass Appeal, a podcast that brings modern Satanism to the masses. Today on Black Mass Appeal, we’re going to decipher some devilish doings by exploring and explaining the meaning of those oh so fashionable Satanic symbols in art and ritual. Plus, we traffic in the streets and get ready to descend into full Satanic Panic for Halloween. Joining me today I have Daniel.
Hi, my name is Daniel. I am a member of the Satanic Temple and I’m an organizer for Satanic Bay Area, and I’m afraid the rest of the things about me are indecipherable this time around. *laughter*
And I have Tabitha.
Hey there. I’m Tabitha. I am a member of the Satanic Temple and a member of Satanic Bay Area, and I am the chemical symbol for Helium. *laughter*
Your voice should be a lot higher.
*in high pitched voice* I am the chemical symbol for Helium! *laughter*
Well, maybe it is a lot higher and, like, it just was lower to begin with. We wouldn’t know.
That’s true. Also joining us today, we have Jason Lenox.
Hi, my name is Jason Lennox, and I am an artist that has a wicked streak of Satanic art that’s eeking out every day, and I’m a huge fan of Black Mass Appeal, and I am happy to be sitting with the gang as a guest on this episode.
Oh, we’re a big fan of you, too.
We’re very happy to have you joining us and bringing your, especially the kitty cat, Satanic kitty cat drawing.
Those are my favorite.
More sassy cats!
I’ll let one cat out of the bag. I got bored the other day and I started working on a stuffed animal Baphomet to go with a little cats, *collective squeeing* so no one’s seen that yet.
Ah, so excited!
*gasps* So cute!
Okay, my name is Simone and I am also a member of the Satanic Temple and an organizer for Satanic Bay Area. And, you know, talking about symbols, I used to write in the Aurebesh as a kid, that’s the Star Wars alphabet- *Tabitha aww’s* I knew that- I had that memorized, so-
I learn more, more symbols for Satanism. Anyway.
Check that off your list.
We are all members of Satanic Bay Area and of the Satanic Temple, but as usual, we are speaking for ourselves and not for the Satanic Temple national organization. This is a podcast for Satanists to discuss modern Satanism, its history, left-leaning political activism, and how Satanism relates to current events in pop culture. Or for people who want to learn more about modern Satanism, whether you’re a newbie, or you’re already involved in Satanic groups. And speaking of Satanic groups, what is Satanic Bay Area been up to lately, guys?
Well, I think first things first, anybody who for some reason skipped the last episode- by the way, go back and listen to the last episode, that one was really good.
Mm, two episodes ago. Kind of.
Yeah, because the last episode was-
Episode and a half ago. *Tabitha laughs*
Yeah, so so we are coming- we are back from vacation. We had to take ourselves a little bit of a breather for life things-
And also to get ready for our busiest time of year. So, the most recent episode in your feed will have been Daniel and I appearing on the other podcast, the Nerdist podcast, Bizarre States at a live event that happened last summer, and then the episode before that, that was when we had our good friend, Dietrich von Doom, on to discuss the experiences of Satanists of color.
But that was also the episode where we made the big announcement that we had gone and done changed the name. No longer is Satanic San Francisco, now Satanic Bay Area. And it’s, it’s still taking some people a little bit of time to get used to it, which is normal, so we just wanted to be- one more timely reminder about the new initials.
Now I want to ask a question about that as an East Coaster, is that to include your, your Satanist friends in Oakland?
Yeah, so you know-
Satanic San Francisco was the origins, the genesis- if you’ll excuse my language- *Tabitha laughs* of the group, and it’s where everything got started, but as we grew and expanded, we realized that, you know, so many of our members are in the East Bay or other, other places around the Bay Area, and we wanted to be more inclusive and, you know, incorporate those, you know, the entire Bay Area into, into our group, so people weren’t left wondering if, you know, they can come or not. And, as a practical matter, you know, we had to change the name and get some new addresses for social media and for the website, so you can find us at satanicbayarea.com, and we’re really looking forward to, like, a new chapter and doing more, and doing more with more people and in more places.
And speaking of new experiences, we are recording this episode, just 1- 24 hours after our big Sunday Streets roll out yesterday, which-
-We were all there and several other SBA members showed up to support that and, let me ask the table, how do you feel, how do you think it went?
Well, real quick, so Sunday Streets is an event in San Francisco, speaking of San Francisco, where they’ll shut off multiple streets and kind of a, you know, big block of a neighborhood, and different folks can have booths, and there were people who were running for political office, there were, you know, restaurants and other food vendors, there were artists, there were, like, the ACLU was, like, across the way from us. The Exploratorium was next to us, and so we decided to, you know, get our faces out there, get our chick tract out there, and we had a booth, and we sat there in the Tenderloin for a good portion of the day yesterday and got to interact with the public.
Yeah, so this was our very first time doing Sunday Streets. It was an idea that just kind of came to us, and it was- when I looked at the rules and realized, ‘hey, there’s no rule in here that says they can keep us out, great.’ *Tabitha laughs* We gave out some of, some of Tabitha’s Satanic chick tracts- which was nice, because it occurred to me, even though we’ve distributed now over 1600 of those, almost none of them we’ve handed out actually in the Bay Area itself- most of those we shipped out to our very generous Kickstarter backers, and then a lot of the other ones we’ve sold through the Black Mass Appeal shop, but not a lot have been circulating locally, so now we’ve gotten fixed that a little bit. How did everybody feel about interacting with the public in this very, very open way as openly identifying Satanists in really a much more public setting than we ever had before?
I think it, it went better than I thought. I had all these kind of, like, these thoughts that it was going to be just, you know, it was gonna be a bunch of people who are gonna yell at us, you know, that we were, you know, devil worshipers and baby eaters and stuff. I thought we were going to get a lot of pushback, and it wasn’t going to be much fun, but it really was- a lot of people were very curious, you know, a lot of people came up to us and be like, ‘alright, what are you about,’ you know, and, like, that was- it was really neat. I, of course, am not very good at talking points, so it was- I’d get, like, halfway through, like, my schpeel and be like, ‘Daniel, you’re better at this! I’m gonna slink off’ Doot doot doot. *laughs* But I had fun! I had a good time.
So one of the things that’s been really exciting about being a supporter of the Satanic chick tract is I was able to give copies out last weekend at Keystone Comic Con in Philadelphia as a special gift to people that bought my Satanic artwork at my table. But, even more exciting was that the convention I was at prior, late in August, was in rural West Virginia, in Morgantown, and it was unbelievable, the response I got at that event- again, in rural West Virginia- to people receiving a copy of the Satanic chick tract. People were just going nuts, and it really shocked me, especially being in a very rural, conservative area, the response was overwhelmingly positive, really even more so than in Philadelphia, and- I wanted to share that story with you because I know that you guys put a ton of work into it, and you’re out there on the West Coast promoting it, but I’ve been in the nooks and crannies of rural Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, so spreading the word in obscure places,
I really appreciate that it. It makes my little black heart warm. *Simone laughs*
Good. Good. Nah, as you know, obviously, Tabitha put a ton of work into it. As an artist, you know, one of the greatest things is when people get to see your work, and, like I said, it’s been it’s fun, just to kind of give that as a little special bonus to people that seem a little cooler to me, a little left-hand path, give them one, you know, spread the word, build some knowledge for them, so no, it’s been very fun, and people really enjoy it.
I just want to point out, I would have assumed that the crannies of West Virginia were coal mines, so I guess I’m learning new things today. *laughter*
Oh, come on.
Well, thank goodness, I didn’t have to go into a coal mine, but yes, you would be correct with that. *laughter*
Yeah, I think it went really well. I think it was great experience, if nothing else. We, you know, got to interact more with people who have no idea who we are or what we’re about. We handed out our literature and- you know, I’m, I’m always that- I’d made a bunch of notes about, ‘Okay, next time, we need to bring this, and we need to bring that,’ and, like, the wind was blowing our papers away, so we need to have, like, little holders for our papers, that’s what I decided. And so yeah, so I think it was, maybe not, like, a huge success, it was kind of a sparsely populated fair-
Yeah, that’s true.
-in terms of both vendors and attendees, but it was a great experience. It was good that we got out there, and I’m looking forward to doing more later.
I’ll say For my part, unlike Tabitha, I wasn’t worried that we would get a negative reaction, my worst nightmare was that people would just be blase, that they just wouldn’t care that we were there. Like, ‘who the fuck are these posters, and would keep walking. *laughs* But no, in fact, we got a lot of great people. We got a lot of people who thanked us for being out there, a lot of people who had good questions, a lot of people- a couple of people who had heard of us previously, but were meeting us for the first time. And, there were two, there were two stop off’s that I want to bring up. One was Christine Johnson, who’s running for Supervisor there in District Six, who stopped by our booth to talk for a little bit, and looked like she was- I mean, she was very friendly, but she was also kind of uncertain how to deal with all of this. I think it’s very clear this was not in her cultural reference prior to this.
Yeah, although she did recognize the Baphomet.
That’s right, she recognized it from, from the TST Arkansas rally. The other story was the only negative interaction we had all day was right at the beginning, just as Jane and I were setting up the booth, some guy came up and started ranting at us about devil worship, which was a great way to start things off, right? *laughter* And then he asked me whether I wanted to buy a book bound in human skin that the Devil left in his house, which actually I probably should have entertained that offer a little bit more, it sounds like he would’ve given us a good deal on it.
At least get a price point.
Exactly, but instead, I ushered him off- here’s the funny part though- once we got the table set up, and we were just waiting for things to get started, I saw that he had moved down the row, and he was talking to a gentleman in another booth who was wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt and he was gesturing at us very urgently. And I’m, like, ‘is he turning us into Black Lives Matter? *laughter* How does that even work? What’s going on here? And then Jane pointed out, no, that booth down there was a church, obviously, he’s warning them about what we’re up to, and- for the record, the church folks did not say anything or seem to care. I think they, like us, just really wanted to get rid of him because he was obviously quite unwell or possibly chemically compromised, let’s put it that way. *Simone chuckles* But that was the only hassle anybody gave us all day, and we got it out of the way first thing in the morning, so yay us.
Yeah, I, you know, living in the Bay Area, I don’t really expect us to get the, kind of, hasslers who are the religious hustlers. I expect to get the hustlers of, ‘I am cuckoo for cocoa puffs’ hustlers and that bore out yesterday.
Yeah. I mean, they weren’t, there was nobody that was too bad. It’s unfortunate that, like, when you’re out and about in those sorts of situations it’s, there’s no way you can go when you’re, kind of, done dealing with people that may or may not be chemically compromised, using Daniel’s term, which I like a lot. You don’t, you can’t go, like, when you’re, like, ‘okay, I really don’t want to hear about how demons are whispering in your ear and etcetera anymore’ because that’s your booth. *laughs* And if they stick around, what do you do?
Yeah, it’s like, I wish I could hang up on you.
But I’m still sitting here.
*laughing* Just do it, be, like, ‘click,’ and see if they just walk away.
Like have, like, have the whole pinky finger and thumb thing up to my ear like, ‘yeah, okay. Okay, well, I gotta run. Sorry. Bye. Click.’ And then I just sit there and stare at them.
So, as a guest on the show, a question for all three of you. How many times does TST do convention or fair-style events, where you have a booth? It’s just, was just the first one you’ve done? Or is it happened frequently?
Well, we can’t speak for TST. I know that some chapters across the country will do things, like, go to Pride or go to other marches, but, for us, as our own independent group, this was, what? really our first, kind, public-
Very, very first, yes.
I was gonna say, having done a ton of conventions as an artist and doing comic book shows. you, you can get pinned into your booth where you can’t leave.
You know, the, the feeling of, ‘I wish I could hang up.’ It’s, like, when the, the, the young lady who’s a bartender that’s trapped behind a bar and the old, weird man is hitting on her because she can’t escape like a bird in a cage. And again, going back to the theme of Black Mass Appeal, I did have a religious person harass me at Keystone Comic Con in Philadelphia because I was drawing Baphomet at my booth and I got a big lecture for 15 minutes until I thanked him for helping me find the way and he scooted on. *laugher* It’s very unnerving, I don’t like to give it to the people, so you know, it’s a yes. It’s- and that’s why I was asking if it was your first show because, without a doubt, if you’re at a show for a couple days, you’ll get pinned in by somebody for something. And there’s always one or two of them, depending on the length of the show. But yes, it’s always an unnerving and uncomfortable experience, no matter who you are.
I’m always worried that I’m the person that’s doing that to someone else, like at a convention or something. Like, I’ll find somebody I like and I’ll just be like, *weird nerd voice* ‘I’m gonna nerd at you for a while. Bleghh!’ *laughter*
I just feel like, yeah, it’s very much that thing of, you know, maybe you’re a lady and a gentleman is hitting on you, and I’ve just learned to be like, ‘okay, I’m done talking to you now.’ Like, I don’t care about being rude in those situations anymore, but in our capacity, as you know, people who have booths, who have put, you know, a booth, who have put themselves out there to the public on purpose, it’s a little bit more difficult to be, like, ‘yeah, I’m done talking to you now. Goodbye.’
My secret is to tell people I have to take a shit. *laughter* No guy hitting on you wants to hear, ‘I have to take a giant dump now.’ *laughter* [unintelligible] I don’t know that for a fact, but I’m just gonna- I have to believe that.
I have to go change my tampon, I’m sorry.
*exasperated voice* Sorry, I’m bleeding everywhere. *Simone and Tabitha cackle*
This is a hard segue, but I’m just gonna say *Simone and Tabitha continue to cackle* next Sunday Streets is in October. I think that’s a little too soon for us to do it again, but I think we’re definitely going to do it again. I’d like to do it around the holidays, so we can give people Satanic Christmas cards-
Ooh, yeah, that’d be fun.
-so we’ll have to work on that, and-
I was scolded by my wife yesterday for scaring my children with Krampus, it that’s- *Simone and Tabitha aww* We have Krampus in the corner; I got it for the boys last year. They were three and five at the time, and they were so horrified by Krampus, that I had to put them away after a day *laughter and aww’ing* and I was asked to not do that to terrorize my children, so I’m that, I’m that dad.
Is, is Krampus in the corner, like Elf on a Shelf?
Oh my God, he’s so cute.
He’s so cute.
Oh, that’s a real thing?
It is a real thing. *Simone gasps* I kickstarted it and everything.
*whispers* We need one!
Yeah, Krampus in the corner-
I actually was planning on getting one for Daniel. *laughs*
He has screaming children in a basket on his back, he has a tongue that goes down almost to his navel, and he has a club, and cloven hooves, and big crazy eyes, and I love him.
And he’s right now in my attic in a shoebox. *Tabitha laughs*
*chef’s kiss sound* Love it.
So, uh, speaking of holidays, do we want to talk a little bit about our Halloween plans?
Okay, well. I’ll tell you what, usually, for the past couple of years, we’ve tried to have a big, public event for Halloween. This time, we’re gonna play it a little bit lower key, but that’s because we’re putting a lot of our work and a lot of our effort is going to be going into a creative project around Halloween. So the two elements to this- one is that, as I’ve wanted to do for a while, I’m putting together a supercut of archival footage from old Satanic Panic era scare videos that were issued mostly by churches and religious groups, but also by some law enforcement groups around that time, warning people about Satanic cults and the dangers of black magic and how the Smurfs are turning your kids into Satanists. That’s a real example, by the way, it’ll be in the, it’ll be in the video when I’m done with it.
Yeah, yeah, the Smurfs are steeped in occultism.
Huh. Okay. *chuckles*
I related to Gargamel. I, I felt he was representing me on the show, and- *laughter*
But if Gargamel is fighting the Smurfs and the Smurfs [are] turning people into Satanists, then Gargamel is the good guy? Yeah?!
He’s the Inquisitor.
He’s the Pope. *laughs*
That’s very meta. Can I ask you guys just a quick Smurfs question? Do you remember the episode where a smurf got diseased, turned purple, and bit the other Smurfs, and then, like, cause them to, like, mutate into hopping Smurfs that would scream “gnap, gnap, gnap?”
It was, like, horrific as a child-
What the ever-loving fuck?
I’ve heard of that. That was a Smurfs comic I’ve been told about; I didn’t realize they adapted it for the cartoon. Some people compared that as, like, the first zombie outbreak.
It was, it was a child- I saw it as a child on NBC when I was maybe six? Seven? And I was horrified by it.
I’m scarred just listening about it.
Yeah, I didn’t see that one, but it- I don’t like it. *laughs*
But in any case, I wanted to dredge up these Satanic Panic videos first of all, just because I find this material interesting and kind of amusing, and second of all, because I think it’s worth reminding people that this actually happened. Millions of contemporary Americans believed this shit was real, and those people, most of those people are still alive, and all of this can easily happen again. Probably not with us of the scapegoats again, but there’s a lot of other scapegoats to go around these days, and I think it’s worth reflecting on just how easy it is to convince people of the craziest shit you’ve ever heard when you get them scared enough. *chuckles* Now for this video, we’re also going to be shooting some original footage to contextualize and introduce the material, and that’s going to be starting two people. One, of course is Tabitha, who’s going to take this opportunity to reintroduce as to who again?
That’s right. Baphomette is going to be one of our hosts for this and we’re also- we just finally got confirmation that we’re going to be working with this, with Peaches Christ, and I guess if you don’t live in the Bay Area you probably don’t recognize that name. Peaches is a drag performer here locally who has been doing B-movie nights for going on- how long now?
Just- I don’t know but-
15 years, I think?
A long time, yes.
Maybe 20 even?
So she’s, she’s tremendously popular locally, very talented, very successful. So excited to finally be working with her as we’ve been trying to do for a while now. And there’s a couple of other really cool elements that we get to do on this video project that I probably won’t get into just yet-
A couple of surprises with that. I’m not gonna lie to everybody I’m excited about this. I’m also *really* nervous about it because- I don’t know it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, um- I’ll toot my own horn and say I’m a pretty good writer, but writing for video, for, for screenwriting, even when it’s in this singular capacity, is much harder and not necessarily something I always feel I’m up to, but now I’ve kind of got to do it. *laughs*
You get nervous before a lot of our bigger events, and I have always been very proud of how they turn out and very proud of your work and-
You do a fantastic job, so-
Tabitha, how do you feel about getting to collaborate with Peaches on screen?
I am so fucking nervous! *laughter*
You, too, don’t need to be nervous!
I actually- I haven’t done it yet, but I keep meaning to get into the Baphomette makeup, just so I can get used to putting it on, just so it looks nice when we finally do it, but that requires me to do an entire face of, like, white, white makeup which, you know, I want to like do it, and then do something, like walk around because I mean, I’m not going to spend an hour-
Just go to Starbucks. *snorts*
Yeah, and- but I also don’t want to go to Starbucks looking like some sort of weird ghost. *laughs* Devil ghosts.
Video idea is Baphomette goes to Starbucks and sees how they spell her name on the cup.
Ahh, oh my god, that’s such a good idea! *Simone laughs*
You know, we should do a Sunday Streets sometime, we should do a face-painting booth where you paint people’s faces like Baphomette.
*gasps* That is a terrible idea! *laughter* All we need is a bunch of little kids running around with upside-down crosses on their forehead. Hooray!
Sweet! So uh, Jason, do you have anything that you want to plug that you’re working on?
Sure, everyone loves to plug, so my newest plug is I will have some of my Satanic art in Howl Books, the Devils Reign IV: All of Them Witches, which is-
Which is a limited edition print run of 666 copies of a wonderful book from photographers, tattoo artists, and illustrators, so I got that email the other day and I about fell out of my chair- *laughter* Very excited to have a piece in that book.
That is so cool!
And my more mainstream project is my comic that I sell, publish, Lords of the Cosmos, is now available on ComiXology, you can look up Lords of the Cosmos and pick up Issue One or Two on there, and I’m excited about both those projects- they’re a little divergent, but they’re both very exciting and you can check out, you know, All of Them Witches: Devils Reign IV on Howlbooks.com and then, like I said, my comic is available through ComiXsology, or you can hit up my Etsy store, LenoxArtEmporium if you’d like to get a physical copy and I can sign it for you.
And if you’re good, if you get a copy of my comic, Lords of the Cosmos from my Etsy store, I’m more than happy to include a Satanic chick tract to anyone as long as supplies last as an extra special bonus, because I think it’s a great gift to go along with my comic book.
Awesome. And, so we also have some, like, kind of, local-ish news that we just were excited to talk about. Our friend Sadie Satanas over at TST Santa Cruz, a little bit South of where we are, was appointed to The Satanic Temple National Council.
So, she works so hard, and the Satanic Temple Santa Cruz has been doing a lot of great work with their beach cleanups, and they’re actually doing a railroad clean up because there’s, like, a railroad that kind of goes alongside the beach there, and yeah, so huge congratulations to her and to them for their continued awesome work.
She really deserves it.
Congratulations, Sadie, good job.
And also of a local interest is, you know, even though we have expanded to the larger Bay Area from just San Francisco, that still doesn’t encompass quite as much of California as we would like. We have *a lot* of California to cover, and we are very excited that Friends of TST Sacramento has just started. You can find them on Facebook, there’ll be a link in the show notes, so if you’re a little bit further up North from us, you still got a place where you can meet people and talk Satan.
I want to say that even though I had nothing directly to do with the creation of this new organization, I do feel a little bit vindicated because I’ve been whispering in people’s ears for a while that it seems like there is definitely demand and capacity for a Satanist group in the Sacramento area that was not going served before, and I know we’ve got some, some Satanist Sacramento friends that we’ve seen at our events in the past. And so-
Which we’re always impressed by, when we’re like, ‘you came from where?!’ *laughs*
Right? So to all those people, you are still obviously more than welcome to always come down and join us whenever you got the time and the gas money, but I am happy that they will also have something a little more local. I don’t know the folks who are organizing this, so I can’t speak for them personally, but, again, it’s, it’s, it’s a community that has gone underserved for, I think, a little too long up there.
Yeah. And speaking of serving more communities, one goal that Satanic Bay Area has is to start having- well, you know we have our regular coffee hour, once a month, at Wicked Grounds, the second Thursday of every month. Well, we would like to start having satellite coffee hours in different parts of the Bay Area because we know not everyone can make it all the way out to San Francisco every time. So, hopefully, we’ll have, like, little satellite coffee hours in, you know, in San Jose and in Oakland which will be much less formal, but still a great place to talk and catch up and, you know, get to know people on, like, a casual, friendly, in-person level, so look out for those.
It will happen.
Speaking of connecting with people, do we want to do feedback?
Actually, I have one thing, real quick, that’s also about connecting with people, but um, so, if you follow me on social media, you know that recently one of my kitties passed.
Yeah. Um, oh, I’m gonna cry. *chuckles* Everyone’s just been so nice, and I know that so many of us love our little, furry babies, especially our kitties because there’s something especially Satanic about kitties, although not- we do know some very wonderful Satanic doggos, as well.
Yes, very much.
And, and I just really wanted to say thank you to everyone, especially Satanic Philadelphia all got together, and they sent me a card, and they all signed it, and I just, like, burst into an ugly cry.
But it was just, like, the sweetest thing, and I wanted to say thank you, because, yeah, it’s, it’s, been really hard-
She’s gonna squeak right out of the room, everybody! *laughter*
My register’s just going higher and higher. *Tabitha laughs* And I do have, you know, now my only child cat, Bubo, who is sitting on the bed and looking very lumpy, so, yeah. It’s just us now and we both really appreciate all the love that all the Satanic community has been sharing.
Geez, I feel bad. I didn’t give her a card and I see a every week. *laughter*
But I mean, no, I see you guys and, like, we get drinks and stuff, but I mean, it’s so amazing to me that people who I’ve never met, who’ve only interacted with through Satanic social media or the podcast, still, you know, took the time and were so thoughtful, and it was just really touching, so. Satanists are really good people.
Okay, now we can go to the iTunes reviews and I can get a tissue. *Tabitha laughs*
We’ll be right back.
Yeahhh. *Simone laughs*
Black Mass Appeal 26:38
So for feedback that makes Simone cry slightly less, we like having iTunes reviews, because iTunes reviews help to raise the visibility of the show, so if you log into iTunes, and yes, iTunes is still the Big Daddy, so while we appreciate reviews anywhere that you might leave them, iTunes is the kind of the one that is maybe the most effective. So if you rate, review, and subscribe, that really helps out Black Mass Appeal. And so we have a couple of new reviews. The first one comes from, and thank you again for the pronunciation guide, Asmodiuscion [spelling?], who gave me a complete phonetic guide to pronounce that name, so I always appreciate that. And they say, “Congrats on your first year. Congrats on your first anniversary. More importantly, thank you for existing.”
“I found your podcast by the time the second episode aired, and of course, I’ve heard them all. I estimate I listened to the ‘Infernally Asked Questions’ episode no less than half a dozen times. I took the time to make an Apple ID just so I can rate you.”
Holy shit because making an Apple ID? It’s kind of a pain in the ass.
It’s a big time pain in the ass.
So super appreciated and I hope that- I mean, the ‘Infernally Asked Questions’ episode? Let us know, like, what in particular you liked about it? Because that’s really interesting.
I just want to point out that, despite the pronunciation guide, I still insist on saying it Asmadeus, so that I can sing the Falco song in my head. *laughter*
*laughing* Rock me Asmadeus! Okay, so our second review. Okay, I’m gonna sound this out. Hooked on Phonics, work for me. Ceascion? Cicion?
I think it’s a Pokemon.
Could you say that, could you say that five times in a row? Wow, that, that-
I think it’s C-
Cision sells seashells by the Ceza-shore.
Ceza-shore. *laughs* It’s a Pokemon.
They say, “Favorite new podcast!”
Actually, it says, Favorite new favorite podcast!”
Oh yeah, it’s a little redundancy department of redundancy going on.
But in any case, they say, “This show is great. I got into it looking for information on the history of Baphomet.” It’s Episode Four!
“It ended up being my intro into modern Satanism. The hosts are a great representation of the culture in the community. Having listened to some of the earliest episodes, I must give props to the sound guy. My only critique is that I wish they released episodes more frequently.” Jesse! Wave!
Wow, give me more! Give me more, wow!
Jesse the Sound Guy 29:27
*laughs* Yeah, the sound guy’s waving.
Yeah. *laughs* Yeah, I, I’ve said it before on this show, I wish I could be a full-time Satanist and release an episode multiple times a week, but until the Devil comes through with that contract, you know, we’ll have to, we’ll have to make do with what we’ve got.
If I can afford tattoos on podcast money then, uhh, we’re in business. *laughs*
So the other most useful thing, speaking of affording things, that you can do to support the show is to help us out by chipping us a little bit on Patreon. Patreon helps to offset the cost of the show, including that good sound quality that you enjoy so much, courtesy of Jesse.
Jesse the Sound Guy 30:12
He helps us record the show, he doesn’t actually listen to us. And so, you know, even just, like, a dollar, or, you know, we like calling out our friends who enter the Mark of the Beast Club, which is $6.66 a month. And so, our new contributors are Skits Adam, who’s in the Mark of the Beast Club. Dev, who we know.
Hi! Also in the Mark of the Beast Club. Paxton moved up to the Mark of the Beast Club.
*whispers* Hi Paxton.
Heyy. Aaron, who’s also a friend, an in-person friend, has contributed, and finally Heather has moved up to the Mark of the Beast club. So, thank you guys very much. I’m throwing up the horns- you cannot see it because it is an audio medium, but I’m so excited to see so many folks joining the Mark of the Beast club.
Now I do want to say a couple of things about Patreon. I have worried this year that we in the past have not done enough to engage the Patreon backers, to give them some rewards, and let them know how much we appreciate their sponsorship because that really is the only reason we can keep doing the show- or at least doing it that the quality that people have come to expect. So one of the recent things that we did was we let the Patreans- Patreons? Patron?
Patrons- vote on the subject of an upcoming episode, which turned out to be this episode, and so when we move on to our main topic-
-that will be your Patreon dollars at work, and we will be doing that again soon, but I don’t know specifically when- we haven’t decided yet, but certainly as soon as we-
Your dollars at work.
*chuckling* Your dollars at work.
I was gonna say, I just had to blurt something out here that just- I was inspired by, by seeing this- the Mark of the Beast upgrade. I think I saw recently on Twitter someone put a classic Chick tract cover that had ‘mark of the beast,’ and there was a handwriting 666 on a screaming family’s forehead *laughing* and baby. What Black Mass Appeal should do is almost [have] some kind of ritual where you could mark these people- give them the mark of the beast. Like, put it on ’em!
We’ll get temporary tattoos!
Temporary tattoos, write on their heads and have them, you know, like, like a picture like-
Send pictures- yes, we can have a collage!
-like a theme park. Yeah, I’m just giving you more work to do, but I just saw that. I’m like, wow, I- wow, mark these people.
I’m into it.
Temporary tattoos. I like that idea!
We could get all kinds of them. We can get BMA ones. I can make Sassy Cat. It’d be great! *laughter*
You are on to something.
We’re gonna stick a pin in that idea.
I’m writing it down.
All inspired from this classic Chick tract, so thanks, Mister Chick.
Yeah, thanks a lot. *snarky laughter*
The other new thing that I’ve started doing is the fact that for every episode over on the Patreon, we’re going to have an open thread where people can contribute their own questions or their own comments about the show topic. That way, we can then incorporate into the show- again, it’s just as, another way to try to get folks more directly involved, to give you a more open avenue into the show itself. Now our first open thread was on this one, and apparently, nobody had any questions this time around, but that’s okay. We’ll try it again. It’s still a new idea. Maybe I need to work a little bit on promoting it, and getting folks involved in it, but like I said, If you liked these ideas, let us know. If you’ve got some other suggestions for more ways that we can repay our Patreon backers, let us know that, too. Because like I said, I really want people to feel like they are part of what makes the black magic happen. *laughter*
All right, well, let’s go ahead. Let’s take a break and then we will come back with the news.
Black Mass Appeal 33:55
Today for the news, we’re revisiting our bestest friend Alex Jones.
Or at least Daniel’s bestest friend, right? right? Bestest?
We’re not really on speaking terms these days. *laughter* We’re going through a rough patch.
I’m sorry to hear that. Well, it sounds like he’s going through a rough patch with a lot of folks. So, reading from Reuters this article is ‘PayPal Ends Business Dealings with Alex Jones’ Inforwars.’ *sighs*
That’s so sad. What a shame.
*mock groaning* Let me get my tiny violin here, here we go.
*tiny violin sounds*
“Payments processor PayPal Holdings, Inc said on Friday that it decided to end its business relationship with the popular US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars website after finding instances of hate speech and discriminatory content on the site.” Shocked!
*laughing* I thought you were gonna say, ‘shut up!’
Yeah, shut up! Like, can’t believe it!
No! Alex Jones? Hatemonger?
“The move makes PayPal the latest tech company to take action against Jones, a deeply controversial right-wing radio talk show host, who has suggested that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, among other sensational claims. ‘We’ve made the decision to end our relationship with Infowars websites, including PrisonPlanet,’ a PayPal spokesman said.” I’m actually not familiar with PrisonPlanet, but I probably, I probably shouldn’t be, so okay.
Yeah, I feel like you’re better off.
Yeah. “Companies such as Apple Inc, Twitter Inc, Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc.-” I really could have left off the, all those Incs. *Tabitha laughs* “-have also banned Infowars and content produced by Jones.”
Now, I don’t want to interrupt here, but obviously, here we are. This is an update on a long-standing story for the last couple of weeks, in which Alex Jones has been banned from basically the entire universe. Even Twitter- which was holding out intentionally after everybody else gave him the boot- eventually decided, you know, what, enough is enough, even for us.
*laughs* Even Twitter, who is, not-
A fucking cesspool of Nazis and Gamergaters.
Yeah, think how hard you have to work to get kicked off of Twitter. I actually can’t think of anything I could do that bad.
All you have to do is, is be black and gay, as far as I know. So that’s, those are the-
Or at least get thrown into Twitter jail for the most benign- telling that, maybe Nazi should be punched in the face.
Unknown Speaker 36:19
You know? Okay-
I have a weird comment about Alex Jones. I had no idea who this guy was until I heard your conspiracy episode.
Oh, I’m so sorry!
Lucky man! Lucky man to go that long.
Yeah. Right? I kind of fell down the Alex Jones hole for about a half an hour-
-and then my question was, what, like- I walked away saying, ‘does this guy believe this stuff? Or is it, like, a big act?’ And I, I really couldn’t figure out which way it was going because I was like, ‘is it some big money scam and he doesn’t believe this stuff? Or does he believe it?’ And I just kind of walked away saying, I don’t even want to know, but it kind of weirded me out, big time.
I’ve got a theory of my own about that, and for that I like to refer to last December, Rolling Stone did a really great, long-form story about the origins of the Pizzagate conspiracy. And I don’t remember the reporter who wrote that story, but at one point, they sat down with one of the big wheels, one of the big guys who turn out most of this material, and who, of course, had been inundating them with messages for a while saying, ‘you’ve got to come! I’ve got courtroom ready proof of all of this that you’ve got to see!’ So, of course, you know, as anybody in that situation would, and should, finally went over and heard the guy out, and looked over all of the evidence, the big folder full of printouts and everything, and of course it was all bullshit! It was all complete bullshit. And at some point in the conversation, he said, like, ‘come on, give it- give me the good stuff. Give me the dirt. You promised us you could prove all of this.’ And the guy eventually just kind of shrugs, and he says, ‘well, geez, I’m sorry. I hope you didn’t feel like I wasted your time.’ *laughter* And that was it! And here’s the thing, on some level, yes, they do believe all of it, but there’s also a cognitive dissonance thing, where on some level, they kind of know that it’s crap, but they just sort of compartmentalize that and don’t think about that. And we all do that with some things in our life at some point, but for most of us-
It doesn’t cost other people’s lives.
Yeah, the stakes are pretty low, for most of us. For people like Alex Jones, the stakes turn out to be pretty high. So that’s my hypothesis about this- I think they both do and do not believe at all.
I think that’s a fair answer. Like I said, I was appalled by it, but then, like I said, I was, like, is it- does this guy believe it? Or is it all pretend? Either way, it’s, It’s horrible, but I couldn’t quite get a read on that, but I think that’s a very fair answer.
Didn’t Alex Jones say that it was an act in some sort of court case or something? Was that him?
He was having, I believe, custody hearings for his children in his divorce when-
-I believe, and this is, I- you know, this is off the top of my head, I believe something, like, his lawyer said, like, it’s an act, but-
Yeah, just so he could keep his kids.
Part of it is- by the way, he lost that case, thankfully.
Part of his now ex-wife’s argument was that he was not a fit parent because look at the things that he says on TV. *Simone mmhmm’s* He’s a crazy person! You shouldn’t trust children to this guy, and so yeah, the defense was to say, ‘well, he’s an actor. It’s an act; this is a performance.’ Now, whether that’s true, or that was something his lawyer was saying to try to get me off the hook, I don’t know. But again, it’s possible, it’s both. It’s, it’s you know…
Well, my opinion on the matter is- so recently, you know, with the Supreme Court confirmation hearings going on with Brett Kavanaugh-
-before all of this, you know, the more, the more recent scandal breaking out about his- allegedly, cover my ass legally- allegedly assaulting one, two women now?
Three? Who knows.
By the time this comes out? I mean… *chuckles*
Yeah, I know. When his hearings began, there was a woman who was sitting in the gallery behind him who was accused of holding her hand in a certain way to be a white power symbol.
That was one of his aides, I believe.
Yeah, some right-wing operative, and whether- you know, whether or not that first incident was intentional or not, the, you know, the news broke. It broke on Twitter. People were figuring out who she was, and trying to, you know, suss out whether or not she was actually holding her hand up in this manner on purpose, and, you know, so there’s a big to-do on Twitter. And then, I guess a couple days later, she was sitting behind him again, and she went ahead and put her hand up in that full symbol, like, fully flashing it, and some people were like, ‘oh, well, she’s trolling.’ You know, she’s making fun of the people who believed that she did it in the first place.
Yeah, of course! *chuckles*
And I’m just, like, you know, what, if your defense of- okay, so someone says you’re flashing a white power symbol and your reaction is to go ahead and flash the white power symbol? Even if you’re pretending to be racist as a joke, that’s not a good look.
It’s not a joke. I’m sorry- If you can, you can say you’re pretending to do it as much as you want, but it’s not a joke if that’s what you’re actually doing.
Yeah. So whether or not Alex Jones actually believes this, he is still putting it out in the world and people are still receiving that message.
Yeah, so, like, yeah, those people who try to be like, ‘oh, don’t worry, I’m just trolling. I’m an ironic Nazi.’ It’s like, good, then we’re gonna have an ironic Nuremberg Trial and you’re gonna get an ironic sentence one of these days. By the way, that’s an ironic comment; I’m not actually threatening any of these people with- fill in the blanks here, whatever needs to cover our ass. I’m just saying, don’t do that! *laughter*
Yeah, so whether or not Alex Jones is being sincere, he’s still a fucking douchebag and his message he’s putting out in the world is still fucking awful.
All he wants to do is make money and he thinks he can, if- the more sensational he is, the more money he makes off of his dick-hardening pills, or his salve-
His salve that makes his hair grow, or whatever the fuck it is. That’s- I think that’s really where it- what it all boils down to. If it makes him money, he’s gonna keep doing it.
And so, you know, I, I know that there’s a lot of discussion, especially within the Satanic community about whether, quote-unquote de-platforming somebody is an effective means of fighting back against bad actors, like Jones or not. I personally am pleased by PayPals decision and Twitter’s long-due decision to kick him the fuck out.
I know there are some people who will pose the question to say, ‘well, does a company like Twitter have the right to censor people like this?’ I mean, legally they do. This is not a First Amendment issue, but the question is like, is it appropriate? Is it okay? Is it good for the public discourse?
There’s a question about whether or not it now counts as a public square.
My response to that is always sort of, like- you know, before this most recent generation of social, this first generation of social media, we never really had that like, like, let’s take it back to an old media example. If Alex Jones wants to write a book and I as the publisher to say, fuck, no, I’m not going to publish your book. Have I censored him? Yeah, I guess in a certain sense. Is it inappropriate? No! I have no obligation to host his content at all. We have no obligation to have a person like Alex Jones on this show if he wanted to come on this show, which…
*laughs* No. Please no.
Right. We do not have an obligation to distribute people, you know, like, you know- he is perfectly free to have his own platform, which he does, by the way, or to find any platform that will take him. I guess the communal element of social media, and its pervasiveness, and the fact that a lot of younger people have grown up with it their entire lives makes it seem like a special case, but I don’t buy it. I don’t think Twitter has any obligation to put up with this nonsense, and I’m confused about why they did, other than the fact that Nazis make them a lot of money.
Nazis make them a lot of money. *laughs* Ad revenue! *sing-song voice* It’s all about money! Hurray Capitalism!
*fake groans* It’s all about those clicks, man.
Hurray, Capitalism. I’m depressed, let’s move on. *laughter*
Ok. Lenox, do you have any thoughts?
Well, again, thanks Black Mass Appeal for introducing me to this person. *laughter*
No…I got sucked into the conspiracy episode and it was appalling, and no, I mean, I’m glad he’s gone because now he’s not there again, but yeah, I don’t want, I don’t want more Alex Jones, I want less Alex Jones, so good.
I think less Alex Jones in the world will, will do us all some good, so.
You know, I feel, actually feel bad for other people who are named Alex Jones, because it’s like a pretty normal name.
And it’s gotta be, like, hundreds, if not thousands of other people who have shitty friends who are like, ‘hey, yeah, you’re conspiracy asshole!’ *laughs*
They should just go full-on- like, you know how- so serial killers, people are always like, ‘oh, people with three names. They’re serial killers.’ No. The thing is, is that the media starts to identify a serial killer by all three names because it narrows down the other people who might be confused with them.
So we gotta find out what Alex Jones’ his middle name is and then just refer to him as such, so-
Is it Nasty? *laughter*
Yeah. Alex Nasty Jones!
That sounds like a funk group. *laughter; Jason sounds like he’s choking*
Maybe that could be his new spin-
I don’t think Parliament wants him.
-when he, when he tries to come back, you know, as, like, a white saxophonist or something and he turns himself into Alex Nasty Jones. *laughter*
He’s gonna be sued for the royalties because we had it first. *more laughter*
Alright, so we’re gonna brainstorm funk songs that Alex Nasty Jones can cover, and we will come back with our main topic.
*laughing* I am no longer depressed, this is good.
Black Mass Appeal 45:46
From the pentagram patch on your high school bestie’s jacket to the 666 ring that got you banned from bible camp, we all know a so-called Satanic symbol when we see one, but when it comes to the history and meaning of that imagery, a lot of Satanists can’t quite get their symbol straight. We’re doing a deep dive and bringing you the most reliable guide to common Satanic symbolism. Or, at least, Dark Lord willing, we’re going to do our damnedest. Today, we have Jason Lenox on the show; he’s an amazing Satanic artist who often incorporates a lot of Satanic symbols in, into his work.
So Jason, something that I’ve been wondering when I look at your work was, like I said, a lot of the time you have a specific symbol that’s the centerpiece or the accent of a piece that you’ve done, and I was always curious, whether there was any particular reason you incorporated one image or another or [do] you just kind of go with the flow of what feels right at the time? What’s your experience?
So when I started diving into the world of making Satanic art in 2016, I threw up some upside-down crosses, and a pentagram, and a symbol that I found on a Blue Oyster Cult album- *laughter*
-and then I was looking online for symbols and there is a ton of, like, I call them kind of like scribbly, demon symbols?
I’m sorry, you got the goetic seals, I’m guessing.
That must have been what it was. And I started digging into those, and they looked to me like they were just something that someone just made up, and I wasn’t, I wasn’t really into that, so I actually stopped and started doing a lot of research into, like, what were actual, real symbols that really had some meat to them and weren’t something that someone may have just made up and put on the internet. And I started to educate myself a little bit more into, like, okay, what were these images and symbols, and to, kind of look at them as to say, how can I put these in a context that is respectful to what this is to people, and not so much shocking, which is my background as a teenager and a kid watching horror films and heavy metal stuff, which we’ll talk about more. But to try to go for more of a respectful, religious vibe that we commonly see in, like, mainstream churches, and that art series has been going now for three years, and as I keep doing more, I like to mix it up, I don’t want to have the same symbol all the time, but to try to really bring those symbols and symbolism to the people that want to see it and to treat it with the respect that maybe it doesn’t get all the time as is it’s kind of more of a shock, pop culture thing, but to give it a little bit of reverence that you would say, ‘wow, this is cool, but seems like something I would see in, you know, a mainstream church where they have the same symbols over and over and over again.’ So to kind of bring a virtual art world to that aesthetic in those symbols. So sometimes it is a little bit of go for the flow, but also to try to put them in places, in context, that makes sense, and I also try not to be really repetitive to try to do some education because one of the fun things is people find my art, they’ll ask a lot of questions, so then I get a chance to say, ‘well, here’s some interesting information about this, because it’s kind of real.’ So it’s been a real fun process to explore that territory, visually, and as an artist, and then to get, you know, the opportunity to talk about it, to let people think about it, and to let people in the, in the greater Satanic community say, ‘wow, like that’s actually really cool and respectful and makes us look really awesome,’ so that’s sweet.
Yeah. And I have to say, so the, the Satanic, kind of stained glass series has been, you know, a lot of your recent work and a lot of my most favorite work, and it is very- you know, Tabitha said that, you know, we wish we had our, an actual location, so we could have these things made for real.
So it’s, they’re beautiful representations of these different Satanic symbols, and if you look more closely at it, there’s like smaller symbols, you know, within the larger works, it’s really interesting, beautiful, colorful stuff.
Yeah, and one of the things that I’m working on now, and it’s big, and I’m going to try to get it done by the end of the year- I decided to make a new big 34 inch by 34-inch piece called ‘Ritual,’ and I wanted to take a step back from stained glass, so I pulled out some books off the old bookshelf about heraldry-
Oh, mhmm mhmm.
-and I’ve been busy tinkering away on a Satanic coat of arms.
I’ve, I’ve gotten a little preview, and it’s very cool!
Aah, what?! *laughs*
So I’ve been doing a deep dive into that, and again, to say, okay, so if we had this, and it was a real seal or symbol that you would see a physical building, what would that be? And again, to treat it respectfully, and to put it in the context of making it as realistic as possible, conforming to the rules of heraldry as near as I can, but again, to make it cool and respectful that if you saw it, and this represented your beliefs, that you would say, ‘yeah, I’m glad that represents me.’
And so that’s kind of my overriding goal, is to take all those things and put them together and to try to build a cohesive visual language with it, but in a way, that’s, that’s new and fresh.
Now, before we dive into our list of Satanic symbols, we’ve got here at least six that we definitely want to get to, which is going to be, going to be a big swallow, but we’re gonna give it a shot. But I will reiterate, once again, we’re doing this episode now because the Patreon backers wanted it, they voted for it, and I’m really, really happy to be giving them what they want. At the same time, when I saw the poll results, my first reaction was, ‘you rat bastards,’ *laughter* because I knew that this was going to take a significant amount of research into a lot- it was a, it was a project, *Simone laughs* but now that it’s done, I’m actually quite happy to have all of this information because what I have discovered over the years is, like we said in the intro, everybody knows a Satanic symbol when they see one. But in the past, when I’ve seen people ask, ‘well, why is this symbol interpreted this way and what does it mean?’ Oftentimes, I find that folks either don’t have an answer or they have an answer that just seems thin to me, or that never seem to have a verifiable source, and so, what we’ve done here, we’re giving you the best answers that we’ve got. For some of these, particularly the first one, the big one, the- turns out, the origins of this imagery are far beyond the kin of human memory at this point, but we’re giving you the best answers and the best interpretations that we’ve got, and I promise to always cite our sources on this because that’s something people on the internet never do.
Yeah, and for more information, you could always visit our show notes, and of course, this being a podcast, and being an audio medium, it’s kind of hard to describe these visual symbols, so if you want to take a look at what they look like, just go to, you know, blackmassappeal.com, go to the Episodes page, and then you can see all the symbols and maybe, like, follow along as we talk.
And, of course, what’s the one we inevitably have to start with, the one universally recognized, constantly copied and reiterated symbol that everybody associates with Satanism?
Black Mass Appeal 53:12
I was gonna say something funny, and then I was, like, nah. *laughter* I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head.
Monor- no. *laughter*
*laughing* I was gonna say Hello Kitty, just because it’s stupid. *everyone quiets down* First, just in case, just in case you have not associated a word with this visual symbol, a pentagram, or pentacle, and we’ll get into the difference. Let’s start with it’s an upside-down five-pointed star that often has, you know, the full broad strokes of each line connecting each point, so it’s, it’s-
Can be drawn as a single line.
Yeah, pentagram versus pentacle. What’s the difference?
Fuck, I’ve been unclear on this for years. What I’ve eventually sussed out- Here, here, let me actually, actually, let me find it here. So this is from a site called symbols.com, which- *laughter*
I would have liked, I would have liked to have a more concrete, academic source for this, but unfortunately, we just ran out of time. However, I, I do trust this; I do like this. Here’s what’s symbols.com-
Well, they got the URL so, I mean, they’re on top of their shit.
Right. This symblols.com says, “the words pentacle and pentagram are essentially synonyms according to the online Oxford English Dictionary, 2007 edition, which traces the etymology through the both French and Italian back to Latin, but notes that in middle French, the word pentacle was often used to refer to any magical talisman, in many Tarot decks and in some forms of modern witchcraft, pentacles often prominently incorporate a pentagram in their design.” So you could have your pentacle that has a pentagram in it, probably right in the center even, but you could also have a pentacle that’s got fuck all to do pentagram-wise.
I think the most, probably the most common, easiest definition is that a pentagram is the five-pointed star so the two points are facing up and the one point is facing down. Whereas a pentacle is that same, you know, star symbol but is encapsulated within a circle. So if you look at the Rider Waite tarot deck, there’s a whole suit of pentacles and they’re specifically the ones that have the circle around it.
That was actually something I learned a couple of years ago. I always interpreted the word pentagram to be the star in the circle, but it turns out, nope, just the star alone qualifies as a pentagram. Any five-pointed star shape, I guess.
And there’s also a difference between it being inverted and, you know, so-called right-side-up, correct?
So these days, the agreement we all seem to have come to is that an upright pentagram is a symbol of, usually, Neo-paganism, Wicca, white magic, and the upside-down pentagram is the wicked, evil, Satanic symbol. And, boy, I gotta tell you, it was hard to find the first place that that idea manifested, but I can cite two pretty compelling sources. The first one being our old friend Eliphas Levi. Eliphas Levi? Did we ever, did we ever sus that one out?
Umm, it’s spelled like the jeans, so I say like the jeans.
I say Levi, yeah.
Eliphas *Nasty* Levi? *laughter*
Well, he was the 19th-century French occultist who also gave us the most commonly used and reproduced design for Baphomet, and in that same book, Transcendental Magic, he had a thing or two to say about which way you point your pentagram. Who wants to do the reading on this one?
Can I read it? I can read it in an evil voice, if you’d like.
Yeah, you read it! Do it!
“The pentagram with two points in the ascendant represents Satan as the goat of the Sabbath. When one point is in the ascendant, it is the sign of the Savior. The pentagram is the figure of the human body having the four limbs and a single point representing the head. A human figure, head downwards, naturally represents a demon. That is, intellectual subversion, disorder, or madness. Now, if magic is a reality, if occult science be really the true law the three worlds, this absolute sign, the sign ancient as history and more ancient, should and does exercise and incalculable influence upon spirits set free from the material envelope.” Eliphas Levi, Transcendental Magic.
I’d like to be able to tell the listeners, yes, that’s where the idea of the upside-down, Satanic pentagram definitively comes from. Unfortunately, I can’t say that. There might be an older source that Levi was borrowing from, but-
So let me-
-it’s at least, the idea is at least that old.
Oh, shit, sorry. So, you know, thinking about these things, you know, as symbols and, you know, the point with any symbol is to make it simple, so people can just see it. And I think that flipping things upside down, and we’ll get to the upside-down cross, but you think about the American flag or a flag, if you flip it upside down, it’s supposed to mean distress, something’s wrong. *Simone mmhmm’s* So if we go off the basis that the pentacle, or the right-side-up, star is white magic, then, you know, again, simplistic- people are simple- symbols are supposed to be just a basic interpretation that if we send it upside-down, then it becomes, you know, bad. So I mean, I guess to me, as a visual artist, just thinking about this, just that it’s basic roots, we can try to trace it back to Mr. Levi, but to me that makes sense in the context of other basic symbols that people have a cursory awareness of that they see that if it’s upside down, it’s bad.
Yeah, when things are inverted, physically, they often mean an inversion, you know, in terms of, you know, symbology or meaning. You know, I- *chuckles* in my brief Wiccan phase in high school I had a, you know, well, Wiccan, occult-y, spiritual-y, whatever phase, you know, I dabbled in a little bit of tarot reading and, you know, there are the cards that seem like they are bad, The Devil, Death, The Tower, but then if, in your reading, the card is flipped the opposite way, it didn’t mean a bad thing, it meant the reversal of the bad thing. So you know, whether it starts off as good or bad, flipping it upside-down, reverses the meaning, usually.
So this idea of the inverted, Satanic pentagram is at least as old as Levi’s Transcendental Magic, but there’s another book that I think was a little more influential about this, which is more recent, which was Richard Cavendish’s is 1976 book, The Black Arts, which I’m actually in the middle of reading right now, but didn’t finish in time for this show. And he introduced a couple of nuances that- Tabitha, you want to take that next section?
Yes. “The pentagram with one point upwards repels evil, but a reverse pentagram with two points upward is a symbol of the Devil and attracts sinister forces because it is upside-down, because it stands for the number two. It represents the great goat of the Witches’ Sabbath and the two upward points are the Goat’s horn.”
That idea, by the way, that it’s the number two, I think is supposed to be in contrast to the ‘one God,’ instead, you’re introducing a second element- is how I read that, at least,
I thought there was supposed to be three of the gods, this whole Holy Trinity thing.
I’m working in binary right now, so I got ones and zeros. That’s, I mean- *Simone laughs* -it can’t get more than that.
And that’s the thing, there’s, you know, some of these symbols are so old and have been used by so many peoples that it’s hard to encompass every single possible meaning and every single possible origin. And there’s always going to be a question, there’s always going to be a challenge that you can make about any of this stuff that we say. And so, as Daniel said, at the top of the show, we are, you know, doing our best here to provide the best knowledge that we can, but if you have some interesting information, hit us up on social media and let us know. Let’s, you know have a discussion.
Obviously, a lot of the information you’ve compiled, is, it’s amazing in its depth and breadth, but I try to look at all this stuff from a very pop culture standpoint, and I will put on my fake professor hat for horror films, heavy metal, and comic books, *Simone laughs* and where I look to the pentagram with really, like, current culture, and I will, I will put on my pointy hat and point at the wall and say, I really believe Motley Crue, in their early 80s phase, really brought the pentagram front and center. They sold millions and millions of records and pentagrams were a huge part of their stage show and their album cover art. I believe it was theater, a painting [?] featured a pentagram with the star upside down, and I think they were, they- you know, very scary, out in front of a lot of people. And I think that to, you know, millions of people in, you know, suburban America, in the 80s; this was inundated onto them. So to me, I look to them as really being huge pushers of that as a common symbol for, ‘we’re scary.’ Did it mean much beyond that? Not really, I don’t think, but I think they brought it to a ton of people that may not have been exposed to it otherwise.
Yeah, I really think you’re onto something there because, you know, no matter what and, a symbol’s actual meaning, what people believe it to be today is also totally valid. You know, it might be something completely removed from its original intention, but a modern interpretation is, you know, just as powerful, and people often don’t know what a symbol started out as, but they just know what it means to them today. And-
For me personally, like, I think of the pentagram, or the pentacle, that- the inverted one- I think about Richard Ramirez *Jason mmhmm’s* and, you know, he had carved it into his hand during his, his trial because he claimed to be a Satanist and definitely was a scary dude. *Tabitha laughs* So, you know whether or not he was an actual satanist or whatever, it was a very powerful, visual image.
Now, on the subject of the Satanic Panic, I think if there were any other Magic the Gathering aficionados out there, you’ll remember the Alpha and Beta card art for the card ‘Unholy Strength,’ which featured a pentagram, which the company later edited out because people were- they, they complained about that; they were quite scandalized and I think it’s easy for us to take for granted. To some people this image, even today, is, is, is horrifying, is threatening. I mean, in their mind, it’s, like, it’s almost as bad as Nazi iconography, that is the kinds of buttons that it pushes for them. But what’s something that I found interesting, and one of the reasons- is it turns out the pentagram, in its various forums, is far older than Satanism, far older than paganism, the Neopaganism or paganism, far older than our pop-cultural associations. Here’s what the New World Encyclopedia says, “dating back to Europe as far as 8000 years ago, the pentagram has been a symbol of various religions and nations from Morocco to Ethiopia to ancient Jerusalem. The five points of the pentagram usually have five different meanings but these values change from culture to culture.” A site called symboldictionary.net says, “according to the Greek mathematician and philosopher, Pythagoras, the five points of the pentagram each represented one of the five elements that make up man: fire, water, air, earth, and the psyche-“
Thank you, yes.
*singing* Captain Planet…
“The Pythagoreans held the pentacle a sacred to Hygeia, the goddess of healing, whose name was an anagram in Greek for the size for the associating five elements. The earliest pentagrams were rough diagrams found scratched into stone age caves. While they are believed to have some spiritual significance, the meaning of the star-shaped to early humans is a mystery.” So, if you’ve ever had trouble putting your finger on the origins of the symbol and the beginnings of its occultic significance, that’s because we don’t know. It’s actually that old. It’s actually, quite literally, a prehistoric image that has been with us that long, which blew my fucking mind.
I mean, you think about some symbols, and they are so basic in some ways that, of course, they are probably older than we can even comprehend. Like, you think about the number five, while the number five is significant to us as humans, just by the pure basis that we have five fingers on each hand, so the number five is like a very easy to grasp number, no pun intended.
So, so, you know, using easily understandable numbers, such as five, to create five points, and then how do you connect five points in an ease- you know, what’s the easiest way to connect those five points? It falls into just what happens to end up being this star.
Well, and you could even take it to concepts like, you know, sacred geometry with, with things like a triangle or a circle, and going back to what you’re saying about, you know, you can put a stick on the ground and just rotate yourself and create a rough circle. And they’re shapes that are so basic that people without tools can, can make them somewhat effectively. And they’re the basis of- the shape of cells, and molecules, and atomic particles, and things like that. So, I mean, circles, lines, triangles, stars? I mean, again, you’re right, you know, five fingers-
Blue moons, purple horseshoes. *laughter*
Yeah, exactly. You know, so, I think, yeah, so these symbols have been around forever to say, so to say, like, ‘oh my goodness, we see this symbol.’ It’s like, yeah, ’cause it’s pretty damn basic to make.
I also want to note here, the New World Encyclopedia also credits Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, the 16th-century German occultist, “perpetuated the popularity of the pentagram as a magical symbol,” which makes sense, given how old it is, and all of its religious and philosophical significance leading up to that point. It does mention there were a lot of other magicians and occultists around that time who liked wrapping it up in there, and that, I guess, is where it started to become associated with magic slash black magic. Also, I just have to include this part where it says, “the pentagram was used to ward off trolls and other evil in general throughout Norway and Sweden and could be-
-found inscribed on doors and walls.”
Get ’em outta here! *laughter*
So, first of all, the idea of warding off trolls with a pentagram just delights me to no end. Also, I find it interesting that in that context it is evidently a non-evil symbolism but [unintelligble] protection, so just something to keep in mind. Lot to work with here. Also, weirdly enough, at some point, the pentagram was a Christian symbol; they thought it represented the five wounds of Christ.
Oh, cut me a break.
I’m not kidding!
I know! I mean, I believe it because, you know, they steal everything. *Daniel laughs*
I mean, it’s just, you know, you can, you can lay any kind of explanation you want over any symbol you want, and that’s something we’ll see repeated throughout, throughout history, throughout this show, you know, so.
Some Mormon temples still use pentagrams, by the way, and they get shit for that. If you look in the show notes, you’ll find a very defensive essay from a Mormon magazine defending this practice.
The kind of natural transition from the pentagram or pentacle is the Sigil of Baphomet. Now, the one that we’re talking about here, first, is, uh, picture it- picture it in your mind! *Tabitha laughs* It’s an inverted pentagram, and inside that star shape is a goat head with, you know, as we kind of previously described, the two horns are in the two points that are facing up with the chin as a single point at the bottom and the two points on the side are the ears with the eyes in the very center. It is encircled by a, uh, circle, and there’s actually two rings around it and then within that outer ring, there are five figures, five characters. So that’s what the Sigil of Baphomet looks like. Let’s talk about what it means.
I just want to point out there’s often- very frequently, you’ll see the name Samael and Lilith inscribed in between the points in the interior, although that one gets- that part gets left out a lot these days.
Yeah, there’s always going to be- there’s going to be like a simplified version of a symbol, there’s going to be like a complicated, you know, highly detailed version of a symbol. I guess- they go through logo revisions, you know, like the Starbucks cup *Tabitha laughs* used to have a lot more of a complicated mermaid on it. Now, it’s just got like a little, you know, blobby mermaid.
Okay, so this one’s been driving me nuts for a long time because, these days, this symbol is associated very closely with the Church of Satan, and they, in fact, like to brag that it is their legally trademarked image, which turns out to be true, sort of.
Because it turns out that the Sigil of Baphomet, although it wasn’t called that at the time, dates back to 1888. Here I’ve got it- I’ve got an actual solid date on this one.
And a man named- I’m never gonna get this right- Staislaus de Guaita. De Gueda? De G- fuck. *Tabitha laughs*
I think you got it.
*laughing* Yep, got it in one!
*sighs* The man who for- Then who found it? Are you ready for it? The Kabbalistic Order of the Rosicrucian. Now here have we heard that before?
*Tabitha and Simone gasping* What?
We just went and hung with them!
In San Jose!
Dun dun dun!
They’re the folks who run that lovely Egyptian museum we took a field trip to a couple months ago.
Yes, so Staislaus founded the Kabbalistic Order of the Rosicrucians. Here, I’m reading off of the author biography on a relatively recent edition of his book. *sighs* Fuck, I’ve set myself up for disaster on this one. ‘Le Clef de la Magie Noire,’ The Key to Black Magic.
Got it in one! *laughs*
*sings* Let me use my high school French!
Daniel’s killing it.
*actually pronounces it properly* Le Clef de la Magie Noire.
All right, thank you. And that appears to be the very first place that the goat head inside the pentagram image appeared. I believe he also was the one who added the Lilith and Sameal inscription, and those symbols around the points, which are the Hebrew letters that spell Leviathan, so that dates back to 1897. that book. The year before he founded the Rosicrucian Order, so over 100 years old, over 115 years old, well predating the Church of Satan and their use of it. So Staislaus here was quite the influential occultist, at the time an occult historian- he’s spent, apparently, a big chunk of his life denying allegations that he was a Satanist and smears that he used black magic to kill off his literary rivals. *laughter* Although, I guess-
-he wasn’t doing himself any favors with his literary output at the time. But, that is, as far as I can tell, quite definitively the first time this symbol appears, but it pops up in a number of other contexts over the next 100 years or so.
I think it looks like a horse on fire. *laughter*
Yeah, Tabitha was saying earlier, it doesn’t exactly look like a goat, at least in most representations of it. I think, at least the one that we have, that’s on our visual guide that you will find on our website, I think it looks like Natasha Henstridge from Species. *Daniel laughs*
With the weird, little eye bladders near her eyes.
Oh, you know what else I just thought of? It looks like Angelica’s doll from Rugrats.
Yeah, it’s got the hair. *Daniel laughs*
The little tufts of hair?!
The little tufts of hair coming out. *laughter*
Someone please draw Cynthia in a pentagram!
Oh my god.
*laughing* Oh, shit.
It’s also, I think, important to note that the Satanic Temple has its logo as something very similar to the Sigil of Baphomet, but, as I kind of joke with my Starbucks cup analogy, it’s a much more simplified version. *Tabitha mmhmm’s* The TST symbol is a pentacle with, well, you know, it’s got the pentagram encompassed in a circle with a goat head. A very solid block, kind of, style goat head.
Well, it’s a skull, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s superimposed over it and then it just says TST in the spaces, in the three spaces above.
That can also be [?] a Baphometic torch in the middle of their edition, as well.
Yes. So, definitely, you know, similar, but not the same.
So this question of the Church of Satan’s oft ballyhoo trademark, [I have no idea what Daniel is talking about here] I come to find out this is true, but only in a very specific context. Who wants to take this reading about what the Church of Satan says about its version of the Sigil?
I’ll take it. “The pentagram was made geometrically precise, the two circles perfect, the Hebrew characters were distorted to make them look more sharply serpentine and ‘corrupted with time.'” Just like in Legend of Zelda, Majora’s Mask. *laughter* “While the goat face was redrawn with particular attention paid toward the eyes. This version is a copyrighted graphic, which belongs to the Church of Satan. The Church of Satan did file for trademark in 1981, and then received it in 1983, which protects the use of the Sigil of Baphomet with the words ‘Church of Satan.’ The Church of Satan, therefore, has the legal right to place the-” ‘R’ in a circle symbol. I guess that’s the-
*laughing* Reigsteredicle. “-meaning ‘registered trademark’ next to this combination of symbol and words.
So, you know, it’s interesting to me- again, I’ll go to my, you know, heavy metal professor comic book guy thing, and it’s interesting because in music circles, Motley Crue is more of a pop culture, pop-metal band, and they just go for the simple pentagram, the Sigil of Baphomet, much more graphically complicated, and this is a common thing with more black metal, Euro metal bands that like to have the more complicated logos, more obscure references, smaller audiences, and it’s interesting-
Names that you can’t read. *laughs*
Yeah, and so it’s interesting how they’ve gone for the more complicated artwork versus just the simple pentagram. And you know, again, a very, you know, obviously, it’s a very common symbol in those circles, as opposed to the more simple, just pentagram.
Well, the point that I want to raise here is the fact that- so, so here’s what the Church of Satan did- they took a symbol that well predated them, they redrew it in a- changing just enough to make their version distinct, and then they created a very specific form of legal protection in which they have the right to use the symbol in combination with the words ‘ Church of Satan,’ which is a very narrow use. However, it seems to me that they are happy to let people assume that their copyright is much broader than it actually is. In fact, our friend Becky, who was involved with the Church of Satan back in the day, has said that when she put this symbol on some flyers at one point, Blanche Barton herself sent her an angry letter about it.
So, seems to be like they’re, they’re, they’re employing a little strategic elasticity in their language and terms on that one; that’s my suspicion.
Well, something I’d like to bring up is, you know, so Satanic Bay Area, we have our own symbol, which is unique to us, but still inspired by the pentacle and the goat head that’s similar to Sigil of Baphomet. Tabitha, can you maybe describe a little bit about what our logo looks like and how you came to design it?
Yeah. So realistically, when we were kind of coming together with this whole thing, we had commissioned someone else to make a logo for us, and, at the time, I was actually making a bunch of other logos for other people, like commission work. And I was just kind of in the mindset of like, ‘oh, what- if I was to make a logo for us, what would I make?’ And I kind of just threw together a- it’s very similar to this, the Sigil of Baphomet, except that the horns are the Golden Gate Bridge, because I thought, if anything is going to signify San Francisco, or even the Bay Area at large, it’s going to be a bridge. And so I did a quick mock-up really quick, and then showed it to everybody, and they were like, ‘well, shit, this is great.’
And it is!
*in a silly voice* It turned out really fine!
I agree. I’m looking at it now, and I really like it. And interesting- it sticks out to me, is that if you take the two bridges out, and then it forms a triangle, it almost reminds me of that hat that- there’s that famous photograph of Aleister Crowley with his triangle hat.
Now, I don’t- So- I even see that in it, and it almost then becomes, like, an angry person face, which is kind of cool. But this is a great logo; I really like what you did here. Good job, Tabitha!
Oh, thank you, that means a lot, actually. Really, what’s funny is that I wanted to keep the lines going, which is more- I just really wanted it to be like a linear thing, because I thought it would be kind of spooky that way. *laughs*
And especially as we made the move from Satanic San Francisco to Satanic Bay Area, you incorporated the five, the five points with the letters, the stylized letters at each point, came to represent the different parts of the Bay Area. So we had North Bay, East Bay, South Bay, Peninsula and San Francisco.
This is actually really funny, and this is- the reason why I ended up doing that and not just Satanic Bay Area, which is what the old one looked like, was Satanic SF, was that the art program I have makes it very, very complicated to do curved text, so to get that- like, I was having such a hard time getting it done, so I was like, wait a minute, let me just scrap that and think of something else, and I actually like this way better. I think this is cool.
It’s so cool.
It’s a little more subtle, and I like it a lot, but it really just came out of necessity because I was *laughing* tearing my fucking hair out trying to make it work.
Well, you know what they say about necessities- The mother of invention. It’s true. So.
One thing I do want to say before we move on is the fact that our Rosicrucian friend here created the Sigil of Baphomet is just one of many occultic themed symbols and images in his book, and it was not one that he necessarily meant to associate with Satanism, although goats have been kind of wrapped up with the Devil for a while, as we talked about back in that Baphomet episode. It’s just sort of, kind of gotten away from his original intent, whatever it was, since then, and the question of ‘why’ is a question I can’t really answer. I think these days we just kind of refer to it as, like, ‘meme power.’ Once enough people associate an image with an idea, it reaches a tipping point where it’s self-perpetuating. That’s the only explanation I can think of.
So keeping with our inversion theme, our next symbol is the inverted cross. Now, picture in your mind a cross- it’s got the two lines that intersect each other, more towards, you know, one end, so it’s a little bit- one, one line is longer than the other. The inverted version, the long end is at the top with the crossbar closer to the bottom. One thing that I learned in our research, was the difference between a cross and a crucifix, so a cross is just the bare, you know, T-shape. It’s only a crucifix when a body is portrayed on it, which I thought was interesting.
So you need a little bit of Jesus action. *chuckles*
Jesus, or, well, so here’s the thing, the inverted cross is also used as a Christian symbol, and it’s known as St. Peter’s Cross.
Oh, I didn’t know that.
Yeah, in fact, if you pay attention to the Pope’s throne? Seat? What do they even call that?
A fancy chair?
He’s got an inverted cross on there, which the conspiracy assholes and Jack Chick enthusiasts will point out- they’ll say, ‘Aha!’ *Jason laughs* ‘This is proof that the Pope is a secret Satanist!’ But, actually, no, it turns out that that image dates all the way back to, allegedly to the founding of the Roman Catholic Church, because it was St. Peter, the first Pope, who was supposed to have been crucified upside-down, and so to honor him specifically, they use the cross upside down, and for- what’s, what’s my source on that? Catholic.com, which is a Catholic magazine, which again, has a rather defensive essay on this topic. *laughs*
Daniel, you raised a great point where if enough people believe in something, you know, and again, is it because Ozzy Osborn or other metal bands flashed the symbol a lot in the 80s when again, a lot of people that are alive now we’re getting their ideas, and then we throw up a symbol that’s 1000 years old, that has all this deep meaning, how many people are going to say, ‘let’s go educate ourselves on that,’ versus like, ‘oh, Ozzy. Evil. Bit a head off a bat. Upside-down cross, it’s evil. Satan.’ So, I think your point of, like, the simplicity of the idea is that if we all believe it, then that’s what it is to us. Versus, ‘well, no, actually, this means this.’ The masses won’t care.
And it is interesting that, you know, this is a, you know, legit Christian symbol that is used in legit Christian ways, and yet, the more overwhelming understanding of this symbol is now Satanic. *chuckles* So, hey, we coopted something sometimes!
Like a couple of weeks ago, Tabitha and I went to see The Nun, the new Conjuring movie, and that one’s got- *laughter*
That’s got an awful lot of crucifix action going on.
I liked it. *laughs*
I did, too. Simone, have you seen it yet?
Aah, I’m gonna pass on that one. I don’t really- that’s James Wan, right.?
Well, he produced it, yeah.
I just, I don’t like that whole Conjuring universe. It’s not that interesting to me.
Well, here’s my point. I tried while researching this to try to pinpoint the first instance in which the inverted cross was specifically associated with Satanism, and again, I can’t necessarily say that I have. But here’s a fascinating anecdote from a site called History Answers, which tells the story of a man named Eugene Vintras. “A one-time foreman at a cardboard box factory, *Tabitha laughs* transformed into a full-blown Messiah, surrounded by reports of miracles, claims to be a reincarnation of the prophet Elijah, and of receiving messages from the Virgin Mary and the Archangel Michael, he founded two religious sects, first the Work of Mercy and then the Elliott Church of Carmel, donning the inverted Cross of St. Peter as a symbol of his new faith. Rumors of demonic rituals and sexual excess swirled around him. Vintras was condemned by the Pope and accused by two of his followers in an 1846 pamphlet of homosexuality, conducting black masses in the nude, and most- and masturbating at the altar. *laughter* Wow!
Sounds like a good time!
So here’s a fella who was employing the inverted cross as a Christian symbol and who was smeared as a Satanist, and as far as I can tell, that’s the first time that those two paths crossed. But I find it interesting that here I’ve also looked at JK Huyman’s nov- the 19th-century French novel Las Bas, which did an awful lot to establish our ideas about organized Satanism or Satanism as a secret society. And in that book, he does not associate the inverted cross with Satanism. His Black Mass involves just a regular cross with a, let’s call it, colorfully adorned Jesus strapped to the front of it, so it seems like this was an idea that didn’t really catch on, at least, until the 20th century until pop culture got ahold of it.
And I’m going to reference 1981’s Diary of a Madman from Ozzy Osborne, which has an upside-down cross dead center of the front cover of the album art as Ozzy is in makeup as a crazy person and is doing alchemy, and another huge selling metal album from that Satanic Panic, 80s metal era. I mean dead- I’m looking at it right now- dead center, right on the cover, and I thought that’s what was on there, around his makeup and set, and, you know, again, not- obviously not the first use, but massively popular, widespread use of that imagery that was sold at malls. *laughter*
One of my favorite recent uses of the inverted cross in pop culture is, if you’ve seen the television show, Silicon Valley, on HBO, there is a character who is a Satanist. He’s a Church of Satan member, and he has an upside-down cross tattooed on his arm. Now, at one point, he’s going and putting something away on a high shelf, and he’s raising his arms to go put it away and another character looks at him and says, you know, when you raise your arms above your head like that the cross is actually right side up, like, did you think about that? And he’s just, like, ‘but it’s no I tat- it’s inverted.’ ‘But yeah, but when you raise your arms…’ It’s, like, a whole ridiculous conversation, but it’s just really funny because, I mean, that is one of those things where if you- tattoos are a funny thing because your body moves and if you have it right-side up one way, well, if you’re moving around, does it change the meaning or? Anyway.
Tabitha, I want to ask you, I know you use inverted crosses an awful lot in, like, your sassy cat drawings, or in the avatars you drew for us or some of our fans. What do you like about it?
Well, I mean, originally, when I did it for, like, our avatars and stuff, it was because it was easily recognizable from far away. If we were, to say, use them on Twitter, and you’re looking at Twitter on your phone, and the little avatar’s really teeny, tiny, if it was, say, a pentagram or something like that, it would look like a spot, but it’s usually pretty easy to see an inverted cross. You don’t have to look for it. Whereas, I could say, ‘oh, that’s a pentagram,’ and you’d say,’ ah, all right, yeah.’ Whereas, you’d look at, you look at our avatars on the site, or wherever you use them, and you say, they’ve obviously got inverted crosses on their heads.
Any particular symbology or meaning to having it on the forehead, as opposed to, say, on your cheek or on your nose?
That was really just because of, like, mass.
Like, when we’ve done black mass and we put them on the foreheads. That’s really where it came from for me. I’m sure it probably has a deeper, maybe theologic meaning, but I don’t know. *chuckles*
Well, I mean, no. I mean, I think that’s perfectly valid. Like, when we’re doing a black mass, it is an inversion of a traditional mass. and in traditional mass, or- I’m not a Catholic, I don’t know all these things, for sure, but I mean, you know, when you get the, the, you know, you do the sign of the cross-
You get ash, right? You get ash on your head?
Yeah, you get the ash for Ash Wednesday, you get the sign of the cross done on your forehead. Well, we, you know, flip that upside down and we get the inverted cross on your forehead.
So, when I did my Lilith series of art, and I- because I’m thinking about this, I wanted to have a female counterpart to the traditional Baphomet and he has a star on his noggin, and with the upside-down cross on her head- she has a full head of hair, and then she has the Baphomet horns because I wanted to give her a cool look and just visually, it’s just a strong as hell look. I just think it looks good, it looks solid, it seems to fit with the features on your face. Going back to the five fingers comments, we have two eyes and a nose and that just kind of makes a cross, which is- crosses just, you know- plus sign it’s just a strong visual element, so that’s something, you know, I kind of toyed along with it. You’ve seen in horror films and things like that over the years, and it’s cool. It’s a cool symbol. It looks neat.
Yeah, and to go off of what you were just saying there, I mean, there’s nothing more simple than just two lines.
And I think it’s really interesting that there are many versions of crosses. You know, you have the regular upright cross; you have the inverted cross. There’s also a St Andrew’s cross, which is basically what looks like an ‘X’ to us, or-
-if you’re into some scenes, it’s a totally different meaning there, but- *Tabitha chuckles*
Anyway. Yeah, the basic shape is just two lines, and what- you know, if you tilt it one way or you make one side longer than the other-
Oh yeah, you got the Iron Cross too, right?
Yeah. I mean, there’s a ton of them and we’re actually about to go into yet another type of cross.
Beautiful segue! Daniel’s paying attention! *laughs*
Alright, so, other than the symbols that we’ve already talked about, I think the most commonly used and popular Satanic symbol is what we sometimes call the Leviathan Cross, which- Simone, how would you describe this?
So, okay, this one’s a little bit more complicated. It’s certainly more than just two lines, but, okay. If we start with the basis of a regular upright cross, and then below the first crossbar, there’s a second crossbar usually a little bit wider than the first, and the whole thing sits atop a, an infinity symbol, which looks like a figure eight that is, kind of, lying down on its side, so-
Takin’ a nap.
Yeah, if- I’m gonna be real frank here. It does kind of look like testicles with a really weird penis coming out from the top.
It’s almost, almost as weird as, like, a turtle dick. I don’t- I mean, I’m going on a little bit of a tangent. Don’t look it up! Turtle dicks are weird. *laughter* [I looked it up; they’re weird, but I’m not, like, *traumatized*]
The good news is there’s no mystery about where this symbol comes from; it’s actually an alchemical symbol. According, here, to a Getty article, “alchemy employed the systemic set of symbols and technical terms commonly recognized by lab techs and natural philosophers to indicate and record scientific operations, formulas, and ingredients,” and this was the symbol for the element of Sulfur. Actually, as I come to find out, not the most common symbol for sulfur, a secondary one that wasn’t used as often, but-
The cursive as opposed to the printing? *laughs*
Something like that, yeah. And, of course, you can see there’s kind of an obvious Satanism reference therein that Sulfur is also called Brimstone.
And according to the old Medieval preachers, was the stench of Hell.
Sulfur smells like, like rotten eggs.
Yeah, Sulfer’s pretty nasty.
So it’s interesting, because I, again, kind of going into my own personal deep dive, I ended up, kind of, falling down the alchemy hole for a while, and I really thought about what this symbol meant and I kind of fell down a hole. Okay, so it’s interesting, because it’s a symbol from science. A symbol for a religion is actually a symbol taken directly from the old world of natural, like, naturalists, and I was kind of fascinated by the symbolism of that, that even down to, you know, the people that, you know, disobeyed[?] God in the Old Testament, they want knowledge and what- we’ve been mad at witches and persecuted them because they had knowledge that people didn’t like, and I really thought there was a really deep meaning in that, literally, a symbol from science was being used as a symbol for religion, and I found that to be quite profound, visually. Again, as I, kind of, explored and discovered these symbols and tried to really bring them to life in my own world, so there’s kind of my little soapbox thing about that, but that, that one, really- it struck me, I thought that was profound.
I think it’s really interesting to see these alchemical symbols; they remind me of the symbols that are used for the planets or for zodiac signs, and I just think it’s fascinating that we have, like, these, kind of, modern-day hieroglyphics where we have one figure that represents a word or, you know, means a whole planet- you know, you think about Mars is, what? The circle with the upright arrow coming out of it? And that’s-
That’s the symbol we usually use for male or masculine.
Exactly, so, again, it’s, it’s, it’s got all these multiple meanings, it’s, you know- we could write out the word in, you know, like, in text, you know, male, or man, or Mars, or- point is, is that I just find it fascinating that we’ve come up with this, sort of, visual shorthand to mean all these different concepts.
Well, I do have some bad news, unfortunately, because-
-it was easy to figure out the origin of this symbol, with the alchemy, but the question of why is it now associated with Satanism was a little bit more tricky *Simone mmhmm’s* because, again, you know- Fine. Sulfur, Hell, Satan, but that’s, that’s sort of a jaunt. It’s sort of the ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ thing we’ve got going there-
*laughing* Six degrees of Satan! *Tabitha laughs as well*
I started to wonder, when was this first associated with Satanism? Now, I don’t remember who told me this- probably some Reddit Satanists at some point, but he claimed that this symbol is actually a combination of two older symbols. One, the Cross of Lorraine, that’s the top part with the three crossed lines-
The Quiche of Lorraine. *laughter*
Yes. And then the lower element, which is the mathematical symbol for infinity, which he likened to both the Ouroboros, a snake devouring its own tail, *Simone mmhmm’s* and also to the mythical sea serpent Leviathan, which was often associated with Satan and, you know, its coils going around infinitely, and so that’s why it’s sometimes called the Leviathan Cross. And I was super excited when I checked Symbol Dictionary, and discovered that the Cross of Lorraine was originally associated with the Knights Templar-
-which, as we know, were also smeared and executed as Satanists.
*gasps* I did see this in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!
Yes, exactly! *laughter*
There you go. That’s-
So that made me super excited. I thought, ‘oh, great! There!’ I can finally find, like, the first time that this was associated with devil worship or allegations of devil worship. Unfortunately, what I came to find out is that although the Cross of Lorraine is quite old, the infinity symbol is relatively recent, probably dates to the 18th century, long after the Sulfer symbol came into common practice, so it’s just a coincidence, I’m afraid. As it turns out, probably the first person to employ this symbol in the as, in the context of Satanism was Anton LaVey in the Satanic Bible, *Tabitha laughs* which according to this essay on the Church of Satan’s voluminous FAQ- because they don’t like to talk to anybody- “LaVey used it as a spooky decoration, and it has no other significance,” which is a pretty big letdown, but that seems to be how it folds. [?]
Why are they such buzzkills? *Simone laughs* Fuck! Ughhh, I’m fine.
*snarky voice* We invented it, but it doesn’t mean anything.
Well, they didn’t invent-
It was just, like, a cool thing that we thought of, shut up!
He didn’t invent it. He just stole it and put it in his book for no reason.
And I had to say after I gave my profound speech, I feel let down. It’s, like, it’s, like, you know, Santa’s not real. I’m like, ‘wha- really?’
You know what, it’s-
Yeah, I set you up there for a big fall there, man. *laughter*
It’s whatever we want it to be. Let’s move on. *laughs*
Yeah. Fuckin’ buzz kills, fuckk.
Well, next up I think on the list is the Sigil of Lucifer, which Simone should feel some particular kinship with these days.
Yes! So, at the TST Seattle Nine Circles of Hell event, they did have tattoo artists who were tattooing people with Satanic symbols. I chose the Sigil of Lucifer because, you know, the Leviathan Cross I do associate more strongly with the Church of Satan. The pentacle, pentagram, I associate a little bit more with Neopagans and Wiccans. The upside-down cross has that whole Silicon Valley ‘which way is your arm’ problem. *laughter* And so, the symbol of Lucifer- I like the idea of Lucifer as the light-bringer, as a bringer of knowledge, so that’s why I went with that one. I felt it’s more visually interesting and a little bit less recognizable. Now, what it looks like is- it’s a little bit more complicated to describe. I’ll do my best. It has- mostly based on a large triangle with a flat side across the top and the point down at the bottom. There’s two more crossing lines that intersect within this triangle and extend out past its limits. At the very bottom of the triangle, you’ve got two curved lines that come out, kind of like a fun Salvador Dali mustache, *Tabitha laughs* and it’s sitting atop a ‘V’ kind of shape that has, like, a serif across the top of each, each line of the ‘V.’ So, that’s the best I can do. Again, you can see these symbols on our website or you can just look at my Instagram and look at my arm, but where-
*whsipering* Look at Simone’s arm. *laughs*
Yeah. Stare into my arm! No, that doesn’t work. *Tabitha laughs* Anyway, Daniel, where does this come from?
Okay, luckily, this one is actually quite simple. This one dates to one very specific book- Here I’m actually quoting Symbol Dictionary again. “The sigil of Lucifer is a lesser-known historical magical symbol used occasionally as an emblem for modern Satanists. The image ornate- originates in the 16th century Italian Grimoirium Verum or ‘Grimoire of Truth.’ Used in conjunction with other symbols, its original purpose of the Sigil was to aid in the visual invocation of Lucifer. The figure probably derived from an earlier work, most likely drawn from a magic square, whose origins are now lost.” And actually, I own the Grimoirium Verum as one of the very first books of magic that I ever bought. It’s also one of the fucking weirdest.
This is one of the magical spells in this book involves-
*gasps* A weird magic book?! Fuck yeah!
This one- one of the spells calls for a severed human head and three black beans. So…one of those is a lot easier to source than another- *laughter*
One I could go to, you know, Albertsons, and go get.
The other one?
Mm. *tsks* Three black beans.
I might have to make some calls?
What I like to bring up is the fact that if you look in the book, yes, that- this symbol does appear there, apparently, for the first time. However, there were also a number of other magical symbols associated with Lucifer on that exact same page. The other ones didn’t really catch on. I’m guessing because they all, kind of, look like a hot, scrambled mess. *laughter*
Well, this symbol, I mean, visually, it’s very strong, and I wasn’t aware of it until 2016, when I started doing these, you know, very strong Satanic-influenced pieces. And some of my characters are military-ish, and I found that this, to me, looks like a very military symbol; it’s just very strong, and once I was aware of it, I started picking up on it, so I thought it was really cool that it was, kind of, like, a secret symbol because no big pop culture people had coopted it. But what really excited me- and I actually pointed out to some friends, and they kind of freaked out, because like, ‘oh my god, Jason. You’re scary.’ *Simone laughs* The metal band Behemoth, from Europe, is using this as a featured part of each one of their stage stands on set when they’re live-
Oh, that’s awesome.
-and I saw them in Philadelphia in 2017. I was like, ‘son of a gun.’ I was like, ‘look at that!’ I noticed Marilyn Manson that has it tattooed on the back of his hand, so I was like, ‘you know what?’ I was like,’this is actually cool, because, like, the really cool people have it, and they’re using it, but not everyone knows about it.’ I could show it to my mom-
*whispering* Yeah, that’s right!
-and she’d probably say, ‘oh, interesting,’ so-
*chuckles* What a cool thing!
I like this because, it was kind of, like, ‘secret secret secret,’ but it’s out there, so you can kind of see it, so those in the know, know. Those that don’t, don’t. And that to me was very interesting with what a powerful symbol it was visually from a graphic standpoint, and how it’s, it’s, it’s kind of out there, but still kind of got that secret cache, so, shhh. Don’t tell too many people. *Tabitha chuckles*
Yeah, it’s not quite reached that level of popularity the way that the pentagram has. *faux cool voice* You know, only the cool kids have it.
No, and I can’t point to any major piece of pop culture and say, ‘oh, that was, you know, in a million, you know, it-‘ Behemoth and Manson. So that, that’s it.
And Simone! *Simone cackles*
Which, you know, again, who’s the most popular of the three? Ehh. We’ll let the Patreon backers decide that. Probably Simone, mm.
*laughs* We are not making that into a poll. That way lies tears and slamming of doors… *Tabitha laughs*
I do wanna-
Tears for Behemoth and Slay- for Behemoth and Manson, maybe. That’s all I’m saying. *Simone laughs*
For the sake of comprehensiveness, I want to point out since it is the origin of this symbol. Anybody who’s curious about the Grimoirium Verum, it is an anonymous work. Allegedly, it was translated from a much older ancient Egyptian book of magic, and as anybody with any history with occultism and magic knows, means that it definitely didn’t really come from Egypt *laughter* ever, at any point. May have originated from virtually any country in the world, except for Egypt- is pretty much the only conclusion you could draw from that claim.
It’s like the movie Highlander. The ancient Egyptian is somehow played by Sean Connery, *Jason chuckles* meaning not Egyptian at all. He’s supposed to be an Egyptian Spaniard, but he’s really Scottish…fucking Hell.
He was an Egyptian, posing as a Spaniard with a Scottish accent.
But whatever. Reasons, right? *Simone laughs*
Our last symbol is the Number of the Beast. Now, this can be visually represented in a whole bunch of different ways. It’s the number 666. It can just be spelled out or, you know, written out as the three sixes next to each other. There’s also been some variations where the loops of the six touch each other and, kind of, spoke out like a pinwheel. So, where does this number come from? Why is this number significant?
Oh, this is a fun one and this is easy. This comes from the Book of Revelation, the final and most fucked up book of the bible, and also, not coincidentally, one of my favorites. Jason, you want to favor us with another spooky voice reading of Revelation 13, here?
Yeah, hold on. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the Earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he doeth great wonders, and deceiveth them that dwell on the Earth by the means of those miracles, saying to them that they should make an image to the beast, and that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Let him have understanding count the number of the beast: for it is [the] number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
Thank you very much.
Thank you, thank you.
I got the spooks!
So that opaque mess of prophecy *laughter* has- I mean, first of all, look, I’m, what you might call, a biblical literalist. I believe that the Bible means exactly what it says, which is how I know that the Bible is not really good for much of anything *Simone laughs* or a reliable source on most things. In this case, I don’t know what the fuck that just said, but the popular interpretations, particularly among American Evangelicals, is that this is the story of the Antichrist, the evil representative of the Devil slash son of the Devil, even though it doesn’t say that, who will rule the earth and institute a one-world system and insist that everybody has to use his mark if they want to interact with society. That number- that mark apparently being this number. We all know the story. If you’re looking for the part in the bible where it tells you this shit, that’s it. That’s all you’re gonna get. The rest is people’s interpretation. How the fuck they got any of that out of this, I’ll never know.
Yeah, I just like how it’s- ‘the man is the number, and the number is the man, and the man is the beast of the number, is the man and [unintelligible]’ Okay. Sounds like a nursery rhyme. *Tabitha laughs*
Three sixes and 24 years ago, *laughter* or four sixes-
Our Dark Lord brought forth a new, new a, new world order!
*laughing* A new nation!
Now the good news is if you want to make some sense out of this, the most common academic interpretation, which I found here in a really, really ripping Harvard essay, which unfortunately did not have a byline on it, so I can’t give whoever the Spanish edition was proper credit, but Simone, you want to take this one for us?
So here’s the one possible explanation for what the fuck any of that meant, and why that very singular number is 666 is the one that gets the bad rap.
“The Roman is the Emperor Nero; the numerals are letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each letter has a numeric value: Aleph is 1, Beth is 2, and so on until 10, then count by tens til 100, then by hundreds till we run out of letters. Nero Caesar in Hebrew is NeRON QeiSar,” so it’s, like, N E, like, big N, little E, big R, big O, big N. New Word: Big Q, little E, I, Big S, little A, big R. Oh goddess, I feel like I’m giving out secret codes.
*laughing* You are.
*chuckling* You are, yes.
Yeah. “Adding up the letters till we get ‘the number of the man,’ or 666. This kind of numerical signature is called gematria, and is still used in Hebrew and Aramaic. But it’s notoriously malleable: as you can imagine, almost any claim can be supported with gematria if you look hard enough.” So I guess it’s like numerology, you could make anything spell out anything.
Yes, I remember doing that stuff in high school.
Yep. “It made sense for an early Christian to represent Nero, and the pagan and powerful Empire that Nero stood for, as the Beast. It also made sense to use the code of gematria. If you write plainly that Nero and Rome are doing the Devil’s work, then you’re an enemy combatant. But give only the number, and you have plausible deniability.”
Yeah. “The oldest manuscripts don’t agree on the number: some have 616 instead. Remember that it was the-” crazy spelling of NeRON QeiSaR, QeiSaR- “in Hebrew, but the final N of the NeRON is optional: the name can also be rendered NeRO, subtracting the letter N [Nun] and its value of 50 to get – 616.”
So, again, the most common academic hypothesis is that this is not a hype. This is not a prophecy of the future at all. It was just a way for St. John the Revelator to trash talk the Emperor *Simone chuckles* and not get in trouble with it, but still clearly communicate his message to intransigent Jews throughout the empire who would understand what the number meant.
Well, and again, going back to what does this mean to people living in the world today, I will blame Iron Maiden’s classic 1982 release, ‘Number of the Beast,’ *Simone mmhmm’s* which had Eddie from Iron Maiden, holding the Devil, holding Man, with 666 on the album cover prominently, with that band selling millions of albums and Derek Riggs doing the album cover, which coincidentally, he used Salvador Dali, his face, for the Devil. *Tabitha laughs* That, that band, to this day, is selling out stadiums across the world, and every show has people chanting, ‘666, the Number of the Beast,’ which if you actually listen to the lyrics, it’s basically an interpretation of a, of a horror film, about trying to escape from cultists trying to hurt people. And in no way does Iron Maiden identify with anything bad; they’re just a bunch of guys like to drink beer, but that song? Very damn catchy. 666, the Number of the Beast, right?
*singing in a falsetto* The Number of the Beast! *Simone laughs*
And so, to millions of people, 666, number the Beast, and it’s a scary monster band with a creepy monster on the cover of millions of albums sold, you know, versus what we’re saying is ‘hey, we’re using this number to hide from people, you know, in this kind of underground thing.’ It’s, it’s lost. It’s gone.
Yeah. You know, it’s actually really- it’s just a very quick anecdote. I had a friend of mine in high school who had a velvet Eddie poster, *chuckling* but it was obviously some sort of, like, knockoff, because Eddie had a fabulous pair of tits. *Simone laughs*
And I mean, it was the strangest thing because it was like they combined- I don’t even know what they combined because it was, like, there was, like, a graveyard in the background, but then it was also, like, cloudy and, like, spooky, supposed to be spooky, but the other side of him was- or her, I don’t- I mean- or they. It was a city, like, it was all kinds of messed up. It was, like, the strangest thing, and I’m so sad because at the time, I didn’t realize how weird it was. It’s, like, it was later, when I was, like, thinking about like, ‘I don’t think Eddie ever had boobs?’ *laughter*
I just like how the, the numerology used is real fuzzy math, and it’s, like, if you expected someone like- I’m terrible with numbers. If I wanted to, like, create some sort of secret code with numerology, at some point, I’m gonna fuck up the math.
And I’m just gonna get the wrong fucking number.
So is it 616? Or 666? Well, I just misplaced a decimal or something because-
They’re both right. Or wrong.
It kind of reminds me of- in Stephen King’s The Shining, in the book version, the haunted room is 217, but in the movie, they turned it to 237.
I mean, one of the things that has just fascinated me in, the internet, the internet in recent years, is there’s a lady that, I guess, goes to conventions, and she’s the crazy person that has a booth, and she goes nuts about Monster energy drink because the three slashes on it.
Yeah. And, you know, again, going back to simple things, there’s, you know, six, you know, little kids learn to say the number six, or the number six isn’t some fabulous secret, and she sees sixes everywhere, and she is just crazy person behind a booth yelling about Monster energy drink. And again, it’s such a common thing that you can see sixes anywhere, so now we can have, have evil conspiracy, Devil worship anywhere. And so I remember seeing her and just being, like, freaked out that, like- I was glad she was on a screen and I could turn her off *laughter* because she, she scared me, and I wouldn’t want to talk to her in real life, but, you know, again, I think the simplicity of it, it’s just, it’s everywhere, so it’s, it’s- o me, it’s as much as you want to see it.
I think, specifically for that Monster energy drink story, wasn’t her theory that- so it- Monster energy drink, their symbol is a very stylized ‘M,’ *Jason mmhmm’s* that looks like three slashes-
-but then the three slashes have, like, this kind of serif at the top and then come down in straight lines, and, I believe, that those are the- if you look at a, sort of a, you know, short, upward line with a long downward line- that’s the Hebrew number 6? Am I- or something similar to that?
You know, I only know this from her video, so I take-
Yeah, I mean, I don’t- That’s, that’s her reasoning, anyway, so the three slashes represent three sixes, so, therefore, Monster energy drink is 666.
And you know what? Here’s the crazy thing: the guys that made it might have been metalheads and said, ‘hey, let’s work that in there because it’s a cool thing we can do,’ *Simone chuckles* and they did it on purpose, just like Tabitha did, putting in things for the Bay Area in your symbol.
Yeah, that sounds badass! We’ll go with it.
Yeah, for real. LIke-
Right?! So, I mean-
I feel like they’re gonna be into it.
Right. They may, they may have done it on purpose to get people like her activated, right? So, who knows?
Something you learn is that conspiracy assholes can find a number hidden in virtually any image or sequence of words, and they can turn any number into 666 with enough degrees of separation. I swear-
Six, six, six degrees of separation.
I was in the middle of-
Kevin Bacon. *laughter*
I was in the middle of a long, fruitless argument with a conspiracy asshole on the internet once, and at one point, I actually pointed out to him-
Yeah. *Tabitha cackles* Like, I can’t remember what number he was banging on about. I think it was- oh, I think it was some variation, I think it was, like, 66.06, which had popped up somewhere. And I want to point out like, well, dude, that’s a different number, that has a totally different numerical value.
Yeah. And then-
That, that actually kind of flummoxed him. He didn’t know what to say to that, and that actually got to him for a second.
You know, for the movie, The Omen, the whole to-do was that Damian was born on, like, July 6, 1966. I’m, like-
I only say that because I’m- my birthday is in July, so I know it’s the seventh month. *laughs*
June 6, 1966, and I’m like, ‘hold up! There’s a whole mess of other numbers up in there!’
You’re just gonna suddenly discount the 1966? And then also, June six, so that’s six, six, sixty-six- that’s four sixes. That’s one six too many.
You’ve messed this all up.
I have to share this. When I was a teenager, I had a cousin that was very into conspiracies, and we were driving from Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, to York, and the Caterpillar factory- we passed it on Route 30. And they had a huge water tower, and they have a yellow square with a black triangle in it, and it says ‘CAT,’ C A T, because everyone calls Caterpillar, Cat.
And he flipped out and he was like, ‘that is Egyptian, and that is a pyramid, and cat’s eye,’ and he goes, ‘something’s going on.’ I was like, ‘dude, it’s caterpillar. It’s a triangle.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not singing it.’ *laughter* And he’s like, ‘don’t you understand what’s going on here, Jason?’ And I was like-
Have, haven’t you done the research? *laughter*
Yeah. So I just- that just flashed back in my head. We’re talking about people just really play- you know, ‘there’s a triangle, oh my god! That’s so uncommon.’
*flatly* It’s a, it’s a pyramid. It’s the New World Order. We’re all gonna die. *chuckles*
How about if you go back to our ‘Satan in the movies’ episode with the shitty Arnold Schwarzenegger *laughter* End of Days movie, where you’ve got the priest explaining that numbers in dreams are upside down, so 666 is actually 999, as in 1999. *Simone groans*
Fucker, none of those numbers are the same!
None of those are the same!
You gotta throw that, that hard ball so hard-
It would be 900- wait. 9,991. 1999 was-
*gasps* Oh, right.
Doesn’t matter. It was a stupid, stupid movie. *laughter*
Do we have anything to say in conclusion about- this is a brief survey. There’s a lot of satanic symbols we couldn’t get to.
Yes, so many more.
*chuckling* But these are the big ones.
These are the big ones that we tried to get to, the most popular ones, the ones that people wonder about the most. We have lists, long lists, that Daniel did, you know, collected as he was doing his research. There’s so much more that we can go into. We just don’t have time. Maybe we’ll revisit this at some future point.
Here’s all I’ll say in conclusion is, you know, you do art, you do jewelry, you do your Satanic tattoo. There’s always some asshole who wants to play Devil cop and lecture you about- ‘Oh, your pentagram is the wrong way.’ *Simone mmhmm’s* ‘Oh, the upside-down cross is a Christian symbol. Oh, six, six, six; that’s, that’s Christian paranoia. Why- you shouldn’t buy into that as a Satanist. And my attitude about that is always, first of all, fuck you. *Jason laughs* Second of all, as Jason has said many times and I completely agree with, symbols, like words, are all about their common usage, and that usage will change, and however people want to interpret those symbols, and whatever cultural cachet, is in them, that’s the only meaning that they have. You know, that’s the only authenticity that even exists, much less that we should aspire to.
Yeah, symbols, symbols don’t have power in and of themselves. They have power that we lend to them. I mean, we should know that, as Satanists, claiming symbols and using them for our own purposes.
I personally just really like, I really like symbolism, in and of itself. I really like, especially, like, Satanic symbolism. I think it’s really interesting, and I think it’s really fun- I don’t want to say to get a rise out of people, but to get a rise out of people by using very simple symbolism because there’s so many people that will instantaneously say, they saw one of my logos or something that I’ve made, that are going to instantly know what we’re about, and it’ll probably freak ’em out. *laughs*
Yeah, it’s just that thing of, like, it’s a drawing on a piece of paper. It’s not gonna hurt you, *Tabitha mmhmm’s* but people act like it is and that’s them loaning them that power.
So, one other of the interesting things, again, just through my personal art journey through this stuff, is the amount of fear some of these, you know, really basic symbols can give people. And one of the things that, that kind of dawned on me, was thinking about how, you know, people say, we have the crosses [unintelligible] for Christianity, you know, and, you know, hey, it was widespread, you know, using crucifixes as execution tools, and people are excited about that. And I’ll steal a line from the late, great Bill Hicks; he said it would be as ironic as running up to Jackie Kennedy with a rifle pendant [?] saying, ‘I, I miss John.’ *laughter*
And it’s interesting how, how an execution tool, to kill people, is, like, we have a cross and it’s this calming symbol and we- that should calm us, but yet, you know, a star flipped upside-down. To all- what you’re saying- people- ‘oh, my goodness! I’m going to flip out. Look how bad you are.’ It is odd, when you really stop and think about to say, hmm, that’s interesting how we’re supposed to get, like, calmed, and that’s a good symbol when it’s, you know, the Roman executing people with it, versus-
Right, it’s literally a dead guy.
Right. And, you know, if they, you know, killed Jesus in another way, you know, would we have that instrument of death on buildings everywhere? You know, like, if they killed him in an Iron Maiden, would we have, like, a metal coffin on the sides of buildings? It’s just, it’s just, again, it’s just-
If they had chainsaws back in the day. *Tabitha laughs*
Is that a chainsaw pendant?
But there’s no doubt. I’ve noticed from having, you know, my Satanic art at public events, like, you know, there is that percentage of people that are, like, spooked and, like, they move away, but then it has an incredible cachet. It’s strong visually, and there’s a cool cachet to it, which- I’ll roll back to all my little pop culture references. You know, why was, why did these bands use this stuff? Because it gave them a cool cachet.
And it helped them sell things. And so they-
*sings* Capitalism! *laughs*
Yeah. I mean, Marvel Comics, in the 70s, popped that a comic called ‘Son of Satan.’ It was a guy with red tights, horns and he had a pentagram branded on his chest.
*laughing* I’ll have to find one of those.
Yeah, sounds like fun. *laughs*
Son of Satan for Marvel, and, you know, it’s strong, you know, strong iconography. Ten dollar word. And, like I said, it has, it has a cachet, and, and, you know, some of the caches you’ll spook people away from you, but I would say those are probably the people I don’t want to talk to me, so it actually serves two purposes. It gets the cool people around, scares the ones that aren’t so cool away, so it’s good.
It’s a nice filter.
So, if any of our listeners, if you have a particular symbol that you feel some affinity towards or has a special meaning to you, let us know. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our website is blackmassappeal.com, and you can find us as Black Mass Appeal on most social media platforms.
If you want to learn more about Satanic Bay Area, check us out at satanicbayarea.com. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram as Satanic Bay Area, or you can follow us on Twitter, the handle there is @satanicSF. Anybody who wants to show us your own Satanic symbol tattoo, up close and personal, as long as it’s not in a personal place, can come on-
Yeah, not in any bathing suit areas.
Yes, thank you. Can come on down to meet us at Wicked Grounds coffee shop, for Satanic Coffee Hour, on the second Thursday of every month, at 6PM. Wicked Grounds is the official sponsor of Black Mass Appeal, and they are our oldest supporter, and Tabitha, when we’re there next, what are we having?
Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m gonna have a chef salad, which is actually what I get there most of the time.
Your enormous chef salad.
My enormous chef salad, which is greens, topped with turkey ham, cheese, and sliced boiled egg, and I usually get it with the vinegarette, but I hear that their blue cheese dressing is also very good.
And by the way, Tabitha, I think we have a couple of new ways for the listeners to get a hold of us if they’d like?
Oh, yeah! So I just- somebody mentioned over on Twitter, I think, that we should have a Discord server, and me being the dorky gamer lady that I am, already belonged to Discord, and I was like, ‘okay!’ And I made it just, like, ten minutes later, *chuckles* so we have a Discord server now. It is very simple, as it stands, but it will get more and more complicated as we get more people in there and we decide what we, kind of, want to do with it. I do want a lot of input from the fans and everything of how you’d like this site structured, and how you’d like to interact with us, and so I’ve- so far, it’s been really fun. I’ve got about 23 people in there right now, and it’s really great. Everybody seems really nice. Everybody’s really excited. It’s weird to have people who are, like, ‘hi!’ Like, excited to talk to me and I’m like, ‘hello, you know, I’m just normal.’ And they’re like, ‘eee.’ It’s cool. But yeah, we’ll have a link in the description- unfortunately, it has to- it’s an arbitrary link because they won’t let me do-
One of those long strings of numbers.
It’s not too long, but it’s, like, ‘A42-‘ You know, like, there’s no way I can remember it.
We, we don’t, we don’t want to put you through all that.
Yes, you can just click on it. If you don’t do Discord- this is just a disclaimer- if you don’t do Discord already, you might have to do a little research into it first, just so you get kind of an idea. It’s made for gamers, so it’s, so, if you are doing a raid or something in say, World of Warcraft, you can all get on the horn together, or you can all talk to each other, ‘oh, when are we going to do this?’ So that’s what it was originally made for, but you can do all sorts of things with it.
Yeah, when someone on Twitter added Black Mass Appeal and there were like, ‘hey, do you guys have a Discord server thing?’ And I was like, ‘Uhh, I don’t know what that is. Tabitha! Tabitha, help!’
*laughing* Guess what? I totally knew what that was.
So, I learned what it was for the first time, so I will endeavor to figure it out.
Yes, you should join in because everybody wants to meet you guys, too. *laughter*
And, Jason, where can people find you and find your artwork?
I have a website, jasonlenox.com, spelled LENOX. That’s, kind of, a general archive for my work. But probably the easiest places to find me are going to just be on, you know, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. So, on Facebook, facebook.com/jasonlennoxillustrator, and then it’s easy to find me on Instagram and Twitter; it’s just @lenoxartist, and if you want to find out where my appearances are at, the easiest thing is just to go to my website and click on the Events tab and I always update, you know, the who, what, when, where, and why the shows are going to be at, so, you know, it’s always fun to stop by, you know, a show and hang out with me and argue about movies, and cartoons, and things like that. So yeah, that’s the easiest place to find me and I was lucky enough to find the awesome people at Black Mass Appeal on Twitter, and they’re wonderful people to follow on Twitter and I got to really enjoy and become a fan of the podcast, so I would like to say that you had me as a guest in your space. It was very cool, because I think what you guys do is, is great. It’s an entertaining show; it’s a very inclusive show, but most of all, what I like about Black Mass Appeal is it makes me think, and there’s, there’s not enough entertainment that actually makes you pause and think and you know, maybe you don’t agree with everything that’s said, but at least it makes you think. And I think that’s awesome. I think we need more things that are entertaining and stop and make us think a little bit, and think after the show about some of the stuff we’ve heard, so I think you guys are doing an awesome job providing really high-quality entertainment, so a virtual tip of the cap to all of you, including Jesse, who’s silently working in the background.
*chuckling* He’s, he waved his hands! He’s actually listening to us.
That was so nice.
Well, Jason, thank you so much for joining us and offering your perspective and knowledge on this particular topic. I mean, it was so good to have you because you could really explain some of these things from, from working with these symbols so, so intimately, so thank you again for joining us.
Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thanks so much.
All right, and if anyone out there has any general interest in the Satanic Temple, you can visit their website at thesatanictemple.com.
Hail Satan to go out on?
Hail yeah. Of course.
Three, two, one.
Black Mass Appeal 2:04:11
Black Mass Appeal 2:04:11
*Iron Maiden’s ‘Number of the Beast’ plays*