Per Faxneld’s Paper “Blavatsky the Satanist” argues about Luciferianism in Theosophy

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Christianity, Theosophy

The decline of the Theosophical Movement and the Theosophical Society since the 1930’s has been attributed to many factors by researchers and theosophists, but most significantly damaging is identifying Theosophy and H.P.B.’s ideas as Satanism. Per Faxneld, Faculty of Humanities at Stockholm University has presents in his 2013 paper, Blavatsky the Satanist (pdf). the idea that Theosophy and H.P.B.’s conception of Satan could be described as “Esoteric Satanism” and “Satanic Feminism.”

In this 2012 Journal, Temenos of The Finnish Society for the Study of Religion, Per Faxneld argues, that Theosophy propagates an “unembarrassed Satanism,” and this has had “feminist implications.” On page 212-13 Per Faxneld admits of his bewilderment, and discounts the discrepancies he finds, as inconsistencies of Blavatsky’s cosmology. He theorizes, that the mytho-rhetorical tropes of socialism (Faxneld 2013, 208), may have been introduced to Blavatsky through her associates, as Siv Ellen Kraft asked, why did Blavatsky, critical of social reform, and socialism, choose Annie Besant to be her successor, although Blavatsky never chose Annie Besant to be her successor.

Per Faxneld delves into how poets, socialists, feminists, and French occultists held similar ideas, based on what he calls “a counter-hegemonic reading of Genesis Chapter 3,” and theorizes where Blavatsky got the idea and illustration of the magazine Lucifer from. Faxneld claims typically of the style in academic rhetoric, that “obviously, Blavatsky’s conception of Satan draws on that of the Romantics, at least on a general level,” with no proofs, just because “they too, in some of their works, viewed him as a symbol of independence, defiant rebellion and liberation from oppression.” Is it Blavatsky’s personal view, regarding the ancient defiant rebel-god and the saviors, her mere “historically contextual” “literary Satanism,” or is it a view throughout the ancient world as demonstrated in The Liberator-God in Ancient Religion: Salvation and Resurrection of the Initiated. This “reinterpretation,” he says is the portrayal of Satan as a positive symbol, in the shape of the serpent who brings gnosis and liberates mankind. Per Faxneld and Lee Penn have both used scholarship to define Theosophy and H.P.B. in a similar way.

Per Faxneld says:

“Having established some important background facts, it is now time to examine the Satanist content in Blavatsky’s writings, its potential links with socialism, and its feminist implications.”

Then later, he elaborates, that the feminist implications it raises are clearer, according to Mary Farrell Bednarowski’s argument that there are four factors, that characterize marginal religious groups which offer leadership roles for women:

(1) a perception of the divine that deemphasizes the masculine, (2) a tempering or denial of the doctrine of the Fall, (3) a denial of the need for a traditional ordained clergy, and (4) a view of marriage which does not hold that marriage and motherhood are the only acceptable roles for women (Bednarowski 1980, 207).

In her analysis, she examines how these views are expressed in Shakerism, Spiritualism, Christian Science and Theosophy. As we have seen, a reinterpretation of the doctrine of the Fall is central to Blavatsky’s Satanism.”

The person already cunningly uses their words, and later defines Blavatsky’s overall cosmology as a Gnostic-Satanic counter-reading of Genesis 3, and that Levi’s early writings prepared the way for “Blavatsky’s more straightforward pro-Satanic speculations.”

The conclusion of Per Faxneld betrays his persistent labeling of Blavatsky as a Satanist. This has not prevented those in the past, whom believed “the United Nations has been infused with the evil New Age religion of Theosophy which reveres Lucifer.”

Theosophists do not revere or celebrate Lucifer, or Satan.

This is his self-confusing conclusion, which you can judge for yourselves:

“Nothing of this is all the same to suggest Blavatsky was not in earnest as an esoteric thinker, nor would I want to take a reductionist approach to her writings and say they were really about something else than esotericism. However, opting for a religionist stance and viewing esotericism as a lofty, perennial category more or less disconnected from the world at large is not a reasonable alternative either. Rather, I propose that we view her ‘Satanism’ as an expression of a religious cosmology and as filled with both political implications and strategic didactic maneuvers, all of these strongly colored by contemporary radical use of the figure of Satan. The political implications for the feminist cause of her (limited) ‘Satanism’ were, as we have seen, picked up on and utilized as a polemical weapon by feminist Theosophist Susan E. Gay when she attacked Christian defenders of patriarchy. Such consequences, as well as the similarities with for example socialist Lucifers, may or may not have been intentional on Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s part. We will never know for sure. Yet, with a shrewd and alert woman like her, it would seem most likely she was fully conscious of quite a few of these dimensions of her ‘Satanism’ all along.”

One thought on “Per Faxneld’s Paper “Blavatsky the Satanist” argues about Luciferianism in Theosophy”

  1. Really, I’d just say that this guy is nuts – caught up in his own schizo ideocentric fantasy-world – a fantasy within a fantasy – as the christian idea of Satan is. Very much better just to avoid all this stuff on the dark side of Nature – see Letters #134, pp 462-3.

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