Woodcut satan witches books

Satanic Bay Area wrapped up our third Satanic Salon of the year on Saturday by delving into both each other’s libraries and our personal insights.

A Satanic Salon, the brainchild of our own Simone Lasher, is a structured conversation where Satanists and the Satan-curious convene in a relaxed social setting to discuss serious ideas. Note that the use of the word salon here refers to the idea of an academic or artistic salon, not a space for hairstyling–although a Satanic Hair Salon sounds like a hell of a time too.

Every salon poses a central question to answer: At our inaugural April gathering, participants articulated who (or what) they imagine the character of Satan to be and what makes him meaningful. At a follow-up meeting in July, we discussed our responses the oft-repeated question “Why Satan?” often posed by non-Satanists troubled by uncertainty or anxiety about atheistic Satanists.

At Saturday’s gathering, the discussion hinged on books, as each guest brought a single book with them and articulated an argument why it would be a valuable contribution to a Satanist’s personal library.

Some of the selection had obvious themes about Satanism or religion, such as Robert Graves’ The White Goddess, Damien Ba’al’s Satanic Praxis, and Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens.

Others went further afield, with titles like Rene Descartes’ Discourse On the Method, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Marjorie Liu’s Monstress.

At the end of the night members everyone exchanged books, and hopefully will share more insights with each other after reading.

Simone’s salon innovation solved a problem that we’ve had as Bay Area Satanists, in which previously we’ve always held events where people can socialize, events dedicated to activism, meetings for planning and practice, and ritual events for religious enrichment, but never had a dedicated space for simply exchanging ideas.

We also lacked an environment to explore our diverse ideas about what word like Satan and Satanism mean to us personally. The salon, an event built around thoughtful discussion, free expression, and meaningful exchange of ideas, solves that problem while enriching our individual Satanic practices.

For the curious, here’s the full suite of books shared this weekend: