Recently I was contacted by someone interested in learning about Luciferianism as distinct from Satanism. In my view, Luciferianism and Satanism are overlapping categories, and most people today who call themselves “Luciferians” really are Satanists too, as far as I can tell. However, there have also existed plenty of occultists who didn’t even call themselves “Luciferians,” but who nevertheless were “Luciferian” in the sense of making favorable references to a being that they called “Lucifer.” In most though not all cases, this “Lucifer” is indeed quite distinct from “Satan.”
Here is a far-from-exhaustive list.
There are some modern Gnostics who revere a “Lucifer” very distinct from what they call “Satan.” For some examples, see The Gnostic Lucifer – An Informal Discussion and Lucifer, the liberator. Their view of Lucifer seems to be based on an ancient Ghostic interpretation of the serpent in the Garden of Eden myth, as found in some ancient Gnostic Scriptures such as The Testimony of Truth and The Hypostasis of the Archons. For more information, see The Genesis Factor by Stephan A. Hoeller.
There are also plenty of modern occultists, not necessarily Gnostic in their worldview, who have revered a “Lucifer.” Here are some examples:
- The books The Pillars of Dubal Cain by Nigel Jackson and Michael Howard and The Book of Fallen Angels by Michael Howard.
- The 1975 article Wiccan-Pagan Potpourri by Gwen Thompson, originally published in Green Egg, Vol. III. No. 69 (Ostara 1975). This article has been credited with popularizing the Wiccan Rede among Wiccans, according to Shea Thomas. Note that “Wiccan-Pagan Potpourri” expresses a Gnostic-derived theology which, as far as I can tell, is not typical of Wiccans or other modern Pagans.
- An old Feri tradition website, now available only on the Internet archive, with a page listing names of the “Blue God” — these names include Lucifer and even Shaitan. The Feri pantheon also includes the “Guardians of Feri”, who are identified with the Nephilim (the half-human children of the fallen “sons of God” mentioned in the Bible i(n Genesis 6: 2-4), and then later in the Second Temple era Book of Enoch). It should be noted, though, that there’s a disclaimer on the site saying that it does not exactly represent the teachings of Victor Anderson himself.
The Feri tradition (also known as the Faery or Faerie tradition), founded by Victor Anderson, was very influential in the development of modern neo-Pagan Witchcraft. For example, Starhawk, author of several Wiccan books that were popular in the 1980’s, was trained in the Feri tradition. But it should be noted that at least some Feri tradition people, like most neo-Pagan Witches in general, distance themselves from the name “Lucifer” (and even more so from “Satan”). See, for example, How’s Lucifer connected to the Blue God? What’s the meaning of Lucifer in Feri tradition? on a Feri FAQ page by Valerie Walker. However, this page on that same site recommends The Lucifer(a) Research Group.
To whatever extent the Feri tradition can be said to be “Luciferian,” it’s very different from Gnostic-style Luciferianism. The Feri tradition features an ecstatic reverence for Nature, in contrast to the Gnostic view of the natural world as an evil trap for human souls.
The first highly-publicized form of Wicca was Gardnerian Wicca, one of whose sources is apparently Charles G. Leland’s book Aradia: Gospel of the Witches, which contains numerous favorable references to a “Lucifer”: see, for example, this chapter. (See also the Wikipedia article on Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches.)
There were also lots of favorable references to a “Lucifer” in writings by occultists of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Here are just a few of what are probably many examples:
- Helena P. Blavatsky (founder of Theosophy): See
this page (anong many others) in The Secret Doctrine
- Éliphas Lévi: see this page in The Paradoxes of the Highest Science
- Manly P. Hall: See this page in The Secret Teachings of All Ages