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(un)Holy Elevation, Batman!

    (Although I am a member, I do not speak for The Church of Satan)

    Well, there's nothing "holy" about what I am going to discuss today but there will be plenty of infernal things to talk about! And it won't require me to dress up like the Boy Wonder to do it. (I don't look good in green undies, anyway) No, today I will discuss elevation, promotion, moving ahead, moving up, climbing the hellish ladder, or any other analogy which I can use to drop the news that--as of writing this piece--I am officially a Warlock in The Church of Satan.
    It came as a complete surprise, but a welcomed one, and it could not have come at a better time! Much like many others the world over--times have been tough. The air around me has been heavy, with a sense of unease and although I have been doing peachy-keen personally, those I dearly care about have not been doing so great. While dealing with the sympathy pains, this "disturbance in the force," was beginning to weigh me down, like an anchor to a degree. 
    I have been staying busy but this world is tough and sometimes feels (at least to me) that it is on fire. While going to my mailbox, I found an envelope and when I saw who it was from, I almost felt as if my bowels were going to void themselves as my heart skipped a beat. A mail call from the administration is always a welcome reprieve from the muck and mire of the mundane--like a letter from a friend that you do not hear from often. 
    My hands trembled, my eyes widened, and a dumbass smile was painted across my face. I wanted to hurry to open it, to see what was inside, but I wanted to build anticipation. I wanted this moment to be right. So when I got home, I popped open my favorite ale and tore at the edges of the envelope with slow burning movement as if building to a crescendo. When the inevitable opening finally took place, the revelation brought forth, the final fig leaf yanked from my loins, there was a degree. My warlock certificate was in my hands and I had to do everything I could to stop from screaming like a schoolgirl hopped up on helium. 
    I can hear some of the detractors (let's call them what they truly are, haters) sneering and chiding that "So what? it's just a piece of paper!" There you guys go again, why you gotta be a player-hater? On any other day, I would just give a snide remark back in my third spoken language of sarcasm, but you folks have found me in a good mood. So, for friends and foes alike, I will explain just why this "piece of paper" is so important to me. 
    Think of your day-to-day life and how some "pieces of paper" are very, very important to you. If you are happily married, that certificate matters to you and the family you have created because it is of utmost importance. How about those of you that have worked hard to obtain a degree of sorts and have landed a great job because of that degree--is that not a piece of paper? And the final example, the most almighty of them all--money! If you believe that a piece of paper holds no value, then by all means I will take those useless green pieces of paper out of your hands, you clearly cry out to be relieved of them! 
    But the degrees in the Church of Satan work in a different manner from those I mentioned above. Unlike other "pieces of paper" a degree of elevation from the Church of Satan is less of a means to an end and more of a badge of honor allowing the Satanist in question to indulge in one of our favorite sins--pride. And believe me, I am nothing but proud upon receiving it.
    I'm proud because, in spite of my rough upbringing, I have risen above it and worked hard at my goals and achieved them. I found a religion that rewards hard work and does not demand those who join it to toil "for the greater good" and gives props when achievements are made. I am elated because instead of fake humility, rational pride in reaching goals is recognized--which is huge for anyone who is disgusted at a world that shames those for--at the very least--trying to achieve some sense of excellence. The degree system in Satanism is an elixir for the poison of the societal expectation of lowering oneself for the sake of the mediocre collective. 
    But one of the other reasons why I cherish this, a reason why I went down the path of active membership, to begin with, is not just my own achievements. I wanted to give back to the religion which has changed my life for the better, to put the sweat of my brow to the Church that--for the first time in my life--I actually wanted to attend! It's my way of giving back to the Doktor, the man who if he were still with us I would shake his hand profusely in thanks. 
    With all self-back patting aside, I believe it is also worth giving a word of caution to anyone else who wishes to go down this road. If anyone reading this thinks for a second that any and all degree elevation will give you an infernal passport to lording it over others--please refrain. In fact, leave the church now. To lord it over others would be the height of pretentiousness and if you can't deliver the goods to inspire others to follow you then you clearly lack the skills to do anything of good for Satanism. This should be common sense but, as many of you may know, common sense is not so common so warnings are still required. 
    A degree, whichever level it may be, does not give you the right to bully, berate, browbeat, bash, or otherwise be boorish, bossy, baleful, or bastardly--if you think so, then you have another thing coming. Jockeying for a position and utilizing said position to be a tyrant is the kind of thing the Doktor would disapprove of because that is something that the white-lighters do while cowardly flashing their good guy badges. If you're a Satanist, I think you know where you stand.
    To those who have been elevated, I salute you and wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors. May we all move ever forward with vital existence as our guide and the black flame in our hearts. 

Hail Satan!






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