Satanism is a set of religious and philosophical beliefs that emphasize individualism, skepticism, and the rejection of traditional moral values. This tradition rejects the notion of an external deity and instead focuses on the individual's power and potential. It is not a worship of Satan, as many believe, but rather a celebration of the self and the pursuit of personal liberation.

Satanism is often associated with the occult and magical practices, including ritual and ceremonial magic. However, not all Satanists practice magic, and not all magical practitioners identify as Satanists. The magical practices within Satanism are rooted in the same principles of individualism and self-determination that guide the overall philosophy.

One of the core principles of Satanism is the idea of the left-hand path, a term coined by occultist Helena Blavatsky in the late 19th century. The left-hand path is a spiritual path that focuses on the individual's will and desires, rather than adherence to external moral or ethical codes. This concept is central to Satanism, as it emphasizes the individual's power to shape their own reality and destiny.

Within the context of magical practice, the left-hand path is often associated with black magic or "dark" magic. However, this does not necessarily mean that Satanists engage in harmful or malevolent practices. Rather, the focus is on the individual's power to shape their own reality and influence the world around them.

Satanism also places a strong emphasis on individualism and personal freedom. This includes the freedom to explore and express one's sexuality, which is often seen as a taboo in many traditional religions. The Satanic tradition embraces sexuality as a natural and healthy expression of human desire, rather than something to be suppressed or ashamed of.

The use of ritual and ceremonial magic is another important aspect of Satanism. These practices are used to focus the individual's will and intent, and to create a space for magical energy to manifest. Rituals may involve the use of symbols, incantations, or other tools to evoke a specific outcome.

Despite the association with magic and the occult, Satanism is not a monolithic tradition. There are many different branches and schools of thought within the Satanic community, each with its own unique approach and philosophy. Some focus more on the philosophical and ethical aspects of Satanism, while others place a greater emphasis on the magical practices.

One of the most well-known branches of Satanism is the Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey in 1966. LaVey's brand of Satanism is often referred to as "LaVeyan Satanism," and places a strong emphasis on individualism and personal freedom. The Church of Satan does not believe in an external deity, but rather sees Satan as a symbol of rebellion and individuality.

Another branch of Satanism is The Satanic Temple, founded in 2013. The Satanic Temple is more political in nature, and focuses on promoting secularism and individual liberties. They have gained attention for their activism, including advocating for the separation of church and state and challenging the use of religious symbols in public spaces.

Satanism is a complex and multifaceted tradition that emphasizes individualism, skepticism, and the rejection of traditional moral values. It incorporates magical practices as a means of harnessing personal power and shaping one's reality. While often associated with the occult and black magic, Satanism is not necessarily malevolent or harmful. Rather, it is a celebration of the self and the pursuit of personal liberation.