grandmother was a strict Christian, preaching hellfire for any transgression. I
can vividly remember how her religion frightened me. If we had to spend all out
lives paying blackmail to this supernatural being so that he wouldn’t throw us
into Hell when we died, what was the point of living?

I am very sensitive to cold, I think Hell would have frightened me more if it
had been portrayed in Arctic conditions.

I was
thirteen when I decided that, since the Christian god’s demands were
unreasonable, I was not going to waste any more time trying to comply with
them. So I had better sign up with the other side.

painted white candles black. The centrepiece of my altar was a small wooden
cross which my grandmother had insisted I keep in my bedroom; it easily lifted
out from its base and was re-inserted the other way around. Regarding a blood
sacrifice, the only living things available would have been insects, and a
spider or a butterfly seemed a meagre offering. I don’t think that, at that
early age, I had logically figured out the invalidity of blood sacrifice, but,
for practical reasons, the only blood would be my signature on my Oath to

I was in
too much of a hurry to wait for an astrologically suitable date, not that I had
much ability to calculate one. At least the moon was waning. I prepared my
Oath, on best-quality writing paper as parchment was not available; composed my
prayers and invocations to My Lord Satan; sharpened and sterilised my penknife;
made sure that there was sticking-plaster available in case I cut too deep; and
waited for midnight.

I had
not expected any manifestations, no smell of brimstone (I wouldn’t have
recognised it anyway) – but I can well remember the feeling of freedom. Freedom
from the oppressive religion that had been inflicted on me; freedom from fear.
At that age, naturally, I believed in Lucifer as a personified supernatural
being. I did not realise that the response had been in my own self; that a part
of my mind which in many people never awakens had been stirred so early in my
life. I could not foresee that my quest for truth would lead me along so many
strange paths, but at that time I was content. Lucifer had responded to my
appeal and He would help me.

Next day
my grandmother was remonstrating about my frequent visits to the cinema. For
the first time, her scolding amused rather than harassed me. If entertainment
was “sinful” and actors were “agents of the Devil, leading people astray”, I
should be in very pleasant company. I imagined inviting Kirk Douglas and John
Wayne (not at the same time, of course," to my palace in Hell. Naturally I
would qualify for a palace.. I was going to be Lucifer’s High Priestess.

I confidently waited for my grandmother to
have a heart attack. She didn’t. As I came to realise, Our Lord is never so
predictable. What actually happened was that, four days after I became a
Priestess of Lucifer, my grandmother had a bitter quarrel with the local parson
and never went to chapel again.

I still
have the scar, though it is very faint, of my blood-pledge to Lucifer. I also
still have the penknife and that same penknife saved my life a few years later,
when it was the only weapon I had with which to resist a criminal attack. I
would have kept my inverted cross, but it got woodworm.

So that
was my fairly orthodox start in Satanism. It rapidly got more complicated and,
if the Editor will allow me a page or two in future editions, I will continue
the sage of the teenage Satanist.

From the Dark Lily Journal No 1, Society of Dark Lily
(London 1987).