I was listening to some Mercyful Fate the other day, and when I heard “The Oath” from their 1984 album, Don’t Break the Oath, it reminded me of all the times the Tonester and I ever thrashed to this song together out in the woods back in the 2000s. The lyrics of this song are partially adapted from Dennis Wheatley‘s 1960 novel, The Satanist, which features a so-called “black mass.”
I’ve always had a confusing relationship with “the satanic.” I am often accused of “worshiping the devil” by Christians, but even other Pagans have reacted to me in similar ways, because they fear and misunderstand Set. I have also met Satanists who consider me a comrade because they think Satan and Set are the same dude. So from the very start of my journey, being conceptualized as a “Satanist” has always been an issue I’ve had to deal with in one way or another. I’ve mellowed out on this subject over the years, especially since learning of Set’s associations with Yahweh and Jesus Christ in Gnostic and Hermetic literature. But thanks to how I grew up, I still have a tendency to translate “Satan” into “Set” in my brain sometimes when I see or hear it, and listening to Mercyful Fate the other day was no exception. As I headbanged to “The Oath,” I found myself “fixing” the lyrics in my head like this:
And here is the original Mercyful Fate song that started all of this, in case anyone might like to hear it.