From the Oak: Let’s hear it for the God!
Many are those that focus on female divinities, leaving male divinities in the shadows if they get mentioned at all. This is a shame. Here I will share my thoughts, stories and prayers on male divinities. Currently focusing on divinities placed in an atheist "graveyard".
The Contentious "Bearer of Light"
This is next divinity from the Atheist’s graveyard (#20) is one that I really was not looking forward to researching, more less writing. Add in my long and repeated bouts of insomnia just to make things more…interesting. Lucifer. The word means ‘bearer of light’, a Latin translation of the Hebrew and Greek words for ‘morning star’, otherwise known as the planet Venus. He is the Devil of the Christians, a god of Venus to the Greeks and Romans and a deity of enlightenment to the Luciferians to only name a few.
For the most part, I’m not going to cover the Christian (or even Satanic) view point as most of us have heard plenty about him from them (Although there is a very interesting article from Smithsonian, “Who the Devil is the Devil? By Robert Wernick, Oct 1999, about 8 pages long. An excerpt of the article can be found here). I do want to point out a few tidbits that caught my eye. Did you know in some translations of the bible, the name Lucifer isn't even mentioned? And when the name is used, it refers most likely to Nebuchadnezzar, a king of the Babylonians who exiled the Jews. Kings take grandiose titles. One of his titles was probably “Morning Star”. The Lucifer as a name became popular in the King James Bible, which isn’t exactly known for its honest translation, just its lovely prose. So the demonization of Lucifer seems to be a combination of bad translations, taking things out of context and zealous tradition that caused Lucifer to be equated with Satan (which literally means adversary). See “Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12-17: Translation and Ideology by Dennis Bratcher for more details. From here, Lucifer came to be associated with the adversary of almost every monist religion.
In the Hellenic belief system, there is a god named Eosphoros or Phosphoros whose name in Latin is Luciferus or Lucifer, the Dawn-Bringer. He is portrayed on vases as a youthful man, either winged, holding a torch crowned with a starry aureole or as a bust surrounded by a shining orb. He is the personification of the planet Venus when it appears before the sunrise and considered the son of Eos (Aurora), goddess of the dawn. Phosphorus is also the epithet of Artemis (aka Diana Lucifera), Eos and Hekate (Hecate).
There is also the Lucifer of the Luciferians. While it appears to be a very individualistic religion, Lucifer is described as a divinity who aids the seeker in finding enlightenment within themselves. He is spiritual and carnal, light and darkness, moderation over extremes. Luciferians consider themselves to be different from Satanists, saying that Satanists are overly focused on reacting against Christianity. While others say Lucifer and Satan are two sides of the same coin…the helper and the adversary, spiritual-focus vs. physical-focus, balance vs. extremism. There are also Gnostic Luciferians who acknowledge the Gnostic Jesus (whereas Traditional and Modern Luciferians do not), some of whom associate Lucifer with Prometheus (possibly along with some Freemasons). Like I said, a highly individualistic belief system, rather like Paganism in that regard, eh?
The subject of Lucifer is a highly charged one. A fallen angel, an enlightened divinity and morning star are only a few of the possible associations with the name. If you are curious for more information, the Wikipedia article on Lucifer is probably a good starting point. Writing of this article fulfills part of my vow.
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