For someone first getting into Satanism, it might be difficult to understand all of the symbols and imagery we use. There are a lot of different symbols and sigils that are commonly associated with Satanism – some of them directly, others not so much. It can be hard to find quality sources for anyone looking to learn, so I compiled my own list of my favorite Satanic symbols. All of them are also featured on episode 30 of the podcast Black Mass Appeal, so if you want a more in-depth discussion, I encourage you to check it out!
Sigil of Baphomet
This is a symbol I’ve covered before in a previous article, but to recap, Baphomet was an idol/deity the Templars were accused of worshiping when the powers that be at the time decided that the order had outlived its usefulness. A long time after their persecution, an occultist by the name of Stanislas de Guaita created a sigil that was meant to represent iniquity, perdition, and blasphemy. Even later, the Church of Satan modified it and adopted their modified version as their logo. Many modern Satanists see Baphomet and the sigil associated with him as symbols of enlightenment and balance.
A lot of “educated” folks will claim that the inverted cross is a Christian symbol rather than a Satanic one. To be fair, they’re not entirely wrong. The inverted cross, also known as St. Peter’s cross, did originate in Christianity. The story goes that when St. Peter was set to be executed, he asked to be crucified upside down. He felt he wasn’t worthy to die in the same manner as Christ, and apparently, he figured that if he was going to die anyway he may as well be extra about it.
Nowadays, movies and pop culture have commandeered this symbol to represent evil or demonic activity. The inverted cross is a perfect example of how symbols have only the meaning we assign them and how those meanings can change over time.
Although the Leviathan cross is a symbol that’s been around for a long time, it’s only been associated with Satanism for about sixtyish years. It was originally used in alchemy to represent sulfur. Which has nothing to do with Satanism.
Turns out, Anton Lavey appears to be the first to use the Leviathan cross in any way related to Satanism, though I’m not sure if there’s any real meaning to it beyond that it was a cool-looking symbol to pepper amongst the pages of his Satanic Bible. If we really, really want more meaning than that, we could always say that the association with sulfur and brimstone could represent someone or something belonging to hell. But that’s a stretch, and I think the symbol looking cool is reason enough to adopt it.
Sigil of Lucifer
The sigil of Lucifer isn’t as well known as some of the other symbols in this article, but it looks just as cool as the Leviathan cross. As we know, Lucifer is Latin for “bringer of light,” and if we’re using light as a metaphor for knowledge as it often is, that’s exactly what he does in the mythology. I personally would argue that Lucifer doesn’t exactly bring knowledge – he just encourages us to take it for ourselves. The sigil first appeared in the 16th-century Italian grimoire Grimoirium Verum, and in occult practices, it is meant to aid in the visual invocation of Lucifer.
Aside from the inverted cross, the pentacle and the pentagram are probably the most recognizable “Satanic” symbols out there. Like the inverted cross, neither the pentacle nor the pentagram started out as Satanic – they were just symbols commonly used in witchcraft and occult practices. For the most part, they are now often used interchangeably. The only real difference is that, while the pentacle is a five-pointed star on its own, the pentagram is a five-pointed star enclosed in a circle. Both symbols are mostly associated with Wicca and other neopagan religions, but many Satanists have adopted the inverted version of the symbol with a single point facing downward to differentiate from Wicca. Generally, the point facing upward represents “white” magic, while the point facing downward represents “black” magic.
Of course, these are only a few examples. There are many more I could talk about, and I would if I had the time to do all the necessary research. Maybe I’ll do a separate series covering Satanic symbols.