Luciferianism is a belief system that includes both theistic and atheistic denominations and is, therefore, heavily influenced by differing personal beliefs. Considered by many to be a religion, and by some to be a philosophy or way of life, Luciferianism as a whole has no specific dogma to which its followers adhere. Rather, it encompasses a broad range of beliefs with numerous personal variations, ranging from the veneration of a literal deity and the practice of occultism, to a secular set of principles that use mythological references as a form of symbolism and cultural tradition.
Although sometimes mistakenly associated with Satanism due to the Christian interpretation of the fallen angel, Luciferianism is a wholly different belief system and does not revere the Devil figure or most characteristics typically affixed to Satan. Rather, Lucifer in this context is seen as one of many morning stars, a symbol of enlightenment,independence and human progression, and is often used interchangeably with similar figures from a range of ancient beliefs, such as the Greek titan Prometheus or the Jewish talmudic figure Lilith.
They support the protection of the natural world. Both the arts and sciences are crucial to human development, and thus both are cherished. Luciferians think that humans should be focused on this life and how to make the most of it every single day. The ability to recognize both good and evil, to accept that all actions have consequences, both positive and negative, and to actively influence one's environment, is a key factor.
For Luciferians, enlightenment is the ultimate goal. The basic Luciferian principles highlight truth and freedom of will, worshipping the inner self and one’s ultimate potential. Traditional dogma is shunned as a basis for morality on the grounds that humans should not need deities or fear of eternal punishment to distinguish right from wrong and to do good. All ideas should be tested before being accepted, and even then one should remain skeptical because knowledge and understanding are fluid. Regardless of whether Lucifer is conceived of as a deity or as a mere archetype, he is a representation of ultimate knowledge and exploration: humanity’s savior and a champion for continuing personal growth.
Some Luciferians believe in Lucifer as an actual deity, not to be worshipped as the Judeo-Christian God but to be revered and followed as a teacher and friend, as a rescuer or guiding spirit, or even the one true god as opposed to the traditional creator of Judaism. Theistic Luciferians are followers of the Left-Hand Path and may adhere to different dogmata put forth by organizations such as the Neo-Luciferian Church or other congregations that are heavily focused on ceremonial magic, the occult and literal interpretations of spiritual stories and figures.
The Gesta Treverorum records that, in 1231, heretics began to be persecuted throughout Germany. Among them were Luciferians, principally in the Archdiocese of Trier, but also Mainz and Cologne. Over the following three years, several people were burned as a result. According to a papal letter from Gregory IX, Vox in Rama, dated from July 13, 1233, one of the claims made by the Luciferians was that Lucifer had been cast out of Heaven unjustly.
On the other hand, Richard Cavendish has argued that some evidence of Satanism may have been uncovered during these investigations into heresy: