Anton Szandor LaVey, Satanist

By Virginia Reyer

hough he claimed that LaVey was his real name, he was born Howard Stanton Levey on April 11, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, Lat. 41ºN51’, long. 87ºW39’ CST at 3:10 AM. Occupation: writer, public speaker, Satanic priest.

His parents were Gertrude Augusta Coulton and Michael Levey, a liquor distributor from Omaha, Nebraska. The family relocated to San Francisco Bay area and later to Globe, Arizona. LaVey had musical ability and, encouraged by his family, tried his hand at various instruments, especially the pipe organ and the calliope. He dropped out of high school to join the circus and carnivals. A man of many interests, he also dabbled as a psychic investigator.

LaVey met and married 15-year-old Carole Lansing in 1951 and she bore him his first daughter, Karla LaVey. They divorced in 1960 when he became entranced with Diane Hagarty. He never married her but they lived together and she bore his second daughter, Zeena Galatea LaVey in 1963. They separated in the mid-1980s. Afterwards he lived with Blanche Barton, with whom he had a son, Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey, born November 1, 1993. The three women in his life – Barton and his two daughters – became high priestesses of the Church of Satan.

LaVey spent most of his career in San Francisco. On Walpurgisnacht (April 30, 1966), an annual event when witches romp about, LaVey ritualistically shaved his head and declared the founding of the Church of Satan. He further declared 1966 as “Year One” of the Age of Satan. He performed Satanic weddings, the first one for journalist John Raymond and New York socialite Judith Case on February 1, 1967. He performed Satanic baptisms and funerals and released a record album entitled The Satanic Mass. His visibility increased with the publication of several books, (The Satanic Bible, The Compleat Witch (later The Satanic Witch), The Satanic Rituals), and he became the subject of numerous articles in the news media, including popular magazines. He appeared on talk shows and attracted a number of well-known associates and allies, including celebrities.

In 1971, LaVey moved into his parents’ house at 6114 California Street in San Francisco. This infamous house, painted black with red ceilings, became the headquarters of the Church of Satan. The church’s membership never exceeded 300.

Anton LaVey died on October 29, 1997 and was succeeded as head of the church by his daughters, Karla and Blanche Barton.

With 23º56’ Aquarius on the ascendant, Anton LaVey was determined to remain independent and free, with a wait-and-see attitude. He had good powers of observation and the capacity for sudden action at the right moment. He was fond of organ music, and had acting and dramatic ability. He had the power to express ideals and to create in terms of human behavior; he showed creativity in relationships, marriage, wishes and hopes, and ties through friendships.

Uranus, the planet of revolution and change, is located at 11º 53’ Aries, giving him freedom to act in his own way and follow his own ideas in a blunt and outspoken way. Restlessness and instability are the strongest characteristics. Intellectual interests fascinated him. Uranus, his leading planet, is at the end of the first house conjunct the second, giving unsettled finances. His other ruler, Saturn, squares Uranus. Both rulers are very powerful, give few friends, favor drastic innovations and lack of common sense.

The East Point, Eq, is rising at 6º 59’ Pisces. It functions as another way of contacting others. Transits to this point indicate meetings out in the public with interaction and relationships with others. The Eq is intercepted, making contact with others difficult and giving unsatisfied ambitions.

Mars at 19º 38’ Pisces in the first house is also intercepted. This is a weak position, for Mars indicates lack of strength and tends to act in secret. It helps artistic and musical expression. The interception here shows that he is working on self-improvement through partnerships and marriage. Mars conjunct the anti-vertex means he is opinionated, dominates his gang, can be aggressive, and his emotions pass quickly into action.

Jupiter at 13º 30’ Gemini is in detriment. He has his own conception of conduct and religion. With Sagittarius on the MC, he was a clergyman, professionally teaching his religious beliefs. The Jupiter/Saturn midpoint is 27º Pisces, opposite the Moon: a religious and occult leader. Vertex square Jupiter: extravagance, misjudgment, the start of new undertakings. Vertex at 14º 23’ Virgo and anti-vertex at 14º 23’ Pisces gives self-conceit and excessive expression of feelings. He loved conflict, was dogmatic and venturesome, an extremist with anti-social conduct. He expected too much from others. Jupiter gave a mental fixation of his religious beliefs.

Vertex and anti-vertex are intercepted: romantic frustration motivated from an unconscious level, difficulties working with the public and with others. He was anxious to attract attention. This can make contacts difficult. Vertex relates to group activities.

Sun quincunx Moon: relationships with women and the public are difficult. Sun at 20º 45’ Aries has a leading, urging nature and constructiveness for secure circumstances in life. The Sun conjunct Baten Kaitos, a star, is active, adventurous, and determined. Mercury at 1º 21’ Taurus is opinionated and gives one-sided views and an interest in occultism. Mercury/Uranus = Sun has an overzealous character, premature action and haste, but it does give the power to influence others through intuition. Sun square Pluto is forceful and domineering, with a desire to make people over; there is too much self-confidence. It has a deep-rooted inferiority complex.

Pluto in 17º 28’ Cancer has a domestic concern. Pluto conjunct his own north node brings unions or associations by particular circumstances of his own destiny, has a karmic link. Pluto is also conjunct the north node of Saturn, giving him the urge to seek contact with many people. Saturn opposite Pluto has karmic problems with adverse conditions of mass destiny; it requires regeneration. Saturn at 11º 48’ Capricorn is a degree that rules religion, and it is conjunct Pelagus-Sagitarii, a star, has a religious tendency. It is hard-working with a concentration on the personal self. Saturn is an index of his Destiny or Fate, and it is very powerful, being stationary at birth. It turned Rx when he was 10 and stayed Rx for the rest of his life. Jupiter at 22º North and Saturn at 22º South are contraparallel in declination; he encounters obstacles. Saturn trine Chiron gives opportunities for self-discovery.

Moon at 26º 22’ Virgo intercepted gives a critical attitude. Moon rules the 5th and 6th houses; it gives a fluctuating state of health influenced by his emotions; inherited health conditions. Powers of regeneration and recuperation are slow. Eclipse of the Moon at age 2 and of the Sun at age 18. Moon and Saturn are 105º apart; this is an inner, occult aspect. He was a loner and self-motivated. Seeking inner strength with religious differences, LaVey felt he had the basics of a new religion.

On Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966, he formally initiated the Church of Satan. Walpurgis night is named after Saint Walpurga, who was born in Wessex, Europe, in 710 and died in February 779. She was the daughter of a Saxon prince and became a nun and abbess and later was declared a saint. Her saint day is May 1, a day associated with earlier pagan rituals, and according to legend witches and other such folk were allowed to revel during the night of April 30 until banished by the dawning light of Saint Walpurga’s day.

Anton LaVey died in the morning of October 29, 1997 in St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco of pulmonary edema. His body was cremated and his ashes were eventually divided amongst his heirs, on the assumption that they had occult powers and could be used for acts of Satanic ritual magic. LaVey was America’s Satanic Master of Devils, Magic, Music and Madness. LaVey’s grandson, born in 1978, was named “Stanton Zaharoff” in LaVey’s honor.