Left-Hand Path (or LHP) is a term for categorizing religions. Left-Hand Path religions share most of the following characteristics:
  • An Agnostic view of the existence of gods and goddesses, often a Platonian-like view of gods and goddesses as "First-Forms".
  • The belief that people should strive to become as god/desses and that some (probably not all) people have the potential to do so.
  • The rejection of Karma, Divine Retribution, Threefold Law, and similar, in favor of self-determined codes of morality.
  • The goal of becoming god- or goddess-like and retaining one's isolate intelligence and identity for as long as possible.

In addition to the distinctions made above, most Left-Hand Path religions accept:
  • The possible existence of both a male and female polarity of natural forces.
  • The possible existence of more than one god.
  • That practice and knowledge, not faith, makes a Pagan.
  • That deity, internal and external, is both transcendent and immanent.
  • That a person is solely responsible for his own actions and there is no external salvation from the results of those actions.
  • That the forces of the universe can be bent to one's personal will (magick).
  • That magick is based on natural laws and works in accordance with scientific principles that cannot (yet) be explained.
  • The understanding that we are all interconnected to, and are an inseparable part of, this Earth.

Some Pagans and Satanists are considered to be Left-Hand Path. On the other hand, most Wiccans and Christians are considered to be Right-Hand Path.

The term does not seem to have distinct origins. Some people believe that the terms Right-Hand Path and Left-Hand Path and the philosophy relevant to them came from India. However, there are some who hypothesize the term came from this Biblical verse:

And he shall separate them one from another,
as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.
And he shall set the sheep on his right,
but the goats on his left.
-- Matthew 25: 32-33

Followers of the Left-Hand Path sometimes utilize the symbol of a goat or Baphomet. They sometimes refer to followers of the Right-Hand Path as sheep, implying that they exibit a "herd mentality."

Further Reading

See also: Church of Satan, Temple of Set, Luciferians

Left Hand Path is the debut album by Swedish death metal band Entombed.