Originally published in The Black Flame; December, LI A.S. – https://tmblr.co/Zw4acx2FtI18j
Magic is the bloodstream of the universe. Forget all you know, or think you know.
All that you require is your intuition.
– High Aldwin; Willow, 1988
I found myself paralysed. I was physically and emotionally paralyzed with marvel as I watched the M1A1 Abrams tank fire it’s first round downrange and the atmosphere itself react. I could see the soundwaves of the burst as it rippled out from the cannon, spreading in all directions through space-time. Passing by and crashing against everything around it. Moving everything lacking the strength to resist its inertia. I was paralyzed because I had seen this before. It was a familiar though otherworldly experience that flashed in front of my eyes, as memories tend to do when the right chord is struck.
Life of Agony’s River Runs Red album was blaring on my stereo. It was dark despite the candles I had lit and placed around my room. This was my first custom Satanic Ritual, a form of a Satanic Baptism that I needed in that moment. My parents kicked me out of the house months earlier. My father who I had just reconnected with, rebuked and rejected me for being a Satanist, for being me! I was invited to stay with a few friends in their roach infested duplex that butted up against the railroad tracks. Every few hours a train would remind you of your misery as it screamed by. It had taken weeks to paint the life sized four crowned princes on my west facing wall. This was my only true family.
Some people want to sell their soul to the Devil for earthly delights. I wanted to stand with them. I already saw my future, and it was something I could achieve on my own, but to open the gates of Hell itself and be greeted as a brother and friend, well that was everything to me. After the album ended, I turned on J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The organ pierced through me. The atmosphere reacted to the music. It was as if the smoke from the candles and the music together were the key needed to open a rift in space-time itself, and in that moment, standing naked with lines of blood running down my arms and chest, paint and blood staining my fingers, I could feel the music course through me, I could see the sound as it hit my body and rippled away. I closed my eyes, reciting the Invocation to Satan with my back to my painting and the gates opened. I stepped back until I passed the threshold and stopped as I stood beside my brothers, the only family that I would know for years that would truly accept me for who I was, not in spite of it. It was that moment that I knew I was a Satanic Warlock.
I had always been driven to the concepts of magic. I collected tomes that purported to instruct you in it’s mastery and mysteries. I quickly discovered perspective and personal experience seemed to be the end result of it all. That is, until I read The Satanic Bible. Satanic Magic was more than just your personal experience or your own shift in perspective. It is, as defined by Anton Szandor LaVey:
“The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable.”
This seemed both an impossible probability and a thrilling possibility. I had lived with the ideas of magic for so long, and had been burnt by my gullibility and ignorance to the reality of nature so many times, that I couldn’t accept the definition at face value. There was no internet at this time, and I had no contact with other Satanists to ask questions, so my only option was to experiment.
I would spend three years practicing Lesser and Greater Magic with success after success before I joined the Church of Satan and four years before I would interact with other Satanists to any degree. I was stunned when I discovered that some Satanists who claim to have Lesser Magic success or mastery didn’t even practice or believe in Greater Magic! I didn’t, and if I am being honest, still don’t understand how you can be a Satanist, practice half of Satanic Magic and completely disregard the other half of it. And that is when I realised that most Satanists I had met, didn’t see it as Satanic Magic that contained two categories that complemented and informed each other; rather, they saw it as Satanic Greater Magic unto itself and Satanic Lesser Magic unto itself.
This was such a foreign way of thinking to me, as I saw everything in Satanic philosophy, everything in The Satanic Bible being built on and informing each other. There were no isolated principles, essays or ideas. I understand that every Satanist is different, and that the only thing every Satanist is connected by is the religion as outlined in The Satanic Bible, but this is half of that book! Half of the text that defines the religion they claimed to see themselves in, was ignored or outright rejected. While this confounds me to this day, I accept that while we all perceive reality differently (my Drill Sergeant would say “Perception is 9/10 of Reality”), it’s their understanding of Satanic Magic, the individual’s lack of success, confidence or willingness to fail or experiment that drives this disbelief or rejection.
While I cannot address the latter, I can and will address the former. The Satanic Bible is broken into four books. Each representing both a natural element and a Crowned Prince of Hell. The third book is called (Earth) -Book of Belial- The Mastery of the Earth. It is here where Satanic Magic is defined in the first chapter titled Theory and Practice of Satanic Magic (Definition and Purpose of Lesser and Greater Magic). Satanic Magic is “the change in situations or events in accordance with one will…” It is after this that LaVey defined the two categories of Satanic Magic, Lesser and Greater. Greater Magic’s main function is to “isolate the otherwise dissipated adrenal and other emotionally induced energy, and convert it into a dynamically transmittable force.” Lesser Magic “consists of the wile and guile obtained through various devices and contrived situations, which when utilized, can create ‘change, in accordance with one’s will.’”
Did you catch that? Satanic Magic is defined by “The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will…” and the only category of Satanic Magic that addresses that directly is Lesser Magic! This is the exact opposite understanding of the majority of Satanists I have met who champion Greater Magic. So this raises a question: Did they read The Satanic Bible? I am sure they have, but there are many Satanists online and offline that try and switch the definitions of Greater and Lesser to fit the discussion or their understanding. Hell, I have even found myself doing this!
If we are to properly understand the complexities of Satanic Magic, I do not believe we can reject half of it outright. But more, we must accept and understand its categories definitions, purposes and uses. I will briefly discuss both categories but before I do we must meet on this singular understanding: Greater Magic is not receptive to intellectual deconstruction. That is the arena of Lesser Magic. This is at it’s core the single most important point of confusion for detractors or the dismissive. This will be explained further but for now, let’s start with the Special Forces of Satanic Magic, Lesser Magic.
I call it the Special Forces of Satanic Magic because you rarely see it in action, and it is absolutely precise and effective. This is the ‘on the ground’ form of Satanic magic. Lesser Magic is expressed generally in two ways as outlined in The Satanic Bible: Fascination, Glamour. Lesser Magic can help you blend in or stand out in a crowd. It can turn a stranger into a lover or a lover into a stranger.
The single most important skill in successfully performing Lesser Magic is confidence. Confidence is born out of an understanding of oneself and experience. This is the key to unlocking your true potential as a Satanic Warlock. You cannot expect to alter yourself for your target if you do not know what you need to alter, or how far you are removed from your desired transformation.
Once you have confidence within yourself, you need to master the LOOK. As The Satanic Bible states:
“To manipulate a person, you must first be able to attract and hold his attention.”
The LOOK isn’t just in reference to you gazing at and holding the gaze from your target, it is also how YOU look. Every Satanist knows personal aesthetics are an integral way of expressing yourself, but it needs to be interesting to your target(s) as well. LaVey outlined three categories of mastering the LOOK through Sex, Sentiment or Wonder. I will not go into detail with each, as it is brilliantly outlined in The Satanic Bible. I will say that we all fall into one or more of these categories, depending on how we wish to be perceived.
Recognizing your humanity, man is just an animal after all, is essential to Lesser Magic. We are carnal and emotional creatures. If you want to be remembered, if you want to make an emotional impact you must direct your wiles to all of the senses. Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste and Sound. We have discussed sight, let’s move on to smell. LaVey discusses this in detail. I will only add that though we can entice and inspire with odor, it is far too easy to go overboard and offend. If that is not your intention, you must take care, and experiment with the strength of any odor you use. The sweet smell of strawberries in your hair may draw your target in, but prolonged exposure to its intensity can quickly turn the moment sour.
Taste is the companion to smell. They don’t always need to live in harmony, many successful cooks can tell you the juxtaposition of flavors is just as exciting as a fully formed singular flavor. But as with odor, it can be just as offensive if your technique is lacking. Every woman I have tasted, is different. And every part of them, tastes differently. It can be exciting to explore a body, allowing your taste to guide you, but we must allow our targets the same experience. As humans we react to different tastes and they inform our perception. Salty sweat can be enticing if it is from hard work or exercise but not if it’s from your brining in a hot car during a commute. Your perception of an individual informs your interpretation of their tastes as well. If a gorgeous woman tastes bitter between her thighs she will begin to look less attractive to you. However if a homely girl is salty sweet, you will begin to see her true inner beauty! I will close this discussion point by saying if you use a perfume or cologne to enhance your smell, it may be offensive to taste, so bear that in mind as you apply that scent.
I am a tactile animal, and there are few sensations I love more than feeling a woman’s pubic hair on my skin as I slide down her, exploring her tastes. I am driven mad by the sensation of a stiffened nipple on my palm. Gently sliding my fingers down the small of a woman’s back and feeling her curves grow into an ample behind. Your skin will be explored and you will explore others so you need to take care of it! Grooming yourself to a degree can be inviting, but too much, it can turn you into an inhuman mannequin. Smooth skin is exciting, and the gritty tuft of hair around your groin can be dirty-good. As a magician, you must know what your target prefers, and groom or moisturize appropriately. A note about makeup: This can help enhance or completely mask your natural looks. Never wear so much as to prevent someone from exploring your skin with their mouth or hands. There are few things worse than returning from a kiss and being caked in her base. Ironically, a little lipstick on your lips can actually be quite enticing.
We have natural sounds that we may not be aware of. The whistle in your nose if it is not clear. The breathing through your mouth if it is open. Being in control of your bodily sounds can give you that extra leg up on a target. But the sounds are not always emanating from your natural body. It could be fabric rubbing against itself or a squeak in a shoe. Environmental sounds are a consideration as well. The sound of a train in the distance can be romantic, but right next to you and it’s offensive. Atmospheric music is great, but if you want to get close and move, perhaps a live show would be better. Being in control is great, but we also must be able to roll with the accidents. An ill timed fart or burp can be embarrassing or a moment of natural humor. It is up to you to decide which. Our mouths make sounds as do our other parts when being explored, as with everything in Satanism, you cannot take those sounds too seriously as to ruin a moment or experience.
There are many other devices and environmental factors that fall outside of this discussions focus. We must master ourself before we can attempt to master others. If you want to be effective in you life, you must be the master of it. Every Satanist should continually use Lesser Magic as it is our first line of action in making the change we desire manifest itself.
There is no scientific formula for Greater Magic Ritual success, this is a purely emotional pursuit. Further points of confusion to this end for Greater Magic lie in its definition and purpose. The sole point of conducting Greater Magic Rituals is to come to some form of resolution, be it Lust, Compassion or Destruction. The means to that end is detailed in its definition “… isolate the otherwise dissipated adrenal and other emotionally induced energy, and convert it into a dynamically transmittable force.”
If the way to meet success of a ritual is to convert your energy into a transmitted force, certainly there is some formula right? If I am creating a force, is that force not making change in the world as stated in the Satanic Magic definition? If we are not supposed to intellectualize the act, why perform it at all? If my created force is not the change agent to my desires, why is it defined as such?
The aforementioned questions are THE problem. Greater Magic is purely an emotional act. That’s it. It’s never meant to be analysed. The act of breaking it down defeats the purpose! If you read the second chapter in the Book of Belial: The Three Types of Satanic Ritual, LaVey clearly outlines the intended use and effects of each. But there is a common theme throughout…. The target is the one doing everything, not you! This is of course assuming you are targeting someone else. If you are the target, you would naturally be the one reacting. How do you know if your force effects the target? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you got out, what you needed to get out. If you see success, recognize it within yourself. If you don’t see success, stop looking for it! You should’ve moved past it after the ritual. It’s not about effecting others as much as it is about effecting yourself. If you want to make immediate and recognizable change, use Lesser Magic.
The Greater Magic Ritual space is referred to as a decompression chamber. It is here where you generate, direct and unleash those emotional energies LaVey was speaking to. There should be a satisfying cathartic experience at the end. You should have decompressed yourself of the emotions that have been hindering you in life. This is not to say some truly magical experiences cannot be had in the Ritual Chamber. We don’t suspend our disbelief within for nothing. Because this is a purely emotional experience, and our brains have a funny way of reacting to stimuli, we can have those truly magical moments without having to examine or explain them. In the same way that I had spoken to my deceased friend from years before, walked through a portal in space time to the very gates of Hell and stood with the four crowned princes, I have called upon demons to mercy kill a friends suffering father. Each experience was as real for me in that moment as typing these words are now. If perception truly is 9/10 of reality, we have near absolute control over our reality.
It is this perspective that has guided me in life, and allowed me to master it and those around me. It has informed how I experience life in general. It is how I can watch the explosive energy of a tank and connect it with a ritual experience from years before. The power is the same, as it comes from the same source. Man. We created machines, and we create our experiences. It is our imagination that inspires and informs both, and both have the capacity to destroy everything in its path. I do not see Greater Magic Ritual as an end, or final act. Rather, I see it as a tool. I can use it to help or hinder, to give love or to destroy. It is as much a part of my life as my profession, as both are expressions of my deepest passions.The best part is, I don’t have to explain any of it. It just is. I accept it for what it is and what it does, and whether anyone else accepts or rejects my experiences is irrelevant.
I know this can be frustrating to understand, especially when you read or hear about other’s Greater Magic Successes. But you must stay focused on your life, your successes, your happiness. Before you enter your Ritual Chamber, ask yourself: Why are you performing a ritual? What do YOU need to get out of it? Is a Greater Magic Ritual the best method of obtaining it? The answers will be different every time, and on occasion may lead to the use of Lesser over Greater Magic. There is no snake oil or cure all in life, and Satanic Magic certainly isn’t meant to be either. It is simply a tool that when used wisely, can help you navigate through the life you have chosen to lead.
None of this is to say a Satanist must perform, consider or acknowledge Greater Magic. It has been stated many times by the Administration that it is up to the individual, but until you have picked-up and tested the tool, you can’t be certain that it won’t be of use. I wanted to address this because I have received many confused questions from individuals over the years and I believe my perspective gained through experience may be worth consideration. I highly recommend you read and re-read The Satanic Bible yourself, and whatever understanding you come to, I trust that you might learn to both enjoy and respect Satanic Magic as an essential tool for every Satanist as I do. Hail Satan!