Welcome back to #witchywednesday. This week I’m covering the three types of Satanic ritual, as presented in The Satanic Bible.
I will preface this section with an important fact to remember, which comes directly from the Church of Satan. “Greater Magic, which is our name for our ritual practice, is basically meant as self-transformational psychodrama. That is it serves as a means to purge oneself of unwanted emotional baggage that might be hindering a daily pursuit of joy in life. We do not require that anyone accept that it is more than this.”
A Satanist knows that self-preservation is the highest law, and that vital existence is an essential part of wellbeing. Ritual ceremonies serve the practitioner first over anyone else. Even compassion rituals have an element of self-satisfaction; a Satanist would not perform a compassion ritual if there was no benefit to them. Generally, the process of performing the ritual conjures the energy necessary to bring about real change, and allows the practitioner to express and offload any emotions around a subject through the ritual performance.
Greater magic is not going to perform miracles. “The desired goal, what we call an “Is-To-Be”, would vary based on peoples’ ability to transmit as well as receive such images as well as the likelihood of the situation towards which the magician is working.”
Now that we’re all set up with expectations, let’s dive into one of the things Satanism is most (falsely) well-known for, the sex ritual.
A sex ritual is what is commonly known as a love charm or spell. The purpose in performing such a ritual is to create desire on the part of the person whom you desire, or to summon a sex partner to fulfill your desires.p. 114
An important thing to keep in mind here is that the target of this ritual must be specific. If someone is performing this ritual in a general sense, asking ‘the universe’ to bring them a sex partner with no more specific intention, the ritual will not be successful. There must be a specific person, or type of person, targeted, someone that can “…cause direct sexual feeling culminating in orgasm” (p. 114). Otherwise, in the event that your ritual was accidentally successful, you may end up with a person that doesn’t bring you any sexual excitement. What a waste of time your ritual was!
It’s important not to confuse the sex/lust ritual, meant to satisfy sexual desires, with the compassion ritual. Take a self-awareness moment to determine what you’re really trying to achieve – is it sex, love, or maybe both?
The second type of ritual is of a compassionate nature. The compassion, or sentiment, ritual is performed for the purpose of helping others, or helping oneself.p. 115
The compassion ritual has many benefits. In its most obvious sense, it is intended to help someone, or your own self, with troubling matters. Problems with “…health, domestic happiness, business activities, material success, and scholastic prowess…” (p. 115) are a few of the many things a compassion ritual could target.
A Satanist, however, understands that generalized altruism is a waste of vital energy, and picks a specific target for their ritual. Performing a ritual of compassion for all mankind is not going to be successful. The target, whether yourself or someone else, must be specifically and clearly defined.
The third motivating force is that of destruction. This is a ceremony used for anger, annoyance, disdain, contempt, or just plain hate.p. 115
A destruction ritual should not be taken lightly. The Satanic witch or warlock can stir up lot of energy through performing greater magic, and directing that energy towards the destruction of someone or something should not be underestimated. This ritual, also described as a hex, curse, or destroying agent, involves inflicting damage and destruction to a symbolic representation of your target in any number of ways (more on that in the coming weeks). LaVey specifically states that one should “be certain [they] DO NOT care if the intended victim lives or dies…and having caused their destruction, [should] revel, rather than feel remorse” (p. 118).
This last statement is an important tenet of greater magic. If it works, acknowledge it! If you deny the results of your rituals, you won’t be successful in the future. From The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, “Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.”
In addition to the three types of Satanic ritual, this section of The Satanic Bible also discusses the importance of your target’s receptivity. “One of the greatest of all fallacies about the practice of ritual magic is the notion that one must believe in the powers of magic before one can be harmed or destroyed by them” (p. 115). But this doesn’t make any sense at all! Someone who believes in the results of ritual magic is far more likely to have enough awareness to combat negative forces, and will naturally not be in a receptive state of mind for your intentions to take hold. LeVey uses the example of a tribesman who feels a curse has been put on him – he will run to the nearest witch doctor, and take all necessary precautions to prevent the curse from taking hold. This tribesman is not a good target for greater magic.
On the flip side, someone who has no awareness of greater magic will never see what’s coming to them. They may actively deny the fact that they’ve been cursed, or even have no awareness at all that someone has specific intentions towards them (whether constructive or destructive). “It must be remembered that it matters not whether anyone attaches any significance to your working, so long as the results of the working are in accordance with your will” (p. 116). In the end, the Satanist doesn’t fool themself into thinking anyone cares about what they’ve done, but accepts any results that may appear.
That’s all for this week. Stay tuned, next week we’re entering the intellectual decompression chamber!
All quoted material comes directly from The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey, unless otherwise linked or noted.
Interpretations and opinions are my own; I am not a spokesperson for, nor endorsed by, the Church of Satan or any other entity.