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#311621 - 03/03/08 05:17 PM Question concerning "Greater Magic"
TheHauntedAngel Offline


Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 5
The last time I read the Satanic Bible was about a year ago, where I had it in .pdf format, which made it rather annoying to read, and I didn't really get into it. I recently bought an actual copy of it however, and finished reading it today. My question is thus, even though the answer seems fairly obvious given the content of the Books of Belial and Leviathan - Do "true" Satanists believe in an actual concept of ethereal magic as a force that can be summoned the way "white" magicians believe it can be?

I realise that the opening statements of the Book of Belial say that it is very much open to interpretation, but I think if you read LaVey's words carefully, it seems obvious what he means. Lesser Magic seems to be using your cunning, skill or wit to manipulate a situation to your advantage - the greatest example LaVey gives is a woman using her sexuality to achieve her goals. However, I'm confused as to the concept of Greater Magic, as I thought Satanism was completely atheist? Even Peter Gilmore stated that Satanism begins with atheism, but throughout the Books of Belial and Leviathan, it seems that there IS a belief in a supernatural force that can be summoned - that the user can call upon the aid of the "Forces of Darkness" or other demons (despite a belief in no Gods other than one's self) in order to perform a Destruction, Compassion or Lust ritual with the desired effects.

So, can anyone clear this up for me, please?

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#311623 - 03/03/08 05:31 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: TheHauntedAngel]
Phineas Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 8269
 Originally Posted By: TheHauntedAngel
Do "true" Satanists believe in an actual concept of ethereal magic as a force that can be summoned the way "white" magicians believe it can be?



No.

Read those books again. Satanists do not believe in any supernatural beings.

I don't know what a "true" Satanist is. There are only Satanists and non-Satanists.
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"I'm fascinated with how primitive the human mind still is. It can be misdirected so easily." John Gaughan


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#311635 - 03/03/08 06:35 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: Phineas]
TheHauntedAngel Offline


Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 5
They don't believe in super natural beings, but what about all the rituals, that are incredibly specific as to how many candles of each colour you are allowed - the chanting of "Hail Satan!" and "Shemhamforash!", or the pointing of the sword at each point on a compass, and speaking one of the different names of Satan? I understand that they could be entirely symbolic, but then why waste time with a ritual that in the end, isn't too dissimilar from the black mass, which is ridiculed earlier on in the book. LaVey also makes specific mention of "the forces of darkness" and such; or would they just be metaphors for a humans more carnal side?

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#311642 - 03/03/08 06:50 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: TheHauntedAngel]
Mr. Obsidian Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 3120
Loc: Ohio
HINTS:

- "archetypal symbolism"
- "intellectual decompression"
- "suspension of disbelief"
- "psychodrama"
- "the dark force in nature"
- "man needs ritual and dogma"
_________________________
~ Mr. Obsidian (JP)

Olio/Etcetera

Flesh and Bones
_______________

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
~ Charles Bukowski


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#311643 - 03/03/08 06:51 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: TheHauntedAngel]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11560
Loc: New England, USA
 Originally Posted By: TheHauntedAngel
The last time I read the Satanic Bible was about a year ago, where I had it in .pdf format, which made it rather annoying to read,

Not to mention illegal and possibly edited. But anyway...

 Quote:
Do "true" Satanists believe in an actual concept of ethereal magic as a force that can be summoned the way "white" magicians believe it can be?

No, these are two different schools of thought, for a variety of reasons.

 Quote:
However, I'm confused as to the concept of Greater Magic, as I thought Satanism was completely atheist?

"Atheism" means literally nothing but "no belief in deity". Period. Satanism is a non-theistic religion, and Magus Gilmore is correct in saying that Satanists are atheists. It still doesn't mean you have to swallow the other dogma that your average, run-of-the-mill, self-identified "atheist" is expected to do (dismissing all forms of symbolism and ritualized expression, rejecting all things esoteric in any context, liking Douglas Adams, voting Democrat, etc.).

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#311644 - 03/03/08 06:55 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: Bill_M]
TheHauntedAngel Offline


Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 5
Ah, that sums it up for me for the most part. Thanks for clearing this up, guys. I think it was mostly Mr. Obsidian's quotes that helped - thanks to the others also, though! \:\)

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#311645 - 03/03/08 06:56 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: TheHauntedAngel]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11560
Loc: New England, USA
 Originally Posted By: TheHauntedAngel
I understand that they could be entirely symbolic, but then why waste time with a ritual that in the end, isn't too dissimilar from the black mass, which is ridiculed earlier on in the book.

Reread the chapter "Some Evidence of a New Satanic Age". If you can't grasp why The Satanic Bible doesn't stop at the Book of Lucifer, or the concepts of "intellectual decompression", then you've missed the boat. We're atheists, but we're atheists who know better than to blindly throw away the power of organized ceremony and ritualistic expression. Once you recognize what these human-developed tools are and their underlying purpose, they can be quite helpful.
_________________________
Reverend Bill M.

http://www.devilsmischief.com: Carnal Comedy Clips, Netherworld Novelty Numbers,
New hour every week. Download the mp3 now!

http://www.aplaceformystuff.org: Tales of Combat Clutter and other Adventures

(Wenn du Google's Übersetzer verwendest, um diese Worte zu lesen, dann bist du ein Arschloch.)

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#311654 - 03/03/08 07:17 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: Bill_M]
TheHauntedAngel Offline


Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 5
Thanks, I'll re-read that and give it some more thought.

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#311661 - 03/03/08 07:36 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: TheHauntedAngel]
Mr. Obsidian Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 3120
Loc: Ohio
You're most welcome.

Like any great book, you'll probably discover something new or revealing every time you read The Satanic Bible.

I definitely agree with the wise advice proffered by Warlock BillM, Warlock Reprobate, and Magister Phineas.

Have fun!
_________________________
~ Mr. Obsidian (JP)

Olio/Etcetera

Flesh and Bones
_______________

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
~ Charles Bukowski


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#311663 - 03/03/08 07:37 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: TheHauntedAngel]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
You are encouraged to adapt your rituals to create an environment that's truly immersive for YOU, based on your psychological needs and your personal sense of aesthetics. The rituals "as written" are starting-points and examples. Create your own mythology and your own body of rituals.
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reprobate

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#311669 - 03/03/08 07:58 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: reprobate]
TheHauntedAngel Offline


Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 5
Thanks a great deal to all who replied \:\)

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#311670 - 03/03/08 08:00 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: reprobate]
Philotechnic Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 745
Loc: NC, US
And to expand on what Reprobate said, look at ritual as putting on a play, something where you can indulge in your emotions which could be hindering you in your normal life, all inside a secure ritual chamber which is essentially your stage.

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#311755 - 03/03/08 11:41 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: Philotechnic]
TheDegenerate Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 3567
Loc: Cowtown
Experience helps quite a bit.

Once you set up an area for ritual, and actually go ahead and perform a ritual, (it's easy to find a "reason". My first ritual was the ritual for charging an object in The Satanic Scriptures.) you will understand it's use a bit better, provided you truly step into said area with your brain shut off, and your emotions in full swing.

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#311833 - 03/04/08 07:31 AM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: TheHauntedAngel]
spook show Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 06/30/07
Posts: 356
Loc: under your bed
Greetings TheHauntedAngel.

In addition to what everyone here has said, may I also suggest you read The Satanic Rituals by Doctor LaVey, specifically the chapter entitled 'Concerning the Rituals'.
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#312093 - 03/04/08 09:38 PM Re: Question concerning "Greater Magic" [Re: TheHauntedAngel]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12573
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
 Quote:
So, can anyone clear this up for me, please?


Yes.

I can. I doubt I can do so with a simple post here however.

Doing so will be an important part of my next book on Satanism.

For now, let me suggest that in addition to the answers you have already been given here which I feel are essentially correct, you are also leaping to some conclusions that I would suggest are unwarranted.

First, if you yourself come to discover that magic is real then please remember that Anton LaVey made a careful point of explaining that the unknown magic of today will likely become the known science of tomorrow.

Second, anthropomorphization is a common part of how the mind works on deep levels but does not have to be a description of what is real as much as a formula for making certain things work.

For example, you seem to equate "forces" with "entities" such as demons. Well, electricity is a force but very few today would assume it is a demon. If I wish to use electricity I can use a switch to turn on the lights. My flipping the switch is a formula for using electricity to turn on the lights.

If I use the anthropomorphization of a force and this results in magic working that does not mean that my mental "switch" proves there are devils doing the dirty work. My use of the names of old Gods and Devils in ritual does not require that they exist but does affect my mind and emotions in specific ways. It means that using this mental tendency can potentially produce an effect. And that is what the real magician seeks - results.

I see the same kind of confusion offered when someone has a heart attack, experiences a near death experience, later reports being out of body, observing events at a distance, later verifying that the events proved to be correct and then declares, "Therefore I know there is a God!"

"God" has nothing to do with it. Maybe he has acquired some evidence that an out of body experience is real (and many would even debate that on the basis of his experience). However, leaping to the conclusion that he will survive death and live forever in heaven with God is not justified on the basis of that experience.

There are other suitable explanations that do not require an afterlife, much less "God".

I would encourage you to read the relevant portions of The Satanic Bible again and grasp the overall premises upon which Anton LaVey suggested the practice of ritual magic. You might consider also reading the relevant portions of The Satanic Witch regarding ritual.

The dark force we call Satan has multiple meanings all of which are spelled out in The Satanic Bible and in ritual where you are expected to practice a willing suspension of disbelief, you are then free to take any and all of the old Gods and Devils and use them in the manner that moves you on unconscious levels to hopefully evidence the supernormal.

...If you want to try to do so.

But if this is not your cup or tea you do not have to do so at all.

Satanism is always about "Indulgence, not compulsion".

Greater Magic is strictly an option and not a requirement for the Satanist.

If you apply Lesser Magic effectively you may never find any need for Greater Magic at all. Ever.

Quite seriously, ask yourself what you want in life. Wealth? Health? Power?

There already exist numerous ways to achieve all of these and Lesser Magic exquisitely and directly targets all of them.

Lesser Magic is often already known for why it works and does not have the potential problem of requiring that you change or enlarge your view of reality to make it "work". You can easily grasp that Lesser Magic already works just as anyone can understand how stage magic works once you are shown the tricks.

Greater Magic is dealing with issues that are less popularly understood and operate in the darkness of unconscious mechanisms rather than in the conscious light of already understood mechanisms of human psychology where Lesser Magic exists.

So Lesser Magic is, in my opinion, far more accessible and practical for most Satanists to employ. Greater Magic requires being able to perform some very clever self-manipulations with issues of perception, evidence-testing and authority-rejection.

Greater Magic is simply harder to do. I do not state that as a challenge but simply as a statement of fact.

You really have to have the kind of personality that is attracted more to the exceptions of the rule, than the popularity of a rule. The sorcerer tends to be enthralled with the unusual, the white crow that proves that all crows are not black.

Just as it has been suggested by Anton LaVey that a person is born as a Satanist, I feel that so too are some born to be drawn to Greater Magic.

So if you find the entire concept of Greater Magic does not work for you, good! Don't waste your time trying to fit your round peg into the Greater Magic square hole. Be yourself.

If you are attracted to it you will not find yourself trying to make it fit into your view of reality.

You simply won't be able to leave it alone.

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