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#401225 - 11/08/09 02:27 PM Satanism Without Magic?
M.D. Roche Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Albany, New York
Hello, my name is Matt and I am new to Satanism (technically, anyway).

Ever since I was a child I have been an Atheist/Individualist/Humanist with a strong and dark anti-Christian edge. I've known of Anton LaVey and The Church of Satan for a while, but I was too lazy to actually learn about it; until a few weeks ago, when my friend bought me a copy of The Satanic Bible as a gift. It was exciting to discover how much I could relate to the text. In a way, it helped me make sense of who I am.

However, one big aspect of Satanism that I just cannot swallow is the element of magic and ritual. While I find it very interesting, the whole concept of magic just seems too far-fetched for my liking.

My question is this: Is it right to call oneself a Satanist, even though they do not practice the magic aspect of it?

Thank you!

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#401234 - 11/08/09 04:12 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: M.D. Roche]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12577
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
Quote:
My question is this: Is it right to call oneself a Satanist, even though they do not practice the magic aspect of it?


Yes.

Magic, both Lesser and Greater, is optional, and not a requirement.

This follows the dictum, "Indulgence not Compulsion." wink

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#401235 - 11/08/09 04:25 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: M.D. Roche]
Magister_Lang Offline

CoS Magister

Registered: 06/30/01
Posts: 5822
Loc: I-BLISS!
Simply put........

First off not everyone who calls themself a Satanist engages in formalized ritual however it is also important to note that one of the major differences between a Satanist and a mere Athiest is the notion that we do not claim to know everything about our potential as human beings. Most Athiests as all true believers simply dismiss the concept as pure bunk. Satanists on the other hand are explorers of the unknown and the outer regions, that unknown potential within ourselves. Some of us explore that inner potential through the use of what we call Greater Magic which are exercises designed to stimulate our senses and project our will towards our own personal desired outcome. This is not grovelling before a perceived outside source aside from ourself called Satan but rather through the reflecting upon that symbolic inner Satan (the Black Flame) that we identify with which serves as a catalyst for the pouring fourth of pure raw emotion.

So, yes you can call yourself a Satanist and not practice greater magic however it is my opinion that you are missing out on getting to know yourself even better and possibly making yourself a potentially more potent human being in not blowing off the experience without even seeing what it is REALLY all about from your own personal subjective experience. Not everyone likes the same drink but your own mix can have similar effect.

On an aside, greater magic can be creating art or music etc......
HS!


Edited by Magister_Lang (11/08/09 04:46 PM)
_________________________
“The world, like a wolf pack is not all the licking of pups and howls by the moonlight. Sometimes there just needs to be a gnashing of teeth and a ripping of flesh to put things back into the natural order of things.”

XLII A.S.

"Magic is a tool and is essentially useless unless it can serve you here and now! Anything else is simply an act in faith and an excuse for failure in the here and now." XLVI A.S. R. Lang

"Chaos is a creation of mankind and does not exist within the uncompromising fascism of natures laws! Everything has order." XLVI A.S R. Lang

"To believe in Chaos one must believe that their is some kind of God who all of a sudden put everything into order! That!, I cannot relate too..."
R. Lang XLVI A.S.

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#401287 - 11/09/09 04:58 AM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: Magister_Lang]
Fotis Chatzi Offline


Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 3
Please note only Moderators and members of the Priesthood are allowed to reply to topics posted here.

All other replies will be deleted.


Edited by Daark (11/09/09 07:03 AM)

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#401490 - 11/10/09 09:04 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: M.D. Roche]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11561
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: malform
However, one big aspect of Satanism that I just cannot swallow is the element of magic and ritual. While I find it very interesting, the whole concept of magic just seems too far-fetched for my liking.

This is an issue that I've heard from a lot of newcomers over the years, especially if they're coming from a sort of "militant atheist" type of background.

As with just about every component of Satanism, magic and ritual are tools. There's no hard rule as to when and how you apply a tool, because it's going to be different for different Satanists. And there's obviously nothing Satanic about forcing yourself to do some activity just for the sake of doing it. So the short answer is yes, it's true you can technically be a Satanist who doesn't utilize that aspect.

But considering that would involve rejecting 64% of the pages of The Satanic Bible and 100% of The Satanic Rituals, you may want to reread those parts and ask yourself why you take the position. Recall what The Satanic Bible says about how Satanism "fills the large gray void between religion and psychiatry", and the given loose definition of "magic".

It's true that people can get their emotionalizing and ritualistic kicks in a non-formalized way (doing artwork, getting really tuned into the live experience of a rock concert or sporting event, etc.). Though in my experience, many people who outright reject formalized ritual without even ever giving it a try, are either too self-conscious to put themselves in that frame of mind, or just too disorganized to set up an environment and follow directions. Regardless, again: you might want to re-read the Book of Belial.
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#401493 - 11/10/09 09:20 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: Bill_M]
Magister_Lang Offline

CoS Magister

Registered: 06/30/01
Posts: 5822
Loc: I-BLISS!
"many people who outright reject formalized ritual without even ever giving it a try, are either too self-conscious to put themselves in that frame of mind, or just too disorganized to set up an environment and follow directions. Regardless, again: you might want to re-read the Book of Belial."

For the most part I totally agree!
HS!


Edited by Magister_Lang (11/10/09 10:01 PM)
_________________________
“The world, like a wolf pack is not all the licking of pups and howls by the moonlight. Sometimes there just needs to be a gnashing of teeth and a ripping of flesh to put things back into the natural order of things.”

XLII A.S.

"Magic is a tool and is essentially useless unless it can serve you here and now! Anything else is simply an act in faith and an excuse for failure in the here and now." XLVI A.S. R. Lang

"Chaos is a creation of mankind and does not exist within the uncompromising fascism of natures laws! Everything has order." XLVI A.S R. Lang

"To believe in Chaos one must believe that their is some kind of God who all of a sudden put everything into order! That!, I cannot relate too..."
R. Lang XLVI A.S.

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#402040 - 11/15/09 01:05 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: Magister_Lang]
M.D. Roche Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Albany, New York
Thank you all for your responses.

Don't get me wrong, I am interested in the Magic aspect. I guess you could say I want to believe, but I just can't help but maintain a skeptical point of view; it is my nature. I would love to take part in a ritual, if I knew any other Satanists. Yes, I know I can have my own ritual, but seeing as how I live with 23 other people that just doesn't seem practical. People are already scared because I wear nothing but black and read The Satanic Bible... HAHA!

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#402045 - 11/15/09 02:11 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: M.D. Roche]
Phineas Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 8269
I guess you could say I want to believe

Once again, Satanism is not about believing, it is about what works. And you will only find out when you actually do it.

Reading and intellectualizing are fine up to a point, then it has to be put to the test.

You can read all you want about swimming; you won't know until you jump in the water and try.

If you really desire to conduct a solitary ritual, you will find a way. That, in and of itself, is Satanic Magic. wink
_________________________
"Consensus is the absence of leadership." Margaret Thatcher

"I'm fascinated with how primitive the human mind still is. It can be misdirected so easily." John Gaughan


"Success is uncommon. Therefore, not to be enjoyed by the common man." Cal Stoll

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#402049 - 11/15/09 03:01 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: Phineas]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12577
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
I agree with Magister Phineas.

I just wanted to add one clarifying comment.

Malform you wrote in part:

Quote:
...I guess you could say I want to believe, but I just can't help but maintain a skeptical point of view...


Real skepticism is the application of doubt in an effort to determine what may or may not be true.

There are many well-intentioned but misguided people who think that "skepticism" is already being certain about everything, knowing what is absolutely true or false, and then with sword and shield going forth to do battle to correct the entire world and force everyone to agree with "The Truth".

But that is actually religious bigotry, not skepticism at all. You can find this attitude readily in most fundamentalist Christian churches, Muslim mosques, Jewish synagogues, Buddhist temples, and other such places of faith-based religions.

However you can also find the same attitude commonly expressed by those who claim to be skeptics but really are not.

Applying doubt allows you to hopefully gather evidence about things and perhaps get a better handle on what seems to be the facts of the matter at hand.

For example, you have understandably expressed a problem with the issue of real magic in Satanism.

My first answer in this thread was simply telling you how magic is an option for the Satanist and not a requirement.

And this is precisely correct.

However, to claim that you know with absolute certainty that real magic is simply impossible is not skepticism. It is believing that you already know everything that is possible.

The name for that perspective is "omniscience", one of the classic qualities of the Lord God Jehovah, and I suspect that you might not have realized that.

So the Satanist certainly does not claim to know everything. He also is careful to not just swallow what others tell him is supposed to be true. He applies doubt and looks for evidence and tries to draw his own conclusions. He is like Satan, "the Accuser" which is one of the main reasons we call ourselves Satanists.

It is the true believer who thinks he already knows with certainty everything that is possible or impossible.

The Satanist will usually decide what he thinks is likely to be the truth of the matter, but ideally he will remain open to new information, new evidence, and change his views if there is some reason to do so.

Immature minds decide in advance what they think is true and then forever after only defend their assumptions. Hence few people will allow debate to change their opinion on much of anything.

Satanism, being based on doubt, allows the Satanist to also question his own assumptions over time. This allows us to be flexible in response to new evidence, and to hopefully live in the real world as opposed to the one that others say "should" be.

Immature minds have a drive to be certain about everything.

Mature minds are willing to override that drive for certainty in favor of being willing to learn new things as they pop up.

This is precisely why "Satanism requires study" as Anton LaVey explained.

To be truly skeptical is an ongoing effort to not end up only defending previous assumptions when presented with new information.

To be truly skeptical is to apply doubt and then to hopefully learn more.

As Magister Phineas stated, Satanism really has nothing to do with believing anything.

I hope this helps.

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#402079 - 11/15/09 08:49 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: Bill_M]
RMerciless Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 02/08/06
Posts: 315
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: Bill_M
But considering that would involve rejecting 64% of the pages of The Satanic Bible and 100% of The Satanic Rituals, you may want to reread those parts


Additionally, I would make two other suggestions.

1. Find and read Blanche Barton's book "The Church of Satan." I found the sections on magic to be extremely enlightening.

2. Do not underestimate the psychological value of ceremony and ritual in the human psyche. This is sadly lost to the pure atheist but satisfied with satisfied magical ritual...whether you "believe" in the efficacy or not.
_________________________
Robert the Merciless
Washington, DC
Rabid Crow Arts & Graphics - Selling devilish art to wear and to hang
Lucifer Muse- My Dark / Ritual Music Project

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#402249 - 11/17/09 10:04 AM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: RMerciless]
M.D. Roche Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Albany, New York
Originally Posted By: RMerciless
Additionally, I would make two other suggestions.

1. Find and read Blanche Barton's book "The Church of Satan." I found the sections on magic to be extremely enlightening.

2. Do not underestimate the psychological value of ceremony and ritual in the human psyche. This is sadly lost to the pure atheist but satisfied with satisfied magical ritual...whether you "believe" in the efficacy or not.


I would actually like to get my hands on a copy of "The Church of Satan", but unfortunately it seems to be out of print, and starts at around $119 on Amazon.com, used.

I do understand the psychological aspect behind the rituals. It allows the participant to release their strongest innermost emotions so they will not consume them in their every day lives, as opposed to taking a more passive approach by asking a "higher power" to rid them of those emotions (correct?) It makes sense.

In case I didn't make myself clear: I am not 100% close-minded about rituals. I find it interesting, and I would love to participate in one, but I still maintain a level of skepticism which I consider to be healthy. I apologize if I sounded too cynical in my original post.

I appreciate your responses.

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#402296 - 11/17/09 04:58 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: M.D. Roche]
RMerciless Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 02/08/06
Posts: 315
Loc: Washington, DC
Quote:
I do understand the psychological aspect behind the rituals. It allows the participant to release their strongest innermost emotions so they will not consume them in their every day lives, as opposed to taking a more passive approach by asking a "higher power" to rid them of those emotions (correct?)


Yeah, that is true of Satanic ritual, especially that practiced in a highly emotionally charged state for magical purposes but I am talking about the more general psychological effect of ritual on humans broadly.

While reading and study and even introspection can engage practitioners in their religion on a rational intellectual level, it is ritual which engages a practitioner on the physical level. This physical engagement with the ideas underlying a religion through gestures and words spoken aloud, has a further and different psychological effect separate and apart from simply reading, writing etc.

Ritual is a symbolic expression of thoughts and feelings by action. In particular, the ritual expresses common strivings, rooted in common values. (Fromm) The act of expressing such concepts externalizes them, bringing them out from the inner depths of one's self and this process of externalization leads to a deeper, more complete understanding. Perhaps more importantly, one may find that the transference of the concepts from the strictly mental/intellectual into the physical and externally expressed also facilitates connection between the conscious and the unconscious. In this way, it is also something of a test for yourself. Having memorized and spoken aloud the words of the ritual, and performed some of the gestures, the resulting psychological effect will either be consonant or dissonant. If consonant, you know you are on the right path. If dissonant, perhaps another path is more suited to you.
_________________________
Robert the Merciless
Washington, DC
Rabid Crow Arts & Graphics - Selling devilish art to wear and to hang
Lucifer Muse- My Dark / Ritual Music Project

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#450289 - 04/24/11 09:32 PM Re: Satanism Without Magic? [Re: M.D. Roche]
Ashtar Offline


Registered: 02/25/08
Posts: 27
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Rather than make a new thread, I have a question about this topic that builds on what's here...


No. As this is the fifth time you have done this in one day, I am not cutting you any slack.

There are rules here and you are not free to ignore them.

You have earned a temporary one day ban.

If after coming back you do the same thing the ban will be longer or permanent.


Edited by Daark (04/24/11 09:39 PM)
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-Thanks

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