Iím sorry your experience of Alexandrian Witchcraft was a let-down. Most covens or paths nowadays, particularly Wicca, are largely hived from Alexandrian practice, but invariably with bits chopped out that were vital (but hard) and other bits squashed in that are irrelevant (but easy). Such is life; and itís a problem also common to ďSatanismĒ, particularly on the Internet.
The only thing Iíd like to add, as someone else new to Satanism, is that the quality of publication varies wildly. The core canon of Anton LaVey is all worth reading, as is The Satanic Scriptures
Ė but, after that, I most strongly recommend The Fire From Within
by Nemo and, particularly, Essays in Satanism
by James Sass. The latter book is worthwhile for the Project Faust commentary alone, but thatís not the only thing to recommend it.
If youíve only just started The Satanic Warlock
, then Iíd put it down and move onto something else. Too much of it is laughably off-track. Equally, I do not
recommend Michael Roseís Infernalia
Ė itís extremely poor, and almost wholly ignorant of the material it tries to lampoon. Ultimately, neither book is worth spending money on before some of the other work.
Iím only a halfway through The Devilís Due
and itís a mixed bag. Some of the essays are excellent, some are irrelevant and/or obvious, so discriminate with care.
Unfortunately, most everything in the Satanic canon is a selection of essays Ė with the possible exception being The Satanic Rituals
. Theyíre written as an act of self-indulgence, which is very Satanic, but it means that some of the material just wonít matter to you, is wholly unlinked, or will be completely at odds with your own experience. Iíd argue that you need to read the publications in order to figure out whatís meaningful to you, and thereís value in all of them, but the two books I donít recommend are simply poor books. Infernalia
, for example, is just poorly written, poorly researched (it regurgitates a number of ludicrous arguments that have seen no research at all) and poorly presented.
All that said, as ever, your mileage may vary. If youíre interested, from what Iíve read, this is the order Iíd put the books (with Church of Satan
1. The Satanic Bible (LaVey, Anton S.)
2. The Satanic Scriptures (Gilmore, Peter H.)
3. The Church of Satan
4. The Satanic Rituals (LaVey, Anton S.)
5. The Satanic Witch (LaVey, Anton S.)
6. Essays in Satanism (Sass, James D.)
7. The Fire From Within (Nemo)
8. The Devilís Notebook (LaVey, Anton S.)
9. Satan Speaks! (LaVey, Anton S.)
10. Bearing the Devilís Mark (Paradise, Matt G.)
11. The Devilís Due (Collected authors)
12. Letters from the Devil (LaVey, Anton S.)
13. The Secret Life of a Satanist (Barton, Blanche)
14. The Satanic Warlock (Johnson, Robert)
15. Infernalia (Rose, Michael)
That order might seem a bit odd, but itís probably important to try and read things in an order that makes subsequent texts make sense. It would also be wrong to assume that later books get progressively worse; everything up to The Devilís Due
is well worth your money, and I have a special enjoyment for Bearing the Devilís Mark
. If youíre working through a book at a time, as I did, I supplemented the time by reading the Theory/Practice section of the Church of Satan
website and found that quite easy to get on with.