Recently I’ve been writing quite a bit about magic in Satanism and it’s apparent from the questions you’ve asked that you’re curious about what these terms mean to me as a Satanist since they mean other things in other religions. I’d be remiss if I didn’t explain my personal perspective in the philosophy to you fully since the goal of this blog is to clear up any misconceptions about Satanism! I thoroughly recommend giving The Satanic Bible a read for information on magic in Satanism which isn’t only my own opinion on it, but for those of you who are seeking clarification on the fundamentals and my use of the terms specifically in this blog, look no further. All right: without further ado, let’s jump into it! Click Read More to expand and use the inverse pentagram graphic to mark your spot.
In this post I will cover:
Magic in Satanism
Greater Magic in Satanism
Rituals in Satanism
What is magic in Satanism?
The term “magic” is and has often used to describe an action or activity that cannot yet be explained by science. Satanists can choose to have their own relationship with magic and they can decide if they believe in it or not, but the majority of fellow Satanists that I’ve met all seem to agree on the same sort of definition of magic. We have all read the Satanic Bible and Anton LaVey does illustrate what magic is in good detail. (I recommend giving it a read for more information.) Magic in Satanism breaks down into two different categories: Lesser and Greater Magic, and each is different. Next week we'll be diving into the concept of witchcraft and Lesser Magic together, but for now let's stay on track with rituals and Greater Magic!
What is Greater Magic in Satanism?
Greater Magic, the one of two components of magic in Satanism, seems to be a bit more of a hot topic between the Satanists that I know. Generally speaking, Greater Magic can be compared to “ritual magic.” The entire process is more or less an act for our minds to enter a subjective state and we call it a “psychodrama.” I think of it as a type of therapy. For me, Greater Magic is the sort of magic that you would use if you felt like your back was up against a wall and you had no control over your situation. In other religions people will outsource responsibility for this to a ‘higher power,’ but since we recognize that ‘higher power’ as an extension of our own imagination (this is how we aggrandize ourselves to be ‘godlike,’) we Satanists use Greater Magic as a way to attempt to accomplish a goal even if we know that it’s probably just grand theatrics for our own benefit. We don’t know. We tell ourselves that when we enter that subconscious state we are able to release our desires, the “To Be,” out into the cosmos. The psychodrama enables us to feel as if we are contributing toward the end we desire even when we can’t track and trace the effects (if any) of a psychodramatic ritual.
For this reason I feel like Greater Magic is an incredibly personal aspect of the religion. You’ll meet some people who want to jump into the idea of doing rituals with others, and I can understand how working alongside others can increase the power of the psychodrama, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to get over my own awareness to be successful. I will never perform Greater Magic with another person with a single solitary exception: my wife.
Here in this blog I take an artistic view of the Greater Magic ritual element, and I recognize based on the questions asked that it may be a little confusing for some. Satanists appear to be united under the desire to maintain perspective at all times. The concept of a psychodrama, even though it can be seen as a silly thing to do to a “What you see is what you get” personality type, is not considered lack of perspective. By recognizing that it’s just theatrics, we recognize that it’s—well, theatrics. It probably doesn’t do anything. We know this. We do it anyway because by recognizing that we don’t know everything in the universe we recognize that well, maybe it’s possible. Who knows? Why not give it a shot if it makes you feel better and relieves an emotional and mental burden? You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, after all.
Did you know?
Satanists do not draw a circle on the ground to sit within during a ritual, despite what Hollywood likes to portray. Our invocation to Satan is just a part of the theatrics and there's no need to draw a "protection circle" because we don't believe Satan even exists so there is no need for such silly nonsense!
What type of rituals exist in Satanism?
There are three types of Greater Magic Rituals. Each ritual is geared towards addressing certain imbalances that the practitioner of magic identifies in their world, and each ritual calls for different passages from the Book of Leviathan to be read. When conducting each ritual the practitioner dedicates themselves to an action which evokes a strong sentiment in line with the ritual's purpose. For example, in a Destruction Ritual the Satanist may destroy an object. In a Compassion Ritual the practitioner is encouraged to feel compassion to the extent that tears may flow, and in a Lust Ritual, well... you get the picture.
When you think about Satanic magic you would probably think of this type of ritual first, before you know what it really is. A Destruction Ritual isn’t the same thing as a black magic ritual. A Destruction Ritual is used in situations where the witch seeks to change, end, or shake something up in their lives. I don't see it as a negative thing as much as one of the tools that available when I'm acting as a balancer in the universe.
Rarely is this sort of ritual thought of when someone is guessing about Satanic magic. A compassion ritual extends a sense of need into the universe regarding wellness, care and happiness. It could be the desire for good health, monetary gain, trying to get a good grade on a college final, or any such thing. Like other rituals, a Compassion Ritual doesn’t need to be solely about the celebrant.
A lust ritual is the other type of ritual that you’d probably think of when you think of Satanism before reading the Satanic Bible (or this post)! The purpose of it is to attract, yep, you guessed it: lovers. It’s not the same thing as “Red” magic that you’ve heard of in other circles. You might imagine that you must have other people involved in a Lust Ritual but it isn’t so. Any ritual in Satanism can be performed alone just as well as with others, and sometimes it’s actually better to go at it alone.
I have not found a situation that calls for a ritual that would fall outside the three main ritual types. Please note that I am not referring to rituals associated with ceremony such as Black Mass, L'air Epais, das Tierdrama, Weddings, or "baptisms." Each of these metaphorical rituals serve a very specific goal that is outside of the goal of the three core rituals. (The Destruction Ritual, Compassion Ritual, and Lust Ritual are about releasing your energy into the cosmos. The named rituals above are self-symbolic.) The ritual included at the end other Satanic Scriptures (by Magus Peter Gilmore) may be an exception, but regardless I do find that even his Ragnarok ritual fits in with the theme of a Destruction Ritual. You certainly can design your own ritual and it may be considered Satanic. What would be required is to observe the requirements as laid out in the Satanic Bible in the Book of Earth. I advise beginners to stick with the main three until they feel more comfortable with the elements of ritual.
Thanks for swinging by! I hope that this post helped to clear up a few things for you about magic in Satanism. Please remember that the definitions I've provided are from my perspective and that there are some Satanists that will disagree with what I said - and they are entitled to because they have their own perspective. If you still have lingering questions, please feel free to drop me a line again, and be sure to swing by next week when I tackle the concept of witchcraft and enchantments in Satanism next week!
Who is the Witch?
Once I called myself a Christian, then an atheist, and a Satanist. At the end of the day, I'm just a person who is living her truth one day at a time. I'm interested in religion, its effects on the mind, the occult, and more. Learn more about me on the about page.