This file is an exerpt from The Book of Darkness, an official work of the Ordo Templi Sata
This file is an exerpt from The Book of Darkness, an official work of the Ordo Templi Satanis, P.O. Box 1093, Atwater, CA 95301. It is copyright 1991. All persons are hereby given permission to make copies and/or distribute this exerpt, so long as in so doing the contents of this work is not altered in any way, including this paragraph.
(From the Book of the World)
The construction of a Satanic Magical Working is at once both complex and simple. In most magical traditions, a very strict orthodoxy concerning the phases of the moon, the number of times a bell in rung, etc. are considered mandatory elements for the success of the spell. Unless the formulae are followed to the letter, the operator can have no expectation of success. This is generally because magical workings are seen as tapping into other planes, calling upon extraterrestrial powers and entities, and the like. Presumably these entities and powers are quite picky about where and when they appear, and unless the proper forms are followed, the magician can expect nothing but wasted time for his efforts.
Satanic Magic, on the other hand, like certain other magical forms (such as Chaos Magic), is much more free-formed in its construction and execution. Indeed, it can be said that every act of the Will, every conscious act of creation is in fact a Working of Satanic Magic. In Satanic Magic there are few rules, and, in accordance with the principles of individuality espoused by Satanism, each Satanic Magician is encouraged to come up with his own forms and rituals for the casting of spells.
This somewhat lax attitude stems from the Satanic concept of what exactly forms the basis of magic. The Satanist sees the core of every magical working as being the magician himself, rather than any outside entity. The goal of each and every Satanic Magical Working, whether performed alone in a private ritual chamber or by hundreds of participants engaged in a massive outdoor rally, is to energize the Will of the participant(s). By achieving a sufficient focus for the Will, it is felt that actual physical results can be achieved.
The actual process by which these results occur is really irrelevant to the Satanic Magician. Whether the Magician is effecting changes in the quantum strata of the universe, or projecting mental energies from within the mind, or merely setting up subconscious resonances within his own mind which will help to bring about the desired result, or a combination, is totally besides the point. The point is that the rituals have an effect. When the ends are achieved, who cares about the means?
However, in order to accomplish this precise “tuning” and attenuation of the magician’s Will, it is necessary for the Magician to be placed in the proper mind set. It is this fact that creates the necessity for the traditional trappings of magical Workings; the flames, daggers, pentagrams, and the like. All of those things mean nothing in and of themselves (all protestations of practitioners of “sympathetic magic” notwithstanding). Rather, all of the occult paraphernalia are merely tools to enhance the mood of the magician. Even consciously knowing that the trappings are inherently useless, their symbolism and emotional impact are significant. Significant enough, in fact, to the point of being necessary to create the mood required for a successful Working.
Indeed, as the Satanic Magician grows in experience and knowledge, he may find it increasingly easy to achieve the proper mind-set and focus his Will without the need for such elaborate ritual paraphernalia. The whole key to Satanic Magic is to do what works.
Of course, this should not be seen as a renunciation of ritual entirely. The idea of ritual for its own sake has a strong place in the human psyche. Rituals bring with them an inherent feeling of stability and comfort, even if it is for no real reason. Sometimes this feeling of stability, the knowledge that others have done, are doing, and will do again the exact same thing that the Magician is doing can be an important psychological element in conducting a ritual.
From an institutional point of view, rituals take on an even more significant role. The conduct of rituals by organizations tends to extend and expand the sense of permanence of the group, and hence enhances the confidence of the membership of the group in the group itself. Magical rituals are no different in this respect.
It is also possible to mix and match the two principles, employing certain “prefabricated” elements of Satanic Magical Workings and interweaving them with the “homegrown” elements. In this way, the consistency and stability of the ritual system can be harmoniously combined with the individualistic stain so important to the maintenance of Satanic vitality.
Something should be stated as an aside at this point. Considering the self-centered nature of Satanic Magical Workings, the whole concept of animal or human sacrifice becomes outmoded. When you finally shake the idea that the physical actions and words of the Working are powerful in and of themselves, you lose the whole justification for performing a sacrifice. If you are performing a ritual of destruction, designed to lash out at a given individual or thing, and you feel that your Will can be tuned to a fever pitch by plunging your dagger into someone’s heart, then by all means do so, representationally. Simulating a human sacrifice will do just as much to focus the Will as a real one, and without the damaging social and legal ramifications. It cannot be stressed strongly enough that the Satanic Magician uses the trappings of the Magical Working as mere props, with no significance of their own. Understanding this, the need for an actual sacrifice of a human or animal becomes nullified.
Even when the Satanic Magician reaches the point in his magical development where he can perform rituals “on the fly”, without benefit of any ritual paraphernalia, one of the most important factors involved in the focusing of the Will is the Magicians self-image. Without a strong sense of self, and a well defined self-image, the Satanic Magician will find it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the proper mind-set required for the extremely tight focusing of the Will required for a successful working. There are many techniques that may be employed to assist in the definition of the self-image, and each Magician (or group of Magicians) should use whatever works best for them.
Related to the importance of the sense of self-image is the Magician’s concept of self-respect. The Magician who is filled with secret self-loathing and guilt, and who sees himself in a wretched light, cannot hope to achieve any notable results. The Magician must purge from his mind anything that would tend to demean himself in his own eyes; this is one of the primary reasons that the Magician should avoid addictive substances at all costs. The only time the Satanic Magician should legitimately entertain feelings of guilt is when he has succumbed to his own weaknesses, when he has betrayed his Will. The concept of certain actions being inherently “wrong” (i.e. the Judeo/Christian/Islamic concept of Sin) is not a rational one, and should be rejected out of hand by the Satanist. If the Satanic Magician has made a conscious decision to do something, based on the weighing of the evidence and a logical decision-making process, then he should revel in his choice and have no regrets.
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