Monday, August 12, 2019

Esoteric practices in Satanism, part III: Lesser Magic

Continuing with the esoteric matters I’d like to explore here in connection with Satanism – i.e…

… next up is lesser magic.

Subsections of this entry:
  1. Lesser magic according to LaVey’s Satanic Bible
  2. Further nuances re: the workings of lesser magic
  3. Implications in connection with a Satanic worldview

As with divination, I originally had in mind to have a section about some intersections-with-current-hot-button-political-issues that arise in connection with this practice, but between length considerations and my feeling that some of the same issues arise with greater magic, I’ll be covering this separately later. 

Thus, if you read the entry below, and at any point find yourself thinking “OMG, the implications of that practice are terrible – haven’t you noticed that they’re terrible?” – yeah, very likely I have noticed, and just because I don’t talk about that issue in this entry doesn’t mean I haven’t thought of it; wait a little while and I’ll likely discuss it in another entry.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A note about "the sinister path"

I have the entry for lesser magic basically written, but due to Terminus and other things consuming my attention in recent weeks, haven’t yet had time to finish off a few things related to it. 

I don’t like the prospect of then having only one entry for July though, so here’s a more-compact-than-my-usual-topics topic that I thought I’d dash off a few words about: the meaning of “right” and “left” from a spiritual rather than political perspective, and why, due to contemporary politics, I use different terms these days when I am talking about spiritual matters myself – namely, the potentially-pretentious-sounding wording of “the sinister path.”

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Esoteric practices in Satanism, part II: Divination

Previously, I’d mentioned these topics as being a few of the esoteric matters I’d like to explore here in connection with Satanism:
It makes sense to look at divination next inasmuch I see it as having a couple of connections to meditation: i) one way of understanding divination – the way that I myself use – basically situates it as a subtype of meditation; and ii) I think the two are similar with regard to people who have negative views of them perhaps not actually knowing what they entail to actual contemporary occult practitioners (whether Satanic or otherwise). 

Hence, subsections of the current entry:
I had a few thoughts to share also about a couple of political issues I’ve seen come up in connection with divination in online forums, but as my attempt to write these out ran toward the long side and contained repetition of some points made in my previous entry about cultural appropriation, that content may or may not wind up in another entry later on down the line.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Esoteric practices in Satanism, part I: Meditation

Inasmuch as I’ve gotten the impression that actual engagement in esoteric practices may be unusual among people who identify as Satanists, despite this element being present in the writings of LaVey and other authors, I thought making this aspect of the religion better understood to people who may have no familiarity with it might be an interesting challenge to take on.

Esoteric practices that I think a case can be made for in Satanism include the following:
As this list may imply, what I am here terming “esoteric practices” includes what I have elsewhere called “ritual practice,” but I’m adopting the former in this case as a better umbrella term than the latter when it comes to covering the full range of practices I want to discuss.

This is a big enough topic to constitute multiple entries, so I’ll cover only one area of practice at a time, starting with meditation:

* * *

Friday, June 7, 2019

Cultural appropriation vs. spirituality: a thorough dissection

Since my recent thrift-store luck in connection with an upcoming event has provided opportunity for a good accompanying photo for the topic, now struck me as the right time for a few things I wanted to say about cultural appropriation, specifically the concept’s salience within the context of what might broadly be called spirituality.

Sections of this entry:

Note: this wound up being insanely long even by this blog’s already-unreasonable standards - hence the jump cut below - so if you are mainly here for the spirituality-related content and find lengthy dwelling upon the concept of cultural appropriation to be tedious, feel free to skip down to the last section, as that’s where I get to the point that I’ve least seen people talking about elsewhere when cultural appropriation comes up.

* * *

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Why Satanic Temple is likely to continue growing: a theory

As some friends have already messaged to inform me, a recent article in the Calgary Journal about the Satanic Temple cited me for some background info on Satanism.

Now, given the focus of the article being the Calgary chapter of the Satanic Temple specifically, I had no expectation of the rather-lengthy interview the journalist did with me, re: other Satanic denominations and the appeal of Satanism more generally, making up any significant portion of the article in question.  However, inasmuch as I wound up making a few points to my interviewer that are germane to topics I’m discussing on this blog, I did nonetheless want to just post a short addendum here about a theory I have about why Satanic Temple strikes me a denomination especially likely to grow in the near future.

I want to stress, before getting into this, that this is just my own theory based on what I know of Satanic Temple’s tenets on one hand vs. the issues I’ve personally had with politics over the last few years on the other hand.  It is thus not a theory based on my own contact with specific Satanic Temple members, and it neither is, nor pretends, to have anything to do with the understanding of Satanism that the particular Satanic Temple folks who are the focus of the article may themselves have.  I am thus sharing it not because I have data to suggest that it is true, but because I find the claims I am making philosophically-plausible and will therefore be interested to see whether trends in the next few years support or refute it.

The theory has four components, as follows:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Black sun and black pharaoh

I’ve made a couple references now to appropriation, i.e. in this context, the taking of someone else’s or some other religion’s narrative/symbols/etc. and interpreting/applying these toward one’s own ends. 

Sooner or later I’ll have an entry on how this collides with contemporary politics, and was thus one element contributing to that spiritual crisis I was trapped in last year - but this is not that entry. 

This entry does, however, cover the content of my own practice where I figure the supposed appropriation issue is perhaps most relevant.

One component of LaVeyan ritual practice is the invocation of dark names that the individual finds best flesh out one’s own take on the values and/or spiritual realities of Satanism, these being either names of fallen angels, or names of dark gods from other cultures, or etc. 

One of the names I have long invoked in this context is that of Tezcatlipoca, who is an Aztec god of strife, sorcery and the night. 

I have no connection with the Aztec culture in any material way, nor pretenses toward representing any kind of “authentic” tradition here.  However, somewhere in the late high school / early undergrad era of my life, I ran across a book called “The Fifth Sun” by Burr Cartwright Brundage, which contains quite detailed info about Aztec mythology, religion and ritual practice, and something about the stories and folklore surrounding Tezcatlipoca (which I then went on to read more about via other sources) was definitely striking to me. 

The seed thus planted did not really sprout or bear fruit until recent years.  But as my practice has gradually become more “dark pagan,” it’s increasingly struck me as a resource worth returning to and reflecting upon more.

Here then are a few points about Tezcatlipoca that are of interest to me as a Satanist, organized along similar lines to the key points of Satanism that I referred to previously in this entry: