While every Satanist is as such by birth, I think that the Satanist that comes to Satanism with the concepts of Satanism fully formed and structured before reading The Satanic Bible is exceptionally rare. The Satanic Bible gave form and structure to the feelings and ideas of all Satanists, and in some cases it expanded on some ideas by following them to their natural conclusions. For many, The Satanic Bible opens eyes to the reality of who they are. This eye opening nature manifests differently for different people, but for me it was the realization of the necessity of ritual and pageantry in my life.
When I first read The Satanic Bible, the book of Lucifer was what I identified most readily with. Most of what was written there was just my thoughts and feelings presented more accurately and artfully than I could present on my own. The Book of Satan appealed to the raw side of my Black Flame. It smashed idols, asked the questions that I myself posed, and made bold statements of truth. Reading beyond the book of Lucifer, my nodding became less frequent. I certainly understood Lesser Magic, but Greater Magic wasn’t something I saw myself doing. The whole thing struck me as odd and a tad unnecessary. I didn’t understand how wrong I was for years to come. I do need ritual, and the 13 step ritual presented in The Satanic Bible has become a powerful tool for me in the years since my self discovery as a Satanist.
First and foremost, Satanic Greater Magic serves an important emotional role for me. My rituals are few and far between, with my last being last night and the one before that being about 8 months ago. My formal rituals only happen at the rare intersection of “really wrestling something,” “can’t currently be solved with Lesser Magic,” and “I can stay up until everyone is asleep.” When the three come together, I know that I need to do something about my issue for the sake of my health and productivity. That is where the emotional role of Greater Magic comes in. A successful ritual leaves me feeling spent, because the goal of any ritual is for me to pour out every drop of emotion and thought I have on the matter. Last night, a friend asked me before a ritual if I needed to talk about the subject of that ritual. I considered sending her all the thoughts swirling around my head on the matter, but decided to ritualize first. After the ritual I responded simply by saying “I have said everything that needs to be said.” As an introvert that is very selective in my friends, I realized I needed another method of venting. The expectation of my ritual being effective relieves me, and the purging of my negative emotions results in a joyful future. Beyond this, the introduction of a structured method of emotional release into my life has allowed me to be a healthier, more productive person, as well as given me a great source of fun. In this way Greater Magic has filled a void I didn’t know existed, my need for ceremony and healthy emotional release.
The other aspect of Greater Magic that makes it so important to me is one that I didn’t come to accept even in part until recently. When practiced properly, I truly believe ritual magic makes real world change. I have witnessed justice served against sex offenders within days of performing destruction rituals against them, needed change occur in my life within hours of a compassion ritual done for myself, and new sexual partners enter my life within hours of a lust ritual. Greater Magic only works when done properly, and as such I need to remind myself constantly of the balance factor and of the fact that I truly need to make the entirety of my being a force of emotion and focus. A half assed ritual is no ritual at all. My rituals have not always worked in this second regard and this has been for one of a few reasons. The first is a neglect of the balance factor. For instance, of course some unlikely, dramatic, and complex end didn’t come to my enemy. It is simply so unlikely and profound there is no way it could happen. Had I been more realistic, my destruction ritual may have been effective outside of emotional release. The second reason is that I broke Rule 7 of The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth either before, during, or after my ritual. I simply did not fully believe that ritual works until this morning. At times I partially convinced myself it worked, and at those times I saw real world success. However, denying the effective aspect of a ritual to myself did result in losing that which I had changed. The final reason I had no success in this aspect of ritual is that I simply didn’t feel it enough. I used Greater Magic in some way other than a last resort, and as a result my emotional output was lacking. Once I overcame these challenges I came to understand that ritual magic filled another void in my life, the need for another way to get things done when all seems lost.
Many Satanists reject even trying Ritual Magic, and even from the time I discovered Satanism I haven’t understood this. While there are many reasons for this that I consider unsatanic, the biggest source of my confusion is the fact that ceremony plays such a large part in Satanism. Certainly the Book of Satan in The Satanic Bible is a shining example of drama used to the advantage of the Satanist. Why not try something that is in essence an extension of part of what it is to be a Satanist, a flair for the dramatic? I would encourage every Satanist that I like to try some form of ritual magic, as one has nothing to lose but time and much to gain. It may fill voids that would have otherwise went misunderstood and neglected.