I received a question via email this week which I want to answer in this blog post (thank you Asmeria). The question: “What is the quickest way to become an enlightened and proficient Satanic magician?” Over the years, I have written plenty of blog posts and articles about “drive-through knowledge” so , today I want to focus on one thing a practitioner can do to further his / her Satanic knowledge.
Before I address the question, I would like to provide an excerpt from my book Sanctum of Shadows Volume II Corpus Satanas.
“If you do not feel you are learning as much as you want, there is a reason. The fact is, you may be reading this very sentence for the fifth or sixth time; trying to understand the meaning of this passage. Until you have a total grasp and have mastered what He wants you to master, you will not proceed any further in your studies and learning. Satan sets the tempo; He himself sets the tone of your learning event and overall acquisition of knowledge. He truly knows your abilities and while you may think you can handle more than He provides, as Jack Nicholson said, “You can’t handle the truth!!” It is important for you to come to terms with reality, as it is not a derogatory statement when Satan communicates “you are not ready for the next chapter, the next event or next experience”. He will meticulously break down the knowledge into smaller elements of which you will be able to understand. He will not set you up for failure!”
Some of the tools and tactics I use today are the products of trial and error; success and failure. I would try to find someone I thought would be knowledgable about the occult arts and talk to them or ask them to help. This was back in the 1980s and there were not many people who would openly discuss magic with a stranger: it was almost unheard of during that time. I went down countless metaphorical “dead-ends” during those years and wasted a lot of time in the process. Finally, after finding Hoodoo (and surrogate occult family) in New Orleans, I was able to make good progress on my LHP journey. As I have said many times before, I would have died in a back alley with a dirty needle in my neck had it not been for them.
Once I had experienced the true power of energy manipulation (magic), I wanted to learn everything I could about the topic. There were very few books which I could get access to and most of them were based upon Anton LaVey’s beliefs which contributed nothing to my “practice” of magic. Today we have the internet and answers to any question are a few clicks away however, if you wanted to read about some subject (or someone), you had the library or a few mom-and-pop bookstores. There were a few magazines about magic although most “respectable” bookstores would not carry anything about witchcraft, unless it was material geared toward identifying witchcraft practitioners to be used by xtians and the church. It would be littered with statements like “Anyone who denies jesus is god’s son is a witch”. By this idiotic statement, all atheists are “witches” which makes even less sense than a politician’s speech.
One of the first books which I acquired was The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley and I would read every time I got out of bed – not just read it but absorb every word and hunger for more. I would read cover to cover and begin again. I made notes in the margins and correlated every sentence which was similar in content looking for a better understanding; a more complete ability to apply the knowledge. Today, people skim through a book and claim to either know the material or quickly dismiss the content while struggling to understand the most basic of any subject matter. They hurry to become the masters of their chosen domains for recognition, respect, admiration, etc. as authorities in an authoritative world.
I am a visual learner and I like to know how all the pieces of a subject fit together before learning the endless caveats which surround any subject. Obviously some topics require a thorough understanding of the subject matter before performing the associated tasks. For instance, if the aspiring surgeon was handed a surgical book and scalpel and told to experiment with a few surgical procedures during the first year of medical school, things could become quite interesting and perhaps dangerous as well. There are prerequisites in any subject and those should be respected. There is a time to apply what has been learned and the same logic applies to the practice of magic.
In my early days of magic, I became frustrated for that precise reason. As a self practitioner, I had failure after failure and my recovery plan was always the same: “I’ll try harder”; whatever the fvck that could possibly mean. It wasn’t that I was not trying hard enough, the root cause was the fact that I did not have a sufficient grasp of the information so I was ending up in the same situation over and over. The very first successful magical operation I performed showed me that I could hurry through everything and fail or I could allow myself time to absorb and succeed. The answer was simple and over the years as I broadened my magical horizons, as I would feel the sense of urgency begin creeping in, I would step back and remember the first time and the valuable lesson resulting from that experience: “Stop, stop, stop, goddamnit, stop!” and with a deep breath, that is what I have done over 35 years as a Satanic magic practitioner.
Take a few moments in your journey to collect your thoughts and be honest with yourself. If you are not experiencing success in your practice of magic, evaluate your methods and find the root cause of the problem. Once you eliminate the true root cause of the problem, the problem will occur less frequently or not at all. Approach magic with a “steady and sure” methodology and you will begin to experience more successes than failures.
Until next time,
The Coven by Aleister Nacht