I'm a writer from New Jersey, now living in Chicago. Journalist/production manager for a news site, aspiring to become an author of fantasy novels. In the meantime, I'm blogging.

I like nature, black metal, the occult, cats, and good wine.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

An outsider's guide to the occult

For a long time now, my social media posts and video uploads have indicated that I have a strong interest in Left-Hand Path occult activities - something that most who know me in person understand to be true. I would describe myself as a student of black magick - someone who is still learning, gathering information and resources, and finding a specific blend of varied esoteric philosophies that best suit me. Based on what I know, practice, and have experienced, I decided to create a guide for those who may not fully comprehend or understand my beliefs. Bear in mind that I will personally bear the burden of proof for any and all of the following claims that I make, most of which are not backed up by current science (and are, thus, ‘preternatural’). That being said, skeptics and materialists/anti-spiritualists need not read any further if the subject of this blog post offends their delicate, clinical, ‘rationalist’ sensibilities.

What is magick?
My definition of magick is as follows: “The conduit through which one may affect things by means that could not be achieved through normal, natural, or materialistic means.” That may sound like an interpretive generalization, but if you take a minute to discern the meaning behind the explanation, it’s actually quite clear. There are various theories as to what “the conduit” I call magick would consist of, but I postulate that it is energy. In agreement with the Septenary tradition upheld by the Order of Nine Angles, or the Chaos-Gnostic branch of Satanism espoused by organizations like the Temple of the Black Light, I believe this energy to be the acausal - that which is based on the random and chaotic, and according to Jungian psychology, defined by meaning rather than causation (hence the association of magick with ritual, symbolism, and numerology). Acausal energy is also, by that very definition, thus not defined by time or our laws of physics, and is derived from another plane of existence apart from our material universe.

What is the point?
“Why bother with all this magick claptrap anyway?” some might ask. First of all, studying the occult is a pursuit recommended only for those seeking knowledge and wisdom, and if you don’t care about either of those things, you might as well turn back now. It takes years of study to effect material transmogrification - that is, to alter the material by way of the spiritual - on a level that is noticeable to human perception. As to why you should ‘bother’ with it, if you seek that aforementioned knowledge - in a context outside of how the rest of society pursues it - that alone is an excellent reason to begin your slow, arduous walk down that Left-Hand Path (as for the wisdom, well, you can’t simply seek that out - you will only acquire that through your experiences). Other benefits include altered perception, inner tranquility, power, and apotheosis (the exaltation of oneself above the mundane and the nondescript).

Where do I begin?
The best answer to this kind of question must be in the form of another question: What is it you are trying to experience or achieve? And therein lay one more query: What is the driving emotion behind your desire to be involved in black magick? Is it vengeance or retribution? Then curses/malediction and blood magick may work best for you. Is it an interest in death? I recommend necromancy, necrology/thanatology, and grave theurgy. Are you interested in the demonic and/or hold beliefs in demonolatry or Satanism? In that case, welcome to the deepist pits of black magick... And so on and so forth.

You can see how it is not so simple a thing just to ask, “Where do I begin?” Depending on what your desires and interests are narrowed down to, I and others would recommend different books, different systems of magick, different organizations and orders, even different branches of Satanism and/or Luciferianism. Here’s my advice: Based on your pursuits, begin researching - seriously researching - those ancient texts that will help inform your interests, then acquire them, read them, study them. And don’t half-ass it; don’t try and cheat or take the easy way out of anything related to your studies, and be sure the road you have chosen is truly the one you want to take before actually getting hands-on and trying to do something, even if that something involves a seemingly innocuous item like a Ouija board. Treat everything as if it were a dangerous explosive - handle with care. 

And finally, don’t get your information from armchair occultists lurking in online forums or supposedly “magickal” Facebook groups; or from poorly slapped-together websites that don’t cite sources; or from charlatans who are looking to sell you a bill of goods with little to no proof that anything about them or what they do is authentic.

What is the Left-Hand Path?
The Left- and Right-Hand Path are terms that refer to a dichotomy between two opposite approaches to spirituality. We can separate the two in many ways, first and foremost by their characteristics. The Left-Hand Path encourages individuality and eccentricity over herd mentality/groupthink/conformity; exclusivity and (in some cases) asociality; iconoclasm when necessary; pride and ego; and liberation of mind, body, and spirit/psyche and the pursuit of carnal desires.

The Right-Hand Path is often defined by placing emphasis on collective/social action - especially in a struggle or reach for a goal perceived as being ‘greater than oneself’; conformity and compliance; concepts that take away from or are derived from a sacrifice or lessening of oneself - such as altruism and martyrdom; adherence to an often-puritanical moral code; and fear of judgment or punishment for acts perceived to be sinful.

The Left-Hand Path includes religions such as Satanism, Luciferianism, Demonolatry, some forms of Paganism, Thelema, some forms of Chaos-Gnosticism, and Zos Kia Cultus. The Right-Hand Path includes most major religions (often referred to by Left-Handers as ‘white-light religions’), including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and yes, even alternative religions like Wicca and Scientology. The Left-Hand Path is associated with black magick, whereas the Right-Hand Path is linked to, of course, white magick. I also personally believe in Green Magick, which can be practiced by those who walk either path.

And finally, some sources
I hope this post cleared a few things up. I may write a followup post if this proves interesting to people, but my guess is that just a few readers will peruse this; either way, I hope you enjoy it and get something out of it. I’ll conclude this entry with some literary sources you can check out, based on different areas of interest.

Chaos-Magick, Chaos-Gnosticism, the Septenary System of Satanism, Sinister Satanism, Anti-Cosmic Satanism:
NAOS: A Practical Guide to Modern Magick and Additional Satanic Texts, by Thorhold West, Order of Nine Angles
The Black Book of Satan, by Order of Nine Angles
Hostia: Secret Teachings, by Order of Nine Angles
Acosmic Satanism: A Manual of Its Basic Concepts and Practices, by Frater Ikkoris
Liber Falxifer: The Book of the Left-Handed Reaper, by the Temple of the Black Light
Liber Falxifer II: The Book of Anamlaqayin, by the Temple of the Black Light (focuses more on necrosophy)
The Book of Sitra Achra, by the Temple of the Black Light
Liber Azerate, by Frater Nemidial, Temple of the Black Light
The Grimoire of Asha’Shedim, by Asha Shedim

Necromancy, Thanatology, Grave Theurgy, Necrosophy, the Maergzjiran tradition:
Charnel Whispers: Mastery of Necromancy, Death, and Undeath, by Somnus Dreadwood
Gravelording, by Var Von Brennos
Spiritus Libro Mortifero: The Cabal Grimoire of Death Magick, by Somnus Dreadwood
Autem Libris Iratusque Mortis: The Compleat Works of Atrophy, by Somnus Dreadwood
Necromantic Sacraments, by S. Connolly
The Language of the Corpse, by Cody Dickerson (historical work, not a grimoire - but informative nonetheless)
Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the 15th Century, by Richard Kieckhefer

Blood Magick:
Keys of Ocat: A Grimoire of Daemonolatry Nygromancye, by S. Connolly
Liber Hirudo: The Book of the Leech, by Var Von Brennos

Green Magick, herbal grimoires, occult pharmacology:
Veneficium: Magic, Witchcraft, and the Poison Path, by Daniel A. Schulke
Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft, by Dale Pendell
Herbs in Black Magick, by Magister Hagur, Sinister Pathway Triangle Order
Thirteen Pathways of Occult Herbalism, by Daniel A. Schulke

The Catechism of Lucifer, by Johannes Nefastos
Wisdom of Eosphoros: The Luciferian Philosophy, by Michael W. Ford
The Bible of the Adversary, by Michael W. Ford
Beginning Luciferian Magick, by Michael W. Ford
Exegesis of Lucifer, by Richard K. Page

The Book of the Witch Moon, by Michael W. Ford
Hands of Apostasy: Essays on Traditional Witchcraft, by various authors
Children of Cain: A Study of Modern Traditional Witches, by Michael Howard
Idolatry Restor’d: Witchcraft and the Imaging of Power, by Daniel A. Schulke
Conjuration of Devils and Spirits, by Reginald Scot
Azoetia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft, by Andrew D. Chumbley
The Key of Hell: An 18th Century Manual on Black Magic, by Anonymous
Galdrabรณk, by Anonymous

Demonolatry, Demonology, Demonurgy:
The Lesser Key of Solomon (also known as Clavicula Salamonis Regis and includes the Ars Goetia), by Anonymous
[note: the above book contains the traditional pantheon of 72 demons most commonly used by traditional demonolators]
Grimorium Verum, by Anonymous
Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, by Johann Weyer
The Grand Grimoire, by Antonio Venitiana del Rabina
Dictionnaire Infernal, by Collin de Plancy
The Complete Book of Demonolatry Magic, by J. Thorp
Demonolatry Rites, by S. Connolly
A Book of the Offices of Spirits, by John Porter
The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, by Arthur Edward Waite
Histoires des Spectres, by Pierre Le Loyer
The Bible of Demonology and Witchcraft, by Jean Bodin

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