The Adversary

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I went to my first Unitarian Church service this past week, I may do it again this week. The Unitarian church is a fairly free thinking church encouraging people to find their own religion and to provide an umbrella and community for folks as they do that.

So you’d think it’s a good match for the paradigm piracy of a Chaos Magician, yes? Well, I get the impression it’s based on the idea that all the world religions have something good to offer, which isn’t a bad thought. But it leaves something out – the adversary, the cults that exist in opposition to the righteous mainstream faith.

This got me thinking about the Adversary, to Americans the most famous example is Satan. And there is a lot of occult activity around Satan, and chaos magicians are not infrequently part of it.

In Occult magic, Satanism may imply a deity to be worshipped or make deals with, or a metaphor for independence, personal power and self reliance. But it’s not infrequent a given Satanist will change their mind about Satan in their practice.

Satanism is certainly a ‘left hand’ paradigm. This left hand, right hand business may have something to do with tantra originally. Very simply, if it is believed the power is coming from without, as in prayer to God, that’s right hand path. If it is believed the power comes from yourself, that’s left hand path.

To those familiar with the Christian paradigm, certainly it should be crystal clear God is a jealous God and demands your exclusive worship and reliance. That ‘no other Gods’ stuff, it includes having the arrogance to use your own power. The Egyptians took it one further, graven images for them were means to exert personal control over a God – no wonder Jews hold the graven image as being so forbidden.

Now there is the misunderstanding that Satanists kill people and do gruesome stuff. That does happen, but the people doing it aren’t Occultists. The Satanism they practice may the one taught them by Christians, not Satanists preceding them. There are some cults that deal with human sacrifice, but these tend to be pagan rather than Satanic.

When you look at Satanism, is there evil to be found? Really Anton LaVey, author of The Satanic Bible, love him or hate him – his influence colors all of Satanism. Which means there is an ethical foundation that a European black metal ‘Satanist’ would find down right ‘goody goody’. The really evil stuff isn’t organized, it takes personal mental illness to kill people for satan. The closest I’ve found to evil organized Satanism, what is offensive is their Nazism and not their theology, to the extent the theology can be distinguished from the Nazism.

Should you be a Satanist? Meaning the occult Satanist with a system of ethics? The ethics in a nutshell: do unto others as you’d have them do unto you – but never turn your cheek, destroy those that attack you! I’m not a Satanist myself, though the ethics have a kind of primal masculine appeal. Christian God is perfectly evil, insane and awesome as He is – and intellectually I can not accept Christianity. Satanism – it’s Christian. (And if you wanna talk about Set, that Egyptian religion is awfully close to Christianity).

Generally if you are most comfortable with an elitism ala Ayn Rand and a flavour of Corporatist right wing politics, modern Satanism might be a good fit for you. Such a cold conservatism is very much at odds with genuine Christianity or Buddhism or what have you, but it is an excellent fit for modern Satanism.

In Hoodoo, the stories of the blues musician making a deal with the devil to get the talent – it’s doctrine. As in, if you want to learn to play guitar, go find yourself a crossroads with your guitar and wait for the devil to come and make you a deal. But it’s doubtful this devil has any relation to Satan or Lucifer, or that there’s a soul lost in the transaction. Hoodoo is African American folk magic, and the African roots, they also exist in the African Yoruba religion and Voudon and such. Papa Legba is one name of the god of the crossroads, and his depiction is most often that of a jet black devil.

The Hoodoo formula specifying a crossroads and most often referring to the man you are meant to meet as the ‘dark man , or Black man’ – it’s clear to me it’s not the devil, but Papa Legba that is generous with gifts of musical and artistic talent. If you’re going to try this yourself here’s the authoritative Lucky Mojo article on cross roads magic

Here’s Papa legba’s sigil, perhaps a good idea to make this sigil and leave an offering (whiskey, candy, cigar) if you mean to meet the dark man at the cross roads. papa legba sigil

Now a thought about duality. Someone reading this is scandalized, they understand that if it isn’t right with God, it’s the work of the DEVIL. And that I’m not condemning Satanism, that I’m bringing up crossroads work, certainly my soul is damned and the poor soul reading this needs to confess and say several “hail Mary’s”!

But look at what trying to be really pure and good and never anything bad or carnal actually does to a person. The Catholic Priesthood is a fine example – they are so not carnal they commit to celibacy! And what do we know about Catholic Priests? Many of them rape little boys and the other priests cover it up!

What is the lesson here?

The more you repress a thing, the stronger it becomes. No kidding.

That’s why whenever there is a killing in the name of Satan, the person doing it is almost ALWAYS from a severe Christian background, and always they convert back to fundamentalist Christianity once imprisoned!

You know how you destroy an enemy, utterly, irrevocably and forever? YOU MAKE FRIENDS WITH THEM!

And that’s what we need to do with our dark side. If you make it wrong, repress it – it will grow stronger till you cannot control it or yourself. And if that’s what you’re up to, you are a believer in the devil and live life in an awesome struggle with that devil. But if you accept who you are, warts and all, that part of you that isn’t socially acceptable – it’s something you can control as long as you accept it, you may find an acceptable way to express it. People that author horror books or movies or really angry cathartic speed metal music, they couldn’t do that well without loving the worst part of themselves.

If you are just an occultist, what is the value of the adversary? As Phil Hine points out, “the devil grants wishes!”. From a Chaos Magic point of view of “nothing is true, everything is permitted!”, there’s no barrier between the magician and any God or idea the magician would wish to experiment with – even the DEVIL!

Most of us were born into an Abrahamic faith or a dualistic faith featuring an Adversary. Because the devil is one of the earliest boogie men we experience in life, the symbol holds tremendous subconscious power. You need not believe in the devil consciously to use the devil magically and get an awesome result. That subconscious fear is all good, part of the anti-intellectual backbone of an effective magical experience.

But the devil isn’t right for just anyone to work with. If you consciously fear the Devil in your belief system, it’s not cool to challenge that fear magically, if anything magic may exacerbate the fear into an emotional handicap. I don’t fear the devil, my position is closer to that of an Atheist – but I don’t work with the Devil myself. The lore is just too negative, the devil may grant wishes but never happiness.

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44 Responses to The Adversary

  1. Yes, I like what you wrote, but only partially. Regardless, it’s all good reading. Thanks!

    • Really I wanted to get to the idea of accepting every bit of yourself and making friends with your ‘dark side’. It’s just that there’s so much misinformation about real Satanism and the deal at the cross roads that I got a little side tracked with a ‘teach-in’.

  2. Speaking about gold, I recently not too long ago read a intresting piece of writing regarding Yellow Gold Cross Necklaces

    • Lol, i’d normally allow the spam catcher tell me to trash this response, but selling gold crosses isn’t unethical, and I suppose someone reading this post may feel they really need one bad.

      Yes, yellow gold has solid ‘white light’ and Christian associations. It also help a pale skin color look more colorful. There are rumors the cross symbol is also representative of the zodiac which features a crucifix diving the quarters of the zodiac which correlates to scripture, unless it’s a coincidence Moses/ram/aries replaces Bull/taurus and is replaces by Jesus/Pisces who tells people to look forward to a man carrying water/Aquarius….

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  9. I have been playing the guitar for over 25 years and your blog post has been the most informative and inspiring that I have read on playing my favorite instrument. You can be sure that I am saving your blog for future reference.

    • This has got to be one of the funniest responses I have ever gotten to a blog post ’cause it is so… matter of fact. Well, I hope your experiment at the cross roads gives you what 25 years of practice and hard work didn’t. Ha!

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    • Really now? So this is another canned response you can cut and paste into any blog listed as having ‘comment luv’ enabled or another ‘do follow’ option?

      I’ve been there myself, I’m right there with you. You need backlinks for your SEO and you need ‘em bad! And posting to related blog entries is a good way to do that – and the cross roads magic mentioned in the article here corresponds to the blues songs about the same subject.

      Why Blues Guitar Instruction as your niche market? I hope it’s because you have a love of the Blues and playing guitar, I hope that background gives you the insight to promote the best products! But how I can know that rather than just hope is that you write compellingly about the subject, and I visited your page – it doesn’t read well to me as a person, but I might like it better if I’m a web spider? You can do both! And if you love Blues guitar, you can write something interesting about it!

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