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From “OTONEN – A Guide to the Stage of Initiate”, Vindex Press 1989, 1999.

The Sinister Path

For many non-initiates and, unfortunately Initiates (an indication perhaps of the current state of the ‘Occult world’ itself), it is often misunderstood that the performance of a Rite of Initiation will bring forth immediate psychic change is noticeable in the individual; this itself will most likely be due to the intensity of  the Rite of Initiation. But whether such change has a lasting effect is another question, it being more likely that such immediate change will slowly evaporate as time passes. Another exception is that although there will have been no real or genuine inner change the Initiate will fall prey to one of the many delusions of the Abyss and believe that a change has occurred against all indications that tell otherwise (q.v. The Deceitful Occult Ego). So, although immediate change within the Initiate is possible, a more balanced and natural approach is to perceive Initiation as a process. It may be – and often actually is – physically desirable for the beginning of this process to be symbolized by the outer form of an Initiation Ritual (be it hermetic or ceremonial).

Along the Seven-Fold Sinister Way these Initiation rites (for in one sense all the rituals involved during the various stages of the Sinister Way are initiation rites in themselves) are primarily concerned with presenting the Darkness or acausal component of the psyche in the conscious world, or mind, of the Initiate. This enables the consciousness of the Initiate (that is, where the individual is largely controlled by unconscious desires or impulses) to that of Initiate (where the Satanist begins to comprehend and interact consciously  with these previously unconscious components) and then on to Adepthood where these energies are consciously understood enabling a certain balance to be attained between causal and acausal.

The Path of the Initiate

As each new Initiate progresses along the Sinister Path, it is expected that individual insights will add to the Tradition as a whole (the Heir to the Tradition adding significantly). Whether this does or does not happen is really dependent upon the Initiate and the quality of his or her contact with the Sinister Tradition. If the Path is genuinely followed, that is, if the Sinister is being actively pursued during the daily life of the Initiate (such pursuit or questing being a continuous act, and thereby a development of individual Will) genuine occult transformation will begin to occur. With this transformation it is possible that variations on some Sinister Rituals may arise whereby the Initiate finds a more powerful method of manifesting the acausal during the rite.

The rituals that are of primary concern for the Initiate are the Dark Pathways and the Sinister Pathworkings. Besides these rituals – which will already, if followed continuously, begin to dominate the Initiate’s consciousness – there are the individual sphere chants to be learnt, the undertaking of physical training, the study and practice of the Star Game, the study of Order texts and correspondences, the collation of incenses and the purchasing of specific implements for the future Temple. In regard to this latter aspect, by undertaking such actions these actions themselves will or may (dependent upon Individual Destiny) aid to the manifestation or creation of a Sinister Temple. That is to say, that by purchasing or making items that are specifically for a Sinister Temple, the reality of that (future) Temple is becoming presenced in the causal life of that Initiate.

Further to previous Order guidelines, a new method of Initiate development advises that the Initiate begins with the Dark Pathways themselves (instead of the Sinister Sphereworkings). The aim is to invoke one Dark God per week, meditating each night leading up to the ritual for no less than fifteen minutes on the respective sigil whilst slowly repeating the name of the Dark God or the World of Power. Combined with this the Initiate should aim to reduce sleep and food until the night of the ritual whilst also locating the respective planetary incense (taken from the bark of the respective tree) and burning this, during this, during the ritual. Once all Dark Pathways have been experienced, the Initiate may then undertake the Sinister Pathworkings, performing the nightly meditations. The  following of the Sinister Path in this manner, implies that the Initiate has already recreated or made conscious the Tree of Wyrd within him or herself, by consciously invoking each of the fundamental archetypes into consciousness. This conscious presenting of the archetypes thean being further developed by the Sphere Meditations themselves.

Initiate Tasks: Other Aspects

Besides the primary rituals that are required for the completion of Sinister Initaition, it is advisable that the initiate purchases – or contracts a jeweler to make – the relevant piece of jewelry to be worn (ring set with quartz for males, quartz necklace for females). The wearing of such an item of jewelry further stimulates the Initiate’s awareness that he or she is a member of a Tradition, one that is far more important and potent than the frankly rather pathetic past-times that most people takes as an interest or hobby. This ring or necklace becomes for the Initiate a ‘Mark of Satan’, a symbol of the Initiate’s quest and a constant reminder of the Sinister in the Initiate’s life, that is the Initiate is constantly aware that he or she is wearing and outward symbol – that others can see – of his or her Sinister Quest.

When all the different factors or tasks of Sinister Initiation are combined the Initiate’s entrance into the Sinister becomes a very potent force, one that is active (by virtue of the fact that the Initiate is consciously realizing or making real the Sinister in his or her life).

The practice of the chants is, as mentioned previously, a further task of the Sinister Way. Although this does not necessarily have to be undertaken during the stage of Initiate, it is advisable to begin to learn these so that once the Grade of Professed Brother or Sister is attained, the Sinister Magickian may be a little more prepared for the running of a Sinister Temple. By virtue of the fact that there are a number of chants that will need to be learned for use during Sinister ceremonial ritual it is usually advisable that the Diabolus is the first chant to be learned. Besides this the sphere chants are probably the next most important (the Agios Lucifer chant being ideal to begin with) since they provide a foundation for a number of rituals, and can be – and have been – used during the Dark Pathways Invokations.

There are of course a number of other tasks that are suggested, some new and some more Traditional aspects. One of the older and more secretive tasks is for the Sinister Initiate to gain some hosts from a Nazarene place of worship and desecrate these either during or after the Rite of Initiation. If one is seeking to join an existing Temple it will be necessary to have attained these prior to Initiation for use during Initiation, such an acquisition further proving the worth of the candidate.

A more recent addition to Tradition is that whilst the Initiate is undertaking the Dark Pathways, he or she draws a Tree of Wyrd in his or her Magickal Diary or ‘Sinister Book of Shadows’. This map however should only be added to once a Dark Pathway has been concluded. Thus, the Initiate begins by drawing the seven spheres, in appropriate sphere colors. Then, once the Noctulius Pathway is completed this is drawn in, then the Shugara Pathway is drawn in and so on. This in itself adds (albeit in a minor way) to the conscious integration of the energies being brought forth as enabling the Initiate to see – in physical terms – how the Pathways are connected to the spheres and one another.

Self-honesty and Sinister Occult Development

It is important to remember that, as an Initiate you have made a pledge to Satan and the Dark Gods to follow the Sinister Way:

‘Now receive as a symbol of your new desire and as a sign of your oath this sigil of Satan. This sign shall be the Power which I as Master wield shall always be a part of you – a symbol to those who can see and the Mark of our Prince.’

‘I….(state name chosen) am here to begin my Sinister Quest. Prince of Darkness, hear my oath! Baphomet, Mistress of Earth, hear me! Hear me, you Dark Gods waiting beyond the Abyss!’

(The Black Book of Satan)

It is easy in times of anger or tiredness to say to oneself that it doesn’t matter too much if a meditation is missed, or you don’y have a ring, or you don’t bother with the physical aspect, or that the Initiation Rite doesn’t need to be undertaken, or the Grade Ritual of External Adept isn’t really too important. That, because you know you could do it, it isn’t necessary to prove it to yourself.  And so on and so forth. And yes, it is easy to say such things because it means that you don’t have to make an effort. But, the Sinister Path is hard and demands commitment. It is only with this commitment, with this continuous effort, with this continual personal act of Will, of individual defiance, that such changes will occur. So in the context of Sinister Pathworking:

‘…faithful repetition is important, because by following the procedure exactly the required changes in consciousness are produced.’

(Naos)

How easy it is to miss these simple statements that describe the very means to achieve Sinister Adepthood. Perhaps if more Initiates actually did what was said by virtue of an act of Will then there might be more Sinister Adepts in the world. But things are as they are and human weakness is usually the cause of a waste of life, of potential. So, it is necessary, if the Sinister Initiate truly seeks an understanding that cannot be taken away from him or her, to follow the way as stated in numerous Order MSS. It is necessary to face the challenges that are set before the Initiate. At this stage there is no need to look too far ahead. Rather it is better to keep ones mind and thoughts on the current stage, because it is by following this stage now, and then the stage of External Adept, that the heights of the stage of Sinister Adept may finally be approached.

Thus, with all this in mind although the Initiate may have a tendency to say that it is not necessary to meditate upon the sigil of the Dark God each night prior to the Dark Pathways Invokations, such meditations really do enhance the energies brought forth and, after an unspecified amount of time has passed (dependent of course upon each Initiate) the Initiate will start to feel the acausal body surrounding the causal body.

Satanism and Satanic Influence

September 18, 2009

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It is a fact – seldomly understood and appreciated – that most individuals follow the creative lead of a few. It is also true that some of this majority absorb the creativity of others and bring it forth again – sometimes slightly altered, to claim as their own, and that this whole majority needs the stimulus of new forms, ideas, and ways, born via a creative genius or two – to vitalize them and begin the process of internal and external change.

The recent history of Satanism gives evidence for this. Various types of Satanism have emerged over the centuries, as have various exponents of it. Historically, Satanism is often taken to be – by those unacquainted with the Left-Hand Path – as Diabolism; that is, the invokation of the Devil and the making of a pact with Him. This evidenced in the medieval Grimoires and in those who were accused of such things. Later, various individuals were regarded as ‘Satanic’ and as teaching a form of Satanism, the most familiar being Crowley. Still later, various organizations emerged, each claiming to be Satanic and each teaching what they regarded as authentic Satanism. The most significant of these are the Church of Satan (Anton LaVey), the Temple of Set (Michael Acquino) and the Order of Nine Angles.

Diabolism

Central to all forms is fear – of the powers, entities invoked. Hence the use of various forms of protection such as ‘circles’. The ‘pact’, so familiar from the grimoires and accounts of Diabolism, was one between a master (the Devil) and a servant (the sorcerer). Implicit in all forms of Grimoire-type Satanism, is the belief (deriving from the Nazarene religion) of Satan as a fallen angel ultimately ruled over by ‘God’- there is always the possibility of being ’saved’. The archetypical Diabolist was a lapsed or practicing Nazarene, whose conjugations brought excitement and a sense of the ‘forbidden’.

Crowleyism

While ‘Thelema’, as a doctrine and belief, is regarded as many non-Occultists as ‘Satanic’, there is very little real Satanism in it, or indeed in Crowley’s own life and works. The work of Crowley is, in many ways, a continuation of the Eastern esoteric groups groups and societies active before and during his own time-a type of Westernized Tantra, heavily imbued with qabalism. The archetypical follower of Crowley is someone versed in Occult doctrines and mysticism, who seeks through sex and other rites certain states of consciousness, and who is oriented toward a belief in Thelema as a new faith/creed.

Church of Satan

The church achieved a high media profile due to the showmanship of LaVey. He expounded a philosophy of unenlightened egotism and self-interest, together with a belief in carnality. The rituals were in the tradition of the grimoires and imbued with qabalistic symbolism/notions (including some deriving from Crowley). Further, the Devil was dispensed with as an external power – making the LaVey type of Satanism more of a practical belief system than a dangerous (in Occult terms) undertaking.

Temple of Set

The Temple of Set was and is, essentially, an intellectual development of the Church of Satan. To the original was added an intellectual infrastructure (deriving in part from various mythologies and traditions) and an organizational structure with the aim of making Satanism a ‘new’ religion, acceptable to a significant number of individuals. Both the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set (The latter more so than the former) insist upon belief in their own version of Satanism – and expect the adherent/member to accept/conform. There is thus a fostering of dependence by the individual upon the group (and in particular, the leader[s] and Master).

Order of Nine Angles

The Order first emerged into public view in the early 1980’s (eh), and basically taught that Satanism was a means to attain self and Occult insight and abilities, and that this could only be done on an individual basis via direct, personal experience.

The archetypical CoS member was a black-robed figure who played a ‘role’, and who placed ego-fulfillment and pleasure before everything. LaVey was accepted as a ‘Master’ and an authority to be revered – and a personality cult developed. The archetypical ToS member is someone who has read a lot of Occult literature, who engages in discussions with others about their beliefs and practices, and who like the charisma and appeal of being a ‘Satanist’. Often they dress for the part – and need a group identity, a sense of ‘belonging’. They also accept Temple authority and are content to let an organization confer advancement upon them (in the form of titles and positions).

The archetypical ONA member is the lone sorcerer/sorceress struggling – via practical (and sometimes dark) experiences toward self-attainment, guided by the teachings of the Order, and by occasional meeting who has gone that way before.

Each of the above manifestations will be considered in turn. But what, then, is Satanism?  By what criteria can such a manifestation be judged? First, let us consider what Satanism is not. It is not an acceptance of conventional morality or ways of living; it is not a belief, or a faith which causes a rejection of the the reality (and harshness) of life; it is not a refuge for the failures, the cowards and the weak. Satanism is about pride, an acceptance of individual worth. It is about defiance – challenging the accepted, seeking to know the unknown and seeking to discover, to explore and conquer: a refusal to bow down or give in. It is about excellence – of going beyond what is, in personal terms; of achieving a greater awareness and understanding than the majority. It is a desire to experience the limits of living, to strive for thegods…

Diabolists are insipid, rather pathetic – a historical curiousity only: a footnote in the psycho-pathology of the Nazarene religion. Crowley was a rather under-developed egotist lacking the character to develop real self-insight. He could and did manipulate others, and did possess some Occult powers (intuitively) and some understanding of the Art of Magick. His followers are trapped by the flaws of his system – chief among which, are the self-stupefaction and self-satisfaction (and tus the illusion of development), rather than real self-insight and thus Occult abilities.

CoS members (and to a lesser extent those of the ToS) accept a sanitized Satanism – a ’safe Satanism’, where the Darkness is said to be only within, where it cannot threaten them. They also are stuck on the bottom rung of Occult understanding – seeing nothing beyond the confines of the ego and the carnal. The ToS claims to go further, but there is little or no practical experience of evil, of the Sinister, of those Dark Forces which are part of the Cosmos – there is instead an an inteelectualizing. There is also no going to extremes in living, no ordeals which challenge (and make) character no quest for personal excellence. Instead, there is the security of an organization, the acceptance of Temple authority and mandates. In brief, the fostering of a type of mental servitude – in belief and in practice. All these are contrary to what Satanism is.

Only the ONA understands and practices Satanism as it is. insisting that Satanism is about individual self-development in both real and Occult worlds, and that this can only be achieved by long, hard dangerous and toilsome experience. Furthermore, the ONA has exhibited a creativity and an understanding which makes all other manifestations pale into insignificance. Thus, it is not surprising that it has been so influential over the past few years.

This influence has, however, seldom been acknowledged – other groups and individuals often borrowing the teachings, methods and ideas and claiming them as their own, this ‘borrowing’ not being confined to ‘Satanism’ or LHP groups in general. This is both natural and necessary – giventhe sterility of creativity which exists and has existed in such groups, and given the nature of the human species in general, and the Satanic in particular.

The chief contributions of the ONA, toward an understanding of Satanism in particular, and the Occult in general, may be described:

1.  Satanism and LHP as a means to individual development, leading to Adeptship and beyond – via practical experience and ordeals (qv.  the grade rituals).

2. The emphasis on developing both the mental and physical character of the individual.

3. A greater understanding of Magickal (and Occult) forces – and thus their nature – via the development of the concepts of causal and acausal, and an abstract system to represent this, enabling conscious apprehension (as opposed to belief and superstition).

4. The re-structuring of magickal symbols and forms in archetypical terms – in particular the Septenary Tree of Wyrd and the Deofel Quintet (the latter explicating the archetypical, particularly in the ‘real world’ from the viewpoint of the Sinister Novice).

5. The creation of a Sinister Tarot whose images are Sinister, and thus imbued with Satanic energy.

6. Revealing and significantly extending Aeonic Magick – enabling any individual to undertake such works.

7. The emphasis on an individual Initiate working alone and achieving practical goals – without accepting in a religious way a higher authority – and making this achievable by all via the publication of practical guides to all aspects of Satanism (Naos, Codex Saerus, Sacraentum Sinistrum, Thernn, etc.).

8. Bringing an awareness of the Dark Gods – of the Sinister energies/forces which exist and which have been symbolized by ‘Satan’/the Devil…

9. An emphasis of the personal qualities – the character  – of a Satanist, enshrined in the concepts of Excellence, Honour, and the motto “die, rather than submit to anyone or anything”.

10.  A re-affirmation of the positive, life-enhancing nature of Satanism as opposed to the stereotypical image of obsession with with death and decay – a movingaway from the image/role of the Satanist as a showman-type ‘Devil’/Mephisto figure obsessed with with carnality and pandering to his or her own weaknesses, and seeking media attention, toward the secretly-working lone sorcerer/sorceress concerned with their own development and works of esoteric Sinister Magick…

A perusal of literature, statements and other such causal forms by other groups and individuals, since the manifestation of the ONA, will show the extent of its influence – of how, in a subtle way, such individuals and groups have been changed by a Sinister organization. Such changes, and such influence, will grow, although it may well go unnoticed by all save the few genuine Adepts.