This slight annoyance of being regularly asked by ‘fluffy Pagans’ if we are Satanists probably goes with the territory of being chaos magicians – at the very least we are supposed to eat a baby a week, it seems. The founder of Satanism, the late Anton LaVey, made the very pragmatic point that “stories of unbaptized babies being stolen by Satanists… were not only effective propaganda measures, but also provided a constant source of revenue for the Church, in the form of baptism fees. No Christian mother would, upon hearing of these diabolical kidnappings, refrain from getting her child properly baptized, post haste.” It’s all about the money, honey.
We have also had dealings with several people who would fall under the stereotypical definition of ‘real nutjobs about Satan.’ These include one especially memorable person at an academic conference on alternative religion that we attended a while back. Continue reading
Where Do Demons Live?: Everything You Want to Know About Magic, by Frater U.’. D.’.
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738714790, 187 pp., 2010
In Where Do Demons Live? Frater U.’. D.’. assumes the persona of “Aunt Klara”, an agony aunt for occultniks, delivering lectures on magickal combat, magickal musick, the models of magick (with a focus on the elusive cybernetic model) and answers questions about Freemasonry, witchcraft, the Golden Dawn, the OTO and Satanism.
The result is many ways reminiscent of Aleister Crowley’s Magick Without Tears, in that it represents in a collection of brief essays on a wide variety of topics, though in a vein all his own. Much like Frater U.’. D.’.’s previous works (Practical Sigil Magic, Secrets of Western Sex Magic, High Magic I and II), the advice and recommendations given by Frater U.’.D.’.’s alter (altar?) ego are refreshingly direct and matter of fact. Continue reading
If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It!, by Francis Breakspear, with contributions from Kate Hoolu and Dave Evans
Hidden Publishing, 9780955523731, 327 pp. (incl. bibliography and index), 2008
Francis Breakspear has written another light-hearted guide to magical practice, with periodic intrusions by the academically-inclined Dave Evans, and the sociologically-minded Kate Hoolu. Breakspear casts himself in the role of both taskmaster and as acts a source of comic relief.
I say this book is light-hearted, but it is also meant to be worked through, not merely read. Breakspear constantly calls upon the reader to examine themselves — attitudes, food habits, recreation, sex — and, further, challenges the reader to challenge themselves. Many of the exercises focus on expanding one’s self-awareness, and becoming more fluid in one’s sense of identity. Continue reading
Uncle Ramsey’s Little Book of Demons: The Positive Advantages of the Personification of Life’s Problems, by Ramsey Dukes
Aeon Books, 1904658091, 256 pp. (including notes), 2005
It is odd to review a book that tells me “If you enjoyed this book, keep it secret and deny any knowledge of it.” In this book Uncle Ramsey sets forth to help the reader cope with problems in everyday life, by understanding and interacting with the demons that lurk beneath and inside all forms of reality. Demons are living in our cars and photocopiers, friends and lovers, and perhaps most importantly inside of our self. The most frustrating or brilliant move (or both) that Uncle Ramsey made in this book was not dealing with the nature of the demon, are they real in some animistic sense, are they external projections from a troubled mind, are they purely mental constructs never extending past the confines of our skull, are they collective energies built by a hundred united thoughts, or all they all of these, or something else? Continue reading
Women of Power: The Woman As Magus, by Jaq D. Hawkins
CapallBann Publishing, 186163241X, (153 pp. including appendices, bibliography and index), 2006
“…most of the books on ceremonial magic continue to be written by men, despite significant numbers of female members existing in ceremonial magical Orders.”
Jaq D. Hawkins is the author of several books on magick. Her first, Understanding Chaos Magic, remains among the most straightforward introductions to the subject. Her latest book, Women of Power, tackles the subject of the woman as magus, what it means and how it plays out in practice. Continue reading