By Vexen Crabtree 2002
Magic and ritual in Satanism is mostly self-centered, and most of the time is only explicitly concerned with psychological techniques, psychodrama and advanced social skills. Rare communal rituals are more traditional, concerning altered states of mind as a result of the environmental and inspirational aspects of the ritual. Some Satanists do believe, and practice, actual supernatural magic. Such magic is a matter of cause-and-effect and individual willpower, rather than involving any invented external aspects such as demons or spirits. In Satanism, the self is the sole source of power in all magic and ritual.”
“Non-ritual or manipulative magic, sometimes called "LESSER MAGIC", consists of the wile and guile obtained through various devices and contrived situations, which when utilized, can create 'change, in accordance with one's will'.”
Subtle body language & subconscious communication (i.e., reading 'in between the lines' when a person speaks) are forms of Lesser Magic. Day to day behaviour or specific roles you slip into are forms of lesser magic... the art of controlling people in the most subtle ways. In that much, it isn't a form of supernatural magic, but everyday psychology, even if some develop an uncommon capability in it.
The 2nd Satanic Sin is "2. Pretentiousness. - - Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn't applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic". An example of failure to use lesser magic is empty posturing, where you make yourself out to be something you are not, or cannot provide or do what you claim you can do. This irritating trait seems to be a sign of insecurity, and in most cases in very transparent and will have a negative effect on people's opinion of you. This trait in particular, a Psychic Vampire warning sign, will ensure you never fascinate anyone!
For similar reasons, Anton LaVey wrote that "there is no sorcerer without a sense of humour. A sense of humour confers power in ways that cannot be learned"1. Humour is one of those subtle interpersonal skills that is so essential to enticing people to dropping their guard, that you just can't get along in magic without it. This is best illustrated by thinking of the opposite effect: Nothing puts up someone's defences quicker than if you approach them with pretentious seriousness and a burrowed frown, all dressed in black.
Curses and hexes are forms of Lesser Magic. They are the only profound part of Lesser Magic. Recently a neophyte asked me how to rid herself of a curse, and I told her the best way was not to believe in it. Because when you believe you are 'cursed' you are instantly assuming the worst and actively looking for things to blame on the curse! It's all wrong... and in that mindset you are not at your best. Just thinking you are cursed (and believing it) is a curse in itself. If you concentrate on the bad things that happen during a day, that day will seem worse than others. Curses work on human psychology - so the best way is to ignore them. I am immune to curses. Shad, a member of the London Satanists list, said in 2002 that "the easiest way to 'break' a curse as you put it, is just to not give it any power. By worrying constantly about it and blaming everything that goes wrong in your life on this little thing will only give it more power".
To curse someone who believes in curses all that is required is to present a curse to them, especially if you do it in the way that they fear most, whatever that is! And voila it might actually work, but not through any supernatural means, just working on them with plain paranoia!
The following is from my investigation into subtle psychological effects which can sometimes have pronounced physical effects, "Psychosomosis - the Placebo and Nocebo Effects: Curing and Causing Disease with the Mind" by Vexen Crabtree (2008):
Our expectations about life cause certain experiences, both in how we interpret events, to how we consciously put the world together, and affect our very senses such as sight and hearing. Suggestion and expectation are brothers-in-arms, and many psychosomatic diseases result from our expectations about our own reactions based on what we think is real. It is common that a person dislikes a food, and winds them self up about it to such an extent that consuming the food will make them sick. So far so harmless, but similar effects can be serious. A case from 80 years ago recently appeared in the New Scientist:
“Late one night in a small Alabama cemetery, Vance Vanders [name changed] had a run-in with the local witch doctor [... who] told him he was about to die and that no one could save him. [...] Vanders took to his bed and began to deteriorate. Some weeks later, emaciated and near death, he was admitted to the local hospital, where doctors were unable to find a cause for his symptoms [...]. Only then did his wife tell one of the doctors, Drayton Doherty, of the hex.”
The next morning, after much thought, the doctor told the family he had found the witch doctor. He performed another ritual, carefully inspecting his instruments, and administered a drug that made the man sick. He discretely produced a green lizard and pretended it had been secreted by the ill man, " 'Look what has come out of you Vance,' he cried. 'The voodoo curse is lifted.' Vanders did a double take [... and] drifted into a deep sleep. When he woke next day he was alert and ravenous. He quickly regained his strength and was discharged a week later"2.
The cause of the man's illness was his expectation and fear of illness caused by the witch doctor. The clever doctor proscribed an equal but opposite psychological effect. For some time, priests and other representatives of the unknown have been able to change a person's expectations about bodily ills and 'heal' them through suggestion. If the source of the information is given credence, then the effects are pronounced.”
Despite the psychology it was LaVey's belief that you can effect a more supernatural curse, although he anticipated that some would not share this belief.
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(2008) "Psychosomosis - the Placebo and Nocebo Effects: Curing and Causing Disease with the Mind" (2008). Accessed 2017 Apr 12.
LaVey, Anton. (1930-1997) Founder of the Church of Satan.
(1969) The Satanic Bible. Paperback book. Published by Avon Books Inc, New York, USA. Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966..
(1998) Satan Speaks!. Paperback book. Published by Feral House, USA.