What Is Lesser Magic in Satanism?


Quick Answer

Lesser magic is the practical art of using various powers of personal attraction to influence others. Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, devoted his 1971 book "The Compleat Witch," later released as "The Satanic Witch," to his system of lesser magic.

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What Is Lesser Magic in Satanism?
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Full Answer

Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966. LaVeyan Satanism is an atheistic philosophy that views Satan as an archetype of individualism and rebellion against traditional mores, rather than as a living deity to worship.

Magic, for LaVey, was the powerful, egocentric animal drive for survival, not a supernatural force. Lesser magic is a practical art used to enchant others. Anton LaVey taught women to fascinate by creating an aura of glamour through personal attractiveness and the cultivation of an aura of mystery.

In contrast, LaVey characterized greater magic as the use of ritual to induce a highly charged emotional state in the practitioner. LaVey believed that if the practitioner's emotions were intense enough, they could affect the subconscious mind of the person the practitioner wished to manipulate.

LaVey emphasized that ritual alone would not lead to success. He stressed that magicians should practice applied psychology instead of relying on ritual alone to fulfill their desires. LaVey's colorful past as an entertainer in the world of the carnival and circus helped inspire his system of lesser magic.

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