My witchcraft is heavily based on the calling and invoking of different gods and deities, spirits and demons. As I do not actually believe in most of these deities, or at least have a very distanced relation to my own belief in them, it can be quite confusing to those few who know about and are interested in my spiritual pursuits. This post will be a short attempt to explain why I use deities and how my belief in their powers co-exist with my belief that it is my own magical power that does all the work.
Were you to ask me what religion I believe in, I would answer “Satanism, in which you are your own god”. If you would like to dig deeper into this concept I recommend The Satanic Bible. I have a strong belief that all religion and magic is in the end just different, and often corrupted ways, of channelling the magic within us. Every living being holds magical power, but humans are the only species I know to pursue an increase of magical power. Usually this is performed by trying to channel magical energy that is not our own – in traditional religions, especially monotheistic ones, this power is believed to come from a god that is detached from reality, an imagined ultimately powerful being (or beings) who hold more magical power than we can imagine. These gods are rarely associated with any magical element of reality, and if they are, they are so in a very vague way. Then there are those religions who try to channel the magical energy of deities that are linked to other magical phenomena, such as different animals, our own dreams, weather phenomena et cetera. Still, what the practitioners are doing is calling upon the power of others to aide them because their own power is limited, they are asking for help, rather than trusting in their own power and worth and demanding it.
That is the core of Satanism. Instead of asking for the help of imagined deities, we use the power of the image of the god to command them to do our bidding, because we in ourselves are powerful and worthy beings. We are equal to the gods, but just as they, we are not omnipotent. Calling upon omnipotent gods within Satanic ritual is to my knowledge not only avoided, but also scorned, because it always puts you down from being the most powerful being in your life – and believe me, you are!
Now then, on to the more personal dimension. After practising magic for only a few years I realised that sticking to the classics in Satanism, that is, Satan and his various incarnations, wouldn’t do it for me. In order to properly channel my magic I needed to invoke deities that lay close to my own heart, deities that brought up emotion and power from within me. You can call for the service of the most impressive and powerful forces of nature, but if you do not believe in the personification of those forces you ultimately do not believe in your own magical energy, and your casting will be useless. Looking back at my life and what had influenced me I found a tingling inside me as soon as I thought of Tolkien’s world. If you are unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings and the world of Middle-Earth, I strongly recommend that you catch up on your reading. Tolkien imagined an entirely different world with gods of their own. In the book The Silmarillion and various other works he describes how the gods create the world, how they function in it and he tells many different stories of their lives and adventures. The gods are called valar and their helpers, spirits of sorts, are called maia. The gods are all associated with different phenomena in our lives that not only hold deep magical power, but their responsibilities and associations were also grouped in a way that made a lot of sense to me. Thus I decided to use them as a basis for my magical practices. They are, in essence, my home gods, that I feel personally connected to. I have cultured a belief in them within myself, formed deep associations between certain powers of my own and their domains. I, for all intents and purposes, believe in these gods. Sometimes in my rituals I will incorporate other gods. Ancient Egyptian gods, Lucifer, even Catholic saints – but they are always secondary.
It is our belief in a deity that makes them real. It is only through our power and our imagination that they exist. We are the creators, and the ones who hold ultimate power. We are the source of all their magic, and through our existence they live.