Infernal Dialogues

Infernal Dialogues

Demons | Ritual | Spirituality | FAQs 

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Basic Satanic Ritual & Magick For Neo-Pagans

When most people think of “Satanic rituals”, they conjure up wild and frightening imagery of animal sacrifice, perverse sexual orgies and, of course, chanting masked figures clad in dark robes.  This is, of course, to be expected when one considers the popular depictions of Satanism and its rituals.  The entertainment industry is to blame for much of these negative and unfairly stereotyped portrayals; Satanism, along with witchcraft, has always been an enticing target for storytellers looking to craft an enthralling plot.  The reality of Satanism and its practices, however, could not be more different.
Although there are always those with different perspectives, it is safe to say that most Satanists, regardless of path, do not condone criminal acts and any acts in which an innocent life is destroyed or harmed in any way.  This philosophy also carries over into the realm of ritual practice—although most Satanists either practice or support the use of destructive magick, it is not to be assumed that this means that we support the careless application of curses and other maleficium.  As I will discuss a later, black magick is not always deserving of its reputation.  I should also point out that not all Satanists and Demonolators practice magick—many are simply spiritual individuals who, for them, derive their fulfilment from the simple acts of prayer, meditation or by making offerings to their gods.  For the purposes of this article, however, I would like to introduce you to some of the rituals and magickal workings practiced by real Satanists and Demonolators.
I have had quite a few Wiccans and Neo-Pagans surprised to learn that some paths within Satanism embrace many of the same practices and ritual observances which they do themselves—most common is the concept of the “Wheel of the Year”.  Since some Satanic paths are also Neo-Pagan in that they recognise the divinity within the Natural World, practitioners of such paths honour the Earth through the celebration of seasonal rites.  These celebrations may or may not retain the traditional names such as Lughnasadh or Samhain as they occur within the Satanic paths which observe them, but for some they do.  For most Theistic Satanists who choose to observe the Wheel of the Year, the meanings behind each Sabbat are not typically the same as those found within Wicca.  
For example, while Wiccans generally adhere to the mythology of the God and the Goddess and their roles according to the seasons, Theistic Satanists may choose to simply honour the Earth in general, the Elements, an aspect of Satan or a particular Demon.  The latter is typical of most Demonolators—there are Demons, just as there are gods and goddesses, which correspond to each of the festivals.  It should be noted that Demonolatry is not inherently Satanic in nature.  There are Demonolators who do not recognise Satan as an entity of any kind.
For Atheistic and LaVeyan Satanists specifically, magick may or may not play a role in one’s day-to-day existence.  Although most LaVeyan Satanists consider any belief in the supernatural to be nonsensical, LaVey’s own writings are ambiguous where the belief in natural magick is concerned.  For these Satanists, magick and ritual are regarded as psychological vehicles for self-transformation and catharsis—however, LaVey clearly endorsed the use of ritual for a variety of purposes such as for the cursing of enemies as well as for the blessing of loved ones.
One ritual with its origins solidly rooted within LaVeyan tradition is the celebration of one’s own birthday.  This idea was a result of LaVey’s belief that every human being is inherently divine and godlike—thus the day of one’s birth is seen as a holy day in the same manner as the holy day of any other god or goddess.  Many Theistic Satanists and non-LaVeyan Atheistic Satanists have also adopted the recognition of one’s own birthday as a holy day within the context of their own systems of belief.  As I have said before, much of the content within modern Satanism has been, in some way or another, inspired by Anton Szandor LaVey.
Where we find historical “accounts” of alleged Satanism, we almost certainly are confronted with the notorious imagery of the devotee making a gruesome pact with Satan—in essence, “selling one’s soul” to the Devil.  As nonsensical as the selling of one’s soul to Satan is, many real-life Satanists do actually choose to devote themselves to Him by means of a pact.  Most often the agreement outlines the individual’s own willingness to dedicate themselves to maintaining a lifelong relationship and allegiance with Satan.  If this idea makes you uncomfortable, then perhaps your perception is still influenced by popular culture and Christian propaganda.  Nevertheless, Satanic pacts can and do play an important role in an individual’s spiritual journey. 
Pacts and Self-Initiation
Before you dismiss the practice of Satanic pacts, entertain for a moment the process of self-initiation and dedication within a Wiccan or Neo-Pagan context.  Generally, when a Seeker finds a deity with whom they wish to work or align themselves, it is typical that they perform what is known as a self-dedication ritual—making a vow to serve that entity.  Likewise, when a Seeker has come to accept Wicca or Neo-Wicca as their religion of choice, it is customary for him or her to be initiated or to perform a self-initiation rite for the purpose of devoting themselves to their path.  There is absolutely no difference between a Wiccan dedication ritual and a Satanic pact other than the fact that most Wiccans do not dedicate themselves to Satan! 
The pact itself may be created with or without the accompaniment of a proper ritual.  Some Satanists choose a specific day, time and place for the signing of their pacts—others decide on a whim and let Chaos dictate what is to follow.  Still others enjoy the theatrics of psychodrama, the use of ritual and symbolism in the stimulation of psychological processes, and may choose to create their pact to be reminiscent of a medieval parchment, complete with their signature rendered in their own blood. 
Although this may sound pointless and grotesque, it is generally accepted within Neo-Paganism that the use of symbolism and ambience can greatly affect one’s mood and magickal undertakings for better or for worse.  The use of blood in ritual is also not unique to Satanism as there are a number of Neo-Pagan paths which utilise its magickal and energetic properties.  Signing a pact in one’s own blood also implies a sense of seriousness in that one is pledging one’s word, through his or her very life’s essence ensuring that the oath is unbreakable.  The most common reason why devotees may decide to use such imagery is because many Satanists, like some Neo-Pagans and witches, appreciate darker themes and feel more comfortable expressing themselves in this way.  Others may find such things distasteful and opt for a more basic approach, using instead a simple piece of paper and an altar adorned with seasonal flora.

The following is an example of a very basic pact (©2011 Torey B. Scott): 

I, __(name)__, do hereby pledge, from this day forward, my allegiance, loyalty and services to my Lord, Satan.  I promise to honour Him, exalt Him and to open myself to receive His lessons that I may grow in the Light of Knowledge.  I will strive to question all established truths and to challenge those who maintain that ignorance is bliss.  I acknowledge that I am a human being, worthy of contentment, and I will aspire to satisfy my desires and needs to the capacity which both law and love allow.  Above all, I shall remain forever true to myself and to those whom I love.  By all that I hold dear to me, I dedicate myself to you, Lord Satan.  

Satanic self-initiation rituals are slightly different from pacts in much the same way that Wiccan and Neo-Pagan self-initiation rituals differ from dedication rituals.  A Satanic self-initiation ritual should always be written solely by the initiate.  In addition to the fact that writing one’s own ritual ensures that it is original and deeply personal, as there are no sacred texts within independent Satanism which dictate a “proper” ritual outline.  Initiates are free to tailor their rituals to their unique practices and relationship with Satan and for many this enables them to better express themselves and their intent.  If a pact was not previously made, the self-initiation ritual is an ideal time to pledge oneself to Satan.  Alternately, the Seeker may choose to pledge themselves by means of a self-dedication instead of a pact.  A self-dedication ritual may be done within a self-initiation rite or it may be done separately.
Like other Neo-Pagan self-initiation rituals, it is encouraged that the initiate purchase or make something for themselves ahead of time which will serve as a gift and a reminder of his or her emergence into a new life as a Satanist.  Many individuals choose jewellery adorned with traditional Satanic icons such as the inverted pentagram, Baphomet or inverted cross.  There is no compulsory requirement that one must adhere to any form of symbolism within Satanism whatsoever—such images carry importance and validity, but the initiate should choose something which he or she is both comfortable wearing and which is harmonious with his or her personal beliefs.  
Self-initiations, like other Satanic rituals, may or may not be performed whilst skyclad or nude.  Nudity within Satanism does not retain the same importance found within most Neo-Pagan traditions, so it is entirely up to the individual.  It is usually encouraged for one to look one’s best however—this means having a cleansing shower or bath beforehand, brushing one’s teeth and hair and (if wearing clothing) dressing in one’s “Sunday best”.  The reasons behind this are essentially to ensure pride in oneself, to show respect to the Divine and to remind oneself that true success in any walk of life takes effort.
Although when the ritual takes place is of little real importance, it is my personal belief that sunrise or noon are the best times to perform self-initiations even though some Satanic sects insist that initiations be carried out after sunset.  I believe that rituals during the daylight hours are ideal because Satan is traditionally recognised as a Solar deity, therefore the Sun should theoretically be present for the ceremony.  This is certainly not a requirement, but in my opinion it is another way to honour Satan and to invite Him into your sacred space.
The rest of the ritual and its design is dictated by the imagination of the initiate.  Many take inspiration from existing Satanic rituals such as those found within Anton LaVey’s book The Satanic Rituals or rites published in works by other Satanic sects.  Again, there is no required equipment nor is there any structure which must be adhered to when constructing a self-initiation ritual.  The following is a very basic outline for a Satanic self-initiation rite which I have written for the purposes of this article:
Satanic Self-Initiation Ritual (©2011 Torey B. Scott)

·         Baphomet pendant
·         Four black candles
·         One red candle
·         Inverted pentagram paten or Baphomet altar statue
·         Red pen
·         Black pen
·         Small piece of paper (only a few inches wide)
·         Fireproof bowl filled with sand
·         Matches
·         Silver chalice with red wine
·         Small bowl
·         Incense of your choice (preferably a Solar of fiery scent)
[Before the ritual, take the piece of paper and black pen and write out your pact or dedication to Satan (refer to pages 3 and 4 of this chapter).  Do not sign the pact at this point.]

[With a sharp object, carve an inverted pentagram into the red candle.]
[Prepare your altar by placing the four black candles at the edges to mark the Elemental quarters.  In the centre of the altar, place your paten.  On the paten, place the red candle (alternately, if you have a Baphomet statue, simply place the red candle in front of it).] 
[Place your Baphomet pendant either somewhere on your statue (if you are using one), at its base or next to the red candle on the altar paten.]
[Directly in front of you should be the bowl filled with sand and next to it the matches.  In the South (or North for the Southern Hemisphere), place the small bowl.  In the Southeast (or Northeast for the Southern Hemisphere) place the chalice containing the wine.]
[Prepare your body by taking a long cleansing bath.  If desired, meditate on your life as you have known it up until now and what you wish to do with it in the future.  Think about the impending ritual and what it will mean for you as a person and as a spiritual being.  Afterwards, dress in your best clothing, brush your teeth and hair (paint your fingernails and put on your best makeup if you are a woman and inclined to do so; shave if you are a man—otherwise simply make an effort to appear as neat and pleasing as possible regardless of your gender identity).]
[When you are ready, enter the ritual room and kneel or stand before the altar.  There should be minimal light in the room.  Light the black candles and incense.  Close your eyes and focus on the image of Satan which most appeals to you.  Open your heart to Him and invite Him to join you and to witness your initiation.]
“Lord Satan!  I invite you to join me here this morning/today/tonight that you may bear witness to this, my initiation into the path of the Enlightened.”
[Open your eyes and focus on the Baphomet statue (if you are using one) or the altar paten.  Imagine the eyes of Satan opening before you as you focus on the image of the statue/paten.  Let your gaze slowly drift down to the red candle.  Feel Satan’s presence all around you, pervading the atmosphere as a warm charged energy which embraces and comforts you.]
[Take the Southerly (Northerly for the Southern Hemisphere) Elemental candle and light the red candle from its flame.  Feel Satan’s presence solidify as the wick begins to burn brightly.]
“I welcome you, Lord!”
[Take a moment to fully realise His presence.  Bask in it.  Feel yourself relaxing, body and mind, trusting in His power and wisdom.  When you are ready focus on the red candle again.]

“This morning/today/tonight I have come here, of my own free will and conviction, for the purpose that I may make manifest my desire to know you, Lord Satan.”

 “I accept your hand in trust and understanding.  Guide me through the darkness that I may realise the falsehoods imposed upon me by those who would wish to suppress my strengths and potential.  Light within me the Black Flame—immortal, inextinguishable.  Let its brilliance warm my heart in my sorrow.  Let its emanation pain me in my stupor and render me ever-mindful of the vows which I make this day.”

[Take the chalice in your hand and hold it up to the red candle.]
“May this wine linger as blood on my lips that it should remind me of the sacredness of my flesh and the gift that is my humanity.”
[Take a sip of the wine.]
“This I offer to you, Wise Serpent.  Drink with me of this cup and share with me in trust an eternal kinship.”
[Pour the remainder of the wine into the small bowl.  Next, recite the words you have written from your pact/dedication.  Take your time and truly feel the words as your recite them.  When you are done, take the red pen and sign your full name (if you are so inclined and are not squeamish, you may choose to draw a small amount of blood in which you may sign your name).]
“It is finished.  I commit my words to the Ether that they may forever remain imprinted upon the fabric of the Universe.”
[Light the paper with the flame from the red candle and place it in the bowl upon the sand.  Allow it to burn completely, reducing it to ashes.  You may need to burn it several times to accomplish this.]
“From this day/night I commit myself to the Satanic path—I swear to uphold the spirit of Satan as an agent and champion of Knowledge and the enemy of all which oppresses, stifles and binds freedom of thought.  I am reborn as the Phoenix emerging from the embers—I shall nurture the Black Flame now awakened within me.”
“I thank you, Lord Satan, for sharing with me this glorious day/night.  I promise to you that never shall I neglect nor revoke the vows I have made—hail, Satan.”
[Thank Satan in your heart and, equally as important as this, give yourself credit for having the courage and conviction to embrace a new life path.  Take the Baphomet pendant (or take up whatever gift you have acquired for yourself, wearing or holding it as appropriate) and place it around your neck.  This is your initiation gift.  Keep it near to you that it may serve as a reminder of your commitment to Satan and to yourself.  Extinguish the candles and incense and take the ashes mixed with the sand outside (wherever or whenever is appropriate).  Spread them to the wind and acknowledge that your oath is solidified and final.]    

Within sect-based Satanic traditions such as LaVeyan Satanism, there are suggested ritual outlines upon which most base their own—for Atheistic Satanists, these rituals tend to be fairly simple and symbolic with no spiritual inclinations.  Unlike within other specific Neo-Pagan religions such as Wicca, self-initiation rituals, like pacts, are not required of the practitioner in order for one to call themselves a Satanist.  The vast majority of Satanists, both theistic and atheistic, are solitary practitioners—the need to be viewed by others as “initiated” or “legitimate”, unlike within most Neo-Pagan paths, are of little concern within most forms of Satanism.  This is primarily due to the fact that Satanism is a religion which revolves around the Self and the attaining of individual desires as opposed to the sense of belonging and altruistic concerns of a group.
Within the context of organised Satanic sects, however, there can be specific rituals and practices which all individuals belonging to a particular group must partake in.  Some of these rituals include marriage rites, death rites, divorce rites, baptisms, coming-of-age ceremonies, meal blessings, initiations, devotions, consecrations and many more.  It would be a near impossible task to detail every single ritual within every single Satanic sect, but I have chosen a few specific rituals to expand upon for the purpose of understanding the nature of Satanic ritual.

The Self-Dedication Ritual
For most solitary Theistic Satanists, self-dedication rites are very similar to their Neo-Wiccan counterparts.  As I have already mentioned, the primary difference between a self-dedication ritual and a self-initiation ritual is that the former is concerned with pledging one’s allegiance to a particular deity and the latter is concerned with aligning oneself with a particular path.  In Theistic Satanism, the self-dedication ritual can be as simple as reciting a few lines or as complex as designing and carrying out a full-fledged ceremony.
Depending upon whether or not one is dedicating themselves to a particular Demon or to Satan Himself, one thing is for certain—he or she must be absolutely sure of the decision to dedicate.  Demons, unlike many other deities, are not as forgiving of Their devotees when it comes to being abandoned later on down the road.  Many Neo-Wiccans, for example, may experience dedications to many different gods and goddesses throughout their formative years—they may find that they have “outgrown” a particular deity or that another deity wishes to claim them for itself.  Whatever the case, Demons are not to be entered into an agreement with casually.  
Make no mistake–it is not that They are inclined towards malice, but They simply dislike being used and discarded as I believe all deities most likely do.  Demonolators who have severed their ties with particular Demons have reported that thereafter they had experienced numerous instances of “bad luck” or misfortune.   It could be that guilt and self-undoing on the part of the Demonolator is behind such events, but the reason why Demons are so renowned for Their intolerance of flighty devotees and betrayal may lie in the annals of Ceremonial Magic.  
If there are any beings which are prime candidates for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder it would be the Demons.  One of the major focuses of High Magick is often ceremonial evocation—a technique in which a Demon or other Otherworldly entity is ritually summoned, bound and compelled to perform favours for the magician.  It is my belief that Demons have grown distrustful of human beings in many regards because of the grievous ways in which They have been disrespected.  Not only has Mankind turned its back on the Demons, once known as the gods of olde, but the passing centuries gave rise to arrogant individuals and societies which believed that they could control and use these entities for magickal slave labour.  
I have worked with Demons, especially the Goetic Spirits, who refused to work alongside the Christian pantheon.  It was not because these Demons fundamentally opposed Christ and Yahweh, but because it was by these names that They have been repeatedly assailed and degraded by magicians who believed that Demons were inferior to God and to themselves.  Therefore it is so very important to uphold your oath should you devote yourself to a Demon—it is difficult enough to gain Its trust, much less have It openly invite you to partake of Its wisdom.
Although Satan is generally much more lenient, it goes without saying that He (and any deity) should never be offered a service only to have it withdrawn.  Keep in mind that Otherworldly beings do not have the same concepts of time and space as do we—it is important to be clear with such beings exactly what it is that they can expect from you.  If you can spare only an hour per week in your devotionals, make certain that you are upfront with your Patron or Matron about this from the beginning.  I am not insinuating that we are not allowed to slip up from time to time or that we are expected to give our entire lives over to the Divine, but it must be remembered that deities are not tools at our disposal—they are intelligent, sentient beings who expect you to contribute to the relationship in the same way that an employer expects you to show up to work on time each day.
I believe that it makes sense to allow oneself time to think when it comes to dedicating oneself to a deity.  Some suggest that one should wait for three months before doing so—I believe that this is not out of the question as it gives the individual time to decide exactly what he or she is and is not capable of giving and doing to maintain a lifelong commitment to another entity.  This “waiting period” is also beneficial in that it serves a means to weed out those who are simply experiencing a phase or fascination with a particular deity and those who are sincere in their devotion.  
For some Demonolatry sects, specifically the OFS, dedication to a Patron or Matron Demon can include what some may describe as acts of self-mutilation—however, these acts usually consist of simply tattooing, cutting or branding the sigil or seal of a particular Demon into the flesh of the consenting adult devotee.  The devotee always has a choice—there should never be an assumption that Satanic or Demonolatry sects force members to participate in acts which violate their own personal moral codes or sense of safety.  
Many individuals choose to dedicate themselves to Satan during a specific Holy Day or another day which holds special significance such as the individual’s birthday.  Because I adhere to the importance of Satan’s alignment with Solar imagery, I would suggest that a self-dedication ritual (like self-initiation) be performed during daylight hours—preferably at noon.  Of course it is entirely personal as to when and where the ritual will take place, but it is a good idea to use the appropriate symbolism when planning the rite.  I have provided, for the purpose of this discussion, a simple self-dedication ritual to Satan.  Again, there are no rules which are set into stone—Satanism is a very forgiving and eclectic religion after all.
Satanic Self-Dedication Ritual (©2011 Torey B. Scott)
  • Anointing oil (any oil blend will do, but preferably Solar or Fiery in nature)
  • Incense (again it is suggested that one use a Solar or Fiery scent)     
  • Small libation dish (for the offering)
  • Needle or diabetic lancet (for drawing a small amount of blood)
  • Offering (bread, wine or even a nice cigar)
[I recommend performing this ritual outdoors if possible.  Self-dedications need to stimulate the consciousness and remind the individual of his or her innate connection with the Natural World and the world of the Unseen.  Ideally the devotee should have a cleansing bath or shower beforehand.]
[Lay the ritual items on the ground or floor before you.  Light the incense and hold the vial of oil in one hand, allowing the other to remain free.  Mentally or orally invite Satan to join you.]
“I, (name), request your mighty company, my blessed Lord Satan.  Join me in this celebration and rejoice with me!  Salve!”
[Visualise Satan, as you imagine He would appear, joining you and standing beside you to take your hand.  Close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly, feeling the warmth of His presence grow as you focus on Him.  When you are satisfied that Satan has fully joined you, proceed with the ritual.]
“Where yesterday I walked alone, today I stand in your presence.  I offer to you these gifts in love and trust that you should know and see the sincerity in my devotion.”
[Pour the wine/place the food/light the cigar in the bowl.  Light the incense and stand back.  Turn to “Satan”, your mental image of Him as He stands next to you, and feel yourself completely encapsulated in His aura and His energy.  Imagine your own aura melding into His—becoming one with Him.  Feel the energy pulsating throughout your body.]
“I wish to know you, Great One.  I despise those who would speak ill against you, I exalt those who would join me in praise.  I offer to you my service and my allegiance this day that you may, in turn, guide me and help me to understand my destiny.  I swear to open myself to your wisdom and ask that you shape me in your image.  My word is my bond—by my blood I cement my pledge.”
[Prick your finger, just enough to attain a drop or two of blood.  Depending upon what you have place upon the libation dish, smear or drop the blood onto the item.]
“It is finished.  Hail, Satan.”
[Dab a few drops of the oil onto your right index finger and draw the inverted pentagram or the symbol of the Sun upon your brow, over the Third Eye chakra.]
[Leave the dish outdoors for the offering to be taken.  It would be a good idea to create a devotional altar especially for the purpose of prayer and meditation at this point.]
Hellfire and Brimstone
Within Satanism, especially the theistic varieties, the Element of Fire plays a significant role.  It is tempting to draw conclusions as to why this is thanks to the association of Fire with the concept of Hell and damnation.  However there are other reasons behind the attribution, specifically where Satan is concerned.  
The reason for this is primarily due to the fact that Satan is a Solar deity and is thus fundamentally associated with Fire.  Additionally, Fire is representative of many human and spiritual qualities upon which the philosophies of Satanism were built—transformation, willpower, sexuality, power, desire are all things which Satanists consider to be of profound importance.  Because the Element of Fire is such a vital component of Satanic philosophy, it is often included in most aspects of ritual as well.  The sigils or seals of Demons are often burned, especially within Demonolatry, as a means of honouring the Demon while simultaneously allowing the request of the Demonolator to be transformed into pure energy—thus rendering it more absorbable for the Demon receiving it.  Similarly, many Theistic Satanists who are not Demonolators also perform a similar ritual when calling upon Satan—they simply replace the Demonic sigil or seal with the inverted Pentagram or some other representation of Satan.
Most Satanic marriage rituals are essentially the same as those found within any other Neo-Pagan path.  For the vast majority of Theistic Satanists, the marriage rite includes such symbolism as the lighting of a unity candle or the binding of hands by means of a handfasting.  Within the OFS, locks of hair belonging to both the bride and the groom are sealed within a vial and are required components should the pair ever choose to divorce.  
Funeral rites within Satanism can vary tremendously depending upon the sect.  For most theistic varieties, cremation is preferred to burial due to the Satanic reverence for the Element of Fire and its transformative qualities.  For the rituals themselves, most spiritual Satanists choose to bless the journey of the soul of the deceased through prayer to Satan or the Demons.  Depending upon the tradition, there may or may not be a circle cast.
Within most forms of Demonolatry, all of the Elements, not only the Element of Fire, play an important role.  Many Demonolators believe that an individual’s energetic makeup can be altered, or balanced, by assimilating within oneself an equal saturation of all four Elements.  An Elemental imbalance may be corrected by working with Demons specifically possessing a particular Elemental nature.  For example, if one lacks motivation, it may be said that the individual is suffering from an Elemental imbalance in which there is a deficiency of Fire.  To remedy this deficiency, the practitioner may either use visualisation or ritual to interact with Fire Demons—the belief is that the Demon lends the energy from its Elemental essence to the practitioner, thus “curing” the imbalance.
The fact that many Satanists use their magick for good in the majority of practices may seem surprising to those of you who may have previously perceived Satanism as a religion concerned only with selfishness and negativity.  There are just as many Satanists as there are Neo-Pagans who are concerned with the betterment of humanity and who seek to help others simply because they feel that it is the right thing to do.  Rituals for blessings, healings and good fortune exist within nearly every form of Satanism to date—most often these rituals are carried out in much the same way as their Neo-Pagan counterparts are with the blessing, healing or well wishes being requested in the name of Satan.
As Satanism is a set of religions concerned primarily with the enjoyment of the human experience, it is only natural that sex and sex magick play a substantial role within its practices.  Needless to say, not all sects perform sex magick, but many do.  Satanic sex magick hardly differs at all from any other form of sex magick except that it usually includes or invokes Satan or particular Demons.  It is most commonly used for raising energy for spellwork or for focusing energy and channelling it for a particular purpose.  Unlike Wicca, Satanism does not utilise such rituals as the Great Rite as there is little if any acknowledgement of an innate divine Masculine and Feminine.  
One of the most popular practices within Satanism, especially Theistic Satanism, is the practice of blood magick or blood sacrifice.  Although the practice is most certainly not exclusive to Satanism, it is one of the most widely used forms of ritual offering.  It must be made clear that what is meant by the terms blood magick and blood sacrifice is the offering of one’s own blood, not the blood of animals or other human beings.  As I have already illustrated, most Satanists are staunchly opposed to cruelty and the needless taking of another life—therefore the use of one’s own blood is essential.  
For rites in which blood magick plays a role, it is common for a request to be made of the gods—this may mean either Satan or a particular Demon.  The request is usually written on paper and meditated upon—afterwards, the practitioner may choose to draw blood from themselves and anoint the paper with it before burning it.  By using blood in such a manner, one is essentially seen as offering to the gods a substantial amount of their own energy in exchange for the aid of the entity or entities.  Relationships between individuals and gods exist because of this exchange—through prayer and offerings, the practitioner provides their deity or deities with energy.  Using blood as an offering is one of many ways in which Satanists commune with the divine.   

I must make one final disclaimer.  None of the rituals presented within this article are inherent to Theistic Satanism.  Again, Theistic Satanism refers to a collection of religions and practices which are unique in and of themselves.  Traditions vary from person to person and from group to group.  It must also be said that, although the majority of Theistic Satanists are altruistic and level-headed individuals generally concerned with the greater good, there are also Theistic Satanists whose practices are wholly centered upon destruction, chaos and the infliction of harm.  It would be an utter untruth to state that all Satanists are “good people” or that all Satanists practice “fluffy magick”.  The purpose of this article is to enlighten those already familiar with aspects of Neo-Paganism to the similarities between some practices within certain traditions of Theistic Satanism.  

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Demonic Possession, Attachments & Hauntings: Introduction

Originally published 6 July 2012. © Torey B. Scott

I was asked by a dear friend what my thoughts were concerning the concept of Demonic Possession. Of course, being a Satanist, my perceptions tend to diverge from many commonly-accepted “facts” pertaining to spirit possession. Regardless of perspective, the truth is that Demonic Possession, for nearly everyone who dabbles in magick or the paranormal, is perhaps the most feared and dreaded consequence imaginable. Additionally, it is believed that one of the most at-risk demographics amongst those who seek the Unseen is that of paranormal investigators and Ghost Hunters.

There are primarily two conceivable reasons for this. Firstly, paranormal investigators frequently respond to pleas from individuals seeking relief from active hauntings, thus potentially exposing themselves to the entity or entities responsible for such. Secondly, Ghost Hunters often seek out places which either have a history of hauntings or which have the potential to spawn paranormal experiences. I will attempt to share my thoughts on the subject of Demonic Possession as well as suggestions for those who wish to protect themselves against negative entities.

Q: What is a “Demon”?

A: This depends entirely on the perspective of the individual. The term “demon” has been corrupted over the centuries. The term was originally applied to entities which influenced the lives of human beings for good or for evil. Many cultures and world religions document the existence of such spirits – spirits which, by most accounts, were regarded as guardians, teachers, messengers and even protectors. Likewise, most world cultures and religions documented accounts of “evil spirits” – however, “demons” became synonymous with “evil spirits” with the advent of Abrahamic religion, namely Christianity and erroneous interpretations of the translated Hebrew Bible having been influenced by accounts of evil spirits within ancient Semitic traditions. The Christian Medieval Era facilitated and cemented the sensational concept of Demons as the evil beings They are still believed to be by many even today.

After the death of Christ, most notably from the 12th Century to the 19th Century, some Christian and occult scholars began to document and categorise mythological “demons” into hierarchies, developing various magickal techniques by which these entities could supposedly be controlled or destroyed. Accounts of these entities and the practices by which magicians could enslave them were archived in tomes known as Grimoires.

Modern Neo-Pagans may note that many of these so-called evil spirits are actually pre-Christian deities. Gods and goddesses such as Nergal, Ereshkigal, Shiva, Astarte, Persephone and Hades have all been described as “demons” and categorised as such. Of course, most Neo-Pagans are well aware that these deities are not evil spirits at all, but such was the mindset of pseudo-Christian occult authors responsible for many of the famous Grimoires. In addition to known pre-Christian deities, the Grimoire scholars also included the names of various entities from world cultures and religions such as that of the Babylonians, ancient Semitic cultures, Islam, ancient Greece and Rome, the Egyptians and others and classified them as demons. Even with this context, many people still fear these entities.

Q: What is the difference between a Demon and a “negative entity”?

For those who are familiar with the occult, the concept of a “negative entity” should be relatively well-understood. To the Satanist or the Demonolator, the difference between a “Demon” and a “negative entity” is a matter of terminology. Demons, within most theistic Satanic and Demonolatry traditions, are Divine Beings. Most Demonolators accept the original positive connotations of the term “daimon” and equate these with the entities described within the Grimoires. Thus, for example, the Demon known as Agares within the Lesser Key of Solomon is considered to be a good spirit – a god. Many Demonolators believe that the historical tradition of equating Demons with evil was a deliberate attempt on the part of Christians to vilify pagan deities – a theory not without merit. To Demonolators and most Theistic Satanists, Demons are gods and mentors – something wholly different to “negative entities”.

There are many forms of “negative entities”. When we use this term, we are referring to entities or energies which either deliberately or inadvertently cause distress or harm to another being. A “negative entity” is not necessarily wholly malevolent, though we may perceive its actions or motivations to be harmful. Such entities and energies may include, but are not limited to:

    Astral “Nasties” – entities which are spawned and reside within the Astral Realm, capable of latching onto the Astral Body of another being. Auric Leeches – entities or thoughtforms, natural or created, which feed upon the auras or spiritual/life forces of other beings. Otherworld Parasites – entities which are spawned and reside within the various divisions of the Otherworlds, diverse in form and function, which have the capacity (though rare) to attach themselves to the Spiritual Body of the traveller and/or manipulate the energetic link to the physical body as a means of possessing the individual. Vampiric Servitors – thoughtforms created via either deliberate magickal action or intense emotional/psychic projection whose function is to feed upon the vital or emotional energies of another being. Sentient Poltergeists and Imps – spiritual entities residing between Planes which create malicious mischief and discord, often attached to specific individuals and families. Projected Poltergeists – paranormal anomalies inadvertently created and projected by human beings, usually unbeknownst to the creator and which often mimic the behaviours of Sentient Poltergeists. Household and Land Spirits – sentient entities attached to a particular home or location. Residual Hauntings – psychic impressions left behind upon a specific structure or location, usually the result of a traumatic event. Ghosts/Earthbound Spirits – sentient spiritual beings bound to the earthly Plane, sometimes (rarely) seeking to possess the physical bodies of other beings; are usually confused or melancholic. Gremlins – earthbound spirits which delight in mischief, especially pertaining to mechanical devices. Soul Parts – detached portions of animal, plant or human souls which are capable of attaching themselves to the souls or spiritual bodies of other beings.

Additionally, there are instances in which deities, angels, animal totem spirits and other beings which are more commonly perceived to be benevolent take possession of the physical body of a living creature for a variety of reasons.

Q: What is possession?

A: Possession most often refers to the act of an external entity (spiritual) entering the physical body of another being. While spirit possession is most often regarded with fear and negativity, some religions and cultures practice a deliberate and willing form of possession, commonly referred to as “ritual possession”. Most Wiccans familiar with the concept of Drawing Down the Moon will already be familiar with this practice. In ritual possession, the priest/priestess/magician willingly invites an external spiritual entity into his or her physical body for the purpose of magickal workings or Shamanic rites.

However, most people are more familiar with the Hollywood depictions of “Demonic possession” in which a “demon” invades the body an innocent (usually female) person in monstrous contortions, speaking with an Otherworldly voice (often using profanities or blaspheming the Christian God and Christ). To the rescue is usually the seasoned Catholic priest who performs an exorcism and expels the “demon” from the body of its victim. The reality of the manner and frequency of such possessions is debatable.

It has been posited that many historical accounts of Demonic possession were more likely due to the alleged victim(s) suffering from some form of mental illness such as Schizophrenia or Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). It has even been suggested that Biblical accounts of Demonic possessions were quite possibly the result of a lack of understanding of neurological conditions such as epileptic seizures or brain injuries, both of which can produce symptoms similar to those found within alleged cases of true possessions. However there have been and continue to be instances of “spirit possession” which cannot be readily explained by science and medicine. Many modern practitioners of Neo-Pagan and occult traditions agree – spirit possession can and does occur.

Q: What is an exorcism?

A: According to Catholic tradition, an exorcism is a rite in which prayer is used as a tool to banish or repel negative entities from a person. Most often, however, these entities are referred to within Catholic tradition as “demons” or “Satan” – to a Theistic Satanist or Demonolator this is not the case. Nonetheless, the Catholic Church has maintained a reputation as the foremost authority concerning so-called Demonic Possessions.

There are, of course, many rites non-specific to Catholicism which are designed to deliver the possessed from the oppression of the responsible entity or entities. For instance many Neo-Pagans and practitioners of New Age paths serve as consulting authorities in suspected cases of spirit possession and are, at times, responsible for clearing homes and individuals of negative entities. Today, the term “exorcism” generally refers to the expulsion or banishment of a negative entity from a home or an individual.

Q: If I visit a haunted location, can I be followed or even possessed by a Demon?

A: Again, I will use the term “negative entity” in place of “Demon” as I do not believe that Demons are responsible for random possessions and hauntings. But the answer to the question is ‘yes’, it is possible (though uncommon) to be followed home by a negative entity or to become the victim of an attachment. It is unlikely that individuals who have taken measures to protect themselves both spiritually and physically will be as open to attachments and possessions as would someone who has no experience in the occult.

Q: What kinds of precautions should I take to ensure that I am protected from negative entities?

A: There are a great number of things that you can do to protect yourself from external entities. One of the most important things that you can do is to be sure that you are physically well and mentally and emotionally stable before undertaking a Ghost Hunt or travelling to a location that is alleged to be haunted. As within Nature, predatory entities will prey upon the weak and the vulnerable. Being physically well ensures that your body is in prime condition to withstand any potential spiritual, energetic or physical attack by an external entity. Being mentally well ensures that you have the presence of mind and the soundness of emotion to cope with energetically-charged environments in which external entities often accumulate.

In addition to these measures, it is wise to carry a ‘Spiritual First Aid Kit’ with you when exploring areas which are potentially haunted or excessively charged energetically. A Spiritual First Aid Kit may consist of anything you feel to be protective. An example of a Spiritual First Aid Kit may be a small pouch or a larger bag or purse filled with items such as:

    ~various coloured candles and matches ~protective herbs such as Sage or smudge sticks ~incenses attributed to protection, exorcism or healing (e.g. – Asafoetida, Dragon’s Blood, etc.) ~an athame or similar ritual blade used for directing energy ~aspergillum, blessed water and oils for spiritual cleansing ~ink and paper for on-the-spot creation of amulets and talismans ~brick dust for creating protective boundaries

It is a good idea to research any items which you may find to be beneficial for protection, exorcism, cleansing and healing and include them in your Spiritual First Aid Kit before entering an area known or suspected to be haunted. Additionally, before entering such a space, it is wise to prepare yourself ritually (if you are so inclined) by immersing yourself within a cleansing ritual bath followed by a self-smudging with a cleansing and protective herb or incense. Some people choose to wear amulets consisting of special symbols attributed to protection before participating in a Ghost Hunt; you may also choose to physically draw protective symbols upon your body with a smudge-proof marker before embarking upon such an endeavour.

For those more religiously inclined, it may also be a good idea to consult with any Spirits or Deities with whom you are aligned in order to attain Their protection. Many Neo-Pagans assume that they are automatically protected from anything “bad” because they so happen to have a Patron or Matron Deity; this is not always the case, however. It is always advisable to ensure that you keep an open line of communication between yourself and the Spirits with whom you work. Many Mediums have Spirits known as “Gatekeepers” which can serve as guardians and discerners of other entities; such relationships are possible for non-Mediums who seek protection and aid in discernment from external sources. An example of this form of protective entity is that of the Familiar Spirit, an entity which serves the witch or magician within a magickal context. It is important to understand that a Familiar is not the same as the “familiar” that many new to Neo-Paganism, especially Wicca, have come to understand a beloved animal to be. While it is true that some Familiar Spirits can assume the form of a cat or a dog, it is quite rare. Most Familiars are generally non-corporeal in nature and may be attained through special arrangements with Deities or Demonic beings.

Q: I think I might be possessed! What do I do now?

A: Many people make the assumption that they or someone whom they know is “possessed” or otherwise being harassed by a negative entity when they begin to notice strokes of bad luck, sudden illnesses, depression or other coincidences surrounding them which cannot otherwise be explained. It must be understood that while true possession and spiritual attack can and does happen, it is exceedingly rare on a major scale. More common are energetic attachments, unbalanced chakras and auric leaks which can cause many of the same “symptoms” as true possessions or spiritual attacks. Additionally, the presence of intense fear can greatly influence the perceptions of the individual and can even result in temporary delusions, paranoia and psychotic symptoms.

It is important to always assess the “symptoms” carefully before jumping to the conclusion that you or have been or anyone else has been possessed, spiritually attacked or even cursed. Even the Catholic Church requires its formal exorcists to be fully trained in recognising and assessing the symptoms of mental illness, epilepsy and attention-seeking behaviour. According to Catholic tradition, true possession can often manifest in the form of the afflicted person:

    ~speaking in foreign languages of which they have no former understanding ~sudden personality changes not otherwise explainable by mental illness, stress or physical disease and injury ~blaspheming the Christian God, Jesus Christ and the Saints ~unexplainable displays of super-human physical strength or feats

However, even these criteria are questionable as many mental illnesses also manifest in similar manners. The truth is that there is no fool-proof way to diagnose true possession with one hundred percent certainty. There are a series of questions which should be asked when considering the possibility of a true possession. These questions are designed to ensure that the afflicted individual has been evaluated for the presence of any medical condition which would mimic the classical symptoms of possession and that said condition or conditions has been ruled out.

14 Questions for Evaluating the Symptoms of Possession:

    1. Does the individual have a personal or family history of mental illness, especially psychotic conditions such as Schizophrenia? 2. Does the individual have a personal history of any of the Autism Spectrum Disorders? 3. What is the present physical condition of the individual? (At this point, the individual should be evaluated visually for any obvious signs of infection, injury or disease.) 4. Has the individual recently experienced any major or traumatic events (i.e. – death of a close friend or relative, loss of a job or relationship, etc.) within his or her life that have affected him or her profoundly? 5. Could it be said that the individual, before the onset of symptoms, was a rational and level-headed person? 6. Does the individual have a personal history of attention-seeking behaviour? 7. Does the individual have a personal history of illegal substance and/or alcohol abuse? 8. When did the symptoms manifest and what was the emotional and physical environment which the individual was exposed to like at the time? 9. Does the individual have knowledge and/or practice of the Occult? 10. Does the individual know others with knowledge and/or practice of the Occult and what were/are this individual’s relationship(s) with said others? Are said relationships ongoing? 11. Has the individual recently travelled to areas known or suspected to be haunted? 12. Has the individual recently attained any object of significance (i.e. – inherited jewellery, flea market items, stolen items, artefacts, souvenirs, etc.) and from where did he or she acquire it? 13. Has the individual been evaluated by a mental health professional? 14. Has the individual been evaluated by a licensed medical practitioner?

If, after significant medical and psychological evaluation, the individual continues to display the symptoms of possession, the approach can become rather complex. Depending upon the religious convictions of the afflicted person, proceeding to “exorcise” the negative entity without the aid of a Christian pastoral official may not be recommended if, for instance, the individual is Catholic. Interestingly, most cases of alleged possession are specific to individuals of a Catholic background. Why this is, is speculative. It has been suggested that many of these “possessions” are manifestations of some form of psychosis which draws upon the religious convictions of the individual in question.

In the case of a suspected possession which involves an individual of Catholic persuasion, it is perhaps beneficial to both the individual themselves and their family to contact Catholic officials from within the individual’s local community. Besides respecting the religious convictions of the individual and their family, it must be understood that either the afflicted individual or the family of the individual should be open to receiving aid at least in some regard. As you may or may not already know, many Christians are reluctant to accept spiritual aid from others not of their own religion. This is not to say that healing and cleansing work can only be carried out upon non-Christian individuals, but if you must take into consideration the potential for non-cooperation which may be involved. Of course, if the family of the individual or the individual themselves have endorsed or requested your aid, you may proceed to carry out whatever work is necessary to facilitate healing. Otherwise, you may choose to help from a distance or provide assistance in other ways.

In a situation in which the individual’s religion is not an issue or in which you have been granted permission to proceed, it is advised that you attain as much information as possible concerning the alleged entity or entities responsible for the attack before attempting to carry out an exorcism or banishing. Many entities are not aware of the harm that they are causing to the afflicted individual(s) or places which they are occupying or affecting. In such cases, it may be beneficial to have an experienced Medium assist you in communicating with the entity if you, yourself, cannot. Some cases of “possession” or hauntings can be very easily remedied with a simple conversation.

Non-Possessive Spiritual and Energetic Conditions

There are a variety of conditions which are classified as “non-possessive” conditions of the spirit or astral body. Many of these conditions are the result of interaction with spiritual entities, but others may be caused by energetic disturbances within the environment. Concerning entity-specific conditions, parasitic entities affecting the aura or external layers of the Spiritual Body may be aware of the harm that they are inflicting or may otherwise not possess the sentience to understand. In many cases, entities such as “astral nasties” or auric leeches are simple to remove. By thoroughly inspecting the aura for heavy energetic attachments, leaks or weak spots, such parasites may be detected. Techniques for removing these entities vary according to practice and belief, but may be dispatched through what is sometimes referred to as “psychic surgery” in which the attachment is isolated, neutralised and detached with careful energetic manipulation.

Attacks by sentient entities which are fully aware of the damage that they are inflicting are more complex and often require extensive research pertaining to the entity. Such information may be gleaned, initially, by observing the manner in which the “haunting” or “possession” manifests. Having spiritual allies such as Patron or Matron deities, Gatekeepers, Guardians, Totems, Guides and other similar entities can prove useful for those who routinely find themselves exposed to situations in which attachments may occur. Because of the potential complexity involved in removing sentient attachments, hauntings or possessions, precautionary measures cannot be emphasised enough. Preventing such situations is crucial for they can be particularly difficult to rectify in some cases.

There may be instances in which a spiritual attack is a purposeful assault upon one person by another, usually an accomplished magician. Many such attachments take the form of vampiric servitors. These “entities” are essentially energetic robots designed to attach themselves to the auric field of another individual. In most cases, vampiric servitors are programmed by their makers to drain the energy produced by the victim’s life force or the subsequent fear and paranoia produced when the individual is aware that he or she is under attack. Many vampiric servitors are dispatched in the same manner as simple auric attachments, especially those created by inexperienced magicians. However, experienced magicians often program servitors with complex defence mechanisms, making their disassembly and destruction somewhat complicated.

A common entity responsible for location-specific “hauntings” is the Land Spirit. Land Spirits are usually present within all places, but may especially attach themselves to locations which are spiritually significant. Such locations may include, but are not limited to:

    ~Ley lines and surrounding areas ~Sites significant to ancient religious practice ~Sites abundant with natural resources such as springs, caves, rivers, geysers, etc. ~Old-growth forests

Other similar entities include ancestor spirits, gremlins and household spirits such as kobolds. Instead of banishing such entities, it is wise to remember that we are perceived as the intruders in most cases. Learning to live with Land Spirits involves a commitment by the individual to preserve, respect and maintain the land or location significant to the spirit. A great number of “hauntings” are incidents in which an unknowing home-builder, hiker, archaeologist or explorer has stumbled upon, desecrated or removed an artefact from a spiritually significant location which, in turn, has invited the retaliation of the land spirit responsible for the location. It is always a good idea to thoroughly research an area before building or treading upon it. It is never advised to remove artefacts, even seemingly harmless items such as stones, from a spiritually significant location without the permission of the land spirits. Communing quietly with the spirits of any location is always advisable regardless of your intentions, but it is especially common for individuals to experience the wrath of offended land spirits as “hauntings”.

Another situation which may mimic the “symptoms” of a true possession is what is sometimes referred to as Soul Attachment – a condition in which a fragment of the soul of another being has attached itself to the soul of the afflicted individual. Additionally, symptoms of a Soul Fragmentation, a condition in which the individual’s soul or part of it has “broken apart” and become lost within the Otherworlds (or this plane), can resemble those of a true possession. In both conditions, individuals may experience marked changes in personality, loss of appetite, psychosis and a myriad of other symptoms. Shamanic practitioners are most often called upon to address suspected cases of Soul Attachment and/or Soul Fragmentation as they usually specialise in “diseases” or conditions affecting the soul.

A common factor which is often responsible for alleged cases of “hauntings”, spiritual or psychic attacks and even possession is the presence of excessive Electromagnetic Fields or EMFs. EMFs or EMCs (Electromagnetic Currents) are produced by electricity as it circulates throughout wires, cords and electrical equipment. Many Ghost Hunters rely on a device known as an EMF detector – a specialised device used to detect the presence and intensity of EMFs within an environment. Many cases of the “heebie jeebies” are the result of high-intensity EMFs disturbing the personal energetic fields of an individual. Continued exposure to extremely high quantities of EMFs can result in a variety of unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, paranoia, visual field disturbances and even psychosis. It is thus crucial to first rule out the possibility of high levels of EMFs within an environment in which an alleged haunting or possession has taken place.

In conclusion, true spiritual possession is a difficult condition to diagnose due to the presence of so many other spiritual, energetic and physiological conditions which can mimic its symptoms. It is important to remember the following steps if you are faced with the possibility of a spiritual possession:

1. Protect yourself. Take measures before exposing yourself to the afflicted individual to ground and centre yourself, align your Chakras, cleanse your Aura, converse with your spiritual allies, charge and raise your shields and adorn yourself with any protective amulets that you feel are necessary.

2. Assess. Take note of the individual and his or her physical appearance, behaviour and language. You should ask relatives or close friends whether or not he or she has a history of violent behaviour, mental illness, attention-seeking behaviour, brain injury or disease. You should then take note of when the symptomatic behaviour first occurred and the state of the individual’s mental and physical health at the time, the environment or any new objects to which he or she was exposed and any stressful or life-changing events present at the onset of the symptoms. You should take note of the victim’s choice of religion and ask both the individual and the family members whether or not it is appropriate for you to proceed on your own or if they would prefer for you to consult with a member of the individual’s church, coven, temple, etc.

2. Sense. Those trained within magickal and psychic disciplines should, after thoroughly assessing the individual and his or her environment and personal history, spend some time with the individual in order to gain a “feel” for his or her personal energy and the presence of any “negative” entity or energy either within or surrounding them. Some practitioners are able to view the Auras of others – a useful technique when assessing the Aura for leaks, dark “spots”, tendrils or other anomalies. It may also be useful to consult with a trained Medium if a true possession is suspected, although you may use tools such as pendulums, Ouija boards or dowsing rods to glean more information from the entity. Such tools, however, should be used with caution.

3. Research and network. Once you have attained an adequate amount of information through the assessment of both the individual and the responsible entity, if such is the case, you should strive to research similar cases and their outcomes in addition to the entity responsible for the affliction. Understanding the entity or forces responsible for the condition is crucial. Once you have a clearer idea of what the offending entity or force is, consult with other magickal practitioners if possible for feedback. Sometimes our limited perceptions of an entity can cause us to approach a condition with tunnel vision. Having the benefit of perceptions and experiences separate to your own is a good idea and a way to ensure that you have a full understanding of what you are dealing with and how best to remedy it.

4. Prepare. At this stage, you should gather the appropriate tools and ingredients necessary for the work to remove the afflicting entity or energy if in fact the situation calls for such. If need be, arrange for a Shamanic practitioner, healer or Medium to perform any appropriate work necessary. It not advisable to perform any work with which you are unfamiliar, uncomfortable or inexperienced. When in doubt – don’t!

5. Engage. This stage marks the point during which the entity or energy responsible for the affliction is removed, asked or helped to depart or dissipated. Again, the technique for the removal or dissipation is entirely dependent upon what manner or entity or energy is responsible for the condition. Communicating with the entity may be necessary (such as in the case of Land Spirits or spirits in transit) as may be removing the offending source of energy (such as in the case of EMFs or “haunted” artefacts). In cases which involve EMFs, removing the source of energy may be impossible; thus, one must devise an approach which may involve limiting the amount of time spent in the environment, for example.

Many people make the assumption that possessions, hauntings or spiritual attachments only happen to those who traipse about “haunted houses”, but the truth is that everyone is susceptible to spiritual attack at some point. Being prepared is be as simple as being educated. Use caution when taking artefacts from ancient sites, visiting locations known to experience paranormal activity, associating with individuals who lack self-control and learn to balance that caution with logic. Never assume that you or another is “possessed” or even under spiritual attack simply because of a stroke of bad luck or a crisis of health. Rule out any mundane explanations before jumping to the tempting conclusion that you are being assailed by rogue magicians, “demons” and “leeches” or the Flying Spaghetti Monster!