Divination by Devils:
Reclaiming Satan’s Occult Tools
© 2013 C.E. by L. Hernandez
In her book, The Church of Satan (Hell’s Kitchen Productions, 1990), Blanche Barton and Anton LaVey both discuss the reclamation of traditional occult tools by the Devil’s own to employ toward Satanic ends. She quotes LaVey as saying:
“… But in truth, all ‘New Age’ labeling is, again, trying to play the Devil’s game without taking His Infernal name. If you can read through the bullshit, you can reclaim the Devil’s tools for your own.”
She follows the Doktor’s quote with her own words:
“In the scores of books lining the shelves of New Age bookstores, there are instructions for guided meditations, creative visualizations, out-of-body experiences, getting in touch with your spirit guides, fortunetelling by cards, crystal balls or the stars. What if Satanists reclaimed these for their own dark purposes and integrated them into rituals dedicated to the Devil, where they rightfully belong? Instead of quartz crystals, they might use obsidian spheres; some swear that obsidian has a supernatural ability to capture light and images from the past and future, and that only the darkest soul can summon forth its secrets. What of the angled crystals that Lovecraft and LaVey find so fascinating – pentagons and trapezohedrons? What wickedness would they unleash when used as a passageway from the Underworld?”
So, how does a Satanist, being a rational skeptic, reconcile the use of seemingly mystical divination tools without being hypocritical, self-deceitful or falling into belief, which is the realm of white-light spirituality? LaVey makes this clear in his idea of the Intellectual Decompression Chamber: temporary suspension of disbelief. In short, the Satanist chooses to consciously go into a temporary state of belief only for the duration of the magical rite itself, after which he leaves such modes of thought in the ritual chamber behind him and re-enters the real world in full rationality and skepticism. As a friend and fellow Warlock once put it, “It’s a matter of knowing when to blow out the candles and leave them there.”
This method of switching modes of thinking at will is not just useful for standard Satanic ritual, but also for use with traditionally regarded occult divination tools, sigil magic, spellcasting, and other more commonly known forms of witchcraft the Satanist may choose to employ. This opens the door for Satanists to reclaim such tools as pendulums, tarot cards, talking-boards (like the well-known Ouija), magic mirrors, and just about any other tool s/he might want to experiment with.
I’ve always had a great love of talking-boards, or witch-boards. So much that I even designed and sell my own witch-board with a very obvious Satanic aesthetic, created primarily for those who with to explore this tool alone, perhaps even using it on their home altar.
Being that Satanists are skeptical by our very nature, and that Satanism is basically as extreme a polar opposite of spirituality as a religion can possibly get, it should be no surprise that I do not view the mechanisms of the witch-board to actually communicate with the spirits of the dead, angels, demons, aliens, or any other external intelligences one might dream up. On the contrary, I view the witch-board as working in much the way the trappings of the ritual chamber itself works in creating the right atmosphere to tap into ones own subconscious or unconscious mind. This is where all of its answers come from—as with all divination tools—and the planchette is moved by unnoticeable unconscious ideomotor response through ones own hand. This is a useful magical tool to employ in that, while considering a particular question or dilemma one might not have an easy solution to, the unconscious or subconscious mind might stir up suggestions the user would probably have not considered otherwise.
Tarot cards can be used in much the same way. The images on the cards evoke various psychological and emotional responses, and are much akin to a self-administered Rorschach test. When used for oneself, tarot cards can be also used for meditation; contemplating each image from a Satanic or Third Side perspective, perhaps to broaden insight. As a bonus, if one excels at interpreting tarot cards, this may also be done for others—for a fee!
A magic mirror may be created for scrying by finding any aesthetically pleasing picture frame and simply painting the back of the glass with a couple of coats of glossy black. Scrying is just another method of doing the exact same thing you’d use the witch-board or tarot cards for—connecting and communing with your innermost self; that inside you which you hail as Satan. Scrying itself involves gazing into and through a surface in a semi-meditative state, either in search of an answer or as a purely meditative practice. How your answers will come depends on your own sensitivity to the way your mind replies. I’ve used a magic mirror that I created, as described above, to great effect. Aside from a mirror, a black bowl filled with water may be used, perhaps even with a drop of black ink added. As Magistra Barton describes in her above quote, obsidian is also an excellent surface for scrying, as are any convex or concave black, shiny surface.
I sometimes use a black obsidian pendulum, which I have on a short sterling silver chain with a sterling Satanic pentagram on its opposite end. I put this piece together because I sometimes enjoy using a pendulum over a list of options, numbers, or letters written in a small circle on parchment paper. The obsidan piece in my pendulum can also be used for scrying in the manner described above.
Going into these practices, it is essential that one remember that you are attempting to reach and commune with that which is deep within yourself, not anything “spiritual” or external. Atmosphere is important. If there are distractions you’re wasting your time. Keep the room as dark as possible, illuminating only where you need, and only by as few black candles as possible.
Taking back the tools of the occult is the right of the Satanist. We shouldn’t be afraid to enjoy them just because Wiccans and “the Pagan community” co-opted them. Not to mention that these, as LaVey put it, occult convincers, are an effective means of fleecing the rubes and keeping the superstitious common folk in line.
We are the Black Magicians, we Satanists! The Devil’s tools are our birthright!