A. Desire

THE first ingredient in the performance of a ritual is desire, otherwise known as motivation, temptation, or emotional persuasion. If you do not truly desire any end result, you should not attempt to perform a working.

There is no such thing as a "practice" working, and the only way that a magician could do "tricks" such as moving inanimate objects, would be to have a strong emotional need to do so. It is true that if the magician wishes to gain power through impressing others with his feats of magic, he must produce tangible proof of his ability. The Satanic concept of magic, however, fails to find gratification in the proving of magical prowess.

The Satanist performs his ritual to insure the outcome of his desires, and he would not waste his time nor force of will on something so inconclusive as folling a pencil off a table, etc. through the application of magic. The amount of energy needed to levitate a teacup (genuinely) would be of sufficient force to place an idea in a group of people's heads half-way across the earth, in turn, motivating them in accordance with your will. The Satanist knows that even if you succeeded in lifting the teacup from the table, it would be assumed that trickery was used anyway. Therefore, if the Satanist wants to float objects in mid-air, he uses wires, mirrors, or other devices, and saves his force for self-aggrandizement. All "gifted" mediums and white-light mystics practice pure and applied stage magic, with their blindfolds and sealed envelopes, and any fairly competent stage magician, carnival worker, or lodge-hall entertainer can duplicate the same effect - although lacking, perhaps, the sanctimonious "spiritual" overtones.

A little child learns that if he wishes for something hard enough, it will come true. This is meaningful. Wishing indicates desire, whereas prayer is accompanied by apprehension. Scripture has twisted desire into lust, covetousness, and greed. Be as a child, and do not stifle desire, lest you lose touch with the first ingredient in the performance of magic. Be led into temptation, and take that which tempts, whenever you can!

B. Timing

In every successful situation, one of the most important ingredients is the proper timing. In the performance of a magical ritual, timing can mean success or failure to an even greater extent. The best time to cast your spell or charm, hex or curse, is when your target is at his most receptive state. Receptivity to the will of the magician is assured when the recipient is as passive as possible. No matter how strong-willed one is, he is naturally passive while he is asleep; therefore, the best time to throw your magical energy towards your target is when he or she sleeps.

There are certain periods of the sleep cycle that are better than others for susceptibility to outside influences. When a person is normally fatigued from a day's activities, he will "sleep like a log" until his mind and body are rested. This period of profound sleep usually lasts about four to six hours, after which the period of "dream sleep" occurs which lasts two or three hours, or until awakening. It is during this "dream sleep" that the mind is most receptive to outside or unconscious influence.

Let us assume the magician wishes to cast a spell on a person who would usually retire at 11 o'clock in the evening, and rise at 7 o'clock in the morning. The most effective time to perform a ritual would be about 5 o'clock in the morning, or two hours before the recipient awakens.

It is to be emphasized that the magician must be at his peak of efficiency, as he represents the "sending" factor when he performs his ritual. Traditionally speaking, witches and sorcerers are night people, and understandably so. What better schedule on which to live, for the sending of thoughts towards unsuspecting sleepers! If only people were aware of the thoughts injected into their minds while they slept! The dream state is the birthplace of much of the future. Great thoughts are manifest upon awakening, and the mind that retains, in conscious form, these thoughts, shall produce much. But he who is guided by thoughts unrecognized is led into situations that will later be interpreted as "fate", "God's will", or accident.

There are other times in each person's day that lend themselves to the receiving of the will of the wizard. Those times when day-dreaming or boredom ensue, or when time hangs heavy, are fertile periods of suggestibility.

If a woman is the target for your spell, do not forget the importance of the menstrual cycle. If man were not dulled through his stifling evolutionary development, he would know, as an all-fours animal knows, when the female was most sexually inclined. Man's snout, however unsullied by cheap opiates, is not normally equipped to ferret out such tell-tale erotic scents. Even if he were so endowed with such olfactory powers, the object of his quest would most likely "throw him off the scent" through the use of massive doses of perfumery to cover and smother the "offending" effluvium, or eliminate detection completely, by the astringent action of powerful deodorants.

Despite these discouraging factors, man is still motivated to desire or be repelled, as the case may be, by his unconscious recognition of the change in woman's body chemistry. This is accomplished in the form of a sensory cue, which is olfactory in its nature. To go backwards, in what would amount to a return to the all-fours animal, would seem to be the best exercise for the conscious application of these powers, but to the squeamish might smack of lycanthropy. There is, however, an easier way, and that is to simply ascertain the dates and frequency of the menstrual cycle of the woman who is your target. It is immediately before and after the period itself that the average woman is most sexually approachable. Therefore, the magician will find the sleep period during these times most effective for the instillation of thoughts or motivations of a sexual nature.

Witches and sorceresses have a much greater range of time in which to cast their spells toward the men of their choice. Becuase man is more consistent in his sexual drives than woman (although there are many women with equal or even greater lusts), day to day timing is not as important. Any man who is not already drained of all sexual energy is a "sitting duck" for the proficient witch. The time of the year following the spring equinox is the most fraught with sexual vigor in a man, and he asserts himself accordingly; but the witch, in turn, must work her magic stronger, as she will find his eyes will stray.

Should the fearful ask, "Is there no defense against such witchery?" it must be answered thus - "Yes, there is protection. You must never sleep, never daydream, never be without a vital thought, and never have an open mind. Then you shall be protected from the forces of magic."

C. Imagery

The adolescent boy who takes great care in carving, on a tree, a heart containing his and his love object's initials; the little chap who sits by the hour drawing his conception of sleek automobiles; the tiny girl who rocks a scuffed and ragged doll in her arms, and thinks of it as her beautiful little baby - these capable witches and warlocks, these natural magicians, are employing the magical ingredient known as imagery, and the success of any ritual depends on it.

Children, not knowing or caring if they possess artistic skill or other creative talents, pursue their goals through the use of imagery of their own manufacture, whereas "civilized" adults are much more critical of their own creative efforts. This is why a "primitive" magician can utilize a mud doll or crude drawing to successful advantage in his magical ceremonies. To HIM, the image is as accurate as needs be.

Anything which serves to intensify the emotions during a ritual will contribute to its success. Any drawing, painting, sculpture, writing, photograph, article of clothing, scent, sound, music, tableau, or contrived situation that can be incorporated into the ceremony will serve the sorcerer well.

Imagery is a constant reminder, an intellect-saving device, a working substitute for the real thing. Imagery can be manipulated, set up, modified, and created, all according to the will of the magician, and the very blueprint that is created by imagery becomes the formula which leads to reality.

If you wish to enjoy sexual pleasures with the one of your choice, you must create the situation you desire on paper, canvas, by the written word, etc., in as overstated a way as possible, as an integral part of the ceremony.

If you have material desires, you must gaze upon images of them - surround yourself with the smells and sounds conducive to them - create a lodestone which will attract the situation or thing that you wish!

To insure the destruction of an enemy, you must destroy them by proxy! They must be shot, stabbed, sickened, burned, smashed, drowned, or rent in the most vividly convincing manner! It is easy to see why the religions of the right-hand path frown upon the creation of "graven images". The imagery used by the sorcerer is a working mechanism for material reality, which is totally opposed to esoteric spirituality.

A Greek gentleman of magical persuasion once wanted a woman who would satisfy his every desire, and so obsessed with the unfound object of his dreams was he, that he went about constructing such a wonderful creature. His work completed, he fell so convincingly and irrevocably in love with the woman he had created that she was no longer stone, but mortal flesh, and alive and warm; and so the magus, Pygmalion, received the greatest of magical benedictions, and the beautiful Galatea was his.

D. Direction

One of the most overlooked ingredients in the working of magic is the accumulation and subsequent direction of force toward an effective end.

Altogether too many would-be witches and warlocks will perform a ritual, and then go about with tremendous anxiety waiting for the first sign of a successful working. For all intent and purpose, they might as well get down on their knees and pray, for their very anxiety in waiting for the desired results only nullifies any real chance of success. Furthermore, with this attitude, it is doubtful that enough concentrated energy to even perform a proper ceremony could be stored up in the first place.

To dwell upon or constantly complain about the situation upon which your ritual would be based only guarantees the weakening of what should be ritualistically directed force, by spreading it thin and diluting it. Once the desire has been established strongly enough to employ the forces of magic, then every attempt must be made to symbolically give vent to these wishes IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE RITUAL - NOT before or after!

The purpose of the ritual is to FREE the magician from thoughts that would consume him, were he to dwell upon them constantly. Contemplation, daydreaming and constant scheming burns up emotional energy that could be gathered together in a dynamically usable force; not to mention the fact that normal productivity is severely depleted by such consuming anxiety.

The witch who casts her spells between long waits by the telephone, anticipating her would-be lover's call; the destitute warlock who invokes Satan's blessing, then waits on pins and needles for the check to arrive; the man, saddened by the injustices wrought upon him, who, having cursed his enemy, plods his way, long of face, and forrowed of brow - all are common examples of misdirected emotional energy.

Small wonder that the "white" magician fears retribution after casting an "evil" spell! Retribution, to the guilt-ridden sender, would be assured, by their very conscience-stricken state!

E. The Balance Factor

The Balance Factor is an ingredient employed in the practice of ritual magic which applies to the casting of lust and compassion rituals more than in the throwing of a curse. This ingredient is a small, but extremely important one.

A complete knowledge and awareness of this factor is an ability few witches and warlocks ever attain. This is, simply, knowing the proper type of individual and situation to work your magic on for the easiest and best results. Knowing one's own limitations is a rather odd bit of introspection, it would seem, for a person who should be able to perform the impossible; but under many conditions it can make the difference between success and failure.

If, in attempting to attain your goal through either greater or lesser magic, you find yourself failing consistently, think about these things: Have you been the victim of a misdirected, over-blown ego which has caused you to want something or someone when the chances are virtually non-existent? Are you a talentless, tone-deaf individual who is attempting, through magic, to receive great acclaim for your unmusical voice? Are you a plain, glamorless witch with oversized feet, nose, and ego, combined with an advanced case of acne, who is casting love spells to catch a handsome young movie star? Are you a gross, lumpy, lewd-mouthed, snaggle-toothed loafer who is desirous of a luscious young stripper? If so, you'd better learn to use the balance factor, or else expect to fail consistently!

To be able to adjust one's wants to one's capabilities is a great talent, and too many people fail to realize that if they are unable to attain the maximum, "a half a loaf can be better than none". The chronic loser is always the man who, having nothing, if unable to make a million dollars, will reject any chance to make fifty thousand with a disgruntled sneer.

One of the magician's greatest weapons is knowing himself; his talents, abilities, physical attractions and detractions, etc., and when, where, and with whom to utilize them! The man with nothing to offer, who approaches the man who is successful with grandiose advice and promise of great wealth, has the alacrity of the flea climbing up the elephant's leg with the intention of rape!

The aspiring witch who deludes herself into thinking that a powerful enough working will always succeed, despite a magical imbalance, is forgetting one essential rule: MAGIC IS LIKE NATURE ITSELF, AND SUCCESS IN MAGIC REQUIRES WORKING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE, NOT AGAINST IT.

Copyright ©1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey - All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this material or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law. For information address Avon Books, Inc.