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Christopher S. For the first time, a genuine manual of the dreaded "left-hand path. Jason Black and Christopher S. Hyatt have written a book that places the Western magical tradition and the Western psyche in perspective. Sweeping aside both the historical fabrications of "neo-paganism" and the rampant mental illness of the r For the first time, a genuine manual of the dreaded "left-hand path. Sweeping aside both the historical fabrications of "neo-paganism" and the rampant mental illness of the religious right, Black and Hyatt explore history, psychology and anthropology to reveal the true "secret doctrine" of Western culture.

This work confronts the reader with his own fears and inhibitions and carries him beyond. Comprehensively illustrated, this volume contains a detailed history of European "Black Magic" and includes new editions of 17th and 18th century Grimoires with detailed instructions for their use.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 1st by New Falcon Publications. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Pacts With the Devil , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 19, Valenfore Alestreneon rated it it was amazing. I read both the and current own the expanded edition. This is a real, working manual of Grimoire Magik. Not for the feint of heart, the weak willed or the emotionally unstable.

Book Review: Pacts with the Devil: A Chronicle of Sex, Blasphemy & Liberation

This book will set your mind free and also describes a lot of Occult Science. ISBN - On the Content tab, click to select the Enable JavaScript check box. Click OK to close the Options popup. Refresh your browser page to run scripts and reload content. Click the Internet Zone. If you do not have to customize your Internet security settings, click Default Level. Then go to step 5.

Click OK to close the Internet Options popup. Chrome On the Control button top right of browser , select Settings from dropdown. Under the header JavaScript select the following radio button: Allow all sites to run JavaScript recommended. Hyatt , S. First, it was the repository of some of the great art collections of the world and also, like Paris, a place where one could obtain forbidden books and learn about unusual practices.

During his stay in Rome he did as tourists do to this day: he attended a service at the Sistine chapel. It was Good Friday and some sort of ritual scourging was involved in the ceremony. Presumably it was night, because the chapel was in darkness. When the very light scourging began, Dashwood, who was in the congregation, pulled a bullwhip from the inside of his greatcoat and started thrashing people left and right, whooping like a banshee.

He was forcibly ejected from the chapel, and subsequently from Italy. The Brothers Of St. Francis When he returned home, carrying with him the books and experiences collected on his travels, he began to live the life expected of a man of his class—which at that time was a combination of politics and debauch. This Gothic ruin had been purchased by Dashwood and comfortably refurbished for this purpose. This is due largely to the destruction of the notes and financial documents of the Order by its secretary, Paul Whitehead, just before his death. We suspect that both are true.

The black mass, in its traditional form, is purely and simply an orthodox pagan ceremony in all of its components. These included such luminaries as George Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich yes, that one and at least once Benjamin Franklin himself, 44 45 Pacts With The Devil who had become a friend of Dashwood during his brief stay in England. They would proceed to the river and the waiting transport. Exactly what happened next is, due to Mr. There was some sort of ceremony, possibly even a black mass.

Why were the women dressed as nuns and the men as monks? They could all have worn togas if that was appropriate. Roman revivalism was quite common at the time, especially in architecture. The workers and artists hired to carry out this project were all imported to avoid any gossip, and the abbey library contained an odd combination of pornography and theological works. Could those papers have contained, perhaps, written pacts by the members pledging their allegiance to Lucifer?

This is frightening because most people are terrified both by the thought of contact with a spiritual intelligence which he may even claim not to believe in and also by the thought of achieving his goals. The second reason is that the conjuration of a demon and the creation of a formal alliance with it is quite possibly the oldest form of initiation known to man.

The manuals of magic collected here, especially the pact-workings, are the stuff from which religion comes the covenant with Jehovah was a pact and which modem religion imitates with empty formalism. This is the factor that everything in our Judeo-Christian upbringing tells us to avoid. Faith Versus Knowledge In our culture, unlike, say, Tibet, we talk about faith , which has been sarcastically described as a belief in things one knows to be untrue. Direct experience—gnosis—is discouraged from every corner. This is true for the Jew, the Christian and the Atheist alike.

Even the religious convulsions of Pentecostals and their ilk are only encouraged in the group and to become closer to the group. A person who breaks the limits imposed on him by the world at large is a very disturbing phenomenon. Religion prays to begs a hypothetical daddy figure for help and guidance.

The fledgling sorcerer continues his efforts no matter how many days it takes to get a response. When the spirits come, the first thing that happens is usually an attack. The apprentice must defend himself. If he fails, this can literally result in death whether from his belief or from other forces we will not speculate. If he succeeds, he returns to society with one or more allies, which aid him in the performance of magic. In return, he gives the spirit something that it wants or needs. This is performed by the Bocor, or professional sorcerer, as opposed to the Houngan, who serves the community.

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This is believed to be a more satisfying arrangement. The catch to this is that he must give from his own family and friends. In other words, it must be a real sacrifice of someone he loves. Harsh as this sounds, if you think about it, you realize that this is far from uncommon in the pursuit of ordinary ambition.

Say Pacts With The Devil that a man is frustrated with his life. He has been honest and worked hard and gotten nowhere. He is at the end of his rope. So the Bocor calls upon the Petro family of spirits, which are very close to the concept of infernal demons, and the spirit speaks to the supplicant. If this is agreed to, one person a year will mysteriously sicken and die to satisfy the spirit until the day comes when there is either no one left that the man can give, or he can no longer bear to commit such an act. This time the bargainer himself is taken.

It is an eerie coincidence that one of the Petro spirits that operate these pact agreements is called Bosu Tricorne —the three-horned god. Perhaps the lord Lucifuge spread his activities further afield than France. Or perhaps our earlier suggestion that a former resident of colonial Haiti wrote The Grand Grimoire deserves some consideration. A good example of this is Merlin, who, according to the research of Nikolai Tolstoy in his book Quest For Merlin , was a historical figure who lived during the fifth century ad in one of the still-pagan enclaves of northern Britain.

Christian chroniclers, however, have transformed him from the last of the Druids into a half-human figure whose father was a demon or the Devil himself. Possibly the oldest of these legends deals with a Churchman of the name Theophilus. Theophilus was a humble scholar who enjoyed the quiet and safety of the monastic life. Unfortunately, his reliability and talents attracted the attention of his superiors in the Church, and he was offered the recently vacated office of Bishop.

Pleading humility, he refused, which proved to be a very bad move. The office was given to the second choice, an ambitious politico who proceeded to torment Theophilus at every opportunity. He made his life, so to speak, hell. This state of affairs continued, until Theophilus was finally fed up, at which time he took a forbidden book from the monastery, and in a crypt in the wee hours, called up the Evil One. The Devil told Theophilus that, in exchange for his immortal soul, he would give him the power to do wonders and triumph over his enemy.

Theophilus, at his wits end, agreed. Events went as Satan promised, and the Bishop met his demise. In due course, Theophilus was offered the Bishopric a second time and this time accepted. Years passed, and his power and reputation grew apace, but as he grew older, fear began to gnaw at him. He thought more and more on death and even though he knew that he had served the Church well, he also knew that when he died he would pass into Hell forever. Eventually this whining attracted the attention of the Virgin Mary herself and she intervened personally on his behalf, forbidding the Devil his soul.

Deus ex machina. Aside from being an object lesson in the dangers of making a contract with an ecclesiastic, this little legend— which became very popular and much elaborated upon— contains all the ingredients that remain with us to this very day. The scholar religious or secular who, driven to extremis, uses his knowledge to call up an evil spirit, sell his soul, and enjoy magical power. The performance of various wonders during his lifetime. The last minute regret for his actions which at the end, mean nothing to him. The inevitable descent into Hell or in the case of Theophilus, last minute reprieve.

The first component of the myth goes back to shamanic practice. The rest is a Christian accretion to keep people in fear and bondage. Gerbert, Pope Sylvester n, who held office in the 11th Century, was a talented intellectual who acceded to the Throne of St. The role of the Pope in such a time was largely as some kind of peacemaker, using either diplomacy or direct threat. Considering the sort of person he is said to have been, it is entirely plausible that he may have practiced magic of one sort or another, but of course, the legend that grew up around him is much more lurid.

Gerbert, a native of France, was given to the Church by his father to get the education that his talent required and that he, a poor farmer, could not give. Gerbert thrived in the atmosphere of learning in the monastery, but there came a day when there was no more that these provincial monks could teach him.

He was called to the chambers of the Abbot, and informed that he was being sent to the city of Toledo in Spain, there to act as secretary to the Bishop and also to pursue his higher education. The young monk was thunderstruck. Toledo was an open city where Saracens and Christians lived side by side and shocking! He was frightened, but being an obedient son of the Church, he went. Thus far, the legend is probably historical fact. In the way of many country bumpkins suddenly exposed to the wider world, Gerbert slowly lost his fears and became more sophisticated.

He began to explore the city and examine the merchandise and books that came there from Africa and the Orient. It was from these that he eventually learned the art of calling up spirits and making them obey his will. Ultimately, he became ambitious, and setting his sights on the Papacy itself, he called up Lucifer and made a pact with him that he would be his minion if the Devil made him Pope. The Devil said yes, certainly, why not, but he must beware of one thing. He must never say mass in Jerusalem, because on the day he does that, his days on earth are over.

Easy enough. Sooner than he would have believed possible—due to magically-aided deaths and promotions—he is created Pope.

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For years he lives the life of luxury and power that he longed for, until one day, on an official tour of some part of Europe, he says mass at the local cathedral, a church that he had never been in before. He is only part way through the liturgy when he notices that he is surrounded on all sides by demons. They are squatting on the gargoyles. They hang from the rafters. They fart at him from the choir loft. He realizes something has gone terribly wrong and, turning to the assisting priest who sees none of this , asks what place he is in. He is told that this is the Church of Jerusalem.

Gerbert knows now that he has been tricked and falls on his knees before the altar, publicly confessing all that he has 52 54 55 Pacts With The Devil done. It is too late. In agony, he dies on the spot and a coffin is prepared for his body and sent back to Rome. It was said that for years afterward, howls of pain and despair could be heard from his tomb in the dark of night as his soul was tortured eternally in Hell. The truth of the above is probably that Sylvester 11 may have been a magician, but the diabolical aspects of his story were likely spread by his political enemies.

In this case the legends and the reality match each other very well. Father to Cesare Borgia and also to the notorious Lucrezia, this remarkable man exemplified both the light and dark sides of the Italian renaissance. During his tenure as Pope, the so-called Corpus Hermeticum was translated into Latin for the first time and made available by the new process of printing. It was also defended by its proponents—who were many— as a pagan foreshadowing of Christianity and therefore to be considered as holy text alongside the Bible.

During this time the principle exponent of this philosophy was Pico Della Mirandola, a priest and theurgist who was among the first to urge the Church toward a magical reform of its structure. This movement saw its final failure when Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in ad. While later Popes took an extremely negative stance toward magic as part of the Catholic counter-reformation, Alexander vi was liberal on the subject since he still felt secure. Martin Luther was still just a storm on the horizon.

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While it is by no means certain that he practiced magic, he certainly studied it, since he became one of the principle protectors of Pico, and had the hermetic texts included in the great Vatican library. He was also responsible for the decoration of certain rooms that he used in the Papal residence with frescoes which still exist depicting talismanic astrological images and an imaginary portrait of Hermes Trismegistus himself.

The Vatican had an atmosphere that was neither sedate nor holy. With this in mind, it is no surprise that rumors of banquets degenerating into orgies and diabolical midnight conjurations became common in the rumor mill. For exam- 56 Pacts With The Devil pie, Alexander, Cesare and Lucrezia once had a contest in the Vatican where the contestants were the most beautiful prostitutes in Rome. They were stripped naked and went around the room picking nuts up off the floor.

We leave it to the reader to imagine with what. All of this was some centuries later than the life of Gerbert. Since the printing press had been invented we have first hand written accounts, rather than the wild stories that earlier times produced. But what is known to be fact is wild enough. In harmony with the classical revivalism then current, many of the public ceremonies performed in Rome at the time were openly pagan in content. This was reflected in the way Alexander ran his Vatican.

When Lucrezia was given in one of her many marriages, a drunken celebration was held at the Papal residence, and at one point, Alexander escorted his daughter to a balcony that overlooked an empty courtyard. Below them, a mare and an aroused stallion were led in by servants. Wine goblets in hand, the two laughed and watched the mare be mounted, His Holiness telling his daughter that this is what she should expect from her husband-to-be. It is also significant that many of the major writers on magic of the time—Pico, Bruno, Ficino, Cardanus and Trithemius— were priests or monks, so the popular myths of satanic priests and prelates have a certain grounding in fact.

It is an ironic fact that Alexander was responsible for ordering one of the major European witch hunts. The last sorcerous Pope, of course, is Honorius in. Once again, we have an admixture of myth and history, both of which provide some insights into our subject. This, more or less, is all we know. If he wrote books, none have survived nor do we know when and how he died. What we do know seems to indicate that his status as a scholar was legitimate, and that his ideas whatever they may have been were taken seriously enough to cause official alarm.

The second Faustus we know far more about and what we know is far from flattering. Unfortunately, most of the popular stories about Faustus are based on the activities of this man. This is why one can see Faustus as the romantic ideal of the renaissance magus on one hand, and a subject for stories told by drunken 16th century inn patrons on the other. In the folk-tales, as opposed to the dramas and poetry, Faustus is a vulgarian who is finally found dead in a gutter, done in by the Devil.

The Faustian Legend The myth of Faustus however is far more interesting and significant than the facts: After the Protestant reformation of Martin Luther, the social atmosphere in much of non- Catholic Europe became very anti-intellectual. However, there was now enormous pressure and scrutiny put upon the intellectual elite. The freedom of speculation that the renaissance had encouraged was beginning to be stifled with a vengeance.

His crime? He had discovered the circulatory system. During this time also, the educational system had changed radically, from a system of mental gymnastics that relied on Pacts With The Devil 59 memory exercises what would now be called holism and the use of the imagination it was on this that Bruno based his magic to the rote absorption of facts that we have today. Giordano Bruno died at the stake in Rome, a martyr for these practices. Under such conditions occult practice became a highly charged political issue and remained so until the 17th century.

In this atmosphere, Dr. Faustus became a symbol of opposition, of protest against the sterile and materialistic direction in which things were going. For the lower classes his life was the disastrous result of the dangers of too much learning, an attitude still held by modern fundamentalists. Occult Literati The job of distilling all of this was taken on by literature.

Here we have an aging Faustus, erudite and admired, but sick to death of respectability, who decides all that he knows is futile. He turns, almost sensuously, to his hidden cache of black magical texts, and declares his old affiliations over and his life as a conjurer begun. He conjures the demon Mephistopheles the origin of whom is also a matter of much debate and sells his soul for youth, knowledge and the satisfaction of all his desires.

Not a bad deal. It is what saves him from being just another folk tale character like Gerbert. The Marlowe version sends Faustus to Hell in the end of course. Marlowe was an atheist and violently anti-clerical. His feelings seem to have extended to the field of magic. Two hundred years later, the other famous version of the story was begun by a young German named Goethe.

This was a dramatic poem which the author continued to expand and revise until nearly the end of his life. In addition, Goethe was himself seriously interested in occult speculation, so his interest in the character was anything but satirical. His life is meaningless, his accomplishments worthless, he has decided to take his own life. Then he hears the church bells peal in the distance, and he is brought back to himself. He realizes, in a kind of satori, that there is more in the world to be explored, and he commits himself to the practice of magic, compromising his soul more in the fashion of a gambler making a bet than as an act of fatalism.

There follows an extremely lengthy series of wonders and sexual entanglements, far more complex than the Marlowe play. The anti-clerical of the 16th century sends Faustus to Hell, but the proto-romantic of the 18th shows the character as justified in his actions, and saved from damnation in the end. As we said earlier, the pact legend is still with us. Most recently, popular legend has it that Fidel Castro won his revolution, not because of superior strategy, but because he had an alliance with the Seven African Powers of Santeria.

In our country there was hot rumor for years that the rock band Led Zeppelin attained success through an agreement with the powers of darkness.


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And it is a fact that guitarist Jimmy Page is openly a student of the magician Aleister Crowley. Other than the translations of Hindu and Buddhist documents, almost all of these are trash. Christopher S. The worst is a large and beautifully illustrated book called Sexual Secrets by Nik Douglas and illustrated by Penny Slinger. In our view this author is phobic about various forms of sexuality most notably male homosexuality and irresponsible in some of his medical assertions for example: anal sex causes cancer.

The author seems to encourage Binary Fascism The problem, not only with the above-mentioned work, but with the entire European approach to the subject is twofold: first, the twisted Judeo-Christian attitude toward sex has so narrowed our point of view that all many people see when they read about Tantra is sex.


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  • Second, almost all proponents of Tantra have been unable to face up to what it is in its pure form: the Left Hand Path, dreaded of Dion Fortune and turn-of-the- century Theosophists. This is nothing more than Judeo-Christian legalism and judgmentalism in a thin disguise. It just happened. He has often wondered if this woman ever realized what she had told him about herself. Breaking The Fetters Tantrism can be defined most basically as a body of psycho-spiritual technique whose goal is to free the aspirant from the bonds and limitations that social programming has laid upon him. This goal is the same in all forms of left- handed practice—whether it is Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist or Islamic.

    The complete fulfillment of the potentialities and goals of the aspirant is the highest good. A good example of this is the Hindu Aghori sect. In this macabre setting, he received his first vision of the goddess Tara, one of the terror deities of the Hindu pantheon. This goddess became his patroness throughout his life note again the similarity to the pact commitment and he even claimed to have been teleported to Calcutta as a result of the experience. It must be said here that what has been described is part of the occult or esoteric aspect of Eastern religion, and is often viewed with shock by the orthodox.

    Nevertheless, in the Orient, this is a living, if underground, tradition. In our own culture it has been much more effectively killed. Tantra Of The West So in what way are the diabolical workings of these Grimoires valuable for a practitioner of our own day? We would say that they perform precisely the same functions as psychic tools for self-development as do the Bengali Tantrik practices or the Tibetan Chod rite and for the very same reasons. Why not then, simply practice Tantrik yoga? Because we cannot voluntarily jump from one world of mythic symbol to another without massive, often painful, change on a deep, irrational level and we have personally met very, very few who have even come close to doing this.

    We know many people who have practiced Hatha yoga to great effect. This does not mean that the idea or symbol of a Hindu deity has the same impact on them that it would on a native Indian. This is because his positive and nega- 66 67 Pacts With The Devil tive aspects are nearly identical and because there is some evidence to support the idea that Shiva and Dionysus are the same god. For example, we consider Dionysus to be the major archetype for Satan for reasons that will be stated later. All of this identification would hardly mean a thing to someone raised in the Hindu tradition because it is not a dualist religion, and Christianity is.

    That was practically all it entailed. Most readers will be surprised to learn that Mr. Black personally observed that the practice of this simple, five-minute ritual created a major psychic upheaval in a noticeable percentage of the people who did it. They had panic attacks. They had nightmares. There were other changes as well. Others had a feeling of freedom, or the ability to do things that they could not before. Many of these people also experienced profound emotional changes.

    Long repressed feelings of anger, hurt or even lust were released from the depths. The sort of experience described above, is what genuine initiation produces. During one of these at-home sessions, sitting upright in an easy chair, I went spontaneously into a trance experience that I can only describe as orgasmic. Waves of ecstasy began at the bottoms of my feet and traveled slowly up my paralyzed body to the top of my head. This continued without letup for nearly half an hour with such intensity that I could hardly think. There was no stimulus for this but the magical practice itself, no drugs, no alcohol, nothing.

    I came back to myself feeling serene and elated in both body and mind and went to bed that night still feeling the same way. I awoke the next morning instantly. That is, there was absolutely no progressive interval between sleep and full wakefulness. I felt the rushings from feet to head once again, but this time, instead of trancing out, I was filled with incredible physical energy. My face was flushed and I continued to giggle periodically.

    This condition continued unabated for three days. I slowly realized what the reader may by now have guessed. I had experienced one of the more pleasant versions of a kundalini experience and I was anxious to tell someone about it. As I related my story, I soon realized that I was the only person there who had had such an experience. I should come to their classes and they would teach me how to make sure such a thing would never happen again. I was stunned. They had: 1. Eliminated the need to face their own lack of results failure. Prevented me from becoming a competitive threat in their own social group.

    And: 4. Trapped in a group like that, one might as well be in Church. The petty social dynamics are exactly the same. Spirits Of The Air By now it should be clear to the reader by now that I practice magic seriously, aside from just writing about it. I have found that most books on magic whose authors purport to be practitioners of one sort or another, quietly omit the relating of personal experiences and results. There is usually good reason for this. Since the following pages deal with the issue of the conjuration of spirits and the idea of the pact, I feel obliged to state my position on the existence of such things.

    I will also relate a very few of the experiences that have led me to it. Also, almost without exception, they claim a belief in some form of afterlife or reincarnation. How this can work without an accompanying belief in spirits is unclear to me. On the other hand, in a sense they can hardly be blamed. Since the end of the Renaissance, Western society has been under the domination of Calvinism and the Protestant world view—the direct parents of Victorian materialism—a fact often vehemently denied by the Victorian tradition.

    Ultimately, the witch trials stopped because there was no longer any need for them. The witches and sorcerers had lost their heritage. To be sure, there have been resurgences. Spiritualism was one. So, in the view of some, is the ufo experience. Ironically, though not surprisingly, while the actual experience of a non-physical entity or spirit of the dead is verboten , pure superstition is not only acceptable but admired. I suggest that you consider what the fact of life after death would do to the established authorities. Church, medicine and technology would be in a tizzy because this single fact would destroy more of their assumptions than I could begin to list.

    The linear causality belief of the man on the street would have to go. This is definitely not to say that every evocation produces genuine contact with what seems to be an alien entity. Far from it. There is a subtle distinction between what Dr. Jung actually wrote when he formulated his idea and what it is popularly thought to be.

    So, locked in our skulls, we share images of gods, dragons, fairies, etc. This idea is fine so far as it goes, but it is not what Carl Jung believed, according to his writing. For Jung, the collective unconscious was something shared by everyone, but he did not believe it was bounded by any individual skull. He also believed that this continuum contained knowledge of everything that has ever happened.

    At that level there is acausality and space-time relativization parallel to the findings in physics. The psychoid archetype lies behind both psyche and matter and expresses itself typically in synchronistic events. Jung understood synchronicity as an acausal principle which stands behind such events as telepathy, clairvoyance, etc It does not explain the effects of magic in invoking forces, changing patterns through ritual, effecting healing or fulfilling desires.

    In the year , entities began invading his house. This and other phenomena inspired him to write the Seven Sermons to the Dead, a work that he implies was produced almost in a mediumistic state. From looking at this work and many of his letters that were published after his death, it is clear that he was far more ambivalent on the subject of spirits than his public statements suggested. In each individual case I must of necessity be skeptical, but in the long run I have to admit that the spirit hypothesis yields better results in practice than any other.

    In the year , he published a new edition in English of the Goetia, a book that is first cousin to the Grimoires collected here, but much older. It is this: But can any of the effects described in this our book Goetia be obtained, and if so, can you give a rational explanation of the circumstances? Say you so? I can and will. The spirits of the Goetia are portions of the human brain. From the pen of the premier practitioner of this century, what appears to be the flat statement that the demons are in your head. But wait.

    Crowley did indeed write this, but it is usually taken slightly out of context. The problems here are multiple. First, Crowley, as usual, is smarter than his audience. Then too, this was still the heyday of spiritualism, which Crow- 76 Pacts With The Devil ley viewed with a combination of contempt and in our opinion jealousy. He did not want to be seen as another fool writing about spirits. The long and short of it was that he was just a little too clever in his presentation to be entirely clear in his meaning, not the last time this was to happen to him.

    I will begin with some of experiences I have had with the art of evocation, and finish with a pact-working that I performed, though different from the specific rituals in this book. About ten years ago I was in the midst of one of my early experiments in ceremonial magic. I had acquired or made the required ritual equipment and had created a nine-foot circle that could be folded up and stored away instead of having to be recreated each time it was needed.

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    As a result, it was no great trouble to perform rituals on a nightly basis, since only minimal preparation was needed. I had decided on a planetary working as most appropriate to my needs, and chose the intelligence of Venus Hagiel as the spirit to call up. After the invocation, I would sit in the circle and attempt to visualize the spirit.

    At first, little happened, but with each successive ritual the trance that I entered became a little deeper, until I was regu- 77 yg Pacts With The Devil larly experiencing what I can only describe as a joyful glow rather like being on a good mood-lifter. For about two weeks I continued this procedure. Each time I made my requests to the spirit I had yet to see. Then, one night, I laid out the circle, lit the candles and prepared for the usual routine when I stopped cold right in the middle of the pentagram ritual.

    I literally felt as though an elephant had walked into the room. As I was standing, yhe entire front of my body began to buzz from head to foot as though I was being pressed against a six-foot vibrator; and something seemed to be forming in the space outside the circle directly in front of me. I was overcome with a sense of expectancy that amounted almost to panic.

    This feeling increased to the point that I was about to run out of the room when suddenly a pile of record albums that were laid flat on the floor, and probably weighed about twenty pounds, flipped over with a loud whump. Immediately after this little kinetic demonstration, a blob of light formed on the floor in front of the circle. It stayed there for about thirty seconds, then formed into a ball and rose slowly into the air in front of me to a point about four Pacts With The Devil 79 feet off the ground.

    It hung there for an additional twenty seconds or so and then vanished. I lived at the time in a small apartment at the back of a building facing away from the street. In addition, my apartment was equipped with blackout shades, which were completely opaque and could block out all light even at noon on a summer day.

    When the light vanished, so did the fear. The presence was still in the room, however, and I was at a loss as to what to do.

    In the end, I broke what most people consider a cardinal rule and requested the spirit to communicate with me in whatever way it could. I then stepped out of the circle without banishing and went to bed. When I turned off the light and lay down, I saw as clearly as possible under the circumstances a shifting shape of blackness floating above me. I was still excited, but not afraid.

    I went instantly to sleep. I awoke around am, having the distinct and intense recollection of talking to someone for a very long time about something very important to my life and well being. The room was empty of disembodied presences and I eventually drifted back to sleep. The day after this event the Venus effect kicked in.

    Strangers would, it seemed, come for miles to make my acquaintance. I would be pestered in bars, restaurants and shopping malls by people who thought wrongly that I was lie friendliest, most wholesome person in the state and they ought to become my friend.

    He decided to tell his troubles to me for several hours 8o Pacts With The Devil Pacts With The Devil 8l instead and wanted to pursue a further acquaintance. I politely declined. I counted the operation a success, and convinced that ceremonial magic lived up to its advertising, destroyed the Venus talisman. The second example is a bit less spectacular when it comes to phenomena, but much more successful in the practical sense.

    It also is far more typical of the experience with magic than the first story. By this time I had altered my method of working slightly. I did this by putting myself into an auto-hypnotic trance before an altar containing the sigil of the spirit and whatever other material I thought necessary. This technique resembled the Theurgy of the Renaissance magicians more than the methodology of the Grimoires. It also closely resembles Tantrik devotional Yoga.

    I had been in the habit of rising early and performing the evocation after I bathed and before going to work. On the morning in question, I was feeling particularly frustrated about my financial situation, as well as my emotional and physical condition. I needed money, I was bored and out of shape.

    Almost more than the money, I wanted a membership in one of the well-appointed health clubs that are common in the Los Angeles area and which, at the time, I could not afford. This was the subject of my particular bitch to the spirit that morning. I went through the usual routine.

    I complained to the spirit and I think this is important verbally, just as though I were talking to a person in the room with me who knew nothing about my situation. I spoke in considerable detail. I said, in brief, that I needed a new job that paid me a decent wage, and especially, I wanted a gym membership so that I could get myself back into physical shape again.

    Ordinary requests to be sure, but ones beyond my power to fulfill at the time. Having complained at length, I found it was time to go to work, performed a hasty closing and left. When the office officially opened for business about forty minutes later, I was deeply absorbed in fielding the hundreds of calls from actors and casting directors when I got a call from one of our actress clients who wanted to talk to me.

    She began by asking me if I was satisfied where I was working. I said that I liked the people but the money was lousy and I was going nowhere. Well, she said, there was a close friend of hers who was about to open the new national office of a broadcasting professional 82 Pacts With The Devil Pacts With The Devil 83 organization and he was looking for someone with exactly my background and skills.

    She gave me a number to call, which I did as soon as I had the time. I interviewed during lunch the next day and was hired immediately.