Leviathan 4: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.

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If you let it be known that you’re a witch or warlock, you’ll be approached almost immediately by family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who all believe that they're entitled to your presumed ability to communicate with the Dark Lord. And hey—what's wrong with that? If you enjoy using fortune-telling as a means to both enrich yourself and help others, then this is a win-win. Live it up! If people expect you to play the role of a devil-worshiping, underworld-knowing, dark-sided Satanist, then by all means take advantage of their expectations—there's no reason you shouldn't.

There’s just one rule you should remember: don't become a true believer. It's fine and well to affect a dark aesthetic, chant Enochian, draw sigils, and gesticulate wildly before an altar of Baphomet, but remember that you're not the first or the last person to do so. People have been inventing secret methods to worship, revere, channel, invoke, evoke, summon, and conjure occult forces for as long as humans have been able to conceive of doing so. How many of those people are alive today and can say what reward these methods have brought them? 

When you weave the arcane and the forbidden into the personal narrative of your life, it can be deeply satisfying and even provide a means to better understand your own place in the world. There's also lot to be said about personal satisfaction, happiness, and certainty in an uncertain world. But me being who I am, I think that occultism need not be confined to infernal chanting and secret languages, but may be expanded to include any obscure method for achieving power and satisfaction.

As the present high priest of the Church of Satan Magus Gilmore has been known to say, occult knowledge isn't just what's found in the pages of the Necronomicon, but anything that is known to only a few: advanced musical techniques, brain surgery, central banking, and so on. To the uninitiated, there is no occult difference between goetia and animal husbandry, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Bilderberg Group, or even Theban script and Esperanto.

If you permit yourself to lose perspective and accept the solipsistic fantasy that you can do through magic what countless others before you could not, then you’re missing the entire point of the occult: what does it get you? There are many reasons to indulge in occult mazes of your own creation, but mazes shouldn't be walked for the sake of getting lost. Instead, they should be walked for the sake of what you find. What do you gain from chanting Enochian? In what way does it serve you to worship demons, write in obscure alphabets, or communicate with the underworld? If these activities don't further your worldly, material interests, then it's only masturbation. And that’s okay! Flicking the bean or playing pocket pool is a lot of fun, but don’t confuse self-abuse with getting a raise or manipulating your enemies into self-destruction.

If it brings you satisfaction to immerse yourself in occult fantasy, then you should do so, but don't confuse it with occult reality. For the same amount of time as you spend getting to know the 72 demons evoked by King Solomon, you'd gain 10 times as much material success from learning cold-reading techniques, neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis, or even public speaking.

So keep your eyes on the prize: is your goal to furiously fap your life away while waiting for demons to whisper in your ear, or do you want to live deliciously? Do you want sinful food, fine clothes, and to see the world? Occult fantasy and occult reality aren't contradictory, they're just opposite sides to the same coin of mastery and influence. If you're not getting what you want out of the occult, then consider that you're on the wrong side of the coin. Flip it over. I bet you'll find just what you've been missing.