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La Veyan Satanism involves the practice of magic, which encompasses two distinct forms; greater and lesser magic. Greater magic is a form of ritual practice and is meant as psychodramatic catharsis to focus one's emotional energy for a specific purpose. La Veyan Satanism is a religion founded in 1966 by the American occultist and author Anton Szandor La Vey.Scholars of religion have classified it as a new religious movement and a form of Western esotericism. state of California through the founding of his Church of Satan on Walpurgisnacht of 1966, which he proclaimed to be "the Year One", Anno Satanas—the first year of the "Age of Satan". with religious studies scholar Amina Olander Lap arguing that it should be seen as being both part of the "prosperity wing" of the self-spirituality New Age movement and a form of the Human Potential Movement."In La Vey's way of thinking, Satanism is both a distinctly new religion, which he himself, without any false modesty, invented and the continuance of an ancient tradition of opposition to the status quo...

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In 1975, La Vey abolished the grotto system, after which Satanism became a far less organized movement, although remained greatly influenced by La Vey's writings. It is one of several different movements that describe themselves as forms of Satanism. His ideas were heavily influenced by the ideas and writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand. The Church grew under La Vey's leadership, with regional grottos being founded across the United States. In their study of Satanism, the religious studies scholars Asbjørn Dyrendal, James R. Petersen suggested that La Vey viewed his religion as "an antinomian self-religion for productive misfits, with a cynically carnivalesque take on life, and no supernaturalism". who are self-realized in a religion which appeals to the would-be Satanist's nature, leading them to realize they are Satanists through finding a belief system that is in line with their own perspective and lifestyle. The religion is materialist, rejecting the existence of supernatural beings, body-soul dualism, and life after death. "From Milton to Modern Satanism: The History of the Devil and the Dynamics between Religion and Literature". Practitioners do not believe that Satan literally exists and do not worship him. Many Satanists attribute their conversions or discoveries of Satanism to The Satanic Bible, with 20% of respondents to a survey by James Lewis mentioning The Satanic Bible directly as influencing their conversion. On their website, the Church of Satan urge anyone seeking to learn about La Veyan Satanism to read The Satanic Bible, stating that doing so is "tantamount to understanding at least the basics of Satanism". Gallagher says that Satanists use La Vey's writings "as lenses through which they view themselves, their group, and the cosmos." He also states: "With a clear-eyed appreciation of true human nature, a love of ritual and pageantry, and a flair for mockery, La Vey's Satanic Bible promulgated a gospel of self-indulgence that, he argued, anyone who dispassionately considered the facts would embrace." La Vey sought to cement his belief system within the secularist world-view that derived from natural science, thus providing him with an atheistic basis with which to criticize Christianity and other supernaturalist beliefs. These rites are based on three major psycho-emotive themes, including compassion (love), destruction (hate), and sex (lust). "Carnal, Chthonian, Complicated: The Matter of Modern Satanism". Lesser magic is the practice of manipulation by means of applied psychology and glamour (or "wile and guile") to bend an individual or situation to one's will.

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