How to Make a Deal with the Devil

Once you become an outspoken Satanist, it is amazing how many people will approach you and ask how they can make deals with the Devil. When it happens to me, I usually tell them, “You can’t make a deal with the Devil, because the Devil doesn’t exist.” Then I explain to them that as an atheistic Satanist, I see the Devil as a metaphorical construct that represents my values, not a deity to be worshiped or a demon with whom to make pacts.

It usually goes right over their heads, which is fine: once their infatuation with the Devil is over, I expect them to try to make deals with someone or something else. The greatest trick that superstition ever pulled was in convincing the world that there are shortcuts to growth and self-empowerment.

Those who are familiar with some of my other writings know that in the place of magic, I practice something I like to call “persistent effort towards a well-defined goal.” This is not to say that I do not engage in ritual, because the act of devising my goals and writing them down on paper is, itself, a ritual. Neither do I really have to write them down, I suppose, as long as I have decided what they are, but actually seeing the words written down on paper is satisfying to me, because it makes my thoughts appear to be more “concrete” or “real.”

However, there are no occult forces in play. The words I create are just words until I put forth the effort to bring my desires into reality. There is no connection between my intentions and the greater universe. Things Above are not connected to those Below, except by coincidence or wishful thinking.

To those who define magic as “changes in consciousness,” I shall say that doing practically anything causes changes in consciousness, but unless you put yourself in a state of consciousness that actually motivates you to do something, changing your consciousness isn’t a particularly useful or special act. The one thing you won’t find in a book of the occult is the notion that everything you do after you’ve made up your mind, rather than the process you follow in order to make up your mind, is what has the power to create change.

Your Will is the information that travels through your nervous system and results in the un-assing of your seat. It is not a thing that you should childishly enshrine as some kind of special being. I can imagine the number of disgruntled Satanic Witches and Warlocks who are attempting to angrily shoot their beams of Will at me for making such a statement, and I can say that I am experiencing a change of consciousness as a result of that idea: I am becoming amused.

My variation of Satanism has no place for magic and superstition, for I view skepticism and reason as the definitive traits of the Aspect of Lucifer. I know this outlook will likely be disappointing to those who aspire to unlock special, spooky powers of the occult, but if it’s any consolation, I have some really great news:

You are going to die. One day, you will stop breathing, your heart will stop pumping blood, and you will die. I mean deader than dogshit, too. You’re going to be dead as fuck.

If that doesn’t give you a surge of empowerment, then you really haven’t yet come to terms with your own mortality. I encourage you to do so, because once you internalize the fact that your time is limited, you will want to spend less of it muttering nonsense by candlelight, with the hopes of causing changes to your consciousness.

If you want to make a deal with the Devil, this is the deal that I suggest you make: To learn, to aspire, to seize the day, and to let nothing stop you, not even yourself. Dispense with self-deceit and foolishness. There is no power greater than the combination of knowledge and effort.

Hail Satan!

John Buer

John Buer is the first ordained priest of the United Aspects of Satan and the community organizer for Atheistic Satanists of the Bible Belt.