1. What would you say are the potential consequences of cursing? I have a whole chapter about ethics and cursing in my general magick book called Curses, Hexes, & Crossings which is not Daemonolatry specific. But it does address the ethics and consequences question rather well.
2. Is it possible to be chosen by a Daemon, and how can you tell if you’ve been chosen? In my experience, people who have been “chosen” by the Daemonic, often tell me a similar story. It usually started when they were very young. They had friends they interacted with that no one else could see. They recall being visited by spirits in the dead of night. They saw cloaked figures or black animals (usually dogs or large cats) standing next to their beds in sentry. That sort of thing. I do think it’s possible to have a calling to the Daemonic as one gets older, too. Daemonolatry isn’t one of those spiritual paths people are recruited into. It’s something that calls them.
3. Can you explain the difference between possession and channeling? Possession is often a state that happens against a person’s will. Or without willfully drawing the spirit into them. Channeling is when you willingly allow a spirit to come into you to perform a task or speak through you. Basically, the difference is consent. Possession often equals no consent, and channeling is full consent. A lot of people use the words interchangeably, and technically we’re probably just mincing semantics, but I prefer the word channeling because I want people to be clear that when I draw a Daemon through me – it’s consensual. To each their own though. Far too many fights among occultists stem from different terminology and nothing more. Usually once they start defining words, they realize they’re actually on the same page. Life is too short to get angry over terminology.
4. How did you become an occult author? I think people would like to think that I had some spiritual epiphany about this, but the sad truth is I kind of fell into writing books about Daemonolatry. I didn’t set out to become an occult author at all. Mind you, I was always a writer (of science fiction and fantasy up to that point). I’d been a writer longer than I’d been a Daemonolater. These two separate interests just happened to collide when the group I was in at the time wanted to have a book put together for their pre-initiates to study and work from. All eyes turned to me because I was the only one in the group who was a writer. Plus, I was eager to please and agreed to the whole plan. In 1998-1999 the book Modern Demonolatry was born. The book actually wasn’t supposed to go beyond our small group of about 150-200 people. It was also a bitch to get anyone to publish it. Even the local print shops outright refused to print it. At that time, the only way I really knew to get published if the local print shop told you “no” was to try publishers. So admittedly I tried a few of the larger occult publishers of the time and was basically met with looks of horror and emphatic “Hells NO” from mortified editors. Also – let’s face it – Modern Demonolatry (as my first real non-fiction book) wasn’t that great. I’ve written much better. But it did serve the purpose of relaying the information it needed to relay. As a last resort I went to a friend who had a small publishing house called Darkerwood Publishing Group (which I later purchased from her) and she was the one to finally say yes. She printed 100 limited edition hardcovers of the book. Much to my surprise, and the surprise of my small group of friends – the book sold out in three months and my publisher friend didn’t have enough money for another printing, so we simply printed copies off my home printer for people in our group and left it at that. By the time 2005 rolled around, I was getting calls weekly from occult shops and individuals about getting copies of Modern Demonolatry. That’s when a friend told me about Lulu and Print on Demand printing technology, and we put the first book up. I was talked into the second book. By the time the third book rolled around, I was beginning to enjoy writing for Daemonolaters because I knew it was helping get information out to people who wanted it. It’s been a labor of love ever since, and even though I fell into writing about the occult (for the public) quite by accident, I can’t help but wonder if the Daemonic didn’t have a hand in it. I do believe all things happen for a reason.
5. Were there any particular books that influenced you as an occultist/Daemonolater? There wasn’t a specific book that influenced me in my younger years. I found I loved ALL the books. If it had anything to do with Daemons or magick, it was one of my favorite books. The Mathers Goetia was a favorite, but I also loved Lori Cabot and many others, and of course Crowley. My biggest influence as a Daemonolatress and Magician was actually a living flesh and blood friend and teacher. She influenced me more than any book I’ve ever read, and she taught me things you can’t learn from books.
6. Can you share one of your more vivid magickal experiences with us? I’ve had a lot of experiences, which is why I still practice magick to this day and am still a practicing Daemonolater after thirty some-odd years. It would be hard to pick just one experience. Probably the most terrifying experience I had was when my Patron manifested in my room in the middle of the night and touched me, then watched dumbfounded as I ran screaming from the room and called the cops because I thought someone had broken into my house. Long story short – there are reasons I know it wasn’t a dream and that I was wide awake. There are reasons I know it was Daemonic and it was really there. Naturally, the cops thought I was a bit crazy and probably put my address on the weirdo watch list, and all my doors and windows were locked from the inside. So – that said – when you’re visited by your patron, go ahead and run from the room screaming like an idiot, but don’t call the cops.
7. What does the future of Daemonolatry look like compared to how it was when you first started out? Social media definitely changed everything. I think Daemonolatry has grown significantly since the 1980’s when I started out. More Daemonolaters have come out of the woodwork. Those who were in the broom closet came out. We’re in every country in every part of the world. I think Daemonolatry has a life of its own and it’s so much bigger than any individual or group. Of course, new things will appear. New voices will emerge. It’s not a dead spiritual path. It’s evolving, like all magick and spiritual paths. Stagnant paths die. Progressive paths keep growing. Who knows, in a few thousand years, the practice of Daemon worship, or even general paganism could end up being the dominant spiritual preference. It’s anyone’s guess. I’ll be dead by then. I won’t care.
8. How do Daemonolaters view angels, and is it possible for a Daemonolater to work with angels? It depends on that Daemonolater’s definition of Daemon. If you believe in the Abrahamic/Judeo-Christian mythos, then clearly you wouldn’t want to work with angels as angels are the antithesis of Daemons. But if you view Daemons as “Divine Intelligence” as a very broad and sweeping term inclusive of a lot of spirit types – then angels might be one of those spirit types, and are therefore Divine Intelligences, hence Daemons. To each their own.
9. What is the purpose of spirit hierarchies and why would spirits have them? Spirits don’t have hierarchies. Humans put spirits into hierarchies because it helps us better quantify, categorize, and establish the importance of different spirits and their underlying concepts. It also helps us better understand and conceptualize energies and intelligences far beyond our limited comprehension as physical beings. We also impose on spirits human qualities. We anthropomorphize them and make them in our own image for the same reason. Spirits don’t really have genders, for example. We assign them genders. That’s why one person may view Lucifer as a he, while another views Lucifer as a she, and yet another person views Lucifer as it or a different gender pronoun.
10. How does a practitioner know if they’re communicating with the Daemonic, or if they’re just communicating with their higher self? Now this is a tough one. Learning discernment isn’t something you can teach in a book, or by telling someone. You learn discernment through trial and error, feel, and lots and lots of practice. The better you know yourself, the better you can tell if it’s your internal voice or if it’s something else. And sometimes that internal voice is Divine Intelligence in its own right. After all – we are all part of the divine source ourselves. So never be too hard on that internal voice, unless it’s telling you to kill people or do bad things. Anyway – how one discerns a Daemon from their own inner voice, vs. that of a spirit that means them harm is going to be different for everyone. I have a friend who actually says he hears a whistle in his ears before he “hears” the Daemon. I put “hears” in parenthesis because you don’t actually hear it, it is more like an inner voice – but you know it’s not yours by the feelings/signs/information you get. For me, I feel like an energy is reaching out and touching me at the base of my skull, and I can feel the Daemon before I hear it. I can also identify them that way. I recommend everyone always be cognizant of this question while you’re communicating with the Daemonic. It’s good to always question our experiences and keep an open mind.
11. What are the ethical and moral boundaries in magick? The Courtesies of the Sorcerer (Magician) are always a good place to start. Also, anything you know you’ll feel guilty about later – don’t do it. You’ll bring it back on yourself with the guilt. I’m also not a fan of love magick because most of the time it goes horribly wrong. There are exceptions to every rule, but it’s better to just ask for the right person instead of a specific person who may not be right. Really, each magician’s ethics are his own, and as long as the magician is willing to accept all responsibility for the magick he works, then that’s what’s important. No middle man or self-appointed occult police required.
12. Some people have said they have difficulties invoking particular spirits. What advice would you give people about working with Daemons that don’t show up? I wonder if they’re showing up, but the magician is too inexperienced to realize they’re there. Or maybe not sensitive enough to feel them. I’m a sensitive medium and empath. I’ve gotten the metaphoric “Call back later” answering machine message on rare occasion (when my timing wasn’t right and the Daemon didn’t think I was ready), but admittedly, for the most part, they always show up for me. Now I’ve had Daemons where there was a “stand-offish” feel between us at first, and I’ve learned over the years that this isn’t a matter of “like or dislike” it’s a matter of mismatched energies. Our mix isn’t right alchemically. But it’s not personal. It’s like fire trying to burn under freezing water or something like that. You can still work with those Daemons, you may just need to establish time limits or find a way to temper the opposing energy between you and the Daemon you don’t seem to mesh with.
13. Will your Patron/Matron or a Daemon you’re close to tell you lies? If so, why? In my experience the only time Daemons will lie to you is because:
a. You’re not ready for the answer. And in cases like this, it’s not always lying. Oftentimes it’s simply omission of facts.
b. They’re trying to teach you something or get you to come to a realization about something on your own. How can you learn if they just tell you everything outright? Some answers you have to work for.
c. They’re not really lying at all. Hindsight is always 20/20 in instances like this.
d. You’re not actually dealing with a Daemon.
e. Your spirit communication skills aren’t up to par and you’re not “hearing” or understanding the message right. If you’re using a divination device, you may not have prepared it properly.
14. Do you believe that Daemons may throw things your way in order to get your attention? Or bring things to your attention for the purpose of getting your attention? As someone who believes all things happen for a reason, I would have to say that yes, I do believe Daemons will throw things into your path to help guide you toward them.
15. How do you know your experiences are real, or the information you get is real? Well, information can be tested, right? If you get information from the Daemonic and some research or practice proves it to be valid and true, then that’s how you know. Experience is an entirely different thing. Experience can be subjective, so practitioners should always be questioning their experiences and finding ways of validating it for themselves. The longer you work with spirits, the more you’ll find that some experiences are easier to validate than others, and it’s okay to say, “I don’t know if this was legit, but it felt real to me.” Or conversely, “I don’t think this was legit because it had all the hallmarks of a frontal lobe seizure. While that may not invalidate the experience as a spirit could have triggered it, I do have to question its authenticity.” The Daemonic doesn’t expect blind faith. As a matter of fact, I believe the Daemonic wants us to question everything.
16. Do you believe the Daemonic will give people signs if they’re asked for them? If you’re asking if they’ll do parlor tricks – some will, and some won’t. Depends on the Daemon, your relationship with the Daemon, and the importance of your situation. There are so many factors here. I have had Daemons intervene to tell me things in dreams using outright imagery and dialogue and every time they were right. But they usually only do that in extreme circumstances. Like the death of someone, or if you’re in danger, or if something big is about to kick your ass and they want to give you the heads up.
17. I’ve heard you say that some people treat Daemonolatry as a fashion statement. Could you elaborate on that? I do think that for some people, Daemons or magick involving Daemons is just a passing interest. I have met people who use the occult (not just Daemonolatry) as part of their social circle, or as part of their image. It happens. These people eventually do move on to something that better suits them.
18. Are the rituals and information in your books directly from the Daemonic? Or does all of this just come from personal experience? It’s a combination of both. I’ve had Daemons share spells and rituals with me that I’ve later gone on to share with others. But I’ve never channeled an entire book by a Daemon. Pieces and parts come from the Daemonic, a lot comes from my experience or things others have shared with me (with their permission, of course). I do extensive work for each larger book I write, and I also do divinations to make sure everything I’m sharing is okay to share. It’s very rare I get a “Stop! Probably not for public consumption.”
19. Do you think practitioners might start taking on characteristics of Matrons/Patrons or Daemons they’ve worked with for some time? Oh, sure. I do believe extensive work with any Daemonic force has the ability to alter someone’s characteristics considerably. I’ve watched people who are insecure become more confident. I’ve watched shy people find their voices and learn to speak up for themselves. All through working with particular Daemonic forces and taking on some of those traits of that particular Daemonic force. Which is part of the reason many people work with the Daemonic to begin with. I do believe that I have grown a great deal under my Patron, and he has taught me a great deal about emotional strength. Just like someone working with Lucifuge may find courage, confidence, or discipline.
20. What does the occult community need more of, and conversely, less of? More support for one another, less minding everyone else’s business, and more minding our own. People in the online occult scene spend so much time worrying about what everyone else is doing or saying, or getting involved in unnecessary drama, that they never have time to mind their own business. So, their own Great Work suffers for it. Or they’re too busy cutting everyone else down in hopes it will help them rise. For as enlightened as we all pretend to be, you think we’d do more listening and less talking. You’d think we’d be more supportive and less cutthroat. But that’s not the case, and this is the reason I may look in on occasion and read what’s being said, but I often stay out of the conversation. Because the conversation hasn’t changed. The people who know the least still know it the loudest, and the trolls are still there waiting to jump on anyone who gives them an opportunity. Don’t let the online occult community become your whole life. Make your GREAT WORK and/or your Devotion to the Daemonic Divine the bigger part of your life. It’s a much more peaceful, fulfilling existence.
21. Why would a Daemon give a practitioner a “kick in the ass” as you put it? Why a kick in the ass and not just a stern warning? Sometimes a practitioner is stubborn and a swift kick in the ass is what it takes to get someone’s attention. I had a friend who was physically knocked on his arse by a Daemon because his alcoholism was out of control. That physical interaction made him sober up and join AA. To this day he’s grateful that the Daemon knocked him on his ass. In my personal experience, I’ve had many experiences where I needed a swift kick in the ass. For example, Drawing Down Belial almost didn’t happen for reasons I’d rather not discuss here. It was Paimon who came to me and gave me the “Drill Sergeant” pep-talk I needed to finish the book and get it out there. Trust me – I needed the ass kicking. A stern warning wouldn’t have been enough to get me through what I needed to get through in order to finish it.
22. I’ve heard stories where someone abandons a Patron/Matron because they felt the Daemon never helped them, and only caused them difficulties. Why would a Daemon do this? Do they dislike their dedicant?
I really question this because I’ve never heard of a Patron/Matron acting this way toward one of their dedicants until now. Daemons don’t have petty human emotions like we do. They don’t like or dislike. However, our natural attributes can attract or repel them naturally. As I mentioned in an earlier answer – you can still work with Daemons who you don’t really have a connection with, or even a natural aversion to, you just have to do it differently. So, if this really did happen, then maybe the practitioner shouldn’t have been so quick to jump into a relationship (especially a Patron relationship) with a Daemon that (s)he clearly didn’t understand or know very well. That is one thing about some of the newer Daemonolaters that worries me. The hurry to jump into a bonded relationship with a Patron or Matron. You should work with a Daemon no less than a year (some people wait 10+ years before they choose a Patron/Matron) before you do a dedication rite. That’s a sacred bonding rite. It’s not something to be taken lightly.
23. You’ve mentioned before that only a third of practitioners will still be practicing Daemonolatry thirty years from now. Some people find this to be an arrogant statement on your part. Why do you say this?
So, I think the problem here is there was a miscommunication. First, I am a Daemonolater. I’ve been working with Daemons since 1984. Second, I don’t think I’m better than anyone, nor do I have more stamina than anyone else. There has been a solid group of Daemonolaters that existed long before me. Now myself, and many others, are part of that group. And some of those reading this will be part of that same group twenty years from now. But you have to understand that I’ve been involved in “online” Daemonolatry groups since the mid 1990’s. This means I’ve seen patterns and migrations.
What I said was this: What I’ve learned by watching the online scene over the past 20 years is that only about ¼ to 1/3 of people who were around 20 years ago, are still practicing Daemonolaters today. By this I’m not meaning that people don’t have the ability to carry on, just that a lot of people who are practicing Daemonolaters today, will move on from Daemonolatry because they’ll find another path that suits them better. There is nothing wrong with this.
Or perhaps some of them will become solitary and just drop out of the online scene. That has been known to happen, too. These are not statements of arrogance – they’re just facts.
Anyone taking comments like this personally probably felt a sting because there was some truth to it. They’re into it for the aesthetic or the social scene, and I called them out on it.
24. There is a rumor floating around out there that you said in a live feed that it’s okay for Daemonolaters to use the Christian bible and names of God to force Daemons into submission.
Well, first I don’t have a live feed. I think what this person was referring to was The Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole interview with Kurtis Joseph, when we were talking about Christian Magick and biblical magick, and how the names of “God” were used to constrain the Daemonic. I actually wrote a blog about this some time ago because I think whoever started this rumor is this same person who actually sent me an anonymous email asking this same questions.
That’s not what I said at all. Though I can see why someone who is very inexperienced and/or new to magick, or one who cannot see beyond Christianity might think that. What I was saying, and perhaps I wasn’t clear, is that if you look at Christian magick, like in the grimoires, the alleged Names of God are “stolen” from Canaanite and other pre-Christian sources, so technically by using those names or vibrating them during ritual, what you’re doing has nothing to do with “Jehovah” “Yahweh” or even Christianity etc… You’d actually be vibrating the names of deities older than Christianity (of which many Daemons ARE the deities of older-than-Christian religions, EL included) and drawing their influence into the ritual. You’re not constraining or binding anything against its will. (Trust me, if Daemons want to kick your ass, they will, whether you shout Jesus at them or not.)
The idea that names of deities can constrain other deities is about “tempering” influence. Magick is a lot like cooking. So, look at every Daemon you bring into a ritual as part of a recipe. You add specific things at specific times to your recipe to produce the desired result. Some things you add sparingly so it’s not too strong. Other things you add in excess because you can spice it up with other influences. When you’re done, hopefully you have something wonderful and effective for your purpose. That’s probably a labored metaphor, but spirit/energy influence in magick works much the same way. It’s an alchemical mixture of energy meant to manifest in a way that coincides with your will. Sometimes it needs to be precise for the most effective results. Sometimes you can get by with a general mixture. It’s the precision of how it’s mixed that separates the great magicians from the so-so ones (just like cooks – not everyone is a master chef, but you could learn to be one by creating your own recipes and experimenting).
Of course, there will still be people who choose to believe I’m secretly a Christian. Ha-ha. I assure you I am not. While I have experimented with vibrating some of the “God Names”, it’s not part of my regular practice. I have also been known to occasionally work with angels (which I see as a type of Divine Intelligence, i.e. Daemon). I’m a magician and it would be foolish of me to poo-poo or admonish a technique or paradigm if I haven’t tried it. That amounts to hubris IMO. And yes, in a GENERAL magick book I wrote called Curses, Hexes, & Crossing, (which was not a Daemonolatry book) I did include the Psalms for cursing alongside curses from traditional witchcraft. In case some of you didn’t know it, a lot of the Psalms in the bible were hijacked from older traditions, too. A lot of magickal traditions that combine Catholicism and magick use the Psalms in magick. And since the book was a general book about magick I included curses from ALL traditions and from various cultures. Everything from Traditional Witchcraft, to Daemonolatry/Satanism, to Khemetic, and, of course, Christian. Magick is a practice that spans all cultures, traditions, and centuries. I study magick as a whole, not just a tiny area of it. So, writing a general magick book in the area of execration magick was only a matter of time for me. Hate me for not being biased if you must. The Daemonic doesn’t give two shits one way or another. No – really – they don’t. They don’t have the same petty, emotional, ignorant hang-ups that people do. We project our own personal hang-ups, ignorance, and pettiness onto them. We create them in our own image because we cannot fathom them in any other way.
25. One of the spells in Curses, Hexes, & Crossings (Fair is Foul, Foul is Fair) – I’ve seen it, or something close to it, in another book about witchcraft. Did you steal it? In magick and witchcraft you do have the very unique practice of people copying things from books into personal notebooks/journals, and sometimes modifying them, and then sharing those journals with other practitioners. Sometimes it can become dubious as to where a spell actually comes from. That said, if I’ve seen it somewhere else in print, even a variation of it, I ALWAYS put a note in the text citing potential sources. If there wasn’t a note, I was unaware there was another variation or was unaware that the spell may have come from an in-print source. I do rely on editors, readers, and other practitioners to help point these things out when they find them. I am human, after all. The particular spell in question was given to me by a close coven friend in the late 80’s. I distinctly remember copying it from her journal because I loved how dark it was, which is also why I chose to include it for Curses, Hexes, & Crossings. That said, if you do know the source, please let me know and future editions of the book will include a citation.
26. Which do you enjoy more: your esoteric non-fiction, or your fiction? I love writing non-fiction because it forces me to look at things differently, it forces me to be true to myself and my practice, and it’s a totally different process than writing fiction. Not to mention the non-fiction helps a lot of people and even changes people’s lives. So, in that sense, the non-fiction is more gratifying.
At the same time, I love fiction because you can create worlds and bring characters to life and nothing feels as wonderful as a reader coming to you telling you how much they loved your story and loved the characters.
You’re basically asking me to choose between my children here and I can’t. They both have their quirks and difficulties, and they’re both entirely different beasts, but I love them both.
27. What do you wish your job had less of? I would have to say I could do with fewer people seeking validation from me about their personal practice. That’s one of those things where one’s work and experimentation should bring them validation. I mean, I understand why they do it. A lot of it amounts to insecurity about doing it wrong, or magick being unsafe, or fear from a Christian upbringing. But I do find it rather frustrating because no magician should be a sheep looking for a shepherd to lead them. I have no desire to lead anyone. My job as an occult author is to INSPIRE and guide others, and share my experience and knowledge. Not validate or invalidate one’s spiritual work.
28. What are your future plans on the writing front?
More of everything! If you check out my website at www.sjreisner.com and look around, you’re going to find a lot of fun, forthcoming projects from fiction to non-fiction, and some great collaborations, too.