Lessons in Magick: My Take on the Devil

Alex Stoddard3

Image: Alex Stoddard

“The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.”

Karl Kraus

I was never given a choice if I wanted to be a Witch or not, it’s something that was formed already deep within my Soul; I suppose I didn’t really have a choice if I was going to be a rebel, either.

There has always been this darkness with me (about me), along with a heaviness, and depth about myself that has influenced greatly the path I have taken regarding Magick. I don’t consider myself evil by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, I am extremely compassionate and empathetic, I get a little showy and snappy at times because of the Capricorn Rising, and Taurus Moon (those stubborn horns) but I’ll be damned because every time my Cancer emotions triumph over everything.

I have never really considered myself part of any crowd or community; I have always just wandered alone doing my own thing, picking up pieces of wisdom to collect in my jar (my brain) for later use.

What a wondrous collection I have.

I observe the Pagan and Witch community via comment threads, and discussion boards; often finding myself enraged with what I see, I am still trying to work on the whole “don’t allow others to disturb your inner peace” thing.

Among the endless discussions and debates I read there was a common dispute that came up among all the groups, and I feel like I want to address it myself, as I have never done so before. I do not consider myself an Ambassador for the Witch community, the Luciferian Community, or any community for that matter—I speak for no one, and nothing but myself. I like to make this clear when I write pieces like this because it has gotten me into trouble when I have not said clearly that I am speaking from my perspective only.

With that said, I do not believe in the Devil. Since I am so often associated with him when I tell people I am a Witch I think it’s time to speak about it all.

The statement itself is so much more complex than it seems, and the path I had to take to get to this conclusion was not easy. First and fore most the Devil is a Christian concept that I do not subscribe to and in my logical mind, I simply cannot.

I just don’t believe there is some red dude with horns and a pitchfork who is going to condemn me to eternal pit-fires in a place called Hell for my “Sins” that are dictated and notated by some other dude in the sky.

For a very long time I was terrified to face my darker side, even when it was staring me in the face, manifesting in the most horrific ways; you can only run from who you are for so long before it finally catches up to you and often with devastating personal consequences.

I did not want to develop this part of my Philosophy because I was scared, period. It wasn’t until my late teens that I knew I had no choice but to face the fire because I was the fire. I also knew that once I opened that door, once my fingers began to grasp the handle, and once my thoughts began to wander into that territory I would unlock a force within myself that would never be contained again.

There are some in the community who don’t believe in the Devil at all like myself, but they also don’t believe in Satan, and this is where I personally get confused with their duality theory.

I believe in duality, thus I believe in Satan, but not as a being—as a collective Adversarial energy.

This energy does not necessarily have to be blasephmous, sacreligious, or extreme in nature (outward appearance, taboo lifestyle, etc) as the masses seem to think it is; it can and often is the promotion of individuation, free thinking and the idea of living, burning, breathing, and existing entirely in one’s truth.

Satan goes against the status quo, and refuses to conform simply because it is told to do so.

Are you not Satan?

I know I am.

If you subscribe to duality that does not consist only of the Masculine and Feminine but also dark and light, evil and good (subjectively and relatively speaking), above and below etc. Many Pagans and Wiccans have never been able to give me an answer when I ask, “Who or what is the opposite of your God(s)?” Even in the stories and mythos themselves there is always some great battle with an evil being, I mean, duh, all good stories have a bad guy and some bloodshed; I just don’t think our/my/the bad guy is the Devil.

We’re our own villain, just as we’re our own hero or heroine (though I don’t think we need gender specific titles or names for being bad ass, feel me?)

We should not be asking God for help, and fearing the Devil (or any form of retribution); we should be willing our wishes and desires into fruition, and fearing nothing.

Rules and ignorance do not and cannot confine me, fairy tales and holy books don’t scare me; I have been to Hell and back, dove into the Abyss, burned in the Black Flame, rose from the ashes like a Phoenix and shed my skin like the Serpent—there is nothing that can be thrown in my direction that will scare me, or that I cannot handle.

“Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.”

William Ernest Henley

About the Author

Posted by

Jaclyn Cherie is a Word Alchemist, Witch, Herbalist, Shaivite Hindu, and Torchbearer with her roots planted in New York. © Jaclyn Cherie, Creatrix & Owner of The Nephilim Rising LLC (2015-2023)


Lessons in Magick


Great article. I totally agree. I too don’t believe in a literal devil, although I do believe there are forces of destruction and creation, darkness and light, malevolence and benevolence in the universe. I have seen to much of the dual nature of good and evil and the many shades in between not to believe in various powerful life forces of energy charged by positive or negative thoughts and energies. I also believe no human being is all good or all bad, but many differentiating shades in between.

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