After an understanding of what the Left Hand Path amounts to (its goals and ideologies), an eager Initiate will probably want to know what to do next. It’s very attractive to find someone to tell us what to do, step by step. Keep in mind, such an approach is more of the Right-Hand-Path methodology. Step by step instructions are an approach that takes away one’s individuality and replaces it with a group mind, a hive mind or a teacher’s mind. A better option is to study materials that encourage the individual’s nature to come forward.
Advice is fine, but this is not what I’m referring to. My warning is in regards to following another’s path as one’s own. The LHP is harder than the right hand. If we don’t follow a system, then how can we start?
Some will pick up books on the subject of the Left Hand Path. The best books (in my opinion) will not tell you what to do, but will offer a guide of ideas and concepts.
I’ve been partial to the Temple of Set authors (Dr. Aquino, Dr. Flowers and Don Webb). However, one might find more interest in different paths. Possibly, one of the best influences on my path early on, was the work of the Black Flame Immersion podcast. The host and co-host remain obscure, not seeking notoriety, nor are they seeking your pocketbook. They are the real deal when it comes to a devotional Left Hand Path practice. That’s another group I’d recommend to listen to.
When you find an author or speaker, if you find you align to their writings quite a bit, maybe reach out with a polite letter or introduction on social media and see if they are willing to talk to you. This is one way of getting advice. A good example of this will be someone who doesn’t tell you what to do, but instead offers questions for which the aspirant can research an answer. In answering a question, we dig through our ideas and philosophies to see our alignments and why we think the way we do.
I would avoid any forum of group at first. Even online groups tend to be very controlling. I’ve found social media to be a mixed bag of foolishness. Most often its collective of personal ego’s all vying for attention. There are great gems found in social media, but they are not common.
Orders, Temples and Societies
As for group work, I tend to avoid that as well. I put in an application for one Western Left-Hand-Path group I was interested in… but soon after I began to get concerns. The poor level of communication, mixed with some evidence of control structures, lead me to withdraw from the process.
Your mileage may vary. Perhaps groups aren’t good for me, but great for someone else. Still, it seems to me that the group dynamic seeks to become a collective and this type of collective think, is the opposite direction the Left Hand Path is seeking.
Some groups will openly state, “they are for atheist minds only.” Some will state they accept both the atheist and the theist. Be wary of a group that caters to everyone, and be careful of those who feel magic is only “in the mind.”
It’s very hard to break free from boundaries, once established. If you come to some conclusion that external phenomenon never occurs in a rational mind, then you’ll never experience it.
Be open to anything, but keep a rational head. That’s the balance. I’ve witnessed members of some groups that spend so much time talking about some deep learning process, or some heavy research that all the passion has been bled out. Some may be so esoteric that they see creatures around every corner. There’s a balance here. Be open to any possibility, but test the results.
Some “magicians,” haven’t yet had any phenomenal experiences. If you have an experience that is completely non-natural, and run it by such a “magician,” you may find they treat you as delusional. In this regards, the adage of not casting pearls before swine is of the utmost importance.
Don’t let the lack of experience in someone else, determine your validity.
If you are seeking evidence, advice in the form of personal gnosis, do not discuss it much until the work is complete. The influence of others can ruin the work of gnosis and/or magic.
I would personally recommend that someone new to the Left Hand Path consider the speaker of the Black Flame Immersion podcast first. I don’t agree with every aspect of his personal gnosis, but he is the most fair and open about his bias and views. While other authors and presenters will tell you what to think, he reinforces the idea that we should be ourselves, not copies of someone else.
After listening to the Black Flame Immersion podcast (which will showcase the path of devotion), I found great interest in the following reading materials:
- “Apotheosis,” by Michael Ford
- “The Black Ship,” by Malphas
- “Book of the Fallen,” by McGreggor
- “Lords of the Left Hand Path,” by Dr. Flowers
- “Mathematical Thinking,” by Keith Devlin
- “Mind Star,” by Michael Aquino
- “Mysteries of the Temple of Set,” by Don Webb
- “Set,” by Judith Page and Don Webb
- “Temple of Set (Vol. I),” by Dr. Aquino
- “Uncle Setnakts Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path,” by Don Webb.
- Writings of Aristotle and Epictetus
I already know that many will object to one or two names in that list. Which is fine. Some Setians will complain about an author there who the feel is too “watered down.” Others will complain that the Setians are too dry. I think these are great extremes by which to see the variation of the Left Hand Path. One particular author in there (Devlin) has nothing to do with the Left Hand Path, but I find his approach to Mathematical Thinking paramount to logic and reason.
As for “ancient books,” I tend to avoid it. Have you ever read the Greek Magical Papyri? I find it tedious to sift through spell after spell about some carnal indulgence. Ancient ideas were often plagued with simplistic goals. As for the Goetic works, I’m not fond of barriers and control systems that make the magic operations adversarial. This is my personal bias. For others, it might be a preferred approach.
I think this is a good starting point. The Black Flame Immersion is the best expression of Left Hand Path devotion I’ve found. The books above will help carve out different extremes of context in the Left Hand Path.
Through it all, the aspirant can discover themselves.