A comprehensive guide to the history and practice of Angular Magic
• Details the development of the magical system of the Nine Angles by the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set, as well as its internal body, the Order of the Trapezoid
• Analyzes the 3 key rites of Angular Magic: Die Elektrischen Vorspiele, the Ceremony of the Nine Angles, and the Call to Cthulhu
• Explores historical influences on Angular Magic, including Pythagorean number mysticism, John Dee’s Enochian magic, and the writings of H. P. Lovecraft
• Includes practical examples, daily practices, and guidance on creating your own rituals
Revealing the magical uses of number and geometry as tools for introspection, self-development, and creating change in both the inner and outer worlds, Toby Chappell explores the rites, history, and potent practices of Angular Magic and Infernal Geometry, the Left-Hand Path of Sacred Geometry.
Focusing on the advanced magical system of the Nine Angles, he details the system’s development by the early Church of Satan and later the Temple of Set, as well as its internal body, the Order of the Trapezoid. He shows how the system first emerged in the Ceremony of the Nine Angles, written by Michael Aquino and published in Anton Szandor LaVey’s The Satanic Rituals. He explores historical influences on Angular Magic, including Pythagorean number mysticism, John Dee’s Enochian magic, the theories of William Mortensen, and, most importantly, the writings of H. P. Lovecraft as well as other contributors to his Cthulhu mythos.
The author analyzes the 3 key rites of Angular Magic: Die Elektrischen Vorspiele, the Ceremony of the Nine Angles, and the Call to Cthulhu, expanding upon them to demonstrate how readers can craft their own rituals. He examines the Nine Angles individually, detailing their keywords, powers, and related deities, and explains how each can be used in magical practices and as part of an ongoing initiatory process. He offers practical examples, including use of Angular Magic in divination, sigils, and magical symbols, and guidance on creating your own practices--a core component of the ever-evolving Left-Hand Path.
Offering a self-directed path of magic and empowerment, previously unavailable to those outside the Temple of Set, Chappell shows how the Nine Angles must be worked with and experienced personally in order to effect true transformation and change.
Angular Magic within the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set
The Lovecraftian Rites in The Satanic Rituals
In late 1971, Anton LaVey was preparing the sequel to The Satanic Bible. LaVey asked Michael Aquino to contribute a ritual based on H. P. Lovecraft’s fiction and style. While today it is trendy in the darker corners of the occult world to draw upon Lovecraft as an influence, the rituals published in The Satanic Rituals represent the first publicly revealed adaptations by actual practitioners.
Lovecraft’s work was experiencing a minor resurgence at that time, from the psychedelic band named after him (active from 1967-1969), to the film adaptation of The Dunwich Horror (1970), and the inclusion of his stories on Rod Serling’s television series Night Gallery (1971) to Nyctalops (a magazine published beginning in the early- to mid-1970s containing articles about Lovecraft and related writers).
None of these instances, however, had the same effect as the inclusion of the rites in The Satanic Rituals. The significance of these rituals was not lost on those in the then relatively new field of Lovecraft scholarship; in Nyctalops #10 (1975), Rob Hollis Miller’s article “Lovecraft and Satanism” offered a quite perceptive analysis of the subject while drawing on the publication of these rituals as a significant (and unsettling) occurrence.
One of the challenges faced by Michael Aquino in creating the rituals was the lack of detailed descriptions of magical ceremonies in Lovecraft’s works. When some description appears, it is almost exclusively from the point of view of an onlooker who does not understand what they are witnessing. The aspect of worship is missing from humanity’s interactions with the deities; humans seek them as teachers or initiators, or in situations like many encounters with Nyarlathotep or Cthulhu--the only ones who appear physically on this plane of existence--the deity in question has manifested for its own purposes.
Another challenge to be overcome was the dim view that Lovecraft himself held of magic and religion, which manifests in some of his more insightful (and incisive) commentary on these topics. As a strict materialist, Lovecraft’s world view did not readily allow for magic and he held religion in the most scathing contempt. But, he did draw heavily on his vivid and fantastic dreams as a prime source for material that he developed more for his own satisfaction than for any commercial ambition. The aesthetic and style of the magical and supernatural events described in Lovecraft’s fiction left plenty of room for filling in the details, but also provided clues for crafting the overall atmosphere of real rituals based on his works.
Having originally written The Ceremony of the Nine Angles in English only, Aquino realized that a rite intended to be performed in connection with entities not of this earth would also need an appropriately challenging language to accompany it. Drawing on the handful of phrases of this language he dubbed “Yuggothic” (primarily from The Call of Cthulhu and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), Aquino expanded on them while creating new vocabulary and usage patterns in the same style. The intention when performing these two rituals is that the English would be read first by the participants in order to begin to understand what they were doing, but the actual performance would use the Yuggothic exclusively. The desired effect is not unlike that of a Catholic mass conducted entirely in Latin or an Enochian ritual, both of which leverage the sense of mystery (and detachment from the “everyday” world) that the ceremonial use of unknown languages awakens in the participants.
Strange Angles in Lovecraft’s Works
A central aspect of both The Ceremony of the Nine Angles and The Call to Cthulhu is that of strange angles. As the Law of the Trapezoid states, these oblique angles can be beneficial for those attuned to them, or harmful for those unaware or apprehensive of them.
“The Haunter of the Dark” contains one of the most vivid descriptions of a mysterious set of objects that both attract and repel with their strangely angled design; these objects have a profound psychological effect on the protagonist Robert Blake. The sense of mystery they convey draws him in and compels him to confront great danger in his quest to understand their significance.
The multi-faceted Shining Trapezohedron acts as a gateway for the god Nyarlathotep, in the form of The Haunter of the Dark, to manifest on earth for unknown purposes. The object is likely a transfigured representation of the lens of a telescope, which likewise has the ability to bring the stars closer so that much more can be learned of them. Another directly stellar interpretation of the Shining Trapezohedron would be a parallel to the Grail stone from von Eschenbach’s epic poem “Parzifal,” where the Grail took the form of an ornate gemstone that fell from Lucifer’s crown during the war in heaven, and was inscribed with so-called heathen writing that enabled those who knew how to learn much of the realms beyond the earth.
The significance of a gate itself is represented in the Mythos by the god Yog-Sothoth, but the one most associated with utilizing gates is Nyarlathotep (who appears in the story as the mysterious Black Man: the object of the quest and recipient of the oath binding this knowledge in secrecy when traversing the angled gates).
Having established some of the vivid descriptions of “strange angles” in Lovecraft’s fiction, we can now turn to a few key concepts that are central to The Ceremony of the Nine Angles and The Call to Cthulhu. These are: the Angles and their connections to Lovecraftian deities, the concept of the World of Horrors, and the language constructed for use in these rites.
Toby Chappell is a musician, writer and lecturer on Left-Hand Path topics. A member of the Temple of Set since 2000, he has served since 2015 as the Grand Master of the Order of the Trapezoid within the Temple. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.