I purchased The Satanic Witch, since the ever frugal me, couldn't find a complete copy on the web to download. I finished The Satanic Rituals and found them to be familiar.
Since I've been here for a minute I'll reveal a bit about myself. My family is from Sicily and I was raised as a Stregone(look it up), I passed through the Elm Tree at 14 and all that, was branded behind my left knee at 14, it's a Catholic-Stregoneria thing, it's suppose to be a moon, or represent the mark that Christ will have behind his knee as he trollops down from heaven on a white horse to condemn us heathen to the lake of fire that our beloved Satan will be hovering above on a throne, presumably to have a better view of the gore. So I've been around a bit.
I recently bought books from Italia about modern Stregoneria, I read Italian well, and I was very surprised to discover that now they seem to believe that they are worshiping some manifested, supernatural gods. And their rituals are an intention to conjure them and "work" with them, even threaten them with agony and suffering if the gods do not grant their wishes. Well, what a presumption; I mean if you believe in those gods!
I've also been reading a great deal about new-age religion and science, thus my mostly tongue-in-cheek remarks about physics and magic in my 1st essay. Further, new-agers seem to believe that physics has proven since all is energy, matter is mearly an instant of wave density with the accompanying IN and OUT waves and DeBroglia Phase Waves, mind over matter is for real. Yet, no one has ever made the scientific leap that there is a mechanism by which the mind can affect anything other than itself!
This is very strange to me as my training in the "witchy-ways", which is not a complete system by any means, its an oral tradition, never led me to believe that any intermediary gods and their powers, persay, were involved. Our rituals are not directed at entities in a palace on Olympus, or fallen angels or meant to DIRECTLY control others. Since as long as it has been known Stregone mearly work with manifestations in nature, their symbology, and somewhat randomly assigned attributes, as a way to alter ones or the group's reality. It is believed that by changing your own mental precesses through ritual "shit happens".
That said, back to The Satanic Rituals. I found LeVay's recommendations to be very "Stregone", as I know it, or maybe I should say "Strege" as not to offend the women. Do to my background, I've always known that ritual and ceremony were ment to alter one's vision, so to speak, through a form of participatory theater. And, that if the change was enacted with the proper conviction and intent it could infulence others by a kind of energetic osmosis of intention/wish.
That's my "long of it" on the rituals and how they relate to me personally, or how I understood them. I do have an interesting historical tidbit.
I was reading, go figure, and I came across a story about the mob that my grandmother, who was 100 in December and is a very old Strege, told me many yeas ago. Silicy has been annexed many times since BCE. Everytime a new empire took it over they imposed their laws and their religions on the Sicilians. During times of strife, the sanctimonious, Sicilian men refused to stop worshiping their beloved Demeter and Proserpina; Dememter being the goddess of the seasons and the harvest and her beautiful daughter, Proserpina, being the goddess of the underworld. In order to perform their secret rites, and I'd love to know what they were, the men would retire to a dark valley gaurded by a warriors. These became secret societies. Eventually they became quite powerful. In modern Italian mother(Demeter) is (Ma)mma and daughter(Proserpina) is (fi)gli(a). Just something to think about.