December 17th is celebrated as the Birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, who was born no later than on that date in the year 1770.
Beethoven was a pioneer in orchestral evocation. His works include some of the most powerful compositions in the Western canon. It is a testament to their potency that they remain just as effective despite countless frivolous quotations throughout popular culture. This enduring power has made Beethoven a favorite among Satanists.
An excerpt of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony accompanies a reading from The Satanic Bible on Anton Szandor LaVey's 1968 recording The Satanic Mass; this moving selection underscores the bold text of The Book of Satan: Verse II.
Peter H. Gilmore highlights the Satanic aspects of Beethoven's achievements, both personal and artistic, in "Diabolus in Musica," an essay in The Satanic Scriptures that also includes a discussion of other composers and their works. Also included are detailed recommendations of exceptional works by Beethoven and others.
Evocation is among the elements that distinguish Satanism from purely secular creeds like atheism. Satanists embrace a confounding variety of aesthetic cues for personal inspiration, in rituals, and toward the manipulation of others. Many misunderstandings that people have about Satanism begin with a failure to comprehend this approach.
LaVey's essay "Evocation," from The Devil's Notebook, names music as "the most effective tool for evocation." The same essay provides profound insights into the personal and magical implications of one's capacity for evocation. In the next essay, "Music for the Ritual Chamber," Beethoven is among the composers whose works are suggested for their evocative power.
This week, cultural institutions around the world are taking time to acknowledge the brilliance of Ludwig van Beethoven. Satanists will tend to have a special appreciation of this innovative individualist's legacy on this occasion, especially because it is his Birthday.
To quote Peter H. Gilmore: "Hail Ludwig!"