From the mailbox:
Lucian writes: “How do I join and become one of you all?”
Well Lucian, thank you for your question. The ‘Devil’s Path’ is broad and wide, and there is room enough for everyone to either follow in the footsteps of others, or to make their own way. It is a pathway of personal discernment. Begin first by spending time in the hedges and edges of society, nature and the world. That is where the silent voice of ‘Satan’ can be heard. It is the voice of dark allure that summons each person to explore their inner self, and realize your own godlike nature.
While you are determining your own path in magic, in devilry, in wherever your own passions lie, seek out the others. The internet is the great mind of humanity, always thinking and communicating to itself. Use that to your constant advantage. But in other words, YOU DO IT YOURSELF.
I do not speak for or represent any group but myself, but there is a great essay written by Magus Peter H. Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan, called The Myth of the ‘Satanic Community’ and other Virtual Delusions, which is a great place to start.
“Satanism is a very unique philosophy, which has spawned an even more unusual movement and an organization, the Church of Satan, which has found a means for facilitating the interaction of a membership comprised of radical individualists. It is, in an apparent paradox that is a ‘third-side synthesis,’ an organization for ‘non-joiners’ Satanists by nature follow their own tastes; they have very uniquely personal systems of values… … Satanism is about centering the world on yourself, meaning knowing yourself as fully as possible…”
By following your own path, study, practice and perfecting your own self, and by putting your best work out there in the world, you will find the others who are like-minded. That is partly why this website exists for ME. It is connecting me and my work to people who are interested in these topics, and adding my own voice to the conversation. Believe me, I WISH there was some secret society whose door I could knock on to learn the secrets of witchcraft and sign my soul away in the Devil’s Book. Nothing comes to us for free. You must put in your own work, and build the community in your own image.
If you are looking for a place to start, take a peek at the books I’ve been reading on the sidebar, and you can also see my entire reading history for the past 5 years or so. I especially recommend Liber Null & Psychonaut , Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts, or The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic to start with.
Happy Hallowe’en! For visiting today, I give you this blessing.
Tonight with the setting of the Sun, may all thy troubles be undone.
And may the stars in sweet repose, shine light upon all sorrow and woe.
When the waning moon does appear, so shall the waning of thy tears.
The spirits who in darkness dwell, grant thee the power of this spell:
“A year of good fortune, happiness, joy.
May all thy works and charms employ
The very best of all thy skills,
And ‘ere the perfection of thy Will.”
So be it!
Credit: Austin Pardun
Just a quick update. You may have heard of the hex going on tomorrow at Catland, Brooklyn, to hex Brett Kavanaugh. This is equally as important as the binding of Trump. I will be hosting a Black Mass of Destruction that night as well. All your hate, vitriol, bile and wrath for him is welcome. Feel free to send it my way or theirs on 10/20.
For the past six years I’ve been attending an annual Grand Sabbat with the local pagan gathering at the time of Samhain. It has become a cherished tradition with me and my friends. Unfortunately for us, each year the attendance seems to basically fall by around 50%. I won’t name them here but sadly I realized this year that it is a group of pagans in decline. Each year not only has the attendance dwindled, but the quality and size of the group ritual has gone downhill every time.
This year I brought seven of my friends (who were all dressed to the Nines in their witchy attire, ugh such queens!) to the Sabbat, and we were approached like total outsiders (which I guess we were since this is a tight-knit “community”). One very nice Druid welcomed us and recognized me, but there were just so many people with absolutely no social skills whatever. We were basically threatened with violence by this crone who ended up being the High Priestess that night, just for sitting somewhere she didn’t want us. And the thing is…I sense this socially awkward vibe at every pagan group I’ve attended from the cypress domes of the Everglades to the high-towered streets of Manhattan. And I get it. I get it. Modern day paganism represents a separation from mainstream culture, so there are many rebels and free spirits among the meadows. My hope is that this is just part of American neuroticism, you know? Maybe these people are the gatekeepers of their particular “nerd culture”, and so they react to an outsider with cringe-worthy antics lacking all social grace. I suspect that the internal society of pagan practitioners, so liberal in their embrace of the weird and outré, have a hard time saying “No” to their neighbors or correcting each other fraternally when there are faux pas afoot. Like I said though, this is an outsider’s perspective.
Which brings me to my second point. This “Grand Sabbat” was the smallest I had ever seen. It was also as socially awkward as the rest of the evening. Three years ago at this same event, 100 of us were entranced in a spiral dance around the great fire, whizzing with the beating of drums and flutes into a frenzy under the stars and planets, in a wide open meadow encircled with the glow of torchlight. Six years ago, we processed down a hill to the gathering place where we lifted the Veil and burned the effigy of a fallen warrior, then shared food and drink with the spirits of our ancestors. This year it was like drinking flat market-brand room temperature soda. So disappointing.
Human beings are built for ritual. Ritual is so deeply entrenched in our species that it predates civilization, even language itself! When we participate in group rituals, especially one such as this which is Nature-oriented, we need to let go of our inhibitions and join Her. It should be a communal and mystical experience. Ritual should lift our spirits to higher awareness and dissolve our egos. That is why I never half-ass any ritual. I go full in with the smells, the bells, the thunder of drums and the clashing cymbals, the harp and flute, the light and the darkness all mingling together. And most of all, I pour my goddamn heart and soul into the work I am doing because I BELIEVE what I am doing has merit.
That’s why I will no longer be attending the Grand Sabbat at this grove. Next year we will have a more intimate gathering on our own, and we will leave the ritual space changed and energized.