Last Sunday, the coven I belong to, who you may remember from A Vision of Satan, A Night of Magic, hosted a fantastic Lunar Eclipse party for friends and the public. It was a blustery, cold and cloudy day and we were afraid the moon would be hidden all night. However as the time came to perform our Eclipse ritual, the sky quickly opened up to reveal the moon shining brightly on a perfectly clear night. It is very difficult to write a ritual for the general public, most of whom are non-magical thinkers but I think we did well.
We presented a nondenominational symbolic Drawing Down of the Moon, whose persona our lovely coven member Diana was gracious enough to take on. This included a dance of the planets who aligned into a Lunar Eclipse formation. The attendees blessed themselves with eclipse water, and cast their intentions into the cauldron to be burned. We had an attendance of about 40 people.
In the middle of the ritual, we looked up to see the shadow of the Earth cast sharply onto the now crescent Moon. At that moment, I had a sense I was standing on the top of the whole world, and the great scope of local cosmic space was revealed to me. The Moon before me, the Sun behind me, and the whole sphere of the Earth below me. We were all aligned.
The rest of the night was spent partying, watching the eclipse unfold with telescopes and cameras, and getting real fucked up in the smoking tent. After the group dwindled down, and the eclipse was still in motion, a smaller group of us performed the ritual binding of Donald Trump, with great effect.
If you’re feeling nosy, you can enjoy these timelapses of the ritual and a birds eye view of the party, which was in my own back yard. These are 360 videos that are best viewed in the YouTube app.
Sacristy painting commissioned by the Observant Franciscans. The catalogue description did not give many details, but I would guess by the costumes that this was made somewhere between 1560’s to 1580’s. The theme of the Dance of Death was hugely popular throughout multiple periods of European history, and saw a particular revival after the 1538 series by Master Holbein the Younger, whose works were widely distributed with the advent of the printing press.
Credit: The dance of death. Oil painting.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY
Facsimile of a fresco by Traini, exposed to nature for centuries but severely damaged in WWII, located in Camposanto, Pisa.
“A scroll warns that ‘no shield of wisdom or riches, nobility or prowess’ can protect them from the blows of the Approaching One. ‘They have taken more pleasure in the world than in things of God.’ In a heap of corpses nearby lie crowned rulers, a Pope in tiara, a knight, tumbled together with the bodies of the poor, while angels and devils in the sky contend for the miniature naked figures that represent their souls.”
-Barbara Tuckman, The Black Plague
Detail from the Offices for the Week, compiled by Andrea Matteo Acquaviva (1458-1529), Duke of Atri. This manuscript is delicately ornamented with Italian red morocco and gilt throughout. Currently property of the Huntington Library. View it in full detail here.
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.
Details from “L’Adoration du bouc” (The Adoration of the Goat) from Jean Tinctor’s, Traité du crime de vauderie, ca. 1470. It was during this period that witches and the Waldensian heretics became associated with the stereotype of flying on broomsticks and beasts to their Sabbats. Thanks to the widespread fabrication of false testimonies obtained under torture, priests and inquisitors were able to literally demonize witchcraft, cementing this type of imagery into the minds of the Christian believers with the help of witchhunting manuals such as Malleus Maleficarum and Compendium Maleficarum, among many others.