Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Satanic Rites & Rites of Demonolatry: Introduction

Originally published 20 October 2008.  © Torey B. Scott


In this article, I would like to take a moment to introduce you to a few of the rites observed by Satanists and Demonolators.

Holiday Rites


Just as in Wicca (and many other Neo-Pagan paths), Theistic Satanists and Demonolators often observe and honour the changing seasons and the changing aspects and months of dominion of Satan and the Demonic Divine throughout the course of the year.

Though there are many sects within Theistic Satanism, I will approach the subject of Holiday Rites from common Demonolatry and Satanic Sabbats perspectives.

Holiday Rites of Demonolatry


Within Demonolatry, holidays are observed, just as in Wicca, during the seasonal equinoxes, as well as other significant days of the year. During these times, we honour the Demons who preside over each aspect of life, death, destruction, healing, fertility and rebirth.

First Rite To Lucifer:

  • Date: March 21st
  • Purpose(s): The first of two Rites To Lucifer, this is the Elemental Rite to the Element of Air (Lucifer is one of the Elemental Demons and the ruler of Air). Celebration of new beginnings, enlightenment and wisdom, as well as the arrival of Spring
  • A Time For: Marriages and Handfastings

First Rite To Belphegore:

  • Date: March 31st
  • Purpose(s): New beginnings, shedding of old burdens and worries, the arrival of Spring, earthly and mundane requests
  • A Time For: Feasts, looking for a new job or career, starting anew

Second Rite To Belphegore:

  • Date: April 9th
  • Purpose(s): (See above) The second of three Rites To Belphegore, honouring the Earth's renewal and the arrival of Spring

First Rite To Leviathan:

  • Date: April 30th OR May 2nd
  • Purpose(s): A celebration of the cycle of life and the ebb and flow of the emotions. The first of two Rites To Leviathan
  • A Time For: Initiations, marriages, conceiving children

Third Rite To Belphegore:

  • Date: May 13th
  • Purpose(s): (See First Rite To Belphegore) The third of three Rites To Belphegore, honouring the Earth's renewal and the arrival of Spring

Rite To Flereous:

  • Date: June 21st OR June 22nd
  • Purpose(s): The celebration of the arrival of Summer and the reign of the Sun. Flereous is represented by the image of the Phoenix. This is also an Elemental Rite to the Element of Fire (as Flereous is one of the Elemental Demons)
  • A Time For: Baphometic Fire Baptisms

Second Rite To Leviathan:

  • Date: September 21st
  • Purpose(s): The second of two Rites To Leviathan. This rite celebrates the Element of Water (as Leviathan is one of the Elemental Demons) and the Autumnal Equinox, symbolized by the gathering of the harvest.
  • A Time For: Renewals of wedding vows, divinations

Rite To Eurynomous, Baalberith & Babael:

  • Date: October 31st
  • Purpose(s): This is a celebration and honouring of the Demons of Death.
  • A Time For: Remembrance and honouring those whom have passed away, cursing and hexing rites, renewals and cleansings, remembering one's own mortality

Second Rite To Lucifer:

  • Date: Mid-November
  • Purposes: (See First Rite To Lucifer) This is a continuation of the Rite To Lucifer in which magick involving enlightenment, wisdom, learning and the acknowledgment of the Element of Air take place.
  • A Time For: All magick and requests involving knowledge, enlightenment and the Element of Air.

Rite To Belial:

  • Date: December 21st or December 22nd
  • Purpose(s): A celebration of the re-emergence of the Sun from its Wintery veil. This is also an Elemental Rite to the Element of Earth (as Belial is one of the Elemental Demons). This is a time to enjoy one's material existence and to be thankful for friends and family and for the good things in one's life.
  • A Time For: Initiations, thanksgiving, business/material ventures

In addition to these holiday rites, there are Principal Rites and the Rites of the Patron (or Matron) Demon which are dependent upon the individual practice and observances of the Demonolator. The Demons of the Goetia, for instance, have Their own days of the year assigned to Them, and, thus, would be acknowledged and honoured during these dates. A few examples of Goetic Holidays are:

  • March 21st or March 22nd: Rites To Seere and Ipos
  • May 2nd: Rite To Valefor
  • June 21st or June 22nd:  Rites To Botis and Gamigin
  • September 21st: Rites To Botis and Zepar
  • October 31st: Rite To Glasya-Labolas
  • December 21st or December 22nd: Rites To Seere and Sabnock

Satanic Sabbats


Some practitioners of Theistic Satanism (such as those followers of the JoS Ministry) observe "Satanic Sabbats", which are, just as the term refers to, observances of the various cycles of the seasons throughout the duration of the year.
Amongst some Theistic Satanists who observe them, the Sabbats essentially celebrate the same aspects of natural earthly cycles as is done in Wicca - the only real difference is that Satan, not the God and Goddess, is honoured in His many aspects


Hallowmas or Samhain:

  • Date: October 31st
  • Aspect(s) of Satan: Spiritus; Lord of Earth
  • Descriptive Title: Dominant Darkness

Yule:

  • Date: December 21st or December 22nd
  • Aspect(s) of Satan: Spiritus; Lord of Earth
  • Descriptive Title: Birth of The Sun

Candlemas:

  • Date: February 2nd
  • Aspect(s) of Satan: Spiritus; Lord of Air
  • Descriptive Title: Awakening of The Light

Spring Equinox:

  • Date: Around March 21st
  • Aspect(s) of Satan: Spiritus; Lord of Air
  • Descriptive Title: Light Increasing

Beltane:

  • Date: Around May 2nd
  • Aspect(s) of Satan: Spiritus; Lord of Air
  • Descriptive Title: Dominant Light

Summer Solstice:

  • Date: June 21st or June 22nd
  • Aspect(s) of Satan: Spiritus; Satan (Lord of Fire)
  • Descriptive Title: Peak of Light

Lammas:

  • Date: Around August 1st
  • Aspect(s) of Satan: Spiritus; Satan (Lord of Fire)
  • Descriptive Title: Awakening of Darkness

Fall Equinox:

Date: September 21st
Aspect(s) of Satan: Spiritus; Lord of Water
Descriptive Title: Dark Increasing

Concerning The Black Mass & Rites of Blasphemy


Almost universally, nothing evokes more fear than the term, "Black Mass". During the so-called "Burning Times", many a "witch" was accused of partaking in these "Black Masses" in which she or he would engage in mockeries of the crucifixion, immoral sexual acts and even intercourse with The Devil. In modern times, "Black Masses" have been connected to the rashes of hysteria behind countless incidences of "Satanic crimes" and supposed cases of "ritual abuse".

But this leads to the question, "are Black Masses real?". The answer is simply, "yes, they are".

To some, this knowledge may come as a disappointment. So many people have dismissed Black Masses as the inventions of witch-hunters and frightened parents. The truth is that the Black Mass is not what most people imagine it to be.

Anton Szandor LaVey, the founder of The Church of Satan, devised his so-called "Black Mass" from earlier sources*. Additionally, many modern Theistic and Symbolic (LaVeyan) Satanists have created their own versions of Black Masses.

*LaVey's Black Mass contains many erroneous Latin phrases

What Happens During A Black Mass?


Essentially, nothing happens. An authentic Black Mass is merely a parody of the Catholic Mass. According to LaVey, the purpose of The Black Mass is "psychodrama". The Mass itself is, at least to the Theistic Satanist, one of many "Rites of Blasphemy" which are designed to facilitate a psychological change instead of a literal physical or magickal change. Rites of Blasphemy use the psychological effects of partaking in "the taboo" as a means of solidifying one's own personal power.

The Purpose of Rites of Blasphemy


Most of us were raised by Christian parents or otherwise exposed to the concepts of Christianity from a very early age. One of the hallmarks of Christian conditioning is to instill a distinct sense of fear into the person with the promise of "Hell" and eternal damnation. By overcoming the fear associated with directly blaspheming the Christian God, one overcomes the oppression of his past and sheds the yoke of negative conditioning imposed upon him by a lifetime of exposure to Christian "threats" and fears of eternal damnation.

The only danger of performing a Rite of Blasphemy is psychological distress and, possibly, nervous breakdown. The reasons are that some people are so heavily and subconsciously conditioned by the fears of Hell and damnation (even if they don't actively believe in "God" at all) that they actually cannot withstand the mental effects of blaspheming the Christian God in ritual form. The rite is designed to instill a sense of personal power and to overcome such fears, but the individual must be as near to one hundred percent divorced emotionally, psychologically and spiritually from the Christian God as is at all possible before attempting a Rite of Blasphemy.

Besides the Black Mass, there are also other specific Rites of Blasphemy such as the Renunciation of the Trinity and the rite in which one recites The Lord's Prayer in reverse. These rites also have the same purpose and function as the Black Mass in that they are designed to deliberately counteract psychological conditioning by years of fear and oppression instilled into the individual by Christian upbringing and/or exposure.

It should also be noted that not ALL Satanists perform Black Masses or Rites of Blasphemy for personal reasons. This is absolutely acceptable and is entirely the choice of the individual. Black Masses are not for every Satanist, just as some aspects of Wicca are not for every Wiccan.

The Morally-Sound Satanist


By performing the aforesaid Rites of Blasphemy, one may or may not choose to do so in an attempt to solidify his or her devotion to Satan. This is acceptable and encouraged, however, the being receiving the greatest benefit is the individual themselves, not Satan. There is no requirement to perform any such rite in order to pledge one's allegiance to Satan - as I have mentioned earlier, the choice is entirely personal.

However, some people, especially young people, feel that they should take acts of Blasphemy one step further and, thus, partake in criminal activity such as vandalizing churches and places of worship or insulting and pranking Christian ministers and clery men and women. This is NOT a responsible Satanist. Though Satanists believe in the power and recognition of the power of the Self, the Individual, Satanists are also ethically and socially responsible individuals. By contributing to society and playing one's part in the structure of human community, we are, likewise, contributing to the prosperity of Mankind on a much larger level.

The money that we put into Social Security, for example, will be the money that we may rely upon to sustain ourselves and our families in the future. The harmonious relationship we maintain with our neighbor, the church Deacon, may one day reward us with his lovely daughter marrying our son - and it's probably a darn good thing that we all get on so well! Aside from solely benefiting ourselves, there is a certain responsibility that we have to our fellow man to lead by example and to repay kindness with kindness. By conducting ourselves in a criminal manner, we not only continue to perpetuate the false idea of Satanists being detestable delinquents, but we also jeopardize our own families and futures by destroying other families and property and by landing ourselves in a prison that our own tax-paying families are paying for.

Other Rites & Conclusion


Aside from Holiday Rites and Rites of Blasphemy, Demonolators and Satanists also have formal rites for weddings, baptisms, initiations, dedications, funerals and even divorces.

The Baphometic Fire Baptism


One such rite in Demonolatry is called "The Baphometic Fire Baptism". In this rite, the individual is baptised to begin his or her life anew as a Demonolator in the names of Satan, the Elemental Demons and of his or her (or the Sect's) Patron or Matron Demon. A branding iron, fashioned in the form of the Patron or Matron Demon's sigil, is then pressed to the flesh and the sigil is then permanently branded into the skin of the Demonolator. More modernly, this practice has been abandoned for the use of a tattoo, which is just as permanent and sometimes less painful.

Children may also be baptised, but they are not branded or harmed in any way.

Pacts With The Devil


Everyone is probably familiar with the notion of "selling one's soul to The Devil". It should be pointed out that this practice, while mostly fanciful, is modernly practiced to some degree. Satanists do not believe that Satan sits on a fiery throne amidst a pit of burning lava idly collecting human souls for His intense pleasure and amusement. Satan is not, as is no other god is, our superior. We are all equal as we are all Spirit and come from one Source. Therefore Satan has no need of our souls and we certainly can't "sell" our souls to Him.

However, Pacts and Rites of Allegiance act, in some ways, like Rites of Blasphemy. The effects are almost purely psychological and provide the devotee with a sense of power, purpose and self-confidence.

Some Satanists use Rites of Allegiance as a means to dedicate themselves in a formal ritual setting to Satan or to particular Demons. Generally, if a Pact is to be made, it will be made as a literal long-term pledge of devotion to Satan and the devotee will often inscribe his pledge onto parchment and sign his or her name in blood (his own blood). Afterwards, the pledge is burned and the "pact" is sealed.

*Information pertaining to the rites and practices of the Ordo Flammeus Serpens is taken primarily from material published within the book, "The Complete Book of Demonolatry" by S. Connolly.

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