Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice XLV A.S.

Summer has stricken the Northern Hemisphere.

Long gone are the days during which this season freed me from the tedium of elementary and high school classes. That leaves just the thermometer-popping temperatures, which seem to awaken every boor's inner boor. The city is suddenly and consistently louder, not only because the crowds are thicker than sweat, but also because more oafs blast their stereos for the benefit of their neighbors. And that's just for starters.

I do enjoy warm weather and sunshine, but where other seasons offer these experiences, summer imposes them. The only truly wonderful thing about summer is that, just when it's at its worst, I get to celebrate my Birthday. The particularly indulgent days surrounding that most important holiday are, along with the holiday itself, almost like a reward for my patience.

This is a good time to read or re-read Anton LaVey's essay "Summertime," from The Devil's Notebook. It's a concise guide to the season's literally glaring flaws. However, it concludes with an inspiring passage on the cultivation of total environments, using a real-world example that the Magus himself once built. It's one of my all-time favorite pieces of writing.

On that note, I'm off to slice up a sweet, juicy mango, whose golden flesh is perhaps the embodiment of all that is good about the next few sweltering months.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thoughts on
the Dynamism of
Satanic Ritual

"There is more to Satanic magic and ritual than being in costume, with all your ritual gear in a decorated room. This is a necessary phase, and for some people will always have more 'juice' — but the ultimate 'intellectual decompression chamber' is and always will be YOUR OWN SKULL."
-Magister James D. Sass, Essays in Satanism

Ritual magic, also known as Greater Magic, can be a highly dynamic tool — especially within the individualistic framework of Satanism. For those who cling to pre-established formulae, the variations can confound and confuse. The Satanist, however, approaches all things from a third-side perspective, eschewing absolutism and its mind-flattening effects. Ritual is no exception.

I tend to employ Greater Magic exclusively as "self-transformational psychodrama," as Magus Peter H. Gilmore has so concisely defined one of its most undeniably effective uses. Though skeptical about magic's effectiveness in remotely controlling the world outside of oneself, a Satanist may nonetheless benefit greatly from this type of ritual. This active and highly adaptable relationship with diabolical symbolism can serve to stimulate one's mind, deepen one's awareness, and augment one's strengths. It keeps one in touch with one's daemons, attracting the very same success that others seem to attain more "mysteriously".

Whenever I feel the need, I find time in my day to focus and direct my energies, without speaking, to tap into the same energy that I access through formalized ritual. This is currently the most effective method for me. I developed it over the past fifteen years through an evolutionary maelstrom of philosophical "ourobourism," to coin a term. I maintain it through particular forms of study, contemplation, and visualization.

I have also gone through extended periods without engaging in any type of ritualistic thinking, usually when I am extremely busy with... well, business. However, I have learned that ritual and meditation are particularly important when I'm "all work and no play." Intellectual decompression keeps the mind flexible and realigns the will. It can be a potent means of maintaining balance in one's life.

Just as I have developed highly personal methods of ritualization outside of a formal context, so have others who wish to use this tool away from the ritual chamber. This is not an argument against more traditional rites — just another way to take "advantage of this many faceted key to the unknown — which the Satanist chooses to call 'Satan' (The Satanic Bible).

These are some of the thoughts that I have been mulling over while modifying my ritual practices in accordance with my continued evolution.