Meeting Baphomet in Dark Ritual

THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO THE BRAVE-AND-CURIOUS COVEN OF JESSI HUNTENBURG.

My “Dark Ritual” started and ended with Baphomet as I used Eliphas Levi’s image to set intention at the opening and as the archetypal energy came forward with Loki the following morning.

After vivid dreams in the night, ending in two Trickster visions of office trouble, I awoke with the strong, familiar vibrations and warmth of deity and my dog Shiloh pressing heavily against my back. The image of Baphomet, the name of the Devil, and the energy of Loki came forward as I allowed myself to submerge into the Black Flame of isolate intelligence.

Baphomet as Symbol of Integrating Opposites

In preparation for the dark ritual or “Black Mass,” I had listed some of the Baphomet’s symbols of blended opposites:
1. Animal hooves, horns and human hands, body
2. Female (Solve = dissolve) and male arms (Coagula = take form)
3. Waning and waxing moons
4. Caduceus of serpents on staff
5. Torch/right hand above and darkness/left hand below

The title “Black Mass” was used for the transgressive system shock, as it has been seized upon by popular culture for this purpose as well as by real Satanists, who use it more as public psychodrama rather than for real ceremonies or workings. The title indicates the ceremony is an inversion or parody of the Catholic Mass, the most sacred of services.

As for a true ritual of the left-hand path, I choose to consider a dark ceremony for the Self–not a public drama to awaken sleepers, not even an esoteric gathering for solidarity, but rather an individual working arising out of chaos. If others share in the energy, they must do so from their own sacred space, tapping in and connecting from afar. They may walk a path where no one goes, even if joining together in communion.  

Some self affirmation: “Fuck those who say you must join their closed communion, fuck those who say you cannot join, and fuck those who say you cannot have multiple belonging or blending of paths.  Fuck the mainstream religions, and fuck those opposed to the mainstream religions. Fuck those who say you must submit, and fuck those who say you cannot submit. Fuck the right-hand path, and fuck the left-hand path. I go off road! I take off the training wheels and ride the bicycle! I kick out the ladder and climb the tree!”

Opening: Tool’s “Eulogy” or “Heaven on their Minds” from JCSS. (Choose a song that helps you feel liberated, breaking from traditions or forms which no longer serve you personally.)

Iconoclastic Rock Opera Questioning Traditional Faith
A More Recent Outcry Against Mainstream Religiosity

Invocation: Call out to your Higher Self or Holy Guardian Angel. Light a candle and/or incense. Cast a circle or by Will alone create sacred space. Invite invasion from/submersion in Isolate Intelligence or Lucifer and Lilith or Prince of Darkness or Set or Om/Dao/All/Nothing. Set up or draw a transgressive symbol that shocks, repels, or thrills your psyche.

Crowley’s Star of Babalon

“Liturgy”: Focus on some written words, perhaps from your own past journals. I will choose something not from a revealed text of One True Way but off the “profane,” secular bookshelves of the library.

Walt Whitman: Song of Myself–first three sections only

OR

TO HIM THAT WAS CRUCIFIED. –Walt Whitman

MY spirit to yours dear brother,
Do not mind because many sounding your name do not understand you,
I do not sound your name, but I understand you,
I specify you with joy O my comrade to salute you, and to salute those who are with you, before and since, and those to come also,
That we all labor together transmitting the same charge and succession,
We few equals indifferent of lands, indifferent of times,
We, enclosers of all continents, all castes, allowers of all theologies,
Compassionaters, perceivers, rapport of men,
We walk silent among disputes and assertions, but reject not the disputers nor any thing that is asserted,
We hear the bawling and din, we are reach’d at by divisions, jealousies, recriminations on every side,
They close peremptorily upon us to surround us, my comrade,
Yet we walk unheld, free, the whole earth over, journeying up and down till we make our ineffaceable mark upon time and the diverse eras,
Till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races, ages to come, may prove brethren and lovers as we are.

Drawing a random card from the Thoth Tarot, read from The Book of Thoth

Thoth Tarot Fortune Card (Wheel of Fortune)

I drew the first Major Arcana card to appear in my Thoth Tarot deck. My Book of Thoth fell open to the beautiful description of the Wheel, from which I took note of several items: Crowley envisioned an emerald serpent encircling a bright, scarlet heart–which I interpreted as the ouroboros of time and space cycling eternally around the Source and Self of Becoming. The scarlet of the heart reminds me of the holy grail of strength held aloft by the Scarlet Woman Babalon on the Lust card from the Thoth Tarot. I call the heart Source and Self, for Brahman/Atman or Great Work/Alchemical Egg only pose puzzles (the chicken or the egg first? left or right hand path?) in the dualism outside of the hub. Crowley himself writes near the end of the description that Shiva dances joyously at center, but upon leaving the perspective of the rim, Shiva is seen to be at rest with all else moving around him.

Ritual:

The most important segment is the one I can write least on, for dark liturgy (written or recorded practice) may be free form, but dark ritual must be entirely free. In the psychodrama of “Black Mass,” the actual wafer and wine from the Catholic service were desecrated; however, this kind of acting out will not signify meaningful liberation for every individual. As for me, I will probably tear a page from my Protestant Bible–such as the Ten Commandments that represented the old covenant–and then desecrate it with reversed pentagram, profane words, and images, before burning it in a cauldron: hence the “bread of the word” will become the dead-ash end of the ouroboros’s tail; for the wine, a drop of my own blood added to the ash may represent sacrifice of self to Self rather than an external, physical sacrifice of animal or savior. I include my own infernal alchemy, adding a little idolatry to “give it to the man,” break with tradition, or otherwise experience liberation in ritual. I may close with further song, meditation or journal writing. To each her own abhorrent, transgressive thrill of cutting cords, of breaking free.

Some may question the antinomian burning of “the letter of the law.” However, the commands in stone deal death to willing love from the heart by ordering outward compliance. The heavy-handed use of Law by the ancients displaced the usefulness of agreements between willing hearts (harmony) and high ideals of good principles.  I will not go through every command to show, for example, how “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” nor how situational ethics are needed (boundaries to abuse, just war, polyamory, Robin-Hood activism, white lies, etc.).  For the purpose of the dark ritual is not to provide yet another rabbinic interpretation but rather to break free from tradition that no longer serves, to join with–as Whitman writes–

“We few equals indifferent of lands, indifferent of times,
We, enclosers of all continents, all castes, allowers of all theologies,
Compassionaters, perceivers, rapport of [all humanity]…”

So it is!

Published by Alan Wheeler

I am an English teacher, performing magician, and mystic.

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