The Importance of Ritual in Satanism: Drama and Imagination
Most Satanists' ask me: "What is Ritual?" "What is it good for?" Or most
say: "I don't see the point." Ritual, in the life of some Satanists, and many
people in other religions, is more important than most think. It's ways are
numerous and its application infinite.
Ritual is an Art as well as a Science. It is an Art Because of its sense
of style, drama, verse, music, organized movement's and use of the imaginative
images greater than used in normal consciousness. It is a science because
it has a formula, a standard method; it has a purpose to meet an end. Ritual
is sometimes like an experiment. There is a method one uses to meet a end
and if all the parts of the experiment fit the formula a set outcome should
follow, and if it doesn't fit the outcome one desires one can go back on the
ritual like the notes of a researcher and see what should be changed or conditioned.
This works if the Satanist in question believes in the power of Magic, and
if the black flame within the Satanist has potential driven to that art, as
it's external form of expression. Most important of all, and above all, is
that ritual is important when and if it has inner meaning to that individual
Satanist. That in itself is the most important thing. This can be said of
any religion and of any culture, not just Satanism.
"Ok, Reverend Haile, now I know that Ritual is an Art and a Science, what
else is it good for?"
Ritual has many uses in the life of a Satanist. Ritual can be used for many
things. Self-dedication, contemplation, mental or emotional release, use of
the imagination, the celebration of a person or an event, and the bringing
about of a desired effect on reality are many uses of Ritual Magic.
Self-dedication is very important, why else are you a Satanist? These types
of Rituals can be performed to praise one's self for something done right
or the gaining or getting rid of something one wished to get rid of or gain.
Also a ritual of this type can be performed before one does something, a ritual
that will symbolically dedicate the Satanist to a certain goal or task, like
Contemplation is also a great method to use in ritual. Think about how the
day had been, think about all its events, what could I have done differently?
What things did I do right to fully use my day to its full potential? Contemplation
is also good to figure out problems and brainstorm for meaning in things that
appear to have no meaning. Doing this in a ritual setting is very good and
energizing. It is highly creative. Again, it is important to that individual
Mental and emotional releases are also excellent things to use Ritual for.
Many standard religions use these methods and they are highly successful.
Ritual can be used to release and ease many forms of emotional or mental strains.
Be open, don't care about what you may do in the ritual chamber, it is your
time for release! I'm not condoning the use of animals, babies, or unwilling
individuals in this last statement. Any person with logic and good common
sense should understand my meaning.
The use of the imagination is also a good purpose in Ritual. In this day
and age our minds are cluttered with our job concerns, media bombardment,
and forced conformity by others around us. For too many people a good movie
or CD is all they have to use their imagination for, and that's not even really
using it! The environment of the ritual chamber and its theme are great tools
for the release of the imagination. Imagination is a human need and what better
way to use it than by doing a symbolically appealing and drama-filled ritual?
The celebration of a person or event is another wonderful way to us Ritual.
Events like marriage, baptism, funerals, birthdays, times of war and peace,
someone you love, or just for you. The potential is endless.
I hope this essay has cleared up some things for those Satanists that have
asked, "What is Ritual good for?" Or maybe you have gained some inspiration
from this work. I wish you luck in your life as a high embodiment of human
life, the life of a Satanist! And always remember, keep it real and keep it
fun, or else there is no point.
Hail Satan! Hail Thyself!
Note: [A word from one who does not engage in ritual, not even my own graduation
ritual. To put this in perspective and avoid "guffaw" from non-ritualizing
Satanists, I want to show how important Rev. Haile's words are by asking you
to imagine this scene:
You are about to graduate college with Highest Honors in Math. This is a
proud day for you, a day to feel proud of, for such an accomplishment is something
to be very proud of. It is something to celebrate. Do you agree?
There is no graduation ceremony. No cap or gown. No auditorium. No ceremony
of awarding certificates of Honor and no speech. No school song. No award
to be given on stage in front of your proud family and happy friends. No applause.
Someone you never even see mails you your certificate and honorary papers
with a form letter saying "Nice to have had you at our college. Attached is
your diploma and honors certificate. Please keep it in a safe place." Signed:
"The Board of Directors." Get the picture?
If you can at all relate to the Christian experience of a happy child from
a nice Christian home, imagine this sorry scene:
You are a Catholic child about to have the honor of receiving your First
Holy Communion. You love your religion, you love your Deity, you like everything
about it and are excited about this solemn religious Rite.
A person you never see, you have no idea if it's even one of the Priests
or Nuns that you liked as teachers; a total stranger mails some papers to
you with the "host wafer" enclosed in a sealed plastic bag. The letter says:
"Here is the certificate of your Holy Communion. Take the wafer out of the
sealed bag and eat it. Then you are done. Congratulations. Please keep the
certificate in a safe place and be sure to come visit us again." Signed: "The
Church." Get the idea?
Ritual is very important to individuals who take pride in them and feel that
the event the ritual is made for has meaning that will remain as a fond memory
throughout his or her life.] End Note.
Copyright 1995-2003 S. H.
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