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Church of Azazel proto-congregation, New York City Message Board Rituals and practices of the Church of Azazel › Ritual: Affirmation of common purpose

Ritual: Affirmation of common purpose

Diane
DianeVera
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 285
Below is a draft of a brief ritual I'm thinking of doing at our regular Church of Azazel meetings (which are intended to be primarily discussion meetings, not rituals per se. As I envision it, as long as we are still holding our open meetings at a diner, this ritual would be sort of like saying grace before a meal together.

I would appreciate comments and suggestions for improvement. (Note: Please comment only after familiarizing yourself with the Church of Azazel paradigm, as spelled out in the articles listed here.)

The ritual refers to devotees of each of the five Rising Gods as "warriors." By "warriors" we mean people actively working to promote social change of some relevant kind (or at least opposing one or more of the social changes that the religious right wing wants). This could mean political activism, or it could mean work on other levels, e.g. art, music, writing, or just talking to people. We expect active members of the Church of Azazel to be "warriors" in this sense.

I'm not sure what to call this ritual. "Affirmation of common purpose," perhaps? If anyone thinks of a more evocative name, please let me know.

Anyway, here it is:

Main leader:               We gather together
in service to our Lord Satan,
God of freedom!
God of this world,
God of our flesh,
God of our innermost will, and
God who beckons us out of our own little boxes.
Hail, Satan!

All: Hail, Azazel!

Main leader: We gather together ...

Lead Lilith devotee: As warriors of Lilith!

Lilith devotees: Lilith,
Destroyer of the traditions of tyrants!

Lead Prometheus devotee: And as warriors of Prometheus!

Prometheus devotees: Prometheus,
Bringer of fire and knowledge!

Lead Ishtar devotee: And as warriors of Ishtar!

Ishtar devotees: Ishtar,
Great Goddess of old and of today!
Mother of the free!

Lead Pan devotee: And as warriors of Pan,

Pan devotees: Pan,
God of the wild,
God of fleshly delight!

Lead Lucifer-of-Sophia devotee: And as warriors of Lucifer-of-Sophia!

Lucifer-of-Sophia devotees: Lucifer-of-Sophia,
Serpent of Wisdom!

Lead Lilith devotee: And as warriors of Lilith!

Lilith devotees: Lilith,
Rising Queen of our world,
Queen of this age!

Main leader: Gods of the world we love,
May we stand firm
against the tyranny of your enemies,
as together we approach, with reverence,
the infernal Mystery.
Hail, Satan!

All: Hail, Azazel!

Diane
DianeVera
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 287
P.S. to something I wrote earlier about "warriors":

The ritual refers to devotees of each of the five Rising Gods as "warriors." By "warriors" we mean people actively working to promote social change of some relevant kind (or at least opposing one or more of the social changes that the religious right wing wants). This could mean political activism, or it could mean work on other levels, e.g. art, music, writing, or just talking to people. We expect active members of the Church of Azazel to be "warriors" in this sense.

We might make an exception here for recent converts to Satanism, especially those who have recently left Christianity and who might not yet be ready to take any kind of public or semi-public stand on any relevant topic. These people, however, would likely be waging an inner struggle with their past beliefs, and we would expect them to be "warriors" in the sense of waging that inner struggle diligently and intelligently (e.g. by studying the philosophical arguments against traditional Christian beliefs and by learning about a variety of non-Christian religions) rather than just riding on tides of emotion.
A former member
Post #: 5
well done: intelligently conceived, carefully crafted.
thank you, Diane.
Earl
A former member
Post #: 6
concur and admire

one of the loads born in this type of smithing is fraught words: how can I frame a benedictory: amen, selah, so mote it be, yeah?
A former member
Post #: 2
Love the ritual overall. However, I'm not too satisfied with the line, "God who beckons us out of our own little boxes."--it sounds kind of prosaic and negative to me. How about:

"Who opens our eyes
And rends the veils between the worlds."

or

"Expander of consciousness."

or

"Revealer of hidden things."

or something along those lines...that same connotation of expansion of viewpoint, but stated very positively i.e. the emphasis should be on revelation rather than the boxed-in state that existed beforehand.
Diane
DianeVera
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 291
Love the ritual overall. However, I'm not too satisfied with the line, "God who beckons us out of our own little boxes."--it sounds kind of prosaic and negative to me. How about:

"Who opens our eyes
And rends the veils between the worlds."

The above, or perhaps one of your other suggestions below, might be a nice addition to the ritual, but, in my opinion, not an adequate substitute for the line that you are proposing them as a substitute for.

A result of my own spiritual experiences has been an outgrowing of some dogmatic beliefs about this-worldly -- not just other-worldly -- things. "Between the worlds" does not capture this, nor do your other suggestions. (And perhaps the original line about "little boxes" doesn't capture it strongly enough.)

or

"Expander of consciousness."

or

"Revealer of hidden things."

or something along those lines...that same connotation of expansion of viewpoint, but stated very positively i.e. the emphasis should be on revelation rather than the boxed-in state that existed beforehand.

Why not acknowledge the state that existed beforehand -- and that continues to exist, for that matter? I personally would prefer to include an explicit admission (along the lines of "little boxes") that we are fallible, prone to jumping to erroneous conclusions, etc. An admission of our own fallibility is actually rather central to the Church of Azazel paradigm. (Hence the theological minimalism, e.g. the here-and-now principle in theology, for example.) Why do you prefer to avoid that?

I would prefer NOT to get rid of what you are apparently referring to as the "negativity." However, if there's a way of saying it that's less "prosaic" and more pleasing to the ear, I would still be interested in such an improvement.

Anyway, thanks very much for your feedback. Hopefully some good ideas will come out of this discussion.
A former member
Post #: 7
"our ignorance"?
A former member
Post #: 8
Or "innocence"?

[Edited by Diane to restore what I recall as being the original. Apologies for a previous accidental edit when I thought I was replying.]
Diane
DianeVera
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 292
Our problem isn't simply "ignorance" or "innocence." Our problem is that the human pattern-finding ability is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it truly helps us to understand the world. Science would be nowhere without it. We need it for our very survival. On the other hand, we also tend to see patterns that aren't really there, or which are oversimplifications at best. What I like about the term "little boxes" is that it suggests oversimplified patterns that we've attached ourselves to. I'd like any replacement for that term to suggest the same.

I should mention that "God who beckons us out of our own little boxes" also gets to the heart of what Satan means (in practice) to devil-obsessed Christians. They do indeed associate Satan with pretty near everything, both this-worldly and other-worldly, that is outside their own narrow little box. To them, of course, everything outside their own little box is a priori "worldly" and bad. To us, on the other hand, it's a good thing to be able to see the world from a variety of different point of view. And learning to do so is an ongoing process.

Diane
DianeVera
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 294
I'm thinking of replacing "God who beckons us out of our own little boxes" with "God who beckons us beyond the comfortable and familiar." That's still not quite as poetic as I would like, but do others here see it as at least an improvement over the "little boxes" line?

Of course, if anyone can think of a more poetic way to say the above, I'd love to see it.
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