Chapter 15: The Pagan Mass
Stand in the middle of the temple with the left arm to the west and the right arm to the east. Touch your head and say, " I am." " Touch your body and say, "The Kingdom." Touch your left shoulder and say, "The Power." Touch your right shoulder and say, The Glory." Put your hands together and say, "Everlasting. EUOI"
All religions have some kind of truth. They are also full of lies. Behind all religions is a common reality. This reality possesses the minds of men on Earth. We can understand some of this reality by calculating signs from the Zodiac. The Age of Pisces will end about the year 2000. The new Age of Aquarius will then begin. The line dividing Pisces and Aquarius is located almost exactly between the two points that the Milky Way crosses the ecliptic. The Age of Aquarius will begin when the location of the equinox Sun passes over this point, sometime between the years 1965 and 2037. In a few years the great change will first be noticeable, small at first but slowly growing. The Piscean Age was an Age of Apollo. The Apollonian religions like Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam dominated. The new Age of Aquarius will be an Age of Aphrodite. There will be a lot of vulgar sex going on. There will be pagan rituals. Temple prostitutes will become sacred again. The mystery, Mother of Harlots, and abominations, of the Earth, will rise, and we will become drunken with her fornications. Sin will become a virtue. Evil will become an art. Pain will become a pleasure. Actually, there will still be sin, evil and pain, but what was once thought true will change. The old Apollonian religions hated life and called it a sin, and tried to get some kind of spiritual ideal. They were death cults. In the Age of Aphrodite we will celebrate life.
Many religious ideals should be discussed by small groups of people called Covens. They should meet each Saturday. All covens connected with a temple should meet for a major ceremony on each of the eight Sabbaths. The eight Sabbaths should be scheduled during the Full Moons after each proper time of the year. The kind of worship that goes on in my temple is a kind of celebration. During a festival, people should have mostly fun, but there should also be some ritual.
Tools that are used in rituals can be offered to God. State why youre using it, and ask for permission to use it. Be honest and state whether you will use it responsibly or not. The God you are talking to in this ritual is the one universal God. Everything that happens is his choice. You cant force him to accept your tools. You can call your God anything you want, even Satan.
The first tool you offer is yourself. Tell God that you will do as you want and you will do as you please if that is what youre going to do. This first ritual is something you do alone in a, private, dark, secret place that is underground. Then go up to a hill you have chosen and tell God about yourself. When you feel ready, you can use the name Yod He Va He Sabaoth, which mean I am who am the creator.
Then make an oil. Any oil that looks like Semen will do. Ask God to allow you to use this oil to represent his creative force. A little dab of this oil is placed on each of your tools, to consecrate them. The two tools you need are a Dagger and a wand. The Dagger is a tool of air and reason, used to purify. It is dangerous because reason is dangerous. An Apollonian might use the Dagger to threaten Demons into submission. He thinks that his will must rule over everything, or else the outside forces will tear him apart. He may turn his magic circle into a purified barrier, where forces cannot enter naturally. Such a person will live a pathetic, paranoid life. Generally I dont use my Dagger much. The wand is a phallic symbol, representing creative force and fire. After your main tools are consecrated, you can bury the oil in the Earth on the hill you consider sacred. Then, place your palms together and say, "Heaven and Earth are balanced in me. My body is my temple." You should have carefully designed your temple, taking years to plan.
There are two kinds of holy water used, the Water of life and the Water of death. You make them by praying over them, using the proper spells that you have developed. The water of death should come from a civilized source because civilization is death. It is sprinkled with the dagger and used to purify. Usually, a preservative like salt is mixed with it to keep the water sterile. I usually dont use the Water of death. I do use the Water of life in almost all my rituals. The water of life should come from a natural source, perhaps near your sacred hill. It represents Your Ichor. Which is the blood of life, and you should identify it with your Will that you extend to everything you touch. You sprinkle it with your wand.
Jupiter, whose element is water, has two forms. On one side of the door is EVO, who is living and full of passion. On the other side is JOVE, who is the destroyer and civilizer. On the side with JOVE, is Apollo. On the side with EVO, is Helos ho provides the energy of life. The water of life is Venus, EVO, and Helos. The water of death is Lucifer, Zeus and Apollo. The symbol of Aquarius can be placed on anything holding the water of life. The symbol of Leo can be placed on anything holding the water of death.
Some people purify their temple in order to get rid of bad influences. I do not do this. I equate purification with sterilization and death. I want my temple to live. I do not wish to scare away forces that may be helpful. Some people burn incense in their temples to purify the air. Cedar incense is sacred to the counter-clockwise destroyer. I dont like the way it smells. Lets breathe fresh, natural air instead. An Indian sweat lodge is sometimes said to be a place of purification, but is actually a place where lifes forces are activated and rejuvenated. I accept such life making rituals in my temple.
The altar should be placed in the direction to which you feel your ritual is directed. West is passion, East is reason, South is for spirit, and North is for Earth. A checkerboard design can make a good altar top. Sometimes I accept rituals to Gods such as Apollo and Jove, because I tend to believe we should have a balance of all the forces. There are times when Jove and Apollo are necessary. You might have a different opinion as to which forces should be celebrated. Practice whatever feels right to you. The true you is what counts. You dont want a false temple that does not represent you.
If possible, you should do your rituals with other people because Man belongs in social situations. Whenever possible, the ritual should be ministered by an ordained priest who has spent years carefully studying the meaning of the ritual. This makes the ceremony seem more official.
A priest is a man or a woman who has been ordained by another priest. The temple belongs to the people it serves. They even choose who they want as a priest. If a temple needs a priest, the parishioners may ask a bishop to send them one, but the bishop cannot force the parishioners to accept the priest if they dont like him. Also the parishioners can throw the priest out anytime. The priest is just a servant of the people. Anyone who wants to be a priest should studying with other priests. He might go to search for the truth, for several, years before being ordained as a priest.
The priests elect Bishops. He is really just a priest who organizes the other priests. The bishop has no power over the parishioners, he cannot tell them what to do or not do. If you dont like one bishop, just ask another one to send you a priest. There can be many different bishops who are not connected with each other. There is no pope in my cult. Priests, bishops, and celebrants are free to disagree with each other and there should be no central organization. No one is in power. Everyone is free to choose or not choose. A church is a body of all people who practice a religion. No one man or special interest group can claim to represent the opinions of the whole church. The Church of Holy Anarchy should be anarchy.
The priest should not preach to the people. Religions should never dictate morality. It is up to each person to decide what is good or bad. Each society invents its own standards. Sin exists only in the eye of a society. These should not be part of the religion. The religion should be a ceremonial celebration of natural concepts. Too many religions worry about sin and get all paranoid about it. A lot of religions like to claim they know what everyone must do by telling you that it is what God wants. They speak for God who they think is always right, who probably doesnt exist. It is possible God doesnt care if you sin or not. Also it might not be a sin, even if God thinks it is. He can be wrong, too. If someone wants to confess what he believes to be a sin, he can go to anyone he wants. The priest is just a normal guy. Anything he says is just as good as anyone else. He is just someone who knows how to minister the ceremonial formalities of a religion to the people. You can call him a holy man, but not all priests are true holy men. The true Holy Man is something different.
I have seen many temples that place guardian statues outside their doors to scare demons away from the temple. I do not place these statues near my temple because I dont want to scare any thing. Every being is invited to my temple, even Demons. Actually, these statues are there to scare people and make them think more purely by getting rid of bad thoughts I dont think people have to be scared. My temple is a place where people should feel comfortable about thinking anything they want.
People who attend a ritual can be called devotees, but I prefer to call them celebrants. A devotee is devoted to the cult. The celebrant just celebrates the ceremony. He does not have to be devoted to the cult. Anyone is invited to a ritua1, even if they do not believe in the cult. No one should be forced to join the temple, nor should they be expected to enjoy a ritual. They can still come back even if they dont like it. There should be no formal membership in the cult. People can come and go as they please. I remember the Catholic nuns would expect me to go to church. I dont enjoy the Roman Catholic ritual, and the nuns would try to make me feel guilt for not liking it. This made me hate them and their magic act. They told me that their way was Gods ways. This made me hate their God. I also realized how wrong they were because sometimes we can learn from someone who disagrees with us. No guilt should be forced on someone who doesnt like the ritual. His opinion is just as good as anyone else. The cult and the church should always be open for improvement. Even Gods opinion should not be considered the only right way.
The nuns told me that I must accept the church or lose God. I said, "Goodbye." I looked into what other religions had to offer. Many people close their ears to opinions outside their group. It seems to me that they are denying themselves a wealth of valuable information. My temple is a synthesis of a hundred different cults. I have tried to adopt the best pieces of each.
The first thing done in a ritual is to bang a gong four times, because four represents entering a new beginning. Everyone should become quiet when the gong sounds. The celebrants place their palms together to represent the balance and union of Heaven and Earth. They keep their palms together as the priest opens the temple, by identifying himself with the four directions. He does this by sprinkling some water of life with the wand, while making a clockwise circle, beginning with the South. The priest should say, "Heh Vau Heh" to each direction as he passes them. When he has finished the circle he says, "It is a good day to be alive."
Prayers should be offered after the temple is opened. During the ritual, bread is broken and given to each celebrant. The priest says, "Hoc est corpus," which means, "This is the body. " The bread is you, your temple, the Earth and the church of celebrants. Each celebrant should try to understand what this means to themselves. After the bread is passed around, everyone can talk. A formal discussion of religious subjects should take place. The concepts being celebrated should be explained. The ritual is closed when the priest says, "Everyone may leave Mass has ended. " After the ritual an informal discussion may take place, and a feast is given to everyone who attended. You can open a temple anywhere you want, perhaps under a big tree. Sometimes you can use a permanent structure.
Water of life can have many meanings. The Indian rain dance is not just for regular rain. Some priests make water of life in a special way by providing for the people. They bring a special kind of life to the people, or perhaps theyre just insane. Each person will make up his own definition of what he thinks life is. Some of these Definitions may forget the true meaning of the water of life. Idealist acts, such as praying for people, may seem good to some people. These people might choose to think of such acts as the water of life. They forget that idealism is the water of death. They are actually doing the water of death and mistaking it for life. I do not exclude the water of death from my temple. Idealism might be necessary sometimes, but do not mistake the water of death for the water of life. The water of life should be real natural water, not just some priest insanity.
Some people believe that extremes are wrong. They think that moderation in all endeavors will I lead to a well-balanced man. The idealistic ancient Greeks invented this idea of justice. I dont agree with it. My idea of justice means everything in the right place. Some things are more needed than others. My, idea of a balance is not quite as symmetrical as the Greeks. The temple we build should be realistic. I want the real water of life to be our water of life.
A priest should gather the water of life, from rain or a natural source. Rain represents life giving water. A prayer is offered over the water, or maybe the prayer is not needed. The water may be good enough as is. This water is sprinkled on anything you want to identify yourself with. It is splashed during birth and is splashed during a funeral because the dead person is entering his next life. The priest should make this water available to anyone who wants it, and it should be free. Usually water of life can be found in the western part of the temple in a vase marked with the sign of Aquarius.
Ceremonies can pep people up and create all kinds of psychological effects. A major feeling in primitive religions is something called funk. It is a lot like way you feel when you hear a song that you like. There is a lot more to religion than what I say in this book. People discover these powers as they practice ceremonies. Some of these powers can be a natural and healthy part of your culture. Beware of civilized rituals, which are made to program people.
There can be dramatic rituals or dances at the temple or the festivals. People should be encouraged to develop their own vision. Perhaps they can demonstrate what they see. Some of the best of all dramatic ceremonies are the ones that portray a mans personal vision. Anyone who wants to volunteer an ideal can simply do so by telling the celebrants. Different opinions should be encouraged, because the temple should celebrated the diversity in Man. My religion celebrates Nature. That includes human Nature. Let us celebrate all the animals within us. They make us complete.
The celebrants choose what goes into the temple and what doesnt. The temple should be an expression of how your culture sees things. It should also be a place where you can feel your culture. It should be something people can enjoy and relate to. A temple is influenced by a culture and can also be an influence on a culture. It is a place to build, to learn and to enjoy. We can not just invent the perfect society by thinking about it, the way the ancient Greeks thought they could. Whatever seems to work best can be discovered by practice, trial and error. Each society must discover it for themselves. Each person in this society must discover it for himself. No man should dictate what must go into someone elses temple.
After you develop your temple, you may find the need to change something. Do it, if you feel you must. One may chose a different path anytime. Whatever feels right is probably right. Let the temple be an expression of your feelings. Let yourself feel the temple. Choose a feeling and ride it wherever it may go. The pagan religion is very dynamic. You can take it almost anywhere. With practice you may develop a more interesting temple than mine. I hope you do There are many ways to enjoy life. Perhaps we should.
You might say that only a hippie would perform these I lame rituals. True, many neopagan groups are hippies, but you dont have to perform rituals the way that a hippie would. The style of a ceremony can make a big difference. These rituals are of minor importance. They celebrate Nature, but to really celebrate Nature you dont need a ritual. You have to let the beast within live freely. Religion is an unimportant decoration in you mind. It is the way you actually live that is more important. If you enjoy life, and live as part of Nature, you will be that part of Nature which is worth protecting. You will be the Sacred Grove.
The only thing celebrants should bring to the temple before each ceremony is a small piece of a plant, which is a placed on the north altar. A small leaf from any plant will do. If someone wants to offer anything to the temple, it should be a gift or volunteer work. The priest must never accept money. So many people pray to money and for money that it has become a terrible demon and the priest should reject it. So should everyone else. Money is an evil disease that is best avoided.
Some people want to use a church to give money to the poor. This would just make things worse for the poor. Poverty is not caused by a lack of money, much in the same way drug addiction is not caused by a lack of drugs. You do not give an addicted man more of what he is addicted to. Money makes trade faster. We do not need trade to be this fast. We do not need this trade. All money does is run people over and crush them. Each small group of people must live by supporting themselves and no other. They should not need money to say whats what.
The church must never take money or give money. A church that takes or gives money become a business and forget how to be a real church. The priest should be able to support himself without the church paying him. If the priest wants to give anything to a person it should be a small seed.
We must destroy all money. The priest should encourage celebrants to burn money. He should burn all his money too. East of the temple is a small fire where money is burnt. Money is a kind of mathematical fiction. It can even exist without actual cash. We should destroy the banks and the accounting machines and all the factors that make money seem real. The destruction of money can be an incredible experience to someone whose life is dominated by money. It is a sacrifice and holy act.
The church must never become a charity. People in Nature must make their own balance as part of Nature. What works in one place might not work in another. Sometimes people have to die. The church must not interfere. Many cultures have been destroyed by missionaries upsetting things. All religious objects used in the temple or by celebrants should be made by the people who use them. Each community should be learning to take care of themselves and not rely on factories for anything. If you trade and make an economic network that includes more than one society, you are making people dependent on something that will swallow them.
Once trade begins, societies specialize in specific products. Anyone who wants an alternative will have to leave his hometown. Families break up. People end up in city slums. Young people in small civilized towns complain about nothing to do. An uncivilized tribe has more diversity and is much more fun.
Before us, we have someone who wishes to be comforted by lifes embrace. Let them lie in the center of the temple, with feet to the North and head to the South. Left arm to the West and right to the East. Always use the water of life, not the water of death. We wish to stimulate life and help it grow. Take a phallus in your left hand, dip it in the water of life, sprinkle it on them and say, "Thou are the kingdom. The power and the glory, everlasting." EUOI
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