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Outline of my recommended standard ritual format

by Diane Vera

Copyright © 2003, 2005, 2006 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.

Below is an outline of the kind of ritual I personally have been using and feel most comfortable with. I originally posted it here in 2003 CE as an alternative to what seemed then to be the most popular standard rituals among online theistic Satanists, namely LaVey's standard ritual and the Joy of Satan standard ritual. Subsequently, I've encountered more and more theistic Satanists with an interest in Satanic adaptations of classic ceremonial magick (CM) rituals. My own approach is different from the CM-based approach too, insofar as my approach is primarily devotional rather than magic(k)al, although my rituals do have a CM-derived structure. Yet I've gotten favorable feedback from quite a few Satanic CM users who have found my rituals useful too.

The ritual format below has gone through several revisions, of which the most recent was made in July 2006.

  1. Prepare for the ritual as instructed in my article on Preparations for formal ritual.
  2. The room should be lit by at least one black candle on your altar. You may also want to have candles at the four cardinal points (west, south, east, and north), but these are optional. (Make sure all candles are in secure holders.) You may also have a small flashlight handy if you need it to read your written prayers or other crib sheets.

  3. Begin by performing your preferred beginning-of-ritual markers. (See Banishing rituals, grounding, and other beginning/end-of-ritual markers.) Then face your altar if you are not already facing it. You should be facing the main direction for your ritual, as determined by the element that your ritual will be emphasizing. (In the Northern hemisphere, west = Water, south = Fire, east = Air, north = Earth. In the Southern hemisphere, west = Water, north = Fire, east = Air, south = Earth.)
  4. Say the Call to the rising gods of our age, especially if you are a member or prospective member of the Church of Azazel. (For some information about these gods, see my article about the Rising gods of the modern West on the website of the Church of Azazel.) If you are not interested in the Church of Azazel's paradigm, you may wish to substitute a call to a different set of gods, or you may wish to omit this step entirely.
  5. If you are new at performing rituals, say the call to the rising gods three times. Otherwise, just once should be sufficient.

  6. Say an invocation to Satan, such as my own Invocation to Satan or my Prayer of acknowledgment of Satan's rulership. Or use an invocation written by you. Whatever invocation you use, it should (1) mention a variety of different attributes of Satan, (2) be something you personally find emotionally moving, and (3) be respectful and reverent in tone, but without being self-denigrating.
  7. If you are new at performing rituals, say the invocation three times. Otherwise, just once should be sufficient.

  8. Say the Greetings to the Princes and the Legions of Hell. These are said facing your main direction first, then turning to face each of the other directions, turning counterclockwise if you are in the Northern hemisphere (or clockwise if you are in the Southern hemisphere), and then facing your main direction again.
  9. At this point, you are ready for the centerpiece of the ritual, whatever it may be, depending on the ritual's purpose.
  10. In the simplest case, for a simple devotional ritual, just read a prayer to Satan (or to some other god, such as one of the five Rising gods of the modern West) and then burn the paper on which you wrote your prayer (unless you intend to save that piece of paper as part of a magical diary or something). Or just pray spontaneously, without writing anything beforehand. Or you might want to include both pre-written and spontaneous prayer.

    More advanced rituals might involve spells, divination, trance, or calling on a specific god or demon in a more intense way than just prayer.

    Whatever you do as the centerpiece of the ritual, whether spontaneous, scripted, or a combination of both, it needs to be heartfelt in order to have any value at all.

  11. After the centerpiece of the ritual, close the ritual, essentially by saying a thanks and/or farewell to whatever god or demon you called on in the centerpiece of your ritual, and then a thanks and farewell to the Legions in all directions, and, of course, a thanks to Satan Himself, and then a thanks to the rising gods of our age.
  12. Perform any additional end-of-ritual markers you deem appropriate. (See Banishing rituals, grounding, and other beginning/end-of-ritual markers.) Then blow out the candle and turn on the lights.

In the ritual outline as given above, the five rising gods are called first and thanked last, whereas Satan is both called at greater length later and thanked at greater length earlier, along with His "Legions." This is because, in the Church of Azazel theology, Satan/Azazel is a more transcendant figure than the other gods, who are believed to be embodied in the post-Christian sector of present-day Western culture, whereas Satan has far less of a stake in any particular culture. (See Our core beliefs and their here-and-now basis on the Church of Azazel site.) When creating sacred space at the beginning of a ritual, we go from the less transcendant to the more transcendant, and vice versa at the end of a ritual.

If you are not a member or prospective member of the Church of Azazel and you believe in a different theology, you may wish to reverse the order of calling Satan vs. calling other gods, and/or you may wish to call on a different set of other gods who may mean more to you personally. Or you may prefer not to call on any gods other than Satan at all. If so, that's fine. If you are working alone and not a member of any group, you should perform your rituals in whatever format makes the most sense to you, given your own personal beliefs.

However, if you are a member or prospective member of the Church of Azazel, then it is recommended that you use the format given here, with no more than small variations, so as best to blend your energies with those of other Church of Azazel members, whether in person or at a distance.

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