Solstice Ritual

          All magical workings can be divided into two basic categories: low magic and high magic. Low magic is generally directed outward from the magician, towards some sort of external attainment, while high magical ritual is intended to penetrate and transform the magician himself. Although those who dabble primarily in low magical workings can be said to do magick, only those who concert serious effort towards the working of high magical rituals can actually become magick itself.

          This distinction may seem arbitrary, and to some extent, like all distinctions, it is, but allow me to illustrate this point by explaining the Solstice ritual that we preformed just a few days ago, as well as the dramatic changes which it has begun to work inside of me.

          Those in attendance were told only that we would be reenacting the traditional battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, and celebrating the rebirth and return of the horned god. Those who wished to participate were instructed to come in costume, either as Christmas Elves or as Werewolves. The house was decorated with fir and holly leaves, and a Christmas tree, complete with presents, was set up in the backyard.

          We began our evening with an announcement to all, that the Christmas they are familiar with was engineered to obscure and slander the pagan celebration it was meant to replace. Long ago, with the yearly Solstice, with night at its very longest, and daylight so sparse and waning, a battle was said to take place between two divine brothers, one light and one dark. The light one, who is called the Oak King, was a lustful fertility god of spring and summer, often depicted as Dionysian in appearance, all horn and hoof, both intoxicated with and fully aroused by all of the green copulatory energies of life. His enemy, the Holly King, a Saturnine god of darkness, death and drear, was dressed in royal robes and regalia which were all eventually adopted as the accoutrements of our very own Santa Claus.

          When Christmas began, they couldn’t dispense with Dionysus right away, so they incorporated him as the slave to St. Nick, a monster who punished naughty children just as St. Nick, one of the earliest bishops in Constantine’s Roman Catholic Church, handed out candy, toys, and even bags of gold, to “good” boys and girls. No more was the God of Beasts and Orgy to cut back the malefic influences of this theocratic, imperialistic, despot. The Christmas season, which once heralded the death of this oppressive power with the rebirth and rise of an alternative, far more vital and loving God had become twisted by the Church into a festival of bribery to win support for their cold bloodless philosophies and to slander the once honored horned God, now called a Demon, now brought out only in chains, and then, only to frighten small children.

          Once this story was told, the tree was set ablaze, along with all the presents beneath it. All of Santa’s Elves, as well as the Werewolves who had gathered to witness the return of their God, were invited to engage each other in ritual combat where each would attempt to push the other one off balance. With all of the battles on the undercard complete, attention was then directed to the boxing ring in our backyard, where Santa Claus and Dionysus clashed for perhaps the first time in centuries, and the Winter King was laid low, restoring the Elves to their former glory as newly freed magical beings. Beautiful Elvin girls ran naked through the snow, spinning fire and dancing with swords and scarves.

          But what gnosis did I, who was fortunate enough to play Dionysus in this little religious melodrama, take from my experience? A greater awareness seems to be growing in me of the false holiness and fearful morality which have been foisted upon us all, and the honest purity of the animal nature we’ve been taught to fear. I feel less inclined to feel guilty for the indulgence of my carnal impulses, and although I respect the seriousness and sobriety that comes from almost all reasonable restrictions, I have become more alive and awakened to my various animal attributes than perhaps ever before.

          That, my friends, is high magick.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response .
0 Responses
Leave a Reply