Book: The Satanic Rituals by Anton Szandor LaveyAs founding High Priest of the Church of Satan, Anton Szandor LaVey was one of the most remarkable voices in late 20th century religion, and "The Satanic Rituals" is a key text in his body of work. This volume, which is an ideal companion to LaVey's "Satanic Bible," makes available some rituals for practicing Satanists.
LaVey's rituals have an eclectic, even multicultural, flavor. According to him, the rites in this book have French, German, Russian, and Middle Eastern roots. He also includes rituals inspired by the fictional mythology created by H.P. Lovecraft, a writer of distinctive horror fiction. Although mostly geared towards group activities, many of the texts in this book could be adapted to solitary use.
The book is not without flaws and inconsistencies. Whereas some of the rituals appear in bilingual format, others contain untranslated foreign language elements. And although bibliographic references are scattered throughout the text, the book as a whole lacks a comprehensive bibliography. Also, some of the rituals seem a bit impractical. The introduction to the "elektrischen Vorspiele," for example, warns the practitioner of "the danger of serious injury or electrocution"!
Despite these drawbacks, this is an intriguing book. Both the rituals and the Introductory essays are fascinating. LaVey even suggests appropriate musical accompaniment for these dark rituals. Rites in the book include a version of the legendary Black Mass, the Ceremony of the Stifling Air (inspired by the history of the Knights Templar), and Satanic baptismal rites (both child and adult). If you have a taste for the blasphemous, you'll want a copy of "The Satanic Rituals."
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