Imagine a world before the internet, when in the search for knowledge all you had was books and libraries. It was a world where your options for learning about Satanism came through word of mouth at your local occult shop. Perhaps you were lucky enough to find a Satanic organization to join that would send you a photocopied ‘zine quarterly, filled with articles and stories and art created by members.
It was a world where it was rare to be able to socialize with other Satanists. Back then, we didn’t have forums or social networks. You had to come to your own conclusions about the knowledge that was available. Satanic Rites and Ceremonies book, written by Yaj Nomolos, came from that dark era..
I love classic books on Satanism, they bring back a feeling of nostalgia. This month’s review is about Satanic Rites and Ceremonies, authored by Yaj Nomolos, S. P. First written in 1985, it’s part of a series of booklets on Satanism created during a time when Satanism was just gaining popularity, in both positive and negative ways.
Yaj Nomolos, (a.k.a Jay Solomon) was an occult author and member of the Church of Satan who developed his own splinter group in the late 1970’s. This book served as a workbook for his group, known as the Embassy of S.A.T.A.N.
Jay Solomon in claims to have been a leader in the Pan-Satanic movement since 1964. Jay Solomon also published his own photocopy ‘zine known as the ‘Trident’, and for many years ran an occult shop full of magical curios, called The Occult Emporium in Allentown, PA. You can read about his shop here: In A Tiny Basement In Allentown Is The Valley’s Own Little Shop Of Horrors
Among the things included in the Satanic Rites and Ceremonies booklet are instructions and illustration on how to set up an altar space and perform a Satanic Black Mass. He gets down to basics describing what each item for the altar is for. For beginners and those curious about Satanism, its a great place to start.
Ritual and ceremony in this book is more about presentation and feeling rather than historical accuracy. There are myths and stories that accompany every section, but they are not set in stone leaving a lot up to your imagination.
Despite the small size of this booklet, there are a lot of details in Satanic Rites and Ceremonies. There are useful suggestions that are often overlooked by other Satanic authors: including the use of stones and crystals, sigils, incense and robe-wearing and the sounds and scents of ritual.
I found Satanic Rites and Ceremonies particularity inspiring because reading through the ritual steps took me back to a simpler time in life when I was first starting out. It reminded me of doing late night rituals in my chamber, and the feeling and excitement of entering into a new realm just by putting on my ritual robe.
Along the way he mentions other useful books in the occult that may also have space in your library, suggestions that
The other rituals in this book include a black mass to cleanse the self of spiritual ties, and a few pages on “auto-deification”, becoming a god, afterwards. Along with this is knowledge on how to create a basic pact with Satan, no soul-selling or sacrifices required.
Other useful rituals to inspire you are the love ritual, the ritual for healing, a ritual for wealth, and a ritual for cursing your enemies. So it’s an addition to the simplified three types of magic ritual offered by LaVey in the Satanic Rituals book.
Curiously enough there is also a ritual of purification or exorcism that you can do to counteract “negative psychic energies”. I think it’s curious because, well, you are working with the forces of darkness.
There are elements of Neo-Paganism found throughout the book, most notably, his entire Satanic calendar of events and holidays, including solstices, equinoxes, and other (traditionally) pagan holidays.
The feeling of this book is more spiritual and occult, rather than dogmatic and philosophical like the works of LaVey. Satanic Rites and Ceremonies is a good counterpart to those that enjoy LaVey’s philosophy but are searching for something just a little bit more to fill in the blanks.
I thought it interesting that for a book so laden with occult method, the back cover of this book has recommendations from Church of Satan clergy. I find myself returning to this author in moments when I’m feeling nostalgic or I just want some inspiration. Jay Solomon’s books may be short but they are packed with content, and they have a worthy spot on my occult bookshelf. The only thing that would have made this book better would have been a signed copy!
Spiral-bound: 120 pages
Publisher: 10th Printing edition (1992)
You can purchase your edition of Satanic Rites and Ceremonies at Ebay.com
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