Our Bay Area Satanists laid down their labors over Labor Day Weekend, coming together for our latest public outing, a Black Mass and barbecue at lovely Ocean View Park in Albany, California.

We got more than 30 local Satanists (and a few non-Satanist plus-ones who were highly welcome themselves) in one place for a day built around our new Black Mass ritual titled Pazuzu’s Blessing, but more importantly around community building, relationships, and acknowledging the power of our own accomplishments.

Pazuzu’s Blessing is a ritual designed by Satanic Bay Area organizers Daniel Walker and Tabitha Slander as an emotional counterbalance to our Remembrance Ritual earlier in the year, an event designed to celebrate important milestones, happy relationships, and positive developments in our members’ lives.

Some of our Bay Area Satanists are getting married, having children, starting or finishing their educations, beginning new careers, or celebrating personal milestones like sobriety or new relationships.

Our ritual gathering celebrated these doings and recognized that everyone’s own hard work and resolve builds the great things in our lives.

We employed an idol of Pazuzu, a fearsome Mesopotamian demon who was also a protector of mothers and children, as the centerpiece of the gathering.


All photos by Chance Acuna.


Simone Lasher conducted a brief educational lecture about the myth of Pazuzu, a devil so feared that he ended up ironically prized for the belief that he could frighten away even other evil spirits.

Tabitha and Daniel delivered an invocation reflecting on the power of our own accomplishments and the strong emotional bonds created by lived experience, drawing on sources like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist, and Giosu Carducci’s Hymn to Satan.

Our own Jane Thomas gifted the honorees with marks of favor–flower crowns that are one part laurel trophies, one part a representation of the metaphorical Flowers of Evil (another work referenced in the ritual)–all made by hand by volunteers at one of Tabitha’s Dark Arts & Crafts nights.

At the ritual’s end, a volunteer poured an offering of water, flowers, blood (ethically obtained from a butcher’s shop in Oakland), onto the roots of a nearby tree, to represent our bounty.

This was a huge turnout for SBA–once upon a time three or four years ago we could hardly get six people together for a Satanic ritual–with participants traveling from San Francisco, Sonoma, San Jose, all over the East Bay, and even as far away as Kern County to be there.

Most exciting of all was the number of new faces, including some very first-timers who joined us alongside very old friends. The theme most frequently referenced by participants was how helpful and supportive the presence of other Satanists and community members proved in their lives.

As usual we had food, drink, music, and good times. This was a rare outing for us, happening both in public and outdoors, as opposed to our usual very private gatherings away from prying eyes. Several other groups shared the park with us, including a number of children’s birthday parties.

But nobody complained about our ritualizing and some parents even contributed pizza to our potluck (let the conspiracists of the world let that sentence rile them up as they please…). In exchange, we used the space responsibly, didn’t encroach on anyone else’s actives, and cleaned up after ourselves when we left.

Not everyone is so lucky to live in a place where they can openly practice their right to free religion and free association. On the exact same day we gathered so successfully here, a Satanic Temple group in Minnesota faced harassment and death threats at an ice cream social in Belle Plaine.

Even though gatherings like this are small, in a minor way we hope they contribute to keeping the Bay Area a place where peaceful-minded people can live, work, play, and worship (or expressly not worship, in our case…) with security.