VIRTUAL SATANISM MAKES REAL AT WALPURGIS-NOT
For Walpurgisnacht, Satanic Bay Area made virtual Satanism a reality, as we strive to remain a vital religious resource for Satanists in the Bay Area and beyond, even during this strange period in our lives.
Originally we’d scheduled our usual Walpurgisnacht Black Mass in Oakland–actually to be held on Beltane Eve (May 1) for convenience’s sake and because there’s no extra devil points to be had for punctuality–but for obvious reasons a large in-person gathering was no longer acceptable.
While some religious bodies have insisted on endangering their membership with a frankly superstitious insistence that communion can only happen in one specific physical location, Satanic principles like reason, compassion, and scientific literacy provoked us to put our Bay Area Satanists’ safety first.
Instead we moved Witch’s Night festivities into the realm of an experimental virtual ritual, streamed via YouTube on May 1 and dubbed Walpurgis-Not instead.
Originally our plan was just to record and stream roughly the same Black Mass we’d have employed in-person, but contributions from others and the possibilities presented by YouTube as a medium resulted in a more ambitious, multi-part presentation:
After calling things to order with the Dark Lord’s Prayer, Simone Lasher recounted the history of Walpurgisnacht, from its roots in Norse Pagan folklore through the mostly failed attempts at Christianization, all the way up to its later adoption by Satanists.
Lee, our resident violinist, provided musical accompaniment for multiple presentations throughout the night, including this musical interlude featuring her rendition of the 15th century ballad “The Devil’s Nine Questions.”
Rosa Robada, Satanic burlesque sorceress on the go, provided a sultry reading of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and an alluring dance piece to the tune of VCTRY’s cover of “Black Magic Woman.”
After that a chorus of Satanists recited excerpts from Patron Sinner William Blake’s “The Proverbs of Hell,” along with their own messages of personal reflection, insight, and comfort for their fellows.
Yeldar, a recently appointed chaplain of the United Aspects Of Satan, primed everyone with a mass meditation adapted from UAOS’s Invocation of Leviathan.
And finally, Tabitha Slander and Daniel Walker conducted “Opening the Gates,” a new virtual Satanic ritual exploring themes of isolation, grief, empowerment, and liberation, largely adapting works like Dante’s Inferno, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Prayer To Persephone, along with visual aids like Auguste Rodin’s Gates Of Hell and Gustave Dore’s Inferno illustrations.
About three dozen Satanists tuned in for the livestream, and many others caught the festivities via our Black Mass Appeal YouTube channel after the fact.
As of now, our next scheduled live event is set for July, a destruction ritual in San Francisco. We know as little as anyone else what rules we’ll all be laboring under by that time, but we’re confident that we can provide some value, guidance, and assurance through ritual gathering no matter what the circumstances.
After all, it is Satan who says, “Where one is gathered together in my name, there am I.”