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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Grand Sabbat

Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Prayer Before the Kill


Great Stag, our Stag, we hunger:

hunger, Lord, for you.

Our Life, our Food, our Beauty:

Father, will you feed?

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In the firelight, our call begins almost as a whisper.

Horned One...Horned One...Horned One...

Borne on the drums, it rises, insistent.


The witches are calling to their god. Out of some primal core of longing, a hundred voices throb together as one.



From the woods, a horn calls.


A second horn calls, answering the first, then a third. A clutch of people, men and women, emerge from the trees, bearing torches. Riding, unbelievably, above them....

As His bearers approach, their pace quickens. Soon they are running, running toward us.


At a distance of more than 30 years, I remember the horns calling back and forth to one another, the bobbing torchlight, the frenzy. I shake my head at the dangers. That wooden palanquin didn't even have edges for bracing the feet. We would never take such risks today, never. Truly, it was a madness, the madness of a god.


I know what I would see if I looked at the faces around me: wonder, incredulity, fear.

But I do not look. None of us do. Our eyes want nothing more than what they already behold, the longing of centuries.

On the altar, He shines, unbelievably tall. His naked male beauty catches the heart. Between His antlers, constellations wheel.

In the wondering silence, His voice is gentle.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Classical Greek society (article) | Khan Academy

In ancient Greece, when an athlete was chosen to represent his city at, say, the Olympic Games, he first went to the temple.

There the priest would perform certain rites of purification and consecration. Then he would tell him: Remember, your body now belongs to the god.

When you give something to a god, of course, you want it to be the very best that you can possibly give.


So it is with spiritual athletics. I spoke the other night with the personifying priest for the upcoming 2021 Midwest Grand Sabbat.

There's a regimen to giving your body to a god. (Never doubt that the god, of course, gives back in kind.) Diet, exercise: in all ways, mentally and physically, you have to hone, to pare, to mold yourself into the best you of which you are capable.

I've done it myself. It's grueling work, especially for us over-fed and under-exercised denizens of the so-called 21st century. It's hard to give yourself to the hunger, even when that hunger joins you to a god.

I do my best to be a good trainer, to correct and suggest and encourage. Reflecting, I realize that I also have one other thing to offer here.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Ghent Altarpiece: Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, detail of the Lamb with  kneeling Angels - Hubert and Jan Van Eyck — Google Arts & Culture


If I told you that one of the greatest masterpieces of Christian art is actually at heart a depiction of the Witches' Sabbat, would you believe me?

While the imagery of the central and focal panel of Hubert and Jan van Eyck's monumental polyptych the Ghent Altarpiece (completed 1432), known to art historians as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, is impeccably Biblical and orthodox, the painting has a haunting and frankly disturbing quality that reads as anything but.

It depicts the worship of the Animal God.

In an idealized landscape, worshipers converge from all directions on a central altar. The altar is encircled by kneeling winged adorants. On the altar itself stands a hornless Ram, white and shining. The god himself gazes outwards, meeting the eyes of the viewer. From his head shines light.

(By the way, that's not actually an extremely pendulous scrotum hanging between his legs, though it sure does look like one: it's his tail.)

Yeah, yeah, the Lamb of God. Yeah, yeah, angels, virgin martyrs, confessors, knights of Christ. Yeah, sure.

They're worshiping a Ram.

Any witch that's ever been to the Sabbat recognizes this scene, though she may not tell you so. The Horned on the altar, surrounded by his coven, with every witchly eye turned towards him. This is the Eternal Sabbat, the witch's true Paradise. We know, because we've been there.

No, I'm not suggesting that van Eyck was a secret member of what Margaret Murray called the “Witch cult.” (It sure would make an interesting story, though, if not a novel.) It is interesting to note, though, that in fact Adoration of the Mystic Lamb was painted at exactly the time—and near to the geographic locus from which—the concept of the Witches' Sabbat, as an iconic counter-worship, first emerged.

No, I'm suggesting something deeper: that van Eyck's mystic painting embodies, under the guise of Christian orthodoxy, an atavistic longing of the human heart, something that will never change because it is intrinsic to who we are.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    If so, sign me up for one!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I know it's flippant of me and betrays my degree in Art History but I wonder if anyone has made a Jigsaw puzzle version of The Ado

Posted by on in Culture Blogs



The little girl was heartbroken.

They killed him! she sobbed. They killed him!

And him so tall and shining, and his antlers reaching up, up, up to the trees, and his velvet muzzle that you wanted to stroke.

And he called you his bonny wee bird, and his daughter.

And he came down from the altar and danced, danced with everyone.

And him so shining and full of life, and now he's dead. He's dead.

The mother takes the child into her arms and holds her head against her shoulder.

Oh, but only see, she whispers into her ear, turning her around again to face the altar.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dream Sabbat

 In Which an Old Bit of Witch-Lore Takes On New Life


The ancestors were resourceful people.

In the old days, in time of persecution or plague, it wasn't always safe to attend the local Sabbat.

So the ancestors developed a strategy.

Come Sabbat Eve, you schmeer on the dwale, lay down, and fly off to the Dream Sabbat.

But do not for this reason think the Dream Sabbat unreal.

This, too, is my True Sabbat, says the Horned.

The Sabbat is the Horned's love-gift to his people. Be sure that, in time, we will dance once again by firelight beneath the trees, and taste all the joys of the witch's true paradise. This, the Horned promises.

Till then, he gives us the Sabbat of Dream.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the recommendation, Anthony. See you at the Dream Sabbat!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    One of the books I'm reading now is "Witchcraft and the Shamanic Journey" by Kenneth Johnson. He mentions in the witch trials whe

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Flight to the Sabbat

Full Wolf Moon: coven flying night.

The ointment makes the rounds; those who wish to, partake.

We lay down and Fly.


I am at the Sabbat in the firelit woods, kneeling at the altar.

I take His hand and kiss it. I tell Him I love Him. (I won't say there are no tears.) I lay my head in His lap. I speak the secret fears.

After a time, He takes His hand from my head and raises me up. His smile sears my soul.

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