On the last page of The Satanic Rituals, Dr. LaVey highlighted the common year 2002 as being significant to the evolution of Satanism. It is now the end of the second Working Year in this new Age of Fire which he established in 1966. “Meaningful and portentous messages are cast forth each eighteen years,” our Magus wrote, “and are acted upon for the eighteen years which follow, at the end of which a new statement appears.” So it is particularly appropriate that, on this night, I announce the final stage of our transition in leadership. One year ago, Peter Gilmore became our High Priest. Tonight, his wife, Peggy Nadramia, is hereby appointed to take her rightful place at his side as High Priestess of the Church of Satan. I will become the Magistra Templi Rex, and maintain my position on the Council of Nine. High Priestess Nadramia, as you read in my Walpurgisnacht greeting last year, is an accomplished and astute woman who doesn’t suffer fools well. She elegantly blends a gracious heart with an iron fist, and has been applying both in her many years of online and in-person interaction with members and media. Together, High Priest Gilmore and High Priestess Nadramia have generated potent magical energy between them as husband and wife, and will now be able to apply that same balance, cooperation and vitality to the Church of Satan.
We have already seen the positive results of the eastward shift in our administration over this past year. Memberships and inquiries are being processed more quickly, our grotto system has been weeded out and strengthened, new Grotto Masters have been approved worldwide, our email contact has broadened, and we are reviewing active applications in order to welcome carefully selected individuals into the core of our dark cabal. Satanists continue to discover this wicked philosophy through our website, our publications, and our dedicated representatives. The new Age of Fire—this age of indulgence, ego, and self-exploration—is well underway, with the Church of Satan as the vanguard. Dramatic social, artistic, political, aesthetic and magical changes throughout the past decades have been triggered by those who have embraced the Devil’s dictums as recorded by Anton LaVey in that unassuming little black book published in 1969. Whether they broadcast their allegiance or not, the results remain…and those who carry out the infernal plan hide in plain sight. So it has always been.
To guide your life by the Nine Satanic Statements, to strive to fulfill your own ego, your own indulgence and to forever seek undefiled wisdom, is a potent brew. Those who are not Satanists cannot see how such a hedonistic philosophy could be practical, with everyone seeking only his own pleasure, his own selfish ends. But we in this sinister alliance know the truth, don’t we? That is precisely why this is such a self-selecting religion. Those who don’t understand Satanism are either repulsed by it, or misapply it to their own detriment or destruction. Those who truly do understand it, and who are attracted to it for all the right reasons, apply the principles responsibly and gain all they desire. It is a sword which destroys those who misuse it and insures victory to those with the courage and depth to wield its power.
This is the religion that constantly reveals itself anew to each of us. Because of the complexity of the Left-Hand Path, even after 28 years as a devout Satanist, I am intrigued by the permutations I create and discover, hypnotized by the siren-song of my own relentless demons. For us, this is the only way to guide our lives—through those twilight whispers from our own condemned, selfish souls. Though the last 4 1/2 years without Dr. LaVey have been difficult, and the pain after his death was wrenching, I would not alter one moment of the past 18 years of my life. What I learned from him and experienced with him in our years together was well worth the tormenting aftermath. I am more determined than ever that the secrets he entrusted to me, the madness and passion we explored shall not be wasted.
When we make significant life-decisions, we try to place ourselves ten years in the future and ask ourselves, “What if I don’t do this? Will I regret it? No matter what happens as a consequence, could I live with myself if I miss this opportunity?” And, as Shana Alexander wrote in her excellent article about Anton LaVey so many years ago, when it’s right, you hear a little “ping” in your head. It doesn’t require the destruction of others; it doesn’t lead to social anarchy and the decay of civilization, this idea of indulgence and ego supreme. On the contrary, the changes we feel destined to make are often advantageous to others of our kind, as well. The pieces mesh together perfectly, as in an intricate watch. Ultimately, Satanists have the long-range good sense to understand we all must contribute to civilization and protect our Earthly resources in the best ways we see fit. It is often the Satanic forces within a society who see most clearly the distasteful sacrifices that must be made to preserve our comforts. On a more personal level, we recognize that to be offensively self-absorbed means to alienate all friends, family and possible business allies—so Lesser Magic comes into play to balance our ego needs. But that’s one of many secrets Those Without will never understand. And it’s just as well we keep them to ourselves. They need their menacing monsters and Puckish imps and reckless adventurers—and we do it so well, whether in jackboots and leather or a jingling fool’s cap. As the Ninth Satanic Statement implies, what would they do without us?
So each of us has his or her assigned roles, shifting kaleidoscopically, as we progress through our lives. I met Anton LaVey on May Day 1984, the day after the previous High Priestess, Diane, walked out of the Black House for good. 1984 was the first Working Year of the Age of Satan. Dr. LaVey and I had our son, Xerxes, in 1993, at the apex of the second Working. Now, the second Working is complete. We enter the third Working guided by the sure hands of our new High Priest and High Priestess, looking to future expansion and connection, utilizing new technologies to actualize ancient goals. The source of the energy we raise and focus remains the same; our dark Frequency remains as constant as polar north. Do not be confused or distracted by those who would dilute our strength. The game remains the same, but the distractions and challenges are multiplied, making it all the easier to dispose of the dross and deadwood (efficiently allowing them to think they are rejecting us) . Choose carefully, listen well to those demons within and never falter. It’s all part of the Devil’s game. On this night of wickedness and remembrance, may you continue to conjure forth as much satisfaction and indulgence in your role as I do in mine.
Magistra Templi Rex