The Winter Solstice is again upon we denizens of the Northern Hemisphere here on our beautiful home world. I posit that some satisfaction can be had in feeling at one with the cycling of the seasons. Tonight we can enjoy the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Nasa explains: “It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020.” This is a rare spectacle to glimpse, reminding us of the immensity of time and the vastness of our solar system, and also the value of the uniqueness of ourselves, who can imbue upon this astronomical event such resonant significance.
Some Satanists might feel alienated by aspects of the holiday hubbub, particularly those promoting Christianity, yet heathen trappings have long been the dominant décor. It is fact that the Christians lifted this holiday from the pagans, as Pope Julius I in the mid 300s inserted their pallid, mythical savior into prior earthy traditions which he failed to supplant. Jolly, round, and white-bearded Santa Claus—who has come to signify wish fulfillment—seems inspired by Silenus, tutor of the wine god Dionysus from ancient Greek myths. And his ubiquitous look was conjured in advertisements for Coca-Cola published in 1931, demonstrating American commercialism as a dominant force in this holiday’s celebrations. And let us never forget that the ever-carnal Romans enjoyed their orgiastic Saturnalia at this time of year.
In practice, the Nazarene has little place in most of the general public’s celebrations of this season—and we Satanists like it that way. Who wants to think of that mangy manger-baby on the way to his zombie destiny when it is far more delightful to make merry and honor the wonders of Nature?
I join with those who would revel in marking the Yule holiday season by enjoying the fullness of our lives, even during this time of tribulation. It might surprise some that many Satanists decorate evergreen trees with blazing lights and ornaments that range from the diabolical to icons of what they consider to be stimulating and fun. Here in The Black House, Our tree has a menagerie including dinosaurs, cartoon characters (Bugs Bunny, Sylvester the Cat, the Roadrunner), Dr. Zaius, Pan, Aphrodite, The Minotaur, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Godzilla, Star Trek vessels (The Federation, Klingons, and Romulans are in force) along with a talking tricorder, abstract shapes, cocktail accouterments, Cthulhu, musical instruments, detailed sparkling snowflakes and glass icicles, amongst other family heirloom ornaments. And that Germanic devil Krampus is also included. He has charmed many of us—his purpose to mete out justice is one we consider fundamental—so his imagery has been embraced by our folk with gusto.
From our cozy Victorian lair in the haunted Hudson Valley, Peggy and I bid a “Superlative Solstice!” to Satanists, fellow secularists, and to those around the globe who revere our Earth, who embrace science, reason and the myriad joys that life can offer. As the pandemic rages, we maintain our solitude within The Black House, with the comforting thought that, with several effective vaccines now in play, some abatement of this plague has earnestly begun.
May this be, for all of you, a time for well-considered consciousness and celebration of the preciousness of life! May vitality be yours and, as you can, do make merry, con brio!
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore