Magus Gilmore in caprine guise, from Scott Cummings' REALM OF SATAN.

Getting My Kicks in Year 66!

Today I reach my double-six birth anniversary—the 24th of May in common era year 2024—and I mark several significant personal milestones in this current calendar year.

As I’d mentioned in my Walpurgisnacht message, two close friends of many decades, both Church of Satan Magisters, finally had to leave the party of life. And, before their passing, another dear friend of mine, the great musicologist Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs, succumbed to chronic heart issues. He is famous for being part of the SPCM team which worked diligently to complete the finale of the Bruckner 9th Symphony via deep analysis of the copious manuscript pages and intelligent and informed speculation towards filling in the gaps in what was, in Bruckner’s thinking, a fully-conceived final movement. Simon Rattle performs and has recorded this splendid realization. But Ben also turned his hand to other incomplete musical efforts. His work (with input from Nicola Samale of SPCM) on Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony makes for a compelling symphonic experience. Ben completes the already fairly finished scherzo, and then employs a movement as the finale which Schubert had used for his score for the ballet “Rosamunde”—it uses the same orchestral array, is in sonata form, and thematically makes sense. It has been recorded in the album SCHUBERT UNFINISHED, by the Concentus Musicus Wien, directed by Stefan Gottfried, where it is numbered as Symphony No. 7, though it is generally better known to most as Symphony No. 8. Click this link to hear the scherzo, and you can find the full album on several streaming services. Ben also did a wonderful completion of Mozart’s famous Requiem, which attempts to rectify the weaknesses of Süssmayer’s contributions to the score, keeping more focused on Eybler’s earlier efforts, with intelligent speculative additions in Mozart’s ecclesiastical style. Ben himself conducted this performance, and I think it provides a fitting requiem for a truly brilliant fellow, who had so much more in progress at the time of his death.

Attending both the Sundance world premiere in January and in February the MoMA Doc Fortnight 2024 documentary festival premiere of Scott Cummings’ nine-years-in-the-making feature film REALM OF SATAN made for truly singular experiences. I head this article with a selfie I took during the filming, wherein I was in the process of being transformed into a goat, using the sort of gradual additive makeup, created and applied by a duo of professional prosthetics artists, much as was done in those Lon Chaney, Jr. Wolfman films. In the finished film, the process is reversed as the goat morphs into me. Scott’s feature is still making the rounds of film festivals globally and will eventually be viewable via streaming and physical media, though not likely in this calendar year.

In early April, the 50th anniversary of my being a public representative of the Church of Satan and its philosophy was reached, and I detail my journey over the decades in this essay: Devil Take the Foremost. It is a potent thought for me, having also reached the 23rd anniversary of becoming High Priest on April 30th, that I have been communicating Satanism to others for longer than the majority of people who currently self-identify as Satanists have been alive. My lifelong odyssey on what one might metaphorically call “Route 66” has been a stirring adventure, and, with Maga Peggy Nadramia at my side throughout this course, it has proven to be profoundly fulfilling. You might want to listen to Nat King Cole’s swanky rendition of this jaunty song as I celebrate attaining 66 in my progress along “Route 66.”

Of course, for any so inclined, I am not averse to receiving gifts, and, as my friend Scott Cummings has called me a true cinephile, I keep up an Amazon wishlist of films (as well as some music), I would enjoy adding to my ever-expanding library of cinematic gems. Of course, I tend to favor darker and macabre explorations of the human condition made by passionate directors from many nations, but the kaiju genre is also close to my heart. For those who have yet to take the plunge, I find 4K to be an excellent format for capturing older films as, when properly scanned and remastered, movies originally shot on film can feel much closer in digital presentation to what one experienced when one used to attending theatrical screenings in darkened cinemas. To me, 4K brings back some additional magic for flat screen home viewing.

As always, I encourage all of you to continue to get your kicks as you use Satanism to enhance your life journeys. I am living proof that such is possible, and I trust my example might serve in some ways as an inspiration!

Joy to the flesh, forever! Shemhamforash!

Hail Satan!

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore