Behemoth Dark Star Gong

The Year of the Gong

In celebration of my 63rd birth anniversary today, I’m posting a new article titled: Bang Your Gong! A Guide to the Use of Gongs in Satanic Ritual.”

This just past Walpurgisnacht—the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Church of Satan and my 20th anniversary of becoming its High Priest—members and dear friends conspired to surprise me with an intimate gathering during which I was presented with a magnificent tam-tam, 40 inches in diameter. A sturdy and elegant stand as well as a collection of mallets accompanied this powerful instrument, which is a sheer delight to play. In my college years I was a percussionist in several ensembles and have long been an aficionado of gongs in all of their forms.

This new piece of writing shares some of what I know about these ancient sound makers, while exploring why we Satanists use them in our rituals. I also offer suggestions for those seeking to add gongs to their own musical, meditational, and ritual practices. At the conclusion are downloadable sound files of the gong used by Magus Anton Szandor LaVey in the ritual chamber of his California Street Black House, as well as of the two gongs here in the ritual chamber of the Witchcraft District Black House. Please feel free to use them in your own workings, if you so desire.

As numerology would have it, 6 + 3 = 9, so this year should be one that brings to me the benefits and focus heralded by this most diabolical of digits. Here’s to all of us having great health, our moving ever closer towards personal fulfillment, and an upwelling of abundant joy in all of our endeavors!

Shemhamforash! Hail Satan! (Bang your gong, fortissimo e con brio!)

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore