On Friday 12th October 2012, 3 couples met in a lodge near to Boleskin House on the shores of Loch Ness for the first KIA retreat. The venue had superb views of the Loch, self catering facilities and an outdoor hot-tub. Of the 6 persons attending, 5 were actively interested in magic whilst the 6th attendee got on with other things in another room during the time when we performed rituals of any kind. On arrival we did make the small walk to the falls of Foyers, which was flowing far stronger than I’d ever seen it before, so much so that it appeared to be raining upwards.
Originally we had planned to open the event with a Gnostic Mass, but it became apparent that even the simplified version Lolita was preparing had too many complex parts for participants to learn in advance for a small group that hadn’t worked together before. Maybe next time.
Mass of Baphomet
Our actual opening ritual consisted of a Mass of Baphomet. This took the form of a 5 stage ritual inspired by the ‘Aeonic Litany’ of Pete Carroll. As the only participant to have even been in a Baphomet rite before, I was to play the horse or invokee.
In stage 1 all 5 participants danced in a circle beating on drums and shaking rattles, raising the energy of the animating life force of the planet. At the climax, I (as Baphomet’s horse) proclaimed the first line of the litany, ‘In the first Aeon, I was the great spirit’.
This signalled the start of the second stage where the other four danced about me, still with drums and rattles but chanting names of nature deities such as ‘an’, ‘Gaia’ etc. I danced on the balls of my feet to imitate the dance of a being with hoofed legs as I felt the possession grow. This stage culminated in the second line of the litany, ‘In the second aeon, I was the all creator, all destroyer, Pangenitor, Panphage.’
This was followed by the third phase. Here participants called on the names of Devils, such as ‘Satan’, ‘Lucifer’, ‘Lillith’ etc, but if I approached them too close they would ward me off with holy signs and gestures. At the climax of this stage I spoke the third line of the litany ‘In the third aeon, humanity knew me as the dark one, the Devil’.
In the fourth stage I was met with silence as participants tried to avoid eye contact with me. This resulted in the forth line of the litany, ‘In the forth aeon, humanity knew me not, for I was occult, the hidden one’.
In the fifth stage, participants chanted names related to Baphomet as the opener of ways, including related openers of the ways from other cultures, such as Ganesha and Legba, and also older forms of the name Baphomet such as Behemoth, whilst making horned gestures towards me. Finally, in full possession I proclaimed the final lines of the litany, ‘In this new aeon, I come before you as Baphomet, the god before all gods, who shall endure till the end of the Earth’.
In possession Baphomet charged the sacrament that was prepared in a drinking horn, with three loud animalistic calls into it, before taking a drink and passing it on. Baphomet declared the door open and soon after I felt my normal conciousness returning. I could hold the possession no longer, and as Baphomet decided to depart I felt my body collapsing into a sofa from exhaustion. As I recovered I stood up and thought to declare myself as Anton once again so as to remove doubt.
We continued to pass around the drinking horn until all sacrament was gone. No more rituals were performed Friday night, but we felt the doorway to open for the rest of the weekend. Further accounts to follow…
 Taking a leaf out of Tai Chi, where those that practise together say they ‘play’ Tai Chi together, we talked about playing magic together, and magical playings, rather than working magic together and magical workings. We do this not to detract from the serious intent of the workings so much as to emphasise the importance of pleasure, and to prevent us taking things too seriously. If a small error is made during a magical play, we need not stress over it. Stressing over such trivialities can lead to ruining a ritual more than the initial error itself. We do not mean to imply that the ritual was ‘just an act’ like a theatrical play.