Author: Marius Omnes
From late Latin daemonium “evil spirit,” borrowed from Greek daimónion “evil spirit,” earlier “divine power, inferior divine being,” derivative of daímōn “divinity, divine power, individual destiny” (with -ium probably to be read as Latin -ium or Greek -ion, suffixes of place) [thanks @ merriam-webster]
Pandemonium is a holiday in Charismatic Satanism intended to venerate the indulgence of life. It is roughly timed to coincide with the Carnival/Mardi Gras Season when much of the world, albeit Catholic, are in celebration as well.
Some may ask–why not just call it Mardi Gras or celebrate that holiday?
Carnival/Mardi Gras is a Catholic festival leading up to Lent which is when the faithful are to be as penitent and self-sacrificing as their Christ.
The Crossroads Assembly is not a congregation of Satanists that seeks to ape the trappings of Christendom. Being nontheistic in our practice, we feel the desire to indulge in holidays so as to mark the passing of the year and elevate the principles and aspirations of our philosophy and lives. This holiday aims to exalt in the absurdity of existence and reaffirm our zeal for life in the chaos of the mundane.
As Satanists/followers of the left-hand path, we are not impeded by outdated morality as dictated by an imagined deity. In fact, one reason we are reviled by those in many religious circles is that we are free as the goat of the field to live and do as we please. For us, Mardi Gras is every day. To the practitioner of an ascetic religion, such a notion is galling.
The early Christian church knew that they could not keep the whole of the population wrapped up in piety and prayer, so they allowed for former festivals to continue, reimagined under a church-approved name. As a side note, it was due to this allowance for the faithful to occasionally blow off some metaphoric steam, that several Protestant sects despised the Catholics. We know some of them as Puritans and early settlers of the United States. Even to this day, many Protestant sects consider Catholics to be occultic and pagan due to their proclivities and aesthetics.
So why not celebrate Mardi Gras… to that we say please, do! It is not as if anyone is checking to make sure that you are doing so for purely religious reasons. Still, with all of this, The Crossroads Assembly felt that we could take this idea and expand upon it from a Satanic perspective… and the best part is that we can enjoy this mindset every day, be it in a large or small way.
We include the trappings of Mardi Gras while adding games to the revels, the crowning of demonic royalty for a day, and the opportunity to create your own ritual. Mardi Gras helps to set the tone and feel of living for the moment. The experiential practice of creating your own ritual celebrates the fun and intelligence in the congregation, and together we can cast off the formality of high ritual and indulge in the expression of self at this time of misrule.
What about Lent?
The Crossroads Assembly finds the intention and purpose of the Christian Lenten season to be anathema to Satanism! In modern-day America, a country replete with convenience, one must recognize that a weeks-long festival of abstinence and self-imposed sacrifice is often a game of pretend for some followers of Christ to feel as if they’re mimicking the suffering of their savior. On the Protestant side, many reject the vibrance of Carnival but still gleefully wallow in the opportunity to show off their sanctimonious self-imposed inconvenience to then still trump it up as “sacrifice.”
One of the joys of being a Satanist is that when the rest of the world trudges to their cathedrals to confess their excesses from 12th Night up to Ash Wednesday, we can continue to live exuberantly and with zeal each day. While they wear their smudged crosses upon their foreheads as a showy sign of their repentance, we boldly wear a smile for we know that there may be no tomorrow.
I find it offensive that like their Puritanical brethren, Catholics would bother to make such a spectacle of their subservience and supposed regret for the drunken revelry of a few hours earlier, all the while knowing that should they live so long, that they will do it all over again.
As Satanists we are in charge of our lives. We should ever be informed and attempt to address our lives as we see fit. If we find that some action does not benefit us, then it is our prerogative to alter that action. Simply because we are Satanists and much is afforded us, does not mean that we are to live in blind excess and overindulgence. We can take the time to revel, enjoy it in the moment, acknowledge any regrets afterwards, and ultimately live free from the idea of any divine guilt or retribution for those excesses. The only caveat that I would offer is that one’s excesses should not impact others who are not willing to participate. As a Satanist you are aware (or should be) of the consequences of your actions. Remember, caveat emptor.