Day 3 of YACHT‘s guest-blogging. On Day 1, the band delved into the high-style of Freemason Fashion Week. After revealing Cults You Didn’t Know Were Cults yesterday, YACHT’s Jona and Claire have prepared their Five Favorite Secret Cult Rituals for today.
Time was, you could start a cult, pump it full of esoteric rituals and hush-hush regalia, and — barring any squealers — keep it totally secret. In this day and age, however, secret rituals are secret no more. The cumulative effect of conspiracy theorists, surreptitious camcorder-toters, and YouTube self-publishing has pierced almost all the veils of obfuscation, and we can now peer into the darkness. To boot, the Internet has brought us not only the top-secret rituals, but also those that are simply far-flung, from tribal hero’s trials to pagan circles. Here, we expose our own favorite human rituals.
01 The Eucharist
Sure, this ritual is no secret, but it’s as complex and arcane as the best of them, from the transubstatiated blood-eating to the entire notion of “holy communion.” And it’s not so far from pagan, after all; it’s suggested that Christian notions of eating and drinking the “flesh” and “blood” of Jesus were influenced by the practices of the ancient mystery cult of Dionysus.
02 Initiation Into the Temple of the Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is a magical order founded in Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It touted among its members such luminaries as Bram Stoker and William Butler Yeats (not to mention, of course, the “Great Beast” himself, Aleister Crowley), and has been the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism. It still exists, in several incarnations, if you want to join. Golden Dawn rituals include pentagrams, masks, and cloaks.
03 The Master Mason Degree
Masonic rituals are inordinately complex, and, like all great productions, require outfits. They also require, at almost every step along the way, secret passwords. To achieve the degree of Master Mason, the password is…”tubalcain.” You didn’t hear it from us.
04 The Gnostic Mass
The great occultist Aleister Crowley wrote The Gnostic Mass, which is practiced by Gnostic churches like the Ordo Templis Orientis. The ceremony consists of five officers: a priest, a priestess, a deacon, and two acolytes, called “children.” The end of the ritual culminates in the consummation of a pagan Eucharist — a goblet of wine and the host a “Cake of Light” — after which the congregant proclaims “There is no part of me that is not of the gods!” Yeah!
05 The Coffee
Like Scientologists without their Tom Cruise, we are ritually and symbolically nothing without our coffee.