Baphomet Ritual

Reprinted from "Hermaphrodeities" (Buy at Amazon)

This ritual was developed at an SM play party. It may take a long time, and everyone needs to be thoroughly briefed well ahead of time in order to make it work properly. We did not demand that everyone who participated take a turn in the center of the circle, as there is a perfectly acceptable role for people who want to applaud, cheer, drum, shake rattles, or whatever.

You Will Need

1. A safe, secure space where no intruders can interrupt and that is comfortable for everyone to have a good deal of room in. (Some people's fetishes take up space.)

2. Items for the four directions of the room. These can come from your imagination. We placed a whip and a lacy fan in the East as symbols of Air, a candle and a pair of high heels in the South as symbols of Fire, a vibrating "yoni" and a glass cup filled with lube in the West as symbols of Water, and a collection of dildoes wreathed with leaves in the North as symbols of Earth. Everyone should take part in decorating these "altars", contributing whatever it is they feel might be appropriate.

3. One bowl of M&Ms or other small candies.

4. Music, drums, rattles, noisemakers, things to bang on, etc.

The rest is provided by the people in the ritual. Ask everyone to think of some activity that turns them on and that they don't feel is exactly socially acceptable. they can bring props to demonstrate activities, or just speak about them.

Four people are chosen to delineate the circle by acknowledging the four directions, and create sacred space. Then the priest/esses step up. In our ritual, Baphomet was invoked by a butch dyke leather top who wore a horned mask, a large phallus on a furred, tailed harness, and fur leggings that ended in leather "hooves". S/he carried a riding crop in hir hand. Although the individual who invokes Baphonet does not need to have such an elaborate costume, they should at least have breasts and double genitalia (none of which need to be made of flesh), and a commanding, confident attitude. The other priest/ess played Babalon, the Sacred Whore. Babalon should present as "femme" and wear red; anything else is up to the priest/ess performing the role. The pair do represent a kind of "butch-femme" paradigm, but the actual sexes of the individuals can be whatever they like within those borders. Our Babalon was a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual who wore scarlet belly dancing gear.

The Ritual

Baphomet recites the "Hymn to Baphomet". Then Babalon says the following:

    "The body's truth lies in the rivers of energy
            that rise up from our roots,
        and this (takes hold of genitals) is our roots.
    We know our own truth from these messages,
        for they are truly come from the God/desses of love
            using our own flesh to speak to us.
    And anything that causes the rivers of energy
        to rise with joy and ecstasy
            is sacred, no matter what it is,
                no matter what anyone may say.
    For all acts of love and pleasure
        are Our rituals."

One at a time, each person gets up and has the center of the circle to themselves. When we did this, some people spoke about their fetishes (often telling salacious stories or reading hot poetry), some read aloud erotica, some showed off their fetish gear in a fashion show, and some performed theirs on the spot, alone or with help. The most important part of this ritual, however, is this: After presenting their sacred perversion, each should then speak about what it has taught them about themselves and the world. For example, cross-dressers might speak about what playing with gender has done for the way they see men and women, SM player might recount what they have learned about power and altered states, etc.

The tone of this ritual is celebratory, and it must be completely nonjudgmental. Even if someone talks about a fetish that they cannot perform because it might be harmful or unsafe to themselves or someone else, and therefore it must be kept in fantasy only, their courage and self-discipline must be applauded and appreciated. Lots of clapping, cheering, drumming, and music playing during performances is encouraged. Those who take part should be made to feel proud of themselves, not shameful in any way. Do not challenge or question anyone's preferences and what they have or have not learned.

As the final part of the ritual, each person goes up to the bowl of candy, which should be in front of wherever Baphomet and Babalon are enthroned. Each person selects a piece of candy and names it with a judgmental attitude that they are better off without, e.g. "I thought that ________ was terrible and that the people who did it were all sick, but I see now that this isn't the case at all," or "I've been ashamed of myself for liking ________, but now I refuse to carry that shame any longer." They then present the candy as an offering to Baphomet and Babalon, who eat it and promise to excrete the "bad attitude" transformed into something else.

Sacred space is opened, and all feast, make merry, continue to celebrate their perversions, or whatever.