Religion News Service: Witchcraft Becomes a Political Stance — and a Booming Business

A very interesting article. It does my heart good to see that Paganism and Witchcraft are finally getting some more respectable media coverage these days.

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Introduction: The LV-426 Tradition

The following is an article about my particular religious tradition—the LV-426 Tradition—and what it’s all about. I’ve also posted the article in full to the Introduction section of my main website.

There are three other Setians with whom I’ve been privileged to work some truly life-changing magic over the years. These individuals know who they are, but out of respect for their privacy, I will only identify them here as Blackwyn, the Tonester, and Sister Bean. To walk with Set is a solitary path, even when you’re part of a group, and not everyone in my circle will always agree with each other on everything. But the point isn’t that we always believe or practice the same things. The point is that we are each drawn to Set in our own ways and for our own reasons; that we’ve crafted a number of effective rituals and spells together; and that we’ve all witnessed the same eerie results these procedures can yield. Years have passed since we first declared ourselves a coven back in 2003; we’re spread far apart from each other now, living in our own areas and focusing on our own priorities. But even if we never meet in person to hold another ritual together again, we will always be connected with each other somehow.

That “somehow” is Set.

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CNN: Kansas Judge Calls Teen Victims in Sex Abuse Case the ‘Aggressors’

No wonder so many women never come forward to tell their stories of sexual assault and abuse. Does Leavenworth County District Judge Michael Gibbens honestly expect us to believe a couple of 14-year-old girls are really the “aggressors” in this situation? Does he expect us to agree that Raymond Soden—the 67-year-old man who offered money to these girls in exchange for some nude photos of themselves—is the “real victim” here?

Granted, Soden appears to be physically and mentally impaired, lacking a “substantial capacity for judgment” according to the court transcript. I’m assuming this is why his sentence was shortened from the customary 14 years and eight months to a mere five years and 10 months. When I first read this, I assumed that perhaps Soden didn’t fully understand what he was doing at the time; yet the transcript indicates he has admitted to knowing the girls were minors when he first solicited them for sex. Besides, being ignorant of a law is really no excuse for breaking it, so I’m not feeling very sympathetic here. Rather, I am mystified as to why this judge seems to think we all need to have a pity party for Soden, and why he thought it was appropriate to shame and humiliate the man’s victims in court.

Children do all kinds of things they know they shouldn’t do. Name me a single town in all the U.S. where there are absolutely no teenage minors who smoke, drink, or have unsafe sex, and I’ll make a video of myself eating my own shorts. When a minor gets caught doing either of these things, what do you think happens? Do the cops arrest them and throw them in jail? Does the judge throw the book at them and send them to prison? No—they might be disciplined in some way, but not normally by the criminal justice system. Extrapolating from this, it is pure folly to treat the girls in this situation any differently. Did they know they were doing something bad and potentially dangerous? Perhaps—but then again, so does the kid who sniffs glue to get high in art class. The point is not whether kids know that what they’re doing is harmful; the point is that many of them purposely engage in such high-risk behaviors because:

  • They feel neglected and desire attention.
  • They’re responding to peer pressure.
  • They’re testing the limits of adult authority.
  • They can’t control their emotions.
  • They have needs that aren’t being met.
  • They want to feel like adults.
  • They have underlying mental health issues.

And the list goes on. Why did these girls interact with Raymond Soden in the first place? It could be for either of these reasons, or perhaps more than one. Perhaps their parents don’t pay enough attention to them, or perhaps one of their peers bullied them into it. Perhaps one or both of them thinks they actually have feelings for this man. Whatever the case may be, they clearly didn’t know what they were doing. If a minor solicits an adult for sex, the responsibility to defuse the situation rests entirely with the adult. So Judge Gibbens’ statement that these girls are “partially at fault” for what happened is complete horseshit. One wonders if he would feel the same way about this matter if the girls had been boys, or if it had been a daughter of his own. In any case, here’s praying for the prosecutors in their attempt to appeal Judge Gibbens’ decision, and here’s praying the girls will get past this situation to lead healthy adult lives.

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“Praise the Red Lord” (An LV-426 Prayer to Set)

This is a recording of myself reciting one of my favorite prayers to Set. A copy of this video has also been embedded into my article, Praise the Red Lord. The litany for this prayer is included below for anyone who might wish to follow along.

Music: “Triptych: III. Winter (Requiem, Chapter Three: Finale)” by Celtic Frost, from their 2006 album, Monotheist. (Used without permission.)

O Dazzling One,

Great of Strength,

Lord of the Red Lands!

The rest of the world

May curse Your names,

But I give You praise,

For I know that nothing,

Not even the Creator,

Can exist without You,

Save for the accursed Serpent.

Though You are reviled,

You carry the weight of all worlds

Upon Your shoulders,

And You have never once failed

To do Your duty.

Truly, there is no other God

Who deserves as much praise

Or sympathy as You,

For Your blessings

Are never contingent upon

Your acceptance by anyone.

Know then, Great SET,

That when I praise You,

I do so simply because I love You,

Not from fear of punishment

Or desire for reward.

When I am a husband to the widow,

When I am a father to the orphan,

I dedicate my service to You,

That none may ever say,

“Nothing good ever came from Him.”

Let it be known that You

Are my greatest inspiration

To be noble and true,

And so shall I swear to all people

Until You beckon me to Your desert

Beyond the Great Bear.

My Prince, reach down

With Your mighty red hand

And straighten my spine,

That I may face the Serpent

And withstand its evil gaze.

Sharpen my eyes,

That I may discern the Serpent

When moral clarity is absent.

Open my mouth,

That I may utter great spells

To drive the Serpent

Back into darkness.

I will stand by You in this world

And the next;

I will offer You praises

Until the end of my days

And beyond.

I love You and worship You

From the bottom of my heart,

And I hope and I pray

That I make You proud somehow.

All honor and praise upon You,

Most holy Lord SET!

So mote it be!

An LV-426 Standard Invocation to Set

Happy Friday—or as we say to each other in the LV-426 Tradition, Happy Sabbath! Here is a recording of myself reciting one of the standard invocations to Set that we use in our congregation. (This video has also been added to my article, Seven Steps For a Setian Ritual.) The litany for this invocation is included below.

Music: “Stevie’s Lighthouse” by John Carpenter, from his 1980 film score for The Fog. (Used without permission.)

I call upon the dreaded Sovereign of the sky!

Mighty TYPHON, from behind the Bull’s Thigh!

You who make the thundering winds to cry!

You who make the trembling earth to sigh!

You who make OSORONNOPHRIS to die!

Look upon me with Your fathomless Eye,

And greet me as Your friend and ally!







Praying for the “Unmournable” Akhu

During the weekend of January 18, my friend Smarmy the Kemetic Pagan coordinated a joint ritual across the nation to Set, in which all participants would say prayers or make offerings to Big Red on behalf of the “Unmournable Akhu.” These are the spirits of innocent people who were marginalized in life and who remain vilified in death for unjust reasons—people like the desperate migrants who have passed away while making the dangerous trip to the U.S. Southern Border; the young black men who have been senselessly martyred by the police in our streets; and all the people who continue to be hanged or burned for witchcraft in various countries outside the U.S. You can read more about Smarmy’s event here, but I thought this was an absolutely terrific idea, and I decided to participate in my own way.

My idea was to tape record myself reciting the incantations for this service, and then post it up here for anyone who might be interested. Unfortunately, some sections of the original recording did not turn out well enough for me to feel comfortable publicizing the entire thing, so I will try recording the service again this weekend. However, the sections in which I (1) invoke Set and (2) tell Him what He means to me seem to have turned out well enough. So I decided to make those sections into separate recordings that people can listen to without having to sit through the entire thing. In just a few moments, I will post these two videos in quick succession as a treat for anyone who might like to hear what my services sound like.

Later this weekend, I will re-record my prayer for the Unmournable Akhu, and I expect to throw it up here sometime early next week.

Sermon: Set and the Greek Typhon: Are They the Same?

The name Typhon originally belonged to a Titan in Greek mythology who appears as a giant with a hundred serpents for his heads and legs. The Titans were primordial beings who existed before the Olympians (Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, etc.) and who were ruled by a god named Kronos. After Zeus dethroned Kronos and took control over the universe, Typhon led the Titans to war against the Olympians. But Zeus overpowered him in battle and buried him alive beneath the Earth, from whence he now sends lava and volcanic eruptions. Typhon’s mate is the gruesome snake-woman Ekhidna, with whom He sired such terrible chaos monsters as Cerberus and the Chimaera. So far, I haven’t seen any evidence that the Greeks ever worshiped Typhon (though if anyone out there is aware of such evidence, please let me know). It would seem that he was only ever worshiped against, much like Apep in Egyptian religion.

Yet the name Typhon also became strongly associated the Egyptian Set after the New Kingdom fell to foreign invaders during the 8th century BCE…

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