The witches sabbat, that ancient and nocturnal rite of the night, a super-sensory feast of the flesh and of the soul, that has held both sorcerer and cowan alike in fascinated awe for centuries. It has been spoken of in various guises and has been a part of myriad traditions of the witch and sorcerer through numerous cultures and various times, always being seen as that terrestrial rite that opens the doorways into the hidden worlds of the Other.
There were many ways by which one might get themselves to the sabbat: trance, unguents and salves that were rubbed into the flesh, certain herbs and mixtures burnt as offerings, and yet, it is my belief that there was and must be already established a certain kind of resonance and disposition that allowed such to affect the phsyiology and psychology of the one who wished to traverse the vast expanses that lay between the worlds of man and of spirit; that very few who actually undertake the initiatory ordeals and the transgressive acts that allowed one to perform this leaving behind of the body was reserved for a special few. I do not mean this to say that certain peoples are barred from such experiences due to some arcane and special right reserved for the elect, but that it seems that it was more of an individual trait that one either was born with or developed through hard work and proper training.
It seems that not all who attend the earthly sabbat, as such, are going to be taken to the astral, or dream't sabbat, but this does not mean that those who attend its earthly rites shall be forsaken; for even they, the less convinced brethren, who come unto this holy and sacred ecstatic revelry shall not be denied at least some small glimpse of the gnostic revelation that is inherent within its design. There is within the signs and gestures, the words and dances, within the very nature of the sabbat itself, a forbidden knowledge that can only be opened by those who partake of its mysteries, whether earthly or spiritual, empyrean or infernal. The sabbat is more than a rite of sexuality and inversion, yet in these too can be found a certain secret widsom. Over long periods of time the sabbat began to act as an interface between dimensions, it was a bridge between the world of the living and the realms of the dead. It was the demarcation of space, wherever it may be, that placed it in-between times, it was about liminality and reversion, a primordial uprising of chaos within the structured aspects of the ordered cosmos, essentially one could say it was about experiencing total freedom unrestrained and no longer fettered by the worlds of man or flesh.
The sabbat was no mere dream however, it was a very real occurrence to those who experienced it and continues to be for those who now and always will seek out its forever gateless garden. It is not a location which one comes to by any normal routes, although there are time honoured traditions and methods of which we might avail ourselves that will help us get there. One is either taken up in the ecstatic flight of the soul, lifted up from the body and set to soaring through the trans-mundane realms, at which some point they simply find themselves there, or they are not.
However, it must be said that hard work counts for much in this endeavour and that to knock on the non-existent door will afford one much if their soul, desire, will, and belief, be true. There is a deep and emotional connection that binds one to this astral solidarity, it is the spiritual heredity that marks one as being accepted unto this twilight rite that exists between all of the worlds and yet occupies none. It is this mark, this desire, that is in essence the key that opens the portals between this world and the next, it is a voiceless voice, a motionless movement, a certain leap of consciousness, that turns the invisible key that shall allow this conclave of delight and terror to be entered. It is not by any direct route that one comes unto this ecstatic revelry, for the sabbat occupies a hidden dimension outside of space and time and must be viewed as subsisting within a locality that is trans-mundane that exceeds and overthrows that logic and reason of waking reality.
It is written clearly, in old church records, historical accounts, etc, etc, that the sabbat was ruled over by the Devil, Old Scratch, Baphomet, as he was seen as the Master of the Witches. It is him that we see in the images of the witches sabbat, always seated in some throne above his congregation, or perhaps in the centre of a circle of witches, or perhaps on some meadow at night leading his devotees in some dance; he was in a manner of speaking the doorway through which they would slip into the other-side. This might be a strange way of looking at it, but one must take into account the concept that the Devil was more than just a being, he also typified a certain type of power, a power of reversion, of utter chaos and wilderness, total freedom from the world of man. He was also seen as the power of Death and yet he was not just Death, but the embodiment of the realms of the dead as well. His name as the Man-in-Black was meant to signify that he was also the embodiment and living representation of the very Void itself. One could perhaps see him fulfilling the same function as Legba in Voudou, or Elleggua in Santeria, or even St. Peter in the Catholicism, more than just a being he was the very bridge between the worlds, the light in the darkness that we sought to illuminate the expansive vistas of the soul.
The God of the Sabbat, Baphomet, so-called, was and is the gateway unto the Void, the vast and infinite Body of the Eternal Goddess that lies behind and beyond the ephemeral illusory manifestation of the cosmos, this mighty and dreadful lord occupies a transitional and liminal state of being outside of the boundaries of the conditional and constrained existence as humans bound to the flesh. As the god of the cross'd-roads he became a manifestation of the world tree that issued forth from the vulvic portal of the eternal now, that gateway that leads both to and from the other-side; it is through this interstitial gateway that a dream door opens out into the immense and infinite realms of soul and spirit. Baphomet is the All in One, the One in All, Male and Female, Beast and Man, Darkness and Light, the perfection of the totality of being and non-being; a pure and pristine model of the exceptional and perfectly desired schema of both earthly and spiritual evolution.
There exists within all facets of the existent, within every particle of the cosmos, a primal seed that burns with the fire of the beginning. It is this primordial state of being which all things have and hold as their base cause, that we seek to return to when we enter the domain of the sabbat. It is the realm of upheaval, the route of misrule, the road of chaos, that leads to the world of light. It is not by mere chance that these pathways have come into being. There was and still is, within the very heart of man, a very real need for one to be able to turn back, to leap forth and return to the original chaotic and non-human dimensions of the worlds that existed before the world of man. We seek that eternal and infinite womb of all creation, it is the way of return to that which we issued forth from.
In a world where we have been forced into a life of routine and trapped within the cells of our minds through the conventional, we have sought to create a method of experiencing that which is truly called life. The sabbat does this, it allows us to escape that which has become our death, not the death of bodies, but the death of feeling, of living. That ancient and primaeval state of being which burst forth in the creation of the cosmos is still there, a vast and eternal mirror of darkness, reflecting upon itself a trillion forms of being, and it is by confronting this immense and annihilating mirror of the void that we come to understand that we too are simply reflections cast upon the darkness.
© Patrick J. Larabee