The Scarlet Letter
Volume II, Number 4 | May 1995
Column: Smoking Dog Project
Feasts of the Times
by Fr. Pnesomauma
The Feast of the Stars is part of the effort of the Smoking Dog project to develop communal thelemic rituals of celebration for the "cross-quarters" of the solar year. Thelema already provides symbolic acknowledgement of the solar maxima (solstices and equinoxes). The number of feasts can be doubled by including the midpoints between those dates, when the Sun is is the second decan of each of the fixed signs of the Zodiac. These holidays have traditionally been recognized by Christianity as a way of preempting their celebration by pagans. This Smoking Dog Project enterprise is designed to provide Thelemites with symbolic resources to celebrate these occasions in terms of our own mythic environment.
The following chart shows the "cross-quarters" dates and their titles in various religions.
Last year (i.e. IVii E.N.), the Smoking Dog Project organized a Feast of the Stars for Scarlet Woman Camp and guests. The experimental liturgy used for the event is reproduced on the opposite page.
Sol in the Succedent Decan of Aquarius
A central altar is decorated in violet and white. It is set with The
Book of the Law, a lit censer. and a single candle burning on it. Three officers
The Imperalor announces the ritual and asks the participants to assemble in a circle around the altar.
The Cancellarius sounds the bell once and then banishes with rituals of the pentagram and hexagram.
The Cancellarius sounds the battery: 4444.
Imperator: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
All: Love is the law, love under will.
The Imperator passes around a container which holds paper slips, each of which bears a different one of the 169 Cries of Adoration of God from Liber 963 (The Treasure-house of Images), and requests each participant to take one and keep it. As this process is occuring, musicians begin to play, and the Imperator places incense on the censer. (The Cancellarius may prompt the musicians at various points of the ritual.)
When everyone has a slip, the Cancellarius sounds the battery: 1-333
The Praemonstrator stands at the altar and reads Liber Tzaddi, verses 0 through 32, from the Holy Books of Thelema. As this is done, the Imperator lights his or her candle from the candle on the altar, and then brings the flame around to light the candles of all assembled. A musician may accompany the reading.
The Cancellarius sounds the battery: 22-22
Each participant, beginning with the Cancellarius, then the Imperator, then deosil around the group, reads the Cry of Adoration that he or she has drawn. The tune indicated in Diary of a Drug Fiend may be used, if desired. Musicians may accompany the readings.
The Cancellarius sounds the battery: 333-1
The Praemonstrator reads the remainder of Liber Tzaddi, verses 33 through 44. There should be no accompaniment.
The Cancellarius sounds the battery: 4444
Imperator: Every man and every woman is a star.
The Cancellarius sounds the battery: 333-5555-333
Music, dance, song, the reading of poetry, and the drinking of wine follow.