One of the hardest things I’ve ever done, was also one of the most necessary. This operation … this working … is about burning off the old, to embrace the new. Such is always a challenge. We lose friends, some family and find ourselves alone, perhaps for the first time.
In my studies of the Left Hand Path, there is a common theme among many different variations of the path. This one common theme is in the removal of the Old Ways. Whatever the “old ways” is, it needs to be removed so that one can see clearly without the past clouding the present.
What We Remove
In the Black Flame Immersion podcast, this theme comes up as the Baptismal Removal. Specific to that, one creates a ritual to remove the past belief systems from influencing their present thoughts. As the host of The Black Flame Immersion would say, it’s the removal of the parasites of past beliefs.
In Don Webb’s Temple of Set book, “Uncle Setnakts Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path,” he states on page 49 of the Grand Initiation that the icons of the past beliefs are destroyed. Previously he describes what these icons are… and they tend to be whatever influenced the person from the past. A past Christian would use a Bible for an icon, a past Scientologist may use Dianetics, or an atheist might use some atheist magazine.
Don Webb’s actual working on this icon is below:
“Look at the objects of past belief systems. Say the following words and destroy them in whatever manner is emotionally satisfying. Feel free to add more words if so moved.”
“‘Fetters from my previous life, you pulled me apart, chaining parts of me to your wretchedness, and denying my unity. But at the moment of my Awakening I Know you have no power over me. The energy I gave you, I now pull back from the world, as your from [I think it should read ‘Form’] is destroyed.'”Webb, Don. pg. 49
Why We Remove It
Without removing these past influences, we are always seeing the world through the nature of what we took upon ourselves from our past. In most cases this is going to be the Abrahamic influence (at least in America.)
If this isn’t done, the initiate will have a hard time in this path as the THIS path (as opposed to the right hand path variations) is about individuality and the lack of submitting to another being or god (in the form of worship.)
Often the self is worshiped, to the point of Apotheosis for some… For others on the left hand path, they might not be seeking godhood, but they are seeking individuality – and in that state beyond death, they exist not as a group, or a subservant set of followers, but as isolate.
To transform to this state of mind will be hindered if the fetters of the past are holding and filtering out our present.
This was a struggle, the moment I heard about it. One doesn’t need to deface a book or icon, however it is commonly done. This act isn’t something of a thoughtless act of animosity. If one does choose to deface/destroy an object representing a past belief, it must be felt. It should (IMO) be hard to do. For example, I thought “How could I burn a Bible.” But as I asked myself the question I knew my resistance was a strong indication of the need to do it. I knew there was too much a bond to the past.
Part of my problem with the issue was that I grew up in a home where some of my family were religious fanatics that burned books. I rejected that notion, and yet here again I was looking at defacing or burning a book.
There is a key difference, I learned. A book burner is burning the ideology. The Left Hand Path operation/ritual that uses an icon for destruction (which isn’t necessary) does so to symbolically remove it through the desecration.
A greater internal struggle was over the dependance of “the other.” Being in harmony with christianity (or any right hand path) gives a sense of community, a sense of friendship. You feel that regardless of how orthodox christians might view you, you feel you are going to be ‘at one’ with god, upon the deathbed… at least that’s how I thought.
Then there is the friends and family who are believers in the old path. My wife and kids are not hardcore christians. They are liberal christians… christians who don’t condemn others, and have a generic view of God… leaving that paradigm is very hard, because I love them so much. My 7 year old son, just after I did this working, brought up a conversation of ‘heaven,’ saying, “no matter who we are, we’ll all be together in heaven.” Feeling that, is hard.
This work is very isolating. But it’s the cost of seeking one’s true self.
Curious about the LHP, I would engage various members or watch their posts, to get an idea of their philosophies and behaviors. Don Webb graciously answered some of my questions, as did the host of Black Flame Immersion. Both gave me great advice on this topic… advice that wasn’t static or cold… but advice that resonated from their being.
What I noticed about Don’s online presence, is that he would post about his positions on social issues and a wave of angst would come up against him. I wrote him privately about it… “How do you do it,” I asked. “It would upset me so much if people reacted like that to me.”
His advice was genuine and pure. He told me a lot, that I won’t go into here, but one piece that was important was that he said he can use the energy of others for his own work.
At first I didn’t understand that. Then… life opened a proverbial gate and threw that gate came evangelicals. They came in the form of commenters of pagan YouTube videos… or occult Facebook pages. I never saw this behavior to this degree before. It was like a filter was rolled back and I saw what was always there, but never in my scope. In anger I fought it. One by one I countered them with verses from their own bible… But the waves of Christians couldn’t be stopped or even slowed down. I grew so angry over it.
My cognition then was to use this anger of the Christian evangelical as the fuel for my resolve!
I was told that the outer things we go through are there to help us discover the subtle or even secret things that have been building up. We all have it. It’s our past.
This stuff was building up. Every day driving to work, I started thinking about my abusive brother who made me burn books… who saw “demons in books, furniture” and the like. I thought of his wife and how she acted in weird ways during the satanic panic years.
When my racist family verbally attacked me for marrying my first wife (who was African American), I never spoke up… and those latent feelings were now rising up. All those unresolved issues.
Initially I planned to do the Grand Initiation of Don Webb… his work is a 50 day ritual that has a lot of moving parts. It would require a lot of planning.
Looking back at the Black Flame Immersion, I decided to think of this as my own personal project.
I walked into my meditation space and hadn’t thought of doing this, but immediately I was filled with the fire of doing this. I had a bible from my past… something I was given as a child. This would signify the influence of christianity over my life since childhood.
Pacing in the room, I addressed all spiritual beings and entities that have brought me thus far. This was my audience, whether real or imagined. I also addressed the Prince of Darkness as Set, as a witness towards my individual gnosis.
I turned to a passage in the old testament that was offensive… I tore the page out, then into pieces, burning them. Another passage, tearing it out, again burning the pieces. This process continued… Then something I was reading was truly offensive in Leviticus and I spat into the pages…
Turning to the new testament, I went to hebrews and tore out offensive pages… 2nd Thesalonians and tore something offensive… burning them.
The last passage I burned was from Ephesians 6:5 – “slaves obey your masters…”
“I will be NO SLAVE,” I proclaimed to the invisible audience.
As I did the above, I pulled in all that energy I had put into the path through my youth and adulthood. I work with feeling a lot in magic, so this was very important to me.
In short, I used some of Don Webb’s ideas, to get my own working going… and I ended it with a wax seal… put upon the bible’s cover… this, to me, signified my removal of the abrahamic influence.