This is a post that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I have wanted to address the concept of Deific Masks, and in a broader sense what to do with the Deity pages that I have. This is a concept drawn from the literature of the Luciferian occultist Michael W. Ford, and is thus very associated with the Luciferian belief system as defined by both Ford and Jeremy Crow.
In page 215 of Adversarial Light: Magick of the Nephilim, the term Deific Mask is explained as follows:
Outside our perceptions of space and time – beyond our concepts of cohesion and sequence – exist vast stirrings of raw power. This power may be canopied under the name of Primordial Darkness. It is cohesive yet it is oblivious to human concepts of individual sovereignty or patronage. It is multiplicitous. No macrocosmic sense of duality or contrast may be found – such power is endless, eternal and unbound.
Within this canopy of Primal Darkness is constant-shuffling, boiling chaos. Systems and forms both emerge and collapse within it. Collapse denotes the lack of a human context as a means to measure or discern its attributes. Emergence denotes at least some synergy with human perception. This synergy can be named as a deity.
Emergence in the context of ritual requires the Initiate to identify and sanctify those parts of the self corresponding with the deity or deities selected. This is a deific mask and does not hold specific dedication to outer reality being per se. This is up to self-determined association.
A couple of pages into the same book, Ford also establishes five categories of Deific Masks defined by specific attributes associated with the psyche.
- Anterior: Associated with subconscious or unconscious, and the atavistic source of human being in Ford’s terms. Symbolized by the serpent or the dragon. It is related to the most base and primal instincts responsible for Man’s survival, and the concept of the abyss. Leviathan, Apep (or Apophis-Set) and Ahriman are given as examples.
- Interior: Demonic Deific Masks. Related to the Id, to “inappropriate” desires that are interpreted by the Super Ego as the demons you and I know and love (for example, the demons found in medieval artworks). Associated with compulsion, curses, lust workings etc, as well as Goetic spirits. Lucifuge Rofocale and Glasya-Labolas are given as examples.
- Exterior: Angelic Deific Masks. These are associated with the Super Ego and are viewed as inspiring self-improvement . Anael and Gadreel (two of the Grigori angels) are given as examples, as well as, strangely enough (for me at least) Belial (who I would’ve pegged as more of a demonic entity) and Agares (another Goetic spirit).
- Ulterior: Therionic Deific Masks. That is, Deific Masks that are animalistic and associated with the form of beasts as well as and lycanthropy, shape-shifting and dreams. Related to deep-seated desires and secret fetishes which Therionic Sorcery is billed as exploring. Bael (another Goetic spirit) is given as an example (perhaps due to his conventionally chimeric appearance).
- Superior: Associated with the Holy Guardian Angel, or the Azal’ucel, the spirit of the True Will (a term borrowed from Thelema) or higher self. In reference to the illuminated, awakened and perfected self. It is built upon the union of the Id and the Super Ego by the Luciferian Initiate. Could be represented as a beautiful male angel, or if feminine something along the lines of the goddess Diana (who for some reason is referred to as the “light side of Lilith” despite the two not being related to each other).
In Bible of the Adversary, says this on the gods and goddesses of the Luciferian path:
The Gods and Goddesses of the [Luciferian] path are collected from a multicultural perspective; they are what I refer to as Deific Masks, energies or spirits collected into forms in which we apply personality or image to. These spirits represent different aspects of our character, including the subconscious, latent powers and concepts.
How these spirits identify with you will be a part of the exploration process. As my own magickal work has crossed over through time and culture, the Deific Masks or Gods are also varied and have different meanings, appearances and associations.
In the book, it is recognized that the Deific Masks bring in a somewhat polytheistic angle to Luciferianism. This polytheism is viewed as a means to an end. The gods are tools of the Luciferian magician for the transformation of the self, not objects of actual worship. They are also seen as representations of natural forces, which would have been symbolized by animalistic or chthonic deities.
What I am pointing to is that such deific masks of energy hold specific aethyric and chthonic attributes which play out in nature – storms, earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes can be considered a result of the chaotic and equally needful energy Typhon-Set, Ahriman or such.
Page 582 of Dragon of the Two Flames offers a glossary definition of the Deific Mask:
Deific Mask – Deific Masks are representations of a type of ‘power’, ‘energy’ which has a connection to the mind-body-spirit of the human being also. A Deific Mask is essentially what most identify as ‘Gods’, ‘Demons’ and other types of spirits associated with a type of occurrence in nature or the human being.
Page 36 of Necrominon describes it as follows:
The Deific Mask is the symbol and archetype of the God, Goddess or Demon which the Black Adept wears to access this specific type of energy; absorbing and compelling the power to become form in the reality we so choose. We do not become the Deific Mask; we seek to become our own unique divinity of energy in form.
Ford has also written an essay called The Many Deific Masks of Lucifer , wherein the Deific Mask is described thusly:
A “Deific Mask” is a specific representation of power”, “energy and “phenomena” which is viewed as a symbol of a “God”. Deific Masks may be considered atavisms or representations of a part of the subconscious mind; even going as far as to suggest they are “literal” to those who choose to invest belief in such.
And in Luciferian Apotheca’s website, Ford writes an article titled “Statues and Their Use in Magick” where he offers this description:
The Deific Masks represent specific types of power and their manifestation in both nature and the living temple of the mind-body-spirit. For instance, Seth (Egyptian god of darkness, war and the desert ruins) is a power of darkness and chaos bringing change, struggle and ultimately self-liberation from restrictive situations or methods of thinking. Seth challenges and will make strong the Luciferian, however uncomfortable change requires the strong character and will of the sorcerer to over a period of time, “become” (Kheper) like Seth or one of the manifestations of this Deific Mask.
Whenever the Deific Mask is described in Ford’s writings, the basic meaning of the concept is consistent. The Deific Mask refers to a form or construct relating to the human mind which is manifested or invoked through ritual. In this sense they can be seen as spirits, but the existence of the gods and those spirits is treated rather ambiguously by Ford and his Luciferian tradition, though generally it seems the gods are discussed not as literal beings or outer intelligences to be supplicated within a classical polytheist system, but as constructions that can be useful to the human Luciferian magician, at least under the right circumstances. They are not our masters, they are tools of the magician.
In this sense, what stands out about Luciferianism is what is basically a kind of psycho-spiritual semi-polytheistic framework. The gods are symbols, and there are many of them, but as symbolic archetypes these gods have a transformative power and are seen as a source of energy for the practitioner as he/she travels down the path of self-awakening, empowerment, spiritual enlightenment and transformation.
And it’s at this point I feel like expanding upon the Luciferian approach to Satanism, which I mentioned in my previous post. At this point, I am still basically a Satanist first, in that I root myself in a philosophy derived from LaVey, I live my live for myself and I value the world as it is and believe that Man is better off just being Man without being engineered into something that he is not by either religion, tradition, “progress” or political ideology. Luciferianism, while sharing many aspects with Satanism, is its own philosophy, stressing through , with resistance to what it considers monotheistic slave-mentality and Christian dualism a pretty big theme. Satanism, while almost certainly opposed to Christian monotheism, lacks the sense of mission that I sometimes see in the Luciferian movement – which if I’m being perfectly frank is a point in its favor (after all, I am a Satanist first, and Satanism in my view tends to resent evangelism wherever it comes from, even from another form of Satanism). The Luciferian approach to Satanism therefore, means that I would largely accept Luciferian magick and ideas as an important part of my own Satanism, even if I don’t agree with everything about Luciferianism (as you might soon see in future posts), and I embrace Luciferian spiritual goals and its conception of the Adversary. Because of this, I think I can accept the idea of the Deific Mask on the grounds that it brings the gods to the level of the individual through a paradigm that is not particularly theistic in its conception, which means that I need not worship literal deities, rather I embrace the archetypes of the gods as representing parts of the psyche as well empowering.
From what I understand the Luciferian is not limited to a specific number of Deific Masks, but can invoke many to suit specific purposes, goals or rituals. Which I guess means that pretty soon I’m going to have to think about my own system (mainly the Deities pages, in which I have six main deities listed; I guess I’ll just change “My Deities” to “My Deific Masks” for now).