In the Satanic Bible, Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey wrote: “After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween.” Knowing the significance of the upcoming holiday, it’s no surprise that to celebrate Halloween this year, The Satanic Temple Colorado has decided to pull out the big guns by performing a Satanic Black Mass in its entirety on October 28th in Denver.
Because this most blasphemous of rituals has always been spoken about in hushed tones for hundreds of years due to its incredibly evil reputation, I felt the best place to turn for answers was the Central Regional Counselor of TST Colorado, Persephone Gray. Having spoken to her previously during the spooky season of 2022, I knew she would have all the answers regarding everything Satanic happening in the Centennial state.
Given that the Satanic Bible was published in 1969, I wanted to know if there was still the same deep connection between The Satanic Temple and Halloween that existed during the beginning of the religion. And, if so, where the root of that connection could be found.
Said Gray, “That’s actually a really interesting question in regards to Satanism as a whole, because you know, Satanism is a very individualistic religion.” She continued, “For me personally, I grew up during a heavy swing of ‘Satanic Panic.’ Halloween wasn’t completely off the table for me as a kid, like it was with other people, but the idea that Satan and demons were out to play at night was pretty real. And the idea that there were teenagers hanging out in the woods trying to steal the children to sacrifice them to Satan was not out of the question, either. The idea we like to quote a lot in TST from one of our original members is ‘Adversary you make us, so adversary we will be’; so, I think it’s just the Satanic impulse to embrace everything that they said is Satanic anyway. Like ‘Fuck you, we are Satanists, what are you going to do about it? We’re gonna go do spooky shit.’”
And Gray makes it pretty clear that spooky shit will be in abundance when I asked her what attendees of the upcoming Black Mass can expect. “As always, we’re going to have an incredible performance to start the night from our friends at ConSensual Circus; they’re always our friends and partners. There’s definitely gonna be nudity, there’s blasphemy, there’s desecration, there’s a little crowd interaction and a fair amount of bodily fluids …”
… it’s because of these reasons that the location of the event has been kept a secret—only obtainable by those who have purchased a ticket on their official Facebook events page.
When you learn about the history of the Black Mass, you quickly realize that everything Gray described is par for the course. Though the ritual still holds to the cornerstones of the mythology perpetuated by Christians and Catholics—“it’s still within the context of blaspheming against Catholicism; so it’s like the confines of a reversed Catholic mass basically,”—it is so much more. “As far as our Black Mass we’re doing, what we’ve written for this event draws from ‘Là-Bas’ (which is kind of the general thought of what a Black Mass would look like historically), LaVey, and then we as modern Satanists believe that all ritual should have some purpose and one of the purposes of Black Mass is to empower through blasphemy, so there’s definitely like a little bit of an empowerment spin on it as well.”
I suppose that, to the average Christian, everything Gray described could totally be seen as celebrating ALL things “evil.” But when you look at the close bonds that TST Colorado has with their neighbors, along with all the charitable enterprises they have been involved with over the last year, I find the term “evil” to be completely inaccurate.
Gray attributes the strong community ties between TST Colorado and the citizens of the state to “the fact that we are the community. While we create our own community obviously of Satanists, many of us have been in Colorado for years, if not our whole lives.” Gray also adds that members themselves can sometimes be the best advertising the Temple could ask for when it comes to these strong bonds. ”Sometimes people who are friends with you through different things find out that you’re a Satanist and they go, ‘Huh, I never thought of it that way,’ and then they hear about the temple and they see our good works and it all just kind of mixes in together.”
And what exactly are these good works?
“We did ‘Menstruatin’ with Satan’ this spring—which goes to people who are experiencing houselessness—and wrapped that up with a total of $9249.05 in donations we got this year; that’s a combination of cash donations and product donations as well.”
Gray continued, “And ‘Satan’s Got Your Six’ was actually retired for this year just because we didn’t get as good of a turnout on that one. Because of this, we are trying a new one called ‘The Devil’s Food Drive’ and it’s currently running until November 11th. We’ve partnered with a local bar called Bar Nun and it was actually their idea. They came to us first and said, ‘We really want to do this, do you guys wanna help?’ and we went ‘Yeah, we need to replace Satan’s Got Your Six with something, so let’s give this a shot.’”
And finally, “The other thing we did this year is we partnered with Black Sky Brewery to do a beer release. Every year in the past, any profits from that is used by us as a congregation. But, since we’re doing pretty well this year in meeting our budgets and everything, we decided to use that money that was raised through that beer release to donate to One Colorado. We did a total donation of $1666 to them. And our beer this year was called ‘Trans Rites.’”
Gray also makes it clear that the Temple believes in transparency when it comes to their charitable contributions, “If you’re interested to see what charities we donated to, those are available on our website as well.”
As chaotic as the beginning of this year has been, it seems that (thankfully) for the hard-working members of TST Colorado, the end of 2023 will involve some winding down. “[Other than our charities/drives, the schedule is] very singular for us: we’re working on Saturnalia which will be in December, where we have God Module this year as our as our headliner.” Sadly, this was all the information Gray could give regarding the future of the Temple. “As far as next year, I can’t tell you because we get together in January to plan out a year in advance and we haven’t had that planning [yet].”
Though next year is completely up in the air, I can promise that the remaining events of 2023—The Black Mass (October 28th) and Saturnalia (December 16th)—will be more than sufficient to arouse even the darkest of hearts and help bring to Earth the spirit of self-empowerment that only Satan can provide.