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Prayer: a very unpopular choice

Abstract

Undoubtedly, Samaelism is a monotheism whose practices are deeply rooted on the necessity to place God at the very center of one's own life. This tendency is manifested not only in the activities of liturgies and Agàpe, but mainly in the choice of prayer [1].

In this article we will analyze the fundamentals of samaelite prayer related to our doctrinal system of believes [2] opposed to the more popular approach of the main LHP currents and philosophies [3]


Introduction to Prayer

Prayer is a choice. A choice that every Samaelite makes daily, relating to the order of priorities in his or her life. To choose to devote oneself to prayer, whether at specific times of the day or when one has the opportunity to do so, is to deliberately choose to devote oneself, body and soul, to a practice that is far from popular in the 21st century.

In a world where matter is the undisputed protagonist of our existences and aspirations and where our every thought or action is oriented as much extrovertedly as introvertedly by technology, prayer is a revolutionary choice that excludes all worldliness for a few minutes and affirms, loudly, forcefully, "God, and not the self, is the center of the Universe."

In fact, for a Samaelite, it is God himself who is the Sun around which one revolves and moves; it is God himself who is the final cause of an existence over which one has no control; it is God and God alone who is a horizon of reason and interpretation of the alien, the different.

This is why, before anything else, prayer is a daily choice that is only seemingly reactionary, but is instead purely revolutionary. Revolutionary because it places the Samaelite in a position far removed from that of other men, who are often too busy attending to earthly things to be able to turn their eyes within themselves; revolutionary because it is completely in opposition to the typical attitude of the majority of religious people who make themselves the heralds of a will or a supposed divine word; revolutionary because, in its simplicity, it is capable of profoundly unsettling the roots of the majority of alternative philosophies and religions in general and LHP spiritualities in particular.


The samaelite approach

Prayer is, unlike many satanism want us to believe, one of the most ancient form of connection between the human being and the Divinity. We have proves of prayers not only in the monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), but even in the ancient polytheistic religions and in the East traditions (Buddhism, Hinduism et similia).

Prayer has always been, in a few words, a tool of communication between the mankind and the metaphysical and for this reason this practices assume different shapes and structures due to their different purposes in the different traditions.

For example, as it happens in Samaelism, prayer can be based on a form of petition-making, through which the devotee ask the Divinity for a particular blessing. But not all the religions have this kind of approach and this is why in buddhism you will not be able to find a prayer that is structured in the same way as in other religions.

More specifically, a good example of a prayer that does not involve a form of petition-making is the buddhist prayer as conceived by Nichiren Daishonin in the XIII century. In the opinion of this buddhist reformer, prayer should not be thought as something that mankind directs towards the Divinity to ask for something, but -quite the opposite- as something that the devotee uses to express his/her intentions in a clear and sacred way. On the other hand, if we want to find an opposite approach to prayer we do not even have to leave the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism, in fact, has an approach to the prayer very, very similar to the one we have in the West. The devotion in Hinduism is expressed both individually (many devotees have altars of the main deities in their homes and give to them food and water offerings on a daily basis) or publicly (very famous are some Hindu celebrations such as Holi). [4]

This two examples should help us understanding that different and even opposite approaches to prayer can be found in the same geographical region. What would happen if we extend this horizon in space and time? What would happen if we do not just consider all the world in its entirety, but even all the history of mankind?

For sure, the context will become too complex to be fully understood without a very long anthropologic study.

There is, then, another distinction among the different approaches to prayer that must be highlighted in this paragraph since it is relevant to our study. This distinction divide the prayer in “free” or “liturgical”.

A “free” prayer means, long story short, that any devotee can practice it in his/her own way, with his/her own words and accompany it with his/her own gestures. He/She can decide if to recite it louder or mentally, if it is appropriate to bow or not and so on.

On the other hand, the liturgical approach is quite different because has -as all the liturgies- rules and limits to respect in order to pray. Samaelite prayer is quite different from all the other prayer systems because it is able to unify these two approaches, being at the same time free and liturgical. The samaelite prayer is free, in the sense that every samaelite can pray at any time of the day in whichever method they prefer. So, for example, a samaelite can easily decide to pray at noon, before having lunch, or at 3pm or at any other time of the day which is not “canonic”.

When we say “canonic times” we mean the two moment of the day in which those who have dedicated their life to the liturgy of the Great Serpent, have to pray: sunrise and sunset.

These two moments of the day are highly relevant in the life of a canonic samaelite because of their intrinsic symbolism. Both sunrise and sunset, in fact, are the perfect embodiment of the Serpent as both a light-bearer and as a light-killer and so as death and rebirth. As we know from our doctrine, the Serpent is used within Samaelism as the iconographic representation of God because of its symbolism of Absolute, of totality, of pure life-force [5]. But the life that the Serpent represent is not merely a βίος, so a life that contradicts death, but a ζωή and so, as the Greeks would say, an absolute life that includes death [6]. The Serpent is, so, the ζωή, the life as a totality, as a balance between death and rebirth.

This kind of approach is supported by many ancient mythologies such as the Greek, the Egyptian, the Babylonian and so on [7]. In all these mythologies, the Snake is represented as a chthonic force that, slithering on the ground, is more connected to the “lower” side of the existence than any other being in the universe. For this very reason the Serpent is usually a terrible force and a very powerful one; nevertheless, only a few times the Serpent appears to be represented as voluntary dangerous for mankind. Quite the opposite, as we know, many are the cases in which the Serpent is the guardian of a forbidden knowledge (usually represented by a sacred tree) [8] and so becomes dangerous only when a unworthy man tries to reach the knowledge the Snake is protecting.

This duality of the symbolism of the Snake explains quite well why we have two “canonic times” during the day: the sunrise embodies the Serpent as a light-bearer and so as a guardian of the forbidden knowledge, but even as the creator and so the causa finalis of our existence; sunset, on the other hand, embodies the Serpent as a bringer of darkness and destruction, as a “Tiamat” or as “Typhoon” or “Seth” or, in a few words, as all those deities that have dared to rebel against the celestial power of the gods.

From a different sight, a more doctrinal one, we could say that sunrise and sunset are the two contraries of our reality, Neikos and Philia. But, in contrast to what you may have been thought, it is Neikos to be associated with sunrise while Philia is related with the sunset.

The reader is invited to read these two archetypes in an eschatological perspective: destruction here corresponds then to sunrise (the birth) while aggregation corresponds with the sunset (death). [9]

The two canonical times of the day are, in this view, the foundation of the samaelite liturgy, being able to embody the two main aspects of the Almighty Serpent: creation and destruction in their most archetypical forms.

Coming back to our main theme, we can say that the samaelite prayer is both free and liturgical in the sense that every samaelite is, and always will be, free to pray in every way he/she pleases, while respecting the two canonical times of the day following the classic liturgy for the morning prayer and the vespers.

This practice, and so the prayer that is done everyday at sunrise and sunset in a very ritual matter, is mandatory only for the canonic members of our Order, since they have taken the sacred vows to the Serpent and so must dedicate their existence to chant its eulogies. For all the lay samaelites all around the world, the two canonic times are not mandatory, but only high recommended and still, the samaelite Canon does not force any lay samaelites to pray in the ritual way. So, even if you would like to follow the two canonic times in order to strengthen your bond with the Almighty Serpent, you are not required to do it ritually as the Hiereús (read this article to deepen this figure) does: once again, you are free to pray in whichever way you prefer. [10]



[1] cfr. Ordo Adamantis Atri, Liber Precis Serpentis, Amazon 2023;

[2] cfr. Ordo Adamantis Atri, Treatise of Samaelite Doctrine, Amazon 2022;

[3] cfr. Ordo Adamantis Atri, Exalogy of the Serpent vol. I, Amazon 2020;

[4] G. R. Franci, L'induismo, Il Mulino, Bologna 2005;

[5] Ordo Adamantis Atri, Treatise of Samaelite Doctrine, Amazon 2022, pp.17-78;

[6] To deepen this subject cfr,. K. Kerény, Dionysus, Adelphi, Milano 1992, pp.17-24;

[7] To deepen this subject cfr., M. L. Sancassano, Il serpente e le sue immagini: il motivo del serpente dall'Iliade all'Orestea, Edizioni New Press, Como 1997 e A. Angelini, Dal Leviatano al Drago, Il Mulino, Bologna 2018;

[8] In this regard, interesting is the middle-assyric version of the Elana's Myth. Cfr. J.B. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts relating to the Old Testaments (ANET), Princeton Press, Princeton 1969, pp. 114sgg.

[9] Ordo Adamantis Atri, Treatise of Samaelite Doctrine, Amazon 2022, pp. 312sgg.

[10] This section was taken from: Ordo Adamantis Atri, Liber Precis Serpentis, Amazon 2023, pp. 9-15



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